RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazilian police are hunting for a Sao Paulo Santa Claus who kicked off the Christmas shopping season by stealing a helicopter. The thief rented the aircraft late Friday from an air taxi service at the Campo Marte airport in Sao Paulo for a Black Friday "surprise," the Sao Paulo state security secretariat said on Saturday. During the flight, the Santa forced the pilot to fly to a small farm outside of Sao Paulo city, where they were met by a third person, the secretariat said. The pilot was tied up and the two perpetrators flew away. After several hours, the pilot managed to escape and alert police. There has been no sign of the helicopter, a Robinson model 44, authorities said. (Reporting by Jeb Blount; Editing by Dan Grebler)
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- The Telegraph
The acrimonious split within Republican ranks widened over the weekend as Donald Trump made his foray back into politics, backing the re-election of a hard-line supporter as chair of the party in Arizona. His wholehearted support for Kelli Ward was seen by allies as the former president firing a warning shot across the bows of any Republican senators considering backing his impeachment. Underlining Mr Trump’s grip on the Republican grassroots, the Arizona party also voted to censure John McCain’s widow, Cindy, former senator Jeff Flake and governor Doug Ducey, who refused to back the former president’s claims of election fraud. Mr Trump’s intervention came amid reports that he is considering setting up a “Patriot Party” which would spearhead primary challenges to his opponents in the 2022 mid-term elections. The former president has already amassed a massive war chest with his Save America political action committee declaring last month that it had raked in $207.5 million in donations.
Guyana said late on Saturday that a Venezuelan navy vessel detained two vessels that were fishing in Guyana's exclusive economic zone, the latest dispute in a long-running border conflict between the two South American nations. Caracas says much of eastern Guyana is its own territory, a claim that is rejected by Georgetown. The conflict has flared up in recent years as Guyana has started developing oil reserves near the disputed area.
- The Week
President Biden's administration is hoping to "speed up" efforts to get Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill.White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki during a briefing Monday said the Treasury Department is "taking steps to resume efforts" to put Tubman on the $20 bill, a plan that was originally announced under former President Barack Obama, and is "exploring ways to speed up that effort."Former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin previously announced in 2019 that the planned $20 bill redesign with Tubman replacing former President Andrew Jackson on the front had been delayed until 2028. At the time, Mnuchin said he would focus on a security feature redesign."The primary reason we've looked at redesigning the currency is for counterfeiting issues," Mnuchin said. "Based upon this, the $20 bill will now not come out until 2028."The original plan was for the Tubman redesign to be unveiled in time for the 19th Amendment's 100th anniversary in 2020, The New York Times notes. Former President Donald Trump dismissed the efforts to put Tubman on the $20 bill as "pure political correctness" during his 2016 campaign. In Monday's briefing, Psaki said that it's "important" for U.S. currency to "reflect the history and diversity of our country," adding that "Harriet Tubman's image gracing the new $20 note would certainly reflect that." > NEW: White House says Treasury Dept. is "taking steps to resume efforts" to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill.> > Press Sec. Psaki says the Biden admin. is "exploring ways to speed up that effort." pic.twitter.com/z7Jw5CqXP0> > -- MSNBC (@MSNBC) January 25, 2021More stories from theweek.com Josh Hawley knows exactly what he's doing Trump must be prosecuted 5 scathingly funny cartoons about Biden's COVID-19 push
'Hate Never Disappears. It Just Takes a Break for a While.' Why the U.S. Capitol Attack Makes Holocaust Remembrance Day More Important Than Ever
TIME reached out to USC Professor Steve Ross to understand where the insurrection fits in the history of anti-Semitism in the U.S.
- 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.
- The Telegraph
Britain's Covid vaccine supply is in jeopardy after the EU threatened to block exports of the Belgian-made Pfizer jabs amid a row with UK-based AstraZeneca. Brussels decided to impose tighter controls on exports after reacting with fury to the news that AstraZeneca will deliver 50 million fewer doses to the EU than it had expected. Ministers now fear deliveries of the Pfizer jabs will – at best – be delayed by extra paperwork and that the EU could try to stop doses being sent to non-EU countries after saying it will "take any action required to protect its citizens". In March, the bloc imposed export restrictions on personal protective equipment after it struggled with supply to its member states. On Monday night, MPs accused the EU of acting out of "spite" and trying to deflect blame for its own mistakes in getting vaccination programmes off the ground.
Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Ricardo Lewandowski has approved an investigation into Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in the northern city of Manaus, according to a court document released on Monday. Lewandowski granted a petition for the probe by Attorney General Augusto Aras, and gave a period of 60 days for the probe to conclude. Manaus, in the northern state of Amazonas, has been hit hard by a brutal second wave that has pushed the city's emergency services to breaking point.
- National Review
The interesting question about the constitutionality vel non of impeaching a president who is no longer in office is obscuring a matter of more practical relevance: What will the impeachment trial look like? Media coverage has centered on the divide in the Senate over the constitutional question, particularly Utah Republican senator Mitt Romney’s assertion in a weekend CNN interview that the impeachment is valid. The New York Times portrays Romney as breaking Republican ranks. He may be, but the Republican position is not black and white. Whether an impeachment trial for a non-incumbent is constitutional is a separate question from whether conducting one is a good idea. The two are melded, though, by what appears to be the majority GOP position in opposition to an impeachment trial for former president Trump. Some Republicans will try to dismiss the case on constitutional grounds after House speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) sends the “incitement to insurrection” article of impeachment to the Senate on Monday. Other Republicans, such as Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), argue that an impeachment trial will further divide the country, and are poised to avert it, or shut it down as early as possible, on whatever grounds are available. The constitutional niceties seem beside the point. I say this core constitutional question is less practically significant than it should, perhaps, be because it is a foregone conclusion. The Democrats are in the (narrow) majority, they will unify in favor of conducting the trial, and there will be enough Republicans who conclude that such a trial is constitutional that the full Senate will approve it. Those who think the Supreme Court will ultimately have to resolve the constitutional question are, I believe, mistaken. The Constitution gives the Senate plenary authority over the trial of impeachments. History and precedent are on the side of those who argue that impeachment trials of non-incumbents are constitutional, but that is beside the point. The Supreme Court surely wants no part of this hot political dispute, and the Constitution’s commitment of impeachment trials to Senate control gives the justices a good reason to stay out of it. Although I think a censure would be better, if the Democrats want a trial, then there is going to be a trial. Practically speaking, then, the pertinent issue is what the trial will look like. I do not think it will much resemble the impeachment trial of then-president Trump that took place a year ago. For the reasons I posited on Friday, this is not going to be a presidential impeachment as that scenario is commonly understood. Trump is no longer president. The constitutional mandate that the chief justice of the Supreme Court preside over an impeachment of the president therefore does not obtain. Trump’s impeachment, then, will be akin to the impeachment of other impeached officials who are not the sitting president. For all impeachments other than that of the president, the presiding officer in the Senate is, as usual, the vice president of the United States or, in the vice president’s absence, the president pro tempore of the Senate. For present purposes, that means Vice President Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) and Senator Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.). [Author’s note: After this column was written, sources indicated to various media outlets that Senator Leahy “is expected to preside” over the Trump impeachment trial.] Some commentators on the right grouse that this is inherently unfair to former president Trump, but this misses the point. Impeachment is a political process, not a legal one; there is no entitlement to the kind of due process required in judicial proceedings, where a presumptively impartial judge and counsel for the parties select a jury of the defendant’s peers, which has been vetted to ensure its objectivity. To repeat my point from Friday, the reason the Constitution requires the chief justice to preside over presidential impeachments is not to transcend politics — the Senate partisans are still ultimately in charge. The chief justice is installed in this largely ceremonial post to avoid the unseemliness of having the Senate’s usual presiding officer, the vice president, preside over a trial in which he or she has a vital personal interest in the outcome (viz., accession to the presidency if the incumbent is convicted and removed). The Democrats will have a problem in that the impeachment trial they will run, rather than one over which Chief Justice Roberts might preside, will look more blatantly like a partisan show trial. That will rub much of the public the wrong way. But that is a political problem, not a constitutional concern. When an impeachment trial takes place under the supervision of the Senate’s presiding officer, Rule XI of the Senate impeachment rules empowers the Senate and the presiding officer to “appoint a committee of Senators to receive evidence and take testimony at such times and places as the committee may determine.” That is, there need not be a full-blown trial before the entire Senate sitting as an impeachment court. The Senate may refer the matter to an ad hoc impeachment trial committee. Or, to avoid having to assemble such a committee from scratch, it could refer the matter to an existing committee — most likely the Judiciary Committee, which, under the chamber’s new Democratic majority, is now chaired by Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois, who remains the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat. While the impeachment committee would be governed by Senate impeachment rules and practices, the Senate and the committee have leeway to vary those as they see fit. The committee would conduct the trial, generating a transcript of all proceedings (including witness testimony, if there is any), which would eventually be certified to the full Senate. The full Senate could conduct additional proceedings to supplement that record. But the full Senate could also base its verdict — and, if the verdict is guilty, its disposition on the issue of disqualification from holding office in the future — on the committee’s work. I continue to think there is scant chance that the former president will be convicted and disqualified. Nevertheless, this Trump impeachment trial is likely to be a lower-key affair than the one in early 2020, when President Trump was in office. The trial will be significant, but its interference in the confirmation of Biden administration officials is likely to be minimal, and its domination of the full Senate’s time greatly diminished.
- NBC News
Brittney Gilliam had taken her family for a “Sunday funday” when officers with guns drawn ordered her and the four underage girls with her to exit the car.
- Yahoo News Video
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.
- Associated Press
The patter of paws is being heard in the White House again following the arrival of President Joe Biden's dogs Champ and Major. Major burst onto the national scene late last year after Biden, then president-elect, broke his right foot while playing with the dog at their home in Wilmington, Delaware. The Bidens adopted Major in 2018 from the Delaware Humane Association.
- The Telegraph
Israel will ban passenger flights in and out of the country from Monday for a week as it seeks to stop the spread of new coronavirus variants. "Other than rare exceptions, we are closing the sky hermetically to prevent the entry of the virus variants and also to ensure that we progress quickly with our vaccination campaign," said Benjamin Netanuahu, the Israeli prime minister. It came as a study in Israel reported a 60 per cent drop in over-60s being hospitalised with coronavirus three weeks after being vaccinated, in the latest sign that the jabs are effective. According to Maccabi, an Israeli healthcare provider, there was a significant decrease in hospitalisations from day 23 onwards, which was two days after patients received their second jab. Also on Sunday, Israel expanded its rapid vaccination drive to include 16-18 year-olds in an effort to get them back in schools to take their winter examinations. The winter matriculation certificate is a significant part of university and military admissions. At least one dose has been administered to around a quarter of Israel’s 9 million-strong population. The vaccine is generally available to over 40s or, with parental permission, those aged between 16 and 18. Israel struck a deal with Pfizer at the beginning of January that allowed them to expedite delivery of the vaccine, in return for sharing extensive data on their vaccination campaign with the rest of the world. Yuli Edelstein, the Israeli health minister, told The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday that the data from their vaccination programme suggests a first dose offered around 30 per cent protection from coronavirus.
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.
- Associated Press
President Joe Biden has brought back Dr. Kevin O'Connor as his physician, replacing President Donald Trump's doctor with the one who oversaw his care when he was vice president. The White House confirmed that Dr. Sean Conley, the Navy commander who served as the head of the White House Medical Unit under Trump and oversaw his treatment when he was hospitalized with COVID-19, will assume a teaching role at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. O'Connor, a retired Army colonel, was Biden's doctor during his entire tenure as vice president, having remained in the role at Biden's request.
Bangladesh will buy 100,000 tonnes of rice from Myanmar, putting aside a rift over the Rohingya refugee crisis as the government races to overcome a shortage of the staple food for the country's more than 160 million people. High rice prices pose a problem for the Dhaka government, which is ramping up efforts to replenish its depleted reserves after floods last year ravaged crops and sent prices to a record high. Muslim-majority Bangladesh and mostly Buddhist Myanmar have been at odds over the more than 1 million Muslim Rohingya refugees in camps in southern Bangladesh.
- The Telegraph
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced the establishment of its embassy in Tel Aviv as the US national security advisor announced that America hopes to build “on the success of Israel’s normalisation agreements” under the Biden administration. The UAE cabinet decision to approve establishing the embassy comes after they signed the Abraham Accords in September, becoming the first Gulf state to establish a full diplomatic relationship with Israel. No further details about the embassy were given in UAE media. While Israel’s government recognises Jerusalem as its capital, the international community does not, with Palestinians claiming East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. Most countries base their embassies in Tel Aviv. Before the deal, Israel only had peace deals with only two Arab countries, Egypt and Jordan - where it has fortified embassies. Most Arab countries had previously refrained from recognising Israel, believing that recognition should only be granted if serious concessions are made in the Palestinian peace process. Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco later agreed to follow in the UAE’s footsteps and normalise ties with Israel under US-brokered deals.
- The Independent
Accused of aiming to take her job, Florida congressman tweets that he is ‘not seeking a position in House Leadership’