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West Virginia Gov. Justice breaks with GOP Legislature to veto bill rolling back school vaccine rule




CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Republican Gov. Jim Justice on Wednesday broke with West Virginia’s GOP-majority Legislature to veto a bill that would have loosened one of the country’s strictest school vaccination policies.

West Virginia is only one of a handful of states in the U.S. that offers only medical exemptions to vaccine requirements. The bill would have allowed some students who don’t attend traditional public institutions or participate in group extracurriculars like sports to be exempt from vaccinations typically required for children starting day care or school.

“Our kids are our future,” Justice said in a letter explaining the veto. “They are our most important resource, and I will protect them with everything I have.”

The governor said “West Virginia is way ahead of the pack” in protecting children from preventable diseases like measles because of its school vaccine policy. He said he had to defer to the licensed medical professionals who “overwhelmingly” spoke out in opposition to the legislation.

“I hear how strongly people believe in one side or the other on this subject, and I respect all opinions,” he said. “But I must follow the guidance of our medical experts on this subject.”

Justice, who is running for Democrat U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin’s seat, received immense pressure to reject the bill from health care leaders, educators and parents. He refused to answer whether or not he planned to sign it before Wednesday’s veto, saying he needed time to think through the decision.

The veto came on the last day before a key deadline that would have allowed the bill to go into law without Justice’s signature.

The bill, which received majority support in both legislative chambers even with an overwhelming lack of support from health care leaders, would have exempted private and parochial schools from state law and allowed them to develop and enforce their own policies on vaccinations. Virtual-only public school students would also have been exempt.

All students participating in West Virginia school activities that result in competition, including but not limited to sports, would still have needed to be vaccinated.

The bill was publicly opposed by the head of the state’s two teachers unions, the West Virginia Hospital Association and the West Virginia Medical Association, among other organizations.

Dr. Clay Marsh, West Virginia University’s vice president and executive dean for health sciences, also urged Justice to vote against the bill. As COVID-19 Czar for the State of West Virginia, Marsh was tapped as a trusted advisor when it came to preventing spread of the virus in the state.

Justice was hailed by state health care leaders for his pro-vaccine stance during the coronavirus pandemic. When the COVID-19 vaccine was developed, Justice was among the first top elected officials in the country to receive a shot, even livestreaming the inoculation on social media.

Before Justice vetoed the bill, Kanawha-Charleston Health Officer Dr. Steven Eshenaur said he was deeply worried about the consequences that could come from the legislation being made law.

“Yes, personal freedom is vital to our way of life in West Virginia and America, and I am all for it,” he said in a statement. “But not when the lives of children are in danger.”

Eshenaur said state leaders owe it to children to keep them safe, healthy and free of disability if it’s in their power to do so.

“Hear this on repeat: If you are anti-vaccination, you are pro-disease. It’s as simple as that,” he said.

West Virginia law requires children to receive vaccines for chickenpox, hepatitis-b, measles, meningitis, mumps, diphtheria, polio, rubella, tetanus and whooping cough, unless they receive a medical exemption. West Virginia does not require COVID-19 vaccinations.

Health care leaders say other states have used West Virginia’s immunization requirements as a model to strengthen their immunization requirements after experiencing measles outbreaks. West Virginia, along with California, Connecticut, Maine and New York, are the only states without nonmedical vaccination requirements.

But a growing number of parents in the state have expressed frustration with the state’s policy and say they should have the freedom to make their own decisions about their children’s vaccination status.

West Virginia University School of Medicine Professor Dr. Alvin Moss was one of a handful of doctors supportive of the bill, arguing before the Senate Health Committee that the state’s current compulsory vaccination policy is medically unethical because it doesn’t allow informed consent.

In 2017, the anti-vaccine requirement group West Virginians for Health Freedom had 300 families as members. The organization has grown to at least 3,000 members in 2024, Moss said.

The bill’s original intent, as introduced in the state House of Delegates, was to eliminate vaccine requirements for students in public virtual schools. It was expanded in a House committee to allow private schools to set their own vaccination standards, unless a student participates in sanctioned athletics.

The bill also created a religious exemption for any child whose parents or guardians present a letter stating the child cannot be vaccinated for religious reasons. That was taken out in the Senate.


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Barcelona 1-4 Paris St-Germain (Agg: 4-6): Kylian Mbappe scores twice as PSG reach last four




PSG players celebrate
Paris St-Germain are into their first Champions League semi-final in three years

Kylian Mbappe scored twice as Paris St-Germain thrashed Barcelona to turn around a first-leg deficit and reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.

PSG had trailed 3-2 after the first leg in France but took advantage of an early Barcelona sending off to secure their place in the last four for the first time since 2021.

Luis Enrique’s side face a semi-final against Borussia Dortmund, who beat Atletico Madrid 5-4 on aggregate in a thrilling encounter in Germany.

The semi-final first leg takes place on 30 April with the second leg on 7 May.

More to follow.

helpHow to play

Rate players out of 10 throughout or after the game. The rater will close 30 minutes after the final whistle.

Rating range key1 = Give it up10 = Pure perfection


  1. Squad number1Player nameter Stegen

  2. Squad number23Player nameKoundé

  3. Squad number4Player nameAraujo

  4. Squad number33Player nameCubarsí

  5. Squad number2Player nameJoão Cancelo

  6. Squad number8Player namePedri

  7. Squad number22Player nameGündogan

  8. Squad number21Player nameF de Jong

  9. Squad number27Player nameYamal

  10. Squad number9Player nameLewandowski

  11. Squad number11Player nameRaphinha

  1. Squad number5Player nameMartínez

  2. Squad number7Player nameF Torres

  3. Squad number14Player nameJoão Félix

  4. Squad number32Player nameLópez

Paris Saint Germain

  1. Squad number99Player nameG Donnarumma

  2. Squad number2Player nameHakimi

  3. Squad number5Player nameMarquinhos

  4. Squad number21Player nameHernández

  5. Squad number25Player nameNuno Mendes

  6. Squad number33Player nameZaïre-Emery

  7. Squad number17Player nameVitinha

  8. Squad number8Player nameRuiz

  9. Squad number10Player nameDembélé

  10. Squad number7Player nameMbappé

  11. Squad number29Player nameBarcola

  1. Squad number4Player nameUgarte

  2. Squad number11Player nameAsensio

  3. Squad number19Player nameLee Kang-in

  4. Squad number23Player nameKolo Muani



Formation 4-3-3

  • 1ter Stegen
  • 23Koundé
  • 4AraujoBooked at 29mins
  • 33Cubarsí
  • 2CanceloSubstituted forJoão Félixat 82′minutes
  • 8PedriSubstituted forF Torresat 62′minutes
  • 22GündoganBooked at 64mins
  • 21F de JongSubstituted forLópezat 82′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 27YamalSubstituted forMartínezat 34′minutesBooked at 40mins
  • 9LewandowskiBooked at 50mins
  • 11RaphinhaBooked at 90mins


  • 5Martínez
  • 7F Torres
  • 13Peña Sotorres
  • 14João Félix
  • 17Alonso
  • 18Romeu
  • 19Roque Ferreira
  • 26Astralaga
  • 30Casadó
  • 32López
  • 38Guiu
  • 39Fort


Formation 4-3-3

  • 99G DonnarummaBooked at 87mins
  • 2Hakimi
  • 5MarquinhosBooked at 62mins
  • 21Hernández
  • 25Nuno Mendes
  • 33Zaïre-EmerySubstituted forUgarteat 80′minutes
  • 17Vitinha
  • 8RuizBooked at 45minsSubstituted forAsensioat 77′minutes
  • 10DembéléSubstituted forKolo Muaniat 88′minutes
  • 7MbappéBooked at 40mins
  • 29BarcolaSubstituted forLee Kang-inat 77′minutes


  • 1Navas
  • 4Ugarte
  • 9Gonçalo Ramos
  • 11Asensio
  • 15Danilo
  • 19Lee Kang-in
  • 23Kolo Muani
  • 26Mukiele
  • 28Soler
  • 35Lopes Beraldo
  • 37Skriniar
  • 80Tenas

István Kovács

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Magnitude 2.8 earthquake reported in View Park-Windsor Hills




A magnitude 2.8 earthquake was reported Tuesday at 8:19 a.m. Pacific time in Los Angeles’ View Park-Windsor Hills neighborhood, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The earthquake‘s epicenter was 7.1 miles beneath the intersection of Overland Drive and Northridge Drive, near Windsor Hills Elementary School. .

In the last 10 days, there have been no earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater centered nearby.

An average of 59 earthquakes with magnitudes between 2.0 and 3.0 occur per year in the Greater Los Angeles area, according to a recent three-year data sample.

Did you feel this earthquake? Consider reporting what you felt to the USGS.

Are you ready for when the Big One hits? Get ready for the next big earthquake by signing up for our Unshaken newsletter, which breaks down emergency preparedness into bite-sized steps over six weeks. Learn more about earthquake kits, which apps you need, Lucy Jones’ most important advice and more at

This story was automatically generated by Quakebot, a computer application that monitors the latest earthquakes detected by the USGS. A Times editor reviewed the post before it was published. If you’re interested in learning more about the system, visit our list of frequently asked questions.


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Justice Thomas returns to Supreme Court after 1-day absence




WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is back on the bench after an unexplained one-day absence.

Thomas, 75, was in his usual seat, to the right of Chief Justice John Roberts as the court met to hear arguments in a case about the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021.

Thomas has ignored calls from some progressive groups to step aside from cases involving Jan. 6 because his wife, Ginni, attended then-President Donald Trump‘s rally near the White House before protesters descended on the Capitol. Ginni Thomas, a conservative activist, also texted senior Trump administration officials in the weeks after the election offering support and reiterating her belief that there was widespread fraud in the election.

On Monday, Roberts announced Thomas’ absence, without providing an explanation. Justices sometimes miss court, but participate remotely. Thomas did not take part in Monday’s arguments.

He was hospitalized two years ago with an infection, causing him to miss several court sessions. He took part in the cases then, too.

Thomas is the longest serving of the current justices, joining the Supreme Court in 1991.


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