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‘Roaring Kitty’ doubles down on GameStop shares, stock pops

The kitty is still roaring, so GameStop is soaring. Shares in the video game retailer shot up as much as 20 percent on Monday after social media influencer Keith Gill — who goes by the name of “Roaring Kitty” on YouTube and “DeepF***ingValue” on Reddit — posted a screenshot showing that he had doubled his...
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UFC Fight Night 186 video: Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Ciryl Gane faceoff
UFC Fight Night 186 headliners Jair Rozenstruik vs. Ciryl Gane had one final staredown before sharing the octagon Saturday.       Related StoriesUFC Fight Night 186 video: Jairzinho Rozenstruik, Ciryl Gane on point for main eventUFC Fight Night 186 predictions: Jairzinho Rozenstruik or Ciryl Gane in heavyweight showdown?5 burning questions heading into UFC Fight Night 186 
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Democrats Must Go All-in on Student Loan Forgiveness | Opinion
There is a benefit of fast-tracking the elimination of copious amount of student loan debt now, leading the economically fragile into a new world of opportunity.
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Institutional Buyers Snapping Up Bitcoin During Price Dip
Major institutions appear to be buying Bitcoins on the price dip to increase their holdings, a show of faith in its future value and likely building the foundation for a future rebound.
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CPAC speaker Josh Hawley: What to know about the Missouri senator
Here’s what to know about the freshman senator, who led the objection to the Electoral College results in Congress.
Over 300 charged so far: What we know about the Capitol riot arrests
Prosecutors have charged more than 300 people for their alleged roles in the assault on the U.S. Capitol.
How Do You Recalibrate With a Murderer?
Today the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released its report on the murder of the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi. If the report were the denouement of a dinner-theater murder mystery, most of the audience would be so confident of the conclusion that they would already be walking out to the parking lot. The Crown Prince ordered it. In the Consulate. With the bone saw. Even the Saudi government admits most of these details—with the exception of the claim that the order to kill came from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the 35-year-old de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia.The public version of the report is barely longer than a page and contains no real secrets. It answers none of the outstanding questions about Khashoggi’s assassination: Why did the Saudis kill Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate—the one building in Istanbul where no one could doubt that the perpetrators were Saudis? Why didn’t they send a lone, untraceable gunman to shoot him dead in the street? Instead, they sent a kill squad approximately the size of the Glenn Miller Orchestra. The assassins flew on chartered aircraft, together, back to Riyadh. In identifying Bin Salman as the figure responsible, the report hedges slightly, confirming only what we already knew: that bin Salman ran a tight operation, and those who killed Khashoggi were loyal to him. It is therefore “highly unlikely that Saudi officials would have carried out an operation of this nature without the Crown Prince’s authorization.”[Graeme Wood: Jamal Khashoggi’s murder remains a mystery]The most important questions unanswered by the report are moral and political. How many dead dissidents is too many? Khashoggi wrote columns for The Washington Post (or he at least signed them; the Post has reported that staff at an organization funded by Saudi Arabia’s regional rival Qatar proposed and even drafted some columns), and as a fellow writer, I put a hard limit on murdered journalists at zero.White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that Saudi Arabia should expect a “recalibration” in bilateral relations. The implication of this statement is that the knobs that govern that recalibration can be turned more than a smidgen in either direction without wreaking havoc on other American foreign-policy interests in the region. In some ways, those relations have never been better: Bin Salman’s violence against political opponents coexists with a dramatic expansion of the social freedoms available to Saudis (including Saudi women), as well as a diversification of the economy away from oil. The crown prince has branded those improvements as his own, and has made them over the objections of other royals. They will be the hostage of any reset. If he goes, they go too.What would recalibration look like? First, banish any thought of formal punishment by Saudi Arabia itself. Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy, in the true premodern sense, and bin Salman is the law. Remember all of the legal dickering in the United States about whether the Department of Justice could indict a sitting president? A Saudi prosecution of the crown prince for murder would involve a legal short-circuit; the crown prince cannot prosecute himself, any more than he can tickle himself or sneak up on himself. Absolute monarchy is a terrible system of government for precisely this reason. If bin Salman is someday in a position to be prosecuted, it will be because the Saudi monarchy has been overthrown—and in that case, he will have much more serious issues than the Khashoggi affair.Then consider the more realistic options. The United States could implore Saudi Arabia’s ruler, the 85-year-old King Salman, to demote Mohammed bin Salman and remove him from the line of succession. (“The message to the Saudis has to be to get rid of this guy,” Sarah Leah Whitson, a colleague of Khashoggi, told The New York Times.) This option brings us only millimeters closer to reality. In the almost four years since bin Salman officially ascended to the role of crown prince, he has relentlessly hacked at the legs of all who might step in as his rival. These include, most prominently, the very princes who would have served nicely as alternatives to bin Salman. He sidelined and arrested Mohammed bin Nayef, his predecessor as crown prince and a favorite of Western spy agencies; Khashoggi’s patron, the former intelligence chief and diplomat Turki bin Faisal, was never close to the throne, but he too found himself jettisoned to the outer orbits of power. Bin Salman has spent his rule eliminating alternatives, and killing Khashoggi was part of that process.If bin Salman has rendered himself indispensable, can the United States at least make him regret his crimes? The Department of the Treasury announced further sanctions against members of Bin Salman’s circle. To sanction him personally would entail the mother of all Magnitsky Act designations. The many foreign officials designated under the act as human-rights offenders—and therefore barred from all business in the United States—do not include anyone like bin Salman, who is both a man and a state. What does it mean to sanction the absolute monarch of a country that does $28 billion in trade with the U.S. and keeps the world’s energy markets supple and predictable? The United States now produces about 68 percent more oil than Saudi Arabia, and that undercuts Riyadh’s economic leverage. But Saudi Arabia still has, almost uniquely, the ability to open or close the throttle of its production at will, and that gives it market-determining powers that other countries, operating at full throttle, lack. We will miss those powers if they disappear because Saudi Arabia grows distant as a partner.And then there is Saudi Arabia’s role as a geopolitical partner on the axis that runs from Cairo through Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi. President Joe Biden’s foreign policy is sure to include greater engagement with this axis’s principal enemy, Iran. Iran and Saudi Arabia are the great zero-sum relationship in U.S. policy in the Gulf—and now that we’re no longer pretending that Saudi Arabia isn’t killing its dissidents, Iran will enjoy the shift in favor. The shift need not be total: If the ideal number of murdered dissidents is zero, then Saudi Arabia is closer to that number than Iran. The Saudi-Iranian proxy war in Yemen, a humanitarian catastrophe perpetrated in part with American weapons, needs to end as soon as possible, and one way to punish Mohammed bin Salman would be to pressure him to let it end with an Iranian victory. The consequence of that will probably be more Houthi missiles raining down on civilian airports in Saudi Arabia. A Houthi victory would also confirm the wisdom of Iran’s policy of waging war in its near-abroad—a policy that has (to date) left Syria, Yemen, and Iraq littered with corpses. The United States assassinated this policy’s architect, Qassem Soleimani, a little more than a year ago. Nudging bin Salman out of Yemen would honor his legacy.[Hassan Hassan: What’s missing from the Saudis’ Khashoggi story]Murderers should be called murderers—frequently, and to their face. Today the State department announced a tool called a “Khashoggi ban,” to bar travel to the United States by those who kill or harass journalists. These are welcome measures, but minor ones. Underlying geopolitical reality remains unchanged. And the reality in Saudi Arabia is that the United States is, not for the first or last time, stuck in a miserable situation, and the end of this sordid episode will probably be an American official shaking hands, once again, with a murderer.
Sabato Jr.: Hollywood elites want to 'control the minds of everyone' and cancel conservatives
Hollywood elites want to “control the minds of everyone” and shut down different political opinions, according to a conservative actor fighting back against cancel culture.
"48 Hours: NCIS": To Catch a Killer
The cases they can't forget: NCIS agents in Virginia go high-tech to solve the murder of a young ballerina — and the agent who inspired CBS' "NCIS: New Orleans" shares his real-life cross-country search for the killer in a San Diego cold case.
"48 Hours: NCIS": The Double Cross
Can a videotape left behind by a dead soldier help real-life NCIS investigators solve a double murder?
"48 Hours: NCIS": One of Their Own
Two dead, one of them a beautiful Navy sailor. Why does this case still haunt the agents who hunted the killer?
"48 Hours: NCIS": Body of Evidence
NCIS agents face a tough investigation into one of their own after a young mother, the girlfriend of a Navy petty officer, vanishes
"48 Hours: NCIS": The Terrorists, The Spies The Hackers
Seventeen sailors killed in a terrorist attack, a Navy contractor who wanted to sell secrets, and two hackers who stole 220,000 U.S. military personal records — the cases the agents of NCIS can't forget
"48 Hours: NCIS": The Sting
A tattooed NCIS agent with a black belt goes undercover to find the killer of a Navy petty officer — can he get what he needs without getting caught?
"48 Hours: NCIS": A Date with Evil
The search for a young missing military wife takes NCIS agents into the dark world of master and slave role playing where they uncover the dual life of a Marine sergeant. Narrated by CBS' "NCIS" actor Rocky Carroll.
"48 Hours: NCIS": Ruthless
When a serial rapist targets military spouses, NCIS agents race against time before he strikes again.
"48 Hours: NCIS": A Sailor's Honor
When a young Navy officer vanished without a trace along with $8,600 from a supply ship during the Vietnam War, he was classified a deserter. His sister believed he was murdered. Can NCIS agents solve a cold case nearly four decades old?
"48 Hours: NCIS": The Marine's Wife
When a young military wife at the Marine Combat Base in Twentynine Palms, California, vanishes, NCIS agents discover she has a secret — did it lead to murder?
"48 Hours: NCIS": Deadly Lies
Did a duplicitous online love affair between two people who never met lead to an innocent Marine being murdered?
"48 Hours: NCIS": Trail of Fire
Friends searching for a missing Army nurse find her apartment smoldering and no sign of their friend. Can NCIS agents find her?
Sen. Cotton slams ‘little social justice warriors’ at The New York Times during fiery CPAC speech
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark, blasted "little social justice warriors" at The New York Times who had a "meltdown" last summer when he wrote an op-ed in the Gray Lady that liberal staffers objected to, calling them "children" during a speech Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida.
Suspect in stabbing of Asian man tells cops, ‘I don’t like the way he looked at me’
The suspect who allegedly stabbed an Asian man in Lower Manhattan Thursday night said he did it because he didn’t like the way the victim looked at him, according to police.  Salman Muflihi, 23, of Bensonhurst, showed up at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office to surrender to a security guard — about three hours after...
Why the Khashoggi report's conclusion matters
Stream It Or Skip It: ‘Tom and Jerry’ on HBO Max, a Borderline-Blasphemous Reboot of a Classically Violent Cartoon
Brace yourself for a totally underwhelming origin story.
Joe Biden's COVID Bill Will Rebuild the Welfare State that Bill Clinton Dismantled
The "stealth dole" will send no-strings checks to everyone with a child, whether or not they ever work—recreating the horrible social dynamics that led Reagan and Gingrich to campaign against welfare in the first place.
Florida city where Trayvon Martin died seeks racial injustice reform days before his ninth death anniversary
Commissioners in the city where Black teenager Trayvon Martin was killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer nine years ago Friday have agreed to form an advisory committee to study how race, class and gender can lead to social inequities.
Test drive: The 2021 Genesis GV80 is ready for its unexpected fame
The 2021 Genesis GV80 is the brand's first SUV and a strong competitor for more established models.
Lincoln Project, Ossoff campaign staffer may have violated campaign finance laws: watchdog
Federal Elections Commission records show, however, that Edwards’s consulting firm, That’s Good Media, was paid $20,000 while still receiving salary payments by Ossoff’s campaign.
Biden Just Can’t Seem to Quit the Mideast
Friday’s airstrike in Syria is a perfect example of how the U.S. gets stuck in regional conflicts.
33 Places in the U.S. Where the Minimum Wage Is Already $15 an Hour—or More
Minimum wage workers in these cities and counties don't have to wait for Congress to act to bring home $15 an hour. These are all the places in the U.S. with minimum-wage laws that mandate the higher rate this year.
Gleyber Torres’ motivation is everywhere: Brian Cashman dig, $340 million tease
TAMPA — Gleyber Torres didn’t exactly disagree with general manager Brian Cashman’s notion the shortstop “wasn’t in the best shape” when the second spring training began last summer. Perhaps no Yankee other than Gary Sanchez would like to put 2020 behind them more than Gleyber Torres. “Last year, I [couldn’t] prepare myself, really, because everything...
Everlane Is Taking Up to 60% Off Some Scouted Favorite’s
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Scouted/EverlaneEverlane rarely has a sale, but when they do, you can bet it’s a good one. This weekend, Everlane is taking up to 60% off some of our favorites. From Cheeky jeans to face masks we love, Everlane has everything you need to dress to impress). We’ve rounded up some of the best items on sale, now.The 100% Local Face Mask 5-Pack: Everlane makes some of our favorite face masks and they’re over 50% off. The pack comes with five cotton masks, perfect for double masking or wearing on their own.The Cheeky Straight Corduroy Pant: We love the Cheeky jeans, and these are those, but in Cord form. They feature an extra-high rise waist, an easy straight leg, offering a denim like fit.Read more at The Daily Beast.
Such a pretty face
Ilustrations by Deja Doodles Culture tells us bodies like mine are impossible to love. Don’t believe it. My first love went to art school, and early in our courtship he invited me to a student show of his photography. Haunting photographs hung on the walls, a ghostly kind of self-portrait of his changing body. He had started testosterone shortly before we met, and the double-exposed photos seemed to show his body as a specter as the hormones took root. We lived two states away from each other and on the weekends would meet in the middle in Boston, spending long days together. He wrote me letters nearly every day, and I responded like clockwork. His love letters landed like a blow, knocking the wind out of me. I wrote back on thick paper, sometimes sprayed with perfume. He put the letters up around his bedroom mirror. You say such nice things about me. I figure if I keep looking at them, I’ll start to believe it. Over time our Boston rendezvous turned into weekends at his apartment. We would lie together in his tiny bed and daydream of my postgraduation move to Boston. I started researching jobs, and he started looking for apartments. But every time I imagined our future, I couldn’t imagine myself. This beautiful life belonged to someone else, and he deserved someone better. Someone easier, prettier, cooler, and, of course, someone thinner. I have always been fat. Not chubby or fluffy or husky or curvy — fat. As I write this, I weigh 342 pounds and wear a women’s size 26. My body mass index (BMI) describes my body as “super morbidly obese” or “extremely obese.” Although my body is not the fattest in existence, it is the fattest the BMI can fathom. Three years ago, I weighed just over 400 pounds and wore a size 30 or 32, depending on the cut of the clothing. At my high school graduation, I wore a red wrap top in the highest size I could find at the time—a women’s 24. For me, the size of my body is a simple fact. I do not struggle with self-esteem or negative body image. I do not lie awake at night, longing for a thinner body or some life that lies 100 pounds out of reach. For me, my body isn’t good or bad; it just is. But I had never seen a fat woman in love — not in life, not in the media. I had never seen fat women who dated. I had never seen fat women who asserted themselves, whose partners respected them. Because this was uncharted territory, I assumed it was also unexplored. My risk-taking resolution ebbed from my broad, soft body. How could he love me if it meant loving this? Despite having what was described as a “very pretty face,” I was constantly reminded that my body was impossible to want. We were dating at the height of popularity of sites like Hot or Not and TV shows like The Swan. Everywhere I looked, bodies were openly critiqued and ranked, and mine steadily landed near the bottom of the scale — 2, 3, 4. His thinness alone earned him a much higher standing. In the cruel calculus of dating and relationships, our numbers didn’t match. But it wasn’t just him. I had learned that I was undesirable to almost everyone. For years, my body took center stage in my dating life. Dates constantly commented on my size, a knee-jerk reaction to their discomfort with their own desire. Over time, I came to experience any attraction as untrustworthy, as if danger lurked nearby. In retrospect, I worried for my bodily safety, as if only violence could develop an appetite for a body as soft as mine. And I worried that I would become a sexual curio, more novel than loved. Desire for a body like mine meant my partners were irrational, stupid, or resigned to settling for less than they wanted. In the years since my first breakup, I had struggled to accept interest where I found it. No matter how a potential partner looked, no matter how enthusiastic they were, I couldn’t trust their attraction. I shrank from their touch, recoiling from their hands like hot iron, believing their interest to be impossible or pathological. Any intimacy required vulnerability, and vulnerability inevitably led back to humiliation. This is among the greatest triumphs of anti-fatness: It stops us before we start. Its greatest victory isn’t diet industry sales or lives postponed just until I lose a few more pounds. It’s the belief that our bodies make us so worthless that we aren’t deserving of love, or even touch. As these little fissures opened into wounds, I dressed them by retelling the story of our relationship. It had always been impossible, too beautiful and tender to be true. Maybe he had taken pity on me, doing a charitable deed by showing affection to a pitiable fat girl. I told myself he didn’t want to be with me. I told myself he was too gentle to do what he knew needed to be done and dump me. I told myself the best thing I could do for him was leave. So I did. I didn’t know how to be loved. I couldn’t see it happening. So I broke both of our hearts. Later in my 20s, after briefly dating a friend of a friend, I decided to return to dating apps. I was on Bumble for less than a day when I matched with someone. I sent him a message — just a waving-hand emoji, to see how he’d respond. This was the informal first step of my screening process. He didn’t make it to the second. I said hello. He said: I love my women fat. Big girl usually means a big mouth too. Even a nice handjob is better when there’s a chubby hand doing the work lol. Usually bigger girls are better at pleasing their men though. Welcome to dating apps. Like any woman, I’d come to expect explicit photos, unwanted advances, and, when I dared decline, epithets. But I also faced messages like these, tinged with entitlement to my fat body — a body that they expected was theirs for the taking simply because of the size of it. In their eyes, I wasn’t a new land to conquer. No, I would go willingly, grateful for their conquest. But more than that, this message mirrored so many experiences I’d had before. It echoed fraternity brothers’ “hogging” competitions to bed fat women, their “pig roasts” to see who could sleep with the fattest woman, the endless barrage of fat jokes on TV. It echoed the man in a bar who asked me for my number, face kind and expectant, before retreating to his friends to report back on their dare: He’d gotten the fattest girl’s number. It echoed the formerly fat date who’d complimented me on my confidence, told me he “used to be like that, until I realized I wanted anyone to fuck me ever,” then asked me back to his place. It echoed the concerns from family and friends, dangling the promise of a loving, healthy relationship at a lower weight: I just want you to find someone. Then, on top of all that, messages like these. Messages that received my body like tissue: plentiful, accessible, disposable, trash. Fat people aren’t the only ones who live with the repercussions of anti-fatness in our relationships. Those messages also land hard with people who date us, love us, marry us, sleep with us. They get trapped, too. After all, in our cultural scripts, a fat partner is a failure at best, a shameful, pathological fetish at worst. Desiring fat people is something deviant to be hidden, to find shame in, to closet. Deja Doodles But the data and research around sexuality paint a wholly different picture. In A Billion Wicked Thoughts, computational neuroscientists Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam analyzed history’s largest data bank on pornography viewers. They found that regardless of gender and sexual orientation, porn searches for fat bodies significantly outpaced searches for thin bodies. In fact, fat porn was the 16th most popular category, outranking categories like “anal sex” (18), “group sex” (24), “fellatio” (28), and “skinny” (30). “For every search for a ‘skinny’ girl,” they wrote, “there are almost three searches for a ‘fat’ girl.” Despite being surrounded by women of all sizes, viewers opted instead to drive their desire into safe, siloed, and one-sided experiences, away from the prying eyes of the world around them. While Ogas and Gaddam’s research speaks only to sexual desire (not romantic attraction or aspirations), it certainly indicates that our cultural scripts around size and desire — that is, that thin people are inherently desirable and fat people are categorically undesirable — are rooted more in perception than in research. The findings in A Billion Wicked Thoughts point to the idea that fat bodies may be among the most widely desired, but that desire may be repressed, possibly due to pervasive stigma. Many men who are attracted to fat women find ways to express that desire while sheltering themselves from judgment and stigma including secret sexual relationships with fat women, too afraid or disgusted to elevate those encounters to full-fledged relationships. In “Secret Relationships With Fat Women,” Virgie Tovar recounted the patterns of one such relationship of her own. “Everything was intimate and magical when we were alone, and then all of a sudden it would stop being that. I would go from being a charmingly eccentric bohemian to being a monstrously crass bother.” When attraction to fat people is discussed, fetishism is never far behind. Fetishism isn’t in itself necessarily pathological; fetishes can be as simple as consensual kinks, particularly intense attractions, or simple preferences. But when fetishism is brought up with respect to fat attraction, it gathers like a storm cloud. To be clear, there are attractions to fatness that take such specific forms that they are undeniably fetishistic. Feeders, for example, long to feed their “feedees,” deriving pleasure from watching their fat partner eat and, in some cases, from watching them gain more and more weight. Squash fetishes, on the other hand, indicate a desire to be sat on or pinned beneath their partner’s body. Some fat people happily engage with these fetishes and find fulfillment (or paid work) in their role. Some do not. But many fat people have felt fetishism thrust upon them without their consent. Fat fetishism has deep roots for many fat people, especially fat women. For some, size, desire, shame, and sex are a rat’s nest, hopelessly entangled. People who internalize anti-fat stereotypes — including the pervasive cultural belief that fat people are categorically unattractive or unlovable — are more likely to binge eat, as are survivors of sexual assault. Fat acceptance spaces frequently include heartbreaking stories of people whose partners kept their relationships secret. Worse still, some tell stories about working up the courage to share their experiences of sexual assault only to be categorically disbelieved. Given the pervasiveness of their experiences, is it any wonder that some fat people come to experience anyone else’s desire for them as predatory? Of course, not all fat people have lived these sex and relationship horror stories. But many of us have become so acculturated to them that we come to describe the vast majority of fat attraction as fat fetishism. When fat sex and dating are discussed, there’s rarely room for simple attraction. But thin people are frequently attracted to other thin people without garnering suspicion of fetishism. They may find themselves drawn to brown-haired people, muscle-bound bodies, or tall partners. They can speak freely of the physical characteristics they like best: chiseled jawlines, long hair, slim legs. In the world of thin people, these are types, a physical attraction so universal that it is neutral. Everyone, we are told, has a type. But if a thin person is reliably attracted to fat people, that type curdles and becomes something less trustworthy: a fetish. Fat people are so categorically undesirable, we’re told, that any attraction to us must speak to a darker urge or some unchecked appetite. I reject the notion that fat attraction is necessarily a fetish: something deviant, tawdry, vulgar, or dangerous. I choose to believe that my body is worthy of love — the electric warmth of real, full love. In many ways, it’s not that simple. But in some ways, it is. I choose to believe that I am lovable, as is my body, just as both are today. I believe that I deserve to be loved in my body, not in spite of it. My body is not an inconvenience, a shameful fact, or an unfortunate truth. Desiring my body is not a pathological act. And I’m not alone. Despite the never-ending headwinds, fat people around the world find and forge the relationships they want. There is no road map, so we become cartographers, charting some new land for ourselves. We live extraordinary lives, beloved by our families, partners, communities. Fat people fall wildly in love. Fat people get married. Fat people have phenomenal sex. Fat people are impossibly happy. Those fat people live in defiance of the expectations set forth for them. Their fat lives are glorious and beautiful things, vibrant and beyond the reach of what the rest of us have been trained to imagine. Let’s imagine more. Aubrey Gordon wrote under the pseudonym Your Fat Friend. Her work has also been featured in Self, Health magazine, and Gay Mag, among others. This essay has been excerpted from her new book, What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Fat, reprinted with permission from Beacon Press.
UFC Fight Night 186 predictions: Jairzinho Rozenstruik or Ciryl Gane in heavyweight showdown?
Check out our staff members' picks for the UFC Fight Night 186 main card, featuring Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Ciryl Gane.       Related Stories5 burning questions heading into UFC Fight Night 186UFC Fight Night 186 video: Jairzinho Rozenstruik, Ciryl Gane on point for main eventKelvin Gastelum wants to go 3-0 in 2021, ready to return as soon as late March
Capitol Police say they aren’t investigating GOP Rep. Fulcher over metal detector incident, despite reports
Capitol Police in a Wednesday letter said there is "no current investigation" into Rep. Russ Fulcher, R-Idaho, despite reports saying police were investigating the congressman for pushing past an officer.
New ‘Real World’ revival trailer is an explosive butting of heads
A new trailer for “The Real World Homecoming: New York” dropped Friday, with all the familiar faces from Season 1, with explosive fights and plenty of tears.
Give Africa Unilateral Access to IMF's Special Drawing Rights | Opinion
Following the outbreak of COVID-19, experts advocated the issuance of additional special drawing rights, the International Monetary Fund's composite currency unit.
Why Democrats are blasting Biden’s attack against Iranian proxies in Syria
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Budget Committee chair, arrives to a hearing regarding wages at large corporations on February 25. One day later, he came out against President Joe Biden’s Syria strike. | Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images It’s not clear that the president’s decision was legal. President Joe Biden is facing heat from fellow Democrats and law experts over his Thursday airstrikes against targets in eastern Syria tied to Iranian-backed militias, namely because they say he had no real legal justification for the attack. The administration said the seven 500-pound bombs dropped on facilities two militias used to smuggle weapons were designed as a message: Attack US troops in the region and you risk retaliation. Over the past two weeks, Iranian proxies have fired rockets at anti-ISIS coalition forces outside Erbil, Iraq — killing a Filipino contractor and injuring US troops — and near the US Embassy in Baghdad. “President Biden will act to protect American and Coalition personnel,” Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said in a statement hours after the strikes, calling them a “proportionate military response.” As of now, no deaths have been confirmed — the Pentagon is still assessing that — though US officials said they suspect the strikes possibly killed a “handful” of people. Congressional Democrats denounced the strikes almost immediately, saying the US is not at war with Syria and that lawmakers didn’t authorize any attack on Iranian-backed militants. As a result, they essentially argue Biden ordered an illegal launch. “Offensive military action without congressional approval is not constitutional absent extraordinary circumstances,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), a longtime advocate for bolstering Congress’s role in authorizing military operations, said in a Friday statement. “Our Constitution is clear that it is the Congress, not the President, who has the authority to declare war,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) added on Friday. Criticism continued in the House. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), a leading progressive foreign policy proponent, stated, “There is absolutely no justification for a president to authorize a military strike that is not in self-defense against an imminent threat without congressional authorization.” Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) also highlighted a 2017 tweet from current White House press secretary Jen Psaki that criticized then-President Trump’s decision to bomb Syria in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack. “What is the legal authority for strikes?” Psaki asked, noting “Syria is a sovereign country.” “Good question,” Omar tweeted in response on Thursday night. Great question.— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 26, 2021 Vice President Kamala Harris, then a senator, also questioned Trump’s 2018 bombing of Syria after another chemical weapons attack, tweeting, “I am deeply concerned about the legal rationale for last night’s strikes.” While many Republicans showed their support for the attack, the pushback over Biden’s first known strike reflects a decades-long debate over what the president can and can’t do with the largest military in the world. Biden’s decision in Syria just provided the latest flashpoint. It’s therefore worth looking at each side’s main arguments. They’ll dominate not only the discussion about this strike but future ones over the next four years, too. The Syria strikes reanimated the presidential vs. congressional war powers fight A National Security Council spokesperson told me the administration has two main legal arguments for why Biden had the authority to retaliate against Iranian-backed proxies operating on the Syria-Iraq border. Both of them rely on the idea that responding to the last two weeks’ attacks on coalition facilities counts as self-defense. Regarding domestic law, the spokesperson said, “the President took this action pursuant to his Article II authority to defend U.S. personnel.” Simply put, Article II of the Constitution names the president as the commander in chief, thereby giving him ultimate authority over all military matters. US troops were endangered by the proxies’ actions in recent weeks, and so he had every right to defend them from future attack, the argument goes. Importantly, the White House isn’t claiming it had the authority to drop bombs on Syria, just that the US had a pressing need to act in self-defense. As for international law, the spokesperson said “the United States acted pursuant to its right of self-defense, as reflected in Article 51 of the UN Charter.” That article states, in part, that nothing in the UN’s laws “shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations.” (We’ll come back to the full first sentence in a moment.) By citing this provision, the administration is basically making the same argument as it did in domestic law: The proxies threatened US troops, and so America has the right to use force to defend them. Congressional Democrats (and some Republicans) aren’t buying those arguments, though. Their case, based mostly in domestic law, stems from Article I of the Constitution, which states that only Congress can declare war or authorize military operations. There are some situation-dependent caveats to this, but that’s the main point. Over the decades, Congress has abdicated that authority, rarely taking war votes while allowing the president to wield the military as he sees fit. The Korean and Vietnam wars, for example, were conducted without congressional approval. And the 2001 authorization passed to greenlight operations against al-Qaeda after 9/11 continues to be cited for counterterrorism operations around the world, even when al-Qaeda wasn’t the target. Lawmakers have slowly begun to claw back their authority. In 2019, Congress passed a “War Powers Resolution” to block Trump from involving the US military in Yemen. Trump vetoed the bill, however, and without the supermajorities needed to overrule that veto, those offensive operations continued until Biden stopped them earlier this month. Still, it was a signal that Congress would rise against a president abusing his legal mandate. Also in disagreement with Biden’s team are some law of war experts. Mary Ellen O’Connell, a professor at Notre Dame and co-author of Self-Defense Against Non-State Actors, told me she agrees that the president should come to Congress when there is time to seek authorization. There was in this case, she contends, as the aggressions weren’t happening now but rather occurred over the past two weeks. That’s something Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) picked up on in his Friday statement. “Retaliatory strikes, not necessary to prevent an imminent threat, must fall within the definition of an existing congressional authorization of military force,” he said. “Congress should hold this administration to the same standard it did prior administrations, and require clear legal justifications for military action, especially inside theaters like Syria, where Congress has not explicitly authorized any American military action.” But O’Connell’s main critique is that the White House got the international law wrong. As promised, here’s the first sentence of the UN Charter’s Article 51 in its entirety: “Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.” O’Connell said the attack wasn’t on the American homeland, and the US surely had enough time to work with UN Security Council partners to punish Iran using diplomacy — not force. That means Biden’s team either willingly misread what that provision says or didn’t comprehend its true meaning. “They are citing the correct sources of law,” O’Connell said, but “they are wildly misinterpreting them.” “They are undermining their attempt at becoming a leadership team for the international community in promoting good order, stability, and the rule of law,” she concluded. Of course, the president had more than legal argument on his mind when making his decision to drop bombs. As president, it’s his responsibility to protect Americans wherever they are. He also surely didn’t want Iran to believe it could threaten US troops with impunity. Risking Congress denying an authorization request might send Tehran that exact signal. But even Kirby, the Pentagon spokesperson, couldn’t define what imminent threat US forces faced in Syria or Iraq, except to say the Thursday attack was meant to deter future Iranian assaults on Americans. Which means the debate over when a president can authorize a strike by himself and when he must ask lawmakers for permission is alive and well during the Biden years. It’s raging already, and will surely continue in the years to come.
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