A gym owner in Philadelphia's Chestnut Hill section discusses how she struggled through the pandemic and the plan kept everything together.
- Raleigh News and Observer
The driver told deputies “that she was transporting several containers of fuel that she was hoarding in the trunk.”
- The Independent
‘Do Palestinians have a right to survive?’ AOC makes impassioned speech against Biden policy on Israel crisis
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said that the United States ‘must acknowledge its role in the injustice and human rights violations of Palestinians’
- The Independent
Crypto billionaire donates $1.2bn to India Covid fight – and currency instantly crashes to make it worth less
Some of the ‘meme coins’ that were donated tanked in value by nearly 40%
- The Independent
Defiant Marjorie Taylor Greene hurls new insults at AOC after congresswoman reported her for hallway ambush
GOP congresswoman says Democrat ‘is a fraud and a hypocrite’ following calls for increased security
- The Daily Beast
Bill Clark/Pool/GettyA Democratic lawmaker called former acting defense secretary Chris Miller “ridiculous” on Wednesday for trying to walk back his claims that former President Donald Trump incited the violent Jan. 6 insurrection.In written remarks prepared for his testimony before a House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing on the riot, and in a March interview with VICE, Miller had called out Trump for directly inciting thousands of MAGA supporters to attack the Capitol after repeated claims that the 2020 election was “stolen.”“You said the insurrection happened because of Trump’s speech,” Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) said during the hearing.But Miller then tried to walk back his original claims, saying he’d had a change of heart after seeing information from the ongoing criminal investigation into the siege and statements from D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee. He said he now believed there was “some sort of conspiracy where there were organized assault elements that intended to assault the Capitol that day.”‘Fuck All of You!’: Capitol Rioter Raises Hell During Off-the-Rails Court Hearing“I’d like to modify my original assessment,” Miller said, to which Lynch snarked,” Why am I not surprised about that?”“We are getting more information by the day, by the minute,” Miller said. “There was some sort of conspiracy... that intended to storm that Capitol that day… I have reassessed. [Trump was] not the unitary factor at all.”An incredulous Lynch told Miller, “For your written testimony for today, for today, this morning, you stated the following about the president, quote, 'I personally believe his comments encouraged the protesters that day.'”Unsatisfied with Miller’s response, Lynch called him out for his “very recent reversal of your testimony.”“Absolutely not. That’s ridiculous,” Miller responded, clearly agitated.“You’re ridiculous!” Lynch hit back. Miller seemed stunned by insult, before sarcastically thanking the lawmaker for his thoughts. He later slammed Lynch for the “partisan attack.”Miller’s new reasoning doesn’t quite hold water. Of the 400 individuals charged in connection with the riot, dozens have been accused of planning and training to storm the Capitol. But prosecutors say those alleged conspirators, most of whom belong to MAGA-loving paramilitary group the Oath Keepers, openly admitted that they felt compelled to protest widespread election fraud in D.C. on Jan. 6 at Trump’s behest.Dem Hearings Bend Over Backward to Ignore GOP Complicity in Capitol RiotMiller previously has been criticized for waiting too long to authorize National Guard troops amid the insurrection and for ignoring pleas from D.C. leaders for help.Defending his own actions, he said in his prepared remarks that he was concerned about sending U.S. troops into the Capitol out of the “possibility of a military coup or that advisers to the President were advocating the declaration of martial law.”Miller said that he wanted to ensure the operation to deploy the National Guard was finalized before making the call for military assistance to ensure the optics were carefully considered.“I was also cognizant of the fears promulgated by many about the prior use of the military in the June 2020 response to protests near the White House and fears that the President would invoke the Insurrection Act to politicize the military in an anti-democratic manner,” Miller added in his statement, stressing that he was not going to allow a coup under his watch.But Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) slammed Miller for not taking accountability or having any “sense of shame” for his role in the siege.“Will you apologize to the American public for what happened on your watch? Will you apologize to the troops for what happened on your watch?” Khanna asked. “I can’t believe we had someone like you in that role... it’s total self-promotion. All you're trying to do is cover your own reputation.”Dodging Khanna’s request to apologize, Miller instead said he wanted to “highlight the incredible job of the members of our armed forces.”“I stand by every decision I made on January 6,” Miller said.Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) also tore Miller to shreds on the crucial “1.5-hour gap” between D.C. Mayor Muriel Bower’s request for National Guard backup at about 1:30 p.m. and Miller’s authorization at 3:04 p.m. on Jan. 6. He noted that Trump had told Miller on Jan. 3 to grant Bowser’s request for resources.“Sir, she requested additional support from you. And during that 1.5 hours either you disobeyed an order given to you by the president to help Mayor Bowser, or the president changed his order and asked you to delay the support, or you just plain froze and were being indecisive as people were being injured, killed, while hundreds of rioters breached the Capitol and a nation was traumatized,” Krishnamoorthi said.When Miller insisted there were “8,000 badged and credentialed police officers on duty,” Krishnamoorthi asked him specifically why he was missing in action.“That’s completely inaccurate!” Miller hit back, to which Krishnamoorthi responded, “Sir, you partially own this mayhem and that why I’m going to ask for a Department of Defense investigation into your actions.”“I already requested that before I left the DoD,” Miller said.In his March interview with VICE, Miller said he believed Trump played a clear role in the insurrection, stating that “it’s pretty much definitive” the event wouldn’t have happened if the president had not encouraged it in his speech that day.“It seems cause-and-effect,” Miller said at the time. “The question is, did he know he was enraging people to do that? I don’t know.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get 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.
- The Independent
‘Today is the day I tell my son that I’m dying from cancer’
- The Independent
‘Bizarre, shameful, and untrue’: Letter from retired generals questioning Joe Biden’s health under fire
More than 100 retired military officers questioned President Biden’s health in a letter that Ms Clinton called ‘bizarre, shameful, and untrue’
- The Independent
Congresswoman from New York reacted sharply to ‘intimidation’ from Republican
- The Independent
Liz Cheney warns Donald Trump ‘going to unravel the democracy to come back into power’
- The New York Times
BRUSSELS — American and Egyptian mediators are heading to Israel to begin de-escalation talks, but the antagonists face critical political decisions before they will agree to begin discussions on ending the violence. Both Israel and Hamas first have to find ways to spin a narrative of victory for their publics, analysts say, but the task will be easier for Hamas than for Israel. Israel’s caretaker prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has to calculate the impact of the fighting on his own political fortunes, made more complicated by the internal unrest between Jews and Israeli Arabs in numerous cities inside Israel. The crucial decision for Israel is whether “victory” requires sending ground troops into Gaza, which would extend the conflict and significantly increase the number of dead and wounded on both sides. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times For the Palestinians, the indefinite postponement of elections last month by the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, created a vacuum that Hamas is more than willing to fill. Hamas argues that it is the only Palestinian faction that, with its large stockpile of improved missiles, is defending the holy places of Jerusalem, turning Abbas into a spectator. President Joe Biden has spoken to Netanyahu and repeated the usual formula about Israel’s right to self-defense, and he has dispatched an experienced diplomat, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Hady Amr, to urge de-escalation on both sides. But the United States does not talk to Hamas, regarding it as a terrorist organization, and Abbas has no real control over Gaza or Hamas. So in all likelihood, Amr will be talking to Egyptian security officials, given that Egypt has been the usual interlocutor in concluding rounds of warfare between Israel and Hamas. That includes the last two big blowups, in 2008 and 2014, when the fighting lasted more than 50 days. On Thursday, Egypt dispatched security officials to Tel Aviv, Israel, and to Gaza to begin discussions, according to the state-controlled newspaper Al-Ahram and the broadcaster Al-Arabiya. Officially, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry, which does not deal with Hamas, had no comment. On Tuesday, Egypt’s foreign minister, Sameh Shoukry, told a meeting of the Arab League that Egypt had reached out to Israel and other “concerned countries” to try to calm the violence but that Israel had not been responsive. Abdel Monem Said Aly, a long-standing analyst of Egyptian and regional relations in Cairo, said that “Egypt will do its best” in the interests of regional stability. But he warned that Netanyahu’s decision about whether to use ground troops would determine how long this round of violence lasted. “The issue is much more complicated than previously,” he said, citing internal Israeli and Palestinian politics and Egypt’s efforts “to steer the whole region to a different more stabilized future.” Egypt has leverage over Hamas because of its land border with Gaza, which Cairo can shut or relax at will. “And, of course, Egypt will talk to Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, those with money, about rebuilding in Gaza,” Said Aly said. “But the problem in Israel is not about talking to Mr. Netanyahu — that’s easy — but the winds inside Israel itself and the big competition between different brands of conservatism.” On the Palestinian side, he said, “There is a similar vacuum of political legitimacy, and Hamas will score by raising up Palestinian public opinion and increasing guilt in Islamic countries about the Palestinians and getting more legitimacy for future elections.” Said Aly fears the events will increase Islamic radicalism both in Gaza and in Israel, among its young Arab population. “Of course, Egypt will talk to everyone,” he said. “We will talk of the problems of the whole region, and we won’t exclude the Palestinian issue. But how much anyone can help now is not clear.” Hamas also has reason to mistrust Egypt and its leader, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, according to Michele Dunne, a former American official and director of the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment. El-Sissi sees Hamas as a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, which remains powerful in Egypt, and in 2014 he did little to discourage Israel from invading Gaza in hopes of destroying Hamas. The violence can take a long time to subside, said Mark Heller of the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University. “At some point Israel reminds itself that there is no way it can bring about a decisive outcome at a tolerable cost to itself,” he said, “and Hamas realizes that the costs and risks to its own political viability and control over Gaza become too much.” At that point, Heller said, Hamas agrees to “what they say is always a temporary cease-fire, not a peace, and usually gets some sort of payoff, I suspect this time from the Qataris.” Egypt is usually the interlocutor “and the fig leaf” for negotiations between Hamas and Israel, which both sides deny but that are going on almost continuously over many smaller issues, he said. Egypt is mindful that it needs to patch fences with Biden after the departure of former President Donald Trump, said Daniel Levy, president of the U.S./Middle East Project. “I think Cairo wants to demonstrate its importance to Biden,” he said, noting the beginning of reconciliation talks with Qatar and Turkey. Qatar, a rich emirate, bankrolls both Hamas and the Arab news operation Al-Jazeera, and Turkey has been a strident supporter of Hamas. That had put them at odds with Egypt. But with the election of Biden, Egypt has gingerly followed Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in trying to calm relations with Qatar and Turkey. Muslim countries have criticized Israel’s actions, but in largely perfunctory fashion so far, given that many of their leaders distrust Islamist radicalism. Many Arab countries have sidelined the Palestinian issue and are looking past Abbas to see, and try to manipulate, who will succeed him as head of Fatah and the Palestine Liberation Organization. But for now, with so much Israeli attention on the internal strife between young Jewish and Arab citizens, Levy said, many things are up in the air, and the struggle over Gaza can seem less important. It may also divert the Israeli security forces, making a ground incursion less likely. “This strife is an extremely disorienting and worrisome development and a matter of far greater concern, frankly, than Hamas,” said Heller. “The army can take care of Hamas, but we need something to take care of Israeli society, and right now we don’t have that.” This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
- The Daily Beast
ANAS BABA/AFP via Getty ImagesHospitals in the Gaza Strip were suffocated long before the most recent round of bombardment by Israeli forces. But now, health-care officials are faced with the impossible task of tending to the mounting number of citizens wounded in relentless attacks on the strip.On top of the COVID-19 crisis that killed almost 1,000 and infected up to 100,000 residents of the enclave, health-care workers in Gaza are tasked with caring for the roughly 500 that have been injured in a barrage of airstrikes on the strip over the past few days.“The situation here is very difficult, I can’t describe the horror in words,” a worker for the Red Crescent in Gaza told Haaretz on Thursday.Israeli Strikes Have Razed 21 Media Outlets in Gaza This Week, Says Non-ProfitGaza’s healthcare system has long been plagued with shortages of medical supplies, doctors, and electricity, as well as a crumbling infrastructure. The pandemic was particularly hard on Gaza’s roughly 2 million residents, with researchers saying that infection rates are vastly underreported and that Israel’s siege of the enclave had exacerbated the COVID crisis even further.“Israel’s blockade has devastated the economy in Gaza,” one researcher from European University Institute in Florence told Al-Jazeera in February. “And this is having a major impact on the ability of people to comply with lockdown measures when doing so means losing their already limited sources of income.”Adding to the COVID crisis in Gaza is a lagging vaccination rate. Although Israel’s vaccine campaign was one of the most successful in the world, less than 1 percent of Palestinians have been fully vaccinated. Israeli officials have faced a barrage of criticism for failing to extend their vaccine efforts to Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.The current violence sweeping the region, with Israeli airstrikes pummeling building after building—and the Hamas militant group firing hundreds of rockets back at Israel—has killed at least 83 Gazans, including 17 children. On the Israeli side, five civilians have died.Bibi Vows Hamas Will Pay ‘Very Heavy Price’ for Rocket FireAccording to local news outlets, Gaza doctors are reporting dire shortages in blood supplies and hospital beds.“There is no possibility of establishing coronavirus wards, there is full occupancy of hospital beds, and I’m afraid they’ll have to evacuate or release these patients to provide urgent treatment for the wounded,” a doctor with Physicians for Human Rights told Haaretz. “Treating the wounded will overburden the medical system, and the system for treating COVID-19 patients is also likely to reach the point of collapse.”The influx of patients doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on Thursday that the enclave will see “many, many more targets” hit in the days to come. Meanwhile, Gaza’s hospitals continue to struggle with the now double burden of devastating pandemic and a seemingly endless stream of wounded citizens.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get 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.
- The Independent
Ms Carlson’s followers believe she could ‘communicate with angels’
- The Independent
The House Speaker says the ethics committee should review the incident
- The Independent
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez raises alarm over security in Congress after Marjorie Taylor Greene accosts her
Democrat’s supporters say she ‘should get a restraining order against MTG’ following accosting in Congress
- The Independent
Musk’s comments about dogecoin and bitcoin have led to a severe fall in both cryptocurrencies
Kelly Rocklein says she has received abuse since her legal action against the YouTuber became public.
- Reuters Videos
This year's celebrations come as Pakistan struggles to contain a third wave of coronavirus infections. The government has imposed a partial lockdown from May 8 to May 16 in which most businesses, except for essential services such as grocery stores and pharmacies, are to remain closed.Despite government advisories for citizens to maintain social distancing and avoid large gatherings, hundreds of worshippers, many without masks, were seen attending prayers outside a mosque in Karachi. Worshippers said they prayed for an end to the coronavirus pandemic.Pakistan has seen a daily death toll of more than 100 in recent weeks. The county's health ministry reported 3265 COVID-19 cases and 126 deaths on Wednesday (May 12).
Inspired by her father's release from prison, St Vincent says her new album feels like a lifeline.
- The Daily Beast
GettyDespite rolling back key guidance on coronavirus safety measures like face masks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommends businesses and employers consider daily symptom and temperature checks. Since COVID-19 is far from over in the United States, we must make better-informed decisions about what type of prevention practices work.And it’s time to remove practices—like checking temperatures and symptoms—that do not work.Why was fever screening implemented? Earlier in the pandemic, when the spread of COVID was not as well understood and highly accurate tests were not as readily available, it was thought that fever was a telling symptom of COVID-19. However, we now know that people can have COVID-19 with many different symptoms—or with a complete lack thereof.A scientific review of 22 peer-reviewed studies last fall found that if temperature checks were used to screen 100 people with COVID-19, between 31 and 88 of those with infection would be missed—and up to 10 people without infection would be falsely identified as possibly infected. Data from another study also suggested that temperature screening can miss over 75 percent of those with infection.To better understand why temperature checks are theater, it’s worth revisiting what a fever actually is. The origin of fever defined as a body temperature of ≥100.4°F (≥38.0°C) is commonly traced to the 1868 work by Carl Reinhold August Wunderlich, Das Verhalten der Eigenwärme in Krankheiten (The Course of Temperature in Diseases). In this context, it amounts to an increase in body temperature and can have many causes, including infection, heat exposure, auto-immune disease, stroke or heart attack, and cancer.Unlike the skin, which can be warmed or cooled by the local environment, the core body temperature, generally defined as the temperature of blood in a deep vein near the heart, is what is important to measure to determine the body’s internal environment. Prior research has suggested that infrared skin surface thermometers—the ones most visible in this era of temperature checks at the door—do not reliably predict core body temperatures.Symptom screening is also ineffective. The aforementioned review also found that if symptom screening was used on 100 people with COVID-19, the measures would deem 40 to 100 of those with infection as healthy. Data collected from an outbreak in a long-term skilled nursing facility found that when tested for COVID-19, 23 of 76 (30.3 percent) residents had positive test results, but 13 of 23 (57 percent) infected people reported they had no symptoms on the day of testing or prior.In November, the CDC published a study that assessed temperature and symptom screening efforts at U.S. airports, finding that the observed number of identified cases was 1 per 85,000 travelers screened. The authors remarked that those real-world findings were consistent with scientific models that suggest many infected travelers would be undetected by airport screening.So the case is strong that temperature and symptom checks are a weak means of preventing COVID-19 spread. And now, given the decreasing number of new infections and the rising proportion of those vaccinated, it is critically important to remove ineffective means of infection control and focus on measures that work.Currently, temperature screening is recommended federally, as well as in 22 states, and symptom screening is recommended federally as well as in 38 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. It might seem like as long as people are dying and getting infected, every safety measure is worthwhile. But the problem is that normal temperature and symptom screening results can create a false sense of security. Additionally, activities to conduct screening are costly in terms of staff’s time performing the checks, equipment, equipment maintenance, people’s time undergoing checks, software, and the costs of false-positive (and false-negative) results.Here’s How We Handle People Who Refuse to Get COVID VaccinesAs vaccination increases, the main driver of the continued spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. is unvaccinated people—whether because they refuse to get shots or otherwise—with asymptomatic or unrecognized infection. Vaccinated people, on the other hand, appear to be highly unlikely to contribute to the spread of new infections. Since the goal of screening measures is to keep those infectious away from those susceptible, vaccination reduces the pools of both—those infectious and those susceptible—making routine screening even less useful.In fact, if we feel we must continue screening employees, visitors, and others entering certain venues, we should be screening people for vaccination status. Some large venues, like baseball stadiums, have already begun to use vaccination status as a means for admittance to certain sections. Despite the concern by some privacy advocates—and, for very different reasons, a number of conservative politicians—over “vaccine passports,” they make a lot of scientific sense.With more evidence about the benefits and costs of various interventions, COVID-19 control activities should continue to be updated as the epidemic and control measures improve. Resources should be redirected from ineffective means of epidemic control, like temperature or symptom screening, to ones that are now proven to be useful such as ventilation, vaccination, and case-finding through targeted testing and surveillance.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get 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.
- The Independent
‘It’s wrong’: AOC hits out at Biden’s Israel statement as Democrats demand end to Palestinian displacement
‘Even our allies must be held accountable for human rights violations,’ congressman says