80 people out of Cherry Laurels' 98 residents received a vaccine today. All of those vaccinations were voluntary.
- Associated Press
Vice President Mike Pence has called his soon-to-be successor Kamala Harris to offer his congratulations, according to two people familiar with the conversation. President Donald Trump has not reached out to President-elect Joe Biden and has repeatedly questioned the legitimacy of Biden’s win. Pence will also attend Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration, which Trump is refusing to attend.
Bee Nguyen, Georgia's first Vietnamese American state representative, donned an áo dài to her swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday. Regarded as the most popular national costume of Vietnam, the áo dài for women is a long dress with a contoured top that flows over loose-fitting trousers that reach the sole of the feet. Nguyen, 39, decided to wear the garment in response to the Capitol siege on Jan. 6, in which rioters carried the South Vietnamese flag.
- NBC News
No one was injured in the September collision, but it's thought to be the first criminal conviction for unsafely using a drone.
The Senate Intelligence Committee has postponed a confirmation hearing — originally scheduled for Friday — for President-elect Biden's nominee for director of national intelligence, Avril Haines, until next week.Why it matters: Biden's team has pushed for swift confirmation hearings for his national security nominees, especially in the context of last week's attack on the Capitol, threats of violence surrounding next week's inauguration and global political tensions.Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America. * The hearing was slated to take place in a virtual setting, which would have required the consent of all senators who sit on the panel. * Haines, who served as CIA deputy director from 2013 to 2015, and deputy national security adviser from 2015 to 2017, would be the first woman to lead the intelligence community.What they're saying: "Despite the unusual circumstances on Capitol Hill, the committee is working in good faith to move this nominee as fast as possible and ensure the committee's members have an opportunity to question the nominee in both open and closed settings," Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), the top two senators on the committee, said in a joint statement. * "The Director of National Intelligence plays a crucial role in overseeing the 18 agencies that make up our nation's Intelligence Community, and the committee looks forward to holding a hearing next week with Ms. Haines."Support safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- Associated Press
A retired Air Force officer who was part of the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol last week carried plastic zip-tie handcuffs because he intended “to take hostages,” a prosecutor said in a Texas court on Thursday. The prosecutor had argued that Brock should be detained, but Magistrate Judge Jeffrey L. Cureton said he would release Brock to home confinement. Cureton ordered Brock to surrender any firearms and said he could have only limited internet access as conditions of that release.
- 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 Week
Trump's team is reportedly trying to assemble a crowd for a 'major send-off' hours before Biden's inauguration
President Trump is planning to exit the White House on the morning of Jan. 20, a few hours before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in a short distance away, CNN reports. "Eager for a final taste of the pomp of being president, Trump has asked for a major send-off," and "as one of their final acts, Trump's team is working to organize a crowd to see him off on the morning of Biden's inauguration, when he plans to depart Washington while still president" for a flight to Palm Beach, Florida, where his term will officially end at noon.There are 20,000 National Guard troops currently deployed or en route to Washington, D.C., ahead of Biden's inauguration, because the last crowd Trump drew to the White House morphed into an insurrectionist mob that stormed the Capitol.Plans are still being ironed out, CNN says, but "Trump told people he did not like the idea of departing Washington for a final time as an ex-president, flying aboard an airplane no longer known as Air Force One. He also did not particularly like the thought of requesting the use of the plane from Biden." The Bidens will wake up on Inauguration Day at nearby Blair House, CNN reports, adding that "its use was offered to them by the State Department rather than the Trumps, who refuse to make contact with the incoming president and first lady.""Trump has expressed interest to some in a military-style sendoff and a crowd of supporters," CNN says, but it's unclear "whether that occurs at the White House, Joint Base Andrews, or his final destination, Palm Beach International Airport."Outgoing U.S. presidents almost always attend the swearing-in of their successors, Defense One notes, and "in recent decades, the outgoing president and first lady walk down the back steps of the Capitol to an awaiting helicopter, which then makes the short five-minute flight over to Joint Base Andrews in nearby Maryland. Upon arriving at Andrews, the former president and first lady are usually greeted by a military honor guard, former staffers, friends, and other well wishers." Two senior Pentagon officials confirmed to Defense One on Thursday that, in a break with recent tradition, no military farewell is being planned for Trump.More stories from theweek.com Trump's vaccine delay is getting suspicious Do Democrats realize the danger they are in? 5 scathing cartoons about Trump's second impeachment
What happened: The officer attended the riots in Washington D.C. and is accused of "penetrating" the Capitol, Click2Houston reports. During a press conference on Wednesday, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo discussed the officer in question. According to the New York Post, the officer — who was not named publicly by Acevedo — was placed on administrative leave.
- Charlotte Observer
An Army private first class was arraigned on sexual assault charges before a military judge.
- Associated Press
A friendly $100 wager over the 2020 Presidential election has landed in a Florida small claims court. Before the election, Sean Hynes, a Trump supporter from St. Petersburg, reached out to Jeffrey Costa, an acquaintance who is a Biden supporter from Atlanta. The deal was sealed on Facebook Messenger: If Trump won, Costa would pay $100.
- 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).
- National Review
In his first television interview since being shot in the back by police, Jacob Blake admitted that he not only had a knife in his possession at the time of the shooting, but also “dropped” it before picking it up again. “I realized I had dropped my knife, had a little pocket knife. So I picked it up after I got off of him because they tased me and I fell on top of him,” Blake told Michael Strahan in an interview that aired Thursday on ABC’s Good Morning America (GMA). “I shouldn’t have picked it up, only considering what was going on,” he continued. “At that time, I wasn’t thinking clearly.” Earlier this month, Kenosha County district attorney Michael Graveley said that he would not file charges against Officer Rusten Sheskey, who shot Blake seven times, given that the officer was acting in self-defense against an armed assailant. Blake also had a past arrest for resisting police with a knife. Blake’s admission contradicts past statements from his family and attorneys, who denied that he had a knife in his possession when police shot him on August 23, in an incident that stemmed from a 911 call made by the mother of Blake’s children, who told police that Blake was trying to drive away in her rental car with two of his sons. “My son didn’t have a weapon,” Blake’s father told the Chicago Sun-Times for an August 25 story. Patrick Salvi Jr., an attorney for the Blake family, told CNN on August 26 that Blake did not have a knife in the car. “Witnesses confirm that he was not in possession of a knife and didn’t threaten officers in any way,” Blake’s attorney, Ben Crump, said in a statement released on August 27. At the time, Blake had a warrant out for his arrest on charges of trespassing, disorderly conduct, and third-degree sexual assault, which the operator relayed to the responding officers. With the outstanding felony charges, police were required by law to take Blake into custody. In the interview with GMA, Blake also claimed that “I hadn’t done anything so I didn’t feel like they were there for me,” though investigators later found that, prior to the arrest, Blake had looked up his own warrant on a police website and had sent a text mentioning the warrant. ABC made no mention of either fact in the interview. The shooting went viral on social media after being recorded on video, showing officers screaming at Blake to “drop the knife.” In the subsequent days — which included deadly violence, rioting, and looting — the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation revealed that Blake admitted to having “a knife in his possession.” But much of the mainstream press ran with the initial claim that he was “unarmed.” “Wisconsin’s governor on Monday called in the National Guard to help quell unrest after police shot an unarmed Black man in the latest incident this summer to stir cries of injustice and divide a nation over the urgency of bringing fundamental change to law enforcement,” read the lede of five-person Washington Post byline on August 24. Earlier this month, the Post drew pushback after it maintained the “unarmed” description of Blake in reporting the decision by authorities to not pursue police charges. Though the paper did correct the narrative, one story published January 5 still refers to Blake as “unarmed.” (Update: the story has now been “corrected” by the paper, though it reads “[w]hile his family has said he was not armed when shot by police, prosecutors said video evidence depicts him holding a knife,” failing to note that Blake himself has now admitted to having one.) The Post did not return a request for comment on the discrepancy. In the days after the shooting, CNN ran multiple articles describing Blake as “unarmed” which have yet to be corrected. “Video shows police shoot unarmed Black man” is a current link to an August 24 segment hosted by CNN anchor Jake Tapper. An August 28 USA Today “fact check” titled “Jacob Blake did not ‘brandish’ knife, get gun before Kenosha police shooting” argued that “Blake was not ‘brandishing’ anything in the video taken by bystanders,” even as it noted that the clip “shows something in Blake’s hand, but the resolution is low, so it could be a knife.” But rather than issue a correction or a retraction on January 5, PolitiFact merely updated the post with an editor’s note stating that prosecutors had revealed “Blake was armed with a ‘razor blade-type knife’ when he was shot by police.” The explanation? “That does not affect the rating for this item because ratings are based on what is known at the time.” In other words, it used to be true.
- NBC News
The flag has become a symbol for different things: anti-communism, U.S. imperialism, democracy and recollection of the past.
- 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
Yemen's Houthi movement will not walk away from peace talks with the United Nations and Saudi Arabia despite the U.S. decision to designate the Iran-aligned group as a foreign terrorist organisation, the Houthi chief negotiator told Reuters. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the designation, which will trigger sanctions against the movement and three of its leaders, will come into effect on Jan. 19 at the end of the Trump administration's term. "These (peace talks) have nothing to do with the (U.S.) decision which will not limit our movements nor our international relations," Mohammed Abdulsalam said on Thursday, adding this applied to both U.N. efforts and ceasefire talks with Riyadh.
New variants of the coronavirus circulating globally appear to increase transmission and are being closely monitored by scientists. Why it matters: Countries are being overwhelmed by surges in cases that have led to border closures, quarantines and more aggressive pushes for the public to get vaccinated. So far, the variants do not appear to be resistant to the existing vaccines or cause more severe disease. Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.The state of play: Public officials are tracking SARS-CoV-2 variants, including the B.1.1.7 variant detected in the U.K., the 501.V2 variant in South Africa and a newly discovered variant in Brazil. Driving the news: The highly contagious variant B.1.1.7 could become the dominant strain in the U.S. by March if no measures are taken to control the spread of the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday. The B.1.1.7 variant has been identified in about 45 countries, but nations without routine genetic surveillance, including the U.S., may not fully know the extent of the spread, sparking calls for increased monitoring. * Public Health England released a new study of B.1.1.7 that estimated the variant is 30% to 50% more transmissible than other forms of the virus. * 10 state health departments in the U.S. have detected the B.1.1.7 variant. The CDC estimates it's linked to about less than half a percent of cases in the U.S. so far and isn't the dominant variant. The 501.V2 variant is "a little bit more concerning regarding the possibility of interfering with some of the monoclonal antibodies," based on preliminary findings, top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci told Axios last week. * The variant carries a number of mutations that show changes to some of the virus' spike protein, which experts say is cause for concern since the spike protein is what coronavirus uses to gain entry into human cells, BBC reports.Japan’s Health Ministry detected a variant on Sunday after travelers returned from Brazil. There are still many unknowns, but scientists say it has 12 mutations and studies are underway into the efficacy of vaccines against the new variant. * Brazil's Health Ministry has asked Japan for information such as the genetic sequence of the new strain, according to the Japan Times.The big picture: Viruses mutate, often without impacting the severity of disease or how the virus spreads. But sometimes mutations are consequential for public health and scientists say it's important to monitor them. * Both Pfizer and Moderna are in the process of testing their vaccines against the variants. Pfizer and BioNTech said Thursday the mutation N501Y found in both variants B.1.1.7 and 501.V2 was tested against their vaccine and found “no reduction in neutralization activity against the virus.” * But there are multiple mutations and more studies are underway.What to watch: On Friday, CDC officials pushed back on reports of a U.S. variant of the virus, the New York Times reports. * “To date, neither researchers nor analysts at CDC have seen the emergence of a particular variant in the United States,” the CDC said. * The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.The bottom line: Viruses mutate and evolve and the coronavirus is no different. So far, public health officials still say wearing a mask, socially distancing, testing and contact tracing, and hand washing are best practices for stopping the spread of COVID-19.Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.
- The Telegraph
The one-time lover of Spain's former king has accused him of ordering the secret service to deliver death threats to her after their relationship was exposed. Speaking as a witness in a court hearing on Friday, Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein stated that her life and those of her children were threatened by the then head of Spain’s CNI secret service, General Félix Sanz Roldán, in her London hotel room in May 2012. The beginning of the alleged campaign of harassment came weeks after a disastrous elephant-hunting trip to Botswana had led to her relationship with Juan Carlos becoming public knowledge. “Sanz Roldán and King Juan Carlos were at great pains to make it clear that it was Juan Carlos who was giving orders to Sanz Roldán, that these orders were coming from the top,” the 56-year-old businesswoman said, speaking to the court in Madrid via a video link from Westminster Magistrates Court. The comments came in a trial in which former Spanish police commissioner José Manuel Villarejo faced charges of slander and false accusation against Mr Sanz Roldán. Mr Villarejo was facing defamation charges after he accused Mr Sanz Roldán of threatening Ms zu Sayn-Wittgenstein during a 2017 television interview. Mr Villarejo has been remanded in custody since November 2017 while he is investigated on dozens of counts of alleged illegal espionage and other offences. In court, Mr Villarejo said he had been commissioned by the CNI to meet Ms zu Sayn-Wittgenstein in London in 2015 “to gain her confidence” and convince her to hand over sensitive documents and defuse the dispute between her and Juan Carlos. Ms zu Sayn-Wittgenstein ratified that she had told Mr Villarejo that Mr Sanz Roldán had said he “could not guarantee my safety and that of my children” during a meeting she said was arranged by Juan Carlos in London’s The Connaught hotel. Since a tape of the conversation between Mr Villarejo and Ms zu Sayn-Wittgenstein was leaked to the media in 2018, she and other associates of Juan Carlos have been placed under investigation in Switzerland for alleged money laundering. After prosecutors at Spain’s Supreme Court also opened a probe into the former monarch last June, Juan Carlos left Spain and has remained in exile in UAE since.
- Associated Press
A 16-year-old boy has admitted fatally shooting his newborn daughter and leaving her body inside a fallen tree in the woods in southern Wisconsin, according to prosecutors. Logan Kruckenburg-Anderson, of Albany, is charged as an adult with first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse. According to a criminal complaint, the teen took the infant shortly after she was born Jan. 5 to a wooded area in Albany, about 80 miles (129 kilometers) southwest of Milwaukee, placed her inside a fallen tree and shot her twice in the head.
Delta, Alaska, American, and United Airlines announced on Thursday they will not allow travelers flying to Washington area airports to check firearms on its flights before the inauguration. Delta chief executive Ed Bastian told CNBC his airline had placed passengers on a no-fly list for their involvement in disruptive incidents that, for example, targeted Republican U.S. Senator Mitt Romney.
Republicans will emerge from the Trump era gutted financially, institutionally and structurally.The big picture: The losses are stark and substantial.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here. * They lost their congressional power. * Their two leaders, Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy, are hamstrung by corporate blacklisting of their election-denying members. * The GOP brand is radioactive for a huge chunk of America. * The corporate bans on giving to the 147 House and Senate Republicans who voted against election certification are growing and virtually certain to hold. * The RNC is a shell of its former self and run by a Trump loyalist. * Democrats crushed them in fundraising when they were out of power. Imagine their edge with it. * Sheldon Adelson, the party's biggest donor, died Monday. * The NRA is weaker than it has ever been, after massive leadership scandals. * The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, once controlled by rock-ribbed Republicans, also gave to Democrats in 2020. * Rank-and-file Republicans are now scattered on encrypted channels like Signal and fearful of Big Tech platforms. What to watch: Conservatives hold power in the courts and state legislatures, two foundational pieces to rebuilding their party. But they likely will face a raging internal war over policies and political leaders as they grapple with a post-Trump world — whenever that might be.Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.