While many Democratic senators, led by Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer, (D-NY), caved Monday and agreed to re-open the federal government without a deal on DACA, (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), the senate’s only Jamaican roots lawmaker stood her ground and refused to blink from her position of ‘No DACA, No Deal.’Voted no againSen. Kamala Harris, (D-CA), whose father was born in Jamaica, voted “no” again Monday on a bill to re-open the federal government, arguing that the budget should have done more to protect 800,000 Dreamers nationally. Harris, who has been touted as a potential presidential contender in 2020, told CNN: “Our government made a promise to our Dreamers and it is long past time that we kept that promise. These are young people who are Americans in every respect except on paper. They have been waiting far too long to live securely in the only place they have ever called home.”Will continue protecting Dreamers from deportation“I refuse to put the lives of nearly 700,000 young people in the hands of someone who has repeatedly gone back on his word. I will do everything in my power to continue to protect Dreamers from deportation,” she added on Twitter. Harris pledged to continue to work with fellow senators to find a long-term solution for all “members of our military and national security priorities, funds for children’s health insurance and community health centers, resources for those recovering from disasters like the California wildfires, and guarantee for a future for young immigrants who are as American as all of us.”“We have 17 days to reach a bi-partisan agreement to protect Dreamers. We must pull together in this fight and get this done,” she added Tuesday. The bill to re-open the government for the next three weeks, won 80 votes (to 18 against), as more than two dozen Democrats changed their votes. Senate Majority Speaker, Mitch McConnell, (R-KY), has given a “commitment” to vote on a house bill on immigration that includes legalizing DACA recipients before February 8th.
MASON CITY — National Weather Service storm spotter training sessions start this week in our area. Each class lasts about an hour-and-a half, with the National Weather Service encouraging anybody who has an interest in the weather and providing information to them through the upcoming storm season to attend a class.The free storm spotter classes will take place in several locations over the next month in our area:= Tuesday, March 5 at 6:30 PM — Cerro Gordo — Trinity Lutheran Church, Mason City= Thursday March 7 at 6:00 PM — Winnebago/Hancock — 875 State Street in Garner= Thursday March 14 at 6:30 PM — Worth County Emergency Operations Center, 99 9th Street North in Northwood= Tuesday April 9, 6:30 PM — Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, Hampton= Thursday April 11, 6:30 PM — Mitchell County Conservation office, Osage
Scientists say llama antibodies could help defeat the coronavirus and could prove to be more expedient and effective than a vaccine.According to a new study published in the journal “Cell” Tuesday by an international team of researchers, antibodies found in the blood of llamas were able to stave off COVID infections.PIIS0092867420304943“This is one of the first antibodies known to neutralize SARS-CoV-2,” Jason McLellan, from the University of Texas at Austin and co-author of the study, said in a statement.The researchers built on previous research from four years ago in which they found that the antibodies from a then 9-month-old llama named Winter were able to neutralize both SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV viruses over six weeks.Luckily, the antibodies from Winter — who’s now four years old — also staved off SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.Llamas have been used in antibody research in the past in work related to HIV and infleunza, where they helped discover promising therapies.Thanks to the llamas’ antibodies’ small size, they can connect with different parts of the virus more easily.“The binding of this antibody to spike is able to prevent attachment and entry, which effectively neutralizes the virus,” Daniel Wrapp, Dartmouth Ph.D. candidate and co-author, explained in the statement.Scientists are hopeful the treatment can be used for the newly infected and those who are already sick to lessen the severity of the disease,” McLellan added.“There is still a lot of work to do to try to bring this into the clinic,” Xavier Saelens, a molecular virologist at Ghent University in Belgium and co-author, told the Times. “If it works, llama Winter deserves a statue.”