Yahoo Lifestyle contributing editor Chassie Post joins TODAY to talk about her favorite subscription gifts, including better-for-you soda boxes, snack packs, baking kits, educational toolkits and a vinyl record club.
- Associated Press
Legislators in more than 20 states have introduced bills this year that would ban transgender girls from competing on girls’ sports teams in public high schools. The Associated Press reached out to two dozen state lawmakers sponsoring such measures around the country as well as the conservative groups supporting them and found only a few times it’s been an issue among the hundreds of thousands of American teenagers who play high school sports. In South Carolina, for example, Rep. Ashley Trantham said she knew of no transgender athletes competing in the state and was proposing a ban to prevent possible problems in the future.
- USA TODAY
At least 13 people died after an SUV with 25 passengers collided with a semitruck full of gravel near the U.S.-Mexican border in California.
As mass protests against military rule continue, the security forces open fire in several cities.
- The Telegraph
The British ambassador in Beijing has been attacked by Chinese state media after she posted on social media about the watchdog role of an independent press holding governments and organisations to account. Caroline Wilson cited examples where scrutiny from the British press brought positive change, including the Telegraph’s 2009 investigation into MPs’ expense claims that led to parliamentary reform, while a BBC report exposed in 2019 how patients in a nursing home were being abused by staff. She added that when foreign media turn a watchdog eye toward China, it’s a “good faith” effort to ensure people have access to information, and to support those “who have no voice”. But multiple pieces in Chinese state media accused her of not understanding China and claimed foreign media were “launching an ideological propaganda warfare against the Chinese political system.” Ms Wilson, who was appointed ambassador last September, was previously posted to the British embassy in Beijing before serving as consul-general in Hong Kong, and speaks Mandarin. Chinese state media said that Ms Wilson had yet to learn “how unwelcome some Western media outlets are in China.” Foreign journalists face increasing threats, harassment and scrutiny by many parts of the Chinese state. Foreign journalists have been expelled for coverage that Chinese authorities disliked, assaulted while working, and threatened with long-term detention, according to a recent report by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China. The attacks against Ms Wilson are part of a broader campaign by China that has ramped up against the UK, denouncing British officials via the foreign ministry in Beijing, the embassy in London, and in Chinese state media. The two nations have clashed over espionage concerns and human rights abuses, especially in Xinjiang and Hong Kong. The foreign ministry in Beijing rejected Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab’s speech last week to the UN Human Rights Council, urging members to tackle China’s abuses against the Uighur ethnic minority. A Chinese government spokesperson instead claimed that accounts of human rights violations against Uighurs were “rumours and lies fabricated by anti-China forces.” Then, on Tuesday, the Chinese embassy in London warned the UK was “going further down the wrong path” after Mr Raab issued a statement about 47 Hong Kong politicians and activists being charged this week under a sweeping national security law. “It demonstrates in the starkest way the use of the law to stifle any political dissent, rather than restore security which was the claimed intention of the legislation,” said Mr Raab. Chinese state media have continued to single out the BBC in harsh rebukes after British broadcast regulator Ofcom revoked the license for Chinese state broadcaster CGTN to air programmes in the UK. Ofcom announced earlier this month it would cancel CGTN’s license as the organisation was “ultimately controlled by the Chinese Communist Party,” which violated British broadcasting rules that require outlets to exercise editorial oversight over progammes shown, and bar them from being controlled by political bodies. Beijing responded by banning the BBC in China, though in practice the network was only available as a pay channel in some hotels and homes. Censors block broadcast of BBC stories within China that go against the official propaganda narrative, for instance, reports about human rights violations. The Chinese embassy in London and foreign ministry in Beijing routinely reprimand the Telegraph and other British outlets for coverage of China that the authorities find unfavourable.
- Associated Press
General manager Ryan Pace had few answers when it came to the two biggest questions facing the Chicago Bears in the offseason. “Everything's on the table in regard to the quarterback situation,” Pace said Tuesday. The Bears seemed to make their feelings clear about Trubisky when they declined their fifth-year option for 2021 on the 2017 No. 2 overall draft pick prior to last season.
- Business Insider
A former firefighter charged in the Capitol riot took a bus organized by Turning Point USA to DC, filing says
TPUSA founder Charlie Kirk has since-deleted tweets that promoted buses to DC as well as free hotel rooms in the Capitol for Trump supporters.
- The Independent
119 Democrats reject amendment to sweeping voting rights legislation supported by some House leadership and ‘squad’ lawmakers
- Associated Press
A Polish court on Tuesday acquitted three activists who had been accused of desecration and offending religious feelings for producing and distributing images of a revered Roman Catholic icon altered to include the LGBT rainbow. The posters, which they distributed in the city of Plock in 2019, used rainbows as halos in an image of the Virgin Mary and the baby Jesus.
Government ministers and officials were following Prime Minister Narendra Modi lead by opting on Tuesday for an Indian-made COVID-19 vaccine approved without late-stage efficacy data, instead of the AstraZeneca one. India's health, foreign and law ministers, and state governors, all flocked to Twitter to express support for the much-criticised Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN vaccine, after it was administered to Modi on Monday.
- The Telegraph
Western governments should reduce trade with China so they are not vulnerable to bullying from Beijing, a new report citing the example of Hong Kong has warned. Beijing has been helped to achieve its political ambitions in the city by a steady rise in investment from mainland China over the past two decades, finds the report by Hong Kong Watch, an advocacy organisation. “The massive influx of red capital explains why Beijing failed to pass national security legislation in 2003 but succeeded in 2020,” said Johnny Patterson, policy director of Hong Kong Watch. “State capitalism dictates that the Communist Party’s interests are the first priority for every business.” Employees of Chinese firms in Hong Kong, for instance, were banned from participating in the pro-democracy protests that roiled the streets in 2019. Thirty-five percent of Hong Kong media outlets also have a major mainland Chinese stake, which has allowed Beijing to “shape the media environment through censorship and editorial control,” according to the report. Chinese firms were banned from taking advertisements out in Hong Kong media outlets that carried coverage deemed unfavourable by Beijing – a move that squeezed a business lifeline for news organisations.
- The Independent
Marjorie Taylor Greene claims ‘real’ voter suppression is her having to wait to go through metal detectors at Congress
The For the People Act – also known as HR1 – aims to make voting in federal elections easier
CrossFit has publicly disavowed Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene over the Republican's previous support for QAnon and other conspiracy theories.
- The Daily Beast
Ben Birchall/WPA Pool/GettyMeghan Markle has denied detailed accusations of “bullying” her former Buckingham Palace staff and accused opponents of conducting a “calculated smear campaign” in advance of her much-hyped CBS interview with Oprah Winfrey this Sunday.If Meghan and Prince Harry had anticipated an open field to criticize the royal family and/or air various grievances, certain Buckingham Palace sources seem determined to torpedo their ambitions prior to Sunday night.Harry and Meghan Are Begged to Delay Oprah Broadcast While Prince Philip Is Gravely IllRoyal aides told The Times of London that Meghan was the subject of an official bullying complaint made in October 2018 by Jason Knauf, Meghan and Harry’s former communications secretary. The Times reported that the complaint detailed how Meghan allegedly “drove two personal assistants out of the household and was undermining the confidence of a third staff member.” Prince Harry asked Knauf not to pursue the complaint, a source told the paper.“Staff would on occasion be reduced to tears” because of the duchess, The Times reported. One aide, anticipating a confrontation with Meghan, told a colleague: “I can’t stop shaking.” Another aide claimed it felt “more like emotional cruelty and manipulation, which I guess could also be called bullying.”Knauf, in an email to Simon Case, then the Duke of Cambridge’s private secretary, said the palace’s head of HR, Samantha Carruthers, “agreed with me on all counts that the situation was very serious.” He added: “I remain concerned that nothing will be done.”Knauf, who is now chief executive of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s Royal Foundation, said in his email: “I am very concerned that the Duchess was able to bully two PAs out of the household in the past year. The treatment of X was totally unacceptable… The Duchess seems intent on always having someone in her sights. She is bullying Y and seeking to undermine her confidence. We have had report after report from people who have witnessed unacceptable behavior towards Y.”Sympathetic sources around Harry and Meghan relayed their frustration and hurt with the attitudes of palace officials in Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family.However, palace sources told The Times that the bullying allegations had not been investigated by the palace and that officials had made Meghan more “welcome” than the couple’s supporters have long claimed. One source said of the bullying complaint: “I think the problem is, not much happened with it. It was, ‘How can we make this go away?,’ rather than addressing it.”Another source told The Times: “Senior people in the household, Buckingham Palace and Clarence House, knew that they had a situation where members of staff, particularly young women, were being bullied to the point of tears. The institution just protected Meghan constantly. All the men in grey suits who she hates have a lot to answer for, because they did absolutely nothing to protect people.”The paper said the sources were speaking out now in advance of Meghan’s Sunday night interview to give their view of Harry and Meghan’s royal life, presumably anticipating that it may be very different from what the couple may relay to Winfrey. The broadcast of the interview—the result of a reported two years’ worth of planning by Meghan and Winfrey—is being criticized as ill-timed given the illness and hospitalization of Prince Philip.Buckingham Palace declined to comment to The Times.The paper also details how Meghan wore earrings to a formal dinner in 2018 that were a wedding gift from Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who the CIA concluded last week had ordered the assassination of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. The dinner took place three weeks after Khashoggi was killed. At the time Meghan said the earrings were borrowed. “The duchess does not deny this was what she said, despite being aware of their provenance,” The Times reported.In a statement to The Times, a spokesperson for the Sussexes said of the various allegations: “Let’s just call this what it is—a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation. We are disappointed to see this defamatory portrayal of The Duchess of Sussex given credibility by a media outlet. It’s no coincidence that distorted several-year-old accusations aimed at undermining The Duchess are being briefed to the British media shortly before she and The Duke are due to speak openly and honestly about their experience of recent years.“In a detailed legal letter of rebuttal to The Times, we have addressed these defamatory claims in full, including spurious allegations regarding the use of gifts loaned to The Duchess by The Crown. The Duchess is saddened by this latest attack on her character, particularly as someone who has been the target of bullying herself and is deeply committed to supporting those who have experienced pain and trauma. She is determined to continue her work building compassion around the world and will keep striving to set an example for doing what is right and doing what is good.”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 Daily Beast
GettyWhen Sen. Josh Hawley voiced his support late last year for giving millions of Americans $2,000 checks, he said he got a call from Sen. Bernie Sanders’ camp. What happened next was the formation of one of Capitol Hill’s stranger political odd couples, as the Trumpist Republican from Missouri and the Democratic Socialist from Vermont joined together to make a very public push for a shared priority.That partnership might have continued last week, with another Hawley announcement that put him in league with Sanders and other progressives: his support for requiring companies with revenues of $1 billion or more to pay their workers a $15 hourly minimum wage.But of course, something rather important happened since Hawley and Sanders first joined forces. The Missouri Republican was a lead endorser and amplifier of former President Donald Trump’s conspiracy theories that he unfairly lost the 2020 election—theories that fueled the deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob on Jan. 6. In a now-infamous photograph, Hawley was pictured raising his fist in solidarity with those gathered outside the Capitol that morning. When the Senate convened after the mob was cleared, Hawley was the only senator to speak in favor of objecting to the Electoral College certification.So when Hawley floated his minimum wage plan on Friday, no apparent public or private efforts to collaborate with progressives followed. There was no sequel to the fight for $2,000 checks. Hawley told The Daily Beast on Tuesday that he had not gotten a call from Sanders or any Democratic colleague about the proposal or spoken with any of them about it. Sanders, meanwhile, declined to say if he had even talked to Hawley, only saying in response to questions that Democrats had moved on from an effort to force companies to pay a $15 wage in their COVID bill. A source close to Sanders confirmed that the two men did not speak about the proposed amendment to require companies to pay a $15 minimum wage.Asked if Democrats wanted to work with him right now, Hawley said, “I don’t think they particularly want to work with anybody.”But that doesn’t appear to be so.Sen. Jon Ossoff—the Democrat from Georgia who won his race for Senate the same day Hawley encouraged the mob that attacked it—told The Daily Beast on Tuesday, “I’m not going to rule out working with any colleagues.” He said he’d be open to considering Hawley’s proposal, adding, “I’m encouraged that there is interest among Republican senators in taking action to increase wages.”Ever since Jan. 6, Democrats have contemplated how they could work again as normal with the over 150 congressional Republicans who voted to object to the 2020 election results and who spread conspiracies that President Joe Biden somehow did not win fairly. Relationships on typically chummy Capitol Hill have been strained, with flare-ups and personal attacks boiling over in committee hearings. Some Democratic lawmakers now keep lists of who they can work with and who they cannot, based on the votes that took place after the attack on Jan. 6.But Hawley’s case might be a unique test of the strained new atmosphere on Capitol Hill. To some Democrats, no other high-profile GOP lawmaker is more associated with the events of Jan. 6. Among many, particularly activists, Hawley is now firmly persona non grata—a contemptible figure who has fully earned himself a career as a pariah. “Josh Hawley has a lot to answer to,” said Joe Sanberg, a California businessman and advocate for raising the wage. “I don’t think he’s a relevant part of the conversation about the righteous fight for the minimum wage for 22 million people who earn less than $15 an hour.”But few, if any, occupy the space on the political spectrum that the freshman Republican has staked out—space that has situated Hawley to find, on occasion, common ground with progressives.In addition to the splashier $2,000 check campaign and the minimum wage proposal, Hawley has introduced legislation to require some colleges to pay off the debts of students who default on their loans and bills to rein in pharmaceutical prices. He has been an outspoken critic of Wall Street and corporate America, albeit from a conservative perspective, but in ways that found him occasionally hitting similar notes as some on the left.For many progressives who might be inclined to agree with some of Hawley’s proposals, wariness and skepticism about the ambitious senator’s populist overtures have prevailed. Many have noted that his brand of populism is animated by a nationalist, anti-immigration sentiment they find xenophobic or even racist; others simply don’t take his stances all too seriously.Show-Me State Tells Hawley to Show Himself Out, Poll Finds“I have always been immensely skeptical of it,” said Marshall Steinbaum, an economics professor at the University of Utah who focuses on inequality, labor, and antitrust issues. “It’s not a matter of making common cause with strange political bedfellows… I definitely take the view that having Hawley in some putative coalition discredits that coalition.”But other Democrats have welcomed the emergence of Republicans who could, potentially, help them advance the pro-worker economic policies they’ve been campaigning on for years. Clearly, Sanders previously believed that working with Hawley could help deliver direct relief to people hit hard by the pandemic. "We are working on bipartisan legislation," Sanders said in a speech from the Senate floor in December. "And Senator Hawley has done a very, very good job on this."Hawley, meanwhile, has been a vocal critic of the “radical left.” But when the partnership with Sanders emerged last year, he told reporters, “Hey, as I’ve said, I’ll work with anybody.”The senators’ efforts on stimulus checks prompted commentators to raise their eyebrows—at a “budding left-right populist alliance,” as The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent put it. Ultimately, the bill that passed on Dec. 26 fell far short of what the duo asked for, with direct checks of only $600, and a standalone floor vote on $2,000 checks they pushed for later was blocked by Senate GOP leadership. But that full amount will almost certainly come eventually, with the Democratic-controlled Congress slated to send out $1,400 direct payments as part of a new relief plan this month.The new round of relief was still an abstraction when Capitol Hill was ruptured on Jan. 6, the very day Democrats sealed the Senate majority. In the aftermath, seven Senate Democrats requested that the Senate Ethics Committee open an investigation to obtain a “complete account” of Hawley’s role, and that of Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX), in the events of the day. Arguing that they had “lent legitimacy to the mob’s cause and made future violence more likely,” the senators said the body to determine whether the Republicans violated the rules and therefore merited punishment—including expulsion. Sanders was not on the letter.In response, Hawley accused the Democrats of trying to “cancel” him and filed his own complaint to the Ethics panel about their letter.The Missouri senator proceeded to play virtually no role in the shaping of the COVID relief plan that developed after Biden took office. Most Senate Democrats have avoided declaring they will never work with him again, but no one is rushing to work with him.Hawley has nevertheless tried to get a piece of the ongoing stimulus action, especially on the minimum wage, which has become a key focus of the current relief plan. In addition to proposing a requirement for “billion-dollar” companies to pay a $15 hourly wage, Hawley rolled out what he called the “Blue-Collar Bonus,” a tax credit intended to give employees of smaller companies a way to reach the $15 threshold, at government expense. Critics responded that the structure of his plan would give companies huge loopholes to avoid paying a fair wage.It also explicitly excludes non-citizens and undocumented workers—a nonstarter for Democrats, and a sign to progressives like Sanberg that it’s impossible to take any good in Hawley’s proposals without also taking on the bad. “He has terrible judgment. He’s always trying to move to where he thinks political winds are—when you’re moving with political winds without any moral center, it takes you right into hurricanes,” he said.But Pete d’Alessandro, a former top Sanders political adviser in Iowa, said sometimes there isn’t a choice. “Are you not gonna work with every single senator who thinks we still need to look into the election?” he told The Daily Beast. “Because there’s more than Hawley on that. If you buy into what Congress is supposed to do, if you draw these buckets, there’s not gonna be a lot of people to work with, at some point.”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
CBSIf you happened to catch any hour of Fox News over the past couple of days, you may be under the impression that Dr. Seuss getting “canceled” is the biggest news story in America. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that it’s not quite so simple.As Stephen Colbert explained in his Late Show monologue Tuesday night, Dr. Seuss Enterprises has decided to stop publishing six rather obscure titles from the iconic children’s author because they contain “racist and insensitive imagery.”“It’s a responsible move on their part,” the host argued. “There hadn’t been an earth-shattering outcry, but they recognize the impact that these images might have on readers, especially kids, and they’re trying to fix it, because Dr. Seuss books should be fun for all people—Black, white, straight, gay, Sneetches both star-bellied and plain, Loraxes, Barb-a-loots, all the Whos down in Whoville and the strange, angry creature called Foo Foo the Snoo.”Colbert went on to highlight just a few of the Dr. Seuss books that “teach vital lessons to this day,” including the anti-war Butter Battle Book, environmental Lorax and Hop on Pop, which “warns against the dangers of pop-hopping.”“The Dr. Seuss folks listened to criticism, thought it was reasonable and made what’s called a change,” he added. “Or as it’s known on Fox News: cancel culture.” Trevor Noah Disgusted by Andrew Cuomo’s Creepy Kiss PhotoAfter playing a montage that just scratched the surface of how much Fox has obsessed over the story this week, culminating in a full-on meltdown from Donald Trump Jr., Colbert said, “I’m not surprised Don Jr. loves The Cat in the Hat, I’ve always believed he can read at a second-grade level. Also, I think his dad calls him and Eric ‘Thing One’ and ‘Thing Two.’”Finally, Colbert read aloud from a brand new Seussian book titled “Oh the Books You Can Read,” which began, “So the book news you heard today just got your goose. And now you’re defensive for old Dr. Seuss. If you find that your bookshelf just got a little bit duller, consider these kids books from people of color.”“There’s lots of new stories you might find quite good,” he continued, “like Imani’s Moon by Janay Brown-Wood. Want more suggestions? No need to keep hopin’. Just pick up Firebird by the Misty Copeland. And this one right here is the real real McCoy, it’s Thomisha Booker’s great book Brown Boy Joy. There’s a whole range of books that will make you feel merry, like this one called Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry.”“So don’t be so cancel-y, culture-y, whiny,” Colbert concluded. “Read these books after pulling your head from your hiney.”For more, listen and subscribe to The Last Laugh podcast.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.
- USA TODAY
The case could have a wide impact if the high court sets a new standard for deciding when election laws are discriminatory.
A U.S. House of Representatives panel has reissued a subpoena seeking Donald Trump's tax and financial records, saying in a memo made public on Tuesday it needs the documents to address "conflicts of interest" by future presidents. In a court filing on Tuesday, House lawyers told a judge that the House Oversight Committee reissued a subpoena to Trump's accounting firm, Mazars USA LLP, on Feb. 25.
- Associated Press
Three women who worked for a local radio and TV station in eastern Afghanistan were gunned down Tuesday in separate attacks, the news editor of the privately owned station said. Shokrullah Pasoon, of Enikass Radio and TV in Jalalabad, said one of the women, Mursal Wahidi, was walking home when gunmen opened fire, according to eyewitnesses. Afghanistan is considered one of the most dangerous countries in the world for media workers.
- LA Times
When the 'Punky Brewster' star embarked on a new documentary, she found that confronting her past, including surviving sexual assault, was the only way forward.
- The Daily Beast
Paramount PlusOver the past six weeks or so, late-night shows have been struggling to figure out how to make comedy out of our collective post-Trump reprieve.Mostly, they have either found excuses to keep joking about Donald Trump or attacked new conservative targets like QAnon congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene and Cancun Senator Ted Cruz. More recently, on the latest episodes of Saturday Night Live, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, the Democratic governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, finally started taking some heat.But one political figure who has mostly evaded comedic scrutiny—much to Fox News’ frustration—is the current president of the United States, Joe Biden. Now that’s about to change on the new season of Tooning Out the News.In the exclusive clip below from this Thursday’s premiere of the Stephen Colbert-produced animated news show, which is joining the Paramount Plus lineup for its second season, a new fake news program called The Establishment with Tory Hughes goes hard at the 46th president for both giving Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman a pass on the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and for picking up where Trump left off in bombing Syria.Tory Hughes, voiced by Tooning’s writing supervisor Naima Pearce, describes herself as a “good Republican” who “stands up for the center-right value of politely making things worse alongside an elite panel of Washington termites.”As Pearce added via email to The Daily Beast, Hughes is a “healthy amalgamation of right-leaning pundits who had their political sensibilities formed during the Bush administration and then positively reinforced, in the last few years, simply because a regime with a more sinister façade took the Oval Office.” Ultimately, she said, the character is “driven by a moral compass whose true north points toward an open timeslot she can fill in a cable lineup.”In the premiere, her panel includes a handful of fictional pundits along with the very real CBS News senior White House and political correspondent Ed O’Keefe. Jumping directly into the Khashoggi report, Hughes jokes, “Biden made clear that if you kill an American journalist, he will tell on you to your dad” before disclosing that she is the founder of “The Establishment Ideas Festival: Policy and Pipelines” based in Riyadh. “And let me just say, MBS continues to show me that he values a future where I own a Lamborghini.”How Colbert’s ‘Tooning Out the News’ Ensnared Rudy Giuliani“I don’t think our audience has an impervious allegiance to any particular politician,” Pearce tells me of the show’s pivot to hold the new president accountable. “And there’s a sincere hunger for pointing out hypocrisy and highlighting where robust government mechanisms can harm people actively and passively. If that completely vanished under the Biden Administration, I think we’d happily announce The Establishment’s cancellation.”Later, the cartoon host introduces a new segment called “Who Did We Just Kill?” that breaks down the details of recent airstrikes in Syria while jaunty music plays in the background. “Who authorized this strike?” Hughes asks, mocking the “polite imperialism” of Biden who is “looking more presidential than ever” with his flashy military debut.When one of the panelists excitedly remarks how much he loved the segment and reveals that he’s “already forgotten about what happened,” Hughes replies, “That means we’ve done our jobs.”For more, listen and subscribe to The Last Laugh podcast.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.