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Capitol Riots

Police: Militia attack groups want to ‘blow up Capitol’ during Biden speech

Militia groups involved in the 6 January insurrection want to stage another attack around Joe Biden’s upcoming address to Congress, aiming to “blow up” the complex and kill lawmakers, the acting chief of the US Capitol police has warned. In alarming testimony to a House subcommittee, Yogananda Pittman said that threats were circulating that directly targeted the president’s first formal speech to a joint session of Congress. A date for the event has not yet been announced.

Criminal Investigation

Trump's tax returns and related records turned over to Manhattan district attorney

Prosecutors obtained the records on Monday, just hours after the US Supreme Court denied Trump's last-ditch effort to keep the records private, a spokesperson for the district attorney said. The millions of pages of documents, sources say, contain Trump's tax returns spanning from January 2011 to August 2019, as well as financial statements, engagement agreements, documents relating to the preparation and review of tax returns, and work papers and communications related to the tax returns.

Mohammed bin Salman

Jamal Khashoggi assassins used company seized by Saudi crown prince

The two private jets used by a Saudi Arabian assassination squad that killed and allegedly dismembered journalist Jamal Khashoggi were owned by a company that less than a year prior had been seized by the Kingdom's powerful crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, according to recently filed court documents seen by CNN. The documents, filed as part of a Canadian civil lawsuit earlier this year, are labeled "Top Secret" and signed by a Saudi minister who relayed the orders of the crown prince, the young de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia.

CPAC canceled an Anti-Semite

American fascists, extremists, bigots and violent members meet in Florida

The theme of the 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference is “America Uncanceled.” But this week, just days before CPAC was set to kick off in Orlando, Florida, conference organizers announced they’d had to cancel one of their own scheduled speakers. “We have just learned that someone we invited to CPAC has expressed reprehensible views that have no home with our conference or our organization,” CPAC organizers tweeted Monday, referring to right-wing social media figure Young Pharaoh.

Conservative War

Donald Trump: Republicans say finally goodbye to free speech for good

House conservatives are renewing their calls for Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) to step down from her leadership post after she split with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) over whether former President Trump should speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). House Freedom Caucus members are going after Cheney, chair of the House Republican Conference, following an awkward moment during a press conference Wednesday with the House GOP leader.

Tiger Woods

After the crash: there is precious little left for the 15-times major winner to prove

Summoning the spirit of Ben Hogan might not be enough for Tiger Woods to prolong a remarkable career. That the golf world is not prepared for Woods to call time on tournament pursuits was clear in the aftermath of the road accident which left the stricken 45-year-old requiring prolonged surgery on his right leg. Golf wants to cling on to an individual who transcends the sport and has single-handedly hauled it into a different commercial stratosphere. The post-Woods age has lingered somewhere in the distance for some time, with nobody really willing to address what it may entail.

Prince Harry

Prince Harry defends Netflix's The Crown in James Corden interview

The Duke of Sussex has defended the Netflix series The Crown, saying that – while it was not “strictly accurate” – it portrayed the pressures of royal life. In an interview with James Corden for the US programme The Late Late Show, Prince Harry said he minded the intrusions of the media into his family’s life much more than the miniseries, which was “obviously fiction”.

"Go back to China Bitch"

Washington Post denounces abuse of reporter

The Washington Post on Thursday denounced online abuse that targeted one of its reporters after a photo of her speaking with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) was shared on Twitter. The attacks on White House correspondent Seung Min Kim came after Huffington Post reporter Igor Bobic on Wednesday shared a photo of Kim showing Murkowski a tweet from Neera Tanden, President Biden's nominee for Office of Management and Budget director, in which Tanden criticized Murkowski.

Lindsey Boylan

Andrew Cuomo denies former aide's sexual harassment allegations

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is denying allegations from a former aide who accused him of sexual harassment, including an unwanted kiss, in a Medium post on Wednesday. Lindsey Boylan alleged that in 2018, the Democratic governor kissed her on the lips following a one-on-one briefing in his New York City office.

Mob Attack

Capitol Hill officer details racist abuse

A Capitol Police officer who was part of the response to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol building says he experienced racist abuse from a crowd of rioters who had broken into the building. Harry Dunn, who is Black, told The New York Times for a report published Thursday that around 20 people called him a racist slur after one rioter initiated the chants in response to Dunn's declaration that he had voted for President Biden in the November election. The exact language the rioters used was not detailed in the report.

John Geddert

US Olympic gold medal-winning gymnastics coach shoots himself dead

John Geddert took his own life with a gun just hours after he was brought up on two dozen charges including sexual assault, human trafficking and running a criminal enterprise, WLNS-TV reported. Geddert's suicide was confirmed by the office of Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, according to NBC 25 News.

The GOP’s choice in 2024

Trump Ultra, Trump Lite or Trump Zero

At least eight 2024 hopefuls will speak at CPAC, the conservative movement’s premier conference this weekend in Florida, giving Republicans their clearest look yet at who’s competing in the traditional GOP presidential lanes. But there’s only one lane that really matters: the one currently occupied by former President Donald Trump.

Conservative War

Donald Trump: Republicans say finally goodbye to free speech for good

House conservatives are renewing their calls for Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) to step down from her leadership post after she split with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) over whether former President Trump should speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). House Freedom Caucus members are going after Cheney, chair of the House Republican Conference, following an awkward moment during a press conference Wednesday with the House GOP leader.

Criminal Investigation

Trump's tax returns and related records turned over to Manhattan district attorney

Prosecutors obtained the records on Monday, just hours after the US Supreme Court denied Trump's last-ditch effort to keep the records private, a spokesperson for the district attorney said. The millions of pages of documents, sources say, contain Trump's tax returns spanning from January 2011 to August 2019, as well as financial statements, engagement agreements, documents relating to the preparation and review of tax returns, and work papers and communications related to the tax returns.

News

Capitol Riots

Police: Militia attack groups want to ‘blow up Capitol’ during Biden speech

Militia groups involved in the 6 January insurrection want to stage another attack around Joe Biden’s upcoming address to Congress, aiming to “blow up” the complex and kill lawmakers, the acting chief of the US Capitol police has warned. In alarming testimony to a House subcommittee, Yogananda Pittman said that threats were circulating that directly targeted the president’s first formal speech to a joint session of Congress. A date for the event has not yet been announced.


John Geddert

US Olympic gold medal-winning gymnastics coach shoots himself dead

John Geddert took his own life with a gun just hours after he was brought up on two dozen charges including sexual assault, human trafficking and running a criminal enterprise, WLNS-TV reported. Geddert's suicide was confirmed by the office of Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, according to NBC 25 News.

Criminal Investigation

Trump's tax returns and related records turned over to Manhattan district attorney

Prosecutors obtained the records on Monday, just hours after the US Supreme Court denied Trump's last-ditch effort to keep the records private, a spokesperson for the district attorney said. The millions of pages of documents, sources say, contain Trump's tax returns spanning from January 2011 to August 2019, as well as financial statements, engagement agreements, documents relating to the preparation and review of tax returns, and work papers and communications related to the tax returns.


Steve Bannon

Investigation gains steam as Manhattan prosecutors subpoena financial records

The Manhattan district attorney's office has subpoenaed financial records related to Steve Bannon's crowd-funding border-wall effort, signaling that its criminal investigation into former President Donald Trump's chief strategist is advancing, according to people familiar with the matter.

Mohammed bin Salman

Jamal Khashoggi assassins used company seized by Saudi crown prince

The two private jets used by a Saudi Arabian assassination squad that killed and allegedly dismembered journalist Jamal Khashoggi were owned by a company that less than a year prior had been seized by the Kingdom's powerful crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, according to recently filed court documents seen by CNN. The documents, filed as part of a Canadian civil lawsuit earlier this year, are labeled "Top Secret" and signed by a Saudi minister who relayed the orders of the crown prince, the young de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia.

Shortnews

Intel report

Saudi prince approved Khashoggi murder

The Biden administration on Friday released a long-secret intelligence report concluding that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had approved the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. "We assess that Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi," the report reads.

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Intel report

Saudi prince approved Khashoggi murder

The Biden administration on Friday released a long-secret intelligence report concluding that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had approved the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. "We assess that Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi," the report reads.

The report was finally released more than a year after it was first completed by the intelligence community under former President Donald Trump and briefed to the relevant congressional committees, officials said on Thursday.
“We’ve made it clear that this administration will not sweep anything under the rug, and that President Biden will follow the law,” a senior administration official said ahead of the report’s release. The official added that the release was “in honor of Jamal and this horrific crime.”

“Our aim going forward is to make sure nothing like this ever happens again,” the official said.

Mob Attack

Capitol Hill officer details racist abuse

A Capitol Police officer who was part of the response to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol building says he experienced racist abuse from a crowd of rioters who had broken into the building. Harry Dunn, who is Black, told The New York Times for a report published Thursday that around 20 people called him a racist slur after one rioter initiated the chants in response to Dunn's declaration that he had voted for President Biden in the November election. The exact language the rioters used was not detailed in the report.

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Mob Attack

Capitol Hill officer details racist abuse

A Capitol Police officer who was part of the response to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol building says he experienced racist abuse from a crowd of rioters who had broken into the building. Harry Dunn, who is Black, told The New York Times for a report published Thursday that around 20 people called him a racist slur after one rioter initiated the chants in response to Dunn's declaration that he had voted for President Biden in the November election. The exact language the rioters used was not detailed in the report.

"They’re saying, 'Trump is our rightful president. Nobody voted for Joe Biden.' I needed to catch my breath. So I said, 'I voted for Joe Biden. What? My vote doesn’t matter?'" Dunn told the newspaper.

"A woman responded, 'This [slur] voted for Joe Biden!' Everybody that was there started joining in. 'Hey, [slur]!' It was over 20 people who said it," he added.

Dunn's account of the racism he faced during the Capitol siege was revealed publicly this week, though lawmakers had cited it during the Senate's impeachment trial of former President Trump.

Seven Republicans broke with their party and voted to convict Trump of inciting the attack on the Capitol, short of the 17 needed to reach a two-thirds threshold in the chamber.

Dunn told ABC News in a separate interview earlier this week that he saw people assaulting police officers with pro-law enforcement "Blue Lives Matter" flags during the attack, which left dozens of Capitol Police officers injured. One officer died during the riot.

"I got called a [N-word] a couple dozen times ... protecting this building," Dunn told ABC News on Monday. “Is this America? They beat police officers with Blue Lives Matter flags. They fought us, they had Confederate flags in the U.S. Capitol.”

Dunn's latest comments come as the Senate Homeland Security Committee and Senate Rules Committee held a joint hearing on Tuesday to investigate how rioters overwhelmed police during the attack and how relevant agencies should respond in the future.

Poll

Biden with 50 percent approval

About half of Americans approve of President Biden’s job performance nearly a month into his presidency, though Democrats and Republicans are sharply divided in their perceptions, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday. The survey, which questioned more than 1,000 U.S. adults from Feb. 11 to Feb. 14, found that overall, Biden currently has a positive job approval rating of 50 percent, compared to 38 percent who disapprove.

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Poll

Biden with 50 percent approval

About half of Americans approve of President Biden’s job performance nearly a month into his presidency, though Democrats and Republicans are sharply divided in their perceptions, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday. The survey, which questioned more than 1,000 U.S. adults from Feb. 11 to Feb. 14, found that overall, Biden currently has a positive job approval rating of 50 percent, compared to 38 percent who disapprove.

Biden’s approval rating remains relatively unchanged from Quinnipiac’s first poll of his presidency released earlier this month, which showed that about 49 percent of Americans approved of his job performance, compared to 36 percent who had a negative perception of the new administration.

Wednesday’s poll, which reported a margin of error of 3 percentage points, found that Democrats overwhelmingly support Biden’s performance, 91 percent to 2 percent, while Republicans disapprove 82 percent to 11 percent.

Among survey respondents who were registered voters, Biden’s job approval lies at 52 percent to 38 percent, which Quinnipiac noted is nearly the inverse of former President Trump’s at the same point in 2017, when the Republican had a negative job approval rating of 38 percent to 55 percent.

Quinnipiac University polling analyst Tim Malloy said in a press release on the poll’s findings that Biden’s approval numbers are “solid, but not particularly dazzling.”

Malloy added, however, “there may be some solace in the knowledge that his predecessor spent four years in office without getting very close to 50 percent.”

When it comes to the coronavirus pandemic, 58 percent of those surveyed said they approved of Biden’s efforts to combat the virus, with 48 percent approving of his handling of the American economy, which has suffered for months as businesses have been forced to shut down and layoff workers during the pandemic.

Quinnipiac began conducting the poll the same day Biden announced that the U.S. had secured an additional 200 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine, adding that the country should have enough doses from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech to inoculate every American by the end of July.

The administration is also engaged in ongoing negotiations with Congress on the president’s proposed $1.9 trillion relief package. Democratic leaders in Congress have indicated they are prepared to pass the bill, called the American Rescue Plan, with or without Republican votes in the coming weeks.

However, Americans are mixed when it comes to the administration’s plans for reopening schools amid the pandemic, with 42 percent approving and 38 percent indicating disapproval with Biden’s response.

Biden clarified Tuesday that his goal is to have the majority of K-8 schools physically reopened five days a week by the end of his first 100 days in office. The remarks came after White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last week that Biden aimed to have more than 50 percent of schools holding at least one day of in-person learning per week by the end of his first 100 days.

USA - Mexico

Biden formally ends Trump's border emergency

President Joe Biden on Thursday formally terminated former President Donald Trump's two-year-old declaration of a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border and halted the flow of government funds toward construction of the border wall. But roughly 3,600 troops deployed to the border won’t be coming home anytime soon, according to the Pentagon. In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Kamala Harris, in her capacity as president of the Senate, Biden called the order by his predecessor "unwarranted." Biden also announced that government funds would no longer be diverted toward construction of a border wall, stating that he was "directing a careful review of all resources appropriated or redirected to that end."

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USA - Mexico

Biden formally ends Trump's border emergency

President Joe Biden on Thursday formally terminated former President Donald Trump's two-year-old declaration of a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border and halted the flow of government funds toward construction of the border wall. But roughly 3,600 troops deployed to the border won’t be coming home anytime soon, according to the Pentagon.

In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Kamala Harris, in her capacity as president of the Senate, Biden called the order by his predecessor "unwarranted." Biden also announced that government funds would no longer be diverted toward construction of a border wall, stating that he was "directing a careful review of all resources appropriated or redirected to that end."

Biden's proclamation represents his latest effort to undo some of the previous administration's most controversial policies in his opening weeks in office, many of which were related to immigration and law enforcement at the southern border.

But for the troops on the ground, not much will change. Roughly 3,600 military personnel will continue providing support to the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection in the form of surveillance, maintenance, logistics and transportation until September, Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Col. Chris Mitchell said.

In response to the pandemic in March of last year, an additional 600 personnel were deployed to the border to operate 60 additional surveillance sites, Mitchell said. Those troops will leave by March 31.

Mitchell stressed that the troops are not helping with wall construction. That effort is overseen by the Army Corps of Engineers, which directed the contractors working on the border not to install any additional physical barriers. The only work that will occur is the construction activity necessary to close down each site, he said.

Trump's national emergency declaration in February 2019 came after a 35-day government shutdown that resulted in him signing a bipartisan government funding bill allocating $1.375 billion for border security.

That amount was far less than the $5.7 billion Trump had sought to build a wall separating the U.S. and Mexico, so the then-president circumvented Congress by declaring a national emergency at the border.

In total, Trump's declaration diverted more than $6 billion from the Pentagon and Treasury Department to construct or repair as many as 234 miles of border barrier. Of those funds, $3.6 billion were earmarked for military construction, $2.5 billion were dedicated to a Defense Department drug prevention program and $600 million were from a Treasury Department drug forfeiture fund.

The order was met by legal challenges and rebukes among members of Congress from both parties. Additionally, a bipartisan group of nearly five dozen former national security officials condemned the decision.

PARLER

Computer programmer downloaded key impeachment videos

Much of the video footage presented by House impeachment managers in former President Trump’s Senate trial was downloaded from Parler by an anonymous programmer before the platform went offline. Amazon Web Services in January pulled its hosting support for Parler, the social media platform favored by many on the far right, amid reports it had been used to coordinate the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The programmer, who downloaded about 30 terabytes of video, told CNN she “had an efficient way to download it all. I knew what was there, but it seemed that nobody else could see the value.”

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PARLER

Computer programmer downloaded key impeachment videos

Much of the video footage presented by House impeachment managers in former President Trump’s Senate trial was downloaded from Parler by an anonymous programmer before the platform went offline. Amazon Web Services in January pulled its hosting support for Parler, the social media platform favored by many on the far right, amid reports it had been used to coordinate the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The programmer, who downloaded about 30 terabytes of video, told CNN she “had an efficient way to download it all. I knew what was there, but it seemed that nobody else could see the value.”

The programmer, who uses the Twitter name @donk_enby, told the cable news network that she hoped the use of her downloads at Trump's trial “inspires more people with similar skills to mine to use those skills for good.” She told CNN she is not based in the U.S. and all of the videos were publicly accessible before Parler went offline.

Nonprofit news outlet ProPublica on Jan. 17 posted hundreds of videos scraped from the platform. Video footage, much of it never before viewed by the public, has been central to House impeachment managers’ case against the former president. On Wednesday, they presented footage showing Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman steering Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) away from the approaching mob.

CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan tweeted that the public and Congress “might not have seen [the videos] at all had it not been for @donk_enby.”

Politics

CPAC canceled an Anti-Semite

American fascists, extremists, bigots and violent members meet in Florida

The theme of the 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference is “America Uncanceled.” But this week, just days before CPAC was set to kick off in Orlando, Florida, conference organizers announced they’d had to cancel one of their own scheduled speakers. “We have just learned that someone we invited to CPAC has expressed reprehensible views that have no home with our conference or our organization,” CPAC organizers tweeted Monday, referring to right-wing social media figure Young Pharaoh.


Lindsey Boylan

Andrew Cuomo denies former aide's sexual harassment allegations

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is denying allegations from a former aide who accused him of sexual harassment, including an unwanted kiss, in a Medium post on Wednesday. Lindsey Boylan alleged that in 2018, the Democratic governor kissed her on the lips following a one-on-one briefing in his New York City office.

The GOP’s choice in 2024

Trump Ultra, Trump Lite or Trump Zero

At least eight 2024 hopefuls will speak at CPAC, the conservative movement’s premier conference this weekend in Florida, giving Republicans their clearest look yet at who’s competing in the traditional GOP presidential lanes. But there’s only one lane that really matters: the one currently occupied by former President Donald Trump.


Conservative War

Donald Trump: Republicans say finally goodbye to free speech for good

House conservatives are renewing their calls for Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) to step down from her leadership post after she split with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) over whether former President Trump should speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). House Freedom Caucus members are going after Cheney, chair of the House Republican Conference, following an awkward moment during a press conference Wednesday with the House GOP leader.

Lindsey Boylan

Former aide charges Andrew Cuomo kissed, sexually harassed her

A former aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the governor kissed her without her consent and asked her to play strip poker, alleging a pattern of sexual harassment she detailed in a new account Wednesday. Lindsey Boylan, who is running for Manhattan borough president and formerly worked for Cuomo and the state’s economic development agency, wrote in a Medium post that Cuomo kissed her on the lips against her will at his office in Manhattan.

Shortnews

Joe Biden

Schumer sets up confirmation blitz in Senate

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is teeing up a blitz of confirmation floor votes on President Biden's nominees this week. The focus on nominations comes as Senate Democrats are waiting for the House to send them Biden's proposed $1.9 trillion coronavirus bill. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wants a House vote on the bill by Friday, allowing the Senate to take it up as soon as next week. In the meantime, Schumer said that Democrats would be working to confirm four Biden picks.

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Joe Biden

Schumer sets up confirmation blitz in Senate

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is teeing up a blitz of confirmation floor votes on President Biden's nominees this week. The focus on nominations comes as Senate Democrats are waiting for the House to send them Biden's proposed $1.9 trillion coronavirus bill. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wants a House vote on the bill by Friday, allowing the Senate to take it up as soon as next week. In the meantime, Schumer said that Democrats would be working to confirm four Biden picks.

"The Senate will continue the process of confirming President Biden's nominees with a vote on Linda Thomas-Greenfield to serve as the next U.N. ambassador," he said from the Senate floor Monday.

The Senate is expected to hold an initial vote on Thomas-Greenfield's nomination Monday night.

After they wrap up Biden's United Nations pick, Schumer said they would turn to Tom Vilsack's nomination to be the secretary of Agriculture. Under a deal stuck earlier this month, the Senate is expected to hold a vote to confirm Vilsack, who held the same position during the Obama administration, on Tuesday.

Schumer is also teeing up votes on former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) to lead the Department of Energy and Miguel Cardona, Connecticut's commissioner of education, to be Education secretary.

"Both nominees have been advanced by the respective committees with bipartisan votes, a pattern this week and at a time when our nation is gripped by a once in a century crisis. The president deserves to have his nominees approved quickly by this chamber so they can immediately get to work healing our great country," Schumer said.

Biden has gotten seven Senate-approved nominees confirmed so far, after getting only one through on his first day in office: Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines.

Getting four confirmed in one week would be the most Biden has gotten through the Senate in a similar time frame since taking office.

Kentucky

County GOP chair calls on Mitch McConnell to resign

A county GOP chairman in Kentucky is calling for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to resign from his leadership position in the Senate over his floor speech last weekend saying former President Donald Trump was responsible for the Capitol riot. “Given that the county party I represent supports President Trump overwhelmingly and your complete and total disdain for the will of your constituents here in Nelson County I am formally demanding you immediately resign your leadership position within our party’s caucus in the United States Senate,” Don Thrasher, chairman for the Republican Party of Nelson County, said.

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Kentucky

County GOP chair calls on Mitch McConnell to resign

A county GOP chairman in Kentucky is calling for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to resign from his leadership position in the Senate over his floor speech last weekend saying former President Donald Trump was responsible for the Capitol riot. “Given that the county party I represent supports President Trump overwhelmingly and your complete and total disdain for the will of your constituents here in Nelson County I am formally demanding you immediately resign your leadership position within our party’s caucus in the United States Senate,” Don Thrasher, chairman for the Republican Party of Nelson County, said.

McConnell supported Trump throughout his presidency and worked with him frequently, but the GOP Senate leader split from the president after the Capitol on Jan. 6. He voted to acquit Trump in the Senate impeachment trial, but only because he said he did not believe the Senate could constitutionally convict a non-sitting president.

In his speech after his vote, he said “there’s no question — none — that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day.”

Thrasher took exception to those comments.

“Your leadership in the US Senate does not represent the Republican voters that put our faith in you the last primary election,” Thrasher wrote.

Thrasher told the Washington Post that McConnell “stirred up the hornets’ nest even worse” with his speech after his vote and that it only made more people mad.

In his statement, Thrasher said he agreed with a statement Trump issued on Tuesday blasting McConnell.

Trump said McConnell “will never do what needs to be done, or what is right for our Country.”

Thrasher led a failed resolution in January with the Kentucky Republican committee that would have told McConnell to condemn Trump’s impeachment trials.

Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump

$640M in outside income during White House years

Former White House advisors Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner made as much as $640 million during their time in the Trump administration, according to an analysis by a government watchdog group. The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) found the couple earned anywhere between $172 million and $640 million in outside income, according to their financial disclosures.

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Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump

$640M in outside income during White House years

Former White House advisors Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner made as much as $640 million during their time in the Trump administration, according to an analysis by a government watchdog group. The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) found the couple earned anywhere between $172 million and $640 million in outside income, according to their financial disclosures.

The daughter and son-in-law of former President Trump both pledged to forego government salaries in an attempt to sidestep concerns over nepotism. But CREW’s review shows the couple, like Trump, still earned considerable sums from the Trump Hotel in Washington.

“All told, Ivanka made more than $13 million from the hotel since 2017, dropping from about $4 million a year between 2017 and 2019 to about $1.5 million last year, at least in part due to the pandemic,” according to the report, which called the hotel a “locus of influence peddling in the Trump administration.”

The financial disclosures, which report income in ranges, also showed a sharp drop in Ivanka Trump’s stake in the hotel. In her final disclosure she listed the value of her ownership in the hotel between $100,000 to $250,000 this year after previously claiming her stake to be worth between $5 million and $25 million. She did not report selling any of her ownership share in the hotel.

During his final year working for the administration, Kushner also opened a new offshore holding company located in the British Virgin Islands, Kushner Companies BVI Limited, which holds several assets, including the Puck Building LP, which is valued at more than $25 million.

Alejandro Mayorkas

Josh Hawley delays quick confirmation

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) announced on Tuesday he would place a hold on Alejandro Mayorkas, President-elect Joe Biden’s choice to lead the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Hawley, who has come under fire recently amid allegations that he played a role in the Capitol riot early this month, made the announcement just hours after the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs wrapped its hearing with Mayorkas. The move delays the nomination of a post Democrats have argued is critical to fill immediately to protect national security.

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Alejandro Mayorkas

Josh Hawley delays quick confirmation

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) announced on Tuesday he would place a hold on Alejandro Mayorkas, President-elect Joe Biden’s choice to lead the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Hawley, who has come under fire recently amid allegations that he played a role in the Capitol riot early this month, made the announcement just hours after the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs wrapped its hearing with Mayorkas. The move delays the nomination of a post Democrats have argued is critical to fill immediately to protect national security.

“Mr. Mayorkas has not adequately explained how he will enforce federal law and secure the southern border given President-elect Biden’s promise to roll back major enforcement and security measures,” Hawley said in a statement.

“Just today, he declined to say he would enforce the laws Congress has already passed to secure the border wall system. Given this, I cannot consent to skip the standard vetting process and fast-track this nomination when so many questions remain unanswered," he added.

Hawley’s opposition comes as Biden and Democrats argue the attacks on the Capitol make the post a top priority. Hawley was the first senator to announce he would vote against certification of the 2020 election results.

His hold could stall a nomination otherwise expected to advance once Democrats gain control of the Senate on Wednesday. Defeating the hold will require a 50 vote threshold cloture vote and eats up days of floor time, complicating the process.

Mayorkas, who previously served as the deputy secretary of DHS under the Obama administration, did not earn any Republican votes when he was confirmed in 2013.

"We are facing unprecedented challenges and threats to our national security, and our country urgently need a confirmed Secretary of Homeland Security in place on day one to protect the American people. Alejandro Mayorkas is one of the most knowledgeable homeland security experts in the country," Biden transition spokesman Sean Savett said in a statement to The Hill.

"The Senate held swift confirmation votes for the DHS Secretary nominee in 2009 and 2017 in order for them to start on day one for good reason. Senator Hawley's threat to disrupt historical practice and try to leave this vital position vacant is dangerous, especially in this time of overlapping crises when there is not a moment to waste."

Hawley’s opposition stems from an exchange where the lawmaker asked Mayorkas if he would obligate $1.4 billion in funds set aside for Trump’s border wall.

“If I may strike at the fundamental point that I believe you were inquiring of, which is will I follow the law and the execution of my responsibilities should I have the privilege of serving as the Secretary of Homeland Security. And the answer is yes I will follow the law. And what I would need to do is to understand what the law provides with respect to the obligation of funds to construct a border wall, and then see what the opportunities are to discontinue any such obligations,” Mayorkas said.

Hawley then thanked Mayorkas for getting “right to the nub” of his question.

He also asked Mayorkas about Biden’s plans to give legal status to 11 million people residing in the U.S., something Hawley said concerned him “especially in this time of severe economic distress that has fallen disproportionately on working class Americans.”

Mayorkas called the move a “path to citizenship for the individuals who have been in this country for many years, who have contributed to our communities, and to this nation's economic prosperity."

"I would be privileged to work with Congress to pass immigration reform legislation that provides that path, and provides a permanent solution to what is clearly a broken system,” he added.

Pompeo scraps trip

EU leader calls Trump 'political pyromaniac'

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has cancelled a trip to Europe at the last minute after European officials were publicly critical of Donald Trump’s role in last week’s storming of the Capitol. The official reason for the cancellation of the trip, originally to Brussels and Luxembourg, was the need to coordinate with a transition team from the incoming Biden administration, but it comes after the unprecedented attack on American democracy that stunned many world leaders and US allies.

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Pompeo scraps trip

EU leader calls Trump 'political pyromaniac'

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has cancelled a trip to Europe at the last minute after European officials were publicly critical of Donald Trump’s role in last week’s storming of the Capitol. The official reason for the cancellation of the trip, originally to Brussels and Luxembourg, was the need to coordinate with a transition team from the incoming Biden administration, but it comes after the unprecedented attack on American democracy that stunned many world leaders and US allies.

The Luxembourg leg of the trip was called off on Monday after its foreign minister Jean Asselborn called Trump “criminal” for inciting the attack.

Asselborn described the outgoing US president to RTL radio as a “political pyromaniac who must be brought before a court”.

Reuters and Fox News both quoted diplomatic sources as saying it was Luxembourg that had called off the meeting, a devastating snub from a tiny country for a secretary of state that continually claims to have restored “swagger” to the state department.

Pompeo was also due to meet the Belgian deputy prime minister and foreign minister, Sophie Wilmes, who tweeted while the assault in Washington was underway, “These images are shocking, also because they hurt our democratic ideals.”

“They show the extent of President-elect Biden’s task, which will be to unite American society around a common project. We trust him to do that.”

Jens Stoltenberg, the Nato secretary general, who was due to have a dinner with Pompeo had described the scenes in Washington as “shocking” and said: “The outcome of this democratic election must be respected.” A Nato spokesperson confirmed that Pompeo had cancelled on Tuesday, giving as a reason the need to focus on the transition.

Reuters reported that EU officials had declined to meet Pompeo on his last foreign trip, but a EU spokesperson denied there had been any plan or request for meetings with EU leaders.

The state department, in a statement, attributed the cancellation to transition work before President-elect Joe Biden takes office on 20 January, even if until recently Pompeo had been reluctant to unequivocally recognise Biden’s win. Also on Tuesday, the US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft cancelled a planned visit to Taiwan.

The state department declined further comment on European officials’ rejection of meetings with Pompeo.

The cold shoulder was a contrast with Pompeo’s previous visits to Brussels, which is home to Nato and EU headquarters, over the past three years, where he has given key-note speeches on US policy and met the EU’s chief executive, even as Europe balked at Trump’s foreign policy.

Business

"Go back to China Bitch"

Washington Post denounces abuse of reporter

The Washington Post on Thursday denounced online abuse that targeted one of its reporters after a photo of her speaking with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) was shared on Twitter. The attacks on White House correspondent Seung Min Kim came after Huffington Post reporter Igor Bobic on Wednesday shared a photo of Kim showing Murkowski a tweet from Neera Tanden, President Biden's nominee for Office of Management and Budget director, in which Tanden criticized Murkowski.


Oversight Board

Facebook’s ‘Supreme Court’ to receive new powers

The outside group with the final say on whether Donald Trump can be reinstated on Facebook is expected to be given greater powers in the coming months to decide which content is allowed on the world's largest social network, according to Thomas Hughes, administrative director of the so-called Oversight Board.

G999 Josip Heit

Stiftung Warentest: A questionable offer with crypto coin G999

Now the German consumer protection organization Stiftung Warentest has also issued an urgent warning against the professional criminal Josip Heit and his fraud network around the cryptocurrency G999. Particularly fatal in this regard is the statement of the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), which clarified to Finanztest that GSB Gold Standard Banking Corporation AG "does not have a permit to offer banking and/or financial services transactions in Germany."


MyPillow Desaster

Mike Lindell just got sued for $1.3 billion over election conspiracies

Dominion, the voting machine company at the center of baseless election fraud claims by supporters of former President Donald Trump, filed a lawsuit against the MyPillow CEO and his company on Monday for more than $1.3 billion. In a 115-page complaint filed in D.C. federal court, Dominion alleges that Lindell’s conspiracy claims are not the result of an earnest belief in election fraud, but a ploy to sell pillows.

Gold Standard Banking Corporation AG (GSB)

G999 Boss Josip Heit allegedly involved in dirty human trafficking

The public prosecutor's office in Frankfurt is now also investigating the alleged banker Josip Heit. According to the investigators, the Croatian is a key figure in a network of human traffickers operating throughout Europe. Specifically, prosecutors are charging him with promoting prostitution, extortion, coercion, promoting child prostitution, tax evasion and fraud.

CYBERSECURITY

North Korean hackers are 'the world’s leading bank robbers'

Federal prosecutors on Wednesday announced charges against three North Korean government hackers accused of participating in a wide range of cyberattacks, including the destructive 2014 assault on Sony Pictures Entertainment hack, the global WannaCry ransomware attack in 2017 and a range of digital bank heists.

Conservative Media

Rush Limbaugh dead at 70 following battle with cancer

Rush Limbaugh, the conservative media icon who for decades used his perch as the king of talk-radio to shape the politics of both the Republican Party and nation, died Wednesday after a battle with cancer. He was 70 years old. Limbaugh's wife Kathryn made the announcement on his radio show Wednesday.

Donald Trump

New York Prosecutors investigating financial dealings of Manhattan properties

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is investigating financial dealings regarding former President Trump’s Manhattan properties, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal. The newspaper reported that the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is probing loans that Trump took out for the buildings that were made by subsidiaries of real-estate investment trust Ladder Capital. Ladder Capital has lent Trump over $280 million for the four buildings since 2012, the newspaper reported, citing property records.

Shortnews

Payments

Federal Reserve suffers widespread disruption

The Federal Reserve suffered a widespread disruption in multiple payment services Wednesday, including a system that banks and businesses rely on to zip trillions of dollars around the financial system each day. After experiencing problems for several hours, the crucial payment system, known as Fedwire, resumed normal operations shortly before 3 p.m. ET, according to the Fed's website.

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Payments

Federal Reserve suffers widespread disruption

The Federal Reserve suffered a widespread disruption in multiple payment services Wednesday, including a system that banks and businesses rely on to zip trillions of dollars around the financial system each day. After experiencing problems for several hours, the crucial payment system, known as Fedwire, resumed normal operations shortly before 3 p.m. ET, according to the Fed's website.

Other Fed services are still down, however.

In a statement, the Fed blamed an "operational error" and said it is working to restore services and communicate with customers.

Banks, businesses and government agencies rely on Fedwire to transfer vast sums of money around the US banking system. More than $3 trillion was transferred daily using Fedwire during the fourth quarter.

The problems were widespread. Fed staff "became aware of a disruption for all services" beginning around 11:15 a.m. ET, according to a message on the Fed website.

"Our technical teams have determined that the cause is a Federal Reserve operational error," the message said.
In an update, the Fed said that it has "taken steps to help ensure the resilience" of Fedwire and national settlement service applications "including to the point of failure."

It's not clear how many banks or companies are affected by the outage.

Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange backed by the Winklevoss twins, said some of its systems are experiencing outages because of the Fed disruption. "All funds remain secure while we investigate the issue," Gemini said in a status update.

A person familiar with the matter at a major bank told CNN Business that Fedwire flows have resumed. There are few concerns that any payments will fail to be executed due to the outage, the person added.

Neo Fascist Organization

Twitter permanently suspends 'Project Veritas' group

Twitter permanently suspended an account belonging to Project Veritas on Thursday, citing repeat violations of the site's policies against publishing private information. A Twitter spokesperson confirmed that the main Project Veritas account was permanently suspended, while founder James O'Keefe had his account temporarily locked. Several recent tweets on O'Keefe's timeline appeared to have been deleted by Thursday afternoon. Twitter did not immediately return a request for comment regarding private information shared by Veritas and O'Keefe.

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Neo Fascist Organization

Twitter permanently suspends 'Project Veritas' group

Twitter permanently suspended an account belonging to Project Veritas on Thursday, citing repeat violations of the site's policies against publishing private information. A Twitter spokesperson confirmed that the main Project Veritas account was permanently suspended, while founder James O'Keefe had his account temporarily locked. Several recent tweets on O'Keefe's timeline appeared to have been deleted by Thursday afternoon. Twitter did not immediately return a request for comment regarding private information shared by Veritas and O'Keefe.

Founded in 2010, Project Veritas is a right-wing group that routinely published undercover sting videos, some of which have been accused of deceptive editing. Last October the group was criticized after claiming to have uncovered a witness to voter fraud in Minnesota only for the witness to backtrack on his claims days later and accuse Project Veritas operatives of trying to bribe him, according to multiple reports.

The group, which frequently targets Democratic politicians and media organizations, scored a victory last year when an ABC News correspondent was suspended after a Veritas video showed him claiming that the network does not care about newsworthy issues.

They have also published videos of a "Good Morning America" anchor complaining about the network ignoring her story on disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.

COVID-19

Democrats blast Facebook over anti-vaccine pages

Reps. Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.) and Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) blasted Facebook over anti-vaccine pages on its platform. The Democrats wrote a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg demanding to know why anti-vaccination pages are allowed to spread misinformation on the platform, and how the company plans to remove them. The letter comes after anti-vaccine demonstrators staged a protest at Dodgers Stadium on Saturday, forcing the Los Angeles Fire Department to close the gates for roughly an hour.

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COVID-19

Democrats blast Facebook over anti-vaccine pages

Reps. Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.) and Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) blasted Facebook over anti-vaccine pages on its platform. The Democrats wrote a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg demanding to know why anti-vaccination pages are allowed to spread misinformation on the platform, and how the company plans to remove them. The letter comes after anti-vaccine demonstrators staged a protest at Dodgers Stadium on Saturday, forcing the Los Angeles Fire Department to close the gates for roughly an hour.

The Washington Post reported that a Facebook page with nearly 3,000 followers organized the protest.

“California is currently being ravaged by COVID-19. Among those affected, communities of color, immigrant communities, frontline low-wage workers and other vulnerable communities bear the brunt of the pandemic,” the lawmakers wrote.

“It is crucial to the fight against COVID-19, and to ensuring society can move beyond this pandemic, that such public health efforts are not interrupted. Any disruption to similar mass vaccinations sites can easily lead to unnecessary infections and deaths,” they wrote.

Gomez and Pocan asked for information on how the Facebook group was able to organize, and had websites that linked to multiple sources of coronavirus misinformation, including the baseless “Plandemic” narrative.

They also asked what actions the platform is taking to ensure similar pages and efforts are removed from the site.

“Lives are literally hanging in the balance of your corporate actions and decisions, you must do more,” the lawmakers wrote. “Congress is closely watching your response. We will not hesitate to act in this matter should it be required.”

Facebook said in December that it would remove misinformation about coronavirus vaccines as vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna were nearing approval.

In October, the platform also banned advertisements that discouraged people from getting vaccines, including those that paint them as useless, harmful or unsafe.

Donald Trump

YouTube extends ban

Donald Trump is suspended from posting to YouTube indefinitely after the video platform’s parent company Google extended a ban put in place this month. “In light of concerns about the ongoing potential for violence, the Donald J Trump channel will remain suspended,” a YouTube spokesperson said. “Our teams are staying vigilant and closely monitoring for any new developments.”

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Donald Trump

YouTube extends ban

Donald Trump is suspended from posting to YouTube indefinitely after the video platform’s parent company Google extended a ban put in place this month. “In light of concerns about the ongoing potential for violence, the Donald J Trump channel will remain suspended,” a YouTube spokesperson said. “Our teams are staying vigilant and closely monitoring for any new developments.”

YouTube had announced on 12 January, following the insurrection at the Capitol, that it would suspend Trump’s account indefinitely. After revisiting the issue it has decided to keep that suspension in place, CNet first reported.

Under the suspension, Trump’s account will remain online but the former president will not be able to post new videos. Comments under existing videos will remain disabled, a YouTube spokesperson told the Guardian. The company did not give any indication as to when the suspension would be lifted.

YouTube is one of several major tech platforms that took action against Trump in early January, citing a risk his messages could incite violence.

Twitter on 8 January banned Trump permanently from its platforms in all capacities. It suspended Trump’s personal Twitter account and cracked down on other accounts Trump attempted to tweet from to evade the ban, including the official presidential account @POTUS and his campaign account @TeamTrump. After Trump left office, @POTUS was turned over to Joe Biden.

Trump remains suspended from Facebook and Instagram pending a decision from the platform’s Oversight Board. The board comprises 30 officials from around the world who work as Facebook’s “supreme court”, meant to have a more objective final say on the social network’s moderation decisions. It has not yet announced when the board will take up the issue.

Critics of Facebook, including a group calling itself the “Real Facebook Oversight Board”, objected to Facebook’s decision to defer to the board regarding Trump’s suspension, saying that the platform’s action against the account was too little, too late. “The Oversight Board is no substitute for real and responsible moderation of content nor is it an acceptable replacement for truly independent, democratically accountable regulation,” the group said in a statement.

“If they can’t take up a case until after there’s been an attempted insurrection, what’s the point?” it added. “Whether or not Trump is banned for good, the real question needs to be: what is Facebook doing to keep hateful and violent content off their platforms to begin with?”

Washington Post

Executive Editor Marty Baron to retire next month

Marty Baron, the executive editor of The Washington Post who led the newsroom to 10 Pulitzer Prizes, will retire at the end of February, he announced in a newsroom memo Tuesday. "The experience has been deeply meaningful, enriched by colleagues who made me a better professional and a better person. At age 66, I feel ready to move on," he wrote. His last day will be Feb. 28.

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Washington Post

Executive Editor Marty Baron to retire next month

Marty Baron, the executive editor of The Washington Post who led the newsroom to 10 Pulitzer Prizes, will retire at the end of February, he announced in a newsroom memo Tuesday. "The experience has been deeply meaningful, enriched by colleagues who made me a better professional and a better person. At age 66, I feel ready to move on," he wrote. His last day will be Feb. 28.

Baron had told newsroom department heads that he was committed to staying at the Post through the 2020 presidential election, but he didn't commit to staying on afterward. Speculation of Baron's retirement had increased in the weeks since.


"Although we have long known this day would come, it does not lessen the emotion we feel with news of Marty Baron‘s decision to retire," said Fred Ryan, the publisher and CEO of the Post, in a note to company employees.

"Under Marty's eight years of newsroom leadership, The Washington Post has experienced a dramatic resurgence and has soared to new journalistic heights," he continued.

With Baron at the helm, the Post expanded its newsroom from 580 journalists to more than 1,000, largely enabled by the support of Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon who purchased the Post after Baron joined the newsroom in 2013.

Bezos thanked Baron for his leadership at the Post on Instagram, posting a picture of the two in conversation.

"Thank you, Marty Baron, for all you have done during your eight years as Editor of The Post," he wrote in the caption. "Our success these past several years would not and simply could not have happened without you."

Baron came to the Post after running The Boston Globe, where he oversaw the Globe's coverage of sexual abuse by priests in the Catholic Church. The Pulitzer-winning investigation was memorialized in the 2015 film "Spotlight," with Liev Schreiber playing Baron. The film went on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Ryan said the Post will look at both internal and outside candidates for Baron's successor to lead the paper.

"From the moment I arrived at The Post," Baron wrote, "I have sought to make an enduring contribution while giving back to a profession that has meant so much to me and that serves to safeguard democracy. It has been my honor to work alongside hundreds of journalists who make The Post an indispensable institution."

500 Dollar Fine

Bruce Springsteen has DWI and reckless driving charges dropped

Bruce Springsteen pleaded guilty Wednesday to drinking shots of tequila as a New Jersey federal park last year, but prosecutors dropped charges of DWI and reckless driving after he was found to be well within the legal limit. During a virtual arraignment hearing on Wednesday, prosecutors said they could not meet the legal burden for the drunken driving against The Boss, 71, who's blood alcohol content was found to be .02 - well below the state's threshold of 0.8.

Get Lucky

Daft Punk, French electronic music duo, split up after 28 years

Daft Punk, the French duo whose sci-fi aesthetic and euphoric sense of pop transformed electronic music, have split up. They announced the split with a YouTube video featuring a clip from their film Electroma, featuring an intertitle with the dates 1993-2021. Their publicist Kathryn Frazier confirmed the split to Pitchfork, but did not elaborate.

Game of Thrones

Actor Esmé Bianco accuses Marilyn Manson of physical abuse

After hinting that she was also a Manson survivor in an Instagram post last week — joining fellow actress Evan Rachel Wood and at least five other women — Bianco detailed to the Cut the abuse Manson allegedly inflicted on her during the few months she lived with the shock rocker.

RIP

Christopher Plummer, oldest actor to win an Oscar, dies aged 91

Christopher Plummer, the dazzlingly versatile Canadian actor whose screen career straddled seven decades, including such high-profile films as The Sound of Music, The Man Who Would Be King and All the Money in the World, has died aged 91.

Golden Globe Nominations 2021

The biggest snubs and surprises

The Golden Globe nominations 2021 have arrived, triggering a slew of shocking snubs and surprises. One of the most egregious snubs? A complete shutout in the best-drama category for Black-led films, including predicted nominees like Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods, Regina King’s One Night in Miami…, George C. Wolfe’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and Shaka King’s Judas and the Black Messiah.

Evan Rachel Wood

Marilyn Manson dropped by record label amid abuse allegations

In the wake of Evan Rachel Wood’s announcement that Marilyn Manson “horrifically abused” her for years when they were in a relationship, Loma Vista Recordings, which released Manson’s three most recent albums, has parted ways with the singer.

#MeToo

Evan Rachel Wood and four other women accuse Marilyn Manson of abuse

Evan Rachel Wood has accused her former partner Marilyn Manson of years of “horrific” abuse.

Bee Gees

The Gibb Brothers Songbook Vol 1 review – a missed opportunity

It’s not been tested in a lab, but anecdotal belief holds that sibling harmonies vibrate at particularly sublime frequency. On How Can You Mend a Broken Heart, the illuminating Bee Gees documentary released last month, Noel Gallagher and a Jonas Brother reflect wryly on the vicissitudes of being in a band with your brothers, but also on how uncanny the musical entente can be.

COVID-19

Grammy awards postponed weeks before ceremony over Covid concerns

The 2021 Grammy awards will be postponed after a steady increase in Covid-19 cases in California.

Sauvage Fragrance

Dior sticks by Johnny Depp in defiance of 'wife beater' ruling

Evidence suggests defiant Johnny Depp fans have been buying Dior’s Sauvage fragrance in support of the actor, who continues to be the face of the cologne despite a high court judge finding that he violently abused his ex-wife during their relationship.

The jealous president

Trump rips Lady Gaga, Jon Bon Jovi over support for Biden

President Donald Trump is knocking Joe Biden's celebrity support, saying he's bringing in bigger crowds without his Democratic opponent's star-studded surrogates. Speaking about the former vice president during a Monday campaign rally in Scranton, Pa., Trump went on a riff about Biden's high-profile Hollywood endorsements. "Now he's got Lady Gaga," Trump said, as the crowd booed at the mention of the "Rain on Me" singer, who was poised to campaign with Biden in Pittsburgh on Monday. "I could tell you plenty of stories about Lady Gaga," Trump said. "I know a lot of stories about her."

Support

Eminem lends hand to Biden with 'Lose Yourself' campaign ad

Eminem signaled support for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden this week by allowing Biden's campaign to use his hit single "Lose Yourself" in a new advertisement.

Magazin

Prince Harry

Prince Harry defends Netflix's The Crown in James Corden interview

The Duke of Sussex has defended the Netflix series The Crown, saying that – while it was not “strictly accurate” – it portrayed the pressures of royal life. In an interview with James Corden for the US programme The Late Late Show, Prince Harry said he minded the intrusions of the media into his family’s life much more than the miniseries, which was “obviously fiction”.


Environment

Atlantic Ocean circulation at weakest in a millennium, say scientists

The Atlantic Ocean circulation that underpins the Gulf Stream, the weather system that brings warm and mild weather to Europe, is at its weakest in more than a millennium, and climate breakdown is the probable cause, according to new data.

Tiger Woods

After the crash: there is precious little left for the 15-times major winner to prove

Summoning the spirit of Ben Hogan might not be enough for Tiger Woods to prolong a remarkable career. That the golf world is not prepared for Woods to call time on tournament pursuits was clear in the aftermath of the road accident which left the stricken 45-year-old requiring prolonged surgery on his right leg. Golf wants to cling on to an individual who transcends the sport and has single-handedly hauled it into a different commercial stratosphere. The post-Woods age has lingered somewhere in the distance for some time, with nobody really willing to address what it may entail.


Alexei Navalny

Artemi Panarin takes leave from Rangers, denies Russia altercation report

Artemi Panarin is taking a leave of absence from the New York Rangers in response to a story being reported in Russia alleging he had a physical altercation with an 18-year-old woman in Riga, Latvia, in 2011.

COVID-19

President Joe Biden to hold memorial as US nears 500,000 Covid deaths

Joe Biden is set to mark the latest tragic milestone of Covid deaths in the US on Monday night, with a candlelit commemoration and moment of silence for the 500,000 who will have lost their lives. With the heart-wrenching landmark approaching, the White House is preparing for a sunset ceremony focused on those who have died and their grieving loved ones. With his wife, Jill Biden, Vice-president Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, by his side, the president is expected to echo the commemoration held for Covid victims at the Lincoln Memorial the night before his inauguration. He said then: “To heal we must remember.”

Serena Williams

What next after her tearful Australian Open exit?

A few hours after Serena Williams walked out of Rod Laver Arena, beaten in the late stages of a grand slam tournament once more, the Eurosport team had converged in front of the cameras to discuss the day’s play. There stood Barbara Schett, last active 15 years ago, who played against Williams three times, and via video link, Williams’s former rival Justine Henin, who retired in Melbourne 10 years ago.

COVID-19

US could have averted 40% of Covid deaths, says panel examining Trump's policies

The US could have averted 40% of the deaths from Covid-19, had the country’s death rates corresponded with the rates in other high-income G7 countries, according to a Lancet commission tasked with assessing Donald Trump’s health policy record. Almost 470,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus so far, with the number widely expected to go above half a million in the next few weeks. At the same time some 27 million people in the US have been infected. Both figures are by far the highest in the world.

Stormy Daniels to Michael Cohen

Fox News movie brought back memory of sex with Trump

Stormy Daniels has said she could not remember key details of the sexual liaison she claims to have had with Donald Trump, until seeing a film about Roger Ailes’ sexual harassment of women at Fox News prompted her to remember.

Shortnews

Climate Change · Bioterrorism

Bill Gates names the next two monster disasters

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates famously predicted an infectious virus was likely to kill millions of people across the globe five years before COVID-19 did just that. “If anything kills over 10 million people in the next few decades, it’s most likely to be a highly infectious virus rather than a war,” Gates said during a 2015 Ted Talk. “We’ve actually invested very little in a system to stop an epidemic. We’re not ready for the next epidemic,” he warned.

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Climate Change · Bioterrorism

Bill Gates names the next two monster disasters

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates famously predicted an infectious virus was likely to kill millions of people across the globe five years before COVID-19 did just that. “If anything kills over 10 million people in the next few decades, it’s most likely to be a highly infectious virus rather than a war,” Gates said during a 2015 Ted Talk. “We’ve actually invested very little in a system to stop an epidemic. We’re not ready for the next epidemic,” he warned.

Now the billionaire philanthropist has spoken on what the next big crisis facing humanity could be. During an interview on Derek Muller’s YouTube channel Veritasium, Gates pointed out two prominent threats facing the modern world: climate change and bioterrorism.

“Every year that [climate change] would be a death toll even greater than we've had in this pandemic,” Gates said during the interview.

“Also, related to pandemics is something people don’t like to talk about much, which is bioterrorism, that somebody who wants to cause damage could engineer a virus. So that means the chance of running into this is more than just naturally caused epidemics like the current one,” he said.

While Gates said there will certainly be more pandemics in the future, he said humanity could increase its preparedness for one to the point where the world would never have a death toll anywhere near what is occurring today with the coronavirus outbreak, which has infected more than 27 million people and killed more than 2.3 million around the globe.

“Pandemics can be worse in terms of the fatalities. Smallpox was over 30 percent fatality,” Gates said. “We were lucky that the fatality here is not, not super high, but we can nip in the bud...the number of deaths with the right system should be a tenth of what we’ve seen here.”

Gates said the world could prepare for the next pandemic by advancing mRNA research, the technology used in the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, increasing testing to 10 million PCR tests a day and making more investments in diagnostic machines and therapeutics.

Formel 1

Alonso kehrt zu Renault zurück

Der Spanier Fernando Alonso soll übereinstimmenden Medienberichten zufolge 2021 sein Formel-1-Comeback geben. Der zweimalige Weltmeister hat bereits einen Vertrag unterschrieben und soll in der nächsten Saison wieder für Renault fahren. Der 38-Jährige würde demnach das Cockpit von Daniel Ricciardo übernehmen, der zu McLaren wechselt. Alonso wurde mit Renault 2005 und 2006 Weltmeister. Sein letztes Formel-1-Rennen hatte der Asturier beim Saisonfinale 2018 in Abu Dhabi bestritten. Seitdem war er unter anderem in der Rallye Dakar aktiv.

Election 2020

Smartmatic

Lou Dobbs, and the most problematic claims Trump allies made about voting machines

Lou Dobbs is out at Fox Business, just a day after the voting machine company Smartmatic filed a $2.7 billion lawsuit against him, the cable news network and several purveyors of the debunked theory that its technology was used to commit massive voter fraud. The ouster of Dobbs, who was Fox Business’s top-rated host, is merely the latest evidence of the very real impact of the legal threats from Smartmatic and another voting machine company, Dominion.


Impeachment

Trump legal switch hints at larger problems

Former President Trump abruptly changed his legal team over the weekend, underscoring his difficulties in putting together a strong defense just a week before his impeachment trial is to begin. The president announced late Sunday that his legal defense will be led by attorneys David Schoen and Bruce Castor, two figures involved in controversial cases in the past.

After Capitol riot

Tens of thousands of voters drop Republican Party

More than 30,000 voters who had been registered members of the Republican Party have changed their voter registration in the weeks after a mob of pro-Trump supporters attacked the Capitol — an issue that led the House to impeach the former president for inciting the violence. The massive wave of defections is a virtually unprecedented exodus that could spell trouble for a party that is trying to find its way after losing the presidential race and the Senate majority.


‘Dead on arrival’

Trump conviction unlikely after GOP votes to nix trial

Nearly every Senate Republican declared Tuesday that putting a former president on trial for impeachment is unconstitutional, indicating that the House’s case against Donald Trump is almost certain to fail. The procedural vote, forced by Sen. Rand Paul, underscores the significant hurdles facing the House’s impeachment managers, who will need to convince at least 17 Republican senators in order to secure a conviction. Paul’s motion to declare the trial unconstitutional ultimately failed because Democrats opposed it; however, 45 GOP senators voted to affirm the Kentucky Republican's view, delivering an early and possibly fatal blow to the House’s case.

Conspiracy

QAnon thinks Donald Trump will become president again on March 4

Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 19th president of the United States on March 4, 2021. This is the latest conspiracy that QAnon followers have embraced in the wake of President Joe Biden’s inauguration last week, and extremist experts are worried that it highlights the way QAnon adherents are beginning to merge their beliefs — about the world being run by an elite cabal of cannibalistic satanist pedophiles — with even more extreme ideologies.

“The Hill We Climb”

Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem is a stunning vision of democracy

Among the firsts in Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem, “The Hill We Climb,” is the concept of democracy that it assumed. Democracy, according to the twenty-two-year-old poet, is an aspiration—a thing of the future. The word “democracy” first appears in the same verse in which Gorman refers to “a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it.” The insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th took place while Gorman was working on the poem, although the “force,” one may assume, is bigger than the insurrection—it is the Trump Presidency that made the insurrection possible, and the forces of white supremacy and inequality that enabled that Presidency itself.”

The new President

Joe Biden sworn in as 46th president on family Bible his son Beau used

Joseph Robinette Biden Jr has been sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, promising to marshal a spirit of national unity to guide the country through one of the most perilous chapters in American history. Millions of Americans watched from home as Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath of office to Biden on the steps outside the West Front of the US Capitol, just two weeks after they watched in horror as a mob of supporters loyal to his predecessor stormed the building in a violent last stand to overturn the results of the presidential election.

'We did what we came here to do'

The final lie: Donald Trump tries to recast legacy in farewell address

President Donald Trump tried to recast his legacy away from the violence of the past few weeks in his farewell address on Tuesday afternoon. As he leaves office as the only twice-impeached U.S. president, Trump portrayed his political phenomenon as a unifying one, as opposed to the vitriolic, partisan warfare he engaged in throughout his presidency and campaign. And with the memory of his supporters swarming the Capitol in a deadly attack fresh in the nation’s conscience, the president used the address to try to reframe his legacy as a rosier picture of his time in office.

Shortnews

Riley June Williams

Woman offered Pelosi's laptop to the Russians

Federal prosecutors are preparing to charge a 22-year-old woman with felony theft for allegedly taking a laptop from Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office, and they're urging a Harrisburg-area judge to deny her bail. Riley June Williams — who was already facing misdemeanor charges for her presence in the Capitol during the Jan. 6 attacks, while insurrectionists and rioters swarmed the building — was arrested Monday after first fleeing police.

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Riley June Williams

Woman offered Pelosi's laptop to the Russians

Federal prosecutors are preparing to charge a 22-year-old woman with felony theft for allegedly taking a laptop from Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office, and they're urging a Harrisburg-area judge to deny her bail. Riley June Williams — who was already facing misdemeanor charges for her presence in the Capitol during the Jan. 6 attacks, while insurrectionists and rioters swarmed the building — was arrested Monday after first fleeing police.

The initial evidence against her included witness testimony suggesting Riley had told friends she planned to sell Pelosi's laptop to Russian intelligence.

But the first batch of charges did not include the theft, which the FBI indicated remains under investigation.
By elevating the case against Williams, prosecutors are indicating they believe she is the culprit behind the theft of a laptop from Pelosi's office, despite conflicting indications from other rioters and social media posts. Aides to Pelosi say the laptop was only used for presentations.

The impending new charges are an indication of the fast-moving efforts by prosecutors to build on some of the quick initial charges they lodged against Capitol rioters. FBI and Justice Department officials indicated they mounted quick cases to round up some of the insurrectionists and participants in the riots and intended to add more serious charges over time.

A hearing on whether Williams should be detained while awaiting trial is scheduled for Thursday. Williams' attorney Lori Ulrich protested the delay, noting that her client has remained in jail since Monday.

According to the initial case against Williams, a former romantic partner who spoke to authorities claimed to have seen a video of Williams "taking a laptop computer or hard drive from Speaker Pelosi’s office."

"[Witness 1] stated that WILLIAMS intended to send the computer device to a friend in Russia, who then planned to sell the device to SVR, Russia’s foreign intelligence service," the agent noted. "According to [Witness 1], the transfer of the computer device to Russia fell through for unknown reasons and WILLIAMS still has the computer device or destroyed it."

"This matter remains under investigation," the agent concluded.

For now, Williams is facing charges of entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct for her actions inside the Capitol.

The agent handling Williams' case also spoke to law enforcement officials in Harrisburg who had recently interacted with Williams' parents. Williams' mother on Jan. 11 filed a suspicious persons report against the person the FBI has identified as "Witness 1." That witness is described as a former romantic partner of the suspect.

While local officers were present, Williams' mother called her via video, and officers saw her wearing a brown jacket that matched the one she was seen wearing in images from the Jan. 6 riots. Harrisburg officers also spoke with Williams' father, who said he drove with her to Washington for the protests but that they split up for the day while she joined other friends.

The pair drove home from Washington after meeting outside the Capitol.

Chad Wolf

Acting homeland security secretary to step down

Acting homeland security secretary Chad Wolf is stepping down, nine days ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration and amid widespread fears about security in the aftermath of the mob attack on the Capitol last week.

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Chad Wolf

Acting homeland security secretary to step down

Acting homeland security secretary Chad Wolf is stepping down, nine days ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration and amid widespread fears about security in the aftermath of the mob attack on the Capitol last week.

In Congress, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Monday that the House will move forward with impeaching President Trump for a second time if Vice President Pence does not seek to remove him under the 25th Amendment by Wednesday.

Her threat came shortly after House Democrats formally introduced an article of impeachment against Trump, charging him with “incitement of insurrection” for his role in the takeover of the U.S. Capitol by a violent pro-Trump mob on Wednesday.

Democrats say that measure already has 218 co-sponsors, enough to guarantee passage.

Impeachment

Dershowitz says he'd defend Trump again

Alan Dershowitz, the controversial celebrity attorney who defended President Trump during his impeachment trial, said Friday that he would be willing to defend the president again should the House impeach him a second time. Dershowitz said he did not believe Trump committed an impeachable offense in urging supporters to go to the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. The rioters eventually stormed the Capitol in what was became one of the darkest and most embarrassing episodes for the country in recent memory.

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Impeachment

Dershowitz says he'd defend Trump again

Alan Dershowitz, the controversial celebrity attorney who defended President Trump during his impeachment trial, said Friday that he would be willing to defend the president again should the House impeach him a second time. Dershowitz said he did not believe Trump committed an impeachable offense in urging supporters to go to the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. The rioters eventually stormed the Capitol in what was became one of the darkest and most embarrassing episodes for the country in recent memory.

Many observers believe Trump played a direct role in inciting the mob to attack the Capitol, and event that led to the death of a Capitol Police officer and several others, many injuries, and the evacuation of lawmakers.

House Democrats are preparing to impeach Trump and Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said he was willing to consider it on Friday morning.

But Dershowitz said it was not impeachable.

"He has not committed a constitutionally impeachable offense and I would be honored to once again defend the Constitution against partisan efforts to weaponize it for political purposes,” Dershowitz told The Hill.

Trump egged on supporters at a rally just before the Capitol was hit, urging them to “fight” while repeating his claims that a fair election he lost had been rigged.

Trump was impeached in a largely party-line vote in December 2019 for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. He was acquitted by the Senate last February, with only one GOP senator – Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) – voting to convict and remove Trump on the count of abuse of power.

It’s unclear whether a second impeachment would be successful. Sixty-six senators would need to vote in favor of removing Trump. The effort would also likely need to move quickly, given that Trump only has 12 days remaining in office.

While Dershowitz is willing to defend Trump in another impeachment trial, it’s unclear whether the other attorneys who represented him the first time would do so also.

Trump’s legal team consisted of nine lawyers, including Jay Sekulow, Trump’s personal attorney, and White House counsel Pat Cipollone and other attorneys in the White House counsel’s office.

Michigan voter fraud hearing

Flatulence, unruly drunken witness

A hearing in Michigan on Wednesday regarding voter fraud in the presidential election went viral over alleged flatulence and testimony from an unruly witness. During the nearly five-hour hearing before the Michigan state legislature, President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and other witnesses repeated debunked claims of voter fraud and election misconduct.

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Michigan voter fraud hearing

Flatulence, unruly drunken witness

A hearing in Michigan on Wednesday regarding voter fraud in the presidential election went viral over alleged flatulence and testimony from an unruly witness. During the nearly five-hour hearing before the Michigan state legislature, President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and other witnesses repeated debunked claims of voter fraud and election misconduct, according to MLive.com.

HuffPost reporter Ryan J. Reilly shared a video on Twitter of Giuliani passionately answering a question about Attorney General William Barr’s statement that federal prosecutors had not found evidence of election fraud that would influence the outcome.

During the clip, what sounds like flatulence can be heard as he’s speaking.

A second clip by Reilly was shared 2.3 million times.

Another clip from the hearing went viral of a drunken witness telling the panel baseless accusations of widespread voter fraud.

Roughly 30 seconds into the clip, she interrupts a Michigan representatives trying to ask a follow-up question to a statement she made.

Giuliani can be seen reaching over to her, tapping her arm, and then tapping the table. He appeared to be trying to get the witness' attention.

The clip has been viewed more than 17.7 million times, and the phrase “When Rudy” was trending in response.

The hearing did not show any evidence of widespread voter fraud by the time it was over, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Michigan certified President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the state last Monday, a state he won by roughly 150,000 votes.

Jen Psaki

Biden names White House press secretary

President-elect Joe Biden said Jen Psaki, a former White House communications director, will be his press secretary, one of seven women named to top communications roles Sunday.

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Jen Psaki

Biden names White House press secretary

President-elect announces seven-member all-female communications team. President-elect Joe Biden said Jen Psaki, a former White House communications director, will be his press secretary, one of seven women named to top communications roles Sunday. Ms. Psaki, who has been overseeing the confirmation process for the transition, served in several top roles in the Obama administration, including as State Department spokeswoman.

In addition to Ms. Psaki, Mr. Biden said that his White House communications director will be Kate Bedingfield, who served in the same role for his campaign. Pili Tobar will be deputy communications director, and Karine Jean-Pierre will serve as principal deputy press secretary. Ms. Tobar worked as the communications director for coalitions for Mr. Biden’s campaign, and Ms. Jean-Pierre served as chief of staff to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris during the campaign.

Symone Sanders will serve as senior adviser and chief spokesperson for Ms. Harris, and Ashley Etienne was named her communications director. Elizabeth Alexander will be communications director for first lady Jill Biden. All three served as senior advisers during the campaign.

“I am proud to announce today the first senior White House communications team comprised entirely of women,” Mr. Biden said. 

“These qualified, experienced communicators bring diverse perspectives to their work and a shared commitment to building this country back better.”