BEIRUT (Reuters) - Russian jets resumed heavy bombing of rebel-held eastern Aleppo on Tuesday after several days of relative calm, a rebel official and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said. Air strikes mostly hit the Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood, Zakaria Malhifji of the Aleppo-based Fastaqim rebel group told Reuters. "There is renewed bombardment and it is heavy," he said. The Observatory said the death toll from bombing in Bustan al-Qasr, Fardous and other neighborhoods rose to at least 25, with scores of wounded. At least 50 civilians were killed by strikes on the rebel-held part of the city and nearby villages controlled by insurgents, residents and rescue workers said. In Bustan al Qasr, residents said, the strikes hit a medical center and a children's playground. The Syrian army, backed by Iranian-backed militias, also said it had consolidated its control of the al Jandoul traffic circle at a major road intersection on the northern outskirts of Aleppo. Moscow and Damascus reduced air raids in the northern city last week. The Syrian army said that was partly to allow civilians to leave opposition-held eastern neighborhoods. The Syrian government said rebels holed up in Aleppo can leave with their families if they lay down their arms. Insurgents denounced that offer as a deception. President Bashar al-Assad seeks the complete recapture of Aleppo, Syria's biggest city before the 5 1/2-year war, which has been divided between government and opposition control for years. Assad's Russian allies have meanwhile built up its forces in Syria after a brief ceasefire collapsed last month. Since Russia intervened in the war a year ago, the government's side has gained the upper hand on numerous fronts, including Aleppo, where the opposition-held sector has been completely encircled for weeks. Insurgents have advanced elsewhere, including in Hama province further south, where they captured a series of towns and villages last month. But in recent days government forces have regained some of that ground. In the southern city of Deraa, which is split between government and rebel control, insurgent shelling of a school killed at least five people, including children, on Tuesday, the Observatory and state media reported. Rebels denied they fired at the school. Residents reported the same death toll. Near the Turkish border, rebels backed by Turkey and a U.S.-led coalition closed in on the Islamic State-held village of Dabiq, the site of an apocalyptic prophesy central to the militant group's ideology. Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebel groups have been pushing south into Islamic State's territory in an operation backed by Turkey since Aug. 24, and have taken more villages near Dabiq in recent days. But hundreds of mines planted by the militants were delaying their progress, rebels said. The militants even retook the villages of Ihtimlat and Kafra only hours after the FSA fighters seized them, rebels said. "They planted along their front lines of defense hundreds of mines," a rebel from the Failaq al Sham group said. Now the goal of FSA forces was to retake the town of Soran, an Islamic State stronghold in the area, before moving on to Dabiq, he said. (Reporting by John Davison and Suleiman al-Khalidi in Amman; Editing by Larry King)
- The Independent
CPAC: Gaetz says media ‘biased’ over Ted Cruz’s Cancun trip and should have focused on ‘caravans’ of migrants instead
Outspoken GOP congressman complains ‘the left and the media’ were less concerned about ‘caravans going through Mexico’ than Texas senator visiting
- LA Times
Will we see a Black Man of Steel onscreen any time soon? News that Ta-Nehisi Coates is penning a new Superman movie has prompted speculation.
- Associated Press
LeBron James had 28 points, Dennis Schröder added 22 in his return to the Lakers' lineup, and Los Angeles snapped its four-game losing streak with a 102-93 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night. Montrezl Harrell had 17 points, while James added 11 rebounds, seven assists, four steals and three blocked shots as the defending NBA champions avoided their longest losing streak since March 2019.
- The Independent
From ‘election integrity’ panels to outright falsehoods about a stolen election, how CPAC is relitigating the 2020 election as Republican lawmakers file legislation to restrict voting rights
The actor says his childhood insecurities were “exacerbated” by years of public mockery, and he doesn’t want kids to endure the same fate.
- NBC News
"This case is every New Yorker's worst nightmare....to be attacked by a complete and total stranger with a large knife for no reason at all," an assistant D.A. said.
- USA TODAY
'We're done with that lifestyle': Jessica Watkins, Ohio woman charged in Capitol riot, renounces Oath Keepers
Jessica Watkins, 38, says she has disbanded her local armed group and is canceling her Oath Keeper membership after her arrest.
- USA TODAY
Charlotte Bennett told The New York Times she was repeatedly made to feel uncomfortable by Cuomo after she was hired in 2019 in the governor's office.
- The Telegraph
Lady Gaga is poised to hand over a $500,000 reward to a mystery woman who returned her beloved French bulldogs kidnapped in a violent street robbery near her home in Hollywood. Koji and Gustav, thought to be worth up to $10,000 dollars each, were given in at a downtown LAPD Police Station by an unnamed woman late on Friday night. Authorities believe the woman who handed the dogs in was "uninvolved and unassociated" with the attack - but she is still eligible for the "unconditional" $500,000 and is said to be in contact with Gaga’s representatives. “If you bought or found them unknowingly, the reward is the same,” Gaga had said in a post confirming the hefty sum before the dogs were handed back on Friday. The violent abduction on Wednesday saw the singer’s dog-walker and close friend Ryan Fischer shot in the chest. Gaga's third dog named Miss Asia escaped the attack and was later found by police. The singer, whose real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, has kept silent since the dogs were handed into police. But her reward offer has raised eyebrows.
- USA TODAY
Nearly two dozen Republicans attending CPAC in Florida have designated a proxy to vote on their behalf, citing the "ongoing public health emergency."
- Business Insider
Trump supporters and right-wing reporters wouldn't stop heckling CNN's Jim Acosta during second day of CPAC
A crowd of Trump supporters and right-wing reporters were filmed following Jim Acosta around CPAC while chanting "CNN sucks!"
- USA TODAY
GOP congresswoman's husband, whose truck had Three Percenters decal, says he never heard of armed group before
Illinois state Rep. Chris Miller said he was given the sticker featuring the armed group's logo by a friend "who said that it represented patriotism."
After the Daily Mail posted photos of a shirtless Jonah Hill, the actor clapped back at "public mockery of his body" and said it "doesn't phase" him.
- Business Insider
Decades ago, 9 Russian hikers mysteriously fled their tent and froze to death. A new study sheds light on the cold case.
In 1959, nine hikers fled their tent in Russia's snowy Dyatlov Pass and froze. A new study suggests a slab avalanche crushed their tent in the night.
- Associated Press
The Court of Arbitration for Sport has reduced the ban on international cricketer Umar Akmal to 12 months and fined him 4.25 million rupees ($27,000) for breaching the Pakistan Cricket Board’s anti-corruption code. Akmal was suspended in February 2020 for failing to report details of corrupt approaches made to him just before the start of the fifth Pakistan Super League. The PCB’s disciplinary panel last April found Akmal guilty on two charges of separate breaches and handed him a three-year suspension — with the periods of ineligibility to run concurrently.
- The Guardian
Artist Tommy Zegan reveals figure was constructed in country the former president has assailed and demonized Sculptor Tommy Zegan polishes his statue of Donald Trump at CPAC. Photograph: John Raoux/AP A golden statue of Donald Trump that has caused a stir at the annual US gathering of conservatives was made in Mexico – a country the former president frequently demonized. The statue is larger than life, with a golden head and Trump’s trademark suit jacket with white shirt and red tie. Video and pictures of the tribute being wheeled through the halls of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, went viral on Friday. The conference is seen as a vital gathering of the Republican right, and this year has become a symbol of Trump’s continued grip on the party, despite being cast out of office after two impeachments, seemingly endless parades of scandals and a botched response to the coronavirus pandemic that has cost half a million lives in the US. Now the artist behind the huge statue of Trump – Tommy Zegan – has revealed that the object was made in Mexico; a country that has been the target of much Trump racist abuse over his political career, and somewhere he has literally sought to build a wall against. “It was made in Mexico,” Zegan told Politico’s Playbook newsletter. Zegan, who lives in Mexico on a permanent resident visa, described the transport of the monument to CPAC in full to Playbook. Politico reported: “Zegan spent over six months crafting the 200lb fiberglass statue with the help of three men in Rosarito. He transported it to Tampa, Florida, where it was painted in chrome, then hauled it from there to CPAC.”
- The Daily Beast
Twitter/Lady GagaLady Gaga’s two French bulldogs, stolen off the streets of Los Angeles Wednesday night, were found tied to a pole in an alley by a passerby who took them to a police station on Friday night, according to TMZ.The unidentified woman reportedly turned the animals in to the Los Angeles Police Department’s Olympic Community Police Station around 6 p.m., Capt. Jonathan Tippett told a local NBC outlet. Tippett said that the woman was “uninvolved and unassociated” with the dog thieves. No arrests have been made in the case. The canines were unharmed, and the singer’s representatives confirmed they were the right animals. Lady Gaga, who is currently in Rome, had offered a $500,000 reward for the canines’ return, “no questions.”TMZ reported Lady Gaga wept “tears of joy” upon receiving the news and sources told the outlet Gaga would “gladly” pay the $500,000 reward to the woman.Lady Gaga’s father, Joe Germanotta, told The Daily Beast on Saturday morning that the family is “extremely happy” with the news. “The phone rang last night, everybody was relieved and there were a lot of happy tears,” he said. Germanotta also thanked the LAPD, and the doctors and nurses who treated dog walker Ryan Fischer, who was shot once in the chest during the robbery. “That’s the most important thing, that Ryan is going to be okay,” he added. “Now, it’s about finding these guys.” Why Lady Gaga’s Dognapping Has Stumped Pet DetectivesMultiple assailants stole the animals from Lady Gaga’s dog walker as he took them for a walk Wednesday evening in Hollywood. They pulled up beside Fischer in a white Nissan Altima with four doors, surrounded him, and shot him in the chest before making off with two of the dogs, Koji and Gustav. A third, Asia, escaped and later made it back to Fischer. Fischer is in treatment and is expected to recover. The LAPD released a description of the two suspects in a Thursday night statement.The suspect who shot Fischer was described as a Black male, aged 20-25, with blond dreadlocks and wearing a black hoodie. He was armed with a semi-automatic handgun. The second man was described as a Black male, aged 20-25, wearing dark clothing.My beloved dogs Koji and Gustav were taken in Hollywood two nights ago. My heart is sick and I am praying my family will be whole again with an act of kindness. I will pay $500,000 for their safe return. Email KojiandGustav@gmail.com to contact us. pic.twitter.com/3NY9u7Mw2K— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) February 26, 2021 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.
- Business Insider
Go back to the place you got your first shot if you lose your paper card, and make sure to take a photo of the vaccine card after your first dose.
- The State
“Her daddy got to heaven just before she did.”
- National Review
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) on Friday urged the New York State legislature to open an investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Governor Andrew Cuomo brought by his former staffer, Lindsey Boylan. The progressive congresswoman told reporters that survivors “deserve to be heard” and noted that the “process for hearing this allegation falls squarely in the state legislature.” Meanwhile, New York attorney general Letitia James is reportedly reviewing a letter from state Republicans who have also called for an investigation into the allegations against the governor, according to Fox News. Lindsey Boylan, the former deputy secretary for economic development and special adviser to Cuomo, on Wednesday published an essay detailing alleged sexual harassment she endured while working for the governor, including unwanted kissing and touching. She wrote in the essay that Cuomo, with the help of top female aides, “created a culture within his administration where sexual harassment and bullying is so pervasive that it is not only condoned but expected.” She also detailed an increasingly uncomfortable relationship she developed with the governor, in which he sought her out and set up one-on-one meetings with her. Boylan recounted a flight she shared with the governor from an event in October 2017 in which Cuomo allegedly said, “Let’s play strip poker.” On another occasion, Boylan says the pair met one-on-one for a briefing when Cuomo allegedly kissed her. “We were in his New York City office on Third Avenue,” she writes. “As I got up to leave and walk toward an open door, he stepped in front of me and kissed me on the lips. I was in shock, but I kept walking.” Boylan later resigned on September 26, 2018.