A group of high school students from Manhattan spent their February break helping to renovate a house for Habitat for Humanity on Long Island.
- The Independent
Lauren Boebert: Congresswoman linked to QAnon attacks Democrats for being ‘obsessed with conspiracies’
Freshman Republican complains: ‘Judge Jeanine, this is complete bonkers that we are keeping people out the United States Capitol’
- Business Insider
US officials believe Russia launched a disinformation campaign against the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to boost the status of its own: Report
US intelligence officials believe this effort to undermine the Pfizer vaccine is a way to bolster the status of Russia's vaccine.
- Business Insider
A Trump appointee who was arrested after participating in the Capitol riot asked a judge if he could be transferred to a cell with no cockroaches
Federico Klein is believed to the first Trump appointee arrested in connection with the Capitol riot.
Kim Kardashian will reportedly stay in family's $60 million mansion as part of divorce from Kanye West
Kim Kardashian West will stay in the minimalist, beige-filled Hidden Hills, California, home she and Kanye West bought in 2014, TMZ reported.
- Business Insider
Trump said he would travel the 5,000 miles from Mar-a-Lago to Alaska to bury the political career of GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski in revenge for her impeachment vote
Trump promised to back any 2022 challenger to the senator. Murkowski called on him to resign after the January 6 Capitol riot.
'Lesson fully received': An 18-year-old charged in the Capitol riot says he was 'wrong' and begged a judge to release him
A Georgia teenager who boasted on Instagram about storming the Capitol in January begged a federal judge to release him ahead of his trial.
Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham have been together for nearly 35 years. Here's a timeline of their relationship.
Winfrey has said if she'd married Graham, their relationship would not have lasted.
An Israeli-Canadian lobbyist hired by Myanmar's junta said on Saturday that the generals are keen to leave politics after their coup and seek to improve relations with the United States and distance themselves from China. Ari Ben-Menashe, a former Israeli military intelligence official who has previously represented Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe and Sudan's military rulers, said Myanmar's generals also want to repatriate Rohingya Muslims who fled to neighboring Bangladesh. The United Nations says more than 50 demonstrators have been killed since the Feb. 1 coup when the military overthrew and detained elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, whose National League for Democracy party won polls in November by a landslide.
NHS England has invited people aged 56 to 59 to book COVID-19 vaccinations in the coming week, with letters to 850,000 people in that age bracket landing on doorsteps from Saturday and another 850,000 due to land Monday. "The latest invites have been sent after more than eight in 10 people aged 65 to 69 took up the offer of a jab", the National Health Service said in an emailed statement on Sunday. "NHS staff have vaccinated more than 18 million people across England, meaning more than one third of the adult population have already received the life-saving jab."
- LA Times
Less than two weeks after a sweeping Times investigation that sparked an outcry, the HFPA has announced it is undertaking significant reforms and reviewing its practices.
- The New York Times
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden ran for the White House as an apostle of bipartisanship, but the bitter fight over the $1.9 trillion pandemic measure that squeaked through the Senate Saturday made clear that the differences between the two warring parties were too wide to be bridged by Biden’s good intentions. Not a single Republican in Congress voted for the rescue package now headed for final approval in the House and a signature from Biden, as they angrily denounced the legislation and the way in which it was assembled. Other marquee Democratic measures to protect and expand voting rights, tackle police bias and misconduct and more are also drawing scant to zero Republican backing. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times The supposed honeymoon period of a new president would typically provide a moment for lawmakers to come together, particularly as the nation enters its second year of a crushing health and economic crisis. Instead, the tense showdown over the stimulus legislation showed that lawmakers were pulling apart, and poised for more ugly clashes ahead. Biden, a six-term veteran of the Senate, had trumpeted his deep Capitol Hill experience as one of his top selling points, telling voters that he was the singular man able to unite the fractious Congress and even come to terms with his old bargaining partner, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the minority leader. But congressional Democrats, highly familiar with McConnell’s tactics, held no such illusions. Now, they worry that voters would punish them more harshly in the 2022 midterm elections for failing to take advantage of their power to enact sweeping policy changes than for failing to work with Republicans and strike bipartisan deals. Congressional Democrats want far more than Republicans are willing to accept. Anticipating the Republican recalcitrance to come, Democrats are increasingly coalescing around the idea of weakening or destroying the filibuster to deny Republicans their best weapon for thwarting the Democratic agenda. Democrats believe their control of the House, Senate and White House entitles them to push for all they can get, not settle for less out of a sense of obligation to an outdated concept of bipartisanship that does not reflect the reality of today’s polarized politics. “Looking at the behavior of the Republican Party here in Washington, it’s fair to conclude that it is going to be very difficult, particularly the way leadership has positioned itself, to get meaningful cooperation from that side of the aisle on things that matter,” said Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md. But the internal Democratic disagreement that stalled passage of the stimulus bill for hours late into Friday night illustrated both the precariousness of the thinnest possible Democratic majority and the hurdles to eliminating the filibuster, a step that can happen only if moderates now deeply opposed agree to do so. It also showed that, even if the 60-vote threshold to break a filibuster were wiped away, there would be no guarantee that Democrats could push their priorities through the 50-50 Senate, since one breakaway member can bring down an entire bill. Republicans accused Democrats of abandoning any pretext of bipartisanship to advance a far-left agenda and jam through a liberal wish list disguised as a coronavirus rescue bill, stuffed with hundreds of billions of extraneous dollars as the pandemic is beginning to ebb. They noted that when they were in charge of the Senate and President Donald Trump was in office, they were able to deliver a series of costly coronavirus relief bills negotiated between the two parties. “It is really unfortunate that at a time when a president who came into office suggesting that he wanted to work with Republicans and create solutions in a bipartisan way and try to bring the country together and unify, the first the thing out of the gate is a piece of legislation that simply is done with one-party rule,” said Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the No. 2 Republican. At their private lunch recently, Republican senators were handed a card emblazoned with a quotation from Ron Klain, the White House chief of staff, calling the coronavirus bill the “most progressive domestic legislation in a generation,” a phrase that party strategists quickly began featuring in a video taking aim at the stimulus measure. The comment was a point of pride for liberal Democrats, but probably not the best argument to win over Republicans. “I don’t understand the approach the White House has taken. I really don’t,” said Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, a leader of a group of 10 Republicans who had initially tried to strike a deal with the White House but offered about one-third of what Biden proposed. “There is a compromise to be had here.” Yet even as Biden hosted Republicans at the White House and engaged them in a series of discussions that were much more amiable than any during the Trump era, neither he nor Democratic congressional leaders made a real effort to find a middle ground, having concluded early on that Republicans were far too reluctant to spend what was needed to tackle the crisis. Democrats worried that if they did not move quickly, negotiations would drag on only to collapse and leave them with nothing to show for their efforts to get control over the pandemic and bolster the economic recovery. They wanted to go big and not wait. “We are not — we are not — going to be timid in the face of big challenges,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., the majority leader. “We are not going to delay when urgent action is called for.” While McConnell lost legislatively, he did manage to hold Republicans together when there was an appetite among some to cut a deal. He learned in 2009, when President Barack Obama took office at the start of the Great Recession, that by keeping his Republican forces united against Democrats, he could undermine a popular new Democratic president and paint any legislative victories as tainted by partisanship, scoring political points before the next election. The same playbook seems to be open for 2021. As they maneuvered the relief measure through Congress using special budget procedures that protected it from a filibuster, Democrats were also resurrecting several major policy proposals from the last session that went nowhere in the Republican-controlled Senate. Foremost among them was a sweeping voting rights measure intended to offset efforts by Republicans in states across the country to impose new voting requirements and a policing bill that seeks to ban tactics blamed in unnecessary deaths. House Republicans opposed both en masse and the outlook for winning the minimum 10 required Republican votes in the Senate is bleak. In the coming weeks, House Democrats plan to pass more uncompromising bills, including measures to strengthen gun safety and protect union rights — two pursuits abhorred by Republicans. Democrats fully recognize the measures will run into a Republican stone wall, but that is the point. In getting Republicans on the record against what Democrats see as broadly popular measures, they are hoping to drive home the idea that, despite their party’s control of Congress and the White House, they cannot move forward on the major issues of the moment with the filibuster in place. They want voters to respond. “We can’t magically make the Republicans be for what the people are for,” said Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat. “The people are overwhelmingly for the agenda we are passing, and democracy works, so if the people want these bills to pass, they will either demand that we do away with the filibuster or demand that some Republican senators who refuse to do what the people want leave office.” Frustrated at their inability to halt the pandemic measure, Republicans lashed out at Democrats and the president. “They are doing it because they can,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, the top Republican on the Budget Committee, who said Biden’s pledges on fostering unity now rang hollow. “This is an opportunity to spend money on things not related to COVID because they have the power do so.” Democrats would agree — they are using their substantial leverage to reach far beyond what Republicans can support, and say they are justified in doing so. “Let’s face it,” Schumer said on the Senate floor. “We need to get this done. It would be so much better if we could in a bipartisan way, but we need to get it done.” This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
- Associated Press
A pair of B-52 bombers flew over the Mideast on Sunday, the latest such mission in the region aimed at warning Iran amid tensions between Washington and Tehran. The flight by the two heavy bombers came as a pro-Iran satellite channel based in Beirut broadcast Iranian military drone footage of an Israeli ship hit by a mysterious explosion only days earlier in the Mideast. While the channel sought to say Iran wasn't involved, Israel has blamed Tehran for what it described as an attack on the vessel.
Human rights groups called on the Philippine government to investigate what they said was the use of "lethal force" during police raids on Sunday that left at least nine activists dead. The raids in four provinces south of Manila resulted in the death of an environmental activist as well as a coordinator of left-wing group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, among others, and resulted in the arrest of four others, activist groups said. "These raids appear to be part of a coordinated plan by the authorities to raid, arrest, and even kill activists in their homes and offices," Human Rights Watch Deputy Asia Director Phil Robertson said in a statement.
Serkis told The Guardian he was "pretty method" preparing to play Gollum in the films because he would walk on all fours for hours off set.
- The Telegraph
Brexit is done - and so is Nigel Farage. The former leader of the UK Independence Party and the Brexit Party, credited even by his sharpest critics as the most influential politician of the past two decades, has finally quit politics. And this time it is for good. In an interview with this weekend’s Chopper’s Politics podcast, which you can listen to on the audio player above, Mr Farage announces he is resigning as leader of the Reform Party and turning his back on politics after three decades of political street fighting. He says: “There is no going back - Brexit is done. That won’t be reversed. I know I’ve come back once or twice when people thought I’d gone, but this is it. It’s done. It’s over.” Mr Farage famously quit after the 2016 referendum, saying "I want my life back", but then reformed the Brexit Party two years later in 2018 to exploit disaffection with the way the Government was handling the Brexit negotiations. He adds: “Now's the moment for me to say I've knocked on my last door. I'm going to step down as the leader of Reform UK. I'll have no executive position at all. I'm quite happy to have an honorary one, but party politics, campaigning, being involved in elections, that is now over for me because I've achieved the one thing I set out to do: to achieve the independence of the UK.” The 56-year-old insists that he had no plans to retire, saying: “I'm not packing up. I'm not off to play golf four afternoons a week and have half a bitter afterwards. That's not happening.” Instead, he will be trying to influence the national debate on China’s influence in the UK and the battles over the so-called culture wars.
California Governor Gavin Newsom's "Blueprint for a Safer Economy" announced Disneyland will be allowed to reopen at 15% capacity.
- Business Insider
Top disease expert says US in the 'eye of the hurricane' as COVID cases decline amid growing concern over spread of UK variant
Osterholm warned about the highly contagious B.1.1.7 variant of the virus that was first discovered in the UK and has "wreaked havoc" in Europe.
Tiger Woods reportedly told police after rollover crash that he had no recollection of driving the car
An affidavit reported by AP said Tiger Woods told deputies he didn't remember how the rollover crash occurred last month in Los Angeles, California.
Director Craig Brewer told Insider the scene originally was not going to be a callback to "Trading Places."
- Associated Press
The former head of women police in a southern Afghanistan province was seriously wounded and her husband — also a police officer — was killed Sunday in an attack by unidentified gunmen, provincial officials said. Omer Zwak, spokesman for Helmand's provincial governor, said unidentified gunmen opened fire on the couple in the provincial capital Lashkar Gah. The attack came amid a surge in violence in the war-weary country.