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Florida sues federal government to allow cruises to sail

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MIAMI — The state of Florida has filed a lawsuit against the federal government to demand cruise ships be allowed to start sailing immediately, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Thursday.

DeSantis said the no-sail order is outdated and hurts the state as the industry generates billions for the economy and employs tens of thousands of Floridians.

“We don’t believe the federal government has the right to mothball a major industry for over a year based on very little evidence and very little data,” the Republican governor said at a news conference at the Port of Miami.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines last week for companies on how to respond in the event of Covid-19 cases but has so far not lifted its no-sail order.

The CDC shut down sailing last March when several coronavirus outbreaks were tied to ships worldwide, prompting ports to reject docking plans and leaving some passengers and crew members to navigate for an extended time.

Florida is the nation’s cruise capital with three of the world’s busiest ports: Miami, Port Canaveral near Kennedy Space Center, and Port Everglades near Fort Lauderdale. The industry generates billions for the state’s economy as millions of people typically cruise from one of Florida’s ports each year.

DeSantis has maintained the ban disproportionally impacts Florida and has said that cruising has resumed in much of the world, forcing Americans to fly to other ports in the nearby Bahamas. Industry leaders say there have been no new outbreaks tied to their ships.

“People are going to cruise one way or another. The question is are we going to do it out of Florida, which is the number one place to do it in the world, or are they going to be doing it out of the Bahamas or other locations?” DeSantis said.

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Nicola Sturgeon lifts travel ban as Scots to resume meeting outdoors from Friday

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NICOLA STURGEON has lifted Scotland’s travel ban as six adults from up to six households can meet outdoors from Friday anywhere across Scotland.

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Remainers lose faith in EU and support Brexit after bloc's bitter vaccine threats

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Brussels’ bitter vaccine threats have convinced angry Remainers to turn their backs on the European Union and support Brexit, research has revealed.

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Biden, Congress to pay tribute to slain Capitol Police officer

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WASHINGTON — U.S. Capitol Police Officer William Evans, who was killed earlier this month when a man rammed his car into him and another officer at the Capitol, will lie in honor in the building’s Rotunda on Tuesday.

Evans, an 18-year veteran of the force, will be the fourth Capitol Police officer to ever lie in honor. The arrival ceremony is set for 10:30 a.m.

At 11 a.m., President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., will pay tribute to Evans at a congressional ceremony inside the Rotunda. The officer’s family, along with members of the Capitol Police and Congress, are also expected to attend.

“In giving his life to protect our Capitol and our country, Officer Evans became a martyr for our democracy,” Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement, adding it was “the great and solemn privilege of the House of Representatives and the Senate to convey the appreciation and the sadness of the Congress and country for the heroic sacrifice of Officer Evans with a lying-in-honor ceremony in the U.S. Capitol.”

Evans, who was known as “Billy,” served with Capitol Police since 2003 and was working in the first responders Unit. He leaves behind two young children.

He was killed on April 2 when a man drove a car into him and another officer before hitting a security barricade outside the Capitol. The man, 25-year-old Noah Green, of Indiana, got out of the vehicle and lunged at the officers with a knife before being shot and killed by police, acting Chief Yogananda Pittman said.

The memorial for Evans comes three months after the attack on the Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters, which resulted in the death of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick. His remains were also laid in honor in the Rotunda. Another Capitol Police officer, Howard Liebengood, died by suicide in the days after the riot.



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