The Latest: Bar owner arrested for fake vaccination cards |


SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The proprietor of a Northern California bar was arrested on suspicion of promoting made-to-order pretend COVID-19 vaccination playing cards to a number of undercover state brokers for $20 every in what officers stated Friday is the primary such foiled operation they’re conscious of nationwide.

The plainclothes brokers from California’s Division of Alcoholic Beverage Management had been advised to jot down their names and birthdates on Publish-it notes. They are saying bar workers reduce the playing cards, crammed out the figuring out info and bogus vaccination dates, then laminated the completed product.

Vaccination playing cards are being utilized in some locations as a move for individuals to attend giant gatherings. The European Union is contemplating permitting in vacationers who can show they’ve been vaccinated.

Performing on an an nameless tip from the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s workplace, 4 undercover brokers went to Previous Nook Saloon within the city of Clements a number of instances in April and purchased 4 pretend laminated vaccination playing cards, officers stated.

They returned to the small-town bar this week and arrested the bar’s proprietor. Brokers say they discovered one other two accomplished playing cards and 30 further clean playing cards together with a laminator and chopping gadget.

It wasn’t instantly identified if the bar proprietor, Todd Anderson, has an lawyer who can communicate on his behalf. Nobody answered the telephone on the bar Friday.



Pressure rises on India’s PM Modi to subject nationwide lockdown

— Norwegian Cruise Line threatens to skip Florida’s ports

— WHO panel OKs emergency use of China’s Sinopharm vaccine

— Spain relaxes nationwide coronavirus pandemic measures


Comply with extra of AP’s pandemic protection at and



DENVER, Colo. — A former Amazon warehouse employee has filed a grievance with the Colorado officers towards Amazon over its COVID-19 insurance policies and allegations that her firing was retaliatory.

Linda Rodriguez alleges Amazon fired her in 2020 as a result of she raised issues in regards to the firm’s COVID-19 insurance policies that she stated put employees in danger. Her grievance was despatched Thursday to the state’s labor division.

An Amazon spokesperson in response to the grievance says Rodriguez was fired for timecard fraud that the corporate says was confirmed by time information and video footage. Amazon stated the federal Occupational Security and Well being Administration confirmed Rodriguez withdrew a grievance filed with the company.


RALEIGH, N.C. — At a time when fewer and fewer North Carolinians are coming in for a COVID-19 vaccine, state well being officers are inspecting concepts from different states to see what incentives would possibly work to spice up participation.

Among the many proposals being actively mentioned are financial savings account funds to youthful adults. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the state Division of Well being and Human Companies, says that is a bunch that has been much less keen to get the vaccine.

North Carolina’s high public well being official says that her crew has seemed into a brand new program in West Virginia, the place the state’s Republican governor not too long ago introduced that residents between the ages of 16 and 35 can be eligible for a $100 financial savings bond in the event that they get the vaccine or have already gotten it.

Cohen’s workplace says that it is usually inspecting Detroit’s Good Neighbor program, which permits individuals to get $50 for each Detroit resident they join a primary vaccine dose and usher in for an appointment. The primary $600 somebody may earn from this system is nontaxable.

The event comes as North Carolina turns down tens of hundreds of doses from the federal authorities, considers returning a few of its provide to a federal pool for others to attract from and has almost 1.2 million doses ready for residents to take.


MEXICO CITY — Greater than three months after COVID-19 infections peaked in Mexico Metropolis, the native authorities introduced Friday that the general public hospital community devoted to combating the illness is experiencing its lowest price occupancy of the pandemic.

One 12 months after the nation instituted a color-coded alert system for the pandemic, the capital for the primary time moved from orange to yellow, one other step down from the highest class, purple.

Metropolis officers positioned occupancy price in public hospitals devoted to COVID-19 care at 16%, a welcome change from January, when a surge following the vacation season pushed some hospitals to their limits.

Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum stated there was no scientific certainty to say why Mexico Metropolis is in a significantly better place, however she listed a half-dozen potential elements together with better self-discipline by residents, expanded testing, a vaccination marketing campaign, improved climate and the truth that many individuals within the metropolis have already been contaminated.


CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia will carry its statewide masks mandate on June 20 after state officers projected greater than two-thirds of eligible residents will likely be vaccinated towards the coronavirus by then, Gov. Jim Justice introduced Friday.

And even when that focus on isn’t met, Justice stated the mandate will nonetheless finish on that date, also called West Virginia Day, which marks the state’s admission into the union.

The state has tried to show round its sluggish vaccination drive for weeks after hesitancy led to plummeting demand. The Republican governor has already dangled the prize of a “patriotic” $100 financial savings bond for individuals aged 16 to 35 who get a shot. The state can be trying to make walk-up vaccine clinics ubiquitous, holding them at state parks, gala’s, companies, faculties and different high-traffic locations.

Justice stated he expects 65% of all residents aged 12 and older to be no less than partially vaccinated by June 20.


OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma’s lawyer basic has secured a $2.6 million refund for the acquisition of a malaria drug as soon as touted by then-President Donald Trump as an efficient remedy for COVID-19.

Lawyer Common Mike Hunter introduced the settlement on Friday with California-based FFF Enterprises.

The Oklahoma State Division of Well being bought 1.2 million hydroxychloroquine capsules in April 2020, in the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak. The drug has since been proven to have little or no impact on extreme circumstances of COVID-19. A former state well being official chalked up Oklahoma’s buy to one thing that occurs in “the fog of warfare.”

Oklahoma alleged that the value paid for the drug could have been extreme beneath the state’s Emergency Worth Stabilization Act, which prohibits a rise of greater than 10% for the value of products and providers after a declared emergency. Below the refund settlement, FFF Enterprises denies any accusations associated to the pricing and supply of the drug.

Whereas governments in no less than 20 different states obtained greater than 30 million doses of the drug by means of donations from the federal reserve or non-public firms, Oklahoma and Utah purchased them from non-public pharmaceutical firms. Utah later managed to safe a refund on the $800,000 no-bid contract it signed with an area pharmacy firm that had been selling the medication.


MIAMI — Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line is threatening to skip Florida ports due to the governor’s order banning companies from requiring that clients be vaccinated towards COVID-19.

The corporate says Gov. Ron DeSantis’ order conflicts with pointers from federal well being authorities that may let cruise ships sail in U.S. waters if passengers and crew members are vaccinated.

The CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Frank Del Rio, says attorneys assume federal legislation tops state legislation. The CEO says if Norwegian can’t function in Florida, it may well go to different states or the Caribbean.

Cruise traces have been barred from crusing in U.S. waters or stopping at U.S. ports since March 2020. Some are slowly resuming journeys in different nations and requiring all passengers on these cruises be vaccinated.

The businesses are pushing the CDC to allow them to return the U.S. this summer season, though not one of the main firms — Norwegian, Royal Caribbean Group and Carnival Corp. — have introduced any U.S. cruises.


NEW DELHI — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi faces rising strain to impose a strict nationwide lockdown.

On Friday, India reported a brand new day by day report of 414,188 confirmed circumstances and three,915 further deaths. The official day by day demise depend has stayed over 3,000 the previous 10 days.

Many medical consultants, opposition leaders and even Supreme Courtroom judges are calling for nationwide restrictions, arguing {that a} patchwork of state guidelines is inadequate to stamp out the surge.

Indian tv stations broadcast pictures of sufferers mendacity on stretchers exterior hospitals ready to be admitted, with hospital beds and significant oxygen in brief provide. Folks contaminated with COVID-19 in villages are being handled in makeshift out of doors clinics, with IV drips hanging from timber.

India has registered greater than 21.4 million coronavirus infections and greater than 234,000 confirmed deaths. Well being consultants says the tolls are undercounts.


GENEVA — A high official on the World Well being Group says the explosive variety of coronavirus circumstances is just partly pushed by the variants, warning nations that loosening management measures could worsen the pandemic.

WHO emergencies chief Dr. Michael Ryan says the virus has “enormous kinetic vitality” in sure nations and leaders who assume vaccination alone will cease the epidemic are mistaken.

“It’s being pushed each by human habits, by the emergence of variants and lots of different elements,” Ryan stated. “We’re anticipating the virus to decelerate and we’re pushing the accelerators.”

He admonished some leaders to acknowledge “the brutal actuality” of the scenario. India has skilled a surge of circumstances and deaths.

“A few of you aren’t in a very good place,” Ryan stated. “It’s essential to defend your well being system. It’s essential to get your oxygen provide sorted out.”

Ryan says whereas new virus variants could assist unfold COVID-19, the motive force is “proximity between individuals.” He says crowds and the blending of individuals with out safety or handwashing are nonetheless doubtlessly harmful, even with the beginning of vaccination applications.


NEW YORK — A U.S. well being official, who final 12 months shook the nation along with her frank evaluation of the U.S. coronavirus pandemic, is resigning.

Dr. Nancy Messonnier introduced the choice Friday in an e mail to her colleagues on the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. Messonnier, who joined the company in 1995, led the CDC’s work on respiratory illnesses for 5 years and she or he was an early chief within the company’s COVID-19 response.

Throughout a briefing with reporters in February 2020, Messonnier contradicted statements by administration officers that the virus was contained. Shares plunged, and President Donald Trump was enraged.

Quickly after, a White Home activity pressure moved to heart stage and Vice President Mike Pence took management of clearing CDC communications in regards to the coronavirus. Messonnier didn’t make extra public appearances.

In her e mail Friday, Messonnier says she was taking a brand new job with the California-based Skoll Basis.

At a White Home briefing, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky praised Messonnier as “a real hero.”


LONDON — British residents can journey to nations together with Portugal, Iceland and Israel later this month with out having to quarantine on their return.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps says a blanket ban on abroad holidays is being changed by a system classing nations as low, medium or excessive danger. He says it’s the primary “tentative steps in the direction of unlocking worldwide journey.”

The “inexperienced listing” of 12 low-risk territories additionally consists of Gibraltar, the Faroe Islands and the Falkland Islands — however not main trip locations for Britons similar to France, Spain and Greece. Britons touring to these nations must self-isolate for 10 days on their return.

All however important journey stays barred to nations with extreme outbreaks, together with India, Turkey and the Maldives.

The modifications take impact Might 17, the subsequent date on the federal government’s street map out of lockdown. Pubs and eating places in England can reopen indoor areas the identical day, and venues together with theaters and cinemas can open to restricted audiences.


GENEVA — The top of the World Commerce Group says the U.S. administration’s name to take away patent protections on COVID-19 vaccines may assist develop honest entry to vaccines however won’t be probably the most “essential subject.”

WTO Director-Common Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s feedback Friday got here as officers in Europe more and more insisted that extra vaccine exports are the extra urgent precedence. Activists and humanitarian establishments cheered the American reversal in coverage Wednesday and urged others to observe go well with to take away the mental property protections on the COVID-19 vaccines.

However some world leaders have taken the U.S. to activity for not sharing extra vaccines.

German Well being Minister Jens Spahn says the principle subject just isn’t the query of patents however of manufacturing capability. And producing vaccines just like the one developed by German agency BioNTech and manufactured with Pfizer is sophisticated, he says.

Spahn harassed, as has the pharmaceutical trade, that developed nations whose vaccination campaigns are going nicely ought to export extra pictures.


MADRID — Spain will loosen up nationwide coronavirus pandemic measures this weekend, together with journey restrictions, because the vaccine rollout continues to hurry up.

Nevertheless, some regional chiefs are involved the six-month nationwide state of emergency will likely be changed by a patchwork of conflicting approaches.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has refused to increase the sweeping order that gave authorized protection to curfews, social gathering curbs and journey bans throughout the nation.

Every area was taking a unique path, and the response from courts was additionally various. Spain’s circumstances surged sharply in January however slowed in mid-March earlier than mildly selecting up once more.

Madrid, whose lockdown-skeptic regional chief was re-elected this week, introduced there will likely be no extra curfews or journey restrictions out and in of the area beginning Sunday. The operation of bars and eating places will be prolonged from the present 11 p.m. restrict to midnight.


ATHENS, Greece — Most seashores in Greece will reopen Saturday, per week forward of the official launch of the tourism season.

Public well being officers Friday introduced a roadmap of reopening measures geared toward serving to Greece’s key trade.

Museums will reopen on Might 14, whereas retail restrictions will likely be relaxed, and a ban on home journey between the nation’s 54 administrative areas is anticipated to be lifted. Open-air cinemas will open on Might 21 and open-air theaters on Might 28, each with seating restrictions, officers say.

Tourism is anticipated to be an necessary driver of Greece’s restoration in 2021 following a steep pandemic-related recession final 12 months that noticed output hunch by 8.2%.

The variety of guests to Greece fell by 78.2% in 2020 to 7.4 million from 34 million in 2019, in line with Financial institution of Greece information. Tourism-related income dropped by 76.2%.


BUCHAREST, Romania — A 3-day “vaccination marathon” began Friday in Romania’s capital of Bucharest as authorities race to inoculate the nation of greater than 19 million towards COVID-19.

The round the clock occasion is supported by round 1,200 volunteers, together with Valeriu Gheorghita, a army physician and chief of the nation’s vaccination committee, who administered Pfizer pictures on the launch.

The “marathon” is held on the capital’s Palace Corridor, and the Nationwide Library, and it’ll host a sequence of dwell musical performances, together with one by outstanding violinist Alexandru Tomescu on Sunday. Different vaccination marathons have been organized in cities throughout the nation.

On Saturday, all vaccination facilities will likely be appointment-free for everybody after 2 p.m. To date, Romana has administered greater than 5.6 million vaccine doses.


GENEVA — The World Well being Group has given its authorization for emergency use of a COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by China’s Sinopharm.

The choice by a WHO technical advisory group opens the chance that the Sinopharm vaccine may very well be included into the U.N.-backed COVAX program in coming weeks or months and distributed by means of UNICEF and WHO’s regional workplace for the Americas.

Sinopharm has publicly launched little information, except for efficacy numbers for its two vaccine pictures, one developed by its Beijing Institute of Organic Merchandise and the opposite by the Wuhan Institute of Organic Merchandise. The Beijing shot is one which was thought of by WHO for an emergency use itemizing.

A separate group advising the U.N. company on vaccines stated it was “very assured” the Sinopharm vaccine protects the 18-59 age group however had solely a “low degree of confidence” of efficacy within the age 60-plus.



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