By Alex Dobuzinskis LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The California Senate voted on Tuesday to raise the legal smoking age in the most populous U.S. state to 21 from 18, in a move that could make California one of the states with the highest smoking age. The measure was approved by the Senate 26-8 and must now be approved by the state Assembly. "We will not sit on the sidelines while big tobacco markets to our kids and gets another generation of young people hooked on a product that will ultimately kill them," Senator Ed Hernandez, a Democrat and the bill's author, said. "Tobacco companies know that people are more likely to become addicted to smoking if they start at a young age,” Hernandez added in a statement. The Institute of Medicine, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, has said that increasing the smoking age to 21 would result in more than 200,000 fewer premature deaths nationally for those born between 2000 and 2019. The Cigar Association of America opposed the bill, contending that 18-year-olds can serve in the military, vote and sign contracts and should thus enjoy the right to smoke, according to the Los Angeles Times. David Sutton, a spokesman for Altria Group Inc, the parent of Philip Morris USA, said in an emailed statement that Altria believed states should defer to the federal government and "allow FDA and Congress the opportunity to think through this issue further before enacting different minimum age laws." Representatives for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, a unit of Reynolds American Inc, did not return calls seeking comment. Hawaii lawmakers approved a measure in April to raise the smoking age to 21, and that is awaiting the state governor's signature. Democratic Governor David Ige has not indicated whether he will sign the measure, and has until June 29 to decide whether to veto it, a spokeswoman for his office said. Since 2013, New York City has required tobacco purchasers to be 21 or older, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. No state has a smoking age that high, but Alabama, Alaska, Utah and New Jersey set it at 19. (Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis and Cynthia Johnston; Editing by Sandra Maler)
- The Daily Beast
Earlier this week, Project Veritas released the first of what it promised would be many shocking revelations from CNN’s internal editorial meetings, which founder James O’Keefe appears to have infiltrated and recorded over the course of several weeks.First, the right-wing group tried to make hay out of the fact that one high-level CNN staffer considered Fox News host Tucker Carlson to be racist—while simultaneously misidentifying the staffer in question. Their latest bombshell? CNN President Jeff Zucker thinks Rudy Giuliani is “crazy.”According to Project Veritas’ website, O’Keefe believes it will be “virtually impossible for the American public to take CNN’s reporting seriously after listening to these tapes.” And yet, once again, nothing that Zucker has said should surprise anyone who has been paying attention to Giuliani, especially in the weeks since Trump lost the presidential election to Joe Biden.“There is a term for what Rudy Giuliani is suspected of being, which is ‘useful idiot,’” a voice identified as Zucker’s can be heard saying in a tape made just a couple of days after the man formerly known as “America’s mayor” started pushing material supposedly obtained from Hunter Biden’s laptop.He goes on to call Giuliani’s efforts to undermine the election a “really important story,” adding, “It gets tied to the Hunter Biden email disinformation campaign. That’s the way we do this, because it’s all tied and part-and-parcel of one. I know Washington is working on putting that all together.”In a more recent call, when another staff member suggests that the “real craziness is the client,” referring to President Trump, “not the lawyers,” the voice ID’d as Zucker agrees before saying, “I think you raise a good point about not just pawning it off on the crazy legal team, but the client is the one who is directing the crazy legal team.”Other comments from Zucker that seem to have outraged Project Veritas concern the baseless allegations of pedophilia against Biden that circulated online, especially among QAnon Facebook groups, in the run-up to the election.“The president of the United States has just retweeted a post accusing Joe Biden of being a pedophile to his 86 million followers which is just beyond,” he says on another tape. “You know it also is just unacceptable that the president of the United States is trafficking in this and doing it.”Once again, an exposé intended to make Zucker and CNN look bad has only revealed that they are simply adhering to reality.Project Veritas’ CNN Sting Uncovers Explosive News That Tucker Carlson Is RacistRead 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 leader of a pro-gun group that stages armed protests against police violence has been charged with pointing a rifle at federal officers while in Kentucky for a demonstration. John F. Johnson, who calls himself “Grandmaster Jay,” is facing a federal charge of assaulting task force officers. A complaint filed in federal court in Louisville said Johnson pointed a rifle, which had a flashlight mounted to it, at officers who were on a roof in downtown Louisville on Sept. 4.
- The Telegraph
Former US president Bill Clinton did visit Jeffrey Epstein's infamous private island despite his claims to the contrary, his former associate has claimed. Doug Band, who worked for Mr Clinton for around two decades, claimed the former president flew on Epstein's jet dozens of times and visited the convicted sex offender's private Carribean island in January 2003. Although ignorant of Epstein's crimes at the time, Mr Band claimed in an interview with Vanity Fair that he attempted to keep his boss away from the financier after a 2002 trip to Africa. Mr Band told the magazine the trip had left him with a bad impression of Epstein and he advised Mr Clinton to end his relationship with the multimillionaire financier. The two men were friends in the 2000s, with Mr Clinton taking several trips on Epstein’s private jet, which has come to be known as the "Lolita express" after it was alleged that the financier used the jet to traffic underage girls between his various properties.
- The Week
Freshly pardoned Michael Flynn shares message telling Trump to 'suspend the Constitution' to hold a new presidential election
Retired Gen. Michael Flynn is fresh off a presidential pardon and ready to get back into some trouble.President Trump pardoned his short-lived national security adviser last week, after Flynn had previously pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with a Russian ambassador. Flynn has since been sharing dubious allegations of voter fraud, and on Wednesday, boosted a message telling Trump to take some radical actions to stop it.In a full-page Washington Times ad from something called the We the People Convention, Ohio Tea Party leader Tom Zawistowski tries to draw a comparison between Lincoln trying to save the union in 1863 and Trump trying to claw back the 2020 election, using some disputed facts along the way. Zawistowski alleges a lot of similarities between the two times, from "Democrat/Socialist federal officials plotting to finish gutting the U.S. Constitution" to big tech "actively censoring free speech and promoting leftist propaganda." So to counter that, the We the People Convention suggests Trump "declare limited Martial Law to temporarily suspend the Constitution" in order to hold a presidential election re-vote overseen by the military.> Big pro-authoritarian energy in Trumpland today:> > The president's (recently pardoned) former national security adviser, Mike Flynn, shared a message encouraging President Trump to "temporarily suspend the Constitution," impose martial law and "silence the destructive media." pic.twitter.com/cQh0wl7oWw> > — Brad Heath (@bradheath) December 2, 2020Flynn shared the ad on Twitter on Wednesday, seemingly trying to encourage a bunch of Fox News hosts and QAnon supporters to share it. It's just one of many disputed facts and allegations about the election that are apparently flowing through the mind of the man who used to oversee America's national security.More stories from theweek.com 5 absurdly funny cartoons about Trump's desperate fraud claims Trump reportedly derailed a GOP meeting about the Georgia Senate runoffs by praising QAnon Florida attorney reportedly under investigation after telling Republicans to change 'your address for the next 2 months' for Georgia runoffs
The Atlantic Fleet will confront the Russian navy, which has been "deploying closer and closer to our East Coast."
- Yahoo News Video
A lawyer for President Trump on Tuesday urged a federal appeals court to halt a lawsuit accusing the U.S. president of exploiting his family name to promote a marketing scam targeting poor and working-class people.
- NBC News
The Bond Fire started with flames at one home, before it reached nearby vegetation and spread out of control.
- Associated Press
A Hong Kong pro-democracy activist who is visiting Denmark urged European nations on Wednesday to allow protesters in Hong Kong "a safe haven from the terror” of China's Communist Party. “The situation in Hong Kong is getting worse by the day and it is important that the world knows that Hong Kong is no longer a free city,” Ted Hui said in an email to The Associated Press. Britain has extended residency rights for up to 3 million Hong Kongers eligible for British National Overseas passports, allowing them to live and work there for five years.
- The Telegraph
Indian police arrest Muslim man under 'love jihad' law for allegedly attempting to convert Hindu woman to Islam
A Muslim man has been arrested under a controversial anti-Muslim "love jihad" law in India after a Hindu father accused him of harassing his daughter to convert to Islam and marry him. The man was arrested on Thursday from his village in Uttar Pradesh state, under the new legislation approved five days earlier. In his complaint the woman's father claimed that three years ago the man had ‘harassed’ his teenage daughter, with whom he went to high school, pressuring to convert to Islam by offering her ‘allurements’ in order to marry him. He claims the man had threatened to kidnap his daughter if she refused. Police said the father, who strongly objected to his daughters association with a Muslim man, had similarly accused the man at the time of kidnapping his daughter, but the case was closed after the girl was found and denied having been abducted. Local media reports indicated that the two were in a relationship, but this has not been confirmed. The woman, who has not been named, married someone else in June, but in his complaint after the approval of the ‘love jihad’ law last week, her father claimed the man continued pursuing and harassing her. Under the law, which carries a 10-year sentence and a £500 fine, all marriages between Muslims and Hindus can be annulled if it is proved the woman had converted solely for that purpose. Hindu women who want to change their religion to Islam after marriage need to apply to the local district authorities for permission to do so. The law was passed by the ruling Hindu fundamentalist Bharatiya Janata Party, the BJP, which believes that Muslim men have launched a "love jihad" to turn Hindu women Muslim, which would dilute India’s Hindu majority. Hindu’s constitute around 80 per cent of India's population of 1.3 billion, while Muslims comprise around 15 per cent. Over the past six years in power, the BJP has increased its political and electoral support across India, primarily by portraying Muslims as the ‘enemy’ poised to ‘dominate’ Hindus. Opposition parties and critics have called the ‘love jihad’ legislation ‘regressive’ and accused the BJP of normalising anti-Muslim sentiment, charges the nationalist have ignored. In October, a leading Indian jewellery brand was withdrawn by its manufacturer after one of its advertisements featuring an inter-faith Hindu-Muslim family was viciously trolled online by BJP supporters. Senior BJP ministers accused Netflix of the same in a scene in The Suitable Boy television series, in which a Hindu woman kisses a Muslim man. Senior BJP leaders are demanding legal action against the producer and director of the series for this ‘outrage’. In the meantime, other than Uttar Pradesh at least four other Indian states, all ruled by the BJP, are readying to pass identical ‘love jihad’ legislation.
- The Week
President Trump reportedly needs no encouragement to start praising the dangerous, baseless QAnon conspiracy theory.The most pressing matter for federal Republicans right now is the upcoming Senate runoffs in Georgia, which will determine control of the body. But in a meeting with advisers and top Senate Republicans about that matter, Trump totally derailed the conversation by bringing up QAnon, people familiar with the discussion tell The Washington Post.Trump is reportedly not thrilled with Georgia and that fact that it flipped for President-elect Joe Biden, and is publicly upset with Republican leaders in the state who haven't somehow overturned the election for him. So even though Republican advisers say Trump's help is "key to convincing his die-hard supporters to vote for Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue" in the January runoff election, the president isn't thrilled about doing so, the Post reports. "Advisers say he has been frustrated at how some GOP senators have criticized him," leading Trump to appear "disinterested" when discussing Senate campaign plans, the Post continues.That was clear in a recent meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Sen. Todd C. Young (R-Ind.), and other aides. As they discussed Georgia's Senate races, Trump brought up the QAnon-supporting soon-to-be congressmember Marjorie Taylor Greene. Trump mispronounced the name of the group as "Q-an-uhn," and then said supporters of the theory that purports Democrats are a cannibalistic, pedophilic cabal "basically believe in good government," people familiar tell the Post. Everyone reportedly went silent until White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows mentioned he had "never heard it described that way," the Post reports.Trump has been asked to denounce QAnon several times, but usually gives the theory his tacit approval instead.More stories from theweek.com 5 absurdly funny cartoons about Trump's desperate fraud claims Biden says he's concerned about reports Trump is considering preemptive pardons White House communications director Alyssa Farah resigns
- The Independent
President-elect Joe Biden laid out his vision for his soon-to-be vice president’s role, saying Kamala Harris will be asked to take on “the urgent need of the moment” rather than pursue her own policy agenda. “I headed the  recovery act not because that’s what I said I wanted to do,” Mr Biden said Thursday night of his tenure as vice president – but because then-President Barack Obama instructed him to be the lead negotiator with Congress. “I have confidence in turning to her” to handle the “urgent need of the moment.”
Man, 41, had no teeth and could barely speak after his mother locked him in their suburban apartment for 28 years, say reports
A 70-year-old Swedish woman has been arrested for imprisoning her son in her Stockholm flat. He was found by a relative covered in wounds and pus.
Infantry Marines, Commandant Berger said, are going to be operating in a more decentralized, distributed way in the future.
- Associated Press
The official serving as President Donald Trump’s eyes and ears at the Justice Department has been banned from the building after trying to pressure staffers to give up sensitive information about election fraud and other matters she could relay to the White House, three people familiar with the matter tell The Associated Press. Heidi Stirrup, an ally of top Trump adviser Stephen Miller, was quietly installed at the Justice Department as a White House liaison a few months ago.
- Architectural Digest
From a private island to a tiny Vermont tree houseOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- USA TODAY
Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been a top official dealing with the pandemic.
- NBC News
During a preliminary hearing at Kenosha County Circuit Court, commissioner Loren Keating ruled that there was enough evidence to send Rittenhouse to trial.
- The Week
Trump gives 45-minute speech about voter fraud — which 1 analyst says he'd be making in court if it had any merit
President Trump has combined dozens of his favorite conspiracy theories about the 2020 election into one incredibly debunked Facebook video.In a 45-minute video posted Wednesday, Trump repeated debunked lie after lie about the 2020 election, including claims that Dominion voting machines were rigged; Attorney General William Barr said Tuesday that the Department of Homeland Security had looked into claims about the machines changing ballots and found no evidence. Trump also falsely suggested mail-in ballots were somehow rigged against him, despite it being known before the election that mail-in ballots would tend to go for President-elect Joe Biden, and that there have been no instances of widespread fraud found since.Trump made several more false claims throughout the video, but because it was pre-recorded, there was no chance for the press to question him.> Making this speech full of blatantly false attempts to undermine the election in a Twitter video rather than at the White House means the president doesn't have to face questions about his comments from the press. He has almost entirely avoided questions since election night. https://t.co/iiHMyEDeLr> > -- Hunter Walker (@hunterw) December 2, 2020One question that might be asked is why Trump isn't heading to court with these seemingly serious claims, as the team leading his legal challenges in several states has yet to bring forward compelling evidence. Republican pollster and consultant Frank Luntz had an answer: It's because they don't have any "substance." > If the claims had substance, he would be presenting them in a courtroom - not a Facebook video. https://t.co/tgfTUm1Zg7> > -- Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) December 2, 2020More stories from theweek.com 5 absurdly funny cartoons about Trump's desperate fraud claims Trump reportedly derailed a GOP meeting about the Georgia Senate runoffs by praising QAnon Biden says he's concerned about reports Trump is considering preemptive pardons
- CBS News
In an unsigned order with no noted dissents, the Supreme Court said a federal district court must revisit an earlier ruling against the church.
- Associated Press
A West Virginia police officer has died two days after being shot by a suspect while responding to a parking complaint. The city of Charleston announced officer Cassie Johnson's death in a news release Thursday. Johnson, 28, joined the city as a humane officer in October 2017 and was sworn in as a patrol officer in January 2019.