New Year's Eve will begin with a bit of morning rain but will be mostly cloudy as 2021 approaches.
- Yahoo News
Early data on the rollout of the vaccines for COVID-19 shows that minority populations in the United States already disproportionately affected by the pandemic are not being immunized at the same rate as white Americans.
- The Week
In an interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Monday afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said his caucus won't allow Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to dictate the agenda in the Democratic-led 50-50 Senate or demand an end to the legislative filibuster as a precondition for a power-sharing pact. "We've told McConnell no on the organizing resolution, and that's that. So there's no negotiations on that," Schumer said, suggesting he had a secret plan. "There are ways to deal with him."Maddow included an update when she broadcast the interview Monday night. "While we were airing that right now, and you were watching it, Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell just put out a statement that he is folding on this" and willl "agree to go forward with what Sen. Schumer told him he must," she said. "Sen. Mitch McConnell has caved and Sen. Schumer has won that fight. That was quick. Let's see what else we can do."> No sooner has the portion of Rachel Maddow's interview with Senator Majority Leader Chuck Schumer aired than Mitch McConnell has put out a statement that he is folding, ending the stand-off. pic.twitter.com/9qR1jpKXkf> > -- Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) January 26, 2021McConnell said he would allow the Senate to move forward because two Democrats had reiterated their opposition to ending the filibuster, effectively taking that option off the table. Maddow asked Schumer about that, too, and he didn't answer directly."The caucus is united with the belief that I have: We must get big, strong, bold things done," Schumer said. The Democratic caucus is also "totally united" that "we will not let Mitch McConnell dictate to us what we will do and not do," and "we have tools that we can use," notably the budget reconciliation process," he added. "We will come together as a caucus and figure it out."> "We will not let Mitch McConnell dictate to us what we will do and not do." Here's Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer earlier in his interview with Rachel Maddow, talking about the filibuster specifically, and getting things done. pic.twitter.com/xOAKWfe2Fu> > -- Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) January 26, 2021Schumer also suggested he is not interested in playing cat-and-mouse with McConnell's Republicans again. Watch below. > "We will not repeat that mistake." Senate Majority Leader Schumer cites Obama era lessons in prioritizing legislation over bad faith Republican 'bipartisanship.' pic.twitter.com/gpc1kBP45w> > -- Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) January 26, 2021More stories from theweek.com Democrats are getting Chuck Grassleyed Chuck Schumer tried to unseat Susan Collins, and now it's personal Biden did not, in fact, remove Trump's 'Diet Coke button' from the Resolute Desk, White House clarifies
President Joe Biden will continue his flurry of executive orders on Monday, signing a new directive to require the federal government to “buy American” for products and services. Why it matters: The executive action is yet another attempt by Biden to accomplish goals administratively without waiting for the backing of Congress. The new order echoes Biden's $400 billion campaign pledge to increase government purchases of American goods.Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.What they're saying: "President Biden is ensuring that when the federal government spends taxpayer dollars they are spent on American made goods by American workers and with American-made component parts," the White House said in a fact sheet.The big picture: Biden’s action kick offs another week in which the president will seek to undo many Trump policies with executive actions, while signaling the direction that he wants to take the country. * Biden will also reaffirm his support for the Jones Act, which requires maritime shipments between American ports to be carried on U.S. vessels. * Last week, Biden signed an order to attempt to raise the minimum wage for federal contractors and workers to $15 an hour.The bottom line: Former President Trump also attempted to force the federal government to rely on U.S. manufacturers for procurement with "buy American" provisions. * But supply chains — with some parts and components made outside of the U.S. — require long and complicated efforts to boost domestic manufacturing. Support safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- The Week
Biden did not, in fact, remove Trump's 'Diet Coke button' from the Resolute Desk, White House clarifies
The new Biden administration has yet not disclosed the secrets of Area 51 or explained what the Air Force really knows about UFOs, but it did clarify, at least, the mystery of the vanished "Diet Coke button" former President Donald Trump would use to summon refreshments in the Oval Office. The usher button, as it is formally known, is not gone, even if it is no longer used to summon Diet Cokes, a White House official tells Politico.The White House official "unfortunately wouldn't say what Biden will use the button for," Politico's Daniel Lippman writes, suggesting Biden might summon Orange Gatorade and not the obvious answer, ice cream — or, let's get real, coffee. What's more, there are evidently two usher buttons in the Oval Office, one at the Resolute Desk and the other next to the chair by the fireplace, a former White House official told Politico, adding that Trump didn't actually use the Diet Coke button all that much because "he would usually just verbally ask the valets, who were around all day, for what he needed."In any case, it is not the placement of the button that matters, of course, but how you use it. And Biden will presumably know better than to order ice cream treats during a top-secret national security briefing.More stories from theweek.com Democrats are getting Chuck Grassleyed Chuck Schumer tried to unseat Susan Collins, and now it's personal Josh Hawley knows exactly what he's doing
- NBC News
He said he spotted a carseat on the curb while delivering package, but at first did not realize there was a baby in it.
- Associated Press
Israeli authorities on Monday extradited a former teacher accused of sexually abusing her former students in Australia, capping a six-year legal battle that had strained relations between the two governments and antagonized Australia's Jewish community. Malka Leifer, who is wanted on 74 charges of child sex abuse in Australia, was placed on a flight early in the day, several hours before Israel was to close its international airport to nearly all air traffic due to a raging coronavirus outbreak. Israeli media photographed Leifer boarding a plane at Ben Gurion Airport, her ankles and wrists shackled.
Earlier this month, following the violent storming of the U.S. Capitol, the tech giant had paused all political contributions to reassess its policies toward political contribution. "Following that review, the NetPAC board has decided that it will not be making any contributions this cycle to any member of Congress who voted against certification of the election results," a Google representative said in a statement.
- The Independent
Biden news: Experts find major ‘gaps’ in Trump pardons as White House scrambles to rollout vaccine plan
Latest developments from Washington DC and beyond
- The Week
Pfizer will be able to provide the United States with 200 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine it developed alongside BioNTech by the end of May, CEO Albert Bourla said Tuesday, per Bloomberg. That's two months ahead of the previous July 31 deadline the company had set for itself.The reason behind the apparent fast-tracking actually has to do with a Food and Drug Administration-approved label change, which went into effect Monday, that allows health care workers to extract an additional sixth dose from each vial, so production levels won't necessarily increase. Bourla also said the alteration means Pfizer will be able to deliver 120 million doses to the U.S. by the end of March, 20 million more than promised when the vaccine was initially granted emergency use.As Bloomberg notes, the expedited timeline comes amid widespread concern about the slower-than-anticipated pace of the vaccine rollout in the U.S., so it's seemingly welcome news, though Bourla also suggested things will pick up in the coming weeks, either way. Read more at Bloomberg.More stories from theweek.com Democrats are getting Chuck Grassleyed Chuck Schumer tried to unseat Susan Collins, and now it's personal Biden did not, in fact, remove Trump's 'Diet Coke button' from the Resolute Desk, White House clarifies
- NBC News
Tommy Frederick Allan said he took the documents because he is a taxpayer, according to an arrest warrant.
The United States on Monday approved all transactions involving Yemen's Houthi movement for the next month as Washington reviews a Trump administration designation of the Iran-aligned group as a foreign terrorist organization. The move appeared designed to allay fears of companies and banks involved in commercial trade to Yemen, which relies almost solely on imports. The Treasury Department in a Frequently Asked Question specifically stated that foreign banks will not be exposed to sanctions "if they knowingly conduct or facilitate a transaction" for the Houthis.
- Yahoo News Video
Former President Donald Trump opened an office in Florida on Monday that will handle his duties as a former U.S. president and seek to further his administration's agenda.
- Associated Press
Five days into her new role, Jill Biden signaled Monday that she'll be a more active first lady, with a trio of virtual appearances before governors' spouses, young Latinos and library officials. Jill Biden's early moves seemed designed to signal that she intends to be more active than her predecessor, Melania Trump. Mrs. Trump often allowed weeks to pass between her public appearances.
- Los Angeles Times Opinion
Gov. Newsom needs to do a better job communicating California's statewide COVID restrictions with the public, and with other state officials.
- The Independent
Former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany spent her time as the president's mouthpiece spinning his words, attacking his enemies, and attempting to undermine the credibility of reporters who questioned his actions. Now, with her days at the White House behind her, Ms McEnany will step into a new role where she can once again use the skill set she cultivated during her time with the president; she'll be joining Fox News. Government watchdog organisation CREW obtained a financial disclosure report that showed Ms McEnany and Fox News entered into an employment agreement on 1 January.
Germany's health minister supported European Union proposals to introduce restrictions on COVID-19 vaccines on Tuesday as tensions grew with AstraZeneca and Pfizer over sudden supply cuts just a month after the bloc started vaccinating citizens. The EU has proposed setting up a register of vaccine exports, amid frustration over delays in deliveries of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 shot and other supply problems.
- Associated Press
The Biden administration on Monday suspended some of the terrorism sanctions that former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo imposed on Yemen’s Houthi rebels in his waning days in office. The Treasury Department said it would exempt certain transactions involving the Houthis from sanctions resulting from Pompeo's designation of the group as a “foreign terrorist organization” on Jan. 10. The exemption will expire Feb. 26, according to a statement from Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control announcing a general license for transactions that involve entities owned by the Iran-backed Houthis.
- Associated Press
An Illinois teen accused of killing two people during unrest in Wisconsin and the teen's mom were fixated on social media comments about them in the hours after his August arrest, newly released police video shows. Police in Antioch, Illinois, on Monday released four hours of video taken after Kyle Rittenhouse turned himself in hours after the Aug. 25 protest in Kenosha, the Chicago Tribune reported. The protest was part of a series of chaotic demonstrations that ensued after a white Kenosha officer shot Jacob Blake, who is Black, in the back seven times during a domestic dispute.
- The Independent
Newsmax said it already had enough correspondents at White House
Britain will be able to work with the European Union to ensure there is no disruption to vaccine supplies, Health Minister Matt Hancock said on Tuesday, arguing protectionism was not right during a pandemic. German Health Minister Jens Spahn earlier said he backed proposals to restrict vaccines leaving the EU, saying Europe should have its "fair share". The European Commission later said it had no plans to impose an export ban, explaining its proposal would require firms to register vaccine exports.