Soon F-16 Block 70 fighting falcons will be flying out of Lockheed Martin's manufacturing facility in Greenville and off to the Kingdom of Bahrain.
- 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.
- National Review
Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.) warned Friday that one-third of Republican voters could leave the party if GOP senators vote in impeachment proceedings to convict President Trump. Paul made the comments in an interview on Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle. The senator’s remarks come amid an increasing divide between congressional Republicans who oppose impeaching the president and a smaller number who support the measure following the riots at the Capitol on January 6. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) is reportedly hopeful that Republicans can use impeachment to purge Trump from the GOP, although he would need the support of at least 16 additional Republican senators to vote to convict. “Look, I didn’t agree with the [Capitol] fight that happened last week, and I voted against overturning the election, but at the same time, the impeachment is a wrongheaded, partisan notion, [and] if Republicans go along with it, it’ll destroy the party,” Paul said during the interview. “A third of the Republicans will leave the party,” Paul continued. “This isn’t about, anymore, the Electoral College, this is about the future of the party, and whether you’re going to ostracize and excommunicate President Trump from the party. Well, guess what? Millions of his fans will leave as well.” While a majority of Americans believe Trump should be removed from office immediately, just 17 percent of Republicans support expelling Trump from the presidency, according to an Axios–Ipsos poll released on Thursday. Support for Trump among Republicans has fallen since the Capitol riots; however, 60 percent believe the party should continue to follow Trump once he leaves office, an ABC News/Washington Post poll found.
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.
- The Week
Israel has vaccinated at least 25 percent of its population against the coronavirus so far, which leads the world and makes it "the country to watch for herd effects from" the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, says infectious disease expert David Fishman. Recently, the case rate in Israel appears to have declined sharply, and while there could be a few reasons for that, it's possible the vaccination effort is beginning to play a role.> Israel's reproduction number appears to have declined rather sharply in recent days, with around 25% of the country vaccinated, and some additional percentage having at least partial immunity via prior infection. pic.twitter.com/sVyCYYd9dj> > — David Fisman (@DFisman) January 17, 2021One study from Clalit that was published last week reports that 14 days after receiving the first Pfizer-BioNTech shot, infection rates among 200,000 Israelis older than 60 fell 33 percent among those vaccinated compared to 200,000 from the same demographic who hadn't received a jab.At first glance, Fishman writes, that might seem disappointing since clinical trials suggested the vaccine was more than 90 percent effective. But he actually believes the 33 percent figure is "auspicious." Because vaccinated and non-vaccinated people are mingling, there could be "herd effects of immunization." In other words, when inoculated people interact with people who haven't had their shot, the latter individual may still be protected because the other person is. On a larger scale, that would drive down the number of infections among non-vaccinated people, thus shrinking the gap between the two groups' infection rates.> Estimated vaccine efficacy is a function of relative risk of infection in the vaccinated...when there is indirect protection via herd effects, we expect efficacy estimates to decrease because the risk among unvaccinated individuals declines.> > — David Fisman (@DFisman) January 17, 2021More data needs to come in, and Fishman thinks "we'll know more" this week, but he's cautiously optimistic about how things are going.More stories from theweek.com 5 more scathing cartoons about Trump's 2nd impeachment Trump's vaccine delay is getting suspicious The pandemic windfall
- NBC News
The imprisonment of a fourth American could derail a bid by the Biden administration to revive a nuclear agreement with Iran.
The U.S. Army has identified a 1st Armored Division staff sergeant from Fort Bliss, Texas found dead at his home Thursday.
Kevin McCarthy warned members to not call out colleagues by name, citing potential political violence
Members of the House Republican Conference ignored leader Kevin McCarthy last week when he warned them against criticizing colleagues by name based on intelligence that doing so could trigger more political violence. Why it matters: McCarthy made clear that name-dropping opponents, instead of spelling out complaints in more general terms, can put a literal target on a politician, especially with tensions so high following the events of Jan. 6.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.That's what happened to Rep. Liz Cheney, the GOP conference chairperson, after she said she would support impeaching President Trump. * She and several other members had to increase their security and take extra precautions because of death threats and other alarming warnings after their colleagues singled them out in their complaints.What McCarthy said: The House minority leader issued his warning during a conference call last Monday. He said his concern was driven by the FBI briefings he receives. * "It doesn’t matter which side of the position you were: I respect it, I respect why you did what you did. But what we are saying on television, when we say a member’s name. ... This is not the moment in time to do it." * "You can incite something else. The country is very divided and we know this. Let’s not put any member, I don’t care who they are Republican, Democrat or any person not even in Congress. Watch our words closely. I get these reports on a weekly basis. I’ve seen something I haven’t seen before.”Several minutes later, McCarthy repeated the message: “Emotions are high. What you say matters. Let’s not put other people in danger. Let’s watch what words we’re using and definitely not be using other members' names in any media.”Days later, some GOP members ignored him and openly criticized their colleagues * Rep. Adam Kinzinger tweeted that the name of his Republican colleague, Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene, "will be one forgotten by next January." * Rep. Lauren Boebart (R-Colo.) mocked Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the House's new mask fines.One of the most blatant attacks, leading to a media firestorm, was when several members of the House Freedom Caucus went after Cheney for voting to impeach Trump. * On the day of the vote, the members circulated a petition to remove her from her leadership role. * Cheney is now fielding a series of threats against her, many from fiery Trump supporters angered by her vote, a source with direct knowledge of the threat said. * “We don’t comment on security matters,” Cheney’s communications director, Jeremy Adler, told Axios.What we’re hearing: McCarthy's team told Axios he isn't looking for repercussions. Spokesman Matt Sparks said the leader wants to lower the temperature and is encouraging members to be mindful of the current environment.Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.
- The Independent
The latest updates from the White House and beyond on 17 January 2021
Unidentified gunmen killed two female judges from Afghanistan's Supreme Court on Sunday morning, police said, adding to a wave of assassinations in Kabul and other cities while government and Taliban representatives have been holding peace talks in Qatar. A spokesman for the Taliban said its fighters were not involved. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani issued a statement condemning attacks on civilians by the Taliban and other militant groups.
Fanny Mergui has no doubt: Moroccan Jews "are already packing their suitcases" to board direct flights to Israel after the kingdom normalised ties with the Jewish state.
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) called on his Republican Party to rebuild itself and "repudiate the nonsense that has set our party on fire" in an in an op-ed for The Atlantic Saturday on the QAnon conspiracy theory.Why it matters: Many of the mob involved in the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riots wore items signaling their support for the far-right QAnon and a prominent member of the cult was among those arrested following the siege.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here. * Several Republicans who ran for Congress last year publicly supported or defended the QAnon movement or some of its tenets — something Sasee noted in his op-ed, headlined "QAnon is Destroying the GOP From Within." * Sasse blames the violence on "the blossoming of a rotten seed that took root in the Republican Party some time ago and has been nourished by treachery, poor political judgment, and cowardice."Driving the news: Sasse wrote in his op-ed that "until last week, many party leaders and consultants thought they could preach the Constitution while winking at QAnon." * "They can't," he added. "The GOP must reject conspiracy theories or be consumed by them. Now is the time to decide what this party is about." * Sasse criticized House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for not denouncing QAnon supporter Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) when she was running for Congress in 2020. * "She's already announced plans to try to impeach Joe Biden on his first full day as president," Sasse wrote. "She'll keep making fools out of herself, her constituents, and the Republican Party."Worth noting: Sasse said before the House impeached President Trump for a second time he'd consider "definitely consider" any articles of impeachment against him over his conduct and comments at a rally before the riots. * The Nebraska senator criticized Trump's embrace of QAnon supporters last August, warning that Democrats could "take the Senate" this "will be a big part of why they won." * Months later, the Democrats went on to win control of the Senate.The bottom line: Sasse wrote that his party faces a choice when Trump leaves office: "We can dedicate ourselves to defending the Constitution and perpetuating our best American institutions and traditions, or we can be a party of conspiracy theories."Go deeper: * The Capitol siege's QAnon roots * House freshmen at war after Capitol siegeSupport safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- LA Times
Security remained tight around state houses throughout the country as fears of major protests by armed, far-right supporters of President Trump outside the Capitol and at state capitols Sunday proved unfounded, with only small groups, some carrying weapons, gathering in a handful of cities.
- 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 Telegraph
The coronavirus was found on ice cream produced in eastern China, prompting a recall of cartons from the same batch, according to the government. The Daqiaodao Food Co., Ltd. in Tianjin, adjacent to Beijing, was sealed and its employees were being tested for the coronavirus, a city government statement said. There was no indication anyone had contracted the virus from the ice cream. Most of the 29,000 cartons in the batch had yet to be sold, the government said. It said 390 sold in Tianjin were being tracked down and authorities elsewhere were notified of sales to their areas. The ingredients included New Zealand milk powder and whey powder from Ukraine, the government said. The Chinese government has suggested the disease, first detected in the central city of Wuhan in late 2019, came from abroad and has highlighted what it says are discoveries of the coronavirus on imported fish and other food, though foreign scientists are skeptical. Chinese officials have blamed cluster outbreaks on frozen food products imported from countries including the US, EU, New Zealand, Canada, India, Germany and Ecuador. And recently, China blamed an infection in a current cluster outbreak on an imported virus strain that had supposedly contaminated a package of steamed buns. The World Health Organisation has said that cases of live viruses being found on packaging appeared to be “rare and isolated". Other health experts have cautioned against drawing causal links between food packaging and outbreaks – finding traces of virus indicates it is present on a surface, but does not mean it can cause infections. The report came as China confirmed 109 new Covid-19 cases, two-thirds of them in a northern province that abuts Beijing, and no deaths. There were 72 new cases in Hebei province, where the government is building isolation hospitals with a total of 9,500 rooms to combat an upsurge in infections, according to the National Health Commission. The Health Commission on Saturday blamed the new infections on travellers and imported goods it said brought the virus from abroad. China's death toll stands at 4,653 out of 88,227 total cases.
- 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
- Associated Press
Lottery players have another chance to win big next week since there were no winners of the top prize for both the Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots in their most recent drawings. The Powerball jackpot grew to an estimated $730 million after no one matched all five numbers and the red ball in the drawing on Saturday night. If a lottery player strikes big in the next Powerball drawing on Wednesday, it would be the fifth-largest jackpot ever in the United States.
- The Guardian
FBI conducting vast security sweep as Sunday’s protests see law enforcement and media outnumber members of ‘Boogaloo Bois’ Members of the ‘Boogaloo Bois’ protest against the election of Joe Biden in Lansing, Michigan, on 17 January. Photograph: Rebecca Cook/Reuters The FBI is vetting all 25,000 National Guard troops arriving in Washington DC for president-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration amid fears of an insider attack, as heavily fortified state capitals across the US saw only small-scale protests by far-right groups on Sunday. Commanders have been warned to be on the lookout for problems within their ranks, and Guard members are being trained to identify potential insider threats, army secretary Ryan McCarthy told the Associated Press. “We’re continually going through the process, and taking second, third looks at every one of the individuals assigned to this operation,” McCarthy said in an interview on Sunday after he and other military leaders went through a three-hour security drill. So far, however, he and other leaders said they had not seen evidence of any such threats, and officials said the vetting hadn’t flagged any issues. The warning came after muted protests across the country saw only a handful of armed men showing up to planned rightwing demonstrations. Following the pro-Trump insurrection at the US Capitol on 6 January, governors in many states had mobilized the national guard, erected fences around government buildings, and in some cases even cancelled official business, amid warnings from law enforcement agencies of armed protests in all 50 states ahead of Biden’s inauguration. On Sunday, the only far-right groups that were visible at the protests were the ones who had first promoted the event: members of the “Boogaloo Bois”, an extremist pro-gun and anti-government movement fixated on a coming civil war. Their desire to make the protest happen across all 50 states was not realized, and even in the states where protests took place, they were unable to muster significant numbers. In Salem, Oregon, where the state capitol was breached in December, and where dozens of far-right protesters clashed with Oregon state police on 1 January, the entire protest consisted of eight heavily armed Boogaloo Bois, compared with more than 20 reporters. In Lansing, Michigan, where the state’s capitol was also breached by armed men in April, and where men with alleged Boogaloo ties were charged in a plot to kidnap the Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, this fall, about a dozen Boogaloo Bois showed up to protest, according to local news reports. One journalist estimated the Boogaloo Bois stayed for about 30 minutes. About a dozen people who appear to be boogaloo boys accompanied by a fair number of media members walk to the front of the Capitol pic.twitter.com/rUjWvP6F3C— Dave Boucher (@Dave_Boucher1) January 17, 2021 In Ohio, there were about two dozen protesters at the capitol in all, some armed with assault-style rifles and wearing military gear. Several identified themselves as part of the Boogaloo movement. In Colorado, there were a handful of Boogaloo Bois at the state capitol, and in New Hampshire, there were five, the New York Times reported. In Arizona, there were about 10 protesters at the state capitol, the Arizona Republic reported, with two men captured in photographs wearing the Hawaiian shirts paired with a military-style rifle that the Boogaloo Bois chose as their uniform. The National Guard vetting process began as the first troops began deploying to DC more than a week ago, according to multiple officials. “The question is, is that all of them? Are there others?” said McCarthy. “We need to be conscious of it and we need to put all of the mechanisms in place to thoroughly vet these men and women who would support any operations like this.” “This is a national priority. We have to be successful as an institution,” said McCarthy. “We want to send the message to everyone in the United States and for the rest of the world that we can do this safely and peacefully.” Since June, prosecutors have charged multiple Boogaloo Bois in a series of violent incidents, including the alleged murders of a federal security officer and a sheriff’s deputy in California, an alleged plot to set off molotov cocktails at a Black Lives Matter protest in Las Vegas, and the alleged plot to kidnap a Democratic governor of Michigan. View from Lansing, MI https://t.co/syDrL5Kv4n— Anna Liz Nichols (@annaliznichols) January 17, 2021 Asked in a text message about the limited success of the protests on Sunday, Southern Poverty Law Center spokesman Michael Edison Hayden said: “Boogaloo adherents voiced quixotic plans for Sunday. They ran up against obstacles in achieving them in the aftermath of the violence on 6 January and lost access to websites they typically use to bring crowds together.” An influential Boogaloo movement website that analysts said had first advertised the national protests on Sunday was taken offline last week. And amid fallout from the Capitol riot, Sunday’s protests themselves had become a point of contention in the remaining online platforms that far-right activists could access. In a group dedicated to refugees from Parler, the far-right-friendly social media platform whose hosting was yanked by Amazon a week ago, users clashed over the planned protests, with some arguing the events were a “false flag”, and a trap laid by antifascists or law enforcement. A sign reads ‘Warning weapons prohibited’ on a temporary fence outside the state capitol in Sacramento, California, on 17 January. Photograph: John G Mabanglo/EPA Beyond social media, far-right leaders also expressed reservations about joining the actions. Even as the FBI circulated warnings in the past week about new potential armed demonstrations, some prominent leaders of extremist groups who had a presence at the Capitol attack claimed publicly that they did not want their followers to attend protests this week. Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the Oath Keepers, one of the country’s most prominent anti-government militias, was captured on video talking to militia members outside the Capitol on 6 January. In an email to supporters Thursday, Rhodes joined other extremists in asking Trump to declare martial law, but he also said they should not gather at state capitols to protest, warning them of “false-flag traps”. Enrique Tarrio, the leader of the neo-fascist Proud Boys, told USA Today that his group was not mobilizing as part of inauguration protests. “I feel like this part of the battle is over,” he said. White nationalist streamer Nicholas Fuentes said to “steer clear” of the inauguration, warning of an increased military presence. A lone MAGA protester left his sign near the statehouse in Trenton after he realized no one else showed up to the pro-Trump state capital rally today. pic.twitter.com/hUj6FvlW2U— Matt Katz (@mattkatz00) January 17, 2021 Jared Holt, a Visiting Research Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, where he monitors extremist groups online, said that as Boogaloo activists had tried to broaden the appeal of the 17 January protests, they became conflated with the “stop the steal” movement and other strands of pro-Trump protest. But Holt says that in the wake of 6 January, “the far right has become feverishly paranoid about any events surrounding the inauguration”. Researchers who monitor extremist groups said that the sweeping bans and takedowns of far-right accounts in the past 10 days had left many groups in disarray, and that the ongoing arrests of people who participated in the Capitol attack also appear to be having a deterrent effect. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
U.S. President Donald Trump at this point is opting not to issue a pardon for himself as he prepares an expansive list of more than 100 pardons and commutations for release on Tuesday, a source familiar with the effort said. White House advisers have said Trump has privately debated with advisers whether to take the extraordinary step of issuing a pardon for himself but some administration officials have cautioned Trump against a self-pardon because it would make him look guilty. Trump was impeached by the Democratic-led House of Representatives last week on charges of inciting the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 by pro-Trump protesters.
- The Telegraph
Scientists say Colombia must cull its so-called “cocaine hippos” that roam the Magdalena river basin as they are breeding voraciously and are an increasing menace. The marshlands of Colombia have been home to these giant mammals since they were illegally imported in the late 1980s by the notorious drug lord, Pablo Escobar. When he was shot dead in 1993, the Colombian government took control of his extravagant estate, including his personal zoo. Most of the animals were shipped away, but four hippos were left to fend for themselves in a pond, and now there are dozens of them living in the wild. Although nobody knows exactly how many there are, estimates put the total number between 80 and 100, making them the largest invasive species on the planet. Scientists forecast that the number of hippos will swell to almost 1,500 by 2040. They conclude, that at that point, environmental impacts will be irreversible and numbers impossible to control. “Nobody likes the idea of shooting a hippo, but we have to accept that no other strategy is going to work,” ecologist Nataly Castelblanco-Martínez told The Telegraph.
- The Independent
Biden’s plan to get 100m Americans vaccinated in first 100 days is ‘doable,’ Dr Fauci says