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- The Independent
NAACP accuses Trump of disenfranchising Black voters and trying to ‘destroy democracy’
- Business Insider
Scientists spotted a 'space hurricane' swirling above the magnetic north pole. It was raining charged solar particles.
Satellites observed a swirling storm above the magnetic north pole in 2014. It was the first space hurricane ever spotted, according to a new study.
Security forces are accused of opening fire without warning on protesters in several cities.
- Reuters Videos
The man who plowed a rental van into dozens of people in Toronto, Canada in 2018 was found guilty of murder and attempted murder by a judge on Wednesday. Ten people were killed, and 16 wounded by the driver - 28-year-old Alek Minassian.Victims’ families – outside of court Wednesday - said they were relieved. ”Oh, well, it's like you're holding your breath for three years and you can finally breathe.” Nick D’Amico’s sister was killed in the attack - which Minassian had said was motived by a desire to punish society for his perceived status as an "incel" - otherwise known as an involuntary celibate. Minassian had pleaded ‘not criminally responsible.’His lawyers argued his autism spectrum disorder left him with no idea how horrific his actions were.But the judge dismissed that defense - and read a guilty verdict that was live-streamed on YouTube.Catherine Riddell was among those injured in the attack:"Oh, it was the best I could hope for. I think it was a fair decision. And he can spend the rest of his life in jail because he deserves it. I'm sorry he took lives and he didn't care. And you know what? You just have to be accountable for what you do. And he's going to have to be.”A sentencing hearing will be scheduled and - according to criminal lawyers following the case - Minassian is likely to get a life sentence.
- Business Insider
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blasts Democrats' last-minute compromise on stimulus checks as an 'own-goal'
Other progressives criticized "Senate silliness." Biden struck a deal with Senate Democrats pushing to lower income thresholds for direct payments.
Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon on Wednesday defended her handling of sexual harassment complaints against her predecessor Alex Salmond in high-stakes testimony on an issue that threatens to scupper her dream of leading Scotland to independence. Describing the feud with Salmond as "one of the most invidious political and personal situations" she had ever faced, Sturgeon denied Salmond's accusations that she had plotted against him and misled the Scottish parliament. The feud between the pair, once close friends and powerful allies in the cause of Scottish independence, has reached fever pitch in recent weeks, threatening the electoral prospects of the Scottish National Party (SNP) at a crucial time.
Wall Street ended sharply lower on Thursday, leaving the Nasdaq down nearly 10% from its February record high, after remarks from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell disappointed investors worried about rising longer-term U.S. bond yields. A decline of 10% from its February record high would confirm the Nasdaq is in a correction. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield spiked to 1.533% after Powell's comments, which did not point to changes in the Fed's asset purchases to tackle the recent jump in yields.
- Associated Press
The Capitol Police have requested that members of the National Guard continue to provide security at the U.S. Capitol for another two months, The Associated Press has learned. Defense officials say the new proposal is being reviewed by the Pentagon, and negotiations between the department, the police and congressional authorities are ongoing. The request to keep as many as 2,200 Guard troops in D.C. underscores the continuing concerns about security and the potential for violence at the Capitol, two months after rioters breached the building in violence that left five people dead.
- The Independent
Analysis: US Capitol Police trying a measure of transparency for a change
- Associated Press
Washington will not have cheerleaders for the first time since the NFL’s longest-running cheerleading team was founded in 1962, with a coed dance team taking its place. The move is part of the organization's rebranding effort and not related to a confidential settlement reached with members of the 2008 and 2010 cheerleading teams. Lawyers for the team and those cheerleaders told The Associated Press last month that “the matter has been resolved” but would not say when the settlement was reached.
- Reuters Videos
Rio Tinto says its chair and a board director will step down. The mining giant has bowed to pressure from investors over the destruction of two Aboriginal sites in Australia.There was uproar last year when the 46,000-year-old Juukan Gorge rock shelters were destroyed in the course of mining operations. Chief executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques eventually resigned over the affair. But campaigners were outraged by the board's handling of an investigation into the matter. The probe found no single person accountable. Now chair Simon Thompson and board director Michael L'Estrange will both step down in the coming months. Investors welcomed the move as a sign of accountability. Rio Tinto last year chose Danish executive Jakob Stausholm as the firm's new chief executive. Some Australian investors had pressed for a leader with strong experience of local indigenous issues.
- Associated Press
Utah is one hurdle away from stricter rules regulating treatment centers for troubled teens, weeks after Paris Hilton gave emotional testimony in support of the bill. The legislation for facilities that treat teens with behavioral and mental health issues gained final approval in the House on Tuesday and is headed to the governor for consideration. It’s unclear whether Republican Gov. Spencer Cox plans to support the legislation.
- USA TODAY
It's unclear how many QAnon supporters believe the March 4 inauguration theory. The House canceled its Thursday session as a precaution.
- The Independent
A Hong Kong judge kept 47 pro-democracy activists in custody on Thursday after four days of bail hearings in a case that has drawn global concern that Beijing is using a national security law to crush dissent. Thirty-two defendants were denied bail by chief magistrate Victor So, while 15 were granted bail but still kept in custody after government prosecutors said they would appeal against that decision. The case is the most sweeping use yet of the city's new national security law, which imposes punishments of up to life in prison for serious charges including subversion.
- Associated Press
Jimmy Vesey scored twice, Frederik Andersen made 26 saves in his return from an injury and the NHL-leading Toronto Maple Leafs completed a three-game sweep of the Edmonton Oilers with a 6-1 victory Wednesday night. John Tavares and Zach Hyman each had a goal and an assist, and William Nylander and Ilya Mikheyhev also scored to help Toronto improve to 18-4-2.
- The Daily Beast
Win McNamee/GettyLaw enforcement agencies are stepping up security around the U.S. Capitol Thursday ahead of reports that QAnon supporters convinced Donald Trump will become president that day could turn violent.U.S. Capitol Police have already reported a possible militia plot to attack the Capitol on March 4, and said in a statement that they have “taken immediate steps to enhance our security posture” over several days.What’s not clear is how many QAnon believers are actually on board with the idea that Trump will return to power that day, or plan to take any action themselves.Supporters of QAnon, the pro-Trump conspiracy theory that holds that Trump is conducting a secret war against a nefarious cabal of cannibal-Satanists in the Democratic Party and other liberal institutions, were well-represented in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.QAnon Believers Duped by Trump, Melania Impersonators on TelegramOut of the more than 250 individuals who have been charged for storming the Capitol on Jan. 6, dozens openly posted about their belief in QAnon and other conspiracy theories. The fur-covered conspiracy supporter known as the “QAnon Shaman” entered the Senate chamber and left a threatening note for Vice President Mike Pence, while another QAnon supporter in a “Q” shirt was captured menacing police officers, later claiming he helped lead the attack on the Capitol to make sure QAnon got credit for the attack.Many QAnon believers who had been promised that Trump’s presidency would bring about a sort of American utopia, along with a violent purge of his opponents in a moment known as “The Storm,” were stunned on Jan. 20 when Joe Biden was sworn into office. In QAnon chat rooms, some supporters said Biden’s successful inauguration caused them to suspect the outlandish conspiracy theory was fake, while others described physical revulsion at the feeling they had been duped.At least some QAnon believers, though, decided that Biden hadn’t really become president. Instead, they borrowed an elaborate theory from the anti-government sovereign’s citizens movement that holds that the United States has been, since the 1870s, a corporation, not a country. In this telling, the United States is a business indebted to bankers in London, and no laws passed since then have been legitimate.A faction of QAnon supporters claimed that, as a result, Trump would return on March 4—the original date of the inauguration until 1933—as the head of the “real” American government.The March 4 theory has been more popular with average QAnon believers than the promoters who make up the conspiracy theory’s public face, according to Travis View, the co-host of QAnon-tracking podcast QAnon Anonymous. While many QAnon leaders have claimed the March 4 is a trap meant to arrest QAnon believers or blame them for violence, “Q”—the anonymous figurehead of the entire movement—hasn’t posted online since December, meaning there is no force to either embrace or dismiss the March 4 idea.View compared the March 4 beliefs to the idea, controversial even within QAnon, the John F. Kennedy Jr. faked his death to help Trump take on the “deep state.”“I think this is another situation in which the rank-and-file QAnon followers picked up on it, but it seems to be an embarrassment to some of the more established QAnon promoters,” View said.On Telegram, the messaging app and social media network where many QAnon believers ended up after being banned from more mainstream platforms in the aftermath of the riot, top QAnon leaders have urged their followers not to gather on March 4, claiming the focus on the date is a ruse meant to undermine them. With “Q” silent, others have cited a “clue” from Q that mentioned both the word “trap” and the phrase “March 4” as proof that the date is meaningless in the QAnon canon.January 6 was widely embraced by both QAnon supporters and other hardcore Trump supporters as a key date, given that it marked Congress’s count of the electoral votes. Plotters openly discussed plans to violently attack the Capitol to disrupt the vote count, and protesters made plans to carpool to Washington swell the pro-Trump numbers in the city. By comparison, there has been significantly less open discussion about March 4.“The main QAnon promoters—they are not on board, they are decrying this as a false flag,” View said.Whatever happens on March 4, QAnon has already been tied to three murders. Most recently, a QAnon believer allegedly murdered an amateur legal expert who deployed sovereign citizen tactics in court.The role of QAnon in the Capitol riot has also continued to be highlighted in the alleged rioters’ court cases.Jacob Chansley, the self-described “Q Shaman” who was among the first to storm the Capitol while carrying a spear and a bullhorn and wearing a headdress, claimed to be a “leader” of the violent conspiracy. He even wore the elaborate costume in several Arizona arrests to raise awareness of QAnon, prosecutors previously alleged.A Federal Aviation Administration employee who took a selfie in front of House Speak Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) office was arrested after he claimed to have “Q clearance” to enter the Capitol. Prosecutors state Kevin Strong allegedly told a witness QAnon he had declared that World War III was going to occur on Jan. 6 and that he had a “WW1WGA” flag—representing the popular QAnon slogan “where we go one, we go all”—at his house. Strong also told the witness he believed the QAnon “Storm” was going to cover the cost of a truck he had recently bought, according to a criminal complaint.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet 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.
- Reuters Videos
Wearing yellow and white construction helmets, some holding home-made shields made out of wood, others with a satellite dish, Myanmar's protests against the military coup showed no sign of letting up on Wednesday.Security forces fired rubber bullets, stun gun grenades and tear gas to break up the protests and local media reported several people were hurt. Later, there were reports of live ammunition fired and at least nine people were killed. It comes a day after the Association of Southeast Asian Nations - or ASEAN - urged restraint but they failed to unite behind a call for the military to release ousted government leader Aung San Suu Kyi and restore democracy.Meanwhile inside the country, a prominent activist called for sanctions on businesses linked to the military.Across the nation on Wednesday, nine people were hurt and at least two people were killed when police fired rubber bullets in the second largest city Mandalay, that's according to the Myanmar Now news agency.In Yangon hundreds of people were detained including several protest leaders, an activist said. As well as local media reports of firing and deaths in the central towns of Myingyan and Magway.Media also reported five people were wounded in the town of Monywa.The military has justified the coup saying its complaints of voter fraud in the Nov. 8 elections were ignored.Nearly 1,300 people who have been detained, according to activists, including six journalists in Yangon.