Judge Merrick Garland, President Biden’s pick for attorney general, testified at his Senate confirmation hearing Monday and received praise from Democrats and Republicans alike. NBC chief White House correspondent Peter Alexander reports for TODAY.
- The Independent
‘It’s really sad, who says that?’: Lindsey Graham mocked for thanking Trump for ‘allowing me to be in his world’
‘Morning Joe’ hosts laugh at senator’s continued subservience to former president
Prince Harry, who shocked Britain last year when he and his wife Meghan stepped back from royal duties, told U.S. interviewer Oprah Winfrey that he had worried about history repeating itself, according to excerpts released on Sunday. The CBS broadcast network released two brief clips from Winfrey's interview of the couple, which is scheduled to air on March 7. "My biggest concern was history repeating itself," Harry said, apparently referring to his mother Princess Diana, who was hounded by the British press and died at age 36 in a car crash in Paris after her divorce from Prince Charles.
An Israeli-owned ship hit by an explosion in the Gulf of Oman strategic waterway has arrived at a port in Dubai, where is it is due to be assessed in dry dock. Israel's defence minister on Saturday said that an initial assessment had found that Iran was responsible for the explosion. The blue and white ship is now berthed in Dubai's Port Rashid, having sailed from its position off the coast of Omani capital Muscat, where the explosion occurred.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman may have been spared direct punishment after a U.S. intelligence report implicated him in the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but he has not emerged unscathed. The declassified report, based on CIA intelligence, concludes that the prince approved an operation to "capture or kill" Khashoggi, who was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018. President Joe Biden's decision to publish a report that his predecessor Donald Trump had set aside brings with it a broad refocusing of Washington's stance on dealing with the kingdom, on its human rights record, and on its lucrative arms purchases.
Forty-seven Hong Kong pro-democracy campaigners and activists were charged on Sunday with conspiracy to commit subversion in the largest single crackdown on the opposition under a China-imposed national security law. Among them was Sam Cheung, a 27-year-old activist and a participant in an unofficial primary election last summer, who was charged after reporting to a local police station. "Hong Kongers have a really tough time these days," he told reporters before entering the station.
- Reuters Videos
As tensions between Beijing and Canberra continue to simmer, Chinese investment in Australia has slumped to its lowest level in six years.The annual tracking study from the Australian National University recorded A$1 billion Australian dollars of Chinese investment in 2020, consisting of real estate, mining and manufacturing deals.That's a 61% fall, larger than the 42% decrease in foreign direct investment globally measured by the United Nations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. That's according to Shiro Armstrong, the director of the East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.Australia announced a shakeup of its foreign investment laws in 2020 to give the government the power to veto, or force the sale of a business if it creates a national security risk.Chinese company Mengniu abandoned a deal to buy the Australia dairy firm Lion Dairy and Drinks from Japanese company Kirin in August, after the Australian government indicated it would block the sale.The Chinese embassy said in November that 10 Chinese investments had been blocked in Australia on national security grounds, among a list of 14 grievances Beijing had about Australian government policy.China has since imposed dumping tariffs on Australian wine and barley, and restricted the unloading of Australian coal at Chinese ports.Chinese investment in Australia peaked at A$16.5 billion Australian dollars in 2016.
- The Independent
Lindell equates getting coronavirus vaccine to receiving ‘mark of the beast’ pledging allegiance to the devil
President Joe Biden’s administration is in “no rush” to lift U.S. sanctions on Venezuela but would consider easing them if President Nicolas Maduro takes confidence-building steps showing he is ready to negotiate seriously with the opposition, a White House official told Reuters. Signaling that the new U.S. president may be unlikely to loosen the screws on Venezuela anytime soon, the official emphasized that existing sanctions have enough special provisions to allow for humanitarian aid shipments to help Venezuelans cope with economic hardships and the COVID-19 pandemic. This suggests that for now Biden is prepared to stick with the specific sanctions, including crippling oil-sector penalties, imposed by former President Donald Trump on the OPEC nation, despite the failure to force Maduro from power.
- The Independent
Republican congressman appears at white nationalist conference whose founder called Capitol riot ‘awesome’
Only elected GOP official to attend alternative far-right conference said afterwards: ‘I denounce when we talk about white racism’
- Associated Press
Prince Harry says the process of separating from royal life has been very difficult for him and his wife, Meghan. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Harry invoked the memory of his late mother, Princess Diana, who had to find her way alone after she and Prince Charles divorced. Diana was shown in a photo holding toddler Harry as he made the comments.
- The Independent
‘I'm not going to worry about people that their only worry in life is to be re-elected,’ says Enrique Tarrio
- Associated Press
A man was killed by a rooster with a blade tied to its leg during an illegal cockfight in southern India, police said, bringing focus on a practice that continues in some Indian states despite a decades-old ban. The rooster, with a 3-inch knife tied to its leg, fluttered in panic and slashed its owner, 45-year-old Thangulla Satish, in his groin last week, police inspector B. Jeevan said Sunday. According to Jeevan, Satish was injured while he prepared the rooster for a fight.
- The Independent
Medical examiner is ‘awaiting toxicology results’ before releasing a report on the death
- The Independent
CPAC 2021 – live: Roger Stone dances to pro-Trump rap as Kristi Noem and Mike Pompeo woo party faithful
Follow the latest updates
- LA Times
The United States elevated the Taliban's status by negotiating a 2020 deal without Kabul's participation.
- USA TODAY
Joe Biden marks 50M vaccine doses in 37 days; South Korea, Hong Kong administer first vaccinations; 508K US deaths: Latest COVID-19 updates
President Joe Biden urged Americans to wear masks and not let their guard down as the number of coronavirus cases declined. Latest COVID-19 updates.
- The Independent
CPAC: Gaetz says media ‘biased’ over Ted Cruz’s Cancun trip and should have focused on ‘caravans’ of migrants instead
Outspoken GOP congressman complains ‘the left and the media’ were less concerned about ‘caravans going through Mexico’ than Texas senator visiting
- Reuters Videos
The UK’s top court has unanimously ruled that a British-born woman who went to Syria as a schoolgirl to join Islamic State should not be allowed to return.The Supreme Court said on Friday (February 26) Shamima Begum cannot come back to Britain to challenge the government taking away her citizenship because she poses a security risk.She left London in 2015 when she was 15 years old and went to Syria via Turkey with two school friends, where she married an IS fighter. Since that time she gave birth to three children, all of them died.Now aged 21, Begum is being held in a detention camp in Syria.President of the UK Supreme Court Robert Reed said on Friday "The right to a fair hearing does not trump all other considerations, such as the safety of the public".It was stated that Begum can still pursue her appeal against the revoking of her citizenship, but she cannot do that in Britain.This decision overturns a ruling made by the Court of Appeal last year saying she could only have a fair appeal if she were allowed back to the UK.The case has provoked heated debate in Britain, pitting those who say she gave up her right to citizenship by traveling to join IS against those, including Human Rights groups who argue she should not be left stateless but rather face trial in Britain.
- The Daily Beast
Elijah Nouvelage/GettyHe was a one-term “loser.” He helped lose his party the White House, the Senate, and the House. He left office with a domestic body count in the hundreds of thousands, and an economy in the toilet.Just last month, he instigated a deadly riot on Capitol Hill that endangered the lives of senior members of his own party, as he sat back and smirked from the comfort and safety of the West Wing. And his administration ended in such a historically disastrous state of his own making that fellow leaders in the Republican Party were directly blaming him for the deaths and anti-democratic mob violence, and some of his former senior advisers were openly accusing him of attempting to stage a coup or pleading with him to disappear to Florida “and stay” there.But that was a whole month ago. On Sunday, former President Donald Trump re-emerged at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), held this year in his new home base of Florida, where he was greeted as the beloved, unequivocal leader in the GOP. Whatever blood there was on the 45th U.S. president’s hands, the Republican Party and conservative movement had already done their best to rinse it all away. And they were more than happy to try.“Actually you know, [the Democrats] just lost the White House,” Trump said—obviously incorrectly—on stage early Sunday evening. “Who knows? I might decide to beat them for a third time,” he added, dangling a potential 2024 presidential run.Much of the former president’s CPAC speech was a lazy, predictable retread of grievance and his perennial whining. “They’re the biggest fakers there are,” he alleged, bashing his enemies in the press. “Never let [Democrats and the Biden administration] take the credit” for the coronavirus vaccines, Trump said, regurgitating his concerns dating back to November that a President Joe Biden would get credit for ending the COVID-19 crisis in the United States. He again took his shots at foes like Dr. Anthony Fauci and Biden, yet again accusing the latter of having mental difficulties.Trump harangued trans women for competing in sports as women. He kept peppering his speech with lies that he triumphed in the 2020 election. He used those lies to call on Republicans to enact more and more restrictions on legitimate voting, and did so to rapturous applause from the audience. He repeatedly trashed the U.S. Supreme Court—which has a sizable conservative majority of his presidency’s creation—for lacking the “courage” to obliterate democracy at his behest last year. He baselessly alleged that the Democratic Party was trying to bring on “communism.” He bleated over and over about “cancel culture” and Big Tech. He rattled off a list of Republican lawmakers (Liz Cheney, Mitt Romney, Adam Kinzinger, and so on…) whom he found insufficiently subservient to him and his ego.And he had the nerve to claim that “Trumpism” means “no riots in the streets.”In the days of the conference prior to Trump’s address, the content and mood of the annual gathering reflected the sentiment pervading the national GOP, its base of voters, Republican honchos in Washington, D.C., state parties, and the influential hubs of conservative media: that this twice impeached president, as well as Trumpism, are the dominant present and future of American conservatism. And for this, they’re enthusiastically frontloading many of Trump’s policy and messaging priorities.For instance, much of this year’s CPAC was devoted to pushing Trump’s lie that he actually won the 2020 presidential contest against Biden, an election Trump clearly lost. That lie fueled Trump and Republicans’ months-long legal crusade during the presidential transition period to groundlessly throw out countless votes in key states, in a failed effort to overturn the will and decision of the electorate. Top Trump allies publicly flirted with the concept of martial law, and other authoritarian power-grabbing ideas that thankfully went nowhere, despite Trump’s sustained attempts. This broad push culminated in the bloody Jan. 6 riot.And yet various major players in the Republican Party still refuse to admit publicly that Biden won, and Trump himself has privately said he’d prefer the candidates and primary challengers he supports in the future to publicly back the Big Lie—both rhetorically and in the writing of laws and crackdowns on voting—to his satisfaction.And as Trump charts the path of his post-presidency, he’s keen on snuffing out dissent to the devotion to his cult of personality that is now the most integral element of his party. In recent weeks, the former president, tucked away at his Palm Beach club of Mar-a-Lago, has repeatedly complained about several prominent Republicans who had crossed him (even mildly) over the Jan. 6 riot, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Nikki Haley, Trump’s one-time ambassador to the United Nations. Trump has told multiple confidants that if Haley runs for the presidency in 2024, he wants to ensure she is crushed and humiliated in the GOP primary, according to three people familiar with the matter.This despite Haley’s attempts earlier this month to execute some damage control and to reconnect with Trump. Even others who have more aggressively sought to crawl back to Trump following the riot haven’t been spared the ex-president’s suspicions or trash talk. A month ago, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) visited Trump in Florida, on a mission to preserve party unity, as they gear up for the 2022 midterm elections. Prior to that he’d already jumped on the phone with Donald Trump Jr., solidifying his deference to the Trump brand and family, ahead of the former president’s second Senate impeachment trial.Still, in recent days Trump has privately told some of those close to him that he’s not sure if he can trust McCarthy in the long run, two of the sources said. One of the things that Trump has griped about during his post-presidency is McCarthy’s public acknowledgement that Biden indeed won the election, following weeks of McCarthy cheering on or excusing Trump’s months-long endeavor to cling to power.But at CPAC on Sunday night, the ex-president and current leader of the Republican Party had the courtesy to, for now at least, take one tactic for keeping the GOP in line off the table. “I am not starting a new party,” Trump said on stage, affirming his continued support for the party that once made him leader of the free world.And why should he? The party and movement keep showing him, again and again, since Biden’s inauguration that the GOP remains a willing and wholly owned subsidiary of the Trump brand name.And soon after he left the stage, Trump’s political operation was back to doing what it does best: milking his supporters for big money, often by deceptive means. “Pres. Trump: Did you miss me? I just finished my CPAC speech! My team’s handing me the 1ST donor list in 1 HR. Can I count on you? Donate,” the Trump team texted supporters on Sunday evening.During the 2020 campaign, the Trump campaign would often ask supporters to donate, alleging that doing so could give small-dollar donors a chance at getting their names in front of an appreciative Trump. Several sources familiar with the practice say that this was so often done with absolutely zero intention of bothering Trump with any lists of his faceless fans’ names.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet 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 Daily Beast
Brendan Smialowski/AFP via GettyDemocrats are one big step closer to achieving their first major goal of the Joe Biden era. Early Saturday morning, the U.S. House approved a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill on a nearly party-line vote.The 219-212 vote allows the U.S. Senate to formally take up the legislation, which Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) intends to do immediately. But the party is under the gun: Many Democrats regard March 14—the day that extended unemployment benefits run out for millions—as a de facto deadline for getting the so-called American Rescue Plan on Biden’s desk.The legislation would replenish relief for the jobless by extending a weekly $400 check through August. It also fulfills a number of other promises Democrats campaigned on in 2020: $1,400 direct stimulus checks to supplement the $600 checks that went out in December, billions of dollars to hasten vaccine distribution, funds for schools, and aid for state and local governments. The House’s bill passed with an increase to the federal minimum wage—but the Senate’s procedural enforcer found that the proposal did not conform to the rules of fast-tracking a bill in the upper chamber. It effectively kills the prospects for a clean wage hike as part of the COVID legislation.Prior rounds of major COVID legislation passed the House with bipartisan support, but Friday’s vote all but confirmed Biden’s first relief effort will travel a starkly partisan path. The GOP, beset with infighting in the wake of the Jan. 6 attack and Donald Trump’s impeachment, have found cause for unity in opposing the relief plan, which they slammed as a bloated vehicle for liberal wish-list items. Democrats held out hope that at least a few Republicans would vote for the plan, but not a single GOP lawmaker backed the legislation, and its odds for picking up many Senate Republicans look dim.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.