By Jeff Mason NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. society is uncomfortable with powerful women and that is why the United States has not yet elected a woman president, President Barack Obama said on Sunday. Obama, who is eager to see fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton succeed him in office, told a fundraiser for her in New York that the election between his former secretary of state and Republican businessman Donald Trump should not be close. However, political polarization in the country would make it tight, he said. The first African-American U.S. president then told the group of donors why he thought a woman had never held the office. "There's a reason why we haven't had a woman president," he said. "We as a society still grapple with what it means to see powerful women. And it still troubles us in a lot of ways, unfairly. And that expresses itself in all sorts of ways." Obama has often spoken about the role of strong women in his life, including his mother, grandmother, wife and daughters. Polls have tightened between Clinton, a former U.S. senator and first lady, and Trump, a real-estate tycoon. "This should not be a close election, but it will be," Obama said. "And the reason it will be is not because of Hillary's flaws, but rather because, structurally, we've become a very polarized society," he said. The president has not hidden his disdain for Trump, who was one of the leaders of the movement that questioned whether Obama was born in the United States. Trump conceded on Friday that Obama was U.S. born. Obama told the donors that Trump was unlike the two candidates he faced in the 2008 and 2012 general elections. "When I ran against John McCain, we had deep differences, but I couldn't say that he was not qualified to be president of the United States," Obama said of his 2008 opponent. "I couldn't say that electing Mitt Romney would be an unmitigated disaster. This guy (Trump) is not qualified to be president." (Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Paul Tait)
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These are the issues the Biden administration will be dealing with on the foreign policy front.
- The Independent
Judge denies release for 26-year-old accused of taking part in the deadly Capitol attacks then returning to Washington on Inauguration Day
- The Telegraph
A Republican congresswoman is facing calls to resign over reports that she helped to spread falsehoods about the Parkland school shooting. Marjorie Taylor Greene reportedly agreed with a conspiracy theory about the 2018 shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in which 17 people were killed. Facebook screenshots showed a discussion about why a police officer had not rushed into the building, and someone claimed that the mass shooting was a "false flag planned shooting." Greene replied: “Exactly!" The social media giant later removed the posts after they were reported to them. Cameron Kasky, a former Parkland pupil who co-founded the group Never Again MSD, said: "She should resign. She can apologise. I don’t think anybody will accept it.” The congresswoman was elected in Georgia in November, backed Donald Trump's claims of election fraud, and has previously expressed support for the QAnon conspiracy theory. Fred Guttenberg, who's 14-year-old daughter Jaime died in the Parkland shooting, said: "Your feelings on gun laws are irrelevant to your claim that Parkland never happened. You are a fraud who must resign. Be prepared to meet me directly in person to explain your conspiracy theory, and soon." The comments by the politician were first reported by Media Matters for America. In a statement Ms Greene accused Media Matters for America of being "communists' and "fake news". Meanwhile, US Capitol Police were investigating an incident in which a Republican congressman was found carrying a concealed gun while trying to enter the floor of the House of Representatives. Andy Harris, a staunch gun-rights advocate, set off a metal detector going through security on his way to the House floor . Metal detectors were installed outside the chamber to beef up security in the aftermath of the Capitol riots on Jan 6.
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The master tenant of a cluttered, dilapidated San Francisco Bay Area warehouse where 36 people perished in a late night fire in 2016 is scheduled to plead guilty Friday to the deaths, avoiding a second trial after the first ended in a hung jury.
America may not have won World War II and landed on the moon later if not for the contributions of a brilliant Chinese scientist named Qian Xuesen. Fearing communist presence after the war, the U.S., however, deported Qian to China, clueless that he would eventually spearhead programs that would target American troops and eventually propel China into space. Born to well-educated parents in 1911, it was evident from an early age that Qian had superior intellect.
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“100 million shots in 100 days” won’t be enough to end the pandemic. Can Jeff Zients do better?
- The Independent
US Capitol Police investigating whether Republican congressman attempted to take gun into House vote
Maryland representative reportedly set off metal detectors and revealed firearm under jacket
Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa will resign next week to campaign in regional elections in Catalonia, an official from his party said on Thursday, while national authorities reported a record 44,357 new daily coronavirus cases. Illa, who has overseen Spain's response to the coronavirus pandemic, had said he would step down when campaigning got underway for the election, which is set to take place on Feb. 14. Spain has been routinely reporting record daily coronavirus infections since the end of December, but a top health official said the recent surge appeared to be stabilising.
- NBC News
A woman has been arrested and charged with murder after the dismembered remains of her missing roommate, Talina Galloway, were found in a freezer in the woods of Polk County, Arkansas last week. Talina, 53, was reported missing by her roommate, Kore Bommeli on April 17, 2020. Talina’s remains were found in the freezer on January 14, 2021. Bommeli, who has been a person of interest throughout the investigation, was located in Wisconsin and faces charges of murder and desecration of a corpse. Th
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Counterintelligence official Michael Orlando joins a growing chorus of voices on both sides of the political aisle who point to China as a major national security threat, particularly in terms of technology and cybersecurity.
- The Independent
‘There was a protocol breach when the front doors were not held open’
The European Union and Turkey pressed each other on Thursday to take concrete steps to improve relations long strained by disagreements over energy, migration and Ankara's human rights record. Turkey, which remains an official candidate for EU membership despite the tensions, is facing the threat of EU economic sanctions over a hydrocarbons dispute with Greece in the eastern Mediterranean, but the mood music between Brussels and Ankara has improved since the new year.
- Associated Press
A man who has been in prison for nearly 50 years for murder when he was a teenager has won a major decision from the Michigan appeals court that should lead to his eventual release. A Wayne County judge violated David Bennett's rights when he cited mental health as a reason to keep him locked up with no chance for parole, the appeals court said Thursday. “Treated mental illness is not a signal of irreparable corruption, and no evidence even hinted that Bennett’s mental illness created a realistic danger that he would reoffend,” the court said.
President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden showed their support for the Guard in their own way.
- Architectural Digest
800 feet up in the sky, the Dreamy 6,000 square foot space offers panoramic views from the East River to the HudsonOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- The Independent
Former first daughter and husband will not live in Florida like Donald Trump
- The Week
Majority of House GOP reportedly supports removing Liz Cheney from leadership after impeachment vote
House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney is facing an internal resistance after splitting from her party on former President Donald Trump's impeachment.Cheney, the No. 3 Republican in the House, was one of only a handful of Republicans who voted to impeach Trump over his role in inciting the Capitol riot. More than a majority of GOP House members have since indicated they'd support ousting Cheney from her leadership spot, while at least two other Republicans have lined up to replace her, Politico reports.At least 107 House members — more than half the caucus — privately support removing Cheney from power, multiple GOP sources involved in the effort told Politico. Meanwhile New York Reps. Elise Stefanik and Lee Zeldin, who defended Trump during both of his impeachments, are reportedly looking to replace her.House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) have said they don't intend to remove Cheney. But McCarthy also echoed Republicans' reported anger that Cheney voiced her support of impeachment the day before the House vote, giving Democrats time to use her views in their own arguments. "Questions need to be answered," such as the "style in which things were delivered," McCarthy told reporters Thursday.Many other Republicans, including some who voted against impeachment, meanwhile don't want Cheney removed just for "vot[ing] her conscience," as Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) put it. Others argue removing Cheney would fly in the face of the party's unification message in the post-Trump era — something Cheney herself is trying to counter by making "making calls to all corners of the conference to hear lawmakers out," Politico reports.More stories from theweek.com McConnell is already moving to strangle the Biden presidency 7 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's White House exit Nearly 200 National Guard members have reportedly gotten COVID-19 since the Capitol riot
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The latest jackpot-winning Powerball ticket, worth $731.1 million, was sold in a struggling coal mining town whose biggest previous claim to fame was being the hometown of baseball legend Lefty Grove. The store will get a $100,000 bonus for selling the ticket to the fifth-largest lottery prize in U.S. history. An even larger Mega Millions jackpot will be up for grabs Friday night.
A standoff between new U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, and the man he replaced, Republican Mitch McConnell, over a core rule of Senate operations has kept the two from reaching a deal on how to manage the 50-50 chamber. Schumer is resisting McConnell's demand for a promise to protect the long-standing Senate rule requiring a supermajority of 60 votes to advance most legislation, known as the legislative filibuster. Their argument is holding up the basic organization and work of the Senate as it begins the new year with 50 senators from each party.
- The Daily Beast
Jonathan Ernst via ReutersROME—If you look closely at President Joe Biden’s credenza in his first Oval Office photo op, there is a carefully placed shot of the then-vice president shaking hands with Pope Francis after he was inaugurated as pope in 2013. Biden flew to Rome for the papal ceremony—and has regularly quoted the pontiff on the campaign trail, especially on race and economic disparities.And yet the placement of the photo immediately drew ire among conservative Catholics, many of whom posted on social media that it was “opportunistic” to display a photo with the pope and still support abortion and LGBTQ rights. Many among the most conservative anti-Francis Catholic commentators have gone so far as to say Biden is complicit in the further destruction of the Catholic Church, but the Vatican is not likely to comment on matters seen as political. Those who have long-criticized this pope for opening up a dialogue on both abortion forgiveness and LGBTQ rights are the loudest opponents to the new U.S. president.The Plot to Bring Down Pope FrancisAs the second Catholic ever to be elected president (after John F. Kennedy in 1960), Biden now has the dubious task of balancing his faith and his politics, which are worlds apart. And he won’t have an easy time convincing any of the U.S. church’s hard-core conservatives that he should be recognized as a member of the Roman Catholic Church. St. Louis, Mississippi, priest Michael O’Connor was quick to remind the conservative faithful that Biden “masquerades as a Catholic” and, as he has said in the past, “Joe Biden is an embarrassment to Catholicism.”On Inauguration Day, Archbishop Jose Gomez, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued a damning statement about the new president, which angered the more liberal factions of the U.S. church and reportedly ruffled feathers in Rome. “Our new president has pledged to pursue certain policies that would advance moral evils and threaten human life and dignity,” he wrote. “Most seriously in the areas of abortion, contraception, marriage, and gender. Of deep concern is the liberty of the church and the freedom of believers to live according to their consciences.”The statement was immediately rebuked by Francis-loving Catholics, including the influential Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, who tweeted, “Today, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued an ill-considered statement on the day of President Biden’s inauguration,” he wrote. “Aside from the fact that there is seemingly no precedent for doing so, the statement, critical of President Biden, came as a surprise to many bishops, who received it just hours before it was released.” In other words, Gomez was not speaking for all the U.S. bishops.Today, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued an ill-considered statement on the day of President Biden’s inauguration.— Cardinal Cupich (@CardinalBCupich) January 20, 2021 Massimo Faggioli, professor of historical theology at Villanova University and the author of the new book Joe Biden and Catholicism in the United States, told The Daily Beast that on some issues, Biden will have to navigate “a very difficult path between a religious constituency of moderates and a radical-progressive Democratic Party especially on ethical issues: abortion but also LGBT, religious liberty.”A case in point happened in November 2019 on the campaign trail, when Father Robert Morey, the priest at Saint Anthony Catholic Church in Florence, South Carolina, denied Holy Communion to Biden over his stance on abortion. “Sadly, this past Sunday, I had to refuse Holy Communion to former Vice President Joe Biden,” Morey told the local media. “Holy Communion signifies we are one with God, each other, and the church. Our actions should reflect that. Any public figure who advocates for abortion places himself or herself outside of church teaching.”Faggioli says Biden’s faith is more about witness than proclamation or proposition. “For Catholics anxious to see immediate results: This takes time to have an impact both on the church and in the public square. In some sense it’s similar to what is happening with Pope Francis’ pontificate,” he says, referring to the struggles this pope has had with hard-core conservatives in the right-wing of the church.Biden does have a fan in Pope Francis, whose own struggles with conservative Catholics are well-documented. Francis was one of the first world leaders to send Biden congratulations both after his election and after his inauguration, which irked many conservatives who quietly campaigned to keep Trump in office. “At a time when the grave crises facing our human family call for far-sighted and united responses, I pray that your decisions will be guided by a concern for building a society marked by authentic justice and freedom, together with unfailing respect for the rights and dignity of every person, especially the poor, the vulnerable, and those who have no voice,” the pope wrote in his message to Biden on Wednesday.The same pope once questioned Trump’s Christianity when asked about his desire to build a wall on the U.S. southern border. “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not of building bridges, is not Christian,” Francis said about Trump in 2017.Did Pope Francis Just Sink Trump?But having Francis on his side will not guarantee Biden the support of Catholic Americans. On the contrary, Biden has been the subject of a campaign among conservatives who preferred Trump and who aren’t ready to accept Biden’s compromise Catholicism.“But there is something new,” Faggioli says. “Biden’s Catholicism represents a new synthesis between the integralist or neo-medieval Catholic model of imposition of values from the top on society—something we can call the Opus Dei model—and the 20th-century assimilationist, often hidden Catholicism—like at the time of JFK and John Kerry.”In other words, Biden’s brand of Catholicism is more opaque—and closer to Francis. “This is part of the appeal because you may not agree with Joe Biden on all issues,” Faggioli says. “But I sense that many American believers can see something in his faith that is true, that is authentic in him.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. 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