After four years of the Trump presidency, how does the world view America? NBC News' Keir Simmons discusses Joe Biden and his foreign policy agenda.
A Dutch appeals court said on Friday the government had been right to impose a night curfew in the fight against the coronavirus, overturning a lower court's order which had caused confusion over the measure last week. In a clear victory for the government, the appeals court said it had rightfully used emergency powers to install the curfew, the first in the Netherlands since World War Two, and had adequately proved that the measure was necessary to rein in the pandemic. The district court in The Hague last week had ruled that the government had failed to make clear why emergency powers were needed at this stage of the pandemic, siding with anti-lockdown activists who had brought the case.
Wireless carrier AT&T Inc said on Thursday it will sell about a third of its stake in satellite TV unit DirecTV to buyout firm TPG Capital in a deal that values the business at $16.25 billion, well below the $68 billion it paid for the asset less than six years ago. The newly created New DirecTV, which includes DirecTV, AT&T TV and U-verse video services has $6 billion in debt and will be jointly run by AT&T and TPG following the transaction. Over the years, the satellite TV unit has lost subscribers to popular online streaming options like Netflix Inc and Amazon.com Inc's Prime Video.
- Reuters Videos
Armenia's prime minister is calling for his supporters to rally for him, and is warning of an attempted military coup, after the army demanded his resignation.Protests and counter-protests appeared in the capital shortly afterwards on Thursday (February 25).It's not immediately clear if if the army is willing to use force to make Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan resign, along with the rest of his administration, or whether it was just talk.But the leader has faced calls to quit for months over his handling of the devastating military conflict it fought with Azerbaijan last year, and the army in a written statement said, quote, "the serious mistakes in foreign policy have put the country on the brink of collapse."Thousands of people are believed to have died in the fighting with Azerbaijan, where ethnic Armenians lost huge areas of territory to Azeri forces.Thursday's development has also alarmed Russia, which has a military base in Armenia, and has peacekeepers watching the region.It's calling for calm and for Armenians to work within their constitution. Turkey, which supported Azerbaijan during the conflict, is also condemning the move.The Turkish government says coups are unacceptable, no matter where they take place.
- Reuters Videos
It’s been quite a journey for Syrian migrant Tareq Alaows.Almost six years ago he was fleeing military conscription in Syria - and now he’s trying to win a seat in Germany's parliament.Alaows drifted across the Aegean in a rubber boat, before walking most of the way from Athens to Vienna. He plans to run for the Greens in a former coal-mining region of western Germany in a national election in September.His candidacy is dependant on his application for German citizenship being approved.When he arrived in Germany in 2015, he felt safe for the first time in years. But he was shocked at what awaited him: a bed in a gym alongside 60 other refugees where he was prohibited from working and not given lessons in German."My perspective, as someone affected by all this, was missing in politics. No one represents me. So I co-founded a political group of refugees and we carried out several actions."Now he has a platform, Alaows plans to run on issues that will improve situations for other refugees."Refugees face systemic discrimination in this society. They're affected by racism and by laws on asylum and residence - those are experiences that refugees share and I want to work on bringing about changes in these areas."The Greens say Alaows would be the first refugee elected to the federal parliament.Opinion polls put the left-leaning Greens second behind Angela Merkel's conservative bloc.
- Reuters Videos
The number of available COVID-19 vaccine doses is steadily rising around the world.But a shortage of physical space that meets standards for pharmaceutical manufacturing is a becoming a bottleneck.That's according to drugmakers, construction experts and officials involved in the U.S. vaccine program.The production of raw materials, vaccine formulation and vial filling requires special "clean rooms".They need features like air cleaners, sterile water and sterilizing steam.Moderna this week announced plans to expand vaccine manufacturing capacity.But said it will be a year before that can add to its production.With vaccines needed for billions of people, drugmakers have even had to turn to rivals for help in churning out doses.And the emergence of new variants is likely to increase the strain.Many are counting on the authorization of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine this week.Longer term, tackling COVID-19 may require annual shots to protect against new virus mutations, similar to the flu.Building new facilities and even expanding existing sites has typically taken years. During the pandemic, some projects have reportedly been completed in as little as 6-to-10 months.Emergent BioSolutions, which is making J&J and AstraZeneca vaccines for the US, says it cannot add any more equipment to facilities dedicated to those vaccines.Some firms are purchasing and repurposing existing plants to sidestep construction. Pfizer-partner BioNTech bought a German facility from Novartis in September.
- Business Insider
Trump begins settling scores with Republican opponents by endorsing a former aide's primary challenge to an Ohio congressman who backed impeachment
Trump weighed in for the first time after he indicated he would play an active role on the campaign trail during the 2022 midterm elections.
- Business Insider
Students from Rep. Madison Cawthorn's college said he used 'fun drives' to corner women with sexual advances, report says
Two former resident assistants told BuzzFeed News they warned women in their dorms not to go on drives with Cawthorn because "bad things happened."
- The State
“Her daddy got to heaven just before she did.”
- Business Insider
Federal investigators zeroed in on the assailant after video footage showed the suspect attacking officers with bear spray, The Times reported.
- Charlotte Observer
This is the shocking story of the alleged sexual abuses that led to the January arrest of Sandra Hiler — aka Charlotte piano teacher Keiko Aloe — as told by her 21-year-old daughter.
- National Review
After only a month in power, President Biden has used lethal military force in reaction to Iranian-sponsored attacks on Americans in Iraq. The strike, said to be by F-15 jets, apparently attacked buildings owned by Iraqi Shiite militia groups along the Iraqi-Syrian border. It’s worth pausing to note that those Iranian-backed Iraqi Shiite groups and not the government of Iraq control that part of the border. In other words, Iran and its proxies control a route from Iraq through Syria to Lebanon, where the largest Iranian proxy, Hezbollah, is situated. The borders have been erased. The Biden strike is a message to Iran, a warning shot against continuing attacks by the militias Tehran backs. According to press reports, Biden was presented with a range of options and chose one of the softest — a limited strike inside Syria rather than Iraq. There is a logic to this choice. First, U.S. attacks inside Iraq would likely complicate life for Prime Minister Kadhimi, whom we are generally supporting, and spur the forces hostile to any U.S. presence — not least the Iranian-allied militias — to demand that all U.S. forces be expelled. Second, should further Iranian-sponsored attacks require Biden to hit Iranian-backed forces again, this limited strike allows him to say he tried patience and restraint and they failed. But the strike inside Syria and at Iranian proxies may also send messages Biden does not intend: that the United States will never hit Tehran’s proxies inside Iraq and that it will never hit Iran. If that’s what the Iranian regime infers, they will have the militias strike again and again; they will not be deterred because they will see the attacks as nearly cost-free. The law of averages suggests that sooner or later these continued attacks will kill Americans. That’s when the president will face the need to punish Iran and truly establish deterrence; merely attacking its proxies will be inadequate. One of the key functions of the Shiite militias in Iraq is to allow Iran to attack U.S. forces while, by absorbing any penalty, keeping Iran safe. If there are a series of attacks, harming Americans and eventually killing one or more, the kind of limited response from the United States that we saw this past week will not be enough. That does not mean World War III and it does not mean American bombers over Tehran, but it does mean that Biden must contemplate striking Iranian assets rather than expendable proxy groups. Meanwhile, there was zero progress on the nuclear-negotiations front this past week. On the contrary, Iran did not agree to attend the EU-sponsored talks that the United States has agreed to attend, it limited International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors’ access to Iran, and it threatened to enrich uranium to 60 percent. Nuclear power requires enrichment to no more than 5 percent; the only use for uranium enriched to 60 percent is in preparing a nuclear weapon. The very least that can be said about President Biden’s second month in power is that we are seeing any dreams of a quick return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, also known as the JCPOA, and a quick resolution to U.S.-Iranian confrontations dissolve before our eyes. The president’s refusal, thus far, to lift any sanctions and his willingness to use force against Iranian proxies suggest a more realistic assessment of Iran than many feared. No doubt there will be many deep discussions, even debates, within the administration over what the next move should be. The administration’s willingness to return to the JCPOA if Iran went back into compliance with it has not moved the Islamic Republic an inch. Similarly, the administration’s reversal of the designation of the Houthis in Yemen as a terrorist group, and its decision to halt the sale of “offensive” weapons to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen, were met with zero flexibility by the Houthis — who have carried out additional terrorist attacks since the policy changes. Down the road the administration faces an even greater challenge than what to do about attacks on Americans in Iraq. President Biden has already decided that they will be met with force, and one must assume that if the attacks continue and escalate, the counter-attacks will as well. But what about Iran’s expulsion of nuclear inspectors, which violates the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the “Additional Protocol” to the JCPOA (that allowed snap inspections)? What about enrichment to 60 percent, if that indeed occurs? How far down the road toward building a nuclear weapon will the administration be willing to let Iran go? That’s a hypothetical question today, but if Iran keeps going it will soon be keeping U.S. officials up at night. Biden is the fifth American president in a row, by my count, to say Iran would never be permitted to build a nuclear weapon. Unless Iran changes course he could be the first to have to prove it.
It's been 40 years since Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer announced their engagement with a televised interview.
- Business Insider
QAnon's most devout followers believe bizarrely that former President Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 19th President on March 4, 2021.
- Business Insider
Ted Cruz rants about comedians, late-night TV, and mask-wearing before shouting at people to 'just have fun' in wild CPAC speech
"Orlando is awesome. It's not as nice as Cancún, but it's nice," Cruz said, referring to the scandal he sparked by leaving Texas for Mexico.
Former Sen. Kelly Loeffler is out as owner of WNBA team, and the new owners include former star player who retired to fight for social justice
One month after WNBA players helped oust Kelly Loeffler from the Senate, the league announced that it had approved sale of the franchise she co-owned.
Residents of an Indian slum thought they were getting vaccinated like everyone else but were unknowingly part of a clinical trial
After a white van advertised COVID-19 vaccines to a central-Indian slum, many of its residents feel duped after finding out they were in a trial.
Ben Affleck says his divorce from Jennifer Garner and other 'life experience' shaped him into a better actor
In a new interview as part of The Hollywood Reporter's Actor Roundtable series, Affleck spoke about Garner and the three kids they share.
- Miami Herald
Two commercial fisherman from the mainland were jailed Thursday after police said they were caught in the Keys with a haul of illegal seafood that started with 100 undersized wrung lobster tails.
- Business Insider
Ted Cruz's colleagues mocked him by putting memes of his Cancun trip in the Senate gym locker room: 'Bienvenido de Nuevo, Ted!'
Those who turned up to the Senate gym Wednesday morning were welcomed by color printouts of Cruz's Cancun trip that read "Bienvenido de Nuevo, Ted!"
- USA TODAY
'We're born Indian and we die white:' Indigenous leaders in California fear COVID deaths are going undercounted
Native American leaders in California fear COVID-19 cases and deaths in their communities have gone unrecorded in county and state records.