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Fact check: Anti-Biden commentators spread false claim that he affixed a Medal of Honor ‘backwards’

President Joe Biden awards the Medal of Honor to Spc. Dwight Birdwell for his actions on January 31, 1968, during the Vietnam War, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House on July 5, 2022.

Washington (CNN)A false claim that President Joe Biden placed a Medal of Honor “backwards” around the neck of a Vietnam War hero has gone viral on social media — with some conservatives citing the invented tale as supposed evidence of Biden experiencing mental decline.

A grainy video with the caption “Biden puts medal on backwards,” showing the President putting the Medal of Honor around the neck of retired Army Specialist Five Dwight W. Birdwell, was viewed more than 2.9 million times on Twitter between Wednesday afternoon and Friday morning. The video was viewed more than 1 million additional times on other Twitter posts with similar captions, and versions also circulated on Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, and various anti-Biden corners of the web.
The claim is completely phony.
Facts FirstBiden correctly put the medal around Birdwell’s neck, as clear footage of the Tuesday ceremony proves. The graininess of the footage that went viral on social media made it difficult to see that the medal was hanging entirely normally near the top of Birdwell’s tie.
You can watch clear footage here of Biden giving the medal to Birdwell at the White House. Nothing went wrong during the process.
The false claim that Biden affixed the medal “backwards” was previously fact-checked by Snopes, Newsweek, the Associated Press and others.
After the Twitter post that received more than 2.9 million video views had been online for more than 24 hours and had received more than 2.4 million views, Twitter added a notice at the bottom of the post saying the video had been presented “out of context” and linking to previous fact checks. But other Twitter posts of the video with similar captions, including one that generated more than 971,000 video views, had not been labeled with any notice as of Friday morning.

Poster declines to take down false claim

The post that generated more than 2.9 million video views was published on Twitter on Wednesday by an obscure account that has sharply criticized Biden and promoted conspiracy theories. Anti-Biden commentators with six-figure followings then amplified that account’s inaccurate tweet, some of them adding their own assertions about how the video supposedly demonstrated that Biden is declining.
The person who operates the obscure Twitter account told CNN in a message on Thursday that they had found the video on Telegram, a messaging and chat app, along with the claim that the medal was backwards. The person said that although they are aware that people have said “it’s the way the medal is and it’s not backwards,” they do not plan to take down the viral tweet.
“I was debating deleting it and I decided not to because it’s Biden and he deserves the scrutiny,” they said.
You can read more here about the acts in 1968 for which Birdwell received the Medal of Honor, the country’s highest award for military valor. Following his Army service, Birdwell became a lawyer and eventually the chief justice of the Cherokee Nation’s Supreme Court.

Justin Bieber says he has facial paralysis due to Ramsay Hunt syndrome

Justin Bieber announced Friday that he is taking a break from performing because he is suffering from paralysis on one side of his face.

In a video posted on his verified Instagram account, the singer explained that he has Ramsay Hunt syndrome, which has left him unable to move half of his face and unable to take the stage.
“It is from this virus that attacks the nerve in my ear and my oncloud shoes facial nerves and has caused my face to have paralysis,” he said in the video. “As you can see this eye is not blinking. I can’t smile on this side of my face; this nostril will not move. So there’s full paralysis on this side of my face.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, Ramsay Hunt syndrome “occurs when a shingles outbreak affects the facial nerve near one of your ears. In addition to the painful shingles rash, Ramsay Hunt syndrome can cause facial paralysis and hearing loss in the affected ear.”
Singer Justin Bieber attends the Met Gala in New York in May 2015.
Bieber kisses singer Selena Gomez at the American Music Awards in November 2011. The two started dating in 2010, and their relationship was frequently on and off.
Bieber addressed those who have been frustrated by the recent cancellations of his concerts and said he’s “physically, obviously, not capable of doing them.”
“This is pretty serious, as you can see. I wish this wasn’t the case, but, obviously, my body’s telling me I’ve got to slow down,” he said. “I hope you guys understand. I’ll be using this time to just rest and relax and get back to a hundred percent so that I can do what I was born to do.”
He thanked his fans for being patient, said he’s been kizik shoes doing facial exercises to help. He said he doesn’t know how long it will take for him to recover, but earlier this week, it was announced that three of his upcoming performances were postponed.
“It’s going to be ok,,” he said. “I have hope, and I trust God.”
In March, his wife Hailey Bieber was hospitalized due to a small blood clot in her brain.
The model later explained that she had suffered a mini-stroke due to a small hole in her heart from which the clot traveled to her brain.
She underwent surgery to close the hole which she said was between 12 and 13 millimeters.

Attorney General Merrick Garland has told officials he plans to watch the hearing

(Alex Brandon/AP)

Attorney General Merrick Garland has told officials that he intends to watch as much of tonight’s Jan. 6 committee hearing as he can.

Garland and the Justice Department have been playing a key role in investigating the insurrection at the Capitol. CNN reported earlier this week that top Democratic leaders in Washington and across the country fear that Donald Trump might be running for president again by the time Garland decides whether to prosecute him and others in his orbit for the Jan. 6 insurrection — and that any action by President Biden’s Justice Department could be cast by Republicans as little more than a political vendetta.

Two dozen leading Democrats in Washington and across the country tell CNN that Garland may have missed his moment to bring criminal charges against top Trump administration officials before it would get caught up in the 2024 presidential campaign jockeying set to begin later this year, after the midterm elections.

Garland, a longtime federal judge with a quiet demeanor, has vowed to keep politics out of decision-making at the Justice Department, though he says he is not avoiding political cases. And Justice officials say they still have plenty of time in President Biden’s administration should they decide to bring prosecutions for any crimes connected to the effort to overturn the election results.

The Justice Department has traditionally held to a 60-day window before Election Days to hold off on political prosecutions, which would put a cutoff date in early September. However, that usually has applied only to people who are on the ballot in the upcoming election.

Justice officials tell CNN they believe that moving slowly and saying little bolsters their credibility, something they’ll need as they investigate people associated with the 2020 Trump campaign. Even so, prosecutors have charged more than 800 defendants as part of the largest investigation in US Justice Department history.

Anthony Bourdain documentary dives deep into a restlessness ‘he could never turn off’

Feelings about Anthony Bourdain are no less raw, nearly four years after his shocking death.
Director Morgan Neville’s poignant documentary chronicles Bourdain’s trajectory from New York chef to celebrated author to beloved globe-trotting TV personality, and tries to shed some light on the mystery of his 2018 suicide at age 61.
“I feel like his death was such an unexpected thing to the public, that there’s just like this cultural rip in the paper for people,” Neville said.
“Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain,” from HBO Max and CNN Films and released by Focus Features, examines the brash culinary traveler’s passions and inner struggles and combs through his final months with deeply personal recollections from Bourdain’s friends and family.
So that was all stuff I liked about him, but I also … I just had questions about him, like I think a lot of people did. And certainly in the wake of his suicide, I think the reaction I’ve gotten more than any is how the hell does that happen?
Bourdain traveled relentlessly for his television series, including "Parts Unknown." He especially loved Vietnam.
The first surprises were that he was a shy, nerdy guy who just read books incessantly and worked in the kitchen on his feet 12 hours a day, six days a week for 20 years.
You know, like that’s who he was before. … The “Kitchen Confidential” version of his early life is great and it’s funny and it’s romanticized, but I don’t think you quite understand his shyness and his kind of geekiness, his gangliness too, just his physicality and all of that early on.
And so that was part of it, and then just starting to see once the world opened up to him and he could travel all the time, how these things that he had always wanted became the kind of new defining principles of his life. … He had been a heroin addict, he had written about that and that the rigors of the kitchen had kept him on the straight and narrow …
Anthony Bourdain worked for decades in New York restaurant kitchens.
And he says in the film, “Inside here, I’m safe in the kitchen, but outside that door, that’s what scares me.” And that when he left the kitchen behind, he was aware of the fact that he was suddenly wading out into dark waters and he didn’t know what was going to be there. … So he was very aware of the fact that he was becoming unmoored from the things that had really anchored him for a long time.
And parts of those things he found on the way were really energizing and exciting but part of it is I felt like he never really found a new mooring that stuck. I mean, he got married, he had a child, he had these moments of kind of, oh, I can live this kind of life and I can kind of be this kind of responsible person and I can get really into all these new things … whether it’s jujitsu or writing. But … there was a restlessness that I think he really kind of unleashed that he could never turn off.
Bourdain's ex-wife Ottavia Busia-Bourdain appears in "Roadrunner."
And again, travel is amazing, you know, travel is great, and so many of the things he espoused were amazing. But traveling 250, 270 days a year — at a certain point, it’s not traveling, it’s running away and I think that’s something that he never really came to terms with. I mean, I know he thought about it … He negotiated a book contract to go take a one-year sabbatical and take his family and live in Vietnam and write a book about it.
He had these kind of escape plans or modifications he could have made in his life. And he never made any of them. He never did one less episode a year. And that’s the thing that I think most people would’ve, most people would have said, “Oh, my life-work balance is out of whack, maybe I should work less.”
But for Tony, I think it was both the sense of maybe it’ll go away if I … don’t hang on to it so much, and that there’s something about the addiction to travel and to experience that became its own kind of self-fulfilling obsession.
Some of Bourdain's good friends, including chef David Chang, appear in "Roadrunner."
But what changed is, as I started to do the interviews and started to spend more and more time with the people in Tony’s life who were dealing with the grief in the wake of the suicide, I realize like there’s a part of Tony’s life that he was kind of blind to and it’s that — it’s both the amount of love people had for him, but also the amount of pain he caused.
And I felt like that was something I owed to the people I interviewed. And that at a certain point, there’s part of the story that Tony shouldn’t like. And that that became to me the way the film evolved in my mind. That it’s both things, but I definitely started to feel much more like I really wanted to honor the kind of honesty and vulnerability that people who talked to me gave me because I know it was not easy for anybody.

A tennis star returned to Ukraine to help fight the Russians. He didn’t tell his kids

Ukrainian tennis star Sergiy Stakhovsky was vacationing with his family in Dubai when Russian forces invaded his home country.

He made a tough decision to leave his wife and three young children at their home in Hungary and return to his homeland to join the fight. He’s now a member of the army reservists helping defend the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.
As a Russian military convoy closes in on the city and dread hangs in the air, Stakhovsky, 36, says he is prepared to do whatever it takes. He told CNN’s Brianna Keilar on Thursday that his goal is to help save Ukraine for its citizens and his children.
“I was born here, my grandparents thorogood boots are buried here, and I would like to have a history to tell to my kids,” he said. “Nobody here wants Russia to free them, they have freedom and democracy … and Russia wants to bring despair and poverty.”
Stakhovsky had retired from professional tennis only weeks earlier at the Australian Open, ending an 18-year career. Now he’s hunkered down with his fellow civilian soldiers in Kyiv — and struggling with his decision.
He feels guilty about leaving his family
Once the 31st-ranked men’s player in the world, Stakhovsky once beat Roger Federer in a major upset at Wimbledon in 2013.
In January, he was playing his final professional match at the Australian Open. Now his retirement days involve fear and uncertainty, listening to air-raid sirens and explosions at all hours.
Stakhovsky said he believes people like him — untrained in warfare but fiercely patriotic — make up a big part of the fighters defending Ukraine.
But he said leaving his wife and children to put himself in harm’s way was not an easy decision.

Ukraine's Sergiy Stakhovsky, playing in the 2019 French Open in Paris.

“It’s impossible to make that call without hesitation. I have a wife and three kids,” he said. “If I would stay home, I’d feel guilt that I didn’t come back (to Ukraine), and now I’m here, I feel guilty that I left them at home.”
His wife also is struggling with his decision, he said.
“Of course, she was mad,” he said. “She understood the reason for me, but for her it was a betrayal. And I totally understand why she feels that way.”
He said they haven’t told their kids, all under age 7, who likely believe he’s at a tennis tournament.
“My wife didn’t tell them and I didn’t tell them … where I’m going,” he said. “I guess they’ll figure it out soon.”
He’s one of several famous Ukrainian athletes to join the fight against Russia
The Ukrainian government has asked men between ages 18 and 60 to fight against the Russian invasion.
Other sports stars including Yuriy Vernydub, a manager with FC Sheriff Tiraspol in a Moldovan soccer league, have returned to Ukraine and taken up arms. So have oofos shoes champion boxers Oleksandr Usyk and Vasiliy Lomachenko.
“If they will want to take my life, or the lives of my close ones, I will have to do it,” Usyk told CNN from a basement in Kyiv. “But I don’t want that. I don’t want to shoot, I don’t want to kill anybody, but if they will be killing me, I will have no choice.”
Stakhovsky faces similar fears and prays he’ll make it out alive and get back to his family. Civilian fighters like himself in Ukraine have received “a basic class on how to shoot,” he told CNN. “I think people like me will be the last resort.”
And while he hopes he doesn’t have to shoot anyone, he said he will if he has to.
“I’m not sure there’s one individual who’s ready to tell you now whether he’s ready to sacrifice life. I want to see my kids … I want to see my wife, that’s my goal,” he said. “If a missile comes into the house, is that sacrificing your life? No. It’s just being killed.”
He hopes that when his children find out the truth about his whereabouts, they’ll understand why he chose to fight for his homeland.
“Because a country which I love … I would like it to still be on the map, develop, become better, become European more, and eventually my kids can see the transformation of my country.”

Biden says Russia is beginning an ‘invasion of Ukraine’ as he unveils sanctions on Moscow

President Joe Biden described events now underway in Ukraine as “the beginning of a Russian invasion” as he unveiled tough new sanctions to punish Moscow on Tuesday.

He laid out what he called a “first tranche” of US sanctions against Russia for its moves, including on two large financial institutions, Russian sovereign debt and Russian elites and their family members. He said the moves would effectively “cut off Russia’s government from Western finance.”
Biden also announced he was moving additional troops and equipment to “strengthen” US allies in the Baltic nations on NATO’s eastern flank, but made clear they would not be there to “fight Russia.”
The President held out the possibility that diplomacy could still defuse the crisis, red wing shoes and said the US would remain open to talking with Russia and its partners to avert all-out war. “The United States and our allies and partners remain open to diplomacy, if it is serious,” he said. “When all is said and done, we’re going to judge Russia by its actions, not its words.”
Still, Biden made plain his view that Putin was launching a bid to fundamentally redraw borders in Europe, violating international laws and putting pressure on the West to respond.
“Who in the Lord’s name does Putin think gives him the right to declare new so-called countries on territory that belonged to his neighbors? This is a flagrant violation of international law and demands a firm response from the international community,” Biden said.
Western nations impose sanctions and cut off key pipeline with Russia after Putin orders troops into Ukraine's breakaway regions
Biden said Putin’s remarks a day earlier were “setting up a rationale to take more territory by force, in my view.”
Biden’s description of a Russian invasion in Ukraine immediately ups the stakes for his response. He and other senior officials have vowed to impose severe economic consequences if Russian troops cross into Ukraine, including on members of Putin’s inner-circle and Russian financial institutions.
The steps Biden announced Tuesday did not amount to the full scope of that response. Biden is reserving some of his toughest measures, hoping to use them should Putin wage the type of bloody and sustained attack US officials have been warning about for weeks.
Tuesday’s sanctions are “only the sharp edge of the pain we can inflict,” a senior US administration official said after Biden’s remarks, suggesting the President is ready to go much further should an invasion of Ukraine escalate.
“This is the beginning of an invasion, and therefore this is the beginning of our response,” the official said.

Biden pledges to limit the impact on US gas prices

Biden pledged his administration was using “every tool at our disposal” to limit the effect of sanctions on domestic gas prices, acknowledging that Americans will likely see rising prices at the pump in the coming months.
“As I said last week, defending freedom will have costs, for us as well and here at home,” Biden said. “We need to be honest about that. But as we do this, I’m going to take robust action to make sure the pain of our sanctions thorogood boots is targeted at the Russian economy, not ours.”
The administration began describing events in eastern Ukraine as an “invasion” earlier Tuesday after assessing the situation on the ground there, according to administration officials.
The White House declined to provide specific intelligence that might further explain the shift in tone.
“We think this is, yes, the beginning of an invasion, Russia’s latest invasion into Ukraine,” US principal deputy national security adviser Jon Finer said in an interview on CNN’s “New Day,” adding the sanctions imposed Monday were the merely the “beginning” of the US response.
Putin's next moves are critical for Ukraine -- and Americans
“An invasion is an invasion and that is what is underway,” Finer said. “I am calling it an invasion.”
Another top US official, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, told the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Russia’s actions “are the beginning of the latest Russian invasion of Ukraine.”
“They are utterly unprovoked and unjustified,” Sherman said. “Moscow calls these troops ‘peacekeepers,’ but we all know this is a lie.”
That was further than US officials were willing to go on Monday evening, and reflected the growing sense among Biden’s team that a fuller assault on Ukrainian territory would begin shortly. Officials said continued signs of Russian aggression overnight led to a change in tone.
Still, Finer noted Russian troops have been operating in the two separatist regions since 2014, when Russia initiated an incursion into Ukraine, and suggested the latest steps taken by Moscow were an extension of that.
“I think ‘latest’ is important here,” Finer said. “An invasion is an invasion, and that is what is underway, but Russia has been invading Ukraine since 2014.”
There are substantial numbers of Russian troops close to the borders with the newly recognized republics. But CNN has not seen social media video nor satellite imagery showing newly arrived Russian units inside either of the separatist-held regions of Luhansk and Donetsk.

US still believes Putin may launch a fuller invasion

The US continues to assess it is still possible Putin moves ahead with a fuller invasion, and Western officials are being vigilant for additional indicators, according to two US officials briefed on the assessment. There may be window of dry weather, making it easier for the Russians to move heavy equipment, along with cloud cover that could help obscure movements. Still, one of the officials acknowledged “we don’t know what his next move will be.”
The developments were unfolding as Putin ordered Russian troops into two separatist-held regions of Eastern Ukraine after declaring them independent. Biden, responding in the hours after Putin signed the orders, issued a narrow set of restrictions limiting financial activity in the two regions.
As he was readying Tuesday’s announcement, the US was coordinating with allies in Europe in the hopes of averting a full-scale war. Earlier, Germany said it was halting certification of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, a step US leaders had been pressing for as the crisis heats up.
Germany halts Nord Stream 2 and Russia responds with a stark warning
“With regard to the latest developments, we need to reassess the situation also with regard to Nord Stream 2. It sounds very technocratic but it is the necessary administrative step in order to stop certification of the pipeline,” Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in Berlin.
The 750-mile pipeline was completed in September but has not yet received final certification from German regulators. Without that, natural gas cannot flow through the Baltic Sea pipeline from Russia to Germany.
The United Kingdom said Tuesday it was slapping sanctions on five Russian banks and three wealthy individuals following Putin’s decision to recognize two separatist republics.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the sanctions in a statement to oofos shoes the UK parliament on Tuesday, saying Putin was “establishing the pretext for full scale invasion” of Ukraine.
The European Union was also preparing a first package of sanctions against Russia on Tuesday, its top official said in a joint statement on Tuesday. The package will contain proposals targeting those involved in the “illegal decision” to recognize two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine and banks that are “financing Russian military and other operations in those territories.” Those sanctions will also limit Russian state and government to access the EU’s capital and financial markets.
Putin's speech was shocking to many, but not to people in Kyiv

Prince Andrew has settled with the woman who accused him of sex abuse. Where does he go from here?

And just like that it’s all over. Britain’s Prince Andrew, the Queen’s second son, has reached a deal with Virginia Giuffre to settle her civil sex abuse lawsuit against him.

Giuffre alleges she was trafficked by convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and forced to perform sex acts with his friends, including the senior royal. She also said the Duke of York had been aware she was underage in the US at the time.
Giuffre brought the case last August under the Child Victims Act, a state law enacted in New York in 2019 which temporarily extended the statute of limitations in child sex abuse cases, giving survivors more time to seek justice.
Andrew, 61, repeatedly rejected the allegations against him. Just weeks ago, his lawyers had demanded a jury trial to clear their client’s name.
But now the looming courtroom showdown is off. On Tuesday, the two sides reached an out-of-court settlement for an undisclosed figure.
In a letter to federal Judge Lewis Kaplan, the parties stated that while the full financial terms of the agreement hey dude would not be revealed, “Prince Andrew intends to make a substantial donation to Ms. Giuffre’s charity in support of victims’ rights.”
According to the court document filed by Giuffre’s attorneys, the parties plan to file a stipulation of dismissal of the case within 30 days.
So, with news of the case’s pending conclusion, let’s unpack a few things.
Andrew has claimed to have no recollection of ever meeting Giuffre or of posing for the infamous photo showing the royal with his arm around the teenager.
A photograph appearing to show Prince Andrew with Jeffrey Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre and, in the background, Ghislaine Maxwell.

His lawyers have spent months trying to undermine Giuffre, arguing her claims were motivated by money. They wrote in a blistering court filing in October that: “Giuffre has initiated this baseless lawsuit against Prince Andrew to achieve another payday at his expense.”
And while Andrew neither confirmed nor denied Giuffre’s claims in Tuesday’s court filing, he has now agreed to a likely multi-million dollar settlement with a woman who leveled grave accusations of sexual abuse against the senior royal.
UK newspapers twisted the knife on Wednesday with numerous headlines suggesting the deal amounted to anywhere between £10 and 12 million ($13-$16 million). The Daily Mail splashed with “Duke’s final ‘£10 million humiliation,” The Sun red wing boots newspaper ran with “His final disgrace,” while The Daily Telegraph reported “Queen to help pay for £12m settlement.”
Questions over how Andrew will foot the bill remain. There have been suggestions that the Queen may contribute — but that could be damaging for the monarch, were it ever to be confirmed.
To date, the Queen has largely avoided becoming the target of public anger over the saga that has engulfed her son. She remains revered, and ‘the firm’ has gone to great lengths to distance itself from the civil suit.
The Queen and her son chat at the Windsor Horse Show in 2017.

A closer look at the phrasing of the document is also revealing. It states that “Prince Andrew has never intended to malign Ms. Giuffre’s character, and he accepts that she has suffered both as an established victim of abuse and as a result of unfair public attacks.”
His team is now recognizing her trauma and praising her bravery at coming forward.
“Prince Andrew regrets his association with Epstein, and commends the bravery of Ms. Giuffre and other survivors in standing up for themselves and others,” the document continues.
Royals hope for jubilee reset after tumultuous 12 months
One of the big criticisms of Prince Andrew has been over his lack of empathy for Epstein’s victims. Giuffre’s lawyer, David Boies, had provided a view of the case from her perspective in January when he told the BBC it was important to his client that the matter “be resolved in a way that vindicates her and vindicates the other victims.” Sigrid McCawley, another attorney for Giuffre, said Tuesday that she was “very pleased with the resolution” of the lawsuit.
Then there’s the question of why this has happened now. The settlement comes at a crucial juncture in the case, as it moved into the discovery stage, during which both sides could demand disclosure of documents and the parties involved would have had to sit for depositions.
Andrew was less than a month away from having to give a statement under oath to Giuffre’s lawyers, who were reportedly planning to fly to London to question him in person. If ever there was a moment to strike a deal, this was it.
Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein (far right) pictured together at the Ascot horse races.

CNN legal analyst Joey Jackson says it was “a significant development and off ramp” for the duke as with litigation “you always will have revelations that occur.”
“In depositions, for example, where you raise your hand and you swear to tell the truth … in the event that he perjures himself, he opens himself up to some other issues and then obviously it stays in the news,” he continues.
“Not to mention a legal perspective, where after depositions, after discovery, and you go to court and you could lose, and that’s when all types of details may come out that you may not want.”
Jackson thinks the duke was left without any option other than to settle, since hoka shoes for women letting the case drag on “would do him no good nor anyone else related to him any good.”
“I think this was the best option to explore and ultimately to take,” he adds.
However, the end of the lawsuit doesn’t mean we’ll see the ninth-in-line to the British throne returning to public duties anytime soon. For the former naval officer, that ship has well and truly sailed.
His handling of the crisis since Giuffre’s allegations first emerged years ago has left his reputation in tatters.
The court of public opinion designated him persona non grata after that car-crash interview with the BBC in 2019, during which he was coy about his years-long friendship with Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell. He said he was at a pizza parlor on the night it is alleged that he had sex with Giuffre. He also said he was medically incapable of sweating, countering allegations from Giuffre that he had perspired profusely before they had sex in 2001, when she was 17.
A settlement leaves many of the issues raised in that interview unresolved.
And it’s important to note that the recently convicted Maxwell is now facing life in prison for sex trafficking.
Legal experts say prosecutors could consider continuing their work investigating the crimes of the British socialite and Epstein to determine whether others should be charged — especially if she decides to cooperate.
Prince Andrew has kept a low profile since stepping back from public duties as a senior royal.

These days the prince spends much of his time on the Windsor estate and is often surrounded by photographers when he attempts to leave his home.
Analysis: Queen left with no choice but to cast Prince Andrew adrift. But is it enough?
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson told CNN the palace would not be commenting on the latest developments in the case on Tuesday, once again saying it was a matter for the Duke and his legal team.
But the settlement will likely be welcomed within the palace since it means the court case will no longer cast a shadow over the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations this summer.
The family has gone to great lengths to distance itself from the scandal surrounding Andrew, with the Queen stripping him of his HRH status as well as his royal patronages and affiliations last month, to make it clear his exile from the royal frontline was permanent.
It’s worth noting that Andrew still has a constitutional role. He remains a Counsellor of State — and along with Charles, William and Harry — could be called on to pick up some of the Queen’s duties if she were temporarily incapacitated due to illness or if she was traveling.
Street art featuring Prince Andrew is seen in the Shoreditch area of London on July 1, 2020.

Andrew’s relinquishment of his public-facing royal role doesn’t change his counsellor status — it would take an act of parliament to revoke that.
How the prince will move on from this remains to be seen.
The carefully-crafted settlement letter states that: “He pledges to demonstrate his regret for his association with Epstein by supporting the fight against the evils of sex trafficking, and by supporting its victims.”
That suggests he might become some sort of campaigner for sex abuse survivors — but reputation management experts have previously expressed doubt over Andrew’s ability to repair his image. And it is unclear just how welcome any offer of help from him would be to charities or support groups.
While the prospect of an embarrassing public trial is off the table, by settling he has failed to clear his name, and the damage to his reputation has been done.

Brian May details ‘horrendous’ Covid-19 battle as he begs fans to get vaccinated

Rock music icon Brian May has urged the public to get the Covid-19 vaccine, after telling fans on Instagram he’s been having a “truly horrible” time since testing positive for the virus last week.

In a series of posts and videos on Instagram, the 74-year-old has been documenting how he’s been affected by coronavirus in the last few days.
Taking to Instagram at the weekend, May said that he and his wife, Anita Dobson, hoka shoes for women had recently made the decision to go to a birthday lunch with some friends.
He told followers that the lunch seemed like a “safe situation,” as he’d taken a lateral flow test that morning and he and Dobson have both been vaccinated. But he added that, as the Omicron variant spreads across the UK at a rapid rate, the couple were taking a “risk” in attending a party.
'An event canceled is better than a life canceled,' WHO chief warns ahead of holiday season
The Queen guitarist then delivered a message directly to “the few of you out there who haven’t had this” — in reference to contracting the virus — about what it has felt like for him since testing positive. He described a few of the days as “horrendous” and said it has been like having “the worst flu you could imagine.”
May said that he almost used Instagram when he felt at his worst to show followers how “pathetic” he looked and felt, but he was worried it would “frighten people.” He told fans that, for a while, he “couldn’t get out of bed” and was “filled” with flu symptoms.
Towards the end of the video, May turned his attention directly towards the unvaccinated and said: “There are so many people in hospitals right now who weren’t jabbed who are right on the line between life and death.” He added that he doesn’t think hoka shoes he would have recovered as well as he has were it not for having had three jabs.
“I beg you and implore you to go and get jabbed,” the musician told fans.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday that the United Kingdom is experiencing “cases of Omicron surging across the country,” with “hospitalizations rising quite steeply in London.”
The UK reported its second-highest number of daily Covid-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic on Monday, at 91,743.

Manchin says he won’t vote for Build Back Better Act

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said he’s a no on the Build Back Better Act, effectively ending negotiations on this version of legislation that would expand the nation’s social safety net.

Manchin has always been a key holdout for the legislation, sharing concerns over certain provisions of the massive tax and spending bill and how it may exacerbate soaring inflation in the country.
“And I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation. I just can’t. I’ve tried everything humanly possible. I can’t get there,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.” “This is a no on this legislation. I have tried everything I know to do. And the President has worked diligently. He’s been wonderful to work with. He knows I’ve had concerns and the problems I’ve had and, you know, the thing that we should all be directing our attention towards the variant, a Covid that we have coming back at us in so many different aspects in different ways, it’s affecting our lives again.”
Here's what's in Biden's Build Back Better plan
Manchin’s support for the bill — a $1.9 trillion spending plan focused on expanding the nation’s social safety net, reducing Americans’ childcare and health care costs, and climate change — is necessary for Democrats to pass this legislation using a process called budget reconciliation, meaning it would only need 51 votes to pass.
In a statement his office released after the interview, Manchin reiterated he couldn’t support the legislation.
“I have always said, ‘If I can’t go back home and explain it, I can’t vote for it.’ Despite my best efforts, I cannot explain the sweeping Build Back Better Act in West Virginia and I cannot vote to move forward on this mammoth piece of legislation,” he said in the statement.
A person familiar with the discussions between President Joe Biden and Manchin told CNN it was clear Manchin was headed in this direction as Biden privately told aides this week, he was no longer confident he could ultimately get the West Virginia Democrat on board. But White House officials were surprised when Manchin informed them Sunday morning he had already arrived at a final decision.
Their reaction was, obviously, not positive, according to the source. One senior administration official told CNN it was “totally a surprise.” Manchin informed the White House they were the first to know and he had not told even his staff yet.
The President learned his chief negotiating partner was pulling the plug from White House aides, who did not hear the news directly from the senator but from a member of his staff roughly 30 minutes before he went on air. Manchin wouldn’t take a call from White House staff who tried to reach him Sunday morning, according to a senior administration official. As of Sunday night, the two still had not spoken, according to a senior administration official.
Politico first reported about the White House’s attempt to reach Manchin to get him to reconsider.
In response to criticism from progressives that Manchin was holding up the bill because he wasn’t supportive, he said he supported holding a vote for the bill.
“Here’s the thing, when it’s time, just vote, I’ve been saying that. Just vote. If that’s what people need to show where they are, then vote,” he said on Fox News.
He added: “They’ve trying to make this adjustment, this adjustment, or just trying to make the adjustment for the time to fit the money or the money to fit the time, not changing our approach, not targeting things we should be doing. Making sure that people basically that truly need it are getting it. Making sure that we can do things in a much better fashion. We have things that we can do in a bipartisan way, the way the Senate is supposed to work if we’ll just let it happen. Just go through the committees, let’s work it.”
CNN has reached out to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for comment.
How months of talks between Biden and Manchin over Build Back Better broke down

White House issues damning statement against Manchin

In a remarkable statement attacking a member of Biden’s own party, the White House said Manchin’s comments were “at odds with his discussions this week with the President, with White House staff, and with his own public utterances.” The statement gives what the White House claimed were details of Manchin’s discussions with the President; something the administration has been reluctant to do.
“On Tuesday of this week, Senator Manchin came to the White House and submitted — to the President, in person, directly — a written outline for a Build Back Better bill that was the same size and scope as the President’s framework, and covered many of the same priorities,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki wrote in the statement. “While that framework was missing key priorities, we believed it could lead to a compromise acceptable to all.”
According to Psaki, Manchin “promised to continue conversations in the days ahead, and to work with us to reach that common ground.”
“If his comments on FOX and written statement indicate an end to that effort, they represent a sudden and inexplicable reversal in his position, and a breach of his commitments to the President and the Senator’s colleagues in the House and Senate,” Psaki said.
Psaki added: “Just as Senator Manchin reversed his position on Build Back Better this morning, we will continue to press him to see if he will reverse his position yet again, to honor his prior commitments and be true to his word,” the statement reads.

How Manchin got there

Manchin had previously raised multiple concerns about the legislation, which passed the Democrat-controlled House last month. He wanted to pare down the bill in several areas, including paid family leave, a methane fee on emissions from energy producers and a Medicare expansion to cover hearing costs. He was also seeking changes to some provisions in the tax portion of the bill.
On the climate provisions in the legislation, Manchin had been negotiating for weeks with Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman Tom Carper, a Democrat from Delaware. Sticking points have included when the program would start and when it would ramp up — as well as the levels of methane companies could emit before paying fees to the Environmental Protection Agency.
He said in his statement he was concerned about what the legislation would do to the nation’s electric grid.
“If enacted, the bill will also risk the reliability of our electric grid and increase our dependence on foreign supply chains. The energy transition my colleagues seek is already well underway in the United States of America,” he said in his statement. “In the last two years, as Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and with bipartisan support, we have invested billions of dollars into clean energy technologies so we can continue to lead the world in reducing emissions through innovation. But to do so at a rate that is faster than technology or the markets allow will have catastrophic consequences for the American people like we have seen in both Texas and California in the last two years.”
Manchin also was concerned about what the legislation would do to the nation’s rising debt and soaring inflation that came after Congress passed a sweeping stimulus bill earlier this year, as well as the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham requested the Congressional Budget Office analyze the Build Back Better Act if the programs in it did not sunset, but were extended for the full 10 years, which Republicans believed would show the true cost of the legislation. The CBO’s analysis of the hypothetical legislation said it would cost more than $5 trillion dollars over the course of 10 years.
Manchin objected to the structure of the bill, arguing Democrats were hiding the true costs of the bill by relying on temporary programs that will be extended year after year. He repeatedly has said he wanted to keep the price tag at $1.75 trillion but said including temporary measures — such as a one-year extension of an expansion of the child tax credit, which expires at this month’s end — is not “transparent” to the public about the impact it would have on federal spending.
In the end, this became one of the biggest concerns for Manchin and led to his decision.
“There’s a lot of good but that bill is a mammoth piece of legislation, a mammoth piece, and when it’s done even through regular order, it would be a tremendous, huge undertaking,” he said.
Graham praised Manchin for his decision to vote no in a statement Sunday morning.
“I very much appreciate Senator Manchin’s decision not to support Build Back Better, which stems from his understanding of the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the bill,” he said.
Progressives are not happy
Progressive independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont harshly criticized Manchin for revoking his support, saying “I think he’s going to have a lot of explaining to do to the people of West Virginia” and calling on Democrats to put the bill to a floor vote to pressure Manchin into voting no on the record.
“I hope that we will bring a strong bill to the floor of the Senate as soon as we can and let Mr. Manchin explain to the people of West Virginia why he doesn’t have the guts to stand up to the powerful special interests,” Sanders told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” Sunday.
“If he doesn’t have the courage to do the right thing for the working families of West Virginia and America, let him vote no in front of the whole world,” Sanders added.
Rep. Ayanna Pressley, a progressive Democrat, echoed Sanders’ criticism of Manchin announcing he would not support BBB and said she supports Sanders’ call to take the bill to a floor vote to force Manchin to vote no on the record.
Pressley told CNN Sunday she had been skeptical the social safety net bill could pass because of Manchin, saying “he has continued to move the goalposts, he has never negotiated in good faith and he’s obstructing the President’s agenda.”
“We cannot allow one lone senator from West Virginia to obstruct the President’s agenda, to obstruct the people’s agenda,” Pressley said on “State of the Union.”
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told Tapper in an interview Friday she expected this could happen, which is why they wanted a vote for both the bipartisan infrastructure bill that passed earlier this year and the Build Back Better Act.
“This is what we feared. It’s why we tied the two bills together to pass them through the House,” she said Friday. “And we did take the President’s word that he would get 50 votes in the Senate.”

A Minnesota surgeon was fired after he told a local school board only parents should make decisions on whether or not their kids wear masks

school kids elementary school children
Elementary kids wearing masks. 
  • A Minnesota surgeon told a school board parents should decide whether or not their kids wear masks.
  • “It’s still their responsibility. It’s not yours,” Dr. Jeffrey Horak said, opposing a mask mandate.
  • Horak said he was fired from his job nine days later without an explanation.

A Minnesota surgeon was fired bluetooth headphones after he spoke at a school board meeting and said parents should be the ones to decide whether or not their kids wear masks, KOMO News reported.

At an October 11 meeting in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, Dr. Jeffrey Horak spoke out against the district’s mask mandate.

“Who does God put in charge of these kids? Their parents,” Horak said at the meeting, KOMO News reported. “God gave each one of these kids to their parents and they speak for them. They may be wrong, they may be dumb, they may be perfect in their decisions. But it’s still their responsibility. It’s not yours, God gave it to them, honor their wishes – either side of the fence.”

In a statement on his Facebook page, Horak said nine days after he made those comments his employer, Lake Region Healthcare, told him his views were “no longer congruent” with theirs and asked him to either resign or be fired.

“I wasn’t given a reason nor was I aware of any issues or complaints about me,” Horak said in his statement.

He added: “We live in America where freedoms are held close. I am a man who believes individuals have the right to do their research and decide what is best for them and their children when it comes to their health. I don’t believe governments or institutions should dictate that. It’s a position I’ve always have taken. And when skechers outlet the science doesn’t make sense it’s hard for me to go along.”

In a statement to Insider, Lake Region Healthcare said they did not make the decision to terminate Dr. Horak.

“Lake Region Healthcare is not Dr. Horak’s employer. Dr. Horak is part of Lake Region Medical Group, the partnership of providers that Lake Region Healthcare contracts with,” a spokesperson for Lake Region Healthcare told Insider.

Dr. Greg Smith, President, of Lake Region Medical Group Board told Insider in a statement that the board, made up of nine of Horak’s partners, decided to discontinue his contract after “a thorough review process,” but said the reasons for his separation were a “confidential matter.”

“To be clear, this was a decision that was made by Dr. Horak’s peers who serve on the Medical Group Board, not by Lake Region Healthcare, the community-based hospital where Dr. Horak practiced General Surgery,” the statement said.