COVID testing sites in Denver will be closed from Friday, Feb. 12 through Monday, Feb. 15. The testing sites will be closed those four days due to cold weather and the President's Day holiday.
- The Independent
Biden news - live: White House defends ‘Neanderthal’ slur of GOP states, as Trump shifts blame for Senate loss
Live updates from the White House
- Associated Press
Rio Tinto chairman Simon Thompson said Wednesday he was accountable for the mining giant destroying sacred Indigenous sites in Australia to access iron ore and he will not seek reelection as a board director next year. Thompson’s announcement came after former chief executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques announced his resignation last September over the destruction in May of two rock shelters in Juukan Gorge in Western Australia state that had been inhabited for 46,000 years. The company’s successes in 2020 were “overshadowed by the destruction of the Juukan Gorge shelters ... and, as chairman, I am ultimately accountable for the failings that led to this tragic event,” Thompson said in a statement.
- The Daily Beast
Ben Birchall/WPA Pool/GettyMeghan Markle has denied detailed accusations of “bullying” her former Buckingham Palace staff and accused opponents of conducting a “calculated smear campaign” in advance of her much-hyped CBS interview with Oprah Winfrey this Sunday.If Meghan and Prince Harry had anticipated an open field to criticize the royal family and/or air various grievances, certain Buckingham Palace sources seem determined to torpedo their ambitions prior to Sunday night.Harry and Meghan Are Begged to Delay Oprah Broadcast While Prince Philip Is Gravely IllRoyal aides told The Times of London that Meghan was the subject of an official bullying complaint made in October 2018 by Jason Knauf, Meghan and Harry’s former communications secretary. The Times reported that the complaint detailed how Meghan allegedly “drove two personal assistants out of the household and was undermining the confidence of a third staff member.” Prince Harry asked Knauf not to pursue the complaint, a source told the paper.“Staff would on occasion be reduced to tears” because of the duchess, The Times reported. One aide, anticipating a confrontation with Meghan, told a colleague: “I can’t stop shaking.” Another aide claimed it felt “more like emotional cruelty and manipulation, which I guess could also be called bullying.”Knauf, in an email to Simon Case, then the Duke of Cambridge’s private secretary, said the palace’s head of HR, Samantha Carruthers, “agreed with me on all counts that the situation was very serious.” He added: “I remain concerned that nothing will be done.”Knauf, who is now chief executive of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s Royal Foundation, said in his email: “I am very concerned that the Duchess was able to bully two PAs out of the household in the past year. The treatment of X was totally unacceptable… The Duchess seems intent on always having someone in her sights. She is bullying Y and seeking to undermine her confidence. We have had report after report from people who have witnessed unacceptable behavior towards Y.”Sympathetic sources around Harry and Meghan relayed their frustration and hurt with the attitudes of palace officials in Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family.However, palace sources told The Times that the bullying allegations had not been investigated by the palace and that officials had made Meghan more “welcome” than the couple’s supporters have long claimed. One source said of the bullying complaint: “I think the problem is, not much happened with it. It was, ‘How can we make this go away?,’ rather than addressing it.”Another source told The Times: “Senior people in the household, Buckingham Palace and Clarence House, knew that they had a situation where members of staff, particularly young women, were being bullied to the point of tears. The institution just protected Meghan constantly. All the men in grey suits who she hates have a lot to answer for, because they did absolutely nothing to protect people.”The paper said the sources were speaking out now in advance of Meghan’s Sunday night interview to give their view of Harry and Meghan’s royal life, presumably anticipating that it may be very different from what the couple may relay to Winfrey. The broadcast of the interview—the result of a reported two years’ worth of planning by Meghan and Winfrey—is being criticized as ill-timed given the illness and hospitalization of Prince Philip.Buckingham Palace declined to comment to The Times.The paper also details how Meghan wore earrings to a formal dinner in 2018 that were a wedding gift from Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who the CIA concluded last week had ordered the assassination of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. The dinner took place three weeks after Khashoggi was killed. At the time Meghan said the earrings were borrowed. “The duchess does not deny this was what she said, despite being aware of their provenance,” The Times reported.In a statement to The Times, a spokesperson for the Sussexes said of the various allegations: “Let’s just call this what it is—a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation. We are disappointed to see this defamatory portrayal of The Duchess of Sussex given credibility by a media outlet. It’s no coincidence that distorted several-year-old accusations aimed at undermining The Duchess are being briefed to the British media shortly before she and The Duke are due to speak openly and honestly about their experience of recent years.“In a detailed legal letter of rebuttal to The Times, we have addressed these defamatory claims in full, including spurious allegations regarding the use of gifts loaned to The Duchess by The Crown. The Duchess is saddened by this latest attack on her character, particularly as someone who has been the target of bullying herself and is deeply committed to supporting those who have experienced pain and trauma. She is determined to continue her work building compassion around the world and will keep striving to set an example for doing what is right and doing what is good.”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.
- Reuters Videos
At least 30 people have been killed since the coup on Feb. 1. The pope visited Myanmar in 2017.Francis, speaking at the end of his general audience, appealed directly to Myanmar's military authorities "so that dialogue prevails over repression and harmony over discord."He also appealed to the international community "to see to it that the hopes of the people of Myanmar are not suffocated by violence".
The Senate on Thursday voted 51-50 — with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie — to proceed to debate on President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package, likely setting up a final vote this weekend.The state of play: Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) is forcing the Senate clerk to read the entire 628-page bill on the floor, a procedural move that will likely add 10 hours to the 20 hours already allotted for debate.Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.During that time, Republicans will propose amendments — some unrelated to COVID relief — intended to force uncomfortable votes for Democrats, in a practice known as vote-a-rama.Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) promised Thursday that the Senate will stay in session "no matter how long it takes" to finish voting on the "American Rescue Plan."Because the bill is being considered under the budget reconciliation process, it only requires a simple majority to pass, rather than the usual 60-vote Senate threshold for major legislation.Driving the news: Speaking on the Senate floor ahead of the vote to proceed, Schumer accused Johnson of going to "ridiculous lengths" to show his opposition to a COVID relief package widely supported by the American public — including a majority of Republicans.What they're saying: "It will accomplish little more than a few sore throats for the Senate clerks who work very hard day in, day out to help the Senate function," Schumer said."Still, we are delighted that the senator from Wisconsin wants to give the American people another opportunity to hear what's in the American Rescue Plan. We Democrats want America to hear what's in the plan," he continued."Oh, yes, when the senior senator from Wisconsin reads, the American people will get another chance to hear about the tax breaks for low-income workers, and assistance for American families struggling with child care — two measures that help make the American Rescue Plan one of the single largest anti-poverty bills in recent history."Go deeper: Senate Republicans plan to exact pain before COVID relief voteLike this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.
A New Orleans police officer groomed and raped a 14-year-old girl he was assigned to take to a rape kit exam, a lawsuit alleges
The lawsuit alleges the officer began grooming the girl as they sat in the waiting room of a New Orleans children's hospital.
- The Week
Trump inadvertently boosts Biden's stimulus messaging with another statement raging against McConnell
Former President Donald Trump has released a new post-presidency statement, and Democrats might just be glad he did. The former president, who remains permanently banned from Twitter, released a statement Thursday once again raging against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), blasting him as the "most unpopular politician in the country" while blaming him for Republicans' Senate losses in Georgia — losses for which Trump himself has been blamed by other Republicans. One of the reasons Republicans lost the two Georgia Senate runoffs in January, Trump argues, was "Mitch McConnell's refusal to go above $600 per person on the stimulus check payments when the two Democrat opponents were touting $2,000 per person in ad after ad." The statement offered "quite the pre-stimulus political gift to Democrats," wrote National Journal's Josh Kraushaar, while The Washington Post's Dave Weigel noted that Trump "remarkably" used this opportunity to "validate Biden's messaging on the $1,400 checks instead of whacking him and Democrats for curtailing them." Remarkably, Trump also uses this statement to validate Biden's messaging on the $1400 checks instead of whacking him and Democrats for curtailing them. "The $2000 will be approved anyway by the Democrats." https://t.co/M9dXoX13VS — Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) March 4, 2021 Indeed, Trump writes that "the $2,000 will be approved anyway by the Democrats," while offering no comment on the fact that the new checks are actually for $1,400, nor on Biden's recent compromise that narrows the eligibility. Politico's Gabby Orr observed that Trump "could have put out a statement saying the income phase-outs in the Biden stimulus bill are going to mean he gave checks to more Americans," but "instead he's still targeting his own party with stuff like this." This was just Trump's latest statement in this vein after he released another one last month describing McConnell as an "unsmiling political hack." He also mentioned McConnell in a recent Conservative Political Action Conference speech, in which he took credit for McConnell's recent re-election. McConnell told Fox News he "didn't watch" the speech and that "we're dealing with the present and the future, not looking back to the past." More stories from theweek.com7 scathingly funny cartoons about Trump's CPAC appearanceThe Republican grievance perpetual motion machineTrump wants revenge on Alaska's Sen. Murkowski. His advisers think he won't follow through because the flight is too long.
- Associated Press
Bay Hill was bustling Thursday, just like golf before the pandemic. The fans were limited in numbers but they all wanted the same dose of entertainment provided by Rory McIlroy and Bryson DeChambeau. First it was McIlroy, slowly feeling better about his game, and with good reason.
- Business Insider
How much YouTube pays influencers for 100,000, 1 million, and 150 million views, according to top creators
We spoke with creators on YouTube who broke down how much money they've made on a single video from Google.
- Business Insider
Unemployment benefits will expire in 10 days if Congress doesn't pass a stimulus bill. Here's what else could expire this month.
Unemployment benefits will expire on March 14 without a stimulus bill. Also on the table: paid sick leave, small business aid, and housing aid.
- Business Insider
Biden supports making a temporary $3,000 payment to parents in the stimulus bill permanent going forward
Senate Democrats want to make the larger tax credit permanent and give families an option to receive monthly checks. Biden wants a permanent one too.
- The Week
Trump wants revenge on Alaska's Sen. Murkowski. His advisers think he won't follow through because the flight is too long.
Don't bet on former President Donald Trump traveling to campaign against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) — and not because of any sudden change of heart. A new report from The Washington Post discusses the Alaska Republican's influence during President Biden's administration, as well as the fact that Trump is "vowing publicly and privately to work to oust her" as she seeks a fourth Senate term in 2022. Murkowski was one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial, and she's reportedly "higher on his list of enemies" than other lawmakers, coming in just under Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) At the same time, the Post reports that while Trump "does want to spend money against" Murkowski, some "people in his circle doubt, though, that he will be as much of a potent force in the race because traveling to campaign against her would require such a long flight, which Trump generally avoids." There's also the fact that, the Post says, Trump's advisers "recognize the complexity of winning in Alaska," which uses ranked-choice voting, though the report adds that it's likely Murkowski will face pro-Trump opposition in the race in some form. Trump recently went after Murkowski during his first speech since leaving office at the Conservative Political Action Conference, naming her while he slammed a series of Republican "grandstanders" and called on supporters to "get rid of them all." Murkowski has defended her vote to impeach Trump, saying she couldn't "be afraid of" the political repercussions and that if Alaska voters decide that "because I did not support my party that I can no longer serve them in the United States Senate, then so be it." More stories from theweek.com7 scathingly funny cartoons about Trump's CPAC appearanceThe Republican grievance perpetual motion machineWhich states best handled the pandemic? There's no clear answer.
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.
The broadcaster announces the dating show will return this summer, but doesn't confirm the location.
- The Week
Capitol riot's 'QAnon Shaman' defends himself by claiming he 'stopped somebody from stealing muffins'
A suspect charged in the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol building is speaking from jail in a new interview — and offering a unique defense positioning himself as simply a savior of baked goods. Jacob Chansley, the Capitol riot suspect who refers to himself as the "QAnon Shaman" and was photographed during the insurrection wearing fur and horns, spoke with 60 Minutes in an interview broadcast Thursday, in which he claimed his "actions were not an attack on this country" as he faces up to 20 years in prison for them. "I sang a song, and that's a part of shamanism," he said. "...I also stopped people from stealing and vandalizing that sacred space, the Senate, okay. I actually stopped somebody from stealing muffins out of the break room." Chansley neglected to mention the fact that, during the deadly insurrection, he allegedly left a threatening note for former Vice President Mike Pence warning, "It's only a matter of time, justice is coming." He was charged with "knowingly entering or remaining in" a restricted building and "violent entry and disorderly conduct," and prosecutors noted he carried around "a spear, approximately 6 feet in length," during the riot. Prosecutors have also said he "incited fellow Trump supporters rioting inside the Capitol building and disobeyed police orders," The Wall Street Journal reports. Despite this, Chansley, who said he regrets "entering that building," bemoaned the fact that former President Donald Trump never pardoned him or any of the other Capitol rioters, telling 60 Minutes this "wounded me so deeply" and "disappointed me so greatly." Still, Chansley added that even though he didn't get the pardon he wanted, he still doesn't regret his loyalty to Trump. The "QAnon Shaman" of the January 6th attack on the Capitol tells his story for the first time from jail, as he faces up to 20 years behind bars. Jacob Chansley spoke with @60minutes+'s @LaurieSegall pic.twitter.com/uhUuFNHRvf — CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) March 4, 2021 More stories from theweek.com7 scathingly funny cartoons about Trump's CPAC appearanceThe Republican grievance perpetual motion machineTrump wants revenge on Alaska's Sen. Murkowski. His advisers think he won't follow through because the flight is too long.
- Business Insider
Rudy Giuliani, who helped lead Trump's bogus election-fraud conspiracy theory, is being mocked after warning of the dangers of misinformation
After spending months pushing Trump's election fraud conspiracy theory, Giuliani unexpectedly warned of the dangers of misinformation.
- The Conversation
Why white supremacists and QAnon enthusiasts are obsessed – but very wrong – about the Byzantine Empire
Inspiration for a mob of angry white men? Getty ImagesFrom Charlottesville to the Capitol, medieval imagery has been repeatedly on show at far-right rallies and riots in recent years. Displays of Crusader shields and tattoos derived from Norse and Celtic symbols are of little surprise to medieval historians like me who have long documented the appropriation of the Middle Ages by today’s far right. But amid all the expected Viking imagery and nods to the Crusaders has been another dormant “medievalism” that has yet to be fully acknowledged in reporting on both the far right and conspiracy theorist movements: the Byzantine Empire. Byzantium – or more properly, the medieval Roman Empire – controlled much of the Mediterranean at the height of its territorial rule in the mid-sixth century. Centered in modern-day Istanbul from A.D. 330 to 1453, its capital of Constantinople was a thriving intellectual, political and military power. One of its crowning achievements, the church of Hagia Sophia, is a testament to the empire’s architectural and artistic prowess. The Hagia Sofia stands as a testament to Byzantium’s achievements. Salvator Barki/Getty Images But in the Western world, the Byzantine Empire has been largely overlooked and forgotten. High school students in the United States are likely to know little about the empire. And nowadays, the word “byzantine” has simply come to mean complicated, secret and bureaucratic. This lowering of its status isn’t entirely a new process. As far back as 1776, English historian Edward Gibbon was disparagingly referring to the empire’s inhabitants as “the servile and effeminate Greeks of Byzantium.” A ‘New Byzantium’ Despite this modern disdain for Byzantium in the West, it has recently served as an inspiration to various factions of the far right. In September 2017, Jason Kessler, an American neo-Nazi who helped organize the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, inaugurated a new supremacist group called “The New Byzantium” project. Described by Kessler as “a premier organization for pro-white advocacy in the 21st century,” The New Byzantium is based on the white supremacist leader’s misrepresentation of history. His premise is that when Rome fell, the Byzantine Empire went on to preserve a white-European civilization. This isn’t true. In reality the empire was made up of diverse peoples who walked the streets of its capital, coming from as far away as Nubia, Ethiopia, Syria and North Africa. Contemporaneous sources noted – at times with disdain – the racial and ethnic diversity of both Constantinople and the empire’s emperors. But Kessler’s “New Byzantium” is intended to preserve white dominance after what he calls “the inevitable collapse of the American Empire.” The organization has been operating under the radar since 2017 with little online footprint. The original ‘deep state’ Kessler isn’t alone in appropriating the empire. Through my research, I have monitored references of Byzantium in online forums. Mentions of Byzantium are scattered across message boards frequented by both white supremacists and QAnon enthusiasts – who spout conspiracy theories about a deep-state cabal of Satan-worshipping, blood-drinking pedophiles running the world. Across 8kun and other online platforms I have reviewed, the Byzantine Empire is discussed as either continuing the legacy of Rome after it was, in their understanding, “destroyed by the Jews” or being the only true empire, with Rome being merely a historical myth created to degrade Byzantium’s power and importance. This latter story emerges in a QAnon thread on “Baking” – that is, the connecting and weaving together of drops (messages) by the enigmatic Q. One post states: “It all makes sense when you learn that the books of the bible are plagiarized copies of the chronology of Byzantium, and so is the mythical Roman Empire, that never existed in Italy but was in fact centered in Constantinople.” Other QAnon commentators across message boards and Twitter speak of the “exiled throne of Byzantium,” noting, “the Empire never went away, it just went occult.” They exclaim “Long live Byzantium” and call for a “return to Byzantium” to save people from the satanists. Oddly, while some hold up the Byzantine Empire as the vanguard of white supremacy, a smaller group of white supremacists and conspiracy theorists sees it as “the original Deep State.” In some renditions, Byzantium is, by way of some hazy illuminati connections, the origins of the “deep state” – the myth of an underground cabal of elites who run the world in secret. It has persisted in secrecy since Constantinople’s fall, either trading in eunuchs on the clandestine market or preserving whiteness and Christianity, depending on the thread’s negative or positive outlook on the empire. Reconquest of Hagia Sophia For many on the far right, talk of Byzantium is cloaked in Islamophobia – both online and in tragic real-life events. A white supremacist who killed more than 50 worshippers at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2019 railed against the Turks and the conquest of Constantinople in a 74-page manifesto. “We are coming for Constantinople, and we will destroy every mosque and minaret in the city. The Hagia Sophia will be free of minarets and Constantinople will be rightfully Christian owned once more,” the shooter wrote. Throughout QAnon message boards, the reconquest of Hagia Sophia is emblematic of the destruction of Islam and the restoration of a mythic white Byzantium. One post stated: “When we free Constantinople and the Hagia Sophia, maybe we can talk.” ‘Third Rome’ This “reconquest” of Constantinople had even been tied in some online posts to the presidency of Donald Trump, with images circulated online seemingly prophesying that it would happen under his tenure. In one image, Trump is seen congratulating Russian President Vladimir Putin “on the retaking of Constantinople” and shaking hands in front of what is presumably meant to be the Hagia Sophia, though is actually the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque. Putin himself is not averse to drawing on the symbolism of Byzantium. The Russian state has long tried to position itself as the rightful successor to the Byzantine Empire, with Moscow as the “Third Rome.” This forms part of a religious and political doctrine tied to Russian territorial expansion that can be traced back as far as the late 15th century. The far-right appropriation of Byzantium in the U.S. appears to be influenced by this Russian interpretation. Indeed, Russian proponents of the “Third Rome” doctrine have been cited as influences by prominent figures on the American right. No matter the provenance of the recent interest in Byzantium from America’s white supremacists and conspiracy theorists, one thing is clear: It is based on a very warped idea of the Byzantine Empire that has emerged out of the empire’s fraught place in our histories, caught between ancient and medieval, spirituality and bureaucracy. [Over 100,000 readers rely on The Conversation’s newsletter to understand the world. Sign up today.]This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Roland Betancourt, University of California, Irvine. Read more:Why Hagia Sophia remains a potent symbol of spiritual and political authoritySacred violence is not yet ancient history – beating it will take human action, not divine intervention Roland Betancourt does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
The Arkansas man who was pictured with his feet on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's desk during the Jan. 6 insurrection had an outburst in court Thursday, yelling at the judge and his own lawyers that it isn't "fair" he is still in jail, KNWA reports. Background: Richard Barnett, 60, has been asking to be freed on bond since he was arrested days after the attack at the Capitol, per the New York Times. Barnett lost his patience after D.C. District Court Judge Christopher Cooper continued his trial until May 4.Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.“I’ve been here a long time … another month … It’s not fair,” Barnett said, per KNWA. “You’re letting everyone else out, I need help,”He has pled not guilty to charges of aiding and abetting, disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, parading or demonstrating in a Capitol building, and theft of government property.Like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.
- Business Insider
Porsche just debuted a taller, more rugged Taycan EV with matching e-bikes - tour the $91,000 Cross Turismo
Porsche calls it a crossover, but we all know the 2021 Taycan Cross Turismo for what it is: an all-electric wagon. It also has matching e-bikes.
It's estimated that the change to the bill will affect more than 7 million families across the United States.