The Senate was poised to press forward on the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill after a compromise deal was struck on unemployment benefits, breaking an hours-long impasse.Prospects for a final Senate vote »
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, rescinded his statewide mask order on Wednesday and lifted all COVID-19 restrictions on businesses, declaring, “It is now time to open Texas 100 percent. While Texas, like most U.S. states, had seen the number of new COVID cases fall dramatically from the highs reached in January, in the last week it has gone in the opposite direction, with new cases rising again by 27 percent. Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, also a Republican, issued a similar order on Wednesday.
Federal investigators are reviewing records of communications between members of Congress and the rioters who attacked the US Capitol, reports say. Their probe will look at whether lawmakers knowingly or unknowingly helped the pro-Trump mob who tried to prevent the certification of Joe Biden's election win, officials told CNN. Phone data has indicated both communications between riot suspects and lawmakers on and around 6 January, as well as communications between rioters discussing their connections with members of Congress, the official said.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Friday blasted the Senate parliamentarian who ruled that raising the minimum wage couldn't be included in Democrats' COVID-19 relief package, as he introduced an amendment looking to do exactly that. The Vermont senator introduced an amendment to the COVID-19 relief bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour over five years, despite Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough previously ruling the increase couldn't be included under budget reconciliation. "Because of an unfortunate and, in my view, misguided decision by the parliamentarian, this reconciliation bill does not include an increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour," Sanders said.
President Joe Biden on Friday rounded out his White House staff with a top adviser who has advocated for breaking up Big Tech companies along with a host of new appointments focused on COVID-19, criminal justice and the U.S. economy. The White House announced six additional staffers to its National Economic Council, including Columbia University professor Tim Wu, who coined the term "net neutrality" and has warned against an economy dominated by a few giant firms. Wu in 2018 authored a book called "The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age" in which he wrote about the inequalities created by extreme economic concentration.
Footage of a brutal crackdown on protests against a coup in Myanmar unleashed outrage and calls for a stronger international response Thursday, a day after 38 people were killed. Videos showed security forces shooting a person at point-blank range and chasing down and savagely beating demonstrators. Despite the shocking violence the day before, protesters returned to the streets Thursday to denounce the military's Feb. 1 takeover — and were met again with tear gas.
Wall Street ended sharply lower on Thursday, leaving the Nasdaq down nearly 10% from its February record high, after remarks from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell disappointed investors worried about rising longer-term U.S. bond yields. A decline of 10% from its February record high would confirm the Nasdaq is in a correction. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield spiked to 1.533% after Powell's comments, which did not point to changes in the Fed's asset purchases to tackle the recent jump in yields.
The new president had taken questions 39 times, according to Kumar's research, though usually just one or two shouted inquiries from a group of reporters known as the press pool at the end of an event in the White House's State Dining Room or Oval Office. Those exchanges can at times be clunky, with the cacophony of shouts or the whir of the blades of the presidential helicopter idling on the South Lawn making it difficult to have a meaningful exchange. Press conferences are critical to informing the American people and holding an administration accountable to the public,” said Associated Press reporter Zeke Miller, president of the White House Correspondents' Association.
Lord Patten of Barnes last night warned that China's Communist Party had taken its most significant step yet towards tearing up the Sino-British Joint Declaration on Hong Kong after Beijing announced an overhaul of the city's electoral system. China on Friday moved to bar pro-democracy candidates from standing for election in Hong Kong and hinted at expanding the legislative to include more Beijing-appointed members. China's communist parliament has taken the biggest step so far to obliterate Hong Kong's freedoms and aspirations for greater democracy under the rule of law," said Lord Patten, the last colonial governor of Hong Kong.
Former President Donald Trump intensified his war with the Republican establishment on Thursday by attacking Karl Rove, a longtime Republican strategist who criticized Trump's first speech since leaving office for being long on grievances but short on vision.
Rwanda began its COVID-19 vaccine campaign on Friday, becoming the first nation in Africa to use pharmaceutical company Pfizer's doses that require ultra-cold storage. Authorities began transporting Pfizer and AstraZeneca shots round the hilly nation of 12 million people after they arrived earlier this week, using helicopters to reach far-flung parts. "This means that I will die when God wants because the coronavirus cannot kill me now," 90-year-old Stephanie Nyirankuriza said, leaning on a walking stick after her shot at a health centre just east of the capital Kigali.
Israel, Denmark and Austria agreed on Thursday to join forces in the fight against COVID-19 with an investment in research and roll-out of vaccines to protect people against new surges and mutations of the coronavirus. The leaders of the three countries said their alliance will set up a foundation and vaccine distribution plants in Europe and Israel, based on Israel's world-leading inoculation drive. “We think that by joining the resources of three small but very able and gifted countries, we can better meet these challenges,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
Quality food preservation, storage space, and good-looking design are priorities among kitchen designers when it comes to refrigerators Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
Federico Klein, a former State Department aide who worked on former President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, was arrested Thursday on charges related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, the FBI announced Thursday night. This is the first known instance of a Trump appointee facing prosecution in connection with the attack, Politico reports. An FBI Washington Field Office spokeswoman told Politico that Klein, 42, was taken into custody in Virginia, but did not release any information on the charges against him.
The Biden administration secretly put temporary limits on the use of drone strikes and commando raids outside of traditional battlefield settings like Afghanistan or Syria, part of a larger national security review of whether to alter use of force rules from the Trump administration. The changes, which the administration put in place on Mr Biden's first day in office, were first reported on Wednesday by the New York Times, and come as the Biden administration recalibrates the sprawling US footprint across the Middle East, and Congress pushes to rein in the president's war-fighting powers and scrutinises a recent strike in Syria.
Just over a half of Pakistan's health workers have received a COVID-19 shot since inoculations began last month, while a poll released on Friday suggested nearly half had concerns over China's Sinopharm, the only vaccine available so far. Pakistan had distributed 504,400 Sinopharm vaccine doses to provincial authorities by Feb. 20, and 230,000 frontline health workers had received a shot by Friday, according to health minister Faisal Sultan. In January, Sultan said 400,000 health workers had been registered to get the vaccine.
The United States accused Syrian President Bashar Assad and his close ally Russia on Thursday of trying to block all efforts to hold Damascus accountable for using chemical weapons during attacks on civilians. U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the U.N. Security Council that “the Assad regime has tried to avoid accountability by obstructing independent investigations and undermining the role and work of the OPCW,” the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons which is the international chemical weapons watchdog.
On the campaign trail, Joe Biden made sweeping promises to reform US immigration, vowing to "take urgent action" and undo the policies of Donald Trump. "We're not saying 'don't come,'" Mr Biden's top homeland security official Alejandro Mayorkas said this week. Here's a look at what Mr Biden has - and hasn't - done so far, and how it differs from Mr Trump.
The U.S. State Department on Friday said it designated former Ukrainian public official Igor Kolomoisky as ineligible to enter the United States, accusing him of involvement in significant corruption during his time in office. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a statement accused Kolomoisky, once the governor of the province of Dnipropetrovsk, close to the border with Russia, of using his office as a governor for personal benefit. "While this designation is based on acts during his time in office, I also want to express concern about Kolomoyskyy's current and ongoing efforts to undermine Ukraine's democratic processes and institutions, which pose a serious threat to its future," Blinken said, using another spelling of the Ukrainian's name.
President Jair Bolsonaro has told Brazilians to “stop whining” about Covid-19, and criticised measures to curb the virus as cities impose their own restrictions in the face of record new cases. The comments come as Brazil faces its worst phase of the pandemic yet while the country's health system is on the “verge of collapse.” On Thursday, Brazil saw its second-highest daily raise in cases on record, with a further 75,102 cases of coronavirus recorded.
Shalanda Young, President Joe Biden's nominee to be his deputy budget director who has emerged as the top contender for budget director after the nomination of Neera Tanden was withdrawn, won praise from Republican lawmakers on Thursday for her ability to work across the political aisle. "These days wide bipartisan support is rare, but when Senators Graham, Leahy, Sanders and Shelby agree, either we're in a some sort of weird space-time continuum or the nominee is exceptionally capable," said Republican Senator Bill Cassidy, referring to fellow Republicans Lindsey Graham and Richard Shelby and Democrats Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sander. "Ms.
Starship is a rocket and spacecraft combination that could ferry more than 100 people a time to the Red Planet. The system is designed to be fully reusable, meaning the principal hardware elements are not discarded in the sea or allowed to burn up, as happens with some other launch systems, but are instead recovered from space. They can then be refurbished and flown again, reducing the cost of the whole enterprise.
Britain's decision to make unilateral changes to Northern Irish Brexit arrangements is "not the appropriate behaviour of a respectable country" and will erode trust with the European Union, senior Irish ministers said on Thursday. The EU promised legal action on Wednesday after the British government unilaterally extended a grace period for checks on food imports to Northern Ireland, a move Brussels said violated terms of Britain's divorce deal. "For the second time in the course of a few months, the British government has threatened to breach international law," Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar told Virgin Media television, referring to a similar unilateral move last year that London even...
The group took aim at Mr Cruz after he voted against the congressional certification of the electoral college votes despite the ransacking of the Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters on 6 January. In a 17 January statement, the group said that “Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley deserve the most blame for firing up the violent mob of Trump supporters that attacked the U.S Capitol and killed five people”. On the fundraising page for the billboard campaign, the group adds that “rioters who broke into the Senate were quoted as saying Cruz 'would want us to do this.
The Biden administration did not sanction Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed over the 2018 murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Saudi critics Omar Abdulaziz and Iyad el-Baghdadi said this emboldens MBS to continue his crackdown. "I am actually less safe now than I was before," el-Baghdadi told The Guardian.
“Taking humans to Mars would require an investment astronomically out of kilter with the possible benefits.”
“Can a Mars settlement be a freer society than we enjoy on Earth? Maybe.”
“What we learn...may spark the next revolution that will make life in 2071 beyond anything we can imagine right now.”
“Our presence on Mars could jeopardize one of our main reasons for being there — the search for life.”
“The future of geologic investigation of other worlds lies with highly improved versions of our Mars rovers.”