A Santa Ana wind event and a storm brewing off the coast of California fueled powerful winds and increased the wildfire threat on Jan. 18. AccuWeather's Bill Wadell had the story.
- Associated Press
Trashed on social media and censured by Louisiana Republicans, U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy described himself Wednesday as “at peace” with his vote to convict former President Donald Trump at his impeachment trial and dismissed the scorching GOP backlash he's received. Cassidy joined six other Senate Republicans in voting with Democrats on Feb. 13 to convict Trump of inciting the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol in an impeachment trial that saw the former president acquitted.
- National Review
A federal judge on Tuesday indefinitely banned the Biden administration from enforcing a 100-day pause on deportations of most illegal immigrants in response to a lawsuit from Texas, which argued that the moratorium violated federal law and could saddle the state with additional costs. U.S. district judge Drew Tipton issued a preliminary injunction Tuesday, dealing a blow to President Biden’s efforts to follow through on his campaign promise to pause most deportations. The pause would not have applied to those who have engaged in terrorism or espionage or who pose a danger to national security. It would also have excluded those who were not present in the U.S. before November 1, 2020, those who agreed to waive the right to remain, and those whom the ICE director individually determined need to be removed by law. Tipton first ruled on January 26 that the pause violated federal law on administrative procedure and that the U.S. failed to show why a deportation pause was justified. He issued a temporary two-week restraining order, which was set to expire Tuesday. Texas attorney general Ken Paxton argued that Biden’s January 20 memorandum violated federal law and an agreement with the Department of Homeland Security that Texas be consulted before reducing immigration enforcement or pausing deportations. As part of the agreement, DHS must give Texas 180 days notice of any proposed change on any matter that would reduce enforcement or increase the number of “removable or inadmissible aliens” in the United States. However, the ruling does not require deportations to resume at their previous pace and immigration agencies have broad discretion in enforcing removals and processing cases. In the wake of the first ruling, authorities deported hundreds of people to Central America and 15 people to Jamaica. The administration has also continued deportations that began under the Trump administration due to a public-health law in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Eddie Murphy says Ryan Coogler tried to make a 'Coming to America' sequel starring Michael B. Jordan - but he didn't like the idea
Eddie Murphy said that Ryan Coogler's idea had Michael B. Jordan playing his son, "looking for a wife."
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex say they will continue to support their royal patronages despite not being allowed to do so as royals.
- The Week
A few months after the Trump administration scrapped the Obama administration's robust net neutrality rules in 2018, California passed its own open-internet law. The Justice Department immediately sued to block California's net neutrality law, and it was in limbo until President Biden's administration dropped the lawsuit last month. A federal judge in California on Tuesday dismissed the last legal hurdle, a lawsuit by four telecom industry groups, opening the door to enforcement of the nation's first mandate that internet service providers treat all web traffic equally. The four telecom lobbying groups — America's Communications Association, Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association, the the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, and USTelecom — said Tuesday they "will review the court's opinion before deciding on next steps," suggesting they could appeal U.S. District Court Judge John Mendez's ruling. The broadband industry has successfully fought open-internet regulations for decades, but the industry groups said Tuesday that faced with a muddled "state-by-state approach," they think "Congress should codify rules for an open internet." Other states have been watching the California case for years, "hoping a legal resolution in the state's favor might open the door for them to try to craft their own open-Internet rules without facing a similar legal threat," The Washington Post reports. Congressional action is theoretically possible, but it's more likely Biden's FCC will act, once the Senate confirms his nominee, breaking the 2-2 gridlock. Net neutrality laws like the one in California prohibit internet service providers from slowing down traffic to certain sites or providing special fast access to sites that pay extra for the boost. Broadband companies and other opponents argue such rules will stifle innovation and curb investment in faster internet speeds. More stories from theweek.comThe MyPillow guy might be Trump's ultimate chumpLate night hosts laugh at Rudy Giuliani literally running from his $1.3 billion lawsuit, tie in CPACFDA confirms Johnson & Johnson vaccine prevented all deaths and hospitalizations in trial
- USA TODAY Opinion
'What you need to know is that my client believes he won Georgia, the Electoral College and the presidency. As crazy as that sounds, he believes it.'
- Associated Press Videos
The White House says it continues to stand by Neera Tanden, President Joe Biden's pick to lead the Office of Management and Budget, despite the opposition of a growing number of Senators, throwing her nomination increasingly into doubt. (Feb. 23)
Sacha Baron Cohen and Isla Fisher are one of Hollywood's most private couples. Here's a timeline of their 20-year relationship.
Fisher has said being with Cohen is like "winning the lottery" ... even if she has to deal with his many shenanigans.
- The Week
In a two-page memo addressed to GOP donors, voters, leaders, and activists, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) declared: "The Republican Civil War is now canceled." It isn't clear if his fellow Republicans, including former President Donald Trump, are listening. Scott is chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and in the memo, first obtained by Fox News, he writes that Democrats control the White House, Senate, and House, but Republicans have a path to victory in 2022. To win, the GOP must move on from the "impeachment show" and stop with the infighting, he said, adding that a Republican Civil War "does not need to be true, should not be true, and will not be true." While Scott wants unity, not all Republicans are on the same page. After Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the No. 3 House Republican, voted to impeach Trump last month, she was censured by the Wyoming Republican Party and asked to resign. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) voted to acquit Trump, but still said there is "no question that former President Trump bears responsibility" for the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. This remark roused Trump, who had been flying under the radar during the trial. He called McConnell a "dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack," and said if Republican senators "are going to stay with him, they will not win again. Where necessary and appropriate, I will back primary rivals who espouse Making America Great Again." Three GOP senators are retiring in 2022 — Richard Burr (N.C.), Pat Toomey (Pa.), and Rob Portman (Ohio) — and Scott has said the NRSC will support the remaining incumbents from primary challenges. Trump is letting people know he isn't done with McConnell, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman tweeted Tuesday. Last week, Trump and former Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) met for golf and dinner, and people briefed on the day told Haberman "it did not go well." Trump reportedly had "retribution" on his mind, and was focused on McConnell and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R), who did not go along with Trump's plot to overturn Georgia's election results. Perdue had been contemplating running again in 2022, but said Tuesday he won't. Although no longer in office, Trump still has the support of a majority of Republicans. A Suffolk University/USA Today poll of 1,000 Trump supporters conducted last week found that 46 percent would ditch the Republican Party and join a Trump party if he started one, with 27 percent saying they wouldn't and the rest undecided. A majority said they had more loyalty to Trump than the GOP, and 50 percent said the Republican Party should become "more loyal to Trump." More stories from theweek.comThe MyPillow guy might be Trump's ultimate chumpLate night hosts laugh at Rudy Giuliani literally running from his $1.3 billion lawsuit, tie in CPACFDA confirms Johnson & Johnson vaccine prevented all deaths and hospitalizations in trial
A 22-year-old Russian social media influencer is facing heavy criticism online for posing naked on top of an endangered elephant in Bali, Indonesia for her 553,000 Instagram followers. Alesya Kafelnikova received backlash for the short video she posted on Feb. 13, where she was filmed lying naked on top of a “critically endangered” Sumatran elephant, according to The Sun. In a follow-up post, Kafelnikova shared an image presumably with the same elephant and said in the caption, “To love nature is human nature.”
Iraqi Christians are busy scrubbing churches, practising hymns and preparing for mass ahead of the first ever papal visit to the country, a four-day trip next month that is going ahead despite the coronavirus pandemic and security risks. The minority community of several hundred thousand was decimated first by al Qaeda's rise in the early 2000s and later by Islamic State, the extremist group that brutally persecuted them and other minority faiths and sects from 2014-2017. For many of those who remained, or have returned to Iraq where free worship is again possible, Pope Francis' visit from March 5-8 is welcome recognition of how they have suffered for their beliefs.
While China has yet to approve vaccines developed by Western drug makers, it has granted authorisation to domestic products for use in select groups or by the wider public, which have also gained ground in developing countries battling a surge in coronavirus infections. Sinopharm affiliate Wuhan Institute Of Biological Products said on Wednesday its vaccine has an efficacy rate of 72.51% against the COVID-19 disease caused by the virus, citing interim analysis of late-stage clinical trial data, without offering more details.
'Superman & Lois' showrunner and star paid homage to the superhero's first comic appearance in the series premiere
Showrunner Todd Helbing and star Tyler Hoechlin tell Insider what it was like paying homage to Superman's early days in the comics and cartoons.
- The Week
On Tuesday, the former leaders of the Capitol Police and other authorities entrusted with protecting the Capitol building testified about the Jan. 6 attack, telling conflicting stories about what happened that day. One thing that clearly didn't happen was what Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) shared during his chance to question the law enforcement leaders: An account of the day published in the conservative publication The Federalist alleging those who broke into the Capitol were seemingly professional provocateurs and not the "working-class" people seen protesting outside early in the day. Ron Johnson is using his questioning time during the Capitol security hearing to promote a conspiracy theory that the January 6 insurrectionists weren't actually Trump supporters, but were "provocateurs" and "fake Trump protesters" pic.twitter.com/t72QkHDbaG — Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 23, 2021 That suggestion flew in the face of testimony from former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, who said Tuesday that the attack was "pre-planned," and insurgents were "well equipped, coordinated, and prepared to carry out a violent insurrection at the United States Capitol." And when the hearing ended, Rules Committee Chair Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) made it clear that Johnson's allegations weren't correct. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) closes out the Capitol insurrection hearing with what appears to be a nod to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI): “There is clear agreement that this was a planned insurrection, and I think *most* members here very firmly agree with that.” pic.twitter.com/dyfeBCBcvZ — The Recount (@therecount) February 23, 2021 At around the same time Johnson was sharing the conspiracy theory, federal prosecutors unsealed a case against a Capitol attacker who, in the weeks after the attack, had made it clear left-wing provocateurs weren't behind the siege, HuffPost reports. Jose Padilla, prosecutors said, used online forums to detail his experiences at the insurrection, making it clear that "the guy breaking the windows weren't antifa," but rather "patriots." More stories from theweek.comThe MyPillow guy might be Trump's ultimate chumpLate night hosts laugh at Rudy Giuliani literally running from his $1.3 billion lawsuit, tie in CPACFDA confirms Johnson & Johnson vaccine prevented all deaths and hospitalizations in trial
- The Week
Former President Donald Trump's ex-attorney Michael Cohen told MSNBC's Katy Tur that he thinks his old client ought to start looking into getting a "custom made jumpsuit." Cohen's prediction that Trump could wind up in jail came a few hours after the Supreme Court ruled that Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance can obtain Trump's tax returns as part of New York prosecutors' investigation into his past business dealings. Cohen said he's not sure what exactly the documents may reveal, but was confident enough to claim "it does not look good for" Trump. . @MichaelCohen212 says Trump should look into getting a "custom made jumpsuit, because it does not look good for him."@JoyceWhiteVance says Cy Vance has "sent signals that this is a serious investigation." pic.twitter.com/gBW5rc5PXs — MSNBC Live with Katy Tur (@KatyOnMSNBC) February 22, 2021 Cohen, of course, may not be the most neutral prognosticator — the disbarred lawyer, who is serving a prison sentence under house arrest after pleading guilty to multiple counts of campaign finance violations and fraud in 2018, has become one of Trump's most prominent public enemies in recent years and even testified against him before Congress in 2019. Tur's other guest, former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance (no relation to Cyrus Vance), felt it was unwise to predict the result of the investigation, but she did argue the Manhattan DA has sent signals the probe has been a "serious" and "productive" one, and he may proceed toward indictment. More stories from theweek.comAmy Klobuchar shuts down Ron Johnson's conspiracy mongering at Capitol attack hearingCapitol Police leaders still haven't really explained why they were unprepared for the Jan. 6 siegeRepublicans' deficit hypocrisy comes home to roost
Mara Wilson details the perils of child stardom and draws a line between her experiences with those of Britney Spears.
- The Independent
‘Zero respect’: Ted Cruz pictured scrolling through phone during harrowing opening testimony into Capitol riot
Senator caused controversy last week after he flew to Mexico while a winter storm battered Texas
- The Daily Beast
ABCOn Tuesday night, The Late Show’s Stephen Colbert dragged the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) for branding this year’s edition “America Uncanceled” and then canceling a speaker over his history of anti-Semitic comments. And Jimmy Kimmel joined in on the fun—but also set his sights on someone who’s become such a colossal embarrassment he won’t be speaking at CPAC: Rudy Giuliani, the president’s ex-attorney who once married his cousin. “Rudy Giuliani isn’t on the list at CPAC. He is no longer representing Donald Trump, and his next client could be himself,” cracked Kimmel. “Last month, Rudy got hit with a $1.3 billion lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems. They’re suing him for spreading misinformation about their machines, and apparently, they had a heck of a time serving him with papers.”Yes, Dominion filed a whopping $1.3 billion lawsuit against Giuliani—citing 50 “demonstrably false” (Dominion’s words) claims he made that their voting machines flipped votes from Trump to Biden—and even tied Giuliani’s baseless claims about rigged Dominion machines to the rioters who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, referencing a speech that Giuliani gave earlier that day in the lawsuit.“Having been deceived by Giuliani and his allies into thinking that they were not criminals — but patriots ‘Defend[ing] the Republic’ from Dominion and its co-conspirators — they then bragged about their involvement in the crime on social media,” the lawsuit read.And Giuliani—of Borat 2, Four Seasons Total Landscaping, leaking head, and courtroom-farting fame—has continued to embarrass himself during the Dominion saga. According to a report in the New York Daily News, Dominion struggled to serve Giuliani with the 107-page lawsuit. First, he refused to receive it by email, and it took them a week to try to serve Giuliani in person.Stephen Colbert Hammers ‘America Uncanceled’ CPAC for Canceling Speaker“A doorman, knowing process servers were looking for Giuliani, locked the door to the building whenever the former mayor entered the lobby,” reported the Daily News. “On Feb. 7, a pair of process servers and Giuliani got into an awkward standoff during a nasty winter storm. That morning, the doorman to the building waved to a Ford Explorer SUV parked down the street. Giuliani got in the passenger seat and closed the SUV door as a process server lunged forward with a bag full of documents.”Then, as Kimmel elaborated, something truly ridiculous happened: “At one point, the server jammed the lawsuit into the door of an SUV Giuliani got into, but Rudy’s doorman grabbed an umbrella and pried it out onto the ground,” Kimmel explained, adding, “You know, if they really want to get those papers to Rudy, they should’ve just had Borat’s daughter stuff them in his pants.”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.
- Associated Press
A far-right senator who has rebelled against coronavirus restrictions and supported protesters who stormed the Oregon Capitol has been elected chairman of the state Republican Party, showing how the GOP is taking a harder-line shift in some states and continuing to support former President Donald Trump. The ascendancy of state Sen. Dallas Heard reflects the bitter frustration felt by Republicans in Oregon, where Democrats dominate the Legislature, governor's office and other statewide offices.
- The Independent
Reports suggest meeting with former president last week ‘did not go well’