Boulevard

Matt Gaetz Scandal

Republican snorted cocaine with escort who had ‘No Show’ government job

When Matt Gaetz attended a 2019 GOP fundraiser in Orlando, his date that night was someone he knew well: a paid escort and amateur Instagram model who led a cocaine-fueled party after the event. The Florida congressman’s one-time wingman, Joel Greenberg, will identify that escort to investigators as one of more than 15 young women Gaetz paid for sex. But what distinguishes this woman, Megan Zalonka, is that she turned her relationship with Greenberg into a taxpayer-funded no-show job that earned her an estimated $7,000 to $17,500.

Liz Cheney

Kevin McCarthy should testify about Trump’s views on Capitol attack

The Republican House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, should testify before the commission to investigate the 6 January Capitol attack, the Wyoming representative Liz Cheney said on Friday, because he has “said publicly that he’s got information about the president’s state of mind that day”.

Merrick Garland

Senate Democrats urge not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo

A group of Senate Democrats are urging Attorney General Merrick Garland not to fight a court order demanding the release of a 2019 Justice Department (DOJ) memo that essentially cleared former President Trump of criminal wrongdoing following the special counsel's investigation.

Liz Cheney

Elise Stefanik eventually voted in as House Republican's new No. 3 leader

Elise Stefanik cruised to victory in a vote to replace Liz Cheney as House Republicans' third-ranked leader, capping off a tumultuous month in the GOP conference sparked by its bitter divisions over Donald Trump. Stefanik won in a 134-46 secret-ballot vote, defeating her sole challenger Rep. Chip Roy of Texas — an unsurprising outcome after she aggressively campaigned for the No. 3 spot, scooping up endorsements from top party leaders and Trump. The 36-year-old New Yorker, known as a moderate turned Trump ally who's used her fundraising skills to help elect a new class of GOP women.

The Quick Vote

Republicans removed Cheney from leadership role over Trump ‘big lie’ criticism

House Republicans voted quickly on Wednesday to remove Liz Cheney as their No. 3 leader over her repeated criticism of Donald Trump, a massive shakeup that ties the party tighter to Trump and threatens to create a new litmus test in the GOP. The fast-moving campaign to dump Cheney, Congress' highest-ranking Republican woman, and replace her with a Trump loyalist was orchestrated by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and his top deputies. The California Republican and his allies complained that Cheney’s constant readiness to call out Trump’s lies.

“The Battle For Britney”

Bombshell Claim: Does Britney Spears have dementia?

Last week, Britney Spears posted a video of herself dancing on Instagram, accompanied by an uncharacteristically long, emoji-filled caption. While the post covered an eclectic array of topics—her love of travel, her desire to install a koi pond in her backyard, her pride in her garden—it was her blunt reaction to the recent spate of documentaries about her life and controversial conservatorship that made headlines.

Colonial Pipeline

Gasoline demand spikes in several states after pipeline hack

A growing number of gas stations along the East Coast are without fuel as nervous drivers aggressively fill up their tanks following a ransomware attack that shut down the Colonial Pipeline, a critical artery for gasoline. The panic-buying threatens to exacerbate the supply shock."Panicked buying" is "running stations in the region dry," Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, told CNN Business.

National Rifle Association

Judge dismisses NRA bankruptcy case

A federal bankruptcy judge dismissed an effort by the National Rifle Association to declare bankruptcy on Tuesday, ruling that the gun rights group had not filed the case in good faith. The ruling slams the door on the NRA's attempt to use bankruptcy laws to evade New York officials seeking to dissolve the organization. In his decision, the federal judge said that "using this bankruptcy case to address a regulatory enforcement problem" was not a permitted use of bankruptcy.

Vanessa & Tiffany Trump

‘Inappropriately close’ to Secret Service agents

Two Trump family members got “inappropriately – and perhaps dangerously – close” to agents protecting them while Donald Trump was president, according to a new book on the US Secret Service. Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service, by the Washington Post reporter Carol Leonnig, is published next week. The Guardian obtained a copy.

anti-vaxxers

Anti-Maskers ready to start masking — to protect themselves from the vaccinated

A conspiracy ripping through the anti-vax world may finally drive some anti-maskers to do the unthinkable: wear a mask and keep their distance. The conspiracy — which comes in several shapes and sizes — more or less says the vaccinated will “shed” certain proteins onto the unvaccinated who will then suffer adverse effects. The main worry is the “shedding” will cause irregular menstruation, infertility, and miscarriages. The entirely baseless idea is a key cog in a larger conspiracy that COVID-19 was a ploy to depopulate the world, and the vaccine is what will cull the masses.

From the Desk of Donald J. Trump

Trump's blog isn't lighting up the internet

Four months after former President Donald Trump was banished from most mainstream social media platforms, he returned to the web last Tuesday with “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump,” essentially a blog for his musings. A week since the unveiling, social media data suggests things are not going well. The ex-president’s blog has drawn a considerably smaller audience than his once-powerful social media accounts.

Wuhan

Rand Paul clashes with Dr. Anthony Fauci over coronavirus origins

Anthony Fauci on Tuesday clashed with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) over the role of the Wuhan, China, virology lab in the origins of COVID-19. During a Senate hearing on the pandemic response, Paul alleged that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) had been sending funding to the Wuhan lab, which then "juiced up" a virus that was originally found in bats to create a supervirus that can infect human cells.

The Washington Post

Sally Buzbee new executive editor

Sally Buzbee, executive editor and senior vice president of The Associated Press, has been named the new executive editor of The Washington Post, the paper reported on Tuesday. Buzbee will become the first woman to lead the Post’s newsroom when she begins work next month, replacing former executive editor Martin Baron, who retired in February.

Matt Gaetz Scandal

Federal investigators seeking cooperation from former Gaetz girlfriend, second key witness

Federal investigators scrutinizing Rep. Matt Gaetz are seeking the cooperation of a former Capitol Hill intern who was once a girlfriend of the Florida Republican, sources familiar with the matter tell CNN. Investigators could also soon gain the formal cooperation of a second key witness, former Florida county tax collector Joel Greenberg, who is approaching a deadline this week to strike a plea agreement with the government on more than two dozen charges he's facing. The pursuit of the cooperation comes as investigators are nearly finished collecting evidence, one source said.

USA

New study estimates more than 900,000 people have died of COVID-19

A new study estimates that the number of people who have died of COVID-19 in the U.S. is more than 900,000, a number 57% higher than official figures. Worldwide, the study's authors say, the COVID-19 death count is nearing 7 million, more than double the reported number of 3.24 million.

The far right conspiracy

New York AG sues Jacob Wohl for $2.75 million over robocalls

New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Thursday that her office has filed a lawsuit against bumbling right-wing conspiracy theorists Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman over robocalls the pair allegedly made to suppress the Black vote ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

Ex-wife Judith gets $42,000 a month

Money problems: Rudy Giuliani cuts down his entourage

Rudy Giuliani, the former personal lawyer for ex-president Donald Trump, has reduced the size of his personal entourage. Giuliani laid off several staffers and independent contractors in the last few weeks, according to one of the people, who said the ousted employees had been told that the former New York mayor was seeking to cut costs.

FOX NEWS

Tucker Carlson makes BS claim ‘30 people every day’ are dying from vaccines

Fox News host Tucker Carlson continued his reckless mission to mainstream vaccine skepticism on Wednesday night by dangerously speculating that thousands of Americans have died from COVID-19 vaccinations, citing a faulty open-sourced database that has become a haven for misinformation.

Kenneth Braithwaite

Donald Trump’s Navy Chief blew $2M on eight-month traveling spree

Former Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite traversed the globe in his brief tenure under the Trump administration, spending about $2.4 million in air travel, according to figures and documents obtained by USA TODAY. Braithwaite spent $232,000 the week before President Joe Biden's inauguration to fly to Wake Island, a tiny Pacific atoll, where, according to Navy spokesman Capt. Jereal Dorsey, no sailors or Marines are stationed.

Office of Legal Counsel (OLC)

Judge's decision on Bill Barr memo puts spotlight on secretive DOJ office

A small but powerful section of the Department of Justice (DOJ) is under renewed scrutiny after a federal judge tore into former Attorney General William Barr and ordered the DOJ to release a memo that let former President Trump claim he was exonerated by the Mueller probe. Critics of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), which provides legal advice to the White House and Cabinet agencies, have long argued it acts as a rubber stamp for the president and essentially drafts laws behind closed doors.

Election 2022

Liz Cheney faces the boot in Washington - Wyoming isn’t looking much better

Rep. Liz Cheney’s colleagues are set to boot her from House GOP leadership this month. Now Republicans back in her home state of Wyoming are plotting how to remove her from Congress entirely. There is no shortage of Republicans eager to take on Cheney in a 2022 primary since her vote to impeach President Donald Trump and her subsequent criticism of him tanked her popularity in Wyoming. But the crowded field is also a risk for the anti-Cheney forces, making it more possible for her to win with a plurality.

Frank Luntz

Donald Trump's 'Big Lie' is working, may cost GOP votes

Veteran GOP pollster Frank Luntz warned that former President Trump’s repeated assertions that the 2020 presidential election was rigged against him could hurt Republican efforts to take back the House in 2022. Luntz noted in an interview on the New York Times podcast “Sway” released Thursday that “more than two-thirds of Republicans believe that the election was stolen,” warning that a widespread and unproven belief that there was rampant fraud last November could turn Republicans off from voting in the midterm elections.

Shortnews

Robert Redfield

I think COVID-19 escaped from Wuhan laboratory

Robert Redfield, the ex-director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has said for the first time that he believes the COVID-19 pandemic began in a lab in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Redfield made the extraordinary claim in an interview with CNN’s chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta. He provided no evidence for his belief, and stressed that it’s only an opinion—not a fact.

Read More
Robert Redfield

I think COVID-19 escaped from Wuhan laboratory

Robert Redfield, the ex-director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has said for the first time that he believes the COVID-19 pandemic began in a lab in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Redfield made the extraordinary claim in an interview with CNN’s chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta. He provided no evidence for his belief, and stressed that it’s only an opinion—not a fact.

Redfield said: “If I was to guess, this virus started transmitting somewhere in September or October in Wuhan... That’s my own view, it’s only an opinion, I’m allowed to have opinions now.”

The former Trump official went on: “I still think the most likely etiology of this pathogen in Wuhan was from a laboratory. You know, escaped. Other people don’t believe that, that’s fine, science will eventually figure it out.”

A World Health Organization team that went to Wuhan to investigate the virus said the lab-accident theory is “extremely unlikely.”

Tiger Woods

He doesn't remember driving the day of crash: sheriff

Tiger Woods told authorities that he did not remember driving the day he was seriously injured in a one-car wreck after an accident on a California road, according to an affidavit obtained by USA Today Sports. Woods was initially unconscious when he was found in his crashed vehicle, according to the affidavit, which was filed to obtain a search warrant for the “black box” in Woods’s car. "Driver said he did not know and did not even remember driving ... Driver was treated for his injuries at the hospital and was asked there again how the collision occurred. He repeated that he did not know and did not remember driving,” the affidavit read.

Read More
Tiger Woods

He doesn't remember driving the day of crash: sheriff

Tiger Woods told authorities that he did not remember driving the day he was seriously injured in a one-car wreck after an accident on a California road, according to an affidavit obtained by USA Today Sports. Woods was initially unconscious when he was found in his crashed vehicle, according to the affidavit, which was filed to obtain a search warrant for the “black box” in Woods’s car.

"Driver said he did not know and did not even remember driving ... Driver was treated for his injuries at the hospital and was asked there again how the collision occurred. He repeated that he did not know and did not remember driving,” the affidavit read.

According to the newspaper, Woods later repeated this statement at the hospital. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Johann Schoegl, who submitted the affidavit, said he believed information on the black box, such as the speed the car was traveling when it crashed, would aid in determining the cause of the crash.

"If somebody is involved in a traffic collision, we've got to reconstruct the traffic collision, if there was any reckless driving, if somebody was on their cell phone or something like that. We determine if there was a crime. If there was no crime, we close out the case, and it was a regular traffic collision," Schoegl said this week after the search warrant was executed.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said that although a search warrant was requested, the investigation into Woods’s crash was not criminal in nature.

“The investigators in the accident, or in the collision, they did a search warrant to seize in essence the black box of the vehicle,’’ Villanueva said Wednesday. “And that’s all it is. And they’re going to go through it and see if they can find out what was the performance of the vehicle, what was happening at the time of impact.”

Villanueva added that Woods was “in good spirits,” saying it was “a good sign.”

Climate Change · Bioterrorism

Bill Gates names the next two monster disasters

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates famously predicted an infectious virus was likely to kill millions of people across the globe five years before COVID-19 did just that. “If anything kills over 10 million people in the next few decades, it’s most likely to be a highly infectious virus rather than a war,” Gates said during a 2015 Ted Talk. “We’ve actually invested very little in a system to stop an epidemic. We’re not ready for the next epidemic,” he warned.

Read More
Climate Change · Bioterrorism

Bill Gates names the next two monster disasters

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates famously predicted an infectious virus was likely to kill millions of people across the globe five years before COVID-19 did just that. “If anything kills over 10 million people in the next few decades, it’s most likely to be a highly infectious virus rather than a war,” Gates said during a 2015 Ted Talk. “We’ve actually invested very little in a system to stop an epidemic. We’re not ready for the next epidemic,” he warned.

Now the billionaire philanthropist has spoken on what the next big crisis facing humanity could be. During an interview on Derek Muller’s YouTube channel Veritasium, Gates pointed out two prominent threats facing the modern world: climate change and bioterrorism.

“Every year that [climate change] would be a death toll even greater than we've had in this pandemic,” Gates said during the interview.

“Also, related to pandemics is something people don’t like to talk about much, which is bioterrorism, that somebody who wants to cause damage could engineer a virus. So that means the chance of running into this is more than just naturally caused epidemics like the current one,” he said.

While Gates said there will certainly be more pandemics in the future, he said humanity could increase its preparedness for one to the point where the world would never have a death toll anywhere near what is occurring today with the coronavirus outbreak, which has infected more than 27 million people and killed more than 2.3 million around the globe.

“Pandemics can be worse in terms of the fatalities. Smallpox was over 30 percent fatality,” Gates said. “We were lucky that the fatality here is not, not super high, but we can nip in the bud...the number of deaths with the right system should be a tenth of what we’ve seen here.”

Gates said the world could prepare for the next pandemic by advancing mRNA research, the technology used in the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, increasing testing to 10 million PCR tests a day and making more investments in diagnostic machines and therapeutics.

Formel 1

Alonso kehrt zu Renault zurück

Der Spanier Fernando Alonso soll übereinstimmenden Medienberichten zufolge 2021 sein Formel-1-Comeback geben. Der zweimalige Weltmeister hat bereits einen Vertrag unterschrieben und soll in der nächsten Saison wieder für Renault fahren. Der 38-Jährige würde demnach das Cockpit von Daniel Ricciardo übernehmen, der zu McLaren wechselt. Alonso wurde mit Renault 2005 und 2006 Weltmeister. Sein letztes Formel-1-Rennen hatte der Asturier beim Saisonfinale 2018 in Abu Dhabi bestritten. Seitdem war er unter anderem in der Rallye Dakar aktiv.