By Dan Williams JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned on Sunday the framework Iranian nuclear agreement being sought by international negotiators, saying it was even worse than his country had feared. Israel has mounted what it terms an "uphill battle" against an agreement that might ease sanctions on the Iranians while leaving them with a nuclear infrastructure with bomb-making potential. Tehran says its nuclear program is peaceful. "This deal, as it appears to be emerging, bears out all of our fears, and even more than that," Netanyahu told his cabinet in Jerusalem as the United States, five other world powers and Iran worked toward a March 31 deadline in Lausanne, Switzerland. Noting advances made by Iranian-allied forces in Yemen and other Arab countries, Netanyahu accused the Islamic republic of trying to "conquer the entire Middle East" while moving toward nuclearization. "The Iran-Lausanne-Yemen axis is very dangerous to humanity, and must be stopped," he said. Netanyahu's campaigning against the nuclear negotiations crested on March 3 with his speech to the U.S. Congress at the invitation of its Republican speaker, John Boehner, that angered President Barack Obama and many fellow Democrats. The right-wing prime minister, who won a fourth term in a March 17 election, said on Sunday he had spoken to senior U.S. lawmakers from both parties "and heard from them about the steadfast, strong and continuous bipartisan support for Israel". Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz, the Israeli official who has been spearheading efforts to lobby world powers against the Iran deal, voiced cautious hope that the negotiations would collapse as they have in the past. "We may still have a chance. We are not alone. There are still great doubts in the United States as well as in France, even in England," Steinitz told Israel Radio, referring to disputes with Iran over the scope of nuclear projects it might be allowed to retain. But Steinitz said Israel, which is not a party to the talks and whose hardline demands have not been welcomed in Western capitals, was in an "uphill battle". Another senior Israeli official, security cabinet minister Gilad Erdan, saw a "good chance" of the powers and Iran reaching a framework deal by the Tuesday deadline, after which they would turn to the end-of-June target date for a comprehensive accord - a final stretch in which more counter-lobbying could be mounted. "This is not over yet. There’s the Congress, and also the players involved in the negotiations themselves have not agreed on all terms," Erdan told Israel's Army Radio. "There is still a great amount of room in which to operate diplomatically before the final accord." (Reporting by Dan Williams; Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Susan Thomas)
- Associated Press
Police in Myanmar’s ancient former capital, Bagan, opened fire Sunday on demonstrators protesting last month’s military takeover, wounding several people, according to witness accounts and videos on social media. At least five people were reported wounded as police sought to break up the Bagan protest, and photos showed one young man with bloody wounds on his chin and neck, believed to have been caused by a rubber bullet. The city, located in the central Mandalay region, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition of the more than 2,000 pagodas or their remnants still situated there, dating from the ninth to 13th centuries, when it was the capital of a kingdom that later became known as Burma and is now Myanmar.
A 17-year-old boy was killed by gunfire in southern Senegal on Saturday, a government official said, and several police stations were ransacked as opponents of President Macky Sall called for more protests next week. Protesters also burned down a military police station and ransacked several government buildings, the official said. At least five people have died in protests sparked by Wednesday's arrest of Ousmane Sonko, Senegal's most prominent opposition leader.
- The Telegraph
Prince Harry and Meghan's Oprah interview: Five thorny issues that could make for uncomfortable viewing
The Royal family will assume the brace position as it awaits a stream of damaging revelations by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in their Oprah Winfrey interview. The slickly produced, dramatic teasers quashed any lingering hopes that the couple might stick to more mundane and diplomatic subject matters. Instead, they will tell “their truth”, lifting the lid on life behind palace walls in a manner no member of the family has done for decades. The couple intend the interview to draw a line under their grievances and mark the end of that chapter of their lives, allowing them to finally look to the future. But in reality, the issues that they raise, the allegations they make, are expected to be explosive, with potentially serious and long-term implications for the monarchy.
- The Independent
Tucker Carlson calls QAnon supporters ‘gentle’ patriots a week after suggesting the conspiracy didn’t exist
‘Do you ever notice how all the scary internet conspiracy theorists – the radical QAnon people ... they’re all kind of gentle people now waving American flags?’
- Business Insider
The WHO team probing the origins of the coronavirus in Wuhan is scrapping its interim report. Critics say China never gave them a real chance to investigate.
A full report will be published "in coming weeks," the WHO said. The news comes the independence of the investigation continued to be questioned.
- The Telegraph
If you want to know what America is thinking there is no better place to look than The View, the country's top-rated daytime talk show, where a high-profile group of women discuss the watercooler topics of the day. This week, the ladies of The View have been united. They are, as one put it, "in Team Meghan". Or, "Duchess Meghan Markle" as Whoopi Goldberg, one of the co-hosts, calls her. "We can't ignore the elephant in the room," declared Meghan McCain, another co-host and daughter of the late John McCain. "There's probably a racial angle to this. There's a lot of racism directed at this woman [the Duchess] in a lot of different ways. She threatens a lot of people in the [British] patriarchy." Ms McCain said allegations that the Duchess bullied her staff in London were "ridiculous" and a "very obvious oppo dump" by Buckingham Palace ahead of the Sussexes two-hour interview with Oprah Winfrey, to be broadcast on March 7 in the US and March 8 in the UK. According to Sunny Hostin, another co-cost, the Duke had "removed his wife and family from England because of the terrible racial hatred she was subjected to". The British press were "lying for a buck", added co-host Joy Behar, going on to compare the situation to the John Grisham novel 'The Firm'. "In that movie they will kill you," she said. "In the British monarchy they will just make your life miserable. Look what happened to Diana, same thing."
- Business Insider
A handful of QAnon followers flew all the way from California to DC in hopes of watching Trump's March 4 'inauguration'
March 4 had become a highly anticipated date for followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory, who believed it was the day Trump would return to power.
- Business Insider
NASA's Perseverance rover just went for its first drive on Mars, then spotted its own wheel tracks in the dirt
Perseverance's six-wheel drive leaves quite an imprint in its path. Those wheels are ready to carry the rover over an ancient river delta.
- Business Insider
At the time of his ban from Twitter in January, Trump tried tweeting from other WH accounts and threatened to establish his own social media platform.
Several officers reportedly crossed the border after refusing to carry out the military junta's orders.
- Associated Press
Rep. Eric Swalwell, who served as a House manager in Donald Trump’s last impeachment trial, filed a lawsuit Friday against the former president, his son, lawyer and a Republican congressman whose actions he charges led to January’s insurrection. The California Democrat’s suit, filed in federal court in Washington, alleges a conspiracy to violate civil rights, along with negligence, inciting a riot and inflicting emotional distress. It follows a similar suit filed by Rep. Bennie Thompson last month in an attempt to hold the former president accountable in some way for his actions Jan. 6, following his Senate acquittal.
- Associated Press
... We can put up all the barriers in the world and imagine that they work, but in the end, it adapts and penetrates them,’’ lamented Bollate Mayor Francesco Vassallo. Bollate was the first city in Lombardy, the northern region that has been the epicenter in each of Italy’s three surges, to be sealed off from neighbors because of virus variants that the World Health Organization says are powering another uptick in infections across Europe.
- Business Insider
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle interview with Oprah will cost CBS at least $7 million to air, per report
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, however, are reportedly not being compensated for the interview.
- The New York Times
WASHINGTON — A member of the far-right nationalist Proud Boys was in communication with a person associated with the White House in the days just before the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation. Location, cellular and call record data revealed a call tying a Proud Boys member to the Trump White House, the official said. The FBI has not determined what they discussed, and the official would not reveal the names of either party. The connection revealed by the communications data comes as the FBI intensifies its investigation of contacts among far-right extremists, Trump White House associates and conservative members of Congress in the days before the attack. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times The same data has revealed no evidence of communications between the rioters and members of Congress during the deadly attack, the official said. That undercuts Democratic allegations that some Republican lawmakers were active participants that day. Separately, Enrique Tarrio, a leader of the far-right nationalist Proud Boys, told The New York Times on Friday that he called Roger Stone, a close associate of former President Donald Trump’s, while at a protest in front of the home of Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. During the protest, which occurred in the days before the Capitol assault, he put Stone on speaker phone to address the gathering. A law enforcement official said that it was not Tarrio’s communication with Stone that was being scrutinized, and that the call made in front of Rubio’s home was a different matter. That two members of the group were in communication with people associated with the White House underscores the access that violent extremist groups like the Proud Boys had to the White House and to people close to the former president. Stone denied “any involvement or knowledge of the attack on the Capitol” in a statement last month to the Times. Tarrio was arrested in Washington on Jan. 4 on charges of destruction of property for his role in the burning of a Black Lives Matter banner that had been torn from a historic Black church during a protest in Washington in December. He was asked to leave the city, and was not present when the Capitol was attacked. His case is pending. The Justice Department has charged more than a dozen members of the Proud Boys with crimes related to the attack, including conspiracy to obstruct the final certification of President Joe Biden’s electoral victory and to attack law enforcement officers. In court papers, federal prosecutors have said groups of Proud Boys also coordinated travel to Washington and shared lodging near the city, with the intent of disrupting Congress and advancing Trump’s efforts to unlawfully maintain his grip on the presidency. The communication between the person associated with the White House and the member of the Proud Boys was discovered in part through data that the FBI obtained from technology and telecommunications companies immediately after the assault. Court documents show FBI warrants for a list of all the phones associated with the cell towers serving the Capitol, and that it received information from the major cellphone carriers on the numbers called by everyone on the Capitol’s cell towers during the riot, three officials familiar with the investigation said. The FBI also obtained a “geofence” warrant for all the Android devices that Google recorded within the building during the assault, the officials said. A geofence warrant legally gives law enforcement a list of mobile devices that are able to be identified in a particular geographic area. Jill Sanborn, the head of counterterrorism at the FBI, testified before a Senate panel Wednesday that all the data the FBI had gathered in its investigation into the riot was obtained legally through subpoenas and search warrants. Although investigators have found no contact between the rioters and members of Congress during the attack, those records have shown evidence in the days leading up to Jan. 6 of communications between far-right extremists and lawmakers who were planning to appear at the rally featuring Trump that occurred just before the assault, according to one of the officials. The Justice Department is examining those communications, but it has not opened investigations into any members, the official said. A department spokesperson declined to comment. The FBI did, however, say Thursday that it had arrested a former State Department aide on charges related to the attack, including unlawful entry, violent and disorderly conduct, obstructing Congress and law enforcement, and assaulting an officer with a dangerous weapon. The former midlevel aide, Federico Klein, who was seen in videos assaulting officers with a stolen riot shield, was the first member of the Trump administration to face criminal charges in connection with the storming of the Capitol. His lawyer declined to comment Friday. Right-wing extremists, including members of the Oath Keepers, a militia group that mainly comprises former law enforcement and military personnel, have been working as security guards for Republicans and for Trump’s allies, such as Stone. Stone, who was pardoned by Trump after refusing to cooperate with the investigation into the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russian intelligence, has known Tarrio for some time and used Oath Keepers as bodyguards before and on the day of the assault on the Capitol. The Justice Department is looking into communications between Stone and far-right extremists to determine whether he played any role in plans by extremists to disrupt the certification on Jan. 6, according to two people familiar with the matter who were not authorized to speak about the investigation. Should investigators find messages showing that Stone had any connection to such plans, they would have a factual basis to open a full criminal investigation into him, the people said. Stone said last month that he was “provided voluntary security by the Oath Keepers,” but noted that their security work did not constitute evidence that he was involved in, or informed about, plans to attack Congress. He reiterated an earlier statement that anyone involved in the attack should be prosecuted. The Justice Department has charged more than 300 people with crimes stemming from the Jan. 6 assault. It has used evidence gathered in its broad search for assailants — including information from cellular providers and technology companies — to help piece together evidence of more sophisticated crimes, like conspiracy. It is also looking at possible charges of seditious conspiracy, according to two people familiar with the investigation. This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
Chrissy Teigen, who, like Meghan Markle, suffered a miscarriage in 2020, showed support for the duchess ahead of her "tell-all" Oprah interview.
Actress Nomzamo Mbatha on the importance of Coming 2 America "celebrating blackness" on screen.
The crash on Tuesday near El Centro, California, left 13 people dead, after a big rig collided with a Ford Expedition packed with 25 people inside.
Rogue 'vaccine hunters' are angling for appointments and uncovering loopholes in America's Wild West shot rollout
According to one vaccine hunter, "every vaccine should be put in an arm." A patchwork of online groups have sprung up to make that happen.
- USA TODAY
New statements reflect rising tensions between Trump and establishment Republicans who fear the ex-president will undercut them in future elections.
The day after he single-handedly delayed the U.S. Senate's debate on President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill for 11 hours, Republican Senator Ron Johnson said on Friday that he could retire from office when his term expires. The 65-year-old Republican, who was first elected to the Senate during the Tea Party surge in 2010, had pledged to spend only two terms in the Senate.