ATLANTA – Judges have approved a request for a special grand jury by the Georgia prosecutor who's investigating whether former President Donald Trump and others broke the law by trying to pressure Georgia officials to throw out Joe Biden's presidential election victory.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis last week sent a letter to county superior court Chief Judge Christopher Brasher asking him to impanel a special grand jury. Brasher issued an order Monday saying the request was considered and approved by a majority of the superior court judges.
The special grand jury is to be seated May 2 for a period of up to a year, Brasher's order says. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney is assigned to supervise and assist the special grand jury.
Man who fired on NY officers dies
The man who shot two New York City police officers in a Harlem apartment, killing one of them and putting another in critical condition, died Monday of injuries sustained when a third officer shot him, Mayor Eric Adams said at a news conference on his plans to combat gun violence.
Lashawn J. McNeil, 47, had swung open a bedroom door and opened fire at the officers Friday as they responded to a 911 call for a domestic dispute, authorities said. Officer Sumit Sulan, a rookie who was shadowing the two wounded officers, shot McNeil as he tried to flee, striking him in the head and arm, police said.
McNeil's mother told the New York Post she was trying to convince her son to get help for mental health issues and that she wouldn't have called 911 had she known he was going to use violence against the officers. “If I knew, I never would have made the phone call,” Shirley Sourzes said in an article published Monday on the Post's website. “I would never have called!”
Antibody drugs no good on omicron
COVID-19 antibody drugs from Regeneron and Eli Lilly should no longer be used because they don't work against the omicron variant that now accounts for nearly all U.S. infections, U.S. health regulators said Monday.
The Food and Drug Administration said it was revoking emergency authorization for both drugs, which were purchased by the federal government and have been administered to millions of Americans with COVID-19. If the drugs prove effective against future variants, the FDA said it could reauthorize their use.
The regulatory move was expected because both drugmakers had said the infusion drugs are less able to target omicron due to its mutations. Still, the federal action could trigger pushback from some Republican governors who have continued promoting the drugs against the advice of health experts.
Arguments made in new Floyd trial
Prosecutors in the trial of three former Minneapolis police officers charged with violating George Floyd's civil rights accused the men Monday of standing by as fellow Officer Derek Chauvin “slowly killed George Floyd right in front of them.”
But one defense attorney countered that Chauvin called “all of the shots” as the senior officer at the scene and criticized the Minneapolis Police Department for doing too little to train officers to intervene when a colleague should be stopped. Another officer's attorney focused on Floyd's struggle with police before they restrained him. And an attorney for the third officer said his client raised concerns about the restraint of Floyd, but was rebuffed.
Former Officers J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao are broadly charged with depriving Floyd of his civil rights while acting under government authority.
Space telescope completes journey
The world's biggest, most powerful space telescope arrived at its observation post 1 million miles from Earth on Monday, a month after it lifted off on a quest to behold the dawn of the universe.
On command, the James Webb Space Telescope fired its rocket thrusters for nearly five minutes to go into orbit around the sun at its designated location, and NASA confirmed the operation went as planned.
The mirrors on the $10 billion observatory still must be meticulously aligned, the infrared detectors sufficiently chilled and the scientific instruments calibrated before observations can begin in June.
Biden gets vulgar with Fox reporter
President Joe Biden responded to a question about inflation on Monday by calling a Fox News reporter a vulgarity.
The president was in the East Room of the White House for a meeting of his Competition Council, which is focused on changing regulations and enforcing laws to help consumers deal with high prices. Fox News' Peter Doocy asked Biden about inflation, which is at a nearly 40-year high and has hurt the president's public approval.
Doocy called out, “Do you think inflation is a political liability ahead of the midterms?” Biden responded with sarcasm, “It's a great asset – more inflation.” Then he shook his head and added, “What a stupid son of a bitch.” Doocy laughed it off in a subsequent appearance on his network, joking, “Nobody has fact-checked him yet and said it's not true.”
RFK Jr. ripped for Anne Frank remark
Anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. made “deeply offensive” comments when he suggested things are worse for people today than they were for Anne Frank, the teenager who died in a Nazi concentration camp after hiding with her family in a secret annex in an Amsterdam house for two years, several Jewish advocacy and Holocaust remembrance groups said Monday.
During a Sunday rally in Washington organized by his anti-vaccine nonprofit group Children's Health Defense, Kennedy complained that people's rights were being violated by public health measures that had been taken to reduce the number of people sickened and killed by COVID-19.
“Even in Hitler's Germany, you could cross the Alps to Switzerland. You could hide in an attic like Anne Frank did,” said Kennedy, a nephew of President John F. Kennedy and the son of his slain brother, former U.S. attorney general, civil rights activist and Democratic presidential contender Robert F. Kennedy.