Double shooting at high school basketball tourney in North Carolina under investigation


Two boys were left injured after a shooting at a high school basketball tournament in Salisbury, North Carolina, police said.

It took place in the Catawba College Goodwin Gymnasium lobby Wednesday night just after 8 p.m. during the annual Sam Moir Christmas Classic Basketball Tournament.

NORTH CAROLINA GIRL, 3, DIES AFTER ACCIDENTALLY SHOOTING HERSELF ON CHRISTMAS: REPORT

One boy was taken to Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Hospital. The second victim was taken to Novant Health Rowan Medical Center. The status of their injuries is unknown at this time.

Two boys were left injured after a shooting at a high school basketball tournament in Salisbury, North Carolina, police said.

Two boys were left injured after a shooting at a high school basketball tournament in Salisbury, North Carolina, police said.
( FOX 46 Charlotte (WJZY))

Catawba College is on holiday break, according to FOX 46 Charlotte. The local outlet reports that Rowan-Salisbury Schools was hosting the tournament and 300 to 400 people were attending the game between North Rowan High School and West Rowan High School when the shooting happened. 

NORTH CAROLINA FATHER ACCIDENTALLY SHOOTS SON, 15, IN THE HEAD: REPORT

The school district tweeted out a message canceling the remainder of the tournament just after 8:30 p.m.

Salisbury Police Chief Jerry Stokes said at a late night news conference that the shooter is not in custody, but it is believed one person fired a gun, the Salisbury Post reported.

Police haven’t said what prompted the shooting, but students told FOX 46 that a fight broke out between a group of people prior to the shots ringing out.

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Witnesses told the Post four to five shots were fired, and it appeared one boy was shot in the leg while another was shot in the arm.

Anyone with information about the shooting incident is asked to contact the Salisbury Police Department via private message on social media or Salisbury-Rowan Crimestoppers at 866-639-5245. 



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Ohio dad fatally shoots daughter, 16; mistook her for intruder: police


An Ohio father mistook his 16-year-old daughter for an intruder early Wednesday and fatally shot her inside his Columbus home’s garage, police said.

The girl’s mother told dispatchers about the accident that occurred after the home’s security alarm went off, police said. 

NORTH CAROLINA GIRL, 3, DIES AFTER ACCIDENTALLY SHOOTING HERSELF ON CHRISTMAS

The Columbus Dispatch obtained the frantic, eight-minute-long 911 call. The paper reported that both parents could be heard urging the girl to wake up. The victim was identified as Janae Hairston, a junior at Canal Winchester High School.

FILE: Columbus Police responded to the shooting inside the home. (Photo by Stephen Zenner/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

FILE: Columbus Police responded to the shooting inside the home. (Photo by Stephen Zenner/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
(Stephen Zenner/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

She was rushed to a hospital where she was pronounced dead. The shooting remains under investigation and no charges have been filed. The school announced that resource officers have been made available to students. 

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“These kids have such a bright future in front of them,” Tim Becker, Columbus’ deputy police chief, said, according to ABC 6. “To have that prematurely taken away is extra tragic.”



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Delta passenger attacks Los Angeles airport officer after being denied boarding, authorities say


A Delta Air Lines passenger who was upset at being denied entry onto a New York City-bound flight at Los Angeles International Airport assaulted a police officer Thursday and was subsequently arrested, authorities said. 

Delta personnel called airport police around 1:40 p.m. about the passenger who was denied boarding because of his alcohol intake, police Sgt. Rob Pedregon told Fox News. The aircraft was slated to depart for John F. Kennedy International Airport.

EX-PLAYBOY MODEL AND ‘BAYWATCH’ ‘KAREN’ FACES ASSAULT CHARGE IN SPAT WITH FOUL-MOUTHED MAN ON DELTA FLIGHT 

An intoxicated Delta Air Lines passenger allegedly attacked Los Angeles airport police officers after being barred from boarding a flight, authorities said Thursday.

An intoxicated Delta Air Lines passenger allegedly attacked Los Angeles airport police officers after being barred from boarding a flight, authorities said Thursday.
(Reuters)

“They felt he was too intoxicated to fly,” he said. 

An airline spokesperson told Fox News the passenger became verbally abusive at the departure gate. 

When the officers arrived, they decided the unidentified man could be walked out of the terminal where he could get a ride. 

“When they got to the bottom of the escalator for arrivals, the officer handed the suspect his ID back and afterwards the suspect had a moment of rage and he assaulted the officer,” Pedregon said. 

Los Angeles International Airport.

Los Angeles International Airport.
(iStock)

An officer was punched in the chest and the suspect was tackled and taken into custody, he said. 

“I’m not going to comply until you tell me why,” the suspect said as he struggled with the officers, TMZ reported. “It’s people like you.  You ruined my (expletive) night, dude.” 

The celebrity gossip site said the man was hoping to fly to New York City.  

A Delta Air Lines Airbus takes off from Los Angeles International Airport. 

A Delta Air Lines Airbus takes off from Los Angeles International Airport. 
(iStock)

He was arrested on suspicion of battery on a police officer and public intoxication and booked into jail.

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The flight departed without any further incidents, Delta said. 

Thursday’s incident came amid a spike in confrontations involving unruly airline passengers. As of Dec. 21, the Federal Aviation Administration said there were 5,779 reports of unruly passengers, most for mask-related incidents.

Just over 1,000 investigations have been initiated, the agency said. 



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Ghislaine Maxwell's conviction could spell trouble for Prince Andrew


Ghislaine Maxwell’s guilty verdict may spell trouble for Prince Andrew, who is fighting a civil suit brought by Virginia Giuffre in the same New York City courthouse where the British socialite was convicted Wednesday.

Giuffre’s suit alleges that she was 17 when Queen Elizabeth II’s middle son sexually assaulted her on three occasions in New York and abroad at the direction of late financier Jeffrey Epstein and Maxwell.

Virginia Giuffre has long alleged she was abused by the Duke of York when she was underage 

Virginia Giuffre has long alleged she was abused by the Duke of York when she was underage 
(Getty Images)

The royal has denied the allegations. After Maxwell was found guilty Wednesday of five of six counts for procuring teen girls to be sexually abused by her and Epstein, the Prince and his lawyers conducted an emergency meeting over the verdict’s potential impact on his case, the Daily Mirror reported.

Giuffre’s allegations were not part of Maxwell’s criminal case, but the conviction of Prince Andrew’s longtime friend could taint the waters, experts told Fox News.

Photo from 2001 that was included in court files shows Prince Andrew with his arm around the waist of 17-year-old Virginia Giuffre who says Jeffrey Epstein paid her to have sex with the prince. Andrew has denied the charges. In the background is Epstein's girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell. (Florida Southern District Court)

Photo from 2001 that was included in court files shows Prince Andrew with his arm around the waist of 17-year-old Virginia Giuffre who says Jeffrey Epstein paid her to have sex with the prince. Andrew has denied the charges. In the background is Epstein’s girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell. (Florida Southern District Court)
(U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals)

“I don’t believe the conviction of Maxwell will have much more than an atmospheric effect,” said former Manhattan federal prosecutor Roland Riopelle, who now works as a defense lawyer.
Surely, the jury pool is going to know about Ms. Maxwell’s conviction and it may influence them even if they swear it won’t.”

GHISLAINE MAXWELL TRIAL: JEFFREY EPSTEIN’S LONGTIME LOVER FOUND GUILTY ON 5 OF 6 COUNTS

Jeffrey Lichtman, a high-profile defense lawyer who recently represented drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, agreed with Riopelle’s assessment.

“You’re not comparing apples to apples and pears to pears,” he said. “The allegations in the civil case are significantly different and involve different accusers. But Maxwell’s conviction might provide slight corroboration to Giuffre’s allegations.”

An element that is not in Prince Andrew’s favor is that the standard of proof in a civil case is by a preponderance of the evidence, while in a criminal case it’s beyond a reasonable doubt. Giuffre has to prove a lot less to win, Lichtman said. 

In a minor victory for the Duke, a federal judge ruled Wednesday that the 2009 secret settlement agreement between Epstein and Giuffre would be made public Jan. 3.

FEDS RELEASE VIDEO OF RAID ON EPSTEIN’S $16 MILLION PALM BEACH MANSION

At a prior hearing, the royal’s Los Angeles-based attorney Andrew Brettler argued that the deal Giuffre signed “releases the Duke and others from any and all potential liability.”

On Tuesday, as jurors entered their fifth day of deliberations in Maxwell’s trial, Brettler filed a motion to try to get the civil case dismissed.

He argued that the Southern District of New York does not have jurisdiction because Giuffre lives in Australia, not Colorado as she stated in her complaint. Giuffre’s attorneys haven’t responded to the latest filing.

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Epstein killed himself in a jail cell in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.



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Kim Potter's juror: She made an honest mistake but is still responsible


A member of the jury that convicted Minnesota police officer Kim Potter of manslaughter in the killing of Daunte Wright says jurors felt she made an honest mistake when she drew her firearm instead of her stun gun, but that she was still responsible for his death. 

The juror spoke with KARE-TV reporter Lou Raguse on the condition of anonymity due to what the station described as the “public animosity” surrounding the case. It published the story Wednesday. 

The juror said no one felt Potter was a racist or meant to kill Wright, but that doesn’t mean she was above the law. 

‘YOUR WORLD’ ON POTTER’S GUILTY VERDICT 

In this screen grab from video, former Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kim Potter stands with defense attorney Earl Gray, as the verdict is read Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn.

In this screen grab from video, former Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kim Potter stands with defense attorney Earl Gray, as the verdict is read Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn.
(Court TV via AP, Pool)

“I don’t want to speak for all the jurors, but I think we believed she was a good person and even believed she was a good cop,” the juror said. “No one felt she was intentional in this. It’s ludicrous that some people are assuming we thought she was a racist. That never came up or anything like that. We felt like she was a good person, we felt she made a mistake, and that a mistake does not absolve you from the fact she did commit a crime. 

“Being a good person doesn’t mean you’re above the law. I don’t think anyone felt she wanted to kill anybody that day. … This was just a tragedy all the way around.” 

Potter shot and killed the 20-year-old Wright in April as he tried to drive away from a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, a Minneapolis suburb. 

Potter, a 26-year veteran on the city’s police department, said she meant to use her stun gun on Wright but didn’t realize she had actually drawn and fired her pistol. Wright was Black and the shooting happened as another White officer, Derek Chauvin, was standing trial in nearby Minneapolis for the killing of George Floyd. It set off waves of angry protests in Brooklyn Center. 

Potter, 49, resigned from the police department two days after the shooting. Prosecutors charged her with first- and second-degree manslaughter. Potter took the stand at her trial, saying she was sorry the incident happened and the traffic stop “just went chaotic.” 

The jury deliberated for 27 hours over four days before convicting her of both counts on Dec. 23. She faces close to seven years in prison under Minnesota’s sentencing guidelines, though prosecutors have said they would seek a longer term. 

The juror told KARE-TV’s Raguse that jurors didn’t feel Potter lied on the stand and instead felt she was fighting for her life. But the jury generally thought that Potter should have known she was holding a pistol and not a stun gun given her years of police experience. The juror said a turning point in deliberations came when jurors handled Potter’s stun gun and pistol and felt the differences. 

“The gun was about twice as heavy, and the two weapons had several differences in how they are un-holstered and fired,” the juror said. “The Taser kind of feels like a mouse click whereas the (pistol’s) trigger has some trigger draw weight.” 

The juror said Potter’s attorneys seemed disorganized. The juror rejected their argument that Wright caused his own death by resisting. 

“We did talk about Daunte’s actions, but we as a jury did a really good job of separating his actions from Kim Potter’s actions,” the juror said. “Daunte’s actions clearly had consequences. So did Kim Potter’s.” 

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Damik Bryant, brother of Daunte Wright, look on after the guilty verdict was delivered Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021 outside the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis.

Damik Bryant, brother of Daunte Wright, look on after the guilty verdict was delivered Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021 outside the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis.
(Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via AP)

The juror said that at times deliberations grew heated and discussions went in circles. Almost every juror cried at some point. 

“Once we came to final verdict . . . we still had to wait an hour and a half until it was read,” the juror said. “So that last hour and a half, I was finally allowing myself to think of the consequences of this tragedy. Obviously we had been thinking about what this meant for Daunte Wright’s family, but now I started to think about what this meant for Kim Potter’s family.” 



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Squirrel put down after attacking more than a dozen people in UK town


A menacing squirrel linked to attacks against more than a dozen people in a Welsh town over the Christmas holiday was put down this week, according to a report.

The animal seemed friendly back in March when Corrine Reynolds, a resident of Buckley, Flintshire, in northeast Wales, began feeding it. But last week the squirrel – who she used to call Little Buddy – bit her and attacked at least 17 others without provocation, BBC News reported. 

She said she renamed the squirrel Stripe, after a character from the 1984 movie “Gremlins,” following the attacks. 

“In the space of 48 hours he attacked 18 people,” Reynolds told The Guardian. “He started attacking people who are just taking their recycling bags to the bin, and they are quite gruesome injuries.”

“He started attacking people who are just taking their recycling bags to the bin, and they are quite gruesome injuries.”

— Corrine Reynolds, former squirrel feeder

WOMAN FINDS SQUIRREL WEDGED INSIDE SQUIRREL-PROOF BIRD FEEDER 

"Stripe," similar to the squirrel pictured here, attacked 18 residents within two days. An animal group said it was forced to euthanize the creature after it was caught in a humane trap. 

“Stripe,” similar to the squirrel pictured here, attacked 18 residents within two days. An animal group said it was forced to euthanize the creature after it was caught in a humane trap. 
(iStock)

Reynolds decided to catch Stripe in a humane trap and he was picked up this week by personnel from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The RSPCA said it was forced to euthanize the animal because of a new law. 

“We were incredibly sad to have to put this squirrel to sleep but were left with no choice due to changes in legislation in 2019 making it illegal to release gray squirrels back into the wild,” the RSPCA said. “We do not agree with this law and opposed it, but legally we have to comply.”

The squirrel attacked residents of a neighborhood in Buckley, Flintshire, in Wales. 

The squirrel attacked residents of a neighborhood in Buckley, Flintshire, in Wales. 
(Google Maps)

The RSPCA urged people not to trap squirrels. Instead, the animals can be deterred by blocking access points and keeping bird feed away from them, according to The Guardian

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“I feel sad the squirrel has lost his life, but there was nothing else I could do,” Reynolds told the BBC. “The damage he caused was unbelievable.”



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Katharine McPhee's bikini photo critics fended off by her stepdaughters Erin and Sara Foster


Katharine McPhee‘s family is coming to her defense.

The 37-year-old “American Idol” alum made headlines earlier this week when her husband, music legend David Foster, shared a photo of her in a bikini on Instagram.

“What baby!” he captioned the pic of the trim star, referencing the birth of their son Rennie 10 months ago.

Some followers were unhappy with the 72-year-old songwriter’s post, calling it “cringe worthy” for encouraging women to “bounce back” to their slim figures after giving birth.

KATHARINE MCPHEE HITS BACK AT ‘OVERLY SENSITIVE SOCIETY’ FOLLOWING CRITICISM OVER BIKINI PHOTO: ‘GET A LIFE’

Katharine McPhee's husband David Foster faced criticism for praising the singer's body 10 months after she gave birth.

Katharine McPhee’s husband David Foster faced criticism for praising the singer’s body 10 months after she gave birth.
(Getty Images)

On Wednesday, McPhee shot back in her own Instagram post, discussing her struggles with her weight for nearly two decades.

“I lost this baby weight without dieting. Zero. Diets are the worst and I’ve had zero pressure from anyone,” she shared. “I’ve let me body do its thing and found a great workout. That’s it. And guess what? I’ll probably gain weight again at some point too. Who cares?”

DAVID FOSTER GUSHES OVER KATHARINE MCPHEE AS SHE POSES IN BIKINI 10 MONTHS AFTER WELCOMING SON: ‘WHAT BABY’

She also suggested that followers “stop being so offended by what people post who have zero impact on your life and move on.”

Foster's daughters Sara and Erin shared their thoughts on the matter on Instagram, praising their stepmother for having pride in her body.

Foster’s daughters Sara and Erin shared their thoughts on the matter on Instagram, praising their stepmother for having pride in her body.
(Getty Images)

Her stepdaughters – reality stars Erin and Sara Foster – then stepped in to echo the singer’s sentiments.

SARA, ERIN FOSTER FELT ‘EMOTIONAL TURMOIL’ WHILE DAD DAVID FOSTER RAISED JENNER BOYS

“If I can accept my step mom looking like this, you certainly should be able to,” Erin, 39, commented. “The photo wasn’t altered or filtered and she’s had no surgery. You can’t shame someone for feeling cute after a baby whether she’s sharing stretch marks or a six pack. Let her live.”

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McPhee hit back at critics in her own Instagram post.

McPhee hit back at critics in her own Instagram post.
(Getty Images)

Added Sara, 40: “If you [would have] had cellulite and stretch marks in the photo and the caption was exactly the same we would all be celebrating his post. But you don’t and that’s not allowed to be celebrated.”

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Furthermore, Sara pointed out that the “Country Comfort” star has been “working your a– off at the gym.”

“Let’s complain about women and husbands who post 3 week postpartum pics with their full body lipo, filters and altering apps that make us all feel like s–t,” she continued. “People are crazy.”



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Massachusetts prosecutors ask for public's help in solving mysterious 2019 murder


Massachusetts investigators are making a renewed plea for the public’s help in hopes of solving a mysterious 2019 murder case in which a 60-year-old man was beaten to death during what prosecutors describe as a “random attack.” 

Paul Wilson was pronounced dead as a result of multiple blunt force injuries to his head following the discovery of his body lying on a paved pathway inside Danehy Park in Cambridge, just outside of Boston, on Jan. 2, 2019, the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office says. His family is now offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those responsible as the three-year anniversary of the killing approaches. 

“He connected with everybody. He did not have an enemy in this world,” his sister, Elizabeth Dobbins, told Boston25 News. “Whoever killed my brother went out that night January 2nd, with bad intentions, somebody was going to get hurt.” 

Paul Wilson was pronounced dead after he was found beaten in a Boston-area park on Jan. 2, 2019. (City of Cambridge)

Paul Wilson was pronounced dead after he was found beaten in a Boston-area park on Jan. 2, 2019. (City of Cambridge)

MINNEAPOLIS TEEN ARRESTED IN DEADLY SHOOTING WITH CITY ON PACE TO SURPASS HOMICIDE RECORD 

The Attorney’s Office says over the last three years, “officials have continued to actively investigate this case, including conducting forensic testing, investigating other similar incidents that have occurred in Cambridge and other communities and following up with individuals who have come forward following the attack. 

“As a result of the investigation and with the help of the public, some progress has been made, but a suspect has not been identified at this time,” it added. “For this reason, today police and prosecutors are again asking anyone with any information related to this incident to contact law enforcement.” 

Wilson was found on a paved pathway inside the park. (Google Maps)

Wilson was found on a paved pathway inside the park. (Google Maps)

Prosecutors say on Jan. 2, 2019, Cambridge Police first responded to Danehy Park “following a report of what appeared to be a body lying on the paved pathway under a lit street lamp. 

“Upon arrival, police located Mr. Wilson suffering from significant head trauma,” the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office said. “He was transported to Beth Israel Hospital, where he was pronounced dead as a result of multiple blunt force injuries to his head.” 

MASSACHUSETTS MAN, 82, ATTACKED IN BOSTON BY DIRT BIKE AND ATV RIDERS, POLICE SAY 

Police reportedly found Wilson – who was wearing shorts, a red winter coat, a winter hat and gloves – in a location near the property’s parking lot. 

“Investigators determined that on the day of the attack, Mr. Wilson took a Blue Bike to and from work at IBM,” the Attorney’s Office said. “He came home from work by arriving at Porter MBTA Station, rode a Blue Bike home and parked it by his house on Sherman Street before walking through Danehy Park.” 

In an interview with Boston25 News, Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan said the park where the 6-foot-6 Wilson was found is typically busy – even during winter. 

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“Not someone who you would think would be vulnerable to this kind of random attack and again in a place where you would have to expect someone would have seen or heard something was happening,” she said. 

“We’re hoping we catch them by putting this information out again,” Ryan added. 



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Omicron looks to bring in new year with highest caseloads recorded yet


The new year is quickly approaching and, with it, a substantial spike in the number of Americans infected by the coronavirus as caseloads nationwide surpass January 2021 levels.

On Jan. 8, 2021, the U.S. saw its greatest number of COVID cases to date with just over 294,000 confirmed cases, a number that held the record until this week.

On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that more than 446,000 cases of the coronavirus were confirmed. 

States like New York have seen record highs with 67,090 cases reported Wednesday by state officials, a whopping 64.5% increase from the day prior.

GIROIR: WE HAVE TO BALANCE INFECTION CONTROL WITH OVERALL PUBLIC HEALTH

A registered nurse holds the hand of a COVID-19 patient in the Medical Intensive care unit (MICU) at St. Luke's Boise Medical Center in Boise, Idaho. 

A registered nurse holds the hand of a COVID-19 patient in the Medical Intensive care unit (MICU) at St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center in Boise, Idaho. 
(AP Photo/Kyle Gree)

New York City, once the epicenter of the coronavirus, has seen cases more than quadruple since the city’s previous high in January 2021. 

On Jan. 4, 2021, the city reported 8,000 new cases. By December, the Big Apple was seeing similar caseloads, and on Monday, city officials confirmed that a staggering 33,900 positive cases had been reported. 

DE BLASIO SAYS HE DOESN’T ‘BELIEVE IN SHUTDOWNS’ DESPITE SHUTTING DOWN NYC FOR SEVERAL MONTHS

States like Ohio, Texas, New Jersey and Florida have seen some of the greatest increases in the number of COVID-positive tests over the last seven days, all of which have reported a 20-24.9% positivity rate.  

Georgia has reported the largest increase in the number of cases with a positivity rate of 25% or more over the last week.

While cases have spiked, deaths from the disease have fallen by more than half. 

Jan. 13, 2021, saw the greatest number of COVID-related deaths since the pandemic began with nearly 4,050 deaths reported that day. The seven-day average hovered around 3,400 deaths per day. 

Long COVID testing lines at Rivergreen Park in Everett, Mass., Dec. 28, 2021. 

Long COVID testing lines at Rivergreen Park in Everett, Mass., Dec. 28, 2021. 
(David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

But as of Tuesday, the last time the CDC updated its trending data, the nationwide average was reported at just under 1,100 deaths per day. 

“The rapid increase in cases we are seeing across the country is in large part a reflection of the exceptionally transmissible omicron variant,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a White House briefing Wednesday. “In a few short weeks, omicron has rapidly increased across the country, and we expect it will continue to circulate in the coming weeks. 

“While our cases have substantially increased from last week, hospitalizations and deaths remain comparatively low,” she added. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to President Biden, said that despite there being a degree of “immune invasion” for even those vaccinated against the virus, boosters are working to lower the threat of infection.

“Bottom line message here is that boosters bring back up that degree of protection to a level that is approximating what it was before,” Fauci said, referring to the vaccines’ original effectiveness against the alpha and delta variants.

A nurse gives a girl a dose of the Pfizer vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Lyman High School in Longwood, Fla. 

A nurse gives a girl a dose of the Pfizer vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Lyman High School in Longwood, Fla. 
(Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

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The top doctor has said it is still safe to gather with a small group of family and friends who are fully vaccinated with the booster and practice “similar proper prevention measures.”

Though he has advised against public events or parties with 30-50 people where it is unclear if everyone is vaccinated. 



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Ghislaine Maxwell verdict: What's next for Jeffrey Epstein's sex trafficking pal?


Ghislaine Maxwell’ was convicted on Wednesday of recruiting and grooming teens to be sexually abused by her and late financier Jeffrey Epstein on charges that could land her in prison for up to 65 years — but experts told Fox News she will likely spend far less time behind bars.

“I expect her to receive a significant sentence, but it will not be approaching anything close to 65 years,” said high-profile attorney Jeffrey Lichtman, who represented drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

GHISLAINE MAXWELL TRIAL: JEFFREY EPSTEIN’S LONGTIME LOVER FOUND GUILTY ON 5 OF 6 COUNTS

Former Manhattan federal prosecutor turned criminal defense lawyer Roland Riopelle said he expects a sentence closer to two decades. “I would be very surprised if the guidelines were less than 10 to 15 years but certainly could be closer to 20,” he said.

It’s possible that Maxwell, who turned 60 on Christmas Day, could spend the rest of her life in prison depending on the sentence that U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan hands her.

“Judge Nathan is very smart, thoughtful and evenhanded, but I just don’t see her having a lot of sympathy for Ghislaine Maxwell who hung around with Jeffrey Epstein for years and years,” said Riopelle, who represented Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff’s former secretary.

FEDS RELEASE VIDEO OF RAID ON EPSTEIN’S $16 MILLION PALM BEACH MANSION

Epstein, a convicted pedophile, killed himself in his Manhattan jail cell at the age of 66 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. Maxwell’s lawyers have argued that after his death she became a scapegoat for his crimes. She maintains her innocence.

Maxwell faces a second trial in Manhattan federal court on two counts of perjury, after her lawyers asked that she be tried separately on those charges. Prosecutors say she lied under oath during a 2016 deposition about Epstein’s abuse of young girls.

Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell in exhibit photos.

Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell in exhibit photos.
(Exhibit photos)

But first the judge is expected to set a sentencing schedule after the jury found her guilty of five of six sex crimes counts, capping off a month-long trial. Her actual sentencing date could be as far out as 120 days, Riopelle said.

One of Maxwell’s attorneys, Bobbie Sterheim, said her client would appeal. In the coming days, her legal team will likely ask the judge to throw out the verdict.

GHISLAINE MAXWELL’S CONVICTION COULD SPELL TROUBLE FOR PRINCE ANDREW

“Most of those motions are denied unless there is some legal technicality violated, but it is the first step in the lengthy appeals process,” Riopelle said.

Before sentencing, the former jet-setting British socialite, who once counted royalty and billionaires as close friends, will be interviewed by probation about her personal history and finances for a report.

The defense will file motions arguing for leniency while the prosecution will likely push for a harsh penalty.

After the sentencing, the defense has 10 days to file a notice of appeal. Then the real work begins. Maxwell’s legal team will file a petition with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the verdict and demand a new trial. The appeals court usually rules in about a year.

“It’s a long shot,” said Lichtman. “The 2nd Circuit is not known for upsetting the verdicts of very high profile, vilified defendants especially in cases that are not white collar.”

If the 2nd Circuit rejects Maxwell’s bid for a new trial, her attorneys can ask the U.S. Supreme Court to take up her case “but the chances they will are very small,” he said.

WRONGFULLY CONVICTED AMANDA KNOX SAYS GHISLAINE MAXWELL TRIAL GIVES ‘FLASHBACKS’ TO HER OWN 

The whole appeals process can take close to 2 1/2 years to exhaust, according to Lichtman.

The favorite daughter of late press baron Robert Maxwell has been locked up since her July 2019 arrest at the dreaded Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.

Maxwell’s lawyers filed motion after motion blasting what was described as inhumane conditions at the facility and pushing for her release on bail.  But the judge rejected a $28.5 million bail package, ruling that Maxwell was a flight risk.

But the Oxford University graduate won’t remain much longer at the notorious federal lock up.

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“She may end up in a very serious prison,” Lichtman said. “But I can tell you this, where she’s going is better than where she’s been.”
 



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