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President-elect Joe Biden will start introducing his Cabinet picks Tuesday, and the consensus in Washington was perhaps best described by Brendan Buck, a former top aide to Republican House Speakers Paul Ryan and John Boehner:> These Biden nominations and appointments are so delightfully boring> > — Brendan Buck (@BrendanBuck) November 23, 2020Most of the names Biden announced Monday — Antony Blinken as secretary of state, Jake Sullivan as national security adviser, Alejandro Mayorkas as Homeland Security secretary, Avril Haines as director of national intelligence, Linda Thomas-Greenfield as U.N. ambassador, and Ron Klein as White House chief of staff — are career professionals little known outside Washington policy and politics circles, but well regarded within them. "By design, they seem meant to project a dutiful competence," The Washington Post reports.Biden has also chosen some boldface names: John Kerry as international climate envoy and former Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen as treasury secretary. What ties them all together is the prospect of a Biden administration "filled with people who have deep experience in government and in the agencies they will be running," Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer write at Politico.You can expect fewer impulsive tweets and more of "a linear, plodding, purposeful, and standard policy process" run "by political professionals who aren't likely to try to burn down the White House over petty disagreements and jockeying to get in the good graces of the president," Sherman and Palmer add. "In other words, if the Trump White House was like downing a vat of Tabasco sauce over the past four years, the Biden White House will be like sipping unflavored almond milk."The selection process hasn't been entirely without drama, but "the relatively uncontroversial nature of these picks has been by design," Politico's Ryan Lizza reports. "Internally, Biden officials have been instructed to emphasize to reporters how normal the picks are, how 'these are tested leaders.' It's seen as a success if the Biden staff and Cabinet announcements don't make much news."More stories from theweek.com Obama the pretender The airline industry begins to plan COVID-19 'vaccination passports' for international travel This year's turkey presidential pardon went to a gobbler named Corn
Congresswoman’s criticism comes as virus spikes across US
Russia said on Tuesday one of its warships caught and chased off a U.S. destroyer operating illegally in its territorial waters in the Sea of Japan, but the U.S. Navy denied wrongdoing by its vessel and accused Moscow of making excessive maritime claims. The Admiral Vinogradov, a Russian destroyer, verbally warned USS John S. McCain, a U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer, and threatened to ram it in order to force it to leave the area, prompting it to return to neutral waters, Moscow said.
China criticized Pope Francis on Tuesday over a passage in his new book in which he mentions suffering by China’s Uighur Muslim minority group. Foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Francis’ remarks had “no factual basis at all.” “People of all ethnic groups enjoy the full rights of survival, development, and freedom of religious belief," Zhao said at a daily briefing.
A metal monolith has been found in the heart of Utah's red rock country by a state employee who was carrying out a count of bighorn sheep. The shiny structure was spotted by a biologist while conducting an aerial survey of southern Utah as part of a programme to double the number of sheep in the area. Bret Hutchings, the helicopter pilot, was dumbfounded. “That’s been about the strangest thing that I’ve come across out there in all my years of flying," he told the local tv news channel, KSLTV. “I’d say it’s probably between 10 and 12 feet high,” he added. “We were kind of joking around that if one of us suddenly disappears, then the rest of us make a run for it.” How the monolith got there remains a mystery. According to Mr Hutchings it was not just dropped in place, but firmly planted into the ground. He speculated the piece was a work of art deposited in the middle of nowhere by what he described as a "new wave" artist - perhaps inspired by Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film, "2001: A Space Odyssey".
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Tuesday predicted President-elect Joe Biden's new hires for his incoming administration would be "polite and orderly caretakers of America's decline," facetiously citing how many members of the group have Ivy League degrees.It's true that many of Biden's picks so far went to Ivy League schools, but Rubio's remark makes less sense when considering that the current White House is a similarly Ivy-infused crowd. President Trump himself went to the University of Pennsylvania, after all.> Come on, @marcorubio pic.twitter.com/xYjMwjRyli> > -- Yashar Ali (@yashar) November 24, 2020The GOP's critique that Democratic administrations are oversaturated with Ivy Leaguers isn't new. NBC News' Benjy Sarlin pointed out that Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who has a Harvard degree, issued a similar complaint about former the Cabinet chosen by former President Barack Obama, who defeated him in the 2012 election. > This is always a classic. Mitt Romney derided Obama's "Harvard faculty lounge" cabinet in 2012 while he had a Harvard JD/MBA, three (!!!) sons who attended Harvard business, and his advisors included famous Harvard faculty members. https://t.co/GiTVVD5Jlw> > -- Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) November 24, 2020More stories from theweek.com Obama the pretender The airline industry begins to plan COVID-19 'vaccination passports' for international travel This year's turkey presidential pardon went to a gobbler named Corn
Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong was taken into custody on Monday after pleading guilty to charges of illegal assembly last year, which could land him in jail for up to three years if he's convicted at a later date. While Wong was taken away by courtroom staff, he shouted "Everyone hang in there!" The assembly in question took place near the city's police headquarters in June last year. Fellow long-time activists Ivan Lam and Agnes Chow were remanded in custody at the same trial after they, too, pleaded guilty to similar charges. Wong spoke out over his situation before entering the court Monday: "Perhaps the authorities wish me to stay in prison, but I'm persuaded neither prison bars, nor election bans, nor any other arbitrary power will stop us from activism." Wong's and other activists' repeated arrests have drawn criticism from Western governments who say China is not fulfilling its obligation to allow Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy after its handover in 1997. China denies the accusation and says Hong Kong is its internal affair. Wong was not a leading figure in last year's protests, but his activist career since the 2014 Umbrella Movement has drawn Beijing's anger. Hours after China's parliament passed a sweeping national security law for Hong Kong this past summer, Wong disbanded his pro-democracy group, Demosisto. Under the new law, any activity Beijing considers subversion, secession, terrorism or collusion may receive up to life in prison.
Charles Koch told Axios that he was "horrified" by some of the policies and positions that the Republican politicians he supported were talking about.
Japan and China agreed on Tuesday to restart coronavirus-hit business travel this month and to continue talks on disputed isles in the East China Sea, in the first high-level dialogue since Japan picked a new leader in September. The two-day visit to Tokyo by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi comes amid growing concerns over Beijing's assertiveness in the region. Talks with Japanese counterpart Toshimitsu Motegi covered maritime tensions, trade and the pandemic response.
Mr Wong and two fellow activists are now facing jail for taking part in last year's protests.
On the heels of his record-breaking but unsuccessful bid to oust U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina's Jaime Harrison on Tuesday launched a political action committee, utilizing his newly minted status as a fundraising powerhouse to try to provide a sustained boost to other Democrats that he hopes can help flip more areas from red to blue. Dirt Road PAC will focus on long term investments in state-level Democratic candidates and parties like intensive voter registration efforts in areas that have been seen by Democrats as harder to win, Harrison told The Associated Press ahead of the official launch. “The days of just swooping in every few years and putting up a candidate, having no grassroots infrastructure and thinking that we’re going to win - that’s just not working,” Harrison told the AP on Monday.
Computer repairman John Paul Mac Isaac, who gave a copy of the laptop to Rudy Giuliani, shuttered his Delaware store and a neighbor said he left town.
President Trump on Tuesday surprised the White House press corps by announcing he would be making remarks in the briefing room in just a few minutes. As it turned out, he just wanted to highlight that the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit 30,000 for the first time ever earlier in the day. He called it a "sacred number."> President Trump: "I just want to congratulate everybody. The stock market Dow Jones Industrial Average just hit 30,000 which is the highest in history. We've never broken 30,000 and that's just despite everything that's taken place with the pandemic." pic.twitter.com/aKsXFqucfu> > -- CSPAN (@cspan) November 24, 2020Trump congratulated his administration and, "most importantly," the American people for the milestone, and then walked out of the room. The entire event lasted just over one minute, which CNN's Jim Acosta described as the "shortest briefing ever." Reporters, as has been the case for the past several weeks, fired questions at him to no avail and were left scratching their heads. > Trump spoke briefly about the stock market and took no questions.> > After he leaves, you can hear a reporter say, "Well that was weird as shit." pic.twitter.com/lrkjlEHx3h> > -- The Recount (@therecount) November 24, 2020More stories from theweek.com Obama the pretender The airline industry begins to plan COVID-19 'vaccination passports' for international travel This year's turkey presidential pardon went to a gobbler named Corn
Decorating mansion will be her final official act as first lady
Roadside bombs exploded in central Afghanistan on Tuesday killing at least 13 civilians and a traffic policeman, officials said, even as government negotiators and the Taliban meet to try to end decades of war. Tariq Arian, spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said 45 people were also wounded in a late afternoon blast in Bamiyan city in Bamiyan province.
Honestie Hodges was hospitalized on her birthday, the same day she got tested positive. A Michigan girl who made national headlines after being handcuffed at gunpoint by police at the age of 11 has died from complications of COVID-19. Honestie Hodges, 14, was admitted to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids on Nov. 9, the same day she tested positive for the virus.
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
"The president's slow-moving coup is not going that well," Stephen Colbert said on Monday's Late Show. "This afternoon, the Michigan election board certified Joe Biden's win in that state, then tonight we just learned moments ago that the General Services Administration informed President-elect Joe Biden the administration is ready to begin the formal transition process." That makes it official, he said. "Our next commander in chief will be President Biden. Which means somewhere, right now, Rudy Giuliani is filing a last-ditch legal claim that our current president's name has always been Joe Biden.""With so many people humiliated by the absolute incompetence of his legal team, the president did what had to be done and fired someone named Sidney Powell," Colbert said. "If you don't know who she is, congratulations, now you don't have to know. But I'm going to tell you anyway." And he did.Powell "got kicked off Trump's legal team for being too crazy," Jimmy Fallon marveled at The Tonight show. "That's like getting kicked off of Real Housewives for being too crazy. Seriously, you know how nuts you have to be when Rudy Giuliani's head starts leaking and you're the one who gets fired?""Here's how big of an embarrassment she was to the Trump team," James Corden elaborated at The Late Late Show: "The guy who held a press conference next to a sex shop, and last week had hair dye running down his face, and who wears loafers that look like clown shoes -- that guy, still on the team. But I saw this coming, I did. Any good conspiracy theorist will tell you if you rearrange the letters in Sidney Powell, you get Needy Pillows, which is obviously nod to the MyPillow CEO, who invented coronavirus to destabilize the neck-support industry. I gotta be honest, I spent a lot of time on the internet this weekend.""Trump is concerned that his legal team is made up of fools that are making him look bad," Jimmy Kimmel laughed at Kimmel Live. "They said the same thing about you." Meanwhile, "we still haven't seen the president concede -- we've barely even seen the president," thanks largely to golf, he shrugged. "I've never seen a guy try so hard to keep a job he doesn't even do." Watch another one of Kimmel's "great ideas" to get Trump to leave office below. More stories from theweek.com Obama the pretender The airline industry begins to plan COVID-19 'vaccination passports' for international travel This year's turkey presidential pardon went to a gobbler named Corn
"This money could easily — and legally — end up in his own pocket in the coming years," a campaign-finance attorney told CNN.
Indonesia’s confirmed COVID-19 cases breached half a million on Monday as the government of the world’s fourth most populous nation scrambled to procure vaccines to help it win the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Indonesia's Health Ministry announced that new daily infections rose by 4,442 to bring the country’s total to 502,110, the most in Southeast Asia and second in Asia only to India’s 9.1 million confirmed cases. President Joko Widodo said at a Cabinet meeting that his administration is preparing mass vaccinations.