By Michael Fleeman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A Beverly Hills rare coin dealer purchased a 1792 American penny for nearly $2.6 million, the most ever paid for a one-cent piece at auction. Named after its engraver, Robert Birch, the so-called "Birch Cent" was among the first pennies struck for the United States, part of a series of prototype coins. Only 10 are believed to exist and collector Kevin Lipton said the coin he purchased is in the best condition of those 10. "I felt elated, just wonderful,” Lipton, 55, of Lipton Rare Coins Inc said Monday of his winning bid made last Thursday at the Heritage Auctions sale in Orlando, Florida. "I thought the coin would bring more money. This was a really good buy." One side of the Birch Cent features the profile of Lady Liberty with flowing hair and the motto “Liberty Parent of Science and Industry.” The other side says “United States of America” and gives the denomination “One Cent” within a wreath. "It’s a gorgeous coin, breathtaking,” Lipton said. “And the history is important. This is our earliest depiction of what we thought of ourselves as a nation.” Jim Halperin, co-chairman of Heritage Auctions, said the $2,585,000 Lipton paid for the coin tops a record set the day before at the same auction: $2.35 million for a 1793 “chain cent,” named after the chains around the denomination. Before that, the record was $1.38 million, also for a “chain cent,” in 2012, Halperin said. Halperin said the auction brought in a total of $80 million over five days, with rare coins a hot commodity these days. "The economy is pretty good right now and there isn't a lot of other things to put your money in. People recognize that diversity is a very good financial strategy. And coins are just cool," he said. Lipton, who plans to hold onto his new purchase for himself for now, said he was so excited to get the coin that the next day he spent another $2,232,500 for the “Wright quarter,” America’s first quarter. “For 26 cents,” he said, “I spent $4.8 million.” (This version of the story corrects Lipton's age to 55, paragraph 3, corrects name to Heritage Auctions in paragraph 6) (Editing by Dan Whitcomb, Bill Trott and Eric Walsh)
- Yahoo News
With the Senate poised to begin debate on Donald Trump's impeachment charge, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said some Republican House members might also face consequences over their actions leading up to the riot at the Capitol.
- The Independent
Judge denies release for 26-year-old accused of taking part in the deadly Capitol attacks then returning to Washington on Inauguration Day
- The Telegraph
A Republican congresswoman is facing calls to resign over reports that she helped to spread falsehoods about the Parkland school shooting. Marjorie Taylor Greene reportedly agreed with a conspiracy theory about the 2018 shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in which 17 people were killed. Facebook screenshots showed a discussion about why a police officer had not rushed into the building, and someone claimed that the mass shooting was a "false flag planned shooting." Greene replied: “Exactly!" The social media giant later removed the posts after they were reported to them. Cameron Kasky, a former Parkland pupil who co-founded the group Never Again MSD, said: "She should resign. She can apologise. I don’t think anybody will accept it.” The congresswoman was elected in Georgia in November, backed Donald Trump's claims of election fraud, and has previously expressed support for the QAnon conspiracy theory. Fred Guttenberg, who's 14-year-old daughter Jaime died in the Parkland shooting, said: "Your feelings on gun laws are irrelevant to your claim that Parkland never happened. You are a fraud who must resign. Be prepared to meet me directly in person to explain your conspiracy theory, and soon." The comments by the politician were first reported by Media Matters for America. In a statement Ms Greene accused Media Matters for America of being "communists' and "fake news". Meanwhile, US Capitol Police were investigating an incident in which a Republican congressman was found carrying a concealed gun while trying to enter the floor of the House of Representatives. Andy Harris, a staunch gun-rights advocate, set off a metal detector going through security on his way to the House floor . Metal detectors were installed outside the chamber to beef up security in the aftermath of the Capitol riots on Jan 6.
- Associated Press
Libya’s coast guard intercepted on Friday more than 80 Europe-bound migrants in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of the North African country, the U.N. migration agency said. The migrants were returned to Libyan soil, said the International Organization for Migration. “So far this year, some 300 people, including women and children, were returned to the country and ended up in detention,” said the IOM.
- Yahoo News
Counterintelligence official Michael Orlando joins a growing chorus of voices on both sides of the political aisle who point to China as a major national security threat, particularly in terms of technology and cybersecurity.
- Yahoo News Video
President Joe Biden issued a warning Wednesday to his appointees that a hostile workplace will not be allowed in his administration.
America may not have won World War II and landed on the moon later if not for the contributions of a brilliant Chinese scientist named Qian Xuesen. Fearing communist presence after the war, the U.S., however, deported Qian to China, clueless that he would eventually spearhead programs that would target American troops and eventually propel China into space. Born to well-educated parents in 1911, it was evident from an early age that Qian had superior intellect.
A federal judge in Ohio ordered on Friday that Oath Keepers member Donovan Crowl be detained pending trial, after prosecutors charged him with conspiring with other members to storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. "The charges against the defendant are very serious," said Sharon Ovington, a Magistrate Judge in the Southern District of Ohio. Several other people suspected of attacking police at the Capitol also appeared in federal courts around the country.
- The Independent
‘There was a protocol breach when the front doors were not held open’
Beau Biden, who served in the Guard, is buried at St. Joseph on the Brandywine Church cemetery in Greenville, Delaware.
- Associated Press
Capitol Police are investigating an incident in which a Republican lawmaker was blocked from entering the House chamber after setting off a metal detector while apparently carrying a concealed gun. Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., set off the metal detector while trying to enter the chamber Thursday afternoon. The metal detectors were installed after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, which left five people dead, including a Capitol police officer.
- The Telegraph
The South African Covid variant could make current vaccines 50 per cent less effective, Matt Hancock has claimed. In video footage of a webinar with travel agents, the Health Secretary warned that the importation of the variant could ruin Britain's vaccination drive and send the country "back to square one" without tough travel restrictions. Mr Hancock is among a number of ministers pushing for tougher travel restrictions modelled on Australia and New Zealand, which have closed their borders to non-residents and require all returning nationals to quarantine in Government-approved hotels. Speaking ahead of a Cabinet Covid-O Cabinet meeting at which ministers will consider similar UK border closures and quarantine hotels, Mr Hancock admitted that the data showing the South African variant reduced vaccine efficacy by 50 per cent was not certain "so I wouldn’t say this in public". He added: "Nevertheless, if you vaccinate the entire population and then you get in a new variant that evaded the vaccine, then you'd be back to square one. And so tougher international restrictions are the price that, for instance, Australia has paid for stronger domestic protection, as in more life getting back to normal domestically."
- NBC News
A woman has been arrested and charged with murder after the dismembered remains of her missing roommate, Talina Galloway, were found in a freezer in the woods of Polk County, Arkansas last week. Talina, 53, was reported missing by her roommate, Kore Bommeli on April 17, 2020. Talina’s remains were found in the freezer on January 14, 2021. Bommeli, who has been a person of interest throughout the investigation, was located in Wisconsin and faces charges of murder and desecration of a corpse. Th
- Architectural Digest
800 feet up in the sky, the Dreamy 6,000 square foot space offers panoramic views from the East River to the HudsonOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
The European Union and Turkey pressed each other on Thursday to take concrete steps to improve relations long strained by disagreements over energy, migration and Ankara's human rights record. Turkey, which remains an official candidate for EU membership despite the tensions, is facing the threat of EU economic sanctions over a hydrocarbons dispute with Greece in the eastern Mediterranean, but the mood music between Brussels and Ankara has improved since the new year.
With the dawn of the Biden administration comes Cholleti Vinay Reddy, the country’s first Indian American presidential speechwriter. Reddy’s roots originate from Pothireddypeta, a rural village in the Indian state of Telangana, whose residents have been celebrating his latest milestone: Biden’s inaugural address. Born and raised in Dayton, Ohio, Reddy is believed to have acquired his political acumen from his grandfather, Tirupathi, who served as the village sarpanch (head) for 30 years.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced at a briefing on Friday that the Biden administration will roll out a three-pronged, interagency plan to assess and combat the threat posed by domestic violence extremism.Why it matters: The federal government's approach to domestic extremism has come under scrutiny in the wake of the Jan. 6 attacks on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob. In his inaugural address, Biden repudiated political extremism, white supremacy and domestic terrorism, vowing to defeat them.Support safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.What they're saying: "The Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol and the tragic deaths and destruction that occurred underscored what we have long known. The rise of domestic violent extremism is a serious and growing national security threat," Psaki said. * "The Biden administration will confront this threat with the necessary resources and resolve. We are committed to developing policies and strategies based on facts, on objective and rigorous analysis, and on our respect with constitutionally protected free speech and political activities," she conntinued.How it works: 1. Biden has sent a request for newly confirmed Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines to conduct a threat assessment in coordination with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security that Psaki said will produce a "fact-based analysis on which we can shape policy." 2. The White House National Security Council will be tasked with building capacity to tackle and disrupt extremist networks. Homeland security adviser Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall has asked Joshua Gelser, a former NSC counterterrorism director, to lead a 100-day investigation. 3. The administration will work to mobilize other factions of the government to address "evolving threats, radicalization, the role of social media, opportunities to improve information sharing, operational responses and more."Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- Associated Press
Iran's capital and major cities plunged into darkness in recent weeks as rolling outages left millions without electricity for hours. With toxic smog blanketing Tehran skies and the country buckling under the pandemic and other mounting crises, social media has been rife with speculation. Within days, as frustration spread among residents, the government launched a wide-ranging crackdown on Bitcoin processing centers, which require immense amounts of electricity to power their specialized computers and to keep them cool — a burden on Iran's power grid.
- The Independent
Former first daughter and husband will not live in Florida like Donald Trump
Twitter has locked the account of China's U.S. embassy for a tweet that defended China's policy towards Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang, which the U.S. social media platform said violated its stand against "dehumanizing" people. China's Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that it was confused by the move and that it was the embassy's responsibility to call out disinformation and clarify the truth. The Chinese Embassy account, @ChineseEmbinUS, posted a tweet this month that said that Uighur women had been emancipated and were no longer "baby-making machines", citing a study reported by state-backed newspaper China Daily.