While many countries around the world are hitting new highs in coronavirus cases, Taiwan has achieved a different kind of record — 200 days without a locally transmitted case.
While many countries around the world are hitting new highs in coronavirus cases, Taiwan has achieved a different kind of record — 200 days without a locally transmitted case.
A group of Pennsylvania Republicans filed a lawsuit over the weekend to block certification of the state's election results in an eleventh-hour attempt to overturn Joe Biden's victory in the key battleground state.The emergency petition, filed in state court, takes issue with a voting reform bill that passed Pennsylvania's Republican-held legislature in October last year. The lawsuit claims that the law's allowance of no excuse mail-in voting is "unconstitutional" and seeks to block Pennsylvania counties from certifying their vote results ahead of the deadline on Monday to do so and invalidate millions of mail-in ballots cast in the 2020 election.The group is led by Pennsylvania Representative Mike Kelly and GOP congressional candidate Sean Parnell, who has not conceded since his defeat this month by his Democratic rival, Representative Conor Lamb. Their suit names Democratic Governor Tom Wolf, the GOP-led legislature, and Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar as defendants.Meanwhile, a federal judge on Saturday dismissed a lawsuit from the Trump campaign that sought to invalidate millions of votes in Pennsylvania and block the certification of the state’s election results. Trump wrote in a tweet Saturday night that he plans to appeal the decision.About 2.6 million voters in Pennsylvania cast mail ballots in the general election this month. Biden won three out of every four mail ballots cast in the state, according to an analysis of data from Pennsylvania's state department.Biden won Pennsylvania by more than 80,000 votes over President Trump and is expected to be awarded the Keystone State's coveted 20 electoral votes. States have until December 8 to resolve election disputes, and electors will meet on December 14 to formally vote for the next president.Over the past several weeks, Trump has made allegations that voter fraud occurred on a massive scale through mail-in ballots. The president has claimed he won the election and has refused to concede even though his lawyers have not produced evidence of fraud widespread enough to alter the election outcome.
Decorating mansion will be her final official act as first lady
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh on Monday criticized President Trump’s legal team over their chaotic press conference last week that failed to provide any evidence to back up their claims that the 2020 election was rigged.“You call a gigantic press conference like that — one that lasts an hour — and you announce massive bombshells, then you better have some bombshells,” Limbaugh said during his show on Monday. “There better be something at that press conference other than what we got…I talked to so many people who were blown away by it, by the very nature of the press conference. They promised blockbuster stuff and then nothing happened, and that’s just, it’s not good.”He added, “If you’re gonna do a press conference like that with the promise of blockbusters, then there has to be something more than what that press conference delivered.”He also questioned the role of lawyer Sidney Powell, who was present at the press conference but has since cut ties with Trump’s legal team.Though Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis said Powell is “not a member of the Trump legal team” or a personal lawyer to the president, Limbaugh argued it’s a “tough thing to deny she was ever part of it because they introduced her as part of it."“She was at that press conference last week,” he said.During the press conference on Thursday, Giuliani claimed to have evidence of a "national conspiracy" to steal the election for President-elect Joe Biden, though he said he could not yet release any evidence as the judges presiding over the campaign's lawsuit might object and because his witnesses might face retribution if their names became public. He said he had “at least ten” witnesses ready to describe instances of voter fraud, he couldn’t reveal them publicly because “they don’t want to be harassed.”
President-elect Joe Biden is expected to announce Linda Thomas-Greenfield as his nominee for ambassador to the United Nations and Jake Sullivan as his national security adviser, several people familiar with the matter told The Washington Post. Thomas-Greenfield spent 35 years in the Foreign Service, retiring in 2017. She served as assistant secretary of state for African affairs and was ambassador to Liberia during the Obama administration. She is now a senior counselor with the Albright Stonebridge advisory firm.Sullivan was one of Biden's national security advisers during his time as vice president and was also a deputy chief of staff to Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state. Antony Blinken, Biden's reported pick to be his secretary of state nominee, also served as one of Biden's national security advisers while vice president.More stories from theweek.com Reporter Carl Bernstein names 21 GOP senators who 'repeatedly expressed extreme contempt for Trump' There's a very simple, extremely plausible reason Trump won't admit Biden won Biden is stealing the spotlight. Trump can't stand it.
Prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong and two other activists were taken into custody Monday after they pleaded guilty to charges related to a demonstration outside police headquarters during anti-government protests last year. Wong, together with fellow activists Ivan Lam and Agnes Chow, pleaded guilty to charges related to organizing, taking part in and inciting protesters to join an unauthorized protest outside police headquarters last June. “I am persuaded that neither prison bars, nor election ban, nor any other arbitrary powers would stop us from activism,” Wong said, ahead of the court hearing.
The dozens of attendees were all mask-less at Caligula, an illegal sex club, violating New York state COVID-19 regulations.
Iran on Sunday vowed to defeat any Israeli attempt to harm its role in Syria, saying the era of "hit and run" attacks by Israel there was over, days after Israel carried out air strikes on Syrian army and Iranian paramilitary targets in the country. Israel, which views Tehran as its biggest security threat, has repeatedly attacked Iranian targets and those of allied militia in Syria, where Tehran has backed President Bashar al-Assad and his forces against rebels and militants since 2012. On Wednesday, an Israeli military spokesman said eight targets were attacked, including an Iranian headquarters at Damascus international airport and a "secret military site" that served as a "hosting facility for senior Iranian delegations when they come to Syria to operate".
U.S. President Donald Trump is getting ready to amp up pressure on China with a new trade blacklist. A draft seen exclusively by Reuters lists 89 Chinese companies the Commerce Department says have ties to the military. It includes Commercial Aircraft Corp of China - or COMAC: a rising star with its sights set on Boeing and Airbus. Not all companies in the list are Chinese. Some are Russian. But the U.S. considers all of them "military end users". Being on the list means they can't buy some U.S. products - from aircraft engines to word processing software. The Commerce Department called the restrictions "vital for protecting U.S. national security interests." But there are fears that U.S. companies could end up getting hurt, too. It's a sensitive time for the American aerospace industry. Boeing had its 737 MAX cleared by U.S. regulators just last week. It's now seeking approval in China - the first nation to ban the MAX after two fatal crashes of the model. The list could also mean a hit for General Electric and Honeywell - both have ties to COMAC. According to the draft, U.S. companies will need a license to sell to anyone on the list. However, it also says that applications are more likely to be denied than granted.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown is encouraging residents to call the police on any neighbors who flout state COVID-19 restrictions, which include limiting in-home gatherings to a maximum of six people.“This is no different than what happens if there's a party down the street and it's keeping everyone awake,” Brown said in an interview Friday. “What do neighbors do [in that case]? They call law enforcement because it's too noisy. This is just like that. It's like a violation of a noise ordinance.”Last week the Democratic governor instituted a new round of restrictions aimed at mitigating the spread of coronavirus in the state via executive order, including a two-week “freeze” limiting indoor and outdoor gatherings to no more than six people from no more than two households just ahead of Thanksgiving. Residents are also prohibited from eating out at restaurants and going to the gym, though faith-based gatherings of up to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors are allowed.Violators can face up to 30 days in jail, $1,250 fines or both. The Marion County Sheriff’s office said in a statement on Friday that it believes “we cannot arrest or enforce our way out of the pandemic.”“We believe both are counterproductive to public health goals.”Brown pushed back, calling criticisms of the new restrictions "irresponsible."“This is about saving lives and it's about protecting our fellow Oregonians,” she said. “We have too many sporadic cases in Oregon. We can't trace these cases to a particular source. We have to limit gatherings and social interactions.”On Sunday, new COVID-19 cases reached a record high in the state for the third straight day, with 1,517 new infections recorded, bringing the state total to 65,170.
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) is speaking out against President Trump's attempt to get state legislatures to "dismiss the will" of voters, calling this idea "inconsistent" with a democratic society.The Pennsylvania Republican on Monday reiterated his belief that Trump should "accept the outcome" of the 2020 election that he lost to President-elect Joe Biden after exhausting all of his legal options in the key battleground state. Toomey also slammed the president for calling on state legislatures to overturn the results of the election due to baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud."The idea that a sitting president would try to, I don't know, pressure, cajole, persuade, state legislators to dismiss the will of their voters and select their own group of electors and send them to the Electoral College, it's completely inconsistent with any kind of truly democratic society," Toomey told CNBC. "So that shouldn't be going on, in my view."After holding a meeting with Michigan lawmakers at the White House on Friday before the certification of the vote in that state, Trump called on the "the Courts and/or Legislatures" to "do what has to be done to maintain the integrity of our elections." Those Michigan lawmakers who Trump met with, however, after the meeting said they haven't "been made aware of any information that would change the outcome of the election in Michigan," a state Biden was projected to win.Toomey previously shot down Trump's claims of widespread voter fraud in Pennsylvania during the election, saying he's not aware of "any significant wrongdoing." And over the weekend, after a key Trump campaign lawsuit was dismissed in Pennsylvania, Toomey congratulated Biden and said Trump "should accept the outcome of the election and facilitate the presidential transition process." > Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), who endorsed, campaigned for and supports Trump, says the time has come: "At some point, you exhaust those possibilities. I think the president has reached that point in PA, he appears to have reached that point in GA, Michigan wasn't even close..." pic.twitter.com/wlyzUD2Ydz> > -- The Recount (@therecount) November 23, 2020More stories from theweek.com Reporter Carl Bernstein names 21 GOP senators who 'repeatedly expressed extreme contempt for Trump' There's a very simple, extremely plausible reason Trump won't admit Biden won Biden is stealing the spotlight. Trump can't stand it.
Monday's delivery of an 18-and-a-half-foot tall Fraser fir by horse-drawn carriage signaled the kickoff of the usual array of White House holiday events that will include the annual turkey pardon and Christmas and Hanukkah events. “Attending the parties will be a very personal choice,” said Stephanie Grisham, first lady Melania Trump's spokeswoman and chief of staff, referring to the plans. “It is a longstanding tradition for people to visit and enjoy the cheer and iconic décor of the annual White House Christmas celebrations."
Loeffler is currently campaigning in a high-stakes race that could determine control of the Senate at the start of President-elect Joe Biden's term.
The far right thought it had found the ideal breakfast beverage company. Then it took a big sip of Black Rifle Coffee and checked the news.For years, Black Rifle Coffee Company has been at the vanguard of an emerging conservative coffee movement. Customers can start their day with a “Thin Blue Line” Keurig cup, or wind down with a nice mug of “Combat Cocoa.” This isn’t coffee for WIMPS and CIVILIANS, the company’s branding implies; it’s TACTICAL CAFFEINATION for OPERATORS.But not even that branding has been enough to save BRCC from attacks by its far-right former fans, who accuse the company of being inadequately militant because it declined to sponsor a teenager accused of murdering Black Lives Matter protesters.‘All Combat Takes Place at Night’: Kyle Rittenhouse’s Lawyer Urges Trump Fans to ‘Dust Off’ Gun RightsBRCC’s trouble began shortly after accused murderer Kyle Rittenhouse was bailed out of jail last week. Rittenhouse is accused of shooting three people (two of them fatally) at a Black Lives Matter protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin earlier this year. Rittenhouse, 17, became a hero of the militant far right, especially of groups like the Proud Boys that openly lust for violence against the left.Shortly after supporters posted Rittenhouse’s $2 million bail, the host of a conservative podcast that partners with BRCC tweeted a picture of Rittenhouse in a BRCC shirt. The picture, plus its caption (“Kyle Rittenhouse drinks the best coffee in America”) led viewers to believe BRCC was partnering with Rittenhouse.That wasn’t the case, BRCC clarified this weekend. In a video, the company’s CEO Evan Hafer stated that BRCC had not and would not sponsor Rittenhouse.“We’re not in the business of profiting from tragedy,” the CEO of the gun-themed coffee company said. “We’re not in the business of profiting from this event. We have zero interest in collecting one dollar from any of this. It is ethically inappropriate for us to do so, or even give the perception [of profiting].”That would be an uncontroversial statement from virtually any other CEO. But not, apparently, from a leader in the world of conservative coffee. Hafer’s statement prompted a hypercaffeinated meltdown from portions of the right, which castigated BRCC as traitors.> Lmfao, reactionaries are turning on Black Riffle Coffee because BRC doesn’t want their product associated with Kyle Rittenhouse pic.twitter.com/cNOBz70Flf> > — Rational Disconnect (@RationalDis) November 23, 2020Far-right internet personalities like blogger Cassandra Fairbanks formally “disavowed” BRCC—in doing so, taking a break from accusing the left of being censorious. Others accused BRCC of just exploiting the right for profit.“Civilians are just cash cows to you, so you and your veteran buddies can get rich,” one prominent white supremacist account railed at Hafer. The Proud Boys, a far-right paramilitary group that has championed Rittenhouse, accused BRCC of trying to market to “genderless college students,” and photoshopped the BRCC logo to look like it supported Black Lives Matter (which, in Proud Boys parlance, is intended as an insult).On Parler, a social media platform popular among the far right, supposed ex-BRCC fans flooded the company’s page with insults. “Boycott these liberals and every brand associated with them,” commented a user, whose profile picture was Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg photoshopped to look like a Nazi.“Turns out Black Rifle Coffee Is deep state...🤣😂🤣,” another former fan wrote on BRCC’s Parler page. “My husband is pissed...he said his election was stolen away by Democrats, and then his coffee!”“And just like that you have to change your name to LGBTQ snowflake coffee,” a third wrote. “Never will drink your coffee.”Parler users became so incensed they started searching the Federal Election Commission site for Hafer’s political contributions, which revealed that he’d donated $500 to Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Hawaii Democrat. (Gabbard, who has served in the military like Hafer, saw some support from a fringe of far-right personalities during her 2020 presidential campaign.)The accusations were a stunning reversal in fortune for BRCC, which, for years, has positioned itself as the go-to coffee for conservative gun fans. “I want people who voted for Trump to know that there is another option for you,” Hafer said in a 2017 interview. “[Starbucks’ then-CEO] Howard Schultz doesn’t want your business. I do. I’ll be proud to take it.”When Starbucks announced a plan to hire 10,000 refugees in 2017, BRCC shared a meme that photoshopped Starbucks cups onto ISIS fighters. “Starbucks vows to hire 10,000 refugees,” the meme read, followed by a picture of U.S. troops with the caption “Black Rifle Coffee Company vows to hire 10,000 veterans.”BRCC might have been the most popular conservative-aligned coffee brand–but it wasn’t the only one. Other right-wing coffee companies, including those with similar military branding, launched around the same time, many of them in response to the perceived liberalism of brands like Starbucks.At least two conservative coffee shops opened this February alone. One, Covfefe Coffee and Gifts in Maine, sells brews named after Trump. The other, Conservative Grounds in Florida, includes a makeshift Oval Office with cardboard cutouts of Donald and Melania Trump. Conservative Grounds’ owner told the Washington Post the shop was “a place for conservatives to feel welcome,” and noted that the store had a sign leading out to the dumpsters with a label “liberal safe space, enter here.”Why Does Starbucks Melt Conservative Brains?A third right-wing coffee brand is now gunning for BRCC’s customers, promoting stickers that advocate throwing communists to their deaths from helicopters, and patches mocking the corpse of a man Rittenhouse killed. The brand earned an endorsement from the Proud Boys after it released a statement lauding Rittenhouse on Sunday.When a Twitter user accused the company of revealing “fascist views,” the brand account replied, “We were never in hiding sweet cheeks.”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.
Senator Rob Portman said Monday that he sees no evidence of voter fraud sufficient to overturn Joe Biden's presidential victory and called on the Trump administration to begin cooperating with the former vice president's transition team."I have supported the Trump campaign’s right to count every lawful vote, request state recounts and pursue lawsuits regarding election fraud or other irregularities," Portman wrote in an op-ed published Monday in the Cincinnati Enquirer.The Ohio Republican said there were "instances of fraud and irregularities in this election, as there have been in every election," and while it is good that such wrongdoing has been exposed, "there is no evidence as of now of any widespread fraud or irregularities that would change the result in any state."Portman, who served as a co-chair of the Trump campaign in Ohio, said he voted for the incumbent and believes Trump's policies would be better for Ohio and the country."But I also believe that there is no more sacred constitutional process in our great democracy than the orderly transfer of power after a presidential election. It is now time to expeditiously resolve any outstanding questions and move forward," the senator wrote.Portman also called on the administration to begin cooperating with Biden's transition team, which the General Services Administration, the agency responsible for overseeing a presidential transition, has been stonewalling since the election. The transition preparations involve the administration releasing millions of dollars to the Biden team and providing access to federal agencies and office space in Washington.Biden should also be granted intelligence briefings and briefings on the coronavirus vaccine distribution plan, Portman recommended. Biden has said he is currently not receiving the daily classified briefing on security threats that a president-elect is typically given."In the likely event that Joe Biden becomes our next president, it is in the national interest that the transition is seamless," Portman said.Portman is the latest of a growing group of Republican senators who have called on the administration to accept the election results as Trump's legal team suffers defeats in battleground states that were called for Biden and the December 8 "safe harbor" deadline for states to certify their electors approaches.Senator Mitt Romney last week criticized one of Trump’s recent strategies to overturn the election results that relies on appealing to Republican legislators in swing states to appoint loyal electors in defiance of the election results. Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse, another Republican critical of Trump’s approach, urged the public to tune out the noise and look at the actual claims the president’s lawyers have made, which do not include widespread fraud.
A firearms-toting congresswoman-elect who owns a gun-themed restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, has already asked Capitol Police about carrying her weapon on Capitol grounds, her office has acknowledged. The practice is allowed for lawmakers, with some limitations, under decades-old congressional regulations. The public is barred from carrying weapons in the Capitol, its grounds and office buildings.
There's a growing likelihood that the first round of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine will be rolled out in just a few weeks. If and when that happens, only high priority groups, like health care workers, are expected to have access. Theoretically, the pool will grow over time, but children will probably have to wait a while. That's partly because younger people, though far from invulnerable to COVID-19, are less susceptible to severe cases, but it also has to do with the fact that the youngest people to receive Pfizer's candidate in trials were between 12 and 14 years old, Dr. Moncef Slaoui, the White House vaccine czar, told CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday.As things stand, there's no data about the vaccine's efficacy or safety for younger children, but Slaoui says the plan is to run trials at an expedited pace over the coming months, first with younger adolescents, then toddlers, and, finally, infants. If that goes well, Slaoui, expects most kids will be able to get vaccinated by the middle of next year, though infants may not be approved until the end of 2021. > Dr. Moncef Slaoui, the White House vaccine czar, tells @jaketapper that he expects children will be able to receive a coronavirus vaccine some time in the middle of next year. "We need to run those clinical trials on an expedited basis." CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/WlOUxKA3RN> > -- State of the Union (@CNNSotu) November 22, 2020More stories from theweek.com Reporter Carl Bernstein names 21 GOP senators who 'repeatedly expressed extreme contempt for Trump' There's a very simple, extremely plausible reason Trump won't admit Biden won Biden is stealing the spotlight. Trump can't stand it.
We rounded up a mix of gifts that help others, keep folks healthy, and add a little something-something to the home Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
Conspiracy, illegal gambling, loansharking and drug trafficking among charges unsealed, U.S. attorney says.
Joe Biden will nominate former secretary of state John Kerry for climate czar in his presidential cabinet, the Biden-Harris transition team announced on Monday.Kerry will serve on the White House national security council as the "Special Presidential Envoy for Climate." The position, which does not require Senate approval, would be the first national security council post to deal with specifically climate change.> America will soon have a government that treats the climate crisis as the urgent national security threat it is. I'm proud to partner with the President-elect, our allies, and the young leaders of the climate movement to take on this crisis as the President's Climate Envoy.> > -- John Kerry (@JohnKerry) November 23, 2020"America will soon have a government that treats the climate crisis as the urgent national security threat it is," Kerry wrote in a Twitter post. "I'm proud to partner with the President-elect, our allies, and the young leaders of the climate movement to take on this crisis as the President's Climate Envoy."The Biden-Harris team noted that Kerry "was a key architect of the Paris Climate Accord" of 2015. President Trump later pulled out of the treaty, saying its criterion for reducing emissions harmed American manufacturing and energy jobs."The Paris Climate Accord is simply the latest example of Washington entering into an agreement that disadvantages the United States to the exclusive benefit of other countries," Trump said on June 1, 2017. "The agreement doesn’t eliminate coal jobs, it just transfers those jobs out of America and the United States, and ships them to foreign countries."Biden’s nominee for Secretary of State is Antony Blinken, a longtime Biden adviser who served as deputy Secretary of State from 2015 to 2017 during the Obama administration. Prior to that post, Blinken served as national security adviser to Biden during his tenure as Vice President.The Biden-Harris team announced Jake Sullivan as nominee for national security adviser. Sullivan served as deputy chief of staff to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and has held various other posts in the Obama-Biden administration.Additionally, former U.S. Customs and Immigration head Alejandro Mayorkas received Biden's nomination for secretary of homeland security. During his tenure at UCIS from 2009 to 2013, Mayorkas oversaw the implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.Mayorkas was the subject of a 2015 inspector general probe that found he intervened in visa applications for companies owned by Terry McAuliffe, former Democratic governor of Virginia, and Tony Rodham, Hillary Clinton's brother.Editor's Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Kerry's post requires Senate confirmation. Since the post is housed within the White House, it does not require confirmation.
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.