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The government will bring some "vulnerable" Australians home after its travel ban ends next week.
- Business Insider
Melinda Gates was upset and uncomfortable after she and Bill Gates met with Jeffrey Epstein, The Daily Beast reports
Sources told The Daily Beast that Bill Gates' relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein "still haunts" Melinda.
- The State
156 golfers teed off Thursday at Charlotte’s PGA event, competing for a first prize of nearly $1.5 million.
- Business Insider
Mitch McConnell's alma mater rejects his views on the 1619 Project and says they are 'quite troubling'
"To imply that slavery is not an important part" of US history "fails to provide a true representation of the facts," a university official said.
A wave of women streaming in bikinis - the 'hot tub meta' trend - has caused an uproar on Twitch, where critics claim it cheapens the platform.
- The Independent
‘I’m a vet ... f*** you all!’: Capitol riot suspect screams at judge and disconnects call during wild hearing, report says
Attempts to mute defendant were unsuccessful and he may face competency hearing and detention
Remnants of a large Chinese rocket launched last week are expected to plunge back through the atmosphere this weekend in an uncontrolled re-entry being tracked by U.S. Space Command, the U.S. military said on Wednesday. The Long March 5B rocket blasted off from China's Hainan island on April 29 carrying the Tianhe module, which contains what will become living quarters for three crew on a permanent Chinese space station. The rocket's exact point of descent into Earth's atmosphere as it falls back from space "cannot be pinpointed until within hours of its reentry," which is projected to occur around May 8, Space Command said in a statement posted online.
- Associated Press
The United States has deployed a dozen additional warplanes to bolster protection of American and coalition troops making a final withdrawal from Afghanistan as Taliban insurgents step up pressure on Afghan government forces, top Pentagon officials said Thursday. Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said F-18 attack planes have been added to a previously announced package of air and sea power — including the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier in the North Arabian Sea and six Air Force B-52 bombers based in Qatar — that can be called upon as protection for withdrawing troops. U.S. officials said before the withdrawal began that they expected the Taliban to attempt to interfere, even as the insurgents continue pressuring government forces, especially in Helmand and Kandahar provinces in southern Afghanistan.
- The Week
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is extremely effective against two dangerous variants of the coronavirus, the B.1.1.7 strain first found in the United Kingdom and the B.1.351 variant discovered in South Africa, researchers reported Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet. Moderna also reported Wednesday that, according to early results from its booster shot trial, a third dose of its vaccine given six to eight months after the first two doses boosted antibodies to protect against the South African B.1.351 variant and other worrisome strain found in Brazil. Moderna is testing its original vaccine and a version modified to target the B.1.351 variant. The new variants are more transmissible than the original strain and, some studies suggest, deadlier. The New England Journal of Medicine study examined records of more than 200,000 people from Qatar's COVID-19 database. The Pfizer vaccine was 87 to 89.5 percent effective at preventing infection from the B.1.1.7 variant among people two weeks past their second shot, 72.1 to 75 percent effective against the B.1.351 variant, and 100 percent effective at preventing severe, critical, or fatal cases of either variant, the researchers found. The study in The Lancet was based on more than 230,000 cases from Israel. It found that the Pfizer vaccine was more than 95 percent effective against infection, hospitalization, or death in fully vaccinated people 16 and older, and 94 percent effective in people 85 and older. The vaccine efficacy numbers aren't self-evident, but Brains On!, a science podcast for kids, has a short, entertaining, and pretty effective explanation using defecating seagulls. You can watch that below. More stories from theweek.comThe insurrectionists are winningHouse GOP leader Kevin McCarthy apparently pays $1,500 to live in a 12-bedroom, 16-bath penthouseIn 1 year, Minnesota man turns knack for making ice cream into a new career
- Reuters Videos
The U.S. government says that it may increase the amount of security assistance that it offers to Ukraine, in light of the two countries' continued problems with Russia.Moscow's decision to pull back some of its forces from the Ukraine border last month helped end a standoff that made alarm bells ring in Western capitals, and set the stage for an expected summit between Presidents Biden and Putin.But speaking alongside Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kyiv on Thursday, (May 6) Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Russia remains poised to take what he called, "aggressive action" on "short notice.""We are aware that Russia has withdrawn some forces from the border of Ukraine, but we also see that significant forces remain there, significant equipment remains there. We are monitoring the situation very-very closely."President Zelenskiy said he's impressed by the Biden administration's awareness of the situation, and asked for NATO to strengthen its presence in the region.Blinken didn't specify what form an increase in aid to could take, but last week Ukraine's foreign minister said that it was asking for air defense systems and technology that can counter snipers.The military standoff last month prompted Zelenskiy's government to lobby the United States and Europe to speed up Ukraine's possible admittance into the NATO alliance.Ukraine says 14,000 people have died over seven years of fighting with separatists, who are backed by Russia.
- Associated Press
The top U.S general for Africa is warning that a growing threat from China may come not just from the waters of the Pacific but from the Atlantic as well. U.S. Gen. Stephen Townsend, in an interview with The Associated Press, said Beijing is looking to establish a large navy port capable of hosting submarines or aircraft carriers on Africa’s western coast. Townsend said China has approached countries stretching from Mauritania to south of Namibia, intent on establishing a naval facility.
- Associated Press
With a badly aging bridge as his backdrop, President Joe Biden stood in reliably Republican Louisiana on Thursday to pressure GOP lawmakers to support his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan — and yet express a willingness to compromise on the corporate tax hikes he's recommending to pay the cost. Biden leaned into the stagecraft of the presidency by choosing to speak in the city of Lake Charles, which has been battered by historic storms and is home to a 70-year-old bridge that is two decades past its designed lifespan. The Democratic president, who wants to raise corporate taxes, challenged Republican dogma that low taxes for corporations and the wealthy fuel economic growth.
- The Telegraph
Ministers faced a backlash over the proposal to ban Troubles-era prosecutions on Thursday from Northern Irish parties, victims' groups and the Irish government. The plan to block trials of British veterans or IRA terrorists and move instead to a "truth and reconciliation" model was revealed by The Telegraph this week. The DUP and Sinn Fein, the two main parties in Northern Ireland, hit out at the prospect of a statute of limitations on prosecuting offences committed prior to the signing of the 1998 Good Friday agreement. Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill, the deputy First Minister, called it a "slap in the face" for victims, while the DUP MP Gavin Robinson said that while veterans should not be subjected to a "cycle of reinvestigations" in the absence of new evidence, access to justice was vital. The Irish government expressed fierce opposition, with Micheal Martin, the Taoiseach, claiming the proposal would represent a "breach of trust". Leo Varadkar, the deputy leader, said he was "deeply alarmed" and would not support any such move, arguing that victims and families have a right to justice. Irish ministers were said to be furious that Brandon Lewis, the Northern Ireland Secretary, did not mention the plan during engagements in Dublin on Wednesday.
- The Daily Beast
Drew AngererWhat remains of Bill Barr’s sullied reputation was blown up when federal district Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled that the government must turn over the memorandum, which the public has yet to fully see and that the Justice Department relied upon in declining to prosecute the 45th president.Not only was Barr being personally “disingenuous” by announcing his decision before the Mueller report was released and pretending he used the report to reach a conclusion instead of simply announcing the one he’d come to before the special counsel’s work had even finished his work, she wrote, “but DOJ has been disingenuous to this Court.”“The fact that (Trump) would not be prosecuted was a given,” the judge wrote. In reality, it was a given from the moment Barr was appointed by Trump, as the past inevitably became prelude given his first stint as attorney general under George H.W. Bush. Back then, DOJ resisted efforts to get to the bottom of U.S. government-backed financing of Iraq in the run-up to Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait.Mueller Report Has a Hidden Message for BarrPressed by House Democrats to appoint an independent counsel, Barr refused, while insisting it was “not a crime,” “simply not criminal in any way,” “nothing illegal.” What he meant was that oversight was for Democratic presidents only.In 2019, Barr stonewalled then Sen. Kamala Harris when she asked him whether Donald Trump or anyone at the White House had inquired or urged that he open an investigation into anyone. Think of Barr as an updated version of Roy Cohn, an earlier Trump lawyer. Both men attended Horace Mann, the swank private school in the Riverdale section of New York City, and Columbia University. As with Cohn, things are not ending well for Barr. For the record, Judge Jackson’s recent opinion was not written on a blank slate. Judge Reggie Walton, a George W. Bush appointee, had already blasted Barr’s allergy to the truth. In a March 2020 decision in a related case, the judge “seriously” questioned Barr’s integrity and credibility, and deployed words like “distorted” and “misleading” to make his point.He also observed that it appeared that Barr had “made a calculated attempt to influence public discourse about the Mueller Report in favor of President Trump despite certain findings in the redacted version of the Mueller Report to the contrary.”DOJ is not a public relations shop. Likewise, the department’s client is the U.S., not the occupant of the Oval Office. The imperial presidency is supposed to have limits.Barr’s reputation also stands to be tarnished by his efforts to put his thumb on the scale in connection with the sentencing of a since-pardoned Roger Stone and the Mike Flynn debacle. Like Stone, Flynn too received a Trump pardon. But along the way, Barr’s handling of Flynn’s case raised eyebrows from the bench.Specifically, Judge Emmet Sullivan hammered Barr while dismissing, at the DOJ’s request, its own case against Flynn after he had pleaded guilty. Sullivan observed, “In view of the government’s previous argument in this case that Mr. Flynn’s false statements were ‘absolutely material’ because his false statements ‘went to the heart’ of the FBI’s investigation, the government’s about-face, without explanation, raises concerns about the regularity of its decision-making process.”“Raises concerns”? Talk about understatement.By the end of Trump’s term, Flynn would call for the imposition of martial law. Meanwhile, Flynn’s brother, Charles Flynn, another general, was on duty during the insurrection. To top it all off, Flynn’s lawyer, Sidney Powell, would emerge as a grim punchline in attempting to “release the Kraken” to try and push through Trump’s Big Lie.As for the Flynn pardon, it happened on Barr’s watch, on November 25, 2020, more than two weeks before Barr quit. And here too, Barr’s past is relevant.After Bush 41 lost to Bill Clinton, Barr successfully pushed for pardons for Caspar Weinberger, Ronald Reagan’s defense secretary, and others in connection with the Iran-Contra scandal. “I favored the broadest pardon authority,” Barr explained. There were some people just arguing just for Weinberger. I said, ‘No–in for a penny, in for a pound.’”To his credit, Barr resisted Trump’s entreaties to find fraud with the election where none existed and, when he finally quit, the outgoing AG took a swipe at Trump and his efforts to undo the election results, and tried to suggest there was still some regularity to DOJ’s decision-making process by declaring that “it is incumbent on all levels of government, and all agencies acting within their purview, to do all we can to assure the integrity of elections and promote public confidence in their outcome.”Much too little, too late. Meanwhile, AG Merrick Garland has until May 17 to appeal Judge Jackson’s ruling. If he does not, the full memo that Barr used when he was the attorney general to justify the fix that was already in will immediately become public—and the fixer’s reputation will take one more hard hit as his successor begins the hard work of restoring integrity and public confidence in a battered Justice Department.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 Independent
America’s top diplomat warns Moscow ahead of Ukraine visit
- The Telegraph
The Duchess of Sussex's former press secretary has insisted he led "extensive efforts" to protect her privacy and reputation during her time as a working member of the Royal Family. Jason Knauf appeared to question Meghan's claim that she was "unprotected" by Kensington Palace staff, stating that he "regularly" objected to coverage deemed "unfair or untrue". In a letter sent to the Mail on Sunday's solicitors in connection with her legal battle against the newspaper, Mr Knauf said he also "made significant efforts over many months" to advise and support her father, Thomas Markle, and protect him from media intrusion. In her televised interview with Oprah Winfrey, the pregnant duchess, 39, suggested her team had failed to defend her from inaccurate stories and refused to take action when false allegations were made. She also alleged that her Kensington Palace team had lied about her in order to protect other members of the family. She said: "I came to understand that not only was I not being protected, but that they were willing to lie to protect other members of the family. They weren't willing to tell the truth to protect me and my husband."
- The Independent
‘We have a trespass warning for you from Disney. You’re no longer allowed on the property’
From Tamera Mowry as the Seashell to Kermit the Frog as the Snail, here's every celebrity to be unmasked on "The Masked Singer."
Raffaele Esposito, the 19th century Neapolitan credited with inventing Italy's most famous type of pizza, may be turning in his grave: Rome has a new vending machine which slides out freshly cooked pizzas in just three minutes. "It looks good but it is much smaller than in a restaurant and there is less topping," said Claudio Zampiga, a pensioner. People have been eating forms of flat bread with toppings for millennia, but it is generally accepted that pizza was perfected in Naples, where it was a street food for the poor.
- Business Insider
New York City wants to offer tourists free COVID-19 vaccines as it prepares for a full reopening this summer
Mayor Bill de Blasio outlined plans to set up mobile vaccination centers to give tourists the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.