Very cold this evening
Very cold this evening
President Trump threatened to veto a $740 billion defense spending bill if it doesn't repeal Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, an unrelated provision that grants broad legal immunity to social media and other internet sites. Unless the "dangerous and unfair Section 230" is "completely terminated," Trump said on Twitter, he will "unequivocally veto" the legislation. Section 230, which shields social media companies from legal liability for user content posted on their sites, is considered a foundational provision of the internet.Congress has passed the National Defense Authorization Act with bipartisan support for 59 years in a row, and "presidents from both parties have always signed them, even after issuing veto threats," The Wall Street Journal notes. "The Senate version passed 86-14, and the House version passed 295-125, more than the two-thirds supermajority needed to override a potential veto." Negotiators are currently working out the differences so the legislation can be cleared in the next few weeks. Trump has already threatened to veto this same bill over a provision to rename military bases honoring Confederate officers.There is bipartisan support to reform Section 230, though each party objects to different ways it affects social media. Democrats say Facebook, Twitter, and other sites should do more to weed out disinformation and dangerous content, while Trump has complained baselessly that the sites censor conservatives. The NDAA authorizes $740 billion in Pentagon and Energy Department spending, including a 3 percent raise for U.S. troops, and guides Pentagon policy decisions.Besides passing the NDAA, Congress hopes to push through a spending bill to keep the government running and a COVID-19 relief package before adjourning for the year.More stories from theweek.com Our parents warned us the internet would break our brains. It broke theirs instead. The case against American truck bloat Americans are choosing death over deprivation
Adam Laxalt, the co-chair of the Trump campaign in Nevada, is fighting ferociously against his state’s decision to reward its six electoral votes to President-elect Joe Biden, alleging widespread voter fraud and hyping litigation to overturn Biden’s victory.But a nonprofit ethics and transparency group affiliated with Laxalt, Nevada’s former attorney general, has already conceded Biden’s victory and is looking ahead to the new administration.“It’s become clear that we’re going to be having a Biden team and a Biden administration in 2021,” said Caitlin Sutherland, the executive director of Americans for Public Trust, in an interview on Tuesday. The new administration is “what we will remain focused on going into next year.”Sutherland stressed that Laxalt’s work with the Trump re-election campaign, and his efforts to invalidate Biden’s win in Nevada, were entirely separate from his work with APT, a tax-exempt nonprofit that’s barred by law from engaging in political or partisan activity. “That is something he does in a personal capacity outside his role in APT,” Sutherland said. “As a 501c3, we, and Adam when he works with us, do not engage in anything with a partisan or political bent.”Nevada Gov. Calls Trump’s Conspiracy Theory Retweet ‘Unconscionable’ But Laxalt maintains his position as APT’s outside counsel and frequent spokesman even as he works with the Trump team in a personal capacity. And the fact that the group he works with is planning for a reality he refuses to concede underscores just how great a divergence has developed within the broader conservative movement. One faction appears unable to acknowledge the reality of Joe Biden’s win—perhaps for fear of offending Trump. Another doesn’t want to get caught flat-footed for when that reality comes about.Illustrating the political complications that these two pulls can create for the president’s political allies, Sutherland followed up on her initial interview with The Daily Beast to clarify her statement—and hedge her view on the outcome of the election. “As Biden is working to build out his team, APT will provide transparency and scrutiny, even as litigation on the election results are ongoing,” she wrote.As a leading Trump campaign official in Nevada, Laxalt has been a face of the campaign’s efforts to overturn the state’s presidential contest. Last month, he appeared at a news conference in North Las Vegas—alongside former Trump intelligence chief Ric Grenell and GOP lobbyist Matt Schlapp—to level allegations of widespread voter fraud and preview a lawsuit demanding that a state court declare Trump the winner, despite trailing by more than 33,000 votes.The Shady Ex-Cop Behind Trump’s Nevada Voter-Fraud FarceAs part of that lawsuit, the campaign submitted a list of thousands of voters who it said had cast ballots in Nevada despite living out of state. Many of those voters turned out to be military servicemen and their families stationed outside of Nevada, but who are permitted by law to cast ballots in the state.Like nearly all of the Trump campaign’s election-related lawsuits over the past month, the Nevada effort has so far fallen short. Last week, Nevada’s Supreme Court certified Biden’s win in the state. The campaign’s efforts persist nonetheless, and the president and his attorneys continue to gripe about a nonexistent conspiracy against him perpetrated by high-level government officials—including Republicans—and voting machine companies with nebulous ties to foreign dictators.On Tuesday, the president hailed a Nevada court ruling allowing both presidential campaigns to inspect voting machines used in the state’s largest county. In a tweet on the ruling, Trump tagged Grennell, Schlapp, and Laxalt.Founded this year, APT uses open records requests and other transparency tools to root out apparent conflicts of interest and ethical breaches among government officials and interest groups. APT is a conservative-leaning group, though Sutherland, a former research director at the National Republican Congressional Committee, said it has and will continue to investigate Republicans and Democrats alike.“We have demanded accountability and transparency from a variety of groups and politicians from both sides of the aisle. That momentum will not change as we head into a Biden administration,” she said.APT has already begun to file open records requests for documents related to incoming Biden administration officials, Sutherland said. “We are taking a look at each individual that will be nominated to the cabinet, and who President-elect Biden is surrounding himself with, what that network has done in the past, and what they would mean in a Biden administration.”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.
China has provided North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his family with an experimental coronavirus vaccine, a U.S. analyst said on Tuesday, citing two unidentified Japanese intelligence sources. Harry Kazianis, a North Korea expert at the Center for the National Interest think tank in Washington, said the Kims and several senior North Korean officials had been vaccinated.
Republicans attempting to undo President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to take up their lawsuit, three days after it was thrown out by the highest court in the battleground state. In the request to the U.S. Supreme Court, Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly of northwestern Pennsylvania and the other plaintiffs are asking the court to prevent the state from certifying any contests from the Nov. 3 election, and undo any certifications already made, such as Biden’s victory. Biden beat President Donald Trump by more than 80,000 votes in Pennsylvania, a state Trump had won in 2016.
A three-week deputy operation has led to over 50 arrests and more than $300,000 of illicit money being confiscated by the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
A Tennessee trial court judge improperly reduced a Black inmate's death sentence to life in prison last year, a state appeals court has ruled. Abu-Ali Abdur’Rahman (AHB’-dur-RAK’-mahn) was scheduled to be executed in April, but the judge resentenced him last fall based on claims that prosecutors had illegally excluded African Americans from the jury pool. The inmate filed to reopen his case in 2016, shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the conviction of a Black death row inmate in Georgia, finding prosecutors had illegally excluded Blacks from a jury that ended up being all white.
There were no visible wounds to the body and a cause of death hadn't yet been determined for the 26-year-old, police said.
Ethiopia's prime minister has called on the fugitive leaders of the Tigray region to give themselves up after its capital was taken by government forces on the weekend. Abiy Ahmed, who was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 2019, said that 30 to 40 rebel leaders should surrender to "save their lives" in a televised address to lawmakers on Monday. Mr Abiy praised the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) for bringing about a swift end to a three-week conflict that is believed to have caused thousands of deaths and forced around 40,000 Ethiopians to flee to neighbouring Sudan. His comments contradict claims by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) that fighting continues “on every front”. While the rebels’ exact location is unknown, TPLF leader Debretsion Gebremichael told Reuters on Monday that he was “close to Mekele in Tigray fighting the invaders.” It is thought that the remaining fighters tactically retreated to nearby mountains days before the assault on the city to avoid casualties. Ethiopia’s former ruling party also claimed to have shot down a military plane, retaken a local town and captured some Eritrean troops fighting for the federal government. A telephone and electricity blackout has made it impossible to corroborate claims. Though the TPLF came to power by toppling Ethiopia’s Marxist Derg in the 1990s, it is unclear whether it will be able to repeat the guerilla tactics that made the insurgency successful. “It is not yet clear what the condition of the Tigrayan security forces are after the recent fighting, nor what the population's reaction is to the federal intervention and the establishment of a provisional government,” said William Davidson, Crisis Group’s Senior Analyst for Ethiopia. Experts fear that Ethiopia may be headed towards a protracted conflict. Mr Abiy also claimed that “not even a single person was killed” by the government’s offensive and that rockets were not launched to the Tigray region. He said: “Mekele is ours. It was built by our resources, we are not going to destroy it. Not even a single person was affected, damaged by the operation in Mekele.” Last week, The Telegraph published numerous accounts of Tigrayan refugees in Sudan who claimed to have been bombed and attacked by federal soldiers and knife-wielding allied militiamen. Ethiopia’s state TV reported on Sunday that individual and mass graves of 70 people were found in the town of Humera as both sides accuse each other of atrocities and war crimes.
Six years after the alleged incident, one woman is taking a prominent TV star to court.