A Quincy man faced a slew of charges Thursday, accused of kidnapping and holding his girlfriend against her will for a week, according to police.
- Business Insider
Republicans are attacking Democrats by framing Biden's 'Neanderthal' comment like one of Trump's racist remarks
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted that Biden "should apologize for his insensitive comments and seek training on unconscious bias."
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.
- The Daily Beast
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.
- The Daily Beast
Remo Casilli via ReutersROME—Hours after Italy’s newly-minted prime minister Mario Draghi kickstarted a bout of vaccine nationalism by blocking the export of vaccines made in the Eurozone, several other European countries were threatening to follow suit. Speaking on French television station BFM Friday morning, France’s heath minister Olivier Véran applauded Italy’s move to keep vaccines made in Europe at home and threatened. “We could do the same,” he said. “The more doses France has, the happier I will be as health minister. France has the right to talk to its European neighbours to ensure that laboratories respect their commitments and contracts. That seems to me to be common sense.”A spokesperson for the health ministry of Spain, which has several facilities crucial to the global vaccine supply chain, also suggested Friday that they will look at where the vaccines produced in that country are going. Europe is the world’s largest producer of vaccine components, and all three of the main COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca) currently in use rely on companies to fill vials and distribute the vaccines both in the Eurozone and outside, mostly to Canada, Japan, Australia, the U.K. and the U.S. Facilities in Italy, Belgium, France, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands are all crucial links in the global supply chain and could all block export under regulations put in place in the EU on January 30.Italy’s first tactical move of denying an export request for 250,000 AstraZeneca doses produced in Italy en route to Australia marks a new front line in a vaccine war that pits big pharma against state run health systems. The European Commission approved the block, signaling it would do so if other countries followed suit to keep more jabs in Europe. A source in Draghi’s government told The Daily Beast that Italy had been given assurances that the European Commission would back Italy up. “Someone had to go first,” the source, speaking on condition of anonymity said. “But Italy will not be the only country to protect its citizens this way.”According to a readout of a call with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Draghi justified his actions, saying he “hoped to suffocate the drug companies” to pressure them to meet their EU commitments to deliver vaccines.Panicked Euro Leaders Threaten Trade War as Vaccine Rollout Goes to HellIn a statement to journalists, Italy’s foreign ministry explained it had blocked vials that were being prepped at the New Jersey-based drug company Catalent’s plant in the Roman municipality of Anagni, citing delays in the distribution within Italy and the rest of the EU. The statement also cited a discrepancy in “the high number of vaccine doses requested for export... compared to the amount of doses provided to Italy and, more generally, to EU countries so far.”Catalent produces around 1 million Moderna doses a day, according to a company spokesperson. Currently, most of those are distributed inside the Eurozone, but the Italian foreign ministry also has to approve any foreign exports of that vaccine as well.The ministry also said the doses were heading to Australia where they would be distributed to people the EU classifies as “not vulnerable” under current regulations while robbing those who are vulnerable in Italy and the EU of protection against the deadly virus. Australia, with a population of 25 million, has logged around 25,000 COVID-19 cases and 900 deaths. Italy, by contrast, has a population of 60 million people and has logged nearly 3 million cases and 99,000 deaths so far. On Thursday, Italy recorded 22,865 new infections while Australia had less than a dozen.The European Commission set up the framework for blocking exports of COVID-19 vaccines produced in Europe on January 30, as the vaccine battle that has largely targeted the British-made AstraZeneca vaccine heated up. The EU regulation makes it compulsory for vaccine makers to get authorization from the countries where the vaccines are physically produced before exporting them. Because of Brexit, the U.K. no longer enjoys automatic trade relationships with the EU and has thus contracted various Europe-based vaccine makers to help produce the AstraZeneca vaccines sold to European countries. But the British company has fallen short of its promised deliveries, and will deliver just 40 million of the 100 million first doses ordered by the EU by the end of March, a move that has drastically compromised vaccine rollouts across Europe, risking a third deadly wave of the pandemic. The EU has vaccinated just over five percent of its citizens compared to more than 30 percent of the U.K. population that has received at least the first jab.The World Health Organization condemned Italy’s move, calling it “a worrying trend” that risked jeopardizing the global supply chains for the coveted vaccines since the E.U. is one of the largest vaccine producers. The ban does not impact vaccines distributed to poor nations through the COVAX plan, the Italian foreign ministry confirmed. Australian Prime Minster Scott Morrison said Friday that the blocked vials won’t impact the country’s vaccine rollout, which is just getting underway. “In Italy, people are dying at the rate of 300 a day. And so I can certainly understand the high level of anxiety that would exist in Italy and in many countries across Europe,” he said in a statement to the press. “They are in an unbridled crisis situation. That is not the situation in Australia.”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.
- The Week
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
- The Daily Beast
Charles McQuillan/Getty ImagesAt least ten former staffers who worked for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are “queuing up” to cooperate with an investigation ordered by the queen into allegations that Meghan bullied her staff, it was claimed Thursday evening.The claim was made in the British newspaper the Mirror and is likely to be taken seriously as it was made by well-sourced royal reporter Russell Myers.Sources connected to the group, who have been assured of confidentiality as the investigation continues, said the staffers were considered to be “hugely professional and proud of their efforts” while working at Kensington Palace.One source told The Mirror, “A group of people are queuing up to be involved. They have been silent for too long and there is much to talk about.”Meghan Markle Dismisses Bullying Allegations as Pre-Oprah ‘Calculated Smear Campaign’It came after a report in the Daily Mail said that some alleged victims of workplace bullying by Meghan dub themselves the “Sussex Survivors Club” and are believed to be suffering a form of post-traumatic stress.The paper’s royal reporter Rebecca English said that during a royal tour in Fiji, “I witnessed Meghan turn and ‘hiss’ at a member of her entourage, clearly incandescent with rage about something, and demand to leave. I later saw that same—female—highly distressed member of staff sitting in an official car, with tears running down her face. Our eyes met and she lowered hers, humiliation etched on her features.”A bombshell report in The London Times Tuesday said that Meghan systematically bullied members of the staff and that her head of communications, Jason Knauf, was so appalled by Meghan’s behavior that he put his concerns in writing to his superiors. That email was leaked to The Times.Buckingham Palace responded by ordering a full investigation into the bullying claims.Meghan’s camp has been keen to point out that the complaints raised by Knauf were dropped. However, the Mirror’s source said, “The complaint was considered and those members of staff were spoken to and given the option of taking it further. For whatever reason, they decided not to, possibly because they were still in their job and they were worried about the implications.”A source close to the Sussexes told the Mirror of the palace probe: “The first we heard about this was via the press—this is a whole tit-for-tat scenario... it’s very hard to know what the process is. If this was a private company, we’ve effectively already been fired and I’m not entirely sure what any process could be.”A spokesperson for Meghan and Harry declined to comment to The Daily Beast.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.
- The Independent
Pelosi says House adjourned early to make time for a Republican conference – not because of QAnon conspiracy theory that Trump would be re-inaugurated on Thursday
- Business Insider
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.
- Associated Press
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.
- Business Insider
Rudy Giuliani, who helped lead Trump's bogus election-fraud conspiracy theory, is being mocked after warning of the dangers of misinformation
After spending months pushing Trump's election fraud conspiracy theory, Giuliani unexpectedly warned of the dangers of misinformation.
The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthi group in Yemen said it had intercepted six explosive drones fired towards the kingdom on Friday, with the Houthis claiming to have launched attacks into southern Saudi Arabia since dawn. The Iran-aligned Houthis have recently stepped up cross-border drone and missile attacks on Saudi cities, mostly targeting the southern part of the country. The Houthis fired the six intercepted drones towards Khamis Mushait near the Yemen border in attacks since dawn, the coalition said in statements carried by Saudi state news agency SPA and Ekhbariya TV.
- The Telegraph
Boris Johnson has challenged the EU's decision to approve the blockade of 250,000 AstraZeneca vaccines destined for Australia, warning that the restrictions "endanger" global efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. On Friday, Downing Street questioned the European Commission over its acceptance of the Italian government's decision to use EU-wide export controls to prevent the shipment from going ahead. Asked about the controversy, Mr Johnson's spokesman pointed out that Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, had previously assured the Prime Minister that the controls would not be used in this way. Speaking at the Number 10 daily lobby briefing, the spokesman said: "We're not privy to the specific agreements between other countries and vaccine manufacturers. "However, the PM spoke to President von der Leyen earlier this year, and she confirmed that the focus of their mechanism was on transparency and not intended to restrict exports by companies where they are fulfilling contractual responsibilities. "We would expect the EU to continue to stand by its commitments. The global recovery from Covid relies on international collaboration. We are all dependent on global supply chains, and putting in place restrictions endangers global efforts to fight the virus."
- The Independent
‘Our democracy remains under attack by the partisan and unpatriotic actions of those at the state level,’ writes Michelle Obama
- Business Insider
The Capitol riot suspect pictured with his feet on a desk in Pelosi's office had a tantrum in court, yelling 'it's not fair' that he's been jailed
Richard "Bigo" Barnett, accused of joining the Capitol riot with a stun gun, raged at the prospect of more jail time before his trial.
I flew business class for 9 hours, and it made me wish I saved my money and bought an economy ticket
The writer reviewed how safe she felt, which perks she got, and the food she had during an international British Airways flight from Texas to London.
Critics weren't too impressed with "Onward," but other movies, like "Toy Story" and "Finding Nemo," top the Rotten Tomato charts.
- The Telegraph
Rishi Sunak leaves door open to future stealth tax raid as National Insurance pledge left out of Budget
Rishi Sunak has left the door open to another stealth tax raid after a Conservative manifesto commitment to raise the national insurance contributions (NICS) threshold to £12,500 was left out of the Budget. On Wednesday the Chancellor confirmed that personal allowances on income tax, pensions, inheritance tax and capital gains tax would be frozen until 2026, netting the Treasury an additional £21bn as more people are dragged into higher tax rates over time. However, in the Budget Red Book, he has also kept open the option to change a number of NICs thresholds at future budgets, handing the Exchequer the ability to raise billions of pounds in additional revenues if required. In 2019, Boris Johnson told voters that his “ultimate ambition” was to raise the level at which people begin paying both national insurance and income tax to £12,500 - a move which would save taxpayers £500. Last year’s budget also confirmed that the national insurance primary threshold - over which employees’ earnings are taxed at 12 per cent - would rise to £9,500. It described this as “the first step in meeting the government’s ambition to increase these thresholds to £12,500.” Mr Sunak confirmed yesterday that the threshold would increase again to £9,568 from April, along with the upper rate, which will increase to £50,270 and then stay frozen until 2026, in line the personal income allowance. But the future level of the primary threshold has not been set, with the document stating only that it would with “all other NICs thresholds... be considered and set at future fiscal events”. The 102-page Red Book does not appear to mention the Government’s ambition to raise the threshold to £12,500 once. Approached for comment, a Treasury spokesman said raising the NICs threshold to £12,500 was still the Government’s “ultimate ambition”. However, they acknowledged that there was no timeline for doing this. The omission suggests that Mr Sunak has kept open the possibility of temporarily freezing the lower NICs thresholds, should he need to boost tax receipts again in future. This would see more people dragged into tax as wages rise, and is known as "fiscal drag." Mr Sunak has already chosen to freeze other personal allowances due to the limited revenue raising options available to him because of the manifesto pledge not to increase income tax, VAT or NICs during this Parliament
While some celebrity interviews sparked immediate backlash, others resurfaced years later and were called out for being inappropriate.
Scarlet Witch's costume is her coolest yet, but fans may have to wait until "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" in 2022 to see it again.
- Associated Press
Israel on Friday postponed plans to vaccinate Palestinians who work inside the country and its West Bank settlements until further notice. COGAT, the Israeli military agency coordinating day-to-day affairs with the Palestinian Authority, attributed the postponement to “administrative delays,” adding that a new start date for the campaign would be determined later. The vaccination program was supposed to begin on Sunday at West Bank crossings into Israel and at Israeli industrial zones.