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Political scientist accused of secretly working for Iran

BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts-based political scientist and author is accused of secretly working for the government of Iran while lobbying U.S. officials on issues like nuclear policy, federal authorities said Tuesday.

Kaveh Lotfolah Afrasiabi was arrested by FBI agents at his home in Watertown, Massachusetts, on Monday, officials said. He is charged in New York City federal court with acting and conspiring to act as an unregistered agent of Iran.

An email seeking comment was sent to an attorney for Afrasiabi. Afrasiabi appeared before a Boston federal court judge via videoconference during a brief hearing and a detention hearing was scheduled for Friday.

Authorities said Afrasiabi, an Iranian citizen and lawful permanent U.S. resident, has been paid by Iranian diplomats assigned to the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations in New York City since at least 2007. At the same time, he made TV appearances, wrote articles and lobbied U.S. officials to support the Iranian government’s agenda, officials said.

In 2009, Afrasiabi helped an unidentified congressman draft a letter to President Barack Obama about U.S. and Iranian nuclear negotiations, according to court documents. He never disclosed that he was working for Iran, officials said.

After the January 2020 U.S. military airstrike that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, Afrasiabi told Iran’s foreign minister and permanent representative to the United Nations that Iran, in response, should “end all inspections and end all information on Iran’s nuclear activities pending a (United Nations Security Council) condemnation of (the United States’) illegal crime,’” according to court documents.

Doing so will “strike fear in the heart of enemy” and “weaken Trump and strengthen his opponents,” Afrasiabi wrote, according to court documents.

Assistant Attorney General John Demers said Afrasiabi portrayed himself “to Congress, journalists and the American public as a neutral and objective expert on Iran.”

“Mr. Afrasiabi never disclosed to a Congressman, journalists or others who hold roles of influence in our country that he was being paid by the Iranian government to paint an untruthfully positive picture of the nation,” William Sweeney, assistant director-in-charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office, said in a statement.

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40 FANTASTIC DIY TRICKS FOR BEGINNERS

40 FANTASTIC DIY TRICKS FOR BEGINNERS


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CRAFTS YOU HAVE NEVER SEEN BEFORE

Again we prepared a cool collection of crafts you can make using a hot glue gun. If you don’t have a glue gun at home, you should buy it and watch our cool video. Find out the best selection of glue gun crafts:
-You can make cute magnets that look like cupcakes. They will be a great decoration for your fridge
-If you don’t have a spoon, you can easily make an emergency spoon using a hot glue gun
-Check out how to make romantic fairy lights using hot glue and ice cube silicone mold. Check out an easy tutorial
-Make a phone holder literally in a minute. You will need two plastic forks and clothespin
-The next idea is crazy – make a sun visor by your hands
-Do not throw away your broken umbrella, you can make something cool from it. Make a cover for your backpack and protect it from rain
-Use a hot glue gun to make flip flops
-You can make fly swatter using a hot glue gun
-Cake toppers may cost a lot and you might want something special. You can make any
cake topper you like with hot glue gun
-This idea is cool – create eyeglasses using a hot glue gun!
-If you have an old t-shirt, you can easily upgrade it. Watch our video and learn how to create a cool t-shirt print with scales. Watch the full tutorial
-If you want to decorate your room but artworks cost a lot, make it by your hands. You will need a canvas and a hot glue gun

TIMESTAMPS:
00:09 New glue gun crafts
00:52 Broken string lights?
01:35 Hot glue sun visor
01:59 Cover for a backpack
05:49 Hot glue cake toppers

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The following video might feature activity performed by our actors within controlled environment- please use judgment, care, and precaution if you plan to replicate. This video is made for entertainment purposes. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, safety and reliability. Any action you take upon the information on this video is strictly at your own risk, and we will not be liable for any damages or losses. It is the viewer’s responsibility to use judgment, care and precautions if one plans to replicate.

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Report Aims at ‘Reconciling’ France and Algeria, Its Former Colony

Report Aims at ‘Reconciling’ France and Algeria, Its Former Colony


PARIS — France will establish a “memories and truth” commission to review the country’s colonial history in Algeria, following a key recommendation in a new, much-anticipated report commissioned by President Emmanuel Macron and released on Wednesday.

The report also presented a series of other proposals to address longstanding grievances. But it ruled out issuing an official apology for the past, and the proposals avoided the question of systemic torture by French forces, which Mr. Macron has already acknowledged.

The report said its purpose was to achieve a “reconciliation of memories between France and Algeria,” two countries divided not by just the Mediterranean Sea but also by deep animosity stemming from years of colonization and an independence war that left hundreds of thousands dead.

In a statement issued late Wednesday, Mr. Macron’s office said that he would create a Memories and Truth Commission as recommended. In addition, it said, three ceremonies to be organized by the French government in 2021 and 2022 will pay tribute to Algerians who fought on opposite sides of the war and to the agreement that led to Algeria’s independence in 1962.

The report was written by the French historian Benjamin Stora, who will now head the commission. He said the report focused on a series of concrete actions to “lift the lid” on a range of issues left behind by France’s colonial past and the Algerian War.

“If you lift all these lids one after the other, you end up with a real overview of the history of colonization,” he said.

Mr. Macron, in a letter to Mr. Stora in July, called for a “work of truth, responsibility and clarity” on “the wounds of our past.”

In the letter, the president said the “subject of colonization and the Algerian War has for too long hindered the construction of a common destiny in the Mediterranean for our two countries.”

In commissioning the report, Mr. Macron has ventured onto sensitive territory where the last six French presidents were reluctant to go.

The French colonial past in Algeria is a trauma that continues to shape modern France, with nostalgia on the right and resentment among the European country’s large Muslim population. The millions of residents in France who, to varying degrees, have ties to Algeria have competing memories of colonial history and the war, making an official clarification politically risky.

Credit…Joel Saget/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Reconciling with the shadows of its past has proved a long and arduous task for France, as it has been for many nations. It took half a century for France to recognize publicly its responsibility for deporting tens of thousands of Jews to Nazi death camps during the German occupation in World War II.

The truth of the Algerian War also lay buried for decades. Sixty years after the 1954-62 war ended and the curtain came down on 132 years of French colonization in Algeria, the issue of France’s colonial past has set off debates on the integration of French Muslims, many of whom are of Algerian descent.

Perhaps no French president has gone further than Mr. Macron in facing France’s colonial past in Algeria, which he called a “crime against humanity” in 2017. Mr. Macron in September 2018 officially acknowledged for the first time the widespread use of torture by French forces, but neither he nor previous presidents have apologized for France’s colonial past in the African country.

“We’re a country with a colonial past and traumas it still hasn’t resolved, with facts that underpin our collective psyche,” Mr. Macron said in a speech in October. “The Algerian War is part of this.”

Mr. Stora, the historian, suggested a series of about 30 measures, including the conversion of internment camps for Algerians in France into memorial sites and the overhaul of French school curriculums to improve teaching of the history of France in Algeria. A dozen recommendations emphasize the need to increase collaboration between both countries on historical studies.

But the report also advises against officially apologizing for the past, arguing that concrete actions are more efficient for promoting reconciliation. Mr. Macron’s office on Wednesday said there would be “no repentance nor apologies” for France’s occupation of Algeria.

Hardly any of the proposals relate to the systemic torture acknowledged by Mr. Macron.

Raphaëlle Branche, a historian specializing in the Algerian War, pointed to that acknowledgment, adding that she had “never heard an Algerian official make the case” for greater recognition of the issue.

France did not officially denote the fighting that led to Algeria’s independence as an actual war until 1999, and government initiatives to construct a memory of the traumatic period have scarcely gone beyond official discourse since then.

“The problem is that we wasted a lot of time with French-Algerian history just recognizing what happened,” Mr. Stora said.

At times, Mr. Macron’s addressing of the issue has been met with resistance in France, including from his own prime minister, Jean Castex, who has criticized those who “regret colonization.” Mr. Castex has argued that such sentiment could be used as a justification for radical Islamism.

Mr. Macron’s call for the opening of all archives dealing with people who disappeared during the war has also been contradicted by a recent tightening of the French administration’s rules on documents considered confidential, including many pertaining to Algeria.

Mr. Stora, in his report, called for the repeal of those restrictions, saying access to archives were essential for shedding light on the past.

The Algerian War nurtures bitter feelings among the at least five million residents of France with ties to Algeria, including French inhabitants of colonial Algeria who were forced into exile, war veterans and the families of immigrants.

The ideological conflicts that colored the war — such as France’s universalist model in Algeria that blended principles like secularism with nationalism — have been imported onto French soil, and still drive identity politics today. The far-right National Rally party was first rooted in popular opposition in France to leaving Algeria.

Feelings have been particularly acute among many young French people of Algerian descent who have denounced what they see as a perpetuation of racial hierarchies in France dating from the colonial era and a constant questioning of their identity.

“We have inherited a history that is not settled, that happened before us and of which we are suffering the consequences,” said Faïza Guène, a French writer of Algerian origin who recently published “Discretion,” a novel about the silent transmission of colonial trauma within Algerian immigrant families.

Ms. Guène said breaking this silence was what worried many people. “It is the fear of waking up a volcano,” she said.

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Stores drop MyPillow after CEO pushes election conspiracies

NEW YORK (AP) — The founder and CEO of MyPillow, who amplified President Donald Trump’s claims of election fraud, said a backlash against his company has begun after a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol this month.

Mike Lindell, who appears in TV commercials hugging the company’s foam-filled pillows, said major retailers like Bed Bath & Beyond and Kohl’s have dropped his products recently.

Both companies confirmed the decision to cease carrying the brand Tuesday, but cited flagging sales rather than Lindell’s actions or his support for Trump.

“There has been decreased customer demand for MyPillow,” Kohl’s said in an email.

Lindell has continued to push bogus claims of election fraud since Trump’s loss to President-elect Joe Biden in the presidential race. MyPillow’s logo was also prominently featured on TrumpMarch.com, a website that promoted the Jan. 6 events in Washington, in which rioters stormed the Capitol.

That has led people to flock to social media and put pressure on stores carrying MyPillow to drop the brand. Lindell said products have also been pulled from online furniture store Wayfair and Texas supermarket chain HEB. Neither company responded to a request for comment.

“They’re succumbing to the pressure from these attacks,” Lindell said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I’m one of their best-selling products ever. They’re going to lose out. It’s their loss if they want to succumb to the pressure.”

Lindell said he doesn’t regret his election claims or his support of Trump, who he said he first met in 2016.

“I stand for what’s right,” said Lindell, who created the MyPillow in 2004 and built the business in Chaska, Minnesota, southwest of Minneapolis. “I’m standing firm.”

Aside from the retail pressure, Lindell is also facing potential litigation from Dominion Voting Systems for his accusations that their voting machines played a role in election fraud. The Washington Post reported that Dominion sent Lindell a letter earlier this month stating that they would pursue legal action against him.

Lindell said he’s conducted his own investigation into the voting machines and hopes Dominion will file its suit quickly so that “all the evidence can come out.”

Asked if he played a role in the insurrection of the Capitol, Lindell said he didn’t support it at all.

“What are you talking about? I wasn’t even there,” he said before abruptly ending the call. “I have to get on another show. Now our conversation ends.”

___

AP Business Writer Michelle Chapman in New York contributed to the report.

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38 BEST CHOCOLATE RECIPES YOU`VE EVER SEEN

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BEST EVER CHOCOLATE IDEAS

Everyone knows that there is always room for dessert even if you have eaten a lot. And chocolate holds a special place in our hearts. You can make lots of desserts from chocolate that are incredibly delicious. Besides, chocolate has some health benefits too. We hope you will love this video full of incredible dessert ideas.
You will find an incredible recipe for breakfast – Nutella rolls. All you need is bread and Nutella. Follow our easy recipe. Marble cake looks very beautiful! I can say that the marble cake is the coolest combination of chocolate and vanilla cakes.To prepare this cool cake you will need two plastic bottles. Mix sugar, baking powder, oil, and an egg in the first bottle and same ingredients in the second bottle. One detail – add cocoa powder in the second bottle. Take a round baking tray and create a zebra stripe pattern by putting one layer on top of each other.
One more incredible idea is to make coke cupcakes. Yes, it may sound crazy but these cupcakes are truly perfect! In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, sugar, melted butter, eggs, and Coke.
You will find a ton of cool ideas on how to decorate a candy bar and decorate cakes using chocolate. You can easily make cute chocolate leaves: cover mint leaves with melted chocolate and let it cool. Remove the natural leave and your decoration is ready!

TIMESTAMPS:
00:09 Nutella rolls
00:33 Zebra cake
04:47 Coke cupcakes
07:11 Baked pears
07:56 How to decorate a cake with chocolate
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What is the Paris climate agreement and why is the US rejoining?

What is the Paris climate agreement and why is the US rejoining?


By Helen Briggs
Science correspondent, BBC News

Demonstrators in Chicago on the day the US decides to exit the Paris pact

image copyrightGetty Images

One of US President Joe Biden’s first acts in office was to start the process of rejoining the Paris climate deal – reversing Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw.

The historic agreement, which came into force in 2016, united nearly 200 countries in a global pact to tackle climate change.

What are the key elements of the Paris deal?

  • The Paris climate deal pledged to keep global temperatures “well below” 2.0C (3.6F) above pre-industrial times and preferably to 1.5C
  • Under the agreement, each country sets its own emission-reduction targets, known as national determined contributions (NDCs), which are reviewed every five years to raise ambition
  • Rich countries are required to help poorer nations adapt to climate change and switch to renewable energy
  • UN scientists say limiting the rise to 1.5C could prevent small island states from sinking beneath the waves, help millions of people avoid the impacts of extreme weather and limit the chances of an ice-free Arctic summer

image copyrightAFP
image captionThe Paris deal was hailed as a landmark

Why did the US leave?

President Trump announced his intention to leave the deal, in 2017, saying letting countries such as India and China use fossil fuels while the US had to curb its carbon was unfair.

The withdrawal became official on 4 November 2020 – by chance, the day after he lost the presidential election.

The US, which has historically released more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than any other nation, is the only one to have withdrawn.

How will the US rejoin?

The new administration has signed a statement accepting the terms of the agreement. It was sent to the United Nations, and the US is now set to formally re-enter the agreement in 30 days.

President Biden has pledged to make the fight against climate change a top priority of his administration and rejoin the agreement.

His special envoy on climate change, John Kerry, tweeted that Biden was “restoring America’s credibility and commitment” and that the world “must and will raise ambition” to tackle global warming.

How important is the US to the Paris deal?

US engagement is seen as critical to the success of key global climate talks in Glasgow in November.

The 2021 annual conference of the parties (Cop) is expected to finalise the rules of how the Paris agreement will operate in future.

And countries are expected to update their national carbon-cutting plans with tougher targets than they submitted in 2015.

The US will have to rebuild trust after being out of the climate fold for so long, observers say.

And much depends on action being taken to roll back changes made by the Trump administration

What are Joe Biden’s plans on climate change?

The president has an ambitious list of climate goals, including to:

  • put the US on a path to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, which scientists say could have significant implications for the 1.5C target
  • restore the US as a world leader in climate action

He has appointed former Secretary of State John Kerry as special climate envoy.

He has also cancelled the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would have carried oil 1,200 miles from Alberta, in Canada, to Nebraska, in the US

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionJohn Kerry signs the Paris accord, in 2016 – the former secretary of state will now be the US special climate envoy

How are Biden’s actions being greeted internationally?

With the US re-entering the Paris agreement, there were reasons for optimism, former EU Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard, who chairs the KR Foundation, said.

“There is a real possibility of having a real restart of the whole global climate agenda now,” she said.

Republic of the Marshall Islands climate envoy Tina Eonemto Stege said the world was looking to the Biden administration to reinvigorate commitment to the agreement.

But she warned only 45 countries had submitted their emission targets within the 2020 deadline.

“We are playing catch-up,” she said.

“As it did in 2016, the US is really central to driving ambition and action, not just by re-joining the Paris agreement but also by submitting an enhanced NDC that is aligned with the 1.5C temperature goal as soon as possible.”

More on this story

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Georgia certifies Democrats Warnock and Ossoff’s Senate wins

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia’s secretary of state certified the results of the two U.S. Senate runoff elections Tuesday, paving the way for Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff to be sworn in and for Democrats to take control of the chamber.

They’ll take office just as the Senate considers whether to convict President Donald Trump in an impeachment trial for inciting the deadly storming of the U.S. Capitol and as President-elect Joe Biden seeks to jump-start his agenda after inauguration.

The two men are set to be sworn in to office Wednesday afternoon shortly after Biden’s inauguration, according to news releases issued by each.

The certification by Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger officially seals Warnock and Ossoff’s victories over their Republican opponents in the Jan. 5 runoffs. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, both incumbents, conceded days after the election. Shortly after certification by Raffensperger, Gov. Brian Kemp signed off on their certificates of election.

Official results from the secretary of state show Warnock beating Loeffler by about 93,000 votes out of nearly 4.5 million cast, or about 2%, while Ossoff beat Perdue by about 55,000 votes, or 1.2%. Both margins are larger than the .5% required to ask for a recount under Georgia law.

Once Warnock and Ossoff are sworn in, there will be a 50-50 partisan divide in the Senate, giving Vice President-elect Kamala Harris the tie-breaking vote.

Warnock will be the first African American senator from Georgia, while Ossoff will be the state’s first Jewish senator and the Senate’s youngest sitting member. Their wins bookend a divisive and drawn-out election cycle that brought seismic shifts to Georgia politics and made the once reliably red state a key battleground.

Biden in November became the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry the state since 1992, while Warnock and Ossoff are the first Democrats to win a U.S. Senate election in Georgia since 2000.

During their nationally watched overtime races, Warnock and Ossoff benefited from Trump’s continued false attacks on Georgia’s election results, which contributed to lower GOP turnout, as well as intense mobilization efforts by Democratic organizers.

Perdue, who served one term after being elected in 2014, and Loeffler, who took office last year after being appointed to replace retiring Sen. Johnny Isakson, were among Trump’s closest allies in the Senate.

The Democrats, who essentially ran as a team during the runoffs, head to Washington at a time of tumult but also opportunity for their party.

In addition to considering whether to convict Trump in the impeachment trial, the Senate will also begin considering confirmation of Biden appointments and early legislative proposals from the new administration. Biden recently unveiled a $1.9 trillion coronavirus plan that aims to administer 100 million vaccines by the 100th day of his administration and deliver another round of economic aid.

Loeffler gave a farewell speech from the Senate floor Tuesday, where she thanked her supporters and wished Warnock well. She also took parting shots at her detractors, slamming what she called “cancel culture” and news media coverage of her campaign.

Perdue’s term ended Jan. 3, while Loeffler remains in the Senate until Warnock is sworn in because she was appointed to fill Isakson’s unexpired term.

35 AMAZING DIY WALL DECOR IDEAS TO TRANSFORM YOUR BORING WALLS

35 AMAZING DIY WALL DECOR IDEAS TO TRANSFORM YOUR BORING WALLS


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HOW TO PAINT A ROOM

Are you ready to paint the walls at home? But before you grab your roller you should make a plan. First of all choose a couple of colors: the one main color and one or two also. The next thing you should do is to prepare the walls and clean the surface. Watch this video as we share a lot of cool ways to remake your house. Redecoration of walls may change the atmosphere at home. Wall painting is one of the least expensive ways to make over a room. The cool thing is that you don’t need to buy expensive painting tools. You will need such ordinary things as lace, insulating tape, and even a lemon. First of all, clean the walls from and cover with paint you like. The easiest design idea is to create a cute design using a lemon half.
Let’s start from the most popular way to decorate blank walls – to create brick walls. This design idea is incredibly popular today and there is no need to spend a ton of money to make brick walls. Check out how to make the fake brick wall, the idea is very simple but looks cool! Moreover, this idea will save you a lot of money.
You can create ocean waves and the room will look perfect! Reuse your old sweater to create an incredible wall design. Cut your sweater and cover the paint roller with it!
Blank walls are very boring, I love mountains and share an idea of how to create mountainscapes by your hands. The next idea is really funny! Create a cool design using old tights.

TIMESTAMPS:
00:14 Ocean waves
01:20 How to reuse an old sweater
04:54 Mountain mural wall painting
10:22 Geometric design
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Music by Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com/ This video is made for entertainment purposes. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, safety and reliability. Any action you take upon the information on this video is strictly at your own risk, and we will not be liable for any damages or losses. It is the viewer’s responsibility to use judgment, care and precautions if one plans to replicate.

The following video might feature activity performed by our actors within controlled environment- please use judgment, care, and precaution if you plan to replicate. This video is made for entertainment purposes. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, safety and reliability. Any action you take upon the information on this video is strictly at your own risk, and we will not be liable for any damages or losses. It is the viewer’s responsibility to use judgment, care and precautions if one plans to replicate.

The following video might feature activity performed by our actors within controlled environment- please use judgment, care, and precaution if you plan to replicate.

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Trump’s Last-Minute Moves Against China Complicate Biden’s Agenda

Trump’s Last-Minute Moves Against China Complicate Biden’s Agenda


The Trump administration cast its barrage of moves against Beijing, in its waning days, as necessary to stand up to China’s authoritarian leadership.

Among its final acts, the administration declared that Beijing was committing genocide against Uighurs and other Muslims in a far western region. It held a video conference between a senior United States envoy and the president of Taiwan, the self-ruled island claimed by Beijing. And it jettisoned longstanding guidelines limiting exchanges with Taiwanese officials.

But the decision to push through significant foreign policy measures so quickly — and during a time of turmoil in Washington — risks politicizing the issues and undermining their ability to gain global traction.

While some of the decisions were in the making for months, the timing of their rollout makes them easy to dismiss. To Beijing, the moves were a last-ditch effort by the departing administration to needle China’s ruling Communist Party. And they could potentially box in President Biden by forcing him to either look weak on China by reversing the moves, or incur Beijing’s wrath.

The moves were welcomed by many Taiwanese, Uighurs and other communities whom the Trump administration had said it wanted to support. But some expressed concerns that they — and their causes — were being overshadowed by geopolitics.

“There are many people who suspect the legitimacy of this decision,” Tahir Imin, a Uighur activist based in Washington, said after the United States declared that China’s repression of his ethnic group amounted to genocide. “But all of the facts show clearly that what is happening is a genocide.”

In the short term, the Trump administration’s moves may force the issues to the front of Mr. Biden’s China agenda, regardless of his own priorities. This complicates the new administration’s plans to maintain a combative stance on China over human rights and other issues while finding areas to cooperate and stabilize Washington’s spiraling relationship with Beijing.

Beijing is likely to pressure Mr. Biden to reverse at least some of the Trump administration’s decisions as a condition of resuming talks on other issues. But reversing any decision too quickly could also send a signal to the Chinese leadership that all of the recent moves are on the table.

Mr. Biden has advocated remaining tough on China. He called China’s human rights abuses in Xinjiang “genocide” during the election campaign. And Antony J. Blinken, his pick for secretary of state, said on Tuesday that he agreed with Mike Pompeo’s move in his final days in that role to declare that China’s repression of the Uighurs constituted genocide.

But the Biden administration has said it will first focus on domestic priorities. There may not be bandwidth to maintain the confrontation with China that the Trump administration set in motion, targeting areas like trade, technology and security.

“Because all of what has happened with the Trump administration, particularly with the last set of actions, the Chinese are going to want greater predictability,” said Bonnie S. Glaser, a senior adviser for Asia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “They are going to ask for more concrete commitments from the Biden administration.”

Faced with the last-minute barrage from Washington, Beijing has so far demonstrated relative restraint.

In recent weeks, the Chinese state media had dismissed Mr. Pompeo as “crazy” and the “worst secretary of state in history.” On Wednesday, the Global Times, a state-backed nationalist tabloid, relayed comments from Chinese internet users mocking then-President Trump as a “gravedigger of U.S. hegemony” and “the first U.S. president to successfully entertain Chinese people while wreaking havoc on the U.S. at the same time.”

China’s foreign ministry rejected the genocide designation as “malicious farce.”

“The lies and poison that Pompeo has spread over these years will inevitably be swept along with him into the garbage heap of history,” Hua Chunying, a foreign ministry spokeswoman, said at a regularly scheduled news briefing on Wednesday.

Minutes after Mr. Biden was sworn in, the Chinese foreign ministry announced that it was imposing sanctions on Mr. Pompeo and 27 other Americans — mostly Trump administration officials — for having “seriously violated China’s sovereignty.” Those sanctioned include many of the Trump administration’s top China hawks, like Peter Navarro and Matthew Pottinger.

In addition to prohibiting the 28 Americans and their family members from entering the mainland, Hong Kong and Macau, the foreign ministry also said it was restricting the named individuals, and companies and institutions associated with them, from doing business with China.

A spokeswoman for President Biden’s National Security Council told Reuters on Wednesday that the sanctions were “unproductive and cynical” and urged Americans from both parties to condemn the move.

Despite the rocky start, it remains to be seen whether Beijing will take a confrontational or cooperative approach toward the Biden administration.

Beijing has made overtures to Mr. Biden, calling for a reset and greater cooperation between the two countries. But it has also spread new conspiracy theories connecting an American military lab to the coronavirus and pushed a nationalistic message that in the face of global challenges, “time and momentum are on China’s side.”

An editorial published on Sunday in the Global Times called on Mr. Biden to “actively consider abolishing all the diplomatic decisions made by the previous administration in its recent surprise attack.”

Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University in Beijing, said in a telephone interview that “China will want to know which actions are set in stone, which actions have some hope to be mitigated and which actions can be reversed.”

The Chinese government is likely to pressure the Biden administration to reinstate a set of guidelines meant to restrict interactions between American officials and their Taiwanese counterparts. The guidelines had been in place since the United States broke off ties with Taiwan in 1979 and shifted diplomatic recognition to Beijing.

Mr. Pompeo’s move to lift the rules this month — which some officials suggested had been done without proper review — looked more like an effort to challenge Mr. Biden to defy China regardless of the potential risks to Taiwan. The move was welcomed by many Taiwanese officials, but Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan’s president, who has called for talks with Beijing and is wary of escalating tensions, has not spoken publicly on the issue.

The shift “is designed to antagonize China,” said Drew Thompson, who was the Pentagon’s director for China from 2011 to 2018 and is now a research fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore. “It’s emotional — it’s not objectives-based. It’s not based on the mutually beneficial interests of Taiwan and the U.S.”

Mr. Biden could initiate a review of the restrictions and reinstate some of them, if necessary. But doing so would risk upsetting Taiwan and drawing criticism at home on an issue that enjoys bipartisan support.

Critics also point to the recent announcement of a planned visit to Taiwan by an American official as evidence that the Trump administration’s final moves to support the island were made in large part to spite Beijing.

Officially, the purpose of the visit by Kelly Craft, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, was to bolster Taiwan’s efforts to be included in international agencies, which China opposes. But Mr. Pompeo announced Ms. Craft’s visit at the end of a statement lambasting China for the arrest of dozens of pro-democracy figures in Hong Kong, effectively wedging Taiwan’s interests into an ongoing dispute between Washington and Beijing.

The trip was later canceled and replaced by a phone call with Ms. Tsai.

“It feels like we have been made a bargaining chip between two great powers, which has put us in a very unstable and unsafe situation,” Ma Wen-chun, a lawmaker from the Kuomintang, a Taiwanese opposition party, said in a telephone interview before the visit was canceled.

The departing administration’s efforts to punish China over its mass human rights abuses against Uighurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities in Xinjiang were similarly tainted by concerns about political motivations.

Although the administration imposed sanctions, blacklisted Chinese companies and banned all imports of cotton and tomatoes from the region, internal divisions over the issue were often laid bare. Mr. Pompeo pushed for tough measures to punish China for its mass internment of Uighurs, but Mr. Trump resisted because he didn’t want to jeopardize trade talks with Beijing.

For many Uighurs overseas, the administration’s decision on Tuesday to declare the situation in Xinjiang a genocide could not have come soon enough. The designation could pave the way for further sanctions or draw support from other countries.

Yet some Uighur activists expressed concerns that the move would appear purely political and that the Trump administration’s damaged global credibility could undermine the cause. Others said they were hopeful that Mr. Biden’s promise to strengthen alliances could help put more pressure on Beijing over its human rights abuses.

“What we really want to see is tangible action,” said Rushan Abbas, an activist in Herndon, Va., whose sister, Gulshan, was recently sentenced to 20 years in prison in Xinjiang. “Not just lip service.”

Amy Chang Chien contributed reporting.

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Election claims, and why it’s clear Biden won

ATLANTA (AP) — As Democrat Joe Biden is sworn in Wednesday as the nation’s 46th president, Donald Trump’s most ardent supporters still believe Biden was not legitimately elected after Trump continues to argue the election was stolen.

There is no evidence of the widespread fraud that Trump and his allies have claimed. Republican and Democratic election officials have certified the election as valid. Courts have rejected lawsuit after lawsuit, and a clear majority of Congress has confirmed the final result despite a riotous mob earlier this month that sought to disrupt the process.

So who has claimed what, precisely? What’s the evidence that the 2020 election was valid and Biden is the duly elected president of the United States?

THE ‘MOST SECURE’ ELECTION IN U.S. HISTORY

After a rocky primary season that played out during the coronavirus pandemic, election officials were determined to ensure voters could safely cast their ballots and ramped up operations to handle a massive influx of absentee ballots. Voting absentee has long been available in the U.S., with some states limiting it to certain voters, and the process has safeguards so any ineligible voter or voter casting multiple ballots is caught and prosecuted.

In many places, election officials added drop boxes for voters concerned about widespread mail delays. Others offered curbside voting and a few states opted to send ballots to all registered voters. Although Trump and his allies claimed these changes were designed to rig the election in favor of Democrats, Trump saw more people vote for him in 2020 than four years earlier and Republicans gained seats in Congress.

One of the changes that drew the most scrutiny was the expansion of absentee voting in Pennsylvania, but that was done prior to the pandemic and authorized in a law passed with bipartisan support through the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature.

State and local election officials have called the November election one of the smoothest in recent memory, with voting spread out across days and even weeks rather than a crush of people at polling places on Election Day. Even Trump’s recently departed attorney general, William Barr, said he saw no evidence of widespread fraud.

And the fact that so many people voted using a paper ballot, which guarantees a record in the event of a dispute, prompted a coalition of government and election security officials, including representatives of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity agency, to issue a statement calling 2020 the “ most secure ” election.

WORK REVIEWED, RESULTS CERTIFIED

After voting ended, election officials counted the results and used various measures to verify the totals, such as looking at how many people checked in at each precinct and how many ballots were issued to ensure they add up. For mail ballots, election workers reviewed the voter’s registration to ensure they were eligible to vote and many states matched voter signatures against ones on file.

Any discrepancies were investigated, and results were presented to local election boards and eventually to the state to certify the results as accurate. This happened across the country largely without controversy, except for a few instances in which Republicans raised questions. In these cases, the concerns were dismissed as without merit and the elections certified.

In Georgia, Biden’s win was verified three times: with an initial count, a second conducted by hand and then a recount. The state also conducted an audit of voting machines to ensure the votes recorded electronically matched paper records submitted by voters. A limited review of voter signatures found no evidence of widespread illegal voting.

And ultimately, Republican and Democratic governors signed off on the results, including Trump allies Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia and Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona who both certified that Biden won their states.

FLOOD OF LITIGATION, CLAIMS OF FRAUD

Trump and his GOP backers have suffered loss after loss in the legal system, all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, as they sought to overturn the will of voters in a few states that Trump lost with unsubstantiated claims of widespread fraud. Their cases have drawn quick dismissals and scathing responses from judges, some of whom were appointed by Republicans or Trump himself:

— U.S. District Judge Timothy Batten in Georgia, an appointee of President George W. Bush, rejected a lawsuit alleging votes were manipulated in favor of Biden, saying “they want this court to substitute its judgment for that of two-and-a-half million Georgia voters who voted for Joe Biden and this I am unwilling to do.”

— U.S. Circuit Judge Stephanos Bibas, a former law professor appointed by Trump, wrote, “voters, not lawyers, choose the president. Ballots, not briefs, decide elections,” as his panel refused to grant a request to stop Pennsylvania from certifying its results.

In about 60 cases filed by Trump’s legal team and Republican allies, Trump notched just one small victory in a fight over the deadline to provide missing proof of identification for certain absentee ballots and mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania.

As his legal bids failed, Trump tried to enlist the help of elected officials in key states. He summoned Michigan lawmakers to the White House in an unsuccessful attempt to set aside the vote tally. He asked Georgia’s governor to convene the state legislature to overturn the results and told Georgia’s top elections official to “ find ” enough votes to sway the state in his favor.

Amid all the claims, it was noteworthy that they began and ended with the presidential contest. There have not been widespread calls to redo the entire election, which also included congressional and state legislative seats.

AFTER MOB, CONGRESS CONFIRMS

The steady drumbeat of false claims about widespread fraud made it to the Capitol as Congress met to confirm Biden’s victory, with more than 100 GOP lawmakers supporting objections.

The meeting to complete the Electoral College tally is normally a routine step. But the process turned deadly as a mob of thousands of Trump supporters stormed the building. After the melee was cleared, lawmakers reconvened and confirmed the results before dawn the following day.

In a strong rebuke Tuesday, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said “ the mob was fed lies ” by Trump and others. “They were provoked by the president and other powerful people, and they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of a branch of the federal government,” McConnell said. He vowed a “safe and successful” inauguration of Biden.

___

Izaguirre reported from Charleston, West Virginia. AP reporter Alanna Durkin Richer contributed from Boston.

—-

Associated Press coverage of voting rights receives support in part from Carnegie Corporation of New York. The AP is solely responsible for this content.

38 SMART HACKS EVERY GIRL SHOULD KNOW ABOUT || Beauty And Makeup Secrets

38 SMART HACKS EVERY GIRL SHOULD KNOW ABOUT || Beauty And Makeup Secrets


You, Will, Learn The New Lifehack that could help you in a more critical stage view and share the article with your friends.

NEW SELECTION CREATIVE BEAUTY IDEAS

Hello, girls! Check out a new collection of beauty ideas that will change your life:
-You can add volume to your lips using lash glue. You will be surprised by this tutorial
-Check out a cool idea that ill help you save your makeup while you are in douche
-You can use earrings instead of buttons. Besides, it’s a cool way to resize your jeans
-Use powder to add volume to your eyelashes
-You will love the idea of how to shorten your belt
-If a clasp on your shoes has broken, you can solve this problem using a scarf
-Use mascara brush to style your brows
-We will show you how to curl your hair super fast using creative ways using plastic bottles and plastic cups
-Use a comb to remove pills from your favorite sweater
-Chapped lips are a very annoying and common problem when it’s cold outside. That’s why you should exfoliate your lips from time to time and always use lip balm to moisturize your lips. We share the easiest way to exfoliate your lips using sticky tape
– Remove underarm hair using out the cool recipe: mix coffee, lemon juice, and toothpaste
-Flat irons become dirty after long use and you should clean it from time to time. If your flat iron is dirty, clean it very quickly with Coke and towel. Yes, it’s not a joke, you will find a tutorial in the video
-If you are out of a nail polish remover, you can replace it with lemon juice. Place fingers in warm water with soap and after that remove nail polish with lemon juice

TIMESTAMPS:
00:31 Lifehack with earrings
01:43 Lifehack for a windy day
03:34 Creative ways to curl your hair
06:35 How to exfoliate your lips
10:34 How to clean a flat iron
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Music by Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com/ This video is made for entertainment purposes. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, safety and reliability. Any action you take upon the information on this video is strictly at your own risk, and we will not be liable for any damages or losses. It is the viewer’s responsibility to use judgment, care and precautions if one plans to replicate.

The following video might feature activity performed by our actors within controlled environment- please use judgment, care, and precaution if you plan to replicate. This video is made for entertainment purposes. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, safety and reliability. Any action you take upon the information on this video is strictly at your own risk, and we will not be liable for any damages or losses. It is the viewer’s responsibility to use judgment, care and precautions if one plans to replicate.

The following video might feature activity performed by our actors within controlled environment- please use judgment, care, and precaution if you plan to replicate.

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trips – The New York Times

trips – The New York Times


That’s the case for Randy Buescher, 66, an architect in Chicago, who is planning a road trip to New Orleans via Mobile, Ala., where he was born and lived for the first three years before his family moved north. He hasn’t been back since.

“I don’t know if I do or don’t have any memories,” of Mobile, he said. “You don’t know until you see a place.”

He hopes to take the trip sometime in the next year with his wife, Janet Roderick, 58, a real estate agent, and any of their four adult children who care to join them. For her, the 2020 election, when traditionally conservative Georgia swung blue, makes the region more intriguing.

“I’m interested in seeing what this New South is all about,” she said.

As more of the country gets the vaccine, some are planning epic road trips to connect with friends and family they haven’t seen anywhere in the past year other than Zoom.

“I just want to go see friends,” said Susan Moynihan, 53, a writer in Annapolis, Md., who is planning a trip to the final six states she hasn’t visited in the United States as her first post-vaccination trip. “It’s about one-on-one connection with friends and places I want to get to know better.”

For many, 2020 was a lost year in travel. For those with travel goals post-retirement, the urge to seize the day has gained urgency.

“If you’re my age, you want to go on these trips because you don’t know how long you’ll be able to do them,” said Brad Gray, 60, a former insurance underwriter in Vancouver, British Columbia, who cycled from Cairo to Cape Town in 2019.

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Federal court strikes down major Trump climate rollback

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a last-minute slap at President Donald Trump, a federal appeals court struck down one of his administration’s most momentous climate rollbacks on Tuesday, saying officials acted illegally in issuing a new rule that eased federal regulation of air pollution from power plants.

The Trump administration rule was based on a “mistaken reading of the Clean Air Act,” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled, adding that the Environmental Protection Agency “fundamentally has misconceived the law.” The decision is likely to give the incoming Biden administration a freer hand to regulate emissions from power plants, one of the major sources of climate-damaging fossil fuel emissions.

EPA spokeswoman Molly Block called the agency’s handling of the rule change “well-supported.” The court decision “risks injecting more uncertainty at a time when the nation needs regulatory stability,” she said.

Environmental groups celebrated the ruling by a three-member panel of the Court of Appeals.

“Today’s decision is the perfect Inauguration Day present for America,″ said Ben Levitan, a lawyer for the Environmental Defense Fund, one of the groups that had challenged the Trump rule in court.

The ruling “confirms that the Trump administration’s dubious attempt to get rid of common-sense limits on climate pollution from power plants was illegal,″ Levitan said. “Now we can turn to the critically important work of protecting Americans from climate change and creating new clean energy jobs.”

A coalition of environmental groups, some state governments and others had challenged the Trump administration’s so-called Affordable Clean Energy, or ACE, rule for the power sector. The rule, which was made final in 2019, replaced the Clean Power Plan, the Obama administration’s signature program to address climate change.

The court decision came on the last full day in office for the Trump administration. Under Trump, the EPA rolled back dozens of public health and environmental protections as the administration sought to cut regulation overall, calling much of it unnecessary and a burden to business.

Trump, who campaigned in 2016 on a pledge to bring back the struggling coal industry, repealed the Obama administration’s plan to reduce emissions from coal-fired plants that power the nation’s electric grid. The Clean Power Plan, one of President Barack Obama’s legacy efforts to slow climate change, was blocked in court before its 2017 repeal.

The Trump administration substituted the Affordable Clean Energy plan, which left most of the decision-making on regulating power plant emissions to states. Opponents said the rule imposed no meaningful limits on carbon pollution and would have increased pollution at nearly 20% of the nation’s coal-fired power plants.

Market forces have continued the U.S. coal industry’s yearslong decline, however, despite those and other moves by Trump on the industry’s behalf.

Andrea McGimsey, senior director for Environment America’s “global warming solutions” campaign, said Trump’s “Dirty Power Plan” was “clearly a disastrous and misconceived regulation from the start. As the Trump administration leaves office, we hope this ruling will be reflective of a much brighter future″ for renewable energy such as solar and wind power.

Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, the top Republican on the Senate energy panel, denounced “activist judges” on the appeals court who “seem intent on clearing the decks for the incoming Biden administration to issue punishing new climate regulations″ that he said will shut down power plants and raise energy costs.

But Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., chairwoman of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, called the ruling a timely rejection of Trump’s effort to roll back the Obama-era Clean Power Plan.

“It looks like we’re kicking off a new era of clean energy progress a day early,” Castor said. “It’s almost poetic to see our courts vacate this short-sighted and harmful policy on Trump’s last full day in office.″

—-

Knickmeyer reported from Oklahoma City.

45 EASY CRAFT IDEAS WITH THINGS YOU HAVE AT HOME RIGHT NOW || Pool Noodles, Cardboard Boxes And More

45 EASY CRAFT IDEAS WITH THINGS YOU HAVE AT HOME RIGHT NOW || Pool Noodles, Cardboard Boxes And More


You, Will, Learn The New Lifehack that could help you in a more critical stage view and share the article with your friends.

JAW-DROPPING POOL NOODLE CRAFTS

I love cool crafts and this video if full of crazy ideas that you should try. You will learn how to make incredible crafts from pool noodles, cutting boards, cardboard, and wine corks.

-Sometimes it’s not easy to clean high corners but we know how to solve this problem. Use pool noodles. Check out the tutorial
-If you work a lot in front of a computer, your wrists may get fatigued after a long day. Take a small piece of pool noodle and cut the noodle in half. Now you have a comfortable pillow
-Check out how to make a comfortable organizer for cleaning tools using pool noodles
-If you tend to overwater your home plants, use a pool noodle to add drainage. The biggest advantage of this idea is that pool noodles make a planter much lighter than using rocks
-You can protect wine bottles using a pool noodles. Check out this wonderful idea!
-To protect yourself and children from sharp edges, use pool noodles and make baby bumpers
-Create a cool decoration for the Halloween
-You can even make a coffee table using pool noodles
-You will love the idea of an X-shaped wooden magazine holder that will be a great addition to your interior design. Besides, you can choose any color you like and even create a print. Let’s get creative!
-Reuse cardboard boxes to make inexpensive organizers for beauty products and tools
-Take some wine corks to make a trivet for a kettle
-Reuse wine corks to make tiny planters

TIMESTAMPS:
00:09 Amazing pool noodle crafts
00:30 Pool noodle pillow to wrists
01:10 Cool lifehack for plants
01:36 How to protect wine bottles
02:41 DIY Coffee table
07:58 Cardboard crafts
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Music by Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com/ This video is made for entertainment purposes. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, safety and reliability. Any action you take upon the information on this video is strictly at your own risk, and we will not be liable for any damages or losses. It is the viewer’s responsibility to use judgment, care and precautions if one plans to replicate.

The following video might feature activity performed by our actors within controlled environment- please use judgment, care, and precaution if you plan to replicate. This video is made for entertainment purposes. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, safety and reliability. Any action you take upon the information on this video is strictly at your own risk, and we will not be liable for any damages or losses. It is the viewer’s responsibility to use judgment, care and precautions if one plans to replicate.

The following video might feature activity performed by our actors within controlled environment- please use judgment, care, and precaution if you plan to replicate.

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Fauci Tells W.H.O. That U.S. Stands Ready to Work With It

Fauci Tells W.H.O. That U.S. Stands Ready to Work With It


A day after President Biden reinstated American ties with the World Health Organization, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci told the organization that United States was committed to working closely with other nations to implement a more effective global response to the pandemic.

“Given that a considerable amount of effort will be required by all of us,” Dr. Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said via video link during a meeting of the group’s executive board, “the United States stands ready to work in partnership and solidarity to support the international Covid-19 response, mitigate its impact on the world, strengthen our institutions, advance epidemic preparedness for the future, and improve the health and well-being of all people throughout the world.”

Dr. Fauci said the United States would re-engage at all levels with the W.H.O. and intended to join Covax, a program set up by the agency to distribute vaccines to poorer nations.

His comments, which he said came exactly one year after the United States recorded its first Covid-19 case, underscored the alacrity with which the new administration is reversing both the substance and tone of the Trump administration’s approach.

“This is a good day for the W.H.O. and a good day for global health,” the agency’s leader, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said, thanking President Biden for honoring his pledge to resume W.H.O. membership and Dr. Fauci for his personal support to the body over many years as well as his leadership in America’s response to the pandemic.

On Thursday, Mr. Biden put forward a 21-page national strategy that includes aggressive use of executive authority to protect workers, advance racial equity and ramp up the manufacturing of test kits, vaccines and supplies. The “National Strategy for the Covid-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness” outlines the kind of muscular and highly coordinated federal response that Democrats have long demanded and that President Donald Trump rejected.

Since virtually the moment Mr. Biden was sworn into office, he announced a series of actions to try to blunt the pandemic, including restoring the National Security Council’s Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense, a group disbanded under Mr. Trump in 2018.

He is requiring social distancing and the wearing of masks by federal employees, contractors and others on federal property, and is starting a “100 days masking challenge” urging all Americans to wear masks and state and local officials to implement public measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

His moves come in stark contrast to the response of President Trump, who announced the United States would pull out of the W.H.O. in May last year, accusing the organization of kowtowing to China. Mr. Trump had sought to blame China for not doing enough to stop the spread of the disease, and he accused Beijing of hiding the true scope of infections from the W.H.O., targeting the agency in the process.

A panel established by the organization said in a damning report that there was much blame to go around. It criticized the slow response of governments and public health organizations. Investigators, who are still working on their final report, said they could not understand why a W.H.O. committee waited until Jan. 30 to declare an international health emergency. (The Chinese government had lobbied other governments against declaring such an emergency.) The investigators also said that despite years of warnings that a pandemic as inevitable, the agency was slow to make changes.

On Thursday, addressing “my dear friend” Dr. Tedros, Dr. Fauci thanked the W.H.O. for its leadership of the global response to the pandemic. “Under trying circumstances,” he said, “this organization has rallied the scientific and research and development community to accelerate vaccines, therapies and diagnostics; conducted regular, streamed press briefings that authoritatively track global developments; provided millions of vital supplies from lab reagents to protective gear to health care workers in dozens of countries; and relentlessly worked with nations in their fight against Covid-19.”

The United States, he said, would fulfill its financial obligations to the W.H.O., halt the previous administration’s moves to draw down American staff seconded to it and saw technical collaboration at all levels as a fundamental part of its relationship with the agency.

Dr. Fauci also set out broader aims for increasing global pandemic preparedness, including developing an improved early warning and rapid response mechanism for dealing with biological threats, and strengthening pandemic supply chains.

“We will work with partners around the world to build a system that leaves us better prepared for this pandemic and for the next one,” he said.

Sheryl Gay Stolberg contributed reporting.

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Biden’s Bible puts him in line with inaugural tradition

WASHINGTON (AP) — Joe Biden and Kamala Harris took their oaths of office on Wednesday using Bibles that are laden with personal meaning, writing new chapters in a long-running American tradition — and one that appears nowhere in the law.

The Constitution does not require the use of a specific text for swearing-in ceremonies and specifies only the wording of the president’s oath. That wording does not include the phrase “so help me God,” but every modern president has appended it to their oaths and most have chosen symbolically significant Bibles for their inaugurations.

That includes Biden, who used the same family Bible he has used twice when swearing in as vice president and seven times as senator from Delaware.

The book, several inches thick, and which his late son Beau also used when swearing in as Delaware attorney general, has been a “family heirloom” since 1893 and “every important date is in there,” Biden told late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert last month.

“Why is your Bible bigger than mine? Do you have more Jesus than I do?” quipped Colbert, who like Biden is a practicing Catholic.

Biden’s use of his family Bible underscores the prominent role his faith has played in his personal and professional lives — and will continue to do so as he becomes the second Catholic president in U.S. history.

He follows in a tradition of many other presidents who used family-owned scriptures to take their oaths, including Ronald Reagan and Franklin D. Roosevelt, according to the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.

Some have had their Bibles opened to personally relevant passages during their ceremonies. Bill Clinton, for example, chose Isaiah 58:12 — which urges the devout to be a “repairer of the breach” — for his second inauguration after a first term marked by political schisms with conservatives.

Others took their oaths on closed Bibles, like John F. Kennedy, the first Catholic president, who in 1961 used his family’s century-old tome with a large cross on the front, similar to Biden’s.

The tradition of using a Bible dates as far back as the presidency itself, with the holy book used by George Washington later appearing on exhibit at the Smithsonian on loan from the Masonic lodge that provided it in 1789. Washington’s Bible was later used for the oaths by Warren G. Harding, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush.

But not every president has used a Bible. Theodore Roosevelt took his 1901 oath without one after the death of William McKinley, while John Quincy Adams used a law book in 1825, according to his own account.

Some have employed multiple Bibles during their ceremonies: Both Barack Obama and Donald Trump chose to use, along with others, the copy that Abraham Lincoln was sworn in on in 1861.

Harris did the same for her vice-presidential oath, using a Bible owned by a close family friend and one that belonged to the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Harris has spoken of her admiration of Marshall, a fellow Howard University graduate and trailblazer in government as the high court’s first African American justice.

“When I raise my right hand and take the oath of office tomorrow, I carry with me two heroes who’d speak up for the voiceless and help those in need,” Harris tweeted Tuesday, referring to Marshall and friend Regina Shelton, whose Bible she swore on when becoming attorney general of California and later senator.

Harris, who attended both Baptist and Hindu services as a child, worships in the Baptist faith as an adult.

While U.S. lawmakers have typically used Bibles for their oaths, some have chosen alternatives that reflect their religious diversity.

Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the first Muslim elected to Congress, in 2007 used a Quran that belonged to Thomas Jefferson, prompting objections from some Christian conservatives.

Jefferson’s Quran made a return in 2019 at the oath for Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib, one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., chose a Hebrew Bible in 2005 to reflect her Jewish faith. Newly elected Georgia Democratic Sen. Jon Ossoff, who is also Jewish and who swears in Wednesday, used Hebrew scripture belonging to Rabbi Jacob Rothschild, an ally of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the civil rights movement.

Former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, opted for the Bhagavad Gita in 2013 after becoming the first Hindu elected to Congress.

And Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., the only member of the current Congress who identifies as “religiously unaffiliated,” took her oath on the Constitution in 2018.

___

Associated Press religion coverage receives support from the Lilly Endowment through The Conversation U.S. The AP is solely responsible for this content.

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29 CLEVER KITCHEN HACKS

29 CLEVER KITCHEN HACKS


You, Will, Learn The New Lifehack that could help you in a more critical stage view and share the article with your friends.

DESSERTS YOU SHOULD PREPARE FOR YOUR FRIENDS

Do you love sweets and various desserts? I prepared a lot of recipes that you will love! Besides, you won’t need any special skills to amaze your friends! You will learn how to make Sprite lollipops, baked pears, Skittles ice-cream and easy ways to decorate desserts. Let’s start from coke cupcakes and recipes looks crazy. Yes, it may sound unbelievable but these cupcakes are truly delicious! Follow these easy steps: in a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, sugar, melted butter, eggs, and Coke.
I can’t imagine breakfast without peanut butter but I prefer to make a healthy replacement. Roast peanuts at 350 F for 10 minutes, beat using a blender. Add some salt and dates. Enjoy! It’s a perfect and healthy replacement for peanut butter from stores. Moreover, I prefer to eat low-calorie desserts and raspberry is the best choice! Freeze raspberries and place them in a blender. Add honey and lemon juice. Beat for a couple of minutes. Enjoy! Besides, you will learn how to make a watermelon cake in 10 minutes that will be a great dessert for a summer party. One more cool recipe of an ice-cream is ice-cream with sprite and gummy bears! Place gummies in ice-cream mold and pour Sprite. Freeze and enjoy! Check out how to make a romantic dessert – strawberries covered by chocolate.
Follow our tutorials and your friends will be amazed by the result!
Share these recipes with your friends who also love homemade desserts

TIMESTAMPS:
00:09 Coke jellies
01:07 Raspberry sorbet
03:57 Watermelon cake
04:24 Peanut butter
05:15 Sprite lollipops
07:17 Skittles ice-cream

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Music by Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com/ This video is made for entertainment purposes. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, safety and reliability. Any action you take upon the information on this video is strictly at your own risk, and we will not be liable for any damages or losses. It is the viewer’s responsibility to use judgment, care and precautions if one plans to replicate.

The following video might feature activity performed by our actors within controlled environment- please use judgment, care, and precaution if you plan to replicate. This video is made for entertainment purposes. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, safety and reliability. Any action you take upon the information on this video is strictly at your own risk, and we will not be liable for any damages or losses. It is the viewer’s responsibility to use judgment, care and precautions if one plans to replicate.

The following video might feature activity performed by our actors within controlled environment- please use judgment, care, and precaution if you plan to replicate.

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Former Coach Sentenced to Over 10 Years in Prison for Raping Star Speedskater

Former Coach Sentenced to Over 10 Years in Prison for Raping Star Speedskater


A former national speedskating coach in South Korea was sentenced on Thursday to more than a decade in prison on charges of raping an Olympic athlete.

The coach, Cho Jae-beom, was accused of rape in 2019 by Shim Suk-hee, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in short-track speedskating who said he had sexually assaulted her repeatedly starting when she was 17. A district court in the city of Suwon sentenced Mr. Cho to 10 years and six months in prison, along with 200 hours of treatment in a program for sex offenders.

Ms. Shim, 23, is a well-regarded figure in a sport that is a source of national pride; short-track speedskating has produced more Olympic gold medals for South Korea than any other nation. But like other sports in the country, it has long been shadowed by allegations of corruption and abuse, with few victims willing to speak out.

Prosecutors said the sexual assaults took place on 30 occasions from 2014 to 2017. Mr. Cho, who admitted to abusing Ms. Shim physically and verbally, denied the rape accusation, but the judge said on Thursday that Ms. Shim’s testimony was credible, and that text messages the two had exchanged also pointed to an inappropriate coach-athlete relationship.

Ms. Shim’s lawyer, Lim Sang-hyuk, said that although Mr. Cho’s conviction was a sign of progress, he felt the sentence was too lenient considering the suffering Ms. Shim had to endure.

In recent years, elite athletes around the world have exposed a culture of abuse in which coaches and doctors hold outsize power. In South Korea, physical abuse has often been seen as a harsh but inevitable part of training, especially when athletes go on to win prestigious prizes.

Mr. Cho, 39, was convicted in 2018 of physically assaulting Ms. Shim and three other athletes, and his original sentence of 10 months in prison was extended to 18 months on appeal. He was fired as coach of the national short-track speedskating team earlier that year, shortly before the start of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Ms. Shim won her second Olympic gold medal at those Games, having won her first in Sochi, Russia, in 2014.

Her sexual abuse accusations against Mr. Cho were seen as a turning point in efforts to address abuses in South Korea’s speedskating community. President Moon Jae-in responded by urging government officials to take such allegations seriously. “This unveils the humiliating underside of our country’s glorious facade as a sports powerhouse,” he said in January 2019.

Some experts said that the government had long overlooked the widespread abuse of athletes and that recent measures, including the introduction of whistle-blower hotlines, had yielded little results. They suggested that it took Ms. Shim’s star power to hold people accountable.

“If Shim Suk-hee were not an Olympic gold medalist, her case too could have been buried,” Chung Yong-chul, a professor of sports psychology at Sogang University in Seoul, the South Korean capital, said at the time.

After the sentencing on Thursday, Ms. Shim said that she hoped it would encourage survivors of abuse to come forward with their experiences. “I hope the court’s decision will somewhat help victims within our society find their voice,” she said in a written statement. “I sincerely hope that similar incidents will never happen again in the future.”

Tiffany May reported from Hong Kong, and Youmi Kim from Seoul.

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