Alex Steiniger shares the latest news in science and technology
Alex Steiniger shares the latest news in science and technology
President Trump on Tuesday surprised the White House press corps by announcing he would be making remarks in the briefing room in just a few minutes. As it turned out, he just wanted to highlight that the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit 30,000 for the first time ever earlier in the day. He called it a "sacred number."> President Trump: "I just want to congratulate everybody. The stock market Dow Jones Industrial Average just hit 30,000 which is the highest in history. We've never broken 30,000 and that's just despite everything that's taken place with the pandemic." pic.twitter.com/aKsXFqucfu> > -- CSPAN (@cspan) November 24, 2020Trump congratulated his administration and, "most importantly," the American people for the milestone, and then walked out of the room. The entire event lasted just over one minute, which CNN's Jim Acosta described as the "shortest briefing ever." Reporters, as has been the case for the past several weeks, fired questions at him to no avail and were left scratching their heads. > Trump spoke briefly about the stock market and took no questions.> > After he leaves, you can hear a reporter say, "Well that was weird as shit." pic.twitter.com/lrkjlEHx3h> > -- The Recount (@therecount) November 24, 2020More stories from theweek.com The airline industry begins to plan COVID-19 'vaccination passports' for international travel Obama the pretender Marco Rubio blasts Biden White House picks for Ivy League degrees — despite Trump administration's similar credentials
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.
Masked law enforcement officers carried out mass raids on the Jehovah's Witnesses across Russia on Tuesday and made a number of arrests as part of a new criminal case against the group, the Investigative Committee said. The law enforcement agency said it had opened an investigation as it suspected the Christian denomination was organising the activity in Moscow of its national centre and affiliates. Yaroslav Sivulskiy, a spokesman for the European Association of Jehovah's Witnesses, denied the centre had resumed its activity and said the group was being targeted in a campaign of persecution.
President-elect Joe Biden's pick for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, "was known for his unimpeachable ethics," according to The American Prospect's prior report. That may be true, but how he's spent his time since the end of the Obama administration has left some critics bristling at his selection.In a July report, TAP put a spotlight on the strategic consultancy firm WestExec Advisers, of which Blinken and Michele Fourney, the favorite to lead the Pentagon in the Biden administration, were founding partners. The firm has ties to an array of industries, including: tech, financial services, aerospace, defense, and pharmaceuticals. But it's not exactly clear who the individual clients are since the firm, which is not registered to lobby, doesn't have to disclose them. The lack of transparency is a cause for concern among some observers, who are worried about people in the Biden, or any, administration getting too wrapped up in the interests of global corporations, TAP reported.Danielle Brian, the executive director of the Project on Government Oversight, a nonprofit watchdog group, told The New York Times that "those kinds of consulting shops," like WestExec, "take advantage of current laws, so there is no transparency in their clients and how they are trying to influence public policy for them. That's exactly the kind of people who should not be in an administration."There likely will be some clarity, however, since Blinken, as a political appointee, will have to disclose clients who paid $5,000 or more for his services in the past year. Read more about WestExec Advisers at The American Prospect. > Federal political appointees are required to disclose clients who paid $5k or more for their services in the past year. So Blinken's financial disclosure will be a rare glimpse into this sort of consultancy's clientele https://t.co/QqfICsYpx4> > -- Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) November 23, 2020More stories from theweek.com The airline industry begins to plan COVID-19 'vaccination passports' for international travel Obama the pretender Marco Rubio blasts Biden White House picks for Ivy League degrees — despite Trump administration's similar credentials
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.”
The United States’ national security adviser has warned China not to use military force against Taiwan, a day after an unannounced visit to the democratic island by a two-star Navy admiral overseeing US military intelligence in the Asia-Pacific. Robert O’Brien cautioned Beijing while touring the Philippines and Vietnam, where he spoke to his counterparts about tackling China’s growing assertiveness in the South China Sea, a region of vital shipping routes where it has made multiple disputed territorial claims. The Chinese Communist Party also claims Taiwan, a democracy of 24 million, even though it has never ruled there. It has threatened to annex the island, and in recent months has stepped up military intimidation through air incursions and invasion simulations. “We have very close ties with Taiwan. The president has made it very clear that any attempt to cause Taiwan to unify with China with anything other than persuasion or democratic election, is something that would be extraordinarily consequential for the People’s Republic of China,” said Mr O’Brien. “I can’t imagine anything that would cause a greater backlash against China around the entire world if they attempted to use military force to coerce Taiwan,” he told reporters. The US does not have formal diplomatic ties with Taipei but it views Taiwan as a democratic ally in the strategic Indo-Pacific region. It is Taiwan’s biggest arms supplier. The Trump administration has beefed up support for Taiwan in recent months - approving several big weapons sales and dispatching senior officials, including Alex Azar, the US health secretary. This weekend Reuters reported that Rear Admiral Michael Studeman, the director of the J2, which oversees intelligence at the US military’s Indo-Pacific Command, had made a secretive visit. He is believed to be one of the most high-ranking US officers known to have visited Taipei in recent years. The increased US backing for Taiwan has riled China amid rising tensions between Washington and Beijing over the South China Sea, the crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong and an ongoing trade dispute. On Monday, the Chinese foreign ministry hit back with a warning of its own, demanding the US “immediately stop” all official exchanges and military contacts with Taiwan and signalling that China would make “legitimate and necessary responses” without giving further details. “China firmly opposes official exchanges and military contacts between the US and Taiwan in any form. This position has been consistent and clear. We urge the US side to fully recognise the high sensitivity of the Taiwan issue,” said spokesman Zhao Lijian.
Decorating mansion will be her final official act as first lady
The Nevada Supreme Court made Joe Biden’s win in the state official on Tuesday, approving the state's final canvass of the Nov. 3 election. The unanimous action by the seven nonpartisan justices sends to Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak results that will deliver six electoral votes from the western U.S. battleground state to Biden. The court action drew extra scrutiny amid legal efforts by the state GOP and Trump campaign to prevent sending vote-by-mail ballots to all 1.82 million active registered voters and then to stop the counting of the 1.4 million votes that were cast.
Houthi rebels in Yemen have claimed responsibility for a cruise missile attack against an oil facility in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.The missile hit a fuel tank at a Saudi Arabian Oil Co. facility on Monday morning, and an Energy Ministry official said the strike caused a fire. The facility is near the King Abdulaziz International Airport.In 2015, the Iranian-backed Houthis seized Sanaa, the capital of Yemen. Since then, a Saudi-led coalition has been fighting the rebels, resulting in a humanitarian catastrophe. The Houthis have used cruise missiles against Saudi targets before, The Associated Press reports, with United Nations and Western officials accusing Iran of supplying the weapons, allegations Tehran has denied.A spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, Col. Turki al-Maliki, called the missile attack "cowardly," adding that it "not only targets the kingdom, but also targets the nerve center of the world's energy supply and the security of the global economy."More stories from theweek.com The airline industry begins to plan COVID-19 'vaccination passports' for international travel Obama the pretender Marco Rubio blasts Biden White House picks for Ivy League degrees — despite Trump administration's similar credentials
John Gilbert Getty, a grandson of billionaire oil tycoon J Paul Getty, has been found dead in a hotel room in San Antonio, Texas. The death of the 52-year-old composer, who was the heir to a $5 billion fortune, is the latest tragedy to be suffered by the Getty family whose history has been marked by drug addiction, tabloid scandals, legal disputes, an abduction and several premature deaths. It is unclear how Mr Getty died, although foul play is not suspected. A post-mortem examination is due to be held. The death of Mr Getty, who had a 25-year-old daughter, was announced by a family spokesman. 'With a heavy heart, Gordon Getty announces the death of his son, John Gilbert Getty,'' the statement read. "John leaves behind his daughter, Ivy Getty, whom he loved beyond measure, and his brothers Peter and Billy. "His brother, Andrew, predeceased John. John's mother, Ann Gilbert Getty, passed this September. "John was a talented musician who loved rock and roll. He will be deeply missed."
President Donald Trump gave some ground on Monday to allow Joe Biden's transition to the presidency after the ranks grew of prominent Republicans calling for Trump to end efforts to overturn his election defeat. Twenty days after Election Day, most members of Trump's party still refused on Monday to refer to Biden as president-elect, or question Trump's insistence - without evidence - that he only lost on Nov. 3 because of fraud. Trump gave the go-ahead for federal funds to start flowing to Biden so that he can carry out his transition duties before his Jan. 20 inauguration as the 46th U.S. president.
Conspiracy, illegal gambling, loansharking and drug trafficking among charges unsealed, U.S. attorney says.