KDKA's Rich Walsh and 93.7 The Fan's Andrew Fillipponi discuss the sports topics of the day.
KDKA's Rich Walsh and 93.7 The Fan's Andrew Fillipponi discuss the sports topics of the day.
One of President-elect Joe Biden’s first acts after being sworn in on Jan. 20 will be to rejoin the Paris climate agreement.
Police in Stockholm are investigating a woman in her 70s suspected of having kept her son locked up — reportedly for 28 years — in an apartment south of the Swedish capital, investigators said Tuesday. Prosecutor Emma Olsson, who heads the preliminary investigation, said the woman who was held on suspicion of unlawful deprivation of liberty and grievous bodily harm. Olsson said the 41-year-old son was found by a relative who then alerted authorities.
Control of the United States Senate hinges on two January 5 runoff elections in Georgia, where incumbent Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler are facing Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock respectively. Most immediately, the race is a contest over whether President-elect Joe Biden and the Democratic Party will be able to govern — especially by passing another big coronavirus rescue package.However, Loeffler and Perdue are also excellent examples of what interests the Republican Party serves — namely, the ultra-rich, which includes both Loeffler and Perdue personally. These are two people who were rich before they got into politics, and leveraged their power as senators to make themselves even more rich — by profiteering off the pandemic. It is government of, by, and for the top 0.1 percent.Let me consider their cases in turn. David Perdue is a longtime businessman who served as CEO of Dollar General in the mid-2000s, where he worked diligently to source more products from China. According to his financial disclosures, he is worth between $15 million and $43 million.As Michela Tindera writes at Forbes, Kelly Loeffler and her husband Jeffrey Sprecher own a big stake in International Exchange, a financial clearinghouse company that Sprecher founded and where he remains CEO and chairman. (That company also owns the New York Stock Exchange, where Sprecher is again chairman.) After closely examining Loeffler's financial disclosure forms and other information, Tindera estimates that the couple is worth at least $800 million, and likely over $1 billion — or roughly quadruple the wealth of the second-richest member of Congress, Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah).Here's how the pandemic profiteering worked. On January 24, there was a private all-Senate briefing about the looming disaster — long before there was a broad public understanding that the U.S. was going to get slammed by COVID-19. Immediately afterward, both Loeffler and Perdue started trading strategic stocks. As The Daily Beast reported at the time, Loeffler executed 29 transactions valued between $1.275 and $3.1 million in the following days before the market crashed, almost all of them sales — one exception was a purchase of Citrix, which sells teleworking software. (Also, Loeffler recently violated the legal prohibition on soliciting campaign funds in a Senate office building.)Perdue made a similar number of trades, but bought more than Loeffler — in particular, an investment of up to $850,000 in DuPont, which manufactures personal protective equipment. And as The Associated Press reports, in late January he sold between $1 million and $5 million in shares of Cardlytics, a financial technology firm, at $86 per share. Then, when the market had bottomed out in March, he snapped up between $200,000 and $500,000 of Cardlytics shares at $30 apiece; since then the share price has shot back up to $121. Nice tidy little profit to counterbalance the 270,000 dead Americans. (The Daily Beast also reports that in 2019, Perdue bought up shares of a submarine parts manufacturer before voting to give the company a lucrative contract, then sold it for another handsome profit.)When reports of these trades first came out, both Loeffler and Perdue insisted they had nothing to do personally with the moves. "I have never used any confidential information I received while performing my Senate duties as a means of making a private profit ... professionals buy and sell stocks on our behalf," wrote Loeffler in an April 8 Wall Street Journal op-ed. Perdue told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that advisers made his investment decisions on their own.In the first place, candidates not taking direct control of their stock trades does not actually remove the conflict of interest. If you are a senator, and you hire a bunch of asset managers to look after your investments without any kind of blind trust, you still know what those investments are. You can make decisions knowing that your Goldman Sachs lackeys will make the profit-maximizing move in response — which is the best-case scenario of what happened here.But realistically speaking, it is virtually impossible to believe that all these trades had nothing to do with the two senators. Are we really to believe it was a coincidence that these asset managers started making "there is a pandemic coming" trades the very same day the two were receiving classified briefings on the disaster? Come on. Indeed, The New York Times recently reported that Perdue was lying with his blanket denial — he did directly instruct his manager to sell the Cardlytics shares after receiving a cryptic email mentioning "upcoming changes" from the company's then-CEO. (Perdue and Loeffler have been cleared of legal wrongdoing by the Department of Justice, but given that Attorney General Barr is a shameless Trump stooge, that is hardly reassuring.)Since then, both Perdue and Loeffler have largely downplayed the pandemic. Unlike Ossoff and Warnock, both have been holding large, in-person rallies. In July, both Loeffler and Perdue came out against extending the boost to unemployment insurance in the CARES Act, and since then neither have answered questions about further economic rescue measures from Atlanta Magazine. Instead, since the election they have amplified Trump's flagrant lies that Georgia's Republican governor and secretary of state somehow helped Joe Biden steal the election there.Over the last decade or so, there has been a long discussion of why Democrats are bleeding votes in rural areas (precisely where Republicans run up huge margins in Georgia). And on one level it's an important debate — there is good evidence that as Democrats embraced austerity, deregulation, and free trade that harmed such places, it hurt their vote share.But on another level, it is frankly staggering that the Republican Party has swooped in to replace them. The Democrats may not be much of a friend to the working class or rural farmers, but Republicans are straight-up picking their pockets. If you want a couple senators to govern solely on behalf of their massive asset portfolio while leaving everyone else twisting in the wind, vote Perdue and Loeffler.More stories from theweek.com Trump gives 45-minute speech about voter fraud — which 1 analyst says he'd be making in court if it had any merit Our parents warned us the internet would break our brains. It broke theirs instead. Biden joked about rewriting Hamilton for Janet Yellen. Colbert's Late Show made it happen.
In a four-page order issued on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Janet Neff said she would not strike the disputed document from the court record. Lawyers for the city of Detroit had asked Neff to strike the document as a way of sanctioning Trump's campaign. "While we are disappointed that sanctions were not awarded, this is only one of many cases filed in Michigan, and we do expect these lawyers to be sanctioned by some courts for their repeated frivolous lawsuits," David Fink, a lawyer for the city of Detroit, said in a statement.
From a private island to a tiny Vermont tree houseOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
A photo of an Australian soldier drinking beer from the prosthetic leg of a dead Taliban fighter emerged on Tuesday, as the Chinese and Australian governments continued to trade blows over alleged Australian war crimes in Afghanistan. The photograph of the soldier drinking from an apparent “war trophy” in an unauthorised bar in Afghanistan in 2009 was one of several obtained by Guardian Australia. Another shows two soldiers dancing with the leg. The bar, known as the Fat Lady’s Arms, was set up inside Australia’s special forces base in Tarin Kowt, the capital of Uruzgan province. Some soldiers claimed in the Guardian that the practice was widely tolerated by officers at high levels, and even involved some of them. Taking property without the consent of the owner may be classified as pillaging, a war crime which carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison. The revelations came as China hit back at the Australian government, which had criticised a social media post by senior official Zhao Lijian featuring a doctored image of an Australian soldier holding a knife to the throat of an Afghan child. The post was a reference to the findings of the Brereton inquiry which implicated Australian forces in the alleged murder of prisoners or civilians in Afghanistan. In a statement, the Chinese Embassy in Canberra said the Australian Government was attempting to deflect attention from war crimes committed by Australian forces, to stoke the fires of “domestic nationalism”, and to pin the blame for the deteriorating relationship between the countries on China. While the Brereton inquiry largely absolved the Australian military’s top brass of responsibility for the alleged crimes, the report noted that a “warrior culture” had developed in the special forces which contributed to offences, a culture of which senior officers could not have been unaware. Australian historian and lecturer on asymmetrical warfare and counter-insurgency, Dr Philip Chilton, told The Telegraph that Australia’s special forces “are bred to have a warrior culture”, and that it is “problematic” that the report appeared to “exonerate the higher command for responsibility for any of this”. While the Department of Defence has not confirmed the authenticity of the photographs, in June 2018 Fairfax Media reported that Australian troops had been using the prosthetic leg taken from an Afghan man as a drinking vessel. The Department of Defence said in a statement that all credible allegations of wrongdoing will be investigated. “The report has been redacted to remove names and details that could identify individuals against whom the Inquiry has found credible information to support allegations of criminal wrongdoing or other misconduct... Where there is information provided to Defence not addressed as part of the Afghanistan Inquiry [headed by Justice Brereton], these matters will be investigated thoroughly and acted on,” a spokesperson said. “It is critical that all matters are considered carefully, and any actions are undertaken according to the ADF’s longstanding and well-established processes, ensuring the rights of individuals to due process and fair hearing are protected.”
He is the first to be arrested under a controversial anti-conversion law passed last month.
A lawyer for Donald 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. The lawyer, Thomas McCarthy, told the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan the plaintiffs were "done in by the allegations of their own complaint," and that their proposed class action concerning the multi-level marketing company American Communications Network belonged in arbitration. Four plaintiffs, including a hospice worker, accused Trump, his adult children Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka and an affiliate of their family company of promoting ACN in exchange for millions of dollars in secret payments from 2005 to 2015.
A team of Trump-adjacent lawyers are turning on the electoral process as a whole.Sidney Powell, a former lawyer for the Trump campaign who has since been disavowed, and high-profile lawyer Lin Wood, along with a bunch of other people falsely alleging the whole 2020 election was rigged, gathered Wednesday in Georgia for a so-called "Stop the Steal" rally. There, they brought up some old favorite Trump rally chants and election conspiracy theories, though with a decidedly non-GOP-approved twist.With Trump campaign flags flying, the scantily masked crowd was reminiscent of a rally for the outgoing president. But the "lock him up" chants at this rally were actually targeted at Brian Kemp, Georgia's Republican governor. Wood initiated the chants, calling for a protest outside Kemp's house and his resignation because he hasn't moved to overturn President-elect Joe Biden's win in the state.Powell added to that, calling for ballots that are signed and marked with a thumbprint -- an idea that doesn't jibe with the secret ballots mandated in Georgia and most of the U.S. "I would encourage all Georgians to make it known that you will not vote at all unless your vote is secure," Powell added, essentially advocating for a boycott of the January runoffs that will decide control of the Senate. And when Rep. Vernon Jones (R-Ga.) tried to butt in and encourage people to turn out, Wood jumped back in, telling everyone to stay home until Trump is given the win and even suggesting Trump should split from the GOP altogether.If all that wasn't enough, someone brought a literal pitchfork to the event. > Someone at the rally literally carrying a pitchfork. pic.twitter.com/y4lteN9Xwn> > -- Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) December 2, 2020More stories from theweek.com Trump gives 45-minute speech about voter fraud — which 1 analyst says he'd be making in court if it had any merit Our parents warned us the internet would break our brains. It broke theirs instead. The naked corruption of Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue
Six years after the alleged incident, one woman is taking a prominent TV star to court.