By Sheila Dang (Reuters) -Elon Musk addressed Twitter employees for the first time on Thursday, expressing his view that Twitter would need to cut its headcount, but offering few other new details about his $44 billion planned takeover of the social media company. Musk appeared via video call 10 minutes late to what turned out to be a freewheeling question and answer session moderated by a Twitter executive, in which Musk mused about the existence of aliens and other space civilizations and his view that Twitter should help "civilization and consciousness." The Tesla chief executive, who is al...
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Gymnastics star Simone Biles, actor Denzel Washington and the late tech visionary Steve Jobs have been named as recipients of America's highest civilian honor, the White House said Friday.
President Joe Biden designated 17 Americans to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, three of them posthumous.
The White House said the medal recognizes "exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace, or other significant societal, public or private endeavors."
Among the recipients is Megan Rapinoe, the Olympic gold medalist soccer star, two-time Women's World Cup champion and outspoken advocate on equality, race and LGBTQ issues.
Ahead of a ceremony on July 7, the White House said those honored had "overcome significant obstacles... and acted with bravery to drive change in their communities -- and across the world -- while blazing trails for generations to come."
One posthumous recipient this year is John McCain, a one-time Republican presidential nominee, long-time senator from Arizona, and Vietnam War veteran who won a Purple Heart.
Previous winners of the presidential medal include the basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Motown singer Diana Ross and the actor Robert De Niro.
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Incumbent two-term United States Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) squared off against four right-wing challengers at a debate on Thursday night ahead of Wyoming's August GOP primary election.
Activist Robyn Belinskey, Army veteran Denton Knapp, State Senator Anthony Bouchard (6th District), and attorney Harriet Hageman believe that Cheney should be replaced as The Equality State's lone solo lawmaker in the House of Representatives.
Cheney was censured by the Republican Party after she voted to impeach former President Donald Trump, who has endorsed Hageman, for inciting the January 6th, 2021 Capitol insurrection. Cheney is the vice-chair of the bipartisan House Select Committee that is investigating the attack.
On Friday, The Republican Accountability Project released a supercut of the discussion's lightning round, which was little more than a messy hodgepodge of conspiracy theories and flubs across an array of topics. Cheney stood out as the only hopeful that maintained consistent and coherent arguments.
It "was a setup from the beginning. We cannot have actual, um, um, oh gosh, um, heh, see, um," Belinskey stammered.
The video then cut to Cheney.
"What we saw happen on January 6th was clearly an attempt to delay the count of the electoral votes," she said.
Coronavirus Vaccine Policy
"They knew," Bouchard proclaimed. He suggested that because Dr. Anthony Fauci "had awards for his work in cytokines" – a type of immune system cell – that something nefarious was afoot during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hageman also lobbed false accusations against Fauci, calling him "one of the most corrupt individuals in Washington DC."
Belinskey insisted that "we are to oppose any vaccines."
Cheney, meanwhile, said that "everybody ought to get vaccinated and we need to do everything we can to protect ourselves from future viruses."
Wyoming Residents' Faith in the Electoral Process
Belinskey alluded to MyPillow Chief Executive Officer and Trump loyalist Mike Lindell telling her that "there was a small, small portion of voter fraud in this state. But that is alarming."
Bouchard fell apart.
"What about um, um, um, Facebook, um, using the system to steer people. We know for a fact, all the major internets do that," he said.
Hageman took things one step further, citing Dinesh D'Souza's discredited and debunked 2000 Mules movie as "something that I think we have grave concern about."
Knapp used his time to baselessly claim that voting machines engaged in "fraud."
Cheney bulldozed those assertions.
"We have politicians in this country, beginning with Donald Trump, who have lied to the American people," she said. "He consistently has said that the election was stolen when it wasn't."
Bouchard defaulted to Kremlin propaganda.
"Ukraine is corrupt, we started it, we got involved, we pushed them into being against the Russian government," he exclaimed.
Belinskey rambled through her response.
"Money laundering. I think that's the biggest, eh, ticket for the Ukraines and the Biden Administration," she declared.
Conversely, Cheney said that Ukraine "is the frontline in the battle for freedom and I think we've got to elect serious leaders."
Right-wing activist who led crusade against local teacher for 'grooming' kids hires notorious Nazi-representing lawyer
A right-wing activist in Maine who is being sued by local school department for allegedly harassing a teacher has retained the legal services of an attorney notorious for representing neo-Nazis.
The Bangor Daily News reports that conservative activist Shawn McBreairty is being sued by the Hermon School Department for allegedly directing a harassment campaign against a teacher whom he has accused of being a "sexual predator" who is "head of the hypersexualization movement" in the school.
To combat the lawsuit, McBreairty has hired attorney Marc Randazza, who in the past has represented far-right figures including InfoWars founder Alex Jones, and Andrew Anglin, the publisher of the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer.
Randazza isn't only notorious for defending controversial clients, however, as the Bangor Daily News notes that he has either investigated or disciplined for misconduct in four different states.
"In September 2020, the Florida Supreme Court placed Randazza on probation for a year for violating conflict of interest rules and ordered him to pay a $2,000 fine after he negotiated a settlement with a company, Oron, while engaging in litigation against the company as in-house counsel for Liberty Media, a Las Vegas-based pornography studio," the newspaper writes. "In Nevada, the bar association filed a complaint in 2016, after which Randazza pleaded guilty to two violations in 2018, for bribing Oron and for lending a client money “without informing the client in writing of the desirability of obtaining independent counsel,” according to legal records."
Given his past ethics sanctions, a judge in Connecticut barred him from representing Alex Jones in the defamation case filed against him by parents whose children Jones falsely accused of being "crisis actors" after they were murdered at the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.