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Pence Vows to Back GOP Governors Facing Trump-Approved Challengers

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Former Vice President Mike Pence will reportedly back incumbent GOP governors over challengers endorsed by Donald Trump, potentially furthering the rift between himself and the ex-commander-in-chief.

Pence told a handful of these governors of his support during a private meeting, according to a Wall Street Journal report published on Saturday.

“I want to be clear,” Pence reportedly said. “I’m going to be supporting incumbent Republican governors.”

The article further noted that, despite Trump’s continued popularity among parts of the GOP base, numerous Republican leaders are keeping their distance from the former president following his defeat in the 2020 election and the loss of GOP control of the Senate.

The thinking among the state leaders is that a greater focus on local issues will play out better than fealty to Trump.

mike pence donald trump
Former Vice President Mike Pence will reportedly back incumbent GOP governors over challengers endorsed by Donald Trump, potentially furthering the rift between himself and the ex-commander-in-chief. Above Trump and Pence stand together during a homecoming campaign rally at the BB&T Center on November 26, 2019 in Sunrise, Florida.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Trump has endorsed GOP primary challengers against half of the Republican governors seeking re-election next year. The Journal also noted that several of these leaders have reportedly grown closer over the last few years, supporting each other amid challenges from the former president during governor-only calls.

During this call, per Raw Story, Republican Governor of Maryland Larry Hogan reportedly called Trump’s attacks on incumbent governors “outrageous, unacceptable and bad for the party.” He also called the tactics employed by the former president “Trump cancel culture.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the aisle, a Democratic spokesman said that the simmering conflict between Trump and Republican governors is a good sign for their side.

“These extreme primary challengers are going to push Republican governors further to the right and out of the mainstream,” David Turner, spokesman for the Democratic Governors Association, said, per Raw Story. “The political environment is only going to improve for Democrats.”

Newsweek reached out to representatives for both Pence and Trump for a comment on this story.

The schism between Pence and Trump has reportedly grown in the wake of the Jan. 6 Riots at the U.S. Capitol. The former vice president is said to be “ashamed” of his former running mate, according to former Pence press secretary Alyssa Farah, and might be planning to poach some of Trump’s voting base for a possible 2024 presidential run of his own.

“There’s aspects of the record they did together that I know Pence is proud of, but I know he is ashamed of that [January 6], he is ashamed of how the former president conducted himself,” Farah said.

Trump’s endorsement power saw a successful test recently when Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated Democratic challenger Terry McAuliffe in the Virginia gubernatorial race. Despite the support of Trump, Youngkin’s win would not be a perfect contrast against the situation facing the incumbent GOP governors, as the governor-elect of Virginia notably distanced himself from the former president during his campaign.

Update 11/20/21, 1:03 PM ET: included a reported comment by Gov. Larry Hogan.

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Netflix reveals release date for Vikings: Valhalla, other shows

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There’s a ton of good genre stuff either on right now or about to drop, from The Wheel of Time to The Witcher to The Book of Boba Fett and beyond. And it looks like 2022 will be just as packed. Netflix has unveiled its genre lineup for the new year, and it’s robust.

So what sci-fi, fantasy and history shows are coming to Netflix next year? The biggest news is probably that Vikings: Valhalla — Netflix’s sequel series to History’s Vikings — will premiere on February 25. The announcement also came with some new images:

The reveal was short on other specific release dates, but there were a few, including Archive on January 14, In From The Cold on January 28, and Raising Dion season 2 February 1. As usual, Netflix is very busy.

The Umbrella AcademyStranger ThingsThe Sandman and more are all coming to Netflix in 2022

There were a lot of other shows and movies Netflix confirmed are coming out in 2022 but didn’t give exact premiere dates for, including Magic: The Gathering, Resident Evil, The Sandman, The Umbrella Academy season 3, The Witcher: Blood OriginAlice in Borderlandi season 2, All of Us Are Dead, Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, First KillLocke & Key season 3, Stranger Things season 4 and The Cuphead Show!

A bunch of these came with neat little synopses. For example:

  • The Umbrella Academy season 3: After putting a stop to the 1960s doomsday, the Umbrella Academy returns home to 2019, convinced they have fixed the timeline. But after a brief moment of celebration, they realize things aren’t exactly how they left them… Welcome to the Sparrow Academy.”
  • Stranger Things season 4: “Top-secret government experiments and a dangerous gateway that connects our world to a powerful yet sinister realm? Sounds like Hawkins.”
  • The Sandman: “A rich blend of modern myth and dark fantasy by Neil Gaiman
    (Good Omens, Coraline) that follows the people and places affected by Morpheus, the Dream King, as he mends the cosmic — and human — mistakes he’s made during his vast existence.”
  • Resident Evil: “A live action, scripted series building on Capcom’s legendary video game franchise starring Lance Reddick as Albert Wesker. Nearly three decades after the discovery of the T-virus, an outbreak reveals the Umbrella Corporation’s dark secrets.”
  • Magic: The Gathering: “An all-new animated event series…following the lore of the compelling characters, and fantastic worlds that have entertained and delighted fans for more than 25 years.”
  • Locke & Key season 3: “The Locke family uncovers more magic within Keyhouse, while a new threat – the most dangerous one yet – looms in Matheson with plans of his own for the keys.”

Bring it.

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Donald Trump tested Covid-positive three days before Biden debate, claims ex-chief of staff in book, World News

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Donald Trump’s last chief of staff has claimed that the former US president had tested positive for COVID-19 just three days ahead of his debate with Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden in 2020.

Mark Meadows, who served as Trump’s fourth chief of staff, made the shocking claim in his new memoir called ‘The Chief’s Chief,’ according to media reports that accessed the book.

Explaining how ”Nothing was going to stop [Trump] from going out there,” Meadows said Trump was aware about the norm ”to test negative for the virus within 72 hours of the start time” of the debate, which was held on September 29 last year.

Also read | Social media erupts as Trump gets featured on miniature Mount Rushmore

Yet after receiving confirmation that he had tested positive, Trump went ahead with the debate, potentially endangering several lives. He had called the novel coronavirus, which has claimed millions of lives worldwide, as a ”hoax.”

According to Meadows, ”I didn’t want to take any unnecessary risks. But I also didn’t want to alarm the public if there was nothing to worry about – which according to the new, much more accurate test, there was not.”

Also read | Donald Trump, banned on Twitter and FB, to launch his own social network

Since the positive test was done by an old kit, Trump suggested a new one be performed using the Binax system, hoping that it was a false positive. This proved beneficial as the second test came back negative.

Meadows has also provided the House of Representatives committee investigating the deadly January 6 US Capitol riot with records and agreed to appear soon for a deposition.

“Mr. Meadows has been engaging with the Select Committee through his attorney. He has produced records to the committee and will soon appear for an initial deposition,” Democratic Representative Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House select committee, said in a statement.

Trump has urged his associates not to cooperate with the committee, calling the Democratic-led investigation politically motivated and arguing that his communications are protected by executive privilege, although many legal experts say that legal principle does not apply to former presidents.

On January 6, Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in a bid to prevent Congress from formally certifying his 2020 presidential election loss to Democrat Joe Biden.

Shortly before the riot, Trump gave a speech to his supporters repeating his false claims that the election was stolen from him through widespread voting fraud and urging them to go to the Capitol and “fight like hell” to “stop the steal.”

Meadows was a Republican House member until he left in 2020 to join Trump’s administration.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Half of eligible Lucknowites fully vaccinated against Covid

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Half of the eligible Lucknowites are now fully vaccinated against Covid (taken both doses), says the health department data.

Besides, the state capital crossed the 52-lakh (5.2 million) mark in the total Covid vaccine doses administered since January 16 when the inoculation started nationwide.

Against a target of over 37.4 lakh (3.74 million), the number of Lucknowites who have taken both doses of the Covid vaccine stood at 18.82 lakh (1.88 million) till 7pm on Wednesday.

Till now, 33,35,779 people in Lucknow have got their first dose, which is over 87% of the target population.

During the day, over 18,000 beneficiaries took their second dose in the state capital on Wednesday.

Health officials say they are making efforts to administer at least one dose to all the eligible people by December-end. Several campaigns are being run to motivate people for taking the Covid vaccine jab.

“People are coming on time for their second dose. This is increasing the vaccination coverage in the state capital,” said Dr Manoj Agrawal, the chief medical officer of Lucknow.

He also said, “Apart from running Covid vaccination centres till 10pm, mobile vans facilitate vaccination under the cluster model for those who are unable to move out of their homes.”

“With a major chunk of the eligible population taking their second dose now, we can cross the 90% mark by January,” said Dr Abhishek Shukla, secretary general, association of international doctors.

Lucknow tops all 75 districts in Uttar Pradesh and experts say vaccination coverage in the state capital is essential to check the spread of the Covid infection.

“Lucknow has a major floating population that visits it for a day or two for some work and goes back. If all Lucknowites are vaccinated, they will remain safe and will not spread the infection,” said Dr PK Gupta.

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