Anna Werner reports on how COVID-19 has altered how companies will advertise during the Super Bowl this year (2-3-2021)
- Associated Press
The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell sharply last week in a sign that layoffs may have eased, though applications for aid remain at a historically high level. Jobless claims declined by 111,000 from the previous week to a seasonally adjusted 730,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The latest figures coincide with a weakened job market that has made scant progress in the past three months.
- The Independent
Biden raises human rights in call with Saudi king as intelligence officials to release report on Khashoggi killing
President Joe Biden has spoken with King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud of Saudi Arabia ahead of the release of a report from US intelligence officials that is expected to reveal that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved and likely ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. A White House report of their phone call on Thursday did not disclose whether they discussed the findings in the report. The leaders “discussed regional security, including the renewed diplomatic efforts led by the United Nations and the United States to end the war in Yemen, and the US commitment to help Saudi Arabia defend its territory as it faces attacks from Iranian-aligned groups,” according to a readout of their call.
Turkey's parliament is set to consider legal bids to lift the immunity from prosecution of 21 pro-Kurdish MPs, applying more pressure on a political party targeted in a years-long crackdown and that now faces calls for its closure. The government accuses the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), parliament's third largest, of ties to Kurdish militants and stepped up its accusations after Turkish captives were killed in Iraq earlier this month. The HDP in response criticised President Tayyip Erdogan's ruling AK Party (AKP) for using a failed military rescue mission to target it politically and to sow ethnic division, and the European Union has expressed concern over the legal moves.
Britain's 94-year-old Queen Elizabeth, who last month had her first COVID-19 vaccination dose, has encouraged the public to follow suit, saying it did not hurt and those who were wary should think of others. The monarch and her 99-year-old husband Prince Philip, who is currently in hospital with a non-COVID infection, received their shots from a household doctor at the queen’s Windsor Castle residence, with their age putting them in the priority group for England’s coronavirus vaccine rollout. "Once you've had a vaccine you have a feeling of you know, you're protected which I think is very important and as far as I could make out it was quite harmless," the queen said in a video call with health officials overseeing inoculations across the four nations of the United Kingdom.
- Business Insider
Donald Trump Jr. gives fiery CPAC speech full of grievances against anti-Trump Republicans, big tech, and the mainstream media
Trump Jr. ranted about Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, saying her "politics are only slightly less popular than her father is at a quail hunt."
After the third-grader's classroom incident, a social worker connected the family to a local food bank.
- Miami Herald
Two commercial fisherman from the mainland were jailed Thursday after police said they were caught in the Keys with a haul of illegal seafood that started with 100 undersized wrung lobster tails.
- Miami Herald
Visitors hiking the Mahogany Hammock Trail in Everglades National Park earlier this month spotted an unfamiliar snake. It turned out to be a brand new invasive species.
Residents of an Indian slum thought they were getting vaccinated like everyone else but were unknowingly part of a clinical trial
After a white van advertised COVID-19 vaccines to a central-Indian slum, many of its residents feel duped after finding out they were in a trial.
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The House is expected to pass a stimulus deal with $1,400 checks on Friday.
- Business Insider
Ted Cruz rants about comedians, late-night TV, and mask-wearing before shouting at people to 'just have fun' in wild CPAC speech
"Orlando is awesome. It's not as nice as Cancún, but it's nice," Cruz said, referring to the scandal he sparked by leaving Texas for Mexico.
Asian Man in Critical Condition After Being Stabbed in the Back With a Butcher Knife in NY Chinatown
An Asian man is in critical condition after getting stabbed by a butcher knife in New York's Chinatown on Thursday evening. The 36-year-old local resident was attacked around 6:15 p.m. near the federal courthouse, near the corner of Worth Street and Baxter street next to the Daniel Patrick Moynihan U.S. Courthouse, reports PIX11. Call came in at 6:20 for report of a stabbing at Baxter Street and Worth Street.
- NBC News
Family members told officers the man and woman were quarantining in their home in the St. Louis area.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan warned of an attempted military coup against him on Thursday, and thousands took to the streets of the capital to support him after the army demanded he and his government resign. Russia, an ally of Armenia which has a military base in Armenia, said it was alarmed by events in the former Soviet republic and called for the situation to be resolved peacefully and within the constitution. Pashinyan, 45, has faced calls to quit since November after what critics said was his disastrous handling of a six-week conflict between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave and surrounding areas.
Ben Affleck says his divorce from Jennifer Garner and other 'life experience' shaped him into a better actor
In a new interview as part of The Hollywood Reporter's Actor Roundtable series, Affleck spoke about Garner and the three kids they share.
- Business Insider
Ted Cruz's colleagues mocked him by putting memes of his Cancun trip in the Senate gym locker room: 'Bienvenido de Nuevo, Ted!'
Those who turned up to the Senate gym Wednesday morning were welcomed by color printouts of Cruz's Cancun trip that read "Bienvenido de Nuevo, Ted!"
- The Guardian
Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled provision in $1.9tn Covid stimulus bill did not qualify for budget reconciliation Ilhan Omar tweeted: ‘What’s a Democratic majority if we can’t pass our priority bills? This is unacceptable.’ Photograph: Leah Millis/Reuters The progressive Democrat Ilhan Omar has called for the firing of the government official who effectively blocked the party’s plans to raise the minimum wage. Democratic plans to include a gradual raise to $15 in Joe Biden’s $1.9tn coronavirus stimulus bill were effectively ended on Thursday when the Senate parliamentarian ruled it should not be part of the package. The decision by Elizabeth MacDonough, who has held the non-partisan position since 2012, dashed hopes of including the raise in the bill – the first increase in over a decade. “Abolish the filibuster. Replace the parliamentarian,” Omar said in a tweet. “What’s a Democratic majority if we can’t pass our priority bills? This is unacceptable.” Abolish the filibuster.Replace the parliamentarian.What’s a Democratic majority if we can’t pass our priority bills? This is unacceptable.— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 26, 2021 Biden campaigned on a pledge to increase the minimum wage to $15. Low-wage workers and unions have campaigned for a rise since 2012, and its inclusion in the coronavirus stimulus bill had been seen as a major victory. While the proposal faced universal opposition by Republican senators and skepticism from some Democrats, Senator Bernie Sanders and others were confident that it could be pushed through with a simple majority in the Senate, where the Democrats hold a slim majority. In order to achieve this, the proposal would have to be passed by “budget reconciliation” – a mechanism that allows legislation to bypass the 60% vote bills need to get through the Senate. Late on Thursday, MacDonough ruled that the wage increase did not meet the standards for budget reconciliation. The parliamentarian acts as an impartial judge and has only been removed from office once. MacDonough is well respected by many members of both parties, and the Biden administration seems unlikely to push for her removal. Other progressive Democrats have proposed a less drastic solution – overruling her. “The Senate parliamentarian issues an advisory opinion,” congresswoman Pramila Jayapal said in a tweet. “The VP can overrule them – as has been done before. We should do EVERYTHING we can to keep our promise, deliver a $15 minimum wage, and give 27 million workers a raise.” Sanders, one of the most ardent supporters of a minimum-wage increase, has proposed an alternative plan – imposing penalties and incentives to push companies toward higher wages. “I will be working with my colleagues in the Senate to move forward with an amendment to take tax deductions away from large, profitable corporations that don’t pay workers at least $15 an hour, and to provide small businesses with the incentives they need to raise wages,” Sanders said in a statement. “That amendment must be included in this reconciliation bill.” Sanders’ comments come after a Senate hearing on Thursday where he lambasted the low wages paid by McDonald’s, Walmart and others. Sanders pointed to a government report that found nearly half of workers who make less than $15 an hour rely on public assistance programs that cost taxpayers $107bn each year. The American people are “sick and tired” of subsidizing “starvation wages” at these companies, Sanders said.
Prince Harry knew he and Meghan Markle had something 'pretty special' by their second date. Here's a complete timeline of their relationship.
The couple's royal love story began in 2016 when they were set up on a blind date by a mutual friend.
- Business Insider
Merkel says she won't take AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine because she's too old, as 1.4 million jabs are left unused
The German chancellor said she wasn't eligible because the vaccine isn't approved for people over 65 in Germany.
Prince Harry says his relationship with Meghan Markle 'went from 0 to 60' in their first 2 months of dating
The Duke of Sussex reflected on his relationship with Meghan Markle during an appearance on "The Late Late Show with James Corden."