Newsroom

Adam Schiff

Watchdog investigates seizure of Democrats’ phone data

The US justice department’s internal watchdog launched an investigation on Friday after revelations that former president Donald Trump’s administration secretly seized phone data from at least two House Democrats as part of an aggressive leaks inquiry related to the Russia investigation into Trump’s conduct.

Capitol Riots

Intelligence failures left police officers exposed to a violent mob of Trump supporters

The deadly insurrection at the US Capitol was “planned in plain sight” but intelligence failures left police officers exposed to a violent mob of Trump supporters, a Senate investigation has found. The Capitol police intelligence division had been gathering online data since December about plots to storm the building on 6 January, including messages such as: “Bring guns. It’s now or never.” But a combination of bad communications, poor planning, faulty equipment and lack of leadership meant the warnings went unheeded, allowing the insurrectionists to overrun the Capitol and disrupt certification of Joe Biden’s election victory. Five people died.

England

Silence 'not an option' for Buckingham Palace over Harry and Meghan

As Buckingham Palace, no doubt still reeling from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s allegations on mental health and racism, considers its response, history should have taught that silence is not an option, said one royal expert. More than 24 hours after the Oprah Winfrey interview was broadcast in the US, senior royal aides had still not broken cover amid calls for an investigation into the couple’s claims.

QAnon

Judge Royce Lamberth rejects QAnon shaman’s bid for release

The spear-wielding self-described shaman who stormed the Senate chamber on Jan. 6 will remain behind bars pending trial, a federal judge ruled on Monday. The decision by Jacob Chansley, an adherent of the QAnon conspiracy theory, to speak to CBS’ “60 Minutes+” and other media outlets appears to have backfired, as U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth said Chansley’s statements underscored his ongoing dangerousness. Lamberth repeatedly cited Chansley’s comments to “60 Minutes+” — as well as his mother’s — as evidence that he shouldn’t be released.

Prince Harry & Meghan Markle

Prime time special: Bombshell after bombshell about life inside the royal family

By the time the sun rises in the UK on Monday, the public will have a new perspective from Harry and Meghan, the former senior royals, on the machinations of the palace. This week has already seen a frenzy of stories citing unnamed sources and royal commentators but the Palace has adhered to its usual protocol of silence in the face of the speculative reporting surrounding the broadcast. It did, however, announce Wednesday it would investigate allegations that Meghan bullied members of staff, claims made anonymously in a British newspaper that the Sussexes' spokesperson dismissed as "a calculated smear campaign."

Sexual Harrassment

Cuomo suffers major blow as top New York Democrats say governor must go

Andrew Cuomo suffered a major blow on Sunday in his attempt to stay as governor of New York in the face of allegations of sexual harassment and workplace bullying and a scandal over nursing home deaths under Covid. The majority leader of the senate and the speaker of the assembly, two of the most powerful Democrats in the state, said it was time for Cuomo to go. “We need to govern without daily distraction,” the majority leader, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, said. “For the good of the state, Governor Cuomo must resign.” Assembly speaker Carl Heastie backed Cousins, calling the allegations “disturbing”.

COVID-19

World on brink of fourth wave of coronavirus

A year after the frightening beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the world stands on the brink of a fourth wave of infection as nations race to vaccinate their populations and stave off a new surge in hospitalizations and deaths. Total reported cases rose across the globe in the last week of February after six weeks of decline, driven in part by new, more virulent variants that transmit between people at startlingly higher rates than the initial strains out of Wuhan, China, and northern Italy.

Jacob Chansley

Capitol riot shaman's '60 Minutes' TV interview irks judge

The lawyer for the horned shaman who became one of the most iconic figures involved in the storming of the Capitol in January is in hot water with a federal judge after facilitating an interview that the judge said violated federal rules.

Federico Guillermo Klein

State Department aide appointed by Donald Trump stormed the Capitol

The FBI said Thursday that it arrested a political appointee of President Donald Trump on charges that he stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and assaulted an officer with a weapon, marking the first arrest of a Trump administration official in connection with the insurrection.

COVID-19

Andrew Cuomo advisers altered report on Covid-19 nursing-home deaths

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top advisers successfully pushed state health officials to strip a public report of data showing that more nursing-home residents had died of Covid-19 than the administration had acknowledged, according to people with knowledge of the report’s production. The July report, which examined the factors that led to the spread of the virus in nursing homes, focused only on residents who died inside long-term-care facilities, leaving out those who had died in hospitals after becoming sick in nursing homes.

Criminal Investigation

FBI is examining communications between lawmakers and Capitol rioters

Federal investigators are examining records of communications between members of Congress and the pro-Trump mob that attacked the US Capitol, as the investigation moves closer to exploring whether lawmakers wittingly or unwittingly helped the insurrectionists, according to a US official briefed on the matter. The data gathered so far includes indications of contact with lawmakers in the days around January 6, as well as communications between alleged rioters discussing their associations with members of Congress, the official said.

Jamal Khashoggi

Turkish court refuses to admit US report as trial evidence

A Turkish court trying 26 Saudi nationals in absentia for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi has refused to admit as evidence a recent US intelligence report implicating the kingdom’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, despite a petition from the journalist’s fiancee, Hatice Cengiz.

Capitol Riots

'QAnon shaman' is 'wounded' Trump hasn't helped him

The man known as the “QAnon Shaman,” who was seen shirtless and wearing bull horns in the U.S. Capitol during the deadly rioting on Jan. 6, said in his first interview since being jailed that he was "wounded" that former President Trump did not offer to help him.

Inauguration Donald Trump

US warned of possible militia plot to attack Capitol

Federal authorities on Wednesday warned that people associated with identified militia groups have been discussing plans for another attack on the US Capitol with the aim of removing Democratic politicians on or about 4 March.

Capitol Riots

D.C. Guard chief says ‘unusual’ restrictions slowed deployment of backup

Maj. Gen. William J. Walker said he did not receive approval to change the D.C. Guard’s mission and send his forces to the Capitol on Jan. 6 until three hours and 19 minutes after he first received an emotional call from the Capitol Police chief requesting urgent backup. Walker described the Pentagon’s restrictions as “unusual,” noting that he did not have such limitations last summer, when the D.C. Guard was tasked with responding to local racial-justice protests after the killing of George Floyd.

New York governor

Andrew Cuomo says he won't resign amid sexual harassment allegations

“Some politicians will always play politics. That’s the nature of the beast. I don’t think today is a day for politics. I wasn’t elected by politicians, I was elected by the people of the state of New York. I’m not going to resign. I work for the people of the state of New York, they elected me, and I’m going to serve the people of the state of New York,” Cuomo said at a press conference. The defiant stance comes as pressure mounts on him to leave office over the allegations, as well as over unrelated complaints about his handling of the coronavirus pandemic in nursing homes last year.

Alexei Navalny

US hits Russian officials with fresh sanctions

The US has announced sanctions on seven Russian government officials and 13 Russian and European companies in response to the poisoning of the opposition leader Alexei Navalny, which a US intelligence assessment confirmed to be the work of the FSB.

Boy Scouts of America

They will sell Norman Rockwell paintings to fund sexual abuse claim payments

The Boy Scouts of America has said it will establish a victims’ fund of at least $300m, to deal with payments arising from lawsuits over sexual abuse and funded in part by selling its portfolio of Norman Rockwell paintings. More than 85,000 former scouts have made legal claims against the 111-year-old organization about alleged sexual abuse by leaders, according to reports.

Poll

Joe Biden's approval tops 60 percent in new poll

President Joe Biden is starting his tenure in White House with the approval of 61 percent of voters, according to a new Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey released exclusively to The Hill on Monday.

CPAC

Hyatt Hotels says stage resembling Nazi rune is 'abhorrent'

The Hyatt Hotels Corporation called symbols of hate “abhorrent” on Sunday after the design of a stage at the right-wing Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at one of its hotels drew comparisons to a Norse rune used by Nazis during the second world war.

Andrew Cuomo

Charlotte Bennett said New York governor harassed her last spring

A second woman has come forward to accuse New York governor Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment in a move that has prompted the under-fire Democrat to launch an independent investigation into the allegations. Charlotte Bennett, who was an executive assistant and health policy adviser in the Cuomo administration until November, told The New York Times that he had harassed her last spring, during the height of New York’s fight against the coronavirus – which Cuomo led and which at the time gave him an international reputation for good leadership.

Capitol Riots

Police: Militia attack groups want to ‘blow up Capitol’ during Biden speech

Militia groups involved in the 6 January insurrection want to stage another attack around Joe Biden’s upcoming address to Congress, aiming to “blow up” the complex and kill lawmakers, the acting chief of the US Capitol police has warned. In alarming testimony to a House subcommittee, Yogananda Pittman said that threats were circulating that directly targeted the president’s first formal speech to a joint session of Congress. A date for the event has not yet been announced.

Shortnews

Deadly DUI Crash

Ex-Astronaut going to prison for 4 years

An ex-astronaut who killed two young Alabama girls while driving under the influence will spend at least four years behind bars after pleading guilty to manslaughter. James Halsell, 64, of Huntsville, was a Space Shuttle commander who flew five missions. Ten years after retirement, he crashed into another car in Tuscaloosa, leaving Niomi Deona James, 11, and Jayla Latrick Parler, 13, dead.

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Deadly DUI Crash

Ex-Astronaut going to prison for 4 years

An ex-astronaut who killed two young Alabama girls while driving under the influence will spend at least four years behind bars after pleading guilty to manslaughter. James Halsell, 64, of Huntsville, was a Space Shuttle commander who flew five missions. Ten years after retirement, he crashed into another car in Tuscaloosa, leaving Niomi Deona James, 11, and Jayla Latrick Parler, 13, dead.

“There are clearly no winners here. It’s a horrible thing for the family. You have a man who has done very good things, who in this case did a very, very, very bad thing,” Tuscaloosa County District Attorney Hays Webb said, according to AL.com.

“It just shows how thin the line is, and how fast and how far people can fall.”

The girls’ family prayed outside the courthouse.

“My daughters were amazing, beautiful, smart, strong little girls that could have been anything in this world if they had the opportunity to grow up, but that was taken from me and all of everyone else in this world,” their mother, Latrice Parler, told WAFF.

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.

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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.

As of 4 pm ET Tuesday, 8.5% of gas stations in North Carolina and 7.7% in Virginia didn't have gasoline, according to outage figures reported by GasBuddy, an app that tracks fuel prices and demand. The Virginia figure was flat from 11 am ET, while North Carolina was up from 5.8% previously.

Rising outages are also being reported at gas stations in Georgia (5.8%), Florida (2.8%) and South Carolina (3.5%), according to GasBuddy, which collects user reports and shares the information with the government during emergencies.

"Panicked buying" is "running stations in the region dry," Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, told CNN Business.
He warned that the "irrational behavior" could prolong supply issues "for weeks."

Tiffany Wright of AAA Carolinas criticized what she described as "irresponsible behavior at the pump."

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.

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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.

“Hi, this is Tamika Taylor from Project 1599, the civil rights organization founded by Jack Burman and Jacob Wohl,” the automated recordings told the targeted voters.

“Mail-in voting sounds great, but did you know that if you vote by mail, your personal information will be part of a public database that will be used by police departments to track down old warrants and be used by credit card companies to collect outstanding debts? The CDC is even pushing to use records for mail-in voting to track people for mandatory vaccines. Don’t be finessed into giving your private information to the man, stay home safe and beware of vote by mail.”

James says 5,500 New Yorkers were affected; she’s asking for Wohl and Burkman to pay $500 for each violation and forfeit all profits. If successful, they will be on the hook for $2.75 million, in addition to the felony charges they face in other states for the alleged scheme.

Wohl and Burkman have a history of failed schemes, including an attempt to pin false sexual assault allegations on now-U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, former special counsel Robert Mueller, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Caron Nazario

Police Chief: No apology needed for pepper-spraying

After a video of Army Lieutenant Caron Nazario being pepper-sprayed by Windsor, Virginia cops during a traffic stop went viral last week, Police Chief Rodney D. Riddle said he didn’t feel Nazario was owed an official apology. “My guys missed opportunities to verbally de-escalate,” Riddle admitted of the incident late last year that saw two officers with guns drawn barking at Nazario to get out of his car for allegedly not having a rear license tag.

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Caron Nazario

Police Chief: No apology needed for pepper-spraying

After a video of Army Lieutenant Caron Nazario being pepper-sprayed by Windsor, Virginia cops during a traffic stop went viral last week, Police Chief Rodney D. Riddle said he didn’t feel Nazario was owed an official apology. “My guys missed opportunities to verbally de-escalate,” Riddle admitted of the incident late last year that saw two officers with guns drawn barking at Nazario to get out of his car for allegedly not having a rear license tag.

They pepper-spraying Nazario in the face, before realizing he did in fact have his license tag taped to the rear window of the new car. Riddle went so far as to partially blame Nazario, saying that he wished he’d “complied a whole lot earlier.” The incident is now the subject of a $1 million lawsuit against the officers involved, one of whom was fired earlier this week after an internal investigation.

Fox & Friends

Harry and Meghan cause for Prince Philip's death

Minutes after the British royal family announced that Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, Prince Philip, had died at the age of 99, the sleuths at Fox & Friends blamed their inevitable culprits: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Host Brian Kilmeade immediately linked the death of the extremely old and sickly Duke of Edinburgh to Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, which aired last month and contained shocking claims of racism and cruel treatment against Meghan by royal family members.

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Fox & Friends

Harry and Meghan cause for Prince Philip's death

Minutes after the British royal family announced that Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, Prince Philip, had died at the age of 99, the sleuths at Fox & Friends blamed their inevitable culprits: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Host Brian Kilmeade immediately linked the death of the extremely old and sickly Duke of Edinburgh to Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, which aired last month and contained shocking claims of racism and cruel treatment against Meghan by royal family members.

Kilmeade said on Friday’s show: “There are reports that [Philip] was enraged after the interview and the fallout from the interview with Oprah Winfrey, so here he is trying to recover and he’s hit with that.”

Kilmeade then went on to cite Piers Morgan, of all people, as evidence that Philip’s health was hit by the Oprah interview. Morgan resigned in disgrace from his show, Good Morning Britain, after thousands of people complained about his repeated attacks on Meghan. The low point came when he said didn’t believe her admission that she felt suicidal.

The Fox & Friends host said: “Piers Morgan was saying on his morning show, which he famously walked off of, is like ‘Really? Your grandfather is in the hospital, you know he’s not doing well, is this really the time you have to put out this interview?’ Evidently, it definitely added to his stress.”

Philip left his London hospital after a month-long stay for treatment of an unspecified infection. He also underwent a procedure for a pre-existing heart condition in that time. He was also 99 years old.