Beijing is pressing for a meeting of its top diplomat with senior Biden aides to explore a summit between the two nations’ leaders, highlighting China’s hopes to quickly stabilize a rocky relationship with Washington.
- Associated Press
Don't tell Clemson coach Dabo Swinney he has anything to worry about without offensive stars and team leaders in quarterback Trevor Lawrence and tailback Travis Etienne on the Tigers. “There's nobody that's left our program that we can't go into the locker room and replace,” Swinney said with a smile. Clemson seemlessly moved from quarterbacks Tajh Boyd to Deshaun Watson to Lawrence.
Marvel Studios president hints 'we probably could' see characters like Jessica Jones again 'someday' in the MCU
"I'm not exactly sure...but perhaps someday," Kevin Feige said of the possibility that Netflix or ABC characters would enter the MCU.
- Yahoo News
Mitch McConnell: Nancy Pelosi's plan for investigating the Capitol attack is a 'bizarre partisan concept'
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 Independent
Biden news - live: Trump Jr deposed over inaugural funds as White House defends migrant camp after AOC attack
Follow all the latest news from the White House
- Raleigh News and Observer
“I definitely threw a wrench in the team’s plan.”
- The Telegraph
The chorus of banging pots and pans begins in Chinatown at about 8pm. The district in Myanmar's commercial city of Yangon is normally festooned with bright red lanterns to celebrate Chinese New Year. But when the Year of the Ox arrived in mid-February, the usual festive atmosphere was gone - replaced by a tension in the air. Here, and across the country, swelling ranks of young ethnic Chinese protesters are joining mass rallies against the brutal junta that abruptly deposed Aung San Suu Kyi's government. Many are united by rumours, circulated widely among the protest movement, that China is helping the regime install a repressive new internet system akin to one across the border that severely restricts online freedoms behind a 'Great Firewall'.
- Associated Press
Twenty20 specialist Mohammad Hafeez has declined a central contract offer from the Pakistan Cricket Board. The allrounder “politely turned down” a contract offer in category C for 2020-21, the cricket board said Wednesday. “While I am disappointed, I fully respect his decision,” PCB chief executive Wasim Khan said in a statement.
India announced an expansion of its COVID-19 vaccination programme on Wednesday but warned that breaches of coronavirus protocols could worsen an infection surge in many states. Nearly a month after the health minister declared that COVID-19 had been contained, states such as Maharashtra in the west and Kerala in the south have reported a spike in cases amid growing reluctance to wear masks and maintain social distancing. India's infections are the second highest in the world at 11.03 million, swelled by a further 13,742 in the past 24 hours, health ministry data showed.
More allegations against the US designer emerge as a student speaks to BBC News.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex say they will continue to support their royal patronages despite not being allowed to do so as royals.
Kaley Cuoco thought she was meeting with her 'Big Bang Theory' costars to discuss a 13th season - instead she found out the show was ending
The actress said she was "in a state of shock" when Jim Parsons said he wanted to leave the series, which ended the popular CBS sitcom.
- Associated Press
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman underwent a “successful surgery” to remove his appendix Wednesday, the royal court said, and he left the hospital soon after the operation. The 35-year-old prince had surgery for appendicitis at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital in the Saudi capital of Riyadh in the morning, according to the royal court. Prince Mohammed, the son of King Salman, has amassed immense powers in the kingdom since being appointed heir to the throne in 2017.
- The Week
The 'most encouraging' aspect of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine may be its effectiveness in South Africa, Brazil
The Food and Drug Administration appears to be closing in on an emergency use authorization for the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, which a large clinical trial has shown to be safe and effective. And the "most encouraging" aspect in the FDA's analysis may be the data that suggest the shot works in areas where highly contagious variants are spreading, like Brazil and South Africa. The overall efficacy rate — that is, protection against any symptomatic infection — in the South African trial was lower than it was in the United States initially, but the numbers did start to even out over time, and after a month, the shot's efficacy rate against severe infections was 82 percent. The figures out of Brazil show a similar trajectory, though the efficacy rate against severe infections was actually slightly higher than in the U.S. FDA just posted briefing documents for its expert panel discussing the J&J Covid shot Friday. This is the first clear breakdown I've seen of efficacy in areas w/ variant spread, but shows efficacy building over time: pic.twitter.com/YReI2QkvZa — Sarah Owermohle (@owermohle) February 24, 2021 Of course, the trial data is not a guarantee of the vaccine's effectiveness in a real-world setting, but the FDA's breakdown should still help alleviate growing concerns that the so-called South African variant, especially, can completely resist vaccinations, an outcome that would add to the challenge of slowing the pandemic going forward. More stories from theweek.comThe MyPillow guy might be Trump's ultimate chumpIt's been 1 year since Trump infamously tweeted the 'coronavirus is very much under control' in the U.S.Investors say Trump properties are worthless until his name is removed
The Philippines will let thousands of its healthcare workers, mostly nurses, take up jobs in Britain and Germany if the two countries agree to donate much-needed coronavirus vaccines, a senior official said on Tuesday. The Philippines, which has among Asia's highest number of coronavirus cases, has relaxed a ban on deploying its healthcare workers overseas, but still limits the number of medical professionals leaving the country to 5,000 a year. Alice Visperas, director of the labour ministry's international affairs bureau, said the Philippines was open to lifting the cap in exchange for vaccines from Britain and Germany, which it would use to inoculate outbound workers and hundreds of thousands of Filipino repatriates.
- Business Insider
Donald Trump has fought hard to keep his personal tax returns, and the Trump Organization's a secret. The Supreme Court just let prosecutors get them.
- Business Insider
A preliminary study from Israel suggests people vaccinated against COVID-19 have lower viral loads, which are linked to less spread of the virus.
- Business Insider
Several cruise trips have already been cancelled this year. See when major cruise lines plan on operating again.
Most cruises in the US won't be sailing until May at the soonest, and Carnival just delayed its restart until June at the earliest.
- The Daily Beast
REUTERSBill Burns, the career diplomat tapped by President Joe Biden to run the CIA, told a Senate panel Wednesday that his utmost priority as director will be to combat the technological and economic might of China.In a remarkably amicable exchange with the Senate intelligence committee, where controversies over intelligence failures and abuses have characterized nomination hearings for aspirant CIA directors since 9/11, Burns said the CIA would have to “relentlessly sharpen” its arsenal of digital weapons and its understanding of Beijing’s own.That and other aspects of Burns’ testimony received enthusiastic support from intelligence-committee senators of both parties, which seem to have reached a consensus that China seeks, as Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), the vice chair of the panel, put it, to “replace the United States as the world’s most powerful and influential nation.” Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) mused that during the Cold War, the U.S. had “an organizing principle” that the current geopolitical competition with China provides.But Burns, a former deputy secretary of state and ambassador to Russia, also said U.S. rivalry with China was dissimilar to “the competition with the Soviet Union in the Cold War.” Burns defined U.S.-China competition as less of a “security and ideological” clash than one over economic and technological primacy. He spoke less of prospective covert measures against China than he did of providing “the best possible intelligence on the nature of Chinese intelligence and capabilities.”Whether the U.S. can avoid a cold war with a rising global power is a central question facing U.S. foreign policy at the dawn of the Biden administration. Biden’s stated approach thus far has been to pursue “great power competition” without the trade war of the Trump administration and with the prospect of cooperation on climate change. Yet there is also an appetite in Washington for a far more aggressive confrontation. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) urged Burns not “take the pressure off” China in order to reach a deal on climate.Sasse, Bennet, and other lawmakers also focused on China as a way to imply the diminution in priority of the CIA’s ongoing lethal counterterrorism operations, something Biden has placed under review. There was practically no discussion of CIA counterterrorism during the two-hour hearing. Two senators who have been relentlessly critical of CIA counterterrorism abuses, Democrats Ron Wyden and Martin Heinrich, usually the panel’s dissenters on agency nominees, both cheered Burns. Wyden noted Burns’ hearing was becoming a “full-fledged bouquet tossing contest.”‘Financial Batman’ in the Lead to Run Biden’s CIAUnlike his predecessor, Gina Haspel, Burns has no ties to the CIA’s post-9/11 human-rights abuses. “I believe the CIA’s former enhanced interrogation program included torture,” Burns affirmed in a questionnaire for the committee.Notably, however, Burns did not turn a page on CIA counterterrorism, saying only that he would need to balance emergent challenges with “the continuing threat posed by terrorist groups, 20 years after 9/11.” He said those still at the agency who took part in the torture program would face no professional consequence. In the questionnaire, he stopped short of committing to providing the classified Senate torture review to Guantanamo defense attorneys representing people the CIA tortured. Wyden lambasted U.S. intelligence agencies’ purchase of commercially available data on Americans as an end-run around the Fourth Amendment. Burns pledged “transparency” over the purchases–but did not pledge to end them.Burns also emphasized restoring respect for the “courage [and] expertise” of intelligence officials after the Trump administration persecuted whistleblowers, purged officials it considered disloyal, and sought generally to suborn the intelligence apparatus to its agenda. He was not Biden’s first choice for the job–former national security adviser Tom Donilon declined it–but said Biden told him to “deliver intelligence to him straight.” He also acknowledged that he will not be Biden’s closest intelligence adviser; that will be Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, whom he called “my longtime friend and colleague.”As a foreign-policy traditionalist over his three decades in diplomatic life, one who held senior appointments under both parties, Burns was embraced as a signal of a restored status quo ante during a volatile period in American politics. His testimony followed encomia for him from two foreign-policy greybeards, George H.W. Bush Secretary of State James Baker and Obama CIA Director Leon Panetta. Baker called Burns’ nomination “a bipartisan no-brainer.”While Burns has been a consumer of intelligence rather than a producer during his government career, he wrote one of the most prescient pieces of analysis of the past generation. As the Bush administration was preparing to invade Iraq, Burns, as assistant secretary of state for the Mideast, wrote what has become known as the “Perfect Storm” memo. Burns accurately predicted in July 2002 that “a horrible wave of bloodletting and private vengeance” would result from a U.S. occupation. It was a warning to Secretary of State Colin Powell at a time when the White House disdained such concerns as disloyalty or defeatism and discouraged the CIA from producing similar analysis. Still, Burns did not resign when Bush invaded.“He is not going to try to impose any particular formula with regard to reform. He knows how to work with a professional workforce, having had a whole career in the foreign service. He’ll be open to suggestions and initiatives from below,” said Paul Pillar, who was the CIA’s senior Middle East analyst when Burns was assistant secretary of state. “Ambassador Burns is, in my judgment, an excellent nominee for director of the CIA. He brings to the job utmost experience in what U.S. foreign policy most needs from the intelligence community: as a senior consumer at the State Department, he has an excellent feel for what the sorts of questions are that need to be addressed by the community.”During the hearing, Burns alluded to his 2002 memo with modesty. “It was imperfect. We got it about half-right and half-wrong,” he said. “But it was an honest effort to express our concerns… without that, policy choices suffer.”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.
When young actors become famous early on in life, it can be difficult to maintain a sense of normalcy.
- Associated Press
Visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has proclaimed his Muslim-majority nation a choice destination for religious tourism by Sri Lankans, most of whom are Buddhists. In talks with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Wednesday, Khan highlighted Buddhist heritage sites in Pakistan and stressed the building of cultural ties, the Pakistan Embassy said in a statement.