Sunday morning, Jan. 31, brought some snowy views of the landscape of White Bear Lake, Minnesota.
- The Independent
McConnell adviser says GOP should cut ties with Marjorie Taylor Greene to make her ‘most useless congressperson’
Georgia congresswoman says she has the ‘full support’ of Donald Trump
- Associated Press
After President Joe Biden revoked Keystone XL’s presidential permit and shut down construction of the long-disputed pipeline that was to carry oil from Canada to Texas, opponents of other pipelines hoped the projects they’ve been fighting would be next. The Biden administration hasn't specified what action it might take on other pipelines, but industry experts doubt there will be swift changes like the one that stopped Keystone.
Six Chinese fighter aircraft and a U.S. reconnaissance aircraft entered the southwestern corner of Taiwan's air defence identification zone on Sunday, the island's defence ministry said, in an unusual admission of U.S. military activity. Tensions have spiked over the last week or so after Taiwan reported multiple Chinese fighters and bombers flying into the zone last weekend, in an area close to the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands in the northern part of the South China Sea.
- The Telegraph
Rural communities have suffered a steep rise in hare coursing, with the RSPCA saying the growing involvement of gangs in wildlife crimes is a major factor in its decision to hand over its 200-year-old prosecuting powers to the CPS. Dozens of rural landowners are being repeatedly targeted by gangs who gather to bet on the outcome of dogs chasing down and killing as many hares as possible. Latest figures obtained by The Telegraph show that in some counties, such as North Yorkshire, there was a 51 per cent increase in incidents of hare coursing and poaching last year. A similar increase is expected this year. The RSPCA’s chief executive, Chris Sherwood, said on Saturday: “We’re involved in cases that involve cock fighting, badger baiting and hare coursing, which can involve millions of pounds of fraud, tax evasion and even weapons and these cases are complex. “We think there’s a better way for us which is to mirror the situation in Scotland, where our sister charity, the SSPCA, transfers its cases and files over to the procurator fiscal, the Scottish equivalent of the CPS, so there’s that division between investigation and prosecution.”
- The Independent
Steve Bannon appears to laugh off Giuliani’s latest conspiracy theory blaming Lincoln Project member for Capitol riot
Donald Trump’s attorney claims Antifa and right-wing groups opposed to the former president were behind the insurrection
- The Week
Biden reportedly expected to nominate judges with legal backgrounds 'historically underrepresented on the federal bench'
For decades, NBC News notes, the Republican Party has been the political faction emphasizing the courts in the United States, but now Democrats appear to be playing catch-up as they look to fill several federal vacancies before the mid-terms in 2022 when they could lose their slim Senate majority. If they do fill the seats, White House Counsel Dana Remus recently wrote in a letter to senators that was obtained by NBC, it will likely be with "individuals whose legal experiences have been historically underrepresented on the federal bench, including those whose who are public defenders, civil rights and legal aid attorneys, and those who represent Americans in every walk of life" rather than, say, prosecutors or "big corporate lawyers." Chris Kang, a co-founder of the progressive group Demand Justice and former deputy counsel in the Obama administration, similarly told NBC he expects President Biden's first set of judiciary nominees are "going to look very different than the kind of judges that Democratic presidents have put forward in the past" and will likely have "radically" different backgrounds, which "will make a huge difference in our courts." Read more at NBC News. More stories from theweek.comTrump's impeachment defense is out. Bannon is reportedly encouraging him to go to the Senate himself.Here's what to expect from Pence's post-VP lifeThe reality of Brexit
A group of 10 Senate Republicans, led by Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), sent a letter to President Biden Sunday requesting a meeting with the president, saying they have developed a counterproposal to the president's COVID-19 relief plan.The big picture: The proposal includes $160 billion in spending for vaccines, testing and tracing, treatment and medical equipment. The senators said the plan "could be approved quickly by Congress with bipartisan support," if it gained Biden's support.Support safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here. * The Senators' proposal includes a measure to renew unemployment benefits that expire in March. It also seeks to send a new round of direct payments to "families who need assistance the most," and to send additional assistance to small businesses. * "Our proposal reflects many of your stated priorities," the senators wrote.What they're saying: “In the spirit of bipartisanship and unity, we have developed a COVID-19 relief framework that builds on prior COVID assistance laws, all of which passed with bipartisan support,” the senators wrote.Between the lines: Biden has said he prefers a bipartisan approach to getting his plan through Congress, writes Axios Hans Nichols. * But he hasn’t ruled out relying on Democratic votes alone to pass his proposal through budget reconciliation, which requires a simple majority in the Senate. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signaled last week that Democrats would seek to use the tactic if they could not garner Republican support.What's new: National Economic Council Director Brian Deese told CNN's State of the Union on Sunday morning that the White House has "seen the letter and will be reviewing it over the course of the day."What's next: The senators will reveal more of the plan's details on Monday, per Politico. Go deeper: White House plots "full-court press" for $1.9 trillion relief planGet smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
Hong Kong Secretary of Justice Teresa Cheng reiterated on Saturday that Britain had no rights over the city under the joint declaration that laid the blueprint for how the city would be ruled after its 1997 reunification with China. Cheng made the comments in a blog post on the eve of changes to the UK's visa application program that will allow Hong Kong residents who hold a British National Overseas (BNO) passport to live, study and work in Britain for five years and eventually apply for citizenship.
- NBC News
Kay Martley said she was stunned by the Los Angeles County DA’s decision to stop opposing parole for the Manson follower convicted of killing her cousin.
- Associated Press
Impeachment fever has struck Kentucky, where grievances over coronavirus restrictions and the outcome of the Breonna Taylor death investigation have spurred petitions to oust both the governor and the attorney general. It's a card rarely played in any serious way in the Bluegrass State, though Kentucky has had its share of provocative elected officials. In the two new cases, the effort to impeach was triggered by disagreements over policy or executive decisions at the highest levels of Kentucky government.
- Reuters Videos
Police have detained more than a thousand people at Sunday's rallies across Russia to protest the jailing of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.Hundreds were detained at rallies in Siberia and Russia's Far East.More were held as protesters took to the streets in Moscow.Police in Moscow detained at least 100 people as the rallies began under snowfall amid a huge police presence, Reuters reporters said. Crowds of protesters were scattered about in Moscow after the organizers twice changed the planned gathering pointPolice took highly unusual steps to seal off pedestrian access to areas of the capital and shut down metro stations.Police put turnout at the Moscow protest at around 300 people.The rallies follow large protests last weekend and are part of a campaign to pressure the Kremlin into freeing President Putin's most prominent opponent.The opposition politician was arrested on January 17th after returning to Moscow from Germany where he'd been recovering from a nerve agent poisoning in Russia last summer.He accuses Putin of ordering his murder, which the Kremlin denies.
- The Week
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) led a group of 10 Republican senators — including fellow moderates Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) — that on Sunday announced plans to unveil a $600 million COVID-19 relief package they believe could serve as a bipartisan alternative to President Biden's $1.9 trillion plan, which the GOP has deemed too expensive. The details are expected to be released Monday, though The Washington Post reports it will likely not include Biden's proposal to increase the federal minimum wage and it will also reportedly narrow eligibility for a new round of $1,400 stimulus checks to individuals earning $50,000 per year or less or couples earing $100,000 per year or less. The Republicans want to meet with Biden to discuss their counterproposal. "We want to work in good faith with you and your administration to meet the health, economic, and societal challenges" of the COVID-19 pandemic, they wrote in a letter. Whether Democrats will be open to discussing the idea remains to be seen (Biden's top economic adviser reiterated Sunday that the president is determined to act swiftly), but, as the Post notes, the fact that 10 Republicans are on board with the plan is significant. If the two sides do reach a compromise that would give the Senate the 60 votes required to pass legislation without the Democrats having to seek a workaround. Read more at The Washington Post. More stories from theweek.comTrump's impeachment defense is out. Bannon is reportedly encouraging him to go to the Senate himself.Here's what to expect from Pence's post-VP lifeThe reality of Brexit
Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) tested positive for the COVID-19, but remains asymptomatic, after receiving the second dose of the coronavirus vaccine, his office said Friday. Why it matters: Lynch's case stresses the importance of continuing to social distance and wear a face mask even after getting vaccinated. Support safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.What they're saying: Lynch received a positive test result on Friday "after a staff member in the Congressman's Boston office had tested positive earlier in the week," Lynch's spokesperson, Molly Rose Tarpey, said in a statement, per the Boston Globe. * "Congressman Lynch had received the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine and subsequently received a negative COVID-19 test prior to attending President Biden's Inauguration," she added. * Lynch "remains asymptomatic and feels fine" but will continue to "self-quarantine and will vote by proxy in Congress during the coming weeks." * It is unclear when Lynch received each dose of the vaccine. * Lynch's office did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment. The big picture: Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, the companies that have developed the two vaccines authorized in the U.S., say their vaccines are about 95% effective at preventing people from getting sick after getting the second dose of their respective vaccines. * "It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity (protection against the virus that causes COVID-19) after vaccination," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes. * "That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and still get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection," the CDC adds. * It is also not yet clear how effective the vaccine is against infection and transmission, but researchers say it should prevent people from getting sick. Go deeper: We're selling the coronavirus vaccine shortBe smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.
China has temporarily banned entry of foreign nationals travelling from Canada, even if they hold valid Chinese residence permits for work, the Chinese consulate in Toronto said. "All foreign nationals who hold valid Chinese residence permits for work, personal matters and reunion are temporarily not allowed to enter China from Canada," the consulate said in a statement on its website on Saturday. Entry with diplomatic and service visas will not be affected, it said.
- NBC News
One woman with family in South Korea said she’s "jealous that they’re in a place where people care about other people and take precautions."
- Associated Press
The fugitive leader of Ethiopia’s embattled Tigray region has reportedly made his first public comments in three months, urging the international community to investigate alleged “genocide” and other abuses by forces including those from neighboring Eritrea. It was not immediately possible to verify the audio comments by Debretsion Gebremichael posted late Saturday by Tigray-allied media outlet Dimtsi Weyane.
- Consumer Reports
There’s a reason the frying pan is the go-to piece of cooking equipment for so many cooks: versatility. You can use it to make everything from a grilled cheese sandwich to a sauce. Consumer Repor...
Russian businessman Arkady Rotenberg said on Saturday he owns a huge palace in southern Russia which jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny has linked to President Vladimir Putin. Navalny and his anti-corruption foundation have published a video in which they allege the opulent mansion belonged to the Russian leader. Rotenberg, Putin's former judo sparring partner who sold his stake in gas pipeline construction firm Stroygazmontazh in 2019 for a sum which RBC business daily put at some 75 billion roubles ($990 million), said he bought the palace two years ago.
- The Independent
QAnon conspiracies include belief CNN anchor is a ‘robot’
- Reuters Videos
Cancun and Tulum, eastern Mexico, have become favourite destinations for Americans even though the country now has the third highest coronavirus mortality rate in the world.Relaxed restrictions at the Mexican border has lead to an influx of Americans looking to unwind. While many countries require a negative coronavirus test or a period of quarantine upon arrival, Mexico does not ask for either.In November, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) assigned the highest travel alert level for Mexico and advised its citizens not to travel to the Latin American country due to an increase in COVID-19 cases.Despite the warnings, thousands flock to the Mexican Caribbean in search of parties and nightlife.The Mexican health ministry on Thursday (January 28) reported 18,670 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections and 1,506 additional fatalities, bringing the total number of cases to 1,825,519 and deaths to 155,145.