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A Republican congresswoman is facing calls to resign over reports that she helped to spread falsehoods about the Parkland school shooting. Marjorie Taylor Greene reportedly agreed with a conspiracy theory about the 2018 shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in which 17 people were killed. Facebook screenshots showed a discussion about why a police officer had not rushed into the building, and someone claimed that the mass shooting was a "false flag planned shooting." Greene replied: “Exactly!" The social media giant later removed the posts after they were reported to them. Cameron Kasky, a former Parkland pupil who co-founded the group Never Again MSD, said: "She should resign. She can apologise. I don’t think anybody will accept it.” The congresswoman was elected in Georgia in November, backed Donald Trump's claims of election fraud, and has previously expressed support for the QAnon conspiracy theory. Fred Guttenberg, who's 14-year-old daughter Jaime died in the Parkland shooting, said: "Your feelings on gun laws are irrelevant to your claim that Parkland never happened. You are a fraud who must resign. Be prepared to meet me directly in person to explain your conspiracy theory, and soon." The comments by the politician were first reported by Media Matters for America. In a statement Ms Greene accused Media Matters for America of being "communists' and "fake news". Meanwhile, US Capitol Police were investigating an incident in which a Republican congressman was found carrying a concealed gun while trying to enter the floor of the House of Representatives. Andy Harris, a staunch gun-rights advocate, set off a metal detector going through security on his way to the House floor . Metal detectors were installed outside the chamber to beef up security in the aftermath of the Capitol riots on Jan 6.
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With the dawn of the Biden administration comes Cholleti Vinay Reddy, the country’s first Indian American presidential speechwriter. Reddy’s roots originate from Pothireddypeta, a rural village in the Indian state of Telangana, whose residents have been celebrating his latest milestone: Biden’s inaugural address. Born and raised in Dayton, Ohio, Reddy is believed to have acquired his political acumen from his grandfather, Tirupathi, who served as the village sarpanch (head) for 30 years.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced at a briefing on Friday that the Biden administration will roll out a three-pronged, interagency plan to assess and combat the threat posed by domestic violence extremism.Why it matters: The federal government's approach to domestic extremism has come under scrutiny in the wake of the Jan. 6 attacks on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob. In his inaugural address, Biden repudiated political extremism, white supremacy and domestic terrorism, vowing to defeat them.Support safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.What they're saying: "The Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol and the tragic deaths and destruction that occurred underscored what we have long known. The rise of domestic violent extremism is a serious and growing national security threat," Psaki said. * "The Biden administration will confront this threat with the necessary resources and resolve. We are committed to developing policies and strategies based on facts, on objective and rigorous analysis, and on our respect with constitutionally protected free speech and political activities," she conntinued.How it works: 1. Biden has sent a request for newly confirmed Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines to conduct a threat assessment in coordination with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security that Psaki said will produce a "fact-based analysis on which we can shape policy." 2. The White House National Security Council will be tasked with building capacity to tackle and disrupt extremist networks. Homeland security adviser Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall has asked Joshua Gelser, a former NSC counterterrorism director, to lead a 100-day investigation. 3. The administration will work to mobilize other factions of the government to address "evolving threats, radicalization, the role of social media, opportunities to improve information sharing, operational responses and more."Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
Mexico's president said on Friday the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration should carry out an internal investigation into the conduct of its case against a former defense minister, putting further strain on bilateral ties with the new Biden administration. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said the investigation should look into who within the DEA "fabricated" the case against Salvador Cienfuegos, days after Mexico's attorney general decided to drop charges. "I am not going to go to any international body, but I respectfully believe (the DEA) should do an internal investigation and clarify what happened, who made the file, who gave the order to apply it," said Lopez Obrador during a regular news conference.
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It's been more than a month since the first COVID-19 vaccine was approved for distribution, and nearly a year since it became clear the coronavirus pandemic would require a vaccine to fully end. But former President Donald Trump's administration still failed to arrange a usable plan for distributing COVID-19 vaccines to Americans, as President Biden's incoming administration reportedly just discovered.Biden's team expected to find major flaws in Trump's distribution plans when they arrived at the White House on Wednesday, sources with direct knowledge of the administration's COVID-19 work tell CNN. But "one of the biggest shocks that the Biden team had to digest during the transition period was what they saw as a complete lack of a vaccine distribution strategy," CNN reports. As one source put it, "There is nothing for us to rework. We are going to have to build everything from scratch."Biden campaigned on the promise of swiftly reversing the Trump administration's hands-off approach to handling the virus. The new president did take a small step in that direction Wednesday, signing an executive order mandating people wear masks on federal property and moving to make the federal government the command center for vaccine and testing distribution and administration. But Wednesday's reported discovery reveals it's going to be a lot harder than just changing attitudes around social distancing. And as one source told CNN, the lack of a plan "is just further affirmation of complete incompetence" by the Trump administration.Jeff Zients, the Biden administration's COVID-19 czar, said as much on Wednesday, telling reporters that "what we're inheriting from the Trump administration is so much worse than we could have imagined." Still, as one official leading the COVID-19 response conceded to The Daily Beast, "At least we won't have a president that's actively fighting those rules on national television."More stories from theweek.com Biden's next executive order will let people stay on unemployment if they quit an unsafe job McConnell is already moving to strangle the Biden presidency 7 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's White House exit
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Former police officer who climbed over fences to get into Capitol during riot claims he was there to see art
Regular phone camera roll shows no images from January 6 but ‘deleted’ folder filled with images and videos of officer inside Capitol building during riot
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The president signed two executive orders Friday aimed at lessening the economic fallout from the pandemic.
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‘There was a protocol breach when the front doors were not held open’
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A powerful earthquake shook parts of the southern Philippines on Thursday night, but authorities said it was too deep to cause major damage and no tsunami warning was issued. The quake measured magnitude 7.0 and was located 95.8 kilometers (60 miles) below the sea and about 210 kilometers (130 miles) southeast of Pondaguitan in Davao Occidental province, the U.S. Geological Survey said. In Davao city, President Rodrigo Duterte’s hometown, some residents ran out of their houses as the ground shook and power cables and business signs swayed, but there were no reports of damage or injuries.
U.S. Capitol Police on Friday were investigating an incident in which a Republican lawmaker was found carrying a concealed gun while trying to enter the floor of the House of Representatives, a Capitol official said. Republican Representative Andy Harris, a staunch gun-rights advocate, set off a magnetometer going through security on his way to the House floor late on Thursday and was found to be carrying a firearm, according to a congressional press pool report. The Maryland Republican then tried to hand the gun off to Republican Representative John Katko, who refused, saying he did not have a license, the report said.