5 things to know for March 16: Covid, immigration, North Korea, Capitol riot, Vatican

A multi-day severe storm threat is taking shape with a considerable threat for strong tornadoes tomorrow across the South. CNN meteorologist Tyler Mauldin has the forecast.

Posted: Mar 16, 2021 9:00 AM
Updated: Mar 16, 2021 9:00 AM

A neat phenomenon came out of the snowstorm blanketing parts of the Rockies: Dust found in Colorado had traveled all the way from Mexico.

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1. Coronavirus

A growing number of European countries are temporarily halting the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine after reports of a handful of cases of blood clots in people who have received the shot. The suspensions go against the advice of international medical agencies, which say there's no evidence the vaccine is linked to clotting and that rollouts should continue while the reports are investigated. These concerns come at a pretty bad time for Europe, as a third wave of infections threatens to grip the continent. Meanwhile, in the US, experts say a concerning variant is about to become dominant. And the American Red Cross reports about 1 in 5 blood donations from unvaccinated people have Covid-19 antibodies, meaning those donors had likely been infected with the coronavirus at some point.

2. Immigration

President Biden is facing growing political tension over his administration's strategy on the US-Mexico border. Republicans are calling the situation a failure of Biden's leadership, while some Democrats are suggesting that detaining families and children in temporary facilities is no better than how Trump handled migrant children while in office. More than 4,000 children have been stuck in Border Patrol-run facilities, which are akin to jail-like conditions, for extended periods because there is not enough shelter space to adequately care for them. There are a few factors behind the spike: devastation from two hurricanes last year, the toll of the pandemic and the perception that enforcement is now more relaxed. Still, CNN's Stephen Collinson writes, the issue is fast becoming a political emergency for the new President.

3. North Korea

The Biden administration recently said it had started reaching out to North Korea, but Pyongyang was unresponsive. Now, the sister of North Korea's leader is warning the US against "causing a stink at its first step." That warning comes as the US and South Korea conduct scaled-down, simulated military exercises. But even before that message, experts had said North Korea was likely to reject diplomatic efforts for the time-being for a number of reasons, including the coronavirus pandemic, the Biden team's ongoing North Korea policy review, meetings in the region and the administration's rhetoric.

4. Capitol riot

Two men have been arrested and charged with assaulting US Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died after responding to hundreds of rioters who stormed the Capitol on January 6. Federal authorities said they were pursuing a murder investigation in the weeks after Sicknick's death. But they struggled to build a federal murder case as they pored over videos and images trying to determine the moment in which he suffered his fatal injuries. Neither of the alleged rioters ended up being charged with murder. In a separate case, a 16-year-old testified against her father in court about his resolve to take part in the Capitol insurrection. It's one of the most searing examples of how close family and friends have aided authorities in investigating the riot.

5. Vatican

The Vatican says it will not bless same-sex unions, writing in a statement approved by Pope Francis that God "does not and cannot bless sin." The decision is a major disappointment for LGBTQ Catholics, one that threatens to widen the rift between LGBTQ people and the church. It's also likely to alarm Catholics who had hoped to see a more open and progressive Catholic leadership under Pope Francis. The Pope last year in an interview seemed to advocate for civil union laws for same-sex couples. But the Vatican quickly tried to clarify the remarks, saying they had been taken out of context and did not indicate a change in doctrine.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

And the Academy Award nominations go to ... 

A record number of women.

A substitute teacher living in his car got a birthday surprise of $27,000 from a former student

Who's cutting onions in here?

Research suggests we don't need to get a full 10,000 steps a day to reap the health benefits

That's a relief, because we haven't been getting anywhere close to that lately.

The world's first 'polar bear hotel' is open for business

And it's attracting both guests and criticism.

A mom and daughter are accused of rigging a high school homecoming court election

This is the kind of voter fraud we need to be worried about.

TODAY'S NUMBER

84

The percentage of countries that saw improvements in air quality because of coronavirus lockdowns, according to a new report.

TODAY'S QUOTE

"It's difficult to not feel obligated to protect this land, and I feel that every Indigenous person in this country understands that."

Deb Haaland, who was confirmed as President Biden's Interior secretary. She makes history as the first Native American Cabinet secretary.

TODAY'S WEATHER

Check your local forecast here>>>

AND FINALLY

A moment of serenity

Enjoy a kalimba cover of a Beatles classic, along with a cheerful pup named Maple. Instant stress relief. (Click here to view.)

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 750432

Reported Deaths: 13764
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1031991782
Lake556411007
Allen41662691
St. Joseph36974564
Hamilton36561417
Elkhart29390459
Tippecanoe22886225
Vanderburgh22549400
Porter19348325
Johnson18432388
Hendricks17608317
Clark13206193
Madison13139344
Vigo12608253
LaPorte12415221
Monroe12188175
Delaware10954198
Howard10285225
Kosciusko9619119
Hancock8562145
Bartholomew8164157
Warrick7856156
Floyd7781180
Grant7232179
Wayne7160201
Boone6939103
Morgan6746141
Dubois6214118
Marshall6208116
Cass6000109
Dearborn589578
Henry5895109
Noble580787
Jackson508975
Shelby500896
Lawrence4738122
Gibson444593
Clinton441455
Harrison441073
DeKalb439485
Montgomery436390
Whitley406343
Huntington402481
Steuben399759
Miami393169
Jasper387454
Knox375890
Putnam372160
Wabash360683
Ripley346970
Adams345355
Jefferson335785
White331553
Daviess3033100
Wells295181
Decatur289992
Greene286885
Fayette284864
Posey273835
LaGrange273072
Scott270156
Clay266448
Washington245234
Randolph244783
Jennings235349
Spencer234431
Starke227958
Fountain220348
Sullivan214343
Owen211658
Fulton202142
Jay200932
Carroll193420
Orange188155
Perry187137
Rush175826
Vermillion174644
Franklin170335
Tipton166146
Parke149316
Pike138234
Blackford136232
Pulaski120547
Newton113736
Brown104043
Crawford102316
Benton101414
Martin91615
Warren83815
Switzerland8118
Union72810
Ohio57811
Unassigned0420

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1108146

Reported Deaths: 20122
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1286421460
Cuyahoga1157382208
Hamilton813551248
Montgomery525311041
Summit48395999
Lucas43343818
Butler38951604
Stark33318929
Lorain25658504
Warren24580303
Mahoning22355603
Lake21166387
Clermont20111253
Delaware18841135
Licking16660222
Fairfield16570204
Trumbull16537482
Medina15603271
Greene15272247
Clark14233306
Wood13287198
Portage13242214
Allen11910239
Richland11601211
Miami10843224
Wayne9130222
Columbiana9029230
Muskingum8906135
Pickaway8658122
Tuscarawas8643248
Marion8641138
Erie8056164
Ashtabula7147179
Hancock6996132
Ross6943161
Geauga6834150
Scioto6534105
Belmont6155174
Union584549
Lawrence5726102
Jefferson5675158
Huron5544122
Sandusky5439125
Darke5415129
Seneca5347126
Washington5318109
Athens523660
Auglaize501887
Mercer487385
Shelby476595
Knox4570112
Madison444065
Ashland435597
Putnam4336103
Defiance432298
Fulton432072
Crawford4036110
Brown402461
Logan387577
Preble3848104
Clinton379166
Ottawa373581
Highland359665
Williams348078
Champaign344258
Guernsey324853
Jackson318154
Perry297350
Morrow291840
Fayette285450
Hardin274965
Henry273367
Holmes2699101
Coshocton268960
Van Wert247264
Adams243156
Pike242835
Gallia240750
Wyandot234556
Hocking220162
Carroll197148
Paulding176542
Meigs148240
Monroe136344
Noble136039
Harrison114138
Morgan109624
Vinton85517
Unassigned03
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
74° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 74°
Angola
Clear
° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: °
Huntington
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 73°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
74° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 74°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
75° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 75°
Showers and storms are possible Saturday morning, but the chance of rain will stick around all day long.
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