Monday morning news – February 22, 2021

Water woes persist in wake of winter storm » Pots full of water are still boiling on many stovetops in Texas and elsewhere in the South as tap water remains unsafe to drink in some areas. That is, if they have tap water at all. 

Houston Mayor Syvester Turner told CBS’ Face the Nation … 

TURNER: With so many homes across the city having pipes that burst because of the frigid weather, we need a lot of plumbing materials and supplies like right now. We have a number of licensed plumbers but could use even more. 

Texas is bringing in plumbers from around the country to help.  And Gov. Greg Abbott says the state is making progress. 

ABBOTT: We continue to get updates showing that water is being restored to communities across the entire state. 

President Biden on Saturday declared a major disaster in Texas. That cleared the way for more federal resources to help. 

And in Memphis, Tennessee, more than 250,000 homes were still under a boil-water advisory on Sunday. Memphis saw 10 inches of snow last week. 

Vaccine supplies catching up after winter storm delays » And White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said winter weather kept many people from getting coronavirus vaccine shots last week. She said the storm delayed shipment of about 6 million doses, but… 

PSAKI: We’ve been able to get about 2 million of those 6 million doses out. We expect to rapidly catch up this week, fill that backlog, make sure they’re out to communities, and also meet our deadlines and our timelines of the doses that are due to go out this coming week. 

Overall, the country is on the verge of a vaccine supply breakthrough. The FDA will likely approve a third coronavirus vaccine in the weeks ahead. And manufacturers are ramping up production. Pfizer is set to double its pace of vaccine deliveries in the coming weeks.

That’s good news, especially when coupled with tumbling rates of new infections. 

President Biden’s chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci told NBC’s Meet the Press… 

FAUCI: The slope that’s coming down is really terrific. It’s very steep and it’s coming down very quickly, but we are still at a level that’s very high.

Fauci cautioned Americans not to let their guard down. 

Fauci said we’re likely seeing a somewhat natural falloff from what had been a dramatic spike in coronavirus infections, along with some early benefits from vaccinations. But he said if we relax precautions too quickly, we could slam the brakes on that progress. 

Russian court rejects Navalny appeal » A Moscow court has rejected the appeal of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. 

Earlier this month, Russian courts sentenced Navalny to nearly three years in prison for violating terms of his probation.  

The supposed violation was receiving treatment in Germany after being poisoned with a Soviet-era nerve agent. 

Navalny argued he was unable to report to the authorities in line with his probation requirements while he was convalescing in Germany. And he noted that he returned to Russia as soon as he was well enough to do so. 

His lawyer Olga Mikhailova vowed to continue the legal fight. 

MIKHAILOVA: [Speaking in Russian]

The sentence stems from a 2014 embezzlement conviction, which most Western governments have rejected as false and politically motivated. 

The United States and the European Union have called for Navalny’s release.

Thousands demonstrate in Myanmar calling on U.S. to intervene » AUDIO: [Protests]

In Myanmar, thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators packed the streets outside the U.S. Embassy in the city of Yangon. 

Many held up signs asking the United States and the global community to intervene and force military commanders to end the coup and return power to the civilian government. 

One sign read “US/The Beacon of Democracy! Help Myanmar!”

Over the weekend, riot police in Mandalay shot and killed two protesters and wounded many others. And the ruling military has made thinly veiled threats to use more lethal force against demonstrators. 

That as a group helping to organize protests called for more civil disobedience and a—quote—“Spring Revolution.”

(Pat Nabong/Chicago Sun-Times via AP, File) In this Feb. 2, 2021, file photo, a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is prepared in the Austin neighborhood, of Chicago.

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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