Gov. Wolf says he will transfer $145 million in funds from the Workers’ Compensation Security Fund to help businesses through the pandemic.
- Associated Press
Reproduced from Pew Research Center; Map: Axios VisualsPresident-elect Joe Biden is calling to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, which is nearly double the current $7.25. The move would be the first change to the federal minimum wage since 2009. Why it matters: The pandemic exposed the ugly ways in which America treats low-wage employees — even when they're doing essential jobs. Raising the federal minimum wage would put more money into the pockets of many of these same essential workers who have been on the front lines throughout the pandemic. Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.What to watch: $15 an hour would have a massive impact in smaller cities and in the middle of the country. * Lots of larger metros, including San Francisco and New York, already have $15 or higher minimum hourly wages. In those places, the cost of living is so high that $15 feels more like $12 (see map above). * But in smaller cities, where the minimum wage is much closer to $7.25 and the median wage is closer to $15, the federal bump would make a huge difference.All told, "hiking the national minimum to $15 an hour by 2025 would lift 1.3 million workers above wages that put them below the poverty line," CBS reports, citing an analysis from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. * Yes, but: The CBO also estimates that the hike could cost $1.3 million jobs, as small businesses unable to pay their workers $15 an hour lay people off or go out of business.Go deeper: Government minimum wage hikes pay off for low-wage workersBe smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.
Marine F-35B Joint Strike Fighter aircraft and the Navy destroyer The Sullivans will deploy as part of the strike group.
- Associated Press
Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who has served more than seven years of a 28-year prison sentence for corruption crimes, was released from federal prison Wednesday after President Donald Trump commuted his sentence, a Bureau of Prisons spokesman told The Associated Press. The announcement came in a flurry of clemency action in the final hours of Trump's White House term that benefited more than 140 people, including rappers, former members of Congress and other Trump allies. The White House said prominent members of the Detroit community had supported the 50-year-old Democrat's commutation and noted: “During his incarceration, Mr. Kilpatrick has taught public speaking classes and has led Bible Study groups with his fellow inmates.”
- Miami Herald
Newly surfaced Facebook messages from 2018 show U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene agreeing with comments spreading the conspiracy that the Parkland school shooting where 17 students and faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High were killed was a “false flag planned shooting.”
- The Telegraph
South Korean president under fire for saying adoptive parents should be able to 'change' their child
Children’s rights groups in South Korea have condemned comments by President Moon Jae-in suggesting that adoptive parents who do not get along with a child should be able to “change” it for another one. Mr Moon was responding to a question at a press conference on Monday about the government’s efforts to prevent child abuse in light of the death late last year of a 16-month-old girl, allegedly at the hands of her adoptive parents. The case has provoked outrage in South Korea, with the adopted mother of Jung-in charged with murder on January 13. The woman, identified only by her family name, Jang, was originally charged with fatal child abuse and neglect in December. Commenting on the case, Mr Moon said, “Even after adoption, the adoptive parents need to check if the adoption is working out for them. So there should be measures allowing them to cancel the adoption or, if they still want to adopt a child, then they should be able to change the child." The press conference, which was being broadcast live on national television, triggered an immediate response, with critics saying the president was suggesting that children were “goods” that could be returned for a refund. Groups representing adoptees and parents who have given homes to children staged a protest in front of the presidential Blue House the same day, demanding an apology from the president and changes to the system of adoptions in Korea. “Mr Moon’s comments are no different from those of adoption agencies, who treat adoption as a business," Jeon Young-soon, head of an association of parents, told The Korea Herald. Na Kyung-won, a member of the opposition People Power Party, also condemned the president’s comments, saying, “For adopted children, the horrific ordeal is being abandoned again by their adoptive parents. Mr Moon has made a serious error." A petition has also been started on the president’s website, stating, “Adoption is not like shopping for a child. When people have made up their minds to care for a child for his or her whole life, they adopt the child with love that is beyond comparison”. Government officials insist the president’s comments have been misunderstood and taken out of context. South Korea traditionally has low levels of domestic adoption, in part due to the importance of blood relations and the stigma attached to children born out of wedlock. Many Korean children find adoptive parents overseas.
- Yahoo News Video
President Joe Biden issued a warning Wednesday to his appointees that a hostile workplace will not be allowed in his administration.
- The Week
President Biden's inaugural address has won some high praise on Fox News.Fox News anchor Chris Wallace on Wednesday praised Biden's "great" inaugural address, going as far as to deem it the best he's ever watched in his life."I thought it was a great speech," Wallace said. "I've been listening to these inaugural addresses since 1961 -- John F. Kennedy, 'ask not.' I thought this was the best inaugural address I ever heard."Biden during his first address as president declared that "democracy has prevailed" and urged unity, saying politics "doesn't have to be a raging fire destroying everything in its path." Wallace noted the speech and the ceremony itself was especially meaningful coming exactly two weeks after a mob of former President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the Capitol building in an attempt to disrupt Congress' certification of the election results."It was a less an inaugural address and more part sermon, part pep talk," Wallace said.The Fox News anchor also called for those in the media to particularly take note of Biden's comment that "there is truth and there are lies, lies told for power and for profit, and each of us has a duty and a responsibility ... to defend the truth and defeat the lies.""Now he's gotta turn words, rhetoric into reality and action," Wallace added. "But I thought it was a great start." > Fox News's Chris Wallace: "This was the best inaugural address I ever heard." pic.twitter.com/W2tauGp5g5> > -- Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) January 20, 2021More stories from theweek.com A lone man knelt at Beau Biden's grave as President Biden gave his inauguration speech Bernie Sanders steals the inauguration with his grumpy chic outfit Cheap, 'generic' drug reduces COVID-19 death risk by 75 percent, trials suggest
Libyans working under a U.N. peace process on Tuesday agreed a mechanism to choose a new temporary government to oversee the run-up to elections late this year, in the hope that it can avoid being scuppered by factional rivalries. It follows weeks of negotiation after a political dialogue in Tunis in November among 75 Libyans, selected by the U.N. Libya mission, charted a roadmap towards elections but failed to agree on how to form an interim government. Libya has known little peace since Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown in 2011, in an uprising backed by NATO, and has been split since 2014 between warring factions that have set up rival administrations in the west and east.
- The Independent
‘What happened?’: QAnon followers left upset and angry as conspiracy theory’s ‘storm’ fails to materialise
Followers of QAnon have been left upset and angry in the wake of the apparent collapse of the conspiracy theory. Followers had hoped for mass arrests of their enemies and the final proof that their faith in the unknown person named Q and Donald Trump had not been misplaced. The baseless QAnon theory suggests, without any evidence, that argued that a group of powerful, Satan-worshipping people running a cannibalistic child sexual abuse ring.
- Associated Press
Workers trapped for more than a week in a Chinese gold mine asked for pickles and porridge to be dropped to them while they wait to be rescued, state media reported Tuesday. The website of the People's Daily said the request came after a telephone line was dropped to the group of 11 inside the mine's No. 6 chamber. Another survivor of the mine explosion a week ago is inside an adjoining chamber while the fate of 10 others remains unknown, according to officials in the city of Yantai in the eastern province of Shandong.
President-elect Joe Biden is expected to sign 15 executive actions upon taking office Wednesday, immediately reversing key Trump administration policies. Why it matters: The 15 actions — aimed at issues like climate change and immigration — mark more drastic immediate steps compared with the two day-one actions from Biden's four predecessors combined, according to incoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.What they're saying: The actions are the first of many, Psaki said in a news release, as Biden works "to address the four crises that he's laid out" — COVID-19, the economic crisis, racial injustice and climate change. * "In the coming days and weeks we will be announcing additional executive actions that confront these challenges and deliver on the President-elect's promises to the American people," Psaki said, "including revoking the ban on military service by transgender Americans, and reversing the Mexico City policy." Highlights * Moving to rejoin Paris Climate Agreement * Asking the Department of Education to extend student loan relief * An executive order to rescind Keystone XL pipeline permit * Rejoining the World Health Organization * Asking the CDC to "immediately" extend eviction restrictions * Reversing Trump's travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries * Temporarily halting oil and gas leasing in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge * An initiative on advancing racial equity in federal policymakingGo deeper: See the full listSupport safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- The Week
Fox News contributors choke up talking about the importance of Kamala Harris being the first Black woman VP
Liberal Fox News contributor Richard Fowler choked up during an appearance on the network as he marveled at the numerous glass ceilings broken by Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday."One part [of the inauguration] that caused me to get real emotional was, we've been a country for 243 years, and in all those 243 years, we have had women citizens but we have never had a woman hold national office," Fowler said, his voice breaking as he went on. "So to see Kamala Harris put her hand on the Bible today -- also being her and I are of Jamaican descent, and I just think about my grandmother and my mom and so many other women who saw this, and so many young girls who can finally believe that they can be president, too, because of what we did as a country back in November."> Fox News contributor Richard Fowler gets emotional when talking about Kamala Harris being the first woman VP, and how it makes him think about his grandmother and mom, who like Harris are of Jamaican descent pic.twitter.com/Wdlo8Ca3uh> > -- Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 20, 2021Fowler was not the only contributor on Fox News on Wednesday to be audibly moved by the significance of Harris' oath. Political analyst Juan Williams also emotionally explained, "It's visceral, and I'll tell you why. I have granddaughters, I'm the son of a Black mother -- you think about American history, you think about the status of Black women in this country for most of our history. And the idea that a Black woman would assume such power in this moment as a national leader -- truly inspiring." > Fox News' Juan Williams gets choked up talking about Kamala Harris:> > "You think about the status of Black women in this country for most of our history. And the idea that a Black woman would assume such power in this moment as a national leader, truly inspiring." pic.twitter.com/K13K0Q1vVX> > -- Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) January 20, 2021More stories from theweek.com A lone man knelt at Beau Biden's grave as President Biden gave his inauguration speech Bernie Sanders steals the inauguration with his grumpy chic outfit Cheap, 'generic' drug reduces COVID-19 death risk by 75 percent, trials suggest
- LA Times
Thousands of pro-Trump crowds have gathered since he took office. No state has had more than California
Despite its reputation as a leader of resistance, California saw more pro-Trump crowds than any other state during the president's term in office.
- The Telegraph
China on Wednesday announced it would sanction more than two dozen US citizens, including Mike Pompeo, the former Secretary of State, in response to "grave interference” over Taiwan. Among the 28 named were Mr Pompeo, as well as John Bolton, Donald Trump’s former National Security Advisor; Peter Navarro, former Director of Trade; and Steve Bannon, former White House chief strategist. Mr Pompeo, in one of his final acts in his White House role, on Monday held a conference with the president of Taiwan, the self-ruling island claimed by Beijing as its own. He also jettisoned longstanding guidelines limiting exchanges with Taiwanese officials. China’s foreign ministry said in a statement that "crazy actions that have gravely interfered in China's internal affairs." "These individuals and their immediate family members are prohibited from entering the mainland of China, Hong Kong and Macau. They and companies and institutions associated with them are also restricted from doing business with China," it added. Relations between the US and China, the world’s two biggest economies, have plunged to their lowest level in decades, with disagreements on issues including Taiwan, Hong Kong, human rights, the coronavirus pandemic, the South China Sea, trade and espionage. Beijing has said that Taiwan is the most important and sensitive issue in its relationship with Washington, and has previously announced sanctions on US companies selling weapons to Taiwan, though it has not been clear how, or if, they were enforced. China last year unveiled sanctions on 11 US citizens, including lawmakers from Mr Trump’s Republican Party, in response to Washington’s sanctions on Hong Kong and Chinese officials accused of curtailing political freedom in the former British colony. A day earlier Mr Pompeo had also accused Beijing of genocide. He said Trump’s administration determined China has committed “genocide and crimes against humanity” in its repression of Uighur Muslims in the far western region of Xinjiang, becoming the first country to publicly make the accusation. The decision will set newly sworn in president Joe Biden on an awkward footing with China and may force the issues to the front of his China agenda.
- Architectural Digest
- The Independent
‘It’s unfortunate’: Ashley Biden confirms first lady snubbed her mother on traditional White House handover
"I think we’re all OK with it,' says incoming first daughter in first ever TV interview
Inauguration Day is a time of great expectancy and transformation. There are reports of at least 12 National Guard members being removed from the inauguration patrol duties. There are 25,000 troops in D.C. to protect attendees at the inauguration after the deadly and unprecedented Jan. 6 Capitol Hill insurrection.
President Trump could be an "accessory" to murder after over the deadly Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told MSNBC Tuesday night.Why it matters: Trump faced intense criticism after a crowd of his supporters breached the Capitol and broke into chambers, including Pelosi’s office. Five people died as a result of the insurrection.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here. * Trump had spread false claims of election fraud online and urged supporters to march to the Capitol in a speech at a "Save America" rally shortly before rioters broke into the building.What she’s saying: "Presidents' words are important. They weigh a ton," Pelosi said. "And they used his words to come here." * Any Congress member proven to have colluded with rioters could be accessories to crimes committed during the events — like Trump, she added. * "And the crime, in some cases, was murder," Pelosi said. "And this president is an accessory to that crime because he instigated that insurrection that caused those deaths and this destruction."The big picture: Trump said a week after the riots that he "unequivocally" condemned the violence. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, once a Trump loyalist, said on Tuesday the mob was "provoked by the president and other powerful people." * The House voted to impeach Trump last week on one charge: incitement of insurrection. It now goes to the Senate for trial. * The White House did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment on Pelosi's remarks.Go deeper: In photos: Protesters storm U.S. CapitolSupport safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- The Telegraph
China is using 'lavish' PPE contributions to quash concerns about Covid-19 origins, Defence Select Committee chief warns
China is using "lavish" PPE contributions to try and quash concerns about the origins of Covid-19, the Defence Select Committee chief has warned. The delay in allowing WHO inspectors into China has allowed space for a “ferocious internal propaganda campaign” suggesting the US military is to blame for planting the virus, say Tobias Ellwood and chemical and biological weapons-expert Hamish de Bretton Gordon. Chinese handling of the crisis has been characterised by “denial, hesitation, cover up, refusal of outside help and punishment for all who dare speak out,” they told the Telegraph. “Any international voices of concern have been quashed with lavish and sizable contributions of PPE and more recently vaccination programmes.” China defended its handling of the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday, saying the hard lockdown on Wuhan weeks after the virus was detected had "reduced infections and deaths". Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the country would "strive to do better".