On September 15th, 1963, four little girls were murdered and 22 more were injured when sticks of dynamite planted by white supremacists exploded near the steps of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Rev. Dr. Carolyn McKinstry was a teenage volunteer inside the Church that day and the memory, and feeling of being “powerless” remains vivid. “it was definitely a turning point for me in terms of looking at humanity.”
This week's surprise decision by Saudi Arabia and other top oil producers to broadly stick with output cuts despite rising crude prices was influenced by events in an unexpected place - Italy. "Take a look at what is happening in Milan today," Saudi energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al-Saud told a news conference on Thursday after a meeting of OPEC and its allies. Restrictions on movement destroyed up to a fifth of oil demand last year and led OPEC and its allies - known as OPEC+ - to make record output cuts.
- Associated Press
Pakistan’s opposition announced Friday it will boycott a special session of the National Assembly this weekend called by the prime minister after a politically embarrassing defeat of Imran Khan’s key candidate in elections for the Senate. Khan, who enjoys the backing of majority lawmakers in the lower house of parliament, convened the session for Saturday after his candidate lost the race for a seat in the 100-member upper chamber earlier this week. The Senate elections on Wednesday saw the ruling Tehreek-e-Insaf party’s candidate, Finance Minister Hafeez Sheikh, lose against Yusuf Raza Gilani, a former prime minister and senior opposition leader.
Preliminary data from a study conducted at the University of Oxford indicates that the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca PLC is effective against the P1, or Brazilian, variant, a source with knowledge of the study told Reuters on Friday. The data indicates that the vaccine will not need to be modified in order to protect against the variant, which is believed to have originated in the Amazonian city of Manaus, said the source, who requested anonymity as the results have not yet been made public. The source did not provide the exact efficacy of the vaccine against the variant.
- The Daily Beast
Rosa Woods - Pool/Getty ImagesMeghan Markle has said she was not allowed to make her own choices when she was a member of the royal family.The comments were made in a new preview clip from Oprah Winfrey’s eagerly-awaited interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, which dropped Friday morning on CBS This Morning.In the new clip, Meghan said that she had not been “allowed” to give an interview before.In the clip, Oprah told Meghan that she recalled calling her before her wedding and asking for an interview.Meghan said: “I recall that conversation very well. I wasn’t even allowed to have that conversation with you personally. Right? There had to be people from the [communications team] sitting there…”Oprah then said: “You turned me down nicely…What is right about this time?”Meghan replied: “Well, so many things. That we are on the other side of a lot of life experience that’s happened. And also that we have the ability to make our own choices in way that I couldn’t have said yes to you then. That wasn’t my choice to make. So, as an adult who lived a really independent life, to then go into this construct, that is, um, different, than I think what people imagine it to be, it’s really liberating to be able to have the right and the privilege in some ways to be able to say, ‘Yes, I am ready to talk.’ To say it for yourself…. To be able to just make a choice on your own, to be able to speak for yourself.”Meghan’s new comments appear to reiterate a frequent complaint of hers that she was denied her voice and agency when she was a member of the royal family.The new clip came as tensions between Meghan and Harry and Buckingham Palace boiled over into all-out war, with reports in the British media suggesting multiple witnesses were ready to come forward and give evidence to a hastily-announced inquiry into alleged bullying by Meghan of her staff at Buckingham Palace.Meghan’s friends responded to the bullying claims by launching a social media fightback against Buckingham Palace today calling her a “warm, kind, caring person.”In a previous clip Meghan accused the palace of “perpetuating falsehoods” about them.An emotional Meghan said: “I don’t know how they could expect that after all of this time we would still just be silent if there is an active role that The Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- Business Insider
Republicans are attacking Democrats by framing Biden's 'Neanderthal' comment like one of Trump's racist remarks
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted that Biden "should apologize for his insensitive comments and seek training on unconscious bias."
- The Daily Beast
Remo Casilli via ReutersROME—Hours after Italy’s newly-minted prime minister Mario Draghi kickstarted a bout of vaccine nationalism by blocking the export of vaccines made in the Eurozone, several other European countries were threatening to follow suit. Speaking on French television station BFM Friday morning, France’s heath minister Olivier Véran applauded Italy’s move to keep vaccines made in Europe at home and threatened. “We could do the same,” he said. “The more doses France has, the happier I will be as health minister. France has the right to talk to its European neighbours to ensure that laboratories respect their commitments and contracts. That seems to me to be common sense.”A spokesperson for the health ministry of Spain, which has several facilities crucial to the global vaccine supply chain, also suggested Friday that they will look at where the vaccines produced in that country are going. Europe is the world’s largest producer of vaccine components, and all three of the main COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca) currently in use rely on companies to fill vials and distribute the vaccines both in the Eurozone and outside, mostly to Canada, Japan, Australia, the U.K. and the U.S. Facilities in Italy, Belgium, France, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands are all crucial links in the global supply chain and could all block export under regulations put in place in the EU on January 30.Italy’s first tactical move of denying an export request for 250,000 AstraZeneca doses produced in Italy en route to Australia marks a new front line in a vaccine war that pits big pharma against state run health systems. The European Commission approved the block, signaling it would do so if other countries followed suit to keep more jabs in Europe. A source in Draghi’s government told The Daily Beast that Italy had been given assurances that the European Commission would back Italy up. “Someone had to go first,” the source, speaking on condition of anonymity said. “But Italy will not be the only country to protect its citizens this way.”According to a readout of a call with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Draghi justified his actions, saying he “hoped to suffocate the drug companies” to pressure them to meet their EU commitments to deliver vaccines.Panicked Euro Leaders Threaten Trade War as Vaccine Rollout Goes to HellIn a statement to journalists, Italy’s foreign ministry explained it had blocked vials that were being prepped at the New Jersey-based drug company Catalent’s plant in the Roman municipality of Anagni, citing delays in the distribution within Italy and the rest of the EU. The statement also cited a discrepancy in “the high number of vaccine doses requested for export... compared to the amount of doses provided to Italy and, more generally, to EU countries so far.”Catalent produces around 1 million Moderna doses a day, according to a company spokesperson. Currently, most of those are distributed inside the Eurozone, but the Italian foreign ministry also has to approve any foreign exports of that vaccine as well.The ministry also said the doses were heading to Australia where they would be distributed to people the EU classifies as “not vulnerable” under current regulations while robbing those who are vulnerable in Italy and the EU of protection against the deadly virus. Australia, with a population of 25 million, has logged around 25,000 COVID-19 cases and 900 deaths. Italy, by contrast, has a population of 60 million people and has logged nearly 3 million cases and 99,000 deaths so far. On Thursday, Italy recorded 22,865 new infections while Australia had less than a dozen.The European Commission set up the framework for blocking exports of COVID-19 vaccines produced in Europe on January 30, as the vaccine battle that has largely targeted the British-made AstraZeneca vaccine heated up. The EU regulation makes it compulsory for vaccine makers to get authorization from the countries where the vaccines are physically produced before exporting them. Because of Brexit, the U.K. no longer enjoys automatic trade relationships with the EU and has thus contracted various Europe-based vaccine makers to help produce the AstraZeneca vaccines sold to European countries. But the British company has fallen short of its promised deliveries, and will deliver just 40 million of the 100 million first doses ordered by the EU by the end of March, a move that has drastically compromised vaccine rollouts across Europe, risking a third deadly wave of the pandemic. The EU has vaccinated just over five percent of its citizens compared to more than 30 percent of the U.K. population that has received at least the first jab.The World Health Organization condemned Italy’s move, calling it “a worrying trend” that risked jeopardizing the global supply chains for the coveted vaccines since the E.U. is one of the largest vaccine producers. The ban does not impact vaccines distributed to poor nations through the COVAX plan, the Italian foreign ministry confirmed. Australian Prime Minster Scott Morrison said Friday that the blocked vials won’t impact the country’s vaccine rollout, which is just getting underway. “In Italy, people are dying at the rate of 300 a day. And so I can certainly understand the high level of anxiety that would exist in Italy and in many countries across Europe,” he said in a statement to the press. “They are in an unbridled crisis situation. That is not the situation in Australia.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- The Week
Federico Klein, a former State Department aide who worked on former President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, was arrested Thursday on charges related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, the FBI announced Thursday night. This is the first known instance of a Trump appointee facing prosecution in connection with the attack, Politico reports. An FBI Washington Field Office spokeswoman told Politico that Klein, 42, was taken into custody in Virginia, but did not release any information on the charges against him. Federal Election Commission records show Klein worked as a tech analyst for the 2016 Trump campaign, Politico says, and after the election he was hired at the State Department. A federal directory from last summer lists Klein as a special assistant in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, making him a "Schedule C" political appointee, Politico reports. On Jan. 6, a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying President Biden's victory. Klein's mother, Cecilia, told Politico on Thursday night that he told her he was in Washington, D.C., on the day of the riot, and "as far as I know, he was on the Mall." She is a retired economist and trade official, and told Politico because of their different views, she rarely spoke about Trump or politics with her son. "Fred's politics burn a little hot," she said. "But I've never known him to violate the law." More stories from theweek.comWhy the Dr. Seuss 'cancellation' is chillingWhat Republicans talk about when they talk about the 'working class'7 scathingly funny cartoons about Trump's CPAC appearance
Brie Larson will be joined by "WandaVision" breakout star Teyonah Parris when the Marvel movie hits theaters in November 2022.
I flew business class for 9 hours, and it made me wish I saved my money and bought an economy ticket
The writer reviewed how safe she felt, which perks she got, and the food she had during an international British Airways flight from Texas to London.
- Reuters Videos
Pope Francis landed in Baghdad for what's been described as the most risky foreign trip of his time leading the Roman Catholic Church.The pontiff touched down slightly ahead of schedule at Baghdad International Airport on Friday (March 5) afternoon.He said he felt duty-bound to make the "emblematic" visit because Iraq had suffered so much for so long."It is essential to ensure the participation of all political, social, and religious groups and to guarantee the fundamental rights of all citizens. May no one be considered a second-class citizen. I encourage the strides made so far on this journey and I trust that they will strengthen tranquility and concord."The first stop was to meet Iraqi President Barham Salih at the presidential palace, where a red carpet, military band, and flock of doves greeted him.Iraq has deployed thousands of additional security personnel to protect the 84-year-old. And while he usually insists on traveling in simple and small cars, this Friday saw him in a bulletproof BMW within a massive motorcade.The country has suffered a spate of rocket and suicide bomb attacks that have raised fears for the pope’s safety.Naem Faouzi was part of a selected group of Iraqi Christians permitted to make a journey to see the pope shortly after he arrived."I never thought that I would see the Pope, honestly. It was a visit we believed to be impossible. Even though the country's conditions are poor, infrastructure is poor. (We thought) it was impossible, but it was the best surprise."Francis's whirlwind tour will take him by plane, helicopter, and possibly armored car to four cities, including areas that most foreign dignitaries are unable to reach, let alone in such a short space of time.The pope will also be making a another scheduled stop, to say Mass at a Baghdad church where militants killed 50 worshippers n 2010.
- Business Insider
Rudy Giuliani, who helped lead Trump's bogus election-fraud conspiracy theory, is being mocked after warning of the dangers of misinformation
After spending months pushing Trump's election fraud conspiracy theory, Giuliani unexpectedly warned of the dangers of misinformation.
- Business Insider
Trump advisors are telling him to drop Pence for a Black or female VP in a potential 2024 run, report says
Two advisors specifically singled out South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem as a potential running mate in 2024.
- Business Insider
Biden changed his plan for the strike on Iran-backed militias at the last minute to avoid killing a woman and children
Intelligence came in that a woman and children were in the strike area as F-15E Strike Eagles were in the air and on their way.
- Associated Press
Rep. Eric Swalwell, who served as a House manager in Donald Trump’s last impeachment trial, filed a lawsuit Friday against the former president, his son, lawyer and a Republican congressman whose actions he charges led to January’s insurrection. The California Democrat’s suit, filed in federal court in Washington, alleges a conspiracy to violate civil rights, along with negligence, inciting a riot and inflicting emotional distress. It follows a similar suit filed by Rep. Bennie Thompson last month in an attempt to hold the former president accountable in some way for his actions Jan. 6, following his Senate acquittal.
While some celebrity interviews sparked immediate backlash, others resurfaced years later and were called out for being inappropriate.
- Business Insider
Jared Kushner is said to have distanced himself back from his father-in-law but is likely to return if Trump decides on a 2024 run, sources told CNN.
- The Telegraph
Rishi Sunak leaves door open to future stealth tax raid as National Insurance pledge left out of Budget
Rishi Sunak has left the door open to another stealth tax raid after a Conservative manifesto commitment to raise the national insurance contributions (NICS) threshold to £12,500 was left out of the Budget. On Wednesday the Chancellor confirmed that personal allowances on income tax, pensions, inheritance tax and capital gains tax would be frozen until 2026, netting the Treasury an additional £21bn as more people are dragged into higher tax rates over time. However, in the Budget Red Book, he has also kept open the option to change a number of NICs thresholds at future budgets, handing the Exchequer the ability to raise billions of pounds in additional revenues if required. In 2019, Boris Johnson told voters that his “ultimate ambition” was to raise the level at which people begin paying both national insurance and income tax to £12,500 - a move which would save taxpayers £500. Last year’s budget also confirmed that the national insurance primary threshold - over which employees’ earnings are taxed at 12 per cent - would rise to £9,500. It described this as “the first step in meeting the government’s ambition to increase these thresholds to £12,500.” Mr Sunak confirmed yesterday that the threshold would increase again to £9,568 from April, along with the upper rate, which will increase to £50,270 and then stay frozen until 2026, in line the personal income allowance. But the future level of the primary threshold has not been set, with the document stating only that it would with “all other NICs thresholds... be considered and set at future fiscal events”. The 102-page Red Book does not appear to mention the Government’s ambition to raise the threshold to £12,500 once. Approached for comment, a Treasury spokesman said raising the NICs threshold to £12,500 was still the Government’s “ultimate ambition”. However, they acknowledged that there was no timeline for doing this. The omission suggests that Mr Sunak has kept open the possibility of temporarily freezing the lower NICs thresholds, should he need to boost tax receipts again in future. This would see more people dragged into tax as wages rise, and is known as "fiscal drag." Mr Sunak has already chosen to freeze other personal allowances due to the limited revenue raising options available to him because of the manifesto pledge not to increase income tax, VAT or NICs during this Parliament
A French cabinet minister urged EU countries on Friday not to use the Russian or Chinese COVID-19 vaccines unless they are approved by the bloc's medicines regulator, warning of a risk to the bloc's unity and public health. After a fitful start to the European Union's vaccination campaign which has left the bloc lagging other countries such as Britain, some member states in central Europe have already bought or are considering buying Russian or Chinese shots. Asked whether each EU member state was now simply doing "what they wish themselves", European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune told RTL radio: "If they were to choose the Chinese and/or Russian vaccine, I think it would be quite serious."
- Associated Press
The New Orleans Saints have cut punter Thomas Morstead, who was a rookie when the franchise won its only Super Bowl and then played 11 more seasons. Morstead, whose contract paid an average annual salary of about $3.96 million, said he understands that as one of the highest paid players at his position, "the expectation is that you're playing at an elite level — and I didn’t do that." Morstead appeared in all 16 regular-season games last season and had a net punting average of 41.7 yards, with 23 punts landing inside-the-20 yard line.
- The Daily Beast
WPA Pool/Getty ImagesMeghan Markle is expected to discuss racism in the U.K. in her sit-down with Oprah Winfrey that airs on Sunday.In a depressing illustration of the problem, which Prince Harry has previously described as “structural” in Britain, a prominent British journalist and frequent critic of Meghan Markle is under fire after launching an extraordinary and racist attack on her, in which he appeared to suggest the fact that he thinks she is “attractive” meant she could not be a victim of racism.Andrew Pierce, a senior editor at the Daily Mail who is a regular guest on British TV and radio shows, was hosting a talk radio show Wednesday when a caller suggested that Meghan had never been “fully accepted because of her skin color.”Pierce, who is white, responded, “Oh God, that one again! Do you look at her… and see a Black woman? Because I don’t. I see a very attractive, a very attractive woman. It’s never occurred to me. I never look at her and think, ‘Gosh she’s Black!’ in the way you look at Oprah Winfrey, you would be in no doubt. When they sit down and do that interview, you will see a Black woman called Oprah Winfrey and you will see a woman who describes [herself] as a woman of color. Her mother is Black, she’s from a mixed-race family of course. But I just don’t think people look at Meghan and think, ‘Oh I hate her, because of her skin color.’ I don’t see it. I don’t buy it.”Just a reminder of who Andrew Pierce is... (sound on) pic.twitter.com/wUKq6deFAY— Royal Suitor (@royal_suitor) March 3, 2021 In his statement, Pierce utilizes colorism—the concept that because Markle is of a fairer complexion she cannot be a victim of racism. Instead, he compares her to Oprah Winfrey, implying that the media mogul’s darker skin color is not seen as being attractive because her features are overwhelmingly Black.This has been the case for a number of famous women. Michelle Obama constantly endured negative feedback about her looks before her husband even officially took his place in the White House. By highlighting Markle’s lighter skin, not only is Pierce diminishing her experiences but also perpetuating misunderstandings about racism.Pierce, a frequent critic of Markle, had earlier in the day been a guest on British TV show Good Morning Britain. The segment in which he appeared was criticized for featuring five white men talking about Meghan. Pierce attacked Meghan as hypocritical on the show over allegations she bullied staff at Buckingham Palace and also attacked her later in the day on Twitter for wearing jewelry gifted by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.#Meghan wore diamonds from Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia 3 weeks says @thetimes after he ordered murder of #JamalKhashoggi it's not just appalling timing, why is she taking diamonds from Saudi which treats women as 3rd class citizens. So much for her worldwide equality campaign— Andrew Pierce (@toryboypierce) March 3, 2021 The shocking comments by Pierce that appeared to question Meghan’s race based on her appearance echo a revealing article written for Elle magazine in 2015 by Markle in which she said her race made it difficult for her to break through in Hollywood: “I wasn’t Black enough for the Black roles and I wasn’t white enough for the white ones, leaving me somewhere in the middle as the ethnic chameleon who couldn’t book a job.”She added: “Being biracial paints a blurred line that is equal parts staggering and illuminating.“While my mixed heritage may have created a grey area surrounding my self-identification, keeping me with a foot on both sides of the fence, I have come to embrace that. To say who I am, to share where I’m from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident mixed-race woman.”On Martin Luther King Day 2016, Markle published a moving piece of writing on her now-shuttered blog The Tig that explored the overt and covert racism she and her family have experienced throughout their lives.Pierce’s remarks have generated outraged commentary on social media.This is what Meghan had to deal with. Listen to how Andrew Pierce defines the attractiveness and diversity of a black woman. Heartbreaking. @Oprah @GayleKing @meenaharris @RobinRoberts @MichelleObama @WhoopiGoldberg https://t.co/pDKD4tN6vH— Pam Ranberg (@PamRanberg) March 3, 2021 Nervousness at the palace about what Meghan might reveal in her interview with Oprah intensified today after a new promo clip of Meghan and Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey was released. It shows Meghan accuse the British royal family of “perpetuating falsehoods” about her and her husband. Winfrey asks, “How do you feel about the palace hearing you speak your truth today?” Markle responds, “I don’t know how they could expect that after all of this time we would still just be silent if there is an active role that The Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us. And if that comes with risk of losing things, there is a lot that has been lost already.”Royals often use the term “The Firm” to refer to the monarchy.The Daily Beast has approached Associated Newspapers, Pierce’s employers, seeking comment. —Brooke Howard contributed to this reportRead more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.