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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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A book of condolence at Belfast City Hall in memory of murdered journalist Lyra McKee. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Images via Getty Images

The New IRA claimed responsibility for the killing of LGBTQ investigative journalist Lyra McKee and apologized for her shooting death in a statement to The Irish News Tuesday.

The latest: Hours after the statement, police said they had arrested a 57-year-old woman under the Terrorism Act in connection with McKee's murder.

What they're saying: "In the course of attacking the enemy Lyra McKee was tragically killed while standing beside enemy forces," the New Ira said in its statement, which The Irish News reports used a recognised codeword. "The IRA offer our full and sincere apologies to the partner, family and friends of Lyra McKee for her death."

The backdrop: The New IRA is the largest dissident republican group operating in Northern Ireland, per the Irish Examiner. It came to prominence in 2012 after forming from an amalgamation of smaller groups.

Go deeper

House passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Photo: Screenshot via C-SPAN

The House approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package on a 219-212 vote early Saturday morning, sending it to the Senate for a possible rewrite before it gets to Biden's desk.

The big picture: The vote was a critical first step for the package, which includes $1,400 cash payments for many Americans, a national vaccination program, ramped-up COVID testing and contact tracing, state and local funding and money to help schools reopen.

7 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.