Boulevard

Trump Administration

Jeff Sessions claims he’s clueless about his DOJ’s snooping on Congress

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions is telling associates he had no idea his Justice Department seized phone records of two top Democratic congressional critics of then-President Donald Trump. In the hours since The New York Times broke the news on Thursday that prosecutors subpoenaed Apple metadata from Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA), former Attorney General Sessions has privately told people that he wasn’t aware of, nor was he briefed on, the reported data seizures while he led the Trump DOJ. This week’s revelations were a surprise to him, according to a source familiar with the matter, and another person close to Sessions.

Capitol Rioter Brian Mock

He was prepared to die and leave four kids behind: ‘I was at peace with that knowledge’

The FBI says that Brian Mock went to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 unsure of what he would face, but as he shared on social media just days later, he was prepared to fully commit to whatever came his way — even death. “I went to the Capitol not knowing what to expect but said goodbye to my 4 children, not sure if I was going to come home,” Mock wrote on Facebook on Jan. 8, according to federal documents charging Mock with multiple crimes. “I was at peace with that knowledge.” Mock, 43, is one of the latest people to be arrested for crimes related to the siege on the U.S. Capitol, according to a statement from the Justice Department.

Donald Trump responds to Facebook

“Next time I’m in the White House”

Donald Trump has appeared to drop his strongest hint yet at another presidential run in 2024, responding to news of his two-year ban from Facebook on Friday by saying he would not invite Mark Zuckerberg to dinner “next time I’m in the White House”.

US government report

No evidence UFOs were alien – but doesn’t rule it out

US intelligence authorities have not found any evidence that unidentified flying objects (UFOs) seen by navy pilots in recent years were otherworldly alien spacecraft– but apparently did not rule it out, either.

Trump Organization

Controller testified before special counsel

Jeff McConney, a senior vice president and controller at the Trump Organization, has testified before a grand jury that was stood up by the Manhattan District Attorney's office to determine if charges should be brought against former President Trump and his company. McConney is one of several witnesses who have testified in front of the grand jury, according to ABC News. His testimony – the first from any employee of the company – indicates that prosecutors have conducted a deep probe into the Trump Organization’s finances.

Facebook

Donald Trump account remains suspended for two years

Facebook is suspending Donald Trump’s account for two years, the company has announced in a highly anticipated decision that follows months of debate over the former president’s future on social media.

French Open

Yana Sizikova arrested in match-fixing investigation

The Russian tennis player Yana Sizikova has been arrested in Paris by French police as part of a match-fixing investigation. Sizikova, a 26-year-old doubles specialist, was taken into custody on Thursday night in relation to an investigation dating back to October for sports corruption and organized gang fraud.

fears of coercion and torture

Detained Belarus dissident Roman Protasevich breaks down in state TV interview

Footage of detained journalist Roman Protasevich that aired on Belarusian state television Thursday has raised renewed concerns that he is being coerced to take part in political propaganda under duress. Last month, a Ryanair jet with Protasevich on board was forced to land in Belarus so that authorities could arrest the 26-year-old dissident journalist. Amid international outrage, Protasevich appeared in a short video in which he appeared to confess to organizing “mass riots” — generating skepticism on the part of family members and human rights groups, who said that his demeanor and bruised face made clear that he had been coerced.

Trump Organization

Bargain hunters pounce as Trump condo prices hit decade lows

The building has stunning Manhattan skyline views, its spa offers deep-tissue massages, and the fancy restaurant off the lobby serves up prime steaks. Best of all, many apartments at the Trump World Tower are selling at a deep discount — assuming the buyer doesn’t mind the name over the door.

Darkest days for American democracy

How Republican leader Mitch McConnell killed the US Capitol attack commission

Days before the Senate voted down the creation of a 9/11-style commission to investigate the Capitol attack, the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, was adamant: he would oppose the bill, regardless of any amendments – and he expected his colleagues to follow suit. The commission that would have likely found Donald Trump and some Republicans responsible for the insurrection posed an existential threat to the GOP ahead of the midterms, he said, and would complicate efforts to regain the majority in Congress. McConnell’s sharp warning at a closed-door meeting had the desired effect on Friday , when Senate Republicans largely opted to stick with the Senate minority leader.

Soccer

Nike split with Neymar amid sexual-assault probe

Nike Inc. and soccer superstar Neymar split ways last year after the company started investigating an allegation by a Nike employee that the Brazilian athlete had sexually assaulted her, according to people familiar with the matter and documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. In August 2020, Nike didn’t publicly give a reason for the early end to its endorsement deal with one of the world’s most recognizable athletes. Nike’s marketing contract with Neymar had another eight years remaining, according to a person familiar with the matter.

New York Times

Prosecutors investigating whether Ukrainians meddled in 2020 election

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn have been investigating whether several Ukrainian officials helped orchestrate a wide-ranging plan to meddle in the 2020 presidential campaign, including using Rudolph W. Giuliani to spread their misleading claims about President Biden and tilt the election in Donald J. Trump’s favor, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

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.

Gun Violence

The colleagues killed in San Jose mass shooting were like family, official says

The death of a San Jose rail transit worker overnight makes Wednesday’s massacre at a rail yard in the California city the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the San Francisco Bay Area. More details emerged on Thursday about the shooting that claimed the lives of 10 people, including the gunman. Santa Clara county sheriff officials identified the shooter at the light rail facility for the Valley Transportation Authority as 57-year-old Samuel Cassidy, a longtime maintenance worker at the facility. Cassidy’s ex-wife said he had talked about killing people at work more than a decade ago. Cassidy shot nine of his co-workers.

Capitol Riots

Most Americans want the people who invaded the Capitol to be prosecuted

The US House of Representatives voted on May 19th to create an independent commission to investigate the invasion of the Capitol building on January 6th. Members voted 252 in favor of, and 175 against, the commission, which was inspired in part by a similar body that investigated the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Every Democratic member voted in favor of the bill.

Capitol Riots

Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani ask judge to drop Capitol riot conspiracy case

Former President Donald Trump and his onetime personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani on Thursday asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit accusing them of conspiring to incite the deadly invasion of the U.S. Capitol. The lawsuit, brought by Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and 10 other House Democrats, accuses the defendants of violating the federal Ku Klux Klan Act on Jan. 6 by fomenting a mob of Trump's supporters to stop Congress from confirming President Joe Biden's electoral victory. Separate motions to dismiss the suit on Thursday argued that Trump's and Giuliani's remarks at a pre-riot rally near the Capitol were protected under the First Amendment.

Capitol Riots

Former DHS secretaries call on Senate to approve Jan. 6 commission

Four former secretaries of Homeland Security on Thursday urged the Senate to approve an independent commission to investigate the Capitol riots of Jan. 6 as Republicans appear poised to block the creation of such a panel.

COVID-19

Biden shut down Trump, Pompeo effort to prove Wuhan lab theory

The Biden administration has reportedly shut down a discrete State Department operation, launched by former President Trump and his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, to prove the widely-disputed theory that COVID-19 originated in a lab in Wuhan, China. CNN reported Tuesday that the current administration ultimately halted the effort over concerns regarding the quality of the inquiry’s work, according to three sources familiar with the decision.

Donald Trump Investigation

Prosecutors investigating Trump tell witness to prepare for grand jury testimony

Manhattan prosecutors pursuing a criminal case against former President Donald Trump, his company and its executives have told at least one witness to prepare for grand jury testimony, according to a person familiar with the matter — a signal that the lengthy investigation is moving into an advanced stage. The development suggests that the Manhattan district attorney's office is poised to transition from collecting evidence to presenting what is likely a complex case to a grand jury, one that could result in the jury considering criminal charges.

Gun Violence

‘Horrible Tragedy’: At least 9 dead in mass shooting at San Jose rail yard

A gunman opened fire early Wednesday at the light rail yard where he worked in the California Bay Area, fatally shooting at least eight people in the latest spasm of mass gun violence to rock America. The suspected gunman—identified by multiple outlets as 57-year-old Samuel Cassidy — reportedly set his own home ablaze, then drove to the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) rail yard and began shooting during a union meeting around 6:30 a.m. PT. Authorities confirmed the shooter died in the attack, with multiple reports saying he killed himself.

Custody

Brad Pitt wins joint custody of kids with Angelina Jolie

Brad Pitt has been granted joint custody of his children with Angelina Jolie following a lengthy court battle, Page Six has learned. The Oscar winner, 57, has been fighting Jolie, 46, through the courts for nearly five years for equal rights to their six kids. A source close to the issue said it was a “tentative decision,” adding that Jolie is continuing her legal fight.

The View

ABC Boss tells McCain and Behar to cool it with personal attacks

Following the latest on-air blowup between Meghan McCain and Joy Behar, ABC News President Kim Godwin called a last-minute meeting with the co-hosts and producers of The View to demand an end to the personal attacks. After Monday’s broadcast that featured McCain and Behar lashing out at each other over antisemitism, ABC reportedly received a flood of calls from viewers pleading with the network to get rid of McCain. Godwin said during the virtual chat that the on-air attacks had become too toxic and do not comport with the direction she wanted for the long-running talk show.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.