Cooler this afternoon
Cooler this afternoon
The nation is entering “a very vulnerable period” that could see the number of coronavirus deaths rise rapidly, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned in conversation with Yahoo News on Monday.
Computer repairman John Paul Mac Isaac, who gave a copy of the laptop to Rudy Giuliani, shuttered his Delaware store and a neighbor said he left town.
Russia said on Tuesday one of its warships caught and chased off a U.S. destroyer operating illegally in its territorial waters in the Sea of Japan, but the U.S. Navy denied wrongdoing by its vessel and accused Moscow of making excessive maritime claims. The Admiral Vinogradov, a Russian destroyer, verbally warned USS John S. McCain, a U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer, and threatened to ram it in order to force it to leave the area, prompting it to return to neutral waters, Moscow said.
Iran on Wednesday freed a British-Australian academic who had been detained in the country for over two years, in exchange for three Iranians held abroad, state TV announced. The television report was scant on detail, saying only that the three Iranians freed in the swap had been imprisoned for trying to bypass sanctions on Iran. Kylie Moore-Gilbert, 33, was a Melbourne University lecturer on Middle Eastern studies when she was picked up at the Tehran airport while trying to leave the country after attending an academic conference in 2018.
New York governor Andrew Cuomo criticized media treatment of President Trump, in a Monday interview on the Albany-based WAMC.Cuomo's remarks came after he had his own testy exchange with Wall Street Journal reporter Jimmy Vielkind at his own press conference the same day. After Vielkind pressed him on whether New York City schools were about to shut down, Cuomo yelled at Vielkind that he was "confused" regarding the issue.However, during the subsequent interview with WAMC's Alan Chartock, Cuomo said reporters had adopted a "nastier tone" and "disrespect that never existed" toward politicians."The way they question President Trump at some of these press conferences is just—I’ve never heard that tone with the president," Cuomo said. "There are reporters who just are unprofessional, don’t know the facts and ask really biased questions….You want to say ‘well I don’t like the president and I disrespect him,’ I know but it’s still the office of the president."The relationship between Trump and reporters has itself been the subject of intense media coverage. Reporters and the president have sparred since the 2016 presidential campaign began, with Trump labelling various media outlets "fake news."Cuomo's own coronavirus press briefings were widely covered in March when the pandemic slammed New York City and its surrounding environs. The governor also regularly appeared for interviews with his brother Chris, an anchor at CNN.
Congresswoman’s criticism comes as virus spikes across US
President-elect Joe Biden will start introducing his Cabinet picks Tuesday, and the consensus in Washington was perhaps best described by Brendan Buck, a former top aide to Republican House Speakers Paul Ryan and John Boehner:> These Biden nominations and appointments are so delightfully boring> > — Brendan Buck (@BrendanBuck) November 23, 2020Most of the names Biden announced Monday — Antony Blinken as secretary of state, Jake Sullivan as national security adviser, Alejandro Mayorkas as Homeland Security secretary, Avril Haines as director of national intelligence, Linda Thomas-Greenfield as U.N. ambassador, and Ron Klein as White House chief of staff — are career professionals little known outside Washington policy and politics circles, but well regarded within them. "By design, they seem meant to project a dutiful competence," The Washington Post reports.Biden has also chosen some boldface names: John Kerry as international climate envoy and former Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen as treasury secretary. What ties them all together is the prospect of a Biden administration "filled with people who have deep experience in government and in the agencies they will be running," Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer write at Politico.You can expect fewer impulsive tweets and more of "a linear, plodding, purposeful, and standard policy process" run "by political professionals who aren't likely to try to burn down the White House over petty disagreements and jockeying to get in the good graces of the president," Sherman and Palmer add. "In other words, if the Trump White House was like downing a vat of Tabasco sauce over the past four years, the Biden White House will be like sipping unflavored almond milk."The selection process hasn't been entirely without drama, but "the relatively uncontroversial nature of these picks has been by design," Politico's Ryan Lizza reports. "Internally, Biden officials have been instructed to emphasize to reporters how normal the picks are, how 'these are tested leaders.' It's seen as a success if the Biden staff and Cabinet announcements don't make much news."More stories from theweek.com Trump's staffers are reportedly now avoiding him to stay out of legal jeopardy People are skeptical that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner will be able to easily slip back into NYC society Our parents warned us the internet would break our brains. It broke theirs instead.
A Lebanese prosecutor filed charges Tuesday against current and former customs officials over the massive blast at Beirut’s port in August, including a former customs chief who was reportedly the point man for the militant Hezbollah group at the facility. State prosecutor Ghassan Khoury charged senior customs official Hani Haj Shehadeh and former customs chief in Beirut, Moussa Hazimeh, on Tuesday, according to state-run National News Agency.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised Jonathan Pollard, an American who spent 30 years in U.S. prison for spying for Israel, a warm welcome and a comfortable life in Israel now that parole restrictions have ended. "We are waiting for you, even during the time of the coronavirus, with open arms, and you will receive the genuine embrace of the Israeli people," Netanyahu said in a video distributed by his office on Tuesday of part of a telephone call with Pollard and his wife Esther on Monday. A former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst, Pollard was arrested in 1985 outside the Israeli embassy in Washington - which turned him away as he sought refuge with law enforcement closing in.
Following in a tradition that goes back to 1966, Melania Trump walked out from the White House North Portico to welcome the Fraser Fir, which was cut in West Virginia. Both the traditions of the tree's selection, and of the decoration of the White House by volunteers, have been hit by the coronavirus crisis, according to the National Christmas Tree Association.
Rush Limbaugh fully reversed course on Monday, trashing the Trump legal team’s unhinged press conference detailing baseless election-fraud conspiracies just days after praising attorney Sidney Powell—whom the Trump team has since disavowed—for dropping “bombs all over the place.”Over the weekend, after Powell claimed millions of votes were stolen from President Donald Trump by corrupted software, Powell gave an off-the-rails interview to Newsmax TV in which she expanded her bonkers conspiracy to include Georgia’s Republican governor and secretary of state being bribed.With Powell having already come under fire from Fox News host Tucker Carlson for failing to provide any evidence for her outrageous allegations, which included claims that late Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez was involved in stealing votes, Team Trump finally distanced itself from Powell on Sunday evening, saying she “is practicing law on her own. She is not a member of the Trump Legal Team. She is also not a lawyer for the President in his personal capacity.”Trump and his legal team weren’t the only people trying to retroactively memory-hole Powell just days after giving over-the-top praise for the QAnon-boosting lawyer’s baseless conspiracies and incessant promises to “Release the Kraken.”During his Thursday broadcast, immediately following the insane news conference—which also featured Giuliani’s hair-dye streaking down his face as he acted out My Cousin Vinny—Limbaugh couldn’t contain his glee over Powell’s debunked theories about Dominion voting software flipping votes to President-elect Joe Biden.“Sidney Powell just dropped bombs all over the place,” Limbaugh bellowed at the time. “For instance, Trump votes were so overwhelming, the number of people who had voted for Trump that the rigged system, this Dominion system with the Smartmatic software melted down. It couldn’t handle, it couldn’t cheat fast enough, it could not overcome the number of legitimate Trump votes.”Repeatedly praising Powell’s “impeccable reputation” on Thursday afternoon, Limbaugh claimed that Powell had “evidence of fraud” and “detailed evidence of communist money” being used to “rig the elections,” telling his listeners that the presser was a “full hour of constant, overwhelming evidence.”Fast forward to Monday: Limbaugh now sings a different tune.“I mean, it’s a tough thing to deny that she was ever a part of it because they introduced her as part of it. I mean, she was at that press conference last week,” he noted, adding that there is no credibly denying Powell's official involvement on Trump's legal team. (Ellis had said Powell was a member of the legal team’s “elite strike force” on Thursday.)“You call a gigantic press conference like that—one that lasts an hour—and you announce ‘massive bombshells,’ then you better have some bombshells,” he added. “There better be something at that press conference other than what we got.”Noting that Powell “jumped the shark,” Limbaugh again expressed disappointment in the lack of evidence while throwing the president’s legal team under the bus.“I talked to so many people who were blown away by it, by the very nature of the press conference,” he concluded. “They promised blockbuster stuff, and then nothing happened, and that’s just, it’s not good.”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.
It might seem like a headline from a satirical newspaper, but it is not: Spanish will no longer be the official language of the Spanish State or the lingua franca in education. It is part of the socialist-Communist government’s new education law. This war on the Spanish language is the ransom that socialist prime minister Pedro Sánchez has to pay the Catalan nationalists of ERC (a party that represents 3 percent of Spanish voters) in exchange for their vote to pass a general state budget of which Chávez would have been proud. Sánchez will do anything to stay in power, even trample on Spain’s greatest treasure, one that is shared with 500 million people: the Spanish language.Thanks to this new law, the only lingua franca in Catalonia will be Catalan.As a Spaniard, it is difficult for me to explain to people outside my country what is happening here without sounding dire. But in many cities in Spain, children will not be able to study primarily in Spanish. In Catalonia, mathematics, science, and philosophy will continue to be taught in Catalan, as they have been for years, hindering the education of those children who don't speak it. But this time, parents won’t be able to demand, via the justice system, that their Spanish-speaking child be educated in Spanish, which is a direct violation of the right to freedom of education as set forth in the Spanish Constitution.The same will happen in the Basque Country and in Galicia, two other regions with their own minority languages, where in fact this discrimination of Spanish was already taking place -- with the consent of the PNV nationalists, in the case of Basque, and the center-right PP, in the case of Galician. What has changed now is that the war on the Spanish language will be made official, sponsored by the Spanish state itself. The policy is about as intelligent as repeatedly hitting one's big toe with a hammer to cure osteoarthritis.The cause of this madness is an extreme-left Catalan nationalist party that represents relatively few Spanish voters, and that within Catalonia represents 22 percent of voters. But it is Pedro Sánchez’s socialist government that is permitting it to happen. Sánchez, who last week celebrated in parliament the “resounding defeat” of American conservatism, is the only one to blame. It is as if someone decided to leave education in the United States in the hands of Antifa leaders.To be able to understand the regionalist mania among Spain’s politicians and elite, you must realize that nationalism is a lucrative business. The case of the Pujol family is well known in Catalonia; the clan behind the current Catalan nationalism and the region’s former president Jordi Pujol are involved in an endless judicial investigation for corruption in which millions of dollars, diverted from the Catalan people, keep cropping up in tax havens. Behind every extravagant nationalist policy, there is an elite class of government officials and associated companies getting rich.The Spanish language has been in the sights of the nationalists since the beginning of democracy. They have peddled a fictional narrative of Marxist inspiration to divide the people between oppressive languages and victimized languages, creating a problem where there was none. The Spanish people speak in whatever language we prefer to, and we regard all the country’s state languages a source of cultural richness; not as a reason for confrontation. In Catalonia, for example, nationalism does not seek to reaffirm a Catalan identity, but to damage Spain. This has succeeded. Today, children who speak Spanish are humiliated, singled out, and even attacked in schools. In the last election campaign, the independentistas made a show of cleaning the sidewalks with bleach after the leaders of non-independence parties passed through their streets.The perverse Catalan nationalism stands out in its immigration policy. For decades, they have despised Latin-American immigration because they are Spanish speakers, giving priority to immigration from Arab countries. Today, Catalonia has a fierce anti-Christian, anti-Spanish strain in many neighborhoods. There is hope: Nearly half of its population continues to heroically defend their right, against all odds, to be Spanish. But from now on, they no longer have the moral support of the Spanish government.In Galicia, the Basque Country, or Catalonia, their minority languages are used to bar Spanish speakers from entering government posts, and in places such as Catalonia, the regional government imposes fines on traders who hang signage in Spanish. In the 1970s, Barcelona was a city open to the world. Today that city is Madrid, while the nationalists welcome foreigners to Barcelona with graffiti spelling “death to tourists,” which might just be their avant-garde and novel way of boosting an industry that gives employment to 14 percent of Catalans.We need no reminder that in the Basque Country, just a couple of decades ago, you weren’t given a fine to convince you of the importance of putting up your bakery’s signage in Basque; instead you were simply issued a bullet to the back of your head by the socialist-terrorist group ETA. Now they issue their threats from parliament.In Galicia, my beautiful homeland, the situation is less dramatic, because exclusionary nationalism has never triumphed there. The party that has imposed the Galician language for the names of towns and streets is the PP, strangely the same party that, in parliament, denounces not being able to study in Spanish in Catalonia. The only party with the guts to condemn it clearly is the new right-wing VOX, which may be the reason that for many months now they’ve been rising in the polls. To be fair, the regions governed by the PP, including Galicia, have already stated that they will use all the legal means at their disposal to not apply this state mandate, at least regarding the exclusion of the Spanish language and the end of academic meritocracy.The new education law, however, not only gifts us with the muzzling of Cervantes’s language, but also hides an unprecedented attack on Catholic schools. The law aims to economically ruin the so-called “concerted education,” a mixed public-private system made up of 80 percent Catholic schools, which are the real target of the government.Although, without a doubt, what has elicited the most indignation in Spain is the closure of special-education centers. The new government law closes specialized schools and will force parents of children with disabilities to send them to conventional schools. Once again the socialist-Communist utopia of equality clashes with reality: The integration of children with special needs will not offer them any advantage, but rather more inequality and discrimination. There is now an emotive campaign on social networks in which dozens of children with mental illnesses and disabilities are asking the government not to close their school where they are attended by specialists, and they beg for their parents to be given the right to choose freely.Unfortunately, Spain’s current socialist minister, Isabel Celaa (who of course sent her daughters to a Catholic women’s charter school), recently made clear what socialists think about your children: that they belong to the state: “Children are not the property of their parents.” Some parents quipped on social networks: “Madam Minister, since my children are not mine and you are in charge of everything, I ask you to come home this morning at 2, 4, and 6 to feed and change diapers, and please do not forget the antibiotics for the eldest, who is due medication at 3 in the morning. Bring a spare set of clothes, he sometimes throws up.”Luckily for us, even when the winds blow against freedom, Spain is still the same place that Goethe described as “the country of wine and song.” Amidst our joy, good humor, history, and heritage, we Spaniards hide the hope that we will never be enslaved by Communism. We have Cervantes, Becquer, Quevedo, Machado, and so many others on our side. What’s more, centuries ago, we managed to reconquer our land, pushing back the Moors from a small Asturian cave, where later we built the sanctuary of the Virgin of Covadonga to celebrate the victory of Christianity. So a socialist such as Sánchez who dreams of being JFK, and a Communist such as Vice President Pablo Iglesias who dreams of being Castro, might make us retch, but we are not afraid of them. We Spaniards only fear one thing: running out of beer.