Nearly a year after most schools shut down due to the pandemic, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie sees an opening for the Republican Party.School unions on the defensive »
Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he's concerned Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's plan to establish a commission to investigate the U.S. Capitol attack would be overly “partisan.” Speaking on the Senate floor Wednesday afternoon, McConnell noted Pelosi's proposal was criticized by the leaders of the bipartisan 9/11 Commission it was supposedly modeled after because it would feature seven members appointed by Democrats and four appointed by Republicans. McConnell began by saying he has spoken out against the assault that took place on Jan. 6 when supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol in an effort to block the certification of President Biden's election victory.
Texas senator Ted Cruz has been filmed scrolling through his phone during the harrowing opening testimony at the Senate hearing into the Capitol riots, less than a week after his controversial trip to Mexico. The US Capitol's three former top security officials have been testifying on Tuesday before the Senate Homeland Security and Rules committees about how Congress was breached during the riots on 6 January. Steven Sund, who was serving as the chief of the Capitol Police at the time of the insurrection, gave a harrowing account of the actions of that day in front of the committees on Tuesday.
An Iran-aligned Iraqi militia group on Tuesday denied any role in recent rocket attacks against U.S. targets in Iraq, but said an attack against Saudi Arabia last month was justified. It is a rare direct denial and the first time the Kataib Hezbollah group, one of the Iraqi factions closest to Iran, has commented on the most serious incident this year, a rocket attack in Erbil on Feb. 15 that killed a contractor working with U.S.-led forces. The attacks over the past 10 days are an escalation against U.S. sites in Iraq at a time when Washington and Tehran are looking for a way to return to the nuclear deal abandoned by former U.S. President Donald Trump.
Former Nissan Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa told a Japanese court Wednesday he believed the compensation for his predecessor Carlos Ghosn was too low “by international standards,” and so he supported Ghosn's retirement packages to prevent him from leaving. “Mr. Ghosn had outstanding abilities and achievements,” Saikawa said, testifying in Tokyo District Court in the criminal trial of Greg Kelly, a former senior executive at Nissan Motor Co. “We needed to prepare for Mr. Ghosn's eventual retirement to keep him motivated and to have him continue to work for Nissan,” he said in answer to a prosecutor's questioning.
China's Communist Party wields much, if not all, of the political power in Hong Kong, having chipped away at the “one country, two systems” model meant to guarantee the former British colony's unique freedoms after being returned to mainland rule. Four elected opposition lawmakers were ousted last year and those remaining resigned in protest, further skewing the city legislature toward Beijing loyalists. Outsized political influence has allowed Beijing the ability to exercise its will over Hong Kong, often thinly disguising it as 'process' – for instance, passing a law last June through city legislature making it illegal to insult the Chinese national anthem.
Neera Tanden, Joe Biden's nominee to head the Office of Management and Budget, previously criticised Democratic Senator Joe Manchin's daughter, a slight that might factor into whether or not she is confirmed for the position. Ms Tanden tweeted an image of an article about Mr Manchin's daughter, Heather Bresch, taking aim at a significant increase in her pay while she was CEO of Mylan. In the tweet, Ms Tanden pointed out that the company's board was justifying the pay raise by saying Ms Bresch had "contributed significantly to the company's growth in recent years".
Bulgaria's health minister has accused AstraZeneca of failing to stick to its delivery schedule of COVID-19 vaccines to the country and demanded the immediate shipment of at least 52,800 doses that were postponed to March 1. In a sharply worded letter, Health Minister Kostadin Angelov said AstraZeneca's failure to comply with the agreed deliveries was compromising the massive vaccination campaign the Balkan country launched last week. The health ministry spokesman confirmed the authenticity of the letter, which was published on the website of Bulgaria's NOVA television on Wednesday.
Visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has proclaimed his Muslim-majority nation a choice destination for religious tourism by Sri Lankans, most of whom are Buddhists. In talks with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Wednesday, Khan highlighted Buddhist heritage sites in Pakistan and stressed the building of cultural ties, the Pakistan Embassy said in a statement. “Pakistan probably has one of the greatest Buddhist heritages in the world and we invite people from Sri Lanka to visit them,” Khan said a day earlier after meeting with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Police officers shown on body camera video holding Daniel Prude down naked and handcuffed on a Rochester, N.Y., street last winter until he stopped breathing will not face criminal charges, according to a grand jury decision announced Tuesday.
In a two-page memo addressed to GOP donors, voters, leaders, and activists, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) declared: "The Republican Civil War is now canceled." It isn't clear if his fellow Republicans, including former President Donald Trump, are listening. Scott is chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and in the memo, first obtained by Fox News, he writes that Democrats control the White House, Senate, and House, but Republicans have a path to victory in 2022.
Bernie Sanders's approval rating is currently higher than both Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, according to a new poll. The ratings come as the senator calls for a $15 (£11) minimum wage to be included as part of the $1.9 trillion (£1.2 trillion) coronavirus stimulus passing through Congress this week. Mr Sanders had a net favourability rating of 10 points among survey respondents, according to the poll released on Tuesday by The Economist/YouGov while the US president had a net favourability rating of 8 points, and the vice president 5 points.
The United States' patience with Iran on returning to discussions over the 2015 nuclear deal is "not unlimited," State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Wednesday. Iran has not formally responded to a U.S. offer last week to talk with Iran in a joint meeting with the countries that negotiated the deal. Asked at a news briefing whether there was an expiration date on the offer, Price said Iran's moves away from compliance with the 2015 agreement's restrictions on its nuclear activities made the issue an "urgent challenge" for the United States.
The U.N. refugee agency said the Indian coast guard had answered its plea to look for a boat carrying Rohingya refugees believed to be adrift in the Andaman Sea without food and water for several days. The boat was believed to have left Bangladesh two weeks ago and then broken down at sea, with the U.N. and rights groups reporting many of the about 90 refugees on board now suffering acute dehydration. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said Wednesday it does not know the boat's exact current location.
Israel is to donate nearly 100,000 surplus doses of Covid-19 vaccine to nearly 20 countries, apparently as a reward for diplomatic support in its ongoing bid to have Jerusalem recognised as its capital by the international community. The Czech Republic, Guatemala, Honduras and Hungary — which have either opened diplomatic missions in Jerusalem or pledged to do so — are reportedly soon to receive up to 5,000 doses each from Israel's excess stock of the Moderna vaccine. Israel's government regards all of Jerusalem as its capital.
India renamed the world's largest cricket stadium after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, a move that drew immediate praise and criticism. The name change to the Narendra Modi Stadium was unveiled at the 132,000-seat venue formerly known as Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad, in the western state of Gujarat, where India are playing England in the third match of a four-game test series. A gifted orator and consummate populist, Modi is by far the most popular and recognisable politician in India, and won a second term in power with an increased majority for the nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2019.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived in Sri Lanka on Tuesday as Muslims protested near the president's office demanding that the government allow people who die of COVID-19 to be buried instead of cremated. Sri Lankan Muslims hope Khan will take up the burial issue when he meets his counterparts on Tuesday and Wednesday. Khan is to meet with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his older brother, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, during his two-day visit.
Republicans rallied solidly Wednesday against Democrats' proposed $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill as lawmakers awaited a decision by the Senate's parliamentarian that could bolster or potentially kill a pivotal provision hiking the federal minimum wage. Despite their paper-thin congressional majorities, Democratic leaders were poised to push the sweeping package through the House on Friday. GOP leaders were honing attacks on the package as a job killer that does too little to reopen schools or businesses shuttered for the pandemic and that was not only wasteful but also even unscrupulous.
Israel said on Tuesday it was giving small amounts of surplus COVID-19 vaccines to Palestinian-run territories as well as to several countries. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not name which countries in a statement announcing the move. But the government of Guatemala - which opened its Israel embassy in Jerusalem last year - said it was expecting to receive 5,000 doses from Israel on Thursday.
The Senate Homeland Security Committee is postponing a confirmation hearing scheduled Wednesday for Neera Tanden, Axios has learned, a potential death knell for President Biden's nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget. The latest: Asked Wednesday afternoon whether Tanden has offered to withdraw her nomination, Psaki told reporters, "That's not the stage we're in." Why it matters: Tanden's nomination was already in peril after several senators voiced their opposition.
The Biden administration is moving slowly but surely toward reengaging with the Palestinians after a near total absence of official contact during former President Donald Trump's four years in office. As American officials plan steps to restore direct ties with the Palestinian leadership, Biden's national security team is taking steps to restore relations that had been severed while Trump pursued a Mideast policy focused largely around Israel, America's closest partner in the region. On Tuesday, for the second time in two days, Biden's administration categorically embraced a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, something that Trump had been purposefully vague about while slashing aid to the Palestinians and taking steps to support Israel's claims to land that the Palestinians want for an independent state.
China hit back on Wednesday at growing criticism by Western powers of its treatment of ethnic minorities in the regions of Xinjiang and Tibet and of citizens in the former British colony of Hong Kong. Hours earlier, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in a wide-ranging speech to the U.N. Human Rights Council, said that the Biden administration would denounce atrocities in Xinjiang. "At this high-level segment, the U.K., EU, Germany, USA, Canada, and some other countries abused this forum of the Council to make groundless charges against China, to interfere in internal affairs of our country.
The six-story Executive Residence building is the White House's largest, consisting of two basement levels, a ground floor where building staff work, a state floor for events and receptions, and two floors where the first family lives and sleeps.
ABUJA, Nigeria—The seven personnel of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) who died in a fatal plane crash in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, on Sunday were close to discovering the location of dozens of students abducted by gunmen from their school in north-central Nigeria last week, two senior military sources told The Daily Beast. The crew—led by Flight Lieutenant Haruna Gadzama, the aircraft captain, and Flight Lieutenant Henry Piyo, the co-pilot—had been in Minna, the capital of Nigeria's north-central Niger state, for days conducting intelligence-gathering missions in connection with concerted efforts to secure the release of 42 people, including 27 students.
Mike Lindell, a loyal ally to former President Donald Trump who has continued to promote flagrantly false and debunked claims of rampant voter fraud, lamented over his financial predicament in a new interview after he was sued on Monday for $1.3 billion by Dominion Voting Systems. “I lost 20 retailers, and it's cost me $65 million this year that I won't get back, OK?” Mr Lindell told Insider after it was reported the voting technology company sued him for repeatedly making false claims about its work in the 2020 US elections. The seemingly frustrated CEO of MyPillow.com became close to Mr Trump towards the end of his presidency, bringing notes that mentioned martial law to his meetings in the White House in the final weeks of the previous administration.
“How about we skip ‘he won’t win’ cycle and not do 2016 all over again. Trump can absolutely win another presidential election.”
“With independents deserting him, there is simply no path for Trump to get back into the White House — except as a tourist.”
“They might as well cancel the 2024 primaries...because there is no way he can lose.”
“The next Republican presidential primary will be heavily shaped by Trump — whether or not he decides to run again.”
“Donald Trump will not be running for president again. He will, however, continue to tease the possibility of a 2024 run.”