By Greg Wright, Assistant Professor of Economics, University of California, Merced. ... breathed a sigh of relief after President Donald Trump named Jerome Powell his pick to be the next chair of the Federal Reserve. If confirmed, Powell – considered a “ safe” choice – would take over from ...
Indonesia's Mount Sinabung erupted on Friday, spewing a massive column of smoke and ash up to 2,800 metres into the sky.
The volcano in North Sumatra province started belching ash and volcanic material at 9 am and the eruption lasted almost six minutes, a local geological agency said.
Images showed a thick column of ash spewing from the inside of Sinabung towards the east.
No evacuation orders have been issued, and there has been no reported flight disruption.
Authorities have instructed residents to avoid a five-kilometre radius around the crater, a zone that has been left unoccupied for years as volcanic activity increased.
"Residents and tourists should not do any activity around Mount Sinabung or relocated villages because the volcanic activities remain high," Muhammad Nurul Asrori, an official at Mount Sinabung monitoring post told AFP, adding that the volcano alert status remains unchanged at level three.
Sinabung, a 2,460-metre (8,070-foot) volcano, was dormant for centuries before roaring back to life in 2010 when an eruption killed two people.
After another period of inactivity, it erupted again in 2013 and has remained highly active since.
Indonesia -- an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands and islets -- has nearly 130 active volcanoes.
It sits on the "Ring of Fire", a belt of tectonic plate boundaries circling the Pacific Ocean where frequent seismic activity occurs.
© 2021 AFP
There's a simple -- and dangerous -- reason Rep. Stefanik is the leading candidate to replace Liz Cheney
Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the third-ranked Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, is likely to be removed from her leadership position by the party for her vehement criticism of former President Donald Trump, her acknowledgment that Joe Biden is the legitimate president, and her admission that that widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election did not occur. And House Minority Whip Steve Scalise has a replacement in mind: Rep. Elise Stefanik, who is actively campaigning for the role.
Liberal Washington Post opinion writer Greg Sargent lambasts Stefanik in his column this week, stressing that Stefanik's deceptive statements speak volumes about her lack of character.
"With Republicans preparing to oust Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming from the House GOP leadership and replace her with Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, reporters have been digging up past Stefanik statements displaying her true credentials as a Republican leader of the future," Sargent explains. "Those credentials, most obviously, are her unwavering loyalty to Donald Trump and to his Big Lie about the stolen 2020 election. But another crucial credential, one getting less attention, is Stefanik's willingness to deceive her own constituents to justify taking official action to invalidate legitimate election results."
Sargent adds, "Just before voting to object to President Biden's electors on January 6, Stefanik released a lengthy statement faithfully echoing numerous Trumpian lies about the election, included flatly debunked nonsense about 140,000 unauthorized votes in Georgia. This showed Stefanik embracing Trump and his lies more directly than many other Republicans, who carefully couched votes against Biden electors behind procedural objections."
Stefanik, Sargent notes, made a concerted effort to "deceive voters with falsehoods about legitimate election results." And according to Sargent, she was equally deceptive when she "condemned" the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol Building but "declined to blame Trump for it, insisting he had not 'encouraged' it."
The 36-year-old congresswoman from Upstate New York has been criticizing Cheney for not being a team player. Appearing on "The War Room" — a podcast hosted by former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon — Stefanik said, "We are one team, and that means working with the president and working with all of our excellent Republican members of Congress." But when Stefanik spoke of "working with the president," she wasn't referring to Joe Biden. She was referring to Trump and acting as though he were still the president, which plays into the lie that Biden was not legitimately elected in 2020.
While Cheney is calling out the Big Lie as the nonsense conspiracy theory that it is, Sargent observes, Stefanik is happy to keep promoting it.
"I've argued that the real problem with the Cheney situation isn't just that Republicans are punishing her for denouncing Trump and the Big Lie," Sargent writes. "It's also that they're excommunicating Cheney amid her demand that Republicans fully commit to respecting democratic outcomes going forward. That Republicans are punishing this, of all things, suggests they might be pushing us toward an eventual breakdown. The elevation of Stefanik, who's among the most determined in the House GOP caucus when it comes to deceiving voters about the legitimacy of our electoral system, should only fuel those fears."
Liz Cheney secretly organized key move to block Trump from using military to overturn election: report
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) was the organizer of an open letter by all living former Defense Secretaries against the military intervening in election disputes.
The revelation was made to Susan Glasser of The New Yorker by Eric Edelman, a friend of Cheney's who served as an advisor to her father.
"Cheney's rupture with the House Republican Conference has become all but final in recent days, but it has been months in the making. Edelman revealed that Cheney herself secretly orchestrated an unprecedented op-ed in the Washington Post by all ten living former Defense Secretaries, including her father, warning against Trump's efforts to politicize the military," Glasser reported.
"The congresswoman not only recruited her father but personally asked others, including Trump's first Defense Secretary, Jim Mattis, to participate. 'She was the one who generated it, because she was so worried about what Trump might do,' Edelman said. 'It speaks to the degree that she was concerned about the threat to our democracy that Trump represented.' The Post op-ed appeared on January 3rd, just three days before the insurrection at the Capitol," she reported.
It wasn't the only action she took.
"Little noticed at the time was another Cheney effort to combat Trump's post-election lies, a twenty-one-page memo written by Cheney and her husband, Phil Perry, an attorney, and circulated on January 3rd to the entire House Republican Conference. In it, Cheney debunked Trump's false claims about election fraud and warned her colleagues that voting to overturn the election results, as Trump was insisting, would 'set an exceptionally dangerous precedent.' But, of course, they did not listen. Even after the storming of the Capitol, a hundred and forty-seven Republican lawmakers voted against accepting the election results," Glaser wrote.
The joint letter was signed by Ashton Carter, Dick Cheney, William Cohen, Mark Esper, Robert Gates, Chuck Hagel, James Mattis, Leon Panetta, William Perry and Donald Rumsfeld.
American elections and the peaceful transfers of power that result are hallmarks of our democracy. With one singular and tragic exception that cost the lives of more Americans than all of our other wars combined, the United States has had an unbroken record of such transitions since 1789, including in times of partisan strife, war, epidemics and economic depression. This year should be no exception," the former defense secretaries wrote.
"Our elections have occurred. Recounts and audits have been conducted. Appropriate challenges have been addressed by the courts. Governors have certified the results. And the electoral college has voted. The time for questioning the results has passed; the time for the formal counting of the electoral college votes, as prescribed in the Constitution and statute, has arrived," they explained. "As senior Defense Department leaders have noted, 'there's no role for the U.S. military in determining the outcome of a U.S. election.' Efforts to involve the U.S. armed forces in resolving election disputes would take us into dangerous, unlawful and unconstitutional territory. Civilian and military officials who direct or carry out such measures would be accountable, including potentially facing criminal penalties, for the grave consequences of their actions on our republic."
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