If you’re reading this, the internet is working. But it wasn’t, earlier. New COVID-19 cases are down, but a summer surge is possible. And after a controversy over racism, Chris Harrison leaves “The Bachelor” franchise.
👋 It’s Laura. It’s Tuesday, and I’ve got some news for you.
But first, what’s twice the size of the Hollywood sign and weighs more than 70 tons? Why, the Australotitan cooperensis dinosaur, of course. It’s the largest species of dinosaur to be found in Australia. Check it out.
The Great Internet Outage of 2021
Internet outages: the price we pay for living that always-online life. This one was huge. Multiple websites went down in a widespread internet outage Tuesday morning, including Amazon, Google, Reddit, CNN and – yes, even USA TODAY. 😱 DownDetector, a site that tracks website outages, reported that a long list of sites, which also included Zoom, Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, Hulu, Spotify, Etsy and Paypal, started experiencing problems just after 5:30 a.m. EDT Tuesday. Many of the sites’ outages were linked to Fastly, a cloud platform that powers websites such as The New York Times and Shopify. “The issue has been identified and a fix has been applied,” read the latest update from Fastly posted at 6:57 a.m. Most websites affected by the outage appear to be back up and running.
‘An impossible situation’ on Jan. 6
Law enforcement was left unprepared after intelligence officials failed to warn of potential violence at the U.S. Capitol, leaving officers to grapple with a violent mob intent on overturning the 2020 election results, according to a Senate report on the insurrection Jan. 6. “Capitol Hill police were put in an impossible situation,” said Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio. “Without adequate intelligence, training and equipment, they didn’t have the tools they needed to protect the Capitol. That’s the hard truth.” To create the report, the panels held oversight hearings and reviewed thousands of documents and written statements from 50 Capitol Police officers.
What everyone’s talking about
3,900 migrant kids separated from parents under zero tolerance policies
More than 3,900 children were separated from their parents under President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance policy,” according to a report from a task force designed to reunify migrant families. The Reunification of Families Task Force determined a total of 5,636 children were separated from July 1, 2017, and Jan. 20, 2021, 3,913 of whom were separated under zero-tolerance-related policies. There are 1,723 children whose separations remain under review. “When we reunified the first seven families last month, I said that this was just the beginning,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement. “In the coming weeks, we will reunify 29 more families.”
New COVID-19 cases drop to numbers not seen since last year
“It gives me so much hope,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said Tuesday as she announced that a little more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases were reported Monday. This brings the seven-day average of new, daily cases to 13,277, the first time it has fallen below 15,000 since the first weeks of the pandemic in March 2020. Walensky noted that deaths and hospitalizations related to COVID-19 also continued their precipitous decline, crediting the 300 million-plus vaccination shots administered across the nation for the encouraging numbers. Still, experts say a summer surge could emerge in states lifting restrictions despite lagging in vaccination rates.
- 💉 Vaccine trials for kids: Pfizer released details Tuesday about the progress of its COVID-19 vaccination trials in children, showing that it completed early testing and is moving forward with lower-dose trials in younger kids. Children are less likely than adults to have a serious case of COVID-19, so drug companies are trying to minimize vaccine side effects while maximizing benefits.
Longtime host of ‘The Bachelor’ exits after racism controversy
Trouble in paradise. After a controversy last season, Chris Harrison, the longtime host of the popular reality dating show “The Bachelor” and its spinoff series, “Bachelor in Paradise,” is exiting the franchise after nearly 20 years. Here’s why: This spring, during “The Bachelor” (starring Matt James, the franchise’s first Black male lead), contestant Rachael Kirkconnell faced backlash for liking Confederate-flag-related TikTok videos and attending a plantation-themed party in 2018. Harrison, hosting the show, came under fire for defending her. She apologized for her “offensive and racist” actions. “I’ve had a truly incredible run as host of ‘The Bachelor’ franchise, and now I’m excited to start a new chapter,” Harrison wrote in an Instagram post.
A break from the news
🗣 Hey, America, we need to talk
One conversation, even multiplied thousands of times, won’t heal America. But it’s a start. Join us and thousands of other Americans on Saturday for America Talks. We will meet one-on-one in hourlong video conversations across political divides.
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