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6:20 PM ET, February 21, 2021

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 Top Items: 
BuzzFeed News:
“Mark Changed The Rules”: How Facebook Went Easy On Alex Jones And Other Right-Wing Figures  —  In April 2019, Facebook was preparing to ban one of the internet's most notorious spreaders of misinformation and hate, Infowars founder Alex Jones.  Then CEO Mark Zuckerberg personally intervened.
USA Today:
Exclusive: Defeated and impeached, Trump still commands the loyalty of the GOP's voters  —  If there's a civil war in the Republican Party, the voters who backed Donald Trump in November's election are ready to choose sides.  —  Behind Trump.  —  An exclusive Suffolk University/USA TODAY …
RELATED:
Dante Chinni / NBC News:
The GOP is rapidly becoming the blue-collar party.  Here's what that means for future.  —  WASHINGTON — The exit of Donald Trump has brought a more normal rhythm to back to politics in Washington, but outside the Beltway deeper forces are reshaping partisan landscape.
Discussion: New York Magazine
Katelyn Polantz / CNN:
Oath Keeper claims she was VIP security at Trump rally before riot and says she met with Secret Service agents  —  (CNN)A leader in an alleged Oath Keepers conspiracy in the US Capitol insurrection claims she was given a VIP pass to the pro-Trump rally on January 6, had met with Secret Service agents …
Julie Bosman / New York Times:
A Ripple Effect of Loss: U.S. Covid Deaths Approach 500,000  —  CHICAGO — A nation numbed by misery and loss is confronting a number that still has the power to shock: 500,000.  —  Roughly one year since the first known death by the coronavirus in the United States, an unfathomable toll is nearing …
RELATED:
Washington Post:
500,000 dead, a number almost too large to grasp  —  Here are three ways to visualize the monstrous death toll of the coronavirus in this country  —  A year ago, covid-19 had killed just a handful of people in the United States.  Now, the pandemic's official death toll equals the size of a major city …
Discussion: Politico and Mother Jones
Ben Smith / New York Times:
How Investigative Journalism Flourished in Hostile Russia  —  A new wave of news outlets has used conventional, and unconventional, methods to pierce the veil of Putin's power.  —  The Russian language has introduced a few words that in recent years have been widely used and misused in English: disinformation, kompromat, Novichok.
Discussion: The Week
BBC:
How Trump offered Kim a ride on Air Force One  —  President Trump's meetings with Kim Jong-un were among the most eye-catching moments of his presidency.  —  In the third and final episode of a new BBC series Trump Takes On the World, directed by Tim Stirzaker, we discover new details …
Discussion: Mediaite
Nina Golgowski / HuffPost:
Merrick Garland Vows To Oversee Prosecution Of Capitol Rioters As Attorney General  —  President Joe Biden's nominee puts a bull's-eye on white supremacists and upholding the rule of law in his confirmation hearing prepared testimony.  —  Judge Merrick Garland plans to tell senators on Monday …
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Patrick Semansky / ABC News:
‘This Week’ Transcript 2-21-21: Jen Psaki, Rep. Steve Scalise  —  This is a rush transcript of “This Week” airing Sunday, February 21.  —  Catch up on the developing stories making headlines.  —  A rush transcript of “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” airing on Sunday, February 21, 2021 on ABC News is below.
RELATED:
Ronn Blitzer / Fox News:
Pence declined CPAC invitation: source  —  Trump is expected to address the conference Feb. 28  —  Trump to speak at CPAC in first public appearance since leaving office  —  Former Vice President Mike Pence has declined an invitation to attend this year's Conservative Political Action Conference, Fox News has learned.
Tampa Bay Times:
Pro-Trump Miami doctor charged with hate crime for attacking Hispanic man  —  Angered when he asked her to socially distance at a Publix, she followed him out, called him racial slurs, keyed his vehicle and punched him, police said.  —  HIALEAH — A Mount Sinai Medical Center anesthesiologist …
Discussion: Raw Story
E.J. Dionne / Washington Post:
We can't let the gun imperialists win again  —  In a quieter time, what President Biden said on Feb. 14 about his hopes for combating the scourge of violence in our country might have been much bigger news.  —  “Today,” Biden said in a statement marking the third anniversary of the shootings …
Will Bunch / The Philadelphia Inquirer:
How Biden got it wrong about Penn, the Ivies, student debt, and America's ‘college problem’ |  Will Bunch  —  A generation ago, when Bill Clinton wanted to prove to Middle America that he wasn't a cartoon leftist, he publicly bashed a previously obscure Black woman hip-hop artist named Sista Souljah.
Scarlet Howes / Daily Mail:
Now even The Muppets are branded racist: Disney slaps popular show with an alert about ‘offensive content’ and it can only be seen on an adult account  — Disney's streaming service puts ‘offensive content’ alert on The Muppet Show  — The show can only be seen on an adult account after Disney released five series
Discussion: TheBlaze, IJR, Breitbart and New York Post
Daniel Arkin / NBC News:
U.S. reaches 500,000 deaths from the coronavirus  —  The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus topped 500,000 on Sunday,according to an NBC News tally — a milestone that underscores the grave threat the virus still poses nationwide even as more Americans get vaccinated.
Discussion: NBC 6 South Florida
Washington Post:
As Biden seeks end to Yemen war, rebels press offensive for strategic province  —  SANAA, Yemen — The shells started landing inside Hussein Ali Wuhaish's refugee camp days after the Biden administration ended U.S. support for a Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen and took steps to lift sanctions on northern rebels.
Lucas Manfredi / Fox News:
Dr. Fauci: It's ‘possible’ Americans may still be wearing face masks in 2022  —  Fauci believes that, by the end of the year, the United States could have “a significant degree of normality beyond what the terrible burden that all of us have been through over the last year.”
Jonathan Martin / New York Times:
How Democrats Are Already Maneuvering to Shape Biden's First Supreme Court Pick  —  The president's promise to nominate a Black woman to the court has set off efforts to champion candidates and convince the White House to forego the usual elite credentials.  —  WASHINGTON — After meeting …
Discussion: Raw Story, The Week and CNN
Melissa Quinn / CBS News:
Sullivan says Biden ready for Iran talks, vows “seen and unseen” response to SolarWinds hack  —  Washington — White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Sunday that the U.S. has begun to communicate with Tehran about Americans who are being held hostage in Iran and said President Biden is …
Discussion: The Guardian, NPR and New York Post
RELATED:
Reuters:   Analysis: Road to renewed Iran nuclear deal likely to be long and bumpy
Los Angeles Times:
Golden Globes voters in tumult: Members accuse Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. of self-dealing, ethical lapses  —  It appeared to be a moment of triumph in the long, tumultuous story of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.  —  In November, a federal judge sided with the HFPA — the tiny …
Discussion: Variety
David J. Lynch / Washington Post:
U.S. economy may have its best chance in years to break from era of subpar growth  —  Skeptics warn too much spending could ignite long-dormant inflation  —  As increasingly widespread covid-19 vaccinations signal a possible return to normal life, the United States is moving toward …
Discussion: Kevin Drum
RELATED:
John Harwood / CNN:   Biden faces the $1.9 trillion question: Is it too much?
 
 
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 More Items: 
CNN:
Black women's roles in the civil rights movement have been understated — but that's changing
Reuters:
Texas freeze led to release of tons of air pollutants as refineries shut
Discussion: The Hill
The Hill:
Biden seems set to pick fight over Rahm Emanuel
Discussion: BizPac Review
Anne Applebaum / The Atlantic:
A Real Place Deserves Real Rights
Monica Medina / USA Today:
Texas winter storms: Repeated climate disasters do not have to be our destiny
Jonathan Cohn / HuffPost:
What Democrats Can Learn From Obamacare, According To Barack Obama
Discussion: Politico and Amazon.com
Matthew S. Schwartz / NPR:
Ocasio-Cortez Fundraising Drive For Texas Relief Raises $4 Million
Discussion: Mother Jones, TheGrio, Insider and HotAir
 Earlier Items: 
Christian Schneider / The Bulwark:
Will ‘Almond Milk’ and ‘Plant-Based Meat’ Exist Under a Biden FDA?
Nick Robins-Early / HuffPost:
Michael Flynn's Wild Ride Into The Heart Of QAnon
Discussion: Digby's Hullabaloo and Raw Story
Jazz Shaw / HotAir:
Nuclear Power In Texas Mostly Stayed Online During The Blackouts
Josh Siegel / Washington Examiner:
‘China is going to play them’: Trump energy secretary says Biden plan won't work
Discussion: Politico and Washington Post
American Greatness:
No Proof January 6 Was an ‘Armed Insurrection’
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit