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Greene claims ‘I’m fine with’ getting kicked off her House committees: ‘It’d be a waste of my time’
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) on Friday declared she’s been “freed” after being removed from her House committee assignments, claiming continuing to serve on them would have been a waste of time. The House of Representatives on Thursday voted to remove the controversial Georgia lawmaker from her committee assignments over a string of racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-Muslim comments and support for baseless conspiracy theories and violent rhetoric. In a press conference Friday, Greene said it was freeing to admit she “believed things that were wrong” in a speech the day before, during which she did not apologize but rather expressed regret for being “allowed to believe things that weren’t true.” “Going forward, I’ve been freed,” Greene said Friday. “I do, I feel freed.” Greene went on to claim that “I’d be wasting my time” by continuing to serve on House committees “because my conservative values wouldn’t be heard,” even though she also asserted removing her from them “stripped my voters of having representation to work for them.” “I’m fine with being kicked off my committees because it’d be a waste of my time,” she insisted. Greene went on to celebrate that she now has “a lot of free time on my hands,” but she ended the press conference after refusing to address a question about her liking a Facebook post in 2019 calling for violence against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). More stories from theweek.com5 scathing cartoons about the GOP’s Marjorie Taylor Greene problemMitt Romney’s child benefit is a challenge to both partiesWhat would actually happen if the feds fought QAnon like terrorists?
Man Who Pushed 91-Year-Old in Oakland Chinatown Assaults 2 Others Right After
An unidentified assailant was caught on surveillance camera pushing a 91-year-old man to the ground in a recent unprovoked attack in Oakland Chinatown. The incident happened outside the Asian Resource Center at the corner of Harrison and 8th streets on Jan. 31, according to ABC7. The suspect reportedly approached two other victims shortly after the first attack, resulting in one of them losing consciousness, according to the Oakland Police Department’s statement.
China’s latest weapon against Taiwan: the sand dredger
ON BOARD THE TAIWAN COAST GUARD SHIP PP-10062, East China Sea (Reuters) – Taiwanese coast guard commander Lin Chie-ming is on the frontline of a new type of warfare that China is waging against Taiwan. On a chilly morning in late January, Lin, clad in an orange uniform, stood on the rolling deck of his boat as it patrolled in choppy waters off the Taiwan-run Matsu Islands. The Chinese goal, Taiwanese officials say: pressure Taiwan by tying down the island democracy’s naval defenses and undermining the livelihoods of Matsu residents.
White House Press Sec Dodges When Asked Why Hunter Biden Still Has a Stake in Chinese Investment Firm
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Friday punted on a question about why President Biden’s son Hunter Biden still holds an investment in a Chinese company. Asked during a press conference at the White House whether she had an update on Hunter Biden’s divestment from his ten percent stake in the Chinese private equity firm BHR Partners, Psaki referred a reporter to the younger Biden’s lawyers. “He has been working to unwind his investment,” Psaki said, adding, “as a private citizen, I would point you to him or his lawyers on the outside on any update.” In December, Biden assured voters that he and his family would not be involved in any business dealings that appear to conflict with the office of the president. “My son, my family will not be involved in any business, any enterprise that is in conflict with or appears to be in conflict with the appropriate distance from the presidency and government,” Biden said during a CNN appearance. Hunter Biden was reportedly in the process of divesting from his equity stake in BHR in late December, but as of last week, he appears to have retained his investment through his company, Skaneateles LLC. BHR, whose largest shareholder is the Chinese government-controlled Bank of China, has invested about $2.1 billion. Hunter Biden came under scrutiny last year for his lucrative position on the board of the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma. In leaked emails from 2014, Biden appears to try to leverage his influence with his father, then-vice president Joe Biden, who was heavily involved in U.S. policy on Ukraine, referring to the elder Biden as “my guy.” He also attracted criticism for entering into a consulting contract with China’s largest private energy company that initially earned Hunter Biden $10 million a year “for introductions alone,” according to leaked emails. Hunter Biden’s memoir, “Beautiful Things,” is scheduled to come out on April 6. The book will focus on the younger Biden’s well-documented drug abuse issues, according to Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.
Judge sets bail hearing for Kyle Rittenhouse next week
Judge Bruce Schroeder on Friday scheduled the hearing for Thursday afternoon for Kyle Rittenhouse, who’s accused of shooting Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber and Gaige Grosskreutz, killing Rosenbaum and Huber and wounding Grosskreutz during protests in Kenosha in August. Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, contends the protesters attacked him and he fired in self-defense. Prosecutors allege Rittenhouse moved out of the Antioch, Illinois, apartment he shared with his mother after he posted a $2 million cash bond in November and hasn’t given the court his new address.
New Israeli Covid drug which cured 30 cases of disease hailed by scientists as ‘huge breakthrough’
A new coronavirus drug which successfully cured 30 cases of the disease in Israeli hospital patients has been hailed by scientists as a ‘huge breakthrough’. The EXO-CD24 substance was developed at the Ichilov Medical Centre in Tel Aviv and successfully completed its first phase of clinical trials on Friday. The treatment was given to 30 patients with coronavirus, whose conditions ranged from moderate to severe. Twenty-nine of the patients were then discharged from the hospital in the following three to five days, while one patient took slightly longer to recover. A protein known as CD24 is delivered to the lungs by exosomes in the drug, which helps to rebalance the immune system and prevent it from overreacting to the virus. Professor Nadir Arber originally designed EXO-CD24, which is breathed in as a gas and taken once every five days, in order to treat patients who had ovarian cancer. “Even if the vaccines do their job, and even if there aren’t any new mutations, one way or another, the coronavirus will be staying with us,” Prof Arber told the news site Arutz Sheva. “That’s why we developed this special medication. It’s been about half a year from the time the idea was hatched to the first human trials [being] conducted.” Roni Gamzu, the director of the Ichilov Medical Centre, said that the research during phase one of the trial was “advanced and sophisticated and may save coronavirus patients”. Speaking to the Times of Israel, he said: “The results of the phase one trials are excellent, and all give us confidence in the method Arber has been researching in his lab for many years.” No placebo was used in the first stage of the trial, and the next phase of the clinical trials will continue to examine the effects and efficacy of the treatment. The drug Allocetra, which has been developed at the Hadassah Medical Centre, has also reported promising results in the second stage of its clinical trial. Israel announced yesterday that it will ease lockdown restrictions but keep its borders closed after a drop in its number of coronavirus cases.
Scottish court says case seeking clarification about independence vote premature
Scotland’s top civil court has dismissed a case which sought a ruling that the Scottish parliament could hold an independence referendum without permission from London, saying it was premature and hypothetical. Independence campaigner Martin Keatings wanted legal backing for his argument the Scottish parliament had the authority to hold a new vote on secession without the explicit approval of the United Kingdom government. But judge Ailsa Carmichael at Scotland’s Court of Session ruled the question was hypothetical, academic and premature, without the need to express a view on the legal issues it raised.
New Mexico State Police officer shot and killed on highway
New Mexico was in mourning Friday over the shooting death of a State Police officer in a highway-stop confrontation linked by authorities to drug trafficking that touched off a 40-mile police chase. Officials say the attacker was killed in a shootout with police at Las Cruces, where another officer was wounded. The officer killed Thursday was identified as Darian Jarrott, who joined the State Police in 2015 after previously working as state transportation inspector and local law enforcement officer.
Cotton Tries to Force Dems to Vote on Court-Packing
Senator Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) on early Friday morning attempted to get Democrats to go on the record over the issue of court-packing during the Senate’s 15-hour budget reconciliation vote. Cotton’s proposal came roughly eleven hours into the Senate’s vote-a-rama, in which any senator had the ability to file an amendment to the budget resolution, as Democrats look to move forward with passing President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief plan without Republican support. Democrats avoided a vote on Cotton’s amendment, citing the Byrd rule, which says anything passed during budget reconciliation must have to do with the federal budget. “Come to think of it, should we be changing the Senate rules in the budget resolution?” asked Senator Dick Durbin (D., Ill.), chair of the Judiciary Committee. Cotton fell short of the 60 votes needed to waive the law. If the Arkansas Republican had been successful, the Amendment could have given the GOP a foothold in the Senate rules to challenge legislation that would grow the high court beyond nine judges going forward. It would have added to the Senate rules that it was out of order to consider such legislation, making it so three-fifths of the Senate would be required to vote to overturn that rule if a senator wanted to debate such a bill. “Many Democratic politicians, to include Joe Biden, to include a few senators in this chamber tonight, contorted themselves, twisting themselves into pretzels on the campaign trail to simply say we ought not pack the Supreme Court because we don’t like their rulings,” Cotton said in proposing the amendment. Cotton called the Democrats’ move to sidestep a direct vote on his amendment more “contortions to avoid taking a simple stance on this issue.” “So I would invite my Democratic colleagues who have said they don’t want to pack the court, simply waive this point of order and let’s have an up-or-down vote on one of the most fundamental tenets of the rule of law,” Cotton said. Court packing became a hot button topic on the campaign trail as progressives called to expand the court after Republicans moved to confirm judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court just weeks before Election Day. Barrett’s confirmation gave the Court a conservative majority. Barrett’s confirmation, which Democrats saw as hypocritical in light of Republicans’ refusal to allow former President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland to receive a confirmation hearing in 2016, sparked calls to pack the court. Biden and Senate Democrats have remained elusive on the issue, sidestepping questions on whether they would support expanding the court. Biden never gave a definitive answer on the issue, instead vowing to create a commission to study potential court reforms. Durbin hit back against Cotton’s proposal, saying: “The Constitution does not stipulate the number of Supreme Court justices. That’s up to Congress.” “Congress has a long history of altering the makeup of the court,” he added. “For the record, there is exactly one living senator who has effectively changed the size of the Supreme Court: That’s Senator McConnell, who shrank the court to eight seats for nearly a year in the last year of the Obama presidency.”
U.S. State Department approves first potential weapons sales under Biden, says Pentagon
The U.S. State Department has approved the first potential sales of weapons under the Biden administration, including communications equipment for NATO and missiles for Chile, in deals with a combined value up to $150 million, the Pentagon said on Friday. The sales are the first foreign military sales to be announced since U.S. President Joe Biden took office, but since sales take months to process, the genesis of the deals likely dates back to the Trump administration. Since taking office, the Biden administration temporarily paused some pending arms sales to U.S. allies like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in order to review them, despite having been approved by the Trump administration.
AP sources: Alabama senator has indicated he won’t run again
U.S. Sen. Richard C. Shelby of Alabama, the Senate’s fourth most senior member, has told confidantes that he does not intend to run for reelection next year — prompting some Republicans to urge the powerful, establishment politician to reconsider, even as potential replacements prepare to run for his seat. The senator in recent weeks told one close Alabama ally that he was not planning on running in 2022 for what would be his seventh term, according to the ally, who was not authorized to discuss the matter and spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The person said some in the state were still trying to get Shelby to change his mind out of concern about losing clout and worries that the senator might be replaced by a fringe candidate who would not be as effective.
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