• Worried Democrats rush to slow front-runner Sanders

    HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. - Worried Democrats on Monday intensified their assault against the party's presidential front-runner, Bernie Sanders, as the Vermont senator marched toward South Carolina's weekend primary eyeing a knockout blow.At least three leading candidates, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg and Mike Bloomberg, reinforced their anti-Sanders rhetoric with paid attack ads for the first time. And a new political group was spending big to undermine Sanders' standing with African American voters.“Socialist Bernie Sanders is promising a lot of free stuff,” says a brochure sent to 200,000 black voters in South Carolina by The Big Tent Project, a new organization trying to derail Sanders' candidacy. “Nominating Bernie means we reelect Trump. We can’t afford Bernie Sanders.”The multi-pronged broadside just five days before South Carolina's first-in-the-South primary represents the Democrats' most aggressive attempt to knock Sanders down. It reflects growing concern within his party that the self-described democratic socialist is tightening his grip on the presidential nomination while they fear he's too extreme to defeat President Donald Trump this fall.It also underscores the precarious state of Biden's campaign. The former vice-president has long been viewed as the unquestioned front-runner in South Carolina because of his support from black voters. But as the contest nears, Sanders is also making a strong play here. If he can eat into Biden's base of support, that would raise fundamental questions about the future of Biden's candidacy.Sanders has shifted new staff into the state from Nevada in the last 24 hours, expanded his South Carolina advertising and added events to his schedule.Sanders senior adviser Jeff Weaver said there was an “air of desperation” to the fresh attacks on his candidate.“You’ve got candidates, you’ve got super PACs, all piling on to stop Bernie Sanders,” Weaver said. "They know he has the momentum in the race."Biden still predicted he would win “by plenty” in Saturday's contest, the first with a sizable black population to weigh in.Beyond South Carolina, polls suggest Sanders will perform well when more than a dozen states vote in the March 3 Super Tuesday contests. That's when critics fear Sanders could build an insurmountable delegate lead.Sanders was the focus of Buttigieg's first attack ad of the 2020 campaign. In the ad, which began running Monday as part of the former South Bend mayor's multimillion-dollar South Carolina advertising campaign, Buttigieg highlights Sanders’ call for a government-financed health care system as an example of the Democratic front-runner’s “polarization.”Biden released an online ad accusing Sanders of trying to undermine President Barack Obama's 2012 reelection campaign with a possible primary challenge. Sanders, of course, ultimately did not challenge Obama from the left.“When it comes to building on President Obama's legacy, Bernie Sanders just can't be trusted," the Biden ad says.And Bloomberg released a new ad of his own assailing Sanders' record on gun control, citing the senator's endorsement by the National Rifle Association when he first ran for Congress decades ago.While he once had the NRA's backing, Sanders proudly proclaims his “F” rating from the pro-gun organization now. And just last week, several gun control advocates who survived the Parkland, Florida, school shooting endorsed him.Still, Bloomberg tweeted: “The NRA paved the road to Washington for Bernie Sanders. We deserve a president who is not beholden to the gun lobby.”One candidate who didn't take Sanders on directly Monday: Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Though she shares many of Sanders’ liberal policies and could benefit if he were to stumble, she’s been reluctant to tangle with him throughout the campaign.Some of Warren's supporters say she has to start drawing a sharper contrast with Sanders if she's to break out after middling performances in the first three contests.“She needs to get out tomorrow night and get after him,” said Beth Maass, 79, referring to Tuesday's debate. “She's in the lane with Bernie and only one is going to make it out of the lane.”Sanders may benefit most from the sheer number of candidates still in the race. There are still seven high-profile Democrats fighting among themselves -- and splitting up the anti-Sanders vote -- to emerge as the strongest alternative to him.There was no sign Monday that any of those candidates were close to getting out.Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who finished in a distant fifth or sixth place in Nevada over the weekend, announced plans to launch a $4.2 million ad buy across several Super Tuesday states.Billionaire activist Tom Steyer has yet to spend money on an anti-Sanders campaign, but he went after him by name Monday before more than 100 voters at a breakfast in Hilton Head.Steyer warned, “We can't nominate someone who is going to divide us."There were also new signs Monday that Sanders' emergence as the possible face of the Democratic Party in 2020 could cause problems for vulnerable House and Senate candidates across the country.Republicans working to win back the House majority jumped on comments Sanders made in a CBS News “60 Minutes” segment aired Sunday in which he praised the late Cuban ruler Fidel Castro for establishing what Sanders called a “massive literacy program” when he took power.The House GOP campaign arm called on several House Democrats - including three facing reelection this fall in South Florida - to say if they'd support Sanders should he become the nominee. Members including Rep. Donna Shalala weren't happy.“I'm hoping that in the future, Senator Sanders will take time to speak to some of my constituents before he decides to sing the praises of a murderous tyrant like Fidel Castro,” the first-term Democrat tweeted.Sanders was also in a dispute with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, an establishment group that advocates for strong U.S.-Israel relations. Sanders said he would skip the group's conference because he was concerned about the event giving airtime to “leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights."Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, called that characterization “offensive" and “irresponsible."Rep. Elaine Luria, a Virginia Democrat who is Jewish, issued a statement condemning Sanders' remarks, which she said “contribute to the divisive rhetoric often used when discussing the issue of Israel's right to exist.”Watching the tumult from afar during a trip to India, Trump predicted a long and messy primary season ahead for his rivals.“It could go to the convention, it really could,” Trump said. “They are going to take it away from Crazy Bernie, they are not going to let him win.”He added, “I actually think he would be tougher than most of the other candidates because he is like me, but I have a much bigger base."___EDITORS: This story has been corrected to say that Sanders' dispute is with American Israel Public Affairs Committee, not Anti-Defamation League. It has also been corrected to reflect that The Big Tent Project is not a PAC.___Peoples reported from New York and Barrow reported from Charleston, South Carolina. AP writers Alan Fram in Washington, Elana Schor and Julie Pace in Charleston, Jill Colvin with Trump and Thomas Beaumont in Des Moines, Iowa, contributed.Steve Peoples, Meg Kinnard And Bill Barrow, The Associated Press

  • How Harvey Weinstein's Ex, Georgina Chapman, Has Moved on After Leaving the Disgraced Producer

    How Harvey Weinstein's Ex, Georgina Chapman, Has Moved On

  • Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Urged: ‘Be More Gracious’

    Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are being urged to be “more gracious” about the terms of their departure from the royal family after they issued a bitter and petulant statement over the weekend, following the Queen’s decision that they are to be banned from using the name “Sussex Royal.”“Let’s just hope they feel they have got whatever they want to get out of their system,” insiders told the Daily Mail: “It was their decision to do this and the family is clearly trying their best to facilitate it. But it inevitably requires sacrifices on both sides and the Sussexes need to be rather more gracious about it. Sniping from the sidelines doesn’t help anyone.”Prince Harry and Meghan Go to War With the Royals-and Sabotage ThemselvesThe statement posted by Harry and Meghan appeared to complain of unfair treatment compared to other royals, saying that their trademark applications only mirrored those gained by William and Kate and seemed to reference Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie when it said, “While there is precedent for other titled members of the royal family to seek employment outside of the institution, for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, a 12-month review period has been put in place.”Officials are now reportedly keen for there to be no escalation or “war of words” between family members. Meanwhile, it has been reported that while the Queen has been publicly supportive of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to step down as senior royals, she “generally doesn’t want to talk about it,” according to a source quoted by Vanity Fair.The source said: “The Queen has been keen to get this resolved because she sees it is damaging to the monarchy and on a personal level I think this has been rather hurtful for her. “She has got to the point where she doesn’t want to think about it anymore, she just wants it over and done with.”There will be a series of awkward final public appearances for the couple later this month in the U.K.Harry is due to attend a recording session at the legendary Abbey Road studios in London with Jon Bon Jovi. On March 5, Meghan and Harry are both due to attend the Endeavor Awards in London, on March 6 Harry opens a motor museum, on March 7 the couple are due to attend a London musical gala, on March 8 Meghan is expected to mark International Women’s Day in London and the trip will culminate with the couple joining the royal family at the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey on March 9. It is expected that this uncomfortable family gathering will be the couple’s last outing as senior working members of the royal family. Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

  • Canada prepares pandemic response plan as coronavirus cases continue to climb

    Canada is preparing to respond to a possible pandemic as the number of coronavirus cases continues to climb around the globe.Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam said the global threat posed by the novel coronavirus, which can lead to a respiratory illness called COVID-19, is evolving fast. While the outbreak continues to be contained mostly to the epicentre in Hubei, China, she noted that the virus is spreading now at the community level, person-to-person, in several other countries."These signs are concerning, and they mean that the window of opportunity for containment ... for stopping the global spread of the virus, is closing," Tam told reporters in a teleconference Monday."It also tells countries like Canada, that have been able to manage and detect cases so far, that we have to prepare across governments, across communities, and as families and individuals, in the event of more widespread transmission in our community."The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, but so far hasn't declared it a pandemic.Tam said the trajectory of the coronavirus is unknown at this time and it's possible that cases have occurred in other countries that don't have the proper tools to diagnose and contain it.Canada developed a pandemic response plan in 2009, which would serve as the foundation for any shift in the official response to the current outbreak, she said.The response plan includes accelerating research work here and contributing to international efforts to develop a vaccine abroad. Tam said it also could lead to expanding laboratory testing capabilities and access to diagnostic tools, and taking stock of essential supplies to make sure authorities don't run short. She added that Canada's course of action would be much the same whether the WHO declares a pandemic or not.Containment effortsHealth Minister Patty Hajdu said Monday that a pandemic declaration by the WHO would render travel restrictions meaningless because it would mean that efforts to contain the virus had failed."As the window closes in terms of stopping the global spread, as we watch the WHO assess whether or not this is a full pandemic, obviously our attention turns more toward our domestic preparedness and what Canada can do to make sure our system and structures are ready for a change in our own population," she said.The WHO said today that China has reported 77,362 cases of COVID-19, including 2,618 deaths.Outside China, there are now 2,074 cases in 28 countries, including 10 in Canada, and 23 related deaths.Despite the rising numbers, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said officials are encouraged by the fact that the number of new cases continues to decline in China.The epidemic peaked between Jan. 23 and Feb. 2 and has been steadily declining since, he said.Tedros said a decision on whether to declare a pandemic is based on an ongoing assessment of the geographical spread of the virus, the severity of the disease and its impact on society."For the moment, we are not witnessing the uncontained global spread of this virus, and we are not witnessing large-scale severe disease or death," he said.Pandemic potential"Does this virus have pandemic potential? Absolutely it has. Are we there yet? From our assessment, not yet."Tedros said labelling the outbreak a pandemic could create unnecessary fear.Tam said that the goal now is to slow the spread of the virus, adding it's difficult to stop its spread because more countries are reporting people with no or mild symptoms.Canada has been successful so far in detecting imported cases and preventing person-to-person spread within communities, but is preparing for other scenarios, Tam said.Tam said enhanced border control measures and messaging at airports will be broadened to include warnings to travellers returning from other countries with reported cases of coronavirus.She said international travellers arriving at Canadian airports will be told to self-isolate if they're experiencing flu-like symptoms.Tam said all travellers should take general precautions and plan ahead by, for instance, making sure they have enough medication for a trip.She repeated the standard public health messages encouraging people to wash their hands frequently, cover coughs and sneezes, keep track of federal travel health advice posted online and share travel history with health-care providers in the event of becoming sick.

  • Tallulah Willis Gets Arm Tattoo Removed: 'I Was 20 and Impulsive'

    Tallulah Willis Gets Arm Tattoo Removed: 'I Was 20 and Impulsive'

  • NHL trade grades: Breaking down the best, worst deals from 2020 deadline day

    The 2020 NHL trade deadline day has come and passed, with some notable moves taking place. Sporting News hands out grades to each trade of significance that went down.