Baltimore police homicide detectives have taken over the investigation into the disappearance of a 26-year-old woman. Tara Payne was last seen around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday in the 2800 block of O'Donnell Street, police said. She is about 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs about 115 pounds, police said. Family and friends are concerned about her wellbeing.
- The Independent
The La Soufriere volcano has erupted multiple times since Friday, and the damage to St Vincent is shocking
- The Independent
White nationalist website calls Tucker Carlson’s ‘replacement’ rant ‘one of the best things Fox News has ever aired’
The Fox News host has won the praise of an officially designated hate group after appearing to endorse the racist ‘replacement’ theory
- The Independent
‘Congress itself is the target’: Capitol police overlooked intel and were ordered to hold back during riot, report finds
Days before attack, law enforcement officials were warned Stop the Steal campaign could attract ‘white supremacists, militia members’ and other violent groups
PARIS (Reuters) -The European countries party to the Iran nuclear deal told Tehran on Wednesday its decision to enrich uranium at 60% purity, bringing the fissile material closer to bomb-grade, was contrary to efforts to revive the 2015 accord. But in an apparent signal to Iran's arch-adversary Israel, which Tehran blamed for an explosion at its key nuclear site on Sunday, European powers Germany, France and Britain added that they rejected "all escalatory measures by any actor". Israel, which the Islamic Republic does not recognise, has not formally commented on the incident at Iran's Natanz site, which appeared the latest twist in a long-running covert war.
- The Independent
Two North Carolina police officers suspended over beating Black man in clash caught by bystander video
‘We can’t afford nor do we desire to afford to ignore what we saw,’ says Kinston Mayor Pro Tem Felicia Solomon about footage
As Britain grieves his death, so do some Pacific tribespeople who revere him as a spiritual figure.
- The Independent
Fox News host under fire for defending white nationalist conspiracy theory
- Business Insider
Grab, the food-delivery giant backed by SoftBank, is going public in the US via the largest-ever SPAC merger, valuing it at $40 billion
Grab, the food-delivery giant backed by SoftBank, plans to go public in the US via a SPAC merger with Altimeter Growth. It'd be listed on the Nasdaq.
- The Independent
One of the police officers involved has been sacked
- The Daily Beast
Drew Angerer/GettyAs another American city is gripped by protests following the shooting death of an unarmed Black person by a police officer, the Biden administration is renewing focus on one of the “four historic crises” he pledged to address in his first hundred days: a long-overdue reckoning over racial justice in policing.“With Daunte Wright in Minnesota, that god-awful shooting resulting in his death, and in the midst of an ongoing trial over the killing of George Floyd… we’re in the business, all of us meeting today, to deliver some real change,” President Joe Biden said on Tuesday before a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus. “We also have an awful lot of things we have to deal with when it comes to police, when it comes to advancing equality.”But as the death of 20-year-old Wright puts renewed urgency behind Biden’s push to pass a landmark police reform bill through Congress, stakeholders in law enforcement and reform advocacy alike are increasingly at odds over the bill’s primary components. As the longtime divide between police and watchdogs widens, Biden’s call for reform that satisfies both groups appears increasingly unlikely.“You can’t reconcile abolition with reform—they’re irreconcilable,” said Eugene O’Donnell, a former NYPD officer and prosecutor in New York City and professor of law and police science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “Biden is going to have to confront reality… which is that policing has collapsed completely, and it’s probably irreparably damaged.”Democrats have long walked a thin tightrope in their relationship with law enforcement, particularly in recent years as the Black Lives Matter movement has helped push police reform to the top of the party’s political agenda. This is particularly true of Biden, who worked closely with police unions during his time as a senator—when he was at the forefront of anti-crime legislation that has since become a primary target of reform advocates—and has since made concerted efforts to bring law enforcement organizations into the fold as stakeholders in developing policy.The decision on Monday to kill the national police oversight commission that Biden had promised to create during his first months in office, for example, came at the urging of both law enforcement groups and reform advocates who argued that it was redundant. Instead, the administration announced that its primary focus would be on passing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which would, among other things, ban chokeholds and no-knock warrants in drug cases, require the use of de-escalation techniques before use of deadly force, and eliminate qualified immunity for law enforcement.Asked about how much effort the White House would put into getting that bill passed, Psaki pledged Biden would “use the power of his presidency to move it forward.”“The strong consensus from all of these [civil rights] groups is that the work should be focused on trying to pass the George Floyd Act, and the commission would not be the most constructive way to deliver on our top priority,” she said Tuesday. “So we are working together collectively to do exactly that. There are steps that we certainly will work in conjunction to take as they are possible. And some of them we've signed through executive orders, and we’ll continue to communicate with these groups about what is most effective.”But police union stakeholders have already marked the issue of rolling back qualified immunity a red line.“The biggest sticking point is qualified immunity,” said Andrea Edmiston, director of governmental affairs at the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO), a lobbying group that represents more than 1,000 police units and associations—which in turn represent roughly a quarter million working and retired police officers. “We’ve heard from a lot of our members who are really worried that qualified immunity will go away.”Qualified immunity, in short, shields government officials, including police officers, from being sued in civil court for violating a suspect’s constitutional rights in the course of the performance of their duties as long as those duties were carried out in “subjective good faith”—that is, if an officer believes their actions are reasonable in the moment. Critics of the protection say that it encourages police abuse without accountability, while law enforcement advocates say that it protects officers from frivolous lawsuits and potential financial ruin.Police Union Bosses to Biden: You’re Pissing Us OffEven as public polling suggests a growing national consensus on the need for police reform in the context of racial justice, the two sides are increasingly at odds over the bill that the Biden administration has now made the gold standard for police reform. According to law enforcement groups that have been at the table, putting the George Floyd Act at the center of the administration’s focus for police reform could be the final straw for the police unions that Biden has courted for decades.“If they break a law or knowingly violate someone’s constitutional rights, yes, that has to be addressed,” Edmiston said. “But if this officer is acting in good faith, and you take away qualified immunity, then that opens that officer up to being sued—and officers don’t make a lot of money, right? Suddenly, they’ll lose their life savings, they’ll lose everything.”Edmiston noted that NAPO, as well as other law enforcement advocacy organizations, has been welcomed to the table by members of Congress seeking the input of police groups in the legislation. But while some aspects of the bill have gotten qualified support from law enforcement stakeholders—including mandated data collection for use-of-force statistics, and a national decertification database that would prevent officers fired for misconduct from being hired by police forces in other states—the sticking point of qualified immunity is seen as both a nonstarter in law enforcement circles.“You’re going to get police officers to do absolutely nothing other than being an observer,” said said Tom Scotto, president emeritus of the Detectives’ Endowment Association, one of the three major police unions in New York City, who also served as president of the NAPO. Scotto, who called measures eliminating qualified immunity “absurd,” worked closely with Biden during the drafting of the 1994 crime bill from which the future president would later distance himself. “Every piece of action you take is now subject to some civilian getting an ambulance chasing attorney.”Meanwhile, the removal of qualified immunity, which has already been passed in some states, is a baseline requirement among reform advocates.“It is clear that the only way to end the scourge of police violence is to immediately divest from policing institutions that, from their inception, have been used to oppress Black people,” said Paige Fernandez, a policing policy advocate in the American Civil Liberties Union’s justice division. “You don’t reform police—you remove their responsibilities and reallocate taxpayer money into harm-reducing solutions. It is now far past time for tangible action to avoid killings like that of Daunte Wright.”The impossibility of reconciling those two positions has put Biden, a politician who has defined his career on his ability to bring together warring factions in support of common goals, on a collision course with two longtime constituencies.“If the president fails to deliver meaningful criminal justice reform, it’s essentially waving the white flag on one of the major crises he pledged to address,” said one former longtime staffer who worked in Biden’s office during the passage of the 1994 crime bill. “But if he turns his back on police—or even if they perceive him as turning his back on them—he loses a constituency he has courted for decades, and sets himself up for Crime Bill 2.0 if Republicans retake Congress.”O’Donnell, pointing to statistics showing a decline in qualified candidates for jobs in law enforcement and shortened career spans for those who do qualify, said that the only way to reconcile the two positions may be to accept that street cops may not exist forever.“It’s like coal mining—it’s just a job that we’re not going to lament the passing of,” O’Donnell said. “Assuming that you’re going to have humans doing this job… then how do you protect the country? If Biden wants to lead on that, that’s the question. How do you do that?”Black lawmakers on Tuesday told reporters that the president intends to do so by pushing for the George Floyd Act.“We know we’re going to have other meetings to develop our next steps, but we are moving forward,” said Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), after an Oval Office meeting between Biden and Congressional Black Caucus leadership. “And we were able to discuss those very openly with the president today.”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.
- Business Insider
Iran says it will enrich uranium to highest level ever after apparent Israeli attack on key nuclear facility
Iran, which now plans to enrich uranium to 60% purity, has vowed revenge on Israel over Sunday's act of sabotage on the Natanz nuclear complex.
- The Independent
‘Oh my gosh, what is that in the sky? Woah! Okay. Big piece of flash in the sky just then’
- Kansas City Star
Some want answers from the league, too.
- The Independent
During a memorial service at the US Capitol Rotunda for Officer William Evans, President Joe Biden picked up a toy dropped by the officer’s daughter, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told his family that while “no words are adequate” to address their loss, “we hope it’s a comfort to you that so many now know about your dad and know he’s a hero”. “And that the President of the United States is picking up one of your distractions.” Officer Evans was killed outside the Capitol on 2 April after a driver struck two officers before slamming into a security barrier outside the Capitol, then exited the car with a knife, according to police.
- The Daily Beast
The Daily Beast/Photo by Stefan Postles/GettyIn recent months, Australia—a country that weathered the pandemic far better than the United States, reporting fewer than 30,000 cases and 1,000 deaths—has struggled to get its citizens vaccinated, battling a deluge of sign-up glitches, shipment blockades, and devastating floods that forced more than 40,000 to evacuate their homes.Amid the strained rollout, the country has also had to contend with a different kind of hurdle: an erratic billionaire, described by the Western Australian premier as an “Olympic-scale narcissist,” whose political ambitions, immense resources, and faulty grasp of science have helped him drive an aggressive campaign to undermine public confidence in the shots.Clive Palmer, an Australian mining magnate who is worth an estimated $3.8 billion, according to Forbes, has spent the past few weeks disseminating anti-vaxx flyers and boosting misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine across his home continent and in major national newspapers owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.“We started seeing about six weeks ago, Clive Palmer running ads in The Western Australian—which is the major newspaper here in Western Australia,” Member of Parliament Patrick Gorman, who has been publicly critical of Palmer’s anti-vaxx efforts, told The Daily Beast. “[These were] front-page ads, full-page, open letters, questioning the efficacy of vaccines generally, which would be costing him—per day—in the order of $20,000 or more.”Palmer‚ a man who once tried to build an exact replica of the Titanic called the “Titanic II,” only to abandon the ship before its maiden voyage, has a reputation in Australia as an antagonist of movie-villain proportions. In August, after the businessman filed a lawsuit against the Western Australian state government over mining contracts, a newspaper photoshopped his head onto Dr. Evil from Austin Powers, and ran it with the headline “$30 BIIIIILLION”—a reference to both the character’s catchphrase and the amount Palmer requested in damages. The next day they did it again; this time, Palmer’s head was on a cane toad. The headline read “PEST.”Their message may not have landed. On Sunday, the former member of parliament shared a graphic of the flyer on his Facebook page. Headlined “COVID-19 VACCINE CONCERNS” and addressed to “Men and Women of Australia,” the caution-tape yellow document outlined Palmer’s personal angst about the vaccine, even though he has no medical training of any kind.The signed statement—which also ran as a full-page ad in the Murdoch-owned paper, The Australian in March—included multiple falsehoods already debunked by the country’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). Most notably, Palmer referred to the Australian government’s “emergency use” approval of the vaccine on the general population. In fact, while other countries including the United States and the U.K. have protocols for “Emergency Use Authorizations”—a legal authority that allows them to distribute unapproved treatments when medically necessary—the TGA does not.There isn’t any special authorization the TGA granted the vaccines; they are still being reviewed through a six-stage process that is also applied to all other vaccines in the country. While the administration has committed to an expedited schedule, they say it does not involve skipping steps or relaxing standards. For that reason, only the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines have been approved, and only for the first stage, which they call “provisional determination.”“The Therapeutic Goods Administration provisionally approved these vaccines after a complete assessment of all the available data,” the department wrote in a statement on its website. “No part of the process has been rushed, and there was no emergency authorisation granted. The TGA does not have an ‘Emergency Use Authorisation’ pathway for COVID-19 vaccines.” (The TGA, which did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment, issued a warning last week against distributing the Astra-Zeneca vaccine to those under 50, because of two cases of blood clots).Elsewhere in the flyers, Palmer referred to two Australians who “became ill” after receiving an oversized dose of the Pfizer vaccine. While two patients did receive extra doses of the jab back in mid-February, they showed “no signs of an adverse reaction.” Australian Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly told Australia 9News that early clinical trials of the Pfizer vaccine had experimented with larger doses of up to four times the current recommendation.“During those trials,” Kelly said, “the side effect profile was minimal, particularly in older people.” (Neither Palmer nor Kelly responded to The Daily Beast’s request for comment).“It made me really angry, to be honest,” Gorman said of the flyers, “because Clive Palmer is someone who has just tried to insert his way into national debates for his own business interests or because he has vendettas against various people.”As an example, Gorman pointed to Australia’s federal election in 2019, in which Palmer invested some $89 million of his own money campaigning. That is “far above what either major political party would spend in a national election,” Gorman said, “and his model of splashing cash to sort of boost his ego and put out misinformation at the worst possible time is unpatriotic.”The billionaire’s anti-vaxx promotional materials, of which there are several versions, have caught the attention of public officials as high as the prime minister. PM Scott Morrison attacked the messaging campaign last month as “complete rubbish,” and “misinformation, pure and simple.”The attacks marked something of an about-face for Morrison, who publicly backed a legal challenge from Palmer over the summer to Western Australia’s “hard border,” which had been closed to stymie the spread of COVID-19. The federal government later withdrew its support, which Gorman said had been poorly received by the Western Australian public, in part due to Palmer’s reputation. In response to the case, the state’s premier, McGowan, called Palmer “Australia’s greatest egomaniac.”Not long after, Shadow Health Minister Mark Butler flagged the flyers to the Australian Electoral Commission, urging the organization to investigate whether they should be considered political communications. Palmer, who served a single term in Parliament from 2013 to 2017 , formed a political party when he ran with a familiar slogan (“Make Australia Great”). He deregistered the party upon leaving office, but reactivated it in 2018, and continues to run candidates. Butler argued the flyers amounted to campaign materials and should be treated as “official party material.”“The COVID vaccine rollout and the government's response to the pandemic generally are very clearly going to be big election issues in the lead up to the 2021 or 2022 federal election," Butler told the Australian news organization, ABC News. "Clive Palmer, who is so closely associated with the party he began, is spewing misinformation in exactly the same way he runs an election campaign.” McGowan and Butler did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment.Their accusations came just months after Palmer was charged with fraud and corporate misconduct over political advertisements for his party in July. Prosecutors accused Palmer of diverting some $10 million from his own businesses to the group (then called Palmer United) in 2013, which he would later use to foot the bill for a $60 million campaigning spree. If he is found guilty, the offenses could entail lengthy prison sentences.Dabbling in medical conspiracy is not a new development for Palmer; he has been waging a year-long misinformation campaign against the science and legality of Australia’s coronavirus response since the start of the pandemic. In March 2020, the billionaire announced plans to acquire or manufacture more than one million doses of hydroxychloroquine—the malaria treatment endorsed by President Trump as a COVID-19 cure, despite a total dearth of evidence that the drug has any impact on the disease.The lack of evidence did not bother Palmer. The next month he bought nearly 33 million doses of the drug to distribute for free among Australians. In an infographic published to his foundation’s website, titled “The COVID-19 Hydroxychloroquine Story,” he boasted of plans to make “resources available to fund clinical trials.” The next day, Palmer advertised the move with three full-page ads in prominent national newspapers—all of them owned by Murdoch’s News Corp.Why Is the Right So Obsessed With Hydroxychloroquine?Gratuitous use of hydroxychloroquine can pose a danger to patients who have not been prescribed the medication. The TGA has warned that the medication poses “well-known serious side-effects to patients, including cardiac toxicity potentially leading to sudden heart attacks, irreversible eye damage and severe depletion of blood sugar potentially leading to coma.” According to the Guardian, the TGA later opened an investigation into whether the ads breached their drug advertising rules.In 2021, Palmer’s faith in fast-tracked medical research seems to have waned, and he pivoted from boosting faulty drugs to questioning clinical studies. In the Australian outlet ABC News, the vice-president of the Australian Medical Association, Chris Moy, offered Palmer a suggestion: “Clive, we’ll leave the mining to you and you leave the medicine and the science to us.”“The problem is, say somebody doesn’t get the vaccination because of his message, which is clearly not based on any particular expertise on his part,” Moy added. “What happens if they later get COVID or even die later? He'll be completely removed from direct responsibility for it, but as far as I’m concerned, he’s as responsible as any doctor who does something wrong."Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet 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
Less support for requirement to carry card with them to enter a business
- The Independent
‘I think we are going to be hearing about a decision pretty quickly,’ Dr Fauci says about the vaccine pause
- The Independent
‘Our system doesn’t serve kids like Daunte,’ Courteney Ross says
Further postponement of the UK climate summit would be better than a failed event, says an expert.
- The Independent
Boy choked himself using shoelace during social media challenge, father said