Two days after a San Diego federal judge denied churches the ability to worship indoors, a local church held multiple Christmas events inside.
- Yahoo News 360
Recent history shows the opportunity to pass major bills can disappear quickly. What should Democrats’ top priority be?
European Union lawmakers passed a resolution on Thursday calling for the bloc to stop the completion of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to take Russian natural gas to Europe, in response to the arrest of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. Navalny, Russian President Vladimir Putin's most prominent critic, was detained at the weekend and later jailed for alleged parole violations after flying back to Russia for the first time since being poisoned by a military grade nerve agent. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has continued to back the pipeline between Germany and Russia despite criticism elsewhere in the EU, said on Thursday her view of the project had not changed despite the Navalny case.
- Yahoo News
Counterintelligence official Michael Orlando joins a growing chorus of voices on both sides of the political aisle who point to China as a major national security threat, particularly in terms of technology and cybersecurity.
- The Week
The evenly split Senate is having a hard time agreeing who's in charge.Georgia's two new Democratic senators were sworn in Wednesday, giving Republicans and Democrats 50 senators each, with Vice President Kamala Harris as a Democratic tiebreaker. The two parties are now working out a power-sharing agreement, but Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) commitment to the filibuster is standing in the way.McConnell on Thursday formally acknowledged Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) as the chamber's new majority leader. But as he has been for days, McConnell again implored Democrats to preserve the filibuster that lets a senator extend debate and block a timely vote on a bill if there aren't 60 votes to stop it. Democrats "have no plans to gut the filibuster further, but argue it would be a mistake to take one of their tools off the table just as they're about to govern," Politico reports; More progressive senators do want to remove the option completely.If his filibuster demands aren't met, McConnell has threatened to block the Senate power-sharing agreement that would put Democrats in charge of the body's committees. But Democrats already seem confident in their newfound power, with Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) telling Politico that "Chuck Schumer is the majority leader and he should be treated like majority leader." Giving in to McConnell "would be exactly the wrong way to begin," Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) echoed.Other Democrats shared their resistance to McConnell's demands in tweets. > McConnell is threatening to filibuster the Organizing Resolution which allows Democrats to assume the committee Chair positions. It's an absolutely unprecedented, wacky, counterproductive request. We won the Senate. We get the gavels.> > -- Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) January 21, 2021> So after Mitch McConnell changed the Senate rules at a blistering pace during his 6 years in charge, he is threatening to filibuster the Senate's organizing resolution unless the Democratic majority agrees to never change the rules again.> > Huh.> > -- Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) January 21, 2021More stories from theweek.com Biden removes Trump's Diet Coke button from the Oval Office 7 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's White House exit McConnell is already moving to strangle the Biden presidency
- CBS News
Vice presidents since Vice President Walter Mondale have been living in the residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.
- Associated Press
The master tenant of a cluttered, dilapidated San Francisco Bay Area warehouse where 36 people perished in a late-night fire in 2016 is scheduled to plead guilty Friday to the deaths, avoiding a second trial after the first ended in a hung jury. Families of several victims told the East Bay Times last week that prosecutors told them Derick Almena, 50, will plead guilty to 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter in exchange for a nine-year sentence. Almena may serve little or none of that term because of time already spent behind bars and credit for good behavior.
- National Review
Biden Admonishes Reporter for Questioning Whether Vaccine Goal Is Ambitious Enough: ‘Give Me a Break’
President Biden pushed back on a reporter at a press briefing on Thursday, who questioned whether the new administration’s coronavirus vaccine goal is ambitious enough. Biden has set a goal to vaccinate 100 million Americans during his first 100 days in office. During the press conference, Biden called the Trump administration’s distribution of coronavirus vaccines a “dismal failure so far,” warning that “things are going to continue to get worse before they get better.” However, the seven-day rolling average for coronavirus vaccine doses administered to Americans currently sits at 912,000, according to the Bloomberg vaccine tracker. (On Wednesday alone, 1.6 million doses were administered.) This indicates that the Biden administration is not far from its goal of vaccinating one million Americans per day. On Thursday, Associated Press reporter Zeke Miller asked Biden if the vaccination goal was “high enough,” since “that’s basically where the U.S. is right now.” “When I announced it you all said it wasn’t possible. Come on, give me a break, man,” Biden responded. “It’s a good start, a hundred million.” Internal projections from the Trump administration showed that the U.S. could administer at least 170 million doses by the end of April, two Trump administration officials told Bloomberg. During the press conference, Biden also announced that he would invoke the Defense Production Act to “accelerate the making of everything that’s needed to protect, test, and vaccinate and the care of our people.” Biden warned that the death toll from coronavirus infections would hit 500,000 in February. Over 408,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 as of Thursday.
- 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
- Yahoo News
With Joe Biden sworn in as president, the long wait for Donald Trump’s health care plan is now officially over. If he ever had one, no one ever saw it.
- Yahoo News Video
Already facing allegations of stealing more than $600,000 in federal funds from a health care school she directed, a Tennessee state senator has been charged in a new fraud case, the U.S. attorney’s office in Memphis said Tuesday.
The European Parliament called on EU governments to recognise Juan Guaido as Venezuela's interim president in a resolution on Thursday, after a downgrade of his status by the bloc earlier this month. The EU's 27 states said on Jan. 6 they can no longer legally recognise Guaido as the country's legitimate head of state after he lost his position as head of parliament following legislative elections in Venezuela in December, despite the EU not recognising that vote. The European Parliament "calls on ... the member states to unequivocally recognise the constitutional continuation of the legitimate National Assembly of Venezuela elected in 2015 and the legitimate interim President of Venezuela Juan Guaido", it said.
- NBC News
A GoPro camera was found inside a bathroom and changing area at a Premier Athletics facility, which trains young cheerleaders, gymnasts and dancers in Franklin.
- National Review
President Joe Biden on Thursday unveiled a plan to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, which includes issuing ten executive orders and directing agencies to use the wartime Defense Production Act to require U.S. companies to prioritize manufacturing supplies such as N95 masks, swabs, and other equipment. The executive orders will aim to increase COVID-19 vaccinations, bolster testing and reopen schools. “The National Strategy provides a roadmap to guide America out of the worst public health crisis in a century,” the plan says. “America has always risen to the challenge we face and we will do so now.” The United States’ fight against COVID-19 sits on a precipice as Biden takes office: nearly 3,000 Americans are dying each day of the virus as more infectious strains continue to spread. A further increase in the number of cases could prove even more deadly as many hospitals nationwide are already stretched to their limits. Biden’s plan to give 100 million shots in 100 days will include ramping up vaccine production using the Defense Production Act and increasing the number of vaccination sites by creating federal community vaccination centers in stadiums, gymnasiums and conference centers. The sites will be staffed with thousands of additional workers, some of whom will come from federal agencies and the military, as well as first responders. The Democrat will recommend that all states begin vaccinating people 65 and older, as well as a number of essential workers, including teachers and grocery store employees. Officials say they believe they have the supply and resources to increase vaccinations — up from 17 million shots that have been recorded in a little over a month — but will need funding from Congress for vaccinations and other efforts, asking for more than $400 million for the pandemic response as part of a $1.9 trillion stimulus package. “While we will urgently execute the strategy, we do need Congress to act — and act quickly. Congress must provide the necessary funding in the Covid relief package, the American Rescue Plan, that the president will soon be sending them,” Jeffrey Zients, Biden’s Covid-19 response coordinator, told reporters. The president is also set to sign an executive order requiring people to don masks in airports and on airplanes, trains and maritime vessels. He will mandate that international travelers have tested negative for COVID-19 before they depart for the U.S. To achieve his goal of reopening the majority of K-8 schools in his first 100 days in office, he will sign a presidential memorandum reimbursing schools for additional cleaning, protective equipment and other associated costs using disaster relief funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
- 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.
- Associated Press
Indonesian authorities on Thursday ended the search for remaining victims and debris from a Sriwijaya Air jet that nosedived into the Java Sea, killing all 62 people on board. Transportation minister Budi Karya Sumadi said retrieval operations have ended after nearly two weeks, but that a limited search for the missing memory unit from the cockpit voice recorder will continue. The memory unit apparently broke away from other parts of the voice recorder during the crash.
Chinese Actress Faces Backlash After Allegedly Hiring 2 Women to Have Her Babies Then Abandoning Them
Chinese actress Zheng Shuang is facing massive backlash after being accused by her former partner, producer Zhang Heng, of abandoning their two children born to U.S.-based surrogate mothers. An international scandal: In a 2019 audio recording that emerged on Monday, Heng said Shuang decided to abandon the children before they were even born following the end of their relationship, South China Morning Post reports. Shuang’s father purportedly made the suggestion to abandon the children at the hospital.
- The Independent
Michael Flynn’s brother reveals he was involved in Capitol riot response after Army denied it, report says
Apparent U-turn by Pentagon officials could pose questions about police response
- The Week
It's the end of a very caffeinated era.When former President Donald Trump occupied the Oval Office, he quite literally had a button on his desk that ordered a Diet Coke to the room whenever it was pressed. But as a glimpse at President Biden's desk just hours after his inauguration shows, the soda-summoning button is gone.> President Biden has removed the Diet Coke button. When @ShippersUnbound and I interviewed Donald Trump in 2019, we became fascinated by what the little red button did. Eventually Trump pressed it, and a butler swiftly brought in a Diet Coke on a silver platter. It's gone now. pic.twitter.com/rFzhPaHYjk> > — Tom Newton Dunn (@tnewtondunn) January 21, 2021While it may have sounded just too weird to be true, Trump's Diet Coke obsession and his button to match were absolutely real. No word on if Biden will install some kind of ice cream-ordering alternative.More stories from theweek.com 7 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's White House exit McConnell is already moving to strangle the Biden presidency Trump's team fired the White House chief usher right before Biden took office, maybe at Biden's request
- 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.
- The Telegraph
Social worker who died after secret liposuction in Turkey struggled to communicate with doctors after surgery, inquest hears
A social worker who died after having secret liposuction in Turkey struggled to communicate with doctors due to the language barrier, an inquest has heard. Abimbola Bamgbose, 38, left the UK on Aug 16 for what her husband believed was a week-long holiday with some friends in the coastal city of Izmir. However, the mother of three underwent the fat-removal procedure at a private medical centre the day after she arrived. She died 15 days later after developing peritonitis and multi-organ failure. Her bowel had been perforated during surgery. At an inquest into her death, it emerged that Ms Bamgbose had struggled to communicate with doctors after she started to feel unwell following the operation. Her husband of eight years, Moyosore Olowo, told the coroner that he had urged her to explain to doctors that she was experiencing severe stomach pains. But, he said she told him they didn't speak English and she was struggling to make clear how serious her symptoms were. Describing his reaction to finding out his wife had travelled to Turkey for surgery rather than just a holiday, Mr Olowo said: "Initially I was upset. She had talked about surgery before like liposuction. She had been to a clinic in the UK but found it was too expensive. "I wasn't really happy but I told her 'okay, you've had it now, when you get back home we will discuss the rest'. "I think she was tired of people asking 'are you pregnant?' and 'why is your tummy so big?'. I think it got to her head." Mr Olowo, a rail safety officer, said he was aware that she had been researching slimming procedures online before going on the trip. She had visited a surgery in south east London but found the operations were too expensive, the inquest heard. The day after having the £5,000 operation in Izmir, Ms Bamgbose called her husband to tell him. Mr Olowo was growing increasingly concerned for his wife's health after her stomach pains worsened, and he flew to Turkey on Aug 25. By now, Ms Bamgbose had been admitted to intensive care. Her surgeon informed Mr Olowo through a video call that she had died on Aug 31. A post-mortem carried out in the UK found that she had puncture marks on her stomach where the liposuction device had been inserted during surgery. The consultant pathologist said she had suffered one of the worst cases of peritonitis he had ever seen. Coroner Alan Blunsdon, sitting at County Hall in Maidstone, Kent, recorded a narrative conclusion that Ms Bamgbose died after her bowel was perforated during surgery. He told Mr Olowo: "Can I lastly extend to you my deepest condolences and to the family and friends of Ms Bamgbose in what has been a very, very sad case." A fundraising page was set up to finance a funeral for Ms Bamgbose, who worked as a hospital social worker for Thurrock Council. It raised more than £3,500. Set up by her colleagues, it described her as a "popular, funny, lively and caring" woman who "balanced a demanding job as a newly qualified social worker alongside caring for her children", who are aged between seven and 12. The page read: "Abi had a bright future, she worked so hard to get her qualification and was just beginning to get the rewards she deserved. We are struggling to believe she is gone." Almost 20 per cent of plastic surgery patients in Turkey came from abroad in 2019, according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. It remains one of the most popular destinations for cosmetic surgery health tourism.