Chicago announced changes to the city's COVID-19 travel order Tuesday, switching from a three-tier system to a two-tier system.
- The Week
D.C. National Guard commander highlights differences in deployment approval process for summer protests, Jan. 6 riot
Congressional testimony about the Jan. 6 Capitol riot from Maj. Gen. William Walker, the commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, began with a "brutal" line of questioning from Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) on Wednesday. Walker himself wasn't the target of Peters' questions. Rather, the senator asked the major general how quickly he was able to get approval to deploy troops in the nation's capital from the Pentagon in June during the protests against police brutality and racial injustice. Walker confirmed he got the go-ahead immediately. But when Peters followed up by asking about the timeline on Jan. 6, when a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, Walker testified that he did not receive immediate approval, highlighting the differences in responses to the events. Walker testifies that he received immediate approval to deploy the National Guard during the protests in D.C. last summer. Did he receive immediate approval to do the same on Jan. 6? "No, sir" pic.twitter.com/Ic50pJIPLj — Dave Brown (@dave_brown24) March 3, 2021 Walker said he alerted Army senior right after former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund requested assistance from guardsmen, whom Walker had moved closer to the Capitol in anticipation of the situation, but he didn't receive the required approval from then-acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller until over three hours later. The major general added that he received an "unusual" letter the day before the insurrection restricting him from deploying any Quick Reaction Force service members without the explicit approval of then-Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy. Read more at NPR. More stories from theweek.com7 scathingly funny cartoons about Trump's CPAC appearanceMike Pence comes out of hiding to nod towards Trump's election liesJoe Biden just yanked away stimulus checks from 17 million Americans
- Business Insider
Dr. Fauci has a stunningly simple way to explain how Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine differs from Pfizer's and Moderna's shots
All three of the COVID-19 shots authorized for use in the US train the body to recognize the coronavirus, but J&J's uses a cold virus instead of mRNA.
- 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.
These musicians blazed new trails for the genre, often collaborating with or inspiring some of rock's biggest male performers.
Director Matt Shakman hopes fans who have enjoyed Wanda's journey "will find that the finale is surprising but also satisfying."
- Associated Press
The White House warned that the U.S. may consider a military response to the rocket attack on Wednesday that hit an air base in western Iraq where American and coalition troops are housed, raising concerns this could trigger a new round of escalating violence. A U.S. contractor died after at least 10 rockets slammed into the base.
- Associated Press
The chief European Union diplomat in Venezuela left the country on Tuesday, a week after the government of Nicolás Maduro ordered her expulsion following the EU's decision to impose sanctions on several Venezuelan officials accused of undermining democracy or violating human rights. Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa tweeted a photograph of Caracas showing the mountain range that flanks the Venezuelan capital to the north and the message “infinite thanks to all Venezuelans for their affection.” The Venezuelan government’s action against Brilhante Pedrosa came after the European Union’s foreign ministers sanctioned 19 Venezuelan officials, freezing their assets and banning them from traveling to the bloc, citing the deteriorating situation Venezuela faces after December 2020 elections.
- The Independent
‘Everything is made in China,’ said a business partner behind the six foot replica
- LA Times
Five takeaways from the Lakers-Suns game on Tuesday night at Staples Center.
- Associated Press
In Iraq’s holiest city, a pontiff will meet a revered ayatollah and make history with a message of coexistence in a place plagued by bitter divisions. One is the chief pastor of the world-wide Catholic Church, the other a pre-eminent figure in Shiite Islam whose opinion holds powerful sway on the Iraqi street and beyond. Pope Francis and Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani are to meet on Saturday for at most 40 minutes, part of the time alone except for interpreters, in the Shiite cleric’s modest home in the city of Najaf.
- 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.
- The Week
During the campaign for the two Georgia Senate races, Joe Biden repeatedly promised to pass $2,000 stimulus checks if the Democrats won. After they did, the administration argued that $2,000 really meant $1,400 in addition to the $600 that had already gone out in the December rescue package. Whether that is true or not, now Biden is inarguably breaking his promise. Under pressure from moderate Senate Democrats, he has reportedly agreed to cut down the formula under which the checks will be sent out. In the previous packages, the amount started phasing out at $75,000 in income for individuals and $150,000 for joint filers, and vanished entirely at $100,000 and $200,000 respectively (as of 2019). Now the phase-out will start start in the same place but end at $80,000 for singles and $160,000 for couples. The $1,400 promise clearly implied at least that the checks would go out according to the previous formula used under Trump. But now singles making between $80,000-100,000 and couples making between $160,000-200,000 will get nothing. The Washington Post's Jeff Stein reports that roughly 17 million people who previously got checks now will not. The supposed justification here is that moderates want the aid to be more "targeted." In fact this formula is horribly inaccurate, because the income data the IRS uses is from the year before the pandemic (unless people have already filed their taxes — and by the way, if your income decreased in 2020, you should do that immediately). This formula is therefore doubly wrong — there are no doubt millions of people who have lost jobs and should qualify but won't, and a smaller number that have gotten raises and shouldn't qualify but will. And this change will only save a pitiful $12 billion. The survival checks are one of the most popular government programs in American history. Polls have them at something like 4-1 approval. "Moderation," for Senate Democrats, apparently means breaking their party's promises in the service of unpopular, pointless actions that make their president seem less generous than Donald Trump. More stories from theweek.com7 scathingly funny cartoons about Trump's CPAC appearanceMike Pence comes out of hiding to nod towards Trump's election liesCuomo claims kissing is his 'usual and customary' greeting
- Business Insider
Several cruise trips have already been cancelled this year. See when major cruise lines plan on operating again.
Most cruises in the US won't be sailing until May at the soonest and cruise lines are consistently pushing back sail dates.
- Reuters Videos
*PLEASE NOTE - THIS VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES*It was an attack that shocked the world - killing 1,400 people. The images were extremely distressing.And Western intelligence services concluded that Syrian government forces did use chemical weapons on its own people, a charge denied by the government.Now a group of survivors from the attack in 2013 on the Eastern Ghouta region just south east of the capital Damascus are seeking justice in French courts.Lawyers representing about a dozen survivors have filed a criminal complaint against Syrian officials whom they blame for the deaths of hundreds of civilians in a rebel-held area.France is home to thousands of Syrian refugees, and its investigating judges have a mandate to determine whether crimes against humanity were committed anywhere in the world.The case follows a similar one opened in Germany last year, and it's expected another case will be opened in Sweden in the coming months.It offers a rare legal avenue for action against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.Attempts by Western powers to set up an international tribunal for Syria have been blocked by Russia and China at the U.N. Security Council.The complaint is based on what the lawyers say is the most comprehensive body of evidence on the use of substances such as sarin gas in Syria.They include testimonies from survivors and defectors, an analysis of the Syrian military chain of command, and hundreds of items of documentary evidence, including photos and videos.
- Reuters Videos
The Burmese python strayed from its natural habitat nearby and got stuck in the pipe leading to an industrial complex.Forest department official Arith Dey led the rescue effort, saying "we tried for nearly three hours and finally rescued it. Now we will take it with us and release it in Baikunthapur Forest."
Three men and a woman pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to a charge of criminal damage over their alleged role in the toppling of a statue of 17th century slave trade magnate Edward Colston in Bristol in southwest England last year. The statue was pulled down and tossed into Bristol harbour during an anti-racism demonstration on June 7 that was part of a global wave of Black Lives Matter protests. The toppling of the statue led to other memorials of figures linked to the slave trade being taken down or their future being debated, triggering a backlash from government ministers who said this amounted to censoring history.
The "Evermore" artist and "The Favourite" actor have kept their love lives out of the spotlight for four years.
- Associated Press
Slow off the blocks in the race to immunize its citizens against COVID-19, Germany faces an unfamiliar problem: a glut of vaccines and not enough arms to inject them into. Germans watched with morbid fascination in January as Britain trained an army of volunteers to deliver coronavirus shots, then marveled that the U.K. — hit far worse by the pandemic than Germany — managed to vaccinate more than half a million people on some days. The U.S. drive-thru inoculation centers and the COVID-19 shots given out in American grocery store pharmacies drew bafflement in Germany — that is, until the country's own plans for orderly vaccine appointments at specialized centers were overwhelmed by the demand.
- The Independent
5,000 National Guard troops remain in DC amid QAnon frenzy that Trump will be inaugurated again this week
QAnon followers believe that on 4 March, which was once the inauguration date of US presidents, Donald Trump will become president again
- Associated Press
Sri Lankan Roman Catholic Church officials declared a “Black Sunday” this weekend to demand justice for the victims of 2019 Easter Sunday bomb attacks that killed more than 260 people. Archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith said Tuesday that the church has been given part of a presidential commission's report into the coordinated suicide bomb attacks on April 21, 2019, but many questions remain about its findings. A power struggle between the then president and prime minister which led to a communications breakdown and a resulting lapse in security coordination is said to have enabled the attacks, which occurred despite prior foreign intelligence warnings.