Customers irked by USPS delivery delays
- Yahoo News
A fifth member of Congress has tested positive for COVID-19 following last week’s lockdown at the Capitol — a surge of cases that had been predicted as a result of the Jan. 6 occupation.
- Associated Press
A federal judge in Washington on Friday night halted a plan to release and put on house arrest the Arkansas man photographed sitting at a desk in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office during last week's riot at the U.S. Capitol. Richard Barnett will instead be brought to Washington, D.C., immediately for proceedings in his case, Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell ordered Friday night, staying a decision by another judge to confine Barnett to his home in Gravette, Arkansas, until his trial. Howell's ruling came hours after U.S. Magistrate Judge Erin Wiedemann in Arkansas set a $5,000 bond for Barnett and ordered that a GPS monitor track his location.
- NBC News
People across the world are generally likely to say yes to getting a COVID-19 vaccine, but would be more distrustful of shots made in China or Russia than those developed in Germany or the United States, an international poll showed on Friday. The survey, conducted by the polling company YouGov and shared exclusively with Reuters, found Britons and Danes were the most willing to take the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to them, while the French and Poles were more likely to be hesitant. It also found that willingness to take the COVID-19 vaccine has been improving in many countries in recent weeks, just as shots developed by companies in the United States, Russia, China, Germany and Britain were starting to be delivered and administered in countries across Europe, North America and Asia.
- Associated Press
More than 1,000 Honduran migrants pushed their way into Guatemala Friday night without registering, a portion of a larger migrant caravan that had left the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula before dawn, Guatemalan authorities said. Video shared by the Guatemala Immigration Institute showed cheering people streaming in while border agents looked on and tried to keep them from blocking traffic. Honduran migrants began walking toward the Guatemalan border, driven by deepening poverty and the hope of a warmer reception if they can reach the United States border.
- NBC News
The flag has become a symbol for different things: anti-communism, U.S. imperialism, democracy and recollection of the past.
- The Telegraph
A rehearsal for Joe Biden's inauguration scheduled for Sunday has been postponed because of security concerns, according to a report in the US. Mr Biden is due to be sworn in as president on Wednesday, January 20, and the rehearsal has now been pushed back to Monday, Politico reported on Thursday. It reflects the seriousness with which Mr Biden's transition team are taking security threats after supporters of Donald Trump broke into the US Capitol last week in a riot that left five people dead. Security officials have locked down the Capitol grounds and the National Guard is set to post more than 20,000 troops in the area. The FBI on Thursday warned of "an extensive amount of concerning online chatter" about potentially violent threats to the inauguration and the agency has also said it expects armed protests in all 50 states. Earlier this week Mr Biden's team cancelled a train trip planned for Monday from Wilmington, Delaware to Washington due to security concerns.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged nations around the world to maintain a unified front against Chinese detentions of foreign citizens, saying every country was vulnerable. Trudeau made his remarks as China offered more consular access to two Canadian men it arrested in December 2018 and charged with spying. Canada has repeatedly called on its partners to press Beijing for their release.
- Yahoo News Video
A white military veteran shot and wounded a 15-year-old girl when he fired his gun into a car carrying four Black teens during a tense confrontation at a Trump rally near the Iowa Capitol last month.
- 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 Independent
Cabinet officials preparing to leave administration as DC prepares for Biden inauguration
- The Telegraph
Democratic President-elect Joe Biden on Saturday nominated U.S. foreign policy veteran Wendy Sherman, a key negotiator of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, to be the No. 2 official at the State Department. Biden also nominated Victoria Nuland, a retired career foreign service officer who was the top U.S. diplomat for Europe, NATO ambassador and State Department spokeswoman, to be Under Secretary for Political Affairs, effectively the third-ranking U.S. diplomat.
- 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.
The announcement applies only to those enrolled in the Department of Veterans Affairs' family caregiver program.
- Architectural Digest
- The Guardian
Critics condemn ‘callous betrayal’ after Trump officials set in motion transfer of Oak Flat to Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton Protesters in Oak Flat in June 2015. Oak Flat is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its spiritual and cultural significance. Photograph: Ross D Franklin/AP As one of its last acts, the Trump administration has set in motion the transfer of sacred Native American lands to a pair of Anglo-Australian mining conglomerates. The 2,422-acre Arizona parcel called Oak Flat is of enormous significance to the Western Apache and is now on track for destruction by what is slated to be one of the largest copper mining operations in the United States. Steps for the controversial land transfer from the US government, which owns the land, to the miners were completed on Friday morning, when a final environmental assessment was published. The government must soon transfer title to the land. Native Americans in the area have compared it to historical attacks on their tribes. “What was once gunpowder and disease is now replaced with bureaucratic negligence,” said Wendsler Nosie, founder of activist organization Apache Stronghold and a member of the Apache band descended from Geronimo. “Native people are treated as something invisible or gone. We are not. We don’t want to be pushed around any more.” The move comes after the administration sped up the environmental approval process for the transfer by a full year. During a meeting with environmental groups, regional Forest Service officials attributed the accelerated timeline to “pressure from the highest levels” of the US Department of Agriculture, though the government says it is only because the work was finished more quickly than expected. The recipient of the land is a firm called Resolution Copper, which was set up by the miners Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton. “The Forest Service is clearly jumping through flaming hoops to get this done for Rio Tinto before Trump leaves office,” said Randy Serraglio, conservation advocate with the Center for Biological Diversity. He called it “a callous betrayal of Native people who value the land as sacred.” Last May, Rio Tinto blasted a sacred Aboriginal site in western Australia’s Juukan Gorge. The widespread public outcry and investor revolt over the destruction led the Rio Tinto chairman, Simon Thompson, to promise that the company would “never again” destroy sites of “exceptional archaeological and cultural significance” during mining operations. The Resolution Copper east plant near Superior in Arizona. Photograph: Nancy Wiechec/Reuters Called Chi’chil Bildagoteel in Apache, Oak Flat is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its spiritual and cultural significance to at least a dozen south-west Native American tribes. It contains hundreds of indigenous archaeological sites dating back 1,500 years and is a place where Apache tribes have performed ceremonies for centuries. Yet thousands of feet beneath Oak Flat is a copper deposit estimated to be one of the largest in the world and worth more than $1bn. If the mine goes forward as planned, it will consume 11 square miles, including Apache burial grounds, sacred sites, petroglyphs and medicinal plants. Unbeknown to tribes and environmental groups who had long opposed mining Oak Flat, the land transfer was passed by Congress and signed by Barack Obama in December 2014 as a last-minute rider to a Department of Defense spending bill. The legislation calls for giving Oak Flat to Resolution Copper in exchange for 5,736 acres of its privately held land across Arizona that are desirable for recreation or conservation. While conducting its environmental review, the Forest Service acknowledged that the mine will destroy sites sacred to Native Americans but claimed the loss was an unavoidable consequence of the land exchange mandate. The San Carlos Apache Tribe filed a lawsuit in US district court in Phoenix on Thursday alleging, among other things, that by moving forward with the land exchange the Forest Service is violating the National Historic Preservation Act, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and an 1852 treaty between the United States and Western Apache tribes. On Friday, the judge denied a request to delay publication of the environmental assessment, and ruled that the transfer could take place in 55 days. In a separate action this week, Apache Stronghold filed a lien on Oak Flat claiming that the land was owned by the Apache according to the 1852 treaty – under which Oak Flat was deemed a part of the Apache homeland – and the Forest Service did not have legal title to the property. The Arizona representative Raúl Grijalva and Vermont senator Bernie Sanders also plan to introduce the Save Oak Flat Act in Congress to repeal the land exchange. Tribes and environmental groups are hopeful Oak Flat can still be preserved. “There are plenty of things an incoming Biden administration can do to stop this,” said Serraglio of the Center for Biological Diversity. Even if Oak Flat ends up in the hands of Resolution Copper through title transfer “there is no guarantee they will be able to get any of the other federal permits to actually do the mine”.
- The Telegraph
Brad Vercosa has passed Jimmy’s Sport Shop in Mineola, Long Island countless times, but last Thursday he approached the counter, still in his slippers, to buy his first gun. The construction company owner is one of nearly five million Americans who have purchased their first firearm over the past 12 months, driving what analysts are calling the greatest gun-buying spree in the country’s history. The seeds were sown with the onset of the pandemic last spring, and grew in response to Black Lives Matter demonstrations and pro-Trump rallies over the summer. But for many of Jimmy Gong’s customers in Mineola – a suburban village 20 miles east of the skyscrapers of Manhattan – the storming of the Capitol by pro-Trump demonstrators on January 6 was the inflection point. The following day is one of the busiest Gong, 46, can remember, even accounting for a 150 per cent rise in demand. And he expects business to keep booming. After Donald Trump’s impeachment on Wednesday, the FBI warned of possible armed protests and “domestic terrorism”, amid reports of armed far-Right groups planning to gather at all 50 state capitals and in Washington DC in the run-up to Joe Biden being sworn in as president.
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden has chosen David Kessler, the ex-head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for a senior role in the new administration's efforts to boost the availability of COVID-19 vaccines, his transition team said on Friday. The news came as Biden's own team predicted the United States would mark some 500,000 deaths from the pandemic by next month and as the president-elect was due to outline plans to ramp up vaccinations. Kessler, a pediatrician and lawyer who headed the FDA under presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, will be Chief Science Officer of the administration's COVID-19 Response.
- Associated Press