1. MoCo Enters 3rd Phase
Things are slowly opening back up in Montgomery County. The Bethesda Magazine reports that Montgomery County entered the second phase of its three-stage reopening plan, with 60% of the county’s population receiving at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, today.
Sonya Healy, a spokeswoman for the County Council, said the second phase of reopening triggered the following changes, among others:
- Removes outdoor capacity restrictions and raises the capacity for indoor events to 250 people
- Most businesses, restaurants and religious establishments can increase capacity to 75 percent
- Convention and banquet facilities can increase to 50 percent capacity
- Indoor sporting events increase to a 250-person capacity limit, and no limit outdoors
2. Stolen Artifacts Returned
Many priceless things have been stolen from Africa for generations, and it appears that Germany is returning some of what it took. NPR reports that German officials say they have reached an agreement with Nigeria to return a share of plundered artifacts known as Benin Bronzes. Thousands of plaques and sculptures were looted from the ancient Kingdom of Benin — now southern Nigeria, not the modern nation of Benin — by British soldiers in an 1897 raid, and were ultimately acquired by museums largely in Europe and the United States.
3. Malaria Vaccine
Progress is being made in the formulation of a malaria vaccine. Clinical Trials Arena reports that a new vaccine against malaria, one of the world’s leading causes of child mortality, could be on the horizon. The vaccine – developed by the same lab that worked on AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine – represents a new hope in the global fight against malaria, a mosquito-borne parasitic disease that kills more than 400,000 people each year, mostly children in Sub-Saharan Africa. A malaria vaccine created by scientists at the University of Oxford’s Jenner Institute has been found to be 77% effective in early-stage trials.