- Associated Press
President Joe Biden's first calls to foreign leaders went to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador at a strained moment for the U.S. relationship with its North American neighbors. Mexico's president said Saturday that Biden told him the U.S. would send $4 billion to help development in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala — nations whose hardships have spawned tides of migration through Mexico toward the United States.
President Vladimir Putin would respond in kind if the new U.S. administration showed willingness to talk, a Kremlin spokesman said on Sunday, while also accusing Washington of meddling in mass protests in support of detained opposition leader Alexei Navalny. The Kremlin also downplayed the scale of Saturday's demonstrations, which saw police detain more than 3,000 people and use force to break up rallies across Russia. Prior to the protests, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow had issued a "Demonstration Alert", warning U.S. citizens to avoid the protests and naming the venues in Russian cities where protesters planned to gather.
- Associated Press
A 34-year-old grizzly bear captured in southwestern Wyoming has been confirmed as the oldest on record in the Yellowstone region, Wyoming wildlife officials said. Grizzly bear 168 was captured last summer after it preyed on calves in the Upper Green River Basin area. Biologists learned of the bear’s longevity after euthanizing the bruin, which had preyed on cattle and then finally, calves.
- NBC News
Samuel Camargo faces four charges including civil disorder, knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority.
New U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, during his first phone call with his Japanese counterpart, reaffirmed America's commitment to Tokyo to defending a group of East China Sea islets claimed by both Japan and China, the Pentagon said. Austin, in talks with Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi, confirmed that Article 5 of the U.S.-Japan security treaty, which stipulates U.S. defence obligations to Japan, covers the uninhabited islands, the Pentagon said in a statement.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), incoming chair of the Senate Budget Committee who caucuses with the Democrats, told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that Democrats plan to push a coronavirus relief package through the chamber with a simple majority vote. Why it matters: "Budget reconciliation" would allow Democrats to forgo the Senate's 60-vote requirement and could potentially speed-up the next relief package for millions of unemployed Americans. Democrats hold the the 50-50 split in the Senate with Vice President Kamala Harris serving as the tie-breaking vote.Support safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.What he's saying: "What we cannot do is wait weeks and weeks and months to go forward. We have got to act now," Sanders said. * "We're going to use reconciliation — that's 50 votes in the Senate, plus the vice president — to pass legislation desperately needed by working families in this country right now." * When asked if he wants a relief bill passed before former President Trump's impeachment trial begins the week of Feb. 8, he said: "We've got to do everything. This is not — you don't have the time to sit around, weeks on impeachment and not get vaccines into the arms of people."Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.
- Associated Press
The Biden administration on Sunday installed new heads of three federally funded international broadcasters after abruptly firing Donald Trump-appointees at the U.S. Agency for Global Media. Kelu Chao, the acting CEO of the agency, made the announcement after dismissing the previous directors of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks late Friday, just a month after they had been named to the posts. Daisy Sindelar will be acting head of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, replacing Ted Lipien until a permanent president is named.
- Business Insider
Barely any time has passed since President Biden's inauguration, and Republicans have already returned to their bag of shenanigans.
- Yahoo News Video
It's a club Donald Trump was never really interested in joining and certainly not so soon: the cadre of former commanders in chief who revere the presidency enough to put aside often bitter political differences and even join together in common cause.
- Associated Press
A federal judge on Sunday blocked the release of a Tennessee man who authorities say carried flexible plastic handcuffs during the riot at the U.S. Capitol earlier this month. U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell for the District of Columbia set aside an order by a judge in Tennessee concerning the release of Eric Munchel of Nashville. After testimony at a detention hearing, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Frensley for the Middle District of Tennessee determined Friday that Munchel wasn’t a flight risk and didn’t pose harm to the public.
- NBC News
Speaking on "Meet the Press," Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., called the impeachment trial "a moot point."
A senior Biden aide says the Trump administration had no plan for vaccine distribution across the US.
Britain's COVID-19 vaccination push gathered pace on Saturday, with 5.9 million people now having had a first dose, but doctors challenged the government over its policy of delaying a second shot of the Pfizer vaccine for up to 12 weeks. Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned on Friday that the new UK variant of COVID-19 may be associated with a higher level of mortality as the country's death tally from COVID-19 nears the 100,000 mark - hitting 97,329 on Saturday. But in a letter to Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England Chris Whitty, the British Medical Association said leaving the 12-week interval for the Pfizer vaccine went against World Health Organization guidance.
- Associated Press
A Federal Aviation Administration employee and QAnon follower from California who had been on the FBI's radar is facing federal charges after he confessed to taking part in the siege of the U.S. Capitol, according to court documents released Friday. Kevin Strong, 44, of Beaumont, surrendered to authorities on Friday and appeared in a federal court in Riverside, where a judge ordered him held on $50,000 bond, said Laura Eimiller, spokeswoman for the FBI in Los Angeles. It wasn't immediately clear whether Strong had raised the bond.
- The Guardian
Florida senator finds familiar discomfort in unfamiliar surrounds of Fox News Sunday as former first daughter circlesTrump plots revenge on betrayers as Senate trial looms Marco Rubio greets Ivanka Trump at the Capitol in Washington, in June 2017. Photograph: Erica Werner/AP The last time Marco Rubio looked this uncomfortable in the national spotlight, he was stuck on robotic repeat in a Republican debate, being pummelled by Chris Christie. Or maybe it was when he lunged for a bottle of water as he sweated his way through a response to Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, back in 2013. Either way, on Sunday morning Florida’s senior Republican senator squirmed again as he was grilled on the possibility of a primary challenge by Ivanka Trump, the ex-president’s oldest daughter, in 2022. “How seriously do you take Ivanka Trump as a potential opponent?” Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace asked, citing speculation over the former “first daughter’s” personal political ambitions following her purchase of property in Miami with her husband, Jared Kushner. “Well, I, I, I don’t really get into the parlour games of Washington,” Rubio replied, clearly wishing his potential challenger was called anything other than Trump. “When you decide to run for re-election in a state like Florida, you have to be prepared for a competitive race, you run it like a competitive race, so that’s what I’m preparing to run, a very competitive race against a tough opponent. “I don’t own the Senate seat, it doesn’t belong to me. If I want to be back in the US Senate I have to earn that every six years.” Rubio uses same line about Obama three times in Republican debate Wallace pressed on, attempting to get the floundering Rubio, who has something of a love-hate relationship with Donald Trump, to at least acknowledge the name of his possible challenger. “I like Ivanka, and we worked very well together on issues, and she’s a US…” Rubio said, trailing off then pivoting swiftly to a list of his perceived successes “for the people of Florida” since he was elected in 2010. The interview ended soon after, a relieved Rubio able to avoid any further reference to his new Miami neighbour. Scholars of Rubio’s previous encounters with Ivanka Trump will have noted this was far from his first moment of awkwardness. In June 2017 he was photographed trying and failing to give her a hug in Washington, the image inevitably going viral. Rubio tried to make light of that episode, promising a full investigation by the Senate intelligence committee into why it was “blowing up Twitter”. Trump defends his manhood after Rubio’s ‘small hands’ comment In 2016, Rubio ran for the Republican presidential nomination ultimately won by Donald Trump. The senator squared up to the property developer, evidently unfamiliar with the old political saw, variously and wrongly attributed to Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain or George Bernard Shaw, about why it is never a good idea to wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty, the saying goes, but the pig likes it. Rubio and Trump ended up exchanging insults about the size of their genitals. Rubio’s last robust primary was an all-round chastening experience. Not only did he fail to make much of a mark but during a campaign event in Iowa, the senator also beaned a small child with a football.
- The Telegraph
A missing Australian man has been found alive after surviving on wild mushrooms and dam water for three weeks. Robert Weber, 58, was last seen on January 6, leaving the Kilkivan Hotel Motel in Queensland in his car with his dog. Search efforts were called off earlier this week, but he was discovered by a local politician and his wife on Sunday morning. Police reported that Mr Weber was safe and well, despite “suffering exposure to the elements”. He had become disorientated in the heat, but managed to stay close to a dam. “He left on foot and became lost and remained at a dam where he survived by sleeping on the ground, drinking dam water and eating mushrooms,” Queensland police said in a statement. Mr Weber ran into trouble when his white Ford Falcon became bogged down on an unfamiliar road. Mr Weber waited in his car for three days, but was forced to abandon the vehicle when water ran out. The car was found by search and rescue teams on January 17, but Mr Weber and his dog had long since moved on. Mr Weber was discovered 3km away from his vehicle by the local MP for Gympie Tony Perrett and his wife, who told the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC): “We'd been past this dam on numerous occasions over the last week and when we saw him there it was just quite extraordinary.” Mr Perrett had decided to continue searching for Mr Weber, despite police calling off the extensive ground and air hunt a few days prior. “He said he was trying to get to Caboolture and he got disorientated … he became lost and didn't know where he was,” Mr Perrett added. Mr Weber became separated from his dog at an unknown point and the canine has yet to be found.
- Associated Press
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said Israel will be closing its international airport to nearly all flights, while Israeli police clashed with ultra-Orthodox protesters in several major cities and the government raced to bring a raging coronavirus outbreak under control. The entry of highly contagious variants of the virus, coupled with poor enforcement of safety rules in ultra-Orthodox communities, has contributed to one of the world's highest rates of infections. It also has threatened to undercut Israel's highly successful campaign to vaccinate its population against the virus.
- NBC News
"I couldn't believe it, it was like an animal. That's the only way I can put it, it was like an animal," the woman said of the assault in Harlem.
- The Week
Trump's pressure on DOJ to sue states over election in Supreme Court reportedly 'got really intense'
Former President Donald Trump, citing unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud, pushed the Justice Department to ask the Supreme Court to invalidate President Biden's electoral victory, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal. "He wanted us, the United States, to sue one or more states directly in the Supreme Court," a former administration official told the Journal. "The pressure got really intense."Ultimately, several Justice Department officials, including former Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and former Attorney General William Barr, reportedly refused to file a case with the high court because there was no legal basis to challenge the election outcome and the federal government "had no legal interest" in whether Trump or Biden won the presidency. White House Counsel Pat Cipollone also reportedly opposed the idea.The strategy appears to have preceded Trump considering ousting Rosen and replacing him with Jeffrey Clark, an ally within the Justice Department, as reported by The New York Times, which later revealed that it was Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) who made Trump aware of Clark's apparent willingness to back his conspiracy theories. Clark has denied being involved with a plan to get rid of Rosen. Read more at The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.More stories from theweek.com 5 scathingly funny cartoons about Biden's COVID-19 push Biden foolishly low-balls America's COVID response 7 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's White House exit
- Associated Press
Four Zimbabwean Cabinet ministers have died of COVID-19, three within the past two weeks, highlighting a resurgence of the disease that is sweeping through this southern African country. President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the coronavirus is reaping a “grim harvest” in the country. Then came the death of the transport minister.