Scams

Craig Unger: American Kompromat

Inside Jeffrey Epstein and Donald Trump's epic bromance

Beginning in the late ’80s, the infamous sex trafficker and the future president (and their mutual friend Ghislaine Maxwell) palled around for almost two decades. In an excerpt from his new book, American Kompromat, Craig Unger exposes their shared tastes for private planes, shady money, and foreign-born models—many of them “on the younger side.”

INSURRECTION FALLOUT

Senate Democrats file ethics complaint against Hawley, Cruz

Democrats are requesting an investigation into the pair of senators over their objections to the election results. A group of Senate Democrats filed an ethics complaint Thursday against GOP Sens. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, over their Jan. 6 efforts to object to the 2020 presidential election results.

He is gone

Trump tells Americans 'have a good life' as he leaves White House

Donald Trump left Washington DC and the White House for the last time on Wednesday morning, giving a typically pugnacious and misleading speech as he departed and offering his parting words to America: “Have a good life, we will see you soon.” The outgoing president, who has broken with tradition by refusing to attend his successor’s inauguration, took a government helicopter from the White House at 8.18am, leaving what has been his home for four tumultuous years, and headed for Joint Base Andrews, a military facility in Maryland.

Pardons

Donald Trump pardons Steve Bannon amid last acts of presidency

Donald Trump has pardoned former senior adviser Steve Bannon, among scores of others including rappers, financiers and former members of Congress in the final hours of his presidency.

Sean Spicer

Trump's ex-media chief, applies to join White House press corps

Four years after he kicked off the Trump presidency by lying angrily about the size of the inauguration crowd, the former press secretary Sean Spicer has applied to join the White House press corps.

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.

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.

Poll

66 percent approve of Biden’s handling of transition

As President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take office on Wednesday, new surveys report that a majority of Americans approve of the way he has handled the tumultuous transition period — which has been marred by baseless voter fraud claims, a still-raging pandemic and mob violence inside the Capitol.

Security

One dozen national guard troops pulled from inauguration duties after vetting

One dozen members of the US national guard have been removed from their duties helping to secure Joe Biden’s inauguration after vetting – which included screening for potential ties to rightwing extremism, Pentagon officials said on Tuesday.

COVID-19: USA

U.S. coronavirus death toll passes 400,000 as Biden prepares to take office

The U.S. has hit a grim milestone on the eve of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration: 400,000 deaths from Covid-19, according to a tracker maintained by Johns Hopkins University. The staggering toll comes amid a struggling national vaccination effort that has resulted in just 12.3 million shots administered — well below the Trump administration’s goal of vaccinating 20 million people by the end of 2020. Biden, meanwhile, has set an ambitious target of 100 million shots by the end of his first 100 days in office.

'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.

Klete Keller

Why did an Olympic champion invade the US Capitol?

Klete Keller was somebody, a two-time Olympic gold medallist who swam in three Games. Then he was nobody, aimless, penniless and reduced to sleeping in his car. Now he is “Person 1” in court documents, identified by the FBI as a participant in the storming of the US Capitol and charged with federal crimes.

Vladimir Putin

Alexei Navalny detained at airport on return to Russia

The Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny has been detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport shortly after returning from treatment abroad for a suspected poisoning attempt on his life by Russia’s FSB spy agency.

Stop the steal

Steve Bannon urged Facebook followers to 'Take Action' on eve of capitol riot

At 2:25 p.m. on Jan. 5, almost exactly 24 hours before the Capitol riots began, Steve Bannon posted a Facebook update: “TAKE ACTION. THEY ARE TRYING TO STEAL THE ELECTION,” the former senior White House adviser urged his followers in a Facebook group he ran called “Own Your Vote.”

After the White House

Trump staffers are mysteriously having trouble finding a new job

With less than a week to go in the Trump White House, staffers are reportedly frantically looking for their next gig. They’re not having a lot of luck.

‘He has an obligation to them’

Attorney for ‘QAnon shaman’ asks Trump to pardon rioters

The lawyer for the “QAnon shaman” who was part of the deadly siege of the Capitol last week publicly petitioned President Donald Trump on Thursday to pardon his client.

Capitol breach

Capitol rioters planned to capture and kill politicians, say prosecutors

Federal prosecutors have offered an ominous new assessment of last week’s siege of the US Capitol by Donald Trump’s supporters, saying in a court filing that rioters intended “to capture and assassinate elected officials”. Prosecutors offered that view in a filing asking a judge to detain Jacob Chansley, the Arizona man and QAnon conspiracy theorist who was photographed wearing horns as he stood at the desk of the vice-president, Mike Pence, in the chamber of the US Senate.

The Guardian

Billionaires backed Republicans who sought to reverse US election results

An anti-tax group funded primarily by billionaires has emerged as one of the biggest backers of the Republican lawmakers who sought to overturn the US election results, according to an analysis by the Guardian. The Club for Growth has supported the campaigns of 42 of the rightwing Republicans senators and members of Congress who voted last week to challenge US election results, doling out an estimated $20m to directly and indirectly support their campaigns in 2018 and 2020, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Impeachment

After the 'witch-hunt': Walls close in on Trump in final days

President Trump is growing increasingly isolated after the House on Wednesday made him the only president in U.S. history to be impeached twice, putting a final, lasting stain on his legacy just a week before he leaves office. Cabinet members and White House officials have rushed for the exits following Trump’s remarks to a violent mob of supporters that ultimately stormed the U.S. Capitol last week in a bloody and dark episode of American history. Even Trump’s most loyal allies have been put off by the developments, and aides are absent from the airwaves and the public.

Ivanka Trump & Jared Kushner

The Secret Service toilet scandal in Washington

Secret Service agents assigned to Ivanka Trump, the president's eldest daughter, and her husband, Jared Kushner, a top White House adviser, have been renting a $3,000 per month studio apartment at taxpayer's expense for the purpose of having a bathroom available, The Washington Post reports.

Siegfried Fischbacher

Illusionist of Siegfried & Roy, dead at 81

Siegfried Fischbacher, an illusionist known for working with exotic cats as one half of Siegfried & Roy, has died from pancreatic cancer, according to his publicist Dave Kirvin. Fischbacher's longtime professional partner and friend, Roy Horn, died in May from complications caused by Covid-19 at the age of 75.

Shortnews

Civil War

One Capitol Police officer in critical condition

One Capitol Police officer is in critical condition and 15 were hospitalized after up to 60 officers were injured after a violent pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol on Wednesday. "I'm livid about the whole thing," said Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), who added that several police were hit in the lead with lead pipes.

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Civil War

One Capitol Police officer in critical condition

One Capitol Police officer is in critical condition and 15 were hospitalized after up to 60 officers were injured after a violent pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol on Wednesday. "I'm livid about the whole thing," said Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), who added that several police were hit in the lead with lead pipes. Ryan chairs the Appropriations subcommittee that funds the more than 2,000-member police force. The panel has opened investigations into the security failure that led to protesters supporting President Trump to breach the Capitol that included entering the House and Senate chambers.

The Ohio Democrat said police were able to hold off the violent mob for an hour and fifteen minutes but backup such as the National Guard did not arrive in time to prevent the crowds from overtaking law enforcement.

Ryan said that the up to 1,500 Capitol Police present plus another 1,000 D.C. Metropolitan Police were overwhelmed by an estimated crowd of up to 20,000 people.

"These were violent people who were swinging lead pipes at cops," Ryan said. "They were hell-bent at bum-rushing the cops."

Police said four people at the Capitol died, including a 12-year Air Force veteran who was shot after she tried to climb through glass broken by protesters near the House chamber.

Top security officials have been under pressure by the security failure after Democratic and Republican lawmakers were left shell-shocked by the threat to their safety in a building considered to be impenetrable.

Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund defended the Capitol Police’s response to Wednesday’s riots, saying the department had a “robust plan” in place ahead of the demonstrations.

ABC News/Ipsos

Joe Biden has more respect for military than Trump

A majority of respondents said that they believe Democratic nominee Joe Biden has more respect for the military than President Trump. The ABC News/Ipsos poll found that 61 percent of respondents said Biden had more respect for the U.S. military, compared to 37 percent who said Trump had more respect. The results were split among partisan lines, with 81 percent of Republicans believing Trump has more respect for the military, and 16 percent of Republicans siding with Biden. Among Democrats, 93 percent said Biden was more respectful of the military, while 7 percent said Trump held the high ground.

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ABC News/Ipsos

Joe Biden has more respect for military than Trump

A majority of respondents said in a new poll that they believe Democratic nominee Joe Biden has more respect for the military than President Trump. The ABC News/Ipsos poll found that 61 percent of respondents said Biden had more respect for the U.S. military, compared to 37 percent who said Trump had more respect. The results were split among partisan lines, with 81 percent of Republicans believing Trump has more respect for the military, and 16 percent of Republicans siding with Biden. Among Democrats, 93 percent said Biden was more respectful of the military, while 7 percent said Trump held the high ground.

Most independents stood with Biden, with 65 percent saying he had a higher respect for the military, compared to 35 percent of independents who said Trump did.

The ABC News/Ipsos poll surveyed 533 adults in the U.S. between Sept. 11 and 12. The margin of error amounted to 4.7 percentage points.

The poll was conducted after Trump faced controversy when The Atlantic published a report that said the president made several disparaging comments about slain military members. Trump has repeatedly denied the allegations.

The Atlantic cited multiple sources when reporting the president canceled a 2018 trip to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in France, where Americans who died in World War I are buried, due to concerns about his hair getting ruined in the rain.

He reportedly asked senior staff, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.”

Almost 2 in 3 Americans disapprove of Trump's handling of pandemic:...
Biden leads by 5 points nationally in Fox News poll
The sources also said Trump called the U.S. Marines killed at Belleau Wood during the war “suckers” because they had died.

The Associated Press and Fox News have said they confirmed at least some of the reporting.

But the White House has stood by the president, saying at least 25 former and current officials said on the record they did not hear the comments reported in The Atlantic.

Prison Suizide

Inmate found dead with face mask tied around his neck

A Connecticut prison inmate was found dead this week with a cloth mask intended to prevent the spread of the coronavirus tied around his neck. His death was ruled as a suicide by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. Daniel Ocasio, 32, was found early on Wednesday with a ligature around his neck. "The ligature was made from the cloth mask issued to the offender population to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus," the statement added. Prison staff tried to help Ocasio by giving him medical attention before he was sent to a hospital and pronounced dead.

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Prison Suizide

Inmate found dead with face mask tied around his neck

A Connecticut prison inmate was found dead this week with a cloth mask intended to prevent the spread of the coronavirus tied around his neck. His death was ruled as a suicide by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Daniel Ocasio, 32, was found early on Wednesday with a ligature around his neck. "The ligature was made from the cloth mask issued to the offender population to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus," the statement added.

Prison staff tried to help Ocasio by giving him medical attention before he was sent to a hospital and pronounced dead.

Ocasio was a resident of Windsor, Ct. He had been an inmate at the prison facility since August 5 over charges of third-degree burglary, the DOC said.

His bond was set at $10,000, and it is unclear whether he was seeking legal counsel.

His death comes as the prison population has proven to be at an elevated risk of contracting the novel COVID-19 virus due to the close quarters inmates share.

According to an analysis published by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the infection rate among inmates is reportedly 5.5 times higher than in the overall U.S. population.

Over 1,300 inmates in Connecticut prisons have tested positive for COVID-19 since the outbreak began in the U.S., the DOC reported.

Following Ocasio's death, the American Civil Liberties Union called for a "full investigation" into the Department of Corrections regarding the situation.

"Daniel Ocasio should still be alive today, and the DOC had a duty to prevent his death," ACLU of Connecticut Executive Director David McGuire said in a statement Friday.

Banevicius told CNN that the DOC investigation is ongoing and did not provide further deatils. However, he added that, "it is saddening and unfortunate when anyone makes the conscious decision to take their own life," he said.

Philipp Amthor

Keine Bestechlichkeit

Die Generalstaatsanwaltschaft Berlin sieht beim CDU-Bundestagsabgeordneten Philipp Amthor keinen Anfangsverdacht einer Bestechlichkeit und einer Bestechung von Mandatsträgern. Das Verfahren wurde eingestellt, ohne Ermittlungen aufzunehmen. Amthor war wegen seiner Nebentätigkeit und Lobbyarbeit für das US-amerikanische IT-Unternehmen Augustus Intelligence in die Kritik geraten. Der 27-Jährige hat die Zusammenarbeit nach eigenen Angaben inzwischen beendet. Seine Kandidatur für den CDU-Vorsitz in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern zog er zurück.

Carlos Ghosn

Befragung im Libanon

Carlos Ghosn will an seinem Aufenthaltsort Beirut im Libanon befragt werden: "Mein Pass ist in den Händen des Generalstaatsanwalts im Libanon, da Japan einen internationalen Haftbefehl gegen mich ausgestellt hat." Japan bemüht sich um die Auslieferung. Ghosn verlangt Sicherheit. Der Architekt des französisch-japanischen Autobündnisses Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi war am 19. November 2018 in Tokio unter anderem wegen Verstoßes gegen Börsenauflagen festgenommen und angeklagt worden. Im April 2019 wurde er auf Kaution entlassen. Ghosn floh in einem Privatjet nach Beirut. Ghosn hatte die Vorwürfe gegen ihn in Japan mehrmals zurückgewiesen.