Political commentator Jeremy Hunt and former Obama campaign regional director Robin Biro join 'America's Newsroom'
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President Emmanuel Macron on Monday hailed a major step for “enlightened Islam” in France after Muslim leaders approved a charter that rejects extremism and upholds the "primacy of Republican principles over religious values”. Mr Macron has been pushing for the charter since November after a jihadist killed a schoolteacher for showing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in class. He called it “a hugely important step” and “truly a foundational text in the relationship between the state and Islam of France”. “Everything starts now,” he told Muslim leaders after an Elysée meeting rubber-stamping the text. However, it received a sceptical response from some religious scholars and experts. The 10-article “charter of principles” comes after six weeks of sometimes fraught talks within the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM), an umbrella body representing Islam in relation with the state. Negotiations almost collapsed last month when Chems-Eddine Hafiz, the council's vice-chairman, walked out amid claims that Islamist council members were spreading falsehoods that "the charter aims to attack the dignity of faithful Muslims". Entente over the charter seen is seen as key to Mr Macron’s fight to banish a culture of “separatism” in French society, which is also the subject of a new bill debated in parliament on Monday.
Small groups of protesters rallied outside fortified statehouses over the weekend ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.The big picture: Some protests attracted armed members of far-right extremist groups but there were no reports of clashes, as had been feared. The National Guard and law enforcement outnumbered demonstrators, as security was heightened around the U.S. to avoid a repeat of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riots, per AP. Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.> Shout out to all the 50 states and 3 territories who are on their way to Washington, D.C. to support the 59th Presidential Inauguration. @TexasGuard is on their way! pic.twitter.com/Jfat7WpFV1> > — District of Columbia National Guard (@DCGuard1802) January 16, 2021Virginia National Guard soldiers are issued their M4 rifles and live ammunition on the east front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 17. "More reporters and law enforcement members were present than protesters" in Washington, D.C., USA Today notes. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty ImagesBoogaloo Bois members outside Oregon's State Capitol in Salem on Jan. 17. Photo: John Rudoff/Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesNational Guard soldiers protect the Department of Health Care Services building near the California State Capitol on Jan. 17. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty ImagesMinnesota State Patrol stand guard as a few people who support President Donald Trump sit outside the state capitol building on Jan. 17 in St Paul. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images A woman and child look on as members of the Washington National Guard and state police stand outside the state Capitol in Olympia, Washington, on Jan. 17. Photo: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty ImagesA protester carries a crossbow outside the Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on Jan. 17. Photo: Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty ImagesAn armed member of the the Boogaloo Boys protests outside of the Kentucky State Capitol on Jan. in Frankfort. Photo: Jon Cherry/Getty ImagesMembers of the Utah National Guard stand watch as a man carries an upside down American flag as he walks the grounds of the Utah State Capitol building in Salt Lake City on Jan. 17. Photo: George Frey/AFP via Getty ImagesA Nevada Highway Patrol vehicle passes by the State Capitol on Jan. in Carson City. Photo: Ronda Churchill/AFP via Getty ImagesArmed groups rally in front of a closed Texas State Capitol in Austin on Jan. 17. Photo: Matthew Busch/AFP via Getty ImagesArmed members of the Boogaloo group in front of the State Capital in Concord, New Hampshire, on Jan. 17. Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty ImagesSupporters of the Second Amendment outside the Georgia Capitol building on Jan. 17 in Atlanta. Photo: Megan Varner/Getty ImagesA couple of Trump supporters outside the Colorado State Capitol on Jan. 17 in Denver. Photo: Michael Ciaglo/Getty ImagesNew Mexico State Police patrol around the state capitol in Santa Fe on Jan. 17. Photo: Paul Ratje/AFP via Getty ImagesTrump supporters stand outside the Capitol Building in Phoenix, Arizona, on Jan. 17. Photo: Olivier Touron/AFP via Getty ImagesA man speaks with law enforcement in front of the state capitol building in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, on Jan. 17. Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images Support safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
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In the final days of the Trump administration, Pompeo issued a flurry of decisions and promoted his record as a loyal servant of the president.
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Trump news - live: Pelosi raises alarm over loyalist installed at NSA, as Biden finalises inauguration speech
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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 What the Constitution really says about removal from office An 'influential' Palm Beach eye doctor is reportedly on Trump's clemency list Statehood for D.C. and Puerto Rico only needs 50 votes
China's Sinovac Biotech said on Monday that a clinical trial in Brazil showed its COVID-19 vaccine was almost 20 percentage points more effective in a small sub-group of patients who received their two doses longer apart. The protection rate for 1,394 participants who received doses of either CoronaVac or placebo three weeks apart was nearly 70%, a Sinovac spokesman said. Brazilian researchers announced last week that the vaccine's overall efficacy was 50.4% based on results from more than 9,000 volunteers, most of whom received doses 14 days apart, as outlined in the trial protocol.
In a briefing held ahead of Desert Storm's 30th anniversary, analysts revisited the elements that made it successful.
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The latest updates from the White House and beyond on 17 January 2021
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A Louisiana couple is suing the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office after the death of their severely autistic 16-year-old son, who they claim was killed by deputies who sat on him for over nine minutes. A teen’s death: In January of last year, Eric Parsa died while being restrained by JPSO deputies at the parking lot of a Metairie shopping center, CNN reports. Eric’s parents, Daren Parsa and Donna Lou filed a lawsuit on Thursday, releasing a new video showing how the incident unfolded.
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Rainforest frogs have evolved to wave instead of croak to attract females as waterfalls are too loud
Rainforest frogs have evolved to replace croaking with waving to attract females because waterfalls are too loud, a study has found. Glass frogs belonging to the Sachatamia orejuela species choose habitats located deep in the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador because they can blend in to the mossy surroundings and avoid predators. However the croaking of the frogs is often drowned out by the background noise of rushing water, even when they are in close proximity to their potential mates. The amphibians have now evolved and developed new techniques in an attempt to attract females, with individual frogs raising their hand above their body while bobbing their head. This is the first time that waving has been spotted in place of the traditional mating call, researchers from the University of California found. The frogs did not maintain their habit of waving during the entire observation period, which was attributed to the amount of energy that the gesture uses up. Different species of frog in the Borneo and Indian jungles have previously been spotted dancing as part of their mating rituals, but this was in addition to vocalisations rather than as a replacement. “A handful of other frog species around the world use visual signaling, in addition to high-pitched calls, to communicate in really loud environments,” said lead researcher Rebecca Brunner, a conservation biologist. “What's interesting is that these species are not closely related to each other, which means that these behaviours likely evolved independently, but in response to similar environments - a concept called convergent evolution.” Ms Brunner said that she hopes the findings will draw attention to the vast diversity of species that inhabit the Amazon. “One of the best things about fieldwork is that nature is always full of surprises, you never know what discoveries you may happen upon,” Ms Brunner said. The evolution from croaking with waving can create an added danger of its own to male frogs, the researchers also discovered. “Presumably visual cues also increase predation risk, although their habitats are incredibly slippery and hard to access,” they wrote. The findings were published in the journal Biology.