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National Security Guidance

Joe Biden signals another severe reversal from Donald Trump

The White House released its interim national security strategic guidance, stressing a need to build alliances and strengthen democracy, an implicit rebuff of former President Trump’s “America first" strategy. “We will only succeed in advancing American interests and upholding our universal values by working in common cause with our closest allies and partners, and by renewing our own enduring sources of national strength,” President Biden wrote in the guidance.

COVID-19

'Neanderthal thinking': Biden lays into states lifting restrictions

President Joe Biden said Wednesday that moves by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and others to lift statewide Covid restrictions showed 'Neanderthal thinking': “I think it’s a big mistake. I hope everyone has realized right now these masks make a difference," Biden said of the decision to lift mask mandates and other Covid mitigation measures. "We are on the cusp of being able to fundamentally change the nature of this disease because of the way in which we are able to get vaccines in people’s arms.”

New York governor

Andrew Cuomo stays quiet amid calls to quit over sexual harassment claims

New York governor Andrew Cuomo has avoided public appearances for days as some members of his own party call for him to resign over sexual harassment allegations. The governor hasn’t taken questions from reporters since a 19 February briefing, an unusually long gap for a Democrat whose daily, televised updates on the coronavirus pandemic were must-see TV last spring.

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.

Ku Klux Klan

No charges for man who displayed Klan flag next to Black neighbor's home

A prosecutor has declined to file charges against a man who displayed a Ku Klux Klan flag in his window in suburban Detroit, next to the home of a Black family. Such “horrible conduct” doesn’t violate Michigan law, Wayne county prosecutor Kym Worthy said on Tuesday, adding that an ethnic intimidation charge would require physical contact, property damage or threats of such activity.

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.

Republican Party

Donald Trump's reemergence poses risks for GOP

Former President Trump's reentry into public life at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Sunday exacerbates challenges for political leaders in both parties, as well as the media. Washington has been a relatively Trump-free zone for the first 40 days of President Biden's administration, particularly with Trump banned from Twitter, the megaphone that allowed him to gin up news cycle after news cycle.

Archdiocese New Orleans

Catholics should avoid Johnson & Johnson vaccine

The Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans urged Catholics against taking a vaccine for COVID-19 manufactured by Johnson & Johnson because the vaccine is developed from stem cells obtained from two abortions. In a statement on the archdiocese's website, the organization argued that Johnson & Johnson's vaccine was "morally compromised."

FBI

Christopher Wray says no evidence of 'antifa' involvement in Jan. 6 attack

FBI Director Christopher Wray said Tuesday that the bureau has no evidence that far-left violent extremists were involved in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. “We have not to date seen any evidence of anarchist violent extremists or people subscribed to antifa in connection with the sixth,” Wray told lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee, using a term to refer to the left-wing anti-fascism movement.

Donald & Melania Trump vaccinated

Opinion: Maybe Donald Trump is just a huge asshole

Getting vaccinated publicly could have gone a long way toward dispelling Republican doubts about the Covid vaccine — so of course Trump didn’t do it. Former President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump both received the Covid-19 vaccine. They just didn’t tell anyone about it.

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.

Andrew Cuomo

Governor says comments possibly ‘misinterpreted’ - calls to resign

A collective of former New York state legislative employees on Monday denounced Andrew Cuomo’s apology for his past behavior, after the governor was accused of sexually harassing two women, and called for his removal or resignation. Members of the Sexual Harassment Working Group also said they expected more allegations to follow – and accused Cuomo of “gaslighting” his accusers. New York attorney general Letitia James, meanwhile, announced the first step in mounting an external investigation of the governor’s behavior.

CPAC

Calls to can Goya Foods grow after CEO Unuane repeats Trump's election lies

Calls for a boycott of Goya beans, chickpeas and other foodstuffs have grown louder after chief executive Robert Unanue made a series of false claims about the presidential election in a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, in Florida on Sunday. Unanue has previously courted controversy with praise for Donald Trump, which last year prompted Ivanka Trump to pose, infamously, with a can of Goya beans. Onstage in Orlando, Unanue called Donald Trump “the real, legitimate and still actual president of the United States”.

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.

The Oracle of Omaha

Warren Buffett admits to a rare 'mistake'

In his annual letter to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB), investing guru Warren Buffett disclosed that the company took an $11 billion writedown last year on its 2016 purchase of Precision Castparts, describing it as "a mistake." The 90-year-old billionaire, Berkshire's chairman since 1970, said in the company's annual letter to shareholders that the "ugly" writedown had a simple explanation.

COVID-19

CDC signs off on Johnson & Johnson vaccine

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Sunday formally accepted the recommendation from its advisory panel that Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine can be given to people ages 18 and older in the United States. The announcement by CDC Director Rochelle Walensky will allow vaccinations to begin as soon as the doses are received. Walensky called the decision "another milestone toward an end to the pandemic."

CPAC

News outlets diverge over airing Trump's speech

CNN and MSNBC did not air former President Trump's speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Sunday while Fox News and other conservative outlets such as Newsmax and OANN carried his remarks live. Fox News began airing Trump's speech after the former president took to to the stage at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday. CNN continued on with coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and MSNBC continued to air its "PoliticsNation" program, though it aired a short clip from the speech.

CPaC

Trump wins straw poll with 55 percent

Former President Trump won the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) straw poll on Sunday, with 55 percent of respondents saying they would vote for him in a hypothetical 2024 primary. In the straw poll that demonstrated Trump's hold on the GOP, 21 percent said they’d vote for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and 4 percent said they’d go with South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R). Almost 7 in 10 of the poll’s participants said they would like to see Trump run for president in 2024, compared with 15 percent who said they would not and 17 percent who said they were unsure.

COVID-19

Justice Department appeals order blocking federal eviction ban

The Justice Department is appealing a ruling by a U.S. judge in Texas blocking the federal eviction moratorium, the agency announced late Saturday, arguing that the ban remains broadly in effect in the meantime. The court in the Eastern District of Texas blocked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s moratorium on Thursday, ruling that the federal government had overstepped its authority in imposing the sweeping ban. The decision “does not extend beyond the particular plaintiffs in that case, and it does not prohibit the application of the CDC’s eviction moratorium to other parties,” acting Assistant Attorney General Brian Boynton argued. “For other landlords who rent to covered persons, the CDC’s eviction moratorium remains in effect."

COVID-19

Fauci urges Americans to take any of three Covid vaccines available to them

The nation’s leading infectious disease expert has urged Americans to take whatever vaccine is immediately available to them, following this weekend’s approval of the Johnson & Johnson single-dose jab as a third option in the fight against Covid-19.

Republicans

Republican predicts Trump won’t be party’s presidential nominee in 2024

Bill Cassidy, the Louisiana Republican senator, predicted on Sunday morning that Donald Trump will not be the party’s nominee for president in 2024, pointing to the number of seats lost by Republicans in the House and Senate over the four years Trump was in office.

CPAC

Completely insane Donald Trump repeats his big lies at far-right summit

Donald Trump on Sunday launched his attempted political comeback, teasing a possible run for the presidency in 2024 and denouncing Joe Biden for “the most disastrous first month of any president in modern history”. The former president made his first speech since leaving the White House at the rightwing Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, to an effusive reception. Trump claims, entirely falsely, that he actually won the 2020 election but was fraudulently denied his victory.

Shortnews

Black Live Matter

NBA flexes muscle amid partisan attacks

When the Milwaukee Bucks refused to play their playoff game against the Orlando Magic in outrage over the police shooting of Jacob Blake on Wednesday, the NBA — already maligned by some as being too political — took a giant step to the forefront on one of America’s most pressing social issues. Fellow players and athletes from other American sports quickly hailed the historic action, forcing the NBA and other leagues to postpone games over multiple days.

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Black Live Matter

NBA flexes muscle amid partisan attacks

When the Milwaukee Bucks refused to play their playoff game against the Orlando Magic in outrage over the police shooting of Jacob Blake on Wednesday, the NBA — already maligned by some as being too political — took a giant step to the forefront on one of America’s most pressing social issues.

Fellow players and athletes from other American sports quickly hailed the historic action, forcing the NBA and other leagues to postpone games over multiple days.

But the crowd that already had ire for the league, including President Trump and his allies, mocked the NBA players, suggesting that their activism was hollow.

“I think the NBA players are very fortunate that they have the financial position where they're able to take a night off from work without having to have the consequences for themselves financially,” senior White House adviser Jared Kushner said Thursday. “So they have that luxury, which is great.”

While talking to the press later about Hurricane Laura, President Trump called the NBA a “political organization.”

“They’ve become like a political organization, and that’s not a good thing,” Trump said of the NBA, a league where the players are nearly 75 percent Black. “I don’t think that’s a good thing for sports or for the country.”

Fox News host Laura Ingraham, who controversially told NBA front man LeBron James to “shut up and dribble” in 2018, tweeted: “Good. Make it permanent.”

The NBA and its players had already shown strong support for the Black Lives Matter movement since it returned to action from its coronavirus pandemic-induced hiatus at the end of July.

Black Lives Matter is emblazoned on NBA courts in the Orlando “bubble” on the DisneyWorld campus where teams are playing, and players have put messages on their jerseys such as “Say her name,” “Education reform” and “Enough.”

The messages are intended to send a message about racial justice and ensure the names of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks and others Black people killed by police are not forgotten.

Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police when a white office knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes. Taylor was shot and killed by Louisville police while in her own home in March as officers enforced a controversial “no-knock” warrant. In June, Brooks was shot and killed by a white Atlanta police officer in Wendy’s parking lot.

The boycott Wednesday initially appeared like it might end the NBA season, but the decision to resume play appears to signal the NBA player interest in continuing to use their platform to push for change.

“We had a candid, impassioned and productive conversation yesterday between NBA players, coaches and team governors regarding next steps to further our collective efforts and actions in support of social justice and racial equality,” NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a joint statement.

The duo stated that teams within the playoff bubble were returning to play “with the understanding that” the league would work with teams to focus on a slate of civil and voting rights programs.

Scott Rochelle, president and CEO of National Basketball Retired Players Association, said that former players were “shocked” by the ability of current players to “effectuate that type of change.”

“Our players have been on the frontline on many social justice issues and they have been vocal their entire lives, but never have they been able to witness this type of immediate impact on the game of basketball.”

Rochelle added: “The player’s passion hasn’t changed, the access to power is what really is at the forefront right now.”

Former NBA player Kenny Smith — who in solidarity with the players walked off the set of TNT’s NBA pregame show which he co-hosts — pushed back against the idea that the players’ actions on Wednesday were political in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

“No. It shows you have power,” Smith told Blitzer, adding that players were citizens with voices. “Sometimes you have to wake people up with a cold glass of water.”

One of the new initiatives being put in place after the boycotts this week will see NBA arenas, currently sitting empty because of the pandemic, become polling sites in November.

Another by-product of talks is the establishment of a “social justice coalition” that will include players, coaches and state governors. The coalition will focus on issues like “increasing access to voting, promoting civic engagement, and advocating for meaningful police and criminal justice reform,” the statement from Silver and Roberts states.

Ronald Koeman

New Barcelona manager

Ronald Koeman is set to be appointed the new Barcelona manager this week to take over from Quique Setién. The former Barcelona player, and assistant manager, will leave his role as Netherlands coach to take over at the Camp Nou in time for the new season. Setién’s days looked numbered even before the humiliating 8-2 defeat against Bayern Munich on Friday and he will leave after seven uncomfortable months. Barcelona finished five points behind Real Madrid in the league and lost to Athletic Bilbao at the quarter-final stage in the Spanish Cup.

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Ronald Koeman

New Barcelona manager

Ronald Koeman is set to be appointed the new Barcelona manager this week to take over from Quique Setién. The former Barcelona player, and assistant manager, will leave his role as Netherlands coach to take over at the Camp Nou in time for the new season.

Setién’s days looked numbered even before the humiliating 8-2 defeat against Bayern Munich on Friday and he will leave after seven uncomfortable months.

Barcelona finished five points behind Real Madrid in the league and lost to Athletic Bilbao at the quarter-final stage in the Spanish Cup. It is the first time in the past 12 years that the club have ended a season trophyless.

Koeman had already turned Barça down, in January, when the club were looking for a replacement for Ernesto Valverde, but this time he could not resist the challenge.

The original preference for the Barça president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, was to hire Mauricio Pochettino but some board members were against that considering the former Espanyol manager once said that he would rather go and work on a farm than manage Barcelona.

NHL Hockey

LA Kings suspend mascot amid sexual harassment allegations

The Los Angeles Kings have suspended the man who portrays the Kings' "Bailey" lion mascot following a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former member of the hockey team's ice crew. Tim Smith, the now-suspended mascot, has also served as a senior manager of game presentation and events for the Kings. A woman who was hired onto the team's ice crew in 2018 filed the suit against Smith, the team, and the Kings owner AEG. The lawsuit is seeking over $1 million in damages, the report added. The woman alleges that Smith made lewd jokes and inappropriate sexual comments before firing her when she confronted and condemned his actions.

Borussia Dortmund

Real Madrid youngster Reinier Jesus to joint BVB

Borussia Dortmund are set to sign Real Madrid youngster Reinier Jesus on a one-year loan with an option for another season. The 18-year-old joined Real Madrid in a €30 million transfer from Flamengo in January but has yet to make his senior debut for the La Liga champions. He is now unlikely to make his debut for Los Blancos during the 2021-20 season. Sources confirmed that Dortmund are close to sealing the loan deal for Reinier and he could join his new teammates once they return from their training camp in Switzerland early next week. The agreement will not include a buy option for the Brazil under-23 international.