Eviction moratorium expires at midnight
The European Commission said on Tuesday that it was considering emergency approvals for COVID-19 vaccines as a faster alternative to more rigorous conditional marketing authorisations which have been used so far. The move would mark a big shift in approach to vaccine approvals, as it would entail using a procedure that the EU had considered dangerous and that before the COVID-19 pandemic had been reserved for exceptional authorisation at national level of drugs for terminally ill patients, including cancer treatments. The potential change comes as the EU executive and the bloc's drug regulator come under increasing pressure for what some consider slow vaccine approvals, which have contributed to a slower rollout of COVID-19 shots in the 27-nation union, compared to the United States and former EU member Britain.
- The Independent
John Brennan says ‘there are so few Republicans in Congress who value truth, honesty, and integrity’
- The Daily Beast
Mandel Ngan/Getty FBI Director Christopher Wray, pushing back against the Capitol and D.C. police, insisted on Tuesday that his agents shared intelligence with them “in three ways” ahead of the Jan. 6 insurrection.Making his first substantial public comments on the FBI’s performance since an attack he called “domestic terrorism,” Wray told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the FBI had provided a now-infamous “situational information report” from its Norfolk bureau to D.C.-area law enforcement through an email the night before; an undated verbal briefing at a multi-agency command post set up by the bureau’s Washington Field Office; and through a post on a shared law-enforcement information network.Norfolk agents “made the judgment to get the information, in three different ways, to their partners, even though they didn’t know if it would be accurate,” Wray testified. The Norfolk memo from Jan. 5 remains undisclosed, but reportedly compiled a social-media thread involving exhortations that “Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in, and blood from their BLM and Pantifa slave soldiers being spilled. Get violent.”Top Capitol Riot Police Throw Each Other Under the Bus Over Botched Jan. 6 ResponseLast week, the former chiefs of Capitol security and the current chief of the Metropolitan Police Department said the briefings were woefully inadequate. Robert Contee, the head of the D.C. police, said he only saw the email and expressed frustration that the FBI did not provide so much as a phone call. Steven Sund, who resigned as Capitol Police chief after the insurrection, testified that he only learned the police received the FBI report slightly before last week’s hearing.The FBI has also provided unclear and contradictory information about what it knew ahead of Jan. 6. The head of the Washington Field Office, Steven D’Antuono, said two days after the attack that “there was no indication” of a threat to the Capitol before shifting his story the following week and claiming the FBI warned local law enforcement about potentially violent individuals.Wray did not resolve concerns about the robustness of the FBI warning. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), thundered at Wray for not “sound[ing] the alarm in some more visible and ringing way.”But Wray sought to get the FBI out from under the bus as recriminations over the Capitol insurrection coalesce. Wray suggested that the representatives of local law enforcement were responsible for not sufficiently alerting their superiors about the nebulous FBI warning. “Everyone’s supposed to go back and pass it up their chain,” Wray said.Simultaneously, Wray neither emphasized the reliability of the Norfolk warning—setting low expectations for when it emerges in public—nor claimed any of the other FBI’s field offices had generated their own warnings. Yet President Donald Trump and elected Republicans for weeks stoked the lie that President Joe Biden and the Democrats stole the election; Trump called for his supporters to gather for a “wild” march on the Capitol; and for days ahead of the rally, pro-Trump online forums exploded with calls for violence.Wray instead called the Norfolk warning “raw” and lamented the difficulty of determining what social-media-borne threats are more than bluster. He shot back that the FBI had issued generic warnings about domestic extremism before, during, and after the election. And like a senior Justice Department official last week, he suggested he was open to new counterterrorism authorities that civil libertarians have warned against.After praising the investigations the FBI has conducted under existing powers, which have now resulted in over 270 people arrested, Wray said, “certainly you would be hard-pressed to find any FBI director who wouldn’t welcome more tools in the toolbox.” He said there were now around 2,000 open investigations into domestic terrorism.But Wray also provided political and euphemistic answers that pointed to the fault lines of the post-Jan. 6 debate over terrorism committed by white Americans with powerful political champions. He dodged a question over whether a rally called by Trump and for the purpose of overturning the election in his favor featured “Trump supporters.” He said instead that the insurrections included “militia violent extremists” and “in some instances ‘racially motivated violent extremists,’ specifically advocates of the superiority of the white race.” The FBI has come under criticism for using a term that obscures the source of the “racially motivated” violence and falsely suggests there is an equivalent threat of violence targeting whites.Republicans on the committee demonstrated similar false equivalence. The ranking Republican, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), worried aloud about “ever-present left-wing threats,” which the Department of Homeland Security under Trump assessed as marginal compared to white supremacist violence. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who reportedly pressured Georgia election officials to throw out valid ballots, wondered if it would have “been easy for international terrorists” to infiltrate the Capitol mob.Wray provided little information about key questions in the Capitol investigation, including about how Capitol Policeman Brian Sicknick died. But he also said that additional charges, particularly “some of the more advanced charges,” were forthcoming against insurrectionists. “A large and growing number of the people we’ve arrested so far in connection with the 6th are what we’d call militia violent extremism,” Wray told senators and said that there were indications of a “planned and coordinated” assault from some right-wing groups in attendance.On Wednesday, a different Senate panel will hear the first Jan. 6 testimony from officials at the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, as well as from Jill Sanborn, Wray’s counterterrorism chief.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet 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
Veteran linebacker Kyle Van Noy is moving on after one season with the Miami Dolphins, and he's not happy about it. The Dolphins told Van Noy he will be released, two people familiar with the discussion confirmed to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the Dolphins had not commented. In a statement, Van Noy said he was disappointed and surprised.
- The Independent
One of the US’s most powerful political groups is on its knees just as its most bitter enemies take control of Washington
- Reuters Videos
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will face an independent attorney investigating allegations against him of sexual misconduct.Cuomo's office initially planned to choose its own investigator, but then backtracked amid a backlash from fellow Democrats.Instead, New York Attorney General Letitia James said her office would hire a law firm, grant them subpoena powers, and oversee the probe.Cuomo, one of the nation’s most well-known Democratic politicians, whose popularity soared during the early months of the pandemic, has been accused in the past week by two former aides of sexual misconduct.In a report published Saturday in the New York Times, one woman said Cuomo asked her about her sex life, whether she was monogamous, and if she had ever had sex with older men. That account came days after another former aide wrote an online essay saying the governor had sent her roses for Valentine's Day and kissed her on the mouth. Cuomo denied making any sexual advances, and late on Sunday put out a statement saying he "never intended to offend anyone or cause harm." The misconduct allegations follow a report that the state health department significantly undercounted the COVID-19 death toll in nursing homes.
- The Independent
Dr Reiner said, ‘without [Trump’s] very visible assent to vaccines, it has devastating result on acceptance of vaccines in people who doubt it right now’
- The Independent
Seven government figures blocked from accessing financial assets in the US
- USA TODAY
President Biden has started to unwind several of Donald Trump's hardline immigration policies.
- The Independent
President’s warm tone towards Mexico has translated to substantial policy changes
- 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
- The Independent
Biden AG pick passes out of committee by bipartisan 15-7 vote
Amanda Seyfried's Golden Globes gown arrived just in time for the awards show after it was lost for 36 hours
Amanda Seyfried's stylist, Elizabeth Stewart, told People that someone from Oscar de la Renta had to drive to a FedEx hub to find the gown.
A Palm Beach mansion owned by the Trump family just hit the market for $49 million, and it's right across the street from Mar-a-Lago
The home was previously owned by former president Donald Trump's sister, who sold it to Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump in 2018.
- The Telegraph
The Duchess of Sussex faced several bullying complaints from members of her staff during her time as working royal, it was claimed on Tuesday night, as tensions between the couple and Buckingham Palace deepened. She was accused of driving two personal assistants out of the household and undermining the confidence of a third employee, The Times reported. A spokesman for the Sussexes told The Telegraph: "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." Jason Knauf, the couple's communications secretary at the time, submitted a formal complaint about the claims in October 2018 in an apparent bid to protect his staff. In his email, he said: "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 behaviour towards Y."
- Associated Press
Barely a mile from where an SUV packed with 25 people struck a tractor-trailer — killing 13 inside — a cemetery with unmarked bricks is a burial ground for migrants who died crossing the border from Mexico to remote California desert. Authorities are investigating whether human smuggling was involved in Tuesday's early-morning collision that killed the 22-year-old male driver of the SUV and 12 passengers. Seats of the 1997 Ford Expedition were removed except for the driver and right front passenger's, said Omar Watson, chief of the California Highway Patrol's border division.
- 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.
- Business Insider
Republicans and majority of Democrats vote to keep incarcerated people from participating in elections
No Republicans supported restoring the right to vote to incarcerated felons. A majority of Democrats likewise opposed the measure.
- National Review
Senators Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) and Mike Lee (R., Utah) on Tuesday pressed FBI Director Christopher Wray on the procedures federal law enforcement officials have used to track down those who participated in the January 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol. “I’m anxious to see those who committed unlawful, violent acts on January 6 brought to justice,” Lee said during a Senate Judiciary Hearing on Tuesday. “I also believe that … with this circumstance, like every other circumstance, we have to make sure that the civil liberties of the American people are protected.” The Utah Republican explained that he had “heard a number of accounts” of people who were in Washington, D.C. on January 6 who never went near the Capitol but were “inexplicably” contacted by FBI agents who knew of their presence in the district that day “with no other explanation, perhaps, other than the use of geolocation data.” “Are you geolocating people, through the FBI, based on where they were on January 6?” Lee asked Wray. “I think there may be some instances in which geolocation has been an investigative tool, but I can’t speak to any specific situation,” Wray responded. “But what are you using to do that?” Lee asked. “What’s your basis for authority? Are you using national security letters?” Wray said, “I don’t believe in any instance we’re using national security letters for investigation of the Capitol—” Lee interrupted to ask the FBI director if he had gone to the FISA court, to which Wray responded he did not “remotely believe FISA is remotely implicated in our investigation.” The senator continued pressing Wray, asking if the FBI is “using warrants predicated on probable cause.” “We certainly have executed a number of warrants in the course of the investigation of January 6,” Wray said. “All of our investigative work in response to the Capitol [riot] has been under the legal authorities that we have in consultation with the [Department of Justice] and the prosecutors.” Later, Hawley continued Lee’s line of questioning regarding geolocation data, asking Wray if his position is that he doesn’t know “whether the bureau has scooped up geolocation data, metadata cell phone records from cell phone towers.” “Do you not know, or are you saying maybe it has or maybe it hasn’t? Tell me what you know about this,” Hawley said. “So when it comes to geolocation data specifically—again, not in a specific instance, but just even the use of geolocation data—I would not be surprised to learn—but I do not know for a fact—that we were using geolocation data under any situation with connection with the investigation of [January 6],” Wray said. “But again, we do use geolocation data under different authorities and specific instances.” The FBI, Department of Justice and local police in Washington, D.C. are investigating the origins and execution of the January rioting at the Capitol, with the probe resulting in hundreds of arrests so far. Republicans have expressed concern that the methods law enforcement has used to track down rioters could infringe upon personal liberty. Last month Bank of America sparked outcry after it said it would hand over banking information to the federal authorities for people suspected of having involvement in the riots. In the days after the riot, Bank of America handed over data to the FBI on thousands of customers who traveled to Washington, D.C. around January 6, Fox News reported.
- The Daily Beast
CBSIf you happened to catch any hour of Fox News over the past couple of days, you may be under the impression that Dr. Seuss getting “canceled” is the biggest news story in America. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that it’s not quite so simple.As Stephen Colbert explained in his Late Show monologue Tuesday night, Dr. Seuss Enterprises has decided to stop publishing six rather obscure titles from the iconic children’s author because they contain “racist and insensitive imagery.”“It’s a responsible move on their part,” the host argued. “There hadn’t been an earth-shattering outcry, but they recognize the impact that these images might have on readers, especially kids, and they’re trying to fix it, because Dr. Seuss books should be fun for all people—Black, white, straight, gay, Sneetches both star-bellied and plain, Loraxes, Barb-a-loots, all the Whos down in Whoville and the strange, angry creature called Foo Foo the Snoo.”Colbert went on to highlight just a few of the Dr. Seuss books that “teach vital lessons to this day,” including the anti-war Butter Battle Book, environmental Lorax and Hop on Pop, which “warns against the dangers of pop-hopping.”“The Dr. Seuss folks listened to criticism, thought it was reasonable and made what’s called a change,” he added. “Or as it’s known on Fox News: cancel culture.” Trevor Noah Disgusted by Andrew Cuomo’s Creepy Kiss PhotoAfter playing a montage that just scratched the surface of how much Fox has obsessed over the story this week, culminating in a full-on meltdown from Donald Trump Jr., Colbert said, “I’m not surprised Don Jr. loves The Cat in the Hat, I’ve always believed he can read at a second-grade level. Also, I think his dad calls him and Eric ‘Thing One’ and ‘Thing Two.’”Finally, Colbert read aloud from a brand new Seussian book titled “Oh the Books You Can Read,” which began, “So the book news you heard today just got your goose. And now you’re defensive for old Dr. Seuss. If you find that your bookshelf just got a little bit duller, consider these kids books from people of color.”“There’s lots of new stories you might find quite good,” he continued, “like Imani’s Moon by Janay Brown-Wood. Want more suggestions? No need to keep hopin’. Just pick up Firebird by the Misty Copeland. And this one right here is the real real McCoy, it’s Thomisha Booker’s great book Brown Boy Joy. There’s a whole range of books that will make you feel merry, like this one called Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry.”“So don’t be so cancel-y, culture-y, whiny,” Colbert concluded. “Read these books after pulling your head from your hiney.”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.