The incoming Biden administration said it won't lift a ban on most visitors from Europe and Brazil shortly after President Trump ordered an end to the restrictions.'This is not the time' »
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is set to take office on Wednesday with only a few of his top chosen deputies in place. The Democrat's Cabinet appointees are awaiting approval by the Senate, who are set to hold their first confirmation hearings on Tuesday. Biden's pick for Treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, will meet with the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday at 10 a.m. EST (1500 GMT).
Indonesian officials say heavy rain is hampering the search for survivors following a powerful earthquake on Sulawesi island on Friday. The death toll has now risen to 78, including five members of one family. Thousands of people left homeless are living in makeshift shelters, and there are fears of a Covid outbreak there.
Iran's military kicked off a ground forces drill on Tuesday along the coast of the Gulf of Oman, state TV reported, the latest in a series of snap exercises that the country is holding amid escalating tensions over its nuclear program and Washington's pressure campaign against Tehran. According to the report, commando units and airborne infantry were participating in the annual exercise, along with fighter jets, helicopters and military transport aircraft. Iran's National Army chief Abdolrahim Mousavi was overseeing the drill.
An independent panel said on Monday that Chinese officials could have applied public health measures more forcefully in January to curb the initial COVID-19 outbreak, and criticised the World Health Organization (WHO) for not declaring an international emergency until Jan. 30. The experts reviewing the global handling of the pandemic, led by former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark and former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, called for reforms to the Geneva-based United Nations agency.Their interim report was published hours after the WHO's top emergency expert, Mike Ryan, said that global deaths from COVID-19 were expected to top 100,000 per week "very soon". "What is clear to the Panel is that public health measures could have been applied more forcefully by local and national health authorities in China in January," the report said, referring to the initial outbreak of the new disease in the central city of Wuhan, in Hubei province.
The company that bought the ammonium nitrate which exploded in Beirut last August had possible links to two Syrian businessmen under U.S. sanctions for ties to President Bashar al-Assad, according to a report by a Lebanese journalist and London company filings. Savaro Ltd, the trading firm which procured the chemicals in 2013, shared a London address with companies linked to George Haswani and Imad Khoury, according to the report by documentary film-maker Firas Hatoum, which aired on Lebanon's al-Jadeed TV station this week. Haswani, Khoury and his brother Mudalal Khoury have all been sanctioned by Washington for supporting Assad's war effort.
Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen is calling on Congress to do more to fight a deep pandemic-induced recession, saying the threats of a longer and even worse downturn are too great to cut back on support now. “Without further action, we risk a longer, more painful recession now — and long-term scarring of the economy later,” Yellen said in testimony prepared for her confirmation hearing Tuesday before the Senate Finance Committee. Yellen, who will be the first female treasury secretary in the nation's history, is expected to have little trouble winning approval in a Senate that will be narrowly controlled by Democrats once two Democratic senators from Georgia are seated.
Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene was suspended from Twitter for 12 hours after sending out a now-deleted tweet telling Trump supporters to "mobilize". ProPublica preserved the deleted tweet, which said: "I encourage all Americans, not just the 75 million people who voted for President Trump, to mobilize and make your voices heard in opposition to these attacks on our liberties." A Twitter spokesperson told NPR that Ms Greene "has been temporarily locked out for multiple violations of our civic integrity policy".
French drugmaker Valneva hopes its COVID-19 vaccine can start to be used in Britain between July and September, the company's chief executive was quoted as saying. Valneva has agreed to provide Britain with 60 million doses of its vaccine, compared with 100 million doses of the shot from AstraZeneca and Oxford University. "We are days away from starting the commercial manufacturing," Thomas Lingelbach told The Mail on Sunday newspaper.
Chad Barrett Jones, 42, of Coxs Creek, Kentucky, was arrested in Louisville on Saturday, the FBI said in a news release. Jones is accused of breaking a window of the Capitol building moments before Ashli Babbitt was fatally shot during the insurrection earlier this month. He's facing multiple charges, including assault on a federal officer, destruction of government property, obstruction of justice, unlawful entry on restricted building or grounds, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
Pakistan's prime minister reacted angrily Monday to media reports of a text exchange between an Indian TV anchor and a former media industry executive that suggests a 2019 Indian airstrike inside Pakistan was designed to boost Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's chances for reelection. Imran Khan took to Twitter to respond to Indian media reports of an exchange on the WhatsApp messaging service between popular Indian TV anchor Arnab Goswami and Partho Dasgupta, the former head of a TV rating company.
Russian state prosecutors have jailed Alexei Navalny for 30 days, as the Kremlin critic appeared in front of a hearing he labelled as "the highest degree of lawlessness" on Monday (January 18). Navalny was detained the previous evening at a Moscow airport when flying home for the first time since he was poisoned last summer. In a video posted on social media from inside the police station, Navalny also hit out at President Vladimir Putin.
North Korea has a history of staging weapons tests and other provocations to test new U.S. presidents, and Kim vowed to strengthen his nuclear weapons program in recent political speeches that were seen as aimed at pressuring the incoming Biden administration. The South Korean leader has been desperate to keep alive a positive atmosphere for dialogue in the face of Kim's vows to further expand a nuclear and missile program that threatens Asian U.S. allies and the American homeland. And while Moon acknowledged that Biden is likely to try a different approach than Trump, he stressed that Biden could still learn from Trump's successes and failures in dealing with North Korea.
China was dealing with coronavirus outbreaks across its frigid northeast on Tuesday, prompting additional lockdowns and travel bans ahead of next month's Lunar New Year holiday. Hebei province just outside Beijing saw another 35 cases, while Heilongjiang province bordering Russia reported 27 new cases. Beijing, where some residential communities and outlying villages have been placed under lockdown, reported just one new case.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has urged the US to make major reforms to its immigration policy as thousands of migrants were blocked by police in neighbouring Guatemala. Mr Lopez Obrador said he was hopeful that President-elect Joe Biden would agree to work with Mexico and other countries on the issue. About 7,000 migrants, mostly from Honduras, have entered Guatemala.
Snow lies knee-deep in the pastoral town of Gulmarg, or “meadow of flowers,” on Indian-controlled Kashmir's high plateau. With its blanket of white, the idyllic hill station is seeing tourists again fill its hotels and ski, sledge and trek its Himalayan landscape. The heavy influx of tourists is a dramatic change for the tourism industry in disputed Kashmir, which faced the double whammy of the coronavirus pandemic and harsh curbs on civil rights India imposed in the region in August 2019.
Multiple people who stormed the Capitol have claimed they did so on the instructions of President Donald Trump, the Washington Post reported. Trump instructed his supporters to come to Washington to attend a "Stop The Steal" rally as he sought to overturn the election, promising his supporters that the protest would be "wild." Leonard M. Niehoff, a First Amendment expert, said that the response to Trump's direct call for supporters to visit the Capitol and "fight" meant the president could be liable.
Pakistani security forces raided a hideout Monday in a former insurgent stronghold in the country's northwest and killed two Taliban fighters, including one suspected of involvement in an October attack that killed six soldiers, the military said. A third suspect was arrested in the raid in the South Waziristan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Pakistani militants have in recent months stepped up attacks on troops in the former tribal regions bordering Afghanistan, citing concerns that insurgents are regrouping there.
The World Health Organization has raised "concerns" about the unequal distribution of coronavirus vaccines in Israel, which has given shots to more than 20% of its population, and the occupied territories, where Palestinians have yet to receive any, an official said Monday. Rights groups say Israel has the responsibility as an occupying power to provide vaccines to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. Israel says it has no such obligation and that its own population — including Arab citizens — is the priority, but that at some point it might consider sharing its supplies.
In settling a lawsuit with the parents of Seth Rich, the DNC staffer murdered in 2016, Fox News stipulated the settlement remain private until after the 2020 election, The New York Times reported. The multi-million dollar settlement was announced at the end of November, more than a month after it was reached on October 12, according to the report. Seth Rich was shot and killed in July 2016 in Washington, DC, and his death prompted numerous, baseless conspiracy right-wing conspiracy theories related to Wikileaks publishing of internal DNC emails.
Ivanka Trump's time in the White House has been horrible for America. Watch: Where do Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner go from here? Call it classic rich kid brattiness or a more complicated kind of delusion, but for Ivanka the future is still bright, or it is in her determination to just carry on regardless.
A report from the FBI given to law enforcement outlined concerns that adherents to the baseless conspiracy theory QAnon may try to disrupt Wednesday's presidential inauguration by posing as National Guardsmen. The briefing, which was first reported on by The Washington Post, suggested that QAnon followers considered dressing as Guardsmen to bypass security. The National Guard revealed on Monday that it was already vetting members to weed out soldiers expressing extremist views.
First lady Melania Trump released a seven-minute farewell video Monday, saying that "as Donald and I conclude our time in the White House," she is thankful fo the military service members, law enforcement officers, and caregivers who have inspired her over the "unforgettable" past four years. Stephen Colbert did not think the message was particularly well-suited to the messenger, he suggested on Monday's Late Show. The announcement ended up being more of a song, but if you are going to have a Broadway star like Laura Benanti be your Melania stand-in, it makes sense for her to play to her strengths, especially in her farewell message.
Sen. Josh Hawley has found a new publisher after his book was dropped by Simon & Schuster in the wake of the siege of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump. The conversative publisher Regnery announced Monday that Hawley's “The Tyranny of Big Tech” will come out this spring.
All 11 major US airlines remained intact but smaller regional carriers were forced to close or merge due to the drop in travel demand. A surprise announcement in February that the promising Qatar Airways-backed Air Italy would be liquidated set the stage for a year of losses even before lockdowns grounded the world's airlines. In the US, all 11 major airlines remained intact but smaller regional carriers folded amid an unprecedented drop in passengers that remains low even into the new year.
UPDATE, 1/18/2021, 10:54 PM ET: Riley Williams was arrested Jan. 18 in Pennsylvania on charges of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, as well as knowingly entering restricted buildings without lawful authority. A person claiming to be a former romantic partner told the FBI they saw in footage of the riot that Williams was directing them to Nancy Pelosi's office, according to a criminal complaint. One of the Trumpist rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol earlier this month may have stolen House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's laptop and then tried to sell it to Russian intelligence, according to a criminal complaint.
“If you’re looking to win elections, it is probably best not to urge your supporters not to vote.”
“Warnock’s portrayal of himself as a dog lover, a means of overcoming white suspicions of Black men, smacked of pure genius.”
“Trump has done damage to the Republican brand among suburban voters that goes well beyond just races where he is on the ballot.”
“Once more, Democrats must profusely thank activist Stacey Abrams.”
“Overall, demographic trends show that the state’s electorate is becoming younger and more diverse each year.”