California Gov. Gavin Newsom has rejected a $13.5 billion settlement that Pacific Gas & Electric came to last week with thousands of people who lost homes, businesses and family members in a series of fires that drove the nation's largest utility into bankruptcy.
- Yahoo News
A growing number of House Democrats are calling for an investigation into whether their Republican colleagues aided President Trump’s supporters who violently stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in an effort to overturn the results of last year’s election.
- Associated Press
Pakistani authorities sacked a local police chief and 11 other policemen for failing to protect a Hindu temple that was set on fire and demolished last month by a mob led by hundreds of supporters of a radical Islamist party, police said Friday. The 12 policemen were fired over “acts of cowardice" and “negligence" for not trying to stop the mob when it attacked the temple, with some having fled the scene. Another 48 policemen were given various punishments following a probe into the attack, the police statement said.
- The Independent
Local newspapers turn on Lauren Boebert as 68 state politicians demand investigation into Capitol riot role
Lauren Boebert is under fire for sharing details about the location of the House speaker during the Capitol riots
Russia announced on Friday it was pulling out of the Open Skies treaty, saying that the pact, which allows unarmed surveillance flights over member countries, had been seriously compromised by the withdrawal of the United States. The move, announced by Russia's foreign ministry, comes days before U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's Jan. 20 inauguration amid fears of a burgeoning arms race. Moscow's last major nuclear arms pact with Washington is set to expire next month.
Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) has apologized to Black Oklahomans for challenging Joe Biden's Electoral College victory, saying he did not realize his actions would be seen as "casting doubt on the validity of votes" in predominantly Black cities like Atlanta, Philadelphia and Detroit.The big picture: Lankford was part of a group of 11 senators, led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who planned to object to the Electoral College certification unless Congress launched a commission to audit the election results. He later withdrew his objection after the pro-Trump siege of the Capitol.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.Between the lines: "Lankford has been more involved with Black Tulsans, and particularly the historic Greenwood District, than any statewide Republican officeholder in decades," Tulsa World writes. * However, after Lankford's comments on the Senate floor, several state Black leaders said he should be removed from the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission, which is dedicated to educating communities about the massacre that killed 300 people. * Other Republicans involved in the election challenges, including Cruz and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) have faced massive backlash.What they're saying: "My action of asking for more election information caused a firestorm of suspicion among many of my friends, particularly in Black communities around the state," Lankford wrote in a letter addressed to "my friends in North Tulsa." * "I can assure you, my intent to give a voice to Oklahomans who had questions was never also an intent to diminish the voice of any Black American," he continued. * "I should have recognized how what I said and what I did could be interpreted by many of you. I deeply regret my blindness to that perception, and for that I am sorry."Go deeper: GOP Sen. Josh Hawley under fire after Electoral College challengeBe smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.
- Associated Press
In the week since a mob laid siege to the U.S. Capitol, the House has impeached President Donald Trump. Twitter and other social media sites have banned Trump and thousands of other accounts. Officer Eugene Goodman isn't saying whether he thinks he saved the Senate, as many of the millions who've viewed the video believe.
Lisa Montgomery, who killed a pregnant woman and took her baby, died by lethal injection in Indiana.
A U.S. appeals court ordered that the last two scheduled federal executions under President Donald Trump's outgoing administration could proceed on Thursday and Friday, overturning a stay from a lower court delaying them until March to allow the two condemned men to recover from COVID-19. The U.S. Department of Justice announced last month that Corey Johnson, 52, and Dustin Higgs, 48, had been diagnosed with COVID-19 but that it would proceed with their executions set for Thursday and Friday. Both men, convicted in separate murders, are being held on death row at a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.
- The Telegraph
Palestinian leaders have announced that they expect their first batch of coronavirus vaccines to arrive by March, as the West Bank and Gaza face an anxious wait to receive jabs while Israel presses ahead with its record-setting vaccination drive. This week the Palestinian Authority said it had secured a provisional agreement with AstraZeneca and was seeking doses from Moderna, as well as the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine. The Palestinians are also working with the World Health Organisation to receive free vaccines under the Covax scheme. It came as Palestinian officials accused Israel of “ignoring” its duties as an occupying power to assist them in protecting their people from the disease. “The search by the Palestinian leadership to secure the vaccines from various sources doesn’t exempt Israel from its responsibilities towards the Palestinian people in providing the vaccines,” the Palestinian foreign ministry said in a statement. Israel refutes this and says it has no legal obligation to provide vaccines for the West Bank and Gaza, as the Oslo peace accords state that this is the duty of Palestinian leaders. However, according to Israeli media reports, the Israeli government provided the Palestinian authorities with around 100 vaccine doses earlier this month as a “humanitarian gesture.” Israel has already given the first coronavirus jab to more than two million people - around 20 per cent of the population - as part of the world’s fastest vaccinations programme. The 1990s-era Oslo accords grant the Palestinian Authority limited self-rule in the West Bank while the Gaza strip is controlled by Islamist group Hamas. While the accords say Palestinian authorities should vaccine their own citizens, they also says both sides are required to “cooperate in combating” epidemics and contagious diseases. Arab-Israeli citizens, and Palestinians who live in East Jerusalem, are already able to receive vaccines from the Israeli programme. But human rights groups, such as Amnesty International, are putting pressure on the Israeli government to provide further assistance. In a recent statement, Amnesty’s deputy regional director for the Middle East, Saleh Higazi, accused Israel of “instutionalised discrimination.” “While Israel celebrates a record-setting vaccination drive, millions of Palestinians living under Israeli control in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip will receive no vaccine or have to wait much longer,” he said. Husam Zomlot, a senior Palestinian diplomat in London, described the situation as “vaccine apartheid” in a post on Twitter, a charge that Israel denies. Palestinian officials said on Wednesday that they had recorded 30 deaths from coronavirus in the past 24 hours, while more than 90 people are in intensive care units. To date, coronavirus has caused around 1,800 deaths in the Palestinian territories.
- The Conversation
Images taken by the media of the Capitol storming could help law enforcement identify participants. Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post via Getty ImagesThe images from the Jan. 6 siege on the United States Capitol will likely be seared into the memories of many Americans. Photographs and video published in print, online and on television showed protesters breaking windows to enter the building, sitting at a desk in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office and confronting an outnumbered Capitol police force. However, it may be the unpublished images that will be of most interest to law enforcement agencies as they track down and arrest as many of the rioters as possible for breaking a range of laws. The agencies may request or demand that news organizations turn over their unpublished material, which would force the media outlets to make uncomfortable choices. Journalists argue that if they are forced to reveal confidential sources or turn over any news information they have gathered but not yet published, it will erode the trust of sources and the public, who will doubt the independence that journalists often claim. Journalists serve the public, not the government. But is the public better served by bringing criminals to justice than protecting a journalistic principle? Conflicting interests Many of the people who participated in the attack on the Capitol building have been identified and arrested, some with help from photos published by the media and selfies and videos taken by the protesters. As the search for more suspects continues, if authorities seek unpublished images from the news media and media outlets willingly cooperate, it could put journalists in greater danger when covering future protests. Protesters may see them as potential informants and physically attack them to avoid being identified later. If the outlets resist and force authorities to issue subpoenas for the images, it is unlikely to improve the media’s standing with a distrustful public because it may appear the news organizations are obstructing justice. Equipment of media crews damaged during clashes after Trump supporters breached U.S. Capitol security. Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images Dangers of covering protests Covering unrest is always dangerous for journalists, but the situation at the Capitol was especially so. The protesters were supporters of President Donald Trump, who has often referred to the media as the “enemy of the people.” Someone carved the words “Murder the Media” into a door in the building, and news outlets lost thousands of dollars of equipment when it was stolen and smashed by protesters. During protests after George Floyd was killed while being taken into police custody last summer, several reporters were injured and possibly targeted by protesters and police officers. In Seattle, police subpoenaed the Seattle Times and several television stations in June 2020 to obtain unpublished images from protests there to identify people suspected of criminal activity. The news organizations challenged the subpoenas in court under Washington state’s shield law, which protects journalists from being forced to name confidential sources or turn over unpublished information to state authorities. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press filed a brief supporting the news organizations’ position, in which it argued that enforcing the subpoena would jeopardize journalists’ safety as well as their editorial independence. A judge ruled against them. Police later dropped the subpoenas because media appeals of the judge’s decision were likely to take too long to resolve. Journalists often fight subpoenas for their materials. kolderal/Moment/Getty Images Legal protections for journalists Because the Capitol siege happened on federal government property, the incident is being investigated by federal authorities, meaning any court challenges to subpoenas would likely end up in federal court. This complicates matters. Forty states have shield laws, but there is no federal shield law. In 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that journalists do not have a First Amendment right to refuse to reveal sources’ identities in response to a valid grand jury subpoena. The Branzburg v. Hayes decision was so divided, however, that many lower federal courts have limited its reach to grand jury situations. This means that journalists have a better chance of winning if they are subpoenaed to provide evidence in civil lawsuits or at criminal trials. The Jan. 6 incident does not involve confidential sources. Some federal courts have ruled that nonconfidential material gathered by journalists, including unpublished images, is also protected from disclosure, but the protection is usually less comprehensive than for confidential material. Given the seriousness of the Capitol incident, which led to five deaths, it would be difficult for journalists to successfully argue that their interests are more important than those of law enforcement. I have been studying the law regarding journalists and their sources for nearly 24 years. To my knowledge, U.S. journalists have rarely made the argument that they could face physical danger if they are forced to turn over information they have gathered. The closest parallel is a Washington Post reporter who successfully fought a subpoena from a war crimes tribunal 20 years ago because of fears of retribution in foreign conflict zones. One possible solution would be for news outlets to publish all images that have not already been published on their websites. That way, both the public and law enforcement agents would have access without a bruising legal battle over making the images available only to the police. A bonus would be that the public would have even more information about what happened.This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Anthony Fargo, Indiana University. Read more:The insurrection at the Capitol challenged how US media frames unrest and shapes public opinionHow should you read unnamed sources and leaks? Anthony Fargo 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.
- Architectural Digest
When it came to the lighting in his home, Pardo drew inspiration from the insides of fruits, nuts, and seeds, as well as sea creatures and machine parts.Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- Associated Press
Afghan forces killed a provincial council member suspected of ties with the Taliban during a gunbattle in western Ghor province, the Afghan intelligence service said late Thursday. The fighting near the provincial capital of Faroz Koh also killed one officer and wounded another, according to a statement by the National Directorate for Security. It accused the council member, Hazatullah Beg, of masterminding the killing of another council member as well as an Afghan journalist and human rights activist in Ghor.
- The Independent
‘We’re all on high alert based on the events over the last couple of weeks in Washington,’ says CEO
Food has become so expensive in Turkey that some people are spending what money they have to stock up on rice and pasta to avoid swallowing even higher prices in the months ahead. With surveys showing pantries are thinning out, Erdogan may need to do more about basic living costs even after installing a new central bank chief who in November pledged to tame inflation.
- Yahoo News Video
A racing pigeon has survived an extraordinary 13,000-kilometer (8,000-mile) Pacific Ocean crossing from the United States to find a new home in Australia. Now authorities consider the bird a quarantine risk and plan to kill it.
- The Telegraph
The fisheries minister has raised eyebrows by disclosing she was busy organising a nativity trail on Christmas Eve when the Brexit deal on fish was agreed. Victoria Prentis insisted that the agreement was beneficial for UK boats when she appeared before the Lords EU Environment Sub-Committee on Wednesday, but conceded some quarters of the fishing industry had been hard done by. During the session Lord Teverson, the Lib Dem chairman of the committee, asked her: “Did your jaw drop as well when you saw this agreement that had been delivered in fisheries, when really this is such an iconic subject?” Ms Prentis replied: “No, the agreement came when we were all very busy on Christmas Eve; in my case organising the local nativity trail. We’d been waiting and waiting. It looked like it was coming for probably four days before it actually arrived.” Opposition MPs seized on her comments. Scottish Lib Dem Alistair Carmichael told The Daily Record: “Surely she could have taken a little time away from the festivities to look after her own departmental responsibilities?”. However, it was pointed out that the legal text of the post-Brexit deal was not published until several days later at which juncture Ms Prentis, a former Government lawyer, read it at once. She had been party to draft proposals on fisheries in the run up to the UK-EU agreement being finalised. On Christmas Eve the minister, who has organised the nativity play in her village church for the past 17 years, is understood to have been out of the house for only an hour and a half attending to the task. During the rest of the day she read the briefing note on the Brexit deal prepared for her by officials, and held calls with colleagues. At 6pm she hosted a cross-party Zoom briefing, to which all MPs and peers were invited. Over the past fortnight British seafood exporters have battled disruptions that began when the Brexit transition period ended on December 31. Companies have reported having to delay and cancel shipments to the continent owing to problems gaining the requisite approvals at EU ports. Scottish firms have been among the worst hit. Boris Johnson on Wednesday promised to compensate Scottish fishermen as he said there were “teething problems” with the new post-Brexit arrangements.
- Associated Press
A Florida waitress who noticed bruises on an 11-year-old boy flashed him a handwritten note asking him if he needed help, and when he nodded yes, she called the police, authorities said. Orlando police credited Flaviane Carvalho, a waitress at Mrs. Potato Restaurant, with coming to the boy's aid on New Year's Eve when the child’s parents weren’t looking. Police took the boy to a hospital where doctors found bruises on his face, earlobes and arms.
- Christian Science Monitor
Whether the Taliban are serious about negotiating peace is a question that has dogged U.S.-backed Afghanistan talks since their inception.
The United States stands by Taiwan and always will, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft said following a call with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, who told her the island would continue to seek access to U.N. meetings. Craft had planned to visit Taipei this week, in the teeth of strong objections from China which views the island as its own territory.
- The Telegraph
Wearing a giant furry hat, black leather jacket and a beaming smile, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un introduced “the world’s strongest weapon” – a new submarine-launched ballistic missile – at a nighttime parade on Thursday in Pyongyang. The display of North Korea’s military might followed a rare congress of the ruling Workers' Party, during which leader Kim denounced the United States as his country's “foremost principal enemy” and vowed to strengthen the North’s nuclear war deterrent. On Friday, the reclusive regime’s state media released 100 photos of a mass celebration of the national armory, including tanks and rocket launchers, all flanked by rows of marching soldiers, noticeably not wearing masks. Military aircraft were illuminated by LED lights as they flew overhead in formation. “They’d like us to notice that they’re getting more proficient with larger solid rocket boosters,” tweeted Ankit Panda, a North Korea expert and author of ‘Kim Jong Un and the Bomb’, as the parade unfolded in Pyongyang’s Kim Il Sung square. As the spectacle reached its climax, the military rolled out what analysts said appeared to be new variants of solid-fuel short-range ballistic missiles – which are more quickly deployed than liquid-fuelled versions - and four Pukguksong-class submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).