Las Notis is a daily news column that gets you up to speed on the political, media + other going ons in Latin America and the diaspora—all in one quick digest.
Here’s your glimpse at what’s going on today:
Johnson & Johnson announced that its one-dose coronavirus vaccine offers protections from COVID-19, though its efficacy rate dropped from 72% in the United States to 57% when tested against a highly contagious variant in South Africa. The vaccine is the third tool the U.S. may have to fight back the spread of the virus. [NYT]
Data has shown that a coronavirus variant that started in the U.K. concentrated but widespread in South Florida. A man with no travel history had acquired the U.K. strain, or B.1.1.7, in Martin County and since then more cases of people with the variant have emerged. [Miami Herald]
The White House said on Thursday (Jan. 28) that Biden is examining what will be the United States’ policy toward Cuba after Donald Trump clamped down on the island throughout his presidency. “Our Cuba policy is governed by two principles. First, support for democracy and human rights – that will be at the core of our efforts. Second is Americans, especially Cuban Americans, are the best ambassadors for freedom in Cuba. So we’ll review the Trump administration policies,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a news briefing. [Aljazeera]
Mexico is on track to becoming the country with the world’s third-highest coronavirus rate after its death toll surpassed India’s on Thursday. As of today, Mexico has recorded 155,145 coronavirus deaths during the pandemic. Brazil has the second-highest rate, while the U.S. has the most. [NYT]
Enrique Tarrio, the leader of the far-right Proud Boys group, used to be a “prolific” informer for the FBI and local police, according to old court transcripts. He helped authorities prosecute more than a dozen people involved in drugs, gambling and human smuggling. [BBC News]
Selena Gomez has teamed up with Rauw Alejandro to release “Baila Conmigo” ahead of her Spanish-language EP Revelación, out on March 12. “With ‘Baila Conmigo,’ I want to get everyone dancing,” Gomez said in a statement. “The video portrays the sense of isolation we all are experiencing right now and how music truly does connect us all no matter where we are in the world.” [Billboard]