By Sasa Kavic and Ivana Sekularac BELI MANASTIR/HARMICA, Croatia (Reuters) - Hungary and Croatia traded threats on Saturday as thousands of exhausted migrants poured over their borders, deepening the disarray in Europe over how to handle the tide of humanity. More than 20,000 migrants, many of them refugees from the Syrian war, have trekked into Croatia since Tuesday, when Hungary used a metal fence, tear gas and water cannon on its southern border with Serbia to bar their route into the European Union. EU leaders, deeply divided, are due to meet on Wednesday in a fresh attempt to agree on how and where to distribute 160,000 refugees among their countries, but the noises from some of the newer members of the bloc were far from friendly. Hungary, where the right-wing government of Viktor Orban has vowed to defend “Christian Europe” against the mainly Muslim migrants, accused Croatia of "violating Hungary's sovereignty" by sending buses and trains packed with migrants over their joint border. It warned it might block Zagreb’s accession to Europe’s Schengen zone of passport-free travel. "Croatia's government has continuously lied in the face of Hungarians, Croatians, of the EU and its citizens," Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told a news conference. "What kind of European solidarity is this?" Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said that, unlike Hungary, he would not use “brute force” to keep people out, nor would his government make them stay against their will. The buses and trains would keep running to Hungary, he said. “We forced them (to accept the migrants), by sending people up there. And we’ll keep doing it,” he told reporters. DEATHS AT SEA Croatia, a country of 4.4 million people forged as an independent state in a 1991-95 war, has suddenly found itself in the way of the largest migration of people westwards since World War Two. On Friday, Milanovic said the country could not cope, and would simply wave the migrants on. Almost 500,000 people have crossed the Mediterranean to Europe so far this year, increasingly across the water from Turkey to Greece and then up through the impoverished Balkans to the former Yugoslavia, of which Croatia and Slovenia are members of the EU. Many are rushing to beat rougher seas; on Saturday, a girl believed to be five years old died and 13 other migrants were feared drowned when their boat sank off the island of Lesbos. A second, exhausted group of around 40 people reached the inundated island in a tiny dinghy following a traumatic journey from Turkey, having paddled through the night with their hands across 10 km six miles) of sea when their engine failed. "When we were on the sea ... I didn't have any hope ... I said: I am dead right now, nobody can help me," 18-year-old Mohammed Reza said after being helped ashore by foreign volunteers. Nearly 4,700 migrants were rescued off the coast of Libya on Saturday as they tried to reach Europe but one woman was found dead on board a boat, Italy's coastguard said. July and August alone brought 150,000 migrants to Greek shores, about as many as the EU says it is planning to accommodate if it can overcome the opposition of many newer members of the bloc in ex-Communist eastern Europe to the quotas Germany and others in northern and western Europe are calling for. The vast majority of refugees want to reach Germany, which has said it expects to receive 800,000 asylum seekers this year. They kept coming on Saturday, crammed onto bus and train having crossed into Croatia from Serbia and driven north and west toward Hungary and Slovenia. Many spent the night under open skies, and the day searching for shade from a scorching late summer sun. Hungary said some 8,000 had arrived from Croatia on Friday, with more on their way. Most were sent to reception centers near Hungary’s border with Austria, which in turn said about 7,500 had entered since midnight, with more to follow. SYRIAN WAR Hungarian soldiers are racing to build a fence along the Croatian frontier like the one erected the length of its border with Serbia. The government said on Saturday it had called up some army reservists, mostly to staff garrisons left empty by soldiers deployed to the border. “If Croatia puts up its hands and says, no, I don't want to defend the borders, then Hungary can only say that it isn't ready to join Schengen when the moment comes to decide,” Antal Rogan, an adviser to Orban, told InfoRadio news station. Crowds were building too on Croatia’s border with Slovenia, which like Hungary is a member of the Schengen zone. Police were rationing entry to small groups, mainly families, and Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar suggested he may have to discuss with neighboring states the creation of a “corridor” to allow their passage through the tiny country of 2 million people. Some 2,000 had entered by Saturday. “I feel frustrated, we’re so tired,” said Siha, 35, from Aleppo, Syria’s commercial hub, parts of which have been reduced to rubble by the four-year-old war. She held close her two young children on a bridge in no-man’s-land at the Harmica border crossing into Slovenia. “We left Turkey 10 days ago. The trip was very dangerous for the kids. I decided to leave Syria because I want my kids to have a comfortable life, to study,” she said. An estimated three million Syrians have fled the war and many more are displaced inside their country, feeding the tide to western Europe. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said there was an urgent need to renew efforts to find a political solution to the war and the worsening refugee crisis. "We need to get to the negotiation. That is what we're looking for and we hope Russia and Iran, and any other countries with influence, will help to bring about that, because that's what is preventing this crisis from ending," Kerry said after talks in London with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond. The United States has taken in 1,500 refugees since the start of the Syrian war in 2011, and President Barack Obama last week committed to accepting 10,000 more over the coming year. Anne Richard, assistant secretary of state for population, refugees and migration, said on Saturday she would like to see a steep increase in numbers in 2017. The government of Iceland, with a population of only 330,000, said it planned to spend 2 billion Icelandic crowns ($15.9 million) this year and next on aid to people fleeing the Syrian crisis. Iceland would take about 100 refugees this year. (Reporting by Maja Zuvela in Tovarnik, Croatia, Thomas Escritt in Budapest, Igor Ilic in Zagreb, Marja Novak in Ljubljana, Christoph Steitz in Frankfurt and Marina Depetris in Lesbos; Writing by Tom Heneghan and Matt Robinson; Editing by Andrew Roche)
- LA Times
Will we see a Black Man of Steel onscreen any time soon? News that Ta-Nehisi Coates is penning a new Superman movie has prompted speculation.
- The Independent
CPAC: Gaetz says media ‘biased’ over Ted Cruz’s Cancun trip and should have focused on ‘caravans’ of migrants instead
Outspoken GOP congressman complains ‘the left and the media’ were less concerned about ‘caravans going through Mexico’ than Texas senator visiting
- The Independent
Republicans cite ‘public health emergency’ for skipping Covid relief votes while speaking at maskless CPAC
Lawmakers due to attend conservative conference where crowds booed hosts for asking guests to wear masks
- The Independent
Republican gathering began in 1974 and sees American conservatives debate social worries but has struggled with position on 'alt-right' in recent years
The actor says his childhood insecurities were “exacerbated” by years of public mockery, and he doesn’t want kids to endure the same fate.
- USA TODAY
'We're done with that lifestyle': Jessica Watkins, Ohio woman charged in Capitol riot, renounces Oath Keepers
Jessica Watkins, 38, says she has disbanded her local armed group and is canceling her Oath Keeper membership after her arrest.
- The Telegraph
Lady Gaga is poised to hand over a $500,000 reward to a mystery woman who returned her beloved French bulldogs kidnapped in a violent street robbery near her home in Hollywood. Koji and Gustav, thought to be worth up to $10,000 dollars each, were given in at a downtown LAPD Police Station by an unnamed woman late on Friday night. Authorities believe the woman who handed the dogs in was "uninvolved and unassociated" with the attack - but she is still eligible for the "unconditional" $500,000 and is said to be in contact with Gaga’s representatives. “If you bought or found them unknowingly, the reward is the same,” Gaga had said in a post confirming the hefty sum before the dogs were handed back on Friday. The violent abduction on Wednesday saw the singer’s dog-walker and close friend Ryan Fischer shot in the chest. Gaga's third dog named Miss Asia escaped the attack and was later found by police. The singer, whose real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, has kept silent since the dogs were handed into police. But her reward offer has raised eyebrows.
- USA TODAY
Nearly two dozen Republicans attending CPAC in Florida have designated a proxy to vote on their behalf, citing the "ongoing public health emergency."
- Business Insider
Trump supporters and right-wing reporters wouldn't stop heckling CNN's Jim Acosta during second day of CPAC
A crowd of Trump supporters and right-wing reporters were filmed following Jim Acosta around CPAC while chanting "CNN sucks!"
- USA TODAY
GOP congresswoman's husband, whose truck had Three Percenters decal, says he never heard of armed group before
Illinois state Rep. Chris Miller said he was given the sticker featuring the armed group's logo by a friend "who said that it represented patriotism."
- Business Insider
Decades ago, 9 Russian hikers mysteriously fled their tent and froze to death. A new study sheds light on the cold case.
In 1959, nine hikers fled their tent in Russia's snowy Dyatlov Pass and froze. A new study suggests a slab avalanche crushed their tent in the night.
- The Guardian
Artist Tommy Zegan reveals figure was constructed in country the former president has assailed and demonized Sculptor Tommy Zegan polishes his statue of Donald Trump at CPAC. Photograph: John Raoux/AP A golden statue of Donald Trump that has caused a stir at the annual US gathering of conservatives was made in Mexico – a country the former president frequently demonized. The statue is larger than life, with a golden head and Trump’s trademark suit jacket with white shirt and red tie. Video and pictures of the tribute being wheeled through the halls of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, went viral on Friday. The conference is seen as a vital gathering of the Republican right, and this year has become a symbol of Trump’s continued grip on the party, despite being cast out of office after two impeachments, seemingly endless parades of scandals and a botched response to the coronavirus pandemic that has cost half a million lives in the US. Now the artist behind the huge statue of Trump – Tommy Zegan – has revealed that the object was made in Mexico; a country that has been the target of much Trump racist abuse over his political career, and somewhere he has literally sought to build a wall against. “It was made in Mexico,” Zegan told Politico’s Playbook newsletter. Zegan, who lives in Mexico on a permanent resident visa, described the transport of the monument to CPAC in full to Playbook. Politico reported: “Zegan spent over six months crafting the 200lb fiberglass statue with the help of three men in Rosarito. He transported it to Tampa, Florida, where it was painted in chrome, then hauled it from there to CPAC.”
- Business Insider
Go back to the place you got your first shot if you lose your paper card, and make sure to take a photo of the vaccine card after your first dose.
- The Telegraph
The joy of receiving a note from a member of the Royal Family, in response to a card or a letter, has long been keenly felt by well wishers from across the globe. But the Duke and Duchess of Sussex now face a scramble to make new arrangements for their correspondence after the Prince of Wales withdrew his financial support for the mail service provided by his team at Clarence House. The couple’s decision not to return to the royal fold as working members of the family means that all professional ties will be severed from the end of next month. For practical reasons, that will include arrangements relating to their mail, the Sunday Telegraph understands, meaning that well wishers might have to start posting their cards to the US instead. The Correspondence Section at Clarence House, comprising around four members of staff, has traditionally handled the Sussexes’ mail, as well as that of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.
- The State
“Her daddy got to heaven just before she did.”
- Business Insider
Ted Cruz engages in an online spat over Biden's HHS secretary nominee who sued the Trump administration more than 100 times
Cruz and Princeton historian Kevin M. Kruse had a back-and-forth over the qualifications of Xavier Becerra, Biden's nominee to lead the department.
- National Review
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) on Friday urged the New York State legislature to open an investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Governor Andrew Cuomo brought by his former staffer, Lindsey Boylan. The progressive congresswoman told reporters that survivors “deserve to be heard” and noted that the “process for hearing this allegation falls squarely in the state legislature.” Meanwhile, New York attorney general Letitia James is reportedly reviewing a letter from state Republicans who have also called for an investigation into the allegations against the governor, according to Fox News. Lindsey Boylan, the former deputy secretary for economic development and special adviser to Cuomo, on Wednesday published an essay detailing alleged sexual harassment she endured while working for the governor, including unwanted kissing and touching. She wrote in the essay that Cuomo, with the help of top female aides, “created a culture within his administration where sexual harassment and bullying is so pervasive that it is not only condoned but expected.” She also detailed an increasingly uncomfortable relationship she developed with the governor, in which he sought her out and set up one-on-one meetings with her. Boylan recounted a flight she shared with the governor from an event in October 2017 in which Cuomo allegedly said, “Let’s play strip poker.” On another occasion, Boylan says the pair met one-on-one for a briefing when Cuomo allegedly kissed her. “We were in his New York City office on Third Avenue,” she writes. “As I got up to leave and walk toward an open door, he stepped in front of me and kissed me on the lips. I was in shock, but I kept walking.” Boylan later resigned on September 26, 2018.
- The Daily Beast
Twitter/Lady GagaLady Gaga’s two French bulldogs, stolen off the streets of Los Angeles Wednesday night, were found tied to a pole in an alley by a passerby who took them to a police station on Friday night, according to TMZ.The unidentified woman reportedly turned the animals in to the Los Angeles Police Department’s Olympic Community Police Station around 6 p.m., Capt. Jonathan Tippett told a local NBC outlet. Tippett said that the woman was “uninvolved and unassociated” with the dog thieves. No arrests have been made in the case. The canines were unharmed, and the singer’s representatives confirmed they were the right animals. Lady Gaga, who is currently in Rome, had offered a $500,000 reward for the canines’ return, “no questions.”TMZ reported Lady Gaga wept “tears of joy” upon receiving the news and sources told the outlet Gaga would “gladly” pay the $500,000 reward to the woman.Lady Gaga’s father, Joe Germanotta, told The Daily Beast on Saturday morning that the family is “extremely happy” with the news. “The phone rang last night, everybody was relieved and there were a lot of happy tears,” he said. Germanotta also thanked the LAPD, and the doctors and nurses who treated dog walker Ryan Fischer, who was shot once in the chest during the robbery. “That’s the most important thing, that Ryan is going to be okay,” he added. “Now, it’s about finding these guys.” Why Lady Gaga’s Dognapping Has Stumped Pet DetectivesMultiple assailants stole the animals from Lady Gaga’s dog walker as he took them for a walk Wednesday evening in Hollywood. They pulled up beside Fischer in a white Nissan Altima with four doors, surrounded him, and shot him in the chest before making off with two of the dogs, Koji and Gustav. A third, Asia, escaped and later made it back to Fischer. Fischer is in treatment and is expected to recover. The LAPD released a description of the two suspects in a Thursday night statement.The suspect who shot Fischer was described as a Black male, aged 20-25, with blond dreadlocks and wearing a black hoodie. He was armed with a semi-automatic handgun. The second man was described as a Black male, aged 20-25, wearing dark clothing.My beloved dogs Koji and Gustav were taken in Hollywood two nights ago. My heart is sick and I am praying my family will be whole again with an act of kindness. I will pay $500,000 for their safe return. Email KojiandGustav@gmail.com to contact us. pic.twitter.com/3NY9u7Mw2K— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) February 26, 2021 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.
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Martin hosted The Russ Martin Show on 97.1 The Eagle.
Jill Biden said on "The Kelly Clarkson Show" that she and President Biden have a dinner date ritual before he goes back to work and she grades papers.