Former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, former Senate Sergeant at Arms Michael Stenger and former House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving resigned. They and others testified Tuesday about the attack.
Britain's decision to make unilateral changes to Northern Irish Brexit arrangements is "not the appropriate behaviour of a respectable country" and will erode trust with the European Union, senior Irish ministers said on Thursday. The EU promised legal action on Wednesday after the British government unilaterally extended a grace period for checks on food imports to Northern Ireland, a move Brussels said violated terms of Britain's divorce deal.
- The Daily Beast
WPA Pool/Getty ImagesMeghan Markle is expected to discuss racism in the U.K. in her sit-down with Oprah Winfrey that airs on Sunday.In a depressing illustration of the problem, which Prince Harry has previously described as “structural” in Britain, a prominent British journalist and frequent critic of Meghan Markle is under fire after launching an extraordinary and racist attack on her, in which he appeared to suggest the fact that he thinks she is “attractive” meant she could not be a victim of racism.Andrew Pierce, a senior editor at the Daily Mail who is a regular guest on British TV and radio shows, was hosting a talk radio show Wednesday when a caller suggested that Meghan had never been “fully accepted because of her skin color.”Pierce, who is white, responded, “Oh God, that one again! Do you look at her… and see a Black woman? Because I don’t. I see a very attractive, a very attractive woman. It’s never occurred to me. I never look at her and think, ‘Gosh she’s Black!’ in the way you look at Oprah Winfrey, you would be in no doubt. When they sit down and do that interview, you will see a Black woman called Oprah Winfrey and you will see a woman who describes [herself] as a woman of color. Her mother is Black, she’s from a mixed-race family of course. But I just don’t think people look at Meghan and think, ‘Oh I hate her, because of her skin color.’ I don’t see it. I don’t buy it.”Just a reminder of who Andrew Pierce is... (sound on) pic.twitter.com/wUKq6deFAY— Royal Suitor (@royal_suitor) March 3, 2021 In his statement, Pierce utilizes colorism—the concept that because Markle is of a fairer complexion she cannot be a victim of racism. Instead, he compares her to Oprah Winfrey, implying that the media mogul’s darker skin color is not seen as being attractive because her features are overwhelmingly Black.This has been the case for a number of famous women. Michelle Obama constantly endured negative feedback about her looks before her husband even officially took his place in the White House. By highlighting Markle’s lighter skin, not only is Pierce diminishing her experiences but also perpetuating misunderstandings about racism.Pierce, a frequent critic of Markle, had earlier in the day been a guest on British TV show Good Morning Britain. The segment in which he appeared was criticized for featuring five white men talking about Meghan. Pierce attacked Meghan as hypocritical on the show over allegations she bullied staff at Buckingham Palace and also attacked her later in the day on Twitter for wearing jewelry gifted by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.#Meghan wore diamonds from Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia 3 weeks says @thetimes after he ordered murder of #JamalKhashoggi it's not just appalling timing, why is she taking diamonds from Saudi which treats women as 3rd class citizens. So much for her worldwide equality campaign— Andrew Pierce (@toryboypierce) March 3, 2021 The shocking comments by Pierce that appeared to question Meghan’s race based on her appearance echo a revealing article written for Elle magazine in 2015 by Markle in which she said her race made it difficult for her to break through in Hollywood: “I wasn’t Black enough for the Black roles and I wasn’t white enough for the white ones, leaving me somewhere in the middle as the ethnic chameleon who couldn’t book a job.”She added: “Being biracial paints a blurred line that is equal parts staggering and illuminating.“While my mixed heritage may have created a grey area surrounding my self-identification, keeping me with a foot on both sides of the fence, I have come to embrace that. To say who I am, to share where I’m from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident mixed-race woman.”On Martin Luther King Day 2016, Markle published a moving piece of writing on her now-shuttered blog The Tig that explored the overt and covert racism she and her family have experienced throughout their lives.Pierce’s remarks have generated outraged commentary on social media.This is what Meghan had to deal with. Listen to how Andrew Pierce defines the attractiveness and diversity of a black woman. Heartbreaking. @Oprah @GayleKing @meenaharris @RobinRoberts @MichelleObama @WhoopiGoldberg https://t.co/pDKD4tN6vH— Pam Ranberg (@PamRanberg) March 3, 2021 Nervousness at the palace about what Meghan might reveal in her interview with Oprah intensified today after a new promo clip of Meghan and Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey was released. It shows Meghan accuse the British royal family of “perpetuating falsehoods” about her and her husband. Winfrey asks, “How do you feel about the palace hearing you speak your truth today?” Markle responds, “I don’t know how they could expect that after all of this time we would still just be silent if there is an active role that The Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us. And if that comes with risk of losing things, there is a lot that has been lost already.”Royals often use the term “The Firm” to refer to the monarchy.The Daily Beast has approached Associated Newspapers, Pierce’s employers, seeking comment. —Brooke Howard contributed to this reportRead 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.
Drastic measures taken by North Korea to contain coronavirus have exacerbated human rights abuses and economic hardship for its citizens, including reports of starvation, a United Nations investigator says. North Korea, which has yet to report any confirmed COVID-19 cases despite sharing a border with China, has imposed border closings, banned most international travel and severely restricted movement domestically in the past year. "The further isolation of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea with the outside world during the COVID-19 pandemic appears to exacerbate entrenched human rights violations," Tomas Ojea Quintana, U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in the country, said in a report seen by Reuters on Wednesday.
- The Daily Beast
Greg Nash/ReutersBureaucratic restrictions and public-relations concerns from the Army and top Trump administration Pentagon appointees unreasonably restrained the D.C. National Guard from responding to the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, its commander testified to the Senate in a dramatic Wednesday session.The Guard commander, Major General William Walker, described receiving a “frantic” phone call from the then-head of the Capitol Police, Steven Sund, shortly before 2 p.m., as the breach was underway.Yet because of the restrictions from Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller, Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy, and the “best military advice” of senior Army officers, Walker and his 155 Guardsmen could not respond to the scene of the insurrection for another three hours and 19 minutes—restrictions Walker pointedly noted were not placed upon him during the summer’s Black Lives Matter protests in Washington, D.C.Had Walker been able to deploy to the Capitol “immediately,” as he testified he wanted, around 2 p.m.—a process he said took less than 20 minutes—“that number could have made a difference,” Walker said. “We could have helped extend the perimeter and pushed back the crowd.”FBI Director Shoots Back, Insisting Bureau Shared Intel Ahead of Capitol InsurrectionIt was perhaps the most intense moment thus far in a series of Senate hearings on Jan. 6 that have prompted dueling claims of irresponsibility, recriminations that have focused overwhelmingly on security and intelligence failures, rather than the politicians who spread the inciting lie that the Democrats stole the presidential election and hailed the violent protest called for by President Donald Trump.Army and Pentagon officials have heard this critique from Walker in the press and pushed back on it. Yet it was clear at the hearing that even senior Republican senators considered the Pentagon’s restrictions on the D.C. National Guard unacceptable.Walker described pre-insurrection letters from McCarthy, relaying instructions from Miller—whom Trump installed atop the Pentagon shortly after losing the election—that withheld from Walker the issuance of “weapons, ammunition, batons, ballistic protection equipment, to include body armor.” He did not have preapproval to mobilize a quick-reaction force of 40 Guardsmen and found it “unusual” to be denied a typical commanders’ authority to protect his own forces.As well, Walker described an instruction that afternoon from McCarthy to provide a “concept of operations” for the Guard before getting approval to shift from backing up the D.C. police and relieving beleaguered Capitol Police officers. “In 19 years, I never had that before happen,” Walker told senators. In several instances that day, Walker acted on his own initiative to muster the quick-reaction force at the D.C. Armory and get his Guardsmen protective gear, ahead of the belated approval to deploy to the Capitol.Neither Miller nor McCarthy testified. Instead, a senior Pentagon civilian, Robert Salesses, was left to effectively testify that Walker was wrong.Walker testified that two Army three-star generals, Charles Flynn and Walter Piatt, told him on Jan. 6 afternoon phone calls that they advised against sending the Guard to the Capitol because it was a poor “optics” and “could incite the crowd.” Salesses stoically said that Piatt, who is not in the chain of command, told him he never “used the word ‘optics,’” which represents the second revision in Piatt’s story, as the Army general recently acknowledged he may have indeed used that word.Walker shot back: “There were people in the room with me on that call that heard what they heard.”But Salesses’ broader point was that the restrictions Miller placed on Walker were political. “There was a lot of things that happened in the spring the department was criticized for,” Salesses said, referring to the Pentagon’s use of the National Guard to suppress the Black Lives Matter protests in Washington.Yet Salesses, questioned by Republican senators, could not explain all the Pentagon restrictions on the National Guard.The National Guard was on the streets of D.C. on Jan. 6 to support the D.C. police, in an unarmed and unarmored fashion, at 30 city traffic-control points and six Metro stations. Walker said he had to seek approval from the Pentagon to accompany the police in moving a traffic point over by a single block. The quick-reaction force, stationed initially at Joint Base Andrews just outside the district, was “not [designed] to respond to the events of the Capitol,” Salesses pleaded. “I don’t know if that’s true,” Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) replied, quickly prompting Walker’s agreement.Salesses also had to concede that over a half-hour passed between his account of Miller finally authorizing the Guard deployment, at 4:32 p.m., and notifying Walker of that decision at 5:08 p.m. Asked what accounted for that delay by an incredulous Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Salesses said only, “Senator, it’s an issue.”“That’s a significant problem for the future,” Blunt said.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
Why QAnon followers are pinning their last desperate hopes on Trump emerging as president on March 4
QAnon's most devoted fans believe bizarrely that former President Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 19th President on March 4, 2021.
Hungary's ruling Fidesz party said on Wednesday it was leaving the largest centre-right political group in the European Parliament after the faction moved towards suspending it in a tug-of-war over Prime Minister Viktor Orban's democratic record. Fidesz's departure from the European People's Party (EPP) group is likely to reduce Orban's influence in Brussels following a long conflict over his perceived backsliding on the rule of law and human rights. "I hereby inform you that Fidesz MEPs resign their membership in the EPP Group," Orban wrote in a letter to the faction's head, Manfred Weber, which was published on Twitter by Katalin Novak, a Fidesz deputy chairwoman.
- Associated Press
Footage of a brutal crackdown on protests against a coup in Myanmar unleashed outrage and calls for a stronger international response Thursday, a day after 38 people were killed. Videos showed security forces shooting a person at point-blank range and chasing down and savagely beating demonstrators. Despite the shocking violence the day before, protesters returned to the streets Thursday to denounce the military's Feb. 1 takeover — and were met again with tear gas.
- Reuters Videos
The crash, on State Route 115 near El Centro, California, involved a sport utility vehicle carrying 27 people and a truck hauling gravel, officials at El Centro Regional Medical Center told a news briefing.Some 14 people died at the scene while another person died at the El Centro Regional Medical Center, the director of the hospital's emergency room, Judy Cruz, said in the briefing, posted on Facebook.
- Associated Press
India spinners claimed eight more England wickets as the visitors were bowled out for 205 on the first day of the fourth and final test on Thursday. India was 24-1 at stumps, and on course to win the series 3-1. England opted to bat first on another dry pitch at Narendra Modi Stadium, where India won the third test inside two days.
- Reuters Videos
New Zealand police said on Thursday (March 4) they have arrested two people following a threat made against the mosques that were the scene of mass murder in Christchurch two years ago.Police said an online threat was made earlier this week against the Al Noor mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre, which was targeted by a white supremacist in 2019.The attack killed 51 people and was New Zealand's most deadly shooting.No information was given about the threat, nor the suspect, and no charges have been laid yet, police said.New Zealand is on heightened alert ahead of the March 15 anniversary of the Christchurch attacks.
- Associated Press
Jill Biden, the teacher in the White House, along with new Education Secretary Miguel Cardona went back to school Wednesday in a public push to show districts that have yet to transition back to in-person learning that it can be done safely during the pandemic. “Teachers want to be back," the first lady said after she and Cardona spent about an hour visiting classrooms and other areas at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School in Meriden, Connecticut.
The writer followed cocktail recipes from famous chefs Nancy Fuller, Giada De Laurentiis, Geoffrey Zakarian, and Michael Symon. Here's the best one.
A high-level Chinese study says a massive work scheme is reducing Uighur population density in Xinjiang.
- Associated Press
The Biden administration's plan to funnel more coronavirus aid into states with greater unemployment has irked governors with lower jobless rates, even though many have economies that weren't hit as hard by the pandemic. The $1.9 trillion relief bill working its way through Congress allocates extra money to larger, mostly Democratic-run states with higher unemployment rates, while rural Midwestern and Southern states that tend to have Republican governors and better jobless numbers would benefit less. “You're penalizing people who have done the right thing," said Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, a Republican whose state has reported the nation's lowest unemployment rate over the last several months.
- The Daily Beast
Michael Reaves/GettyAttorneys for Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and the NAACP have served former President Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago club with a lawsuit filed against him in February. Thompson and the NAACP filed suit against Trump alleging that his incendiary rhetoric and false claims of a “stolen” election amounted to a conspiracy to interfere with civil rights by inciting the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.The suit names Trump alongside his attorney Rudy Giuliani and the right-wing extremist groups the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers as co-defendants and builds off the 1871 “Ku Klux Klan Act,” which was “intended to protect against conspiracies, through violence and intimidation, that sought to prevent Members of Congress from discharging their official duties,” according to a complaint.If Jan. 6 Was ‘Domestic Terror,’ Who Was the Terrorist in Chief?“The Defendants conspired to prevent, by force, intimidation and threats, the Plaintiff, as a Member of Congress, from discharging his official duties to approve the count of votes cast by members of the Electoral College following the presidential election,” the lawsuit alleges.It accuses the defendants of acting “in concert to incite and then carry out a riot at the Capitol” that “created grave danger of harm” to Thompson and other lawmakers. Similar to the case laid out by Democrats in Trump’s impeachment trial last month, the suit lays out a timeline of Trump’s “concerted campaign” to retain power at any cost, from his refusal to commit to a peaceful transition before the election to his explicit endorsement of efforts to overturn the election result to his fiery rally speech on January 6.Trump “solicited the support of, and endorsed the belligerent and violent actions of, organizations such as the Proud Boys that expressed support of his reelection,” the suit alleges.Trump advisers did not immediately provide comment on who, if anyone, at this point is representing the former president for this lawsuit. When Trump was served, it was merely signed for by a “Ricky,” according to the court document.Several Trump attorneys who The Daily Beast asked about this said they had no involvement. As of Tuesday, Alan Dershowitz, a member of the Trump legal defense for the ex-president’s first Senate impeachment trial, said “nobody [on the Trump team] has reached out to me yet” regarding this suit, but added that he personally believes Trump’s rhetoric on Jan. 6 is “protected by the First Amendment” and that “I would hope that the ACLU would take on a case like this.”The suit adds to a growing list of legal troubles now facing former President Trump, his family, and his associates, since leaving office.After a victory at the Supreme Court in February, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance obtained copies of Trump’s tax returns. The paperwork is reportedly part of a city fraud investigation looking into whether the former president lied about the value of his assets in order to gain financial advantages.It’s unclear who will represent Trump, the Proud Boys, and the Oath Keepers in the latest suit but court records show that Austin, Texas-based attorney Joseph D. Sibley IV accepted service of the suit on behalf of Giuliani. Sibley, a graduate of Harvard Law school, is a former U.S. Army Ranger.“I am representing Mayor Giuliani in the Thompson lawsuit, and I will also be representing him in the Smartmatic and Dominion cases,” Sibley told The Daily Beast on Wednesday afternoon.Orange Is the New Orange: Trump Just Might Go to JailSibley handles breach of contract, intellectual property, and other commercial law cases but has also represented clients in defamation cases and provided expert commentary for The Washington Post on defamation suits.He represented far-right blogger Charles Johnson in a 2020 libel lawsuit that was originally filed against Verizon, The Huffington Post, and reporter Andy Campbell for a 2019 article which labeled Johnson a “Holocaust-Denying White Nationalist”—a description Johnson strongly denies. Johnson dismissed the suits against Campbell and Verizon but has appealed a federal judge’s dismissal of his suit against The Huffington Post.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.
- Associated Press
Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday expressed support for his attorney-general, who this week denied accusations he raped a schoolgirl when he was a teenager. Morrison told reporters Australia must follow the rule of law and the presumption of innocence in the matter, after police concluded there was insufficient evidence to investigate lawmaker Christian Porter, a 50-year-old former prosecutor. The woman who accused Porter died by suicide last year after she had gone to police and then later withdrawn her complaint.
- The Independent
John Brennan says ‘there are so few Republicans in Congress who value truth, honesty, and integrity’
The security forces resorted to live fire with little warning in several towns and cities, witnesses said, as the junta appeared more determined than ever to stamp out protests against the Feb. 1 coup that ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. The heaviest toll was in the central town of Monywa, where five people - four men and one woman - were killed, said Ko Thit Sar, editor of the Monywa Gazette.
- Associated Press
Amazon has opened a cashier-free supermarket in London, its first bricks and mortar expansion outside the U.S. as the company bets on strong demand for its contactless shops. The online retailing giant opened the doors to its Amazon Fresh shop in West London's Ealing neighborhood on Thursday, in what it said will be the first in a wave of shops in the British capital using its automated checkout technology. Purchases are charged to an Amazon account after leaving and a receipt sent by email.
- Associated Press
Joe Exotic of “Tiger King" fame has found new attorneys who say they plan to file a motion for a new trial in a matter of months. Joe Exotic, whose real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage, was sentenced in January 2020 to 22 years in federal prison for violating federal wildlife laws and for his role in a failed murder-for-hire plot targeting his chief rival, Carole Baskin, who runs a rescue sanctuary for big cats in Florida. Baskin was not harmed.