Halle Berry apologized after revealing she wanted to play a transgender man in an upcoming film. GLAAD commended her decision to turn the role down.
A boy who was killed in an alleged murder-suicide by his father has been identified as 9-year-old Pierce O’Loughlin. Family tragedy: The boy and his father, Stephen O'Loughlin, 49, were both found dead at their home on Scott Street, Marina District in San Francisco on Wednesday afternoon, SF Chronicle reports. The boy’s mother, Lesley Hu, asked authorities to check on her son after learning that he did not show up for school that day.
- NBC News
"The situation at the border isn't going to be transformed overnight," a senior Biden transition official told NBC News in an exclusive interview.
After a probe found "significant errors of judgment and procedure" in the termination of the employee, GitHub's head of human resources resigned, GitHub Chief Operating Officer Erica Brescia said on Sunday. "In light of these findings, we immediately reversed the decision to separate with the employee and are in communication with his representative," Brescia said in a blog https://bit.ly/2KnkVhI, adding that the company apologized to that employee.
- The Telegraph
President Emmanuel Macron on Monday hailed a major step for “enlightened Islam” in France after Muslim leaders approved a charter that rejects extremism and upholds the "primacy of Republican principles over religious values”. Mr Macron has been pushing for the charter since November after a jihadist killed a schoolteacher for showing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in class. He called it “a hugely important step” and “truly a foundational text in the relationship between the state and Islam of France”. “Everything starts now,” he told Muslim leaders after an Elysée meeting rubber-stamping the text. However, it received a sceptical response from some religious scholars and experts. The 10-article “charter of principles” comes after six weeks of sometimes fraught talks within the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM), an umbrella body representing Islam in relation with the state. Negotiations almost collapsed last month when Chems-Eddine Hafiz, the council's vice-chairman, walked out amid claims that Islamist council members were spreading falsehoods that "the charter aims to attack the dignity of faithful Muslims". Entente over the charter seen is seen as key to Mr Macron’s fight to banish a culture of “separatism” in French society, which is also the subject of a new bill debated in parliament on Monday.
- National Review
A Russian judge ruled Monday that opposition leader Alexei Navalny must remain in retail detention for 30 days after he was detained on Sunday immediately upon his return to Moscow, where he traveled after recovering in Germany from a near-fatal poisoning attack. “The court arrested Navalny for 30 days. Until February 15,” the judge’s spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh wrote on Twitter. Navalny’s lawyers learned of the Monday morning hearing just minutes before it began at a police station, instead of a normal courtroom, in the outskirts of Moscow. The judge allotted the attorneys just 30 minutes to familiarize themselves with the case and another 20 minutes to speak to their client. Navalny’s spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said the ruling “cannot even be called a parody of the rule of law.” “They detained him at the border, took him to places unknown, his lawyer was not granted access, the hearing was carried out urgently right in the police station and he was detained for 30 days,” Yarmysh said. Navalny was already scheduled to appear at a January 29 hearing on charges that he had violated the parole terms of a previous suspended sentence by staying in Germany while undergoing treatment, the reason for which he was officially detained. He received the earlier suspended prison sentence and probation order in 2014 for embezzlement and money laundering, a case which the European Court of Human Rights in 2018 called politically motivated. He has called the criminal cases against him “fabricated” and said the authorities’ intent is to deter him from returning. After the court’s ruling, Navalny urged people to take to the streets in protest. “Don’t be afraid, take to the streets. Don’t go out for me, go out for yourself and your future,” Navalny said in a video posted to YouTube. Navalny nearly died over the summer after being poisoned by Novichok, a Soviet-era nerve agent. He had been on a flight to Moscow after meeting with supporters in Siberia when he fell ill. The Russian dissident blames Russian President Vladimir Putin for the poisoning, though the Kremlin has denied having any involvement. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday called for the opposition leader’s “immediate and unconditional release,” and said his detention was “the latest in a series of attempts to silence Navalny and other opposition figures.”
- The Independent
The latest updates from the White House and beyond on 17 January 2021
Kevin McCarthy warned members to not call out colleagues by name, citing potential political violence
Members of the House Republican Conference ignored leader Kevin McCarthy last week when he warned them against criticizing colleagues by name based on intelligence that doing so could trigger more political violence. Why it matters: McCarthy made clear that name-dropping opponents, instead of spelling out complaints in more general terms, can put a literal target on a politician, especially with tensions so high following the events of Jan. 6.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.That's what happened to Rep. Liz Cheney, the GOP conference chairperson, after she said she would support impeaching President Trump. * She and several other members had to increase their security and take extra precautions because of death threats and other alarming warnings after their colleagues singled them out in their complaints.What McCarthy said: The House minority leader issued his warning during a conference call last Monday. He said his concern was driven by the FBI briefings he receives. * "It doesn’t matter which side of the position you were: I respect it, I respect why you did what you did. But what we are saying on television, when we say a member’s name. ... This is not the moment in time to do it." * "You can incite something else. The country is very divided and we know this. Let’s not put any member, I don’t care who they are Republican, Democrat or any person not even in Congress. Watch our words closely. I get these reports on a weekly basis. I’ve seen something I haven’t seen before.”Several minutes later, McCarthy repeated the message: “Emotions are high. What you say matters. Let’s not put other people in danger. Let’s watch what words we’re using and definitely not be using other members' names in any media.”Days later, some GOP members ignored him and openly criticized their colleagues * Rep. Adam Kinzinger tweeted that the name of his Republican colleague, Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene, "will be one forgotten by next January." * Rep. Lauren Boebart (R-Colo.) mocked Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the House's new mask fines.One of the most blatant attacks, leading to a media firestorm, was when several members of the House Freedom Caucus went after Cheney for voting to impeach Trump. * On the day of the vote, the members circulated a petition to remove her from her leadership role. * Cheney is now fielding a series of threats against her, many from fiery Trump supporters angered by her vote, a source with direct knowledge of the threat said. * “We don’t comment on security matters,” Cheney’s communications director, Jeremy Adler, told Axios.What we’re hearing: McCarthy's team told Axios he isn't looking for repercussions. Spokesman Matt Sparks said the leader wants to lower the temperature and is encouraging members to be mindful of the current environment.Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.
- NBC News
She displayed "a round metallic object later identified as a Military Police Challenge Coin" and said she was part of law enforcement, police said.
- National Review
A caravan of thousands of migrants from Honduras headed to the U.S. southern border clashed with Guatemalan authorities on Sunday after they crossed the countries’ common border on their journey north. An estimated 7,000 migrants have entered Guatemala in recent days hoping to make their way to the U.S. border. The caravan clashed with only about 3,000 Guatemalan officers near the village of Vado Hondo, about 34 miles from the border of Honduras, Reuters reported. Security forces attempted to block their way by using tear gas and beating the migrants back with sticks. Several were injured in the confrontation Sunday morning. “Guatemala’s message is loud and clear: These types of illegal mass movements will not be accepted, that’s why we are working together with the neighboring nations to address this as a regional issue,” the Guatemalan president’s office said of the influx of traveling migrants. Meanwhile, a senior Biden transition official is warning migrants hoping to cross the southern border into the U.S. during the early days of the new administration that “now is not the time” to come. “The situation at the border isn’t going to be transformed overnight,” the official told NBC News, and migrants seeking to gain asylum right away “need to understand they’re not going to be able to come into the United States immediately.” The Biden administration plans to loosen the Trump administration’s more stringent restrictions on who is eligible for asylum. However, any immigration legislation proposed by the Biden administration is expected to focus on the status of illegal immigrants living in the U.S. rather than new migrants arriving at the border. The migrant caravan may have been encouraged to make the trek by the incoming Biden administration’s rhetoric promising to roll back some of the stricter Trump administration immigration policies. Caravans of migrants set out every year from Central America hoping to make the dangerous journey north and ultimately gain entry to the U.S.
- The Telegraph
A woman identified as having taken part in the storming of the US Capitol is accused of stealing a laptop belonging to top Democrat Nancy Pelosi which she hoped to sell to a Russian spy agency, according to the FBI. There is no indication Riley June Williams, a 22-year-old careworker from Pennsylvania, took a laptop from Ms Pelosi's office. The FBI, which is working off a tip, said in the court record the "matter remains under investigation." The complaint, filed late Sunday in US District Court in Washington, sought the arrest of Williams on grounds including "violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds." Relying on several photos and videos of the chaotic January 6 riot, an FBI agent said Williams was seen near the office of Ms Pelosi, US House Speaker. A witness, identified in the court document only as W1 but who claimed to be "the former romantic partner of Riley June Williams," alleged that Williams planned to send the laptop to a friend in Russia to sell it to the SVR foreign intelligence agency. That sale "fell through for unknown reasons, and Williams still has the computer device or destroyed it," the affidavit says.
Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sydney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America. * The letter also orders Lindell to "preserve and retain all documents relating to Dominion and your smear campaign against the company." * Lindell also must preserve all communications with any member of the Trump campaign, in addition to communications with Rudy Giuliani, Powell, Jenna Ellis and Lin Wood. The big picture: Lindell met with Trump last week and was caught by photographers with notes referencing martial law and Sidney Powell. The CEO has become known for pedaling election-overturning conspiracies and last year promoted a fake cure to the coronavirus. What they're saying: Dominion's letter reads... "Despite knowing your implausible attacks against Dominion have no basis in reality, you have participated in the vast and concerted misinformation campaign to slander Dominion ... Litigation regarding these issues is imminent."A spokesperson for My Pillow did not immediately return a request for comment. Read the full letter here: Support safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- The Independent
SLC’s ‘Save America’ rally also saw a defiant teenage protester and an attack on a local media member.
- National Review
So what would I do if I had to vote on impeachment in the Senate? From the first, I’ve described President Trump’s behavior on January 6 as impeachable — particularly in the context of what went on in the weeks since the election, but even without that. I was not trying to be cute. I have been wrestling with the wisdom of proceeding with impeachment due to the lateness of Trump’s term. But I would not call something impeachable unless it was serious enough to be condemnable by conviction, removal, and disqualification. Indeed, I have written a book about impeachment, Faithless Execution, in which I argued that several actions taken by President Obama were impeachable. None of them was as egregious as what President Trump did — and, especially, what he omitted to do — nine days ago. Alas, whether serious executive misconduct warrants conviction by the Senate by the constitutionally required two-thirds’ supermajority vote is not solely controlled by the question of whether the conduct in question is impeachable. This is why I can’t bring the same clarity as such friends and colleagues as Ramesh Ponnuru, Matthew Continetti, Kevin D. Williamson, and Jay Nordlinger, for whom the imperative to convict, remove, and disqualify Trump is more obvious. I ultimately agree with them, but let me try to explain why I’m having a harder time with it. Impeachment Is a Political Process I argued in Faithless Execution that the question of whether to impeach and remove a president is a political one, not a legal one. That is, the fact that a president engages in grave misconduct that qualifies as impeachable does not settle the question whether that president should, in fact, be removed. The Framers saw impeachment as essential to the checks and balances that create the equilibrium they were trying to establish between and among the central government’s three branches. President-elect Biden’s recent meanderings on the subject notwithstanding, the branches are not “co-equal” — Congress was supposed to have pride of place, though not so much so that it could dominate the executive. The Framers worried that the presidency could transform into something closer to a monarchy, and that certain varieties of presidential treachery — e.g., a president covertly working with foreign powers against the United States — could destroy the republic. To endow Congress with impeachment power was thus deemed “indispensable” by Madison. Though it has turned out to be a historical rarity, the Framers expected that impeachment would be invoked with more regularity. Nevertheless, because they similarly feared Congress’s potential accumulation of tyrannical power were it to be given too potent a check, the Framers made impeachment very hard to do. The simple-majority-vote trigger in the House means that any grave presidential misconduct can readily be alleged as an impeachable act; but the mandatory two-thirds-vote in the Senate ensures that impeachment-and-removal will not take place unless the misconduct is so grave that a consensus of the nation, cutting across partisan and ideological lines, is established that the president must be expelled. Whether an impeachable offense warrants removal is about much more than whether it is impeachable per se — or even whether it is patently disqualifying. The political component of impeachment very much includes whether the nation strongly supports removal, versus whether removal is apt to intensify national strife. The supermajority removal requirement was intended to forestall the potential for impeachment driven mainly by partisanship — to discourage the House from impeaching unless there was at least a real possibility, if not a probability, that the Senate would convict. Not least, there is another consideration: A president who is impeached but acquitted may be emboldened to abuse power, rather than tamed. For these and other reasons, I argued that Obama should not be impeached despite my belief that he had committed serious misconduct that profoundly threatened both the Constitution’s framework (e.g., by usurping legislative power) and national security (e.g., by empowering Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of anti-American terrorism). I don’t pretend to be politically neutral, but political leanings are inevitable, and thus part of the reason why impeachment-and-removal is, and should be, a near-insuperable hurdle. If it is done prematurely, driven by partisan animus (or at least perceived to be), or based on flimsy grounds, it will do more harm than good and set the country on a banana-republic style trajectory of strife, instability, and upheaval. Incitement and the Question of Whether a Prosecutable Crime Is Necessary Kevin Williamson could not be more right that it is unnecessary to have a penal offense prosecutable in criminal court in order to have high crimes and misdemeanors, the Constitution’s standard for an impeachable offense. But he overstates the case when he argues that the lack of a chargeable crime “is immaterial to the question of impeachment.” Since we are dealing with a political judgment as to which two-thirds of the Senate must agree, it makes a significant difference whether it can be argued that others who did what the president has done would be prosecuted — i.e., that the presidency is operating as a shield that puts the president above the law. Moreover, there are prominent politicians and the occasional scholar who contend that a crime is necessary for misconduct to rise to impeachment-level gravity. The fact that they are wrong about that does not mean they believe it any less — and they, too, are part of the public who need to be persuaded. This, along with my background as a prosecutor, is why I have been intently focused on the formal allegation and the text of the impeachment article, entitled “incitement to insurrection” (see here, here and here). Pace Kevin, I think it is relevant (not dispositive, but relevant) that Trump could not conceivably be convicted of incitement. That is so even if we stipulate that he demagogically stoked the crowd to descend on the Capitol, and thus did incite it in the common usage of that word as opposed to its more narrow, First Amendment–confined meaning, which requires an unambiguous call for violence that creates an imminent, probable threat of violence. My “convict now” friends are also right that what happened at the Capitol is properly described as an insurrection. I don’t think the matter is as clear as they seem to, but that’s not important in what is a political process, not a legal one. Yet, there are important political considerations in this regard, which are separate from judgments about Trump’s misconduct, namely, the double standard and the Democrats’ motive. Insurrection Insurrection cannot be a politicized concept, such that whether it’s been committed or not depends on whether the violent mob includes Trump supporters whom Democrats despise or “racial-justice protesters” whom they lionize. Impeachment is about more than the president; it is about social cohesion. Condemning Trump after months of turning a blind eye to rampant insurrectionist violence — during which Democrats and the Left explicitly objected to invocation of the Insurrection Act to restore order — is going to make a lot of the country very angry. And I am not talking about miscreants who would storm the Capitol. I am talking about people of good will who are convinced that our institutions are cratering, and with them our society, because our leaders so fear the radical Left and its propensity to take it to the streets when things don’t go its way. This not a sufficient reason to exonerate Trump. Two wrongs don’t make a right: You don’t cure the problem by ignoring what was, in fact, an insurrection at the Capitol. Righteous anger over the double-standard would, however, have been a good reason for the House to avoid making insurrection the gravamen of its impeachment article. Moreover, Republicans cannot be expected to ignore that the Democrats intentionally highlighted insurrection, in part, because they are laying the groundwork for an invocation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Section Three disqualification clause. As Dan McLaughlin has explained, Democrats and progressive scholars would like to use Section 3 to disqualify other Republicans besides Trump. The Democrats’ political narrative is that the violence at the Capitol was caused not only by the president but by Republicans in the House and Senate (about 150 in all) who supported Trump’s campaign to pressure Vice President Pence and Congress to refuse to acknowledge Biden’s state-certified Electoral College victory. Constitutionally speaking, this was indefensible on the part of participating Republicans. But that does not make them abettors of the storming of the Capitol, which endangered them as much as the other lawmakers. I remain baffled that these Republicans clung to their untenable position even after the siege. Still, they do not warrant Fourteenth Amendment disqualification gambits, and Democrats have undermined the impeachment effort by transparently encouraging such gambits. Rest assured: the lawsuits are coming. How Impeachment Should Have Been Framed: Dereliction of Duty What should the House impeachment resolution have looked like? Though impeachment is not a criminal case, it is still about persuasion. An able prosecutor would focus on what cannot credibly be denied and on what righteously inflames people. More arguable or dubious issues should fade to the background — you get what advantage you can out of them while making sure the jury understands they are not make-or-break. With that in mind, Trump committed two very clear impeachable offenses. First, he was derelict in his duty as president and commander-in-chief by failing to take any action — indeed, by turning a deaf ear to pleas that he take action — when the seat of the United States government was stormed and lives were in jeopardy, particularly the lives of security personnel, members of Congress, and Trump’s own vice president. Second, he betrayed his duty to preserve, protect, and defend the United States Constitution by pressuring his vice president and members of Congress to violate their Twelfth Amendment duty to preside over the counting of the states’ electoral votes — in the process, undermining state sovereignty over elections, an aspect of the Constitution’s federalism principles that the president is also duty-bound to uphold. Pleading the case this way would have had several benefits. It would have made Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who was murdered, the face of impeachment. An impeachment manager opening the presentation to the Senate could have declared without hesitation: “When Officer Sicknick needed a president, Donald Trump was missing in action. When America needed a commander-in-chief to protect the seat of its democracy, Donald Trump wouldn’t be disturbed — he was busy watching television.” Focusing the case on what the president was doing, and willfully failing to do, while Officer Sicknick was killed, other Capitol police were assaulted (at least one other of them savagely so), and the lives of the vice president and the people’s representatives were imperiled, would have framed the case around misconduct (1) as to which there is no factual defense or legal ambiguity; and (2) which would powerfully illustrate the danger of maintaining the president in office, even for a few more days. Contrary to what the House passed, to frame the case this way would have made it much harder for Senate Republicans to decline to reconvene for an immediate trial. Next, I want to return to Kevin’s point about the fact that impeachment does not require an indictable offense. As explicated by Hamilton, impeachment is more resonant of military than civilian justice. There may not be a civilian crime here, but dereliction of duty is a serious offense under military law. During a forcible siege against the seat of government, it is inexcusable in a commander-in-chief. The fact that an American military commander would be severely disciplined for what the president did makes the impeachment case stronger. Constructing the case as I suggest would also have diminished the legal significance of incitement and insurrection. Instead of playing defense — Can the president be said to have committed “incitement” consistent with federal law and First Amendment protection of political speech? — the prosecution would be playing offense: Regardless of whether the president is guilty of incitement, he is even more culpable for failing to respond to the siege because he urged people to march on the Capitol and to pressure those inside — and, in fact, publicly rebuked the vice president even as he knew people were marching on the Capitol. (See Jim Geraghty’s report.) Furthermore, as Rich Lowry detailed in his column on Friday, reports indicate that the violence at the Capitol started before Trump was done speaking at the Ellipse. If the key question were whether the president incited the crowd, this fact would be highly pertinent. It is largely irrelevant, though, if the issue is how the commander-in-chief responded once he became aware of the violence. It doesn’t matter, as some in the administration now half-heartedly claim, that the president had earlier in the week green-lighted any necessary armed forces deployment to support civilian law-enforcement and the Capitol. He became aware of the siege in real time and he abdicated — leaving it to the vice president to attempt to fill the void by spurring the Pentagon to action (though Pence technically lacked that authority). The president’s performance is inexcusable. People, including Officer Sicknick, were killed and injured while Trump dithered — and, according to some reports, reveled in his supporters’ zeal to fight for him. It is beside the point whether the siege is best described an insurrection, a riot, a protest run amok, etc. Subversion of the Constitution’s Election Process It is impossible to assess the president’s dereliction independent of its context. Trump and his supporters touted the rally on the Capitol days in advance in order to intensify pressure on Pence and congressional Republicans to abdicate their constitutional duty to preside over the counting of the states’ electoral votes and acknowledge Biden as the winner of the election. And this itself came in the broader context of the president’s agitation of his supporters by making inflammatory statements about the election, many of which were either blatantly false or recklessly indifferent about their inaccuracy. In the constitutional system that the president is sworn to preserve, protect, and defend, the states are sovereign on the matter of conducting and certifying their elections. To the extent the states are bound to comply with the Constitution, the president had a full and fair opportunity to contest that question in federal court — and, for the most part, his legal team folded when federal judges invited them to prove their extravagant allegations of fraud, rigging, and constitutional violations. It was perfectly appropriate for the president to rely on his legal right to seek recounts and contest state election procedures. It is inexcusable, however, for the president to have tried to induce the vice president and congressional Republicans to violate their sworn constitutional duties. That in itself is worthy of an impeachment article. Guilty or Not Guilty? To summarize, my problem with the impeachment article the House has lodged against the president is that it is ill-considered, legally dubious, politically motivated, deeply divisive, and calculated as a first salvo in targeting Republicans other than President Trump for disqualification from public office. That said, this is not a legal trial, but a political one. I cannot say that the president did not “incite an insurrection” as that phrase is commonly understood. Despite that, I would still be inclined to vote to acquit, except for one inescapable fact: Impeachable conduct for which condemnation is warranted did in fact occur. Since the animating issue here is whether the president of the United States merits removal and disqualification for the good of the nation, rather than whether he has received model due process, I would vote to convict, my deep reservations about the impeachment article notwithstanding. What Should Happen? I don’t agree with Senator Mitch McConnell’s judgment that it would be — or at least would have been — impossible to conduct a Senate impeachment trial with adequate due process prior to the conclusion of the president’s term. As Rich and I have discussed on our podcast, due process is the process that is due under the circumstances. In impeachment, due process is an aspiration; the national security of the United States is the imperative. If we woke up one morning to smoking-gun, undeniable proof that an American president was a spy for a foreign adversary, Congress would have to impeach and remove the president immediately. The 25th Amendment, which allows for instantaneously suspending the president’s authority, would have no bearing on a situation that did not involve a severe health-related disability. And the protection of the republic would demand swift impeachment and removal. No one in his right mind would say, “Let’s leave a foreign spy in the Oval Office for a few more weeks so we can have some hearings and make sure the Senate trial is fair.” Those who have urged that, after the events of January 6, the president cannot be trusted with our security — the president’s highest obligation — have a point. The Senate should have reconvened to conduct the trial, an outcome the House might have persuasively pushed for had Democrats not so patently politicized an impeachment that should and could have won broader bipartisan support. At this point, I fear it would be counterproductive to have a Senate trial. In five days, the president will no longer be in office. If he is tried after he is out of office, the Senate will have to suspend business at a time when the new administration is not yet fully set up, and foreign adversaries may see that as an opportunity to make mischief. With no urgency to have a rapid trial since Trump will already be gone, there will be much less justification for limiting due process to a minimum. The proceedings will be more drawn out than they should be. More to the point, the high probability is that Trump would be acquitted. As noted above, impeachment is meant to be very difficult. Here, beyond that, Republicans have been given at least four reasons to vote against conviction: (1) the profound constitutional question of whether a president already out of office may properly be tried (I am in the camp that says a removed official may be impeached, tried, and disqualified, but it is a disputed issue); (2) the afore-described manner in which the article of impeachment was poorly drafted and rashly adopted; (3) the lack of overwhelming consensus in the country that Trump should be convicted and disqualified; and (d) the blatant partisanship of the House impeachment proceedings, including the fact that the first impeachment was unserious and the current one lays the groundwork to seek disqualification of Republicans other than Trump under the Fourteenth Amendment. Consequently, the main effects of a Senate impeachment trial would be to keep Trump in the limelight, playing the martyr, and then to enable him to claim vindication when he is acquitted. That would make him more likely to mount an audacious 2024 campaign. I don’t believe he could succeed in retaking the presidency, but he could be destructive of Republican and conservative prospects. Under the circumstances, the best thing for the country would be a bicameral, bipartisan resolution of censure that compellingly summarized and condemned the president’s misconduct. The Senate could then agree not to proceed with a trial. Trump would remain the only president ever impeached twice, and the censure would stand as an emphatic verdict of history. The country could move on from this sorry chapter, rather than enhancing Donald Trump’s relevance and setting the stage for him, perversely, to claim victory.
- Yahoo News Video
The Trump administration early on Saturday carried out its 13th federal execution since July, an unprecedented run that concluded just five days before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, who is an opponent of the federal death penalty.
- NBC News
The "avowed white supremacist and Nazi sympathizer" took part in the Jan. 6 insurrection, federal authorities said.
- The Telegraph
Miners trapped underground in eastern China for more than a week after a blast at a gold mine have managed to send up a note to rescuers, the local government said on Monday. The blast occurred eight days ago on Sunday afternoon at a mine near Qixia city in eastern Shandong province, leaving 22 miners trapped underground more than 600 metres from the mine’s entrance. After a long period without any contact, rescuers were able to drill through the mine on Sunday afternoon and said they heard "knocking sounds". A note was then sent up from the trapped miners saying that 12 were still alive, the local government said in a statement Monday. "We are in urgent need of cold medicine, painkillers, medical tape, external anti-inflammatory drugs, and three people have high blood pressure," the note read.
- The Week
Israel has vaccinated at least 25 percent of its population against the coronavirus so far, which leads the world and makes it "the country to watch for herd effects from" the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, says infectious disease expert David Fishman. Recently, the case rate in Israel appears to have declined sharply, and while there could be a few reasons for that, it's possible the vaccination effort is beginning to play a role.> Israel's reproduction number appears to have declined rather sharply in recent days, with around 25% of the country vaccinated, and some additional percentage having at least partial immunity via prior infection. pic.twitter.com/sVyCYYd9dj> > — David Fisman (@DFisman) January 17, 2021One study from Clalit that was published last week reports that 14 days after receiving the first Pfizer-BioNTech shot, infection rates among 200,000 Israelis older than 60 fell 33 percent among those vaccinated compared to 200,000 from the same demographic who hadn't received a jab.At first glance, Fishman writes, that might seem disappointing since clinical trials suggested the vaccine was more than 90 percent effective. But he actually believes the 33 percent figure is "auspicious." Because vaccinated and non-vaccinated people are mingling, there could be "herd effects of immunization." In other words, when inoculated people interact with people who haven't had their shot, the latter individual may still be protected because the other person is. On a larger scale, that would drive down the number of infections among non-vaccinated people, thus shrinking the gap between the two groups' infection rates.> Estimated vaccine efficacy is a function of relative risk of infection in the vaccinated...when there is indirect protection via herd effects, we expect efficacy estimates to decrease because the risk among unvaccinated individuals declines.> > — David Fisman (@DFisman) January 17, 2021More data needs to come in, and Fishman thinks "we'll know more" this week, but he's cautiously optimistic about how things are going.More stories from theweek.com An 'influential' Palm Beach eye doctor is reportedly on Trump's clemency list What the Constitution really says about removal from office Statehood for D.C. and Puerto Rico only needs 50 votes
China's Sinovac Biotech said on Monday that a clinical trial in Brazil showed its COVID-19 vaccine was almost 20 percentage points more effective in a small sub-group of patients who received their two doses longer apart. The protection rate for 1,394 participants who received doses of either CoronaVac or placebo three weeks apart was nearly 70%, a Sinovac spokesman said. Brazilian researchers announced last week that the vaccine's overall efficacy was 50.4% based on results from more than 9,000 volunteers, most of whom received doses 14 days apart, as outlined in the trial protocol.
- National Review
President Trump signed an executive order on Monday expanding access to personal firearms for federal law enforcement officials. The order is one of the last of Trump’s presidency, with Joe Biden set to be sworn into office on Wednesday. The purpose of the order is to remove “undue obstacles” for law enforcement officers and prosecutors to obtain concealed carry licenses, as well as to expand protections for prosecutors and judges. “It shall be the policy of the United States to remove any undue obstacle preventing current or retired Federal law enforcement officers from carrying a concealed firearm,” the order states. The order also directs the U.S. Attorney General to “propose a regulation…to provide that the special deputation as a Deputy United States Marshall shall be granted upon request to any Federal prosecutor” who faces risk of harm as a result of his or her work. The special deputation would grant a prosecutor the right to concealed carry of a firearm. It is unclear if the incoming Biden administration will work to carry out the order. Biden announced earlier this month that he will nominate Merrick Garland, the prosecutor who headed the investigation against Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, to the position of attorney general. Biden himself is preparing several executive orders for the first days of his presidency, in an attempt to reverse several Trump administration policies. Among other issues, Biden will rejoin the Paris Climate Accords and end Trump’s immigration restrictions on some Muslim-majority nations.
- The Independent
Man arrested at inauguration checkpoint with gun and ammo says he was lost and did not mean to bring weapon to DC
The man said he got lost driving around Washington DC