Sen. Tammy Duckworth called in to discuss her experience as protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol, denouncing them as a "mob."
- Associated Press
- The Week
A reserve of second-dose COVID-19 vaccines set to be repurposed as first doses is already empty, state and federal officials briefed on distribution plans tell The Washington Post.Both the coronavirus vaccines currently authorized in the U.S. require two doses to be fully effective. So when distribution of first doses began, the Trump administration held back matching second doses to make sure recipients would be fully protected against COVID-19. Amid a massive demand for more doses, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced earlier this week that the department would begin doling out those reserved doses to more people, saying increased production speed would make up for the soon-to-be-depleted reserve.But as officials soon learned, the federal government had stopped stockpiling second dose vaccines weeks ago, they tell the Post. Both first and second doses were instead taken right off the manufacturing line. That meant Azar's announcement reportedly released a stockpile that didn't exist. The U.S. had already reached its maximum distribution capacity, and new doses distributors were expecting next week weren't coming, the Post reports.HHS spokesperson Michael Pratt confirmed in an email to the Post that the last of the reserve had been taken out for shipment this weekend. He didn't acknowledge Azar's comments, but said Operation Warp Speed had "always intended to transition from holding second doses in reserve as manufacturing stabilizes and we gained confidence in the ability for a consistent flow of vaccines." he also said states had only ordered 75 percent of the vaccines available to them. Read more at The Washington Post.More stories from theweek.com Trump's vaccine delay is getting suspicious The worst-case scenario for America's immediate future 5 scathing cartoons about Trump's second impeachment
- The Independent
- Associated Press
- National Review
- The Week
FBI says over 100 people arrested for Capitol siege, including 'liberal activist,' Confederate flag bearer
FBI Director Christopher Wray, in his first public comments since the Jan. 6 violent siege of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Trump, said Thursday that law enforcement has arrested more than 100 people in connection with the assault and is aware of "an extensive amount of concerning online chatter" ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's Jan. 20 inauguration.Most of those arrested so far have been far-right militants, off-duty police, retired military personnel, GOP officials, QAnon adherents, and white supremacists. For example, the man photographed carrying a Confederate battle flag through the Capitol, Kevin Seefried, and his son, Hunter Seefried, surrendered to the FBI in Delaware on Thursday, the Justice Department said.Embed from Getty ImagesAuthorities also arrested "liberal activist" John Sullivan on Thursday, making him, Politico says, "the first person to be charged who appears to have been active in liberal causes." Sullivan, who filmed the siege, claims he was just following the rioters as a "journalist," but the FBI said his own video showed him to be a booster of the lawlessness and even an active participant.Trump supporters, including Rudy Giuliani, and conservative media outlets pointed to Sullivan's arrest to bolster their counterfactual claim that "antifa" or Black Lives Matter were actually behind the assault on the Capitol. But "even before his arrest, left wing activists had described concerns in that community, going back some time, that Sullivan was a provocateur working with others, including his brother James, who has ties to the Proud Boys and runs a pro-Trump organization," Marcy Wheeler notes at EmptyWheel.> pic.twitter.com/oRri9hyHGv> > — New York City Antifa (@NYCAntifa) January 7, 2021"Sullivan's presence in the Capitol, and his previous record of anti-Trump activism, has been the focus of frenzied attention in the right-wing media," Robert Mackey reports at The Intercept, while "left-wing organizers have been keen to stress that they ejected Sullivan from their ranks months ago." Since adopting the nom de guerre "Activist John" last summer, Mackey notes, Sullivan has been blacklisted by "left-wing organizers associated with Black Lives Matter and antifascism in Utah, California, and the Pacific Northwest" who say he's "either a right-wing infiltrator or a dangerously naive amateur."More stories from theweek.com Trump's vaccine delay is getting suspicious The worst-case scenario for America's immediate future 5 scathing cartoons about Trump's second impeachment
- NBC News
Selena Roth, a 25-year-old Army veteran and spouse, was killed at Schofield Barracks on Oahu.
- Associated Press
- The Telegraph
- The Week
The man accused of throwing a fire extinguisher during the Washington, D.C. riots last week has been arrested. Robert Sanford, a retired Chester Fire Department firefighter, was arrested on Thursday and charged with assault on a police officer, among other offenses. Attorney Enrique Latoison argues Sanford went on a free bus to the rally for Trump at the Capitol, but he did not enter the government building.
- The Conversation
The Confederate battle flag, which rioters flew inside the US Capitol, has long been a symbol of white insurrection
A historic first: the Confederate battle flag inside the U.S. Capitol. Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty ImagesConfederate soldiers never reached the Capitol during the Civil War. But the Confederate battle flag was flown by rioters in the U.S. Capitol building for the first time ever on Jan. 6. The flag’s prominence in the Capitol riot comes as no surprise to those who, like me, know its history: Since its debut during the Civil War, the Confederate battle flag has been flown regularly by white insurrectionists and reactionaries fighting against rising tides of newly won Black political power. An 1897 lithograph shows changes in Confederate flag design. The ‘Southern Cross’ design, chosen to visually distinguish Confederates from Union soldiers in battle, became a symbol of white insurrection. Library of Congress via National Geographic The infamous diagonal blue cross with white stars on a red background was never the Confederacy’s official symbol. The Confederacy’s original “stars and bars” design was too similar to the U.S. flag, which led to confusion on the battlefields, where troop positions were marked by flags. The official flag went through a series of changes in attempts to distinguish Confederate from Union troops. The Confederacy would ultimately adopt the “Southern Cross” as its battle flag – cementing it as a symbol of white insurrection. While it is technically the battle flag, it has been used the most, and therefore has become known more generally as the Confederate flag. The Confederate battle flag figures prominently in this depiction of the 1864 battle of Franklin, Tennessee. Kurz and Allison, restoration by Adam Cuerden, via Wikimedia Commons The original emblem Six decades before the Nazi swastika became an instantly recognizable symbol of white supremacists, the Confederate battle flag flew over the forces of the insurgent Confederate States of America – military troops organized in revolt against the idea that the federal government could outlaw slavery. The founding documents of the Confederacy make its goals of white supremacy and preservation of slavery explicitly clear. In March 1861, Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens declared of the Confederacy, “its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition.” The documents drafted by seceding states make this same point. Mississippi’s declaration, for instance, was very specific: “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery – the greatest material interest of the world.” Rioting white students at University of Mississippi hoist a Confederate battle flag in a backlash against James Meredith’s attendance as the first Black student in 1962. Bettman via Getty Images Backlash against racial integration After the Civil War, Confederate veterans groups used the flag at their meetings to commemorate fallen soldiers, but otherwise the flag mostly disappeared from public life. After World War II, though, the flag surfaced as part of a backlash against racial integration. Black soldiers who fought discrimination abroad experienced discrimination when they came home. Racist violence against Black veterans who had returned from battle prompted President Harry Truman to issue an executive order desegregating the military and banning discrimination in federal hiring. Truman also asked Congress to pass a federal ban on lynching, one of nearly 200 unsuccessful attempts to do so. In 1948, the retaliation for Truman’s integration efforts came, and the Confederate battle flag resurfaced as a symbol of white supremacist public intimidation. That year, U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond, a South Carolina Democrat, ran for president as the leader of a new political party of segregationist Southern Democrats, nicknamed the “Dixiecrats.” At their rallies and riots, they opposed Truman’s integration under the banner of the Confederate battle flag. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, white Southerners flew the Confederate battle flag at riots – including violent ones – to oppose racial integration, especially in schools. For example, in 1962, white students at the University of Mississippi hoisted it at a riot defying James Meredith’s enrollment as the university’s first Black student. It took the deployment of 30,000 U.S. troops, federal marshals and National Guardsmen to get Meredith to class after the violent race riot left two dead. Historian William Doyle called the riot – which featured the Confederate battle flag at its center – an “American insurrection.” Charleston, Charlottesville and the Capitol More recently, the Black Lives Matter era has seen an increase in violent incidents involving the Confederate battle flag. It has now featured prominently in at least three recent major violent events carried out by people on the far right. In 2015, a white supremacist who had posed with the Confederate battle flag online killed nine Black parishioners during a prayer meeting at their church. In 2017, neo-Nazis and other white supremacists carried the battle flag when they marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, seeking to prevent the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. One white supremacist drove his car through a crowd of anti-racist counterprotestors, killing Heather Heyer. [Deep knowledge, daily. Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter.] At the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, an image of an insurrectionist toting the Confederate battle flag inside the Capitol building arguably distills the siege’s dark historical context. In the background of the photo are the portraits of two Civil War-era U.S. senators – one an ardent proponent of slavery and the other an abolitionist once beaten unconscious for his views on the Senate floor. A man carries the Confederate battle flag in the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, between portraits of senators who both opposed and supported slavery. Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images The flag has always represented white resistance to increasing Black power. It may be a coincidence of exact timing, but certainly not of context, that the riot happened the day after Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff won U.S. Senate seats representing Georgia. Respectively, they are the first Black and first Jewish senators from the former Confederate state. Warnock will be only the second Black senator from below the Mason-Dixon Line since Reconstruction. Their historic victories – and President-elect Joe Biden’s – in Georgia happened through large-scale organizing and turnout of people of color, especially Black people. Since 2014, nearly 2 million voters have been added to the rolls in Georgia, signaling a new bloc of Black voting power. It should come as no surprise, then, that today’s white insurrectionists opposed to the shifting tides of power identify with the Confederate battle flag.This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Jordan Brasher, Columbus State University. Read more:Capitol siege raises questions over extent of white supremacist infiltration of US policeA second impeachment is just the start of Trump’s legal woes Jordan Brasher 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.
- Architectural Digest
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.
- The Guardian
Gen Salvador Cienfuegos was arrested last October for allegedly shielding a conspiracy to smuggle drugs into the US Gen Salvador Cienfuegos in Mexico City on 14 September 2016. Photograph: Rebecca Blackwell/AP Mexico has exonerated a former defense minister who US prosecutors alleged was a drug capo nicknamed The Godfather, sparking outrage and claims that the country’s powerful armed forces have become untouchable. Gen Salvador Cienfuegos was arrested at a Los Angeles airport last October for allegedly shielding a multimillion-dollar conspiracy to smuggle drugs into the US. But those charges were dropped by the justice department in November as part of a controversial backroom deal and Cienfuegos returned home to Mexico. On Thursday night Mexico’s attorney general’s office announced it was completely absolving Cienfuegos, the defense chief under the former president Enrique Peña Nieto between 2012 and 2018. It claimed its investigators had found the 72-year-old general had neither met nor communicated with “any criminal group”. Mexico’s nationalist president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who is heavily reliant on the military, defended the move at one of his daily early morning press conferences on Friday. López Obrador, who is best known as Amlo, insisted his government opposed impunity and corruption – but nor were “retaliation” or “revenge” acceptable. “You can just invent crimes,” Amlo added, accusing the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of “fabricating” evidence against Cienfuegos. Those remarks will do little to calm anger over the general’s apparent escape from justice, both in Mexico and the US. Ernesto López Portillo, who runs the citizen security program at Mexico’s Ibero-American University, said the most troubling aspect of the saga was not the thought that the attorney general’s office might have given the green light to such impunity. “It’s the possibility that this impunity is the result of the armed forces imposing itself on the president himself. That is the most serious hypothesis of all,” López Portillo tweeted. Mike Vigil, the DEA’s former chief of international operations, told the Associated Press the decision “could be the straw that broke the camel’s back as far as US-Mexico cooperation in counter-drug activities”. Falko Ernst tweeted: “Holding the upper echelons of state power accountable is a necessary condition for breaking Mexico’s perpetual lethal conflict. Today cements a leap away from this.” Denise Dresser, a prominent political observer and government critic, tweeted: “Salvador Cienfuegos’s exoneration shows how the armed forces are untouchable, they are above the law … and will remain beyond democratic scrutiny.” Dresser claimed the exoneration suggested that the armed forces – which she called Mexico’s “new mafia in power” – are in fact governing Latin America’s number two economy. That was a clear reference to Amlo’s longstanding pledge to fight what he calls Mexico’s “mafia of power”. Mexico’s leader won a landslide election in 2018 promising to eradicate corruption and dismantle what he paints as Mexico’s hidden and dishonest elite. On Friday, Mexico’s president insisted he stood by those pledges. But Amlo acknowledged adversaries would use the exoneration “to attack us and convince people that we are all the same, that there has been no change, that we are cover-uppers and accomplices and tools of of vested interest groups and foreign governments”. The former DEA chief Vigil said the exoneration showed that “despite the political rhetoric of wanting to eliminate corruption, such is obviously not the case”. “The rule of law has been significantly violated,” he added.
- Yahoo News Video
- Associated Press
Vice President Mike Pence has called his soon-to-be successor Kamala Harris to offer his congratulations, according to two people familiar with the conversation. President Donald Trump has not reached out to President-elect Joe Biden and has repeatedly questioned the legitimacy of Biden’s win. Pence will also attend Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration, which Trump is refusing to attend.
- The Telegraph