Dr. Anthony Fauci tells TODAY he said “yes right on the spot” when President-elect Biden asked him to join his team, and that he endorses the idea of celebrities getting vaccinated publicly: “We really do have to get as many people vaccinated as possible.”
- The Independent
Mike Pence is homeless after leaving office and ‘couch-surfing’ with Indiana politicians, report says
Mike Pence has been residing in public housing for the past eight years
- Associated Press
President Joe Biden appeared to boost his goal for coronavirus vaccinations in his first 100 days in office, suggesting the nation could soon be injecting 1.5 million shots on an average per day. Biden signaled on Monday his increasing bullishness on the pace of vaccinations after signing an executive order to boost government purchases from U.S. manufacturers. It was among a flurry of moves by Biden during his first full week to show he’s taking swift action to heal an ailing economy as talks with Congress over a $1.9 trillion relief package showed few signs of progress.
- The Week
Biden did not, in fact, remove Trump's 'Diet Coke button' from the Resolute Desk, White House clarifies
The new Biden administration has yet not disclosed the secrets of Area 51 or explained what the Air Force really knows about UFOs, but it did clarify, at least, the mystery of the vanished "Diet Coke button" former President Donald Trump would use to summon refreshments in the Oval Office. The usher button, as it is formally known, is not gone, even if it is no longer used to summon Diet Cokes, a White House official tells Politico. The White House official "unfortunately wouldn't say what Biden will use the button for," Politico's Daniel Lippman writes, suggesting Biden might summon Orange Gatorade and not the obvious answer, ice cream — or, let's get real, coffee. What's more, there are evidently two usher buttons in the Oval Office, one at the Resolute Desk and the other next to the chair by the fireplace, a former White House official told Politico, adding that Trump didn't actually use the Diet Coke button all that much because "he would usually just verbally ask the valets, who were around all day, for what he needed." In any case, it is not the placement of the button that matters, of course, but how you use it. And Biden will presumably know better than to order ice cream treats during a top-secret national security briefing. More stories from theweek.comSarah Huckabee Sanders' shameless campaign for governorTrump's impeachment lawyer said he thinks 'the facts and the law will speak for themselves'Mitch McConnell is the GOAT
- The Telegraph
Russian authorities offer contradictory explanations for Kremlin-like security at alleged ‘Putin’s palace’
Russia’s top security agencies have offered contradictory explanations for heightened security measures around a billion-dollar property on the Black Sea, dubbed “Putin’s palace" by opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Faced with over 95 million views of Mr Navalny’s YouTube investigation into the residence, President Vladimir Putin had to issue a denial on Monday, insisting that neither he, nor his family own the property whose very existence enraged millions of Russia. Angry protests spread across the country’s 11 time zones on Saturday in response to the allegations about Mr Putin’s lavish lifestyle as well as the arrest of Mr Navalny who was locked up for violating the terms of his suspended sentence. The day after the politician was jailed, Mr Navalny’s team published the investigation into the property which detailed a web of its obscure owners as well President Putin’s close friends and relatives who have allegedly been pumping money into its construction and maintenance. The property, believed to be Russia’s largest private home, boasts a casino, private theatre and even a smoking room with a stripper pole. The waters along the coast are off limits for fishermen and the Kremlin security service, FSO, is known to be issuing permits for anyone wanting to get close, which has been seen as the ultimate evidence that President Putin does use the palace. Floor plans of the palace as well as rare photographs and 3D visualisations showing its opulent interior have become the butt of jokes and given rise to countless parodies and internet memes. Russian news outlet RBC on Wednesday quoted a statement from the country’s main intelligence agency FSB, explaining that it had to close the airspace over the property due to “growing spying activities of a number of neighbouring countries including NATO members.” The FSB, however, failed to comment on the fact that the no-fly zone was first established there in 2011. Separately, the FSO, whose job is to provide security to Russia’s top officials including the president, on Wednesday, denied that there are any facilities in the area under its protection.
A federal judge in Texas has temporarily blocked the Biden administration's 100-day freeze on deporting unauthorized immigrants.Why it matters: Biden has set an ambitious immigration agenda, but could face pushback from the courts.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.The big picture: U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton, a Trump appointee, issued a temporary restraining order blocking the policy for 14 days. * Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the Biden administration last week, claiming the freeze "violates the U.S. Constitution, federal immigration and administrative law, and a contractual agreement between Texas" and the Department of Homeland Security, per a press release from Paxton’s office. * "The issues implicated by that Agreement are of such gravity and constitutional import that they require further development of the record and briefing prior to addressing the merits," Tipton wrote in his Tuesday order. * Tipton also said Texas has provided evidence that the freeze would result in "millions of dollars of damage" by spurring an increase in spending on public services for unauthorized immigrants, according to the judge’s order.What they're saying: "Texas is the FIRST state in the nation to bring a lawsuit against the Biden Admin. AND WE WON," Paxton tweeted. "Within 6 days of Biden’s inauguration, Texas has HALTED his illegal deportation freeze." * Neither DHS nor Immigration and Customs Enforcement immediately responded to Axios' request for comment.Of note: Former President Trump was frequently met with injunctions for his immigration policies.Support safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- Yahoo News Video
A former pathologist at an Arkansas veterans’ hospital has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison after pleading guilty last year to involuntary manslaughter in the death of a patient that he misdiagnosed.
- National Review
President Joe Biden on Monday expressed support for the Chicago Teachers Union in its fight against reopening schools for in-person learning, saying, “I know they want to work.” The CTU voted Monday to defy the city school district and continue to work remotely. “They just want to work in a safe environment, and as safe as we can rationally make it, and we can do that,” Biden said. Biden’s comments came in response to a question about the union at a news conference after an event on American manufacturing, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. White House staffers were reportedly briefed about the ongoing standoff in the nation’s third-largest district by American Federation of Teachers chief Randi Weingarten. Asked if teachers should return to school, the president said, “we should make school classrooms safe and secure for the students, for the teachers and for the help that is in those schools maintaining those facilities.” The president added, “we should be able to open up every, every school, kindergarten through eighth grade, if in fact we administer these tests, and we’ll have the added advantage I might add, a putting millions of people back to work.” Biden did not mention Chicago or Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot in his response. He said widespread testing and functioning ventilation systems are key to reopening schools – both of which have fueled disagreements between Chicago Public Schools officials and the CTU, which is a local affiliate of the AFT. Weingarten said the White House is “really concerned about reopening and really concerned about doing it right.” “I felt it was my moral obligation to brief the White House this weekend, which I did,” she said, adding that she briefed Biden senior staffers on “what was going on in Chicago, from my perspective.” She indicated she was “very pleased” with his comments on Monday. Politically powerful national teachers unions make up a key part of Biden’s base. First Lady Jill Biden along with Weingarten and National Education Association President Becky Pringle held a virtual event with 11,000 teachers last week. About 70,000 elementary school students are scheduled to return to in-person learning on February 1 for the first time since schools closed in March 2020, according to the Chicago Public School’s coronavirus reopening plan. Around 10,000 elementary school teachers and staff were expected to report to work on Monday to prepare for the reopening. However, CTU members voted to stay at home due to disagreements with CPS over the reopening plan. Eighty-six percent of all CTU members cast ballots with 71 percent opting to continue to work from home. The union is advocating for members with medically vulnerable relatives at home to receive accommodations for remote work and for teachers to only be required to return to in-person instruction upon receiving a vaccination. It is also pushing for increased testing of staff and students as well as a public health metric that would determine when schools should reopen or close. Union members said they were encouraged to hear Biden’s comments on the situation, according to the Sun-Times. CTU Vice President Stacy Davis Gates said Biden “is not taking sides” but is “prioritizing the safety of every stakeholder in every city in every state in this country.”
Five people were arrested in Sydney in largely peaceful Australia Day protests on Tuesday with thousands defying public health concerns and rallying across the nation against the mistreatment of the Indigenous people. The Jan. 26 public holiday marks the date the British fleet sailed into Sydney Harbour in 1788 to start a penal colony, viewing the land as unoccupied despite encountering settlements. But for many Indigenous Australians, who trace their lineage on the continent back 50,000 years, it is "Invasion Day".
- Associated Press
Cyclone Eloise has affected 250,000 people in the Mozambique port city of Beira and surrounding areas and damaged or destroyed 76 health centers and 400 classrooms, a senior U.N. official said Tuesday. “We also see widespread floods that are still there,” Myrta Kaulard, the U.N. resident coordinator in the African country, told U.N. correspondents in a virtual briefing from the capital Maputo. “And what we can see is a lot of people trying to get out of the flooded areas.”
- NBC News
Robert Unanue previously praised then-President Donald Trump at a White House event, saying the country was “truly blessed” to have him leading it.
- The Independent
Biden tells Fox News reporter he talked to Putin about ‘You’ when asked about his call with Russian president
Leaders reportedly discussed Ukraine tensions, a massive cyberattack and Russia’s poisoned opposition leader
- The Telegraph
Juries should be temporarily cut from 12 to seven to help reduce delays in court trials and cut the backlog in cases, says Labour. David Lammy, shadow Justice Secretary, said smaller juries would reduce the space required to hold trials in a socially-distanced manner. He claimed the change which was last deployed during the second world war for trials except in cases of treason or murder would reduce the likelihood of jurors becoming infected. Data obtained by Labour showed that 599 court staff, judges, lawyers and jurors had tested positive for Covid-19 in a recent period of seven weeks. Mr Lammy also urged ministers to speed up the roll-out of Nightingale courts, in order to help clear the Crown Court backlog of more than 54,000 cases. It comes after four criminal justice inspectorates for England and Wales warned of their ‘grave concerns’ about the impact of the backlog on the justice system. The change was also urged last week by former appeal court judge Sir Ernest Ryder who also suggested some mid-level offences could also be heard before “intermediate courts” comprising a panel of three led by a judge instead of a jury to cut the growing case backlog. The idea of reducing the size of juries, which would require a change in law, was floated early in the pandemic by Robert Buckland, the Justice Secretary, and Lord Burnett, the Lord Chief Justice and head of the judiciary. However, it has been shelved because of evidence that it would not significantly increase capacity. Instead, ministers have favoured increased use of technology, self-distancing and protective measures such as screens in courts, the opening of 18 Nightingale courts in public buildings and plans for extended court hours through a two-shift-a-day system in individual courts. Mr Lammy said: “Victims of rape, murder, domestic abuse, robbery and assault are facing delays of up to four years because of the government’s failure to act. “Justice cannot be delayed any further. Labour is calling on the government to tackle the backlog by speeding up the roll-out of Nightingale courts and temporarily introducing wartime juries of seven until the pandemic is over.” However, it will be opposed by barristers. James Mulholland QC chair of the Criminal Bar Association said: “Reducing jury numbers is a convenient way to avoid the proper solution – investing in more space and more courtrooms for criminal work. The number of Nightingale courtrooms used exclusively for crime barely touches double figures; dozens short of the extra numbers required. “It is important to reiterate at this crucial period that we must retain faith in the processes that have made our criminal justice system one of the fairest in the world. A jury of twelve must continue to be the means by which serious criminal allegations are determined and it must remain a beacon of light amidst the darkness that surrounds us.”
- Los Angeles Times Opinion
Gov. Newsom needs to do a better job communicating California's statewide COVID restrictions with the public, and with other state officials.
- NBC News
The self-described "former liberal" became a conservative media darling after he launched the #WalkAway campaign to urge others to defect to the GOP.
- National Review
A federal judge in Texas has blocked President Biden’s executive order halting deportations of some illegal immigrants. Biden signed the order halting deportations for 100 days on January 20, several hours after his inauguration, as part of a blitz of executive orders aimed at undoing Trump administration policies. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton subsequently sued the Biden administration to reverse the order, citing an agreement between the Department of Homeland Security and Texas requiring the state’s approval to halt deportations. Judge Drew Tipton of the Southern District of Texas blocked the implementation of Biden’s order on Tuesday for a period of 14 days. Tipton said that the delay was appropriate according to the Administrative Procedure Act of 1946. The news comes after Biden promised to propose legislation during his first 100 days in office providing a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. On Inauguration Day, Biden signed an executive order to review the public-charge rule, which restricts immigration by applicants who may require government assistance such as food stamps. The president also ordered the Department of Homeland Security to work to safeguard the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
- The Independent
‘There appeared to be no remorse,’ says Calcasieu Parish sheriff Tony Mancus
- Associated Press
China's government called on Indonesia on Wednesday to treat a group of detained Chinese sailors fairly but gave no indication what their oil tanker was doing when it was found at sea transferring fuel from an Iranian ship. Indonesian authorities said 36 Iranian and 25 Chinese crew members were detained. Iran has sold oil on the black market since then-President Donald Trump imposed sanctions in 2018 and threatened to penalize countries that bought Iranian crude.
- Architectural Digest
Let’s get loudOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- NBC News
"The member in question had been advised numerous times about the requirements and had refused to be tested," the House speaker said.
President Joe Biden on Monday signed an executive order that overturned a controversial ban by his predecessor on transgender individuals serving in the U.S. military, a move cheered by LGBTQ advocates that fulfills a campaign promise. Flanked by Vice President Kamala Harris, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, Biden signed the executive order in the Oval Office. "It’s simple: America is safer when everyone qualified to serve can do so openly and with pride," Biden said on Twitter after the signing.