VILNIUS (Reuters) - Lithuania accused Russian warships of harassing civilian vessels in Lithuanian waters in the Baltic Sea on Friday in a protest amid worries in the region about Moscow's assertiveness in Ukraine. Military activity has increased this year in Russia's Kaliningrad enclave, which borders Poland and Lithuania and houses Russia's Baltic military fleet. And the United States has sent 600 paratroopers to Poland and the Baltic states to reassure them after Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea region in March. "The Ministry of Foreign affairs expressed concern due to recurring Russian military fleet actions in the Lithuanian exclusive economic zone, which violate the sovereign rights and freedoms of Lithuania and other countries," the ministry said after the acting head of the Russian embassy was summoned to the ministry on Friday. "We encourage Russia to keep to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and other international law consistently and ensure that such incidents would no longer occur," the ministry said. Lithuania's defense ministry said Russian warships were found ordering civilian vessels off Lithuania to change course twice this week and once in April, referring to safety concerns due to military exercises in nearby Russian waters. Modern Russian warships, capable of hitting targets 150 kilometers (95 miles) away, were involved in policing this week. The ships left immediately after a Lithuanian warship arrived on the scene, the ministry said. A vessel involved in laying an electric cable on the floor of the Baltic sea between Lithuania and Sweden was ordered to move in one of incidents, the ministry said. (Reporting by Andrius Sytas, Via Stockholm newsroom, editing by Alister Doyle)
- The Independent
Trump news - live: Ex-president claiming thousands in taxpayers cash as Pence blames Biden for Israel violence
Latest developments as they happen
- The Independent
Kevin McCarthy rejects bipartisan Capitol riots commission after being accused of covering up for Trump
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy has come out against a bipartisan committee to investigate the Capitol insurrection, a proposal drafted by one of his GOP colleagues, as Republicans press for a broader investigation that includes investigating Black Lives Matter protests. “The renewed focus by Democrats to now stand up an additional commission ignores the political violence that has struck American cities, a Republican Congressional baseball practice, and, most recently, the deadly attack on Capitol Police on April 2, 2021,” Mr McCarthy said in a letter on Tuesday.
- Kansas City Star
Cohen was dubbed Mr. Personality by Alex Trebek when he was a contestant on the show.
I made Meghan Markle's 'engagement chicken' for a dinner party and it was so good I almost got a few proposals
An Insider reporter made the same roast chicken recipe Meghan Markle reportedly used the night Prince Harry proposed.
- LA Times
The versatile actress loved every minute of her battle scenes hanging from wires and launching energy balls. "I never wanted to come down."
"Our duty is to let the girls watching us know that we are not perfect," Miss Universe Andrea Meza told Insider. "That we are just like them."
- The New York Times
WASHINGTON — Mike Donilon is one of the most trusted presidential advisers in the Biden White House, but he comes and goes from his West Wing office almost as a spectral presence. Described by those who have worked with him as having the demeanor of a parish priest, he abhors speaking to the news media and is not particularly chatty with his own colleagues. On conference calls, they describe him as a low talker. “Hey, it’s Mike,” he will say, often in a barely audible voice. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times Donilon’s low-key presence, despite his considerable influence over the leader of the free world, is emblematic of the overall culture of the Biden White House: It is the least personality-driven West Wing in decades. Because of his longevity in politics and underdog personality, combined with the depth of the crises he is facing, President Joe Biden is undoing a long-standing Washington tradition in which staff members enjoy their own refracted fame. Gone are the days when a counselor to the president like Kellyanne Conway was so well-known that she needed her own security detail; when a White House press secretary like Sean Spicer was a recurring character on “Saturday Night Live”; when a policy adviser like Stephen Miller was not only recognized but booed out of a restaurant; and when a glamorous, drama-prone communications director like Hope Hicks was photographed regularly by the paparazzi as she left her home in workout clothes. Proximity to power has a way of attracting interest regardless of whether it is coveted, and Biden’s aides may still end up more well known than they set out to be. But Biden staff members appear to be trying to set themselves apart from the drama of the Trump administration, which the former president ran like a reality show. The phenomenon of the celebrity staff might have been pronounced during those years, but President Donald Trump did not invent it. “Every White House takes on the personality of the president,” said Paul Begala, a former adviser to President Bill Clinton, who became a well-known figure himself after appearing in “The War Room,” a documentary about the 1992 Clinton campaign. “President Clinton didn’t mind having famous staffers,” Begala said. “He enjoyed it. There’s a blue-collar sensibility with Biden and his team. You carry your pail to work, you punch the clock. You just show up every day and do your job.” Part of that is because of the health and economic crises Biden inherited: The administration’s once-in-a-generation policy pushes that will shape his time in office have further limited attention on the personalities staffing the president. Biden is also surrounded by less of a cult of personality than his two immediate predecessors. Trump and President Barack Obama were charismatic politicians whose speedy rises in national politics were largely based on their personal magnetism. In the Biden White House, senior officials generally keep their heads down and live more like anonymous bureaucrats than the celebrity staff members who have preceded them. Even though Obama also took office during an economic crisis, close advisers like Rahm Emanuel, Valerie Jarrett, Jon Favreau and David Axelrod became Washington-famous, if not well known enough to earn their own recurring comedy sketches. Obama’s reliance on those well-known West Wing aides often rankled Cabinet secretaries, who felt as if they were operating as outposts, far from the immediate sphere of influence. During George W. Bush’s presidency, strategist Karl Rove was crowned with “genius” status and called “Bush’s brain.” Press secretary Tony Snow, already a well-known personality for Fox News, was mobbed for autographs at rallies and headlined his own events. During the Clinton administration, operatives like James Carville and George Stephanopoulos entered government as bona fide movie stars after their turns in “The War Room.” At the time, Stephanopoulos was dating a Hollywood celebrity, actress Jennifer Grey. Times have changed. Today, in part because of coronavirus restrictions, no one is going to embassy parties or book soirees. During the presidential transition, officials also decided to rely more on Cabinet secretaries — many of whom are former mayors, governors and representatives — than staff to serve as the face of Biden’s policies and proposals, a notable departure from the Obama model. Aides say Biden does not like profiles of his staff in the news media, but he is eager to see his Cabinet secretaries on television defending his policies. “That is a very deliberate decision,” said Anita Dunn, a senior adviser to Biden. “This is a president who wanted to make sure he had a Cabinet that was a fully empowered.” Some people close to Biden attributed his aversion to attention-loving staff to previous political failures. During his 1988 run for president, he relied on Patrick Caddell, a celebrity political consultant credited with electing Jimmy Carter to the White House, to help him find a message. Biden eventually severed relations with Caddell after a disastrous campaign that included accusations of plagiarism and exaggerations of his academic records. Biden blamed the staff he surrounded himself with. “I got mired in personalities,” he told The Los Angeles Times in 1988, “not my opponents’ but my own political operatives. I never solved the guru problem.” Biden’s current aides say that he eventually solved that problem by surrounding himself with low-key people who knew they were not gurus. Some of the president’s closest advisers — like Bruce Reed, his adviser and former chief of staff, and Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, his former campaign manager and current deputy chief of staff — are almost never heard from. The White House press office did not respond to requests to make Donilon available for comment for this story. Even officials who entered the administration with a profile of their own — like Symone D. Sanders, a onetime CNN commentator who is now an adviser to Vice President Kamala Harris — have become less visible. Ron Klain, the White House chief of staff, said the lack of well-known personalities in the West Wing was attributable to a tone Biden had set. But it was also a product of an experienced team of people, Klain said, many of whom had already proven themselves and were on their second tours in government. “The vast majority of people here are career staff people, not principals from other sectors placed into White House staff jobs, so that’s the culture,” he said. Many of the staff were “parents of young kids who put their off-hours energy into being parents, not into staff drama.” This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
- The New York Times
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department under President Donald Trump secretly obtained a grand-jury subpoena last year in an attempt to identify the person behind a Twitter account dedicated to mocking Rep. Devin Nunes of California, according to a newly unsealed court document. But Twitter fought the subpoena, as well as an associated gag order barring the company from talking about it publicly. Twitter executives raised skepticism about whether the Justice Department might be abusing federal criminal law-enforcement power to retaliate against a critic of Nunes, a Republican who is a close ally of Trump, in violation of the First Amendment. Ultimately, according to a person familiar with the matter, the Justice Department withdrew the subpoena this spring, after President Joe Biden took office. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times What was going on behind the subpoena remains murky. The filing — a motion to suppress the subpoena and lift the gag order that Twitter filed in March — shows that the Justice Department sent the company a demand on Nov. 24 to provide identifying information about the user @NunesAlt. Twitter appears to have immediately been suspicious about the legitimacy of the request. The user of that account, the filing said, “appears to be engaged in clear First Amendment activity, discussing stances on current events, government policies and one elected official in particular — Congressman Nunes.” The filing provided examples of some of the account’s tweets, such as a photograph of Nunes with text superimposed over his face: “Believe in conspiracy theories. Even if there is no evidence.” As the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee until Democrats took control of the chamber after the 2018 midterm elections, Nunes used his position to put forward claims that supported Trump’s contention that the Russia investigation was a “deep state” conspiracy against him. Twitter’s filing also noted that Nunes and his lawyer had separately filed a series of lawsuits in efforts to unmask pseudonymous social media users who criticized him, including an account that purported to be the congressman’s cow and the @NunesAlt account. When Twitter pressed the Justice Department for an explanation, the filing said, the government said the subpoena was part of a criminal investigation into a possible violation of a federal statute that makes it a felony to use interstate communications to threaten to injure someone. But the government refused to point to any particular tweet that made a threat. The company’s filing asked the judge overseeing the matter to take a searching look at the basis for the Justice Department’s motivations in going after the user. “As the custodian entrusted with the private identifying information that the government seeks, Twitter is concerned the subpoena may not be supported by a legitimate law enforcement purpose, and that therefore, there cannot be any need — let alone a compelling need — for the government to unmask the user,” a lawyer for Twitter wrote in the court motion. It continued: “As such, Twitter asks that the court engage in a searching analysis of the government’s bases for issuing the subpoena in order to determine whether the subpoena violates the First Amendment and should be quashed.” The grand-jury subpoena had been obtained by the office of the United States attorney for the District of Columbia. At the time, the office was run on an acting basis by Michael Sherwin, who had been installed by Attorney General William Barr. A spokesperson for that office did not respond to a request for comment or explanation, including whether the underlying investigation remained open. The text of the subpoena, which was attached to Twitter’s court filing, suggested that the inquiry was being run by the Capitol Police, which protect members of Congress. A spokesperson for Nunes did not respond to a request for comment. The person who operates the @NunesAlt account appeared to be surprised by the filing, writing in a post Monday afternoon that there was “nothing remarkable about me” and adding, “So then why am I being sued by a US congressman? Why would the DOJ ever target me? Is it the mean tweets and bad memes?” Twitter said in a statement that it was “committed to protecting the freedom of expression for those who use our service. We have a strong track record and take seriously the trust placed in us to work to protect the private information of the people on Twitter.” This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
- The Daily Beast
REUTERSIndia’s catastrophic coronavirus outbreak has now sent lethal reverberations to Africa, where countries are relying on Indian-made vaccines through the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access program known as COVAX.The World Economic Forum warned that Africa, which already has the world’s slowest vaccine rollout, with just 2 percent of the entire population inoculated, risked being left vulnerable to a wave of new variants as the virus mutates unchecked across the continent due to vaccine shortfalls caused by India’s crisis. The Next Big COVID Disaster Could Be HereGlobally, 150 doses per 1,000 people have been put into arms. In Africa, just eight doses per 1,000 people have been administered. And with India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, now unable to meet vaccine export demands meant for the COVAX program in Africa, that number could drop even further.Around 140 million doses of vaccines intended to be distributed to low-income countries in Africa through COVAX were missed in May. “Another 50 million doses are likely to be missed in June,” Henrietta Fore, the director of UNICEF, said in a statement. “We are concerned that the deadly spike in India is a precursor to what will happen if those warnings remain unheeded. While the situation in India is tragic, it is not unique.”Taiwan, too, is in the midst of a devastating second wave after having largely skirted the brunt of the first wave. But variants have taken hold there, and anticipated vaccines through COVAX—again produced in India—have not arrived. Now the country is grappling with how to divvy up 300,000 doses on hand for a population that exceeds 24 million and whether they should save second doses or just get as many people a first dose as possible. Just 1 percent of the population is fully inoculated. The World Health Organization has also recommended that all African countries use all the doses of whatever vaccines they have to give first jabs to as many people as possible rather than saving supplies for second doses to provide at least partial protection to as many as possible. On Monday, WHO Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus nudged the Serum Institute of India, which supplies the COVAX program, to “get back on track and catch up” despite being overwhelmed.The World Economic Forum is now calling on wealthy countries to abandon “vaccine nationalism” and help struggling nations by making vaccines global public goods with intellectual-property data open to all. India and South Africa have called for a waiver on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) to speed up the production of vaccines. The Biden administration has already called for patent sharing to help produce more vaccines. “Recent announcements on COVID-19 vaccine exports will undoubtedly blunt the momentum behind efforts to ensure global, equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines,” said Chido Munyati, head of Africa at the World Economic Forum. “This is the time for real public-private partnership as the world is facing one of its biggest challenges.”China has been among the first to heed the call to help Africa by donating vaccines to more than a dozen African countries to fill the gap created by the COVAX shortfalls. Beijing also supports the TRIPS waiver, which could also aid China in improving its own made-in-China vaccine, which has low efficacy, and of which it has pledged 10 million doses to COVAX. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian pledged Monday that they would continue to do more. “As the largest developing country and a responsible member of the international community, China will do all things that are conducive to developing countries’ fight against the virus and support all actions that can help developing countries acquire vaccines in an equitable way,” he said. “We are also working with over 10 developing countries including Egypt and the UAE on technological transfer and cooperative production to quickly advance large-scale production of vaccines.” But until any of these pledges and promises become reality, Africa is slowly nearing the edge of the COVID-19 cliff. The World Economic Forum says he delays “could have further long-lasting consequences on Sub-Saharan Africa’s economies” since without vaccine protection, the pandemic will continue there unhindered giving way to the development of new vaccine-resistant variants, stifling already sluggish economies and taxing health systems that will quickly buckle under any more pressure. 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.
- Business Insider
Why do Trump's foreign golf resorts lose millions of dollars every year? Experts say it could be incompetence, vanity, or something more sinister
Trump's golf courses lose millions every year. Some experts and critics suspect they could be a cover for something else.
- Business Insider
Elon Musk is no longer the world's 2nd-richest person after Tesla shares lost a quarter in value since January
He has been unseated by luxury goods tycoon, LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault. Both billionaires are set apart by a few millions.
MADRID (Reuters) -A Spanish study on mixing COVID-19 vaccines has found that giving a dose of Pfizer's drug to people who already received a first shot of AstraZeneca vaccine is highly safe and effective, preliminary results showed on Tuesday. The Combivacs study, run by Spain's state-backed Carlos III Health Institute, found the presence of IgG antibodies in the bloodstream was between 30 and 40 times higher in people who got the follow-up Pfizer shot than in a control group who only received one AstraZeneca dose.
- Kansas City Star
The chief operating officer is a native Kansan, and he promises: The headquarters will stay right here in Kansas City.
- Kansas City Star
Republicans worry Trump’s unfounded election fraud claims will alienate swing voters and send mixed messages to their base.
China is resisting bilateral talks with the United States on nuclear weapons, the U.S. disarmament ambassador told a U.N. conference on Tuesday, as Washington seeks to advance efforts to reduce nuclear arms stockpiles. "Despite the PRC's dramatic build-up of its nuclear arsenal, unfortunately it continues to resist discussing nuclear risk reduction bilaterally with the United States," said Robert Wood, referring to the People's Republic of China.
Michael Jordan shared his final text exchange with Kobe Bryant, in which they talked about tequila, family, and Kobe's coaching future
Michael Jordan says he still looks back at his final text exchange with Kobe Bryant, whom he called his "little brother."
- Associated Press
During the Cold War, Russia's Nagurskoye airbase was little more than a runway, a weather station and a communications outpost in the Franz Josef Land archipelago. Now, Russia's northernmost military base is bristling with missiles and radar and its extended runway can handle all types of aircraft, including nuclear-capable strategic bombers, projecting Moscow's power and influence across the Arctic amid intensifying international competition for the region's vast resources. The shamrock-shaped facility — three large pods extending from a central atrium — is called the “Arctic Trefoil” and is painted in the white-red-and-blue of the national flag, brightening the otherwise stark vantage point on the 5,600-kilometer (3,470-mile) Northern Sea Route along Russia's Arctic coast.
Mr Kant is believed to be the second Australian to die in India amid a temporary travel ban on citizens.
- Associated Press
India’s total virus cases since the pandemic began swept past 25 million on Tuesday as the country registered more than 260,000 new cases and a record 4,329 fatalities in the past 24 hours. The numbers continue a trend of falling cases after infections dipped below 300,000 for the first time in weeks on Monday. India has recorded nearly 280,000 virus deaths since the pandemic began.
- The Independent
Navy personnel can be heard saying the UFO ‘splashed’ into the ocean in clip which has been confirmed by Pentagon