Congress passed two pandemic relief packages in 2020 in an effort to keep small businesses afloat, but newly-opened shops say they have been left out of the legislation.
- The Independent
The Trump administration allegedly spent $10bn in hospital relief funds on Operation Warp Speed
- The Daily Beast
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / Getty ImagesPrince Harry and Meghan Markle are being urged by some commentators in the U.K. to ask CBS to postpone the airing of its Oprah Winfrey interview, in which they are expected to mount a stinging attack on the royal family, as concern mounts over Prince Philip’s prospects of beating an infection.Prince Harry Tells Oprah He Left the Royals Because He Feared Meghan Markle Would Suffer Like Princess Diana Philip, 99, was moved to a specialist heart hospital on Monday and royal sources have been quoted by British newspapers saying the family is “pretty appalled” at the idea of the interview, which Oprah has said sees Meghan saying “pretty shocking things” being broadcast while Philip is so unwell.Penny Junor, author of Prince Harry, Brother, Soldier, Son, told The Daily Beast that airing the interview while Prince Philip was undergoing very public health travails risked making the interview look inappropriate, saying, “Anything could hijack this interview. Philip is ill. He is 99 and could die at any time. They were not to know he would get ill, but it could be seen to be the wrong time. But I doubt it is in their gift to postpone the interview. The control is in the hands of CBS and Oprah.”Robert Lacey, historical consultant for The Crown and author of the definitive royal biography Majesty, told The Daily Beast, “I think it would be a marvelous turnaround for Harry’s image if he took the brave step of canceling the whole thing this weekend—or, if that’s not practical, postponing it at least.”Royal commentator and former editor of Who’s Who Richard Fitzwilliams said it would “surely be appropriate” to postpone the interview.He told MailOnline, “Oprah is their friend and neighbor and would undoubtedly comply if asked and the gesture would I am sure be appreciated by the royal family. If an interview has been extended, as this recently has, it can also be postponed, as this undoubtedly should be.” Royal biographer Robert Jobson told the Mail, “With the Duke of Edinburgh clearly very unwell, the fact that the couple plan to go ahead with airing their self-indulgent, no-holds-barred interview with chat show queen Oprah Winfrey makes them appear heartless, thoughtless, and supremely selfish.“For U.S. broadcast network CBS, this interview is a coup, all about securing big viewing figures and big advert sales around the airing of their exclusive interview. So even if they wanted to, Harry and Meghan probably couldn’t dictate terms to Oprah Winfrey and the network now. Too much has been invested.”A TV industry insider told the Mirror, “CBS has sold millions of dollars worth of advertising around the interview, but bosses are aware of the delicacy of the Duke’s health. They have no loyalty to the royal family, although some feel as though they do to Harry and Meghan. For it to run if Philip’s condition worsened would be like setting off a diplomatic bomb. It would be grossly insensitive and hugely disrespectful.”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.
- Associated Press
The plane laden with vaccines had just rolled to a stop at Santiago’s airport in late January, and Chile’s president, Sebastián Piñera, was beaming. The source of that hope: China – a country that Chile and dozens of other nations are depending on to help rescue them from the COVID-19 pandemic. China’s vaccine diplomacy campaign has been a surprising success: It has pledged roughly half a billion doses of its vaccine to more than 45 countries, according to a country-by-country tally by The Associated Press.
- Associated Press
Cambodia on Tuesday received its first batch of 324,000 coronavirus vaccine doses from India that are part of the World Health Organization’s COVAX initiative, as the country expands its immunization program with the goal of inoculating a majority of its population this year. Health Minister Mam Bunheng was at the airport to receive the shipment of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine. Prime Minister Hun Sen will be given the first dose on Thursday.
Paying ransoms to kidnappers is fuelling the mass abduction of students in northern Nigeria, analysts say.
- The Daily Beast
Marjorie Taylor Greene Demonizes Big Tech. She and Her Husband Just Sold Up to $210,000 in Tech Stocks.
Drew Angerer/GettyWhen she was running for office, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) constantly antagonized tech giants like Facebook for allegedly censoring and silencing pro-Trump Republicans, and vowed to fight what she called the “Silicon Valley Cartel” after being elected to Congress.During her first two months on Capitol Hill, Greene has loudly ratcheted up the anti-tech rhetoric. But shortly after her swearing-in, she quietly moved to offload significant stock holdings in the very same companies she so vehemently denounced—netting a healthy sum in the process.According to her latest financial disclosure form, released on Feb. 19, Greene and her husband sold anywhere from $49,000 to $210,000 worth of shares in Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon on Jan. 20.It’s unclear exactly how much Greene and her husband, Perry, made from each individual company stock, since congressional forms only list broad value ranges, but it may have been as much as $65,000 each for the four tech stocks. Some shares were owned jointly between the couple and others were owned solely by her husband.Greene’s only other public financial disclosure form, filed in May 2020 when she was a candidate, lists joint or spousal ownership of up to $65,000 in Apple stock, $30,000 in Facebook stock, $30,000 in Amazon stock, and $15,000 in Google stock. The couple sold these holdings in January at a profit—the official form lists capital gains above $200—but the precise figure is unknown.The Sickening History of Marjorie Taylor Greene’s HometownIn light of the growing push from good-government advocates for lawmakers to sell off their holdings of individual stocks to avoid conflicts of interest, Greene’s sell-off could be perhaps welcomed. But her financial disclosure report shows she remains invested in a number of other companies, from Fortune 500 giants like Goldman Sachs and Lockheed Martin to the sports gambling platform DraftKings and activewear brand Lululemon.There’s also the plain irony that Greene was personally invested in, and later profited off, tech companies that she had excoriated for months as totalitarian tools of evil and social control. A spokesperson for Greene did not respond to requests for comment about her stock sale and why she invested in the companies to begin with.Like many hardcore Trump Republicans, Greene has oriented her politics around “cancel culture” and Big Tech’s alleged censorship of those promoting pro-Trump views. On her social media platforms, where she has hundreds of thousands of followers, Greene posts fresh, steaming outrage about them on a near-daily basis.Facebook, shares of which Greene and her husband sold for up to $65,000 net gain on Jan. 20, have been a constant target for her as a candidate and as a member of Congress. Last September, the platform removed a post from Greene in which she posed with a gun next to images of the progressive “Squad,” on the grounds it incited violence. The GOP candidate claimed she was being canceled and now wears a face mask in Congress with the message “CENSORED.”At various points in 2020, Greene called Facebook racist for promoting a message to support Black-owned businesses during the holiday season and slammed it as anti-semitic for censoring the far-right Islamophobic provocateur Laura Loomer. She also accused Facebook of allowing “ANTIFA” to carry out terrorist attacks and charged that the social media platform had “canceled our kids.”In October, when a Facebook spokesperson tweeted they would not link to a New York Post story on Hunter Biden, the Georgia Republican tweeted in outrage that “the Silicon Valley Cartel has taken the First Amendment and ripped it to shreds.”“When I get to Congress,” declared Greene, “Big Tech will be held accountable!”Ironically, in June 2020, the Facebook investor publicly called on her many thousands of followers to use a competitor instead. “For those of yall tired of being censored by Facebook,” she wrote, “I encourage you to open a Parler account today!”Greene has been less critical of the other tech companies she once owned, but her broadsides against the “Silicon Valley Cartel” leave little room for nuance, especially given Google, Amazon, and Apple’s dominance of the sector.Marjorie Taylor Greene Hangs Anti-Trans Sign Outside Office of Congresswoman With Trans DaughterGreene’s tech stock sell-offs could be interpreted as a sign she wished to sever any financial links to companies she had so stridently opposed. A Greene spokesperson did not respond to questions about why she and her husband sold the shares when they did.Barely two weeks after her stock sale, though, Greene was calling on like-minded conservatives to harness the free market system to develop alternatives to the tech companies she’d previously been financing.“Conservatives must join together to invest, develop, and compete in Big Tech in order to protect our conservative values and speech from the never ending cries of the thought police. This would give people the ability to choose the online “community” they invest themselves in,” tweeted Greene on Feb. 7.“The Silicon Valley cartel controlling social media, free speech, and even targeting to take down rising competition, like Parler, must be stopped. The way to stop it is in the free market, while we still can…”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.
- Architectural Digest
Zoë’s newsletter comes to a web page near you, and the theme of the day is dampOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- Associated Press
Nearly a year after they were almost stabbed to death inside a Midland, Texas, Sam's Club, Bawi Cung and his two sons all have visible scars. On a Saturday evening in March, when COVID-19 panic shopping gripped the nation, Cung was in search of rice at a cheaper price. The family was in the Sam's Club meat section when Cung suddenly felt a punch to the back of his head.
- Associated Press
Republican lawmakers in Georgia muscled legislation through the state House on Monday that would roll back voting access, over the objection of Democrats and civil rights groups gathered at the Capitol to protest. The bill comes after record turnout led to Democratic wins in Georgia’s presidential election and two U.S. Senate runoffs. House Bill 531 passed the lower legislative chamber by a vote of 97-72.
- Associated Press
Police in Sri Lanka said Monday they have arrested two people in connection with the death of a 9-year-old girl who was repeatedly beaten during a ritual they believed would drive away an evil spirit. The two suspects — the woman performing the exorcism and the girl's mother — appeared in court on Monday to hear charges over the girl's death, which occurred over the weekend in Delgoda, a small town about 40 kilometers (25 miles) northeast of the capital, Colombo. According to police spokesperson Ajith Rohana, the mother believed her daughter had been possessed by a demon and took her to the home of the exorcist so a ritual could be performed to drive the spirit away.
- LA Times
Renowned actress and activist Jane Fonda adds the Cecil B. DeMille Award to her previous seven honors from the Golden Globes.
- The Independent
Lindell equates getting coronavirus vaccine to receiving ‘mark of the beast’ pledging allegiance to the devil
Kourtney Kardashian admits Kim made her cry when she called her the 'least exciting to look at': 'I took it really personally'
The eldest Kardashian was getting her makeup done by sister Kylie Jenner, who asked her about the vicious argument she and Kim had in 2018.
U.S. President Joe Biden's pick to head a key market regulator promised on Tuesday a thorough review of issues raised by the GameStop Corp stock frenzy and suggested companies may have to disclose their potential risks from climate change. Gary Gensler, the president's nominee to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission, said he would look into whether retail investors get the best prices when brokers are paid for their order flow and business practices that incentivize trading. He also said the agency could explore potential issues that are raised when a handful of firms, such as Citadel Securities, dominate the processing of orders for retail traders.
Louis Nix's family confirmed his death after officials found his vehicle in a retention pond near his Jacksonville apartment on Saturday.
- The Independent
President’s warm tone towards Mexico has translated to substantial policy changes
Who is Ralph and what's Agnes' agenda? As we head into the last few episodes of "WandaVision," Insider rounds up our lingering questions.
With unfettered access to luxury brands and designer looks, royals often wear outfits with hefty price tags.
- The Telegraph
Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, were vaccinated against the coronavirus in January before leaving the White House, an adviser to the former president said on Monday. "President Trump and the first lady were vaccinated at the White House in January," the adviser said without providing any further details. Joe Biden, who took over as president on January 20, was vaccinated publicly against the coronavirus on December 21 but the Trumps' vaccinations had not been revealed previously. Mr Trump, in a speech on Sunday, his first since leaving the White House, said everyone should get vaccinated against Covid-19, which has left more than 500,000 people dead in the United States. Some of Mr Trump's supporters have expressed scepticism about being vaccinated. Mr Trump came down with Covid-19 in early October and was hospitalised for several days in a suburb of Washington.
- Associated Press
President Joe Biden said Tuesday that the U.S. expects to take delivery of enough coronavirus vaccines for all adult Americans by the end of May, two months earlier than anticipated, as his administration announced that drugmaker Merck & Co. will help produce rival Johnson & Johnson’s newly approved shot. The announcement comes as the White House looks to speed the production of the single-dose J&J vaccine and accelerate the nation’s plans to reach “herd immunity” in the U.S. and begin restoring normalcy after the pandemic. Biden noted that vaccine supply was only one bottleneck toward that goal, and that the new challenge will be injecting doses into arms as swiftly as possible.