The coronavirus pandemic is affecting families adversely ahead of the holidays, so Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson stepped in to help. Jackson and his mother, Felicia Jones, on Monday distributed toys to more than 150 selected children in the Baltimore area. The work is part of Jackson's Forever Dreamers charitable organization.
- NBC News
- Associated Press
A New Mexico county official and founder of the group Cowboys for Trump who had vowed to return to Washington after last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol to place a flag on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk has been arrested Sunday by the FBI. Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin was arrested on charges of illegally entering the U.S. Capitol. According to court documents, Griffin told investigators that he was “caught up” in the crowd, which pushed its way through the barricades and entered the restricted area of the U.S. Capitol, but he said he did not enter the building and instead remained on the U.S. Capitol steps.
President-elect Biden has ordered up a shock-and-awe campaign for his first days in office to signal, as dramatically as possible, the radical shift coming to America and global affairs, his advisers tell us. The plan, Part 1 ... Biden, as detailed in a "First Ten Days" memo from incoming chief of staff Ron Klain, plans to unleash executive orders, federal powers and speeches to shift to a stark, national plan for "100 million shots" in three months. Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here. * A federal mask mandate on government property and for interstate travel — Biden's "100 Day Masking Challenge." * Expand neighborhood access by activating local pharmacies, working directly with both independent drugstores and massive chains. * Reimburse states for deploying the National Guard to support vaccinations, and provide additional FEMA assistance.The plan, Part 2 ... Biden plans a $2 trillion stimulus/coronavirus plan plus the following executive orders to symbolize and solidify a substantial shift here and abroad: * Rescind the travel ban on several predominantly Muslim countries. * Rejoin the Paris climate accord. * Extend pandemic-related limits on evictions. * Order federal agencies to find ways to reunite children split apart from their families after crossing the border.The big picture: Watch for Biden to wrap everything, even tangential ideological priorities, under the banner of the coronavirus, in hopes of speeding up legislative action and picking up some Republican votes. * Biden privately says he has a small window to get the vaccination rollout right and the economy recovering. Otherwise, he'll fall victim to liberals who find his actions too timid, and Republicans who find them too liberal. Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.
- The Independent
The latest updates from the White House and beyond on 17 January 2021
- Reuters Videos
Law enforcement officials across the country prepared for potentially violent protests by Trump supporters on Sunday, ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration later this week. Security officials identified Sunday as the first possible major flashpoint, as that is when the anti-government "boogaloo" movement made plans to hold rallies in all 50 states. Capitals in battleground states, where Trump has directed his baseless claims of voter fraud, were on especially high alert - including Michigan, where a small group of armed protesters gathered outside the state's capitol in Lansing. "Boogaloo boy" Duncan Lemp said he believed November's election was fraudulent, but he had not come on Sunday to start a fight. LEMP: "The idea of today, we've been planning this rally since long before the 6th, long before the 6th. The 6th changed everything for us. It made us really worried about coming out here. Obviously you see the fences. They were really worried--the FBI stopped by my work three days ago to talk to me about coming out here. And it changed a lot. We were coming out here for unity, trying to get Antifa, Proud Boys, BLM, the militias all together just to have a conversation. We don't have to come out and fight every time we come out. We can just talk." Twenty-two-year-old Timothy Teagan is also a member of the "boogaloo" movement. TEAGAN: "I believe we haven't had a fair election in a very long time. It's not just this one. It was the last election and the election before that. We haven't had a fair election since we've allowed lobbyists' funding into our politics. We haven't had a fair election since corporations have decided to make the rules for us, rather than the politicians representing the people." More than a dozen states have activated National Guard troops to help secure their capitol buildings following an FBI warning of the potential for future violence leading up to the inauguration on Wednesday, with some right-wing extremists emboldened by the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6. But some militia members said they would not attend a long-planned pro-gun demonstration in Virginia on Monday, and other militias and extremist groups have told followers to stay home this weekend, citing the increased security or the risk that the planned events were law enforcement traps. The leader of the Pennsylvania Lightfoot Militia, said his group had no plans this weekend to be in Harrisburg, where the Capitol has been fortified with barricades and will be protected by hundreds of members of its National Guard.
- NBC News
- 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 5 more scathing cartoons about Trump's 2nd impeachment The pandemic windfall Trump's vaccine delay is getting suspicious
- National Review
Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) on Sunday advised the president not to grant presidential pardons to the rioters who stormed the Capitol this month, warning that doing so would “destroy” Trump. “Mr. President, your policies will stand the test of time. You’re the most important figure in the Republican party. You can shape the direction of the party. Keep your movement alive,” Graham said on Fox News. “There are a lot of people urging the president to pardon folks who participated in defiling the Capitol, the rioters,” Graham continued. “I don’t care if you went there and spread flowers on the floor, you breached the security of the Capitol, you interrupted a joint session of Congress, you tried to intimidate us all, you should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and to seek a pardon of these people would be wrong. I think it would destroy President Trump and I hope we don’t go down that road.” On Wednesday, a large group of Trump supporters overpowered Capitol Police and forced their way into the halls of Congress. Pence and the assembled lawmakers evacuated the Senate floor, where a joint session of Congress was being held to certify the presidential election results. The violence followed a rally outside the White House earlier in the day where President Trump addressed the “Save America March” and repeated his claims that November’s election was rife with voter fraud that threatened to deprive him of his rightful second term. The violence on January 6 resulted in five dead, including a Capitol Police officer. Since then, dozens of criminal cases have been brought in connection with the riot. Graham defended Trump’s rhetoric at the rally, which received bipartisan condemnation and sparked a second impeachment against the president by House Democrats. “President Trump never said, ‘Go into the capitol and try to interrupt a joint session of Congress.’ That was the choice they made and they need to live with that choice,” Graham said. Graham added that there were “irregularities in mail-in voting,” but said “the election is over,” noting that the electoral votes have been certified.” “It is now time to move on,” the South Carolina Republican said. Graham also had a message for incoming president Joe Biden, calling on him to stand up against the second impeachment of Trump, which the Senate is expected to take up after he leaves office.
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) called on his Republican Party to rebuild itself and "repudiate the nonsense that has set our party on fire" in an in an op-ed for The Atlantic Saturday on the QAnon conspiracy theory.Why it matters: Many of the mob involved in the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riots wore items signaling their support for the far-right QAnon and a prominent member of the cult was among those arrested following the siege.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here. * Several Republicans who ran for Congress last year publicly supported or defended the QAnon movement or some of its tenets — something Sasee noted in his op-ed, headlined "QAnon is Destroying the GOP From Within." * Sasse blames the violence on "the blossoming of a rotten seed that took root in the Republican Party some time ago and has been nourished by treachery, poor political judgment, and cowardice."Driving the news: Sasse wrote in his op-ed that "until last week, many party leaders and consultants thought they could preach the Constitution while winking at QAnon." * "They can't," he added. "The GOP must reject conspiracy theories or be consumed by them. Now is the time to decide what this party is about." * Sasse criticized House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for not denouncing QAnon supporter Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) when she was running for Congress in 2020. * "She's already announced plans to try to impeach Joe Biden on his first full day as president," Sasse wrote. "She'll keep making fools out of herself, her constituents, and the Republican Party."Worth noting: Sasse said before the House impeached President Trump for a second time he'd consider "definitely consider" any articles of impeachment against him over his conduct and comments at a rally before the riots. * The Nebraska senator criticized Trump's embrace of QAnon supporters last August, warning that Democrats could "take the Senate" this "will be a big part of why they won." * Months later, the Democrats went on to win control of the Senate.The bottom line: Sasse wrote that his party faces a choice when Trump leaves office: "We can dedicate ourselves to defending the Constitution and perpetuating our best American institutions and traditions, or we can be a party of conspiracy theories."Go deeper: * The Capitol siege's QAnon roots * House freshmen at war after Capitol siegeSupport safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- Miami Herald
A man who did prison time for aggravated stalking and has convictions for domestic violence and violating a restraining order has an 18-year-old girl he has kidnapped at gunpoint, Pembroke Pines police said.
- The Telegraph
Scientists say Colombia must cull its so-called “cocaine hippos” that roam the Magdalena river basin as they are breeding voraciously and are an increasing menace. The marshlands of Colombia have been home to these giant mammals since they were illegally imported in the late 1980s by the notorious drug lord, Pablo Escobar. When he was shot dead in 1993, the Colombian government took control of his extravagant estate, including his personal zoo. Most of the animals were shipped away, but four hippos were left to fend for themselves in a pond, and now there are dozens of them living in the wild. Although nobody knows exactly how many there are, estimates put the total number between 80 and 100, making them the largest invasive species on the planet. Scientists forecast that the number of hippos will swell to almost 1,500 by 2040. They conclude, that at that point, environmental impacts will be irreversible and numbers impossible to control. “Nobody likes the idea of shooting a hippo, but we have to accept that no other strategy is going to work,” ecologist Nataly Castelblanco-Martínez told The Telegraph.
- Associated Press
Uganda’s electoral commission said Saturday that President Yoweri Museveni won a sixth five-year term, extending his rule to four decades, while top opposition challenger Bobi Wine dismissed “cooked-up, fraudulent results” and officials struggled to explain how polling results were compiled amid an internet blackout. In a generational clash watched across the African continent with a booming young population and a host of aging leaders, the 38-year-old singer-turned-lawmaker Wine posed arguably Museveni's greatest challenge yet. In a phone interview from his home, which he said was surrounded by soldiers, Wine urged the international community to “please call Gen. Museveni to order” by withholding aid, imposing sanctions and using Magnitsky legislation to hold alleged human rights users accountable.
President-elect Joe Biden will roll back some of President Trump's most controversial policies and address "four overlapping and compounding crises" in his first 10 days in office — the pandemic, the economic downturn, climate climate and racial inequity.Driving the news: That's according to a memo from Biden's incoming Chief of Staff Ron Klain Saturday. Following Biden's inauguration Wednesday, he'll "sign roughly a dozen actions to combat the four crises," Klein said.Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.Zoom in: Biden's actions on day one of his presidency will include rejoining the Paris climate agreement, extending a pause on federal student loan payments, reversing Trump's ban on travel to the U.S. from several Muslim-majority countries and issuing a mask mandate in an attempt to curb surging COVID-19 cases. * On Thursday, Biden will sign several executive actions aimed at changing the course of the COVID-19 crisis and safely re-open schools and businesses. * On Friday, the president-elect will "direct his Cabinet agencies to take immediate action to deliver economic relief to working families bearing the brunt" of the coronavirus crisis, Klein wrote. * Between Jan. 25 and Feb. 1, Biden will address the climate crisis, criminal justice reform, take steps to expand access to health care, and move to reform immigration — including reuniting families separated at the border under Trump's immigration policy.For the record: All of these measures were previously announced, but this is the first time Biden's timetable has been revealed.Go deeper: Biden's "100-day challenge"Support safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
Fanny Mergui has no doubt: Moroccan Jews "are already packing their suitcases" to board direct flights to Israel after the kingdom normalised ties with the Jewish state.
- The Independent
Biden’s plan to get 100m Americans vaccinated in first 100 days is ‘doable,’ Dr Fauci says
- The Telegraph
Almost a third of recovered Covid patients will end up back in hospital within five months and one in eight will die, alarming new figures have shown. Research by Leicester University and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found there is a devastating long-term toll on survivors of severe coronavirus, with many people developing heart problems, diabetes and chronic liver and kidney conditions. Out of 47,780 people who were discharged from hospital in the first wave, 29.4 per cent were readmitted to hospital within 140 days, and 12.3 per cent of the total died. The current cut-off point for recording Covid deaths is 28 days after a positive test, so it may mean thousands more people should be included in the coronavirus death statistics. Researchers have called for urgent monitoring of people who have been discharged from hospital.
- Associated Press
Lottery players have another chance to win big next week since there were no winners of the top prize for both the Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots in their most recent drawings. The Powerball jackpot grew to an estimated $730 million after no one matched all five numbers and the red ball in the drawing on Saturday night. If a lottery player strikes big in the next Powerball drawing on Wednesday, it would be the fifth-largest jackpot ever in the United States.