The federal government is requesting states to vaccinate more people, even though many can't meet the demand. David Begnaud has the details.
- NBC News
Brittney Gilliam had taken her family for a "Sunday funday" when officers with guns drawn ordered her and the four underage girls with her to exit the car.
President Joe Biden will continue his flurry of executive orders on Monday, signing a new directive to require the federal government to “buy American” for products and services. Why it matters: The executive action is yet another attempt by Biden to accomplish goals administratively without waiting for the backing of Congress. The new order echoes Biden's $400 billion campaign pledge to increase government purchases of American goods.Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.What they're saying: "President Biden is ensuring that when the federal government spends taxpayer dollars they are spent on American made goods by American workers and with American-made component parts," the White House said in a fact sheet.The big picture: Biden’s action kick offs another week in which the president will seek to undo many Trump policies with executive actions, while signaling the direction that he wants to take the country. * Biden will also reaffirm his support for the Jones Act, which requires maritime shipments between American ports to be carried on U.S. vessels. * Last week, Biden signed an order to attempt to raise the minimum wage for federal contractors and workers to $15 an hour.The bottom line: Former President Trump also attempted to force the federal government to rely on U.S. manufacturers for procurement with "buy American" provisions. * But supply chains — with some parts and components made outside of the U.S. — require long and complicated efforts to boost domestic manufacturing. Support safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- The Telegraph
Mitch McConnell, the US Senate Republican leader, said on Monday he would agree to a power-sharing agreement with Democrats, dropping demands that had held up the basic organisation and daily work of the 50-50 chamber for days. Democrat Chuck Schumer, now the majority leader thanks to Vice President Kamala Harris' tie-breaking vote, and Mr McConnell had been at odds over the Republican's request that Democrats promise to protect the filibuster, which requires a 60-vote supermajority to advance most legislation. Mr Schumer has refused to guarantee the filibuster would stay. But in a statement, Mr McConnell cited comments from moderate Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, who said they would not favour eliminating the filibuster. "The legislative filibuster was a key part of the foundation beneath the Senate's last 50-50 power-sharing agreement in 2001," Mr McConnell said. "With these assurances, I look forward to moving ahead with a power-sharing agreement modeled on that precedent." A spokesman for Mr Schumer, Justin Goodman, said in a statement, "We're glad Senator McConnell threw in the towel and gave up on his ridiculous demand. We look forward to organising the Senate under Democratic control and start getting big, bold things done for the American people." Some liberal Democrats have suggested killing the filibuster to help advance President Joe Biden's agenda, though Mr Biden has not signaled support for such a move. In recent years, the 60-vote threshold has brought the Senate nearly to a halt on major legislation. With Ms Harris unable to attend every Senate session, the two party leaders have been discussing an arrangement to govern day-to-day operations, similar to one struck the last time the Senate was equally split two decades ago. Senate committees have still not been reorganised under Democratic control. Democrats could unilaterally change the rules to require only a simple majority to approve bills, a move sometimes called the "nuclear option", if all 50 members voted together and Ms Harris provided the tie-breaking vote. By declining to guarantee as part of the deal that the filibuster will be protected, Mr Schumer preserves the threat as leverage in negotiations over Mr Biden's priorities, such as a new round of coronavirus relief.
Tacoma Police spokeswoman Wendy Haddow said police were alerted to the street racers and a 100-person crowd blocking area streets, according to the News Tribune. When the patrol car responded, the crowd began pounding on the vehicle's windows, she told local media. “He was afraid they would break his glass,” Haddow told the News Tribune, saying the officer sped away from the scene for his own safety.
- Associated Press
President Joe Biden has brought back Dr. Kevin O'Connor as his physician, replacing President Donald Trump's doctor with the one who oversaw his care when he was vice president. The White House confirmed that Dr. Sean Conley, the Navy commander who served as the head of the White House Medical Unit under Trump and oversaw his treatment when he was hospitalized with COVID-19, will assume a teaching role at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. O'Connor, a retired Army colonel, was Biden's doctor during his entire tenure as vice president, having remained in the role at Biden's request.
All Guard members who test positive are quarantined and won't return to their home states until they're fully recovered.
- Yahoo News Video
The Supreme Court on Monday brought an end to lawsuits over whether Donald Trump illegally profited off his presidency.
- The Telegraph
Israel has extradited an ultra-orthodox former headteacher accused of committing dozens of child sex offences against her pupils in Australia, ending a six-year legal battle. Malka Leifer was put on an early-morning flight from Tel Aviv to Australia, Israeli media reported on Monday, just hours before Ben Gurion airport was closed due to coronavirus restrictions. "We confirm the deportation," Israel’s justice ministry said, without giving further details. Photographs published by Israeli media showed Ms Leifer being led onto the plane in handcuffs. Ms Leifer faces 74 charges of sexual abuse which she allegedly committed while working as a teacher and headteacher at an ultra-Orthodox Jewish school in Melbourne. She was first accused in 2008 but left Australia with her family for Israel, where she lived in the Emmanuel settlement in the West Bank. Israel attempted to extradite her in 2014 after her arrest, and again in 2016, but this failed as Ms Leifer had been placed in a mental health facility and was deemed unfit for trial by experts. Undercover private investigators then filmed Ms Leifer shopping and depositing a bank cheque, arousing suspicions that she was fit to stand trial. In response Israel launched a further investigation which led to her being re-arrested in February 2018. The Israeli Supreme Court eventually rejected her lawyers' final appeal against extradition. "More than six years have passed since a request was filed in the Jerusalem district court to declare the appellant extradited to Australia," it said, adding that there were no proceedings left which could prevent the extradition. A public campaign by three alleged victims, Dassi Erlich, Elly Sapper and Nicole Meyer, is said to have played a key role in sending Ms Leifer back to Australia to face justice. The long delay in the extradition process has been critcised by the Zionist Federation of Australia, as well as Australian politicians and activists. "That Leifer was allowed to escape justice for so long was a travesty", said Jeremy Leibler, the Federation's president. "While it's a relief that Israel's justice system has finally prevailed, the time and process that resulted in these delays are completely unacceptable." Nick Kaufman, Ms Leifer’s lawyer, complained during the extradition hearings that the Australian and Israeli media had turned his client into a "monster".
- NBC News
The eight other current and former police officers were indicted in what authorities described as a long-term scheme to steal overtime money.
Fewer than 0.01% of people who received Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine have contracted the virus more than a week after receiving the second dose, a leading Israeli healthcare provider said on Monday. The preliminary results shared by Israeli HMO Maccabi showed that only 20 people out of some 128,600 who received both shots have since been infected with the COVID-19 virus. Israel is a world leader with its rapid vaccine rollout, though the data also comes during a nationwide lockdown that has been helping to stem contagion.
- National Review
Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D., Ariz.) is “against eliminating the filibuster, and she is not open to changing her mind,” according to a spokeswoman for the senator. The spokeswoman’s comments to the Washington Post come as the possibility of voting to end the Senate’s practice of imposing a 60-vote threshold for most legislation has moved to the forefront of conversation, as Democrats have taken control of the House, Senate and White House. Ending the filibuster would allow any legislation to pass with a simple majority. Sinema joins moderate Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia as well as President Biden in opposing abolishing the filibuster. While Biden said in July that he would “take a look” at eliminating the rule dependent upon “how ostreperous they become,” speaking about Senate Republicans, he also added then that he had “not supported the elimination of the filibuster because it’s been used as often … the other way around [for Republicans’ benefit], but I think you have to just take a look at it.” Biden “has not changed his mind” and continues to oppose eliminating the filibuster, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Friday. However, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has said for years that “nothing’s off the table” once Democrats have the majority in the Senate and has previously said that Democrats would “do what it takes” to pass policy. “Job number one is for us to get the majority. We don’t take anything for granted but it’s looking better and better,” he said over the summer. “Once we get the majority, we’ll discuss it in our caucus. Nothing’s off the table.” Ahead of the election, a growing group of Democrats signaled they were open to the idea of ending the filibuster, including 18 of the original 26 democratic presidential candidates: Senator Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), Pete Buttigieg and Andrew Yang who expressed full support, and Senators Cory Booker (D., N.J.), Kamala Harris (D., Calif.), Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.), Bernie Sanders (D., Vt.) and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D., Texas) who said they would be open to the idea. However, with Manchin and Sinema’s opposition, it is unlikely Democrats will receive enough support to abolish the filibuster. Meanwhile, Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have warned that eliminating the filibuster would cause long-lasting damage to the Senate. “This threat to permanently disfigure, to disfigure the Senate, has been the latest growing drumbeat in the modern Democratic Party’s war against our governing institutions,” McConnell said in September, according to The Hill.
- Associated Press
A high-ranking official with the Hawaii Republican Party confirmed Monday that he resigned after posting a series of tweets about the QAnon conspiracy theory on the official party account, saying its adherents shouldn't be mocked. The tweets have since been deleted from the party’s account. QAnon followers advocate a conspiracy theory rooted in the baseless belief that former President Donald Trump was fighting deep state enemies and a cabal of Satan-worshipping cannibals operating a child sex trafficking ring.
- The Telegraph
Fourteen multinationals went on trial on Monday accused of causing grievous harm to a French-Vietnamese woman by selling Agent Orange to the US whose military used millions of tons of the toxic chemical in the Vietnam War. Lawyers for the plaintiff and NGOs have hailed the trial in France as potentially “historic” as a guilty verdict would be the first time a Vietnamese civilian was deemed a victim of the defoliant, which contains harmful dioxins. As part of American’s Ranch Hand military campaign to halt the advance of Communist North Vietnamese troops, the US military sprayed an estimated 76 million litres (20 million gallons) of Agent Orange between 1961 and 1971. The stated aim was to deprive enemy combatants of cover and destroy crops. But NGOs say that as well as destroying plants, polluting the soil and poisoning animals, it also caused health problems such as cancer and malformations in up to three million humans in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. The US officially ended the use of defoliant chemicals in the war in 1971, and withdrew from Vietnam in 1975, defeated by the Viet Cong after 20 years of conflict. To date, only military veterans - from the US, Australia and Korea - have won compensation for the after-effects of the chemical whose toxicity is estimated to be around 13 times that of herbicides in civilian use such as glyphosate. In 1984, seven chemical companies settled with US veteran plaintiffs to the tune of $250 million after 16,000 complained exposure had caused rare forms of cancers, nerve damage, liver disorders and skin problems. They also claimed it resulted in miscarriages by their spouses and birth defects in their children. However, civilian lawsuits have so far failed.
- NBC News
Gov. Doug Ducey says he authorized rewards of $35,000 each for information that would lead to their capture.
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro, a longtime China skeptic, thanked Beijing on Monday for rapidly approving the export of active ingredients for local COVID-19 vaccine production, as his government scrambles to secure scarce shots. The supplies are enough to produce about 8.5 million doses of Sinovac Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine at Sao Paulo's Butantan biomedical center, the lab said. China had also fast-tracked approval for supplies of active ingredients to make AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine in Brazil, Bolsonaro tweeted.
- Associated Press
The European Union's foreign ministers on Monday condemned the arrest of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and the detention of thousands during protests backing the most well-known critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin but stopped short of weighing new sanctions against Russia. “The Council considered it completely unacceptable, condemned the mass detentions, and the police brutality over the weekend,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said after chairing the meeting in Brussels. “We call on Russia for the release of Mr. Navalny and those detained.”
- The Telegraph
The acrimonious split within Republican ranks widened over the weekend as Donald Trump made his foray back into politics, backing the re-election of a hard-line supporter as chair of the party in Arizona. His wholehearted support for Kelli Ward was seen by allies as the former president firing a warning shot across the bows of any Republican senators considering backing his impeachment. Underlining Mr Trump’s grip on the Republican grassroots, the Arizona party also voted to censure John McCain’s widow, Cindy, former senator Jeff Flake and governor Doug Ducey, who refused to back the former president’s claims of election fraud. Mr Trump’s intervention came amid reports that he is considering setting up a “Patriot Party” which would spearhead primary challenges to his opponents in the 2022 mid-term elections. The former president has already amassed a massive war chest with his Save America political action committee declaring last month that it had raked in $207.5 million in donations.
South Korean reports say that Run Hyun-woo - an acting ambassador - fled to South Korea in September.
- The Week
U.S. COVID-19 hospitalizations have plateaued, but ICUs are full and struggling in much of the country
After a post-holiday surge, new COVID-19 cases are starting to decline across the U.S. But hospital intensive care units, where the people hit hardest by COVID-19 end up, are "running out of space and supplies and competing to hire temporary traveling nurses at soaring rates," especially in the South and West, The Associated Press reports, citing federal data. "Since November, the share of U.S. hospitals nearing the breaking point has doubled. More than 40 percent of Americans now live in areas running out of ICU space, with only 15 percent of beds still available."> More than 40% of Americans live in areas running out of ICU beds. Since November, the share of U.S. hospitals nearing the breaking point has doubled. https://t.co/Py74NQLxAE pic.twitter.com/P4Fn5pLFXe> > — AP Graphics (@APGraphics) January 24, 2021The U.S. surpassed 25 million total recorded COVID-19 cases on Sunday — the number was 25.1 million as of Monday morning — and 419,215 Americans have died of the disease, according to Johns Hopkins University's count. "Encouragingly, hospitalizations appear to have either plateaued or are trending downward across all regions," AP reports. "It's unclear whether the easing will continue with more contagious versions of the virus arising and snags in the rollout of vaccines."> Our daily update is published. States reported 1.7M tests, 143k cases, and 1,940 deaths. 110,628 people are currently hospitalized in the U.S., the fewest since December 14. pic.twitter.com/RW31vtEu5m> > — The COVID Tracking Project (@COVID19Tracking) January 24, 2021> Except for Christmas day, today's case number is the lowest since December 1. Cases are now declining across all regions of the country. pic.twitter.com/NimnHTORQ6> > — The COVID Tracking Project (@COVID19Tracking) January 24, 2021Along with full ICUs, hospitals are running out of supplies and trying to manage nursing shortages, after nearly a year of grueling, draining working trying to keep COVID-19 patients alive and recovering. "You can't push great people forever. Right? I mean, it just isn't possible," said Dr. Marc Boom, CEO of Houston Methodist, which recently paid staff nurses $8,000 retention bonuses. Agencies pay "absolutely ridiculous sums of money" for traveling nurses, he tells AP. "They go to California, which is in the midst of a surge, but they poach some ICU nurses there, send them to Texas, where they charge inordinate amounts to fill in gaps in Texas, many of which are created because nurses in Texas went to Florida or back to California."More stories from theweek.com Josh Hawley knows exactly what he's doing 5 scathingly funny cartoons about Biden's COVID-19 push Trump must be prosecuted
- NBC News
Because the incident happened in New York, the men may have legal recourse, but in nearly half the states, they would not.