Royal Caribbean says 6 guests – 4 of whom were vaccinated – tested positive onboard a Bahamas cruise

Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas ship
Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas ship.

  • Six guests tested positive onboard a Royal Caribbean cruise in the Bahamas, despite the cruise line’s safety precautions.
  • Four of those who tested positive were vaccinated, and two were unvaccinated children.
  • The cruise line requires all crew members and guests over 16 to be fully vaccinated.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Six guests tested positive for the coronavirus onboard the Adventure of the Seas, a cruise ship sailing from Nassau in the Bahamas, Royal Caribbean confirmed to Insider on Friday.

Of the four vaccinated adults and two unvaccinated children who tested positive for COVID-19, only one is experiencing mild symptoms, while the rest are asymptomatic, the company said.

According to Royal Caribbean, the infected guests were quarantined and the people they were in close contact with tested negative. They got off the ship in Freeport, Bahamas, and took private transportation home. Morgan Hines, a USA Today reporter sailing on the ship, originally broke the news on Twitter.

All crew members and passengers over the age of 16 have to be fully vaccinated and test negative before being allowed onboard the ship, a Royal Caribbean spokesperson said. Royal Caribbean also requires unvaccinated guests to purchase travel insurance, making cruising more expensive for the unvaccinated.

On Royal Caribbean ships, passengers who don’t present a vaccination card showing that they’re fully vaccinated have to wear masks and pay out-of-pocket for extra COVID-19 tests. Vaccinated passengers are allowed to take off their masks in certain parts of the ship that are designated as “vaccinated-only venues.”

On June 26, a Royal Caribbean ship sailing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Mexico and the Bahamas was the first cruise to sail from the US since the start of the pandemic. Changes to the cruising experience included extra hand-sanitizing stations by elevators and restaurants and intensive care beds and ventilators. The ship sailed at around a third of its capacity, and over 95% of passengers were vaccinated, according to CDC guidelines.

The Adventure of the Seas isn’t the first cruise to see positive COVID-19 tests. On July 12, an American Cruise Line Alaska cruise saw two guests and one crew member test positive.

The Adventure of the Seas is currently off the coast of the Bahamas and was cruising to Nassau, according to CruiseMapper.

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Haitian first lady Martine Moïse says she’s considering running for president after her husband was assassinated

Former first lady of Haiti, Martine Moise, speaks during the funeral of her slain husband, former President Jovenel Moise, accompanied by her children in Cap-Haitien
Former first lady of Haiti, Martine Moise, speaks during the funeral of her assassinated husband.

  • Former Haitian first lady Martine Moïse said she’s considering running for president.
  • This came less than a month after her husband, Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, was assassinated at their home.
  • There are still many open questions about the killing.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former Haitian first lady Martine Moïse says she is now seriously considering running for president after her husband, Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, was assassinated at their home, leaving her wounded in the attack earlier this month.

“President Jovenel had a vision,” Moïse told The New York Times in a report published Friday, adding, “and we Haitians are not going to let that die.”

A band of armed gunmen stormed into the couple’s private residence in Haiti on July 7 and assassinated the president, critically wounding his wife.

“I would like people who did this to be caught, otherwise they will kill every single president who takes power,” the first lady told the Times in her first interview since her husband’s brutal murder.

“They did it once. They will do it again,” she said.

Haitian authorities have arrested over two dozen people in connection to the assassination – including two US citizens. They’ve pointed to a Florida-based pastor, Christian Emmanuel Sanon, as a key conspirator in the killing. But there are many open questions about the assassination, and few answers.

Moïse’s assassination by a hit squad of foreign mercenaries in early July pushed an already struggling country into further chaos. Haiti was facing ongoing political turmoil, on top of rampant gang violence and poverty, when he was killed. Shortly before the assassination, the United Nations Security Council in a statement expressed “deep concern regarding deteriorating political, security, and humanitarian conditions in Haiti.”

He came to power in 2017 after a prolonged and rocky election cycle. Prior to his killing, there was a contentious consistutional dispute over the length of his presidential term.

Moïse’s opponents claimed that he stayed in power past his term limit, but he refused to step down. This prompted protests against his rule. Compounding the matter was the fact Moïse had been ruling by decree since January 2020 after dissolving parliament and failing to hold legislative elections.

Back in February, Haitian officials arrested nearly two dozen people in what was described as an attempted coup. At the time, Moïse said, “The goal of these people was to make an attempt on my life.”

Haiti continues to be gripped by political uncertainty and unrest.

A new prime minister, Ariel Henry, was sworn-in last Tuesday after a brief power struggle between him and Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph.

At Moïse’s funeral last week, protestors clashed with police and gunfire prompted President Joe Biden’s ambassador to the UN to leave early.

The Biden administration has offerred assistance to Haiti as it investigates Moïse’s assassination, but rebuffed a request for the US to send in troops to help quell the unrest.

US ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield last week said Haiti took a “positive step” forming a new government under Henry, but underscored that a key task facing Haitian leaders “will be to create the conditions for free and fair legislative and presidential elections as soon as feasible.”

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Biden announces COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all federal employees, asks Pentagon to ‘look into’ approving mandate for military

President Joe Biden behind a podium.
President Joe Biden.

  • Federal employees must be fully vaccinated or be tested regularly for COVID-19 and wear a mask, President Biden said Thursday.
  • This latest mandate will impact the nation’s roughly 2 million federal workers and 2 million in the military.
  • The US is battling an increase in coronavirus cases fueled by the highly transmissible Delta variant.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

President Joe Biden announced on Thursday that all federal employees will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be tested regularly for the infectious disease and wear a mask. He also said that the federal government will reimburse employers who give their employees paid time off to get themselves and their family members vaccinated against COVID-19

The White House additionally asked the Pentagon to look into “how and when they will add COVID-19 vaccination to the list of required vaccinations for members of the military,” according to a White House statement released before Biden’s speech Thursday evening.

The president also addressed whether Americans need to get a booster shot amid the nationwide spike in COVID-19 cases.

“As of now, my medical advisors say the answer is no,” he said. “No American needs a booster now. But if science tells us there’s a need for boosters, then that’s something we’ll do.”

He went on to urge unvaccinated Americans to get their shots, saying, “What’s happening in America right now … is a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

“The vaccines are safe [and] highly effective. There’s nothing political about them,” he said, adding: “This is not about red states and blue states. This is about life and death.”

This latest mandate will impact the nation’s roughly 2 million federal workers and 2 million members of the armed forces, according to the White House statement.

“You want to know how we put this virus behind us?” Biden said Thursday. “We need to get more people vaccinated.”

The president also said all public schools should reopen in the fall.

By law, the US military can’t mandate a vaccine that hasn’t been fully approved by the FDA. The FDA has only granted emergency authorization use for the current COVID-19 vaccines.

Biden said earlier this week that he was mulling whether to enact a vaccine mandate for the entire federal workforce as the US battles an increase in coronavirus cases fueled by the highly transmissible Delta variant.

The new mandate comes after California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the Golden State will soon require state employees and all healthcare workers to provide proof of inoculation or get tested at least once a week.

New York is also requiring workers to get tested, with Governor Andrew Cuomo announcing that all state employees will need to be vaccinated or get tested weekly. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also announced that the entire city workforce – some 340,000 people – will be required by mid-September to get vaccinated or be tested weekly.

Read more: Vaccine mandates are coming, and it’s about time

The US Department of Veterans Affairs also announced that it will require its healthcare employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, becoming the first federal agency to do so.

Coronavirus cases are again surging across the nation – largely among those who are unvaccinated.

In order to combat the virus’ spread, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its mask guidance on Wednesday and recommended that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear face masks indoors in areas where coronavirus transmission is high.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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Biden administration to announce a vaccine mandate for federal employees on Thursday: report

Biden
President Joe Biden

  • The Biden administration is expected to announce a vaccine mandate for federal employees on Thursday.
  • CNN first reported that the announcement was coming on Thursday.
  • The move would affect an estimated 2.1 million people.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

CNN reported that the Biden administration will announce a vaccine mandate or regular testing requirement for federal workers as early as Thursday.

President Joe Biden initially said on Tuesday that the federal government is weighing whether to implement a vaccine mandate for the entire federal workforce as the US grapples with a rise in COVID-19 cases.

“That’s under consideration right now,” Biden said in response to a reporter’s question.

An estimated 2.1 million people work for the federal government, according to the Office of Personnel Management. Only Walmart has more employees.

The move would follow recent decisions to require vaccines for state workers in California by Gov. Gavin Newsom and a similar plan for city workers announced by New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio.

Earlier this week, the US Department of Veterans Affairs mandated that 115,000 healthcare workers be vaccinated. Many private businesses around the US are following suit.

The White House did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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Biden administration weighing a vaccine mandate for all federal employees

Biden
President Joe Biden

President Joe Biden revealed on Tuesday that the federal government is weighing whether to implement a vaccine mandate for the entire federal workforce as the US grapples with a rise in COVID-19 cases.

The move would follow recent decisions to require vaccines for state workers in California by Gov. Gavin Newsom, a similar plan for city workers announced by New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio, and on for the US Department of Veterans Affairs – with private businesses around the US following suit.

“That’s under consideration right now,” Biden said, answering a reporter’s question.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

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Newsom vows California will have the ‘strongest vaccine verification system in the US’ as mandate is announced

Gavin Newsom
California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

  • California will require state employees and all healthcare workers to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or get tested weekly.
  • Gov. Gavin Newsom vowed that California will have the “strongest vaccine verification system in the US.”
  • “Too many people have chosen to live with this virus,” Newsom said Monday as he announced the new mandate.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

California will soon require state employees and all healthcare workers to provide proof of COVID-19 inoculation or get tested at least once a week, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday as he vowed that the the Golden State will have the “strongest vaccine verification system in the US.”

“Too many people have chosen to live with this virus,” Newsom said during a press briefing where he announced the new vaccination requirement, which will take effect next month.

The Democratic governor added, “We’re at a point in this epidemic, this pandemic, where individuals’ choice not to get vaccinated is now impacting the rest of us in a profound and devastating and deadly way.”

There are 246,000 state employees in California who will be impacted by the order. Additionally, there are at least 2 million healthcare workers in the public and private sectors in the state who fall under the mandate, according to the Associated Press.

Read more: How anti-vaxxers are engineering a wave of legal battles to fight mandatory workplace Covid jabs

The vaccine or test requirement also applies to those working in “high-risk congregate settings” like adult and senior residential facilities, homeless shelters, and jails, the governor said.

The new policy for state workers will take effect on Aug. 2 and testing will be phased in over the next few weeks, while the policy for healthcare workers and those in congregate facilities will take effect on Aug. 9.

Healthcare facilities will have until Aug. 23 to be in full compliance.

California has recently seen an increase in coronavirus cases as the highly transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to spread. The state’s coronavirus positivity rate has risen to 5.3%, Newsom said Monday.

“As the state’s largest employer – we’re leading by example. Vaccines are the solution,” Newsom said in a tweet. “We encourage local governments and other businesses to follow suit.”

According to Newsom’s office, “Despite California leading the nation in vaccinations, with more than 44 million doses administered and 75% of the eligible population having received at least one dose, the state is seeing increasing numbers of people who refused to get the vaccine being admitted to the ICU and dying.”

California’s mandate was the latest vaccine requirement announced as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday that the entire city workforce – some 340,000 people – will be mandated by mid-September to get vaccinated against the coronavirus or be tested weekly, and the Department of Veterans Affairs also announced that all healthcare workers will need to get vaccinated.

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Senate Democrats reach deal on $3.5 trillion reconciliation package

Bernie Sanders
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021, examining wages at large profitable corporations.

Senate Democrats on Tuesday announced they struck a deal on a $3.5 trillion price tag for a Democrat-only infrastructure package that will expand Medicare and strengthen social safety net programs – and skirt Republicans staunchly opposed to more federal spending.

Combined with a $579 billion bipartisan infrastructure deal, the party-line agreement would amount to $4.1 trillion in fresh spending. It’s among the largest spending bills ever taken up by Congress as Democrats aim to wield their slim majorities and level the playing field within the economy.

“This is the most significant piece of legislation passed since the Great Depression, and I’m delighted to be part of having helped to put it together,” Sen. Bernie Sanders, chair of the Senate Budget Committee, told reporters on Tuesday evening. He’s pushed for a party-line package larger than $3 trillion in recent days.

The plan is poised to undergo the arduous reconciliation process, a legislative tactic that only requires bills to get a simple majority. In a 50-50 Senate, that means every Democratic senator must stick together for the plan to succeed.

The agreement didn’t include many specifics on which policies will ultimately be included. But Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said it would expand Medicare to cover vision, dental, and hearing services. The Congressional Budget Office projected in 2019 it would cost $358 billion over ten years.

Democrats leaving the negotiations were confident about the topline agreement, and they said they would turn the agreement into a legislative bill in the coming weeks. “We are very proud of this plan. We know we have a long road to go,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters.

A Senate Democratic aide granted anonymity to speak candidly said Democrats still recognize they face an arduous process ahead. “We don’t know what’s happening what’s happening with bipartisan deal,” the aide said. “This is the first baby step.”

Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia said that the spending would be “fully paid for” with tax increases. Democrats have labored to avoid tax hikes on households earning under $400,000 in keeping with President Joe Biden’s campaign pledge.

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Judges’ clerks assisting in the Haiti assassination investigation have reportedly received ‘serious death threats’

President of the Republic of Haiti H.E. Jovenel Moise speaks onstage during the 2018 Concordia Annual Summit - Day 2 at Grand Hyatt New York on September 25, 2018 in New York City.
President of the Republic of Haiti H.E. Jovenel Moise speaks onstage during the 2018 Concordia Annual Summit – Day 2 at Grand Hyatt New York on September 25, 2018 in New York City.

  • Judge’s clerks assisting in the investigation into the murder of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse have gotten death threats.
  • The National Association of Haitian Clerks said Monday that two of its members received the threats, Le Nouvelliste reported.
  • Moïse was assassinated by a group of armed assailants who stormed into his home at around 1 a.m. on July 7.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Judge’s clerks who have been assisting in the investigation into the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse have recieved “serious death threats,” a local report said.

The National Association of Haitian Clerks said Monday that two of its members, Marcelin Valentin and Waky Philostène, clerks of the Pétion-Ville peace court, have gotten the threats, according to French-language newspaper Le Nouvelliste.

In a note Monday, the president of the association called on Haiti’s Justice and Public Security Minister Rockefeller Vincent to “pass the necessary instructions in order to guarantee the security of these aforementioned clerks, so that they can carry out their task in peace,” the news outlet reported.

Moïse was assassinated by a group of armed assailants who stormed into his home at around 1 a.m. Wednesday.

Haitian first lady Martine Moïse was also critically injured in the attack.

Authorities in Haiti have said 26 Colombians and two Haitian Americans have been linked to the president’s killing.

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CA Gov. Gavin Newsom asks California residents to cut water use by 15% as drought ravages the state

California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom asked residents of the Golden State Thursday to cut their water use by 15%.
  • The move comes as drought conditions intensify across the western US.
  • The state is encouraging locals to “do common sense things” like reducing the amount of time spent in the shower, Newsom said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom asked residents of the Golden State Thursday to cut their water use by 15% as drought conditions intensify across the western US.

The Democratic governor signed an executive order to “encourage” voluntary water conservation efforts across the state.

“I want to underscore voluntary water conservation,” Newsom said at a press briefing. “We are hopeful that people will take that mindset brought into the last drought and extend that forward with a 15% voluntary reduction not only on residents, but industrial, commercial operations and agricultural operations.”

Newsom explained that the state is encouraging locals to “do common sense things” like reducing the amount of time spent in the shower and doing laundry and running a dishwasher only when there is a full load.

“I’m not here as a nanny-state. I’m not trying to be oppressive,” he said. “These are voluntary standards.”

Additionally, Newsom added nine counties to an emergency drought proclamation, which now includes 50 of the state’s 58 counties.

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Haitian president Jovenel Moïse was reportedly shot 12 times with large- and small-caliber weapons, judge says

Haiti Jovenel Moise and wife Martine Moise
Jovenel Moïse and his wife Martine Moïse in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on November 28, 2016, after he won the country’s 2016 presidential election.

  • Assassinated Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was shot 12 times when gunmen stormed into his home.
  • Pétion-Ville deputy justice of the peace, Carl Henry Destin, revealed the details to the Haitian newspaper Le Nouvelliste.
  • Moïse was killed by a group of armed assailants at around 1 a.m. Wednesday.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Assassinated Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was riddled with a dozen bullets – some from high-caliber weapons – when gunmen stormed into his home and killed him, a local justice of the peace said, according to a report.

“We found twelve [bullet wounds] on the body of the president,” Pétion-Ville deputy justice of the peace, Carl Henry Destin, told French-language newspaper Le Nouvelliste, explaining that they were made with both large-caliber and smaller caliber weapons.

Moïse was assassinated by a group of armed assailants who burst into his home at around 1 a.m. Wednesday.

Haitian first lady Martine Moïse was also critically injured in the attack.

Destin told the newspaper that Jovenel Moïse’s office and bedroom “were ransacked.”

Destin told the paper that Moïse’s eye was blown out, adding that he was also shot in the forehead, chest, hip, and abdomen.

Le Nouvelliste reported that one of the couple’s three children was at the home at the time of the attack and hid in her brother’s bedroom. Authorities say the child is safe.

Destin, citing witnesses, told the news outlet that a maid and another worker were tied up by the assassins who shouted “DEA operation” when they entered the home.

The police chief of Haiti, Léon Charles, said late Wednesday night that four people suspected of being involved in the assassination were killed by police in a gun battle and two others were arrested.

Haitian security forces on Thursday caught more men believed to be involved in the assassination plot that killed Moïse, Reuters reported, citing live images shown by several Haitian media outlets.

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