Udall Leads Short List of Candidates for Biden’s Interior Secretary

(Bloomberg) — Retiring Senator Tom Udall is leading a short list of candidates to run the Interior Department if Joe Biden wins the presidency next month — a role that would put him to work in a building named for his father.

Udall, a New Mexico Democrat, is a top contender to be Biden’s secretary of the Interior and would consider the role if asked, according to people familiar with the matter who sought anonymity to discuss the personnel search.

Tom Udall wearing a suit and tie: Senate Passes Measure To Limit Trump On Iran That Faces Veto

© Bloomberg
Senate Passes Measure To Limit Trump On Iran That Faces Veto

Senator Tom Udall

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

“It’s hard to find someone who’s been a bigger champion of public lands than Tom Udall, whether you’re talking about in his state, New Mexico, or nationwide, advocating for the Arctic refuge and fighting climate change,” said Athan Manuel, director of the Sierra Club’s land protection program. “It’s in his genes.”

Representative Deb Haaland, another Democrat from New Mexico, and Representative Raul Grijalva, a Democrat from Arizona who leads the House Natural Resources Committee, also have won praise from environmental groups and been recommended to head the Interior Department.

The agency acts as the nation’s landlord, overseeing grazing, recreation, energy development and other activities on about a fifth of the U.S. The department also is in charge of the national park system and regulates energy development in coastal waters, including offshore wind farms and drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

Tom Udall’s father, Stewart Udall, was Interior secretary from 1961 to 1969 and is credited with a major expansion in federal land protection, including the creation of dozens of wildlife refuges, national parks and recreation areas. He died in 2010, and the agency’s headquarters building in Washington was named for him three months later.

Under President Donald Trump, the Interior Department has encouraged mining and drilling for oil and gas on federal real estate, while creating new hunting and fishing opportunities at wildlife refuges and hatcheries. Under Biden, the department would take a sharp left turn, pivoting to focus aggressively on conservation while clamping down on drilling.

“If we’re going to save the human species and save animal species, we need to take dramatic action,” Udall said Monday, during an online event environmental groups organized to celebrate the lawmaker’s legacy.

Udall spokesman Ned Adriance declined to answer questions about the senator’s potential role as Interior secretary. “Right now, Senator Udall is focused on a strong finish to his Senate term, and he’s also working hard to help the Biden-Harris ticket win New Mexico, win the West and win the election,” Adriance said.

Udall has laid out plans to enlist federal lands in the fight against climate change — transforming the territory into uninterrupted habitat for vulnerable species and a sponge for carbon dioxide instead of a prime U.S. source of fossil fuels and the greenhouse gas emissions that come from burning them.

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IKEA Shopping List During Covid: Work Desks and Kitchen Gear

IKEA reported a drop in annual sales blaming store closures early in the coronavirus pandemic but said consumers have flocked to its stores since lockdowns lifted to buy desks, chairs and kitchens.

About 75% of the furniture retailer’s stores were closed for between seven to 10 weeks because of coronavirus lockdowns. That resulted in visits to IKEA stores falling nearly 16% for its fiscal year, and lower revenue from its restaurants, which typically make up about 5% of sales.

Overall, Ingka Group—the largest IKEA franchisee and operator—on Tuesday reported sales of €35.2 billion, equivalent to $41.5 billion, for the 12 months to Aug. 31, down from €36.7 billion a year earlier. It didn’t disclose profit figures.

Chief Executive Jesper Brodin said in an interview that consumption trends around the world had been similar through the pandemic. Early on, shoppers bought desks, office chairs and cooking equipment. Interest then moved toward home organization items such as shelving and baskets. Demand for kitchens was also high, with people taking advantage of time at home to install them.

IKEA said online sales make up 18% of the company’s overall revenue. A company’s store in Shanghai in July.


alex plavevski/EPA/Shutterstock

“Lately, we see a lot of interest in beautification,” said Mr. Brodin. “A lot of people are taking the opportunity to update their homes.”

The comments echo those from rival

Home Depot Inc.,

which in August posted its strongest quarterly sales growth in nearly 20 years, saying the home had never been more important to consumers than during the pandemic.

IKEA said online sales grew 60% and now make up 18% of the company’s overall revenue, up from 11% a year ago.

To meet surging online demand, IKEA repurposed its stores to act as fulfillment centers, rolled out click-and-collect at new locations and offered drive-through collection.

It also acquired Geomagical Labs, a startup whose imaging technology allows consumers to decorate and furnish 3-D representations of their homes. In China, IKEA began making its products available on

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

’s Tmall online marketplace—the first time they were sold on a third-party online platform.

Analysts and economists are paying close attention to monthly retail sales numbers as a way to gauge how the economy may be recovering from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: Kathy Willens/Associated Press. (Originally Published June 16, 2020)

IKEA said it had benefited from efforts under way before the pandemic to make its products more accessible to people living far away from its stores or who may not have the means to travel to them. Those include opening smaller, city-center stores and investing in improving its online delivery and click-and-collect services. Mr. Brodin said such efforts “suddenly became a survival line” once Covid-19 hit.

However, IKEA ran into trouble in the U.S., where online customers complained of struggling to place, track and receive orders. The company also said it had been caught off guard by level of demand, resulting in some products being temporarily unavailable.

In response, IKEA

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Ex-Belarusian presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya placed on ‘wanted’ list in Russia, under Union State treaty with Minsk

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the main opposition candidate in Belarus’ disputed August presidential election, has been placed on the interstate wanted list by Russia’s Interior Ministry. The move follows a request by police in Minsk.

The database on the ministry’s website says that Tikhanovskaya is wanted as part of a criminal case. However it doesn’t specify which article of the criminal code she’s suspected of violating, or the precise crime she’s accused of in her homeland. 

A police source told Moscow news agency TASS that Tikhanovskaya is facing criminal charges in Belarus, but Russian law enforcement is also obliged to look for her, as this is how the interstate wanted list works. They allow for the arrest and extradition of suspects among the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) members, which includes Russia, Belarus, and seven other former Soviet republics.

The Belarusian Investigative Committee has launched a criminal case against Tikhanovskaya over her calls for a seizure of power, which carries a penalty of up to five years in prison. It began after the 38-year-old initiated the creation of an opposition coordination council, tasked with transferring authority in the country to her from President Alexander Lukashenko.

According to official results, Tikhanovskaya secured ten percent of the vote in the Belarusian presidential election on August 9, which was overwhelmingly won by the country’s longtime leader, Alexander Lukashenko, according to the disputed official count.

The opposition refused to accept the results of the vote, insisting that it was rigged by the government.

Belarus has been gripped by protests since then, with thousands taking to the streets every weekend demanding Lukashenko’s resignation and calling for a new election.  

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Tikhanovskaya, who claims that she’s the rightful president, fled the country for Lithuania several days after the vote over fears of persecution by the authorities in Minsk.

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White House grinds to a halt as Trump’s press chief joins Covid-infected list

Donald Trump’s top spokesperson, Kayleigh McEnany, announced she had tested positive for coronavirus on Monday, in yet another escalation of a rampaging outbreak that hospitalized the president and threw the White House into disarray – even as Trump announced he was leaving hospital.

a woman talking on a cell phone: Photograph: Joshua Roberts/Reuters

© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Joshua Roberts/Reuters

Related: White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tests positive for coronavirus – live

With the pandemic surging, the economy foundering and the election fast approaching, operations at the White House appeared to grind to a halt, with senior staff complaining anonymously to reporters they had been kept in the dark about the president’s condition and given no instruction about how to stay safe as more than a dozen colleagues and recent visitors announced they had Covid-19.

Kayleigh McEnany on Friday at the White House. No internal communications detailing precautions staff should take had been issued, a senior aide told Axios.

© Photograph: Joshua Roberts/Reuters
Kayleigh McEnany on Friday at the White House. No internal communications detailing precautions staff should take had been issued, a senior aide told Axios.

The state of Trump’s health was muddled by mixed messages from his doctors and top aides – and by erratic moves by Trump himself, who left the hospital for a brief car ride on Sunday night and on Monday morning cut loose a string of all-caps campaign-related tweets.

However, early Monday afternoon, just as a fresh medical briefing on the president was awaited and amid growing speculation, Trump tweeted that he would leave the hospital that evening, at 6.30pm.

He simultaneously downplayed once again the seriousness of the disease, having received himself the best care available anywhere, by saying : “Feeling really good! Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life.”

Trump was admitted Friday evening and had reportedly demanded to be released on Sunday, but was assuaged with the controversial ride in an armored SUV to greet supporters outside the hospital.

Citing an anonymous source, Vanity Fair magazine reported on Monday that Donald Trump Jr was worried by his father’s behavior and had sought help from his siblings in “staging an intervention”.

Depending on when he contracted the virus, it seemed Trump had not yet emerged from the window when he is likely to be infectious. It was unclear how his return to the White House could impact the escalating health crisis there.

No internal communications detailing precautions staff should take had been issued, a senior White House official told Axios. It’s “ridiculous,” the official said. “A bunch of us are talking about it and just gonna make the calls on our own.”

Video: Kayleigh McEnany tests positive for COVID-19 (Reuters)

Kayleigh McEnany tests positive for COVID-19



Democrats condemned the White House’s handling of the outbreak – and

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SJC: Newton home contractor who is Level 3 sex offender does not have to list clients’ addresses

“The defendant … is not an employee but an independent contractor, and publishing his clients’ addresses as though his clients were his employers would mischaracterize the relationship,” Gants wrote.

The SJC ruling was sought by Francis X. Harding Jr. a self-employed home contractor whom the Sex Offender Registry Board has classified as a Level 3 sex offender, the most likely to reoffend.

According to the SJC, Harding pleaded guilty in 2015 to charges of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 and possession of child pornography and was sentenced to five years of probation among other sanctions in Fall River District Court.

He was required to register as a sex offender and in the years since has listed his Newton home — where he has a workshop — as both his work and home address with the board, the SJC said.

The self-employed contractor has also regularly shared detailed invoices about the homes or businesses where he had worked with probation officers and was considered to be in compliance with his sentence, the SJC said.

But in March 2018, a Revere police officer spotted Harding at a shopping plaza where the officer was conducting a drug investigation, stopped him, and learned he was working at a house in Lynn repairing gutters, the SJC said.

Lynn police confirmed the information and also confirmed an infant child lived there – Harding was barred from working “with’ children under his sentence – leading District Court Judge Cynthia M. Brackett to find that Harding violated his probation.

Harding appealed, drawing support from the Committee for Public Counsel Services and the non-profit Massachusetts Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers.

They jointly argued sex offenders already face major problems getting work and the public disclosure would drive drive away potential customers. Steady employment, they argued, has been proven to reduce recidivism among sex offenders, citing several studies, including one that showed 54 percent of unemployed sex offenders in Indiana committed new crimes.

But Bristol District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III, whose office prosecuted Harding, wrote in court papers that the major focus of the law was to protect children. Prosecutors said that the Lynn family did not know Harding was a registered sex offender and that he was on site for 30 days.

“The entire purpose that registration serves [is] ensuring that authorities know where sex offenders live and work so they can monitor the offenders to prevent recidivism and protect the public, particularly where children are at risk,” prosecutors said.

Gants, who died last month, wrote that Harding had twice been hired by the Lynn homeowners and the second employment took place after they had a child. .

Gants wrote that the sex offender registry law requires offenders to notify local police and the board they have a new employer 10 days before they start work and in those cases where a homeowner needs help right away, the offender could lose the contract.

“We will not infer that the Legislature intended to

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White House gave New Jersey officials list of 206 people at Trump’s Thursday fundraiser events

The White House provided New Jersey health officials with a list of at least 206 people who attended President Trump’s fundraiser events in Bedminster, N.J., last Thursday, officials said on Sunday.

a man standing in front of a tree: White House gave New Jersey officials list of 206 people at Trump's Thursday fundraiser events

© Getty Images
White House gave New Jersey officials list of 206 people at Trump’s Thursday fundraiser events

The New Jersey Department of Health said in a joint statement with the Somerset County Department of Health that it reached out to all of the individuals who attended the events hours before the president tested positive for COVID-19.

The agencies said they received the list from the White House and the management of the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster.

The state health department made attendees “aware of possible exposure and recommend that they self-monitor for symptoms and quarantine if they were in close contact with the President and his staff.”

County health officials are conducting interviews with staff members at the golf club and analyzing how much contact each had with the president and his staff and “providing public health recommendations accordingly.”

The statement notes that contact tracing is “ongoing,” and the majority of the club’s staff lives within Somerset County. New Jersey officials said they were told the federal government is also conducting contact tracing.

Video: Dr. Ashish Jha: ‘Would not recommend’ gathering of senators for SCOTUS confirmation right now (MSNBC)

Dr. Ashish Jha: ‘Would not recommend’ gathering of senators for SCOTUS confirmation right now



The state and county health officials recommended attendees who want to get tested wait at least five to seven days after Thursday.

“While the risk is low, a negative test earlier than that time cannot definitively rule out that COVID-19 will not develop,” the joint statement said.

But officials called on those “who are concerned that they were in close contact should quarantine for 14 days.”

A list provided to The Washington Post on Saturday by the Republican National Committee (RNC) included 207 attendees at Trump’s golf club, with about two dozen in a small roundtable inside with the president. Several of the small roundtable members took pictures with Trump.

The RNC distributed an email to attendees saying they should contact their doctors “if you or any of your loved ones

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Love Your Wildlife Garden – what time is it on TV? Episode 4 Series 1 cast list and preview.


Alan Titchmarsh revisits some of his favourite wildlife friendly gardens created by the Love Your Garden team. The programme features a garden packed with wildlife interest, a project that brought the nature reserve to the doorstep, and a complete wildlife transformation for the patients and staff at a hospice.

Cast & Crew

Alan Titchmarsh

Executive Producer
Matt Young

Series Producer
Colin Lennox


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Garden Rescue – what time is it on TV? Episode 29 Series 5 cast list and preview.

BBC drops Garden Rescue from today’s schedule for BBC News Special ahead of coronavirus daily briefing

The BBC News Special will air from 3:45pm

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White House says Biden needs to release Supreme Court list

Joe Biden needs to release his Supreme Court nominee list so voters can know who he would pick to fill the vacancy left by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany argued Saturday.

“The former vice president, in all due respect, instead of telling the current president what to do, he needs to tell voters where he stands,” McEnany told “Fox & Friends Weekend,” adding, “We don’t know who is on his Supreme Court list. We don’t know what kind of justices he would nominate.”

She honored Ginsburg, 87, who passed away on Friday from complications surrounding metastatic pancreatic cancer, saying she “paved the way and made a place in American history that will never be forgotten.”


President Trump tweeted that Republicans have an “obligation” to fill the Supreme Court seat “without delay!” after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., just hours after Ginsburg’s passing, vowed that a Trump nominee to the Supreme Court to fill her vacancy “will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”

Trump’s list includes Daniel Cameron, the Kentucky attorney general who recently spoke at the Republican Convention, as well as Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Josh Hawley of Missouri.

Biden said Friday that the winner of November’s presidential election should be the person to nominate a successor to Ginsburg.


“There is no doubt, let me be clear, that the voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider,” Biden emphasized as he spoke to reporters Friday night.

“We know very squarely this president’s been very transparent putting forward two lists as to exactly not just what his justices would look like but what their names would be,” McEnany said of Trump’s decision to release his list earlier this month.


“This is paramount importance to the American voters,” she added. “This is now a lynchpin issue of this election and Joe Biden, you know, where do you stand? What do your justices look like? Do they believe in the Constitution and abide by the Constitution. Do they believe in the plain words a statute? He needs to answer those questions before telling President Trump exactly how to move forward.”

Biden has previously stated that he will pick an African American woman but does not want to release any names until they’ve been properly vetted.


McEnany said Trump’s Supreme Court pick will not be based on race or gender, saying, “principles are at the heart of who the president chooses.”

“This is a lifetime appointment,” she concluded. “These are issues that hit at the very core of our liberties, like the Second Amendment, like the right to life, the First Amendment, freedom

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White House finalizing list of Trump Supreme Court picks

Washington — The White House is finalizing President Trump’s updated list of potential nominees to the Supreme Court, with the slate of contenders expected to be announced in the coming days, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Tuesday.

“We’ve been working very closely, the president has, with the White House general counsel, getting input from a number of others, and so I’m excited about the list,” Meadows told reporters at the White House. “The president will be signing off on that in the coming days.”

Meadows said he is “optimistic” the list will be unveiled in the near future.

After the Supreme Court rebuffed his attempt to roll back the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in June, Mr. Trump announced his plans to release a new list of prospective Supreme Court nominees by September 1. The president said that if there is another vacancy on the high court, he would select a candidate only from that list and said “based on decisions being rendered now, this list is more important than ever before.”

But the September 1 deadline has come and gone with no unveiling; Meadows said the Trump administration has been working on a “whole lot of other priorities.”

The president’s decision to make public his potential Supreme Court nominees harkens back to the 2016 presidential election, during which he released an initial list of 11 candidates to fill the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat. His two nominees to the Supreme Court — Justices Neil Gorsuch, who filled Scalia’s seat, and Brett Kavanaugh, who replaced Justice Anthony Kennedy — were on later iterations of the first list.

Mr. Trump’s promise to choose a successor in the mold of Scalia helped mobilize conservative voters and solidify his win over Hillary Clinton. According to CBS News exit polling in 2016, 70% of Americans said appointments to the Supreme Court were the most important or an important factor.

The president’s judicial appointments have been one of his most significant accomplishments, with more than 200 of his judges confirmed by the Senate.

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