Fort Knox plans to start administering COVID-19 vaccines this week.
- Yahoo News
Black National Guardsman describes being deployed to protect Biden’s inauguration: 'I just felt this huge sense of pride'
As most of the 25,000 National Guardsmen who were called upon to protect Washington, D.C., during the presidential inauguration began heading home this week, one Black service member agreed to speak to Yahoo News about the experience of protecting the nation’s capital in the wake of a pro-Trump riot on Capitol Hill.
- Associated Press
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday criticized Iran's hard-liner dominated judiciary over last week's prosecution of the countrys telecommunications minister. Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi was released on bail after he was summoned for prosecution. Judiciary officials cited his refusal to block Instagram and impose limitations on the bandwidth of other foreign social media and messaging systems.
- The Week
President Biden announced Tuesday that his administration intends to order an additional 100 million doses of both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines. The extra 200 million doses, which Biden said should arrive by the summer, would boost the country's supply by about 50 percent to 600 million shots total, meaning that there would be enough shots available to inoculate 300 million people in the coming months without the Food and Drug Administration granting approval for any other vaccine candidates. Pres. Biden says his admin has ordered 200 million more COVID-19 vaccine doses that will be available by summer, increasing the total number ordered from 400 million to 600 million pic.twitter.com/VFZ3qTmUK9 — NowThis (@nowthisnews) January 26, 2021 It's another sign that the government is raising expectations for the vaccine rollout. On Monday, Biden upped the daily vaccination goal from 1 million to 1.5 million throughout his first 100 days in office and suggested that any American who wants a shot could be able to get one by the spring. FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver applauded the administration for getting more ambitious, though he noted it could be difficult — impossible, even, unless the shots are approved for children — to find 300 million willing Americans to get vaccinated by the end of summer. In practice it's going to be hard to find 300m Americans willing to get vaccinated by Sept. 22. (It's literally impossible until vaccines are approved for children.) And we'll probably eventually mix in some one-dose vaccines. Still, ramping up to 2-2.5m/day is a laudable goal. — Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) January 26, 2021 More stories from theweek.comSarah Huckabee Sanders' shameless campaign for governorTrump's impeachment lawyer said he thinks 'the facts and the law will speak for themselves'Democrats are preparing for a party-line COVID-19 bill, hoping for bipartisan buy-in
China said on Wednesday it was seeking details about 25 of its nationals who were among 61 crew on two supertankers seized by Indonesia on suspicion of illegally transferring oil. Indonesia said on Sunday it had seized the vessels after they were detected making the transfer from Iranian-flagged MT Horse to Panamanian-flagged MT Freya, causing an oil spill. The Indonesian authorities said the seizure was not related to U.S. sanctions, which Washington imposed in a bid to shut off Iran's oil exports in a dispute over Tehran's nuclear programme.
- Associated Press
A group of U.N experts has criticized Sri Lanka's requirement that those who die of COVID-19 be cremated, even it goes against a family's religious beliefs, and warned that decisions based on “discrimination and aggressive nationalism” could incite hatred and violence. The experts, who are part of the Special Procedures of the U.N Human Rights Council, said in a statement Monday that rule amounts to a human rights violation. “We deplore the implementation of such public health decisions based on discrimination, aggressive nationalism and ethnocentrism amounting to persecution of Muslims and other minorities in the country,” the experts said.
- The Telegraph
Joe Biden challenged Vladimir Putin over the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, and reports of Russian bounties on the heads of US soldiers in Afghanistan, in their first presidential phone call. Mr Biden also raised concerns about Russian "aggression" against Ukraine, and reaffirmed Washington's "strong support for Ukraine's sovereignty." The US president said he was willing to extend the New START nuclear arms control treaty for five years. Kremlin officials said documents had been exchanged to extend the pact. Mr Biden also raised concerns over Russian cyber hacking, interference in US elections, and treatment of peaceful protesters. Mr Biden made clear he would "act firmly in defence of our national interest in response to malign actions by Russia," the White House said. The Kremlin said Mr Putin told Mr Biden that he supports "normalisation" of relations between their two countries. Mr Putin "noted that the normalisation of relations between Russia and the United States" would benefit "the entire international community," the Kremlin said.
The European Union is asking AstraZeneca to publish the vaccine supply contract it signed with the bloc, an EU official said on Wednesday, amid frustration about delivery delays. The EU has been slow to rollout vaccination programmes compared with some other regions, especially former EU member Britain. The issue has been exacerbated by AstraZeneca and Pfizer both announcing delivery holdups in recent weeks.
- Los Angeles Times Opinion
Letters to the Editor: Senate GOP's message: If a president incites a coup, do it right before Jan. 20
By attempting to stop Trump's impeachment trial, Senate Republicans send the message that a president cannot be held accountable late in the term.
- Architectural Digest
Let’s get loudOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- Associated Press
A Texas man accused of taking part in the attack on the U.S. Capitol earlier this month while wearing a shirt with a message that stood for “murder the media” was arrested Tuesday, the FBI said. Nicholas DeCarlo, 30, was charged with obstructing an official proceeding, entering a restricted building and parading or demonstrating on Capitol grounds, according to a criminal complaint. Investigators say DeCarlo, of Burleson, Texas, was seen in photos smoking a cigarette inside the Capitol on Jan. 6.
- 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 governorTrump's impeachment lawyer said he thinks 'the facts and the law will speak for themselves'Mitch McConnell is the GOAT
The Philippines has confirmed domestic transmission of the new, highly contagious British variant of the coronavirus, prompting President Rodrigo Duterte to abandon a plan to allow some minors to go outside their homes. "Right now, we have local transmission where this individual or these cases with the variant have already infected their community, their family," Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told news channel ANC on Tuesday. The world is scrambling to contain the spread of the B.1.1.7 variant, despite travel bans, new lockdowns and a tightening quarantine measures in dozens of countries, amid concerns it could not only be more transmissible, but deadlier.
- Associated Press
Leaders of a protest movement sought Wednesday to distance themselves from a day of violence when thousands of farmers stormed India's historic Red Fort, the most dramatic moment in two months of demonstrations that have grown into a major challenge of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government. Farmers demanding the repeal of new agricultural laws briefly took over of the 17th-century fort, and images broadcast live on television shocked the nation. In a particularly bold rebuke to Modi’s Hindu-nationalist government, the protesters hoisted a Sikh religious flag.
- The Independent
The dynamic is very different than the last four years in the Brady press briefing room
Nissan Motor is accelerating the rollout of electric vehicles in China under its main brand and its local, no-frills Venucia marque as it overhauls its strategy in the world's biggest auto market, four sources told Reuters. Besides the focus on green vehicles, the plan involves using more locally made parts and technologies to reduce costs and help the struggling Japanese carmaker compete better with lower-cost Chinese firms and major global rivals, the sources said. The China strategy is a key pillar of Nissan's turnaround, which involves focusing on producing profitable cars for China, Japan and the United States, rather than chasing all-out global growth as it did under disgraced former boss Carlos Ghosn.
- The Telegraph
AstraZeneca vaccines meant for and paid for by the EU could have ended up in Britain, diplomatic sources in Brussels claimed today. The suspicion is that the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company supplied the UK from the EU vaccine stock because Britain paid a higher price for the dose and approved it sooner. On Monday, Brussels threatened to block EU vaccine exports to non-EU countries, after AstraZeneca revealed that it would not be able to fulfil its contractual obligations as originally hoped. Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, said on Tuesday that the EU would press on with the export mechanism that would force companies to ask for permission before vaccines could leave the bloc. In a speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Mrs von der Leyen said, “Europe invested billions to help develop the world's first Covid-19 vaccines to create a truly global common good. Europe is determined to contribute to this global common good but it also means business.” She added: “And now, the companies must deliver. They must honour their obligations and this is why we will set up a vaccine export to transparency mechanism.” A European Commission spokesman said: "How worried are we about the state of vaccinations? Well, we are worried that is for sure. We are dealing with a very important pandemic and vaccination is very important." The UK is dependent on the Pfizer vaccine, which is produced in Belgium, and is expecting almost 3.5million doses to be delivered in the next three weeks. That supply could be jeopardised if the EU decided to block the exports after the AstraZeneca controversy.
- Yahoo News Video
Senate Republicans voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday against moving forward with former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial, making clear a conviction of Trump for “incitement of insurrection” is unlikely.
- Associated Press
Iran has sentenced the brother of the country’s senior vice president to two years in prison on corruption charges, the website of the Iranian judiciary reported Tuesday. According to the judiciary's spokesman, Gholamhossein Esmaili, the verdict for Mahdi Jahangiri, the brother of Eshaq Jahangiri, is final and cannot be appealed.
- The New York Times
WASHINGTON — After years of failure to curb the scourge of sexual assault in the military, Lloyd J. Austin III, the new secretary of defense, is open to considering significant revisions to how those crimes are prosecuted, a potential sea change that generations of commanders have resisted. Overhauling the way the military handles sexual assault cases — by taking them outside the military chain of command and assigning them to military prosecutors with no connection to the accused — would need approval by Congress, where some legislators have long pushed for such a system. President Joe Biden has been a vocal proponent of these changes, even as general after general has gone to Capitol Hill to argue against them over the past decade. “I had a real run-in with one of the members of the Joint Chiefs in the Cabinet room on the issue,” Biden said last year at a fundraiser. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times Austin’s first act as secretary was to order a review of how the Pentagon has been handling sexual assault cases. In December, he met remotely with survivors of assault in the military and was disturbed and moved by their stories, an official said. He has also read a recent report about the culture of Fort Hood, the large army base in Texas where a female soldier was killed last year. An Army report in the wake of her death found a “permissive environment for sexual assault and sexual harassment,” and numerous leaders on the base were relieved of their duties. Austin, a retired four-star Army general, is also being pushed by Congress. Senators repeatedly asked him how he planned to handle the problems of sexual harassment and assault in the military during his confirmation hearing this month. If Austin were to embrace these changes, he would be the first secretary to do so, a major shift in position for the department. “Every defense secretary since Dick Cheney has come up here and said nice things, and then the fight behind the scenes was to protect the status quo,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., who has spent years pushing legislation on the issue. In 2019, the Defense Department found, there were 7,825 sexual assault reports involving service members as victims, a 3% increase over 2018. From 2018 to 2019, the conviction rate for cases was unchanged; 7% of cases that the command took action on resulted in convictions, the lowest rates since the department began reporting in 2010. Proponents of revising the law — such as advocates for sexual assault survivors and scores of members of Congress — are eagerly watching to see how Austin responds to inevitable pressure within the military to avoid major changes to its justice system. Just as the Clinton-era “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that prevented openly gay people from serving was only repealed after military leaders changed their positions, Austin’s advocacy could also change the dynamic on sexual assault. In 2010, Adm. Mike Mullen’s decision to become the first sitting chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to support a repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” helped prod Congress to move forward on the issue. Austin, the second retired general in five years to receive a waiver from a law barring those who have been out of active-duty military service for less than seven years to serve as defense secretary, has been eager to convince lawmakers that he will lead with respect for the tradition of civilian control of the military. Biden has been eager for that, too. “This could be a welcome opportunity to reassure people who were skeptical as to whether, as a matter of public policy, a person who served 41 years in uniform in an environment that thinks of itself as a separate society is really providing civilian oversight,” said Eugene R. Fidell, a senior research scholar at Yale Law School and a military justice expert. While many industries, from Hollywood to journalism to restaurants, have been roiled by the #MeToo movement of the past few years, women in the military received little national attention until the summer, after Army Spc. Vanessa Guillen was killed by another soldier at Fort Hood. Although reports that she had been sexually harassed by her killer — who died by suicide — were never confirmed, the case set off a far broader look into the problems of harassment and assault of both men and women in the armed forces. “Sometimes a thing that logically and factually has no nexus to some issue becomes the focus because it is impossible to disentangle it from those other issues,” Fidell said. Congress and defense secretaries have debated how to deal with the issue for decades, as prominent cases have periodically elevated it, from the 1992 assault of a Navy lieutenant at the annual Tailhook Symposium in Las Vegas to the videotaping of cadets in the bathroom at West Point in 2013 to numerous complaints of harassment, assault and rape from bases around the world. Over the years, Congress has taken some steps to bring the military justice system more in line with the civilian one. They include preventing lengthy pretrial depositions of accusers that were intended to pick apart their credibility, making it harder for appeals courts to overturn sexual assault convictions and ensuring sexual assault survivors across the military can report their assaults without fear that they will be punished as a result. “All of these things help make things better in survivors’ lives,” Gillibrand said. “But none of them get rapists and recidivists in jail.” Gillibrand has introduced legislation that would give military prosecutors, rather than commanders, the power to decide which sexual assault cases to try. Proponents of that shift say it would increase the number of people who report crimes without fear of retaliation, a central impediment to trials and convictions. Opponents, including past Senate Armed Services Committee chairmen from both parties and military leaders, have argued that it would undermine the tradition of the military prosecuting its own, which is cited as important to maintaining order and discipline. When Gillibrand first proposed such a bill in 2013, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time, Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, said, “Reducing command responsibility could adversely affect the ability of the commander to enforce professional standards and ultimately, to accomplish the mission.” Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who died in 2018, once said he was so appalled by the assault problem that he could not recommend a friend’s daughter join the armed forces. Yet McCain, a retired Navy pilot who endured years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, vehemently opposed Gillibrand’s proposal. President Barack Obama expressed sympathy for Gillibrand’s legislation but was reluctant to go against the generals on this issue. President Donald Trump blamed sexual assault in the military — which affects more men than women — on the integration of women into combat roles. “Biden has spoken out more forcefully on this issue than any other president,” said Col. Don Christensen, president of Protect Our Defenders, which advocates on behalf of assault victims, and who is retired from the Air Force. “Obama would not take the generals and admirals on. I am certain Austin having been a commander himself is in a divided-loyalty situation.” Earlier this year, Congress approved a measure to create a pilot Office of the Chief Prosecutor at the service academies for such incidents, pressed by female veterans in the House. “At the end of the day, this takes presidential leadership,” Gillibrand said. “We should have a criminal justice system worthy of the sacrifices made by those who serve.” This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
- FOX News Videos
Biden administration has system in place where reporters will not ask president tough questions: Media critic
Steve Krakauer, editor at Fourth Watch, says 'it shouldn't be contingent' on one reporter to ask Biden tough questions.