President-elect Joe Biden held a virtual roundtable with frontline health care workers and assured them he would advocate for them as president and promised "there is hope on the way."
President-elect Joe Biden held a virtual roundtable with frontline health care workers and assured them he would advocate for them as president and promised "there is hope on the way."
First Read is your briefing from "Meet the Press" and the NBC Political Unit on the day's most important political stories and why they matter.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown is encouraging residents to call the police on any neighbors who flout state COVID-19 restrictions, which include limiting in-home gatherings to a maximum of six people.“This is no different than what happens if there's a party down the street and it's keeping everyone awake,” Brown said in an interview Friday. “What do neighbors do [in that case]? They call law enforcement because it's too noisy. This is just like that. It's like a violation of a noise ordinance.”Last week the Democratic governor instituted a new round of restrictions aimed at mitigating the spread of coronavirus in the state via executive order, including a two-week “freeze” limiting indoor and outdoor gatherings to no more than six people from no more than two households just ahead of Thanksgiving. Residents are also prohibited from eating out at restaurants and going to the gym, though faith-based gatherings of up to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors are allowed.Violators can face up to 30 days in jail, $1,250 fines or both. The Marion County Sheriff’s office said in a statement on Friday that it believes “we cannot arrest or enforce our way out of the pandemic.”“We believe both are counterproductive to public health goals.”Brown pushed back, calling criticisms of the new restrictions "irresponsible."“This is about saving lives and it's about protecting our fellow Oregonians,” she said. “We have too many sporadic cases in Oregon. We can't trace these cases to a particular source. We have to limit gatherings and social interactions.”On Sunday, new COVID-19 cases reached a record high in the state for the third straight day, with 1,517 new infections recorded, bringing the state total to 65,170.
A California attorney said Monday that a Kenosha County judge will allow him to appear in court on behalf of an Illinois 17-year-old accused of killing two people during a protest in Wisconsin. John Pierce, of Los Angeles, is not licensed to practice in Wisconsin and would need the court's permission to appear in court for Kyle Rittenhouse. Such requests are routinely granted, but Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Jason Zapf has asked for a hearing on the matter “to address several issues.”
Decorating mansion will be her final official act as first lady
Somewhere in Virginia, a turkey by the name of Carrots is feeling vindicated.Two years ago this week, President Trump conducted the annual White House turkey pardon, which let the American people vote online to decide the fate of birds Peas and Carrots. The president, lest he pass up an opportunity to roast, jokingly mocked the losing turkey, Carrots."Unfortunately, Carrots refused to concede and demanded a recount," Trump said in 2018. "We're still fighting with Carrots."> FLASHBACK: In 2018, President Trump attacked Carrots the turkey for refusing to concede he had lost the vote on the White House turkey pardon contest.> > "This was a fair election... unfortunately, Carrots refused to concede and demanded a recount."> > pic.twitter.com/MzcackiDwd> > — andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) November 23, 2020Replace "Carrots" with "Trump" and we essentially have the story of the 2020 election. As President-elect Joe Biden proceeds with filling his Cabinet, Trump remains steadfast in his refusal to concede, despite winning 74 fewer electoral votes. Also similar to Carrots, Trump has called for recounts in several states, including Georgia, where taxpayers will fund a third recount.It's unclear whether Carrots ever officially conceded his 2018 loss, or whether Trump has any plans to do so, either. Carrots did, however, make his way to the nation's premier retirement spot for former White House turkeys, so there's certainly hope for Trump's post-presidential life.More stories from theweek.com There's a very simple, extremely plausible reason Trump won't admit Biden won Reporter Carl Bernstein names 21 GOP senators who 'repeatedly expressed extreme contempt for Trump' Biden is stealing the spotlight. Trump can't stand it.
Joe Biden will nominate former secretary of state John Kerry for climate czar in his presidential cabinet, the Biden-Harris transition team announced on Monday.Kerry will serve on the White House national security council as the "Special Presidential Envoy for Climate." The position, which does not require Senate approval, would be the first national security council post to deal with specifically climate change.> America will soon have a government that treats the climate crisis as the urgent national security threat it is. I'm proud to partner with the President-elect, our allies, and the young leaders of the climate movement to take on this crisis as the President's Climate Envoy.> > -- John Kerry (@JohnKerry) November 23, 2020"America will soon have a government that treats the climate crisis as the urgent national security threat it is," Kerry wrote in a Twitter post. "I'm proud to partner with the President-elect, our allies, and the young leaders of the climate movement to take on this crisis as the President's Climate Envoy."The Biden-Harris team noted that Kerry "was a key architect of the Paris Climate Accord" of 2015. President Trump later pulled out of the treaty, saying its criterion for reducing emissions harmed American manufacturing and energy jobs."The Paris Climate Accord is simply the latest example of Washington entering into an agreement that disadvantages the United States to the exclusive benefit of other countries," Trump said on June 1, 2017. "The agreement doesn’t eliminate coal jobs, it just transfers those jobs out of America and the United States, and ships them to foreign countries."Biden’s nominee for Secretary of State is Antony Blinken, a longtime Biden adviser who served as deputy Secretary of State from 2015 to 2017 during the Obama administration. Prior to that post, Blinken served as national security adviser to Biden during his tenure as Vice President.The Biden-Harris team announced Jake Sullivan as nominee for national security adviser. Sullivan served as deputy chief of staff to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and has held various other posts in the Obama-Biden administration.Additionally, former U.S. Customs and Immigration head Alejandro Mayorkas received Biden's nomination for secretary of homeland security. During his tenure at UCIS from 2009 to 2013, Mayorkas oversaw the implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.Mayorkas was the subject of a 2015 inspector general probe that found he intervened in visa applications for companies owned by Terry McAuliffe, former Democratic governor of Virginia, and Tony Rodham, Hillary Clinton's brother.Editor's Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Kerry's post requires Senate confirmation. Since the post is housed within the White House, it does not require confirmation.
Prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong and two other activists were taken into custody Monday after they pleaded guilty to charges related to a demonstration outside police headquarters during anti-government protests last year. Wong, together with fellow activists Ivan Lam and Agnes Chow, pleaded guilty to charges related to organizing, taking part in and inciting protesters to join an unauthorized protest outside police headquarters last June. “I am persuaded that neither prison bars, nor election ban, nor any other arbitrary powers would stop us from activism,” Wong said, ahead of the court hearing.
Loeffler is currently campaigning in a high-stakes race that could determine control of the Senate at the start of President-elect Joe Biden's term.
We rounded up a mix of gifts that help others, keep folks healthy, and add a little something-something to the home Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
A two-star Navy admiral overseeing U.S. military intelligence in the Asia-Pacific region has made an unannounced visit to Taiwan, two sources told Reuters on Sunday (November 22). Neither Taiwan nor the United States has officially confirmed the trip. Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said China "resolutely opposes" any form of exchanges between U.S. and Taiwanese officials or the two having military relations. China urges the United States to fully recognise the extreme sensitivity of the Taiwan issue, Zhao told a news briefing. "The Chinese side will, according to how the situation develops, make a legitimate and necessary response," he said, without elaborating.
All across Malaysia's Sabah region on Borneo island, stateless residents and undocumented migrants are fleeing public health officials conducting coronavirus screenings, fearful of being detained or deported. The race to tackle COVID-19 in Sabah, Malaysia's biggest palm oil producing state, is being complicated by an estimated one million undocumented migrants and stateless residents who account for a third of the population. Sabah accounts for nearly half of Malaysia's 54,775 recorded COVID-19 infections and over half its 335 deaths despite having barely a tenth of the Southeast Asian country's population.
The incident was caught on video.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) is no longer sure Trump will "do the right thing" and acknowledge his loss to President-elect Joe Biden, but he's certain Biden will be sworn in Jan. 20, 2021, he told CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday's State of the Union. Hogan, who has been critical of Trump, said he voted for the late President Ronald Reagan this year.Pressuring state legislators in Michigan and other states to "somehow change the outcome with electors was completely outrageous," Hogan said. "We used to go supervise elections around the world, and we were the most respected country with respect to elections. And now we're beginning to look like we're a banana republic. It's time for them to stop the nonsense. It gets more bizarre every single day, and frankly, I'm embarrassed that more people in the party aren't speaking up."> Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says he is "embarrassed that more people in the party aren't speaking up" regarding President Trumps' refusal to concede https://t.co/2wEl0kWIoX CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/ht8v9oi0O5> > -- CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) November 22, 2020John Bolton, Trump's former national security adviser, was also critical of both Trump and his Republican Party, but he did offer some advice to those Republican officials scared of Trump. "Look, for those who are worried about Trump's reaction, there's strength in numbers," he said. "The more who come out and say, 'He doesn't represent us, he is not following a Republican game plan here,' the safer they will be." > "The Republican Party is not going to be saved by hiding in a spider hole. We need all of our leaders to come out and say, 'the election is over.' We're not talking about an abstract right for Trump to use his legal remedies. We've past that," John Bolton says. CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/pUFsiFj7PC> > -- State of the Union (@CNNSotu) November 22, 2020More stories from theweek.com There's a very simple, extremely plausible reason Trump won't admit Biden won Reporter Carl Bernstein names 21 GOP senators who 'repeatedly expressed extreme contempt for Trump' Biden is stealing the spotlight. Trump can't stand it.
Jury duty notices have set Nicholas Philbrook’s home on edge with worries about him contracting the coronavirus and passing it on to his father-in-law, a cancer survivor with diabetes in his mid-70s who is at higher risk of developing serious complications from COVID-19. Philbrook and his wife, Heather Schmidt, of Camarillo, California, have been trying to convince court officials that he should be excused from jury duty because her father lives with them. “My main concern is you still have to go into a building, you still have to be around a set number of people,” said Philbrook, 39, a marketing company editor.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly made an unprecedented clandestine visit to Saudi Arabia on Sunday evening, fuelling speculation that the Gulf state might be the next to normalise relations with Tel Aviv. Israeli media and The Wall Street Journal reported that Netanyahu met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as well as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. If true, it is believed to be the first meeting between the two leaders, whose countries have historically hostile relations. The Saudi foreign minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud, on Monday denied reports that Mr Netanyahu was in the meeting, saying “the only officials present were American and Saudi.” But a senior Saudi advisor told The Wall Street Journal that he was present, with several issues, including normalisation of ties and Iran, discussed but no formal agreements reached. The meeting was said to have lasted a couple of hours. Flight tracking website FlightRadar24.com shows a Gulfstream IV private jet taking off from Ben-Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv just after 5:40pm GMT and landing in the Saudi seaside city of Neom before leaving again at around 9:50pm GMT. Yossi Cohen, head of Israeli spy agency Mossad, reportedly accompanied Mr Netanyahu on the trip. Mr Cohen has been a key figure in the other normalisation deals that have been struck this year, which have become known as the Abraham Accords. Whispers that Saudi Arabia could be considering normalising ties with Israel - a move that would mark a sea change in regional politics - have been circulating for weeks. The Trump administration, which has favoured Mr Netanyahu’s hardline government significantly more than previous American administrations, has been pushing Arab states to establish formal relations with Israel as part of their efforts to isolate Iran in the region. The UAE, Bahrain and Sudan have already signed up, but a deal with Saudi Arabia, which has so far been out of reach because of their long-standing support for Palestinian statehood, would be seen as the crowning achievement. Insiders believe that the Saudi crown prince may be more open to the idea than King Salman, given his personal friendship with Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner. Saudi Arabia announced the approval for Israeli flights to the UAE to use its airspace the day after the pair met in Riyadh in September. Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister indicated over the weekend that normalisation would not come without conditions, however. "One very important thing must happen first: a permanent and full peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians,” Mr bin Farhan al-Saud told Reuters during the virtual G20 summit that was being hosted by the country. The Israeli prime minister’s office did not respond to requests for comment. Neither did officials in Saudi Arabia. The prompt leak of the meeting has led some analysts to believe that Israel and Saudi Arabia are trying to show a united front against Iran to incoming US President Joe Biden. Fears have been raised in both states that Donald Trump’s defeat could spell the end of his hardline policies against their common foe. In a speech in southern Israel earlier on Sunday, Mr Netanyahu appeared to urge the incoming Biden administration not to re-enter the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that had been controversially abandoned by the Trump administration in 2018. “There must be no return to the previous nuclear agreement. We must stick to an uncompromising policy to ensure that Iran does not develop nuclear weapons,” he said.
Over the weekend, social media was abuzz with the realization that disgraced political pundit Mark Halperin is now an on-air contributor for fledgling right-wing network Newsmax, which has been making a recent play for disgruntled Trump supporters angry with Fox News.As The Daily Beast reported last month, Halperin, who became persona non grata in mainstream media after his history of alleged, widespread sexual misconduct was exposed in 2017, has been at Newsmax since at least the summer—and he even hosts his own show on the Trump-boosting channel.It was an explosive Saturday interview—one that inevitably reshaped the Trump campaign’s legal efforts to overthrow President Donald Trump’s election loss—that led many to discover that Halperin had quietly returned to cable news.> Would swear that’s Mark Halpern on the right there https://t.co/gD5QUmWr4d> > — Ryan Grim (@ryangrim) November 22, 2020The former MSNBC and Bloomberg analyst has long been making regular appearances on several Newsmax programs, such as former White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s early-evening show. Beyond that, the one-time influential pundit now also hosts a weekend show called Mark Halperin’s Focus Group.When asked about Halperin’s role with the network in August, Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy told The Washington Post that Halperin had “been posting or doing a focus group Zoom video on YouTube” and that they thought they “would test it on the weekends and see how the political talk did.” Ruddy added that there was “no long-term agreement to run the show.”And last month, with Halperin’s show still running on the weekends and the pundit being billed as a Newsmax political analyst on-air, the network still insisted to The Daily Beast that while they “continue to air Focus Group, a program that is developed and owned by Mr. Halperin,” Newsmax had “not made any final determination on the program.”On Sunday, Halperin, along with former Fox News host and current Newsmax anchor Rob Schmitt, spoke with now-former Trump legal team member Sidney Powell, who has been peddling the outlandishly baseless allegations that Dominion voting software—apparently at the behest of late Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez and liberal philanthropist George Soros—flipped millions of votes from Trump to President-elect Joe Biden.During the interview, which quickly went viral, Halperin and Schmitt uncritically allowed Powell to expand her outrageous election-fraud accusations to include Georgia’s Republican governor and secretary of state, claiming they are part of the vast conspiracy while implying they were both bribed. She went on to vow that she would “blow up” Georgia with a “biblical” lawsuit.Also on Sunday, just a few days after Powell headlined the Trump team’s insane press conference in which she laid out her bizarre voter fraud conspiracy, Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis released a statement disavowing Powell and distancing her from their legal efforts. “Sidney Powell is practicing law on her own. She is not a member of the Trump Legal Team. She is also not a lawyer for the President in his personal capacity,” the statement read.Newsmax TV Is Coming for Fox News by Hiring All the Crazies. Is It Actually Working?Before helping to credulously amplify Powell’s fringe theories, Halperin turned to Newsmax earlier this year when it appeared that all other avenues to a mainstream media return had been closed to him. A previous comeback last year, with the help of some of his high-profile cable news pals like the Morning Joe crew, was quickly dashed amid widespread outrage and criticism.Halperin is hardly alone at Newsmax as the network has become something of a safe haven for personalities whose scandals have made them unwelcome on other networks or outlets.The network’s star host Greg Kelly, a former Fox News correspondent and one-time New York City local news fixture, was previously accused of sexual assault (prosecutors decided not to file charges) and has an alleged history of creepy behavior with female colleagues.And one of the network’s top legal analysts, Alan Dershowitz, has largely seen his frequent Fox News appearances dry up in the wake of his connection to the Jeffrey Epstein sex-trafficking scandal, especially after Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell’s arrest and a Netflix documentary that included explosive allegations about Dershowitz. (He has vehemently maintained his innocence.)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.
There's a growing likelihood that the first round of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine will be rolled out in just a few weeks. If and when that happens, only high priority groups, like health care workers, are expected to have access. Theoretically, the pool will grow over time, but children will probably have to wait a while. That's partly because younger people, though far from invulnerable to COVID-19, are less susceptible to severe cases, but it also has to do with the fact that the youngest people to receive Pfizer's candidate in trials were between 12 and 14 years old, Dr. Moncef Slaoui, the White House vaccine czar, told CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday.As things stand, there's no data about the vaccine's efficacy or safety for younger children, but Slaoui says the plan is to run trials at an expedited pace over the coming months, first with younger adolescents, then toddlers, and, finally, infants. If that goes well, Slaoui, expects most kids will be able to get vaccinated by the middle of next year, though infants may not be approved until the end of 2021. > Dr. Moncef Slaoui, the White House vaccine czar, tells @jaketapper that he expects children will be able to receive a coronavirus vaccine some time in the middle of next year. "We need to run those clinical trials on an expedited basis." CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/WlOUxKA3RN> > -- State of the Union (@CNNSotu) November 22, 2020More stories from theweek.com There's a very simple, extremely plausible reason Trump won't admit Biden won Reporter Carl Bernstein names 21 GOP senators who 'repeatedly expressed extreme contempt for Trump' Biden is stealing the spotlight. Trump can't stand it.
Turkey summoned top diplomats representing the European Union, Germany and Italy on Monday after a German frigate that is part of a EU mission enforcing an arms embargo against Libya intercepted a Turkish freighter in the Mediterranean sea and carried out what a senior Turkish official dismissed as an “illegal" search. Turkey said personnel from the German frigate Hamburg were flown by helicopter aboard the Libya-bound freighter Rosaline-A on Sunday to carry out an hours-long search without the captain or the Turkish government's permission to board. The captain and crew were forcibly searched and held in one part of the vessel as the German team searched the ship “by force,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.
Iran on Sunday vowed to defeat any Israeli attempt to harm its role in Syria, saying the era of "hit and run" attacks by Israel there was over, days after Israel carried out air strikes on Syrian army and Iranian paramilitary targets in the country. Israel, which views Tehran as its biggest security threat, has repeatedly attacked Iranian targets and those of allied militia in Syria, where Tehran has backed President Bashar al-Assad and his forces against rebels and militants since 2012. On Wednesday, an Israeli military spokesman said eight targets were attacked, including an Iranian headquarters at Damascus international airport and a "secret military site" that served as a "hosting facility for senior Iranian delegations when they come to Syria to operate".
U.S. President Donald Trump is getting ready to amp up pressure on China with a new trade blacklist. A draft seen exclusively by Reuters lists 89 Chinese companies the Commerce Department says have ties to the military. It includes Commercial Aircraft Corp of China - or COMAC: a rising star with its sights set on Boeing and Airbus. Not all companies in the list are Chinese. Some are Russian. But the U.S. considers all of them "military end users". Being on the list means they can't buy some U.S. products - from aircraft engines to word processing software. The Commerce Department called the restrictions "vital for protecting U.S. national security interests." But there are fears that U.S. companies could end up getting hurt, too. It's a sensitive time for the American aerospace industry. Boeing had its 737 MAX cleared by U.S. regulators just last week. It's now seeking approval in China - the first nation to ban the MAX after two fatal crashes of the model. The list could also mean a hit for General Electric and Honeywell - both have ties to COMAC. According to the draft, U.S. companies will need a license to sell to anyone on the list. However, it also says that applications are more likely to be denied than granted.