Initial shipments of the second COVID-19 vaccine authorized in the U.S. have left a factory as the nation works to bring the coronavirus pandemic under control.
- Associated Press
- The Telegraph
- The Week
President Biden reeled in a record-breaking $145 million in so-called dark money from anonymous donors during his presidential campaign, topping the $113 million that went to Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) before his failed presidential bid in 2012, Bloomberg reports.It's not surprising that Biden set the mark given that the $1.5 billion he hauled in overall was the most ever for a challenger to an incumbent president, but it's notable in large part because Democrats have been at the forefront of a movement to ban dark money in politics since it means that supporters can back a candidate without scrutiny. Plus, Bloomberg notes, anonymous donors "will have the same access to decision makers as those whose names were disclosed, but without public awareness of who they are or what influence they might wield." As Meredith McGehee, the executive director of campaign finance reform advocacy group Issue One, told Bloomberg, "the whole point of dark money is to avoid public disclosure while getting private credit."Still, it seems the Democratic Party was willing to embrace the strategy in the hopes of defeating former President Donald Trump, who only brought in $28.4 million from anonymous donors. Read more at Bloomberg.More stories from theweek.com 7 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's White House exit 'No way' McConnell has had a post-Trump 'epiphany,' political scientist says McConnell is already moving to strangle the Biden presidency
- The Telegraph
"Relief" is the top emotion some swing voters who used to support Donald Trump say they felt as they watched President Biden's swearing-in, followed by "hope."Why it matters: For voters on the bubble between parties, this moment is less about excitement for Biden or liberal politics than exhaustion and disgust with Trump and a craving for national healing. Most said Trump should be prohibited from ever holding office again.Support safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.These were the biggest takeaways from our first Engagious/Schlesinger swing-voter focus groups on governance in the Biden era. * The two Jan. 21 sessions included 13 women and men who voted for Trump in 2016 but Biden in 2020, from a mix of the most competitive swing states, * While focus groups are not statistically significant samples like polls, the responses show how some voters in crucial states are thinking and talking about national priorities, expectations for Biden, and Trump's future.By the numbers: Ten of the 13 said their vote was more anti-Trump than it was pro-Biden, and nine said Trump should be barred from holding office again. * Eight support Trump's impeachment, but only one would would criminally charge him with inciting the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. * None believes the election was stolen from Trump.Between the lines: Coronavirus was not the reason most turned against Trump. * Ten had made up their minds before last March; some had buyer's remorse almost immediately after the 2016 election. * Rather than one tipping point, voters mentioned his moral failings, weaponizing social media, acting unpresidential, bullying, firing Cabinet members for sport, antagonizing racial and partisan divisions in society and separating children and parents at the Mexico border. * Some felt duped for thinking he was a savvy businessman who could get things done that career politicians hadn't. * "I was just so over it," said one voter, Matt S. from Georgia."Joe Biden’s main value was to spare them four more years of Donald Trump," said Engagious president Rich Thau, who moderated the focus groups.What's next: Every member of the focus groups said they want the unity Biden called for in his speech. The most important things he can do, they said, are to get the virus under control, make the vaccine accessible and heal national divisions. * Biden said a lot of the "soothing" things "that needed to be said," said Kristi H. from Texas. * "It was so good to see everyone in masks," Lawrence G. from Florida said of the optics at the swearing-in. "It's just good to see people, maybe, taking it seriously."Details: All 13 want the $1,400 stimulus checks Biden is calling on Congress to pass. “I have friends and family who need that money,” said Jennifer C. of Texas. * All want Biden to embrace a moderate rather than liberal path. * Most favor the U.S. return to the Paris climate deal, but they split over a $15-an-hour federal minimum wage and revoking Trump's so-called Muslim travel ban. * Most expressed excitement or optimism around Vice President Kamala Harris. * Some worry Biden is too old, could be pulled too far to the left or could hurt the economy by increasing spending too much or raising taxes. Be smart: These voters aren't writing off the entire Republican Party for enabling Trump. Most said they'll make voting decisions on a case-by-case basis. * "Trump does not represent the entire Republican Party," said Matthew S. from North Carolina. "Overall, the Republican Party, it’s made up of people who are trying. They make mistakes just like the Democrats make mistakes."Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- National Review
Chinese rescuers pulled 11 gold miners to safety on Sunday with most of them in good condition after 14 days trapped underground after an explosion, but 10 colleagues were still unaccounted for, state media reported. Rescue workers wrapped the barely responsive man in a blanket and took him to hospital by ambulance. Over the next few hours, 10 miners from a different section of the mine, who had been getting food and medical supplies down a shaft from rescue workers last week, were brought out in batches.
- Associated Press
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.
- The Independent
Reverend Mark Hodges described event as ‘joyful, positive and orderly’
Venezuela's opposition accused President Nicolas Maduro's government on Friday of unilaterally changing the destination of medication and equipment provided by the Pan American Health Organization, in a "clear violation" of an agreement to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Last June, Venezuela's health ministry and technical advisers to the then opposition-dominated National Assembly signed an agreement to implement a COVID-19 response supported by PAHO. The ministry and technical advisers had agreed the tests and machines would be sent to 27 hospitals, Miguel Pizarro, designated by opposition leader Juan Guaido as representative to the United Nations, said in a statement.
- Miami Herald
It’s been said of Abraham Lincoln that he had a “mystical” devotion to the idea of Union. His conviction that the American states were united in an indissoluble bond is what braced him through the monstrous burdens he bore. It’s not too much to say that the very existence of this country owes in large part to the stubborn faith of that sorrowful man. He held to Union even when military reversals, political reality and common sense all counseled against it.
- NBC News
- Architectural Digest
- FOX News Videos
The Judge highlights the agenda of the new Biden presidency
- The Independent
US Capitol Police investigating whether Republican congressman attempted to take gun into House vote
Maryland representative reportedly set off metal detectors and revealed firearm under jacket
- The Telegraph
Twitter suspended an account linked to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on Friday after it made a post apparently threatening former US president Donald Trump. Earlier on Friday, the @khamenei_site account shared an image of a golfer resembling Mr Trump under the shadow of an aircraft. The accompanying message threatened vengeance for the death of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, whose assassination Mr Trump ordered in a US drone strike in Iraq last January. The tweet in Farsi repeated comments Ayatollah Khamenei made last month that “those who ordered the murder of General Suleimani as well as those who carried this out should be punished. This revenge will certainly happen at the right time.” The tweet prompted calls for Twitter to suspend the Iranian leader's account, after the social media platform permanently suspended Mr Trump’s account earlier this month for posts inciting violence. A Twitter spokesperson said the account @khamenei_site “violated our platform manipulation and spam policy, specifically the creation of fake accounts, and has been permanently suspended, and the Tweet was in violation of our abusive behaviour policy.” Earlier this month Twitter removed a tweet by Ayatollah Khamenei questioning the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines from the US and the UK, saying the post violated its rules against coronavirus misinformation. "Importing vaccines made in the US or the UK is prohibited. They're completely untrustworthy," said the post in English on the unverified account @khamenei_ir, which shares the Supreme Leader's statements. That account, which has over 884,000 followers, and others associated with Ayatollah Khamenei are still online. Twitter briefly suspended several accounts belonging to Ayatollah Khamenei last March, after mistakenly identifying them as spam content.