We're looking at law enforcement's efforts to prevent possible unrest on election day.
We're looking at law enforcement's efforts to prevent possible unrest on election day.
Georgia officials responded to a barrage of attacks by President Trump by saying they would continue to “follow the law” on counting votes and certifying the election results, which show a narrow win by President-elect Joe Biden.
U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams's message: It's not too late to act. Get tested. Isolate.
President-elect Joe Biden announced Sunday that his White House communications team will be made up of seven women who worked on his campaign or in the Obama White House, including Jen Psaki as press secretary, Kate Bedingfield as communications director, and Symone Sanders as press secretary for Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.Psaki, who is currently overseeing confirmations for Biden's transition team, will be the face of the Biden administration. She previously worked as White House communications director, press secretary to Secretary of State John Kerry, and several other jobs during President Barak Obama's two terms. Bedingfield was Biden's deputy campaign manager and communications director, as well as communications director when he was vice president. Sanders was a senior adviser to the Biden-Harris campaign.Biden also announced that Karine Jean-Pierre will serve as principal deputy press secretary, Pili Tobar will be deputy White House communications director, Ashley Etienne will be communications director for Harris, and Elizabeth Alexander will be communications director for first lady Jill Biden. Sanders, Etienne, and Jean-Pierre are Black and Tobar is Hispanic.Previous presidents, including President Trump, have named women to top White House communications roles, but this will be "the first time all of the top aides tasked with speaking on behalf of an administration and shaping its message will be female," The Washington Post notes."Communicating directly and truthfully to the American people is one of the most important duties of a president, and this team will be entrusted with the tremendous responsibility of connecting the American people to the White House," Biden said in a statement. "I am proud to announce today the first senior White House communications team comprised entirely of women. These qualified, experienced communicators bring diverse perspectives to their work and a shared commitment to building this country back better."More stories from theweek.com How camp explains Trump Americans are choosing death over deprivation The Electoral College is only getting worse
"The Iranians are going to be in a position where they have to retaliate. I don't see any way around it," retired Adm. William McRaven said.
China on Monday said it is sanctioning leaders of U.S. government-affiliated bodies that promote democracy around the world in response to what it calls practices that “blatantly meddle in Hong Kong affairs.” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said the measures would cover the senior director for Asia at the National Endowment Democracy, John Knaus, the regional director for the Asia-Pacific at the National Democratic Institute, Manpreet Singh Anand, and two of the institute’s officials responsible for Hong Kong. Hua gave no details and the institute said in a news release that it had no further information but that it “remains steadfastly committed to these core principles and to continuing our work in support of democracy worldwide.”
‘You haven’t shown a single problem with the way the game was scored.”“Yeah, but the game was played at night, and the rulebook only permits day games.”If you can follow that argument, then you can grasp the Republican challenge to the 2020 election in Pennsylvania that was rejected by the commonwealth’s supreme court on Saturday night. That ruling, which is factually related to but separate from President Trump’s federal lawsuit that the Third Circuit threw out last Friday, is likely to end the election-litigation efforts in Pennsylvania, though it is still possible that the cases could be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.Meantime in Georgia, attorneys Lin Wood and Sidney Powell are pressing on with a lawsuit filed, not on behalf of the president directly, but on behalf of Trump supporters, including members of the Republican-nominated Electoral College slate that would have cast the state’s votes if Trump had won. On Sunday, they won a minor victory -- on procedural grounds, not on the merits -- in their bid to convince a Georgia federal judge to decertify the GOP-controlled state government’s conclusion that President-elect Biden won a slim victory there.PennsylvaniaThe state lawsuit in Pittsburgh was brought by U.S. Representative Mike Kelly of northwestern Pennsylvania and other Republicans. They argued that the commonwealth’s constitution does not permit mass mail-in voting -- as distinguished from individualized absentee voting. They therefore challenged the state legislature’s 2019 Act 77, which permitted “no-excuse” mail-in voting. Act 77 marked a departure from prior Pennsylvania law, under which voters could only request absentee ballots based on legally approved reasons for not being able to vote in person. In 2020, the legislature further liberalized this accommodation due to COVID-19 concerns.The Republican plaintiffs had a legitimate point. Prior to Act 77, state law simply codified the Pennsylvania’s constitution, which authorizes absentee voting based on a generous list of excuses, but does not expressly authorize no-excuse mail-in voting. The plaintiffs thus found a sympathetic ear in commonwealth judge Patricia McCullough of Pittsburgh. Last week, she ordered a temporary stay in the certification process -- although the stay’s efficacy was debatable, since her order came after the state had certified the results (albeit before some ministerial tasks, such as the issuance of certificates to the Biden slate of electors, who will cast the commonwealth’s electoral votes).State election officials, who are Democrats, immediately appealed to the state supreme court, where their eventual victory was certain. That tribunal is a Democrat-dominated elected body and, as we’ve previously recounted, it has both flouted the plain terms of state law and extended mail-in voting beyond even the state’s constitutionally questionable authorization of it. There was zero chance that it would side with Republicans.Here, however, the court was on solid footing because the plaintiffs did not file lawsuits against the new mail-in voting when it was enacted. They waited for over a year, until after 2.6 million Pennsylvanians had availed themselves of the opportunity to vote by mail during a pandemic. Republicans were suddenly objecting now, not because the election was unfair, but because their presidential candidate lost. Indeed, some of the plaintiffs had run for office under the Act 77 mail-in procedures without objecting to them.Consequently, the court ruled that the doctrine of laches applied -- i.e., claims must be timely raised or they are forfeited. Moreover, to repeat a refrain we’ve been stressing for a while, there was a gross mismatch between the harm alleged and the remedy sought: The Republicans were asking that the mail-in ballots be thrown out or, in the alternative, that the election be voided and the (Republican-majority) state legislature be directed to choose the state’s electors (i.e., the Trump slate). This would disenfranchise either the 2.6 million Pennsylvanians who mailed in ballots or all of the commonwealth’s 6.8 million voters.In a concurring opinion, Judge David Wecht further contended that the court could not authorize the state legislature to choose electors. Although the Constitution empowers the state legislature to choose the manner of selecting electors, Judge Wecht observed (as I have also pointed out) that the commonwealth’s legislature did so long ago by enacting provisions that award Pennsylvania’s Electoral College votes to the winner of the popular election.The court’s ruling on the issue of laches was unanimous. Two judges dissented in part, reasoning that the Republican plaintiffs’ construction of the state constitution appears sound, and that Act 77’s attempt to put a 180-day time-limit on challenges to its lawfulness should be unenforceable against challenges based on the state constitution (an issue the majority opinion sidestepped). The dissenters argued that the plaintiffs should be permitted to proceed with their objections to mass mail-in voting for the purpose of future elections, but not the 2020 election.GeorgiaIn Georgia, attorneys Lin Wood and Sidney Powell are pursuing their theory that the election was stolen from President Trump by cyber-fraud -- specifically, manipulation of the tabulation program, to which they claim Dominion voting machines are vulnerable, in order to switch Trump votes to Biden votes.Sunday turned out to be a frenetic day because Wood learned, apparently from state election officials, that the memories on voting machines were about to be reset (or “wiped,” as Wood put it). This was to occur on Monday (today) -- recall that Georgia will be holding a statewide run-off election for both U.S. Senate seats in just five weeks (i.e., on January 5). Wood objected because the reset would make it practically impossible for him and Powell to conduct a forensic examination into the Dominion software’s operation in the November election, which they contend is necessary to their case.U.S. district judge Timothy Batten initially issued a temporary injunction, directing state election officials to preserve the machines in their present condition while he deliberated over whether to permit a forensic examination. Judge Batten withdrew the injunction a few hours later when the state officials named in the Wood/Powell lawsuits explained that the counties, not the state, had control over the machines.Finally, on Sunday evening at 7:45 p.m., Batten convened an emergency conference, via Zoom, at which the lawyers countered that they were prepared to amend their complaints in order to add the officials in Cobb, Gwinnett, and Cherokee county as defendants. The state also contended that the forensic examination contemplated by the plaintiffs threatened state election security and could compromise its contractor’s proprietary and trade secrets, and thus should not be permitted absent a more compelling showing of wrongdoing than has been made to this point. Wood and Powell replied that these concerns could be assuaged by allowing the state’s own experts to participate in the examination, conducting it on videotape, and directing that the results be provided only to the court, for consideration of any appropriate protective orders against disclosure.At the conclusion of the hearing, Judge Batten issued a temporary restraining order: For the next ten days, unless the court directs otherwise, Georgia is barred from permitting the erasure or alteration of data from the Dominion machines. In the meantime, the state is to provide the plaintiffs with a copy of its contract with Dominion, and must file by close of business Wednesday (December 2) a brief and any supporting affidavits in opposition to the forensic examinations.Another hearing in the case is set for Friday (December 4). To be clear, Judge Batten has not ruled on the merits of the case or even indicated that he will permit the forensic examination of the Dominion data. The injunction freezes matters for a few days so the court can consider the parties’ positions and make a more informed decision.
The news that former Vice President Joe Biden would become the next president of the United States was met in Russia with grim resignation, bordering on despair. Experts on Russian state television have described Biden’s presidency as “Obama’s third term” and predicted a slew of new sanctions dreaded by the Kremlin. This anticipation revived the wave of racist attacks against former President Obama, which were commonplace during his administration.Overt racism in Russian state media is far from uncommon, but nonetheless continues to be shocking. Tigran Keosayan—the husband of Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of the Kremlin-funded RT and Sputnik—took racist mockery to new lows on his program Mezhdunarodnaya Pilorama (“International Sawmill”). Keosayan described Barack Obama as “the dark page of American history,” while introducing a highly offensive sketch by an actress in blackface impersonating the former president, which was first reported by the Moscow Times.The purported portrayal of Obama was tasteless and crude, with the actress in a bandana gesticulating as a rapper and describing the former president as a “chocolate bunny.” The show, which aired on NTV—a network funded by state-owned gas company Gazprom, mocked “Black Lives Matter” and claimed that none of Obama’s relatives know how to write. The sketch concluded with a recommendation that rather than read Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope, viewers should opt for “reading the label on the bathroom air freshener.”Facing worldwide condemnation for the latest racist episode, Margarita Simonyan—heralded as one of the most influential women in news media—attempted to backpedal, using her husband’s Armenian ethnicity as some kind of an excuse for his indefensible racism. She described the offensive sketch as a “parody of Obama” and disingenuously claimed: “As someone who is part of an ethnic minority in Russia, Tigran regularly makes fun, on the air, of his large 'ethnic' nose and his belonging to a 'Black' community (look it up if you don't know which ethnicities are referred to as 'Black' in Russia).”Despite Simonyan’s clumsy excuses, her husband is not the only one who considers himself somehow entitled to mock Black Americans. In June of this year, RT’s editor-in-chief shared a despicably racist article from the Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda, which made references to “muscular criminal Negroes,” described “twerking” as the “national Negro dance,” recommended the use of amphetamines, and encouraged violence and death.Russian state media outlets have long expressed their desire for civil unrest in the United States. The author of the article, Dmitry Steshin, urged: “Beat the whites until they turn Black.” Simonyan shared the article, describing it as a piece of “good advice from an international journalist to the negroes of Minnesota and the United States.”Simonyan’s husband followed up the obscene sketch on his program with a ludicrous assertion: “There is no racism in Russia.” It was no more believable than the notorious Soviet claim, “There is no sex in the USSR.”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.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has returned to his Washington office two weeks after he tested positive for COVID-19, his team announced Monday.While Grassley wasn't the first lawmaker to contract the virus, many people were concerned about the diagnosis because the senator is 87. It turned out, however, that he remained asymptomatic throughout the course of his infection and was able to keep working remotely.Still, Grassley didn't let his fortunate situation reshape his stance on the severity of the pandemic. In a statement, he noted that the disease "affects people differently" and "more than a thousand Americans are dying every day and many more are hospitalized." So, Grassley said, he'll "continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing."He also repeated his previous calls for Congress to pass a "long overdue," bipartisan relief bill to "help families, businesses, and communities get through this crisis." Tim O'Donnell> Grassley, 87, is back at the Senate today after testing positive for Covid-19. His office says he was asymptomatic the entire time. pic.twitter.com/qJImIJl8ZC> > -- Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) November 30, 2020More stories from theweek.com How camp explains Trump Americans are choosing death over deprivation The Electoral College is only getting worse
The Navy said Monday that it will decommission a warship docked off San Diego after suspected arson this summer caused extensive damage, making it too expensive to restore. Fully repairing the USS Bonhomme Richard to warfighting capabilities would cost $2.5 billion to $3 billion and take five to seven years, said Rear Adm. Eric H. Ver Hage of the Navy Regional Maintenance Center. The amphibious assault ship burned for more than four days in July and was the Navy’s worst U.S. warship fire outside of combat in recent memory.
Ousted cybersecurity official speaks out for first time since firing, saying president’s fraud claims are without basis
Switzerland is emerging as a model for how the coronavirus can be contained without a national lockdown, after daily new infections halved since the start of November despite pubs, restaurants, gyms and sports remaining open in much of the country. The figures were hailed as a triumph for the “Swiss special way” by Swiss government doctors last week, and will be seen as evidence that regional tiers can work in the UK. Rather than ordering a general lockdown, Switzerland allowed regions to decide their own measures and only the worst-hit imposed tough restrictions. But critics have charged that the success came at too high a price, after the country experienced some of the highest death rates in Europe. Switzerland has been described as the “new Sweden” after it refused to follow the UK and other countries into a second lockdown this month. The Swiss government imposed only minimal restrictions at a national level, including a limit of ten on private gatherings, an 11pm curfew for restaurants and the compulsory use of facemasks in crowded areas.
President-elect Joe Biden will likely wear a walking boot for the next several weeks as he recovers from breaking his right foot while playing with one of his dogs, his doctor said. Biden suffered the injury on Saturday and visited an orthopedist in Newark, Delaware, on Sunday afternoon, his office said. “Initial x-rays did not show any obvious fracture,” but medical staff ordered a more detailed CT scan, his doctor, Kevin O’Connor, said in a statement.
Noem, a Republican, has refused calls to issue a mask mandate, disputing their effectiveness even as cases in South Dakota surge.
Pope Francis installed 13 new cardinals at the Vatican on Saturday in a ceremony that was slimmed down because of the pandemic. Among them: Washington D.C. Archbishop Wilton Gregory, who became the first African American to hold the high rank. Francis placed upon him and the others the traditional red hat known as the biretta. Gregory had made headlines in June when he blasted President Donald Trump's visit to a Catholic shrine after police and soldiers used tear gas and rubber bullets to clear protesters so that the president could be photographed in front of a historic Washington church holding a Bible. Gregory told Reuters this week he wants to seek common ground with President-elect Joe Biden despite disagreements on issues such as abortion. With each ceremony, Francis has boosted the odds that his successor will be a non-European. He has so far appointed 18 cardinals from mostly far-flung countries that never had one. Nine of the 13 confirmed Saturday are eligible to enter a secret conclave to choose the next pope. Francis has appointed more than half of the 128 cardinal electors. Most of them share his vision of a more inclusive and outward-looking Church. After the ceremony, Pope Francis and some of the new cardinals paid a visit to former Pope Benedict.
A car bombing in the Afghanistan's central province of Ghazni killed at least 30 Afghan security force members on Sunday, officials said, and casualties could increase given the intensity and location of the blast. Baz Mohammad Hemat, director of the provincial hospital in Ghazni, said 30 bodies and 24 injured people had been transported there. "All of the victims are security personnel," he said.
Leslie Van Houten has spent nearly five decades in prison since she was arrested for 1969 killing spree.
Russia came under renewed pressure Monday to explain the nerve agent attack on opposition figure Alexei Navalny as the annual meeting of the global chemical weapons watchdog got underway amid measures aimed at reining in the spread of coronavirus. Navalny fell ill on Aug. 20 during a domestic flight in Russia, and was flown to Germany for treatment two days later. Tests carried out by labs in Germany, France and Sweden and by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons established that Navalny was exposed to a Soviet-era Novichok nerve agent.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is assisting an inquiry into an alleged adverse reaction during AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine trial, but has found no reason to recommend halting it, a senior official at the regulator said on Sunday. A 40-year-old man said in a complaint seen by Reuters that he had suffered serious "neurological and psychological" symptoms after receiving the vaccine in a trial being run by the British drugmaker's partner Serum Institute of India (SII). "There was no immediate cause of concern at this stage," Samiran Panda, head of Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases at the ICMR, the research body involved in trials, told Reuters.
The bodies of Timothy Eugene Francis and Christina Lynn Francis were found in their Maryland home Friday. The bodies of 50-year-old Timothy Eugene Francis and Christina Lynn Francis, 41, were found in their Waldorf, Maryland home on Friday.
Five leaders of Thailand’s pro-democracy movement reported to police Monday to acknowledge charges that they defamed the king, the most serious of many offenses of which they stand accused. The five are part of the student-led movement that for several months has been campaigning for Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and his government to step down, the constitution to be amended to make it more democratic and the monarchy be reformed to make it more accountable. The protest movement has nevertheless emphasized reform of the monarchy as a key demand, and made it the theme of several of its protest rallies, which have attracted thousands of people.