Coronavirus cases worldwide reached 100 million as new variants keep spreading.
Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler approved an operation to capture or kill murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, according to U.S. intelligence released on Friday as the United States imposed sanctions on some of those involved but spared the crown prince himself in an effort to preserve relations with the kingdom. Khashoggi, a U.S. resident who wrote opinion columns for the Washington Post critical of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's policies, was killed and dismembered by a team of operatives linked to the prince in the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul. The Saudi government, which has denied any involvement by the crown prince, issued a statement rejecting the U.S. report's findings and repeating its previous statements that Khashoggi's killing was a heinous crime by a rogue group.
- The Independent
At least 60 people charged for their alleged involvement in the deadly riots were granted taxpayer-funded representation
- ABC News Videos
Plus: President Joe Biden declares a major disaster declaration for Oklahoma ahead of Texas trip.
- LA Times
A newly released U.S. report concludes that the Saudi crown prince directed the operation to kill the Washington Post journalist.
- Associated Press
Robert Irwin has long acted as a voice for animals. The 17-year-old son of the late conservationist Steve Irwin is lending his voice to a character on the popular animated children's TV show “Bluey.” The Brisbane-produced “Bluey,” which centers on an eponymous 6-year-old Blue Heeler pup, her sister Bingo and their parents, Chilli and Bandit, has in just a few years grown into a worldwide phenomenon.
- Reuters Videos
A fleet of yellow taxis line up outside Gaza's newly reopened Rafah crossing into Egypt, polished and ready to roll, but who knows for how long.It's been two weeks since one of Gaza's few gates to the outside world swung open, after years of blockade.Life is trickling back into the economy. Jaber Abu Talal is a transit taxi driver, who relies on the crossing."It’s good that the crossing is open, we will be making a living. When the crossing is closed, we stay at home. These cars have no work inside the town."What unlocked the door were Egyptian-brokered talks between rival Palestinian factions to smooth the way for possible elections.Egypt had been opening Rafah rarely, and for just a few days at a time.There's no airport in Gaza and an Israeli-led blockade on people and goods has inflicted grave hardship for years.Hepatitis patient Uday Zaanin was waiting to board a bus."It is a lifeline for the Gaza Strip and its people, we don't have another crossing, our only crossing is Rafah crossing to Egypt and then on to other countries. When it is closed that means Gaza is dead and we feel like we're in prison. When it is open we can breathe and we can travel where we want."About 2 million Palestinians live in the 140-square-mile Gaza strip, where uncertainty is a fact of life.Israel and Egypt cite security concerns for the restrictions, pointing to the fact that Gaza is controlled by the Islamist militant group Hamas.
- The Independent
Controversial congresswoman previously said the Republican party belong to former president
U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday told Saudi King Salman he would work for bilateral ties "as strong and transparent as possible," the White House said, ahead of the expected release of a sensitive U.S. intelligence report on the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The report is a declassified version of a top-secret assessment that sources say singles out the 85-year-old king's son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for approving the murder of Khashoggi in the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul. Saudi Arabia denies that the 35-year-old crown prince, the de facto ruler of the kingdom, approved the killing.
The "Harry Potter" star may be best-known for playing Hermione Granger, but critics also enjoyed her roles in "Ballet Shoes" and "Little Women."
Britain's 94-year-old Queen Elizabeth, who last month had her first COVID-19 vaccination dose, has encouraged the public to follow suit, saying it did not hurt and those who were wary should think of others. The monarch and her 99-year-old husband Prince Philip, who is currently in hospital with a non-COVID infection, received their shots from a household doctor at the queen’s Windsor Castle residence, with their age putting them in the priority group for England’s coronavirus vaccine rollout. "Once you've had a vaccine you have a feeling of you know, you're protected which I think is very important and as far as I could make out it was quite harmless," the queen said in a video call with health officials overseeing inoculations across the four nations of the United Kingdom.
- Associated Press
Kyle Connor scored twice and the Winnipeg Jets spoiled Dominique Ducharme's debut as Montreal's coach, rallying to beat the Canadiens 6-3 on Thursday night to open a two-game series. The Jets rallied after Montreal took a 2-0 lead into the second period.
Israel has frozen its programme to send COVID-19 vaccines abroad to buy international goodwill, Defence Minister Benny Gantz said on Thursday, after the initiative came under legal scrutiny. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has come under fire for donating COVID-19 vaccines to foreign allies, while Palestinians complained that, as an occupying power, Israel should be supplying more to them. Israeli public broadcaster Kan, which earlier this week reported that Israel would send small shipments to 19 countries, said Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit was seeking clarification about the programme.
- Business Insider
Students from Rep. Madison Cawthorn's college said he used 'fun drives' to corner women with sexual advances, report says
Two former resident assistants told BuzzFeed News they warned women in their dorms not to go on drives with Cawthorn because "bad things happened."
- Business Insider
Federal investigators zeroed in on the assailant after video footage showed the suspect attacking officers with bear spray, The Times reported.
- The State
“Her daddy got to heaven just before she did.”
- Charlotte Observer
This is the shocking story of the alleged sexual abuses that led to the January arrest of Sandra Hiler — aka Charlotte piano teacher Keiko Aloe — as told by her 21-year-old daughter.
- National Review
After only a month in power, President Biden has used lethal military force in reaction to Iranian-sponsored attacks on Americans in Iraq. The strike, said to be by F-15 jets, apparently attacked buildings owned by Iraqi Shiite militia groups along the Iraqi-Syrian border. It’s worth pausing to note that those Iranian-backed Iraqi Shiite groups and not the government of Iraq control that part of the border. In other words, Iran and its proxies control a route from Iraq through Syria to Lebanon, where the largest Iranian proxy, Hezbollah, is situated. The borders have been erased. The Biden strike is a message to Iran, a warning shot against continuing attacks by the militias Tehran backs. According to press reports, Biden was presented with a range of options and chose one of the softest — a limited strike inside Syria rather than Iraq. There is a logic to this choice. First, U.S. attacks inside Iraq would likely complicate life for Prime Minister Kadhimi, whom we are generally supporting, and spur the forces hostile to any U.S. presence — not least the Iranian-allied militias — to demand that all U.S. forces be expelled. Second, should further Iranian-sponsored attacks require Biden to hit Iranian-backed forces again, this limited strike allows him to say he tried patience and restraint and they failed. But the strike inside Syria and at Iranian proxies may also send messages Biden does not intend: that the United States will never hit Tehran’s proxies inside Iraq and that it will never hit Iran. If that’s what the Iranian regime infers, they will have the militias strike again and again; they will not be deterred because they will see the attacks as nearly cost-free. The law of averages suggests that sooner or later these continued attacks will kill Americans. That’s when the president will face the need to punish Iran and truly establish deterrence; merely attacking its proxies will be inadequate. One of the key functions of the Shiite militias in Iraq is to allow Iran to attack U.S. forces while, by absorbing any penalty, keeping Iran safe. If there are a series of attacks, harming Americans and eventually killing one or more, the kind of limited response from the United States that we saw this past week will not be enough. That does not mean World War III and it does not mean American bombers over Tehran, but it does mean that Biden must contemplate striking Iranian assets rather than expendable proxy groups. Meanwhile, there was zero progress on the nuclear-negotiations front this past week. On the contrary, Iran did not agree to attend the EU-sponsored talks that the United States has agreed to attend, it limited International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors’ access to Iran, and it threatened to enrich uranium to 60 percent. Nuclear power requires enrichment to no more than 5 percent; the only use for uranium enriched to 60 percent is in preparing a nuclear weapon. The very least that can be said about President Biden’s second month in power is that we are seeing any dreams of a quick return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, also known as the JCPOA, and a quick resolution to U.S.-Iranian confrontations dissolve before our eyes. The president’s refusal, thus far, to lift any sanctions and his willingness to use force against Iranian proxies suggest a more realistic assessment of Iran than many feared. No doubt there will be many deep discussions, even debates, within the administration over what the next move should be. The administration’s willingness to return to the JCPOA if Iran went back into compliance with it has not moved the Islamic Republic an inch. Similarly, the administration’s reversal of the designation of the Houthis in Yemen as a terrorist group, and its decision to halt the sale of “offensive” weapons to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen, were met with zero flexibility by the Houthis — who have carried out additional terrorist attacks since the policy changes. Down the road the administration faces an even greater challenge than what to do about attacks on Americans in Iraq. President Biden has already decided that they will be met with force, and one must assume that if the attacks continue and escalate, the counter-attacks will as well. But what about Iran’s expulsion of nuclear inspectors, which violates the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the “Additional Protocol” to the JCPOA (that allowed snap inspections)? What about enrichment to 60 percent, if that indeed occurs? How far down the road toward building a nuclear weapon will the administration be willing to let Iran go? That’s a hypothetical question today, but if Iran keeps going it will soon be keeping U.S. officials up at night. Biden is the fifth American president in a row, by my count, to say Iran would never be permitted to build a nuclear weapon. Unless Iran changes course he could be the first to have to prove it.
Residents of an Indian slum thought they were getting vaccinated like everyone else but were unknowingly part of a clinical trial
After a white van advertised COVID-19 vaccines to a central-Indian slum, many of its residents feel duped after finding out they were in a trial.
Ben Affleck says his divorce from Jennifer Garner and other 'life experience' shaped him into a better actor
In a new interview as part of The Hollywood Reporter's Actor Roundtable series, Affleck spoke about Garner and the three kids they share.
- Business Insider
Ted Cruz rants about comedians, late-night TV, and mask-wearing before shouting at people to 'just have fun' in wild CPAC speech
"Orlando is awesome. It's not as nice as Cancún, but it's nice," Cruz said, referring to the scandal he sparked by leaving Texas for Mexico.