State health officials reported at least 657 new positive coronavirus cases in Wisconsin on Wednesday.
Ever since Britain returned Hong Kong to Chinese rule in 1997, opposition activists have tried to bring full democracy to the city, believing that China would live up to its promise to one day allow universal suffrage to elect the city's leader. Chinese parliamentarians in Beijing unveiled details of a plan to revamp the political structure of China's freest city that critics say has all but killed off the pledge of one person, one vote. China's move comes months after a sweeping national security law was imposed on the Asian financial hub, cracking down on dissent, and more than a year after months of sometimes violent anti-China, pro-democracy protests which swept the city.
- Associated Press
Four of 47 pro-democracy activists charged under Hong Kong's tough national security law were released on bail Friday after prosecutors dropped an appeal of an earlier court decision. The 47 activists were charged Sunday with conspiracy to commit subversion under the security law over their involvement in an unofficial primary election last year, which authorities say was a plot to subvert state power and paralyze the government. The four activists — Clarisse Yeung, Lawrence Lau, Hendrick Lui and Mike Lam — appeared in court on Friday prior to being released.
- Business Insider
Jared Kushner is said to have distanced himself back from his father-in-law, but is likely to return if Trump decides on a 2024 run, sources told CNN.
- Reuters Videos
An Alitalia plane carrying the pontiff, his entourage, a security detail, and about 75 journalists, touched down slightly ahead of schedule at Baghdad International Airport on Friday (March 5) afternoon."I am happy to be making trips again," he said in brief comments to reporters aboard his plane, alluding to international travel restrictions.The Iraq trip is his first outside Italy since November 2019.Francis's whirlwind tour will take him by plane, helicopter and possibly armored car to four cities, including areas that most foreign dignitaries are unable to reach, let alone in such a short space of time.He will also be making a scheduled stop to say Mass at a Baghdad church.
- The Daily Beast
Mark Schiefelbein-Pool/GettyMOSCOW–With Vladimir Putin’s popularity already in decline, news of the United States’ latest round of sanctions on Russia has alarmed the Kremlin, prompting its cast of experts, advisers, and anti-American ideologues to float several possible responses.Senator Olga Kovitidi promised that Russia would “send America to a blind knockout.” One expert suggested publishing lists of Russian media “spreading fake news.” Certain military experts proposed the formation of “information battalions” in cyberspace, modeled after the masked Russian soldiers deployed in the 2014 Ukraine crisis. Ultimately, the government landed on a familiar strategy: they will try to change the perception of Russia by pouring even more money into propaganda.After the sanctions were announced—this time in response to the poisoning of the opposition politician Alexei Navalny–the Russian government is reportedly aiming to expand the global audience of the Kremlin-funded RT television channel from 800 to 900 million viewers. They want to raise viewership on online platforms by promoting the internet content of the entire fleet of both Russian and foreign-oriented media outlets, including RT, RIA Novosti and Sputnik radio. In order to achieve this, the Kremlin has ramped up the state media budget to 211 billion rubles (about $2.8 billion)—a 34 billion-ruble ($460 million) increase from previous years.“No doubt, RT’s information soldiers will use this significant budget effectively to influence Euro-sceptics, anti-globalists, and Washington critics,” an opposition politician in Moscow, Ilya Yashin, told The Daily Beast. “Putin believes that if the West has its state-sponsored Radio Liberty or BBC, the Kremlin should become serious in what they like to call a ‘mirror response.’ This is a new stage of the ongoing Cold War.”“Do not underestimate RT’s growing influence,” he added.Some say the media battle goes both ways. Maria Baronova, a former opposition activist covering Russian social issues for RT, was banned from American social media platforms last year. “The Cold War goes for both sides. I have been banned on Twitter for working for RT in April, 2020. That is nonsense,” Baronova added.Russia’s Opposition Movement Starts To CrackInvestment in propaganda at home has already turned Russia into a nation of skeptics. In the early days of the conflict in Ukraine, 48 percent of Russians told the Public Opinion Foundation that they think propaganda harms their society.According to a social study by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center, 88 percent of young Russians aged 18-24 said they were on YouTube. Even the Kremlin’s most notorious propagandist, Vladimir Solovyev, admitted in a recent interview for Komsomolskaya Pravda that “the television audience is growing terribly old.”Young Russians are hungry for the truth, and in recent years, influential Russian YouTubers have started to take a more open approach with their content. Russia’s top online interviewer, Yury Dud, has 8.7 million subscribers and more than 500 million views on his channel. Tens of millions watched Dud’s documentaries on the AIDs epidemic and poverty and neglect in Kamchatka, Russia’s forgotten peninsula. More than 29 million people viewed Dud’s interview with Alexei Navalny soon after the politician recovered from his poisoning attack.In spite of state pressure on opposition bloggers, emerging YouTube stars are now covering some of Russia's most acute political issues. Irina Shikhman, another popular blogger, focuses on making celebrity-oriented videos in which she asks public figures uncomfortable questions about their personal lives. But some of her most popular clips are political in nature: over two million people viewed Shikhman’s interview with Navalny ally Lyubov Sobol.Russia’s only independent online television channel, TV Rain, has 2.3 million subscribers on YouTube. The channel’s founder and owner, Natalya Sindeyeva, says she isn’t worried about the Kremlin’s boosted promotion of RT.“We have been competing with state television channels without any state budget, without any administrative resources, for 11 years and we managed, which means money is not the main thing,” Sindeyeva said. “If they boost social media, the algorithms would recognize the artificial traffic. We don’t see any threat, since we are experienced in responding to challenges. Our audience trusts us and independent bloggers, our main job is not to lie. Trust cannot be purchased for money,” she said.It is too early to know for sure whether RT’s reports will crowd out independent media in Russia. “It depends on the quality of their content,” TV Rain’s editor-in-chief, Tikhon Dzyadko, told The Daily Beast.Some independent bloggers saw the government’s increase of spending on internet content as a positive sign. “It seems the Kremlin realized they cannot ban YouTube, so they decided to choke it with propaganda,” blogger Karen Shainyan, host of the YouTube show “Straight Talk with Gay People”, told The Daily Beast. “Authorities spend shockingly huge money on RT, more than on any other television channel.”Pavel Kanygin, who manages a YouTube channel for Novaya Gazeta, a legendary independent newspaper in Russia, says the government has begun to view social media platforms as a real threat. “We can see that the Kremlin has become serious about YouTube,” he said, especially after over 100 million people viewed an investigative report about Putin released by Navalny’s organization on the site in January.“One thing is to get clicks and another to get people engaged, to comment on the publication–that is a completely different story that cannot be artificially created,” Kanygin said.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 Daily Beast
Charles McQuillan/Getty ImagesAt least ten former staffers who worked for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are “queuing up” to cooperate with an investigation ordered by the queen into allegations that Meghan bullied her staff, it was claimed Thursday evening.The claim was made in the British newspaper the Mirror and is likely to be taken seriously as it was made by well-sourced royal reporter Russell Myers.Sources connected to the group, who have been assured of confidentiality as the investigation continues, said the staffers were considered to be “hugely professional and proud of their efforts” while working at Kensington Palace.One source told The Mirror, “A group of people are queuing up to be involved. They have been silent for too long and there is much to talk about.”Meghan Markle Dismisses Bullying Allegations as Pre-Oprah ‘Calculated Smear Campaign’It came after a report in the Daily Mail said that some alleged victims of workplace bullying by Meghan dub themselves the “Sussex Survivors Club” and are believed to be suffering a form of post-traumatic stress.The paper’s royal reporter Rebecca English said that during a royal tour in Fiji, “I witnessed Meghan turn and ‘hiss’ at a member of her entourage, clearly incandescent with rage about something, and demand to leave. I later saw that same—female—highly distressed member of staff sitting in an official car, with tears running down her face. Our eyes met and she lowered hers, humiliation etched on her features.”A bombshell report in The London Times Tuesday said that Meghan systematically bullied members of the staff and that her head of communications, Jason Knauf, was so appalled by Meghan’s behavior that he put his concerns in writing to his superiors. That email was leaked to The Times.Buckingham Palace responded by ordering a full investigation into the bullying claims.Meghan’s camp has been keen to point out that the complaints raised by Knauf were dropped. However, the Mirror’s source said, “The complaint was considered and those members of staff were spoken to and given the option of taking it further. For whatever reason, they decided not to, possibly because they were still in their job and they were worried about the implications.”A source close to the Sussexes told the Mirror of the palace probe: “The first we heard about this was via the press—this is a whole tit-for-tat scenario... it’s very hard to know what the process is. If this was a private company, we’ve effectively already been fired and I’m not entirely sure what any process could be.”A spokesperson for Meghan and Harry declined to comment to The Daily Beast.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.
Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle's wedding-dress embroiderer says she hasn't heard from the royal family since revealing she's on the brink of homelessness
"It just makes me feel like I don't exist," Chloe Savage, who worked on Kate Middleton's and Meghan Markle's wedding dresses, told Insider.
Scientists have spotted a planet orbiting a star relatively near our solar system that may offer a prime opportunity to study the atmosphere of a rocky Earth-like alien world - the type of research that could aid the hunt for extraterrestrial life. The researchers said on Thursday the planet, called Gliese 486 b and classified as a 'super-Earth,' is not itself a promising candidate as a refuge for life. But its proximity to Earth and its physical traits make it well suited for a study of its atmosphere with the next generation of space-borne and ground-based telescopes, starting with the James Webb Space Telescope that NASA has slated for an October launch.
- The Daily Beast
Ron Adar / SOPA Images / APEarlier this week, House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy used the House floor to falsely blame Democrats for trying to cancel and “outlaw” Dr. Seuss, a dead author whose best-selling children’s books are still available to read. The decision to stop publishing six of his old, racist books was in fact made by the publisher and his estate, which admitted the books “portray people”—including Asians—"in ways that are hurtful and wrong.”Still, the rage of frenzied masses who are still mourning the loss of Potato Head’s pronouns but are fine canceling democratic elections had to be satiated with another straw man to shoot.Unfortunately, some of them are aiming at Asian American communities across the country, who are enduring a stunning spike in violent attacks. I didn’t hear McCarthy rage about more than 3,000 incidents that have been reported to Stop AAPI Hate, a California-based reporting center for Asian American Pacific Islanders, or the 150 percent increase over the previous year in anti-Asian American hate crimes in 16 of the country’s most populous cities in 2020.Sen. Tom Cotton promised to “take a very hard look” as to why we are giving visas to Chinese students. I haven’t heard Cotton plan to “take a very hard look” at what compelled a man to almost stab to death a father and his two young boys a year ago in a grocery store in Midland, Texas after he falsely accused them of being from China. The man, who is now visibly scarred, is from Myanmar.You might be wondering why I, a Muslim son of Pakistani immigrants, am using my column to discuss hate against another ethnic community. It’s because I’ve been through it. In 2021, my Muslim and South Asian communities are still told to “go back to our country.” We just endured a Trump administration that ran on and enacted a “Muslim Ban.” Twenty years after 9/11, our acceptance is still conditional and under permanent surveillance. To some, we are perpetual suspects and villains, “invaders” on a caravan along with undocumented immigrants, who will “replace” and cancel real American culture, which apparently includes racist children’s books. Hate doesn’t require logic, it feeds on fear, misinformation, and anger.When I read about the elderly Thai man recently killed in San Francisco, I remembered Balbir Singh Sodhi, the first victim of a post-9/11 hate crime. He was a bearded Sikh man who wore a turban and ran a gas station in Arizona, whose murderer boasted that he was “going to go out and shoot some towel-heads.” Bigots and white supremacists are not nuanced in their hate, and all of us who will never achieve whiteness will always be in their target sights.“After 9/11, Muslims in America knew what it felt like to wear an Away jersey in their Home country. Now in the aftermath of COVID-19, we are seeing racial discrimination, targeting, bullying, and a rise in hate crimes towards our Asian American brothers and sisters,” comedian and actor Hasan Minhaj told me. He believes Muslim communities have a responsibility to look out for and protect Asian Americans who currently “feel terrified, scared, and vulnerable to go out in public.”President Trump and his federal officials repeatedly referred to COVID-19 as the “China virus” or the “Kung Flu.” Since then, Asian Americans have been spit on, yelled at, pushed, and attacked since the beginning of COVID-19. They’ve been made scapegoats for a virus that has no ethnicity, gender, religion, or political ideology.However, graphic novelist Thi Bui, who came to America with her family as a refugee from Vietnam, said what’s being lost in the current conversation is that this hate isn’t a new phenomenon. “I guess I’d like to remind people who are newly sensitized to anti-Asian violence and want to do something about it that there is a long and documented history of anti-Asian violence in the U.S., going back to the angry mobs and exclusionary immigration policies of the 1800s,” she told me.In fact, one of the first immigration laws to be passed in this country was the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, which prohibited all legal immigration of Chinese laborers due to the “economic anxiety” of white workers at the time and the promotion of dangerous myths and stereotypes that portrayed Chinese and Asian immigrants as a “Yellow Peril” who would replace and conquer Western civilization.Bigots aren’t original thinkers and often recycle the same material in the 21st century. These same gross stereotypes and fears persisted and were used to imprison nearly 120,000 innocent American citizens of Japanese descent in “relocation centers” across the Western states under the pretext of national security. After Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, these fellow Americans without whiteness became “them” overnight. “Jap hunting licenses” began circulating around the country, and in a 1944 opinion poll, 13 percent of the public was fine with exterminating all Japanese people.Actor Kumail Nanjiani, originally an immigrant, empathizes with what’s happening to Asian American communities. He said Trump’s hateful “rhetoric does not happen in a vacuum. It affects the lives of actual people,” mentioning his Pakistani family members are viewed as suspects by neighbors who’ve known them for 20 years. He’s also critical of Hollywood's representation of Asians and South Asians in general that has mainstreamed these villainous stereotypes. Historically, he told me, “we are either sexless/non-threatening nerds or murderous terrorists with nothing in between. We either play the model minority or the worst of humanity.” In If I Ran the Zoo, one of the six Dr. Seuss books that will no longer be published, an illustration depicts a white boy holding a large gun while standing on the head of three Asian Men. Subtle.The model minority myth that Nanjiani mentioned has been one of the enduring and harmful tools used by white supremacy as a wedge to divide communities of color. It flattens the ethnic diversity and economic challenges faced by Asian and South Americans, in particular, and instead elevates us as the ideal immigrant and American minority that should be emulated by all others. We allegedly work hard, don't complain, succeed through grit, pursue academic and economic excellence, and never complain, all while being politically neutered and smiling through the pain. We are used to systemic racism and discrimination against Blacks and Latinos. America asks, “why can’t they be ‘models’ like us?”It should come as no surprise that the corrupted Department of Justice under Bill Barr used Asian American candidates to attack affirmative action in their case against Yale University, which has since been dropped by the Biden DOJ.Megan Black, who heads the Common Good program at the Western States Center, told me it’s “heartbreaking but unsurprising” to see that some of the assailants of Asian Americans have been Black and people of color. She told me the recent spike in anti-Asian violence tracks a similar rise in anti-Semitic violence. “Blame the Jew,” she said, becomes a “disturbingly effective decoy tactic that has a track record of successfully distracting and dismantling racial solidarity efforts, leaving the actual perpetrators of white supremacist power untouched while putting Jews and Jewish communities at risk.” She says “Blame China” rhetoric, which has become so prominent in our political discourse over the past few years, is simply following the same playbook with the same results.Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is not having any of the divide and conquer tactics, and instead urges communities of color to stand in solidarity with Asian Americans. Omar is a Black Muslim woman who wears a hijab and is a former refugee, and as such has emerged as the ideal bogeyman for the right-wing and a frequent target of their hate. She was also told by President Trump to go back to where she came from. “There is a concerted effort by white nationalists to target and divide minority communities by pitting us against each other,” she told me. “We must remember that our destinies are tied. An attack on one community is an attack on all.”Bui agrees, but she believes that in order to truly address the violence, we have to speak out about root causes and name them. For her, this includes white supremacy, “the common foe” of all our communities, but also chaotic political leadership, income inequality, and a meager social safety net that creates conditions where people of color, who should be allies, turn on each other. With this divided Congress that can barely pass a stimulus package during a crippling pandemic, that’s a tall order. Still, in a welcomed relief compared to Trump’s persistent racism, President Biden in late January signed an executive action asking the Justice Department to combat xenophobia and hate against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.But in the end, as always, it’s up to us. All of us. At the very least, we have to do our part to stand up and speak out against this rising, organized hate, which has Republican champions in Congress and on Fox News, and work towards creating an America where an Asian American child and senior citizen can walk the streets and be fully seen and embraced as “us.”Don’t take my word for it. Since America is currently obsessed with Dr. Seuss, maybe it’ll be more helpful if you just listen to the Lorax: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”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 'QAnon Shaman' says invading the Capitol was 'not an attack on this country' in wild jailhouse interview
"QAnon Shaman" Jacob Chansley said he still believes the 2020 election was rigged and wishes Donald Trump gave him a pardon.
- The Telegraph
Italy became the first country to impose an EU export ban on coronavirus vaccines on Thursday after blocking a shipment of 250,000 AstraZeneca jabs to Australia. Brussels introduced the export transparency regime during its row over supply shortfalls with the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company at the end of January. Under the new rules, manufacturers in the EU must ask national authorities in the country of production and the European Commission for permission to export vaccines outside the EU. EU allies including Britain, have raised concerns about the regime, which was a response to fears that vaccines bought by Brussels were being shipped elsewhere. Italy blocked the export of the vaccines and the commission did not raise any objections, the Financial Times reported. Rome notified Brussels of its decision at the end of last week. Mario Draghi, the Italian prime minister who took office in February, called for stricter export controls at an EU summit last month. He urged EU leaders to speed up vaccinations in the bloc in his first meeting of the bloc’s heads of state and government. AstraZeneca in January cut its supplies to the EU in the first quarter to 40 million doses from 90 million foreseen in the contract, and later said it would cut deliveries by another 50% in the second quarter.
- Business Insider
Trump advisors are telling him to drop Pence for a Black or female VP in a potential 2024 run, report says
Two advisors specifically singled out South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem as a potential running mate in 2024.
- Business Insider
Federico Klein is believed to be the first Trump appointee to be charged in connection to the January 6 insurrection.
Some people have reported a red, raised rash that shows up days to a week after getting the Moderna shot and goes away quickly.
- The Independent
NAACP accuses Trump of disenfranchising Black voters and trying to ‘destroy democracy’
"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" has a March 25, 2022, release date and ties into "WandaVision," "Loki," and "Spider-Man: No Way Home."
- Associated Press
Justice Amy Coney Barrett delivered her first Supreme Court majority opinion Thursday, ruling against an environmental group that had sought access to government records. President Donald Trump's third nominee wrote for a 7-2 court that certain draft documents do not have to be disclosed under the federal Freedom of Information Act. The case was the first one Barrett heard after joining the court in late October, and it took four months for the 11-page opinion to be released.
- Business Insider
Boris Johnson has yet to appoint a successor to his adviser on ministerial standards, more than three months after the resignation of Sir Alex Allan.
It is hard to overstate just how unusual Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's media war with Buckingham Palace is
A series of extraordinary confrontations have seen the Queen's household accused of a smear capaign and Markle accused of bullying.
- Reuters Videos
"I am not going to resign…”New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday said he would not resign in the wake of a series of sexual misconduct accusations leveled against him by young women but offered a fresh apology and vowed to "fully cooperate" with a review by the state's attorney general.“I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable. It was unintentional, and I truly and deeply apologize for it. I feel awful about it and frankly I am embarrassed by it.” Cuomo maintained that he never touched anyone inappropriately but acknowledged that it is "custom" for him to kiss and hug people in greeting."I understand that sensitivities have changed and behavior has changed and I get it, and I'm going to learn from it."Three women, including two former aides, have come forward recently to say that Cuomo had sexually harassed them or made inappropriate remarks. Lindsey Boylan, who first came forward in December, said the unwanted advances included an unsolicited kiss on the lips in Cuomo's New York City office, which Cuomo denied.This scandal is actually the second one Cuomo’s contended with in recent weeks. The governor is also facing accusations of downplaying the true number of elderly nursing home residents killed by COVID-19, a claim which is now the subject of a federal investigation.