In New Jersey, problems persist for those making appointments for the COVID vaccine. Some people who booked appointments through the state's hotline say they were abruptly canceled; CBS2's Meg Baker reports.
There was no breakthrough at a "hugely disappointing" meeting between the European Commission and the British government on Wednesday over post-Brexit trade issues in Northern Ireland, the region's first minister, Arlene Foster, said on Wednesday. The British government is demanding concessions from the European Union to minimise disruption in trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom that have emerged since Britain left the bloc's trading orbit in January.
- Reuters Videos
Malaysia has defied a court order to halt the deportation of Myanmar nationals, sending 1,086 people back to their homeland.The Myanmar citizens were sent back on Tuesday on three navy ships sent by the country's military, which seized power in a Feb. 1 coup. Malaysia had initially said it would deport 1,200 Myanmar citizens. It also vowed not to deport Rohingya Muslims or refugees registered with the U.N. High Commission for Refugees - or UNHCR. But the agency has said at least six people registered with it are among the deportees. Refugee groups also say asylum seekers from the minority Chin, Kachin, and non-Rohingya Muslim communities are also fleeing conflict and persecution at home and they are among those being deported. Malaysia's Immigration Department Director-General said the repatriated Myanmar citizens did not include Rohingya refugees or asylum-seekers.He said, quote, "all those returned had agreed to be sent back voluntarily without being forced by any party." He did not respond to queries on why the repatriation was carried out despite the halt ordered by the Kuala Lumpur High Court. The court had granted a stay until 10 a.m. on Wednesday local time, when it was scheduled to hear an application by rights groups for a judicial review to suspend the deportation.Those deported had been detained for immigration offences. Malaysia does not formally recognize refugees, treating them as undocumented migrants.The Southeast Asian nation is home to more than 154,000 asylum seekers from Myanmar.
- Associated Press
Regional diplomatic efforts to resolve Myanmar's political crisis intensified Wednesday, while protests continued in Yangon and other cities calling for the country's coup makers to step down and return Aung San Suu Kyi's elected government to power. Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi visited the Thai capital, Bangkok, and held three-way talks with her Thai counterpart Don Pramudwinai and Myanmar’s new foreign minister, retired army colonel Wunna Maung Lwin, who also traveled to Thailand.
- The Daily Beast
Darrin Zammit Lupi via ReutersROME—The confession of a partially blind hitman in the heinous murder of Maltese muckraker journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has kicked off a slew of new arrests in the complicated case.On Tuesday, a Maltese judge accepted the startling guilty plea of Vincent Muscat, 57, who had originally pleaded not guilty along with brothers George and Alfred Degiorgio, for setting off the car bomb that killed Galizia on a country road near her home in Malta in October 2017. The brothers, who were also in the courtroom, maintain their not guilty pleas in the case. Muscat’s lawyers say the change in tactics is part of a guilty plea that should see their client out of jail by 2027.Malta Arrests in Daphne Caruana Galizia Murder Still Don’t Solve the CrimeMuscat, who is blind in one eye after being shot at close range in April 2014 in an attempted vendetta murder, was sentenced on Tuesday to 15 years in prison of which he has already served three years. He admitted to all six charges against him: the wilful homicide of Daphne Caruana Galizia, causing an explosion that led to the death of a person, illegal possession of explosives, conspiracy to carry out a crime, promotion of a group intending to carry out criminal acts, and participation in such a group. He was separately awarded a presidential pardon in the 2015 murder of lawyer Carmel Circop, in which he supplied crucial information after confessing to his peripheral involvement in that crime. That pardon does not affect the Galizia sentencing.Just moments after Muscat’s change of heart was read in court by his lawyer, police swooped in on a secret hideout of brothers Adrian and Robert Agius and accomplice Jamie Vella, arresting the trio for allegedly supplying the bomb that killed Galizia. Police say more arrests are expected. On Wednesday, local media in Malta reported that three more arrests were imminent, including those with ties to organized crime in Italy and Malta. Galizia’s many investigative targets revealed on her blog Running Commentary, which still receives thousands of hits a day according to her sons, included the country’s then prime minister Joseph Muscat (no relation to Vincent). His wife was tied to the corrupt Pilatius bank exposed in the Panama Papers. Since her murder, journalists collaborating on Galizia’s original investigations under The Daphne Project have uncovered further connections between the Maltese prime minister’s wife and the bank. Muscat resigned under pressure in 2019 over his associates’ alleged ties to the murder.The former prime minister’s associate, energy tycoon Yorgen Fenech, who secretly owned 17 Black, a company that was a frequent target of Galizia’s journalistic investigations, was arrested on his yacht en route to Italy in December 2019. He is charged with masterminding the murder and denies involvement. Preliminary hearings in his trial are expected to resume on March 18.Fenech’s arrest came after taxi driver Melvin Theuma confessed to being a middleman between Fenech and those accused of carrying out the killing. Vincent Muscat’s plea bargain reportedly includes testimony that corroborates the taxi driver‘s claims. Fenech has secured a presidential pardon and full protection in exchange for his testimony. The Daphne Project reporting consortium has learned that Galizia received a cache of thousands of emails and documents tied to a company owned by Fenech. Investigators believe that she may have been killed before she could expose the contents of the documents.The family of Galizia, who believe she was murdered for getting too close to the crimes of Malta’s political elite, issued a cautious statement after Muscat’s plea. “This development will begin the road for total justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia,” they said, adding that her assassination “destroyed her right to life and removed her right to enjoy her family and grandchildren who were born after her murder.”The lawyer for the Galizia family read the statement in court. “The macabre murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia was intentional and could have been avoided. The victim paid with her life and her family are paying for the loss of their loved one,” he said. “I said all this today because if Daphne's family had to respond to the plea bargain based on their emotions, their response would be obvious.”Maltese blogger Manuel Delia, who has written a book on the case, warns that Vincent Muscat’s confession does not solve the case. “Muscat is at the very bottom in the brutal pecking order of this mafia. He is not even a button man. He is a gofer that has seen things and remembered some of them and at a time when he came to face a possible life sentence he has used what he has seen and remembered to negotiate a reduced sentence for himself,” he said Tuesday. “Hearing his confession, his admission of guilt is a small step in the sad, long and so far otherwise fruitless search for justice.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. 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- Associated Press
The increasingly slim odds — and surprisingly thin outreach from the White House — for Neera Tanden’s nomination as head of the Office of Management and Budget are raising growing questions about how long the president will stick with her, in an early test of how he will use his limited political capital. In the latest sign of trouble for Tanden, two Senate panels slated to take up her nomination, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Budget Committee, both postponed meetings scheduled for Wednesday. For the third straight day, the White House batted off questions about Tanden’s path to confirmation after at least one key Democrat and multiple Republicans came out against her.
- Reuters Videos
"I invite you now to if you would like to close your eyes and just imagine yourself sitting on the surface of Mars and listening to to the surroundings.”NASA scientists on Monday released the first sights and sounds ever recorded on Mars, a light gust of wind on the planet's surface.Vivid footage showed the rover, Perseverance, deploying its red-and-white supersonic parachute by way of a rocket-powered hovercraft and lowering its wheels to the ground in a plume of dust and smoke.The project’s lead engineer described watching the most advanced rover ever developed take its place on Mars, "It gives me goosebumps every time I see it, just, it's just amazing.”The footage was captured last Thursday from cameras mounted at different angles of the Perseverance landing craft as it passed through the planet’s thin atmosphere to gently touchdown inside a basin called the Jezero Crater.The six-wheeled vehicle sailed through space for almost seven months, over nearly 300 miles.The video montage of its landing was presented to reporters four days after the historic landing.The chief imaging scientist behind the project explains what’s presented, "This is it. This is Mars. We're here in our place that we're going to be exploring over the next months and coming years.”Scientists hope to extract samples from Martian rock for future analysis back on Earth - the first such specimens ever collected by humankind from another planet.
US regulators say Johnson and Johnson's single-shot vaccine is safe, and could be approved in days.
- Reuters Videos
Attenborough, 94, the world's most influential wildlife broadcaster, addressed a virtual meeting of the 15-member council on climate-related risks to international peace and security, chaired by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson."If we continue on our current path, we will face the collapse of everything that gives us our security: food production, access to fresh water, habitable ambient temperature and ocean food chains," Attenborough said."And if the natural world can no longer support the most basic of our needs, then much of the rest of civilization will quickly break down," he added.With the world struggling to cut planet-warming emissions fast enough to avoid catastrophic warming, the United Nations will stage a climate summit in November in Glasgow, Scotland.It will be the most important gathering since the 2015 event that yielded the Paris Agreement, when nearly 200 countries committed to halt rising temperatures quickly enough to avoid catastrophic change.
The vaccine-sharing scheme aims to help poorer countries like Ghana get Covid-19 jabs.
- Associated Press
Missed intelligence was to blame for the outmanned Capitol defenders' failure to anticipate the violent mob that invaded the iconic building and halted certification of the presidential election on Jan. 6, the officials who were in charge of security that day said in their first public testimony on the insurrection. The officials, including the former chief of the Capitol Police, pointed their fingers at various federal agencies — and each other — for their failure to defend the building as supporters of then-President Donald Trump overwhelmed security barriers, broke windows and doors and sent lawmakers fleeing from the House and Senate chambers. Five people died as a result of the riot, including a Capitol Police officer and a woman who was shot as she tried to enter the House chamber with lawmakers still inside.
- Business Insider
An ex-girlfriend tipped off the FBI about an alleged US Capitol rioter after he called her a 'moron'
Richard Michetti was arraigned Tuesday in Philadelphia over his alleged participation in the January 6 insurrection.
- The Independent
The Democratic operative criticised the Senator’s daughter for receiving a pay increase as a CEO
Jill Biden assures Kelly Clarkson things will get better after her divorce: 'If I hadn't gotten divorced, I never would have met Joe'
In a new interview on "The Kelly Clarkson Show," first lady Jill Biden offered the singer advice about healing after divorce and finding love again.
- The Daily Beast
TikTokers are testing family and friends by playing PornHub's music, testing whether they recognize the sound
A TikTok audio called "hey lol" by user khaleel mashes up the PornHub intro music and "Redbone" by Childish Gambino, and it's become a prank.
- The Independent
Who is Heidi Cruz? The high-powered Goldman Sachs executive and wife to ‘disgraced’ Texas senator Ted Cruz
Heidi Cruz’s ‘high powered’ role on her husband’s campaign trail prompts comparisons with Hillary Clinton
Residents describe road where Tiger Woods crashed as 'a real danger,' especially for drivers unfamiliar with the area
Reports suggest that officials are not investigating Tiger Woods for driving under the influence leading up to his devastating car crash on Tuesday.
- The Independent
Angry Democrat Gerry Connolly tells Trump ally he ‘will not be lectured’ by someone who tried to overturn election
Accusing Jim Jordan of ‘gaslighting,’ Gerry Connolly said ‘I didn’t vote to overturn an election and I will not be lectured by people who did about partisanship’
- Yahoo News
Mitch McConnell: Nancy Pelosi's plan for investigating the Capitol attack is a 'bizarre partisan concept'
Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he’s concerned Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plan to establish a commission to probe the assault on the U.S. Capitol would be overly “partisan.”
A Chinese couple paid $155,000 in fees to have 7 children in violation of the country's 2-child policy
China ended its one-child policy in 2015, but it's still struggling with declining birth rates and an aging population.