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.
- The Independent
Biden raises human rights in call with Saudi king as intelligence officials to release report on Khashoggi killing
President Joe Biden has spoken with King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud of Saudi Arabia ahead of the release of a report from US intelligence officials that is expected to reveal that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved and likely ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. A White House report of their phone call on Thursday did not disclose whether they discussed the findings in the report. The leaders “discussed regional security, including the renewed diplomatic efforts led by the United Nations and the United States to end the war in Yemen, and the US commitment to help Saudi Arabia defend its territory as it faces attacks from Iranian-aligned groups,” according to a readout of their call.
The South Korean carmaker is replacing batteries for huge numbers of Kona electric cars.
- Reuters Videos
Irisnaide Silva is female, Brazilian, indigenous, and she's found an unlikely ally: Brazil's nationalist president Jair Bolsonaro.The 32-year-old is the leader of the Macuxi tribe – one of two main indigenous groups in the Amazonian state of Roraima.For decades her family picked and panned their land, scouring the hills for diamonds and gold.They kept digging even after the government marked the land as indigenous territory in 2005 – a measure that prohibited mining despite protests from her tribe.Now, Silva has the ear of none other than Bolsonaro.The right-wing leader is abhorred by the global green movement for his eagerness to develop the Amazon rainforest."You (indigenous) have a lot of land! Let's use this land! When it comes to mining, Raposa Serra do Sol and Yanomami, underground, state of Francisco Rodrigues (Politician and former governor of Roraima), have billions, trillions of dollars, this need not even be discussed. Are we going to remain poor? Being enslaved by NGOs?"Silva has twice met with Bolsonaro in the capital Brasilia.The first time was soon after he took power in January 2019 to discuss a bill that would authorize mining on native lands.It’s not clear if the bill will make it through Brazil’s unwieldy Congress nor how lucrative mining would be on these lands.But Bolsonaro has made the bill a 2021 priority.And by teaming up with some indigenous people like Silva, activists say Bolsonaro is exacerbating tensions within tribes through divide-and-conquer methods that historically helped destroy native lands worldwide.Many indigenous associations also see Silva as a traitor, manipulated by rapacious intruders eager to grab lands and resources.She does not care."We always appreciate that, dressing well, eating well, having a car. This has been evolving, today we are looking for that. If we can dress better and better, we will do it!"And she does have some support from within the indigenous community.Workers at this mine near Napoleão sweat from dawn til dusk with pickaxes to get 4% of the mining profits.Diggers take 74% and those with machines to extract gold take the final 22%.But it’s enough, according to the town’s indigenous leader Carpejane Lima."The importance of mining not only for my community but for the others is also the development it is bringing. Those who didn't own a bicycle, now do. Those who did not have a motorcycle, now do! Those who didn't own a car, now do. Those who didn't have a house are now building one."
- Associated Press
Malaysian lawmakers and rights groups on Wednesday demanded that the government explain why it violated a court stay order and deported 1,086 Myanmar migrants, saying it put their lives in danger following Myanmar's military coup. A high court on Tuesday ordered a stay of the repatriation of 1,200 Myanmar nationals pending an appeal by Amnesty International Malaysia and Asylum Access Malaysia, which said there were refugees, asylum-seekers and minors among the group.
- FOX News Videos
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla. discusses whether president's 'mental acuity' is behind the request on 'Tucker Carlson Tonight'
- Reuters Videos
The minority community of several hundred thousand was decimated first by al Qaeda's rise in the early 2000s and later by Islamic State, which brutally persecuted them and other minority faiths and sects.For many of those who remained, or have returned to Iraq where free worship is again possible, Pope Francis' visit from March 5-8 is welcome recognition of how they have suffered for their beliefs.The trip by the 84-year-old leader of the world's Catholics was announced in December, and will take in the capital Baghdad, as well as Ur, a city linked to the Old Testament figure of Abraham, and Erbil, Mosul, and Qaraqosh in the plain of Nineveh.
The Equality Act would prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
- The Telegraph
Israel is to donate nearly 100,000 surplus doses of Covid-19 vaccine to nearly 20 countries, apparently as a reward for diplomatic support in its ongoing bid to have Jerusalem recognised as its capital by the international community. The Czech Republic, Guatemala, Honduras and Hungary — which have either opened diplomatic missions in Jerusalem or pledged to do so — are reportedly soon to receive up to 5,000 doses each from Israel's excess stock of the Moderna vaccine. Israel’s government regards all of Jerusalem as its capital. However, most countries base their diplomats elsewhere because the claim is not recognised by the United Nations. Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of any future Palestinian state. Local media reports also suggested Italy, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda would be among the countries to receive donations of between 1,000 and 5,000 free jabs. All have warm relations with the Middle Eastern country or have recently renewed diplomatic ties. But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has come under fire for using Israel's vaccine stockpile to reward friendly countries while donating only a few thousand doses to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, which are classed as occupied territories under international law. A statement from Mr Netanyahu’s office on Tuesday offered to send more vaccines for Palestinian health workers, but said other countries would also receive “symbolic” amounts once Israel had finished its own vaccination campaign. "Our supply is beyond what is needed by the citizens of Israel," Mr Netanyahu told reporters. "We have more than enough to help where we can. It is mostly symbolic." In less than two months, around half of Israelis have received at least one dose of the Pfizer-Biontech or Moderna jabs against Covid-19. The Health Ministry says all adults should be fully inoculated with two doses by the end of next month, with doses to spare.
- Yahoo News Video
A federal judge late Tuesday indefinitely banned President Biden's administration from enforcing a 100-day moratorium on most deportations.
- Reuters Videos
A possible plan by the Filipino government of the Philippines to send nurses abroad in exchange for vaccines... isn't going down well with some of those nurses.A senior official said on Tuesday (February 23) that the country will let thousands of its healthcare workers, mostly nurses, take up jobs in Britain and Germany if the two countries agree to donate coronavirus vaccines.Melbert Reyes is president of the Philippines Nurses Association:“When we first read and heard about it we were saddened and we were hurt. It is as if we are like an object that can be traded for the vaccines, it's as if we are commodities."The Philippines has among Asia's highest number of coronavirus cases.It also currently limits the number of medical professionals leaving the country to 5,000 a year, but is now willing to lift that cap.Filipino nurses have fought to lift the deployment ban to escape poor working conditions and low pay at home."We hope our government officials will see our worth as part of the healthcare team and institution that takes care of each and every Filipino in our country."Britain's health ministry said it was not interested in such a deal and its priority was to use shots domestically. But added that it would share surplus vaccines internationally in the future.Germany has not responded.
- Reuters Videos
Video obtained by Reuters shows protesters, some with signs, riding on seven elephants ahead of other demonstrators who were marching and on motorcycles.It comes as Myanmar's military-appointed foreign minister flew into Thailand on Wednesday, a Thai government source said, as Myanmar's neighbors intensified efforts to resolve a crisis that began when its army seized power in the Feb. 1 coup.This week has seen huge rallies and a general strike to denounce the coup and demand the release of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, despite a warning from authorities that confrontation could get people killed.
- USA TODAY
"In many ways," the coming vote showed how Congress was "catching up to the rest of the country" on LGBTQ rights, Rep. David Cicilline said.
A German court sentenced a former member of President Bashar al-Assad's security services to 4-1/2 years in prison on Wednesday for abetting the torture of civilians, the first such verdict for crimes against humanity in the 10-year-old Syrian civil war. The higher regional court in the western city of Koblenz said Eyad A. had arrested at least 30 anti-government protesters at the start of the conflict in 2011 and sent them to an intelligence facility where he knew detainees were tortured. The verdict gives hope to the 800,000 Syrians in Germany who say they were tortured in government facilities after attempts to establish an international tribunal for Syria failed.
- Associated Press
Jill Biden offers comforting advice to Kelly Clarkson, telling the singer and talk-show host who is going through a divorce that things happen for the best and that life will eventually “look better.” The first lady — a divorcee herself — also reveals what she looks forward to when COVID-19 clears up and explains why women should take time for themselves every day, as she does. Clarkson recently brought her show to the White House for a socially distant conversation with Biden in the East Room.
- The Week
Husband of Hitler-quoting GOP congresswoman parked his militia-stickered truck outside Capitol Jan. 6
Illinois state Rep. Chris Miller (R), the husband of freshman U.S. Rep. Mary Miller (R-Ill.), acknowledged Thursday that his pickup truck was parked in a restricted area outside the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot, but he said the "Three Percenter" militia sticker on the back window doesn't mean anything. "Army friend gave me decal," Miller told The Daily Beast in an email late Thursday. "Thought it was a cool decal. Took it off because of negative pub." He said 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." Online sleuths had linked him to the truck visible in footage from a CBS News report, earlier Thursday. The #Sedition3PTruck with government plates parked in a restricted zone from 1:02. #SeditionHunters #Sedition3P Source: https://t.co/DubmxJhjSZ pic.twitter.com/INCs6geEYg — Phoenix on Wheels (@phoenixonwheels) February 25, 2021 The Three Percenters, founded in 2008, are a "radical militia group" implicated in leading the Jan. 6 siege along with the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers,and other far-right extremist groups, the FBI said in an affidavit filed in the case against alleged rioter Robert Gieswein. Their name comes from the apocryphal claim that only 3 percent of U.S. colonists fought in the Revolutionary War, and they fashion themselves as the same kind of tyranny-stomping "patriots." Miller's wife, Mary Miller, is most famous for favorably quoting Nazi leader Adolf Hitler at a "Moms for America" rally outside the Capitol on Jan. 5. "Hitler was right on one thing: whoever has the youth has the future," she told the rally, apologizing later when video of her comments went viral but insisting that "some are trying to intentionally twist my words to mean something antithetical to my beliefs." More stories from theweek.comJournalist Tim O'Brien, who's seen Trump's taxes, thinks Trump's accountant will now flip in D.A. inquiryDemocrats should take the Romney-Cotton proposal seriouslyThe GOP's apathy for governing is being exposed
- Business Insider
While President Biden visits storm-torn Texas, Sen. Ted Cruz will be giving a speech on 'cancel culture' in Florida
The president will tour the state with Gov. Greg Abbott.
- The Week
Journalist Tim O'Brien, who's seen Trump's taxes, thinks Trump's accountant will now flip in D.A. inquiry
Bloomberg's Tim O'Brien, one of the few journalists who has seen former President Donald Trump's tax returns, told MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Thursday night he will sleep better now that Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance finally has eight years of Trump's financial documents, from 2011 to 2019. Trump "is very afraid of what's in these documents, I think," because they put him in serious criminal jeopardy, O'Brien said, but he isn't the only one implicated. O'Brien went on to explain why he thinks it's likely Trump's chief accountant, Allen Weisselberg, is likely to flip on Trump. "The thing to really focus in on here is that it's not just the tax records that Cy Vance has now," O'Brien said. "He probably has reams and reams of the accountant's work product. This is a criminal case, they're going to need to prove criminal intent on the part of Trump, his three eldest children, Allen Weisselberg, and anyone else in the Trump Organization who's fallen under the parameters of this investigation. And if there are email and notes and other records of communication about what they intended to do when they inflated the value of buildings so they could get loans against them and then turned around and deflated the value of the buildings so they could pay lower taxes on them, and there's a communication around that that predates any of these tax entries, that is gold for a prosecutor." A few hours earlier, O'Brien told MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace that the particular eight years of documents Vance's team has "is important, because it predates Trump's ascent into the White House, and I think helps build the narrative around the money trail and Trump's motivations for his destructive and obscene dance with people like Vladimir Putin. It's a shame they couldn't go back further — think this is one of the tragic misses of Robert Mueller's investigation, he could have gone back further, I think, than Cy Vance is able to into Trump's finances." O'Brien also underscored that the investigation implicates at least Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump, and "it also targets people inside the Trump Organization who might flip on Trump if they're exposed to criminal liability," but "the brass ring in all of this is that if Trump has a criminal conviction, he cannot run for president again, and that's looming over this entire thing as well." More stories from theweek.comDemocrats should take the Romney-Cotton proposal seriouslyThe GOP's apathy for governing is being exposedThe MyPillow guy might be Trump's ultimate chump
Billie Eilish's documentary gives an intimate look at her secret relationship with rapper 7: AMP - and why she decided to end it
They began dating in late 2018, when Eilish was 16. The film chronicles her frustration with his "lack of effort" and "self-destructive" behavior.
How a woman lives in a 500-square-foot apartment with 2 roommates, a dog, 100 houseplants - and zero clutter
Maximalist Bruna Mello lives in a sunny, vibrant tiny apartment in South London, and she doesn't let the small space keep her from collecting things.