It's customary for big companies to protect their brands and to use lawyers to tamp down any trademark-infringement issues. It's not customary to do so in a gentlemanly fashion. But when lawyers for Jack Daniel's, the whiskey brand, sent author Patrick Wensink a cease-and-desist letter regarding the cover art for his book "Broken Piano for President," the remarkably cordial tone of the letter stood out. The cover of Wensink's book resembles the iconic black-and-white Jack Daniel's label. The lawyer who penned the letter, Christy Susman, eschewed the threats-and-venom route and, instead, took the path of sweetness and light. The company even offered to reimburse Wensink for the cost of changing the artwork in question. The letter went viral and has been called "the greatest cease-and-desist letter ever." No word yet on Susman's future writing career, but as for Wensink, he says he is planning on complying with the order -- but he and his publisher won't accept the money. We're going to find out why when we talk to him on tomorrow's episode of Trending Now. Come back here to find out.
Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization released new guidelines on Monday that advise against vaccinating people who are 65 years and older with AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine, citing lack of information about efficacy in that age group. The vaccine was authorized for people who are 18 and older by drug regulator Health Canada on Friday. Health Canada's decision noted that available clinical trial data was too limited to reliably estimate how well the vaccine worked in people 65 and older.
- The Independent
Tessica Brown went viral on TikTok last month after sharing her hair ordeal
- Business Insider
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shoots back at Ted Cruz, saying he treated storm-hit Texas as a 'layover' between trips to Cancun and CPAC
"It appears Texas was just a layover stop for him between Cancun and Orlando to drop a pack of water into someone's trunk," Ocasio-Cortez said.
- Associated Press
The United States wasted billions of dollars in war-torn Afghanistan on buildings and vehicles that were either abandoned or destroyed, according to a report released Monday by a U.S. government watchdog. The agency said it reviewed $7.8 billion spent since 2008 on buildings and vehicles. Only $343.2 million worth of buildings and vehicles “were maintained in good condition,” said the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR, which oversees American taxpayer money spent on the protracted conflict.
Foods that have vitamin D include salmon, rainbow trout, mushrooms, and egg yolks.
- Associated Press
Lady Gaga's dog walker, who was shot last week during a robbery in Hollywood when two of the singer’s French bulldogs were stolen, described the violence and his recovery “from a very close call with death" in social media posts Monday. Ryan Fischer’s posts included pictures taken from his hospital bed, where he says “(a) lot of healing still needs to happen” but he looks forward to reuniting with the dogs. Fischer was shot once as he walked three of Lady Gaga's dogs on Wednesday night on a street just off the famed Sunset Boulevard.
- Yahoo News Video
Former President Trump delivered his first post-White House address at CPAC on Sunday evening.
One hundred seventy members of the U.S. House of Representatives signed a bipartisan letter sent to Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging President Joe Biden's administration to address "troubling" human rights issues as it formulates policy for dealings with Turkey. The letter, dated Feb. 26 and made public on Monday, notes that NATO ally Turkey has long been an important U.S. partner but says the administration of President Tayyip Erdogan has strained the relationship.
- The Independent
Lindell equates getting coronavirus vaccine to receiving ‘mark of the beast’ pledging allegiance to the devil
The lawyer for the 'QAnon Shaman' wants to use Trump's speech before the insurrection as part of his defense
"QAnon Shaman" Jacob Chansley's lawyer has blamed Donald Trump for inciting his client to storm the Capitol building on January 6.
- The Daily Beast
ATTILA KISBENEDEKBack when he was still running Russia’s FSB, Nikolai Patrushev, a longtime Putin crony who now heads the Russian Security Council, famously referred to himself and his colleagues as representatives of the “new nobility.”Nepotism is now breeding a new generation of Russian “nobles,” who are poised to take over the Kremlin upon the retirement of their fathers. These princelings—some of whom already occupy exalted positions in the government and the corporate world—are accused of benefiting from their parents’ money, mostly stolen from the state, via off-shore accounts. They also travel abroad and educate their children in America and Europe, while paying homage to the Kremlin leadership, which portrays the West as an enemy.Anti-corruption campaigners claim that the children of the officials and oligarchs who enable Putin’s repressive kleptocracy are effectively being used to evade Western sanctions, and must be targeted themselves in order to deter the Kremlin from future criminal behavior.European Union foreign ministers met in Brussels last week and reportedly decided to add four Russian officials responsible for the incarceration of Russian democrat Alexei Navalny to a list of six Russians already sanctioned in connection with Navalny’s August 2020 poisoning.The Daily Beast reported in January that the Biden Administration was also considering imposing a fresh round of sanctions as part of its own response to the treatment of the opposition leader. On Monday, administration officials briefed a number of outlets that those sanctions would likely be announced this week.Team Biden Weighs Fresh Sanctions on Russia for Poisoning and Jailing NavalnyNavalny and his team are advocating for sanctions to be imposed on a wider range of Russian oligarchs, who form the backbone of Putin's regime, as well on the sons of Putin’s henchmen. Sanction-related travel bans and asset freezes for Putin’s siloviki (strongmen), have proved inconvenient but some appear happy to stay in Russia and sunbathe on the Black Sea instead of the Mediterranean so long as they can evade financial restrictions by transferring their assets to their adult children.After the West imposed sanctions against Russia for the invasion of Crimea, Navalny said: “If the meaning of the sanctions is to exert real pressure on the mafia that has seized power (and this is precisely what is declared), then their sons would be included…These little sons are calmly cruising on their yachts and eating crème brulée in cafes on the streets of European cities.”Navalny and Vladimir Ashurkov, the executive director of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, have included two princelings on a suggested sanctions list that accompanied a letter Ashurkov sent to President Biden earlier this year: Denis Bortnikov, son of FSB chief Aleksandr Bortnikov, and Dmitry Patrushev, son of Bortnikov’s predecessor, Nikolai Patrushev, who now heads Putin’s National Security Council. The document claims that both sons act as “wallets” for their fathers’ “ill-gotten gains.”Ashurkov told the Daily Beast that these two men are deeply corrupt and senior enough within the government structure to be sanctioned in their own right. He insisted it was not his role to tell Western governments what to do but said it would be appropriate to widen the sanctions on further offspring of the siloviki. “I think it is logical that the immediate family of people involved in human rights abuses and corruption are also banned from Western countries,” he said.There is a precedent in Washington for sanctioning the sons of Putin’s enablers: Roman Rotenberg, son of Russian billionaire Boris Rotenberg, and Roman’s cousin Igor Rotenberg, son of Arkady Rotenberg, have both been sanctioned because of their financial ties to their fathers. In late 2017, the U.S. Treasury added Artem Chaika, son of Russian Prosecutor-General Yuri Chaika, to those sanctioned under the Global Magnitsky Act. And in April 2018, the Treasury designated Kirill Shamalov, Putin's former son-in-law, for sanctions. But these four represent only a fraction of the new generation of Russian elite that reaps the rewards of the corruption and repressive Putin regime.Retired U.S. diplomat Steven Pifer, currently a fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin, thinks it’s a finely balanced calculation. “While I'm not fully comfortable with targeting family members, perhaps it is time to sanction spouses and children along with the primary individual,” he told The Daily Beast. “If a Russian oligarch can’t travel, that’s one thing. If his spouse can’t make her shopping trips to London and kids can’t get to their colleges in the West, that would be a different degree of pressure.”There is no shortage of potential targets among Russia’s princeling class. Not surprisingly, both of Nikolai Patrushev's sons graduated from the FSB Academy, which trains its students to become spies against the West. Dmitry Patrushev, 43, is on the list of targets suggested by Navalny’s organization. He was appointed Minister of Agriculture in 2018 after heading the Russian Agricultural Bank and bringing it deeply and scandalously into debt (close to a billion dollars in 2016). (Despite, or maybe because of, Dmitry's much-publicized failures at the bank, that same year Putin personally awarded him the Order of Honor, and the Association of Russian Bankers named him Banker of the Year.)Dmitry's brother, Andrei Patrushev, aged 39, worked for the FSB before becoming an advisor to Rosneft chairman Igor Sechin (one of Putin's oldest KGB buddies) in 2006, at age 25. The next year President Putin awarded him the coveted Order of Honor “for the achieved labor success and many years of conscientious work.” Later Andrei became a top official at Gazprom Neft. He now co-owns a marine geology firm, which in 2019 had an annual gross revenue of $155 million, and is on the board of the prestigious Russian Association of Arctic Explorers. Both Patrushev sons have large seaside vacation homes near Putin's infamous palace at Gelendzhik.Viktor Zolotov, who is on the U.S. sanctions list, has known Putin for years and is said to enjoy the Russian president's deepest trust. Zolotov heads the powerful 300,000 person Russian National Guard, which is used to brutally suppress street protests. (In 2018, after Alexei Navalny exposed illegalities in procurement contracts for the National Guard, Zolotov published a video message in which he challenged Navalny to a duel and promised to make “good, juicy mincemeat” of him.) Zolotov’s son-in-law, Yuri Chechikhin, 44, is a business partner of the oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who gave him a stake in his construction business, which earns several billion rubles a year, including through lucrative government contracts.Zolotov’s son Roman Zolotov, age 40, was educated at the FSB academy and worked at Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD), where his dad served as deputy minister,, for a number of years. He is co-owner of a Russian company called Quantum Technologies and serves on the boards of various state-owned companies. Roman, who has a vacation home in Gelendzhik along with the Patrushevs, is also deputy head of the Moscow Department of Sports and Tourism, an actor and a film producer. While Roman was still earning a modest salary at the MVD, he and his brother-in-law Yuri produced several low-grade Russian movies, one of which featured Roman in the cast. Both men own mansions outside Moscow that are valued at over $10 million each.Yuri Chaika, currently Russian representative to the Caucasus Region, was Russian Prosecutor-General from 2006 to 2020 and presided over the Kremlin’s sustained campaign of persecution of civil society. During Chaika’s tenure as prosecutor-general, his sons, 45-year-old Artem Chaika and 33-year-old Igor Chaika, created huge business empires. A January 2020 article in Forbes Russia, drawing on an earlier, explosive investigation by Navalny, describes how the two Chaika brothers, beginning with Artem’s illegal seizure of a large shipping enterprise in 2002, each achieved staggering wealth. They accumulated countless companies—construction, shipping, refuse collection, property development, industrial products and food export—and through rigged auctions, massive government subsidies and uncompetitive state contracts made them profitable. All the while, their father prevented legal challenges to their dubious business practices.An investigation by Navalny’s FBK revealed that Artem Chaika bought a $3 million home near Lake Geneva in 2013 and has Swiss residence.The brothers Arkady and Boris Rotenberg are Putin's friends from childhood and former judo sparring partners of the Russian president. (Arkady recently to came to Putin’s rescue by claiming, unconvincingly, that he was the owner of “Putin’s palace,” exposed by Navalny.)Putin Says He Doesn’t Know Anything about the Billion-Dollar Palace Russia Built HimSince Putin became president in 2000, the pair have become billionaires, supplying pipelines to the state-controlled energy corporation Gazprom and landing exclusive contracts for the Sochi Olympics. In 2014 the EU and U.S. sanctioned both brothers as a result of the Crimea invasion. A 2020 U.S. Senate report accused the Rotenbergs of circumventing financial sanctions by buying expensive art through Barclays Bank, as well as by handing over assets to their sons.Roman Rotenberg, 39, is the son of Boris Rotenberg. He studied international business in London, is a British citizen and owns a £3.3 million home in London’s exclusive Belgravia district. Roman, who is first vice-president of the Russian Hockey Federation, is also the formal owner of many of his father’s companies, including those in Finland, where he and his father Boris have citizenship. Arkady’s son Igor Rotenberg, 47, has held numerous positions in the Putin government and also is on the boards of several gas and power companies. His net worth was recently estimated at $1.1 billion.These names represent the tip of a large iceberg. Anti-corruption campaigners believe Russia’s princelings are not only destined to continue the Kremlin's anti-democratic and corrupt governing practices; they also are likely to ensure that the huge gap between the haves and the have-nots in Russia continues to grow. In 2019, ten percent of Russians owned 83 percent of the country’s wealth. Among the world’s leading economies, Russia is the country with the most striking material inequality.The Biden administration has yet to make any official announcement on Navalny-related sanctions, although Secretary of State Antony Blinken participated virtually in the Brussels meeting and “welcomed the EU’s decision to impose sanctions against Russia.” In a speech at the State Department on February 4, President Biden urged the Kremlin to release Navalny from prison and emphasized that “we will not hesitate to raise the cost on Russia.” Biden also said that he told President Putin in a telephone call “the days of the United States rolling over in the face of Russia’s aggressive actions—interfering with our elections, cyberattacks, poisoning its citizens—are over.” So perhaps the U.S. will consider the recommendations of Navalny’s team and include Russian oligarchs—and maybe some princelings—on its sanctions list.Before last week’s meeting in Brussels Russia warned that it would be “ready to react” to any new sanctions by the EU. But in fact there is not much Russia can do, beyond expelling a few more diplomats from Moscow or sanctioning specific Western officials, which would have little impact. In 2014, after being blacklisted by Russia in retaliation for U.S. sanctions, the late Senator John McCain joked: “I guess this means my spring break in Siberia is off, my Gazprom stock is lost, and my secret bank account in Moscow is frozen.”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 Senate Finance Committee said its members will vote on Wednesday on three Biden administration nominees, including Katherine Tai as trade czar and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra as U.S. health secretary. Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden will convene the business meeting at 10 a.m. to vote on the nominations of Tai, Becerra and Wally Adeyemo, who was nominated as to be deputy Treasury secretary, the committee said. All three candidates are expected to win approval by the committee, a congressional aide said, which would clear the way for their consideration by the full Senate.
A week after Alex Smith said Washington didn't want him during his incredible return from a scary leg injury, the team is expected to cut him
Alex Smith is reportedly set to hit the free agent market this offseason and keep his career going over two years after suffering an injury that some thought was career-ending.
The duke talks about his mother's departure from the Royal Family in excerpts of an upcoming TV special.
The Queen accepted several horses from the ruler of Dubai after he was accused of kidnapping his daughter
Sheikh Mohammed's daughter, Princess Latifa, says she was beaten on her father's orders and imprisoned after a failed escape attempt.
- Associated Press
Israel's Supreme Court on Monday dealt a major blow to the country's powerful Orthodox establishment, ruling that people who convert to Judaism through the Reform and Conservative movements in Israel are also Jewish and entitled to become citizens. The landmark ruling, 15 years in the making, centered around the combustible question of who is Jewish and marked an important victory for the Reform and Conservative movements.
The 11 biggest Golden Globes snubs and surprises included Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie Foster, and Rosamund Pike
Jodie Foster, Daniel Kaluuya, and Rosamund Pike surprised while Viola Davis, Maria Bakalova, and Glenn Close missed out.
- The Daily Beast
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty ImagesA speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory from the event’s main stage on Sunday, shortly before Donald Trump was scheduled to appear at the conservative movement’s premiere annual event. Former congressional candidate Angela Stanton King, who has frequently boosted the conspiracy theory on social media, called for an investigation into whether QAnon’s bizarre claims about a cabal of cannibal-pedophiles controlling the world and a mysterious figure named Q giving hidden messages to Trump supporters are real.“Let’s address it,” King said. “So we know in this election, there were some things going on in regards to the conspiracy theories with Q, right? And I think, me as a person, before I ever got into the conservative movement, I’ve always been an advocate even if it’s for abused children or it’s for those people that are incarcerated. So I think that any allegations coming forward in regards to any type of abuse when it comes to children deserves to be investigated, it deserves to be made aware of.”The CPAC crowd applauded King’s call for an investigation into the claims made by QAnon believers, which include allegations that Democratic Party leaders and Hollywood celebrities sexually abuse children and drink their blood to stay young. QAnon supporters believe in a moment called “The Storm,” in which they anticipate Trump will order mass arrests or executions of his political opponents.QAnon Incited Her to Kidnap Her Son and Then Hid Her From the Law“I think that, you know, once we find out, you know, whether this is true or not, then we can move on, but we at least have to be able to address it,” King said, claiming that the media had tried to “cancel” her for her beliefs in QAnon.CPAC speaker Angela Stanton-King is straight up promoting QAnon pic.twitter.com/BLGyeqajes— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 28, 2021 King, who served two years in prison over an auto-theft ring and was pardoned by Trump in 2020, once stormed out of an interview after being confronted over her support for QAnon. A positive mention of QAnon from the CPAC stage marks another inroad into the GOP for the conspiracy theory, which has been linked to murders and other crimes. A number of QAnon believers took leading roles in the U.S. Capitol riot, breaking into the building and menacing police officers.The FBI considers the conspiracy theory, which has also been praised in the past by newly elected Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Lauren Boebert (R-CO), as a potential source of domestic terrorism.The CPAC panel King appeared on was already embroiled in controversy, after scheduled speaker “Young Pharaoh” was dropped from the program over tweets attacking Jewish people.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.
- Reuters Videos
Prince Harry was worried about history repeating itself, according to excerpts released from his and his wife Meghan's much-anticipated interview with Oprah Winfrey.The CBS broadcast network released two brief clips from Oprah interview of the couple, which is scheduled to air on March 7.The suggestion of history repeating itself appears to reference the fate of Harry's mother Princess Diana, who was hounded by the British press and died at age 36 in a car crash in Paris after her divorce from Prince Charles.Harry said "I'm just really relieved and happy to be sitting her talking to you with my wife by my side," before going on to add "Because I can't imagine what it must have been like for her (Diana), going through this process by herself all those years ago.”It is the first TV interview the couple, formally known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have given since making their homes in California last year.They shocked Britain when they decided to step back from royal duties.Last month the couple announced that are expecting a second child.In the clips, Oprah said that no subject was off limits and at one point tells the couple "you have said some pretty shocking things here," including that their situation had been "almost unsurvivable".
- Business Insider Video
The Queen has been sitting on the royal throne since 1952. That's the longest reign of any monarch in British history. Operation London Bridge is the code name given to the plan in place for the days and weeks after Queen Elizabeth II's passing.