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Merrick Garland reveals he plans to probe Capitol riot

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Merrick Garland reveals he plans to probe Capitol riot

Judge Merrick Garland, President Biden’s nominee to lead the Department of Justice, said he will launch an investigation into the Jan. 6 Capitol riot involving supporters of former President Donald Trump but did not address whether he will examine​ Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s role in the state’s nursing home deaths.

In his opening statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will hold his confirmation hearing on Monday, Garland also said he will work as attorney general to “serve the Rule of Law and ensure equal justice under the law.”

Garland, who supervised the prosecution of Timothy McVeigh for the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, will say he plans to pursue those who stormed the Capitol as a joint-session of Congress met to certify the Electoral College vote.

“If confirmed, I will supervise the prosecution of white supremacists and others who stormed the Capitol on January 6 – a heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy: the peaceful transfer of power to a newly elected government​,” Garland will say in his statement.​​

But he did not mention Cuomo in his opening remarks that were released on Saturday by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Republicans on the panel are expected to grill Garland over whether he’ll investigate Cuomo for allegedly covering up nursing home deaths last spring.​

The Post revealed that his top aide Melissa DeRosa told state lawmakers that the administration hid the number of nursing home deaths during a Department of Justice investigation.

The FBI and the Brooklyn US Attorney’s Office have launched a probe in response to The Post’s report.

G​arland was nominated in 2016 by former President Barack Obama to fill the spot on the Supreme Court left open by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

But then-Majority Senate Leader Mitch McConnell refused to hold a hearing for Garland because it was an election year.​

Justice Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s nominee, was eventually confirmed for the court seat.

Garland, who has been a US appeals court judge since 1997, said he will explain to senators why he would leave a lifetime appointment as a judge to become attorney general.

“I have told you that I love being a judge. I have also told you that this is an important time for me to step forward because of my deep respect for the Department of Justice and its critical role in ensuring the Rule of Law,” he will say.

He noted the Justice Department’s efforts through the years to secure civil rights and to uphold the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and expressed a desire to continue in that direction.

“That mission remains urgent because we do not yet have equal justice. Communities of color and other minorities still face discrimination in housing, education, employment, and the criminal justice system; and bear the brunt of the harm caused by pandemic, pollution, and climate change,” Garland will say.

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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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