Special

500 Dollar Fine

Bruce Springsteen has DWI and reckless driving charges dropped

Bruce Springsteen pleaded guilty Wednesday to drinking shots of tequila as a New Jersey federal park last year, but prosecutors dropped charges of DWI and reckless driving after he was found to be well within the legal limit. During a virtual arraignment hearing on Wednesday, prosecutors said they could not meet the legal burden for the drunken driving against The Boss, 71, who's blood alcohol content was found to be .02 - well below the state's threshold of 0.8.

Criminal Investigation

Manhattan prosecutors 'expand their investigation into Donald Trump

Investigators in Manhattan looking into Donald Trump's tax affairs are becoming increasingly interested in the president's oldest son, according to a report. Donald Trump Jr has been running the Trump Organization alongside his brother Eric, 37, while their father was in the White House.

Horror Crash

Police say Tiger Woods 'lucky to be alive' after car crash in California

Tiger Woods has had surgery for multiple fractures of his right leg after a car accident that a Los Angeles police officer said he was “very fortunate” to have survived. The golfer was “awake and responsive” after the operation to insert a rod into his tibia and stabilize his ankle with pins, according to a statement by his TGR foundation on Tuesday night.

Joe Biden

Schumer sets up confirmation blitz in Senate

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is teeing up a blitz of confirmation floor votes on President Biden's nominees this week. The focus on nominations comes as Senate Democrats are waiting for the House to send them Biden's proposed $1.9 trillion coronavirus bill. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wants a House vote on the bill by Friday, allowing the Senate to take it up as soon as next week. In the meantime, Schumer said that Democrats would be working to confirm four Biden picks.

Get Lucky

Daft Punk, French electronic music duo, split up after 28 years

Daft Punk, the French duo whose sci-fi aesthetic and euphoric sense of pop transformed electronic music, have split up. They announced the split with a YouTube video featuring a clip from their film Electroma, featuring an intertitle with the dates 1993-2021. Their publicist Kathryn Frazier confirmed the split to Pitchfork, but did not elaborate.

COVID-19

President Joe Biden to hold memorial as US nears 500,000 Covid deaths

Joe Biden is set to mark the latest tragic milestone of Covid deaths in the US on Monday night, with a candlelit commemoration and moment of silence for the 500,000 who will have lost their lives. With the heart-wrenching landmark approaching, the White House is preparing for a sunset ceremony focused on those who have died and their grieving loved ones. With his wife, Jill Biden, Vice-president Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, by his side, the president is expected to echo the commemoration held for Covid victims at the Lincoln Memorial the night before his inauguration. He said then: “To heal we must remember.”

Criminal Investigation

Supreme Court declines to shield Trump's tax returns from Manhattan DA

Donald Trump blasted a Supreme Court ruling on Monday that paved the way for a New York City prosecutor to obtain his tax returns and other financial records as part of a criminal investigation, a blow to his quest to conceal details of his finances. 'This investigation is a continuation of the greatest political Witch Hunt in the history of our Country,' begins the missive, sent out from the Office of Donald J. Trump. The nearly-400 word statement, clearly dictated by Trump himself, brings back a litany of past complaints by the former president: calling the investigation a 'witch hunt,' blasting former special counsel Robert Mueller, and falsely claiming he won the election.

QAnon

Biden helped China create the Texas energy crisis

As if Texans didn’t have enough to deal with between energy blackouts, broken water pipes, food shortages, and their elected officials lying about Cancún holidays in the middle of the crisis, QAnon followers are now actively trying to claim that the winter storm was orchestrated by the Biden administration with the help of China.

White Supremacists

What is the 150-year-old Ku Klux Klan Act that is being used against Trump?

In the wake of the Civil War, the Enforcement Act of 1871 gave presidents the power to suspend the writ of habeas corpus to protect the voting rights of Black Americans, which were under threat from the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and other white supremacy organizations. Now, one former president stands accused of violating it.

Ted Cruz

'Don't let him back in': backlash as Cruz caught leaving Texas for Mexico

“Complete and utter hyprocites,” tweeted Senator Ted Cruz back in December, when Steve Adler, mayor of Austin, was caught directing residents to stay at home to stop the spread of the coronavirus while at his holiday home in Cabo, Mexico. But Cruz is now eating a slice of humble pie – after being caught hopping on a flight to Mexico just days after telling Texans to stay home during a storm that has left millions of Texans without heating, hot water or power. Cruz was pictured on a flight to Cancun while millions in his state are without power, and adults and children have died while trying to keep warm.

Desaster

Millions of Texans struggle for drinking water following deadly winter storm

Millions of Texans are facing water shortages after the deadly winter storm ravaging the state caused pipes to burst and treatment plants to back up, disrupting services and contaminating supplies. Texas officials ordered seven million people – a quarter of the population of the nation’s second-largest state – to boil tap water before drinking it following days of record low temperatures that damaged infrastructure and froze pipes. Almost 600 public water systems in more than 140 counties reported disruptions in service, affecting nearly 12 million people on Wednesday night, a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality spokesperson told the Texas Tribune.

Serena Williams

What next after her tearful Australian Open exit?

A few hours after Serena Williams walked out of Rod Laver Arena, beaten in the late stages of a grand slam tournament once more, the Eurosport team had converged in front of the cameras to discuss the day’s play. There stood Barbara Schett, last active 15 years ago, who played against Williams three times, and via video link, Williams’s former rival Justine Henin, who retired in Melbourne 10 years ago.

Gold Standard Banking Corporation AG (GSB)

G999 Boss Josip Heit allegedly involved in dirty human trafficking

The public prosecutor's office in Frankfurt is now also investigating the alleged banker Josip Heit. According to the investigators, the Croatian is a key figure in a network of human traffickers operating throughout Europe. Specifically, prosecutors are charging him with promoting prostitution, extortion, coercion, promoting child prostitution, tax evasion and fraud.

Kentucky

County GOP chair calls on Mitch McConnell to resign

A county GOP chairman in Kentucky is calling for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to resign from his leadership position in the Senate over his floor speech last weekend saying former President Donald Trump was responsible for the Capitol riot. “Given that the county party I represent supports President Trump overwhelmingly and your complete and total disdain for the will of your constituents here in Nelson County I am formally demanding you immediately resign your leadership position within our party’s caucus in the United States Senate,” Don Thrasher, chairman for the Republican Party of Nelson County, said.

Poll

Biden with 50 percent approval

About half of Americans approve of President Biden’s job performance nearly a month into his presidency, though Democrats and Republicans are sharply divided in their perceptions, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday. The survey, which questioned more than 1,000 U.S. adults from Feb. 11 to Feb. 14, found that overall, Biden currently has a positive job approval rating of 50 percent, compared to 38 percent who disapprove.

CYBERSECURITY

North Korean hackers are 'the world’s leading bank robbers'

Federal prosecutors on Wednesday announced charges against three North Korean government hackers accused of participating in a wide range of cyberattacks, including the destructive 2014 assault on Sony Pictures Entertainment hack, the global WannaCry ransomware attack in 2017 and a range of digital bank heists.

Kayleigh McEnany

Ex-Trump press secretary criticized for stirring up QAnon on Twitter

Former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany has come under fire for a tweet singling out a comment from President Biden about his adoration of children.

Conservative Media

Rush Limbaugh dead at 70 following battle with cancer

Rush Limbaugh, the conservative media icon who for decades used his perch as the king of talk-radio to shape the politics of both the Republican Party and nation, died Wednesday after a battle with cancer. He was 70 years old. Limbaugh's wife Kathryn made the announcement on his radio show Wednesday.

Legal

Rudy Giuliani not representing Donald Trump in legal matters

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is not currently representing Donald Trump in any legal matters, according to a spokesman for the former president, Jason Miller. Giuliani had served as Trump’s personal lawyer since 2018 and was one of the main figures representing Trump in his failed legal efforts to challenge the 2020 election results.

Republicans

Trump unloads on Mitch McConnell, promises MAGA primary challengers

Former President Trump on Tuesday unloaded on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and vowed to back challengers to lawmakers who have crossed him. In a statement released through his Save America super PAC, Trump blamed McConnell for the GOP’s 2020 Senate losses and called for Republicans to elect new leaders to carry on his legacy.

Probe into the insurrection

After the impeachment: Nancy Pelosi want the capitol attack investigated like 9/11

For Democrats and a shamefully small number of Republicans, last week’s impeachment trial was not only about holding Donald Trump accountable for his actions—it was also about sending a message, to him and other would-be American autocrats, that the country cannot again go down the road to insurrection. “If the Senate acquits Donald Trump, then any president could incite and provoke insurrectionary violence against us again,” impeachment manager Jamie Raskin pleaded with his Capitol Hill colleagues. His appeal, however convincing, failed to move move Republican Senators, and the right and just thing was overpowered by the politics of the moment.

Investigative

Steve Bannon believed Donald Trump had early stage dementia, TV producer claims

Former White House strategist Steve Bannon thought Donald Trump was suffering from early-stage dementia and campaigned covertly to remove him from office via the 25th amendment, according to a veteran TV producer. Ira Rosen, the author of a new memoir about his work for CBS, Ticking Clock: Behind the Scenes at 60 Minutes, was speaking to Skullduggery, a podcast from Yahoo News. Rosen told hosts Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman his book was “not a dish on this person or that person”, then gave listeners a taste of the dish inside.

Shortnews

Poll

Biden with 50 percent approval

About half of Americans approve of President Biden’s job performance nearly a month into his presidency, though Democrats and Republicans are sharply divided in their perceptions, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday. The survey, which questioned more than 1,000 U.S. adults from Feb. 11 to Feb. 14, found that overall, Biden currently has a positive job approval rating of 50 percent, compared to 38 percent who disapprove.

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Poll

Biden with 50 percent approval

About half of Americans approve of President Biden’s job performance nearly a month into his presidency, though Democrats and Republicans are sharply divided in their perceptions, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday. The survey, which questioned more than 1,000 U.S. adults from Feb. 11 to Feb. 14, found that overall, Biden currently has a positive job approval rating of 50 percent, compared to 38 percent who disapprove.

Biden’s approval rating remains relatively unchanged from Quinnipiac’s first poll of his presidency released earlier this month, which showed that about 49 percent of Americans approved of his job performance, compared to 36 percent who had a negative perception of the new administration.

Wednesday’s poll, which reported a margin of error of 3 percentage points, found that Democrats overwhelmingly support Biden’s performance, 91 percent to 2 percent, while Republicans disapprove 82 percent to 11 percent.

Among survey respondents who were registered voters, Biden’s job approval lies at 52 percent to 38 percent, which Quinnipiac noted is nearly the inverse of former President Trump’s at the same point in 2017, when the Republican had a negative job approval rating of 38 percent to 55 percent.

Quinnipiac University polling analyst Tim Malloy said in a press release on the poll’s findings that Biden’s approval numbers are “solid, but not particularly dazzling.”

Malloy added, however, “there may be some solace in the knowledge that his predecessor spent four years in office without getting very close to 50 percent.”

When it comes to the coronavirus pandemic, 58 percent of those surveyed said they approved of Biden’s efforts to combat the virus, with 48 percent approving of his handling of the American economy, which has suffered for months as businesses have been forced to shut down and layoff workers during the pandemic.

Quinnipiac began conducting the poll the same day Biden announced that the U.S. had secured an additional 200 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine, adding that the country should have enough doses from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech to inoculate every American by the end of July.

The administration is also engaged in ongoing negotiations with Congress on the president’s proposed $1.9 trillion relief package. Democratic leaders in Congress have indicated they are prepared to pass the bill, called the American Rescue Plan, with or without Republican votes in the coming weeks.

However, Americans are mixed when it comes to the administration’s plans for reopening schools amid the pandemic, with 42 percent approving and 38 percent indicating disapproval with Biden’s response.

Biden clarified Tuesday that his goal is to have the majority of K-8 schools physically reopened five days a week by the end of his first 100 days in office. The remarks came after White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last week that Biden aimed to have more than 50 percent of schools holding at least one day of in-person learning per week by the end of his first 100 days.

USA - Mexico

Biden formally ends Trump's border emergency

President Joe Biden on Thursday formally terminated former President Donald Trump's two-year-old declaration of a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border and halted the flow of government funds toward construction of the border wall. But roughly 3,600 troops deployed to the border won’t be coming home anytime soon, according to the Pentagon. In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Kamala Harris, in her capacity as president of the Senate, Biden called the order by his predecessor "unwarranted." Biden also announced that government funds would no longer be diverted toward construction of a border wall, stating that he was "directing a careful review of all resources appropriated or redirected to that end."

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USA - Mexico

Biden formally ends Trump's border emergency

President Joe Biden on Thursday formally terminated former President Donald Trump's two-year-old declaration of a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border and halted the flow of government funds toward construction of the border wall. But roughly 3,600 troops deployed to the border won’t be coming home anytime soon, according to the Pentagon.

In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Kamala Harris, in her capacity as president of the Senate, Biden called the order by his predecessor "unwarranted." Biden also announced that government funds would no longer be diverted toward construction of a border wall, stating that he was "directing a careful review of all resources appropriated or redirected to that end."

Biden's proclamation represents his latest effort to undo some of the previous administration's most controversial policies in his opening weeks in office, many of which were related to immigration and law enforcement at the southern border.

But for the troops on the ground, not much will change. Roughly 3,600 military personnel will continue providing support to the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection in the form of surveillance, maintenance, logistics and transportation until September, Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Col. Chris Mitchell said.

In response to the pandemic in March of last year, an additional 600 personnel were deployed to the border to operate 60 additional surveillance sites, Mitchell said. Those troops will leave by March 31.

Mitchell stressed that the troops are not helping with wall construction. That effort is overseen by the Army Corps of Engineers, which directed the contractors working on the border not to install any additional physical barriers. The only work that will occur is the construction activity necessary to close down each site, he said.

Trump's national emergency declaration in February 2019 came after a 35-day government shutdown that resulted in him signing a bipartisan government funding bill allocating $1.375 billion for border security.

That amount was far less than the $5.7 billion Trump had sought to build a wall separating the U.S. and Mexico, so the then-president circumvented Congress by declaring a national emergency at the border.

In total, Trump's declaration diverted more than $6 billion from the Pentagon and Treasury Department to construct or repair as many as 234 miles of border barrier. Of those funds, $3.6 billion were earmarked for military construction, $2.5 billion were dedicated to a Defense Department drug prevention program and $600 million were from a Treasury Department drug forfeiture fund.

The order was met by legal challenges and rebukes among members of Congress from both parties. Additionally, a bipartisan group of nearly five dozen former national security officials condemned the decision.

PARLER

Computer programmer downloaded key impeachment videos

Much of the video footage presented by House impeachment managers in former President Trump’s Senate trial was downloaded from Parler by an anonymous programmer before the platform went offline. Amazon Web Services in January pulled its hosting support for Parler, the social media platform favored by many on the far right, amid reports it had been used to coordinate the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The programmer, who downloaded about 30 terabytes of video, told CNN she “had an efficient way to download it all. I knew what was there, but it seemed that nobody else could see the value.”

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PARLER

Computer programmer downloaded key impeachment videos

Much of the video footage presented by House impeachment managers in former President Trump’s Senate trial was downloaded from Parler by an anonymous programmer before the platform went offline. Amazon Web Services in January pulled its hosting support for Parler, the social media platform favored by many on the far right, amid reports it had been used to coordinate the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The programmer, who downloaded about 30 terabytes of video, told CNN she “had an efficient way to download it all. I knew what was there, but it seemed that nobody else could see the value.”

The programmer, who uses the Twitter name @donk_enby, told the cable news network that she hoped the use of her downloads at Trump's trial “inspires more people with similar skills to mine to use those skills for good.” She told CNN she is not based in the U.S. and all of the videos were publicly accessible before Parler went offline.

Nonprofit news outlet ProPublica on Jan. 17 posted hundreds of videos scraped from the platform. Video footage, much of it never before viewed by the public, has been central to House impeachment managers’ case against the former president. On Wednesday, they presented footage showing Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman steering Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) away from the approaching mob.

CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan tweeted that the public and Congress “might not have seen [the videos] at all had it not been for @donk_enby.”

Lindsey Graham

Trump will have 'a place in history' for Capitol riots

One of former President Trump's longtime allies in the Senate said Sunday that Trump would be remembered for his role in the events leading up to the deadly riot that overtook the Capitol on Jan. 6. Speaking on CBS's "Face the Nation," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) indicated that he thought history would judge Trump's responsibility for the siege that resulted in the deaths of several people, including one Capitol Police officer, but added that he did not think it was the Senate's role to convict the former president for inciting the riot.

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Lindsey Graham

Trump will have 'a place in history' for Capitol riots

One of former President Trump's longtime allies in the Senate said Sunday that Trump would be remembered for his role in the events leading up to the deadly riot that overtook the Capitol on Jan. 6. Speaking on CBS's "Face the Nation," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) indicated that he thought history would judge Trump's responsibility for the siege that resulted in the deaths of several people, including one Capitol Police officer, but added that he did not think it was the Senate's role to convict the former president for inciting the riot.

"Well, I mean, he’s going to have a place in history for all of this, but the point of the matter is that we're in Congress. We're not prosecutors. Impeachment was never meant to be a prosecution," Graham said.

"I think I'm ready to move on. I'm ready to end the impeachment trial because I think it's blatantly unconstitutional," Graham continued, before adding, "As to Donald Trump, he is the most popular figure in the Republican Party. He had a consequential presidency. Jan. 6 was a very bad day for America, and he'll get his share of blame in history."

Graham's comments come as the Senate GOP has signaled that a conviction of the former president is unlikely to occur, as many members have expressed doubt over whether such a maneuver is constitutional.

A number of Republicans, including Graham, have criticized the former president over the Jan. 6 violence. The president's second impeachment by the House last month saw 10 Republicans vote in favor of charging him with inciting an insurrection.

The South Carolina Republican, a top ally of the former president during his one term in the White House, said last month that Trump's legacy had been "tarnished" by the riot and that Trump's "actions were the problem" that led to the violence.

Mike Lindell

Twitter suspends MyPillow account after election fraud tweets

Twitter officially suspended the MyPillow company Twitter account after founder Mike Lindell utilized it to make several posts attacking Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and promoting claims of election fraud. The social media giant banned the account on Monday -- a move that comes just one week after Lindell's personal account was suspended.

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Mike Lindell

Twitter suspends MyPillow account after election fraud tweets

Twitter officially suspended the MyPillow company Twitter account after founder Mike Lindell utilized it to make several posts attacking Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and promoting claims of election fraud. The social media giant banned the account on Monday -- a move that comes just one week after Lindell's personal account was suspended.

"I know you are tied into the election fraud! You are so afraid of being found out! So many are looking forward to you being brought to justice!," Lindell wrote referring to Dorsey in his final tweet from the account before it was shut down, the Star Tribune reported.

Twitter said that the suspension was due to Lindell's violation of the platform's ban evasion policy, USA Today reported.

Twitter's policy states that accounts can be permanently suspended for violating the Twitter Rules, which include spam, account security and abusive tweets or behavior. It also specifically outlines rules pertaining to interfering with elections.

“You may not use Twitter’s services for the purpose of manipulating or interfering in elections or other civic processes,” the policy states.

Twitter also "reserves the right to also permanently suspend any other account we believe the same account holder or entity may be operating in violation of our earlier suspension, regardless of when the other account was created," the Tribune reported.

Despite being banned from Twitter a second time, Lindell maintained that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

"[I] want to get the fraud out there. All is going to be revealed that these machines attacked and stole the election," Lindell stated without any evidence in an interview with the Tribune.

The MyPillow CEO referenced a misinformation campaign alleging that Dominion Voting Systems machines led to irregularities in ballots.

Earlier this month, Dominion Voting Systems filed a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal attorney, over false claims about the company.