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.
Vigorous efforts are needed for Russia and the United States to reach a deal on extending the New START nuclear arms control pact before it expires next month, the Kremlin said on Tuesday. New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), which was signed in 2010 and is set to expire on Feb. 5, limits the numbers of strategic nuclear warheads, missiles and bombers that Russia and the United States can deploy. A failure to extend New START could fuel a potential arms race and tensions between Moscow and Washington, defence experts have warned.
Relatives of migrants from Guatemala said Monday they believe that 13 of the 19 charred corpses found in a northern Mexico border state could be their loved ones and the country's Foreign Ministry said it was collecting DNA samples from a dozen relatives to see if there was a match with any of the bodies. If true, the killings would revive memories of the 2010 massacre of 72 migrants in the same gang-ridden state of Tamaulipas. Ramiro Coronado told The Associated Press by telephone that he had a relative among a group of 13 migrants who left the province of San Marcos and were travelling together before family members lost contact with them on Thursday.
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.
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.
President Joe Biden plans to take executive actions on Tuesday to scale back the U.S. government's use of private prisons and bolster anti-discrimination enforcement in the housing market, aides said. The measures are part of a package of steps being taken by the new Democratic president to roll back policies of his Republican predecessor Donald Trump and promote racial justice reforms that he pledged to address during the election campaign. "These are just some of the first steps," said Susan Rice, Biden's domestic policy adviser.
When the Navy carrier Roosevelt entered the South China Sea on the same day Chinese bombers and fighters flew into Taiwan's airspace, it signaled how difficult it will be for the Biden administration to craft a new China policy, former Pentagon policy chief Michele Flournoy said Monday. "Taiwan has really become the flashpoint" of U.S. China relations following efforts in the waning days of the Trump administration to bolster military ties to Taiwan, said Flournoy, who was widely expected to be nominated to lead the Pentagon under Biden. The job of defense secretary ultimately went to Retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin.
A Brazilian Supreme Court justice on Monday authorized an investigation of Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello to determine whether he is criminally responsible for the COVID-19 crisis in the Amazonian city of Manaus. The largest city in Brazil's vast rainforest region was slammed this month by a severe second wave of infections, and jam-packed hospitals ran out of oxygen. Patients' family members searched for tanks to keep their loved ones breathing, and dozens died asphyxiated.
AstraZeneca vaccines meant for and paid for by the EU could have ended up in Britain, diplomatic sources in Brussels claimed today. The suspicion is that the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company supplied the UK from the EU vaccine stock because Britain paid a higher price for the dose and approved it sooner. On Monday, Brussels threatened to block EU vaccine exports to non-EU countries, after AstraZeneca revealed that it would not be able to fulfil its contractual obligations as originally hoped.
Iran threatened on Tuesday to block short-notice inspections of its nuclear facilities, demanding Washington reverse economic sanctions before it returns to compliance with a nuclear deal that President Joe Biden aims to restore. Biden, who took office last week, aims to reverse a decision by his predecessor Donald Trump to pull out of the 2015 agreement between Iran and world powers. The agreement lifted sanctions on Iran in return for curbs to Iran's nuclear programme, but after Trump quit and reimposed sanctions, Iran violated its conditions.
Indonesia's confirmed coronavirus infections since the pandemic began crossed 1 million on Tuesday and hospitals in some hard-hit areas were near capacity. Indonesia's Health Ministry announced that new daily infections rose by 13,094 on Tuesday to bring the country's total to 1,012,350, the most in Southeast Asia. The milestone comes just weeks after Indonesian launched a massive campaign to inoculate two-thirds of the country's 270 million people, with President Joko Widodo receiving the first shot of a Chinese-made vaccine.
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 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.
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”.
Afghanistan's Taliban insurgents on Tuesday gave their backing to a vaccination programme to which the World Health Organization's COVAX programme has pledged $112 million. The COVAX programme is a global scheme to vaccinate people in poor and middle income countries against the coronavirus. It aims to deliver at least 2 billion vaccine doses by the end of 2021 to cover 20% of the most vulnerable people in 91 poor and middle-income countries.
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.
Thousands of Indian farmers protesting against agricultural reforms on Tuesday overwhelmed police and stormed into the historic Red Fort complex in New Delhi after tearing down barricades and driving tractors through roadblocks. Police fired tear gas in an unsuccessful bid to force the protesters back. One protester was killed, a witness said, and Delhi police said 86 officers had been injured across the city.
Blinken, 58, served as deputy secretary of state and deputy national security adviser during the Obama administration. He has pledged to be a leading force in the administration's bid to reframe the U.S. relationship with the rest of the world after four years in which President Donald Trump questioned longtime alliances. He is expected to start work on Wednesday after being sworn in, according to State Department officials.
Tokyo has revised its contact-tracing strategy to prioritise outreach to higher-risk individuals affected by coronavirus, according to a letter sent by the metropolitan government to public health authorities last week. The change comes as a third wave of the pandemic overwhelms Japan's public health centres, which handle everything from tests and tracing to finding hospital beds. The scale back on contact tracing is an unfortunate but necessary step as understaffed health centres prepare for COVID-19 vaccinations next month, said Fumie Sakamoto, the infection control manager at St. Luke's International Hospital in Tokyo.
But as we continue to grapple with the fallout, more importantly, we must also remember 2021 as the year America inaugurated Senator Kamala Harris as the country's first Black, first South Asian and first woman vice president and Georgia elected Reverend Raphael Warnock as the state's first Black U.S. senator; all while barrier-breaking Black leaders on the local, state and federal level began their service in elected offices across the nation. In a time of stifling hate and hurt, too many moments of Black joy and progress have been stolen and lost in a storm of perpetual white rage.
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.
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.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler used pepper spray on an unmasked man Sunday night. Wheeler told police the man was harassing him and refusing to back away. The incident took place as Wheeler was leaving a restaurant.
An Israeli military commander shot a Palestinian man who attempted to stab soldiers in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, the military said, and Palestinian officials said the man had been killed. The incident occurred at a road junction south of the Palestinian city of Nablus, the military said in a statement. Israeli troops at a nearby military post "spotted an assailant who attempted to stab two IDF (Israeli military) soldiers" stationed at the road junction.
“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.”