Black Friday shopping won't be the same this year because of the pandemic, but Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says it is an opportunity to support Black owned businesses.
Black Friday shopping won't be the same this year because of the pandemic, but Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says it is an opportunity to support Black owned businesses.
As the names of members of President-elect Joe Biden’s diverse Cabinet have begun to emerge, the U.S. is poised to make a sharp departure from the Trump administration’s confrontational approach to foreign policy.
The dozens of attendees were all mask-less at Caligula, an illegal sex club, violating New York state COVID-19 regulations.
President-elect Joe Biden's pick for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, "was known for his unimpeachable ethics," according to The American Prospect's prior report. That may be true, but how he's spent his time since the end of the Obama administration has left some critics bristling at his selection.In a July report, TAP put a spotlight on the strategic consultancy firm WestExec Advisers, of which Blinken and Michele Fourney, the favorite to lead the Pentagon in the Biden administration, were founding partners. The firm has ties to an array of industries, including: tech, financial services, aerospace, defense, and pharmaceuticals. But it's not exactly clear who the individual clients are since the firm, which is not registered to lobby, doesn't have to disclose them. The lack of transparency is a cause for concern among some observers, who are worried about people in the Biden, or any, administration getting too wrapped up in the interests of global corporations, TAP reported.Danielle Brian, the executive director of the Project on Government Oversight, a nonprofit watchdog group, told The New York Times that "those kinds of consulting shops," like WestExec, "take advantage of current laws, so there is no transparency in their clients and how they are trying to influence public policy for them. That's exactly the kind of people who should not be in an administration."There likely will be some clarity, however, since Blinken, as a political appointee, will have to disclose clients who paid $5,000 or more for his services in the past year. Read more about WestExec Advisers at The American Prospect. > Federal political appointees are required to disclose clients who paid $5k or more for their services in the past year. So Blinken's financial disclosure will be a rare glimpse into this sort of consultancy's clientele https://t.co/QqfICsYpx4> > -- Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) November 23, 2020More stories from theweek.com Biden is stealing the spotlight. Trump can't stand it. I was wrong about Mitt Romney The Secret Service is reportedly preparing for Trump's 'post-presidency life'
A firearms-toting congresswoman-elect who owns a gun-themed restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, has already asked Capitol Police about carrying her weapon on Capitol grounds, her office has acknowledged. The practice is allowed for lawmakers, with some limitations, under decades-old congressional regulations. The public is barred from carrying weapons in the Capitol, its grounds and office buildings.
A Russian warship caught the U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain operating illegally in Russia's territorial waters in the Sea of Japan, but chased it off, Russia's defence ministry said on Tuesday. Moscow said that the Admiral Vinogradov, a Russian destroyer, had verbally warned the U.S. ship and threatened to ram it in order to force it to leave the area. The U.S ship had immediately returned to neutral waters after being warned off, the defence ministry said in a statement.
Decorating mansion will be her final official act as first lady
We rounded up a mix of gifts that help others, keep folks healthy, and add a little something-something to the home Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
Oregon Governor Kate Brown is encouraging residents to call the police on any neighbors who flout state COVID-19 restrictions, which include limiting in-home gatherings to a maximum of six people.“This is no different than what happens if there's a party down the street and it's keeping everyone awake,” Brown said in an interview Friday. “What do neighbors do [in that case]? They call law enforcement because it's too noisy. This is just like that. It's like a violation of a noise ordinance.”Last week the Democratic governor instituted a new round of restrictions aimed at mitigating the spread of coronavirus in the state via executive order, including a two-week “freeze” limiting indoor and outdoor gatherings to no more than six people from no more than two households just ahead of Thanksgiving. Residents are also prohibited from eating out at restaurants and going to the gym, though faith-based gatherings of up to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors are allowed.Violators can face up to 30 days in jail, $1,250 fines or both. The Marion County Sheriff’s office said in a statement on Friday that it believes “we cannot arrest or enforce our way out of the pandemic.”“We believe both are counterproductive to public health goals.”Brown pushed back, calling criticisms of the new restrictions "irresponsible."“This is about saving lives and it's about protecting our fellow Oregonians,” she said. “We have too many sporadic cases in Oregon. We can't trace these cases to a particular source. We have to limit gatherings and social interactions.”On Sunday, new COVID-19 cases reached a record high in the state for the third straight day, with 1,517 new infections recorded, bringing the state total to 65,170.
President Trump has yet to concede the election, and New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman thinks his Monday evening tweet about what is in "the best interest of our country" is "the closest to a concession Trump is going to get."Trump wrote that he spoke to Emily Murphy, the head of the General Services Administration, and recommended that she "do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols," adding that he has "told my team to do the same." Murphy needed to ascertain the election in order to formally start the transition process, and after weeks of delays, she sent President-elect Joe Biden a letter on Monday telling him the transition can officially start.Haberman tweeted that she's been told some of Trump's advisers "had been urging him" to let the transition begin before Thanksgiving, "even if he never said the word 'concede.'" Between the Trump campaign and other Republicans, more than 30 lawsuits have been filed in six swing states, in an attempt to contest the election results, NBC News reports. Despite Trump and members of his legal team claiming there has been widespread voter fraud, no court has found a single piece of evidence.Trump's election legal team is being led by his longtime friend and personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City. Giuliani has been "key in stoking Trump's conspiracy theories," Haberman said, but people with knowledge of the matter told her that a recent court loss in Pennsylvania made Trump realize "Giuliani was not painting an honest picture" of his chances of actually changing the election results. Giuliani, she added, took control of Trump's legal team after the campaign dropped a lawsuit in Maricopa County, Arizona, and he warned Trump that "other advisers were lying to him."More stories from theweek.com Biden is stealing the spotlight. Trump can't stand it. I was wrong about Mitt Romney The Secret Service is reportedly preparing for Trump's 'post-presidency life'
China criticized Pope Francis on Tuesday over a passage in his new book in which he mentions suffering by China’s Uighur Muslim minority group. Foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Francis’ remarks had “no factual basis at all.” “People of all ethnic groups enjoy the full rights of survival, development, and freedom of religious belief," Zhao said at a daily briefing.
President Trump’s efforts to undermine the results of the November election in Georgia will “absolutely” hurt Republicans in two U.S. Senate runoff races there, an election official in the state said Monday. “We’ve crossed a tipping point where ... there may be some Republicans who don’t trust the outcomes of the system at all, and say, ‘Why bother to vote,’” Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s voting system implementation manager, told Yahoo News.
The Japanese government is preparing to pause its domestic travel campaign in two cities following sharp rises in COVID-19 cases, the minister handling the government's coronavirus response said on Tuesday. The move would be a blow to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's aim to use the Go To Travel campaign to prop up regional economies, while critics said the programme risked spreading the infection from major cities to the countryside. Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said he hoped a final decision on the temporary exclusion of the cities of Osaka and Sapporo from the programme could be made later in the day.
An officer revealed Monday Canadian police obtained the security code to Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou's Vancouver house -- not merely passcodes to her electronic devices, which defense lawyers allege violated her rights.
Senator Rob Portman said Monday that he sees no evidence of voter fraud sufficient to overturn Joe Biden's presidential victory and called on the Trump administration to begin cooperating with the former vice president's transition team."I have supported the Trump campaign’s right to count every lawful vote, request state recounts and pursue lawsuits regarding election fraud or other irregularities," Portman wrote in an op-ed published Monday in the Cincinnati Enquirer.The Ohio Republican said there were "instances of fraud and irregularities in this election, as there have been in every election," and while it is good that such wrongdoing has been exposed, "there is no evidence as of now of any widespread fraud or irregularities that would change the result in any state."Portman, who served as a co-chair of the Trump campaign in Ohio, said he voted for the incumbent and believes Trump's policies would be better for Ohio and the country."But I also believe that there is no more sacred constitutional process in our great democracy than the orderly transfer of power after a presidential election. It is now time to expeditiously resolve any outstanding questions and move forward," the senator wrote.Portman also called on the administration to begin cooperating with Biden's transition team, which the General Services Administration, the agency responsible for overseeing a presidential transition, has been stonewalling since the election. The transition preparations involve the administration releasing millions of dollars to the Biden team and providing access to federal agencies and office space in Washington.Biden should also be granted intelligence briefings and briefings on the coronavirus vaccine distribution plan, Portman recommended. Biden has said he is currently not receiving the daily classified briefing on security threats that a president-elect is typically given."In the likely event that Joe Biden becomes our next president, it is in the national interest that the transition is seamless," Portman said.Portman is the latest of a growing group of Republican senators who have called on the administration to accept the election results as Trump's legal team suffers defeats in battleground states that were called for Biden and the December 8 "safe harbor" deadline for states to certify their electors approaches.Senator Mitt Romney last week criticized one of Trump’s recent strategies to overturn the election results that relies on appealing to Republican legislators in swing states to appoint loyal electors in defiance of the election results. Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse, another Republican critical of Trump’s approach, urged the public to tune out the noise and look at the actual claims the president’s lawyers have made, which do not include widespread fraud.
The federal prison system will be among the first government agencies to receive the coronavirus vaccine, though initial allotments of the vaccine will be given to staff and not to inmates, even though sickened prisoners vastly outnumber sickened staff, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. Officials at the federal Bureau of Prisons have been instructing wardens and other staff members to prepare to receive the vaccine within weeks, according to people familiar with the matter. The internal Bureau of Prisons documents, obtained by the AP, say initial allotments of the vaccine “will be reserved for staff.”
I live in a democracy. But as Thanksgiving approaches, I find myself longing for the type of freedom I am seeing in China. People in China are able to move around freely right now. Many Americans may believe that the Chinese are able to enjoy this freedom because of China’s authoritarian regime. As a scholar of public health in China, I think the answers go beyond that.My research suggests that the control of the virus in China is not the result of authoritarian policy, but of a national prioritization of health. China learned a tough lesson with SARS, the first coronavirus pandemic of the 21st century. How China flattened its curveBarely less than a year ago, a novel coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China, with 80,000 cases identified within three months, killing 3,000 people. In late January 2020, the Chinese government decided to lock down this city of 11 million people. All transportation to and from the city was stopped. Officials further locked down several other cities in Hubei Province, eventually quarantining over 50 million people.By the beginning of April, the Chinese government limited the spread of the virus to the point where they felt comfortable opening up Wuhan once again. Seven months later, China has confirmed 9,100 additional cases and recorded 1,407 more deaths due to the coronavirus. People in China travel, eat in restaurants and go into theaters, and kids go to school without much concern for their health. Juxtapose that to what we are experiencing in the U.S. To date, we have confirmed over 11 million cases, with the last 1 million recorded in just the last one week alone. In September and October, friends from China sent me pictures of food from all over the country as they traveled around to visit friends and family for the mid-autumn festival and then the seven-day National Day vacation week. I envied them then and envy them even more now as Americans prepare and wonder how we will celebrate Thanksgiving this year. What China learned from SARSWe Americans are told that the freedoms Chinese now enjoy come at the expense of being subject to a set of draconian public health policies that can be instituted only by an authoritarian government. But they also have the experience of living through a similar epidemic.SARS broke out in November of 2002 and ended in May of 2003, and China was anything but prepared for its emergence. It didn’t have the public health infrastructure in place to detect or control such a disease, and initially decided to prioritize politics and economy over health by covering up the epidemic. This didn’t work with such a virulent disease that started spreading around the world. After being forced to come to terms with SARS, China’s leaders eventually did enforce quarantine in Beijing and canceled the week-long May Day holiday of 2003. This helped to end the pandemic within a few short months, with minimal impact. SARS infected approximately 8,000 worldwide and killed about 800, 65% of which occurred in China and Hong Kong. The Chinese government learned from SARS the important role public health plays in protecting the nation. Following SARS, the government improved training of public health professionals and developed one of the most sophisticated disease surveillance systems in the world. While caught off guard for this next big coronavirus outbreak in December 2019, the country quickly mobilized its resources to bring the epidemic almost to a halt inside its borders within three months. What can the US learn from China?Knowing that there were no safe or proven treatments or an effective vaccine, China relied on proven nonpharmaceutical interventions to conquer the epidemic. First and foremost was containing the virus through controlling the sources of infection and blocking transmission. This was accomplished through early detection (testing), isolation, treatment and tracing the close contacts of any infected individual. This strategy was aided by the three field hospitals (fancang) the government built to isolate patients with mild to moderate symptoms from their families. Strict quarantine measures were also central to preventing the spread of this epidemic, as it was with the SARS epidemic in 2003. This was paired with compulsory mask-wearing, promotion of personal hygiene (hand-washing, home disinfection, ventilation), self-monitoring of body temperature, universal compulsory stay-at-home orders for all residents, and universal symptom surveys conducted by community workers and volunteers. What else could the US have done to be prepared?SARS exposed serious weaknesses in China’s public health system and prompted its government to reinvent its public health system. COVID-19 has exposed similar shortcomings in the U.S. public health system. To date, however, the current administration has taken the exact opposite approach, devastating our public health system. The Trump administration made major cuts to the budgets of the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The last budget submitted by the Trump administration in February 2020, as the pandemic was beginning, called for an additional reduction of US$693 million to the CDC budget. This affected our ability to prepare for a pandemic outbreak. In the past, this preparation included international partnerships to help detect disease before it reached our shores. For example, the CDC built up partnerships with China following the SARS epidemic, to help contain the emergence of infectious disease coming from the region. At one point the CDC had 10 American experts working on the ground in China and 40 local Chinese staff, who mostly concentrated on infectious disease. Trump started slashing these positions shortly after taking office, and by the time COVID-19 broke out, those programs were whittled down to a skeleton staff of one or two. [Research into coronavirus and other news from science Subscribe to The Conversation’s new science newsletter.]The Declaration of Alma Ata guaranteed health for all, and not just health for people governed under a specific type of bureaucratic system. The U.S. has been, and can be, just as dedicated to protecting the health of its people as China under its authoritarian government. We demonstrated this during the Ebola epidemic, with the launch of a whole government effort coordinated by Ron Klain, who has been appointed White House chief of staff under President-elect Biden.This effort, which included a coordinated response with both African nations and China, improved preparedness within the U.S. and ultimately helped to save hundreds of thousands of lives around the world. A reduction in funding for our public health infrastructure, under the Trump administration, was a divestment in the health of the American people and should not have happened. A new administration that places public health at the helm, once again, will I hope prove to us that health is not just something that can be protected under an authoritarian government, but is in fact a right for all.This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Elanah Uretsky, Brandeis University.Read more: * Poor US pandemic response will reverberate in health care politics for years, health scholars warn * Experts agree that Trump’s coronavirus response was poor, but the US was ill-prepared in the first placeElanah Uretsky does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
Houthi rebels in Yemen have claimed responsibility for a cruise missile attack against an oil facility in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.The missile hit a fuel tank at a Saudi Arabian Oil Co. facility on Monday morning, and an Energy Ministry official said the strike caused a fire. The facility is near the King Abdulaziz International Airport.In 2015, the Iranian-backed Houthis seized Sanaa, the capital of Yemen. Since then, a Saudi-led coalition has been fighting the rebels, resulting in a humanitarian catastrophe. The Houthis have used cruise missiles against Saudi targets before, The Associated Press reports, with United Nations and Western officials accusing Iran of supplying the weapons, allegations Tehran has denied.A spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, Col. Turki al-Maliki, called the missile attack "cowardly," adding that it "not only targets the kingdom, but also targets the nerve center of the world's energy supply and the security of the global economy."More stories from theweek.com Biden is stealing the spotlight. Trump can't stand it. I was wrong about Mitt Romney The Secret Service is reportedly preparing for Trump's 'post-presidency life'
Rush Limbaugh fully reversed course on Monday, trashing the Trump legal team’s unhinged press conference detailing baseless election-fraud conspiracies just days after praising attorney Sidney Powell—whom the Trump team has since disavowed—for dropping “bombs all over the place.”Over the weekend, after Powell claimed millions of votes were stolen from President Donald Trump by corrupted software, Powell gave an off-the-rails interview to Newsmax TV in which she expanded her bonkers conspiracy to include Georgia’s Republican governor and secretary of state being bribed.With Powell having already come under fire from Fox News host Tucker Carlson for failing to provide any evidence for her outrageous allegations, which included claims that late Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez was involved in stealing votes, Team Trump finally distanced itself from Powell on Sunday evening, saying she “is practicing law on her own. She is not a member of the Trump Legal Team. She is also not a lawyer for the President in his personal capacity.”Trump and his legal team weren’t the only people trying to retroactively memory-hole Powell just days after giving over-the-top praise for the QAnon-boosting lawyer’s baseless conspiracies and incessant promises to “Release the Kraken.”During his Thursday broadcast, immediately following the insane news conference—which also featured Giuliani’s hair-dye streaking down his face as he acted out My Cousin Vinny—Limbaugh couldn’t contain his glee over Powell’s debunked theories about Dominion voting software flipping votes to President-elect Joe Biden.“Sidney Powell just dropped bombs all over the place,” Limbaugh bellowed at the time. “For instance, Trump votes were so overwhelming, the number of people who had voted for Trump that the rigged system, this Dominion system with the Smartmatic software melted down. It couldn’t handle, it couldn’t cheat fast enough, it could not overcome the number of legitimate Trump votes.”Repeatedly praising Powell’s “impeccable reputation” on Thursday afternoon, Limbaugh claimed that Powell had “evidence of fraud” and “detailed evidence of communist money” being used to “rig the elections,” telling his listeners that the presser was a “full hour of constant, overwhelming evidence.”Fast forward to Monday: Limbaugh now sings a different tune.“I mean, it’s a tough thing to deny that she was ever a part of it because they introduced her as part of it. I mean, she was at that press conference last week,” he noted, adding that there is no credibly denying Powell's official involvement on Trump's legal team. (Ellis had said Powell was a member of the legal team’s “elite strike force” on Thursday.)“You call a gigantic press conference like that—one that lasts an hour—and you announce ‘massive bombshells,’ then you better have some bombshells,” he added. “There better be something at that press conference other than what we got.”Noting that Powell “jumped the shark,” Limbaugh again expressed disappointment in the lack of evidence while throwing the president’s legal team under the bus.“I talked to so many people who were blown away by it, by the very nature of the press conference,” he concluded. “They promised blockbuster stuff, and then nothing happened, and that’s just, it’s not good.”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.
Conspiracy, illegal gambling, loansharking and drug trafficking among charges unsealed, U.S. attorney says.
During the eight years that President Obama and his team managed the economy, Americans were regularly assured that the president’s Keynesian policies would deliver striking growth in the years ahead. The growth repeatedly failed to materialize, and what followed was a master class in blamesmanship. No matter how far into the Obama term we were, the disappointing growth was a “new normal”- not the result of President Obama’s high tax and heavy regulatory policies. It was all the fault of the Bush administration. In some sense, Bush was portrayed for the entire eight years as a comic book villain. His policies were so terrible that they were able to overwhelm the economy for years.Watching Vice President Biden prepare to be president gives one a strong feeling of déjà vu. Last week he called on Congress to pass Nancy Pelosi’s large and untargeted stimulus bill, chock-full of candy that is poison to Senate Republicans, such as a massive bailout for blue states. He added that it is going to be a “long dark winter” with the emphasis on long, and promised to return to his “Build Back Better” agenda of tax hikes and regulatory crackdowns as soon as possible.Before they storm the castle, perhaps the Biden team should make a list of their assets. The first asset is a strong economy. The COVID-19 pandemic recession likely ended in the third quarter of this year, when real GDP advanced a whopping 33.1 percent. The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow estimate for the fourth quarter suggests it will post growth around six percentage points. Combining the two, that means that the economy will about return to the level of GDP it posted right before the pandemic began, back when we had the strongest economy in generations. So the “back” part of the Biden slogan is superfluous, as the economy will likely be back before he takes office. As has been discussed at length in this space, that agenda doesn’t build at all, but rather subtracts from economic activity. So it doesn’t build, we are already back, and it’s worse than the status quo.The second asset is a vaccine. We are very close to the widespread availability of two enormously successful vaccines. More could well be on the way. Most Americans should be able to receive them by the spring. This means that the acceleration in the economy that is currently underway should, if we leave it alone, pick up steam as things head back to a post-pandemic normal.The third asset is a likely Republican-controlled Senate that has already shown that it is able to pass significant stimulus legislation. But it is not going to hand out cash to blue states willy nilly as the House Democrats have proposed.Which completes the setting. The economy is carrying enormous positive momentum into next year. Since the case load is spiking now, there is some chance that lockdowns will get worse before they get better. Firms around the country need to tread water for a few more months, after which they can return to normal. The risk is that there is a wave of bankruptcies between now and the late spring, that is set off by a return to widespread shutdowns. To face this risk, the administration needs to show it is serious about finding a compromise stimulus package, and cognizant that a promise of massive tax hikes next year is a negative for business sentiment. Businesses that are just hanging on with hope of a brighter future could well give up if that future includes a government that taxes away all their profits.Unfortunately, Vice President Biden has come out with exactly the opposite of this message. By sticking to the Pelosi bill, he fails to signal a willingness to compromise, suggesting to those holding out for another round of stimulus that they have little to hope for. And the future is dark as well, since the administration’s tax hikes are coming. In other words, he seems poised to fritter away all of the economic gains that the U.S. has achieved in the second half of this year. If the double-dip recession hits next year, Biden will remind us over and over that its Donald Trump’s fault. My guess is that he will find a way to mention Bush as well.