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Rep. Mat Gaetz (R-FL) said this week that he could block Republicans from electing a Speaker of the House for up to two months after they take the majority in January.
Gaetz told conservative podcaster Lou Dobbs that he is one of at least five Republicans who are banding together to prevent Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) from becoming Speaker.
"The true question is whether or not Republicans will get into the posture of realizing that this is a process of elimination exercise or if we're going to begin our term in the majority unable to elect a Speaker," Gaetz said. "And I've got to tell you, Lou, that could be a very real possibility."
"We could go to the floor, no person could be able to achieve 218 votes, and we might have to work that out for a while," he continued. "And it might not be easy, and it might not be quick."
Gaetz said he wanted Republicans to "make the right decision" rather than "have a bunch of handwringing and bedwetting about whether it's going to take us two weeks or two months to figure it out."
Listen to the audio clip below.
The name of former U.S. Army infantryman Bowe Bergdahl, who deserted his post in Afghanistan and was held captive by the Taliban for more than four years before eventually being given his dishonorable discharge, has surfaced in the federal prosecution of retired Army Green Beret and Oath Keepers member Jeremy Brown.
Brown faces a 10-count federal indictment alleging that he possessed unregistered guns, explosives, and secret national security documents that federal agents found when arresting him last year on charges that he trespassed outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Brown maintains that federal law enforcement officers planted the explosives and secret documents when they searched his property on Sept. 30, 2021. His indictment includes five counts of possessing secret national security documents, but he has said that one of those counts actually involves his own “work product.”
But until this week, it wasn’t known what that so-called work product was. On Wednesday, near the end of a full day of testimony in his trial in Tampa, Andrew Koundarakis, an investigator with the U.S. Air Force, told the court that he received a tip that Brown was in possession of classified defense department information in 2017 and went to confront Brown about it. He said the information pertained to Bergdahl.
Koundarakis said he met with Brown in front of his Tampa home on Oct. 17, 2017, and that Brown told him that he was aware that the material he was working on was classified but that it was not in his possession. Koundarakis said that he then asked to search Brown’s old military locker and Brown allowed him to do so, but that Brown objected to having his house searched for the missing documents. There has been no additional information provided yet about the nature of Brown’s report on Bergdahl.
The tenth count in the federal superseding indictment against Brown refers to a “Classified Trip Report” dated Sept. 1, 2011, added to the federal government’s case against Brown only last month. His legal team says that during their search government agents planted all of the other secret documents involved.
Bergdahl pleaded guilty in 2017 to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy after leaving his post in Afghanistan in June 2009 and setting off a massive search-and-rescue operation that involved thousands of U.S. troops, according to Military.com. He was captured by the Taliban and held until he was released in 2014 in a prisoner swap for five members of the Taliban who had been held at the U.S. detention facility at Guantánamo Bay.
Brown served in the U.S. Army from 1992-2012. He has been detained in a Pinellas County jail for more than 14 months following his arrest. He is one of more than 900 people charged with crimes stemming from the Jan. 6 riot in the Capitol, although he never entered the building.
He was initially arrested on two misdemeanor charges of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, and knowingly and disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of government business or official functions.
However, those are not the charges that Brown faces this week in the Middle District of Florida.
There will be no testimony in the trial on Thursday, but the case resumes on Friday, when Brown himself is expected to testify.
On Wednesday night, government attorneys filed a motion to preclude Brown from introducing evidence when he goes before the court to justify possession of the “Trip Report.”
The case may go to the jury as soon as Friday afternoon.
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It was one of the first famous images revealed by the James Webb Space Telescope earlier this year: a stunning shroud of gas and dust illuminated by a dying star at its heart.
Now researchers analysing the data from history's most powerful telescope have found evidence of at least two previously unknown stars hiding in the stellar graveyard.
The Southern Ring Nebula, which is in the Milky Way around 2,000 light years from Earth, had previously been thought to contain two stars.
One, nestled in the nebula's centre, is a white dwarf star which in its death throes has been casting off torrents of gas and dust for thousands of years that in turn formed the surrounding cloud.
Sapped of its brightness, the extremely hot white dwarf is the less visible of the two stars seen in Webb images released in July.
The white dwarf has offered astronomers a view of how our own Sun may die one day -- billions of years from now.
Unlike our lonely Sun, it has a companion, the brighter of the two stars in Webb's images.
However this binary system, which is common across the Milky Way, does not explain the nebula's "atypical" structure, Philippe Amram, an astrophysicist at France's Marseille Astrophysics Laboratory, told AFP.
Amram is one of the co-authors of a study published in the journal Nature Astronomy on Thursday that has used Webb's observations to uncover more of the nebula's secrets.
Since the nebula was discovered by English astronomer John Herschel in 1835, astronomers have wondered why it has "such a bizarre shape, not really spherical," Amram said.
By analysing the data from Webb's infrared cameras, the researchers said they found evidence of at least two other stars inside the nebula, which has a diameter equivalent 1,500 times the distance from the Sun to Pluto.
While the new pair are slightly farther away from the white dwarf and its companion, all four stars -- or possibly even five -- are located in the centre of the nebula.
They are close enough to interact with each other, and their "exchanges of energy" create the nebula's strange shape, Amram said.
The Webb telescope, which has been operational since July, has already unleashed a raft of unprecedented data and scientists are hopeful it will herald a new era of discovery.
© 2022 AFP