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    By Jacqueline Howard and Betsy Klein, CNN (CNN) — Just as free Covid-19 tests are landing in the mailboxes of people who ordered them, the first free N95 masks for the public have started to arrive at US pharmacies, with more on the way in the coming days. The Biden administration seeks to ramp up access to high-quality masks amid the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant. Meanwhile, the free tests started shipping out last week, and are part of the administration’s effort to increase access to testing around the United States. Masks already are set up for distribution at some Hy-Vee and Meijer grocery stores in the Midwest, with more expected at Southeastern Grocers stores later this week. “Last week masks began shipping and arriving at pharmacies and grocers around (the) country. We expect that throughout the week the number of stores and N95s arriving to scale up significantly,” an administration official told CNN on Monday. The Biden administration announced last week that the 400 million N95 masks, which are coming from the Strategic National Stockpile, will...
    Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi won a  Supreme court victory early Monday, when the Supreme Court turned away Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy’s bid to invalidate proxy voting, the system of voting that the House adopted in 2021 as a pandemic safety measure. Dozens of lawmakers, including plenty of Republicans who had signed onto McCarthy’s complaint, have used the process which allows members to cast votes without being physically present. Like Rep. Elise Stefanik, the GOP Conference Chair from New York. Last Thursday she told reporters, “We believe in in-person voting. When Republicans win back the House, that’s what we are committed to.” Stefanik had her first child last year, and voted by proxy in the week that followed. Not that the House will be using that, or any voting process, this week. Both House and Senate are out for the week for a delayed Martin Luther King Jr. Day recess. After last week’s discouraging Senate attempt to break the filibuster to save democracy, thwarted by would-be presidents Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, both chambers will turn to two big projects. First,...
    Sydney/Hong Kong (CNN Business)Australia has accused WeChat of taking down Prime Minister Scott Morrison's account and redirecting his followers to a site that claims to provide information for Chinese Australians. The removal of the account was first confirmed Monday by James Paterson, chairman of Australia's Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. He said in interviews with Australian media that Morrison's account on the platform had been "taken over and rebranded.""His account's been hacked," Paterson told the radio network 4BC on Monday, adding that Morrison's account on the platform now redirects to one called "Australian Chinese New Life." Paterson and Morrison are both members of the Liberal Party. WeChat is one of the most widely used social messaging apps in China. It counted roughly 1.2 billion monthly active users in 2020. The vast majority are based in China, analysts say, but it also has users elsewhere, and is popular among the Chinese diaspora.Morrison had 76,000 followers on his WeChat account, which he used to communicate with Chinese Australians. Read MoreAccording to a WeChat notice dated January 5, "all business and...
    PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Getting a college education is great, but having to pay off your student loans for years is not. Many families are now seeing their college graduates struggle to live and pay off their loans. There are private student loans and there are government student loans. If the money you borrowed for school is with a private lender, your only option is to appeal to that lender for help if you’re having trouble paying. “If you do have a federal loan, there are a number of ways that you can repay that loan,” CBS News Senior Business Analyst Jill Schlesinger says. For everyone holding out hope that all the talk about loan forgiveness will get you off the hook, Schlesinger says she wouldn’t count on it, but if it happens, it would be terrific news. “The government is trying to provide some flexibility depending on your circumstances post graduation,” Schlesinger added. Schlesinger says the biggest issue graduates are facing is that they are not making as much money in the working world as they expected. When asked if...
    Former Ukrainian lawmaker Yevheniy Murayev (above) could be tapped by Russia to lead a puppet government, the UK said The White House has reacted with alarm to a British intelligence assessment accusing Russia of seeking to replace Ukraine's elected government with a pro-Kremlin administration.  The British government on Saturday said former Ukrainian lawmaker Yevheniy Murayev is being considered as a potential candidate to lead a pro-Russia puppet government in Kiev. Murayev is head of the small pro-Russian party Nashi, which currently holds no seats in Ukraine's parliament, and the UK assessment did not specify what means Russia might use to install him.  The White House called the U.K. government assessment 'deeply concerning' and said it stands with the duly elected Ukrainian government. 'This kind of plotting is deeply concerning,' said National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne. 'The Ukrainian people have the sovereign right to determine their own future, and we stand with our democratically-elected partners in Ukraine.' The new assessment comes as Russian troops mass on the border with Ukraine and fears of an imminent invasion rise, with the US State...
    The UK is said to be looking at detaining all male migrants intercepted while crossing the English Channel under plans being drawn up by the government. While migrants who successfully land on English soil are in breach of the law, and as such can be detained, authorities do not currently have the same powers regarding those intercepted during the crossing by the Border Force, which counts for the majority of illegal boat migrants. However, this may soon change, with a plan drawn up by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel outlining a future where all single male migrants caught crossing the Channel will also be detained, according to a report by The Times. Patel is also reportedly working closely with the Attorney General of England and Wales to establish what current laws such migrants could be detained under, and what new powers are needed. The Nationality and Borders Bill currently going through parliament is set to make crossing the English Channel without prior clearance to enter the UK an offence punishable by up to four years in prison as...
    German companies that side with Communist China over Lithuania are effectively destroying the European Union’s Single Market in favour of a “Sino-centric trade system,” a leading MP has told Breitbart News. In response to the ongoing diplomatic row over Lithuania’s decision to open a de-facto Taiwanese embassy in Vilnius, the Chinese Communist Party has not only placed a blockade on Lithuanian products but also products made throughout the European Union made with any Lithuanian components. Firms in Germany, whose largest trading partner is China, have attempted to ramp up pressure on the Baltic state to back down in its fight with Beijing in order to regain their lost profits from the Chinese market. German car companies have been particularly impacted by the Lithuanian sanctions, with the German car-parts manufacturer Continental telling Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė last month that the financial hit of China’s blockade has already resulted in hundreds of millions of euros lost. In a letter last month, the German-Baltic Chamber of Commerce demanded that Lithuania come to a “constructive solution” with the communist nation, saying per Reuters: “The basic business...
              by Newt Gingrich   It is hard to know which is more frightening: the Australian radicalism about COVID-19, the Austrian effort to coerce its citizens, or the attitudes of American Democrats who regard extreme sanctions as reasonable behavior toward the supposedly bad people who don’t get vaccinated or wear masks. Let’s consider each one. In Australia, the government felt so threatened by the best tennis player in the world that it intervened decisively to block him from entering the country and competing in the Australian Open. Ben Domenech in the Transom wrote, The Australian government repeatedly lied when it set the rules for Djokovic to participate in the tournament. It lied about why it kicked him out – and then it barred him for three years. “Well, perhaps it’s because Australia — in its foolishness, because they are not just descended from penal colonialists but also inherited the mindset of their captors — has gone down the road of total authoritarianism, regardless of the cost,” Domenech wrote. The net result has been what former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has called...
    Edward Mermelstein attends the LLIMF 10th Anniversary Gala Dinner at Cipriani 25 Broadway on October 10, 2018 in New York City.Krista Kennell | Patrick McMullan | Getty Images New York Mayor Eric Adams has appointed to a top city job a veteran real estate executive with ties to influential businesses and officials who have come under legal scrutiny, including the Trump Organization and Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, who has been sanctioned by the U.S. government. Edward Mermelstein, whom Adams named earlier this month to be commissioner of New York's international affairs office, also is linked to public relations executive Ronn Torossian, an Adams ally who has worked for several high-profile figures over the years and has gained a reputation for being a confrontational firebrand. Torossian's clients have included the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been criticized for anti-democratic power grabs. Details of these connections had yet to be reported since Mermelstein was appointed earlier this month to be commissioner of international affairs, who acts as the primary liaison between the city government, foreign leaders and the...
    The heads of American Airlines and United have both claimed that the drama around 5G technology was over - despite the head of Emirates warning that a 'long-term resolution' is now needed. AT&T and Verizon launched their 5G network across America on Wednesday morning, switching on 4,500 towers to bring faster wireless to their customers. They had to hold back on ten percent of the towers - around 500 - that are near airports because the frequencies the towers emit could interfere with the signal on some planes. Eighty-eight airports now have buffers to protect against it but some major airports like Boston and Memphis do not. In the most recent FAA announcement on Wednesday afternoon, the government said 62 percent of flights could operate safely - leaving nearly half to reschedule. On Wednesday, some airline passengers who were unaware of the fiasco showed up at airports ready to board their flights but were told they had been canceled. On Thursday, the CEOs of the U.S. airlines insisted that the situation was under control, and that the Biden administration had...
    France will introduce new vaccine passport rules for visitors to cafes and restaurants from next week, the government announced tonight. In a live TV address on Thursday evening, Prime Minister Jean Castex said the controversial new document will become compulsory for those who want to visit cafes, restaurants and a range of other businesses from next week.  Meanwhile, Austria's lower house of parliament passed a bill on Thursday making COVID-19 vaccinations compulsory for adults as of Febuary 1. The bill's passage brings Austria closer to introducing the first such sweeping coronavirus vaccine mandate in the European Union. The moves from France and Austria come amid surging Covid-19 cases on the continent, driven by the highly infectious Omicron variant. Official data shows cases rocketing in France, and on the rise in the likes of Portugal, Germany, Austria, Sweden and the Czech Republic. Cases are also high in Italy and Spain, although they appear to have levelled-off in recent days. But as cases rise on the continent, Britain's Covid figures demonstrate that an end is in sight. Having peaked in early January, the UK...
    The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Hong Kong said it was “shocked and concerned” about the decision from health officials to destroy the animals. They also asked the government to not “take any drastic action before reviewing its approach.” Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, criticized the reaction by the government in a tweet from his officials account. "I’m doubtful China can maintain these kinds of extreme measures in pursuit of its zero covid policy," wrote Gottlieb. Here's more about the hamster COVID scare in Hong Kong: Hong Kong continues to cull hamsters amid COVID-19 scare www.youtube.com
    As a report published Wednesday revealed the loss of over 500,000 jobs since the Taliban retook control of Afghanistan last August, critics of the Biden administration's policy of economic sanctions and freezing billions of dollars in Afghan government funds renewed warnings of a "U.S.-fueled genocide" in the starving, suffering, war-torn nation. The United Nations International Labor Organization (ILO) reported that Afghanistan's economy has been "paralyzed" since the Taliban takeover, with more than half a million jobs lost in the third quarter of 2021, much of the decline attributable to a precipitous drop in "women's participation in the workplace." The agency projects further employment losses of 700,000 to over 900,000 by mid-2022. However, a direr—yet connected—crisis is being largely blamed on the Biden administration's punitive policies that, while meant to target the Taliban, are causing grievous harm to ordinary Afghans. The Intercept's Ryan Grim and Sara Sirota noted Wednesday that after the Taliban seized power, the United States—which as an occupying power controlled Afghanistan's foreign currency reserves—froze more than $9 billion in funds belonging to the country. Excellent journalism from...
    On February 22, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Denezpi v. US to determine whether the federal government can prosecute a Navajo tribe member, Merle Denezpi, for a crime the Court of Indian Offenses of Ute Mountain Ute Agency has already convicted him of. While the normal liberal impulse is to argue that a federal prosecution after a tribal conviction would violate double jeopardy, because we want to support an individual defendant’s criminal procedure rights, the implications of such an argument would have problematic outcomes for the tribal authority of Courts of Indian Offenses. As co-director of the NYU-Yale American Indian Sovereignty Project Maggie Blackhawk said, this case is “about who decides in the context of overlapping governments and a historical and ongoing American colonial project. It is a case about whether the US will further that project – in the name of ‘rights,’ as it once did for ‘civilization.’” Merle Denezpi committed sexual assault against another Navajo tribal member on the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation. Denezpi submitted an Alford plea, whereby he doesn’t have to admit...
    For the followers of the former president, and for the GOP leaders paving the way for his return, freedom is about power. It’s about what they can do to you without consequence and what you can’t do to them without consequence. The social contract is tantamount to tyranny. They owe nothing to you, but you owe everything to them. They call themselves “real Americans.” For everyone else, freedom is democracy and self-government. That requires respect for social contract, which itself requires respect for the truth, as the truth is independent from human agency. The truth not only binds equal citizens but enables compromise between them. At root is the recognition that the common interest and common good are achievable through shared purpose and sacrifice. We are all in this together. Only when we honor that can we all of us be truly free. In my view, these are real Americans. READ: Backlash grows against McConnell as viral video shows his racist remarks deeming Black voters not real Americans You could call this the difference between conservative and liberal. But...
    He just couldn't drive 55. Not even 255. The Bugatti Veyron is capable of reaching speeds above 300 mph.  (Bugatti) Czech real estate tycoon Radim Passer has been officially scolded by the German Transport Ministry for a video he posted to his popular YouTube channel of him driving a Bugatti Chiron at 257 mph (414 km/h) on the Autobahn. The point-of-view video that's racked up over 4 million views was shot last July, but posted on January 9th and has an overlay displaying the speed of the vehicle as it speeds along the A2 Autobahn connecting Berlin and Hannover, passing cars on his way. Passer wore a racing firesuit, but no helmet, during the stunt, while his passenger had on just an open leather jacket and T-shirt. The Chiron is powered by a 1,500 hp sixteen-cylinder engine. (Bugatti) The $3 million Chiron has an official restricted top speed of 261 mph, but certain versions of the 1,500 hp supercar have been unlocked to reach over 300 mph on closed test tracks. The section of the road Passer was...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — US drops case against MIT professor Gang Chen, who was accused of hiding work he did for the Chinese government. Copyright © 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    JOSH Duggar is demanding a new trial after he was found GUILTY on child pornography charges. Josh, 33, was found guilty of possessing and receiving child pornography on December 9 after a nearly two-week trial. 4Josh Duggar is requesting an acquittal or a new trialCredit: AP 4He was found guilty of possessing and receiving child pornography in DecemberCredit: SWNS Josh’s legal team requested the court grant him an additional 10 days to file the post-trial motions, as a judge approved to extend the deadline to January 19. The Sun can exclusively reveal Josh’s legal team filed a motion for an acquittal of the guilty verdict.  In the alternative, the court papers also request a new trial. If both are denied by the court, his legal team is asking to dismiss count 2, which is the possession of child pornography charge.  The court papers claim regarding an acquittal that the Government “failed to adduce any evidence that Duggar ‘knew that the visual depictions were of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct’—a necessary element for conviction of each count. “The evidence at...
    London (CNN Business)When protests swept Kazakhstan earlier this month, they were fueled by frustration with the ruling elite and entrenched inequality. But the unrest was sparked by a specific catalyst: an end to a government subsidy.The cost of liquefied petroleum gas — which most people in the western part of the country use to power their cars — doubled overnight after the government lifted price caps. The ensuing turmoil, which saw thousands of protesters take to the streets, resulted in a Russian-led military intervention, the resignation of the government and the deaths of more than 200 people.The episode is a reminder of the challenges facing governments that want to tackle longstanding fuel subsidies, either to reform markets and save money, as was the case in Kazakhstan, or to encourage people to switch to cleaner energy. There's a consensus that eliminating these subsidies soon is crucial to reaching net-zero emissions targets and averting the worst effects of the climate crisis."The overall direction of travel has got to be a quick move away from subsidies," said Peter Wooders, senior director of energy...
    by Mark Satta, Wayne State University There are three flagpoles outside Boston City Hall. One flies the United States flag. Another flies the Massachusetts state flag. What can – and can’t – fly from the third is an issue that the Supreme Court considered during oral arguments on Jan 18. The case, Shurtleff v. Boston, addresses whether the city violated the First Amendment by denying a request to temporarily raise the Christian flag on a flagpole outside City Hall, where Boston has temporarily displayed many secular organizations’ flags. During oral arguments, the justices and the parties agreed that if the flagpole is a public forum open to all comers, then the city of Boston would be unable to deny a request to temporarily raise a religious flag, like the Christian flag. The key question in the case then is this: is the third flagpole a public forum open to all comers or is it government speech? To answer this question, the court’s decision, which will be handed down later this term, will likely clarify one or more...
    BRITAIN urgently needs a cost-of-living strategy. Rising prices are a much bigger crisis for all of us than the apparent party culture in Downing Street. 3A cost-of-living strategy for Britain needs to be moved to the top of the Government’s agenda right awayCredit: Getty 3Rising prices are a much bigger crisis for all of us than the apparent party culture in Downing StreetCredit: AFP It needs to be moved to the top of the Government’s agenda right away. With 1,000 stores right across the UK, we operate in some of the most deprived communities in the country. Some of our customers are trying to feed their families on budgets of as little as £25 a week. The coming cost-of-living squeeze threatens to force some of our customers to choose between heating and eating - to turn to food banks or go hungry. There are already more food banks than branches of McDonald’s in the UK - a fact which should shame a rich G7 country in 2022. At Iceland, we have always done our utmost to help our hard-pressed customers...
    Breitbart News sat down with Arizona gubernatorial hopeful Kari Lake during Turning Point USA’s Americafest. She said she will issue a “Declaration of Invasion” on day one in office in order to begin closing the Arizona/Mexico border. We asked Lake, “There is so much danger from an open border…What does Governor Lake do to keep that border secure? What can you do?” She responded by pointing to the Constitution’s explicit points on protecting the United States from “invasion.” She then suggested the federal government is not doing what they are supposed to do to protect the American people in that regard. Lake said, “On day one, after taking the oath of office, while the press is still assembled, [I’ll] remove my hand from the Bible and we’re going to issue a Declaration of Invasion.” She explained that she knows the federal government under Joe Biden will fight her efforts to close the border, but made clear that she will not be dissuaded or distracted by the federal government. “If Joe Biden is going to hand off control of our border...
    (CNN)Americans can now sign up to get free home Covid-19 tests from the federal government. Though the website formally debuted on Wednesday, the Biden administration quietly launched it the day before. Orders began pouring in immediately.The program is part of the administration's effort to increase testing amid the nationwide surge of the Omicron variant. The White House is ordering 1 billion tests for distribution.Have you tried to get a free home test from the federal site? Did it work smoothly or was there an issue? Tell us about it here.Here's what you need to know about getting free home tests from the federal government:Read MoreHow do I order the tests?Go to covidtests.gov and sign up. You'll need to enter your name, email and residential address. Orders will not be shipped to businesses.You should receive an email confirming your order and providing tracking information. Thousands of readers have told CNN that the process was easy and swift, taking only a few minutes. However, some have reported that they received a message that tests were already ordered for their address. How many...
    Volunteers give out free rapid Covid tests at a DC fire station on New Year's Day.Stephanie Mencimer/Mother Jones Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.Four days before Christmas, my son and I drove to the DC Costco and parked, but instead of going shopping, we walked down the hill and went into a nondescript DC government warehouse. There, we walked around thousands of boxes of Covid testing supplies to join a few dozen other vaccinated and masked DC residents who’d responded to the city’s call for volunteers to assemble Covid PCR test kits that people could use at home. We spent a few hours on the assembly line, folding up Labcorp baggies and instruction leaflets for the volunteers at the next table to stuff into packages and vacuum seal. Once they were quality checked, the kits went right out the door to city libraries, where residents could pick up two a day for free. After they swabbed their noses, residents could drop the kit into a library pickup box...
    From Thursday 27 January, the Conservative leader announced in Parliament that wearing a mask would no longer be legally mandatory, that telework would no longer be officially recommended and that the health pass would no longer be imposed to access nightclubs and some large gatherings. “As the Govt spreads, we need to replace legal obligations with advice and recommendations,” Boris Johnson pleaded. He said he did not want to extend the isolation rules when the Kovit-19 positive cases expire on March 24. This date may even be brought forward. “We are not legally asking people to isolate themselves if they have the flu,” he explained. More than 152,000 people have died in the UK from Covid 19 disease. The latest available data show a nearly 40% drop in the number of new weekly cases, while the number of patients admitted to the hospital has been confirmed. The number of intensive care patients who were low during the Omigron wave is also declining. The easing of these measures, which are seen as harsh by a section of the Conservative majority, is...
    New Conservative MP Christian Wakeford ‘crossed the floor’ of Parliament Wednesday, defecting from the party of government to the opposition, writing that having “wrestled” with his conscience over the decision. Bury South representative Christian Wakeford, elected for the first time in 2019, defected from the Conservatives to Labour in Parliament just minutes before the Prime Minister was due to take questions from the floor on Wednesday, a move timed to generate maximum impact. Despite the Prime Minister’s Questions session starting with Wakeford’s defection and ending with former Brexit Secretary and Tory veteran David Davis telling him “in the name of God, go”, the Prime Minister seemed in good spirits at the dispatch box and enjoyed cheers from Conservative backbenchers. While it has been widely claimed that plots against the Prime Minister to launch a coup are well advanced, it is not clear that this means the end of the Johnson leadership. While Wakeford’s defection letter was scathing in its condemnation of the Prime Minister, eagle-eyed followers of Westminster machinations noted that Wakeford just last year co-sponsored and voted for a...
    Washington (CNN)The Biden administration will make 400 million N95 masks available to Americans for free starting next week, a White House official told CNN, the latest federal step aimed at reining in the US' Covid-19 surge. The masks -- which are coming from the Strategic National Stockpile -- will be made available at a number of local pharmacies and community health centers, the official said, adding that the program will be "fully up and running by early February.""This is the largest deployment of personal protective equipment in US history," the official said. The 400 million non-surgical N95 masks amount to more than half of the 750 million stored in the US' Strategic National Stockpile, a figure that tripled over the last year as the White House sought to boost reserves. The US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention recently advised that well-fitting respirators approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health -- such as N95 masks -- offer "the highest level of protection" against Covid-19.The administration's step comes as the US grapples with an unprecedented surge in Covid-19...
    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s government and central bank have taken unconventional steps in recent weeks to prop up a beleaguered economy crippled by skyrocketing consumer prices, instead of ending a much-criticized plan to cut interest rates. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s insistence on cutting rates — the opposite of what economists say to do to curb soaring inflation — has weakened the country’s currency and driven prices even higher, making it tough for people to buy basics like food. Here’s a look at the impact of Erdogan’s economic policies and their long-term risks: WHAT’S GOING ON? Erdogan, who has grown increasingly authoritarian and long declared himself an enemy of high borrowing costs, has pressured the central bank into continually cutting interest rates even though inflation surged by 36% last month. In comparison, inflation in the 19 countries using the euro made a record 5% jump from a year earlier, and the U.S. tallied a nearly 40-year high of 7%. Conventional economic thinking calls for increased borrowing costs to tame inflation, like other countries have done, but Erdogan maintains it’s...
    The outgoing Finance Minister and new German Chancellor Minister Olaf Scholz delivers a speech during the handing-over ceremony with his successor in the German Federal Ministry of Finances in Berlin, Germany, December 9, 2021.Tobias Schwarz | Reuters Borrowing costs for the German government continued their push higher on Wednesday, with the benchmark 10-year bund yield trading in positive territory for the first time in nearly three years. May 2019 was the last time that German 10-year yields were above zero, when accommodative policy from the European Central Bank pressured interest rates lower. Negative yields meant that investors were effectively paying the German government to lend it money. The ECB is currently behind on its normalization path, compared to the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England, but surging inflation and wider moves in the global bond market have now helped to push yields above zero. Euro zone inflation hit a new record high in December, raising more questions about the ECB's monetary policy. The central bank said last month that it would be cutting its monthly asset purchases, but vowed to...
              by Laurel Duggan   Democrats were more than twice as likely as other voters to favor harsh government restrictions being placed on unvaccinated people’s lives, ranging from fines to loss of child custody, according to a recent poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports and the Heartland Institute. Forty-eight percent of Democratic voters said the government should be able to fine or imprison those who publicly question the COVID-19 vaccine’s efficacy, while only 27% of all voters supported the proposal, according to the poll results. Fines against those who refuse to take the vaccine were viewed favorably by 55% of Democratic voters and just 19% of Republicans, and 59% of Democrats favored a policy requiring unvaccinated people to stay inside their homes at all times, except for emergencies, the poll found. Seventy-nine percent of Republicans opposed a house arrest policy for unvaccinated people. Forty-five percent of Democratic respondents favored the government forcing people into “designated facilities” until they get the vaccine — a measure opposed by 71% of all voters. A government program using digital devices to track the movements of unvaccinated people and ensure that they are quarantined...
    Steve Dykes/Getty Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.There are few things the NBA enjoys less than finding itself in the crosshairs of a culture war squabble, but that is exactly what it got over the weekend when Chamath Palihapitiya, a minority owner of the Golden State Warriors, took to his podcast to say, “Nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs.”   Palihapitiya, a billionaire entrepreneur and former Facebook executive, said he cares about climate change, the economic implications of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, and other issues that more directly affect Americans. But as for the forced imprisonment and torture of Uyghur Muslims in China, “it is below my line,” he said.  If anyones interested in an extended version of whats been trending@chamath @Jason @DavidSacks @friedberg #UyghurGenocide #chamath pic.twitter.com/qiw5vVKpkZ — tomhaverford (@tomhaverford24) January 18, 2022 It did not take long for his comments to ricochet around the NBA, which has long adopted a cautious tone toward the Chinese government. On Monday, the Warriors released a one-sentence...
    (CNN)Americans can now order a maximum of four free Covid-19 tests to be shipped directly to their homes. The federal government has quietly launched its website to sign up for the tests.Have you tried to order from the site, covidtests.gov? Let us know how it went.
    LONDON (AP) – Britain’s Conservative government has suffered a setback in Parliament in its attempt to give authorities stronger powers to curb peaceful but disruptive protests. Parliament’s upper chamber, the House of Lords, late Monday rejected some of the most contentious provisions in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. The defeated measures would give police officers the right to stop and search people at demonstrations without suspicion, allow courts to bar named individuals from attending protests and empower police to curb protests that are judged to be too noisy. Home Office Minister Susan Williams said the bill – targeted at environmentalists who have blocked roads and glued themselves to commuter trains to protest climate change – protected the “law-abiding majority” from “the highly disruptive tactics employed by a small number of people.” "Officers were struck, spat on, kicked and punched some whilst defenceless on the ground. It was fortunate some were not more seriously hurt. This lasted from the evening to the very early hours." https://t.co/3fqGJoRbfz — Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 1, 2021 But civil liberties groups say the...
    London (CNN Business)The BBC has warned that it will be forced to slash services and cancel shows after the UK government froze its main source of funding, resulting in a budget shortfall of roughly $388 million.Tim Davie, director general of the public service broadcaster, told BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday that "everything's on the agenda" after Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government announced it would freeze the license fee for two years as the cost of living soars.The £159 ($216) license fee is the tax all British viewers pay to raise billions every year to fund the BBC's sprawling news, documentary, scientific and entertainment programming. "Inevitably, if you don't have £285 million ($388 million), you will get less services, and less programs," said Davie. "I still think the BBC can offer extraordinary value for the £13 ($18) a month and we absolutely think we can do that."Davie estimated the BBC would generate about £4.2 billion ($6 billion) from license fees by the end of 2027. But that won't be enough to support its current slate of shows. Read MoreCulture Secretary Nadine...
    London (CNN Business)People are paying a lot more for food, gas, cars and services, and inflation isn't over yet as the pandemic continues to distort the economy. So should governments consider setting the price of essential goods?It's been done before, typically during times of crisis, but for most mainstream economists, the answer to this question is a resounding "no." Limiting how much companies can charge will distort markets, they argue, causing shortages and exacerbating supply chain problems while only temporarily reducing inflation. "Price controls can of course control prices — but they're a terrible idea," David Autor, a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, remarked in a survey published earlier this month by the University of Chicago.Asked whether price controls similar to those used in the United States during the 1970s could reduce inflation over the next year, less than a quarter of economists surveyed said they agree while nearly 60% said they disagree or strongly disagree. The Fed is in a high-stakes race to catch up to inflation"Just stop. Seriously," Austan Goolsbee, a professor at...
    (CNN)Republican-controlled state legislatures across the country are approving a wave of new voting restrictions on virtually party-line votes that require only a simple majority to pass. The US Supreme Court has likewise decided the key voting rights rulings that helped trigger this surge of state legislation on a party-line, majority-vote basis over the past decade.But the announcements last week by Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona that they will not support exempting voting rights legislation from the filibuster means Congress can respond to these moves only with a bipartisan supermajority of 60 votes.Their decision effectively provides Senate Republicans a veto on whether Congress can undo the restrictions on voting advanced by their fellow Republicans in the states and GOP-appointed justices on the Supreme Court. And that means Democrats have little chance through this decade of preserving a national floor of voting rights. Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz. (left), the King family (middle) and local activists lead a march to call for voting rights on Saturday, January 15, 2021, in Phoenix.Voting rights is the most dramatic...
    Tax filers in 2022 will face the same frustrations and delays that have characterized tax season for years now, heightened by the pandemic. Treasury officials recently spoke to reporters in a conference to begin the process of lowering taxpayers’ expectations. The IRS, they told reporters, is dealing with the pandemic and the fact that it has just 15,000 employees tasked with customer services, expected to handle more than 240 million calls. That’s about 16,000 calls per employee. The workforce at the IRS in 2022 is about the same size as it was in 1970. The population of the country has grown by about 60% since 1970. Officials also said that fewer auditors are working in the IRS now than at any point since World War II—when there were something like 200 million fewer people in the U.S. Republicans have forced budget cuts on the agency for years, with Democratic help, that have resulted in a 25% cut in the workforce at the IRS. “By definition, no matter how much more efficient you are, you can’t lose 25 percent of the workforce and...
    by Timothy Zick, William & Mary Law School The seditious conspiracy charges filed against Stewart Rhodes, founder of the Oath Keepers militia, along with 10 other defendants, opens a new and significant chapter in the events of Jan. 6, 2021. Many observers have noted the absence of “seditious conspiracy” charges in connection with prosecutions of those who took part in the Capitol riot. Participants in the riot have been charged with minor crimes such as trespassing or other lower-level offenses. Others have been charged with more serious offenses, such as obstructing a congressional proceeding or bringing a weapon inside the U.S. Capitol. But the seditious conspiracy charges announced on Jan. 13, 2022 by the Department of Justice raise the stakes and political temperature of the Jan. 6 investigation. As a First Amendment scholar, I believe they may also give rise to serious concerns about the rights of others protesting government actions down the road. Prosecutions are rareThe crime of seditious conspiracy involves joining with others to overthrow the government of the United States. Under federal law, persons are...
    Amanda Adkins, a Republican candidate in Kansas’ Third Congressional District looking to unseat Democrat Rep. Sharice Davids (D-KS), told Breitbart News Saturday on SiriusXM that Americans are frustrated by the lack of strategy and planning by President Joe Biden’s administration. Adkins, a business executive for 15 years and the former Kansas Republican Party chair, said it is essential to flip House seats like the one Davids currently represents and win back the House. “It is important for conservatives in the Republican Party to win seats like this continuously, you know, we need to do well in suburbia, we need to pull in independent voters,” Adkins explained. “I see a strong conservative streak right now and in, in center-right voters in general because people want to see limited government, they want freedom, they want to be the decision-makers. I mean, that’s what America is all about.” Listen: Breitbart · Amanda Adkins – January 15, 2022 The former Kansas Republican Party chair noted that Davids, while in Congress, has voted with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Biden 100 percent of the time, which...
    Weaponising one’s children in any intra-family conflict is unseemly and cruel. To do so when the victim is your 95-year-old grandmother who has spent her entire life devoted to public service is a despicable new low. And, make no mistake, that is exactly what the prissy and petulant Duke of Woke is doing, with his massive strop and ill-advised legal challenge over the UK government’s decision to refuse him police protection when in Britain because he’s no longer a working royal - by choice, remember. In public, Prince Harry and Meghan are forever banging on about their love for the Queen. But like most virtue signalling, woketopian multi-millionaires, their woolly words are never followed up by good deeds. If Harry doesn’t get the security he wants, he is likely to attend her Platinum Jubilee celebrations alone, leaving Archie and Lilibet back in California with Meghan Harry is the polar opposite of his exceptional grandmother, who, throughout her reign, has kept her public pronouncements to a minimum and allowed herself to be judged by her actions. I believe the couple’s latest...
    As we emerge from the pandemic, Joe Biden's economic policy bungling is driving America into a brick wall of malaise and stagflation. For those of us who lived through it, the comparisons to Jimmy Carter's failed presidency are hard to ignore.  So, why is the Biden administration so determined to ignore both the cause of Carter's economic failure and President Ronald Reagan's very successful formula for reversing it? Absent such an economic awakening, it's going to be a tough three years. Like Carter, the Biden administration is acting as though it can ignore fundamental economic problems forever. News flash – it can't. The longer we wait to seriously address inflation, labor shortages, and supply chain problems, the worse the threat of an inevitable and deep recession becomes. Case in point: On Wednesday Biden, claimed December's inflation report showed 'a meaningful reduction in headline inflation over last month' demonstrating that 'we are making progress in slowing the rate of price increases.' If you are a working or middle-class American that may have surprised you. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' actual report on...
    During the Supreme Court’s hearing on the validity of COVID-19 vaccine mandates, Trump-appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch directed a question at the attorneys concerning why the U.S. doesn’t have similar mandates for flu vaccines. “We have flu vaccines,” said Gorsuch. “Flu kills, I believe, hundreds of thousands of people every year.” When it was pointed out that this is an order of magnitude off from the real impact of flu, the Supreme Court ushered out a face-saving revised transcript, omitting the “of” so that Gorsuch said “hundreds, thousands” rather than “hundreds of thousands.” That’s not what he said. Even in the audio of this article supposedly debunking the idea that Gorsuch made such a claim, it’s obvious that “hundreds of thousands” is exactly what he said. But apart from Gorsuch’s statement, claims about the deadliness of the flu have been raised by right-wing media and politicians throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The truth is that flu kills only a small fraction of the number of people who have died from COVID-19 in each year of the pandemic. However, flu does kill far more people...
    PRINCE Harry's police protection row is the latest in a series of headaches for the Queen - but is undoubtedly flanked by a number of deeper issues. The Duke of Sussex plans to sue the Government to give him back the protection he lost after quitting royal duties. 1Prince Harry is seeking round-the-clock police protection for any visits to the UKCredit: Getty He is seeking round-the-clock police protection  — normally reserved for royals and government officials — when he and his US-based family visit the UK. And the duke says he and his family won't return to British soil until it is safe enough to do so. Sources have said the Queen "won't cave to Harry's demands" while others have said the matter is one for the Government. But a number of deep issues remain, with royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams describing the row as a "little more complicated than is being made out". ROYAL RIFT REMAINS Harry has been viewed as a private citizen since he quit royal life two years ago - meaning he has to provide his...
    Brisbane, Australia (CNN)The Australian Open tennis tournament began on Monday without the world's top men's player, who departed the night before in a cloud of government suspicion that he could incite the country's anti-vaxxers.Novak Djokovic was later pictured arriving in Dubai after losing a court challenge against the Australian government's decision to cancel his visa on public health and order grounds.Under Australian law, Djokovic can be banned from the country for three years, though Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews hasn't ruled out an exemption. "Any application will be reviewed on its merits," she said.Australia is not alone in banning entry to unvaccinated travelers who are unable to prove why they can't be inoculated, but it's the first to take on such a high-profile target. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the government was protecting the sacrifices Australians made during the pandemic. But he was also partly protecting his own prospects ahead of a forthcoming federal election.Read MoreThe Australian government has promoted vaccination as a way out of the pandemic -- and more than 92% of people over the age of 16...
    Melbourne (CNN)Tennis star Novak Djokovic has lost a legal challenge against a decision revoking his visa for the second time and will leave Australia without contesting the Australian Open. In a virtual hearing on Sunday, three Federal Court judges unanimously dismissed Djokovic's application to overturn the immigration minister's decision to cancel his visa, but did not publish reasons for the ruling. Novak Djokovic is the best player in the history of mens tennis but he is leaving a complicated legacy off the courtThe world No. 1 was scheduled to play Monday night in the Australian Open, where he had hoped to win a record-breaking 21st men's grand slam title. The high-profile, off-the-court saga pitting one of tennis's biggest stars against Australia's government and public health officials has overshadowed the lead-up to the year's first tennis grand slam.In a statement, Djokovic said he was "extremely disappointed" by the decision and would co-operate with authorities in relation to his departure from the country.Read More"I am uncomfortable that the focus of the past weeks has been on me and I hope that we...
    Pinning hopes on the Gray escape.. BORIS JOHNSON’S lack of grip over the Downing Street lockdown parties and their fallout has been staggering. The Prime Minister has admitted joining one bash as voters endured strict restrictions which prevented them seeing dying loved ones. 2The Prime Minister admitted joining one bash as voters endured strict restrictions which prevented them seeing dying loved onesCredit: Darren Fletcher At another do, a fridge was stocked with booze while the nation prepared to mark the death of Prince Philip. We report today that around 35 Tory MPs have submitted no confidence letters in the PM to the backbench 1922 Committee. That was before they returned to their constituencies this weekend to face the full ire of furious voters. Another 20 or so letters will trigger a disastrous leadership contest that could seal his fate. Exasperatingly for supporters, his issues are largely self-inflicted. Being leader is about tough decisions — and Boris has taken many as PM, including his gamble over our successful vaccine roll-out. But his response to the slew of allegations over partygate...
    By Kathy Gannon | Associated Press KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghanistan’s new Taliban rulers say they hope to be able to open all schools for girls across the country after late March, their spokesman told The Associated Press on Saturday, offering the first timeline for addressing a key demand of the international community. Since the Taliban takeover in mid-August, girls in most of Afghanistan have not been allowed back to school beyond grade 7. The international community, reluctant to formally recognize a Taliban-run administration, is wary they could impose similar harsh measures as during their previous rule 20 years ago. At the time, women were banned from education, work and public life. Zabihullah Mujahid, who is also the Taliban’s deputy minister of culture and information, said their education departments are looking to open classrooms for all girls and women following the Afghan New Year, which starts on March 21. Afghanistan, like neighboring Iran, observers the Islamic solar Hijri Shamsi calendar. Education for girls and women “is a question of capacity,” Mujahid said in the interview. Girls and boys must be completely...
    Legal experts are weighing in on the government's sedition conspiracy case against 11 Oath Keepers who were allegedly involved in the Capitol insurrection. While it appears clear that the U.S. Department of Justice does have a solid case against the suspects, the experts believe there are "considerable risks" associated with one rarely-used charge being included in the indictment. According to KSAT, the experts who have assessed the unsealed indictment believe the government's case has a strong foundation built on detailed documentation of how the alleged rioters "discussed their plans in encrypted chats, traveled to the nation's capital from across the country, organized into teams, used military tactics, stashed weapons outside Washington in case they felt they were needed and communicated with each other during the riot on Jan. 6, 2021." Carlton Larson, a treason expert and law professor at the University of California - Davis, applauded prosecutors' case saying, "This is as a good a case as you could bring.” However, history shows that sedition cases are not the easiest to win despite having evidence to support...
    Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and several Tory MPs have demanded that Boris Johnson resign over the litany of apparent boozy breaches of lockdown by the government. The leader of Britain’s left-wing Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer, has called for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to resign after reports of regular “wine-time Friday” gatherings at the Prime Minister’s Downing Street residence during lockdown. In a speech delivered to the Fabian Society in London on Saturday, Starmer called the prime minister’s position “untenable” and demanded Johnson “do the honourable thing and call it a day for the good of the country,” Sky News reported. Johnson’s government has been accused of multiple lockdown breaches throughout the pandemic and even held two Downing Street parties on the 16th of April 2021, the night before Prince Philip’s funeral. The UK government apologised to Queen Elizabeth II  this week after the gatherings were revealed in the press. Despite having been embroiled in his own alleged rule-breaking scandal, Starmer branded Johnson as a “broken spectacle” who is “mired in deceit and deception”, and therefore is “unable to lead”. The Labour...