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- The Daily Beast
Brendan Smialowski/AFP via GettyDemocrats are one big step closer to achieving their first major goal of the Joe Biden era: Early Saturday morning, the U.S. House approved a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill on a nearly party-line vote.The 219-212 vote allows the U.S. Senate to formally take up the legislation, which Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) intends to do immediately. But the party is under the gun: many Democrats regard March 14—the day that extended unemployment benefits run out for millions—as a de facto deadline for getting the so-called American Rescue Plan on Biden’s desk.The legislation would replenish relief for the jobless by extending a weekly $400 check through August. It also fulfills a number of other promises Democrats campaigned on in 2020: $1,400 direct stimulus checks to supplement the $600 checks that went out in December, billions of dollars to hasten vaccine distribution, funds for schools, and aid for state and local governments. The House’s bill passed with an increase to the federal minimum wage—but the Senate’s procedural enforcer found that the proposal did not conform to the rules of fast-tracking a bill in the upper chamber. It effectively kills the prospects for a clean wage hike as part of the COVID legislation.Prior rounds of major COVID legislation passed the House with bipartisan support, but Friday’s vote all but confirmed Biden’s first relief effort will travel a starkly partisan path. The GOP, beset with infighting in the wake of the Jan. 6 attack and Donald Trump’s impeachment, have found cause for unity in opposing the relief plan, which they slammed as a bloated vehicle for liberal wish-list items. Democrats held out hope that at least a few Republicans would vote for the plan, but not a single GOP lawmaker backed the legislation, and its odds for picking up many Senate Republicans look dim.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
'Oath Keeper' Jessica Watkins denounced the extremist group but will stay in jail before her trial, judge says
The ruling comes after Watkins requested pretrial release earlier this week due to safety concerns in jail related to her being transgender.
Residents of an Indian slum thought they were getting vaccinated like everyone else but were unknowingly part of a clinical trial
After a white van advertised COVID-19 vaccines to a central-Indian slum, many of its residents feel duped after finding out they were in a trial.
- The Daily Beast
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty/TwitterA pickup truck parked at the United States Capitol and bearing a Three Percenter militia sticker on the day of the Jan. 6 riot belongs to the husband of freshman U.S. Rep. Mary Miller of Illinois, who approvingly quoted Adolf Hitler a day earlier.Researchers on Twitter first noticed the Ford pickup truck with the far-right militia’s decal parked on the Capitol grounds in footage posted to social media and taken by CBS News.The presence of a vehicle with a militia decal so close to the Capitol, inaccessible to normal vehicle traffic, raised questions about how it got there—and whether it belonged to any of the hundreds of suspects involved in the deadly riot.But in an email to The Daily Beast, Chris Miller, Rep. Miller’s husband and a member of the Illinois House of Representatives, conceded the truck belonged to him even as he pleaded ignorance about the militia group.Mitch McConnell Says He’ll Support Trump in 2024 After Blaming Him for Capitol Riot“Army friend gave me decal. Thought it was a cool decal. Took it off because of negative pub,” Miller wrote in an email late Thursday. He says he “never was member” of the militia and “didn’t know anything about 3% till fake news started this fake story and read about them.” A request for comment to the office of U.S. Rep. Miller was not returned prior to publication.The link between the truck and Rep. Miller was first reported on Twitter on Thursday by the @capitolhunters account, which is organizing research about rioters seen in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot from a large community of volunteers reviewing thousands of hours of footage.The #Sedition3PTruck with government plates parked in a restricted zone from 1:02. #SeditionHunters #Sedition3PSource: https://t.co/DubmxJhjSZ pic.twitter.com/INCs6geEYg— Phoenix on Wheels (@phoenixonwheels) February 25, 2021 A pickup truck with the same make, model, color, and Illinois plate number as the one at the Capitol on Jan. 6 is also visible in a July 2020 photo carrying Mary Miller for Congress banners during a Fourth of July parade in Illinois. That same day, Rep. Miller’s Facebook page posted a picture of what appeared to be the same truck with the same Trump-Pence and Mary Miller for Congress banners attached to the same PVC pipe frame as she campaigned in the towns of Mattoon, Sullivan, Herrick, and Moweaqua.https://www.facebook.com/BaileyforIllinois/photos/888345101571058Previously, the Millers have proudly posted pictures of the same model of Ford pickup truck, often emblazoned with the same stickers—like “herd quitter” and Guns Save Life, a website affiliated with an Illinois-based gun rights group—as the truck at the Capitol bore on Jan. 6. In at least one case, before Chris Miller’s election to the State House in 2018, the truck in question had a different license plate.The couple have appeared with that truck at campaign events, sometimes with the vehicle plastered in pictures of their faces or “taxpayers lives matter” posters. The license plate of the vehicle at the Capitol on Jan. 6—registered to Illinois, but with a drawing of the state’s Capitol building—appears to be a design reserved for Illinois politicians, like Chris Miller, who took office in 2019.The Three Percenter decal may have been a relatively new addition to the car, as it was not visible in images from this summer.https://www.facebook.com/ChrisMillerForStateRep/photos/2438928539529305Elected last November, Mary Miller, a Republican, is perhaps best known for speaking at a “Moms for America” rally in front of the Capitol one day before the riot. “Hitler was right on one thing: whoever has the youth has the future," she told the crowd. She later apologized for the remarks and said “some are trying to intentionally twist my words to mean something antithetical to my beliefs.”Militia groups have garnered new attention from law enforcement given the number of members arrested and charged with riot-related crimes since Jan. 6. Robert Gieswein, an alleged rioter identified by The Daily Beast who’s visible in footage of the first rioters to break into the Capitol, "appears to be affiliated with the radical militia group known as the Three Percenters," according to an FBI affidavit filed in the court case against him.The group, which first formed in 2008, is part of a loose network of “anti-government extremists” who liken their crusade against the U.S. government to that of Revolutionary War-era patriots, according to the Anti Defamation League. Their name comes from the false claim that only 3 percent of U.S. colonists fought in that war.Ties between militia groups and Congress have also come under greater scrutiny after some lawmakers suggested their colleagues may have played a role in the riot. Rep. Steve Cohen pointedly claimed that U.S. Rep Lauren Boebert led a “large” tour through the Capitol shortly before the riot. Boebert said she gave no tours to anyone outside her family at the time and there is no evidence as yet that any of the rioters benefited from inside help.Boebert has, however, been criticized for her links to militia groups after she posed for a picture at a December 2019 gun rights rally where rally-goers flashed Three Percenter hand signs.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet 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 Daily Beast
Prince Harry Tells Friend James Corden He Left the Royal Family Because It Was Destroying His Mental Health
KOEN VAN WEELPrince Harry has said that he stepped back from royal duties because the British press was “toxic” and “destroying” his mental health.In an extraordinary interview unparalleled in the annals of royal history, Harry gave a candid interview to his close friend James Corden on The Late Late Show while they toured Los Angeles on an open-air double-decker bus. Corden was a guest at Harry and Meghan’s wedding in 2018 and arrived at the evening reception dressed as Henry VIII. Another guest at the wedding, Oprah Winfrey, has taped an interview primarily with Meghan that will be screened next weekend.Oprah Winfrey’s Interview With Meghan Markle and Harry Will ‘Shine a Light on What They Have Been Through’The two men were served afternoon tea, which Corden said he had provided to remind Harry of home, however the tea service was abandoned after the bus braked sharply, depositing the contents of a tea trolley on top of the prince.“Clear it up, Harry,” Corden joked as the prince picked up tea cups and scones.While the 17-minute long package had a humorous tone and was packed with jokes and gags, it also provided the most candid insight yet into why Harry withdrew from royal duties.Asked about his decision to leave royal life, Harry said he was left with no choice because the British press “was destroying my mental health.”He said of the “toxic” situation: “I did what any husband and father would do—I need to get my family out of here.”In what will be perceived as a dig at the royal establishment that refused to accept Harry and Meghan’s proposal of a hybrid public-private role, Harry said: “We never walked away, and as far as I’m concerned, what decisions are made on that side, I will never walk away.”Royal Family ‘Wringing Their Hands’ at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s ActivismHarry said that his life now would continue to be about “public service” and added that he and Meghan were “trying to bring some compassion and try to make people happy and try to change the world in any small way we can.”When Harry said he and Meghan often watched Jeopardy! and Netflix (with whom the couple recently signed a $100 million production deal) in the evenings after putting Archie to bed, Corden asked him about The Crown and its controversial portrayal of his family’s history.Harry, who joked he would like to be played in the series by Damian Lewis, said he preferred it to the tabloid media coverage of the royals because it “does not pretend to be news.”He added: “It’s fictional. But it’s loosely based on the truth.“Of course it’s not strictly accurate, but it gives you a rough idea about what that lifestyle—the pressures of putting duty and service above family and everything else—what can come from that.”He continued: “I’m way more comfortable with The Crown than I am seeing the stories written about my family, or my wife or myself, because it’s the difference between fiction—take it how you will—and being reported on as fact because you’re supposedly news. I have a real issue with that.”Harry also opened up about meeting Meghan and how he knew she was the one on their second date.“We hit it off with each other, and we were just so comfortable in each other’s company,” he said.“Dating me or any member of the royal family is kind of flipped upside down. All the dates become dinners or watching the TV or chatting at home.“We went from zero to 60 in the first two months.”Meghan, who is pregnant with the couple’s second child, made a cameo in the interview via FaceTime when Harry and Corden paid a trip to the house from the ’90s TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.When Corden suggested the couple should buy the house, Meghan said: “I think we’ve done enough moving.”During the visit to the house, Corden and Harry spoke to the owner and jokingly made an offer to buy it, before Harry asked if he could use the toilet.“I’m actually dying for a pee. Can I use your bathroom?” he asked.Showing that family relations are at least still somewhat functional, Harry said his grandmother, the queen, bought his son Archie a waffle maker for Christmas.He revealed Meghan now makes waffles with a “beautiful organic mix” and they eat them for breakfast with toppings including berries and syrup.He also said that both his grandparents know how to use Zoom, but joked that his grandfather slams the laptop shut physically to finish a call.Over to you, Oprah.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 report released Friday on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was short on evidence or new information, but Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) tells Axios that the “definitive” statement assigning responsibility to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) speaks volumes.What he’s saying: Schiff, the chairman of the House intelligence committee, says that while some intelligence couldn’t be published because of the need to protect sources and methods, “we rarely see something published that is this definitive and I think that's an important accomplishment for the administration.”Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free"I think it's a very accurate summary of what we know, and I was pleased that it was as forthcoming as it was. It really held nothing back in terms of attributing the capture/kill operation to the crown prince,” he said.From the report: “We assess that Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.”Asked about the “capture or kill” language, Schiff told Axios: "I think you should read it as meaning that the team the crown prince dispatched had his approval to either capture him, if that was either possible or desirable, or to kill him. And either outcome would have been satisfactory to the crown prince."The other side: The Saudi foreign ministry has vehemently rejected the report, and some pro-Saudi voices have seized on the fact that it doesn’t contain a “smoking gun.”"I don't know that I would use the standard of smoking guns,” Schiff said. “The intelligence community does not usually speak in such definitive terms without high confidence in its judgements.”What’s next: “I think the focus now is what are the repercussions that should follow. I've urged the administration to make sure that those repercussions apply to anyone involved and that includes the man who gave the orders," Schiff said. Between the lines: The Biden administration announced sanctions Friday in response to Khashoggi’s murder, but declined to directly target MBS.Like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.
Richard Michetti is facing charges after his ex-girlfriend alerted authorities that he was part of the group that stormed the Capitol on Jan 6. The Pennsylvania man was arguing with the woman when he called her a “moron.”
- The Telegraph
The Queen has said people who refuse the coronavirus vaccine "ought to think about other people rather than themselves". In her first comments on the subject, Her Majesty said it was important that people were "protected" by the vaccine. Speaking to the senior responsible officers overseeing the delivery of the vaccine across all four UK nations, she said that her own immunisation, administered at Windsor Castle in January, was “very quick,” adding: “It didn’t hurt at all.” She added: “Once you've had the vaccine you have a feeling of, you know, you're protected, which is I think very important. “And I think the other thing is that it is obviously difficult for people if they've never had a vaccine… but they ought to think about other people rather than themselves." The vaccine rollout has been beset by hesitancy, largely among black ethnic minority communities, of whom just 72 per cent are willing to have the jab. Nadhim Zahawi, the UK’s Covid-19 vaccine deployment minister said the Government rollout was battling a “tsunami” of vaccine misinformation. Royal sources said it was the Queen's “passionately held belief” that everyone should take part in the programme. Her comments were described as an "incredibly important vote of confidence” in the campaign. They are reminiscent of her decision in 1957, to let it be known that Prince Charles and Princess Anne had been given the polio vaccine in order to counter public fears. The Queen also intervened in the debate over Scottish independence, urging her subjects to “think carefully” before voting in the 2014 referendum. The Royal Family has taken an increasingly prominent role in publicising the campaign, returning to public engagements for the first time this year in order to visit vaccination hubs and speak to NHS staff and volunteers. Senior royals are said to be “very engaged” with the programme and aware of the lower rate of vaccine uptake among ethnic minority communities, a concern highlighted by the Prince of Wales, patron of the British Asian Trust, in a webinar last week. The Queen, speaking in 2020:
An official report says Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved the journalist's murder.
- USA TODAY Opinion
The problem in 2020 was with the Republican candidate. That won't change in 2024 if Trump stays on top.
What Harry thinks of The Crown, what the Queen got Archie for Christmas, and other key information.
TikTokers tried to prove that snow in Texas was 'fake' as weather conspiracy theories ran wild online
From "fake snow" to Bill Gates, conspiracy theories about the Texas storm are spreading. Right-wing pundits and politicians aren't helping.
- Business Insider
Merkel says she won't take AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine because she's too old, as 1.4 million jabs are left unused
The German chancellor said she wasn't eligible because the vaccine isn't approved for people over 65 in Germany.
- The Independent
Texas senator shamed for Cancun trip delivered a high-energy CPAC speech studded with Star Wars references
- Associated Press
Myanmar’s U.N. ambassador strongly opposed the military coup in his country and appealed for the “strongest possible action from the international community” to immediately restore democracy, in a dramatic speech to the U.N. General Assembly Friday that drew loud applause from many diplomats in the 193-nation global body. Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun began his statement saying he represented Aung San Suu Kyi’s "civilian government elected by the people” in November, and supported their fight for the end of military rule. “It is time for the military to immediately relinquish power and release those detained,” Tun said, agreeing with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that military coup "is not acceptable in this modern world and the coup must cease.”
- Business Insider
South Dakota's legislature is moving to impeach its attorney general after investigators uncovered a hit-and-run victim's glasses in his car
Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg initially said he thought he'd hit a deer. Then the victim's glasses were found in his car.
- The Telegraph
'It's not as nice as Cancun': Ted Cruz jokes about controversial holiday in CPAC culture wars speech
Ted Cruz railed against "cancel culture" and mocked criticism of his trip to Mexico while his home state of Texas endured freezing conditions and power blackouts as he addressed the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday. The Texas senator was widely criticised last week for taking a family trip to Cancun, Mexico while millions in his state went without heat or water after severe winter weather crippled power supplies. He cut his trip short and apologised for the trip after facing a public backlash. As he addressed CPAC attendees in Orlando, Florida, Mr Cruz began by referencing the controversy, joking: "Orlando is awesome. It's not as nice as Cancun - but it's nice." The comments were met with laughter from the audience.
- Reuters Videos
Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine is one step closer to distribution. A panel of expert advisers gave the thumbs up to Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine Friday. That recommendation then goes to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, which is likely to grant authorization for its emergency use within a day or so, setting the stage for a planned rollout of three to four million doses next week. That would make J&J’s vaccine the third one available in the U.S. after those made by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, and it would be the only one that requires just one shot. Unlike the other two, J&J’s vaccine can be stored in normal refrigerator temperatures instead of ultra-cold storage. That makes distribution a lot easier. A trial found that J&J’s vaccine was 66% effective at preventing moderate-to-severe cases of COVID-19. And it was 100% effective at preventing hospitalizations 28 days after vaccination.
Sometimes stars wear dresses and gowns designed with brides in mind on the red carpet. Sometimes they repurpose the dress they wore to their wedding.
France should impose a national lockdown given the increase in COVID-19 cases and the longer it waits, the higher the death toll will be, the head of the emergencies unit at a hospital in Paris said on Friday. The government said on Thursday that a new lockdown was not on the agenda and it would see next week if local weekend lockdowns would be needed in 20 areas considered very worrying, including Paris and the surrounding region. "I do not understand what we are waiting for," Philippe Juvin from the Georges Pompidou European Hospital in the capital told BFM TV, adding that the situation at hospitals in the Paris area was very tense.