Kathmandu (AFP) - Two bodies believed to be of South Koreans missing after being hit by a Himalayan avalanche in January have been found, officials said Sunday, a day after discovering the corpse of their Nepali guide.A wall of snow hit a trekking trail at about 3,230 metres (10,600 feet) near the Annapurna base camp in Nepal on January 17, burying four South Koreans and three locals.Avalanches and more snowfall since then made it too dangerous to launch a proper hunt. Police returned to the area Friday after thawing snow revealed a bag. "A team of rescuers in an army helicopter is trying to b...
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'We lost': RNC head Ronna McDaniel facing heat from members for sticking with Trump after the election debacle
According to a report from the Washington Post, there are rumblings within the Republican Party over the fact that Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel is siding too much with Donald Trump over the party as the GOP attempts to regroup following the loss of both the White House and the Senate in the 2020 election.
As the report notes, since Trump lost to now-President Joe Biden, the RNC head has gone to extraordinary lengths to remain in Trump's camp by making trips to Mar-a-Lago to consult with him despite the fact he holds no office.
The Post's Josh Dawsey wrote, "Since Trump left office, McDaniel has taken a hands-on approach to staying in Trump's good graces — meeting with him privately at Mar-a-Lago, having the RNC spend more than $100,000 to hold the donor event at his club and regularly conferring with him, even after the deadly Capitol riot on Jan. 6."
However, as the re[port explains, her closeness to Trump has some conservatives upset that she is not looking out for the long-term interests of the party while the former president takes potshots at the GOP's leadership.
According to the report, the RNC is set to meet next week in Dallas for its first since the election and McDaniel is "under increasing pressure from some of the committee's members to show more independence from the former president" after Trump called Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) a "dumb son of a bitch" in front of GOP donors in a Mar-a-Lago speech last week.
"While Trump maintains broad support throughout the party, some of the RNC's 168 committee members want to see the party create at least a modicum of distance from Trump — or at least grapple with the fact the GOP lost the White House, Senate and House during his administration and reflect on how to improve its fortunes in 2022 and 2024, according to multiple party officials and committee members," the report states with influential Henry Barbour, a national committeeman, bluntly stating: "We've got to be clear-eyed about the last cycle. We lost."
Addressing the fact that the RNC paid Trump $100,000 to hold the fundraiser at his Mar-a-Lago resort, Barbour added, "Could you imagine if the RNC held a similar event at Ted Cruz's home or Mitt Romney's home or any other potential candidate's home? Trump is a major force in the party, but the party must be bigger than any one candidate, including Donald Trump."
His view was echoed by Bill Palatucci, a national committeeman from New Jersey, who lamented, "some of us in purple states sit back and just roll our eyes" at the goings-on like last week's event.
Palatucci went on to add that McDaniel has installed Trump loyalists in key positions within the RNC which doesn't bode well for the future of the party.
"The challenge facing McDaniel and other party officials is that Trump is not retreating from the spotlight, as past presidents have, and has made it clear that he plans to continue to attack other Republicans," Dawsey reported. "For her part, McDaniel has told others that she wants to make sure Trump does not start a third party. And she is conscious that the former president is Trump is the "golden goose" for fundraising, one person close to her said."
Added Palatucci, "Ronna is in a terribly difficult position. She's trying to maintain the donor base, which likes the president, but she's got to navigate a lot of primary fights."
You can read more here.
On Saturday, it became clear that the fallout from Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) forming an "America First" caucus to uphold "Anglo-Saxon traditions" — immediately derided by historians as a racist dog-whistle — is fracturing the House GOP.
According to POLITICO Playbook: "All eyes are on House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, who last night tweeted his disapproval of the proposed new group — but who will no doubt be called on to do more to stop it entirely." But as the report noted, the situation is complicated for him: "A few years ago, McCarthy stripped then-Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) of his committee assignments over repeated racist comments." But in this case, Greene has already been stripped of her assignments, so it's unclear what he can and will do.
Meanwhile, according to Forbes, the "America First" Caucus has already been rejected by key members of the Freedom Caucus, an infamously far-right gang of lawmakers who include some of former President Donald Trump's most prominent loyalists.
"The hatefulness ... is only surpassed by its ignorance of American history and values," said Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), a major Freedom Caucus member, another, Rep. Burgess Owens (R-UT) — one of the only two Black Republicans in the House — also confirmed to Forbes he wants nothing to do with the new group.
The America First Caucus' establishing document clearly outlines white nationalist ideology, including the idea of renouncing as un-American all immigrants who came to America after 1965, the year that the U.S. immigration system was reformed to eliminate explicit racial quotas.
You can read more here.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is adamantly refusing to consider increasing unemployment benefits in his state as many works are still struggling due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During a news conference held on Friday, April 16, the Republican governor was asked about the possibility of him supporting an increase in unemployment benefits, reports The Tampa Bay Times. Currently, the state is paying unemployed workers $275 per week, an amount considered to be one of the lowest in the United States. While state lawmakers insist the amount is not substantial, DeSantis made it clear that he has a different take.
According to the governor, $275 is enough and he has no intention to support an increase. "Increase benefits?" he said. "Look, no, I think we're getting people back to work." When asked a second time, DeSantis doubled down on his take. "Our unemployment is what it is. It's fine," he said. "The federal government obviously is putting in a lot of money."
The Florida governor also argued that his goal is to get people back to work although the pandemic continues to spread in his state. Despite DeSantis' take, Florida's unemployment benefits are severely underwhelming as it is only equivalent to approximately $6.87 per hour. In wake of the governor's latest remarks, lawmakers and critics have taken to Twitter to fire back.
Florida Democratic lawmaker Jason Pizzo tweeted, "Aug. 2020, [Gov. Ron DeSantis] said two important things: 1) he couldn't change weekly amount - that's the legislature's purview 2) roadblocks to benefits looked intentional The House and Senate need to hold firm and do what's fair and decent for today, and tomorrow."
Aug. 2020, @GovRonDeSantis said two important things: 1) he couldn’t change weekly amount - that’s the legislature… https://t.co/xzEtP8pCWA— Jason Pizzo (@Jason Pizzo)1618592238.0
Rep. Anna Eskamani (D-Orlando, Fla.) also pushed back against DeSantis' claims as she criticized the state's "embarrassingly low" unemployment rate. She tweeted, "Unemployment is NOT fine. It's broken & benefits are embarrassingly low."
The Governor likes to call out “elites” but this this comment from him is offensive & elite! Unemployment is NOT f… https://t.co/XWlkaSGXhN— Rep. Anna V. Eskamani 🔨 (@Rep. Anna V. Eskamani 🔨)1618594039.0
Senate Bill 1906 advanced in the Florida Senat4e on Thursday, April 15, and is now poised for a vote on the floor. If passed, it would increase the statement's minimum and maximum amount for weekly unemployment benefits. The bill also includes an extension of the duration of time a person can receive unemployment benefits. Instead of 12 weeks, recipients will be entitled to 14 weeks.
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