CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Union County, N.C., Board of Education member Travis Kiker resigned Monday, after posting what the chairperson of the board chair called “insensitive” and “inappropriate” images on his personal Facebook page.Melissa Merrell, chairperson of Union County Public Schools’ Board of Education, read Kiker’s statement of resignation at a press conference Monday. “It is with a heavy heart that I submit my immediate resignation from the Union County Board of Education,” Kiker wrote in an email to Merrel, “In light of recent events, I believe my continued service will serve as a distrac...
The United States believes that Russian President Vladimir Putin remains poised to use force against Ukraine by mid-February despite a pressure campaign to stop him, a top diplomat said Wednesday.
"I have no idea whether he's made the ultimate decision, but we certainly see every indication that he is going to use military force sometime perhaps (between) now and the middle of February," Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman told a forum.
Sherman, who met with her Russian counterpart earlier this month in Vienna in an attempt to warn Moscow against invading its neighbor, said that Putin's planning may be affected by the Winter Games in Beijing, which the United States and several allies are boycotting due to human rights concerns.
"We all are aware that the Beijing Olympics begin on February 4, the opening ceremony, and President Putin expects to be there," Sherman told the Yalta European Strategy forum.
"I think that probably President Xi Jinping would not be ecstatic if Putin chose that moment to invade Ukraine, so that may affect his timing and his thinking."
Sherman said that the United States was "pushing for diplomacy" but also "preparing for the worst."
She reiterated that "even one Russian troop further invading Ukraine is a very serious matter" -- a continued message from Washington after President Joe Biden raised eyebrows by speaking of a different European response to a "minor" incursion.
But she said the United States was "preparing for all kinds of scenarios," from a "full-on invasion" to "hybrid attacks or subversion or sabotage or coercion."
Any invasion "has tremendous consequences for Ukraine and Europe, but also sends a message to the entire world that other autocrats can act with such impunity and go past long-held international principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity and an ability of a country to choose its own alliances."
Russia late last year amassed tens of thousands of troops near the border with Ukraine, where a pro-Moscow insurgency has killed more than 13,000 people since 2014.
Russia, while denying plans for an invasion, has demanded concessions from the United States including a guarantee that Ukraine will never enter NATO.
© 2022 AFP
Conservative podcaster Steve Bannon on Wednesday suggested that Europe would be better off with the Germany of 1942, when over a hundred thousand Jews were murdered in concentration camps.
During his War Room: Pandemic podcast, Bannon complained that President Joe Biden is focusing on Russia's imminent invasion of Ukraine instead of the southern border of the United States.
"He's not going to address the nation on the invasion on the southern border, he's going to play wag the dog, I'm a big shot, I'm a commander-in-chief, you know, I'm General [Douglas MacArthur]," Bannon ranted. "It's a joke and the American people do not support it and will not support it."
"And the time for NATO to stand up and man up -- if it's such a big deal, where are the Germans?" he continued. "Let's see a couple of combat divisions, give me some Germans down there."
Bannon added: "Germans were all over it in 1942 -- '41, '42. Oops! I said the quiet part out loud."
Watch the video below Real America's Voice.
Steve Bannon wishes Germany was more like 1942... "I said the quiet part out loud" pic.twitter.com/D4H90X05pH
— David Edwards (@DavidEdwards) January 26, 2022
Florida Democrats walked out of a Florida Senate Health Policy committee hearing on Wednesday after state Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo refused to answer their questions.
BREAKING Democratic Senators abstain and walk out from this sham of a confirmation hearing. Senate Democrats know Floridians deserve better than a doctor of disinformation as the top public health official of the state.pic.twitter.com/sSgmoufDkk— Florida Senate Democrats (@Florida Senate Democrats) 1643213965
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) appointed Ladapo to be the state's surgeon general, but since then, many questions have surfaced about his experience, his resume and his medical advice.
In the hearing before the state Senate Wednesday, Dr. Ladapo refused to answer questions about whether he supported vaccines. In fact, he was asked five times about vaccines in general, not exclusively about the COVID-19 vaccine.
At Senate confirmation hearing, FL Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo is asked 5-times if he thinks vaccines are effective against COVID-19: doesn't answer\nAsked if he regrets the way he treated Sen Tina Polsky, who has cancer and asked him to wear a mask in her office: doesn't answerpic.twitter.com/ovm5A5PGz3— Christopher Heath (@Christopher Heath) 1643212865
"I know the members of our caucus are looking forward to having a serious conversation and have concerns about his ability to lead," said Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book.
An example is that Ladapo spoke to the Health and Human Services Appropriations Committee without a "single slide or chart about COVID, where we are and what we’re doing about it."
Senate President Wilton Simpson, a Republican, has taken issue with Ladapo, the Tallahassee Democrat described. Simpson oversees the confirmation process and Ladapo refused to wear a mask at Sen. Tina Polsky's request. Polsky has cancer and is undergoing treatment, prompting Simpson to send out a memo on the incident.
“It shouldn’t take a cancer diagnosis for people to respect each other’s level of comfort with social interactions during a pandemic,” said Simpson.
See more videos below:
He clearly can\u2019t answer a yes or no question. Maybe it\u2019s his lack of qualifications? Maybe it\u2019s him playing partisan politics? Whatever it may be, Floridians deserve a direct response from the top public health official of the state.pic.twitter.com/8kCirhDpNq— Florida Senate Democrats (@Florida Senate Democrats) 1643211938
So vaccines do work \u2066\u2066@FLSurgeonGen\u2069? Floridians deserve a straight forward response, not your muddled answers.pic.twitter.com/ZIDNE6mQ60— Florida Senate Democrats (@Florida Senate Democrats) 1643213487
IN OTHER NEWS: Morning Joe laughs out loud at latest Ron DeSantis ad: 'So stupid it makes your teeth hurt'
Morning Joe laughs out loud at latest Ron DeSantis ad www.youtube.com