More snow on the way
- Yahoo News
These are the issues the Biden administration will be dealing with on the foreign policy front.
- NBC News
- The Week
- Associated Press
A former Transportation Security Administration agent who was accused of tricking a traveler into showing her breasts as she went through security at Los Angeles International Airport pleaded no contest Friday to false imprisonment, authorities said. Johnathon Lomeli entered the plea to a felony count and was sentenced to 60 days in county jail, 52 classes addressing sexual compulsion and two years of probation, California's attorney general's office announced. Lomeli was also barred from working as a security guard.
- The Telegraph
The South African Covid variant could make current vaccines 50 per cent less effective, Matt Hancock has claimed. In video footage of a webinar with travel agents, the Health Secretary warned that the importation of the variant could ruin Britain's vaccination drive and send the country "back to square one" without tough travel restrictions. Mr Hancock is among a number of ministers pushing for tougher travel restrictions modelled on Australia and New Zealand, which have closed their borders to non-residents and require all returning nationals to quarantine in Government-approved hotels. Speaking ahead of a Cabinet Covid-O Cabinet meeting at which ministers will consider similar UK border closures and quarantine hotels, Mr Hancock admitted that the data showing the South African variant reduced vaccine efficacy by 50 per cent was not certain "so I wouldn’t say this in public". He added: "Nevertheless, if you vaccinate the entire population and then you get in a new variant that evaded the vaccine, then you'd be back to square one. And so tougher international restrictions are the price that, for instance, Australia has paid for stronger domestic protection, as in more life getting back to normal domestically."
- Yahoo News Video
A woman facing charges that she helped steal a laptop from the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the attack on the U.S. Capitol will be released from jail, a federal judge decided Thursday.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing the Biden administration in federal district court over its 100-day freeze on deporting unauthorized immigrants, and asking for a temporary restraining order.Between the lines: The freeze went into effect Friday, temporarily halting most immigration enforcement in the U.S. In the lawsuit, Paxton claims the move "violates the U.S. Constitution, federal immigration and administrative law, and a contractual agreement between Texas" and the Department of Homeland Security. Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America. * Leon Fresco, an immigration attorney, told Axios that the lawsuit is likely to fail at fully reinstating deportations because a judge cannot force Immigration and Customs Enforcement to remove any particular person. * The executive branch has broad authority over immigration enforcement, as was seen in both President Obama and President Trump's administrations. What they're saying: In the announcement of the moratorium on Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security said the pause on deportations would "allow DHS to ensure that its resources are dedicated to responding to the most pressing challenges that the United States faces." * In Paxton's request for a temporary restraining order, he claims, "Without emergency relief, Texas faces irreparable harm from having to provide costly educational, social, welfare, healthcare, and other services to illegal aliens who remain in Texas because Defendants have ceased removing them."The White House has not yet responded to Axios' request for comment.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- The Independent
Former police officer who climbed over fences to get into Capitol during riot claims he was there to see art
Regular phone camera roll shows no images from January 6 but ‘deleted’ folder filled with images and videos of officer inside Capitol building during riot
- National Review
- NBC News
- The Telegraph
Spain will be “more ready” to welcome holidaymakers once 70 per cent of the country are vaccinated at the end of the summer, the PM has said, casting doubt on travel plans this year. Pime Minister Pedro Sánchez echoed other government ministers in saying that this threshold would probably not be reached until the end of August. “The government is working to vaccinate at the highest possible rate […] to reach the end of the summer with 70 per cent, which will leave Spain progressively more ready to receive international tourists”, Mr Sánchez said at a World Tourism Organization event in Madrid this week. “The tourism recovery begins with vaccination. And full recovery, with full vaccination,” the Spanish leader stated, leaving the door open for some easing of restrictions before the 70 per cent safety level is reached. But Spain’s tourism and industry minister, Reyes Maroto, stepped in on Friday to reassure the sector that plans were afoot to save at least part of the summer season. “We hope that at the end of spring and especially during the summer, international travel will resume and travellers will choose Spain as their destination,” Ms Maroto said. Mr Sánchez said Spain’s Covid vaccination campaign was going well and was “one of the best in Europe”, but a considerable acceleration will be required to protect 70 per cent of the population in time to restart the country’s stalled tourism sector this year. After nearly four weeks since the start of the vaccination campaign, Spain has delivered 1.1 million jabs, equalling just over two per cent of the population, with very few having had their second injection. Before the Covid pandemic, tourism represented 12 per cent of the Spanish economy, with close to 84 million international arrivals in 2019. Spain is one of several European Union countries supporting the introduction of a system of Covid vaccine passports to allow people who have been inoculated to travel. “This would be a shared and reliable framework to help avoid indiscriminate measures such as quarantines and travel bans,” Ms Maroto said. It came as Belgium’s consultation committee banned non-essential travel to and from the country from January 27 to March 1 on Friday. Alexander De Croo, the prime minister, had said he wanted to impose the ban at Thursday’s video summit of EU leaders. Belgian media reported his mind was made up after 160,000 travelled abroad for the Christmas holidays despite warnings not to do so. All travellers from the UK, South Africa and South America will have to go into quarantine for 10 days and be tested on the first and seventh day. Non-residents will have to be tested on departure and arrival “Let this be clear: we are not building a wall around our country,” said Mr De Croo. “Coming and going is still possible, but there will have to be a good reason.” Meanwhile France is to make PCR tests compulsory for all travellers into the country, including from fellow EU countries, starting Sunday, President Emmanuel Macron's office confirmed yesterday/FRI The rule, which is already in place for people travelling between the UK and France, applies to all but cross-border workers and land transportation. The new restrictions come as a top French epidemiologist and government adviser warned that the country will have to resort to a strict lockdown like those in Ireland and Britain if it fails to rein in the more contagious variants of the coronavirus.
- The Independent
‘There was a protocol breach when the front doors were not held open’
Germany on Friday rejected a claim by Argentina that a request by airline Lufthansa to fly over Argentina en route to the Falkland Islands implied a recognition of them as Argentine territory. Argentina and Britain have long disputed ownership of the Falklands, with Argentina claiming sovereignty over the British-run islands it calls the Malvinas.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday expressed his "disappointment" with President Biden's executive order to rescind permits for the Keystone XL pipeline, in a readout of the president's first official call with a foreign leader.Why it matters: The prime minister has long backed the pipeline meant to carry crude oil from Alberta to Nebraska. Biden, however, campaigned on the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.What he's saying: In a news conference earlier Friday, Trudeau said: “We have so much alignment — not just me and President Biden, but Canadians and President Biden." He added, "I’m very much looking forward to working with President Biden,” per the New York Times. * On the call, however, Trudeau "raised Canada’s disappointment with the United States’ decision on the Keystone XL pipeline," according to the readout. * "The Prime Minister underscored the important economic and energy security benefits of our bilateral energy relationship as well as his support for energy workers."The big picture: The pipeline project originally came with an $8 billion price tag and was expected to carry roughly 830,000 barrels of crude oil daily from Canada through Nebraska, per The Washington Post. * Though President Obama rejected the pipeline, President Trump gave it the green light once in office. * Lawsuits slowed construction on the project throughout Trump's administration. * Two Native American communities sued the government over the pipeline last year, charging the government did not consult with tribes on the pipeline's proposed path, which crosses tribal lands. * Its permit repeal is one of several "critical first steps to address the climate crisis, create good union jobs, and advance environmental justice, while reversing the previous administration’s harmful policies," according to the Biden administration.In their Friday call, the two leaders discussed collaborating on COVID vaccines and the flow of critical medical supplies, efforts to work with Indigenous people and plans to address climate change through cross-border clean electricity transmission and net-zero emissions. * "Both leaders have made combating climate change, defending human rights and strengthening international institutions central to their platforms," the Times writes. * "The leaders reiterated their firm commitment to multilateral institutions and alliance," per the readout.Flashback: In 2017, Trudeau touted the Keystone XL pipeline, saying: "No country would find 173 billion barrels of oil in the ground and just leave them there. The resource will be developed. Our job is to ensure that this is done responsibly, safely and sustainably." Go deeper: Biden talks climate in calls with foreign leadersBe smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.
- NBC News
Freshman Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene is facing calls to resign after a resurfaced Facebook post revealed that she agreed with a 2018 Parkland shooting conspiracy. The tragic shooting, which occurred in Parkland, Fla., at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School left 17 people dead, including 14 schoolchildren. Screenshots provided by liberal watchdog Media Matters for America reveals Taylor Greene, who was elected in November to represent Georgia’s 14th congressional district, agreed with a comment that called the shooting a “false flag,” a long-peddled conspiracy theory that the shooting was set up or that it was carried out by another individual or group, CNN reports.
- Architectural Digest
- The Telegraph
Social worker who died after secret liposuction in Turkey struggled to communicate with doctors after surgery, inquest hears
A social worker who died after having secret liposuction in Turkey struggled to communicate with doctors due to the language barrier, an inquest has heard. Abimbola Bamgbose, 38, left the UK on Aug 16 for what her husband believed was a week-long holiday with some friends in the coastal city of Izmir. However, the mother of three underwent the fat-removal procedure at a private medical centre the day after she arrived. She died 15 days later after developing peritonitis and multi-organ failure. Her bowel had been perforated during surgery. At an inquest into her death, it emerged that Ms Bamgbose had struggled to communicate with doctors after she started to feel unwell following the operation. Her husband of eight years, Moyosore Olowo, told the coroner that he had urged her to explain to doctors that she was experiencing severe stomach pains. But, he said she told him they didn't speak English and she was struggling to make clear how serious her symptoms were. Describing his reaction to finding out his wife had travelled to Turkey for surgery rather than just a holiday, Mr Olowo said: "Initially I was upset. She had talked about surgery before like liposuction. She had been to a clinic in the UK but found it was too expensive. "I wasn't really happy but I told her 'okay, you've had it now, when you get back home we will discuss the rest'. "I think she was tired of people asking 'are you pregnant?' and 'why is your tummy so big?'. I think it got to her head." Mr Olowo, a rail safety officer, said he was aware that she had been researching slimming procedures online before going on the trip. She had visited a surgery in south east London but found the operations were too expensive, the inquest heard. The day after having the £5,000 operation in Izmir, Ms Bamgbose called her husband to tell him. Mr Olowo was growing increasingly concerned for his wife's health after her stomach pains worsened, and he flew to Turkey on Aug 25. By now, Ms Bamgbose had been admitted to intensive care. Her surgeon informed Mr Olowo through a video call that she had died on Aug 31. A post-mortem carried out in the UK found that she had puncture marks on her stomach where the liposuction device had been inserted during surgery. The consultant pathologist said she had suffered one of the worst cases of peritonitis he had ever seen. Coroner Alan Blunsdon, sitting at County Hall in Maidstone, Kent, recorded a narrative conclusion that Ms Bamgbose died after her bowel was perforated during surgery. He told Mr Olowo: "Can I lastly extend to you my deepest condolences and to the family and friends of Ms Bamgbose in what has been a very, very sad case." A fundraising page was set up to finance a funeral for Ms Bamgbose, who worked as a hospital social worker for Thurrock Council. It raised more than £3,500. Set up by her colleagues, it described her as a "popular, funny, lively and caring" woman who "balanced a demanding job as a newly qualified social worker alongside caring for her children", who are aged between seven and 12. The page read: "Abi had a bright future, she worked so hard to get her qualification and was just beginning to get the rewards she deserved. We are struggling to believe she is gone." Almost 20 per cent of plastic surgery patients in Turkey came from abroad in 2019, according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. It remains one of the most popular destinations for cosmetic surgery health tourism.
- The Week
President Biden has issued another two executive orders aimed at the coronavirus pandemic's economic fallout.Millions of Americans have claimed unemployment insurance as they lost their jobs amid the pandemic, not to mention thousands of noncitizen workers who haven't been eligible for the benefits. Congress has so far passed two relief bills aimed at helping those who have lost their jobs, though many families are still struggling. Biden is pushing Congress to pass another $1.9 trillion stimulus program, but took initial and immediate relief steps Friday with another round of executive orders.The first order would increase how much families are given through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program each week. About 12 million families rely on the program, and this order would boost food stamp benefits for a family of four by 15 percent, National Economic Council Director Brian Deese tells The New York Times. And while Biden has called for another round of $1,400 stimulus checks, this order would direct the IRS to ensure Americans are getting their $600 payments as well. Notably, the order will also let people claim unemployment benefits even if they quit their job because they feel unsafe working it during the pandemic, among other economic benefits aimed at low-income Americans.The second order meanwhile lays the groundwork for ensuring federal workers and contractors are paid at least $15 per hour and can access paid leave, CNN reports. It also undoes some of former President Donald Trump's orders that let a president hire and fire employees for political reasons and limited federal workers' bargaining rights.Biden has spent the first two days of his presidency issuing executive orders to combat Trump's policies on immigration, climate, the pandemic, and more.More stories from theweek.com 7 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's White House exit McConnell is already moving to strangle the Biden presidency Nearly 200 National Guard members have reportedly gotten COVID-19 since the Capitol riot