A federal agency has finalized a deal to provide $173 million for expanding the South Shore commuter rail line that runs between northern Indiana and Chicago by adding a second track between two Indiana cities. Katie Johnston reports.
- Yahoo News
These are the issues the Biden administration will be dealing with on the foreign policy front.
- The Independent
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- Associated Press
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- The Independent
‘There was a protocol breach when the front doors were not held open’
The European Union and Turkey pressed each other on Thursday to take concrete steps to improve relations long strained by disagreements over energy, migration and Ankara's human rights record. Turkey, which remains an official candidate for EU membership despite the tensions, is facing the threat of EU economic sanctions over a hydrocarbons dispute with Greece in the eastern Mediterranean, but the mood music between Brussels and Ankara has improved since the new year.
- NBC News
A woman has been arrested and charged with murder after the dismembered remains of her missing roommate, Talina Galloway, were found in a freezer in the woods of Polk County, Arkansas last week. Talina, 53, was reported missing by her roommate, Kore Bommeli on April 17, 2020. Talina’s remains were found in the freezer on January 14, 2021. Bommeli, who has been a person of interest throughout the investigation, was located in Wisconsin and faces charges of murder and desecration of a corpse. Th
- Associated Press
Iran's capital and major cities plunged into darkness in recent weeks as rolling outages left millions without electricity for hours. With toxic smog blanketing Tehran skies and the country buckling under the pandemic and other mounting crises, social media has been rife with speculation. Within days, as frustration spread among residents, the government launched a wide-ranging crackdown on Bitcoin processing centers, which require immense amounts of electricity to power their specialized computers and to keep them cool — a burden on Iran's power grid.
- The Week
Michael Flynn's brother was in a key Pentagon meeting during Jan. 6 Capitol siege, despite earlier denials
Lt. Gen. Charles Flynn, the Army's deputy chief of staff for operations and training — and brother to disgraced former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn — did participate in a critical Jan. 6 meeting to discuss deploying the National Guard to the besieged Capitol, The Washington Post reports. The Army had denied several times that Flynn was involved in the conference call at the Pentagon with Washington, D.C., officials and Capitol Police, the Post notes, but both Flynn and the Pentagon confirmed his presence on Wednesday.During the tense meeting, D.C. officials and the Capitol Police chief had pleaded for the National Guard to help protect and clear the Capitol of violent rioters pushing to keep former President Donald Trump in office, but the Pentagon officials had stalled, worrying about the "optics" of having the National Guard at the Capitol. Charles Flynn told the Post he had "entered the room after the call began and departed prior to the call ending as I believed a decision was imminent" from Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy "and I needed to be in my office to assist in executing the decision." The National Guard arrived at the Capitol three hours after the call.It made sense for Flynn to be in the meeting, given his position, but "the episode highlights the challenge for the Army in having an influential senior officer whose brother has become a central figure in QAnon, the extreme ideology that alleges Trump was waging a battle with Satan-worshiping Democrats who traffic children," the Post reports. Flynn had also urged Trump to declare martial law and was involved in the Jan. 6 events."Charlie Flynn is an officer of an incredibly high integrity," McCarthy told the Post on Jan. 12, eight days before he left office Wednesday. "This guy has given a lot to this country. It is incredibly awkward for this officer every day for what is going on with him and his brother, but he puts his head down in, and he is locked in to serve the Constitution."More stories from theweek.com McConnell is already moving to strangle the Biden presidency Trump's team fired the White House chief usher right before Biden took office, maybe at Biden's request 7 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's White House exit
Twitter has locked the account of China's U.S. embassy for a tweet that defended China's policy towards Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang, which the U.S. social media platform said violated its stand against "dehumanizing" people. China's Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that it was confused by the move and that it was the embassy's responsibility to call out disinformation and clarify the truth. The Chinese Embassy account, @ChineseEmbinUS, posted a tweet this month that said that Uighur women had been emancipated and were no longer "baby-making machines", citing a study reported by state-backed newspaper China Daily.
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President Joe Biden issued a warning Wednesday to his appointees that a hostile workplace will not be allowed in his administration.
- Architectural Digest
- The Telegraph
The South African Covid variant could make current vaccines 50 per cent less effective, Matt Hancock has claimed. In video footage of a webinar with travel agents, the Health Secretary warned that the importation of the variant could ruin Britain's vaccination drive and send the country "back to square one" without tough travel restrictions. Mr Hancock is among a number of ministers pushing for tougher travel restrictions modelled on Australia and New Zealand, which have closed their borders to non-residents and require all returning nationals to quarantine in Government-approved hotels. Speaking ahead of a Cabinet Covid-O Cabinet meeting at which ministers will consider similar UK border closures and quarantine hotels, Mr Hancock admitted that the data showing the South African variant reduced vaccine efficacy by 50 per cent was not certain "so I wouldn’t say this in public". He added: "Nevertheless, if you vaccinate the entire population and then you get in a new variant that evaded the vaccine, then you'd be back to square one. And so tougher international restrictions are the price that, for instance, Australia has paid for stronger domestic protection, as in more life getting back to normal domestically."
With the dawn of the Biden administration comes Cholleti Vinay Reddy, the country’s first Indian American presidential speechwriter. Reddy’s roots originate from Pothireddypeta, a rural village in the Indian state of Telangana, whose residents have been celebrating his latest milestone: Biden’s inaugural address. Born and raised in Dayton, Ohio, Reddy is believed to have acquired his political acumen from his grandfather, Tirupathi, who served as the village sarpanch (head) for 30 years.
- Associated Press
The three National Guard members killed when a helicopter crashed in an upstate New York field this week were experienced pilots with past deployments to Afghanistan, officials said Friday. Killed in the crash were Chief Warrant Officer 5 Steven Skoda, 54, of Rochester, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Christian Koch, 39, of Honeoye Falls, and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Daniel Prial, 30 of Rochester, according to the National Guard.
The United Nations said on Wednesday it has temporarily suspended programs in Venezuela that provide cash transfers to the poor via local nonprofit organizations. "We're working with pertinent authorities so that the (cash transfer programs) are in line with the country's financial/banking regulatory framework with the aim of reactivating them, guaranteeing the safety of humanitarian workers and continuing to support ... vulnerable people," the agency wrote in an email. It added that the suspension does not affect other humanitarian activities in its portfolio, and that it is seeking to provide other types of benefits to those who have been receiving cash transfers.
- The Independent
Former first daughter and husband will not live in Florida like Donald Trump
- National Review
Biden Admonishes Reporter for Questioning Whether Vaccine Goal Is Ambitious Enough: ‘Give Me a Break’
President Biden pushed back on a reporter at a press briefing on Thursday, who questioned whether the new administration’s coronavirus vaccine goal is ambitious enough. Biden has set a goal to vaccinate 100 million Americans during his first 100 days in office. During the press conference, Biden called the Trump administration’s distribution of coronavirus vaccines a “dismal failure so far,” warning that “things are going to continue to get worse before they get better.” However, the seven-day rolling average for coronavirus vaccine doses administered to Americans currently sits at 912,000, according to the Bloomberg vaccine tracker. (On Wednesday alone, 1.6 million doses were administered.) This indicates that the Biden administration is not far from its goal of vaccinating one million Americans per day. On Thursday, Associated Press reporter Zeke Miller asked Biden if the vaccination goal was “high enough,” since “that’s basically where the U.S. is right now.” “When I announced it you all said it wasn’t possible. Come on, give me a break, man,” Biden responded. “It’s a good start, a hundred million.” Internal projections from the Trump administration showed that the U.S. could administer at least 170 million doses by the end of April, two Trump administration officials told Bloomberg. During the press conference, Biden also announced that he would invoke the Defense Production Act to “accelerate the making of everything that’s needed to protect, test, and vaccinate and the care of our people.” Biden warned that the death toll from coronavirus infections would hit 500,000 in February. Over 408,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 as of Thursday.