Macron dedicated day to essential workers who 'enabled public, social and economic life to continue' during pandemic.
For the first time ever, the celebrity dermatologist let a patient take a smoke break halfway through the procedure to calm down.
- Reuters Videos
The Biden administration on Tuesday imposed sanctions to punish Russia for what it described as Moscow's attempt to poison opposition leader Alexei Navalny with a nerve agent last year, in President Joe Biden's most direct challenge yet to the Kremlin. The move marked a sharp turn away from former President Donald Trump's reluctance to confront Russian President Vladimir Putin.Seven senior members of the Russian government would be blocked from accessing their financial assets in the U.S. But it was unclear whether the seven had U.S. assets, making it hard to judge whether the sanctions were more than symbolic.White House press secretary Jen Psaki: “It was not meant to be a silver bullet or an ending to what has been a difficult relationship with Russia. We expect the relationship to continue to be a challenge, we’re prepared for that, and we’re neither seeking to reset our relations with Russia, nor are we seeking to escalate.” New export restrictions were also placed on businesses and other entities associated with Russia's biological and chemical agent production. Navalny, a Putin critic and political opponent, became ill on a flight in Siberia in August and was airlifted to Germany, where doctors concluded he had been poisoned with a nerve agent. The Kremlin has denied any role in his illness and said it had seen no proof he was poisoned. Navalny returned to Russia in January, and was jailed earlier this month for parole violations on what he says were politically motivated charges. [WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY JEN PSAKI:] “We also reiterate our call for Russia to immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Navalny.” The U.S. sanctions are in concert with similar ones imposed by the European Union Tuesday. The Interfax news agency reported that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier in the day that Russia would respond in kind to any new U.S. sanctions over Navalny.
- Business Insider
Rep. Adam Kinzinger tore into Sen. Josh Hawley for his 'smug' CPAC speech, saying 5 people died because of 'what you did'
"Like, there are five people dead, two that took their own life on top of that, as a result of what you did," Kinzinger said of Hawley.
- Associated Press
Joe Exotic of “Tiger King" fame has found new attorneys who say they plan to file a motion for a new trial in a matter of months. Joe Exotic, whose real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage, was sentenced in January 2020 to 22 years in federal prison for violating federal wildlife laws and for his role in a failed murder-for-hire plot targeting his chief rival, Carole Baskin, who runs a rescue sanctuary for big cats in Florida. Baskin was not harmed.
- The New York Times
Just eight weeks after the Capitol riot, some of the most prominent groups that participated are fracturing amid a torrent of backbiting and finger-pointing. The fallout will determine the future of some of the most high-profile far-right organizations and raises the specter of splinter groups that could make the movement even more dangerous. “This group needs new leadership and a new direction,” the St. Louis branch of the Proud Boys announced recently on the encrypted messaging service Telegram, echoing denunciations by at least six other chapters also rupturing with the national organization. “The fame we’ve attained hasn’t been worth it.” Similar rifts have emerged in the Oath Keepers, a paramilitary group that recruits veterans, and the Groyper Army, a white nationalist organization focused on college campuses and a vocal proponent of the false claim that Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential election. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times The shake-up is driven in part by the large number of arrests in the aftermath of the Capitol riot and the subsequent crackdown on some groups by law enforcement. As some members of the far right exit more established groups and strike out on their own, it may become even more difficult to track extremists who have become more emboldened to carry out violent attacks. “What you are seeing right now is a regrouping phase,” said Devin Burghart, who runs the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, a Seattle-based center that monitors far-right movements. “They are trying to reassess their strengths, trying to find new foot soldiers and trying to prepare for the next conflict.” The top leaders of the Groyper Army, Nick Fuentes and Patrick Casey, have been in a bitter public dispute in the weeks since the riot. Casey accused Fuentes of putting followers at risk of arrest by continuing high-profile activities. Fuentes wrote on Telegram, “It’s not easy but it is important to keep pushing forward now more than ever.” Among the Proud Boys, a far-right fight club that claims to defend the values of Western civilization, the recriminations were compounded by revelations that Enrique Tarrio, the organization’s leader, once worked as an informant for law enforcement. Despite denials from Tarrio, the news has thrown the organization’s future into question. “We reject and disavow the proven federal informant, Enrique Tarrio, and any and all chapters that choose to associate with him,” the Alabama chapter of the Proud Boys announced on Telegram using language identical to other chapters. After the Capitol siege on Jan. 6, accusations about informants and undercover agents have been particularly pointed. “Traitors are everywhere, everywhere,” wrote one participant on a far-right Telegram channel. The chapters breaking away accused Tarrio of leading the group astray with high-profile clashes with far-left demonstrators and by storming the Capitol. “The Proud Boys were founded to provide brotherhood to men on the right, not to yell slogans at the sky” and “get arrested,” the St. Louis chapter said in its announcement. Extremist organizations tend to experience internal upheaval after any cataclysmic event, as seen in the case of the 2017 rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left one woman dead, or the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, which killed 168 people, including 19 children. Daryl Johnson, who has studied the Three Percenters and other paramilitary groups, said the current infighting could lead to further hardening and radicalization. “When these groups get disrupted by law enforcement, all it does is scatter the rats,” he said. “It does not get rid of the rodent problem.” President Joe Biden has pledged to make fighting extremism a priority and Merrick Garland, his nominee for attorney general, said during his Senate confirmation hearings that he promised to “do everything in the power of the Justice Department” to stop domestic terrorism. Garland, the lead prosecutor in the Oklahoma City bombing case, also said the United States was facing “a more dangerous period than we faced in Oklahoma City” or in recent memory. More than 300 people have been charged in the Capitol riot, with roughly 500 total cases expected. At least 26 people facing some of the most serious accusations have been tied to the Oath Keepers or the Proud Boys. Most of those in the crowd were probably unaffiliated with a particular group yet radicalized enough to show up in Washington to support Trump’s false election claim, experts said, feeding concerns about how they will channel their anger going forward. The legal fallout from the riot will most likely push people underground as well. Overall, the hazy affiliations and the potential for lone offenders will make it more difficult to uncover planned attacks. Already, there has been chatter among members of paramilitary groups that stormed the Capitol about trying to attack it while the president addresses a joint session of Congress, Yogananda D. Pittman, the acting chief of the Capitol Police, told a House subcommittee last week. But even as some extremist groups push for more confrontation, all kinds of adherents want out. The president of the North Carolina chapter of the Oath Keepers, Doug Smith, announced last month that he was splitting from the national organization. Smith did not respond to messages seeking comment, but he told The News Reporter, his local newspaper in Whiteville, North Carolina, that he was ashamed by demonstrators who attacked the Capitol and beat police officers. For others, however, the riot was a resounding success, an opening shot across the bows of the law and the establishment. “There is a small segment that is going to see this as Lexington and Concord, the shot heard around the world, and the beginning of either the racial holy war or the fall of our society, of our government,” said Tom O’Connor, a retired FBI counterterrorism specialist who continues to train agents on the subject. Far-right groups are already rallying around opposition to proposed changes to immigration policy and the discussion of stricter gun control under Biden’s administration. The number of people inclined toward violence is impossible to count, but experts agree that harsh political divisions have expanded the potential pool on both right and left fringes. The splintering of larger organizations sets the stage for small groups or lone offenders, who are more difficult to track. “That makes them more dangerous,” said J.J. MacNab, an expert on paramilitary groups at George Washington University’s Program on Extremism. Timothy McVeigh, who was executed for the Oklahoma City bombing, did not join a paramilitary group but still adopted the violent ideology. “The rhetoric is fuel to the fire for those lone offenders,” said O’Connor, echoing a common worry. “My concern now is that there are many McVeighs in the offing.” Experts cite a variety of reasons for why the propensity toward violence might be worse now than during previous times when far-right organizations declared war on the government. The Oklahoma City attack caused a period of retreat, but the election of a Black president in 2008 resurrected the white supremacy movement. These groups have now experienced some 13 years without any sustained effort by law enforcement to counter them, experts said. Some groups that organized the far-right rally in Charlottesville in 2017 fell apart over the subsequent internal squabbling and a lawsuit that threatens to bankrupt them. Others, including the Proud Boys and various paramilitary organizations, grew larger and went on to participate in the Jan. 6 riot. At the same time, extremist ideology has spread further and much more rapidly on social media, and foreign governments like Russia have worked actively to disseminate such thoughts to sow divisions within the United States. New threats and concerns about potential targets continue to surface. The announcement in early February that hackers attempted to poison the water supply in a small Florida city attracted the attention of Rinaldo Nazzaro, the founder of a violent white supremacist group called the Base. Seven members of the Base in three states were rounded up last year on charges of planning to commit murder, kidnapping and other violence in order to ignite a wider civil war that would allow a white homeland to emerge. Nazzaro, out of the reach of U.S. law enforcement in Russia, wrote on Telegram that the water poisoning plot was a possible template for something larger. The kind of extremists who worry experts the most emerged in October, when a paramilitary cell planning to kidnap the governor of Michigan was exposed. In federal court in January, the FBI portrayed one of the 14 defendants, Barry G. Croft Jr., 44, as a national leader of the Three Percenters, a loosely allied coalition of paramilitary groups that is difficult to track because virtually anyone can claim allegiance. Croft helped to build and test shrapnel bombs to target people, according to court documents, and a hit list that he posted on Facebook included threats to Trump and Barack Obama. In denying him bail, Judge Sally J. Berens quoted from transcripts of conversations taped by an informant in which he threatened to hurt people or to blow things up. “I am going to do some of the most nasty, disgusting things that you have ever read about in the history of your life,” the judge quoted him as saying. This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
- Associated Press
The Supreme Court appeared ready Tuesday to uphold voting restrictions in Arizona in a key case that could make it harder to challenge a raft of other voting measures Republicans have proposed following last year's elections. All six conservative justices, appointed by Republican presidents, suggested they would throw out an appellate ruling that struck down the restrictions as racially discriminatory under the landmark Voting Rights Act. Less clear is what standard the court might set for how to prove discrimination under the law, first enacted in 1965.
China and the United States should remove all barriers to travel between the two countries if the United States achieves herd immunity for COVID-19 with 90% of its population vaccinated, potentially by August, a Chinese epidemiologist has said. The United States is the worst-hit nation in the world by case count, with nearly 30 million infections so far, though new cases have been declining. China has COVID-19 largely under control, with relatively small clusters of new local infections in recent months.
The military veteran announced his campaign on social media as Georgia Democrats aim to oust the freshman representative. Sgt. Marcus Flowers has announced his official campaign against Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene for her seat in Georgia’s 14th Congressional district. In his newly released campaign video shared on social media, the military veteran laid out his case as a Democratic candidate.
An eagle-eyed 'Harry Potter' fan noticed leads being replaced by random actors in a 'Prisoner of Azkaban' scene
A viral TikTok pointed out an error with characters like Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley during a scene in the third movie.
KJ Kearney has been sharing facts about Black food and American history since April 2020 on his social media platforms.
The U.S. Justice Department will name veteran prosecutor Channing Phillips as acting U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, a role he also played in the Obama administration, according to one current and one former department official. Phillips will take over the helm of the U.S. Attorney's Office at a time when prosecutors there are consumed with a sprawling probe into the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol by former Republican President Donald Trump's supporters. The case is considered unprecedented in its size and scope, also making it difficult for the U.S. District Court to handle the workload as it continues conducting hearings virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Turkey's government plans to shut down the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), the ruling AK Party's deputy parliament chairman was quoted as saying on Tuesday, the most senior official to endorse nationalist demands for its closure. President Tayyip Erdogan's government and its nationalist MHP allies accuse the HDP of links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), accusations that escalated after Ankara said Turkish captives were killed by the PKK in Iraq last month. The MHP have repeatedly called for the HDP's closure over links to the PKK, which Turkey, the European Union, and United States designate a terrorist organisation.
- The State
“I got away with things others were shot or arrested for,” the man said in a text message, according to court documents.
- The Daily Beast
ATTILA KISBENEDEKBack when he was still running Russia’s FSB, Nikolai Patrushev, a longtime Putin crony who now heads the Russian Security Council, famously referred to himself and his colleagues as representatives of the “new nobility.”Nepotism is now breeding a new generation of Russian “nobles,” who are poised to take over the Kremlin upon the retirement of their fathers. These princelings—some of whom already occupy exalted positions in the government and the corporate world—are accused of benefiting from their parents’ money, mostly stolen from the state, via offshore accounts. They also travel abroad and educate their children in America and Europe, while paying homage to the Kremlin leadership, which portrays the West as an enemy.Anti-corruption campaigners claim that the children of the officials and oligarchs who enable Putin’s repressive kleptocracy are effectively being used to evade Western sanctions, and must be targeted themselves in order to deter the Kremlin from future criminal behavior.European Union foreign ministers met in Brussels last week and reportedly decided to add four Russian officials responsible for the incarceration of Russian democrat Alexei Navalny to a list of six Russians already sanctioned in connection with Navalny’s August 2020 poisoning.The Daily Beast reported in January that the Biden administration was also considering imposing a fresh round of sanctions as part of its own response to the treatment of the opposition leader. On Tuesday, the U.S. Treasury Department announced that, in coordination with the EU's measures, it would be imposing sanctions on seven top Russian government officials, including FSB Director Aleksandr Bortnikov, Presidential Policy Directorate Chief Andrei Yarin, and the Presidential Executive Office's First Deputy Chief of Staff, Sergei Kiriyenko.Team Biden Weighs Fresh Sanctions on Russia for Poisoning and Jailing NavalnyBut Navalny and his team are advocating for sanctions to be imposed on an even wider range of Russian oligarchs, who form the backbone of Putin's regime, as well on the sons of Putin’s henchmen. Sanction-related travel bans and asset freezes for Putin’s siloviki—strongmen—have proved inconvenient but some appear happy to stay in Russia and sunbathe on the Black Sea instead of the Mediterranean so long as they can evade financial restrictions by transferring their assets to their adult children.After the West imposed sanctions against Russia for the invasion of Crimea, Navalny said: “If the meaning of the sanctions is to exert real pressure on the mafia that has seized power (and this is precisely what is declared), then their sons would be included… These little sons are calmly cruising on their yachts and eating crème brulée in cafes on the streets of European cities.”Navalny and Vladimir Ashurkov, the executive director of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, have included two princelings on a suggested sanctions list that accompanied a letter Ashurkov sent to President Biden earlier this year: Denis Bortnikov, son of FSB chief Aleksandr Bortnikov, and Dmitry Patrushev, son of Bortnikov’s predecessor, Nikolai Patrushev, who now heads Putin’s National Security Council. The document claims that both sons act as “wallets” for their fathers’ “ill-gotten gains.”Ashurkov told the Daily Beast that these two men are deeply corrupt and senior enough within the government structure to be sanctioned in their own right. He insisted it was not his role to tell Western governments what to do but said it would be appropriate to widen the sanctions on further offspring of the siloviki. “I think it is logical that the immediate family of people involved in human rights abuses and corruption are also banned from Western countries,” he said.There is a precedent in Washington for sanctioning the sons of Putin’s enablers: Roman Rotenberg, son of Russian billionaire Boris Rotenberg, and Roman’s cousin Igor Rotenberg, son of Arkady Rotenberg, have both been sanctioned because of their financial ties to their fathers. In late 2017, the U.S. Treasury added Artem Chaika, son of Russian Prosecutor-General Yuri Chaika, to those sanctioned under the Global Magnitsky Act. And in April 2018, the Treasury designated Kirill Shamalov, Putin's former son-in-law, for sanctions. But these four represent only a fraction of the new generation of Russian elite that reaps the rewards of the corruption and repressive Putin regime.Retired U.S. diplomat Steven Pifer, currently a fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin, thinks it’s a finely balanced calculation. “While I'm not fully comfortable with targeting family members, perhaps it is time to sanction spouses and children along with the primary individual,” he told The Daily Beast. “If a Russian oligarch can’t travel, that’s one thing. If his spouse can’t make her shopping trips to London and kids can’t get to their colleges in the West, that would be a different degree of pressure.”There is no shortage of potential targets among Russia’s princeling class. Not surprisingly, both of Nikolai Patrushev's sons graduated from the FSB Academy, which trains its students to become spies against the West. Dmitry Patrushev, 43, is on the list of targets suggested by Navalny’s organization. He was appointed Minister of Agriculture in 2018 after heading the Russian Agricultural Bank and bringing it deeply and scandalously into debt (close to a billion dollars in 2016). (Despite, or maybe because of, Dmitry's much-publicized failures at the bank, that same year Putin personally awarded him the Order of Honor and the Association of Russian Bankers named him Banker of the Year.)Dmitry's brother, Andrei Patrushev, aged 39, worked for the FSB before becoming an advisor to Rosneft chairman Igor Sechin (one of Putin's oldest KGB buddies) in 2006, at age 25. The next year President Putin awarded him the coveted Order of Honor “for the achieved labor success and many years of conscientious work.” Later Andrei became a top official at Gazprom Neft. He now co-owns a marine geology firm, which in 2019 had an annual gross revenue of $155 million, and is on the board of the prestigious Russian Association of Arctic Explorers. Both Patrushev sons have large seaside vacation homes near Putin's infamous palace at Gelendzhik.Viktor Zolotov, who was already on the U.S. sanctions list, has known Putin for years and is said to enjoy the Russian president's deepest trust. Zolotov heads the powerful 300,000-person Russian National Guard, which is used to brutally suppress street protests. (In 2018, after Alexei Navalny exposed illegalities in procurement contracts for the National Guard, Zolotov published a video message in which he challenged Navalny to a duel and promised to make “good, juicy mincemeat” of him.) Zolotov’s son-in-law, Yuri Chechikhin, 44, is a business partner of the oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who gave him a stake in his construction business, which earns several billion rubles a year, including through lucrative government contracts.Zolotov’s son Roman Zolotov, age 40, was educated at the FSB academy and worked at the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD), where his dad served as deputy minister, for a number of years. He is co-owner of a Russian company called Quantum Technologies and serves on the boards of various state-owned companies. Roman, who has a vacation home in Gelendzhik along with the Patrushevs, is also deputy head of the Moscow Department of Sports and Tourism, an actor and a film producer. While Roman was still earning a modest salary at the MVD, he and his brother-in-law Yuri produced several low-grade Russian movies, one of which featured Roman in the cast. Both men own mansions outside Moscow that are valued at over $10 million each.Yuri Chaika, currently Russian representative to the Caucasus Region, was Russian prosecutor-general from 2006 to 2020 and presided over the Kremlin’s sustained campaign of persecution of civil society. During Chaika’s tenure as prosecutor-general, his sons, 45-year-old Artem Chaika and 33-year-old Igor Chaika, created huge business empires. A January 2020 article in Forbes Russia, drawing on an earlier, explosive investigation by Navalny, describes how the two Chaika brothers, beginning with Artem’s illegal seizure of a large shipping enterprise in 2002, each achieved staggering wealth. They accumulated countless companies—construction, shipping, refuse collection, property development, industrial products and food export—and through rigged auctions, massive government subsidies and uncompetitive state contracts made them profitable. All the while, their father prevented legal challenges to their dubious business practices.An investigation by Navalny’s FBK revealed that Artem Chaika bought a $3 million home near Lake Geneva in 2013 and has Swiss residence.The brothers Arkady and Boris Rotenberg are Putin's friends from childhood and former judo sparring partners of the Russian president. (Arkady recently to came to Putin’s rescue by claiming, unconvincingly, that he was the owner of “Putin’s palace,” exposed by Navalny.)Putin Says He Doesn’t Know Anything about the Billion-Dollar Palace Russia Built HimSince Putin became president in 2000, the pair have become billionaires, supplying pipelines to the state-controlled energy corporation Gazprom and landing exclusive contracts for the Sochi Olympics. In 2014 the EU and U.S. sanctioned both brothers as a result of the Crimea invasion. A 2020 U.S. Senate report accused the Rotenbergs of circumventing financial sanctions by buying expensive art through Barclays Bank, as well as by handing over assets to their sons.Roman Rotenberg, 39, is the son of Boris Rotenberg. He studied international business in London, is a British citizen and owns a £3.3 million home in London’s exclusive Belgravia district. Roman, who is first vice-president of the Russian Hockey Federation, is also the formal owner of many of his father’s companies, including those in Finland, where he and his father Boris have citizenship. Arkady’s son Igor Rotenberg, 47, has held numerous positions in the Putin government and also is on the boards of several gas and power companies. His net worth was recently estimated at $1.1 billion.These names represent the tip of a large iceberg. Anti-corruption campaigners believe Russia’s princelings are not only destined to continue the Kremlin's anti-democratic and corrupt governing practices; they also are likely to ensure that the huge gap between the haves and the have-nots in Russia continues to grow. In 2019, 10 percent of Russians owned 83 percent of the country’s wealth. Among the world’s leading economies, Russia is the country with the most striking material inequality.In a speech at the State Department on Feb. 4, President Biden urged the Kremlin to release Navalny from prison and emphasized that “we will not hesitate to raise the cost on Russia.” Biden also said that he told President Putin in a telephone call that “the days of the United States rolling over in the face of Russia’s aggressive actions—interfering with our elections, cyberattacks, poisoning its citizens—are over.” So perhaps the U.S. will consider the recommendations of Navalny’s team and include Russian oligarchs—and maybe some princelings—on its sanctions list.Before last week’s meeting in Brussels Russia warned that it would be “ready to react” to any new sanctions by the EU. But in fact there is not much Russia can do, beyond expelling a few more diplomats from Moscow or sanctioning specific Western officials, which would have little impact. In 2014, after being blacklisted by Russia in retaliation for U.S. sanctions, the late Senator John McCain joked: “I guess this means my spring break in Siberia is off, my Gazprom stock is lost, and my secret bank account in Moscow is frozen.”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
Three women who worked for a local radio and TV station in eastern Afghanistan were gunned down Tuesday in separate attacks, the news editor of the privately owned station said. Shokrullah Pasoon, of Enikass Radio and TV in Jalalabad, said one of the women, Mursal Wahidi, was walking home when gunmen opened fire, according to eyewitnesses. Afghanistan is considered one of the most dangerous countries in the world for media workers.
The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions to punish Russia for what it described as Moscow's attempt to poison opposition leader Alexei Navalny with a nerve agent last year, in President Joe Biden's most direct challenge yet to the Kremlin. The sanctions against seven senior Russian officials, among them the head of its FSB security service, and on 14 entities marked a sharp departure from former President Donald Trump's reluctance to confront Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- Associated Press
The Philippine president has dismissed his former ambassador to Brazil after she was seen on video physically abusing a Filipino member of her household staff. President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday night he had approved a recommendation to fire Marichu Mauro, revoke her retirement benefits and disqualify her from public office for life. The Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila said at the time that the unidentified victim had returned to Philippines and that it was trying to reach her amid an investigation.
- 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."
The comic legends told Jimmy Kimmel that Louie Anderson was cast in the classic 1980s comedy because he was one of three names given to them.
- Associated Press
The latest World Golf Championship event has gone to nine venues with five title names since it began in 1999. Trevor Simsby took that to another level last week at the Workday Championship. A member of the Asian Tour, the 28-year-old Californian had not played on any recognized tour in a full year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.