Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have decided to spend Christmas in Canada, and a royal expert believes it's so they won't have to exclude Archie from the family's Christmas lunch.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have decided to spend Christmas in Canada, and a royal expert believes it's so they won't have to exclude Archie from the family's Christmas lunch.
Dr. Scott Atlas, the controversial White House coronavirus adviser, left federal employ much the same way he entered it: with an appearance on Fox News.
In 2018, Crystal Mason was sentenced to five-years for voting in the 2016 election. The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas is now working with her to appeal the verdict. Mason had no idea she was not allowed to vote in 2016 when she cast her provisional ballot due to the fact that she was on federally supervised release.
China has provided North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his family with an experimental coronavirus vaccine, a U.S. analyst said on Tuesday, citing two unidentified Japanese intelligence sources. Harry Kazianis, a North Korea expert at the Center for the National Interest think tank in Washington, said the Kims and several senior North Korean officials had been vaccinated.
An international human rights group has asked Sri Lanka to conduct an impartial investigation into prison unrest and the use of live ammunition by guards that resulted in the death of 11 inmates and injuries to more than 100 others. Amnesty International said authorities should examine the underlying causes of the unrest at Mahara prison, which began Sunday evening and continued into Monday. “Yesterday’s incident reflects the anxiety among prisoners about the threat of COVID-19 within severely overcrowded prisons and the inadequate measures in place to protect them," said David Griffiths, director of the Office of the Secretary General at Amnesty International.
President Trump threatened to veto a $740 billion defense spending bill if it doesn't repeal Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, an unrelated provision that grants broad legal immunity to social media and other internet sites. Unless the "dangerous and unfair Section 230" is "completely terminated," Trump said on Twitter, he will "unequivocally veto" the legislation. Section 230, which shields social media companies from legal liability for user content posted on their sites, is considered a foundational provision of the internet.Congress has passed the National Defense Authorization Act with bipartisan support for 59 years in a row, and "presidents from both parties have always signed them, even after issuing veto threats," The Wall Street Journal notes. "The Senate version passed 86-14, and the House version passed 295-125, more than the two-thirds supermajority needed to override a potential veto." Negotiators are currently working out the differences so the legislation can be cleared in the next few weeks. Trump has already threatened to veto this same bill over a provision to rename military bases honoring Confederate officers.There is bipartisan support to reform Section 230, though each party objects to different ways it affects social media. Democrats say Facebook, Twitter, and other sites should do more to weed out disinformation and dangerous content, while Trump has complained baselessly that the sites censor conservatives. The NDAA authorizes $740 billion in Pentagon and Energy Department spending, including a 3 percent raise for U.S. troops, and guides Pentagon policy decisions.Besides passing the NDAA, Congress hopes to push through a spending bill to keep the government running and a COVID-19 relief package before adjourning for the year.More stories from theweek.com Our parents warned us the internet would break our brains. It broke theirs instead. Americans are choosing death over deprivation How camp explains Trump
Carlos Rojas Rodriguez confronted then-candidate Joe Biden about deportations in 2019. Here's what Rodriguez wants to see from the president-elect.
All day, Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe has been hyping the huge revelations the group would be releasing from their latest stunt. In a dramatic video posted Tuesday morning, the conservative activist could be seen unmuting himself and informing CNN chief Jeff Zucker, “We’ve been listening to your CNN calls for basically two months and recording everything. Just wanted to ask you some questions, if you have a minute.”“Do you still feel you are the most trusted name in news?” he asked. “Because I have to say from what I’ve been hearing on these phone calls, I don’t know about that. I mean, we’ve got a lot of recordings that indicate you’re not really that independent of a journalist.”“Thank you for your comments,” Zucker replied, dryly. “So everybody, in light of that, I think what we’ll do is we’ll set up a new system and we’ll be back with you, we’ll do the rest of the call a little bit later.”So what were the supposedly shocking comments O’Keefe uncovered? According to his group’s Tuesday night release, the most damning thing anyone on CNN’s editorial team did was accuse Fox News’ Tucker Carlson of being a racist.“I think it’s unavoidable that you have to talk about the naked racism of Tucker Carlson,” a man Project Veritas identified as CNN digital VP of global programming Marcus Mabry says in one tape. “Because that’s really what drove this anti-diversity push, you know, Trump watches Tucker Carlson's show and then reacts. And just as sort of the white supremacy hour they have on Fox News every night.”Not exactly news for anyone who watches Carlson’s nightly show, including some of his own Fox News colleagues who said as much earlier this year.Without mentioning Project Veritas, Carlson attacked Mabry directly on that show Tuesday night for “lecturing” media companies about the value of diversity. The host laughed out loud at the notion that “there’s a lot of work to do” to make newsrooms more diverse.CNN’s PR Twitter account, meanwhile, responded to Project Veritas with this message: “Legal experts say this may be a felony. We‘ve referred it to law enforcement,” though it’s unclear what laws the group may have broken.Later, that same account revealed that Mabry was not even the staffer who made those comments about Carlson. “James & Tucker, the voice you ID’d tonight as ‘Marcus Mabry’ is actually GA resident & CNN General Counsel David Vigilante. We’re certain you’ll want to correct the record and apologize to the Black executive for assuming he was the voice raising concerns over white supremacy.” The other big revelation from Project Veritas appeared to be that Zucker did not want his staff to “normalize” President Donald Trump’s delusional claims about the election.“This is a president who knows he’s losing, who knows he’s in trouble, is sick, maybe is on the aftereffects of steroids or not, I don’t know,” Zucker said. “But he is acting erratically and desperately, and we need to not normalize that.”“You know, this is what we've come to expect for the last three and a half years, four years, but it clearly is exacerbated by the time that we're in and the issues that he’s [Trump] dealing with,” he added. “I think that we cannot just let it be normalized. He is all over the place and acting erratically, and I think we need to lean into that.”It appears that for Project Veritas, pointing out the reality unfolding in front of Americans’ eyes, whether on Fox News or in the White House, is proof of CNN’s supposed bias. But if anything, their big sting is likely to endear Zucker to those who still like to blame him for elevating Trump during the 2016 campaign.Seth Meyers Brutally Mocks Sidney Powell, the Trump Lawyer ‘Too Insane’ for Tucker CarlsonRead 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.
On Tuesday Gabriel Sterling of the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office spoke forcefully against post-election threats and rhetoric directed at election staff.
Top U.S. health officials announced plans on Tuesday to begin vaccinating Americans against the coronavirus as early as mid-December, as nationwide deaths hit the highest number for a single day in six months. "Within 24 hours, maybe at most 36 to 48 hours, from the approval, the vaccine can be in people's arms," Moncef Slaoui, a former GlaxoSmithKline executive who is overseeing the vaccine portion of the U.S. program, said at an event conducted by The Washington Post newspaper. A statement from the public health director for Los Angeles County highlighted the ravages of the surging pandemic.
The captain of a scuba diving boat that caught fire and sank off the coast of California last year, killing 34 people who were trapped below deck, was indicted Tuesday on federal manslaughter charges for one of the deadliest maritime disasters in recent U.S. history. Jerry Boylan, 67, was charged with 34 counts of seaman's manslaughter for "misconduct, negligence and inattention" by failing to train his crew, conduct fire drills and have a roving night watchman on the Conception when fire broke out Sept. 2, 2019, the indictment said. “As a result of the alleged failures of Captain Boylan to follow well-established safety rules, a pleasant holiday dive trip turned into a hellish nightmare as passengers and one crew member found themselves trapped in a fiery bunkroom with no means of escape,” U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna said in a statement.
Back in July, the US attorney general Bill Bar was dutifully echoing Donald Trump's warnings that mass mail-in voting was vulnerable to election fraud. Mr Barr's forceful repetition of the unfounded claims were met with heavy criticism from opponents, who accused the country's top law enforcement official of using his position to boost Mr Trump's chances of re-election. After the vote, Mr Barr attracted criticism once more when he authorised prosecutors to pursue allegations of vote counting "irregularities" before election officials had certified the results - a significant reversal from long-standing Justice Department policy. So it was a severe blow to the president's hopes of overturning the election results when Mr Barr publicly declared on Tuesday night: "To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election". Democrats were quick to crow over the admission by the head of the Justice Department, one of the president's closest allies. "If you've even lost Bill Barr... it’s time to pack it up," said Adam Schiff, a senior Democrat congressman.
The president-elect will probably have to wear a medical boot for several weeks, his doctor says.
Control of the United States Senate hinges on two January 5 runoff elections in Georgia, where incumbent Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler are facing Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock respectively. Most immediately, the race is a contest over whether President-elect Joe Biden and the Democratic Party will be able to govern — especially by passing another big coronavirus rescue package.However, Loeffler and Perdue are also excellent examples of what interests the Republican Party serves — namely, the ultra-rich, which includes both Loeffler and Perdue personally. These are two people who were rich before they got into politics, and leveraged their power as senators to make themselves even more rich — by profiteering off the pandemic. It is government of, by, and for the top 0.1 percent.Let me consider their cases in turn. David Perdue is a longtime businessman who served as CEO of Dollar General in the mid-2000s, where he worked diligently to source more products from China. According to his financial disclosures, he is worth between $15 million and $43 million.As Michela Tindera writes at Forbes, Kelly Loeffler and her husband Jeffrey Sprecher own a big stake in International Exchange, a financial clearinghouse company that Sprecher founded and where he remains CEO and chairman. (That company also owns the New York Stock Exchange, where Sprecher is again chairman.) After closely examining Loeffler's financial disclosure forms and other information, Tindera estimates that the couple is worth at least $800 million, and likely over $1 billion — or roughly quadruple the wealth of the second-richest member of Congress, Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah).Here's how the pandemic profiteering worked. On January 24, there was a private all-Senate briefing about the looming disaster — long before there was a broad public understanding that the U.S. was going to get slammed by COVID-19. Immediately afterward, both Loeffler and Perdue started trading strategic stocks. As The Daily Beast reported at the time, Loeffler executed 29 transactions valued between $1.275 and $3.1 million in the following days before the market crashed, almost all of them sales — one exception was a purchase of Citrix, which sells teleworking software. (Also, Loeffler recently violated the legal prohibition on soliciting campaign funds in a Senate office building.)Perdue made a similar number of trades, but bought more than Loeffler — in particular, an investment of up to $850,000 in DuPont, which manufactures personal protective equipment. And as The Associated Press reports, in late January he sold between $1 million and $5 million in shares of Cardlytics, a financial technology firm, at $86 per share. Then, when the market had bottomed out in March, he snapped up between $200,000 and $500,000 of Cardlytics shares at $30 apiece; since then the share price has shot back up to $121. Nice tidy little profit to counterbalance the 270,000 dead Americans. (The Daily Beast also reports that in 2019, Perdue bought up shares of a submarine parts manufacturer before voting to give the company a lucrative contract, then sold it for another handsome profit.)When reports of these trades first came out, both Loeffler and Perdue insisted they had nothing to do personally with the moves. "I have never used any confidential information I received while performing my Senate duties as a means of making a private profit ... professionals buy and sell stocks on our behalf," wrote Loeffler in an April 8 Wall Street Journal op-ed. Perdue told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that advisers made his investment decisions on their own.In the first place, candidates not taking direct control of their stock trades does not actually remove the conflict of interest. If you are a senator, and you hire a bunch of asset managers to look after your investments without any kind of blind trust, you still know what those investments are. You can make decisions knowing that your Goldman Sachs lackeys will make the profit-maximizing move in response — which is the best-case scenario of what happened here.But realistically speaking, it is virtually impossible to believe that all these trades had nothing to do with the two senators. Are we really to believe it was a coincidence that these asset managers started making "there is a pandemic coming" trades the very same day the two were receiving classified briefings on the disaster? Come on. Indeed, The New York Times recently reported that Perdue was lying with his blanket denial — he did directly instruct his manager to sell the Cardlytics shares after receiving a cryptic email mentioning "upcoming changes" from the company's then-CEO. (Perdue and Loeffler have been cleared of legal wrongdoing by the Department of Justice, but given that Attorney General Barr is a shameless Trump stooge, that is hardly reassuring.)Since then, both Perdue and Loeffler have largely downplayed the pandemic. Unlike Ossoff and Warnock, both have been holding large, in-person rallies. In July, both Loeffler and Perdue came out against extending the boost to unemployment insurance in the CARES Act, and since then neither have answered questions about further economic rescue measures from Atlanta Magazine. Instead, since the election they have amplified Trump's flagrant lies that Georgia's Republican governor and secretary of state somehow helped Joe Biden steal the election there.Over the last decade or so, there has been a long discussion of why Democrats are bleeding votes in rural areas (precisely where Republicans run up huge margins in Georgia). And on one level it's an important debate — there is good evidence that as Democrats embraced austerity, deregulation, and free trade that harmed such places, it hurt their vote share.But on another level, it is frankly staggering that the Republican Party has swooped in to replace them. The Democrats may not be much of a friend to the working class or rural farmers, but Republicans are straight-up picking their pockets. If you want a couple senators to govern solely on behalf of their massive asset portfolio while leaving everyone else twisting in the wind, vote Perdue and Loeffler.More stories from theweek.com Our parents warned us the internet would break our brains. It broke theirs instead. Americans are choosing death over deprivation How camp explains Trump
The United States imposed sanctions on Monday on Chinese firm China National Electronics Import & Export Corporation (CEIEC), accusing it of supporting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's efforts to undermine democracy. The U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement the Chinese company supported the leftist government of Maduro in its "efforts to restrict internet service and conduct digital surveillance and cyber operations against political opponents." "The United States will not hesitate to target anyone helping to suppress the democratic will of the Venezuelan people and others around the world," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement.
The former FBI director who looked into Russian interference in the 2016 election gave a rare, extensive interview, but he remained silent on one big topic.
A lawyer for Donald Trump on Tuesday urged a federal appeals court to halt a lawsuit accusing the U.S. president of exploiting his family name to promote a marketing scam targeting poor and working-class people. The lawyer, Thomas McCarthy, told the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan the plaintiffs were "done in by the allegations of their own complaint," and that their proposed class action concerning the multi-level marketing company American Communications Network belonged in arbitration. Four plaintiffs, including a hospice worker, accused Trump, his adult children Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka and an affiliate of their family company of promoting ACN in exchange for millions of dollars in secret payments from 2005 to 2015.
Adam Laxalt, the co-chair of the Trump campaign in Nevada, is fighting ferociously against his state’s decision to reward its six electoral votes to President-elect Joe Biden, alleging widespread voter fraud and hyping litigation to overturn Biden’s victory.But a nonprofit ethics and transparency group affiliated with Laxalt, Nevada’s former attorney general, has already conceded Biden’s victory and is looking ahead to the new administration.“It’s become clear that we’re going to be having a Biden team and a Biden administration in 2021,” said Caitlin Sutherland, the executive director of Americans for Public Trust, in an interview on Tuesday. The new administration is “what we will remain focused on going into next year.”Sutherland stressed that Laxalt’s work with the Trump re-election campaign, and his efforts to invalidate Biden’s win in Nevada, were entirely separate from his work with APT, a tax-exempt nonprofit that’s barred by law from engaging in political or partisan activity. “That is something he does in a personal capacity outside his role in APT,” Sutherland said. “As a 501c3, we, and Adam when he works with us, do not engage in anything with a partisan or political bent.”Nevada Gov. Calls Trump’s Conspiracy Theory Retweet ‘Unconscionable’ But Laxalt maintains his position as APT’s outside counsel and frequent spokesman even as he works with the Trump team in a personal capacity. And the fact that the group he works with is planning for a reality he refuses to concede underscores just how great a divergence has developed within the broader conservative movement. One faction appears unable to acknowledge the reality of Joe Biden’s win—perhaps for fear of offending Trump. Another doesn’t want to get caught flat-footed for when that reality comes about.Illustrating the political complications that these two pulls can create for the president’s political allies, Sutherland followed up on her initial interview with The Daily Beast to clarify her statement—and hedge her view on the outcome of the election. “As Biden is working to build out his team, APT will provide transparency and scrutiny, even as litigation on the election results are ongoing,” she wrote.As a leading Trump campaign official in Nevada, Laxalt has been a face of the campaign’s efforts to overturn the state’s presidential contest. Last month, he appeared at a news conference in North Las Vegas—alongside former Trump intelligence chief Ric Grenell and GOP lobbyist Matt Schlapp—to level allegations of widespread voter fraud and preview a lawsuit demanding that a state court declare Trump the winner, despite trailing by more than 33,000 votes.The Shady Ex-Cop Behind Trump’s Nevada Voter-Fraud FarceAs part of that lawsuit, the campaign submitted a list of thousands of voters who it said had cast ballots in Nevada despite living out of state. Many of those voters turned out to be military servicemen and their families stationed outside of Nevada, but who are permitted by law to cast ballots in the state.Like nearly all of the Trump campaign’s election-related lawsuits over the past month, the Nevada effort has so far fallen short. Last week, Nevada’s Supreme Court certified Biden’s win in the state. The campaign’s efforts persist nonetheless, and the president and his attorneys continue to gripe about a nonexistent conspiracy against him perpetrated by high-level government officials—including Republicans—and voting machine companies with nebulous ties to foreign dictators.On Tuesday, the president hailed a Nevada court ruling allowing both presidential campaigns to inspect voting machines used in the state’s largest county. In a tweet on the ruling, Trump tagged Grennell, Schlapp, and Laxalt.Founded this year, APT uses open records requests and other transparency tools to root out apparent conflicts of interest and ethical breaches among government officials and interest groups. APT is a conservative-leaning group, though Sutherland, a former research director at the National Republican Congressional Committee, said it has and will continue to investigate Republicans and Democrats alike.“We have demanded accountability and transparency from a variety of groups and politicians from both sides of the aisle. That momentum will not change as we head into a Biden administration,” she said.APT has already begun to file open records requests for documents related to incoming Biden administration officials, Sutherland said. “We are taking a look at each individual that will be nominated to the cabinet, and who President-elect Biden is surrounding himself with, what that network has done in the past, and what they would mean in a Biden administration.”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.
The shape of a future Biden administration is slowly coming into view along with a few of the president-elect's Cabinet picks. Thus far, the selections are exactly what one might have expected from a D.C. lifer like Biden — namely, other D.C. lifers. We have former chair of the Federal Reserve Janet Yellen at the Treasury Department, former Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken to be the nation's top diplomat, Biden's previous chief of staff Ron Klain returning to the same job (only for the president this time), and former deputy secretary at Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas now up to run that department. All are longtime Democratic Party insiders, most close associates of Biden himself — and just like him, fresh off a turn of the revolving door.Already the conflict between the left and moderate wings of the Democratic coalition, which had slowed down for obvious reasons during the general election, has broken out again. Lefties and centrists are sniping at each other over several picks — on the left over the appalling policy records and Wall Street connections of various selections, and on the moderate side over the left not being team players.Because Biden will be president, at the end of the day he will have the Cabinet he wants. But so far there is little sign that his administration will satisfy a more elemental requirement — namely, the kind of ferocious determination and energetic vision that is a necessary precondition to repairing this shattered country.Take a look around: America is in dire shape. The economy is turning south thanks to the resurgent coronavirus pandemic and the long-expired CARES Act rescue being spent down. Mass foreclosures and evictions at a scale unseen since the 1930s are looming on the horizon if another rescue is not passed. We will apparently have a coronavirus vaccine soon, but Congress isn't even spending the relative pittance to make sure it can be distributed as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, Republicans are poised to gerrymander themselves an even bigger advantage in the House of Representatives and in multiple state legislatures. To even have a prayer of passing anything through the Senate, Democrats will need to sweep both runoff elections in Georgia in January. If they don't, then the Biden administration will have to lean on every legal authority in the U.S. Code to be able to do anything — and even then face the possibility that those actions will still be struck down by partisan hacks on the Supreme Court.Does Team Biden look up to this challenge? Yellen is reasonably progressive, but as Fed chair during the Obama administration, she voted for a number of interest rate hikes that — as I and many others pointed out at the time — were very obviously premature, conservatively guarding against inflation instead of aggressively pursuing full employment and higher wages, and indeed may have slowed the economy enough to hand the 2016 election to Trump. What's more, there are disturbing numbers of Wall Street insiders being handed deputy spots at Treasury, which may hem in even Yellen's mild progressivism. (A rare straightforward bright spot is Jared Bernstein, a smart and gregarious lefty economist selected for the Council of Economic Advisers, who has been on the right side of nearly all the important economic questions for the last decade.)Meanwhile, as Jonathan Guyer writes at The American Prospect, most of Biden's foreign policy team got rich openly peddling its connections to government over the last four years. Since the Trump administration was not much in favor of handing contracting gigs to firms full of professional Democrats, it's likely a safe bet that much of the money came from interested parties looking to essentially bribe future administration insiders. More broadly, people who have profited handsomely from status quo forces sending this country to the devil — endless pointless imperialism, legalized corruption, extreme policy timidity unless Wall Street is threatened — are not likely to countenance the sweeping action necessary to fix that status quo.Perhaps most telling is the selection of the President and CEO of the Center for American Progress, Neera Tanden, to run the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This is a sort of regulatory clearinghouse for the executive branch, and develops the administration's budget each year (which has no legal force but signals priorities and ideas). It's an ideal position for a quiet, competent, loyal manager — someone who will get the administration's business done efficiently without any fuss. But that description hardly fits Tanden's record.Tanden's politics, despite previous endorsements of austerity and stealing Libya's oil to pay for imperialist wars of aggression, are probably still to the left of Bruce Reed, who was reportedly previously under consideration for the OMB job and is best known for decreasing the income of the poorest single mothers with welfare reform in 1996. However, Tanden is also infamously quarrelsome. Articles which mention her routinely result in her complaining to editors in the middle of the night (full disclosure: myself included), and she is regularly found fighting with complete nobodies on Twitter (full disclosure: myself included). Nor is she well known for running a tight ship organizationally — according to The New York Times, she once literally punched a subordinate for asking Hillary Clinton about the Iraq War (though she says she only pushed him). She also clumsily outed the identity of a sexual harassment victim in an all-staff meeting, and under her leadership CAP disbanded its unionized journalism project ThinkProgress, then attempted to replace the staff with scabs, only to back down after a huge backlash. Whatever Biden wants to achieve, be it progressive, moderate, or otherwise, Tanden is a mystifying choice to put in arguably the most important administrative position.At any rate, this suggests a coalescing administration that is not exactly champing at the bit to clean up this smoking ruin of a country. It seems more like a collection of mostly bog-standard moderate liberals, some fairly earnest, some plainly just looking to pad out their resume for a few years before they go back to their buckraking private sector careers, and some in between — people who, on average, will not want to rock the boat too much, much less take the kind of extreme, norm-bending action that might upset future offerers of consulting contracts.Now, nobody would be happier than myself if Yellen turns out to be the second coming of FDR adviser Rexford Tugwell, or if Tanden turns OMB into a well-oiled machine. At least Biden has not hired any actual Republicans as Obama did, and so far his team thankfully does not appear to be worried about the national debt. But it is hard indeed to imagine this administration rising to the challenge of a country in worse shape than at any year since 1932.More stories from theweek.com Our parents warned us the internet would break our brains. It broke theirs instead. Americans are choosing death over deprivation How camp explains Trump
Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar said Tuesday efforts to resolve Cyprus’ ethnic division should start fresh and aim to achieve a two-state deal, because decades of negotiations for a federation-based agreement have got nowhere. Tatar said a regional “new state of affairs” that takes into account the discovery of significant gas deposits off Cyprus creates the need for a two-state accord, under which equally sovereign Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots can live “side by side.” The Greek Cypriots reject the two-state idea.
A three-week deputy operation has led to over 50 arrests and more than $300,000 of illicit money being confiscated by the Broward Sheriff’s Office.