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Meteorologist Matt Peterson has your latest forecast.
Meteorologist Matt Peterson has your latest forecast.
Olivier Dassault was killed on Sunday in a helicopter crash, a police source said, with President Emmanuel Macron paying tribute to the 69-year old conservative politician.
The Intercept reported that McConnell's political protégé, state Attorney General Daniel Cameron, is at the top of a list of possible successors.
At his speech at CPAC last week, Trump said the GOP should "get rid" of Cheney and other Republicans who didn't support him during his impeachment.
Two women are latest to accuse Mr Cuomo of inappropriate touching and advances
Federico Klein is believed to the first Trump appointee arrested in connection with the Capitol riot.
When Gov. Andrew Cuomo came under fire just a few weeks ago over his handling of nursing home deaths in the pandemic, he and his top advisers followed their usual playbook to stem the fallout: They worked the phones, pressing his case in private calls to legislators and other New York Democrats. Then came a crisis that Cuomo’s signature blend of threats, flattery and browbeating could not mitigate. And he seemed to know it. As three women stepped forward with claims of sexual harassment and other unwanted advances by Cuomo, the most visible governor in America effectively went dark. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times After one of the women detailed her accusations against the governor in a Medium post, state Sen. Liz Krueger, a Manhattan Democrat, decided that she would come out with a statement calling for an independent investigation — an implicit rebuke of Cuomo. She reached out to the governor’s team to alert them, aware of the typical angry response. No call came, she said. “None of my colleagues have said they have heard from the governor on this,” Krueger said of the harassment accusations. At the greatest moment of political peril for Cuomo in his decade in power, interviews with nearly two dozen Democratic lawmakers, strategists and Albany veterans paint a portrait of a governor who is increasingly isolated. Cuomo faces a federal inquiry into his administration’s handling of nursing home deaths during the pandemic and an independent investigation into the harassment allegations, making his political path forward more challenging by the day. On Friday, the state Legislature, which is controlled by Democrats, passed legislation to significantly curtail Cuomo’s vast emergency powers. When the governor appeared to suggest that he had played a role in the bill’s formulation, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie — not prone to criticizing Cuomo — immediately shot that down, pointedly saying in a statement that “we did not negotiate this bill with the governor.” Other lawmakers on Friday escalated their calls to reprimand the governor, demanding investigations, impeachment proceedings and even resignations, after The New York Times reported that his administration had rewritten a report to obscure the full extent of nursing home deaths. “If true, everyone involved in lying to the public and to the Legislature must resign immediately,” said state Sen. Rachel May, a Democrat from Syracuse. “And that includes the governor.” It is an extraordinary turnaround for the man who was former President Donald Trump’s most prominent foil in the early months of the pandemic and whose power in New York appeared nearly unassailable as 2021 began. Some people who have spoken to Cuomo in recent days have described him as shaken by the speed with which the political fallout arrived, with dueling scandals and reports of his bullying behavior all converging, very publicly, at once. Others have questioned whether he grasped the gravity of his circumstances. But the rapidly unfurling crises, they said, have been especially challenging for a governor who has always sought to be in control. Now he is at the whims of often-fickle public opinion, fuming legislators and investigations. Amid mounting scrutiny and nine days without a news conference, Cuomo picked Wednesday to emerge, one week after Lindsey Boylan, one of two former aides to speak out, detailed her accusations — which the governor has strenuously denied. His appearance followed strategy sessions with a small circle of trusted loyalists at the governor’s mansion, amid internal deliberations about both the substance of his remarks and how to manage the delivery and tone on a sensitive subject, according to people who have been in touch with the team. Longtime advisers and allies have helped the governor navigate the series of crises. They include two former top aides, Steven Cohen, the former secretary to the governor, and William Mulrow, another former secretary to the governor who now works at the private equity firm Blackstone; Melissa DeRosa, the governor’s top aide; Cuomo’s pollster, Jefrey Pollock; and Beth Garvey, special counsel to the governor. The result Wednesday was an uncharacteristically rattled chief executive who delivered an emotional apology for his conduct but insisted that he had never “touched anyone inappropriately” and that he did not intend to resign. “Palace intrigue aside, there’s a job to be done, and New Yorkers elected the governor to do it,” a spokesperson for the governor, Richard Azzopardi, said in a statement. “Which is why he has been focused on getting as many shots in arms as possible, making sure New York is getting its fair share in Washington’s COVID relief package and working on a state budget that is due in three weeks.” People who have been in touch with Cuomo’s team described some staff members — in particular, younger ones — as demoralized and exhausted as a series of controversies play out on top of a year of navigating COVID-19 in an exceptionally demanding environment. Several staff members have departed his office in recent days, citing a variety of reasons. Among those who have left are Gareth Rhodes, who served as a member of the state coronavirus task force and was a frequent guest star during Cuomo’s news briefings, and members of his press team. As the Legislature heads into high-stakes budget negotiations, even Cuomo’s traditional allies acknowledge that his influence has taken a hit. “It’s made his job more difficult,” said Jay Jacobs, the New York State Democratic Party chair, who said he had spoken with Cuomo on Thursday. “When you’re under this kind of pressure, that’s going to influence the amount of, the degree of, your political strength.” Jacobs seems to be the relatively rare political figure who has discussed the accusations with Cuomo directly. As the allegations unfolded, Cuomo’s team denied wrongdoing and issued statements, but a number of leading lawmakers in Albany and Washington did not hear from the governor on the matter. Donors, some of whom embrace Cuomo as a moderating force in the party, began to worry about his future. And a person close to Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul described an uptick in outreach to her office from political figures around the state — an unmistakable sign of uncertainty around Cuomo. At least for now, many Democratic voters appear to see the dynamics concerning the governor differently, a reminder that the political impact of the controversies is fluid and unpredictable. A Quinnipiac University poll out Thursday showed that Democrats overwhelmingly did not believe that he should resign, and half of those Democrats surveyed supported his running for reelection next year. But if Democratic voters are reserving some judgment on Cuomo, he has faced a staggering backlash from politicians in his party, many of whom have traditionally been reluctant to publicly challenge him — in some cases, for fear of retribution. Overlaying all of the turmoil is a sense of great uncertainty around whether additional women will raise allegations. “Any further people coming forward, I would think it would be time for him to resign,” the state Senate majority leader, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, said on Spectrum News’ “Capital Tonight” Thursday. Indeed, the public outcry and the dearth of vocal defenders illustrate both the complexities of the problems Cuomo faces and how little he has invested in building mutually respectful relationships in politics. As with other New York politicians in times of extreme crisis, it is a dynamic that is haunting him now. “The governor is in trouble because he’s a very tough guy and there are many people who don’t like him,” said George Arzt, a veteran New York political consultant who has known Cuomo for years. “He doesn’t have that reservoir of friends and good feeling to sort of push back. At this point, you don’t see many surrogates out there, and that’s a problem.” Asked to point a reporter to surrogates for the governor, spokespeople for Cuomo did not respond. In interviews over the past week, observers of Cuomo discussed political comparisons to former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who resigned abruptly after revelations of his involvement with a prostitution ring. In both cases, critics saw the men as domineering personalities who made enemies in political circles — leaving few people willing to go to bat for them when scandal hit. “Spitzer at one point thought that he could fight it, and that was quickly given up when he realized that his allies were not saying a word,” Arzt recalled. Certainly, he suggested, Cuomo “has his own inner circle that is still ready to go to war with him” — not to mention a long list of accomplishments in office and, Arzt said, “tremendous skill as a tactician.” “I do believe if anyone can get out of this, he can,” Arzt said, “if no other shoe drops.” And as Hank Sheinkopf, another longtime Democratic strategist, put it, “Eliot Spitzer had no friends. Andrew Cuomo has some friends.” This week, Hazel Dukes, president of the NAACP New York State Conference, said of Cuomo that it was “ridiculous to ask him to resign.” And while few prominent New York politicians have rushed to defend him, many have also held their fire regarding the question of resignation, deferring first to the independent investigation. For now, Cuomo continues to occupy a prominent space on the national stage. As the chair of the National Governors Association, he kicked off a meeting with President Joe Biden and other governors during the last week of February. Cuomo and Biden have had a strong political alliance in the past, but the two have not otherwise spoken since the harassment allegations broke, a Biden adviser said. The White House has indicated that it supports the independent investigation of the accusations of harassment against the governor. “When the investigation concludes, Democrats, I believe, will coalesce around doing the right thing,” Jacobs said. “We have to let the chips fall where they may, but I don’t see the value in a rush to judgment. I only see the potential cost.” In the meantime, Cuomo’s allies have quietly conducted outreach to figures including the Rev. Al Sharpton, the civil rights leader. “I feel that a woman’s statements have to be taken seriously but that he deserves a full, fair investigation,” Sharpton said. “So I’m not calling, as of yet, for his resignation. But I’m also not attacking the women.” The question for Cuomo is whether Democratic leaders are willing to wait for that investigation to play out or if other developments force a reassessment of their posture before that happens. There are also many people in New York politics who have accumulated a list of grievances toward Cuomo that span decades. Some of them may relish the chance to break from him if they sense enough weakness — as they did with one of his predecessors. “I distinctly remember with Spitzer, watching it all go down and saying at the time to myself, if he just had a few more friends who were willing to stand by him, I bet he could get past this,” Krueger said. “But it was all really rapid, and there wasn’t anybody coming forward.” This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
As the Senate has become increasingly polarized, the filibuster has become a weapon enabling the minority party to obstruct rather than compromise. But a couple of reforms could fix that.
Yemen's internationally recognized government said on Sunday it had restored diplomatic ties with Qatar after four years of boycott led by Saudi Arabia and joined by other Arab countries. Saudi Arabia and its allies had agreed at a summit in January to end the political row which led to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cutting trade, travel and diplomatic ties with Qatar in mid-2017.
Yemen's Houthi forces fired drones and missiles at the heart of Saudi Arabia's oil industry on Sunday, including a Saudi Aramco facility at Ras Tanura vital to petroleum exports, in what Riyadh called a failed assault on global energy security. Announcing the attacks, the Houthis, who have been battling a Saudi-led coalition for six years, also said they attacked military targets in the Saudi cities of Dammam, Asir and Jazan.
Philadelphia 76ers teammates Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons were ruled out of Sunday's NBA All-Star Game after being flagged by coronavirus contact tracing, prompting some players to question again why the exhibition was being played during a pandemic. The 76ers and the NBA learned of the situation with Embiid and Simmons — which stemmed from getting haircuts — on Saturday night and made the decision Sunday morning that neither could play about nine hours before the scheduled tipoff. The game in Atlanta is going forward as scheduled.
An estimated 4,300 people at the Oakland Coliseum received a suboptimal dosage of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on March 1, KTVU reported.
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
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.
China is at least 30 years away from becoming a manufacturing nation of "great power", a former industry minister said on Sunday, despite boasting the world's most complete industrial supply chains. In recent years, China has become the world's top manufacturing nation, accounting for over a third of global output, driven by domestic demand to produce everything from motor vehicles to industrial machinery. "Basic capabilities are still weak, core technologies are in the hands of others, and the risk of 'being hit in the throat' and having 'a slipped bike chain' has significantly increased," said Miao Wei, who was Minister of Industry and Information Technology for a decade before stepping down last year.
Winfrey has said if she'd married Graham, their relationship would not have lasted.
Jason Miller said Trump will probably return on a non-mainstream online platform and it "will be a tectonic plate shift in the world of social media.
Kim Kardashian West will stay in the minimalist, beige-filled Hidden Hills, California, home she and Kanye West bought in 2014, TMZ reported.
Sam Asghari told Forbes he's ready for the "next step" in his more than four-year relationship with Britney Spears.
Pope Francis was wrapping up his visit to Iraq on Sunday, drawing thousands to rebuilt churches, squares and an open-air sports venue.
There's one glaring problem facing mass adoption: few places to charge - and enticing companies to simply build new plugs is easier said than done.