Category Archives: Mgm

Why is QAnon more obsessed with an imaginary sex-trafficking ring than with Jeffrey Epstein’s real one?

Why is QAnon more obsessed with an imaginary sex-trafficking ring than with Jeffrey Epstein’s real one?Epstein’s long history of sexual misconduct, on private islands, in his Florida mansion, aboard yachts and and his private jet, with a who’s who of powerful “elites” including former President Bill Clinton (who denies having had a close relationship with Epstein or any knowledge of his crimes), is probably the closest real-world analogue of the imaginary global sex-trafficking ring at the core of the QAnon conspiracy. 



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‘Pay-for-play scandal’: Trump accuses Joe Biden of ‘lying’ about role in son Hunter’s Ukraine business dealings

‘Pay-for-play scandal’: Trump accuses Joe Biden of ‘lying’ about role in son Hunter’s Ukraine business dealingsDonald Trump debuted a new attack line on Joe Biden, saying a new report shows the Democratic presidential nominee “lied” about his involvement in a “pay-for-play scandal” that paid his son Hunter Biden handsomely. “Biden’s repeated claim that he has never spoken to Hunter about his business dealings were a complete lie,” he said, accusing the former VP of “trying to cover up a massive pay-for-play scandal at the heart of his vice presidency.”



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Democrat's personal scandal roils N. Carolina Senate race

Democrat's personal scandal roils N. Carolina Senate raceA race in North Carolina critical to control of the U.S. Senate has been thrown into turmoil over allegations of personal misconduct by Democrat Cal Cunningham, a married man who had an extramarital relationship this summer with a consultant. Previously undisclosed text messages obtained by The Associated Press and additional interviews show that the relationship extended beyond suggestive texts, as was previously reported, to an intimate encounter as recent as July. Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate, and the contest between Cunningham and Republican Sen. Thom Tillis has been among the most watched in the country, with polls showing a tight race and both parties investing heavily in the outcome.



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Democrat running against QAnon supporter Marjorie Taylor Greene suddenly drops out of Georgia race for 'personal reasons'

Democrat running against QAnon supporter Marjorie Taylor Greene suddenly drops out of Georgia race for 'personal reasons'Democratic candidate Kevin Van Ausdal, who was running against Republican QAnon supporter Marjorie Taylor Greene, has announced he would be dropping out of the Georgia congressional race due to “personal reasons”. “I am resigning from my race against Marjorie Taylor Greene,” Mr Van Ausdal said in a statement on Friday. “I am deeply saddened by the personal and family reasons that prevent me from continuing on as a candidate for Georgia’s 14th Congressional District.”



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Hong Kong police criticised over rough arrest of 12-year-old girl during protests

Hong Kong police criticised over rough arrest of 12-year-old girl during protestsHong Kong police tackled a 12-year old girl to the ground and arrested her on Sunday amid a protests against delayed parliamentary elections. A video widely shared online shows riot police pushing the youngster to the ground as she tried to dash away. She was later charged for allegedly violating coronavirus social distancing rules, police said. But her mother told local media: “She was just trying to buy art supplies with her brother." The video has sparked outrage online, gathering over a million views on Twitter. On the local Reddit-like forum LIHKG, one commenter criticised the police for being "loud and impolite" as if a "mad dog chasing after people who run." In a statement on Facebook, the police said the girl was running in a "suspicious manner" that required officers to chase and subdue her with the use of "minimum force".



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Sturgis motorcycle rally spread coronavirus across the nation, leading to $12 billion in health care costs

Sturgis motorcycle rally spread coronavirus across the nation, leading to $  12 billion in health care costsA month after 460,000 motorcycle enthusiasts converged on Sturgis, S.D., researchers have found that thousands have been sickened across the nation, leading them to brand the rally a “superspreader” event that will involve more than $ 12 billion in health care costs.



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The Lincoln Project's newest ad takes aim at Trump's mocking of a disabled reporter

The Lincoln Project's newest ad takes aim at Trump's mocking of a disabled reporterReleased right before the start of the final night of the Republican National Convention, the Lincoln Project's latest ad, "Decency," calls out President Trump for his mocking of a disabled reporter.The ad begins with footage of the first time Democratic nominee Joe Biden met Brayden Harrington, a 13-year-old from New Hampshire who went on to speak at last week's Democratic National Convention. Harrington's dad told Biden his son wanted to meet him because he has a stutter, and knew that Biden had one as a child. "Don't let it define you," Biden told Harrington, before offering to call him later and tell him what he used to do to deal with his stutter.Biden told Harrington to ignore the "bullies, the kids who make fun," and the ad immediately shifted to showing video of Trump in 2016, mocking a disabled reporter during a rally. Footage from a different rally is then shown, when Trump told the audience to be on the lookout for people wanting to throw tomatoes at him on stage. "Knock the crap out of them, would you?" he said. "Seriously. Just knock the hell, I promise you I will pay for the legal fees. I promise.""It's time for decency," the ad's narrator then intones. "It's time for Joe Biden." Watch the video below. More stories from theweek.com 5 more scathingly funny cartoons about the Republican National Convention Trump doesn't want to see Harris as first woman president, claims people are calling for Ivanka Trump instead McConnell inexplicably claims that Democrats want to tell Americans 'how many hamburgers you can eat'



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Melania Trump launched 'Operation Block Ivanka' to minimize Ivanka's inauguration presence, according to a new book based on secret tapes recorded by the first lady's former friend

Melania Trump launched 'Operation Block Ivanka' to minimize Ivanka's inauguration presence, according to a new book based on secret tapes recorded by the first lady's former friend"Yes, Operation Block Ivanka was petty. Melania was in on this mission," Stephanie Winston Wolkoff writes in an excerpt of her forthcoming book.



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Biden seemingly didn't get a convention polling bump — and his lead is sliding in some swing states

Biden seemingly didn't get a convention polling bump — and his lead is sliding in some swing statesDemocratic presidential nominee Joe Biden shouldn't get too comfortable. It's been a few days since the end of the Democratic National Convention, and as FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver notes, Biden hasn't seen a typical post-DNC bump in his polling numbers. And while he was once handily leading in several states Hillary Clinton surprisingly lost in 2016, those advantages are starting to slip as well.Clinton lost Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin in 2016 — three states that were usually seen as reliably Democratic before that election. Even as of late August 2016, Clinton had a clear lead over Trump in those states: 9 points in Michigan, 9.2 in Pennsylvania, and 11.5 in Wisconsin. But while Biden still has leads in those states, just as he did a month ago, those advantages have narrowed to below Clinton's margins.> Swing state polls on August 25th:> > Pennsylvania > • 2016: Hillary +9.2 > • 2020: Biden +5.7> > Michigan > • 2016: Hillary +9.0 > • 2020: Biden +6.7> > Wisconsin > • 2016: Hillary +11.5 > • 2020: Biden +6.5 > > Florida > • 2016: Hillary +2.9 > • 2020: Biden +4.8> > https://t.co/oJFSBQcvK3 https://t.co/7DibWSRCSb> > — Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) August 25, 2020Nationally, Biden still has a wide 8.8 point lead over Trump, according to FiveThirtyEight's polling average — even higher than the 5.7-point lead Clinton had at this point in 2016. But as Clinton herself has recognized, national popular votes don't matter when the Electoral College gets in the way.More stories from theweek.com The NBA strike is the most effective RNC counterprogramming possible That 'famous' Lincoln quote in Lara Trump's RNC speech? He never said it. Biden spokesman likens the Republican National Convention to the Twilight Zone



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RNC video showing violence in 'Biden's America' is actually Barcelona

RNC video showing violence in 'Biden's America' is actually BarcelonaThe Republican National Convention aired a video meant to paint the George Floyd protests and Black Lives Matter demonstrations as inherently violent, chaotic events, but included a scene from protests in Barcelona, Spain.A public broadcaster in Catalonia reported that the images in question – of fires burning in the streets – were captured in 2019 in Barcelona. The protests in Spain began after a Spanish court sentenced Catalan separatists to prison.



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‘You are an idiot’: Trump mocked for tweeting about ‘entrance requirements’ to virtual DNC

‘You are an idiot’: Trump mocked for tweeting about ‘entrance requirements’ to virtual DNCDonald Trump has been mocked for suggesting that people needed ID to attend this year’s virtual Democratic National Convention (DNC).“To get into the Democrat National Convention, you must have an ID card with a picture…” the president wrote in an early morning tweet on Friday.



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Iowa governor's push to reopen schools descends into chaos

Iowa governor's push to reopen schools descends into chaosAn aggressive push by Iowa’s pro-Trump governor to reopen schools amid a worsening coronavirus outbreak has descended into chaos, with some districts and teachers rebelling and experts calling the scientific benchmarks used by the state arbitrary and unsafe. At issue is Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds’ mandate in July that districts offer at least 50% classroom instruction. The conflict intensified Wednesday when the statewide teachers union announced a lawsuit challenging the governor's ability to make such decisions for local districts.



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Trump claims Biden 'abandoned Scranton' when family moved 50 years ago

Trump claims Biden 'abandoned Scranton' when family moved 50 years agoMocking the designated Democratic presidential nominee in his hometown, Donald Trump told a rally crowd that Joe Biden "abandoned Scranton" then "sold out" America during a half century in Washington."Joe Biden is no friend of Pennsylvania," the president said on a sun-drenched stage in the key swing state, where he trails the former vice president in nearly every poll by a statistically significant margin.



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Portland protesters set fires, use mortar; 2 officers hurt

Portland protesters set fires, use mortar; 2 officers hurtProtesters outside a Portland police union building set fires and used a mortar to launch commercial grade fireworks at police and officials said Monday that two officers were injured and 16 demonstrators were arrested. A day after demonstrators managed to get inside the union building and set a fire, the protesters on Sunday night blocked a road and set dumpster fires outside it, police said in a statement. The fireworks were launched at police as they tried to clear out the demonstrators and one of the two officers treated at the scene suffered a burn on her neck.



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She Was Charged With Murder After Her Baby Was Stillborn. Now California’s AG Has Stepped In.

She Was Charged With Murder After Her Baby Was Stillborn. Now California’s AG Has Stepped In.For more than nine months, five of them during a global pandemic, a 26-year-old woman named Chelsea Becker has been sitting in Kings County Jail, under a $ 2 million bail, for giving birth to a stillborn baby.Becker has been there since November, when police arrested her and prosecutors charged her with murder. The District Attorney argued that Becker’s methamphetamine addiction had caused the stillbirth, citing a 50-year-old law that civil rights advocates say was never supposed to apply to pregnant women. It has put Becker at the heart of a national debate over criminalizing fetal death. On Friday, however, California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra intervened. In an amicus brief to end the case against Becker, Becerra argued the prosecution’s legal interpretation would lead to “absurd—and constitutionally questionable—results.”“We believe the law was misapplied and misinterpreted,” Becerra said in a statement about the brief. “Our laws in California do not convict women who suffer the loss of their pregnancy, and in our filing today we are making clear that this law has been misused to the detriment of women, children, and families.” An American Surrogate Had His Baby. Then Coronavirus Hit.Back in September, Becker, then 25, was eight and a half months pregnant when she thought her water broke, only to discover it was blood. Becker’s mother called an ambulance to her home in the San Joaquin Valley, according to The Los Angeles Times. Three hours later, Becker gave birth in Adventist Health Hanford hospital to a boy with no pulse, whom she had planned to name Zachariah.Suspicious that the fetus suffered from drug exposure, hospital employees alerted the Kings County Medical Examiner’s Office, which conducted an autopsy. The exam found methamphetamine in the fetus’ system, a Times report states, that amounted to more than five times the level thought to be toxic. They ruled the case a homicide. Becker had grown up in Hanford, a working class town in Kings County, that serves as a trading hub in the agrarian San Joaquin Valley. The nearly half Hispanic town recently made headlines when 183 meatpacking workers came down with COVID-19. According to the Census Bureau, 18 percent of residents live below the poverty line. Before the pandemic, county unemployment levels hovered at 7.9 percent—they have since soared to 14.6 percent.Becker told the Times that as a teen, she spent some time living with her father in Minnesota, where she became addicted to methamphetamine. She came home to Hanford at 19, where she had two other children, both of whom were removed from her care. In early November, prosecutors charged Becker with murder, holding the mother on a $ 5 million bail, later reduced to $ 2 million. Their case hinged on an amendment, passed in 1970, to the state’s murder statute: Penal Code section 187. Earlier that year, the California Supreme Court had overturned the murder conviction of man who had assaulted his pregnant wife, causing the death of their fetus. The code, the court had concluded, only addressed the killing of “a human being,” making the man ineligible for a murder charge. In response, the legislature amended the statute to include the “unlawful killing” of a “fetus.” That was the language prosecutors seized on to charge Becker with murder.“The conduct of the defendant resulted in the death of a fetus, which is a crime in California,” said District Attorney Keith Fagundes told The Los Angeles Times. He did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment on Saturday.At her arraignment, Becker pleaded not guilty, and later filed a motion calling the code’s application to a pregnant woman unconstitutional. The amendment had been made to protect victims of domestic violence, Becker’s lawyers argued, not criminalize women who miscarried, had stillbirths, or sought abortions. “Penal Code 187(b)(3) by its own plain terms,” they wrote, “precludes the prosecution of a woman for the consensual acts in which she may engage while pregnant.” Becker’s attorney, Roger Nuttall, and Becerra did not immediately return requests for comment. “Ms. Becker had experienced a stillbirth that the prosecutor claims (without scientific basis) was caused by her methamphetamine use during pregnancy,” the National Advocates for Pregnant Women wrote in a statement on Becker’s case. “Ms. Becker was charged with this crime despite the fact that §187 does not authorize, nor has it ever been interpreted to authorize prosecution of a woman in relation to her own pregnancy or any outcome of a pregnancy.”https://www.facebook.com/NationalAdvocatesforPregnantWomen/photos/a.190808107181/10157715445342182/?type=3&theaterIn the decades since 1970, California prosecutors have tried to charge women for stillbirths, but none has secured a conviction until 2018, when another woman was arrested for the same crime in the same town of Hanford.Like Becker, Adora Perez was in her late 20s and addicted to methamphetamine when she gave birth to a stillborn baby at Adventist Health. Also like Becker, hospital employees alerted the Medical Examiner’s Office when the fetus tested positive for the drug, according to reports in The Fresno Bee. Fagundes charged her with murder. Perez, however, took a plea deal. Now 32, she is serving an 11-year sentence in state prison for voluntary manslaughter—the first time in decades that a charge of this kind ended in jail time. The unprecedented charges against Becker and Perez have alarmed pregnancy advocates, medical professionals, drug policy organizations, and civil rights groups across the country. In April, the American Civil Liberties Union filed an amicus brief in support of Becker. The same day, a coalition of 15 organizations, from the Drug Policy Alliance to California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, filed another.“Broadly accepted medical, public health, and scientific evidence supports the Legislature’s drafting of the statute to avoid criminalizing women with respect to their pregnancies,” the coalition wrote. “Pregnancy and use of controlled substances is a medical and public health issue, not an issue that should be subject to state intervention and control.”Attempts to criminalize pregnant women who suffer from addiction have backfired in the past. In 2014, Tennessee passed a wildly controversial bill, attempting to target what they called “fetal assault.” The bill allowed prosecutors to bring charges against women with drug addictions, if their fetuses were born still or disabled. It proved so polarizing that it was given a two-year trial phase and then, in 2016, deemed a failure and discontinued. “As a result of the law,” the National Advocates for Pregnant Women wrote in a statement, “women steered clear of prenatal care and drug treatment and avoided delivering their babies in hospital settings.”Nevertheless in June, the superior court denied Becker’s motion to have the case declared unconstitutional. The next month, she filed a writ of prohibition––a motion to stop the court proceedings––arguing that “a woman cannot be prosecuted for murder as a result of her own omissions or actions that might result in pregnancy loss.” In his amicus brief on her case, Becerra agreed: “The superior court erred in concluding otherwise.” “The Legislature’s purpose in adding the killing of a fetus to Penal Code section 187 was not to punish women who do not—or cannot, because of addiction or resources—follow best practices for prenatal health,” Becerra wrote. “The courts should not assume that the Legislature intended such a sweeping and invasive change to the criminal law affecting women’s lives without clear evidence of that intent. And such evidence is absent here.”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.



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Biden teases VP pick: 'Are you ready?'

Biden teases VP pick: 'Are you ready?'Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden is expected to announce his running mate this week, teasing a reporter on Sunday by asking, "Are you ready?"Biden has said he will choose a woman as his vice presidential pick, with Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and former National Security Adviser Susan Rice having emerged as frontrunners. Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and California Rep. Karen Bass have also been floated by analysts as potential picks."[Biden] has a very difficult decision to make … but it's almost an embarrassment of riches," Howard University political science professor Niambi Carter told USA Today, while others have worried that Biden's delay has made his choice "messier than it should be" and pitted "women, especially Black women, against one another." Check out the seven candidates The Week's Matthew Walther believes have the best chance here.More stories from theweek.com QAnon goes mainstream Donald Trump's impotent tyranny 5 scathing cartoons about Trump's 'it is what it is' COVID response



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Ron Johnson Subpoenas FBI Director Wray in Probe of Crossfire Hurricane Origins

Ron Johnson Subpoenas FBI Director Wray in Probe of Crossfire Hurricane OriginsSenator Ron Johnson (R., Wisc.) subpoenaed FBI director Christopher Wray last week for documents pertaining to the Russia investigation.Johnson, who chairs the Senate Homeland Security Committee, issued the subpoena as part of the committee's probe into the origins of the Russia investigation, dubbed Crossfire Hurricane by the FBI.The subpoena, obtained by Fox News, demands that Wray make available "all records related to the Crossfire Hurricane investigation. This includes, but is not limited to, all records provided or made available to the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice for its review.""The FBI has already been producing documents and information to the Senate Homeland Security Committee, which are directly responsive to this subpoena," the FBI told Fox. "As always, the FBI will continue to cooperate with the Committee’s requests, consistent with our law enforcement and national security obligations."Both the Homeland Security committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee are conducting investigations into the origins of the Crossfire Hurricane probe, whose stated aim was to uncover alleged collusion between Russian operatives and 2016 Trump-campaign officials. Intelligence officials have already declassified various documents pertaining to Crossfire Hurricane as part of the Judiciary Committee's investigation.Many of those documents were uncovered by DOJ inspector general Michael Horowitz as part of his own investigation into the FBI's applications for FISA warrants to surveil former Trump-campaign adviser Carter Page. Horowitz found "at least 17 significant errors or omissions in the Carter Page FISA applications."



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Race in Mauritius to empty oil tanker before it breaks up

Race in Mauritius to empty oil tanker before it breaks upUrgent efforts increased in Mauritius on Monday to empty a stranded Japanese ship of an estimated 2,500 tons of oil before the vessel breaks up and increases the contamination of the island’s once-pristine coastline. Already more than 1,000 tons of the fuel has washed up on the eastern coast of Mauritius, polluting its coral reefs, protected lagoons and shoreline. High winds and waves are pounding the Japanese bulk carrier MV Wakashio, which ran aground on a coral reef two weeks ago and is showing signs of breaking up and dumping its remaining cargo of oil into the Indian Ocean waters surrounding Mauritius.



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Gunmen kill six French aid workers, their driver and guide in Niger, minister says

Gunmen kill six French aid workers, their driver and guide in Niger, minister saysGunmen on motorcycles killed six French aid workers, a Nigerien guide and a driver in a wildlife park in Niger on Sunday, officials said. The group was attacked in a giraffe reserve just 65 km (40 miles) from the West African country’s capital Niamey, the governor of Tillaberi region, Tidjani Ibrahim Katiella, told Reuters. The six worked for an international aid group, Niger’s Defence Minister Issoufou Katambé told Reuters.



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California's top public health director out, no reason given

California's top public health director out, no reason givenCalifornia's top public health official has resigned, just days after the state announced a fix for a glitch that caused a lag in reporting coronavirus test results used to make decisions about reopening businesses and schools. Dr. Sonia Angell said in a resignation letter made public late Sunday that she's departing from her role as director and state public health officer at the California Department of Public Health. Angell often appeared during news conferences about California's response to the pandemic alongside Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, who had appointed her to the dual roles.



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Obama targets Texas in first round of 2020 endorsements

Obama targets Texas in first round of 2020 endorsementsFormer President Barack Obama unveiled his first round of 2020 endorsements on Monday, and he's got his eyes on Texas, at least at the local level.Obama is endorsing 27 Democratic candidates in Texas, including 19 for the state House, where Democrats need to win nine seats to grab the majority. The focus seems to make sense for Obama, The New York Times notes, because Texas districts will be redrawn after the 2020 census, and Democrats want to gain a foothold before that happens. The former president has made it a priority to back candidates whom the National Democratic Redistricting Committee has labeled key to the redistricting process.He decided to stay out of Texas' Senate race between incumbent Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and his Democratic challenger MJ Hegar, however. Obama similarly avoided other key Senate races in Republican states, including Montana, Kentucky, and Georgia, where his public support may not provide a boost, or could even prove harmful.> What's missing? Some key red state Senate races, including MT, KY, GA and TX where it is less clear that Obama's public backing would be a benefit.https://t.co/9rIjcI7SvE> > — Shane Goldmacher (@ShaneGoldmacher) August 3, 2020In races at the national level, Obama endorsed 52 Democratic House candidates and five for the Senate in battleground states, and he's set to announce a second wave of endorsements for states who have yet to hold their primaries. Read more at The New York Times.More stories from theweek.com The most damning inside portrait of the Trump administration yet 5 brutally funny cartoons about Bill Barr’s brand of justice Why Democratic voters might stay home on Election Day



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