News Headlines - 14 February 2021

Magnitude 7.3 earthquake strikes near site of Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan

A magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck Saturday off the coast of Japan's Fukushima prefecture, which was home to one of the world's worst nuclear disasters almost a decade ago.
The Japan Meteorological Agency said the quake - which it initially said had a magnitude of 7.1 - struck at 11:08 p.m. local time (9:08 a.m. ET) at a depth of 34 miles. Fourteen aftershocks were recorded, it said, adding that a tsunami warning had not been issued.

Japan approves Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, 1st for domestic use

Japan formally approved Pfizer Inc.'s coronavirus vaccine on Sunday, the first greenlit for domestic use, clearing the way for the nation to start inoculating health workers in a matter of days.
The fast-track approval by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare was a major step forward in the country's efforts to bring the pandemic under control.

Nursing home disclosures taint Cuomo's pandemic performance

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wrote a book on managing the COVID-19 crisis. Now he faces intensifying accusations that he covered up the true death toll of the pandemic on nursing home residents, attacks that challenge his reputation for straight-shooting competency and could cloud his political future.
State lawmakers called for investigations, stripping Cuomo of his emergency powers and even his resignation after new details emerged this week about why certain nursing home data was kept under wraps for months, despite requests from lawmakers and others.

Klete Keller, Olympic swimmer, charged in connection with Capitol riot

Former U.S. swimmer and Olympic gold medalist Klete Keller is facing criminal charges after law enforcement officers identified him as one of the people who illegally entered the U.S. Capitol during a riot last week.
According to court documents filed in U.S. District Court on Wednesday, the 38-year-old Keller has been charged with obstructing law enforcement, knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

Saudi Woman Activist Loujain al-Hathloul Freed After Nearly 3 Years In Jail

Saudi authorities on Wednesday released prominent women's rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul after nearly three years in detention, her family said, as the kingdom comes under renewed US pressure over its human rights record.
Hathloul, 31, was arrested in May 2018 with about a dozen other women activists just weeks before the historic lifting of a decades-long ban on female drivers, a reform they had long campaigned for, triggering a torrent of international criticism.
The release of the activist, who is still under probation and is barred from leaving Saudi Arabia, sparked euphoria among her siblings who had launched a vigorous campaign overseas for her freedom in a major embarrassment for the kingdom's rulers.