Top News- (1/10-1/16)


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Supreme Court halts COVID-19 vaccine rule for US businesses:

US Supreme Court shown Friday, January 7, 2022, in Washington (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)


The Supreme Court has blocked the Biden Administration’s push to require employees at large businesses to get the COVID-19 vaccine or be required to test regularly for the virus and wear a mask at work. This case reached the Supreme Court after the OSHA rule was initially blocked and then allowed by two different appellate courts. The rule also sparked major opposition from large employers concerned about it being too expensive and potentially driving workers to quit. The Court concluded that the mandate was an overstep of the Administration’s authority as, “OSHA has never before imposed such a mandate,” and, “[Congress] has declined to enact any measure similar to what OSHA has promulgated here,” according to an unsigned opinion by the conservative justices. The liberal justices argued in dissent that it was the Supreme Court that was overreaching by, “without legal basis,” ignoring the judgment of the health experts tasked with responding to workplace health crises. The White House still considers this a success as it drove millions to take the vaccine. Despite the court’s stance on this, it did allow a vaccine mandate for most of America’s healthcare workers to proceed in a 5-4 vote. A separate vaccine mandate for federal contractors still has yet to be heard by the court.


China launches cooperation deal with Iran, rebukes US unilateral sanctions:

On Friday, the Foreign Ministers of China and Iran met to announce a new twenty-five-year cooperation deal between the two countries. This deal, signed last March, establishes a partnership between the two countries in areas such as health care, infrastructure, cybersecurity, and agriculture. China’s multi-trillion dollar is also involved in an attempt to further partnership with other nations. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has also stated his support for the resumption of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, though he did criticize the US for imposing unilateral sanctions against the country. This condemnation may be related to the sanctions the US has placed on China as well as its boycott of the upcoming 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. The international community continues talks to renegotiate the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action deal, without the US getting directly involved. Earlier this week, over 100 Republicans wrote a letter urging Secretary of State Antony Blinken to end the ongoing entanglement as “there is no productive diplomatic path forward at this time.”


Determined ‘Lassie’ Dog Leads New Hampshire Police Back to Scene of Owner’s Car Crash Down a Hill:

A real-life Lassie saved the lives of two men who had overturned their Ford pickup truck and were lying injured in the cold. Tinsley, a Shiloh Shepherd, attracted the attention of the police as she was loitering on an embanked stretch of I-89 connecting New Hampshire to Vermont. Trooper Sandberg and other officers of the Lebanon Police Department made attempts to corral her and get close, but she kept running away, eventually leading them to a damaged section of guardrail. When they followed her lead they saw a badly damaged overturned pickup truck with two injured occupants nearby who had been ejected from the vehicle. At the scene, Trooper Sandberg and the Lebanon Police Officers called for medical assistance and found the two men to be suffering from hypothermia. It was then they learned that the German Shepard, named Tinsley, belonged to one of the injured occupants of the truck. Dan Baldassare who was one of the New Hampshire Police on the scene said “This was almost like a real-life Lassie situation, It’s really quite remarkable. This dog definitely saved their lives. I don’t think they would have survived the night given the temperatures.” Reports are saying she is being treated to venison and back-scratches—a fitting reward for the faithful canine who braved the cold and high-speed traffic to save her owner.


Has omicron peaked? An unexpected source offers clues:


More than 20,000 new coronavirus cases have emerged each day on average in Massachusetts for the past week. But in the bowels of Boston, there is a hint that the omicron-fueled surge may be on the verge of decline. This hint is in the unlikely place of wastewater where surveys of coronavirus levels in the Deer Island water treatment plant, which service Boston and Eastern Massachusetts, show a steep drop in the virus’s concentration in the water. Even though case counts seem cut and dry there is always the issue of being asymptomatic and withholding information of having symptoms. However, everyone poops, and this allows an unbiased view of exactly how high the concentration of the virus is in certain areas. The more recent data from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority coming out of the Deer Island Treatment Plant show that the concentration of the virus's RNA has been falling heavily over the past week. Though this new information can be useful for providing a bird’s eye view of an area’s Covid situation, there is still not too much understood about how people shed the virus from their bodies and how much it varies from person to person. Even with this in mind, it still shows evidence of a decline of Covid-19 in Massachusetts and hope of falling cases around the United States in the future.


Sources:

Supreme Court halts COVID-19 vaccine rule for US businesses | AP News

China launches cooperation deal with Iran, rebukes US unilateral sanctions | TheHill

Determined ‘Lassie’ Dog Leads New Hampshire Police Back to Scene of Owner’s Car Crash Down a Hill (goodnewsnetwork.org)

Has omicron peaked? An unexpected source offers clues (medicalxpress.com)


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