Johnson had been on a hunger strike for 26 days.
Britain and the European Union are on course to agree a deal on regulatory cooperation in financial services this month, but the UK's actions in Northern Ireland makes it harder to build trust, the bloc's financial services chief said on Thursday. "We are on track," Mairead McGuinness told a Politico event. The British government unilaterally extended a grace period for checks on food imports to Northern Ireland, a move Brussels said violated terms of Britain's divorce deal.
- The Independent
Republicans ‘increasingly irritated’ by Marjorie Taylor Greene’s repeated efforts to disrupt work of Congress, report says
Reps Cheney, Issa, and Kinzinger were among GOP who voted against adjournment
- Associated Press
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday he is considering extending a coronavirus state of emergency in the Tokyo region for about two weeks because of concerns that infections have not slowed enough and are continuing to strain medical systems in the region. Suga declared a month-long state of emergency on Jan. 7 for Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba, and then extended it through March 7. “Our anti-infection measures are in a very important phase,” Suga told reporters Wednesday.
Neera Tanden, nominee for Director of the Office of Management and Budget, testifies during a Senate Committee on the Budget hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Feb. 10, 2021. In the end, it wasn’t any one tweet that disqualified Neera Tanden from joining President Joe Biden’s Cabinet. It was the entire platform that is punishing the seasoned Washington player.
- The Telegraph
Rishi Sunak on Wednesday announced a five-year personal tax raid that will bring in more than £21 billion as the bill for vast Government spending during the Covid pandemic was laid bare. The Chancellor froze thresholds for income tax, inheritance tax, capital gains tax and the pensions lifetime allowance, meaning millions of people will pay more to the Treasury. Mr Sunak said corporation tax would jump from 19 per cent to 25 per cent in April 2023, although most smaller businesses will be spared the rise. Revealing his Budget in the House of Commons, he did not hide from the tax hikes, saying: "I recognise they might not be popular. But they are honest." It means Britain now has a tax burden higher than at any time since the 1960s, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR). The Government's total Covid economic support was pushed beyond £350 billion as furlough and other major relief schemes were extended to the autumn. Meanwhile, the UK now has its highest level of borrowing since the Second World War following a 10 per cent shrinking of the economy that was the largest fall in 300 years. The changes to income tax thresholds mean a basic rate payer will hand over £526 more by 2025-26 than they would have done. A higher rate taxpayer will be paying £2,672 over the five-year period.
- The Independent
John Brennan says ‘there are so few Republicans in Congress who value truth, honesty, and integrity’
- Associated Press
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday rejected calls for his resignation in the face of sexual harassment allegations that have threatened his hold on power and damaged his national political standing. The Democrat, speaking somberly in his first public appearance since three women accused him of inappropriate touching and offensive remarks, apologized and said that he “learned an important lesson” about his behavior around women. “I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable,” Cuomo said.
- LA Times
Op-Ed: It's official. Mohammed bin Salman is responsible for Jamal Khashoggi's murder. Hold him accountable
President Biden's failure to punish the Saudi crown prince defies justice and weakens the rule of law everywhere.
- The Daily Beast
Mandel Ngan/Getty FBI Director Christopher Wray, pushing back against the Capitol and D.C. police, insisted on Tuesday that his agents shared intelligence with them “in three ways” ahead of the Jan. 6 insurrection.Making his first substantial public comments on the FBI’s performance since an attack he called “domestic terrorism,” Wray told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the FBI had provided a now-infamous “situational information report” from its Norfolk bureau to D.C.-area law enforcement through an email the night before; an undated verbal briefing at a multi-agency command post set up by the bureau’s Washington Field Office; and through a post on a shared law-enforcement information network.Norfolk agents “made the judgment to get the information, in three different ways, to their partners, even though they didn’t know if it would be accurate,” Wray testified. The Norfolk memo from Jan. 5 remains undisclosed, but reportedly compiled a social-media thread involving exhortations that “Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in, and blood from their BLM and Pantifa slave soldiers being spilled. Get violent.”Top Capitol Riot Police Throw Each Other Under the Bus Over Botched Jan. 6 ResponseLast week, the former chiefs of Capitol security and the current chief of the Metropolitan Police Department said the briefings were woefully inadequate. Robert Contee, the head of the D.C. police, said he only saw the email and expressed frustration that the FBI did not provide so much as a phone call. Steven Sund, who resigned as Capitol Police chief after the insurrection, testified that he only learned the police received the FBI report slightly before last week’s hearing.The FBI has also provided unclear and contradictory information about what it knew ahead of Jan. 6. The head of the Washington Field Office, Steven D’Antuono, said two days after the attack that “there was no indication” of a threat to the Capitol before shifting his story the following week and claiming the FBI warned local law enforcement about potentially violent individuals.Wray did not resolve concerns about the robustness of the FBI warning. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), thundered at Wray for not “sound[ing] the alarm in some more visible and ringing way.”But Wray sought to get the FBI out from under the bus as recriminations over the Capitol insurrection coalesce. Wray suggested that the representatives of local law enforcement were responsible for not sufficiently alerting their superiors about the nebulous FBI warning. “Everyone’s supposed to go back and pass it up their chain,” Wray said.Simultaneously, Wray neither emphasized the reliability of the Norfolk warning—setting low expectations for when it emerges in public—nor claimed any of the other FBI’s field offices had generated their own warnings. Yet President Donald Trump and elected Republicans for weeks stoked the lie that President Joe Biden and the Democrats stole the election; Trump called for his supporters to gather for a “wild” march on the Capitol; and for days ahead of the rally, pro-Trump online forums exploded with calls for violence.Wray instead called the Norfolk warning “raw” and lamented the difficulty of determining what social-media-borne threats are more than bluster. He shot back that the FBI had issued generic warnings about domestic extremism before, during, and after the election. And like a senior Justice Department official last week, he suggested he was open to new counterterrorism authorities that civil libertarians have warned against.After praising the investigations the FBI has conducted under existing powers, which have now resulted in over 270 people arrested, Wray said, “certainly you would be hard-pressed to find any FBI director who wouldn’t welcome more tools in the toolbox.” He said there were now around 2,000 open investigations into domestic terrorism.But Wray also provided political and euphemistic answers that pointed to the fault lines of the post-Jan. 6 debate over terrorism committed by white Americans with powerful political champions. He dodged a question over whether a rally called by Trump and for the purpose of overturning the election in his favor featured “Trump supporters.” He said instead that the insurrections included “militia violent extremists” and “in some instances ‘racially motivated violent extremists,’ specifically advocates of the superiority of the white race.” The FBI has come under criticism for using a term that obscures the source of the “racially motivated” violence and falsely suggests there is an equivalent threat of violence targeting whites.Republicans on the committee demonstrated similar false equivalence. The ranking Republican, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), worried aloud about “ever-present left-wing threats,” which the Department of Homeland Security under Trump assessed as marginal compared to white supremacist violence. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who reportedly pressured Georgia election officials to throw out valid ballots, wondered if it would have “been easy for international terrorists” to infiltrate the Capitol mob.Wray provided little information about key questions in the Capitol investigation, including about how Capitol Policeman Brian Sicknick died. But he also said that additional charges, particularly “some of the more advanced charges,” were forthcoming against insurrectionists. “A large and growing number of the people we’ve arrested so far in connection with the 6th are what we’d call militia violent extremism,” Wray told senators and said that there were indications of a “planned and coordinated” assault from some right-wing groups in attendance.On Wednesday, a different Senate panel will hear the first Jan. 6 testimony from officials at the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, as well as from Jill Sanborn, Wray’s counterterrorism chief.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.
- Associated Press
Glenn Maxwell dashed 70 from 31 balls, Aaron Finch returned to form with 69 and Ashton Agar took a career-best 6-30 as Australia beat New Zealand by 64 runs in the third Twenty20 international on Wednesday to keep the five-match series alive. Maxwell reached a half century from 25 balls during an over in which he hit 28 runs — two sixes and four fours — from the bowling of Jimmy Neesham.
- Business Insider
10 Senate Democrats tell Biden to implement recurring stimulus checks after $1.9 trillion bill is passed
A group of senators thinks direct payments should be sent out regularly as the US economy gets back on its feet.
Democrat Joe Biden has promised to undo the 'cruelty' of Donald Trump's immigration policies.
- The Independent
5,000 National Guard troops remain in DC amid QAnon frenzy that Trump will be inaugurated again this week
QAnon followers believe that on 4 March, which was once the inauguration date of US presidents, Donald Trump will become president again
- USA TODAY
As OMB director, Neera Tanden would have become the first woman of color and first South Asian person to lead the powerful executive office.
‘Let’s just call this what it is — a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation,’ said the rep. Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, is pushing back against a report that she “bullied” her palace aides while in her role as a senior royal. In that interview, the Duke and Duchess are expected to respond to the bullying complaint reportedly filed against her by a staff member at Kensington Palace.
- Associated Press
President Emmanuel Macron has met with four grandchildren of an Algerian independence fighter to tell them that Ali Boumendjel had been tortured and killed by French soldiers in 1957. It was a further step in Macron's efforts to reconcile France with its colonial past while offering an outstretched hand to Algeria, which France occupied for 132 years. In a statement late Tuesday, the presidential Elysee Palace said Macron wants to give families of the disappeared on both sides of the Mediterranean “the means to learn the truth.”
- USA TODAY
Andrew Cuomo accused of sexual harassment. Texas, Mississippi end statewide mask mandate. It's Tuesday's news.
- Associated Press
Myanmar security forces were seen firing slingshots at protesters, chasing them down and even brutally beating an ambulance crew in video showing a dramatic escalation of violence against opponents of last month’s military coup. A U.N. official speaking from Switzerland said 38 people had been killed Wednesday, a figure consistent with other reports though accounts are difficult to confirm inside the country. The increasingly deadly violence could galvanize the international community, which has responded fitfully so far.
During a recent interview on Good Morning America with host Robin Roberts, former First Lady Michelle Obama opened up about how she and her husband, former President Barack Obama, have open communications with their two young-adult daughters. “I always have wanted them to start practicing the power of their voices very early on,” Mrs. Obama shared of Sasha, 19, and Malia, 22.
- Associated Press
A national panel of vaccine experts in Canada recommended Wednesday that provinces extend the interval between the two doses of a COVID-19 shot to four months to quickly inoculate more people amid a shortage of doses in Canada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also expressed optimism that vaccination timelines could be sped up. The current protocol is an interval of three to four weeks between doses for the Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines.