Because of his age, TODAY’s Al Roker qualifies for COVID-19 vaccination. As our Vaccinating America series continues, he shares tips on how to schedule an appointment as he did and talks with Dr. Daniel Baker, and receives the vaccine live at New York’s Lenox Hill hospital. “Will I get a Hello Kitty Band-Aid?” Al jokes with nurse Jessica Callard.
Opponents of Myanmar's military coup face daily threats and violence, and yet defiance continues.
- The Independent
Activist group says Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley ‘deserve most blame for firing up violent mob of Trump supporters that attacked US Capitol and killed five people’
- LA Times
The airing of Harry and Meghan's interview with Oprah lands nearly one year after the couple made the U.S. their home.
The SPAC surge continues unabated, with 10 new ones formed since Wednesday morning. And that's OK.Between the lines: There are growing concerns that retail investors are about to get rolled, with smart sponsors taking advantage of dumb money.Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.To be sure, many of these deals will fail. SPACs (special purpose acquisition companies) are pulling venture capital forward, and venture capital is inherently speculative.And regulators should watch closely for conflicts of interest, including if SPAC sponsors are having pre-IPO conversations with potential targets (which is not allowed).Reasons for (relative) calm: Unlike traditional venture capital or equities investing, though, SPACs have numerous guardrails.Some of them are structural. Redemption rights, IPO proceeds held in escrow via T-bills and the ability for unit-holders to rebuff a merger.There also is pricing pressure from the small number of institutional investors that have come to dominate the PIPE market. For example, it's not uncommon for a SPAC to win a bake-off by offering the highest price, only to renegotiate down after the letter of intent is signed. Not because the SPAC sponsor thinks it over-bid, but because the big PIPE players do."Target companies hate when this happens, but they're in an exclusivity period once they've signed the LOI, so their only option is to negotiate or wait a while and start the whole thing over," a SPAC banker explains.Normal market forces are also at work. For example, the SPAC buying Dyal Capital is now just trading at 4 cents above the offering price, reflecting concerns about if the deal can get done amidst the litigation. And, of course, there are short-sellers trumpeting their skepticism, like Muddy Waters yesterday unloading on SPAC'd XL Fleet.The bottom line: It does feel like there's a SPAC bubble. But, as investing bubbles go, SPACs may be among the most benign.Like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.
- The Independent
QAnon predicted Trump’s re-inauguration on 4 March. Congress braced for an assault. Neither happened
Two months after Capitol attack, embittered conspiracy cult holds out for last-ditch effort to revive former president – but law enforcement warns that the insurrection was not an isolated event
- The Independent
Obama administration greatly expanded the use of drone strikes before later imposing checks
- The Independent
‘I always knew where my boss stood ... I could walk in at any time,’ former press secretary says
The European Parliament abandoned its plan on Thursday to set a date for voting on the EU-UK trade deal, in protest at what the European Union sees as Britain's unlawful changes to Northern Irish Brexit arrangements. EU parliament group chiefs had been expected to fix a March 24 date for the vote. The European Parliament still has until the end of April to ratify the trade and cooperation agreement.
- The Independent
‘I’m always up for a good fight,’ says Trump ally
- USA TODAY
Biden and Democratic leaders are pushing for passage before March 14 when unemployment benefits approved under an earlier relief bill expire.
The day after he single-handedly delayed the U.S. Senate's debate on President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill for 11 hours, Republican Senator Ron Johnson said on Friday that he could retire from office when his term expires. The 65-year-old Republican, who was first elected to the Senate during the Tea Party surge in 2010, had pledged to spend only two terms in the Senate.
- The Daily Beast
Camden County JailA prominent Lake of the Ozarks real estate agent and self-described “cheer mom” has been arrested for allegedly trying to put a hit out on her former mother-in-law. Prosecutors in Camden County say Leigh Ann Bauman, 43, offered to pay $1,500 to people in St. Louis to make her former mother-in-law’s death “look like an accident.” She was reportedly concerned about the woman causing problems with her relationship with her kids.Bauman was recorded discussing the scheme, according to a press release from the Camden County prosecutor’s office. She was given multiple opportunities to change her mind when asked by a witness-turned-informant if she was sure she wanted to carry out the killing, prosecutors said, but she moved ahead with it, at one point acknowledging that she was a Christian but noting she could always ask for forgiveness later.The realtor also is said to have made no secret about her alleged plans. After sending a text message to her daughter that said, “Your grandmother will die,” Bauman allegedly plowed ahead with the plan and pushed for her former mother-in-law to be killed in the small town of Hermann.Her alleged murder-for-hire plot fell apart when an attorney for a person who was solicited to hire people to carry out the killing contacted the Missouri Highway Patrol. She was arrested on Thursday and charged with conspiracy to commit murder and is currently being held without bond in the Camden County Jail.“We’re very appreciative of what the witness did in this case,” Camden County Prosecutor Caleb Cunningham said Friday. “We encourage anyone to contact law enforcement if there’s a crime or suspected crime.” “A local realtor had several political connections and the witness was aware of these political connections,” Cunningham said. “Out of an abundance of caution, DDCC was used to avoid any hint of impropriety,” he said, referring to the Missouri Highway Patrol Division of Drug and Crime Control.Bauman, who describes herself as a realtor, an artist, an entrepreneur, and a “cheer mom” on her Facebook page, frequently posted online about her “track record of success.” While she was most well-known as a realtor, with nearly 20 years in the industry, she also apparently set a world record in a boating race last year. Her LinkedIn account also mentions work in pharmaceutical sales and an acting and modeling career, with appearances on Days of Our Lives and in Nike commercials.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.
Charles Barkley lost weight because he was worried about being lifted in a chair for the traditional Jewish hora at his daughter's wedding
"Listen, I need all Jewish people on deck, brother," Chuck told Jimmy Kimmel about the chair lift. "Cause I can only get so skinny by Saturday, man."
- Associated Press
NASA’s newest Mars rover hit the dusty red road this week, putting 21 feet on the odometer in its first test drive. The Perseverance rover ventured from its landing position Thursday, two weeks after setting down on the red planet to seek signs of past life. “This is really the start of our journey here,” said Rich Rieber, the NASA engineer who plotted the route.
The palace hasn't publicly looked into Prince Andrew's connection to Jeffrey Epstein, but it's investigating bullying claims against Meghan Markle.
Kim Kardashian calls out tabloids for comparing her to a whale and shaming her on a 'weekly basis' during her 1st pregnancy
The 40-year-old "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" star reshared several offensive magazine covers about her pregnancy weight gain in 2013.
A Black nurse was discharged from the hospital with a life-threatening tear in her artery. Her doctor dismissed it as a migraine.
Ashanti Coleman's carotid artery was ruptured and 50% blocked, but she says her pain was ignored. Her experience is common among Black women.
Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman said a security guard followed her and told her she 'looked suspicious' when entering her own building
"This is the reality of black girls: One day you're called an icon, the next day, a threat," Gorman said in a tweet about the incident.
- Business Insider
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle interview with Oprah will cost CBS at least $7 million to air, per report
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, however, are reportedly not being compensated for the interview.
- The Daily Beast
Criminal ComplaintA Trump appointee, who was still employed at the State Department when he allegedly bashed police at the U.S. Capitol with a riot shield and egged on a crowd of insurrectionists, has been arrested for his role on Jan. 6.Federico Klein, a 42-year-old State Department staff assistant with top security clearance, is facing a slew of charges, including unlawful entry and assaulting an officer with a dangerous weapon, according to a criminal complaint first obtained by The New York Times. Prosecutors allege Klein, who also worked on Trump’s 2016 campaign, “physically and verbally engaged with the officers holding the line” before assaulting one officer with a riot shield—and using that stolen police equipment to wedge open a door into the Capitol to allow insurrectionists inside. “We need fresh people, need fresh people!” Klein, who is wearing a red MAGA hat, is heard yelling in a YouTube video as people stormed the building and police strained to hold back the crowd. Criminal Complaint During his initial court appearance on Friday, Klein’s appetite for chaos had subsided. After Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui read Klein his charges, Klein made it known he wasn’t happy about the conditions in a D.C. jail. “I wonder if there’s a place where I can stay in detention where I don’t have cockroaches crawling over me while I attempt to sleep... I mean, I really haven’t slept all that much, your honor. It would be nice if I could sleep in a place where there were not cockroaches everywhere,” Klein said, according to The Washington Post.Prosecutors argued on Friday that Klein should be detained pending trial because he assaulted an officer. A federal defender, however, insisted that Klein’s charges don’t amount to a crime of violence and he should be released under appropriate conditions. Criminal Complaint Klein’s arrest on Thursday night in Virginia, first reported by Politico, marked the first time a member of the Trump administration has faced charges in connection with the deadly siege. More than 300 people have been charged in connection with the riot that followed a speech by Trump in which he flogged the false claim that he had won the November 2020 election.According to the complaint, Klein was identified by people who saw the FBI social-media campaign with photos of rioters at the Capitol. The FBI also noted that he still had top-secret clearance for his work in the office of Brazilian and Southern Cone Affairs until his resignation on Jan. 19.Another tipster flagged Klein's Facebook account to the feds, which was under the name “Freddie Klein,” according to court documents. On Klein’s Facebook page, he is seen in photos among a group covered in MAGA gear—and in another enjoying several Miller High Lifes.According to a ProPublica database of Trump appointees, Klein worked as a special assistant in the Office of Brazilian and Southern Cone Affairs after joining the State Department on Jan. 22, 2017, where he was paid $66,510.‘It’s Not Fair!’: Rioter Who Posed in Pelosi’s Office Loses It in CourtA LinkedIn profile identified as Klein’s also states he has been politically active in the Republican Party since at least 2008, when he began volunteering for campaigns. Klein worked for the Trump campaign just prior to going to work for the State Department. Klein’s mother, Cecilia Klein, told Politico that her son had admitted to being in D.C. on Jan. 6—but told her that he was only “on the Mall. That’s what he told me.”“Fred’s politics burn a little hot... but I’ve never known him to violate the law.… While I believe, as he said, he was on the Mall that day, I don’t have any evidence, nor will I ever ask him, unless he tells me, where he was after he was on the Mall,” she added.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.