Governor Andrew Cuomo held a news conference to discuss the state's coronavirus response as New York City was poised to announce public schools were switching to all-remote learning.
- Yahoo News
Obama rallies for Ga. Democratic Senate candidates, says January election will 'determine ... the course of the Biden presidency'
Former President Barack Obama headlined a “Get Out the Vote” virtual rally Friday afternoon put on by Georgia Democrats to support the Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, the two Democrats in the U.S. Senate runoff races in Georgia.
- Yahoo News
- Yahoo News
- Associated Press
- The Week
President-elect Joe Biden has settled on a team to lead the U.S. through its biggest ongoing crisis, two people familiar with the decision tell Politico.Jeff Zients, who headed the National Economic Council under former President Barack Obama and is co-chair of Biden's transition team, will reportedly be named the White House's COVID-19 coordinator. Vivek Murthy, the surgeon general under Obama, will reportedly return to his role with more responsibilities, and Biden's coronavirus advisory board co-chair Marcella Nunez-Smith will get a special role focused on health disparities.Zients "isn't a health care guru, and he's the first to say that," one source close to Biden told Politico. But his managerial experience is seen as an asset as the U.S. prepares to roll out a vaccine and combat the coronavirus-induced economic crisis — "he's essentially playing that role with the transition now," the source said. Zients will reportedly be paired with health experts including Murthy, who has already been a part of Biden's coronavirus plans. Nunez-Smith, a Yale University associate professor of medicine, will meanwhile help address how COVID-19 and other health care issues disproportionately affect people of color.The left wing of the Democratic party isn't expected to be thrilled with Zients' selection, The New York Times reports. Progressive groups such as Revolving Door Project and Justice Democrats have already pointed out his corporate record, and the fact that an anesthesia company managed under the investment firm Zients ran had poor reviews. Under Obama, "his role was essentially to be a management consultant for the executive branch: cutting costs, finding efficiencies and looking at things like a businessman," Revolving Door said in a document about Zients' background.More stories from theweek.com 5 absurdly funny cartoons about Trump's desperate fraud claims What Trump is doing isn't politics. It's something much worse. 5 scathingly funny cartoons about the NFL's COVID problem
He usually calls himself Adolf Uunona and insists he has no plans for world domination.
- USA TODAY
Five executions are scheduled before Joe Biden, who opposes capital punishment, takes office. Ninety current and former law officials want a halt.
- Christian Science Monitor
- Associated Press
The Tennessee Supreme Court on Thursday indefinitely postponed the execution of death row inmate Byron Black. Black was convicted by a Nashville court of murdering his girlfriend Angela Clay and her daughters Latoya, 9, and Lakesha, 6, at their home in 1988. Black’s lead attorney, Kelley Henry, filed the petition for a second delay last month after contracting COVID-19 during a visit to a federal prisoner she is representing in Texas.
- The Week
President-elect Joe Biden said when it comes to the Department of Justice, he is "not going to be telling them what they have to do and don't have to do."Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris were interviewed by CNN's Jake Tapper on Thursday, and the discussion turned to reports that President Trump is contemplating preemptively pardoning his adult children, son-in-law Jared Kushner, and personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Biden said this "concerns me in terms of what kind of precedent it sets and how the rest of the world looks [at] us as a nation of laws and justice."Biden promised that he is "not going to be saying, 'Go prosecute A, B, or C,' I'm not going to be telling them. That's not the role, it's not my Justice Department, it's the people's Justice Department. So the persons or person I pick to run that department are going to be people who are going to have the independent capacity to decide who gets prosecuted, who doesn't."Harris, who once served as California's attorney general, added that the administration will assume that "any decision coming out of the Justice Department ... should be based on the law, it should not be influence by politics, period."More stories from theweek.com 5 absurdly funny cartoons about Trump's desperate fraud claims What Trump is doing isn't politics. It's something much worse. 5 scathingly funny cartoons about the NFL's COVID problem
- Associated Press
Violence in Afghanistan is "unacceptably high" as delayed peace negotiations get underway, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday, adding that Washington has asked the warring parties to "stand back and indeed stand down." Pompeo's comments, made in a virtual address to the IISS Manama Dialogue, an annual security conference, came two days after Kabul-backed and Taliban negotiators reached a deal in Doha to proceed with talks on a political settlement to decades of strife. Pompeo noted that he met with the negotiating teams during a Nov. 21 visit to Doha and he said he told both sides that the strife must be reduced.
- The Daily Beast
- The Week
After six months spent pushing for a more-than $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is fine with something smaller.Earlier this week, a team of bipartisan lawmakers unveiled a $908 billion coronavirus relief. It's smaller than the $1.5 trillion deal the House's bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus drew up in September, and yet this time around, President-elect Joe Biden's win and forthcoming coronavirus vaccines have Pelosi ready to accept it.Pelosi went on to explain that she had held out for a bigger bill with longer-lasting provisions before she knew who would be the next president — essentially, she thought she wouldn't get a second chance at a stimulus package if President Trump was re-elected. But with "a president who recognizes that we need to depend on science to stop the virus" and that "America's families need to have money in their pockets," Pelosi said she was confident she could work out many more smaller relief provisions in the future.> "A new president and a vaccine" -- Pelosi on why there's momentum for coronavirus relief legislation now when there wasn't before the election pic.twitter.com/6PLwrmE305> > — Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 4, 2020What hasn't changed is that millions of Americans are still out of work, likely in more dire straits than they were a few months ago as unemployment benefits begin to expire and bills continue to pile up.Senate Majority Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) still hasn't said he'll back the bipartisan relief bill, but a growing number of Senate Republicans have said they're willing to support it.More stories from theweek.com 5 absurdly funny cartoons about Trump's desperate fraud claims What Trump is doing isn't politics. It's something much worse. 5 scathingly funny cartoons about the NFL's COVID problem
- Reuters Videos
Conflicting reports were coming out of Ethiopia on Saturday (December 5) about the month-long war in the mountainous Tigray region bordering Eritrea. Ethiopia says it has captured or killed most commanders of a rebel northern force, while Tigray's fugitive local leader said civilians were protesting against looting by occupying soldiers. A video broadcast on state channel ETV on Friday showed an Ethiopian military commander holding up what he said was the ID of the spokesperson for the Tigray People's Liberation Front, Getachew Reda. In an interview with the state broadcaster, Colonel Shambel Beyene stated that the Ethiopian National Defence Forces were only 10 kilometres from the hideout of the rebel leaders. A large armoury stacked with ammunition, reportedly belonging to the TPLF, was also captured according to the Ethiopian military, near the Tigray capital, Mekelle. Neither side gave proof for their claims, but phone communications have been down and access severely restricted both for media and aid workers. Fighting between Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's federal army and forces loyal to the region's former ruling party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front, began on November 4. Thousands of people are believed to have died while more than 46,000 refugees have crossed to neighbouring Sudan.
- Associated Press
Tina Morton recently faced a choice: Pay bills — or buy a birthday gift for a child? Sylvia Soliz has had her electricity cut off. Unemployment has forced aching decisions on millions of Americans and their families in the face of a rampaging viral pandemic that has closed shops and restaurants, paralyzed travel and left millions jobless for months.
- The Telegraph
Caving to Brussels on fish and level playing field risks leaving UK a 'permanent client state', Boris Johnson warned
Caving to Brussels on fish and the level playing field to secure a post-Brexit trade deal risks turning Britain into a permanent “client state”, senior Conservative MPs have warned Boris Johnson. With the UK on the cusp of reaching an agreement with the European Union, a group of “die-hard” backbenches have urged the Prime Minister not break his promises to Leave voters in last year’s election. It comes amid fears that Mr Johnson could be forced to grant a flurry of last-minute concessions after intensive lobbying from French president Emmanual Macron to secure more preferable terms on fishing, state subsidies and non-regression clauses. Under British plans designed to placate the French, Mr Johnson has reportedly agreed to defer repatriating up to half of the fishing quotas for several years. However, Sir Iain Duncan Smith, the former Conservative leader, told The Daily Telegraph that fishing was a “totemic issue”, adding that the UK needed to start with control over “100 per cent”. “We have to be treated like Norway is treated,” he added. “We’re not looking for an increase, we are looking for control. From there we negotiate with other countries what access they get. It’s as simple as that.” Meanwhile, there is growing concern that the so-called level playing field – a common set of rules and standards designed to ensure Britain does not give advantages to its business which undermine the EU - will prevent Britain from diverging in the future. The two sides are still believed to be at odds over the policing of the arrangement, particularly over how it will be policed and how to future-proof the agreement to ensure fair competition over time. The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier has also called for further concessions from the UK on state aid, with Mr Macron determined to prevent subsidies being used to undercut French businesses. Last night Theresa Villiers, the former environment secretary, warned that the UK was now at the point of “maximum danger”, adding that “regulatory autonomy is a core part of delivering Brexit.” “This is the main means by which the EU could potentially tie us into their laws and their court. I see this as the main threat to getting Brexit done,” she added. “There are level playing field agreements in the Canada deal and arbitration mechanisms that are acceptable. But on the other end of the spectrum we are locked in as a client state.” However, several MPs said any potential backlash was likely to be limited to several dozen hardliners, meaning Mr Johnson is unlikely to face any major challenge in pushing the trade deal through Parliament. “It’s very much the ones that caused Theresa May a lot of trouble,” said one. “There’s an element of this which is that nothing will be good enough for them except no deal. As long as it looks reasonable I think most people will wear it.” Dr Liam Fox, the former trade secretary and prominent Brexiteer, added: “We have to be realistic and if we want to get the best for the majority of the British economy we will have to make some compromises. Trade agreements are not a series of ultimata, they are a negotiation.”