Relentless storms ravaged California again Tuesday, the latest destructive episode in weeks of extreme weather that have left at least 16 people dead and sparked havoc over a wide area.
Torrential downpours caused flash flooding, closed key highways, toppled trees and swept away drivers and passengers — including a five-year-old-boy who remains missing in central California — with even more rain and snow set to batter America’s most populous state.
Around 160,000 California homes and businesses were without power Tuesday, according to tracking site Poweroutage.us.
A fresh storm is set to pound the state with as much as seven inches (18 centimeters) of new rain in northern California by Wednesday and several more feet of snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains, the National Weather Service said.
The NWS described an “endless onslaught of atmospheric river events” that is the most powerful storm system since 2005.
The town of Montecito, home to Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, was pounded by rain — threatening dangerous mudslides on hills already sodden by weeks of downpours — and sparking an evacuation order.
“Because the mountains are right there, when it really rains, it comes down at a really high rate… it’s pretty dangerous pretty quickly,” resident Daniel DeMuyer told AFP.
“That’s the price of living in such a beautiful place, when it rains like this, it causes a lot of destruction.”
Montecito, whose multi-million dollar properties are surrounded by breathtaking California countryside, is particularly vulnerable to mudslides because it sits at the foot of a mountain range that was ravaged by fire five years ago.
Hundreds of square miles (kilometers) were scorched, stripping the hillsides of the vegetation that normally keeps soil in place.
Heavy rains in January 2018 sent torrents of mud and rock crashing into the town in a tragedy that left 23 people dead.
The fear is that it could happen again.
“Over the last 30 days, Montecito has received 12-20+ inches of rain across the community, exceeding our yearly average of 17 inches,” Montecito Fire said on Twitter.
It was not clear how many of the well-heeled town’s residents, who also include Ellen DeGeneres, Gwyneth Paltrow, Katy Perry, and Rob Lowe, had heeded the call to flee.
Boy swept away
The rain and wind was the latest in a parade of storms that have already killed 16 people — a toll Governor Gavin Newsom’s office said is already “more lives than wildfires in the past two years combined.”
In San Luis Obispo County authorities called off a search for a five-year-old boy as rushing waters were too dangerous for divers, Fox News reported, quoting a county official.
The child, who fled with his mother from their car as it was inundated by flood waters, has not been declared dead. The mother was rescued.
Two motorists died in a crash north of Bakersfield after a tree crashed onto a road, the Los Angeles Times reported.
In Ventura County northwest of Los Angeles, the fire department said it rescued 18 people Monday from an island in the flooded Ventura River.
Swathes of the Golden State were under flood warnings as it struggled to cope with yet more rain on top of near-record downpours in recent weeks — with even more forecast over the coming days.
“There will be a brief break in the rainfall in the West late tonight before the next atmospheric river arrives Wednesday. Moisture will stream ahead of a large cyclone in the eastern Pacific Ocean, which will produce heavy precipitation in northern California,” the NWS said.
Downpours in drought
While heavy rain is not unusual for California during winter, these downpours are testing the state.
They come as much of the western United States is more than two decades into a punishing drought that has seen major increases in the frequency and intensity of wildfires.
Scientists say human-caused climate change, brought about by the unchecked burning of fossil fuels, has supercharged these wild swings in weather.
But even the recent heavy rains are not enough to comprehensively reverse the drought.
Scientists say several years of above-average rainfall are needed to get reservoirs back to healthy levels.
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Details: Criminal Allegations Against Biden in FBI Document Revealed
President Joe Biden was allegedly paid $5 million by an executive of the Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings, where his son Hunter Biden sat on the board, a confidential human source told the FBI during a June 2020 interview, sources familiar told Fox News Digital.
The sources briefed Fox News Digital on the contents of the FBI-generated FD-1023 form alleging a criminal bribery scheme between then-Vice President Joe Biden and a foreign national that involved influence over U.S. policy decisions.
The FD-1023 form, dated June 30, 2020, is the FBI’s interview with a “highly credible” confidential source who detailed multiple meetings and conversations he or she had with a top Burisma executive over the course of several years, starting in 2015. Fox News Digital has not seen the form, but it was described by several sources who are aware of its contents.
An FD-1023 form is used by FBI agents to record unverified reporting from confidential human sources. The form is used to document information as told to an FBI agent, but recording that information does not validate or weigh it against other information known by the FBI.
The Burisma executive sought the advice of the confidential source, a business professional, on gaining U.S. oil rights and getting involved with a U.S. oil company, the sources familiar with the document said. The Burisma executive was speaking with the confidential source to “get advice on the best way to go forward” in 2015 and 2016.
According to the FD-1023 form, the confidential human source said the Burisma executive discussed Hunter’s role on the board. The confidential human source questioned why the Burisma executive needed his or her advice in acquiring access to U.S. oil if he had Hunter Biden on the board. The Burisma executive answered by referring to Hunter Biden as “dumb.”
The Burisma executive explained to the confidential source that Burisma had to “pay the Bidens” because Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin was investigating Burisma, and explained how difficult it would be to enter the U.S. market in the midst of that investigation.
The confidential source further detailed that conversation, suggesting to the Burisma executive that he “pay the Bidens $50,000 each,” to which the Burisma executive replied, it is “not $50,000,” it is “$5 million.”
“$5 million for one Biden, $5 million for the other Biden,” the Burisma executive told the confidential human source, according to a source familiar with the document.
A source familiar said according to the document, the $5 million payments appeared to reference a kind of “retainer” Burisma intended to pay the Bidens to deal with a number of issues, including the investigation led by Shokin. Another source referred to the arrangement as a “pay-to-play” scheme.
Sources familiar told Fox News Digital that the confidential human source believes that the $5 million payment to Joe Biden and the $5 million payment to Hunter Biden occurred, based on his or her conversations with the Burisma executive.
The confidential source said the Burisma executive told him he “paid” the Bidens in such a manner “through so many different bank accounts” that investigators would not be able to “unravel this for at least 10 years.”
The document then makes reference to “the Big Guy,” which, has been said to be a reference to Joe Biden.
The Burisma executive told the confidential source that he “didn’t pay the Big Guy directly.”
Fox News Digital has learned that the confidential human source has been used by the FBI as a regular, reliable source of information since 2010 and has been paid approximately $200,000 by the bureau.
Sources said the Burisma executive appears to be at a “very, very high level” of the company. One source familiar suggested the confidential source could be referring to the head of Burisma, Mykola Zlochevsky, but said the name of the Burisma executive is redacted in the document.
Biden has acknowledged that when he was vice president, he successfully pressured Ukraine to fire prosecutor Viktor Shokin. At the time, Shokin was investigating Burisma Holdings, and at the time, Hunter had a highly-lucrative role on the board receiving thousands of dollars per month. The then-vice president threatened to withhold $1 billion of critical U.S. aid if Shokin was not fired.
“I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in,’ I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Biden recalled telling then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Biden recollected the conversation during an event for the Council on Foreign Relations in 2018.
“Well, son of a bitch, he got fired,” Biden said during the event. “And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.”
Biden allies maintain the then-vice president pushed for Shokin’s firing due to concerns the Ukrainian prosecutor went easy on corruption, and say that his firing, at the time, was the policy position of the U.S. and international community.
In 2019, then-President Donald Trump, pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to launch investigations into the Biden family’s actions and business dealings in Ukraine —specifically Hunter Biden’s ventures with Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings and Joe Biden’s successful effort to have Shokin ousted.
Trump’s request was regarded by Democrats as a quid pro quo for millions in U.S. military aid to Ukraine had been frozen. Democrats also claimed Trump was meddling in the 2020 presidential election by asking a foreign leader to look into a Democratic political opponent.
Trump was later impeached by the House of Representatives for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — all stemming from the phone call and the question about the Bidens’ dealings. The Senate voted for acquittal in February 2020.
The confidential source, according to the sources familiar with the FD-1023 form, told the Burisma executive he should “get away” from the Bidens and said the executive should “not want to be involved” with them.
A source familiar with the document told Fox News Digital that the confidential human source goes on to detail a later conversation with the Burisma executive following the 2016 presidential election. The confidential source asked the Burisma executive if he was “upset” that Donald Trump won.
The source said the Burisma executive told the confidential source that he was “an oracle,” referring to his or her advice to “get away” from the Bidens due to fears of potential investigations into their dealings.
The House Oversight Committee had subpoenaed the FBI for the FD-1023 document. After a back-and-forth between the committee and the bureau, and amid threats of holding FBI Director Christopher Wray in contempt of Congress, the FBI allowed all committee members to view the document in a secure setting on Capitol Hill.
The revelations of the document came after a whistleblower approached GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., The whistleblower said the FBI was in possession of a document – the FD-1023 form dated June 30, 2020.
The White House has maintained that President Biden has never been involved in his son’s business dealings and has never discussed them with him.
Hunter Biden is currently under federal investigations for his “tax affairs.” The investigation began in 2018 and was prompted by suspicious foreign transactions.
The White House declined to comment, pointing to a statement by Joe Biden Thursday calling the allegations “a bunch of malarky.”
Biden Responds to Bribery Scandal Allegations
President Biden responded to questions Thursday about his alleged involvement in an international bribery scandal with a simple joke.
“Where’s the money?” he quipped when asked by a reporter for his response to Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., a member of the House Oversight Committee investigating the president, who said earlier in the day the allegations are “worse than has been reported so far.”
“I’m joking. It’s a bunch of malarkey,” Biden added.
Joe Biden is asked his response to allegations in the FD-1023 document that he was invoked in an illegal bribery scheme:
“Where’s the money?”
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) June 8, 2023
Mace, who reviewed the FD-1023 document an FBI whistleblower said proved Biden’s participation in the bribery scandal, told Fox News Digital on Thursday there is “damning evidence the sitting President of the United States sold out his country in an ongoing bribery scheme.”
House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, were first approached by the whistleblower who said the FBI was in possession of the document, dated June 30, 2020, that explicitly detailed information provided by a confidential human source who alleged that Biden, while serving as vice president, was involved in a $5 million criminal bribery scheme with a foreign national in exchange for influence over policy decisions.
After being subpoenaed for the document, FBI Director Christopher Wray on Monday allowed Comer and House Oversight Committee ranking member Jamie Raskin, D-Md., to view the document in a secure sensitive compartment information facility.
The FBI agreed on Wednesday to allow the full Oversight Committee to view the document after Republicans on the committee threatened to hold Wray in contempt of Congress.
The information in the document, according to the whistleblower, reveals “a precise description of how the alleged criminal scheme was employed as well as its purpose” and details an arrangement that involved an exchange of money for policy decisions.
WATCH: Tucker Carlson Drops Episode #2
Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson warned viewers Thursday to “cling” to their “taboos” to fight back against the “people in charge.”
Carlson’s second episode, “Cling to your taboos!” came out two days after the first episode released on Twitter on Tuesday. The Daily Caller co-founder began his new show, “Tucker on Twitter,” in June after departing from Fox News in April.
In the newest episode, Carlson called on Americans to “cling” onto taboos as elites target people for crimes they cannot define.
“When a crime has no definition, anyone can be guilty of it,” Carlson said. “It’s hard to relax in a country like that. The old system was better. Government operated on the basis of laws, not amorphous moral terror. Politicians couldn’t accuse you of something they couldn’t define. The legal code was straight forward. Child molestation was a crime. Having unfashionable opinions was not. Outside of the public sphere, the population mostly governed itself as it does in every society, and used taboos to do it.”
Ep. 2 Cling to your taboos! pic.twitter.com/45AeVdtwOu
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) June 8, 2023
“You knew what was allowed and what wasn’t because the rules didn’t change very often. The taboos were organic. They derived from collective experience and instinct. The two most reliable guides to life. They evolved for a reason. They still do. Our job at this point is to protect them, despite the hectoring and the nonstop hectoring from the people in charge,” he added.
“So don’t let them talk you out of what you can smell. Don’t let them rationalize away your intuitive moral sense. Cling to your taboos like your life depends on them, because it does.”
Carlson criticized left-wing politicians for targeting “white supremacy” and anyone asking questions about the 2020 presidential election while ignoring the threat of child pornography and pedophilia. He raised the reports of child predators take advantage of Instagram’s algorithms and networking.
“So far this month, the FBI’s Washington field office has issued 11 press releases. Ten out of 11 have been about January 6th. Keep in mind that January 6th happened more than two-and-a-half years ago. Now you know why the Feds were ignoring kid touchers on Instagram. They’re too busy to respond. They’ve got much more important things to do, like finding white supremacists. White supremacists are America’s new child molesters. We’ve got zero tolerance for white supremacists because no one threatens the life of this country more than they do.”
After citing President Joe Biden calling white supremacy “the most dangerous terrorist threat to our homeland,” Carlson mocked the current elites of being more concerned about white supremacy than Mexican drug cartels or a possible nuclear war with Russia, while being unable to define the term.
He pointed to Emmanuel Cafferty, who was fired after being accused of making a white supremacy symbol with his knuckle in front of a Black Lives Matter protest. Cafferty said he did not know of any white supremacy symbol and simply just cracked his knuckle.
J&J’s COVID Vaccine Taken by 19 Million Americans is Pulled by FDA
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has revoked authorization of Johnson & Johnson’s Covid vaccine after it was paused over rare blood clot concerns, which sent demand plummeting.
The move was not unexpected because J&J’s parent company Jannsen had requested that federal regulators at the FDA withdraw authorization for its vaccine after it was revealed that the last tranche of doses – about 12.5 million – had expired.
As of year three of the Covid pandemic, nearly 231 million Americans have received either one J&J shot or two doses of an mRNA vaccine from Pfizer or Moderna.
Vaccination fatigue has swept the US, with millions of Americans frustrated by the fact that a shot does not guarantee immunity from the virus but rather protects against severe illness, and all those who had planned on getting fully vaccinated are believed to have done so by now.
With a renewed wave of demand for J&J’s single-dose vaccine highly unlikely, coupled with a beleaguered history of production hiccups and health concerns that severely eroded public trust, the pharmaceutical company has opted to step away from the Covid vaccine field.
Citing ever-shrinking demand, J&J told the FDA it would not update formulations of its shot to confront emerging strains better, a step that Moderna and Pfizer took last year to address the devastating omicron variant.
Dr Peter Marks, Director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research said: ‘Because FDA understands that… Janssen Biotech, Inc. has requested that FDA withdraw the EUA for the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine, FDA has determined that it is appropriate to protect the public health or safety to revoke this authorization.’
A fraction of Americans have received J&J’s vaccine compared to the other vaccines approved for use in the US.
Nearly 367 million Americans have received a Pfizer shot while over 232 million have received a dose of Moderna’s vaccine. A paucity of the total shots administered in the US since early 2021 – just over 19 million – were made by J&J.
Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine was plagued by controversy since it entered the market in February 2021. By that time, more than 2.1 million mRNA shots had already been administered and those from Pfizer and Moderna became the gold standard.
Less than a month after the J&J vaccine was granted emergency use authorization from the FDA, it became mired in controversy over a small but growing number of severe blood clotting disorders called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) in people who got the shot.
Thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome is a severe condition characterized by thrombosis formation, or blood clots, combined with thrombocytopenia, a severely low platelet count that hinders the body’s ability to stop a wound from bleeding.
Symptoms of TTS, also known as Vaccine-induced prothrombotic immune thrombocytopenia (VIPIT) or vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT), typically come on between four and 42 days following vaccination.
The FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a sweeping pause on administering the shots in April 2021, citing six cases of the rare clotting disorder.
The agencies performed an investigation into the cases and re-assessed the risk-to-benefit ratio, concluding that they ‘have confidence that this vaccine is safe and effective in preventing COVID-19’ and that ‘the available data show that the vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks in individuals 18 years of age and older.’
Meanwhile, it had been revealed that the Baltimore-based Emergent BioSolutions manufacturing plant making the J&J vaccines had inadvertently ruined about 15 million doses after cross-contamination between that vaccine and a similar one from AstraZeneca meant for the UK.
US regulators stripped Emergent of its responsibility to produce the AstraZeneca vaccine and granted J&J full control over the manufacturing process of its shots at the Baltimore plant. When all was said and done, J&J was ordered to toss out 60 million doses of its vaccine out of contamination concerns.
Despite the federal government lifting the recommended pause on J&J’s shot after about a week and a half, the damage to its reputation had been done. Public trust in the single-dose vaccine eroded drastically and it soon became the object of derision.
Comedy superstar Dave Chappelle, for instance, quipped that he chose the ‘third best option’ when it came time to get vaccinated, adding, ‘I’ll have what the homeless people are having.’
The J&J vaccine was widely expected at first to be a boon for people experiencing homelessness and other disenfranchised people who could not guarantee to be able to get the requisite second shot of Moderna or Pfizer.
One online jokester quipped, ‘Johnson and johnson made the temporary tattoo of vaccines,’ and another said: Johnson and Johnson is The Godfather Part 3 of vaccinations.’
In December 2021, the panel of vaccine experts at the CDC voted to recommend the use of the Moderna and Pfizer mRNA vaccines over the J&J amid growing reports of TTS. They pointed out that the problem is rare, occurring in about one case in every 100,000 doses given to women aged 30 to 49, the group at highest risk for TTS.
Subsequently, in May of 2022, the FDA limited its use to adults 18 and older who were unable to get an mRNA vaccine due to an allergy to it or lack of availability.
Project Veritas Names New CEO
Project Veritas has named Hannah Giles as its new CEO following the departure of its founder James O’Keefe.
In a Thursday press release, titled “The Mission Continues,” the nonprofit known for its undercover investigations announced O’Keefe’s replacement, hailing Giles’ resume as an investigative journalist and businesswoman.
“I’m honored to lead this amazing team at Project Veritas! We are more committed than ever to producing stories that expose the stubborn false narratives that plague our society,” Giles said in a tweet.
Giles is known for her 2009 bombshell undercover investigation into the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), which she performed with her predecessor O’Keefe. Giles dressed up as a prostitute and went with O’Keefe to several ACORN offices, taking videos of ACORN employees assisting the journalists with tax evasion and other paperwork to run a fake child prostitution business. The footage appeared on television and resulted in the U.S. Government defunding ACORN and the organization disbanding.
On the heels of the story, O’Keefe founded Project Veritas in 2010, placing its headquarters in Mamaroneck, New York. The nonprofit’s founder described Giles as a “national treasure” in his bestselling book Breakthrough.
After the ACORN investigation, Giles founded the American Phoenix Foundation, training hundreds of college journalists across the country. She also owned C3 Strategies, a “community transformation consulting firm that grew to over 450 employees” under her stewardship. Giles stepped away to run a sustainable farm that was featured in several magazines.
“With your support and my core vision on what needs to be done, Project Veritas will shine light into the darkest corners and will continue to resurrect great journalism,” Giles proclaimed in the announcement video.
Project Veritas’ announcement comes months after a messy breakup with their founder O’Keefe. O’Keefe was accused by the nonprofit’s board in February of acting unprofessionally by “bullying staff.” In May, the non-profit sued its founder, alleging he started a competing company — O’Keefe Media Group — against his employment contract.
After O’Keefe’s ouster, Project Veritas released a comprehensive investigation into several gender clinics across the country, exposing how these clinics were prescribing sex change medications to children as young as eight years old, transitioning minors without restrictions, and “cashing in on life-long patients.”
Project Veritas’ investigation into the clinics prompted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to investigate the Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin and the clinic ceasing transgender treatments on minors.
CIA Roasted Over Pride Month Post
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was roasted by social media users after it posted a Pride Month tribute on Twitter.
In a tweet Thursday, the CIA said Pride Month is a time to recognize the agency’s “rich history” of “LGBTQ+ officers” and their work.
“Pride Month is an occasion for all of us at the Agency to pay tribute to the rich history, community, and mission contributions of our LGBTQ+ officers,” the CIA tweeted.
CIA’s 2023 theme for #Pride Month is WELCO-ME!
Pride Month is an occasion for all of us at the Agency to pay tribute to the rich history, community, and mission contributions of our LGBTQ+ officers.#Pride2023 pic.twitter.com/aEEZplX13s
— CIA (@CIA) June 8, 2023
The tweet prompted immediate ridicule from social media users. Some commenters asked whether the post was real, attempting to make sure it was not from a CIA parody account.
“Well this is wildly dystopian,” tweeted The Daily Wire podcast host Ben Shapiro.
Well this is wildly dystopian https://t.co/vezExCrxpB
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) June 8, 2023
“In fairness to the CIA, ‘Pride’ is a massive psyop,” The Daily Wire host Michael Knowles tweeted.
“Re-branding US foreign policy and the US intelligence agencies, including the CIA, as a crusade for LGBTQ2AI+ rights is a truly genius feat of marketing,” tweeted journalist Glenn Greenwald. “It’s one of the reasons – not the only – that US liberals now regards the CIA and US foreign policy as so benevolent.”
“Can’t believe this is real,” tweeted Senator J.D. Vance (R-OH).
“How is this not a parody account???” tweeted Donald Trump Jr., the son of former President Donald Trump.
“The CIA is a woke spa, not a spy agency to protect America from foreign infiltration,” Fox News host Laura Ingraham tweeted.
“This you?” tweeted Washington Free Beacon investigative reporter Chuck Ross, along with 1980 guidance from the CIA on “homosexual investigations.”
This you? https://t.co/DKHzsmAAQ5 pic.twitter.com/gi7NgE5oPp
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) June 8, 2023
The 43-year-old CIA document says “homosexual investigations” are extremely complex and sensitive.
“One of the most common mistakes made by the average person is the conviction that he can recognize a homosexual on sight. This is similar to recognizing a Communist. The subject has a mental or emotional problem rather than a physical one,” the old guidance says.
Lesbians and gay men were once unable to obtain security clearance to work in the CIA over concerns that they were a security risk because they were subject to blackmail. In 1995, former President Bill Clinton signed an executive order ending the practice of barring gay men and women from joining the CIA. Over the last decade, the CIA has begun actively recruiting people from those demographics.
In the same Pride Month tweet, CIA said its 2023 theme for Pride Month is “WELCO-ME!” which stands for Wellness, Equity, LGBTQ+, Community, Openness, and “ME!”
Several other government agencies have shared Pride Month messages on social media, including the Transportation Department, which is run by Pete Buttigieg, who recently adopted newborn twins with his husband.
USDOT is proud to stand with the LGBTQI+ community. #PrideMonth pic.twitter.com/fgLQfM1tjI
— TransportationGov (@USDOT) June 1, 2023
US Mom Kidnapped in Mexico — FBI Offers $20,000 Reward
A US woman who was kidnapped in Mexico in February was heard desperately begging to be freed in a proof-of-life audio recording, according to her daughter, who tearfully appealed to President Biden and his Mexican counterpart for help.
Maria del Carmen Lopez, 63, a US-Mexican dual citizen, was dragged from her home in Pueblo Nuevo, Colima state, on Feb. 9.
Nearly four months later, the mom-of-seven, grandmother of 19, and great-grandmother of two remains missing, despite a $20,000 reward being offered for her safe return.
Zonia Lopez, the kidnapped woman’s grown daughter, held a news conference in Los Angeles Wednesday, during which she revealed that the last time the family heard from her mom was eight weeks ago, when the kidnappers sent them a proof-of-life audio recording, reported the station KTLA.
“She is pleading for her life, and she names a few of my brothers and sisters, and she’s saying: ‘Please hurry, act quickly, my children, and give them what they want. My life depends on it,’” the daughter said, adding that she and her siblings have not heard anything from their mom since.
The family believes Lopez is still alive and being held for ransom by what they described as a “fringe Mexican kidnapping organization.”
Speaking through tears, Zonia begged President Biden and Mexican President Andreas Manuel Lopez Obrador to join forces and help rescue her mother from captivity.
“Work together to prioritize the rescue and safe return of Mother,” she pleaded. “Use all resources, both human and technological to bring an end to this nightmare that has haunted my family for far too long. I beg you, do not let my mother’s voice fade into darkness. Do not let this be another unsolved kidnapping. Bring her home.”
The missing woman’s children claimed that the investigation into the kidnapping has been slow-moving and that there has been a “disconnect” between the US and Mexican authorities regarding keeping the family apprised of the latest developments.
“We miss her with a pain that defies words,” Zonia said. “I implore you to hear my words, to feel my anguish. I implore you to take immediate action.”
The daughter also addressed her mother’s kidnappers directly, appealing to their humanity.
“We’re hurting for her,” Zonia said. “She deserves to be home with us. Please give her back.”
Maria del Carmen Lopez had lived for some time in Southern California before retiring in Colima state, Mexico, where she has family, about 10 years ago.
The matriarch regularly traveled back and forth from California, however, for medical appointments and to visit her children and grandchildren.
On Feb. 9, she was gardening at her home in Pueblo Nuevo when, according to her family, several men arrived in a white van and took her away.
Daughter Zonia previously told CBS Los Angeles that her mother was overheard telling the men that she would not get into their vehicle.
“Two individuals picked her up and another one came out of the van,” Zonia said. “They had their heads covered and they covered her mouth and that’s when they took her.”
The family believes that she was targeted because her children live in the US, creating the false impression that she comes from wealth.
Son Toni Lopez received the first call from the kidnappers and said that they demanded “a ridiculous amount” of ransom money, according to Fox 11.
“We knew right away we were in trouble because we don’t [have] that type of money,” Toni said.
The FBI has been investigating the kidnapping and in March posted the $20,000 reward for Lopez’s return.
According to her official report, Lopez is 5’2” and 160 pounds with blonde hair, brown eyes, and tattooed eyeliner.
Anyone with information on her whereabouts was urged to contact their local FBI office or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate.
Cuba to Build Secret Chinese Spy Base 100 Miles from U.S.
In a bold move that has raised alarm in Washington, China and Cuba are reported to have struck a secret deal allowing Beijing to establish an electronic eavesdropping base in Cuba. The proposed facility, situated about 100 miles from Florida, could enable Chinese intelligence to monitor electronic communications across the southeastern United States, an area with a significant military presence.
According to U.S. officials, the intelligence gathered is highly credible and highlights China’s willingness to challenge the U.S. by establishing an intelligence foothold in its backyard. The Biden administration is concerned about the potential implications of such an installation due to Cuba’s close proximity to the U.S. mainland.
The deal is also said to involve China paying billions of dollars to cash-strapped Cuba. This development may mark a turning point in Sino-American relations, escalating tensions and drawing criticism from U.S. politicians who demand a robust response.
China and Cuba have reached a secret agreement for China to establish an electronic eavesdropping facility on the island, in a brash new geopolitical challenge by Beijing to the U.S., according to U.S. officials familiar with highly classified intelligence.
An eavesdropping facility in Cuba, roughly 100 miles from Florida, would allow Chinese intelligence services to scoop up electronic communications throughout the southeastern U.S., where many military bases are located, and monitor U.S. ship traffic.
Officials familiar with the matter said that China has agreed to pay cash-strapped Cuba several billion dollars to allow it to build the eavesdropping station and that the two countries had reached an agreement in principle.
The revelation about the planned site has sparked alarm within the Biden administration because of Cuba’s proximity to the U.S. mainland. Washington regards Beijing as its most significant economic and military rival. A Chinese base with advanced military and intelligence capabilities in the U.S.’s backyard could be an unprecedented new threat.
“While I cannot speak to this specific report, we are well aware of—and have spoken many times to—the People’s Republic of China’s efforts to invest in infrastructure around the world that may have military purposes, including in this hemisphere,” John Kirby, spokesman for the National Security Council, said. “We monitor it closely, take steps to counter it, and remain confident that we are able to meet all our security commitments at home, in the region, and around the world.”
U.S. officials described the intelligence on the planned Cuba site, apparently gathered in recent weeks, as convincing. They said the base would enable China to conduct signals intelligence, known in the espionage world as sigint, which could include the monitoring of a range of communications, including emails, phone calls and satellite transmissions.
Officials declined to provide more details about the proposed location of the listening station or whether construction had begun. It couldn’t be determined what, if anything, the Biden administration could do to stop completion of the facility.
The revelation about the agreement drew Republican criticism of the administration’s stance on China and Cuba.
“Joe Biden needs to wake up to the real Chinese threats on our doorstep,” Nikki Haley, a former South Carolina governor and United Nations ambassador and current Republican presidential candidate, wrote on Twitter.
“The threat to America from Cuba isn’t just real, it is far worse than this,” tweeted Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.).
The U.S. has intervened before to stop foreign powers from extending their influence in the Western Hemisphere, most notably during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. The U.S. and the Soviet Union came to the brink of nuclear war after the Soviets deployed nuclear-capable missiles to Cuba, prompting a U.S. Navy quarantine of the island.
The Soviets backed down and removed the missiles. A few months later, the U.S. quietly removed intermediate-range ballistic missiles from Turkey that the Soviets had complained about.
The intelligence on the new base comes in the midst of the Biden administration’s efforts to improve U.S.-China relations after months of acrimony that followed a Chinese spy balloon’s flight over the U.S. earlier this year.
Supreme Court Strikes Down Alabama GOP Congressional Map in Voting Rights Case
The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that Alabama discriminated against black voters during its redistricting process last year, a decision that relied on the Voting Rights Act.
The ruling in Allen v. Milligan means that Alabama will have to redraw its congressional map to include a second majority-black district. The 5-4 decision was written by Chief Justice John Roberts and saw Justice Brett Kavanaugh join, marking an alliance between two conservatives and three liberals in the majority.
With the help of Roberts and Kavanaugh, the decision tells Alabama it should have created a second black-majority district, upholding a three-judge panel that threw out the previous map that included only one district with a majority of black voters despite African Americans comprising more than a quarter of the state’s population.
Abha Khanna, an attorney with Elias Law Group who argued the case on behalf of the respondents who sued the state, lauded the Supreme Court’s decision as an upholding of the district court’s decision using “decades of established precedent.”
“Thankfully, the court today identified Alabama’s redistricting scheme as a textbook violation of the landmark civil rights law,” Khanna said.
Alabama argued the changes to its previous districts were race-neutral and asserted that federal law shouldn’t compel states to draw additional minority districts just because such districts were merely possible to draw.
But voters challenging the state succeeded in their interpretation of the VRA, arguing the changes would significantly undermine its purpose and dilute the power of black voters. Civil rights advocates feared the conservative court would further weaken the VRA despite the win they received on Thursday.
The chief justice wrote that there were legitimate concerns that the law “may impermissibly elevate race in the allocation of political power within the states.” He added, “Our opinion today does not diminish or disregard these concerns. It simply holds that a faithful application of our precedents and a fair reading of the record before us do not bear them out here.”
The Republican-appointed majority on the Supreme Court has, in two cases over the last decade, modified the Voting Rights Act, starting in 2013, when it tossed out a provision of the law that permitted federal oversight of election law challenges in certain states.
And after it gained a 6-3 conservative supermajority, it decided a separate 2021 ruling based out of Arizona, imposing more hurdles for lawsuits alleging violations of Section 2 of the VRA.
The case from Alabama also involves Section 2 but in the context of redistricting.
“As we explain below, we find Alabama’s new approach to §2 compelling neither in theory nor in practice. We accordingly decline to recast our §2 case law as Alabama requests,” Roberts wrote for the majority.
Still, the other four conservative justices dissent, with Justice Clarence Thomas writing for the minority that this decision forces “Alabama to intentionally redraw its longstanding congressional districts so that black voters can control a number of seats roughly proportional to the black share of the State’s population.”
“Section 2 demands no such thing, and, if it did, the Constitution would not permit it,” Thomas added.
The Supreme Court’s first black woman on the court, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, dismissed the idea that race could not be part of the matter during oral arguments in October.
Jackson and the other two liberals on the court, Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, said during arguments that a decision such as the one issued on Thursday would provide better opportunities for minorities to elect candidates of their choice.
Comer Cancels Wray Contempt Vote — FBI Agrees to Share Document
House Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-KY) announced late Wednesday that the FBI agreed to allow every member of his committee to see a document containing bribery allegations against President Joe Biden.
This concession by the bureau led the oversight panel to remove a business meeting to vote on holding FBI Director Christopher Wray in contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from the schedule for Thursday, according to Comer’s team.
“After weeks of refusing to even admit the FD-1023 record exists, the FBI has caved and is now allowing all members of the Oversight and Accountability Committee to review this unclassified record that memorializes a confidential human source’s conversations with a foreign national who claimed to have bribed then-Vice President Joe Biden,” Comer said in a statement.
“Americans have lost trust in the FBI’s ability to enforce the law impartially and demand answers, transparency, and accountability. Allowing all Oversight Committee members to review this record is an important step toward conducting oversight of the FBI and holding it accountable to the American people,” Comer added.
The announcement is the latest twist in a weeks-long standoff in which Comer has sought to gain custody of a particular FBI FD-1023 form, going off whistleblower disclosures. Such forms are used by the FBI to record information from a confidential human source.
After allowing Comer and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), the ranking member of the committee, to view a redacted copy of the document on Monday in a secure room in the U.S. Capitol, the FBI insisted that an “escalation to a contempt vote under these circumstances is unwarranted.”
A statement from the bureau said the FBI “demonstrated” a commitment to accommodate the Oversight Committee’s request while also taking precautions “often employed in response to congressional requests and in court proceedings to protect important concerns, such as the physical safety of sources and the integrity of investigations.”
Now, in addition to all Oversight Committee members being able to review the document, they will receive a briefing while the FBI will make two additional documents referenced in the FD-1023 form available for Comer and Raskin to review, the chairman’s team announced.
It remains unclear if such allowances by the FBI will be sufficient to ward off a contempt vote in the future, as Comer has up until now seemed adamant about getting custody of the unclassified document, not just reviewing it.
“In the spirit of good faith, the FBI has offered Chairman Comer yet further accommodations in response to his subpoena, including to allow all Oversight Committee Members to review in camera the second-hand allegations by Ukrainian individuals reported in the tip sheet,” Raskin said in a statement on Wednesday evening. “Chairman Comer’s acceptance of these further accommodations comes after he has spent weeks attacking the FBI despite its extraordinary efforts to provide Committee Republicans the information they claim to seek.”
The Biden team has been openly dismissive of Comer’s investigative efforts. “This silly charade by Chairman Comer is yet another reminder that his so-called ‘investigations’ are political stunts not meant to get information but to spread thin innuendo and falsehoods to attack the President,” White House spokesperson Ian Sams said in a recent statement.
Comer says the document pertains to Ukraine with the allegations that fit a pattern seen with other countries, such as Romania, regarding suspicious transactions involving millions of dollars funneled through banks and shell companies linked to members of Biden’s family.
Without the FD-1023 record sought by Comer, the committee cannot determine whether or not the allegations it contains pose a national security risk, and the panel is hindered in its ability to gather more evidence that could inform future legislation that could strengthen disclosure requirements, said a report that accompanied a contempt resolution released earlier on Wednesday.
The 17-page report, which explained the background of the month-long standoff over the subpoena and the committee’s rationale for moving forward with contempt, also divulged that Biden’s son Hunter is tied to the allegations.
“The details of the allegations span meetings and conversations that occurred over several years,” the report says. “The allegations in the FD-1023 form are complex; detail business ventures; reference large payment amounts and the reasons why the foreign national is financially involved with Joe Biden and Hunter Biden; and discuss the financial complexity of the alleged scheme.”
The younger Biden’s tax affairs are under investigation by U.S. Attorney David Weiss in Delaware, where former Attorney General William Barr told The Federalist he relayed an inquiry into the allegations. Comer says FBI officials have conveyed to Congress the FD-1023 form is “currently being used in an ongoing investigation.”
Julian Assange Loses Final Appeal — Will Be Extradited to U.S. Within Weeks
Julian Assange has lost his appeal against extradition to the US on espionage charges.
The judgment was handed down privately on Monday at the High Court.
WikiLeaks founder Assange, 51, launched the appeal last June after then-Home Secretary Priti Patel signed an order authorizing his removal.
His lawyers have indicated they will not appeal the decision further, but they have until the end of the week to contest it.
If no appeal is launched, Assange will have exhausted his options in the UK courts.
There is still a chance that his extradition could be blocked by a last minute intervention from judges in Europe.
In December, Assange appealed to the European Court of Human Rights.
To halt his extradition now, the European Court would have to issue an emergency injunction known as a Rule 39 order.
This allows a judge to effectively block any action until further legal proceedings to decide on the merits of a case.
These so-called ‘interim measures’ are typically used to suspend an extradition, often by asylum seekers who fear persecution if they are returned to their home country.
Between 2020 and 2022, the ECHR granted 12 of 161 applications for ‘interim measures’ against the UK government.
Most recently, the order was used to stop the deportation of illegal migrants to Rwanda.
Such an order would be extremely controversial and likely be seen as another attack on British sovereignty, fuelling calls for Britain to leave the European Convention on Human Rights.
Meanwhile, Home Office officials are preparing the paperwork needed to extradite Assange at short notice.
If there are no further legal challenges, his extradition could take place in the next few weeks.
The case is thought to be one of the longest extradition battles in the last decade.
In 2019 he was charged by US authorities over almost 500,000 documents leaked in 2010 and 2011 about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
If convicted in the US, Mr Assange faces a possible penalty of up to 175 years in jail, his lawyers have said.
However the US government has said the sentence was more likely to be between four and six years.
In a long-running legal battle, a district judge at Westminster Magistrates Court initially blocked his extradition in January 2021 due to a real and ‘oppressive’ risk of suicide.
But this decision was overturned at the High Court after US authorities provided assurances that Mr Assange would be spared highly restricted prison conditions.
Yesterday Assange’s lawyers, Birnberg Peirce said no one was available to comment on the ongoing case.
Assange’s wife, human rights lawyer Stella, tweeted: ‘On Tuesday next week my husband will make a renewed application for appeal to the High Court.
‘The matter will then proceed to a public hearing before two new judges at the High Court and we remain optimistic that we will prevail and that Julian will not be extradited to the United States where he faces charges that could result in him spending the rest of his life in a maximum security prison for publishing true information that revealed war crimes committed by the US government.’
Horror in France: Syrian Illegal Goes on Mass Stabbing Rampage Targeting Children
At least six people including four children were injured in an apparent knife attack in Annecy, a picturesque mountainside town popular with tourists for its proximity to Alpine ski resorts, on Thursday morning.
Early reports indicated one adult and four children were injured, but that figure later rose. According to France’s Le Figaro, two children and one adult are in critical condition, but all the children involved are in a state of “absolute emergency”, so says a police source.
It is reported the children impacted in the attack are just three years old.
Footage of the arrest of a suspected perpetrator was filmed by bystanders and broadcast on national television. Images of the scene show a bearded man wearing a black t-shirt and what is described as a “turban”, carrying a knife.
Reports state the suspect is 32-year-old a Syrian man named Abdalmasih who has an asylum application lodged in France in 2022, and refugee status in Sweden as well. He is not said to be known to police.
Attaque au couteau à Annecy: l’interpellation de l’agresseur filmée par un témoin pic.twitter.com/Q0EHJypyRr
— BFMTV (@BFMTV) June 8, 2023
Syrian asylum seeker arrested by French police after a man entered children’s playground with a knife, the attack leaving three in critical condition in Annecy, France.
Update: More details emerging from local media in France citing police and investigation sources. The young victims, reports outlets including France’s CNews are a German citizen who is a 22-month-old boy who was flown to hospital in Geneva for emergency care, a two-year-old boy, a three-year-old girl, and a three-year-old girl with UK citizenship. A 70-year-old man was also stabbed in the neck.
As for the alleged perpetrator, Abdalmasih H. has residency as an asylum seeker in Sweden and is married to a Swedish citizen, but for reasons unknown also applied for asylum status in France in 2022. It is reported this application was rejected just last week because he was already awarded refugee status in Sweden. Liberation reports when the Syrian migrant filled out his application for asylum status, he claimed to be a Christian.
According to a report of Le Dauphine, the attacker is known to a park employee in Annecy, as he has been seen hanging around the area for the past two months. The local told the paper: “the guy comes to sit on a bench every day for two months, dressed in black, black backpack, dark glasses, bearded… He didn’t speak”.
Another said he hung around the park every day “from morning to night”.
Pat Robertson, Legendary Evangelist, Dead at 93
Legendary evangelist the Rev. Pat Robertson, who built a small Virginia radio station into a vast religious broadcasting network and even ran for president over a career that spanned more than six decades, has died at age 93.
Robertson’s death was announced early Thursday by his Christian Broadcasting Network. No cause was given.
Born Marion Gordon Robertson, he was the son of Absalom Willis Robertson, who for 36 years served Virginia in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate.
After graduating from Washington and Lee University, he served as assistant adjutant of the 1st Marine Division in Korea before graduating from Yale Law School.
Robertson became a powerful force among conservative Christians, hosting the popular “700 Club” television show and the Christian Coalition that he founded. His backing was routinely courted by Republican politicians, and in 1988, he ran for president himself.
Although he lost the White House bid to George H.W. Bush, he placed second in the Iowa caucuses, propelled by support from the state’s evangelicals and a savvy strategy of turning petitions to get him to run into a formidable ground game..
″He asked people to pledge that they’d work for him, pray for him and give him money,” Hadden, a University of Virginia sociologist, told The Associated Press in 1988. ″Political historians may view it as one of the most ingenious things a candidate ever did.″
In addition to the Christian Coalition, which he founded in 1989, Robertson also established Regent University, an evangelical Christian school in Virginia Beach; the American Center for Law and Justice, which defends the First Amendment rights of religious people; and Operation Blessing, an international humanitarian organization.
UPDATE: George Santos Could Be Headed Back to Jail
George Santos could be headed to jail after a judge ordered on Tuesday the release of the names of three people who co-signed his $500,000 bail bond last month.
Santos’ attorneys have fought a request filed by several news organizations that have sought the names’ release. Santos, a freshman New York lawmaker representing a district on Long Island, was arrested and charged with multiple financial crimes last month.
Prosecutors have accused him of committing fraud during his campaign, alleging that he used political donations “to line his pockets” and unlawfully applied for unemployment benefits, among other crimes.
Santos pleaded not guilty to all charges in the 13-count federal indictment and is due back in court on June 30. The three unidentified individuals who signed the bond, which allowed his pretrial release, are known as bond suretors, or guarantors. His attorney, Joseph Murray, argued against the release of their names in a letter to U.S. Magistrate Anne Shields on Monday, saying that the disclosure could endanger the three people.
They could “suffer great distress, may lose their jobs, and God forbid, may suffer physical injury,” Murray wrote. “In fact, if the suretors are required to be identified, we respectfully request that the Court allow the suretors notice before the court releases their information so that they can withdraw as cosignors on the bond and Rep. Santos and I will appear before Your Honor forthwith.”
Murray continued: “My client would rather surrender to pretrial detainment than subject these suretors to what will inevitably come.”
The suggestion that Santos would return to jail to avoid the names’ release could be tested now that Shields has ruled against his request to keep the identities of the three people undisclosed.
Shields gave Santos until noon on Friday to appeal her decision, and the names will not be released until then, the Associated Press reported. Santos has not said whether he plans to appeal the decision.
Santos’ bond is unsecured, meaning that the suretors were not required to pay the $500,000 bond up front but would be required to pay if he does not comply with the conditions of his release, the AP said.
Santos first came under scrutiny after his victory in the 2022 midterms, when he flipped a traditionally Democratic-leaning district that consists primarily of Nassau County and parts of Queens. Just weeks after his win, The New York Times reported that parts of his résumé, including his educational and employment history, were falsified.
While Santos has admitted to embellishing the résumé during his campaign, he has said he committed no criminal wrongdoing and will not resign from office, despite calls from some in his party that he step down. He has also said he will seek reelection in 2024.
The congressman was arraigned last month on “seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds, and two counts of making materially false statements to the House of Representatives,” according to the indictment.
Tucker Carlson to Appear at Event with Trump
Tucker Carlson will be one of the headline attractions at a Turning Point Action gathering in West Palm Beach, Florida, next month, as he takes his next steps back to prime time.
A day after he launched his Twitter show, DailyMail reported that he is among the speakers confirmed for the group’s student conference.
Also on the bill is former President Donald Trump, fellow 2024 candidate Vivek Ramaswamy and Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz.
It makes for Carlson’s most high-profile event since leaving Fox News.
Charlie Kirk, founder and president of Turning Point Action, said: ‘Tucker Carlson is and remains the most powerful and influential voice in all of media, regardless of the medium.
‘Many have wondered if Tucker’s voice and reach would be limited ahead of 2024, but there won’t be a bigger stage anywhere in the country than ACTCON 2023 in West Palm Beach, and the world will get to hear directly from one of the most important thought leaders of a generation.
‘We’re honored to host him.’
Details emerged after Carlson answered questions about his next move on Monday evening, debuting a new show.
He said he decided to broadcast his show on Twitter as for the freedom it gave him to tackle issues of the day, without needing the support of legacy media.
Comparing it with Cold War-era broadcasting, he said he hoped his show ‘will be the shortwave radio under the blankets.’
Insiders say a second episode will drop this week.
He parted with Fox News in April, soon after its parent company Fox Corp settled a defamation suit with Dominion Voting Systems for $787.5 million.
Ep. 1 pic.twitter.com/O7CdPjF830
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) June 6, 2023
Carlson appeared at a fundraising event in Alabama last month when he joked that now had more time to make appearances.
‘I’m probably the first unemployed person you ever invited to speak,’ he said at the Oxford Performing Arts Center for the annual fundraiser for Rainbow Omega, according to Al.com.
‘It’s funny. I never give speeches because I’m working. When I accepted this speech six months ago or something, I didn’t realize how much free time I would have.
‘One never knows, does one?’
Trump to Be Indicted by DOJ This Week Under the Espionage Act
The Department of Justice is preparing to ask a Washington, DC grand jury to indict former president Donald Trump for violating the Espionage Act and for obstruction of justice as soon as Thursday.
The Independent reported that prosecutors are ready to ask grand jurors to approve an indictment against Mr Trump for violating a portion of the US criminal code known as Section 793, which prohibits “gathering, transmitting or losing” any “information respecting the national defence”.
That section of US criminal law is written in a way that could encompass Mr Trump’s conduct even if he was authorised to possess the information as president because it states that anyone who “lawfully having possession of, access to, control over, or being entrusted with any document …relating to the national defence,” and “willfully communicates, delivers, transmits or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted or attempts to communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it on demand to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it” can be punished by as many as ten years in prison.
It is understood that prosecutors intend to ask grand jurors to vote on the indictment on Thursday, but that vote could be delayed as much as a week until the next meeting of the grand jury to allow for a complete presentation of evidence, or to allow investigators to gather more evidence for presentation of necessary.
A separate grand jury that is meeting in Florida has also been hearing evidence in the documents investigation. That grand jury was empaneled in part to overcome legal issues posed by the fact that some of the crimes allegedly committed by Mr Trump took place in that jurisdiction, not in Washington. Under federal law, prosecutors must bring charges against federal defendants in the jurisdiction where the crimes took place.
Another source familiar with the matter has said Mr Trump was recently informed that he is a “target” of the Justice Department probe, which began in early 2022 after National Archives and Records Administration officials discovered more than 100 documents bearing classification markings in a set of 15 boxes of Trump administration records retrieved from Mar-a-Lago.
Over the course of the last year, grand jurors have heard testimony from numerous associates of the ex-president, including nearly every employee of Mar-a-Lago, former administration officials who worked in Mr Trump’s post-presidential office and for his political operation, and former high-ranking administration officials such as his final White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows.
Mr Meadows has already given evidence before the grand jury and is said to be cooperating with the investigation into his former boss. It is understood that the former North Carolina congressman will plead guilty to several federal charges as part of a deal for which he has already received limited immunity in exchange for his testimony.
Trump denied reports that the Department of Justice informed him that he would likely be indicted next week in the classified documents investigation.
“No one has told me I’m being indicted, and I shouldn’t be because I’ve done NOTHING wrong, but I have assumed for years that I am a Target of the WEAPONIZED DOJ & FBI, starting with the Russia, Russia, Russia HOAK (sic), the ‘No Collusion’ Mueller Report, Impeachment HOAX #1, Impeachment HOAX #2, the PERFECT Ukraine phone call, and various other SCAMS & WITCH HUNTS. A TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE & ELECTION INTERFERENCE AT A LEVEL NEVER SEEN BEFORE. REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS MUST MAKE THIS THEIR # 1 ISSUE!!!” Trump wrote.
Steve Bannon Subpoenaed in January 6 Probe
Former Trump White House official Steve Bannon has been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., in connection with special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into Jan. 6, NBC News reported Wednesday.
Two sources familiar with the matter told the outlet that a grand jury subpoenaed Bannon for documents and testimony in late May. Bannon only officially served in the White House in 2017, but he remained a close ally to Trump throughout his presidency.
Bannon, who now hosts a podcast, was previously charged with contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate after he received congressional subpoenas from the House Jan. 6 committee, and he was convicted of two charges in July after a jury trial.
In October, U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols sentenced Bannon to four months in federal prison but suspended the sentence while Bannon pursued appeals.
Fox News Says Tucker Carlson Breached His Contract
Fox News Wednesday notified Tucker Carlson’s lawyers that the former prime-time anchor violated his contract with the network when he launched his own Twitter show on Tuesday, according to a copy of a letter obtained by Axios.
A breach of contract claim sets Fox News up to explore potential legal action against Carlson, a move that would intensify the already thorny public battle between the two parties.
Carlson’s lawyers told Axios that any legal action by Fox would violate his First Amendment rights.
“Fox defends its very existence on freedom of speech grounds. Now they want to take Tucker Carlson’s right to speak freely away from him because he took to social media to share his thoughts on current events,” said Carlson’s lawyer, Bryan Freedman.
Carlson has since accused Fox of fraud and has argued that Fox breached his contract when its senior executives reneged on promises made to Carlson “intentionally and with reckless disregard for the truth.”
Carlson’s lawyers also argued Fox broke its promise to Carlson not to settle with Dominion Voting Systems “in a way which would indicate wrongdoing” on the part of the former host.
Carlson was told by a member of the Fox board that he was taken off the air as part of the Dominion settlement, two sources briefed on the conversation told Axios.
Shortly after Carlson posted the first episode of his new show on Twitter Tuesday evening, Fox News general counsel Bernard Gugar sent a letter to Carlson’s lawyers saying Carlson “is in breach” of his contract agreement.
“In connection with such breach and pursuant to the Agreement, Fox expressly reserves all rights and remedies which are available to it at law or equity.”
The letter refers to Carlson’s contract, which was originally signed on November 8, 2019 and amended on February 16, 2021.
“This evening we were made aware of Mr. Tucker Carlson’s appearance on Twitter in a video that lasted over 10 minutes,” the letter read.
“Pursuant to the terms of the Agreement, Mr. Carlson’s ‘services shall be completely exclusive to Fox,'” it continues, quoting Carlson’s contract.
It adds that Carlson’s contract says he is “prohibited from rendering services of any type whatsoever, whether ‘over the internet via streaming or similar distribution, or other digital distribution whether now known or hereafter devised.'”
Carlson’s legal team, according to a source familiar with its thinking, objects to the network’s effort to block Carlson’s Twitter appearances because, they believe, Twitter is not directly competitive with Fox News.
A source told Axios that Carlson was told by a senior Fox executive that the network’s goal is to keep him sidelined until 2025.
NASA Warns of ‘Internet Apocalypse’ That Leaves People Offline for Months
A groundbreaking mission by NASA’s Parker Solar Probe (PSP) has successfully ventured through solar wind for the first time aiming to prevent people on earth being unable to get on the internet.
Scientists have issued warnings about the potential impact of a solar storm, commonly referred to as an “internet apocalypse,” which could strike within the next decade.
The spacecraft, which was launched five years ago, went on a remarkable journey which took it close to the sun’s surface, where solar wind is generated.
Solar wind consists of a continuous stream of charged particles emanating from the sun’s outermost atmosphere, known as the corona.
Despite the extreme conditions of intense heat and radiation, the Parker Solar Probe persevered to gather crucial insights into the workings of the sun.
Professor Stuart Bale, the lead author of the study and affiliated with California University in the United States, explained the significance of understanding solar wind.
He said: “Winds carry lots of information from the sun to Earth. So understanding the mechanism behind the sun’s wind is important for practical reasons on Earth.
“That’s going to affect our ability to understand how the sun releases energy and drives geomagnetic storms – which are a threat to our communication networks.”
Such an event could leave people without internet access for months or even years, rendering satellites and power lines useless.
The Parker Solar Probe, with its advanced instrumentation, detected solar wind with unparalleled detail, uncovering crucial information that is lost as the wind exits the corona in the form of photons and electrons.
The team of U.S. researchers likened the experience to “seeing jets of water emanating from a showerhead through the blast of water hitting you in the face.”
These findings helped identify a phenomenon known as “supergranulation flows” within coronal holes, where magnetic fields emerge.
The team suggests that these regions serve as the origin points for the high-speed solar wind.
Typically found at the sun’s poles during quiet periods, the holes do not directly impact Earth.
However, during the sun’s active phase every 11 years, when its magnetic field flips, these holes appear across the sun’s surface, generating bursts of solar wind aimed directly at our planet.
The insights gained from the Parker Solar Probe’s mission, published in the journal Nature, will significantly aid in predicting solar storms that can produce stunning auroras but also wreak havoc on satellites and electrical grids.
The study revealed that coronal holes act as showerheads, with jets emerging from bright spots where magnetic field lines funnel in and out of the sun’s surface.
When oppositely directed magnetic fields pass through these funnels, which can span 18,000 miles, they often break and reconnect, propelling charged particles away from the sun.
Professor Bale further explained the significance: “The photosphere is covered by convection cells, like in a boiling pot of water, and the larger scale convection flow is called supergranulation.
“Where these supergranulation cells meet and go downward, they drag the magnetic field in their path into this downward kind of funnel. The magnetic field becomes very intensified there because it’s just jammed.
” It’s kind of a scoop of magnetic field going down into a drain. And the spatial separation of those little drains, those funnels, is what we’re seeing now with solar probe data.”
The Parker Solar Probe’s instruments also detected the presence of extremely high-energy particles moving up to 100 times faster than the solar wind.
Researchers concluded that this unique wind could only be formed through a process known as magnetic reconnection.
Launched five years ago, the Parker Solar Probe continues to make repeated and progressively closer passes of the sun.
Traveling at an astonishing speed of over 320,000 mph, the spacecraft rapidly gathers measurements of the solar environment from behind a thick heat shield, following a strategy of swift entry and exit.
Biden Vetoes Measure Overturning Student Loan Forgiveness Plan
President Biden has vetoed a measure that would have overturned his student debt relief plan, leaving the fate of the program in the hands of the Supreme Court.
“Congressional Republicans led an effort to pass a bill blocking my Administration’s plan to provide up to $20,000 in student debt relief to working and middle class Americans,” Biden said in a tweet Wednesday. “I won’t back down on helping hardworking folks.”
“Let me make something really clear, I’m never going to apologize for helping working- and middle-class Americans as they recover from this pandemic, never,” Biden said.
The president’s proposal, which has been a target of Republicans since he first unveiled it, would impact 40 million borrowers, providing $10,000 in loan forgiveness to those making less than $125,000 annually and $20,000 in forgiveness for Pell Grants recipients.
A two-thirds majority vote in both the House and the Senate would be required to overturn Biden’s veto, a threshold opponents of Biden’s effort cannot reach.
In a statement Wednesday, Biden said he vetoed the solution because he is “committed to continuing to make college affordable and providing this critical relief to borrowers as they work to recover from a once-in-a-century pandemic.”
The measure to block the plan passed the Senate this month in a 52-46 vote and cleared the GOP-majority House in a party-line vote, with two Democrats joining Republicans.
In the Senate, Democratic Sens. Jon Tester (Mont.) and Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) joined Republicans in voting to nix Biden’s proposal.
The measure was brought up as a joint resolution under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), which allows Congress to nullify newly-placed rules and regulations. Such measures are not subject to the filibuster, so Democrats in the Senate could not block the measure, and a supermajority of 60 votes was not required to advance it.
The Supreme Court is still considering the plan, but the conservative majority is expected to strike it down. Justices displayed skepticism during February oral arguments that the Biden administration has the power to forgive up to $20,000 in student loans.
Biden officially announced the plan in August, after making forgiving student debt a campaign promise and feeling pressure from progressives to act.
While progressives hailed the plan as a good first step toward forgiveness, moderate Democrats and Republicans voiced concerns over the cost to taxpayers, which is expected to be about $400 billion.
When the president announced his plan, he also announced the upcoming end to the pandemic-era student loan payment pause that was put in place in March 2020 under former President Trump and has since been extended several times.
The resumption of payments was locked in with the passage of the bipartisan debt ceiling agreement, which included a hard cutoff date of 60 days after June 30.
NASA Warns of ‘Internet Apocalypse’ That Leaves People Offline for Months
Trump to Be Indicted by DOJ This Week Under the Espionage Act
Cuba to Build Secret Chinese Spy Base 100 Miles from U.S.
Supreme Court Strikes Down Alabama GOP Congressional Map in Voting Rights Case
Steve Bannon Subpoenaed in January 6 Probe
NASA Warns of ‘Internet Apocalypse’ That Leaves People Offline for Months
Trump to Be Indicted by DOJ This Week Under the Espionage Act
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Supreme Court Strikes Down Alabama GOP Congressional Map in Voting Rights Case
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NASA Warns of ‘Internet Apocalypse’ That Leaves People Offline for Months23 hours ago • 3 min read • 53 Comments
Trump to Be Indicted by DOJ This Week Under the Espionage Act23 hours ago • 3 min read • 173 Comments
Cuba to Build Secret Chinese Spy Base 100 Miles from U.S.7 hours ago • 3 min read • 48 Comments
Supreme Court Strikes Down Alabama GOP Congressional Map in Voting Rights Case7 hours ago • 2 min read • 13 Comments
WHEN will these so-called journalists do some real investigative work and realize that there is NO SUCH THING as “HUMAN-CAUSED climate change”!?!??!!? It’s all bullcrap from the jump!?!? Even real expert scientists and climatologists are saying so as well. The Earth goes through phases of cold and hot, it’s nothing new and it’s not down to humans, or cows farting or anything like that!!?!?!? Mother Nature/Earth knows exactly what to do and how to handle Our weather. This is ALL politically driven by the elites who want to control Our every move and breath!?!?!?!? Don’t listen to that crap – climate change is a HOAX to steal Your hard-earned money!?!?!?!? And boyo, they’re doing a really good job of it!
i am a CA native. My dad came here as a young man in 1920. There have been “wild swings” in the weather forever, here and everywhere.. Its mostly caused by “seasons”but what makes these events SEEM horrendous is the ever-increasing number of houses/dwelling units/businesses in nature’s path. When they describe the $$$ damage in places like Montecito and Malibu, look at WHY. These weather related events have happened always but thousands of people and their multi million dollar homes werent there.
Who even gives a fuck