By Dave McKinney CHICAGO (Reuters) - Chicago police will get new equipment and training to help them defuse tense situations and limit their use of lethal force, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said on Wednesday, following weeks of protests calling for him to resign over his handling of fatal police shootings. The number of Tasers, or electric stun guns that are generally not lethal, for the police department will be doubled to 1,400 so that every patrol unit that goes out at night has one, Emanuel said at a news conference. "Just because you are trained that you can use force, doesn't mean you should," Emanuel said at the news conference, flanked by top officials including interim Police Superintendent John Escalante. Emanuel ended his Cuba vacation early this week to deal with fallout from the police shooting to death a 55-year-old mother and a 19-year-old college student, whom relatives said had suffered from mental issues. The Chicago Police Department, already the subject of a federal civil rights investigation over its use of deadly force and other issues, has admitted the woman's death was an accident. The latest shootings came after protesters had called for Emanuel's resignation after a video was released last month showing Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke, who is white, shooting 17-year-old African-American Laquan McDonald in 2014. Van Dyke has pleaded not guilty to murder. That, and other shootings of black men by police officers over the past 18 months, have led to protests across the country and the issue has fueled a civil rights movement under the name Black Lives Matter. Chicago police shoot more than 50 people a year, 74 percent of them black, with an average of 17 fatal shootings a year between 2007 and 2014, according to the Independent Police Review Authority, which examines complaints about the Chicago police and all its uses of force. Escalante said the aim was to discourage aggression and confrontation. "The goal is to change the way officers think when they approach a critical incident by establishing time and distance to allow for more prudent thinking and physical space to promote a safer environment," he said. "We expect that every police officer develops skills and abilities that allow them to help dissolve confrontations by the using the least amount of physical or lethal force necessary," he said. The city has already announced it will add more body cameras to police equipment and that officers involved in fatal shootings will be put on a mandatory 30-day period of desk duty, compared with the current three-day policy. Most U.S. police receive little or no training on how to de-escalate crisis situations involving the mentally ill or people under the effect of drugs or alcohol, despite the growing frequency of such encounters and fatal results in a number of recent cases. Meanwhile in Cleveland, more protests were planned two days after a grand jury decided not to charge two white police officers in the 2014 shooting death of Tamir Rice, a black 12-year-old boy who was playing in a park with a toy gun that shoots plastic pellets. Cleveland officials said on Tuesday they will review Rice's shooting to determine if the officers involved or others should face disciplinary action. TASERS The Chicago police department, with some 12,000 officers, currently has 700 Tasers, which fire dart-like electrodes that incapacitate but are generally non-lethal. None of the eight police officers at the scene of McDonald's shooting in 2014 had a Taser, though they had asked for a unit equipped with a Taser to come to the scene. The turmoil after that shooting led Emanuel to fire the police superintendent and create a task force to review police accountability. While Emanuel was on vacation, Bettie Jones, 55, and Quintonio LeGrier, 19, were killed on Dec. 26 by an officer responding to a call that LeGrier was threatening his father with a metal baseball bat, another situation that critics said police could have addressed with a Taser. Tasers can be used at a distance of up to 35 feet (11 meters), depending on the model, and some can also be pressed onto the target's body without firing the projectiles. A 2009 evaluation of conducted electrical weapons - the generic name for Tasers - by the Police Executive Research Forum, compared law enforcement departments that used the devices and departments that did not, and found that the former had reduced officer and suspect injuries. The study did not show an impact on suspect deaths, although the researchers said that could be due to a small sample size. (Additional reporting by Mary Wisniewski in Chicago and Kim Palmer in Cleveland; Writing by Fiona Ortiz and Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Bill Rigby)
- Yahoo News
Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States in Washington, D.C., Wednesday. In his inaugural address, Biden called for national unity and an end to the "uncivil war." He also signed 17 executive actions, rolling back measures enacted by President Trump.
- 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 Independent
Former first lady seemed delighted to greet members of the Biden family
Alexei Navalny, President Vladimir Putin's most prominent critic who was jailed at the weekend, on Tuesday released a video in which he and his allies alleged that an opulent palace belonged to the Russian leader, a claim the Kremlin denied. The allegations, which first surfaced in 2010 when a businessman wrote about them to then-President Dmitry Medvedev complaining of official graft, come as Navalny's supporters urge people to join nationwide protests on Saturday. Reuters reported in 2014 that the estate in southern Russia had been partly funded by taxpayer money from a $1 billion hospital project.
Capt. Scott Moss, who led the NOSC in Knoxville, was relieved of command by Capt. Dale Maxey.
- The Week
Fox News contributors choke up talking about the importance of Kamala Harris being the first Black woman VP
Liberal Fox News contributor Richard Fowler choked up during an appearance on the network as he marveled at the numerous glass ceilings broken by Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday."One part [of the inauguration] that caused me to get real emotional was, we've been a country for 243 years, and in all those 243 years, we have had women citizens but we have never had a woman hold national office," Fowler said, his voice breaking as he went on. "So to see Kamala Harris put her hand on the Bible today -- also being her and I are of Jamaican descent, and I just think about my grandmother and my mom and so many other women who saw this, and so many young girls who can finally believe that they can be president, too, because of what we did as a country back in November."> Fox News contributor Richard Fowler gets emotional when talking about Kamala Harris being the first woman VP, and how it makes him think about his grandmother and mom, who like Harris are of Jamaican descent pic.twitter.com/Wdlo8Ca3uh> > -- Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 20, 2021Fowler was not the only contributor on Fox News on Wednesday to be audibly moved by the significance of Harris' oath. Political analyst Juan Williams also emotionally explained, "It's visceral, and I'll tell you why. I have granddaughters, I'm the son of a Black mother -- you think about American history, you think about the status of Black women in this country for most of our history. And the idea that a Black woman would assume such power in this moment as a national leader -- truly inspiring." > Fox News' Juan Williams gets choked up talking about Kamala Harris:> > "You think about the status of Black women in this country for most of our history. And the idea that a Black woman would assume such power in this moment as a national leader, truly inspiring." pic.twitter.com/K13K0Q1vVX> > -- Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) January 20, 2021More stories from theweek.com Bernie Sanders steals the inauguration with his grumpy chic outfit Cheap, 'generic' drug reduces COVID-19 death risk by 75 percent, trials suggest Spectacular fireworks display over D.C. closes out Inauguration Day
- Associated Press
Thai officials on Wednesday filed criminal charges against a popular former politician, accusing him of defaming the monarchy by broadcasting criticism of government efforts to secure supplies of coronavirus vaccines. The action against Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit came just a day after Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters that that his government will prosecute anyone who shares false information about coronavirus vaccines. Thanathorn, former leader of the dissolved Future Forward Party, accused the government of acting too slowly in procuring the vaccines.
- Yahoo News Video
The District of Columbia was prepared for violence as President Biden was inaugurated on Wednesday. Following the riotous insurrection staged by supporters of then-President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, much of the downtown area in the nation's capital was turned into a fortified "red zone" patrolled by thousands of members of the National Guard. However, the anticipated large pro-Trump demonstrations did not take place, but one man did take to the streets to protest Biden's victory: former NBA player David Wood. Clothed in religious and patriotic paraphernalia, Wood told Yahoo News that he is confident that Biden will resign or be arrested for committing voter fraud shortly after taking office — though he does not personally subscribe to the QAnon conspiracy that makes similar baseless claims.
The United States on Tuesday sanctioned a network of oil trading firms, individuals and vessels that have helped Venezuelan state-run oil company PDVSA sell crude mainly to Asia despite Washington's sanctions on the South American nation. The measure targets a network that the U.S. Treasury Department says helped the administration of President Nicolas Maduro, whose 2018 re-election Washington called a sham, broker the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars in Venezuelan oil.
- CBS News
Vice presidents since Vice President Walter Mondale have been living in the residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.
- The Telegraph
Eric Trump says he will 'never forget Buckingham Palace' as family seen in tears at farewell ceremony
Eric Trump said he will "never forget Buckingham Palace" as he looked back on his father's four years in office after a tearful farewell ceremony. The president's second eldest son said it had been the honour of his life to have had a "front row seat to the most remarkable and consequential presidencies in American history". He went on to enumerate his father's achievements in office, listing his tax cuts, support for the second Amendment and Middle East peace deals. He singled out his visit to the UK, which included a State banquet hosted by the Queen in 2019. "I will never forget Buckingham Palace and the beaches of Normandy," he said in a tweet. "It's truly a journey I will never forget," he said.
A British prosecutor hired by the Hong Kong government to lead a case against democracy activists has pulled out after coming under pressure in Britain including 'disgraceful' comments by its foreign minister, city authorities said on Wednesday. David Perry, a Queen's Counsel, was due to lead the case against tabloid media magnate Jimmy Lai and several others, including veteran democracy activists Martin Lee and Margaret Ng. But Hong Kong's Department of Justice noted "growing pressure and criticism" of Perry in Britain for taking the case, adding in a statement that he had "concerns about such pressures and the exemption of quarantine" and "indicated that the trial should proceed without him".
- The Independent
Ms Harris is expected to move into the 128-year-old residence once a number of repairs have been made
- Architectural Digest
Mercedes-Benz’s Hyperscreen, General Motors’ Bright Drop, and Jeep’s Electric Wrangler were among the unveils that turned headsOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- Associated Press
A wave of Taliban attacks and violence has killed dozens across Afghanistan, even as talks are underway between the government and the insurgents in Qatar, officials said Tuesday. A statement from the defense ministry said four army soldiers were killed late Monday night in Taliban attacks on checkpoints in Kunduz province. According to the ministry, 15 Taliban fighters were also killed and 12 were wounded.
- Yahoo News
CIA Director Gina Haspel is marking the end of a tenure that was often publicly quiet, but often included behind-the-scenes resistance to some of President Trump’s controversial moves.
Palestinians expect to receive a first batch of COVID-19 vaccine by the weekend, officials said on Tuesday - at a time when more than a quarter of their Israeli neighbours have already been inoculated. The Palestinian Authority (PA) has ordered Russia's Sputnik V vaccine and hopes to administer it to 50,000 residents by March, after last week granting the drug emergency approval. The PA governs in the Israeli-occupied West Bank in coordination with Israel, whose vaccination campaign has been the world's fastest.
- NBC News
Suspect William McCall Calhoun Jr. faces a host of charges stemming from the Jan. 6 pro-Trump riot at the U.S. Capitol Building.
- Associated Press
India began supplying coronavirus vaccines to its neighboring countries on Wednesday, as the world’s largest vaccine making nation strikes a balance between maintaining enough doses to inoculate its own people and helping developing countries without the capacity to produce their own shots. India's Foreign Ministry said the country would send 150,000 shots of the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine, manufactured locally by Serum Institute of India, to Bhutan and 100,000 shots to the Maldives on Wednesday. India's ambassador to Nepal, Vinay Mohan Kwatra, said Wednesday that New Delhi would supply Nepal with 1 million doses free of charge, with the first to arrive as early as Thursday.
The U.S. Senate on Wednesday approved Avril Haines as the Director of National Intelligence, the nation's top intelligence job, making her the first of President Joe Biden's nominees to be approved. The vote was 84-10, with all the "no" votes coming from Republicans. Both Democrats and leading Republicans issued statements praising the nominee.