The Supreme Court of the United States ruled Friday that California cannot enforce a ban on indoor church services due to the pandemic. Joy Benedict reports.
- Business Insider
'Oath Keeper' Jessica Watkins denounced the extremist group but will stay in jail before her trial, judge says
The ruling comes after Watkins requested pretrial release earlier this week due to safety concerns in jail related to her being transgender.
The report released Friday on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was short on evidence or new information, but Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) tells Axios that the “definitive” statement assigning responsibility to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) speaks volumes.What he’s saying: Schiff, the chairman of the House intelligence committee, says that while some intelligence couldn’t be published because of the need to protect sources and methods, “we rarely see something published that is this definitive and I think that's an important accomplishment for the administration.”Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free"I think it's a very accurate summary of what we know, and I was pleased that it was as forthcoming as it was. It really held nothing back in terms of attributing the capture/kill operation to the crown prince,” he said.From the report: “We assess that Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.”Asked about the “capture or kill” language, Schiff told Axios: "I think you should read it as meaning that the team the crown prince dispatched had his approval to either capture him, if that was either possible or desirable, or to kill him. And either outcome would have been satisfactory to the crown prince."The other side: The Saudi foreign ministry has vehemently rejected the report, and some pro-Saudi voices have seized on the fact that it doesn’t contain a “smoking gun.”"I don't know that I would use the standard of smoking guns,” Schiff said. “The intelligence community does not usually speak in such definitive terms without high confidence in its judgements.”What’s next: “I think the focus now is what are the repercussions that should follow. I've urged the administration to make sure that those repercussions apply to anyone involved and that includes the man who gave the orders," Schiff said. Between the lines: The Biden administration announced sanctions Friday in response to Khashoggi’s murder, but declined to directly target MBS.Like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference on February 26, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. Republican speakers at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday downplayed the deadly Jan. 6 storming of the United States Capitol by a pro-Trump mob that disrupted the peaceful transfer of power, sidestepping former President Donald Trump’s culpability in the violence. A marquee event in Republican politics, the CPAC conference is one of the first post-Trump gatherings of prominent conservative voices and will host the former President as a keynote speaker on Sunday.
- The Telegraph
Calm, controlled and forensic, Alex Salmond sought to finish off his protege, but it may well be voters who do the job
Anyone who has the slightest doubt that we are witnessing the gory end of a fairly spectacular political phenomenon, namely the double-act of Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon, couldn’t have caught even the briefest of snatches of his icily frank performance at Holyrood on Friday. It’s over and so, too, must surely loom the love affair that much of the Scottish electorate appears to have had with Ms Sturgeon over the last year. The diehards will stay but how can she keep normally non-nationalist voters, who defeated her in the 2014 referendum, and who’ve been won over by her daily television appearances in the battle against the Covid. And the polls suggest they might back her in an election in two months time and in any subsequent referendum. But Salmond said on Friday that Ms Sturgeon wasn’t fit to run an independent country and that she had, without doubt, broken the ministerial code about what they knew and when of allegations - which he denied - against him of sexual assault. He did believe that it was up to an independent inquiry - not him - to decide whether she should resign, but Salmond did rage against the fact that the Crown Office said that evidence could be published then subsequently said it should be ‘unpublished’. This was an issue that he believes should lead the Lord Advocate to ‘consider his position’, in other words submit his resignation. Salmond said he had been the subject of a ‘witch hunt’ by people close to the First Minister, including Peter Murrell - Ms Sturgeon's husband - who had been contacting people to secure allegations against him. And after a judicial inquiry into an investigation by the Scottish Government had found in his favour - costing the taxpayer over £500,000 - a senior government special advisor had told a colleague ‘We’ll get him in the criminal case’. Salmond said that the Scottish Government had delayed settling the judicial review, even when they knew they’d lose, in the hope, he added, that the criminal case against him "would ride to the rescue like the cavalry coming over the hill". In a display of all the forensic debating powers which once made him a power not just in Scottish, but UK, politics, Salmond sought to finish his former protege off as a political leader. He said that in spite of all the bad publicity the country had suffered in recent days. “Scotland hasn't failed, its leadership has failed." He said he wanted Scotland to be independent, but he also wanted it to be somewhere with robust safeguards where citizens were not subject to “arbitrary authority” . Wearing an SNP tie and lapel badge - he’s not now a party member - he kept mostly calm and controlled as he went carefully through a catalogue of what he said was a campaign against him. Nobody should forget, as Sturgeon will undoubtedly make plain when she gives evidence next week, that the root of this incredible saga was allegations of sexual assault levelled against Salmond - claims he denied - by two civil servants. And when members of the committee sought to question him about this episode he twice repeated the same mantra - namely that two judges and one jury had cleared him. He did urge the committee to continue to get agreement to publish the censored evidence but in relation to his main ‘target’ - his successor as First Minister - Salmond said that while he hadn’t made any allegations against others that he couldn’t corroborate, for that reason he hadn’t made any specific allegation against Sturgeon. However, in what sounded like a threat, he insisted that he was being prevented from disclosing evidence ‘way beyond’ what he’d so far been allowed to reveal. But a question remains at the end of all of this, based on the evidence we heard on Friday. Namely, can voters really continue to say they retain confidence in Sturgeon when they understand that what they’re backing is a government that is besmirching not just the good name of important national institutions, but of Scotland itself?
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.
A Dutch appeals court said on Friday the government had been right to impose a night curfew in the fight against the coronavirus, overturning a lower court's order which had caused confusion over the measure last week. In a clear victory for the government, the appeals court said it had rightfully used emergency powers to install the curfew, the first in the Netherlands since World War Two, and had adequately proved that the measure was necessary to rein in the pandemic. The district court in The Hague last week had ruled that the government had failed to make clear why emergency powers were needed at this stage of the pandemic, siding with anti-lockdown activists who had brought the case.
Myanmar has been in turmoil since the army seized power and detained elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and much of her party leadership, alleging fraud in a November election her party won in a landslide. Uncertainty has grown over Suu Kyi's whereabouts, as the independent Myanmar Now website on Friday quoted officials of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party as saying she had been moved this week from house arrest to an undisclosed location.
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.
- The Daily Beast
Prince Harry Tells Friend James Corden He Left the Royal Family Because It Was Destroying His Mental Health
KOEN VAN WEELPrince Harry has said that he stepped back from royal duties because the British press was “toxic” and “destroying” his mental health.In an extraordinary interview unparalleled in the annals of royal history, Harry gave a candid interview to his close friend James Corden on The Late Late Show while they toured Los Angeles on an open-air double-decker bus. Corden was a guest at Harry and Meghan’s wedding in 2018 and arrived at the evening reception dressed as Henry VIII. Another guest at the wedding, Oprah Winfrey, has taped an interview primarily with Meghan that will be screened next weekend.Oprah Winfrey’s Interview With Meghan Markle and Harry Will ‘Shine a Light on What They Have Been Through’The two men were served afternoon tea, which Corden said he had provided to remind Harry of home, however the tea service was abandoned after the bus braked sharply, depositing the contents of a tea trolley on top of the prince.“Clear it up, Harry,” Corden joked as the prince picked up tea cups and scones.While the 17-minute long package had a humorous tone and was packed with jokes and gags, it also provided the most candid insight yet into why Harry withdrew from royal duties.Asked about his decision to leave royal life, Harry said he was left with no choice because the British press “was destroying my mental health.”He said of the “toxic” situation: “I did what any husband and father would do—I need to get my family out of here.”In what will be perceived as a dig at the royal establishment that refused to accept Harry and Meghan’s proposal of a hybrid public-private role, Harry said: “We never walked away, and as far as I’m concerned, what decisions are made on that side, I will never walk away.”Royal Family ‘Wringing Their Hands’ at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s ActivismHarry said that his life now would continue to be about “public service” and added that he and Meghan were “trying to bring some compassion and try to make people happy and try to change the world in any small way we can.”When Harry said he and Meghan often watched Jeopardy! and Netflix (with whom the couple recently signed a $100 million production deal) in the evenings after putting Archie to bed, Corden asked him about The Crown and its controversial portrayal of his family’s history.Harry, who joked he would like to be played in the series by Damian Lewis, said he preferred it to the tabloid media coverage of the royals because it “does not pretend to be news.”He added: “It’s fictional. But it’s loosely based on the truth.“Of course it’s not strictly accurate, but it gives you a rough idea about what that lifestyle—the pressures of putting duty and service above family and everything else—what can come from that.”He continued: “I’m way more comfortable with The Crown than I am seeing the stories written about my family, or my wife or myself, because it’s the difference between fiction—take it how you will—and being reported on as fact because you’re supposedly news. I have a real issue with that.”Harry also opened up about meeting Meghan and how he knew she was the one on their second date.“We hit it off with each other, and we were just so comfortable in each other’s company,” he said.“Dating me or any member of the royal family is kind of flipped upside down. All the dates become dinners or watching the TV or chatting at home.“We went from zero to 60 in the first two months.”Meghan, who is pregnant with the couple’s second child, made a cameo in the interview via FaceTime when Harry and Corden paid a trip to the house from the ’90s TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.When Corden suggested the couple should buy the house, Meghan said: “I think we’ve done enough moving.”During the visit to the house, Corden and Harry spoke to the owner and jokingly made an offer to buy it, before Harry asked if he could use the toilet.“I’m actually dying for a pee. Can I use your bathroom?” he asked.Showing that family relations are at least still somewhat functional, Harry said his grandmother, the queen, bought his son Archie a waffle maker for Christmas.He revealed Meghan now makes waffles with a “beautiful organic mix” and they eat them for breakfast with toppings including berries and syrup.He also said that both his grandparents know how to use Zoom, but joked that his grandfather slams the laptop shut physically to finish a call.Over to you, Oprah.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.
An official report says Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved the journalist's murder.
- USA TODAY Opinion
The problem in 2020 was with the Republican candidate. That won't change in 2024 if Trump stays on top.
What Harry thinks of The Crown, what the Queen got Archie for Christmas, and other key information.
TikTokers tried to prove that snow in Texas was 'fake' as weather conspiracy theories ran wild online
From "fake snow" to Bill Gates, conspiracy theories about the Texas storm are spreading. Right-wing pundits and politicians aren't helping.
'Spider-Man' fans are theorizing that the 3rd movie's title could mean we'll see the return of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. Here's what's going on.
"Spider-Man: No Way Home" is set for release this December. Recent reports and clues have Marvel fans speculating about who could show up in the film.
- Associated Press
A woman who ran away from London as a teenager to join the Islamic State group lost her bid Friday to return to the U.K. to fight for the restoration of her citizenship, which was revoked on national security grounds. Shamima Begum was one of three east London schoolgirls who traveled to Syria in 2015. Begum's lawyers appealed,, saying her right to a fair hearing was harmed by the obstacles of pursuing her case from the camp.
- The Independent
Texas senator shamed for Cancun trip delivered a high-energy CPAC speech studded with Star Wars references
- Business Insider
Merkel says she won't take AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine because she's too old, as 1.4 million jabs are left unused
The German chancellor said she wasn't eligible because the vaccine isn't approved for people over 65 in Germany.
- Business Insider
Donald Trump Jr. gives fiery CPAC speech full of grievances against anti-Trump Republicans, big tech, and the mainstream media
Trump Jr. ranted about Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, saying her "politics are only slightly less popular than her father is at a quail hunt."
- Associated Press
Myanmar’s U.N. ambassador strongly opposed the military coup in his country and appealed for the “strongest possible action from the international community” to immediately restore democracy, in a dramatic speech to the U.N. General Assembly Friday that drew loud applause from many diplomats in the 193-nation global body. Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun began his statement saying he represented Aung San Suu Kyi’s "civilian government elected by the people” in November, and supported their fight for the end of military rule. “It is time for the military to immediately relinquish power and release those detained,” Tun said, agreeing with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that military coup "is not acceptable in this modern world and the coup must cease.”
- Business Insider
South Dakota's legislature is moving to impeach its attorney general after investigators uncovered a hit-and-run victim's glasses in his car
Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg initially said he thought he'd hit a deer. Then the victim's glasses were found in his car.