US Covid deaths hit 600,000 as ex-Biden adviser says high toll was avoidable

US Covid deaths hit 600,000 as ex-Biden adviser says high toll was avoidable

The US death toll in the coronavirus pandemic passed 600,000 on Tuesday. As it did so, a former White House Covid adviser, Andy Slavitt, was under fire from the right for saying Americans could have avoided such severe losses if they had been prepared to “sacrifice a little bit for one another”. Throughout the pandemic, Republicans have been less likely to wear masks and observe other public health measures meant to mitigate virus transmission. Donald Trump eschewed social distancing guidelines to hold rallies or events. His supporters are now more likely to say they will “definitely not” get vaccinated than Democrats or independents.

Southern Baptists reject push from right and elect Ed Litton as president

Southern Baptists reject push from right and elect Ed Litton as president

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) tamped down a push from the right at its largest meeting in decades on Tuesday, electing a new president who has worked to bridge racial divides in the church and defeating an effort to make an issue of critical race theory. Ed Litton, a pastor from Alabama, won 52% of the vote in a runoff against Mike Stone, a Georgia pastor backed by a new group called the Conservative Baptist Network that has sought to move the already-conservative denomination further right.

 

Cummings texts show Boris Johnson calling Matt Hancock ‘totally hopeless’

Cummings texts show Boris Johnson calling Matt Hancock ‘totally hopeless’

Boris Johnson described Matt Hancock as “totally fucking hopeless” during the early stages of the pandemic, concerned by the health secretary’s promises on testing, text messages published by Dominic Cummings have revealed. Writing on Substack, the prime minister’s former chief aide published a slew of texts and documents from emergency Cobra meetings that he said would combat what he called “lies” from Downing Street and the health secretary about the initial handling of the pandemic.

 

Peru election: Vote count ends but official result may take days

Peru election: Vote count ends but official result may take days

Peru has finished counting the votes in a tight presidential run-off election, but an official announcement may take days. Leftist Pedro Castillo kept a lead of about 60,000 votes over conservative Keiko Fujimori, who has claimed fraud without providing detailed evidence. Ms Fujimori wants hundreds of thousands of votes to be reviewed. Observers say Sunday's poll was carried out cleanly. A political novice, Mr Castillo has pledged to rewrite the constitution. The primary school teacher was little known before winning the first round of the election, and campaigned on a promise to help the poor by introducing higher taxes on powerful mining firms in this copper-producing nation.

Trump DoJ secretly seized House Democrats’ data in crackdown on leaks

Trump DoJ secretly seized House Democrats’ data in crackdown on leaks

The US justice department under Donald Trump seized data from the accounts of at least two members of the House of Representatives intelligence committee in 2018 as part of an aggressive crackdown on leaks related to the Russia investigation and other national security matters, according to a committee official and two people familiar with the investigation. Prosecutors from the previous president’s DoJ subpoenaed Apple for the data, according to the people, who were granted anonymity to discuss the secret seizures first reported by the New York Times.

German Greens choose moderate path in bid to reignite election hopes

German Greens choose moderate path in bid to reignite election hopes

The leaders of Germany’s Greens will resist a push by party activists this weekend to adopt more ambitious climate policies, balancing their ecologist message with care to ensure poorer voters are not left out of pocket after September’s election. The Greens, aiming to win the chancellery for the first time at the 26 September federal election, surged ahead of outgoing chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) in polls in late April after picking Annalena Baerbock as their candidate to run for chancellor.

 

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