The video-streaming veteran ended a free-trial program in October. Here's how that move could affect this week's fourth-quarter earnings report.
- The Independent
US Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman argued to maintain increased law enforcement presence at the Capitol ahead of Joe Biden’s first address to Congress, following warnings from militia groups that she says want to “blow up the Capitol and kill as many members as possible” in connection with the president’s upcoming State of the Union. “So based on that information, we think that it’s prudent that Capitol Police maintain its enhanced and robust security posture until we address those vulnerabilities going forward,” she said.
- Associated Press
Qatar pledged $60 million on Thursday to help construct a natural gas pipeline running from Israel into the Gaza Strip, the Qatari government said, a project that aims to ease the energy crisis that long has afflicted the impoverished Palestinian enclave. Natural gas now flowing through a pipeline in Israel from the eastern Mediterranean will be transported via a new extension into Gaza, the Qatari Foreign Ministry announced on its website.
- The Telegraph
Angela Merkel has dismissed suggestions she should ignore her government’s guidelines and take the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine. There have been calls for Mrs Merkel to “lead by example” and be vaccinated on camera in order to dispel German public fears over the jab. But the AstraZeneca vaccine is currently only approved for under-65s in Germany, and Mrs Merkel is 66. “I do not belong to the recommended age group for AstraZeneca,” Mrs Merkel told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper. She also rejected suggestions she take the rival Pfizer jab, arguing it was “well accepted” by the German public. Mrs Merkel and other German leaders have been reluctant to be seen as jumping the queue for the vaccines, preferring to wait their turn. But there have been calls for them to set an example as widespread public resistance to the AstraZeneca jab stalls the country’s rollout. “AstraZeneca is a reliable vaccine, effective and safe, approved by the European Medical Agency and recommended in Germany up to the age of 65 years. All the authorities tell us that this vaccine can be trusted,” Mrs Merkel told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung .
Philippine police said on Thursday they were looking into a government review of thousands of killings in the country's "war on drugs", after the justice minister made an unprecedented admission to the United Nations of widespread police failures. Human Rights Watch described Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra's video statement on Wednesday as an "astounding disclosure". Guevarra's comments to the Human Rights Council mark the first time the government has publicly questioned its own narrative that the thousands of people killed in President Rodrigo Duterte's drugs war were all armed and had resisted arrest.
- The Telegraph
China is awash with propaganda declaring that poverty has been eradicated in the nation of 1.4 billion people – a sweeping assertion that has drawn doubts given the government’s criteria for making the claim. While the Chinese government has managed to pull hundreds of millions of people out of poverty in efforts to become a “moderately prosperous” country, scores still struggle to make ends meet. China defines "extreme rural poverty" as an annual per capita income of 4,000 yuan ($620 or less), or roughly $1.70 a day, compared to the World Bank’s global threshold of $1.90 a day. Experts, however, have long said that China, the world’s second-largest economy, should use a more relative poverty line to gauge the economic health of its population. The World Bank estimates about 373 million Chinese are living on less than $5.50 a day, a more comparable poverty line for an upper-middle-income country, like China. Per capita income also remains only about a quarter of that of high-income countries. In other words, on paper, China appears to have lifted many out of poverty. But in practice, it hasn’t been enough to broadly improve living standards sufficiently, especially as income inequality remains a major issue, particularly between rural and urban areas. The other concern is whether China’s measures to achieve its target of eradicating poverty by the end of last year will prove sustainable in the long run. Many people have been paid government stipends, increasing their income levels – again, on paper. While government support has been welcomed by some, there are questions on how exactly China will manage to continue to make payments. China’s state pension fund is already slated to run dry by 2035. There are also gaps in coverage – one such programme that serves as the primary safety net for some of China’s poorest people covered only 3.1 per cent of the population as of mid-2020, with monthly payments as low as around $65 a month, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank in Washington. Local officials determine which households receive payments, making the programme vulnerable to corruption. Critics have also pointed out that cash stipends could disincentivise people from working. Rural farmers, relocated from their land to modern housing blocks – a plan meant to improve their livelihoods that has backfired – have told the Telegraph that their only choice is to live off government payments as they aren’t trained for jobs available in urban areas. In some cases, these farmers have even rented out their shiny new apartments – handed out by the government in the name of poverty alleviation – returning secretly to villages and using rental income as a way to survive. So it’s unclear how sustainable China’s poverty alleviation policies will be. In many ways, the government is simply kicking the problem down the road. But here, once Chinese leaders have set a target to ‘achieve,’ there is no other option but to make that happen – even if it’s just on the surface.
- The Daily Beast
Erin Schaff/ReutersThe acting chief of the U.S. Capitol Police just came with the receipts.Testifying before a House Appropriations subcommittee about the catastrophic breakdown that allowed thousands of MAGA rioters to breach the Capitol, Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman revealed that her predecessor called the House sergeant-at-arms, Paul Irving, at 12:58 p.m. to request the National Guard as rioters breaching the building and forced lawmakers into hiding.Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, who resigned after the riot, called Irving again seven minutes later, according to phone records pulled by Pittman—and then called him at least three more times until 1:45 p.m.“When there’s a breakdown you look for those commanders with boots on the ground to provide that instruction,” Pittman said. “That did not happen, primarily because those operational commanders at the time were so overwhelmed, they started to participate and assist the officers… versus providing that guidance and direction.”First Capitol Riot Hearing Only Raised More Questions About Jan. 6The receipts–which support the narrative that a series of unanswered calls, withheld information, and conflicting orders led to complete malfunction—directly contradicted Irving’s testimony.On Tuesday, Sund testified that he asked for National Guard backup just after 1 p.m. But Irving insisted that was wrong. He said he did not remember the conversation with Sund and claimed he didn’t get an official request until “shortly before 1:30 p.m.” Troops were not approved to help overwhelmed officers at the Capitol until 2:10 p.m.“Mr. Irving stated that he was concerned about the ‘optics’ of having the National Guard present and didn’t feel that the intelligence supported it,” Sund said Tuesday. Irving, who resigned in the wake of the riot, said that was “categorically false.”On Tuesday, Irving said that if Sund, Senate sergeant-at-arms Michael Stenger, or any other leaders concluded ahead of Jan. 6 that unarmed National Guardsmen were needed, he “would not have hesitated” to ensure the reinforcement was ready.Pittman’s testimony—and her insistence that Capitol Police did everything possible to contain the insurrection—was just the latest twist in a series of finger-pointing between the top law enforcers in charge of securing the Capitol. During hearings before lawmakers this week, officials have blamed one another for the widespread failures.One failure, Pittman conceded on Thursday, was that nobody in law enforcement knew the mob would be so violent.She told lawmakers that they were prepared for militia groups, white supremacists, and other extremists to be present, but the small organization was not prepared for thousands of “everyday” Americans “who took on a mob mentality.” (Acting D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee revealed on Tuesday that the FBI intel consisted merely of an email sent on Jan. 5.)Officials believe over 10,000 demonstrators were at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and that 800 breached the building. About 1,200 police officers responded, Pittman said.She also made the stunning admission that since Jan. 6, Capitol Police have maintained heightened security because they learned that militia groups have chatted about plans to “blow up the Capitol and kill as many members as possible” in connection with the State of the Union, which has no scheduled date yet. “We know that the insurrectionists that attacked the Capitol weren’t only interested in attacking members of Congress and officers. They wanted to send a symbolic message to the nation as [to] who was in charge of that legislative process,” Pittman said. On Tuesday, Irving insisted that Capitol Police were privy to intelligence provided by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security that “did not support” the likelihood of a coordinated assault at the Capitol.An NYPD Cop’s Road From Terror ‘Victim’ to Capitol Rioter“The department was not ignorant of intelligence indicating an attack of the size and scale we encountered on the sixth. There was no such intelligence,” Pittman said Thursday. “Although we knew the likelihood for violence by extremists, no credible threat indicated that tens of thousands would attack the U.S. Capitol. Nor did the intelligence received from the FBI or any other law enforcement partner indicate such a threat.”Pittman added that because officers at the Capitol were not prepared for a violent mob, lockdown procedure was not properly executed. She added that some officers were also not sure when to use lethal force, and that radio communications between law enforcers were not robust.Five individuals died during the violent riots. Four were pro-Trump protesters, including Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt, who was shot and killed by a police officer after attempting to break into the Speaker’s Lobby. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died after allegedly clashing with rioters. In the days after the siege, at least two officers died by suicide.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.
- WBAL - Baltimore Videos
The public is one step closer to having a third coronavirus vaccine approved in the United States.
- Business Insider
An ex-girlfriend tipped off the FBI about an alleged US Capitol rioter after he called her a 'moron'
Richard Michetti was arraigned Tuesday in Philadelphia over his alleged participation in the January 6 insurrection.
The first big real-world study of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to be independently reviewed shows the shot is highly effective at preventing COVID-19, in a potentially landmark moment for countries desperate to end lockdowns and reopen economies. Up until now, most data on the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines has come under controlled conditions in clinical trials, leaving an element of uncertainty over how results would translate into the real world with its unpredictable variables. The research in Israel - two months into one of the world's fastest rollouts, providing a rich source of data - showed two doses of the Pfizer shot cut symptomatic COVID-19 cases by 94% across all age groups, and severe illnesses by nearly as much.
The Weasleys are the largest family in the series, so even the biggest fans may not have heard all these fun facts and hidden secrets about them.
- National Review
A federal judge on Tuesday indefinitely banned the Biden administration from enforcing a 100-day pause on deportations of most illegal immigrants in response to a lawsuit from Texas, which argued that the moratorium violated federal law and could saddle the state with additional costs. U.S. district judge Drew Tipton issued a preliminary injunction Tuesday, dealing a blow to President Biden’s efforts to follow through on his campaign promise to pause most deportations. The pause would not have applied to those who have engaged in terrorism or espionage or who pose a danger to national security. It would also have excluded those who were not present in the U.S. before November 1, 2020, those who agreed to waive the right to remain, and those whom the ICE director individually determined need to be removed by law. Tipton first ruled on January 26 that the pause violated federal law on administrative procedure and that the U.S. failed to show why a deportation pause was justified. He issued a temporary two-week restraining order, which was set to expire Tuesday. Texas attorney general Ken Paxton argued that Biden’s January 20 memorandum violated federal law and an agreement with the Department of Homeland Security that Texas be consulted before reducing immigration enforcement or pausing deportations. As part of the agreement, DHS must give Texas 180 days notice of any proposed change on any matter that would reduce enforcement or increase the number of “removable or inadmissible aliens” in the United States. However, the ruling does not require deportations to resume at their previous pace and immigration agencies have broad discretion in enforcing removals and processing cases. In the wake of the first ruling, authorities deported hundreds of people to Central America and 15 people to Jamaica. The administration has also continued deportations that began under the Trump administration due to a public-health law in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
- The Independent
Biden news - live: Trump Jr deposed over inaugural funds as White House defends migrant camp after AOC attack
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Some on-screen love interest age gaps are surprising, and other times, actors are almost the same age as their on-screen children.
- The Week
Articles of impeachment have been filed against South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg (R), after new evidence emerged in a fatal car crash he was involved in last September. The accident took place at around 10:30 p.m. on Sept. 12, as Ravnsborg drove home from a Republican fundraiser. Ravnsborg initially told investigators he thought he hit an animal, but after returning to the scene the next day, he found the body of 55-year-old Joseph Boever. Ravnsborg was charged with three misdemeanors last week — careless driving, driving out of his lane, and operating a motor vehicle while on his phone — and faces up to 90 days in jail and a $1,500 fine. On Tuesday, the South Dakota Department of Public Safety released video of two three-hour interviews of Ravnsborg recorded on Sept. 14 and 30. During the Sept. 30 interview, Ravnsborg is told that detectives found a pair of broken reading glasses inside his vehicle that had belonged to Boever. "His face was in your windshield, Jason," one investigator told him. "Think about that." Ravnsborg denied seeing the glasses or a bright flashlight Boever was carrying; the light was still on when detectives arrived at the scene on Sept. 13. After the interviews were made public, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) called on Ravnsborg to resign, and a bipartisan group of state lawmakers filed two articles of impeachment against him. "I do not believe Attorney General Ravnsborg belongs in prison," state Rep. Will Mortenson (R) told the Argus Leader, "but I know he does not belong in the Office of the Attorney General anymore." A private spokesman for Ravnsborg said he will not step down. Nick Nemec, Boever's cousin, told The Washington Post the videos are proof that Ravnsborg "knew there was a dead man in that ditch. He knew what he hit and he lied." Nemec said he doesn't understand why Ravnsborg was charged with misdemeanors, and had been "hoping he would be charged with involuntary manslaughter, but that didn't happen. He's grossly undercharged." More stories from theweek.comThe MyPillow guy might be Trump's ultimate chumpThe GOP's apathy for governing is being exposed5 cartoons about Andrew Cuomo's nursing home scandal
- Associated Press
A New York prosecutor has obtained copies of Donald Trump’s tax records after the Supreme Court this week rejected the former president’s last-ditch effort to prevent them from being handed over. The Manhattan district attorney’s office enforced a subpoena on Trump’s accounting firm within hours of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Monday and now has the documents in hand, a spokesperson for the office, Danny Frost, said Thursday. District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. had been fighting for a year and a half for access to Trump’s tax records for a criminal grand jury investigation into his business dealings.
- Associated Press
Bahrain’s crown prince spoke with the Israeli prime minister on Thursday about the return to nuclear talks with Iran, Bahrain’s state-run news agency reported, as the U.S. administration tries to revive the tattered 2015 nuclear accord. Bahraini Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, also the country’s prime minister, stressed to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “the importance of the participation of regional countries in any negotiations on the Iranian nuclear file” to support “security and stability in the region,” according to the official Bahrain News Agency.
Sometimes stars wear dresses and gowns designed with brides in mind on the red carpet. Sometimes they repurpose the dress they wore to their wedding.
- Associated Press
Explosive-laden drones that targeted Saudi Arabia's royal palace in the kingdom's capital last month were launched from inside Iraq, a senior Iran-backed militia official in Baghdad and a U.S. official said. Speaking to The Associated Press this week, the militia official said three drones were launched from Iraqi-Saudi border areas by a relatively unknown Iran-backed faction in Iraq and crashed into the royal complex in Riyadh on Jan. 23, exacerbating regional tensions. Attacks on the Saudi capital have been sporadic amid the kingdom's yearslong war against neighboring Yemen's Houthi rebels.
- Associated Press
Former Nissan Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa told a Japanese court Wednesday he believed the compensation for his predecessor Carlos Ghosn was too low “by international standards,” and so he supported Ghosn’s retirement packages to prevent him from leaving. “Mr. Ghosn had outstanding abilities and achievements,” Saikawa said, testifying in Tokyo District Court in the criminal trial of Greg Kelly, a former senior executive at Nissan Motor Co.
- Business Insider
Pelosi mocks McConnell for criticizing commission on the Capitol insurrection: GOP Sen. 'Ron Johnson seems to be taking the lead'
Pelosi also accidentally called the Wisconsin senator "Don" Johnson. "Not Miami Vice or anything like that?" she said, referencing a TV actor.