There's an update on the search for a woman accused of punching a toddler on board a subway train.
- The Independent
Republicans in 43 states have introduced more than 250 bills restricting voting rights, underscoring urgency in Congress to pass sweeping elections legislation, Alex Woodward reports
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The crash, on State Route 115 near El Centro, California, involved a sport utility vehicle carrying 27 people and a truck hauling gravel, officials at El Centro Regional Medical Center told a news briefing.Some 14 people died at the scene while another person died at the El Centro Regional Medical Center, the director of the hospital's emergency room, Judy Cruz, said in the briefing, posted on Facebook.
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A succession of communication blunders about the vaccine has led some Europeans to see it as second rate.
- USA TODAY
It's unclear how many QAnon supporters believe the March 4 inauguration theory. The House canceled its Thursday session as a precaution.
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The U.N. official who investigated the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi sharply criticized President Biden’s response to the killing, saying his administration’s failure to sanction Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent a “dangerous” message to world leaders.
- The New York Times
ATLANTA — After record turnout flipped Georgia blue for the first time in decades, Republicans who control the state Legislature are moving swiftly to implement a raft of new restrictions on voting access, mounting one of the biggest challenges to voting rights in a major battleground state following the 2020 election. Two bills, one passed by the House on Monday and another that could pass the Senate this week, seek to alter foundational elements of voting in Georgia, which supported President Joe Biden in November and a pair of Democratic senators in January — narrow victories attributable in part to the array of voting options in the state. The Republican legislation would undermine pillars of voting access by ending automatic voter registration, banning drop boxes for mail ballots and eliminating the broad availability of absentee voting. The bills would restrict early voting on the weekends, limiting the longstanding civic tradition of “Souls to the Polls” in which Black voters cast ballots on Sunday after church services. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times Taken together, the new barriers would have an outsize impact on Black voters, who make up roughly one-third of the state’s population and vote overwhelmingly Democratic. Black voters were a major force in Democratic success in recent elections, with roughly 88% voting for Biden and more than 90% voting for Sens. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in the January runoff elections, according to exit polls. Democrats say that Republicans are effectively returning to one of the ugliest tactics in the state’s history — oppressive laws aimed at disenfranchising voters. “Rather than grappling with whether their ideology is causing them to fail, they are instead relying on what has worked in the past,” Stacey Abrams, the voting rights activist, said, referring to what she said were laws designed to suppress votes. “Instead of winning new voters, you rig the system against their participation, and you steal the right to vote.” The Georgia effort comes as former President Donald Trump continues to publicly promote the lie that the election was stolen from him, which has swayed millions of Republican voters. It has also put further pressure on Republican state legislatures across the country to continue drafting new legislation aimed at restricting voting rights under the banner of “election integrity” as a way of appeasing the former president and his loyal base. New restrictions on voting have already passed in Iowa, and multiple other states are lining up similar efforts, while the Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments this week on another challenge to the Voting Rights Act. Should the high court make changes to Section 2 of the act, which allows after-the-fact challenges to voting restrictions that may disproportionately affect members of minority groups, Democrats and voting rights groups could be left without one of their most essential tools to challenge new laws. Justice Elena Kagan, in her questioning on Tuesday, appeared to allude to Georgia’s proposed limitations on Sunday voting. “If a state has long had two weeks of early voting and then the state decides that it is going to get rid of Sunday voting on those two weeks, leave everything else in place, and Black voters vote on Sunday 10 times more than white voters, is that system equally open?” Kagan asked. For decades, Georgia has been at the center of the voting rights battle, with Democrats and advocacy groups fighting back against repeated efforts to disenfranchise Black voters in the state. As recently as 2018, Georgians faced hourslong lines to vote in many majority-Black neighborhoods, and thousands of Black voters were purged from the voting rolls before the election. Now Democrats and voting rights groups are alarmed that Republicans are again trying to change the state’s voting laws ahead of critical Senate and governor’s races in 2022. Though the bills in the Legislature have not been finalized, it is expected they will eventually reach the desk of Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican. Kemp has not explicitly backed either bill, but he said Tuesday that he was in favor of efforts “to further secure the vote.” “I’m supportive of putting the photo ID requirement on absentee ballots by mail and other things, making sure that there’s a fair process to observe,” Kemp told radio host Hugh Hewitt. He said his decision on the bills would depend on “what it is and what’s in it.” Democrats, shut out of power in the Statehouse despite holding both U.S. Senate seats, are relatively powerless in the legislative process to stop the bills, though they do have avenues through the courts to challenge any final bill signed. In an interview on Tuesday, Abrams, the former Democratic minority leader in the Georgia House of Representatives, called Monday’s House vote “a sign of fear” over Republicans’ failure to win support from young and minority voters, two of the fastest-growing sectors of the state’s electorate. She added that the measure was also potentially self-defeating for the GOP in that large percentages of rural white voters, a traditionally Republican-leaning bloc, could also be impeded by laws that make it harder for citizens to cast absentee ballots and vote by mail. Asked about restrictions to Sunday voting, Abrams cited a study by the Center for New Data, a nonprofit group, that found Black voters were more likely to vote on weekends than white voters in 107 of Georgia’s 159 counties. Overall, 11.8% of Black voters voted on weekends compared with 8.6% of white voters, according to the study. “We know that some version of this bill is likely to pass because Republicans face an existential crisis in Georgia,” Abrams said, portraying the party as shortsighted in refusing to address the factors that have put its traditional demographic advantages at risk in recent elections. Among the most pressing concerns for Georgia Democrats is the possibility that the House’s bill, H.B. 531, might be amended in the Senate to include provisions that put an end to automatic voter registration and a vote-by-mail system known as “no excuse,” which allows any voters to cast mail ballots if they choose. These proposals were included in a bill that passed out of a Senate committee last week. The automatic registration system, which registers voters when they apply for or renew a driver’s license, was put in place in 2016 under the Republican governor at the time, Nathan Deal. Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, another Republican, has credited the system with drastically increasing voter registration numbers, and Republicans have cited such figures to push back against charges leveled by Abrams and others that Georgia Republicans want to suppress votes. No-excuse absentee voting was approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature in 2005 and was used by many voters during the pandemic. In December, Raffensperger supported ending no-excuse absentee voting, saying it “opens the door to potential illegal voting.” Raffensperger took that stance even as he defended Georgia’s electoral system against accusations by Trump that the election was somehow rigged; his refusal to support the former president’s baseless claims earned him the enmity of Trump and Georgia Republicans allied with him. Raffensperger’s office did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday on the current legislative efforts in the Legislature, including the House bill, which would remove the secretary of state from his role as chair of the State Elections Board. Cody Hall, a spokesman for Kemp, repeated an oft-used phrase of his, saying that the governor wanted to make it “easy to vote and hard to cheat” in Georgia. Kasey Carpenter, a Republican state representative whose district is a conservative swath of Northwest Georgia, said the House bill included a number of common-sense provisions that Democrats would be supporting if it were not for the intense partisan nature of the times. Changes to mail-in procedures, he said, were particularly important given the sharp increase in people who chose to vote that way because of the restrictions of the pandemic. “I think what you’re seeing is a measured approach,” he said. For example, Carpenter said, the bill requires voters to put the number of their driver’s license or state identification card on applications for a mail-in ballot, and requires photocopies to be sent in only if the voter is using alternative forms of identification. If a highly restrictive bill ends up on Kemp’s desk, he will be faced with a complicated dilemma. On the one hand, the governor must show his Trump-loyal Republican base that he has heard and responded to their concerns about election integrity. Doing so will be particularly important if Trump, who was incensed that Kemp did not take steps to overturn his electoral defeat in Georgia, carries out his threat to back a primary challenger on Kemp’s right flank. On the other hand, if Abrams chooses to engage Kemp in a rematch of their 2018 contest, she and her allies are likely to once again make allegations of voter suppression one of their most forceful and incessant attack lines against Kemp. In an electorate still reeling from the two-month effort to subvert the election result by Trump, and the rash of lawsuits attacking voting before and after the election, the bills in Georgia have quickly attracted national attention. More Than a Vote, a group founded by LeBron James, the basketball superstar, has vowed to draw attention to the issue during the NBA All-Star game this weekend in Atlanta; his pledge was first reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Voting rights groups note that the severe limitations put on early voting could also have a cascading effect: By limiting the number of hours available for in-person voting, the bottlenecks created during high-volume times and on Election Day would very likely lead to more hourslong lines, like the waits that plagued the Georgia primary in June. “They’re creating a line management problem,” said Aunna Dennis, the executive director of Common Cause Georgia, a voting rights group. In the primary, she noted, “we saw people in line for over six hours. Just imagine if we were losing 108 hours of early voting time, of Sunday voting, access to the drop box, how many of those people are now going to have to wait in line?” This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
- The State
The incident is under investigation.
- Business Insider
President Biden and allies in Europe are worried a revenge attack might scuttle nuclear talks with Iran.
- Business Insider
Rudy Giuliani, who helped lead Trump's bogus election-fraud conspiracy theory, is being mocked after warning of the dangers of misinformation
After spending months pushing Trump's election fraud conspiracy theory, Giuliani unexpectedly warned of the dangers of misinformation.
- CBS News
The launch and landing were successful, but the prototype exploded a few minutes after touchdown.
- South Florida Sun Sentinel
Dave Hyde: The Dolphins’ surprising release of Kyle Van Noy isn’t so surprising — it’s ice-cold smart
A few months ago, as the Dolphins made a playoff push that failed, Kyle Van Noy made a bottom-line comment that, “It’s all about taking care of your business in this league.” In a novel, that’s called “foreshadowing.” Unfortunately for Van Noy, this isn’t some grand, sweeping novel with him as protagonist. He became a bit player to business with his Tuesday release that either forecasts some ...
- The Telegraph
Prince Philip health update: Duke of Edinburgh undergoes successful procedure for pre-existing heart condition
The Duke of Edinburgh has undergone surgery for a pre-existing heart condition and will remain in hospital for several more days, Buckingham Palace has announced. Prince Philip, 99, was transferred from the private King Edward VII hospital to St Bartholomew’s Hospital, a leading cardiac unit, on Monday. The palace said in a statement: “The Duke of Edinburgh yesterday underwent a successful procedure for a pre-existing heart condition at St Bartholomew’s Hospital. “His Royal Highness will remain in hospital for treatment, rest and recuperation for a number of days.” The Duke was admitted to the King Edward VII in central London on February 16 for "rest and observation" after feeling unwell. It was not an emergency admission and he walked in unaided, with aides revealing they expected him to be released within days and that doctors were simply acting with “an abundance of caution.” But the palace later revealed he was being treated for an infection and would remain in hospital for several more days than expected. The Duke, who in 2011 received treatment for a blocked coronary artery, was subsequently transferred to St Bartholomew’s by ambulance, pictured below.
- Business Insider
A wealthy Florida Keys community received vaccines before the rest of the state. A month later, one resident sent $250,000 to the governor.
The Miami Herald report came amid criticism of Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, who has been accused of playing favorites with vaccine distribution.
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Every time the quarterback has bet on himself and turned down a team offer, he has been rewarded by an increase in value. That’s not changing now.
- The Independent
5,000 National Guard troops remain in DC amid QAnon frenzy that Trump will be inaugurated again this week
QAnon followers believe that on 4 March, which was once the inauguration date of US presidents, Donald Trump will become president again
- The Daily Beast
WPA Pool/Getty ImagesMeghan Markle is expected to discuss racism in the U.K. in her sit-down with Oprah Winfrey that airs on Sunday.In a depressing illustration of the problem, which Prince Harry has previously described as “structural” in Britain, a prominent British journalist and frequent critic of Meghan Markle is under fire after launching an extraordinary and racist attack on her, in which he appeared to suggest the fact that he thinks she is “attractive” meant she could not be a victim of racism.Andrew Pierce, a senior editor at the Daily Mail who is a regular guest on British TV and radio shows, was hosting a talk radio show Wednesday when a caller suggested that Meghan had never been “fully accepted because of her skin color.”Pierce, who is white, responded, “Oh God, that one again! Do you look at her… and see a Black woman? Because I don’t. I see a very attractive, a very attractive woman. It’s never occurred to me. I never look at her and think, ‘Gosh she’s Black!’ in the way you look at Oprah Winfrey, you would be in no doubt. When they sit down and do that interview, you will see a Black woman called Oprah Winfrey and you will see a woman who describes [herself] as a woman of color. Her mother is Black, she’s from a mixed-race family of course. But I just don’t think people look at Meghan and think, ‘Oh I hate her, because of her skin color.’ I don’t see it. I don’t buy it.”Just a reminder of who Andrew Pierce is... (sound on) pic.twitter.com/wUKq6deFAY— Royal Suitor (@royal_suitor) March 3, 2021 In his statement, Pierce utilizes colorism—the concept that because Markle is of a fairer complexion she cannot be a victim of racism. Instead, he compares her to Oprah Winfrey, implying that the media mogul’s darker skin color is not seen as being attractive because her features are overwhelmingly Black.This has been the case for a number of famous women. Michelle Obama constantly endured negative feedback about her looks before her husband even officially took his place in the White House. By highlighting Markle’s lighter skin, not only is Pierce diminishing her experiences but also perpetuating misunderstandings about racism.Pierce, a frequent critic of Markle, had earlier in the day been a guest on British TV show Good Morning Britain. The segment in which he appeared was criticized for featuring five white men talking about Meghan. Pierce attacked Meghan as hypocritical on the show over allegations she bullied staff at Buckingham Palace and also attacked her later in the day on Twitter for wearing jewelry gifted by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.#Meghan wore diamonds from Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia 3 weeks says @thetimes after he ordered murder of #JamalKhashoggi it's not just appalling timing, why is she taking diamonds from Saudi which treats women as 3rd class citizens. So much for her worldwide equality campaign— Andrew Pierce (@toryboypierce) March 3, 2021 The shocking comments by Pierce that appeared to question Meghan’s race based on her appearance echo a revealing article written for Elle magazine in 2015 by Markle in which she said her race made it difficult for her to break through in Hollywood: “I wasn’t Black enough for the Black roles and I wasn’t white enough for the white ones, leaving me somewhere in the middle as the ethnic chameleon who couldn’t book a job.”She added: “Being biracial paints a blurred line that is equal parts staggering and illuminating.“While my mixed heritage may have created a grey area surrounding my self-identification, keeping me with a foot on both sides of the fence, I have come to embrace that. To say who I am, to share where I’m from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident mixed-race woman.”On Martin Luther King Day 2016, Markle published a moving piece of writing on her now-shuttered blog The Tig that explored the overt and covert racism she and her family have experienced throughout their lives.Pierce’s remarks have generated outraged commentary on social media.This is what Meghan had to deal with. Listen to how Andrew Pierce defines the attractiveness and diversity of a black woman. Heartbreaking. @Oprah @GayleKing @meenaharris @RobinRoberts @MichelleObama @WhoopiGoldberg https://t.co/pDKD4tN6vH— Pam Ranberg (@PamRanberg) March 3, 2021 Nervousness at the palace about what Meghan might reveal in her interview with Oprah intensified today after a new promo clip of Meghan and Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey was released. It shows Meghan accuse the British royal family of “perpetuating falsehoods” about her and her husband. Winfrey asks, “How do you feel about the palace hearing you speak your truth today?” Markle responds, “I don’t know how they could expect that after all of this time we would still just be silent if there is an active role that The Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us. And if that comes with risk of losing things, there is a lot that has been lost already.”Royals often use the term “The Firm” to refer to the monarchy.The Daily Beast has approached Associated Newspapers, Pierce’s employers, seeking comment. —Brooke Howard contributed to this reportRead 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.
Alec Baldwin deletes Twitter again after being roasted for commenting on Gillian Anderson 'switching accents'
Earlier this year, Alec Baldwin's wife Hilaria was at the center of controversy after being accused of fabricating her Spanish heritage.
- CBS News
President Biden agreed to a demand by moderate Democrats to begin phasing out stimulus checks at a faster rate.
- LA Times
Playing for the first time this season without LeBron James, Dennis Schroder, Montrezl Harrell and Kyle Kuzma get close, but can't lift Lakers past Kings.
During a recent interview on Good Morning America with host Robin Roberts, former First Lady Michelle Obama opened up about how she and her husband, former President Barack Obama, have open communications with their two young-adult daughters. “I always have wanted them to start practicing the power of their voices very early on,” Mrs. Obama shared of Sasha, 19, and Malia, 22.