It was an all-hands-on-deck family affair when Adventure City finally reopened in California after being shuttered for 403 days because of the pandemic. Allan Ansdell Jr., owner of the small amusement park just a few miles from megavenues Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm in Orange County, looked on as his parents, also owners, swept the parking lot, pulled weeds and offered warm hugs to rehired employees. Trina, Ansdell Jr.’s wife, who oversees human resources, wiped dust from colorful balloons and disinfected rails and shields around the rides.
Rescuers continued an urgent search Friday for an Indonesian submarine that disappeared two days ago and has less than a day's supply of oxygen left for its 53 crew. The KRI Nanggala 402 went missing after its last reported dive Wednesday off the resort island of Bali, and concern is mounting the submarine may have sunk in waters too deep to reach or recover. President Joko Widodo has asked all Indonesian people to pray for the crew’s safe return, while ordering all-out efforts to locate the stricken submarine.
A former Venezuelan attorney general who defied President Nicolas Maduro by siding with his opponents has been implicated in a major corruption case involving a Venezuelan businessman who this week pleaded guilty to paying $1 million in bribes, two people familiar with the case said Thursday. The former official, Luisa Ortega, isn't mentioned by name in the Miami federal case. The unnamed Venezuelan official is Ortega, the two people familiar with the case said.
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photos GettyThe graffiti on a port-a-potty in a gravel pit was, in the opinion of one Washington state resident, a sign that anti-fascists might blow up a nearby dam. Another local was convinced that a young man reading signs was actually an “Antifa or BLM scout.” A third person warned, via an anonymous email tip, that her ex-husband was part of an anti-fascist group that was coming to burn down the town.All these complaints were forwarded throughout police ranks in Washington, where officials urged vigilance against the leftist threat.As racial justice protests flared across the country in summer 2020, so did conservative fears of leftist protesters. From Oregon to Virginia, social media lit up with rumors about anti-fascists (“antifa”) or Black Lives Matter participants, who were allegedly coming to terrorize small towns.Anacortes, a scenic city of 17,000 in coastal Washington, was no exception. From June to August 2020, the city’s police department received repeated tips about supposed antifa threats, according to police documents obtained by the government transparency nonprofit Property of the People and shared with The Daily Beast. Even some of the most absurd claims found their way up to state-level law enforcement, those documents show.Ryan Shapiro, executive director of Property of the People, reiterated that the complaints came amid a summer of rumors and innuendo about antifa and Black Lives Matter. After fresh fears circulated in some conservative channels and law enforcement warned about the potential for mass unrest in the wake of the verdict in the Derek Chauvin murder case in Minnesota, it’s safe to say that chatter has not subsided.20-Year-Old MAGA Politician’s War on Antifa Backfires Horribly“Conservative and law enforcement panic about antifa and BLM hasn’t gone anywhere,” Shapiro told The Daily Beast. “These documents aren’t even a year old, and we’ve had an attempted coup in the interim. It’s not like tensions have cooled. We now have tens of millions of people collectively consumed by manufactured paranoia about social justice movements, who also believe the presidential election was stolen with the aid of antifa and BLM. We’re likely to see a new round of mass protests against police violence, and I expect the right-wing response will in some ways be even more ferocious than last year.”The documents, obtained via Freedom of Information request, reveal the absurdity of some of last year’s complaints.In mid-June, an Anacortes resident contacted the local Skagit County Sheriff’s Office via the neighborhood-based social network NextDoor. She and her neighbors often held tail gates where “we all fly the American Flag. We are very peaceful. We have signs like Support your Local Police, Support our Troops, Defend the Police, Proud to be an American, Home of the Free Because of the Brave etc,” she wrote.But on a recent weekend, she continued, “there was a young man with very short bleached blond hair who walked around in the street right in front of us and read every one of our signs. Paticularly [sic] the Support your Local Police. He had a mean look on his face and looked inside my Jeep where the tail gate was up and he could see more of our signs and American Flags.“Then he ran across the street and got in a car with someone else and drove off. I have never seen him before. I thought it was odd but one of our group is a retired school principal and very astute. He, with all confidence said that the young man was an Antifa or BLM scout. When he said that to me it immediately rang true and I was quite sure he was right.”Do you know something we should about the far right, or how police respond to the left? Email Kelly.Weill@TheDailyBeast.com or securely at email@example.com from a non-work device.She said she hoped “Antifa or BLM does not come to Anacortes to harass us or put people in danger. Is there any way you can check up on their plans?”The Skagit County Sheriff forwarded the message to the Anacortes Police Department. The sheriff’s office told The Daily Beast they’d forwarded the message because the tipster lived in Anacortes.Mid-June was a popular month for rumors about the left. The following day, the Anacortes Police Department received its own tip, this one anonymous, from someone who claimed that “my ex husband is in a group with antifa. He called me and said do not go anywhere. stay home on Sunday because they are coming to Anacortes to break up a group on Commmercial [sic] street on sunday. I love Anacortes. I left Seattle to live a better life here with my kids. And I do not want anacorte burned up and people hurt and cops hurt.”Anacortes Police Chief John Small then forwarded both tips to sheriffs, chiefs, and detectives at five local law enforcement agencies, plus a commander and a sergeant with the Washington State Patrol.“I received the below e-mail from Undersheriff Clark yesterday which was interesting,” Small wrote, adding, “Today I received the attached anonymous letter alluding to Antifa coming to Anacortes this Sunday to wreak their havoc [...] We will be increasing our staffing on Sunday, but in reality it’s still not many people. If we start to yell for help on the radio I didn’t want it to be a surprise.”Contacted by The Daily Beast, Small said none of those supposed threats were ever substantiated, but that it wasn’t unusual for police to forward tips among law enforcement agencies.“I can’t speak for all law enforcement in our state, but all the agencies in Skagit County are small agencies and we commonly share this type of information since we rely on each other for ‘mutual aid’ in response to a significant event,” Small told The Daily Beast.Washington was not the only state to see law enforcement bombarded with antifa rumors online. In Coquille, Oregon, last summer, a sheriff helped fan antifa fears when he posted on Facebook that “3 buss [sic] loads of ANTIFA protestors are making their way from Douglas County headed for Coquille then to Coos Bay.” The fabled buses never appeared. And when a hoaxer publicized a fake antifa flag-burning event in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in July, police arrived at the scene that was overrun with far-right groups who had come to oppose the left.The following month, another alleged antifa threat, even wilder than the others, found its way to the Skagit County Sheriff, documents show. In this case, it involved two overturned port-a-potties in a gravel pit near a boat launch in Concrete, Washington.One of the port-a-potties had been spray painted with the acronym “ACAB,” short for “all cops are bastards.” The other was tagged with an A in a circle, an anarchist symbol. But where some observers might have seen common vandalism symbols, the tipster who photographed the port-a-potties saw something more ominous—maybe even part of a plot to blow up a dam.Columbus Police Fatally Shoot a Person as Chauvin Guilty Verdict Comes Down“Looks like Antifa has been up to Lake Shannon,” the tipster wrote in an email that was forwarded to the Skagit County Sheriff. “That’s incredibly worrisome. The anarchy symbol, ‘ACAB’ (all cops are bastards)... that’s an Antifa signature. Too close to town, for sure... but really worrisome when you consider Antifa is now using explosives in cities, organizing with firearms, and... by being at the lake, they were right next to the dam. Just sayin’. Can'tbe [sic] too careful, you know? Not in these times.”A sergeant ordered the area to be monitored, claiming that anti-fascists might have previously used the gravel pit as a “training area.”“Please be aware that there have been some antifa type graffiti at the Lake Shannon boat launch and surrounding area,” the sergeant wrote. “Please monitor the area and be careful. A few years ago we had information that some of them were using the pit for training purposes.”When reached for comment, a Skagit County Sheriff spokesperson told The Daily Beast the department did not have any information about incidents at the gravel pit.Shapiro stressed that, while the complaints were far-fetched, they indicated a populace on edge about vague threats, and police departments receptive to those fears. And that has ominous implications as protesters once again take to the streets in large numbers—and police show signs of harsh tactics.“When individuals and law enforcement have been whipped into such a paranoid frenzy that they’re primed to see ‘antifa’ or ‘BLM’ terrorist conspiracies literally in the toilet, the situation is a powder keg,” Shapiro said. “There’s a direct line from this sort of deliberately induced political hysteria to violent, repressive crackdowns on progressive dissent.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
Fox NewsFox News host Greg Gutfeld criticized his own network’s safety protocols amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic Thursday, calling on Fox to allow the hosts of late-afternoon panel show The Five to disregard the “legal B.S.” and immediately return to filming in a studio together. Likening remote filming to being in a “batting cage” when he’d rather “be passing the ball around,” Gutfeld railed at his network’s work-from-home orders.“Let’s get back in the studio,” he said. “There is no science. We have the vaccines and we have the rapid testing. There is no reason for us to be doing this all the time, unless it’s legal B.S. Which is probably the case for everything in life. We are controlled by lawyers.”Gutfeld bashed President Joe Biden’s warning that vaccine hesitancy could result in extended COVID-19 restrictions on Thursday’s broadcast, grousing that “this is an indoor illness, not an outdoor illness” before taking shots at Fox’s own guidelines. Though Gutfeld has said he does not believe vaccination should be required of anyone, he argued that since he and the majority of his co-hosts had in fact been vaccinated, they should be allowed the privilege of gathering. “We are hypocrites when we are giving our own advice on this,” he declared. “Because all of us, I believe, have been vaccinated. Some of us have gotten COVID and been vaccinated, which essentially makes you superhuman.”While many Fox News programs have returned to their respective studios, The Five has been filming from remote locations for several months. After returning to its New York location in September—this time with the hosts all sitting at least six feet apart—the show reverted to remote broadcasts in December after regular co-host Juan Willams contracted coronavirus.“Lecturing people on the science as we are sitting in our isolated boxes, is it really correct?” Gutfeld added. “I think that it’s like, we have to send a message. I mean, what message are we sending by being separate right now? I think it is time to return to the studio.”After guest host Martha MacCallum seemed to cheer him on, saying “there we go,” Gutfeld said he felt they needed to look “at each other in the eye when we are talking so we know we are not interrupting each other.”Just last month, Lachlan Murdoch, CEO of Fox News parent company Fox Corp., sent out a company-wide memo informing all employees that they would continue working remotely throughout the spring and summer and that they should not expect to return to offices until after Labor Day.The Daily Beast has reached out to Fox News for a response to Gutfeld’s remarks.At the end of the segment, meanwhile, co-host Dagen McDowell pointed out that the only reason she had not yet been vaccinated was that she only recently recovered from a bout with COVID-19. “I will be getting vaccinated, and it’s not political. I tell everybody to do it,” she added.Dana Perino, another regular co-host of The Five, also recently posted a “vaccine selfie” on social media, as did with Fox News anchor Bret Baier.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.
President Biden has chosen Rick Spinrad, a professor of oceanography at Oregon State University, as his pick to lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Spinrad has spent more than three decades as an ocean scientist, serving as NOAA's chief scientist during the Obama administration and in leadership positions at the U.S. Office of Naval Research and Oceanographer of the Navy. The NOAA houses the National Weather Service and is responsible for most of the country's climate science research. The White House has requested from Congress $6.9 billion to fund NOAA, with much of it going to pay for climate science research, Axios reports. More stories from theweek.comJoe Manchin lives on a boat in Washington — and protesters are reportedly headed there7 cartoons about Derek Chauvin being found guiltyIntelligence director says climate change is now 'at the center' of U.S. foreign policy
The parents of missing California college student Kristin Smart on Thursday sued the father of the man charged with killing their daughter nearly 25 years ago. The lawsuit filed in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court said Smart's body was buried in Ruben Flores's backyard and he moved the body “under cover of darkness” to another location a few days after investigators searched his property in February 2020. Ruben Flores, 80, pleaded not guilty to accessory after murder on Monday, and his son, Paul Flores, 44, pleaded not guilty to murder.
Cook County’s top prosecutor said Thursday she bears the responsibility for not viewing the footage of 13-year-old Adam Toledo’s fatal shooting or reviewing the misleading description of his killing by Chicago police before it was read by prosecutors in court. State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said during interviews with local media that she is responsible for anything that comes from the state’s attorney’s office, including the prosecution's inaccurate initial description of the incident that implied Toledo was holding a gun when he was fatally shot. “In this instance, the public was relying on information that our office presented to the court and the media relied upon that wasn’t fully accurate,” Foxx said.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg sees climate change as "a defining challenge for our generation and a crisis multiplier," and wants the alliance to play a key role in understanding the best way to fight it, while also adapting operations and reducing military emissions. In an article for Politico Europe, Stoltenberg wrote that climate change is "making the world a more dangerous place." Rising sea levels and extreme weather are "devastating communities, increasing competition for scarce resources, and fueling tensions and conflict," he added. "That's why it's so crucial that NATO sets the gold standard on climate change and security, and then takes action to address it. Climate change threatens global security, so NATO must be part of the response." On Thursday, Stoltenberg attended the U.S. Leaders Summit on climate change at the invitation of President Biden and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. NATO allies agreed to an "ambitious agenda on climate and security" in February, and Stoltenberg said he expects NATO leaders to approve an action plan at a summit later this year. The plan would task NATO with using its "unique capacities and expertise to monitor and track climate change," Stoltenberg said, investing in more research and sharing data. NATO soldiers and equipment are facing extreme heat and cold, with critical infrastructure also exposed — the U.S. Department of Defense has found climate change threatens the naval base in Norfolk, Virginia, which also houses NATO commands. There will be an assessment of the impact of climate change on NATO assets and installations, Stoltenberg said, and training and exercises will be adapted. NATO will also decrease its dependence on fossil fuels and prioritize sustainable technologies. "Climate change is a generational challenge that requires a global solution, and NATO is a powerful platform for Europe and North America to tackle shared security challenges together," Stoltenberg said. More stories from theweek.comJoe Manchin lives on a boat in Washington — and protesters are reportedly headed there7 cartoons about Derek Chauvin being found guiltyIntelligence director says climate change is now 'at the center' of U.S. foreign policy
LOS ANGELES (AP) — “Jersey Shore” star Ronnie Ortiz-Magro was arrested Thursday for investigation of felony domestic violence, police said. Ortiz-Magro, 35, was arrested in the coastal Playa del Rey section of Los Angeles, LAPD Officer William Cooper said. Police said Ortiz-Magro was arrested on suspicion of violating a California law covering violence against intimate partners.
A Pentagon panel is recommending that decisions to prosecute service members for sexual assault be made by independent authorities, not commanders, in what would be a major reversal of military practice and a change long sought by Congress members, The Associated Press has learned. The recommendation by an independent review commission created by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin goes against decades of vehement Pentagon arguments to keep cases within the chain of command. It was among a number of initial recommendations delivered to Austin on Thursday, according to two senior defense officials.
Just a few months ago, California was the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. Hospitals in Los Angeles were drowning in patients, and ambulances were idling outside with people struggling to breathe, waiting for beds to open. Now as cases spike in other parts of the country, California has gone from worst to first with the lowest infection rate in the U.S. even as it has moved quickly to reopen more businesses with greater customer counts and allow larger gatherings. Where people lined up hours and counties struggled to get doses, there now appears to be a glut of the shots in many locations.