Defense secretary voices concerns over Chinese hypersonic missiles
July test of space-based strike weapon highlights danger
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the United States is concerned about China’s development of hypersonic missiles, including the orbiting weapons tested in August.
“We have concerns about the military capabilities that the PRC continues to pursue, and the pursuit of those capabilities increases tensions in the region,” Mr. Austin said in Seoul. “And we know that China conducted a test of a hypersonic weapon on the 27th of July. It just underscores why we consider the PRC to be our pacing challenge.”
The United States continues to maintain what Mr. Austin said were a range of weapons and capabilities to both defend and deter threats posed by China.
The hypersonic missile test in July involved a unique capability called a “fractional orbital bombardment system,” or FOBS, first developed by the Soviet Union. Air Force Lt. Gen. Chance Saltzman, deputy of Space Force operations, confirmed in remarks Monday that the hypersonic glide vehicle involved a space-based orbiting strike test.
Suspect’s parents charged in Michigan school shooting
A prosecutor in Michigan filed involuntary manslaughter charges Friday against the parents of a boy who is accused of killing four students at Oxford High School, after saying earlier that their actions went “far beyond negligence,” her office said.
Jennifer and James Crumbley were charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter.
“The parents were the only individuals in the position to know the access to weapons,” Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald said Thursday. The gun “seems to have been just freely available to that individual.”
Ethan Crumbley, 15, has been charged as an adult with two dozen crimes, including murder, attempted murder and terrorism, for the shooting Tuesday at Oxford High School in Oakland County, roughly 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Detroit.
Kamala Harris' staffers leaving White House in part because they fear being labeled 'Harris person': report
A new report revealed that departing staffers for Vice President Harris are leaving their White House posts in part due to concerns of being forever labeled a "Harris person."
A growing list of Harris staffers are heading out the door amid internal chaos and disastrous poll numbers.
The concern of being labeled a "Harris person," as well as burnout and desire for greener pastures, are driving the exodus from the vice president’s office, sources familiar with the chaos in the VP's office told Axios.
One anonymous Democratic strategist said that Harris needs "someone loyal, who can think methodically to best position the vice president and to make sure everything she’s doing is being maximized and communicated to a broad population and get her numbers up."
Biden vows no more lockdowns or new mandates, pushes vaccines in winter COVID plan
President Biden said Thursday he will launch hundreds of “family” clinics to get children vaccinated and older Americans boosted against COVID-19 while requiring private insurers to reimburse Americans for at-home virus tests.
Mr. Biden is scrambling to combat the omicron variant that is popping up in more places and could derail his pandemic agenda for the second time in five months.
The president, speaking at the National Institutes of Health, said his winter plan avoids economic restrictions and the type of federal mandates that previously spurred legal battles. Instead, he said it is designed to promote unity around things such as vaccinations and diagnostics.
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Vax Mandates Will Disrupt Supply Chains Further, Truckers Warn
The main trucking lobbies in Canada and the United States are warning that vaccine and testing requirements for workers will further disrupt supply chains because there is already a dire shortage of drivers.
Canada will require vaccines for truck drivers starting in January, while the Biden administration has issued rules requiring truck drivers at companies with 100 or more employees to be vaccinated or submit to weekly testing.
More than two-thirds of goods traded between Canada and the United States travels on roads and highways. For most of the pandemic, truckers crossed the border regularly as they were considered essential workers to keep supply chains flowing.
Ukraine says Russia amassed over 94,000 troops at border
Ukraine‘s defense minister estimated Friday that Russia has amassed more than 94,000 troops near their borders and said there is a probability of a “large-scale escalation” in late January.
Ukrainian and Western officials recently voiced alarm about a Russian troop buildup near Ukraine, saying they feared it could herald an invasion. Moscow has denied planning to invade and accused Ukraine and its Western backers of fabricating claims to cover up their own allegedly aggressive designs.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov told lawmakers Friday that the number of Russian troops near Ukraine and in Russia-annexed Crimea is estimated to be 94,300.
ALL THE PRESIDENT'S PHLEGM Biden battling cold he caught from kissing grandson as he coughs his way through speech
JOE Biden said on Friday that he has a cold, which he caught from kissing his grandson.
Biden coughed his way through a speech at The White House, where he spoke about November's jobs numbers and the new coronavirus strain.
Attentive viewers noticed that the president had a hoarse voice, and speculated online about his health before Biden confirmed he was battling a cold.
Just weeks ago, Biden had a health scare following a colonoscopy.
Roe ‘settled’ law? Justices’ earlier assurances now in doubt
During his confirmation to the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh convinced Sen. Susan Collins that he thought a woman’s right to an abortion was “settled law,” calling the court cases affirming it “precedent on precedent” that could not be casually overturned.
Amy Coney Barrett told senators during her Senate confirmation hearing that laws could not be undone simply by personal beliefs, including her own. “It’s not the law of Amy,” she quipped.
But during this week’s landmark Supreme Court hearing over a Mississippi law that could curtail if not outright end a woman’s right to abortion, the two newest justices struck a markedly different tone, drawing lines of questioning widely viewed as part of the court’s willingness to dismantle decades old decisions on access to abortion services.
Alec Baldwin’s Denial: Expert Calls Chances Actor Didn’t Pull the Trigger ‘On a Scale of 1 to 10? Zero’
Alec Baldwin’s contention in an in-depth interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that he did not pull the trigger in the accidental shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the New Mexico set of the indie film “Rust” has been met with skepticism from experts.
When asked by TheWrap to assess the likelihood of Baldwin’s statement being true, Steve Wolf, a movie armorer with more than 30 years in the business, said bluntly: “One a scale of one to 10? Zero.”
Added Wolf, “You know, guns don’t go up by themselves, right? It’s an inanimate object. It has no batteries. It has no timer. It has no web connection. It’s not a smart piece of equipment. It’s it’s very reliable device that shoots when you press the trigger, and it doesn’t shoot when you don’t press the trigger.”
Baldwin cries on cue for George
'The trigger wasn't pulled. I didn't pull the trigger'
Baldwin says does not feel guilt over 'Rust' shooting death
Alec Baldwin insists he’s not to blame for fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins on ‘Rust’ set
Census shows growing number of adults who live alone
More American adults are living alone than ever before, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The Census Bureau reported this week that 28% of all U.S. adults aged 18 and over lived alone in early 2021, more than double the 13% recorded in 1960. It is estimated that there are now 37 million one-person households in the United States, a 1% increase in the portion of the overall population from the 33 million adults who reported living alone a decade ago.
The 2021 Current Population Survey’s Annual Social and Economic Supplement, which the bureau said has collected “labor force data as well as data on a variety of characteristics of households” annually for more than 60 years, also showed the continuation of a long-term trend in which Americans delay getting married and having children until later in life.
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SEC unleashes political activists on the American economy
The latest craze on Wall Street is the “environmental, social, and governance,” or ESG movement, whose supporters profess to do good while making money. Many believe they got an early Christmas gift when the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) quietly announced a policy change to the shareholder proposal process that empowers political activists to disrupt corporate boardrooms across America. But that gift may be one they want to return.
For years, the SEC required shareholder proposals to have a nexus to the business of the company to be considered for a vote at a company’s annual meeting. The reason for this is simple. Without a relationship to the business, a proposal cannot improve the economic value of the company and the return to its shareholders. Thus, expending any resources on such proposals would be a waste of shareholder time and money.
However, over the past few years, a vocal minority of political activists and Washington politicians aligned with the ESG movement began demanding a change to that policy, and the SEC obliged. Now, unelected career bureaucrats can approve any shareholder proposal they believe has a “broad societal impact” even if that proposal has no nexus or relationship to the business of the company.
Roe on death watch
Among the visitors Thursday holding a vigil outside the United States Supreme Court on the day after oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was a camel — in the company of shepherds — looking for a tent to stick her nose under.
It has been 50 years of scalding debate since the High Court seized control of abortion away from voters and elected legislatures. Never in that half-century has Roe v. Wade been so threatened as it is right now in the wake of those arguments.
The state of Mississippi stood before the Court to defend a law that would regulate abortion in that state. The state law is in clear contradiction of Roe v. Wade, which is why it has been appealed all the way to the Supremes.
If each of the seated justices follows his or her judicial philosophies, Roe would be overturned in a resounding 6-3 decision. And even proponents of abortion rights — those who are remotely principled and legally literate — would see the wisdom and integrity in overturning the most flawed and indefensible court ruling since Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896.