University of Wisconsin-Madison's police chief has banned officers from using "Thin Blue Line" imagery while on duty.
- The Independent
Singer’s dogwalker was shot and her two French bulldogs stolen
- The Telegraph
Former SNP minister demands release of Salmond documents and says Sturgeon must go if they show conspiracy
A former SNP minister has called for secret documents about the Alex Salmond affair to be made public and said Nicola Sturgeon should resign if they prove allegations of a conspiracy. Alex Neil, an MSP who held senior cabinet posts in Edinburgh under both Mr Salmond and Ms Sturgeon, called for transparency from both the Scottish Government and the Crown Office, which have both been criticised for withholding evidence. Mr Salmond has alleged that senior figures in the SNP, including Ms Sturgeon’s husband and her chief of staff, conspired against him by using sexual assault allegations to attempt to ruin his political career and potentially imprison him. Ms Sturgeon has said claims of a conspiracy involving not only the SNP but the prosecution service and other public bodies are ridiculous.
Katherine Tai, President Joe Biden's top trade nominee, backed tariffs as a "legitimate tool" to counter China's state-driven economic model and vowed to hold Beijing to its prior commitments, while promising a sweeping new approach to U.S. trade. At her Senate confirmation hearing to become U.S. Trade Representative, Tai also called for a revamp of global trade rules to eliminate what she called "gray areas" exploited by China and end a "race to the bottom" that she said had hurt workers and the environment.
- Associated Press
The February storm is unforgiving, violently shaking the humanitarian rescuers’ vessel as they try to revive a faulty engine and save African migrants drifting in the Mediterranean Sea after fleeing Libya on unseaworthy boats. Not only must they brave 70 kph (43 mph) winds and 4-meter (13-foot) waves, but also win the race against the Libyan coast guard, which has been trained and equipped by Europe to keep migrants away from its shores. In recent days, the Libyans had already thwarted eight rescue attempts by the Open Arms, a Spanish NGO vessel, harassing and threatening its crew in the international waters of the central Mediterranean where 160 people have died so far this year.
- Reuters Videos
Italy held a state funeral for its ambassador to Democratic Republic of Congo and his bodyguard on Thursday (February 24) who were killed in an ambush along with their driver.The men were kidnapped while travelling in a United Nations' World Food Programme (WFP) convoy in eastern Congo.Ambassador Luca Attanasio, his bodyguard Vittorio Iacovacci and WFP driver Mustapha Milambo were all killed. The Italian funeral was attended by Prime Minister Mario Draghi at a church used for services for national leaders and cultural figures.The caskets, draped in the Italian flag, were given a military salute as they were removed from hearses. Cardinal Angelo De Donatis said the deaths should prompt everyone to "hear the cry of the people of Congo, cruelly devastated by violence as it sees its sons and daughters die every day."There are around 120 armed groups operating in eastern Congo.And the country's interior ministry has blamed a Rwandan ethnic Hutu rebel militia called the FDLR for this attack. The group has denied responsibility for what it called a "cowardly assassination".Italian investigators have flown to Congo to liaise with the police and Italian prosecutors are expected to open a full investigation when they return.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahrain's Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa on Thursday discussed Iran and the possible involvement of the Gulf state in establishing a vaccine plant in Israel, the two countries said. Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates formalised ties with Israel on Sept. 15 in part over shared concerns about Iran, in a deal forged by former U.S. President Donald Trump. Trump withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, a move praised by Israel which has objected to the accord.
- The Independent
Controversial congresswoman previously said the Republican party belong to former president
U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday told Saudi King Salman he would work for bilateral ties "as strong and transparent as possible," the White House said, ahead of the expected release of a sensitive U.S. intelligence report on the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The report is a declassified version of a top-secret assessment that sources say singles out the 85-year-old king's son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for approving the murder of Khashoggi in the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul. Saudi Arabia denies that the 35-year-old crown prince, the de facto ruler of the kingdom, approved the killing.
- The Independent
Biden raises human rights in call with Saudi king as intelligence officials to release report on Khashoggi killing
President Joe Biden has spoken with King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud of Saudi Arabia ahead of the release of a report from US intelligence officials that is expected to reveal that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved and likely ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. A White House report of their phone call on Thursday did not disclose whether they discussed the findings in the report. The leaders “discussed regional security, including the renewed diplomatic efforts led by the United Nations and the United States to end the war in Yemen, and the US commitment to help Saudi Arabia defend its territory as it faces attacks from Iranian-aligned groups,” according to a readout of their call.
- Business Insider
Although Republican lawmakers have largely opposed Biden's costly stimulus plan, it seems Republican voters overwhelmingly support the legislation.
- Associated Press
Kyle Connor scored twice and the Winnipeg Jets spoiled Dominique Ducharme's debut as Montreal's coach, rallying to beat the Canadiens 6-3 on Thursday night to open a two-game series. The Jets rallied after Montreal took a 2-0 lead into the second period.
- The Telegraph
Coronavirus latest news: 'This battle is not won yet,' says Jonathan Van-Tam after cases increase in parts of UK
Teachers, police and BAME will not get vaccine priority Analysis: Queen shows personal commitment in a time of crisis Merkel refuses Oxford jab amid calls to 'lead by example' Age remains the key factor that determines each person’s level of risk Subscribe to The Telegraph for a month-long free trial Coronavirus cases are rising in parts of the UK showing that "this battle is not won," Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam has said. Prof Van-Tam, speaking at a Downing St briefing, said some parts of England were "burning quite hot" with new cases, including in the Midlands and, increasingly, the west coast of England. "This is not a good sign and reinforces the fact that I'm afraid this battle at the moment is not won." Prof Van-Tam said there were some worrying signs that people who had received a vaccine were breaking lockdown rules. "This is all going very well but there are some worry signs that people are relaxing and taking their foot off the brake at exactly the wrong time. "Do not wreck this now, it is too early to relax, we are so close." Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the rate of cases in England was down to one in 145 people but the decline was "slowing". Follow the latest updates below.
- Reuters Videos
Just over two weeks after being poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent in Siberia,Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny woke up from a drug-induced comaand began responding to the words of his wife Yulia.He had been evacuated here for emergency treatment - Berlin’s Charite hospital - and he was weak.He would later describe it as a period of appalling hallucinations.It was September 2020 – almost five months before his eventual return to Russia.Reuters spoke to more than a dozen people who visited Navalny or communicated with him during his time in Germany.These people gave insights into the funding of his political operations.They also recounted that he never wavered in his single-minded mission: to displace Vladimir Putin.In mid-October 2020, Navalny moved from Berlin at night, by helicopter to the village of Ibach in the Black Forest – set in a high valley.He, his wife and his son lived in an apartment guarded by armed police. That’s according to three people who visited him there.Here Navalny spent about two months to drive himself back to physical fitness with intense workouts.23-year-old Bjoern Leber became his personal trainer."He had a few problems with his co-ordination, well more than a few. At the beginning he had problems getting into the car and that was when I first realized it. So on our first fitness plans I focused in co-ordination and then strength. Because he had been lying for so long he barely had any strength and could only just manage five press ups and they were pretty shaky."The two men spent hours boxing, juggling and running in the apartment. They also used a counter-current swimming pool in the basement spa.When not exercising, Leber said Navalny worked on his MacBook, had physiotherapy, or went sightseeing."I taught him a bit of German and by the end he could count really well, from one to 20. Then I motivated him in German because he asked me to and he taught me a few Russian words. I can't remember much though. I asked him whether he thought going back to Russia was a good idea and at one point he said: If I don't try I will never know.”By early December, Navalny and his team were in Freiburg near the French border.It was here that he secretly began work on a feature length film with Putin as its target.'A Palace for Putin' would allege that Putin is the owner of a sprawling estate on Russia’s Black Sea coast.It was released on YouTube on January 19, two days after Navalny’s arrest, and has been watched at least 113 million times.The team filmed in various locations, including Dresden - outside the apartment Putin lived in in the 80s as a KGB agent.In Berlin - where Navalny visited the archives of the Stasi secret police to see Putin's identity card.And also at the Black Forest Studios – where staff were sworn to secrecy.The Kremlin has dismissed the report.[Russian President, Vladimir Putin] "I have not seen this movie, simply because of the lack of spare time. But I had a look at video-digest my assistant brought me. I want to answer your question straight away: nothing named there in the video as my property belongs to me or my close relatives, and never did. Never. " Some of Navalny’s supporters hoped he would stay out of Russia, at least for a while.Russian authorities dropped unambiguous hints that he would be jailed if he returned.But a German official confirmed to Reuters that Navalny made no request to stay.Navalny used Instagram to announce his planned return to Russia,writing “Russia is my country, Moscow is my city and I miss it.”Upon landing his arrest was swift.A couple of weeks later, a Moscow court jailed Navalny for nearly three years for parole violationsignoring a Western outcry over his treatment and nationwide protests that had attracted tens of thousands in the middle of winter.Some supporters wondered if he should have waited longer before returning.Those who got to know Navalny in Germany, meanwhile, are focused on his personal fate.Personal trainer Leber sent Navalny a text saying, "'Stay strong.'"But he only got one tick, the message wasn’t read.
- Business Insider
Federal investigators zeroed in on the assailant after video footage showed the suspect attacking officers with bear spray, The Times reported.
- The State
“Her daddy got to heaven just before she did.”
- National Review
After only a month in power, President Biden has used lethal military force in reaction to Iranian-sponsored attacks on Americans in Iraq. The strike, said to be by F-15 jets, apparently attacked buildings owned by Iraqi Shiite militia groups along the Iraqi-Syrian border. It’s worth pausing to note that those Iranian-backed Iraqi Shiite groups and not the government of Iraq control that part of the border. In other words, Iran and its proxies control a route from Iraq through Syria to Lebanon, where the largest Iranian proxy, Hezbollah, is situated. The borders have been erased. The Biden strike is a message to Iran, a warning shot against continuing attacks by the militias Tehran backs. According to press reports, Biden was presented with a range of options and chose one of the softest — a limited strike inside Syria rather than Iraq. There is a logic to this choice. First, U.S. attacks inside Iraq would likely complicate life for Prime Minister Kadhimi, whom we are generally supporting, and spur the forces hostile to any U.S. presence — not least the Iranian-allied militias — to demand that all U.S. forces be expelled. Second, should further Iranian-sponsored attacks require Biden to hit Iranian-backed forces again, this limited strike allows him to say he tried patience and restraint and they failed. But the strike inside Syria and at Iranian proxies may also send messages Biden does not intend: that the United States will never hit Tehran’s proxies inside Iraq and that it will never hit Iran. If that’s what the Iranian regime infers, they will have the militias strike again and again; they will not be deterred because they will see the attacks as nearly cost-free. The law of averages suggests that sooner or later these continued attacks will kill Americans. That’s when the president will face the need to punish Iran and truly establish deterrence; merely attacking its proxies will be inadequate. One of the key functions of the Shiite militias in Iraq is to allow Iran to attack U.S. forces while, by absorbing any penalty, keeping Iran safe. If there are a series of attacks, harming Americans and eventually killing one or more, the kind of limited response from the United States that we saw this past week will not be enough. That does not mean World War III and it does not mean American bombers over Tehran, but it does mean that Biden must contemplate striking Iranian assets rather than expendable proxy groups. Meanwhile, there was zero progress on the nuclear-negotiations front this past week. On the contrary, Iran did not agree to attend the EU-sponsored talks that the United States has agreed to attend, it limited International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors’ access to Iran, and it threatened to enrich uranium to 60 percent. Nuclear power requires enrichment to no more than 5 percent; the only use for uranium enriched to 60 percent is in preparing a nuclear weapon. The very least that can be said about President Biden’s second month in power is that we are seeing any dreams of a quick return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, also known as the JCPOA, and a quick resolution to U.S.-Iranian confrontations dissolve before our eyes. The president’s refusal, thus far, to lift any sanctions and his willingness to use force against Iranian proxies suggest a more realistic assessment of Iran than many feared. No doubt there will be many deep discussions, even debates, within the administration over what the next move should be. The administration’s willingness to return to the JCPOA if Iran went back into compliance with it has not moved the Islamic Republic an inch. Similarly, the administration’s reversal of the designation of the Houthis in Yemen as a terrorist group, and its decision to halt the sale of “offensive” weapons to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen, were met with zero flexibility by the Houthis — who have carried out additional terrorist attacks since the policy changes. Down the road the administration faces an even greater challenge than what to do about attacks on Americans in Iraq. President Biden has already decided that they will be met with force, and one must assume that if the attacks continue and escalate, the counter-attacks will as well. But what about Iran’s expulsion of nuclear inspectors, which violates the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the “Additional Protocol” to the JCPOA (that allowed snap inspections)? What about enrichment to 60 percent, if that indeed occurs? How far down the road toward building a nuclear weapon will the administration be willing to let Iran go? That’s a hypothetical question today, but if Iran keeps going it will soon be keeping U.S. officials up at night. Biden is the fifth American president in a row, by my count, to say Iran would never be permitted to build a nuclear weapon. Unless Iran changes course he could be the first to have to prove it.
- Charlotte Observer
This is the shocking story of the alleged sexual abuses that led to the January arrest of Sandra Hiler — aka Charlotte piano teacher Keiko Aloe — as told by her 21-year-old daughter.
Residents of an Indian slum thought they were getting vaccinated like everyone else but were unknowingly part of a clinical trial
After a white van advertised COVID-19 vaccines to a central-Indian slum, many of its residents feel duped after finding out they were in a trial.
- Business Insider
Ted Cruz rants about comedians, late-night TV, and mask-wearing before shouting at people to 'just have fun' in wild CPAC speech
"Orlando is awesome. It's not as nice as Cancún, but it's nice," Cruz said, referring to the scandal he sparked by leaving Texas for Mexico.
Former Sen. Kelly Loeffler is out as owner of WNBA team, and the new owners include former star player who retired to fight for social justice
One month after WNBA players helped oust Kelly Loeffler from the Senate, the league announced that it had approved sale of the franchise she co-owned.