Dog owners are thinking twice about taking their pets out for a walk and here's why they think crime in this area is happening more often.
- Associated Press
SpaceX’s futuristic Starship looked like it aced a touchdown Wednesday, but then exploded on the landing pad with so much force that it was hurled into the air. The failure occurred just minutes after SpaceX declared success. The full-scale prototype of Elon Musk's envisioned Mars ship soared more than 6 miles (10 kilometers) after lifting off from the southern tip of Texas on Wednesday.
- Associated Press
Nepal’s government signed a peace agreement Thursday with a small communist rebel group widely feared because they were known for violent attacks, extortion and bombings. The government agreed to lift a ban on the group, release all their party members and supporters in jail and drop all legal cases against them, while the group agreed to give up all violence and resolve any issues through peaceful dialogue, the government said in a statement after peace talks. Details of the agreement would be made public at a joint ceremony Friday with Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli and the leader of the rebel group Netra Bikram Chand, who is better known by his guerrilla name, Biplav.
- Architectural Digest
The talk show host completely renovated the five-bedroom Beverly Hills home last year
For many Americans, the most anticipated provision in the the American Rescue Plan is another round of $1,400 direct checks. But who will get those checks—and how much money they'll actually get—has been a sticking point
- The Daily Beast
Greg Nash/ReutersBureaucratic restrictions and public-relations concerns from the Army and top Trump administration Pentagon appointees unreasonably restrained the D.C. National Guard from responding to the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, its commander testified to the Senate in a dramatic Wednesday session.The Guard commander, Major General William Walker, described receiving a “frantic” phone call from the then-head of the Capitol Police, Steven Sund, shortly before 2 p.m., as the breach was underway.Yet because of the restrictions from Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller, Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy, and the “best military advice” of senior Army officers, Walker and his 155 Guardsmen could not respond to the scene of the insurrection for another three hours and 19 minutes—restrictions Walker pointedly noted were not placed upon him during the summer’s Black Lives Matter protests in Washington, D.C.Had Walker been able to deploy to the Capitol “immediately,” as he testified he wanted, around 2 p.m.—a process he said took less than 20 minutes—“that number could have made a difference,” Walker said. “We could have helped extend the perimeter and pushed back the crowd.”FBI Director Shoots Back, Insisting Bureau Shared Intel Ahead of Capitol InsurrectionIt was perhaps the most intense moment thus far in a series of Senate hearings on Jan. 6 that have prompted dueling claims of irresponsibility, recriminations that have focused overwhelmingly on security and intelligence failures, rather than the politicians who spread the inciting lie that the Democrats stole the presidential election and hailed the violent protest called for by President Donald Trump.Army and Pentagon officials have heard this critique from Walker in the press and pushed back on it. Yet it was clear at the hearing that even senior Republican senators considered the Pentagon’s restrictions on the D.C. National Guard unacceptable.Walker described pre-insurrection letters from McCarthy, relaying instructions from Miller—whom Trump installed atop the Pentagon shortly after losing the election—that withheld from Walker the issuance of “weapons, ammunition, batons, ballistic protection equipment, to include body armor.” He did not have preapproval to mobilize a quick-reaction force of 40 Guardsmen and found it “unusual” to be denied a typical commanders’ authority to protect his own forces.As well, Walker described an instruction that afternoon from McCarthy to provide a “concept of operations” for the Guard before getting approval to shift from backing up the D.C. police and relieving beleaguered Capitol Police officers. “In 19 years, I never had that before happen,” Walker told senators. In several instances that day, Walker acted on his own initiative to muster the quick-reaction force at the D.C. Armory and get his Guardsmen protective gear, ahead of the belated approval to deploy to the Capitol.Neither Miller nor McCarthy testified. Instead, a senior Pentagon civilian, Robert Salesses, was left to effectively testify that Walker was wrong.Walker testified that two Army three-star generals, Charles Flynn and Walter Piatt, told him on Jan. 6 afternoon phone calls that they advised against sending the Guard to the Capitol because it was a poor “optics” and “could incite the crowd.” Salesses stoically said that Piatt, who is not in the chain of command, told him he never “used the word ‘optics,’” which represents the second revision in Piatt’s story, as the Army general recently acknowledged he may have indeed used that word.Walker shot back: “There were people in the room with me on that call that heard what they heard.”But Salesses’ broader point was that the restrictions Miller placed on Walker were political. “There was a lot of things that happened in the spring the department was criticized for,” Salesses said, referring to the Pentagon’s use of the National Guard to suppress the Black Lives Matter protests in Washington.Yet Salesses, questioned by Republican senators, could not explain all the Pentagon restrictions on the National Guard.The National Guard was on the streets of D.C. on Jan. 6 to support the D.C. police, in an unarmed and unarmored fashion, at 30 city traffic-control points and six Metro stations. Walker said he had to seek approval from the Pentagon to accompany the police in moving a traffic point over by a single block. The quick-reaction force, stationed initially at Joint Base Andrews just outside the district, was “not [designed] to respond to the events of the Capitol,” Salesses pleaded. “I don’t know if that’s true,” Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) replied, quickly prompting Walker’s agreement.Salesses also had to concede that over a half-hour passed between his account of Miller finally authorizing the Guard deployment, at 4:32 p.m., and notifying Walker of that decision at 5:08 p.m. Asked what accounted for that delay by an incredulous Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Salesses said only, “Senator, it’s an issue.”“That’s a significant problem for the future,” Blunt said.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
Dr. Fauci has a stunningly simple way to explain how Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine differs from Pfizer's and Moderna's shots
All three of the COVID-19 shots authorized for use in the US train the body to recognize the coronavirus, but J&J's uses a cold virus instead of mRNA.
A nuclear-capable, long-range U.S. bomber flew over the capitals of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia on Wednesday in a show of solidarity with NATO allies, the U.S. Air Force said, amid Western concerns over a more assertive Russia. "This mission sends a clear message that our commitment to our NATO allies is unshakeable," Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa commander said in a statement.
- The Telegraph
Viktor Orbàn, Hungary’s prime minister, has pulled his party out of the largest political group in the European Parliament before they could be expelled over EU concerns over Budapest’s respect for democracy and the rule of law. Fidesz's 12 MEPs were withdrawn from the centre-Right European People’s Party (EPP) coalition before it voted on changes to rules on the expulsion of members. Mr Orbàn has long been at loggerheads with Brussels over his crackdown on media and other freedoms. EPP members have backed EU institutions in their criticism of Fidesz, which they accuse of trampling on “European values”. But he stopped short of leaving the EPP’s pan-EU political party, which has members including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission. Fidesz will now have less speaking time and access to less EU funding after leaving the biggest single voting bloc in the Brussels and Strasbourg parliament. It was suspended from the pan-EU party alliance in March 2019 but until now remained part of the European Parliament group. The EPP’s 180 members voted by 148 to 28 in favour of the new rules, with four abstentions, in the culmination of years of strained relations after Fidesz resigned. Mr Orbàn accused the EPP of curtailing the democratic rights of Fidesz MEPs in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic in a letter to group leader Manfred Weber. He branded the vote on rule changes “anti-democratic, unjust and unacceptable” and a “hostile move”. “The message is clear and duly noted. If Fidesz is not welcome, we do not feel compelled to stay,” he wrote. The pressure on the close political relationship between the most influential pan-EU party had increased after Mr Orbàn launched a string of attacks against Brussels, including a poster campaign against then European Commission president, and EPP member, Jean-Claude Juncker. Mr Orbàn is expected to try and join other political groups in the European Parliament such as the Eurosceptic European Conservatives & Reformists or the hard right Identity & Democracy group. A spokesman for the EPP Group said it would not comment on Mr Orbàn’s “personal decision”. David Cameron pulled the Conservatives out of the EPP in 2009, which some in Brussels see as a key moment that eventually contributed to Brexit.
International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on Wednesday announced her intention to open an investigation into crimes allegedly committed in the Palestinian territories since 2014. Why it matters: The investigation is expected to consider possible war crimes by Israel and Hamas during the 2014 war in Gaza, as well as the construction of West Bank settlements by Israel. It could sharply increase tensions between Israel, which fiercely opposes the probe, and Palestinian leaders, who requested it.Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for freeThe investigation will also force the Biden administration to wade into the Israel-Palestine conflict, which had been very low on its foreign policy priorities list.Israel is very concerned that any investigation could lead to international arrest warrants against Israeli officials and military officers and could boost BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) campaigns against Israel.The latest: The Palestinian foreign ministry welcomed the decision as an opportunity for justice and accountability and called for a swift investigation.Netanyahu called the investigation an "attack" on Israel and vowed to "fight for the truth.""The biased International Criminal Court took a hypocritical and anti-Semitic decision," he said. "The court doesn't say anything about the real war crimes Iran and Syria commit."What's next: Bensouda said the priorities of the investigation will be determined in the coming weeks, taking into consideration coronavirus-related operational challenges, the limited resources of her office and the current heavy workload.Bensouda made this decision in her final months in office, and it's unclear whether she coordinated the move with her successor.What she's saying: “Any investigation undertaken by the Office will be conducted independently, impartially and objectively, without fear or favor," Bensouda said in a statement.She added that the investigation will take time and be grounded in facts and the law. "My office will take the same principled, non-partisan approach that it has adopted in all situations over which its jurisdiction is seized. We have no agenda other than to meet our statutory duties under the Rome Statute with professional integrity," she said.Flashback: The Trump administration joined Israel in mounting a vigorous campaign in 2019 to block a potential investigation, including by placing sanctions on Bensouda and other court officials.ICC judges cleared the way for a potential investigation last month when they ruled that the court has jurisdiction in the West Bank and Gaza. (Israel isn't a party to the Rome Statute, which set the court's mandate, but the Palestinian territories are.)Behind the scenes: Israel had asked dozens of allies to convey a "discreet message" to urge Bensouda not to move forward with the probe, as Axios reported two weeks ago. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu also asked President Biden to keep U.S. sanctions on the court in place as leverage.Like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.
- Business Insider
Meghan Markle wore earrings from Mohammed bin Salman 3 weeks after Saudi agents murdered Jamal Khashoggi, report says
Markle was unaware of the rumors that the Saudi crown prince could be connected to the killing when she wore the earrings, a source told Insider.
Drastic measures taken by North Korea to contain coronavirus have exacerbated human rights abuses and economic hardship for its citizens, including reports of starvation, a United Nations investigator says. North Korea, which has yet to report any confirmed COVID-19 cases despite sharing a border with China, has imposed border closings, banned most international travel and severely restricted movement domestically in the past year. "The further isolation of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea with the outside world during the COVID-19 pandemic appears to exacerbate entrenched human rights violations," Tomas Ojea Quintana, U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in the country, said in a report seen by Reuters on Wednesday.
- Associated Press
China’s top legislative advisory body opened its annual session Thursday against the background of a crackdown on Hong Kong’s political opposition and the country’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. In his opening address, the head of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Wang Yang, pledged support for calls that only “patriots” who show undivided loyalty to the ruling Communist Party should be allowed to hold elected office in Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous southern Chinese city where Beijing imposed a sweeping national security law last year. “We will strengthen unity and friendship with our compatriots overseas and in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, and conduct studies and consultations on fostering patriotism among young people in Hong Kong and Macao,” Wang told delegates in the hulking Great Hall of the People in the heart of Beijing.
- The Telegraph
Boris Johnson will act unilaterally to give supermarkets and their suppliers more time to adapt to post-Brexit trade arrangements in Northern Ireland in a major escalation of tensions with Brussels. The Prime Minister told the Commons: "The position of Northern Ireland within the UK internal market is rock solid and guaranteed... We leave nothing off the table in order to ensure we get this right." Brandon Lewis, the Northern Ireland Secretary, confirmed that the UK is extending the grace period for supermarkets agreed with the EU last year by six months. The move sparked a fresh row with the EU, which is jointly responsible for the Northern Ireland Protocol governing trade and new border checks in the province. The European Commission said the EU had "strong concerns" over the unilateral move because "this amounts to a violation of the relevant substantive provisions of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland and the good faith obligation under the Withdrawal Agreement." "This is the second time that the UK government is set to breach international law," said Lord Frost's opposite number Maros Sefcovic, referring to earlier UK threats to override the Withdrawal Agreement. The commission threatened retaliation through enforcement measures in the Withdrawal Agreement and trade deal in response. The temporary relaxation for checks on supermarkets and their suppliers had been due to expire at the end of this month under the terms of Northern Ireland Protocol, which is part of the Withdrawal Agreement reached in 2019 and which came into force this year. However, in a written ministerial statement published on Wednesday, Mr Lewis said suppliers moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland will now not be required to fill out the extra paperwork for agrifoods when the deadline expires. Instead, the UK will unilaterally extend the deadline until October while continuing to try to secure agreement with the European Commission for a longer extension as requested by Michael Gove.
Elon Musk's company SpaceX is building a vehicle that could transform space travel.
A Palm Beach mansion owned by the Trump family just hit the market for $49 million, and it's right across the street from Mar-a-Lago
The home was previously owned by Donald Trump's sister, who sold it to Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump in 2018.
- Associated Press
House Democrats passed sweeping voting and ethics legislation Wednesday over unanimous Republican opposition, advancing to the Senate what would be the largest overhaul of the U.S. election law in at least a generation. House Resolution 1, which touches on virtually every aspect of the electoral process, was approved on a near party-line 220-210 vote. It would restrict partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts, strike down hurdles to voting and bring transparency to a murky campaign finance system that allows wealthy donors to anonymously bankroll political causes.
Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya expects mass protests against veteran President Alexander Lukashenko to start up again in the spring and to be more organised than last year. Speaking to Reuters on a visit to Finland, Tsikhanouskaya said a majority of Belarusians still thought Lukashenko should step down and they had spent the winter getting organised. "The chair under Lukashenko is shaking," she said.
- 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
India spinners claimed eight more England wickets as the visitors were bowled out for 205 on the first day of the fourth and final test on Thursday. India was 24-1 at stumps, and on course to win the series 3-1. England opted to bat first on another dry pitch at Narendra Modi Stadium, where India won the third test inside two days.
The actor who plays Migs Mayfield on the show said "it's f---ing crazy times" in regards to cancel culture.