National arts reporter Geoff Edgers interviewed comedian Lewis Black on Instagram Live on Oct. 30.
National arts reporter Geoff Edgers interviewed comedian Lewis Black on Instagram Live on Oct. 30.
President-elect Joe Biden will start introducing his Cabinet picks Tuesday, and the consensus in Washington was perhaps best described by Brendan Buck, a former top aide to Republican House Speakers Paul Ryan and John Boehner:> These Biden nominations and appointments are so delightfully boring> > — Brendan Buck (@BrendanBuck) November 23, 2020Most of the names Biden announced Monday — Antony Blinken as secretary of state, Jake Sullivan as national security adviser, Alejandro Mayorkas as Homeland Security secretary, Avril Haines as director of national intelligence, Linda Thomas-Greenfield as U.N. ambassador, and Ron Klein as White House chief of staff — are career professionals little known outside Washington policy and politics circles, but well regarded within them. "By design, they seem meant to project a dutiful competence," The Washington Post reports.Biden has also chosen some boldface names: John Kerry as international climate envoy and former Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen as treasury secretary. What ties them all together is the prospect of a Biden administration "filled with people who have deep experience in government and in the agencies they will be running," Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer write at Politico.You can expect fewer impulsive tweets and more of "a linear, plodding, purposeful, and standard policy process" run "by political professionals who aren't likely to try to burn down the White House over petty disagreements and jockeying to get in the good graces of the president," Sherman and Palmer add. "In other words, if the Trump White House was like downing a vat of Tabasco sauce over the past four years, the Biden White House will be like sipping unflavored almond milk."The selection process hasn't been entirely without drama, but "the relatively uncontroversial nature of these picks has been by design," Politico's Ryan Lizza reports. "Internally, Biden officials have been instructed to emphasize to reporters how normal the picks are, how 'these are tested leaders.' It's seen as a success if the Biden staff and Cabinet announcements don't make much news."More stories from theweek.com Obama the pretender Biden says with his election, world leaders know 'America's back' and 'at the head of the table once again' The airline industry begins to plan COVID-19 'vaccination passports' for international travel
Congresswoman’s criticism comes as virus spikes across US
Russia said on Tuesday one of its warships caught and chased off a U.S. destroyer operating illegally in its territorial waters in the Sea of Japan, but the U.S. Navy denied wrongdoing by its vessel and accused Moscow of making excessive maritime claims. The Admiral Vinogradov, a Russian destroyer, verbally warned USS John S. McCain, a U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer, and threatened to ram it in order to force it to leave the area, prompting it to return to neutral waters, Moscow said.
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.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Tuesday predicted President-elect Joe Biden's new hires for his incoming administration would be "polite and orderly caretakers of America's decline," facetiously citing how many members of the group have Ivy League degrees.It's true that many of Biden's picks so far went to Ivy League schools, but Rubio's remark makes less sense when considering that the current White House is a similarly Ivy-infused crowd. President Trump himself went to the University of Pennsylvania, after all.> Come on, @marcorubio pic.twitter.com/xYjMwjRyli> > -- Yashar Ali (@yashar) November 24, 2020The GOP's critique that Democratic administrations are oversaturated with Ivy Leaguers isn't new. NBC News' Benjy Sarlin pointed out that Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who has a Harvard degree, issued a similar complaint about former the Cabinet chosen by former President Barack Obama, who defeated him in the 2012 election. > This is always a classic. Mitt Romney derided Obama's "Harvard faculty lounge" cabinet in 2012 while he had a Harvard JD/MBA, three (!!!) sons who attended Harvard business, and his advisors included famous Harvard faculty members. https://t.co/GiTVVD5Jlw> > -- Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) November 24, 2020More stories from theweek.com Obama the pretender Biden says with his election, world leaders know 'America's back' and 'at the head of the table once again' The airline industry begins to plan COVID-19 'vaccination passports' for international travel
Charles Koch told Axios that he was "horrified" by some of the policies and positions that the Republican politicians he supported were talking about.
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
Japan and China agreed on Tuesday to restart coronavirus-hit business travel this month and to continue talks on disputed isles in the East China Sea, in the first high-level dialogue since Japan picked a new leader in September. The two-day visit to Tokyo by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi comes amid growing concerns over Beijing's assertiveness in the region. Talks with Japanese counterpart Toshimitsu Motegi covered maritime tensions, trade and the pandemic response.
Mr Wong and two fellow activists are now facing jail for taking part in last year's protests.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday phoned Jonathan Pollard, the former U.S. Navy analyst convicted of spying for Israel in the 1980s, telling him: “We’re waiting for you.” The U.S. Justice Department announced last Friday that Pollard had completed his parole, clearing the way for him to move to Israel 35 years after he was arrested. “You should have now a comfortable life where you can pursue, both of you can pursue your interests,” Netanyahu said in a conversation with Pollard and his wife Esther.
When asked if relations with the United States might improve with Blinken replacing Mike Pompeo, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian sidestepped the question by saying he does not comment on U.S. domestic affairs. He reiterated that China was willing to improve communication, strengthen cooperation and manage differences with the United States. Biden will also likely name Linda Thomas-Greenfield as ambassador to the U.N., bringing deep foreign-policy backgrounds to the nascent administration while providing a sharp contrast with current president Donald Trump, who distrusted such experience and embraced an "America First" policy that strained longstanding U.S. relationships. Blinken could be named as early as Tuesday (November 24), according to sources close to Biden.
President Trump on Tuesday surprised the White House press corps by announcing he would be making remarks in the briefing room in just a few minutes. As it turned out, he just wanted to highlight that the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit 30,000 for the first time ever earlier in the day. He called it a "sacred number."> President Trump: "I just want to congratulate everybody. The stock market Dow Jones Industrial Average just hit 30,000 which is the highest in history. We've never broken 30,000 and that's just despite everything that's taken place with the pandemic." pic.twitter.com/aKsXFqucfu> > -- CSPAN (@cspan) November 24, 2020Trump congratulated his administration and, "most importantly," the American people for the milestone, and then walked out of the room. The entire event lasted just over one minute, which CNN's Jim Acosta described as the "shortest briefing ever." Reporters, as has been the case for the past several weeks, fired questions at him to no avail and were left scratching their heads. > Trump spoke briefly about the stock market and took no questions.> > After he leaves, you can hear a reporter say, "Well that was weird as shit." pic.twitter.com/lrkjlEHx3h> > -- The Recount (@therecount) November 24, 2020More stories from theweek.com Obama the pretender Biden says with his election, world leaders know 'America's back' and 'at the head of the table once again' The airline industry begins to plan COVID-19 'vaccination passports' for international travel
Computer repairman John Paul Mac Isaac, who gave a copy of the laptop to Rudy Giuliani, shuttered his Delaware store and a neighbor said he left town.
A metal monolith has been found in the heart of Utah's red rock country by a state employee who was carrying out a count of bighorn sheep. The shiny structure was spotted by a biologist while conducting an aerial survey of southern Utah as part of a programme to double the number of sheep in the area. Bret Hutchings, the helicopter pilot, was dumbfounded. “That’s been about the strangest thing that I’ve come across out there in all my years of flying," he told the local tv news channel, KSLTV. “I’d say it’s probably between 10 and 12 feet high,” he added. “We were kind of joking around that if one of us suddenly disappears, then the rest of us make a run for it.” How the monolith got there remains a mystery. According to Mr Hutchings it was not just dropped in place, but firmly planted into the ground. He speculated the piece was a work of art deposited in the middle of nowhere by what he described as a "new wave" artist - perhaps inspired by Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film, "2001: A Space Odyssey".
On the heels of his record-breaking but unsuccessful bid to oust U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina's Jaime Harrison on Tuesday launched a political action committee, utilizing his newly minted status as a fundraising powerhouse to try to provide a sustained boost to other Democrats that he hopes can help flip more areas from red to blue. Dirt Road PAC will focus on long term investments in state-level Democratic candidates and parties like intensive voter registration efforts in areas that have been seen by Democrats as harder to win, Harrison told The Associated Press ahead of the official launch. “The days of just swooping in every few years and putting up a candidate, having no grassroots infrastructure and thinking that we’re going to win - that’s just not working,” Harrison told the AP on Monday.
Decorating mansion will be her final official act as first lady
An ex-police officer alleged to be the leader of the violent La Linea drug cartel in Chihuahua, Mexico, is in custody for the murder of three American mothers and six children including 8-month-old twins, who were killed in a fiery attack on their convoy of SUVs last November.Roberto Gonzalez Montes—known in crime circles as Mudo or El 32—was taken into custody late Monday in a top-secret joint-forces operation carried out by the attorney general’s office without state help out of fear Montes would be tipped off by corrupt officials.The Mexican Cartels vs. a Mormon Sect: Behind the Horrific Massacre of American Moms and ChildrenLast November, attackers fired on a convoy of SUVs carrying 17 mothers and children—all dual Mexican American citizens—as they drove from their compound in Sonora to a wedding in Chihuahua. The cars were riddled with bullets and set on fire, killing nine people. The rest of those in the convoy escaped into desert terrain and hid out until they were rescued.The family members were part of the LeBaron family and belonged to an offshoot Mormon group that settled in the Mexican border state of Sonora half a century ago. They were frequently involved in scuffles with drug cartels who feared they would report illegal activity near their compound to authorities.The victims included Rhonita Miller LeBaron, 30, her son, 13, daughter, 11 and 8-month old twins. Christina and Dawna Langford, 43, and two of Dawna’s children, age 11 and 3 also died. The babies did not suffer gunshot wounds but were burned alive when the perpetrators ignited their vehicles.Mexican authorities have never revealed a motive for the attack. Some have speculated that the family was simply caught in the crossfire of rival cartels as they drove along a rural road. The road ran straight through the territory under the control of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s Sinaloa Cartel which at the time was in fierce battles with the La Linea, to which Montes was said to have belonged.The victims’ family instead says the attack was an “ambush” based on accounts by the survivors, including many of the children. In 2009, the LeBaron family took a stand against a cartel in Chihuahua after a 16-year-old member of the community was kidnapped and held for a $1 million ransom. The family refused to pay the ransom and instead waged a public campaign to pressure the government to take action and secure the boy’s release which ultimately happened with no money exchanged.“This was no crossfire,” Alex Le Baron, an elected deputy to the Chihuahua state legislature, told Mexico’s W Radio. “It couldn’t have been a mistake,” he said. “This is terrorism, plain and simple.”Montes’ arrest is the second in a month after Jose Lara was captured in connection with the attack on November 5, the one-year anniversary of the massacre. Two other suspects thought to have ancillary roles were arrested earlier this month. 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.
Germany is reducing its military presence in the northern Afghan province of Kunduz, a stronghold of the Taliban where German troops have been advising Afghan forces on the fight against the insurgents for years, the military said on Tuesday. The move was planned by NATO's mission in Kabul in late summer and is not a reaction to the United States' announcement last week that it will cut U.S. forces in Afghanistan to 2,500 from 4,500 by mid-January, a spokesman for Germany's Joint Operations Command said. The drawdown of foreign forces, even though peace talks for the country are stalled, could mean greater influence for the Taliban in Afghanistan, marking further challenges for a nation torn by two decades of war and now ravaged by COVID-19.
On its way out the door, the Trump administration is enacting new rules, regulations and orders that it hopes will box in President-elect Joe Biden's administration on numerous foreign policy matters and cement President Donald Trump’s “America First” legacy in international affairs. In recent weeks, the White House, State Department and other agencies have been working overtime to produce new policy pronouncements on Iran, Israel, China and elsewhere that aim to lock in Trump's vision for the world.
Honestie Hodges was hospitalized on her birthday, the same day she got tested positive. A Michigan girl who made national headlines after being handcuffed at gunpoint by police at the age of 11 has died from complications of COVID-19. Honestie Hodges, 14, was admitted to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids on Nov. 9, the same day she tested positive for the virus.