The state of California lifted its regional stay-at-home order Monday, which paved the way for businesses in San Joaquin County to resume outdoor operations and some limited indoor services. However, some restaurants that relied heavily on indoor dining said they have felt the impact of closing and reopening. See more in the video above.
- WCVB - Boston
Officials said they recovered the body of a man Monday who disappeared while swimming in an icy Wareham pond.
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The DAC has a long, storied golf history that will grow this summer.
Hong Kong's government will gazette a bill later this week that will require community level district councils to pledge an oath of allegiance to the Chinese-ruled city's mini-constitution, further stifling democratic opposition. Secretary for Mainland and Constitutional Affairs Eric Tsang said politicians deemed insincere would be blocked from office, releasing details of the bill a day after a senior official in China's cabinet said provisions should be made to ensure "patriots" were running Hong Kong. "The law will fulfill the constitutional responsibility of the government," Tsang said.
President Biden's pick for Interior secretary faces a balancing act as she defends limits on oil-and-gas development while responding to concerns that the initiatives — and her own policy views — threaten producing states.Driving the news: Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) appears this morning before the Senate energy committee vetting her nomination and faces critical questioning from GOP members.Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free"There’s no question that fossil energy does and will continue to play a major role in America for years to come," she states in her prepared remarks."I know how important oil and gas revenues are to fund critical services," she intends to tell the panel.But, but, but: "We must also recognize that the energy industry is innovating, and our climate challenge must be addressed," her remarks note.Haaland has called for much more aggressive steps on climate change and previously expressed opposition to fracking on public lands.Why it matters: The careful framing of her statement to senators reflects the delicate politics of Biden's oil-and-gas and climate policies — and the key role Interior plays in some of them.Biden has frozen new leasing on federal lands and waters — including Haaland's home state, which has lots of production from federal areas.What they're saying: Administration officials have pointed to companies' stockpiles of current leases.But the industry has bashed the policy on new leases and fears Interior is also making it harder to develop existing acreage, even as the agency has been emphasizing that permitting is proceeding."We...urge members of the Committee to seek assurances that Ms. Haaland will protect America’s ability to access our oil and natural gas resources," the American Exploration and Production Council, said in a statement.What we’re watching: Haaland could play a role in determining whether a contentious copper-nickel mine moves forward in northeastern Minnesota.Sign up for Axios Twin Cities and all our newsletters here.Like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.
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EasyJet flight bookings jumped over 300% and holidays surged by more than 600% week on week.That was after Britain laid out plans for international travel to resume, hinting that its borders could reopen from mid-May.The UK-based airline said Tuesday (February 23) that trips to beach destinations such as Spain, Portugal and Greece were the most popular destinations for those keen to travel in August.July and September were the next most popular months.The surge in bookings came despite ongoing uncertainty over exactly how and when international routes can reopen.Holidaymakers will know more on April 12th, when the government publishes a travel review.Britain's vaccine plan is progressing rapidly with around a quarter of the population having had a first dose.That gives hope to a travel industry desperate to start earning again.Foreign governments also need to agree that British holidaymakers can visit without the need for quarantine.France and Spain are among countries that have currently shut their borders to Britons.
- The Week
The United States could be days away from getting a third COVID-19 vaccine. A Food and Drug Administration review has confirmed that Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine, which only requires a single shot, is safe and effective, meaning it could be authorized for emergency approval "as soon as this weekend," The Washington Post reports. The FDA review showed the vaccine was 66 percent effective at preventing moderate to severe COVID-19 in a large clinical trial, though it was 85 percent effective at preventing severe illness. As Johnson & Johnson previously announced, the vaccine also "demonstrated complete protection against COVID-related hospitalization and death, 28 days post-vaccination." That, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry's Nancy M. Bennett told the Post, is "really what's important." The Johnson & Johnson vaccine comes with the key benefit of only requiring one dose, as opposed to two doses for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines that were previously authorized for emergency approval in the United States. Plus, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine can also be stored for three months in a refrigerator, rather than having to be kept frozen, The Associated Press notes. A committee is set to meet Friday to consider whether the FDA should authorize the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for emergency approval. The company says that should the FDA do so, it expects to begin shipping the vaccine immediately and "deliver enough single-doses by the end of March to enable the vaccination of more than 20 million Americans." 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 CPACAmy Klobuchar shuts down Ron Johnson's conspiracy mongering at Capitol attack hearing
- Raleigh News and Observer
The body was found 300 feet below a popular overlook, park officials say.
- Business Insider
Democrats want to enact a new stimulus package within weeks. Here's the possible calendar for passage of $1,400 direct payments.
A top House Democrat said the Biden stimulus plan would receive a floor vote on Friday. Final passage of the rescue plan could occur in early March.
- Business Insider
Germany is pushing hard for people to take the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as many turn it down in hope of a Pfizer shot
Germany is trying to get its vaccination program back on track after surprisingly low take-up for the AstraZeneca shot.
- The Daily Beast
Oprah Winfrey’s Interview With Meghan Markle and Harry Will ‘Shine a Light on What They Have Been Through’
WPA PoolBuckle up, Ma’am.Warning signs are flashing that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey may involve the casting of several royal personages under one’s bus.Meghan Markle and Prince Harry to Be Stripped of All Remaining Royal Patronages as Palace Braces for OprahCourtiers and other royal hangers-on are said to have lived in fear of an Oprah interview ever since Winfrey was seated in pride of place at Meghan and Harry’s 2018 wedding, and now many believe their worst nightmares are coming true.British newspapers this weekend were full of stories in which sources advised the royals to “hide behind the sofa” when the show screened, and now sources in Meghan’s camp appear to have briefed E! News that the couple will open up about the “tension” within the royal family in the “very candid” interview and that they will be “speaking their truth” during the highly anticipated CBS special on March 7.We think this means: yes, they are going to be dishing, just in a totally authentic way.Meghan’s camp is believed to have good contacts with E! due to both her previous career as an actress and her current role as a producer at Netflix, so their reports of what is in the interview should be taken seriously. “There is a lot of tension between them and the royal family,” the source described as “close to” the Sussexes says. Most observers of the past year of guerrilla warfare between Montecito and London would describe that as an almost regally-restrained description of the state of affairs.“The interview is going to shine a light on what they have been through.”Does this mean the interview will finally publicly see the airing of long-rumored complaints about the racism, sexism and snobbish contempt Meghan was subjected to?If so, ouch! While there have been no direct accusations of racist abuse of Meghan, the sympathetic biography of the couple, Finding Freedom, chronicled various micro-and-not-so-micro-aggressions.If Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Didn’t Dish in ‘Finding Freedom,’ Who Did?Meghan, for example, was said to have been left wondering “if there wasn’t a message being sent,” when Princess Michael wore a racially insensitive broach to the first big party that Meghan was invited to. She apologized but, the book noted, “Some aides questioned the sincerity of the princess’ apology.”The book’s co-author, Omid Scobie, who is of Iranian and British heritage, told an interviewer: “She was a biracial woman stepping into the House of Windsor. That was going to ruffle feathers. We only need look at the Duchess Difficult narrative. What is ‘difficult’? Difficult is pushy, aggressive. It’s all the things that we throw on Black women as a society regardless of what their actual personality is.”E’s source also says that the couple will talk about the pressure on their mental health when they were royals. This recalls both Meghan’s interview in Africa, when she said nobody had asked her how she was coping, and a key passage of the book which claimed that Prince Harry felt they were “at once used for their popularity, hounded by the press because of the public’s fascination with this new breed of royal couple, and disparaged back within the institution’s walls for being too sensitive and outspoken.”Meghan Markle Explains Famous ‘Not OK’ Interview: ‘I Was Tired’Harry likened the negotiations around his and Meghan’s royal exit to “standing in front of a firing squad,” the book claims.It will also be odd if Oprah does not invite Meghan to reflect at length on the detailed circumstances of her departure from the royal family. The book claimed that Meghan tearfully told a friend: “I gave up my entire life for this family. I was willing to do whatever it takes. But here we are. It’s very sad.”Another point of interest, of course, is the breakdown in the relationship between Harry and Prince William.E’s source says it’s “still a very tense situation,” adding that “Harry and William are on two different paths.”Robert Lacey, explored the deteriorating fraternal dynamic in his book, Battle of the Brothers.Lacey says that William was so angry with the way his brother announced his departure from the royal family that he refused to attend a lunch with him before a meeting at the queen’s country house, Sandringham to hash out the details of the exit.If Oprah can get the couple to lift the lid on all this and more, the interview may represent a damaging blow to the already badly tarnished image of the British Royals.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
Ted Cruz was filmed using his phone while a former police chief testified about violence at the Capitol
Ted Cruz appeared distracted by his mobile phone while the former chief of Capitol police spoke about violent scenes at the January 6 riot.
- Business Insider
Marjorie Taylor Greene faces a 'bloodbath' of a reelection race in 2022 - if she isn't expelled from Congress first, district organizers say
The US representative in Georgia is up for reelection in 2022, and her recent actions have put her at odds with Democrats and Republicans alike.
- Business Insider
Gucci has reportedly extended its lease in the Trump Tower. Other companies, including Tiffany's, have pulled away from the former president.
Gucci, the Trump Tower's biggest commercial tenant, has extended its lease for the building beyond 2026, The New York Times reported.
- Business Insider
How a wealthy businesswoman moved to a depressed, rural corner of Georgia, won over its voters, and got them to send her to Congress
Majorie Taylor Greene's success is a story of how the wealthy and radical prevail in one of the nation's most conservative districts.
Kaluuya said he was shooting "Black Panther" and even cleared his schedule to attend the premiere but no one invited him.
- The State
The body was found 300 feet below a popular overlook, park officials say.
- Business Insider
After suing Mike Lindell, Sidney Powell, and Rudy Giuliani, Dominion says it will go after others who spread claims of election fraud - and it's 'not ruling anyone out'
Asked whether the company would sue Fox News after Mike Lindell, Dominion CEO John Poulos said the voting-machine company was "not ruling anyone out."
- Business Insider
One simple chart shows how well J&J's single-dose coronavirus vaccine works, with protection starting after 2 weeks
The FDA says the shot is safe and effective, paving the way for it to become the third authorized vaccine in the US.
- The Daily Beast
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photos via Facebook/GettyWhen serial pedophile and former doctor for the U.S. women’s gymnastics team Larry Nassar was sentenced to a maximum of 175 years in prison, more than 150 women of all ages came forward to share their horrific stories of abuse.They bravely told of how they endured years of trauma and how they had been silenced. For Olympian McKayla Maroney, unfortunately, it had been no different.The now 25-year-old went dark on Instagram in September of 2017; the next month, she shared her harrowing story about Nassar’s abuse, starting from age 13 and even up until she was competing in the Olympics in 2012.“It happened in London before my team and I won the gold medal, and it happened before I won my silver,” she said in a Twitter statement, before detailing a night in Tokyo where she thought she’d die. Maroney continued to speak out against the former doctor who abused her “hundreds” of times and labelled him a “monster.” “He would work on me for like an hour and a half,” she told NBC News in April of 2018. “And just like full abuse… And I’d be crying.”The Trials of Simone Biles: ‘I’m Still Stuck in My Thoughts All the Time’Then in January 2019, Maroney’s father Mike suddenly died while trying to detox from opioid painkillers. “He went to a hotel randomly one day and was like ‘I’m going to quit’... His best friend took him, and he died trying to detox, quit from pain pills,” Maroney said, explaining she was completely unaware of his addiction. “He could have just gone to a rehab place and done it right. He didn’t and he passed away.”Maroney finally reemerged and returned to Instagram in September 2019, citing Nassar’s trial and her father’s death. “I’ll definitely talk about it more, but for now I’ll just say that even on the worst days, I knew I had so much to be thankful for,” she wrote. “I have the most supportive family, and friends, and u guys are part of that. blessed to have u, and happy to be back.”Nothing about the accompanying selfie looked unusual save a peculiar accessory: a large silver pendant necklace from the Church of the Master Angels (CMA). View this post on Instagram A post shared by McKayla Maroney (@mckaylamaroney) The church is mysterious in nature and is relatively new, only officially formed in 2017. Its clunky and outdated website is filled with mumbo-jumbo phrases, making it difficult to understand exactly what CMA is.It describes itself as “a unitary, non-denominational, faith-based community Church” that welcomes “all seekers of truth, cosmic awareness and soul-realization, regardless of belief, tradition, creed, or religious affiliation that promotes the selfless worship of God through the teaching of God’s Masters, Angels, and Holy Saints.”On the website, members can receive free blessings and remote healings, plus they have access to video workshops. It hawks various supplements, such as phytoplankton droplets, and sells vague audio “repair” prayers for $200. The geometric pendants that Maroney wears can cost up to $2,000. YouTube Similar to Scientology, the church offers courses—the most advanced being the “elite” course. Participants pay around $10,000 to attend a gathering held at the church headquarters, a few miles outside of Boone, North Carolina. CMA also has a hub in Los Angeles, where Maroney lives.The four-day developmental training includes “preparation and installation of the apparatus for beginning remote scanning ability of matter and energies” and “preparation and installation of the apparatus and angelic assistance.” It’s advised that for two months before the course, one should reduce one’s meat intake, avoid alcohol, and completely cut out eating pork and shellfish and taking recreational drugs.The shining star of the church is Master John Douglas, an elusive figure who is praised as a “prophetic minister, spiritual healer and extraordinary teacher.”Douglas is from Australia and details about him are scant, but he claims to have had a “clairvoyant awakening” at 9 years old that enabled him to be able to see the frequencies of “thoughts, emotions, desires, weaknesses, beliefs, [and] karmic governance.”“It has allowed me to analyze and discover and experiment and find the real causes of disease in the body,” he previously said.A handful of books have been dedicated to his “Angelic Reformation” healings and people claim he’s cured them of Morgellons and Lyme disease, anxiety, and even cancer. Douglas did not respond to request for comment.Maroney’s ties with the church are murky. In fact, if it wasn’t for Maroney wearing the church’s pendant, which claims to reduce “the negative effects of electromagnetic radiation, negative thoughts, and negative emotions,” her involvement would be hard to spot.But she follows the church’s Twitter page and was once pictured attending an event hosted by Douglas, smiling and wearing a floral lei necklace while surrounded by four other attendees in a photo posted in January 2019. “Aw, my angel friends,” she commented. View this post on Instagram A post shared by @themillenialmonk Maroney reportedly put a link to CMA’s YouTube channel in her Twitter bio in August 2019, according to an internet sleuth who runs a blog dedicated to investigating the church. He also claims he stumbled upon a Twitter fan page called “WeLuvMasterJohnDouglas” that was allegedly run by Maroney. There is a statement reportedly signed by Maroney in March 2020 where she praised Douglas’ work and credits him for giving her life back.“I don’t know if I can put into words what Master John has done for me,” the post reads. “My life only gets better because of Master John… Thank you never seems like enough. So I listen to all the tools, (his CDs) to try and be the best person I can be. To honor him, and make him proud. We love you Master John. Thank you!”While Maroney did not reply to requests for comment, Dr. Christopher Hartnett, chairman of CMA International Foundation, confirmed Maroney was a member of the church when contacted by The Daily Beast.Inside Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Scientology School for KidsDuring a 10-minute tirade, he said raising questions about CMA was “imposing on a church” and claimed an article could ruin members’ lives, pushing for the story to be dropped.“We protect our people,” he said. “The church has not done one negative thing to anybody. Is there any person in the church complaining? It’s people outside the church.”“We help people, we pray for people,” Hartnett said at another point in the conversation. “Nobody heals anybody except for God… the angels heal. We pray for people, that’s all. Show me one person that says they were prayed on and wasn’t healed. Well, then they didn’t deserve to be healed by God, but I can’t even find one. Most of them get healed.”Hartnett was adamant that CMA is free and that “nobody has to come here and pay money.” When it was pointed out that the elite course costs $10,000, Hartnett described it as a donation, saying it’s “nobody else’s business.”“Elite courses are for people who have been healed… They don’t have to take the elite course, it’s a free choice,” he said. “It’s a donation that goes to help perpetuate this around the world.They do it because they want to help the cause. There’s nothing wrong about paying money to come to something that the money is going to be used to perpetuate goodness, why is that bad?”Hartnett became defensive when asked about the pendant Maroney wears, saying “that necklace, just so you know, is a Metatron and Metatron is the angel that protected Christ while he was on Earth. So now you are going to talk about it? Jeez, talk about devils.”At one point, Hartnett raised his voice and asked, “Do you consider yourself a woman? Do you consider yourself a good woman?”While Maroney might be the church’s most prominent member, CMA has never publicly recognized her membership. The only other notable member linked to the church is the inventor of the sex toy Fleshlight, Steve Shubin. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Church of the Master Angels (@churchofthemasterangels) A former employee posted a review of Shubin’s company on Glassdoor, writing that while a perk of working there was getting “an amazing discount” on “fantastic products,” the main con was that Shubin was allegedly part of the “cult.” Shubin’s wife confirmed to The Daily Beast that they are members of CMA, but denied it was a cult.Hartnett maintained the church doesn’t like to promote itself and likes to be private. In fact, a section of the website that is dedicated to those who have graduated from its elite training course must have a password to access it.CMA’s website and social media pages rarely include photos of members, with a majority of the posts being informational messages about services and quotes from Douglas.The only way to spot members is on its YouTube channel, which includes about a dozen testimonial videos from followers who claim to have been healed from various pains, conditions, and diseases after meeting with Douglas.Member Allen McEuen claimed that Douglas had cured him of HIV after the leader “went into my body with his Godly vision and he saw things about HIV that modern medicine didn’t know.”“So, with that vision, and his ability to kill viruses, he was able to go into my body and kill the HIV virus and everything that was associated with it and completely cleanse my body from HIV,” McEuen claimed. “From that day forward, I stopped taking the meds. It’s been over three years now and I have a perfect bill of health.” Chapel of the Master Angels in North Carolina Facebook Another member, Jan Casebolt, said she was diagnosed with Cardiac sarcoidosis, a rare cardiovascular disease where white blood cells form in heart tissue, which left her reliant on a wheelchair.Describing her constant pain, she said she decided to meet with Douglas before a scheduled surgery. “He closes his eyes, and you know really homes in on me,” she said. “Within a matter of moments, he says, ‘Ah, I see what the problem is. There’s two bacteria hiding in your white blood cells and they are causing your illness.’ He just performed a blessing over me. And within two minutes, I felt the pain leaving me.”But while CMA prides itself on healing through prayer and sells products that are supposed to help cure members from various ailments, the website is plastered with medical disclaimers that the church’s “products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.”For leading cult expert and former Sun Myung Moon follower Steven Hassan, PhD, CMA has all the warning signs of an emerging cult.The director of the Freedom of Mind Resource Center said he hadn’t come across CMA before, which he found odd considering Douglas’ spectacular claims of healing.“He makes these extraordinary claims, and alarm bells go off,” Hassan said. “He’s a renowned theologian, by whom? He’s a noted practitioner of Angelic Reformation, what is that?”Upon listening to some of CMA’s free workshop videos, he said Douglas talks in an “authoritative, hypnotic manner, making assumptions and claims that are very alarming to me, but are very representative of authoritarian cult leaders.”“In my line of work, when someone is claiming extraordinary things, they need extraordinary proof,” Hassan said. “Where’s the scientific study? It’s all self-referential. As someone who has studied hypnosis, I know the power of suggestion, especially if you accept the authority figure, it’s more likely you’ll be hypnotized. That’s how the mind works. A lot of people want to believe, so it’s known as the placebo effect that kicks in. I have no problem using mind power, but when they claim to be master healers and have zero credentials, alarm bells go off.”Hassan said these types of leaders often go after vulnerable people, those who have dealt with abuse, trauma, or the death of a loved one. In the wake of a worldwide pandemic, economic hardship, and deep political divides, Hassan said these have the potential to make even more people vulnerable to exploitation.The price of a $2,000 pendant and $10,000 training courses also made Hassan suspicious. “I’m reminded of so many other cults that would sell jewelry that was blessed by the master,” he said.“One thing about psychology is that when people do a behavior that’s a big deal, whether it’s more money they spend, the more they start justifying how great it is. If you are a cult leader, you want your followers to do bigger and dramatic things to keep them involved.”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.
- USA TODAY
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will support Merrick Garland's nomination. He maintains a block of Garland for the high court wasn't personal.