Guru Gowrappan, CEO of Verizon Media, discusses how the company is covering the presidential election.
Guru Gowrappan, CEO of Verizon Media, discusses how the company is covering the presidential election.
The U.S. has reaffirmed support for Taiwan following China’s dispatch of warplanes near the island in an apparent attempt to intimidate its democratic government and test American resolve. The State Department on Saturday said it “notes with concern the pattern of ongoing (China's) attempts to intimidate its neighbors, including Taiwan.” “We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure against Taiwan and instead engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan’s democratically elected representatives," spokesperson Ned Price said in the statement.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, in his first directive since taking office, has given his senior leaders two weeks to send him reports on sexual assault prevention programs in the military, and an assessment of what has worked and what hasn't. Austin's memo, which went out Saturday, fulfills a commitment he made to senators last week during confirmation hearings. “This is a leadership issue,” Austin said in his two-page memo.
Western Sahara's pro-independence Polisario Front launched an overnight attack on the Guerguerat area on the border between Morocco and Mauritania, the Saharawi press agency SPS said in a statement Sunday.
The success of the French crime series "Lupin" on Netflix, riding on the heels of hit Spanish show "Money Heist," may hint at a waning of US dominance on the small screen as ambitious European, Latin American and South Korean players kick down the doors on streaming platforms.
Sheriff's deputies and firefighters on Saturday recovered the body of an Oregon woman whose vehicle was swept away in a deep mudslide during a winter storm last week, authorities said. Jennifer Camus Moore, a registered nurse from Warrendale, Oregon, was driving in the Columbia River Gorge near the small community of Dodson when her SUV was buried under about 15 feet (4.6 meters) of mud, rock and trees. The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office said road crews used front loaders, dump trucks and other heavy equipment to clear the edges of the debris field as they tried to locate her in the wet, unstable mud.
The House voted on January 13 to impeach Mr. Trump on the charge of incitement of the January 6 insurrection.
Justin Tallis/GettyAs vaccine rollouts ramp up—or in some cases, stumble ahead—in countries across the world, the SARS-CoV-2 strain has rolled out some new features of its own, primarily in the form of rapid genetic mutations. Some evidence indicates variants of recent months have made the virus more infectious, or in one case, possibly more deadly.Virus variants are inevitable and often benign. The new coronavirus has likely mutated countless times without attracting the attention of epidemiologists. But new strains identified in the U.K., South Africa, Brazil, and California have given some infectious disease experts pause.Several studies indicate that the strain known as the B117 variant, prevalent in the U.K., may be as much as 70 percent more transmissible than the original virus. Two analyses in California suggested that a new strain on the West Coast, called B.1.426, made up a quarter of the infections they examined. As the news whipsaws between infection spikes and inoculation efforts, it can seem like the world has entered a race between variant and vaccine.Is the South African COVID-19 Mutation a Vaccine Killer?“The change through mutation is quite rapid,” said Dr. Irwin Redlener, pediatric physician and disaster preparedness adviser to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We don’t know where it’s going. This is the reality, that we don’t know what to expect. The thing that we’re more worried about is that it could mutate to become resistant to the vaccines or partially resistant to the vaccines. That would be horrendous. We could make amendments to the vaccine, but it would slow everything down.”Overall, the arrival of new, threatening strains should not change the average person’s behavior, three epidemiologists and public health advisers told the Daily Beast. “In terms of vaccines and mitigation, this doesn’t change the mitigation strategies because we know the mitigation works,” said Dr. Arnold Monto, University of Michigan epidemiologist and professor of Public Health. “But it just means that we have to be all the more serious about following these kinds of rules.”“I think primarily this reinforces the urgency of every aspect of the pandemic response,” echoed Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, vice dean at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “Not just vaccination, but also testing contact tracing, precaution taking, and general vigilance… it will take much more than vaccinations, because we don’t have enough vaccines overall in the short term.”The U.K. StrainHealth officials in the U.K. first announced detection of a new strain in mid-December—just one week after it became the first country in the world to start administering a vaccine. In a press conference, National Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealed that the new mutation had been observed in more than 1,000 patients there, prompting a new wave of strict lockdowns across the country. The strain was thought to date back to mid-September. By late December, its spread correlated with a massive uptick in the number of COVID-19 infections throughout the county.The phrase “more infectious” can be misleading, said Monto. Data on the new strain does not tell us, for example, that someone exposed to it will become infected faster than someone exposed to the old strain under identical conditions. It refers specifically to the rate at which the viruses reproduce.“Let’s look at this in terms of what we know,” said Monto. “What we know is that this virus replicates better. In an individual, it takes less of this virus to cause an infection. How do we know this? We don’t know about this in terms of ‘people in a room and how many get infected with one variant versus the other.’ But what is very clear is that this virus is more efficient and has taken over versus the old virus. That tells us that it has some kind of an advantage in reproducing.”Britain’s Mutant Coronavirus Strain Has Swamped the Nation, but a Worse Variant Has Already ArrivedOn Friday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced in a press conference that the dominant variant there could be as much as 30 percent more deadly than the original. The conclusions came from a paper published by the New and Emerging Virus Threats Advisory Group—a study that was, Monto pointed out, based on a very small number of patients in just a handful of settings.“Lots of other things could be related to an increase in mortality,” he said, “including when you have, as they do in the U.K., greater numbers of people under care. It’s based on small numbers, so we really can’t say anything right now. We can’t speculate.”“It was a pronouncement that he made,” Redlener said of Johnson raising the alarm. “There wasn’t really much evidence to go on. But he drew a conclusion and went public with it... For now, I’ll say Boris Johnson should have held his statement until there was more evidence.”The South Africa StrainNot long after the U.K. strain was first announced, a variant called B.1.351 emerged in South Africa. The new strain shared some mutations with its British predecessor, according to the CDC. It also seemed to have a higher rate of transmission. Most concerning about the South African strain, however, was a new mutation in its genetic code that some experts feared could reduce the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. Some preliminary studies—few of them peer-reviewed—found that the mutation E484K in the South African variant limited the effectiveness of antibodies by up to 50 percent.“It’s definitely a concern,” Redlener said, referencing a report on the studies from NBC’s Richard Engel. “It’s a concern because a legitimate scientist mentioned it. What we don’t know is how reliable his studies were that drove him to that conclusion.”Monto found the conclusions less alarming, noting that the studies drew from a small body of research and very few real world cases. “The bottom line is that they are trying to see in a lab if the blood from vaccines neutralize the variants as well as they do the original virus,” said Dr. Monto. “It looks like they are and to date now there are several papers. One says their test is good. Another says it’s not quite as good, but still okay.”Other StrainsAnother new variant was detected in Japan among four travelers from Brazil, according to the CDC. While relatively less is known about the Brazilian variant, Reuters reported Friday that the new strain accounted for nearly half of the new infections in Manaus, the largest city in the Brazilian state of Amazonas.Last summer, a strain of SARS-CoV-2 emerged in Denmark in association with the country’s mink farming industry, according to the WHO. The country killed 17 million minks to prevent the virus from spreading to humans.Worried About Virus Mutations? There’s a Solution.In California, scientists found a new variant in late December, not long after the state underwent its deadliest surge of the pandemic. According to the Los Angeles Times, two research groups observed the new form while looking for evidence that the U.K. strain had traveled west. Also highly transmissible, it now appears to be the fastest-growing variant in the state. In spite of the discovery, local officials and media have largely placed blame on residents, whom they claim have stopped adhering to lockdown guidelines.“It’s a very complicated question—what is causing an outbreak in a particular place,” Redlener said. “A lot has to do with basic compliance. But on top of that there may be some other strains there that just haven’t been identified. We’re operating in the dark on a lot of stuff. It’s a lot of guesswork and speculation. We just have to keep searching.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
via United States Army Special ForcesNavy SEAL Chief Petty Officer Tony DeDolph will spend the next decade in a military prison for his role in the killing of a Special Forces soldier in Mali in 2017.A military jury sentenced DeDolph, a member of the elite SEAL Team 6, Saturday. In addition to ten years in prison, DeDolph was also hit with reduction in rank to E-1, forfeiture of his pay and allowances and will be dishonorably discharged, according to a defense official.DeDolph had pleaded guilty earlier this month to involuntary manslaughter in the strangulation death of Army Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar, a Special Forces soldier assigned to the 3rd Special Forces Group. DeDolph also pleaded guilty to hazing, conspiracy and obstruction of justice for trying to cover up the cause of Melgar's death.DeDolph also agreed, as part of his plea deal, to a provision that bars him from profiting from the case in any way, including writing books or earning a living based on his experience at SEAL Team 6.Phil Stackhouse, DeDolph's civilian attorney, did not return calls or text messages seeking comment. Melgar’s widow, Michelle, attended the hearing, but declined to comment on the sentence, which is the longest received by any of the men involved in his killing.Slain Green Beret’s Widow Speaks: ‘I Knew They Were Lying’DeDolph was part of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, commonly known as Seal Team 6. He and Melgar were part of an intelligence operation in Mali supporting counterterrorism efforts against al Qaeda’s local affiliate, known as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, in 2017.Earlier this month, he told a military judge he and the other men were avenging a “perceived slight” after Melgar left them to attend a party at the French Embassy in Mali’s capital city of Bamako, according to the Associated Press. His job was to place Melgar in a “rear naked choke” that restricts blood flow in the neck.“I effectively applied the chokehold as I have done numerous times in training, with combatives and has been done to me,” DeDolph told the judge.DeDolph said the attack was intended to be a joke and the severity escalated during a night of drinking. DeDolph, Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer Adam Matthews, also a member of SEAL Team 6, and two Marine Raiders—Gunnery Sgt. Mario Madera-Rodriguez and Staff Sgt. Kevin Maxwell—planned to break into Melgar’s room, choke him unconscious, bind him with duct tape and dance around him in a gorilla mask and shoot a video of the whole thing. The four men—after getting permission from Sergeant First Class James Morris, Melgar’s supervisor—broke down Melgar’s door and attacked him. Past testimony pointed the finger at DeDolph as the instigator, but he told the military judge “it was more of like a pack mentality, group decision.”DeDolph is the third of four defendants to plead guilty in the case. Matthews, 33, pleaded guilty to hazing and assault charges and attempts to cover up what happened to Melgar. He was sentenced in May 2019 to one year in military prison. Maxwell, 29, was sentenced to four years of confinement after pleading guilty to negligent homicide, hazing and making false official statements in June 2019.Only Madera-Rodriguez is still awaiting trial. He is expected to face a court-martial in February and has no plans to plead guilty, his civilian attorney Colby Vokey said earlier this month.DeDolph’s 10-year sentence closes one of the last chapters in a case that has seen one of the NCIS investigators get pulled off the case after allegedly engaging in a romantic relationship with a witness, one of the accused SEALs hit on Melgar’s widow at a Las Vegas gun show and the Navy promote DeDolph four months after he admitted to investigators that he’d choked the Green Beret to death.But the case’s lasting legacy might be the window it offered into issues facing not only SEAL culture, but special operations in general. Melgar’s death was one of several ugly incidents–ranging from allegations of war crimes to Army Special Forces soldiers smuggling cocaine from Colombia– to mar the reputation of special operations.At the safehouse in Mali, there was widespread alcohol use, partying, and prostitutes, according to sources familiar with the investigation. That is a pattern that fits with the numerous incidents of sexual assault, sexual misconduct, and drug use associated with these units, including a platoon from SEAL Team 7 sent home from Iraq after having a “drunk fest” on the 4th of July in 2019 that spurred allegations of sexual assault.A Special Operations Command (SOCOM) ethics review in January found no systemic problems, but acknowledged 20 years of combat degraded the development of leaders in the force. That “impacted our culture in some troublesome ways,” said Army Gen. Richard Clarke, SOCOM’s commander.“The bottom line is that we have disproportionately focused on employment and mission accomplishment at the expense of the training and development of our force,” Clarke wrote in a letter to the force. “In some cases, this imbalance has set conditions for unacceptable conduct to occur due to a lack of leadership, discipline, and accountability,” Clarke continued, adding:“Culture does not tend itself—it must be cultivated by leaders, and only active, consistent engagement from leaders at every level will make us better.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
Georgia fire captain Andrea Hall delivered the Pledge of Allegiance on Inauguration Day — in spoken word and in American Sign Language.
Vaccination sites have canceled appointments as frustration mounts over supply problems.
Arizona Republicans voted Saturday to censure Cindy McCain and two prominent GOP members who have found themselves crosswise with former President Donald Trump. The censures of Sen. John McCain’s widow, former Sen. Jeff Flake and Gov. Doug Ducey are merely symbolic.
Pixar's 'Soul' was the top streaming title during the holidays, and was so popular it even dethroned 'The Office' from its usual top spot.
Viral social media posts claim to show an email obtained by WikiLeaks. The email is fabricated.
Miller tweeted "assassinate AOC" hours after posting pictures of himself storming the Capitol. "Next time we bring the guns," he said in another post.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made clear to President Joe Biden on Saturday that he's eager to forge a new U.S.-U.K. trade deal. The push for a new deal came in a broad-ranging call between the two leaders that touched on the global response to the coronavirus pandemic as well as the Biden administration announcing this week that the U.S. would rejoin the Paris climate accord and the World Health Organization, according to a statement from Downing Street. A new trade agreement between the allies is a higher priority for Johnson than it is for Biden.
Johnson congratulated Biden for his inauguration and praised Biden's decision to reenter the Paris climate agreement.
"Until the very end, the pressure never stopped; the pressure was real," a person familiar with the matter told USA TODAY.
Tesla has sued a new engineer for allegedly stealing crucial software it uses to run its business.
An 18-year-old Illinois teen charged with fatally shooting two people during a protest in southeastern Wisconsin last year is prohibited from associating with known white supremacists under a judge's recently modified bail conditions. Kyle Rittenhouse was 17 during the Aug. 25 demonstration in Kenosha, Wisconsin, as hundreds were protesting the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man. Rittenhouse has been charged with multiple counts, including reckless and intentional homicide, endangerment and being a minor in possession of a firearm.
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Photos GettyIn the span of just two weeks, three Disney stars have engulfed the old and young in their bizarre love triangle.On Jan. 7, Olivia Rodrigo, known for her acting and singing on Disney’s Bizaardvark and Disney+’s High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, released “drivers license,” a heartbreak song that not only immediately shot to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 but also twice broke Spotify’s record for most daily streams of a non-holiday song. The song quickly became an overnight phenomenon, with TikTok users creating millions of videos recreating the music video or explaining the drama behind it.The song’s ripped-from-the-headlines backstory only added to the public’s obsession. Rodrigo has been a Taylor Swift fan since she was a kid, and Swift’s songwriting style has clearly inspired Rodrigo, who’s mined specific details of her life to tell the universal story of love lost. “I got my driver’s license last week, just like we always talked about / ‘cause you were so excited for me to finally drive up to your house,” she sings, later crooning about seeing the guy everywhere, especially in all the white cars. Fans quickly picked up on this, pointing out that Rodrigo said in an interview that her rumored former flame (and High School Musical co-star) Joshua Bassett taught her how to drive in his white car.But maybe the most telling lyrics come when Rodrigo sings, “I bet you’re with that blond girl, who always made me doubt / she’s so much older than me, she’s everything I’m insecure about,” because as it turns out, Bassett was recently seen with a blond girl who is “so much older”—four years, which is practically a decade to a 17-year-old like Rodrigo. Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Bassett of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series perform onstage during the 5th Annual Elsie Fest: Broadway's Outdoor Music Festival on October 05, 2019, in New York City. Jenny Anderson/Getty Enter Sabrina Carpenter, recording artist and star of Girl Meets World and Netflix’s Work It. She’s the rumored “blond girl,” because she and Bassett were spotted together at Black Lives Matter protests over the summer and dining out in California—a year after Bassett allegedly wrote a love song about Rodrigo called “Anyone Else” in his Salt Lake City apartment while filming HSMTMTS, which Rodrigo nods to with: “I guess you didn’t mean what you wrote in that song about me” in “drivers license.” Rodrigo and Bassett seemed to be on good terms through late April, when Rodrigo liked Bassett’s tweet urging his followers to “remind someone you love them right now.” But in August, Rodrigo posted on TikTok about “failed relationships.”How the Hell Did Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘Drivers License’ Become the No. 1 Song in America?In an attempt to tell her side of the story, the 21-year-old Carpenter released “Skin” last week, which lacks any kind of self-awareness, especially considering she’s the elder in this situation. On “Skin,” she sings, “Maybe then we could pretend there’s no gravity in the words we write / Maybe you didn’t mean it, maybe ‘blond’ was the only rhyme,” and then later, “You can try to get under my, under my, under my skin / While he’s on mine.” Bassett subsequently praised the song on his Instagram, writing, “been stuck in my head since I heard it!!!”Oh, and Bassett has a song, too. It’s called “Lie Lie Lie,” and even though he wrote on his Instagram Story that it’s about a “friend,” fans think it’s about Rodrigo. In it, he sings, “So you’re telling them it’s all my fault / You’re the victim this time,” and in its accompanying music video Bassett hangs out a car window, which mirrors what Rodrigo does in her music video.Both Rodrigo and Carpenter have cited Lorde and Swift as songwriting inspirations—“Taylor Swift is my songwriting idol and I wouldn’t be half of the woman and a songwriter I am today without her,” Rodrigo told NME. Carpenter said in an interview: “I think Lorde is an incredible lyricist and someone I always look up to and also musically, she does such her own thing in her own lane.” As for Bassett, he says John Mayer is his inspiration.Somehow, by the grace of God or good publicists or possibly both, all three artists have released their own song about the love triangle in a matter of two weeks. Not only that, but Rodrigo and Bassett seemingly put their hate aside while promoting HSMTM: The Holiday Special in December, even praising each other’s prolific songwriting skills.Rodrigo, Bassett, and Carpenter are far from the first young lovebirds to put their real-life drama to song. In 2008, an 18-year-old Swift went on The Ellen Show to tell the host and her millions of watchers that boy-bander Joe Jonas broke up with her in a 25-second phone call, and that she had written a song about it—“Forever and Always,” which was on her Grammy-winning album Fearless. There were other songs, too, like “Better Than Revenge,” where Swift sang about another girl “stealing” her boyfriend. “She’s not a saint and she’s not what you think, she’s an actress / She’s better known for the things that she does on the mattress,” sang Swift. The Jonas Brothers returned fire with “Much Better,” which nodded to Swift and all the “tears on her guitar” and how “much better” the new girl was. The rumored “much better” girl was actress Camilla Belle, who doesn’t write songs, so perhaps we’ll never know her side of the story. (However, when Swift receives bad press, Belle usually tweets.)Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake played this game, too, with “Cry Me A River” and “Everytime.” But the alleged other man in this situation, Wade Robson, was just a dancer, so he never got his chance to sing the blues or cast a Spears lookalike in a music video. Hilary Duff, Lindsay Lohan, and Aaron Carter made comments about one another in the press and on SNL about their love triangle, but as far as songs go, there was really only ever Duff’s “Haters,” where she sang, “You say your boyfriend’s sweet and kind / But you’ve got your eyes on mine.”Rodrigo may not have gotten the guy in the end, but she did receive Swift’s approval. “I say that’s my baby and I’m really proud,” Swift commented on Rodrigo’s Instagram photo.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.