A Minnesota man who attended the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota last month has died of COVID-19, officials reported Wednesday.
- 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.
Armenia has returned all Azeri prisoners who were captured during last year's conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, but the process with Armenian prisoners has been held up, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday. The six-week conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh was brought to a halt in November by a Russian-brokered ceasefire agreement under which Azeri and ethnic Armenian forces were expected to exchange all captives. Armenia has said that many of its prisoners of war remain in Azerbaijan, a problem it has raised with the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk group.
- The Telegraph
Five Hong Kong protesters who reportedly fled to Taiwan by boat six months ago have arrived in the United States and intend to seek asylum, according to an activist group. The activists, all under the age of 30, faced protest-related arrests or charges in Hong Kong, and escaped the city by boat in July last year, the Washington, DC-based Hong Kong Democracy Council (HKDC) said. They are the latest protesters to seek sanctuary in the West after Beijing imposed a national security law on Hong Kong in June that makes it easier to crack down on dissent in the Chinese city. In recent weeks, police have arrested dozens of pro-democracy activists and former lawmakers in Hong Kong. The HKDC statement didn't confirm that the five that are now in the US had been in Taiwan - a popular destination for protesters, but which closed its borders last year because of the pandemic. Simon Chu, managing director of the nonprofit HKDC, said he had welcomed the five to the US last week after a "perilous journey to freedom". "The dangerous trip made by these activists illustrates how it remains difficult for Hong Kongers to seek safe harbour in the US and that options for safe passage are limited," he said. "Their desperate effort exemplifies the rapidly deteriorating human rights condition and growing humanitarian crisis Hong Kong is in right now," he said. Media in Taiwan had reported last year that the five had been intercepted by the Taiwanese coast guard as they tried to flee to the self-ruled island in late July. Officials in Taiwan have repeatedly declined to comment on the case. Activists say the five were held incommunicado in Taiwan as negotiations were carried out to help them leave for the US. In August, another group of Hongkongers attempted to flee to Taiwan in a speedboat, but were caught by the Chinese coastguard. Ten of the 12 Hongkongers were sentenced to up to three years in prison for organising and participating in an illegal border crossing last month after a "secret" trial that was condemned by Britain and others.
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.
- The Independent
Nancy Pelosi called pro-Trump rioters ‘Putin puppets’ and the Capitol siege a ‘gift’ to the Russian president
- National Review
A Honduran migrant worker claimed that a migrant caravan was headed to the U.S. because incoming president Joe Biden would give migrants “100 days” to arrive at the country, in an interview with CNN. Biden may seek to enact a 100-day moratorium on deportations, however transition team officials have cautioned that the president-elect will not be able to overhaul immigration policy immediately upon taking office. Even so, a group of about 3,000 migrants from Honduras clashed with Guatemalan security forces on Sunday during their trek north to the U.S.-Mexico border. One migrant claimed the caravan was heading north because Biden had promised to help them, in a CNN interview later reposted by The Hill. Honduran migrant: President-elect Biden is "going to help all of us." pic.twitter.com/LkrVCsXcSb — The Hill (@thehill) January 18, 2021 “I just want patience and prayers that we can get to the U.S. because they [will] have a new president, Biden,” the migrant said. “He’s going to help all of us, he’s giving us 100 days to get to the U.S. and give us [legal] papers, so we can get a better life for our kids, and for our families.” Meanwhile, Guatemala deemed the attempted crossing illegal. “Guatemala’s message is loud and clear: These types of illegal mass movements will not be accepted, that’s why we are working together with the neighboring nations to address this as a regional issue,” the office of Guatemala’s president said in a statement on Sunday.
- Associated Press
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has authorized the dispatch of oxygen to Brazil to help its South American neighbor treat people sickened amid another wave of the coronavirus, despite frosty relations between the two governments and Venezuela's own lack of hospital supplies. Maduro approved departure for a convoy of six tanker trucks loaded with oxygen in a national broadcast Sunday on state TV. It's destined for the city of Manaus in the northern state of Amazonas.
The officer who may have saved the life of Vice President Mike Pence could now be giving him the side-eye. The cop hailed as a hero for leading a crowd of insurrectionists away from the Senate floor and potentially saving hundreds of lawmakers’ lives has, perhaps, left the vice president on read. Vice President Mike Pence has reportedly reached out to thank Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman for his heroism on Jan. 6, but they have yet to connect.
- 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.
U.S. officials who have engaged in "nasty behaviour" over Chinese-claimed Taiwan will face sanctions, China's Foreign Ministry said on Monday, after Washington lifted curbs on exchanges between U.S. and Taiwanese officials. Sino-U.S. ties have worsened as China has already condemned this month's easing, announced by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the waning days of President Donald Trump's presidency. Further adding to China's anger, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Kelly Craft, spoke last week to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, after a planned trip to Taipei was called off.
- 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.
- Associated Press
Kamala Harris will make history on Wednesday when she becomes the nation’s first female vice president — and the first Black woman and the first woman of South Asian descent to hold that office. With the confluence of crises confronting Joe Biden's administration — and an evenly divided Senate in which she would deliver the tie-breaking vote — Harris is shaping up to be a central player in addressing everything from the coronavirus pandemic to criminal justice reform. Symone Sanders, Harris' chief spokeswoman, said that while the vice president-elect's portfolio hasn't been fully defined yet, she has a hand in all aspects of Biden's agenda.
- The Independent
‘If you turn me in, you’re a traitor and you know what happens to traitors...traitors get shot,' he told his children
- The Week
The FBI on Monday shared with law enforcement agencies an intelligence report warning that far-right extremists have talked about going to D.C. for the inauguration and posing as National Guard members, The Washington Post reports.The Post obtained a copy of the document, which said "lone wolves" and QAnon followers — including some who participated in the mob that stormed the Capitol earlier this month — have indicated they intend on traveling to Washington for the inauguration. The report also said people have been observed downloading and distributing maps of sensitive locations in D.C.The briefing did not include any specific plots, the Post reports, and noted that "numerous" extremist groups and militias have publicly stated they don't want to see any violence targeting the transition of power. At the request of the FBI, the Post did not share all of the details inside the intelligence report, in order to protect intelligence-gathering methods and avoid publicizing security vulnerabilities.The Secret Service coordinates all security for the inauguration, while the FBI gathers intelligence on threats made against the event. Last week, FBI Director Christopher Wray said agents are monitoring an "extensive amount of concerning online chatter" and it can be difficult to "distinguish what's aspirational versus what's intentional."More stories from theweek.com 5 more scathing cartoons about Trump's 2nd impeachment Melania Trump released a farewell video. So did Colbert's Late Show Melania Trump. Anthony Scaramucci says even he got an invite to Trump's D.C. sendoff
- The Telegraph
Meghan Markle argues 'quintessentially private letter' was 'triple barrelled' breach of her rights, High Court hears
The Duchess of Sussex has argued that the publication of a “quintessentially” private letter she sent to her father was a “tripled barrelled” invasion of her rights and that any argument to the contrary was “utterly fanciful.” She has insisted that the letter was a “heartfelt plea from an anguished daughter” published only for commercial gain. The Duchess, 39, has accused the Mail on Sunday of a “plain and serious" breach “not just of her right to respect for her correspondence, but also her private and family life" by reproducing extracts of the letter in a “sensational" context. She is suing Associated Newspapers, the owner of the newspaper, for breach of privacy and copyright. Her claim concerns the publication of five articles, three in the MailOnline and two in the Mail on Sunday, in February 2019. At a two-day summary judgment hearing, being heard remotely at the High Court, the Duchess’s lawyers have argued there is “no real prospect” of the newspaper winning the case and that it should therefore be resolved without a trial. Such an application can be brought when one party believes it has such an overwhelmingly strong case that the judge does not need to hear witness evidence. The newspaper’s defence is described as “a case of smoke and mirrors” designed to detract from the facts.
- Associated Press
So what does a 50-50 Senate get President-elect Joe Biden? Washington has barely had time to process the implications of Democratic control after two Georgia runoff elections that are delivering the Senate to Democrats. The unexpected new balance of power giving Democrats only the barest control of Congress has big consequences for the president-elect — easy confirmation of his Cabinet most importantly — but the road ahead for his ambitious legislative agenda remains complicated and murky.
- The Independent
Tennessee mother and son pictured with zip-ties in Senate are charged with conspiracy following Capitol riot
Both wore bulletproof vests when they entered the Capitol
The death toll has now risen to 78 following the powerful tremor on Sulawesi island on Friday.
- The Week
Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham announced on Monday that he will resign on Wednesday, the day President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated.Dillingham's term was set to expire at the end of 2021, but last week, a watchdog agency said it found that Dillingham pressured employees to use state and federal administrative records to determine how many undocumented immigrants are in the U.S. He wanted a report on the information filed by Jan. 15; a whistleblower told the Office of Inspector General this was "statistically indefensible" and could be "misinterpreted, misused, or otherwise tarnish the bureau's reputation."Several Democratic lawmakers and civil rights leaders called on Dillingham to resign. In a statement, Dillingham said he had thought about retiring earlier, but was encouraged to stay. "Let me make it clear that under other circumstances I would be honored to serve President-elect Biden just as I served the past five presidents," he added. A Census Bureau spokesman said Ron Jarmin, the current chief operating officer, will assume the director's duties.More stories from theweek.com 5 more scathing cartoons about Trump's 2nd impeachment Melania Trump released a farewell video. So did Colbert's Late Show Melania Trump. Anthony Scaramucci says even he got an invite to Trump's D.C. sendoff