The new movie gives the family a chance to place officer Daniel Pantaleo on trial.
China is expected to reveal a robust increase in defence spending at the March 5 annual opening of parliament, as its economy rebounds from the COVID-19 pandemic and military tensions rise, Chinese and Western security experts said. With the coronavirus hammering its economy, China last year announced a 6.6 per cent boost in defence spending to $178 billion, the lowest rate of increase in three decades. The new administration of President Joe Biden has moved quickly to remind Beijing that the United States intends to compete with China's growing influence and military strength in the Asia-Pacific.
- Associated Press
When Wyoming U.S. Sen. John Barrasso snapped at Deb Haaland during her confirmation hearing, many in Indian Country were incensed. The exchange, coupled with descriptions of the Interior secretary nominee as “radical” — by other white, male Republicans — left some feeling Haaland is being treated differently because she is a Native American woman. At Wednesday's hearing, Barrasso wanted assurance that Haaland would follow the law when it comes to imperiled species.
- USA TODAY
A pilot at American Airlines radioed Sunday that an unidentified object flew over their jet during a flight while they were over New Mexico.
Wireless carrier AT&T Inc said on Thursday it will sell about a third of its stake in satellite TV unit DirecTV to buyout firm TPG Capital in a deal that values the business at $16.25 billion, well below the $68 billion it paid for the asset less than six years ago. The newly created New DirecTV, which includes DirecTV, AT&T TV and U-verse video services has $6 billion in debt and will be jointly run by AT&T and TPG following the transaction. Over the years, the satellite TV unit has lost subscribers to popular online streaming options like Netflix Inc and Amazon.com Inc's Prime Video.
- The Telegraph
The Queen: people who refuse vaccine should think of others Analysis: Queen shows personal commitment in a time of crisis Merkel refuses Oxford jab amid calls to 'lead by example' Commuters 'should get used to fewer trains after pandemic' Subscribe to The Telegraph for a month-long free trial A scientist involved advising the Government has said there is little point in primary school children wearing face masks. Professor Calum Semple, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), told BBC Radio 4: "Primary school children are the lowest risk both to themselves and to society. "There is really good data coming out ... that shows that children are half as likely to acquire the virus to a third as likely to acquire the virus. "When it comes to transmitting they are probably half as likely to transmit it as adults. That risk actually gets smaller as you go into younger age groups. I am not a great fan of young children wearing face masks. "If I had to invest in a single activity to improve the environment both for the children and the adults, I'd be looking at improving the ventilation, unsealing windows that have been painted shut and kept shut for energy-saving reasons. "That would be a much more effective way to reduce transmission in schools." Follow the latest updates below.
- The Independent
TV host criticises Trump Jr and Lauren Boebert, accusing them of acting like IRA and Osama Bin Laden
‘It communicates that they’re open to at least the possibility of violent overthrow of the government,’ claims Chris Hayes
- The Daily Beast
Erin Schaff/ReutersThe acting chief of the U.S. Capitol Police just came with the receipts.Testifying before a House Appropriations subcommittee about the catastrophic breakdown that allowed thousands of MAGA rioters to breach the Capitol, Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman revealed that her predecessor called the House sergeant-at-arms, Paul Irving, at 12:58 p.m. to request the National Guard as rioters breaching the building and forced lawmakers into hiding.Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, who resigned after the riot, called Irving again seven minutes later, according to phone records pulled by Pittman—and then called him at least three more times until 1:45 p.m.“When there’s a breakdown you look for those commanders with boots on the ground to provide that instruction,” Pittman said. “That did not happen, primarily because those operational commanders at the time were so overwhelmed, they started to participate and assist the officers… versus providing that guidance and direction.”First Capitol Riot Hearing Only Raised More Questions About Jan. 6The receipts–which support the narrative that a series of unanswered calls, withheld information, and conflicting orders led to complete malfunction—directly contradicted Irving’s testimony.On Tuesday, Sund testified that he asked for National Guard backup just after 1 p.m. But Irving insisted that was wrong. He said he did not remember the conversation with Sund and claimed he didn’t get an official request until “shortly before 1:30 p.m.” Troops were not approved to help overwhelmed officers at the Capitol until 2:10 p.m.“Mr. Irving stated that he was concerned about the ‘optics’ of having the National Guard present and didn’t feel that the intelligence supported it,” Sund said Tuesday. Irving, who resigned in the wake of the riot, said that was “categorically false.”On Tuesday, Irving said that if Sund, Senate sergeant-at-arms Michael Stenger, or any other leaders concluded ahead of Jan. 6 that unarmed National Guardsmen were needed, he “would not have hesitated” to ensure the reinforcement was ready.Pittman’s testimony—and her insistence that Capitol Police did everything possible to contain the insurrection—was just the latest twist in a series of finger-pointing between the top law enforcers in charge of securing the Capitol. During hearings before lawmakers this week, officials have blamed one another for the widespread failures.One failure, Pittman conceded on Thursday, was that nobody in law enforcement knew the mob would be so violent.She told lawmakers that they were prepared for militia groups, white supremacists, and other extremists to be present, but the small organization was not prepared for thousands of “everyday” Americans “who took on a mob mentality.” (Acting D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee revealed on Tuesday that the FBI intel consisted merely of an email sent on Jan. 5.)Officials believe over 10,000 demonstrators were at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and that 800 breached the building. About 1,200 police officers responded, Pittman said.She also made the stunning admission that since Jan. 6, Capitol Police have maintained heightened security because they learned that militia groups have chatted about plans to “blow up the Capitol and kill as many members as possible” in connection with the State of the Union, which has no scheduled date yet. “We know that the insurrectionists that attacked the Capitol weren’t only interested in attacking members of Congress and officers. They wanted to send a symbolic message to the nation as [to] who was in charge of that legislative process,” Pittman said. On Tuesday, Irving insisted that Capitol Police were privy to intelligence provided by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security that “did not support” the likelihood of a coordinated assault at the Capitol.An NYPD Cop’s Road From Terror ‘Victim’ to Capitol Rioter“The department was not ignorant of intelligence indicating an attack of the size and scale we encountered on the sixth. There was no such intelligence,” Pittman said Thursday. “Although we knew the likelihood for violence by extremists, no credible threat indicated that tens of thousands would attack the U.S. Capitol. Nor did the intelligence received from the FBI or any other law enforcement partner indicate such a threat.”Pittman added that because officers at the Capitol were not prepared for a violent mob, lockdown procedure was not properly executed. She added that some officers were also not sure when to use lethal force, and that radio communications between law enforcers were not robust.Five individuals died during the violent riots. Four were pro-Trump protesters, including Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt, who was shot and killed by a police officer after attempting to break into the Speaker’s Lobby. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died after allegedly clashing with rioters. In the days after the siege, at least two officers died by suicide.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 Weasleys are the largest family in the series, so even the biggest fans may not have heard all these fun facts and hidden secrets about them.
- Business Insider
Manhattan's DA subpoenaed Steve Bannon's fundraising records as part of a fraud investigation into his border-wall campaign, report says
Trump's former strategist is being investigated over allegations he misused funds donated as part of a crowdfunding campaign to build a border wall.
Iranian journalist, who won the International Press Freedom Award, was detained in Turkey after fleeing a nearly 5-year prison sentence
Tehran's Islamic Revolutionary Court sentenced him on charges of "colluding against national security" and "spreading propaganda against the system," in 2020.
- Business Insider
Experts say Dominion and Smartmatic could win their defamation lawsuits, but MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell says they have 'zero' chance
The Trump backers Rudy Giuliani, Sydney Powell, and Mike Lindell face defamation lawsuits from Dominion and Smartmatic that may succeed, experts say.
- Business Insider
China's massive Coast Guard and a new law expanding what it can do have worried its neighbors, maybe none of them more so than Japan.
- The Daily Beast
Ozan Kose/GettyMOSCOW—Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has announced that the military had attempted a coup on Thursday, the latest development in a country still recovering from last year’s lost war with Azerbaijan.Now, politicians and political analysts are speaking of Russia’s hand in the attempted coup, pointing to President Vladimir Putin’s strained relationship with Pashinyan. On Tuesday, Pushinyan had insulted Moscow by complaining about Russian missiles, an indirect criticism of the Kremlin’s strategy of waiting to intervene until Armenia was weakened in the conflict, despite its official status as a military ally.“They didn’t explode, or maybe 10 percent of them exploded,” Pashinyan said of the missiles on Tuesday. The military generals—already angry over Pashinyan’s firing of military generals in an effort to modernize the force—objected, setting off the conflict.According to political analyst Artur Paronyan, Russia’s General Staff Chief Valery Gerasimov had made a call to his Armenian counterpart, General Onik Gasparyan, earlier in the day. “Moscow clearly signaled to General Gasparyan to get rid of our prime minister,” Paronyan told The Daily Beast.Led by General Gasparyan, dozens of generals signed a statement calling for Pashinyan’s removal over his alleged inability “to make adequate decisions in this crisis.” It marked the first direct intervention by the military in Armenia’s domestic politics since 2008, when 10 demonstrators were killed after the military clamped down on a protest in Yerevan’s Freedom Square.Armenia has healed from that tragedy, and has since changed course. Over the past decade, the country has developed a vibrant civil society, confronting some of its most acute social issues. But the threat of a war with Azerbaijan over the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh has been up in the air for decades. Generations grew up preparing for the next war, and in September, the fighting began. It went on for six weeks, and Armenia was turned upside down.If Kim Kardashian Had an Armenian Man in Armenia, She’d Be At RiskAfter the war, thousands of bitter protesters crowded Yerevan’s center, blaming the government for the defeat and demanding Pashinyan’s resignation. A Russian-brokered ceasefire saved Armenia from defeat in Nagorno-Karabakh, but it also left Armenia desperately dependent on Russia for security.The opposition called for Pashinyan’s ouster, and was joined by the army on Wednesday. Many men in crowds of protesters wore military uniforms and said they would not leave Freedom Square until Pashinyan was gone. On Thursday, General Gasparyan published his statement formally calling for the prime minister’s resignation and criticizing him for “discrediting” the military.In an exclusive interview with The Daily Beast, Pashinyan’s key rival, former Minister of Defense Vazgen Manukyan, claimed he had powerful support from the Russian military. “We blame Pashinyan for the total diplomatic failure in peace negotiations with Baku and for our defeat in the war against Azerbaijan’s aggression.” He added that he was “in touch with all the commanders,” and that he knows that “some operations [led by Pashinyan] were more than dubious.”“Everything that my army managed to win from 1992 to 1993, he lost. We plan to put Pashinyan on trial and investigate why we have lost territories and 5,000 lives,” he said. Manukyan also stressed his support for peaceful demonstrations only, as a civil war would devastate an already vulnerable Armenia.Many of Manukyan’s supporters are openly championing Russian support for the coup. “The war showed us that neither the United States nor France were here to save us. Moscow negotiated peace for us. Even now, Russian peacekeepers are on guard in the conflict zone,” a pro-Manukyan analyst, Stepan Danielyan, told The Daily Beast.Armenian leaders have had a hard time earning the trust of a disillusioned public. The public demanded justice for years after the massacre in Freedom Square, blaming the president at the time, Robert Kocharyan, for ordering the shootings. A velvet revolution swept Nikol Pashinyan, once a political prisoner, to power in 2018. The same year, a court ordered former President Kocharyan arrested on charges related to the shooting incident.“Putin considers Pashinyan a traitor and an enemy who failed in his promises many times,” Sergei Markov, a Kremlin analyst, told The Daily Beast.Markov explained how the conflict between Putin and Pashinyan goes beyond the missile insults. According to media reports, Putin had unsuccessfully lobbied for the release of his friend, former president Kocharyan, after his 2019 arrest.“Putin called Kocharyan on his birthday a few months ago to demonstrate what he thought of that arrest,” says Markov. “Now the Kremlin would like to see [Pashinyan] drink the entire glass of shame so everybody would see what happens to an American puppet.”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.
- Associated Press
India's coast guard has found a boat adrift in the Andaman Sea carrying scores of Rohingya refugees, including eight who had died, officials said Thursday. The boat left Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh on Feb. 11 with 90 people, including 23 children, on board and its engine failed on Feb. 15, Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said. Two Indian coast guard ships were sent to help the refugees, and the Indian government is in discussions with Bangladesh to ensure their safe return, Srivastava said.
- The Independent
Biden raises human rights in call with Saudi king as intelligence officials to release report on Khashoggi killing
President Joe Biden has spoken with King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud of Saudi Arabia ahead of the release of a report from US intelligence officials that is expected to reveal that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved and likely ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. A White House report of their phone call on Thursday did not disclose whether they discussed the findings in the report. The leaders “discussed regional security, including the renewed diplomatic efforts led by the United Nations and the United States to end the war in Yemen, and the US commitment to help Saudi Arabia defend its territory as it faces attacks from Iranian-aligned groups,” according to a readout of their call.
Germany has administered only 15% of the AstraZeneca coronavirus shots it has available, the health ministry said, as the vaccine faces public resistance after trials showed it to be less effective than alternatives. The ministry said the vaccine would be offered to people that are in other priority groups after saying earlier this week state workers such as teachers and police would get priority access. Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman on Wednesday urged people to trust the vaccine which was developed at Britain's Oxford University, saying it was safe and effective.
- Associated Press
French Open champion Iga Swiatek has advanced to the final of the Adelaide International with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Jil Teichmann on Friday. The fifth-seeded Swiatek will next play the winner of the semifinal between second-seeded Belinda Bencic and 16-year-old American Coco Gauff. Swiatek was dominant in the opening set, breaking the Swiss left-hander’s serve in the fourth game.
- The Daily Beast
NBCDonald Trump is back in the spotlight thanks to his highly anticipated speech at CPAC this coming weekend, which was good news for Seth Meyers, who went all-in Thursday night on the Republican Party’s refusal to leave the former president behind them—and no one exemplifies that trend more pathetically than Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).“Republicans stuck by Trump no matter how bad he was for the party because they agreed with him,” the Late Night host explained. “They were engaged in the same project and wanted the same things. With a few exceptions, they were all Trump.” In particular, he said, Graham “literally wore the same clothes when they went golfing, like a chihuahua whose owner makes him wear matching outfits.”Of course, Graham’s recent re-embrace of Trump comes after he finally, almost denounced him on the day of the Capitol riot last month with an impassioned speech on the floor of the Senate. “I believe he was reciting a monologue from the Tennessee Williams play A Streetcar Named De-Liar!” Meyers joked.“Well, it won’t surprise you to learn that Graham almost immediately did a 180,” he continued. “He probably thought that by calling out Trump’s bad behavior one time he’d get to co-host a podcast with Obama and Springsteen.” Why MAGA-Mocking Comedian Blaire Erskine Makes Liberals So Mad“And by the way, at the same time that he’s openly cheerleading a former president who tried to overturn an election, incited a violent insurrection, and routinely called for his political enemies to be jailed,” the host said, “Graham is also calling President Biden’s COVID relief package divisive, despite the fact that it’s overwhelming popular in polls.”Earlier this week, Graham called the plan the “furthest thing from unity I’ve seen.”“Really?! It’s the furthest thing from unity you’ve seen?” Meyers asked. “Was your vision obstructed from the Trump flag rioters hung at the Capitol?”For more, listen and subscribe to The Last Laugh podcast.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 Telegraph
The Northern Ireland Protocol must be abolished rather than tweaked, the European Research Group will urge the Government on Thursday. The hardline Tory Brexiteers will publish a report, seen by The Telegraph, urging Boris Johnson to overhaul the problematic protocol rather than work with the EU to amend it. It comes amid a growing outcry over bureaucracy and checks, required under the protocol, hampering the inward flow of some goods to Northern Ireland from Great Britain. The protocol was established to smooth trade friction arising from Northern Ireland remaining inside the UK internal market while continuing to apply some EU rules. The Brexiteer MPs propose replacing it with a “mutual enforcement” arrangement, via which both the UK and EU would agree voluntarily to enforce each other’s rules. This would see the UK apply EU customs regulations in Northern Ireland, undertaking checks “at source” in warehouses and factories instead of checks taking place at a border. The ERG’s 38-page report comes after Michael Gove and Maros Sefcovic, the EU Commission vice-president, on Wednesday night issued a joint statement declaring both the UK and EU’s “full commitment” to “the proper implementation of the protocol”. The pair’s statement acknowledged that “joint action” was needed to make it work, but their declaration of support for it disappointed Tory Eurosceptics and Unionists. A UK Government source was also downbeat on the prospect of a breakthrough over the issues surrounding the protocol, conceding “there was no real progress” made in the meeting between Mr Gove and Mr Sefcovic. The source added that there “seems to be a lack of understanding on the EU side” of the situation on the ground in Northern Ireland and how the protocol is impacting people’s everyday lives there. It appeared Mr Sefcovic has “not been given any political room for manoeuvre” by hardliners in the Commission and member states, the source added, saying the bloc appeared to have forgotten its aborted move to trigger Article 16 of the protocol last month. The ERG, which boasts more than 50 MP supporters, called in senior Brexiteer lawyers Martin Howe QC, Barnabas Reynolds and James Webber to help draft its report. Their publication, entitled “Re-uniting the Kingdom: How and why to replace the Northern Ireland Protocol”, argues the mechanism has “had a profound and negative effect” on the UK’s internal market, as well as the constitutional position of Northern Ireland. It sees the ERG formally join the growing chorus of opposition to the protocol, which has been led by the Democratic Unionist Party and other Unionists who insist it is unworkable. This week DUP leader Arlene Foster, the First Minister of Northern Ireland, and senior party DUP MPs announced they were backing legal action against it. She has said a “long-term solution rather than sticking plasters” is needed, adding: “Whether it is the flow of parcels, supermarket goods, chilled meats or medicines, from GB to NI, the United Kingdom single market has been ruptured.” Mark Francois, chairman of the ERG, told The Telegraph: “As this report makes crystal clear, from the viewpoint of the ERG, the NI protocol has to go. We’ve recommended an alternative called mutual enforcement which gives both sides what they need without infringing the sovereignty of either party.” He added: “We very much hope that just as the EU swore blind they would never abandon the backstop and then did so, they may yet abandon their adherence to the protocol as well.” Eurosceptic Tories were buoyed last week by Downing Street’s promotion of Lord Frost to the Cabinet to lead on the UK’s post-Brexit relationship with the EU, believing he will take a tougher approach to Brussels than Mr Gove, who holds the brief until the end of this month.
- Reuters Videos
New Zealand's endangered Maui dolphins swim just below the surface of a small stretch of ocean off the west coast of the North Island.They're being followed overhead by drones tracking their each and every movement, as part of a new government-backed project aimed at protecting the beloved sea creatures.The Maui Drone Project uses artificial intelligence to find and track down the elusive Maui dolphins.New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Friday she has high hopes for the new program."Really it's about making sure that where we have those protections, we've put them in the places that Maui dolphins really need them. You know, we have drawn basically geographical areas where we have restricted certain types of fishing, but this will help us understand where they are, their movements, where the extra protections are required."The project is a one-year collaboration between the Ministry for Primary Industries, non-profit organisation MAUI63 and WWF-New Zealand, with the support of local fisheries.Officials say the drone technology can collect detailed data on the habitats, population, distribution and behaviour of the dolphins, along with many other marine species such as seabirds and whales.The drone will also ensure dolphins remain undisturbed as they fly out of the water at an altitude of up to nearly 400 feet (120 meters).Current estimates suggest that only 63 dolphins age one year and older remain.