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The Daily Beast
Nov 15, 2019

State Dept. Aide Says He Overheard Sondland Tell Trump Ukraine President Would Do ‘Anything'
Yara Nardi/ReutersU.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland was overheard telling President Trump that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was willing to do "anything" Trump asked him to do, including "the investigation," according to the opening statement of a new witness in the impeachment inquiry against Trump.

David Holmes, a State Department aide who worked under U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor, testified in a closed-door hearing before Congress on Friday. According to his statement to lawmakers obtained by CNN, Sondland told the president that Zelensky "loves (his) ass" in a phone call at a restaurant in Kyiv.

"I then heard President Trump ask, ‘So, he's gonna do the investigation?' Ambassador Sondland replied that ‘he's gonna do it,' adding that President Zelensky will do ‘anything you ask him to,'" Holmes reportedly told lawmakers.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Nov 15, 2019

Republicans Thought Yovanovitch Would Be a Pushover. She Beat Them Up Instead
Nicholas Kamm / AFP/ Getty ImagesBefore she even spoke on Friday, President Donald Trump's surrogates in Congress and conservative media expected Marie Yovanovitch to cry on command for the impeachment-hearing cameras. As she began testifying about the smear campaign that forced her from her ambassadorship in Ukraine, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) tweeted that impeachment wasn't about her feelings. 

But for over five hours, the 33-year veteran diplomat left no doubt why she was there and what she endured, even as the president himself weighed in on Twitter seeming to intimidate her as she sat in front of the congressional panel. The president's attack wasn't the only attack she brushed aside. Yovanovitch methodically outplayed a series of Republican efforts to cast her firing as normal, the president's behavior as unremarkable, and the harm she suffered as negligible-rather than the prelude to a shadow diplomatic effort to coerce Ukraine into aiding Trump's reelection. 

Instead, she made it clear that she would have been an obstacle to the president's pressure on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had she remained in Kyiv. At one point, she told Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) that she would have opposed the summer 2019 suspension of $400 million in U.S. military aid and would never have asked Zelensky to pursue

The Daily Beast
Nov 15, 2019

Despite Photo, Prince Andrew Has ‘No Recollection' Of Meeting Epstein Sex Crimes Accuser, Virginia Roberts
Tristan Fewings/Getty ImagesPrince Andrew claims to have "no recollection" of meeting Virginia Roberts Giuffre, the young woman whom he was pictured with his arm around in a notorious photograph, said to have been taken by Jeffrey Epstein at Ghislaine Maxwell's London home.

Roberts has accused Prince Andrew of having sex with her on three occasions when she was being trafficked by Epstein.

The comments raise the possibility that Andrew is trying to inject fresh credibility into a theory put about by his friends that the picture is fake.  

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The Daily Beast
Nov 15, 2019

Devin Nunes and The Benghazi Boys Are Back—But Now They See No Evil
House Republicans have a history of twisting facts to create a circus during congressional hearings; it's a feature, not a bug for them.

But in a taste of sweet irony, Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch subtly flipped the script during the impeachment hearings Friday, using her opening statement to name her colleagues who were killed in Benghazi and subsequently used as political props to attack the Obama administration's State Department. Speaking of the Department, she said: "We are Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Patrick Smith, Ty Woods, and Glen Doherty—people rightly called heroes for their ultimate sacrifice to this nation's foreign policy interests in Libya, eight years ago. We honor these individuals. They represent each one of you here—and every American. These courageous individuals were attacked because they symbolized America."

The Benghazi hearings were a new low for House Republicans, who turned a national tragedy into a political circus focused on bringing down a Democratic presidential candidate. Those hearings were never about what happened in Libya, and how to prevent future tragedies—as Kevin McCarthy publicly bragged at the time. They were about smearing Hillary Clinton so that she would lose in 2016. And it worked.

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The Daily Beast
Nov 15, 2019

Scouted: The Best New Launches from Allbirds, Summersalt, Daughter of the Land and More
New Kids on the Block helps you navigate all the new and exciting launches from our favorite brands, all in one place.

Daughter of the Land CBD Bath Oils: I truly love the CBD bath salts from Daughter of the Land, and the brand new bath oils are just as good. The Cypress oil has the same scent as the original bath soak does while the Chamomile has a hint of sweet chamomile that will make your bath feel extra luxurious. Add a few drops and get to relaxing.

Allbirds Chilly Collection: On the heels of the addition of fall colorways, Allbirds has now added winter-inspired colors to its collection, as well. The new colors include Frost, Harvest, and Storm for both men and women — and are splashed across best-selling styles like the Runner-up Mizzles, Wool Runners, and Tree Breezers.

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The Daily Beast
Nov 15, 2019

California Real-Estate Heiress Tiffany Li Off the Hook in Murder Case
A California real-estate heiress accused of conspiring with her boyfriend to kill the father of her two children was acquitted on Friday.

Tiffany Li, 33, was found not guilty of murdering her ex-boyfriend, 27-year-old Keith Green, amid a custody dispute over their daughters.

Jurors also cleared her boyfriend, 32-year-old Kaveh Baya, of gun charges on Friday, but have yet to reach a verdict on the murder charge against him. The jury will continue to deliberate on Friday.

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The Daily Beast
Nov 15, 2019

WATCH: From Nixon to WikiLeaks, Roger Stone's Scandalous Career
Donald Trump's longtime confidant Roger Stone, who was accused of misleading Congress about his interactions with WikiLeaks to protect the president, was found guilty of all seven charges brought against him on Friday afternoon.

The eccentric 67-year-old was first indicted and arrested in January on several charges—including witness tampering, obstruction of justice and lying to Congress—that stemmed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. The "dirty trickster," as he calls himself, will be sentenced on Feb. 6, 2020.

Stone is no stranger to political scandal. Watch the video above for a glimpse inside his decades of dirty tricks.

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The Daily Beast
Nov 15, 2019

Twitter Will Ban Politicians From Buying All Ads, In Stark Contrast With Facebook
Justin SullivanTwitter's announcement that it would end political advertising in late October signaled a strong departure from Facebook's own hands-off approach to political ads—a position that delighted Republicans and had the political left again slamming the world's biggest social network for its failure to take misinformation seriously. 

Now, Twitter is breaking down the details of its sweeping ad-policy changes, a shift that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has already declared will "degrade democracy" and deny Americans an "important tool" for political dissent.

On a call detailing the changes, which will kick in on Nov. 22, Twitter Legal, Policy and Trust & Safety Lead Vijaya Gadde explained that the new policy "addresses a lot of the risks that come with political advertising." 

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The Daily Beast
Nov 15, 2019

Trump Tampers With Witness in Ukraine Impeachment Probe as Roger Stone Convicted of Witness Tampering
If you were looking for "pizzazz," you came to the right place.

A tweet Trump sent in real-time bashing former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch in the midst of her testimony at the impeachment hearing Friday seemed to underscore the charges against him, and perhaps even add to their count. 

Hours later, and just a few miles away, a jury found long-time Trump advisor Roger Stone guilty of seven charges, including witness tampering and lying to Congress. Trump promptly Tweeted about that, too, suggesting a pardon might be coming.

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The Daily Beast
Nov 15, 2019

Fox News Reporter Grasps at Straws: Constitution ‘Doesn't Say Anything About Witness Intimidation'
Fox News senior Capitol Hill producer Chad Pergram provided some cover for Donald Trump on Friday after the president unleashed a Twitter attack on former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch while she was testifying before Congress, noting that "witness intimidation" isn't featured in the Constitution as it relates to impeachment.

Friday's open impeachment hearing took a dramatic turn when House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) read aloud the president's tweet, prompting Yovanovitch to respond: "I can't speak to what the president's trying to do but I think the effect is to be intimidating."

Immediately after the hearing went into recess, Fox News anchor Bret Baier didn't pull any punches, pointing out that the hearing "turned on a dime" with the Trump tweet.

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The Daily Beast
Nov 15, 2019

Browns' Myles Garrett Suspended Indefinitely After Attacking Quarterback With Helmet
Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett has been suspended indefinitely without pay after yanking off Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph's helmet and whacking him in the head several times during an on-field fight Thursday night, the National Football League announced Friday.

In a statement, the NFL said Garrett will face a minimum of a suspension of the regular season and postseason and will meet with the commissioner's office before the decision on his reinstatement is made. 

"Garrett violated unnecessary roughness and unsportsmanlike conduct rules, as well as fighting, removing the helmet of an opponent and using the helmet as a weapon," the NFL said in a statement Friday, adding the Browns player will also be "fined an additional amount."

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The Daily Beast
Nov 15, 2019

Scouted: Go Slow and Low With Your Next Meal With These Best-Selling Slow Cookers from Amazon
I'll freely admit I'm obsessed with my slow cooker. Sure, I didn't name my firstborn "Crockpot," but that's only because my wife put her foot down. "It's an old Irish name," I protested, convincing no-one. 

As a time-poor and cash-strapped freelancer, I rely on my Crockpot to transform the cheapest cuts of meat into delectable meals that massage my tastebuds into a blissful sense of euphoria, momentarily distracting me from the unpaid invoices and mounting utility bills. A regular favorite is pulled pork, which involves submerging a pork shoulder into in a seasoned broth of hard cider and barbecue sauce until it disintegrates into a sticky, meaty, tender mess. 

And unlike other methods of cooking, slow cookers require the least amount of attention. Most recipes involve chucking your ingredients into a bowl and returning hours later, once the slow cooker has done its magic. This means you can prepare your dinner in the morning, allowing you to return home to the smell of an already-cooked fajita casserole or Lancashire hotpot. 

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The Daily Beast
Nov 15, 2019

Roger Stone Found Guilty of Lying to Congress to Protect Trump
Roger Stone, the eccentric longtime Trump confidant accused of lying to Congress in 2017 about his interactions with WikiLeaks and pressuring another witness to do the same, was found guilty of all seven charges against him on Friday.

Stone, 67, was convicted of seven charges, including lying to congressional investigators, witness tampering, and obstructing justice. The charges stem from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election—and were the last to be filed before the probe ended.  

The jury deliberated for seven hours over two days before returning the verdict. Dressed in a blue suit, Stone stood expressionless at the defense table with his left hand in his pocket as the verdict was read, according to The Washington Post. Stone now faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, which will be set on Feb. 6.

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The Daily Beast
Nov 15, 2019

‘Witness Intimidation': Trump Slimes Ambassador During Impeachment Hearing
As Marie Yovanovitch outlined the smear campaign that President Trump's allies successfully used to oust her as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Trump decided to add to it. 

"Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad," the president tweeted, insisting on his "absolute right" to appoint ambassadors. Yovanovitch had just finished describing the "vague threat" she felt from the president himself, months after his allies derailed a diplomatic career notable for fighting corruption in Ukraine. 

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the point person for the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry of Donald Trump, stopped a line of questioning to ask Yovanovitch what the effect would be on her and future impeachment witnesses. "I can't speak to what the president's trying to do," said Yovanovitch, "but I think the effect is to be intimidating." 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Nov 15, 2019

Yovanovitch: Don Jr. and Fox News Hosts ‘Amplified' Smears Against Me
During Friday's public impeachment hearing, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch described how conservatives and right-wing media figures repeatedly disparaged her last spring in an apparent effort by Trumpworld to sully her reputation in order to justify removing her from her post.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) asked Yovanovich about former top Ukraine prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko, pointing out that she likely angered Lutsenko in her time as ambassador due to her anti-corruption efforts.

Noting that another former Ukrainian prosecutor general, Viktor Sholkin, also had a history of corruption, Schiff asked Yovanovitch: "Did you come to learn that both were in touch with Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's lawyer and representative?"

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The Daily Beast
Nov 15, 2019

Scouted: Having a Gifting Emergency? Here's a Whole List of Gifts For that Very Situation.
It's officially gifting season. Scouted's holiday gift guides are here to help you get through it all. Check all of them out here.

I gave my first emergency gift at age 14. A classmate surprised me with a present on the last day of term and I panicked and gave her the only thing I had in my bag: a Judy Blume book I hadn't even finished. Since then I've always made sure I have a little stash of emergency gifts for when I'm caught off guard or receive an unexpected kindness that needs to be reciprocated. I suggest you stock up with some of these goodies from Amazon in case you get a surprise gift this holiday season.

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
Nov 15, 2019

Transcript Shows WH Made Up Details of Trump's Zelensky Call
GENYA SAVILOVThe release of the transcript of President Donald Trump's first call in April with Ukrainain president-elect Volodomyr Zelensky was meant to bolster the case that Trump had nothing but good intentions in his dealings with Ukraine—but it also showed a White House summary of the same call released to the public shortly after it occurred was largely fabricated. 

The White House readout, a summary of the call released hours after it occurred, claimed Trump "underscored the unwavering support of the United States for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity—within its internationally recognized borders—and expressed his commitment to work together with President-elect Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people to implement reforms that strengthen democracy, increase prosperity, and root out corruption."

Such statements are nowhere to be found in the transcript of the call released by the president on Friday. That transcript shows Trump congratulating Zelensky on his recent election win, promising to arrange a White House visit for the new Ukrainian president, and recounting the large number of Ukrainaian women who participated in Trump's Miss Universe competitions.

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The Daily Beast
Nov 15, 2019

It Is Too Early for Christmas, Dammit!
This 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.

Earlier this week I attended a holiday party. There were old timey carolers doing the "Ding Dong Ding Dong" song that someone else in attendance informed me is actually called "Carol of the Bells." (The more you know.) In lieu of a bracelet when you checked in, you got a Santa hat. Hot cider was served as cocktail waiters mouthed along to "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree."

It was horrifying. I assure you that every passing appetizer I ate and every glass of wine I drank was IN PROTEST. It is too soon.

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The Daily Beast
Nov 15, 2019

Trump Boasted About ‘Great' Ukrainians at Miss Universe Pageant on First Zelensky Call
If President Trump believes a rough readout of him telling anecdotes about the Miss Universe pageant to foreign leaders will distract the impeachment inquiry, it looks like he's sorely mistaken.

Since last week, Trump and his White House staff have signaled they were ready to unveil this week a summary of the president's first call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. Trump had conspicuously previewed the move multiple times, boasting of his alleged transparency and supposedly exculpatory new information. 

On Friday, we found out why. In a summary of the searingly banal conversation, the two men discuss almost nothing of substance, with Zelensky boasting about the quality of the food in Ukraine and Trump saying he met some "great people" from the country when he owned the Miss Universe pageant.

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The Daily Beast
Nov 15, 2019

Scouted: I'm Not Ready for Winter But I'm a Little More Prepared for It Wearing This Recycled Down Patagonia Parka
You Should Know About is a look at the products and brands that we at Scouted think should be on your radar and in your life ASAP.

In my area, the cold has finally arrived. I know this because when I walk outside there's a piercing, obnoxious wind and my eyes start tearing up immediately. It's an adjustment in spirit and, quite honestly, my attitude. Winter is sneaking up slowly on us, so it's time to break out the winter gear. Part of the fun is wearing a jacket that provides a protective shell against the elements and makes me want to hike further in the cold.

My jacket of choice is the Patagonia Jackson Glacier Parka, which is like wrapping yourself in a warm glove. I'll confess to being slightly annoyed by winter arriving so early but pleasantly surprised by the jacket. It is insulated with 700-fill recycled down and has a water-resistant coating. In my tests, it stayed warm and repelled sleet and snow easily enough. The removable hood is lined with 700-fill down as well. I liked how the sleeve has an inner jacket lining that protects you from the wind.

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The Daily Beast
Nov 15, 2019

Ukraine's Anti-Russia Azov Battalion: ‘Minutemen' or Neo-Nazi Terrorists?
KYIV—When Deputy Secretary of State George Kent spoke at the U.S. House of Representatives impeachment hearings this week, he painted a powerful picture of Ukrainian bravery in the face of Russian aggression. 

In 2014, when "Russia invaded Ukraine" and occupied 7 percent of its territory, Ukraine's state institutions were "on the verge of collapse," he said. But "Ukrainian civil society answered the challenge. They formed volunteer battalions of citizens, including technology professionals and medics. They crowd-sourced funding for their own weapons, body armor, and supplies. They were the 21st century Ukrainian equivalent of our own Minutemen in 1776, buying time for the regular army to reconstitute."

But Kent most likely did not have in mind the most famous—and infamous—of those volunteer units, the Azov Battalion, which 40 members of Congress have asked the State Department to designate as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. Some of its members are neo-Nazis, white supremacists and avowed anti-Semites.

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The Daily Beast
Nov 15, 2019

Accused of Sex Crimes, Prince Andrew Sits Down for Big Jeffrey Epstein Interview to Clear His Name
Dan KitwoodWill he deploy the chubby fingers defense?

Prince Andrew this week recorded a "no holds barred" interview with the BBC about his friendship with the pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, which will be broadcast on the BBC's flagship Newsnight program on Saturday night.

It represents a seismic change of strategy by the prince and one that is likely to make mandarins at the palace deeply nervous. Until now, Andrew has relied on issuing the same strongly worded statement denying there was any "impropriety" with Virginia Roberts Giuffre, the woman who claims she was abused by Andrew at the age of 17.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Nov 15, 2019

10 Dishes With Celebrity Chef Jonathan Waxman
Courtesy Daniel KriegerAfter a shift, what is your favorite guilty pleasure to eat? "One of my favorite pleasures is a Grey Goose Martini served straight up, (no vermouth, three olives with pits!), a lobster roll and a slice of Black Forest layer cake."

Is there one dish you won't cook? "Octopus, (any creature with nine brains and is therefore smarter than most politicians), is not for consumption."

All-time favorite spice. "Cinnamon first, chili flakes second."

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The Daily Beast
Nov 15, 2019

The Bittersweet Wonder of Emperor Penguins Saying Goodbye
Courtesy Lindsay McCraeEven though the egg had arrived, the pair of emperors didn't seem to be settling down, and it suddenly dawned on me that the next phase may happen faster than I'd expected. The male immediately started showing interest in the egg and without giving his partner any time to recover from her ordeal he started trying to take charge of it. Advancing with his head low, he nearly knocked the female off her feet. He was clearly keen to get hold of the egg but with the female appearing reluctant they eventually settled down, resuming their couple's stance next to one another.

I sat up and looked over to them. Having witnessed the whole episode on the small screen within my camera's viewfinder, I wondered what was going through their heads. Depending on how quickly the female would be willing to transfer her egg over to the male, these were potentially the last few moments they were to spend together until she returned in over sixty days. Did the male really want to take responsibility for such a precious item?

Since arriving back at the colony after the summer he'd been slowly shedding a small number of feathers on his belly just above his feet. This area of bare skin is present on all birds that incubate eggs, but is probably most obvious in emperors when they stand tall. Every few moments the male leant forward and, using his long curved beak, made final adjustments, nipping away any loose feathers that seemed out of place and ensuring his brood pouch was just the right size. The patch of pink bare skin on a bird so densely covered in thick black and white feathers looked raw without an egg hiding it.



The Daily Beast
Nov 15, 2019

Scouted: 5 New Direct-to-Consumer Furniture Brands to Shop Right Now
The world of buying furniture online has changed. Direct-to-consumer brands are popping up everywhere, giving home shoppers the ability to be selective of their purchases. If you're on the hunt for a unique couch or upgraded media center (no IKEA here), we've rounded up a few of the newest brands on the market and what you should pick up from them.

Dims: You have to admire a brand that dubs itself "New-Century Modern" which is exactly what it feels like, a blend of new design with mid-century modern flair. What's the most unique about Dims is their commitment to responsible and sustainable practices. Each piece is designed by award-winning designers and the wood is sourced from sustainably managed forests and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Each piece, from the brand new Compose Vanity to the classic Barbican Trolly (my personal favorite), has been made to last more than your next move.

Medley: If sustainability is your number one priority when it comes to your home, may we introduce Medley? Leaning on a mixture of contemporary and mid-century design, you can choose all the material that goes into your new furniture, which is eco-friendly and comes with a 100-day, 100% satisfaction guarantee

The Daily Beast
Nov 15, 2019

Will Ballots or Bullets Decide Hong Kong's Upcoming Elections?
Laurel Chor/Bloomberg via GettyHONG KONG—"You have bullets. I have the right to vote."

Those were words found on banners and posters hoisted during peaceful demonstrations when one million, then two million people marched toward the government headquarters here in June. The message was simple: If you're fighting for democracy, don't forget to register to vote, and be sure to show up when it's time.

But before the ballots, the bullets have started flying.  A trigger-happy and ill-trained police force is constantly itching for a skirmish, this week placing a shot point-blank into a young man's chest. And the populace continues looking for ways to fight back, while keeping in mind that the big battle should still be at the voting booth.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Nov 15, 2019

‘Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order' Will Make You Feel Powerful as a Jedi. But Is It Worth the Bugs and Glitches?
Courtesy of EATruly, it is Star Wars season. We are just a month out from JJ Abrams' conclusion to a cinematic saga that is older than many of its most ardent fans. Folks are now arguing over the merits of Disney's premiere program for its new Disney streaming service, Jon Favreau's The Mandalorian. And now, snuggled nicely between them comes the first single-player, narrative-driven Star Wars video game in nearly a decade, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.

Fallen Order is from Respawn Entertainment, a company founded by the creators of the wildly successful Call of Duty franchise after their firing by parent company Activision back in 2010. Respawn went on to release the critically acclaimed Titanfall games as well as the popular battle-royaler Apex Legends. But all these games are (very good) first-person shooters, which makes their newest release rather unexpected. Not only is Fallen Order not in first-person; it doesn't let its protagonist use guns at all. Series newcomer Cal Kestis is all lightsaber, all the time. Well, that and The Force.

It's a little shocking that a franchise about space magicians who wield laser swords hasn't really seen a single-player Star Wars video game since 2010's The Force Unleashed 2. The premise is perfect

The Daily Beast
Nov 15, 2019

‘Waves': An Electrifying Portrait of Black Affluence, Family, and Forgiveness in the Face of Tragedy
Courtesy of A24In director Trey Edward Shults' third film, Waves, the question of justice looms large. His first film, Krisha, dealt with the deep bitterness addiction can sow in a family. That film doesn't seek to redeem or vindicate the eponymous character, an estranged mother in recovery rejoining the family for Thanksgiving: Her son, played by Shults, as well as the siblings and in-laws who raised him in her place cannot find it in them to fully accept and forgive her, precisely because of what the family has become as a result of her human error. Shults' second film, It Comes at Night, also troubles over the question of failed parenthood: A patriarch protects his family in the face of an apocalyptic illness epidemic and destroys another family in the process. Waves is a graduation for the young filmmaker where forgiveness and action—rather than resentment and righteousness—are the responses to toxic behavior. The questions Shults asks of the film, and the way he answers them in the film, seem to address not only his own personal journey from Krisha to here, but also speak to a wider societal reckoning around crime and punishment. 

All of Shults' films focus on affluent families who, even in the case of his apocalypse film, are relatively well-resourced and lucky (or "blessed" as I imagine they might say in Waves). What eats at them, however, isn't only psychological—there are more easily identifiable issues, social, political, and circumstantial, that seem to encroach on a constructed upper middle class ideal. In Waves, this affluent family is also a black family, where the father, Ronald (

The Daily Beast
Nov 15, 2019

A Blue Wave Looks Poised to Wash Over Louisiana
Jonathan Bachman/ReutersVoters will deliver another verdict on whether a moderate Democrat can survive in a red Trump state when they go to the polls Saturday in Louisiana's run-off race for governor. 

"When you're a Southern Democrat, you're fully aware that things might not work out," said Democratic strategist James Carville. "But in this instance, I'd rather be us than them." 

"Us" for Carville, the "ragin' Cajun," is Democrat John Bel Edwards, running for re-election against Republican businessman Eddie Rispone. Democrats are hoping for a second big win in a red state ten days after Democratic challenger Andy Beshear won the governor's race in Kentucky.  

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Nov 15, 2019

Sex Education Is So Bad These Teens Are Doing It on TikTok
Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast/Photos GettyWhen Megan Meador was in fifth grade, her Las Vegas-area public school held its first sex education class. It consisted solely of watching one animated video about STDs. The 10-year-old hardly understood it. "They basically gave us a plastic baggie with a tampon and said, ‘Have fun,'" Meador, now 19, said. No one brought up birth control. 

Meador's experience should come as no surprise to anyone who has sat through an awkward, misinformed birds-and-the-bees talk coming from an underpaid gym teacher.

The shortcomings of our country's sex education curriculum have been well-documented; a study by the Guttmacher Institute found that only 24 states and D.C. mandate it. When sex education is taught in schools, 26 states require teachers plug abstinence, and only 13 states require what's said in those classes be "medically accurate."

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The Daily Beast
Nov 15, 2019

Harry and Meghan Prepare for Christmas Away From the Royals—and His Feud With William
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 it in your inbox every Sunday.

All unhappy families may indeed be unhappy in their own ways, but one thing they have in common is that Christmas is a disaster—even if their last name is Windsor.

The royal family's festive plans were sent into a tailspin this week by Harry and Meghan's shock announcement that they won't be attending Sandringham this year.

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The Daily Beast
Nov 15, 2019

The Mysterious Death of Boxing's Most Fearsome Fighter
ShowtimeThere was arguably no more intimidating fighter in boxing history than Sonny Liston. Yet as elucidated by Pariah: The Lives and Deaths of Sonny Liston, that may be the only definitive thing one can say about the former heavyweight champion, who despite his celebrity lived much of his life in the shadows—which is where he also died, alone, in 1970, the victim of any number of possible enemies.

Developed from Shaun Assael's The Murder of Sonny Liston: Las Vegas, Heroin, and Heavyweights, writer/director Simon George's documentary (premiering Nov. 15 on Showtime) is a riveting account of the athlete's rise and fall, both of which were stained by criminality and marked by questions without concrete answers. What was incontrovertibly true about the fearsome pugilist is that, at his peak, he was a freight train in the ring, steamrolling opponents with unmatched power and ferocity. So brutal was Liston that his jab—normally a punch used to set up more powerful blows—was downright lethal, described by Purdue University history professor Randy Roberts as "like getting hit by a pole."

Even Mike Tyson, himself no stranger to scaring adversaries silly, says, "Sonny Liston had a big, menacing tough-guy reputation, and that superseded him in the ring. He intimidates the fighter. The fighter's really beaten before he even got in the ring."

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The Daily Beast
Nov 15, 2019

Dems Banging Down the Door at Fox to Win GOP Minds
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Photo by Tom Williams/GettyThe morning after the first open impeachment hearing, Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) stood in the marble hallways off the House floor for an appearance on Fox's morning newscast, anchored by Bill Hemmer. 

As Cicilline maintained that President Trump committed a "clear abuse of power" by asking a foreign government to probe his political rival, Hemmer repeatedly pressed him: Was the congressman keeping an open mind, he asked, or had he already made up his mind to impeach the president?

"As of right now, this evidence is overwhelming, it is shocking," said Cicilline, after Hemmer asked the question a third time. "It appears you've already reached your own conclusion," replied the anchor. He wrapped with a question—on whether Cicilline believes Ukraine should investigate Hunter Biden—and a plea: "Please come back," Hemmer said.

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The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

Hannity Predicts Marie Yovanovitch Will Cry ‘on Cue' at Hearing
On the eve of Friday's open impeachment hearing featuring former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, Fox News host Sean Hannity suggested Yovanovitch may look to create more drama by crying "on cue" throughout the proceedings.

During his show-opening monologue on Thursday, Hannity once again took aim at Yovanovitch over her testimony last month that she was told someone at the State Department "would place a call to Mr. Hannity" to get to the bottom of media attacks against her last spring. 

Yovanovitch, prior to being removed from her post, was targeted by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and others after conservative columnist John Solomon reported a claim by former top Ukrainian prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko that Yovanovitch gave him a "do not prosecute" list. Lutsenko has since retracted that claim.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

Exclusive: Giuliani Ally Pete Sessions Was Eyed for Top Slot in Ukraine
At the same time that Rudy Giuliani and his now-indicted pals were pushing for President Donald Trump to remove Amb. Marie Yovanovitch from her post in Ukraine, Trump administration officials were eyeing potential contenders to take over her job. One of the people in the mix, according to three sources familiar with the discussions, was Rep. Pete Sessions, a former Congressman who called for Yovanovitch's firing. He is also a longtime ally of the former New York Mayor, and is believed to have taken millions of dollars from Giuliani's indicted cronies. 

Yovanovitch is set to testify to the Congressional impeachment inquiry on Nov. 15. The circumstances of her removal from Kyiv are of keen interest to investigators, and she has said the whisper campaign against her left her blindsided. Witnesses in the inquiry have said they believed the people who successfully pushed for her ouster wanted to replace her with someone more pliable — and maybe even more friendly to their business interests. 

Conversations about Sessions—and another possible pick for the job, Raul Mas Canosa, a South Florida businessman with deep ties to the Cuban expat community—circulated inside and outside the administration from late 2018 through the early months of 2019, according to the sources. Lev Parnas, a Giuliani associate

The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

Trevor Noah Slams Fox News: They Think Viewers Are ‘Too Dumb' to Follow Impeachment
Comedy CentralThe Trump impeachment hearings are the biggest news story in the country this week, but as The Daily Show's Trevor Noah demonstrated with a series of clips Thursday night, Fox News is trying as hard as it can to pretend that it's no big deal.

After the montage, which ended with Jesse Watters declaring, "If you ask the American people about Ukraine, they don't know a thing about it," Noah could only say, "Wow." 

"So what, according to Fox News, Americans are too dumb to follow these impeachment proceedings?" the host asked. Imitating the Fox personalities, he added, "The word impeachment is very confusing. Maybe we should call it a presidential boo-boo, would that help?" 

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

Top Ukrainian Presidential Aide Spotted With Ex-Trump Adviser
Sean Gallup/GettyAn aide to the Ukrainian president who has been swept up in President Trump's impeachment scandal was seen meeting with a former Trump adviser in Kyiv on Wednesday night. 

Andriy Yermak, the Ukrainian presidential aide whose name has featured heavily in impeachment depositions for his role at the receiving end of Trump's alleged anti-Biden crusade in Ukraine, was spotted with Bryan Lanza at a restaurant in central Kyiv, according to the Ukrainian news outlet Ukrayinska Pravda. 

Photos and video of the evening meeting show the two joined by a woman identified as Yermak's assistant. It was not immediately clear what the two discussed, and an aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky declined to comment on the meeting. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

‘Slava's Snowshow': Brilliant Clowns Provide the Messiest Fun You Can Have on Broadway
Veronique VialThe interval is when things go really crazy. It's not just that the clowns in Slava's Snowshow start clambering over the audience in the stalls of Broadway's Stephen Sondheim Theatre (to Jan. 5, 2020), but they start drenching everyone with water spinning in airborne cartwheels from their umbrellas. They sit on laps, can't work out which way they want to go, drape themselves everywhere, get stuck, and then scraps of paper start being thown. Merry chaos.

So if you're getting a seat at Slava's Snowshow go for the front to middle of the stalls, for the full messy glory of it. Oddly, this bananas slapstick isn't the distinguishing feature of the show, it is the clowning itself. Led by the show's creator, Slava Polunin, who enters the stage pulling something on a rope, these clowns look and act sad, then menacing, then happy, then sad again. The audience revels in it all, and their mischief.

The traditions of clowning in the show—where sitting at a chair at an angle, then falling off a chair multiple times, can seem puzzling and hilarious—are fascinating. The cast are marvelous. Not much happens, then a lot happens. If you find clowns endlessly enchanting, this is the show for you; if you find clowns unaccountably menacing, these preconceptions won't be entirely obliterated.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

Deval Patrick's Resume Is a One-Stop-Shop of Industries Democrats Loathe
Alex Trautwig/GettyIn a Democratic presidential field rich with both centrist pragmatists and progressive warriors alike, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick stands as the answer to a question no one has thought to ask: what does a former oil company executive and venture capitalist think?

"I admire and respect the candidates in the Democratic field," Patrick said of his 17 opponents for the nomination—not including one additional johnny-come-lately waiting in the wings—in his announcement video released on Thursday. "They bring a richness of ideas and experience and a depth of character that makes me proud to be a Democrat. But if the character of the candidates is an issue in every election, this time is about the character of the country."

Like Frito-Lay desperately trying to cram one more flavor of Doritos into America's snack-swollen stomach, Patrick sees a Democratic presidential primary that has already witnessed the rise and fall of nine other candidates as missing one key ingredient: himself.



The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

Dem Savior? Deval Patrick Repped Predatory Loans, Big Oil
Alex Trautwig/GettyIn a Democratic presidential field rich with both centrist pragmatists and progressive warriors alike, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick stands as the answer to a question no one has thought to ask: what does a former oil company executive and venture capitalist think?

"I admire and respect the candidates in the Democratic field," Patrick said of his 17 opponents for the nomination—not including one additional johnny-come-lately waiting in the wings—in his announcement video released on Thursday. "They bring a richness of ideas and experience and a depth of character that makes me proud to be a Democrat. But if the character of the candidates is an issue in every election, this time is about the character of the country."

Like Frito-Lay desperately trying to cram one more flavor of Doritos into America's snack-swollen stomach, Patrick sees a Democratic presidential primary that has already witnessed the rise and fall of nine other candidates as missing one key ingredient: himself.



The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

Scouted: Add Geometric Pops and Quirky Faces to Your Home With H&M's Collaboration With Jonathan Adler
I truly love me some designer collaborations, and in my opinion, H&M does them best. The most recent one is a thing of beauty. H&M Home has teamed up with Jonathan Adler on a collection of home accents you'll want to pick up immediately.

Staying true to H&M's sensible price point, everything in the collection is under $200. The line has cushion covers, vases, mugs, trays, and more. There are, of course, Jonathan Adler's signature candles in bold, geometric jars. I highly recommend picking up the 4-pack for $35 while it's still in stock. The line has a mixture of the classic face motifs with gold accents and a slew of geometric patterns in multiple colors. The standouts to me are the Tall Porcelain Vase for $99 and the Cotton Velvet Cushion Cover for $25. These pieces will make anyone immediately ask "Where did you get that?" There are a handful of porcelain decorations, too, that can be added to a Christmas tree or hung around the home for a wall accent. You'd better hurry up, though, as things are selling out fast. |

The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

The Conspiracy Theory So Far Out There Even Trump's Biggest Defenders Are Walking Away From It
Photo Illustration by The Daily BeastWhen President Donald Trump brought up the word "Crowdstrike" on his now-infamous July 25 phone call with Ukraine's president, he caused some head-scratching in Kyiv. According to two sources familiar with the call, aides to President Volodymyr Zelensky who listened to the call had no idea what Trump was talking about when he urged the newly elected Ukrainian leader to look into a mysterious "server" supposedly hidden somewhere in Ukraine. 

At that time, Trump's obsession with the debunked conspiracy theory was understood and embraced perhaps only by his staunchest allies—but now even they don't appear to see the Crowdstrike theory as a viable defense in the impeachment inquiry (perhaps not least because nobody knows what the hell it is). 

So, why did the Russian-friendly theory fail to gain steam?

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

Scouted: The New Echo Flex Packs All the Features of Alexa Into a Plug-In Device, No Counter Space Needed
Have you ever been working in your garage or in a cramped kitchen and thought, "Man, I wish I had an Echo in here"? Well, for those with no counter space or room to put a traditional Echo device, enter the Echo Flex. 

This pluggable device brings Echo to any place with an outlet. Instead of relying on a shelf or counter to sit on, you plug it straight into the wall. It has all the bells and whistles of a  traditional Echo device, with the ability to turn on lights, adjust thermostats, and lock doors. It can even function as an intercom to drop into other rooms that have an Echo already. What other Echo devices don't have that the Flex does is an added, built-in USB port to charge a phone or any other additional accessory like a night-light or motion sensory. If you need a gift for a workshopaholic in your family, this may just be your best idea yet. 

Scouted selects products independently and prices reflect what was available at the time of publish. Sign up for our newsletter for more recommendations and deals. Curious about a specific product or brand? Let us know! If you buy something from our posts, we may earn a small commission.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

Jewish Groups Blast Fox News for Joe diGenova's Anti-Semitic Soros Conspiracy Theory
Fox has come under fire from Jewish organizations following a Wednesday night segment on Fox Business Network's Lou Dobbs Tonight in which Trump-boosting lawyer Joe diGenova seemingly trafficked in anti-Semitic tropes by accusing Jewish financier George Soros of controlling "very large parts" of the U.S. Department of State.

Speaking with host Lou Dobbs—who has a history of peddling Soros-based conspiracies—diGenova dismissed the impeachment testimony of senior diplomat George Kent by baselessly claiming he is part of an insidious Soros plot to take over Ukraine with the help of State and the FBI.

"Well, there's no doubt that George Soros controls a very large part of the career foreign service of the United States State Department," exclaimed diGenova, who is currently entangled in the Ukraine scandal. "He also controls the activities of FBI agents overseas who work for [non-governmental organizations]. That was very evident in Ukraine. And Kent was part of that. He was a very big protector of Soros."

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

Rep. Steve King Falsely IDs George Soros' Son as Whistleblower
Photo Illustration by Kristen Hazzard/The Daily Beast/GettyIn a collision of conspiracy theories, two Republican lawmakers wrongly accused the son of billionaire Democratic donor George Soros of being the Ukraine whistleblower. 

"Adam Schiff said, ‘I do not know the identity of the whistleblower,'" Rep. Steve King (R-CA) tweeted on Thursday morning, referring to remarks House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) made in the first public impeachment hearing Wednesday.

"@RepAdamSchiff here are four strong clues."

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

U.S. Intelligence Agencies: We Stopped Collecting Your Phone's Location Data Without Probable Cause
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKIU.S. intelligence agencies have stopped collecting cell-phone location data without a warrant on people inside the United States, the office of the director of national intelligence has affirmed. 

But in a new letter to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), sent on Nov. 12 and obtained by The Daily Beast, the office of the director of national intelligence stops short of affirming that a Supreme Court decision prevents them from acquiring the sensitive cell-location data pursuant warrantlessly under a key section of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). That provision, known alternatively as Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act and Title V of FISA, expires next month unless Congress actively reauthorizes it.

It's the latest maneuver in a perennial clash between the intelligence agencies and their overseers over how tightly privacy laws constrain non-criminal surveillance, particularly as the ubiquity of surveillance-relevant technology advances. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

My Workout Diary: Jesse Vida
Courtesy Benjamin SimIn the middle of Singapore is a monument to gin. Inside the art-deco Atlas, which was named Best International Cocktail Bar at the Tales of the Cocktail conference this past summer, are shelf after shelf after shelf of gins from around the world. There are 1,300 bottles in total rising four elegant stories all the way up to the establishment's cavernous ceiling. This incredible stack of liquor doesn't even look real, almost like a set from Blade Runner. One of the caretakers of this impressive collection is head bartender Jesse Vida, who came from New York's acclaimed BlackTail.

Vida admits that it took some time to get used to Singapore's tropical climate but he continues to run outside and works out almost daily. "If I eat healthy and workout I feel great," he says. "If I eat like shit and workout I feel just OK."

I asked him to keep a Workout Diary for me during one of his typical weeks.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

Five Cellphones, Trump Straws, a Lot of Cash—What This Giuliani Crony Was Carrying When the FBI Arrested Him
When Rudy Giuliani crony Lev Parnas was arrested last month, federal agents combed through his personal effects and found the business card of a Ukrainian prosecutor who, months earlier, met with Giuliani to discuss the conspiracy theories at the heart of the Trump impeachment inquiry.

Anti-corruption prosecutor Nazar Kholodnytsky's card was among the 66 personal items that the FBI reported seizing from Parnas after his arrest at Washington's Dulles International Airport last month, according to an itemized list of the effects obtained by PAY DIRT. It's not clear when or how Parnas obtained that card, but his arrest came months after Giuliani met Kholodnytsky in Paris for a discussion that touched on Joe Biden and his son Hunter, and supposed Ukrainian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Kholodnytsky was caught on tape earlier this year apparently suborning false testimony and tipping off prosecution targets to impending raids. He claims the recordings were taken out of context. But Marie Yovanovitch, until this year the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, called for Kholodnytsky's removal. Instead, Yovanovitch was recalled after a sustained lobbying campaign by Giuliani, Parnas, and his political and business associate Igor Fruman.



The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

‘Nowhere to Hide': Three Students Dead, Two Injured in Shooting at Southern California High School
KHTS RADIO via REUTERSA 16-year-old student opened fire at a public high school in Southern California Thursday morning, killing three of his classmates and injuring two others, authorities said.

The suspected gunman, who launched the deadly assault at Saugus High School on his birthday, was taken into custody and is currently in "grave condition" at a local hospital from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to authorities.

Police and firefighters responded around 7:40 a.m. Thursday to reports of a shooting at the school in Santa Clarita, which about 40 miles north of Los Angeles.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

‘Nowhere to Hide': Two Students Dead, Three Injured in Shooting at Southern California High School
KHTS RADIO via REUTERSA 16-year-old student opened fire at a public high school in Southern California Thursday morning, killing two of his classmates and injuring three others, authorities said.

The suspected gunman, who launched the deadly assault at Saugus High School on his birthday, was taken into custody and is currently in "grave condition" at a local hospital from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to authorities.

Police and firefighters responded around 7:40 a.m. Thursday to reports of a shooting at the school in Santa Clarita, about 40 miles north of Los Angeles.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

At Least Five Injured in Shooting at Southern California High School
APU GOMESAt least five people were injured, two critically, when a gunman opened fire at a California public high school, according to officials.

Police and firefighters responded around 8 a.m. Thursday to reports of a shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, about 40 miles north of Los Angeles.

Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital said it has received two patients in critical condition, and three other patients are currently en route.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

One Dead, Several Injured in Shooting at Southern California High School
APU GOMESAt least one person was killed and several others injured when a gunman opened fire at a California public high school, according to officials.

Police and firefighters responded around 7:40 a.m. Thursday to reports of a shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, about 40 miles north of Los Angeles.

Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital told The Daily Beast it has received four patients, including a female patient who died. Two patients remain in critical condition, and the fourth is in good condition, according to the hospital.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

Two Students Dead, Three Injured in Shooting at Southern California High School
KHTS RADIO via REUTERSA 16-year-old student opened fire at a public high school in Southern California Thursday morning, killing two of his classmates and injuring three others, authorities said.

The suspected gunman, who launched the deadly assault at Saugus High School on his birthday, was taken into custody and is currently in "grave condition" at a local hospital from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to authorities.

Police and firefighters responded around 7:40 a.m. Thursday to reports of a shooting at the school in Santa Clarita, which about 40 miles north of Los Angeles.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

Kellyanne Conway Blows Up at CNN's Wolf Blitzer for Saying ‘There Are Issues' With Her Marriage
Once again, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway appeared on CNN for a lengthy and contentious interview, and once again that lengthy and contentious interview was a total shitshow.

This particular time around, however, took an even more heated turn than usual when CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer directly asked Conway about her husband, outspoken Trump critic George Conway.

Blitzer wanted to ask the Trump aide one last question Thursday morning about her husband who spent the entire day at MSNBC providing on-air analysis and criticizing the GOP's "incoherent" defense of the president.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

Senator Grills Facebook on Political Ads ‘Loophole' for Anti-Vaxx Content
Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast / Phtoos ReutersIn response to reporting by The Daily Beast, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) is pressing Facebook on the continued spread of anti-vaccine content across its platform. In a letter addressed to Mark Zuckerberg, Menendez denounces the company's "failure to stem the tide of dangerous myths about vaccinations" and urges the company to be accountable for "harmful lies" that are amplified on its platform. 

After a meeting between his staff and the company earlier this month to discuss the topic, Menendez says he remains worried about "gaps" in the way Facebook enforces its rules against ads that spread anti-vaccine and other health misinformation.

Noting The Daily Beast report on anti-vaccine content still thriving on Facebook—and pro-vaccine health info that gets flagged erroneously—Menendez asked the company to provide numbers on how many Facebook users were shown anti-vaccine ads since the platform announced a ban on anti-vaccine content in March of this year. Menendez also demanded to know how many anti-vaccine ads the platform has removed since March and how many legitimate vaccine ads were taken down mistakenly in that process. 



The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

Scouted: Foodies Will Sing Your Praises When They Receive These Wonderful Kitchen Products As Gifts
It's officially gifting season. Scouted's holiday gift guides are here to help you get through it all. Check all of them out here.

I'm a wonder in the kitchen. Full disclosure: It's not because I'm an accomplished chef or invent my own recipes. Instead, it's because I have accumulated a few gadgets and gizmos over the years. I love the Jura brand of coffee machines, own a couple of Cuisinart appliances, and make frequent use of various blenders and food processors. Scouring the landscape for products to help anyone cook, these are the items that look the most appealing to me. They offer that extra something the kitchen nerds will love.

More gift guides from Scouted:Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

Unearthed Audio Ties Suspects in MH17 Shootdown Over Ukraine to Russian Officials: Investigators
Maxim Zmeyev/ReutersA Dutch-led team of independent prosecutors has released a damning new set of audio recordings that it says captures conversations between separatist fighters in eastern Ukraine and top Russian officials that took place just days before Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down in July 2014.

The recordings appear to prove that the separatist units accused of shooting down the plane were in almost daily contact with senior Kremlin and Russian military officials at the time.

Russia has denied any involvement in the fatal disaster, which took place over a Russian-held region of eastern Ukraine in July 2014.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

Scouted: I Wore This Quick-Drying Quarter-Zip Fleece in the Rain to See Just How Quick It Was
You Should Know About is a look at the products and brands that we at Scouted think should be on your radar and in your life ASAP.

The term "quick drying" is definitely open to interpretation. Testing the TASC Performance MicroAir 1/4 Zip Jacket recently, I decided to find out what it really means, especially after a long hike during a light drizzle. The temperature dipped below 40 and I was near a lake with the wind pummelling me like I was a sailor on a ship.

"You're getting really wet," my wife told me. True enough, but I didn't feel overly cold, and the MicroAir 1/4 Zip Jacket was living up to its name. The dual-yarn material is designed to seal in heat but also wick away moisture. It feels super comfortable and warm. After the hike, it only took about 30 minutes before the shirt felt totally dry to the touch.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

Scouted: 10 Personalized Amazon Gifts That Are as Special as Your Loved One
The holidays are around the corner, and shopping can prove stressful—especially if you're on the hunt for the person who has everything. What they likely don't have, however, is everything personalized. Make them feel extra special with one of these individualized gifts that you can easily customize on Amazon.

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 Wayfair, Target, Kohls, and more. If you buy something from our posts, we may earn a small commission.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

Harry and Meghan Flaunt Their Cool Credentials With Hip New Black and White Image of Baby Archie
Instagram / SussexroyalMeghan Markle and Prince Harry continued their quest to prove how arty and cool they are today by releasing, in honor of Prince Charles' birthday, a black and white image of baby Archie nestled in his father's arms while the birthday boy looks on.

Kate and William celebrated the occasion by releasing a much squarer color picture of Charles, Kate and baby Louis.

Despite the advent of color photography in 1855, Harry and Meghan have displayed a penchant for publishing personal images of occasions like weddings and christenings, not to mention the reveal of their baby's grasping a finger, in a moody, sometimes sepia-toned, black and white.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick Launches ‘Hail Mary' Presidential Bid
Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has entered the 2020 presidential race, joining an already overcrowded Democratic primary. 

Admitting his last-minute candidacy was "a Hail Mary from two stadiums over," Patrick said he had decided to get in the race because the Democratic voters had failed to coalesce around a frontrunner.

"If I felt like the voters had settled or folks had made up their minds," Patrick told the Boston Globe. "I wouldn't do it." 

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

It Took Twitter a Whole Year to Shut Down This Russian Intel Account
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/GettyWhen the cyberspies in Russia's Main Intelligence Directorate have something to say, they often say it from behind a dramatic persona—think Guccifer 2.0 or the fake hacktivists of CyberBurkut. But judged solely on longevity, the GRU's most successful false front is a notional 28-year-old University of North Carolina alum named Sophia Mangal.

Styled as a prolific freelance reporter with expertise in Syria, Mangal was first publicly exposed as a GRU front in January 2018. But the Sophia Mangal byline continued to show up on new pro-Assad internet propaganda for months afterwards. It finally appeared to go into retirement after a Daily Beast report in September of last year.

This week, though, Twitter suspended an account, created in 2014, that's been using the Sophia Mangal name actively since at least August 2018. The suspension came after researchers at Stanford University identified the account in a new paper on GRU disinformation campaigns produced at the request of the Senate Intelligence Committee. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

The Luxury Alpine Escape Right in the Heart of Berlin
Courtesy Orania.BerlinYou could be forgiven if, upon waking up at the Orania, you find it hard to believe you're in Berlin. 

One of the newest luxury hotels in Europe's nightlife capital, Orania.Berlin occupies a muscular historic building constructed in 1913, and it is the latest selection for our series on exciting new hotels, The New Room with a View.

The dissonance comes from the alpine aesthetic found throughout the rooms and hotel, which seems odd for a hotel in Berlin's Kreuzberg neighborhood. But when you wake up at midday incredibly hungover after a night out doing God knows what, there is something particularly comforting about being in the soft, warm environs of an alpine bedroom. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

Revealed: The Pro-Trump Playbook for Smearing U.S. Diplomats
Photo Illustration by The Daily BeastForeign governments have settled on a new strategy to sideline American officials they don't like: peddling conspiratorial dirt on those officials to portray them as enemies of President Donald Trump. 

The impeachment inquiry has revealed the success of that strategy in Ukraine, where ethically dubious officials teamed up with Trump's personal attorney to remove a U.S. ambassador. A Hungarian government-backed campaign against a top National Security Council official was less successful, though not for a lack of effort. And according to senior U.S. officials, the same strategy succeeded in scuttling a nominee to be America's top diplomat in Albania.

Perhaps it shouldn't come as a surprise that John Solomon, one of Rudy Giuliani's favorite conservative columnists and conspiracy-peddlers, makes an appearance in both the Ukraine and Albanian dramas.



The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

Stephen Miller Is What We Thought He Was: a Racist, a Nativist and a White Supremacist
Stephen Miller and I grew up in the same state. But when it comes to race, immigration and diversity, we live on different planets.

We're both Californians who went to college on the East Coast. 

The 34-year-old White House senior adviser, the chief architect of the Trump administration's inhumane immigration policy, probably couldn't wait to flee this blue state. He likely believes that identity politics and left-wing ideology have driven it into the ground.  

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

Kristen Stewart Has a Blast in the New ‘Charlie's Angels': A Glittery Ode to Girl Power and the Female Gaze
The very first line of the shiny new Charlie's Angels reboot, in theaters Nov. 15, is guaranteed to strike some viewers as a bit too on-the-nose. "I think women can do anything," Kristen Stewart purrs as a close-up of her face, framed by a long blonde wig, fills the screen. Minutes later, a montage of random girls around the world just kind of doing stuff—running, karate, swinging a lasso—will tempt cynical theatergoers to leave for fear of being bombarded by treacly, shallow girl-power messaging.  

Those who stick out the first 20 minutes of the film, though, will be duly rewarded. Though uneven and not especially original, Charlie's Angels is a fast-paced, well-crafted action comedy with enough fun to overshadow the flaws. Directed by actress Elizabeth Banks, this remake of the iconic 1970s TV show (and subsequent 2000 film adaptation directed by McG) has the same central premise as the original story. Three female spies, played by Kristen Stewart, Ella Balinska, and Naomi Scott in this iteration, fight bad guys on behalf of an anonymous boss known only as Charlie. Bosley (Banks) acts as Charlie's proxy, offering the Angels guidance and a reliable getaway car. 

The plot is almost secondary, a vehicle for the Angels' high-energy crime fighting hijinks, dipped in glitter and set to an Ariana Grande soundtrack. Basically, the three women must team up to retrieve a device called Calisto, a sustainable energy substitute with a programming glitch that conveniently makes it an untraceable lethal weapon. They are also being hunted by a tattooed assassin (Jonathan Tucker). Car chases and a dance number ensue.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

‘The Report': How Maura Tierney Grappled With Waterboarding Scenes and CIA Torture
Something unsettling happens when Maura Tierney appears on screen in The Report. You don't like her. 

It's an unfamiliar position to be in, and quite disorienting after following the actress's work over the last 30 years in projects like NewsRadio, ER, Beautiful Boy, and The Affair, which ended its series run on Showtime this month after five seasons. There's something about her essence. You're not so much conditioned to root for her and her characters as it is a pure reflex.

Not in The Report.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

Biden Is Facing Two Progressives, but Only One Makes His Blood Boil
Joe Biden is sharing the presidential primary's top tier with two progressive senators. One, he says, levied an unprompted attack against his commitment to the Democratic Party and exhibits "elitist" behavior.  The other, he stresses with striking frequency, is "honest" and, in the most Senate-speak way, a friend. 

"Bernie's been honest; he's going to raise taxes on middle class," Biden said in July at a convention in Detroit about Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) approach to funding Medicare for All, a progressive policy that Biden's campaign says is not the best way to cover Americans' health care needs. 

Since then, the former vice president become more consistent with his praise. "First and foremost, the thing you must do in public life is be honest with the public," he said on Monday night during a CNN town hall addressing the same topic. "Bernie's been honest." 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

Why Biden Plays Nice With Bernie—and Keeps Ripping Warren
Jim Watson/GettyJoe Biden is sharing the presidential primary's top tier with two progressive senators. One, he says, levied an unprompted attack against his commitment to the Democratic Party and exhibits "elitist" behavior.  The other, he stresses with striking frequency, is "honest" and, in the most Senate-speak way, a friend. 

"Bernie's been honest; he's going to raise taxes on middle class," Biden said in July at a convention in Detroit about Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) approach to funding Medicare for All, a progressive policy that Biden's campaign says is not the best way to cover Americans' health care needs. 

Since then, the former vice president become more consistent with his praise. "First and foremost, the thing you must do in public life is be honest with the public," he said on Monday night during a CNN town hall addressing the same topic. "Bernie's been honest." 

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The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace Rips Into Fellow Republicans: They ‘Know Better'
Scott Kowalchyk/CBSWhen MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace reminded Stephen Colbert that she used to work in Republican politics, the Late Show host replied, "I used to make fun of your boss a lot." 

Since serving as President George W. Bush's White House communications director, Wallace has seen her party betray its ideals in favor of full-on fealty to Donald Trump. And nothing quite sums up that transformation like a recent clip from Fox News in which host Laura Ingraham and her former Bush administration colleague John Yoo suggest that "some people" might call Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman a traitor to America. 

"Except those people aren't chickenshit like the three of you and they know he passed a background check that the president's daughter and son-in-law didn't," Wallace said in response on her MSNBC show. She waved her arms in protest as Colbert replayed the moment for his audience Wednesday night. 

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The Daily Beast
Nov 14, 2019

Fox Regular Claims George Soros ‘Controls a Very Large Part' of the State Department
Fox BusinessFollowing the first public impeachment hearing on Wednesday, a Trump-supporting husband-wife lawyer duo who are now fully entangled in the Ukraine scandal appeared on Fox Business host Lou Dobbs' show and pushed an outlandish conspiracy theory involving billionaire Democratic financier George Soros, the State Department, the FBI, and Ukraine.

During Wednesday night's broadcast of Lou Dobbs Tonight, attorneys Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing—who reportedly ran an off-the-books operation with Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani to dig up Ukrainian dirt on former vice president Joe Biden—immediately took issue with senior State Department official George Kent, who testified earlier in the day.

After Dobbs, an informal adviser to the president, said he felt Kent and top Ukraine diplomat Bill Taylor were acting "petty" because they weren't in Giuliani's "irregular" Ukrainian diplomatic channel, he took aim at Kent by invoking Soros, a favorite bogeyman of the right.

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The Daily Beast
Nov 13, 2019

All the President's Fools Couldn't Put Trump's ‘Perfect Call' Together Again
Photo Illustration by Lyne Lucien/The Daily Beast/GettyWednesday's opening act of the impeachment of Donald J. Trump was only going to end one way for Trump and his defenders, and that was badly. 

In the face of two credible, non-partisan witnesses of unimpeachable character and service, the Trump House Clown Caucus brought their A-game, and instead of changing the dialogue and pwning the libs they managed to validate the witnesses, embarrass themselves, and doubtlessly enrage the Audience of One.

You could practically hear him screaming all the way down Pennsylvania Avenue as the carefully constructed tower of bullshit by his allies tried to construct collapsed under the matter-of-fact, up-the-middle baritone recitation of his plain from men who lived through the Ukraine scandal. 

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The Daily Beast
Nov 13, 2019

All the President's Mooks Couldn't Put Trump's ‘Perfect Call' Together Again
Photo Illustration by Lyne Lucien/The Daily Beast/GettyWednesday's opening act of the impeachment of Donald J. Trump was only going to end one way for Trump and his defenders, and that was badly. 

In the face of two credible, non-partisan witnesses of unimpeachable character and service, the Trump House Clown Caucus brought their A-game, and instead of changing the dialogue and pwning the libs they managed to validate the witnesses, embarrass themselves, and doubtlessly enrage the Audience of One.

You could practically hear him screaming all the way down Pennsylvania Avenue as the carefully constructed tower of bullshit by his allies tried to construct collapsed under the matter-of-fact, up-the-middle baritone recitation of his plain from men who lived through the Ukraine scandal. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Nov 13, 2019

Samantha Bee Mocks GOP's ‘Terrible Job' Defending Trump at Impeachment Hearings
TBSWhen her show aired at 10:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday night, Samantha Bee became the first late-night host to tackle day one of the Trump impeachment hearings. And she was pumped.

"One person who isn't excited is Donald Trump," the Full Frontal host said, noting that the president "totally did not watch the hearings at all" because he was "too busy"—despite criticizing the performance of the lawyers who did most of the questioning. 

Bee then moved onto "Republican ranking member and captain of the congressional flop sweat team, Devin Nunes," who tried to "discredit" the proceedings by describing them as an elaborate "drama" staged by Democrats. 

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The Daily Beast
Nov 13, 2019

‘Law & Order' Actress Says Magician Ex Stalked and Assaulted Her, Maimed Her Pets
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast (Photos: Courtesy of Diane Neal)The first time actress Diane Neal saw the illusionist, she was at a ski resort in frosty Park City, Utah in December 2013. Neal had come for the 22nd Deer Valley Celebrity SkiFest, an annual fundraiser for Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s Waterkeeper Alliance, involving several celebrity-themed events—Celebrity Poker Night, celebrity slalom races, a gala dinner, and a celebrity auction. This year, word had spread of a celebrity magician. Neal remembers her friends asking, "Did you know the world's best magician is here and he's doing a secret show in the private library?"

One night at dinner, RFK Jr. approached Neal. The auctioneer hadn't shown up for the auction, he said. Could she improvise and take bids? Neal, a natural fast-talker who played prosecutor Casey Novak in Law & Order: SVU for 11 years, agreed. She climbed onstage and helped raise $700,000 from stars like Dr. Oz, Cheryl Hines, Rachel Dratch, Jason Alexander, and Miranda Lambert.

As Neal vamped on stage, she won an admirer in the crowd that night: JB Benn, the so-called "world's best magician," who happened to be at a front table with her friends. A few days later, Neal prepared to leave the 5-star resort, chatting with a group of her friends. Benn approached her and interrupted. "He's very ballsy,"  Neal recalls. "He's like, ‘Hi, do you live in New York or LA?" 

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The Daily Beast
Nov 13, 2019

After Today, the Vise Tightens on Trump's Ukraine Point Man
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photos Getty/ReutersRepublicans' most fruitful line of attack during the first day of congressional impeachment hearings for Donald Trump has put even more pressure on a forthcoming witness who has flailed under it thus far: donor-turned ambassador Gordon Sondland. 

As two senior State Department officials spent nearly six hours recounting their alarm with an effort by Trump's allies that they said undermined U.S. national interests in favor of promoting the president's reelection, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee repeatedly pointed out that neither witness had interacted with Trump or key deputies like White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney or personal attorney Rudy Giuliani. 

But a critical future witness had: Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union. Sondland, however, has reversed himself on central aspects of his participation in a shadow foreign policy effort - reversals that have put Trump in a worse position. And he testifies, publicly, next Wednesday. 

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The Daily Beast
Nov 13, 2019

Scouted: Introducing the Everlane Teddy Sweater, a Fluffy Alternative to Your Favorite Wool Layer
You Should Know About is a look at the products and brands that we at Scouted think should be on your radar and in your life ASAP.

Everlane is about to get fluffy. Everyone's favorite sustainable basics brand just launched two brand new sweaters styles, dubbed Teddy sweaters, for $88. Coming in both V-neck and crewneck silhouettes, this Merino wool-blend sweater is soft and snuggly, but still high-end.

Both sweater styles have a cropped length, wider neckline (no stuffiness here), and a slightly nipped-in waist. The V-neck, my personal favorite, comes in three colors: Buttermilk,

The Daily Beast
Nov 13, 2019

Probe: State Department Punished Staffer Over Iranian Heritage, Politics
GettyA long-awaited State Department watchdog report will find that the Trump administration's point man on Iran, among other officials, retaliated against an agency employee in part because of her Iranian-American background, two knowledgeable sources told The Daily Beast.

The Daily Beast has previously reported that the State Department inspector general's office was prepared to suggest disciplinary action for Brian Hook for political retaliation against employees in his policy planning office, including a career department official and Iran expert, Sahar Nowrouzzadeh.

But the inspector general's report, set for release on Thursday in between the first two public hearings in the impeachment of the president, found that top State Department officials, including Hook, retaliated against Nowrouzzadeh in part because she is Iranian. Politico first reported the finding.

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The Daily Beast
Nov 13, 2019

State Department Watchdog: Brian Hook, Others Punished Staffer Over Iranian Heritage
GettyA long-awaited State Department watchdog report will find that the Trump administration's point man on Iran, among other officials, retaliated against an agency employee in part because of her Iranian-American background, two knowledgeable sources told The Daily Beast.

The Daily Beast has previously reported that the State Department inspector general's office was prepared to suggest disciplinary action for Brian Hook for political retaliation against employees in his policy planning office, including a career department official and Iran expert, Sahar Nowrouzzadeh.

But the inspector general's report, set for release on Thursday in between the first two public hearings in the impeachment of the president, found that top State Department officials, including Hook, retaliated against Nowrouzzadeh in part because she is Iranian. Politico first reported the finding.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Nov 13, 2019

Fox News Host Whines He Can't Name Whistleblower on TV, Names Him on Radio Instead
SAUL LOEBFirst it was a Fox News guest. Then it was a Fox News contributor. And now a Fox News host has named the alleged whistleblower at the heart of the Trump impeachment inquiry—albeit only during his non-Fox radio show.

During Tuesday evening's broadcast of The Mark Levin Show on Westwood One radio, host Mark Levin—who also hosts a weekend Fox News program—repeatedly named the person right-wing media has identified as the whistleblower, calling on the person to come on his show to prove he isn't.

"He's not a whistleblower," Levin yelled. "And if it's not, he's welcome to come on this program and say so."

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The Daily Beast
Nov 13, 2019

You've Got To Be High to Believe Republicans' Impeachment Bullshit
Photo Illustration by Lyne Lucien/The Daily Beast/GettyIf you stuck with it long enough to see Joaquin Castro's five minutes at around 2:45 pm, you saw what was for my money the key exchange that showed a) some good, to-the-point questioning from a Democrat, but b) what the Democrats are up against here.

Castro was trying to ask Ambassador Bill Taylor why Ukrainian President Zelensky never held that press conference on CNN that Donald Trump wanted him to hold announcing that he was investigating the Bidens. Well, Taylor said, the press conference never happened because on September 11, the president released the aid, and the point became moot—Zelensky was no longer under pressure to please Trump in that way.

Right, Castro said; the aid was released. But why? Isn't it possible that the president released the aid because he'd gotten wind that there was a whistleblower out there who was about to go public on all this? 

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The Daily Beast
Nov 13, 2019

George Conway Blasts GOP's ‘Incoherent' Hearing Performance in MSNBC Debut
George Conway—conservative lawyer, Trump critic and husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway—got the first word on MSNBC after Wednesday's impeachment hearing finally wrapped up just after 3:30 p.m. ET. And he did not paint a pretty picture for Republicans. 

"Yes, that George Conway," Brian Williams said, introducing the new pundit. 

"I don't think the Republicans made much headway there," Conway said. "You saw some non-partisan professionals basically just tell us the facts. And the facts are quite damning. And the defenses that were put up by the Republicans were fundamentally illogical and incoherent."

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The Daily Beast
Nov 13, 2019

Scouted: Keep Yourself Warm with Up to 30% Off Big-Name Brands at Backcountry
Most of the US just got sideswiped by a massive cold front, so there's no time like the present to update your cold-weather outerwear. Backcountry's big sale on top-level brands is here to help ease you into the early-winter weather. Gear and apparel from Patagonia, Columbia, Arc'teryx, and Smartwool are all up to 30% off. These brands are at the pinnacle of outerwear prowess. 

The Patagonia Synchilla Lightweight Snap-T Fleece Pullover is down to $95 and is the perfect thing for anyone that loves to enjoy a brisk walk in the wilderness, without the possibility of frostbite. Made from partially-recycled materials, this double-faced fleece is ready for anything. It also features stretchy Spandex cuffs and hem to keep your heat locked in. 

Or go for the Smartwool Merino 250 Baselayer Pattern Crew, down to $83. This technical layering piece is made from Merino wool, which is naturally antimicrobial (meaning no smelly undershirts) and is incredibly warm but breathable. 

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The Daily Beast
Nov 13, 2019

Mysterious Professor at Heart of Russian Investigation Returns for Impeachment Proceedings
Chip Somodevilla/GettyROME—Joseph Mifsud, the erstwhile professor from Malta whose promise to help then-candidate Donald Trump's campaign aide George Papadopoulos get his hands on Russian "dirt" about Hillary Clinton has reportedly resurfaced. 

On Wednesday, the Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera posted a six-minute audio recording in English it says Mifsud sent from an anonymous email account late Tuesday night. A short time later, the Italian news agency Adnkronos published a clip it received. Whether other publications received the Mifsud missive is not clear, nor is the more important question of whether it's genuine. 

Last summer Attorney General William Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham traveled to Rome twice to learn what they could from Italian secret service officials about the professor as part of their investigation into the Russian investigation led by Robert Mueller. Mifsud has not been seen for two years and speculation has swirled around the question of whether he is still alive and, if he is, who is supporting him.

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The Daily Beast
Nov 13, 2019

Fox Footage of Proud Boys Backer Tara LaRosa Restraining Protester Doesn't Tell the Whole Story
via YoutubeFootage of a mixed martial arts fighter wearing a prominent Proud Boys logo and pinning down a protester was featured in a congratulatory Fox News segment Wednesday morning. But the clip didn't tell the whole story.

The short clip that aired on Fox and other outlets—after it appeared on two livestreams and began making the rounds on the right-wing internet—portrays Proud Boy supporter and MMA fighter Tara LaRosa as restraining a violent leftist at a rally in Portland, Oregon.

But extended footage, reported by the Portland Mercury, shows the incident started when a right-wing demonstrator jabbed a pointed flagpole in the woman's face, and continued as the woman said she couldn't breathe while pinned to the ground.

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The Daily Beast
Nov 13, 2019

Scouted: Etsy's Handcrafted Gifts Are Sure to Impress. Here Are the Best Ones to Gift Anyone
It's officially gifting season. Scouted's holiday gift guides are here to help you get through it all. Check all of them out here.

Etsy has hundreds of handmade gifts that will make anyone truly happy. It's full of amazing artisans that craft unique, one-of-a-kind gifts that you'll be proud to wrap. But with that comes the task of narrowing down just what to get. Well, we've sifted through some of the options and rounded up a handful of perfect gifts, from personalized dopp kits to pop-culture-inspired art prints.

More gift guides from scoutedRead more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Nov 13, 2019

Devin Nunes Pushes ‘Ukrainian Collusion' Conspiracy Theories During Impeachment Hearing
Joshua Roberts/ReutersRep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) used his questions Wednesday in the first public impeachment hearings to push discredited conspiracy theories claiming that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 presidential election. 

Nunes raised the claims in an attempt to argue that President Donald Trump was correct to pressure Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate the 2016 election; and to dispatch Rudy Giuliani, his personal attorney, to meet with Ukrainian officials. 

"Since the meddling was aimed against his campaign, he'd have good reason for sending his personal attorney to make inquiries about it," Nunes said. 

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The Daily Beast
Nov 13, 2019

Devin Nunes Pushes Bogus ‘Ukrainian Collusion' Conspiracies During Impeachment Hearing
Joshua Roberts/ReutersRep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) used his questions Wednesday in the first public impeachment hearings to push discredited conspiracy theories claiming that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 presidential election. 

Nunes raised the claims in an attempt to argue that President Donald Trump was correct to pressure Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate the 2016 election; and to dispatch Rudy Giuliani, his personal attorney, to meet with Ukrainian officials. 

"Since the meddling was aimed against his campaign, he'd have good reason for sending his personal attorney to make inquiries about it," Nunes said. 

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The Daily Beast
Nov 13, 2019

George Kent's Bow Tie Wins at Trump Impeachment Hearing
Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast / Photo Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via GettyGeorge P. Kent is a senior State Department official in charge of Ukraine policy. On Wednesday he also became a fast fashion icon.

Delivering his opening remarks and later answering questions on the first day of public hearings in the Trump impeachment inquiry, Kent's eloquence was not the only notable thing about him.

All eyes watching the House Intelligence Committee hearing went to his neck and the fabulous bowtie he was wearing. At the time of writing, the sharpness of the look matched the precision of his words under concentrated questioning.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Nov 13, 2019

Fox's Chris Wallace: Bill Taylor Was ‘Very Impressive' and ‘Very Damaging' to Trump
During the first recess in Wednesday's public impeachment hearing, Fox News anchor Chris Wallace noted that top Ukraine diplomat Bill Taylor was a "very impressive witness" and that his testimony was "very damaging" to President Donald Trump.

In his lengthy opening statement on Wednesday, Taylor revealed for the first time that Trump's interest in Ukraine investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and his son went even further than originally known.

According to Taylor, U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland called Trump from Ukraine and the president pressed him on "the investigations." Following the call, Sondland told a Taylor staffer that Trump "cares more about the investigations of Biden" than Ukraine.

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The Daily Beast
Nov 13, 2019

Diplomats: Trump Effort to Extort Ukraine ‘Undercut,' ‘Damaged' U.S.
Alex Brandon-Pool/GettyLongtime U.S. diplomats outlined their discomfort and disapproval with what they described as a campaign by President Donald Trump's allies to hijack Ukraine relations for Trump's reelection, the central issue in Trump's potential impeachment. 

George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of state for Eastern Europe, and Amb. Bill Taylor, the top diplomat in Kiev, opened public hearings before the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry by detailing the workings of a shadow foreign policy quarterbacked by Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani. The goal of that effort was to compel Ukrainian officials to provide Trump aides with damaging information on Trump's domestic political rivals. 

Taylor referenced his now well-known text to fellow diplomats saying that withholding security assistance in exchange for help with a U.S. political campaign would be "crazy."

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The Daily Beast
Nov 13, 2019

Venice ‘on Its Knees' After Historic Floods Create State of Emergency
Manuel Silvestri/ReutersTwo people are dead and 80 percent of the iconic city is underwater after the highest tidal flows since 1966, creating unthinkable scenes of the water's wrath.

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The Daily Beast
Nov 13, 2019

‘The Mandalorian': There's a Heart Under That Boba Fett Mask After All
Courtesy Disney Early in the first episode of The Mandalorian, Star Wars' first live-action TV series, a character asks the inevitable: Does our nameless, faceless antihero ever remove his helmet? He doesn't answer, maybe because it's not the right question. Does he mean the Mandalorian's helmet, or his mask? 

For bounty hunters from the planet Mandalore, a mask is often something more: It's that terseness, that cool indifference, and the air of lone-gun mystery they seem to project with just a confident flick of their finger—until a goofy Wilhelm scream breaks the illusion and they flail gracelessly into a Sarlacc Pit. 

Created by Jon Favreau (with its first installment directed by Star Wars: The Clone Wars' Dave Filoni), The Mandalorian assumes the only mode of storytelling befitting the sons of Mandalore: a space Western. This corner of the galaxy's cowboy roots run deep. Jeremy Bulloch, the English actor best known as the man inside Boba Fett's suit in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, modeled his Mandalorian character's movements after the Man With No Name, Clint Eastwood's iconic role in Sergio Leone's Spaghetti Western trilogy. 

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The Daily Beast
Nov 13, 2019

Harry and Meghan Revive Feud Rumors By Staying Away From the Royal Family's Christmas
Chris JacksonSo, what are you doing for Christmas?

If this question brings you out in hives, have some sympathy for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, for whom Christmas choices have an outsized significance.

Despite the couple's now very public difficulties with Harry's brother, it had been widely assumed that the fractured foursome would come together for the annual walk to church on Christmas morning.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Nov 13, 2019

Scouted: Scientists Say a Good Night's Sleep Helps Your Brain Reset. I Tested That Theory Using Purple's Harmony Pillow
You Should Know About is a look at the products and brands that we at Scouted think should be on your radar and in your life ASAP.

Your head deserves something better than the $20 pillow you purchase at the local super-center. Not only do we sleep about a third of our lives, but there's a plethora of research that suggests sleeping soundly at night will impact your health and well-being. (One recent study found that sleep is like a deep cleaning ritual for your brain.)

One product with a wonderfully silly name that caught my attention is called the Purple Harmony Pillow -- my head and brain are happier than ever. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Nov 13, 2019

Evo Morales Is Out. Is Nicolás Maduro Next?
Photo Illustration by Kristen Hazzard/The Daily Beast/Photos GettyCARACAS, Venezuela-For Ruben Castañeda, news that Evo Morales was just ousted as president of Bolivia seemed like a dream. Indeed, it's pretty much the same dream he's been having about the fall of this country's president, Nicolás Maduro. 

"Only, it's not going to happen here," this middle-aged man said on Monday as he munched on his morning empanada in a bistro in the affluent Caracas neighborhood of Santa Fe. 

Still, he didn't hide his pleasure contemplating what took place in Bolivia. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Nov 13, 2019

Can Hard Seltzer Survive the Winter?
Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast/Photos GettyWhen fall slowly dissolves into winter, I like to drink big whiskies, stout beers and other seasonally appropriate beverages. But what does a hard seltzer fan drink when the mercury drops?

It's a question that is suddenly very important to brewers, since hard seltzer is propping up the industry. 

White Claw, Truly and all of their competitors had an amazing summer and have ridden the hot weather to new heights of popularity but the winter is usually when beer sales tank. Seltzer haters are giddy with anticipation and are expecting a long-awaited comeuppance for the category. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Nov 13, 2019

Sterling K. Brown Fought Harder to Succeed: ‘It's Not a Meritocracy'
Maarten de Boer/NBC via GettyWhen Sterling K. Brown was a boy, his mother would say to him, "I have to be hard on you so the world is not harder on you." 

"Actually," he starts to clarify, flashing that signature wide smile of his, as close as humanity—or at least Hollywood—has to a beacon on a lighthouse, puncturing the fog of all life's... stuff. "Mom grew up with corporal punishment and, with relishing gusto, whooped my butt." He laughs and looks over to his co-star, Kelvin Harrison Jr., who is seated beside him. Tussling the younger man's sweatshirt as he faux-punches his shoulder, Brown goes on: "She was like, ‘I have to whoop you so you the world doesn't whoop you harder.'"

Brown and Harrison are on a sofa in a Manhattan hotel room, mimicking the father-son relationship they honed into a devastatingly sharp dagger onscreen. Their dynamic has punctured the hearts of audiences who screened their new film Waves on the festival circuit, ahead of its theatrical release this weekend. 

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The Daily Beast
Nov 13, 2019

Mayor Pete on the Real ‘Crisis' in Rural America
Joe Raedle/GettyBERLIN, New Hampshire—At least a dozen times over the course of his four-day bus tour across New Hampshire last weekend, Mayor Pete Buttigieg described America as caught in the throes of a "crisis of belonging," brought on by decades of economic, social, and civic isolation in communities across the country.

Buttigieg's proposed solution to that crisis: a massive federal cash injection for jobs training, cutting restrictions on treating drug addiction as an illness instead of as a crime, and an $80 billion "Internet for All" program to expand access to broadband internet.

Also, whitewater rafting and microbreweries. Lots of microbreweries.

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The Daily Beast
Nov 13, 2019

Dems' Impeachment Plan: Don't Repeat Mueller Mistakes
Pete Marovich/GettyThe House Democrats leading the impeachment inquiry into President Trump are facing a critical new test this week: making sure that their slate of public hearings—a bona fide national media event that will be watched by millions—lives up to the hype and clearly communicates their case for Trump's wrongdoing to the American people. 

Looming large over Democrats as they plan, though, is the example of what happened the last time they faced the same test. Less than four months ago, Special Counsel Robert Mueller testified before the House Judiciary Committee about the findings of his two-year investigation into Trump's contact with Russia in 2016 and its aftermath. 

The July 24 hearing was as intensely hyped as any Capitol Hill event in recent years, carried live across TV and dissected in countless articles. Ultimately, after hours of halting testimony from Mueller—who barely ventured outside the content of his report—it was clear the day didn't meet the impossibly high expectations. Republicans gleefully proclaimed it a dud, a conclusion many Democrats privately echoed. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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