This giant sinkhole opened up in a parking lot at a hospital in Naples, Italy Friday (1/8). Officials said it was over 21,000 square feet and 65 feet deep. The incident forced the closure of a nearby building for recovering coronavirus patients because the electricity was cut.
- The Independent
Nancy Pelosi called pro-Trump rioters ‘Putin puppets’ and the Capitol siege a ‘gift’ to the Russian president
- The Week
U.S. prosecutors have imposed the first conspiracy charge against a person who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, The Washington Post reports.Thomas Edward Caldwell was arrested early Tuesday morning on four federal counts pertaining to the riot, including conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, per the Post. He allegedly organized a group of militia members who attacked the Capitol building, praising their actions in Facebook posts after the event.Caldwell's group of "eight to 10 individuals" wore "helmets and military-style gear and were seen moving purposefully toward the top of the Capitol steps and leading the move against police lines," the Post reports. He had been planning the siege at least a week earlier, sending a Facebook message on Jan. 1 that showed he was scouting hotels near the Capitol that "would allow us to go hunting at night if we wanted to," the charging affidavit says. He allegedly sent the message to Jessica Watkins, the founder of the "Ohio State Regular Militia" who was arrested last week after participating in the attack.Caldwell seemingly didn't try to hide his involvement at the Capitol, allegedly sharing video of the attack in the evening of Jan. 6. "We need to do this at the local level. Lets [sic] storm the capitol in Ohio. Tell me when!" Caldwell wrote on Facebook, the FBI says in its charging documents.Caldwell was allegedly a member of the Oath Keepers, an extremist group that, along with the Three Percenters and Proud Boys, is being investigated for its role in sparking the Capitol attack.More stories from theweek.com 5 more scathing cartoons about Trump's 2nd impeachment Trump's White House staff and alumni are reportedly using the same excuse to skip his big sendoff Melania Trump released a farewell video. So did Colbert's Late Show Melania Trump.
- National Review
Dozens were arrested Monday night in New York City when Black Lives Matter protesters clashed with police outside City Hall during a Martin Luther King Jr. Day march. Hundreds of demonstrators marched peacefully from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn to City Hall in Manhattan, where they were met with a heavy police presence. The demonstration turned violent around 8:30 p.m. in City Hall Park, and police began making arrests after demonstrators started throwing projectiles, blocking traffic, and vandalizing property. Videos posted on social media show police urging the crowd to disperse before starting to make arrests. At least 29 people were arrested near Chambers and Centre streets and eleven officers were injured, including a captain who was hit in the head with a glass bottle. None of the officers are in serious condition. It is unclear how many protesters were injured during the clashes. In another video, police can be seen shoving several protesters as well as wrestling one person to the ground. Protesters can be heard shouting obscenities at officers. Last week, New York Attorney General Letitia James sued the New York Police Department over the “excessive enforcement” used against protesters calling for racial justice over the summer, including using pepper spray and batons on protesters and “kettling” or trapping demonstrators. James is calling for federal oversight of the NYPD. The federal government is already monitoring the NYPD to ensure that it retires its stop-and-frisk policy, which was found in 2013 to have been used in an unconstitutional manner. Last summer, riots broke out in New York City following the police custody death of George Floyd in May. About 450 businesses across the city were damaged and in many cases looted over May and June, according to the city’s Department of Small Business Services. More than 2,000 people were arrested at those demonstrations over the same period.
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.
- The Conversation
It's a top government job, but what does being vice president mean? AP Photo/Jacquelyn MartinOn Jan. 20, Kamala Harris will become vice president of the United States – the first woman, the first person of South Asian descent, and the first African American to do so. Harris will also become the first vice president to have graduated from a historically black college or university. Each of these achievements is significant in its own right. However, the vice presidency itself has traditionally been a relatively insignificant position, though the office has become more influential in recent years. John Adams, the nation’s first vice president, called the job ‘the most insignificant Office.’ Gilbert Stuart, National Gallery of Art via Wikimedia Commons The ‘most insignificant’ office? The role of vice president is only mentioned in the U.S. Constitution a handful of times. Article I, Section 3 says that the vice president “shall be President of the Senate but shall have no Vote” except in the event of a tie. Normally, ties are rare, but the vice president’s power to break them will likely become be relevant to Harris as Democrats, and independents who caucus with Democrats, are expected to control only 50 of the 100 Senate seats. The beginning of Article II, Section 1 explains how vice presidents are elected, which was later revised by the 12th Amendment. The end of that section states that presidential power “shall devolve on the Vice President” in the event of the president’s “Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office.” Finally, Article II, Section 4 states that vice presidents – like presidents – can be “removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” So, other than staying out of trouble to avoid impeachment and waiting around for the president to need a replacement, vice presidents are really obligated only to occasionally cast a tie-breaking vote. This means that the great majority of the time, vice presidents have no real job to do. John Adams, the first U.S. vice president, once complained to his wife that the vice presidency was “the most insignificant Office that ever the Invention of Man contrived or his Imagination conceived.” However, not all have been upset about such inactivity. Woodrow Wilson’s vice president, Thomas Marshall, quipped after he retired: “I don’t want to work … [but] I wouldn’t mind being Vice President again.” Warren Harding, center, wanted his vice president, Calvin Coolidge, at right, to play an active role in governing. FPG/Keystone View Company/Archive Photos/Getty Images The evolution of the vice presidency Wilson’s successor as president, Warren Harding, had unconventional views about the importance of the role of the vice president. He thought that “the vice president should be more than a mere substitute in waiting,” and he wished for his vice president, Calvin Coolidge, “to be a helpful part” of his administration. Coolidge later became the first vice president in history to attend Cabinet meetings on a regular basis. In 1923, Harding died of a likely heart attack, and Coolidge succeeded him as president. “My experience in the Cabinet,” Coolidge later recalled, “was of supreme value to me when I became President.” After Harding and Coolidge, many later presidents reverted back to the tradition of keeping vice presidents an arm’s length away, even on key matters. Franklin D. Roosevelt, for instance, kept the atomic bomb a secret from Vice President Harry S. Truman, who didn’t find out about it until Roosevelt’s death. For the 1960 presidential election, two-term Vice President Richard Nixon faced off against John F. Kennedy. At one point during the campaign, reporters asked then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower: “Can you think of a major contribution that Nixon has made to your administration?” Eisenhower replied: “Well, if you give me a week I might think of one.” Nixon lost that election. Vice President Walter Mondale, right, was an active part of President Jimmy Carter’s administration. AP Photo/Harvey Georges In 1976, Jimmy Carter picked Walter Mondale as his running mate. In a memo sent to Carter after winning the election, Mondale argued that “[t]he biggest single problem of our recent administrations has been the failure of the President to be exposed to independent analysis not conditioned by what it is thought he wants to hear or often what others want him to hear.” Mondale’s vision for the role of vice president was “to offer impartial advice” so that Carter wouldn’t be “shielded from points of view that [he] should hear.” Carter agreed and subsequently made Mondale an integral part of his inner circle. Many vice presidents since Mondale have often offered points of view that didn’t align with that of the president. Bill Clinton and Al Gore, for instance, disagreed over the amount of power and influence entrusted to first lady Hillary Clinton; they also disagreed over the handling of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney disagreed, at times, over Iraq, as well as the use and nonuse of presidential pardons. In contrast, Mike Pence has proved to be a loyal ally to a president who has a track record of being unwilling to listen to dissent. In the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection, Democrats and even a few Republicans called on Pence to remove Trump from office by invoking the 25th Amendment. Pence ultimately avoided taking such action. One key job of the vice president involves presiding over the process of counting Electoral College votes. Saul Loeb/Pool/AFP via Getty Images The ‘last voice in the room’ Following Mondale’s model, when Joe Biden agreed to be Barack Obama’s running mate, he said that he wanted to be the “last man in the room” whenever important decisions where being made so he could give Obama his unfiltered opinion. When Biden picked Harris as his running mate, he said he “asked Kamala to be the last voice in the room,” to “[c]hallenge [his] assumptions if she disagrees,” and to “[a]sk the hard questions.” [Deep knowledge, daily. Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter.] As Harris begins her trailblazing term as a vice president of many firsts, she has an opportunity to either follow the past as a vice president who is largely ignored, to follow Pence as a deferential foot soldier, or to pick up Mondale’s mantle by making sure that the president isn’t shielded from points of view that he should hear.This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Joshua Holzer, Westminster College. Read more:In Mike Pence, US evangelicals had their ‘24-karat-gold’ man in the White HouseBefore Kamala Harris became Biden’s running mate, Shirley Chisholm and other Black women aimed for the White House Joshua Holzer does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
- CBS News
Mike Lindell says it would help him prove to the world his belief that the recent presidential election was rigged. He also says some major retailers are dropping his company's products.
- 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.
- The Week
Feds arrest Capitol rioter who allegedly broke into Pelosi's office, stole laptop, wanted to sell it to Russia
A woman who participated in the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol surrendered to authorities in Pennsylvania on Monday night, the Justice Department said. Riley Williams, 22, was charged with illegally entering the Capitol, violent entry, and disorderly conduct, but the FBI said it is also investigating a tip from the suspect's former "romantic partner" that Williams broke into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office during the siege, stole a laptop, and "intended to send the computer device to a friend in Russia, who then planned to sell the device to SVR, Russia's foreign intelligence service."The transfer of the laptop to Russian intelligence "fell through for unknown reasons," the former partner, identified only as Witness 1, told the FBI, "and Williams still has the computer device or destroyed it." Williams was captured on video urging fellow rioters to go upstairs in the Capitol, toward Pelosi's office, the FBI said. Pelosi's deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, confirmed after the siege that "a laptop from a conference room was stolen," but said "it was a laptop that was only used for presentations."Williams lived with her mother, who identified her as the woman in an ITV video of the Capitol raid, the FBI said. The mother also told authorities that her daughter had taken a sudden interest in President Trump's politics and "far-right message boards." Williams had traveled to the pre-riot protest with her father, but he said they were separated before the Capitol siege, the FBI said, and after they returned to Pennsylvania, Williams deleted her social media accounts, changed her phone number, and fled.More stories from theweek.com 5 more scathing cartoons about Trump's 2nd impeachment Trump's White House staff and alumni are reportedly using the same excuse to skip his big sendoff Melania Trump released a farewell video. So did Colbert's Late Show Melania Trump.
- National Review
President-elect Joe Biden is set to propose an extensive immigration reform bill on day one of his administration, which includes an eight-year path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally. The bill, which is expected to fill hundreds of pages, would offer one of the quickest pathways to citizenship for illegal immigrants in recent years: those living in the U.S. illegally as of January 1 would have a five-year path to temporary legal status, or a green card, contingent upon a background check, paying taxes, and other basic requirements, according to the Associated Press. What follows, should eligible immigrants decide to pursue citizenship, is a three-year path to naturalization. Meanwhile, “Dreamers” — young people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children — as well as agricultural workers and those under temporary protective status could receive green cards even sooner if they are working, in school or fulfill other requirements. However, the measure does not include Republican-supported enhanced border security, only calls for coming up with strategies and for the use of technology, which could prove a hurdle to its passage in Congress as Biden would need to earn support from some GOP senators to pass the proposal into law. The legislation also aims to address the causes of migration from Central America to the U.S. and offers grants for workforce development and English language learning. On Inauguration Day, Biden is expected to issue a series of executive orders to reverse other Trump immigration actions, including the outgoing administration’s travel “ban” on predominantly Muslim countries. On the campaign trail, Biden repeatedly promised that immigration reform would come on day one of his administration. “[W]e made a mistake. It took too long to get it right,” Biden said of the Obama Administration’s record on immigration, during the October 23 presidential debate.
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 Independent
Trump ends term with ‘patriotic education’ report which makes excuses for slavery and calls anti-abortion movement ‘great reform’
White House website says report is “rebuttal of reckless 're-education' attempts that seek to reframe American history around idea that United States is not an exceptional country but an evil one”
- The Telegraph
The final days of a presidential term normally see an outgoing president issue a series of pardons to those who have had criminal convictions. Rumours are swirling about who Donald Trump may pardon, but what is a presidential pardon and how might Trump exercise this power? What is a pardon? A presidential pardon is a legal act under the constitution that allows president’s to unilaterally set aside a punishment for a federal crime. This can involve commuting a sentence, removing a fine or providing clemency. A president can issue a pardon for any federal crime except impeachment.
- National Review
Russian security forces detained Alexei Navalny on Sunday immediately upon his return to Moscow, where he traveled after recovering in Germany from a near-fatal poisoning attack, and placed him before a judge Monday morning at a police station. Navalny’s lawyers learned of the hearing just minutes before it began at a police station, instead of a normal courtroom, in the outskirts of Moscow. The judge allotted the attorneys just 30 minutes to familiarize themselves with the case and another 20 minutes to speak to their client. “I’ve seen a lot of mockery of justice… But this is impossible what is happening now,” Navalny said in a video posted by his press secretary before the hearing. “It is the highest degree of lawlessness.” Police asked the court for Navalny to be formally placed under arrest for 30 days, according to the director of Navalny’s foundation. Navalny was already scheduled to appear at a January 29 hearing on charges that he had violated the parole terms of a previous suspended sentence by staying in Germany while undergoing treatment, the reason for which he was officially detained. He received the earlier suspended prison sentence and probation order in 2014 for embezzlement and money laundering, a case which the European Court of Human Rights in 2018 called politically motivated. He has called the criminal cases against him “fabricated” and said the authorities’ intent is to deter him from returning. Russian prosecutors opened a new criminal investigation into Navalny in December, accusing him of taking donations from his Anti-Corruption Foundation. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday called for the opposition leader’s “immediate and unconditional release,” and said his detention was “the latest in a series of attempts to silence Navalny and other opposition figures.” Jake Sullivan, the incoming national security adviser for President-elect Joe Biden, also called for Navalny’s immediate release, tweeting that “the perpetrators of the outrageous attack on his life must be held accountable.” Navalny nearly died over the summer after being poisoned by Novichok, a Soviet-era nerve agent. He had been on a flight to Moscow after meeting with supporters in Siberia when he fell ill. The Russian dissident blames Russian President Vladimir Putin for the poisoning, though the Kremlin has denied having any involvement. Putin said last month that if Russian intelligence agents had sought to kill Navalny, “we would have finished the job.” Meanwhile, western intelligence officials and scientists who helped develop the nerve agent say it can only be obtained through military and security circles.
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is set to take office on Wednesday with only a few of his top chosen deputies in place. The Democrat's Cabinet appointees are awaiting approval by the Senate, who are set to hold their first confirmation hearings on Tuesday. Biden's pick for Treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, will meet with the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday at 10 a.m. EST (1500 GMT).
- 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
Anthony Scaramucci was right: The White House appears to be having trouble rounding up a sizable crowd for President Trump's official send-off from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Wednesday."In what looks like a desperate attempt to build a crowd for the crowd-obsessed president, an email has been making the rounds to current and former White House officials inviting them, and as many as five plus-ones, to Trump's elaborate exit ceremony," Politico reported Tuesday morning. "The go-to excuse for skipping out has been the 6 a.m. call time at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. But truly, many just don't want to be photographed sending off their former boss."Trump's current staffers have a good reason to avoid their outgoing boss. "Former White House officials and campaign staffers who would typically land plum jobs in corporate America after serving their time are now out in the cold," Politico says. One former White House official who got out early put it this way: "No one wants to touch them, they're just toxic." Another former Trump aide, pointing to the fallout from the Jan. 6 insurrection, was more blunt, telling Politico: "They're f---ed."Trump will be the first president since Andrew Johnson, another member of the tiny impeached president club, to skip the inauguration of his successor. "Johnson snubbed Ulysses S. Grant in 1869," The Washington Post notes. 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. Chief Justice John Roberts reportedly wants no part of Trump's impeachment trial
- 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.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday that a convoy of trucks carrying emergency oxygen supplies for Brazil's northern Amazonas state, where a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic has hit hard, has departed and is set to arrive at the border by Monday morning. Reading from a message sent by Justo Noguera, governor of Venezuela's southern Bolivar state, Maduro said during a state television appearance that the six trucks would arrive at the Santa Elena de Uairen border crossing by morning, where they would be handed over to Brazilian health authorities. From there, the trucks - carrying some 136,000 liters of oxygen, enough to fill 14,000 individual canisters - would take 14 hours to arrive in Manaus, the capital of Amazonas, whose hospital system is collapsing due to the pandemic.
- NBC News
Skylar Mack, 18, was jailed for violating quarantine protocols after isolating for two days and abandoning her tracking device in the Cayman Islands.
- Associated Press Videos
National Guard personnel are pouring into Washington, DC to enhance security for Wednesday's presidential inauguration. Troops from Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas and New York landed at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, on Monday. (Jan. 19)