WHO report on COVID-19 outlines likely virus origins
A report from the World Health Organization — that is expected to be made public Tuesday — says that transmission of COVID-19 from bats to humans through another animal is the most likely scenario and that a lab leak is “extremely unlikely,” according to a draft copy obtained by the Associated Press. However, pinpointing the exact natural source of viruses is an endeavor that normally takes years, and a task the WHO team of experts never meant to do. As the pursuit of the virus’ origins continues, President Joe Biden has touted the progress around the vaccines available to combat COVID-19. On Monday, Biden said that 90% of American adults will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccines by April 19, beating his previous goal of nationwide eligibility by nearly two weeks. The U.S continues to lead the world in coronavirus cases, with more than 30 million.
Memorial service to be held for officer killed in Boulder shooting
First responders and supporters lined overpasses for miles along the I-25 interstate as the Colorado State Highway Patrol escorted Officer Eric Talley’s mother from New Mexico to Boulder for her son’s funeral. Talley was the first police officer to respond to frantic 911 calls during a deadly shooting at a King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, where he was one of 10 killed in the attack. A funeral mass for Talley was held Monday in Denver for close friends, family and fellow officers, and a public memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday. It will be live-streamed at bouldercolorado.gov. Talley, 51, had seven children and had been with the Boulder police since 2010.
More rain, possible floods in the forecast for swamped South
After a deadly and devastating weekend of flooding in portions of the South, another round of rain is forecast for the region Tuesday and Wednesday. Over the weekend, surging water battered the Nashville area, killing at least five people and forcing scores to flee their homes. Showers and thunderstorms are forecast along the Gulf Coast and are expected to expand north into Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky Tuesday night, AccuWeather said. Unlike weather systems in recent weeks which spawned dozens of tornadoes and wide swaths of wind damage across the South, a large-scale outbreak of severe weather is not anticipated, according to AccuWeather.
New York legislators could vote to legalize recreational marijuana
New York lawmakers could vote to legalize recreational marijuana Tuesday — which would make it the 15th state to permit the drug for recreational use. The vote comes after Senate and Assembly leaders announced on Saturday an agreement with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office on a plan to legalize and regulate cannabis products for adult use in the state. If the legislation is approved, retail marijuana sales would be taxed at 13%, with 9% going to the state and 4% going to local and county governments. Criminal penalties for possession of less than three ounces would be removed, and those with prior convictions would see their records automatically expunged. The legislation is expected to pass the Democrat-controlled Legislature, and Cuomo has pledged support as well.
Last tickets punched: Down to the Final Four in men’s, women’s tournaments
The NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments will see the last spots in the Final Four filled with championship matchups Tuesday night. On the men’s side in Indianapolis, two top seeds will take on two teams from the Pac-12 that no one expected to get this far. In the early game, which is the West Region final, sixth-seeded USC will take on the unbeaten No. 1 overall seed Gonzaga (TBS, 4:15 p.m. ET). Later, No. 11 UCLA, which played in the First Four games, will face top seed Michigan in East Region final. The winners will join Monday’s victorious teams Houston and Baylor in the Final Four. On the women’s side in San Antonio, Hemisfair Region top seed South Carolina will take on No. 6 Texas in the early game (ESPN, 4 p.m. ET) and the later game will feature the top two seeds in the Alamo region, No. 1 Stanford and No. 2 Louisville, facing off. The victors will join UConn and first-time Final Four participant Arizona as region winners.
Contributing: The Associated Press