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April 19, 2021
The White House is speeding up its vaccination drive and pressuring states to follow its lead
Biden administration officials have been steadily boosting their direct supplies of vaccine to residents in Massachusetts and elsewhere through mass vaccination sites, retail pharmacies, and community health centers.
Massachusetts is almost halfway to the governor’s vaccination goal. But a big challenge lies ahead
State officials will face their biggest test yet, starting Monday, when about 1.7 million more residents ages 16 through 54 become eligible for shots as the COVID-19 vaccination drive enters its fifth month and its most pivotal phase.
National milestone reached, with half of US adults having received at least one COVID-19 shot
Half of all adults in the United States have received at least one COVID-19 shot, the government announced Sunday, marking another milestone in the nation’s largest-ever vaccination campaign but leaving more work to do to persuade skeptical Americans to roll up their sleeves.
‘There will be extraordinary spending’: Retailers anticipate a post-pandemic consumption boom
The big question for many retailers is whether they can correctly predict what consumers will flock to next, and then keep enough inventory in stock during a period of supply-chain disruption.
Should DiMasi, and other federal felons, face a ban on lobbying Beacon Hill? The SJC will decide
The question could be precedent-setting, and has been at the center of a two-plus-year legal battle between Secretary of State William Galvin and former Mass. House speaker Salvatore DiMasi.
Minneapolis braces for unrest as Derek Chauvin trial enters final phase
Closing arguments are scheduled for Monday in the landmark Chauvin case, and officials, business owners, and residents across the city fear that Minneapolis could see a repeat of the civil unrest that erupted after Floyd’s death in May.
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Editorial & Opinion
Arts & Lifestyle
FedEx shooter legally bought guns used in shooting, police say
The former employee who shot and killed eight people at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis legally bought the two rifles used in the attack despite red flag laws designed to prevent such purchases, police said.
On infrastructure, lofty ideas are colliding with congressional reality
As President Biden and Democratic lawmakers begin assembling a massive jobs and infrastructure bill they hope will echo the New Deal, they are quickly finding that their ambitions are colliding with the reality of precisely how to do it.
Congress faces renewed pressure on gun control after Indiana’s red-flag law did not thwart FedEx shooter
The renewed momentum for gun-control legislation after House action in March comes as authorities in Indiana said they do not know what broke down in the existing process that’s meant to prevent the bloodshed that took place.
Michigan’s governor says the virus surge in her state may be cresting
Michigan may finally be starting to turn a corner, after enduring more than a month of explosive coronavirus spread, Governor Gretchen Whitmer said Sunday.
Vigil, ‘peace walk’ in Chicago after police shooting of boy
People gathered around Chicago on Sunday to remember a 13-year-old boy fatally shot by a police officer and to call for changes in policing and an end to gun violence.
Least vaccinated US counties have something in common: Trump voters
Scientists have estimated that 70 percent to 90 percent of the total population must acquire resistance to the virus to reach herd immunity. But in hundreds of counties around the country, vaccination rates are low, with some even languishing in the teens.
Ex-Texas deputy wanted in deaths of three people is arrested
A former sheriff’s deputy in Texas has been taken into custody Monday following a manhunt that began after three people were fatally shot in Austin, authorities said.
COVID vaccines may affect women differently
News that seven women developed a rare blood clotting disorder after receiving Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine has prompted new questions about whether vaccines affect women differently than men, and whether there are special considerations that women should take into account when getting vaccinated.
Suspect apprehended in fatal shooting at Wisconsin tavern
Authorities say they have apprehended a person in connection with a shooting at a busy tavern in southeastern Wisconsin early Sunday that left three men dead and three men injured.
Despite tensions, US and China agree to work together on climate change
The United States and China have said they will fight climate change “with the seriousness and urgency that it demands” by stepping up efforts to reduce carbon emissions, a rare demonstration of cooperation amid escalating tensions over a raft of other issues.
Kremlin critic Navalny’s daughter pleads for her imprisoned father be allowed to see his doctor amid mounting health concerns
“Allow a doctor to see my dad.” The plea, tweeted Saturday by Alexei Navalny’s daughter, came amid a global wave of dismay over Russian authorities’ refusal to let President Vladimir Putin’s leading critic see his physician as his condition has reportedly worsened.
Sinn Fein leader apologizes for 1979 killing of Prince Philip’s uncle
Lord Mountbatten, a celebrated commander during World War II who later served as the last viceroy of India, was killed after a bomb exploded on his fishing boat off the coast of Ireland.
How the tiny kingdom of Bhutan out-vaccinated most of the world
The Himalayan nation has given more than 60 percent of its people a shot. Some villages were reached by helicopter, and health workers hiked through ice and snow.
Editorial & Opinion
L. Rafael Reif
The ‘super wicked problem’ of climate change is our Earthshot
We must find affordable, equitable ways to bring every aspect of the global economy to net-zero carbon no later than 2050.
Biden must be blunt with Israel about the Iran deal
The United States can’t be drawn into a military conflict when a diplomatic solution is possible.
Frances Moore Lappé
It’s not too late to make a difference on the climate crisis
We can act now with proven tools to cut greenhouse gas emissions and store vastly more carbon in plants and the earth.
Wild animal tourism is getting the message, but what about protections here in Mass.?
A bill is currently before the Legislature that would prohibit the exploitation of wild animals by the animal entertainment industry operating in our state.
Regarding footwear (yes, as usual, women’s only)
I am furious — where are the reports on Kamala Harris's work to pass the infrastructure bill? The work to solve underlying problems at the border? Shoes, crochet, and cooking?
We mustn’t trivialize the offense in letting Native American mascots endure
The conflict in question in Wakefield is embedded in a larger set of concerns being debated by community members in various cities.
Massachusetts, other states need to increase spending for preschools, report says
Massachusetts preschool enrollment increased by fewer than 300 children in 2019-2020, as the pandemic shifted those programs to remote learning in the middle of the school year, according to a national report that found most states don’t provide enough funding to support all-day pre-kindergarten for all children.
THE GREAT DIVIDE
Mass. education commissioner recommends vocational school admissions changes to boost fairness
Massachusetts’ education commissioner, Jeff Riley, has proposed changes to vocational-technical school admissions aimed at giving disadvantaged students a better shot at attending the coveted schools.
Experts and advocates urge greater equity in distributing doses
Starting Monday, everyone in Massachusetts age 16 or older will be eligible for the vaccine — opening up appointments to 1.7 million more residents — but health officials cautioned the state must do more to deliver doses to communities of color.
Protesters march from Cambridge to Boston, demanding justice for Daunte Wright
More than a hundred protesters marched from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus in Cambridge to Boston Common calling for justice for Daunte Wright on Sunday, a week after the 20-year-old Black man was killed by a police officer in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center.
Rev. Liz Walker among 4 honored with RFK Embracing the Legacy award
Walker, the senior pastor of Roxbury Presbyterian Church, will be honored during the May 11 virtual event along with University of Massachusetts President Martin Meehan, Jim Geraghty, Managing Director of Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management; Justin Pasquariello, Executive Director of East Boston Social Centers, the RFK corps announced.
Today in History
Today is Monday, April 19, the 109th day of 2021. There are 256 days left in the year.
Pembroke mourns deaths of two former high school hockey stars
Joseph Birolini and William Hickey, both 23, who graduated from Pembroke High in 2016, died from injuries suffered in the crash early Saturday morning on Elm Street, officials said Sunday.
Needham officials hope to block Amazon facility from prominent Route 128 site
“That’s really the gateway to Needham,” said Greg Reibman, president of the Newton-Needham Regional Chamber. “You want something aspirational to appear in that spot, not a big warehouse with trucks coming in at all hours of the day.”
Approaching Boston from the west will never be the same: Long-planned Fenway Center is about to rise
The Fenway Center project will put a two-acre deck, followed by a 350-foot tower, above the Massachusetts Turnpike between Brookline Avenue and Beacon Street.
THE FINE PRINT
Is an extended car warranty worth it?
Ads for CarShield are ubiquitous on cable television, making the case that it makes economic sense to buy an extended warranty to cover the cost of expensive car repairs. But does it really?
Alma Wahlberg, mother of Mark, Donnie Wahlberg, dies at 78
Alma Wahlberg, the mother of entertainers Mark and Donnie Wahlberg and a regular on their reality series “Wahlburgers,” has died, her sons said on social media Sunday.
Penelope Laingen, who united nation with yellow ribbons during Iran hostage crisis, dies at 89
As the wife of a US diplomat, Penelope Laingen had trekked to Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Malta, loyally serving alongside her husband in the long tradition of Foreign Service families.
Donald Junkins, poet who led UMass Amherst creative writing program, dies at 89
A poet who published more than 20 books, Mr. Junkins formerly directed the MFA program at UMass Amherst.
Vartan Gregorian, transformative civic leader and tireless educator, dies at 87
An Iranian-born historian and educator who transformed the New York Public Library from a broke and derelict institution into a thriving center of culture and learning and who pushed tirelessly for improving access to knowledge, Vartan Gregorian also led Brown University and the grantmaking Carnegie Corp.
bruins 6, capitals 3
In another spirited tangle with the Capitals, Bruins extend winning streak to four games
Three unanswered goals from the Bruins in the second period gave them the edge. Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, and Brad Marchand scored two goals apiece.
Game 1 - White Sox 3, Red Sox 2 | Game 2 - White Sox 5, Red Sox 1
Offense hits snag as Red Sox swept in doubleheader against White Sox
Boston managed only four hits off former prospect Michael Kopech and the Chicago bullpen in Game 2, while Tanner Houck’s solid start in the opener was not enough.
Liverpool, owned by Fenway Sports Group, among 11 European soccer clubs planning ‘Super League’
UEFA and FIFA have condemned the league's formation, which would allow 12 of the richest clubs in Europe to break off and form their own league.
Peter Abraham | On baseball
Despite what you saw Sunday, the Chris Sale trade was still worth it for Red Sox
Two of Boston's former top prospects played key roles in Chicago's doubleheader sweep, but there's still no reason to regret the swap that helped deliver a World Series championship in 2018.
Addition of Taylor Hall has given David Krejci a jump in production
Krejci has scored three of his five goals this season since Hall arrived.
More observations on the Celtics’ thrilling win against the Warriors
Marcus Smart is following his instincts, Kemba Walker is ramping it up and Jabari Parker is fitting in.
Frank Dell'Apa | On soccer
At a crossroads: How European soccer’s ‘Super League’ proposal could change the world’s most popular sport
The clash is being portrayed as a struggle for heart and soul of the game.
RED SOX NOTEBOOK
Garrett Whitlock preparing to get a longer look with Red Sox
The Rule 5 draft pick, who has allowed just three hits and zero runs in 6⅓ innings this season, is being stretched out by the team in an effort to find the righthander a bigger role.
Yankees swept by Rays, Cole suffers first loss of season
The last-place Yankees lost their fifth consecutive game. Said manager Aaron Boone: "We’re getting punched in the mouth right now.”
Shane Bieber is stellar again for Indians, with 13 strikeouts in 6-3 win vs. Reds
Bieber (2-1) become the first pitcher in big league history to begin the season with four straight starts with at least 10 strikeouts.
NATE Weitzer | High school football notebook
Perseverance paid off in the end for Plymouth South’s pandemically-challenged football team
The Panthers concluded a four-game winning streak with a thrilling 27-24 win over North Quincy to repeat as champions of the Patriot League’s Fisher Division.
Cink wins third RBC Heritage title at age 47
Cink capped off a dominant performance at Harbour Town with a stress-free 70 on Sunday.
Arts & Lifestyle
Take a free Bluebike to your COVID-19 vaccine appointment
The complimentary trips will be available in Arlington, Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Newton, Revere, Somerville, and Watertown.
Eight Earth Day events for the whole family
From your backyard to your favorite trail, enjoy these virtual (or socially distanced) events that make you proud to be an earthling.
How houseplant propagation kept some Bostonians well-rooted through the pandemic
Enthusiasts regularly trade clippings and solicit gardening advice on Facebook groups like Boston Plant Swap. Instagram accounts devoted to succulent propagation have picked up thousands of followers, and “plantfluencers” are finding fertile ground on TikTok for doling out gardening advice.
Two perspectives on addiction and recovery
Advice from Amy Dickinson.