Customs and Border officials nabbed a 21-year-old Mexican citizen this week on suspicion of smuggling $140,000 worth of methamphetamine in these three cans of liquid nacho cheese and jalapenos, the LA Times reports. Incredibly, this is not the first time nacho cheese has been used as a smuggling tool. In October, a customs officials found 7 pounds of meth hidden in nacho cheese cans, NPR reports.
- The Independent
Texas senator shamed for Cancun trip delivered a high-energy CPAC speech studded with Star Wars references
France should impose a national lockdown given the increase in COVID-19 cases and the longer it waits, the higher the death toll will be, the head of the emergencies unit at a hospital in Paris said on Friday. The government said on Thursday that a new lockdown was not on the agenda and it would see next week if local weekend lockdowns would be needed in 20 areas considered very worrying, including Paris and the surrounding region. "I do not understand what we are waiting for," Philippe Juvin from the Georges Pompidou European Hospital in the capital told BFM TV, adding that the situation at hospitals in the Paris area was very tense.
- Associated Press
LeBron James had 28 points, Dennis Schröder added 22 in his return to the Lakers' lineup, and Los Angeles snapped its four-game losing streak with a 102-93 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night. Montrezl Harrell had 17 points, while James added 11 rebounds, seven assists, four steals and three blocked shots as the defending NBA champions avoided their longest losing streak since March 2019.
- The Independent
Controversial congresswoman previously said the Republican party belong to former president
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.
- 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.
Fraudsters have offered 400 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines worth some 3 billion euros to European Union countries, two officials, showing how criminals seek to capitalise on a botched inoculation campaign weighing on the bloc's economic recovery. Two officials with the bloc's executive European Commission estimated that around 400 million doses of "ghost" vaccine had been offered by fraudsters at a price of up to 3 billion euros ($3.67 billion). The official, who noted that most of the shots offered to EU governments by traders were purportedly the AstraZeneca vaccine, compared the situation to the start of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020 when criminal exploited a shortage of masks and other protective equipment.
- Business Insider
Federal investigators zeroed in on the assailant after video footage showed the suspect attacking officers with bear spray, The Times reported.
- The State
“Her daddy got to heaven just before she did.”
- 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.
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.
- National Review
After only a month in power, President Biden has used lethal military force in reaction to Iranian-sponsored attacks on Americans in Iraq. The strike, said to be by F-15 jets, apparently attacked buildings owned by Iraqi Shiite militia groups along the Iraqi-Syrian border. It’s worth pausing to note that those Iranian-backed Iraqi Shiite groups and not the government of Iraq control that part of the border. In other words, Iran and its proxies control a route from Iraq through Syria to Lebanon, where the largest Iranian proxy, Hezbollah, is situated. The borders have been erased. The Biden strike is a message to Iran, a warning shot against continuing attacks by the militias Tehran backs. According to press reports, Biden was presented with a range of options and chose one of the softest — a limited strike inside Syria rather than Iraq. There is a logic to this choice. First, U.S. attacks inside Iraq would likely complicate life for Prime Minister Kadhimi, whom we are generally supporting, and spur the forces hostile to any U.S. presence — not least the Iranian-allied militias — to demand that all U.S. forces be expelled. Second, should further Iranian-sponsored attacks require Biden to hit Iranian-backed forces again, this limited strike allows him to say he tried patience and restraint and they failed. But the strike inside Syria and at Iranian proxies may also send messages Biden does not intend: that the United States will never hit Tehran’s proxies inside Iraq and that it will never hit Iran. If that’s what the Iranian regime infers, they will have the militias strike again and again; they will not be deterred because they will see the attacks as nearly cost-free. The law of averages suggests that sooner or later these continued attacks will kill Americans. That’s when the president will face the need to punish Iran and truly establish deterrence; merely attacking its proxies will be inadequate. One of the key functions of the Shiite militias in Iraq is to allow Iran to attack U.S. forces while, by absorbing any penalty, keeping Iran safe. If there are a series of attacks, harming Americans and eventually killing one or more, the kind of limited response from the United States that we saw this past week will not be enough. That does not mean World War III and it does not mean American bombers over Tehran, but it does mean that Biden must contemplate striking Iranian assets rather than expendable proxy groups. Meanwhile, there was zero progress on the nuclear-negotiations front this past week. On the contrary, Iran did not agree to attend the EU-sponsored talks that the United States has agreed to attend, it limited International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors’ access to Iran, and it threatened to enrich uranium to 60 percent. Nuclear power requires enrichment to no more than 5 percent; the only use for uranium enriched to 60 percent is in preparing a nuclear weapon. The very least that can be said about President Biden’s second month in power is that we are seeing any dreams of a quick return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, also known as the JCPOA, and a quick resolution to U.S.-Iranian confrontations dissolve before our eyes. The president’s refusal, thus far, to lift any sanctions and his willingness to use force against Iranian proxies suggest a more realistic assessment of Iran than many feared. No doubt there will be many deep discussions, even debates, within the administration over what the next move should be. The administration’s willingness to return to the JCPOA if Iran went back into compliance with it has not moved the Islamic Republic an inch. Similarly, the administration’s reversal of the designation of the Houthis in Yemen as a terrorist group, and its decision to halt the sale of “offensive” weapons to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen, were met with zero flexibility by the Houthis — who have carried out additional terrorist attacks since the policy changes. Down the road the administration faces an even greater challenge than what to do about attacks on Americans in Iraq. President Biden has already decided that they will be met with force, and one must assume that if the attacks continue and escalate, the counter-attacks will as well. But what about Iran’s expulsion of nuclear inspectors, which violates the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the “Additional Protocol” to the JCPOA (that allowed snap inspections)? What about enrichment to 60 percent, if that indeed occurs? How far down the road toward building a nuclear weapon will the administration be willing to let Iran go? That’s a hypothetical question today, but if Iran keeps going it will soon be keeping U.S. officials up at night. Biden is the fifth American president in a row, by my count, to say Iran would never be permitted to build a nuclear weapon. Unless Iran changes course he could be the first to have to prove it.
- 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.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq index rallied in choppy trading on Friday, even as sentiment remained fragile after the index's worst performance in four months the day before as fears of rising inflation kept U.S. bond yields near a one-year high. The S&P 500 ended little changed, while the Dow index closed lower after earlier dropping to a three-week low. The Dow still posted gains of nearly 4% for the month, as investors bought into cyclical companies set to benefit from an economic reopening.
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.
- 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!"
Former Sen. Kelly Loeffler is out as owner of WNBA team, and the new owners include former star player who retired to fight for social justice
One month after WNBA players helped oust Kelly Loeffler from the Senate, the league announced that it had approved sale of the franchise she co-owned.
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.”