By Ginger Gibson and Jessica Toonkel NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fourteen million viewers tuned in for the Republican Party presidential campaign debate on CNBC on Wednesday night, a record for the network, but criticism of the moderators left CNBC with a mixed victory. Ratings for the third debate among Republicans seeking their party's nomination to run for the White House in the November 2016 election trailed the other two aired on Fox and CNN, which drew 24 million and 22.9 million viewers. During and after the debate, some comments on social media and some politicians criticized moderators for being biased with their questions. Candidate Ted Cruz, a conservative U.S. Senator from Texas, said the event showed "why the American people don't trust the media." CNBC, in a statement announcing the ratings, defended itself against the criticism, describing the evening as "a hard-hitting debate that changed the course of the Republican primary." Media analyst and entrepreneur Steve Brill said that CNBC's focus on financial news would insulate it to some extent from any backlash. "I am not sure that it really affects the reputation of the network at the core of what it is, which is a financial news network," Brill said. CNBC sold all of its advertising slots during the prime time debate, charging advertisers $250,000 or more for a 30-second ad, according to a person familiar with the situation. "It's a victory, but it's a mixed victory for CNBC," said Barry Lowenthal, president of the The Media Kitchen, a New York-based media buyer. Questions at Republican primary debates have long been a point of contention within the party. Party chairman Reince Priebus instituted a series of rules after the 2012 election in an attempt to have moderators who would be interested in discussing conservative issues. On Thursday, Priebus sent an email titled "CNBC should be ashamed of themselves." He asked supporters to sign an online petition to "put the mainstream media on notice" about bias. The debate was moderated by CNBC’s Becky Quick, John Harwood and Carl Quintanilla. The audience booed loudly at them several times - sometimes at the encouragement of the candidates. “There were a lot of conservatives urging them to go hard after the media and that’s what they did,” Harwood said. He said moderators were needed to ask the candidates difficult questions about economic policy. The moderators had little tolerance for candidates trying to interject and respond to another candidate’s answer, frequently cutting off anyone who tried to chime in. That, in turn, drew more jeers from the audience and criticism from the candidates. When former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee was asked whether Donald Trump has the “moral authority” to be president, the crowd booed. “Such a nasty question,” Trump said. Merrill Brown, director of the School of Communications and Media at Montclair State University, said there was reason for CNBC to celebrate because they delivered to advertisers "but there is no bigger win here" and "no one is going to be converted to being a regular watcher." (Reporting by Ginger Gibson in Washington, Jessica Toonkel in New York and Lisa Richwine in Los Angeles; Editing by Grant McCool)
- Business Insider
The study on car-buying trends argued that Tesla "could be displaced by a worthy alternative," and people are open to other options.
- USA TODAY Opinion
The problem in 2020 was with the Republican candidate. That won't change in 2024 if Trump stays on top.
- Associated Press
A conference dedicated to the future of the conservative movement turned into an ode to Donald Trump on Friday as speakers declared their fealty to the former president and attendees posed for selfies with a golden statue of his likeness. As the Republican Party grapples with deep divisions over the extent to which they should embrace Trump after losing the White House and both chambers of Congress, those gathered at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference made clear they are not ready to move on from the former president — or from his baseless charges that the November election was rigged against him. “Donald J. Trump ain’t going anywhere,” said Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, one of several potential 2024 presidential contenders who spoke at the event, being held this year in Orlando to bypass COVID-19 restrictions.
At least two political rights groups advocating democracy have quietly quit Hong Kong and moved overseas, unnerved by a national security law that has fanned fears over the erosion of freedoms under China’s rule, sources told Reuters. In the past, China-focused rights groups had valued the wide-ranging autonomy, including freedom of speech and assembly, guaranteed for Hong Kong when control over the former British colony was returned to Beijing in 1997. But some non-government organisations (NGOs) say the new legislation means they face a choice of either having to leave Hong Kong or work with the same kind of fears and constraints they would encounter in mainland China.
- USA TODAY
A pilot at American Airlines radioed Sunday that an unidentified object flew over their jet during a flight while they were over New Mexico.
- Yahoo News
The decision to reopen the Texas influx shelter reveals how, in opting for a more humane approach to migrant children, the Biden administration is left dealing with some of the same tough choices that vexed its predecessors.
What Harry thinks of The Crown, what the Queen got Archie for Christmas, and other key information.
- The Independent
The anchor was called out “fatphobic” on social media
- The Daily Beast
Prince Harry Tells Friend James Corden He Left the Royal Family Because It Was Destroying His Mental Health
KOEN VAN WEELPrince Harry has said that he stepped back from royal duties because the British press was “toxic” and “destroying” his mental health.In an extraordinary interview unparalleled in the annals of royal history, Harry gave a candid interview to his close friend James Corden on The Late Late Show while they toured Los Angeles on an open-air double-decker bus. Corden was a guest at Harry and Meghan’s wedding in 2018 and arrived at the evening reception dressed as Henry VIII. Another guest at the wedding, Oprah Winfrey, has taped an interview primarily with Meghan that will be screened next weekend.Oprah Winfrey’s Interview With Meghan Markle and Harry Will ‘Shine a Light on What They Have Been Through’The two men were served afternoon tea, which Corden said he had provided to remind Harry of home, however the tea service was abandoned after the bus braked sharply, depositing the contents of a tea trolley on top of the prince.“Clear it up, Harry,” Corden joked as the prince picked up tea cups and scones.While the 17-minute long package had a humorous tone and was packed with jokes and gags, it also provided the most candid insight yet into why Harry withdrew from royal duties.Asked about his decision to leave royal life, Harry said he was left with no choice because the British press “was destroying my mental health.”He said of the “toxic” situation: “I did what any husband and father would do—I need to get my family out of here.”In what will be perceived as a dig at the royal establishment that refused to accept Harry and Meghan’s proposal of a hybrid public-private role, Harry said: “We never walked away, and as far as I’m concerned, what decisions are made on that side, I will never walk away.”Royal Family ‘Wringing Their Hands’ at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s ActivismHarry said that his life now would continue to be about “public service” and added that he and Meghan were “trying to bring some compassion and try to make people happy and try to change the world in any small way we can.”When Harry said he and Meghan often watched Jeopardy! and Netflix (with whom the couple recently signed a $100 million production deal) in the evenings after putting Archie to bed, Corden asked him about The Crown and its controversial portrayal of his family’s history.Harry, who joked he would like to be played in the series by Damian Lewis, said he preferred it to the tabloid media coverage of the royals because it “does not pretend to be news.”He added: “It’s fictional. But it’s loosely based on the truth.“Of course it’s not strictly accurate, but it gives you a rough idea about what that lifestyle—the pressures of putting duty and service above family and everything else—what can come from that.”He continued: “I’m way more comfortable with The Crown than I am seeing the stories written about my family, or my wife or myself, because it’s the difference between fiction—take it how you will—and being reported on as fact because you’re supposedly news. I have a real issue with that.”Harry also opened up about meeting Meghan and how he knew she was the one on their second date.“We hit it off with each other, and we were just so comfortable in each other’s company,” he said.“Dating me or any member of the royal family is kind of flipped upside down. All the dates become dinners or watching the TV or chatting at home.“We went from zero to 60 in the first two months.”Meghan, who is pregnant with the couple’s second child, made a cameo in the interview via FaceTime when Harry and Corden paid a trip to the house from the ’90s TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.When Corden suggested the couple should buy the house, Meghan said: “I think we’ve done enough moving.”During the visit to the house, Corden and Harry spoke to the owner and jokingly made an offer to buy it, before Harry asked if he could use the toilet.“I’m actually dying for a pee. Can I use your bathroom?” he asked.Showing that family relations are at least still somewhat functional, Harry said his grandmother, the queen, bought his son Archie a waffle maker for Christmas.He revealed Meghan now makes waffles with a “beautiful organic mix” and they eat them for breakfast with toppings including berries and syrup.He also said that both his grandparents know how to use Zoom, but joked that his grandfather slams the laptop shut physically to finish a call.Over to you, Oprah.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
Under the new rule, members who attempt to bring firearms to the floor could be fined
TikTokers tried to prove that snow in Texas was 'fake' as weather conspiracy theories ran wild online
From "fake snow" to Bill Gates, conspiracy theories about the Texas storm are spreading. Right-wing pundits and politicians aren't helping.
- Business Insider
Merkel says she won't take AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine because she's too old, as 1.4 million jabs are left unused
The German chancellor said she wasn't eligible because the vaccine isn't approved for people over 65 in Germany.
- Business Insider
While Biden visits storm-torn Texas, Sen. Ted Cruz will be giving a speech on 'cancel culture' in Florida
The president is set to tour the state with Gov. Greg Abbott.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who excoriated former President Donald Trump over the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot less than two weeks ago, said on Thursday that he would "absolutely" vote for Trump if he became the 2024 Republican presidential nominee. McConnell, who Trump blasted last week as "a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack," said he expects to see an open contest for the Republican White House nomination in 2024 but showed no hesitation in backing Trump when asked whether he would vote for him as nominee.
- Associated Press
A U.S. airstrike targeting facilities used by Iran-backed militias in Syria appears to be a message to Tehran delivered by a new American administration still figuring out its approach to the Middle East. The strike was seemingly a response to stepped-up rocket attacks by such militias that have targeted U.S. interests in Iraq, where the armed groups are based. It comes even as Washington and Tehran consider a return to the 2015 accord meant to rein in Iran’s nuclear program.
- The Telegraph
Former SNP minister demands release of Salmond documents and says Sturgeon must go if they show conspiracy
A former SNP minister has called for secret documents about the Alex Salmond affair to be made public and said Nicola Sturgeon should resign if they prove allegations of a conspiracy. Alex Neil, an MSP who held senior cabinet posts in Edinburgh under both Mr Salmond and Ms Sturgeon, called for transparency from both the Scottish Government and the Crown Office, which have both been criticised for withholding evidence. Mr Salmond has alleged that senior figures in the SNP, including Ms Sturgeon’s husband and her chief of staff, conspired against him by using sexual assault allegations to attempt to ruin his political career and potentially imprison him. Ms Sturgeon has said claims of a conspiracy involving not only the SNP but the prosecution service and other public bodies are ridiculous.
Episode eight finally introduces Wanda Maximoff's comic-book name that's been hinted at throughout the first season of "WandaVision."
The United States carried out air strikes authorised by President Joe Biden against facilities belonging to Iranian-backed militia in eastern Syria on Thursday, in response to rocket attacks against U.S. targets in Iraq, the Pentagon said. Syria did not immediately comment, but state-owned Ekhbariya TV said the strikes were conducted at dawn against several targets near the Syrian-Iraqi border. Biden's decision to strike only in Syria and not in Iraq, at least for now, gives Iraq's government some breathing room as it investigates a Feb. 15 attack that wounded Americans.
Some on-screen love interest age gaps are surprising, and other times, actors are almost the same age as their on-screen children.
- Business Insider
If the mysterious creator of bitcoin ever reveals their identity, the crypto market could be upended. Here's what we know about Satoshi Nakamoto.