Here's the latest on the weather Monday as snow falls in parts of the state.
- Reuters Videos
U.S. President Joe Biden withdrew Neera Tanden's nomination to serve as budget director on Tuesday, bowing to pressure from lawmakers over her controversial tweets.In a statement, Biden wrote that he had accepted Tanden’s request to withdraw her name from consideration.And in a letter to the president released by the White House, Tanden wrote that she did not want her nomination to be a quote "distraction" from other priorities.It's the first Senate rebuff of one of Biden's nominees, and reflects the tenuous hold Democrats have on the upper chamber, which is split 50-50 with Republicans.During her confirmation hearings, Tanden had apologized for bashing Republicans on Twitter in the past, but was ultimately unable to win any GOP support.And her confirmation appeared doomed last week when moderate Democratic senator Joe Manchin also said he would not vote to approve her.The confirmation fight further underscores the challenges Biden will face as he works with a narrowly divided Congress.However, Biden has said that he still plans to have Tanden serve in his administration in some capacity.
- Associated Press
An Israeli-owned cargo ship that suffered a mysterious explosion last week has left Dubai’s port and was transiting the Gulf of Oman on Wednesday, satellite tracking data showed. The giant MV Helios Ray, a Bahamian-flagged roll-on, roll-off vehicle cargo ship, was sailing along the Omani coast toward the Arabian Sea, according to satellite-tracking data from website MarineTraffic.com, days after docking in Dubai for repairs.
- Yahoo News
President Biden said Tuesday that he had accepted a request from Neera Tanden to withdraw her nomination for a Cabient position, the first such defeat of his administration.
From fun fashion moments to pets and "Schitt's Creek" references, here are interesting things you might not have seen during the award show.
- Associated Press
At least 10 rockets targeted a military base in western Iraq that hosts U.S.-led coalition troops on Wednesday, the coalition and the Iraqi military said. The rockets struck Ain al-Asad airbase in Anbar province at 7:20 a.m., coalition spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto said. The Iraqi military released a statement saying the attack did not cause significant losses and that security forces had found the launch pad used for the rockets.
- Reuters Videos
This has been dubbed ‘theater through the mailbox slot’Location: Nagoya It's run by Japan's Moonlight Mobile Theatre and lets audiences see performances from behind closed doors Each audience member has their own cubicleto allow cast and viewers to socially distance[Nobuyoshi Asai, artistic director, saying:] "We used small holes and mailbox slots to limit the audience from seeing everything. That way, it makes the audience move their bodies or their eyes to look." The theater began this peephole viewing in December after canceling most of its shows last year
- The Telegraph
French doctors have blamed deep domestic scepticism of AstraZeneca on the “bad press” it has received, including criticism from Emmanuel Macron that it was “quasi-ineffective” for the elderly. The indirect criticism of the French president, who was forced to say he would take the jab if necessary last week, came as Gallic health regulators said they would make the jab available for the over 65s. Mr Macron fanned Gallic scepticism over the jab developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University in January hours before it received a green light from the European Medecines Agency by saying: “Everything points to thinking it is quasi-ineffective on people older than 65, some say those 60 years or older." Since then, French reports of flu-like side-effects among dozens of health workers further tainted its image. That contributed to a dearth of demand in France, where only 24 per cent of AstraZeneca stocks have been used, according to the health ministry. That is well below a target set at 80-85 per cent and compares with 82 per cent for vaccines made by Pfizer/BioNTech and 37 per cent for those made by Moderna. "It is true that we are facing issues with AstraZeneca vaccines," said a health ministry official. The scepticism prompted Jacques Battistoni, head of the MG France doctors' union to denounce the widespread "AstraZeneca bashing" that was causing many vials to go unused. France’s vaccination coordinator, Alain Fischer, has also complained that the "bad press" surrounding the shot was "deeply unfair".
- The Daily Beast
Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via ReutersA criminal case against Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and others in the Saudi hierarchy has been filed in a German court for the brutal 2018 murder, dismemberment, and disappearance of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, despite the kingdom’s denial of MBS’ direct involvement and the Biden administration’s flaccid response to the killing.The 500-page complaint filed by the press-freedom group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is the first time a criminal case has been lodged outside of what was largely considered a show trial in Saudi Arabia. That trial saw the conviction of eight people who were later pardoned after members of the Khashoggi family were said to have forgiven them.Saudi’s Crown Prince Is a Killer. So Why Is Biden Just Shrugging?On Monday, the Saudi ambassador to the United Nations disputed a four-page CIA report released last week that pointed to MBS’ involvement, tweeting, “Let us all move forward to tackle the serious business of world issues!!”Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi called the American report, which has been widely criticized as weak, as being “based on could’ve, should’ve and would’ve and does not rise to anywhere close to proving the accusation beyond reasonable doubt.”The report, which was held back by the Trump administration and released last week by Biden, does not directly accuse MBS of ordering the hit on Khashoggi but does say he had “absolute control” over all activities carried out by the kingdom’s intelligence service. Al-Mouallimi argued in a Twitter tirade that “the Prince courageously accepted moral responsibility, presented the accused to the justice system, and pledged to reform the intelligence organizations. Case closed!”Khashoggi was ambushed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul by a 15-member hit squad that includes a bone-saw-wielding surgeon and seven members of MBS’ elite personal security team in October 2018. The journalist’s body has never been found.The complaint in Germany was filed Monday with public prosecutors in the city of Karlsruhe, according to an RSF statement. The dossier outlines the arbitrary detention of 34 journalists and the brutal murder of Khashoggi to underscore what it calls the kingdom’s “widespread and systematic” persecution of the press.“These journalists are the victims of unlawful killing, torture, sexual violence, and coercion and forced disappearance,” Christophe Deloire, RSF secretary-general, said at a press conference Tuesday morning. “Those responsible for the persecution of journalists in Saudi Arabia, including the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, must be held accountable for their crimes.”The RSF statement names MBS and four other suspects: Saud Al-Qahtani, a close adviser to the crown prince who they allege took direct part in the planning and execution of the murder as well as in the implementation of the policy of persecution of journalists in Saudi Arabia; Ahmad Mohammed Asiri, the former deputy head of intelligence, who is suspected of personally supervising Khashoggi’s murder; Mohammad Al-Otaibi, the consul general in Istanbul at the time of the murder; and Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, an intelligence officer who led the team that “tortured, killed, and forceably disappeared Jamal Khashoggi.”The complaint was filed in Germany because laws there can extend “universal jurisdiction” to some serious international crimes, even when the victims are not German. The case is bolstered by the recent conviction in a German court of a Syrian secret-service officer for aiding and abetting crimes against humanity for the torture of protesters at one of Bashar al-Assad’s prisons, according to The Guardian.“The official opening of a criminal investigation in Germany into the crimes against humanity in Saudi Arabia would be a world first,” RSF’s Germany director Christian Mihr said. “We ask the public prosecutor general to open a situation analysis, with a view to formally launching a prosecutorial investigation and issuing arrest warrants.”RSF ranks Saudi Arabia 170th out of 180 countries in its press-freedom index. “Saudi Arabia permits no independent media,” the RSF rationale states. “Despite his talk of reform, Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has intensified the repression since his appointment as crown prince in June 2017. The number of journalists and citizen-journalists in detention has tripled since the start of 2017.”The German court has not yet accepted the claim and no court date has been set.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.
Boeing Co will use a pilotless, fighter-like jet developed in Australia as the basis for its U.S. Air Force Skyborg prototype, an executive at the plane maker said on Tuesday. The "Loyal Wingman", the first military aircraft to be designed and manufactured in Australia in more than 50 years, made its first flight on Saturday under the supervision of a Boeing test pilot monitoring it from a ground control station in South Australia. Boeing's Loyal Wingman is 38 feet long (11.6 metres), has a 2,000 nautical mile (3,704 km) range and a nose that can be outfitted with various payloads.
- Business Insider
10 hours in Cancún hurt Ted Cruz's job approval more than when he tried to flip the presidential election
New polling from Morning Consult shows Ted Cruz's job approval fell more after traveling to Mexico than when he objected to the election results.
Prince Harry compares his and Meghan Markle's royal step back to Princess Diana's experience in Oprah interview clip
In a first look at "Oprah with Meghan and Harry: A Primetime Special," Prince Harry said his biggest concern was "history repeating itself."
- The Telegraph
Austria and Denmark have become the latest EU countries to break away from Brussels' vaccines strategy, raising fears that the bloc's unity in the face of the coronavirus pandemic was crumbling. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz on Monday night said that Austria would work with Israel and Denmark on second generation coronavirus vaccines and “no longer rely on the EU in the future”. It is widely seen as a rebuke to the European Commission-led joint procurement scheme for vaccines, which has lagged far behind the UK, Israel and US, and involved negotiating for supplies as a bloc. Mr Kurz told Bild, Germany’s biggest selling newspaper, that the European Medicines Agency had been “too slow” in approving the jabs. "We must therefore prepare for further mutations and should no longer be dependent only on the EU for the production of second-generation vaccines," he said. Denmark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said that she had already bid for supplies of Israel’s leftover vaccines in another sign of the disintegrating confidence in Brussels to deliver the jabs. 7.54 doses per 100 people have been administered in the EU, compared to 31.58 in the UK and 89.99 in Israel. Austria has given 7.4 doses per 100 people and Denmark 11 doses. Mr Kurz is due to travel with Ms Frederiksen to see Israel's rapid vaccine roll-out up close in a visit that will cause blushes in Brussels. An EU diplomat said the joint procurement strategy was “born out of fear” that smaller countries would miss out. “That said if all the smaller chickens are leaving the nest it begs the question why we initiated joint procurement at all,” the diplomat said. "You can't have enough vaccines that are effective against the different virus strands," a second EU diplomat from a major member state said in Brussels. "So we should wish them luck - I guess." The European Commission's preference is for member states to stick to the joint approach because side deals sap the bloc’s negotiating power. EU rules allow national governments to approve and buy vaccines which are not part of the joint scheme, such as the Russian Sputnik and Chinese vaccines. Other EU leaders have already moved to secure national supplies of the vaccines rather than wait for the EU scheme, which involved countries negotiating as a bloc to drive down prices. Last night, Poland’s President talked to China’s leader Xi Jinping about a possible purchase of Chinese vaccines. Slovakia took the first delivery of two million doses of the Sputnik vaccine, which has not been approved by the European Medicines Agency, on Monday. Andrej Babis, the Czech prime minister, said he would not wait for the EU regulator before buying Sputnik. Hungary has already approved and bought Sputnik without waiting for the EU regulator and is also the first member state to approve the Chinese vaccine. On Sunday, Viktor Orbán, the prime minister, posted a photo of himself being vaccinated by the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine. Budapest has bought 2m doses of Sputnik and 5m jabs of Sinopharm. The authoritarian leader attacked the EU scheme in late February. “We’ve sought to do something together that we could have managed more successfully on an individual basis – take a look at the examples of Britain or Serbia,” he said. Regional leaders in France said they would try and negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies in January but have so far had no success. Germany ordered 30 million extra doses of the Pfizer vaccine outside of the scheme in September. Berlin also has a separate order of 20m doses with CureVac. “We have all agreed that there will be no parallel negotiations or parallel contracts,” Ursula von der Leyen told reporters after news of the German side deals broke. A commission spokesman said that the joint vaccine programme had not crumbled and warned that emergency authorisations of jabs at national level could be risky. "It's not that the strategy unravelled," the spokesman said,"For our vaccines, we go through the European Medicines Agency because we want to ensure efficacy and safety. What member states do in addition to that, it's their responsibility." The under-fire European Commission president has repeatedly defended the decision to negotiate as a bloc, despite a row following supply shortfalls from AstraZeneca. She said the strategy ensured smaller member states had access to the jabs in the European Parliament in February. She claimed it would have been “the end of our community”, if larger, richer countries had snapped up all the vaccines instead of securing them jointly as a Union. Brussels has secured and authorised supplies of the Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines but the distribution of the jabs at national level have been slow.
- Associated Press
When Eddie Murphy made the original “Coming to America,” he was, almost indisputably, the funniest man in America. Murphy was at the very height of his fame, coming off “Beverly Hills Cop II” and the stand-up special “Raw.” Arsenio Hall, Murphy’s longtime friend and co-star in “Coming to America,” remembers them sneaking out during the shoot to a Hollywood nightclub while still dressed as Prince Akeem and his loyal aide Semmi.
France and its Western allies plan to lodge a protest with the United Nations' nuclear watchdog to criticise Iran's decision to curb cooperation with the agency, the French foreign minister said on Tuesday. Iran said last month it was scaling back cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, ending extra inspection and monitoring measures introduced by the 2015 nuclear deal, including the power given to the IAEA to carry out snap inspections at facilities not declared by Iran. "The nuclear tensions will lead us in the coming days to put forward a protest in the framework of the IAEA Board of Governors to regret this decision," Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told a parliamentary hearing.
- Associated Press
The chief European Union diplomat in Venezuela left the country on Tuesday, a week after the government of Nicolás Maduro ordered her expulsion following the EU's decision to impose sanctions on several Venezuelan officials accused of undermining democracy or violating human rights. Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa tweeted a photograph of Caracas showing the mountain range that flanks the Venezuelan capital to the north and the message “infinite thanks to all Venezuelans for their affection.” The Venezuelan government’s action against Brilhante Pedrosa came after the European Union’s foreign ministers sanctioned 19 Venezuelan officials, freezing their assets and banning them from traveling to the bloc, citing the deteriorating situation Venezuela faces after December 2020 elections.
- Associated Press
Veteran linebacker Kyle Van Noy is moving on after one season with the Miami Dolphins, and he's not happy about it. The Dolphins told Van Noy he will be released, two people familiar with the discussion confirmed to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the Dolphins had not commented. In a statement, Van Noy said he was disappointed and surprised.
- Associated Press
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon strongly denied being part of a plot against her predecessor, as she testified under oath Wednesday in a political saga that is tearing apart her party and imperiling her position as Scotland’s leader. Sturgeon defended the way her government handled sexual assault claims against former First Minister Alex Salmond, saying the #MeToo movement had made it clear that sexual abuse allegations about powerful people must not be “ignored or swept under the carpet.” Sturgeon was giving her side of the story to a committee of lawmakers investigating a political and personal feud that is wracking Scotland’s pro-independence movement and the governing Scottish National Party.
Throughout its 94 episodes across six seasons, "Sex and the City" featured some very famous faces. The show is now getting a revival on HBO Max.
- Reuters Videos
Jack Ma has lost his title as China's richest manThe Alibaba and Ant Group founder slipped to fourth placebehind- Nongfu Spring’s Zhong Shanshan- Tencent Holdings' Pony Ma- Pinduoduo’s Collin HuangMa's fall comes after heavy scrutiny from BeijingChinese regulators reined in his empire on anti-trust issues
Britain's Prince Philip, the 99-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth, was transferred to a different hospital in central London on Monday to have tests for a pre-existing heart condition and receive treatment for an infection. Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, was admitted to London's private King Edward VII hospital two weeks ago for treatment for an unspecified infection that is not related to COVID-19. On Monday, Buckingham Palace said he had been moved to St Bartholomew's Hospital, which is a centre of excellence for cardiac care, for further treatment and observation.