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Sen. Ron Johnson, chair of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, asked Carper if he could unmute himself. When Carper said he had, Johnson chuckled and said “OK, um, we don’t want to be on TV again.”

Carper moved on seemingly unfazed to question DeJoy on his constituents’ concerns about the USPS.

“Like most Americans in 2020, Senator Carper got frustrated with technical difficulties this morning, but that pales in comparison to his frustration with a Postmaster General who’s actively undermining the U.S. Postal Service during a national crisis,” a spokeswoman for Carper said in a statement to POLITICO.

The senator also tweeted later Friday morning: “Those who know me know that there are few things that get me more fired up than protecting the Postal Service!”

The hearing was an opportunity for senators to question DeJoy on a number of changes implemented at the Postal Service that have garnered intense scrutiny in the lead-up to the November presidential election. DeJoy defended his changes to the service, saying it was financially troubled and operating poorly. He rejected the narrative that he was colluding with President Donald Trump to incapacitate the service as an unprecedented number of voters are expected to mail in their ballots amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The hearing had its fair share of tense questioning, but Carper’s mishap instantly stood out as one of its most memorable moments.

Hill reporters and lawmakers alike started tweeting about the incident, bonding over a small moment of comic relief amid an exceptionally tumultuous year.

The Daily Caller tweeted out a video of Carper swearing with a crying-of-laughter emoji.

“2020 mood,” tweeted Vox reporter Aaron Rupar.

Ric Grenell, who served a brief stint as acting director of national intelligence this year, seemed less amused at the moment. He described it as a “profane meltdown on a staffer because he doesn’t know how to unmute his own computer.” Grenell criticized CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins for tweeting “OK I needed that” about Carper’s mishap, saying, “Journalism is dead.”

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), however, quote tweeted Grenell and said: “I have never disagreed with Ric more. That video is holding me together today.”

Former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) tried to refocus the hearing on the issues at hand.

“Blooper aside, Tom Carper knows more about the postal service than any other U S Senator,” she wrote on Twitter.



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Nagorno-Karabakh: The boy who swapped his piano for a gun

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The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan is over, but some families are still waiting for news of their missing relatives.

Bodies are still being counted and identified, and there is no clear information on what has happened to the missing.

Twenty-two-year-old Soghomon was fighting on the Armenian frontline against Azerbaijan. The last time his family heard from him was 1 October.

He was a soldier, but also an artist and a talented piano player.

His father and sister say they can’t give up hope that he will return.

Video by: Sofia Bettiza, Gabriel Chaim and Aren Melikyan

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Afghan car bomb kills at least 40 soldiers

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An attacker detonated an explosive packed vehicle in front of a security base in the Deh Yak district of the province.

According to a statement from the Afghan Ministry of Defense, the attacker was confronted by security forces as he tried to enter the base. No group has claimed responsibility yet.

The blast targeted a compound of the public protection force, a wing of the Afghan security forces, local officials told Reuters. It damaged civilian residences around the compound, and there could be more casualties from there, they said.

Interior ministry spokesman Tariq Arian confirmed that there had been a car bomb blast but did not provide further information on the target or possible casualties.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, when contacted by Reuters, did not confirm or deny responsibility.

Afghanistan has seen a spate of car bombings over the last few months, despite peace talks being under way between negotiation teams of the insurgent Taliban and the government in the Qatari capital of Doha.

Violence in the country, at war for two decades, remains unacceptably high, foreign governments and institutions say, calling for an immediate ceasefire between the Afghan government and Taliban.
Afghan President orders resumption of offensive operations against the Taliban in blow to Trump's deal

Another bombing on Sunday, in the eastern province of Zabul, targeting a top provincial official, killed at least one person and injured 23, said Gul Islam Syaal, the spokesman for the province’s governor.

Haji Ata Jan Haqbayan, head of the provincial council of Zabul, suffered minor injuries in the attack on his convoy.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack on Haqbayan, an outspoken critic of the Taliban.

The Trump administration’s peace deal with the Taliban was dealt a blow in May as the Afghan government announced it was resuming offensive operations against the insurgent group following a spate of deadly terrorist attacks.

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Incoming GOP congresswoman to take aim at AOC with conservative ‘squad’

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Malliotakis, who frequently attacked Ocasio-Cortez during her campaign against Democratic Rep. Max Rose, took aim again at her New York counterpart when asked about the future of the Republican Party.

“I think one of the reasons why we were so motivated to run is seeing the Democratic women being elected in 2018 that don’t necessarily reflect our values, particularly those who are self-described socialists,” Malliotakis said. “I think there’s just a stark contrast between what we’re offering and what people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are offering. And that’s something that needs to be debated in Washington.”

House Republicans more than doubled the number of women in their conference in November, bringing the number to at least 28 from 13. Democrats, who added a record number of women to their ranks during the 2018 election, have at least 89.

A number of House races still remain uncalled, including New York Republican Claudia Tenney’s challenge against Rep. Anthony Brindisi; Tenney’s lead has narrowed significantly to just 13 votes as of Friday.

Malliotakis, who will be the only Republican to represent New York City in Congress, credited House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Liz Cheney for their efforts in recruiting “qualified women who have something to share with the American people” for the gains.

“What we stand for are freedom, liberty. We love this nation. We want to see it prevail. We want to see it remain the land of opportunity, what has, in essence, attracted millions of immigrants from around the world, to pursue that American dream,” Malliontakis said. “Somebody like me, daughter of a Cuban refuge, I want to be there to be a part of the discussion, debate and provide a counterview.”

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