- Mellissa Carone, who sat next to Rudy Giuliani during a hearing for his election fraud lawsuit in Michigan last week, has told The Washington Post that she doesn’t intend to quarantine in light of Giuliani’s COVID-19 diagnosis.
- Carone, a freelancer who worked for Dominion Voting Services as a low-level technician during the election, told the paper that she would „take it seriously if it came from Trump.”
- She added that she would only get tested for COVID-19 if a Trump-friendly news network like One America News Network or Newsmax recommended it, adding: „I don’t trust the tests.”
- Her chaotic testimony last week prompted a „Saturday Night Live” skit, and it recently emerged that she had been on probation for harassing her fiancé’s ex-wife with sex tapes.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Video: Ranking the risks of everyday activities for COVIDScroll back up to restore default view. Mellissa Carone, the technician who made headlines for testifying in one of Rudy Giuliani’s election-fraud lawsuits, said she is not planning on quarantining after the lawyer tested positive for COVID-19, according to The Washington Post.
Carone sat next to Giuliani, the personal lawyer of President Donald Trump, in her Michigan court appearance on December 1, in which she alleged Democrats „took every avenue possible to commit fraud in this election.”Her exuberant and sometimes incoherent testimony as part of Trump’s efforts to overturn the election attracted widespread attention, prompting a parody on „Saturday Night Live.”Carone’s allegations had already been deemed in November as „simply not credible,” according to a state judge.Read more: Meet Donald Trump’s new nemeses: The 15 prosecutors and investigators from New York who are primed to pepper the ex-president with history-making civil and criminal probesBut events took a more serious turn on Sunday when Trump announced that Giuliani had tested positive for COVID-19. Giuliani is currently receiving the same experimental treatment that Trump got when he was sick with the virus.
President Donald Trump calls it „the big one,” but the Texas lawsuit seeking to invalidate President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory at the Supreme Court has several problems that doom it, according to experts on election law.
To cite a glaring one, the lawsuit, which Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed Monday, calls on the court to delay the electoral vote in the four targeted states, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, to allow investigations of voting issues to continue. That would be unconstitutional, said Edward Foley of the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University. He points out that Article II, Section 4, says that Congress can choose the day the electors meet to vote but that it also says the day „shall be the same throughout the United States.” This year, it’s Dec. 14, five days from now.
The second hurdle is that Texas has no legal right to claim that officials elsewhere didn’t follow the rules set by their own legislatures. The United States doesn’t have a national election for president. It has a series of state elections, and one state has no legal standing to challenge how another state conducts its elections any more than Texas could challenge how Georgia elects its senators, legal experts said.
„This case is hopeless. Texas has no right to bring a lawsuit over election procedures in other states,” said SCOTUSblog publisher Tom Goldstein, a Washington, D.C., lawyer who argues frequently before the court. „And in any event, the justices will think that this case, like the others, should be brought first in the lower courts and not just in front of them first.”
While it’s true that the Supreme Court is the place to go when one state wants to sue another, it has to get permission from the court first, and it has to show there’s no other place to resolve the issues. The Texas lawsuit is a compilation of legal claims that have already been chewed over in lower courts.The lawsuit asks the Supreme Court for an order invalidating something like 20 million votes, which Foley said is unthinkable.The court filings also appear to have been prepared in haste. For example, the lawsuit says the four states that Texas wants to sue have a total of 72 electoral votes. The total is actually 62.Trump filed a motion Wednesday to intervene in the case, as did Republican attorneys general from 17 states.Officials from both parties in the states named in the lawsuit ripped Paxton’s challenge as „a publicity stunt” loaded with „false and irresponsible” allegations.Paxton, whom the Trump campaign named a co-chair of its Lawyers for Trump group in July, has had legal problems of his own. He was indicted in 2015 on still-pending securities fraud charges and was reported to have been accused of other wrongdoing by his top aides this year.
YouTube’s determination to curb election misinformation is extending to disputes over the results. The Google-owned service has started removing content uploaded from December 9th onward if it alleges that “widespread fraud or errors” altered the outcome of the 2020 US presidential election. States have certified the results, YouTube said, and December 8th was the safe harbor deadline for the election — Joe Biden is the President-elect as far as the government is concerned, and the video site is acting accordingly.
The company is matching this by updating its election fact check panels with a link to the Office of the Federal Register page confirming Biden’s win. There will still be a link to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s page debunking false election integrity claims.
YouTube told Engadget it would rely on its information panels to challenge claims in content posted before December 9th. In its blog post detailing the latest moves, YouTube said it already forbade content claiming widespread fraud in previous US presidential elections and allowed “controversial views” on vote counting while the tallies were still in progress.
The company further claimed that its anti-misinformation efforts during the election were effective. It banned over 8,000 channels and “thousands” of videos for “harmful and misleading” claims since September, with more than 77 percent of videos pulled before they had 100 views. Fact check panels have activated over 200,000 times since the November 3rd election, YouTube added.
The policy won’t please those insisting the election was fraudulent. President Trump in particular is known for retaliating against internet giants that fact check his claims, including for election results. However, YouTube clearly feels it has a solid defense — it’s pointing to official information it doesn’t expect to change by the January 20th inauguration.
When lawsuits began flooding state and federal courts after Election Day, the legal team for President Trump’s reelection campaign, and his supporters, said that as a candidate he was merely exercising his right to explore every legal remedy at his disposal.
More than four weeks and 40 losses later, observers in the legal community are aghast at how the campaign is using the judicial system to push baseless allegations of systemic voter fraud, and they want the lawyers leading the effort to be held accountable.
“I would like my right to practice law to mean something,” Laurence Tribe, a Harvard University law professor and leading constitutional scholar, told Yahoo News. “And if you can just use your law license to fling bulls*** around, if you can use your law license to take up the time of the court, consume their resources, and undermine the credibility of the legal profession on which the rule of law largely depends in this country — then that’s a terrible thing.”
Tribe and more than 1,000 current and former attorneys, retired judges and justices, law professors, former bar association presidents and concerned citizens have signed an open letter calling on bar associations to disavow the Trump campaign attorneys’ conduct, and on disciplinary authorities to investigate, the advocacy group Lawyers Defending American Democracy announced this week.
“A license to practice law is not a license to lie to the public on behalf of a client, whether doing so endangers one individual or the entire body politic,” the letter says. “American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct 4.1(a) and 8.4(c) put lawyers at risk of sanctions for engaging in dishonesty, deceit and misrepresentation — in or out of court.”
The group calls out Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, his campaign’s senior legal adviser Jenna Ellis, and lawyers Victoria Toensing, Sidney Powell and Joseph diGenova. DiGenova, a former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, said during a broadcast interview that Christopher Krebs, the administration’s election security director who was fired by Trump for denying that the Nov. 3 election was tainted by fraud, should be “taken out at dawn and shot.”
Krebs has sued diGenova and the Trump campaign, accusing them of defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. DiGenova has described his comments as “hyperbole in a political discourse.”
Yahoo News reached out to the attorneys via email for comment on the letter.
The lawyers’ group says the attorneys engaged in a three-phase strategy that is motivated more by politics than justice: first, issuing false statements about widespread fraud that receive widespread attention; second, bringing less extreme allegations to court, where there are legal consequences for making false allegations but where judges quickly dismiss the cases or the lawyers themselves withdraw them; and third, floating more conspiracy claims in public.
The result is the sowing of disinformation, confusion and mistrust in the public about the outcome of the election.
This has indeed been the Trump campaign’s playbook. A brief look at the campaign’s statements and the attorneys’ Twitter feeds, and that of Trump, shows a host of falsehoods. Many lawsuits they’ve filed in state and federal courts have either been voluntarily withdrawn or dismissed by a judge. In a Pennsylvania case in which the campaign sought to prevent officials from certifying the election results, the judge even pointed out that Giuliani said during an oral argument that he disavowed an allegation of fraud, raising the question of why there was a case at all.
Recently, Giuliani and Ellis held public meetings in Arizona, Michigan and Pennsylvania where “witnesses” testified about observing suspicious activity during the ballot-counting process and Ellis told lawmakers they have the constitutional authority, perhaps even an obligation, to intervene in the electoral process.
Legal professionals who’ve watched this unfold see a partisan-fueled free-for-all in which the lawyers involved have abdicated their responsibility as officers of the court.
Every state requires new lawyers to take an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution and the laws of their state. Generally, the oath requires attorneys to vow to never mislead a court or make false statements.
“We look to our lawyers to uphold the law and advance those constitutional principles,” Fernande R.V. Duffly, a former justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and Northeastern University law professor, who signed the letter, told Yahoo News. “And what I’m reading about [the campaign’s conduct] does just the opposite. I find it shocking. It is well beyond what would be considered ethical.”
For an attorney found to have violated a state’s code of conduct for lawyers, the course of action and level of discipline can vary. Laurel Bellows, a supporter of the letter, Chicago lawyer and former president of the American Bar Association, told Yahoo News that an investigation into alleged misconduct would come from a state disciplinary board. The bar associations’ obligation, she said, is to speak out against malfeasance and reaffirm attorneys’ commitment to the practice.
“This country cannot survive if people do not believe in the rule of law,” she said.
An investigation into an attorney’s conduct is typically prompted by an accusation or a complaint. For example, in Indiana, a person can file a grievance against a lawyer, which will either be dismissed or investigated by the state’s Disciplinary Commission. If the commission finds that the lawyer committed misconduct, a formal complaint is filed with the Indiana Supreme Court. The accused attorney can defend their conduct at hearings and in court filings.
Depending on the authority issuing the sanctions, punishment can range from a public reprimand to a temporary suspension or, in the most severe case, disbarment. Sanctions can also come from the judge in a case being brought by the Trump campaign, Stephen Gillers, a professor of legal ethics at New York University’s School of Law, told Yahoo News. Gillers signed Monday’s letter.
“So far, the judges have been what I would consider to be restrained,” he said. “There’ve been some sharp comments about the cases, but no discipline imposed on the lawyers. But that could change tomorrow. A judge could say, ‘This is intolerable, and not only am I throwing the case out, I’m demanding that the lawyers justify what they’ve done, or else’ — but that hasn’t happened yet.”
While supporters of the letter told Yahoo News it wasn’t appropriate for them to express their thoughts on what exactly sanctions should look like for the Trump campaign’s legal team, they were clear about how egregious they find the team’s conduct.
“Even when the cases get dismissed, it undermines democracy in the eyes of people who are reading this and believing it,” Duffly said. “And I think it’s very dangerous.”
DUBAI (Reuters) -Some of those involved in the assassination of Iran’s top nuclear scientist last month have been arrested, an adviser to the Iranian parliament speaker said on Tuesday, according to the semi-official news agency ISNA.
Iran has blamed Israel for the Nov. 27 killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was seen by Western intelligence services as the mastermind of a covert Iranian nuclear weapons programme. Tehran has long denied any such ambition. Israel has neither confirmed nor denied responsibility for the killing.
„The perpetrators of this assassination, some of whom have been identified and even arrested by the security services, will not escape justice,” ISNA quoted adviser Hossein Amir-Abdollahian as telling Iran’s Arabic-language Al Alam TV.
„Were the Zionists (Israel) able to do this alone and without the cooperation of, for example, the American (intelligence) service or another service? They certainly could not do that,” Amir-Abdollahian said.
Iran has given contradictory details of Fakhrizadeh’s death in a daytime Nov. 27 ambush on his car on a highway near the capital Tehran.
A senior Revolutionary Guards commander has said the killing was carried out remotely with artificial intelligence and a machine gun equipped with a „satellite-controlled smart system”.
Witnesses earlier told state television that a truck had exploded before a group of gunmen opened fire on Fakhrizadeh’s car.
Experts and officials told Reuters last week that Fakhrizadeh’s killing exposed security gaps that suggest Iran’s security forces may have been infiltrated and that the Islamic Republic is vulnerable to further attacks.
(Reporting by Dubai newsroom and Nayera Abdallah in CairoEditing by Mark Heinrich)
By Dan Williams
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel received its first shipment of coronavirus vaccines on Wednesday and a distributor predicted the country would have enough for about a quarter of the population by the end of the year.
A cargo plane landed at Ben Gurion Airport carrying what officials said were tens of thousands of doses of Pfizer Inc. vaccines for a trial run of transportation and storage procedures.
„I believe in this vaccine. I expect that it will get the requisite (regulatory) approvals in the coming days,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an airport ceremony, adding that he intended to be the first Israeli to be vaccinated.
Israel will begin administering the vaccines on Dec. 27 and is prepared to vaccinate 60,000 of Israel’s 9 million citizens per day, Netanyahu said in a televised address later on Wednesday.
Pfizer and its partner BioNTech agreed last month to provide Israel with 8 million doses of the vaccine, which Britain became the first country to administer on Tuesday.
Israel has also ordered vaccines from Moderna Inc. and AstraZeneca Plc..
An Israeli cabinet member said this week that the Pfizer vaccines would be administered first to the elderly and other high-risk populations.
An executive with distributor Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. said vaccines would arrive at greater pace during the course of the month.
„We are talking about a huge estimated scope of 4 million vaccine (doses) by year’s end,” Teva Israel Chief Executive Yossi Ofek told Israel’s Army Radio. A Teva spokeswoman said two vaccine doses would be required per person.
The Lancet medicine journal estimated in June that 22% of the global population are at „increased risk” of contracting COVID-19.
Israel has reported 348,968 coronavirus cases and 2,932 deaths.
(Additiona reporting by Jeffrey Heller and Steven Scheer; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa, Edmund Blair and Cynthia Osterman)
- China’s first totally new bomber in decades, the H-20, will reportedly give the country “truly intercontinental power-projection capability.”
- The H-20 is believed to be similar in appearance to the American B-2 Spirit bomber.
- A South China Morning Post report adds other details from the mainland, though some seem unlikely.
A report on China’s new, upcoming bomber paints a picture of a big, stealthy plane capable of flying halfway across the Pacific, laden with up to 45 tons of bombs.
✈ You love badass planes. So do we. Let’s nerd out over them together.
The South China Morning Post (SCMP) claims the bomber will make China an intercontinental power, but don’t be surprised if the real plane falls short of its capabilities.
The Xi’an H-20, according to the SCMP, is a large, stealthy bomber under development for China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force. The bomber would supplement and eventually replace the H-6, a 1950s-era design that China has steadily upgraded over the decades. The H-20, which China announced in 2016, is expected to be revealed sometime in the next year or two.
The H-20 is depicted as having a flying wing design that trades speed for range and stealth. According to SCMP’s mainland sources, the H-20 will have a bomb load of 45 tons, far more than the B-52H Stratofortress’s 35 tons and the B-2 Spirit’s 20 tons.
The SCMP article cites unnamed sources who say the bomber will also have a range of at least 12,000 kilometers, or at 7,456 miles—an impressive range that would put Hawaii within reach of the H-20. It would also put all 50 U.S. states within striking distance if the H-20 took an Arctic flight route. By comparison, the B-52H has an unrefueled combat range of 8,800 miles, while the B-2 has an unrefueled range of 6,904 miles.
The SCMP also cites mainland reports that say the H-20 will be equipped with nuclear weapons, forming one leg of a nuclear triad that also includes nuclear missile submarines and land-based missiles. The bomber will also carry four “stealth or hypersonic” missiles.
🛫 Our Favorite Hobby RC Planes
The aircraft the SCMP describes seems unlikely to add up to a real bomber. A flying wing design that carries 45 tons of bombs would be enormous: Unlike bombers such as the H-6 and B-52H, which have long fuselages capable of carrying vast amounts of bombs, a flying wing must stuff everything (weapons included) into a flying boomerang shape. The H-20, as sketched out by the SCMP, would need to be much larger than the four-engined B-2.
There’s also the matter of the 7,456-mile combat range. That number is a huge leap over the H-6, and seems to conveniently cover the entire United States. The H-20 would have to carry an enormous amount of fuel to transport 45 tons of bombs, further adding to the bomber’s size.
It seems unlikely that the final bomber will be this much of a “wonder weapon.” While China has taken great strides in military technology over the past 30 years, much of it has been incremental in terms of progress. The Pentagon, in its 2020 report on Chinese Military Power, pegs the H-20 as a plane with a more modest 5,281-mile range and the ability to lift just 10 tons of munitions.
One thing the SCMP article definitely gets right, however, is the new bomber’s nuclear role. China, which lacks the aerospace know-how to build modern bombers, operates a nuclear “dyad,” consisting of land- and submarine-launched missiles. The H-20 will almost certainly add a third leg to Beijing’s nuclear capability, making it a true “triad.”
According to The Diplomat, some of China’s H-6 bombers appear to be adopting a nuclear mission. H-6 bombers lack the range to reach the U.S., and would be easily destroyed by modern air defenses. China is likely developing the weapons, procedures, and tactics for a nuclear bomber now so a new bomber, once operational, could step in and assume the role relatively quickly.
China Officially Backs A CryptoCurrency And Establishes It As Their Official Coin
In fact, China deputy minister of finances, Liu Kun, informed that their new official coin stating price is just CNY 0.12!
That’s right, the coin is incredibly inexpensive in comparison to most other coins out there. Bitcoin, for example, trades at CNY 65,366.84 at the time of this writing and Ethereum trades at around CNY 1,362.76.
We were able to get Sir Richards Bronson’s thoughts on China’s new coin and this is what he had to say:
Sir Richard Bronson stated: „Everytime a major corporation announces even a small partnership with an individual cryptocurrency, that coin’s value skyrockets. I can’t wait to see what is going to happen when a government officially adopts a crypto. When the name of China’s coin is released, many people will become millionaires practically overnight.”
A few of us at forbes were curious enough to buy a couple coins just to see how everything looks and what the reading fees are like.
It was fairly easy to get the coins, but i will show you the whole process below for those that are interested.
Second step, I was taken to YuanPay Group’s wallet, where they chose my country specific broker to buy China’s coins.
For CNY 1,921, I received 21,375 coins at CNY 0.12 cents each. You can see current value of my coins on the same page.
PS: As an early investor they gave me 5,367 extra coins for free!
The whole process was simple and I even received a phone call from one of YuanPay Group’s friendly agents, but I didn’t really need any help as the whole process was easy enough.
After finishing this article, literally around 4 hours, I checked my wallet again and to my surprise:
In only 4 hours, the price increased from CNY 0.12 to CNY 0.31. At this point, I was positively surprised. I am not selling my coins as of yet because all the experts predict that the price will rise to at least CNY 9,192.63 per coin in matter of months.
YuanPay Group was kind enough to give us a 100% accurate coin movement price counter, so everyone can see the increase directly on this page.
With a story of this nature, news seems to be breaking every so often, we’ll be sure to update the story as needed.
You can find their promo video as well as direct coin sales here:
Greece has been accused of moving refugees from an Aegean island on which they had sought sanctuary and stranding them in rubber dinghies in the middle of the sea.
Europe’s border agency, Frontex, is accused of being complicit in the so-called pushbacks, which would contravene international law, and told The Telegraph on Wednesday that it has now launched an internal investigation.
The accusations were made by the German news magazine Der Spiegel, which conducted an investigation into half a dozen incidents in which the Greek coast guard allegedly tried to drive asylum seekers back towards Turkey, from where they had come.
Greece has long accused Turkey of weaponising the issue of migration by allowing migrants and refugees to cross the Aegean. Islanders even have a name for the confrontations in the Aegean – “Greek water polo”.
In April, 22 refugees, many of them Syrian, landed on the Greek island of Samos and thought they had reached safety.
Instead, according to Der Spiegel’s investigation, they were rounded up by Greek security forces, pushed into an inflatable rubber raft, and towed back out to sea, in an illegal operation that was filmed by the Turkish coast guard.
A Frontex surveillance plane equipped with an infrared sensor passed over the raft but did nothing to help the refugees, the investigation claimed.
It was one of six alleged pushbacks since April in which Frontex ships or aircraft were close by but did not intervene. There may well have been many other undetected cases, the investigation said.
“Greek border guards are growing increasingly ruthless. They are now pushing even refugees who have reached the Greek isles back to sea in operations that are illegal under international law,” Der Spiegel said in its investigation.
In June, a Romanian ship involved in the Frontex operation directly blocked a refugee boat. The ship then passed the refugee vessel at high speed, buffeting it with waves.
In another incident, in August, Greek coast guards allegedly tried to steer a dinghy full of migrants and refugees back towards the Turkish coast “multiple times”.
The Greek government has flatly denied conducting pushbacks, but Frontex said it had launched an investigation to look into the claims. It has aircraft, drones and ships deployed in Greece to help with the protection of the EU’s frontier.
“We conducted a preliminary inquiry and found no indications that there had been violations of the law,” Chris Borowski, a Frontex spokesman, told The Telegraph.
“But Frontex’s management board, which is our supervisory body, has now created a working group to look into these allegations. That investigation recently got underway and is still ongoing.”
“These pushbacks violate the ban on collective expulsions and international maritime law,” Dana Schmalz, an expert on international law at the Max Planck Institute in Heidelberg, told Der Spiegel.
Frontex is obliged to rescue asylum seekers if they come across them at sea, she said.
„If they don’t do that and even make waves instead, only to drive away and let the Greeks do the dirty work, then they are still involved in the illegal pushback.”