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Before Deadly Accident, Lift Boat Turned Toward Heavy Winds, N.T.S.B. Says

A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board detailed the events that led to a commercial vessel’s capsizing off the Louisiana coast.,


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A commercial lift boat had begun to lower its legs onto the seafloor off the Louisiana coast during bad weather and a crew member had turned the vessel into heavy winds when it capsized last month, according to a preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board released on Tuesday.

Although the N.T.S.B. stopped short of giving a probable cause in its report, the board did provide a sequence of events that led to the accident.

The 175-foot-long lift boat, named the Seacor Power, was carrying 19 people when it tipped over on April 13 near Port Fourchon, La. Six people were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard and other nearby vessels. Six people died, and seven others are still missing and presumed dead. The Coast Guard suspended its search on April 19.

Lift boats are three- or four-legged, self-propelled and self-elevating vessels that are commonly found along the Gulf Coast. They have cranes and deck space to support drilling, construction and oceanic exploration. They can also work in shallow or deep waters.

The vessel was built in 2002 and acquired by its operator, Seacor Marine LLC, in 2012. The boat was contracted by Talos Energy for well work on one of its platforms, John Gellert, president and chief executive of Seacor Marine, the owner of the Seacor Power, said last month.

The boat set off from Port Fourchon at about 1:30 p.m. on April 13, according to the N.T.S.B report. It was headed to an oil and gas lease area in the Gulf of Mexico, east of the Mississippi Delta — a trip that was supposed to take 18 hours.

A weather report emailed to the crew on the vessel that morning predicted afternoon winds at 9-12 knots, which is about 10 to 13 m.p.h. About 3:30 p.m., a sudden rainstorm came over the vessel. Visibility decreased and winds increased significantly, so the crew decided to lower the vessel’s legs to the seafloor to hold it in place until the storm passed, according to the report.

When the vessel’s legs started to descend, a crew member at the helm tried to turn the boat into the winds, according to the report. But before the turn was complete, the boat heeled to starboard and capsized. Several people escaped onto the exposed port side of the vessel’s deckhouse. Some crew members who had been clinging to the vessel were washed into the water.

Other boats in the area, along with a civilian helicopter, responded to help in the rescue. The Coast Guard also used a pre-commissioning cutter, other response boats and a fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft.

But high winds and seas that had built to 10 to 12 feet prevented the Coast Guard from reaching the people on the vessel, according to the report. The Coast Guard declared the accident a major marine casualty on April 14, and the next day, the N.T.S.B. began its investigation.

“We’re a marine community, and tragedies like this take the community to heart,” Rodney J. Gisclair Sr., the vice president of the Greater Lafourche Port Commission, said last month. “We all feel a sense of loss. I don’t want to say it’s something that is inevitable, but it is part of our life down here.”

A dive team was sent to the hull of the boat in hopes of finding survivors trapped inside, but divers who knocked on the hull did not hear any response.

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Migrant Children Still Vex Biden

Interviews and a Times review showed a shelter system with wildly varying conditions, some of which are far below the standard that the Biden administration has promised.,


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WASHINGTON — In a federal shelter in Dallas, migrant children sleep in a windowless convention center room under fluorescent lights that never go dark.

At a military base in El Paso, teenagers pile onto bunk cots, and some say they have gone days without bathing.

And in Erie, Pa., problems began emerging within days of the shelter’s creation: “Fire safety system is a big concern,” an internal report noted. Some of the hot water heaters were not working, and lice was “a big issue and seems to be increasing.”

Early this year, children crossing the southwestern border in record numbers were crammed into Customs and Border Protection’s cold-floored, jail-like detention facilities. They slept side by side on mats with foil blankets, almost always far longer than the legal limit of 72 hours. Republicans declared it a crisis. Democrats and immigration groups denounced the conditions, which erupted into an international embarrassment for President Biden, who had campaigned on a return to compassion in the immigration system.

The administration responded by rapidly setting up temporary, emergency shelters, including some that could house thousands of children. But the next potential crisis is coming into view.

“I know the administration wants to take a victory lap for moving children out of Border Patrol stations — and they deserve credit for doing that,” said Leecia Welch, a lawyer and the senior director of the legal advocacy and child welfare practice at the National Center for Youth Law, a nonprofit law firm focused on low-income children. “But the truth is, thousands of traumatized children are still lingering in massive detention sites on military bases or convention centers, and many have been relegated to unsafe and unsanitary conditions.”

Xavier Becerra, the secretary of health and human services, put the best face on the situation in an interview on Friday. Conditions at the emergency facilities varied, he said. “It’s site by site.”

On Thursday he visited the department’s shelter at the convention center in Long Beach, Calif., where nearly 700 children, mostly ages 12 and under, are staying, a fraction of the 20,000 migrant minors in government custody.


Xavier Becerra, the health and human services secretary, toured a shelter for unaccompanied children at the convention center in Long Beach, Calif., last week. Credit…Patrick T. Fallon/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

“I was not only gratified to see that it’s working, but I was actually uplifted by what I saw,” Mr. Becerra said. It was his first shelter tour since he was confirmed in mid-March.

There is broad agreement that the emergency shelters, run by the Health and Human Services Department’s Office of Refugee Resettlement, are an improvement over the Border Patrol facilities. But interviews with children’s advocates and a review of weeks of internal reports obtained by The New York Times paint a picture of a shelter system with wildly varying conditions, some of which are far below the standard of care that the Biden administration has promised.

“No foster care system in America would allow kids to remain in these sorts of places for weeks or months,” said Ms. Welch, who has been visiting shelters and interviewing children about their stays.

None of the shelters are open to the public, and Ms. Welch said she and members of her team were not permitted to take photographs there. Her organization monitors the government’s adherence to a 1997 settlement that set conditions for how immigrant children are detained in the United States. Many groups working with the federal government to provide care are not allowed to talk about what they see.

One of the children Ms. Welch met was a 10-year-old girl who had arrived at the border alone because her mother had been kidnapped on their journey north. She spent nearly three weeks in Border Patrol custody this year before she was transferred to the shelter in Erie, Pa.

The heat was broken in three rooms, including one with an isolated child who was sick with Covid-19 and complained about being cold. There were not enough clothes for the children to wear in Pennsylvania’s chilly early springtime. And the shelter was understaffed, with volunteers “overextended, stressed and fatigued,” according to a government assessment.

Cleaning was infrequent, as was trash removal. Gas leaked inside and outside where the children were living. The shelter closed on April 26.


Cots at the Long Beach shelter, which houses nearly 700 children who are mostly ages 12 and under.Credit…Pool photo by Brittany Murray

Another shelter that opened in Houston closed months before the date officials had planned. The building, which housed 500 girls ages 13 to 17, had problems from the start, Ms. Welch said. She described the shelter as a warehouse with no access to the outdoors, where children went for days without bathing. The food made them sick, she said, and some had fainting spells from not eating. They were not allowed to go to the bathroom after 10 p.m., she said.

These emergency shelters are not bound by the law that sets a standard of care and are ordinarily overseen by the refugee office. That network of licensed shelters, with room for fewer than 10,000 children, is not big enough to handle the surge of migrants this year. Even that limited capacity decreased during the Trump administration, Biden aides say.

The emergency facilities were supposed to house migrant children for very short stays, but minors are remaining in Department of Health and Human Services custody for about a month.

“These facilities were designed and ramped up with the goal of achieving prompt reunification with parents, sponsors and legal guardians,” said Maria M. Odom, the senior vice president for legal programs at Kids in Need of Defense.

But a significant shortage of case managers charged with placing the children with family members and other sponsors is extending the stays in these shelters. The government has hired contractors to fill those roles in some of the shelters, and federal employees from other agencies have volunteered to help. But it is far from enough.

Modest improvements recently have meant that more children are being discharged from government care each day than are being transferred in from Border Patrol. On Monday, 427 children were released from government custody and 358 were transferred in, according to recent data.


Border Patrol agents in La Joya, Texas, this week processed children seeking asylum, including an unaccompanied 6-year-old boy from El Salvador.Credit…Adrees Latif/Reuters

But unaccompanied children are still coming to the border; under Biden administration policy, they are being let in, not turned away as they were under the Trump administration.

At an emergency shelter in the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Michelle L. Saenz-Rodriguez, an immigration lawyer, described a facility intended to hold 2,000 children, mostly teenage boys. “It is literally a big ballroom with no exterior windows and typical fluorescent lighting” that never turn off, she said.

For weeks, internal documents have indicated an unmet need for urgent mental health consultations for the children. At times, there have been no mental health staff on site.

The Dallas shelter is closing at the end of the month because the lease is expiring, as is another emergency shelter in San Antonio. The Biden administration is looking to house more children at Fort Bliss, near El Paso, which has the largest emergency shelter in the network with room for more than 5,000 children. According to internal documents, the administration is planning to house up to 10,000 children there, half of whom would be 12 and under. About 4,400 teenagers currently live there.

“I am flabbergasted to learn that Fort Bliss will increase capacity to 10,000 beds,” said Ellen Beattie, a director at the International Rescue Committee. She added that it was “hard to imagine this being in the best interest of the children there.”

The government typically preferred to shelter younger children in smaller facilities, Ms. Beattie said.


Protesters showing support for migrant children outside the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas in March.Credit…LM Otero/Associated Press

Living conditions at the Fort Bliss shelter, which is made of soft-sided tents, are less than desirable. Ms. Welch, who visited late last month, said it smelled like a high school locker room. She spoke to children who had not received clean clothes in days.

Ms. Welch described precarious “bunk cots” for children to sleep in that can collapse when they are playing. The linens did not appear to be laundered regularly, she said.

While there is an option to play soccer outside in the Texas heat, some of the children told her they did not want to because they did not know when they would receive clean clothes.

The children “generally describe not feeling cared for and a sense of desperation,” Ms. Welch said.

The Trump administration was widely criticized for the tent city it opened in Tornillo, Texas, on desert land outside El Paso that held more than 2,800 children and teenagers in 2019. “But Fort Bliss is much worse in every respect,” Ms. Welch said, adding, “It goes against everything we know about the proper care and treatment of traumatized children.”

After the Erie shelter closed, the 10-year-old girl, who stayed in the crowded Border Patrol facility for nearly three weeks, was transferred again, this time to a small emergency shelter in a remote location in Albion, Mich., Ms. Welch said. The girl and the other children in the shelter were loaded into vans and not given any explanation for why they were moving more than 300 miles away, Ms. Welch said. She visited the shelter last week, when there were 190 children, 12 and under. The facility was nearly 70 percent full.

The children sleep in bunk beds in a cabin for 14, Ms. Welch said. There is a living area, a small kitchen and a space to play games, like Connect Four.

“They’re not being mistreated,” Ms. Welch said. “But a lot of the kids are really sad because they want to be with their families, and they don’t understand why it’s taking so long.”

Mr. Becerra said he blamed the immigration system for the situation.

“If we’re going to have to function with this broken immigration system, let’s at least do it right, let’s do what we can,” he said.

“I don’t know what their ultimate fate will be,” he added. “But I do know this — that while they are in my custody, they are going to be safe, and they’re going to be cared for.”

Zolan Kanno-Youngs contributed reporting.

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Virginia Doctor Gets 59 Years for Unneeded Surgery and Improper Sterilizations

Dr. Javaid Perwaiz’s procedures over nearly a decade caused insurance programs to lose more than $20 million, federal prosecutors said.,


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A Virginia obstetrician and gynecologist was sentenced Tuesday to 59 years in prison after being convicted on federal charges of performing medically unnecessary surgeries including hysterectomies and improper sterilizations on scores of patients over nearly a decade, prosecutors said.

In November 2020, a federal jury also convicted the doctor, Javaid Perwaiz, of Chesapeake, of 52 counts of health care fraud and false statements for procedures he performed from 2010 through 2019, according to the U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia.

Prosecutors said the procedures had cost insurance programs more than $20 million in losses. The government seized assets including more than $2 million, a Bentley, two properties in Chesapeake and medical equipment after Dr. Perwaiz’s conviction, according to court records.

“Motivated by his insatiable and reprehensible greed, Perwaiz used an arsenal of horrifying tactics to manipulate and deceive patients into undergoing invasive, unnecessary, and devastating medical procedures,” Raj Parekh, acting U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia, said in a statement. “In many instances, the defendant shattered their ability to have children by using fear to remove organs from their bodies that he had no right to take.”

Joseph R. Pope, a lawyer for Dr. Perwaiz, said his client is appealing the conviction. Alan M. Dershowitz said in a brief interview that he has agreed to review the brief.

Dr. Perwaiz, who is believed to be 71, specializes in obstetrics and gynecology and had two offices in Chesapeake, Va., according to his website. The investigation began in September 2018 after the Federal Bureau of Investigation was contacted by a hospital employee who suspected that Dr. Perwaiz was performing unnecessary procedures, according to an affidavit in support of an application for an arrest warrant written by Desiree Maxwell, an F.B.I. agent.

“According to the employee, Perwaiz’s patients advised hospital staff they were present for their ‘annual clean outs,'” the affidavit said. “In many instances, the patients were not aware of the procedures they were undergoing. Additionally, hospital staff had a difficult time keeping up with Perwaiz as he ran from procedure to procedure.”

More than 25 former patients testified at trial, and the court received more than 60 victim impact statements, according to federal prosecutors. Witnesses also told investigators that Dr. Perwaiz “routinely used the C-word” — cancer — “to scare patients into having surgery.”

In one case, involving a patient Dr. Perwaiz had treated for an ectopic pregnancy in 2011, he routinely asked her whether she was going to have another baby, court documents say. Three years later, she sought treatment from a fertility specialist who told her that both her fallopian tubes “were burnt down to nubs.” Dr. Perwaiz had removed her fallopian tubes without her consent or knowledge.

This is not Dr. Perwaiz’s first bout of legal troubles.

In 1982 he lost hospital privileges at Maryview Hospital, in Portsmouth, Va., “due to poor clinical judgment and for performing unnecessary surgeries,” according to the affidavit. In 1996 he pleaded guilty to two tax counts of tax evasion, it said. His medical license was temporarily revoked but was reinstated in 1998.

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New Honor System on Masks: ‘Am I to Trust These People?’

New coronavirus mask guidelines from the C.D.C. have left Americans wondering whether they can trust one another. And it’s been a challenging year for trust.,


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CHICAGO — When Tori Saylor, 27, stepped out of her apartment in Kalamazoo, Mich., last week, she knew that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had already given fully vaccinated Americans the go-ahead to shed masks in most situations.

Ms. Saylor, who is vaccinated, wore one anyway. And when she summoned an elevator in her apartment building, she confronted her first real test of the new era: Twice, the doors opened to reveal people who were not wearing masks, and twice, she let the elevator go.

“Am I to trust these people, having never met them?” said Ms. Saylor, who has multiple sclerosis and gets an infusion therapy that compromises her immune system. Despite her vaccination status, it is unclear whether her body will be able to effectively produce antibodies to fight off Covid-19. “How can I judge whether someone is vaccinated by making momentary eye contact with them?”

For many Americans, trust is in short supply after a year of a long pandemic and the conflicts that have come with it.

Our capacity to trust other people’s honesty has already been tested, and fibs — or omissions — may have happened along the way. Did every person who drove across a state line follow 14-day quarantine rules? Did everyone who got an early vaccine fit the eligibility rules at the time?

So it is no surprise that the latest honor code — the federal government’s guidance encouraging vaccinated Americans to take off their masks — was greeted with skepticism in parts of the country that have not already done so. Fewer than half of Americans over the age of 18 are fully vaccinated.


Manhattan on Friday, the day after the C.D.C. changed mask guidelines for vaccinated citizens.Credit…Benjamin Norman for The New York Times

“It’s a very complicated symphony right now,” said Dr. Howard Markel, a medical historian at the University of Michigan who is an expert on pandemics. “There’s been such an erosion of trust, distrust for government, distrust for the virus, distrust for this party or that party. So when you tell the public what to do, there are people who say, ‘How can I trust the guy without the mask?'”

Health experts say that vaccinated people should be protected from severe disease, even if people around them are not vaccinated and not masked. But the unusual sight of bare faces has arrived at a time when Americans’ trust in institutions and one another is particularly fragile.

After all, evidence of pandemic-era wrongdoing has been rampant: Prosecutors have charged dozens of people who are accused of fraudulently obtaining loans and other funds from the federal government related to the CARES Act. High schools and colleges, including the prestigious Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, have investigated students for cheating on remote exams while school buildings were closed because of the coronavirus.

Even before the pandemic, trust in the federal government was near record lows, and 7 in 10 people thought that Americans’ trust in one another had declined over the past 20 years, according to the Pew Research Center. Still, a majority of Americans had confidence that people could work together in a crisis. About 75 percent of Americans believed that people would cooperate with one another in a crisis, even if they did not trust one another.

Teamwork became a motif of the pandemic’s early days. Holed up inside their homes last spring, crafty Americans sewed homemade masks, neighbors planted yard signs supporting health care workers and essential workers, and politicians spoke in lofty language about working together to “flatten the curve.”


A sign outside Elmhurst Hospital in Queens last spring.Credit…Juan Arredondo for The New York Times

Then came a partisan division over masks, screaming crowds outside state capitols, death threats against local and state health officials. On the other side of the debate, some people who supported Covid-19 restrictions embraced the job of mask policing.

It quickly became apparent that, even in a crisis, Americans struggled to come together.

“We couldn’t even trust people to do the right thing and wear masks when it was rampant, when it was the highest it’s ever been,” said Deborah Burger, a president of National Nurses United, who described nurses rushing to the grocery store in their uniforms only to be berated by fellow shoppers. “People were accosting them, accusing them of lying about the pandemic.”

National Nurses United, the nation’s largest union of registered nurses, has come out publicly against the new C.D.C. guidelines on masks, which were announced last week and left state and local government officials, business owners and ordinary people scrambling. The guidelines allowing vaccinated people to go without masks do not apply to hospitals, but Ms. Burger said the changes create confusion and put the burden on health care workers to enforce face coverings.

“It feels like somebody has pulled the rug out from under us and taken away our protections,” she said.

Other frontline workers, including business owners, are also grappling with new pressures.

“We used to have a sign on our door that said you can’t come in unless you’re masked, and now I don’t know what my sign should say: ‘If you are not vaccinated, please wear a mask?'” said Louise Orlando, 55, who owns the Bakery on Mason in Cape Charles, Va.

Until recently, the business fell under a statewide mask mandate. Now, Ms. Orlando feels the onus falls to her. “I don’t know who is going to be honest anymore.”

Rebecca Johnson, of Winfield, Ill., is among those who will not be taking off her mask indoors in public any time soon.


Demonstrators protesting Washington State’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” orders in April 2020.Credit…Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

She wants to protect her 11-year-old son, Mitchell, who is too young to qualify for a vaccine. And while she is thrilled to shed the mask when outside or around other vaccinated people indoors, there are plenty of situations where it feels like the old rules still apply.

“I still think when you walk indoors you have to look at every person that you’re around, thinking they could have it,” she said.

Not everyone is fretting over the new guidance or pondering trust.

“I’m not that troubled by the honor system,” said Tim Lovoy, 62, a retired accountant in the San Pedro neighborhood of Los Angeles who said he felt assured by the data.

Mr. Lovoy is fully vaccinated, he said, which offers him strong protection. In his home area of Los Angeles County, new virus cases have dropped to about 3 per 100,000, the lowest since the beginning of the pandemic last year.

These days, Mr. Lovoy has assessed his risk of getting Covid-19 to be lower than getting in an accident on the freeway. He is getting ready to return to normalcy, including practicing karate indoors again, and said he is wasting little time worrying about whether other maskless people he encounters are vaccinated.

“If people are vaccinated, their risk in taking off their mask is very, very low, and that’s their own decision to make,” he said. “And if people are not vaccinated and don’t wear a mask, they’re putting themselves at risk.”

Throughout the pandemic, views on the coronavirus have often split along partisan lines, and the new questions about masking — and about other people’s vaccination status — may be no different.

The changes by the C.D.C. are likely to be most jarring to Democrats, who have been more likely than Republicans to see the coronavirus as a major threat, more likely to overstate risks from the virus, and more likely to get vaccinated.

Many Republicans, by contrast, have emphasized their individual liberties on virus decisions from the beginning and may welcome the freedom that comes with the new guidance.

At the same time, people who identify as conservative are less likely to be vaccinated, whether because of skepticism about the safety of a fast-tracked vaccine, or a belief that the coronavirus itself is not very dangerous. In recent polls by Monmouth University and Quinnipiac University, almost half of Republicans surveyed said they did not plan to pursue vaccinations.

“We don’t even agree on what ground truth is,” said David DeSteno, a professor of psychology at Northeastern University in Boston, who said that the lack of shared information sources in partisan politics makes building trust particularly difficult. Without a common understanding of the risk of getting seriously sick from the virus, or any side effects from getting a vaccine, “we can’t agree on what is an acceptable sacrifice, or what is an acceptable trustworthy behavior.”


Office Furniture Liquidations in San Antonio made the decision to make face coverings optional after the new C.D.C. guidelines.Credit…Christopher Lee for The New York Times

Eli Finkel, a psychology professor at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., who has studied romantic relationships and American politics, said that trusting one another inherently involves a gamble — whether it is letting your guard down in a marriage, or trusting the behavior of fellow citizens during a pandemic. Still, he said, trust is often essential for society to move forward.

“It’s a willingness to allow yourself to be vulnerable with the hope that life will be better for having done so,” Dr. Finkel said.

In the case of the coronavirus, the benefit of trust — and widespread honesty — would be collective freedom from pandemic restrictions that have disrupted the country for more than a year.

It is a well-established principle in social psychology that a common enemy is supposed to bring people together, Dr. Finkel said. So when the pandemic first erupted last spring, he was intrigued.

As months passed, though, he saw the opposite.

“It’s almost like American society has crossed the Rubicon of distrust, where even things that should bring us together — like a big external threat that we need to come together to make better — even those things that should bring us together don’t, and even push us further apart,” he said.

Julie Bosman reported from Chicago, and Sarah Mervosh from New York.

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State Dept. Ends Citizenship Policy in Win for Same-Sex Families

The previous policy, which predated the Trump administration, required a child born abroad to have a biological connection to the American parent.,


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The State Department reverses a policy that denied citizenship to some babies born abroad to same-sex parents.

Elad Dvash-Banks, right, and his partner, Andrew, play with their twin sons, Ethan, left, and Aiden, in their apartment in Los Angeles, in January, 2020. In a decision issued in October, 2020, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling recognizing the citizenship from birth of Ethan Dvash-Banks, a twin boy born abroad by surrogacy to the couple.Credit…Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

May 18, 2021, 7:00 p.m. ET

In a victory for same-sex couples, the State Department on Tuesday said it would grant U.S. citizenship to babies born abroad to married couples with at least one American parent — no matter which parent was biologically related to the child.

The new policy effectively guarantees that American and binational couples who use assisted reproductive technology to give birth overseas — such as surrogates or sperm donations — can pass along citizenship to their children.

Earlier rules had left couples like Allison Blixt and Stefania Zaccari in a precarious — and often unexpected — legal situation.

Ms. Blixt, who is American, and Ms. Zaccari, who is Italian, sued the State Department after their older son, Lucas, was denied citizenship. Lucas was conceived and carried to birth by Ms. Zaccari, while his younger brother, who was conceived and carried by his American mother, was given U.S. citizenship when he was born.

“We are relieved and thankful that our fight for our family to be recognized by the government has finally ended,” Ms. Blixt said on Tuesday in a statement released by Immigration Equality, which was advocating on behalf of same-sex families. “Lucas, who made me a mother, will finally be treated as my son and recognized as American, as his brother always has been.”

The State Department said in a statement that it could not estimate how many couples the new guidance would affect. Lawsuits filed against the State Department during the Trump administration are pending, one official said, but the guidance issued on Tuesday may soon render the litigation moot.

Previously, the State Department, based on an interpretation of 1950s immigration law, required a child born abroad to have a biological connection to an American parent in order to receive citizenship at birth.

The emphasis on biology drew scrutiny in particular for its impact on same-sex couples, who are more likely to use artificial reproductive technology.

In several cases, same-sex couples sued the State Department after their child was not recognized as a U.S. citizen.

In one stark example, the daughter of a married gay couple was denied citizenship, even though both of her fathers are American citizens. In that case, one of the fathers is an American citizen by birth, born and raised in the United States. His husband was born in Britain to an American mother. Their daughter, who was born abroad to a surrogate using a donor egg and sperm from her British-born father, did not qualify for citizenship at birth.

In another example, a married Israeli-American gay couple had twin sons in Canada using sperm from each of the fathers. The biological son of the American received citizenship, but his brother, the biological son of the Israeli, did not.

In both of those cases, judges sided with the families, granting the children citizenship, but the policy itself remained in effect.

Advocates for gay and lesbian couples argued that the policy, which predated the Trump administration, was discriminatory, because it failed to recognize same-sex marriages. Under the policy, the department classified certain children born through assisted reproductive technology as “out of wedlock,” a category which set a higher bar for citizenship, even if the parents were legally married.

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Andrew Brown Jr. Shooting: Prosecutor Says It Was ‘Justified’

The three sheriff’s deputies who shot at Mr. Brown considered his vehicle a “deadly weapon,” the prosecutor said. His family and their lawyers have called the killing an “execution.”,


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Prosecutor Calls Police Killing of Andrew Brown Jr. ‘Justified’

A North Carolina prosector said on Tuesday that the fatal police shooting of Andrew Brown Jr., a Black man in Elizabeth City, was justified because Mr. Brown used his vehicle as a “deadly weapon” while evading arrest.

After reviewing the investigation conducted by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, Mr. Brown’s death, while tragic, was justified because Mr. Brown’s actions caused three deputies with the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office to reasonably believe it was necessary to use deadly force to protect themselves and others. The facts of this case clearly illustrate the officers who used deadly force on Andrew Brown Jr. did so reasonably, and only when a violent felon used a deadly weapon to place their lives in danger. Mr. Brown’s conduct did not merely risk injuring officers by the time of the shooting, Brown had made two aggressive driving moves, which caused his vehicle to contact Deputy Lunsford on both occasions. When the officers approached Brown with their guns drawn, his response was to maneuver his car and flee. Brown was undeterred by the officers yelling for him to stop, show me your hands or by Deputy Lunsford attempting to open the driver’s door. Even after backing into a corner with no escape but to maneuver his vehicle directly at the officers, Brown continued the felonious assault by using his vehicle as a deadly weapon, and made contact a second time with Deputy Lunsford. The law does not require officers in a tense and dangerous situation to wait until the moment a suspect uses a deadly weapon to act to stop the suspect. The shooting of Brown was justified to prevent potential harm to those living near where the incident occurred, as well as other pedestrians, support deputies and the deputies who were in front of Mr. Brown.

A North Carolina prosector said on Tuesday that the fatal police shooting of Andrew Brown Jr., a Black man in Elizabeth City, was justified because Mr. Brown used his vehicle as a “deadly weapon” while evading arrest.CreditCredit…Amr Alfiky/The New York Times

May 18, 2021Updated 7:49 p.m. ET

A North Carolina prosecutor said on Tuesday that sheriff’s deputies were justified in the fatal shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. because he used his car as a “deadly weapon” while trying to evade arrest.

But body camera footage released for the first time by the prosecutor, R. Andrew Womble, is unlikely to quell the intense debate about whether the deputies should be held criminally responsible for the death of Mr. Brown, a Black man. He was killed on the morning of April 21 as they served drug-related arrest warrants at his house in Elizabeth City, N.C.

The video shows Mr. Brown trying to drive away from officers, but the prosecutor said that as soon as Mr. Brown used the vehicle against the orders of the deputies, it became a potentially deadly weapon, and they were justified in using deadly force.

A slow-motion review of the video by The New York Times shows Mr. Brown appearing to clip a deputy as he begins to drive in reverse. Mr. Brown then pulls forward, toward the same deputy, trying to drive away between him and a second deputy.

As he appears to be directing the car away from the deputy in front of him — who briefly places his left hand on the hood of the car — an officer fires the first shot, according to the Times review. The car does not appear to be moving particularly fast in the moments before the three Pasquotank County sheriff’s deputies fire a total of 14 shots in his direction.





“Go, go, go, go!” “Open that door!” “Hey!” “Stop!” “Stop, stop, stop, stop the car!” “Stop the goddamned car!” [gunshots firing] “Fuck!”

CreditCredit…CBS, via Reuters

Mr. Womble’s decision essentially closes the state-level criminal case, although a federal civil rights investigation is ongoing. But the shooting is likely to continue animating unsettled questions about police transparency and accountability in deadly encounters with African-Americans.

Mr. Brown, 42, was slain just days after a jury found a Minneapolis police officer guilty of murdering George Floyd, and his case has reminded his family and many activists that prosecutions of police shootings remain difficult to attain. In Mr. Brown’s case, there was also an extended delay before the release of body and dash cam video of the shooting; a judge had rejected the sheriff’s request to release the videos, citing concerns that it would harm the investigation.

In a news conference on Tuesday, Mr. Womble, the district attorney for a seven-county swatch of eastern North Carolina, said the facts “clearly illustrate the officers who used deadly force on Andrew Brown Jr. did so reasonably, and only when a violent felon used a deadly weapon to place their lives in danger.”

He added that “the decision to flee, which Brown made on his own, quickly escalated the situation from a show of force to an employment of force.” The “precise speed” of the car is uncertain, he said, “But that he drove recklessly and endangered the officers is not uncertain.”

Bakari Sellers, a lawyer for Mr. Brown’s family, said that the newly released video, which he viewed for the first time on Tuesday morning, showed what the legal team had asserted all along: “An unjustified shooting.”

In a video statement on Tuesday, Sheriff Tommy Wooten II of Pasquotank County said the three officers who shot at Mr. Brown would keep their jobs, but would be disciplined and retrained.

Among other issues, Mr. Wooten said, two of the deputies on the scene did not turn on their body cameras, and the SWAT team that served the warrants did not have an emergency medical team nearby.

“This should not have happened this way at all,” the sheriff said. “While the deputies did not break the law, we all wish things could have gone differently. Much differently.”


Andrew Brown Jr. was killed by sheriff’s deputies in Elizabeth City, N.C., last month. Credit…Ben Crump Law, via Reuters

Mr. Brown’s family members and their lawyers, some of whom had earlier seen video footage of the shooting, have described it as an “execution,” arguing that deputies overreacted by opening fire on a man who was trying to get away from them, not hurt them.

“We did not see any actions on Mr. Brown’s part where he made contact with them or try to go in their direction,” Chance D. Lynch, a lawyer for the family, said earlier this month after he had reviewed about 20 minutes of the recordings. “In fact, he did just the opposite.”

Mr. Womble did not release all of the roughly two hours of footage on Tuesday, saying that it was not within his power to do so. Instead, he showed brief snippets during a news conference in which he gave his own analysis of the encounter.

He said an official autopsy showed that Mr. Brown was shot twice, including in the head, during an interaction that took a total of 44 seconds. The forensic pathologist found a bag with a substance containing what is believed to be crystal methamphetamine in Mr. Brown’s mouth, Mr. Womble said.

The prosecutor said that when Mr. Brown put his car in reverse, Sgt. Joel Lunsford, who had his hand on the driver’s-side door handle, “was pulled over the hood of Brown’s vehicle, where his body and his safety equipment were struck by the vehicle.”

Mr. Womble said that Mr. Brown ignored deputies’ commands to stop, continued to back up and then put the car in drive. At that point, Sergeant Lunsford was “directly in front of the vehicle,” Mr. Womble said, and Mr. Brown drove directly at him.

“It was at this moment that the first shot was fired,” Mr. Womble said. It went through the front windshield. Then multiple shots rang out.


Pasquotank County District Attorney Andrew Womble shows still images from police body camera footage of the fatal shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. on Tuesday.Credit…Travis Long/The News & Observer, via Associated Press

The officers, Mr. Womble said, were “duty-bound to stand their ground, carry through on the performance of their duties, and take Andrew Brown into custody.”

“They could not simply let him go, as has been suggested,” he added.

Paul Butler, a former prosecutor who is now a law professor at Georgetown University and an expert on race and policing, said prosecutors have wide latitude to claim that something is a deadly weapon. He recalled that during his training as a prosecutor, one of the cases he studied involved a shoe being declared a deadly weapon.

“A deadly weapon can be anything,” he said. “It could be a brick or a gun or a car. The point is it isn’t unusual for prosecutors to charge various objects as deadly weapons.”

Mr. Butler said of the Brown case, “I think the most important question is whether Mr. Brown was trying to escape or was he trying to run over the officers?” He continued, “it’s certainly the case that it’s possible he reasonably presented a deadly threat to the officers, but I don’t think we have enough information to rely on the prosecutor’s claim at this point.”

Mr. Sellers said the family’s legal team had filed a petition asking the courts to release the full footage, as well as the results of an investigation performed by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.

Gov. Roy Cooper of North Carolina, a Democrat, reiterated on Tuesday his call for Mr. Womble to turn the case over to a special prosecutor, arguing that the prosecutor worked closely with Pasquotank County deputies as part of his job. Mr. Womble said on Tuesday that a special prosecutor was not accountable to the people of North Carolina’s seven-county First Judicial District. “I am,” he said.

In August, the American Bar Association adopted a resolution calling on local governments to pass laws that require the appointment of an independent special prosecutor to look into cases involving lethal force used by law enforcement.

“Prosecutors often consider police officers to be their teammates and may fear that prosecuting an officer will result in other officers refusing to testify in their other cases,” the resolution said.


Candles rest on the ground where Mr. Brown was killed.Credit…Amr Alfiky/The New York Times

Ronald Wright, a professor of criminal law and criminal procedure at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., said Mr. Womble’s decision most likely ended the possibility of any state-level criminal prosecution of the officers.

But he said that Mr. Womble’s decision does not prevent the Brown family from pursuing civil litigation. He also noted that the federal investigation of the shooting could potentially include exploring whether the deputies deprived Mr. Brown of his constitutional rights by using excessive force.

The investigation is being carried out by the F.B.I., which is working with federal prosecutors and the civil rights division of the Justice Department.

H.P. Williams, a lawyer for one of the deputies who has previously spoken for the three deputies who fired their weapons, declined to comment on Tuesday. He has previously said that the shooting was justified.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Rev. Dr. William Barber II, a prominent North Carolina civil rights activist, called for a “pattern and practice review of law enforcement in Pasquotank County.”

Dr. Barber said that Mr. Womble “has given the appearance of acting as a defense attorney for the deputies in this case, and his presentation of the evidence has not been subject to cross-examination.”

“His claim that ‘they could not simply let him go,'” he continued, “is a statement that Mr. Womble understood warrants in this case to be a license to kill.”

Mr. Sellers said Mr. Womble’s decision was “disappointing, but expected.”

“It shows you why you shouldn’t take any solace in the George Floyd verdict,” Mr. Sellers said. “Because justice in cases like this is so fleeting. What we saw today illustrates just how difficult it is for officers to be held accountable.”

Christoph Koettl and Tim Arango contributed reporting.

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Troubled Vaccine Maker and Its Founder Gave $2 Million in Political Donations

Emergent BioSolutions faces scrutiny in Congress for ruining Covid-19 vaccines and securing lucrative federal contracts. Executives will appear before some lawmakers who benefited from the company’s spending.,


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WASHINGTON — When Fuad El-Hibri, founder and executive chairman of Emergent BioSolutions, appears Wednesday before a House subcommittee to explain how the company’s Baltimore plant ruined millions of doses of coronavirus vaccine, he will be questioned by lawmakers he and his employees spent tens of thousands of dollars helping to elect.

Since 2018, federal campaign records show, Mr. El-Hibri and his wife, Nancy, have donated at least $150,000 to groups affiliated with the top Republican on the panel, Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, as well as Mr. Scalise’s campaigns. At least two other members of the subcommittee received donations during the 2020 election cycle from the company’s political action committee, which has given about $1.4 million over the past 10 years to members of both parties.

Mr. El-Hibri and his wife have made additional donations totaling more than $800,000 over the same period, with the majority going to Republican candidates and organizations.

Political giving is nothing new in Washington. But with the federal government as Emergent’s prime customer, Mr. El-Hibri and the company he founded have spent years cultivating ties on Capitol Hill, helping Emergent carve out a lucrative niche market as a government contractor under both Democratic and Republican administrations.

Now Emergent and its top executives find themselves under scrutiny from some of the very elected officials they have sought to influence.

Members of Congress are demanding answers from the company, which was awarded a $628 million contract last year to manufacture Covid-19 vaccines but has yet to produce a single dose deemed usable by federal regulators. Along with Mr. El-Hibri, Emergent’s chief executive, Robert G. Kramer, will testify beginning at 10:30 a.m. before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, which has opened a sprawling inquiry.

Like nearly everything else about the coronavirus pandemic, the hearing is bound to be colored by politics.

Democrats, led by Representative Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, the panel’s chairman, are expected to use the session to put a spotlight on the company’s relationship with Trump administration officials, including Robert Kadlec, the former assistant secretary of health and human services for preparedness and response, who had previously consulted for Emergent. Dr. Kadlec has said that he was not involved in negotiating the company’s coronavirus contract but that he did sign off on it.

Democrats have also signaled that they will zero in on the executives’ stock trades. Emergent’s stock performed so well in 2020 that Mr. El-Hibri cashed in shares and options worth over $42 million, The New York Times reported in March. Mr. Kramer sold slightly more than $10 million in stock this year, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission reported earlier by The Washington Post.

“They all made millions in stock transactions while they seem to be hiding stuff from the public,” Mr. Clyburn said in a recent interview with CNN.

Republicans, led by Mr. Scalise, who as the No. 2 Republican holds the title of whip, are likely to point out that the company’s contracts date at least to the Obama administration, which designated its Baltimore facility a center for innovation in advanced development and manufacturing — meaning it would be ready to make vaccines and other needed treatments in the event of a crisis.


Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana received campaign donations from Mr. El-Hibri and his wife, Nancy.Credit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

A spokeswoman for Mr. Scalise said that Mr. El-Hibri would receive no special treatment at the hearing. “The Democrats invited him as a witness, and Whip Scalise will treat him as he would any other witness that has been invited before the committee,” the spokeswoman said.

Until recently, Emergent was an obscure player in Washington, but a dominant force in the highly specialized market for drugs and vaccines aimed at countering a biological attack. The company burst into the limelight earlier this spring after The Times reported that workers at its Bayview plant in Baltimore had accidentally conflated the ingredients of two vaccines that rely on live viruses, forcing Emergent to discard up to 15 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Food and Drug Administration inspectors subsequently raised concerns about possible further contamination, and the company has recently submitted a quality improvement plan to regulators. The equivalent of about 70 million more doses of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, mostly for domestic use, are on hold and may never be cleared for use in the United States.

“The collaboration with BARDA was designed to create a higher probability of success but was not without risk,” an Emergent spokesman, Matt Hartwig, said in a statement to The Times, using the acronym for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, the federal agency that awarded the contract. “Our motivation in collaborating with BARDA was to help play a role in bringing the pandemic to an end and we are proud of the work of Emergent’s employees.”

Mr. Kramer, the chief executive, is likely to use the hearing to outline the company’s corrective action plan and to cast Emergent as a company committed to helping the country in crisis. During a recent earnings call with investors, Mr. Kramer announced a management shake-up and took “full responsibility” for the problems in Baltimore.

But he also cast some blame on the government, saying that federal officials had asked Emergent to manufacture the two live-virus vaccines — one developed by Johnson & Johnson and the other by AstraZeneca — despite the risk of contamination. He said that the company had taken precautions but that the contamination had most likely occurred when “one or more of these precautions did not function as anticipated.”


Emergent’s chief executive, Robert G. Kramer, sold slightly more than $10 million in stock this year, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.Credit…Joe Andrucyk/Office of Governor Larry Hogan

Through Mr. Hartwig, the Emergent spokesman, the El-Hibris declined to comment.

The company is a longtime partner to the federal government. Then known as BioPort, it was founded by Mr. El-Hibri in 1998 after he and some investors paid the state of Michigan $25 million to buy the license for a government-developed anthrax vaccine and an aging manufacturing plant. In the two decades since, the company built its business largely around selling products to the Strategic National Stockpile, the nation’s emergency medical reserve.

An investigation by The Times, published in March, found that the company’s anthrax vaccine had in some years accounted for roughly half of the stockpile’s budget and that the company’s aggressive tactics, broad political connections and penchant for undercutting competitors had given it remarkable sway over the government’s purchasing decisions related to the vaccines.

The company’s board is stocked with former federal officials, and its lobbyists include former members of Congress and aides from both parties. The company’s government relations shop is similarly stocked with partisans; Chris Frech, its top in-house lobbyist, worked for former President George W. Bush, and Grant Barbosa, a senior director for government affairs, was a legislative assistant to Vice President Kamala Harris when she was a senator.

Senate lobbying disclosures show that the company has spent an average of $3 million a year on lobbying over the past decade — much more than similarly sized biotech firms but about the same as two pharmaceutical giants, AstraZeneca and Bristol Myers Squibb, whose annual revenues are at least 17 times higher.

During the first three months of this year, Emergent reported spending $1.47 million on lobbying, enlisting the services of more than two dozen lobbyists from 10 firms.

Federal campaign disclosure records show that donations to the Emergent BioSolutions Inc. Employees PAC run the gamut. Board members and executives like Mr. El-Hibri give as much as $5,000, the maximum allowable amount per year under federal election rules. Some employees have contributed on a biweekly basis in amounts as small as $3.47. Three former employees said the company offered a payroll deduction program to make giving easier.

The employee group tends to spend in small dollar amounts, typically $1,000 to $2,500 on incumbents, including lawmakers representing states where it operates, like Maryland and Michigan. Representative Steny Hoyer, Democrat of Maryland and the No. 2 Democrat in the House, was a top beneficiary in the 2020 election cycle; he and an affiliated organization received a total of $10,000.

Two members of the House panel conducting Wednesday’s hearing — Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, and Representative Jamie Raskin, Democrat of Maryland — each received $1,000 contributions over the same election cycle.

In an interview, Mr. Raskin said that he had been unaware of the donation until he was contacted by a Times reporter and that he had returned the money. A spokesman for Mr. Jordan said that the congressman had raised more than $18 million during the 2020 election cycle and that contributions had no bearing on his work as a legislator.

Mr. Hartwig, the Emergent spokesman, said in an email message that the PAC “supports incumbent Members of Congress of both chambers and from both parties who represent our employees and our facilities, and who are committed to preparedness and response for the next biological, chemical, or public health threat.”

Sharon LaFraniere contributed reporting.

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Leading Email Sites – How to prevent Getting Infected With Top Email Unsolicited mail and Malware

With millions of people using the internet, is actually not surprising that the large percentage of them are likewise using top rated email sites for their each day business communications. Persons tend to make use of their web browser for things like checking all their inbox, sending sales messages and receiving e-mail, while the computer’s desktop is available to things like playing Solitaire or game grabbing. While some people https://liferelationships.com/blog/6427-bible-verses-for-healthy-relationships/ experience chosen to use a dedicated email program, many others still rely on the internet. The question remains, how does one stop the emails right from becoming all over the place and triggering your computer to perform poorly?

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Another way to guard yourself is to remove any kind of malicious computer software that may own attached by itself to your internet browser by getting a trojan’s or computer virus. There are various types of harmful software that can attach themselves to your computer when using the use of unwelcome add-ons or plug-ins. You must not download addons or plugins from places you do not figure out. When you do, this can be a good idea to run a computer scan or registry restore to ensure the add-on or wordpress tool is safe. You will discover various types of totally free registry products on the Net, and most of those work very well to clean up your system and get rid of any harmful data files and cookies that happen to be causing problems.

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You can find another approach you can premiumpartnervermittlung.com/kategorie/asiatische-braeute-sites use to make sure your Internet browser is secure from excess pop-ups and malware applications, and that is to avoid the usage of a free Home windows hosting account. Free hosting services often have a suspicious looking web page, and it may well appear that your system has more problems than ordinary. If you do find a site which may look threatening, you may contact the host making an attempt and ask these to change their very own practices so that your system will probably be protected out of any potential harm.

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Coronavirus Briefing: What Happened Today

Masks and distrust.,


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This is the Coronavirus Briefing, an informed guide to the pandemic. Sign up here to get this newsletter in your inbox.


Covid cases in New Delhi have dropped, but worries are shifting to India’s countryside.

An Israeli airstrike damaged Gaza’s only lab for processing coronavirus tests, officials said.

Citizens of India living in the U.S. are stranded by travel rules.

Get the latest updates here, as well as maps and a vaccine tracker.

Masks and the honor system

The new mask rules from the C.D.C. amount to an honor system of sorts, where only unvaccinated people are expected to keep wearing masks in most places. But many Americans are wondering whether they can trust others to do the right thing.

In social psychology, there’s a well-established principle that a common enemy is supposed to bring people together. But shortly after the pandemic arrived, the U.S. saw a partisan divide over masks, screaming crowds outside state capitols and death threats against health officials.

It quickly became apparent that, even in a crisis, Americans were finding it difficult to come together. So it’s no wonder that the federal government’s new mask guidance has been greeted with reluctance — especially when fewer than half of Americans over 12 are fully vaccinated.

Celeste, a newsletter reader from Dayton, Ohio, wrote in with her own experience.

“The first day of The Great Unmasking at work went exactly as you’d expect: people who have previously bragged about not being vaccinated walking around without masks on,” she wrote. “Assuming people would act unselfishly to protect others goes against everything we’ve seen so far this pandemic.”

The C.D.C. is also asking Americans to trust one another at a time when faith in institutions and their neighbors is particularly fragile. According to a 2019 Pew Research Center report on Trust and Distrust in America, trust in the federal government was near record lows, and seven in 10 people said they thought that Americans’ trust in one another had declined over the past 20 years.

Eli Finkel, a psychology professor at Northwestern University, who has studied romantic relationships and American politics, said that trusting one another inherently involved a gamble — whether it is letting your guard down in a marriage, or trusting the behavior of fellow citizens during a pandemic. But in the case of the coronavirus, the benefit of trust — and widespread honesty — would be a collective freedom from the pandemic restrictions. But so far, it seems, Americans haven’t made that leap.

“It’s almost like American society has crossed the Rubicon of distrust,” Finkel said. “Even those things that should bring us together don’t, and even push us further apart.”

Opinion: Three experts offer advice on when to wear masks now.

India’s doctors face trauma

As the pandemic rages in India, the country’s doctors and medical responders are paying a tremendous price.

More than 1,000 doctors have died from Covid since the pandemic hit last year, with one quarter of those dying since the beginning of April 2021 alone, according to the Indian Medical Association. Experts estimate that at least 40 percent of doctors have been infected.

Indian medical workers are generally under-resourced and underfunded. India’s health care spending totals about 3.5 percent of its gross domestic product, less than half of the global average. Distressingly, doctors and medical workers also face intimidation and violence just for doing their jobs. In recent weeks, videos have circulated of angry family members of patients beating members of the medical staff in hospital halls covered in blood, or of local strongmen bullying and scolding them.

Beyond the physical danger they face, doctors have been forced by the devastating size of the outbreak to make decisions day after day that could determine whether a patient lives or dies — and the emotional toll is mounting.

“All your life you prepare yourself to exhaust every option to save a patient, but imagine when you have to prioritize?” said Dr. Mradul Kumar Daga, a professor of medicine at the largest Covid-designated hospital in New Delhi. “Those are the most heartbreaking decisions as a doctor you have to make. And that is what has happened in the last three weeks of my life.”

Understand the Covid Crisis in India

What to Know: Shortages of oxygen and hospital beds, along with low vaccination rates, have added to the surge in illness and deaths in India.Case Counts: Experts say the true death count far exceeds official figures. This chart illustrates how known Covid cases have grown over the last few months across the country.Travel Bans: The U.S. has begun to restrict travel from India, and Australia has banned all incoming travel from the country, including among its own citizens.How to Help: Donors around the world are giving money for meals, medical expenses, P.P.E. and oxygen tanks, among other essential supplies.

Vaccine rollout

The European Union drug regulator recommended extending the time that the Pfizer vaccine can be stored at refrigerator temperatures.

In Italy, island playgrounds like Capri got first dibs on vaccines.

The U.S. has promised 80 million vaccine doses to other countries, but experts say it isn’t nearly enough.

The Watchful. The Cost-Anxious. System Disrupters. Covid Skeptics. The Times Opinion section looked at the four types of people who are holding the U.S. back from full vaccination.

See how the vaccine rollout is going in your county and state.

What else we’re following

Across Europe, countries are reopening as vaccinations accelerate. But fears over the variant first detected in India could delay a full return to normality.

Several states including Texas, Arizona, Minnesota and Massachusetts recently reported no Covid deaths for the first time in months, Axios reports.

New York is adopting the C.D.C.’s new mask guidelines, but New Jersey is keeping its indoor mask mandate. California said that it was keeping its rule to wear masks in all indoor settings for another four weeks.

A new poll in Japan found that 83 percent don’t want the Olympics this summer.

Ohio saw a spike in vaccinations after it announced its $1 million lottery for those who got vaccinated, NBC reports.

A short film from the Times Opinion section follows the family of one of Spain’s earliest Covid-19 patients who was in a coma for 57 days.

The Times Styles desk offers makeup tips for you to emerge from the pandemic with a softer look.

What you’re doing

I have volunteered to give Covid vaccines at a mass vaccination site. Yesterday I wasted 10 Covid vaccines because we couldn’t find enough arms to put them in. Haves and have-nots? Absolutely. My family in Guatemala can’t get vaccines and here I am, in the U.S., putting them in the trash.

— Linda Albrecht, Bristol, Conn.

Let us know how you’re dealing with the pandemic. Send us a response here, and we may feature it in an upcoming newsletter.

Sign up here to get the briefing by email.

Email your thoughts to briefing@nytimes.com.

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Capitol Police Open Inquiry Related to Subpoena to Twitter Tied to Devin Nunes Parody.

But it is not clear whether the Capitol Police are still scrutinizing that user of that account, @NunesAlt.,


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The Capitol Police are conducting an inquiry related to a subpoena to Twitter about a Devin Nunes parody account.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) walks through the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington in early January, 2021Credit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

May 18, 2021, 5:54 p.m. ET

The United States Capitol Police confirmed on Tuesday that it is conducting a criminal investigation related to a subpoena to Twitter for information about a pseudonymous account dedicated to mocking Representative Devin Nunes, Republican of California.

The investigation is examining a threat made online and is still open, said a spokesman for the police force, which protects members of Congress, adding that he was unable to say more.

Little is known publicly about the case, and it was not clear whether the user of the parody Twitter account, @NunesAlt, remains under any scrutiny as part of that ongoing inquiry.

The disclosure by the Capitol Police came a day after the Justice Department unsealed court filings that disclosed that prosecutors had obtained a grand jury subpoena on Nov. 24, while President Donald J. Trump was still in office, demanding that Twitter provide identifying information about @NunesAlt.

A person familiar with the matter told The New York Times on Monday that the Biden Justice Department had withdrawn the subpoena after Twitter challenged it. On Tuesday, the department unsealed another court filing confirming that it had done so. The filing showed that prosecutors told Twitter they had dropped the subpoena on March 17.

Twitter routinely cooperates with grand-jury subpoenas. But in this case it saw the user as engaged in political commentary protected by the First Amendment, and raised the specter that the Trump-era Justice Department had abused its power to help an ally of the president.

In the filing, Twitter noted that Mr. Nunes and his lawyer had previously filed several lawsuits trying to identify people who had criticized him on social media — including the user of the @NunesAlt parody account, which calls itself Mr. Nunes’ mother and posts memes mocking him.

When Twitter pressed prosecutors for the basis of the subpoena, they said it was for a threat investigation but it declined to point to anything specific @NunesAlt had posted that was threatening, the unsealed documents show. The user of that account has said that he or she made no threat.

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