Breezy and cold
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Thursday that if Sen. Bernie Sanders were elected president, he still might not be able to get Medicare for All, his signature health plan, passed in Congress. “A president can't wave a magic wand and pass any legislation they want,” Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., told HuffPost this week. While Ocasio-Cortez rarely tempers expectations when championing ideas like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal to fight climate change she helped author, she went on to suggest that under a President Sanders, a “compromise” might emerge on health care, even though she still considers Sanders's bill the gold standard.
Country singer Daniel Lee Martin was found dead of an apparent suicide in a Florida home after deputies attempted to serve multiple warrants related to charges of sexual abuse of minors, according to officials. Pasco County Sheriff's deputies attempted to serve the warrants at a residence in New Port Richey on Friday, but said there was no response from Martin, 54, when the officers attempted to make contact with him. Martin was wanted on three counts of sexual exploitation on a minor, three counts of aggravated sexual battery, one count of solicitation of a minor to commit rape of a child and two counts of committing an aggravated sexual battery, the Pasco County Sheriff's office said in statement to NBC News.
The Justice Department announced Friday that it is closing its investigation of Andrew McCabe, the FBI's former deputy director, over his false statements to investigators probing an unauthorized leak that McCabe had orchestrated. McCabe was fired in March 2018, shortly after a blistering Justice Department inspector general (IG) report concluded that he repeatedly and blatantly lied — or, as the Bureau lexicon puts it, “lacked candor” — when questioned, including under oath. Why not indict McCabe on felony false-statements charges?
Gunmen shot dead nine homeless drug users in the Afghan capital, officials said on Sunday, shining a light on chronic drug abuse in the world's biggest producer of opium but a rare incident of apparently coordinated violence against addicts. The motive for the Saturday night attack by the unidentified gunmen in Kabul was not known and police said they were investigating. The men had been sleeping in an open area and a forensic examination had shown they were drug users.
HONG KONG—Entire economies are stalling in distant parts of the world because of what's going on in China. In a matter of weeks, the novel coronavirus first sighted in the central Chinese city of Wuhan less than two months ago, when it is believed to have made the leap from animal hosts to humans, has traveled to many continents. If there is a difference, it's that the initial reaction of the Chinese Communist Party was to deny in real time that anything very important was happening at all until the evidence was quite literally overwhelming.
An assistant principal charged with raping a 16-year-old student in Missouri has avoided jail time by accepting an Alford plea, which allows her to assert innocence while acknowledging the evidence proves her guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
Key point: Two officers gave the order to prepare a nuclear weapon for launch... It is commonly accepted that the world has never come closer to nuclear war than during the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the United States confronted Soviet Union over its deployment of ballistic nuclear missiles to Cuba. In fact, that decision was nearly taken out of Khrushchev and Kennedy's hands by a group of men in the throes of dehydration and CO2 poisoning as they sat in a malfunctioning submarine surrounded by U.S. destroyers, unable to consult with Moscow.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said Saturday that American civilian flights can resume operations over much of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman region, loosening restrictions announced five weeks ago amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran. The FAA said it made the decision because Iran has de-escalated its military posture, reducing the danger to U.S. civil aviation operations. The FAA had barred American pilots and carriers from flying in areas of Iraqi, Iranian and some Persian Gulf airspace since early January.
A new debit card from the nation's largest black-owned bank with an image of Harriet Tubman throwing a gesture that bears striking resemblance to one from the movie "Black Panther" drew criticism and expressions of disbelief on social media. The famed abolitionist and political activist is shown with fists crossed over her chest, which some saw as a gesture from the Marvel blockbuster movie "Black Panther" about the fictional African country Wakanda. Bank officials said the gesture is not from the movie, but rather the sign for "love" in American Sign Language.
The Trump administration is deploying law enforcement tactical units from the southern border as part of a supercharged arrest operation in sanctuary cities across the country, an escalation in the president's battle against localities that refuse to participate in immigration enforcement. The specially trained officers are being sent to cities including Chicago and New York to boost the enforcement power of local Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, according to two officials who are familiar with the secret operation. Additional agents are expected to be sent to San Francisco; Los Angeles, Atlanta, Houston, Boston, New Orleans, Detroit and Newark, New Jersey.
Lis Smith, a senior communications adviser for Pete Buttigieg's presidential campaign, was accused of running a fake account that appeared to be a Nigerian Buttigieg supporter. Despite rampant speculation online, and "Lis Smith" trending on Twitter, there is no hard evidence that the account belonged to Smith. A senior adviser for Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg got caught up in the Twitter rumor mill on Sunday when she was accused of running a fake account purporting to be a Nigerian supporter of the former mayor.
Police in Costa Rica have found almost 6 tonnes of cocaine in a shipping container, leading to the country's biggest ever drug seizure. The drugs, which weighed 5,800kg, were discovered on Friday evening in Limón in a container of flowers due to be sent to Rotterdam, Holland, according to the Costan Rican national newspaper La Nación. In a press conference on Saturday afternoon, interior minister Michael Soto Rojas confirmed it was the largest ever drug seizure in Costa Rica.
The daughter of one the country's highest-ranking former diplomats has been charged with fatally stabbing an acquaintance in the neck during a late-night argument. Sophia Negroponte allegedly killed Yousuf Rasmussen, 24, inside an apartment in Rockville, Maryland just before midnight Thursday, the Montgomery County Department of Police said. The 27-year-old is the daughter of former director of national intelligence John Negroponte, the Washington Post reported.
Around a hundred people called on Pakistan's government to "bring back our children" from the locked down Chinese province of Hubei in a demonstration on Sunday in Karachi. Pakistan's government has so far ruled out evacuating the more than 1,000 Pakistani students in the province, home to the city of Wuhan, at the center of the coronavirus outbreak. State Health Minister Zafar Mirza said on Twitter on Friday that he and other ministers would hold a meeting for parents in Islamabad on Wednesday and that his government was working with Chinese authorities to ensure students were taken care of.
Maaret al-Naasane (Syria) (AFP) - Syrian regime forces made new gains Sunday in their offensive against the last major rebel bastion in the northwest, seizing villages and towns around second city Aleppo, state media and a monitor said. Backed by Russian air strikes, government forces have kept up the assault on the Idlib region and areas of neighbouring Aleppo and Latakia provinces since December. On Sunday, after clashes and air strikes, regime forces "were in control of all the villages and small towns around Aleppo for the first time since 2012," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Key point: Most Allied commanders were skeptical that there was a genuine threat to the continental United States—save for certain leaders of the U.S. Navy. In the closing weeks of World War II in Europe, American intelligence determined that a detachment of German submarines had been dispatched to launch a cruise missile attack on the East Coast of the United States. The U.S. Navy deployed forty-six ships and dozens of aircraft to annihilate the incoming submarine wolf pack.
A 6-year-old Florida girl was committed for two days to a mental health facility without her mother's consent after allegedly throwing a temper tantrum at school, an attorney for the family said. The child was allegedly given anti-psychotic medications at the center, also without the permission of her mother, Martina Falk. Falk's lawyer, Reganel Reeves, said a mental health counselor was called to the school because Nadia was reportedly having a tantrum and throwing chairs.
The Israeli military on Sunday said it has thwarted an attempt by the Hamas militant group to hack soldiers' phones by posing as young, attractive women on social media, striking up friendships and persuading them into downloading malware. Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus told reporters that the phones of dozens of soldiers had been infected in recent months, although he said the army detected the scam early on and prevented any major secrets from reaching the Islamic militant group. Conricus said this was the third attempt by Hamas to target male soldiers through fake social media accounts, most recently in July 2018.
Sen. Bernie Sanders is drawing strong support among young voters, particularly those aged 18 to 29, as a result of his pledges to enact universal healthcare and wipe out student debt. It's led younger adults to seek a greater share of the economic pie and call for the federal government to widen the social safety net for them.
Smugglers are reportedly helping migrants scale sections of Donald Trump's multi-billion border wall using $5 ladders. US Border Patrol has seen a rise in camouflage “hook-and-ladders” within the far south-west region of Texas since May last year, according to The El Paso Times. The redbar ladders began appearing in large numbers once construction of a replacement wall in El Paso was finished last May. According to Border Patrol, illegal crossings have increased ever since.
A former Catholic priest convicted of the 1960 murder of a young teacher and beauty queen died Friday while serving a life sentence at a Texas prison. The preliminary cause of death for John Feit, 86, was cardiac arrest, according to a statement from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. “Offender Feit was pronounced dead at 5:38 a.m. Tuesday at Huntsville Hospital," the statement said.
Soldiers with the Australian Army have been using their downtime to help rescued koalas. The soldiers from the Army's 9th brigade have been cuddling koalas during their feeding time at Cleland Wildlife Park, near the city of Adelaide, according to a post on the brigade's Facebook page. The koalas were transported there from Kangaroo Island, which was devastated by the bushfires that ravaged the continent in recent months.
Also worth noting is that more than 7,000 patients diagnosed with the virus have recovered, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. On Thursday, the 15th U.S. case of coronavirus was confirmed by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) after a patient returned from China to Texas earlier this week. "The patient is among a group of people under a federal quarantine order at JBSA-Lackland in Texas because of their recent return to the U.S. on a State Department-chartered flight that arrived on February 7, 2020," the CDC wrote in a press release.
The policy of quarantining Spring Festival returnees for 14 days has extended through most of China as coronavirus surpasses 65,000 cases. At a news conference held by the State Council Information Office, He Qinghua, deputy director of the Bureau of Disease Prevention and Control, announced that Beijing would be imposing 14-day quarantines on anyone who comes into the capital from anywhere. Because the origins of so many hundreds of thousands of individuals entering the city are “unclear,” Beijing has to implement such a policy to meet its own needs, He said.