More than 4M Texans went to bed without heat on Monday night as record low temperatures brought a demand for power that the state's electric grid couldn't keep up with. https://t.co/aWWxgxa2AN— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 16, 2021
➤DRUGMAKER CONSIDERING CORONAVIRUS VACCINE TWEAKS FOR MUTATIONS: Drugmakers are figuring out how they might have to tweak their coronavirus vaccines in order to deal with mutations that have emerged, which may be able to evade some of the vaccine's protections. There is particular concern that vaccines don't work as well against a variant first seen in South Africa. The technology behind the new vaccines makes them easy to adjust, but AP notes the bigger question is deciding when there's been enough mutations that are prevalent to go forward with modifications. Vaccine expert Dr. Paul Offit, who advises the Food and Drug Administration, told AP what one guideline would likely be for making the switch, saying that if fully immunized people start being hospitalized with mutated versions, quote, "that’s when the line gets crossed."
➤NIGERIAN ECONOMIST OKONJO-IWEALA APPOINTED WTO HEAD, FIRST WOMAN AND FIRST AFRICAN: Nigerian economist Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was appointed as head of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Monday, becoming both the first woman and the first African to hold the position. The 66-year-old was named by representatives of the 164 countries that make up the WTO, which deals with the rules of trade between nations. Okonjo-Iweala's appointment comes after President Biden endorsed her candidacy, which had been blocked by former President Donald Trump.
➤OUTDOOR WEDDINGS RISE IN POPULARITY: Tented weddings are having a moment. Claire Bean owns a boutique event planning and design firm in the Hamptons, New York, and says that having a tented wedding “allows people to create something really personal at any price point.” A tented affair is usually intended for 100 to 150 guests, and costs $8,500 to $16,000, with tents ranging from 24 to 66 feet in width and being up to 146 feet long. The tent designs can vary as well, from simple to quite luxurious, including features like flooring and lighting. Tech companies can supply electricity and heat, but you should expect to pay up for air conditioning. While tented weddings can get expensive, they might be a good option in 2021 due to the on-going pandemic.
🏒STARS-PREDATORS GAME POSTPONED DUE TO EXTREME WEATHER IN TEXAS: The scheduled NHL game between the Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators last night in Dallas was postponed because of request from city officials due to the extreme weather in Texas. A winter storm has brought rare frigid temperatures and snow to Texas, leaving millions without power because of the overwhelmed electric grid and making it very difficult to travel around in the state, which isn't equipped to deal with that kind of weather.
🏀STRICT COVID PROTOCOLS FOR NBA ALL-STAR WEEKEND: There will be strict Covid protocols in place for the NBA's All-Star weekend next month, the league told teams yesterday, according to rules agreed to by the NBA and the players union. Among them, players taking part in All-Star weekend in Atlanta will mostly have to remain in their hotels when they aren't at the arena, and there will continue to be daily Covid testing. The All-Star game and skills contests will be held on March 7th. Starters will be announced on Thursday and reserves on February 23rd.
🏀MRI SHOWS LAKERS' DAVIS DOESN'T HAVE RUPTURED ACHILLES: The L.A. Lakers' Anthony Davis underwent an MRI Monday that showed his injured Achilles tendon isn't ruptured, the team announced after the exam. Davis, who is out indefinitely, will rest the injury. He left the Lakers' game against the Denver Nuggets in the second-quarter on Sunday night with an apparent aggravation of tendonosis.
3x Pro Bowler Vincent Jackson was found dead in Tampa on Monday at age 38 🙏— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 15, 2021
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has launched an investigation pic.twitter.com/VjmD35y1Bz
🏈EX-NFL WIDE RECEIVER VINCENT JACKSON DEAD AT 38, FOUND IN HOTEL ROOM: Former NFL wide receiver Vincent Jackson, who last played in the league in 2016, was found dead in a hotel room in Brandon, Florida, on Monday. He was 38. There were no signs of trauma and the medical examiner is investigating the cause of death. The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said they'd done a wellness check on Jackson at the hotel on Friday, tracking him down there after his family reported him missing two days earlier. Jackson played for the San Diego Chargers for seven seasons and then for five seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
🏀MICHAEL JORDAN GIVING $10 MILLION TO OPEN NORTH CAROLINA MEDICAL CLINICS: Basketball great Michael Jordan is donating $10 million to open two medical clinics in underserved communities near his North Carolina hometown of Wilmington. The Novant Health regional health care system announced the news yesterday, saying the clinics are set to open early next year. The basketball Hall of Famer previously gave $7 million to open Michael Jordan Family Clinics in Charlotte in 2019 and 2020.