Florida lottery players have a chance to win big this weekend as America’s dueling jackpots, Mega Millions and Powerball continue to club for a combined total of $980 million. Katie Johnston reports.
- Yahoo News
President Joe Biden issued a warning Wednesday to his appointees that a hostile workplace will not be allowed in his administration.
- Associated Press
Two Florida men, including a self-described organizer for the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group, were arrested Wednesday for taking part in the siege of the U.S. Capitol earlier this month, authorities said. Joseph Biggs, 37, was arrested in central Florida and faces charges of obstructing an official proceeding before Congress, entering a restricted on the groups of the U.S. Capitol and disorderly conduct. According to an arrest affidavit, Biggs was part of a crowd on Jan. 6 that overwhelmed Capitol Police officers who were manning a metal barrier on the steps of the Capitol.
- The Independent
President says he will not reveal details until speaking to predecessor
Reproduced from Pew Research Center; Map: Axios VisualsPresident-elect Joe Biden is calling to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, which is nearly double the current $7.25. The move would be the first change to the federal minimum wage since 2009. Why it matters: The pandemic exposed the ugly ways in which America treats low-wage employees — even when they're doing essential jobs. Raising the federal minimum wage would put more money into the pockets of many of these same essential workers who have been on the front lines throughout the pandemic. Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.What to watch: $15 an hour would have a massive impact in smaller cities and in the middle of the country. * Lots of larger metros, including San Francisco and New York, already have $15 or higher minimum hourly wages. In those places, the cost of living is so high that $15 feels more like $12 (see map above). * But in smaller cities, where the minimum wage is much closer to $7.25 and the median wage is closer to $15, the federal bump would make a huge difference.All told, "hiking the national minimum to $15 an hour by 2025 would lift 1.3 million workers above wages that put them below the poverty line," CBS reports, citing an analysis from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. * Yes, but: The CBO also estimates that the hike could cost $1.3 million jobs, as small businesses unable to pay their workers $15 an hour lay people off or go out of business.Go deeper: Government minimum wage hikes pay off for low-wage workersBe smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.
- Associated Press
- The Week
Melania Trump was reportedly "emotionally checked out" long before boarding Air Force One to leave D.C. on Wednesday, going as far as to outsource writing her "thank you" notes to the White House residence staff, The New York Times and CNN report.Traditionally, the first family of the United States will write short cards to their household staff, thanking them for taking care of them over the past four to eight years. The cards tend to be intimate and "much of the correspondence includes personal anecdotes and the letters become 'cherished keepsakes' for the residence staff," such as the butlers, cooks, and housekeepers, who do not tend to turn-over between administrations, CNN writes.Melania Trump, however, reportedly did not personally write the cards for the approximately 80 staff members charged with caring for her, her husband, and her teenage son, Barron, while they lived in the White House. Instead, she is said to have instructed a "lower-level East Wing staffer" to write the type-written notes "in her voice," and then signed her name."I think she was a reluctant first lady and she did it for her husband," society publicist R. Couri Hay, who knows Trump from New York, told The New York Times. He added that after she departs Washington, "I think that you will find that she will be even less visible, and less available."More stories from theweek.com Bernie Sanders steals the inauguration with his grumpy chic outfit Harris swears in 3 new Democratic senators A lone man knelt at Beau Biden's grave as President Biden gave his inauguration speech
A woman accused of breaching the Capitol and planning to sell to Russia a laptop or hard drive she allegedly stole from Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office faces fresh charges, according to a criminal complaint amended Tuesday.Driving the news: Riley June Williams, 22, who was arrested in Pennsylvania's Middle District Monday, is suspected of being the woman featured in a video saying, "dude, put on gloves," before a man's gloved hand reaches for the laptop, per the Department of Justice.Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America. * She was charged on Tuesday with "Aid Abet Others to Embezzle, Steal, Purloin" and "Obstruct, Influence or Impede any Official Proceeding." * This adds to her earlier charges of illegally entering the Capitol as well as violent entry and disorderly conduct. The big picture: Video footage appears to show Williams entering the Capitol with other rioters on Jan. 6. She appears to direct them up a staircase in the building. * Following the siege, a person claiming to be Williams' "former romantic partner" called the FBI tip line to identify Williams and claimed that she told them she planned to send the computer device to a friend in Russia, per a DOJ statement of facts. * It's alleged the friend planned to then sell it to Russia’s foreign intelligence service. The caller said the transfer fell through and alleged that Williams either still has the device or destroyed it. * The allegations concerning Russia remain under investigation.Of note: Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff confirmed the laptop's disappearance on Jan. 8 but said it was "only used for presentations." For the record: Williams had developed a sudden interest in President Trump's politics and "far-right message boards," her mother told ITV News on Jan. 16. * Her mother said her daughter fled after the insurrection. * Williams also deleted her social media accounts and changed her phone number, according to FBI officials.Go deeper: Deadly Capitol riot: The people facing federal chargesEditor's note: This article has been updated with details related to the new charges.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- The Telegraph
- Yahoo News Video
Alejandro Mayorkas, President-elect Joe Biden’s pick to head the Department of Homeland Security, said during his Senate confirmation hearing that he would execute Biden’s plan to stop building the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Mayorkas also said that CBP and ICE play “critical roles” in the federal government and that he wouldn’t abolish them.
- The Week
Liberal Fox News contributor Richard Fowler choked up during an appearance on the network as he marveled at the numerous glass ceilings broken by Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday."One part [of the inauguration] that caused me to get real emotional was, we've been a country for 243 years, and in all those 243 years, we have had women citizens but we have never had a woman hold national office," Fowler said, his voice breaking as he went on. "So to see Kamala Harris put her hand on the Bible today -- also being her and I are of Jamaican descent, and I just think about my grandmother and my mom and so many other women who saw this, and so many young girls who can finally believe that they can be president, too, because of what we did as a country back in November."> Fox News contributor Richard Fowler gets emotional when talking about Kamala Harris being the first woman VP, and how it makes him think about his grandmother and mom, who like Harris are of Jamaican descent pic.twitter.com/Wdlo8Ca3uh> > -- Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 20, 2021Fowler was not the only contributor on Fox News on Wednesday to be audibly moved by the significance of Harris' oath. Political analyst Juan Williams also emotionally explained, "It's visceral, and I'll tell you why. I have granddaughters, I'm the son of a Black mother -- you think about American history, you think about the status of Black women in this country for most of our history. And the idea that a Black woman would assume such power in this moment as a national leader -- truly inspiring." > Fox News' Juan Williams gets choked up talking about Kamala Harris:> > "You think about the status of Black women in this country for most of our history. And the idea that a Black woman would assume such power in this moment as a national leader, truly inspiring." pic.twitter.com/K13K0Q1vVX> > -- Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) January 20, 2021More stories from theweek.com Bernie Sanders steals the inauguration with his grumpy chic outfit Harris swears in 3 new Democratic senators A lone man knelt at Beau Biden's grave as President Biden gave his inauguration speech
Incoming U.S. President-Elect Joe Biden should quickly fulfill campaign promises to launch an immigration plan, including giving dual nationality to Mexicans working in the United States, Mexico's president said on Wednesday. Immigration has become a priority issue for Biden, who is planning to roll back his predecessor's harsh measures and enact sweeping reforms that would put 11 million people living illegally in the U.S on a path to citizenship. "I hope that today or in the coming days he presents the migration plan," Lopez Obrador said.
- Miami Herald
Newly surfaced Facebook messages from 2018 show U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene agreeing with comments spreading the conspiracy that the Parkland school shooting where 17 students and faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High were killed was a “false flag planned shooting.”
China's foreign ministry announced Wednesday it would sanction 28 "anti-China" U.S. politicians, including a slew of top officials from the outgoing Trump administration such as former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former national security adviser John Bolton and former chief strategist Steve Bannon. Between the lines, via Axios China expert Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian: Chinese government officials have traditionally decried the use of unilateral sanctions by Western countries, even though China regularly blocks foreign companies and individuals from its markets for perceived political slights.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here. * But as its tit-for-tat battle with Washington has drawn on, Beijing has adopted the use of traditional sanctions in direct response to U.S. sanctions of Chinese government officials. * The sanctions also come one day after Pompeo announced the U.S. government has determined China's repression of Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang region amounts to genocide, a decision that has infuriated Beijing.What they're saying: "[S]ome anti-China politicians in the United States, out of their selfish political interests and prejudice and hatred against China and showing no regard for the interests of the Chinese and American people, have planned, promoted and executed a series of crazy moves which have gravely interfered in China's internal affairs, undermined China's interests, offended the Chinese people, and seriously disrupted China-U.S. relations," the foreign ministry said in a statement. * "The Chinese government is firmly resolved to defend China's national sovereignty, security and development interests. China has decided to sanction 28 persons who have seriously violated China's sovereignty and who have been mainly responsible for such U.S. moves on China-related issues."Details: The sanctions will restrict the named individuals from entering the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Macao. The officials and companies they are "associated" with will also be restricted from doing business with China, though whether and to what extent this prohibition will be enforced isn't clear.Other noteworthy names in the sanctions list include: * Trump economic adviser Peter Navarro * National security adviser Robert O'Brien * Former deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger * Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar * United Nations ambassador Kelly Craft * Assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs David Stilwell * Under secretary of state for economic growth, energy, and the environment Keith KrachThe big picture: This is not the first time Beijing has targeted China hawks in the U.S., whom they accuse of meddling in domestic affairs. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) were among those sanctioned last year for their criticisms of China's human rights abuses.Go deeper ... Special report: Trump's U.S.-China transformationSupport safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- The Week
President Trump's last big batch of pardons will get most of the attention, but he also issued an executive order in his last few hours in office that seeks to free all current and former hires from the ethics agreements they signed to work in his administration. Trump revoked his January 2017 "Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Appointees" order, the White House announced early Wednesday, so "employees and former employees subject to the commitments in Executive Order 13770 will not be subject to those commitments after noon January 20, 2021."Those commitments included not lobbying the federal agencies they served under for five years after leaving government. The executive order, Yashar Ali notes, was the backbone of Trump's "drain the swamp" pledge.> Forget about draining the swamp...President Trump just filled it up.> > He has revoked his own executive order (13770) which had the following provisions (among others). > > The drain the swamp stuff was all smoke and mirrors anyway but here's Trump walking back his own EO... pic.twitter.com/ZvuW0CwszQ> > — Yashar Ali (@yashar) January 20, 2021President-elect Joe Biden takes office at noon on Wednesday, and presumably he could just issue a new executive order reversing Trump's.Norm Eisen, "ethics czar" to former President Barack Obama, said in a Politico column Tuesday that Obama's clear ethics rules led to "arguably the most scandal-free presidency in memory," but "Trump greatly watered down the standards with scandalous results" and "Biden has done the opposite, restoring the Obama rules and expanding them."Biden's planned executive order, Eisen wrote, "restores the fundamentals of the Obama plan, closing loopholes Trump opened—but going further, including new crackdowns on special interest influence. If implemented rigorously (always a big if) Biden's plan promises to go further to 'drain the swamp' than either of his predecessors."More stories from theweek.com Bernie Sanders steals the inauguration with his grumpy chic outfit Harris swears in 3 new Democratic senators A lone man knelt at Beau Biden's grave as President Biden gave his inauguration speech
- The Telegraph
South Korean president under fire for saying adoptive parents should be able to 'change' their child
Children’s rights groups in South Korea have condemned comments by President Moon Jae-in suggesting that adoptive parents who do not get along with a child should be able to “change” it for another one. Mr Moon was responding to a question at a press conference on Monday about the government’s efforts to prevent child abuse in light of the death late last year of a 16-month-old girl, allegedly at the hands of her adoptive parents. The case has provoked outrage in South Korea, with the adopted mother of Jung-in charged with murder on January 13. The woman, identified only by her family name, Jang, was originally charged with fatal child abuse and neglect in December. Commenting on the case, Mr Moon said, “Even after adoption, the adoptive parents need to check if the adoption is working out for them. So there should be measures allowing them to cancel the adoption or, if they still want to adopt a child, then they should be able to change the child." The press conference, which was being broadcast live on national television, triggered an immediate response, with critics saying the president was suggesting that children were “goods” that could be returned for a refund. Groups representing adoptees and parents who have given homes to children staged a protest in front of the presidential Blue House the same day, demanding an apology from the president and changes to the system of adoptions in Korea. “Mr Moon’s comments are no different from those of adoption agencies, who treat adoption as a business," Jeon Young-soon, head of an association of parents, told The Korea Herald. Na Kyung-won, a member of the opposition People Power Party, also condemned the president’s comments, saying, “For adopted children, the horrific ordeal is being abandoned again by their adoptive parents. Mr Moon has made a serious error." A petition has also been started on the president’s website, stating, “Adoption is not like shopping for a child. When people have made up their minds to care for a child for his or her whole life, they adopt the child with love that is beyond comparison”. Government officials insist the president’s comments have been misunderstood and taken out of context. South Korea traditionally has low levels of domestic adoption, in part due to the importance of blood relations and the stigma attached to children born out of wedlock. Many Korean children find adoptive parents overseas.
- Architectural Digest
- LA Times
Thousands of pro-Trump crowds have gathered since he took office. No state has had more than California
Despite its reputation as a leader of resistance, California saw more pro-Trump crowds than any other state during the president's term in office.
- Associated Press
Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who has served more than seven years of a 28-year prison sentence for corruption crimes, was released from federal prison Wednesday after President Donald Trump commuted his sentence, a Bureau of Prisons spokesman told The Associated Press. The announcement came in a flurry of clemency action in the final hours of Trump's White House term that benefited more than 140 people, including rappers, former members of Congress and other Trump allies. The White House said prominent members of the Detroit community had supported the 50-year-old Democrat's commutation and noted: “During his incarceration, Mr. Kilpatrick has taught public speaking classes and has led Bible Study groups with his fellow inmates.”