Here are the top stories from domestic news, world news, good news, and science and tech.
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'People's Convoy' of Truckers Reportedly Heading to DC for Mandate Protest:
American truckers are planning a cross-country convoy heading to Washington D.C., with a message: "Government has forgotten its place." (GETTY IMAGES)
Recent COVID-19 protests in Canada have inspired American truck drivers. An American truckers’ protest dubbing itself the “People’s Convoy” is set to depart later this month with an estimated 1,000 US truck drivers. They will be heading toward the capital in response to what they believe to be unconstitutional COVID-19 mandates. Leaders of the protest say they are gathering for an American issue and that they are not far-right or far-left. One of the organizers, Brian Brase, said their purpose is, “...standing up to end the Emergency Powers Act, which ultimately would end the mandates." They want to end the mask and vaccine mandates due to believing that they deprive people of their fundamental rights. The group’s organizers are planning to make updates and release the final route for the protest in the coming days.
Ukraine crisis: Russia does not want war, Putin says after meeting Scholz:
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz attend a press conference following their meeting on Ukraine and security in Moscow, February 15, 2022. -Copyright MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV / SPUTNIK / AFP
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Germany's Chancellor Olaf Scholz met recently in Moscow. Shortly after this, Russia said that it has begun the withdrawal of its troops from the Ukrainian border and that it does not want a war around Ukraine. Putin says that he is ready for talks with the US and NATO regarding military transparency and missile deployments, though Russia has yet to receive positive answers to its security demands. Western leaders are skeptical as NATO’s chief says there have been no signs of de-escalation of Russia’s military on the ground. Though hesitant, the US and NATO have agreed to discuss some of the security measures that Russia proposed prior. Though the West has been accommodating, German Chancellor Scholz has made it clear that if Russia encroaches on Ukraine, “we are in a position any day to take the necessary decisions.”
The Average American Has Made 5 New Friends Through Video Gaming in the Past Year:
The average American has made five new online friendships through playing video games over the last 18 months, according to a new poll. The survey of 2,000 adults found that 39% has seen an increase in their online friend list since the pandemic began, with the average gamer becoming so close with their new pals that they’d invite four of them to their wedding. Commissioned by World of Warships and conducted by OnePoll, the survey also revealed that video games have helped six in 10 people learn more about the real world. Aside from friendships, the survey found that nearly half of gamers (46%) believe it is important that their “significant others’ play video games and 43% had dated someone they met through online gaming. Sixty-four percent of respondents said they cherished their video games because they helped them feel less lonely and connected them with other people. Just as many respondents said buying a new video game makes them feel like they’re allowing themselves to be happier. Most surprisingly, 75 percent of gamers have done some kind of real-world research on the games they play, and 57% consider themselves experts on the topics they research, thanks to video games.
An anime convention in November was not an omicron superspreader event:
Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Image
A large anime fan convention held in New York City last November was not an omicron super spreading event despite cases of the highly contagious variant linked to the gathering, researchers report in two studies in the Feb. 18 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. In early December, the Minnesota public health department sounded the alarm about Anime NYC, a convention celebrating Japanese comics and cartoons that drew attendees from across the United States and 30 other countries. The state agency had identified that Peter McGinn, a Minnesota resident, had attended the event while infected with omicron. This was only the second omicron case identified in the United States and media reports labeled the 53,000-person convention as a potential superspreader event when several of McGinn’s friends, who had also attended the convention, tested positive. However, two parallel investigations into the convention failed to find any omicron transmission outside of this group. Meanwhile, the second group of researchers used data from convention organizers to search state and local health databases for positive coronavirus tests among event attendees. The search turned up 4,560 results, 119 (or 2.6 percent) of which were positive. The event did not spur widespread omicron transmission, the researchers found and the test positivity rate among attendees was similar to the rate in New York City as a whole in the week after the convention, about 3 percent.