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Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Time ‘Person of the Year’

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New York: US President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris were named Time magazine’s 2020 “Person of the Year” on Thursday for their election victory over Donald Trump.
“For changing the American story, for showing that the forces of empathy are greater than the furies of division, for sharing a vision of healing in a grieving world,” Time said, explaining its choice.

The Democratic pair were chosen ahead of three other finalists: frontline health care workers and Anthony Fauci, the racial justice movement and President Trump.

Time’s magazine cover boasts portraits of Biden, 78, and Harris, 56, with the subtitle “Changing America’s story.”

“Together, they offered restoration and renewal in a single ticket. And America bought what they were selling,” the publication said.

Biden beat Trump by 306 electoral college votes to Trump’s 232 to end the real estate tycoon-turned-politician’s presidency after one term.

Biden received roughly seven million more votes than his Republican adversary, who is yet to concede, claiming widespread fraud of which there is no evidence.

Time praised the Democratic ticket for ousting an incumbent president for the just the 10th time in US history.

“Biden and Harris had to revive the party’s fading strength with white voters without college degrees; energize its emerging base of diverse, urban young voters; and motivate the hordes of angry suburbanites, particularly college graduates and women, who had fled the Trump-era GOP,” it wrote.

Time magazine’s award — handed out annually since 1927 — honors the person or people who most impacted the news, for better or worse, during the calendar year.

When asked by Time what he would like people to say about him after four years in the White House, Biden replied: “That America was better off and average Americans are better off the day we left than the day we arrived. That’s my objective.”

Harris is the first Vice President-elect to be named Person of the Year.

She said in an interview with Time that Biden’s administration would have to tackle a host of issues from the White House, including the pandemic, an “economic crisis” and a “long overdue reckoning on racial justice.”

“We have to be able to multitask, just like any parent or any human being does,” Harris said.

Essential workers on the frontline against the coronavirus pandemic, including doctors, nurses and grocery store employees, had topped a readers’ poll of who should be named Person of the Year.

Earlier Thursday, Time named basketball superstar LeBron James Athlete of the Year for his achievements on and off the court.

The 35-year-old Los Angeles Lakers player was honored for battling voter suppression among Black citizens in a year when he won his fourth NBA title.

K-Pop sensation BTS was named Entertainer of the Year.

Teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg was Time’s Person of the Year last year, while Trump won in 2016.

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Priests and monks abducted in Haiti have been released

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HAITI – The remaining Catholic clergy who were kidnapped in Haiti earlier in April have been released, a missionary group said Friday.

The Society of Priests of Saint Jacques said the clergy were freed but did not say if a ransom had been paid.

A total of 10 people were abducted in Croix-des-Bouquets, a town northeast of the capital Port-au-Prince, on April 11, including the seven clergy — three of whom have already been released.

The clergy members were a group of four priests and a nun from Haiti, as well as one priest and one nun from France. The three non-clergy were members of the family of a Haitian priest, who was not among those kidnapped.

“Our hearts are filled with joy because we have found our colleagues, the sisters and the family members of Father Jean Anel Joseph in good health,” the missionary society said in a statement, without specifying whether a ransom has been paid.

Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, is plagued by insecurity and natural disasters.

Kidnappings for ransom have surged in recent months in Port-au-Prince and other provinces, reflecting the growing influence of armed gangs in the Caribbean nation.

Haiti’s government resigned and a new prime minister was appointed in the wake of the kidnappings, a move President Jovenel Moise said “will make it possible to address the glaring problem of insecurity and continue discussions with a view to reaching the consensus necessary for the political and institutional stability of our country.”

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New Jersey Government with the announced  give free beer to Covid vaccine recipients

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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday announced a new bid to boost coronavirus vaccinations: Receive your first dose in May and get a free beer.

“We’re not going to be afraid to try new things,” Murphy said as he unveiled the new program, dubbed “Shot and a Beer,” at a press briefing.

Thirteen New Jersey-based breweries are participating in the program — which is only available to state residents ages 21 years and older, Murphy specified.

Those New Jerseyans will have to show their vaccine cards as proof before receiving their reward, the Democratic governor said.

The breweries themselves are footing the bill for the free drinks, said Murphy, who suggested more beer-makers could soon be added to the list.

The breweries currently participating are: Battle River Brewing, Bradley Beer Project, Bolero Snort Brewing Company, Brix City Brewing Company, Carton Brewing Company, Flounder Brewing Company, Flying Fish Brewing Company, Gaslight Brewery and Restaurant, Hackensack Brewing Company, Kane Brewing Company, Little Dog Brewing Company, Magnify Brewing Company and River Horse Brewing Company.

The program came from the New Jersey Department of Health in partnership with the Brewer’s Guild of New Jersey.

The Garden State is hardly the first to propose an outside-the-box incentive for people to get vaccinated.

West Virginia’s Republican Gov. Jim Justice last week announced an initiative to give $100 savings bonds to younger state residents who get vaccinated.

Connecticut is offering its own alcoholic incentive with its “Drinks On Us” campaign: Residents who get fully vaccinated and show their vaccine cards at certain restaurants will score a free drink between May 19 and May 31.

Incentive or no, vaccine rates are rising. More than 29% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, according to Johns Hopkins University, and cases and deaths from Covid are on the decline.

But a significant number of Americans say they are not willing to get vaccinated. A Monmouth University poll published in mid-April found that about 1-in-5 Americans say they won’t get the shot.

That’s prompting health officials and leaders at every level of government to urge more people to seek out and receive their vaccinations.

The “Shot and a Beer” campaign is just one piece of New Jersey’s broader slate of programs aimed at returning the state to a more normal summer as the fight against the pandemic continues.

Murphy announced the free-beer plan after detailing the “Grateful for the Shot” initiative, which makes it possible for congregants to go from religious services directly to vaccination sites.

It’s “perhaps at the other end of the spectrum” of incentives, Murphy said.

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