Indonesian officials suspect detected signals found on Sunday come from Sriwijaya Air jet that crashed into the sea soon after taking off from the capital Jakarta, as human body parts and suspected pieces of the plane were retrieved. Bryan Wood reports.
- The Independent
Rioters who entered Capitol building may not be charged if they didn’t engage in violence, report says
Federal officials do not want to crush court system with hundreds of cases
- Associated Press
President Joe Biden attended Mass for the first time since taking office, worshipping Sunday at the church he frequented when he was vice president. Biden, the nation’s second Catholic president, picked Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Washington's Georgetown neighborhood, a few miles from the White House. It's where the nation’s only other Catholic president, John F. Kennedy, often went to Mass.
- The Telegraph
Russian police detained Yulia Navalnaya, the wife of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, at a protest in Moscow on Saturday as demonstrations in support of the opposition leader swept across Russia. Authorities detained at least 1,600 people at unauthorised rallies in Moscow and dozens of cities across the country, with some reports of violent clashes between protesters and riot police. At least 10,000 people joined protests in Moscow, according to estimates, in a test to Vladimir Putin. Protests began in Russia’s Far East and Siberia on Saturday morning. Seven time zones east of Moscow, about 3,000 people marched across the city of Vladivostok on the Pacific Ocean, chanting “Navalny!” In Novosibirsk, chants “Putin is a thief” rang out in freezing minus 19 C temperatures as opposition supporters walked across the city to the main square.
India said it will administer homegrown coronavirus vaccine COVAXIN in seven more states from Monday as it seeks to inoculate 30 million healthcare workers across the country. The government this month gave emergency-use approval to the vaccine, developed by Bharat Biotech International Ltd and state-run Indian Council of Medical Research, and another licensed from Oxford University and AstraZeneca PLC that is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.
- Associated Press
A federal judge on Sunday blocked the release of a Tennessee man who authorities say carried flexible plastic handcuffs during the riot at the U.S. Capitol earlier this month. U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell for the District of Columbia set aside an order by a judge in Tennessee concerning the release of Eric Munchel of Nashville. After testimony at a detention hearing, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Frensley for the Middle District of Tennessee determined Friday that Munchel wasn’t a flight risk and didn’t pose harm to the public.
- 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 5 scathingly funny cartoons about Biden's COVID-19 push Biden foolishly low-balls America's COVID response Trump's pressure on DOJ to sue states over election in Supreme Court reportedly 'got really intense'
- Associated Press
- The Week
Trump's pressure on DOJ to sue states over election in Supreme Court reportedly 'got really intense'
Former President Donald Trump, citing unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud, pushed the Justice Department to ask the Supreme Court to invalidate President Biden's electoral victory, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal. "He wanted us, the United States, to sue one or more states directly in the Supreme Court," a former administration official told the Journal. "The pressure got really intense."Ultimately, several Justice Department officials, including former Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and former Attorney General William Barr, reportedly refused to file a case with the high court because there was no legal basis to challenge the election outcome and the federal government "had no legal interest" in whether Trump or Biden won the presidency. White House Counsel Pat Cipollone also reportedly opposed the idea.The strategy appears to have preceded Trump considering ousting Rosen and replacing him with Jeffrey Clark, an ally within the Justice Department, as reported by The New York Times. The Times later revealed it was Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) who made Trump aware of Clark's apparent willingness to back his conspiracy theories. Clark has denied being involved with a plan to get rid of Rosen. Read more at The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.More stories from theweek.com 5 scathingly funny cartoons about Biden's COVID-19 push Biden foolishly low-balls America's COVID response 'No way' McConnell has had a post-Trump 'epiphany,' political scientist says
- Associated Press
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said Israel will be closing its international airport to nearly all flights, while Israeli police clashed with ultra-Orthodox protesters in several major cities and the government raced to bring a raging coronavirus outbreak under control. The entry of highly contagious variants of the virus, coupled with poor enforcement of safety rules in ultra-Orthodox communities, has contributed to one of the world's highest rates of infections. It also has threatened to undercut Israel's highly successful campaign to vaccinate its population against the virus.
President Vladimir Putin would respond in kind if the new U.S. administration showed willingness to talk, a Kremlin spokesman said on Sunday, while also accusing Washington of meddling in mass protests in support of detained opposition leader Alexei Navalny. The Kremlin also downplayed the scale of Saturday's demonstrations, which saw police detain more than 3,000 people and use force to break up rallies across Russia. Prior to the protests, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow had issued a "Demonstration Alert", warning U.S. citizens to avoid the protests and naming the venues in Russian cities where protesters planned to gather.
- Yahoo News Video
It's a club Donald Trump was never really interested in joining and certainly not so soon: the cadre of former commanders in chief who revere the presidency enough to put aside often bitter political differences and even join together in common cause.
A Colorado geophysicist who participated in the U.S. Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6 and allegedly assaulted a police officer, attempted to flee to Switzerland and attempted suicide. Jeffrey Sabol, 51, was held without bail on Friday and remains behind bars after being arrested at the Westchester Medical Center, according to The Associated Press. U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew Krause of White Plains said the allegations against Sabol were “very disturbing, deeply troubling” during a virtual hearing in White Plains Federal Court.
- The Telegraph
A missing Australian man has been found alive after surviving on wild mushrooms and dam water for three weeks. Robert Weber, 58, was last seen on January 6, leaving the Kilkivan Hotel Motel in Queensland in his car with his dog. Search efforts were called off earlier this week, but he was discovered by a local politician and his wife on Sunday morning. Police reported that Mr Weber was safe and well, despite “suffering exposure to the elements”. He had become disorientated in the heat, but managed to stay close to a dam. “He left on foot and became lost and remained at a dam where he survived by sleeping on the ground, drinking dam water and eating mushrooms,” Queensland police said in a statement. Mr Weber ran into trouble when his white Ford Falcon became bogged down on an unfamiliar road. Mr Weber waited in his car for three days, but was forced to abandon the vehicle when water ran out. The car was found by search and rescue teams on January 17, but Mr Weber and his dog had long since moved on. Mr Weber was discovered 3km away from his vehicle by the local MP for Gympie Tony Perrett and his wife, who told the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC): “We'd been past this dam on numerous occasions over the last week and when we saw him there it was just quite extraordinary.” Mr Perrett had decided to continue searching for Mr Weber, despite police calling off the extensive ground and air hunt a few days prior. “He said he was trying to get to Caboolture and he got disorientated … he became lost and didn't know where he was,” Mr Perrett added. Mr Weber became separated from his dog at an unknown point and the canine has yet to be found.
- The Week
Dr. Deborah Birx, who served as the White House coronavirus response coordinator while former President Donald Trump was still in office, opened up about her time working with the Trump administration during an exclusive interview with CBS News' Margaret Brennan on Sunday.Birx was often criticized for not pushing back enough on Trump's comments about the pandemic, and while she suggested her reactions could be misinterpreted -- like the time Trump asked her about whether COVID-19 could be treated with a bleach injection -- she did anticipate the gig would likely be the end of her federal career. "You can't go into something that's that polarized and not believe you won't be tainted by that experience," she told Brennan, adding that she'll "need to retire" within the next few weeks.> WATCH: Birx reacts to claims that she became an "apologist" for Trump and *that* moment where the former president suggested using disinfectant as a potential treatment for COVID19> > "I wasn't prepared for that. I didn't even know what to do in that moment." pic.twitter.com/2ddCblGllH> > -- Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) January 24, 2021> "I know that I wouldn't be allowed to really continue successfully within the federal government," Birx tells @margbrennan, calling her role leading the COVID19 task force a "terminal event" for her career> > Adds she will probably retire in the next 4-6 weeks from @cdcgov pic.twitter.com/dHHT2styEN> > -- Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) January 24, 2021Birx did say she wished she had "been more publicly outspoken" about certain things like COVID-19 testing, especially because she's been known to "push the envelope" in private. But she suggested that, ultimately, the culture of the White House proved too unfamiliar. > Birx's biggest mistake leading the Trump coronavirus task force? > > "I always feel like I could have done more, been more outspoken, maybe been more outspoken publicly. I didn't know all the consequences of all of these issues."> > More of her interview on today's @FaceTheNation pic.twitter.com/egZeFZCQ0W> > -- Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) January 24, 2021More stories from theweek.com 5 scathingly funny cartoons about Biden's COVID-19 push Biden foolishly low-balls America's COVID response Trump's pressure on DOJ to sue states over election in Supreme Court reportedly 'got really intense'
- Associated Press
Indonesian authorities said that they seized an Iranian tanker and Panamanian tanker suspected of carrying out the illegal transfer of oil in their country's waters Sunday. The tankers — the Iranian-flagged MT Horse and the Panamanian-flagged MT Frea — were seized in waters off Indonesia's West Kalimantan province, said Wisnu Pramadita, a spokesman for the Indonesian Maritime Security Agency.
- NBC News
Samuel Camargo faces four charges including civil disorder, knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority.
- Miami Herald
Six days after Daytona Beach area man Bobby Scott was last seen, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office arrested DeLand man Michael Harris Saturday night for Scott’s murder.
- The Telegraph
In the Taliban controlled-fields and villages of central Helmand, residents report a sound that would once never have been allowed – music blaring from mobile phones. The playing of music would once have earned a swift beating or humiliating punishment from the militant movement's austere local enforcers. Now they turn a blind eye. “The Taliban have changed a lot on some things,” explained Mohammad Saber, a farmer from Nad-e Ali. “They are much less serious about many things, like music, television and shaving off beards,” he said, while still insisting on hiding his real name in case he offended the militants. “They are now thinking about bigger issues, because they have a lot of territory and resources.” A decade after the fields and lanes outside Helmand's capital were patrolled by thousands of British and American troops, the Taliban now rule almost unopposed. Afghan government forces built up at great expense and effort by the Nato allies melted away in early October in the face of a militant push on Lashkar Gah. The Taliban in these districts were always a formidable foe for the government forces and their international backers, but they now have almost complete control. "The government has no authority in our areas and the Taliban are not afraid of them," explains Abdul Salaam, a farmer from Marjah. The consolidation of Taliban power in these villages and market towns has allowed their parallel government to come out of the shadows and take charge. While the insurgents' envoys broach negotiations with the Afghan government on how the country should be run after American troops leave, in these districts of Helmand, they are already able to put their plans in place. Their rule has allowed residents a glimpse of whether the Taliban have changed since they imposed their severe and backward vision of Islamic governance on the nation in the 1990s. Elders in these central Helmand districts told the Telegraph that the militants appeared to have back-pedaled on some of their most draconian pronouncements and made an effort to be more approachable. Yet they still ruled by coercion and threats where they deemed it necessary and many of their previous red lines for the population remained. Residents of Marjah, Nad-e-Ali and Garmsir said that the militants once notorious for using beatings and public humiliation to enforce edicts banning music, or decreeing men grow long beards had stepped back from such unpopular rules. “Although the Taliban have not given formal permission to young people, they let them listen to music on their phones, cut their beards and hold gatherings with music,” said Abdul Salaam. They have also stepped up efforts to bring services demanded by locals. Vows to provide better governance than the corrupt and predatory central government have always been at the heart of the Taliban's insurgency campaign. They no longer attack schools and clinics as symbols of the government and instead now take-over government services in their area, allowing doctors and medics to continue their work as long as they abide by Taliban rules. The shift has even seen them relax one of their most notorious restrictions from the 1990s, and allow girls to go to school. Girls can study up to their early teens, residents said, while government monitors can visit schools. However the Taliban demand a say in who is employed and often try to force their officials onto school payrolls. They have also tried to ban some books from the curriculum, locals said. Justice remains one of the Taliban's main selling points, residents said. Robbers and criminals face harsh punishment. A system of courts, with two levels of appeal, brings quick and binding judgments on land disputes and disagreements and is at odds with the tortuous and corrupt government judiciary. Criticism of the Taliban had been unheard of in the past, said Abdul Salaam. “No one could talk about their rights and no one could question their policies,” he recalled. Residents had now at times been able to stop some of the most onerous Taliban practices, like the billeting of fighters on families, after complaining to leaders, he said. A recent study of Taliban governance in Nad-e Ali by the Afghanistan Analysts Network found that: “Although there are very few direct ways in which residents or elders can influence the Taliban in the district, let alone hold them to account, the Taliban do seem a little less intolerant – at least in some cases – to community concerns.” Yet for some signs of changes in Taliban policy, residents said that the militants' religious and moral strictures remained severe. Accusations of immorality between men and women, or of neglecting prayers remained a “serious red line to the Taliban,” said Abdul Salaam. “If the Taliban hear something like that happened, they 100 per cent, the person will see heavy punishment.” Mild policy changes to appease conservative villagers in the Taliban heartlands are also unlikely to give much reassurance in Afghanistan's cities. Even as the militants attempt to tell Helmandis they are more tolerant and approachable, they are accused of waging an unrelenting assassination campaign in Kabul, targeting journalists, civil servants and members of civil society. “The Taliban still think like villagers,” said one prominent Kabul businessman. “They have no idea how the country has evolved in the past two decades.”