This year has been especially tough on seniors as the pandemic has left many feeling isolated. This Christmas Eve, Hoda and Jenna take us inside Washington Life Center in Marine City, Michigan, where the staff unwrapped holiday joy for its residents just in time for Christmas.
- Yahoo News
Over the past week, a growing number of Republicans began sounding the alarm about the number and content of executive orders being issued by President Joe Biden.
- Yahoo News
Black National Guardsman describes being deployed to protect Biden’s inauguration: 'I just felt this huge sense of pride'
As most of the 25,000 National Guardsmen who were called upon to protect Washington, D.C., during the presidential inauguration began heading home this week, one Black service member agreed to speak to Yahoo News about the experience of protecting the nation’s capital in the wake of a pro-Trump riot on Capitol Hill.
- 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.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic underlined the benefits of being part of the United Kingdom as he prepares to visit Scotland on Thursday to confront growing support for another independence referendum. The bonds holding together the United Kingdom have been severely strained over the last five years by Brexit, the government’s handling of the pandemic, and repeated calls by the Scottish National Party for a new referendum on independence. Ahead of his visit, Johnson said that Scotland as a part of the United Kingdom gained access to a coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and they are being administered by their shared armed forces, who are creating 80 new vaccine centres in Scotland.
- FOX News Videos
Steve Krakauer, editor at Fourth Watch, says 'it shouldn't be contingent' on one reporter to ask Biden tough questions.
- Yahoo News
Former President Donald Trump’s “big lie” about a stolen election may have been discredited over and over in the courts, and disgraced by the attack on the U.S. Capitol, but the corrosive effect of his dishonesty will linger on, complicating efforts to strengthen American elections.
- Architectural Digest
Let’s get loudOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- The Week
John Kerry: American workers 'fed a false narrative' that shift to clean energy is 'coming at their expense'
President Biden on Wednesday turned his attention to climate issues, signing executive orders that seek to halt new oil and gas leases on public lands and waters, conserve 30 percent of federal lands and waters by 2030, and find ways to double wind production by the same year. John Kerry, the first-ever United States Climate Envoy, championed the actions, reiterating his belief that the climate crisis is "existential" and "failure, literally, is not an option." While briefing reporters, Kerry was asked about potential job losses in the fossil fuel industry, and whether he had a message for workers who believe they are witnessing the end of their livelihoods. Kerry explained that those workers "have been fed a false narrative" by the Trump administration about the shift to clean energy, which he said will not come "at their expense." He added that, before the COVID-19 pandemic, the solar and wind energy industries were growing swiftly, while coal plants have been closing over the last few decades. "The same people can do those jobs. But the choice of doing the solar power one now is a better choice," he said, also pointing out the health risks associated with coal mining. John Kerry says oil and gas workers have been fed a "false narrative" that action on climate change will hurt their livelihoods, and that President Biden wants to "make sure that those folks have better choices" for jobs in the energy sector https://t.co/Nj065CIsxp pic.twitter.com/czkjomesi8 — CBS News (@CBSNews) January 27, 2021 Republicans like Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) weren't buying the reassurance, suggesting that Kerry's statement lacked empathy, although he didn't explicitly refute the notion that an industry transition may be feasible for fossil fuel workers. John Kerry's message to the tens of thousands of Americans who lost their jobs thanks to the Biden administration: go make solar panels. Where is the empathy that Joe Biden promised in his inauguration? https://t.co/CvQovUlEoD — Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) January 27, 2021 More stories from theweek.com5 brutally funny cartoons about the GOP's Trump problemWith Senate Republicans balking at convicting Trump, Democrats explore alternative censuresBiden is not going to get his $1.9 trillion stimulus plan. And that's okay.
- The Independent
Jill Biden spent her first week as First Lady reshaping the role. Melania Trump spent hers isolated in a tower
New first lady signals she will be an active and constant presence in the White House - drawing stark contrasts to her predecessor
- Associated Press
Authorities in Singapore have detained without trial a 16-year-old student who made detailed plans and preparations to carry out “terrorist attacks” on two mosques with a machete. The Singaporean teen was inspired by an Australian white supremacist who killed 51 worshippers at two mosques in New Zealand in 2019, the Internal Security Department said Wednesday. The teen detained in December was the youngest terror suspect to be held under the country's Internal Security Act, it added.
- The Telegraph
For much of the European press, the public spat between the European Union and AstraZeneca was just the latest Brexit battle — but there was little support for the EU’s position. Prime Minister Boris Johnson refused on Wednesday to divert millions British-made doses to the EU, which is months behind in its coronavirus vaccination rollout. The decision has been ruled a Brexit victory - even by EU member states. “The European Commission is providing the best advertisement for Brexit,” Germany’s Zeit newspaper wrote. "It is acting slowly, bureaucratically and in a protectionist manner. And if something goes wrong, it's everyone else's fault.” The EU delayed approving a vaccination by months, leaving it vulnerable to shortages, while Britain placed its faith in AstraZeneca before its effectiveness had been confirmed. As Europe's supplies dwindle, meetings between Britain and the EU have become increasingly frantic. Influential MEPs are stoking talk of a trade war. "How did the atmosphere get so poisoned?“ Germany’s Bild asked, under a headline of “Vaccine row gets ever crazier”.
- The Week
President Biden announced Tuesday that his administration intends to order an additional 100 million doses of both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines. The extra 200 million doses, which Biden said should arrive by the summer, would boost the country's supply by about 50 percent to 600 million shots total, meaning that there would be enough shots available to inoculate 300 million people in the coming months without the Food and Drug Administration granting approval for any other vaccine candidates. Pres. Biden says his admin has ordered 200 million more COVID-19 vaccine doses that will be available by summer, increasing the total number ordered from 400 million to 600 million pic.twitter.com/VFZ3qTmUK9 — NowThis (@nowthisnews) January 26, 2021 It's another sign that the government is raising expectations for the vaccine rollout. On Monday, Biden upped the daily vaccination goal from 1 million to 1.5 million throughout his first 100 days in office and suggested that any American who wants a shot could be able to get one by the spring. FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver applauded the administration for getting more ambitious, though he noted it could be difficult — impossible, even, unless the shots are approved for children — to find 300 million willing Americans to get vaccinated by the end of summer. In practice it's going to be hard to find 300m Americans willing to get vaccinated by Sept. 22. (It's literally impossible until vaccines are approved for children.) And we'll probably eventually mix in some one-dose vaccines. Still, ramping up to 2-2.5m/day is a laudable goal. — Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) January 26, 2021 More stories from theweek.com5 brutally funny cartoons about the GOP's Trump problemWith Senate Republicans balking at convicting Trump, Democrats explore alternative censuresBiden is not going to get his $1.9 trillion stimulus plan. And that's okay.
- Associated Press
An Alaska department plans to investigate the issuance of “3REICH” personalized license plates, while a spokesperson for Gov. Mike Dunleavy said Dunleavy removed a member of Alaska's Human Rights Commission for comments she made about the controversy. The issue drew attention after a former newspaper editor, Matt Tunseth, posted a picture of the plate on social media. Debate over the issue gained traction on social media and blogs over the weekend, and Department of Administration Commissioner Kelly Tshibaka announced Monday that she was ordering a review of Division of Motor Vehicles' processes to determine how the plates were issued.
Ghislaine Maxwell asked a U.S. judge to dismiss the criminal case accusing her of recruiting teenage girls for Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse, citing various grounds including that an agreement not to prosecute the late financier also shielded her. In court filings on Monday night, lawyers for the British socialite also complained that not enough Black and Hispanic grand jurors were used to indict her, and that parts of the indictment were too vague and should be thrown out. A spokesman for U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss in Manhattan declined to comment on Tuesday.
- National Review
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) and 45 members of his caucus backed an effort to declare the impeachment trial of former President Trump “unconstitutional” on Tuesday. McConnell’s colleague from Kentucky, Senator Rand Paul, introduced a point of order on Tuesday to declare Trump’s impeachment trial unconstitutional on the grounds that a president can’t be impeached once he has left office. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer then moved to table Paul’s point of order, blocking the effort to preemptively invalidate the impeachment trial. McConnell joined all but five Senate Republicans in opposing Schumer, signaling a willingness to entertain the argument that the impending trial is unconstitutional. The point of order resolution effectively forced Republicans to declare on the record whether they consider the impeachment trial constitutional, given that it’s taking place after Trump has left office. The resolution failed after a majority of senators voted in favor of Schumer’s move to table it, meaning the impeachment trial will go ahead as planned. However, only five Republicans voted against the resolution: Mitt Romney of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. At the close of the impeachment trial itself, at least 17 Republican senators would need to join Democrats in order to convict Trump. “I think there will be enough support on” the point-of-order resolution “to show there’s no chance they can impeach the president,” Paul told reporters before the vote on Tuesday. “If 34 people support my resolution that this is an unconstitutional proceeding, it shows they don’t have the votes and we’re basically wasting our time.” Senator Collins said following the vote that there would be little chance of an impeachment conviction. “I think it’s pretty obvious from the vote today that it is extraordinary unlikely that the president will be convicted,” Collins told The New York Times. “Just do the math.” McConnell was reportedly pleased with the idea of impeaching Trump, after the former president incited a mob of his supporters to amass at the Capitol on January 6, though the majority leader later said publicly that he hadn’t decided whether to vote to convict. The mob breached the Capitol and forced lawmakers to evacuate, and five people died in the riots including a Capitol police officer. An impeachment conviction could allow the Senate to bar Trump from running for office again, however a number of Republican senators have come out against the impeachment push. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida said it would be “arrogant” for the Senate to prevent Trump from running again. “Voters get to decide that,” Rubio told Chis Wallace on Fox News Sunday. “Who are we to tell voters who they can vote for in the future?” Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas also voiced skepticism regarding the impeachment trial. “I think a lot of Americans are going to think it’s strange that the Senate is spending its time trying to convict and remove from office a man who left office a week ago,” Cotton told the Associated Press on Monday. Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that McConnell voted to declare Trump’s impeachment trial unconstitutional. In fact, the minority leader voted against a motion to table Senator Paul’s point of order, which deems the trial unconstitutional. We regret the error.
- The Telegraph
Joe Biden challenged Vladimir Putin over the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, and reports of Russian bounties on the heads of US soldiers in Afghanistan, in their first presidential phone call. Mr Biden also raised concerns about Russian "aggression" against Ukraine, and reaffirmed Washington's "strong support for Ukraine's sovereignty." The US president said he was willing to extend the New START nuclear arms control treaty for five years. Kremlin officials said documents had been exchanged to extend the pact. Mr Biden also raised concerns over Russian cyber hacking, interference in US elections, and treatment of peaceful protesters. Mr Biden made clear he would "act firmly in defence of our national interest in response to malign actions by Russia," the White House said. The Kremlin said Mr Putin told Mr Biden that he supports "normalisation" of relations between their two countries. Mr Putin "noted that the normalisation of relations between Russia and the United States" would benefit "the entire international community," the Kremlin said.
- Associated Press
Brazil’s ongoing military-led operation to curb illegal deforestation and fires in the Amazon rainforest will end April 30, Vice President Hamilton Mourão said at the World Economic Forum on Wednesday. Mourão defended the success of Operation Green Brazil 2, which was launched last May and saw deployment of thousands of soldiers across the Amazon. The vice president leads the government’s Amazon Council to fight deforestation in the region.
South Africa expects the flight carrying its first 1 million coronavirus vaccine doses to arrive on Feb. 1, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Wednesday, boosting efforts to curb a second wave of COVID-19 driven by a more contagious variant. The AstraZeneca shots, produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII), are destined for sorely stretched healthcare workers. South Africa has recorded the most coronavirus infections and deaths on the African continent, at more than 1.4 million cases and over 41,000 deaths to date.
- The Conversation
Rioters storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, seeking to intimidate politicians into overturning the presidential election. AP Photo/John MinchilloAs the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump approaches, federal officials are investigating threats to attack or kill members of Congress. This comes in the wake of the Capitol riot, when a mob stormed the building where members of the House and Senate were preparing to certify the presidential election. Some rioters reportedly threatened the lives of elected officials in both parties. When the House took up impeachment proceedings, Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives reportedly felt afraid to vote to impeach Trump – even fearing for their lives. A video also captured a group accosting Republican Lindsey Graham, a U.S. senator from South Carolina, screaming that he was a “traitor” after he declared that Joe Biden had been lawfully elected president. These threats do not simply reflect increased levels of anger and depravity among individual Americans. Rather, they appear to be evidence of a more systemic use of fear and intimidation in U.S. politics, seeking to force fealty from Republicans and reinforce the authoritarian turn that defined Donald Trump’s leadership. Engagement in public life in the U.S. has always carried risk, with public officials of both parties, journalists and even movie stars often the target of death threats and intimidation. With the advent of social media and the Trump presidency, however, the risks for public officials have grown substantially. As a professor of human rights and a practitioner of democracy-building and the rule of law, this trend symbolizes the depth of deterioration of democracy in the U.S. Political violence Before the insurrection, experts tracked current trends as part of a broader cycle of political violence in the U.S. that one analysis said “has occurred approximately every fifty years for the past two centuries.” Even with a transfer of power, the question remains whether America will finally break this cycle or whether Trump has just planted the seeds for the next time. Over the past few years, scholars and experts have warned that the U.S. is at risk of widespread political violence and democratic instability. They identify four interconnected factors that make a society vulnerable to violence that aims to affect political systems and decision-making: “Elite factionalization,” in which political parties engage in winner-take-all competition to promote their own interests at almost any cost. A high level of societal polarization. Weakening democratic institutions, such as electoral processes and law enforcement, due in part to the erosion of public trust and bipartisan support. A rise in hate speech and militant rhetoric. All of these are happening in the U.S. in significant measure. Before the November 2020 election, a group of scholars called attention to the fact that a large number of Americans said they would accept violence to advance their parties’ political goals. By the end of 2020, experts were raising the alarm that the country was spinning toward political violence. Supporters of President Donald Trump marched in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 14. AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin Radicalization of the right Trump’s claims of massive election fraud, intimidation of opponents and his own party members, attacks on free media and support for right-wing groups generated an extremist Make America Great Again movement. Observing a toxic mix of the president’s fabrications, the right-wing media ecosystem, conspiracy theories and increased isolation and insecurity due to COVID-19, former national security officials in late 2020 noted signs of “mass radicalization” in the U.S. This sequence of events fits with research showing how hate and radicalization progress toward extreme beliefs and behaviors, including participation in collective violence. Humans identify in groups and prioritize their own group. If there’s a threat of or competition between groups, some leaders will encourage followers to hate and dehumanize the other group – usually by painting their own group as a victim – and even to engage in violence or intimidation as self-defense. Group members who act in response, in turn, feel they’re contributing to their group’s survival. Trump altered the norms of acceptable rhetoric and behavior within the Republican Party. He increased the tolerance for intimidation, hate and bullying, and demonized the Democratic Party and social justice movements, like Black Lives Matter, as unpatriotic dangers to America. Before the 2020 election, evidence showed that the Republican Party had fewer democratic traits than almost all governing parties in the world’s democracies and “its rhetoric was closer to authoritarian parties, such as AKP in Turkey and Fidesz in Hungary.” These parties seek to build power by undermining democratic institutions, such as fair elections, independent judiciaries and media, and by using threatening rhetoric and being disrespectful of opponents. Trump also legitimized preexisting extremist groups that use violence and intimidation. The mob that stormed the Capitol consisted of a range of groups and individuals with diverse ideologies – including the ultra-nationalist Proud Boys, white supremacists, anti-government and pro-gun militias such as the Oath Keepers and Three Percenters, QAnon conspiracy followers, and common Trump supporters and Republican officials. They all came together as elements of Trump’s “Stop the Steal” effort to overturn the election of the actual winner, Joe Biden. The unifying narrative for them was the false idea that American democracy is under attack by Democrats and traitors, and that violence could be justified as part of patriotic self-defense. What happens to moderation? The Republican Party – with a few notable exceptions – embraced Donald Trump’s post-election rhetoric and the massive lie about election fraud. This is as a result of Trump’s control throughout the party, from its general members up through party leadership and affiliated media outlets – who felt obligated to support Trump no matter what he said or did. Even though many Republicans have denounced the use of violence on Jan. 6, most officials continue to validate their voters’ concerns about election integrity, which are rooted in the “Stop the Steal” effort. Republican Party members defend their actions by claiming they are legitimate efforts to protect democracy. As extremism rises, moderates who are willing to challenge the group’s direction are the first to be intimidated or silenced. Party leaders who have now called out the “Stop the Steal” lie and voted for impeachment are facing repercussions. Republican congressional leaders Kevin McCarthy, left, and Mitch McConnell, center, with then-President Donald Trump. AP Photo/Evan Vucci A legacy Though Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has repudiated the “Stop the Steal” lie, early indications are that the Republican Party overall remains entrenched in the defense of Trump and partisan rhetoric at any cost. Nearly 9 out of 10 Republicans approved of Trump’s job performance even after the Capitol attack. The climate in government continues to be fearful. Death threats against public officials of both parties are part of the justification for and opposition by Republicans to weapons checks required before entering the House floor. Research shows that political violence can reinforce a group’s existence, solidify members’ interconnections and beget more violence. Even if Trump remains out of power and off Twitter, the events leading up and including Jan. 6 may reinforce his supporters’ feelings of affiliation to a highly distorted narrative of patriotism within the Republican Party, and could deepen polarization and elite factionalism. This adds to the difficulty of reversing the party’s autocratic turn. [Deep knowledge, daily. Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter.] The aim of authoritarian parties is control or cooptation of law enforcement and the military, which are often seen as the last line of defense of democracy. This is why the potential that significant levels of sympathy, affiliation or even complicity with the MAGA movement exists within American police and the armed forces is so disturbing. As a new president takes office, the resilience of U.S. democracy is on display. President Biden has already declared his intention to combat domestic extremism and radicalization. Even though Democrats are now in power, what happens next with the Republican Party, and its financial backers and supporters, will remake or break America’s democracy.This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Shelley Inglis, University of Dayton. Read more:Capitol mob wasn’t just angry men – there were angry women as wellUS Capitol protesters, egged on by Trump, are part of a long history of white supremacists hearing politicians’ words as encouragement Shelley Inglis does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
- Yahoo News Video
The Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump on a charge of inciting the deadly Capitol siege could draw its first challenge on Tuesday, with a Republican senator arguing that trying Trump would violate the U.S. Constitution.