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Music legend Prince is set to play at the wedding reception Saturday night for newlyweds George Lucas and Mellody Hobson.
Music legend Prince is set to play at the wedding reception Saturday night for newlyweds George Lucas and Mellody Hobson.
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted that Biden "should apologize for his insensitive comments and seek training on unconscious bias."
JACK TAYLORThis story was produced in partnership with Coda Story.One month after Myanmar’s military seized power in a bloodless coup and declared a year-long state of emergency, daily protests continue to shake cities and towns across the country. Now, in addition to taking their anger to the streets, an underground movement of pro-democracy activists has unleashed a raft of new digital tools on the armed forces and police.Myanmar’s powerful military has long maintained a tight grip on the country’s finances by investing in a number of lucrative sectors, including mining, tobacco, garment manufacturing and banking.The Feb. 1 power grab, which ousted the elected government of leader Aung San Suu Kyi, has highlighted ties to a number of businesses. International and local companies with links to the security forces have come under growing pressure from activists who say the firms are complicit in war crimes committed by the armed forces.A recent Amnesty International investigation found that shareholders in a secretive business conglomerate called Myanma Economic Holdings Limited—which is linked to international businesses such as the Japanese drinks giant Kirin Holdings and INNO Group, a South Korean property developer—have received payments of up to $18 billion over 20 years.Last week, Kirin Holdings announced it would abandon its partnership with a brewery part-owned by military generals. In a statement, the company said it was “deeply concerned” by the recent actions of the military and would be “taking steps as a matter of urgency to put this termination into effect.”The focus on businesses connected to the military has spurred the release of new mobile apps from activists in Myanmar seeking to weaken the income of the now ruling junta. Last week, the Yangon-based company Genxyz launched an app titled Way Way Nay (Stay Away). It lists 250 companies, including financial institutions, retail concerns, construction firms, media outlets and health and beauty manufacturers with links to the military.Way Way Nay, which is available on both Google Play and Apple’s App Store, has been downloaded 70,000 times since its launch.In an interview, the app’s operations manager, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he was looking at adding another 450 businesses to the list. “We wanted to be able to show ordinary people in Myanmar how the military is linked with all aspects of daily life. We thought an app would be a good way to remind people what to boycott when they are shopping for products or services.”The military’s efforts to quell Myanmar’s largest pro-democracy protests in more than a decade have led to increasingly repressive crackdowns in the past month. According to human rights groups, more than 50 people have been killed and nearly 1,700 detained since the armed forces took control of the country.On Wednesday, at least 38 people were killed, when security forces fired on protesters in multiple cities and towns across the country. Video footage apparently taken by residents in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, appeared to show security officials shooting one man at point-blank range. In a separate incident, CCTV footage published by Radio Free Asia showed police assaulting and detaining three ambulance workers.The severity of the official response to the protests marks the hardening of the junta’s attitude to daily demonstrations that have paralyzed the economy and large swaths of the country. On Thursday, Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights called on Myanmar's security forces to halt their “vicious crackdown on peaceful protesters” and urged the military to release the hundreds of people believed to have been unlawfully detained since February 1.Blacklist Myanmar, launched on March 3 on Android, is a guidebook for shoppers who want to avoid firms whose sales benefit Myanmar’s armed forces. Blacklist Myanmar also allows users to submit new suggestions for businesses to boycott via an in-app email function.The creator of Blacklist Myanmar, who asked to go by the pseudonym Red Warrior, explained that the app was designed to limit the military’s access to different revenue streams. “In the long term, the reason why they have all the power and all the influence is because of these businesses and brands that they have been promoting,” he said.“If people don’t support these brands or services, then our money won’t go into the military regime. We can slowly cut down their monopolizing influence on the country.”Myanmar’s digital activists have also created apps to warn ordinary citizens and protesters of the increased presence of the police and troops on the streets. Launched on Android on February 11, Myanmar Live Map takes real-time data from users to highlight areas with a high concentration of security personnel. The app, which has 40,000 users already, also reveals the locations of water cannons, roadblocks and ambulances. All of the data is fact-checked by moderators before it is uploaded.One of the makers of Myanmar Live Map told me that the app’s designers took their cue from a similar digital street map used by protesters during pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong in 2019. He added that members of his team consulted an anonymously authored 70-page document named The HK19 Manual, widely shared by protesters in Hong Kong and recently translated from English to Burmese.Over the past month, digital activists in Myanmar have had to overcome a series of military-enforced internet outages and disruptions to mobile networks. On Thursday night, the U.K.-based organization Netblocks confirmed that national internet connectivity had plummeted for the 19th night in a row to 13 per cent of pre-coup levels.Pro-democracy organizers in Southeast Asia say that Myanmar’s internet shutdowns are similar to those deployed by authoritarian governments elsewhere. Sunny Chou, a former Hong Kong protester and founder of the human rights group Umbrella Union, who sought asylum in the U.K. earlier this year, said that the interruption of internet and data services in Myanmar was a strategy widely employed by the authorities in Hong Kong. “During the height of the movement in Hong Kong, there were a few times when our apps were disabled,” he said. “Telegram was also attacked a few times so that the protesters could not properly communicate and organize their response.”However, as Myanmar’s pro-democracy demonstrations have gathered pace, the country’s digital insurgency has also sparked interest among online and offline activists in the region. In Thailand, Cambodia and Hong Kong—places that have all been rocked by pro-democracy protests in recent years—an informal but watchful alliance of like-minded campaigners has used the internet to highlight the ongoing violence in Myanmar, while shedding light on their own oppressive regimes.Sina Wittayawiroj is a Bangkok-based visual designer and activist who first took an interest in his country’s pro-democracy movement in January 2019 when demonstrators took to the streets after the country’s ruling military junta signaled that long-postponed elections would be delayed for the fifth time in five years.Activists like Wittayawiroj have gathered on social media, spreading satirical memes and advice highlighting the violence in Myanmar under the hashtag #MilkTeaAlliance, named for a sweet drink popular across the region. Many who follow the hashtag share a common fear about China’s dominance in the region—in Thailand, for example, support for Taiwan and Hong Kong has become a rallying point for ordinary citizens who believe their own government is anti-democratic and too closely aligned with Beijing.Wittayawiroj, who works for a video production and streaming platform, said he learned about the current crisis in Myanmar from a Burmese co-worker. He has regularly posted illustrations featuring the #MilkTeaAlliance hashtag since Myanmar’s Feb. 1 coup. “I talk to them a lot and try to understand the situation that people are facing. I understand there was an election, but the military took control. I felt I had to draw something to help them.”Regional experts say that the #MilkTeaAlliance has been energized by regional pro-democracy movements. “When we had the very popular pro-democracy movements in Hong Kong in 2014 and 2019, the world was watching,” said Debby Chan, a Hong Kong-based researcher who studies Sino-Myanmar relations. “The activists in Thailand and Myanmar also paid close attention to what happened in Hong Kong back then.”“When some of the Hong Kongers witness Thai and Myanmar activists in their struggle, we see ourselves in their movements,” she added.This story was produced in partnership with Coda Story.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.
Preliminary data from a study conducted at the University of Oxford indicates that the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca PLC is effective against the P1, or Brazilian, variant, a source with knowledge of the study told Reuters on Friday. The data indicates that the vaccine will not need to be modified in order to protect against the variant, which is believed to have originated in the Amazonian city of Manaus, said the source, who requested anonymity as the results have not yet been made public. The source did not provide the exact efficacy of the vaccine against the variant.
Rosa Woods - Pool/Getty ImagesMeghan Markle has said she was not allowed to make her own choices when she was a member of the royal family.The comments were made in a new preview clip from Oprah Winfrey’s eagerly-awaited interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, which dropped Friday morning on CBS This Morning.In the new clip, Meghan said that she had not been “allowed” to give an interview before.In the clip, Oprah told Meghan that she recalled calling her before her wedding and asking for an interview.Meghan said: “I recall that conversation very well. I wasn’t even allowed to have that conversation with you personally. Right? There had to be people from the [communications team] sitting there…”Oprah then said: “You turned me down nicely…What is right about this time?”Meghan replied: “Well, so many things. That we are on the other side of a lot of life experience that’s happened. And also that we have the ability to make our own choices in way that I couldn’t have said yes to you then. That wasn’t my choice to make. So, as an adult who lived a really independent life, to then go into this construct, that is, um, different, than I think what people imagine it to be, it’s really liberating to be able to have the right and the privilege in some ways to be able to say, ‘Yes, I am ready to talk.’ To say it for yourself…. To be able to just make a choice on your own, to be able to speak for yourself.”Meghan’s new comments appear to reiterate a frequent complaint of hers that she was denied her voice and agency when she was a member of the royal family.The new clip came as tensions between Meghan and Harry and Buckingham Palace boiled over into all-out war, with reports in the British media suggesting multiple witnesses were ready to come forward and give evidence to a hastily-announced inquiry into alleged bullying by Meghan of her staff at Buckingham Palace.Meghan’s friends responded to the bullying claims by launching a social media fightback against Buckingham Palace today calling her a “warm, kind, caring person.”In a previous clip Meghan accused the palace of “perpetuating falsehoods” about them.An emotional Meghan said: “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.”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.
Rep. Eric Swalwell, who served as a House manager in Donald Trump’s last impeachment trial, filed a lawsuit Friday against the former president, his son, lawyer and a Republican congressman whose actions he charges led to January’s insurrection. The California Democrat’s suit, filed in federal court in Washington, alleges a conspiracy to violate civil rights, along with negligence, inciting a riot and inflicting emotional distress. It follows a similar suit filed by Rep. Bennie Thompson last month in an attempt to hold the former president accountable in some way for his actions Jan. 6, following his Senate acquittal.
Jared Kushner is said to have distanced himself back from his father-in-law but is likely to return if Trump decides on a 2024 run, sources told CNN.
Walter Gretzky, father of hockey great Wayne Gretzky whose down-to-earth approach to life and family struck a chord with Canadians, dies at 82.
Federico Klein, a former State Department aide who worked on former President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, was arrested Thursday on charges related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, the FBI announced Thursday night. This is the first known instance of a Trump appointee facing prosecution in connection with the attack, Politico reports. An FBI Washington Field Office spokeswoman told Politico that Klein, 42, was taken into custody in Virginia, but did not release any information on the charges against him. Federal Election Commission records show Klein worked as a tech analyst for the 2016 Trump campaign, Politico says, and after the election he was hired at the State Department. A federal directory from last summer lists Klein as a special assistant in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, making him a "Schedule C" political appointee, Politico reports. On Jan. 6, a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying President Biden's victory. Klein's mother, Cecilia, told Politico on Thursday night that he told her he was in Washington, D.C., on the day of the riot, and "as far as I know, he was on the Mall." She is a retired economist and trade official, and told Politico because of their different views, she rarely spoke about Trump or politics with her son. "Fred's politics burn a little hot," she said. "But I've never known him to violate the law." More stories from theweek.comWhy the Dr. Seuss 'cancellation' is chillingWhat Republicans talk about when they talk about the 'working class'7 scathingly funny cartoons about Trump's CPAC appearance
One of the 13 people killed when the SUV smuggling them into California hit a tractor-trailer was a 23-year-old woman who was fleeing violence in Guatemala for the hope of a better life, family members said. Yesenia Magali Melendrez Cardona had told her father she wanted to follow in his footsteps and go to the United States, where he had started a new life 15 years earlier, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday. Yesenia and her mother, 46-year-old Verlyn Cardona, were among 25 people packed into a 1997 Ford Expedition that drove through a hole cut in a border fence on Tuesday.
QAnon followers were expecting 'The Storm' on March 4. Unfazed by the failure, many are seeking redemption on a new day.
The race to roll out vaccination passports is spurring competition among travel companies and tourist destinations for the large number of Britons set to receive COVID-19 shots before the summer. Thanks to its swift vaccine deployment https://graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps, Britain is the only major European country likely to inoculate a large share of working-age adults by the peak season. Airlines such as easyJet saw outbound bookings from Britain surge last week as the government raised the prospect of a return to quarantine-free summer travel, and the European Union agreed to develop vaccine passports under pressure from tourism-dependent southern countries.
The one-tonne robot wiggles its wheels before rolling forwards across Jezero Crater's dusty terrain.
Porsche calls it a crossover, but we all know the 2021 Taycan Cross Turismo for what it is: an all-electric wagon. It also has matching e-bikes.
A UK satellite peeps through the clouds to see the great rift that produced a near-500-sq-mile berg.
Justice Amy Coney Barrett delivered her first Supreme Court majority opinion Thursday, ruling against an environmental group that had sought access to government records. President Donald Trump's third nominee wrote for a 7-2 court that certain draft documents do not have to be disclosed under the federal Freedom of Information Act. The case was the first one Barrett heard after joining the court in late October, and it took four months for the 11-page opinion to be released.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday the latest problems surrounding Brexit and Northern Ireland could be solved with good will and common sense. 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. "I am sure that with a bit of good will and common sense that all these technical problems are eminently solvable," Johnson said in a pooled interview during a trip to north east England.
Jair Bolsonaro criticises measures to curb Covid-19, a day after Brazil saw a record rise in deaths.
Mark Schiefelbein-Pool/GettyMOSCOW–With Vladimir Putin’s popularity already in decline, news of the United States’ latest round of sanctions on Russia has alarmed the Kremlin, prompting its cast of experts, advisers, and anti-American ideologues to float several possible responses.Senator Olga Kovitidi promised that Russia would “send America to a blind knockout.” One expert suggested publishing lists of Russian media “spreading fake news.” Certain military experts proposed the formation of “information battalions” in cyberspace, modeled after the masked Russian soldiers deployed in the 2014 Ukraine crisis. Ultimately, the government landed on a familiar strategy: they will try to change the perception of Russia by pouring even more money into propaganda.After the sanctions were announced—this time in response to the poisoning of the opposition politician Alexei Navalny–the Russian government is reportedly aiming to expand the global audience of the Kremlin-funded RT television channel from 800 to 900 million viewers. They want to raise viewership on online platforms by promoting the internet content of the entire fleet of both Russian and foreign-oriented media outlets, including RT, RIA Novosti and Sputnik radio. In order to achieve this, the Kremlin has ramped up the state media budget to 211 billion rubles (about $2.8 billion)—a 34 billion-ruble ($460 million) increase from previous years.“No doubt, RT’s information soldiers will use this significant budget effectively to influence Euro-sceptics, anti-globalists, and Washington critics,” an opposition politician in Moscow, Ilya Yashin, told The Daily Beast. “Putin believes that if the West has its state-sponsored Radio Liberty or BBC, the Kremlin should become serious in what they like to call a ‘mirror response.’ This is a new stage of the ongoing Cold War.”“Do not underestimate RT’s growing influence,” he added.Some say the media battle goes both ways. Maria Baronova, a former opposition activist covering Russian social issues for RT, was banned from American social media platforms last year. “The Cold War goes for both sides. I have been banned on Twitter for working for RT in April, 2020. That is nonsense,” Baronova added.Russia’s Opposition Movement Starts To CrackInvestment in propaganda at home has already turned Russia into a nation of skeptics. In the early days of the conflict in Ukraine, 48 percent of Russians told the Public Opinion Foundation that they think propaganda harms their society.According to a social study by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center, 88 percent of young Russians aged 18-24 said they were on YouTube. Even the Kremlin’s most notorious propagandist, Vladimir Solovyev, admitted in a recent interview for Komsomolskaya Pravda that “the television audience is growing terribly old.”Young Russians are hungry for the truth, and in recent years, influential Russian YouTubers have started to take a more open approach with their content. Russia’s top online interviewer, Yury Dud, has 8.7 million subscribers and more than 500 million views on his channel. Tens of millions watched Dud’s documentaries on the AIDs epidemic and poverty and neglect in Kamchatka, Russia’s forgotten peninsula. More than 29 million people viewed Dud’s interview with Alexei Navalny soon after the politician recovered from his poisoning attack.In spite of state pressure on opposition bloggers, emerging YouTube stars are now covering some of Russia's most acute political issues. Irina Shikhman, another popular blogger, focuses on making celebrity-oriented videos in which she asks public figures uncomfortable questions about their personal lives. But some of her most popular clips are political in nature: over two million people viewed Shikhman’s interview with Navalny ally Lyubov Sobol.Russia’s only independent online television channel, TV Rain, has 2.3 million subscribers on YouTube. The channel’s founder and owner, Natalya Sindeyeva, says she isn’t worried about the Kremlin’s boosted promotion of RT.“We have been competing with state television channels without any state budget, without any administrative resources, for 11 years and we managed, which means money is not the main thing,” Sindeyeva said. “If they boost social media, the algorithms would recognize the artificial traffic. We don’t see any threat, since we are experienced in responding to challenges. Our audience trusts us and independent bloggers, our main job is not to lie. Trust cannot be purchased for money,” she said.It is too early to know for sure whether RT’s reports will crowd out independent media in Russia. “It depends on the quality of their content,” TV Rain’s editor-in-chief, Tikhon Dzyadko, told The Daily Beast.Some independent bloggers saw the government’s increase of spending on internet content as a positive sign. “It seems the Kremlin realized they cannot ban YouTube, so they decided to choke it with propaganda,” blogger Karen Shainyan, host of the YouTube show “Straight Talk with Gay People”, told The Daily Beast. “Authorities spend shockingly huge money on RT, more than on any other television channel.”Pavel Kanygin, who manages a YouTube channel for Novaya Gazeta, a legendary independent newspaper in Russia, says the government has begun to view social media platforms as a real threat. “We can see that the Kremlin has become serious about YouTube,” he said, especially after over 100 million people viewed an investigative report about Putin released by Navalny’s organization on the site in January.“One thing is to get clicks and another to get people engaged, to comment on the publication–that is a completely different story that cannot be artificially created,” Kanygin 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.
"It just makes me feel like I don't exist," Chloe Savage, who worked on Kate Middleton's and Meghan Markle's wedding dresses, told Insider.
"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" has a March 25, 2022, release date and ties into "WandaVision," "Loki," and "Spider-Man: No Way Home."