Mayor Bill de Blasio is calling for an immediate ban on flights from the United Kingdom after two cases of the U.K. COVID strain were reported in New York City.
- 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 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 governorChuck Schumer tried to unseat Susan Collins, and now it's personalDemocrats are getting Chuck Grassleyed
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.
- NBC News
The suspension will last at least 30 days and has been in effect since last week, YouTube said in an email.
- The Independent
‘There appeared to be no remorse,’ says Calcasieu Parish sheriff Tony Mancus
- 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.
- The Week
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) will have his work cut out for him as he tries to maneuver through the 50-50 upper chamber. To pass most legislation, he'll need to work with Republicans to get things done, but that won't be easy, especially after he rigorously campaigned against a few of them in recent election cycles, CNN reports. Take, for example, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who ultimately won a hard fought re-election campaign last year against Democratic challenger Sara Gideon. Despite the victory, Collins appears to have taken Schumer's efforts to unseat her personally. "What this campaign taught me about Chuck Schumer is that he will say or do anything in order to win," she told CNN. "It was a deceitful, despicable campaign that he ran." Collins is generally considered one of the more bipartisan voices in the Senate and has crossed the aisle not infrequently throughout her tenure, but those words don't make her sound like someone who's excited to help hand Schumer easy wins. Read more at CNN. Susan Collins doesn't sound like she's keen on cutting lots of deals https://t.co/YHgj2ydgN6 — Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) January 26, 2021 The only way governing with the filibuster can ever work is if Republicans are willing to engage in good faith negotiations. Even SUSAN COLLINS is explicitly stating she’s a partisan who has no interest in working with Democrats. — Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) January 26, 2021 More stories from theweek.comSarah Huckabee Sanders' shameless campaign for governorDemocrats are getting Chuck GrassleyedBiden's reverse triangulation
Backers of the union of the United Kingdom's four nations should boycott any "wildcat" independence referendum for Scotland, the leader of the Scottish Conservative Party said on Monday, after the nation's first minister pressed ahead with plans for a vote. Scotland's first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said on Sunday she was hoping a strong performance by her Scottish National Party (SNP) in an election in May would give her the mandate to hold a second referendum. To get a legal referendum, any such vote must be approved by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has ruled out doing so.
- NBC News
"The member in question had been advised numerous times about the requirements and had refused to be tested," the House speaker said.
- National Review
Senator Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.), the president pro tempore who is set to preside over the impeachment trial of former President Trump, was taken to the hospital Tuesday “out of an abundance of caution.” “This evening, Senator Leahy was in his Capitol office and was not feeling well,” spokesperson David Carle said in a statement. “He was examined in the Capitol by the Attending Physician. Out of an abundance of caution, the Attending Physician recommended that he be taken to a local hospital for observation, where he is now, and where he is being evaluated.” The 80-year-old senator’s hospitalization comes hours after he was sworn in to preside over the Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, which is expected to begin the week of February 8. Leahy, a former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is the highest-ranking senator due to his tenure — he has served in the Senate since 1975.
- Associated Press
Israel's military chief Tuesday warned the Biden administration against rejoining the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, even if it toughens its terms, adding he's ordered his forces to step up preparations for possible offensive action against Iran during the coming year. The comments by Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi came as Israel and Iran both seek to put pressure on President Joe Biden ahead of his expected announcement on his approach for dealing with the Iranian nuclear program.
- 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.
Marine officials declined to comment on when the review is expected to be complete or what changes could result.
- NBC News
Jacob Fracker was one of two off-duty Rocky Mount police officers who participated in the Capitol siege, authorities said.
- Architectural Digest
Let’s get loudOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- The Conversation
Rioters storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, seeking to intimidate politicians into overturning the presidential election. AP Photo/John MinchilloAs the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump approaches, federal officials are investigating threats to attack or kill members of Congress. This comes in the wake of the Capitol riot, when a mob stormed the building where members of the House and Senate were preparing to certify the presidential election. Some rioters reportedly threatened the lives of elected officials in both parties. When the House took up impeachment proceedings, Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives reportedly felt afraid to vote to impeach Trump – even fearing for their lives. A video also captured a group accosting Republican Lindsey Graham, a U.S. senator from South Carolina, screaming that he was a “traitor” after he declared that Joe Biden had been lawfully elected president. These threats do not simply reflect increased levels of anger and depravity among individual Americans. Rather, they appear to be evidence of a more systemic use of fear and intimidation in U.S. politics, seeking to force fealty from Republicans and reinforce the authoritarian turn that defined Donald Trump’s leadership. Engagement in public life in the U.S. has always carried risk, with public officials of both parties, journalists and even movie stars often the target of death threats and intimidation. With the advent of social media and the Trump presidency, however, the risks for public officials have grown substantially. As a professor of human rights and a practitioner of democracy-building and the rule of law, this trend symbolizes the depth of deterioration of democracy in the U.S. Political violence Before the insurrection, experts tracked current trends as part of a broader cycle of political violence in the U.S. that one analysis said “has occurred approximately every fifty years for the past two centuries.” Even with a transfer of power, the question remains whether America will finally break this cycle or whether Trump has just planted the seeds for the next time. Over the past few years, scholars and experts have warned that the U.S. is at risk of widespread political violence and democratic instability. They identify four interconnected factors that make a society vulnerable to violence that aims to affect political systems and decision-making: “Elite factionalization,” in which political parties engage in winner-take-all competition to promote their own interests at almost any cost. A high level of societal polarization. Weakening democratic institutions, such as electoral processes and law enforcement, due in part to the erosion of public trust and bipartisan support. A rise in hate speech and militant rhetoric. All of these are happening in the U.S. in significant measure. Before the November 2020 election, a group of scholars called attention to the fact that a large number of Americans said they would accept violence to advance their parties’ political goals. By the end of 2020, experts were raising the alarm that the country was spinning toward political violence. Supporters of President Donald Trump marched in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 14. AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin Radicalization of the right Trump’s claims of massive election fraud, intimidation of opponents and his own party members, attacks on free media and support for right-wing groups generated an extremist Make America Great Again movement. Observing a toxic mix of the president’s fabrications, the right-wing media ecosystem, conspiracy theories and increased isolation and insecurity due to COVID-19, former national security officials in late 2020 noted signs of “mass radicalization” in the U.S. This sequence of events fits with research showing how hate and radicalization progress toward extreme beliefs and behaviors, including participation in collective violence. Humans identify in groups and prioritize their own group. If there’s a threat of or competition between groups, some leaders will encourage followers to hate and dehumanize the other group – usually by painting their own group as a victim – and even to engage in violence or intimidation as self-defense. Group members who act in response, in turn, feel they’re contributing to their group’s survival. Trump altered the norms of acceptable rhetoric and behavior within the Republican Party. He increased the tolerance for intimidation, hate and bullying, and demonized the Democratic Party and social justice movements, like Black Lives Matter, as unpatriotic dangers to America. Before the 2020 election, evidence showed that the Republican Party had fewer democratic traits than almost all governing parties in the world’s democracies and “its rhetoric was closer to authoritarian parties, such as AKP in Turkey and Fidesz in Hungary.” These parties seek to build power by undermining democratic institutions, such as fair elections, independent judiciaries and media, and by using threatening rhetoric and being disrespectful of opponents. Trump also legitimized preexisting extremist groups that use violence and intimidation. The mob that stormed the Capitol consisted of a range of groups and individuals with diverse ideologies – including the ultra-nationalist Proud Boys, white supremacists, anti-government and pro-gun militias such as the Oath Keepers and Three Percenters, QAnon conspiracy followers, and common Trump supporters and Republican officials. They all came together as elements of Trump’s “Stop the Steal” effort to overturn the election of the actual winner, Joe Biden. The unifying narrative for them was the false idea that American democracy is under attack by Democrats and traitors, and that violence could be justified as part of patriotic self-defense. What happens to moderation? The Republican Party – with a few notable exceptions – embraced Donald Trump’s post-election rhetoric and the massive lie about election fraud. This is as a result of Trump’s control throughout the party, from its general members up through party leadership and affiliated media outlets – who felt obligated to support Trump no matter what he said or did. Even though many Republicans have denounced the use of violence on Jan. 6, most officials continue to validate their voters’ concerns about election integrity, which are rooted in the “Stop the Steal” effort. Republican Party members defend their actions by claiming they are legitimate efforts to protect democracy. As extremism rises, moderates who are willing to challenge the group’s direction are the first to be intimidated or silenced. Party leaders who have now called out the “Stop the Steal” lie and voted for impeachment are facing repercussions. Republican congressional leaders Kevin McCarthy, left, and Mitch McConnell, center, with then-President Donald Trump. AP Photo/Evan Vucci A legacy Though Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has repudiated the “Stop the Steal” lie, early indications are that the Republican Party overall remains entrenched in the defense of Trump and partisan rhetoric at any cost. Nearly 9 out of 10 Republicans approved of Trump’s job performance even after the Capitol attack. The climate in government continues to be fearful. Death threats against public officials of both parties are part of the justification for and opposition by Republicans to weapons checks required before entering the House floor. Research shows that political violence can reinforce a group’s existence, solidify members’ interconnections and beget more violence. Even if Trump remains out of power and off Twitter, the events leading up and including Jan. 6 may reinforce his supporters’ feelings of affiliation to a highly distorted narrative of patriotism within the Republican Party, and could deepen polarization and elite factionalism. This adds to the difficulty of reversing the party’s autocratic turn. [Deep knowledge, daily. Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter.] The aim of authoritarian parties is control or cooptation of law enforcement and the military, which are often seen as the last line of defense of democracy. This is why the potential that significant levels of sympathy, affiliation or even complicity with the MAGA movement exists within American police and the armed forces is so disturbing. As a new president takes office, the resilience of U.S. democracy is on display. President Biden has already declared his intention to combat domestic extremism and radicalization. Even though Democrats are now in power, what happens next with the Republican Party, and its financial backers and supporters, will remake or break America’s democracy.This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Shelley Inglis, University of Dayton. Read more:Capitol mob wasn’t just angry men – there were angry women as wellUS Capitol protesters, egged on by Trump, are part of a long history of white supremacists hearing politicians’ words as encouragement Shelley Inglis 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.
The Biden administration plans to increase its COVID-19 vaccine shipments to states and tribes from 8.6 million doses per week to 10 million for at least the next three weeks, as part of an effort to vaccinate the majority of the U.S. population by the end of this summer. Why it matters: Hospitals in states across the U.S. say they are running out of vaccines and the country's death toll is sharply rising.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here. * Moderna and Pfizer have both said their vaccines are effective against the new coronavirus strain first identified in the United Kingdom, which has spread more rapidly and been detected in at least 12 states. * Moderna says its vaccine is also effective against the new strain that first appeared in South Africa.Details: The Biden administration says it plans to buy 100 million additional doses each of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, and aims to vaccinate 300 million Americans by this summer. * The Department of Health and Human Services will be instructed to give states a three-week estimate of incoming vaccine supply, instead of a one-week outlook. Support safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- The Week
President Biden's administration is hoping to "speed up" efforts to get Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki during a briefing Monday said the Treasury Department is "taking steps to resume efforts" to put Tubman on the $20 bill, a plan that was originally announced under former President Barack Obama, and is "exploring ways to speed up that effort." Former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin previously announced in 2019 that the planned $20 bill redesign with Tubman replacing former President Andrew Jackson on the front had been delayed until 2028. At the time, Mnuchin said he would focus on a security feature redesign. "The primary reason we've looked at redesigning the currency is for counterfeiting issues," Mnuchin said. "Based upon this, the $20 bill will now not come out until 2028." The original plan was for the Tubman redesign to be unveiled in time for the 19th Amendment's 100th anniversary in 2020, The New York Times notes. Former President Donald Trump dismissed the efforts to put Tubman on the $20 bill as "pure political correctness" during his 2016 campaign. In Monday's briefing, Psaki said that it's "important" for U.S. currency to "reflect the history and diversity of our country," adding that "Harriet Tubman's image gracing the new $20 note would certainly reflect that." NEW: White House says Treasury Dept. is "taking steps to resume efforts" to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill. Press Sec. Psaki says the Biden admin. is "exploring ways to speed up that effort." pic.twitter.com/z7Jw5CqXP0 — MSNBC (@MSNBC) January 25, 2021 More stories from theweek.comSarah Huckabee Sanders' shameless campaign for governorChuck Schumer tried to unseat Susan Collins, and now it's personalDemocrats are getting Chuck Grassleyed
- The Independent
‘I put my emotions behind me to do what I thought was right,’ Jackson Reffitt says
- NBC News
First Read is your briefing from "Meet the Press" and the NBC Political Unit on the day's most important political stories and why they matter.