The Hill's 12:30 Report - World celebrates freed Suez Canal ship



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--> A midday take on what's happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha--breaks down crying hysterically. 


The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Container ship freed in Suez Canal | World cheers | Trump crashes Mar-a-Lago wedding | Gives campaign rally-style toast | Derek Chauvin trial begins | Birx tells all of COVID and the Trump White House | 10 states open vaccine eligibility to all adults this week | Pfizer, Moderna 90 percent effective in 'real world' study | Biden to separate infrastructure into two bills | Buttigieg charms Washington



FREEDOM! (I won't let you down), FREEDOM! (so please don't give me up)

Now was that so hard?*:

*Yes, yes it was. 

The large ship stuck in Egypt’s Suez Canal was freed this morning, reopening traffic through one of the world’s most-used canals. The latesthttps://nyti.ms/31uFKwQ 


The ship is free




Lol, THIS!: “You know that feeling when you finally dislodge a popcorn kernel that's been stuck in your tooth? That, but its a huge ship and a major shipping channel” (Via news producer Patrick Wardhttps://bit.ly/31wsyr0


Tugboats honked when the ship moved even just slightly: Here’s video: https://bit.ly/3lZP70V


These photos really show the magnitude of the issuehttps://cnn.it/2QH1NOp


Want to see what the boat traffic looks like sans a working canal? — what a mess: A former traffic reporter broke it down. Watchhttps://bit.ly/3fj7AnL


This photo is insane:



Digging ship out of the Suez Canal



Hyperlink https://bit.ly/39iKhXp


The estimated cost of the blockage: “About 12% of global trade, around one million barrels of oil and roughly 8% of liquefied natural gas pass through the canal each day … [one estimate suggests] that the Canal's revenues were taking a $14m-$15m (£10.2m-£10.9m) hit for each day of the blockage.” https://bbc.in/31qnbtD


Here’s the video of children trying to fix the problemhttps://bit.ly/3dgGb3e 

^Godzilla isn’t a terrible idea …


The Washington Post compiled a list of the best Suez Canal-related memes. Check them outhttps://wapo.st/3m0CAdk 

My favorite: It includes some choice language, so you’ll have to open the link if you want to see ;) https://bit.ly/31vdslz

Happy Monday! I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to cmartel@thehill.com — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook

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You can watch Derek Chauvin’s trial:

The trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minnesota police officer who is charged with the killing of George Floyd last May, began this morning.

How to watch — here’s the livestream: It began at 10 a.m. EDT: https://bit.ly/3w6GshM


The Floyd family’s lawyer began the trial with a press conference, arguing that the case would be different if the victim was white. Video of his full statementhttps://bit.ly/2QQgn6r 

George Floyd’s family knelt for 8 minutes and 46 seconds outside the courthouse: Here’s a photo: https://cnn.it/3w6BnWB


NEW — Pfizer, Moderna vaccines are 90 percent effective in a ‘real world’ study:

Via STAT News’s Helen Branswell, “A new study suggests the messenger RNA vaccines produced by Moderna and the Pfizer-BioNTech partnership appeared to be 90% effective in preventing Covid-19 infection in a real-world setting.” https://bit.ly/3fBrPgL 

See for yourself — read the studyhttps://bit.ly/2PE3jAq

‘Now this is the story all about how my life got flipped, turned upside down.:

“No longer working under the Trump administration, six leading US health officials now reveal to CNN the real challenges they faced during the nation's fight against Covid-19 over the past year: death threats, mixed messages and in some cases, being kept from sharing information with national audiences.” https://cnn.it/3fi4790

Who participated in the CNN special: Dr. Deborah BirxDeborah BirxThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Supreme Court announces unanimous rulings The Memo: The mystery of post-presidency Trump Overnight Health Care: US joins 13 countries in raising 'concerns' with data in WHO team's virus report | COVID-19's fourth wave is hitting the US hard | American satisfaction with vaccine rollout surges to 68 percent: poll MORE, Dr. Anthony FauciAnthony FauciIowa governor touts receiving Johnson & Johnson vaccine amid pause: 'I would do it again' Jill Biden to appear in 'Sesame Street' documentary Despite July 4 timeline, the US is a long way from herd immunity MORE, Dr. Brett Giroir, Dr. Stephen Hahn, Dr. Robert Kadlec and Dr. Robert RedfieldRobert RedfieldClyburn: Documents show Trump officials helped suppress coronavirus CDC reports CDC director walks tightrope on pandemic messaging Biologist Bret Weinstein says COVID-19 likely came from a lab MORE

The gist, via The Washington Post’s Dan Diamond: “Trump officials say coronavirus response was worse than known.” https://wapo.st/31sqqR0


When the pandemic first started: "First, I wanted to make sure that we stopped saying that the risk to Americans was low," Birx said. "I could see the avalanche coming, and I could see that we were not prepared, and I thought I could do something." 

The feeling within the White House: "There was a group that really believed this wasn't as a big of deal as we were making it," said Birx. "Then there was the other group that just was more fatalistic, that no matter what we did, the outcome was going to be the same." 

Birx said the American deaths after the first 100,000 could have been mitigatedhttps://reut.rs/2QRhX8h 

More highlightshttps://cnn.it/3fi4790

You get a vaccine! And you get a vaccine! — which may even be more exciting than winning a car these days:

Via USA Today’s Elinor Aspegren and John Bacon, 10 states are opening vaccine eligibility to all adults this week. https://bit.ly/3fmjA83 

Which states: “Kansas, Louisiana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas will remove vaccine restrictions for those 16 and older Monday. Minnesota will follow on Tuesday; Indiana and South Carolina on Wednesday; and Connecticut on Thursday. California will also open up eligibility to all residents 50 and older Thursday.”


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 30,264,704 

U.S. death toll: 549,351

Breakdown of the numbershttps://cnn.it/2UAgW3y


Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 143 million shots have been given. 

Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 2.71 million doses

For context: The U.S. population is roughly 331 million. 

Breakdown of the numbers: https://bloom.bg/3iVTPLH

This is a helpful read — what do vaccines mean for upcoming travel?:

Via The New York Times’s Sarah Firshein, “As domestic vaccination rates trend upward, more people are traveling or planning to travel. Here’s the latest guidance for doing so safely.” https://nyti.ms/3w4eIu6

What’s the deal with these vaccine passports?:

Via The Washington Post’s Dan Diamond, Lena H. Sun and Isaac Stanley-Becker, “The Biden administration and private companies are working to develop a standard way of handling credentials — often referred to as ‘vaccine passports’ — that would allow Americans to prove they have been vaccinated against the novel coronavirus as businesses try to reopen.” https://wapo.st/39qqEga

What to know: “The passports are expected to be free and available through applications for smartphones, which could display a scannable code similar to an airline boarding pass. Americans without smartphone access should be able to print out the passports, developers have said.”


It can always be a campaign year if you believe:

Via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton, “Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerHolder, Yates lead letter backing Biden pick for Civil Rights Division at DOJ Capitol Police officer killed in car attack lies in honor in Capitol Rotunda Rep. Andy Kim on Asian hate: 'I've never felt this level of fear' MORE (D-N.Y.) isn't leaving anything to chance as he heads into his 2022 reelection campaign.”  https://bit.ly/3u9v7vH

How Schumer is spending his two-week Senate recess: “He will be traveling around New York during the two-week April recess as part his goal to visit all 62 counties in the state this year.” 

Little tidbit: “When Politico reporter Burgess Everett suggested at a recent press briefing that those travels might be related to a certain upcoming election, Schumer bristled at the implication, while throwing in some humor. ‘Do I visit every one of the 62 counties every one of the 22 years I’ve run? Yes or no?’ Schumer said as he walked out of the briefing room, as the assembled group of reporters laughed. ‘Bad comment, Burgess.’” https://bit.ly/3u9v7vH


Details from The Hill’s Jordain Carneyhttps://bit.ly/3swPvGs

Lol, I had to:


Excavator digs out ship from Suez Canal


Hyperlink https://bit.ly/31sIOcD


You know what this plan calls for? *At least* two infrastructure weeks!:

In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiOfficer who fatally shot Daunte Wright released on 0K bail Iran supreme leader dismisses Vienna talks on nuclear deal as 'not worth looking at' Indirect talks with Iran over nuclear deal to resume Thursday MORE said that the Biden administration would split the push for infrastructure into two separate pieces of legislation. https://bit.ly/3tZwDQQ 

The likely breakdown of the two bills: “The first proposal will likely address physical infrastructure such as roads, bridges and efforts to expand rural broadband access … [the second] will cover issues such as child care and health care.”


Via The Hill’s Amie Parnes and Alex Gangitano, “Earlier this month on his way home from work, Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegWhite House says gas tax won't be part of infrastructure bill The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden meets with bipartisan lawmakers for infrastructure negotiations Senate Republicans label Biden infrastructure plan a 'slush fund' MORE made a pit stop at a Pizza Hut parking lot to pick up a used road bike that the new secretary of Transportation plans to use to get around Washington, D.C.” How Buttigieg is charming Washington with his accessibilityhttps://bit.ly/3djF6aZ


Omg, Trump crashed a wedding — No better theme I can think of to toast the happy couple!:

Via TMZ, Former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump mocks Murkowski, Cheney election chances Race debate grips Congress US reentry to Paris agreement adds momentum to cities' sustainability efforts MORE gave a wedding toast at a Mar-a-Lago wedding over the weekend. 

The gist of his toast: Iran, the U.S.-Mexico border, the 2020 election results — and his best friend, Joe Biden. No, seriously! 

Video of Trump’s wedding toasthttps://bit.ly/3cvsL3Y


Getting traction — this breaks my heart:

Rep. Andy Kim (D-N.J.) posted this story about his son.  


New Jersey resident Rep. Andy Kim


Hyperlink https://bit.ly/3fjUfvh

Read his full thread of tweets (with more photos) — this boy is the CUTESThttps://bit.ly/3tWHuuE

DC skies were showing off this morning:


Sunrise in D.C.


Hyperlink https://bit.ly/2PBxAzR


The House and Senate are out. President BidenJoe BidenHouse panel approves bill to set up commission on reparations Democrats to offer bill to expand Supreme Court Former Israeli prime minister advises Iran to 'cool down' amid nuclear threats MORE and Vice President Harris are in Washington, D.C.

9:50 a.m. EDT: President Biden and Vice President Harris received the President’s Daily Brief.

1:30 p.m. EDT: President Biden and Vice President Harris receive a COVID-19 briefing.


10 a.m. EDT: The trial of Derek Chauvin, who is accused of the death of George Floyd, began. Livestreamhttps://bit.ly/3w6GshM 

11 a.m. EDT: The White House COVID-19 Response team held a press briefing. Livestreamhttps://bit.ly/31pUhK6

12:30 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Jen Psaki holds a press briefing. Livestreamhttps://bit.ly/3m2dmLQ 

12:30 p.m. EDT: The Hill’s Future of Defense Summit. The speaker lineup is pretty stacked! Details, speakers and livestreamhttps://bit.ly/2QF0bom 

2:10 p.m. EDT: President Biden delivers remarks on COVID-19 and vaccination efforts. Livestreamhttps://bit.ly/3cBtocF


Today is National Chiffon Cake Day.

And to brighten your Monday, here is one happy dog in a raincoat: