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GOP

Donald Trump orders GOP's three biggest fundraisers to stop using his name

Donald Trump has sent legal warnings to the three biggest fundraising entities for the Republican Party, ordering them to stop using his name and likeness on emails and merchandise, according to a new report. Trump's lawyers sent the cease-and-desist letters on Friday to the Republican National Committee, National Republican Congressional Committee, and National Republican Senate Committee, a Trump advisor told Politico. 'President Trump remains committed to the Republican Party and electing America First conservatives, but that doesn't give anyone - friend or foe - permission to use his likeness without explicit approval,' the advisor said.

Facebook & Co

A few rightwing 'super-spreaders' fueled bulk of election falsehoods, study says

A handful of rightwing “super-spreaders” on social media were responsible for the bulk of election misinformation in the run-up to the Capitol attack, according to a new study that also sheds light on the staggering reach of falsehoods pushed by Donald Trump. A report from the Election Integrity Partnership (EIP), a group that includes Stanford and the University of Washington, analyzed social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok during several months before and after the 2020 elections.

Criminal Investigation

FBI is examining communications between lawmakers and Capitol rioters

Federal investigators are examining records of communications between members of Congress and the pro-Trump mob that attacked the US Capitol, as the investigation moves closer to exploring whether lawmakers wittingly or unwittingly helped the insurrectionists, according to a US official briefed on the matter. The data gathered so far includes indications of contact with lawmakers in the days around January 6, as well as communications between alleged rioters discussing their associations with members of Congress, the official said.

Economy

Senate finally passes Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill

The Senate approved a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan on Saturday, as Democrats muscled through a marathon debate — and overcame dissent from moderates within their own ranks — to move one step closer to delivering President Biden his first legislative victory. Democrats voted to adopt the bill without any Republican support after a roughly 24-hour, around-the-clock session, though it will now fall to the House to consider the sweeping package once again before it can become law and any of the aid can be dispersed.

COVID-19

Andrew Cuomo advisers altered report on Covid-19 nursing-home deaths

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top advisers successfully pushed state health officials to strip a public report of data showing that more nursing-home residents had died of Covid-19 than the administration had acknowledged, according to people with knowledge of the report’s production. The July report, which examined the factors that led to the spread of the virus in nursing homes, focused only on residents who died inside long-term-care facilities, leaving out those who had died in hospitals after becoming sick in nursing homes.

Whistleblower

Trump administration referred a record number of leaks for criminal investigation

The Trump administration referred a record number of classified leaks for criminal investigation, totaling at least 334, according to a Justice Department document obtained by The Intercept under the Freedom of Information Act. While leak investigations had already been on the rise under the Obama administration, which prosecuted more than twice as many leakers under the World War I-era Espionage Act as all previous administrations combined, that number still rose sharply under the Trump administration.

GOP

Donald Trump orders GOP's three biggest fundraisers to stop using his name

Donald Trump has sent legal warnings to the three biggest fundraising entities for the Republican Party, ordering them to stop using his name and likeness on emails and merchandise, according to a new report. Trump's lawyers sent the cease-and-desist letters on Friday to the Republican National Committee, National Republican Congressional Committee, and National Republican Senate Committee, a Trump advisor told Politico. 'President Trump remains committed to the Republican Party and electing America First conservatives, but that doesn't give anyone - friend or foe - permission to use his likeness without explicit approval,' the advisor said.

Marjorie Taylor Greene

The uprising in the GOP against the political moron continues to grow

Georgia GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's efforts to delay congressional business by forcing futile procedural votes to adjourn the House each day are disrupting committee hearings and virtual constituent meetings — and it’s ticking off a growing chorus of Republican colleagues.

Fox News

Tucker Carlson calls QAnon followers 'gentle' patriots

Followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory are “gentle people waving American flags”, Fox News host Tucker Carlson claimed on Friday night – two months since many joined a mob that stormed the US Capitol seeking to overturn Donald Trump’s election defeat, a riot in which five people died.

Jacob Chansley

Capitol riot shaman's '60 Minutes' TV interview irks judge

The lawyer for the horned shaman who became one of the most iconic figures involved in the storming of the Capitol in January is in hot water with a federal judge after facilitating an interview that the judge said violated federal rules.

Josh Hawley

The villain, and America is the victim

As time goes on, Donald Trump’s future is coming to resemble the life cycle of the apocryphal Hollywood starlet. It starts with a producer calling out “Get me Donald Trump,” proceeds to “get me a Donald Trump,” and ends with “Who’s Donald Trump?”

Prince Philip

“No one is relaxing just yet”

Prince Philip has been transferred to the Edward VII hospital following a successful procedure for a pre-existing heart condition, Buckingham Palace announced Friday. The 99-year-old Duke of Edinburgh is said to be comfortable, but he is expected to stay in hospital for a number of days, possibly weeks, until he makes a full recovery.

Eric Swalwell

Donald Trump faces new lawsuit alleging incitement of Capitol riot

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D. Calif.) on Friday sued former President Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Rudy Giuliani and Rep. Mo Brooks (R., Ala.) on allegations they conspired to incite the Capitol riot on Jan. 6 and prevent Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Recovery

White House downplays surprising February jobs gain

Top White House officials took little solace in the better-than-expected February jobs report, insisting Friday that the U.S. was far from a full and equitable recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The February jobs report released Friday showed the U.S. gaining 379,000 jobs last month, nearly double the consensus estimates of economists. The unemployment rate also dropped 0.1 percentage points to 6.2 percent, its lowest level since March 2020, as businesses prepared for a post-pandemic world.

News

Economy

Senate finally passes Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill

The Senate approved a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan on Saturday, as Democrats muscled through a marathon debate — and overcame dissent from moderates within their own ranks — to move one step closer to delivering President Biden his first legislative victory. Democrats voted to adopt the bill without any Republican support after a roughly 24-hour, around-the-clock session, though it will now fall to the House to consider the sweeping package once again before it can become law and any of the aid can be dispersed.


Jacob Chansley

Capitol riot shaman's '60 Minutes' TV interview irks judge

The lawyer for the horned shaman who became one of the most iconic figures involved in the storming of the Capitol in January is in hot water with a federal judge after facilitating an interview that the judge said violated federal rules.

Federico Guillermo Klein

State Department aide appointed by Donald Trump stormed the Capitol

The FBI said Thursday that it arrested a political appointee of President Donald Trump on charges that he stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and assaulted an officer with a weapon, marking the first arrest of a Trump administration official in connection with the insurrection.


COVID-19

Andrew Cuomo advisers altered report on Covid-19 nursing-home deaths

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top advisers successfully pushed state health officials to strip a public report of data showing that more nursing-home residents had died of Covid-19 than the administration had acknowledged, according to people with knowledge of the report’s production. The July report, which examined the factors that led to the spread of the virus in nursing homes, focused only on residents who died inside long-term-care facilities, leaving out those who had died in hospitals after becoming sick in nursing homes.

Criminal Investigation

FBI is examining communications between lawmakers and Capitol rioters

Federal investigators are examining records of communications between members of Congress and the pro-Trump mob that attacked the US Capitol, as the investigation moves closer to exploring whether lawmakers wittingly or unwittingly helped the insurrectionists, according to a US official briefed on the matter. The data gathered so far includes indications of contact with lawmakers in the days around January 6, as well as communications between alleged rioters discussing their associations with members of Congress, the official said.

Shortnews

#FreeIdaho

Demonstrators burn masks in front of Idaho state Capitol

More than a hundred people gathered outside the Idaho state Capitol building in Boise on Saturday for a “burn the mask” event to push back against local orders on face coverings amid the coronavirus pandemic. Local reporters posted videos and photos on Twitter showing families, including young children and adults, at the steps of the building, gathered close together while not wearing masks. Some demonstrators hugged each other, while others displayed signs like, “I will not self-suffocate.”

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#FreeIdaho

Demonstrators burn masks in front of Idaho state Capitol

More than a hundred people gathered outside the Idaho state Capitol building in Boise on Saturday for a “burn the mask” event to push back against local orders on face coverings amid the coronavirus pandemic. Local reporters posted videos and photos on Twitter showing families, including young children and adults, at the steps of the building, gathered close together while not wearing masks. Some demonstrators hugged each other, while others displayed signs like, “I will not self-suffocate.”

Several posters hung up outside the Capitol building said “BURN THE MASK” and “#FreeIdaho,” along with crossed-off images of a face mask and papers that read, “Emergency Orders” and “Mandates.”

One video posted on Twitter by Oregon Public Broadcasting reporter Sergio Olmos showed a demonstrator carrying an assault rifle and placing a picture of President Biden, who he called “sleepy Joe,” into the fire.

Reporters at the event noted that a number of children present were directed by their family members to burn their masks, as well.

One of the event’s organizers, Darr Moon, husband of Idaho state Rep. Dorothy Moon (R) told Olmos in a video posted on Twitter that the demonstration was a “rally,” rather than a “protest.”

“It’s important and I think people need to realize that we’re standing here today to reign back government, to reestablish our Republican form of government, a government that has balance between the branches,” Darr Moon explained, as a small American flag hung out of his front shirt pocket.

“We’re kind of that belief that we need well-defined government and certain boundaries, and that’s not what we have today,” he added.

Moon said that the mask burning event was just one of several occurring across the state Saturday.

The events come as calls have increased throughout Idaho and across the country against mask mandates and lockdown orders, with some arguing that the restrictions violate personal freedoms. While Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) has resisted issuing a statewide mask mandate, he repeatedly wears a mask in public and encourages citizens in the state to do so, as well.

Seven Idaho counties and 11 cities, including Boise, currently have mask mandates in place in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.

A bill seeking to ban mask mandates was introduced in the Idaho state legislature this week. The Associated Press reported that GOP Rep. Karey Hanks said the legislation was inspired by the “physical and emotional and even mental injuries to our bodies, and possibly even our souls, as healthy individuals are required to wear these masks.”

Multiple studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health agencies have shown that wearing masks helps protect the wearer and others from the virus that causes COVID-19.

WHITE HOUSE

AP poll puts Biden job approval at 60 percent

A solid majority of Americans say they approve of President Joe Biden’s early job performance, according to a new survey, with even more respondents giving him positive marks for his management of the coronavirus pandemic. The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll released Friday reports that 60 percent of U.S. adults surveyed approve of Biden’s handling of his job, including 94 percent of Democrats and 22 percent of Republicans. On the subject of the pandemic, 70 percent of adults surveyed approve of how he has handled the public health crisis, a figure that includes 97 percent of Democrats and 44 percent of Republicans.

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WHITE HOUSE

AP poll puts Biden job approval at 60 percent

A solid majority of Americans say they approve of President Joe Biden’s early job performance, according to a new survey, with even more respondents giving him positive marks for his management of the coronavirus pandemic. The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll released Friday reports that 60 percent of U.S. adults surveyed approve of Biden’s handling of his job, including 94 percent of Democrats and 22 percent of Republicans. On the subject of the pandemic, 70 percent of adults surveyed approve of how he has handled the public health crisis, a figure that includes 97 percent of Democrats and 44 percent of Republicans.

Although Biden’s approval numbers dip slightly for his handling of the economy, he still maintains majority support on that issue, with 55 percent of adult respondents — including 88 percent of Democrats and 17 percent of Republicans — favoring his fiscal policy.

Other public polling published this week has shown Biden with similar margins of support. A POLITICO-Morning Consult poll pegged the president's job approval rating at 57 percent among registered voters, and a Reuters-Ipsos poll put the number at 58 percent of Americans.

The AP-NORC survey’s results come as Biden wraps up his sixth full week in office since assuming the presidency in January, during which time he has reiterated that the pandemic and its economic fallout are his top priorities, along with efforts to counter climate change and the push for racial equity.

The president’s primary focus on the job thus far has been shepherding the legislative progress of his $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan” stimulus measure, which won approval from the House last weekend. The administration is now seeking Senate passage of the expansive relief bill before March 14, when key federal unemployment benefits are set to expire.

The AP-NORC poll was conducted Feb. 25 to March 1, surveying 1,434 adults. Its margin of sampling error is plus-or-minus 3.4 percentage points.

Richard Barnett

Not 'fair' I'm still in jail

The man charged with illegally entering Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) office and stealing items including mail during the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol disrupted a court hearing on Thursday while yelling that his continued detention was unfair. The New York Times reported that 60-year-old Richard Barnett began yelling during a virtual hearing on his case Thursday morning that it was not "fair" that he remained in custody while some others accused of participating in the riot have been released ahead of their trials. The Arkansas resident's attorneys have reportedly attempted to secure his bonded release with no success thus far.

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Richard Barnett

Not 'fair' I'm still in jail

The man charged with illegally entering Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) office and stealing items including mail during the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol disrupted a court hearing on Thursday while yelling that his continued detention was unfair. The New York Times reported that 60-year-old Richard Barnett began yelling during a virtual hearing on his case Thursday morning that it was not "fair" that he remained in custody while some others accused of participating in the riot have been released ahead of their trials. The Arkansas resident's attorneys have reportedly attempted to secure his bonded release with no success thus far.

“They’re dragging this out!” he yelled at one point, according to the Times. “They’re letting everybody else out!"

His outburst appeared to come in response to the judge setting Barnett's trial date in May, a prospect which he exclaimed would force him to remain in jail “another month.”

In response, Judge Christopher Cooper called a five-minute recess while Barnett's attorneys calmed him down, according to the newspaper. It then resumed without incident.

Photos of Barnett with his feet up behind the desk in Pelosi's office went viral in the hours and days after the Capitol siege, resulting in him becoming one of the most widely recognizable participants in the riot along with others, such as the self-proclaimed "QAnon Shaman" and another man who was seen grinning as he walked away with a stolen lectern.

Barnett plead not guilty earlier this month to a handful of charges stemming from the riot, including bringing a weapon into a restricted area as well as obstruction of Congress.

COVID-19

'Neanderthal thinking': Biden lays into states lifting restrictions

President Joe Biden said Wednesday that moves by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and others to lift statewide Covid restrictions showed 'Neanderthal thinking': “I think it’s a big mistake. I hope everyone has realized right now these masks make a difference," Biden said of the decision to lift mask mandates and other Covid mitigation measures. "We are on the cusp of being able to fundamentally change the nature of this disease because of the way in which we are able to get vaccines in people’s arms.”

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COVID-19

'Neanderthal thinking': Biden lays into states lifting restrictions

President Joe Biden said Wednesday that moves by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and others to lift statewide Covid restrictions showed 'Neanderthal thinking': “I think it’s a big mistake. I hope everyone has realized right now these masks make a difference," Biden said of the decision to lift mask mandates and other Covid mitigation measures. "We are on the cusp of being able to fundamentally change the nature of this disease because of the way in which we are able to get vaccines in people’s arms.”

The president's remark came after both Texas and Mississippi issued executive orders Tuesday to eliminate mask mandates and let all businesses open at 100 percent capacity, flying in the face of health officials who have urged continued Covid restrictions. Biden has signed an executive order requiring mask-wearing on federal property but has little authority to overrule governors and other state and local officials.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, a Republican, laid into Biden for his comments Wednesday.

"President Biden said allowing Mississippians to decide how to protect themselves is 'neanderthal thinking.' Mississippians don’t need handlers," Reeves wrote in a tweet. "As numbers drop, they can assess their choices and listen to experts. I guess I just think we should trust Americans, not insult them."

In a statement to POLITICO, Abbott spokesperson Renae Eze said Abbott was "clear in telling Texans that COVID hasn’t ended, and that all Texans should follow medical advice and safe practices to continue containing COVID."

"The fact is, Texas now has the tools and knowledge to combat COVID while also allowing Texans and small businesses to make their own decisions," Eze said. "It is clear from the recoveries, the vaccinations, the reduced hospitalizations, and the safe practices that Texans are using, that state mandates are no longer needed. We must now do more to restore livelihoods and normalcy for Texans."

Ku Klux Klan

No charges for man who displayed Klan flag next to Black neighbor's home

A prosecutor has declined to file charges against a man who displayed a Ku Klux Klan flag in his window in suburban Detroit, next to the home of a Black family. Such “horrible conduct” doesn’t violate Michigan law, Wayne county prosecutor Kym Worthy said on Tuesday, adding that an ethnic intimidation charge would require physical contact, property damage or threats of such activity.

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Ku Klux Klan

No charges for man who displayed Klan flag next to Black neighbor's home

A prosecutor has declined to file charges against a man who displayed a Ku Klux Klan flag in his window in suburban Detroit, next to the home of a Black family. Such “horrible conduct” doesn’t violate Michigan law, Wayne county prosecutor Kym Worthy said on Tuesday, adding that an ethnic intimidation charge would require physical contact, property damage or threats of such activity.

“I strongly encourage the Michigan legislature to look, revise and create laws to protect citizens from this kind of horrible conduct,” said Worthy, who is Black.

JeDonna Dinges, 57, of Grosse Pointe Park, said the flag was hanging next door in a window directly across from her dining room. The incident occurred two weeks ago.

The flag was removed after police carrying large cloths visited the home and made a switch, the city manager, Nick Sizeland, told the Detroit Free Press last week.

The man’s girlfriend claimed they could not afford a curtain, Sizeland said.

“There is absolutely no question that what happened to Ms Dinges was despicable, traumatizing and completely unacceptable,” Worthy said. “But, very unfortunately in my view, not a crime. The KKK flag, while intending to be visible to Ms Dinges, was hanging inside of her neighbor’s house.”

The Klan was a secretive society organized in the southern US after the civil war to assert white supremacy, often using violence. It flourished well into the 20th century.

Dozens of people turned out for a 21 February march and rally to support Dinges. Before the flag incident, she said she was concerned about her safety after finding a full gas can inside her outdoor recycling bin.

Politics

Marjorie Taylor Greene

The uprising in the GOP against the political moron continues to grow

Georgia GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's efforts to delay congressional business by forcing futile procedural votes to adjourn the House each day are disrupting committee hearings and virtual constituent meetings — and it’s ticking off a growing chorus of Republican colleagues.


Josh Hawley

The villain, and America is the victim

As time goes on, Donald Trump’s future is coming to resemble the life cycle of the apocryphal Hollywood starlet. It starts with a producer calling out “Get me Donald Trump,” proceeds to “get me a Donald Trump,” and ends with “Who’s Donald Trump?”

Eric Swalwell

Donald Trump faces new lawsuit alleging incitement of Capitol riot

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D. Calif.) on Friday sued former President Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Rudy Giuliani and Rep. Mo Brooks (R., Ala.) on allegations they conspired to incite the Capitol riot on Jan. 6 and prevent Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election.


LEFT WING LEGISLATORS

Socialist legislators want to impeach Cuomo for abuses of power

Six of New York’s most left-wing legislators called this week for the impeachment of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. On Tuesday, State Sens. Julia Salazar and Jabari Brisport, along with Assembly Members Emily Gallagher, Phara Souffrant Forrest, Zohran Mamdani, and Marcela Mitaynes, all self-identifying socialists, released a statement calling for Cuomo’s impeachment. If successful, it would be only the second such proceeding in state history, following the impeachment of Gov. William Sulzer in 1913.

Wall Street Journal

Trump fires back at editorial urging GOP to move on

Former President Trump on Thursday lashed out at the Wall Street Journal editorial board for calling on Republicans to abandon him and blamed his GOP critics for the party’s Georgia Senate losses. In a statement released Thursday, Trump accused the paper’s opinion section, which has a traditionally conservative bent, of supporting “globalist policies such as bad trade deals, open borders, and endless wars.”

Shortnews

Quinnipiac poll

Most New Yorkers don’t want Andrew Cuomo to resign

A majority of New Yorkers do not want Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign as he faces dual scandals over allegations of sexual harassment and claims he hid the number of deaths of nursing home residents, according to a poll released Thursday. The Quinnipiac Poll, which showed Cuomo’s numbers on the lower side and found that most residents are opposed to him seeking a fourth term, was far from disastrous for an increasingly embattled governor. Forty percent of voters said he should resign, while 55 percent said he should not. Most Democrats are sticking with him: Only 21 percent are saying he should leave office.

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Quinnipiac poll

Most New Yorkers don’t want Andrew Cuomo to resign

A majority of New Yorkers do not want Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign as he faces dual scandals over allegations of sexual harassment and claims he hid the number of deaths of nursing home residents, according to a poll released Thursday. The Quinnipiac Poll, which showed Cuomo’s numbers on the lower side and found that most residents are opposed to him seeking a fourth term, was far from disastrous for an increasingly embattled governor. Forty percent of voters said he should resign, while 55 percent said he should not. Most Democrats are sticking with him: Only 21 percent are saying he should leave office.

The governor said on Wednesday that he will not quit.

Forty-five percent of respondents approve of the way he is handling his job, while 46 percent disapprove. That’s down quite a bit from the 72-24 Cuomo received in a Quinnipiac poll last May, when he was at the height of his popularity. But it’s not much different from the most recent Quinnipiac poll conducted before the pandemic, when 42 percent of respondents said they viewed Cuomo favorably and 45 percent said they viewed him unfavorably.

The poll also found that only 36 percent of voters want Cuomo to seek a fourth term next year, while 59 percent do not. The governor fared better among Democrats, whose support is the most critical in a state where most statewide contests are decided in the primaries: 50 percent want him to run for reelection while 44 percent do not.

It does not appear as though Quinnipiac has asked that exact question about Cuomo before. But it’s entirely consistent with findings from other pollsters over the years: One from Siena in June 2019 found that votes landed 37-58 on the question of whether he should seek a fourth term, a negligible difference from the current Quinnipiac poll.

On the harassment charges themselves, a total of 79 percent of respondents said they view the accusations as “very” or “somewhat” serious. Only 27 percent are satisfied with the governor’s explanation and apology, while 59 percent are not. And only 30 percent think he is “being truthful” in his response, while 48 percent say he is not.

Quinnipiac spoke with 935 registered voters on March 2 and March 3, and their numbers have a margin of error of 3.2 points.

CPaC

Trump wins straw poll with 55 percent

Former President Trump won the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) straw poll on Sunday, with 55 percent of respondents saying they would vote for him in a hypothetical 2024 primary. In the straw poll that demonstrated Trump's hold on the GOP, 21 percent said they’d vote for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and 4 percent said they’d go with South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R). Almost 7 in 10 of the poll’s participants said they would like to see Trump run for president in 2024, compared with 15 percent who said they would not and 17 percent who said they were unsure.

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CPaC

Trump wins straw poll with 55 percent

Former President Trump won the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) straw poll on Sunday, with 55 percent of respondents saying they would vote for him in a hypothetical 2024 primary. In the straw poll that demonstrated Trump's hold on the GOP, 21 percent said they’d vote for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and 4 percent said they’d go with South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R). Almost 7 in 10 of the poll’s participants said they would like to see Trump run for president in 2024, compared with 15 percent who said they would not and 17 percent who said they were unsure.

Ninety-five percent said they want the Republican Party to continue with Trump’s agenda and policies, with 3 percent saying the GOP should change direction and 2 percent saying they were uncertain.

The CPAC straw poll also asked respondents who they would support for president in a theoretical race if Trump was not a candidate. The results showed DeSantis with a wide lead at 43 percent support.

In that race, Noem came behind the Florida governor at 11 percent, followed by Donald Trump Jr. at 8 percent and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) both at 7 percent.

“So again you see how important to everybody here — the grassroots, the base of the conservative movement, the base of the Republican Party — it is either President Trump or a Trump candidate,” pollster Jim McLaughlin, who announced the poll’s results at CPAC, said.

The poll ended up recording a 97 percent approval rating for Trump's job performance, including 87 percent who strongly approved.

McLaughlin declared the outcome of the poll just before the former president’s anticipated speech at CPAC.

The speech is his first major appearance since he was replaced as president and comes as Trump aims to hold on to his leadership role in the GOP following his second impeachment after the Capitol riot.

Despite public fractures in the party over the past few weeks, Republicans sought to show the GOP united during CPAC.

Joe Biden

Schumer sets up confirmation blitz in Senate

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is teeing up a blitz of confirmation floor votes on President Biden's nominees this week. The focus on nominations comes as Senate Democrats are waiting for the House to send them Biden's proposed $1.9 trillion coronavirus bill. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wants a House vote on the bill by Friday, allowing the Senate to take it up as soon as next week. In the meantime, Schumer said that Democrats would be working to confirm four Biden picks.

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Joe Biden

Schumer sets up confirmation blitz in Senate

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is teeing up a blitz of confirmation floor votes on President Biden's nominees this week. The focus on nominations comes as Senate Democrats are waiting for the House to send them Biden's proposed $1.9 trillion coronavirus bill. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wants a House vote on the bill by Friday, allowing the Senate to take it up as soon as next week. In the meantime, Schumer said that Democrats would be working to confirm four Biden picks.

"The Senate will continue the process of confirming President Biden's nominees with a vote on Linda Thomas-Greenfield to serve as the next U.N. ambassador," he said from the Senate floor Monday.

The Senate is expected to hold an initial vote on Thomas-Greenfield's nomination Monday night.

After they wrap up Biden's United Nations pick, Schumer said they would turn to Tom Vilsack's nomination to be the secretary of Agriculture. Under a deal stuck earlier this month, the Senate is expected to hold a vote to confirm Vilsack, who held the same position during the Obama administration, on Tuesday.

Schumer is also teeing up votes on former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) to lead the Department of Energy and Miguel Cardona, Connecticut's commissioner of education, to be Education secretary.

"Both nominees have been advanced by the respective committees with bipartisan votes, a pattern this week and at a time when our nation is gripped by a once in a century crisis. The president deserves to have his nominees approved quickly by this chamber so they can immediately get to work healing our great country," Schumer said.

Biden has gotten seven Senate-approved nominees confirmed so far, after getting only one through on his first day in office: Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines.

Getting four confirmed in one week would be the most Biden has gotten through the Senate in a similar time frame since taking office.

Kentucky

County GOP chair calls on Mitch McConnell to resign

A county GOP chairman in Kentucky is calling for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to resign from his leadership position in the Senate over his floor speech last weekend saying former President Donald Trump was responsible for the Capitol riot. “Given that the county party I represent supports President Trump overwhelmingly and your complete and total disdain for the will of your constituents here in Nelson County I am formally demanding you immediately resign your leadership position within our party’s caucus in the United States Senate,” Don Thrasher, chairman for the Republican Party of Nelson County, said.

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Kentucky

County GOP chair calls on Mitch McConnell to resign

A county GOP chairman in Kentucky is calling for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to resign from his leadership position in the Senate over his floor speech last weekend saying former President Donald Trump was responsible for the Capitol riot. “Given that the county party I represent supports President Trump overwhelmingly and your complete and total disdain for the will of your constituents here in Nelson County I am formally demanding you immediately resign your leadership position within our party’s caucus in the United States Senate,” Don Thrasher, chairman for the Republican Party of Nelson County, said.

McConnell supported Trump throughout his presidency and worked with him frequently, but the GOP Senate leader split from the president after the Capitol on Jan. 6. He voted to acquit Trump in the Senate impeachment trial, but only because he said he did not believe the Senate could constitutionally convict a non-sitting president.

In his speech after his vote, he said “there’s no question — none — that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day.”

Thrasher took exception to those comments.

“Your leadership in the US Senate does not represent the Republican voters that put our faith in you the last primary election,” Thrasher wrote.

Thrasher told the Washington Post that McConnell “stirred up the hornets’ nest even worse” with his speech after his vote and that it only made more people mad.

In his statement, Thrasher said he agreed with a statement Trump issued on Tuesday blasting McConnell.

Trump said McConnell “will never do what needs to be done, or what is right for our Country.”

Thrasher led a failed resolution in January with the Kentucky Republican committee that would have told McConnell to condemn Trump’s impeachment trials.

Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump

$640M in outside income during White House years

Former White House advisors Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner made as much as $640 million during their time in the Trump administration, according to an analysis by a government watchdog group. The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) found the couple earned anywhere between $172 million and $640 million in outside income, according to their financial disclosures.

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Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump

$640M in outside income during White House years

Former White House advisors Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner made as much as $640 million during their time in the Trump administration, according to an analysis by a government watchdog group. The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) found the couple earned anywhere between $172 million and $640 million in outside income, according to their financial disclosures.

The daughter and son-in-law of former President Trump both pledged to forego government salaries in an attempt to sidestep concerns over nepotism. But CREW’s review shows the couple, like Trump, still earned considerable sums from the Trump Hotel in Washington.

“All told, Ivanka made more than $13 million from the hotel since 2017, dropping from about $4 million a year between 2017 and 2019 to about $1.5 million last year, at least in part due to the pandemic,” according to the report, which called the hotel a “locus of influence peddling in the Trump administration.”

The financial disclosures, which report income in ranges, also showed a sharp drop in Ivanka Trump’s stake in the hotel. In her final disclosure she listed the value of her ownership in the hotel between $100,000 to $250,000 this year after previously claiming her stake to be worth between $5 million and $25 million. She did not report selling any of her ownership share in the hotel.

During his final year working for the administration, Kushner also opened a new offshore holding company located in the British Virgin Islands, Kushner Companies BVI Limited, which holds several assets, including the Puck Building LP, which is valued at more than $25 million.

Business

Media

Rupert Murdoch prepares to hand over his media empire

Birthday parties in pandemics are dreary, even for billionaires. But Rupert Murdoch’s 90th, which he will celebrate on March 11th, should at least be less stressful than his 80th. Back then British detectives were burrowing into a subsidiary of his firm, News Corporation, then the world’s fourth-largest media company, for evidence that its journalists had hacked phones and bribed police.


Fox News

Tucker Carlson calls QAnon followers 'gentle' patriots

Followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory are “gentle people waving American flags”, Fox News host Tucker Carlson claimed on Friday night – two months since many joined a mob that stormed the US Capitol seeking to overturn Donald Trump’s election defeat, a riot in which five people died.

Facebook & Co

A few rightwing 'super-spreaders' fueled bulk of election falsehoods, study says

A handful of rightwing “super-spreaders” on social media were responsible for the bulk of election misinformation in the run-up to the Capitol attack, according to a new study that also sheds light on the staggering reach of falsehoods pushed by Donald Trump. A report from the Election Integrity Partnership (EIP), a group that includes Stanford and the University of Washington, analyzed social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok during several months before and after the 2020 elections.


G999 Josip Heit

The unbelievably brazen data theft by Josip Heit from his Gold Standard Partners

New serious accusations against professional criminal Josip Heit and his fraud network G999: IT specialists have analyzed the alleged "GSTelecom by G999 Blockchain". Their warning: "This app, disguised as a chat program, is nothing more than an attempt to tap personal data and collect confidential passwords." The data theft is well disguised at that: "Welcome to the first decentralized chat app", it says as a greeting. Of course, the G999 scam would be nothing if CEO Josip Heit didn't loudly proclaim: "The most advanced chat application". Of course, this is absolute nonsense.

New Study

Far-right misinformation received highest engagement on Facebook

Content posted from news outlets rated as far-right received the highest levels of engagement on Facebook in the months surrounding the 2020 elections, according to a new study. Moreover, researchers found that among far-right outlets, sources identified as spreading misinformation had on average 65 percent more engagement per follower than other far-right pages. The study evaluated a total of 8.6 million Facebook and Instagram posts between Aug. 10 and Jan. 11 downloaded from the tool CrowdTangle.

universal basic income (UBI)

Californians on universal basic income paid off debt and got full-time jobs

After receiving $500 per month for two years without rules on how to spend it, 125 people in California paid off debt, got full-time jobs and had “statistically significant improvements” in emotional health, according to a study released Wednesday. The program was the nation’s highest-profile experiment in decades of universal basic income (UBI), an idea that gained national attention when it became a major part of Andrew Yang’s 2020 campaign for president.

Inforwars

Alex Jones seen on leaked video saying he's 'sick' of Donald Trump

Prominent conspiracy theorist and far-right media personality Alex Jones is seen in a newly revealed video complaining about former President Trump and exclaiming that he wished he had never met him.

CPAC

Calls to can Goya Foods grow after CEO Unuane repeats Trump's election lies

Calls for a boycott of Goya beans, chickpeas and other foodstuffs have grown louder after chief executive Robert Unanue made a series of false claims about the presidential election in a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, in Florida on Sunday. Unanue has previously courted controversy with praise for Donald Trump, which last year prompted Ivanka Trump to pose, infamously, with a can of Goya beans. Onstage in Orlando, Unanue called Donald Trump “the real, legitimate and still actual president of the United States”.

Shortnews

Recovery

White House downplays surprising February jobs gain

Top White House officials took little solace in the better-than-expected February jobs report, insisting Friday that the U.S. was far from a full and equitable recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The February jobs report released Friday showed the U.S. gaining 379,000 jobs last month, nearly double the consensus estimates of economists. The unemployment rate also dropped 0.1 percentage points to 6.2 percent, its lowest level since March 2020, as businesses prepared for a post-pandemic world.

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Recovery

White House downplays surprising February jobs gain

Top White House officials took little solace in the better-than-expected February jobs report, insisting Friday that the U.S. was far from a full and equitable recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The February jobs report released Friday showed the U.S. gaining 379,000 jobs last month, nearly double the consensus estimates of economists. The unemployment rate also dropped 0.1 percentage points to 6.2 percent, its lowest level since March 2020, as businesses prepared for a post-pandemic world. President Biden’s top advisers, however, sought to spotlight how much economic damage the U.S. needs to repair and shortcomings of the rebound so far as Democrats push a $1.9 trillion aid bill through Congress.

“If you think today's jobs report is ‘good enough,’ then know that at this pace … it would take until April 2023 to get back to where we were in February 2020,” tweeted White House chief of staff Ron Klain.

If you think today's jobs report is "good enough," then know that at this pace (+379,000 jobs/month), it would take until April 2023 to get back to where we were in February 2020.

— Ronald Klain (@WHCOS) March 5, 2021
Even with February’s gain, the U.S. is still 9.5 million jobs short of replacing those lost to the pandemic, and 18 million Americans are on some form of jobless aid, according to the Labor Department. The unemployment rate has also been artificially depressed by the exit of nearly 5 million Americans from the workforce since the onset of the pandemic.

Cecilia Rouse, chair of Biden’s White House Council of Economic Advisers, highlighted in a Friday analysis how Black and Hispanic women have suffered the greatest declines in labor force participation.

“Black women were only 14 percent of the female labor force in February 2020, but have accounted for a disproportionate 26 percent of female labor force dropouts since then,” she wrote. “Hispanic women were only 17 percent of the female labor force in February 2020 but have accounted for 27 percent of the female labor force dropouts.”

The White House’s concerns are shared broadly by economists, who are generally optimistic in the economy’s prospects for 2021 but concerned about the depth of damage yet to be repaired.

“The pace of job growth in February was a pleasant surprise, but it is still too early to get excited,” wrote Nick Bunker, economic research director at Indeed.com.

“At this pace, it will take about four and a half years to get back to where the labor market would have been without the pandemic. Millions of Americans out of work do not have that time,” Bunker wrote.

Even so, Republicans — who are almost unanimously opposed to Biden's relief bill — touted the surprising February jobs gain as proof the recovery is well underway.

"America’s hard work and perseverance during the challenges of the last year are finally being realized, and more Americans are being vaccinated," said Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), former chairman of the Joint Economic Committee. "With a third vaccine now available for distribution, expectations are set for a record recovery from the pandemic-induced recession."

COVID-19

CDC signs off on Johnson & Johnson vaccine

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Sunday formally accepted the recommendation from its advisory panel that Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine can be given to people ages 18 and older in the United States. The announcement by CDC Director Rochelle Walensky will allow vaccinations to begin as soon as the doses are received. Walensky called the decision "another milestone toward an end to the pandemic."

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COVID-19

CDC signs off on Johnson & Johnson vaccine

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Sunday formally accepted the recommendation from its advisory panel that Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine can be given to people ages 18 and older in the United States. The announcement by CDC Director Rochelle Walensky will allow vaccinations to begin as soon as the doses are received. Walensky called the decision "another milestone toward an end to the pandemic."

"This vaccine is also another important tool in our toolbox to equitably vaccinate as many people as possible, as quickly as possible," Walensky said in a statement.

A senior administration official told reporters Sunday evening that Johnson & Johnson will ship 3.9 million doses immediately, and vaccine distribution centers will start receiving them as early as Tuesday.

Experts have said the vaccine could be targeted at places like rural communities, health centers or individual physician offices because of its relatively easy storage requirements.

However, senior administration officials said the goal is equitable distribution, and doses will be allocated to states by population, just as the vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are.

Most communities will have doses of all three vaccines, but not every vaccination site will because of limited availability. Officials stressed people should take whatever vaccine is available.

An administration official said the 3.9 million doses are Johnson & Johnson's entire inventory. There will not be any additional deliveries next week, and the official said governors are aware distribution through the early and middle parts of March will be "uneven."

A total 20 million doses of J&J's vaccine will be sent in March, but they will be concentrated more toward the end of the month. The U.S. has paid for 100 million doses, which the company has pledged will be delivered by June.

The U.S. paid more than $1 billion to aid in the manufacturing and delivery of J&J's vaccine. Nearly a year ago, the company also won $465 million in federal funding for vaccine research and development, bringing its U.S. funding total on the project to almost $1.5 billion.

The nation's third coronavirus vaccine arrives days after the United States surpassed 500,000 COVID-19 deaths.

While nursing home deaths have sharply dropped, as have overall cases and deaths, the CDC is warning the decline in new cases has stalled amid a rise in more contagious variants of the virus.

At the same time, governors across the country are lifting coronavirus restrictions, including mask mandates and capacity limits, despite warning signs of a new spike from the virus mutations.

"This third safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine comes at a potentially pivotal time," Walensky said in the statement.

"CDC’s latest data suggest that recent declines in COVID-19 cases may be stalling and potentially leveling off at still very high numbers. That is why it is so critical that we remain vigilant and consistently take all of the mitigation steps we know work to stop the spread of COVID-19 while we work our way toward mass vaccination," Walensky said.

CPAC

News outlets diverge over airing Trump's speech

CNN and MSNBC did not air former President Trump's speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Sunday while Fox News and other conservative outlets such as Newsmax and OANN carried his remarks live. Fox News began airing Trump's speech after the former president took to to the stage at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday. CNN continued on with coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and MSNBC continued to air its "PoliticsNation" program, though it aired a short clip from the speech.

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CPAC

News outlets diverge over airing Trump's speech

CNN and MSNBC did not air former President Trump's speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Sunday while Fox News and other conservative outlets such as Newsmax and OANN carried his remarks live. Fox News began airing Trump's speech after the former president took to to the stage at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday. CNN continued on with coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and MSNBC continued to air its "PoliticsNation" program, though it aired a short clip from the speech.

Trump was the last scheduled speaker to at CPAC. During his first major post-presidency address, the former president attacked the Biden administration, the media and immigrants, in many ways echoing the first campaign speech he made when announcing his 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump's relationship with media has largely been combative, with the former president sometimes even attacking outlets that were sympathetic to him. He attacked Fox News over its polling and after the outlet declared Biden the winner of the Arizona in the 2020 election.

During his speech, Trump also attacked the multiple changes the Biden administration made after assuming office, many of which reversed the actions of the Trump administration, including ending the transgender military ban, rejoining the Paris Climate agreement and reversing Trump's visa ban on legal immigration.

He also repeated numerous false claims about voter fraud and the results of the 2020 election.

Trump revealed in his speech that he would not be starting a new political party, ending speculation that he was starting a separate party.

Payments

Federal Reserve suffers widespread disruption

The Federal Reserve suffered a widespread disruption in multiple payment services Wednesday, including a system that banks and businesses rely on to zip trillions of dollars around the financial system each day. After experiencing problems for several hours, the crucial payment system, known as Fedwire, resumed normal operations shortly before 3 p.m. ET, according to the Fed's website.

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Payments

Federal Reserve suffers widespread disruption

The Federal Reserve suffered a widespread disruption in multiple payment services Wednesday, including a system that banks and businesses rely on to zip trillions of dollars around the financial system each day. After experiencing problems for several hours, the crucial payment system, known as Fedwire, resumed normal operations shortly before 3 p.m. ET, according to the Fed's website.

Other Fed services are still down, however.

In a statement, the Fed blamed an "operational error" and said it is working to restore services and communicate with customers.

Banks, businesses and government agencies rely on Fedwire to transfer vast sums of money around the US banking system. More than $3 trillion was transferred daily using Fedwire during the fourth quarter.

The problems were widespread. Fed staff "became aware of a disruption for all services" beginning around 11:15 a.m. ET, according to a message on the Fed website.

"Our technical teams have determined that the cause is a Federal Reserve operational error," the message said.
In an update, the Fed said that it has "taken steps to help ensure the resilience" of Fedwire and national settlement service applications "including to the point of failure."

It's not clear how many banks or companies are affected by the outage.

Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange backed by the Winklevoss twins, said some of its systems are experiencing outages because of the Fed disruption. "All funds remain secure while we investigate the issue," Gemini said in a status update.

A person familiar with the matter at a major bank told CNN Business that Fedwire flows have resumed. There are few concerns that any payments will fail to be executed due to the outage, the person added.

Neo Fascist Organization

Twitter permanently suspends 'Project Veritas' group

Twitter permanently suspended an account belonging to Project Veritas on Thursday, citing repeat violations of the site's policies against publishing private information. A Twitter spokesperson confirmed that the main Project Veritas account was permanently suspended, while founder James O'Keefe had his account temporarily locked. Several recent tweets on O'Keefe's timeline appeared to have been deleted by Thursday afternoon. Twitter did not immediately return a request for comment regarding private information shared by Veritas and O'Keefe.

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Neo Fascist Organization

Twitter permanently suspends 'Project Veritas' group

Twitter permanently suspended an account belonging to Project Veritas on Thursday, citing repeat violations of the site's policies against publishing private information. A Twitter spokesperson confirmed that the main Project Veritas account was permanently suspended, while founder James O'Keefe had his account temporarily locked. Several recent tweets on O'Keefe's timeline appeared to have been deleted by Thursday afternoon. Twitter did not immediately return a request for comment regarding private information shared by Veritas and O'Keefe.

Founded in 2010, Project Veritas is a right-wing group that routinely published undercover sting videos, some of which have been accused of deceptive editing. Last October the group was criticized after claiming to have uncovered a witness to voter fraud in Minnesota only for the witness to backtrack on his claims days later and accuse Project Veritas operatives of trying to bribe him, according to multiple reports.

The group, which frequently targets Democratic politicians and media organizations, scored a victory last year when an ABC News correspondent was suspended after a Veritas video showed him claiming that the network does not care about newsworthy issues.

They have also published videos of a "Good Morning America" anchor complaining about the network ignoring her story on disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Solange Knowles

“Fighting for my life” while recording when I get home

Solange Knowles marked the two-year-anniversary of the release of her 2019 album, When I Get Home, by sharing new, exclusive content on the Criterion Channel and Blackplanet, and speaking candidly about the struggles she's faced with her health.

500 Dollar Fine

Bruce Springsteen has DWI and reckless driving charges dropped

Bruce Springsteen pleaded guilty Wednesday to drinking shots of tequila as a New Jersey federal park last year, but prosecutors dropped charges of DWI and reckless driving after he was found to be well within the legal limit. During a virtual arraignment hearing on Wednesday, prosecutors said they could not meet the legal burden for the drunken driving against The Boss, 71, who's blood alcohol content was found to be .02 - well below the state's threshold of 0.8.

Get Lucky

Daft Punk, French electronic music duo, split up after 28 years

Daft Punk, the French duo whose sci-fi aesthetic and euphoric sense of pop transformed electronic music, have split up. They announced the split with a YouTube video featuring a clip from their film Electroma, featuring an intertitle with the dates 1993-2021. Their publicist Kathryn Frazier confirmed the split to Pitchfork, but did not elaborate.

Game of Thrones

Actor Esmé Bianco accuses Marilyn Manson of physical abuse

After hinting that she was also a Manson survivor in an Instagram post last week — joining fellow actress Evan Rachel Wood and at least five other women — Bianco detailed to the Cut the abuse Manson allegedly inflicted on her during the few months she lived with the shock rocker.

RIP

Christopher Plummer, oldest actor to win an Oscar, dies aged 91

Christopher Plummer, the dazzlingly versatile Canadian actor whose screen career straddled seven decades, including such high-profile films as The Sound of Music, The Man Who Would Be King and All the Money in the World, has died aged 91.

Golden Globe Nominations 2021

The biggest snubs and surprises

The Golden Globe nominations 2021 have arrived, triggering a slew of shocking snubs and surprises. One of the most egregious snubs? A complete shutout in the best-drama category for Black-led films, including predicted nominees like Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods, Regina King’s One Night in Miami…, George C. Wolfe’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and Shaka King’s Judas and the Black Messiah.

Evan Rachel Wood

Marilyn Manson dropped by record label amid abuse allegations

In the wake of Evan Rachel Wood’s announcement that Marilyn Manson “horrifically abused” her for years when they were in a relationship, Loma Vista Recordings, which released Manson’s three most recent albums, has parted ways with the singer.

#MeToo

Evan Rachel Wood and four other women accuse Marilyn Manson of abuse

Evan Rachel Wood has accused her former partner Marilyn Manson of years of “horrific” abuse.

Bee Gees

The Gibb Brothers Songbook Vol 1 review – a missed opportunity

It’s not been tested in a lab, but anecdotal belief holds that sibling harmonies vibrate at particularly sublime frequency. On How Can You Mend a Broken Heart, the illuminating Bee Gees documentary released last month, Noel Gallagher and a Jonas Brother reflect wryly on the vicissitudes of being in a band with your brothers, but also on how uncanny the musical entente can be.

COVID-19

Grammy awards postponed weeks before ceremony over Covid concerns

The 2021 Grammy awards will be postponed after a steady increase in Covid-19 cases in California.

Sauvage Fragrance

Dior sticks by Johnny Depp in defiance of 'wife beater' ruling

Evidence suggests defiant Johnny Depp fans have been buying Dior’s Sauvage fragrance in support of the actor, who continues to be the face of the cologne despite a high court judge finding that he violently abused his ex-wife during their relationship.

The jealous president

Trump rips Lady Gaga, Jon Bon Jovi over support for Biden

President Donald Trump is knocking Joe Biden's celebrity support, saying he's bringing in bigger crowds without his Democratic opponent's star-studded surrogates. Speaking about the former vice president during a Monday campaign rally in Scranton, Pa., Trump went on a riff about Biden's high-profile Hollywood endorsements. "Now he's got Lady Gaga," Trump said, as the crowd booed at the mention of the "Rain on Me" singer, who was poised to campaign with Biden in Pittsburgh on Monday. "I could tell you plenty of stories about Lady Gaga," Trump said. "I know a lot of stories about her."

Magazin

Prince Philip

“No one is relaxing just yet”

Prince Philip has been transferred to the Edward VII hospital following a successful procedure for a pre-existing heart condition, Buckingham Palace announced Friday. The 99-year-old Duke of Edinburgh is said to be comfortable, but he is expected to stay in hospital for a number of days, possibly weeks, until he makes a full recovery.


Meghan & Harry

Meghan accuses palace of 'perpetuating falsehoods' in new Oprah clip

The Duchess of Sussex has said she cannot be expected to remain silent about her experiences of palace life if the royal family is “perpetuating falsehoods” about her and Prince Harry. Dismissing the consequences of speaking out, Meghan said a lot had “been lost already”.

Environment

Wisconsin hunters kill 216 wolves in less than 60 hours

Hunters and trappers in Wisconsin killed 216 gray wolves last week during the state’s 2021 wolf hunting season – more than 82% above the authorities’ stated quota, sparking uproar among animal-lovers and conservationists, according to reports. The kills all took place in less than 60 hours, quickly exceeding Wisconsin’s statewide stated limit of 119 animals.


Prince Harry

Prince Harry defends Netflix's The Crown in James Corden interview

The Duke of Sussex has defended the Netflix series The Crown, saying that – while it was not “strictly accurate” – it portrayed the pressures of royal life. In an interview with James Corden for the US programme The Late Late Show, Prince Harry said he minded the intrusions of the media into his family’s life much more than the miniseries, which was “obviously fiction”.

Environment

Atlantic Ocean circulation at weakest in a millennium, say scientists

The Atlantic Ocean circulation that underpins the Gulf Stream, the weather system that brings warm and mild weather to Europe, is at its weakest in more than a millennium, and climate breakdown is the probable cause, according to new data.

Tiger Woods

After the crash: there is precious little left for the 15-times major winner to prove

Summoning the spirit of Ben Hogan might not be enough for Tiger Woods to prolong a remarkable career. That the golf world is not prepared for Woods to call time on tournament pursuits was clear in the aftermath of the road accident which left the stricken 45-year-old requiring prolonged surgery on his right leg. Golf wants to cling on to an individual who transcends the sport and has single-handedly hauled it into a different commercial stratosphere. The post-Woods age has lingered somewhere in the distance for some time, with nobody really willing to address what it may entail.

Alexei Navalny

Artemi Panarin takes leave from Rangers, denies Russia altercation report

Artemi Panarin is taking a leave of absence from the New York Rangers in response to a story being reported in Russia alleging he had a physical altercation with an 18-year-old woman in Riga, Latvia, in 2011.

COVID-19

President Joe Biden to hold memorial as US nears 500,000 Covid deaths

Joe Biden is set to mark the latest tragic milestone of Covid deaths in the US on Monday night, with a candlelit commemoration and moment of silence for the 500,000 who will have lost their lives. With the heart-wrenching landmark approaching, the White House is preparing for a sunset ceremony focused on those who have died and their grieving loved ones. With his wife, Jill Biden, Vice-president Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, by his side, the president is expected to echo the commemoration held for Covid victims at the Lincoln Memorial the night before his inauguration. He said then: “To heal we must remember.”

Shortnews

Tiger Woods

He doesn't remember driving the day of crash: sheriff

Tiger Woods told authorities that he did not remember driving the day he was seriously injured in a one-car wreck after an accident on a California road, according to an affidavit obtained by USA Today Sports. Woods was initially unconscious when he was found in his crashed vehicle, according to the affidavit, which was filed to obtain a search warrant for the “black box” in Woods’s car. "Driver said he did not know and did not even remember driving ... Driver was treated for his injuries at the hospital and was asked there again how the collision occurred. He repeated that he did not know and did not remember driving,” the affidavit read.

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Tiger Woods

He doesn't remember driving the day of crash: sheriff

Tiger Woods told authorities that he did not remember driving the day he was seriously injured in a one-car wreck after an accident on a California road, according to an affidavit obtained by USA Today Sports. Woods was initially unconscious when he was found in his crashed vehicle, according to the affidavit, which was filed to obtain a search warrant for the “black box” in Woods’s car.

"Driver said he did not know and did not even remember driving ... Driver was treated for his injuries at the hospital and was asked there again how the collision occurred. He repeated that he did not know and did not remember driving,” the affidavit read.

According to the newspaper, Woods later repeated this statement at the hospital. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Johann Schoegl, who submitted the affidavit, said he believed information on the black box, such as the speed the car was traveling when it crashed, would aid in determining the cause of the crash.

"If somebody is involved in a traffic collision, we've got to reconstruct the traffic collision, if there was any reckless driving, if somebody was on their cell phone or something like that. We determine if there was a crime. If there was no crime, we close out the case, and it was a regular traffic collision," Schoegl said this week after the search warrant was executed.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said that although a search warrant was requested, the investigation into Woods’s crash was not criminal in nature.

“The investigators in the accident, or in the collision, they did a search warrant to seize in essence the black box of the vehicle,’’ Villanueva said Wednesday. “And that’s all it is. And they’re going to go through it and see if they can find out what was the performance of the vehicle, what was happening at the time of impact.”

Villanueva added that Woods was “in good spirits,” saying it was “a good sign.”

Climate Change · Bioterrorism

Bill Gates names the next two monster disasters

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates famously predicted an infectious virus was likely to kill millions of people across the globe five years before COVID-19 did just that. “If anything kills over 10 million people in the next few decades, it’s most likely to be a highly infectious virus rather than a war,” Gates said during a 2015 Ted Talk. “We’ve actually invested very little in a system to stop an epidemic. We’re not ready for the next epidemic,” he warned.

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Climate Change · Bioterrorism

Bill Gates names the next two monster disasters

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates famously predicted an infectious virus was likely to kill millions of people across the globe five years before COVID-19 did just that. “If anything kills over 10 million people in the next few decades, it’s most likely to be a highly infectious virus rather than a war,” Gates said during a 2015 Ted Talk. “We’ve actually invested very little in a system to stop an epidemic. We’re not ready for the next epidemic,” he warned.

Now the billionaire philanthropist has spoken on what the next big crisis facing humanity could be. During an interview on Derek Muller’s YouTube channel Veritasium, Gates pointed out two prominent threats facing the modern world: climate change and bioterrorism.

“Every year that [climate change] would be a death toll even greater than we've had in this pandemic,” Gates said during the interview.

“Also, related to pandemics is something people don’t like to talk about much, which is bioterrorism, that somebody who wants to cause damage could engineer a virus. So that means the chance of running into this is more than just naturally caused epidemics like the current one,” he said.

While Gates said there will certainly be more pandemics in the future, he said humanity could increase its preparedness for one to the point where the world would never have a death toll anywhere near what is occurring today with the coronavirus outbreak, which has infected more than 27 million people and killed more than 2.3 million around the globe.

“Pandemics can be worse in terms of the fatalities. Smallpox was over 30 percent fatality,” Gates said. “We were lucky that the fatality here is not, not super high, but we can nip in the bud...the number of deaths with the right system should be a tenth of what we’ve seen here.”

Gates said the world could prepare for the next pandemic by advancing mRNA research, the technology used in the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, increasing testing to 10 million PCR tests a day and making more investments in diagnostic machines and therapeutics.

Formel 1

Alonso kehrt zu Renault zurück

Der Spanier Fernando Alonso soll übereinstimmenden Medienberichten zufolge 2021 sein Formel-1-Comeback geben. Der zweimalige Weltmeister hat bereits einen Vertrag unterschrieben und soll in der nächsten Saison wieder für Renault fahren. Der 38-Jährige würde demnach das Cockpit von Daniel Ricciardo übernehmen, der zu McLaren wechselt. Alonso wurde mit Renault 2005 und 2006 Weltmeister. Sein letztes Formel-1-Rennen hatte der Asturier beim Saisonfinale 2018 in Abu Dhabi bestritten. Seitdem war er unter anderem in der Rallye Dakar aktiv.

Election 2020

Smartmatic

Lou Dobbs, and the most problematic claims Trump allies made about voting machines

Lou Dobbs is out at Fox Business, just a day after the voting machine company Smartmatic filed a $2.7 billion lawsuit against him, the cable news network and several purveyors of the debunked theory that its technology was used to commit massive voter fraud. The ouster of Dobbs, who was Fox Business’s top-rated host, is merely the latest evidence of the very real impact of the legal threats from Smartmatic and another voting machine company, Dominion.


Impeachment

Trump legal switch hints at larger problems

Former President Trump abruptly changed his legal team over the weekend, underscoring his difficulties in putting together a strong defense just a week before his impeachment trial is to begin. The president announced late Sunday that his legal defense will be led by attorneys David Schoen and Bruce Castor, two figures involved in controversial cases in the past.

After Capitol riot

Tens of thousands of voters drop Republican Party

More than 30,000 voters who had been registered members of the Republican Party have changed their voter registration in the weeks after a mob of pro-Trump supporters attacked the Capitol — an issue that led the House to impeach the former president for inciting the violence. The massive wave of defections is a virtually unprecedented exodus that could spell trouble for a party that is trying to find its way after losing the presidential race and the Senate majority.


Conspiracy

QAnon thinks Donald Trump will become president again on March 4

Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 19th president of the United States on March 4, 2021. This is the latest conspiracy that QAnon followers have embraced in the wake of President Joe Biden’s inauguration last week, and extremist experts are worried that it highlights the way QAnon adherents are beginning to merge their beliefs — about the world being run by an elite cabal of cannibalistic satanist pedophiles — with even more extreme ideologies.

“The Hill We Climb”

Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem is a stunning vision of democracy

Among the firsts in Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem, “The Hill We Climb,” is the concept of democracy that it assumed. Democracy, according to the twenty-two-year-old poet, is an aspiration—a thing of the future. The word “democracy” first appears in the same verse in which Gorman refers to “a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it.” The insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th took place while Gorman was working on the poem, although the “force,” one may assume, is bigger than the insurrection—it is the Trump Presidency that made the insurrection possible, and the forces of white supremacy and inequality that enabled that Presidency itself.”

The new President

Joe Biden sworn in as 46th president on family Bible his son Beau used

Joseph Robinette Biden Jr has been sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, promising to marshal a spirit of national unity to guide the country through one of the most perilous chapters in American history. Millions of Americans watched from home as Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath of office to Biden on the steps outside the West Front of the US Capitol, just two weeks after they watched in horror as a mob of supporters loyal to his predecessor stormed the building in a violent last stand to overturn the results of the presidential election.

'We did what we came here to do'

The final lie: Donald Trump tries to recast legacy in farewell address

President Donald Trump tried to recast his legacy away from the violence of the past few weeks in his farewell address on Tuesday afternoon. As he leaves office as the only twice-impeached U.S. president, Trump portrayed his political phenomenon as a unifying one, as opposed to the vitriolic, partisan warfare he engaged in throughout his presidency and campaign. And with the memory of his supporters swarming the Capitol in a deadly attack fresh in the nation’s conscience, the president used the address to try to reframe his legacy as a rosier picture of his time in office.

The Guardian

Billionaires backed Republicans who sought to reverse US election results

An anti-tax group funded primarily by billionaires has emerged as one of the biggest backers of the Republican lawmakers who sought to overturn the US election results, according to an analysis by the Guardian. The Club for Growth has supported the campaigns of 42 of the rightwing Republicans senators and members of Congress who voted last week to challenge US election results, doling out an estimated $20m to directly and indirectly support their campaigns in 2018 and 2020, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Shortnews

Riley June Williams

Woman offered Pelosi's laptop to the Russians

Federal prosecutors are preparing to charge a 22-year-old woman with felony theft for allegedly taking a laptop from Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office, and they're urging a Harrisburg-area judge to deny her bail. Riley June Williams — who was already facing misdemeanor charges for her presence in the Capitol during the Jan. 6 attacks, while insurrectionists and rioters swarmed the building — was arrested Monday after first fleeing police.

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Riley June Williams

Woman offered Pelosi's laptop to the Russians

Federal prosecutors are preparing to charge a 22-year-old woman with felony theft for allegedly taking a laptop from Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office, and they're urging a Harrisburg-area judge to deny her bail. Riley June Williams — who was already facing misdemeanor charges for her presence in the Capitol during the Jan. 6 attacks, while insurrectionists and rioters swarmed the building — was arrested Monday after first fleeing police.

The initial evidence against her included witness testimony suggesting Riley had told friends she planned to sell Pelosi's laptop to Russian intelligence.

But the first batch of charges did not include the theft, which the FBI indicated remains under investigation.
By elevating the case against Williams, prosecutors are indicating they believe she is the culprit behind the theft of a laptop from Pelosi's office, despite conflicting indications from other rioters and social media posts. Aides to Pelosi say the laptop was only used for presentations.

The impending new charges are an indication of the fast-moving efforts by prosecutors to build on some of the quick initial charges they lodged against Capitol rioters. FBI and Justice Department officials indicated they mounted quick cases to round up some of the insurrectionists and participants in the riots and intended to add more serious charges over time.

A hearing on whether Williams should be detained while awaiting trial is scheduled for Thursday. Williams' attorney Lori Ulrich protested the delay, noting that her client has remained in jail since Monday.

According to the initial case against Williams, a former romantic partner who spoke to authorities claimed to have seen a video of Williams "taking a laptop computer or hard drive from Speaker Pelosi’s office."

"[Witness 1] stated that WILLIAMS intended to send the computer device to a friend in Russia, who then planned to sell the device to SVR, Russia’s foreign intelligence service," the agent noted. "According to [Witness 1], the transfer of the computer device to Russia fell through for unknown reasons and WILLIAMS still has the computer device or destroyed it."

"This matter remains under investigation," the agent concluded.

For now, Williams is facing charges of entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct for her actions inside the Capitol.

The agent handling Williams' case also spoke to law enforcement officials in Harrisburg who had recently interacted with Williams' parents. Williams' mother on Jan. 11 filed a suspicious persons report against the person the FBI has identified as "Witness 1." That witness is described as a former romantic partner of the suspect.

While local officers were present, Williams' mother called her via video, and officers saw her wearing a brown jacket that matched the one she was seen wearing in images from the Jan. 6 riots. Harrisburg officers also spoke with Williams' father, who said he drove with her to Washington for the protests but that they split up for the day while she joined other friends.

The pair drove home from Washington after meeting outside the Capitol.

Chad Wolf

Acting homeland security secretary to step down

Acting homeland security secretary Chad Wolf is stepping down, nine days ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration and amid widespread fears about security in the aftermath of the mob attack on the Capitol last week.

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Chad Wolf

Acting homeland security secretary to step down

Acting homeland security secretary Chad Wolf is stepping down, nine days ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration and amid widespread fears about security in the aftermath of the mob attack on the Capitol last week.

In Congress, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Monday that the House will move forward with impeaching President Trump for a second time if Vice President Pence does not seek to remove him under the 25th Amendment by Wednesday.

Her threat came shortly after House Democrats formally introduced an article of impeachment against Trump, charging him with “incitement of insurrection” for his role in the takeover of the U.S. Capitol by a violent pro-Trump mob on Wednesday.

Democrats say that measure already has 218 co-sponsors, enough to guarantee passage.

Impeachment

Dershowitz says he'd defend Trump again

Alan Dershowitz, the controversial celebrity attorney who defended President Trump during his impeachment trial, said Friday that he would be willing to defend the president again should the House impeach him a second time. Dershowitz said he did not believe Trump committed an impeachable offense in urging supporters to go to the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. The rioters eventually stormed the Capitol in what was became one of the darkest and most embarrassing episodes for the country in recent memory.

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Impeachment

Dershowitz says he'd defend Trump again

Alan Dershowitz, the controversial celebrity attorney who defended President Trump during his impeachment trial, said Friday that he would be willing to defend the president again should the House impeach him a second time. Dershowitz said he did not believe Trump committed an impeachable offense in urging supporters to go to the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. The rioters eventually stormed the Capitol in what was became one of the darkest and most embarrassing episodes for the country in recent memory.

Many observers believe Trump played a direct role in inciting the mob to attack the Capitol, and event that led to the death of a Capitol Police officer and several others, many injuries, and the evacuation of lawmakers.

House Democrats are preparing to impeach Trump and Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said he was willing to consider it on Friday morning.

But Dershowitz said it was not impeachable.

"He has not committed a constitutionally impeachable offense and I would be honored to once again defend the Constitution against partisan efforts to weaponize it for political purposes,” Dershowitz told The Hill.

Trump egged on supporters at a rally just before the Capitol was hit, urging them to “fight” while repeating his claims that a fair election he lost had been rigged.

Trump was impeached in a largely party-line vote in December 2019 for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. He was acquitted by the Senate last February, with only one GOP senator – Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) – voting to convict and remove Trump on the count of abuse of power.

It’s unclear whether a second impeachment would be successful. Sixty-six senators would need to vote in favor of removing Trump. The effort would also likely need to move quickly, given that Trump only has 12 days remaining in office.

While Dershowitz is willing to defend Trump in another impeachment trial, it’s unclear whether the other attorneys who represented him the first time would do so also.

Trump’s legal team consisted of nine lawyers, including Jay Sekulow, Trump’s personal attorney, and White House counsel Pat Cipollone and other attorneys in the White House counsel’s office.

Michigan voter fraud hearing

Flatulence, unruly drunken witness

A hearing in Michigan on Wednesday regarding voter fraud in the presidential election went viral over alleged flatulence and testimony from an unruly witness. During the nearly five-hour hearing before the Michigan state legislature, President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and other witnesses repeated debunked claims of voter fraud and election misconduct.

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Michigan voter fraud hearing

Flatulence, unruly drunken witness

A hearing in Michigan on Wednesday regarding voter fraud in the presidential election went viral over alleged flatulence and testimony from an unruly witness. During the nearly five-hour hearing before the Michigan state legislature, President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and other witnesses repeated debunked claims of voter fraud and election misconduct, according to MLive.com.

HuffPost reporter Ryan J. Reilly shared a video on Twitter of Giuliani passionately answering a question about Attorney General William Barr’s statement that federal prosecutors had not found evidence of election fraud that would influence the outcome.

During the clip, what sounds like flatulence can be heard as he’s speaking.

A second clip by Reilly was shared 2.3 million times.

Another clip from the hearing went viral of a drunken witness telling the panel baseless accusations of widespread voter fraud.

Roughly 30 seconds into the clip, she interrupts a Michigan representatives trying to ask a follow-up question to a statement she made.

Giuliani can be seen reaching over to her, tapping her arm, and then tapping the table. He appeared to be trying to get the witness' attention.

The clip has been viewed more than 17.7 million times, and the phrase “When Rudy” was trending in response.

The hearing did not show any evidence of widespread voter fraud by the time it was over, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Michigan certified President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the state last Monday, a state he won by roughly 150,000 votes.

Jen Psaki

Biden names White House press secretary

President-elect Joe Biden said Jen Psaki, a former White House communications director, will be his press secretary, one of seven women named to top communications roles Sunday.

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Jen Psaki

Biden names White House press secretary

President-elect announces seven-member all-female communications team. President-elect Joe Biden said Jen Psaki, a former White House communications director, will be his press secretary, one of seven women named to top communications roles Sunday. Ms. Psaki, who has been overseeing the confirmation process for the transition, served in several top roles in the Obama administration, including as State Department spokeswoman.

In addition to Ms. Psaki, Mr. Biden said that his White House communications director will be Kate Bedingfield, who served in the same role for his campaign. Pili Tobar will be deputy communications director, and Karine Jean-Pierre will serve as principal deputy press secretary. Ms. Tobar worked as the communications director for coalitions for Mr. Biden’s campaign, and Ms. Jean-Pierre served as chief of staff to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris during the campaign.

Symone Sanders will serve as senior adviser and chief spokesperson for Ms. Harris, and Ashley Etienne was named her communications director. Elizabeth Alexander will be communications director for first lady Jill Biden. All three served as senior advisers during the campaign.

“I am proud to announce today the first senior White House communications team comprised entirely of women,” Mr. Biden said. 

“These qualified, experienced communicators bring diverse perspectives to their work and a shared commitment to building this country back better.”