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The U.S. government has preordered 800 million doses of covid-19 vaccine for its 330 million population



coovid-19 vaccine

In order to ensure a supply of 100 million doses of the novel Coronavirus vaccine that the US government has entered into a $1,525 billion deal with Moderna, a U.S.-based biotech firm.

With this, the US government has now concluded advance supply agreements with five companies whose candidate vaccines are considered to be the leading supporters of approval. This is Moderna ‘s second contract. Previously, the US government had offered the company US$ 995 million to develop innovations that are first used for the production of a vaccine. Moderna ‘s candidate vaccine uses the new Coronavirus messenger RNA to trigger an immune response in people. Until now, no RNA-based vaccine has been developed for any disease.

The two deals together carry the US government’s contribution to US$ 2.48 billion in Moderna vaccines. An unspecified portion of this money was intended as a stimulus to deliver the vaccine promptly, but the company did not reveal the agreed schedules. The company said in a statement that the deal also included an option to purchase another 400 million doses of vaccine.

The Moderna vaccine is the final stage of clinical trials and will be accepted by the beginning of 2021.

In January 2021, the US government has committed itself to provide, through a plan called Operation Warp Speed, at least 300 million doses of a new Coronavirus vaccine. So far, the United States has signed deals with various firms, the most likely candidates being accepted, for at least 700 million doses.

It secured 300 million doses of vaccine in a $1.2 billion deal between Oxford University and AstraZeneca. Novax has an additional US $1.6 billion contract for 100 million doses. The biggest deal until now was with the vaccine partners Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline. The government of the United States has agreed to pay the US $2.1 billion for 100 million doses.

The US has also entered into a 1 trillion dollar deal for the provision of 100 million doses with Johnson & Johnson. There is also another $1.95 billion deal for 100 million doses between Pfizer and BioNtech.

That means that the United States has already signed advance agreements for 800 million vaccine doses for a population of 330 million. Maybe not all vaccines produced are successful. Diversification means that the U.S. will have assured supplies to every good candidate vaccine and win the competition.

Oxford University expects to see results by September with the Swedish-British pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, while the US research company Moderna is collaborating with the USA. National Institutes of Health ( NIH), possibly November, are planning for the end of the year.

US President Donald Trump initiated ‘Operation Warp Speed’ with a view to developing, manufacturing and delivering the COVID-19 vaccine by January 2021 to all Americans.

Hundreds of millions of dollars were earmarked for vaccine developers, including nearly $ 500 million at the end of March for Johnson & Johnson.

The United States has spent more money on companies than any other country in the hope of one vaccine against the highly contagious virus.

To date, Washington has spent at least $9.4 billion on seven vaccine developers and has entered into production contracts with five to supply 700 million doses.

These are: Johnson and Johnson, Moderna, Oxford / AztraZeneca, Novaváx, Pfizer / BioNTech, Sanofi, Merck Sharp and Dohme. These include the following firms.

Two vaccine manufacturers — Oxford / AztraZeneca and Sanofi / GSK — have agreed or are currently negotiating a combined 700 million doses with the European Commission.

The UK is seeking a separate pre-order of 250 million doses from four companies ahead of Brexit.

Japan has 490 million doses from three manufacturers, of which 250 million are from United States Novavax.

Pharmaceutical giant Takeda purchased rights for the research-funded Novavax vaccine for Japan. This will be locally generated.

A similar model was chosen by Brazil to order 100 million doses of AstraZeneca and to collaborate with Chinese Sinovac to manufacture 120 million CoronaVac, already tested with the Brazilians.

Two Chinese vaccine candidates – Sinovac and Sinopharm – undergo clinical testing, but only a few foreign collaborations, one with Brazil and one likely with Indonesia have been confirmed.

Russia said 20 countries have 1 billion doses of Sputnik V pre-ordered and that it would be capable of generating 500 million doses per year with international partners in five nations.

Launched in 2017 by Norway, India, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Wellcome Trust, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations aims to ensure “equitable access” to future vaccines.

It has purchased 300 million doses of AstraZeneca in cooperation with the Vaccine Alliance in hundreds of developing countries.

The Giant Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines, will produce thousands of thousands of doses for Asia and elsewhere.

Novavax and AstraZeneca have signed separate agreements with SII to manufacture one billion doses in India and low and middle revenue countries, provided they demonstrate their efficacy in clinical trials.

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Ex-stars John Randle, Kevin Williams call for Vikings to put up statue of Purple People Eaters



Ex-stars John Randle, Kevin Williams call for Vikings to put up statue of Purple People Eaters

Hall of Famer John Randle believes a statue of the Purple People Eaters should be erected outside of U.S. Bank Stadium. And another former star Vikings defensive tackle has seconded the motion.

The Purple People Eaters were Minnesota’s famous defensive line that terrorized opponents from the late 1960s until the late 1970s.

“I would love to see a statue in front (of U.S. Bank Stadium) of the Purple People Eaters because when you talk about the Minnesota Vikings, you talk about the Purple People Eaters,’’ Randle, who starred for the Vikings at defensive tackle from 1990-2000. said recently. “That’s where it started, Minnesota Vikings football.’’

Kevin Williams, a Vikings defensive tackle from 2003-13 who will be inducted next Sunday into the team’s Ring of Honor at a home game against Cleveland, liked what Randle said.

“Definitely, that’s something they should look into,’’ Williams said. “That sounds like a great idea. You see these other teams put their great players outside their stadium. I mean, who is more deserving than those guys?”

The Purple People Eaters initially consisted of Alan Page (who played for Minnesota from 1967-78) and Gary Larsen (1965-74) at defensive tackle and Carl Eller (1964-78) and Jim Marshall (1961-79) at defensive end. Page and Eller are in the Hall of Fame and Larsen and Marshall each made two Pro Bowls.

When Larsen retired, defensive tackle Doug Sutherland (1971-80) took his place on the legendary line.

“I never thought a thing about it, but, yeah, that would be a heck of an honor,’’ Larsen said about the suggestion by Randle and Williams. “That would be something else, posing for a statue.”

Randle said he grew up admiring members of the Purple People Eaters. He was honored to meet them after he joined the Vikings.

“I remember when they put Jim Marshall in the Ring of Honor (in 1999),’’ Randle said. “I told him, ‘Thank for what you guys have done.’ …  And when I went into the Hall of Fame (in 2010 in Canton, Ohio), there were lot of Hall of Famers there, but when I saw Alan Page, it was almost like being christened by the queen, a feeling of knighthood. Because for me, that was the standard. That was one of the greatest stories, seeing him there.’’

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Working Strategies: Tips for surviving your annual performance review



Working Strategies: No, really — ‘Why do you want this job?’

Fall is here, along with the fourth quarter of the business calendar. In some companies, annual performance reviews are right around the corner.

Amy Lindgren

For many employees, being reviewed can be a fraught process, too heavily weighted with measures that seem to lack meaning, such as the ubiquitous scale of 1 to 5 — based on what as the actual meaning of 5?

If you’ve heard of (or had) bosses who refuse to give a top ranking (because nobody’s perfect, and they don’t want you resting on your laurels), then you may already feel a bit jaded about the process. How can you be motivated by a system in which you can never achieve the goal?

In truth, managers aren’t thrilled by these systems either. It’s stressful to rank employees, especially when the forms seem to ignore the most important aspects of someone’s job. Now with so many people working remotely or covering more roles, managers may be even more challenged in this process.

If managers and employees both dislike performance reviews, why does the practice persist? That question does get asked from time to time. On balance, despite the drawbacks, it’s better for employees to work in a system that uses some kind of review, rather than one that doesn’t. If nothing else, it’s an annual opportunity to clear the air about duties and expectations.

Since the actual protocols differ from one company to the next, there isn’t a universal set of steps for succeeding at your next performance review. Even so, the following tips might give you a head start.

Ask for the form in advance. Assuming your company uses a form or some other prepared document, ask for it a month or more before your review would be scheduled. This lets you think about the areas you’ll be evaluated on, while getting started on any information you’re expected to prepare.

Review past evaluations. If you’ve been with this employer awhile, you’ve probably been through this process already. Past reviews will remind you of goals you’d intended to reach this year, along with other areas of improvement. They’ll also prepare you mentally for the process itself.

Talk to co-workers. If others have already been through their reviews, consider asking how it went. You don’t need to get personal. Just, “Did you think the process was different this year?” might be enough to elicit advice.

Gather your data. Did you take on extra duties this year, or cover different areas of your department? What did you learn that you might be taking for granted now, such as remote meeting processes? Did you hit or miss your work goals? Answering these kinds of questions might be a requirement of your review preparation process but if not, it’s still good data to have ready.

Mind your language. In the meeting itself, there are some things you want to avoid saying. For example, leave out unneeded modifiers such as “kind of” – as in, “I kind of led the transition process this year.” If you weren’t given official leadership status, the modifier is understandable but it’s still not strategic. Try this instead: “When the transition process gained momentum, I stepped forward to lead the stages taking place in my work area. That included.. and … and …”

Along the same lines, this isn’t the place to use “we” when “I” is justified. In the above example, saying “Our team took responsibility for…” might accurately be replaced with “I led our team in taking responsibility for…”

Ask for what you want. In many ways, this is the Year of the Employee. You don’t have free reign to get anything your heart desires, but you almost certainly have more leverage than you realize. Managers are losing sleep over worker retention issues when they’re already short-handed. Reasonable requests for schedule accommodations, tuition assistance or pay increases have more chance of success now than might usually be the case.

Ask what your manager wants. Not to be forgotten in this process is the manager, who likely oversees your career path in the company. What is the vision for the coming year and your role in the department? What goals does he or she have that you can help fulfill? Finding alignment between your goals and your manager’s goals is the sweet spot of the annual performance review; achieving this can make the process a valued tool rather than a dreaded ordeal.

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Franklin rallies past Duxbury in second half



Big second half leads Springfield Central to road win at BC High

DUXBURY — Franklin head coach Eian Bain made it a point that he doesn’t have a bend-but-don’t-break type of defense, but his team surely doesn’t panic.

Trailing 14-0 with 7:16 left in the first half, the Panthers (3-0) rattled off 27 unanswered points and shut out Duxbury in the second half en route to a 27-14 non-league road victory Friday night.

Mack Gulla was outstanding in the trenches banging helmets for most of the game until he broke out a 45-yard off-right tackle touchdown run to seal the win with 1:35 remaining in the game. Gulla finished the game with 151 yards on 23 carries.

“Once we kind of settled down and realized the dogfight we were in we started to make those plays in the big moments,” said Bain. “Those are the best four defensive linemen in the state especially (Delby Lemieux), made life hard and we had to live in the life of two-three-four yards and then get them to wear down.”

Duxbury was in control early as Matt Festa was rolling to his right and left in the first half. Festa found his usual partner in crime Brady Madigan for a 22-yard touchdown and followed up that series with a 30-yard pass to Chris Walsh as Walsh laid out in the end zone for the circus catch and the 14-0 lead.

The defensive line for Duxbury, led by Lemieux, was up for the challenge, but the ground-and-pound game of Gulla set up Franklin’s screen and play-action in the backfield in the second quarter.

Shane Kindred scored on an end-around from right to left to go in from 18 yards out after some nifty footwork broke two tackles inside the 5-yard line, but Lemieux was at it again with the blocked extra point to leave the Panthers trailing, 14-6, with 3:43 left in the first half.

After a six-play drive stalled, Duxbury punted the ball away with only 39 seconds left on the clock and Franklin didn’t waste one second.

The clock seemed to expire as Will Tracey stepped out of bounds at the Dragons’ 35-yard line, but the officials put two seconds back on the clock. Jared Arone went to Tracey again, Tracey climbed the ladder, and pulled down the touchdown as time expired to give the Panthers all the momentum going into the lockers for the break.

“We could have easily taken the clock at that point, but I trust our kids. We ran a quick screen, a penalty happened, and we hit a quick out and bang — they had great coverage, but Will Tracey is the captain of the basketball team for a reason,” added Bain.

Duxbury again controlled the clock in the third quarter with an 11-play drive that stalled at the Panthers’ 10-yard line as Festa just couldn’t make the sticks on a 4th-and-3 quarterback keeper. The drive ate up 5:50 of the clock but Gulla was just about to punch in for work again and Duxbury knew they missed a golden opportunity.

“We didn’t execute there and it was a big play in the game, we had the momentum, and they made plays and we didn’t,” said Duxbury head coach Matt Landolfi. “(Gulla) is a beast, tough to take down so this is going to make us better as a team and that’s the plan and why you play (Division 1) teams and get better as a springboard.”

On the next series, Gulla carried the ball nine out of the first 11 plays from scrimmage as the Panthers marched the field into the fourth quarter. Gulla’s hard work between the tackles set up Arone for his second passing touchdown of the game and finished off the 90-yard series with a beautiful inside post route underneath by Will Deschenes as Arone hit the senior wideout in stride from 30 yards out.

Franklin held the 21-14 lead with 10:50 to go but Gulla was just too much down the stretch as he finally found the end zone on his 23rd carry of the game to lift Franklin to the victory.

Arone was super-efficient and finished 13-of-16 for 164 yards with two touchdowns for the Panthers, who face Mansfield next week.

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Brown leads St. Mary’s to big victory over Bishop Feehan



Brown leads St. Mary’s to big victory over Bishop Feehan

ATTLEBORO — To this point in the high school football season, St. Mary’s (Lynn) has embraced the role of underdog in each of its matchups, and the formula seems to be working. Despite having to compete with schools from higher divisions, the Spartans have managed to find ways to win week in, week out.

Thanks to a fantastic performance by David Brown, that trend continued on Friday night. The junior running back racked up 18 carries for 140 yards and a trio of touchdowns, as St. Mary’s (3-0) opened its Catholic Central League slate with a massive 28-14 victory over Bishop Feehan on the road.

“Most people in the state see St. Mary’s as a small school in Lynn, Division 6,” Brown said afterward. “They don’t think we have a chance against any team that’s a bigger school … so (this is) a really big win for us.”

Brown wasted little time with getting his banner night underway. On just the second play from scrimmage in the opening quarter, the junior took a handoff from Ali Barry, shrugged off a few tackles, then broke off a 52-yard touchdown scamper to put the Spartans ahead, 7-0, just 1:07 into the action.

Bishop Feehan (2-1) would respond on its opening possession a few minutes later, as senior Aidan Crump connected with Matt Saunders for a 26-yard touchdown to make it a 7-7 contest with 6:13 to play in the stanza.

However, Brown was far from finished. With 1:15 to play in the first quarter, the junior appeared to be stood up after a short gain. But he would break loose, then proceed to shed countless tacklers as he rumbled to the house for an incredible 24-yard touchdown rush to make it 14-7.

“I kind of lost my balance at the first broken tackle,” Brown chuckled. “Then, the kid didn’t really come at me, so I used a stiff arm, then it was just about putting in strength. … I just saw the end zone, and I knew I was going for it. Nothing was going to stop me.”

With 4:38 remaining in the first half, Brown took a swing toss from Barry, then jogged in for a 5-yard touchdown run, as the Spartans extended their lead to 21-7.

After the Spartans blocked a punt attempt by Bishop Feehan, St. Mary’s would capitalize, as junior running back Derick Coulanges found the end zone from two yards out to put his team ahead, 28-7, a lead which the Spartans would never relinquish.

Barry added nine carries for 94 yards for St. Mary’s in the victory.

For Bishop Feehan, it was a difficult night, and things were only magnified by the absence of star running back Nick Yanchuk, who suffered a leg injury during a game with Attleboro last week.

Case Mankins would add a 1-yard rushing touchdown for the Shamrocks in the third quarter to cap the scoring.

Crump finished 8-for-24 passing, closing his night with 129 yards and a score. Cameron Burns rushed 15 times for 99 yards in the effort.

“I’m proud of my team,” said St. Mary’s coach Sean Driscoll. “Because the last couple of weeks, we’ve gotten our first team out in the second half, but to finish a complete game is big for us, especially in this league.”

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Witness: Taliban hang dead body in Afghan city’s main square



Witness: Taliban hang dead body in Afghan city’s main square

KABUL, Afghanistan — The Taliban hanged a dead body from a crane in the main square of Herat city in western Afghanistan, a witness said Saturday, in a gruesome display that signaled a return to some of the Taliban’s methods of the past.

Wazir Ahmad Seddiqi, who runs a pharmacy on the side of the square, told The Associated Press that four bodies were brought to the main square and three bodies were moved to other parts of the city for public display.

Seddiqi said the Taliban announced in the square that the four were caught taking part in a kidnapping and were killed by police.

Ziaulhaq Jalali, a Taliban appointed district police chief in Herat, said later that Taliban members rescued a father and son who had been abducted by four kidnappers after an exchange of gunfire. He said a Taliban fighter and a civilian were wounded by the kidnappers but “the four (kidnappers) were killed in crossfire.”

Mullah Nooruddin Turabi, one of the founders of the Taliban and the chief enforcer of its harsh interpretation of Islamic law when they last ruled Afghanistan, told The Associated Press this week that the hard-line movement will once again carry out executions and amputations of hands, though perhaps not in public.

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Leading Off: Nolan Arenado, Cardinals seek franchise-best 15th straight win



Leading Off: Nolan Arenado, Cardinals seek franchise-best 15th straight win

A look at what’s happening around the majors today:


The soaring Cardinals will try for a franchise-record 15th consecutive victory when they play the Cubs at Wrigley Field. St. Louis swept a doubleheader from Chicago on Friday, equaling a 14-game run by the team in July 1935. The winning streak has rocketed the Cardinals into control of the second NL wild card, leading Philadelphia by five games.

Left-hander Jon Lester (7-6, 4.59 ERA) is slated to pitch for St. Louis against Chicago right-hander Adrian Sampson (3-3, 2.84).


With a little help, Tampa Bay and Milwaukee can both clinch division crowns.

The defending AL champion Rays, who secured a postseason spot Wednesday, need a victory at home over Miami and a Boston loss to the Yankees at Fenway Park to win their second consecutive AL East title.

Corbin Burnes and the Brewers, already assured their fourth straight playoff berth, would wrap up their first NL Central championship since 2018 with a victory at home against the Mets and a loss by St. Louis to the Cubs in Chicago.


The Yankees and Red Sox continue a three-game set at Fenway Park with huge postseason implications. New York beat Boston 8-3 on Friday night to pull within a game of the Red Sox for the top AL wild card. Toronto and Seattle are two games behind the Yankees.

Left-hander Nestor Cortes (2-2, 2.79 ERA) has been on a bat-missing roll this month for New York, striking out 30 and walking six over 22 1/3 innings spanning four starts. He’ll oppose Red Sox righty Nick Pivetta, who is winless in his past five starts and allowed four runs in 1 2/3 innings against the Yankees on Aug. 18.


Clayton Kershaw (10-7, 3.27 ERA) makes his third start since returning from the injured list when the Los Angeles Dodgers play at last-place Arizona. The three-time Cy Young Award winner has allowed two runs and struck out 13 over 9 1/3 innings since missing more than two months with inflammation in his left elbow.

The defending World Series champions are a game behind first-place San Francisco in the NL West, though both teams have clinched a playoff berth. Anthony DeSclafani (12-7, 3.23) pitches for the Giants in Colorado.


The Phillies put their NL East hopes on emerging left-hander Ranger Suarez (6-5, 1.60), who is 1-2 with a 1.99 ERA in 10 starts since moving from the bullpen to the rotation in August. The 26-year-old will face the Pirates in a matinee as Philadelphia tries to gain ground on first-place Atlanta.

Right-hander Wil Crow (4-7, 5.77) is slated to start for Pittsburgh.


The AL Central champion White Sox were dealt a potential blow to their playoff prep when starter Dylan Cease was struck in his pitching arm by a comebacker Friday night. The club said Cease has a bruised right triceps and X-rays were negative after he was hit by a one-hopper from Cleveland’s Bradley Zimmer in the sixth inning.

Cease attempted a few practice pitches before leaving the field, interrupting a shutout performance. He exited with nine strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings, lowering his ERA to 3.95.


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Albany County coronavirus update, September 25



102 new positive cases Albany County’s Sept. 17 COVID report

Posted: Updated:

Albany County

ALBANY COUNTY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Albany County Executive Dan McCoy provided the latest report on the county’s progress on vaccinations and controlling the spread of the coronavirus. 

As of Friday, it is reported that 71.2% of all Albany County residents have received at least the first dose of the vaccine, and 65.3% have been fully vaccinated. The first dose vaccination rate for the county’s 18+ population is now up to 82.2%. More information on vaccination rates can be found at the New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker at the link here.

County Executive McCoy announced that the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Albany County is now at 28,432 to date, with 87 new positive cases identified since Friday. The county’s five-day average of new daily positive cases is now up to 92.8. Albany County’s most recent seven-day average of percent positive rates is now 4.1% and the Capital Region’s average rate is 3.8%.

Among the new daily cases of COVID identified in the county, 18 reportedly had close contacts to positive cases, 68 did not have clear sources of infection at this time, and one is a healthcare worker or resident of a congregate living setting.

Health officials say there are now 550 active cases in the county, down from 561 Friday. The number of people under mandatory quarantine decreased to 1,030 from 1,156. So far 89,060 people have completed quarantine to date. Of those who completed quarantine, 27,882 of them had tested positive and recovered – an increase of 92 additional recoveries.

The County Executive reported that there were two new hospitalizations since Friday, and 34 county residents are still hospitalized with the virus. There are currently seven patients in ICU’s, down from eight since the last update. There are no new COVID deaths to report and the death toll for Albany County stands at 401 since the outbreak began.

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Canadians home after Huawei CFO resolves US charges



Canadians home after Huawei CFO resolves US charges


TORONTO (AP) — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hugged two Canadians who landed in Canada on Saturday following what amounted to a high-stakes prisoner swap involving China, the U.S. and Canada.

Trudeau greeted Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor after their plane landed in Calgary, Alberta early Saturday. The men were arrested in China in December 2018, shortly after Canada arrested Meng on a U.S. extradition request. Many countries labeled China’s action “hostage politics.”

Live footage on CTV’s news network showed the two men being hugged by Trudeau on the tarmac in the early morning.

The two left China just after a top executive of Chinese communications giant Huawei Technologies reached a deal with the U.S. Justice Department over fraud charges and flew from Canada to China.

The chain of events involving the global powers brought an abrupt end to legal and geopolitical wrangling that for the past three years has roiled relations between Washington, Beijing and Ottawa. The three-way deal enabled China and Canada to each bring home their own detained citizens while the U.S. wrapped up a criminal case against a prominent Chinese tech executive that for months had been mired in an extradition fight.

The first activity came Friday afternoon when Meng Wanzhou, 49, Huawei’s chief finance officer and the daughter of the company’s founder, reached an agreement with federal prosecutors that called for fraud charges against her to be dismissed next year and allowed for her to return to China immediately. As part of the deal, known as a deferred prosecution agreement, she accepted responsibility for misrepresenting the company’s business dealings in Iran.

“These two men have been through an unbelievably difficult ordeal. For the past 1,000 days, they have shown strength, perseverance and grace and we are all inspired by that,” Trudeau said a hastily called news conference late Friday night.

News of Meng’s pending return was a top item on the Chinese internet and on state broadcaster CCTV’s midday news report, with no mention made of the release of Kovrig and Spavor.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian reposted on social media a report on Meng having left Canada, adding “Welcome home.”

Video was also circulated online of Meng speaking at Vancouver International Airport, saying; “Thank you motherland, thank you to the people of the motherland. You have been my greatest pillar of support.”

The deal was reached as President Joe Biden and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping have sought to tamp down signs of public tension — even as the world’s two dominant economies are at odds on issues as diverse as cybersecurity, climate change, human rights and trade and tariffs. Biden said in an address before the U.N. General Assembly earlier this week that he had no intention of starting a “new Cold War,” while Xi told world leaders that disputes among countries “need to be handled through dialogue and cooperation.”

“The U.S. Government stands with the international community in welcoming the decision by People’s Republic of China authorities to release Canadian citizens Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig after more than two-and-a-half years of arbitrary detention. We are pleased that they are returning home to Canada,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

As part of the deal with Meng, which was disclosed in federal court in Brooklyn, the Justice Department agreed to dismiss the fraud charges against her in December 2022 — exactly four years after her arrest — provided that she complies with certain conditions, including not contesting any of the government’s factual allegations. The Justice Department also agreed to drop its request that Meng be extradited to the U.S., which she had vigorously challenged, ending a process that prosecutors said could have persisted for months.

After appearing via videoconference for her New York hearing, Meng made a brief court appearance in Vancouver, where she’d been out on bail living in a multimillion-dollar mansion while the two Canadians were held in Chinese prison cells where the lights were kept on 24 hours a day.

Outside the courtroom, Meng thanked the Canadian government for upholding the rule of law, expressed gratitude to the Canadian people and apologized “for the inconvenience I caused.”

“Over the last three years my life has been turned upside down,” she said. “It was a disruptive time for me as a mother, a wife and as a company executive. But I believe every cloud has a silver lining. It really was an invaluable experience in my life. I will never forget all the good wishes I received.”

Shortly afterward, Meng left on an Air China flight for Shenzhen, China, the location of Huawei’s headquarters.

Huawei is the biggest global supplier of network gear for phone and internet companies. It has been a symbol of China’s progress in becoming a technological world power — and a subject of U.S. security and law enforcement concerns. Some analysts say Chinese companies have flouted international rules and norms and stolen technology.

The case against Meng stems from a January 2019 indictment from the Trump administration Justice Department that accused Huawei of stealing trade secrets and using a Hong Kong shell company called Skycom to sell equipment to Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions. The indictment also charged Meng herself with committing fraud by misleading the HSBC bank about the company’s business dealings in Iran.

The indictment came amid a broader Trump administration crackdown against Huawei over U.S. government concerns that the company’s products could facilitate Chinese spying. The administration cut off Huawei’s access to U.S. components and technology, including Google’s music and other smartphone services, and later barred vendors worldwide from using U.S. technology to produce components for Huawei.

The Biden White House, meanwhile, has kept up a hard line on Huawei and other Chinese corporations whose technology is thought to pose national security risks.

Huawei has repeatedly denied the U.S. government’s allegations and security concerns about its products.

Meng had long fought the Justice Department’s extradition request, with her lawyers calling the case against her flawed and alleging that she was being used as a “bargaining chip” in political gamesmanship. They cited a 2018 interview in which then-President Donald Trump said he’d be willing to intervene in the case if it would help secure a trade deal with China or aid U.S. security interests.

Last month, a Canadian judge held off on ruling whether Meng should be extradited to the U.S. after a Canadian Justice Department lawyer wrapped up his case saying there was enough evidence to show she was dishonest and deserved to stand trial in the U.S.

Comfort Ero, the interim Vice President of the International Crisis Group, Kovrig’s employer, said they have been waiting for more than 1,000 days for the news.

“Michael Kovrig is free. To Beijing: We welcome this most just decision. To Ottawa: Thank you for your steadfast support for our colleague. To the United States: Thank you for your willingness to support an ally and our colleague. To the inimitable, indefatigable, and inspiring Michael Kovrig, welcome home!” Ero said in a statement.


Associated Press writer Jim Morris in Vancouver, Canada, contributed to this report.

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Wendy Murphy: ACLU insults women and the memory of Ruth Bader Ginsburg



Wendy Murphy: ACLU insults women and the memory of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Last week, the ACLU issued a public statement in recognition of the one-year anniversary of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death. The statement included a quote from one of Justice Ginsburg’s most famous comments about women’s rights, but it was edited to change what she actually said.

The correct quote is: “The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a woman’s life, to her dignity … When the government controls that decision for women, women are being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for her own choices.”

What the ACLU wrote was: “The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a (person’s) life, to (their) dignity … When the government controls that decision for (people), (they) are being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for (their) own choices.” They erased the fact that Justice Ginsburg was speaking about women.

That the ACLU would want to erase women is not surprising. They have been hostile to women’s rights since forever, save for the occasional token lawsuit that rarely makes a difference, or makes things worse, like the lawsuit they filed against Betsy DeVos that helped weaken Title IX.

They aggressively fought against the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1950s and 60s, claiming women did not need equality and that the chronic problem of unequal pay was “nothing but a universally bad habit.” Then they inexplicably started supporting the ERA in 1970, only to become involved in cases that led to the ERA’s demise.

Changing RBG’s quotes is stunningly stupid because it exposes the ACLU’s anti-women core; something the ACLU generally tries to hide. It is also deeply disrespectful of Justice Ginsburg, who used words like “women” and “her” to express the unique suffering women endure AS WOMEN, not men. Imagine the ACLU quoting Martin Luther King saying: “I have a dream that one day little () boys and girls will be holding hands with little () boys and girls,” when what he actually said was, “I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls.”

The pressure to erase words like “women” from American culture is supported by a lot of money, ostensibly to ensure that non-binary people feel included, but the truth is much simpler. Monied interests want to erase the word “women” to inhibit their political power as a class of people. If the goal were truly to help non-binary people, we could just ADD words like “non-binary” to make sure nobody feels excluded.

Not using the word “women,” which would mean we also cannot use the word “men,” will not help people who choose to live their lives as something other than their biological reality. If a biological woman who lives as a man suffers discrimination because he is a man, the law will protect him as a man. And if he suffers discrimination because he is a non-binary person, the law will protect him as a non-binary person. Elimination of the word “man” will undermine his rights, not advance them.

If groups like the ACLU continue this nonsense of erasing words like “women,” “men,” “boy” and “girl” from society, what’s next? Does the song, “I am Woman” by Helen Reddy become “I am Person.” Do we have to sing: “No Person No Cry” by Bob Marley; “American Person” by the Guess Who; “Black Magic Person” by Santana; “Pretty Person” by Roy Orbison; “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Person” by Aretha Franklin; “When a Person Loves a Person” by Percy Sledge; “My Person, My Person, My Spouse” by Marty Robbins; “Brown-Eyed Person” by Van Morrison; “Waiting for a Person Like You” by Foreigner; “Surfer Person” by the Beach Boys; “Stand By Your Person” by Tammy Wynette; “Mx. Tambourine Person” by the Byrds; “It’s a Person’s World” by James Brown; “Where the People Are” by Connie Francis, and “Southern Person” by Neil Young?

Will protesters soon show up at Brigham and Women’s Hospital to demand that it be renamed Brigham and Persons? Can the National Organization for Women and League of Women Voters keep their names? Do we have to remove “women” and “woman” from our laws? In Massachusetts alone, the word appears in over 500 places, often for the purpose of protecting women from discrimination that would otherwise be allowed given that women still lack full equality under the federal Constitution.

Regardless of the true agenda here, no label-maker will ever erase women as a class of people. If by some well-funded nightmare, the word “women” does disappear from our linguistic landscape, women will rise up stronger and more united than ever before, because nothing ignites a movement better than an organized attempt to erase it.

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Be prepared for a weird series of electoral events in Boston



Be prepared for a weird series of electoral events in Boston

Go grab a copy of the Boston governing charter — you’re going to need it these next few months, as a bizarre series of happenings could invoke just about every election rule in the tome.

Acting Mayor Kim Janey’s administration announced that the next elected mayor of Boston will be sworn in on Nov. 16, two weeks after the Nov. 2 general election between City Councilors Annissa Essaibi-George and Michelle Wu.

Janey’s office wrote in the press release — which featured a picture of the three women smiling behind masks at the Francis Parkman House on Beacon Hill — that that will come after the votes are certified on Nov. 15. That is, of course, assuming there’s no recount — like the protracted one in the 2019 at-large council race.

Normally, when Boston elects a new mayor, the person has two months’ time to transition in, with the new term beginning the following January. But in this case, because there’s an acting mayor, the charter say the new elected mayor takes office ASAP, right after the vote is certified.

Janey’s office said it will begin administrative meetings with both candidates in mid-October because of the abridged transition period.

One consequence of the early swearing-in is that it will, no matter what, create a vacancy in an at-large council seat for about a month and a half, as both Wu and Essaibi-George are currently at-large councilors.

For a vacancy in one of the four at-large seats, the charter says the city clerk has 21 days to formally notify the council, which then has 15 days to seat someone. The at-large seats are elected all together, so the charter says the council essentially is supposed to go down the list of the four runners-up until one says they’ll take the gig — though in the unlikely event that no one does the city council gets to choose any registered voter in Boston.

In 2018, when then-Councilor Ayanna Pressley was elected to Congress, the first runner up Althea Garrison, a perennial candidate, took over and served the rest of the term.

How long the new councilor might serve depends how much of the 21 days and how much of the 15 days the clerk and council decide to eat up, City Clerk Maureen Feeney acknowledged on Friday, but she said it’s likely that someone would have that seat at least briefly.

The most recent first runner up is Alejandra St. Guillen, who lost the final at-large spot 2019 by just a single vote after a long and fraught recount. If she were to end up on the council, she’d sit right next to Julia Mejia, who edged her out by that one ballot.

The other runners up in 2019 were Erin Murphy, Garrison and David Halbert — all of whom are on the ballot in the at-large race again this November, so each would have either just won or lost a race for an upcoming two-year term to start in January.

But there could be another at-large vacancy, too, as we get into the more speculative situations possible. Rumors have swirled that Gov. Charlie Baker could appoint At-Large City Councilor Michael Flaherty as Suffolk County District Attorney if current DA Rachael Rollins is confirmed to the post of U.S. Attorney. The U.S. Senate committee is expected to vote on Rollins’ nomination this coming week, potentially sending her name to the full body for a final vote at a later date.

If Rollins were approved and Flaherty appointed, the at-large vacancy rules would kick in then, too — whenever that may be, whether that’s before or after the election, or even in the new council term. Either way, Flaherty, the top vote-getter in the at-large preliminary earlier this month, will show up on the November council ballot, even if he’s the DA.

And your copy of the charter might not stop getting a workout at the end of the calendar year.

District 1 City Councilor Lydia Edwards is running in the special election for the 1st Suffolk state Senate seat, for which the primary election takes place Dec. 14. If Edwards — who at this point has just one opponent, Revere School Committee member Anthony D’Ambrosio — wins that, the general special election follows about a month later. If — as we continue the Boston political speculation here — she were to win that, she’d quickly resign her city council seat, which covers East Boston, Charlestown and the North End, and take on the new gig.

But believe it or not, the charter handles district-councilor vacancies differently than it does when someone leaves an at large seat. For a district vacancy that takes place more than 180 days before a municipal election — which this one easily would be, as the next normal local contest wouldn’t come until 2023 — that seat then has its own special election.

First there would be a preliminary contest about two months after the vacancy starts, and the top two vote-getters would then move to a general special election 28 days later.

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