Germany is in a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic, Chancellor Angela Merkel told lawmakers in her conservative party, two sources at the meeting told Reuters on Tuesday. "We are now in the third wave," they quoted her as saying and said she warned that any easing of lockdown measures introduced late last year and extended until March 7 would have to be done carefully and gradually. The closure of all non-essential businesses and border controls with Austria and the Czech Republic, where there have been outbreaks linked to a more infectious variant of the virus, have helped Germany bring down new daily COVID-19 infections.
A chip shortage is biting at Japan's big carmakers. Output dropped sharply in January as semiconductors ran short. Overall production was down just over 4.5% on the year. But some makers were hit much harder. Subaru said production fell over 29%. At Honda the decline was almost 9%. In both cases the downturn was mostly due to the silicon drought. Carmakers around the world have been affected. Chips are in short supply as a result of booming sales of consumer electronics. People stuck at home have been snapping up new gadgets. U.S. sanctions on Chinese chip factories have added to the problem. The effects are not evenly felt, however. Nissan and Toyota both eked out production gains in January. Suzuki and Mazda saw production fall, but didn't blame the chip shortage.
The U.S. Transportation Department's inspector general faulted "weaknesses" in U.S. government certification of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft that was grounded for 20 months after two crashes killed 346 people, according to a report released Wednesday. The 63-page report said the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) did not have a complete understanding of a Boeing Co safety system tied to both crashes and said "much work remains" to address outstanding issues. Boeing said it has "undertaken significant changes to reinforce our safety practices, and we have already made progress" on recommendations outlined in the report.
Malaysia has defied a court order to halt the deportation of Myanmar nationals, sending 1,086 people back to their homeland.The Myanmar citizens were sent back on Tuesday on three navy ships sent by the country's military, which seized power in a Feb. 1 coup. Malaysia had initially said it would deport 1,200 Myanmar citizens. It also vowed not to deport Rohingya Muslims or refugees registered with the U.N. High Commission for Refugees - or UNHCR. But the agency has said at least six people registered with it are among the deportees. Refugee groups also say asylum seekers from the minority Chin, Kachin, and non-Rohingya Muslim communities are also fleeing conflict and persecution at home and they are among those being deported. Malaysia's Immigration Department Director-General said the repatriated Myanmar citizens did not include Rohingya refugees or asylum-seekers.He said, quote, "all those returned had agreed to be sent back voluntarily without being forced by any party." He did not respond to queries on why the repatriation was carried out despite the halt ordered by the Kuala Lumpur High Court. The court had granted a stay until 10 a.m. on Wednesday local time, when it was scheduled to hear an application by rights groups for a judicial review to suspend the deportation.Those deported had been detained for immigration offences. Malaysia does not formally recognize refugees, treating them as undocumented migrants.The Southeast Asian nation is home to more than 154,000 asylum seekers from Myanmar.
The Martin County Sheriff's Office said officials received calls on Sunday (February 21) of a "distressed vessel" trying to reach the shore in St. Lucie County.While on their way to the scene, a wave hit the vessel causing it to capsize.Authorities and civilians helped rescued the six men and two pregnant women, the sheriff's office said, adding they were taken to the hospital and are in stable condition."Federal authorities will now determine if any further immigration action will be taken," the office wrote on their Facebook page.
U.S. President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that he and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau agreed to work toward achieving net zero emissions by 2050. "We're launching a high-level, climate-ambition ministerial and to align our policies and our goals to achieve net zero emissions by 2050," Biden said in a speech following a bilateral meeting with the Canadian leader. U.S. Special Climate Change Envoy John Kerry and his Canadian counterpart, Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, will host the ministerial.
Greene and Rep. Marie Newman were sparring over the Equality Act, which would ban discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.
China ended its one-child policy in 2015, but it's still struggling with declining birth rates and an aging population.
Cantwell went viral after he posted a YouTube video of himself crying and pleading with police not to hurt him.
Richard Michetti was arraigned Tuesday in Philadelphia over his alleged participation in the January 6 insurrection.
The Perseverance rover wasted no time snapping photos on Mars. NASA scientists stitched together 142 of them to create a high-definition panorama.
In a new interview on "The Kelly Clarkson Show," first lady Jill Biden offered the singer advice about healing after divorce and finding love again.
Abolish Northern Ireland Protocol, Tory MPs demand Fears of more chaos as summer exams will be voluntary Nicola Sturgeon 'acting like tin pot dictator' over Salmond scandal Coronavirus latest news: Vaccine passports to get extra push by European tourist destinations Subscribe to The Telegraph for a month-long free trial The Government's plan to replace exams with teacher assessment is "not ideal" but "the best we can do" in the situation, the schools standards minister has admitted. Nick Gibb this morning defended the move to full teacher assessment instead of summer exams, saying it was "the only fair system" given the disruption students have faced in the last year. The minister - who was the main cheerleader of the infamous algorithm used last summer arguing they would prevent unsustainable grade inflation - insisted the new plan included "a whole raft of measures to make sure grades are a fair reflection" of each student's work. He confirmed the Telegraph's story that Sir Jon Coles has quit his role as part of an education recovery committee amid concerns the plan would cause chaos, telling Sky News: "He thought the exam materials that we were making available to teachers… as part of the range of evidence to exam boards, he wanted that to be compulsory, mandatory. "We asked that in consultation and consultation was very clear they should be optional, not mandatory." Sir Jon, a former director general at the Department for Education, who was on the Ofqual committee advising on exams, has warned the proposals "risk an outcome... much worse than last year". Follow the latest updates below.
Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he’s concerned Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plan to establish a commission to probe the assault on the U.S. Capitol would be overly “partisan.”
The Democratic operative criticised the Senator’s daughter for receiving a pay increase as a CEO
Jim Watson./GettyLouis DeJoy had a defiant message on Wednesday for those craving to see him ousted as U.S. Postmaster General: “Get used to me.”The comment came after Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) asked the embattled U.S. Postal Service chief how long he would remain as Postmaster General—“long time,” DeJoy spat back—during a Wednesday hearing in the House Oversight Committee.That exchange was indicative of the entire proceeding, which was frequently chippy, combative, and fueled by Democratic lawmakers’ outrage over DeJoy’s handling of the USPS at a time of worsening mail delays and difficult questions about the service’s long-term viability.DeJoy’s crack to Cooper made Democrats’ blood boil even more. But he may have a point, at least for now: because the postmaster general is installed by the service’s board of governors—and not by the president—it means that President Joe Biden, or Congress, cannot fire DeJoy even if they wanted to.His removal would only be possible when Biden fills Democratic vacancies on the USPS Board of Governors, which has the authority to hire and fire postmasters general. Confirming those spots in the Senate will take time, though the Washington Post reported on Wednesday that Biden has identified three nominees to move forward.In the meantime, though, Democratic lawmakers are working with DeJoy on urgent legislation to reform the agency’s finances and employee pension burden, even while many publicly call for his resignation.To many Democrats, DeJoy’s performance on Wednesday on Capitol Hill may make that balancing act harder: they found much to dislike not only in what the postmaster general said, but how he said it.“I gotta say—I just don’t think the postmaster gets it,” said Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), a member of the Oversight Committee who questioned DeJoy on Wednesday about the agency’s delivery standards. “I think it’s time for him to go.”“I thought he approached a lot of our questions with that exact same attitude, which was one of sneering condescension,” Krishnamoorthi told The Daily Beast after the hearing, invoking DeJoy’s response to Cooper. “That’s not gonna fly, man. Not gonna fly.”Wednesday’s hearing was the second time in DeJoy’s short tenure that he has been subjected to a high-profile grilling in the House Oversight Committee. Shortly after taking the USPS’ top job in June 2020, delays and irregularities quickly began to mount—a particularly alarming development for lawmakers on the eve of an election in which more voters than ever planned to vote by mail.Biden to Nominate 3 New USPS Board Members, Opening Path to Oust DeJoyIn a contentious August 2020 hearing, Democrats interrogated the former logistics executive and GOP mega-donor on everything from cuts in overtime hours to the price of a stamp. Questioning from Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) produced a memorable DeJoy response: “I will submit that I know very little about postage and stamps.”By the time House Democrats called DeJoy back to Capitol Hill this week, their worst fears about the USPS delays’ impact on the voting system had failed to materialize. But they still had plenty of questions about DeJoy’s stewardship of the USPS: in October, the USPS inspector general issued a report finding that the changes DeJoy made to delivery schedules and protocol led to the worsening delays. Already battered by the pandemic, the USPS limped into a busy holiday season, and is now providing the poorest service that many longtime observers of the agency have ever seen.Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), a member of the Oversight panel, was a 29-year veteran of the USPS before she came to Congress. She told The Daily Beast after the hearing that she has never seen the service in such dire straits as it is now: “I don’t think we’ve ever confronted this,” she said.The unprecedented delays are happening around the country. In Washington, D.C., just 40 percent of all first-class mail arrived on time by the end of December 2020—compared to nearly 90 percent the same time the year before. Chicago residents are receiving holiday packages a month-and-a-half late. Lawmakers are inundated with calls and emails from frustrated constituents looking for answers; this week, 33 senators signed a letter to DeJoy asking him to explain the recent delays.DeJoy apologized for those delays at the top of Wednesday’s hearing. “We must acknowledge that during this peak season we fell far short of meeting our service goals,” he said. “I apologize to those customers who felt the impact of our delays"But Lawrence expressed concern about DeJoy’s forthcoming “strategic plan” to get the USPS through this difficult stretch. Though the postmaster general has not revealed specifics, he testified on Wednesday that he will propose cuts to delivery standards, including the standard that local mail be delivered within two days. Democrats believe that would be a disastrous move at a time when the USPS is struggling to compete with private-sector competitors, particularly if it is coupled with consumer cost increases, which DeJoy has suggested.“To say that’s what’s bold and needed… that’s not leadership,” said Lawrence. “He has to prove himself. He heard us loud and clear, that he needs to prove himself.”The Michigan Democrat stopped short of saying that DeJoy deserved removal, and told The Daily Beast that she and other Democrats are working with the USPS on postal reform legislation. On Wednesday, CNN reported that Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) was supportive of working with DeJoy to pass reforms.In the wake of the new political reality in Washington, the postmaster general has begun to attempt outreach to Democratic lawmakers. Lawrence said that during the last administration, DeJoy did not take her calls or respond to her—but after the 2020 election, they had a “cordial” call.Other Democrats see any charm offensive as too little, too late. Krishnamoorthi said he is supportive of working with whatever USPS leadership is in office in order to pass reforms, but argued that DeJoy should go as soon as is possible.Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), a senior member of the Oversight Committee, issued a statement after DeJoy’s hearing hailing Biden’s nomination of three appointees to the USPS Board of Governors—and explicitly stated his hope they would remove DeJoy. “These nominations are an important first step toward reforming the Postal Service,” said Connolly. “My hope is the newly constituted Board will do the right thing and bring in a new, qualified Postmaster General.”A majority of the nine-member board would be required to support DeJoy’s removal. Currently, there are four Republican appointees, and two Democratic appointees. If all Biden’s choices are confirmed, Democrats would hold a majority on the board.The Republicans on the Oversight Committee had questions for DeJoy about mail delays, but largely cast him as a victim in an anti-Trump Democratic crusade. Rep. James Comer (R-KY), the top Republican on the panel, compared the party’s concerns about USPS delays—and Trump’s potential role in those delays—to the Trump impeachment investigation he said was predicated on “baseless conspiracies.”Far-right Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), meanwhile, suggested that the root cause of USPS delays was actually the Black Lives Matter protests that took place over the summer, and read articles from fringe outlets like the Gateway Pundit to prove his point. And Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) raised the unfounded belief in widespread conspiracies about election fraud while saying it was not time to get into “specifics.”At one point, tempers flared when Connolly said that Republicans who voted to object to the Electoral College certification on Jan. 6 had “no right to lecture” anyone on the dangers of partisanship.Democrats left more concerned about the fate of the USPS, however, than the state of things in Congress. “It’s not some theoretical concept,” said Krishnamoorthi. “It’s not some abstract issue, it’s real for every single one of us… I’ve gotta tell you, people are starting to work around the mail, which is a scary concept.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
Heidi Cruz’s ‘high powered’ role on her husband’s campaign trail prompts comparisons with Hillary Clinton
A TikTok audio called "hey lol" by user khaleel mashes up the PornHub intro music and "Redbone" by Childish Gambino, and it's become a prank.
Accusing Jim Jordan of ‘gaslighting,’ Gerry Connolly said ‘I didn’t vote to overturn an election and I will not be lectured by people who did about partisanship’
Amazon workers told Vice they feel higher-ups directed them to mail ballots at the mailbox to "monitor us and gauge how many people are using" it.