In A Sentimental Mood
- The Independent
Lindell equates getting coronavirus vaccine to receiving ‘mark of the beast’ pledging allegiance to the devil
- Associated Press
The Biden administration sanctioned seven mid-level and senior Russian officials on Tuesday, along with more than a dozen businesses and other entities, over a nearly fatal nerve-agent attack on opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his subsequent jailing. The measures, emphasizing the use of the Russian nerve agent as a banned chemical weapon, marked the Biden administration's first sanctions against associates of President Vladimir Putin. The Russian leader was an intimate and favorite of President Donald Trump even during covert Russian hacking and social media campaigns aimed at destabilizing the U.S.
- The Independent
Medical examiner is ‘awaiting toxicology results’ before releasing a report on the death
- The Independent
Biden AG pick passes out of committee by bipartisan 15-7 vote
- The Week
Arizona GOP lawyer tells Supreme Court the party needs certain voting restrictions to compete with Democrats
The Supreme Court on Tuesday heard oral arguments by Arizona Republicans in defense of two voting restrictions they are looking to keep in tact. At one point, Justice Amy Coney Barrett asked Michael Carvin, a lawyer representing the Arizona GOP, what the party's interest in maintaining the policy of discarding ballots cast at the wrong precinct was. Carvin answered, without hesitation, that removing the rule would prevent Republicans from competing in the state. "It puts us at a competitive disadvantage relative to Democrats," he told Barrett. "Politics is a zero sum game. Every extra vote that they get through unlawful interpretations of Section 2 hurts us. It's the difference between winning an election 50-49 and losing an election." In key voting rights case, Justice Amy Coney Barrett asks GOP lawyer Michael Carvin “what’s the interest” to Republicans in keeping voting restrictions in Arizona. Carvin: “Because it puts us at a competitive disadvantage relative to Democrats. Politics is a zero-sum game.” pic.twitter.com/In7GULkSUb — The Recount (@therecount) March 2, 2021 Critics argued Carvin was essentially admitting some Republicans believe "it is okay to manipulate elections to gain partisan advantage." Per Reuters, part of the reason voting rights activists have targeted the precinct rule is that voters sometimes inadvertently cast their ballots at the wrong polling station because their assigned location is not always the closest one to their homes. However, Reuters reports the high court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority, is likely to uphold the restriction, as well as another that makes it a crime to hand over someone else's ballot to election officials during early voting. More stories from theweek.comWill COVID-19 wind up saving lives?Harry Potter game will reportedly allow transgender characters after J.K. Rowling uproarDemocrats need to choose: The filibuster or democracy
- The Week
The Trump administration reportedly quietly funded Operation Warp Speed with money set aside for hospitals
By late summer last year, Operation Warp Speed accounts were running dry, so the Trump administration appears to have used a financial maneuver allowing Department of Health and Human Services officials to divert $10 billion from a fund meant to help hospitals and health care providers affected by the coronavirus pandemic, Stat News reports. Congress granted the HHS permission to move pandemic-related money between accounts, though the agreement stipulated the agency had to give lawmakers a heads up. In this case, it appears the HHS siphoned the funds quietly, albeit with permission from its top lawyer. Other attorneys told Stat that the agency likely did have the wiggle room to carry out the action. Former Office of Management and Director Russ Vought defended the decision and said "we would do it again," telling Stat that not only did the administration have the authority, it was also "the right thing to do in order to move as quickly as possible because lives were on the line." Other Trump officials seemed to agree, per Stat, arguing that successful vaccines would reduce hospitalizations, making Warp Speed the more consequential outlet. It's still unclear whether the decision has resulted in less money for health care providers, as the Biden administration remains mum on the subject, Stat reports. Read more at Stat News. More stories from theweek.comWill COVID-19 wind up saving lives?Harry Potter game will reportedly allow transgender characters after J.K. Rowling uproarDemocrats need to choose: The filibuster or democracy
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
While the governor’s order ends next Wednesday, Whitley ended his on Tuesday to avoid confusion and misunderstandings.
An Oklahoma woman was literally caught red-handed on first-degree burglary complaint charges thanks to Cheetos snack dust. Sharon Carr was arrested on Feb. 26 after police reported an attempted home burglary. While she did not take anything, officers claim she left behind a Cheetos bag.
See the mother-daughter duo serve up a sweet message in their first shared fashion campaign.
- National Review
Senators Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) and Mike Lee (R., Utah) on Tuesday pressed FBI Director Christopher Wray on the procedures federal law enforcement officials have used to track down those who participated in the January 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol. “I’m anxious to see those who committed unlawful, violent acts on January 6 brought to justice,” Lee said during a Senate Judiciary Hearing on Tuesday. “I also believe that … with this circumstance, like every other circumstance, we have to make sure that the civil liberties of the American people are protected.” The Utah Republican explained that he had “heard a number of accounts” of people who were in Washington, D.C. on January 6 who never went near the Capitol but were “inexplicably” contacted by FBI agents who knew of their presence in the district that day “with no other explanation, perhaps, other than the use of geolocation data.” “Are you geolocating people, through the FBI, based on where they were on January 6?” Lee asked Wray. “I think there may be some instances in which geolocation has been an investigative tool, but I can’t speak to any specific situation,” Wray responded. “But what are you using to do that?” Lee asked. “What’s your basis for authority? Are you using national security letters?” Wray said, “I don’t believe in any instance we’re using national security letters for investigation of the Capitol—” Lee interrupted to ask the FBI director if he had gone to the FISA court, to which Wray responded he did not “remotely believe FISA is remotely implicated in our investigation.” The senator continued pressing Wray, asking if the FBI is “using warrants predicated on probable cause.” “We certainly have executed a number of warrants in the course of the investigation of January 6,” Wray said. “All of our investigative work in response to the Capitol [riot] has been under the legal authorities that we have in consultation with the [Department of Justice] and the prosecutors.” Later, Hawley continued Lee’s line of questioning regarding geolocation data, asking Wray if his position is that he doesn’t know “whether the bureau has scooped up geolocation data, metadata cell phone records from cell phone towers.” “Do you not know, or are you saying maybe it has or maybe it hasn’t? Tell me what you know about this,” Hawley said. “So when it comes to geolocation data specifically—again, not in a specific instance, but just even the use of geolocation data—I would not be surprised to learn—but I do not know for a fact—that we were using geolocation data under any situation with connection with the investigation of [January 6],” Wray said. “But again, we do use geolocation data under different authorities and specific instances.” The FBI, Department of Justice and local police in Washington, D.C. are investigating the origins and execution of the January rioting at the Capitol, with the probe resulting in hundreds of arrests so far. Republicans have expressed concern that the methods law enforcement has used to track down rioters could infringe upon personal liberty. Last month Bank of America sparked outcry after it said it would hand over banking information to the federal authorities for people suspected of having involvement in the riots. In the days after the riot, Bank of America handed over data to the FBI on thousands of customers who traveled to Washington, D.C. around January 6, Fox News reported.
- USA TODAY
"I looked back and he took off leaving the child there, so I flipped a U-turn in the grass to get to the baby,” Louisiana man Luke Dufrene said.
- Associated Press
Thirteen people were killed Tuesday when an SUV carrying 25 people and a semitruck collided on a Southern California highway near the U.S.-Mexico border, authorities said. Twelve people were found dead when first responders reached the highway, which winds through fields in the agricultural southeastern corner of California. Another person died at a hospital, California Highway Patrol Chief Omar Watson said.
- USA TODAY
Royal Caribbean's new ship, Odyssey of the Seas, is set to debut with departures from Israel with all passengers and crew over age 16 vaccinated.
- USA TODAY Opinion
If Democrats are to hold the moral high ground on issues of gender equity, they cannot apply standards just to those on the opposite side of the aisle.
- Business Insider
10 hours in Cancún hurt Ted Cruz's job approval more than when he tried to flip the presidential election
New polling from Morning Consult shows Ted Cruz's job approval fell more after traveling to Mexico than when he objected to the election results.
- Associated Press
Texas is lifting its mask mandate, Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday, making it the largest state to end an order intended to prevent the spread of the coronavirus that has killed more than 42,000 Texans. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has faced sustained criticism from his party over the statewide mask mandate, which was imposed eight months ago, as well as other restrictions on businesses that Texas will also scuttle next week. The state is removing limits on the number of diners or customers allowed inside businesses, Abbott said during a news conference at a restaurant in Lubbock.
- USA TODAY
For the first time, scientists have spotted what they're calling a "space hurricane" spinning above the North Pole, according to a new study.
- The Daily Beast
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / Getty ImagesPrince Harry and Meghan Markle are being urged by some commentators in the U.K. to ask CBS to postpone the airing of its Oprah Winfrey interview, in which they are expected to mount a stinging attack on the royal family, as concern mounts over Prince Philip’s prospects of beating an infection.Prince Harry Tells Oprah He Left the Royals Because He Feared Meghan Markle Would Suffer Like Princess Diana Philip, 99, was moved to a specialist heart hospital on Monday and royal sources have been quoted by British newspapers saying the family is “pretty appalled” at the idea of the interview, which Oprah has said sees Meghan saying “pretty shocking things” being broadcast while Philip is so unwell.Penny Junor, author of Prince Harry, Brother, Soldier, Son, told The Daily Beast that airing the interview while Prince Philip was undergoing very public health travails risked making the interview look inappropriate, saying, “Anything could hijack this interview. Philip is ill. He is 99 and could die at any time. They were not to know he would get ill, but it could be seen to be the wrong time. But I doubt it is in their gift to postpone the interview. The control is in the hands of CBS and Oprah.”Robert Lacey, historical consultant for The Crown and author of the definitive royal biography Majesty, told The Daily Beast, “I think it would be a marvelous turnaround for Harry’s image if he took the brave step of canceling the whole thing this weekend—or, if that’s not practical, postponing it at least.”Royal commentator and former editor of Who’s Who Richard Fitzwilliams said it would “surely be appropriate” to postpone the interview.He told MailOnline, “Oprah is their friend and neighbor and would undoubtedly comply if asked and the gesture would I am sure be appreciated by the royal family. If an interview has been extended, as this recently has, it can also be postponed, as this undoubtedly should be.” Royal biographer Robert Jobson told the Mail, “With the Duke of Edinburgh clearly very unwell, the fact that the couple plan to go ahead with airing their self-indulgent, no-holds-barred interview with chat show queen Oprah Winfrey makes them appear heartless, thoughtless, and supremely selfish.“For U.S. broadcast network CBS, this interview is a coup, all about securing big viewing figures and big advert sales around the airing of their exclusive interview. So even if they wanted to, Harry and Meghan probably couldn’t dictate terms to Oprah Winfrey and the network now. Too much has been invested.”A TV industry insider told the Mirror, “CBS has sold millions of dollars worth of advertising around the interview, but bosses are aware of the delicacy of the Duke’s health. They have no loyalty to the royal family, although some feel as though they do to Harry and Meghan. For it to run if Philip’s condition worsened would be like setting off a diplomatic bomb. It would be grossly insensitive and hugely disrespectful.”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.
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The Johnson & Johnson shot is the third coronavirus vaccine to be authorized by the FDA.
A recent piece by NBC Asian America reporter Kimmy Yam has readers divided for how it framed the recent attacks Asians are facing in the U.S. According to Yam, the 2,800 hate incidents collected by watchdog Stop AAPI Hate over five months last year “weren't necessarily hate crimes” as they included “less severe, yet insidious, forms of discrimination.”