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Meghan Markle told Oprah Winfrey she had suicidal thoughts in recent years, while Prince Harry said Charles once stopped returning his phone calls.
- The New York Times
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden has nominated two female generals to elite, four-star commands, the Defense Department announced, months after their Pentagon bosses had agreed on their promotions but held them back out of fears that former President Donald Trump would reject the officers because they were women. The nominations of Gen. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost of the Air Force to head the Transportation Command, which oversees the military’s sprawling global transportation network, and of Lt. Gen. Laura J. Richardson of the Army to head the Southern Command, which oversees military activities in Latin America, now advance to the Senate, where they are expected to be approved. The unusual strategy to delay the officers’ promotions — intended to protect their accomplished careers — was devised last fall by Mark Esper, the defense secretary at the time, and Gen. Mark Milley, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times They both thought the two generals were exceptional officers deserving of the commands. But under Trump, they worried that any candidates other than white men for jobs mostly held by white men might run into resistance once their nominations reached the White House. Esper and Milley feared that if they even broached the women’s names, Trump and some of his top aides would replace them with their own candidates before leaving office. So the Pentagon officials delayed their recommendations until after the election in November, betting that if Biden won, then he and his aides would be more supportive of the picks than Trump, who had feuded with Esper and Milley and had a history of disparaging women. They stuck to the plan even after Trump fired Esper six days after the election. “They were chosen because they were the best officers for the jobs, and I didn’t want their promotions derailed because someone in the Trump White House saw that I recommended them or thought DOD was playing politics,” Esper, referring to the Department of Defense, said in an interview with The New York Times, which first reported the strategy last month. “This was not the case,” Esper added. “They were the best qualified. We were doing the right thing.” The strategy paid off Saturday, when the Pentagon announced in separate afternoon statements and in Twitter messages from its press secretary, John Kirby, that Biden had endorsed the generals’ promotions and that the White House was formally submitting them to the Senate for approval. The disclosure last month that the Pentagon senior leadership had held back the nominations to protect the careers of the two officers from Trump prompted a lively debate in military journals and on social media. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who left the military last summer after his own entanglement with the White House, argued in the national security blog Lawfare that Esper and Milley should have fought it out with Trump. “Upholding good order and discipline within the military does not mean dodging difficult debates with the commander in chief,” Vindman wrote. But defenders of Esper and Milley’s strategy say that Vindman’s argument ignores the civil-military crisis between Trump and the senior Pentagon leaders in the fall. Trump, furious that they had stood up to him when he wanted to use active-duty troops to battle Black Lives Matter protesters, was openly disparaging of Esper to his aides and to the public. Trump was also countermanding the Pentagon at seemingly every turn, especially on social issues. When Milley and senior Army officials sought to set up a commission to look into renaming bases that were named after Confederate generals, Trump took to Twitter, vowing that “my Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations.” Lloyd J. Austin III, the new defense secretary, declined last month to comment on the lengths to which Esper and Milley went to ensure that Van Ovost and Richardson received their command assignments. “I would just say that I’ve seen the records of both of these women,” he said. “They are outstanding.” Promotions for the military’s top generals and admirals are decided months before they take over their new positions. So the delay in formally submitting the two officers’ promotions should not affect when they start their new jobs, most likely this summer, Pentagon and congressional officials said. Van Ovost is a four-star officer, leading the Air Force’s Mobility Command at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois. Of the 43 four-star generals and admirals in the U.S. military, she is the only woman. Richardson is the three-star commander of the Army component of the Pentagon’s Northern Command, based in San Antonio, which is playing an important role in providing military assistance to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s coronavirus vaccination program. This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
- Associated Press
Prince Harry and Meghan’s explosive TV interview divided people around the world on Monday, rocking an institution that is struggling to modernize with claims of racism and callousness toward a woman struggling with suicidal thoughts. During the two-hour appearance with Oprah Winfrey, Harry also revealed the problems had ruptured relations with his father, Prince Charles, and brother, Prince William, illuminating the depth of the family divisions that led the couple to step away from royal duties and move to California last year. The palace has not yet responded to the interview, in which Meghan described feeling so isolated and miserable inside the royal family that she had suicidal thoughts and said a member of the family had “concerns” about the color of her unborn child’s skin.
- Business Insider
"He believes that, you know, we are stronger when we build a broad coalition of support," said Kate Bedingfield of Biden's push for consensus.
Meghan Markle says 'rude and racist are not the same' while addressing how she's been treated by the press compared to Kate Middleton
Meghan Markle told Oprah that a royal press team would defend Kate Middleton but didn't do the same for her.
- The Independent
Follow the latest in US politics
- The Independent
Meghan and Harry Oprah interview - Live: Prince claims Charles and William ‘trapped’, as palace faces racism questions
Interview will be broadcast at 9pm on ITV
- The Independent
Biden signs executive order to expand voting rights: ‘If you have the best ideas, you have nothing to hide’
‘Every eligible voter should be able to vote and have it counted’
- CBS News
A century ago, King George V decreed the children and grandchildren of the monarch automatically get prince or princess titles. Queen Elizabeth made a special ruling to extend that to William's children.
Biden's German shepherds have been sent home to Delaware after a 'biting incident' with White House security officers
The two German shepherds were sent back to the Biden family home after 3-year-old Major displayed aggressive behaviour to White House security staff.
- The Week
More than 60 million people in the U.S. have gotten at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 31.3 million are fully vaccinated, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported Monday. The 92 million doses administered means 18.1 percent of the U.S. population has gotten at least one COVID-19 shot, and Andy Slavitt, a public health official who now works at the Biden White House, breaks that down by age group. VACCINE UPDATE: 60 million Americans have received their first dose. 24% of adults60% of 65+70% of 75+ Close to 32 million Americans have received their second doses. 12% of adults30% of 65+39% of 75+ — Andy Slavitt (@aslavitt46) March 8, 2021 That means about 1 in 4 U.S. adults has been inoculated and 12 percent can now, the CDC suggests, resume some semblance of a normal social life. Here are some other numbers from the accelerating COVID-19 vaccination drive: 2.2 million COVID-19 shots now administered daily in the U.S., in the seven-day average 0 percent of Johnson & Johnson's one-shot vaccine included in the CDC's numbers as of Sunday night 44 percent of fully vaccinated U.S. adults, and about half of all adults, are anxious about re-entering normal life, according to soon-to-be published data from the American Psychological Association 25.8 percent of New Mexico's population has gotten at least one vaccine dose 15.8 percent of Alaska's population is fully vaccinated 13.3 percent of Georgia's population has gotten at least one vaccine dose 6.6 percent of Utah's population is fully vaccinated 100 percent of K-12 teachers are eligible to get vaccinated in the U.S. as of Monday — "though the situation is more straightforward in some states than others," The New York Times notes 312 million does (at least) have been administered worldwide in 116 countries, according to Bloomberg's tally. The U.S. is making steady progress in its vaccination drive, Virginia Tech epidemiologist Lisa M. Lee tells The Wall Street Journal, but logistics continues to be the primary hurdle, "everything from secure and simple registration systems to directing traffic at large vaccination events." More stories from theweek.com7 spondiferously funny cartoons about the Dr. Seuss controversyThe Harry and Meghan interview might have taken down more than the royal familyIowa governor signs GOP-backed bill that limits early and Election Day voting
The 22-year-old modeled in a Givenchy fashion show over the weekend.
Through her jewelry and Armani lotus dress, Meghan Markle sent a message of hope, paid tribute to Diana, and may have made a nod to the Commonwealth.
- Business Insider
The Republican National Committee dismissed a cease-and-desist demand from former President Trump's attorneys Monday after Trump's lawyers told the organization to stop using Trump's name and likeness, Politico reports.What they're saying: The RNC "has every right to refer to public figures as it engages in core, First Amendment-protected political speech, and it will continue to do so in pursuit of these common goals," chief counsel Justin Riemer wrote in a letter sent Monday afternoon.Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for freeThe RNC letter highlights Trump's "close" relationship with RNC chair Ronna McDaniel and states that Trump personally approved the use of his name for fundraising."The RNC is grateful for the past and continued support President Trump has given to the committee and it looks forward to working with him to elect Republicans across the country," Riemer wrote.The RNC did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.Trump attorneys sent a letter on March 5 requesting that the RNC "immediately cease and desist the unauthorized use of President Donald J. Trump’s name, image, and/or likeness in all fundraising, persuasion, and/or issue speech."It was one of many cease-and-desist demands, which the Trump team sent to GOP committees including the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee.The big picture: Trump worked closely with the RNC during the 2020 campaign, raising over $366 million together, according to Politico.Trump is expected to speak at the RNC's upcoming donor retreat in Palm Beach, a portion of which has been moved to Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club, per the Washington Post.Like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.
- NBC News
Stone Foltz, 20, a sophomore at Bowling Green State University and a new member of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity, was allegedly hazed during an initiation event when he was made to drink alcohol.
- Business Insider
- USA TODAY
The Internal Revenue Service could begin delivering payments in about two weeks under President Biden's COVID-19 relief package, analysts say.
Prince Harry said he and Meghan Markle hadn't planned on signing streaming deals, but they needed the money for security
Harry told Oprah he was financially cut off by the royals and that his family's security was taken away, so he signed deals with Netflix and Spotify.
- The Week
Papa John's founder says he's been working to get the N-word out of his vocabulary for the 'last 20 months'
The former CEO of Papa John's is assuring the public he's been working on not using racist language, an effort that has apparently been ongoing for nearly two years. John Schnatter, the Papa John's founder who in 2018 stepped down as chairman after admitting he used the N-word during a conference call, told One America News Network the pizza chain's board has painted him "as a racist" when "they know he's not a racist," per Mediaite. From there, Schnatter described his "goals," evidently including no longer saying racial slurs. "We've had three goals for the last 20 months," Schnatter said. "To get rid of this N-word in my vocabulary and dictionary and everything else, because it's just not true, figure out how they did this, and get on with my life." The former pizza boss also told OANN he "used to lay in bed" after his ouster wondering "how did they do this," and he called on Papa John's to come out and declare that it "didn't follow proper due diligence" and that he actually "has no history of racism." Schnatter stepped down as Papa John's chair after Forbes reported that he "used the N-word on a conference call" that had been "designed as a role-playing exercise for Schnatter in an effort to prevent future public-relations snafus." He apologized at the time, saying "racism has no place in our society." Shortly after, though, Schnatter said he resigned because the board asked him to "without apparently doing any investigation" and that he now regrets doing so. Later, Schnatter would vow that a "day of reckoning" would come in a bizarre 2019 interview, in which he also famously declared he's eaten "over 40 pizzas in the last 30 days." Update: In a statement on Monday, Schnatter said he has been seeking to eliminate "false perceptions in the media" and that "on OANN, I tried to say, 'Get rid of this n-word in (the) vocabulary and dictionary (of the news media), and everything else because it's just not true,' – reflecting my commitment to correct the false and malicious reporting by the news media about the conference call." Papa John’s ex-CEO says he’s been working for the last 20 months “to get rid of this N-word in my vocabulary” (h/t @mount_bees) pic.twitter.com/8heITnJJxA — philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) March 8, 2021 More stories from theweek.com7 spondiferously funny cartoons about the Dr. Seuss controversyThe Harry and Meghan interview might have taken down more than the royal familyIowa governor signs GOP-backed bill that limits early and Election Day voting