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Democrats attack fake news, and Republicans cry foul

Dems attack fake news; GOP criees foul

Democrats are morphing their scrutiny of online falsehoods into a broader campaign against misinformation on right-leaning television outlets — a development that Republicans and some media organizations are calling a government attack on the First Amendment.

The Democratic efforts include a House hearing Wednesday where lawmakers lambasted conservative-leaning broadcasters and cable channels as sources of dangerous conspiracy theories about the pandemic and the November election. Two House Democrats also sent letters to cable, satellite and streaming providers on Monday asking why they carry Fox News, Newsmax and One America News Network, all of which had spent months echoing President Donald Trump's baseless claims of election fraud.

Outside D.C., New York mayoral candidate Andrew Yang has called for the Federal Communications Commission to revive its long-discarded Fairness Doctrine, which he inaccurately suggested required balanced coverage on cable news.



Biden reverses Trump visa ban on legal immigration

Biden reverses Trump visa ban

President Joe Biden on Wednesday revoked a Trump-era ban on legal immigration for family members of U.S. citizens and residents, as well as diversity visa lottery recipients.

In a statement, Biden said former President Donald Trump's order blocking green card applicants and temporary foreign workers "does not advance the interests of the United States."

"To the contrary, it harms the United States, including by preventing certain family members of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents from joining their families here," Biden's statement said. "It also harms industries in the United States that utilize talent from around the world. And it harms individuals who were selected to receive the opportunity to apply for, and those who have likewise received, immigrant visas through the Fiscal Year 2020 Diversity Visa Lottery."


California lawmakers push to stop deportations and end jail transfers to Ice

California lawmakers push to end deportations

California lawmakers are fighting to protect thousands of residents from deportation with new legislation that would stop state prisons and jails from handing over immigrants to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice).

California’s controversial practice of coordinating with Ice agents has received widespread scrutiny in past months, including after the Guardian revealed that the state had transferred two immigrant prisoners to Ice for deportation after they had served as incarcerated firefighters on the frontlines – and after they had completed their sentences.

Kao Saelee, 41, was scheduled to leave prison after 22 years behind bars in August. But on the day of his release, when his sister was waiting to take him home, California instead handed him over to immigration authorities. He remains in Ice custody in Louisiana. Bounchan Keola, 39, was reported to Ice by California prison officials in October.


U.S. report on Khashoggi death expected to single out Saudi crown prince: sources

Jamal KhashouggiThe Biden administration is expected to release a declassified U.S. intelligence report on Thursday finding that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, four officials familiar with the matter said.

The release would represent the latest move by U.S. President Joe Biden to realign ties with Riyadh after years in which Washington largely gave its key Arab ally and major oil producer a pass on its human rights record, intervention in Yemen’s civil war and other issues.

The report’s release is expected to coincide with the first phone conversation, possibly on Wednesday, between Biden and Saudi King Salman since Biden took over the presidency.


Biden administration to deliver more than 25 million masks to health centers, food pantries

Biden administration to send 25m masksThe Biden administration announced Wednesday that it would distribute more than 25 million masks to over 1,300 community health centers and 60,000 food pantries and soup kitchens in an effort to reach underserved communities and as part of the president's promise to make the pandemic response more equitable.

Between March and May, the administration will send well-fitted cloth masks, available in child and adult sizes, that can be washed for reuse, White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients announced in a news briefing.

The masks will comply with coronavirus guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, be made in the U.S. and will not affect the availability of masks for health care workers.


Tiger Woods has rod inserted in right leg and is 'awake, responsive' after surgery following car crash

Tiger Woods recovering after surgeries

Tiger Woods underwent emergency surgery Tuesday to repair significant damage to his right leg and ankle, his team said in a statement posted on his Twitter account late Tuesday night.

Woods' team said in the statement that the golfer was "awake, responsive and recovering in his hospital room" at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center following the surgery. Woods, 45, sustained the injuries in a one-car crash in Rancho Palos Verdes, California on Tuesday morning.

Anish Mahajan, the chief medical officer and interim CEO at the hospital, said in the statement that Woods had multiple open fractures affecting both the upper and lower portions of his right tibia and fibula, the two main bones in the lower leg. The bones were stabilized "by inserting a rod into the tibia," he added.


'Home Improvement' star Zachery Ty Bryan convicted on two counts in domestic violence case

Zachary Ty convicted of domestic violenceActor Zachery Ty Bryan, who played Tim Allen's oldest son Brad Taylor on "Home Improvement" in the '90s, pleaded guilty Tuesday to two Class A misdemeanor counts stemming from a domestic violence case.

The charges were menacing and assault in the fourth degree constituting domestic violence. Lane County (Oregon) District Attorney Patricia Perlow told USA TODAY that Bryan was sentenced to three years of bench probation with multiple conditions, including partaking in a batterer intervention program and having no contact with the victim.

Six other charges related to an October incident – harassment, coercion, strangulation, interference with making a report and second counts of menacing and assault in the fourth degree – were dismissed.


Elijah McClain death: Colorado police had no legal basis to restrain man, report finds

Elijah McClain death: no basis for stopping him

Police officers in Aurora, Colorado, did not have a legal basis to stop, frisk and use a chokehold on Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old black man who died after being restrained by officers and paramedics in the Denver suburb in August 2019, an independent investigation has found.

According to a report published on Monday, “body worn camera audio, limited video and … interviews with the officers tell two contrasting stories. The officers’ statements on the scene and in subsequent recorded interviews suggest a violent and relentless struggle.”

The report added: “The limited video, and the audio from the body worn cameras, reveal Mr McClain surrounded by officers, all larger than he, crying out in pain, apologizing, explaining himself and pleading with the officers.”


DC police chief stunned by 'reluctance' to deploy Guard during Jan. 6 attack

MPD Chief ConteeThe  head of the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) told senators Tuesday that there was an initial "reluctance" to send the National Guard during the Jan. 6 rioting at the U.S. Capitol — a resistance that left him "surprised" and "stunned," given the gravity of the violent attack.

Testifying before a pair of Senate committees, acting Chief Robert Contee said that at 2:22 p.m. on Jan. 6 — more than an hour after his forces were summoned to the Capitol — he was part of an emergency phone call that included leaders of the Capitol Police, the National Guard and the Department of the Army.

"I was surprised at the reluctance to immediately send the National Guard to the Capitol grounds," Contee told senators on the Rules and Homeland Security committees.


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