(綜合報道)(星島日報報道)昨日維園年宵撞正情人節，各攤位都使出渾身解數，情意綿綿商品處處見，多個檔主不甘只做「二次創作」，冀以原創設計突圍，大賣「本土港味」產品。海關表示近日接獲廿宗涉銷售冒牌公仔、氣球等投訴，會繼續派員巡查。 維園年宵市場昨踏入第二日，適逢周末和情人節，全日人頭湧湧，愈夜愈旺。不少商戶大賣情人節主題商品，包括印有甜蜜字句的咕𠱸、公仔及玫瑰花飾物等，最受情侶歡迎的還是玫瑰鮮花。有花檔主表示，昨日玫瑰花加價一倍至一百元三枝，不乏有情郎捧場，一個下午已售出幾十枝。有檔主接獲一張二千元定單，讓客人捧走一束心形玫瑰以博紅顏歡心。 場內充斥「二次創作」和疑似侵權產品，海關人員昨午再巡視，向檔主派發傳單，提醒勿售賣侵權貨品，更呼籲市民舉報。但大部分涉事檔口似乎並未收斂。 另一邊廂，有檔主堅持原創，任職平面設計師的李小姐直言，「設計師花了許多心血，但其他人只要幾十秒就把設計意念偷去，是不尊重的表現」。她親自設計羊造型布偶，每個頸上繫布帶，是她花上兩星期親手製作，都印上祝福句子，最受歡迎是「要咩有咩」及「我要開心/健康」。雖然「我要發達」與「我要買居屋」兩款布偶滯銷，但她笑言這反映港人心態改變，不盲目追求財富，算是一件好事。 深具香港本土特色的茶餐廳，也是不少檔主的靈感來源，有人更希望透過售賣年宵產品，喚起港人懷舊情。就讀科大的Eric與一班朋友開「菠仔茶餐廳」，以菠蘿包為概念設計了六款公仔。他感慨地說：「不想香港到處都是集團式餐廳，希望以大家都熟悉的菠蘿包設計成公仔，讓市民珍惜已買少見少的本土茶餐廳。」 流感肆虐，不少人逛年宵時都戴上口罩。潘同學稱沒感冒，但年假後要考試，所以倍加小心避免受感染。遊樂場協會與清潔用品公司合作，在場內售賣抗菌口罩，一個索價五元，大收旺場，截至昨日已買出三箱。
- Associated Press
White House deputy press secretary T.J. Ducklo has resigned, the day after he was suspended for issuing a sexist and profane threat to a journalist seeking to cover his relationship with another reporter. Ducklo had been put on a weeklong suspension without pay on Friday after a report surfaced in Vanity Fair outlining his sexist threats against a female Politico journalist to try to suppress a story about his relationship, telling her “I will destroy you.” The journalist had been seeking to report on his relationship with a political reporter at Axios who had previously covered the Biden campaign and transition.
- The Week
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D), the senior senator from Arizona, voted with her caucus to advance a $1.9 trillion stimulus plan that can pass with a party-line vote in the 50-50 Senate. But she won't support adding a federal minimum wage hike to the package, she tells Politico, effectively killing the push to include a $15 minimum wage in the legislation. That's one reason that Sinema, Politico said in its Friday profile, is "the most influential Democrat you never hear from." "What's important is whether or not it's directly related to short-term COVID relief, and if it's not, then I am not going to support it in this legislation," Sinema told Politico this week. "The minimum wage provision is not appropriate for the reconciliation process. It is not a budget item. And it shouldn't be in there." That goes for other Democratic wish-list items ruled out of bounds for budget reconciliation by the Senate parliamentarian. "There is no instance in which I would overrule a parliamentarian's decision," she said. Like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), who you do hear from, Sinema won't vote to eliminate the filibuster. In fact, she told Politico, "I want to restore the 60-vote threshold for all elements of the Senate's work." Sinema's frequent "breaks with her liberal colleagues are both a reflection of her state, which she won by a narrow margin in 2018, and her temperament," plus the fact that after years in Arizona's state legislature and U.S. Senate, she "has literally never served in the majority before — so she feels the minority's pain," Politico reports. Her Democratic colleagues "sense that Sinema is a team player regardless of her unique views," but "she still keeps Republicans at least as close as members of her own party," and she listens more than talks, Politico reports. You can read more about "one of the most quirky and interesting members of the stodgy Senate" — including her colorful wigs, deep purple and leopard print office decor, and friendship with Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) — at Politico. More stories from theweek.com7 scathingly funny cartoons about Republicans' impeachment cowardiceGOP Sen. Cassidy: 'I voted to convict President Trump because he is guilty'Republicans and Democrats seem to agree Trump got off 'on a technicality'
- NBC News
In a chilling 911 call this week, a migrant told Texas dispatchers that he and about 80 others were trapped in a tank truck. They have not been found.
- Architectural Digest
Sweet dreams are made of theseOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
Russia said on Friday it would be ready to sever ties with the European Union if the bloc hit it with painful economic sanctions, a statement that Germany described as disconcerting and incomprehensible. Ties between Russia and the West, already at post-Cold War lows, have come under renewed pressure over the arrest and jailing of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. Three European diplomats told Reuters on Thursday the EU was likely to impose travel bans and asset freezes on allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin, possibly as soon as this month.
- The Telegraph
The BBC’s director general has warned of the “growing global threat to the free media” after the corporation was banned from broadcasting in China and Hong Kong. In his first intervention since Beijing announced the ban, Tim Davie said that countries such as China were now trying to expand their “control of information”. Mr Davie, who took up the post of director general in the autumn, said it was of “deep concern” that China was preventing the BBC from doing its job. But he stressed the wider concern that China - and by implication other countries such as Russia - were trying to peddle their own state-controlled news operations abroad while attacking the free press within their borders. Mr Davie last night told The Telegraph: “Media freedom matters. The latest developments in China, including the banning of the World Service in Hong Kong, are deeply worrying developments. The BBC should be able to do its reporting without fear or favour. “It is of deep concern when our journalists are restricted and their work curtailed. Importantly, in these difficult times when misinformation is rife, we have seen growing audiences for trusted news sources - including hundreds of millions coming to the BBC. “This is not just about stopping the BBC from broadcasting news in China, there are significant and growing global threats to the free media as some seek to increase their control of information. Now, more than ever, it is important that we speak out to defend free and fair journalism.” Senior BBC sources said there was now three-fold threat from states such as China and Russia, through manipulation of social media, funding their own biased news operations and shutting down trusted international broadcasters. “These states are actively manipulating social media to undermine legal democracies while at the same time flexing their muscles by pumping millions of rubles or whatever currency into global news services that distort the truth. And now they are preventing the likes of the BBC from broadcasting.” China banned the BBC World News Channel on Thursday in apparent retaliation for Ofcom's decision to revoke the UK broadcasting license of Chinese state broadcaster CGTN after finding the organisation is “ultimately controlled by the Chinese Communist Party”
President Biden's National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a statement on Saturday that the administration is concerned by the World Health Organization's (WHO) probe into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. Why it matters: Sullivan said the administration fears the Chinese government may have intervened or altered the findings of the investigation.Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for freeContext: On the first day of his administration, Biden acted to return the U.S. to the WHO. The Trump administration had started a withdrawal from the organization in July 2020.WHO teams last month conducted the investigation in Wuhan, China, where the virus first emerged. The investigation had been agreed to last May, but it was delayed after Chinese officials withheld authorization to allow the international team's scheduled visit. The delay drew a rare rebuke from WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.The WHO team concluded that it's "extremely unlikely" the virus came from a laboratory accident, and that it most likely jumped to humans via an intermediate species.“Our initial findings suggest that the introduction through an intermediary host species is the most likely pathway and one that will require more studies and more specific, targeted research,” said WHO scientist Peter Ben Embarek.What they're saying: "The mission of the World Health Organization (WHO) has never been more important, and we have deep respect for its experts and the work they are doing every day to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and advance global health and health security," Sullivan said in a statement."But re-engaging the WHO also means holding it to the highest standards. And at this critical moment, protecting the WHO’s credibility is a paramount priority." "We have deep concerns about the way in which the early findings of the COVID-19 investigation were communicated and questions about the process used to reach them.""It is imperative that this report be independent, with expert findings free from intervention or alteration by the Chinese government. To better understand this pandemic and prepare for the next one, China must make available its data from the earliest days of the outbreak."The big picture: Going forward, Sullivan said all countries, including China, should be more transparent in order to prevent health emergencies like the coronavirus pandemic and allow other countries to respond to them faster.The other side: The Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C., said in a statement the U.S. has in recent years "severely undermined multilateral institutions, including the WHO, and gravely damaged international cooperation on COVID-19." So the U.S. should not be "pointing fingers at other countries" who've supported the WHO, the statement added.Editor's note: This article has been updated with comment from the Chinese Embassy.Like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.
- National Review
The impeachment trial is hurtling toward a conclusion, after brief drama over potentially calling witnesses. Former President Trump is almost certain to get acquitted, but it won’t be much of a vindication. His conduct in the post-election period and on January 6 will blight his reputation forevermore. He waged a dishonest and poisonous campaign to overturn the election that culminated in a mob disrupting the counting of electoral votes at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. The new videos played by the House managers at the trial brought home again the national embarrassment of that day, with top elected officials scurrying for safety as the rabble descended. The House managers were at their strongest describing Trump’s conspiracy-laden effort to reverse the election result, his long catalogue of inflammatory comments, and his dereliction of duty in failing to urge the rioters to cease and desist as early and forcefully as possible. All of this is damnable, inarguably so. The weakness in their case stems from the defects of the article of impeachment itself, which both goes too far and not far enough. At the core of the article is the contention that Trump incited the crowd to attack the Capitol, that he “willfully made statements that, in context, encouraged — and foreseeably resulted in — lawless action at the Capitol.” This suggests an element of intent that the managers couldn’t prove. On the other hand, incredibly enough, the article doesn’t even mention Trump’s conduct during the riot, when he continued to criticize Mike Pence as he was being targeted by the mob, and that he went AWOL as allies begged him to tell the rioters to stand down. Trump’s defense team didn’t have good answers — or really any answers — when queried in the Q&A about what Trump was doing in these hours. If House Democrats hadn’t rushed to impeach Trump in an afternoon, they might have written a more airtight article. As it is, a number of Republicans will conclude, reasonably enough, that Trump is still guilty. If he hadn’t falsely insisted that he’d really won the election in the most incendiary terms and promoted a protest on January 6, there would have been no rabble to run out of control in the first place. On top of this, his pressure campaign to get Republican officials to throw the election to him in key states was intolerable in its own right. We hope Republicans voting to acquit largely on process grounds — a post-presidency trial is unconstitutional, it’s time to move on, etc. — will at least speak forthrightly about the president’s misconduct. This has been a quickie impeachment, running about a month from beginning to end. But the underlying events, and Trump’s unforgivably reckless behavior, will long reverberate.
- Associated Press
Braving sub-zero temperatures, hundreds of dark-clad supporters of the Bulgarian National Union group flocked to a central square where they had planned to kick off the annual Lukov March, a torch-lit procession held every February to the former house of Gen. Hristo Lukov. Neo-Nazis and like-minded extremists have marched for almost two decades in honor of Lukov, who supported Germany during World War II and was killed by members of a resistance movement on Feb. 13, 1943. The general served as war minister from 1935 to 1938, and led the pro-Nazi Germany Union of Bulgarian Legions from 1932 until 1943.
- The Telegraph
A 7.3-magnitude earthquake off Japan's Fukushima injured dozens of people, authorities said Sunday, nearly 10 years after the eastern region was hit by a huge quake that sparked a tsunami and nuclear meltdown. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said no casualties had so far been reported after the late-night quake, which did not trigger a tsunami warning. "We have received reports of many injuries in the Fukushima and Miyagi regions. But so far we have not received any reports of deaths," he told an emergency cabinet meeting on Sunday morning. The disaster agency said 74 injuries had been reported in the region and also around Tokyo, where the quake was felt strongly just after 11pm on Saturday. But local media counted at least 104 reported injuries, from broken bones to cuts from shattered glass. No abnormalities were reported at the Fukushima nuclear plant, which melted down in the wake of the March 2011 quake that triggered a towering tsunami and killed more than 18,000 people. Japan's meteorological agency said Saturday's quake, which hit at a depth of 60 kilometres (37 miles) in the Pacific off Fukushima, was considered an aftershock of the massive tremor nearly a decade ago. "I was at home. I cannot even remember whether it was horizontal or vertical shaking. But it felt like it lasted for 30 seconds," Masami Nakai, a municipal official in Soma city in northern Fukushima, said about Saturday's quake. "The shaking was so strong I became truly afraid of my physical safety," he said.
- The Week
These days, it can often feel like former President Donald Trump is off the grid, but he made himself known Saturday shortly after he was acquitted in a Senate impeachment trial for the second time in just over a year. In a statement, Trump thanked his legal team and the lawmakers who voted not guilty, while blasting Democrats, whom he accused of getting a "free pass to denigrate the rule of law." The impeachment effort, Trump claimed, was "another phase" of what he considers "the greatest witch hunt" in American history. Once he was done chiding his opponents, the former president turned his attention to his supporters, promising them "our historic, patriotic, and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun," and that "I have much to share with you" in "the months ahead." TRUMP STATEMENT on acquittal: "This has been yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our Country." pic.twitter.com/ZCztYtcZfa — Scott Wong (@scottwongDC) February 13, 2021 More stories from theweek.com7 scathingly funny cartoons about Republicans' impeachment cowardiceGOP Sen. Cassidy: 'I voted to convict President Trump because he is guilty'Republicans and Democrats seem to agree Trump got off 'on a technicality'
- KCRA - Sacramento Videos
Authorities said they arrested a man on suspicion of murder after the bodies of two women were found this week at storage facilities in Amador County. Dante Michael Campbell, 49, of Ione, was arrested on two counts of murder. He is not eligible for bail, the Amador County Sheriff's Office said. See more in the video above.
- NBC News
The guidelines released Friday don't require Covid-19 vaccinations for all educators before returning to classrooms.
- Associated Press
An unidentified man could be responsible for four separate stabbings that occurred within a few hours in the New York City subways, leaving two people dead, authorities said. All four stabbings occurred along the A subway line. Two hours later, a 44-year-old woman was found stabbed to death in the subway in upper Manhattan.
- The Telegraph
A team of investigators has discovered the remains of at least six pirates from a 1717 shipwreck off Cape Cod, Massachusetts that could lead to them to the infamous buccaneer Captain “Black Sam” Bellamy. The remains, entombed in several large concretions – hard, compact mineral masses – were found in the wreck of the Whydah, the world’s only confirmed pirate shipwreck, by a team from the Whydah Pirate Museum in Yarmouth, Massachusetts. The skeletons are currently being examined by underwater explorer Barry Clifford and his team, the museum said in a statement. Mr Clifford discovered the Whydah in 1984. "We hope that modern, cutting-edge technology will help us identify these pirates and reunite them with any descendants who could be out there,” Mr Clifford said in the statement. The Whydah was originally commissioned in London as a cargo and slave-trading ship by Sir Humphrey Morice, an MP and figurehead of Britain’s slave trade, and was named after the Kingdom of Whydah in modern-day Benin.
Heavy snowfalls have buried Moscow in massive snow piles, disrupting transport, delaying flights and making it tough to get around for pedestrians braving strong winds and temperatures of minus 15 Celsius (5 Fahrenheit). The snowfall started late on Thursday and was expected to end on Sunday. Russia's emergency service advised people to stay away from trees, warning of winds gusts of 18 metres per second (40 mph).
- National Review
Former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley distanced herself from former President Trump in comments to Politico on January 12, less than a week after pro-Trump rioters breached the Capitol and forced lawmakers to evacuate. Haley, who served as ambassador to the U.N. during the Trump administration, is reportedly eyeing a potential run for the presidency in 2024, and has already launched a PAC to support Republicans in the 2022 midterms. In the January 12 interview, which was published on Friday, the former governor expressed disappointment with Trump and especially his treatment of vice president Mike Pence. Trump excoriated Pence in a speech to supporters before the mob breached the Capitol. Footage from the incident revealed on Wednesday showed pro-Trump rioters shouting “Hang Mike Pence!” while making their way through the building. “When I tell you I’m angry, it’s an understatement,” Haley told Politico. “Mike has been nothing but loyal to that man….I am so disappointed in the fact that [despite] the loyalty and friendship he had with Mike Pence, that he would do that to him. Like, I’m disgusted by it.” Haley said at the time that she believed Trump would “find himself further and further isolated,” and unable to run for president again. “I think he’s lost any sort of political viability he was going to have,” Haley said. I think he’s lost his social media, which meant the world to him. I mean, I think he’s lost the things that really could have kept him moving.” The former governor added, “We need to acknowledge [Trump] let us down….He went down a path he shouldn’t have, and we shouldn’t have followed him.” However, Haley was dismissive of a push to impeach Trump, saying the initiative was “a waste of time.” Haley echoed those comments in a subsequent January 25 interview with Laura Ingraham on Fox News. “I don’t even think there’s a basis for impeachment,” Haley said. “I mean at some point, I mean give the man a break. I mean move on.”
- Associated Press
The plight of endangered right whales took another sad turn Saturday, when a baby whale, possibly two months old, washed ashore dead on a Florida beach with telltale signs of being struck by a boat. There are fewer than 400 north Atlantic right whales remaining, and any mortality of the species is a serious setback to rescuing the animals from extinction, according to federal biologists who expressed dismay over Saturday's discovery of the 22-foot (7-meter) male infant at Anastasia State Park near St. Augustine. “This is a very sad event,” said Blair Mase, a whale expert with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
At least 60 people were injured as hundreds of fuel vehicles exploded in a massive blaze that tore through a customs post in Afghanistan close to the Iranian border, disrupting power supplies and causing millions of dollars of damage. Iranian authorities sent fire engines and ambulances across the border, while scores of locals fought the blaze in the border town of Islam Qala before it was brought under control. Waheed Qatali, governor of the western province of Herat, said Iranian authorities and NATO-led personnel in Afghanistan were asked for assistance to help contain the fire, which damaged electricity infrastructure, leaving much of Herat's capital city without power.
New York City makes $125,000 settlement with girlfriend of Black man fatally shot by off-duty officer
New York City on Friday settled a lawsuit brought by the girlfriend of Delrawn Small, a Black man who was killed by an off-duty police officer during a traffic incident in the summer of 2016. As part of the settlement, Zaquanna Albert, who was with Small at the time of the killing, received $125,000, according to New York Daily News. Two children, including the couple’s son, were also passengers in the car when New York Police Department officer Wayne Isaacs, who is also Black and remains on the force today, fatally shot Small on the fourth of July in Brooklyn.