By James Oliphant WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, the front-runner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, on Tuesday released an education plan aimed at boosting teacher pay and reducing the funding gap between wealthy and low-income public schools. Biden also said he would seek to make schools safer by pressing Congress to enact a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, a proposal almost certainly to be opposed by Republicans and gun-lobby groups. Biden detailed his proposal - his first major policy rollout as a presidential candidate - at a campaign event in Houston on Tuesday involving the American Federation of Teachers. U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, another a Democratic candidate for president, outlined an education plan in March that would raise teacher salaries by $315 billion over the next 10 years. Biden proposes tripling federal funding to about $50 billion annually for schools with students from low-income families, with the directive that those funds be used by districts to raise teacher pay. The federal monies would also be used to provide preschool for three- and four-year-olds and improve curricula for those schools. The plan would seek to double the number of psychologists, guidance counselors, social workers and nurses in the public schools. The Houston event was part of AFT's endorsement vetting process. The union, which has 1.7 million members, is likely months away from an endorsement, as is the National Education Association, which has 3 million members. Both unions have established a more formalized and cautious approach to endorsements than in years past, seeking greater input from rank-and-file members. While Biden has made support from organized labor a top priority for his campaign, he may have trouble with teachers' unions stemming from his eight years as President Barack Obama's vice president. The unions were highly critical of Obama's education secretary, Arne Duncan, and school reforms the Obama administration advocated. They included tying teacher evaluation to student performance and increasing the number of charter schools nationwide. As a U.S. senator, Biden also supported No Child Left Behind, the sweeping education-reform law advocated by Republican President George W. Bush that promoted standardized testing as a means for evaluating schools and punished those deemed underperforming. Biden later soured on the program. A longtime gun control advocate, Biden was an author of a 1994 law that banned assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. The ban expired in 2004, and Biden has called for its renewal. He opposes arming teachers. (Reporting by James Oliphant; editing by Colleen Jenkins, Dan Grebler and Richard Chang)
- Associated Press
Saudi Arabia's crown prince likely approved the killing of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, according to a newly declassified U.S. intelligence report released Friday that instantly ratcheted up pressure on the Biden administration to hold the kingdom accountable for a murder that drew worldwide outrage. It leaves no doubt that as the prince continues in his powerful role and likely ascends to the throne, Americans will forever associate him with the brutal killing of a journalist who promoted democracy and human rights.
- The Independent
Controversial congresswoman previously said the Republican party belong to former president
- FOX News Videos
FOX News contributors Lisa Boothe and Leslie Marshall discuss the situation on 'The Story'
U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday told Saudi King Salman he would work for bilateral ties "as strong and transparent as possible," the White House said, ahead of the expected release of a sensitive U.S. intelligence report on the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The report is a declassified version of a top-secret assessment that sources say singles out the 85-year-old king's son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for approving the murder of Khashoggi in the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul. Saudi Arabia denies that the 35-year-old crown prince, the de facto ruler of the kingdom, approved the killing.
Myanmar's U.N. Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, speaking for the country's elected civilian government ousted in a military coup on Feb. 1, appealed to the United Nations on Friday "to use any means necessary to take action against the Myanmar military" to restore democracy to the Southeast Asian country. He addressed the 193-member U.N. General Assembly after Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' special envoy on Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, warned that no country should recognize or legitimize the Myanmar junta.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan warned of an attempted military coup against him on Thursday, and thousands took to the streets of the capital to support him after the army demanded he and his government resign. Russia, an ally of Armenia which has a military base in Armenia, said it was alarmed by events in the former Soviet republic and called for the situation to be resolved peacefully and within the constitution. Pashinyan, 45, has faced calls to quit since November after what critics said was his disastrous handling of a six-week conflict between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave and surrounding areas.
- Associated Press
President Joe Biden’s pick to be the top U.S. trade envoy promised to work with America’s allies to combat China’s aggressive trade policies, indicating a break from the Trump administration’s go-it-alone approach. Tai dodged questions on two politically sensitive questions — whether the Biden administration would drop President Donald Trump's tariffs on imported steel and aluminum and whether it would revive former President Barack Obama's Asia-Pacific trade deal that was jettisoned by Trump.
- Reuters Videos
The number of available COVID-19 vaccine doses is steadily rising around the world.But a shortage of physical space that meets standards for pharmaceutical manufacturing is a becoming a bottleneck.That's according to drugmakers, construction experts and officials involved in the U.S. vaccine program.The production of raw materials, vaccine formulation and vial filling requires special "clean rooms".They need features like air cleaners, sterile water and sterilizing steam.Moderna this week announced plans to expand vaccine manufacturing capacity.But said it will be a year before that can add to its production.With vaccines needed for billions of people, drugmakers have even had to turn to rivals for help in churning out doses.And the emergence of new variants is likely to increase the strain.Many are counting on the authorization of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine this week.Longer term, tackling COVID-19 may require annual shots to protect against new virus mutations, similar to the flu.Building new facilities and even expanding existing sites has typically taken years. During the pandemic, some projects have reportedly been completed in as little as 6-to-10 months.Emergent BioSolutions, which is making J&J and AstraZeneca vaccines for the US, says it cannot add any more equipment to facilities dedicated to those vaccines.Some firms are purchasing and repurposing existing plants to sidestep construction. Pfizer-partner BioNTech bought a German facility from Novartis in September.
- Reuters Videos
Coates, also president of the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC), said he expected the country's athletes to be vaccinated by June at "the latest". He added the Japanese government were expected to make a decision on how many fans could attend the Tokyo Olympics by April.Organizers hope to have spectators at the Games which have already been postponed from last year, though speculation remains that the event might be cancelled indefinitely.Coates said officials had to make the Olympic athletes village and the venues "the safest place in Tokyo".
- The State
“Her daddy got to heaven just before she did.”
- Business Insider
Federal investigators zeroed in on the assailant after video footage showed the suspect attacking officers with bear spray, The Times reported.
- Charlotte Observer
This is the shocking story of the alleged sexual abuses that led to the January arrest of Sandra Hiler — aka Charlotte piano teacher Keiko Aloe — as told by her 21-year-old daughter.
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.
- Business Insider
Ted Cruz rants about comedians, late-night TV, and mask-wearing before shouting at people to 'just have fun' in wild CPAC speech
"Orlando is awesome. It's not as nice as Cancún, but it's nice," Cruz said, referring to the scandal he sparked by leaving Texas for Mexico.
Ben Affleck says his divorce from Jennifer Garner and other 'life experience' shaped him into a better actor
In a new interview as part of The Hollywood Reporter's Actor Roundtable series, Affleck spoke about Garner and the three kids they share.
A Florida daycare is under fire after giving a 7-month-old baby away to a stranger. When Trinity McCoggle arrived at the Orient Road Child Development Center on January 25 to pick up her 7-month-old son, Adonis, she was left distraught when told her baby had been accidentally given to someone assumed to be the child’s parent, ABC2 News reports. Describing what happened, McCoggle said the daycare worker “went to the back to get him, and when she came back, she said, He’s not here.”
- The Daily Beast
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photos via TikTokThe woman in the 10-second TikTok sports the Gen-Z uniform: matching purple tie-dye shorts and a crop top, chunky white sneakers, bunched up crew socks. Over the infectious sounds of the song “Photo ID,” she vamps for a selfie, then turns the camera to pan the length of the doctor’s office in which she’s sitting. It ends with a shot of her in the exam-room chair, kicking out her legs and giggling.“It’s a great day to have an abortion,” the caption reads.The video is a stark and unapologetic depiction of abortion—the kind movement activists have been attempting to push into the mainstream for years and abortion opponents have deemed “sick and depraved.” It is playful, transgressive, an instant hit.It’s also completely fake.“I just started posting videos of me at random doctor’s appointments and saying ‘I’m getting an abortion,’” the creator of the video, a 21-year-old college student who goes by the handle @abortionqweenn, told The Daily Beast. “I was at urgent care.”TikTok, the default clubhouse of Gen Z, is also a bellwether of adolescent activism. This summer, as the Black Lives Matter movement surged, users uploaded videos on victims of police brutality and footage from racial justice protests. (According to one analysis, TikTok users were twice as likely as non-users to have recently attended a Black Lives Matter demonstration.) In June, TikTokers helped tank attendance to a Trump rally by buying up tickets they had no intention of using.And last February, a video of a young woman getting an abortion brought the existence of pro-choice TikTok to the forefront. The clip, which appears to have been shot and uploaded by her friend, starts with a positive pregnancy test, then cuts to the outside of a Planned Parenthood, then the inside of an exam room. It’s set to Bruno Mars’ “It Will Rain” and features a shot of the woman fist-pumping and laughing. By the time the creator deleted the video, it had been seen thousands of times, and sparked a fierce conservative backlash.“When society celebrates abortion, should we be surprised to see this kind of cruelty,” tweeted Lila Rose, president of the anti-abortion group Live Action. “What happened to ‘abortions should be safe, legal, and rare’?” added Turning Point USA Founder Charlie Kirk. “Now they’re celebrated and streamed on social media.”Feel Their Faith in 15 Seconds: Meet The Christians Conquering TikTokThe account that posted the video was ultimately deleted, but the genre proliferated. Just last week, Autumn Lindsey, a spokesperson for Students for Life, uploaded a video decrying the “trend” of young people posting their abortions on TikTok. “This is disgusting and heartbreaking and should not be a trend on the internet,” she said in an Instagram Live video. “Videos like this prove the pro-abortion side celebrates abortion.”“Absolutely unreal!” one commenter wrote. “THANK YOU FOR SPEAKING OUT!”In fact, many of the videos may be literally “unreal.” The Daily Beast found more than a dozen clips of people claiming to be at abortion appointments, which ranged from obvious jokes—a woman swinging her feet off the exam table beside the words “when he texts you to have a good abortion”—to straightforward shots of an exam room with the hashtag #abortioncheck. In most of them, the women are smiling, dancing, and lip-syncing to whatever song happens to be trending—essentially, doing what everyone else on TikTok does.The Daily Beast attempted to contact all of the video creators. Only one, @abortionqween, responded. The student and her girlfriend, who goes by the handle @abortioncounselor, both work in reproductive rights, and both make content almost exclusively about abortion and contraception. (They actually met on TikTok and recently moved in together.)At one point, @abortionqween said, she realized that filming her doctor’s appointments and passing them off as abortions was a recipe for an instant hit.“I think a lot of my followers know that I’m not getting like 50 abortions a month,” she said. “But people will just see that and I guess like normalize it. People will also get very angry about it. But it always goes viral.”The strategy seems to have worked. The pair have garnered a combined 165,000 followers and more than 20 million views, despite having their accounts blocked repeatedly by TikTok moderators. (TikTok says it does not have a policy prohibiting discussion of abortion. After The Daily Beast reached out, the women’s previously blocked accounts were restored.)Many of their videos contain medical advice about the abortion procedure or information on how to get one. Others are meant to be irreverently humorous: One of @abortioncounselor’s first videos shows her dancing to the Megan Thee Stallion song “Thotiana,” under the text “my fetus dancing right before it was aborted.” Another features a drive-thru and the words “in-n-out after an abortion hits different.”To those used to the stoicism of the mainstream abortion debate, the videos’ playfulness can be surprising. Even some abortion rights advocates take issue with some of the pair’s tactics. But to Amelia Bonow, the founder of Shout Your Abortion, the videos are the latest step in normalizing a procedure that has historically been stigmatized and kept quiet.Bonow actually hired @abortioncounselor as an artist-in-residence for her organization, which publishes and publicizes abortion stories, because she felt they needed a larger presence on TikTok.“The idea that abortion is always a serious and sad thing is antiquated, not reflective of reality, and it definitely hasn’t done our side any favors,” she told The Daily Beast in an email. Abortion TikTok, she said, “is a nail in the coffin of the old way of doing things. We can talk about abortion however we want, it doesn't always have to be heavy. Sometimes it’s hilarious.”Behind all that humor is a kernel of truth: Both @abortionqween and @abortioncounselor have had abortions within the last six years. When she had hers at age 18, @abortionqween said, she knew of only one other person who’d undergone the procedure. Reading and watching stories of other people’s abortions online brought her comfort, and inspired her to start making videos of her own.“We get so many DMs every week from young people like, ‘I’m pregnant, I want an abortion, what do I do?’” she said. “Obviously I’m not able to respond to everyone but I just like, even through my videos, being someone that I didn’t have.”“It’s not a matter of if it’s true or not, it’s that they’re being exposed to positive messaging surrounding abortion,” her girlfriend added. Especially for those living in conservative households, she said, “this might be the first time they’re seeing something positive about abortion, and just having that seed planted can really change people's lives.”The Year TikTok Took Over the World—and Drove Trump MadThe two are not the only abortion provocateurs on TikTok. In Charlotte, North Carolina, a group of Gen-Z “clinic defenders” has gone viral many times over for videos of them taunting anti-abortion protesters outside a local clinic. In one, they blast Whitney Houston out of a parked car and ask a protester to come dance with them. In another, a clinic defender reads the lyrics to “WAP” to drown out a man reading the Bible. The latter has more than a million views.While popular, the tactics are not without controversy: In August, on the same day the WAP video was posted, four of the organization’s board members resigned, citing “hard and emotional growing pains.” Under the announcement on Facebook, one commenter wrote: “Just shocked at the direction I see this organization going on the social media platforms. If this is the way the clinic is heading I have lost so much respect.”Videos from inside abortion clinics are controversial too, even within the movement space. If clinics are identifiable in the videos, providers say, it can put them at physical risk. And videos shot in clinic waiting rooms can pose a privacy threat to other patients. Even the fake videos, like @abortionqween’s, have the risk of spreading misinformation, according to Mona Walia, the owner of All Women’s Health Clinic in Tacoma, Washington. Maybe someone will recognize that urgent care and assume it provides abortions, she said, or maybe they will compare that fictional experience to their own.“As providers we want to normalize abortion,” she said. “We just need to find a way to do that so that it's out there, but that information is accurate."Planned Parenthood, the largest single provider of abortions in the U.S., was supportive of the clinic videos, saying in a statement that there should be “no expectation of silence or shame” about the procedure.“Many organizations and individuals have worked for years to end stigma around abortion, and we’re proud to work alongside them,” senior communications director Erica Sackin said in a statement. “Eliminating abortion stigma and its impact on patients, staff, and policies is an important culture shift that can’t happen quickly enough.”For @abortioncounselor, the critiques of her work—whether they come from well-meaning advocates or abortion rights opponents—are beside the point.“I didn’t join TikTok to make videos for people who already support abortion,” she said. “I made them for people struggling with their decision. And I also made it to educate young people on their rights and options.”She added: “There’s just so many things that have changed as as result of our videos that a pro-choice person not liking it does really not faze me, because again, our videos just aren't for them.”And for everyone saying abortion shouldn’t be a laughing matter, the joke may be on them. The original viral video, in which the teenager goes to Planned Parenthood for an abortion, appears not to be real, either. According to ScreenRant, the creator posted a second video—also since deleted—claiming her friend wasn’t getting an abortion at all, but simply going for an ultrasound.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.
- Business Insider
Ted Cruz's colleagues mocked him by putting memes of his Cancun trip in the Senate gym locker room: 'Bienvenido de Nuevo, Ted!'
Those who turned up to the Senate gym Wednesday morning were welcomed by color printouts of Cruz's Cancun trip that read "Bienvenido de Nuevo, Ted!"
Prince Harry knew he and Meghan Markle had something 'pretty special' by their second date. Here's a complete timeline of their relationship.
The couple's royal love story began in 2016 when they were set up on a blind date by a mutual friend.
After the third-grader's classroom incident, a social worker connected the family to a local food bank.