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Biden says Trump should no longer get intelligence briefings

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Biden says Trump should no longer get intelligence briefings

President Biden says former President Donald Trump should lose access to intelligence briefings because he might “slip and say something.”

In an interview with CBS News Friday, Biden said Trump should not know US secrets “because of his erratic behavior unrelated to the insurrection,” referring to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot that disrupted certification of Biden’s victory.

CBS host Norah O’Donnell replied, “You’ve called him an existential threat. You’ve called him dangerous. You’ve called him reckless.”

“I have, and I believe it,” Biden said in his first TV interview as president.

Biden declined to tell O’Donnell what his “worst fear” is about Trump having access to intelligence.

“I’d rather not speculate out loud. I just think that there is no need for him to have that intelligence briefing. What value is giving him an intelligence briefing? What impact does he have at all, other than the fact he might slip and say something?” Biden said.

Ex-presidents and other former senior officials customarily retain access to classified information.

Trump in 2018 revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan, who had become a prominent critic of Trump’s policies.

Biden would not say, when asked, if the Senate should convict Trump in an impeachment trial that begins next week for allegedly inciting the Capitol riot, which left five dead. At least 17 Senate Republicans would have to vote to convict, making it unlikely Trump will be found guilty and subsequently barred from holding office again.

Forty-five Senate Republicans previously voted for a measure to declare the impeachment unconstitutional since Trump is already out of office, and that is a key point in Trump’s defense.

“I ran like hell to defeat him because I thought he was unfit to be president. I watched what everybody else watched, what happened when that coup invaded the United States Congress, but I’m not in the Senate now. I’m going to let the Senate make that decision,” Biden said.

Also during Friday’s interview, Biden acknowledged that his proposal to more than double the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour wouldn’t likely remain part of the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package under consideration by Congress.

“I put it in, but I don’t think it’s going to survive,” he said.

Senate Democrats agreed to remove the minimum-wage hike from the plan during a marathon “vote-a-rama” that ended early Friday morning, with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) surprisingly supporting the move — but saying he’d insist it be part of the federal budget bill.

Trump’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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NASA releases 3D video of Ingenuity Mars Helicopter flight

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NASA releases 3D video of Ingenuity Mars Helicopter flight

NASA released a video this week giving viewers the chance to witness the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter’s historic third flight in 3D.

In a release on Wednesday, the agency said that the video was meant to approximate standing on the Martian planet and witnessing the action “firsthand.”

“When NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter took to the Martian skies on its third flight on April 25, the agency’s Perseverance rover was there to capture the historic moment. Now NASA engineers have rendered the flight in 3D, lending dramatic depth to the flight as the helicopter ascends, hovers, then zooms laterally off-screen before returning for a pinpoint landing,” the agency said.

The Perseverance Mars rover’s zoomable dual-camera Mastcam-Z instrument produced the video and other images NASA says provide “key data” for navigation and aids in scientists’ efforts to locate rocket targets – and potentially ancient microbial life.

NASA also announced Tuesday that the rover’s robotic arm had begun conducting science operations, including a close examination of the planet’s terrain and environment. 

The Mastcam-Z imager took shots of reddish-brown Martian rocks that the team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California is trying to classify as sedimentary or igneous, or formed by volcanic activity.

JPL imaging scientist Justin Maki led the team that put together the video of the rotorcraft’s flight, according to the release, which noted that frames of the video had been reprojected to optimize viewing in an anaglyph.

The video was a first for Maki, who had reportedly been creating 3D imaging of Mars since his days as a graduate student. 

“The Mastcam-Z video capability was inherited from the Mars Science Laboratory MARDI (Mars Descent Imager) camera,” he said. “To be reusing this capability on a new mission by acquiring 3D video of a helicopter flying above the surface of Mars is just spectacular.” 

Perseverance’s drivers and arm operators reportedly use a “more sophisticated” 3D system, but Maki’s team members have also been reviewing still 3D images to map out rover drives.

“A helicopter flying on Mars opens a new era for Mars exploration. It’s a great demonstration of a new technology for exploration,” he said. “With each flight we open up more possibilities.”

Ingenuity’s April 25 flight was one of five successful experimental endeavors – with one failed attempt.

In April, NASA announced that the helicopter would enter a new operations demonstration phase, having already proven that powered, controlled flight is possible on the red planet.

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Today is tax deadline day for 2021

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Today is tax deadline day for 2021

The tax man cometh. 

Monday is the deadline for filing federal taxes without incurring a penalty, unless you seek an extension. 

This past spring, the IRS pushed back its usual April 15 deadline by more than a month, saying it wanted to be understanding given the coronavirus pandemic. 

“This continues to be a tough time for many people, and the IRS wants to continue to do everything possible to help taxpayers navigate the unusual circumstances related to the pandemic,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement at the time.

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Jeffrey Epstein gave advice to Bill Gates about ending his marriage

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Jeffrey Epstein gave advice to Bill Gates about ending his marriage

Jeffrey Epstein reportedly gave advice to Bill Gates about ending his marriage with his now-estranged wife Melinda during meetings the two had at the pedophile’s Manhattan townhouse.

Epstein, who killed himself in August 2019 in a lower Manhattan jail cell, gave some pointers to Gates about what the Microsoft co-founder called his “toxic” marriage to Melinda, two sources told The Daily Beast.

Epstein and Gates met dozens of times from 2011 to 2014, the report said, with Gates treating the get-togethers as an escape, a person who attended some of the meetings told the publication.

Most of the gatherings occurred at Epstein’s Upper East Side pad.

“[It’s] not an overstatement. Going to Jeffrey’s was a respite from his marriage. It was a way of getting away from Melinda,” a source told the outlet.

During some of the meetings, Gates spoke to Epstein about possibly getting involved with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the report said.

A spokesperson for Bill Gates refuted the allegations in a statement to The Daily Beast.

“Bill never received or solicited personal advice of any kind from Epstein — on marriage or anything else. Bill never complained about Melinda or his marriage to Epstein,” the spokesperson said.

“Your characterization of his meetings with Epstein and others about philanthropy is inaccurate, including who participated,” the spokesperson said to the outlet.

The rep also said Gates never spoke with Epstein about him possibly getting involved with the foundation.

Bill and Melinda Gates said they were ending their 27-year marriage earlier this month, saying, “We no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.” In a divorce petition, Melinda said their marriage was “irretrievably broken.”

Melinda reportedly hired divorce attorneys in 2019, after her husband’s ties to Epstein were made public, setting in motion the couple’s divorce announcement.

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