A Department of Public Works employee who died late Wednesday in a trench collapse in Eastpointe has been identified as Brian Theobald, 45, the city's manager said in a statement released Thursday.
- Yahoo News
Rather than triggering a reality check, for many, the fallout from last week’s events seems to have only reaffirmed the conspiratorial beliefs and manipulated outrage that drew them to Washington in the first place.
- Charlotte Observer
An Army private first class was arraigned on sexual assault charges before a military judge.
- Associated Press
In the week since a mob laid siege to the U.S. Capitol, the House has impeached President Donald Trump. Twitter and other social media sites have banned Trump and thousands of other accounts. Officer Eugene Goodman isn't saying whether he thinks he saved the Senate, as many of the millions who've viewed the video believe.
- The Week
Federal prosecutors in a new court filing reportedly point to "strong evidence" that rioters who stormed the Capitol building last week aimed to "capture and assassinate elected officials."The prosecutors included this assessment while asking a judge to detain Jacob Chansley, one of the men who was arrested and charged following the deadly Capitol riot, Reuters reports."Strong evidence, including Chansley's own words and actions at the Capitol, supports that the intent of the Capitol rioters was to capture and assassinate elected officials in the United States government," the prosecutors wrote.Supporters of President Trump stormed the Capitol building on the day Congress was meeting to certify President-elect Joe Biden's election win, leaving five people dead. Trump was subsequently impeached for a second time for "incitement of insurrection" after delivering a speech calling on his supporters to march to the Capitol building.The prosecutors in the filing reportedly wrote that the charges against Chansley "involve active participation in an insurrection attempting to violently overthrow the United States government," adding that the "insurrection is still in progress." They also revealed that Chansley, who was photographed wearing horns at Vice President Mike Pence's desk, allegedly left a note for Pence that warned, "it's only a matter of time, justice is coming," Reuters reports. The filing, Politico writes, "spells out clearly the government's view of an ongoing 'insurrection movement' that is reaching a potential climax as Biden's inauguration approaches." More stories from theweek.com Do Democrats realize the danger they are in? America's rendezvous with reality What 'Blue Lives Matter' was always about
- 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).
- The Independent
Local newspapers turn on Lauren Boebert as 68 state politicians demand investigation into Capitol riot role
Lauren Boebert is under fire for sharing details about the location of the House speaker during the Capitol riots
- Associated Press
Pakistani authorities sacked a local police chief and 11 other policemen for failing to protect a Hindu temple that was set on fire and demolished last month by a mob led by hundreds of supporters of a radical Islamist party, police said Friday. The 12 policemen were fired over “acts of cowardice" and “negligence" for not trying to stop the mob when it attacked the temple, with some having fled the scene. Another 48 policemen were given various punishments following a probe into the attack, the police statement said.
A U.S. appeals court ordered that the last two scheduled federal executions under President Donald Trump's outgoing administration could proceed on Thursday and Friday, overturning a stay from a lower court delaying them until March to allow the two condemned men to recover from COVID-19. The U.S. Department of Justice announced last month that Corey Johnson, 52, and Dustin Higgs, 48, had been diagnosed with COVID-19 but that it would proceed with their executions set for Thursday and Friday. Both men, convicted in separate murders, are being held on death row at a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.
- The Week
Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner have spent the past few years living in a six bedroom, 6.5 bathroom rented home in Washington, D.C.'s exclusive Kalorama neighborhood. The family could count high-profile officials and even one former president among their neighbors — as well as their own Secret Service detail, who had to rent a nearby apartment to use the bathroom because they weren't allowed inside the Kushner-Trump home, neighbors and law enforcement sources tell The Washington Post.It's not unusual for Secret Service agents to stay out of the typically expansive homes they're guarding, instead using a garage or auxiliary building as their home base, the Post notes. But Kushner and Trump took that to an extreme, forcing the Secret Service to install a porta-potty outside their home just so they had somewhere to relieve themselves, sources said. The unsightly outdoor bathroom was taken down after neighbors complained.That's when the Kushner-Trump detail started using a bathroom in the Obama family's nearby garage. But they were kicked out when "a Secret Service supervisor from the Trump-Kushner detail left an unpleasant mess in the Obama bathroom," the Post notes. Agents then headed to to Vice President Mike Pence's home a mile away to use the toilet or, when time was short, counted on nearby restaurants and even knocked on neighbors' doors. One of those neighbors eventually ended up renting a $3,000/month basement studio to the agents, making $144,000 in taxpayer money by the time the lease expires this September.A White House spokesperson denied Trump and Kushner barred Secret Service from their home, saying it was the force's choice not to come inside — something one law enforcement officer disputed. Read more at The Washington Post.More stories from theweek.com Do Democrats realize the danger they are in? America's rendezvous with reality What 'Blue Lives Matter' was always about
The group's leader in Afghanistan says the practice is "inviting criticism". It's also proving expensive.
- Associated Press
The U.S. government executed a drug trafficker Thursday for slaying seven people in a burst of violence in Virginia’s capital in 1992, with some witnesses in the death-chamber building applauding as the 52-year-old was pronounced dead. Corey Johnson's execution went ahead after his lawyers scrambled to stop it on grounds that the lethal injection of pentobarbital would cause him excruciating pain due to lung damage from his coronavirus infection last month. The last during the presidency of ardent death-penalty advocate Donald Trump was set for Friday.
Breaking with Chancellor Angela Merkel's policies is not the way to win Germany's federal election in September, the leader of her Bavarian sister party said as her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) prepares to elect a new leader on Saturday. Merkel, who steps down after September's elections, is heading into the last months of her tenure with her conservative CDU squabbling over how to position the party following 15 years of rule marked by her instinct to compromise. Markus Soeder, leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the CDU's Bavarian sister party, said it would be a mistake to break with her popular brand of politics, which is consensus orientated and centrist.
- The Week
FBI says over 100 people arrested for Capitol siege, including 'liberal activist,' Confederate flag bearer
FBI Director Christopher Wray, in his first public comments since the Jan. 6 violent siege of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Trump, said Thursday that law enforcement has arrested more than 100 people in connection with the assault and is aware of "an extensive amount of concerning online chatter" ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's Jan. 20 inauguration.Most of those arrested so far have been far-right militants, off-duty police, retired military personnel, GOP officials, QAnon adherents, and white supremacists. For example, the man photographed carrying a Confederate battle flag through the Capitol, Kevin Seefried, and his son, Hunter Seefried, surrendered to the FBI in Delaware on Thursday, the Justice Department said.Embed from Getty ImagesAuthorities also arrested "liberal activist" John Sullivan on Thursday, making him, Politico says, "the first person to be charged who appears to have been active in liberal causes." Sullivan, who filmed the siege, claims he was just following the rioters as a "journalist," but the FBI said his own video showed him to be a booster of the lawlessness and even an active participant.Trump supporters, including Rudy Giuliani, and conservative media outlets pointed to Sullivan's arrest to bolster their counterfactual claim that "antifa" or Black Lives Matter were actually behind the assault on the Capitol. But "even before his arrest, left wing activists had described concerns in that community, going back some time, that Sullivan was a provocateur working with others, including his brother James, who has ties to the Proud Boys and runs a pro-Trump organization," Marcy Wheeler notes at EmptyWheel.> pic.twitter.com/oRri9hyHGv> > — New York City Antifa (@NYCAntifa) January 7, 2021"Sullivan's presence in the Capitol, and his previous record of anti-Trump activism, has been the focus of frenzied attention in the right-wing media," Robert Mackey reports at The Intercept, while "left-wing organizers have been keen to stress that they ejected Sullivan from their ranks months ago." Since adopting the nom de guerre "Activist John" last summer, Mackey notes, Sullivan has been blacklisted by "left-wing organizers associated with Black Lives Matter and antifascism in Utah, California, and the Pacific Northwest" who say he's "either a right-wing infiltrator or a dangerously naive amateur."More stories from theweek.com Do Democrats realize the danger they are in? America's rendezvous with reality What 'Blue Lives Matter' was always about
- 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.
- 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
- The New York Times
As old as the Capitol itself, the Capitol Police began in 1801 with the appointment of a single guard to oversee the move of Congress from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. His task, according to a court filing, was to “take as much care as possible with the property of the United States.” Over the years, the force — whose positions were once filled entirely through patronage — was professionalized and expanded, usually in the aftermath of crises like the shooting of five lawmakers by Puerto Rican nationalists in 1954, the killing by a gunman of two officers inside an entrance to the building in 1998, or the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Today, it is in crisis once again, with calls for a full investigation into what lawmakers have called a “severe systemic failure” that allowed an angry mob of Trump loyalists to storm the Capitol last week, an episode that left five people dead, including one Capitol Police officer. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times Three officers have been suspended and 17 more are under investigation, according to a senior congressional aide. The department is accustomed to being shielded from the type of public disclosure that is routine for ordinary police agencies. But since last week’s rampage, the department’s chief and two other top security officials have resigned, and its congressional overseers have pressed for answers. On Wednesday, Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, complained that the agency was a “black box.” “We’re having a hell of a time getting information from Capitol Police leadership,” said Ryan, who chairs the House committee that oversees the department’s budget. “We fund the Capitol Police. Congress funds the Capitol Police through the Appropriations Committee. We deserve to know and understand what the hell is going on.” Operating under the protective wing of Congress, the Capitol Police has more than 2,000 officers to defend 2 square miles and a half-billion-dollar budget — bigger than those that fund the police departments in Atlanta and Detroit. But it has long suffered from the same troubles that afflict many other police forces: claims of an old boys’ network, glass ceilings, racial bias and retaliation. There have been complaints, too, of lax discipline and of promotions for white commanders who faced misconduct allegations, but harsh treatment for women and Black officers. A handful of high-profile incidents in recent years — locking down the Capitol but failing to inform Congress; ordering a nearby tactical team not to respond when a gunman opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard; the fatal shooting of a Black woman who made a U-turn at a checkpoint — have raised questions about the department’s procedures and operational paralysis. Many who are familiar with the department now suggest that these long-standing problems contributed to how easily its officers were overrun last Wednesday. “Why was I not surprised?” said Sharon Blackmon-Malloy, the lead plaintiff in a racial discrimination lawsuit against the department that has languished for years, while she and a handful of other retired Black officers have staged regular demonstrations on Capitol Hill. “Because I’m going back to the environment in which I worked in all those years.” While many of the law enforcement agencies that rushed to the scene on Jan. 6 have offered public briefings and comprehensive timelines of what happened, the department that is sworn to protect the building and its occupants has been the quietest. Capitol Police officials have not responded to numerous requests for comment, nor has anyone in the department addressed the widely circulated videos that appear to show some officers allowing the rioters to enter the building, or treating them in a sympathetic manner, while their colleagues were being assaulted with fire extinguishers, flagpoles and hockey sticks. The officers who have been suspended include one who took selfies with members of the crowd and another who put on a “Make America Great Again” hat and directed rioters into the Capitol, according to Ryan. Law enforcement experts noted the apparent absence of commanders and supervisors as the mob breached the building. A memo from members of the department’s Capitol Division, written after last week’s rampage, praised Inspector Thomas M. Loyd, the division commander, for fighting “shoulder to shoulder” with the rank and file, while implicitly criticizing the rest of the leadership. Loyd “did not retreat inside the building to attempt to ‘lead’ from his office,” said the memo, a copy of which was provided by a retired officer. “He did not stay back, away from the line, to avoid any physical conflict, but rather pulled officers off the line and took their place so they could receive medical attention.” In an interview, Jim Konczos, a former head of the officers’ union, said the department suffered from a long-standing failure to hold the upper brass accountable for alleged misdeeds, calling it a “morale killer.” In one instance, a commander who had an affair with a married subordinate was demoted one rank and offered a settlement that would have preserved his earlier, higher pay, according to a decision by the Office of Compliance. At the time, he was leading negotiations on the union contract. In another, an officer assigned to protect high-ranking lawmakers racked up two charges of drunken driving, including one case in which his car struck a Maryland State Police trooper’s unmarked cruiser. The officer continued to climb the ranks, despite an internal investigation for overtime fraud. “You get to the point where you just get so disgusted with everything — you go to the chief, go to the sergeant-at-arms, and nobody cares,” Konczos said. The responsibilities of the Capitol Police are vastly different from those of ordinary police departments. The force protects the Capitol grounds, members of Congress and staff, and it screens millions of visitors a year. Officers are expected to recognize the 535 lawmakers and to avoid offending them. The delicacy of that task was on full display in 1983, when a House inquiry found that the Capitol Police had botched a drug investigation by creating “the impression that the investigation may have been terminated to protect members” — while noting that, to be sure, no members had been implicated. Before last week’s televised scenes of officers attacked and outnumbered, the job of a Capitol Police officer was considered relatively safe and prestigious. The pay, starting at $64,000, is higher than at other departments in the Washington metro area, and the job offers a close-up view of dignitaries and heads of state. Officers occasionally make arrests for minor crimes like smoking marijuana outside Union Station, according to a report by a watchdog group that complained of “mission creep.” “As a rule, you’re not working robberies and homicides and burglaries and disorderly conduct,” said Terry Gainer, who had a long career in other police departments before joining the Capitol Police, where he served as the chief and then, later, as the Senate sergeant-at-arms. For decades, providing security for “the People’s House” has meant facing criticism for being too intrusive or, just as often, too lax. The department is overseen by a board that includes the sergeants-at-arms from each chamber, who must answer to their respective majorities and who often take politics into account, former officials said, resulting in a hamstrung force that is rarely able to take swift unilateral action. “When things started unfolding in an emergency, you want a chief who’s empowered by the sergeant-at-arms to do what needs to be done in an emergency, without playing ‘Mother, May I,’” Gainer said. “Sometimes you had to be prepared to ask for forgiveness instead of permission.” Steven Sund — who resigned his post as chief of the department after last week’s rampage — told The Washington Post that he had asked the sergeants-at-arms for permission to put the National Guard on standby last week, in anticipation of huge, possibly violent, crowds. But the sergeants-at-arms refused, he said, citing concerns about “optics.” The sergeants-at-arms both resigned after last week’s breach; they have not responded to requests for comment. Though police departments across the country can be notoriously opaque, they routinely release basic information about crime, complaints about misconduct and the racial and gender makeup of the force. The Capitol Police does not. And its officers do not wear body cameras, in part out of concerns over lawmakers’ privacy. A bill that would have required the department to report crime statistics and strengthen its disciplinary process was introduced last summer by Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois, the ranking Republican on the committee that oversees the department. The bill went nowhere. Allegations of gender discrimination have dogged the department for years. In lawsuits, female officers have described a culture of sexual harassment, with commanders rarely punished for lewd remarks or for sleeping with subordinates. At the same time, they say, women have been disciplined harshly for more minor offenses. In one instance, a sergeant was demoted and suspended after she leaked reports that a fellow officer had left a gun in a restroom at the Capitol, according to court papers, while little happened to that officer. The department has also faced repeated complaints of racism. A lawsuit filed in 2001 by more than 250 Black officers, including Blackmon-Malloy, remains unresolved, and current and former officers say the problems persist. There are no Black men on the force with a rank higher than captain. At the same time, many of the officers who have been lauded for heroism, including the two officers who helped stop a shooting in 2017 at a congressional baseball practice, have been Black. So is Eugene Goodman, the officer who was captured on video running up the stairs in the Capitol last week, apparently luring rioters away from the Senate. In 2015, an email from the department’s intelligence office before the Million Man March warned of potential “fireworks,” citing the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and “rabble-rousing rhetoric” by the organizer, Louis Farrakhan. A year later, Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., who is Black, said he had attracted suspicion from the Capitol Police on more than one occasion. The new acting chief, Yogananda Pittman, is both the first African American and the first woman to lead the department. After congressional leaders urged the department to be more communicative, she issued a very brief statement. This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
- Associated Press
Afghan forces killed a provincial council member suspected of ties with the Taliban during a gunbattle in western Ghor province, the Afghan intelligence service said late Thursday. The fighting near the provincial capital of Faroz Koh also killed one officer and wounded another, according to a statement by the National Directorate for Security. It accused the council member, Hazatullah Beg, of masterminding the killing of another council member as well as an Afghan journalist and human rights activist in Ghor.
The United States stands by Taiwan and always will, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft said following a call with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, who told her the island would continue to seek access to U.N. meetings. Craft had planned to visit Taipei this week, in the teeth of strong objections from China which views the island as its own territory.
- Associated Press
The last federal inmate facing execution before President Donald Trump leaves office was sentenced to death for the killings of three women in a Maryland wildlife refuge, a crime that led to a life sentence for the man who fired the fatal shots. Dustin Higgs, 48, who is scheduled to be executed on Friday at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, says nobody alleges he pulled the trigger. The federal judge who presided over Higgs' trial two decades ago says he “merits little compassion.”
- The Independent
Karl Racine ‘extremely confident’ US president’s eldest son broke law