Siegfried Fischbacher of magician duo 'Siegfried and Roy' dies at 81
SAN FRANCISCO - Siegfried Fischbacher, the surviving member of German entertainment duo "Siegfried and Roy," has died at the age of 81, his sister confirmed to dpa on Thursday.
Fischbacher, originally from the city of Rosenheim in south-east Germany, became famous for his appearances with white tigers and lions alongside his partner Roy Horn.
"He was at home in Las Vegas," Fischbacher's sister said, adding that she had called him on the phone. "I was able to pray with him and tell him that I would always be with him in my heart."
Fischbacher had suffered from cancer.
His partner Horn died after falling ill with Covid-19 in May 2020.
Born on June 13, 1939, Fischbacher began learning magic tricks as a boy.
He later found work entertaining passengers on the TS Bremen ship, where he met animal trainer Horn.
In 1967, the duo went to Las Vegas. In 1988, they inked a million-dollar deal to perform at the Mirage Hotel in the casino city.
During their 14-year run at the hotel from 1989, they became world renowned.
The duo's career ended in 2003, when Horn was attacked by his tiger Mantecore during a performance, causing severe injuries from which he never fully recovered. - dpa
John Bolton can move forward with discovery in book lawsuit
WASHINGTON - Former national security adviser John Bolton can seek documents and interview witnesses as he fights a government lawsuit claiming the publication of his memoir violated nondisclosure agreements, a federal judge in Washington ruled.
U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth on Thursday rejected the government’s request for an immediate judgment, and said Bolton can try to collect evidence that the Trump administration acted in bad faith during the pre-publication review of his book, “The Room Where it Happened.”
“Because Bolton argues that the government acted inequitably, the court must be satisfied that the government has clean hands before it can impose a constructive trust,” Lamberth wrote. “For Bolton to support that argument, he must be allowed limited discovery.”
The Justice Department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The legal dispute over “The Room Where It Happened” began in June, when the government sought to block publication, claiming the book’s release would endanger national security. Lamberth allowed Bolton’s book to be released, partly because excerpts had begun to appear in newspapers.
But the government pursued its lawsuit to seize Bolton’s profits. The U.S. said Bolton was required to receive written confirmation that the book was free of classified information before publishing it. Bolton submitted the memoir for a security review but went ahead with publication without formal approval, arguing that the U.S. was dragging its feet to prevent embarrassing revelations about the president.
Bolton’s lawyer, Charles Cooper, has argued that neither of the two nondisclosure agreements that his client signed required him to receive written approval to publish the memoir, or even to submit the manuscript for review in the first place. - Bloomberg News
Democrats launch ads aimed at Republicans who opposed impeachment
WASHINGTON - Democrats are singling out Republican House members from seven districts that voted for President-elect Joe Biden in November in an early round of digital attack ads focused on their votes against impeachment on Wednesday.
The ads feature grayscale images of the Jan. 6 riots on the Capitol superimposed with text accusing the members, who are named, of voting “with the mob,” “against accountability” and of giving “Trump another chance to incite violence.”
The “four-figure” digital ad buy from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee means the campaign arm of House Democrats has already started the 2022 campaign. At the same point ahead of the 2018 midterms, the DCCC waited until March to start advertising. The subject chosen also indicates Democrats see impeachment as a particularly salient issue as they fight to retain control of the House.
“President Trump incited a QAnon mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol and left five Americans dead, including a police officer who was murdered. And now, after promoting the very same conspiracy theories that incited this mob, the vast majority of House Republicans caved to President (Donald) Trump, handing him yet another chance to incite violence against Americans he sees as the enemy, instead of supporting bipartisan articles of impeachment,” said DCCC spokesperson Cole Leiter. “This is not only wrong and un-American, but it will cost these representatives their jobs in 2020.”
The ads, aimed at websites and social media platforms, will run in English and Spanish. The members targeted include three in California seats Democrats lost in 2020 - Reps. Mike Garcia, Young Kim and Michelle Steel - as well Reps. Maria Elvira Salazar, who flipped a seat in Florida, and Beth Van Duyne, who won an open seat. Also on the list are two veteran members the DCCC has tried and failed to defeat previously, Don Bacon of Nebraska and Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania. - CQ-Roll Call
Mealworms are safe to eat, EU agency says
A European Union nutrition panel has affirmed the safety of snacking on yellow mealworms, saying the protein-rich creepy crawlies do not appear to pack an alarming level of toxicity.
The European Safety Authority laid down the judgement on the insects in a 29-page scientific opinion adopted in November and published Wednesday.
The panel noted that the worms may produce allergic reactions in some people. Still, it endorsed the food for consumption both in whole-form and as an ingredient, saying in the opinion that yellow mealworms are “safe under the proposed uses and use levels.”
Mealworms have tubelike bodies and a mild taste that has been compared to pumpkin seeds. The decision could clear the runway for approval of new insect-flecked snacks in Europe. - New York Daily News