South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem argues the bill is 'incredibly detrimental to our state.'
- The Telegraph
Thousands of National Guard troops will remain in Washington until mid-March amid fears a QAnon conspiracy theory that Donald Trump could still be inaugurated this week could lead to another attack on the US Capitol. Followers of the QAnon cult have claimed that Mr Trump will reclaim the presidency on March 4, the date when presidents were inaugurated up until 1933, when the Inauguration Day was moved to January 20. Online chatter about March 4 from QAnon devotees, who believe that Mr Trump is working to take down a cabal of ‘deep state’ politicians, has caused alarm among US security officials who fear it could lead to further violence. Almost 5,000 National Guard troops will remain in the US capital until March 12, in part because of concerns of a repeat of the violent scenes that played out on January 6, according to Adam Smith, the chair of the House Armed Services Committee. "Some of these people have figured out that apparently 75 years ago, the President used to be inaugurated on March 4. "Now they are thinking maybe we should gather again and storm the Capitol on March 4 ... that is circulating online," he told a hearing in Congress. "Stuff like that circulates all the time, does it mean it's going to happen? Probably not, but if you want to help, tell them not to do that, tell them that the election is over. Joe Biden won." He added: "It was a free and fair election". The request for 4,900 National Guard troops to continue their deployments in Washington until March 12 was made by US Capitol Police, Robert Salesses, a Pentagon official said. "We work very closely with the FBI, Secret Service, and others and the Capitol Police to try to determine what they believe that threat is, and then looking at what they believe is the need for the National Guard, or the types of mission sets that they need support from, we work very closely with them to try to determine what that is. Obviously 4900 is a very large number here on the Capitol," he told lawmakers in Congress. Mr Salesses said the Pentagon is not tracking any specific threats, the most significant terror-threat stems from "lone offenders and small groups of individuals inspired by domestic extremist ideological beliefs, including those based on false narratives spread over social media and other online platforms". Suggestions for more permanent security measures around the Capitol are still under discussion by Congress. Some law enforcement officials have suggested that the fencing erected around the Capitol in the aftermath of January 6 should become a permanent fixture, but many lawmakers have argued the symbolism would create an anti-democratic image.
- The Week
A number of Republican lawmakers have reportedly claimed to be unable to attend votes due to the COVID-19 pandemic — even though they're able to appear in person at CPAC. Several allies of former President Donald Trump in the House of Representatives have "skipped Friday's votes and enlisted their colleagues to vote on their behalf," signing letters declaring they can't themselves attend due to "ongoing public health emergency," yet at the same time, they're expected to speak at the 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida, CNN reported on Friday. Among these lawmakers is reportedly Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who already spoke to CPAC attendees on Friday. But he's not alone, as CBS News' Rebecca Kaplan reports that a total of 13 House Republicans appearing at CPAC have made proxy voting requests, citing the pandemic as the reason. Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.) was another one of these lawmakers, and his spokesperson told CBS that he "was forced to proxy vote for the first time" after the "Democrats rearranged the House schedule with extremely late notice," adding that "mentioning the pandemic in the letter is the standard language that both parties are required to use to proxy vote." The spokesperson also said that Budd "remains philosophically opposed to proxy voting" despite plans to do so himself. Notably, Kaplan points out, "among the votes they will miss tonight: one on the COVID relief bill." 13 House Republicans who are appearing at CPAC in Orlando Friday, Saturday and Sunday have active proxy voting requests with the House Clerk's office saying they can't attend votes due to the pandemic. Among the votes they will miss tonight: one on the COVID relief bill. — Rebecca Kaplan (@RebeccaRKaplan) February 26, 2021 More stories from theweek.comBiden in the quagmireBitcoin: Bubble or breakthrough?Records provide Louisiana State Police's 1st acknowledgement Black man who died in custody was mistreated
Nearly 1 in 5 adults and nearly half of Americans 65 and older have received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, White House senior adviser Andy Slavitt said on Friday.The big picture: The Biden administration has previously said it has secured enough doses to vaccinate most of the American population by the end of July.Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for freeOn Thursday, the Biden administration said 50 million doses have been administered since Biden took office.Slavitt said Friday that the milestone puts the country ahead of schedule for meeting its goal of 100 million doses in 100 days.The state of play: The White House will meet with top business groups and speak with thousands of business owners to ask employers to provide vaccination incentives for its employees, like paid time off. Several other businesses are already taking initiative, like Uber and Lyft, which partnered with pharmacies and community centers to provide 60 million free or discounted rides. The federal government and states are also erecting more mass vaccination sites. One will be in Chicago, which will inoculate 6,000 people a day, and another in Greensboro, North Carolina, that will be able to manage 3,000 people per day. What to watch: The vaccine rollout has been dealing with a few setbacks as a result of the extreme winter weather last week. But Slavitt said the federal government is ready to send out 14.5 million weekly doses to states beginning next week, an increase of about 70% since Biden took office.Go deeper: Biden administration to distribute 25 million free masksMore from Axios: Sign up to get the latest market trends with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free
- Associated Press
A man was killed by a rooster with a blade tied to its leg during an illegal cockfight in southern India, police said, bringing focus on a practice that continues in some Indian states despite a decades-old ban. The rooster, with a 3-inch knife tied to its leg, fluttered in panic and slashed its owner, 45-year-old Thangulla Satish, in his groin last week, police inspector B. Jeevan said Sunday. According to Jeevan, Satish was injured while he prepared the rooster for a fight.
DUBAI (Reuters) - "No smoking gun," pro-government Saudi commentators concluded in response to a U.S. intelligence assessment that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had approved the operation to capture or kill journalist Jamal Khashoggi. A few minutes after the report was released, many Saudis flooded Twitter with the hashtag saying, "We are all Mohammed bin Salman." Saudi Arabia, one of Washington's closest Arab allies, officially dismissed what it called the "negative, false and unacceptable assessment in the report pertaining to the kingdom's leadership", according to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- The Independent
Jamal Khashoggi: Biden will take no action against MBS after intelligence report finds Saudi leader responsible for murder of journalist
The State Department is due to announce is response to the killing soon
- The Independent
‘I'm not going to worry about people that their only worry in life is to be re-elected,’ says Enrique Tarrio
A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday recommended the authorization of Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot coronavirus vaccine for emergency use.Why it matters: The FDA is expected to make a final decision within days on the J&J vaccine, which was found to be 66% effective against moderate to severe COVID. An emergency use authorization would allow distribution to immediately begin, helping streamline and speed up the vaccine rollout across the U.S.Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients said on Wednesday that J&J will have 3 million to 4 million ready for distribution next week.The Moderna and Pfizer-BioNtech shots are the only other vaccines that have received FDA authorization. Unlike Moderna's shot, J&J's vaccine does not require ultra-cold storage, simplifying the logistics of distribution.Go deeper: FDA analysis finds Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine is safe and effectiveMore from Axios: Sign up to get the latest market trends with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free
- The Independent
CPAC: Gaetz says media ‘biased’ over Ted Cruz’s Cancun trip and should have focused on ‘caravans’ of migrants instead
Outspoken GOP congressman complains ‘the left and the media’ were less concerned about ‘caravans going through Mexico’ than Texas senator visiting
- Associated Press
The U.S. is getting a third vaccine to prevent COVID-19, as the Food and Drug Administration on Saturday cleared a Johnson & Johnson shot that works with just one dose instead of two. Health experts are anxiously awaiting a one-and-done option to help speed vaccinations, as they race against a virus that already has killed more than 510,000 people in the U.S. and is mutating in increasingly worrisome ways. The FDA said J&J’s vaccine offers strong protection against what matters most: serious illness, hospitalizations and death.
- The Independent
Republicans cite ‘public health emergency’ for skipping Covid relief votes while speaking at maskless CPAC
Lawmakers due to attend conservative conference where crowds booed hosts for asking guests to wear masks
Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler approved an operation to capture or kill murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, according to U.S. intelligence released on Friday as the United States imposed sanctions on some of those involved but spared the crown prince himself in an effort to preserve relations with the kingdom. Khashoggi, a U.S. resident who wrote opinion columns for the Washington Post critical of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's policies, was killed and dismembered by a team of operatives linked to the prince in the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul. The Saudi government, which has denied any involvement by the crown prince, issued a statement rejecting the U.S. report's findings and repeating its previous statements that Khashoggi's killing was a heinous crime by a rogue group.
An official report says Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved the journalist's murder.
President Joe Biden is still committed to raising the U.S. minimum wage to $15 after a key Senate referee ruled the provision could not be included in the COVID-19 relief bill, a top White House economic adviser said on Friday. White House National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, in an interview on MSNBC, said the administration was disappointed by the Senate parliamentarian's Thursday ruling and would consult with congressional leaders about the path forward.
- Reuters Videos
Central banks in Asia struggled to smother a selloff in global bonds on Friday (February 26), piling pressure on their bigger peers to do more.That spooked investors who sold assets to cover deepening losses.And rushed out of crowded positions in stocks.European stocks fell on Friday (February 26) as investors booked profits in high-flying technology shares.Concerns are growing over rising inflation and interest rates on the back of a jump in bond yields.The benchmark European stock index was down over 1%.And on track to record its first weekly fall this month.While London's FTSE 100 and Germany's DAX also slipped.Earlier, Asian markets had seen even bigger declines. Japan's Nikkei index shed almost 4%. Euro zone government bonds did at least stabilise.But Germany's benchmark yield was still headed for its biggest monthly jump since 2016.Assurances from European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde and other policymakers failed to stem the rise in yields.Technology stocks bore the brunt of this week's sell-off after powering the global stock market recovery last year.
- The Telegraph
'It's not as nice as Cancun': Ted Cruz jokes about controversial holiday in CPAC culture wars speech
Ted Cruz railed against "cancel culture" and mocked criticism of his trip to Mexico while his home state of Texas endured freezing conditions and power blackouts as he addressed the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday. The Texas senator was widely criticised last week for taking a family trip to Cancun, Mexico while millions in his state went without heat or water after severe winter weather crippled power supplies. He cut his trip short and apologised for the trip after facing a public backlash. As he addressed CPAC attendees in Orlando, Florida, Mr Cruz began by referencing the controversy, joking: "Orlando is awesome. It's not as nice as Cancun - but it's nice." The comments were met with laughter from the audience.
- The Independent
Republican gathering began in 1974 and sees American conservatives debate social worries but has struggled with position on 'alt-right' in recent years
- Business Insider
Ted Cruz said the Republican Party is 'not just the party of country clubs' but CPAC is fixated on Donald Trump - a man who literally lives at one
Trump, who lives at his private Mar-a-Lago club, has already stolen the show at CPAC and will deliver his own speech on the last day of the conference.
- CBS News
"I just felt so incredibly helpless and frustrated," said Spoon by H owner and chef Yoonjin Hwang.
After the Daily Mail posted photos of a shirtless Jonah Hill, the actor clapped back at "public mockery of his body" and said it "doesn't phase" him.