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Minneapolis

Officer Kimberly Potter who fatally shot Daunte Wright charged with manslaughter

‘She must be held accountable’: prosecutors unveil second-degree manslaughter charge

Former police officer Kimberly Potter was charged with second-degree manslaughter on Wednesday after fatally shooting the 20-year-old Black motorist Daunte Wright, officials said. The white former suburban Minneapolis police officer was arrested earlier in the day in relation to the shooting dead of Wright during a traffic stop on Sunday in Brooklyn Center, a suburb of Minneapolis. The killing of Wright ignited days of unrest and clashes between protesters and police. The charge against Potter was filed on Wednesday, three days after Wright was killed.

Kim Potter

Police chief, veteran cop Kim Potter who shot and killed Daunte Wright both quit

The Brooklyn Center police chief and the white cop who fatally shot Daunte Wright during a traffic stop on Sunday after apparently mistaking her handgun for a Taser have both resigned. “I have loved every minute of being a police officer and serving this community to the best of my ability, but I believe it is the best interest of the community, the department, and my fellow officers if I resign immediately,” Potter said in a letter announcing her resignation to Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliot and other city officials. Police Chief Tim Gannon has resigned from the department.

Black Lives Matter

Daunte Wright shot dead by cops outside Minneapolis during a traffic stop

The officer who killed a young Black man during a traffic stop outside Minneapolis on Sunday accidentally fired her gun instead of a Taser during the arrest, the Brooklyn Center police chief said Monday afternoon. “This was an accidental discharge that resulted in the tragic death of Mr. [Daunte] Wright,” Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon said during a Monday press conference where body-camera footage of the shooting was released. He noted that the “very senior officer” involved shouted “Taser, Taser!” during the arrest, apparently unaware that she’d pulled out her handgun.

Matt Gaetz Scandal

Wingman Joel Greenberg paid dozens of young women — and a 17-year-old

Venmo payment records reveal a vast network of young women

As new details emerge about Rep. Matt Gaetz’s role in an alleged sex ring, The Daily Beast has obtained several documents showing that the suspected ringleader of the group, Joel Greenberg, made more than 150 Venmo payments to dozens of young women, and a girl who was 17 at the time. The payment from Greenberg, an accused sex trafficker, to the 17-year-old took place in June 2017. It was for $300 for “Food.” Greenberg’s relationship with Gaetz, and the money Greenberg paid to women, is a focal point for the Justice Department investigation into Gaetz.

The far right conspiracy

Facebook knew of Honduran president’s manipulation campaign – and let it go

Facebook allowed the president of Honduras to artificially inflate the appearance of popularity on his posts for nearly a year after the company was first alerted to the activity. The astroturfing – the digital equivalent of a bussed-in crowd – was just one facet of a broader online disinformation effort that the administration has used to attack critics and undermine social movements, Honduran activists and scholars say. Facebook posts by Juan Orlando Hernández, an authoritarian rightwinger whose 2017 re-election is widely viewed as fraudulent.

George Floyd trial

Brother Philonise breaks down on the stand: he ‘was the leader in our house’

George Floyd’s younger brother broke down in tears on the stand Monday as he recalled seeing his sibling for the last time at their mother’s funeral in 2018. “George just sat there at the casket... He would just say ‘mama, mama,’ over and over again,” Philonise Floyd, 39, told jurors in Hennepin County court on Monday. “And I didn’t know what to tell him, because I was in pain, too. We all were hurting. And he was just kissing her, and just kissing her. He didn’t want to leave the casket.” Two years later, his older brother died.

Bernie Madoff

Mastermind of the nation's biggest investment fraud, dies at 82

Infamous fraudster Bernie Madoff has died at age 82. Madoff masterminded the biggest investment fraud in U.S. history, a Ponzi scheme that ripped off tens of thousands of people of as much as $65 billion. Madoff was serving a 150-year sentence at the federal prison care center in Butner, North Carolina, where he was being treated for what his attorney called terminal kidney disease.

Derek Chauvin trial

Defense opens its case with ex-police officer

The defense in the Derek Chauvin murder trial opened its case on Tuesday by attempting to show George Floyd had a history of failing to cooperate with the police while under the influence of drugs. Scott Creighton, a former Minneapolis police officer, testified that he stopped a vehicle in May 2019 in which Floyd was a passenger and found him incoherent and unable to obey orders.

Kim Potter

Police chief, veteran cop Kim Potter who shot and killed Daunte Wright both quit

The Brooklyn Center police chief and the white cop who fatally shot Daunte Wright during a traffic stop on Sunday after apparently mistaking her handgun for a Taser have both resigned. “I have loved every minute of being a police officer and serving this community to the best of my ability, but I believe it is the best interest of the community, the department, and my fellow officers if I resign immediately,” Potter said in a letter announcing her resignation to Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliot and other city officials. Police Chief Tim Gannon has resigned from the department.

Republican Party

Donald Trump digs in on attacks against Republican leaders

Former President Trump is showing no signs of wanting to unify the GOP even as party leaders scramble to smooth out divisions that they fear will be damaging in the 2022 midterm elections. In a Saturday night speech to attendees at a donor retreat in Florida, Trump railed against his perceived enemies in both parties and offered little, if any, reassurance that he would try to rally together a GOP riddled with internal divisions and desperate to regain governing power in Washington.

Fox News

Lachlan Murdoch backs Tucker Carlson in ‘white replacement’ furore

The chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League told Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch on Monday an award it gave his father a decade ago “does not absolve you, him, the network, or its board from the moral failure of not taking action” against the Fox News host Tucker Carlson. Jonathan Greenblatt has called for Carlson to be fired for advocating “white replacement” theory, a racist trope which holds that the Democratic party favors unlimited immigration in order to boost its vote.

The far right conspiracy

Facebook knew of Honduran president’s manipulation campaign – and let it go

Facebook allowed the president of Honduras to artificially inflate the appearance of popularity on his posts for nearly a year after the company was first alerted to the activity. The astroturfing – the digital equivalent of a bussed-in crowd – was just one facet of a broader online disinformation effort that the administration has used to attack critics and undermine social movements, Honduran activists and scholars say. Facebook posts by Juan Orlando Hernández, an authoritarian rightwinger whose 2017 re-election is widely viewed as fraudulent.

Champion for Freedom

Republicans ridiculed for gifting Trump ‘Made Up’ tiny bowl award

Donald Trump and his Republican faithful faced ridicule on Monday after Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) posted an image of himself presenting the former president with the so-called “Champion for Freedom” award over the weekend. “President Trump fought for American workers, secured the border, and protected our constitutional rights,” Scott tweeted, alongside the image of himself with Trump holding a ceremonial dish.

Bitcoin

Value of cryptocurrency climbs 5% to record high of $63,000

The value of the cryptocurrency bitcoin has surged to a record high, reaching $63,000. The cryptocurrency, which has risen in value by 450% in the last six months, continued to climb by a further 5% during trading on Tuesday. Bitcoin’s price has more than doubled since the start of 2021. The digital currency has been on a rollercoaster ride in the last year, and was trading at about only $7,000 in April 2020.

News

Minneapolis

Officer Kimberly Potter who fatally shot Daunte Wright charged with manslaughter

Former police officer Kimberly Potter was charged with second-degree manslaughter on Wednesday after fatally shooting the 20-year-old Black motorist Daunte Wright, officials said. The white former suburban Minneapolis police officer was arrested earlier in the day in relation to the shooting dead of Wright during a traffic stop on Sunday in Brooklyn Center, a suburb of Minneapolis. The killing of Wright ignited days of unrest and clashes between protesters and police. The charge against Potter was filed on Wednesday, three days after Wright was killed.


Derek Chauvin trial

Defense opens its case with ex-police officer

The defense in the Derek Chauvin murder trial opened its case on Tuesday by attempting to show George Floyd had a history of failing to cooperate with the police while under the influence of drugs. Scott Creighton, a former Minneapolis police officer, testified that he stopped a vehicle in May 2019 in which Floyd was a passenger and found him incoherent and unable to obey orders.

Kim Potter

Police chief, veteran cop Kim Potter who shot and killed Daunte Wright both quit

The Brooklyn Center police chief and the white cop who fatally shot Daunte Wright during a traffic stop on Sunday after apparently mistaking her handgun for a Taser have both resigned. “I have loved every minute of being a police officer and serving this community to the best of my ability, but I believe it is the best interest of the community, the department, and my fellow officers if I resign immediately,” Potter said in a letter announcing her resignation to Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliot and other city officials. Police Chief Tim Gannon has resigned from the department.


George Floyd trial

Brother Philonise breaks down on the stand: he ‘was the leader in our house’

George Floyd’s younger brother broke down in tears on the stand Monday as he recalled seeing his sibling for the last time at their mother’s funeral in 2018. “George just sat there at the casket... He would just say ‘mama, mama,’ over and over again,” Philonise Floyd, 39, told jurors in Hennepin County court on Monday. “And I didn’t know what to tell him, because I was in pain, too. We all were hurting. And he was just kissing her, and just kissing her. He didn’t want to leave the casket.” Two years later, his older brother died.

Caron Nazario

Officer who handcuffed and pepper-sprayed black army lieutenant is fired

When a patrol car activated its siren and emergency lights behind Caron Nazario in December, the Army lieutenant says he was reluctant to immediately pull over. That stretch of road, just west of Norfolk, Va., was dark, and there didn't seem to be anywhere to stop safely.

Shortnews

Fox & Friends

Harry and Meghan cause for Prince Philip's death

Minutes after the British royal family announced that Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, Prince Philip, had died at the age of 99, the sleuths at Fox & Friends blamed their inevitable culprits: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Host Brian Kilmeade immediately linked the death of the extremely old and sickly Duke of Edinburgh to Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, which aired last month and contained shocking claims of racism and cruel treatment against Meghan by royal family members.

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Fox & Friends

Harry and Meghan cause for Prince Philip's death

Minutes after the British royal family announced that Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, Prince Philip, had died at the age of 99, the sleuths at Fox & Friends blamed their inevitable culprits: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Host Brian Kilmeade immediately linked the death of the extremely old and sickly Duke of Edinburgh to Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, which aired last month and contained shocking claims of racism and cruel treatment against Meghan by royal family members.

Kilmeade said on Friday’s show: “There are reports that [Philip] was enraged after the interview and the fallout from the interview with Oprah Winfrey, so here he is trying to recover and he’s hit with that.”

Kilmeade then went on to cite Piers Morgan, of all people, as evidence that Philip’s health was hit by the Oprah interview. Morgan resigned in disgrace from his show, Good Morning Britain, after thousands of people complained about his repeated attacks on Meghan. The low point came when he said didn’t believe her admission that she felt suicidal.

The Fox & Friends host said: “Piers Morgan was saying on his morning show, which he famously walked off of, is like ‘Really? Your grandfather is in the hospital, you know he’s not doing well, is this really the time you have to put out this interview?’ Evidently, it definitely added to his stress.”

Philip left his London hospital after a month-long stay for treatment of an unspecified infection. He also underwent a procedure for a pre-existing heart condition in that time. He was also 99 years old.

Ghislaine Maxwell

New charges as US prosecutors expand criminal case

Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite accused of aiding in her former partner Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse of minor girls, faces two more charges, a new Manhattan federal court indictment filed on Monday reveals. This indictment also identified a new accuser in the case, referred to as “minor victim-4” in court papers, and expanded the timeframe of Maxwell’s alleged participation in Epstein’s abuse by seven years – from 1994 to 2004, rather than from 1994 to 1997. Maxwell now faces a total of eight counts.

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Ghislaine Maxwell

New charges as US prosecutors expand criminal case

Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite accused of aiding in her former partner Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse of minor girls, faces two more charges, a new Manhattan federal court indictment filed on Monday reveals. This indictment also identified a new accuser in the case, referred to as “minor victim-4” in court papers, and expanded the timeframe of Maxwell’s alleged participation in Epstein’s abuse by seven years – from 1994 to 2004, rather than from 1994 to 1997. Maxwell now faces a total of eight counts.

The new charges, sex trafficking conspiracy and sex trafficking of a minor, involve “minor victim-4”.

The indictment alleges that “minor victim-4” was “recruited to provide Epstein with sexualized massages” that he or his associates – including Maxwell – paid for.

Maxwell allegedly met “minor victim-4” at Epstein’s south Florida home around 2001, when the girl was around 14-years-old, and “interacted with [her] on multiple occasions”, according to court papers.

During their interactions, which happened from 2001 to 2004, Maxwell allegedly “groomed minor victim – 4 to engage in sexual acts with Epstein through multiple means.”

Maxwell did so by asking “minor victim-4” about her family and life. She “also sought to normalize inappropriate and abusive conduct by, among other things, discussing sexual topics in front of minor victim-4 and being present when minor victim-4 was nude in the massage room of the Palm Beach residence,” according to the court documents.

On multiple occasions from 2001 to 2004, this victim gave Epstein nude massages, during which he “engaged in multiple sex acts” with her. Maxwell would sometimes call this victim to schedule these massages, court papers allege.

During this timeframe, Epstein and Maxwell invited her to travel with him, and said they would help her get a passport. She declined their offer.

The court papers also allege that during this period, Epstein’s staff, including Maxwell, sent the victim gifts – such as lingerie – at her Florida home.

Maxwell and Epstein were both accused of encouraging this girl “to recruit other young females to provide sexualized massages to Epstein”.

She did so, the indictment claims, by bringing “multiple females, including girls under the age of 18” to Epstein’s south Florida home.

“On such occasions, both minor victim-4 and the girl she brought were paid hundreds of dollars in cash,” court papers state.

Maxwell has maintained her innocence since her arrest last summer at a secluded luxury home in New Hampshire.

When Maxwell was arrested, she faced six counts, including conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, and perjury.

Her attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the new charges.

She is being held in federal detention in Brooklyn.

Epstein, a convicted sex offender, was found dead in his cell in federal custody in New York in August 2019, where he was awaiting trial on serious charges just over a month after his arrest on charges of sex trafficking girls as young as 14.

Epstein and Maxwell’s arrests have spurred intense scrutiny of Prince Andrew, who was a friend of both purported sex traffickers.

Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s many accusers, alleged in a civil lawsuit that Maxwell lured her into Epstein’s circle under the false pretense of massage work.

After being pulled into their orbit, Maxwell forced her to have sex with powerful men, including Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, when she was just 17, Giuffre claimed. Maxwell denies the claims. Andrew directly and via statements from Buckingham Palace has vehemently and repeatedly denied all of Giuffre’s claims.

William Walker

Pelosi taps D.C. National Guard chief as top House security official

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tapped the head of Washington, D.C.,’s National Guard, Maj. Gen. William Walker, as the House’s new top security official. Walker, a 39-year military veteran, will become the House’s permanent sergeant-at-arms, Pelosi announced Friday. He succeeds Timothy Blodgett, who took over the post temporarily in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. The previous permanent sergeant-at-arms, Paul Irving, was pushed out of the job after Jan. 6, amid recriminations over the security failures that allowed a mob of thousands of Donald Trump's supporters to occupy the Capitol and delay Congress’ certification of the 2020 election results.

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William Walker

Pelosi taps D.C. National Guard chief as top House security official

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tapped the head of Washington, D.C.,’s National Guard, Maj. Gen. William Walker, as the House’s new top security official. Walker, a 39-year military veteran, will become the House’s permanent sergeant-at-arms, Pelosi announced Friday. He succeeds Timothy Blodgett, who took over the post temporarily in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. The previous permanent sergeant-at-arms, Paul Irving, was pushed out of the job after Jan. 6, amid recriminations over the security failures that allowed a mob of thousands of Donald Trump's supporters to occupy the Capitol and delay Congress’ certification of the 2020 election results.

“His historic appointment as the first Black American to serve as Sergeant-at-Arms is an important step forward for this institution and our nation,” Pelosi said in a statement. The California Democrat also noted that Walker had a long career as a special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Walker has provided key information about the timeline of events that led to the security breakdown on Jan. 6. In Senate testimony earlier this month, he said he relayed an urgent plea from the head of the Capitol Police to senior Pentagon officials seeking backup for the overwhelmed police force.

But that request languished for more than three hours, Walker has said, until final approval just after 5 p.m. That delay in the official dispatching of the guard has become a key focus of lawmakers’ investigations into the riot.

Walker also has described a 2:30 p.m. phone call between Capitol Police and Pentagon brass and said senior Pentagon officials seemed to lack urgency despite frantic pleas from those inside the building.

Walker was the 23rd commanding general of the D.C. National Guard and previously spent three decades as a guardsman and DEA agent.

Asa Hutchinson

GOP Gov. admits ‘Near-Total Abortion Ban’ is unconstitutional

Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR) said he only signed what has been widely described as a “near-total abortion ban” in his state this month because he hopes it leads to the Supreme Court taking away women’s rights to make decisions about their own bodies. Hutchinson was speaking during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union, after host Dana Bash raised with the issue with him.

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Asa Hutchinson

GOP Gov. admits ‘Near-Total Abortion Ban’ is unconstitutional

Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR) said he only signed what has been widely described as a “near-total abortion ban” in his state this month because he hopes it leads to the Supreme Court taking away women’s rights to make decisions about their own bodies. Hutchinson was speaking during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union, after host Dana Bash raised with the issue with him.

“Even when you signed it, you said you had reservations about the law, saying that it violates Supreme Court precedent,” Bash said. “So to be clear, did you sign this bill because you hope it will be a vehicle for the Supreme Court to look at overturning Roe v. Wade.

“Yes, that was the whole design of the law,” Hutchinson told Bash. “It is not constitutional under Supreme Court cases right now.”

Claiming that he “preferred a rape and incest exception,” the governor added, “I didn’t get a vote on that and so I signed it because it is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, that was the intent of it, I think there’s a very narrow chance that the Supreme Court will accept that case, but we’ll see.”

The new Arkansas law only allows abortion in cases where the life of the mother is directly threatened. It is not expected to be enforced until summer 2021 at the earliest, which allows time for challenges at the lower court level before it takes effect.

COVID-19

Mar-a-Lago partially closed due to outbreak

Former President Trump's luxury resort club Mar-a-Lago has reportedly been partially closed in response to an outbreak of COVID-19 at the Palm Beach, Fla. property. Sources confirmed to The Associated Press that Mar-a-Lago has been closed until further notice in a cautionary move that follows positive COVID-19 tests. Several workers have reportedly been quarantined. The extent of the outbreak and the identities of those who have tested positive were not immediately made known.

Politics

Matt Gaetz Scandal

Wingman Joel Greenberg paid dozens of young women — and a 17-year-old

As new details emerge about Rep. Matt Gaetz’s role in an alleged sex ring, The Daily Beast has obtained several documents showing that the suspected ringleader of the group, Joel Greenberg, made more than 150 Venmo payments to dozens of young women, and a girl who was 17 at the time. The payment from Greenberg, an accused sex trafficker, to the 17-year-old took place in June 2017. It was for $300 for “Food.” Greenberg’s relationship with Gaetz, and the money Greenberg paid to women, is a focal point for the Justice Department investigation into Gaetz.


Republican Party

Donald Trump digs in on attacks against Republican leaders

Former President Trump is showing no signs of wanting to unify the GOP even as party leaders scramble to smooth out divisions that they fear will be damaging in the 2022 midterm elections. In a Saturday night speech to attendees at a donor retreat in Florida, Trump railed against his perceived enemies in both parties and offered little, if any, reassurance that he would try to rally together a GOP riddled with internal divisions and desperate to regain governing power in Washington.

Fox News

Lachlan Murdoch backs Tucker Carlson in ‘white replacement’ furore

The chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League told Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch on Monday an award it gave his father a decade ago “does not absolve you, him, the network, or its board from the moral failure of not taking action” against the Fox News host Tucker Carlson. Jonathan Greenblatt has called for Carlson to be fired for advocating “white replacement” theory, a racist trope which holds that the Democratic party favors unlimited immigration in order to boost its vote.


Champion for Freedom

Republicans ridiculed for gifting Trump ‘Made Up’ tiny bowl award

Donald Trump and his Republican faithful faced ridicule on Monday after Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) posted an image of himself presenting the former president with the so-called “Champion for Freedom” award over the weekend. “President Trump fought for American workers, secured the border, and protected our constitutional rights,” Scott tweeted, alongside the image of himself with Trump holding a ceremonial dish.

Border Crisis

Biden strikes international deal in bid to stop migrants reaching US

The Biden administration has struck an agreement with Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras to temporarily increase border security in an effort to stop migrants from reaching the US border. The agreement comes as the US saw a record number of unaccompanied children attempting to cross the border in March, and the largest number of Border Patrol encounters overall with migrants on the southern border – just under 170,000 – since March 2001.

Shortnews

Dan Crenshaw

Texas Republican will be temporarily blind

Rep. Dan Crenshaw will be "effectively blind" for about a month and “off the grid” for the coming weeks after emergency eye surgery, the Texas Republican announced Saturday. Crenshaw, a former Navy SEAL, lost an eye in an IED blast in Afghanistan, which also caused “extensive damage” to his other retina. Within the past few days, Crenshaw said he had begun to experience “dark, blurry spots” that were affecting his sight, after which he went Thursday to an ophthalmologist, where he learned that his retina was in the process of detaching. Crenshaw said the news was “terrifying” and the prognosis “very bad.”

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Dan Crenshaw

Texas Republican will be temporarily blind

Rep. Dan Crenshaw will be "effectively blind" for about a month and “off the grid” for the coming weeks after emergency eye surgery, the Texas Republican announced Saturday. Crenshaw, a former Navy SEAL, lost an eye in an IED blast in Afghanistan, which also caused “extensive damage” to his other retina. Within the past few days, Crenshaw said he had begun to experience “dark, blurry spots” that were affecting his sight, after which he went Thursday to an ophthalmologist, where he learned that his retina was in the process of detaching. Crenshaw said the news was “terrifying” and the prognosis “very bad.”

“Anyone who knows the history of my injuries knows that I don’t have a ‘good eye,’ but half a good eye,” Crenshaw said in a statement. “It was always a possibility that the effects of the damage to my retina would resurface, and it appears that is exactly what has happened.”

Crenshaw said he’ll be resting face-down for about a week, unable to see anything, after getting a “gas bubble” put in place to serve as a “bandage” for the retina in emergency surgery Friday at a VA clinic in Houston.

Crenshaw won’t be doing any interviews or posting on social media, he said, save for health updates. His offices will still be working.

“I have gotten through worse before, and I will get through this,” Crenshaw added.

Hillary Clinton

Supreme Court rebuffs bid for deposition about emails

The Supreme Court on Monday denied a bid by a right-wing government watchdog group to require former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to face a deposition over her use of personal email while she served as secretary of State. In an unsigned order issued without comment, the justices declined an appeal from Judicial Watch that followed a ruling last August by a federal appeals court panel which said Clinton could not be compelled to sit for a deposition.

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Hillary Clinton

Supreme Court rebuffs bid for deposition about emails

The Supreme Court on Monday denied a bid by a right-wing government watchdog group to require former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to face a deposition over her use of personal email while she served as secretary of State. In an unsigned order issued without comment, the justices declined an appeal from Judicial Watch that followed a ruling last August by a federal appeals court panel which said Clinton could not be compelled to sit for a deposition.

Judicial Watch had sought to depose Clinton and aide Cheryl Mills over Clinton’s use of a personal email server in connection to the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

Clinton’s emails were subject to numerous investigations including by the FBI, which declined to charge her with violating federal records-keeping requirements or other crimes.

The issue of Clinton’s emails figured as a major political issue in her unsuccessful 2016 presidential campaign against former President Trump.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton issued a statement in response to the court's move.

"Hillary Clinton ignored the law but received special protection from both the courts and law enforcement," he said. "For countless Americans, this double standard of justice has destroyed confidence in the fair administration of justice."

Donald Trump

Capitol rioters posed 'zero threat'

Donald Trump has defended some of his supporters who rioted at the US Capitol on 6 January, saying they posed “zero threat” to the lawmakers who had assembled there to certify the electoral college vote that confirmed Joe Biden’s election victory. Trump complained to Fox News’s Laura Ingraham that law enforcement was “persecuting” the Capitol rioters, while “nothing happens” to leftwing protesters. Five people, including a police officer, died in the riot.

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Donald Trump

Capitol rioters posed 'zero threat'

Donald Trump has defended some of his supporters who rioted at the US Capitol on 6 January, saying they posed “zero threat” to the lawmakers who had assembled there to certify the electoral college vote that confirmed Joe Biden’s election victory. Trump complained to Fox News’s Laura Ingraham that law enforcement was “persecuting” the Capitol rioters, while “nothing happens” to leftwing protesters. Five people, including a police officer, died in the riot.

Trump acknowledged that those who stormed the Capitol “went in and they shouldn’t have done it”. But he added: “Some of them went in and they’re, they’re hugging and kissing the police and the guards. You know, they had great relationships. A lot of the people were waved in and then they walked in and they walked out.”

More than 300 people have been charged in connection with the riot. Authorities have said they believe at least 100 more could face charges.

The attack followed a fiery Trump rally outside the White House in which he urged a group of his supporters to “fight like hell” for him at the Capitol. A week later, the House of Representatives impeached Trump for a second time, but the Senate eventually acquitted him of inciting the attack.

During the interview on Fox News, Trump also criticised Dr Anthony Fauci, the US infectious disease expert. “I frankly didn’t listen to him too much,” he said.

Fauci was one of Trump’s key advisers at the start of the pandemic, but later fell out with the former president over the handling of the crisis. In January Fauci described the “liberating feeling” of being able to speak scientific truth about the coronavirus without fear of “repercussions” from Trump.

Tom Reed

New York Republican accused of sexual misconduct won’t seek re-election

Tom Reed, a Republican congressman from western New York who was accused last week of rubbing a female lobbyist’s back and unhooking her bra without her consent in 2017, apologized to the woman on Sunday and announced he will not run for re-election next year. Reed, 49, said the incident involving Nicolette Davis occurred “at a time in my life in which I was struggling”. He said he entered treatment that year as he was “powerless over alcohol”. Reed apologized to his wife and children and to Davis and said he planned “to dedicate my time and attention to making amends for my past actions”.

Intelligence Report

Russia targeted Trump allies to hurt Biden in 2020 election, US officials say

Russia tried to influence the 2020 US presidential election by proliferating “misleading or unsubstantiated allegations” largely against Joe Biden and through allies of Donald Trump, US intelligence officials said on Tuesday. The assessment was contained in a 15-page report published by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. It underscored allegations that Trump’s allies played into Moscow’s hands by amplifying claims against Biden by Ukrainian figures with links to Russia. In a statement, the Democratic House intelligence chair, Adam Schiff, said: “Through proxies, Russia ran a successful intelligence operation that penetrated [Trump’s] inner circle.

Business

Bernie Madoff

Mastermind of the nation's biggest investment fraud, dies at 82

Infamous fraudster Bernie Madoff has died at age 82. Madoff masterminded the biggest investment fraud in U.S. history, a Ponzi scheme that ripped off tens of thousands of people of as much as $65 billion. Madoff was serving a 150-year sentence at the federal prison care center in Butner, North Carolina, where he was being treated for what his attorney called terminal kidney disease.


The far right conspiracy

Facebook knew of Honduran president’s manipulation campaign – and let it go

Facebook allowed the president of Honduras to artificially inflate the appearance of popularity on his posts for nearly a year after the company was first alerted to the activity. The astroturfing – the digital equivalent of a bussed-in crowd – was just one facet of a broader online disinformation effort that the administration has used to attack critics and undermine social movements, Honduran activists and scholars say. Facebook posts by Juan Orlando Hernández, an authoritarian rightwinger whose 2017 re-election is widely viewed as fraudulent.

Bitcoin

Value of cryptocurrency climbs 5% to record high of $63,000

The value of the cryptocurrency bitcoin has surged to a record high, reaching $63,000. The cryptocurrency, which has risen in value by 450% in the last six months, continued to climb by a further 5% during trading on Tuesday. Bitcoin’s price has more than doubled since the start of 2021. The digital currency has been on a rollercoaster ride in the last year, and was trading at about only $7,000 in April 2020.


Voter Suppression

CEOs plan new push on voting legislation

Dozens of chief executives and other senior leaders gathered on Zoom this weekend to plot what several said big businesses should do next about new voting laws under way in Texas and other states.

Fox News

Mike Lindell says he hired investigators to find out why network won’t book him

Mike Lindell, the formerly ubiquitous purveyor of both Donald Trump’s election lies and his own range of My Pillow bedding accoutrements, says he has hired private investigators to find out why he appears to have fallen out of favor with Fox News.

Facebook

Trump faces a narrow path to victory against suspension

If former President Donald Trump manages to get back on Facebook and Instagram this month, his win will rest on a series of close calls. Facebook’s oversight board is expected to rule in the coming weeks on whether to uphold or overturn Trump’s indefinite suspension from the platforms, which the company imposed after the Jan. 6 Capitol riots over fears he might incite further violence. So far, the panel of scholars, lawyers and other outside experts has bucked Facebook’s judgment in five of the six decisions it has rendered.

One Billion Dollars

Suez canal has reopened, but Ever Given isn’t free to go

Egypt won’t release the massive container ship that blocked the Suez Canal for nearly a week in March until its owners agree to pay as much as a billion dollars in compensation, according to local authorities, as they investigate how the Ever Given got stuck and shut down one of the world’s most important waterways.

Fox News

Anti-Defamation League calls for Tucker Carlson to be fired

The head of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has called for Fox News host Tucker Carlson to be fired after a segment Thursday that referenced "replacement" theory. Greenblatt was referring to Carlson’s appearance on “Fox News Primetime,” when, talking to columnist Mark Steyn, the host offered a theory on why Democrats are pro-immigration.

Shortnews

Voltswagen

Volkswagen accidentally posts new company name

Volkswagen on Monday appeared to accidentally announce a rebranding with the new name “Voltswagen,” before quickly removing the press release from its website. On Monday morning, the German automaker posted a statement on its website announcing the “rebranding,” in an apparent shift towards its investment in electric vehicles, before taking it down, USA Today reported. In the release, the automaker said the rebranding is “more than a name change."

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Voltswagen

Volkswagen accidentally posts new company name

Volkswagen on Monday appeared to accidentally announce a rebranding with the new name “Voltswagen,” before quickly removing the press release from its website. On Monday morning, the German automaker posted a statement on its website announcing the “rebranding,” in an apparent shift towards its investment in electric vehicles, before taking it down, USA Today reported. In the release, the automaker said the rebranding is “more than a name change."

"‘Voltswagen’ is a public declaration of the company’s future-forward investment in e-mobility,” the release said, according to USA Today, which saved a photo of the statement before it was removed.

“The new name and branding symbolize the highly-charged forward momentum Voltswagen has put in motion, pursuing a goal of moving all people point-to-point with EVs,” the statement added.

A person familiar with the company’s plans told USA TODAY that Volkswagen is planning on making the change permanently. The source added that the company was not hacked, that the announcement was not a joke, and that it was not a marketing ploy.

Volkswagen’s plans to rebrand come as several automakers are beginning to invest more in electric vehicles. In November, General Motors announced that it was investing $27 billion through 2025 as part of its commitment to electric and autonomous vehicles. Additionally, the company unveiled plans to launch 30 electric vehicles globally by 2025.

Recovery

White House downplays surprising February jobs gain

Top White House officials took little solace in the better-than-expected February jobs report, insisting Friday that the U.S. was far from a full and equitable recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The February jobs report released Friday showed the U.S. gaining 379,000 jobs last month, nearly double the consensus estimates of economists. The unemployment rate also dropped 0.1 percentage points to 6.2 percent, its lowest level since March 2020, as businesses prepared for a post-pandemic world.

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Recovery

White House downplays surprising February jobs gain

Top White House officials took little solace in the better-than-expected February jobs report, insisting Friday that the U.S. was far from a full and equitable recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The February jobs report released Friday showed the U.S. gaining 379,000 jobs last month, nearly double the consensus estimates of economists. The unemployment rate also dropped 0.1 percentage points to 6.2 percent, its lowest level since March 2020, as businesses prepared for a post-pandemic world. President Biden’s top advisers, however, sought to spotlight how much economic damage the U.S. needs to repair and shortcomings of the rebound so far as Democrats push a $1.9 trillion aid bill through Congress.

“If you think today's jobs report is ‘good enough,’ then know that at this pace … it would take until April 2023 to get back to where we were in February 2020,” tweeted White House chief of staff Ron Klain.

If you think today's jobs report is "good enough," then know that at this pace (+379,000 jobs/month), it would take until April 2023 to get back to where we were in February 2020.

— Ronald Klain (@WHCOS) March 5, 2021
Even with February’s gain, the U.S. is still 9.5 million jobs short of replacing those lost to the pandemic, and 18 million Americans are on some form of jobless aid, according to the Labor Department. The unemployment rate has also been artificially depressed by the exit of nearly 5 million Americans from the workforce since the onset of the pandemic.

Cecilia Rouse, chair of Biden’s White House Council of Economic Advisers, highlighted in a Friday analysis how Black and Hispanic women have suffered the greatest declines in labor force participation.

“Black women were only 14 percent of the female labor force in February 2020, but have accounted for a disproportionate 26 percent of female labor force dropouts since then,” she wrote. “Hispanic women were only 17 percent of the female labor force in February 2020 but have accounted for 27 percent of the female labor force dropouts.”

The White House’s concerns are shared broadly by economists, who are generally optimistic in the economy’s prospects for 2021 but concerned about the depth of damage yet to be repaired.

“The pace of job growth in February was a pleasant surprise, but it is still too early to get excited,” wrote Nick Bunker, economic research director at Indeed.com.

“At this pace, it will take about four and a half years to get back to where the labor market would have been without the pandemic. Millions of Americans out of work do not have that time,” Bunker wrote.

Even so, Republicans — who are almost unanimously opposed to Biden's relief bill — touted the surprising February jobs gain as proof the recovery is well underway.

"America’s hard work and perseverance during the challenges of the last year are finally being realized, and more Americans are being vaccinated," said Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), former chairman of the Joint Economic Committee. "With a third vaccine now available for distribution, expectations are set for a record recovery from the pandemic-induced recession."

COVID-19

CDC signs off on Johnson & Johnson vaccine

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Sunday formally accepted the recommendation from its advisory panel that Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine can be given to people ages 18 and older in the United States. The announcement by CDC Director Rochelle Walensky will allow vaccinations to begin as soon as the doses are received. Walensky called the decision "another milestone toward an end to the pandemic."

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COVID-19

CDC signs off on Johnson & Johnson vaccine

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Sunday formally accepted the recommendation from its advisory panel that Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine can be given to people ages 18 and older in the United States. The announcement by CDC Director Rochelle Walensky will allow vaccinations to begin as soon as the doses are received. Walensky called the decision "another milestone toward an end to the pandemic."

"This vaccine is also another important tool in our toolbox to equitably vaccinate as many people as possible, as quickly as possible," Walensky said in a statement.

A senior administration official told reporters Sunday evening that Johnson & Johnson will ship 3.9 million doses immediately, and vaccine distribution centers will start receiving them as early as Tuesday.

Experts have said the vaccine could be targeted at places like rural communities, health centers or individual physician offices because of its relatively easy storage requirements.

However, senior administration officials said the goal is equitable distribution, and doses will be allocated to states by population, just as the vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are.

Most communities will have doses of all three vaccines, but not every vaccination site will because of limited availability. Officials stressed people should take whatever vaccine is available.

An administration official said the 3.9 million doses are Johnson & Johnson's entire inventory. There will not be any additional deliveries next week, and the official said governors are aware distribution through the early and middle parts of March will be "uneven."

A total 20 million doses of J&J's vaccine will be sent in March, but they will be concentrated more toward the end of the month. The U.S. has paid for 100 million doses, which the company has pledged will be delivered by June.

The U.S. paid more than $1 billion to aid in the manufacturing and delivery of J&J's vaccine. Nearly a year ago, the company also won $465 million in federal funding for vaccine research and development, bringing its U.S. funding total on the project to almost $1.5 billion.

The nation's third coronavirus vaccine arrives days after the United States surpassed 500,000 COVID-19 deaths.

While nursing home deaths have sharply dropped, as have overall cases and deaths, the CDC is warning the decline in new cases has stalled amid a rise in more contagious variants of the virus.

At the same time, governors across the country are lifting coronavirus restrictions, including mask mandates and capacity limits, despite warning signs of a new spike from the virus mutations.

"This third safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine comes at a potentially pivotal time," Walensky said in the statement.

"CDC’s latest data suggest that recent declines in COVID-19 cases may be stalling and potentially leveling off at still very high numbers. That is why it is so critical that we remain vigilant and consistently take all of the mitigation steps we know work to stop the spread of COVID-19 while we work our way toward mass vaccination," Walensky said.

CPAC

News outlets diverge over airing Trump's speech

CNN and MSNBC did not air former President Trump's speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Sunday while Fox News and other conservative outlets such as Newsmax and OANN carried his remarks live. Fox News began airing Trump's speech after the former president took to to the stage at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday. CNN continued on with coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and MSNBC continued to air its "PoliticsNation" program, though it aired a short clip from the speech.

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CPAC

News outlets diverge over airing Trump's speech

CNN and MSNBC did not air former President Trump's speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Sunday while Fox News and other conservative outlets such as Newsmax and OANN carried his remarks live. Fox News began airing Trump's speech after the former president took to to the stage at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday. CNN continued on with coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and MSNBC continued to air its "PoliticsNation" program, though it aired a short clip from the speech.

Trump was the last scheduled speaker to at CPAC. During his first major post-presidency address, the former president attacked the Biden administration, the media and immigrants, in many ways echoing the first campaign speech he made when announcing his 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump's relationship with media has largely been combative, with the former president sometimes even attacking outlets that were sympathetic to him. He attacked Fox News over its polling and after the outlet declared Biden the winner of the Arizona in the 2020 election.

During his speech, Trump also attacked the multiple changes the Biden administration made after assuming office, many of which reversed the actions of the Trump administration, including ending the transgender military ban, rejoining the Paris Climate agreement and reversing Trump's visa ban on legal immigration.

He also repeated numerous false claims about voter fraud and the results of the 2020 election.

Trump revealed in his speech that he would not be starting a new political party, ending speculation that he was starting a separate party.

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.

The Rock for president?

Dwayne Johnson: I’ll run if the people want it

The professional wrestler turned star actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson said on Monday that he would run for US president if he felt he had enough support from Americans. Johnson, 48, one of the highest-paid and most popular actors in the United States, has been flirting with a possible White House bid for several years.

DMX

Swaggering but troubled rapper, dies at 50

Earl Simmons, the snarling yet soulful rapper known as DMX, who had a string of No. 1 albums in the late 1990s and early 2000s but whose personal struggles eventually rivaled his lyrical prowess, died on Friday in White Plains, N.Y. He was 50. His family announced the death in a statement. He had been on life support at White Plains Hospital after suffering what his family called “a catastrophic cardiac arrest” a week earlier.

Taylor Swift

Fearless (Taylor’s Version) review – old wounds take on new resonances

In 2012, Def Leppard announced in robust style that they would be rerecording their biggest hits. It was provoked by a dispute with their former record label, designed to “punch them in the bollocks”, said frontman Joe Elliott. “We fucking built that company. We built their penthouse sushi bar, wherever it may be, and they just treated us like shit.”

Zach Avery

US actor in low-budget films accused of running $690m Ponzi scheme

On the surface Zachary Horwitz, 34, appeared to be the stereotypical wannabe actor, attempting to build his career in Hollywood by taking a series of low-impact roles. But while playing small parts in predominantly low-budget films, Horwitz was also running a $690m Ponzi scheme.

HBO

Tina Turner keeps on rollin’ in bold, unsettling documentary

Toward the beginning of Tina, the most expansive documentary yet on one of pop’s most unstoppable forces of nature (HBO), Tina Turner is heard talking about her past, especially her often horrific years with her late husband Ike. “It wasn’t a good life,” she says. “It was in some areas. But the goodness did not balance the bad.”

Armie Hammer

Woman claims he violently raped her for four hours

The woman who allegedly spearheaded the tidal wave of sexual assault claims against Armie Hammer has now come forward to detail how she thought she was going to die during an alleged encounter in April of 2017 in Los Angeles, where she claims she was violently raped by the actor over the course of four hours.

Oscars 2021

Two female directors and nine actors of color nominated in historic year

Two female directors – Chloé Zhao and Emerald Fennell – are in the running for the best director prize at this year’s Oscars, marking the only time more than one woman has ever been in contention for the award in a single year. Only five women have ever been in the running for the award; only one – Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker in 2010 – has won.

Grammy awards 2021

Women rule as Taylor Swift and Beyoncé break records

It was a historic, triumphant night for women in music at the 2021 Grammys, as a range of female artists took home the top awards. HER took home song of the year for the Black Lives Matter anthem I Can’t Breathe, Taylor Swift became the first woman to win album of the year three times, and the rapper Megan Thee Stallion won both best new artist and best rap performance for her Savage remix with Beyoncé, now the most awarded singer (male or female) and female artist of all time.

Jlo & A-Rod

Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez insist they haven’t split up

Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez are disputing claims that they have split up. After reports on Friday in multiple outlets that the two had called off their longterm engagement, A-Rod and J.Lo told TMZ the news was “inaccurate,” and they’re “working through some things.” They insisted that neither had cheated. For the time being, A-Rod is in Miami while J.Lo shoots a movie in the Dominican Republic.

Corinne Masiero

Actor strips at 'French Oscars' in protest at closure of cinemas

A French actor stripped naked on stage during a scaled-back César Awards ceremony in Paris to protest against the government’s closure of theaters and cinemas during the coronavirus pandemic. Corinne Masiero had “no culture no future” written on her chest and “give us art back Jean” on her back, in a message to the prime minister, Jean Castex.

Page Six

Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez break up

They’ll be J-Rod no more. Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez have broken up. The superstar couple were photographed just last month blissfully hugging in the Dominican Republic, where Lopez, 51, is filming her latest movie, “Shotgun Wedding.” Reports this week said their twice-postponed wedding was back on track.

Gucci

The wild true story behind the Gucci assassination movie

Lady Gucci: The Story of Patrizia Reggiani, Discovery+’s latest true-crime documentary (premiering March 21), is not a whodunit. In revisiting the March 27, 1995, murder of Maurizio Gucci, the head of the famed Italian fashion brand, director Jovica Nonkovic’s film makes it 100 percent clear that the mastermind behind this assassination was Gucci’s wife Patrizia Reggiani.

Magazine

Fear monger Tucker Carlson

Maybe the vaccine ‘doesn’t work’ and ‘they’re not telling you that’

Fox News host Tucker Carlson seized on Tuesday’s news about the pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to casually suggest to his viewers that the American government knows that the COVID-19 vaccines don’t work but are purposely “not telling you that.”


Golf Masters Augusta

Hideki Matsuyama wins with a groundbreaking performance

Leading the final round from start to finish, Hideki Matsuyama of Japan won the 85th Masters on Sunday to become the tournament’s first Asian-born champion and the first Japanese man to win a major golf championship. Matsuyama began the fourth round with a four-stroke advantage and shot a one-over-par 73 on Sunday to finish the tournament at 10 under par, one stroke ahead of the runner-up, Will Zalatoris, a 24-year-old making his Masters debut.

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

Buckingham Palace has announced the death of the Queen’s husband of 73 years

A statement from Buckingham Palace on Friday said: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. Further announcements will made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.” He was the longest serving consort in British history, and was only months away from his 100th birthday in June.


Police

Tiger Woods driving at 87mph in 45mph zone at time of car crash

Tiger Woods was driving at speeds up to 87mph (140km/h) in a 45mph zone when he was involved in a serious car crash earlier this year, Los Angeles police revealed during a press conference on Wednesday.

Tiger Woods

Police have determined cause of crash but won't release details

The Los Angeles county sheriff says detectives have determined what caused Tiger Woods to crash his SUV last month in Southern California but would not release details Wednesday, citing unspecified privacy concerns for the golf star. Woods suffered serious injuries in the Feb. 23 crash when he struck a raised median around 7am in Rolling Hills Estates, just outside Los Angeles. The Genesis SUV he was driving crossed through two oncoming lanes and uprooted a tree on a downhill stretch that police said is known for wrecks. Woods is in Florida recovering from multiple surgeries.

COVID-19

Donald Trump targets Fauci, Birx in lengthy diatribe

Former President Trump on Monday went on a tirade against Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, two of his former top medical advisers on the COVID-19 pandemic, excoriating their decision-making during his administration on the day after CNN aired previews of comments by the top government health experts.

Formula 1

Hamilton holds off Verstappen to win thrilling season opener in Bahrain

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton won a nail-biting Bahrain Grand Prix season opener, triumphing over the Red Bull of Max Verstappen in a fantastic duel in the desert that went down to the very last lap of the race, as the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas completed the podium.

Donald Trump

Most US Covid deaths ‘could have been mitigated’ after first 100,000, Birx says

The “vast majority” of the almost 550,000 coronavirus deaths in the US could have been prevented if Donald Trump’s administration had acted earlier and with greater conviction, according to one of the public health experts charged with leading the pandemic response at the time. Dr Deborah Birx was the White House coronavirus taskforce coordinator in the Trump administration and is among six leading medical experts involved in the then government’s efforts to fight the outbreak who will assess errors, missteps and moments of success, during a CNN documentary to be broadcast on Sunday night.

Shortnews

Robert Redfield

I think COVID-19 escaped from Wuhan laboratory

Robert Redfield, the ex-director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has said for the first time that he believes the COVID-19 pandemic began in a lab in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Redfield made the extraordinary claim in an interview with CNN’s chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta. He provided no evidence for his belief, and stressed that it’s only an opinion—not a fact.

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Robert Redfield

I think COVID-19 escaped from Wuhan laboratory

Robert Redfield, the ex-director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has said for the first time that he believes the COVID-19 pandemic began in a lab in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Redfield made the extraordinary claim in an interview with CNN’s chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta. He provided no evidence for his belief, and stressed that it’s only an opinion—not a fact.

Redfield said: “If I was to guess, this virus started transmitting somewhere in September or October in Wuhan... That’s my own view, it’s only an opinion, I’m allowed to have opinions now.”

The former Trump official went on: “I still think the most likely etiology of this pathogen in Wuhan was from a laboratory. You know, escaped. Other people don’t believe that, that’s fine, science will eventually figure it out.”

A World Health Organization team that went to Wuhan to investigate the virus said the lab-accident theory is “extremely unlikely.”

Tiger Woods

He doesn't remember driving the day of crash: sheriff

Tiger Woods told authorities that he did not remember driving the day he was seriously injured in a one-car wreck after an accident on a California road, according to an affidavit obtained by USA Today Sports. Woods was initially unconscious when he was found in his crashed vehicle, according to the affidavit, which was filed to obtain a search warrant for the “black box” in Woods’s car. "Driver said he did not know and did not even remember driving ... Driver was treated for his injuries at the hospital and was asked there again how the collision occurred. He repeated that he did not know and did not remember driving,” the affidavit read.

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Tiger Woods

He doesn't remember driving the day of crash: sheriff

Tiger Woods told authorities that he did not remember driving the day he was seriously injured in a one-car wreck after an accident on a California road, according to an affidavit obtained by USA Today Sports. Woods was initially unconscious when he was found in his crashed vehicle, according to the affidavit, which was filed to obtain a search warrant for the “black box” in Woods’s car.

"Driver said he did not know and did not even remember driving ... Driver was treated for his injuries at the hospital and was asked there again how the collision occurred. He repeated that he did not know and did not remember driving,” the affidavit read.

According to the newspaper, Woods later repeated this statement at the hospital. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Johann Schoegl, who submitted the affidavit, said he believed information on the black box, such as the speed the car was traveling when it crashed, would aid in determining the cause of the crash.

"If somebody is involved in a traffic collision, we've got to reconstruct the traffic collision, if there was any reckless driving, if somebody was on their cell phone or something like that. We determine if there was a crime. If there was no crime, we close out the case, and it was a regular traffic collision," Schoegl said this week after the search warrant was executed.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said that although a search warrant was requested, the investigation into Woods’s crash was not criminal in nature.

“The investigators in the accident, or in the collision, they did a search warrant to seize in essence the black box of the vehicle,’’ Villanueva said Wednesday. “And that’s all it is. And they’re going to go through it and see if they can find out what was the performance of the vehicle, what was happening at the time of impact.”

Villanueva added that Woods was “in good spirits,” saying it was “a good sign.”

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.

Elections

Election Fraud

Rudy Giuliani asks court to throw out Dominion's $1.3 billion defamation suit

Rudy Giuliani is asking a federal court to throw out Dominion Voting Systems's $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against him over his attacks on the company as part of an effort to undermine the credibility of the 2020 election. Giuliani's lawyers on Wednesday filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. The 10-page motion did not specifically address the merits of Dominion's claims, but instead argued Dominion failed to satisfy procedural requirements for such cases. Dominion did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.


Donald Trump · Republican Party

Meeting between Trump, Ohio Senate candidates turns tense

A meeting President Trump held with four hopefuls vying for Ohio’s open Senate seat during a fundraiser at his golf club in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Wednesday night soon turned tense, according to Politico.

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.


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.

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.”