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If you want to learn more about children in need of homes call Connecting Hearts at 804-308-5946.
Dr. Scott Atlas, the controversial White House coronavirus adviser, left federal employ much the same way he entered it: with an appearance on Fox News.
Egypt has embarked on a “horrifying execution spree”, carrying out at least 57 death sentences in the past two months, Amnesty International said on Wednesday. The estimate is nearly double the number of prisoners executed in all of 2019, though the actual number of executions is likely even higher, the UK-based rights group said. “The Egyptian authorities have embarked on a horrifying execution spree in recent months, putting scores of people to death, in some cases following grossly unfair mass trials,” said Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa director Philip Luther. “These executions are particularly appalling given the well-documented and systematic breaches of fair trial rights in Egypt, with courts often relying on torture-tainted confessions." Local advocacy group the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights criticised the increased use of capital punishment in November, shortly before three of its staff were detained and interrogated about their work. “Handing down and implementing wholesale death sentences, at this progressive pace, does not achieve justice and is not a deterrent to crime,” EIPR said. “On more than one occasion, the Egyptian Initiative called on the Egyptian government to retreat from this excessive use of capital punishment." The arrest of the EIPR staff could be linked to the organisation’s opposition to capital punishment, Amnesty believes. “Not only are the Egyptian authorities trampling on the right to life in shocking disregard for their obligations under international law, but they are also punishing the brave human rights defenders at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights documenting and speaking out about these violations,” Mr Luther said. The executed prisoners were found guilty of various offences including murder, rape and participation in political violence, Amnesty said. The organisation collected its figures through interviews with lawyers and relatives of prisoners, and reviewing media reports, legal documents and NGO publications. The actual number of executions was likely even higher, “as Egyptian authorities do not publish statistics on executions or the number of prisoners on death row; nor do they inform families or lawyers in advance of executions,” Amnesty said. It has been unable to verify a further 31 executions that were reported by pro-government Egyptian media in October and November. The increase in capital punishment followed an alleged prison break attempt at Cairo's Tora prison in Cairo on September 23 in which four prisoners on death row and four members of security forces were killed, Amnesty said. Egyptian authorities have maintained a sustained crackdown on dissent since the overthrow of Egypt’s first democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi in a popularly backed military coup in 2013. Since 2014, when former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi took power, courts have condemned over 3,000 people to death, according to the Arab Network for Human Rights Information, though most sentences are reduced on appeal. Fewer than 800 death sentences were issued in the six years prior, according to Amnesty.
A few hours after a bipartisan group of senators unveiled a $908 billion coronavirus relief bill proposal Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) circulated his own plan among Republican lawmakers. Several news organizations obtained a copy of the outline.McConnell's plan, Bloomberg notes, appears to be a tweaked version of his previous $500 billion proposal (although the full price tag is not yet known), with funds earmarked for a second round of the Payroll Protection Program and coronavirus vaccine distribution and development. It doesn't seem likely to serve as an overture to Democrats and instead caters to several Republican senators by including measures like COVID-19 liability shields for businesses, which the other side of the aisle opposes.> McConnell's "revised" bill includes lots of goodies for his members:> > \- Toomey proposal ensuring Fed can't use unspent CARES money > \- school choice tax credits for Cruz > \- Tim Scott's tax deduction for biz meals > \- Cornyn's liability shield bill > \- $20B in additional aid to farmers> > -- Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) December 1, 2020Unlike the bipartisan framework from earlier in the day, McConnell's bill does not include any money for state, local, and tribal governments, another nod toward Republicans who remain staunchly opposed to the notion. It does extend the deadline for enhanced unemployment benefits, but only by a month, whereas the other bill proposal would push end date to April.McConnell said he was bearish on his colleagues' framework because the clock is ticking, and he seems to believe the White House will sign off on his version. > I asked @senatemajldr McConnell why not push for the bipartisan, presumably more popular, COVID Relief framework. His response: pic.twitter.com/iekHQkkues> > -- Garrett Haake (@GarrettHaake) December 1, 2020More stories from theweek.com Our parents warned us the internet would break our brains. It broke theirs instead. The election was almost entirely peaceful. What happened? Americans are choosing death over deprivation
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday expressed his opposition to a bill approved by parliament the previous day to suspend U.N. inspections and boost uranium enrichment, saying it would be “harmful” to diplomatic efforts aimed at restoring the 2015 nuclear deal and easing U.S. sanctions. The tug-of-war over the bill, which gained momentum after the killing of a prominent Iranian nuclear scientist last month, reflects the rivalry between Rouhani, a relative moderate, and hard-line lawmakers who dominate parliament and favor a more confrontational approach to the West. The bill would suspend U.N. inspections and require the government to resume enriching uranium to 20% if European nations fail to provide relief from crippling U.S. sanctions on the country's oil and banking sectors.
On Tuesday Gabriel Sterling of the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office spoke forcefully against post-election threats and rhetoric directed at election staff.
President Trump threatened to veto a $740 billion defense spending bill if it doesn't repeal Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, an unrelated provision that grants broad legal immunity to social media and other internet sites. Unless the "dangerous and unfair Section 230" is "completely terminated," Trump said on Twitter, he will "unequivocally veto" the legislation. Section 230, which shields social media companies from legal liability for user content posted on their sites, is considered a foundational provision of the internet.Congress has passed the National Defense Authorization Act with bipartisan support for 59 years in a row, and "presidents from both parties have always signed them, even after issuing veto threats," The Wall Street Journal notes. "The Senate version passed 86-14, and the House version passed 295-125, more than the two-thirds supermajority needed to override a potential veto." Negotiators are currently working out the differences so the legislation can be cleared in the next few weeks. Trump has already threatened to veto this same bill over a provision to rename military bases honoring Confederate officers.There is bipartisan support to reform Section 230, though each party objects to different ways it affects social media. Democrats say Facebook, Twitter, and other sites should do more to weed out disinformation and dangerous content, while Trump has complained baselessly that the sites censor conservatives. The NDAA authorizes $740 billion in Pentagon and Energy Department spending, including a 3 percent raise for U.S. troops, and guides Pentagon policy decisions.Besides passing the NDAA, Congress hopes to push through a spending bill to keep the government running and a COVID-19 relief package before adjourning for the year.More stories from theweek.com Our parents warned us the internet would break our brains. It broke theirs instead. The election was almost entirely peaceful. What happened? Americans are choosing death over deprivation
Adam Laxalt, the co-chair of the Trump campaign in Nevada, is fighting ferociously against his state’s decision to reward its six electoral votes to President-elect Joe Biden, alleging widespread voter fraud and hyping litigation to overturn Biden’s victory.But a nonprofit ethics and transparency group affiliated with Laxalt, Nevada’s former attorney general, has already conceded Biden’s victory and is looking ahead to the new administration.“It’s become clear that we’re going to be having a Biden team and a Biden administration in 2021,” said Caitlin Sutherland, the executive director of Americans for Public Trust, in an interview on Tuesday. The new administration is “what we will remain focused on going into next year.”Sutherland stressed that Laxalt’s work with the Trump re-election campaign, and his efforts to invalidate Biden’s win in Nevada, were entirely separate from his work with APT, a tax-exempt nonprofit that’s barred by law from engaging in political or partisan activity. “That is something he does in a personal capacity outside his role in APT,” Sutherland said. “As a 501c3, we, and Adam when he works with us, do not engage in anything with a partisan or political bent.”Nevada Gov. Calls Trump’s Conspiracy Theory Retweet ‘Unconscionable’ But Laxalt maintains his position as APT’s outside counsel and frequent spokesman even as he works with the Trump team in a personal capacity. And the fact that the group he works with is planning for a reality he refuses to concede underscores just how great a divergence has developed within the broader conservative movement. One faction appears unable to acknowledge the reality of Joe Biden’s win—perhaps for fear of offending Trump. Another doesn’t want to get caught flat-footed for when that reality comes about.Illustrating the political complications that these two pulls can create for the president’s political allies, Sutherland followed up on her initial interview with The Daily Beast to clarify her statement—and hedge her view on the outcome of the election. “As Biden is working to build out his team, APT will provide transparency and scrutiny, even as litigation on the election results are ongoing,” she wrote.As a leading Trump campaign official in Nevada, Laxalt has been a face of the campaign’s efforts to overturn the state’s presidential contest. Last month, he appeared at a news conference in North Las Vegas—alongside former Trump intelligence chief Ric Grenell and GOP lobbyist Matt Schlapp—to level allegations of widespread voter fraud and preview a lawsuit demanding that a state court declare Trump the winner, despite trailing by more than 33,000 votes.The Shady Ex-Cop Behind Trump’s Nevada Voter-Fraud FarceAs part of that lawsuit, the campaign submitted a list of thousands of voters who it said had cast ballots in Nevada despite living out of state. Many of those voters turned out to be military servicemen and their families stationed outside of Nevada, but who are permitted by law to cast ballots in the state.Like nearly all of the Trump campaign’s election-related lawsuits over the past month, the Nevada effort has so far fallen short. Last week, Nevada’s Supreme Court certified Biden’s win in the state. The campaign’s efforts persist nonetheless, and the president and his attorneys continue to gripe about a nonexistent conspiracy against him perpetrated by high-level government officials—including Republicans—and voting machine companies with nebulous ties to foreign dictators.Those voting machine conspiracy theories, which largely focus on the company Dominion Voting Systems, have not extended to Nevada, or Laxalt's efforts there. But on Tuesday, the president hailed a Nevada court ruling allowing both presidential campaigns to inspect voting machines used in the state’s largest county. In a tweet on the ruling, Trump tagged Grennell, Schlapp, and Laxalt.Founded this year, APT uses open records requests and other transparency tools to root out apparent conflicts of interest and ethical breaches among government officials and interest groups. APT is a conservative-leaning group, though Sutherland, a former research director at the National Republican Congressional Committee, said it has and will continue to investigate Republicans and Democrats alike.“We have demanded accountability and transparency from a variety of groups and politicians from both sides of the aisle. That momentum will not change as we head into a Biden administration,” she said.APT has already begun to file open records requests for documents related to incoming Biden administration officials, Sutherland said. “We are taking a look at each individual that will be nominated to the cabinet, and who President-elect Biden is surrounding himself with, what that network has done in the past, and what they would mean in a Biden administration.”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.
Chinese special operators are getting more resources and going through more training, but there are something you can't teach.
The woman, 39, was wounded Saturday as loved ones were gathered at the grave of her son, Sincere Pierce, to say goodbye.
Back in July, the US attorney general Bill Bar was dutifully echoing Donald Trump's warnings that mass mail-in voting was vulnerable to election fraud. Mr Barr's forceful repetition of the unfounded claims were met with heavy criticism from opponents, who accused the country's top law enforcement official of using his position to boost Mr Trump's chances of re-election. After the vote, Mr Barr attracted criticism once more when he authorised prosecutors to pursue allegations of vote counting "irregularities" before election officials had certified the results - a significant reversal from long-standing Justice Department policy. So it was a severe blow to the president's hopes of overturning the election results when Mr Barr publicly declared on Tuesday night: "To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election". Democrats were quick to crow over the admission by the head of the Justice Department, one of the president's closest allies. "If you've even lost Bill Barr... it’s time to pack it up," said Adam Schiff, a senior Democrat congressman.
Republicans are already signaling they won't vote to confirm Neera Tanden, President-elect Joe Biden's choice to run the Office of Management and Budget, next year -- and some have even cast doubt on whether she'll receive a committee hearing. One reason for their antipathy is her prolific activity on Twitter, which includes a fair amount of criticism of GOP lawmakers. Indeed, it appears Tanden was expecting this, since she has seemingly deleted a fair number of tweets over the last few weeks.But GOP critics are calling the lawmakers complaining about Tanden's social media presence hypocrites, especially since President Trump and a few of his own appointees haven't shied away from using the platform to ridicule political and personal opponents (and sometimes presumed allies) over his four years in office.> Do republicans feel even the slightest bit sheepish talking about a Biden nominees tweets when they supported a president who governed largely by tweet?> > -- Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) December 1, 2020In fact, throughout Trump's term, it wasn't uncommon for Republican lawmakers to say they hadn't actually seen the president's posts.> Many Republican senators who always professed to be unfamiliar with Trump tweets are very familiar with Tanden tweets https://t.co/xZPi3mivFU> > -- Mike Memoli (@mikememoli) November 30, 2020But, The Washington Post's Paul Waldman argues, the lawmakers likely aren't all that concerned about Tanden's Twitter use, but are instead using it as part of a strategy to make it more difficult for Biden to assemble the Cabinet he wants. > When you hear Republicans air specific concerns about Biden nominees remember that Obama nominated Merrick Garland because Republicans specifically mentioned him as a Supreme Court nominee they'd support. > > This is their rope-a-dope strategy. Don't fall for it. /1> > -- Paul Waldman (@paulwaldman1) December 1, 2020More stories from theweek.com Our parents warned us the internet would break our brains. It broke theirs instead. The election was almost entirely peaceful. What happened? Americans are choosing death over deprivation
A lawyer for President Trump on Tuesday urged a federal appeals court to halt a lawsuit accusing the U.S. president of exploiting his family name to promote a marketing scam targeting poor and working-class people.