Reconciliation was designed for the annual budget process, but lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have used it to pass big legislative priorities.
- Raleigh News and Observer
The Johnson & Johnson shot is the third coronavirus vaccine to be authorized by the FDA.
Meghan, Britain's Duchess of Sussex, was awarded 450,000 pounds ($630,000) on Tuesday as a provisional payment towards her legal costs after she won a privacy claim against the Mail on Sunday which had printed extracts of a letter she wrote to her father. Last month, a judge at London's High Court ruled the tabloid had breached her privacy and infringed her copyright by publishing parts of the five-page letter she wrote to her father, Thomas Markle, who she fell out with on the eve of her wedding to Queen Elizabeth's grandson, Prince Harry. Judge Mark Warby ruled in her favour without holding a trial, saying the articles were a clear breach of privacy after the paper argued the duchess had intended the letter's contents to become public and it formed part of a media strategy.
- LA Times
When the 'Punky Brewster' star embarked on a new documentary, she found that confronting her past, including surviving sexual assault, was the only way forward.
An eagle-eyed 'Harry Potter' fan noticed leads being replaced by random actors in a 'Prisoner of Azkaban' scene
A viral TikTok pointed out an error with characters like Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley during a scene in the third movie.
- Associated Press
The latest World Golf Championship event has gone to nine venues with five title names since it began in 1999. Trevor Simsby took that to another level last week at the Workday Championship. A member of the Asian Tour, the 28-year-old Californian had not played on any recognized tour in a full year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The New York Times
Just eight weeks after the Capitol riot, some of the most prominent groups that participated are fracturing amid a torrent of backbiting and finger-pointing. The fallout will determine the future of some of the most high-profile far-right organizations and raises the specter of splinter groups that could make the movement even more dangerous. “This group needs new leadership and a new direction,” the St. Louis branch of the Proud Boys announced recently on the encrypted messaging service Telegram, echoing denunciations by at least six other chapters also rupturing with the national organization. “The fame we’ve attained hasn’t been worth it.” Similar rifts have emerged in the Oath Keepers, a paramilitary group that recruits veterans, and the Groyper Army, a white nationalist organization focused on college campuses and a vocal proponent of the false claim that Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential election. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times The shake-up is driven in part by the large number of arrests in the aftermath of the Capitol riot and the subsequent crackdown on some groups by law enforcement. As some members of the far right exit more established groups and strike out on their own, it may become even more difficult to track extremists who have become more emboldened to carry out violent attacks. “What you are seeing right now is a regrouping phase,” said Devin Burghart, who runs the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, a Seattle-based center that monitors far-right movements. “They are trying to reassess their strengths, trying to find new foot soldiers and trying to prepare for the next conflict.” The top leaders of the Groyper Army, Nick Fuentes and Patrick Casey, have been in a bitter public dispute in the weeks since the riot. Casey accused Fuentes of putting followers at risk of arrest by continuing high-profile activities. Fuentes wrote on Telegram, “It’s not easy but it is important to keep pushing forward now more than ever.” Among the Proud Boys, a far-right fight club that claims to defend the values of Western civilization, the recriminations were compounded by revelations that Enrique Tarrio, the organization’s leader, once worked as an informant for law enforcement. Despite denials from Tarrio, the news has thrown the organization’s future into question. “We reject and disavow the proven federal informant, Enrique Tarrio, and any and all chapters that choose to associate with him,” the Alabama chapter of the Proud Boys announced on Telegram using language identical to other chapters. After the Capitol siege on Jan. 6, accusations about informants and undercover agents have been particularly pointed. “Traitors are everywhere, everywhere,” wrote one participant on a far-right Telegram channel. The chapters breaking away accused Tarrio of leading the group astray with high-profile clashes with far-left demonstrators and by storming the Capitol. “The Proud Boys were founded to provide brotherhood to men on the right, not to yell slogans at the sky” and “get arrested,” the St. Louis chapter said in its announcement. Extremist organizations tend to experience internal upheaval after any cataclysmic event, as seen in the case of the 2017 rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left one woman dead, or the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, which killed 168 people, including 19 children. Daryl Johnson, who has studied the Three Percenters and other paramilitary groups, said the current infighting could lead to further hardening and radicalization. “When these groups get disrupted by law enforcement, all it does is scatter the rats,” he said. “It does not get rid of the rodent problem.” President Joe Biden has pledged to make fighting extremism a priority and Merrick Garland, his nominee for attorney general, said during his Senate confirmation hearings that he promised to “do everything in the power of the Justice Department” to stop domestic terrorism. Garland, the lead prosecutor in the Oklahoma City bombing case, also said the United States was facing “a more dangerous period than we faced in Oklahoma City” or in recent memory. More than 300 people have been charged in the Capitol riot, with roughly 500 total cases expected. At least 26 people facing some of the most serious accusations have been tied to the Oath Keepers or the Proud Boys. Most of those in the crowd were probably unaffiliated with a particular group yet radicalized enough to show up in Washington to support Trump’s false election claim, experts said, feeding concerns about how they will channel their anger going forward. The legal fallout from the riot will most likely push people underground as well. Overall, the hazy affiliations and the potential for lone offenders will make it more difficult to uncover planned attacks. Already, there has been chatter among members of paramilitary groups that stormed the Capitol about trying to attack it while the president addresses a joint session of Congress, Yogananda D. Pittman, the acting chief of the Capitol Police, told a House subcommittee last week. But even as some extremist groups push for more confrontation, all kinds of adherents want out. The president of the North Carolina chapter of the Oath Keepers, Doug Smith, announced last month that he was splitting from the national organization. Smith did not respond to messages seeking comment, but he told The News Reporter, his local newspaper in Whiteville, North Carolina, that he was ashamed by demonstrators who attacked the Capitol and beat police officers. For others, however, the riot was a resounding success, an opening shot across the bows of the law and the establishment. “There is a small segment that is going to see this as Lexington and Concord, the shot heard around the world, and the beginning of either the racial holy war or the fall of our society, of our government,” said Tom O’Connor, a retired FBI counterterrorism specialist who continues to train agents on the subject. Far-right groups are already rallying around opposition to proposed changes to immigration policy and the discussion of stricter gun control under Biden’s administration. The number of people inclined toward violence is impossible to count, but experts agree that harsh political divisions have expanded the potential pool on both right and left fringes. The splintering of larger organizations sets the stage for small groups or lone offenders, who are more difficult to track. “That makes them more dangerous,” said J.J. MacNab, an expert on paramilitary groups at George Washington University’s Program on Extremism. Timothy McVeigh, who was executed for the Oklahoma City bombing, did not join a paramilitary group but still adopted the violent ideology. “The rhetoric is fuel to the fire for those lone offenders,” said O’Connor, echoing a common worry. “My concern now is that there are many McVeighs in the offing.” Experts cite a variety of reasons for why the propensity toward violence might be worse now than during previous times when far-right organizations declared war on the government. The Oklahoma City attack caused a period of retreat, but the election of a Black president in 2008 resurrected the white supremacy movement. These groups have now experienced some 13 years without any sustained effort by law enforcement to counter them, experts said. Some groups that organized the far-right rally in Charlottesville in 2017 fell apart over the subsequent internal squabbling and a lawsuit that threatens to bankrupt them. Others, including the Proud Boys and various paramilitary organizations, grew larger and went on to participate in the Jan. 6 riot. At the same time, extremist ideology has spread further and much more rapidly on social media, and foreign governments like Russia have worked actively to disseminate such thoughts to sow divisions within the United States. New threats and concerns about potential targets continue to surface. The announcement in early February that hackers attempted to poison the water supply in a small Florida city attracted the attention of Rinaldo Nazzaro, the founder of a violent white supremacist group called the Base. Seven members of the Base in three states were rounded up last year on charges of planning to commit murder, kidnapping and other violence in order to ignite a wider civil war that would allow a white homeland to emerge. Nazzaro, out of the reach of U.S. law enforcement in Russia, wrote on Telegram that the water poisoning plot was a possible template for something larger. The kind of extremists who worry experts the most emerged in October, when a paramilitary cell planning to kidnap the governor of Michigan was exposed. In federal court in January, the FBI portrayed one of the 14 defendants, Barry G. Croft Jr., 44, as a national leader of the Three Percenters, a loosely allied coalition of paramilitary groups that is difficult to track because virtually anyone can claim allegiance. Croft helped to build and test shrapnel bombs to target people, according to court documents, and a hit list that he posted on Facebook included threats to Trump and Barack Obama. In denying him bail, Judge Sally J. Berens quoted from transcripts of conversations taped by an informant in which he threatened to hurt people or to blow things up. “I am going to do some of the most nasty, disgusting things that you have ever read about in the history of your life,” the judge quoted him as saying. This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
- Business Insider
The White House says it never wants an assassination like Khashoggi's again, but won't punish MBS for ordering the killing
Biden's White House has essentially leaned on the importance of the diplomatic relationship with Saudi Arabia in defense of its actions.
The comic legends told Jimmy Kimmel that Louie Anderson was cast in the classic 1980s comedy because he was one of three names given to them.
A U.S. House of Representatives panel has reissued a subpoena seeking Donald Trump's tax and financial records, saying in a memo made public on Tuesday it needs the documents to address "conflicts of interest" by future presidents. In a court filing on Tuesday, House lawyers told a judge that the House Oversight Committee reissued a subpoena to Trump's accounting firm, Mazars USA LLP, on Feb. 25.
- The Independent
John Brennan says ‘there are so few Republicans in Congress who value truth, honesty, and integrity’
- Reuters Videos
The Biden administration on Tuesday imposed sanctions to punish Russia for what it described as Moscow's attempt to poison opposition leader Alexei Navalny with a nerve agent last year, in President Joe Biden's most direct challenge yet to the Kremlin. The move marked a sharp turn away from former President Donald Trump's reluctance to confront Russian President Vladimir Putin.Seven senior members of the Russian government would be blocked from accessing their financial assets in the U.S. But it was unclear whether the seven had U.S. assets, making it hard to judge whether the sanctions were more than symbolic.White House press secretary Jen Psaki: “It was not meant to be a silver bullet or an ending to what has been a difficult relationship with Russia. We expect the relationship to continue to be a challenge, we’re prepared for that, and we’re neither seeking to reset our relations with Russia, nor are we seeking to escalate.” New export restrictions were also placed on businesses and other entities associated with Russia's biological and chemical agent production. Navalny, a Putin critic and political opponent, became ill on a flight in Siberia in August and was airlifted to Germany, where doctors concluded he had been poisoned with a nerve agent. The Kremlin has denied any role in his illness and said it had seen no proof he was poisoned. Navalny returned to Russia in January, and was jailed earlier this month for parole violations on what he says were politically motivated charges. [WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY JEN PSAKI:] “We also reiterate our call for Russia to immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Navalny.” The U.S. sanctions are in concert with similar ones imposed by the European Union Tuesday. The Interfax news agency reported that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier in the day that Russia would respond in kind to any new U.S. sanctions over Navalny.
- LA Times
In the wake of J.K. Rowling's transphobic remarks, an upcoming "Harry Potter"-themed video game will allow users to play as trans witches and wizards.
- Associated Press
Pennsylvania's Republican Party has expressed its disapproval of U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey over his vote to convict Donald Trump during the former president’s second impeachment trial, while stopping short of issuing the more serious — albeit still symbolic — censure that some members had pushed for. The vote counting wrapped up late Monday night, completing a five-hour remote video meeting last week that had to be continued because of technical problems, state committee members said. The vote count was 128-124, with 13 abstaining, to approve a statement expressing disappointment with fellow Republican Toomey, but not a censure, state committee members said.
- Associated Press
The hopes of building a robust democracy in Myanmar were shattered when the powerful military toppled the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy party in a coup Feb. 1. In the month since, the mass protests occurring each day are a sharp reminder of the long and bloody struggle for democracy in a country where the military ruled directly for more than five decades. When the army blocked Parliament from convening and detained Suu Kyi and others in her government the day of its takeover, it alleged the most recent election was tainted by fraud.
China on Monday denied accusations by Taiwan that a ban on pineapples from the island was about politics, saying it was purely a matter of biosecurity, in an escalating war of words that has added to existing tensions. China announced the ban last week, citing "harmful creatures" it said could come with the fruit, threatening China's own agriculture. Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory, says there is nothing wrong with its pineapples and that Beijing is using the fruit as another way to coerce the island.
- Associated Press
The Philippine president has dismissed his former ambassador to Brazil after she was seen on video physically abusing a Filipino member of her household staff. President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday night he had approved a recommendation to fire Marichu Mauro, revoke her retirement benefits and disqualify her from public office for life. The Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila said at the time that the unidentified victim had returned to Philippines and that it was trying to reach her amid an investigation.
- Associated Press
Joe Exotic of “Tiger King" fame has found new attorneys who say they plan to file a motion for a new trial in a matter of months. Joe Exotic, whose real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage, was sentenced in January 2020 to 22 years in federal prison for violating federal wildlife laws and for his role in a failed murder-for-hire plot targeting his chief rival, Carole Baskin, who runs a rescue sanctuary for big cats in Florida. Baskin was not harmed.
The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions to punish Russia for what it described as Moscow's attempt to poison opposition leader Alexei Navalny with a nerve agent last year, in President Joe Biden's most direct challenge yet to the Kremlin. The sanctions against seven senior Russian officials, among them the head of its FSB security service, and on 14 entities marked a sharp departure from former President Donald Trump's reluctance to confront Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- The Telegraph
The Duchess of Sussex wore earrings during a royal tour which were a gift from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia who is accused of ordering the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The Chopard earrings worn by the Duchess at a formal dinner in Fiji in October 2018 during a royal tour of New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga were a wedding gift from the crown prince according to The Times. Kensington Palace was reportedly instructed to brief the media that the chandelier earrings were “borrowed” and this was reported by outlets covering the engagement. An aide has claimed the Duke and Duchess said the earrings were borrowed from a jeweller. Lawyers for the Duchess told The Times that while she may have stated the earrings were borrowed she did not say that they were borrowed from a jeweller. The lawyer denied the Duchess misled anyone about their provenance.
- The Daily Beast
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / Getty ImagesPrince Harry and Meghan Markle are being urged by some commentators in the U.K. to ask CBS to postpone the airing of its Oprah Winfrey interview, in which they are expected to mount a stinging attack on the royal family, as concern mounts over Prince Philip’s prospects of beating an infection.Prince Harry Tells Oprah He Left the Royals Because He Feared Meghan Markle Would Suffer Like Princess Diana Philip, 99, was moved to a specialist heart hospital on Monday and royal sources have been quoted by British newspapers saying the family is “pretty appalled” at the idea of the interview, which Oprah has said sees Meghan saying “pretty shocking things” being broadcast while Philip is so unwell.Penny Junor, author of Prince Harry, Brother, Soldier, Son, told The Daily Beast that airing the interview while Prince Philip was undergoing very public health travails risked making the interview look inappropriate, saying, “Anything could hijack this interview. Philip is ill. He is 99 and could die at any time. They were not to know he would get ill, but it could be seen to be the wrong time. But I doubt it is in their gift to postpone the interview. The control is in the hands of CBS and Oprah.”Robert Lacey, historical consultant for The Crown and author of the definitive royal biography Majesty, told The Daily Beast, “I think it would be a marvelous turnaround for Harry’s image if he took the brave step of canceling the whole thing this weekend—or, if that’s not practical, postponing it at least.”Royal commentator and former editor of Who’s Who Richard Fitzwilliams said it would “surely be appropriate” to postpone the interview.He told MailOnline, “Oprah is their friend and neighbor and would undoubtedly comply if asked and the gesture would I am sure be appreciated by the royal family. If an interview has been extended, as this recently has, it can also be postponed, as this undoubtedly should be.” Royal biographer Robert Jobson told the Mail, “With the Duke of Edinburgh clearly very unwell, the fact that the couple plan to go ahead with airing their self-indulgent, no-holds-barred interview with chat show queen Oprah Winfrey makes them appear heartless, thoughtless, and supremely selfish.“For U.S. broadcast network CBS, this interview is a coup, all about securing big viewing figures and big advert sales around the airing of their exclusive interview. So even if they wanted to, Harry and Meghan probably couldn’t dictate terms to Oprah Winfrey and the network now. Too much has been invested.”A TV industry insider told the Mirror, “CBS has sold millions of dollars worth of advertising around the interview, but bosses are aware of the delicacy of the Duke’s health. They have no loyalty to the royal family, although some feel as though they do to Harry and Meghan. For it to run if Philip’s condition worsened would be like setting off a diplomatic bomb. It would be grossly insensitive and hugely disrespectful.”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.