Grab your umbrella because it’s going to be a wet one. Temperatures are expected to be in the 50s but will drop closer to freezing tonight as the rain potentially turns into freezing rain, sleet, or snow.
The Olympics officially begin in Beijing today, and Comcast is facing pressure to shine light on “horrific human rights issues” in China.
Plus, COVID-19 vaccination rates are lagging for young children in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Comcast, which owns the NBC Universal unit that is broadcasting the Olympics, is in a tough spot as the Games begin.
🎤 Our reporter Joseph N. DiStefano sets the scene:
It could be a premise for a Netflix thriller: An American company is trying to run a media business inside a dictatorship that is imprisoning minorities and threatening its neighbors. The American executives have to walk a fine line, placating the regime while showing the world the ugly things that are happening on the ground.
Comcast is facing pressure from human rights groups and some elected officials to put a spotlight on China’s human rights violations, Joe reports. Some argue that even broadcasting the Games promotes the Chinese government:
“All companies doing business in the U.S. must be examples in the world, as their success has been benefited from our country’s respect for the rule of law, human rights and entrepreneurial enterprise,” U.S. Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Robert E. Latta wrote in a letter to Comcast executives last month.
Comcast and NBC have not responded to that letter.
What you should know today
Carjackings in Philly are on a record pace and officials aren’t sure why.
Got a speeding ticket in Bucks County? You may be in luck. PennDot is canceling hundreds of tickets due to an error with an automatic speed-enforcement camera.
Philadelphia City Council confirmed Seth Bluestein to fill a vacant seat on the city’s three-person election board.
The family of a man who was raped and killed in a Philly jail has sued, blaming the city for his death.
A North Philadelphia man was sentenced to life in prison after a jury convicted him of murdering a witness who testified against him in an earlier case.
Our columnist Trudy Rubin is in Ukraine, where the country is facing the threat of war with Russia.
And NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal says disgruntled Sixers star Ben Simmons messaged him angrily after Shaq called him a “crybaby.”
Local Coronavirus Numbers: Here’s your daily look at the latest COVID-19 data.
Vaccination rates for Pennsylvania and New Jersey kids aren’t as high as officials would like to see them. Only about a fifth of 5-to-11-year-olds nationwide are fully vaccinated.
Here’s how the numbers look locally:
24% in Pennsylvania.
28% in New Jersey.
30% in Philadelphia.
Health leaders are working to raise pediatric vaccination rates, particularly as federal regulators are set to consider authorizing Pfizer’s vaccine for kids as young as 6 months old. The efforts have included school clinics.
“We’re currently exploring several ways to boost vaccine rates at all ages,” Philadelphia health department spokesperson James Garrow says. Our reporters Erin McCarthy and Justine McDaniel have more.
🧠 Philly Trivia Time 🧠
A 9-foot Harriet Tubman statue is being featured in front of Philadelphia City Hall until the end of March to celebrate her birthday, Black History Month, and Women’s History Month. Today’s Question: What church did Tubman speak at when she spent time in Philadelphia? Find the answer here.
a. Waters Memorial A.M.E. Church
b. Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church
c. Hickman Temple A.M.E. Church
d. Mount Hebron Baptist Church
What we’re …
⛸️ Watching: The winter Olympics has one of my favorite sports to watch: figure skating. This beginner’s guide will tell you everything you need to know about it.
🗺️ Playing: This gerrymandering game where you divvy up the political districts of fictional Hexapolis. (It’s more fun than it sounds.)
🥘 Cooking: Cold weather always makes me want to try a new warm meal. This casserole might fill that craving.
Photo of the day
👋 That’s all for this week. Ashley Hoffman will deliver your news on Sunday, and Kerith will be back on Monday.