For much her tenure as White House press secretary, Jen Psaki has gained fans in Democratic circles for her combative responses to questions they see as slanted (and often are), with her jousting partner often being Fox News.
But Psaki on Monday deployed some exasperated sarcasm at an odd – and perhaps revealing – time.
NPR’s Mara Liasson pressed Psaki on the continued hurdles Americans face in getting rapid, at-home coronavirus tests. The administration recently announced people with private health insurance would be reimbursed for the tests, which often cost between $20 and $30 for a pair.
“That’s kind of complicated, though,” Liasson noted. “Why not just make them free and give them out to – and have them available everywhere?”
The statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee that once provoked a deadly weekend of violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, will be melted down and turned into a new piece of public artwork, following a vote by city lawmakers early Tuesday morning.
The city had for months been searching for a new owner for the 1,100-pound monument, which served as the focal point of the white-supremacist Unite the Right rally in 2017. After the city took the statue down over the summer, six proposals on what to do with it were submitted by arts groups, historical societies or individuals, some offering to pay the city as much as $50,000 for the bronze sculpture.
But the Charlottesville City Council voted 4 to 0 to hand it over to the only local bidder: the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center...
The House late Tuesday passed legislation that paves the way for Congress to raise the debt limit in the coming days — and prevent an unprecedented federal default — by allowing Democrats to circumvent a GOP filibuster in the Senate.
Lawmakers adopted the measure along party lines, 222-212, with just one Republican joining all Democrats in support, as part of a deal struck earlier in the day by Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and his GOP counterpart Mitch McConnell (Ky.).
The highly contortionist procedural strategy will empower Senate Democrats to raise the debt ceiling in a subsequent bill without a single Republican vote, while liberating GOP senators to oppose that increase in the Treasury’s borrowing authority &mda...
The security barrier along the Israel-Gaza border has been completed, the Defense Ministry announced Tuesday.
The 65 km long barrier includes an underground component with sensors, an above-ground fence, a naval barrier, radar systems and command and control rooms to prevent infiltrations from the Gaza strip into Israeli territory.
Defense Minister, Benny Gantz stated: "The barrier, which is an innovative and technologically advanced project, deprives Hamas of one of the capabilities it tried to develop, and places an ‘iron wall’, sensors and concrete between the terror organization and the residents of the Israel’s south. This barrier will provide Israeli citizens a sense of security and will enable this beautiful region to continue developing and flourishing.”
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday that the new Omricron coronavirus variant is "almost certainly” less severe than the Delta variant.
“Real-world evidence is accumulating rapidly — literally on a daily basis — to allow us to determine increase in cases, possible increase in reproductive number, and the rapid replacement of Delta by Omicron in certain situations,” Fauci saidat a White House press briefing.
“It’s too early to be able to determine the precise severity of the disease, but inklings that we are getting — and we must remember these are still in the form of anecdotal, but hopefully in the next few weeks we’ll get a much cle...
A division of HarperCollins Publishers announced on Tuesday that it has canceled plans to publish a book by Chris Cuomo, CNBC reports.
HarperCollins’ Custom House imprint originally planned to publish Chris Cuomo’s book, titled “Deep Denial,” in fall 2022.
“We do not intend to publish the book,” Kelly Rudolph, a spokeswoman for Custom House, said on Tuesday.
Rudolph did not immediately respond when asked if Cuomo had received an advance to write the book, and if so, whether that money has been refunded.
For Cuomo, the announcement is the latest in a series of hits he has taken in recent days.
On Saturday, CNN announced that Cuomo had been "terminated" by the network "effective immediately. That announcement came several...
Avichai Mandelblit accuses former prime minister of wanting to take over judiciary, according to report
Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit said that former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu endangered Israel's democracy and accused the opposition leader of wanting to stack the judiciary with loyalists while in office, according to a report in Channel 12 news published Tuesday.
Mandelblit made the comments during closed conversations, the report states.
Netanyahu's preference for personal loyalty in his official appointments "constituted a danger to democracy," Mandelblit warned, citing Poland and Hungary as examples of where he saw Israel heading with Netanyahu at the helm.
"We found ourselves in a war over the DNA of the Jewish people and the State of Israel in ...
Iran, who shares close relations with Russia, is prompting concern from Israel by enriching uranium
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is set to visit Israel on Sunday, marking the official’s first such excursion in three years.
During his trip, Lavrov is expected to meet with his counterpart, Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, as well as the country’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
Discussions between the officials will reportedly focus on Iran’s nuclear talks, the situation in Syria, and other areas of concern, according to The Times of Israel.
The topics were previously introduced to Lavrov by Israel’s foreign minister during Lapid’s trip to Moscow in September, and Israel’s concerns on the subjects have been reiterated...
Officials and entities in Iran, Syria, Uganda targeted for 'gross human rights violations'
The United States slapped fresh sanctions on Iranian officials and entities for "serious" human rights abuses Tuesday, days after nuclear talks with Tehran halted with no sign of progress.
The sanctions announced by the Treasury and State Department targeted government officials and organizations involved in the repression of protesters and political activists, and prisons where activists have been held in brutal conditions.
The targets include officials and entities in Iran, Syria and Uganda for "gross human rights violations," the US Treasury Department website said.
The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated "15 actors across three countries i...
During the outage, Kentik recorded a 26 percent decrease in traffic to Netflix
On Tuesday, Amazon Web Services (AWS) suffered a significant outage, restricting service for the many websites hosted on the cloud computing company’s platform.
“We have identified the root cause and are actively working towards recovery,” the AWS website explained an hour after the outage started, adding that “We do not have an ETA for full recovery at this time.”
The site did not disclose what prompted the outage, but Director of Internet Analysis Doug Madory from the network observability firm Kentik said he did not believe a malicious cause was behind the loss of service.
Madory said it was becoming more common that “these outages end up being the product of automati...
Pittsburgh synagogue site of deadliest antisemitic attack in US history
Pennsylvania will allocate $6.6 million in funding to redevelop the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, where in 2018 a gunman murdered 11 worshippers and wounded six others in the worst antisemitic attack in US history.
The state's governor, Tom Wolf, made the announcement at a press conference on Monday outside of the congregation in the city's Squirrel Hill neighborhood, calling the contribution for the renovation a "Chanukah present" on the final day of the Jewish Festival of Lights.
“Tree of Life is undertaking a project to remember the past, to inform the present, and promote healing for the future,” Wolf said, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “And I am so pro...
In a 12-1 decision, the State Board of Education voted to allow individual school systems to lift mask mandate under certain conditions.
Those conditions are either an individual school has at least 80% of its students and staff fully vaccinated, a school's home county has 80% of residents fully vaccinated, or a school's home county's transmission rate falls to moderate or low for at least 14 days.
There was a passionate plea from state school Superintendent Mohammed Choudhury to board members to sign off on an emergency masking regulation that puts limits on school districts on when they could lift mask mandates.
"I want to keep schools open at the end of the day, and that's very important to me. Vote your conscience. For me, selfishly, it...
President Biden’s pick to lead a top bank regulator withdrew her nomination Tuesday after blistering attacks from Republicans and concerns among moderate Democrats.
Saule Omarova, whom Biden nominated to lead the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), pulled herself from consideration in a letter Biden released Tuesday, calling her nomination “untenable.”
“As a strong advocate for consumers and a staunch defender of the safety and soundness of our financial system, Saule would have brought invaluable insight and perspective to our important work on behalf of the American people,” Biden said in a statement.
“But unfortunately, from the very beginning of her nomination, Saule was subjected to inappropriate personal attacks that were far beyond...
Baltimore, MD - Dec. 7, 2021 - The Beis Din Of Geneve has issued a letter clarifying that Grey Goose Vodka is and has always been certified Kosher.Click on the graphics below for a larger, printable copy.
President Biden wrapped a two-hour video call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday during which the U.S. president warned Moscow against invading Ukraine.
The White House said in a subsequent readout that Biden “voiced the deep concerns of the United States and our European Allies about Russia’s escalation of forces surrounding Ukraine and made clear that the U.S. and our Allies would respond with strong economic and other measures in the event of military escalation.”
“President Biden reiterated his support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and called for de-escalation and a return to diplomacy,” the readout continued.
Biden held the call with Putin as a Russian troop buildup on the border with U...
A federal judge in Georgia on Tuesday temporarily halted the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal contractors across the country.
The ruling by U.S. District Judge R. Stan Baker, an appointee of former President Trump, is the latest in a series of legal setbacks for President Biden as his administration seeks to blunt the effects of a global pandemic that has killed more than 788,000 people in the U.S.
A very poignant Zois Chanukah reunion for Yigal Calek's London School of Jewish Song. Former choir members in attendance include Nicky Borgenicht, Yossi Fachler, Moishe Stern, Doidy Feld, David Rosenberg, and Dovid Calek (Yigal's son). On the guitar: Shloimy Richman. The event was hosted by Daniel and Freidy Klein.
When the Supreme Court hears arguments Wednesday in a case about whether parents may use state education money for sectarian schools, the central question will deal with religious freedom versus separation of church and state.
But lurking just below the surface is a broader battle over school choice, including voucher programs, which could grow significantly depending on how the court rules.