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 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.
Israel's military chief Tuesday warned the Biden administration against rejoining the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, even if it toughens its terms, adding he's ordered his forces to step up preparations for possible offensive action against Iran during the coming year. The comments by Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi came as Israel and Iran both seek to put pressure on President Joe Biden ahead of his expected announcement on his approach for dealing with the Iranian nuclear program. In Iran, leaders said they would not wait indefinitely for Biden to act.
The Biden administration will purchase 200 million more coronavirus vaccines and funnel more to states now, in a bid to deliver on the U.S. president's promise to curb the pandemic, a senior administration official said on Tuesday. Biden, who took office last week, is in a race to contain the virus as faster-spreading variants threaten to increase the death toll across the United States, which has already been hard-hit. The administration is briefing state governors on Tuesday about its plans to increase the amount of the vaccine going to those local governments to 10 million doses per week for the next three weeks, up from 8.6 million currently, according to the official who declined to be named, who previewed a policy the president has not yet discussed.
A Georgia state lawmaker said his refusal to take a Covid-19 test got him kicked out of the House chambers on Tuesday. But Georgia House Speaker David Ralston said the lawmaker, Rep. David Clark, has repeatedly refused to follow House policy which states that all members and staff be tested for the coronavirus twice a week. "The member in question had been advised numerous times about the requirements and had refused to be tested at any point during this session," Ralston's office said in a statement on Twitter.
In an interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Monday afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said his caucus won't allow Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to dictate the agenda in the Democratic-led 50-50 Senate or demand an end to the legislative filibuster as a precondition for a power-sharing pact. "While we were airing that right now, and you were watching it, Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell just put out a statement that he is folding on this" and willl "agree to go forward with what Sen. Schumer told him he must," she said.
Four young girls were arrested over the weekend after the fatal stabbing of a 15-year-old girl at a Louisiana Walmart was live-streamed on social media. The four girls, aged between 12 and 14, were arrested on Saturday after the victim was fatally stabbed at a Walmart in Lake Charles, Louisiana, according to a Facebook post by the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office on Sunday. The suspects allegedly used a knife that they had stolen from the store in the incident, just moments after they were seen in the kitchen aisle, according to reports.
Steve Krakauer, editor at Fourth Watch, says 'it shouldn't be contingent' on one reporter to ask Biden tough questions.
A federal judge on Tuesday barred the U.S. government from enforcing a 100-day deportation moratorium that is a key immigration priority of President Joe Biden. U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton issued a temporary restraining order sought by Texas, which sued on Friday against a Department of Homeland Security memo that instructed immigration agencies to pause most deportations. Tipton said the Biden administration had failed “to provide any concrete, reasonable justification for a 100-day pause on deportations.”
The secret defection of Ryu Hyun-woo was unveiled on Monday by two sources in the defector community, and raises questions about the loyalty of the country's elite to the ruling Kim dynasty at a time when the country is beset with crippling financial woes. Mr Ryu was serving as the embassy's charge d'affaires after So Chang-sik, the ambassador, was expelled from Kuwait because of a 2017 United Nations resolution aimed at curbing the pariah state's overseas diplomatic missions. Mr Ryu's defection was first reported by South Korea's Maeil Business newspaper and backed up by Thae Yong Ho, who was North Korea's deputy ambassador to the UK and one of the highest profile defections when he fled in 2016 to Seoul.
The United States often sends ships and aircraft into the South China Sea to "flex its muscles" and this is not good for peace, China's Foreign Ministry said on Monday, after a U.S. aircraft carrier group sailed into the disputed waterway. The strategic South China Sea, through which trillions of dollars in trade flows each year, has long been a focus of contention between Beijing and Washington, with China particularly angered by U.S. military activity there. The U.S. carrier group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt and accompanied by three warships, entered the waterway on Saturday to promote "freedom of the seas", the U.S. military said, just days after Joe Biden became U.S. president..
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.
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.
With former President Donald Trump's Senate impeachment trial looming, several Republicans in the upper chamber are reportedly rallying around the argument that impeaching a president who is already out of office is unconstitutional. As The Dispatch and Politico note, scholars in legal circles that span the political spectrum generally disagree, and Trump himself suggested ex-presidents could be tried a year ago. Per The Washington Post, when Trump was impeached for the first time, he complained that Congress should be going after former President Barack Obama instead over comments he made about health care.
The two richest men on the planet are sparring in front of federal regulators over the massive satellite internet projects their companies are developing. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter on Tuesday, as his company works to persuade Federal Communications Commission officials that it should allow SpaceX to move some of its Starlink satellites to lower altitudes than originally planned. Jeff Bezos' Amazon has been among companies that have disputed SpaceX's request, on the grounds that the modification would interfere with other satellites.
The bureau reported that about 5,300 survivors of the World War II-era mass murder of European Jews and other groups by the Nazis were infected in 2020 with the coronavirus. About 17% of those Holocaust survivors died of the virus, similar to the percentage of others of the same age. All Holocaust survivors are at least 75 years old and COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, is especially lethal to seniors.
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.
The board of Trump Plaza in Florida has voted to remove the ex-president's branding from its twin-buildings following the riots at the US Capitol. The 32-storey tower in downtown West Palm Beach is a 10-minute drive from Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago across the Intracoastal Waterway, where he has returned after leaving the White House to launch the Office of the Former President. Trump Plaza's condo board voted on 19 January to rename the complex after two attempts in 2020.
The European Union's foreign ministers on Monday condemned the arrest of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and the detention of thousands during protests backing the most well-known critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin but stopped short of weighing new sanctions against Russia. “The Council considered it completely unacceptable, condemned the mass detentions, and the police brutality over the weekend,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said after chairing the meeting in Brussels. “We call on Russia for the release of Mr. Navalny and those detained.”
Hong Kong authorities are scrutinising 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.
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.
A firm which provided voting machinery in last year's US presidential election is filing a defamation suit against Donald Trump's lawyer Rudolph Giuliani, seeking $1.3bn (£950m) in damages. Dominion Voting Systems accuses Mr Giuliani of using Twitter and media appearances to promote a false narrative that the election was stolen. Mr Trump has refused to concede that Joe Biden won the 2020 election fairly.
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.
“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.”