CBS4 Chief Meteorologist Craig Setzer has your Thursday evening weather forecast.
British finance minister Rishi Sunak will next week promise yet more spending to prop up the economy during what he hopes will be the last phase of lockdown, but he will also probably signal tax rises ahead to plug the huge hole in the public finances. Sunak, who is due to announce a new budget plan on March 3, has already racked up more than 280 billion pounds ($397 billion) in coronavirus spending and tax cuts, pushing Britain's borrowing to a peacetime record. Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to lift England's current lockdown entirely only in late June so Sunak is expected to rely heavily on the debt markets again.
- Associated Press
Thousands of anti-government protesters threw confetti and chanted slogans in Nepal’s capital on Wednesday to celebrate Parliament's reinstatement by the Supreme Court. The court order was major blow to troubled Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli, who dissolved the legislature in December because of a feud within the governing Nepal Communist Party. The jubilant demonstrators applauded the court's decision and demanded Oli's immediate dismissal.
- Reuters Videos
A new study suggests that the first death from COVID-19 in Europe may have actually occurred in Serbia - 10 days before the first reported fatality came out of France.France reported Europe's first death on Feb. 15, 2020. But researchers in Belgrade now say that a 56-year-old construction worker from that city, who had not traveled abroad, was admitted to a hospital on Feb. 5 suffering from fever, cough and shortness of breath. He died within hours and an autopsy showed pneumonia was the cause. Months later, scientists at the Institute for Forensic Medicine of Belgrade's Medical Faculty, found evidence that the man had died from COVID.Milenko Bogdanovic, a forensic pathologist, says frozen samples were taken from the man's eye to prove the presence of the virus."One of the conclusions of this work would be that this is, for the time being, the first post-mortem corroborated death from COVID-19 in Europe to date."The study also says COVID-19 was probably the cause of reports of a pneumonia of unknown origin between January and February last year. Serbia's first official case was recorded on March 6, 2020.
- Reuters Videos
This is Alfa Romeo’s new C41 carready for the 2021 Formula One seasonLocation: Warsaw, Poland(SOUNDBITE) (English) ALFA ROMEO DRIVER, ANTONIO GIOVINAZZI, SAYING: "Every season when you see for the first time the car are really excited. This year looks (to be) the most beautiful one from the three years I was here in the team. I hope it's a faster one and yeah, just looking forward for the first test when we will drive the car for the first time and hopefully Kimi is fast straight away and we can have a great achievement for the season."The team hopes that the car's revamped Ferrari enginewill provide an extra push in the next season starting on March 28
A Chinese couple paid $155,000 in fees to have 7 children in violation of the country's 2-child policy
China ended its one-child policy in 2015, but it's still struggling with declining birth rates and an aging population.
Christopher Cantwell, known as 'The Crying Nazi,' sentenced to 41 months in prison on extortion charges
Cantwell went viral after he posted a YouTube video of himself crying and pleading with police not to hurt him.
- Business Insider
An ex-girlfriend tipped off the FBI about an alleged US Capitol rioter after he called her a 'moron'
Richard Michetti was arraigned Tuesday in Philadelphia over his alleged participation in the January 6 insurrection.
- The Independent
The Democratic operative criticised the Senator’s daughter for receiving a pay increase as a CEO
- Reuters Videos
Home Depot had a blow-out year, but the world’s largest home improvement retailer warned Tuesday that it couldn’t predict if those good times will continue into 2021. Americans stuck at home had been snapping up tools, paint and building materials to spruce up their homes throughout the health crisis. But the rollout of vaccines and the hopes of a return to normalcy have led many to believe that sales growth in 2021 will fade. Home Depot’s chief financial officer said the company is – in his words - "not able to predict how consumer spending will evolve." He said if demand in the back half of last year were to continue, comparable sales will be flat to slightly positive in 2021. Home Depot’s decision to withhold guidance disappointed investors. Shares fell 6% in early trading Tuesday despite a 25% jump in same-store sales as well as net sales in the latest quarter. Those results, as well as profit, beat analyst estimates. For the year, Home Depot grew its bottom line by 14%.
Jill Biden assures Kelly Clarkson things will get better after her divorce: 'If I hadn't gotten divorced, I never would have met Joe'
In a new interview on "The Kelly Clarkson Show," first lady Jill Biden offered the singer advice about healing after divorce and finding love again.
- The Daily Beast
Jim Watson./GettyLouis DeJoy had a defiant message on Wednesday for those craving to see him ousted as U.S. Postmaster General: “Get used to me.”The comment came after Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) asked the embattled U.S. Postal Service chief how long he would remain as Postmaster General—“long time,” DeJoy spat back—during a Wednesday hearing in the House Oversight Committee.That exchange was indicative of the entire proceeding, which was frequently chippy, combative, and fueled by Democratic lawmakers’ outrage over DeJoy’s handling of the USPS at a time of worsening mail delays and difficult questions about the service’s long-term viability.DeJoy’s crack to Cooper made Democrats’ blood boil even more. But he may have a point, at least for now: because the postmaster general is installed by the service’s board of governors—and not by the president—it means that President Joe Biden, or Congress, cannot fire DeJoy even if they wanted to.His removal would only be possible when Biden fills Democratic vacancies on the USPS Board of Governors, which has the authority to hire and fire postmasters general. Confirming those spots in the Senate will take time, though the Washington Post reported on Wednesday that Biden has identified three nominees to move forward.In the meantime, though, Democratic lawmakers are working with DeJoy on urgent legislation to reform the agency’s finances and employee pension burden, even while many publicly call for his resignation.To many Democrats, DeJoy’s performance on Wednesday on Capitol Hill may make that balancing act harder: they found much to dislike not only in what the postmaster general said, but how he said it.“I gotta say—I just don’t think the postmaster gets it,” said Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), a member of the Oversight Committee who questioned DeJoy on Wednesday about the agency’s delivery standards. “I think it’s time for him to go.”“I thought he approached a lot of our questions with that exact same attitude, which was one of sneering condescension,” Krishnamoorthi told The Daily Beast after the hearing, invoking DeJoy’s response to Cooper. “That’s not gonna fly, man. Not gonna fly.”Wednesday’s hearing was the second time in DeJoy’s short tenure that he has been subjected to a high-profile grilling in the House Oversight Committee. Shortly after taking the USPS’ top job in June 2020, delays and irregularities quickly began to mount—a particularly alarming development for lawmakers on the eve of an election in which more voters than ever planned to vote by mail.Biden to Nominate 3 New USPS Board Members, Opening Path to Oust DeJoyIn a contentious August 2020 hearing, Democrats interrogated the former logistics executive and GOP mega-donor on everything from cuts in overtime hours to the price of a stamp. Questioning from Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) produced a memorable DeJoy response: “I will submit that I know very little about postage and stamps.”By the time House Democrats called DeJoy back to Capitol Hill this week, their worst fears about the USPS delays’ impact on the voting system had failed to materialize. But they still had plenty of questions about DeJoy’s stewardship of the USPS: in October, the USPS inspector general issued a report finding that the changes DeJoy made to delivery schedules and protocol led to the worsening delays. Already battered by the pandemic, the USPS limped into a busy holiday season, and is now providing the poorest service that many longtime observers of the agency have ever seen.Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), a member of the Oversight panel, was a 29-year veteran of the USPS before she came to Congress. She told The Daily Beast after the hearing that she has never seen the service in such dire straits as it is now: “I don’t think we’ve ever confronted this,” she said.The unprecedented delays are happening around the country. In Washington, D.C., just 40 percent of all first-class mail arrived on time by the end of December 2020—compared to nearly 90 percent the same time the year before. Chicago residents are receiving holiday packages a month-and-a-half late. Lawmakers are inundated with calls and emails from frustrated constituents looking for answers; this week, 33 senators signed a letter to DeJoy asking him to explain the recent delays.DeJoy apologized for those delays at the top of Wednesday’s hearing. “We must acknowledge that during this peak season we fell far short of meeting our service goals,” he said. “I apologize to those customers who felt the impact of our delays"But Lawrence expressed concern about DeJoy’s forthcoming “strategic plan” to get the USPS through this difficult stretch. Though the postmaster general has not revealed specifics, he testified on Wednesday that he will propose cuts to delivery standards, including the standard that local mail be delivered within two days. Democrats believe that would be a disastrous move at a time when the USPS is struggling to compete with private-sector competitors, particularly if it is coupled with consumer cost increases, which DeJoy has suggested.“To say that’s what’s bold and needed… that’s not leadership,” said Lawrence. “He has to prove himself. He heard us loud and clear, that he needs to prove himself.”The Michigan Democrat stopped short of saying that DeJoy deserved removal, and told The Daily Beast that she and other Democrats are working with the USPS on postal reform legislation. On Wednesday, CNN reported that Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) was supportive of working with DeJoy to pass reforms.In the wake of the new political reality in Washington, the postmaster general has begun to attempt outreach to Democratic lawmakers. Lawrence said that during the last administration, DeJoy did not take her calls or respond to her—but after the 2020 election, they had a “cordial” call.Other Democrats see any charm offensive as too little, too late. Krishnamoorthi said he is supportive of working with whatever USPS leadership is in office in order to pass reforms, but argued that DeJoy should go as soon as is possible.Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), a senior member of the Oversight Committee, issued a statement after DeJoy’s hearing hailing Biden’s nomination of three appointees to the USPS Board of Governors—and explicitly stated his hope they would remove DeJoy. “These nominations are an important first step toward reforming the Postal Service,” said Connolly. “My hope is the newly constituted Board will do the right thing and bring in a new, qualified Postmaster General.”A majority of the nine-member board would be required to support DeJoy’s removal. Currently, there are four Republican appointees, and two Democratic appointees. If all Biden’s choices are confirmed, Democrats would hold a majority on the board.The Republicans on the Oversight Committee had questions for DeJoy about mail delays, but largely cast him as a victim in an anti-Trump Democratic crusade. Rep. James Comer (R-KY), the top Republican on the panel, compared the party’s concerns about USPS delays—and Trump’s potential role in those delays—to the Trump impeachment investigation he said was predicated on “baseless conspiracies.”Far-right Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), meanwhile, suggested that the root cause of USPS delays was actually the Black Lives Matter protests that took place over the summer, and read articles from fringe outlets like the Gateway Pundit to prove his point. And Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) raised the unfounded belief in widespread conspiracies about election fraud while saying it was not time to get into “specifics.”At one point, tempers flared when Connolly said that Republicans who voted to object to the Electoral College certification on Jan. 6 had “no right to lecture” anyone on the dangers of partisanship.Democrats left more concerned about the fate of the USPS, however, than the state of things in Congress. “It’s not some theoretical concept,” said Krishnamoorthi. “It’s not some abstract issue, it’s real for every single one of us… I’ve gotta tell you, people are starting to work around the mail, which is a scary concept.”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 Independent
Who is Heidi Cruz? The high-powered Goldman Sachs executive and wife to ‘disgraced’ Texas senator Ted Cruz
Heidi Cruz’s ‘high powered’ role on her husband’s campaign trail prompts comparisons with Hillary Clinton
TikTokers are testing family and friends by playing PornHub's music, testing whether they recognize the sound
A TikTok audio called "hey lol" by user khaleel mashes up the PornHub intro music and "Redbone" by Childish Gambino, and it's become a prank.
- The Independent
Angry Democrat Gerry Connolly tells Trump ally he ‘will not be lectured’ by someone who tried to overturn election
Accusing Jim Jordan of ‘gaslighting,’ Gerry Connolly said ‘I didn’t vote to overturn an election and I will not be lectured by people who did about partisanship’
- Yahoo News
Mitch McConnell: Nancy Pelosi's plan for investigating the Capitol attack is a 'bizarre partisan concept'
Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he’s concerned Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plan to establish a commission to probe the assault on the U.S. Capitol would be overly “partisan.”
- The Independent
Biden news - live: President lifts Trump visa ban as Ted Cruz approval rating crashes after Cancun holiday
Follow all the latest news from the White House
- The New York Times
JERUSALEM — The Israeli government has pledged to send thousands of spare coronavirus vaccines to foreign allies, reigniting a debate about Israel’s responsibilities to people closer to home: Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. On Tuesday, the governments of the Czech Republic and Honduras confirmed that Israel had promised them each 5,000 vaccine doses manufactured by Moderna. The Israeli news media reported that Hungary and Guatemala would be sent a similar number, but the Hungarian and Israeli governments declined to comment, while the Guatemalan government did not respond to a request for comment. The donations are the latest example of a new expression of soft power: vaccine diplomacy, in which countries rich in vaccines seek to reward or sway those that have little access to them. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times Jockeying for influence in Asia, China and India have donated thousands of vaccine doses to their neighbors. The United Arab Emirates has done the same for allies like Egypt. And last week, Israel even promised to buy tens of thousands of doses on behalf of the Syrian government, a longtime foe, in exchange for the return of an Israeli civilian detained in Syria. The vaccines allocated Tuesday were given without conditions, but they tacitly reward recent gestures from the receiving countries that implicitly accept Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, which both Israelis and Palestinians consider their capital. Guatemala has moved its embassy to Jerusalem, while Honduras has pledged to do so. Hungary has set up a trade mission in Jerusalem, while the Czech Republic has promised to open a diplomatic office there. Israel has given at least one shot of the two-dose, Pfizer-manufactured vaccine to just over half its own population of 9 million — including to people living in Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories — making it the world leader in vaccine rollouts. That has left the Israeli government able to bolster its international relationships with its surplus supply of Moderna vaccines. But the move has angered Palestinians because it suggests that Israel’s allies are of greater priority than the Palestinians living under Israeli control in the occupied territories, almost all of whom have yet to receive a vaccine. Israel has pledged at least twice as many doses to faraway countries as it has so far promised to the nearly 5 million Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Israeli government says that the Palestinian Authority was given responsibility for organizing its own health care system in the 1990s, after the signing of the Oslo Accords that gave the Palestinian leadership limited autonomy in parts of the occupied territories. Israel has given 2,000 vaccine doses to the Palestinian Authority and promised 3,000 more — token figures, given the size of the Palestinian population. And while Israel has hinted that more may come, it has yet to formalize any details. “A few weeks ago there were question marks about whether we had enough vaccines for our own people,” said Mark Regev, an adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “Now that it appears we do, we can be more forthcoming with our neighbors.” Regev added: “The virus won’t stop at the border, and we have a very strong interest that the Palestinians can be on top of this.” But Tuesday evening, an Israeli security official said that the military department that coordinates between Israel and the Palestinian leadership had not yet received government authorization to deliver more vaccines to the Palestinian Authority. In any case, human rights watchdogs say that Israel should organize a systematic vaccine program in the occupied territories, rather than sporadically deliver spares a few thousand at a time. They cite the Fourth Geneva Convention, which obliges an occupying power to coordinate with local authorities to maintain public health within an occupied territory, including during epidemics. The watchdog groups also note that the Israeli government not only controls all imports to the West Bank and Gaza but also, in recent submissions to the International Criminal Court, disputed Palestinian claims to sovereign statehood. “It is a system of oppression,” said Salem Barahmeh, executive director at the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy, a Ramallah-based advocacy group. “It says a lot about a regime,” Barahmeh added, “that it is willing to send vaccines halfway across the world, potentially for a quid pro quo, and not offer the vaccine to the millions of Palestinians who live under the Israeli occupation.” This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
Marvel Studios president hints 'we probably could' see characters like Jessica Jones again 'someday' in the MCU
"I'm not exactly sure...but perhaps someday," Kevin Feige said of the possibility that Netflix or ABC characters would enter the MCU.
- Business Insider
Amazon reportedly told workers to 'Vote NO' in a historic union election and to drop ballots in a USPS mailbox that recently appeared at their Alabama warehouse
Amazon workers told Vice they feel higher-ups directed them to mail ballots at the mailbox to "monitor us and gauge how many people are using" it.
- Business Insider
A preliminary study from Israel suggests people vaccinated against COVID-19 have lower viral loads, which are linked to less spread of the virus.