Confusing information, an overloaded hotline and website issues leave New Jersey residents in the dark about vaccinations.
- Raleigh News and Observer
Hurricanes, Panthers had a chippy third period Saturday as the Central Division teams battled it out for the two points.
- The Independent
The president returned to some of his favourite debunked theories about the election, and much more
- LA Times
Veteran left-hander Mike Kickham, a non-roster invite, threw two scoreless innings in the Dodgers' 2-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics.
- Business Insider
Trump's supporters boo Mitch McConnell despite his saying he'd 'absolutely' support the former president in 2024
Former President Donald Trump took credit for Mitch McConnell's reelection but prompted a round of jeers and boos from his supporters.
- Associated Press
A senior executive for Chinese communications giant Huawei Technologies was returning to a Canadian courtroom Monday to begin a series of hearings in which her lawyers will argue her extradition to the U.S. should be halted because her rights have been violated. Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei’s founder and the company’s chief financial officer, at Vancouver’s airport in late 2018. It says Meng, 49, committed fraud by misleading the HSBC bank about the company’s business dealings in Iran.
- Raleigh News and Observer
The majority of North Carolina high school students failed state end-of-course exams in the fall semester.
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.
- Associated Press
The United States wasted billions of dollars in war-torn Afghanistan on buildings and vehicles that were either abandoned or destroyed, according to a report released Monday by a U.S. government watchdog. The agency said it reviewed $7.8 billion spent since 2008 on buildings and vehicles. Only $343.2 million worth of buildings and vehicles “were maintained in good condition,” said the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR, which oversees American taxpayer money spent on the protracted conflict.
- The Daily Beast
GettyPresident Biden’s Afghanistan negotiator has begun a diplomatic trip that will include the first meeting of the new administration with the Taliban, sources familiar confirmed to The Daily Beast.The State Department did not immediately provide comment on the agenda Zalmay Khalilzad is bringing to the Taliban, which belatedly resumed peace talks with the U.S. client Afghan government last week. Khalilzad will first travel to Kabul for meetings with an Afghanistan government whose viability in a post-American Afghanistan is an open question. He’ll also visit other crucial regional capitals.Khalilzad “will resume discussions on the way ahead with the Islamic Republic and Afghan leaders, Taliban representatives, and regional countries whose interests are best served by the achievement of a just and durable political settlement and permanent and comprehensive ceasefire,” a State Department official said.Khalilzad, who has been an Afghanistan envoy for three different presidents, arrives in the region at a pivotal time. Two months remain before the Doha Accord, the deal Khalilzad negotiated with the Taliban last year, requires a full U.S. troop withdrawal. There is enormous international speculation over whether Biden will abide by a deal that extricates the U.S. from a 20-year war it will not admit it has lost.She Helped Escalate an Endless War. Will She End It?“I find that leaving right now is more compelling than it’s ever been in the past,” said Carter Malkasian, who has advised the U.S. military in Afghanistan for more than a decade.Almost immediately upon entering office, Biden placed the Afghanistan deal, struck by the Trump administration, under review. It represents the first critical foreign-policy decision of his presidency. While the review is reportedly nearing its terminal phase, sources familiar with it or close to the administration have said nothing – only that it is not completed, a course of action has not been decided, and they consider the process rigorous.Biden, an opponent of escalation in Afghanistan when he was Barack Obama’s vice president, is under significant elite pressure to forestall a pullout stipulated for May 1. Both Democratic foreign-policy eminances and prestige think-tank panels have urged a delay. “Keeping U.S. troops beyond May while sustaining Doha is possible,” argued Lisa Curtis.Curtis was the senior Afghanistan official on Trump’s National Security Council. She’s a critic of what she calls the “flawed peace deal” Khalilzad negotiated at Trump’s behest, as the obligations it places on the United States—the withdrawal—are more specific than for the Taliban, which is supposed to stop Afghanistan from being a staging ground for international terrorism and enter a dialogue with the Afghanistan government to resolve the country’s political future. Negotiators like Khalilzad should “emphasize [Doha’s] sections on a comprehensive ceasefire and political roadmap,” Curtis said.But delaying the pullout risks blowing up the only diplomatic way out of Afghanistan. “If Biden tears up the agreement, he will own the consequences, and the consequences will not be good,” said Christopher Kolenda, a retired Army colonel who in 2017 and 2018 conducted preparatory diplomacy with the Taliban in Doha.Curtis, Kolenda and all other Afghanistan observers agree on a basic fact, if not its implications. The Taliban, which kept up attacks on Afghan forces after signing the U.S. accord, have put themselves in place for a massive offensive that the U.S., its allies and the Afghanistan government may not be able to repel. Earlier this month, The New York Times reported that the Taliban have closed in on several of Afghanistan’s major cities and control the vital roads to many of them. Whatever Doha envisioned for a Taliban-Afghanistan government path to reconciliation, this is not that. The Taliban, having functionally defeated the U.S. at war, now appear on the horizon of outright victory.“They’re in position for a major offensive. That offensive will include mass-casualty attacks on Americans if we miss the deadline,” said Barnett Rubin, another longtime Afghanistan adviser to the U.S. and the United Nations. “They might be prepared to extend, but if we unilaterally say we’re not satisfied with you so we’re not leaving, that’s what they’ll do. And the muscle memory of the U.S. government is to do that.”Kolenda and other longtime Afghanistan observers argue that attempting to defer the pullout will have precisely the violent effect that Curtis and her side argues will follow the pullout. The Taliban, they argue, would likely see that the U.S. cannot be trusted to keep its word—friction between Washington and Kabul in 2012 doomed an earlier peace process in its infancy—ending any hope of a negotiated end to the war, to say nothing of a secure departure for the remaining U.S. troop presence.“If you’re the Biden administration, would you rather depart as agreed in a safe, orderly manner while leaning into a peace process, or would you prefer the optics of C-17s screaming out of Bagram on the heels of a Taliban offensive like Saigon 1975?” Kolenda said. “I don’t hear the stay-forever crowd talking about the possibility of a humiliating exit.”Curtis acknowledged that the Taliban abandoning diplomacy and attacking U.S. troops again “is a risk.” But, she said, “What is our goal and our objective? We don’t want a terrorist safe haven to reemerge. It’s not just covering us for a safe exit.”Malkasian, more than most, has spent many years attempting to prevent the reemergence of such a safe haven. He sees the risk of a subsequent terrorist attack launched from Afghanistan soil as a “bearable” one— something now grimly proven by COVID-19. “For a good number of days in the winter, we were losing more people per day than we lost on 9/11,” he said. “That means leaving is a viable strategy.”While the review is closely held, the early indications out of the Biden administration and its allies have not suggested an intention to stick with the scheduled pullout.On February 12, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said among the issues the review will examine are “whether the Taliban are fulfilling their commitments relating to counterterrorism, reducing violence, engaging in meaningful negotiations with the Afghan Government and other stakeholders.” On February 19, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, after meeting with NATO allies, said he sought a “responsible and sustainable end to this war” rather than emphasizing the deal currently in place. This past week, Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), the Democratic chairman of the armed-services committee and a crucial White House ally, advocated for delaying withdrawal. A source described as familiar with the review told Vox that a full withdrawal is “off the table.”“I think the steps the president has taken, in terms of hinting that we might not pull the rest of our troops out on the 1st of May, is exactly right,” Bob Gates, the former Obama and George W. Bush defense secretary, told The Washington Post on Friday. “We may be in a position where we have to tell ourselves we will have an ongoing presence in Afghanistan for some period of time.”Rubin believes there is a way to sell the Taliban on a one-time troop extension of six months—something he acknowledges could backfire, but something he considers possible owing to the six-month delay between the February accord and the September commencement of pivotal Taliban-Afghan government negotiations, which have proceeded haltingly.The Taliban still want things from the U.S.-led coalition, Rubin pointed out, such as additional prisoner releases and the removal of sanctions placed on it not only by Washington but by the United Nations. Additionally, the administration can take advantage of recently energetic regional diplomacy, particularly by Russia, to accelerate the peace process. Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, pledged a “robust and regional diplomatic effort” in a call last month to his Afghan counterpart, but it has yet to publicly manifest.“If one tries to extend the timeline, it should be cast as ‘we’re fully intending to leave Afghanistan, we have this agreement, we want to see it’s fully met, and then we’re returning to a timeline for us to fully leave,’” urged Malkasian. “There is no peace in Afghanistan as long as we stay. We are a driver of violence. The Taliban is able to cast us as an occupying power and it drives them to fight us. That doesn’t mean all Afghans, it’s just enough to get a critical mass to fight. If we want a peace agreement, we have to be willing to leave Afghanistan.”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.
Minneapolis approved funding to hire social media influencers to spread information about ex cop Derek Chauvin's trial
Minneapolis is hiring social media influencers to spread information about the trial of the cop, Derek Chauvin, who knelt on George Floyd's neck.
- The Telegraph
European Commission raises hopes of coronavirus vaccine passports to ease travel for work and tourism
European Union plans for a coronavirus vaccine passport could be opened up to British tourists and other non-EU holidaymakers, Brussels said on Monday.. Ursula von der Leyen said the EU-wide “Digital Green Pass” would be proposed this month and that it could be a first step towards a virus passport for travel from outside the bloc. "The Digital Green Pass should facilitate Europeans‘ lives. The aim is to gradually enable them to move safely in the EU or abroad - for work or tourism,” the European Commission president said. The chief spokesman for the European Commission said the process would be done "step by step". “We work on a European solution now, this is where we start and then anything else would need to come after,” he said. "We’re of the view that in collaboration with the World Health Organisation there should be a way to scale this up globally." The UK said it was looking into the idea. “The Department for Transport will work and speak to countries across the world in terms of how they may look to introduce passports," the Prime Minister’s spokesman said in London. The Green Pass will include information such as whether the carrier has ever had coronavirus, been tested or vaccinated and is aimed at “facilitating safe free movement in the European Union.” The legislation will be put forward on March 17. Spanish Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto said that work should be speeded up to save the summer season and enable safe travel from the UK. “It is important to have the tools ready to start mobility and make Europe a safe travel destination again as soon as the virus incidence data allows for this,” Ms Maroto said at a meeting of EU tourism ministers in Lisbon.
- Business Insider
Goya Foods CEO said Trump is 'the still actual president' and doubled down on false election claims at CPAC
Goya Foods CEO Robert Unanue said Donald Trump is "the real, the legitimate, and the still actual president of the United States."
The trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin over the killing of George Floyd is set to begin in just one week, and tension is palpable in many parts of the city.What's happening: Barbed-wire fences, concrete barriers and plywood are fortifying city buildings and private towers downtown, as officials prepare for the possibility of large crowds and civil unrest.Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for freeThousands of National Guard troops and law enforcement officers will be on hand to help with security.Businesses are grappling with whether to board up or stay open.Protesters are vowing to show up downtown to demand justice and more police accountability.And organizers at 38th and Chicago are planning to create "space for grief, love and community-building" at the site of George Floyd's killing.What you're saying: "Way more on edge than normal." "Anxious about civil unrest." "Very concerned that police/security presence will escalate the situation again." "Scared that justice won’t be served, but determined and ready to stand with my neighbors and raise my voice."What's next: City staff will hold another briefing at 10 a.m. Monday to go over plans ahead of the March 8 start of jury selection. Watch here.The Minnesota Court of Appeals, meanwhile, will hear oral arguments in the prosecution's request to reinstate third-degree murder charges ahead of the trial.What you can do: Cassie Sawyer, a Twin Cities therapist who specializes in race-based trauma, has seen an influx in clients since May.She recommends leaning on community, especially "people you feel safe with and that you trust," moving your body through walking, dancing or art, and tapping into spirituality or ancestral wisdom.Sawyer's practice, Root to Crown Healing & Wellness, offers reduced rates to Black, Indigenous and people of color clients who suffer financial hardship.Go deeper: Torey's dispatch from downtown in Axios Today.This story first appeared in the Axios Twin Cities newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.Sign up here.More from Axios: Sign up to get the latest market trends with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free
- Associated Press
Police in Sri Lanka said Monday they have arrested two people in connection with the death of a 9-year-old girl who was repeatedly beaten during a ritual they believed would drive away an evil spirit. The two suspects — the woman performing the exorcism and the girl's mother — appeared in court on Monday to hear charges over the girl's death, which occurred over the weekend in Delgoda, a small town about 40 kilometers (25 miles) northeast of the capital, Colombo. According to police spokesperson Ajith Rohana, the mother believed her daughter had been possessed by a demon and took her to the home of the exorcist so a ritual could be performed to drive the spirit away.
'The Walking Dead' showrunner says the show's new villains were originally part of the plan for season 11
Angela Kang tells Insider the reapers were supposed to be introduced on season 11. The pandemic changed that.
- LA Times
The hosts returned to the ceremony with a set that took on the controversy around the group's lack of Black members and poked fun at the awards' film/TV divide.
- 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.
- Associated Press
China appears to be moving faster toward a capability to launch its newer nuclear missiles from underground silos, possibly to improve its ability to respond promptly to a nuclear attack, according to an American expert who analyzed satellite images of recent construction at a missile training area. Hans Kristensen, a longtime watcher of U.S., Russian and Chinese nuclear forces, said the imagery suggests that China is seeking to counter what it may view as a growing threat from the United States. The U.S. in recent years has pointed to China's nuclear modernization as a key justification for investing hundreds of billions of dollars in the coming two decades to build an all-new U.S. nuclear arsenal.
At the 2021 Golden Globe Awards, stars attended in their finest red-carpet attire, from Cinderella-like gowns to couture blazers and dresses.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took the stage at the world's largest energy conference in 2019 to declare an age of U.S. dominance after a decade of rapid shale development made the United States the world's top oil and gas producer. Two years later, the oil industry is recovering from the worst recession it has ever experienced after measures to contain coronavirus stopped billions of people from traveling and wiped out one-fifth of worldwide demand for fuel. The U.S. fossil fuel industry is still reeling after tens of thousands of jobs were lost.