Tuesday morning news – March 23, 2021

Gunman kills 10 at Colorado grocery store » A gunman opened fire at a Colorado supermarket on Monday, killing at least 10 people. 

One witness said saw a man holding a semi-automatic rifle shooting at people in the parking lot of the King Soopers grocery store in Boulder.

AUDIO: He shot I believe at somebody going up the ramp to one of the doors at the King Soopers. He shot multiple times, and then he ran inside… 

Among the victims was 51-year-old Boulder police officer Eric Tally, who was the first officer on the scene. 

Boulder police Chief Maris Herold fought back tears during an evening news conference. 

MARIS: My heart goes out to the victims of this incident, and I’m grateful for the police officers that responded, and I’m grateful for the police officers that responded, and I’m so sorry about loss of officer Tally.

Police arrested a suspect. Officers were seen escorting a handcuffed, shirtless man with a bloody leg from the scene. Investigators did not immediately release any information about the suspect.

U.S. Phase 3 trial shows AstraZeneca vaccine safe, effective » The United States could soon have its fourth approved coronavirus vaccine. 

AstraZeneca says it plans to ask the FDA for an emergency use authorization soon. Executive Vice President Ruud Dobber: 

DOBBER: We are going to submit for the EUA in the first half of April, assuming the FDA is very supportive.

And the company has reason to think the FDA will be supportive after a U.S study of 30,000 people who received the vaccine. 

The results, reported Monday, showed that the vaccine provides strong protection to adults of all ages. AstraZeneca’s Mene Pangalos described the results of the Phase 3 study. 

PANGALO: Achieved a statistically significant 79 percent efficacy in preventing symptomatic COVID-19, and it was 100 percent effective stopping severe or critical disease and hospitalization. 

A very small number of blood clot cases in Europe recently led several countries to briefly suspend use of the vaccine. But EU regulators did not find a link between the vaccine and the clots. And the U.S. study also found no increased risk of blood clots. 

President Biden’s chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci: 

FAUCI: An in depth search of the database for venous thrombosis revealed no events in this study.

The Biden administration already projects there will be enough doses for all U.S. adults by the end of May. But officials said the findings are a victory both for the U.S. supply and the global fight against the virus.

Supreme Court will hear Boston bomber case » The Supreme Court says it will consider reinstating the death sentence for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. 

The justices agreed on Monday to hear an appeal filed by the Trump administration. That will present an early test of President Biden’s opposition to capital punishment.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters… 

PSAKI: President Biden has made clear that he has grave concerns about whether capital punishment as currently implemented is consistent with the values that are fundamental to our sense of justice and fairness. He’s also expressed his horror at the events of that day. 

In late July, the federal appeals court in Boston threw out Tsarnaev’s sentence for the deadly 2013 bombing. It said the judge at his trial did not do enough to ensure the jury would not be biased against him. But the Justice Department quickly appealed.

The high court won’t hear the case until the fall, and it’s unclear how the Biden administration will approach the case. It was the Obama administration’s Justice Department that initially sought a death sentence for Tsarnaev.

Even if the court were to reinstate the death sentence, nothing would force Biden to schedule an execution date.

Israelis vote in fourth parliamentary election in two years » Israelis will vote today in their fourth parliamentary election in just two years. It’s a race that once again boils down to a referendum on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has more. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The prime minister has held the post for the past 12 years, surviving several recent elections. 

Netanyahu is hopeful that voters will reward him for leading the country’s successful vaccine rollout and his diplomatic outreach to the Arab world. But his challengers continue to highlight his ongoing corruption trial.

In Israel, people vote for parties, not individual candidates. Opinion polls forecast another extremely tight race, but Netanyahu’s Likud is again poised to emerge as the largest single party. But no party has ever won a 61-seat majority in parliament on its own. So it would still almost certainly need to form political alliances with other parties to create a governing coalition.

If no coalition is formed, it could trigger an unprecedented fifth consecutive election.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin. 

EU sanctions Chinese officials over human rights abuses » The European union has approved its first sanctions against China in decades over human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region. 

The E.U. hit four Chinese officials with sanctions. All have ties to Chinese internment camps in the region. 

However, the E.U. chose not to sanction the head of the Communist Party in Xinjiang, Chen Quanguo, who the United States did sanction last year. 

China has threatened to hit back with sanctions of its own. Ambassador to the E.U. Zhang Ming said last week—quote—“If some insist on confrontation, we will not back down.”

Record floods hit Australia » In Australia, more than 18,000 people have had to flee their homes as heavy rain and flooding slams the country’s most populous state. 

Jane Golding with Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said Monday…

GOLDING: We’ve seen some increased flooding and some pretty catastrophic impacts across eastern New South Wales.

She said some locations have seen close to a meter of rain—that’s 39 inches. 

Emergency services have already conducted more than 700 high water rescues.  

And rising water could displace more than 50,000 people. 

The once-in-a-century floods are submerging homes a year after wildfires wrecked large portions of the region.

(AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File) In this Friday, Feb. 19, 2021 file photo, a pharmacist prepares a syringe from a vial of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine during preparations at the Vaccine Village in Antwerp, Belgium. 

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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