It is taking an army of volunteers to vaccinate 10,000 people at Nissan Stadium in Nashville's first mass vaccination event.
- The Independent
Pro-Trump lawyer and conspiracy theorist Lin Wood clashes with Republicans at GOP meeting: ‘You’re a liar and a manipulator’
‘The Senate race was a rigged election – wake up and see it,’ attorney says during gathering
- The Daily Beast
NOORULLAH SHIRZADA/AFP via Getty ImagesThe Taliban never kept secret what their reaction would be if the Biden administration delays the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, and now that it’s happened, U.S. forces may have to deal with a new, unbridled wave of violence and bloodshed in the months leading up to the new September pull-out deadline.Hours after news broke on Tuesday that following a “rigorous policy review,” President Joe Biden is planning to have all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan by Sept. 11—a break away from the previously agreed May 1 deadline—Taliban military leaders sat down for a policy review of their own. The group then announced it would be boycotting peace talks unless “all foreign forces completely withdraw from our homeland.”Speaking to The Daily Beast on Wednesday, Mullah Salih Khan, a Taliban group commander from Afghanistan’s Helmand Province, said that the insurgent group is “very much prepared to strike,” against U.S. and Afghan government forces, warning that the militants will turn Afghanistan “into a nightmare” for them.Mullah Mujahid Rahman, a Taliban subcommander from the Ghazni province, added that the U.S. has “proven they can’t be trusted after retreating from the May 1 deadline,” and that the group is willing to “fight till the end” of the U.S. presence in Afghanistan.“We have the pride of defeating about 100,000 invaders from [different] countries in Afghanistan. A few thousand won’t be a problem at all,” he said, referring to the 3,500 American troops still stationed in the country.Taliban Boycotts Key Peace Talks After U.S. Pull-Out DelayExperts say this reaction shouldn’t come as a surprise.“Afghanistan will likely see an unrestricted fighting season, with attacks on Afghan provincial capitals as well as against foreign forces,” Andrew Watkins, Crisis Group's Senior Analyst for Afghanistan, told The Daily Beast. “It is hard to say if the talks have been entirely halted, but it’s also difficult to see any reason for the Taliban to continue, if, as they seem to suggest so far, the Doha deal has been broken by the U.S.”There were signs of the violence-to-come even before U.S. officials shared news of the extended deadline, when rumors of a seemingly inevitable delay were swirling both domestically and abroad.Most dramatic among them was one video shared across their social media platforms last week, portraying what appears to be the Taliban’s training facility, somewhere between the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The 50-second clip, made in English for the benefit of international parties, shows an assortment of 50 odd young men—part of the Taliban’s martyrdom-seeking forces of suicide bomber and fighters—dressed in military fatigues and with their faces covered.Wearing a jacket with the initials “I.E.A”, an acronym for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan—the Taliban’s self-given name—one of them issues a warning against the Americans: “God willing, if they do not abide by the agreement they will be responsible for the killing in the next war,” he said, adding that the martyrdom forces are “waiting the order of the Emir and the establishment of the Islamic system all around the world.”“It seems clear from the Taliban’s response that even if they privately celebrate the news of a U.S. withdrawal, the primary mood is mistrust, and they reject the announcement as an abrogation of the U.S.-Taliban deal,” said Watkins, adding that while the Taliban may resume talks with Americans., “there is very little chance of the Taliban committing to real compromise in peace talks with other Afghan stakeholders.”Other stakeholders believe that the seeming disintegration of the peace process might not entirely be on Biden, but can also be attributed to developing fractures within Taliban’s insurgency.“Not all of the Taliban have been in favour of power sharing, inclusive governments. Many among them want a monopoly over everything,” Rahmatullah Nabil, a former Afghan spy chief, told The Daily Beast.He was referring to the many recent proposals made public that detail a potential deal between the Taliban and the Afghan government. One such proposal from the U.S. recommended a power-sharing agreement between the warring parties, and has been criticized by the members of the US congress.Biden Desperate for Last-Ditch Afghan Deal Before Admitting He’ll Miss Trump’s Withdrawal DeadlineNabil continues to maintain strong intelligence networks, and had previously warned of the Taliban’s lack of commitment to the process and the U.S.-facilitated deal, which seems to have emboldened the insurgent group.“The Taliban is consulting with their leaders in Pakistan… but with no actual pressure on the Taliban’s main backers like the Pakistani military and ISI, we will plunge into another crisis if the peace process collapses and Americans withdraw,” he warned.Hekmatullah Azamy, deputy director of Centre for Conflict and Peace Studies, an Afghan think tank closely observing the political and security developments, gave a similar assessment.“The Taliban’s military wing feels compelled to teach the Americans a lesson for not abiding with their promised deadline, and as such they will restart the violence. Unfortunately, the political wing that is conducting the negotiations is unable to convince them otherwise,” Azamy told The Daily Beast.In any case, an increase in violence seems inevitable.“Such units are already prepared for battle,” Azamy said, referring to the information gathered by his organisation. “They understand that it won’t be easy, and the U.S. is fully-equipped to respond to their attacks. But many among them are willing to engage in conflict anyway.”Meanwhile, Afghan government officials are opting to remain optimistic, as the U.S.’s extended stay in Afghanistan gives them a little more time to develop diplomatic and political pressure on the Taliban to agree to a possible ceasefire.“I think the U.S.’s extension on troop withdrawal could be a good thing for Afghanistan. It will force the Taliban to reconsider their stance,” a senior Afghan security official told The Daily Beast. But the official was less certain that the Taliban would actually escalate violence against the U.S. right away: “They have gained so much, it is unlikely that they will risk it all,” he said.Some in the Taliban, however, continue to promise otherwise.“We never paused our Jihad after the U.S.-Taliban deal,” said Mullah Salih Khan, one of the Taliban commanders who spoke to The Daily Beast. “There is nothing for the Taliban to lose, but the puppet Afghan government will lose everything .”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 Telegraph
Until now it had remained a cherished family photograph unseen by the rest of the world. Showing the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh surrounded by seven of their great-grandchildren at Balmoral Castle, the precious image had been kept under wraps for four years. Yet Prince Philip’s death on Friday last night prompted the 94-year-old monarch to open the treasured royal family album in loving memory of a beloved patriarch. The image, taken by the Duchess of Cambridge in 2018, shows the Queen holding baby Prince Louis in her arms as she sits between his brother Prince George, now seven, and sister Princess Charlotte, five. Peter Phillips’s daughter Savannah, 10, their eldest great-grandchild, stands behind the couple as her younger sister Isla, nine, cradles their cousin Lena, two, the daughter of Zara and Mike Tindall, whose eldest Mia, seven, flanks them, seemingly stifling a giggle. Telling a thousand words about the Queen and the Duke’s close bond with the youngest members of the House of Windsor, the image captures the relaxed mood as the children visited Great Granny and Grandpa in Scotland that summer.
- Business Insider
Walmart, Delta, and Coca-Cola refused to join hundreds of other companies in opposing restrictive voting laws - here's why
JPMorgan Chase, led by Jamie Dimon, and Home Depot also didn't sign the full-page ad that ran in the New York Times and Washington Post.
- Business Insider
A woman who traveled to the Bahamas with Rep. Matt Gaetz in 2018 says no one was underage on the trip, according to Politico
The woman told Politico that everyone on the trip was over 18 years old and that no one on the trip engaged in prostitution.
- USA TODAY
United States Capitol Police Officer William Evans, who died in the line of duty April 2, is lying in honor in the Capitol Rotunda.
- Miami Herald
Greg Norman remains a Florida man.
- Business Insider
Billionaire Jack Ma was one of China's biggest success stories. The government turning on him speaks to an animosity against billionaires in the Communist country.
China isn't just cracking down on Jack Ma - the Communist Party is reining in billionaires as the wealth gap grows even wider.
- Yahoo News
Former Brooklyn Center, Minn., Police Officer Kimberly Potter will be charged with second-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of Daunte Wright.
- The Independent
Jordan Gerbich killed marine mammal ‘as a kind of grotesque test’ after friend told him to
Employees will be required to work at least three days from office, Uber Chief People Officer Nikki Krishnamurthy said in a letter to workers. Many tech companies including Microsoft Corp and Salesforce.com have said they would start reopening their offices, months after the COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdowns forced them to shift to work-from-home models. Cloud-based software maker Salesforce said earlier this week it will allow vaccinated employees to return to some of its offices.
- Business Insider
Pfizer is ramping up vaccine production and will meet its goal of 300 million doses 2 weeks early, its CEO says
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said on Twitter that his company was ramping up production of its COVID-19 vaccine.
Workers are again facing loss of wages and migration as local lockdowns loom amid a surge in Covid-19.
- Business Insider
"If anything can be faked, including videos, then everything can be denied," deepfake expert Nina Shick told Insider.
Madoff was the reason that generations of Americans learned about the elaborate hoax known as a Ponzi scheme
- Associated Press
A man fleeing the California Highway Patrol totaled his girlfriend's Maserati SUV after he careened up an embankment and slammed into the underside of an overpass, wedging the vehicle under a freeway in Oakland, authorities said Tuesday. Police say the 32-year-old man was speeding on a highway Monday when a CHP officer tried to stop him.
Nick Viall told Insider that Natalie Joy's Instagram DM was "playful enough" and "didn't come across as weird."
- The Telegraph
Swedish region declares 'personal lockdown' as country suffers Europe's highest rate of new covid-19 cases
One of Sweden's most populous regions has declared a "personal lockdown", as the country reported the highest daily rate of daily coronavirus cases in Europe, and more being treated in intensive care for the virus than at its second wave peak. In posters and an online campaign, the region centred on Uppsala, Sweden's fourth biggest city, called on everyone to "consider all human contacts as a potential risk" and avoid contact with anyone they do not live with, in the closest the country has come to a lockdown since the pandemic began. "We are reaching the point of the maximum capacity of what we can handle," Mikael Köhler, the region's health chief told Sweden's TT newswire. "It seems like the British variant has taken over and there's evidence that people are spreading the disease before they have any symptoms." Sweden on Tuesday had the highest rate of new coronavirus cases in Europe, with a seven-day average of 587 new infections per million people on Monday, more than France on 556 and Poland on 540, according to the latest figures on Our World in Data.
The cop who shot and killed Ashli Babbitt during the Capitol riot won't be charged, the Justice Department announced
The Justice Department said Wednesday it concluded its investigation and the officer who shot her will not face charges.
- Associated Press
Pakistani security forces swinging batons and firing teargas moved before dawn Wednesday to clear sit-ins by protesting Islamists in the garrison city of Rawalpindi and elsewhere after five people died in earlier clashes, officials said. The government action comes two days after the arrest of Saad Rizvi, head of the Tehreek-e-Labiak Pakistan party, sparked protests by his supporters. Two police officers and three other people have been killed in the violence which began Monday after police arrested Rizvi for threatening protests if the government did not expel France’s ambassador over depictions of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.