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' »
President Biden will take action Tuesday to disavow another aspect of his predecessor's legacy — racial animus toward Asian Americans, which rose sharply during a pandemic that President Trump blamed on "the China virus." Biden's executive order, one of four addressing racial equity that he will sign at the White House in the afternoon, will provide the Justice Department with additional guidance and resources to more accurately track hate crimes and harassment of Asian Americans, according to a senior administration official.
Mitch McConnell, the US Senate Republican leader, said on Monday he would agree to a power-sharing agreement with Democrats, dropping demands that had held up the basic organisation and daily work of the 50-50 chamber for days. Democrat Chuck Schumer, now the majority leader thanks to Vice President Kamala Harris' tie-breaking vote, and Mr McConnell had been at odds over the Republican's request that Democrats promise to protect the filibuster, which requires a 60-vote supermajority to advance most legislation. Mr Schumer has refused to guarantee the filibuster would stay.
Merck, one of the world's most storied vaccine makers, is abandoning the development of its two COVID-19 vaccines after initial trials resulted in inadequate immune responses, Stat News reports. Both vaccines produced lower levels of coronavirus antibodies than have been found in the blood of individuals who recovered from natural COVID-19 infections. For reference, the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines produced antibody levels several times higher than natural infections.
U.S. President Joe Biden signed an order on Monday barring most non-U.S. citizens who have recently been in South Africa from entering the United States, effective Saturday. Biden's order also reimposes an entry ban, set to expire on Tuesday, on nearly all non-U.S. travelers who have been in Brazil, the United Kingdom, Ireland and 26 countries in Europe that allow travel across open borders. Last week, then-U.S. President Donald Trump revoked those restrictions which were imposed last year effective Tuesday.
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.
Steve Krakauer, editor at Fourth Watch, says 'it shouldn't be contingent' on one reporter to ask Biden tough questions.
Ghislaine Maxwell, who is charged with recruiting teenage girls for financier Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse in the 1990s, asked a judge Monday to dismiss the case on multiple grounds, including that a deal years ago not to prosecute Epstein and others should shield her from prosecution. Lawyers for the British socialite said the indictment against their client was obtained unjustly and doesn't allege crimes specific enough to bring before a jury. The agreement sought to protect Epstein and those around him, but Maxwell was not identified by name in the document that was signed as Epstein agreed to plead guilty to state charges in Florida that forced him to register as a sex offender afterward.
A surge of student suicides in the Clark County school district in Nevada is driving the district to reopen for in-person learning, The New York Times reported on Sunday. The coronavirus pandemic forced the mass closure of schools across the country in March 2020, and school districts have struggled to return to in-person learning. The nation's largest district, New York City public schools, delayed its reopening for weeks in September 2020, while the January 2021 opening of Chicago public schools, the third-largest district, is proceeding in fits and starts.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) will have his work cut out for him as he tries to maneuver through the 50-50 upper chamber. Take, for example, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who ultimately won a hard fought re-election campaign last year against Democratic challenger Sara Gideon. Despite the victory, Collins appears to have taken Schumer's efforts to unseat her personally.
President Joe Biden on Tuesday will order on the Department of Justice to end its reliance on private prisons and acknowledge the central role the government has played in implementing discriminatory housing policies, White House officials say. The moves come as Biden is set to sign a series of orders and memorandums Tuesday as the new administration says it will make combating racial injustice a central focus of his presidency. “America has never lived up to its founding promise of equality for all, but we've never stopped trying," Biden tweeted on Tuesday morning.
Hong Kong authorities are scrutinizing the financial records of pro-democracy activists as they crack down on political opposition, according to some activists and a senior bank executive. Six pro-democracy activists told Reuters that Hong Kong police obtained some of their bank records without their consent and questioned them about certain transactions after they were arrested earlier this month on suspicion of subversion under the territory's national security law. The number of requests for customers' financial records by Hong Kong police has more than doubled over the past six months or so, an executive at a major retail bank in Hong Kong with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
Millions of coronavirus vaccine doses appear to be missing after they were shipped by the Trump administration to US states. According to the Daily Beast and sources within the Biden administration, there could be almost 20 million doses missing since they were shipped to states by the previous administration. The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 41.1 million doses have been sent to states since last month, but only 22.7 million Americans have received a dose.
The U.S. military is exploring the possibility of using a Red Sea port in Saudi Arabia and an additional two airfields in the kingdom amid heightened tensions with Iran, the military said Tuesday. While describing the work as "contingency" planning, the U.S. military said it already has tested unloading and shipping cargo overland from Saudi Arabia's port at Yanbu, a crucial terminal for oil pipelines in the kingdom. Using Yanbu, as well as air bases at Tabuk and Taif along the Red Sea, would give the American military more options along a crucial waterway that has come under increased attack from suspected mine and drone boat attacks by Yemen's Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.
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.
Mexicans hope President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador makes a speedy recovery from COVID-19, though many believe he could have avoided infection if he had more strictly followed the government's own health advice - and worn a face mask. Lopez Obrador's diagnosis on Sunday capped the deadliest week of the coronavirus pandemic in the country with the world's fourth-highest death toll https://tmsnrt.rs/34pvUyi. "He wasn't looking after himself, always walking around without a mask, and not respecting social distancing," said Mexico City rubbish collector Luis Enrique Flores, wheeling his cart past a wall plastered with government posters urging people to wear masks.
Janet Yellen was sworn in Tuesday as the nation's 78th Treasury secretary and the first woman to hold the office. Yellen's husband, George Akerlof, winner of the 2001 Nobel prize in economics, and their son Robert, also an economist, were present for the brief ceremony. Yellen became the third of President Joe Biden's Cabinet nominees to win Senate approval on a vote of 84-15 late Monday.
The issues holding up vaccine supply exports from China to Brazil are due to technical, rather than political obstacles, China's ambassador said on Tuesday, as delays to Brazil's vaccine rollout began to grow. Some have speculated that China, which for years has been the butt of attacks by Brazil's far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, may have stalled approving the exports as some form of political vengeance. Brazil is waiting for ingredients from China needed to produce two vaccines locally - one from China's Sinovac Biotech Ltd and another from AstraZeneca Plc .
A farmer died and dozens of others were injured as clashes with police during protests over agriculture reforms overshadowed India's Republic Day. Thousands of farmers in a convoy of tractors were met with tear gas shells and stick-wielding police as they broke through barricades in the capital, New Delhi. The farmers, some on foot and others on horseback, went on to storm the city's Red Fort as they continued a rebellion which has proved the biggest challenge to Narendra Modi's government since agitation against citizenship law reforms a year ago.
A North Carolina state senator announced Tuesday that he's running for the U.S. Senate in 2022, hoping to flip fortunes for Democrats from his state to serve in the chamber after a string of defeats. Jeff Jackson, a Charlotte business attorney, Afghan war veteran and National Guard soldier, unveiled his bid, saying he is committed to “honesty and decency” in politics and helping working people and working families. Jackson, 38, is the second high-profile Democrat to enter the race to succeed three-term Republican Sen. Richard Burr, who is not seeking reelection.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is promoting a "miracle" medication that he said neutralizes COVID-19 with no side effects, a claim doctors said was not backed by science. Maduro on Sunday presented the drug Carvativir, an oral solution he said was tested on patients in a Caracas hospital and a sports center used as an emergency medical facility. He described the liquid as "miracle drops of Jose Gregorio Hernandez," a 19th century Venezuelan doctor who was beatified by the Roman Catholic Church last year, without elaborating on the active ingredients.
President Joe Biden said Monday he plans to replace the "enormous fleet" of government vehicles with electric models. President Joe Biden said on Monday his new administration will replace the US government's fleet of around 650,000 vehicles with electric models in a bid to shift to clean energy. Whilst signing a new "Buy American" executive order, Biden said: "The federal government also owns an enormous fleet of vehicles, which we're going to replace with clean electric vehicles made right here in America made by American workers."
Iran has sentenced the brother of the country's senior vice president to two years in prison on corruption charges, the website of the Iranian judiciary reported Tuesday. According to the judiciary's spokesman, Gholamhossein Esmaili, the verdict for Mahdi Jahangiri, the brother of Eshaq Jahangiri, is final and cannot be appealed. Mahdi Jahangiri was on the board of the Tehran Chamber of Commerce and was also the founder of the private Gardeshgari Bank.
For the second time in just over a year, the House on Monday sent an article of impeachment against Donald Trump to the Senate for trial, thrusting his fate into the hands of 50 Republican senators who for now appear reluctant to convict him. On a day marked more by ceremony than substance, nine House impeachment managers crossed the Capitol to inform the Senate that they were ready to prosecute Trump for “incitement of insurrection,” a bipartisan charge approved after the former president stirred up a violent mob that stormed the Capitol. Senators planned to put off the heart of the trial until Feb. 9.
The Israeli military said on Tuesday cows which crossed from Lebanon would be returned, after cattle herders from a Lebanese border village accused Israeli soldiers of taking the animals which have grazed freely near the disputed frontier for decades. Lebanon and Israel are in a formal state of war and have long contested their land and maritime borders. The herders from the village of Wazzani say Israeli patrols crossed into a grey zone on Sunday between a fence that separates the countries and the 'Blue Line' that constitutes the United Nations-designated frontier, taking seven cows.
Taiwan, claimed by China as its territory, has been on edge since the large-scale incursion by Chinese fighters and nuclear-capable bombers into the southwestern part of its air defence identification zone on Saturday (January 23) and Sunday (January 25), which coincided with a U.S. carrier group entering the South China Sea. The base in the southern city of Tainan, home to F-CK-1 Ching-kuo Indigenous Defence Fighters (IDF), frequently scrambles jets to intercept China's air force.
“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.”