China will construct a "Chinese Christian theology" suitable for the country, state media reported Thursday, with both believer numbers and tensions with authorities on the rise. China has between 23 million and 40 million Protestants, accounting for 1.7 to 2.9 percent of the total population, the state-run China Daily said, citing figures given at a seminar in Shanghai. About 500,000 people are baptised as Protestants every year, it added. "Over the past decades, the Protestant churches in China have developed very quickly with the implementation of the country's religious policy," the paper quoted Wang Zuoan, director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs, as saying. "The construction of Chinese Christian theology should adapt to China's national condition and integrate with Chinese culture." China's ruling Communist Party is officially atheistic and keeps a tight grip on religion for fear it could challenge its grip on power. It requires believers to worship in places approved by the state and under government supervision. Besides officially sanctioned churches, China also has "underground" or "house" churches which seek to exist outside government control and are occasionally raided and shut down. In April, authorities in the eastern Chinese city of Wenzhou -- known as China's Jerusalem with more than a million Christians -- demolished a church following government claims it was an illegal structure. Though a registered church, state media reported that the building was far larger than originally approved. "Over the past years, China's Protestantism has become one of the fastest growing universal churches," Gao Feng, president of the China Christian Council, was quoted as saying in the China Daily report. It did not include a number for Catholics in China, who must also worship only in officially sanctioned churches which reject the Vatican's authority, though an "underground" church loyal to the Holy See also exists. Experts estimate that there are as many as 12 million Catholics in China, split roughly evenly between the two churches. As of the end of 2013, China had published 65 million copies of the Bible, the report said, including minority language editions.
- NBC News
"The situation at the border isn't going to be transformed overnight," a senior Biden transition official told NBC News in an exclusive interview.
A boy who was killed in an alleged murder-suicide by his father has been identified as 9-year-old Pierce O’Loughlin. Family tragedy: The boy and his father, Stephen O'Loughlin, 49, were both found dead at their home on Scott Street, Marina District in San Francisco on Wednesday afternoon, SF Chronicle reports. The boy’s mother, Lesley Hu, asked authorities to check on her son after learning that he did not show up for school that day.
Small groups of protesters rallied outside fortified statehouses over the weekend ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.The big picture: Some protests attracted armed members of far-right extremist groups but there were no reports of clashes, as had been feared. The National Guard and law enforcement outnumbered demonstrators, as security was heightened around the U.S. to avoid a repeat of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riots, per AP. Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.> Shout out to all the 50 states and 3 territories who are on their way to Washington, D.C. to support the 59th Presidential Inauguration. @TexasGuard is on their way! pic.twitter.com/Jfat7WpFV1> > — District of Columbia National Guard (@DCGuard1802) January 16, 2021Virginia National Guard soldiers are issued their M4 rifles and live ammunition on the east front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 17. "More reporters and law enforcement members were present than protesters" in Washington, D.C., USA Today notes. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty ImagesBoogaloo Bois members outside Oregon's State Capitol in Salem on Jan. 17. Photo: John Rudoff/Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesNational Guard soldiers protect the Department of Health Care Services building near the California State Capitol on Jan. 17. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty ImagesMinnesota State Patrol stand guard as a few people who support President Donald Trump sit outside the state capitol building on Jan. 17 in St Paul. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images A woman and child look on as members of the Washington National Guard and state police stand outside the state Capitol in Olympia, Washington, on Jan. 17. Photo: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty ImagesA protester carries a crossbow outside the Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on Jan. 17. Photo: Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty ImagesAn armed member of the the Boogaloo Boys protests outside of the Kentucky State Capitol on Jan. in Frankfort. Photo: Jon Cherry/Getty ImagesMembers of the Utah National Guard stand watch as a man carries an upside down American flag as he walks the grounds of the Utah State Capitol building in Salt Lake City on Jan. 17. Photo: George Frey/AFP via Getty ImagesA Nevada Highway Patrol vehicle passes by the State Capitol on Jan. in Carson City. Photo: Ronda Churchill/AFP via Getty ImagesArmed groups rally in front of a closed Texas State Capitol in Austin on Jan. 17. Photo: Matthew Busch/AFP via Getty ImagesArmed members of the Boogaloo group in front of the State Capital in Concord, New Hampshire, on Jan. 17. Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty ImagesSupporters of the Second Amendment outside the Georgia Capitol building on Jan. 17 in Atlanta. Photo: Megan Varner/Getty ImagesA couple of Trump supporters outside the Colorado State Capitol on Jan. 17 in Denver. Photo: Michael Ciaglo/Getty ImagesNew Mexico State Police patrol around the state capitol in Santa Fe on Jan. 17. Photo: Paul Ratje/AFP via Getty ImagesTrump supporters stand outside the Capitol Building in Phoenix, Arizona, on Jan. 17. Photo: Olivier Touron/AFP via Getty ImagesA man speaks with law enforcement in front of the state capitol building in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, on Jan. 17. Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images Support safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- The Telegraph
Pfizer vaccine recipients are unlikely to transmit the virus to others, according to the author of an Israeli study. Participants in the survey developed up to 20 times more antibodies within a week of receiving the second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. The survey, which reviewed data from 102 of about 1,000 of the Sheba Medical Centre’s medical staff who have received both shots, showed that only two subjects have developed low amounts of antibodies - one of the subjects suffered from a compromised immune system. There was no explanation for why the second person did not develop antibodies, and the hospital said it was investigating the matter. The rest - 98 per cent - have developed levels of antibodies that were even higher than patients who have recovered from a serious coronavirus-induced condition, the hospital said in a statement released on Monday.
- National Review
A Russian judge ruled Monday that opposition leader Alexei Navalny must remain in retail detention for 30 days after he was detained on Sunday immediately upon his return to Moscow, where he traveled after recovering in Germany from a near-fatal poisoning attack. “The court arrested Navalny for 30 days. Until February 15,” the judge’s spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh wrote on Twitter. Navalny’s lawyers learned of the Monday morning hearing just minutes before it began at a police station, instead of a normal courtroom, in the outskirts of Moscow. The judge allotted the attorneys just 30 minutes to familiarize themselves with the case and another 20 minutes to speak to their client. Navalny’s spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said the ruling “cannot even be called a parody of the rule of law.” “They detained him at the border, took him to places unknown, his lawyer was not granted access, the hearing was carried out urgently right in the police station and he was detained for 30 days,” Yarmysh said. Navalny was already scheduled to appear at a January 29 hearing on charges that he had violated the parole terms of a previous suspended sentence by staying in Germany while undergoing treatment, the reason for which he was officially detained. He received the earlier suspended prison sentence and probation order in 2014 for embezzlement and money laundering, a case which the European Court of Human Rights in 2018 called politically motivated. He has called the criminal cases against him “fabricated” and said the authorities’ intent is to deter him from returning. After the court’s ruling, Navalny urged people to take to the streets in protest. “Don’t be afraid, take to the streets. Don’t go out for me, go out for yourself and your future,” Navalny said in a video posted to YouTube. Navalny nearly died over the summer after being poisoned by Novichok, a Soviet-era nerve agent. He had been on a flight to Moscow after meeting with supporters in Siberia when he fell ill. The Russian dissident blames Russian President Vladimir Putin for the poisoning, though the Kremlin has denied having any involvement. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday called for the opposition leader’s “immediate and unconditional release,” and said his detention was “the latest in a series of attempts to silence Navalny and other opposition figures.”
- NBC News
She displayed "a round metallic object later identified as a Military Police Challenge Coin" and said she was part of law enforcement, police said.
- Associated Press
Pakistan’s prime minister reacted angrily Monday to media reports of a text exchange between an Indian TV anchor and a former media industry executive that suggests a 2019 Indian airstrike inside Pakistan was designed to boost Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s chances for re-election. Imran Khan took to Twitter to respond to Indian media reports of an exchange on the WhatsApp messaging service between popular Indian TV anchor Arnab Goswami and Partho Dasgupta, the former head of a TV rating company.
Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sydney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America. * The letter also orders Lindell to "preserve and retain all documents relating to Dominion and your smear campaign against the company." * Lindell also must preserve all communications with any member of the Trump campaign, in addition to communications with Rudy Giuliani, Powell, Jenna Ellis and Lin Wood. The big picture: Lindell met with Trump last week and was caught by photographers with notes referencing martial law and Sidney Powell. The CEO has become known for pedaling election-overturning conspiracies and last year promoted a fake cure to the coronavirus. What they're saying: Dominion's letter reads... "Despite knowing your implausible attacks against Dominion have no basis in reality, you have participated in the vast and concerted misinformation campaign to slander Dominion ... Litigation regarding these issues is imminent."A spokesperson for My Pillow did not immediately return a request for comment. Read the full letter here: Support safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- National Review
A senior Biden transition official is warning migrants hoping to cross the southern border into the U.S. during the early days of the new administration that “now is not the time” to come. “There’s help on the way, but now is not the time to make the journey,” an unnamed Biden official said, NBC News reported. The Biden administration is looking to end the Trump administration’s policy of requiring that migrants wait in Mexico as immigration courts consider their asylum applications. Those who have been waiting at the border will be considered first for entry over migrants who only recently arrived. Additionally, the Biden administration will scrap the stricter restrictions the previous administration imposed on asylum seekers, which limit who is eligible for entry. However, any immigration legislation proposed by the Biden administration will address illegal immigrants living in the U.S. rather than new migrants arriving at the border, the official said. “The situation at the border isn’t going to be transformed overnight,” the official explained, saying that migrants seeking to gain asylum right away “need to understand they’re not going to be able to come into the United States immediately.” A caravan of about 2,000 Honduran migrants desperate to reach the U.S. forced their way past Guatemalan authorities Friday night and are expected to reach the southern border within the next few weeks. The caravan “will not find when they get to the U.S. border that from Tuesday to Wednesday, things have changed overnight and ports are all open and they can come into the United States,” the official cautioned. “We have to provide a message that help and hope is on the way, but coming right now does not make sense for their own safety … while we put into place processes that they may be able to access in the future,” the official said. In 2018, just before the midterm elections, a caravan of thousands of Central American migrants headed for America’s southern border. Similarly, in early 2017, just before President Trump took office, a caravan made its way to the border, drawing the ire of Trump.
- NBC News
Court documents recounted the man's telling his children that he would consider them "traitors" if they contacted authorities.
- The Independent
Trump news – live: Biden team hits back at decision to reopen travel to UK and Brazil despite Covid surge
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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday he would not stop Filipinos from getting shots of the COVID-19 vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech, despite reports in Norway of deaths among frail elderly people after being inoculated. Norway said on Monday it was not changing its policy on the use of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine following reports of deaths among very frail recipients after the inoculation was given. In his address, Duterte also reiterated his defense of the government's supply deals involving CoronaVac, the vaccine developed by China's Sinovac Biotech.
- The Telegraph
A woman identified as having taken part in the storming of the US Capitol is accused of stealing a laptop belonging to top Democrat Nancy Pelosi which she hoped to sell to a Russian spy agency, according to the FBI. There is no indication Riley June Williams, a 22-year-old careworker from Pennsylvania, took a laptop from Ms Pelosi's office. The FBI, which is working off a tip, said in the court record the "matter remains under investigation." The complaint, filed late Sunday in US District Court in Washington, sought the arrest of Williams on grounds including "violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds." Relying on several photos and videos of the chaotic January 6 riot, an FBI agent said Williams was seen near the office of Ms Pelosi, US House Speaker. A witness, identified in the court document only as W1 but who claimed to be "the former romantic partner of Riley June Williams," alleged that Williams planned to send the laptop to a friend in Russia to sell it to the SVR foreign intelligence agency. That sale "fell through for unknown reasons, and Williams still has the computer device or destroyed it," the affidavit says.
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) called on his Republican Party to rebuild itself and "repudiate the nonsense that has set our party on fire" in an in an op-ed for The Atlantic Saturday on the QAnon conspiracy theory.Why it matters: Many of the mob involved in the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riots wore items signaling their support for the far-right QAnon and a prominent member of the cult was among those arrested following the siege.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here. * Several Republicans who ran for Congress last year publicly supported or defended the QAnon movement or some of its tenets — something Sasee noted in his op-ed, headlined "QAnon is Destroying the GOP From Within." * Sasse blames the violence on "the blossoming of a rotten seed that took root in the Republican Party some time ago and has been nourished by treachery, poor political judgment, and cowardice."Driving the news: Sasse wrote in his op-ed that "until last week, many party leaders and consultants thought they could preach the Constitution while winking at QAnon." * "They can't," he added. "The GOP must reject conspiracy theories or be consumed by them. Now is the time to decide what this party is about." * Sasse criticized House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for not denouncing QAnon supporter Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) when she was running for Congress in 2020. * "She's already announced plans to try to impeach Joe Biden on his first full day as president," Sasse wrote. "She'll keep making fools out of herself, her constituents, and the Republican Party."Worth noting: Sasse said before the House impeached President Trump for a second time he'd consider "definitely consider" any articles of impeachment against him over his conduct and comments at a rally before the riots. * The Nebraska senator criticized Trump's embrace of QAnon supporters last August, warning that Democrats could "take the Senate" this "will be a big part of why they won." * Months later, the Democrats went on to win control of the Senate.The bottom line: Sasse wrote that his party faces a choice when Trump leaves office: "We can dedicate ourselves to defending the Constitution and perpetuating our best American institutions and traditions, or we can be a party of conspiracy theories."Go deeper: * The Capitol siege's QAnon roots * House freshmen at war after Capitol siegeSupport safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
Andrew Yang has been endorsed by the son of Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. for the 2021 New York City mayoral elections. Martin Luther King III said in an endorsement video shared to YouTube on Monday that Yang's initiative to give out $1 billion to low-income residents was an idea that his father would have supported. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote about the idea for universal basic income in 1967 as a way to tackle systemic poverty, according to Gothamist.
The US president-elect dismisses a White House order lifting entry bans for much of Europe and Brazil.
- The Telegraph
President Emmanuel Macron on Monday hailed a major step for “enlightened Islam” in France after Muslim leaders approved a charter that rejects extremism and upholds the "primacy of Republican principles over religious values”. Mr Macron has been pushing for the charter since November after a jihadist killed a schoolteacher for showing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in class. He called it “a hugely important step” and “truly a foundational text in the relationship between the state and Islam of France”. “Everything starts now,” he told Muslim leaders after an Elysée meeting rubber-stamping the text. However, it received a sceptical response from some religious scholars and experts. The 10-article “charter of principles” comes after six weeks of sometimes fraught talks within the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM), an umbrella body representing Islam in relation with the state. Negotiations almost collapsed last month when Chems-Eddine Hafiz, the council's vice-chairman, walked out amid claims that Islamist council members were spreading falsehoods that "the charter aims to attack the dignity of faithful Muslims". Entente over the charter seen is seen as key to Mr Macron’s fight to banish a culture of “separatism” in French society, which is also the subject of a new bill debated in parliament on Monday.
- Yahoo News Video
The spokesman for Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert has quit less than two weeks after she was sworn into office, saying he felt like he need to due to the insurrection at the nation's Capitol.
Kevin McCarthy warned members to not call out colleagues by name, citing potential political violence
Members of the House Republican Conference ignored leader Kevin McCarthy last week when he warned them against criticizing colleagues by name based on intelligence that doing so could trigger more political violence. Why it matters: McCarthy made clear that name-dropping opponents, instead of spelling out complaints in more general terms, can put a literal target on a politician, especially with tensions so high following the events of Jan. 6.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.That's what happened to Rep. Liz Cheney, the GOP conference chairperson, after she said she would support impeaching President Trump. * She and several other members had to increase their security and take extra precautions because of death threats and other alarming warnings after their colleagues singled them out in their complaints.What McCarthy said: The House minority leader issued his warning during a conference call last Monday. He said his concern was driven by the FBI briefings he receives. * "It doesn’t matter which side of the position you were: I respect it, I respect why you did what you did. But what we are saying on television, when we say a member’s name. ... This is not the moment in time to do it." * "You can incite something else. The country is very divided and we know this. Let’s not put any member, I don’t care who they are Republican, Democrat or any person not even in Congress. Watch our words closely. I get these reports on a weekly basis. I’ve seen something I haven’t seen before.”Several minutes later, McCarthy repeated the message: “Emotions are high. What you say matters. Let’s not put other people in danger. Let’s watch what words we’re using and definitely not be using other members' names in any media.”Days later, some GOP members ignored him and openly criticized their colleagues * Rep. Adam Kinzinger tweeted that the name of his Republican colleague, Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene, "will be one forgotten by next January." * Rep. Lauren Boebart (R-Colo.) mocked Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the House's new mask fines.One of the most blatant attacks, leading to a media firestorm, was when several members of the House Freedom Caucus went after Cheney for voting to impeach Trump. * On the day of the vote, the members circulated a petition to remove her from her leadership role. * Cheney is now fielding a series of threats against her, many from fiery Trump supporters angered by her vote, a source with direct knowledge of the threat said. * “We don’t comment on security matters,” Cheney’s communications director, Jeremy Adler, told Axios.What we’re hearing: McCarthy's team told Axios he isn't looking for repercussions. Spokesman Matt Sparks said the leader wants to lower the temperature and is encouraging members to be mindful of the current environment.Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.
After a probe found "significant errors of judgment and procedure" in the termination of the employee, GitHub's head of human resources resigned, GitHub Chief Operating Officer Erica Brescia said on Sunday. "In light of these findings, we immediately reversed the decision to separate with the employee and are in communication with his representative," Brescia said in a blog https://bit.ly/2KnkVhI, adding that the company apologized to that employee.