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US Capitol: police officer and suspect dead after vehicle rams barrier – live

us-capitol:-police-officer-and-suspect-dead-after-vehicle-rams-barrier-– live

Roughly 25 million Americans could soon see an increase in food assistance as part of a new policy enacted by the Biden Administration, according to the Associated Press.

USDA estimates show that the new program, will send out roughly $1 billion monthly.

“This is a real increase in people’s benefits that’s going to make it a little easier to keep food on the table,” Lindsay Nako, director of litigation and training at the Impact Fund, which represented the California plaintiffs alongside the Western Center on Law & Poverty, told AP.

The move marks a shift from former President Trump’s opposition to food assistance. Lawsuits filed in Pennsylvania and California against Trump’s agriculture secretary, Sonny Perdue, were settled last week by Tom Vilsack, who filled his seat under the Biden Administration, the Washington Post reports.

California, the state with the largest population, stands to gain the most from the change, with an increase of nearly $120 million a month.

“The emergency SNAP increases authorized by Congress last year were not being distributed equitably, and the poorest households — who have the least ability to absorb the economic shocks brought about by COVID — received little to no emergency benefit increases,” Vilsack said in a statement. “As part of President Biden’s commitment to deliver economic relief and ensure every family can afford to put food on the table, today’s actions will provide much-needed support for those who need it most.”

Vice President Kamala Harris has issued a statement, saying that Officer William Evans, who was killed in the line of duty today, “made the ultimate sacrifice” on behalf of the American people.

Sara Cook
(@saraecook)

Statement by VP Harris on today’s attack outside the Capitol honoring Officer Evans, who lost his life, and all Capitol Police and National Guard who responded pic.twitter.com/W22ydAaFX5

April 2, 2021

Officer Evans served on the force for 18 years.

Law enforcement officials have identified Noah Green as the deceased suspect responsible for the death of a US Capitol Police officer in today’s violent attack, but an investigation is still underway and authorities have not yet confirmed a motive.

The New York Times reports that Green, a 25-year-old from Indiana, was a self-described follower of Louis Farrakhan—who spent decades spreading antisemitic views—and his Black nationalist movement, the Nation of Islam.

Ben Collins
(@oneunderscore__)

NEW from me + @BrandyZadrozny: Statement from Facebook on the Capitol attack suspect Noah Green’s purported page.

The page praised Nation of Islam and repeatedly warned of a nearing “end times.” Story coming shortly. pic.twitter.com/VUEAe3JAJX

April 2, 2021

Green’s Facebook account, which was taken down on Friday, showed the young man struggled through the past year, and also posted about the “end times” and the anti-Christ.

“To be honest, these past few years have been tough, and these past few months have been tougher,” Green reportedly wrote. “I have been tried with some of the biggest, unimaginable tests in my life. I am currently now unemployed, after I left my job, partly due to afflictions.”

Green also shared on social media his belief that the federal government was trying to control his mind.

In the hours before he rammed his car into US Capitol police officers, killing one and injuring the other, Green posted Instagram stories linking to videos of Farrakhan, and a caption that read, “The U.S. Government is the #1 enemy of Black people!” CNN reports.

In March, he credited the Nation of Islam leader with saving him from “the terrible afflictions I have suffered presumably by the CIA and FBI, government agencies of the United States of America”.

From CNN:


In his Facebook post, Green wrote that he had been “unknowingly” taking a drug and suffering from side effects.

“The Minister is here to save me and the rest of humanity, even if it means facing death,” he wrote, appearing to reference Farrakhan. “Be willing to deny yourself and follow him, pick up your cross”.

Updated

The second officer, who was struck by the car used in today’s attack at the US Capitol is in stable condition, the USCP shared in a tweet.

U.S. Capitol Police
(@CapitolPolice)

UPDATE: The other USCP officer who was struck by the car is in stable and non-threatening condition.

April 2, 2021

The officer’s name has not been released.

According to CNN, retired Lt Gen Russel Honoré, who reported on the need for more security at the Capitol after 6 January, said that today, the system did what it was supposed to.

“The security system that worked today was the readiness of the Capitol police out front challenging the car and then the barriers, buffers that went in after 9/11,” Honoré told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “Unfortunately, we lost Officer Evans today, but by and large that system worked. The Capitol police responded, they stopped him. The system worked.”

Updated

Rep. Matt Gaetz’ communications manager has resigned, leaving the Florida Republican to navigate a federal investigation into whether he sexually trafficked an underage girl, without a spokesperson.

Luke Ball, who worked with Gaetz for all three of the Congressman’s terms, is known as one of his closest and longest-serving aides, the New York Times, reports.

Chris Jansing
(@ChrisJansing)

Luke Ball, the communications director for Rep. Matt Gaetz, has resigned, according to a person familiar.

Ball quit out of principle, according to the person. @LACaldwellDC

April 2, 2021

Gaetz, who gained national attention as a highly vocal Trump-ally, has denied that he paid for sex or that he engaged sexually with a 17-year-old girl. The 38-year-old Congressman has claimed the allegations came from a extortion plot worth $25 million.

The New York Times reported last week that the Justice Department has linked Gaetz to Joel Greenberg, a former Florida tax collector, who was indicted last year on sex trafficking charges.

From the NYT:


The Times has reviewed receipts from Cash App, a mobile payments app, and Apple Pay that show payments from Mr. Gaetz and Mr. Greenberg to one of the women, and a payment from Mr. Greenberg to a second woman. The women told their friends that the payments were for sex with the two men, according to two people familiar with the conversations.

Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, issued an executive order today, banning businesses and government agencies from requiring proof that a person has been vaccinated, according to the New York times.

Alleging that the requirement of such proof would “reduce individual freedom”, “harm patient privacy,” and “create two classes of citizens based on vaccination” the order states that “it is necessary to protect the fundamental rights and privacies of Floridians and the free flow of commerce within the state”.

Businesses that don’t comply could become ineligible for state funding.

So-called “vaccine passports” have become yet another politically divisive issue, and Republican governors have begun rallying against them as government overreach even though the Biden administration has no plans to require them or issue them.

Gov. Henry McMaster
(@henrymcmaster)

President Biden and the Democrats want to force Americans to present a “vaccine passport” upon demand, yet they oppose presenting an ID to cast a vote.

Vaccine passports will have no place in South Carolina. The very idea is un-American to its core.

April 1, 2021

Governor Kristi Noem
(@govkristinoem)

A vaccine passport is 100% hypocritical coming from those who oppose voter ID. But it’s entirely predictable after the overreach that we saw this past year.

When leaders overstep their authority in a time of crisis, that’s how they break our country.

April 1, 2021

Several other countries have already embraced the idea. Israel was the first to roll out their program and with other European countries are considering their own versions, including the UK.

Updated

Alejandro Mayorkas, the secretary of the homeland security, has released a statement in response to the attack at the Capitol this afternoon.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends, and colleagues of the US Capitol police officer who lost his life today protecting the very symbol of our democracy,” Mayorkas said.

“There is still much to be determined about this attack and DHS offers its full support to Capitol police and DC Mayor Bowser.”

USCP has identified the officer killed in the attack as William “Billy” Evans, an 18-year veteran of the force.

Updated

After two deadly attacks on the US Capitol mere months apart, questions are being raised about whether security measures, which were enhanced after 6 January, are extensive enough, Vox reports.

A review of the security released last month found that the Capitol police are “understaffed, insufficiently equipped and inadequately trained” to defend the nation’s seat of government from future attacks.

In a 15-page draft report, commissioned by the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, retired army L. Gen Russel Honoré called for adding 854 officers, including 424 to specialize in intelligence, dignitary protection and operational planning.

He also recommended additional fencing, specifically barriers that are “easily erected and deconstructed”.

Scott Taylor 7 News I-Team
(@ScottTaylorTV)

More of my interview with former @FBI agent Brad Garrett about today’s attack at the U.S. Capitol. @BradInvestigate tells me the current threat is too high not to add more security at the Capitol. @7NewsDC pic.twitter.com/xQSQFoW56n

April 2, 2021

Roughly four miles of 7ft-high “non-scalable” metal fencing was set up around the Capitol complex following the 6 January riot but it was taken down in March, according to Vox.

Representative Tim Ryan told reporters today that new permanent additions to security are being considered by lawmakers. “We’ll be reviewing everything, at this point, including the fencing,” he said, emphasizing that there are still many unknowns about today’s incident

“We can’t get too far ahead of ourselves without knowing that we have the ability to protect the Capitol, to harden the Capitol,” he added.

Updated

Biden orders White House flags at half-staff

Gabrielle Canon here, signing in from the west coast to take you through the Friday afternoon news.

President Biden has issued a statement on today’s violent attack at the US Capitol that resulted in the death of Officer William Evans and left another US Capitol police officer injured.

“We know what a difficult time this has been for the Capitol, everyone who works there, and those who protect it,” Biden said in the statement, after expressing his condolences to Evans’ family. His death is the second line-of-duty death this year for the Capitol police, who also lost an officer during the 6 January attack, and the seventh in the agency’s history, according to the Associated Press.

Here is Biden’s full statement:


Jill and I were heartbroken to learn of the violent attack at a security checkpoint on the U.S. Capitol grounds, which killed Officer William Evans of the U.S. Capitol Police, and left a fellow officer fighting for his life. We send our heartfelt condolences to Officer Evans’ family, and everyone grieving his loss. We know what a difficult time this has been for the Capitol, everyone who works there, and those who protect it.

I have been receiving ongoing briefings from my Homeland Security Advisor, and will be getting further updates as the investigation proceeds.

I want to express the nation’s gratitude to the Capitol Police, the National Guard Immediate Response Force, and others who quickly responded to this attack. As we mourn the loss of yet another courageous Capitol Police officer, I have ordered that the White House flags be lowered to half-mast.

Updated

Today so far

That’s it from me on this sad day in Washington. My west coast colleague Gabrielle Canon will take over the blog for the next few hours.

Here’s where the day stands so far:

  • US Capitol police officer William “Billy” Evans was killed after a car rammed through a security barrier at the Capitol this afternoon. The acting USCP chief, Yogananda Pittman, said a suspect attempted to drive through the barrier and then exited his car wielding a knife. The suspect lunged at the two officers present, and at least one of the officers opened fire on the man, who later died of his injuries.
  • The Capitol attack did not appear to be terrorism-related, the acting chief of the Metropolitan police department of DC said. At an afternoon press conference, the acting MPD chief, Robert Contee, said it did not appear the Capitol was under active threat. The lockdown at the Capitol was lifted soon afterwards.
  • Nancy Pelosi mourned Evans as “a martyr for our democracy”. The House speaker said in a statement: “Today, once again, these heroes risked their lives to protect our Capitol and our country, with the same extraordinary selflessness and spirit of service seen on January 6. On behalf of the entire House, we are profoundly grateful.” A spokesperson for Pelosi also said the Capitol flags will be lowered to half-staff in honor of Evans.
  • The Major League Baseball All-Star Game is being moved out of Georgia over the state’s new voting law. The law, which Republican Governor Brian Kemp signed late last month, restricts access to voting, and it has been widely criticized by Democrats and voting rights activists.
  • Fully vaccinated Americans can travel without quarantining, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. According to the CDC’s newest guidelines, vaccinated individuals can travel without getting tested for coronavirus or quarantining after their return. The agency said such travel is low-risk for those who have been vaccinated.

Gabrielle will have more coming up, so stay tuned.

Updated

Major League Baseball pulls All-Star Game from Georgia over voting law

The Guardian’s Sam Levine reports:

Major League Baseball will not hold the annual All-Star Game in Atlanta this year after Georgia passed a new law that makes it significantly harder to vote.

The announcement is perhaps the most consequential action taken since Georgia governor Brian Kemp, a Republican, signed the measure into law. Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola spoke out against the bill this week, but faced criticism for not doing so earlier, when their influence could have had a significant impact on the legislation.

“I have decided that the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year’s All-Star Game and MLB draft,” Rob Manfred, the league’s commissioner, said in a statement. “Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box.”

The Georgia law implements new requirements for mail-in voting, a process voters in the state used in record numbers without evidence of fraud in 2020.

Pelosi mourns killed USCP officer as ‘a martyr for our democracy’

House speaker Nancy Pelosi has released a statement mourning the loss of US Capitol police officer William “Billy” Evans in this afternoon’s attack.

“Today, America’s heart has been broken by the tragic and heroic death of one of our Capitol Police heroes: Officer William Evans. He is a martyr for our democracy,” the Democratic speaker said.

“Members of Congress, staff and Capitol workers, and indeed all Americans are united in appreciation for the courage of the US Capitol Police. Today, once again, these heroes risked their lives to protect our Capitol and our country, with the same extraordinary selflessness and spirit of service seen on January 6. On behalf of the entire House, we are profoundly grateful.”

Pelosi pledged that Congress was ready to “assist law enforcement with a swift and comprehensive investigation into this heinous attack”.

“May we always remember the heroism of those who have given their lives to defend our democracy,” the speaker said. “May it be a comfort to the family of Officer Evans that so many mourn with them and pray for them at this sad time.”

Updated

USCP identifies killed officer as William ‘Billy’ Evans

The US capitol police has identified the officer who was killed in the attack this afternoon as William “Billy” Evans.

“It is with profound sadness that I share the news of the passing of Officer William ‘Billy’ Evans this afternoon from injuries he sustained following an attack at the North Barricade by a lone assailant,” the USCP acting chief, Yogananda Pittman, said in a statement.

U.S. Capitol Police
(@CapitolPolice)

Statement on the Loss of USCP Colleague Officer William “Billy” Evans: https://t.co/JMAEbTcbAp pic.twitter.com/DPvkAv5ptO

April 2, 2021

Pittman noted Evans, who succumbed to his injuries after being struck by a car that rammed through a security barrier, had been a member of the USCP force for 18 years.

“He began his USCP service on March 7, 2003, and was a member of the Capitol division’s first responder’s unit,” Pittman said. “Please keep Officer Evans and his family in your thoughts and prayers.”

Updated

Senator Brian Schatz, a Democrat of Hawaii, offered his thoughts to the US Capitol police, after an officer died in the attack this afternoon.

“Being a Capitol police officer has never been more difficult or more stressful. All the love and comfort in the world to them and their family members,” Schatz said on Twitter.

Brian Schatz
(@brianschatz)

Being a Capitol Police officer has never been more difficult or more stressful. All the love and comfort in the world to them and their family members.

April 2, 2021

This is the second line-of-duty death for the USCP since January, when Officer Brian Sicknick succumbed to his injuries from the Capitol insurrection.

Prior to 2021, a total of four USCP officers had died in the line of duty in the entire history of the force, according to the USCP website.

Updated

Martin Pengelly

The House and Senate are not in session but some elected officials and staff were in the building on Friday, as a car rammed a security barrier on the grounds.

Ro Khanna, a Democratic representative from California, spoke to CNN from his car, where he said officers had told him to go after he came back to the Capitol from going out for lunch.

“It’s really sad,” he said. “Once the barriers were removed we were moving back to some sense of normalcy, but this just shows the level of risk there still is.

“I can’t imagine saying that going to the United States Capitol to represent your constituents is actually a dangerous thing.”

Noah Green, a 25-year-old man from Indiana, is the suspect who rammed through a Capitol security checkpoint in his car this afternoon, according to NBC News.

Tom Winter
(@Tom_Winter)

BREAKING / NBC News: Multiple senior law enforcement officials briefed on the investigation say Noah Green, 25 year old male, from Indiana is the person who attacked the Capitol today.

Reported by @PeteWilliamsNBC @jonathan4ny and myself.

April 2, 2021

US Capitol police has said the suspect exited the vehicle wielding a knife and was then shot by at least one of the officers present. He later succumbed to his injuries and died.

Updated

The US Capitol police has provided the latest information on the attack that occurred this afternoon.

According to USCP, a man in a blue sedan charged a security barrier at the Capitol, striking two officers. The man then exited the vehicle with a knife and ran toward the officers.

At least one of the officers drew their weapon and shot the suspect, who succumbed to his injuries about 30 minutes later. One of the USCP officers who was hit by the car also died of his injuries.

U.S. Capitol Police
(@CapitolPolice)

UPDATE: Here is the latest information. pic.twitter.com/GOVaMv8EXk

April 2, 2021

Updated

The Senate majority leader, Chuck Schumer, said he was “heartbroken” for the US Capitol Police officer who was killed today, after a car rammed through a security barrier.

“I’m praying for the officer injured and his family. We’re in their debt,” the Democratic leader said on Twitter. “We thank the Capitol Police, National Guard, & first responders for all they do to protect the Capitol and those inside.”

Chuck Schumer
(@SenSchumer)

I’m heartbroken for the officer killed today defending our Capitol and for his family. I’m praying for the officer injured and his family.

We’re in their debt

We thank the Capitol Police, National Guard, & first responders for all they do to protect the Capitol and those inside

April 2, 2021

Updated

USCP lifts Capitol lockdown after car attack

The US Capitol police has lifted the lockdown on the Capitol grounds, about two hours after a car rammed a security barrier and injured two USCP officers, killing one of them.

But the police force noted the area immediately surrounding the attack site is still under restricted access as officials continue to process the scene.

U.S. Capitol Police
(@CapitolPolice)

The USCP has cleared the external security threat incident located at all of the U.S. Capitol Campus buildings, however the area around the crime scene will continue to be restricted and individuals should follow police direction. pic.twitter.com/6SXr5WJmcE

April 2, 2021

Updated

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Politics

Five fertility clinic patients awarded $15m after failure of freezing tank

five-fertility-clinic-patients-awarded-$15m-after-failure-of-freezing-tank

Five patients of a California fertility center have been awarded a total of $15m after a freezing tank failed, rendering some of more than 3,500 frozen human embryos and eggs unviable.

While the extent of the damage from the accidental thaw is unclear, jurors awarded the sum to clients of the Pacific Fertility Center in San Francisco after finding that the storage tank maker, Chart Industries, knew about a defect that prevented accurate temperature monitoring and had not warned the center about the problem.

The case could have significant consequences for a fertility industry estimated to be worth $37bn by 2030 and comes amid declining fertility rates and a drop in childbirth, recently described as a Covid baby-bust.

Jurors in the case found that Chart was 90% and Pacific Fertility 10% responsible for the failure to adequately safeguard the material. It marks the first time a jury has awarded damages in a case involving the destruction of eggs and embryos.

“This verdict should be a wake-up call for fertility centers. The jury’s award shows that when clinics make mistakes they can be devastating,” Adam Wolf, lead attorney for the plaintiffs, told the Guardian.

At the trial, the freezer manufacturer argued that the error was caused by fertility clinic lab employees unplugging the tank’s malfunctioning controller and then keeping eggs and embryos in a container with no temperature-alert system in operation for 17 days.

But lawyers for the plaintiffs presented evidence that Chart knew about a problem with the tank from a 2012 internal study and had received complaints about a malfunctioning controller since 2015.

Laura and Kevin Parsell, a couple who had four frozen embryos that were lost, were awarded $7.2m. Rosalynn Enfield, a 43-year-old mother of two who lost 18 eggs, was awarded $2.6m; Adrienne Sletten, a 43-year-old woman who lost two eggs, was awarded $2.075m. Chloe Poynton, a 39-year-old woman who lost nine eggs, was awarded $3.1m.

“It’s really painful to be at a baby shower celebrating someone else’s family being built and knowing inside you’ll never get that,” Poynton told the court.

In closing arguments last week, attorney Dena Sharp had asked for up to $30m in damages. “Nothing can bring these eggs and embryos back,” Sharp said. “Nothing can turn back that biological clock. Nothing can truly restore what these plaintiffs had taken from them.”

Wolf, meanwhile, said many of those who had lost eggs and embryos, were still struggling with their loss.

The claim was the first to come to trial out of 140 federal lawsuits filed against the tank manufacturer over the accident. A second trial involving about five other plaintiffs is scheduled to begin later this year.

But Pacific Fertility is not the sole fertility clinic to have reported problems with Chart’s freezer. More than 4,000 eggs and embryos were lost at the University Hospitals Fertility Clinic in Cleveland. About 150 families have settled claims with the clinic. Other related lawsuits are ongoing.

Wolf said his firm, Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane & Conway, had represented hundreds of people over eight years in claims against the fertility industry, which is largely unregulated except in terms of the way in which clinics can advertise their pregnancy success rates.

Groups such as the American Society for Reproductive Medicine set industry standards for facilities that opt in, but the recommendations are voluntary. In some cases, clinics have used the wrong sperm and there is no oversight in terms of registering recipients of third-party sperm.

“Tragically we see very serious errors on a daily basis. These are the wild west days of the American fertility industry. It operates behind closed doors, and under a veil of secrecy. It can do, basically, whatever it likes, and that’s no way for an industry that is so important to operate,” Wolf said.

Naomi Cahn, director of the University of Virginia’s Family Law Center, said that last week’s verdict, could bring calls for greater regulation.

“Storage tank breakdowns are one example of problems in this industry. The lack of oversight, ranging from not knowing the if tanks are being appropriately regulated to manufacturing defects to not knowing how many other people may have used the same donor eggs or sperm, is worrying.”

As its stands, fertility clinics are required only to report success rates when they use reproductive technology involving eggs, but not when only sperm is used. “But reporting success rates does not regulate how the eggs are stored or other types of negligence,” Cahn said.

While the ASRM has a strong role in providing guidance, greater oversight is required to protect future families, Cahn says. If she were to issue a call to lawmakers, she added, it would be to “establish one single government entity to oversee the fertility industry and ensure that entity issues appropriate regulations including certification of all aspects of the technology”.

“We don’t want to interfere with the patient-physician relationship, we just want to make sure that when you trust your egg, sperm and embryos to a tank, that tank will not malfunction and there are appropriate procedures in the clinic if it does.”

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Politics

‘My God, I’m in a whale’s mouth’: lobster diver on brush with hungry humpback

‘my-god,-i’m-in-a-whale’s-mouth’:-lobster-diver-on-brush-with-hungry-humpback

A New England lobsterman has described the moment he realised he was trapped in the mouth of a humpback whale off the coast of Cape Cod.

“Oh my God, I’m in a whale’s mouth and he’s trying to swallow me. I thought to myself, ‘hey, this is it. I’m finally going to die. There’s no getting out of here,’’’ Michael Packard told a local news station in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Packard, 56, was 45ft down off Race Point in search of lobsters when the feeding whale, presumed to be a juvenile, took him. He said he “felt this huge bump and everything went dark”.

At first the fisherman assumed he had been attacked by a great white [shark] buthe could find no teeth. “It was happening so fast,” Packard said. “My only thought was how to get out of that mouth.”

Partially ingested in the leviathan’s maw, and surrounded by a curtain of filtering baleen, Packard said he kept breathing into the regulator of his scuba tank.

“I realised there was no overcoming a beast of that size. He was going to do with me what he wanted to do. He was going to spit me out or swallow me.”

Later, during the half-minute ordeal, Packard said he began to consider his situation more clearly: “Here I am, I’m breathing air. Am I going to be breathing air in this whale’s mouth until it runs out? Crazy stuff.”

The whale thought better.

Michael Packard, 56, was diving off Provincetown when ‘all of a sudden I felt this huge bump, and everything went dark’.
Michael Packard, 56, was diving off Provincetown when ‘all of a sudden I felt this huge bump, and everything went dark’. Photograph: WBZ

“All of a sudden he went up to the surface and just erupted and started shaking his head. I just got thrown in the air and landed in the water,” Packard recalled. “I was free and I just floated there. I couldn’t believe … I’m here to tell it.”

Boat captain Joe Francis, who had been following Packard’s bubbles, told CBS Boston: “I saw Mike come flying out of the water feet first with his flippers on and land back in the water. I jumped aboard the boat. We got him up, got his tank off. Got him on the deck and calmed him down and he goes, ‘Joe, I was in the mouth of a whale.’ He goes ‘I can’t believe it, I was in the mouth of a whale, Joe!’”

Packard was taken to hospital and discharged later that day. “He’s damn lucky to be alive,” Francis added.

Philip Hoare, author of Leviathan and Albert and the Whale: Albrecht Dürer and How Art Imagines Our World, and a friend of Packard and his fishing partner Josiah Mayo, says the humpback was almost certainly as surprised as the diver.

Hoare says Herring Cove beach, adjacent to Race Point and where the incident took place, is shallow and known for gatherings of juvenile humpbacks feeding on sand eels at this time of year.

Whales have poor forward vision, he noted. “Mike would have been down there collecting lobsters, and the whale, trying to swallow sand eels, would have suddenly found he had a diver in his mouth while he or she was dragging in a huge volume of water.”

But before the whale could push the water out through the baleen filter – and lick the sand eels off with the tongue – the individual would have found Packard. Since a humpback’s esophagus wont accept anything larger than a melon, the whale would probably have panicked. “This young humpback is hanging out, it really hasn’t learned how to feed properly and doing stupid things, and suddenly he’s in trouble.

“He’s gulped Michael and now has this huge thing in mouth. That would be totally freaky for a whale, so it’s gone up to the surface, and in a human way, vomited him out. The last thing a whale wants in its mouth is something so big it would choke it.

“Michael is inside the whale, and God knows what he’s thinking, but anyone on the Cape knows the problem with great whites. “They are there, and they’re huge, and three people have been attacked – one fatally – in the past year,” says Hoare.

Hoare says Packard will be transformed in to mythic figure in Provincetown – “the Jonah who came back. He’ll never have pay for another drink for the rest of his life.” The film-maker John Waters, a seasonal resident of Provincetown, had been in touch. “Are you jealous, and do you believe it?” Waters wrote.

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Politics

Talks in Washington deadlocked as Biden meets UK PM Johnson – live

Summary

  • Joe Biden met with Boris Johnson in Cornwall while Jill Biden wore a “love” blazer.

ABC News
(@ABC)

First Lady Jill Biden, sporting a jacket with the words ‘love’ on the back, poses for a photograph looking out over the sea, at Carbis Bay, in Cornwall ahead of the G7 summit. https://t.co/EYoMGkWUu1 pic.twitter.com/cm3wx2Hha4

June 10, 2021

  • Meanwhile, talks deadlocked on, well, a lot of things – but mostly the bipartisan negotiations around the infrastructure plan. Lawmakers on both side were expressing frustration Thursday with the concept of bipartisanship, but Senator Mitt Romney hinted at a possible agreement.
  • Representative Ilhan Omar received death threats as members of her own party condemned her for saying that “we have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the US, Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan and the Taliban.

Today in San Francisco, Rob Bonta, California’s attorney general, said that his office has filed an appeal of the recent federal court decision that struck down the state’s assault weapon restrictions.

Standing alongside Governor Gavin Newsom, San Francisco Mayor London Breed and representatives from Brady United and the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Bonta said that while the opinion was of “great concern”, “we are not deterred by this ruling.”

This appeal comes after a 4 June ruling from Judge Roger Benitez that ruled that California’s 32 year-old restrictions were unconstitutional. The decision drew immediate criticism for Benitez’s comparison of assault weapons to “Swiss army knives” and false claim that more Californians have died from the Covid-19 vaccine than mass shootings.

Bonta is also extending the 30-day-stay, so that the current laws stay in effect throughout the appeal process.

Learn more about what Judge Benitez’s ruling mean for the state here:

Florida public schools ban teaching of critical-race theory

The Florida Board of Education has approved tougher guidelines for teaching US history in public schools that prohibits teachers from discussing critical-race theory or the 1619 Project.

The reactive push against the movement to teaching non-whitewashed versions of American history that don’t downplay the role of slavery and racism in the founding of the country has long been a conservative rallying point. Ron DeSantis, Florida’s governor, tweeted that critical-race theory was “state-sanctioned racism and has no place in Florida schools”.

Travis Akers
(@travisakers)

History classes in Florida now will just be students coloring in a picture of white Jesus carrying an American flag while gazing upon a bald eagle soaring through the fireworks-filled sky.

Class concludes with a rousing rendition of Lee Greenwood’s “Proud to be an American.”

June 10, 2021

Something may have happened. Or not. But that’s pretty much the state of it this week, isn’t it?

Seung Min Kim
(@seungminkim)

Some newsy developments: Per @MittRomney, the infrastructure Gang of 10 have reached an agreement on the overall size of the package, how much it’ll spend on each provision and how they’ll pay for it. He and other Rs will brief other Republicans, Ds will brief admin officials

June 10, 2021

We’re back on the infrastructure plan, and the hopes of a bipartisan agreement. Joe Biden ended negotiations with Republicans before he left on his first overseas trip, but said he planned to stay in touch. People on both sides are saying the time for bipartisanship is done, whether related to the infrastructure plan or otherwise.

But! Possibly an agreement, per Republican Utah Senator Mitt Romney. Except someone forgot to tell Montana Senator Jon Tester.

Seung Min Kim
(@seungminkim)

Well. Tester, a member of the Infra 10, said an agreement was “news to me”

June 10, 2021

So could there be an agreement? Unclear. We’ll see.

Updated

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio set Twitter ablaze today when he decided to preview a commercial for ranked-choice voting with a giant ballot of pizza toppings.

Ranked-choice voting is when you rank a number of candidates for each race. If none wins an outright majority in the first round of counting, the last-place candidate is eliminated, and then the second-place votes are counted, and this keeps going until someone earns at least 50% of the votes plus one.

It wasn’t the type of voting that stirred controversy, but de Blasio’s ranking: 1. Green peppers 2. Green olives 3. Sausage 4. Mushrooms 5. Pepperoni

AJ
(@ajchavar)

has the mayor eaten a pizza https://t.co/M3TKG13Lek

June 10, 2021

katie honan
(@katie_honan)

The mayor is now YELLING about pineapple on pizza. “THIS IS NOT CALIFORNIA,” he says, adding it’s offensive to his Italian ancestors.

Clams on pizza? “We’re not in New Haven,” he says. Life has certainly been strange over the last 15 or so months.

June 10, 2021

Brittny Pierre
(@sleep2dream)

TRASH! deblasio should stay in his lane. He eats pizza with a fork and knife AND he’s a red sox fan. https://t.co/EsUL17H8Ki

June 10, 2021

And also, there’s also the fact that pizza is not quite the right analogy for an election.

Ariel Edwards-Levy
(@aedwardslevy)

pizza toppings are an especially fitting choice of example for ranked-choice voting because, as everybody knows, a finalized pizza can only include precisely one (1) topping https://t.co/FIKWPS2pC6

June 10, 2021

The FBI director, Christopher Wray, is testifying before the House judiciary committee on oversight of the FBI. Hate violence and white supremacist ideology were large focuses, and Wray received a number of questions about the 6 January attack on the US Capitol.

House Judiciary Dems
(@HouseJudiciary)

“On the days leading up to the January 6th attack, did the FBI simply miss evidence, or did it see the evidence and fail to piece it together?”

Chairman @RepJerryNadler questions @FBI Director Wray pic.twitter.com/JdV3aXxWJ1

June 10, 2021

Josh Gerstein
(@joshgerstein)

FBI’s Wray says unaware of any investigation specifically looking at Trump’s rhetoric in advance of the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6

June 10, 2021

Updated

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is apparently pretty done with bipartisanship too.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
(@AOC)

Pres. Biden & Senate Dems should take a step back and ask themselves if playing patty-cake w GOP Senators is really worth the dismantling of people’s voting rights, setting the planet on fire, allowing massive corporations and the wealthy to not pay their fair share of taxes, etc

June 9, 2021

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
(@AOC)

During the Obama admin, folks thought we’d have a 60 Dem majority for a while. It lasted 4 months.

Dems are burning precious time & impact negotiating w/GOP who won’t even vote for a Jan 6 commission. McConnell’s plan is to run out the clock.

It’s a hustle. We need to move now.

June 9, 2021

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who thinks “the era of bipartisanship is over”, doesn’t seem particularly phased.

Sahil Kapur
(@sahilkapur)

Mitch McConnell responds to AOC’s tweet on Fox News: “Well, to satisfy that particular member of Congress, I think the Democrats would have to have 60 votes in the Senate and all of them would have to be as far left as she is. I think her big complaint is with her own party.” https://t.co/mLGMGwjMxi

June 10, 2021

More Democrats are joining together to condemn Minnesota Ilhan Omar for saying that “we have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the US, Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan and the Taliban.” Meanwhile, more of her allies are rallying behind her in support as well.

Tom Suozzi
(@RepTomSuozzi)

pic.twitter.com/uX2F9mwNHx

June 10, 2021

Mehdi Hasan
(@mehdirhasan)

Muslim Americans are fed up of constantly being accused of supporting terrorism – including by liberals and Democrats! – when they/we simply make factual points about international law or foreign policies or war crimes.

It’s cynical, dehumanizing, and, yes bigoted.

June 10, 2021

Jamil Dakwar
(@jdakwar)

Once again #IStandWithIlhan 👇🏽 https://t.co/QJOdvPFP91

June 10, 2021

Here’s our first look at the meeting between Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and First Lady Jill Biden and Carrie Johnson.

Steve Holland
(@steveholland1)

“It’s gorgeous, I don’t want to go home,” said President Biden of seaside view in Carbis Bay with PM Boris Johnson. pic.twitter.com/Sbv9uQCJRV

June 10, 2021

Howard Mortman
(@HowardMortman)

Biden and Boris Johnson pic.twitter.com/ZkVj3j74zw

June 10, 2021

The Recount
(@therecount)

First Lady Jill Biden sports a “LOVE” jacket while meeting with UK PM Boris Johnson and Carrie Johnson. pic.twitter.com/dGV5C62RVp

June 10, 2021

Updated

A lot has been hyped about bipartisanship this week. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said “the era of bipartisanship is over”, with every bill the Democrats have introduced in June including something he said Republicans could not support. Democratic West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin gave it as the reason why he wasn’t voting for the For The People bill that would voting rights, because he believed such legislation needed to be bipartisan.

Then there was the bipartisan negotiations between Joe Biden and Republicans over an infrastructure plan. On Tuesday, Biden ended negotiations. Despite his willingness to reduce his plan by more than $1 trillion, Republicans had increased their proposed new investments by only $150bn. And then there was the issue of tax increases.

Though Biden said he would stay in touch with Republicans during his trip, things aren’t looking great.

Manu Raju
(@mkraju)

“No,” Angus King, one of the bipartisan negotiators on infrastructure, said when I asked if he were confident a bipartisan deal could be reached among the group. Said he’s “hopeful”

June 10, 2021

About 90 advocacy groups have since called on Biden and the Democrats to use the partisan reconciliation process instead of relying on negotiations.

Reconciliation is a rule that allows Congress to pass new budget resolutions with new spending priorities with a simple 51-vote majority in the Senate without having to worry about a filibuster.

Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer said Democrats are already working on a plan to pass an infrastructure measure via the reconciliation process.

Omar receives death threats as lawmakers condemn her comments

Democratic Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar is once again receiving death threats as 12 members of her own party condemn her for appearing to liken Hamas and the Taliban to Israel and the United States.

“We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity,” she tweeted in a question to Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a Foreign Affairs Committee hearing about the International Criminal Court on Monday. “We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.”

Rep. Brad Schneider
(@RepSchneider)

Equating the U.S. and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided. Ignoring the differences between democracies governed by the rule of law and organizations that engage in terrorism discredits one’s intended argument and reflects deep-seated prejudice. https://t.co/KOdgPqvQdT

June 10, 2021

Andrew Desiderio
(@AndrewDesiderio)

Group of House Democrats is out with a statement tonight condemning Ilhan Omar’s recent comments, saying they “give cover to terrorist groups.” pic.twitter.com/kDxSkb7OCi

June 10, 2021

Omar responded by calling out the “shameful” Islamaphobic tropes in her colleagues’ statement.

“The constant harassment and silencing from the signers of this letter is unbearable,” she tweeted.

Ilhan Omar
(@IlhanMN)

Citing an open case against Israel, US, Hamas & Taliban in the ICC isn’t comparison or from “deeply seated prejudice”. You might try to undermine these investigations or deny justice to their victims but history has thought us that the truth can’t be hidden or silenced forever.

June 10, 2021

Rashida Tlaib
(@RashidaTlaib)

I am tired of colleagues (both D+R) demonizing @IlhanMN. Their obsession with policing her is sick. She has the courage to call out human rights abuses no matter who is responsible. That’s better than colleagues who look away if it serves their politics. https://t.co/5n9OxZbK8Q

June 10, 2021

Biden to meet with Johnson as party clashes continue back home

Howdy, liveblog readers. Happy Thursday.

We begin today with President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden departing for Cornwall in the United Kingdom to meet with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife, Carrie Johnson.

It’s expected that everyone will use the meeting as a chance to reaffirm the “special relationship” between the US and the UK – though Johnson has confirmed that he thinks the term seems “needy and weak” and Biden has been quoted calling Johnson a “physical and emotional clone” of Donald Trump.

It’s also likely that Biden and Johnson will speak about the working groups the two governments have formed to look into lifting travel restrictions between the US and UK.

But in addition to these niceties, this meeting takes place with the US issuing a warning to the UK’s Brexit negotiator, Lord Frost, over negotiations over border checks in Northern Ireland.

The Guardian’s Patrick Wintour delves into the situation more here:

Meanwhile, back home, talks on a bipartisan infrastructure deal remained at an impasse, with Republicans refusing to raise taxes to pay for the plan and Biden insisting on it.

Ronald Klain
(@WHCOS)

Lots of discussion today on the Hill about how to pay for much needed infrastructure.

I’m just going to leave this here. pic.twitter.com/MwzLtUguNn

June 9, 2021

Updated

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