CBS4 meteorologist Jennifer Correa says today will be mostly cloudy with a few showers in the afternoon.
- LA Times
Column: You thought McConnell was tough as majority leader? Wait until you see him as minority leader
Get ready for the same tough-as-nails obstructionist we saw when Obama was in office.
- Associated Press
Russian police arrested more than 3,000 people Saturday in nationwide protests demanding the release of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, the Kremlin's most prominent foe, according to a group that counts political detentions. The protests in scores of cities in temperatures as low as minus-50 C (minus-58 F) highlighted how Navalny has built influence far beyond the political and cultural centers of Moscow and St. Petersburg. In Moscow, an estimated 15,000 demonstrators gathered in and around Pushkin Square in the city center, where clashes with police broke out and demonstrators were roughly dragged off by helmeted riot officers to police buses and detention trucks.
As his first directive in office, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued a memo asking his senior military leaders to send him reports on sexual assault prevention programs and assess which have worked and which haven’t.Why it matters: Military leaders have grappled with a steady increase in sexual misconduct reports since 2006. The consistent trend has concerned senators, who repeatedly asked Austin how he plans to tackle this problem during his confirmation hearings, per AP.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here. * Austin agreed this was an urgent matter, telling senators, “This starts with me and you can count on me getting after this on Day One.” * Lawmakers have repeatedly called for action, including changes in the Code of Military Justice.By the numbers: According to department reports, there was a 13% spike in reports in 2018 and a 3% increase in 2019. * Nate Galbreath, the acting director of the Pentagon’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, said the increase in reports suggests that more people were willing to come forward, therefore gaining confidence in the justice system. * Last April he also stated that he was cautiously optimistic that the lower increase in 2019 reports suggested a trend in declining assaults.Where it stands: Last year officials announced a new system in which any victim who refuses to file a public criminal report can provide details about their alleged attacker so investigators can evaluate if they have been involved in other crimes.What’s next: Austin plans to host a meeting on the matter with senior leaders in the coming days. * Each leader is to submit a summary of the sexual assault and harassment measures they have taken in the last year and evaluate which ones show promise and which don’t. * Austin also asked for relevant data for the past decade, including efforts to support victims. * He also stated in his memo, “Include in your report the consideration of novel approaches to any of these areas,” adding, “we must not be afraid to get creative.”Support safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
Pirates off Nigeria's coast kidnapped 15 sailors from a Turkish container ship in the Gulf of Guinea on Saturday in a brazen and violent attack that was farther from shore than usual. One sailor was killed in the raid, an Azerbaijani citizen, while those kidnapped are from Turkey, according to the respective governments and a crew list obtained by Reuters. Accounts from crew, family members and security sources described a sophisticated and well-orchestrated attack on Saturday in which armed pirates boarded the ship and breached its protective citadel, possibly with explosives.
- Associated Press
Ultra-Orthodox demonstrators clashed with Israeli police in two major cities on Sunday, as authorities faced new difficulties in enforcing coronavirus restrictions in the country's religious communities. The clashes occurred in Jerusalem and Ashdod as police attempted to close religious schools that had opened in violation of lockdown orders. This has contributed to a disproportionate infection rate, with the ultra-Orthodox community accounting for over one-third of Israel's coronavirus cases, despite making up just over 10% of the population.
- The Telegraph
The SNP has revealed a "roadmap to a referendum" on Scottish independence, with the latest poll showing a majority want a fresh vote. Mike Russell, the Scottish Government's Constitution Secretary, will present the 11-point document to the party's policy forum on Sunday. It says a "legal referendum" will be held after the pandemic if there is a pro-independence majority following May's election. The roadmap states any attempt by the UK Government to challenge the legality of the referendum in the courts will be "vigorously opposed". A Section 30 order - part of the Scotland Act 1998 which allows Holyrood to pass laws normally reserved to Westminster - was granted by the UK Government ahead of the 2014 independence referendum.
A prominent U.S. Senate Republican warned on Saturday that former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial could lead to the prosecution of former Democratic presidents if Republicans retake the chamber in two years. Trump this month became the first U.S. president to be impeached twice after the Democratic-controlled House, with the support of 10 Republicans, voted to charge him with incitement of insurrection for a fiery Jan. 6 speech to his followers before they launched a deadly assault on the Capitol.
- Associated Press
New first lady Jill Biden took an unannounced detour to the U.S. Capitol on Friday to deliver baskets of chocolate chip cookies to National Guard members, thanking them “for keeping me and my family safe” during President Joe Biden's inauguration. “I just want to say thank you from President Biden and the whole, the entire Biden family,” she told a group of Guard members at the Capitol. “The White House baked you some chocolate chip cookies," she said, before joking that she couldn't say she had baked them herself.
- The Telegraph
Israel has started vaccinating teenagers as it expanded its world-leading Covid-19 vaccination campaign to 16-18 year-olds in an effort to get them back in schools to take their winter exams on schedule. At least one dose has been administered to over 25 per cent of Israel’s 9.25 million population, with just over 10.5 per cent having received a second dose. Working its way down its priority list, the vaccine in Israel is now available to anyone over 40 or, with parental permission, those aged between 16 and 18. The winter matriculation certificate is a large part of university and military admissions. Israel struck a deal with Pfizer at the beginning of January that allowed them to expedite delivery of the vaccine so that all over 16s would be inoculated by the end of March, in return for extensive data on their vaccination campaign to share with the world. Israeli health minister, Yuli Edelstein, told The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday that the data from their vaccination programme suggests a first dose gave just 30 per cent protection from coronavirus. “We are just at the beginning of the (vaccination) campaign, we do see cases of people that after getting the first dose still get sick with the coronavirus,” he said.
A slim majority of Americans say former President Donald Trump should be convicted by the Senate of inciting an insurrection and barred from holding public office, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, which showed a sharp partisan divide over the issue. The national public opinion poll, conducted on Wednesday and Thursday, found that 51% of Americans think Trump should be found guilty for inciting the deadly storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Another 37% said Trump should not be convicted and the remaining 12% said they were unsure.
- Associated Press
The U.S. Census Bureau is suspending efforts to create neighborhood-level statistics on the citizenship and age of residents, using 2020 census data, in the latest rollback of Trump administration census-related initiatives that critics feared would be used to favor Republicans and whites during the drawing of state and local districts. As part of an order President Joe Biden signed Wednesday on the 2020 census, the Census Bureau said Friday that it would discontinue efforts to create citizenship tabulations at the city-block level using 2020 census data combined with administrative records.
- Business Insider
The Bidens were reportedly left waiting outside the White House on Inauguration Day because Trump sent the staff home
The Trumps sent the butlers home "so there would be no-one to help the Bidens when they arrived," a source told The National Journal.
- FOX News Videos
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, provides insight into Trump’s impeachment trial on ‘Fox News Sunday.’
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 has issued another two executive orders aimed at the coronavirus pandemic's economic fallout.Millions of Americans have claimed unemployment insurance as they lost their jobs amid the pandemic, not to mention thousands of noncitizen workers who haven't been eligible for the benefits. Congress has so far passed two relief bills aimed at helping those who have lost their jobs, though many families are still struggling. Biden is pushing Congress to pass another $1.9 trillion stimulus program, but took initial and immediate relief steps Friday with another round of executive orders.The first order would increase how much families are given through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program each week. About 12 million families rely on the program, and this order would boost food stamp benefits for a family of four by 15 percent, National Economic Council Director Brian Deese tells The New York Times. And while Biden has called for another round of $1,400 stimulus checks, this order would direct the IRS to ensure Americans are getting their $600 payments as well. Notably, the order will also let people claim unemployment benefits even if they quit their job because they feel unsafe working it during the pandemic, among other economic benefits aimed at low-income Americans.The second order meanwhile lays the groundwork for ensuring federal workers and contractors are paid at least $15 per hour and can access paid leave, CNN reports. It also undoes some of former President Donald Trump's orders that let a president hire and fire employees for political reasons and limited federal workers' bargaining rights.Biden has spent the first two days of his presidency issuing executive orders to combat Trump's policies on immigration, climate, the pandemic, and more.More stories from theweek.com 5 scathingly funny cartoons about Biden's COVID-19 push 7 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's White House exit 'No way' McConnell has had a post-Trump 'epiphany,' political scientist says
- Associated Press
Six months after his death, the late civil rights leader and longtime Georgia congressman John Lewis will retain a palpable influence in Congress: The state’s two new Democratic U.S. senators — both personal friends and admirers — promise to carry on his legacy. Sen. Raphael Warnock was Lewis’ pastor and stood at his bedside before Lewis died.
- The Telegraph
Thousands of Hong Kongers were ordered to stay in their homes on Saturday for the city's first coronavirus lockdown as authorities battle an outbreak in one of its poorest and most densely packed districts. The order bans anyone inside multiple housing blocks within the neighbourhood of Jordan from leaving their apartment unless they can show a negative test. Officials said they planned to test everyone inside the designated zone within 48 hours "in order to achieve the goal of zero cases in the district". The South China Morning Post said the measures covered about 150 housing blocks and up to 9,000 people with hundreds of police on standby to enforce the lockdown. Hong Kong was one of the first places to be struck by the coronavirus after it burst out of central China.
Support for Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has overseen the world's second deadliest coronavirus outbreak, has fallen sharply, a Datafolha poll shows, as a brutal second wave and a lack of vaccines sour views of his far-right government. However, despite his declining support, a majority of Brazilians are now against him being impeached, a second Datafolha poll found. According to one of the polls, Bolsonaro's administration was rated as bad or terrible by 40% of respondents, compared with 32% in an early-December survey.
- Associated Press
For two Virginia police officers who posed for a photo during the deadly U.S. Capitol insurrection, the reckoning has been swift and public: They were identified, charged with crimes and arrested. The contrasting cases highlight the dilemma faced by police departments nationwide as they review the behavior of dozens of officers who were in Washington the day of the riot by supporters of President Donald Trump. How does a department balance an officer's free speech rights with the blow to public trust that comes from the attendance of law enforcement at an event with far-right militants and white nationalists who went on to assault the seat of American democracy?
- Reuters Videos
President Joe Biden told the Mexican president that the U.S. plans to reverse the Trump administration's "draconian" immigration approach while working on policies addressing the causes of migration, according to the White House. In a Friday call with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Biden outlined his plan to create new legal pathways for immigration and improve the process for people requesting asylum. The White House release also said the two leaders agreed to work together towards reducing "irregular migration.” In a Twitter post, Lopez Obrador called the call “pleasant and respectful”. The call comes two days after Biden signed half a dozen executive orders to reverse several hardline immigration policies put in place by former President Trump, including immediately lifting a travel ban on 13 mostly Muslim-majority and African countries, and halting construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall. Over in Sunland Park, New Mexico, construction sites of the border wall appeared abandoned after Biden signed the executive order. On Thursday Lopez Obrador praised Biden for halting construction. "If President Biden says that a wall is no longer being built, that's what he means. In four years, zero.” Biden has also made an early push for a bill that would open a path for citizenship for the roughly 11 million people living in the United States illegally, though even his allies in Congress acknowledge that may be "a Herculean task."