By Steve Gorman and Daina Beth Solomon LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Los Angeles police officers shot and killed a homeless skid-row robbery suspect who grabbed at an officer's gun during a scuffle as they tried to subdue him in a confrontation captured on video, police said on Monday. The man, known by the street name Africa, had been living for weeks in a tent outside the Union Rescue Mission building where Sunday's shooting occurred and had a history of violent, erratic behavior, the mission's director said. Footage of the shooting, widely circulated on the Internet, marked the latest in a string of incidents that have put police across the country under heightened scrutiny over the use of lethal force, especially against minorities, the disadvantaged and the mentally ill. Local civil rights activists called on the city police commission to hold a hearing on the police use of force on skid row, a 50-block area that ranks as one of the largest concentrations of homeless people in United States. Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck identified the man as a robbery suspect who fought with officers when they tried to take him into custody, then kept resisting as they tried to subdue him with a stun gun. After falling to the sidewalk, the suspect grabbed at an officer's holstered pistol, precipitating the shooting, Beck told a news conference, adding the weapon appeared to have been partially dislodged. Bystander video of the incident shows the man swinging his arms wildly at a group of policemen before he is knocked to the pavement, and four officers struggle to restrain him. Someone in the video is heard repeatedly shouting: "Drop the gun!" and several gunshots ring out, as bystanders gather at the scene shouting at police: "They just shot that man," and "Ain't nobody got no gun." TENSIONS GROW Andy Bale, chief executive of the rescue mission, said the shooting immediately increased racial tensions between police and the homeless community on skid row. The man shot was black, and police Commander Andrew Smith said one of four officers directly involved in the struggle - the one whose weapon was tampered with - was African-American. The three others opened fire on the man, he said. Questions about the incident seemed to focus primarily on how police conducted themselves in approaching an individual who may have been mentally ill. Beck declined to discuss the man's mental history, but the Los Angeles Times reported he had spent time in a mental facility. Bale said the man had previously exhibited a mix of polite cooperation and periodic aggression. The man had helped workers wash down the sidewalks outside the mission on occasion, but was also involved in at least three other physical altercations in the neighborhood during recent weeks, Bale said. In one incident, Bale said, the man and a few others dragged a mission worker into an outdoor toilet and "beat him up a bit." Bale said surveillance footage taken outside the mission showed the man shoving a homeless neighbor about 40 minutes before the shooting, and that this may have been part of what precipitated the robbery report that drew police to the scene. "There's been some good moments with this gentleman, and some erratic violence," Bale said, adding he believed the man was an African immigrant and that relatives who still lived overseas had "asked him to come home." Police said an internal investigation had begun. The Los Angeles Police Protective League, an officers union, urged the public to reserve judgment until all facts were known, noting the video suggested the officers believed they "were in life-threatening danger." (Additional reporting by Chris Michaud and Laila Kearney from New York; Editing by Nick Macfie, Daniel Wallis, Bill Trott, Susan Heavey and)
- The Telegraph
David Cameron has accused Theresa May of making a “very bad mistake” by combining the role of National Security Adviser and Cabinet Secretary during her tenure. The former prime minister heaped criticism on his successor, saying her decision in 2018 to hand both roles to one person, Sir Mark Sedwill, “temporarily weakened” Whitehall’s national security infrastructure. “They are two jobs,” Mr Cameron said on Monday. “Even if you were a cross of Einstein, Wittgenstein & Mother Teresa, you couldn’t possibly do both jobs.” The Cabinet Secretary is the most senior civil servant on Whitehall and is the senior policy adviser to the Prime Minister. The NSA is the central co-ordinator and adviser to the prime minister and cabinet on security, intelligence, defence, and some foreign policy matters. The roles were split up again by Boris Johnson after he took office. Addressing MPs and peers who sit on the Joint Committee on the National Strategic Security, Mr Cameron conceded it was a “mistake” that the Government’s future pandemic planning had focused on flu rather than respiratory diseases in the years leading up to the Covid-19 outbreak. “I think there was a pretty good flu pandemic plan but it was a flu plan rather than a respiratory diseases plan,” he said. He also admitted that more lessons should have been learned from the SARS epidemic in 2004. He questioned what had happened to a unit that he said was set up during his administration in the Cabinet Office to concentrate on “global virus surveillance”. Mr Johnson is now pushing for an international version of such a unit. He has called on global leaders to join a “global pandemic early warning system to predict a coming health crisis”, part of his five-point plan for curbing future pandemics. It would require “a vast expansion of our ability to collect and analyse samples and distribute the findings, using health data-sharing agreements covering every country”, the Prime Minister has said. Mr Cameron ruled out returning to the political arena when asked on Monday whether he would consider a comeback. “No,” he said. “Thinking about Donald Trump making a comeback is enough to keep us all spinning over.” He added that he was “happy doing what I’m doing for Alzheimer’s and dementia” and highlighted a fragile states council he has set up with former Liberian and Rwandan ministers. Asked whether he missed being prime minister, he quipped that he did not miss Wednesdays at noon, the time at which he faced his weekly Commons showdown with the Leader of the Opposition during Prime Minister’s Questions. Mr Cameron seized the opportunity to restate his criticism of Mr Johnson for axing the Department for International Development (DfID), branding it another “mistake”. “Having the Foreign Office voice around the (National Security Council) table and the DfID voice around the table I think is important,” Mr Cameron said. He added: “Can you really expect the foreign secretary to do all of the diplomatic stuff and be able to speak to the development brief as well? That's quite a task, so I think it is good to have both.”
The UN said it had "credible information" that this weekend's crackdown on protesters in Myanmar left at least 18 dead and 30 wounded.
- Business Insider
Biden refused to sanction MBS over Khashoggi's murder because he doesn't want his relationship with Saudi Arabia to get worse, officials say
A US intelligence report released Friday found that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman directly approved the 2018 killing of Jamal Khashoggi.
- Business Insider
Former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany says she was shocked that Trump's January 6 rally turned violent
Law-enforcement agencies had warned of violence before the January 6 "Stop the Steal" rally.
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
A group of Democratic senators is urging President Joe Biden to go beyond the $1,400 payment included in his COVID relief package.
- The Daily Beast
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / Getty ImagesPrince Harry and Meghan Markle are being urged by some commentators in the U.K. to ask CBS to postpone the airing of its Oprah Winfrey interview, in which they are expected to mount a stinging attack on the royal family, as concern mounts over Prince Philip’s prospects of beating an infection.Prince Harry Tells Oprah He Left the Royals Because He Feared Meghan Markle Would Suffer Like Princess Diana Philip, 99, was moved to a specialist heart hospital on Monday and royal sources have been quoted by British newspapers saying the family is “pretty appalled” at the idea of the interview, which Oprah has said sees Meghan saying “pretty shocking things” being broadcast while Philip is so unwell.Penny Junor, author of Prince Harry, Brother, Soldier, Son, told The Daily Beast that airing the interview while Prince Philip was undergoing very public health travails risked making the interview look inappropriate, saying: “Anything could hijack this interview. Philip is ill. He is 99 and could die at any time. They were not to know he would get ill, but it could be seen to be the wrong time. But I doubt it is in their gift to postpone the interview. The control is in the hands of CBS and Oprah.”Robert Lacey, historical consultant for The Crown and author of the definitive royal biography Majesty, told The Daily Beast: “I think it would be a marvelous turnaround for Harry’s image if he took the brave step of canceling the whole thing this weekend—or, if that’s not practical, postponing it at least.”Royal commentator and former editor of Who’s Who Richard Fitzwilliams said it would “surely be appropriate” to postpone the interview.He told MailOnline: “Oprah is their friend and neighbor and would undoubtedly comply if asked and the gesture would I am sure be appreciated by the royal family. If an interview has been extended, as this recently has, it can also be postponed, as this undoubtedly should be.” Royal biographer Robert Jobson told the Mail: “With the Duke of Edinburgh clearly very unwell, the fact that the couple plan to go ahead with airing their self-indulgent, no-holds-barred interview with chat show queen Oprah Winfrey makes them appear heartless, thoughtless, and supremely selfish.“For U.S. broadcast network CBS, this interview is a coup, all about securing big viewing figures and big advert sales around the airing of their exclusive interview. So even if they wanted to Harry and Meghan probably couldn’t dictate terms to Oprah Winfrey and the network now. Too much has been invested.”A TV industry insider told the Mirror: “CBS has sold millions of dollars worth of advertising around the interview, but bosses are aware of the delicacy of the Duke’s heath. They have no loyalty to the royal family, although some feel as though they do to Harry and Meghan. For it to run if Philip’s condition worsened would be like setting off a diplomatic bomb. It would be grossly insensitive and hugely disrespectful.”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
As another stimulus package hangs in the balance, some programs like unemployment benefits are set to expire by the end of March
The current package includes $1,400 stimulus checks, $400 payments in federal unemployment benefits, and funds for coronavirus testing and vaccines.
"It’s very hard for any mama especially a mama with boys seeing them grow up so fast," Spears wrote in her post.
- National Review
The head of the Los Angeles teachers union condemned California’s plan to reopen schools as “propagating structural racism,” after the deal was announced on Monday. Governor Gavin Newsom reached the deal with state lawmakers to provide $2 billion in financial incentives for schools that reopen various grades for in-person learning by the end of March. Some California districts, including San Francisco’s public schools, have not opened classrooms since the coronavirus pandemic forced school closures in March 2020. Under the terms of the plan, counties with new daily coronavirus case rates of seven or fewer per 100,000 must open elementary schools and at least one grade in middle or high school for in-person learning in order to receive a share of the $2 billion in funds. Counties with higher daily case rates of up to 25 cases per 100,000 would be required to open kindergarten through second grade in order to receive funding. The plan does not mandate the reopening of any school district. Instead, schools would start to lose their share of the $2 billion in funds for each day that they remain closed. Teachers are not required to be vaccinated to return to the classroom under the plan, and final decisions on whether to reopen are left to individual districts. The head of the teachers union of Los Angeles, whose school district serves 600,000 students and is the second-largest in the U.S., condemned the plan shortly after it was announced. “If you condition funding on the reopening of schools, that money will only go to white and wealthier and healthier school communities that do not have the transmission rates that low-income Black and brown communities do,” United Teachers Los Angeles president Cecily Myart-Cruz said in a statement. “This is a recipe for propagating structural racism and it is deeply unfair to the students we serve.”
- Chicago Tribune
Heidi Stevens: Andrew Cuomo sexual harassment allegations got a whole lot ickier when he threw the word ‘mentor’ in the mix
A life hack: If you’re 63 and she’s 25 and you’re her boss, the flirtation is always, every time, definitely unwanted. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, facing sexual harassment accusations from two former aides, released a statement Sunday acknowledging that his interactions at the office “may have been insensitive or too personal.” “I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been ...
- The Daily Beast
CNNChris Cuomo opened his primetime CNN show Monday night by acknowledging the growing sexual harassment scandal surrounding his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and telling viewers why he “obviously” would not be covering it. “Before we start tonight, let me say something that I’m sure is very obvious to you who watch my show,” the host began. “And thank you for that. You’re straight with me, I’ll be straight with you.”“Obviously, I’m aware of what’s going on with my brother,” Cuomo continued. “And obviously I cannot cover it, because he is my brother. Now, of course CNN has to cover it. They have covered it extensively and they will continue to do so.”>> @ChrisCuomo at the top of @CuomoPrimeTime tonight: "Obviously I am aware of what is going on with my brother. And obviously I cannot cover it because he is my brother. Now, of course CNN has to cover it. They have covered it extensively and they will continue to do so." pic.twitter.com/G49mZYTG4D— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) March 2, 2021 “I have always cared very deeply about these issues and profoundly so,” Cuomo added, declining to elaborate or name which “issues” he was talking about. “There’s a lot of news going on that matters also, so let’s get after that.”The host was speaking at the end of a day in which a third woman accused the New York governor of inappropriate sexual behavior. But as New York Times reporter Annie Karni posted on Twitter in response, while it may make sense for Cuomo to recuse himself from covering his brother, “What never made sense to me was Chris Cuomo covering him when things were going well for Andrew Cuomo.”Especially during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Cuomo was a frequent guest on his brother’s show, where they would joke around together about calling their mom and memorably performed a playful comedy sketch with a giant test swab at the same time the governor’s office was underreporting nursing home deaths. 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.
- USA TODAY
Royal Caribbean's new ship, Odyssey of the Seas is set to debut with departures from Israel with all passengers and crew over 16 vaccinated.
- National Review
The Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans is asking Catholics to avoid the recently-approved Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, which it says is “morally compromised” by its “extensive use of abortion-derived cell lines.” In a statement on Friday, the archdiocese noted that while deciding whether to receive the vaccine is an individual choice, that “the latest vaccine from Janssen/Johnson & Johnson is morally compromised as it uses the abortion-derived cell line in development and production of the vaccine as well as the testing.” While a number of COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers have used cells originally derived from an aborted fetus in the 1970s, the archdiocese argues that Johnson & Johnson “extensive use” is worse than that of Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, which used the cells lines only to test their vaccines, according to Religion News Service. This makes the “connection to abortion … extremely remote,” in the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, the statement argues, recommending that Catholics choose one of those instead, if provided a choice. While the archdiocese claims the decision is in line with guidance from the Vatican, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the National Catholic Bioethics Center, none of the three have issued statements denouncing the new vaccine. In December, the Vatican issued general guidelines regarding vaccines in which the Holy See said it was “morally acceptable” for Catholics to receive shots that used the HEK293 cells for research. While the HEK293 cells are reportedly originated from an aborted fetus from the 1970s, ethicists have said that the cells and similar cell lines are clones and not the original fetal tissue. The Vatican has made the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine available for all Vatican City residents. Pope Francis reportedly received the shot in January. The Archdiocese of New Orleans’ statement comes after leaders of the USCCB and leaders from other religious organizations sent a letter to the commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last spring regarding ethical concerns over the COVID-19 vaccines. “We are aware that, among the dozens of vaccines currently in development, some are being produced using old cell lines that were created from the cells of aborted babies,” the letter read. “For example, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has a substantial contract from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and is working on a vaccine that is being produced using one of these ethically problematic cell lines.” However, a USCCB memo written by Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, who chairs the USCCB’s Committee on Doctrine, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, who chairs the organization’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, argued that the vaccines are moral.
- The Week
Wealthy alumni are threatening to pull their donations from the University of Texas at Austin because students have been protesting the university's controversial alma mater song, The Texas Tribune reports. "The Eyes of Texas," which plays after football games, is a cherished tradition for many, but it was historically performed at campus minstrel shows, and the title is linked to a saying from Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Students, therefore, have criticized the song as racist for a while now, the Tribune notes, but action has increased over the last year amid protests against police brutality and racial injustice. It appears, however, many donors consider the movement to be the product of "cancel culture" and "Marxist ideology," and emails obtained by the Tribune show they're willing to pull their financial support for the university over the issue. UT-Austin President Jay Hartzell has publicly confirmed the school will keep the song, but the emails suggest they want him to take an even stronger stand. A few donors even called for Black students to leave the university if they didn't appreciate the tradition. "It's time for you to put the foot down and make it perfectly clear that the heritage of Texas will not be lost," one donor whose name was redacted wrote to Hartzell. "It is sad that it is offending the blacks. As I said before the blacks are free and it's time for them to move on to another state where everything is in their favor." Larry Wilkinson, a donor and 1970 graduate of UT-Austin, argued in an email to Hartzell and an interview with the Tribune that because Black students make up only 6 percent of the student body, "the tail cannot be allowed to wag the dog ... Nothing forces those students to attend UT-Austin." Read more at The Texas Tribune. More stories from theweek.comManhattan DA investigators are reportedly focusing on the Trump Organization's chief financial officerHistorian: Biden's support for Amazon workers voting to unionize is 'almost unprecedented'Trump is back. Did anyone miss him?
- Business Insider
Some people might prefer Johnson & Johnson's shot because it was tested on variants, has milder side effects, and is easier to get.
The baby was born nearly sixth months after Hilaria Baldwin gave birth to her son Eduardo "Edu" Pao Lucas.
- LA Times
Trevor Bauer pitched two scoreless innings in his Dodgers debut and Kenley Jansen threw nine straight pitches in the strike zone Monday in a 10-0 spring training win over the Colorado Rockies.
- LA Times
When the 'Punky Brewster' star embarked on a new documentary, she found that confronting her past, including surviving sexual assault, was the only way forward.
- Business Insider
The filibuster means that 60 votes are needed to pass most legislation in the Senate.
A week after Alex Smith said Washington didn't want him during his incredible return from a scary leg injury, the team is expected to cut him
Alex Smith is reportedly set to hit the free agent market this offseason and keep his career going over two years after suffering an injury that some thought was career-ending.