Charli might not be able to dance her way out of this one. After her & sister Dixie are seen being rude to their chef in a new video, their followings take a hit. Watch.
- NBC News
Biden's team appears ready to invest political capital trying to get Congress to approve another round of stimulus payments.
- The Telegraph
Celebrities in Russia have joined calls for protests in support of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny as authorities prepare for what could be the biggest wave of anti-government demonstrations in years. Rallies are due to take place on Saturday in over 60 cities and towns despite coronavirus restrictions and without official permits to protest. The demonstrations offer the first test of support for the 44-year-old politician since he returned to Russia on Sunday following his near-fatal poisoning in August. Despite persistent warnings that police will not tolerate the unsanctioned rallies, dozens of Russian celebrities have taken to social media to back the jailed politician and urge supporters to take to the streets. Igor Denisov, a former captain of the national football team revered by the government, called for Mr Navalny’s release in a video statement. “I’ve never been interested in politics and I never will,” he said in the video posted by the Sports.ru website. “But it’s not about politics. I’d like to support Alexei Navalny and his family... He should be freed.” Soap opera star Alexandra Bortich in an emotional speech on Instagram asked her fans to join her at the protest: “It would be really cool if we all go on a walk on January 23rd - we all have to take that walk if we want to live in a country where human rights are respected and laws are in place.”
- The Independent
Judge denies release for 26-year-old accused of taking part in the deadly Capitol attacks then returning to Washington on Inauguration Day
America may not have won World War II and landed on the moon later if not for the contributions of a brilliant Chinese scientist named Qian Xuesen. Fearing communist presence after the war, the U.S., however, deported Qian to China, clueless that he would eventually spearhead programs that would target American troops and eventually propel China into space. Born to well-educated parents in 1911, it was evident from an early age that Qian had superior intellect.
- 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 7 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's White House exit McConnell is already moving to strangle the Biden presidency Biden's next executive order will let people stay on unemployment if they quit an unsafe job
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday expressed his "disappointment" with President Biden's executive order to rescind permits for the Keystone XL pipeline, in a readout of the president's first official call with a foreign leader.Why it matters: The prime minister has long backed the pipeline meant to carry crude oil from Alberta to Nebraska. Biden, however, campaigned on the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.What he's saying: In a news conference earlier Friday, Trudeau said: “We have so much alignment — not just me and President Biden, but Canadians and President Biden." He added, "I’m very much looking forward to working with President Biden,” per the New York Times. * On the call, however, Trudeau "raised Canada’s disappointment with the United States’ decision on the Keystone XL pipeline," according to the readout. * "The Prime Minister underscored the important economic and energy security benefits of our bilateral energy relationship as well as his support for energy workers."The big picture: The pipeline project originally came with an $8 billion price tag and was expected to carry roughly 830,000 barrels of crude oil daily from Canada through Nebraska, per The Washington Post. * Though President Obama rejected the pipeline, President Trump gave it the green light once in office. * Lawsuits slowed construction on the project throughout Trump's administration. * Two Native American communities sued the government over the pipeline last year, charging the government did not consult with tribes on the pipeline's proposed path, which crosses tribal lands. * Its permit repeal is one of several "critical first steps to address the climate crisis, create good union jobs, and advance environmental justice, while reversing the previous administration’s harmful policies," according to the Biden administration.In their Friday call, the two leaders discussed collaborating on COVID vaccines and the flow of critical medical supplies, efforts to work with Indigenous people and plans to address climate change through cross-border clean electricity transmission and net-zero emissions. * "Both leaders have made combating climate change, defending human rights and strengthening international institutions central to their platforms," the Times writes. * "The leaders reiterated their firm commitment to multilateral institutions and alliance," per the readout.Flashback: In 2017, Trudeau touted the Keystone XL pipeline, saying: "No country would find 173 billion barrels of oil in the ground and just leave them there. The resource will be developed. Our job is to ensure that this is done responsibly, safely and sustainably." Go deeper: Biden talks climate in calls with foreign leadersBe smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.
- The Telegraph
A Republican congresswoman is facing calls to resign over reports that she helped to spread falsehoods about the Parkland school shooting. Marjorie Taylor Greene reportedly agreed with a conspiracy theory about the 2018 shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in which 17 people were killed. Facebook screenshots showed a discussion about why a police officer had not rushed into the building, and someone claimed that the mass shooting was a "false flag planned shooting." Greene replied: “Exactly!" The social media giant later removed the posts after they were reported to them. Cameron Kasky, a former Parkland pupil who co-founded the group Never Again MSD, said: "She should resign. She can apologise. I don’t think anybody will accept it.” The congresswoman was elected in Georgia in November, backed Donald Trump's claims of election fraud, and has previously expressed support for the QAnon conspiracy theory. Fred Guttenberg, who's 14-year-old daughter Jaime died in the Parkland shooting, said: "Your feelings on gun laws are irrelevant to your claim that Parkland never happened. You are a fraud who must resign. Be prepared to meet me directly in person to explain your conspiracy theory, and soon." The comments by the politician were first reported by Media Matters for America. In a statement Ms Greene accused Media Matters for America of being "communists' and "fake news". Meanwhile, US Capitol Police were investigating an incident in which a Republican congressman was found carrying a concealed gun while trying to enter the floor of the House of Representatives. Andy Harris, a staunch gun-rights advocate, set off a metal detector going through security on his way to the House floor . Metal detectors were installed outside the chamber to beef up security in the aftermath of the Capitol riots on Jan 6.
- NBC News
Biden's acting attorney general signed off on reassigning prosecutor who objected to family separations
The incident would have made Wilkinson aware families were being separated long before the Texas pilot program for zero tolerance was known to the public.
- Associated Press
A former Transportation Security Administration agent who was accused of tricking a traveler into showing her breasts as she went through security at Los Angeles International Airport pleaded no contest Friday to false imprisonment, authorities said. Johnathon Lomeli entered the plea to a felony count and was sentenced to 60 days in county jail, 52 classes addressing sexual compulsion and two years of probation, California's attorney general's office announced. Lomeli was also barred from working as a security guard.
Germany on Friday rejected a claim by Argentina that a request by airline Lufthansa to fly over Argentina en route to the Falkland Islands implied a recognition of them as Argentine territory. Argentina and Britain have long disputed ownership of the Falklands, with Argentina claiming sovereignty over the British-run islands it calls the Malvinas.
- The Week
Biden has stopped construction on Trump's border wall, but the fate of outstanding contracts is unclear
Among the first 17 executive orders President Biden signed Wednesday evening was one hitting "pause" on construction of former President Donald Trump's border wall. "It shall be the policy of my administration that no more American taxpayer dollars be diverted to construct a border wall," Biden's order said. "I am also directing a careful review of all resources appropriated or redirected to construct a southern border wall."Biden gave the Pentagon and Homeland Security departments up to a week to stop all border construction, and for the most part, the frantic wall-building Trump had unleashed in his last months in office had stopped by Thursday, The Associated Press reports. The Army Corps of Engineers said Thursday it told its contractors to stop installing any additional barriers and do only what's "necessary to safely prepare each site for a suspension of work."Biden gave his administration 60 days to find and review all current contracts and determine which can be canceled, which must be renegotiated, and whether any of the remaining money can be used on other projects. Trump, as of Jan. 15, had spent $6.1 billion of the $10.8 billion in wall construction it had contracted out, a Senate Democratic aide told AP. Overall, the Trump administration had secured $16.45 billion for the wall, including $5.8 billion appropriated by Congress and the rest seized from the Treasury and Defense departments. Biden is targeting that latter pot of money.Trump says he built 450 miles of his wall, though almost all of that was replacement for other barriers. His administration signed contracts for constructing 664 miles, the Senate aide told AP. "Trump said the border wall would be 'virtually impenetrable' and paid for by Mexico, which never happened," AP notes. "While the wall is much more formidable than the barriers it replaced, it isn't uncommon for smugglers to guide people over or through it. Portions can be sawed with power tools sold at home improvement stores."More stories from theweek.com 7 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's White House exit McConnell is already moving to strangle the Biden presidency Biden's next executive order will let people stay on unemployment if they quit an unsafe job
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing the Biden administration in federal district court over its 100-day freeze on deporting unauthorized immigrants, and asking for a temporary restraining order.Between the lines: The freeze went into effect Friday, temporarily halting most immigration enforcement in the U.S. In the lawsuit, Paxton claims the move "violates the U.S. Constitution, federal immigration and administrative law, and a contractual agreement between Texas" and the Department of Homeland Security. Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America. * Leon Fresco, an immigration attorney, told Axios that the lawsuit is likely to fail at fully reinstating deportations because a judge cannot force Immigration and Customs Enforcement to remove any particular person. * The executive branch has broad authority over immigration enforcement, as was seen in both President Obama and President Trump's administrations. What they're saying: In the announcement of the moratorium on Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security said the pause on deportations would "allow DHS to ensure that its resources are dedicated to responding to the most pressing challenges that the United States faces." * In Paxton's request for a temporary restraining order, he claims, "Without emergency relief, Texas faces irreparable harm from having to provide costly educational, social, welfare, healthcare, and other services to illegal aliens who remain in Texas because Defendants have ceased removing them."The White House has not yet responded to Axios' request for comment.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- Architectural Digest
“The materials and colors took center stage,” said David Lucas when it came to the design of the home.Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- The Independent
Infowars founder claimed shooting was 'a giant hoax’ and that grieving parents were actors
- Associated Press
Iran's capital and major cities plunged into darkness in recent weeks as rolling outages left millions without electricity for hours. With toxic smog blanketing Tehran skies and the country buckling under the pandemic and other mounting crises, social media has been rife with speculation. Within days, as frustration spread among residents, the government launched a wide-ranging crackdown on Bitcoin processing centers, which require immense amounts of electricity to power their specialized computers and to keep them cool — a burden on Iran's power grid.
- NBC News
The teen spent two weeks creating over 40 fake returns in order to obtain over $980,000, police say.
With the dawn of the Biden administration comes Cholleti Vinay Reddy, the country’s first Indian American presidential speechwriter. Reddy’s roots originate from Pothireddypeta, a rural village in the Indian state of Telangana, whose residents have been celebrating his latest milestone: Biden’s inaugural address. Born and raised in Dayton, Ohio, Reddy is believed to have acquired his political acumen from his grandfather, Tirupathi, who served as the village sarpanch (head) for 30 years.
- Yahoo News Video
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell is proposing to push back the start of Donald Trump's impeachment trial by a week or longer to give Trump time to review the case.
- The New York Times
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department’s top leaders listened in stunned silence this month: One of their peers, they were told, had devised a plan with President Donald Trump to oust Jeffrey Rosen as acting attorney general and wield the department’s power to force Georgia state lawmakers to overturn its presidential election results. The unassuming lawyer who worked on the plan, Jeffrey Clark, had been devising ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Trump was about to decide whether to fire Rosen and replace him with Clark. The department officials, convened on a conference call, then asked one another: What will you do if Rosen is dismissed? Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times The answer was unanimous. They would resign. Their informal pact ultimately helped persuade Trump to keep Rosen in place, calculating that a furor over mass resignations at the top of the Justice Department would eclipse any attention on his baseless accusations of voter fraud. Trump’s decision came only after Rosen and Clark made their competing cases to him in a bizarre White House meeting that two officials compared with an episode of Trump’s reality show “The Apprentice,” albeit one that could prompt a constitutional crisis. The previously unknown chapter was the culmination of the president’s long-running effort to batter the Justice Department into advancing his personal agenda. He also pressed Rosen to appoint special counsels, including one who would look into Dominion Voting Systems, a maker of election equipment that Trump’s allies had falsely said was working with Venezuela to flip votes from Trump to Joe Biden. This account of the department’s final days under Trump’s leadership is based on interviews with four former Trump administration officials who asked not to be named because of fear of retaliation. Clark said that this account contained inaccuracies but did not specify, adding that he could not discuss any conversations with Trump or Justice Department lawyers because of “the strictures of legal privilege.” “Senior Justice Department lawyers, not uncommonly, provide legal advice to the White House as part of our duties,” he said. “All my official communications were consistent with law.” Clark categorically denied that he devised any plan to oust Rosen or to formulate recommendations for action based on factual inaccuracies gleaned from the internet. “My practice is to rely on sworn testimony to assess disputed factual claims,” Clark said. “There was a candid discussion of options and pros and cons with the president. It is unfortunate that those who were part of a privileged legal conversation would comment in public about such internal deliberations, while also distorting any discussions.” Clark also noted that he was the lead signatory on a Justice Department request last month asking a federal judge to reject a lawsuit that sought to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the results of the election. Trump declined to comment. An adviser said that Trump has consistently argued that the justice system should investigate “rampant election fraud that has plagued our system for years.” The adviser added that “any assertion to the contrary is false and being driven by those who wish to keep the system broken.” Clark agreed and said that “legal privileges” prevented him from divulging specifics regarding the conversation. A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment, as did Rosen. When Trump said on Dec. 14 that Attorney General William Barr was leaving the department, some officials thought that he might allow Rosen a short reprieve before pressing him about voter fraud. After all, Barr would be around for another week. Instead, Trump summoned Rosen to the Oval Office the next day. He wanted the Justice Department to file legal briefs supporting his allies’ lawsuits seeking to overturn his election loss. And he urged Rosen to appoint special counsels to investigate not only unfounded accusations of widespread voter fraud but also Dominion, the voting machines firm. Rosen refused. He maintained that he would make decisions based on the facts and the law, and he reiterated what Barr had privately told Trump: The department had investigated voting irregularities and found no evidence of widespread fraud. But Trump continued to press Rosen after the meeting — in phone calls and in person. He repeatedly said that he did not understand why the Justice Department had not found evidence that supported conspiracy theories about the election that some of his personal lawyers had espoused. He declared that the department was not fighting hard enough for him. As Rosen and the deputy attorney general, Richard Donoghue, pushed back, they were unaware that Clark had been introduced to Trump by a Pennsylvania politician and had told the president that he agreed that fraud had affected the election results. Trump quickly embraced Clark, who had been appointed the acting head of the civil division in September and was also the head of the department’s environmental and natural resources division. As December wore on, Clark mentioned to Rosen and Donoghue that he spent a lot of time reading on the internet — a comment that alarmed them because they inferred that he believed the unfounded conspiracy theory that Trump had won the election. Clark also told them that he wanted the department to hold a news conference announcing that it was investigating serious accusations of election fraud. Rosen and Donoghue rejected the proposal. As Trump focused increasingly on Georgia, a state he lost narrowly to Biden, he complained to Justice Department leaders that the U.S. attorney in Atlanta, Byung Pak, was not trying to find evidence for false election claims pushed by Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani and others. Donoghue warned Pak that the president was now fixated on his office and that it might not be tenable for him to continue to lead it, according to two people familiar with the conversation. That conversation and Trump’s efforts to pressure Georgia’s Republican secretary of state to “find” him votes compelled Pak to abruptly resign this month. Clark was also focused on Georgia. He drafted a letter that he wanted Rosen to send to Georgia state legislators that wrongly said that the Justice Department was investigating accusations of voter fraud in their state and that they should move to void Biden’s win there. Rosen and Donoghue again rejected Clark’s proposal. On New Year’s Eve, the trio met to discuss Clark’s refusal to hew to the department’s conclusion that the election results were valid. Donoghue flatly told Clark that what he was doing was wrong. The next day, Clark told Rosen — who had mentored him while they worked together at the law firm Kirkland & Ellis — that he was going to discuss his strategy with the president early the next week, just before Congress was set to certify Biden’s electoral victory. Unbeknown to the acting attorney general, Clark’s timeline moved up. He met with Trump over the weekend, then informed Rosen midday Sunday that the president intended to replace him with Clark, who could then try to stop Congress from certifying the Electoral College results. He said that Rosen could stay on as his deputy attorney general, leaving Rosen speechless. Unwilling to step down without a fight, Rosen said that he needed to hear straight from Trump and worked with the White House counsel, Pat Cipollone, to convene a meeting for early that evening. Even as Clark’s pronouncement was sinking in, stunning news broke out of Georgia: State officials had recorded an hourlong call, published by The Washington Post, during which Trump pressured them to manufacture enough votes to declare him the victor. As the fallout from the recording ricocheted through Washington, the president’s desperate bid to change the outcome in Georgia came into sharp focus. Rosen and Donoghue pressed ahead, informing Steven Engel, the head of the Justice Department’s office of legal counsel, about Clark’s latest maneuver. Donoghue convened a late-afternoon call with the department’s remaining senior leaders, laying out Clark’s efforts to replace Rosen. Rosen planned to soon head to the White House to discuss his fate, Donoghue told the group. Should Rosen be fired, they all agreed to resign en masse. For some, the plan brought to mind the so-called Saturday Night Massacre of the Nixon era, where Attorney General Elliot Richardson and his deputy resigned rather than carry out the president’s order to fire the special prosecutor investigating him. The Clark plan, the officials concluded, would seriously harm the department, the government and the rule of law. For hours, they anxiously messaged and called one another as they awaited Rosen’s fate. Around 6 p.m., Rosen, Donoghue and Clark met at the White House with Trump, Cipollone, his deputy Patrick Philbin and other lawyers. Trump had Rosen and Clark present their arguments to him. Cipollone advised the president not to fire Rosen and he reiterated, as he had for days, that he did not recommend sending the letter to Georgia lawmakers. Engel advised Trump that he and the department’s remaining top officials would resign if he fired Rosen, leaving Clark alone at the department. Trump seemed somewhat swayed by the idea that firing Rosen would trigger not only chaos at the Justice Department but also congressional investigations and possibly recriminations from other Republicans and distract attention from his efforts to overturn the election results. After nearly three hours, Trump ultimately decided that Clark’s plan would fail, and he allowed Rosen to stay. Rosen and his deputies concluded they had weathered the turmoil. Once Congress certified Biden’s victory, there would be little for them to do until they left along with Trump in two weeks. They began to exhale days later as the Electoral College certification at the Capitol got underway. And then they received word: The building had been breached. This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
- The Independent
Former police officer who climbed over fences to get into Capitol during riot claims he was there to see art
Regular phone camera roll shows no images from January 6 but ‘deleted’ folder filled with images and videos of officer inside Capitol building during riot