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The Daily Beast
Jan 18, 2020

Trump Lawyers to Senate: Reject ‘Defective' Impeachment Articles to Protect the ‘Will of the American People'
Nicholas Kamm/AFP/GettyOn the eve of the Senate's impeachment trial, President Trump's attorneys outlined a defense strategy that seeks to turn House Democrats' articles of impeachment on their head, arguing it was not the president who abused his power, but the House, and it was not the House's duty that was unjustly obstructed, but the president's.

In a fiery, six-page letter released on Saturday, Trump's lead lawyers—Jay Sekulow and Pat Cipollone—argue that the Senate should not only reject the articles of impeachment but that those articles are blatantly unconstitutional and violate the will of the American people.

The articles, the attorneys claim, are "defective in their entirety… They are the product of invalid proceedings that flagrantly denied the president any due process rights. They rest on dangerous distortions of the Constitution that would do lasting damage to our structure of government."

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 18, 2020

If They Lose ‘Sussex Royal,' How Will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Make Money?
Chris Jackson/GettyIf you love The Daily Beast's royal coverage, then we hope you'll enjoy The Royalist, a members-only series for Beast Inside. Become a member to get The Royalist in your inbox every Sunday.

Well, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wanted financial independence, and the Queen has certainly given it to them.

Perhaps the most important line of the Buckingham Palace statement issued on Saturday evening, announcing the terms of their royal exit, was when the newly liberated young couple vowed that in future "everything they do will continue to uphold the values of Her Majesty."

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 18, 2020

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Will Not Use HRH Titles, and Will Repay $3 Million of Public Money
REUTERSPrince Harry and Meghan Markle will no longer use their HRH titles, and will repay the 2.4 million of public money ($3.1 million) that was spent on their Windsor home, Frogmore Cottage, Buckingham Palace announced Saturday.

The terms of Harry and Meghan's exit from their royal roles will also include the couple not receiving any public funds for royal duties.

They will still be known as the "Duke and Duchess of Sussex," but will officially no longer be "working members of the royal family," the Palace said. The couple will now be known as Harry, The Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 18, 2020

Florida Veteran Acquitted of Murdering Wife's Lover Now Charged With Killing Woman Inside Home
Hillsborough County Sheriff's OfficeA decorated Florida veteran who was acquitted of the murder of his wife's lover seven years ago has now been charged in connection with the September death of a woman inside his home, authorities said Friday.

Ralph Wald, 77, was charged with manslaughter with a firearm Friday after calling 911 on Sept. 16 and stating a woman inside his home was not breathing, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. When deputies arrived at Wald's home, which is about two hours outside of Tampa, they found a woman fatally shot in the chest on the "couch in the living room," the sheriff's office said in a press release.

Authorities have declined to release the name of the woman, but the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's office confirmed to The Daily Beast that it received the body of Johanna Flores, Wald's wife, the same day as the incident. An obituary for Flores, 48, also states she died on Sept. 16.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Jan 18, 2020

Tyler Perry Built a Movie Empire by Selling Out Black Women
Photo Illustration by Kristen Hazzard/The Daily BeastIt's hard to write about Tyler Perry's latest film A Fall from Grace, because it's not a film that's intended for thoughtful viewing—it's meant to be devoured uncritically and compulsively. This may go for any of his films, though, on occasion, the acting is good enough to overcome the atrocities, like Angela Bassett's performance in Meet the Browns, Keke Palmer in Madea's Family Reunion, or I Can Do Bad All By Myself's Hope Olaide Wilson (who more recently starred in Tchaiko Omawale's excellent Solace). Unlike those earlier Perry films, A Fall from Grace is a full-on melodrama, with no comic relief to give talented actors like Crystal Fox and Phylicia Rashad room to breathe under the strain of a pedestrian and offensive screenplay. The film is on one level about elder abuse, and on the other, about the apparent naiveté of older women who are desperate to be loved, even when it all seems too good to be true. Perry fuses these two themes because the latter victim-blaming is an easy way to moralize the film's absurd sequence of events, which are all solved by a rookie public defender who—no kidding—detests people who have committed crimes.  

This public defender, Jasmine Bryant (Bresha Webb), is married to a cop (Matthew Law) who, at the beginning of the film tries and fails to save an older woman who is threatening to jump off the roof of the boarding house/nursing home she lives in. Later, Jasmine finds herself assigned to a simple plea-deal case: An older woman named, you guessed it, Grace (Fox), allegedly murdered her much younger husband S

The Daily Beast
Jan 18, 2020

Tyler Perry's Movie Empire Thrives By Punishing Black Women's Desires
Photo Illustration by Kristen Hazzard/The Daily BeastIt's hard to write about Tyler Perry's latest film A Fall from Grace, because it's not a film that's intended for thoughtful viewing—it's meant to be devoured uncritically and compulsively. This may go for any of his films, though, on occasion, the acting is good enough to overcome the atrocities, like Angela Bassett's performance in Meet the Browns, Keke Palmer in Madea's Family Reunion, or I Can Do Bad All By Myself's Hope Olaide Wilson (who more recently starred in Tchaiko Omawale's excellent Solace). Unlike those earlier Perry films, A Fall from Grace is a full-on melodrama, with no comic relief to give talented actors like Crystal Fox and Phylicia Rashad room to breathe under the strain of a pedestrian and offensive screenplay. The film is on one level about elder abuse, and on the other, about the apparent naiveté of older women who are desperate to be loved, even when it all seems too good to be true. Perry fuses these two themes because the latter victim-blaming is an easy way to moralize the film's absurd sequence of events, which are all solved by a rookie public defender who—no kidding—detests people who have committed crimes.  

This public defender, Jasmine Bryant (Bresha Webb), is married to a cop (Matthew Law) who, at the beginning of the film tries and fails to save an older woman who is threatening to jump off the roof of the boarding house/nursing home she lives in. Later, Jasmine finds herself assigned to a simple plea-deal case: An older woman named, you guessed it, Grace (Fox), allegedly murdered her much younger husband S

The Daily Beast
Jan 18, 2020

‘Grace and Frankie' Is Still One of Netflix's Best Shows
Saeed Adyani/NetflixThis is a preview of our pop culture newsletter The Daily Beast's Obsessed, written by senior entertainment reporter Kevin Fallon. To receive the full newsletter in your inbox each week, sign up for it here.

This week: 

My favorite show on television is Grace and Frankie. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 18, 2020

Andy Blank's Hero Is Andy Warhol. Can He Match His Artistic Success?
Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily BeastMeet Andy Blank. Or, I should say, a man who publicly goes by the name Andy Blank, but keeps his real identity secret. (We'll call him Andy here.)

"It's not really a person… but it also is," half explained Andy of himself. "It's a company with the name of an artist."

Blank is directly inspired by another famous Andy—Warhol—although his business model is very much of 2019.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 18, 2020

DIY Teeth-Straightening Leaves Dentists and Some Consumers Frowning
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Photos Getty

Though Anna Rosemond, now 33, had braces when she was young, a couple of years ago she noticed her teeth were again starting to crowd. So when she saw a Groupon deal for SmileDirectClub, she jumped on it.

"I thought, ‘This looks like a really cool way to do braces,'" said Rosemond, who made her own teeth impressions with putty and used a "smile stretcher"—a device that pulls apart the lips and cheeks—to take pictures of her mouth. A few weeks after she submitted the items, plastic aligners arrived in the mail, beginning what the company describes as Rosemond's "smile journey."

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 18, 2020

The World's Most Beautiful Libraries: Wiblingen and Schussenried Abbeys
Getty ImagesIt is one of the most dramatic about faces in architectural history. Mention German architecture and design today and images of clean lines and functional, not to say sterile, interiors come to mind. Yet somehow people we now associate with industrious and sober attitudes also produced the world's most flamboyant examples of one of its most flamboyant architectural styles—Rococo, which flourished in Europe in the mid-18th century.

The countries of Central Europe as a whole are a veritable Easter egg hunt for pastel colored palaces with elaborate, sinuous ornamentation. And some of the most over the top Rococo structures ever built there were constructed by monks in their rural abbeys to house literary treasures. A pair of them, the siblings of Wiblingen and Bad Schussenried, in Southwest Germany, are the latest selection for our once-a-month series The World's Most Beautiful Libraries.

You could swear, judging strictly from photographs, that you were looking at one of the world's most opulent rooms. There's the geometric marble floor guarded by gleaming porcelain and gold statues ringed by delicate columns of blue and pink marble. Add in two stories of books, doors with intricate marquetry, an undulating balustrade of blue marble marking a gallery girdling the second-floor windows, and a dramatic ceiling fresco jam packed with allegory and historic references and you've got yourself a tour-de-force showroom.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 18, 2020

The Gaping Hole in Senator Amy Klobuchar's Electability Argument
Joshua Lott/Getty ImagesIn the final stretch of the Iowa campaign season, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) has settled on amplifying her winning track record as her closing pitch to the state's Democratic caucus-goers. In speeches and conversations with voters, she turns her past electoral successes into a series of perfectly polished, potentially persuasive speaking moments as often as possible. 

Tuesday night's Democratic debate in Des Moines, the last chance for six presidential candidates to make their cases to voters before caucus day, was no exception.

"When you look at what I have done, I have won every race, every place, every time," Klobuchar said on stage, delivering an oft-repeated line with lyrical precision. "I have won in the reddest of districts. I have won in the suburban areas, in the rural areas. I have brought people with me."

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The Daily Beast
Jan 18, 2020

Why White-Collar Sex Creeps Keep Getting VIP Treatment From Manhattan Prosecutors
The allegations made by Evelyn Yang, the wife of Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, and multiple other women against New York City doctor Robert Hadden raise troubling questions about how white-collar sexual assault defendants like him, Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein have appeared to receive favorable treatment at the expense of their victims in Manhattan. 

District Attorney Cyrus Vance's office had an overwhelming case against the ob/gyn doctor, after 18 of his patients came forward with remarkably similar stories of being sexually assaulted by Hadden under the pretense of his doing medical examinations. Yang testified in a grand jury and was assured by a prosecutor that the case was a strong one. Why then was the end result a plea bargain to a single felony count and no jail time?

As a former sex crimes prosecutor, I often encountered an inherent bias among law enforcement and prosecutors that favored more lenient treatment of "white-collar" defendants charged with sex crimes. Sometimes, that was due to wealthier clients getting more attention because their high-priced lawyers demanded it from the prosecutors. Vance's office already faced criticism for its initial reluctance to prosecute Harvey Weinstein—even conducting its own "oppo research" on one of his accusers—and its attempt to seek a lower sex-offender registration status for Epstein (which Vance later said was a mistake by an unauthorized assistant district attorney). Notably, in Weinstein's case his defen

The Daily Beast
Jan 18, 2020

The Best MLK Mattress Sales to Shop Right Now
The beginning of the year is one of the best times to purchase a new mattress. Not only are you starting the year off with a better bed, but you'll be getting a great deal. MLK Day is bringing huge discounts on mattresses from Scouted-favorite brands like Leesa, Brooklyn Bedding, and more. 

Brooklyn Bedding: Take 25% off sitewide with the code MLK25. This sitewide sale is for everything from mattresses to pillows. The best-selling Hybrid Bloom is a Scouted favorite, as is the Luxury Cooling Pillow. 

Casper: Save 10% on any mattress order. After recently announcing plans to go public, the original mattress-in-a-box is taking 10% off purchases of any of their best-selling mattresses. Choose from the classic Casper, the basic Essential, or the upgraded Wave.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 18, 2020

You Can Now See the Hidden Treasures of Madrid's Secret Palace
Oscar Gonzalez/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesIn the bustling center of Madrid, two blocks from Plaza de España and the Gran Vía thoroughfare, there's a French-style mansion called Liria Palace that contains the finest private art collection in Spain. Its silk walls drip with Goyas, Velázquezes, and Titians, and its library guards a first-edition Don Quixote and the handwritten diaries of Christopher Columbus. Yet you could visit Madrid a dozen times and never hear so much as a murmur about this mysterious local landmark, whose contents and historical significance are rivaled (locally) only by the Prado Museum and the Royal Palace. 

That's because, until recently, the property—owned by the House of Alba and hidden behind a 10-foot thicket patrolled by civil guards—was a nightmare to get into if you were a mere plebe with a passport: For the last 50 years or so, only one 15-person tour was offered per week, and you had to apply for a spot via email. ("Book two years ahead," advises one popular guidebook in perhaps in the most ludicrous travel tip ever.)

Happily that policy changed on September 19 when the palace flung open its gold-finialed gates to all who could afford the €14 entry. Every day since, lines snake down Calle de la Princesa teeming with visitors eager to catch a glimpse of the intimate life of its inhabitants, who for the better part of a century have earned all-caps headlines in Spanish newspapers and tabloids. They're like the Kardashians of Spain, except with blue blood, medieval castles, and a dukedom spanning 131 square miles (roughly five times the size of Manhattan). 



The Daily Beast
Jan 18, 2020

‘Toxic Beauty' Reveals the Hidden Poisons in Cosmetics—and the Legal Battles to Expose Them
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast"We ladies have to take care of ourselves," says a soft voiceover in an opening scene of Toxic Beauty, Phyllis Ellis' documentary on the dangers of unregulated personal care products.

The words come from Jacqueline Fox. The 62-year-old woman from Birmingham, Alabama, died in 2015 from ovarian cancer, which she believed had been caused by her decades-long use of Johnson & Johnson talcum powder. 

The film, currently playing select theaters nationwide, centers around the thousands of lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson. Scientists, researchers, and women claim that executives at the company have known for decades that their ubiquitous baby powder contains asbestos, but have continued to market their products as safe.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 18, 2020

The Bizarre Fight Over a Wealthy Biochemist's Frozen Head Keeps Getting Weirder
GettyA fraught, multi-million-dollar legal battle over the frozen head of a now-deceased biochemist escalated into fraud claims this week, after four years of wild allegations that at one point involved talk of a wax dummy head and an alleged hidden will.

Let's start from the beginning. 

Until his death, Dr. Laurence Pilgeram, a biochemist and medical school professor, was a longtime proponent of the Arizona-based Alcor Life Extension Foundation's cryonics program. The company claims it can effectively save lives "by using temperatures so cold that a person beyond help by today's medicine can be preserved for decades or centuries until a future medical technology can restore that person to full health." (To be clear, cryonics is not the same as cryogenics, which is a branch of physics that studies the effects of very low temperatures.) 

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Jan 17, 2020

Lev Parnas Dishes On Kushner, Maduro, and Soros
Eduardo Munoz/ReutersA dinner with Jared and Ivanka about cannabis, a phone call from Trump Hotel with Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, and a whole lot of theorizing about George Soros. Lev Parnas' interactions with Trumpworld, in his words, went way beyond the Ukraine influence effort.

The former ally of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani spent more than a year embedded with some of the president's close outside allies. In that time, he said he had an inside view of all sorts of eyebrow-raising interactions and conversations. He described several of them in an interview with The Daily Beast from his lawyer's office in Midtown Manhattan. 

Federal law enforcement officials arrested Parnas and his associate Igor Fruman on Oct. 9 at Dulles Airport. They were then charged with a number of election-related crimes, and accused of funneling Russian money into American political campaigns. Both men maintain their innocence. Fruman has kept quiet throughout the process; Parnas, meanwhile, has spoken out—a lot. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 17, 2020

Bill Maher Warns of ‘Civil War' If Democrats Don't Embrace Trump Supporters
via HBOAfter two months off for winter break, Bill Maher returned to Real Time on Friday night and, following a cringe-worthy joke or two about things like recharging the batteries in his vape, the comic addressed the ongoing impeachment drama—namely, that President Trump recently welcomed the notorious attorneys Ken Starr and Alan Dershowitz to his legal team.

(For the uninitiated, Starr and Dershowitz not only defended Trump associate—and convicted pedophile—Jeffrey Epstein, but two Epstein victims have claimed that the late Epstein "directed" them to have sex with Dershowitz, while Starr was pushed out of his job as Baylor University president for covering up sexual misconduct.) 

"Yes, that Ken Starr. The guy for whom the blowjob was too much, he's defending this impeachment guy," said Maher. "And also Alan Dershowitz, who's defended Weinstein, O.J., and now Trump. Wow. Think about that. Weinstein, Trump and O.J.: flabby, grabby and stabby."

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Jan 17, 2020

Docs Show Parnas Helping Nunes Aide Set Up Interviews With Ex-Ukrainian Officials
Stephanie Keith/GettyNew documents turned over to the House Judiciary Committee on Friday night include messages between Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas and Derek Harvey, an aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA). The Daily Beast was first to report that Parnas helped arrange meetings and calls in Europe for Harvey in 2018 to help the lawmaker's investigative work, and it appears the practice continued into 2019.

The exchanges between Parnas and Harvey, which span several months in early 2019, show the two arranging several meetings and phone calls to discuss two claims that have been central to Trumpworld's dirt-digging mission in Ukraine and the president's subsequent impeachment: supposed corruption by former Vice President Joe Biden and a plot against Trump by Ukrainian officials during the 2016 election.

"We need to set up a time (with) your four people," Harvey wrote in an April 2019 message to Parnas, referring to former Ukrainian officials claiming to have information on Biden.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 17, 2020

Eminem's Juvenile Shock Tactics Ruin Controversy-Baiting New Album ‘Music To Be Murdered By'
InterscopeEminem has returned—with a new album and some new controversy, just in case you forgot this is an Eminem album. The last time around, he was railing against the scourge of mumble rap but this time, he's backing off on the grumpy gramps routine. He spends a good amount of Music To Be Murdered By name-dropping newcomers and elder statesmen in hip-hop, seemingly intent on being some kind of bridge between the genre's classic years and its chart-topping new wave. But Em's semi-reverential tone is tempered with plenty of his trademark bitterness—for a guy who has been one of the most acclaimed hip-hop artists of all time, he still likes to think of himself as an underdog. But he's been widely celebrated for two decades—despite some middling reviews for his most recent albums. On Music To Be Murdered By, he reminds you of how he became who he is—while also making it clear that who he is can be maddeningly muddy these days.

Like 2018's Kamikaze, Eminem surprise-released his 11th studio album, alongside a music video for first single "Darkness." That Simon & Garfunkel-referencing track is drawing a lot of attention for the video, which depicts a fictionalized account of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting from the perspective of the shooter.

"But if you'd like to know the reason why I did this / You'll never find a motive, truth is I have no idea / I am just as stumped

The Daily Beast
Jan 17, 2020

Eminem's Juvenile Shock Tactics Ruin Surprise New Album ‘Music To Be Murdered By'
InterscopeEminem has returned—with a new album and some new controversy, just in case you forgot this is an Eminem album. The last time around, he was railing against the scourge of mumble rap but this time, he's backing off on the grumpy gramps routine. He spends a good amount of Music To Be Murdered By name-dropping newcomers and elder statesmen in hip-hop, seemingly intent on being some kind of bridge between the genre's classic years and its chart-topping new wave. But Em's semi-reverential tone is tempered with plenty of his trademark bitterness—for a guy who has been one of the most acclaimed hip-hop artists of all time, he still likes to think of himself as an underdog. But he's been widely celebrated for two decades—despite some middling reviews for his most recent albums. On Music To Be Murdered By, he reminds you of how he became who he is—while also making it clear that who he is can be maddeningly muddy these days.

Like 2018's Kamikaze, Eminem surprise-released his 11th studio album, alongside a music video for first single "Darkness." That Simon & Garfunkel-referencing track is drawing a lot of attention for the video, which depicts a fictionalized account of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting from the perspective of the shooter.

"But if you'd like to know the reason why I did this / You'll never find a motive, truth is I have no idea / I am just as stumped

The Daily Beast
Jan 17, 2020

G/O Media Courting Deadspin Nemesis in Desperate Boss Search
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/GettyMore than two months after its top editorial boss abruptly quit, G/O Media is desperate to find a replacement—going as far as to recruit a former nemesis of the company's flagship website.

The search for an editorial director for the company—which includes Gizmodo Media sites Jezebel, Deadspin, and The Root, among others—has been underway for weeks following the departure of the company's former editorial director Paul Maidment.  

Sources told The Daily Beast that G/O's leadership was unable to convince its current top editorial employee Joyce Tang—a former outreach editor at The Daily Beast—to take the job in a temporary capacity while they searched for a permanent replacement. Multiple insiders told The Daily Beast that the company had balked at Tang's request to match Maidment's salary. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Jan 17, 2020

Trump's First Congressional Backer, Chris Collins, Gets 26 Months on Insider Trading Charges
Scott Heins/GettyFormer New York representative Chris Collins was sentenced to 26 months behind bars on Friday for giving his son an illegal tip about a biotechnology company's failed drug trial and for giving false statements.

"My life has been shattered. My reputation has been shattered," Collins said through sobs prior to being handed his sentence in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, according to CNBC.

"But mostly my family has been shattered," he said.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 17, 2020

A Cocktail Tour of Old New York
Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast / Photos GettyFrom McSorley's Old Ale House to the Ear Inn to the Nancy Whiskey, New York has no shortage of historic watering holes. 

On this episode of the award-winning podcast, Life Behind Bars, co-hosts David Wondrich and Noah Rothbaum, talk about the extensive history of bars in New York and how the city's drinking culture has evolved over the last two centuries. They dig deep into their archives for stories about oyster dens, drinking "mild ale" and the variety of speakeasies operating in the five boroughs during Prohibition.

So fix yourself a drink and listen to this episode of Life Behind Bars now. Cheers!

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The Daily Beast
Jan 17, 2020

Trump's Favorite Cable-News Channel OANN Sued for Racism
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/GettyTempers can be so blistering at One America News Network, the San Diego-based cable outlet for which President Donald Trump has professed his love and appreciation, that the 77-year-old owner and chief executive, Robert Herring Sr., once engaged in a shoving match with a 34-year-old African-American guest booker.

During a jury trial that commenced Thursday in California Superior Court, Herring testified that his physical altercation with Jonathan Harris—who's suing the Trump-adoring, Russia-friendly channel—started when he suspected Harris of deleting important files from his company-issued computer.

According to the account of Herring's testimony by San Diego Tribune court reporter Kristina Davis, "He said Harris appeared to be deleting more items on the computer. Herring Sr. said he tried to block Harris' access to the computer with his elbow, and Harris physically pushed back. The CEO then unplugged the machine. That's when he fired Harris, Herring Sr. said. ‘I've got to keep my

The Daily Beast
Jan 17, 2020

Meghan McCain: McSally ‘Didn't Earn' the Senate Seat She Inherited From My Dad
The View's Meghan McCain took some shots at Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) on Friday after the lawmaker personally insulted a CNN reporter, pointing out that McSally didn't "earn" the Senate seat she was appointed to after McCain's father passed away.

After CNN senior congressional correspondent Manu Raju attempted to ask McSally whether the Senate should consider new evidence in the impending impeachment trial, the Arizona senator snapped at Raju: "You're a liberal hack—I'm not talking to you." McSally, meanwhile, quickly seized upon the instantly viral moment to fundraise for her tight election race before predictably appearing on Fox News to do a victory lap.

Discussing the incident on Friday's broadcast of the ABC talk show, the View hosts noted that Raju's question was "very reasonable" and that the lawmaker also refused to answer it when asked by Fox News' Laura Ingraham during a chummy Thursday night interview. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Jan 17, 2020

Trump Taps Fox News Legal Panel to Defend Him in Impeachment Trial
AP ImagesPresident Donald Trump has officially assembled his legal defense for the Senate impeachment trial, and much of it looks like a Fox primetime line-up.

This is, at least in part, by design. Two sources close to the president say that he's routinely stressed the importance of how his legal defenders perform on cable news—a common metric for virtually any Trump official with a public facing job.  

On Friday, Team Trump announced Alan Dershowitz, Ken Starr, the independent counsel during President Bill Clinton's impeachment trial, former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi as well as  Robert Ray, who succeeded Starr at the Office of the Independent Counsel during the Clinton administration, and Jane Raskin, who helped defend Trump during the Mueller probe, would join White House counsel Pat Cipollone and Trump's personal attorney Jay Sekulow in defending the president on the Senate floor. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 17, 2020

Trump Just Hired Jeffrey Epstein's Lawyers
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Photos GettyDonald Trump is lawyering up for his impeachment trial with a team that looks surprisingly similar to that of billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

The president bolstered his legal team Friday with attorneys Alan Dershowitz and Kenneth Starr, who helped Epstein evade prison time in a now infamously lenient plea deal with Palm Beach prosecutors. Epstein originally faced multiple charges of soliciting and trafficking underage girls, but escaped with just 13 months of house arrest in a deal that caused Trump's Labor Secretary Alex Acosta to resign under pressure last year.

A suit unveiled by Virgin Islands prosecutors this week alleges Epstein continued to traffic and abuse girls as young as 12 on his private islands until 2018, a decade after Starr and Dershowitz helped him walk free. Epstein died of suicide before facing trafficking charges in New York last year. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 17, 2020

The Best MLK Day Sales (So Far) Happening Right Now
It's MLK Day, which means we've reached the first long weekend of 2020 and what better time than now to indulge in some sale shopping? There's a lot to look through, but we've broken down what's on sale by category so you can decide which ones to take advantage of. Huge discounts across some of our favorite brands like Cole Haan, My Sheets Rock, and more are all over the internet. Spend your extra day with some of these sales and we'll spend the weekend updating when new ones come up.

Apparel, Shoes, and AccessoriesCole Haan: Save up to 70% off sale styles with code EXTRA20.

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The Daily Beast
Jan 17, 2020

Will I Ever Get Over J. Lo's Oscar Snub?
Alison Cohen Rosa/STK FilmsThis is a preview of our pop culture newsletter The Daily Beast's Obsessed, written by senior entertainment reporter Kevin Fallon. To receive the full newsletter in your inbox each week, sign up for it here.

In one sudden moment on Sunday afternoon, my body was jarred into a sharp, breathless stillness. My eyes went wide. I gasped. A frightful feeling flooded over me, a ghostly premonition that spread like a virus until the darkness threatened to crush me. It arrived so fast, so overwhelmingly: "Jennifer Lopez might not get an Oscar nomination for Hustlers."

I took to social media at once. It was Sunday, the holy day. Head to church, I pleaded. Light a candle for Ms. Jennifer Lynn Lopez. Pray for the woman who brought life to Ramona, so that she might win the recognition she deserves. For what other reason does religion exist, if not for this? 

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The Daily Beast
Jan 17, 2020

Trump Called His Generals a ‘Bunch of Dopes and Babies' in a Fit of Rage, Book Claims
REUTERSWhat exactly went down during a July 2017 meeting at the Pentagon between President Trump and his military leaders has long been the subject of speculation. One of the tantalizing details that's been previously reported is that, whatever took place, it provoked then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to call his commander-in-chief "a fucking moron."

Now an excerpt of a new book published in the Washington Post demonstrates exactly what tipped Tillerson over the edge. An account of the meeting in the upcoming book A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump's Testing of America, depicts Trump becoming increasingly angry as his generals tried to teach him the fundamental basics of American post-war history.

The book states that the meeting took place six months into Trump's presidency after his generals became concerned about "gaping holes" in Trump's knowledge of America's key alliances. The idea was to bring Trump to the Pentagon's situation room where military leaders, so the plan went, would give him a crash-course on who America's allies were, why they were worth keeping on side, and where on Earth they were located.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

The Daily Beast
Jan 17, 2020

Eminem Offends Victim's Family With Joke About Ariana Grande Concert Bombing
Frederick M. BrownAt what point would someone maybe say to Marshall Mathers, "Hey, about this lyric, do you think, you know, maybe not?"

Eminem, 47, is used to causing controversy in a career which has seen him riff off everything from 9/11 to Britney Spears, but this may be his most tasteless track yet.

On his new album, Music to Be Murdered By, which dropped without warning Thursday night, he makes light of the horrific bombing of an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, nearly three years ago, in which 22 people were killed.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 17, 2020

As 2020 Olympics Approach, Japan's Treating Foreign Workers Like Indentured Labor
Photo Illustration by Kelly Caminero/The Daily BeastTOKYO—As Japan ages and the population declines it needs foreign workers more than ever, but it's unlikely to get them when employers can snatch your passport and keep it, even after you quit—leaving you in legal limbo.

It all seems like something that you'd expect to happen in a dodgy part of the Middle East, but nope, it's happening in the Land of Omotenashi, where everyone is putting on a friendly face with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on the horizon.

Foreign tourists with money are very welcome. Foreign laborers? Not so much. Yet they are needed. The Building and Wood Workers' International (BWI) union published a report last year, The Dark Side of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, claiming that laborers—many of them foreign—already are being overworked and exposed to dangerous conditions. There simply aren't enough Japanese to do the jobs that need to be done. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 17, 2020

A Drop of Cannabis Oil Could Land This Pennsylvania Woman in Jail
Courtesy ACLU of Pennsylvania

This story was published in partnership with The Marshall Project, a nonprofit news organization covering the U.S. criminal justice system. Sign up for their newsletter here.

When Melissa Gass, a mother of five in central Pennsylvania, was 10, she was in a car crash, and her head slammed into the windshield. Ever since, she's suffered seizures, which occur with weekly and sometimes daily frequency and are life-threatening. When one is coming on, she feels a throbbing pain in the back left side of her brain; the next thing she knows, she's waking up outside with her face on the ground—or in an intensive care unit at a hospital, often having urinated or defecated on herself. Someone, either a medical professional or a family member if she's at home, has to inject diazepam gel into her rectum to keep her alive.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Jan 17, 2020

‘Little America' Is Apple TV 's First Great Show, and a Beautiful Love Letter to Immigrants
Courtesy of Apple TV When Hollywood tells immigrant stories, its cameras often seem especially eager to dwell on suffering. The poverty, oppression, and sacrifices many immigrants endure in their journeys to America, and the racism and xenophobia that greet non-white people here are common strains, after all, of generations of real stories from diverse countries of origin. Apple TV 's anthology series Little America takes a different approach. It tells eight real-life immigrants' (only lightly fictionalized) stories with an emphasis on the heart and humor of their everyday lives, aiming to affirm and inspire with their hard-won achievements. More importantly, it paints portraits of them as real, ordinary people—as fuck-ups, goofballs, dreamers, and drifters, as flawed and uncertain as every other American.

It's a funny and bittersweet series, at once refreshing and achingly familiar—if at times a bit discomfiting in its careful avoidance of the uglier realities of living as a working-class immigrant in America.

That the series hails from creatives with intimate connections of their own to the immigrant experience (Master of None's Alan Yang, The Big Sick's Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, and showrunner Lee Eisenberg) is plain from its first episode, in which the young son of two Indian hotel managers in Utah is l

The Daily Beast
Jan 17, 2020

‘Bad Boys for Life' Is the ‘Bad Boys' Sequel That Absolutely No One Asked For
Kyle Kaplan/Sony PicturesWill Smith and Martin Lawrence are too old for the absurd buddy-cop action of Bad Boys for Life (in theaters today), and thankfully, they—and the film—know it. That self-awareness, coupled with lively humor and passable set pieces, make this long-delayed third franchise entry a modest surprise, suggesting there's still some life left in its ‘90s-era brand of goofy banter and chaotic gunfights.

It's been 17 years since Bad Boys II, a pinnacle of orgiastic mayhem drenched in all sorts of inappropriateness, highlighted by a finale in which Smith and Lawrence's Miami cops, Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett, literally invade Cuba and destroy a mountainside shantytown with their speeding Hummer. It was the epitome of the cinema du Michael Bay (and producer Jerry Bruckheimer)—awe-inspiring in its extravagance and shamefulness—and nothing quite approaches its level of gleeful excess and offensiveness in Bad Boys for Life. Here, the directorial reins have been turned over to Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (going by the shorthand monikers Adil and Bilall), who approximate the high-gloss, big-budget style of their behind-the-camera predecessor, replete with glistening Florida and Mexican vistas, swooping drone shots, and rotating pans around their protagonists—and, in a cameo as a wedding MC, Bay himself.

In other words, Bad Boys for Life offers the

The Daily Beast
Jan 17, 2020

You Think Trump's a Danger to Democracy? Get a Load of Bloomberg.
Photo Illustration by Kristen Hazzard/The Daily Beast/GettyMany in the media and political class see Donald Trump as the face of America's autocratic future. They've had less to say about Michael Bloomberg, a far more successful billionaire with the smarts, motivation, and elitist mentality not only to propose but actually carry out his own deeply authoritarian vision should he be elected president.

Bloomberg, who's quickly moved up in national polls on an unprecedented tsunami of spending and despite sitting out the Democratic debates, represents, in a way never seen in modern American politics, the melding of oligarchal power with political willfulness. His campaign remains a wild long shot, but ask New York City how that can play out—and how  difficult it is to dislodge this oligarch once he's in office, even when the law demands that he leave. 

Compared to Bloomberg, Trump's estimated $3 billion fortune is paltry. Bloomberg is the world's ninth richest man, with a fortune of nearly $60 billion. The two post-retirement-age party-jumpers share not only flimsy medical excuses for staying out of Vietnam, long histories of locker-room talk, and joint refusals to fully disclose their taxes while running or to step away from their private business interests while serving in public office but, perhaps most fundamentally, a habit of

The Daily Beast
Jan 17, 2020

Boeing Is Totally Screwed as Orders Plunge and Customers Switch to Airbus
Stephen Brashear/GettyAmid a cluster of shocking emails written by Boeing staff about the grounded 737-MAX jet, one complained that the airplane had been "designed by clowns and supervised by monkeys."

Even that barely serves to describe the condition of what was once the world's unchallenged leader in aviation. New figures for Boeing's sales in 2019 show an unprecedented plunge from 893 airplanes ordered in 2018 to just 54. 

In 2019 rival Airbus sold 768 airplanes. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 17, 2020

Kanye West's Dark Turn to the Anti-Gay Christian Right
Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC ImagesIn the latest born-again-Kanye news, it's been reported that the newly-saved rapper is headlining the prayer rally Awaken 2020, which will also be headed up by a bunch of Trump-supporting anti-LGBTQ rights fanatics. He'll bring his Sunday Service choir to a 10-hour Arizona event this Saturday, Jan. 18, where evangelical leaders and celebrities—who have referred to homosexuality as a "spirit of lawlessness" and opposed legislation that bans discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation—will stand at the pulpit to address the masses.

In a 2005 conversation with the DJ and radio host Sway, Kanye lamented the homophobia endemic to the hip-hop community while evoking his acceptance of his gay cousin. And in 2015, when Caitlyn Jenner came out as trans, Kanye convinced his wife, Kim Kardashian—Jenner's former stepdaughter—to accept her parent's transition without prejudice. Still, Kanye's recent decision to stand side-by-side with avowed homophobes at a prayer rally will likely not compromise his standing with the younger, queerer portion of his fanbase, nor does it exactly contradict his statements and actions from 2005 and 2015. In fact, many conservative-minded people who think they are accepting of the LGBTQ community do not stand in solidarity with us beyond the individual acceptance of friends or family memb

The Daily Beast
Jan 17, 2020

Republicans Melt Down as Evidence of Trump's Guilt Piles Up
Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via GettyIf you doubt Republicans are facing immense pressure these days, consider Sen. Martha McSally's behavior. Asked by respected, mild-mannered CNN reporter Manu Raju if she would consider new evidence during the impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump, the vulnerable senator from Arizona snapped back: "You're a liberal hack—I'm not talking to you. You're a liberal hack."

Regardless of whether new post-House impeachment revelations are introduced in the Senate trial, the drip-drip-drip has created a lose-lose proposition for Republicans who face tough electoral crosswinds in 2020. They can defend the indefensible, or they can risk invoking the wrath of their president. (Clearly, McSally has decided her best bet is to avoid the latter.)

But as evidence mounts, McSally also risks alienating Arizonans who elected a maverick named John McCain and aren't looking to send a Trump toady to Washington. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 17, 2020

Ron Reagan: My Father, Ronald Reagan, Would Not Want Republicans to Vote for ‘Traitor' Trump in 2020
Jae C. Hong/APAmid the rumbling drama of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders' antipathy over what he did or didn't say about a female president, Pete Buttigieg's low energy, Joe Biden watching the clock over his allotted time, Amy Klobuchar's laconic wit, and Tom Steyer's devotion to plaid, the CNN/Des Moines Register Democratic debate this week featured a striking scene-stealer in the commercial breaks.

There, a 2015 ad for the Freedom From Religion Foundation aired once again, featuring Ron Reagan, son of former President Ronald Reagan, declaring himself an "unabashed atheist," alarmed "at the intrusions of religion into secular government."

He said he supported the FFRF in its mission to keep "state and church separate, just like the founding fathers intended." He signed off the commercial with the mic drop-worthy "Ron Reagan. Lifelong atheist. Not afraid of burning in hell."



The Daily Beast
Jan 17, 2020

‘Killer Inside' Claims the NFL and New England Patriots Were Complicit in Aaron Hernandez's Dark Turn
Photo Illustration by Kristen Hazzard/The Daily Beast/GettyThere is a scene late in Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez, Netflix's new documentary miniseries about the chaotic, murderous life of the accomplished Florida Gators and New England Patriots tight end, that sums up the aesthetic and intellectual approach it takes in addressing Hernandez's deeply strange and confusing life story. When Hernandez hung himself in his jail cell, you see, he wrote "JOHN 3:16" on his forehead. The documentary tells us this, the background music amps up, there are some quick cuts, and then, for a brief second, we see the visage of Hernandez's Florida teammate, Tim Tebow, kneeling on the football field, with the same Bible verse written across his eyeblack. A brief montage of stained-glass depictions of Christ follows.

What is this bit of filmmaking flair trying to say, exactly? That Hernandez and Tebow weren't so different? That Tebow was made into a living saint by the same systems, football and american Christianity, that dismantled Hernandez's life wholesale? That it was a pretty weird coincidence, and hey, check out this sick stained glass of Christ on the cross? God only knows. Any rational person looking at the sloppy, deeply unnecessary murders Hernandez committed inevitably ends up running aground of anything resembling a conventional answer. H

The Daily Beast
Jan 16, 2020

Meghan Markle Found Royal Life ‘Toxic' and ‘Soul Crushing,' and Leaving It Was ‘a Matter of Life and Death'
WPA Pool/GettyIf you love The Daily Beast's royal coverage, then we hope you'll enjoy The Royalist, a members-only series for Beast Inside. Become a member to get The Royalist in your inbox every Sunday.

The insanely paced soap opera that is Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's exit from their "senior royal" roles shows no sign of becoming less feverish anytime soon.

A friend told DailyMail.com on Thursday that Meghan felt that living within the royal confines was "soul crushing" and that she didn't want Archie growing up within such a "toxic environment... She told her friends that her soul was being crushed and that the decision to leave was a matter of life or death. Meaning the death of her spirit. She felt she couldn't be the best mother to Archie if she wasn't being her true, authentic self. She didn't want Archie picking up on her stress and anxiety. She felt like it was a toxic environment for him because there was too much tension."

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Jan 16, 2020

Lev Parnas Reveals Why He Turned on Trump World
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/GettyIn an interview with The Daily Beast, Lev Parnas—an ex-associate of Rudy Giuliani's who's at the heart of the impeachment scandal—said he's determined to keep speaking out about his work in Trump World on Ukraine despite the backlash. 

Parnas sat with Rachel Maddow for an MSNBC interview that aired Wednesday, and then with CNN's Anderson Cooper for another interview set to run Thursday night. In his conversation with Maddow, he said President Donald Trump knew all about his efforts to pressure Kyiv to give him political favors. And he said Giuliani told Ukrainian leaders that Parnas specifically spoke on the president's behalf. The comments drew attention from Capitol Hill, and Democratic congressional investigators have pointed to them as good reason for the Senate to call witnesses in its impeachment trial of Trump. 

Parnas told The Daily Beast that his former friends' reaction to his arrest has strengthened his resolve about speaking out. Parnas said that after he and his associate Igor Fruman were arrested at Dulles Airport on Oct. 9 and charged with campaign finance violations, he was disappointed with Giuliani's silence. He said Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing—a Trump-friendly husband-and-wif

The Daily Beast
Jan 16, 2020

Lev Parnas Reveals Why He Turned on Trumpworld
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/GettyIn an interview with The Daily Beast, Lev Parnas—an ex-associate of Rudy Giuliani's who's at the heart of the impeachment scandal—said he's determined to keep speaking out about his work in Trumpworld on Ukraine despite the backlash. 

Parnas sat with Rachel Maddow for an MSNBC interview that aired Wednesday, and then with CNN's Anderson Cooper for another interview set to run Thursday night. In his conversation with Maddow, he said President Donald Trump knew all about his efforts to pressure Kyiv to give him political favors. And he said Giuliani told Ukrainian leaders that Parnas specifically spoke on the president's behalf. The comments drew attention from Capitol Hill, and Democratic congressional investigators have pointed to them as good reason for the Senate to call witnesses in its impeachment trial of Trump. 

In another portion of the interview with Maddow aired late Thursday, Parnas likened Trump to a "cult leader" and said he was "more scared of our own Justice Department" than criminals.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 16, 2020

Lev Parnas: ‘I Felt Like My Family Left Me'
In an interview with The Daily Beast, Lev Parnas--an ex-associate of Rudy Giuliani's who's at the heart of the impeachment scandal--said he's determined to keep speaking out about his work in Trump World regarding Ukraine despite backlash. 

Parnas sat with Rachel Maddow for an MSNBC interview that aired Wednesday, and then with CNN's Anderson Cooper for another interview set to run Thursday night. In his conversation with Maddow, he said President Donald Trump knew all about his efforts to pressure Kyiv to give him political favors. And he said that Giuliani told Ukrainian leaders that Parnas specifically spoke on the president's behalf. The comments drew attention from Capitol Hill, and Democratic Congressional investigators have pointed to them as good reason for the Senate to call witnesses in its impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. 

Parnas told The Daily Beast that his former friends' reaction to his arrest has strengthened his resolve about speaking out. Parnas said that after he and his associate Igor Fruman were arrested at Dulles Airport on Oct. 9 and charged with campaign finance violations, he was disappointed with silence from Rudy Giuliani. He said that Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing--a Trump-friendly husband-wife legal team with deep and longstanding ties in Washington's conservative legal world--also kept mum about their relationship with him. The silence, he said, left him feeling betrayed. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 16, 2020

Make Short Work of Dirty Clothes With the Best Laundry Detergents on Amazon
There will always be something so comforting about the smell of freshly done laundry. It's nostalgic but it also makes you feel good because you know that you got something done. If you want to have a good laundry day, start with a good detergent. We scoured through Amazon's best-selling options to bring you the top detergents, both liquid and pods, so you can do laundry and actually enjoy it.

Best Liquid OverallBest ScentRead more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 16, 2020

‘Nazi Salute' School a Cesspool of Racism, Sex Abuse: Lawsuit
Photos via Dasia F. Banks v. Baraboo School DistrictA black 17-year-old in the tiny town of Baraboo, Wisconsin, alleges that her former school district routinely ignored complaints of racist taunts, violence, and sexual assault, causing her severe psychological trauma that forced her to change schools.

Dasia Banks' 30-page complaint was filed in federal court on Wednesday and contends that teachers and school officials failed to stop violent and racist bullying and exhibited "deliberate indifference" to the problem when faced with complaints. The suit was previously reported by Wisconsin State Journal, and was sure to bring fresh scrutiny to a district previously embroiled in scandal over a viral photo of students giving a Nazi salute.

Dasia and her mother, Megan Ray, cite a laundry list of alleged incidents over several years, including students wearing Confederate flags and using the n-word, shoving Dasia in the hallway, throwing things at her, leaving threatening notes in her locker, and repeated sexual abuse in class.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Jan 16, 2020

Dublin Gang Killed and Cut Up Irish Teen to Avenge Murder: Cops
Garda Síochána (Police Service of Republic of Ireland)Irish police have warned locals in and around Dublin not to distribute photos and videos being shared online of the severed body parts and decapitated head of 17-year-old Keane Mulready-Woods.

Mulready-Woods, who was last seen by his family Sunday at 6 p.m., was allegedly tortured, murdered, and dismembered by a drug gang from the town of Drogheda outside Dublin as an act of vengeance for a murder committed by the gang he was allegedly affiliated with, according to the Gardaí or Irish Police.

A gym bag with some of his limbs was found on Monday evening along a foot path inside a housing complex where some of the victim's friends and associates lived in north Dublin. Another bag containing fingers and other body parts police say likely belonged to the 17-year-old was found in another section of suburban Dublin on Tuesday. Early Wednesday morning, the Gardaí discovered what they have confirmed as Mulready-Wood's decapitated head inside a burning Volvo in the town of Drumcondra north of Dublin.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Jan 16, 2020

Five Jurors Chosen for Harvey Weinstein's NYC Trial So Far
Angela Weiss/AFP via GettyFive of the 12 jurors who will decide the fate of disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein were chosen on Thursday out of a panel that briefly included supermodel Gigi Hadid.

The two women and three men will be among those to determine if Weinstein is guilty of predatory sexual assault and first-degree rape in connection with alleged assaults on his former production assistant in 2006 and another woman in 2013.

"This trial is not a referendum on the #MeToo movement," Manhattan Supreme Court Justice James Burke said to a pool of 140 before individual questioning began. "You must decide this case on the evidence."

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 16, 2020

Seven Jurors Chosen for Harvey Weinstein's NYC Trial So Far
Angela Weiss/AFP via GettySeven of the 12 jurors who will decide the fate of disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein were chosen on Thursday out of a panel that briefly included supermodel Gigi Hadid.

The three women and four men will be among those to determine if Weinstein is guilty of predatory sexual assault and first-degree rape in connection with alleged assaults on his former production assistant in 2006 and another woman in 2013.

"This trial is not a referendum on the #MeToo movement," Manhattan Supreme Court Justice James Burke said to a pool of 140 before individual questioning began. "You must decide this case on the evidence."

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 16, 2020

Trump Allies Drag Watchdog for Pointing Out Trump Broke Law
Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesA federal watchdog report on Thursday found that the Trump administration illegally withheld security assistance to Ukraine, and some Republicans quickly settled on a strategy in response: try to discredit the watchdog.

To the extent that Republicans in the administration and on Capitol Hill have responded to the report, few addressed its substantive findings that the Trump White House violated a federal statute when it held up military aid to the U.S. ally. Instead, some have accused the Government Accountability Office, the nonpartisan agency that issued the report, of being in league with Democrats or trying to score some publicity related to the impending impeachment trial against President Donald Trump.

The report's timing could not have been worse for Trump and his congressional allies, coming as it did just hours before the House of Representatives officially transmitted two articles of impeachment to the Senate, where a trial is expected to start early next week.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 16, 2020

FBI Busts Members of Neo-Nazi Group ‘The Base' Days Before Richmond Gun Rally
Police HandoutThe FBI arrested three members of a neo-Nazi group called "The Base" on Thursday morning, days ahead of a pro-gun rally in Richmond that is attracting fringe figures and has already prompted a state of emergency declaration. 

The three suspects—Brian Mark Lemley, William Garfield Bilbrough, and Canadian fugitive Patrik Mathews—face a variety of gun charges. Lemley and Bilbrough are also accused of illegally harboring Mathews, a former Canadian military reservist who fled his home country after being accused of being a recruiter for The Base. The trio is expected to face a federal judge in Maryland on Thursday afternoon. 

The suspects had discussed traveling to Richmond, Virginia, for a Jan. 20 rally  in front of the state Capitol to protest new gun control legislation, The New York Times reported. The rally has become a flashpoint for the fringe right, prompting Gov. Ralph Northam  to declare a four-day state of emergency and ban guns from the Capitol complex.



The Daily Beast
Jan 16, 2020

Beyoncé Does Athleisure on Her Own Terms With Ivy Park's Re-Launch
via Instagram You only get to launch a clothing line once. Unless you're Beyoncé, in which case you can reinvent your brand as many times as you want, to glorious effects. 

Beyoncé announced the latest iteration of Ivy Park this week, via a spree of glossy advertisements featuring herself and some well-placed friends. The superstar's second go-around of her athleisure line, which first dropped to much fanfare in 2016, was announced last April. 

Now, with the help of Adidas, her adoring Bey Hive, and Reese Witherspoon (stay with me here), the multi-hyphenate has released the first glimpse of what her clothing will look like. The past life of Ivy Park, which was created with Topshop, may not have been entirely Beyoncé, but its renaissance absolutely is. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 16, 2020

‘The View' Begs Lev Parnas for Interview: Ex-Trump Allies ‘Apology Tour' Starts Here
The hosts of The View seemed almost miffed on Thursday that Lev Parnas, an indicted ex-associate of Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, didn't hit their show first to dish on the Ukraine scandal, practically begging him to come on their program, where the "apology tour" allegedly begins for ex-Trump allies.

Touching on Parnas' explosive interviews with MSNBC and CNN in which he revealed President Donald Trump was in on the plan to pressure Ukraine to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden, the crew took great joy in tweaking Trump associates who were implicated by the Giuliani henchman.

"So my plan is to send pearls to everybody who's involved so they have something to clutch," host Whoopi Goldberg quipped.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Jan 16, 2020

Sealed Epstein Docs Name ‘Persons of Means' in Sex Abuse Case
Stephanie Keith/Getty ImagesA federal court in New York is preparing to release more sealed documents in a 2015 defamation suit filed by Virginia Giuffre, a victim of dead sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, against his alleged madam, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell.

But first, the court will conduct an individualized review of the pleadings that would give attorneys for Maxwell, Giuffre, and mysterious parties identified as John Does 1 and 2, the opportunity to weigh countervailing factors, such as privacy, that would limit public access.

As part of the review process, other secret "non-parties" to the case who are named in the documents—including other alleged victims, and people accused of having sex with Giuffre—will need to be notified ahead of the unsealing and have the option to object. After those objections are filed, legal teams for Maxwell and Giuffre will have a chance to file their own oppositions.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 16, 2020

Feds Want 6.5 Years Behind Bars for Scam PAC Kingpin
The Washington Post/GettyFederal prosecutors want six and a half years in prison for a Republican political operative whose consulting firm siphoned millions of dollars from donors who were duped into thinking they were supporting Republican candidates and conservative causes.

The Justice Department asked a federal judge in Virginia this week to sentence Kelley Rogers to 78 months behind bars for what they describe as a brazen and thoroughly corrupt effort to line his and his associates' pockets with bogus fundraising appeals. Rogers pleaded guilty to one felony fraud count. A business associate, Scott Mackenzie, also pleaded guilty to one felony count of submitting false statements in a related case. He faces as much as five years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced next month.

Both cases center on a digital and direct-mail consulting firm called Strategic Campaign Group and a number of PACs that paid the firm for extensive—and, in many cases, fraudulent—fundraising campaigns. Between Mackenzie and Rogers, the episode was already among the most significant prosecutions of fraudulent political fundraising to date.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 16, 2020

Top Democrat Asks FBI to Refuse to Cooperate With GOP Senators' Ukraine Investigation
A top member of the Senate Finance Committee is urging the FBI to refuse to cooperate with a congressional Ukraine investigation.

Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, the top Democrat on the committee, on Thursday morning sent a letter to FBI Director Chris Wray and Attorney General Bill Barr urging them to stiff-arm a request from two Senate chairmen for materials from Alexandra Chalupa, a former Democratic National Committee consultant. The Daily Beast obtained the letter.

Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson, the Republican chairs of the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, asked Wray late last year to turn over the FBI's images of Chalupa's phone and computer. Chalupa has said she voluntarily provided those devices to the FBI after she was the victim of what appeared to be a Russian government-sponsored hack. The FBI made digital copies of the phone and laptop's contents, a standard step in cyber crime investigations.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Jan 16, 2020

Kellyanne Conway Melts Down Under Grilling by Fox News
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway was asked four times by Fox News on Thursday morning to "flat-out" refute claims from Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas that President Donald Trump was fully "aware" of what he was up to in Ukraine. She didn't give a straight answer once. 

After Fox aired a clip of Parnas' interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow from Wednesday night, they asked her to refute his central claims. Conway first tried to laugh it off, joking with no sense of irony, "Remember, people who go on TV are never under oath." Meanwhile, the Trump White House has blocked witnesses from testifying under oath and criticized the credibility of those who have. 

But that argument didn't satisfy Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer, who repeatedly grilled Conway on the substance of what Parnas was saying. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Jan 16, 2020

Fox's Maria Bartiromo Loses It Over Pelosi's Impeachment Pens: ‘Look Like Bullet Cases'
Fox Business Network host Maria Bartiromo on Thursday tried to gin up the latest performative outrage cycle in right-wing media, comparing to "bullet cases" the ceremonial pens Nancy Pelosi used to sign the impeachment articles.

The House speaker faced sharp criticism for allegedly treating the somber occasion of handing the impeachment articles to the Senate in a seemingly cheerful fashion: Pelosi handed out of the special pens to impeachment managers and chairmen in attendance, something more typical of celebratory occasions.

Bartiromo, who since joining Fox Business in 2013 has metamorphosed from respected financial journalist to unapologetic Trump booster, took the criticism several steps further, turning the ballpoint pens into the focus of a bizarre psychodrama.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Jan 16, 2020

Government Accountability Office Finds That Trump White House Illegally Held Up Ukraine Aid
SAUL LOEBPresident Donald Trump's White House violated federal law by withholding military aid to Ukraine, a top government watchdog found on Thursday, dealing a blow to the administration's case against impeachment as the Senate prepares to put Trump on trial.

The Government Accountability Office dismantled the White House Office of Management and Budget's rationale for withholding the $214 million in congressionally appropriated security assistance, which Trump held up as he and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, pressed the Ukrainian government to reopen investigations into Trump's political rivals.

Trump has consistently denied that withholding the aid was at all related to his and Giuliani's efforts to dig up dirt on the youngest son of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. That question is at the center of impeachment allegations referred to the Senate for trial this week.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 16, 2020

The Trump Presidency Delivers Its Craziest 24 Hours Yet as America Heads Down the Tubes
Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast / Photos GettyCan we try to take stock of these insane last 24 hours? 

? First and most obviously, the articles of impeachment were delivered to the Senate. Third time in history. Consider the first two. One president fired a Cabinet official Congress basically dared him to fire—a politics fight, in other words. The whole thing was shaky enough that seven senators from the opposition party voted to acquit the president. The next president to be impeached, of course, lied about sex after being set up in a sting operation.

By comparison, this president invited a foreign country to interfere in the next election. Not "allegedly"—he and his chief of staff have admitted they did it. If that doesn't sound a lot worse to you than the first two, you have no idea what the Constitution and laws of the United States are about.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 16, 2020

Did Russian Prime Minister Medvedev Drop a Grim Hint About Putin's Latest Power Grab?
Yuri Kadobnov/GettyAt a celebration of the Russian Orthodox New Year on Tuesday, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev chose a grim message, the sarcasm of which left his audience on edge. But, then, Medvedev probably knew what Wednesday would bring—the resignation of his entire government—and the audience did not.

On national television, the prime minister read at length from Anton Chekhov's story, "A Night in the Cemetery," which suggests with ironic wit that celebrating the coming of the New Year is a foolish pursuit, unworthy of a properly functioning mind, since "every coming year is as bad as the previous one," and the newest year is bound to be even worse. Instead of celebrating the New Year, Chekhov wrote—and Medvedev read—one should suffer, cry and attempt suicide. Every new year brings you closer to death, makes you poorer, your bald spots larger and your wife older, he said.

Medvedev's sour greetings brought on some awkward laughs and sparse applause from confused Russian bureaucrats in the studio audience, most of whom remained stone-faced. The prime minister seemed nervous and almost dropped his papers at the end of the speech.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 16, 2020

Police Reveal New Evidence in Gilgo Beach Serial Killer Murders
After nearly a decade of digging, New York authorities probing the murders of at least eight women whose remains were dumped along a deserted stretch of highway near Long Island's Gilgo Beach shared a single piece of evidence: a photo of a belt that may have belonged to the killer.

That belt, embossed with the letters HM or WH, has been in police hands since the "initial stages of the investigation," according to Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart, who spoke at a much-hyped press conference in Yaphank Thursday.

But even as she was peppered with questions about the belt and the timing of the photo's release, which came the same day that Netflix announced a documentary on the saga, Lost Girls, will debut March 13, Hart took pains to pitch a new crowd-sourcing website to solicit tips from the public in the case, Gilgonews.com. Reporters in the room noted almost immediately that this attempt at engagement with the public did not appear to be loading in their browsers.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 16, 2020

Police Set to Reveal New Evidence in Gilgo Beach Serial Killer Murders
ReutersNew York authorities on Thursday will reveal a "previously undisclosed piece of evidence" in the long-unsolved murders of at least eight women whose remains were dumped along a deserted stretch of highway near Gilgo Beach on Long Island.

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said the evidence was discovered after a new "scientific technique" was employed in the case long believed to be the work of one or more serial killers, according to a news release.

On Dec. 11, 2010, a Suffolk police officer and cadaver dog were conducting a routine search for a missing New Jersey prostitute, Shannan Gilbert, who had gone missing after fleeing the home of a client—and instead found the body of a different woman in Gilgo Beach.

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The Daily Beast
Jan 16, 2020

The Signature Drink of 2020
Photo Illustration by The Daily BeastEvery year, a Half Full columnist draws the short straw and writes about the best things they drank during the previous 12 months. It's an unenviable task, since there is usually a surfeit of delicious things to choose from and no matter what you feature someone inevitably has a different opinion. This year, I didn't mind when Lew Bryson volunteered to take the assignment. 

Since Lew stepped up (he turned in a spot-on recap that is a fun read), I feel it's my duty to address the other seasonal task at hand: determine the signature drink of 2020.

Sure, you could go all Great Gatsby, in homage to the Roaring Twenties. But, thanks to Hollywood, rum runners and bootleggers are popular every few years, as reflected in movies and on TV. 

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The Daily Beast
Jan 16, 2020

Justice Department Stonewalls Senate Democrats on Trump's War-Crimes Clemency
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/GettyMore than a month after requesting information from the Department of Justice about the president's decision to give clemency to convicted or accused war criminals, two Senate Democrats continue to be stonewalled by the administration, The Daily Beast has confirmed. 

In November, senior Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats Patrick Leahy (VT) and Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) wrote to acting Justice Department pardon attorney Rosalind Sargent-Burns inquiring about "what advice President Trump received—and from whom—in deciding to exercise his clemency powers" following his decision to pardon Army Lt. Clint Lorance; pardon and preempt the military trial of ex-Green Beret Maj. Matthew Golsteyn; and restore the rank of Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher.

Instead of an answer, they have been stonewalled, according to three sources familiar with the communication, only receiving a brief missive Tuesday that the DOJ intends to respond but providing no timeline as to when it will.

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The Daily Beast
Jan 16, 2020

When Iran Took Americans Hostage, Bernie Backed Iran's Defenders
Stephen Maturen/Getty ImagesBernie Sanders, a top competitor in the Democratic primaries, has attacked Joe Biden for bringing "just a lot of baggage" into the race. But if past views are a major consideration, consider the baggage that Sanders drags into the campaign.

Go back over 40 years, to the start of Iran's long conflict with the United States. On April 1, 1979, the theocratic Islamic Republic of Iran was proclaimed. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who had returned to Iran from exile to assume command of the revolt, became Supreme Leader in December of that year. His rise was accelerated by the seizure on Nov. 4 of 52 American diplomats and citizens, and citizens of other countries, at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. The hostage crisis became the means by which the Ayatollah crushed political opponents in Iran. Dealing with the hostage taking became the overwhelming political crisis for President Jimmy Carter. It lasted 444 days. 

Virtually all Americans—Democrats, Republicans and independents—united in support of the hostages and the international call for their freedom. One prominent political figure on the 2020 stage, then almost completely unknown, stood apart by joining a Marxist-Leninist party that not only pledged support for the Iranian theocracy, but also justified the hostage taking by insisting the hostages were all likely CIA agents. Who was that person? It was Bernie Sanders.  

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The Daily Beast
Jan 16, 2020

Lisbon Gets the Glamorous Hotel Her Dominance Deserves
Courtesy Armando Jorge Mota RibeiroSometimes a travel destination explodes so quickly that the service industry scrambles to catch up. Such is the case with Lisbon, which fell off tourists' itineraries following decades of military dictatorship and a 1974 coup. Hard times saw Lisbon's young creatives flee to other European capitals, and the city mothballed into a colonial relic.

Portugal exited its economic crisis aided by an international bailout in 2011, followed by progressive social reform. Suddenly, picturesque and cheap Lisbon—The Guardian calls it "Berlin with sun"—was drawing young talent from all over the globe. The sleepy fishing-village vibe was supplanted by a lively cultural scene, and the city's gastronomic reputation no longer rested solely on its bacalhau, praise Jesus.   Faster that you can book a 29 Euro ticket on Ryan Air, Lisbon exploded as the weekend destination for Europe's jet setters, and Americans weren't far behind. 

Now Lisbon receives eight visitors for every resident—making acute the question "Is there room at the Inn?" A few hoteliers, like the Bairro Alto's Marta Tavares da Silva, got out ahead of the boom. Intuiting that her hotel's five stars wouldn't shine so brightly by new Lisbon standards, she purchased over the course of several years the other three 18th century buildings on the block. What followed was a renovation so massive that the Bairro Alto Hotel shuttered its doors from 2017-2019 to fuse the four buildings into one.  Both cosmopolitan and true to its Lisbon roots, the recently reopened Bairro Alto is the latest entry in the The New Room with A View serie

The Daily Beast
Jan 16, 2020

Donald Trump Loves the Iranian People So Much He's Banned Them From the U.S.
Donald Trump really wants you to think he cares about the people of Iran. Over the weekend, he even tweeted in Farsi, telling Iranians, "I've stood with you since the beginning of my Presidency, and my Administration will continue to stand with you." He added, "We are following your protests closely, and are inspired by your courage." 

Yep, Trump deeply cares about the people of Iran, and you can tell by the way he has banned all of them from America—even those who simply want to be reunited with their American spouses, or Iranian grandparents who want to visit their Iranian American grandchildren for the first time. As the nonpartisan National Iranian American Council has stated, Trump's "Muslim Ban has succeeded in separating American families and making the country less inclusive."

Iran, a nation of over 80 million, is the largest in terms of population of the five Muslim majority countries on Trump's Muslim ban (aka "travel ban") that was upheld by the Supreme Court's five conservatives in December 2017. True, there is a waiver program that allows people from the banned countries to apply for a visa to the United States, which on its face appears reasonable. Such a waiver will be granted if a person can demonstrate that: (A) denying entry would cause the foreign national undue hardship; (B) entry would not pose a threat to the national se

The Daily Beast
Jan 16, 2020

Amazon's Pushing Into India and Jeff Bezos Is MIA on Controversial Citizenship Law
Photo Illustration by Kristen Hazzard/The Daily Beast/GettyJeff Bezos was in India this week, documenting a highly anticipated business trip with sunny Instagram posts from choice destinations like a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. But the richest man in modern history has been silent on a top issue gripping the country: a controversial new citizenship law that has produced deadly unrest.

The law in question, the Citizenship Amendment Act, provides a pathway to Indian naturalization for refugees of all major South Asian religions—except practitioners of Islam. While most of India's neighbors are majority Muslim, Islamic minority sects like Rohingya from Myanmar or the Ahmadi in Pakistan face harsh discrimination. It's the first use of religion to determine eligibility for citizenship in modern Indian law, remarkable in a country that, despite a history of sectarian violence, has maintained a tradition of pluralism since the early days of its independence. The United Nations Human Rights Office has called the measure "fundamentally discriminatory," and massive protests against it have roiled India since last month, killing 30 people in the country's largest state. 

Amaz

The Daily Beast
Jan 16, 2020

NYC Women Are Getting Pervy Doctors' Names Deleted From Birth Certificates
NYC Council / FlickrDayna Solomon was heading out for a press conference this fall when her 10-year-old son asked where she was going. Solomon, a chatty creative who works in the fashion industry, had to pause before answering. The press conference was about a New York gynecologist who Solomon says sexually abused her—and who, before his license was revoked, had also delivered her son. She settled on telling him a toned-down version of the truth, that she was going to talk about a doctor who had behaved badly, before an idea came to her. "Do you want to get his name removed from your birth certificate?" she asked.

Under a New York City law that takes effect this month, parents whose doctors have had their medical licenses revoked can get the physician's name taken off their children's birth certificates. While the law applies to any kind of misconduct, it was inspired by patients like Solomon, who say they were sexually abused by their doctors. 

According to the sponsor, City Councilmember Mark Levine, it is the first such law passed in any U.S. city. He said he'd heard from nearly 50 survivors of sexual abuse  during the legislative process, and he expects many more to come. "Once survivors realize they have this right, I think many more will come forward," he said.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 16, 2020

Republicans Aren't Sure They Want to Hear From Hunter Biden
Exactly how President Trump's impeachment trial will be conducted in the Senate remained unclear Wednesday night—with the biggest question mark hanging over whether or not additional witnesses will be called for testimony. 

But as senators debate hypothetical witnesses, one individual pushed exclusively by Trump's closest allies doesn't seem to generating consensus among the soon-to-be jurors of the president's own party: Hunter Biden. 

Several influential Senate Republicans who spoke to The Daily Beast on Wednesday did not appear to have strong feelings about hearing from Vice President Joe Biden's son on his employment on the board of Burisma, the energy company that Trump and his associates pressured Ukraine to investigate. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 16, 2020

These States Want to Stop Transgender High School Students Playing Sports
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Photos GettyAs voters around the country brace for the general election in November, lawmakers in different states have begun the process of introducing bills aimed at rolling back the rights of transgender people, previewing a major civil rights issue aimed at polarizing voters.

So far for the 2020 legislative session, 19 bills have been filed in 11 different state legislatures which would limit the rights of trans people, according to a legislative tracker from the group Freedom for All Americans.

Most of these bills will begin to be debated once lawmakers begin the 2020 legislative session, setting the issue up as one incumbent lawmakers to use to satisfy their electoral bases, advocates tell the Daily Beast.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 16, 2020

What's Your Number? Meet the Enneagram Personality Type Influencers
Photo Illustration by Kristen Hazzard/The Daily Beast/GettyA few months ago, I went day drinking with a group of unnaturally attractive humans, the kind of people who look good in baby bangs and low rise jeans. "I'm a 7," a girl with a sleeve full of tattoos announced. "Same," I agreed, assuming she meant shoe size and thrilled that we had something in common. Then a large man offered that he was a "4," and I realized we weren't talking about feet. 

In a second, I'd learn that we were talking about Enneagram types, a range of nine personalities that has become a kind of "What's your sign?" for the influencer, or influencer-adjacent, set. Someone passed me their phone and I took a 10-minute test which asked questions like whether I'm "more relationship or goal oriented" and whether I'm "methodical and cautious or adventurous and a risk-taker."

Wanting to seem Totally Chill for my new, seemingly-poreless friends, I lied, punching in that I am "spontaneous and fun-loving"  and "romantic and imaginative." According to 9Types.com, this indeed did make me a 7, or an "Adventurer," known for being "energetic, lively, and optimistic," someone who "wants to contribute to the world." (Who doesn't? I silently countered to myself.)

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 16, 2020

‘The Circle': Inside Netflix's Addictive Reality Series Exposing the Dark Side of Social Media
Courtesy of NetflixIt may only be two weeks into the year, but we have already received a glimpse into a dystopian new decade of normalizing catfishing and online clout-chasing. I'm talking about the Netflix game show The Circle, which set Twitter abuzz when the first four episodes dropped on Jan. 1. The final installments premiered on Wednesday.  

Its premise is peak 2020: eight contestants live in isolated single apartments in what appears to be the same building, but they are forbidden from physical contact with one another, instead communicating exclusively through a "voice-activated" social media platform called The Circle. They are competing to become the most "popular" with other contestants and after a full day of stalking each other's photos and bios, chatting via instant message, and playing games, they rank their competitors from favorite to least favorite. The two most popular players each week become "influencers" (blue verification check and all) and get to "block," or eliminate, a contestant of their choosing. The contestant who ranks first at the end wins $100,000.

Each episode is comprised entirely of twenty- and thirtysomethings spending the whole day alone, looking at a screen, talking to themselves. Yet it's highly addictive just minutes into the first episode. According to both Twitter and my personal experience, the show is mainly consumed in lengthy binges, and it's not long before reality starts to mimic art (or, well, augmented reality). After six hours glued to your couch, staring at your TV watching 24-year-old bisexual Sammie stare at her TV, it's impossible not to fee

The Daily Beast
Jan 15, 2020

Samantha Bee Goes Off on CNN: Stop Making ‘Mom and Dad' Fight!
Samantha Bee opened her first Full Frontal of 2020 Wednesday night by running through the highlights of the previous night's Democratic debate in Iowa, from a performance by Joe Biden "that critics are hailing as ‘awake,' ‘standing' and ‘are you OK?' to Tom Steyer, who "decided to buy his way into the debate with the most inessential campaign of all time." 

"All things considered, Steyer got pretty easy," Bee said, "especially compared to the much rougher night that mom and dad had." She was of course referring to the "personal disagreement" between Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. "But don't worry, the talking heads are being super civilized about it and not milking it at all," she added, cutting to a montage of CNN doing just that.

"Jesus Christ! The only way they could be trying harder to get them to fight is if they personally oiled up these senior citizens and threw them into the Octagon," Bee said. She was equally unimpressed by the media hype around Warren apparently rejecting a handshake from Sanders after the debate. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 15, 2020

Tucker Carlson Goes Full Bernie Bro in Attack on CNN
For most of the day on Wednesday, #CNNisTrash was among the top trending topics on Twitter thanks to Bernie Sanders supporters unhappy with the way their candidate was treated at the previous night's debate. Fox News host Tucker Carlson is right there with them.

Carlson opened his show Wednesday night by warning of the "chaos" that will ensue in the Democratic Party if Sanders gets the presidential nomination this summer. If the Vermont senator does win the primary, Carlson said it will have "all started" at the Des Moines debate when CNN President Jeff Zucker "decided to destroy the Sanders for President campaign." 

The host went on to argue that Zucker is working on behalf of the "Democratic establishment, which has dispatched him to crush Bernie Sanders before he can take control of the party." 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 15, 2020

‘My Name Is Lucy Barton': Laura Linney Makes a Little Life Big on Broadway
Courtesy Matthew MurphyThe award-laden Laura Linney can spin gold from pretty much anything, as proven in projects as diverse as Tales of the City, Ozark, and The Big C. Not just that, she can make that gold intelligible, epic, and also everyday. Her latest Broadway play, My Name is Lucy Barton—opening tonight (to Feb 29, Samuel J. Friedman Theatre)—features a commanding solo performance (by Linney) in service of an underpowered play.

The novel of the same name, by Elizabeth Strout, is rightly acclaimed: it is both an unpeeling and reforming of the character of its title, a New York City woman who in the 1980s becomes very ill, stays for a period of weeks in the hospital, and whose principal antagonist and confidante in that time is her mother who comes to visit her from rural Illinois. But Lucy Barton loses something in transfer from page to stage.

Critics lavished this London Theatre Company production, directed by Richard Eyre, with praise when it played in Blighty.

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The Daily Beast
Jan 15, 2020

Trevor Noah Roasts Trump and Rudy Giuliani for Hiring Terrible ‘Criminal' Lev Parnas
After joking that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held onto the impeachment articles against Trump "tighter than Mike Pence's sphincter in a room with two women," Trevor Noah previewed what could happen next now that she has finally delivered them to the Senate. 

"The big fight is now going to be about whether or not the trial will include new witnesses and new evidence," the Daily Show host said. "Because you see just yesterday we learned new details about Trump and his shady dealing with Ukraine." 

He was talking about the latest bombshell developments surrounding Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas who appears to have flipped on Trump, sharing new documents and text messages that further implicate the president, including a handwritten note on hotel stationery that lays out the whole thing. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 15, 2020

Robert Hyde Defends Ominous Lev Parnas Surveillance Texts as ‘Colorful'
Photo Illustration by The Daily BeastIn a much-bleeped interview with Trump ally Eric Bolling, the newest figure in the Trump impeachment saga tried to defend his ominous-sounding texts with Lev Parnas. 

That person, Republican congressional candidate Robert Hyde, went on Bolling's Sinclair show to answer questions about texts in which he claimed to know the physical location of American's then-ambassador to Ukraine and to have information about her cellphone use. But he didn't offer much of an explanation.

"We sent some colorful texts," he said. "You know, it's kind of unfortunate that the left had to get their panties in a bunch."

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The Daily Beast
Jan 15, 2020

Lev Parnas: Mike Pence Canceled Ukraine Trip Over Biden Probe
Photo Illustration by The Daily BeastLev Parnas, an indicted ex-associate of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, accused President Donald Trump of lying about their relationship Wednesday night. And he said Giuliani told Ukrainian officials that Parnas spoke on behalf of the president. 

In an interview with Rachel Maddow for her MSNBC show, Parnas said that when he met with Ukrainian government officials, he would call Giuliani and put him on speaker. Giuliani would then tell the officials that Parnas was there on Trump's behalf, he said. 

"It was never about corruption," Parnas said. "It was strictly about Burisma, which includes Hunter Biden and Joe Biden."

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The Daily Beast
Jan 15, 2020

Lev Parnas: Mike Pence Canceled Ukraine Visit In Quid Pro Quo
REUTERSLev Parnas, an indicted ex-associate of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, accused President Donald Trump of lying about their relationship Wednesday night. And he said Giuliani told Ukrainian officials that Parnas spoke on behalf of the president. 

In an interview with Rachel Maddow for her MSNBC show, Parnas said that when he met with Ukrainian government officials, he would call Giuliani and put him on speaker. Giuliani would then tell the officials that Parnas was there on Trump's behalf, he said. 

"It was never about corruption," Parnas said. "It was strictly about Burisma, which includes Hunter Biden and Joe Biden."

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Jan 15, 2020

Epstein Used Database to Track ‘Numerous' Underage Girls ‘Held Captive' at His Virgins Islands Hideaway: Suit
Jeffrey Epstein used his private hideaway in the U.S. Virgin Islands to sexually abuse numerous underage girls for nearly two decades—tracking their availability and movements through a computerized database, according to a new lawsuit. 

On Wednesday, the government of the U.S. Virgin Islands sued the estate of the late sex offender for the alleged abuse, saying Epstein "trafficked, raped, sexually assaulted and held captive underaged girls and young women at his properties in the Virgin Islands" until 2018. 

"The conduct of Epstein and his associates shocks the conscience and betrays the deepest principles and laws of the Virgin Islands," Attorney General Denise N. George said in a statement announcing the lawsuit. "The Virgin Islands is not, and will not be, a safe haven for human trafficking and sexual exploitation."

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Jan 15, 2020

Virginia Ratifies the Equal Rights Amendment, and Conservatives Fight Like It's 1979
Alex Wong/GettyTime to bring back bell-bottom jeans and Disco Inferno: the Equal Rights Amendment, which passed Congress in 1972 and became a feminist cause celébre in the 1970s and 1980s, has just been ratified by 38 states, making it part of the Constitution.

Maybe.

On Wednesday, the Commonwealth of Virginia ratified the ERA as both houses of the state legislature approved the amendment by comfortable margins. Democratic Governor Ralph Northam also backs the measure. The ERA states, simply, that "equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex."

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 15, 2020

The Best Robot Vacuums to Help Outsource Your Chores
One of the best decisions I made when moving in with someone was to get a robot vacuum. Vacuuming is arguably one of the worst chores, right up there with unloading the dishwasher and folding and putting away laundry. Their only redeeming factor is emptying the canister into the garbage. Robot vacuums, on the other hand, do all the work for you, hitting hard-to-reach places with ease, and you still get the satisfaction of seeing how much dirt you've accumulated in your home in a week before throwing it away. We've rounded up some of the best robot vacuums out there so you can outsource your chores. Also be nice to it, just in case.

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.

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The Daily Beast
Jan 15, 2020

Michael Avenatti Jailed Without Bond
Spencer Platt/Getty ImagesLOS ANGELES—United States District Court Judge James V. Selna ordered today that Stormy Daniels' ex-attorney Michael Avenatti remain in federal custody for possible violation of his conditions of pretrial release and be transported "forthwith" to New York, where he will stand trial next week.

The judge found there was probable cause Avenatti had committed crimes in violation of the terms of his bond and ordered the embattled celebrity attorney detained without bond. Avenatti will continue to be held in an Orange County jail pending transfer to New York and will remain in custody "for the foreseeable future," according to Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California.

As The Daily Beast first reported, the pugnacious lawyer was arrested by federal authorities on Tuesday evening during an appearance at State Bar Court in Los Angeles, during a disciplinary hearing in which the State Bar of California claimed Avenatti had scammed a client out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 15, 2020

Michael Avenatti Tossed in Jail for ‘Foreseeable Future'
Spencer Platt/Getty ImagesLOS ANGELES—United States District Court Judge James V. Selna ordered today that Stormy Daniels' ex-attorney Michael Avenatti remain in federal custody for possible violation of his conditions of pretrial release and be transported "forthwith" to New York, where he will stand trial next week.

The judge found there was probable cause Avenatti had committed crimes in violation of the terms of his bond and ordered the embattled celebrity attorney detained without bond. Avenatti will continue to be held in an Orange County jail pending transfer to New York and will remain in custody "for the foreseeable future," according to Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California.

Prosecutors in California say that since Avenatti was released on bond after a not-guilty plea to federal charges in March, he has engaged in a scheme to defraud victims—ranging from former colleagues and clients to two ex-wives—by concealing funds and "structuring" currency transactions to amounts below the $10,000 amount that w0uld automatically trigger reporting by the bank to the government.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 15, 2020

Trump and China Agree to Trade Truce—For Now
President Trump signed his "big, beautiful monster" of a trade deal with China Wednesday.

Love it or hate it, the monstrous Economic and Trade Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the People's Republic of China is, as the administration claims, "historic." 

The U.S., recognizing that Chinese ruler Xi Jinping is increasingly dictating economic outcomes, is moving away from free trade to managed trade. Accordingly, Trump got China to promise this year and next to make purchases of U.S. goods and services of at least $200 billion over what it imported in 2017. Much of the commitment involves agricultural products. Manufactured goods and energy products are included as well. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 15, 2020

Aide Accused of Murdering Former Arkansas State Senator Offered ‘Gold' From Jail for Hit on Ex: Prosecutors
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Democratic Party of ArkansasA woman awaiting trial for allegedly killing a former Arkansas state senator was hit with new charges Tuesday after she promised fellow inmates she would give them "gold and silver" to murder the victim's ex-husband and his new wife, prosecutors said. 

Rebecca Lynn O'Donnell, who pleaded not guilty to several charges in the June murder of former State Sen. Linda Collins-Smith, was slapped with two counts of soliciting to commit murder and two counts of solicitation to commit tampering with physical evidence in connection with the elaborate plot she allegedly tried to orchestrate from prison.

The former campaign staffer for Collins-Smith has been behind bars since June 14—10 days after the 57-year-old Republican was found fatally stabbed and wrapped in a blanket under a tarp at the end of her Pocahontas, Arkansas, driveway. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 15, 2020

Taal Volcano Eruption in the Philippines is Looking Bad, with Worse to Come
Eloisa Lopez/ReutersTaal Volcano in the Philippines, rising more than 1,000 feet above a crater lake 30 miles south of Manila, could erupt in full force at any time. Already it's been shooting geysers of ash half a mile high for more than three days, coating roads, cars, plants, animals and just about everything else all the way to the capital. 

Fissures were seen on nearby rocks amid fears an explosion might send streams of red-hot magma out of the volcano after lava already had burst from its core when it first exploded Sunday. 

Renato Solidum, director of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, placed the volcano on alert level 4 for "hazardous eruption possible in hours to days," warning those who had left the area to stay away before the volcano reaches level 5 for "hazardous eruption."

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 15, 2020

Father Admits to Killing Wife, 3 Kids After Family Found Dead in Florida Home: Sheriff
APU GOMES/GettyA father has confessed to murdering his wife, their three children, and the family dog inside their rented home near Walt Disney World, authorities announced Wednesday.

Anthony Todt, 44, has been arrested and charged with multiple counts of homicide in connection with the murder of his 42-year-old wife, Megan, and their three children in Celebration, Florida, the Osceola County Sheriff's Office said. Todt was also charged with one count of animal cruelty after confessing to killing the family's dog, Breezy, authorities said.

"He is cooperating with the investigation, I can tell you that much," Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson said, calling the quadruple murder "despicable."

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The Daily Beast
Jan 15, 2020

Robert Downey Jr. Couldn't Look More Miserable in ‘Dolittle,' a Confusingly Weird Kids' Movie
Universal PicturesAfter the shot of 151-proof mania that was Oscars nomination morning, there's nothing more sobering than Dolittle. 

Barreling through the debate over snubs and surprises and Joker and J. Lo like a paranoid ostrich with the voice of Kumail Nanjiani ridden by Robert Downey Jr.—a thing that actually happens in the film—Dolittle announces itself as both inscrutable and unscrutinizable. A CGI creature lets out an enormous fart. A child in the audience laughs uncontrollably. We have no recourse but to accept it and hand Robert Downey Jr. his paycheck. 

This is not the first film adaptation of Dr. Dolittle, the 1920s Hugh Lofting literary character who can talk with animals in their own language. But it is by far the strangest. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 15, 2020

Meghan McCain Rails Against ‘Misogynistic Bernie Bros' for Attacking Warren
The View's Meghan McCain ramped up her pointed criticism of some of Bernie Sanders' most ardent supporters on Wednesday, blasting "misogynistic Bernie bros" for their online attacks on presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

Discussing the fallout from Tuesday night's Democratic presidential debate, McCain brought up the now-viral moment of Warren rebuffing the Vermont independent's post-debate handshake and appearing to get into a tense exchange with him. This comes on the heels of the Massachusetts senator accusing Sanders of saying during a private meeting that a woman couldn't win the presidential election.

After liberal co-host Joy Behar expressed optimism that Sanders would be able to get his supporters to back another candidate if he were to lose the nomination, McCain doused cold water on Behar's hopefulness.

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The Daily Beast
Jan 15, 2020

Abby Huntsman Confronts Bloomberg Over ‘Sexist' Comments
The ViewAt the end of his first of three segments Wednesday morning on The View, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg wrapped up his answer on the controversial "stop-and-frisk" policy by saying, "In some things, I did it wrong and I apologized and then tried to do something else." 

"Well, we're going to give you more time to apologize," Whoopi Goldberg said before throwing the commercial. That's exactly what they did after the break, but this time, a defiant Bloomberg refused to take responsibility. 

"I also have friends that have worked at your company and have wonderful things to say, but you have been accused in the past of making lewd and sexist comments and fostering a frat-like culture at your company that was uncomfortable for some female employees," Abby Huntsman, who will leave a different kind of "toxic" work environment at the end of this week, said. "ABC has actually has spoken to several women who want to share their stories but you won't release them from their NDAs." 

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Jan 15, 2020

Putin's Power Play: Shuffle the Cabinet But Keep Command
Konstantin Zavrazhin/GettyMOSCOW—During his annual state of the nation address to the Russian parliament on Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin said repeatedly that the Russian people expect changes, and the one announced less than three hours later—described on Kommersant FM radio as "Operation Successor"—seemed to throw a lot of cards up in the air. 

The Russian prime minister, Dmitry Medvev, and the whole cabinet resigned, leaving more than 140 million people wondering what political course their country is about to take, whether more liberal at last, or even more conservative.  "Not everything was done," Putin said after that announcement, praising the cabinet faintly, "but ‘everything' never works out." 

The political elite is being careful with its comments since few know who will benefit from this major change. Predictions by Russian pundits about the next PM bounced from the most liberal to the most conservative candidates. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 15, 2020

This Is Trump's Benghazi Moment: ‘It Doesn't Really Matter'
Drew Angerer/GettyPARIS-When it comes to the art of deal-making in Middle East statecraft, death is part of the bargain. At least since the days of the Crusades, assassinations have been used as negotiating tools rather stronger than a diplomatic note, but not so disastrous and fraught with unforeseen consequences as a war. 

And while some American commanders in chief might have balked at that proposition, even tried to rule it out, Donald Trump apparently saw the decision to liquidate Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani as a natural negotiating ploy. Perhaps his hawkish advisers told him—without some important caveats—it's the kind of thing the Israelis have been doing for years.

That would explain, in part, Trump's tweet on Monday that simply dismissed the debate over whether Soleimani was plotting an "imminent" attack on U.S. installations or personnel. Trump continued to insist without presenting evidence that he believes that to have been the case with Soleimani, then added, "It doesn't really matter because of his horrible past!"

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 15, 2020

Pelosi Names Impeachment Prosecutors, Triggering Senate Trial
REUTERSThe team of House Democratic lawmakers who will act as prosecutors in the impeachment trial of President Trump was formally introduced by Speaker Nancy Pelosi in an announcement on Wednesday morning.

The speaker named seven so-called "impeachment managers" who will take up the case, outlined in the two articles of impeachment that the House passed in December, that Trump abused his power by pressuring the government of Ukraine to do him political favors while withholding U.S. security aid.

As expected, the group of managers will be led by the two House lawmakers most closely associated with impeachment: Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the House Intelligence Committee chairman who was the face of the impeachment inquiry, and Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), the House Judiciary Committee chairman whose panel wrote the articles.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 15, 2020

Meghan Markle's Father Is Ready to Be Star Witness Against Her in Court. It's Time for Her to Drop This Case
WPA PoolIf you love The Daily Beast's royal coverage, then we hope you'll enjoy The Royalist, a members-only series for Beast Inside. Become a member to get it in your inbox on Sunday.

Is an obscure point of copyright law really worth all of this trouble?

Meghan Markle made her first public appearance Tuesday since the abdication crisis exploded, and was all smiles as she boarded a sea plane to visit a women's center in downtown Vancouver.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Jan 15, 2020

Former SNL Writer Michael Schur: Letting Trump Host Was a ‘Critical Error'
Photo Illustration by Kristen Hazzard/The Daily Beast/AlamyOn Sept. 29, 2001, less than three weeks after the 9/11 attacks, Saturday Night Live returned for its first new episode of the season. Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler had just been hired to join the cast, Tina Fey was serving as co-head writer, and Michael Schur had just been promoted to head of "Weekend Update." 

But instead of starting with a cold open comedy sketch, the lights came up on Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who was surrounded by a group of New York City police officers and firefighters. He delivered a heartfelt message of gratitude and resilience and then Paul Simon performed "The Boxer" wearing an FDNY hat. When Simon finished the song, SNL executive producer Lorne Michaels joined the mayor on stage and asked him, "Can we be funny?" 

"Why start now?" Giuliani replied as the entire room and everyone watching at home let out a huge sigh of relief. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



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