Now to country music's golden night - the CMA Awards. And what a night it was, with incredible performances and a ceremony that looked quite different this year. ABC's Lara Spencer reports.
- Business Insider
Trump is reportedly considering preemptively pardoning as many as 20 associates before leaving office
Trump, his family members, and some of his allies will face a slew of civil and criminal investigations on a federal and state level after January 20.
- 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.
- Associated Press
There is enough evidence to warrant a trial for an Illinois 17-year-old accused of killing two men and wounding a third during a night of unrest in Wisconsin, a court commissioner ruled Thursday after a contentious hearing in which the defendant's lawyer tried to show he had acted in self-defense. Kyle Rittenhouse, of Antioch, Illinois, is charged with homicide and attempted homicide for the Aug. 25 fatal shootings of Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and the wounding of Gaige Grosskreutz during a night of unrest two days after the police shooting in Kenosha of Jacob Blake, a local Black man.
- NBC News
The Bond Fire started with flames at one home, before it reached nearby vegetation and spread out of control.
- 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 Florida attorney reportedly under investigation after telling Republicans to change 'your address for the next 2 months' for Georgia runoffs Biden says he'll ask Americans to wear masks for 1st 100 days he's in office
- 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.
- Architectural Digest
From a private island to a tiny Vermont tree houseOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- Associated Press
A top Pakistani court on Wednesday declared the country’s ailing former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who lives in exile in London, a fugitive from justice after he failed to return home to face additional corruption charges. The move by the Islamabad High Court comes months after Sharif was given the chance to voluntarily return home. The next court hearing will be held in a week’s time, when the judges will discuss whether to proceed with the hearings and try Sharif in absentia.
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.
In September, a senior Iranian commander made an unannounced visit to one of Shi'ite Islam's holiest sites in the southern Iraqi city of Kerbala. Hassan Pelarak, a top officer in the Revolutionary Guards' elite Quds Force, had recently been sanctioned by the U.S. for weapons smuggling. The vast, $600 million expansion at the Imam Hussein shrine, which is revered as the place of martyrdom of the Prophet Mohammed's grandson, will swell the capacity of what is already the world's largest annual pilgrimage, dwarfing the Hajj to Saudi Arabia's Mecca.
- Reuters Videos
Hong Kong media tycoon and pro-democracy campaigner Jimmy Lai was denied bail on Thursday. Lai, and two of his senior executives, are facing a charge of fraud relating to the lease of a building that houses Lai's Apple Daily, an anti-government tabloid. Authorities have intensified a crackdown on key opposition figures in the Chinese-ruled city, following Beijing's imposition of a national security law on June 30. The new law punishes anything China considers subversion, secession, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces. Lai, and his colleagues are accused of falsely representing the use of their office to their landlord. While the fraud charge does not fall under the new law, the case marks another crackdown on pro-democracy figures. Lai's appearance in court came just a day after one of Hong Kong's most prominent activists, Joshua Wong, was jailed for more than 13 months for his role in an unlawful anti-government rally in 2019. Back in August, Lai was arrested after about 200 police raided his offices. Hong Kong police later said they had arrested nine men and one woman for suspected offenses, including collusion with a foreign country to endanger national security. Lai has been a frequent visitor to Washington, where he's met with senior officials to rally support for Hong Kong's democracy, prompting Beijing to label him a "traitor."
- 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.”
- Associated Press
The leadership of a broad coalition of Western Hemisphere nations on Wednesday accused the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor of failing to take swift action on allegations that Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s government committed crimes against humanity. The General Secretariat of the Organization of American States said in a report that ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s failure to open a formal investigation into Venezuela is “stunning” and “inexplicable.” The leadership of the 35-member body said the slow pace of the ICC's review of Venezuela's situation has emboldened Maduro's government to commit more crimes believing that it can act with total impunity.
In a four-page order issued on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Janet Neff said she would not strike the disputed document from the court record. Lawyers for the city of Detroit had asked Neff to strike the document as a way of sanctioning Trump's campaign. "While we are disappointed that sanctions were not awarded, this is only one of many cases filed in Michigan, and we do expect these lawyers to be sanctioned by some courts for their repeated frivolous lawsuits," David Fink, a lawyer for the city of Detroit, said in a statement.
- 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.
- Associated Press
Arizona Democrat and former astronaut Mark Kelly was sworn into the Senate on Wednesday, narrowing Republican control of the chamber and underscoring his state's shift from red to blue. Kelly, 56, defeated GOP Sen. Martha McSally in last month's election, making her one of only three incumbents to lose. If Democrats win both, they will command the 50-50 chamber for the new Congress that begins in early January because Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would cast tie-breaking votes.
After apparent criticism from Dr Fauci, the UK defended the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.
- Associated Press
Three former presidents say they'd be willing to take a coronavirus vaccine publicly, once one becomes available, to encourage all Americans to get inoculated against a disease that has already killed more than 275,000 people nationwide. Former President Barack Obama said during an episode of SiriusXM’s “The Joe Madison Show" airing Thursday, “I promise you that when it’s been made for people who are less at risk, I will be taking it.” “I may end up taking it on TV or having it filmed," Obama added, “just so that people know that I trust this science.”