Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes found guilty on 4 of 11 charges

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Elizabeth Holmes found guilty on 4 of 11 charges; jury could not reach verdict on 3
The California jury in the criminal fraud case against Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes has found her guilty on four of 11 charges on its seventh day of deliberation to determine Holmes' fate.

The panel composed of eight men and four women convicted Holmes on one charge of conspiracy and three charges of fraud. They determined she was not guilty of a second conspiracy charge and not guilty on three fraud charges. They were unable to reach a unanimous decision on another three fraud charges. 

Holmes, 37, was charged by federal prosecutors with nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud over allegations that she deceived investors and patients with her company's failed blood-testing technology. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Holmes pleaded not guilty to all charges and took to the stand to defend herself during the trial, where she admitted to having regrets but denied defrauding anyone.

She also placed blamed on her former boyfriend and ex-Theranos Chief Operating Officer Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani for allegedly misleading her about the effectiveness of Theranos' technology, and she accused him of emotional and sexual abuse. 

Holmes founded Theranos at 19 years old after dropping out of Stanford University and dazzled Silicon Valley and investors alike with the promise that Theranos' technology could diagnose an array of diseases with just a few drops of blood from a patient rather than the traditional vials of blood drawn from a patient's vein.

The young entrepreneur became a billionaire on paper after raising more than $900 million from investors, but things began to unravel in 2015 after The Wall Street Journal exposed that Theranos was using traditional machines for its testing rather than its own technology. CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON OUR TOP STORY

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Manhattan DA closes probe into nursing home deaths without charging Andrew Cuomo: attorney
The Manhattan district attorney's office is closing its investigation into former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's handling of nursing home COVID-19 deaths without bringing charges against Cuomo, according to the former governor's attorney.

"I was contacted today by the head of the Elder Care Unit from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office who informed me they have closed its investigation involving the Executive Chamber and nursing homes," Elkan Abramowitz, a former federal prosecutor who had been hired to represent Cuomo, said Monday. "I was told that after a thorough investigation — as we have said all along — there was no evidence to suggest that any laws were broken."

The investigation was opened after a report last year by New York Attorney General Letitia James revealed that the state's Department of Health underreported COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes by as much as 50%.

Cuomo had directed nursing homes to accept patients who tested positive for or were suspected of having COVID-19 early in his pandemic response, a move that became controversial after thousands of elderly patients became infected with the virus.

"As the pandemic and our investigations continue, it is imperative that we understand why the residents of nursing homes in New York unnecessarily suffered at such an alarming rate," James said in a statement at the time. "While we cannot bring back the individuals we lost to this crisis, this report seeks to offer transparency that the public deserves and to spur increased action to protect our most vulnerable residents."

A separate investigation conducted by the New York Assembly concluded in November that the Cuomo administration "materially misrepresented" data on nursing home COVID-19 deaths, with one lawmaker saying the revelations would have been grounds for impeachment if Cuomo was still in office. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

In other developments:
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Omicron's rapid spread is likely due to its ability to evade immunity offered by vaccines, study finds
The rapid spread of omicron throughout the United States and the rest of the world is likely due to the COVID-19 variant's ability to evade immunity offered by vaccines, according to a Danish study released last week. 

The study, which examined 12,000 households, found that omicron is 2.7-3.7 times more infectious than delta among vaccinated individuals. 

University of Copenhagen researchers analyzed the secondary attack rate for both omicron and delta, which refers to the likelihood that the virus would infect someone else. 

For the unvaccinated, omicron had only a 1.17 times higher secondary infection rate than delta. But for the fully vaccinated, omicron caused 2.61 times more secondary infections than delta, and for the booster-vaccinated, omicron caused 3.66 times more secondary infections than delta. 

In other words, unvaccinated individuals were just as vulnerable to omicron as they were to delta, but vaccinated individuals were much more likely to be infected by omicron than they were by delta. 

"Our findings confirm that the rapid spread of the Omicron [variant of concern] primarily can be ascribed to the immune evasiveness rather than an inherent increase in the basic transmissibility," the researchers wrote in the study, which has not been peer-reviewed. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

In other developments:
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- Teachers unions across country cite COVID surge to demand halt to in-person learning
- NBA reschedules postponed games, makes other adjustments

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SOME PARTING WORDS

Fox News contributor Mollie Hemingway criticized the Department of State Monday evening after it repeatedly promoted Secretary of State Antony Blinken's Spotify playlist -- in a series of tweets.

"We have really serious issues and the State Department keeps pushing out this Spotify playlist," Hemingway said on "Fox News Primetime." "It just makes you nervous because they are not just doing a bad job, they keep doing these things that are not serious at all."

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