A western New York man pleaded guilty Monday to threatening to kill U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.
- Yahoo News
One day after President Trump was impeached for the second time and with less than a week to go before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, the Trump White House began cleaning out its desks on Thursday.
- The Week
Federal authorities announced charges Wednesday for several people who allegedly participated in last weeks siege of the U.S. Capitol. Among those charged was Robert Keith Packer, 56, of Newport News, Virginia, identified as the man wearing a neo-Nazi "Camp Auschwitz" sweatshirt at the riot, and several police officers.> 2) this guy was just arrested. pic.twitter.com/CRkKSGRn4y> > — Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) January 13, 2021Packer was released on his own recognizance Wednesday afternoon and ordered to stay out of Washington, D.C., The Washington Post reports. Officers Thomas Robertson, 47, and Jacob Fracker, 29, of Virginia's Rocky Mount Police Department were arrested, charged, and put on administrative leave. In a since-deleted Facebook post, Robertson reportedly wrote that "CNN and the Left are just mad because we actually attacked the government," adding, "The right IN ONE DAY took the f---ing U.S. Capitol. Keep poking us."At least 28 active duty law enforcement officers from 12 states have been identified as having participated in the Capitol occupation, according to a tally by The Appeal. Many of those officers have been suspended, including Philadelphia Police detective Jennifer Gugger, an apparent QAnon believer who until last week served in the department's Recruit Background Investigations Unit.Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said Wednesday that one of his officers, identified as 18-year veteran Tam Dinh Pham, was on administrative leave after having "penetrated" the Capitol last week, adding, "I can tell you that there's a high probability that this individual will be charged with federal charges, and rightfully so."The Justice Department so far charged more than 70 people, identified more than 100 others, and plans to prosecute many of the people who stormed the Capitol in "significant felony cases tied to sedition and conspiracy." The FBI is warning about high threats of violence in D.C. and state capitals ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.Other people charged so far include Olympic gold medal swimmer Klete Keller, filmed in the Capitol wearing his Team USA jacket, and Cleveland Grover Meredith Jr., arrested last week with two firearms and about 2,500 rounds of ammunition, including 320 rounds of "armor piercing" bullets. Meredith arrived late to the Capitol siege but texted a friend he planned to shoot House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser, prosecutors say.More stories from theweek.com Do Democrats realize the danger they are in? America's rendezvous with reality What 'Blue Lives Matter' was always about
AOC feared ‘White Supremacist members of Congress’ would turn her over to Trump rioters during siege
As the fallout continues following last Wednesday’s Capitol insurrection, Democratic New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to her social media this week to share the terror she experienced that day – at times fearing her own congressional colleagues would turn her over to the angry mob to be killed. Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”?
- The Telegraph
Taliban chief tells officials to take only one wife because big weddings and dowries are depleting funds
The head of the Afghan Taliban has ordered officials in the movement to take only one wife because extravagant weddings and bridal payments are depleting funds and leading to accusations of embezzlement. The edict from Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada was also an attempt to quash bad publicity that Taliban leaders were having profligate weddings. “We instruct officials of the Islamic Emirate, in accordance with Islamic Sharia [Islamic jurisprudence], to avoid second, third, and fourth marriage if there is no need,” he said in a written message earlier this month, Voice of America reported. Taliban officials have been instructed to share the order with their subordinates after complaints about the scale of spending on weddings. Afghans face huge social pressure to spend lavishly on their nuptials, while the groom must also often pay a hefty sum to the bride's family. Wives are sometimes kept in separate houses, meaning a groom must fund several households. “Up-to two million Afghanis (nearly £19,000) are paid for dowry in some parts of Afghanistan and the Taliban officials would seek this money for their second marriage,” one source told the broadcaster. The movement has also sometimes faced internal tensions as frontline fighters resent the movement's leadership appearing to lead the high life in Pakistan or Doha. “Families of several officials of the Islamic Emirate do not have a lot of money. Therefore, more marriages could affect their prestige, trustworthiness, and personality,” the message said. The message urged the movement to “protect yourself against accusation and disgrace,” adding that “transparency” and “gaining trust” were essential for their struggle. Abstaining from multiple marriages would protect the Taliban from “accusations of bribery, misappropriation, or embezzlement” and save them from seeking illicit sources of wealth. Akhundzada told followers that the orders were based on Islamic injunctions and have the support of religious scholars. Islam allows men to have up to four wives as long as they are treated equally, though the practice is frowned upon and uncommon in many Muslim societies. The message said there were exemptions to the new rule for officials who had a “legitimate need” or who used their own funds for weddings.
Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) has apologized to Black Oklahomans for challenging Joe Biden's Electoral College victory, saying he did not realize his actions would be seen as "casting doubt on the validity of votes" in predominantly Black cities like Atlanta, Philadelphia and Detroit.The big picture: Lankford was part of a group of 11 senators, led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who planned to object to the Electoral College certification unless Congress launched a commission to audit the election results. He later withdrew his objection after the pro-Trump siege of the Capitol.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.Between the lines: "Lankford has been more involved with Black Tulsans, and particularly the historic Greenwood District, than any statewide Republican officeholder in decades," Tulsa World writes. * However, after Lankford's comments on the Senate floor, several state Black leaders said he should be removed from the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission, which is dedicated to educating communities about the massacre that killed 300 people. * Other Republicans involved in the election challenges, including Cruz and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) have faced massive backlash.What they're saying: "My action of asking for more election information caused a firestorm of suspicion among many of my friends, particularly in Black communities around the state," Lankford wrote in a letter addressed to "my friends in North Tulsa." * "I can assure you, my intent to give a voice to Oklahomans who had questions was never also an intent to diminish the voice of any Black American," he continued. * "I should have recognized how what I said and what I did could be interpreted by many of you. I deeply regret my blindness to that perception, and for that I am sorry."Go deeper: GOP Sen. Josh Hawley under fire after Electoral College challengeBe smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.
- Associated Press
A Florida waitress who noticed bruises on an 11-year-old boy flashed him a handwritten note asking him if he needed help, and when he nodded yes, she called the police, authorities said. Orlando police credited Flaviane Carvalho, a waitress at Mrs. Potato Restaurant, with coming to the boy's aid on New Year's Eve when the child’s parents weren’t looking. Police took the boy to a hospital where doctors found bruises on his face, earlobes and arms.
- Architectural Digest
When it came to the lighting in his home, Pardo drew inspiration from the insides of fruits, nuts, and seeds, as well as sea creatures and machine parts.Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- Reuters Videos
A rehearsal for U.S President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration has been postponed over security concerns, that's according to a Thursday night report in Politico, citing two people with knowledge of the decision. The rehearsal, scheduled for Sunday, has been canceled along with a train trip from Delaware to Washington. The rehearsal has now been moved to Monday, according to the report. The president-elect's team did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Earlier, the FBI said they were looking into individuals tipped to possibly threaten the safety of the inauguration... Officials have warned of plans for armed protests in Washington and across the country after last week's deadly siege on the U.S Capitol. The inauguration which usually draws hundreds of thousands of spectators has already been scaled back dramatically because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump says he does not plan on attending the inauguration.
- The Independent
Local newspapers turn on Lauren Boebert as 68 state politicians demand investigation into Capitol riot role
Lauren Boebert is under fire for sharing details about the location of the House speaker during the Capitol riots
An upcoming Netflix docuseries will look at the disappearance and death of Canadian tourist Elisa Lam, who stayed at the infamous Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles in 2013. The details: The docuseries, titled “Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel,” was revealed this week by executive producer and director Joe Berlinger, according to Variety. The series attempts to deconstruct what happened to the 21-year-old Canadian student during her stay at the Cecil Hotel.
Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte is one of the most popular presidents in the world, in spite — or perhaps in part because of — his history of prejudiced remarks about women, gay people and minority groups.Driving the news: Polls suggest his daughter and successor as mayor of Davao City, Sara Duterte, is the electorate's top choice to succeed him as president in 2022. But he said Thursday that Sara would not be running.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here. * The presidency, he said, is "not meant for women," as they have a different "emotional setup" than men. * Duterte, who frequently complains about the miseries of his job, added that his daughter would “go through what I went through.”What to watch: Duterte is not eligible to seek re-election at the end of his six-year term, though an attempt by his allies to amend the constitution raised speculation he might try to stick around. * “Even if you serve it to me on a silver platter or give me 10 more years for free, I am done,” he said Thursday.Meanwhile, Duterte is facing a Senate investigation into reports that doses of an unapproved Chinese vaccine were smuggled into the Philippines and given to upward of 100,000 Chinese nationals as well as to some of the soldiers assigned to guard Duterte. * Duterte has told the soldiers not to cooperate with the investigation, and his office described the vaccines as a "gift" from China. * Worth noting: Many of the Chinese nationals in question work in offshore gambling. Several illegal medical clinics catering to Chinese nationals working in offshore gambling were discovered in the Philippines last year.Go deeperBe smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.
- National Review
In his first television interview since being shot in the back by police, Jacob Blake admitted that he not only had a knife in his possession at the time of the shooting, but also “dropped” it before picking it up again. “I realized I had dropped my knife, had a little pocket knife. So I picked it up after I got off of him because they tased me and I fell on top of him,” Blake told Michael Strahan in an interview that aired Thursday on ABC’s Good Morning America (GMA). “I shouldn’t have picked it up, only considering what was going on,” he continued. “At that time, I wasn’t thinking clearly.” Earlier this month, Kenosha County district attorney Michael Graveley said that he would not file charges against Officer Rusten Sheskey, who shot Blake seven times, given that the officer was acting in self-defense against an armed assailant. Blake also had a past arrest for resisting police with a knife. Blake’s admission contradicts past statements from his family and attorneys, who denied that he had a knife in his possession when police shot him on August 23, in an incident that stemmed from a 911 call made by the mother of Blake’s children, who told police that Blake was trying to drive away in her rental car with two of his sons. “My son didn’t have a weapon,” Blake’s father told the Chicago Sun-Times for an August 25 story. Patrick Salvi Jr., an attorney for the Blake family, told CNN on August 26 that Blake did not have a knife in the car. “Witnesses confirm that he was not in possession of a knife and didn’t threaten officers in any way,” Blake’s attorney, Ben Crump, said in a statement released on August 27. At the time, Blake had a warrant out for his arrest on charges of trespassing, disorderly conduct, and third-degree sexual assault, which the operator relayed to the responding officers. With the outstanding felony charges, police were required by law to take Blake into custody. In the interview with GMA, Blake also claimed that “I hadn’t done anything so I didn’t feel like they were there for me,” though investigators later found that, prior to the arrest, Blake had looked up his own warrant on a police website and had sent a text mentioning the warrant. ABC made no mention of either fact in the interview. The shooting went viral on social media after being recorded on video, showing officers screaming at Blake to “drop the knife.” In the subsequent days — which included deadly violence, rioting, and looting — the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation revealed that Blake admitted to having “a knife in his possession.” But much of the mainstream press ran with the initial claim that he was “unarmed.” “Wisconsin’s governor on Monday called in the National Guard to help quell unrest after police shot an unarmed Black man in the latest incident this summer to stir cries of injustice and divide a nation over the urgency of bringing fundamental change to law enforcement,” read the lede of five-person Washington Post byline on August 24. Earlier this month, the Post drew pushback after it maintained the “unarmed” description of Blake in reporting the decision by authorities to not pursue police charges. Though the paper did correct the narrative, one story published January 5 still refers to Blake as “unarmed.” (Update: the story has now been “corrected” by the paper, though it reads “[w]hile his family has said he was not armed when shot by police, prosecutors said video evidence depicts him holding a knife,” failing to note that Blake himself has now admitted to having one.) The Post did not return a request for comment on the discrepancy. In the days after the shooting, CNN ran multiple articles describing Blake as “unarmed” which have yet to be corrected. “Video shows police shoot unarmed Black man” is a current link to an August 24 segment hosted by CNN anchor Jake Tapper. An August 28 USA Today “fact check” titled “Jacob Blake did not ‘brandish’ knife, get gun before Kenosha police shooting” argued that “Blake was not ‘brandishing’ anything in the video taken by bystanders,” even as it noted that the clip “shows something in Blake’s hand, but the resolution is low, so it could be a knife.” But rather than issue a correction or a retraction on January 5, PolitiFact merely updated the post with an editor’s note stating that prosecutors had revealed “Blake was armed with a ‘razor blade-type knife’ when he was shot by police.” The explanation? “That does not affect the rating for this item because ratings are based on what is known at the time.” In other words, it used to be true.
A Brazilian variant of the coronavirus is significant enough to justify stopping flights from South America as a precaution, British transport minister Grant Shapps said on Friday. Britain will ban arrivals from South American countries and Portugal because of concerns over the new Brazilian variant of the coronavirus, a move slammed by Portugal's foreign minister as "absurd". The Brazilian variant shares some characteristics with new variants first identified in Britain and South Africa, which are believed by scientists to be more transmissible but not to cause more severe disease.
- The Independent
Marjorie Taylor Greene says she’ll file impeachment articles against Joe Biden on his first day in office
'On January 21, 2021, I'll be filing Articles of Impeachment against Joe Biden for abuse of power,' Ms Greene had tweeted
- The Telegraph
Wearing a giant furry hat, black leather jacket and a beaming smile, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un introduced “the world’s strongest weapon” – a new submarine-launched ballistic missile – at a nighttime parade on Thursday in Pyongyang. The display of North Korea’s military might followed a rare congress of the ruling Workers' Party, during which leader Kim denounced the United States as his country's “foremost principal enemy” and vowed to strengthen the North’s nuclear war deterrent. On Friday, the reclusive regime’s state media released 100 photos of a mass celebration of the national armory, including tanks and rocket launchers, all flanked by rows of marching soldiers, noticeably not wearing masks. Military aircraft were illuminated by LED lights as they flew overhead in formation. “They’d like us to notice that they’re getting more proficient with larger solid rocket boosters,” tweeted Ankit Panda, a North Korea expert and author of ‘Kim Jong Un and the Bomb’, as the parade unfolded in Pyongyang’s Kim Il Sung square. As the spectacle reached its climax, the military rolled out what analysts said appeared to be new variants of solid-fuel short-range ballistic missiles – which are more quickly deployed than liquid-fuelled versions - and four Pukguksong-class submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).
- Associated Press
Kirbyjon H. Caldwell, 67, was sentenced Wednesday in Shreveport, Louisiana, where he and his co-defendant, Gregory A. Smith, were indicted in 2018. Caldwell, who in March pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, was the senior pastor of Houston's Windsor Village United Methodist Church, which has about 14,000 members. According to federal prosecutors, Caldwell and Smith, a Shreveport-based investment adviser, used their clout and influence to persuade people to invest about $3.5 million in historical Chinese bonds.
- National Review
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called to reopen the city’s restaurants and bars on Thursday, saying the measure would help curb the spread of underground parties that pose a relatively greater risk of spreading the coronavirus. Illinois’s mitigation plan forced the closure of indoor dining in Chicago in October. While nearly ever major city in the U.S. has severely limited or outright banned indoor dining to control the spread of the coronavirus, Lightfoot called to reinstitute indoor dining with precautions. “People are engaging in risky behavior that is not only putting themselves at risk, but putting their families, their co-workers, and other ones at risk. Let’s bring it out of the shadows,” Lightfoot told reporters on Thursday, in comments reported by CBS Chicago. The mayor was referring to underground parties held by residents. “Let’s allow them to have some recreation in restaurants, in bars, where we can actually work with responsible owners and managers to regulate and protect people from COVID-19,” Lightfoot added. The mayor has attempted to avoid blaming indoor dining for spreading coronavirus, saying in October that a rise in cases in Chicago was not linked to restaurants. “That’s not what we’re seeing in the data at all,” Lightfoot told reporters at the time. Chicago is currently in Illinois’s “tier 3” of coronavirus restrictions, which bars indoor dining and puts capacity limits on other businesses. Restaurants across the northern U.S. are struggling to maintain outdoor dining in the middle of winter. Dozens of restaurants in Chicago have permanently closed, according to Timeout. Chicago has recorded over 424,000 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic, and close to 9,000 residents have died after contracting the illness. The city has also struggled with mass riots, protests, and looting in the wake of the death of George Floyd, an African American man killed by Minneapolis police in late May. Looters overran Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, a noted shopping district, in August.
- Los Angeles Times Opinion
Everything the left wants to do aligns with the goals of good governance that are set out in the preamble to the Constitution.
- The Week
Trump's team is reportedly trying to assemble a crowd for a 'major send-off' hours before Biden's inauguration
President Trump is planning to exit the White House on the morning of Jan. 20, a few hours before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in a short distance away, CNN reports. "Eager for a final taste of the pomp of being president, Trump has asked for a major send-off," and "as one of their final acts, Trump's team is working to organize a crowd to see him off on the morning of Biden's inauguration, when he plans to depart Washington while still president" for a flight to Palm Beach, Florida, where his term will officially end at noon.There are 20,000 National Guard troops currently deployed or en route to Washington, D.C., ahead of Biden's inauguration, because the last crowd Trump drew to the White House morphed into an insurrectionist mob that stormed the Capitol.Plans are still being ironed out, CNN says, but "Trump told people he did not like the idea of departing Washington for a final time as an ex-president, flying aboard an airplane no longer known as Air Force One. He also did not particularly like the thought of requesting the use of the plane from Biden." The Bidens will wake up on Inauguration Day at nearby Blair House, CNN reports, adding that "its use was offered to them by the State Department rather than the Trumps, who refuse to make contact with the incoming president and first lady.""Trump has expressed interest to some in a military-style sendoff and a crowd of supporters," CNN says, but it's unclear "whether that occurs at the White House, Joint Base Andrews, or his final destination, Palm Beach International Airport."Outgoing U.S. presidents almost always attend the swearing-in of their successors, Defense One notes, and "in recent decades, the outgoing president and first lady walk down the back steps of the Capitol to an awaiting helicopter, which then makes the short five-minute flight over to Joint Base Andrews in nearby Maryland. Upon arriving at Andrews, the former president and first lady are usually greeted by a military honor guard, former staffers, friends, and other well wishers." Two senior Pentagon officials confirmed to Defense One on Thursday that, in a break with recent tradition, no military farewell is being planned for Trump.More stories from theweek.com Do Democrats realize the danger they are in? America's rendezvous with reality What 'Blue Lives Matter' was always about
A chunk of stimulus payments are missing in action, thanks to a mix up that put as many as 13 million checks into invalid bank accounts.Why it matters: The IRS (by law) was supposed to get all payments out by Friday. Now the onus could shift to Americans to claim the money on their tax refund — further delaying relief to struggling, lower-income Americans.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.What's going on: The newest COVID-19 relief bill — signed in the final days of 2020 — mandated the $600 payment to those making up to $75,000 per year (or 150,000 for joint filers) get out by Jan. 15. * The fast turnaround meant “some payments may have been sent to an account that may be closed or, is or no longer active, or unfamiliar,” according to the IRS website.To get a sense of the speed: It took 19 days to distribute half the first-round payments last spring, but two-thirds of payments were out the door just a week after the latest bill became law, according to an analysis by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. * Billions of those dollars are in the process of being returned to the IRS by tax preparers because of the error, though the IRS would not say how many payments were incorrectly deposited. * Jackson Hewitt estimates funds were deposited in 13 million accounts that were no longer open.How it works: These accounts are typically set up by tax prep companies, most often used by financially constrained taxpayers to get their refunds faster. * Some tax preparers told CNBC that the money would be deposited starting Feb. 1. What’s next: It’s up to those whose payments haven’t been disbursed by today to claim what’s owed on their tax return. * “You can wait until the money shows up, or you’re going to file your return and claim your money there,” Janet Holtzblatt, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center and former official at the Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Analysis, tells Axios. * “There’s going to be confusion” about which option to pick.Of note: Any refunds that also claim the earned-income tax credit — which offsets tax bills for lower income workers — can’t be issued before mid-February, prolonging the delay as the Washington Post points out.What to watch: The incoming Biden administration wants to issue another round of direct payments. Depending on the timing, the IRS could be juggling those checks at the height of tax season. * “I can never say with IRS that things are impossible, but it's going to be a challenge to get those payments out during filing season,” Holtzblatt says.You can check the status of your stimulus payment — and whether you can expect it by paper check, debit card or direct deposit — here.Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.