The Year of the Ox would typically usher in parades and family feasts in Chinatown, but with COVID-19, it's obviously a different story.
Elon Musk's concept space vehicle completes a test flight but then destroys itself in flames.
The musician, who helped forge the skiffle craze, died peacefully in his sleep, aged 90.
- The Independent
John Brennan says ‘there are so few Republicans in Congress who value truth, honesty, and integrity’
The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped the global travel landscape and U.S. no-frills carriers are pouncing. As legacy airlines shrink to contain costs, budget carriers Spirit Airlines, Allegiant Travel and privately-owned Frontier Airlines are resuming pilot hiring and expanding networks to seize turf dominated by larger rivals. The three airlines' combined U.S. market share, which barely topped 10% before the pandemic, could grow by 10 percentage points this year alone, said René Armas Maes of UK-based consultancy MIDAS Aviation.
- The Independent
5,000 National Guard troops remain in DC amid QAnon frenzy that Trump will be inaugurated again this week
QAnon followers believe that on 4 March, which was once the inauguration date of US presidents, Donald Trump will become president again
During a recent interview on Good Morning America with host Robin Roberts, former First Lady Michelle Obama opened up about how she and her husband, former President Barack Obama, have open communications with their two young-adult daughters. “I always have wanted them to start practicing the power of their voices very early on,” Mrs. Obama shared of Sasha, 19, and Malia, 22.
- Associated Press
A national panel of vaccine experts in Canada recommended Wednesday that provinces extend the interval between the two doses of a COVID-19 shot to four months to quickly inoculate more people amid a shortage of doses in Canada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also expressed optimism that vaccination timelines could be sped up. The current protocol is an interval of three to four weeks between doses for the Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines.
Vanessa Bryant, on the latest cover of PEOPLE Magazine, says that her pain is still “unimaginable” after the loss of her husband Kobe Bryant and her daughter Gianna Bryant, but that they still “motivate her.” It’s been over a year since Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, 13, tragically passed in a helicopter crash last Jan. 26. While the world publicly mourned the loss of an icon, Vanessa is opening up to the outlet about her terrible loss and how she has coped through the past year.
Over the weekend police officers were stunned to discover a four-year-old girl roaming the streets of New York City alone. Saturday, police noticed the child walking alone just after midnight at the corner of E. 156 St. and Prospect Ave. in the Bronx. Sunday, the NYPD shared surveillance video on its official Twitter page that showed a person who appears to be a woman walking ahead as the girl crosses the street alone.
- The Week
During the campaign for the two Georgia Senate races, Joe Biden repeatedly promised to pass $2,000 stimulus checks if the Democrats won. After they did, the administration argued that $2,000 really meant $1,400 in addition to the $600 that had already gone out in the December rescue package. Whether that is true or not, now Biden is inarguably breaking his promise. Under pressure from moderate Senate Democrats, he has reportedly agreed to cut down the formula under which the checks will be sent out. In the previous packages, the amount started phasing out at $75,000 in income for individuals and $150,000 for joint filers, and vanished entirely at $100,000 and $200,000 respectively (as of 2019). Now the phase-out will start start in the same place but end at $80,000 for singles and $160,000 for couples. The $1,400 promise clearly implied at least that the checks would go out according to the previous formula used under Trump. But now singles making between $80,000-100,000 and couples making between $160,000-200,000 will get nothing. The Washington Post's Jeff Stein reports that roughly 17 million people who previously got checks now will not. The supposed justification here is that moderates want the aid to be more "targeted." In fact this formula is horribly inaccurate, because the income data the IRS uses is from the year before the pandemic (unless people have already filed their taxes — and by the way, if your income decreased in 2020, you should do that immediately). This formula is therefore doubly wrong — there are no doubt millions of people who have lost jobs and should qualify but won't, and a smaller number that have gotten raises and shouldn't qualify but will. And this change will only save a pitiful $12 billion. The survival checks are one of the most popular government programs in American history. Polls have them at something like 4-1 approval. "Moderation," for Senate Democrats, apparently means breaking their party's promises in the service of unpopular, pointless actions that make their president seem less generous than Donald Trump. More stories from theweek.com7 scathingly funny cartoons about Trump's CPAC appearanceDisney to close at least 60 retail stores in U.S. and CanadaMike Pence comes out of hiding to nod towards Trump's election lies
- NY Daily News
NEW YORK — Jets GM Joe Douglas and head coach Robert Saleh haven’t quite tipped their hand for their plans at quarterback yet, but those plans are becoming increasingly clear. Sam Darnold is on the block. Trading for Deshaun Watson is unlikely. Perhaps the clearest statement came from Douglas when he was asked a leading question about trading the Jets’ boatload of picks for a player. ...
- USA TODAY
Sen. Chuck Schumer said Democrats would be "on track" to pass the bill by March 14, when a federal boost to unemployment benefits expires.
- Business Insider
The Trumps are trying to sell a Florida home for $49 million after buying it from the former president's sister for $18 million in 2018
Eric Trump tweeted a listing for a home that the family is trying to sell through a limited liability company for more than twice its 2018 value.
- The Telegraph
The Duchess of Sussex wore earrings given to her by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia three weeks after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, against advice from palace aides, The Telegraph understands. The Duchess, 39, had been given the Butani earrings as an official wedding present from the Saudi Royal Family. When she wore them to a formal dinner in Fiji in October 2018, during a royal tour, the media were told that they were “borrowed” but unusually, declined to offer further information or guidance. The dinner took place three weeks after Mr Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The Duchess’s lawyers insisted that at the time of the dinner, she was unaware of speculation that the crown prince was involved in the murder of the journalist. However, a royal source claimed that palace staff had advised the Duchess not to wear the jewellery. “Members of Royal Household staff sometimes advise people on their options,” one said. “But what they choose to do with that advice is a very different matter.” The earrings were accepted as a wedding gift by the prince, known as MBS, in March 2018, when he had lunch with the Queen during a three-day visit to London. They were among a series of wedding gifts that were then transferred to Kensington Palace in June, the month after the wedding, which was when the Sussexes first knew of their existence. A source close to the Duchess said members of her staff were aware that the earrings had been chosen as part of the Duchess’s tour wardrobe. Saudi Arabia admitted on October 20, three days before the dinner in Fiji, that its officials were responsible for Khashoggi’s death. Staff in London were concerned when they saw the Duchess’s earrings in the media and alerted Kensington Palace, according to The Times. But it was claimed they decided not to take it up with the Sussexes while they were on tour “for fear for what their reaction would be." The following month, the Duchess wore them again to the Prince of Wales's 70th birthday party at Buckingham Palace and at that point, an aide is said to have confronted the Duke about the issue. He reportedly looked "shocked" when approached about the concerns. Lawyers for the Sussexes’ denied he was questioned about their provenance, which they said was well known.
- Business Insider
Dr. Fauci has a stunningly simple way to explain how Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine differs from Pfizer's and Moderna's shots
All three of the COVID-19 shots authorized for use in the US train the body to recognize the coronavirus, but J&J's uses a cold virus instead of mRNA.
- The Telegraph
Buckingham Palace is to investigate claims that the Duchess of Sussex bullied members of her staff. These are the key figures at the centre of the allegations. Simon Case Briefly director of strategy at GCHQ before going on to work for the Duke of Cambridge as his private secretary (pictured below). He then returned to government, first as permanent secretary in Downing Street to Boris Johnson and then more recently as Cabinet Secretary.
- National Review
If, in 1987, the editorial boards of the major newspapers learned that a fanatical cult of angry moral scolds, representing a small sliver of the population, was successfully campaigning to remove books from the public eye with the not-so-subtle encouragement of the president and his political allies, they would have been outraged. In fact, liberal pundits were outraged — by far-less disturbing developments than these — and in the Nineties, they were re-enraged by suggestions that even the most deliberately offensive art should not enjoy a public subsidy, nor scarce space among museum displays. So, what changed? The Left used to be against banishing books, banning books, burning books. Now, scarcely a week goes by without some breathtaking new advance in its campaign to bury this or that book in order that the public might never be infected with its ideas. Just six years ago, when Barack Obama was publicly praising Dr. Seuss on March 2, Read Across America Day — a day specifically chosen by the National Education Association to honor Theodor Geisel’s birthday — you would have called me a paranoid wingnut if I had told you that books such as On Beyond Zebra! would soon be yanked from bookshelves across America at the behest of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Yesterday, that’s exactly what happened. The memory of (perhaps) the single most beloved author in America was insulted by having that title and five others pulled as an anti-birthday present and the traditional presidential mention of Dr. Seuss on a day built around his work was absent. It was as if all mentions of George Washington were scrubbed from the official celebration of President’s Day. (That’ll never happen, though. Not until at least 2022.) Geisel’s illustrations sometimes strayed into awkward racial stereotypes, but it is a massive stretch to label them “racist.” “Racist” implies racial hatred. As Geisel’s stepdaughter put it, “There wasn’t a racist bone in that man’s body.” The body of his work identifies him as a progressive humanist, undoubtedly a man of the Left, who lampooned various kinds of prejudice. Some of his stories, notably The Sneetches, are brilliant allegories about the stupidity and vileness of racism. Dan McLaughlin points out in his excellent essay that most of the six books yanked by Dr. Seuss Enterprises seem to have been targeted for trivial details that only the most hypersensitive hysteric would deem “hurtful and wrong,” as the Seuss outfit now labels them, declining to specify exactly what it finds offensive. McElligot’s Pool seems to have been nixed simply because of a harmless drawing of an Eskimo; On Beyond Zebra! for its depiction of a proud-looking camel-riding Arab nobleman, dubbed Nazzim of Bazzim. The Dr. Seuss books stand accused both of depicting too many white people and for including non-white people in its blithe comical sensibility. Our friends on the left are ridiculing conservatives for defending Dr. Seuss’s work; this tendency isn’t censorship, they point out. (No, but it was college roommates with censorship, and they played a lot of hacky sack together.) It’s a private company’s decision, they say. Yes, but it’s a private company whose strings are being pulled by an alarming cultural regime that wields immense power despite being opposed by most people. You racists only like Dr. Seuss now that he’s been revealed to be racist, racists. But Geisel very obviously wasn’t a racist, and ordinary sensible people object to huge swaths of imagery and speech being retroactively classified as racist, just as we find it ridiculous that it is becoming hard to have a mature discussion about anything from math to Muppets without some hysteric poisoning the wells of discourse with a claim of racism. This isn’t cancel culture, it’s a company withdrawing its legal property from circulation, and anyway there are 50-odd Seuss books that remain in print. Though the word “cancel” is, like “snowflake,” becoming so trite as to be on the verge of uselessness, what single better word is there for forcing books out of print because they supposedly offended someone, rather than due to lack of sales? This is simply good cultural hygiene, and slippery slopes are a myth, critics say, as the mountain turns to mud and slides into the ocean. Reports the Los Angeles Times: “The Cat in the Hat, one of Seuss’ most popular books, has received criticism, too, but will continue to be published for now.” For now. Note that the six withdrawn Seuss books are lesser titles; the Woke Brigades for Cultural Sanitation haven’t come for the really beloved ones yet. But they’re just getting warmed up, aren’t they? No one who acquires immense power ever says, “I’ve had enough of control now.” Babar the Elephant, Curious George, Little House on the Prairie, et al. are now in the crosshairs. The progressive Left enjoys greater control over the educational establishment than any other institution, and it senses an opportunity to revise the canon of young people’s literature so that every title in it advances the propaganda imperatives of today. The Sneetches, for instance, rings with Civil-Rights-era idealism by saying it’s silly to pay attention to race when we’re all the same underneath the skin. Today, that is now a right-wing vision of race. The Left today obsessively focuses on race with the purpose of apportioning good things according to the accident of skin color rather than the content of people’s character. Once the educational establishment has fully turned its guns against Laura Ingalls Wilder, it’s a short step to getting her removed from libraries, then bounced from Amazon. As the shelf of America’s children gets emptied of the classics and the boringly nonpolitical stuff, it is being busily restocked with books that overtly advance the activist Left’s agenda on illegal immigration, “white privilege,” capitalism, and everything else. I’m old enough to remember when liberals saw looming Christian theocracy as the most pernicious threat to liberal values, and when banning books was the single most horrible manifestation of that tendency that they could imagine. Now that we’re in the early days of the establishment of a woke theocracy, they’re eagerly looking for more books to throw on the cultural bonfire. Look out, The Cat in the Hat. There’s a fable promoting Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax that’s eager to take your place.
- Business Insider
Biden cuts 16 million people off from stimulus checks after striking deal with moderate Senate Democrats, study says
Biden approved phasing out direct payments entirely for individuals making above $80,000 a year and married couples earning more than $160,000.
- Business Insider
Court docs reveal Saudi wealth fund courted by Hollywood and Wall Street owned planes used in Jamal Khashoggi's killing
A Saudi investment fund courted by Hollywood and Silicon Valley owns two planes used to fly Jamal Khashoggi's killers to and from Istanbul.
- The Telegraph
Buckingham Palace is to investigate claims that the Duchess of Sussex bullied several members of her staff, it has been announced. A spokesman said they were “clearly very concerned” about allegations that Meghan, 39, had forced out two PAs and undermined the confidence of a third during her time as a working royal. Aides had expressed concerns about how such matters were handled by the palace, expressing concern that nothing was done at the time to investigate the situation, and that nothing had been done since to protect staff against the possibility of bullying by a member of the Royal Family. Buckingham Palace confirmed that its HR team would now look into the circumstances outlined in various allegations leaked to The Times. It said: “Members of staff involved at the time, including those who have left the Household, will be invited to participate to see if lessons can be learned. “The Royal Household has had a Dignity at Work policy in place for a number of years and does not and will not tolerate bullying or harassment in the workplace.” While the palace did not reveal a timetable for its investigation, it is understood that HR staff hope to begin soon. Any resulting change in policy or procedure will be shared in its annual Sovereign Grant report, which highlights significant changes in operations. Read more: Sussex society: The key figures at the centre of the Meghan bullying claims The provenance of the leaked allegations caused the battle between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Royal Household to escalate as palace aides branded allegations they had leaked the claims as “untrue” and “disingenuous”. The revelation that Meghan faced several complaints of bullying from members of her own staff also thwarted hopes of a reconciliation between Prince Harry and Prince William. Instead, the disclosures about the Duchess’s behaviour provoked another bitter war of words, as palace aides sought to distance themselves from the leak and staff on both sides scrambled to establish who was responsible. The claims are thought to have been carefully and deliberately collated, with multiple sources briefing against her. Jason Knauf, the Sussexes’ communications secretary at the time, submitted a formal complaint in October 2018, describing her treatment of one employee as “totally unacceptable.” He added: “ The Duchess seems intent on always having someone in her sights.” The Sussexes are convinced that senior Buckingham Palace aides leaked the allegations as part of an orchestrated defence because they are “nervous” about revelations made in their forthcoming Oprah Winfrey interview, to be broadcast in the US on Sunday.