Donald Trump's lies about mail-in voting have surfaced in Germany's unusually wide open general election to replace longtime chancellor Angela Merkel.
Three candidates -- Armin Laschet, from Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union, Olaf Scholz from the center-left Social Democrats and Annalena Baerbock of the Greens -- are locked in a tight race just days ahead of Sunday's election, but a prominent state-level leader of the ultra-right Alternative für Deutschland is repacking Trump's election lies to cast doubt on Germany's vote, reported The Daily Beast.
"Anyone who has an interest in fair elections and secret elections should go to their polling place," said Björn Höcke at a recent campaign event.
The Greens and SDP both advocate for postal voting, but Höcke claimed they're sanctioning voter fraud and passed along a dubious story about a Green supporter casting a vote on behalf of their grandmother -- and agreed that's how Trump lost his election.
"Stay alert, my friends," Höcke said. "This is about our democracy."
The party's influence on German politics remains minimal -- it's currently polling at about 11 percent, slightly lower than the 12.6 percent it drew in 2017 -- but extremism observers believe AfD is seizing on Trump-style election lies to appeal to voters distrustful of the government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
"The underlying core of this narrative is that it's trying to destabilize the democratic process within Germany," said Nora Mathelemuse, an analyst at the London-based Institute for Strategic Dialogue. "Because if the election doesn't properly work, then what is our democracy?"
Former supermodel Linda Evangelista says she has been permanently disfigured by a fat-reduction cosmetic procedure that backfired and caused her to look bloated and unrecognizable.
Evangelista, 56, said she underwent "CoolSculpting" five years ago and that it had the rare side effect of causing her fat cells to increase rather than decrease.
Evangelista, a 1990s modeling icon from Canada who starred on catwalks with colleagues like Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell, said in an Instagram post Wednesday that she was never warned of the procedure's risks and is now filing a lawsuit.
She said her current appearance -- the result of a condition called paradoxical adipose hyperplasia -- explained her absence from the public spotlight in recent years.
"To my followers who have wondered why I have not been working while my peers' careers have been thriving, the reason is that I was brutally disfigured by Zeltiq's CoolSculpting procedure which did the opposite of what it promised," Evangelista wrote.
"It increased, not decreased, my fat cells and left me permanently deformed even after undergoing two painful, unsuccessful, corrective surgeries. I have been left, as the media has described, 'unrecognizable,'" she added.
The cosmetic sculpting procedure is supposed to freeze and kill the cells in fat deposits so that the body can eliminate them.
Evangelista said the botched job has turned her into a depressed recluse ridden with self-loathing, her livelihood destroyed.
"I am moving forward to rid myself of my shame, and going public with my story," Evangelista wrote.
"I'm so tired of living this way. I would like to walk out my door with my head held high, despite not looking like myself any longer."
© 2021 AFP
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called out Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) during her Thursday briefing, recalling his previous statements about the debt ceiling being necessary.
Previously, McConnell had said that America always pays its debts. According to Pelosi, McConnell is now shirking that responsibility.
"Not supporting a debt limit suspension assures that congress will not throw this kind of unnecessary wrench into the gear of our job growth and thriving economy," McConnell said at the time.
"When Trump was president, they didn't want to throw a wrench, a wrench, unnecessary wrench into the gear of our job growth. Today he's threatening to do just that. We are to stop holding the debt and the economy hostage," Pelosi said.
An Associated Press analysis of data from the U.S. Treasury revealed that nearly 98 percent of the national debt is from previous presidencies. While in office, Trump spent about $7.8 trillion on corporate tax cuts that ultimately didn't work, according to the data.
"We will not support legislation that raises the debt limit," McConnell said after Pelosi and Schumer's announcement. "Democrats do not need our help."
Pelosi said that McConnell is holding the economy hostage after it being a priority for him during the previous administration. She implied that now that a Democrat is in the White House he appears to want the economy to fail.
Pelosi said that the majority of the budget bill would be paid for. She announced they have an agreement on a funding "framework."
See the video of the briefing below:
Pelosi vs. mcconnell www.youtube.com
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