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- The Independent
Mike Pence is homeless after leaving office and ‘couch-surfing’ with Indiana politicians, report says
Mike Pence has been residing in public housing for the past eight years
- Associated Press
A top ally of Alexei Navalny vowed Tuesday to keep up the fight to free the jailed Russian opposition leader and his battle to influence this year's parliamentary election despite a government crackdown on nationwide protests and its attempts to create a climate of fear. U.S. officials said President Joe Biden raised concerns about Navalny's arrest in his call Tuesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the G7 foreign ministers also criticized the jailing of Navalny and the demonstrators demanding his release. Lawyer and politician Lyubov Sobol told a news conference that Navalny's Foundation for Fighting Corruption and his team's regional offices will continue to operate even amid the “arrests of our followers and allies, open criminal probes (and) criminal probes that are yet to come."
- The Week
Steven Brandenburg, the Wisconsin pharmacist accused of intentionally sabotaging hundreds of doses of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine, will plead guilty to two counts of "attempting to tamper with consumer products with reckless disregard for the risk that another person would be placed in danger of death and bodily injury," the Justice Department announced Tuesday. Each count carries up to 10 years in prison. After his arrest, police called Brandenburg, 46, an "admitted conspiracy theorist," and his federal plea agreement bolsters that label. Brandenburg had told his coworkers about his beliefs in "conspiracy theories" and "alternative history" for at least two years, his plea deal says, and he had let it be known he was a skeptic of the Moderna vaccine specifically, and vaccines in general. On the nights of Dec. 24 and 25, he left two batches of the vaccine out of refrigeration for several hours, and the spoiled vaccine was then injected into the arms of 57 people, the Justice Department said. The sabotaged vaccines are not believed to be dangerous, but researchers are checking to see if the lack of refrigeration sapped their efficacy. More stories from theweek.comSarah Huckabee Sanders' shameless campaign for governorTrump's impeachment lawyer said he thinks 'the facts and the law will speak for themselves'Democrats are preparing for a party-line COVID-19 bill, hoping for bipartisan buy-in
Hong Kong authorities are scrutinizing the financial records of pro-democracy activists as they crack down on political opposition, according to some activists and a senior bank executive. Six pro-democracy activists told Reuters that Hong Kong police obtained some of their bank records without their consent and questioned them about certain transactions after they were arrested earlier this month on suspicion of subversion under the territory’s national security law. The number of requests for customers’ financial records by Hong Kong police has more than doubled over the past six months or so, an executive at a major retail bank in Hong Kong with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
- Associated Press
Immigrant rights activists energized by a new Democratic administration and majorities on Capitol Hill are gearing up for a fresh political battle to push through a proposed bill from President Joe Biden that would open a pathway to citizenship for up to 11 million people. The multimillion-dollar #WeAreHome campaign was launched Monday by national groups including United We Dream and the United Farm Workers Foundation. “We are home,” a young woman's voice declares in the first video spot showing immigrants in essential jobs such as cleaning and health care.
- The Telegraph
Russian authorities offer contradictory explanations for Kremlin-like security at alleged ‘Putin’s palace’
Russia’s top security agencies have offered contradictory explanations for heightened security measures around a billion-dollar property on the Black Sea, dubbed “Putin’s palace" by opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Faced with over 95 million views of Mr Navalny’s YouTube investigation into the residence, President Vladimir Putin had to issue a denial on Monday, insisting that neither he, nor his family own the property whose very existence enraged millions of Russia. Angry protests spread across the country’s 11 time zones on Saturday in response to the allegations about Mr Putin’s lavish lifestyle as well as the arrest of Mr Navalny who was locked up for violating the terms of his suspended sentence. The day after the politician was jailed, Mr Navalny’s team published the investigation into the property which detailed a web of its obscure owners as well President Putin’s close friends and relatives who have allegedly been pumping money into its construction and maintenance. The property, believed to be Russia’s largest private home, boasts a casino, private theatre and even a smoking room with a stripper pole. The waters along the coast are off limits for fishermen and the Kremlin security service, FSO, is known to be issuing permits for anyone wanting to get close, which has been seen as the ultimate evidence that President Putin does use the palace. Floor plans of the palace as well as rare photographs and 3D visualisations showing its opulent interior have become the butt of jokes and given rise to countless parodies and internet memes. Russian news outlet RBC on Wednesday quoted a statement from the country’s main intelligence agency FSB, explaining that it had to close the airspace over the property due to “growing spying activities of a number of neighbouring countries including NATO members.” The FSB, however, failed to comment on the fact that the no-fly zone was first established there in 2011. Separately, the FSO, whose job is to provide security to Russia’s top officials including the president, on Wednesday, denied that there are any facilities in the area under its protection.
China said on Wednesday it was seeking details about 25 of its nationals who were among 61 crew on two supertankers seized by Indonesia on suspicion of illegally transferring oil. Indonesia said on Sunday it had seized the vessels after they were detected making the transfer from Iranian-flagged MT Horse to Panamanian-flagged MT Freya, causing an oil spill. The Indonesian authorities said the seizure was not related to U.S. sanctions, which Washington imposed in a bid to shut off Iran's oil exports in a dispute over Tehran's nuclear programme.
- Associated Press
A federal judge on Tuesday barred the U.S. government from enforcing a 100-day deportation moratorium that is a key immigration priority of President Joe Biden. U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton issued a temporary restraining order sought by Texas, which sued on Friday against a Department of Homeland Security memo that instructed immigration agencies to pause most deportations.
- Associated Press
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday criticized Iran's hard-liner dominated judiciary over last week's prosecution of the countrys telecommunications minister. Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi was released on bail after he was summoned for prosecution. Judiciary officials cited his refusal to block Instagram and impose limitations on the bandwidth of other foreign social media and messaging systems.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador first felt the onset of COVID-19 on Sunday and was tested after returning to the capital on a commercial flight from an event in central Mexico, his spokesman said on Tuesday. Spokesman Jesus Ramirez said that passengers on the flight were being contacted, and that journalists traveling with the president were recommended to isolate. Lopez Obrador had a fever on Sunday and was still experiencing some mild symptoms by Tuesday, including a minor headache, Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said in an evening news conference.
- National Review
A federal judge in Texas has blocked President Biden’s executive order halting deportations of some illegal immigrants. Biden signed the order halting deportations for 100 days on January 20, several hours after his inauguration, as part of a blitz of executive orders aimed at undoing Trump administration policies. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton subsequently sued the Biden administration to reverse the order, citing an agreement between the Department of Homeland Security and Texas requiring the state’s approval to halt deportations. Judge Drew Tipton of the Southern District of Texas blocked the implementation of Biden’s order on Tuesday for a period of 14 days. Tipton said that the delay was appropriate according to the Administrative Procedure Act of 1946. The news comes after Biden promised to propose legislation during his first 100 days in office providing a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. On Inauguration Day, Biden signed an executive order to review the public-charge rule, which restricts immigration by applicants who may require government assistance such as food stamps. The president also ordered the Department of Homeland Security to work to safeguard the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
- Associated Press
A group of U.N experts has criticized Sri Lanka's requirement that those who die of COVID-19 be cremated, even it goes against a family's religious beliefs, and warned that decisions based on “discrimination and aggressive nationalism” could incite hatred and violence. The experts, who are part of the Special Procedures of the U.N Human Rights Council, said in a statement Monday that rule amounts to a human rights violation. “We deplore the implementation of such public health decisions based on discrimination, aggressive nationalism and ethnocentrism amounting to persecution of Muslims and other minorities in the country,” the experts said.
- FOX News Videos
Biden administration has system in place where reporters will not ask president tough questions: Media critic
Steve Krakauer, editor at Fourth Watch, says 'it shouldn't be contingent' on one reporter to ask Biden tough questions.
- Los Angeles Times Opinion
Letters to the Editor: Senate GOP's message: If a president incites a coup, do it right before Jan. 20
By attempting to stop Trump's impeachment trial, Senate Republicans send the message that a president cannot be held accountable late in the term.
The Philippines has confirmed domestic transmission of the new, highly contagious British variant of the coronavirus, prompting President Rodrigo Duterte to abandon a plan to allow some minors to go outside their homes. "Right now, we have local transmission where this individual or these cases with the variant have already infected their community, their family," Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told news channel ANC on Tuesday. The world is scrambling to contain the spread of the B.1.1.7 variant, despite travel bans, new lockdowns and a tightening quarantine measures in dozens of countries, amid concerns it could not only be more transmissible, but deadlier.
- The Telegraph
AstraZeneca vaccines meant for and paid for by the EU could have ended up in Britain, diplomatic sources in Brussels claimed today. The suspicion is that the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company supplied the UK from the EU vaccine stock because Britain paid a higher price for the dose and approved it sooner. On Monday, Brussels threatened to block EU vaccine exports to non-EU countries, after AstraZeneca revealed that it would not be able to fulfil its contractual obligations as originally hoped. Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, said on Tuesday that the EU would press on with the export mechanism that would force companies to ask for permission before vaccines could leave the bloc. In a speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Mrs von der Leyen said, “Europe invested billions to help develop the world's first Covid-19 vaccines to create a truly global common good. Europe is determined to contribute to this global common good but it also means business.” She added: “And now, the companies must deliver. They must honour their obligations and this is why we will set up a vaccine export to transparency mechanism.” A European Commission spokesman said: "How worried are we about the state of vaccinations? Well, we are worried that is for sure. We are dealing with a very important pandemic and vaccination is very important." The UK is dependent on the Pfizer vaccine, which is produced in Belgium, and is expecting almost 3.5million doses to be delivered in the next three weeks. That supply could be jeopardised if the EU decided to block the exports after the AstraZeneca controversy.
- Architectural Digest
Let’s get loudOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- The Independent
Biden tells Fox News reporter he talked to Putin about ‘You’ when asked about his call with Russian president
Leaders reportedly discussed Ukraine tensions, a massive cyberattack and Russia’s poisoned opposition leader
- Associated Press
A Texas man accused of taking part in the attack on the U.S. Capitol earlier this month while wearing a shirt with a message that stood for “murder the media” was arrested Tuesday, the FBI said. Nicholas DeCarlo, 30, was charged with obstructing an official proceeding, entering a restricted building and parading or demonstrating on Capitol grounds, according to a criminal complaint. Investigators say DeCarlo, of Burleson, Texas, was seen in photos smoking a cigarette inside the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Nissan Motor is accelerating the rollout of electric vehicles in China under its main brand and its local, no-frills Venucia marque as it overhauls its strategy in the world's biggest auto market, four sources told Reuters. Besides the focus on green vehicles, the plan involves using more locally made parts and technologies to reduce costs and help the struggling Japanese carmaker compete better with lower-cost Chinese firms and major global rivals, the sources said. The China strategy is a key pillar of Nissan's turnaround, which involves focusing on producing profitable cars for China, Japan and the United States, rather than chasing all-out global growth as it did under disgraced former boss Carlos Ghosn.