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Blinken says U.S. weighs pressure, diplomacy on North Korea over denuclearisation and rights abuses
Both pressure and diplomatic options are on the table for dealing with North Korea, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday, hours after a senior North Korean diplomat rejected any talks until Washington changed its policies. Blinken told a joint briefing with South Korean officials in Seoul that the administration of President Joe Biden would complete its review of North Korea policy in the next few weeks in close consultation with its allies. “President Biden plans to complete a North Korea policy review in the weeks ahead in close cooperation and consultation with the Republic of Korea, with Japan and with other key partners, including resuming pressure options and the potential for future diplomacy,” Blinken said.
‘Autocratic. Anti-Democratic. Anti-American’: Schumer launches blistering attack on GOP bills targeting voting rights
Senate Democrats will introduce their version of the For The People Act, a sweeping voting rights proposal and single-largest election legislation since the passage of the landmark Voting Rights Act. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said lawmakers will revive the bill from Mitch McConnell’s “legislative graveyard” after the Republican Senator sidelined the bill along with other Democratic-backed measures. The bill is an antidote to “despicable” acts of voter suppression across the US, Mr Schumer said, pointing to the more than 250 GOP-sponsored bills aimed at restricting ballot access in at least 43 state legislatures in the wake of the 2020 election, compelled by Donald Trump’s persistent lie that the election was tainted by “irregularities” and “stolen” from his supporters.
Mitch McConnell says Asian Americans “should not have to experience discrimination”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — whose wife is of Asian heritage — addressed this week’s mass shooting in Georgia by saying Thursday that “Asian Americans should not have to experience discrimination anywhere.”What he’s saying: “Committing a crime against anyone because of his or her national origin or race is deeply wrong and antithetical to our founding principles,” McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a statement to Axios.Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for freeMcConnell spoke two days after the attack that killed eight — six of them Asian Americans.While police have yet to label it a hate crime, it sparked fear among Asian Americans across the country and a public reckoning about their treatment growing from a string of prior attacks.Why it matters: McConnell, the most prominent Republican in the Senate, had yet to publicly weigh in on Tuesday’s shooting.Questions about his views were especially pointed because his wife, Elaine Chao, who served as Transportation secretary under President Trump, was born in Taipei, Taiwan. She emigrated to the United States when she was eight years old.Critics blamed Trump’s rhetoric against China following the outbreak of the coronavirus for fueling an uptick in anti-Asian violence across the U.S.The former president labeled COVID-19 the “Chinese virus,” “Wuhan virus” and “kung flu.”Go deeper: The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University found that anti-Asian hate crimes reported to police in America’s largest cities jumped nearly 150% in 2020.Like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.
Child killed in Peloton treadmill accident as CEO issues warning to parents
A child has died in an accident involving a Peloton treadmill, leading the company’s chief to warn parents to keep infants away from the equipment. Peloton has grown in popularity in the last year with more people turning to its at-home workout products as they ditch their gym memberships amidst the pandemic. John Foley, Peloton’s co-founder and chief executive, emailed owners of the Tread+ on March 18 to inform them of the incident. “I’m reaching out to you today because I recently learned about a tragic accident involving a child and the Tread+, resulting in, unthinkably, a death,” he wrote. “While we are aware of only a small handful of incidents involving the Tread+ where children have been hurt, each one is devastating to all of us at Peloton, and our hearts go out to the families involved.” Mr Foley advised users to keep pets and children away from Peloton equipment, and store it safely when not in use. The company said it would not be releasing any further details, including the age of the child and location. The Tread+, which retails at around $4,256 (£3,000), is currently not on sale in the UK, however, a lighter, less expensive model is available for purchase. Peloton, whose stationary exercise bike has gained a cult following over the past years, launched the Peloton Tread in 2018, and then introduced the updated model Tread+ last fall. The Tread+ features a slat belt that helps lessen the impact on the body, while The Tread has a more classic, continuous running belt. Tread+ is one of a range of Peloton’s treadmills and bikes, which features a screen allowing users to follow training videos and virtual workouts. Peloton shares fell more than 3 per cent in New York trading on Thursday. Around 25,000 children each year in the US are hurt on exercise equipment, of which 2,600 kids on average end up in the emergency room from treadmill accidents.
Fauci shows exasperation with Rand Paul in COVID-19 hearing: ‘Here we go again…’
Dr. Anthony Fauci and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) just once again clashed during a COVID-19 hearing. This time, as Fauci testified before lawmakers on Thursday, Paul claimed it’s “just theater” for those who have had COVID-19 or received their vaccine to still wear a mask, an assertion that drew pushback from the nation’s top infectious disease expert. “Here we go again with the theater,” Fauci said. “Let’s get down to the facts.” Fauci pointed to the spread of COVID-19 variants, which he called a “good reason for a mask,” and he told Paul that he’s “not hearing what I’m saying about variants” as the senator continued to argue there’s no evidence people should need to wear masks after recovering from COVID-19 or getting a vaccine. CDC guidance states that those who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 should still wear a mask in public. “You’ve been vaccinated and you parade around in two masks for show,” Paul told Fauci. An exasperated Fauci rejected that claim, telling Paul, “Let me just state for the record masks are not theater” and adding that “I totally disagree” with what he said. This was the latest clash between the two during a congressional hearing. In September, Fauci blasted Paul for “not listening” to what health officials had been saying, adding that the senator “misconstrued” what he had said and has “done that repetitively in the past.” Sen. @RandPaul: “If we’re not spreading the infection, isn’t it just theater? You have the vaccine and you’re wearing two masks, isn’t that theater? Dr. Anthony Fauci: “Here we go again with the theater. Let’s get down to the facts.” Full video here: https://t.co/61RnSUvayG pic.twitter.com/xDWnCuFjjO — CSPAN (@cspan) March 18, 2021 More stories from theweek.comMichael Cohen says Trump is in for a ‘proctological exam of the highest order’ by New York prosecutorsWoman alleges Armie Hammer ‘violently raped’ her in 2017Let informed people be jurors
Private investigator admits to illegally spying on Meghan Markle on behalf of British tabloid
A private investigator is revealing that a British tabloid paid him large sums of money to spy on Meghan Markle at the onset of her relationship with Prince Harry. Daniel Portley-Hanks, who is now a retired private investigator out of Los Angeles, was hired by The Sun to obtain private information about Markle, now the Duchess of Sussex, The New York Times reported on Thursday.
Elderly Asian Woman Fights Back After Man Punches Her in the Face in SF
A 76-year-old Asian woman reportedly beat up a man who assaulted her in another unprovoked attack in San Francisco, witnesses said. Xiao Zhen Xie was leaning by a light pole while waiting at the traffic light around Market Street in San Francisco when a 39-year-old man approached her and punched her in the face without provocation, according to KPIX. “Very traumatized, very scared and this eye is still bleeding,” Xie said with the translation help of her daughter, Dong-Mei Li.
The Daily Beast
Teen Vogue’s New Top Editor Out After Backlash Over Old Racist Tweets
Marion Curtis/StarPix for Magnolia Pictures/ShutterstockJust days before she was set to begin the job, Teen Vogue’s new editor-in-chief is out at the publication following internal uproar over her decade-old tweets about Asians.People familiar with the situation told The Daily Beast that Alexi McCammond, a former Axios political reporter who was hired by Condé Nast earlier this month to lead Teen Vogue, will no longer join the fashion and lifestyle publication.Shortly after publication of this story, McCammond posted a statement to Twitter: “My past tweets have overshadowed the work I’ve done to highlight the people and issues that I care about… and so Condé Nast and I have decided to part ways,” she wrote.And in an email to staff from Stan Duncan, forwarded by Condé Nast to The Daily Beast, the company’s chief people officer wrote that “After speaking with Alexi this morning, we agreed that it was best to part ways, so as to not overshadow the important work happening at Teen Vogue.”Multiple people familiar with the situation told The Daily Beast that Condé management called a meeting with staffers for Thursday afternoon to discuss the new editor’s exit.McCammond was heralded as a rising political star among the D.C. press corps for her headline-grabbing stories about the Trump White House and the 2020 presidential campaign, which garnered her an award from the National Association of Black Journalists in 2019 and frequent appearances as a contributor on MSNBC.But her appointment at Teen Vogue ran into trouble just days after she was tapped for the position as its top editor.Shortly after the announcement of her appointment to the digital publication, critics of McCammond’s hiring resurfaced tweets she posted in 2011 using racist stereotypes about Asian people.Teen Vogue Staff Rail Against New Editor-in-Chief’s Past Tweets Mocking Asians“Now googling how to not wake up with swollen, asian eyes…” McCammond, who is Black, wrote in one of the tweets, posted when she was in college. “Give me a 2/10 on my chem problem, cross out all of my work and don’t explain what i did wrong…thanks a lot stupid asian T.A. you’re great,” read another.McCammond had previously apologized for the tweets when they first resurfaced in 2019, and apologized again earlier this month, both in public statements and in internal memos to her new colleagues.People familiar with the situation told The Daily Beast that McCammond met one-on-one individually with staff to apologize and discuss moving forward. Internal reaction was mixed: Some staff who spoke with The Daily Beast remained apprehensive, while others felt McCammond was appropriately remorseful for posts that she made when she was a teenager.“You’ve seen some offensive, idiotic tweets from when I was a teenager that perpetuated harmful and racist stereotypes about Asian Americans. I apologized for them years ago, but I want to be clear today: I apologize deeply to all of you for the pain this has caused,” she wrote in a note addressed to Teen Vogue staff.Hey there: I’ve decided to part ways with Condé Nast. Here is my statement about why – pic.twitter.com/YmnHVtZSce— Alexi McCammond (@alexi) March 18, 2021 “There’s no excuse for language like that. I am determined to use the lessons I’ve learned as a journalist to advocate for a more diverse and equitable world. Those tweets aren’t who I am, but I understand that I have lost some of your trust, and will work doubly hard to earn it back. I want you to know I am committed to amplifying AAPI voices across our platforms, and building upon the groundbreaking, inclusive work this title is known for the world over.”High-profile media figures, including MSNBC host Chris Hayes and NBC Peacock’s Mehdi Hasan, leaped to her defense, arguing that McCammond should not be punished professionally for social-media posts from when she was a teenager.Despite the outcry, the magazine publisher itself initially stood by McCammond. According to multiple people with knowledge of the situation, Condé Nast was aware of the tweets before she was hired and questioned her about the old posts. The company initially defended McCammond in a series of statements to reporters and published a public apology and statement on Teen Vogue’s Instagram account.But the public backlash to the resurfaced tweets seemed to rattle Teen Vogue staff. Many were still skeptical of the publisher’s handling of issues around race following last year’s internal company-wide reckoning over claims that it has fostered a toxic work environment for nonwhite staff. Multiple people familiar with the matter also told The Daily Beast the magazine’s staff thought Condé Nast was slow to respond to criticism of the old social-media posts as many readers admonished the publication and its staff online amid a national conversation around high-profile acts of racism and violence towards Asians.Following McCammond’s hiring, Teen Vogue employees sent a letter to Condé Nast’s chief content officer Anna Wintour and CEO Roger Lynch, expressing their concerns with the social-media posts and the public outcry. They additionally posted a public statement of solidarity with those concerned about McCammond’s old tweets.Beauty Brand Ulta Pulls Teen Vogue Ads Over New Editor-in-Chief’s Old Racist Tweets“We’ve heard the concerns of our readers, and we stand with you. In a moment of historically high anti-Asian violence and amid the on-going struggles of the LGBTQ community, we as the staff of Teen Vogue fully reject those sentiments,” staffers wrote in their public note. “We are hopeful that an internal conversation will prove fruitful in maintaining the integrity granted to us by our audience.”Wintour hastily convened a virtual meeting with staffers earlier this month as a result. And the uproar over McCammond’s tweets shook the confidence of at least one advertiser.Popular cosmetics and skincare retailer Ulta Beauty told The Daily Beast earlier this month that it halted its seven-figure advertising campaign with the Condé Nast-owned publication.“Diversity and inclusion are core values at Ulta Beauty—and always have been,” a company spokesperson said. “Our current spend with Teen Vogue is paused as we work with Condé Nast to evaluate the situation and determine next steps regarding our partnership.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet 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.
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