The first snowflakes of the year fell on Saint-Etienne, France, on Jan. 2. Other parts of the French department of Loire saw snow as well.
- Yahoo News
One day after President Trump was impeached for the second time and with less than a week to go before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, the Trump White House began cleaning out its desks on Thursday.
- The Telegraph
A police officer assaulted by rioters outside the Capitol building has described how he pleaded for his life as he heard the mob threaten to kill him with his own gun. Michael Fanone, a 40-year-old father of four, said he was pulled into the crowd and dragged to the ground by the pro-Trump crowd as he attempted to defend the Capitol during the riot on January 6. During the ordeal he was repeatedly Tasered by the rioters, who also stole his spare ammunition and his police radio. Some of the mob then attempted to grab his gun and screamed "kill him with his own gun," he told CNN. Officer Fanone, a more than 18-year veteran of the DC Police force, said he briefly considered using his firearm to fight off the rioters, but realised such a move could easily backfire on him.
- Architectural Digest
- Associated Press
In the week since a mob laid siege to the U.S. Capitol, the House has impeached President Donald Trump. Twitter and other social media sites have banned Trump and thousands of other accounts. Officer Eugene Goodman isn't saying whether he thinks he saved the Senate, as many of the millions who've viewed the video believe.
- The Independent
- The Week
A reserve of second-dose COVID-19 vaccines set to be repurposed as first doses is already empty, state and federal officials briefed on distribution plans tell The Washington Post.Both the coronavirus vaccines currently authorized in the U.S. require two doses to be fully effective. So when distribution of first doses began, the Trump administration held back matching second doses to make sure recipients would be fully protected against COVID-19. Amid a massive demand for more doses, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced earlier this week that the department would begin doling out those reserved doses to more people, saying increased production speed would make up for the soon-to-be-depleted reserve.But as officials soon learned, the federal government had stopped stockpiling second dose vaccines weeks ago, they tell the Post. Both first and second doses were instead taken right off the manufacturing line. That meant Azar's announcement reportedly released a stockpile that didn't exist. The U.S. had already reached its maximum distribution capacity, and new doses distributors were expecting next week weren't coming, the Post reports.HHS spokesperson Michael Pratt confirmed in an email to the Post that the last of the reserve had been taken out for shipment this weekend. He didn't acknowledge Azar's comments, but said Operation Warp Speed had "always intended to transition from holding second doses in reserve as manufacturing stabilizes and we gained confidence in the ability for a consistent flow of vaccines." he also said states had only ordered 75 percent of the vaccines available to them. Read more at The Washington Post.More stories from theweek.com Trump's vaccine delay is getting suspicious The worst-case scenario for America's immediate future Do Democrats realize the danger they are in?
- National Review
Breaking with Chancellor Angela Merkel's policies is not the way to win Germany's federal election in September, the leader of her Bavarian sister party said as her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) prepares to elect a new leader on Saturday. Merkel, who steps down after September's elections, is heading into the last months of her tenure with her conservative CDU squabbling over how to position the party following 15 years of rule marked by her instinct to compromise. Markus Soeder, leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the CDU's Bavarian sister party, said it would be a mistake to break with her popular brand of politics, which is consensus orientated and centrist.
- Associated Press
A white military veteran shot and wounded a 15-year-old girl when he fired his gun into a car carrying four Black teenagers during a tense confrontation at a rally in support of President Donald Trump near the Iowa Capitol last month. Michael McKinney, 25, is charged with attempted murder in the Dec. 6 shooting in Des Moines. McKinney, who was heavily armed and wearing body armor, told police he fired the shot in self-defense.
Bottoms is set to be vice chair in charge of the campaign organization’s civic engagement and voter protection. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has been nominated by President-elect Joe Biden as a vice chair of the Democratic National Committee. In the role, Bottoms would be in charge of civic engagement and voter protection.
- The Week
A bipartisan group of three House members said Thursday that they will nominate Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman for the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor awarded by Congress, for facing off against a mob of rioters in the Capitol during the Jan. 6 siege and potentially saving the Senate."He's a hero!" said Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.), who is introducing the resolution with Reps. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) and Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.). The Senate started evacuating a minute after Goodman lured a crowd of rioters away from a nearby door to the chamber, according to a video by HuffPost's Igor Bobic.Goodman served in Iraq in the Army's 101st Airborne Division, but little else is known about him and he "isn't saying anything at all publicly — not to reporters, not on social media," The Associated Press reports.But Goodman isn't the only officer who showed heroism during the mob siege, and several D.C. Metropolitan Police reinforcements involved in the battle at the West Terrace told their harrowing stories to The Washington Post. One Capitol Police officer was killed by the rioters, and nearly 60 D.C. police officers and an unknown number of Capitol Police were injured.D.C. officer Michael Fanone, 40, was filmed being bludgeoned with metal pipes and flag poles after the West Terrace mob dragged him down the entrance stairs. "We were battling 15,000 people," not 50, he told the Post. "It looked like a medieval battle scene." After the mob hit him with a stun gun, the Post adds, "Fanone suffered a mild heart attack and drifted in and out of consciousness."Officer Daniel Hodges, 32, was captured in another viral video with his head being smashed in a door. Rioters tried to gouge his eyes out before he even got to the West Terrace tunnel, he told the Post. "The zealotry of these people is absolutely unreal," he said, adding that he didn't want to draw his gun "because I knew they had guns — we had been seizing guns all day" — and "we would have lost" in a firefight.Rows of bludgeoned officers from D.C., then surrounding jurisdictions, fended off the rioters in hand-to-hand combat for hours. The West Terrace was "one of the few places where police prevented rioters from breaking through," the Post reports. "Had those rioters succeeded, authorities said, thousands more people could have poured into the Capitol, with possible catastrophic consequences." Read more war stories, and watch the disturbing videos, at The Washington Post.More stories from theweek.com Trump's vaccine delay is getting suspicious The worst-case scenario for America's immediate future Do Democrats realize the danger they are in?
- The Telegraph
Palestinian leaders have announced that they expect their first batch of coronavirus vaccines to arrive by March, as the West Bank and Gaza face an anxious wait to receive jabs while Israel presses ahead with its record-setting vaccination drive. This week the Palestinian Authority said it had secured a provisional agreement with AstraZeneca and was seeking doses from Moderna, as well as the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine. The Palestinians are also working with the World Health Organisation to receive free vaccines under the Covax scheme. It came as Palestinian officials accused Israel of “ignoring” its duties as an occupying power to assist them in protecting their people from the disease. “The search by the Palestinian leadership to secure the vaccines from various sources doesn’t exempt Israel from its responsibilities towards the Palestinian people in providing the vaccines,” the Palestinian foreign ministry said in a statement. Israel refutes this and says it has no legal obligation to provide vaccines for the West Bank and Gaza, as the Oslo peace accords state that this is the duty of Palestinian leaders. However, according to Israeli media reports, the Israeli government provided the Palestinian authorities with around 100 vaccine doses earlier this month as a “humanitarian gesture.” Israel has already given the first coronavirus jab to more than two million people - around 20 per cent of the population - as part of the world’s fastest vaccinations programme. The 1990s-era Oslo accords grant the Palestinian Authority limited self-rule in the West Bank while the Gaza strip is controlled by Islamist group Hamas. While the accords say Palestinian authorities should vaccine their own citizens, they also says both sides are required to “cooperate in combating” epidemics and contagious diseases. Arab-Israeli citizens, and Palestinians who live in East Jerusalem, are already able to receive vaccines from the Israeli programme. But human rights groups, such as Amnesty International, are putting pressure on the Israeli government to provide further assistance. In a recent statement, Amnesty’s deputy regional director for the Middle East, Saleh Higazi, accused Israel of “instutionalised discrimination.” “While Israel celebrates a record-setting vaccination drive, millions of Palestinians living under Israeli control in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip will receive no vaccine or have to wait much longer,” he said. Husam Zomlot, a senior Palestinian diplomat in London, described the situation as “vaccine apartheid” in a post on Twitter, a charge that Israel denies. Palestinian officials said on Wednesday that they had recorded 30 deaths from coronavirus in the past 24 hours, while more than 90 people are in intensive care units. To date, coronavirus has caused around 1,800 deaths in the Palestinian territories.
Lawyers for Venezuela's central bank on Thursday said opposition leader Juan Guaido rejected a proposed deal to buy coronavirus vaccines in Britain, an assertion the opposition dismissed as false. The lawyers said the bank - whose board was named by President Nicolas Maduro - requested the support of an ad-hoc central bank board appointed by Guaido to transfer $120 million in funds frozen in Britain to Gavi, an alliance seeking to improve poor countries' vaccine access. "Due to international sanctions the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in Venezuela have worsened, and President Maduro’s government has been unable to effect payment to Gavi to secure access to COVID-19 vaccines by any other means," the central bank's lawyers at Zaiwalla & Co said in a statement.
- Associated Press
- The Independent
‘Make no mistake, there will be an impeachment trial in United States Senate’ incoming Majority Leader Schumer said
Malaysia's opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said on Thursday he would submit an appeal to the king to end a state of emergency imposed to fight the coronavirus, which he described as a move by the prime minister to cling to power. Malaysia's King Al-Sultan Abdullah on Tuesday declared a national state of emergency to curb the spread of the virus and suspended parliament, which the opposition said was Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin's ploy to retain control amid a power struggle.
- Yahoo News Video
A racing pigeon has survived an extraordinary 13,000-kilometer (8,000-mile) Pacific Ocean crossing from the United States to find a new home in Australia. Now authorities consider the bird a quarantine risk and plan to kill it.
- Associated Press
Pakistani authorities sacked a local police chief and 11 other policemen for failing to protect a Hindu temple that was set on fire and demolished last month by a mob led by hundreds of supporters of a radical Islamist party, police said Friday. The 12 policemen were fired over “acts of cowardice" and “negligence" for not trying to stop the mob when it attacked the temple, with some having fled the scene. Another 48 policemen were given various punishments following a probe into the attack, the police statement said.
- The Independent
‘He’s not going to find a lot of sympathetic Republicans,’ White House source tells CNN