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GOP forces censure vote on Waters’ call for protestors to ‘get confrontational’

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House Republicans on Tuesday forced a vote to censure Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) for calling on protesters to “get more confrontational” if former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin were to be acquitted of murder charges in the killing of George Floyd.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) introduced the privileged censure resolution, forcing the vote on the floor.

The motion to censure was ultimately defeated in a party line vote 216-210, with Democrats defending Waters’ inflammatory comments.

“This weekend in Minnesota, Maxine Waters broke the law by violating curfew and then incited violence. Speaker Pelosi is ignoring Waters’ behavior—that’s why I am introducing a resolution to censure Rep. Waters for these dangerous comments,” McCarthy tweeted on Monday.

Waters called for protesters to “get more active” in Brooklyn Center, Minn., for a protest against police brutality on Saturday evening.

“We’re looking for a guilty verdict and we’re looking to see if all of the talk that took place and has been taking place after they saw what happened to George Floyd. If nothing does not happen, then we know that we got to not only stay in the street, but we have got to fight for justice,” she said, according to videos posted to social media.

 Maxine Waters( speaks to the media during a protest at the Brooklyn Center Police Department in Brooklyn Centre on April 17, 2021.
Maxine Waters( speaks to the media during a protest at the Brooklyn Center Police Department in Brooklyn Centre on April 17, 2021.
Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

“We got to stay on the street. And we’ve got to get more active, we’ve got to get more confrontational. We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business.”

Her comments sparked sharp pushback from Republicans, who accused Waters —  the chair of the powerful House Financial Services Committee —  of attempting to incite violence during a time of unrest amid the trial.

McCarthy told Fox News her comments warranted censure “because Maxine Waters believes there is value in violence.”

“And now what she has said has even put doubt into a jury. You had a judge announce that it was wrong. I think this takes action especially when she has a pattern of this behavior​,” he continued.

Top Democrats, however, largely came to Waters’ defense, with House Democratic Conference Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) blasting McCarthy for targeting the California Democrat, noting similar rhetoric made by former President Trump sparked a deadly insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

“Kevin McCarthy should focus on his own conference, because the Republicans in the House are a mess right now,” he told reporters of the resolution during a press conference on Tuesday. “Perhaps he should sit this one out.

“When you’ve got a situation where (Colorado Rep.) Lauren Boebert is a mess, (Florida Rep.) Matt Gaetz is a mess, (Georgia Rep.) Marjorie Taylor Greene is a mess, clean up your mess, Kevin,” Jeffries continued. “Sit this one out. You’ve got no credibility. Here, we support peaceful protests.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) defended Waters and accused Republicans of taking her remarks out of context, telling reporters on Monday: “No [she shouldn’t apologize], Maxine talked about confrontation in the manner of the Civil Rights movement.”

Waters has stood by her remarks, telling The Grio: “I am nonviolent,” during an interview on Monday.

”Republicans will jump on any word, any line and try to make it fit their message and their cause for denouncing us and denying us, basically calling us violent — any time they see an opportunity to seize on a word, so they do it and they send a message to all of the white supremacists, the KKK, the Oath Keepers, the [Proud] Boys and all of that, how this is a time for [Republicans] to raise money on [Democrats’] backs,” she told the publication.

The resolution took issue with Waters’ rhetoric and noted that the judge in the Derek Chauvin trial said that her comments could lead to the trial verdict being overturned on appeal.

Maxine Waters said protestors in Minnesota should "get more active."
Maxine Waters said protestors in Minnesota should “get more active.”
Alex Brandon/AP

Judge Peter Cahill denied a motion for mistrial but told Chauvin’s defense lawyer, “I’ll give you that Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned.

“This goes back to what I’ve been saying from the beginning,” the judge fumed. “I wish elected officials would stop talking about this case, especially in a manner that is disrespectful to the rule of law and to the judicial branch and our function.”

Censure resolutions are historically rare, with just 23 lawmakers having been censured in the history of the House of Representatives.

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NYPD releases video of gunman firing into group in the Bronx

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New video tweeted by the NYPD Sunday shows a gunman wildly firing down a Bronx street into a group of people in Fordham Manor, leaving two men wounded, cops said.

“WANTED for ASSAULT: Do you know this guy?” the NYPD wrote on Twitter.

“On 6/25/21 at approx 11:10 PM, in front of 2710 Morris Ave in the Bronx, the suspect fired several rounds towards a group, striking a 26-year-old male and a 20-year-old. Any info? DM @NYPDTips, or anonymously call them at 800-577-TIPS.”

The suspect who shot at a group of people in the Bronx on June 25, 2021.
The suspect who shot at a group of people in the Bronx on June 25, 2021.
NYPD
The suspect firing the gun in the Bronx.
The suspect firing the gun in the Bronx.
NYPD
The shooting left two people injured, according to the NYPD.
The shooting left two people injured, according to the NYPD.
NYPD

The 26-year-old was shot in the buttocks and the 20-year-old was shot in the leg, police said. Both were expected to survive.

The victims said they were standing with a group of friends when the “guy just came up and started shooting,” a police spokesman said.

No words were exchanged, video shows. 

There were no immediate arrests.

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FDA finds peeling paint, debris at US plant making J&J’s COVID vaccine

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A US plant that was making Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine must fix a long list of problems including peeling paint and unsanitary conditions and practices to resume operation, according to a highly critical report by the Food and Drug Administration.

Experts said addressing the issues raised in the scathing FDA inspection report could take months.

Neither J&J nor the FDA has said when they expect vaccine production to restart at the Baltimore plant owned by Emergent Biosolutions. Only two other plants are currently equipped to supply the world with the key drug substance for J&J’s vaccine.

“It may take many months to make these changes,” said Prashant Yadav, a global health care supply chain expert at the Center for Global Development. He described some of the issues raised by the FDA as “quite significant.”

No vaccine manufactured at the Emergent plant has been distributed for use in the United States. However, J&J said it will exercise its oversight authority to ensure that all of the FDA observations are addressed promptly and comprehensively.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was put on a pause in the US over a potential link to a blood clotting condition.
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The health care conglomerate has drawn scrutiny for months over its halting process to scale up production of a vaccine that is easier to handle and, by virtue of being a single shot, easier to use than other authorized vaccines.

Its use in the United States has been paused since last week as health officials study a possible link to a very rare but serious blood clot condition.

Emergent has been seeking regulatory authorization to make the J&J vaccine in the United States. It stopped production at the plant recently, saying the FDA had asked it to do so after an inspection.

J&J’s plant in Leiden, the Netherlands, is still producing doses for the world. It has another facility in India, which is currently curtailing exports of the shot as it struggles to vaccinate its own population.

Johnson & Johnson reiterated on Wednesday that it was working to establish a global supply chain in which 10 manufacturing sites would be involved in the production of its COVID-19 vaccine, in addition to the Leiden plant.

The company has a US government-brokered agreement with rival drugmaker Merck, which is preparing to make doses of J&J’s vaccine.

Failure to train personnel

The FDA in its final 12-page inspection report said it had reviewed security camera footage in addition to an in-person site visit to the Emergent plant.

It found a failure to train personnel to avoid cross-contamination of COVID-19 vaccines from Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, which had also been produced at the site. The agency also cited staff carrying unsealed bags of medical waste in the facility, bringing it in contact with containers of material used in manufacturing.

The FDA reviewed security camera footage and visited the Emergent BioSolutions plant in Baltimore.
Getty Images

Earlier this week, the House launched an investigation into whether Emergent used its relationship with a Trump administration official to get a vaccine manufacturing contract despite a record of not delivering on contracts.

Emergent said in a statement that it is working with the FDA and J&J to quickly resolve the issues outlined in the report.

Production of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is not yet authorized for use in the United States, was previously stopped at the Emergent plant after ingredients from that shot contaminated a batch of J&J vaccine, ruining millions of doses.

The FDA also noted that Emergent did not produce adequate reports showing that the vaccines it was producing met quality standards.

The inspection, carried out between April 12 and April 20, also found the building not of suitable size or design to facilitate cleaning, maintenance or proper operations.

J&J said it was redoubling its efforts to get authorization for the facility as quickly as possible.

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One dead after pair of fires breaks out in Manhattan

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One person was killed and several others were injured in a pair of Manhattan fires Wednesday morning, officials said.

The first blaze erupted in Midtown around 8:15 a.m. inside a DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse at 213 W. 34th St., where an escalator became fully engulfed in flames — sending smoke billowing into the first and second floor and the interconnected 40-story hotel building, fire officials said.

It was not immediately clear which hotel it was.

Five firefighters suffered minor injuries putting out the blaze.

“The fire went out, but we have a smoke condition that we’re trying to alleviate,” FDNY Battalion Chief John Porretto said at the scene. “Units are going to remain on scene until all the smoke alleviates.”

The fire marshal will determine the causes of the fire.

A second blaze broke out 15 minutes later on the Upper East Side at 1576 2nd Ave., officials said.

A three-alarm fire at 213 W. 34th Street in Manhattan that left one dead
A three-alarm fire at 213 W. 34th St. in Manhattan left one dead.
NYFD

One man died in the fire and a second man was in serious condition at Lenox Hill Hospital, police said.

A firefighter suffered minor injuries battling the blaze and was taken to Cornell Hospital, fire officials said.

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