Murphy signed into law Thursday a bill authorizing over $14 billion in tax credits for businesses.
- The Independent
Sean Hannity denounces Biden’s first week as ‘disastrous’ before the president completed a full day of work
‘The Biden administration is off to a very rocky start,’ Fox News host says
California's top prosecutor opened an investigation on Friday into the scandal-plagued Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, probing accusations the agency had engaged in a long pattern of excessive force, illegal shootings and abuse of jail inmates. The civil rights probe follows years of allegations that the nation's largest local law enforcement agency was rife with abuse throughout its ranks that top supervisors tolerated and in some cases covered up.
- The Telegraph
Russian police detained Yulia Navalnaya, the wife of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, at a protest in Moscow on Saturday as demonstrations in support of the opposition leader swept across Russia. Authorities detained at least 1,600 people at unauthorised rallies in Moscow and dozens of cities across the country, with some reports of violent clashes between protesters and riot police. At least 10,000 people joined protests in Moscow, according to estimates, in a test to Vladimir Putin. Protests began in Russia’s Far East and Siberia on Saturday morning. Seven time zones east of Moscow, about 3,000 people marched across the city of Vladivostok on the Pacific Ocean, chanting “Navalny!” In Novosibirsk, chants “Putin is a thief” rang out in freezing minus 19 C temperatures as opposition supporters walked across the city to the main square.
- Reuters Videos
A U.S. aircraft carrier group has entered the South China Sea, the U.S. military said on Sunday (January 24), at a time when tensions between China and Taiwan are raising concern in Washington. Just days into U.S. President Joe Biden's administration, which says its commitment to Taiwan is "rock-solid". The carriers entered the South China Sea on Saturday, the same day Taiwan reported a large incursion of Chinese bombers and fighter jets into its air space in the vicinity of the Pratas Islands. The U.S. military said its carriers, led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt, were conducting routine operations, quote, "to ensure freedom of the seas." Taipei reported more Chinese incursions on Sunday. China views democratically ruled Taiwan as its own territory, and has in the past few months increased military activity near the island. But this weekend marked an escalation. China dispatched fighters and bombers, rather than reconnaissance aircraft, as had generally been the case. Beijing has not yet commented. Washington urged China on Saturday to stop pressuring Taiwan and reaffirmed its commitment to the island and desire to deepen ties.
As his first directive in office, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued a memo asking his senior military leaders to send him reports on sexual assault prevention programs and assess which have worked and which haven’t.Why it matters: Military leaders have grappled with a steady increase in sexual misconduct reports since 2006. The consistent trend has concerned senators, who repeatedly asked Austin how he plans to tackle this problem during his confirmation hearings, per AP.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here. * Austin agreed this was an urgent matter, telling senators, “This starts with me and you can count on me getting after this on Day One.” * Lawmakers have repeatedly called for action, including changes in the Code of Military Justice.By the numbers: According to department reports, there was a 13% spike in reports in 2018 and a 3% increase in 2019. * Nate Galbreath, the acting director of the Pentagon’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, said the increase in reports suggests that more people were willing to come forward, therefore gaining confidence in the justice system. * Last April he also stated that he was cautiously optimistic that the lower increase in 2019 reports suggested a trend in declining assaults.Where it stands: Last year officials announced a new system in which any victim who refuses to file a public criminal report can provide details about their alleged attacker so investigators can evaluate if they have been involved in other crimes.What’s next: Austin plans to host a meeting on the matter with senior leaders in the coming days. * Each leader is to submit a summary of the sexual assault and harassment measures they have taken in the last year and evaluate which ones show promise and which don’t. * Austin also asked for relevant data for the past decade, including efforts to support victims. * He also stated in his memo, “Include in your report the consideration of novel approaches to any of these areas,” adding, “we must not be afraid to get creative.”Support safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- The Independent
‘We’re a National Guard family’: Jill Biden visits Capitol troops with cookies after some were forced to stay in garage
"The National Guard always holds a special place in the hearts of all the Bidens. So thank you,” Dr Biden says
- Associated Press
The main opposition challenger in Belarus’ disputed presidential election urged the United Nations on Friday to call for a halt to “violence and lawlessness” in the country, including media censorship, internet shutdowns, website blockages and cancellation of accreditation for journalists. Former presidential candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya told an informal meeting of the U.N. Security Council that since September the situation in her nation “has only worsened” and the media remain under assault from President Alexander Lukashenko’s regime.
Pirates off Nigeria's coast kidnapped 15 sailors from a Turkish container ship in the Gulf of Guinea on Saturday in a brazen and violent attack that was farther from shore than usual. One sailor was killed in the raid, an Azerbaijani citizen, while those kidnapped are from Turkey, according to the respective governments and a crew list obtained by Reuters. Accounts from crew, family members and security sources described a sophisticated and well-orchestrated attack on Saturday in which armed pirates boarded the ship and breached its protective citadel, possibly with explosives.
- The Telegraph
Boris Johnson told Joe Biden his arrival in the White House was a "moment of hope in a dark time" as he became the first leader outside North America to speak to the US President. The Prime Minister is believed to be the third world leader to speak to Mr Biden after his scheduled call was brought forward by two days in what will be seen as a major boost for the special relationship between the UK and US. Mr Johnson spoke to Mr Biden in a 35 minute phone call from his office at 10 Downing Street. The pair discussed "a very wide range of subjects", sources said, describing the conversation as "very warm, friendly and wide ranging with agreement on key issues". One source said Mr Johnson welcomed the “fantastic initial announcements from the Biden administration and ‘moment of hope’ in a dark time”. Announcing the phone call on Twitter, Mr Johnson said it was "great to speak to President Joe Biden".
- Associated Press
Canada said its officials have met online with former diplomat Michael Kovrig, who has been held in China for more than two years in a case related to an executive of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei. Canada’s Foreign Ministry said officials led by Ambassador Dominic Barton were given “on-site virtual consular access” to Kovrig on Thursday. Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor have been confined since Dec. 10, 2018, just days after Canada detained Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, who is also the daughter of the founder of the Chinese telecommunications equipment giant.
Guyana said late on Saturday that a Venezuelan navy vessel detained two vessels that were fishing in Guyana's exclusive economic zone, the latest dispute in a long-running border conflict between the two South American nations. Caracas says much of eastern Guyana is its own territory, a claim that is rejected by Georgetown. The conflict has flared up in recent years as Guyana has started developing oil reserves near the disputed area.
- The Telegraph
The Biden administration has already set itself on a collision course with Saudi Arabia after its director of National Intelligence vowed to declassify a report on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. The push to release the intelligence community’s assessment of the murder of the dissident journalist, which is believed to implicate Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has the potential to trigger a major fallout with the kingdom. Avril Haines, who was confirmed in her new role on Thursday, told Congress “we will follow the law” regarding the report, referring to the Trump administration’s refusal to release the full version for US House representatives. The CIA is said to have concluded with a high degree of confidence that Prince Mohammed, or MBS - a close ally of the previous government - ordered the Washington Post columnist’s assassination at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018. However, its contents have not been made public. MBS, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, has denied he ordered the murder and the Trump administration publicly stood by him despite international condemnation.
- Associated Press
A Chinese city has brought 2,600 temporary treatment rooms online as the country’s north battles new clusters of coronavirus. The single-occupancy rooms in the city of Nangong in Hebei province just outside Beijing are each equipped with their own heaters, toilets, showers and other amenities, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. Special attention has been paid to Hebei because of its proximity to the capital and the province has locked down large areas to prevent further spread of the virus.
Venezuela's opposition accused President Nicolas Maduro's government on Friday of unilaterally changing the destination of medication and equipment provided by the Pan American Health Organization, in a "clear violation" of an agreement to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Last June, Venezuela's health ministry and technical advisers to the then opposition-dominated National Assembly signed an agreement to implement a COVID-19 response supported by PAHO. The ministry and technical advisers had agreed the tests and machines would be sent to 27 hospitals, Miguel Pizarro, designated by opposition leader Juan Guaido as representative to the United Nations, said in a statement.
- The Telegraph
The SNP has revealed a "roadmap to a referendum" on Scottish independence, with the latest poll showing a majority want a fresh vote. Mike Russell, the Scottish Government's Constitution Secretary, will present the 11-point document to the party's policy forum on Sunday. It says a "legal referendum" will be held after the pandemic if there is a pro-independence majority following May's election. The roadmap states any attempt by the UK Government to challenge the legality of the referendum in the courts will be "vigorously opposed". A Section 30 order - part of the Scotland Act 1998 which allows Holyrood to pass laws normally reserved to Westminster - was granted by the UK Government ahead of the 2014 independence referendum.
- Associated Press
Ultra-Orthodox demonstrators clashed with Israeli police in two major cities on Sunday, as authorities faced new difficulties in enforcing coronavirus restrictions in the country's religious communities. The clashes occurred in Jerusalem and Ashdod as police attempted to close religious schools that had opened in violation of lockdown orders. This has contributed to a disproportionate infection rate, with the ultra-Orthodox community accounting for over one-third of Israel's coronavirus cases, despite making up just over 10% of the population.
President Joe Biden will need to renew the relationship with the continent, writes Waihiga Mwaura.
Support for Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has overseen the world's second deadliest coronavirus outbreak, has fallen sharply, a Datafolha poll shows, as a brutal second wave and a lack of vaccines sour views of his far-right government. However, despite his declining support, a majority of Brazilians are now against him being impeached, a second Datafolha poll found. According to one of the polls, Bolsonaro's administration was rated as bad or terrible by 40% of respondents, compared with 32% in an early-December survey.
- The Week
Russian police have reportedly detained more than 1,000 people across the country who took to the streets in support of opposition leader Alexey Navalny, a top rival of Russian President Vladimir Putin who was detained last week when he returned to Moscow from Berlin, where he had spent months recovering from a poisoning allegedly carried out by Russia's FSB spy agency. He was handed a 30-day jail term.Among those reportedly detained at Saturday's rallies was Navalny's wife, Yulia Navalnaya, who had previously said she's been under surveillance since her husband's arrest. She posted a picture of herself inside a police van to her Instagram account, while CNN reports a video on social media shows her being stopped by officers at the entrance to a metro station in Moscow and led to the van. Lyubov Sobol, a prominent activist and lawyer for Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation, was also reportedly detained, per Deutsche Welle.The demonstrations began in the eastern Russian city of Vladivostok and spread west throughout the day, with protesters in some cities bracing frigid temperatures.> LOOK: Protesters threw snow at police officers in Ufa, Russia, during nationwide protests demanding the release of jailed opposition leader Alexey Navalny> > Big crowds were also seen in Yekaterinburg where temperatures reached -28°C (-18°F) pic.twitter.com/8xzIIJFYYG> > — Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) January 23, 2021Reuters estimates 40,000 people gathered in central Moscow, where mass arrests reportedly began before the protest officially started, DW reports.> Mass arrests have already started on Moscow’s Pushkin Square - even before the official beginning of a protest demanding Navalny be let out of prison. Police seem to be grabbing people on the square at random. Dozens of arrests across the country at other protests already. pic.twitter.com/wGUE0iErDT> > — Emily Sherwin (@EmilyCSherwin) January 23, 2021Still, the demonstrators remained on the street for what appears to be one of the largest anti-Putin rallies in years. Read more at Deutsche Welle and CNN.More stories from theweek.com 5 scathingly funny cartoons about Biden's COVID-19 push 7 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's White House exit 'No way' McConnell has had a post-Trump 'epiphany,' political scientist says
- The Telegraph
Israel has started vaccinating teenagers as it expanded its world-leading Covid-19 vaccination campaign to 16-18 year-olds in an effort to get them back in schools to take their winter exams on schedule. At least one dose has been administered to over 25 per cent of Israel’s 9.25 million population, with just over 10.5 per cent having received a second dose. Working its way down its priority list, the vaccine in Israel is now available to anyone over 40 or, with parental permission, those aged between 16 and 18. The winter matriculation certificate is a large part of university and military admissions. Israel struck a deal with Pfizer at the beginning of January that allowed them to expedite delivery of the vaccine so that all over 16s would be inoculated by the end of March, in return for extensive data on their vaccination campaign to share with the world. Israeli health minister, Yuli Edelstein, told The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday that the data from their vaccination programme suggests a first dose gave just 30 per cent protection from coronavirus. “We are just at the beginning of the (vaccination) campaign, we do see cases of people that after getting the first dose still get sick with the coronavirus,” he said.