Four people were arrested in connection to dozens of vehicle burglaries that occurred in Sacramento County in November, authorities said on Saturday.
- Yahoo News
Former President Donald Trump’s “big lie” about a stolen election may have been discredited over and over in the courts, and disgraced by the attack on the U.S. Capitol, but the corrosive effect of his dishonesty will linger on, complicating efforts to strengthen American elections.
President Obama's former speechwriter says he's "preemptively frustrated" with President Biden's effort to find unity with Republicans.What they're saying: Cody Keenan told Axios that Biden's messaging team has "struck all the right chords," but at some point "they're gonna have to answer questions like, 'Why didn't you achieve unity?' when there's an entire political party that's already acting to stop it."Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.Keenan spent 14 years writing for Obama, including working alongside Biden for eight of those years. He acknowledged being embittered by his own experience, especially after Sen. Mitch McConnell pledged to make his former boss a one-term president. * "Until the Republican Party steps up and tells their own voters what's really happening with the truth, it's going to be elusive," Keenan said. "It's not up to (President Biden) alone to deliver. He can't."Keenan helped Obama with the first volume of his memoir, "A Promised Land." He stopped working with the former president on New Year's Eve and has taken a full-time role at Fenway Strategies. The firm is run by another ex-Obama speechwriter — Jon Favreau — and presidential aide, Tommy Vietor. * "It just seemed like a natural spot after the book and the elections and, you know, [Obama] is not going to do a ton, especially with Biden in office," Keenan said.Keenan is also writing a book, titled "Grace," about the 10 days from the 2015 shooting at a historic Black church in Charleston, South Carolina, to the eulogy Obama delivered for Rev. Clementa Pinckney. * Obama ended by singing "Amazing Grace." * The title also nods to Keenan's newborn daughter, named Grace.Support safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- The Telegraph
The leader of the Proud Boys extremist group has been unmasked as a "prolific" former FBI informant. Enrique Tarrio, 36, worked undercover exposing a human trafficking ring, and helped with drug and gambling cases, according to court documents. Tarrio's documented involvement with law enforcement related to the period 2012 -2014. There was no evidence of him cooperating after that. But the revelation raised further questions over why police did not take further steps to secure the US Capitol ahead of the riots on Jan 6. At least half a dozen members of the Proud Boys were arrested over involvement in the riots. Tarrio denied ever being an informer, telling Reuters: "I don’t know any of this. I don’t recall any of this."
- The Conversation
Rioters storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, seeking to intimidate politicians into overturning the presidential election. AP Photo/John MinchilloAs the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump approaches, federal officials are investigating threats to attack or kill members of Congress. This comes in the wake of the Capitol riot, when a mob stormed the building where members of the House and Senate were preparing to certify the presidential election. Some rioters reportedly threatened the lives of elected officials in both parties. When the House took up impeachment proceedings, Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives reportedly felt afraid to vote to impeach Trump – even fearing for their lives. A video also captured a group accosting Republican Lindsey Graham, a U.S. senator from South Carolina, screaming that he was a “traitor” after he declared that Joe Biden had been lawfully elected president. These threats do not simply reflect increased levels of anger and depravity among individual Americans. Rather, they appear to be evidence of a more systemic use of fear and intimidation in U.S. politics, seeking to force fealty from Republicans and reinforce the authoritarian turn that defined Donald Trump’s leadership. Engagement in public life in the U.S. has always carried risk, with public officials of both parties, journalists and even movie stars often the target of death threats and intimidation. With the advent of social media and the Trump presidency, however, the risks for public officials have grown substantially. As a professor of human rights and a practitioner of democracy-building and the rule of law, this trend symbolizes the depth of deterioration of democracy in the U.S. Political violence Before the insurrection, experts tracked current trends as part of a broader cycle of political violence in the U.S. that one analysis said “has occurred approximately every fifty years for the past two centuries.” Even with a transfer of power, the question remains whether America will finally break this cycle or whether Trump has just planted the seeds for the next time. Over the past few years, scholars and experts have warned that the U.S. is at risk of widespread political violence and democratic instability. They identify four interconnected factors that make a society vulnerable to violence that aims to affect political systems and decision-making: “Elite factionalization,” in which political parties engage in winner-take-all competition to promote their own interests at almost any cost. A high level of societal polarization. Weakening democratic institutions, such as electoral processes and law enforcement, due in part to the erosion of public trust and bipartisan support. A rise in hate speech and militant rhetoric. All of these are happening in the U.S. in significant measure. Before the November 2020 election, a group of scholars called attention to the fact that a large number of Americans said they would accept violence to advance their parties’ political goals. By the end of 2020, experts were raising the alarm that the country was spinning toward political violence. Supporters of President Donald Trump marched in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 14. AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin Radicalization of the right Trump’s claims of massive election fraud, intimidation of opponents and his own party members, attacks on free media and support for right-wing groups generated an extremist Make America Great Again movement. Observing a toxic mix of the president’s fabrications, the right-wing media ecosystem, conspiracy theories and increased isolation and insecurity due to COVID-19, former national security officials in late 2020 noted signs of “mass radicalization” in the U.S. This sequence of events fits with research showing how hate and radicalization progress toward extreme beliefs and behaviors, including participation in collective violence. Humans identify in groups and prioritize their own group. If there’s a threat of or competition between groups, some leaders will encourage followers to hate and dehumanize the other group – usually by painting their own group as a victim – and even to engage in violence or intimidation as self-defense. Group members who act in response, in turn, feel they’re contributing to their group’s survival. Trump altered the norms of acceptable rhetoric and behavior within the Republican Party. He increased the tolerance for intimidation, hate and bullying, and demonized the Democratic Party and social justice movements, like Black Lives Matter, as unpatriotic dangers to America. Before the 2020 election, evidence showed that the Republican Party had fewer democratic traits than almost all governing parties in the world’s democracies and “its rhetoric was closer to authoritarian parties, such as AKP in Turkey and Fidesz in Hungary.” These parties seek to build power by undermining democratic institutions, such as fair elections, independent judiciaries and media, and by using threatening rhetoric and being disrespectful of opponents. Trump also legitimized preexisting extremist groups that use violence and intimidation. The mob that stormed the Capitol consisted of a range of groups and individuals with diverse ideologies – including the ultra-nationalist Proud Boys, white supremacists, anti-government and pro-gun militias such as the Oath Keepers and Three Percenters, QAnon conspiracy followers, and common Trump supporters and Republican officials. They all came together as elements of Trump’s “Stop the Steal” effort to overturn the election of the actual winner, Joe Biden. The unifying narrative for them was the false idea that American democracy is under attack by Democrats and traitors, and that violence could be justified as part of patriotic self-defense. What happens to moderation? The Republican Party – with a few notable exceptions – embraced Donald Trump’s post-election rhetoric and the massive lie about election fraud. This is as a result of Trump’s control throughout the party, from its general members up through party leadership and affiliated media outlets – who felt obligated to support Trump no matter what he said or did. Even though many Republicans have denounced the use of violence on Jan. 6, most officials continue to validate their voters’ concerns about election integrity, which are rooted in the “Stop the Steal” effort. Republican Party members defend their actions by claiming they are legitimate efforts to protect democracy. As extremism rises, moderates who are willing to challenge the group’s direction are the first to be intimidated or silenced. Party leaders who have now called out the “Stop the Steal” lie and voted for impeachment are facing repercussions. Republican congressional leaders Kevin McCarthy, left, and Mitch McConnell, center, with then-President Donald Trump. AP Photo/Evan Vucci A legacy Though Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has repudiated the “Stop the Steal” lie, early indications are that the Republican Party overall remains entrenched in the defense of Trump and partisan rhetoric at any cost. Nearly 9 out of 10 Republicans approved of Trump’s job performance even after the Capitol attack. The climate in government continues to be fearful. Death threats against public officials of both parties are part of the justification for and opposition by Republicans to weapons checks required before entering the House floor. Research shows that political violence can reinforce a group’s existence, solidify members’ interconnections and beget more violence. Even if Trump remains out of power and off Twitter, the events leading up and including Jan. 6 may reinforce his supporters’ feelings of affiliation to a highly distorted narrative of patriotism within the Republican Party, and could deepen polarization and elite factionalism. This adds to the difficulty of reversing the party’s autocratic turn. [Deep knowledge, daily. Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter.] The aim of authoritarian parties is control or cooptation of law enforcement and the military, which are often seen as the last line of defense of democracy. This is why the potential that significant levels of sympathy, affiliation or even complicity with the MAGA movement exists within American police and the armed forces is so disturbing. As a new president takes office, the resilience of U.S. democracy is on display. President Biden has already declared his intention to combat domestic extremism and radicalization. Even though Democrats are now in power, what happens next with the Republican Party, and its financial backers and supporters, will remake or break America’s democracy.This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Shelley Inglis, University of Dayton. Read more:Capitol mob wasn’t just angry men – there were angry women as wellUS Capitol protesters, egged on by Trump, are part of a long history of white supremacists hearing politicians’ words as encouragement Shelley Inglis does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
- Associated Press
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday criticized Iran's hard-liner dominated judiciary over last week's prosecution of the countrys telecommunications minister. Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi was released on bail after he was summoned for prosecution. Judiciary officials cited his refusal to block Instagram and impose limitations on the bandwidth of other foreign social media and messaging systems.
- The Telegraph
Russian authorities target Navalny's associates and wife in series of police raids ahead of protests
Russian authorities raided the homes of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and his associates on Wednesday, piling pressure on opposition figures ahead of a major rally planned for this weekend. Masked police on Wednesday afternoon broke down the door of Mr Navalny’s rented flat despite the pleas from his wife who was inside, asking for her lawyer, Veronika Polyakova. Ms Polyakova arrived at her house but was not allowed in to witness the search, a clear violation of the Russian law,she told the Dozhd TV channel. In the biggest wave of police action against the opposition in months, law enforcement agents raided at least seven homes on Wednesday, including a Moscow property owned by Mr Navalny but where he has not lived for years, and the office of his associates who run his YouTube channel. A video posted online by Lyubov Sobol, a close ally of Mr Navalny, showed black-clad masked men break down the door and walk into the office.
A federal judge in Texas on Tuesday temporarily blocked a move by new U.S. President Joe Biden to halt the deportation of many immigrants for a 100-day period, a swift legal setback for his ambitious immigration agenda. U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton, an appointee of former President Donald Trump in the Southern District of Texas, issued a temporary restraining order that blocks the policy nationwide for 14 days following a legal challenge by Texas. The Biden administration is expected to appeal the ruling, which halts the deportation freeze while both parties submit briefs on the matter.
- Associated Press
Authorities in Singapore have detained without trial a 16-year-old student who made detailed plans and preparations to carry out “terrorist attacks” on two mosques with a machete. The Singaporean teen was inspired by an Australian white supremacist who killed 51 worshippers at two mosques in New Zealand in 2019, the Internal Security Department said Wednesday. The teen detained in December was the youngest terror suspect to be held under the country's Internal Security Act, it added.
- The Independent
Jill Biden spent her first week as First Lady reshaping the role. Melania Trump spent hers isolated in a tower
New first lady signals she will be an active and constant presence in the White House - drawing stark contrasts to her predecessor
- The Telegraph
A doctor with terminal cancer killed a female pediatrician and then himself after taking hostages at a children's clinic in Austin, Texas. Dr Bharat Narumanchi held hostages in a five-hour siege before killing Dr Katherine Lindley Dodson. Narumanchi had applied for a volunteer position at the clinic a week ago and was declined. He later came back carrying a pistol, a shotgun and two duffel bags. Police spokesman Jeff Greenwalt said Narumanchi had recently been given "weeks to live" after a cancer diagnosis. He said: "The case as far as who did this is closed. We know who did it. And we know that there's no longer a threat to the public. But we really, really want to answer the question of why." Dr Lindley Dodson, 43, was beloved by patients and their families. Karen Vladeck, whose two children were among her patients, told the Austin American-Statesman: "You saw her at your worst when your kid was sick, and she just always had a smile on her face. "She made you feel like you were the only parent there, even though there was a line of kids waiting." During the siege a SWAT team used a megaphone to communicate with the armed doctor. A hostage negotiator shouted: "Your life is very important to me. And I know life is very important to you. "You don't deserve to go through this. For all you have done for others. That is why I want to help you work through this. You have saved a lot of lives." Police first sent in a robot and then officers went into the medical office where they found two bodies. They did not comment on how the two doctors died. A police spokesman said: "The SWAT situation has ended. Two subjects have been located and were pronounced deceased."
As the 76th anniversary on Wednesday of the liberation of Auschwitz draws closer, Bill Harvey, who survived the concentration camp, said he was shocked by displays of anti-Semitism during the U.S. Capitol riot. Some of the supporters of former President Donald Trump who broke into and ransacked the seat of Congress on Jan. 6 wore clothes bearing anti-Semitic messages, or displayed Nazi symbols. Harvey, interviewed by Zoom from his Los Angeles home on Monday, expressed concern that the lessons that should have been learned from World War Two's Nazi Holocaust are fading.
- The Week
John Kerry: American workers 'fed a false narrative' that shift to clean energy is 'coming at their expense'
President Biden on Wednesday turned his attention to climate issues, signing executive orders that seek to halt new oil and gas leases on public lands and waters, conserve 30 percent of federal lands and waters by 2030, and find ways to double wind production by the same year. John Kerry, the first-ever United States Climate Envoy, championed the actions, reiterating his belief that the climate crisis is "existential" and "failure, literally, is not an option." While briefing reporters, Kerry was asked about potential job losses in the fossil fuel industry, and whether he had a message for workers who believe they are witnessing the end of their livelihoods. Kerry explained that those workers "have been fed a false narrative" by the Trump administration about the shift to clean energy, which he said will not come "at their expense." He added that, before the COVID-19 pandemic, the solar and wind energy industries were growing swiftly, while coal plants have been closing over the last few decades. "The same people can do those jobs. But the choice of doing the solar power one now is a better choice," he said, also pointing out the health risks associated with coal mining. John Kerry says oil and gas workers have been fed a "false narrative" that action on climate change will hurt their livelihoods, and that President Biden wants to "make sure that those folks have better choices" for jobs in the energy sector https://t.co/Nj065CIsxp pic.twitter.com/czkjomesi8 — CBS News (@CBSNews) January 27, 2021 Republicans like Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) weren't buying the reassurance, suggesting that Kerry's statement lacked empathy, although he didn't explicitly refute the notion that an industry transition may be feasible for fossil fuel workers. John Kerry's message to the tens of thousands of Americans who lost their jobs thanks to the Biden administration: go make solar panels. Where is the empathy that Joe Biden promised in his inauguration? https://t.co/CvQovUlEoD — Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) January 27, 2021 More stories from theweek.comGameStop makes the case for financial regulationMitch McConnell is the GOATWho is the Cinderella in the GameStop fairy tale?
Nearly all Senate Republicans vote to stop Donald Trump's impeachment trial before it even starts.
- Associated Press
A former teacher extradited from Israel after a six-year legal battle appeared in an Australian court Thursday to face child sex abuse charges. Malka Leifer, 54, appeared in Melbourne Magistrates Court by video link from a police station where she is in COVID-19 quarantine. Guards in the room with Leifer confirmed that the audio-visual link was working.
- The Independent
Grandmother ‘overjoyed’ to be outside after receiving Covid-19 vaccine killed in Portland vehicle attack
Police have not released a motive in the attack
Dismantling racial inequalities that have plagued the United States since its founding will boost economic growth and create new jobs for everyone, top advisers to President Joe Biden said Tuesday, laying out a central tenet of the new administration's agenda. Biden's top domestic policy adviser Susan Rice said there was clear evidence that fixing inequality was essential for the overall U.S. economy to thrive and prosper. "These aren't feel-good policies," Rice told reporters at a White House briefing ahead of executive actions planned by Biden to promote racial justice reforms.
- Yahoo News Video
In remarks on Tuesday, President Biden said his administration will increase COVID-19 vaccine doses to states from 8.6 million to 10 million every week. He also said that states and territories will get a three-week forecast of vaccine supply.
- Architectural Digest
Let’s get loudOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- Associated Press
At least two journalists tested positive for coronavirus after witnessing the Trump administration's final three federal executions, but the Bureau of Prisons knowingly withheld the diagnoses from other media witnesses and did not perform any contact tracing, The Associated Press has learned. The AP is not identifying the journalists, but has confirmed they both received positive coronavirus tests following the executions earlier this month at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana. The Bureau of Prisons just completed a record number of executions under former President Donald Trump, more than any previous administration.
- The Independent
FBI says geophysicist was seen dragging police officer down steps