The coronavirus pandemic is having an odd side effect on the Bay Area real estate market. Da Lin examines the upward trend that few saw coming. (12-26-20)
- Yahoo News
Fresh off his inauguration Wednesday, President Biden began his term with executive orders on measures ranging from curbing the coronavirus pandemic to addressing racial inequality, many of which roll back measures enacted by former President Donald Trump’s administration.
- Yahoo News
Republicans built up QAnon backer Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, but now are they afraid of what they created?
On the eve of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the combative Georgia Republican known for her association with QAnon, was back on Twitter after a 12-hour suspension, and back to making waves.
- Yahoo News
Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States in Washington, D.C., Wednesday. In his inaugural address, Biden called for national unity and an end to the "uncivil war." He also signed 17 executive actions, rolling back measures enacted by President Trump.
The United Nations Office for Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs said on Wednesday it has halted programs in Venezuela that provide cash transfers to the poor via local nonprofit organizations. The U.N. office known as OCHA is asking the government of President Nicolas Maduro to establish clear rules regarding cash transfers. "We're working with pertinent authorities so that the (cash transfer programs) are in line with the country's financial/banking regulatory framework with the aim of reactivating them, guaranteeing the safety of humanitarian workers and continuing to support ... vulnerable people," OCHA said in an email.
- The Telegraph
Donald Trump spent his first hours as a private citizen scrambling to find lawyers to represent him in his upcoming impeachment trial, as he settled into his new home at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. One of Mr Trump’s first calls after leaving office was to Lindsey Graham, South Carolina senator and staunch ally, telling him he was now “looking for some lawyers” for the imminent Senate hearing. "[Trump] said, 'I really don't know the lay of the land here,' and he's looking for some lawyers," Mr Graham told Punchbowl News. "I'm trying to help him there, and he's just trying to put together a team." Mr Trump will not be drawing on his usual litigators: Rudy Giuliani, his longtime personal lawyer, is likely to step aside as he could be called as a witness, while attorneys who represented him at the first impeachment hearing have declined.
- Architectural Digest
800 feet up in the sky, the Dreamy 6,000 square foot space offers panoramic views from the East River to the HudsonOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- Associated Press
A Massachusetts-based political scientist and author is accused of secretly working for the government of Iran while lobbying U.S. officials on issues like nuclear policy, federal authorities said Tuesday. Kaveh Lotfolah Afrasiabi was arrested by FBI agents at his home in Watertown, Massachusetts, on Monday, officials said. Afrasiabi appeared before a Boston federal court judge via videoconference during a brief hearing and a detention hearing was scheduled for Friday.
The U.S. Senate on Wednesday approved Avril Haines as the Director of National Intelligence, the nation's top intelligence job, making her the first of President Joe Biden's nominees to be approved. The vote was 84-10, with all the "no" votes coming from Republicans. Both Democrats and leading Republicans issued statements praising the nominee.
- Yahoo News
NBA player turned conspiracy theorist stages one-man pro-Trump protest amid inaugural security prepared for thousands
The extra security measures appeared to have kept many protesters away from the Capitol and inaugural activities, but not one man.
Residents of Kamala Harris' ancestral village are celebrating with firecrackers and food as she is sworn into office as vice president of the United States. The story: According to the Associated Press, Thulasendrapuram, a village in Tamil Nadu, India, beamed with a festive atmosphere during Harris’ inauguration as U.S. vice president on Wednesday. The villagers watched the inauguration live, holding Harris’ portraits while setting off firecrackers.
Beijing is touting a state programme that gives Taiwanese in China priority for COVID-19 vaccines, prompting concern within Taiwan's government which sees it as the latest Chinese tool to win over the island's population. China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory, is making the free-of-charge offer at a time when the democratic island has yet to begin vaccinations of its own, with Chinese government departments and state media quoting Taiwanese in China in support of the programme. "This shows the mainland's warmth and affection towards us," a Taiwanese teacher surnamed Wang was quoted as saying in a post this month by China's United Front Work Department, which is in charge of co-opting overseas Chinese and non-communists.
- The Independent
Organiser for extremist group appeared in court in Orlando after denying planning the attack two weeks ago
- Yahoo News
In addition to rolling back a number of Trump orders via executive action, Biden’s day-one immigration agenda includes the introduction of an ambitious legislative overhaul of the U.S. immigration system.
- Yahoo News Video
Alejandro Mayorkas, President-elect Joe Biden’s pick to head the Department of Homeland Security, said during his Senate confirmation hearing that he would execute Biden’s plan to stop building the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Mayorkas also said that CBP and ICE play “critical roles” in the federal government and that he wouldn’t abolish them.
- Associated Press
The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus eclipsed 400,000 on Tuesday in the waning hours in office for President Donald Trump, whose handling of the crisis has been judged by public health experts a singular failure. The running total of lives lost, as compiled by Johns Hopkins University, is nearly equal to the number of Americans killed in World II. It is about the population of Tulsa, Oklahoma; Tampa, Florida; or New Orleans. While the Trump administration has been credited with Operation Warp Speed, the crash program to develop and distribute coronavirus vaccines, Trump has repeatedly downplayed the threat, mocked masks, railed against lockdowns, promoted unproven and unsafe treatments, undercut scientific experts and expressed scant compassion for the victims.
A British prosecutor hired by the Hong Kong government to lead a case against democracy activists has pulled out after coming under pressure in Britain including 'disgraceful' comments by its foreign minister, city authorities said on Wednesday. David Perry, a Queen's Counsel, was due to lead the case against tabloid media magnate Jimmy Lai and several others, including veteran democracy activists Martin Lee and Margaret Ng. But Hong Kong's Department of Justice noted "growing pressure and criticism" of Perry in Britain for taking the case, adding in a statement that he had "concerns about such pressures and the exemption of quarantine" and "indicated that the trial should proceed without him".
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attempted to execute a “Hail Mary” decision to legalize dozens of illegal settler outposts deep in the West Bank one day before Biden’s inauguration. He failed.Why it matters: The mass legalization of outposts would have been a highly provocative step, broadening Israeli control over land in the West Bank and further reducing the chances of a future peace deal with the Palestinians.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.Background: Trump dramatically changed U.S. policy on Israeli settlements in the West Bank, offering them new legitimacy and giving Israel a free hand with regards to settlement activity. * The Biden administration is expected to return to the traditional U.S. policy of treating settlements as illegitimate and objecting to further construction.Driving the news: In recent weeks, Netanyahu tried to put several settlement plans in motion before Biden assumes office, knowing it will be more difficult or even impossible later. * Earlier this week, Netanyahu pressed Minister of Defense Benny Gantz to agree to pass a Cabinet-level decision to legalize five outposts and lay the groundwork to legalize 40 more. * The outposts in question are deep in the West Bank. Some are located in isolated areas in an attempt to prevent Palestinian territorial contiguity. * The settler lobby put pressure on Netanyahu in recent weeks to legalize the outposts and also lobbied his Cabinet ministers.Netanyahu resisted the pressure for a time, but he reversed course as part of his efforts to ensure the support of the settler lobby ahead of the March elections. * Israel's Ministry of Justice opposed the move because Netanyahu's caretaker government is not allowed to make dramatic decisions ahead of the elections. * The Foreign Ministry was also opposed, arguing the step would be seen as a provocative and defiant move 24 hours before Biden’s inauguration and create tensions with the new U.S. administration. * Until an hour before the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Netanyahu was still pressing Gantz to agree. Gantz refused and prevented what he called an "irresponsible" move.Worth noting: Last week, the Israeli government approved plans for 800 new housing units in West Bank settlements — half of them in isolated settlements deep in the West Bank. * On Tuesday evening, Israel's land authority began marketing land for the building of 2,600 new housing units in settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.What to watch: In the coming days, the Biden administration will have to publicly articulate its new policy on Israeli settlements. That could renew tensions with the Israeli government.Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.
- Associated Press
China imposed sanctions on nearly 30 former Trump administration officials moments after they left office on Wednesday. In a statement released just minutes after President Joe Biden was inaugurated, Beijing slapped travel bans and business restrictions on Trump’s secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, national security adviser Robert O’Brien and U.N. ambassador, Kelly Craft. Others covered by the sanctions include Trump’s economic adviser Peter Navarro; his top diplomat for Asia, David Stilwell; health and human services secretary, Alex Azar; along with former national security adviser John Bolton and strategist Stephen Bannon.
Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Germans on Thursday to stop complaining about the slow roll-out of a vaccine against COVID-19 and defended a decision to extend a lockdown as necessary to stem a more aggressive variant of the coronavirus. Speaking at a news conference, Merkel said it would be a mistake to ease curbs now given the mutation first identified in England had been found in Germany, Europe's most populous country and largest economy. "Our efforts face a threat and this threat is clearer now than at the start of the year and this is the mutation of the virus," said Merkel, adding that the new variant was not yet dominant in Germany.
- Yahoo News 360
Recent history shows the opportunity to pass major bills can disappear quickly. What should Democrats’ top priority be?