U.S. first lady Michelle Obama begins a week long visit to China aimed at forging educational and cultural ties. Vanessa Johnston reports.
U.S. first lady Michelle Obama begins a week long visit to China aimed at forging educational and cultural ties. Vanessa Johnston reports.
A lawyer for Donald Trump on Tuesday urged a federal appeals court to halt a lawsuit accusing the U.S. president of exploiting his family name to promote a marketing scam targeting poor and working-class people. The lawyer, Thomas McCarthy, told the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan the plaintiffs were "done in by the allegations of their own complaint," and that their proposed class action concerning the multi-level marketing company American Communications Network belonged in arbitration. Four plaintiffs, including a hospice worker, accused Trump, his adult children Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka and an affiliate of their family company of promoting ACN in exchange for millions of dollars in secret payments from 2005 to 2015.
Carlos Rojas Rodriguez confronted then-candidate Joe Biden about deportations in 2019. Here's what Rodriguez wants to see from the president-elect.
Seattles is preparing to slash the city's police budget just as homicides in the city climb to their highest level in more than a decade.Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is set to sign a city budget that includes an 18 percent cut to the Seattle Police Department, a move that comes after police reform activists demanded the police budget be reduced by half. Calls for police reform have abounded in cities across the country since May, when George Floyd died at the hands of police in Minneapolis.The city council voted last week to slash about $69 million in funding for officer training, salaries and overtime, and get rid of vacant positions in the police department as well as transfer parking officers, mental health workers, and 911 dispatchers out of the department. The goal is to ultimately reinvest in alternatives to police in situations such as mental health crises.Meanwhile, Seattle had seen 55 murders this year as of Monday, the highest level since at least 2008, the last year of data available. The troubled city is also suffering a spike in violent crime, with 8,418 burglary incidents, up from to 7,634 last year, according to police.The mayor, a Democrat, said last week that she believes the city is "laying the groundwork to make systemic and lasting changes to policing.""We have rightly put forward a plan that seeks to ensure SPD has enough officers to meet 911 response and investigative needs throughout the city, while acknowledging and addressing the disproportionate impacts policing has had on communities of color, particularly Black communities," Durkan said in a statement.Police Chief Carmen Best resigned over the summer amid disagreements with the city council over the cuts to the police budget.In June, rioters claimed and barricaded off several blocks in the city’s downtown Capitol Hill neighborhood, calling it the “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest” zone, or CHOP, after police abandoned their East Precinct to vandals and arsonists. Police agreed not to respond to calls from within the “autonomous zone” unless they were life-threatening.Later that month, however, Durkan, who previously predicted the autonomous zone would usher in a “summer of love” and said her decision to withdraw police from the area reflected her “trust” in protesters, announced the city would begin dismantling the zone, citing incidents of violence. A shooting inside the zone left a 19-year-old dead and another critically injured. Police said they were met by a violent crowd that blocked their access to the victims.
A few hours after a bipartisan group of senators unveiled a $908 billion coronavirus relief bill proposal Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) circulated his own plan among Republican lawmakers. Several news organizations obtained a copy of the outline.McConnell's plan, Bloomberg notes, appears to be a tweaked version of his previous $500 billion proposal (although the full price tag is not yet known), with funds earmarked for a second round of the Payroll Protection Program and coronavirus vaccine distribution and development. It doesn't seem likely to serve as an overture to Democrats and instead caters to several Republican senators by including measures like COVID-19 liability shields for businesses, which the other side of the aisle opposes.> McConnell's "revised" bill includes lots of goodies for his members:> > \- Toomey proposal ensuring Fed can't use unspent CARES money > \- school choice tax credits for Cruz > \- Tim Scott's tax deduction for biz meals > \- Cornyn's liability shield bill > \- $20B in additional aid to farmers> > -- Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) December 1, 2020Unlike the bipartisan framework from earlier in the day, McConnell's bill does not include any money for state, local, and tribal governments, another nod toward Republicans who remain staunchly opposed to the notion. It does extend the deadline for enhanced unemployment benefits, but only by a month, whereas the other bill proposal would push end date to April.McConnell said he was bearish on his colleagues' framework because the clock is ticking, and he seems to believe the White House will sign off on his version. > I asked @senatemajldr McConnell why not push for the bipartisan, presumably more popular, COVID Relief framework. His response: pic.twitter.com/iekHQkkues> > -- Garrett Haake (@GarrettHaake) December 1, 2020More stories from theweek.com Our parents warned us the internet would break our brains. It broke theirs instead. Americans are choosing death over deprivation How camp explains Trump
A final tally of absentee ballots has confirmed that Republican Nicole Malliotakis has defeated U.S. Rep. Max Rose, denying the Democrat a second term representing one of the few conservative-leaning parts of New York City. Malliotakis, a New York State Assembly member, opened a big lead over Rose on Election Day in a district that includes all of Staten Island and part of Brooklyn.
Back in July, the US attorney general Bill Bar was dutifully echoing Donald Trump's warnings that mass mail-in voting was vulnerable to election fraud. Mr Barr's forceful repetition of the unfounded claims were met with heavy criticism from opponents, who accused the country's top law enforcement official of using his position to boost Mr Trump's chances of re-election. After the vote, Mr Barr attracted criticism once more when he authorised prosecutors to pursue allegations of vote counting "irregularities" before election officials had certified the results - a significant reversal from long-standing Justice Department policy. So it was a severe blow to the president's hopes of overturning the election results when Mr Barr publicly declared on Tuesday night: "To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election". Democrats were quick to crow over the admission by the head of the Justice Department, one of the president's closest allies. "If you've even lost Bill Barr... it’s time to pack it up," said Adam Schiff, a senior Democrat congressman.
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.
In 2018, Crystal Mason was sentenced to five-years for voting in the 2016 election. The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas is now working with her to appeal the verdict. Mason had no idea she was not allowed to vote in 2016 when she cast her provisional ballot due to the fact that she was on federally supervised release.
A Chinese woman who filed a sexual misconduct lawsuit against a TV host told cheering supporters at a courthouse Wednesday that she hopes her case will encourage victims of gender violence in a system that gives them few options to pursue complaints. Zhou Xiaoxuan spoke ahead of a trial in her lawsuit, which was delayed for two years and reflects the challenges Chinese women face in pursuing sexual misconduct complaints despite the spread of the global #MeToo movement. Zhou, 27, has accused Zhu Jun, a popular state TV host, of forcibly kissing her in 2014.
On Tuesday Gabriel Sterling of the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office spoke forcefully against post-election threats and rhetoric directed at election staff.
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. Americans are choosing death over deprivation How camp explains Trump
Republicans indicated they would try to block one of Joe Biden's proposed key economic advisers in what could be the first major confirmation battle of his administration. Mr Biden on Monday nominated Neera Tanden, 50, as the first woman of colour to be director of the Office of Management and Budget. Ms Tanden has for the last decade headed a liberal think tank, and is a former close aide to Hillary Clinton. She has been a vocal critic of Republican senators including leader Mitch McConnell, accusing him of "breaking our democracy". A spokesman for Republican senator John Cornyn accused her of "an endless stream of disparaging comments," and said she "stands zero chance of being confirmed". Mr McConnell's former chief of staff said Ms Tanden would be a "sacrifice to the confirmation gods". It came as Mr Biden received the Presidential Daily Brief for the first time, giving him an update on classified intelligence. That would be expected to include the latest US intelligence assessments of the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. The president-elect also revealed his economic team, including confirmation that he was nominating Janet Yellen, the former Federal Reserve chair, as treasury secretary. He also named an all-female senior White House communications team with Jen Psaki as press secretary. Ms Psaki worked in Barack Obama's administration, and has been a contributor to CNN. The confirmation of Ms Tanden looked set to depend on who wins two Senate run-off races in Georgia on January 5. If Democrats win both races they will take control of the Senate from Republicans, easing the confirmation process for Biden officials. As the battle in Georgia heated up its secretary of state Brad Raffensperger opened investigations into left-wing groups trying to sign up new voters. He said some groups had been encouraging people who lived outside Georgia to register to vote in the state. Ms Tanden is also unpopular with some on the left wing of the Democratic party. Last year Bernie Sanders accused her of "maligning my staff and supporters and belittling progressive ideas".
All day, Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe has been hyping the huge revelations the group would be releasing from their latest stunt. In a dramatic video posted Tuesday morning, the conservative activist could be seen unmuting himself and informing CNN chief Jeff Zucker, “We’ve been listening to your CNN calls for basically two months and recording everything. Just wanted to ask you some questions, if you have a minute.”“Do you still feel you are the most trusted name in news?” he asked. “Because I have to say from what I’ve been hearing on these phone calls, I don’t know about that. I mean, we’ve got a lot of recordings that indicate you’re not really that independent of a journalist.”“Thank you for your comments,” Zucker replied, dryly. “So everybody, in light of that, I think what we’ll do is we’ll set up a new system and we’ll be back with you, we’ll do the rest of the call a little bit later.”So what were the supposedly shocking comments O’Keefe uncovered? According to his group’s Tuesday night release, the most damning thing anyone on CNN’s editorial team did was accuse Fox News’ Tucker Carlson of being a racist.“I think it’s unavoidable that you have to talk about the naked racism of Tucker Carlson,” a man Project Veritas identified as CNN digital VP of global programming Marcus Mabry says in one tape. “Because that’s really what drove this anti-diversity push, you know, Trump watches Tucker Carlson's show and then reacts. And just as sort of the white supremacy hour they have on Fox News every night.”Not exactly news for anyone who watches Carlson’s nightly show, including some of his own Fox News colleagues who said as much earlier this year.Without mentioning Project Veritas, Carlson attacked Mabry directly on that show Tuesday night for “lecturing” media companies about the value of diversity. The host laughed out loud at the notion that “there’s a lot of work to do” to make newsrooms more diverse.CNN’s PR Twitter account, meanwhile, responded to Project Veritas with this message: “Legal experts say this may be a felony. We‘ve referred it to law enforcement,” though it’s unclear what laws the group may have broken.Later, that same account revealed that Mabry was not even the staffer who made those comments about Carlson. “James & Tucker, the voice you ID’d tonight as ‘Marcus Mabry’ is actually GA resident & CNN General Counsel David Vigilante. We’re certain you’ll want to correct the record and apologize to the Black executive for assuming he was the voice raising concerns over white supremacy.” The other big revelation from Project Veritas appeared to be that Zucker did not want his staff to “normalize” President Donald Trump’s delusional claims about the election.“This is a president who knows he’s losing, who knows he’s in trouble, is sick, maybe is on the aftereffects of steroids or not, I don’t know,” Zucker said. “But he is acting erratically and desperately, and we need to not normalize that.”“You know, this is what we've come to expect for the last three and a half years, four years, but it clearly is exacerbated by the time that we're in and the issues that he’s [Trump] dealing with,” he added. “I think that we cannot just let it be normalized. He is all over the place and acting erratically, and I think we need to lean into that.”It appears that for Project Veritas, pointing out the reality unfolding in front of Americans’ eyes, whether on Fox News or in the White House, is proof of CNN’s supposed bias. But if anything, their big sting is likely to endear Zucker to those who still like to blame him for elevating Trump during the 2016 campaign.Seth Meyers Brutally Mocks Sidney Powell, the Trump Lawyer ‘Too Insane’ for Tucker CarlsonRead 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.
Japanese intelligence officials told a US expert that Kim Jong Un received a trial COVID-19 vaccine from China within the last few weeks.
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.
The New Georgia Project, a voter registration group formerly led by Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Raphael Warnock, is under investigation for allegedly sending ballot applications to non-residents, the Georgia secretary of state said Monday.Warnock was CEO of the group, which was originally founded by failed gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, until February. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced the group, and three others, are under investigation for improper registration activities.While Raffensperger, a Republican who has been vocal in debunking President Trump’s claims of election fraud, said that he has not seen signs of widespread, systemic fraud, there is evidence of "third-party groups working to register people in other states to vote here in Georgia."Raffensperger said the New Georgia Project "sent voter registration applications to New York City," in a potential violation of state law."Voting in Georgia when you are not a resident of Georgia is a felony," Raffensperger said. "These third-party groups have a responsibility to not encourage illegal voting. If they do so, they will be held responsible."Warnock served as CEO of the group, which describes itself as a “nonpartisan effort to register and civically engage Georgians” from 2017 until February 21, 2020, according to the Washington Free Beacon. He has said he organized voter mobilization drives for the New Georgia Project, including an effort to register 80,000 new minority voters in 2014.The group says it has registered "nearly 400,000 people from underrepresented communities to vote in Georgia.”Warnock, who is competing against incumbent senator Kelly Loeffler (R., Ga.) in a runoff race that could decide party control of the Senate, had called past voter fraud probes against the group “alarmist.”In 2014, the secretary of state's office conducted an investigation into the New Georgia Project after contractors working for the group were accused of forging voter registration applications. The case was referred to law enforcement three years later, though no charges were ever brought.Warnock claimed in 2017 that "using the word voter fraud is alarmist, and it was totally unnecessary." He argued that the New Georgia Project had "excellent internal controls and that we have followed the law," as evidenced by the lack of charges brought against the group.Three other voter registration groups are also under investigation, Raffensperger said, including America Votes, which allegedly sent "absentee ballot applications to people at addresses where they have not lived since 1994."Vote Forward allegedly registered a dead Alabama voter in Georgia while Operation New Voter Registration Georgia is accused of recommending college students temporarily change their residency for the purpose of voting in the state.
An Iranian commander was reportedly killed in a drone strike on the Syria-Iraq border over the weekend, coming days after the assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist outside Tehran that Iran has blamed on Israel. The Islamic Republic has been shaken after the Friday killing of nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, and some believe Israel may increase targeted killings ahead of the January inauguration of US president-elect Joe Biden, who is more conciliatory towards Iran than current president Donald Trump. Iraqi security and militia officials told Reuters on Monday that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander, whose identity they did not confirm, was killed alongside three men travelling in the same vehicle as him. Two officials told Reuters the vehicle was struck shortly after crossing into Syria carrying weapons from Iraq. Israel has launched strikes against an array of Iranian and Syrian targets in Syria the past week, though there was no claim of responsibility for the drone strike said to have killed the IRGC commander, named in some reports as Muslim Shahdan. Assassinations of Iranian figures will likely continue as long as the regime continues making threats to destroy Israel, though not all targets will be household names, said Alex Vatanka, director of the Iran programme at the Middle East Institute. “I would struggle to come up with another name like Qassem Soleimani, who the Israelis could target in a bombshell act that would show its dominance in the intelligence war against Iran,” he said. The head of the IRGC’s elite Quds Force, Soleimani was killed in an US airstrike in Baghdad in January.
‘We will have over 300 million doses available to the American public well before then,' added official
Chinese special operators are getting more resources and going through more training, but there are something you can't teach.
Pakistan’s top court on Tuesday resumed the hearing of an appeal from the family of American journalist Daniel Pearl against the acquittal of a British-born Pakistani man convicted over the 2002 beheading of the Wall Street Journal reporter. The key suspect in Pearl’s slaying, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, was sentenced to death and three others were sentenced to life in prison for their role in the plot. The acquittal is now being appealed separately by the government and Pearl’s family, a process that under Pakistani law could take years.