US President-elect Joe Biden addresses members of the press to announce thefinal appointments of his first cabinet, and says rioters at the Capitolbuilding were 'thugs' and 'domestic terrorists'.
- Yahoo News
Black church leaders are joining the effort to convince African Americans, long skeptical of the medical establishment, to put their trust in vaccines to help bring the pandemic to an end.
- The Independent
Sean Hannity denounces Biden’s first week as ‘disastrous’ before the president completed a full day of work
‘The Biden administration is off to a very rocky start,’ Fox News host says
A prominent U.S. Senate Republican warned on Saturday that former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial could lead to the prosecution of former Democratic presidents if Republicans retake the chamber in two years. Trump this month became the first U.S. president to be impeached twice after the Democratic-controlled House, with the support of 10 Republicans, voted to charge him with incitement of insurrection for a fiery Jan. 6 speech to his followers before they launched a deadly assault on the Capitol.
As his first directive in office, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued a memo asking his senior military leaders to send him reports on sexual assault prevention programs and assess which have worked and which haven’t.Why it matters: Military leaders have grappled with a steady increase in sexual misconduct reports since 2006. The consistent trend has concerned senators, who repeatedly asked Austin how he plans to tackle this problem during his confirmation hearings, per AP.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here. * Austin agreed this was an urgent matter, telling senators, “This starts with me and you can count on me getting after this on Day One.” * Lawmakers have repeatedly called for action, including changes in the Code of Military Justice.By the numbers: According to department reports, there was a 13% spike in reports in 2018 and a 3% increase in 2019. * Nate Galbreath, the acting director of the Pentagon’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, said the increase in reports suggests that more people were willing to come forward, therefore gaining confidence in the justice system. * Last April he also stated that he was cautiously optimistic that the lower increase in 2019 reports suggested a trend in declining assaults.Where it stands: Last year officials announced a new system in which any victim who refuses to file a public criminal report can provide details about their alleged attacker so investigators can evaluate if they have been involved in other crimes.What’s next: Austin plans to host a meeting on the matter with senior leaders in the coming days. * Each leader is to submit a summary of the sexual assault and harassment measures they have taken in the last year and evaluate which ones show promise and which don’t. * Austin also asked for relevant data for the past decade, including efforts to support victims. * He also stated in his memo, “Include in your report the consideration of novel approaches to any of these areas,” adding, “we must not be afraid to get creative.”Support safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- The Week
President Biden has issued another two executive orders aimed at the coronavirus pandemic's economic fallout.Millions of Americans have claimed unemployment insurance as they lost their jobs amid the pandemic, not to mention thousands of noncitizen workers who haven't been eligible for the benefits. Congress has so far passed two relief bills aimed at helping those who have lost their jobs, though many families are still struggling. Biden is pushing Congress to pass another $1.9 trillion stimulus program, but took initial and immediate relief steps Friday with another round of executive orders.The first order would increase how much families are given through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program each week. About 12 million families rely on the program, and this order would boost food stamp benefits for a family of four by 15 percent, National Economic Council Director Brian Deese tells The New York Times. And while Biden has called for another round of $1,400 stimulus checks, this order would direct the IRS to ensure Americans are getting their $600 payments as well. Notably, the order will also let people claim unemployment benefits even if they quit their job because they feel unsafe working it during the pandemic, among other economic benefits aimed at low-income Americans.The second order meanwhile lays the groundwork for ensuring federal workers and contractors are paid at least $15 per hour and can access paid leave, CNN reports. It also undoes some of former President Donald Trump's orders that let a president hire and fire employees for political reasons and limited federal workers' bargaining rights.Biden has spent the first two days of his presidency issuing executive orders to combat Trump's policies on immigration, climate, the pandemic, and more.More stories from theweek.com 5 scathingly funny cartoons about Biden's COVID-19 push 7 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's White House exit 'No way' McConnell has had a post-Trump 'epiphany,' political scientist says
Pirates off Nigeria's coast kidnapped 15 sailors from a Turkish container ship in the Gulf of Guinea on Saturday in a brazen and violent attack that was farther from shore than usual. One sailor was killed in the raid, an Azerbaijani citizen, while those kidnapped are from Turkey, according to the respective governments and a crew list obtained by Reuters. Accounts from crew, family members and security sources described a sophisticated and well-orchestrated attack on Saturday in which armed pirates boarded the ship and breached its protective citadel, possibly with explosives.
- The Telegraph
The SNP has revealed a "roadmap to a referendum" on Scottish independence, with the latest poll showing a majority want a fresh vote. Mike Russell, the Scottish Government's Constitution Secretary, will present the 11-point document to the party's policy forum on Sunday. It says a "legal referendum" will be held after the pandemic if there is a pro-independence majority following May's election. The roadmap states any attempt by the UK Government to challenge the legality of the referendum in the courts will be "vigorously opposed". A Section 30 order - part of the Scotland Act 1998 which allows Holyrood to pass laws normally reserved to Westminster - was granted by the UK Government ahead of the 2014 independence referendum.
- Associated Press
Six months after his death, the late civil rights leader and longtime Georgia congressman John Lewis will retain a palpable influence in Congress: The state’s two new Democratic U.S. senators — both personal friends and admirers — promise to carry on his legacy. Sen. Raphael Warnock was Lewis’ pastor and stood at his bedside before Lewis died.
Guyana said late on Saturday that a Venezuelan navy vessel detained two vessels that were fishing in Guyana's exclusive economic zone, the latest dispute in a long-running border conflict between the two South American nations. Caracas says much of eastern Guyana is its own territory, a claim that is rejected by Georgetown. The conflict has flared up in recent years as Guyana has started developing oil reserves near the disputed area.
- The Telegraph
Israel has started vaccinating teenagers as it expanded its world-leading Covid-19 vaccination campaign to 16-18 year-olds in an effort to get them back in schools to take their winter exams on schedule. At least one dose has been administered to over 25 per cent of Israel’s 9.25 million population, with just over 10.5 per cent having received a second dose. Working its way down its priority list, the vaccine in Israel is now available to anyone over 40 or, with parental permission, those aged between 16 and 18. The winter matriculation certificate is a large part of university and military admissions. Israel struck a deal with Pfizer at the beginning of January that allowed them to expedite delivery of the vaccine so that all over 16s would be inoculated by the end of March, in return for extensive data on their vaccination campaign to share with the world. Israeli health minister, Yuli Edelstein, told The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday that the data from their vaccination programme suggests a first dose gave just 30 per cent protection from coronavirus. “We are just at the beginning of the (vaccination) campaign, we do see cases of people that after getting the first dose still get sick with the coronavirus,” he said.
- Associated Press
A 34-year-old Texas man has been arrested for allegedly taking part in the storming of the U.S. Capitol this month and posting violent threats, including a call to assassinate Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. Garret Miller, who is from the Dallas suburb of Richardson, was arrested Friday after being named in a five-count federal complaint. Authorities allege that Miller posted photos and videos on his social media accounts that show him inside the Capitol during the Jan. 6 storming of the building by supporters of then-President Donald Trump.
- Business Insider
The Bidens were reportedly left waiting outside the White House on Inauguration Day because Trump sent the staff home
The Trumps sent the butlers home "so there would be no-one to help the Bidens when they arrived," a source told The National Journal.
- The Week
Russian police have reportedly detained more than 1,000 people across the country who took to the streets in support of opposition leader Alexey Navalny, a top rival of Russian President Vladimir Putin who was detained last week when he returned to Moscow from Berlin, where he had spent months recovering from a poisoning allegedly carried out by Russia's FSB spy agency. He was handed a 30-day jail term.Among those reportedly detained at Saturday's rallies was Navalny's wife, Yulia Navalnaya, who had previously said she's been under surveillance since her husband's arrest. She posted a picture of herself inside a police van to her Instagram account, while CNN reports a video on social media shows her being stopped by officers at the entrance to a metro station in Moscow and led to the van. Lyubov Sobol, a prominent activist and lawyer for Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation, was also reportedly detained, per Deutsche Welle.The demonstrations began in the eastern Russian city of Vladivostok and spread west throughout the day, with protesters in some cities bracing frigid temperatures.> LOOK: Protesters threw snow at police officers in Ufa, Russia, during nationwide protests demanding the release of jailed opposition leader Alexey Navalny> > Big crowds were also seen in Yekaterinburg where temperatures reached -28°C (-18°F) pic.twitter.com/8xzIIJFYYG> > — Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) January 23, 2021Reuters estimates 40,000 people gathered in central Moscow, where mass arrests reportedly began before the protest officially started, DW reports.> Mass arrests have already started on Moscow’s Pushkin Square - even before the official beginning of a protest demanding Navalny be let out of prison. Police seem to be grabbing people on the square at random. Dozens of arrests across the country at other protests already. pic.twitter.com/wGUE0iErDT> > — Emily Sherwin (@EmilyCSherwin) January 23, 2021Still, the demonstrators remained on the street for what appears to be one of the largest anti-Putin rallies in years. Read more at Deutsche Welle and CNN.More stories from theweek.com 5 scathingly funny cartoons about Biden's COVID-19 push 7 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's White House exit 'No way' McConnell has had a post-Trump 'epiphany,' political scientist says
- Associated Press Videos
President Joe Biden's new defense secretary arrived at the Pentagon Friday for his first day on the job, just a short time after being confirmed by the U.S. Senate 93-2. Lloyd J. Austin is the nation's first Black secretary of defense. (Jan. 22)
U.S. President Joe Biden's administration next week will release more policies it believes are needed to tackle climate change and is urging China to toughen one of its targets on greenhouse gas emissions, his top climate advisers said on Saturday. Gina McCarthy, the White House's national climate adviser, did not say what policies would be released. A memo seen by Reuters on Thursday showed Biden will unveil a second round of executive orders as soon as Jan. 27 that include an omnibus order to combat climate change domestically and elevate the issue as a national security priority.
- Associated Press
Four Zimbabwean Cabinet ministers have died of COVID-19, three within the past two weeks, highlighting a resurgence of the disease that is sweeping through this southern African country. President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the coronavirus is reaping a “grim harvest” in the country. Then came the death of the transport minister.
- The Telegraph
The Biden administration has already set itself on a collision course with Saudi Arabia after its director of National Intelligence vowed to declassify a report on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. The push to release the intelligence community’s assessment of the murder of the dissident journalist, which is believed to implicate Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has the potential to trigger a major fallout with the kingdom. Avril Haines, who was confirmed in her new role on Thursday, told Congress “we will follow the law” regarding the report, referring to the Trump administration’s refusal to release the full version for US House representatives. The CIA is said to have concluded with a high degree of confidence that Prince Mohammed, or MBS - a close ally of the previous government - ordered the Washington Post columnist’s assassination at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018. However, its contents have not been made public. MBS, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, has denied he ordered the murder and the Trump administration publicly stood by him despite international condemnation.
New U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, during his first phone call with his Japanese counterpart, reaffirmed America's commitment to Tokyo to defending a group of East China Sea islets claimed by both Japan and China, the Pentagon said. Austin, in talks with Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi, confirmed that Article 5 of the U.S.-Japan security treaty, which stipulates U.S. defence obligations to Japan, covers the uninhabited islands, the Pentagon said in a statement.
- 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
- Reuters Videos
Thousands of people were detained across Russia on Saturday, as protests swept the nation to demand the release of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. Tens of thousands defied an official ban on Saturday's demonstrations, and the extreme cold, as police tried to break up the rallies with force. Amateur video in St. Petersburg showed the moment one woman was kicked to the ground. Navalny called on supporters to protest after he was arrested last weekend. That's shortly after returning to the country for the first time, since being poisoned with a nerve agent in August. In central Moscow, Reuters reporters estimated up to 40, 000 people had gathered in one of the biggest unauthorized rallies in years, though officials there downplayed the number. Protesters there chanted 'Putin is a thief', as well as 'Freedom to Navalny'. As a result, one monitor group says more than 3,000 were detained across about 100 towns and cities. Some of Navalny's political allies were detained in the days leading to the protests. Others, on the day itself. Navalny and his supporters hope the mass demonstrations will pressure the authorities to let him go. The ex-lawyer accused Vladimir Putin of ordering his killing, which the Russian president denies, and now faces years in jail. The West has called for Navalny's release, while denouncing the use of violence over the protests. There was no immediate comment from the Kremlin, who has called the rallies illegal.