Two highly effective coronavirus vaccines are now on the horizon, but the next challenge for federal, state and local leaders will be distributing a vaccine equitably so that communities that have been hit hardest by the pandemic can have access.
A group of Pennsylvania Republicans filed a lawsuit over the weekend to block certification of the state's election results in an eleventh-hour attempt to overturn Joe Biden's victory in the key battleground state.The emergency petition, filed in state court, takes issue with a voting reform bill that passed Pennsylvania's Republican-held legislature in October last year. The lawsuit claims that the law's allowance of no excuse mail-in voting is "unconstitutional" and seeks to block Pennsylvania counties from certifying their vote results ahead of the deadline on Monday to do so and invalidate millions of mail-in ballots cast in the 2020 election.The group is led by Pennsylvania Representative Mike Kelly and GOP congressional candidate Sean Parnell, who has not conceded since his defeat this month by his Democratic rival, Representative Conor Lamb. Their suit names Democratic Governor Tom Wolf, the GOP-led legislature, and Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar as defendants.Meanwhile, a federal judge on Saturday dismissed a lawsuit from the Trump campaign that sought to invalidate millions of votes in Pennsylvania and block the certification of the state’s election results. Trump wrote in a tweet Saturday night that he plans to appeal the decision.About 2.6 million voters in Pennsylvania cast mail ballots in the general election this month. Biden won three out of every four mail ballots cast in the state, according to an analysis of data from Pennsylvania's state department.Biden won Pennsylvania by more than 80,000 votes over President Trump and is expected to be awarded the Keystone State's coveted 20 electoral votes. States have until December 8 to resolve election disputes, and electors will meet on December 14 to formally vote for the next president.Over the past several weeks, Trump has made allegations that voter fraud occurred on a massive scale through mail-in ballots. The president has claimed he won the election and has refused to concede even though his lawyers have not produced evidence of fraud widespread enough to alter the election outcome.
To pretend that there is anything approaching moral equivalency between Joe Biden and Donald Trump represents an appalling failure to exercise ethical judgment.
Israeli aircraft on Sunday struck multiple sites in the Gaza Strip in response to a rocket fired earlier from the Palestinian territory, Israel's military said. While several militant groups operate out of the Palestinian enclave, Israel holds Gaza’s Hamas rulers responsible for all rocket fire out of the territory and usually strikes Hamas targets in response. The Israeli military said in a statement that fighter jets and attack helicopters hit two rocket ammunition manufacturing sites, underground infrastructure and a Hamas naval forces training compound.
Decorating mansion will be her final official act as first lady
We rounded up a mix of gifts that help others, keep folks healthy, and add a little something-something to the home Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
Loeffler is currently campaigning in a high-stakes race that could determine control of the Senate at the start of President-elect Joe Biden's term.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown is encouraging residents to call the police on any neighbors who flout state COVID-19 restrictions, which include limiting in-home gatherings to a maximum of six people.“This is no different than what happens if there's a party down the street and it's keeping everyone awake,” Brown said in an interview Friday. “What do neighbors do [in that case]? They call law enforcement because it's too noisy. This is just like that. It's like a violation of a noise ordinance.”Last week the Democratic governor instituted a new round of restrictions aimed at mitigating the spread of coronavirus in the state via executive order, including a two-week “freeze” limiting indoor and outdoor gatherings to no more than six people from no more than two households just ahead of Thanksgiving. Residents are also prohibited from eating out at restaurants and going to the gym, though faith-based gatherings of up to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors are allowed.Violators can face up to 30 days in jail, $1,250 fines or both. The Marion County Sheriff’s office said in a statement on Friday that it believes “we cannot arrest or enforce our way out of the pandemic.”“We believe both are counterproductive to public health goals.”Brown pushed back, calling criticisms of the new restrictions "irresponsible."“This is about saving lives and it's about protecting our fellow Oregonians,” she said. “We have too many sporadic cases in Oregon. We can't trace these cases to a particular source. We have to limit gatherings and social interactions.”On Sunday, new COVID-19 cases reached a record high in the state for the third straight day, with 1,517 new infections recorded, bringing the state total to 65,170.
The Donald Trump phenomenon is purported to have divided friendships, families, and even marriages. I can attest to this fact in my own suburban Washington household, for this perhaps peculiar professional reason: It has occasioned my wife, the longtime sufferer of all my hot takes, to ask approximately one-thousand times whether I finally feel bad about all the mean things I said about Mitt Romney.The short answer is, yes!Romney, now the junior senator of Utah, has displayed rare courage and integrity throughout this hell-year. Alone among Republican senators (indeed, alone among any senator in history), he crossed party lines to vote to convict President Trump on the charge of abusing his power by pressuring a foreign government to interfere in our election. And — not alone, exactly, but hardly in plentiful company — he has forthrightly condemned the president for stonewalling the Biden transition and undermining our democracy.These actions have taken real guts. If I were wearing a cap, I would doff it; if I were to meet Romney in person, I would thank him. With this virtual pen in hand, I am applauding him.However: The long answer to the above question is … Heck no!Let me explain why I’m torn.First, it’s essential to remember how radically different our political landscape looked in the Before Times. The outright bigotry and racism of the 2016 Trump campaign had not yet been contemplated, let alone assimilated; for decades, those things were hinted at, dog-whistled, wink-winked — but they were not, in any overt sense, options on the menu given to Republican primary voters. Consequently, it needs to be said that it’s silly to retroactively credit figures in the party for not behaving that badly.So, what was it that bugged me so badly about mainstream, milquetoast Mitt?In 2007 and 2008, Romney, then the moderate one-term governor of Massachusetts (as well as the son of a famously moderate governor of Michigan) ran a primary campaign that was, I still maintain, preposterous. It was predicated on the notion that frontrunner John McCain (who, after a tumultuous summer in ’07, eventually won the GOP nomination) was too moderate. He compromised too often with Democrats (with Russ Feingold on campaign finance reform; with Ted Kennedy on immigration; with Joe Lieberman on climate change).I understand the imperatives of strategy in winning a primary, when you must appeal to the base before pivoting to the center. But — as I said then and will say again now — I refuse to listen to such an appeal from mainstream milquetoast Mitt. He did not play the Mr. Conservative act lightly; he played it, as he plays everything, stiffly. The act failed. It deserved to fail.Then came 2012. Romney was now something of a frontrunner. He had lost the 2008 primary — but so had McCain, badly, in the general election against President Obama. It was now, in the sequential custom of Republican politics, “Mitt Romney’s turn.” So now he was the one who had to beat back attempts to protect his right flank. Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee (am I forgetting anyone? It feels like I’m forgetting someone!) — they all took their shots at Romney; they all exposed weaknesses or wounded him; and they all, one after the other, failed as he had four years before.Without aid of Google, I remember calling Romney a “rancid imposter” (yikes!). With aid of Google, I see that I called his 2012 campaign “breathtakingly cynical, borderline nihilistic” (I hadn’t seen nothin’ yet!). I haven’t forgotten about the catastrophic 47 percent video. And I sure haven’t forgotten about the way Romney comported himself in the first innings of the Benghazi fiasco (reminder: He really was breathtakingly cynical).But, with the benefit of both hindsight and five years of Donald Trump, here’s what I’ve come to appreciate about Mitt Romney, a man of obvious high character and basic decency, that wasn’t clear to me then, but should have been: He was trying to hold together a party that was morally coming apart at the seams. Indeed, Romney could see for himself that it was thirsting for a demagogue very like Trump (whose endorsement, it must be noted, Romney accepted). “It’s very easy to excite the base with incendiary comments,” he said in February 2012. “We’ve seen throughout the campaign that if you’re willing to say really outrageous things that are accusatory and attacking President Obama that you’re going to jump up in the polls. You know, I’m not willing to light my hair on fire to try and get support. I am who I am.”It took guts to say that then. I didn’t acknowledge it at the time. I should have.When the notional threat of Trump became a reality in 2016, Romney, again, took a stand. In March of that fateful year, Romney warned against nominating a “con man, a fake.” Every word of the speech was born out by the reality of the Trump administration. Not just the bits about Trump’s warped character — but the red flags over Trump’s desire for a trade war and his embrace of prodigious debt.Of course, Romney being Romney, he sullied his righteous stand by agreeing to dine with Trump during the transition, under the guise of possibly being nominated for secretary of state. Predictably, Romney was humiliated. But that was the last time.Very much on his own shingle, Romney won a Senate seat in Utah. From there, he has become one of the bravest and most constructive voices in Republican politics. And while I may regret the excessive tone of some of my criticisms of Mitt Romney’s past, I can say that I look forward to applauding him more often in the future.“Sorry, Mitt”? Not quite.Instead: Go, Mitt, go!More stories from theweek.com Biden is stealing the spotlight. Trump can't stand it. Can an old Blob learn new tricks? There's a very simple, extremely plausible reason Trump won't admit Biden won
Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong was remanded in custody on Monday after pleading guilty to charges of organising and inciting an unauthorised assembly near the police headquarters during last year's anti-government protests. Wong, who was just 17 years old when he became the face of the 2014 student-led Umbrella Movement democracy protests, faces a maximum three-year jail term. On Twitter afterwards, Wong said attention should be directed to the 12 Hong Kong people detained virtually incommunicado in China after being arrested at sea in August as they were attempting to flee by boat to Taiwan to escape charges related to last year's protests in the city.
A panel of human rights experts working with the United Nations said Monday that former Renault-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn was wrongly detained in Japan and has urged “compensation” for him from the Japanese government. The Japanese government denounced the report as a “totally unacceptable” viewpoint that will change nothing in the country's legal process. In its opinion published Monday, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found that Ghosn’s arrest in Japan in late 2018 and early 2019 was “arbitrary” and called on Japan’s government to “take the necessary steps to remedy the situation of Mr. Ghosn without delay.”
Facebook will promote vaccine and climate change information in a bid to please the Biden administration, sources told the Financial Times.
Outgoing Republican Steve King has long history of offensive remarks
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh on Monday criticized President Trump’s legal team over their chaotic press conference last week that failed to provide any evidence to back up their claims that the 2020 election was rigged.“You call a gigantic press conference like that — one that lasts an hour — and you announce massive bombshells, then you better have some bombshells,” Limbaugh said during his show on Monday. “There better be something at that press conference other than what we got…I talked to so many people who were blown away by it, by the very nature of the press conference. They promised blockbuster stuff and then nothing happened, and that’s just, it’s not good.”He added, “If you’re gonna do a press conference like that with the promise of blockbusters, then there has to be something more than what that press conference delivered.”He also questioned the role of lawyer Sidney Powell, who was present at the press conference but has since cut ties with Trump’s legal team.Though Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis said Powell is “not a member of the Trump legal team” or a personal lawyer to the president, Limbaugh argued it’s a “tough thing to deny she was ever part of it because they introduced her as part of it."“She was at that press conference last week,” he said.During the press conference on Thursday, Giuliani claimed to have evidence of a "national conspiracy" to steal the election for President-elect Joe Biden, though he said he could not yet release any evidence as the judges presiding over the campaign's lawsuit might object and because his witnesses might face retribution if their names became public. He said he had “at least ten” witnesses ready to describe instances of voter fraud, he couldn’t reveal them publicly because “they don’t want to be harassed.”
Iran on Sunday vowed to defeat any Israeli attempt to harm its role in Syria, saying the era of "hit and run" attacks by Israel there was over, days after Israel carried out air strikes on Syrian army and Iranian paramilitary targets in the country. Israel, which views Tehran as its biggest security threat, has repeatedly attacked Iranian targets and those of allied militia in Syria, where Tehran has backed President Bashar al-Assad and his forces against rebels and militants since 2012. On Wednesday, an Israeli military spokesman said eight targets were attacked, including an Iranian headquarters at Damascus international airport and a "secret military site" that served as a "hosting facility for senior Iranian delegations when they come to Syria to operate".
A California attorney said Monday that a Kenosha County judge will allow him to appear in court on behalf of an Illinois 17-year-old accused of killing two people during a protest in Wisconsin. John Pierce, of Los Angeles, is not licensed to practice in Wisconsin and would need the court's permission to appear in court for Kyle Rittenhouse. Such requests are routinely granted, but Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Jason Zapf has asked for a hearing on the matter “to address several issues.”
U.S. President Donald Trump is getting ready to amp up pressure on China with a new trade blacklist. A draft seen exclusively by Reuters lists 89 Chinese companies the Commerce Department says have ties to the military. It includes Commercial Aircraft Corp of China - or COMAC: a rising star with its sights set on Boeing and Airbus. Not all companies in the list are Chinese. Some are Russian. But the U.S. considers all of them "military end users". Being on the list means they can't buy some U.S. products - from aircraft engines to word processing software. The Commerce Department called the restrictions "vital for protecting U.S. national security interests." But there are fears that U.S. companies could end up getting hurt, too. It's a sensitive time for the American aerospace industry. Boeing had its 737 MAX cleared by U.S. regulators just last week. It's now seeking approval in China - the first nation to ban the MAX after two fatal crashes of the model. The list could also mean a hit for General Electric and Honeywell - both have ties to COMAC. According to the draft, U.S. companies will need a license to sell to anyone on the list. However, it also says that applications are more likely to be denied than granted.
The dozens of attendees were all mask-less at Caligula, an illegal sex club, violating New York state COVID-19 regulations.
U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Brann — a conservative jurist — on Saturday threw out yet another lawsuit filed by the Trump campaign seeking to block the certification of the presidential election results in Pennsylvania.The campaign's attorneys argued Pennsylvania counties violated the Constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law by taking different approaches to notifying voters before the election about mistakes on their mail-in ballots — some counties allowed voters to fix the errors, while others didn't notify them at all. Brann dismissed the argument entirely. He wrote that plaintiffs "seeking such a startling outcome" should "come formidably armed with compelling legal arguments and factual proof of rampant corruption," but instead the campaign presented "strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations." He likened the campaign's allegations of an equal protection violation to Frankenstein's monster, writing that it "has been haphazardly stitched together from two distinct theories in an attempt to avoid controlling precedent."Brann's decision sealed the deal for Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), who, much to President Trump's chagrin, congratulated President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their victory shortly after it was made.> Read my statement on today’s Pennsylvania federal court decision, and congratulating President-Elect Biden: https://t.co/tCCXWxIUoR pic.twitter.com/MaxfHCtK1x> > — Senator Pat Toomey (@SenToomey) November 22, 2020The Trump team isn't giving up in this instance, however. Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, along with legal adviser Jenna Ellis, released a statement arguing Brann's ruling actually helps their case because it will speed up their path to the Supreme Court. Read more at The Wall Street Journal and The Associated Press.More stories from theweek.com I was wrong about Mitt Romney Biden is stealing the spotlight. Trump can't stand it. Can an old Blob learn new tricks?
Joe Biden will nominate former secretary of state John Kerry for climate czar in his presidential cabinet, the Biden-Harris transition team announced on Monday.Kerry will serve on the White House national security council as the "Special Presidential Envoy for Climate." The position, which does not require Senate approval, would be the first national security council post to deal with specifically climate change.> America will soon have a government that treats the climate crisis as the urgent national security threat it is. I'm proud to partner with the President-elect, our allies, and the young leaders of the climate movement to take on this crisis as the President's Climate Envoy.> > -- John Kerry (@JohnKerry) November 23, 2020"America will soon have a government that treats the climate crisis as the urgent national security threat it is," Kerry wrote in a Twitter post. "I'm proud to partner with the President-elect, our allies, and the young leaders of the climate movement to take on this crisis as the President's Climate Envoy."The Biden-Harris team noted that Kerry "was a key architect of the Paris Climate Accord" of 2015. President Trump later pulled out of the treaty, saying its criterion for reducing emissions harmed American manufacturing and energy jobs."The Paris Climate Accord is simply the latest example of Washington entering into an agreement that disadvantages the United States to the exclusive benefit of other countries," Trump said on June 1, 2017. "The agreement doesn’t eliminate coal jobs, it just transfers those jobs out of America and the United States, and ships them to foreign countries."Biden’s nominee for Secretary of State is Antony Blinken, a longtime Biden adviser who served as deputy Secretary of State from 2015 to 2017 during the Obama administration. Prior to that post, Blinken served as national security adviser to Biden during his tenure as Vice President.The Biden-Harris team announced Jake Sullivan as nominee for national security adviser. Sullivan served as deputy chief of staff to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and has held various other posts in the Obama-Biden administration.Additionally, former U.S. Customs and Immigration head Alejandro Mayorkas received Biden's nomination for secretary of homeland security. During his tenure at UCIS from 2009 to 2013, Mayorkas oversaw the implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.Mayorkas was the subject of a 2015 inspector general probe that found he intervened in visa applications for companies owned by Terry McAuliffe, former Democratic governor of Virginia, and Tony Rodham, Hillary Clinton's brother.Editor's Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Kerry's post requires Senate confirmation. Since the post is housed within the White House, it does not require confirmation.