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The Daily Beast
Dec 11, 2019

Russia, Racism and the Rot in European Soccer
Photo Illustration by Lyne Lucien/The Daily Beast/ReutersROME—When the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced what seemed like sweeping sanctions by banning Russia from all major sports events for the next four years, it looked like the anti-doping movement finally won a major victory. But thanks to the European soccer entity UEFA, the ban is not exactly comprehensive. 

Under WADA's rules, events held by the Union of European Football Associations are not part of the ban. UEFA runs some of the soccer world's most prestigious events including the UEFA European Football Championships, the next of which are called the Euro 2020. In fact, St. Petersburg, Russia, is a host city for some of UEFA's most important—read: money-making—upcoming Euro 2020 group matches, including the quarter-finals next summer. The Russian city will then host UEFA's Champions League final in 2021—all while under the four-year ban.

Russia will be allowed to participate in all UEFA events because they are not considered "major events" by the International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories, the rules of which say that because UEFA is a single-sport body, it doesn't meet the mark. Never mind that the competitions are watched by millions of global soccer enthusiasts—the last Euro championship game had 600 million viewers, far more than the Rio Olympics opening ceremonies. They also command massive multimillion-dollar sponsorships in their packed stadiums. UEFA is expected to turn $3.6 billion in profits for the 2019/20 season alone,

The Daily Beast
Dec 11, 2019

The Democrats Wimp Out on Impeachment
Win McNamee/GettyIf the House Democrats believe that simply two articles of impeachment will in any way deter Donald Trump from future misconduct and crimes, they're kidding themselves. 

Yet, there was House Judiciary Chair Jerrold Nadler declaring Tuesday morning while unveiling the articles, one for Trump's abuse of power and a second for his obstruction of Congress, "We must be clear: No one, not even the president, is above the law." That was followed by House Intelligence Committee Chair Rep. Adam Schiff making it clear why the breakneck speed to impeach Trump, "The argument, ‘why don't you just wait?' comes down to this: Why don't you just let him cheat in just one more election?"

Let's be blunt: These two articles alone will not achieve either of those goals. We all know that Trump will not be convicted and removed in the Senate, meaning Trump will claim exoneration and be even more emboldened to engage in wrongdoing. Thus, these articles of impeachment are the House Democrats' only chance to make a compelling case to the public why Trump's conduct "is a clear and present danger to our free and fair elections and to our national security," as Intelligence Committee lawyer Daniel Goldman testified Monday at the House Judiciary impeachment hearing.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 11, 2019

Nike's Dark Alliance With a Man Accused of Terrorizing Women Athletes
Doug Pensinger/GettyNike became the world's biggest sportswear brand and one of Oregon's largest employers because of Michael Jordan. Before His Airness became the greatest basketball player who ever lived with their shoes on his feet, Nike was a running company. Their co-founder and chairman emeritus, Phil Knight, was a college runner for the University of Oregon. Bill Bowerman, Nike's other founder, and the design wizard behind their first in-house shoes, was a legendary track and field coach in Eugene. No matter what other pies Nike find their fingers in—golf, tennis, basketball, baseball, fashion, whatever—running is still the central pillar of the company.

In 2001, they hired Alberto Salazar, a three-time New York Marathon winner, to head up a program known as the the Nike Oregon Project to shape elite distance-running talent. At first, Salazar worked with older runners trying to correct their biomechanics, but, sooner or later, he decided that he could only get so much out of finished products, and started working with younger talent that he could mold into his vision of running greatness.

For a logo, they chose a terrifying-looking skull with eagle wings. Probably a bad sign.



The Daily Beast
Dec 11, 2019

What Bartenders Want for the Holidays
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photos GettyComing up with the perfect gift for a home or professional bartender is no small task. Though a bottle of whiskey or the hot new gin is always a good place to start, this year you might want to consider something a little less, well, obvious. 

From bar tools to recipe books to unusual—and festive—ingredients, there are plenty of present options beyond booze that have the ability to surprise and impress the drinker in your life. 

Whether you're looking for a stocking stuffer or something slightly more extravagant, we asked seven all-star bartenders from around the country about what's on their wish list this holiday season—and here's what they had to say.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 11, 2019

Elizabeth Warren Leans Into ‘First Female President'
Photo Illustration by Kelly Caminero/The Daily BeastElizabeth Warren has intensified her first female president pitch. 

Down two women rivals and statistically wedged among a trio of men, the Massachusetts senator now finds herself as the Democratic primary's only female candidate to crack the top tier. And in recent weeks, she has embraced the possibility of becoming the first woman to occupy the White House with new fervor, giving voters a strong verbal and visual contrast to her direct competition: Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Pete Buttigieg. 

"It's the three B's and Elizabeth," Deborah Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, said. "She does, by the very nature of who she is, stand out in that group."

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 11, 2019

Disney Sued by Labor Union for Failing to Pay Living Wage: Employees Have to ‘Live in Their Cars'
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty/George RoseThere's an old Walt Disney quote, a favorite of workplace morale posters and business self-help books, that goes: "You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality." These days, there are a lot of people making the Disney dream a reality—a study of the Disneyland Resorts last year found that 27.2 million people visited the California theme park in 2016 alone, thanks to the 30,000 workers who keep the place up and running.

But a new class action lawsuit, filed Friday in California Superior Court and announced in a press advisory Monday, argues that the Walt Disney Company, worth approximately $130 billion as of this year, failed to pay hundreds of those workers a living wage. The complaint was filed by five Disney employees on behalf of more than 400 hospitality workers, accusing the Walt Disney Company and several affiliates (Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S. Inc., Sodexo Inc., SodexoMagic, LLC, and 100 unnamed Does) of "unlawful conduct and unfair business practices." The plaintiffs are asking for back wages, restitution, and damages, which their attorney, Randy Renick, said may be significant. "With the back pay," Renick said, "we're talking millions of dollars."

"A lot of [workers] have to live in their cars, or on people's couches, because they can't afford the rent on that wage in the City of Anaheim," said Kathleen Grace, a plaintiff in the case and a Starbucks barista employed by Sodexo, which Disney contracts to operate its backstage food and beverage services. "It's really sad to see. A lot of times, they're choosing to feed their famil

The Daily Beast
Dec 11, 2019

The Backlash Against Lizzo Is About More Than Just a Thong
Arik McArthur/GettyLizzo has every right to be extra—dancing and cackling her way through her rising popularity, cheekily carrying a dainty Jacquemus-inspired purse on the red carpet, and flashing her thong through a circular cut-out in her t-shirt dress at a Minnesota Timberwolves game. The singer and rapper's latest move, at an NBA game no less, has naturally led to backlash from random people on the internet over the revealing nature of the outfit, with some underlying annoyance aimed at her growing mainstream appeal.

On Instagram, Lizzo compared her sartorial choice to Rihanna's now-iconic see-through Swarovski crystal gown, which also featured a very visible thong that Rihanna similarly flaunted to photographers. Many have pointed out that Lizzo is not only being slut shamed but fat shamed—as a fat woman, her body is under significant scrutiny, interpreted as doubly offensive since it doesn't fit into notions of conventional Hollywood beauty. But it's worth pointing out that Rihanna also received a degree of backlash for her many revealing outfits, mainly because she is a black woman visible on the global stage. Lizzo, who has now crossed into mainstream hyper-visibility, has to deal with the hypercritical gaze that both

The Daily Beast
Dec 11, 2019

Pity the Kardashian-Jenners, Ruthlessly Exploited By Reality TV Producers To Make Them Look Bad Over Caitlyn
Amy SussmanIn an astonishing outrage visited upon a family of naifs, the Jenners and Kardashians are crying foul against the makers of the British reality TV show I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here, with Brandon Jenner and Kim Kardashian claiming the programme makers cynically manipulated the expulsion of their parent Caitlyn Jenner from the show's jungle camp to make her look sad, lonely and isolated from her family.

The cheek of it!

Caitlyn was among a group of 12 participants who signed up for this year's instalment of the long-running British TV show, which sees several famous, and many more not not-so famous people imprisoned in an Australian jungle camp where they must complete a variety of disturbing challenges such as eating animal offal (this year's delicacies included a camel's anus) or being covered in rats, spiders and cockroaches to win their daily meals.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 11, 2019

Pity the Kardashian-Jenners, Ruthlessly Exploited by Reality-TV Producers to Make Them Look Bad Over Caitlyn
Amy SussmanIn an astonishing outrage visited upon a family of naifs, the Jenners and Kardashians are crying foul against the makers of the British reality-TV show I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here, with Brandon Jenner and Kim Kardashian claiming the program's makers cynically manipulated the expulsion of their parent Caitlyn Jenner from the show's jungle camp to make her look sad, lonely, and isolated from her family.

The cheek of it!

Caitlyn was among a group of 12 participants who signed up for this year's installment of the long-running British TV show, which sees several famous, and many more not not-so famous, people imprisoned in an Australian jungle camp where they must complete a variety of disturbing challenges such as eating animal offal (this year's delicacies included a camel's anus) or being covered in rats, spiders, and cockroaches to win their daily meals.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

Marianne Williamson's Vaccine ‘Adviser' Is an Anti-Vaxx Lawyer
Ian Tuttle/GettyLong known for her science-defying stances on health issues, presidential candidate Marianne Williamson says she has advisers guiding her vaccine policy. On Tuesday, she named one: Jim Turner, a longtime lawyer for the anti-vaccine movement.

He also says he has no official ties with the campaign.

Williamson, a self-help guru running for the Democratic nomination, objects to the label "anti-vaxx" (she prefers the term "safe-vaxx," which is a popular euphemism in anti-vaxx circles), but she has hewed close to anti-vaccine talking points. On Tuesday, she told NBC that lawyer Jim Turner was advising her on vaccine policy. Turner, who has filed multiple lawsuits against vaccine programs, has spent decades advocating against immunizations while using similar "pro-safety" language as Williamson.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

Stephen Colbert Celebrates ‘Historic Day' of Trump Impeachment Articles
Timothy Kuratek/CBSOn Tuesday morning, co-host Whoopi Goldberg scolded audience members of The View for cheering the news that two articles of impeachment had been introduced against President Trump. "No, no, this is not a celebratory moment. This is not a good thing," she announced.

Stephen Colbert took a slightly different approach on Tuesday night's Late Show.

"It is an historic day and I think we'll all remember where we were: I was on TV, and you were watching it," offered Stephen Colbert at the top of his monologue. "This morning, Nancy Pelosi and the chairs of six House committees gathered in the House pressroom, and the House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler got the honor of dropping the I-Bomb."

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

Pro-Trump Network OAN Tried to Get This Ukrainian Millionaire a Visa Before His Arrest
Before catching the eye of German law enforcement, former Ukrainian parliamentarian Oleksandr Onyshchenko drew attention from the conservative TV channel One America News. Last week, German authorities arrested the multi-millionaire because of a warrant from Ukrainian anti-corruption prosecutors. Before his arrest, though, the Trump-friendly media outlet tried to help him get a visa to travel to the U.S. 

The effort, which has not been previously reported, was part of a push by OAN to unearth information on Burisma Holdings, the energy company that retained Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President and current Trump rival Joe Biden. Onyshchenko has claimed to have dirt on the firm. Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, meanwhile, has boosted the channel's Burisma work. 

"I can confirm that One America News Network did attempt to secure a number of visas for former Ukrainian officials to travel to the United States, including Olekesandr Onyshchenko," network president Charles Herring told The Daily Beast in an email. "One America News Network made the request prior to Mr. Onyschchenko being detained. One America News investigative efforts have cost in excess of $100,000 to date."

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

Trump Claims He's Heard FBI ‘Lovers' Had a ‘Restraining Order,' Admits He Has No Evidence
Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesNot long after Donald Trump took to the stage at a rally in Hershey, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday night, the president launched into one of his biggest crowd-pleasers: pillorying the "deep state," particularly by performing fan-fic-style dialogue between the "FBI lovers" Lisa Page and Peter Strzok.

It's a routine that he's been honing on the re-election campaign trail for months, perhaps most famously during an October campaign event in Minneapolis where he appeared to make orgasmic, panting noises—much to the audience's delight—while doing mock-dialogue between the two "lovers" about how much they "love" each other and hate that "son of a bitch" Trump.

And on Tuesday night, the president went a step further, claiming he'd "heard" gossip about previously unknown relationship woes between the two former FBI employees—though Trump conceded he could just be spreading pure disinformation.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

Trevor Noah Finds ‘Good News for Trump' in Impeachment
"I am actually proud of Donald Trump," Trevor Noah said on Tuesday. "He's getting impeached, but I didn't think he'd make it three years, I'm not going to lie." 

According to The Daily Show host, President Trump should be thankful that Democrats only brought two articles of impeachment against him. 

"Only two articles of impeachment: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress," he said, "which means the Democrats are showing a lot of restraint." In his view, Trump "has done enough crazy shit to merit 2,000 articles of impeachment." 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

Trevor Noah Reveals ‘Good News for Trump' in Impeachment
"I am actually proud of Donald Trump," Trevor Noah said on Tuesday. "He's getting impeached, but I didn't think he'd make it three years, I'm not going to lie." 

According to The Daily Show host, President Trump should be thankful that Democrats only brought two articles of impeachment against him. 

"Only two articles of impeachment: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress," he said, "which means the Democrats are showing a lot of restraint." In his view, Trump "has done enough crazy shit to merit 2,000 articles of impeachment." 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

Russia's Top Diplomat: We're Ready to Publish Our Correspondence With U.S. on Election Meddling Allegations
Jonathan Ernst/ReutersRussian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov dismissed concerns about Russian interference in U.S. elections and waged a bizarre personal attack on an American prisoner being held in Moscow after meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Trump on Tuesday.

The disagreements between Russia's top diplomat and his American counterpart were on full display as soon as Pompeo said at a joint press conference that he'd put his foot down with Moscow and made clear the Trump administration would not put up with election meddling.

"I was clear — it's unacceptable," he said.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

Pete Buttigieg Reveals His List of Clients From ‘Amoral' McKinsey
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photos GettyFollowing weeks of increasing pressure for presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg to break one of the corporate world's most famously stringent non-disclosure agreements, the Indiana Democrat on Tuesday night revealed a comprehensive list of clients he worked with during his time at McKinsey & Co., one day after the management consulting behemoth announced that it would give Buttigieg permission to disclose their identities. 

The client list includes a Canadian grocery store chain, a Michigan insurance company, a handful of environmental non-profits, multiple U.S. government departments and agencies, and Best Buy, all of which gave permission to McKinsey for their identities to be revealed.

"I think people are going to pounce on things no matter what. The best I can do is to explain my story—as much as I can responsibly share," Buttigieg told The Atlantic's Edward-Isaac Dovere, the first to report Buttigieg's client list in full. "But if folks are going to come up with a fanciful theory based on consulting work I did four and a half years out of school, chances are they'll find a way to do it no matter what I say or do."

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

Britt McHenry Sues Fox News and Tyrus, Claims Network Retaliated Over Sexual-Harassment Claim
Mary F. CalvertFox News contributor Britt McHenry on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against Fox News, a number of network employees, and Fox's parent company, alleging the cable outlet attempted to retaliate against her in response to a sexual-harassment complaint she filed against her former co-host Tyrus.

The lawsuit, filed by attorney Lisa Bloom in the Southern District of New York, names Tyrus, Fox Entertainment Group, Fox Corp, News Corp, Fox Nation chief John Finley, Fox Nation executive producer Jennifer Cunningham, and a human-resources employee.

The legal action follows a complaint McHenry filed with New York State's Division of Human Rights last month after Fox News conducted a second investigation into McHenry's sexual misconduct claims against Tyrus, who was previously her co-host of Fox Nation show Un-PC. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

Everlane's Best-Selling, Top-Rated Day Boot Is 22% Off, Today Only
It's not often that Everlane has sales, especially not on one of their best-selling, top-rated products. But it's 2019 and anything can happen. The Everlane Day Boot is crafted from 100% Italian leather and comes in six different shades, ranging from classic black to a more trendy lavender. At $175, it's down 22% from its normal $225, and it's staying at that price for a mere 24 hours. This boot is all about style and substance. The soft leather hugs the foot, the shaft is a manageable ankle-height, and the stacked heel is a comfortable 2". 

These are the kind of boots that you look forward to wearing because they go with anything and they won't make your tootsies ache at the end of the day. You could comfortably walk tons of city blocks in these, no problem. The Day Boot, much like its flatter cousin the Day Glove, gives you a fashionable footwear option when all you want is for your feet to be comfy.

While you're at it, check out some of our other favorite items from Everlane to complete the look:

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

Dems Think Their Day of Whiplash Is Just Perfect
Tom Williams/GettyIf one day could neatly encapsulate House Democrats' long, busy, and sometimes messy year, Tuesday, December 10, was close to perfect. 

At nine o'clock in the morning, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and six of her committee chairs announced articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. 

An hour later, Pelosi appeared with 30 of her colleagues to announce they had struck a deal with Trump and his administration on the president's top legislative priority: a new U.S.-Canada-Mexico trade deal.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

Even Taylor Swift Can't Escape ‘When Will You Have Kids?'
Photo Illustration by Kristen Hazzard/The Daily Beast/GettyI am 24, which is roughly 12 in New York years. No one expects me to have a kid or own a home. The same cannot be said for the small town I grew up in. There, "Time's up!" is less of a #MeToo rallying cry and more of something a friend's father tells his oldest daughter upon learning she's still single.

There comes a time in young womanhood where people who once really didn't want you to get pregnant suddenly start to care a lot about the babies you must have, right now. I cannot fathom why anyone at my family's Christmas dinner table would want to talk about "freezing" "my eggs" in between bites of mashed potatoes. And yet.

Despite what her poreless skin and dumb lyrics like "spelling is fun" might make you believe, Taylor Swift will turn 30 this week. The milestone means next to nothing, except that I hope she has a very nice birthday party. But of course, that means people—namely, men—are falling over themselves to remind her she should spawn at once, or else she'll almost certainly die alone and unloved. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

Lisa Page Sues FBI and the Justice Department for Leaking Her Texts With Peter Strzok
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/GettyFormer FBI attorney Lisa Page on Tuesday sued the FBI and the Justice Department over the leaking of her text messages that prompted a barrage of public attacks from lawmakers and President Donald Trump himself.

"I sued the Department of Justice and FBI today," she wrote on Twitter. "I take little joy in having done so. But what they did in leaking my messages to the press was not only wrong, it was illegal."

The lawsuit accuses both agencies of violating the Privacy Act when reporters were given access to her messages with former FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok. The messages were originally part of two DOJ inspector general probes into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's emails and Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

Man Found Guilty of Murdering Two Boston Doctors Inside Their Penthouse Condo
Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via GettyA Boston man accused of killing two doctors in their penthouse condo—and leaving behind haunting messages on their walls—was found guilty of murder on Tuesday afternoon. 

Bampumim Teixeira, 32, was convicted of first-degree murder, armed robbery, and kidnapping for the May 2017 slayings of Dr. Lina Bolanos, 38, and her fiancé, 49-year-old Dr. Richard Field.

Authorities say Teixeira fatally stabbed the couple, then scribbled "he killed my wife" and "payback" on the walls of their 11th floor condo. He was shot by authorities and apprehended in the hallway of the couple's building.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

‘You Better Hope I Never Get Out of Jail': Man Accused of Killing 2 Doctors Dragged Out of Court Over Threats
Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via GettyA Boston man accused of killing two doctors in their penthouse condo—and leaving behind haunting messages on their walls—was removed from court after threatening a prosecutor during an outburst on Tuesday. 

Bampumim Teixeira, 32, is facing several charges, including first-degree murder, armed robbery, and kidnapping, for the May 2017 slayings of Dr. Lina Bolanos, 38, and her fiancé, 49-year-old Dr. Richard Field.

Authorities say Teixeira fatally stabbed the couple, then scribbled "he killed my wife" and "payback" on the walls of their 11th floor condo. He was shot by authorities and apprehended in the hallway of the couple's building.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

Multiple People Killed, Including One Police Officer, in Jersey City Shooting: Authorities
KENA BETANCUR/Afp/AFP via Getty ImagesMultiple people are dead, including one New Jersey police officer, after two suspects opened fire with a long rifle from a local bodega in Jersey City on Tuesday afternoon, according to officials.

Heavy gunfire could be heard for over an hour in the Greenville neighborhood of Jersey City, where the two suspects had barricaded themselves inside the convenience store.

Authorities from multiple law enforcement agencies—including the New York City Police Department, ATF, and the FBI—swarmed the building, which is about eight miles from New York City, engaging in an hours-long standoff with the suspects that began around 12:30 p.m.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

Police Officers Shot in Jersey City Standoff: Governor
KENA BETANCUR/Afp/AFP via Getty ImagesMultiple New Jersey police officers have been shot by two suspects who opened fire with a long rifle from a local bodega in Jersey City on Tuesday afternoon, according to the governor and news reports.

Several law enforcement agencies, including New Jersey Transit Police and AFT, responded to the active shooter situation, which took place on Martin Luther King Drive near Bayview Avenue.

"I have been briefed on the unfolding situation in Jersey City. Our thoughts and prayers are with the men and women of the Jersey City Police Department, especially with the officers shot during this standoff, and with the residents and schoolchildren currently under lockdown," Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

Six People, Including One Police Officer, Killed in Jersey City Shooting: Authorities
KENA BETANCUR/Afp/AFP via Getty ImagesSix people are dead, including a New Jersey detective, after two suspects opened fire at a kosher market in Jersey City on Tuesday afternoon, police said.

Jersey City Police Chief Michael Kelly said one officer, three bystanders, and the two suspected gunman were all killed in an intense gun battle that lasted for hours in the Greenville neighborhood.

The shooting began at Bay View Cemetery, where 39-year-old Detective Joseph Seals was found dead, and then continued at JC Kosher Supermarket on Martin Luther King Drive, where the rest of the victims were found.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

The Real Steele: The Ex-MI6 Spy Looms Large in the New DOJ Report—and a Big Best Seller
Victoria Jones / GettyIn a much anticipated report made public Monday, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz exonerated the FBI from allegations of abuse of power and political bias against the Trump campaign during its initial investigation of the Trump-Russia connection, while at the same time criticizing some FBI agents and lawyers for unprofessionalism and sloppiness.

The villain of the report, if there is one, is Christopher Steele, the former British MI6 (foreign intelligence) officer whose dossier, a collection of raw research memos paid for by the Democratic Party, was part of the evidence used to obtain a secret wiretap warrant to monitor Trump campaign aide Carter Page. The dossier's allegations also propelled the FBI to intensify its Russia probe, which was already under way.

Yes, we're talking about that dossier. It was never intended to go public in its raw form, which Steele long ago conceded might only be 70 percent accurate. And when it did hit the media, published by BuzzFeed in January 2017 days before Trump's inauguration, many headlines focused on an allegation by Steele's sources that Trump had hired prostitutes to urinate on a bed the Obamas had slept in at a Moscow hotel. The incident supposedly had been recorded on video, but it has never been corroborated independently, and apparently was

The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

Bloomberg Continues to Poach His Newsroom to Staff Up 2020 Campaign
Drew Angerer/GettyMichael Bloomberg is continuing to staff up his presidential campaign with employees from his news organization. 

A Bloomberg News spokesperson confirmed to the The Daily Beast that former Bloomberg News editor Zara Kessler has taken a leave of absence and joined the ex-NYC mayor's campaign. Her Twitter bio changed in recent days to now say she works on the billionaire's recently announced presidential campaign.

Kessler is at least the fifth staffer from Bloomberg's media operation to join the ex-mayor's 2020 run since he announced the campaign late last month—and she is seemingly the first to join from the non-opinion side of the newsroom.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

Whoopi Goldberg Scolds ‘The View' Audience for Cheering Impeachment
Whoopi Goldberg returned to The View after a week off on Tuesday wearing one of her signature Christmas sweaters. Meghan McCain was quick to say she'd rather plug  her co-host's product than talk about "America's funeral." 

"No, this is not a funeral," Goldberg told her. "Listen, you have to go pretty hard to destroy us. There are too many people who fought too hard for too long to let that happen, and that's why we are celebrating the Constitution. We are celebrating our rights as Americans to say something's wrong." 

In a personal note to both McCain and Abby Huntsman, she added, "That's why your dad fought, that's why your brothers fight. That's why my father and grandfather fought and my mom and everybody else. That's why they fought. They fought for our right to say you can't do it this way." 

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The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

Get This Highly-Rated Men's Nautica Robe While It's on Sale on Amazon
Whether you're in the market for a new robe or you know someone who is, this one-day-only deal on the Nautica Cotton Shawl Collar robe should be on your radar. With over 1,200 reviews and a 4.3-star rating, this classic cotton robe is the perfect gift for yourself or someone who needs a loungewear upgrade. It's made from 100% cotton and comes in eight different colors and patterns (I'm partial to the classic Nautica Red). It's lightweight, which means it's wearable all-year, and it's machine-washable too.

At this price, it's a great last-minute add-on gift — just pair it with some PJ pants that are also on sale thanks to Amazon's deal on men's and women's sleepwear.  Here are some other pieces worth picking up that are also part of the sale: 

Scouted selects products independently and prices reflect what was available at the time of publish. Sign up for our newsletter for even more recommendations. Don't forget to check out our coupon site to find activewear deals from Nike, adidas, and more. If you buy something from our posts, we may earn a small commission.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

‘Disturbing': Jewish Groups Slam Joe diGenova's Return to Fox After Anti-Semitic Remarks
Conservative lawyers Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing, two of President Donald Trump's fiercest and most loyal TV defenders, returned Monday night to Fox airwaves—less than a month after diGenova sparked intense backlash from Jewish organizations by spewing anti-Semitic tropes during a Fox Business interview.

In several statements on Tuesday, groups like the Anti-Defamation League and J Street slammed diGenova's return as "disturbing" and demonstrating Fox's lack of "remorse" about what is said on its air.

DiGenova appeared Monday evening on Fox Business primetime show Lou Dobbs Tonight, the same program where, last month, he invoked anti-Semitic stereotypes to allege that Jewish financier George Soros "controls" most of the U.S. State Department.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

The Democrats Are Blowing Impeachment
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photos Getty/AlamyIn the week where Democrats announced historic and fully-deserved articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, they also started blowing it and throwing away 2020. 

Just as impeachment needs their complete focus, Democrats started talking about how the rest of the year could be devoted to "getting things done in Washington." They want to "get it over with" and move on to "passing legislation that improves the lives of everyday Americans."

I put those phrases in quotes, because they're the usual generic political pablum vomited from the bowels of a hundred focus groups. 

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The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

Trump Faces Two Impeachment Articles on Abuse of Power and Obstruction
Saul Loeb/GettySpeaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats formally announced their articles of impeachment against President Trump on Tuesday morning. Flanked by the committee chairs who led the inquiry, Pelosi said the House would move to impeach Trump on two counts: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

"Today, in service to our duty to the Constitution and to our country, the House Committee on the Judiciary is introducing two articles of impeachment, charging the president of the U.S., Donald J. Trump, with committing high crimes and misdemeanors,"  said House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY). 

The introduction of articles effectively concludes the impeachment inquiry that began in September to investigate the extent of Trump's pressure campaign to get Ukraine to do him political favors. It sets the parameters for a full vote in the House on impeachment next week—and a trial in the Senate in January.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

The Best Stocking Stuffers For Anyone on Your List Are More than Just Filler Gifts
Sometimes, finding the perfect big gift is the easy part of holiday shopping. It's the little things that can fall through the cracks. There are a whole lot of stocking stuffers out there (my mom relies on dry shampoo and lip balm to fill in the gaps) so we thought we'd give you some inspiration. There's something for every kind of person on this list, so get to stocking stuffing. 

Scouted selects products independently and prices reflect what was available at the time of publish. Sign up for our newsletter for even more recommendations. Don't forget to check out our coupon site to find apparel deals from L.L.Bean, Lands' End, Gap, and more. If you buy something from our posts, we may earn a small commission.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

Cuba Gooding Jr. Accused by Seven More Women of Sexual Misconduct, Court Papers Allege
TIBRINA HOBSONOscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr., who is already facing six counts of misdemeanor sexual abuse and forcible touching involving three accusers, has been accused of sexual misconduct by seven other women in court papers.

Although he has only been charged in alleged incidents related to the three accusers, prosecutors hope to introduce the other claims in court to prove a pattern of sexually abusive behavior.

Quoting court papers filed by Manhattan prosecutors, Page Six reports Gooding is accused of groping and forcibly kissing a woman at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009. He ripped her tights, placed his fingers on her anus, and only stopped when she bit him on the cheek to make her escape, the documents state.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

How Sane and Normal Democrats Are Saving America
Photo Illustration by The Daily BeastSomething funny happened on the way to the revolution: Democratic voters decided not to have one, opting, instead, for trying to win an election. 

In a sense, this was its own revolt against what had become conventional wisdom. And if it turns out that Democrats are able to recapture the White House in 2020, the credit will belong to a silent majority of Democrats who put the brakes on a political party that was careening leftward. 

No one has been more pleasantly surprised than I have. Citing Beto apologizing for being white and Bernie allowing his campaign staff to unionize, I warned Dems they were too woke for their own good. Operating under the same assumptions regarding the incentive structure, Democratic candidates set about confirming my concerns. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

How ‘Horrible and Mean' Male Comics Made Iliza Shlesinger the Comedy Star She Is Today
Subscribe to The Last Laugh on Apple Podcasts

"I really believe in reporting on life as it's happening," comedian Iliza Shlesinger tells me on this week's bonus episode of The Last Laugh podcast. "I never do anything for the material, I just think that's so hacky. And that way it's infallible. When it's your real experience or your real tragedy that you've been through, nobody can ever take that away from you. Nobody can say you can't say that." 

This past month, Shlesinger released her latest stand-up special Unveiled, in which she reports on her real experience of getting married. It's the prolific comedian's fifth hour-long special on Netflix in six years and she shows no signs of slowing down. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

How ‘Horrible' Men on ‘Last Comic Standing' Made Iliza Shlesinger the Comedy Star She Is Today
Subscribe to The Last Laugh on Apple Podcasts

"I really believe in reporting on life as it's happening," comedian Iliza Shlesinger tells me on this week's bonus episode of The Last Laugh podcast. "I never do anything for the material, I just think that's so hacky. And that way it's infallible. When it's your real experience or your real tragedy that you've been through, nobody can ever take that away from you. Nobody can say you can't say that." 

This past month, Shlesinger released her latest stand-up special Unveiled, in which she reports on her real experience of getting married. It's the prolific comedian's fifth hour-long special on Netflix in six years and she shows no signs of slowing down. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

This Mountain West Roadtrip is One of America's Most Underrated
Courtesy of Winston Ross"I sought out U.S. 90, a wide gash of a super-highway, multiple-lane carrier of the nation's goods. Rocinante bucketed along. The minimum speed on this road was greater than any I had previously driven. I drove into a wind quartering in from my starboard bow and felt the buffeting, sometimes staggering blows of the gale I helped to make . . . . Instructions screamed at me from the road: ‘Do not stop! No stopping. Maintain speed.' Trucks as long as freighters went roaring by, delivering a wind like the blow of a fist. These great roads are wonderful for moving goods but not for inspection of a countryside. You are bound to the wheel and your eyes to the car ahead and to the rear-view mirror for the car behind and the side mirror for the car or truck about to pass, and at the same time you must read all the signs for fear you may miss some instructions or orders. No roadside stands selling squash juice, no antique stores, no farm products or factory outlets. When we get these thruways across the whole country, as we will and must, it will be possible to drive from New York to California without seeing a single thing." 

— John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley

In the pantheon of great American road trips, Portland, Ore. to the Tetons doesn't land on many top ten lists. Route 66, California's Highway 1 or the Oregon Coast are better known and more widely traveled, with legendary and Instagrammed-to-death scenery around every bend. Apart from the towering cliffs and golden lines of the Columbia River Gorge, the straight shot from Oregon to Jackson, Wyoming is a hot blast of no

The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

Judgment Day's Coming for U.S.-Backed Troops Who Slaughtered Men, Women, and So Many Children at El Mozote
LOS QUEBRACHOS, El Salvador—The helicopters were the first sign of danger. They arrived carrying troops to the mountainous region of Morazán in northeast El Salvador on Dec. 10, 1981. José Amparo Martínez, 30 at the time, knew why they were there. "They came to kill," Martínez said. 

Martínez, his wife, and four kids fled to the hills. They trekked through ridges and ravines while rounds of gunfire echoed in the distance. "The massacre lasted three days," Martínez said. "They grabbed women, children and elderly people, anyone who didn't leave. And they killed them." When the gunfire died down and it seemed the soldiers had left, Martínez returned to find his parents dead. Six of his immediate family members were killed in those three days. The survivors fled to Honduras. 

The El Mozote massacre, named for one of the towns where it was carried out, claimed almost a thousand lives—the most brutal single episode of El Salvador's 12-year civil war that ended in 1992. At the time, the Reagan administration was sending millions to the Salvadoran military and training soldiers in the name of fighting communism. Decades after the conflict ended, the El Mozote massacre is one of the most emblematic cases of human rights abuses carried out with support from the U.S. government that has yet to see justice. Now, 38 years later, convictions for Salvadoran military officers may finally be within reach. An ongoing trial against 17 high-level military officers has made important progress recently and a verdict seems near. Victims hope it will be the first step towards accountability for all those involved—the officers who ordered the massacre and the U.S. government. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

Priyanka Chopra Opens Up About Her Twitter Controversy and Marrying Nick Jonas: I ‘Never Will Be Pro-War'
Sara Jaye Weiss/ShutterstockThere's a commotion going on inside a to-die-for Moroccan villa in the jungle-like gardens of the city's most palatial hotel, La Mamounia.

Priyanka Chopra Jonas, the Bollywood actress who in 2018 married pop star Nick Jonas, is the reason. She's here fielding a day of press interviews ahead of a tribute on Marrakesh's main square for her contributions to cinema over the past 20 years, a day after she received the Danny Kaye Humanitarian Award in New York from UNICEF, where she serves as a goodwill ambassador.

Her team fusses about where she's going to sit to catch the strands of winter light that hover above a tiled, courtyard table with a view of a private pool. Then she appears. Flawless, exotic, and unflustered—bearing the rich beauty of her Indian ancestry and the wardrobe of her Hollywood home: a retro white suit that speaks 1950s Tinseltown glamour.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

Ivanka Trump Has a Problem With Scarves. A Lot of People Do.
Sure, there is nothing relatable about the sight of Ivanka Trump with a Hermès scarf wrapped around the chest of her gray Max Mara blazer, arms constricted as if she's wearing a very fancy straitjacket. True, that is not how Real People dress. And yet, who among us hasn't been on the wrong end of a scarf malfunction? No matter your politics, scarves are tough to pull off.

Or, as New York-based stylist Nicola Harrison put it, "People have a hard time with scarves. It's a thing." 

Take it from Lenny Kravitz, who told Jimmy Fallon last year that he "cannot escape" jokes made about the gargantuan amethyst scarf he wore on a chilly November day back in 2012. With a comforter-sized wrap protecting on his shoulders, Kravitz was nothing if not prepared for the weather. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

Bill Barr Exposed as DOJ Report Dismisses Trump's Conspiracies and Clears Trump's Enemies
OLIVIER DOULIERYMove over Rudy, and make room for Attorney General William Barr. Whoever he may have once been, Barr's become another of Donald Trump's personal lawyers, serving the president first and the country second, if at all.  

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz had barely  pressed the send button concluding that the FBI was justified in its investigation into suspected Russia interference in the Trump campaign and election before Barr was out contradicting it, just like he pre-butted Robert Mueller's report. The Horowitz report, the AG claimed, "now makes clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken."

The 476-page report made no such thing clear. Quite the opposite. Horowitz squashed a thousand conspiracy theories about the FBI's Crossfire Hurricane that have been lovingly cultivated by the president and his defenders. The IG's main finding was that the inquiry started "in compliance with Department and FBI policies with no political bias," but rather with "an authorized investigative purpose." It did not rely on materials from the infamous Christopher Steele dossier until after the investigation had already been opened. It relied on information about George Papadopoulos, aka coffee boy, received from Australia. There were procedural issues with the application and updates for the FISA warrant, which the FBI will correct. No information derived from the warrant was used. A low-level agent who didn't follow procedures is gone. And there was no spying on the Trump campaign. Of interest to tabloid readers, the report als

The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

Bill Barr Exposed as Horowitz Report Dismisses Trump's Conspiracies and Clears Trump's Enemies
OLIVIER DOULIERYMove over Rudy, and make room for Attorney General William Barr. Whoever he may have once been, Barr's become another of Donald Trump's personal lawyers, serving the president first and the country second, if at all.  

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz had barely  pressed the send button concluding that the FBI was justified in its investigation into suspected Russia interference in the Trump campaign and election before Barr was out contradicting it, just like he pre-butted Robert Mueller's report. The Horowitz report, the AG claimed, "now makes clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken."

The 476-page report made no such thing clear. Quite the opposite. Horowitz squashed a thousand conspiracy theories about the FBI's Crossfire Hurricane that have been lovingly cultivated by the president and his defenders. The IG's main finding was that the inquiry started "in compliance with Department and FBI policies with no political bias," but rather with "an authorized investigative purpose." It did not rely on materials from the infamous Christopher Steele dossier until after the investigation had already been opened. It relied on information about George Papadopoulos, aka coffee boy, received from Australia. There were procedural issues with the application and updates for the FISA warrant, which the FBI will correct. No information derived from the warrant was used. A low-level agent who didn't follow procedures is gone. And there was no spying on the Trump campaign. Of interest to tabloid readers, the report als

The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

Fox News Drama ‘Bombshell' Doesn't Let Anyone Off the Hook—Not Even Megyn Kelly
Hilary B Gayle/LionsgateBombshell, the star-studded new movie about Roger Ailes' downfall, doesn't let anyone off the hook. Not even Megyn Kelly. 

Bombshell isn't necessarily a good film about Fox News, but it's at least a fitting reflection of the mess wrought by the right-wing network over the past several years. 

Directed by Jay Roach (Game Change, Trumbo) and premiering this Friday, Bombshell is a heavily abridged retelling of the downfall of Ailes, the conservative media titan and alleged serial sexual harasser, told from the perspective of three women who helped expose his misdeeds: former hosts Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman) and Megyn Kelly (uncannily performed by Charlize Theron), and a fictionalized composite junior Fox News staffer played by Margot Robbie. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

Before He Ripped This GOP Megadonor a New One, Tucker Carlson's Website Hit Him Up For Cash
In mid-2011, Tucker Carlson's digital media outlet the Daily Caller was looking for money, and it turned to one of the biggest conservative donors in the country. The conservative news site hit up aides to New York hedge fund manager Paul Singer with a pitch for its new nonprofit arm, the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Singer's team rebuffed the request. But emails obtained by The Daily Beast show that Daily Caller staff, including its co-founder and publisher Neil Patel, circled back with Singer's family office on numerous other occasions over the subsequent four years asking for meetings and courting Singer's financial support.

Carlson stepped down from day-to-day operations at the Daily Caller in late 2016, and now hosts a primetime Fox News show. But last week, he and Singer's paths crossed once more. Amid an all-consuming national debate over impeachment, Carson devoted significant airtime to attacking Singer, his hedge fund Elliott Management, and the beneficiaries of his sizable political contributions.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

Tucker Carlson's War With a GOP Megadonor Has an Ironic Twist
Photo Illustraiton by The Daily Beast / Photos GettyIn mid-2011, Tucker Carlson's digital media outlet The Daily Caller was looking for money, and it turned to one of the biggest conservative donors in the country. The conservative news site hit up aides to New York hedge-fund manager Paul Singer with a pitch for its new nonprofit arm, The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Singer's team rebuffed the request. But emails obtained by The Daily Beast show that Daily Caller staff, including its co-founder and publisher Neil Patel, circled back with Singer's family office on numerous other occasions over the subsequent four years asking for meetings and courting Singer's financial support.

Carlson stepped down from day-to-day operations at The Daily Caller in late 2016, and now hosts a prime-time Fox News show. But last week, he and Singer's paths crossed once more. Amid an all-consuming national debate over impeachment, Carlson devoted significant airtime to attacking Singer, his hedge fund Elliott Management, and the beneficiaries of his sizable political contributions.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

This Week's Election Could Blow The United Kingdom Apart
LONDON—There are only two realistic outcomes from this week's festive general election in the United Kingdom—and both of them could give the centuries-old union between England and Scotland a big old shove towards a collapse that looks ever more inevitable.

Take the first, and most likely, option: Boris Johnson walks to victory, forms a working government, and sees through his Brexit project by the end of January. It would be enough of a slap in the face for Scottish voters for Brexit to happen at all, given that its voters overwhelmingly rejected the idea in 2016's referendum. But to have it done under the leadership of Johnson, who would be considered too far-fetched if created by a propagandist whipping up hatred towards the English ruling class, could be the union's point of no return.

Then, secondly, say Jeremy Corbyn and his Labour party pull off a shock result and manage to cobble together a government of their own. Yes, a second E.U. referendum would come next which could offer Scotland and the U.K. an escape raft from Brexit. However, Corbyn is likely to need the support of the pro-independence Scottish National Party in parliament and he's already conceded he may bow to their demands for a second Scottish independence referendum in the later years of his first administration. With polls showing that support for independence is gradually creeping upwards, it's very easy to imagine voters in Scotland tossing the U.K. onto hi

The Daily Beast
Dec 10, 2019

Stephen Colbert Refuses to Ask Tom Brokaw About His Sexual Harassment Allegations
Scott Kowalchyk/CBSThe Late Show with Stephen Colbert is first and foremost a comedy program—but it's also political. Each night, Colbert kicks things off with a blistering monologue aimed at President Trump, addressing the fumbling, xenophobic, blatantly racist ex-reality star's latest controversy. That has often included the 22 claims of sexual harassment and/or assault against the current commander-in-chief.

"Yes, presidential harassment—it's like sexual harassment, only Republicans take it seriously," Colbert quipped in early February. When writer E. Jean Carroll accused Trump of rape, the comedian exclaimed that her being the 22nd woman to accuse him of sexual harassment or assault should "raise alarms."

But on Monday night, the late-night host welcomed former NBC newsman Tom Brokaw onto his program—a man who, last year, was accused of sexual harassment by three women. At no point did Colbert even attempt to ask Brokaw about the allegations; rather, he lobbed softball questions about his recent book, and probed him about covering the Nixon impeachment process and how it related to the current predicament vis-à-vis Trump. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

Last Impeachment Hearing Ends With a Meh
Doug Mills/ReutersThe House Judiciary Committee's impeachment hearing on Monday was supposed to be something like each side's closing argument in the House's impeachment inquiry. 

Instead the meeting, which was likely the last time the House will call witnesses to discuss evidence President Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate his political rivals, was ultimately a forgettable capstone to a process marked by major revelations, dramatic testimony and partisan fireworks. 

The only witnesses on Monday were two staff attorneys, one from each party, each charged with taking the witness stand to present their side's point of view. With nothing new to say, lawmakers took turns either asking questions they knew the answers to, or berating the attorneys—a process that took nearly 10 hours. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

Lou Dobbs: DOJ IG Report Proves ‘Deep State's Awesome Control' of Our Government
Fox Business Network host Lou Dobbs tore into the Justice Department's top watchdog on Monday night, calling DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz's report on the Russia probe a "whitewash" while claiming it was proof that the "Deep State" controlled the government.

While some at Fox attempted to toss a pro-Trump spin on Horowitz's finding that there was no political bias and the FBI had sufficient evidence to launch an investigation into Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, Dobbs began his show on Monday by immediately dismissing the report as "long-delayed and hardly worth the wait."

"After 621 days investigating some of the clearest abuses of power by the Obama-era intelligence agency, the Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz declared he was unable to find any political bias behind the surveillance of the 2016 Trump campaign," Dobbs, an informal adviser to Trump, groused.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

The Loud Life Lessons of ‘Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven'
Courtesy Monique CarboniThere in the title is the crackling tone of playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis. Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven, directed by John Ortiz (opening tonight at the Atlantic Theater Company, to Dec 29), is set in a women's halfway house in New York City. It is Guirgis' first new play since his 2014 play, Between Riverside and Crazy, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2015, and is a co-production with Ortiz's LAByrinth Theater Company.

The building is in peril because of gentrification, and the women who live there—many of whom are women of color—are similarly in various states of crisis and peril. The play dramatizes a critical moment of survival (or not) of both institution and inhabitants. This is not a quiet play, and its voice springs grittily from the harsh experiences of its characters.

An almost three-hour play which feels sprawlingly overlong, Halfway Bitches begins with a torrent of transphobic abuse aimed at Venus Ramirez (the excellent Esteban Andres Cruz). Just about every crude, bigoted, vicious, spiteful thing a bigot could throw at a trans person—with added threats to your physical safety and life—are thrown at Venus first by Taina (Viviana Valeria) and then veteran Sarge (Liza Colón-Zayas), who do not see Venus as a "real" woman, and therefore not welcome at the halfway house.



The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

Colbert Goes Off on Trump for Lying About FBI Inspector General Report
Christmas came early for Stephen Colbert on Monday when the Justice Department's Inspector General released his report on the FBI's 2016 investigation into the Trump campaign and found no evidence of political bias. 

"See for months now, we've been talking about Trump and Ukraine, so it's easy to forget about Trump and Russia," the Late Show host began. He explained that the president has insisted that the Russia probe started "only because of anti-Trump bias in the FBI," but now the Inspector General has concluded there was "sufficient evidence" to investigate his campaign for possible collusion.

"There it is! End of story! Truth wins!" Colbert declares. "This wasn't an overthrow of the government. This wasn't even an attempted overthrow and nobody was ‘in on it.'" 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

Hollywood Fires Back at HFPA Over Golden Globes' Lack of Female Directors: ‘We Need a Boycott'
Frazer Harrison/GettyTwo years ago, at the 2018 Golden Globe Awards, Natalie Portman incisively chastised the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for its exclusion of women in the Best Director category with her snarky presentation of the award. "And here are the all-male nominees," she said by way of introduction, eliciting a surprised chuckle from co-presenter Ron Howard.   

The GIF of that fateful moment is unfortunately making the rounds again today in the wake of the announcement of the eyebrow-raising 2020 Golden Globes nominations, announced on Monday morning. As always, there were plenty of snubs and surprises. But the absence of women in both the Best Director and Best Screenplay categories in particular has prompted an uproarious response.  

Female directors and writers were responsible for some of the most refreshing, well-received awards contenders this year, including Lorene Scafaria's energetic, J. Lo-led crime film Hustlers, Lulu Wang's comedy-drama The Farewell, and Marielle Heller's feel-good charmer A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Less likely to make waves among the old-school awards establishment, but still absolutely noteworthy are Olivia Wilde's Booksmart,

The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

Social Media Influencer Behind ‘State Snaps' Sentenced to 14 Years for Plot to Steal Domain Name
Linn County Correctional CenterThe influencer behind a college-centric social media empire was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison on Monday after he ordered his cousin to hold up a man at gunpoint for a domain name.

Rossi Lorathio Adams II, now 27, founded his social media company "State Snaps" while he was an Iowa State University student in 2015. His series of social accounts gained millions of followers by featuring images of a party-hard university culture and nudity. The Washington Post reports that "Do it for State!" was the catchphrase of Adams' company.

And it turns out, Adam would do anything for "State Snaps."

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

Atlanta Journal-Constitution Hires Media Scourge to Threaten Clint Eastwood Over ‘Richard Jewell'
REUTERSHollywood attorney Martin D. Singer is best known as the lawyer celebrities hire to terrify journalists—usually through intimidating demand letters threatening all manner of punishments and litigation—into not publishing facts that might cast them in a negative light.

Over the past four decades, the Brooklyn-born Singer has established such a fearsome reputation for scaring off bad stories that The New York Times dubbed him the "Guard Dog to the Stars," and The Hollywood Reporter celebrated his law firm, Lavely & Singer, under the headline "RAGING BULLS: When It's Time for the Gloves to Come Off, These Attack Dogs of L.A. Law Get the Call."

So it came as something of a surprise on Monday—even a shock—when it was Marty Singer who sent one of his notorious demand letters to Clint Eastwood and Warner Bros.—whose new movie Richard Jewell purports to tell the true-life story of a man unjustly accused by the corrupt media and the FBI of bombing  the 1996 Atlanta Olympics—on  behalf of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

Epstein-Funded Scientist George Church Is Creating a Genetics-Based Dating App
Don Emmert/AFP via GettyHarvard biologist George Church already had to apologize for palling around with Jeffrey Epstein even after the financier pleaded to guilty to preying on minors a decade ago. Now he's raising eyebrows again—with plans for a genetics-based dating app.

In an interview with 60 Minutes, Church said his technology would pair people based on the propensity of their genes, when combined in children, to eliminate hereditary diseases. 

"That sounds like eugenics," Fordham adjunct ethics professor and science journalist Elizabeth Yuko, who studies bioethics, told The Daily Beast on Monday. (The tech and science news site Gizmodo called Church's idea "an app only a eugenicist could love.")

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

Scouted Gift Pick: This Classic Wrangler Women's Denim Jacket
What it is: Wrangler Authentics Women's Stretch Denim Jacket. This stretch denim jacket comes in two different washes, depending on your mood. The contrast stitching is classic and will add visual interest to any outfit. The seams in the back add a western-inspired look to an otherwise classic denim topper. Give someone the gift of a wear-with-anything piece that they'll have for years to come.

Who to gift to:  Your best friend who has had the same denim jacket since college. Your mom so she can stop wearing a cardigan everywhere she goes. Yourself because it's a basic staple that everyone should have in their closet.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

Katie Hill Wanted Out of Her Marriage. It Ruined Her Life.
One day, Katie Hill was a media-savvy 31-year-old congresswoman from a swing district in California who'd arrived in Washington and immediately found herself in the House leadership. A few months later, she was a piñata for the conservative media—her life in tatters, her office resigned, her challengers delighted.

Like so many of the women villainized by the right, Hill's story is complicated—and hers more so because it has elements of #Metoo in the form of a relationship with a staffer. The circus that followed involved an unsurprising cast of rightwing operatives, personal photos, and an angry husband. For the conservative media ecosystem in the age of Trump, it was the perfect storm, a chance to take down a swing-district Democrat by weaponizing the most sensitive aspects of her personal life against her, nearly driving her to suicide, as she shared in a New York Times op-ed Sunday. 

When we spoke at a busy breakfast restaurant in midtown Manhattan on a Saturday morning, she dressed casually. Probably one of the most telegenic young members of congress, one can see how she ended up featured on Vice News and in the movie Bringing Down the House. Hill spoke of her experience clearly. She told me some of how she'd found herself pushed into that dark state of mind in the first place. Katie Hill's story begins with, as she tells it, her soon to be ex-husband, Kenny Heslep.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

Justice Department Backs Free-Speech Lawsuit Against Mississippi Junior College: U.S. Is ‘Not a Police State'
The Justice Department weighed in on a federal campus free-speech lawsuit on Monday, proclaiming that neither Jones County Junior College in Ellisville, Mississippi, nor any other public educational institution, can "trample on" its students' First Amendment rights.

Former student J. Michael Brown—along with the non-profit group Young Americans for Liberty—filed the lawsuit in September, claiming that the college had instituted a policy requiring campus administrators to pre-approve all "meetings or gatherings" at least three days before any event for any purpose anywhere on campus, The Clarion-Ledger reported at the time. 

Brown's lawsuit alleged that college officials twice called the campus police on him when he "sought to engage on campus with fellow students about topics such as free speech and civil liberties" and the legalization of marijuana, according to a press release from the Justice Department on Monday. Based on the school's current policies, a student's violation of its rules about meetings and gatherings could result in expulsion, according to the statement.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

Baltimore County Police Officer Charged With Sexually Assaulting Three Women
Baltimore County Police DepartmentA Baltimore County cop has been charged with sexually assaulting at least three women, including one he allegedly tricked into going to his house after claiming he was ordering her a car to her friend's home, court documents state. 

Baltimore County Police Officer Michael Westerman, 25, was charged Sunday with two counts of second-degree rape and three counts of second-degree assault. He is currently being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center after he was denied bail on Monday.

According to charging documents obtained by The Daily Beast, Westerman is accused of sexually assaulted three women using a series of predatory tactics to isolate them. One woman said she was scared to report the alleged serial rapist because he was a police officer. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

Easily Wear The Pantone Color of the Year With These Cariuma Sneakers
Pantone announced that 2020 would be the year of Classic Blue and everyone jumped at the chance to showcase their cerulean hues (not just blue). But only one sneaker brand got to partner directly with Pantone to create a limited-edition line of Classic Blue shoes. And that brand is Brazil-based Cariuma. 

As an official partner, Cariuma created four limited-edition styles in the 2020 Color of the Year, Classic Blue. Cariuma makes lightweight, comfortable sneakers with cushion technology to keep your feet feeling happy all day. These Pantone styles bring a pop of bold color into a simple, sleek design. Classic Blue was chosen to help bring calm and stability in an otherwise chaotic world and these subtle, easy-to-wear shoes do just that.

The OCA Low in Pantone Classic Blue Canvas is the perfect complement to any simple outfit. The IBI Low in Panton Classic Blue Knit is made from self-regenerating bamboo & recycled plastics. The Catibia Low in Panton Classic Blue Suede is a more upscale sneaker that's great for the office. The OCA High in Pantone Classic Blue Canvas is like OCA Low with a little more ankle coverage. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

A Perennial Congressional Candidate Beloved by Trump World Was Just Arrested on Stalking Charges
John SciulliA perennial Republican House candidate whose doomed bids against Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) have become a cause celebre on the right was arrested Saturday on three felony charges. 

Businessman Omar Navarro has leveraged his frequent campaigns against Waters to become a prominent voice on the far-right, earning more than $1 million in campaign contributions and the backing of Trumpworld figures like controversial former sheriff Joe Arpaio, former Trump adviser Roger Stone, and Ret. Gen. Michael Flynn. 

Despite that support, Navarro lost both his 2016 and 2018 runs against Waters by more than 50 percentage points each. Faced with unanimous voter rejection, Navarro has chosen to run again in 2020. But now, he faces significant legal troubles related to alleged stalking of his ex-girlfriend.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

Chris Wallace: DOJ IG Report ‘Didn't Find the Things' Trump and Barr Think It Did
REUTERSShortly after the Department of Justice's inspector general reported there was no political bias, and that the FBI had sufficient evidence to launch the Russia probe on Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, Fox News anchor Chris Wallace said the real headline should be that the top watchdog "didn't find the things" that President Trump and Attorney General William Barr have long alleged.

Minutes following Monday's release of the report, and after other Fox News personalities had already spun the results in a pro-Trump fashion, Wallace explained his view of the findings as "a reporter" and not as a partisan pundit.

"Remember, this comes against the backdrop of Donald Trump talking about the investigation of him in 2016 as a political hit job at one point he talked about President Obama ordering the wiretapping of Trump Tower," Wallace said.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

Justice Department Inspector General Finds ‘Serious Performance Failures' in FBI's Carter Page Probe
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Photo by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via GettyFBI officials made "serious performance failures" when they sought legal authorization to surveil a former Trump campaign official, according to the Justice Department's top watchdog. 

But the inspector general found no documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias informed the FBI's decision to start investigating people linked to the Trump campaign. The report also concluded that the FBI had sufficient evidence to launch its counterintelligence probe of Trump associates. 

Inspector General Michael Horowitz found "at least 17 significant errors or omissions" in the FBI's applications to surveil ex-Trump adviser Carter Page, he wrote in the long-awaited report released Monday. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

With the Children on the Ukraine War's Front Lines Praying for Peace
KRASNOGORIVKA, Ukraine-The front line is only one kilometer away from the children's soccer club where five- and six-year-old boys were exercising on Monday morning. And the children's music school is even closer, 800 meters, which is to say half a mile. All the windows are covered, since shock waves from explosions have broken them so many times. 

Machine guns and artillery could be clearly heard while 6-year-old Daria Pamazanova, in a funny hat with teddy-bear ears, was rehearsing at her singing class.

During the break Daria told me about the days and nights she spent in the bomb shelter, emphasizing the "bomb" syllable: "When the shooting was especially bad, I came down into the bomb shelter in our garage with my favorite stuffed bear. We have fruit and other food in there. When the firing stopped my father and brother brought over blankets and pillows, and  everything from the fridge from the house." At this point Daria's singing teacher began to cry. 

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The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

Chris Wallace Schools Ken Starr: Trump Impeachment ‘Much Bigger' Than Clinton's Sex Lies Were
Fox News anchor Chris Wallace on Monday dressed down Kenneth Starr, the Clinton impeachment-era independent counsel, objecting to Starr's insistence that the current allegations against President Donald Trump are "narrow" and "slanted."

During a break in Monday's House impeachment hearing, Wallace addressed Starr directly, letting him know he was going to "push back a bit respectfully" on his previous analysis of the impeachment inquiry while referencing Starr's own role in former President Bill Clinton's impeachment two decades ago.

"He said that the presentation of the case against the president is narrow, prosecutors look at the world through dirty windows. It is slanted," Wallace noted before speaking right to Starr.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

‘Fox & Friends' Host Presses Kellyanne Conway: Is Rudy Giuliani Working for Trump or Himself?
Kellyanne Conway spent nearly 10 minutes ranting and raving Monday morning on Fox & Friends, receiving mostly agreeable nods and words of encouragement from the three hosts.

When the White House counselor called out Democrats for preparing their impeachment strategy over the weekend, Steve Doocy replied, "Well, they were rehearsing because it's a TV show and ultimately what they want to do is impeach the president." 

"They want to impeach from day one," Ainsley Earhardt said later. "And they say ‘collusion,' ‘racism,' now they're saying this phone call with the Ukrainian president." Conway couldn't help but thank her for "making my point." 

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

Travel to New York City's Iconic Rowhouses
Some dream of owning a penthouse in a towering skyscraper, others of a massive pre-war suite of rooms. But for the real romantic it seems the most alluring (and elusive) piece of New York real estate for decades now has been an actual house—a row house to be precise.

Be it brownstone or brick, and whether it was Gothic Revival, Italianate, Federal, Greek Revival, or Second Empire, nearly forty years ago, the classic row house received a long overdue love letter. Now, that love letter has been updated with a new edition of Charles Lockwood and Patrick W Ciccone's Bricks & Brownstone: The New York Row House published by Rizzoli. It now includes new chapters from Jonathan D. Taylor and color photographs from Dylan Chandler.

The beautiful but also fantastically informative (A Washington Post critic once referred to now-beloved brownstones as "dingy and drab ... cheap lodgings of the most somber sort") tome is the latest selection for our series on fabulous new travel-related coffee table books, Just Booked.

The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

Bell Hooks, Hundreds of Scholars Protest Harvard's ‘Shocking' Decision to Deny Latina Professor Tenure
Scott Eisen/Getty ImagesMore than 200 internationally renowned scholars—including bell hooks and Angela Davis—lent their support on Monday to a beloved Harvard University professor of Latinx studies, Lorgia García Peña, who was denied tenure last month. 

The clash between García Peña's supporters and the Ivy League school began on Nov. 27, when the university announced its decision not to grant her tenure. More than 4,600 outraged students and scholars last week signed a 2,000-word open letter demanding that the school reverse its decision and create a formalized ethnic studies program. 

"Harvard's denial of Dr. Garcia Peña's tenure is a testament to the ways that Black and Latinx studies continue to be ignored as sites of vital knowledge production in the academy," said hooks—the acclaimed author, professor, feminist, and social activist—in a statement on Monday.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

Caroll Spinney, Better Known as Big Bird, Has Died
Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times via Getty"I used to say I'd move on to something greater," said Caroll Spinney, who died Sunday at the age of 85. "I wouldn't leave this for anything. I'd like to keep doing it until I can't hold that bird's head up."

In a lively urban Manhattan neighborhood, the Robinson and Rodriquez families spend nice days on the stoop of their brownstone at 123 Sesame Street. The families have come to terms with some of the neighbors, many of whom are animals and monsters there's no getting rid of. That's part of New York City's charm.

Long ago, Gordon and Susan Robinson accepted their apartment's bird's nest view and got to know the towering yellow canary, who in the early days of his roost on Sesame Street was a little rough for having lived outside—the feathers on his head were sparse, and he wasn't as full and round as he became in the subsequent 49 years he spent on the show. He's prone to the same misunderstanding of the adult world as are the children around him, but learning the alphabet isn't for the birds. Instead, he sings and draws, sometimes roller skates along with the others on the street—once he got on a horse backwards and wondered where the horse's head was. At the end of the day, the lessons he learns are pearls of wisdom for the kids who know him.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

16 Most Shocking Golden Globes Snubs and Surprises: ‘When They See Us,' No Female Directors and More
Photo Illustration by The Daily BeastThe wackiness of the Golden Globes can go two ways.

Some years, it's refreshing and fun, rewarding small, new, provocative shows and big movie-star performances that snootier, buttoned-up voters for the Emmys and Oscars would ignore. Other years, it's maddening, resurfacing arguments that the finicky and whimsical choices of a small, enigmatic organization notoriously susceptible to influence should be ignored completely. Welcome to such a year!

There were some things that were just so Golden Globes that happened: Big love for Netflix's The Politician and Apple TV 's The Morning Show, splashy, expensive shows that weren't huge hits with critics. Of course they went gaga for The Two Popes and Joker.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

17 Most Shocking Golden Globes Snubs and Surprises: ‘When They See Us,' No Female Directors and More
Photo Illustration by The Daily BeastThe wackiness of the Golden Globes can go two ways.

Some years, it's refreshing and fun, rewarding small, new, provocative shows and big movie-star performances that snootier, buttoned-up voters for the Emmys and Oscars would ignore. Other years, it's maddening, resurfacing arguments that the finicky and whimsical choices of a small, enigmatic organization notoriously susceptible to influence should be ignored completely. Welcome to such a year!

There were some things that were just so Golden Globes that happened: Big love for Netflix's The Politician and Apple TV 's The Morning Show, splashy, expensive shows that weren't huge hits with critics. Of course they went gaga for The Two Popes and Joker.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

Do Tequila Distilleries Hold the Key to Replacing Plastic?
Don't give up on drinking straws just yet.

Jose Cuervo Tradicional is turning a byproduct of the tequila making process into biodegradable and environmentally friendlier single-use drinking straws that function as well as classic plastic ones.

This is a pretty big deal. Americans use millions and millions of straws every day and plastic ones can take up to 1,000 years to decompose in landfills, which is where most straws end up. On the other hand, these agave-based biodegradable straws, that are made from FDA-approved materials, take one to five years to break down-up to 200 times faster than traditional straws. Over the next 12 months, millions of these straws will begin appearing in bars and restaurants across the United States and Mexico and used exclusively at Jose Cuervo events. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

Boris Johnson Snatches Reporter's Phone to Avoid Looking at Photo of Sick Child
REUTERSThere are hundreds of ways Boris Johnson could have handled this interview—and he may well have picked the worst one.

Days ahead of Thursday's general election, when the Conservative prime minister is hoping to secure a majority to be able to force through his Brexit project at the start of next year, Johnson suffered a deeply uncomfortable campaign-trail gaffe under tough questioning from a reporter.

The journalist, Joe Pike from ITV News, used his short time with the prime minister to show Johnson a photograph of a boy who, sick at a hospital with suspected pneumonia, was reportedly forced to lie on a pile of coats rather than a hospital bed due to shortages. Brexit aside, the future of the country's National Health Service has been the key issue during the campaign.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

Two Members of Juice Wrld's Entourage Arrested For Carrying Guns
JEFF SCHEAR 2019Two bodyguards protecting the rapper Juice Wrld at the time of his dramatic death Sunday have been arrested on gun charges, police said.

The 21-year-old rising star, whose real name was Jarad Anthony Higgens, died after suffering a "medical emergency" while making his way through Chicago's Midway International Airport, having just disembarked from a private jet flight from California.

Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told The New York Post that Juice Wrld was with a group of about 10 to 12 people at the time of his death, including his entourage, aircraft staff and the two security guards who were found with weapons on them.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

‘No More Survivors Expected' Among Dozens of Tourists Caught in New Zealand Volcano
@sch via ReutersAt least five people have died and more than 20 are still unaccounted for after the White Island/Whakaari volcano off the coast of New Zealand erupted without warning Monday as tourists hiked around the rim and walked inside the crater.

Authorities say an estimated 30 to 38 of those on the island when the volcano erupted were on an adventure excursion from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship that was docked on North Island about 30 miles away.

In a statement just after midnight local time, police officials said they feared the worst for those still on the island.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

Dozens of Tourists Visiting New Zealand Volcano Missing After Deadly Eruption
@sch via ReutersAt least five people have died and more than 20 are still unaccounted for after the White Island Whakaari volcano off the coast of New Zealand erupted without warning on Monday as tourists hiked around the rim and walked inside the crater. Authorities say that between 30 and 38 of those on the island when the volcano erupted were on an adventure excursion from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship that was docked on North Island about 30 miles away.

Kevin O'Sullivan, the chief executive officer of the New Zealand Cruise Association and Royal Caribbean cruise lines confirmed that tourists from the "Ovation of the Seas" ship were involved. He said the names and nationalities of those who were on the volcano for the cruise line's "epic adventure excursion" have been handed to New Zealand police.

About ten minutes before the volcano erupted at 2:11 p.m. local time, a crater rim webcam owned by the New Zealand Geological Hazards Agency GeoNet captured an image of a group of tourists approaching the crater. The next image shows only crumpled hardware after the camera was damaged in the eruption.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

Russia Banned From the Next Olympics and World Cup Over Doping
REUTERSRussia has been banned from all major international sporting events for the next four years—a prohibition that will see Russia's athletic teams excluded from next summer's Olympic Games in Tokyo, the 2022 soccer World Cup in Qatar, and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing.

The World Anti-Doping Agency's board met in Switzerland on Monday and agreed unanimously to the ban. It's the most severe punishment dished out yet to Russia following years of the country carrying out a highly sophisticated and widespread state-powered doping program.

However, Russian athletes who can prove beyond doubt they were not involved in doping scandal will still be able to compete at major events under a neutral flag. A total of 168 Russian athletes were able to compete that way at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

Charleston's New Luxury Hotel that Blends Right In
DREW CASTELHANOCharleston, SC, unlike a lot of American cities, has never had an identity crisis. It has always been proud—some would say too proud—of being what it is. It reveres the past, and what it doesn't revere, it still doesn't hide. Some cities with a former slave market might pave right over such an embarrassment. Charleston turned its slave market into an open-air retail center in the center of the city where merchants sell curios to tourists. It's still an embarrassment, but at least they're honest about it. 

The most interesting thing about Charleston's relationship to its past is the way it brings that past into the present. When you walk the city's streets—and it is one of the most walkable cities in the U.S.—there is no sense of a city trapped in amber. Rather, you get the sense of a place that honors what is good about the past, particularly in its domestic architecture (Charleston was the first city in the U.S. to use zoning as a preservation tool) but also works with architects and developers to innovate on historical styles. As the noted architectural writer Witold Rybcyznski notes in his absorbing book Charleston Fancy, no one has done this with more flair than developer/designers George Holt and Andrew Gould. If you find yourself in Charleston, by all means, check out their work.



The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

Meet the Mormon College Student Behind the Viral A.I. Game That Took ‘Dungeons and Dragons' Online
In late November, a college senior at Brigham Young University named Nick Walton published a short fable called "My Musical Troupe of Orcs Uses Music to Advance Orc Rights." In the story, written in the second person, you are a goblin. "I am a goblin!" you say proudly. "And I'm glad to be one." Also, you're with an orc captain. "Well then, congratulations," says the orc captain. "We'll let you live." 

Over the course of a few hundred words, some big things happen: You ask if you can join the orc band. They take you on as a drummer. You teach them how to play the flute. They like the flute so much they make you their leader. You and your band of flute-playing orcs give a concert at a festival, then you get to play for the Emperor. You write award-winning plays about your time with the orcs and become famous. Then you join a group called the Human-Orc Friendship Association (HOOFA), and start a chapter. But a war breaks out between humans and orcs. You campaign for peace. You try to mediate the battle with a music duel between orcs and humans. It doesn't really work. Somewhat abruptly, the story ends.

That text wasn't written by Walton, but by an online game he designed called AI Dungeon. The most recent version of it, released Dec. 5, got so much traffic-nearly 100,000 visitors over three days-the website crashed several times and wound up temporarily suspended because the operation costs skyrocketed from overuse. In the game, which will return as a subscription-based app this week, the player can choose a type of story (fantasy, mystery, zombie, apocalypse, custom), a rank (noble, squire, knight, peasan

The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

Meet the Mormon College Student Behind the Viral A.I. Game That Took Dungeons & Dragons Online
In late November, a college senior at Brigham Young University named Nick Walton published a short fable called "My Musical Troupe of Orcs Uses Music to Advance Orc Rights." In the story, written in the second person, you are a goblin. "I am a goblin!" you say proudly. "And I'm glad to be one." Also, you're with an orc captain. "Well then, congratulations," says the orc captain. "We'll let you live." 

Over the course of a few hundred words, some big things happen: You ask if you can join the orc band. They take you on as a drummer. You teach them how to play the flute. They like the flute so much they make you their leader. You and your band of flute-playing orcs give a concert at a festival, then you get to play for the Emperor. You write award-winning plays about your time with the orcs and become famous. Then you join a group called the Human-Orc Friendship Association (HOOFA), and start a chapter. But a war breaks out between humans and orcs. You campaign for peace. You try to mediate the battle with a music duel between orcs and humans. It doesn't really work. Somewhat abruptly, the story ends.

That text wasn't written by Walton, but by an online game he designed called AI Dungeon. The most recent version of it, released Dec. 5, got so much traffic-nearly 100,000 visitors over three days-the website crashed several times and wound up temporarily suspended because the operation costs skyrocketed from overuse. In the game, which will return as a subscription-based app this week, the player can choose a type of story (fantasy, mystery, zombie, apocalypse, custom), a rank (noble, squire, knight, peasan

The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

What Does an Ecotourism Trip to London Even Look Like?
Brandon Withrow"Funghi are the custodians of the planet," says forager James Grant, founder of Foraged, a school for teaching bushcraft. We're walking through Battersea Park in London, where he's teaching me urban foraging. He then turns to point out some stinging nettles.

Grant has a friendly, contagious smile and his knowledge of edible and poisonous plants is encyclopedic. Urban foraging is a way of life for people like him.

"To be in the outdoors is like being in a supermarket," he tells me, "where you've got all the aisles and all the signs and all the indicators to anything you want. That is kinda what it's like walking through nature for me." Then his eyes light up and he bounces off; he's spotted some poisonous nightshade.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

‘Toxic' Mueller Impeachment Article Threatens to Split Dems
When Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Thursday that House Democrats would proceed with articles of impeachment, she did so in the language of duty, history, and the Constitution. "This has nothing to do with politics," she said. "It's about the Constitution of the United States."

In almost the same breath, Pelosi revealed that it does, in fact, have at least something to do with politics. Asked what her "a-ha" moment was—the thing that got the long-reluctant speaker on board with impeachment—she said the Ukraine allegations against President Trump "changed everything."

"The polls," said Pelosi, "went from 59 percent opposed to impeachment, to 34 in favor, to now even."

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

Thanks To Woke ‘Scripts,' The Way We've Started Talking About Mental Health Is Crazy
James Boast/GettyWhile in the midst of a 2 a.m. freakout months ago, I received one of the most comforting texts a friend has ever sent me.

"This is hard," he responded. "You've done hard things before and I believe in you." Underneath my comforter and tear snot, I smiled. He was right: I have done hard things; resilience is a trait unique to me. I silenced my phone and went to sleep.

Weeks later, I found that my friend had ripped the quote from a chart created by Whitney Goodman, an Instagram-famous therapist from Florida. Her graphic gives advice on how to respond to friends in crisis with "validation and hope." Over 8,000 people had liked the post. They've all done hard things, too.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

Adam Sandler's Getting Serious Oscar Buzz for ‘Uncut Gems.' Is He Really a Good Actor?
A24 FilmsComedian Adam Sandler's best work as an actor has been in comedies: Punch-Drunk Love, Funny People, Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) and the upcoming Uncut Gems. But genre is not what sets these films apart from the rest of Sandler's filmography; obviously, he has overwhelmingly starred in comedic films. It's that these films are made by auteurs—Paul Thomas Anderson, Judd Apatow, Noah Baumbach, and the Safdie brothers, respectively—who are not simply telling stories, but crafting productions that teem with their perspectives, not only with the screenplay and direction, but also editing, music, costuming, casting, and cinematography.

When Sandler is directed by people who not only have a strong sense of what's funny but have imbued each of their films with a carefully developed vision, his instincts as a performer find a home. He holds both the comedic and depressive, hopeful and defeated, and passive and aggressive in every look, line, and gesture. This kind of elevation-via-auteur isn't particular to Sandler: There is, for example, Cedric the Entertainer in Paul Schrader's First Reformed; Melissa McCarthy in Marielle Heller's Can You Ever Forgive Me? and Kristen Wiig in Heller's The Diary of a Teenage Girl; Jim Carrey in Peter Weir's The Truman Show; and Emma Thompson in Kenneth Branagh

The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

Why Michelle Wolf Quit Telling Trump Jokes—and Got Even Funnier
The Washington Post via GettyMichelle Wolf mentions the current president of the United States just once in her new Netflix special Joke Show. The punchline comes near the end of her masterful hour-long set—and she doesn't say his name.

It's been almost two years since Wolf broke into the stand-up mainstream with Nice Lady on HBO (deemed the best special of 2017 by this website) and just about a year and a half since she broke Washington, D.C., with her scathing White House Correspondents' Dinner speech.

After Wolf joked that she loved Sarah Huckabee Sanders "as Aunt Lydia in The Handmaid's Tale" and complimented her "resourceful" approach to makeup by saying, "She burns facts, and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smokey eye," prominent media figures on both sides of the partisan divide denounced her and even the White House Correspondents' Association tried to distance themselves from her. They haven't invited a comedian back since.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

Elizabeth Warren Built the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It Became a Revolving Door.
Elijah Nouvelage/GettyWhen Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) began staffing up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2010 and 2011, she did something that appeared, at first blush, to be highly counterintuitive. 

Instead of limiting staff to those with extensive background in consumer activism and regulatory policy, she chose people with places like Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, and Capital One on their CVs.

Those financial institutions were the very entities that the CFPB was supposed to haunt. The agency had been included in financial regulatory reform as a wishlist item for Wall Street-skeptical progressives. And yet, here was Warren—the intellectual godmother of the CFPB—handing out key roster assignments to officials from those very institutions. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 09, 2019

DOJ Report Has Trump Fanboys Quivering With Anticipation
Photo Illustration by Lyne Lucien/The Daily Beast/GettyDonald Trump's staunchest allies have continuously built up expectations that the  Department of Justice inspector general's report into the Trump campaign and Russia will contain bombshell revelations of a Deep State plotting to stop Trump's 2016 candidacy before the election. If early reports about the investigation are accurate, though, the president's boosters—and Donald Trump himself—have set themselves up for a big disappointment when the report is released on Monday.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz has been investigating whether Justice Department officials were politically biased against Trump's campaign, and whether a surveillance warrant against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page was illicitly obtained. Early reporting on the investigation suggests that Horowitz didn't find political bias played a role in the investigation, although Horowitz reportedly accuses an FBI lawyer of altering a document used in a warrant request.

All of which could become a bit awkward for right-wing media types who have been consumed with political fantasies and thirsting for vindication over the promise that Horowitz's report contains damaging revelations about the Justice Department and the Obama administration. It could prove even more embarrassing for QAnon fans who have become convinced that Horowitz's report will set off mass arrests against top Democrats.



The Daily Beast
Dec 08, 2019

Best ‘Watchmen' Episode Yet: The Arrival of Dr. Manhattan, a Full-Frontal God Among Men
via HBOWith its eighth episode (the cleverly titled "A God Walks Into Abar"), Watchmen finally spilled the beans about its big blue god. With time-warping deftness, it elaborated on last week's bombshell that Dr. Manhattan (originally known as Jon Osterman) has spent the past few decades living undercover as Angela's husband Cal (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), delivering the entire backstory to the couple's relationship, which began years ago in a Saigon bar and came to a conclusion in the present, with Cal, resurrected as his old superpowered self, getting zapped by a 7th Cavalry tachyon cannon. Throw in further surprises about Dr. Manhattan's authorship of Adrian Veidt's predicament—the former Ozymandias has been living on the Eden-ish planet of Europa, which Manhattan created, replete with a manor house and servants modeled after his childhood experiences fleeing Nazi Germany—and you have the most revelatory series installment yet.

Penned by creator Damon Lindelof and Jeff Jensen, it's also the most impressively-directed hour of Watchmen to date, courtesy of executive producer Nicole Kassell, who previously helmed the show's initial two chapters. Guided by a fractured structure that speaks to Dr. Manhattan's simultaneous experienc

The Daily Beast
Dec 08, 2019

Inside ‘Watchmen's' Best Episode Yet: The Arrival of Dr. Manhattan, a Full-Frontal God Among Men
via HBOWith its eighth episode (the cleverly titled "A God Walks Into Abar"), Watchmen finally spilled the beans about its big blue god. With time-warping deftness, it elaborated on last week's bombshell that Dr. Manhattan (originally known as Jon Osterman) has spent the past few decades living undercover as Angela's husband Cal (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), delivering the entire the backstory to the couple's relationship, which began years ago in a Saigon bar and came to a conclusion in the present, with Cal, resurrected as his old superpowered self, getting zapped by a 7th Cavalry tachyon cannon. Throw in further surprises about Dr. Manhattan's authorship of Adrian Veidt's predicament—the former Ozymandias has been living on the Eden-ish planet of Europa, which Manhattan created, replete with a manor house and servants modeled after his childhood experiences fleeing Nazi Germany—and you have the most revelatory series installment yet.

Penned by creator Damon Lindelof and Jeff Jensen, it's also the most impressively-directed hour of Watchmen to date, courtesy of executive producer Nicole Kassell, who previously helmed the show's initial two chapters. Guided by a fractured structure that speaks to Dr. Manhattan's simultaneous exper

The Daily Beast
Dec 08, 2019

Inside Best ‘Watchmen' Episode Yet: The Arrival of Dr. Manhattan, a Full-Frontal God Among Men
via HBOWith its eighth episode (the cleverly titled "A God Walks Into Abar"), Watchmen finally spilled the beans about its big blue god. With time-warping deftness, it elaborated on last week's bombshell that Dr. Manhattan (originally known as Jon Osterman) has spent the past few decades living undercover as Angela's husband Cal (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), delivering the entire the backstory to the couple's relationship, which began years ago in a Saigon bar and came to a conclusion in the present, with Cal, resurrected as his old superpowered self, getting zapped by a 7th Cavalry tachyon cannon. Throw in further surprises about Dr. Manhattan's authorship of Adrian Veidt's predicament—the former Ozymandias has been living on the Eden-ish planet of Europa, which Manhattan created, replete with a manor house and servants modeled after his childhood experiences fleeing Nazi Germany—and you have the most revelatory series installment yet.

Penned by creator Damon Lindelof and Jeff Jensen, it's also the most impressively-directed hour of Watchmen to date, courtesy of executive producer Nicole Kassell, who previously helmed the show's initial two chapters. Guided by a fractured structure that speaks to Dr. Manhattan's simultaneous exper

The Daily Beast
Dec 08, 2019

Bill Barr Remains a Menace to Society Even if the Horowitz Report Falls Flat
So here comes the Horowitz Report. The general speculation, as you know, is that he'll wag his finger at some FBI officials for showing political bias or failing to uphold proper procedure under FISA laws. But it's apparently not going to support the contention—pushed continuously by President Trump—that the government of the United States spied on candidate Trump.

They're girding themselves over in Wingnuttia. Poor Mollie Hemingway is reduced to warning her readers at The Federalist: "Many critics of that surveillance hope that this Inspector General report will bring some justice. They should get rid of that hope as soon as possible." John Solomon told Sean Hannity that there will be "six to 12 findings of wrongdoing" in the report, but he conspicuously didn't say that they would be bombshells. Fox News' Gregg Jarrett tried to dismiss the early leaks as "multiple hearsay" (by the way, the absence of links to any of these people is intentional).

Assuming the leaks are accurate and the report is not going to drop any nuclear bombs on the deep state, it'll be the second reality-based setback for the president and his lickspittles after last week's reports that John Durham, the prosecutor Bill Barr sent traipsing around the world to find evidence of an anti-Trump conspiracy, is turning up goose eggs. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 08, 2019

Bill Barr Remains a Menace to Society Even if the The Horowitz Report Falls Flat
So here comes the Horowitz Report. The general speculation, as you know, is that he'll wag his finger at some FBI officials for showing political bias or failing to uphold proper procedure under FISA laws. But it's apparently not going to support the contention — pushed continuously by President Trump — that the government of the United States spied on candidate Trump.

They're girding themselves over in Wingnuttia. Poor Mollie Hemingway is reduced to warning her readers at The Federalist: "Many critics of that surveillance hope that this Inspector General report will bring some justice. They should get rid of that hope as soon as possible." John Solomon told Sean Hannity that there will be "six to 12 findings of wrongdoing" in the report, but he conspicuously didn't say that they would be bombshells. Fox News' Gregg Jarrett tried to dismiss the early leaks as "multiple hearsay" (by the way, the absence of links to any of these people is intentional).

Assuming the leaks are accurate and the report is not going to drop any nuclear bombs on the deep state, it'll be the second reality-based setback for the president and his lickspittles, after last week's reports that John Durham, the prosecutor Bill Barr sent traipsing around the world to find evidence of an anti-Trump conspiracy, is turning up goose eggs. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 08, 2019

Scouted: Scouted Gift Pick: Chic, Spa-Like Waffle Bath Towels from Parachute
What it is: Parachute Waffle Bath Towel. These lightweight, super-absorbent towels will make any bathroom feel like a spa. The honeycomb weave is made to soak up water and dry quickly, thanks to Aerocotton Technology. This is Parachute's weaving tech that allows air to pass through the 100% Turkey Cotton fibers. If you want to be a gifting MVP, pick up some wool dryer balls to help when washing (since you shouldn't be using dryer sheets with towels).

Who to gift to: Your mom who has had the same towels since 1995. Your sister who just moved into her first home and only has one set. Yourself so that you don't have to keep rewashing the same towel each week. 

Scouted selects products independently and prices reflect what was available at the time of publish. Sign up for our newsletter for even more recommendations. Don't forget to check out our coupon site to find deals from Macy's, Walmart, Nordstrom Rack, and more. If you buy something from our posts, we may earn a small commission.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 08, 2019

Did Navy Base Shooter Mohammed Alshamrani Have Murder on His Mind in April?
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/GettyThe Saudi airman who killed three and wounded eight at Naval Air Station Pensacola began the 15-week process of buying the murder weapon back in April, officials told The Daily Beast.

"He'd been thinking about this for a long time it looks like," one senior law enforcement official said.

The FBI said at a press conference Sunday that it is treating Friday's attack by Mohammed Alshamrani, a second lieutenant in the Royal Saudi Air Force, as an act of terrorism but have not determined if he was motivated by an "ideology" or if he had help.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 08, 2019

Scouted: The Classic Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H4 headphones Just Got an Update to Support Apple Siri and Google Assistant
There was a mix-up in the shipping department.  I had agreed to test out a pair of Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H4 headphones, a recently updated model that now lets you talk to a bot. The package arrived and...let's just say the only thing I like that's pink is salmon. Not the end of the world, because I do love the sound quality, even if I look like a teenager who eats frozen yogurt and wears skinny jeans. I listened to albums by some of my favorite artists like Bear's Den (lush orchestration and supple bass) and Angel Olsen (a brilliant and dense mix of bedroom rock). On the song Fossils by Bear's Den, I heard the fine guitar finger-picking in the right channel and felt enraptured by the uplifting chorus.  

Then I tried the Google Assistant. The button is easy to find and access, so with a quick tap, I asked about the weather forecast and set a reminder about a dentist appointment. The assistant understood every word. Bang & Olufsen improved the microphone so it works well for making phone calls. In my tests calling my wife, she said the quality was better than when I used my original set of Apple AirPods. The Beoplay H4 headphones also work with Microsoft Cortana and Apple Siri if you prefer those bots.

The headphones can connect over Bluetooth or using the included wired cable, which is now smaller and less conspicuous. The cable was long enough that it didn't get in the way when I used the headphones at a coffee-shop with a laptop. I liked the more obvious buttons on the left headphone to access play/pause and skipping tracks.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

The Daily Beast
Dec 08, 2019

FBI Treating Pensacola Navy Shooting as Terrorism
via REUTERSThe FBI said Sunday that it is treating the mass shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola as an act of terrorism so it can amass more resources to investigate whether the Saudi gunman was spurred by an "ideology."

Special Agent in Charge Rachel Rojas said authorities have not yet pinpointed shooter Mohammed Alshamrani's motive for Friday's ambush, which killed three and wounded eight.

"I can tell you that we are looking very hard at uncovering his motive and I would ask for patience so we can get this right," Rojas said at an afternoon press briefing.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Dec 08, 2019

Rep. Mark Meadows Denies Trump Asked Ukraine About Biden: ‘He Didn't Do That'
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) denied on Sunday morning that President Donald Trump ever asked the Ukrainian president to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, contradicting President Donald Trump's own words.

During an interview on CNN's State of the Union, host Dana Bash immediately noted that the central charge of the impeachment inquiry against Trump is that "the president asked a leader of a foreign country to investigate his political rival."

"So, one simple question to start, is that appropriate?" Bashed wondered aloud.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



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