Rain: Showers on Christmas afternoon -- the latest from the KPIX 5 weather team
- Yahoo News
Black National Guardsman describes being deployed to protect Biden’s inauguration: 'I just felt this huge sense of pride'
As most of the 25,000 National Guardsmen who were called upon to protect Washington, D.C., during the presidential inauguration began heading home this week, one Black service member agreed to speak to Yahoo News about the experience of protecting the nation’s capital in the wake of a pro-Trump riot on Capitol Hill.
The president's views on some hot-button social issues have led to clashes with US Catholic hierarchy.
China said on Wednesday it was seeking details about 25 of its nationals who were among 61 crew on two supertankers seized by Indonesia on suspicion of illegally transferring oil. Indonesia said on Sunday it had seized the vessels after they were detected making the transfer from Iranian-flagged MT Horse to Panamanian-flagged MT Freya, causing an oil spill. The Indonesian authorities said the seizure was not related to U.S. sanctions, which Washington imposed in a bid to shut off Iran's oil exports in a dispute over Tehran's nuclear programme.
- The Week
Capitol Police chief apologizes for riot 'failings,' acknowledges 'we knew that there was a strong potential for violence'
The acting chief of the U.S. Capitol Police has offered an apology to lawmakers following the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol building, acknowledging the department "should have been more prepared." Yogananda Pittman, the acting Capitol Police chief, apologized to Congress during a closed-door briefing on Tuesday for "our failings" during the riot at the Capitol that left five people dead earlier this month, The New York Times reports. "On Jan. 6, in the face of a terrorist attack by tens of thousands of insurrectionists determined to stop the certification of Electoral College votes, the department failed to meet its own high standards as well as yours," Pittman said, according to remarks obtained by the Times. "We fully expect to answer to you and the American people for our failings on Jan. 6. I am here to offer my sincerest apologies on behalf of the department." Supporters of former President Donald Trump breached the Capitol building as lawmakers met to certify President Biden's election win. Pittman told Congress that Capitol Police "should have been more prepared for this attack" and that prior to the riot, "we knew that there was a strong potential for violence and that Congress was the target." "The department prepared in order to meet these challenges, but we did not do enough," Pittman acknowledged, also praising the officers who "performed valiantly" during the attack as "heroes." The apology from Pittman, who the Times notes wasn't serving as acting chief when the Capitol attack occurred, comes as CNN reports that Capitol Police officers are discussing potentially holding a no-confidence vote against department leaders who were working on the day of the pro-Trump riot. A source told CNN, "The rank-and-file of this department has no faith in any of our chiefs, especially the ones in that were here on Jan. 6." More stories from theweek.comTrump's impeachment lawyer said he thinks 'the facts and the law will speak for themselves'Sarah Huckabee Sanders' shameless campaign for governorMitch McConnell is the GOAT
- Associated Press
An 80-year-old writer accused of defaming Thailand's monarchy in 2015 because of comments he made at a public seminar about the constitution was acquitted Tuesday by the Criminal Court. The court ruled that Bundit Aneeya had not violated the lese majeste law because he had not specifically referred to royalty and had not used rude language. The court last week gave a record sentence of 43 1/2 years under the law to a woman arrested six years ago who posted audio clips online deemed critical of the monarchy.
Russia and the United States have struck a deal to extend the New START nuclear arms control treaty, the Kremlin said on Tuesday, a move that preserves the last major pact of its kind between the world's two biggest nuclear powers. The White House did not immediately confirm the Kremlin's announcement but said President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin had discussed the issue by telephone and agreed that their teams work urgently to complete the extension by Feb. 5, when the treaty expires. Signed in 2010, the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) is a cornerstone of global arms control.
- National Review
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) and 45 members of his caucus backed an effort to declare the impeachment trial of former President Trump “unconstitutional” on Tuesday. McConnell’s colleague from Kentucky, Senator Rand Paul, introduced a point of order on Tuesday to declare Trump’s impeachment trial unconstitutional on the grounds that a president can’t be impeached once he has left office. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer then moved to table Paul’s point of order, blocking the effort to preemptively invalidate the impeachment trial. McConnell joined all but five Senate Republicans in opposing Schumer, signaling a willingness to entertain the argument that the impending trial is unconstitutional. The point of order resolution effectively forced Republicans to declare on the record whether they consider the impeachment trial constitutional, given that it’s taking place after Trump has left office. The resolution failed after a majority of senators voted in favor of Schumer’s move to table it, meaning the impeachment trial will go ahead as planned. However, only five Republicans voted against the resolution: Mitt Romney of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. At the close of the impeachment trial itself, at least 17 Republican senators would need to join Democrats in order to convict Trump. “I think there will be enough support on” the point-of-order resolution “to show there’s no chance they can impeach the president,” Paul told reporters before the vote on Tuesday. “If 34 people support my resolution that this is an unconstitutional proceeding, it shows they don’t have the votes and we’re basically wasting our time.” Senator Collins said following the vote that there would be little chance of an impeachment conviction. “I think it’s pretty obvious from the vote today that it is extraordinary unlikely that the president will be convicted,” Collins told The New York Times. “Just do the math.” McConnell was reportedly pleased with the idea of impeaching Trump, after the former president incited a mob of his supporters to amass at the Capitol on January 6, though the majority leader later said publicly that he hadn’t decided whether to vote to convict. The mob breached the Capitol and forced lawmakers to evacuate, and five people died in the riots including a Capitol police officer. An impeachment conviction could allow the Senate to bar Trump from running for office again, however a number of Republican senators have come out against the impeachment push. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida said it would be “arrogant” for the Senate to prevent Trump from running again. “Voters get to decide that,” Rubio told Chis Wallace on Fox News Sunday. “Who are we to tell voters who they can vote for in the future?” Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas also voiced skepticism regarding the impeachment trial. “I think a lot of Americans are going to think it’s strange that the Senate is spending its time trying to convict and remove from office a man who left office a week ago,” Cotton told the Associated Press on Monday. Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that McConnell voted to declare Trump’s impeachment trial unconstitutional. In fact, the minority leader voted against a motion to table Senator Paul’s point of order, which deems the trial unconstitutional. We regret the error.
- Associated Press
A group of U.N experts has criticized Sri Lanka's requirement that those who die of COVID-19 be cremated, even it goes against a family's religious beliefs, and warned that decisions based on “discrimination and aggressive nationalism” could incite hatred and violence. The experts, who are part of the Special Procedures of the U.N Human Rights Council, said in a statement Monday that rule amounts to a human rights violation. “We deplore the implementation of such public health decisions based on discrimination, aggressive nationalism and ethnocentrism amounting to persecution of Muslims and other minorities in the country,” the experts said.
Pope Francis on Wednesday marked the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp by urging people to keep a close watch on ideological extremism, because "these things can happen again". He spoke three weeks after displays of anti-Semitism surfaced at the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6 and two weeks after one of Montreal's largest synagogues was vandalised and almost set on fire. Speaking at his general audience, held inside the papal library because of coronavirus restrictions, Francis said it was imperative that the world did not forget.
- National Review
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday evening that he expects that the impeachment trial of former president Trump will move “relatively quickly” and won’t require many witnesses. “The trial will be done in a way that is fair but … relatively quickly,” Schumer said during an interview with MSNBC that was broadcast Monday night. “I don’t think there’s a need for a whole lot of witnesses,” the New York Democrat said, adding that Democrats will “not let the Republicans be dilatory.” House impeachment managers delivered the single article of impeachment against Trump for “incitement of insurrection” to the Senate on Monday. House Democrats filed the impeachment article after the Capitol riot on January 6 when Trump supporters forced their way past the Capitol Police and marauded through the halls of Congress. Prior to the violence, which ended with five dead, Trump spoke at a rally in front of the White House and encouraged his supporters to “fight like hell.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had pushed to delay to Senate trial until mid-February to give both the Trump team and Democratic prosecutors time to prepare their arguments. Schumer has said that the impeachment trial will begin the week of February 8. In the impeachment article, Democrats cited the 14th Amendment, which prevents those who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the U.S. from ever holding public office in the future. If convicted, a separate simple majority vote would be held to determine whether Trump would be barred from running for president in 2024 or any other public office. Some Republicans have criticized what they see as Democrats’ haphazard approach to the impeachment process. Senator Marco Rubio said Trump is entitled to “due process,” and cautioned that “the House doesn’t have much of a record of witnesses because they rammed it through very quickly.” “The first chance I get to vote to end this trial, I will do it, because I think it’s really bad for America,” Rubio said.
- Associated Press
The patter of paws is being heard in the White House again following the arrival of President Joe Biden's dogs Champ and Major. Major burst onto the national scene late last year after Biden, then president-elect, broke his right foot while playing with the dog at their home in Wilmington, Delaware. The Bidens adopted Major in 2018 from the Delaware Humane Association.
Guatemalan Maya families said on Monday they feared relatives were among bodies found over the weekend in a remote part of northern Mexico along a route popular with migrant smugglers heading towards the U.S. border. After receiving a tip off in the border state of Tamaulipas in northern Mexico, Mexican authorities recovered 19 bodies, many of which had gunshot wounds and were badly charred. Evaristo Agustin was among some 30 indigenous men and women who traveled to the foreign ministry in Guatemala City from distant highland provinces on Monday after word spread their relatives may be among the deceased.
Security chiefs warn that the storming of the US Capitol may embolden some home-grown extremists.
- Associated Press
Immigrant rights activists energized by a new Democratic administration and majorities on Capitol Hill are gearing up for a fresh political battle to push through a proposed bill from President Joe Biden that would open a pathway to citizenship for up to 11 million people. The multimillion-dollar #WeAreHome campaign was launched Monday by national groups including United We Dream and the United Farm Workers Foundation. “We are home,” a young woman's voice declares in the first video spot showing immigrants in essential jobs such as cleaning and health care.
- Yahoo News Video
At the White House briefing on Tuesday, press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that President Biden planned to speak with Russian President Vladimir Putn about issues that included the SolarWinds hack, reports of Russian bounties on American soldiers and interference in the 2016 election.
- Architectural Digest
Let’s get loudOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- The Telegraph
Brussels on Wednesday demanded that tens of millions of British-made coronavirus vaccines be diverted from the UK to make up a supply shortfall in the jabs in the EU. The European Commission said it was contractually entitled to doses from two UK plants making the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine as its row with the British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant deepened. The British Government said it had a deal with AstraZeneca to supply 100 million doses of the vaccine with agreed delivery schedules. British sources said that, once the UK factories had fulfilled their commitment to Britain, AstraZeneca would be free to supply other countries – something the firm's CEO, Pascal Soriot, confirmed in an interview on Tuesday. But Stella Kyriakides, the EU's health commissioner, said: "We reject the logic of first come, first served. That might work at the neighbourhood butchers, but not on our contracts and not in our advanced purchase agreements." She said there was " no priority clause" in the EU contract between the four production plants in the agreement, two factories in the EU and the two in the UK. "In our contract it is not specified that any country or the UK has priority... This needs to be absolutely clear," Ms Kyriakides said.
The foreign ministers of Hungary and Ukraine were expected to meet in Kyiv on Wednesday for talks on repairing badly strained relations but Budapest said its diplomatic missions in the ex-Soviet republic had received threats of "bloodletting" violence. The two countries are at loggerheads over the right of some 150,000 ethnic Hungarians living in Transcarpathia in western Ukraine to use their native tongue, especially in education. Prime Minister Viktor Orban's nationalist government in Budapest has responded by blocking Kyiv's efforts to build closer ties with NATO and the European Union, of which Hungary is a member.
Known to millions around the world for her staunch defence of Trump, now it's her turn to speak for herself.
- Associated Press
The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Antony Blinken as America’s top diplomat, tasked with carrying out President Joe Biden’s commitment to reverse the Trump administration’s “America First” doctrine that weakened international alliances. Senators voted 78-22 to approve Blinken, a longtime Biden confidant, as the nation’s 71st secretary of state, succeeding Mike Pompeo.