Severe thunderstorms led to at least one tornado in northeast Kansas on March 15, prompting warnings for Kansas City and the surrounding areas.
Severe thunderstorms led to at least one tornado in northeast Kansas on March 15, prompting warnings for Kansas City and the surrounding areas.
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photos GettyAs Rep. Matt Gaetz combats allegations that he was involved in a sex ring, the Florida Republican’s latest campaign finance report reflects a public relations scramble that began even before he acknowledged being the focus of a federal investigation.The filing, which covers the three months between January and March, shows that Gaetz has incurred unprecedented fundraising expenses during a typically quiet period. In that time, Gaetz dropped six figures on a direct mail blitz, shelling out more for fundraising services than he did in all of 2020.Gaetz also paid $5,000 in “strategic consulting” fees to notorious political operative Roger Stone, and he gave money to a number of GOP Florida state lawmakers that he’s never supported before. The report also indicates that Gaetz—who cites his lack of friends in Washington as a point of pride—may be increasingly isolated; he’s received no contributions from his GOP colleagues.How Scandal-Plagued Matt Gaetz Became ‘Excommunicado’ at Fox NewsMore than anything, the filing reflects a concerted effort to bolster support ahead of the creeping shadow of the investigation. Gaetz has spent roughly $170,000 on direct mail outreach this year, $116,543 of it on one day—March 31. The previous day, The New York Times broke the news that the Justice Department was looking into whether the third-term congressman had sex with a 17-year-old and paid for her travel, a possible violation of federal sex-trafficking laws.Gaetz has also invested heavily in fundraising, paying Nevada-based Red Rock Strategies nearly $160,000 for fundraising consulting. That’s roughly $10,000 more than the campaign spent on fundraising services in 2019 and 2020 combined, according to The Daily Beast’s analysis of filings in the FEC database.Last week, Politico also reported that Gaetz recently spent six-figures on TV ads punching back against the accusations. The 30-second spots, slated to run in his panhandle home district and on select national cable networks, ask supporters to “fight back” against “a multi-week fake news cycle,” targeting CNN specifically. The ad buys came after the quarterly filing deadline and aren’t included in the latest report, but should appear in the next filing, which is due in July.However, one expense in particular will raise eyebrows: A $5,000 “strategic political consulting” fee to Drake Ventures, the company belonging to longtime GOP smear artist and Gaetz associate Roger Stone. On Friday, the DOJ sued Stone and his wife, Nydia, alleging that the couple owes millions in unpaid taxes and have used Drake Ventures to shelter more than $1 million.The campaign paid Stone’s company on March 24, just days before Gaetz’s father held an in-person meeting with a former DOJ prosecutor, according to a person familiar with the meeting. In a bizarre March 31 interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, Matt Gaetz claimed that his father recorded that conversation at the direction of the FBI, alleging without evidence that the former prosecutor was at the center of a convoluted scheme to extort the congressman. The Gaetz campaign had never paid Drake Ventures until then.The report also suggests that Gaetz has few friends in Washington. While Gaetz swore off donations from corporate PACs, he kept the door open to donations from candidate committees. But he has so far reported no financial support in 2021 from friends in Congress such as Jim Jordan and Stephen Scalise, both of whom donated to his 2020 campaign. And while he made same-day $4,000 donations to Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rand Paul (R-KY) in mid-February, Gaetz did not give money to any House colleagues.Gaetz did, however, send out $1,000 donations to five GOP Florida state senators on Jan. 26. Gaetz hadn’t donated to any of their campaigns previously.One of the contributions reflects Gaetz’s ties to Joel Greenberg, his longtime friend whose federal indictment on a range of offenses—including sex trafficking—led to the probe targeting Gaetz. The contribution went to Jason Brodeur, a longtime Gaetz ally who was also close with Greenberg through local GOP circles. Brodeur’s campaign drew scrutiny for dirty tricks, including an alleged sham candidate scheme. Brodeur has denied involvement and went on to win that race, now representing Greenberg’s Seminole County at the state level.Gaetz has also continued to rack up legal fees, a pattern established last summer around the time the DOJ investigation was reportedly launched. The Daily Beast reported earlier this month that weeks after Greenberg was first indicted—in June 2020—Gaetz paid the law firm Venable LLP $38,000, nearly four times the combined amount of legal fees incurred in the previous five years. The new filing reveals a $21,000 payment to Venable in February, bringing total legal expenses up to $85,000 since Greenberg was charged.Caleb Burns, a partner at Wiley Rein who specializes in campaign finance law, told The Daily Beast that spikes in legal fees are often accompanied by a parallel spike in fundraising.“The law permits candidates and officeholders to use campaign contributions for legal expenses that arise from their candidate and officeholder duties and responsibilities,” Burns explained. “But if an officeholder gets into a car accident on the way to the grocery store—which has nothing to do with running for or holding office—the law bars the use of campaign funds to cover any resulting legal expenses. Therefore, it is not uncommon for candidates and officeholders facing scrutiny for their political activities to raise additional funds into their campaigns to help offset associated legal expenses.”While the thrust of the Gaetz investigation is said to focus on the sex trafficking allegations, CNN reported earlier this month that federal investigators are also examining campaign finance irregularities as part of their broader inquiry. Gaetz can legally tap his campaign coffers for those expenses.The congressman has already raised money from the scandal. On April 7, Talking Points Memo published a fundraising email in which Gaetz slammed “The far-left New York Times” for reporting “salacious allegations against me in an attempt to end my career fighting for the forgotten men and women of this country.” The email added that it was “a shame that the Left tries to drag my dating life into their political attacks,” and included a donation link asking supporters to “fight back against the fake news.”Gaetz donor Richard Bell, who gave to the congressman late last month, told The Daily Beast that while he has liked Gaetz’s policies since he arrived in D.C., Gaetz “should pay the price” if the allegations are true.“I know there is a big expense in defending and felt I wanted to help out,” Bell said.Another recent donor, Florida resident Jerry Klinger, told The Daily Beast that he gave to Gaetz because he agreed with the congressman’s “small-government philosophy.” However, Klinger said that “the shadows that have come out since may have given me pause to reconsider.”Klinger expressed skepticism about the merits of the DOJ investigation, and said he has “no objection” if Gaetz uses his donation for legal expenses. But he pointed out that the congressman comes from a wealthy and influential family.“If daddy wants to pay for junior, that’s a different story,” he 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.
The congresswoman blames rogue staff for the platform document and said she never planned to launch anything
From Huggies diapers to Tampax, Dunkin coffee, and Cheerios, many top goods will get more expensive in the coming months.
The Ingenuity drone completes the first powered, controlled flight by an aircraft on another world.
Photo: GettyIf someone gets a headache or feels a bit under the weather after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, it’s become common to hear them say something like “Oh, it just means my immune system is really working hard.” On the flip side, when people don’t notice any side effects, they sometimes worry the shot isn’t doing its job or their immune system isn’t reacting at all.Is there any link between what you can notice after a vaccine and what’s happening on the cellular level inside your body? Robert Finberg is a physician who specializes in infectious diseases and immunology at the Medical School at the University of Massachusetts. He explains how this perception doesn’t match the reality of how vaccines work.What does your body do when you get a vaccine?Your immune system responds to the foreign molecules that make up any vaccine via two different systems.The initial response is due to what’s called the innate immune response. This system is activated as soon as your cells notice you’ve been exposed to any foreign material, from a splinter to a virus. Its goal is to eliminate the invader. White blood cells called neutrophils and macrophages travel to the intruder and work to destroy it.This first line of defense is relatively short-lived, lasting hours or days.The second line of defense takes days to weeks to get up and running. This is the long-lasting adaptive immune response. It relies on your immune system’s T and B cells that learn to recognize particular invaders, such as a protein from the coronavirus. If the invader is encountered again, months or even years in the future, it’s these immune cells that will recognize the old enemy and start generating the antibodies that will take it down.In the case of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, it takes approximately two weeks to develop the adaptive response that brings long-lasting protection against the virus.Be Very, Very Skeptical of These ‘Bad News’ Vaccine ReportsWhen you get the vaccine shot, what you’re noticing in the first day or two is part of the innate immune response: your body’s inflammatory reaction, aimed at quickly clearing the foreign molecules that breached your body’s perimeter.It varies from person to person, but how dramatic the initial response is does not necessarily relate to the long-term response. In the case of the two mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, well over 90 percent of people immunized developed the protective adaptive immune response while fewer than 50 percent developed any side effects, and most were mild.You may never know how strongly your body’s adaptive immune response is gearing up.The bottom line is you can’t gauge how well the vaccine is working within your body based on what you can detect from the outside. Different people do mount stronger or weaker immune responses to a vaccine, but post-shot side effects won’t tell you which you are. It’s the second, adaptive immune response that helps your body gain vaccine immunity, not the inflammatory response that triggers those early aches and pains.What are side effects, anyway?Side effects are normal responses to the injection of a foreign substance. They include things like fever, muscle pain and discomfort at the injection site, and are mediated by the innate immune response.Neutrophils or macrophages in your body notice the vaccine molecules and produce cytokines—molecular signals that cause fever, chills, fatigue and muscle pain. Doctors expect this cytokine reaction to happen any time a foreign substance is injected into the body.In studies where neither recipients nor researchers knew which individuals were getting the mRNA vaccine or a placebo, approximately half of people aged 16 to 55 who received a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine developed a headache after the second dose. This reaction may relate to the vaccine—but a quarter of people who received just a placebo also developed a headache. So in the case of very common symptoms, it can be quite difficult to attribute them to the vaccine with any certainty.Researchers anticipate some reports of side effects. Adverse events, on the other hand, are things that physicians do not expect to happen as a result of the vaccine. They would include organ failure or serious damage to any part of the body.The blood clots that triggered the U.S. to pause distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are a very rare event, apparently happening with one-in-a-million frequency. Whether they are definitely caused by the vaccine is still under investigation—but if scientists conclude they are, blood clots would be an extremely rare side effect.What component in the shot causes side effects?The only “active ingredient” in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines is the mRNA instructions that tell the recipient’s cells to build a viral protein. But the shots have other components that help the mRNA travel inside your body.To get the vaccine’s mRNA into the vaccinated person’s cells where it can do its job, it must evade enzymes in the body that would naturally destroy it. Researchers protected the mRNA in the vaccine by wrapping it in a bubble of lipids that help it avoid destruction. Other ingredients in the shots—like polyethylene glycol, which is part of this lipid envelope—could cause allergic responses.If I feel sick after my shot, does that signal strong immunity?Scientists haven’t identified any relationship between the initial inflammatory reaction and the long-term response that leads to protection. There’s no scientific proof that someone with more obvious side effects from the vaccine is then better protected from COVID-19. And there’s no reason that having an exaggerated innate response would make your adaptive response any better.Both the authorized mRNA vaccines provided protective immunity to over 90 percent of recipients, but fewer than 50 percent reported any reaction to the vaccine and far fewer had severe reactions.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.
Gem County Sheriff's Office/Ada County Sheriff's OfficeConnie Ann Smith, of Emmett, Idaho, reported her 8-year-old granddaughter missing on April 12, telling police she’d run away.Three days later, little Taryn Summers was found—stuffed inside a garbage bag in the backseat of the grandma’s black Lexus, according to a probable cause affidavit filed Monday.Authorities have now charged Smith with failing to notify law enforcement of death and destruction of evidence. During her Monday afternoon arraignment, Gem County Prosecuting Attorney Erik Thompson called the case “egregious” and said additional charges could be filed soon.“This is a huge devastation and loss to my sister, my family, and I and we are completely heartbroken to lose a family member at such a young age and in such a tragic way. Taryn had a personality twice her size and was a very funny and smart little girl who could always make everyone laugh,” Jennifer Sexton, Summers’ aunt, wrote in a GoFundMe campaign. “Taryn is so loved and was a bright light taken in such an evil way from this world way too soon, and she will be greatly missed.”Did Bigfoot Murder Three People in the Woods of California?While authorities have only identified the child found inside Smith’s car as “TS,” family members have confirmed her identity. Last week, the Gem County Sheriff’s Office announced it had discovered a body believed to be Taryn’s, with details matching those in the affidavit. The affidavit also lists Smith as the grandmother and custodian of “TS,” and says Smith has a son whose last name is Summers. The 54-year-old is the owner of the property where the little girl was reportedly last seen.Authorities say that when officers arrived at Smith’s house after she’d reported Summers missing, they discovered a piece of the carpet had been cut out. Smith allegedly told police she’d removed the carpet and burned it after the had child “defecated” on it.The affidavit states that police ultimately learned that earlier in the day, Smith had been seen driving from a preschool with Summers sleeping in the backseat. Smith admitted the girl was still asleep when they arrived home and that she carried her into a bedroom.On April 14, police and Idaho state forensics investigators returned to search the home again—and found a “small brown spot” on the bedroom wall they believed to be blood.After several searches around Smith’s property, investigators gained access to Smith’s Lexus—after she initially told police she “did not know where the key (was) for the vehicle.”Inside, they found Summers’ body in a black trash bag on the floor. Investigators said the little girl had vomit on her shirt and in her hair. Smith was then arrested on April 15, according to online court records.“In reviewing the probable cause affidavit, the alleged conduct is disturbing,” Judge Tyler Smith said during Smith’s hearing on Monday, before ordering an $800,000 bond. “Report that the child was missing. Ultimately the discovery of the deceased child on the property, I believe two days later. The potential penalty, depending on the conclusion of the investigation, could be severe.”Smith’s attorney did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment.Authorities also noted that Summer was not the only relative connected to Smith who’s gone missing. The Gem County Sheriff’s Office said that 16-year-old Tristan Conner Sexton went missing in September 2020 and 14-year-old Taylor Summers disappeared in October. Both teens have since been located and were not in danger.All three children lived in Smith’s house after being moved from their mother’s house in 2019 after testing positive for hard drugs, according to EastIdahoNews. “Law enforcement has been in contact with Taylor and does not believe her to be in danger at this time. Family has been in contact with Tristan Sexton and law enforcement does not believe him to be in danger at this time,” Gem County Sheriff Donnie Wunder said on Thursday. “I want to thank everyone for their concern and support during the last few days.”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.
A deadly second wave has overrun hospitals and even crematoriums in India.
The drive has begun to lag just as the country sees a record surge in Covid cases.
Attorney Eric Nelson told jurors they must consider all the facts and circumstances Chauvin had to assess when he used force on George Floyd.
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The twin-rotor whirligig's debut on the Red Planet marked a 21st-century Wright Brothers moment for NASA, which said success could pave the way for new modes of exploration onMars and other destinations in the solar system, such as Venus and Saturn's moon Titan.A black-and-white photo taken by a downward-pointing onboard camera while the helicopter was aloft showed the distinct shadow cast by Ingenuity in the Martian sunlight onto the ground just below it.Mission managers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory near Los Angeles burst into applause and cheers as engineering data beamed back from Mars confirmed that the 4-pound solar-powered helicopter had performed its maiden 40-second flight precisely as planned three hours earlier.The robot rotorcraft was programmed to ascend 10 feet straight up, then hover and rotate in place over the Martian surface for half a minute before settling back down on its four legs.
"Losing this many intelligence officers will reduce the amount of activity and capabilities of the Russians," said the central European official.
The reigning Mrs World, Caroline Jurie, has resigned her title, the organisation running the pageant said late on Tuesday, weeks after she was involved in a controversy at the Mrs Sri Lanka event. Jurie was arrested and released on bail this month after a fracas at the Mrs Sri Lanka pageant in Colombo, where Jurie forcibly removed the winner's crown, claiming the other woman was a divorcee and not qualified to win the title. "Her voluntary resignation decision was made solely by Caroline herself," Mrs World Inc said late on Tuesday, in a news release on social media.
"Real justice for him ... can only happen when we build a nation that fundamentally respects the human dignity of every person," Sanders said.
Reuters reported that Kira Yarmysh, Navalny's spokeswoman, and Lyubov Sobol, who appeared on Navalny's YouTube channel, were detained in Moscow.
Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/ReutersA day after the European Union’s top diplomat warned that over 100,000 Russian troops have now gathered on Ukraine’s border and in annexed Crimea, new satellite images show the mighty stockpile of military equipment that the Kremlin has deployed to back them up.On Monday, the EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said a massive Russian army has gathered on the Ukraine border, adding: “It’s the highest military deployment of Russian army in Ukrainian borders ever... When you deploy a lot of troops, a spark can jump here or there.”Top Kremlin Mouthpiece Warns of ‘Inevitable’ War With U.S. Over Another Ukraine Land GrabOn Tuesday, the satellite images published by the Wall Street Journal showed the extent of the Russian force that’s causing so much concern. The photos, taken between March 27 and April 16 by commercial satellite company Maxar Technologies, show that Russia is gathering fighter jets, attack helicopters, and even building a new military hospital.Experts say the range and number of fighter jets gathered are a cause for sharp concern. Philip Breedlove, a retired U.S. Air Force general who was the top NATO military commander when Russian forces annexed Crimea in 2014, told the Journal: “They have appropriately deployed the various elements of airpower that would be needed to establish air superiority over the battlefield and directly support the ground troops.”Dan Jablonsky, the chief executive of Maxar Technologies, said the company decided to make its images public so that the world knows more about what Russia is planning on the Ukraine border. “I think it removes some of the uncertainty and doubt about what is really happening in a fairly critical region of the world,” said Jablonsky.Putin Reignites Ukraine Conflict as Rift With Biden Blows UpU.S. officials are also showing increasing concern about what could happen in the region. The U.S. estimate of the number of Russian troops in Crimea or near Ukraine stands at 80,000, according to the Journal—double the number of troops deployed to the region just one month ago. However, the officials said they would expect to see bigger ammunition stockpiles and more military hospitals if a large-scale invasion was imminent.Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told the Journal: “In a few weeks from now they will be close to sufficient combat readiness to pursue a military escalation. By our estimations, their combined military force will reach over 120,000 troops by then... We don’t know whether Putin will decide to attack, but he will certainly be ready to do so.”Last week, during a call between President Joe Biden and Putin, the White House said the U.S. president “emphasised the United States’ unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”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.
Derek Chauvin can still file an appeal of his three guilty verdicts handed down Tuesday. But the odds are not in his favor.
The MacBook Pro and Air aren't Apple's biggest rivals to Windows laptops. The new iPad Pro, which is now powered by the company's M1 chip, is.
The woman’s boyfriend tried to intervene.
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