Biden touts new incentives in July 4 vaccination push

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden, facing a self-imposed July 4 deadline to have 70% of U.S. adults at least partly vaccinated against the coronavirus, tried Wednesday to rally the nation to meet that goal, announcing an offer of free child care for parents and caregivers while they receive their shots and a national canvassing effort resembling a get-out-the-vote drive.

Editorial: Make tax-dodging companies pay

American companies and companies that make money in the United States are not paying enough money in taxes. Even as profits have soared, tax payments have declined. Fifty-five of the nation’s largest corporations — including FedEx, Nike and the agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland — paid nothing in federal income taxes in 2020, despite collectively reporting more than $40 billion in profits, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

Derek Chauvin found guilty of murdering George Floyd

Derek Chauvin was found guilty of two counts of murder on Tuesday in the death of George Floyd, whose final breaths last May under the knee of Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, were captured on video, setting off months of protests against the police abuse of Black people.

Editorial: Too many people are locked up for small thefts

The United States has made some progress in reducing the shockingly large share of the population that lives behind bars, mostly by dialing back the War on Drugs. Building on this progress requires similar changes in the treatment of nonviolent property crime.

Biden, CDC director warn of virus rebound if nation lets up

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden and a top health official warned Monday that too many Americans are declaring virus victory too quickly, appealing for mask requirements and other restrictions to be maintained or restored to stave off a “fourth surge” of COVID-19. The head of the CDC said she had a feeling of “impending doom” if people keep easing off.

The era of vaccine diplomacy is here

It is only natural that the American government and the American people have focused on getting coronavirus vaccines to as many of its people as possible, with the most vulnerable first in line. But as the pace of domestic vaccination accelerates, two facts are worth bearing in mind.

Missteps in vaccine rollout proving costly

A few weeks into her part-time job vaccinating nursing home staff members and residents against the coronavirus, Katherine, a pharmacist, noticed a problem: Roughly 15 to 20 vaccines were being thrown away at the end of each vaccination session. That’s because the number of doses that she and her co-workers had prepared — per the protocol established by Katherine’s manager at CVS, the pharmacy she works for — exceeded the number of people who showed up to be inoculated, often significantly.

Editorial: Governors easing restrictions at wrong time

When reports emerged that a new, potentially more contagious version of the coronavirus was circulating in Britain, Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York implored major airlines to require anyone entering the state from another country to first submit a negative coronavirus test. Scientists still had much to learn about the variant, but Cuomo was following a principle that has become scripture among public health experts: To defeat the coronavirus, you must act quickly. You cannot wait for certainty to arrive.

Your cat isn’t just getting high off catnip

For a lesson in euphoria, look no further than a house cat twined around a twig of silver vine. When offered a snipping of the plant, which contains chemicals similar to the ones found in catnip, most domesticated felines will purr, drool and smoosh their faces into its intoxicating leaves and stems, then zonk out in a state of catatonic bliss.

New bat species discovered in West Africa

In 2018, scientists set out on an expedition to survey the habitat of an endangered bat species in the West African country of Guinea. One night, a trap turned up something unusual: a new species of bat with a fiery orange body strikingly juxtaposed with black wings.

The problem with problem sharks

The war on sharks has been waged with shock and awe at times. When a shark bit or killed a swimmer, people within the past century might take out hundreds of the marine predators to quell the panic, like executing everyone in a police lineup in order to ensure justice was dispensed on the guilty party.

Electoral College votes today. Here’s what to expect.

The members of the Electoral College will gather in their respective states today to cast their official ballots for president. Ordinarily, the process is little more than a formal duty to rubber-stamp the results of the November election.