Today, the United States gained a new President, First Lady and Vice President.Those people inherited the official Twitter accounts of their predecessors.In turn, some of those not supportive of the new administration unfollowed those accounts.As it turns out, Twitter has caused many people to follow these accounts again, against their will.Yesterday, I stopped following the @POTUS account that was used by President Barack Obama who is now at @BarackObama before @POTUS switched to President Donald Trump today.Vice President Joe Biden now at @JoeBiden had been using @VP, which I also dropped yesterday.
In partnership with ATTN:, former Vice President Joe Biden is hosting an IGTV series.The new original series will make its debut on Wednesday and be posted weekly thereafter.Biden rejoined Instagram at the end of last week, adding to the conversation about whether he’ll enter the 2020 presidential race.He also got a shoutout from former President Obama welcoming him back to the platform, whereafter he quickly garnered about one million followers.View this post on InstagramATTN: is excited to partner with @joebiden on IGTV to break down the issues we’ll vote on this fall.
Joe Biden’s campaign team sent a letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, COO Sheryl Sandberg and global elections policy chief Katie Harbath that essentially called on the company to take down a Trump campaign ad that made debunked claims regarding the Biden family’s relationship with Ukraine.Facebook responded to that letter today with their own letter to Biden saying that the company’s policies prevented it from making judgment calls on the veracity of speech in political advertisements.Political campaigns are messy, so America’s largest content company — with more content moderators than any publication in the country — is leaving it to the free press to debunk what it’s getting paid to broadcast.Here’s the rest of the letter:Here's the letter Facebook sent the @JoeBiden campaign explaining why it allowed Trump to run Facebook ads with false allegations about the VP and Ukraine — @sarahmucha reports.— Donie O'Sullivan (@donie) October 9, 2019
SpaceX on Tuesday launched and landed a vehicle called SN5, which is a full-scale prototype of a planned Mars rocket ship called Starship.
On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump wrongfully appeared to take credit for the privately developed vehicle's creation or launch.
Trump also shared falsehoods about NASA, which spaceflight experts pointed out and corrected.
Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
SpaceX on Tuesday night launched an early prototype of a Starship rocket hundreds of feet into the air, hovered it across the beachside launch site, and then landed it on a concrete pad.
The full-scale vehicle, called Starship SN5 (for serial number 5), looked more like a flying grain silo or beer can than an early version of a Mars-bound rocket. Still, the feat represents a key step toward SpaceX founder Elon Musk's dream of creating a fully reusable space vehicle that can reach, return from, and help populate the Red Planet.
In Wednesday tweet rife with falsehoods, US President Donald Trump reshared a NASASpaceFlight video of SN5's flight — and appeared to take credit for SpaceX's flight by insinuating it was part of a NASA program.
"NASA was Closed & Dead until I got it going again. Now it is the most vibrant place of its kind on the Planet...And we have Space Force to go along with it. We have accomplished more than any Administration in first 3 1/2 years. Sorry, but it all doesn't happen with Sleepy Joe!" Trump claimed.
After the tweet, numerous spaceflight journalists and industry experts pointed out that Trump was far from the mark.
Jeff Foust, a Space News senior writer and aerospace analyst who's followed the industry for decades, tweeted the following response to the president's claims:
"Fact check:- NASA was neither closed nor dead at the start of the current administration.- Many recent NASA successes have their origins in prior administrations.- The Starship test the president is retweeting has nothing to do with NASA; it's a private effort by SpaceX."
Per Foust's first point, NASA has been operating continuously since its creation on October 1, 1958.
With his second bullet point, Foust was referring to spaceflight commercialization work by the Bush and Obama administrations that preceded Trump by more than a decade. In 2004, President George W. Bush started a commercial cargo-spaceship development program at NASA. The goal was to bolster cargo transportation capabilities to the International Space Station ahead of the 2011 retirement of NASA's space shuttle program.
That effort, which funded SpaceX to develop an uncrewed vehicle called Dragon, preceded and informed a follow-on NASA effort called Commercial Crew. President Barack Obama first funded the program in 2009 and authorized funding until he left office in 2016. That funding enabled SpaceX (and Boeing) to develop a crewed vehicle.
That effort culminated in SpaceX's most recent achievement: resurrecting crewed spaceflight from American soil. Specifically, the company leaned on $2.7 billion, most of which was awarded by 2014, to develop its Crew Dragon spaceship. The vehicle launched in May with two astronauts on board and landed in August, successfully completing its first spaceflight with people.
"This does a disservice to the nearly 17,000 dedicated women and men of @NASA," Phil Larson, a former SpaceX employee, tweeted in response to Trump's claims.
SpaceX has some funding and assistance from NASA for Starship development, such as orbital refilling of fuel tanks. The company also was awarded a $100 million contract to develop a Starship moon-landing system.
However, to date SpaceX has predominantly and privately raised hundreds of millions of dollars to fund Starship's development. Musk has also ordered many of the rocket company's thousands of employees to prioritize the vehicle's development effort at SpaceX's commercial launch site in Boca Chica, Texas — a private, non-governmental facility.
The Biden campaign declined to comment on the matter and instead provided a prior statement from the Democratic candidate about the splashdown of Demo-2, congratulating those involved.
Spokespeople for the White House and SpaceX did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Business Insider. A NASA spokesperson said the agency is looking into the matter. SEE ALSO: 3 Apollo astronauts say they support Trump's plan to land people on the moon — but NASA would need to make two big changes
DON'T MISS: A boat flying a Trump flag approached SpaceX's spaceship after the astronauts landed. NASA promised to 'do a better job' next time.
Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why NASA waited nearly a decade to send astronauts into space from the US
Senator Kamala Harris painted a vision of America that celebrated diversity in her historic Democratic National Convention speech. The senator from California, who made history when selected as Biden’s running mate last week, spoke live from Wilmington, Delaware, on Wednesday. (The major political event was held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.) Harris said she was “committed to the values” that her mother, an immigrant from India, had taught her. “She raised us to be proud, strong Black women,” Harris said of her mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, who died of cancer in 2009. “And she raised us to know and be proud of our Indian heritage.” Harris then spoke of a “vision passed on through generations of Americans — one that Joe Biden shares. ... A vision of our nation as a beloved community, where all are welcome, no matter what we look like, where we come from or who we love.”Harris also criticised President Donald Trump — who has a long, ongoing history of racism — saying that Americans “must elect a president who will bring something different, something better... A president who will bring all of us together — Black, white, Latino, Asian, Indigenous — to achieve the future we collectively want.”Harris, 55, is the second Black woman ever to serve in the U.S. Senate and is the first Black and first Asian American nominee for vice president by a major political party. If elected, she will also become the first female vice president in U.S. history.A short video that played before Harris’ remarks Wednesday featured several Black women speaking about the senator, one of them describing Harris as “someone who can fight for Black people, brown people, undocumented people, LGBT people, disabled people.” It included a clip from an interview in which Harris said, “The litmus test for America is how we are treating Black women.”Kamala Harris pays tribute to the trailblazers who came before her in her DNC address #DemConventionpic.twitter.com/eZF0VeBQAf— NowThis (@nowthisnews) August 20, 2020Before Biden tapped her for the ticket, Harris was one of his rivals in the Democratic primary race last year. In one of the most powerful moments in the Democratic debates, Harris called out Biden for his collaboration with segregationist lawmakers early in his Senate career and for his opposition to busing to integrate schools. Harris said she herself was bused to school as a young student in Oakland, California. But a few months after dropping out of the presidential race in December, Harris endorsed Biden and has since staunchly supported his candidacy. Harris first appeared with Biden last week after she was added to the presidential ticket. Both she and Biden took aim at Trump, and Harris criticised the president’s “mismanagement of the pandemic.” “America is crying out for leadership, yet we have a president who cares more about himself than the people who elected him,” she said.Again on Wednesday, Harris called out how “Trump’s failure of leadership has cost lives and livelihoods.” The U.S. continues to lead the world in coronavirus cases and deaths, with over 5.5 million confirmed cases and more than 172,000 dead so far. Harris noted that Black, Latino and Indigenous people are “suffering and dying disproportionately” from COVID-19.“This is not a coincidence. It is the effect of structural racism,” Harris said.Harris opened Wednesday’s event with brief remarks calling out voter suppression efforts, including “obstacles, misinformation and folks making it harder for us to cast our ballot.” The senator’s statements come as Trump has been spreading lies about mail-in voting being “fraudulent” and undermining the U.S. Postal Service. Democratic lawmakers have called the U.S. postmaster general, a Trump donor, to testify about recent changes in operations that have led to mail delays. These changes have since been suspended until after the election, as outrage grew around mailed ballots possibly not arriving on time to be counted in November.“We need to ask ourselves, why don’t they want us to vote? Why is there so much effort to silence our voices?” Harris said Wednesday, urging all Americans to create a “voting plan.” “The answer is because when we vote, things change … When we vote, we address the need for all people to be treated with dignity and respect in our country.” Harris explicitly spelled out where she was born: at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland. It appeared to be a subtle response to racist birther conspiracies spread by right-wing pundits and echoed by Trump, suggesting she may not be eligible for the office of vice president because of her parents’ immigration status when she was born. There is no question of Harris’s eligibility. This is notably a continuation of Trump’s history of perpetuating birther conspiracy theories about former President Barack Obama. In Obama’s speech Wednesday night, the former president described Harris as his friend and as “someone who knows what it’s like to overcome barriers and who’s made a career fighting to help others live out their own American dream.”Harris’s sister Maya Harris, who was chairwoman of Harris’s presidential campaign, introduced the vice presidential nominee, along with Harris’s niece Meena Harris and her stepdaughter Ella Emhoff, who called the candidate “Momala.” “You’re showing my daughters, and so many girls around the world who look like them, what’s possible,” Meena Harris said. Related...
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It will come as no surprise to learn that Donald Trump’s Twitter has been a bit of a mess today, but even by the standards of the US president, one part of it was particularly bizarre.Two tweets from the most powerful man in the world were retweets of a clearly faked video of his Democratic rival Joe Biden playing the ’80s classic ‘Fuck tha Police’ by NWA.Trump began his journey of misunderstanding with a gentle query of “what is this all about?”What is this all about? https://t.co/AAmBGgHhyR— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 16, 2020The answer to this question was fairly obvious, especially as Twitter had plastered a large ”Manipulated media” banner across the original tweet.Perennially undeterred by facts, reasons and logic, Trump continued in his quest to promote the fake video, this time by making some rather dubious assumptions about China.China is drooling. They can’t believe this! https://t.co/AAmBGgHhyR— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 16, 2020It’s not clear if Trump thinks China is particularly susceptible to fake videos or if they just love rap music.Of course what the president is actually trying to do is stoke divisions ahead of the upcoming presidential election by fanning false claims that Biden wants to abolish police forces across the US.Trump has to engage in such bizarre antics as he is trailing badly in the polls. Even the magazine Scientific American has broken with 175 years of history by endorsing a presidential candidate, coming down heavily on the side of Democratic challenger Joe Biden.This is about you deliberately putting out an edited video of @JoeBiden because you are losing to him badly. https://t.co/Iz7cScgZYy— Rick Tyler-Still Right (@rickwtyler) September 16, 2020Oh and if you’re wondering, it was actually Despacito, obviously.After being introduced by Luis Fonsi, Joe Biden pulled out his phone and started playing Despacito ahead of his remarks kicking off Hispanic Heritage Month in Kissimmee, FL. pic.twitter.com/7R6hUZgLW1— Sarah Mucha (@sarahmucha) September 16, 2020Related...
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You’re reading The Waugh Zone, our daily politics briefing. Sign up now to get it by email in the evening. Fudging itIt took him a week to find his conscience, but Lord Keen finally decided he couldn’t live with breaking international law. Having been hung out to dry by cabinet minister Brandon Lewis (whose political street fighting skills made Keen look like a rank amateur), in the end he really had little option but to quit.For shadow attorney general Charlie Falconer (another political bruiser), the only thing that was surprising was that it took him so long. And in many ways, this was Falconer’s scalp (and that of Labour’s savvy Lords operation), having yesterday roughed up the Advocate General with a mix of cold anger and ridicule.His jibe at Keen on Tuesday - “The key characteristic for law officers is not brains – they can get all the advice they want from the English bar of lawyers – it is backbone” - clearly stung his fellow QC in the Lords. Goaded by Falconer’s heckling, Keen then effectively signed his own political suicide note by suggesting Lewis had misspoken.It’s perfectly possible that Keen had also worked out that even the new ‘compromise’ between No.10 and Tory rebels still involved breaking international law. The PM has indeed been forced to accept Bob Neill’s argument that MPs, rather than ministers, should get the first say over triggering such a nuclear option. But an option it remains, written in statue.The resignation of a fellow law officer certainly puts pressure on attorney general Suella Braverman (who has been incredibly silent in public on this whole affair) and justice secretary Robert Buckland.Few MPs expect Braverman to do anything other than blindly back No10. But Buckland has been wobbling. His line to Sky News today - that he would resign if the government broke international law in “a way that cannot be fudged” - made clear that fudging was now his own justification for staying on.Still, Buckland’s political capital among like-minded liberal lawyers like Neill seems to have been enough to help avoid a showdown next week. Levelling with the rebels, about what was politically possible and their mutual interest on the issue, paid off.So, with a resignation and yet another climbdown in the face of a backbench rebellion, has the PM ended today weaker? Not according to one minister I talked to today. “It’s like that old Michael Caine saying, ‘I’ve been poor and unhappy and I’ve been rich and unhappy. And believe me, rich is better!’” they said. “We had a difficult time governing with no majority, and how we have a difficult time governing with a majority of 80. And believe me, a majority of 80 is better!”Both No.10 and Labour realise that the spats about the Internal Market Bill pale in comparison to public unease over coronavirus spikes and testing failures. On an impressive debut at PMQs, Angela Rayner never lost sight of that bigger picture. And Johnson made clear at the Liaison Committee that the rising infections would “lead to mortality...that is the reality”.That sounded like an echo of his warning way back in early March, before the virus took off and before the lockdown: “It is going to spread further and I must level with you, I must level with the British public: many more families are going to lose loved ones before their time.” Today, however, he didn’t level with us, as he had no real explanations for the bottleneck in testing.The short-term solution will be “prioritisation” of tests, with possibly schools added to the hierarchy of hospitals and care homes, when Matt Hancock unveils the rationing programme in coming days.The PM notably didn’t rule out a second national lockdown today. If big areas like the north east, Leeds and Birmingham join the north west in local curbs, England will feel like it’s already in a new national lockdown anyway.That’s why perhaps Johnson does need to ‘level’ with us all more. “We just need to be a bit more honest with people,” one minister says. The PM did today admit capacity was inadequate for demand, but daily testing capacity numbers are no longer available, just when more transparency is needed.Tomorrow’s weekly test and trace stats need to get better too.Fudging breaking international law is one thing, fudging coronavirus’s spread is altogether more dangerous.Quote Of The day“We don’t have enough testing capacity now”– Boris JohnsonWednesday Cheat SheetNearly 4,000 people in the UK were confirmed as having Covid-19, the highest since early May.No10 agreed a compromise over the Internal Market Bill. But it added an extra amendment that critics said made judicial review of its sweeping powers even harder.Joe Biden tweeted a warning about the UK breaking international law. “We can’t allow the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland to become a casualty of Brexit.”Former transport secretary Chris Grayling, who once gave a no-deal Brexit ferry contract to a company with no ships, is to be paid £100,000 a year to advise a leading ports company (which is owned by Beijing-friendly Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing).What I’m ReadingThe Billionaire Who Wanted To Die Broke Is Now Broke - ForbesRelated...
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Running a US presidential election is a notoriously expensive affair and a small cohort of people are payed very good sums of money to finely craft the words that are uttered by presidential candidates in the run-up to the big day.So it was probably a relief to Joe Biden’s accountant when Donald Trump himself handed over the latest campaign ad material free of charge.Speaking to supporters at a rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, on Saturday night, the president said: “If I lose to him I don’t know what I’m gonna do. I will never speak to you again.“You’ll never see me again.”This was then turned into an extremely effective and ever-so-cheeky ad by the Biden team who simply repeated the clip with an endorsement from their boss.I’m Joe Biden and I approve this message. pic.twitter.com/TuRZXPE5xK— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 20, 2020The simple tweet has been gone down a storm on social media and at the time of writing has been liked 375,000 times.At the same rally, Trump falsely declared at a North Carolina rally Saturday that he and his supporters are being honoured with the Nobel Peace Prize.Trump was nominated for the prize by a far-right Norwegian politician — but it’s highly unlikely he’ll get the award. Adolf Hitler was nominated for the peace prize in 1939 by a member of the Swedish parliament.You love your president, and your president gets honoured,” Trump told the crowd in Fayetteville. “I’m not being honoured, you’re being honoured, with the Nobel Peace Prize for Israel, what we did with Israel.”Related...
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US Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his wife have tested negative for Covid-19.It comes days after he debated president Donald Trump, who announced early on Friday he had been diagnosed with coronavirus.Bidne tweeted: “I’m happy to report that Jill and I have tested negative for Covid.“Thank you to everyone for your messages of concern. I hope this serves as a reminder: wear a mask, keep social distance, and wash your hands.” I’m happy to report that Jill and I have tested negative for COVID. Thank you to everyone for your messages of concern. I hope this serves as a reminder: wear a mask, keep social distance, and wash your hands.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 2, 2020 The former vice president has made something of a lucky escape: on Tuesday night he was in a room with Trump during the first 2020 presidential debate in Cleveland.They were spaced more than six feet apart, but both yelled without face masks in an indoor space – factors that increase the risk of spreading the virus.Trump said on Friday that he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive, hours after top Trump aide Hope Hicks was diagnosed with the virus.Hicks had been part of the team travelling with the president for the debate and was seen stepping off Air Force One afterward without a mask. Members of Trump’s family flouted mask-wearing guidelines during the event.Prior to receiving his test result on Friday, Biden expressed his well wishes to the Trumps. Biden campaign officials said they had no prior notification from the Trump campaign about the president’s Covid-19 exposure, and learned about Trump’s diagnosis through news reports.Biden’s campaign has focused on Trump’s failure to protect Americans from the pandemic. The president has for months downplayed the severity of the virus – even as the US death toll topped 200,000, the highest in the world. Trump has pressured states and schools to reopen, spread falsehoods about treatments, held packed campaign rallies and mocked others for wearing face masks.During Tuesday night’s debate, Biden pointed out that Trump rarely wears a face mask in public. Trump responded by ridiculing Biden for wearing “the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.”The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says face masks greatly reduce the spread of Covid-19.This is a breaking news story and will be updated. Follow HuffPost UK on Twitter here, and on Facebook here.Related...
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US President Donald Trump scheduled a campaign rally Sunday night in Carson City.However, he narrowly lost here in 2016.Latinos in Nevada have been disproportionally impacted by COVID-19 and make almost half of the confirmed coronavirus cases in the State.Read more at: https://bit.ly/37pFdAt
US President Donald Trump’s pre-election broadsides against Dr. Anthony Fauci drew a little buy-in Tuesday from Capitol Hill.It is because Senate Republicans tried preventing linking themselves too closely to the name-calling from the PresidentRead more at: https://bit.ly/37x2Irn
US President Donald Trump supposedly targeted a veteran journalist for CBS News’ 60 Minutes, Lesley Stahl, in his recent Twitter attacks.Read more at: https://bit.ly/3dOzEwn
The conservative pollster Robert Cahaly appeared on Fox News’ Hannity and discussed the Hidden Vote.The alleged hidden vote was often missing predominantly from polling showing Democratic challenger Joe Biden leading nationally and in certain swing states.Read more at: https://bit.ly/2TePVl1
US President Donald Trump has claimed his victory in the 2nd presidential debate against Democratic contender Joe Biden by 89% to 11%.But, he didn’t mention what polling showed the alleged landslide victory.Read more at: https://bit.ly/31Zmw35
US President Donald Trump and his advisers are suggesting a high-octane replay of the closing two weeks of his 2016 campaign.Read more at: https://bit.ly/3mowen6USpresidentUSpresidentUSpresident
US President Donald Trump said he has always competed against Abraham Lincoln.He again attempted to draw comparisons between himself and the iconic 19th-century president, who was born into a poor family.
US President Donald Trump’s daughter and senior adviser, Ivanka Trump compared her father to Winston Churchill at a rally in Ohio ahead of the United States presidential election 2020.Read more at: https://bit.ly/3oVA7Cn
US President Donald Trump issued a statement to support a large group of his supporters who surrounded a campaign bus of Democratic candidate Joe Biden on a highway in Texas.Read more at: https://bit.ly/35Qbe22
US President Donald Trump has warned the governor of Pennsylvania in a thinly-veiled threat on the eve of the election.He said that he and his supporters are watching him.Read more at: https://bit.ly/3jMsdas
The campaign manager for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, Jen O’Malley Dillon said that under no scenario will Donald Trump be declared the victor on election night.Read more at: https://bit.ly/34TXOTz