The nation’s leading infectious diseases expert finally opened up on Monday about one of the most infamous claims about COVID-19 made by the former president.'Oh, my goodness gracious' »
The Justice Department's inspector general announced Monday that he had started an investigation into whether current or former officials in the department had engaged in an “improper attempt” to overturn the 2020 presidential election to keep Donald Trump in power. Michael Horowitz, the DOJ inspector general, released a statement announcing the decision. The DOJ Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is initiating an investigation into whether any former or current DOJ official engaged in an improper attempt to have DOJ seek to alter the outcome of the 2020 Presidential Election.
A group of U.N experts has criticized Sri Lanka's requirement that those who die of COVID-19 be cremated, even it goes against a family's religious beliefs, and warned that decisions based on “discrimination and aggressive nationalism” could incite hatred and violence. The experts, who are part of the Special Procedures of the U.N Human Rights Council, said in a statement Monday that rule amounts to a human rights violation. “We deplore the implementation of such public health decisions based on discrimination, aggressive nationalism and ethnocentrism amounting to persecution of Muslims and other minorities in the country,” the experts said.
AstraZeneca has offered to bring forward some deliveries of its COVID-19 vaccine to the European Union while the bloc has asked the British drugmaker if it can divert doses from the UK to make up for a shortfall in supplies, European officials told Reuters. The Anglo-Swedish company unexpectedly announced on Friday it would cut supplies to the EU of its vaccine candidate in the first quarter of this year, a move that a senior EU official told Reuters meant a 60% reduction to 31 million doses for the bloc. That complicated the EU's vaccination plans, after Pfizer had also announced a temporary slowdown in deliveries of its vaccine, and triggered an outcry in Brussels and EU capitals.
The new Biden administration has yet not disclosed the secrets of Area 51 or explained what the Air Force really knows about UFOs, but it did clarify, at least, the mystery of the vanished "Diet Coke button" former President Donald Trump would use to summon refreshments in the Oval Office. The usher button, as it is formally known, is not gone, even if it is no longer used to summon Diet Cokes, a White House official tells Politico. The White House official "unfortunately wouldn't say what Biden will use the button for," Politico's Daniel Lippman writes, suggesting Biden might summon Orange Gatorade and not the obvious answer, ice cream — or, let's get real, coffee.
Steve Krakauer, editor at Fourth Watch, says 'it shouldn't be contingent' on one reporter to ask Biden tough questions.
Republican Senator Josh Hawley filed an ethics counter-complaint against seven Democratic senators who called for an investigation into him and Ted Cruz. Both senators have faced widespread criticism and calls for them to resign for their role in trying to challenge Joe Biden's election victory. Five people were killed when Pro-Trump rioters attacked the Congress as lawmakers gathered to certify the electoral college results earlier this month.
The Biden administration on Monday suspended some of the terrorism sanctions that former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo imposed on Yemen's Houthi rebels in his waning days in office. The Treasury Department said it would exempt certain transactions involving the Houthis from sanctions resulting from Pompeo's designation of the group as a “foreign terrorist organization” on Jan. 10. The exemption will expire Feb. 26, according to a statement from Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control announcing a general license for transactions that involve entities owned by the Iran-backed Houthis.
Indonesia is set to officially surpass one million coronavirus cases on Tuesday, a grim milestone for the Southeast Asian nation that has struggled since last March to get the COVID-19 pandemic under control. The world's fourth-most-populous country had recorded 999,256 coronavirus infections as of Monday, with the average daily increase running above 11,000 for more than a week, according to official data. Deaths from the respiratory disease have totalled 28,132.
Germany has denied media reports that it has data suggesting the Oxford vaccine is drastically less effective in older people, blaming an apparent mix-up in the figures. The German health ministry issued a swift denial after two German newspapers claimed Angela Merkel's government has data that suggests the vaccine is largely ineffective in people aged over 75. Handelsblatt newspaper claimed the vaccine's effectiveness could be as low as 8 per cent, while Bild reported it was “under 10 per cent”.
An Iranian-American has been sentenced by Iran to 10 years in prison on spying charges, despite his family alleging he never had a trial or an opportunity to defend himself, becoming the latest dual national held in the country amid tensions with the West. A family spokesman confirmed the sentencing of Emad Shargi. Iran's judiciary acknowledged the sentence without naming him or saying how many years in prison he'd face.
AstraZeneca denied on Monday its COVID-19 vaccine is not very effective for people over 65, after German media reports said officials fear the vaccine may not be approved in the European Union for use in the elderly. German daily papers Handelsblatt and Bild said in separate reports the vaccine - co-developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University - had an efficacy of 8% or less than 10%, respectively, in those over 65. German officials were concerned that the vaccine may not receive approval from the EU's medicines authority EMA for use in those over 65, Bild said in its online edition.
The world's ice is melting so fast that sea level rise predictions can't keep up. Climate change is largely responsible for the huge ice melt surge, the Cryosphere study reports. In fact, about three percent of all the energy trapped within the Earth's systems because of climate change has gone toward that ice melt, the study estimates.
President Joe Biden has brought back Dr. Kevin O'Connor as his physician, replacing President Donald Trump's doctor with the one who oversaw his care when he was vice president. The White House confirmed that Dr. Sean Conley, the Navy commander who served as the head of the White House Medical Unit under Trump and oversaw his treatment when he was hospitalized with COVID-19, will assume a teaching role at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. O'Connor, a retired Army colonel, was Biden's doctor during his entire tenure as vice president, having remained in the role at Biden's request.
Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny is being used by the West to try to destabilise Russia, a prominent hardliner and ally of President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday, saying he must be held to account for repeatedly breaking the law. Navalny was remanded in custody for 30 days last week after returning from Germany where he had been recovering from a nerve agent poisoning. Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Security Council, called for Navalny to face the full force of the law in comments that offered a glimpse into the mood inside Russia's security establishment after tens of thousands of Navalny's supporters protested against his jailing on Saturday.
Satellites - once the poor relation of broadband providers, considered the slowest, most expensive option and a real last resort - have become the hot favourite in the race to connect the world in places land-based internet does not reach. Last week, Google scrapped its Loon company, set up nine years ago to beam the internet down to rural areas via a network of large balloons but unable to "build a long-term, sustainable business". Large, relatively low-flying satellite networks have the potential to bring the internet to rural areas and "notspots" anywhere in the world.
A judge on Monday dismissed a theft charge against a Houston area health department doctor who had been accused by prosecutors of stealing nine doses of coronavirus vaccine from a damaged vial and administering them to family and friends. Authorities had alleged that Hasan Gokal, who worked for Harris County Public Health, stole a vial of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine while working at a vaccination site at a suburban Houston park on Dec. 29. But Harris County Court-At-Law Judge Franklin Bynum found there was no probable cause to charge Gokal with theft.
The claim: Video shows National Guard members turned away from Biden's motorcade History will remember President Joe Biden's inauguration for its many irregularities, including the 26,000 National Guard members who descended upon Washington to provide additional security after pro-Trump rioters breached the U.S. Capitol two weeks earlier. While tensions were high on Inauguration Day, a viral video does not show guard members insulting Biden, as online opponents claim. A 21-second video titled “Troops Turn Backs on Biden as Motorcade Drives By” shows guard members standing along a road, with some backs turned from the presidential motorcade.
Vietnam's ruling Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong hailed booming economic development and containment of the COVID-19 pandemic as major achievements on Tuesday as he presided over the opening of a key party congress in Hanoi. Over nine days of meetings, mostly behind closed doors, delegates will pick a new leadership team, aiming to bolster Vietnam's ongoing economic success - and the legitimacy of the Party's rule. Party congresses take place once every five years.
Known to millions around the world for her staunch defence of Trump from the press briefing room, now it's her turn to speak for herself. Sarah Huckabee Sanders is back in the political game, announcing on Monday that she's running for the Republican nomination to be the governor of Arkansas in the 2022 election. In true Trumpian fashion, his former White House press secretary broke the news in a video posted on Twitter.
Britain's official death toll in the coronavirus pandemic passed 100,000 on Tuesday, a dreaded milestone reached as the government considered requiring hotel quarantines for international travelers to stop new virus variants reaching the country. The government said 100,162 people have died in the pandemic after testing positive for the virus, including 1,631 new deaths reported Tuesday. Britain is the fifth country in the world to record 100,000 virus-related deaths, after the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico, and by far the smallest.
California's health department on Monday released to the public previously secret projections for future hospital intensive care unit capacity throughout the state, the key metric for lifting the coronavirus stay-at-home order. However, state officials did not explain how regional per capita virus cases and transmission rates that also were released might influence how much ICU space will be available in four weeks. Last week, state health officials told The Associated Press they were keeping all the data secret because it is complicated and might mislead the public.
Iran urged U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday to lift sanctions which it said were hampering Tehran's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Tehran also said it had approved Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine for domestic use, and that it was trying to buy vaccines from AstraZeneca and other companies. Sanctions reimposed by former U.S. President Donald Trump formally exempt food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies, but many foreign banks have been deterred from doing business with Iran.
Department of Justice prosecutors have accused Riley June Williams, the 22-year-old woman suspected of stealing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's laptop during the Capitol riot, of trying to cover up her tracks by deleting her social-media activity, according to Law & Crime and the NBC 4 reporter Scott MacFarlane. In a court hearing on Monday, prosecutors also said Williams had been telling others to delete messages she had sent them, WHTM reported. The judge hasn't decided on the matter, as Monday's hearing ended abruptly because of a scheduling conflict with Williams' new public defender, Law & Crime reported.
A North Korean diplomat who served as the country's acting ambassador to Kuwait has defected to South Korea, according to South Korean lawmakers who were briefed by Seoul's spy agency. Ha Tae-keung, a conservative opposition lawmaker and an executive secretary of the National Assembly's intelligence committee, said Tuesday he was told by officials from the National Intelligence Service that the diplomat arrived in South Korea in September 2019 with his wife and at least one child. That would make him one of the most senior North Koreans to defect in recent years.
Four times as many jobs were lost last year due to the coronavirus pandemic as during the worst part of the global financial crisis in 2009, a U.N. report said Monday. The International Labor Organization estimated that the restrictions on businesses and public life destroyed 8.8% of all work hours around the world last year. That is equivalent to 255 million full-time jobs - quadruple the impact of the financial crisis over a decade ago.
“By encouraging this act of terror on our capital, Trump’s legacy is destroyed.”
“Both backers and critics of Trump agreed that he remade the federal judiciary — a change that will impact America for decades.”
“He was largely responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans who did not need to die.”
“I do know what the future should hold for this country. That is to say, a policy of Trumpism without Trump.”
“It will be decades before the consequences of his tenure are fully known.”