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.
Israeli authorities on Monday extradited a former teacher accused of sexually abusing her former students in Australia, capping a six-year legal battle that had strained relations between the two governments and antagonized Australia's Jewish community. Malka Leifer, who is wanted on 74 charges of child sex abuse in Australia, was placed on a flight early in the day, several hours before Israel was to close its international airport to nearly all air traffic due to a raging coronavirus outbreak. Israeli media photographed Leifer boarding a plane at Ben Gurion Airport, her ankles and wrists shackled.
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.
The Biden administration has reaffirmed its calls for Russia to immediately release political opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his supporters who have been detained for protesting his incarceration. The new president's forceful denunciation of Russia's newest manifestation of political repression marks a sharp departure from his predecessor, who would not say last September that Mr Navalny had been poisoned by Russian government agents, as had been widely reported and speculated. “We call on Russian authorities to release all those detained for exercising their universal rights and for the immediate and unconditional release of Aleksey Navalny,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Monday, echoing a statement from the State Department from over the weekend.
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.
Backers of the union of the United Kingdom's four nations should boycott any "wildcat" independence referendum for Scotland, the leader of the Scottish Conservative Party said on Monday, after the nation's first minister pressed ahead with plans for a vote. Scotland's first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said on Sunday she was hoping a strong performance by her Scottish National Party (SNP) in an election in May would give her the mandate to hold a second referendum. To get a legal referendum, any such vote must be approved by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has ruled out doing so.
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.
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. A family spokesman Tuesday confirmed the sentencing of Emad Shargi, the latest dual national to be held in Iran amid tensions with the West. Iran's judiciary acknowledged the sentence without naming him or saying how many years in prison he'd face.
European Union member states could take AstraZeneca to court for a breach of supply contracts if the company does not honour the COVID-19 vaccine delivery schedule, Latvian foreign affairs minister Edgars Rinkevics said on Tuesday. "The possibility should be evaluated, and it should be coordinated among the EU countries," the minister told Reuters, via his spokesman. Each EU member state has a separate supply contract with the company.
President Joe Biden on Tuesday will formally call on the federal government to end its reliance on private prisons and acknowledge the central role the government has played in implementing discriminatory housing policies, according to a senior administration official. The moves come as Biden is set to sign a series of orders and memorandums Tuesday as the new administration says it will make combatting racial injustice a central focus of his presidency. They were detailed by a senior administration official who briefed reporters on the condition of anonymity ahead of Biden's formal announcement, scheduled for later 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.
Moderna Inc said on Monday it believes its COVID-19 vaccine protects against new variants found in Britain and South Africa, although it will test a new booster shot aimed at the South African variant after concluding the antibody response could be diminished. The company said in a news release it found no reduction in the antibody response against the variant found in Britain. Against the South African variant, it found a reduced response but still believed its two-dose regimen would provide protection.
A surge in threats against lawmakers and the US Capitol have forced National Guard troops to remain in Washington ahead of former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial. The troops will remain on Capitol Hill as the US Senate trial begins on 8 February, marking the first time in American history in which a former president has faced an impeachment trial after leaving office. The House voted to impeach Mr Trump for fomenting a deadly insurrection at the Capitol as Congress convened to certify his electoral defeat in the 2020 elections, citing his speech held just before the deadly attacks and conduct during the riots, which left at least five people dead, including United States Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick.
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.
China said on Tuesday it will conduct military exercises in the South China Sea this week, just days after Beijing bristled at a U.S. aircraft carrier group's entry into the disputed waters. A notice issued by the country's Maritime Safety Administration prohibited entry into a portion of waters in the Gulf of Tonkin to the west of the Leizhou peninsula in southwestern China from Jan. 27 to Jan. 30, but it did not offer details on when the drills would take place or at what scale. A U.S. carrier group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt entered the South China Sea on Saturday to promote "freedom of the seas," the U.S. military said, days after Joe Biden began his term as president.
A former Marine charged with assaulting police officers during the Capitol riots with a hockey stick also launched a massive, “sharpened pole” at cops during his attack, authorities revealed. Michael Joseph Foy, a 30-year-old from Westland, Michigan, was charged Friday with several crimes, including obstruction of law enforcement and forcibly assaulting an officer, after striking cops with a hockey stick “at least 10 times” during the Jan. 6 riots. In a detention memo filed Sunday evening, federal prosecutors also revealed that at one point during the melee, Foy “threw what appears to be a sharpened pole at the officers.”
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 “honest and decent politics” and “working people and working families.” Jackson, 38, is the second Democrat to enter the race to succeed three-term Republican Sen. Richard Burr, who is not seeking reelection.
New York Times editor Lauren Wolfe tweeted about having "chills" seeing Biden arrive for his inauguration. Many criticized her for appearing to show political bias, and The Times later fired Wolfe. A New York Times editor lost her job after receiving criticism for tweeting about her excitement for President Joe Biden's inauguration.
Florida Republican senator Marco Rubio has shrugged off rumours that Ivanka Trump could challenge him to a primary in the 2022 midterm elections. The daughter of recently deposed president, Donald Trump, has made no secret of her own political ambitions after serving as a senior adviser in her father's White House and recently relocated her family to a luxury condominium in Miami. Ms Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, likewise an adviser to the 45th president, have also recently acquired a $30m (£22m) lot on nearby Indian Creek Island with a view to building a new home for themselves there, indicating their intention to stay on in the Sunshine State, where Mr Trump himself now resides at his Mar-a-Lago mansion.
Senior members of Vietnam's ruling Communist Party cautioned Tuesday that their country faced opportunities and challenges ahead, as they began a key meeting to set the nation's path for the next five years. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc cited climate change, natural disasters and diseases as among the challenges ahead in his speech before the 13th National Party Congress and aired on state television. “Globalization and global integration are on the right track, but they are met with the rise of extreme nationalism, strategic competition and trade wars," declared Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, the nation's most powerful leader.
Chinese state media is spreading a conspiracy theory that a US Army base created the coronavirus. The disinformation push comes as WHO scientists arrive in Wuhan to study the virus' origins. Chinese state media is playing up a conspiracy theory about the novel coronavirus' origins while also questioning the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine's safety in older people.
Fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli's request to serve the remaining three months of his prison term in the college admissions bribery scheme at home was denied Tuesday by a federal judge. Giannulli argued he should be released to home confinement for the rest of his five-month sentence because he spent eight weeks under “extreme” conditions in solitary confinement because of the coronavirus pandemic after reporting to prison in November. But U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton said Giannulli failed to demonstrate an "'extraordinary and compelling' reason warranting his release," though he noted that the quarantine was “longer than anticipated.
Google says it will not donate to members of Congress this cycle who voted against certifying the results of the 2020 US election. Last week, Google and a host of other leading tech players, including Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft, announced they would suspend donations to politicians who voted against certifying Joe Biden's presidential victory, citing the storming of the US Capitol, which left five people dead. "After the disturbing events at the Capitol, NetPAC paused all contributions while undertaking a review," a Google representative told Insider.
McConnell wanted a promise that Democrats would not eliminate the filibuster. Two Democratic Senators signaled their support for keeping the filibuster in place Monday. With those assurances, McConnell said he was ready to move forward with an organizing resolution.
“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.”