Scientists suspect the homegrown strain is likely linked to the case surge in Los Angeles County since November.Several unknowns surround the variant »
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.
Senate Democrats are drawing a line at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) demand that a power-sharing agreement in the 50-50 Senate include a pledge to retain the legislative filibuster. "If we gave him that, then the filibuster would be on everything, every day," Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) told NBC's Chuck Todd on Sunday's Meet the Press.
A U.S. aircraft carrier group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt has entered the South China Sea to promote "freedom of the seas", the U.S. military said on Sunday, at a time when tensions between China and Taiwan have raised concern in Washington. U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement the strike group entered the South China Sea on Saturday, the same day Taiwan reported a large incursion of Chinese bombers and fighter jets into its air defence identification zone in the vicinity of the Pratas Islands.
Nicola Sturgeon's husband should be investigated for possible perjury over sworn evidence he gave to the Alex Salmond inquiry, the interim Scottish Labour leader has said. Peter Murrell, who is also the SNP's chief executive, is facing questions over the existence of messages to other party officials related to the criminal probe that Mr Salmond faced. When he gave evidence to the Holyrood inquiry under oath last month, Mr Murrell said there were no other messages between himself and party officials about Mr Salmond, other than an exchange in which he spoke about pressure being applied to police to investigate the former party leader.
Five days into her new role, Jill Biden signaled Monday that she'll be a more active first lady, with a trio of virtual appearances before governors' spouses, young Latinos and library officials. She also used the meetings to promote President Joe Biden's call for national unity and his $1.9 trillion pandemic relief proposal, which is facing resistance from some Republicans lawmakers. Jill Biden's early moves seemed designed to signal that she intends to be more active than her predecessor, Melania Trump.
Thousands of people were expected to defy public health concerns and protest against the mistreatment of Australia's Indigenous people as the country marked its national day on Tuesday on the anniversary of the arrival of the British First Fleet in 1788. For many Indigenous Australians, who trace their lineage on the continent back 50,000 years, the Australia Day holiday is known as Invasion Day symbolising the destruction of their cultures by European settlers. In Sydney, Indigenous groups have called for protests to demand the national day be changed, although state health officials have refused to make an exemption to social distancing rules to allow for crowds of more than 500 people.
Indian and Chinese soldiers armed with sticks and stones have brawled again along their disputed frontier, Delhi said, as the neighbours' months-long border stand-off continued. Indian security officials said there were clashes after at least 18 Chinese soldiers tried to cross into Indian-claimed territory at Naku La in Sikkim on January 20. A senior Indian Army official told the Telegraph that four Indian soldiers were wounded after they challenged the Chinese PLA soldiers.
Chinese state media have stoked concerns about Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, despite rigorous trials indicating it is safe. A government spokesperson has raised the unsubstantiated theory that the coronavirus could have emerged from a U.S. military lab, giving it more credence in China. As the ruling Communist Party faces growing questioning about China's vaccines and renewed criticism of its early COVID-19 response, it is hitting back by encouraging conspiracy theories that some experts say could cause harm.
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.
Venezuela's Juan Guaido is a "privileged interlocutor" but no longer considered interim president, European Union states said in a statement on Monday, sticking by their decision to downgrade his status. The EU's 27 states had said on Jan. 6 they could no longer legally recognise Guaido as after he lost his position as head of parliament following legislative elections in Venezuela in December, despite the EU not recognising that vote. Following the disputed re-election of President Nicolas Maduro in 2018, Guaido, as head of parliament, became interim president.
A sprawling quarantine center with more than 4,000 rooms is being thrown up in northern China in response to a COVID-19 outbreak in Shijiazhuang, a city of more than 10 million people in Hebei province. Satellite images from the European Space Agency show dramatic changes over 10 days in an area where there had been only flat land before construction started on Jan. 13. It's common practice for China to mobilize resources nationwide to tackle natural disasters and other crises.
Sarah Sanders, Donald Trump's former press secretary, announced on Monday that she is running to be governor of Arkansas, setting up a potential Republican primary battle centered around Mr Trump and his legacy. Ms Sanders left the White House in 2019 to return to her home state and is still a strong supporter of the former president. She launched her campaign for governor less than a week after the end of Mr Trump's time in office and as he faces an impending impeachment trial.
The European Union will hold off from imposing fresh sanctions on Russian individuals if the Kremlin releases pro-democracy campaigner Alexei Navalny, EU foreign ministers said on Monday, sending the bloc's top diplomat to Moscow next week. Despite calls from Baltic countries, Italy and Romania for sanctions on Russian officials in response to Navalny's detention as he returned to Russia from Germany on Jan. 17, Germany pushed to give the Kremlin more time. "We have agreed today to wait for the court's decision, to wait to see ...
California's health department on Monday released to the public previously secret data points used to determine future hospital intensive care unit capacity, the key metric for lifting the state's coronavirus stay-at-home order. 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. The release of the data points came after coronavirus experts, joined by a public access organization and a business group, said the information should be public, and as Gov. Gavin Newsom's political opponents decried the secrecy.
The Senate has received Donald Trump's impeachment article from the House, triggering a February trial. The Democratic House impeachment managers delivered their ratified article against Donald Trump to the Senate, automatically triggering a process that will culminate with a dramatic trial for the ex-president on 8 February. Joe Biden says the country should be on its way to achieving Covid herd immunity by the summer and that most Americans should get the vaccine by the spring.
Kentucky Congressman James Comer reacts to the early undoing of many Trump policies by the Biden administration.
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.
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. Despite its early success, experts have warned that the country's strategy to trace clusters of cases rather than conduct mass tests could face limits as virus cases surge nationwide.
This could be seen on Wednesday when President Joe Biden was sworn in at noon during the inaugural ceremonies, then just hours later signed 17 executive orders focusing on the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and undoing his predecessor's legacy on issues like immigration and foreign relations. As work quietly continued behind the scenes, Mr Biden spent the weekend meeting with advisers in the Oval Office, receiving briefings and mapping out his first 100 days. It was quite the difference from Donald Trump's first weekend in office: sworn in on a Friday afternoon, the former president spent his first days as commander-in-chief lying about his Inauguration Day crowd sizes, attacking members of the media as being “among the most dishonest human beings on Earth” and, of course, posting his stream of consciousness to social media in the form of endless tweets.
What Kamala Harris did on her first day Howard students' joy as Kamala Harris makes history The oldest of the four children of a civil servant father and a homemaker mother, Ms Gopalan wanted to study biochemistry. But hard sciences were not on offer at Delhi's Lady Irwin College for women, founded by India's British colonial rulers, and she had to settle for an undergraduate degree in home science, where she would have studied subjects like nutrition and homemaking skills. "My father and I would tease her about it," Gopalan Balachandran, her brother, told the BBC.
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.
The wife of the late Republican Senator John McCain has said she counts being censured by the Arizona GOP as a “badge of honour”. Cindy McCain was among three people censured by the state party for openly disparaging former president Donald Trump. Former Sen. Jeff Flake and Gov. Doug Ducey were also censured following a vote by the Arizona GOP, although their censure is largely symbolic.
President Joe Biden's stimulus plan is facing criticism that it'd give too much to the wealthy. A bipartisan group of 16 senators spoke with the Biden administration during a call Sunday. The group also expressed support for increasing funding for vaccine distribution.
Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund plans to double its assets to 4 trillion riyals ($1.07 trillion) by 2025, Prince Mohammed bin Salman said on Sunday, a move that would make it one of the world's biggest sovereign wealth funds. The fund would invest 3 trillion riyals in new sectors over the next 10 years, said the prince, who is Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler and chairs the fund's board. A new five-year plan would make the fund "the leading catalyst for Saudi Arabia's economic transformation and diversification," the prince added in a speech on state TV.
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.
“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.”