Liberal Utah activist charged with joining Capitol riot – POLITICO

Trump and some of his closest allies have blamed infiltrators from the left-wing Antifa movement for instigating the violence at the Capitol, despite evidence that the overwhelming bulk of the rioters and protesters were in town to support Trump’s drive to block certification of the election of President-elect Joe Biden.

Trump and his supporters seem certain to seize on Sullivan’s arrest as evidence that the infiltration claim was true. His group claims to oppose police abuse and right-wing violence, while some of his writings echo language used by the anti-fascist movement.

Sullivan claimed in news interviews after the riot that he was documenting the events there as a journalist, but prosecutors contend he was a participant in the violence.

FBI Special Agent Matthew Foulger said in an affidavit supporting the criminal complaint that a series of statements Sullivan made on video encouraged the lawbreaking.

Foulger said that as the crowd rushed the Capitol building, Sullivan declared: “We accomplished this shit. We did this together. Fuck yeah! We are all a part of this history,” and “Let’s burn this shit down.”

The complaint alleges that as rioters sought to break the glass in a set of doors in the Capitol, Sullivan rushed forward and said he could help. “Hey guys, I have a knife. I have a knife. Let me up,” the activist allegedly said.

The FBI appeared to dispute Sullivan’s claim that he was a reporter. Foulger told the court that Sullivan “admitted … that he has no press credentials.”

“The investigation has not revealed any connection between Sullivan and any journalistic organizations,” the FBI agent said.

The federal complaint says Sullivan voluntarily provided the FBI with copies of the video footage he shot that day, much of which was posted online.

The felony charge against Sullivan suggests prosecutors view his case as more serious than most of the scores of other cases filed against alleged rioters. Most who simply surged in with the crowd are charged solely with the two misdemeanors. The civil disorder charge, brought under the 1968 Anti-Riot Act, carries a maximum possible sentence of five years in prison.

Jail records show Sullivan was booked on Thursday into the Tooele County Detention Center outside Salt Lake City. He is set to appear in federal court on Friday afternoon.

Mexico Clears Salvador Cienfuegos, Ex-Defense Minister, in Drug Case – The New York Times

MEXICO CITY — The authorities in Mexico say they will bring no charges against a former top military official who was arrested in the United States last year on drug-trafficking and corruption charges, only to be sent home at the request of the outraged Mexican government.

The former defense minister, Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, had been accused by the U.S. authorities of taking bribes in exchange for protecting drug cartel leaders. He was arrested at the request of the Drug Enforcement Administration in Los Angeles in October.

His complete exoneration in Mexico came as a shocking about-face after the authorities had promised to bring the full weight of the Mexican justice system to bear in the case. In November, the country’s foreign minister said that doing nothing after having demanded the general’s return to Mexico would be “almost suicidal.”

General Cienfuegos was apparently known as “El Padrino,” or The Godfather, by one of Mexico’s most violent drug cartels. Officials said General Cienfuegos directed military operations away from the criminal group in exchange for large sums of cash. But the Justice Department abruptly dropped the case against him in November, and he was allowed to return to Mexico.

Late Thursday night, the Mexican attorney general’s office said in a statement that General Cienfuegos — who served as defense minister in President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration from 2012 to 2018 — “never had any encounter with the members of the criminal organization.”

They also said he had not provided any kind of protection to cartel members and had never received any “illegal income.”

General Cienfuegos, who was never placed under arrest in Mexico despite the evidence presented by U.S. officials, has now been cleared of all charges.

The news is a new blow to U.S. officials, particularly those in the State Department and in Congress, who were stunned by the Justice Department’s decision to free General Cienfuegos and allow him to face justice in Mexico.

Relations between the United States and Mexico over security operations have become increasingly fraught since the general’s arrest. In December, Mexican lawmakers approved legislation to regulate the activities of foreign agents in the country, potentially limiting cooperation with American narcotics officers.

The new law was greeted with immense frustration by U.S. officials, including William P. Barr, then the attorney general, who said in a statement that the bill would make “cooperation between our countries more difficult.”

Mike Vigil, a former chief of international operations at the Drug Enforcement Administration, told The Associated Press that clearing General Cienfuegos “could be the straw that broke the camel’s back as far as U.S.-Mexico cooperation in counter-drug activities.”

Yet General Cienfuegos’s exoneration has also prompted outrage in Mexico, particularly given that the Mexican authorities had vowed to fully investigate the accusations against him.

“The exoneration of Salvador Cienfuegos shows that the armed forces are untouchable,” Denise Dresser, a political analyst and frequent government critic, said on Twitter. “They act above the law.”

The Mexican military is an increasingly central pillar of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s strategy to tackle Mexico’s soaring rates of violence. It serves many other roles, too, including operating airports and distributing the coronavirus vaccine.

Under Mr. López Obrador’s government, which took office in December 2018, military spending has grown by almost 40 percent, according to local media. The defense ministry’s budget has outpaced the total received by eight other federal agencies combined, including the foreign ministry, the interior ministry and the economy ministry.

General Cienfuegos’s arrest had left Mexico’s military particularly incensed, with army officials pressing the government to take action.

Still, at a news conference in November, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said that “it would be very costly” for Mexico to “do nothing” after having asked for the charges against the former defense chief to be dropped and for him to be returned home.

“It would be almost suicidal,” Mr. Ebrard said.

But the fact that General Cienfuegos will face no charges is not altogether surprising in a country where impunity for the well-connected is exceptionally high, even for minor crimes, and where more than 90 percent of homicides go unsolved.

In its statement, the attorney general’s office said that General Cienfuegos was made aware on Jan. 9 of the charges against him by the U.S. authorities, as well as of the results of the Mexican authorities’ own investigation. The general was then allowed to offer evidence in his defense.

Less than a week later, all charges were dropped.

Jets fans react on Twitter to the team hiring Robert Saleh as head coach – CBS Sports

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On Thursday, the New York Jets announced that they had reached an agreement with San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh to be their next head coach. Saleh will replace Adam Gase, who accumulated a dismal 9-23 record in his two seasons at the helm. The Jets won just two games in the 2020 season and own the second overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft this coming April.

The Jets have nowhere to go but up after a 2-14 season and Saleh will certainly have his work cut out for him. It’ll be interesting to see if Saleh elects to continuing trying to develop 2018 first round pick Sam Darnold as the team’s starting quarterback of the future.

However, initial reactions from Twitter show that Jets fans are on board with the team’s hiring of Saleh.

Live Updates: Leaked recording of Dorsey suggests Twitter policy enforcement actions will go beyond Trump ban – Fox News

A leaked recording of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey suggests that the company’s policy enforcement actions will go far beyond banning President Trump

The right-wing guerilla news outlet Project Veritas released a clip on Thursday given to them by a purported Twitter “insider whistleblower” who secretly recorded remarks by Dorsey to staff.

“You should always feel free to express yourself in whatever format manifestation feels right,” Dorsey said in the clip. 


    • Dorsey recently defended Twitter’s decision to permanently suspend President Trump’s account, saying that it was the “right decision.”
    • Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe teased Thursday that more leaks from Twitter may come

“We know we are focused on one account right now, but this is going to be much bigger than just one account, and it’s going to go on for much longer than just this day, this week, and the next few weeks, and go on beyond the inauguration,” Dorsey continued.

Follow below for more updates. Mobile users click here

Indonesia Quake Kills Dozens and Injures Hundreds – The New York Times

A 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck the northwestern coast of Sulawesi island in Indonesia early Friday, killing at least 35 people, destroying houses, flattening a hospital and setting off landslides, disaster officials said.

Rescuers were searching for people trapped in the rubble. More than 600 people were reported to have been injured in the quake, which struck inland between the coastal cities of Mamuju and Majene. No tsunami warning was issued.

“I’m afraid to say how many fatalities,” said Ardiansyah, an emergency response official for West Sulawesi Province, who like many Indonesians uses one name. “We are still evacuating and erecting shelters. Many people are buried under the ruins.”

Darno Majid, head of the West Sulawesi Province disaster mitigation agency, reported Friday afternoon that at least 35 people had died in the quake. Local disaster officials said that most of the fatalities occurred in Mamuju, the larger of the two coastal cities.

Disaster officials said they expected the number of deaths and injuries from the earthquake on Friday to grow as they received information from areas that had been cut off. At least one bridge was destroyed, roads were damaged and communications were limited. The provincial governor’s office in Mamuju was also damaged.

A video released by the Indonesian Disaster Mitigation Agency shows a girl identified only as Angel trapped in the ruins of her family’s home. Only her face is visible through a gap in the rubble. At least three others were trapped in the house with her, officials said.

In the video, she tells rescuers that she can hear the voice of another girl who is trapped nearby and cannot move.

A rescuer asks, “Is she still breathing?”

Angel replies: “Still. But it’s difficult.”

In Mamuju, Mitra Hospital collapsed in the quake. Officials said at least five nurses and patients were trapped inside. The Mamuju government hospital was also heavily damaged, officials said. It was unclear whether anyone had been killed in either hospital.

The flight control tower at Mamuju’s commercial airport was damaged in the quake, and flight control duties were taken over by the air navigation office in Makassar, south of Mamuju.

The authorities warned the public to avoid buildings because of the possibility of another strong earthquake. Thousands of people took refuge in shelters.

Six temblors of magnitude 2.9 and above were recorded in the 12 hours before the major quake struck at 2:28 a.m. local time. Nine aftershocks were recorded in the hours that followed.

Indonesia sits on the so-called Ring of Fire, a line of seismic and volcanic activity that circles much of the Pacific Ocean and is highly susceptible to earthquakes and tsunamis. In 2018, an earthquake on Lombok island killed hundreds, and a quake and tsunami caused by the eruption of the Anak Krakatau volcano killed hundreds more on Java and Sumatra islands.

Muktita Suhartono contributed reporting.

Ariel Pink Goes on Tucker Carlson Show, Says Controversy Over Trump Support ‘Leaves Me Destitute and on the Street’ – Variety

Indie-rock artist Ariel Pink, who came under fire and was dropped by his label after controversy arose over his support for Donald J. Trump, went on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Thursday night to answer the host’s questions about being “stripped of his livelihood,” telling Carlson he is “destitute” as a result of cancel culture.

In response to Carlson’s statement that Pink is “a recording artist who can’t record,” Pink said, “I can’t tour either at this point. So it pretty much leaves me destitute and on the street. I’m sort of overwhelmed right now and I don’t know exactly what to do.”

“You’re taking a huge risk coming on this show,” Carlson said, an implicit acknowledgement that receiving the support of the conservative host may not improve his battered status in his musical community. “Why are you doing it?”

“I don’t have any other recourse,” the singer-songwriter replied. “What am I gonna do? Am I gonna be able to get my statement out in magazines? Right now the narrative is being pushed, and there’s not very many people that are gonna let a counter-narrative enter into the fold. I mean there’s no nuance… I don’t know, man. I don’t know what I’m gonna do,” he said, appearing on the verge of becoming emotional. “I had no choice. There’s nothing else for me to do. I can’t even afford my lawyer right now.”

Pink does still have legal representation, according to a story that appeared earlier Wednesday in Pitchfork, which quoted an attorney for Pink, Thomas Mortimer. The Pitchfork piece was about a L.A. County Superior Court ruling against Pink earlier in the month. involving claims he and an ex-girlfriend — musician and video director Charlotte Ercoli Coe — have made against one another accusing the other of harassment. Pink’s bid to get a restraining order against his ex was denied by the court, which concluded her claims against him were “constitutionally-protected activities.” citing California’s “anti-SLAPP” statute, which is designed to protect against intimidation through frivolous lawsuits. The court also ordered Pink to pay Coe’s legal fees, according to Pitchfork.

Carlson did not bring up Pink’s legal slap-down in the seven-minute interview, nor did he bring up any of the other controversies that have swirled around Pink over the years, maintaining focus on the rocker as a typical musician whose career was destroyed solely as the result of attending the Trump rally on Washington, D,C. Jan. 6.

“When reasonable people like you are destroyed, all of us should take notice,” Carlson said in wrapping up the interview.

The Mexican Summer label did cite “recent events” as a reason for announcing it was dropping Pink from the roster Jan. 9 after a three-year run, although it had been under pressure to do so from some of Pink’s many antagonists in the music community long before the Trump controversy upped the ante, for past comments widely viewed as homophobic and other issues of personal behavior.

“When did you find out that your career had been destroyed?” Carlson asked at the beginning of the sit-down conversation.

“Two days later,” he replied. In the immediate aftermath of Pink receiving heat for attending the rally — but not the Capitol siege that followed — Pink said that “my label had written to inform me that they were getting a lot of heat and a lot of backlash for supporting me, and they reassured me that they were not gonna drop me.”

“They always reassure you first, don’t they?” interjected Carlson with a bitter laugh.

There were no such smiles from Pink. “I didn’t make any apologies,” he said. “I felt like I hadn’t done anything. But these articles obviously placed me at the siege, which I was not at. And of course I don’t advocate for violence at all… I was there for a peaceful rally. That’s all it was to me. but there was no fact checking or anything like that (as) 130 articles went out in the course of 24 hours. And the backlash was just… they succumbed to cancel culture. Twenty-four hours later they wrote back; they texted me telling me that they were going to go public and drop me at that point.”

“So for going to a political rally,” said Carlson, “not participating in violence, not seeing any violence, not even being aware there was any violence — you went to bed in your hotel (while the riot ensued) — for that, your career disappeared in one day. Your livelihood gone.”

“Yeah. No apologies, no support,” Pink said. “I mean, my family has been getting death threats. They don’t even know that I’m here. I had to sneak away because they were so terrified of me coming on TV. Because they’ve been getting (threats) all week… me too. I mean, the hate is just overwhelming. There’s new articles being written. People are so mean.”

Carlson: “You’ve lived in this country all your life. Do you recognize it?”

Pink: “Not at all. I mean, I’m terrified. I mean, this is what I voted against. I didn’t vote so much for Trump as against cancel culture and this environment that’s been blazing for about four years and is about to ramp up and get even worse.”

When Carlson asked Pink what he thought “the purpose” of his being canceled was, Pink responded, “I think it’s desperation and feat that’s driving this whole thing. I think there’s been a very big effort to unseat the president, or at least not let him have four more years — which I think is fair. He lost, and I think he lost fairly. I’m not disputing anything. Biden is perfectly fine with me as president. But I think that they’re still scared of something like that. It seems like they’re sore winners at this point. And people seem to want to kick me down as well, much like they have Trump. Kick us down when we’re down.”

The appearance of a one-time favorite of the indie scene on the top-rated right-leaning show on television was cause for cognitive dissonance for many.

“I definitely had Tucker Carlson pretending to know who Ariel Pink is on my 2021 bingo card,” tweeted Phoebe Bridgers. Wrote A.C. Newman of the group New Pornographers, “Ariel Pink is a guest on Tucker Carlson’s show. Sure, why not… Am I the only person that’s liked Ariel Pink’s music over the last decade, thinking it’s the great work of a disturbed mind? This truly feels ‘on brand’.” Other tweets included remarks like “Ariel Pink on Tucker Carlson used to just be a Cards Against Humanity winning combo; now it’s real,” and “We’re only TWO WEEKS into 2021 and Tucker Carlson is conducting a sit-down interview with Ariel Pink… Safe to say this year will be one massive fever dream.” Also: “The fact that MAGA people have to pretend to like Ariel Pink now is hilarious.”


Pink’s statements to Carlson about the legitimacy of Joe Biden’s election, and his being “fine” with Biden as president, are at odds with contrary statements he made on the Wrong Opinion podcast in late December, which became more widely disseminated as the controversy over his rally attendance grew.

On the podcast, Pink characterized Jan. 20 as “the day of the guillotine” and expressed concern for the state of the country if Trump was not certified as president for a second term, against all odds. “I don’t see how things can go on,” he said then. “I think that Trump being in office right now is the only reason we’re up and running… We’ll never see another one like him (Trump).” He said the Democratic side “did cheat. They’ve been on the path toward acquiring these Dominion systems… in some sort of collaboration with China.”

He also disparaged the intelligence of all Democrats, telling the podcast host that anybody who can “still be a Democrat at this point… to me it’s like all of a sudden all their intelligence just got shown to be a complete farce. All the smarts in the world that they had, all their artistic fucking genius… was just window dressing… Literally everything the Democrats stand for, every single platform, is bullshit. So Trump for me is an indictment on anything bullshit,” He concluded, with some levity: “I’m so gay for Trump, I would let him fuck me in the butt.”

Those comments in and of themselves — along with other remarks Pink made about doubting climate science and COVID vaccines — may not have been cause for dismissal from a label, but Pink had already been under fire for years for earlier remarks in which he compared gay marriage to allowing pedophilia and necrophilia. As far back as 2014, Pitchfork had run an unsigned staff editorial urging fans and musicians to stop indulging Pink after “trollish” behavior.

Pitchfork’s Wednesday account of the latest developments in Pink’s legal proceedings retells the story of how Coe alleged that he “physically and mentally abused [her] during [their] relationship, including the 2017 incident at the San Francisco concert,” where she said he “physically attacked” her on stage. Coe initially called the encounter “having fun” but later claimed she was coerced to say so by Pink, and that it actually constituted “battery”; Pink later apologized for the incident. Coe’s statement to the court that ultimately ruled in her favor cited a “a tumultuous relationship, characterized by a power imbalance” because of their disparity in both fame and age (she was 19 and he was 38 at the time).

Coe acknowledged complaining about Pink to the Mexican Summer label in mid-2020 after learning the label “was adopting a zero tolerance policy toward abuse and harassment.” As part of his attempt to get a restraining order against Coe, Pink provided the court a copy of an email she wrote to his label in July 2020 saying that “he is 10000% a predator.”

In his petition for a restraining order, Pink told the court that Coe had “directly threatened… (and) attempted to blackmail him with false allegations of sexual misconduct to his record label and financial supporters, to the media, including Pitchfork and Variety, and to the general public.” (Variety staffers do not have any recollection of being contacted by Coe or her representatives.)


2021 MacBook Pro will ditch the Touch Bar and bring back MagSafe, say reports – The Verge

Apple is planning a major MacBook Pro redesign for the third quarter of 2021, according to a research note written by TF International Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo and reported on by MacRumors, 9to5Mac, and Apple Insider. Kuo calls it the first major redesign of the MacBook Pro since the introduction of the current generation in 2016. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has followed up with a report corroborating many of the same details.

The new MacBook Pro is said to have squared-off sides like the iPad Pro and the iPhone 12; the current laptop already has sharp edges, but it sounds like the top and bottom panels are going to be flatter than before as well. The new model will reportedly come in 14-inch and 16-inch sizes both featuring Apple-designed Arm processors, with no Intel options. Kuo says the laptops will use a similar heat pipe system to the current 16-inch MacBook Pro, giving more thermal headroom and enabling higher performance. Bloomberg reports that the new models will have “brighter, higher contrast” displays.

Perhaps most notably, Kuo believes the new Pro laptops will backtrack on some of the controversial changes Apple made with the current generation. The OLED Touch Bar, for example, is said to have been replaced altogether by physical function keys. Kuo also says that there’ll be a wider range of ports reducing the need for dongles, though he doesn’t get specific. And a MagSafe magnetic charging connector is also set to return. (It’s not clear whether it’ll have anything in common with the new MagSafe accessory system for the iPhone 12.)

A new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Apple’s M1 processor was just released in November, but that model otherwise had near-identical hardware to the existing Intel version. If Kuo is to be believed — and his track record suggests that he is — the next models could be a huge improvement.

Update, Jan 15th, 2.45PM: Added mention of Bloomberg’s subsequent report.

Samsung is expanding S Pen support to more devices – Engadget

“We are committed to innovating new mobile experiences that flow seamlessly and continuously to make our consumers’ lives easier and better. We’ve made the bold decision to expand the S Pen experience to Galaxy S21 Ultra, and plan to expand the S Pen experience across additional device categories in the future.”

What “additional device categories” means remains to be seen. Samsung smartphone chief TM Roh previously confirmed that the company will bring some of the Note’s “most well-loved features” to other Galaxy devices. Plenty of reports that went around last year point to the Galaxy Fold getting S Pen support in the future, it’s just that non-Note devices won’t feature the same kind of seamless stylus integration. While those rumors said that future Fold devices will support the stylus, they reportedly won’t ship with one. That doesn’t sound so far—fetched, seeing as the S21 Ultra won’t ship with an S Pen either, and you’ll have to either use an old one or purchase the thicker standalone model.