NLVPD is holding a toy giveaway on Saturday, Dec. 19 from 1 - 4 p.m.
- Yahoo News
- The Week
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. What's more, there are evidently two usher buttons in the Oval Office, one at the Resolute Desk and the other next to the chair by the fireplace, a former White House official told Politico, adding that Trump didn't actually use the Diet Coke button all that much because "he would usually just verbally ask the valets, who were around all day, for what he needed." In any case, it is not the placement of the button that matters, of course, but how you use it. And Biden will presumably know better than to order ice cream treats during a top-secret national security briefing. More stories from theweek.comMitch McConnell is the GOATSarah Huckabee Sanders' shameless campaign for governorTrump's impeachment lawyer said he thinks 'the facts and the law will speak for themselves'
- Associated Press
A senior Yemeni security official was found dead on Wednesday in the southern port city of Aden, a day after unknown armed men abducted him outside his home, officials said. According to the officials, Brig. Ibrahim Harad was taken late on Tuesday in front of his house in Aden’s Buraiqeh district. Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest nation, has been convulsed by civil war since 2014, when the Iran-backed Houthi rebels took control of the country’s north, including the capital, Sanaa.
Pirates who seized 15 sailors when they stormed a Turkish-crewed container ship in the Gulf of Guinea two days ago have not yet made contact with authorities, Turkey's foreign minister said on Monday. "We have not yet received word from the pirates," foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters in Ankara. Turkey was in contact with officials in Gabon, where he said the Liberian-flagged container ship Mozart had docked with its remaining crew, and with authorities in neighbouring countries.
- National Review
Russian President Vladimir Putin told the virtual “Davos Agenda” conference on Wednesday that recent events in the U.S. had underscored the danger of “public discontent” combined with “modern technology.”The big picture: Putin, a late addition to the speakers' list, is facing protests at home over the arrest of opposition figure Alexey Navalny. Several experts and activists criticized the World Economic Forum for inviting him, with chess champion and Kremlin critic Garry Kasparov tweeting that Putin’s appearance showed he was “desperate to reassure his cronies he's still acceptable in the West despite his brutal crackdown.”Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.What he’s saying: Putin said growing inequality and “systemic socio-economic problems” were “splitting the society,” adding: “This pressure shows through even in those countries which seem to possess well-established civic and democratic institutions.” * He said Big Tech firms had established monopolies, and questioned whether their services were serving “the public interest” or further contributing to the divide. * “We have seen all of this quite recently in the United States, and everybody understands quite well what I’m talking about," he said.Between the lines: This could also be read as a self-serving argument from Putin, who has sharply curtailed freedoms online and was only yesterday forced to respond to a viral YouTube video in which Navalny claimed he owned a “billion dollar palace."The other side: Putin’s style diverged sharply from Chinese President Xi Jinping, who addressed the conference on Monday. * Xi appeared polished and camera-ready, breaking his speech into four themes and speaking in sweeping terms about international cooperation. * Putin was late to start, sat in a slouched position and peppered his speech with economic statistics in a tone that alternated between combativeness and disinterest.Worth noting: Putin also contended that countries facing internal divisions were seizing on “external enemies,” particularly “countries that do not agree to become docile, easy to control satellites.” * He argued that the increasing the use of tools like sanctions would only increase the risk of future “military force.”Go deeper: Biden's Russia challengeSupport safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- The Week
Career officials at the State Department "don't expect huge improvements" under the Biden administration, a U.S. diplomat told Politico. So far, people who stuck it out for four years under the Trump administration feel like they're being snubbed in favor of political appointees as higher-level positions get filled. On the one hand, Politico reports, the fact that not a single career official was named in the first wave of top appointments that require Senate confirmation is seen as "a slight to the hardworking rank-and-file officials," especially after they felt they were not treated well under the previous administration. "The diplomatic corps has been battered and bruised," the diplomat told Politico. "Why not come explain your thinking? I'm prepared for disappointment and under-delivering from this team." But the criticism may not all be personal. Brett Bruen, a consultant who previously served on the Obama National Security Council, suggested that passing over holdovers from the Trump years could hinder policy decisions. "None of the people who were there for the last four years, who understand how the world has changed, will be in the room when the big decisions were being made," he told Politico. A spokesperson for Secretary of State Antony Blinken tried to ease the concerns, telling Politico "career experts will always be at the center of our diplomacy." Read more at Politico. More stories from theweek.comMitch McConnell is the GOATSarah Huckabee Sanders' shameless campaign for governorTrump's impeachment lawyer said he thinks 'the facts and the law will speak for themselves'
- Architectural Digest
Let’s get loudOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- The Telegraph
Germany and Russia create 'green' foundation that skirts US sanctions to finish Nord Stream pipeline
A German state has been accused of using a 'green' foundation backed with Russian money to bypass US sanctions against the completion of the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the northeasternmost state in Germany, set up the Climate and Environmental Protection MV foundation earlier this month claiming its goal was to “further environmental projects in the Baltic Sea region.” One such project, the state confirmed, would be assisting in the completion of the North Stream 2 gas pipeline, construction of which has been complicated by US sanctions. But it appears that finishing the gas line is likely to be the foundation’s primary aim. The Russian state-owned gas company Gazprom gets to choose its chairperson, while funding it with an initial €20 million. State governor Manuela Schwesig, of the Social Democrats, justified the foundation's involvement in the gas project, saying "we have always taken the view that the Baltic Sea pipeline is part of climate protection." Speaking to state broadcaster ARD on Sunday, Ms Schwesig said the foundation would “neither build nor operate the pipeline,” but conceded that part of its function would be “providing assistance where US sanctions threaten German companies.” The US Senate imposed penalties on companies involved in the project at the end of 2019, fearing that the pipeline, which delivers gas directly from the Russian port of Vyborg, would give Moscow too much control over European energy supplies. The sanctions led Swiss company Allseas to pull out with just 150 kilometers of piping left to lay. With Russian ships now preparing to lay the last stretch of piping, the foundation is likely to take over logistics work on German soil. This task was previously conducted by a small German harbour which US senators threatened last summer with “crushing legal and economic sanctions.” A legal assessment obtained by the environmental organisation German Environmental Help concluded that the foundation would get around US sanctions, as these do not target state organisations. But it also concluded that, if the foundation’s primary aim was financial, it would be an abuse of German charity law. Politicians have also voiced concerns about Russian influence. "Ninety nine percent of the text of the statutes is about climate and environmental protection, but 99 percent of the money comes directly from Nord Stream 2 AG, which is owned by Gazprom," said Alexander Graf Lambsdorff of the opposition Free Democrats in a local radio interview. US President Joe Biden indicated on Tuesday that he would not change the policy of his predecessor of pressuring Berlin to halt construction. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Mr Biden "continues to believe that Nord Stream 2 is a bad deal for Europe." Mr Biden held his first phone call with Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday, but read-outs of the conversation published by both sides suggest that Nord Stream 2 did not come up. Mr Biden also spoke to Russian President Vladmitir Putin this week, but Nord Stream 2 was also not mentioned in the read-out of the conversation. Ms Merkel has vowed to complete the project, hinting that she would only be prepared to talk if the US also put its energy imports from Russia “on the table.” But the recent incarceration of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, coupled with a desire to reset relations with Washington after four tricky years, have increased pressure in Germany for her to change her course. The European parliament also voted last week in favour of a resolution which demands an immediate stop to the construction as a consequence of Mr Navalny’s arrest.
- The Independent
‘She was always having a good time, making people laugh and was generous and kind’
Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows is joining the Conservative Partnership Institute, a group run by former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint that operates as a "networking hub" for conservative groups, sources familiar with his plans tell Axios.Between the lines: Meadows, who is still in frequent contact with former President Trump and has been advising him ahead of his impeachment trial, will now operate behind the scenes to help create more members like Jim Jordan, Ted Cruz, and Josh Hawley — conservative firebrands with strong networks and staffs.Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America. * The House Freedom Caucus founder will also play a key role in gathering grassroots support to oppose Biden nominees and policies in the first 100 days, the sources said. * His first day is on Wednesday.The backdrop: DeMint founded CPI because he felt the conservative movement did a lousy job at helping members of Congress be effective legislators once they get to D.C. * His team has since focused on placing conservatives in prime spots in the Trump administration and Capitol Hill, and has trained staff on strategy and congressional rules and procedure. * Other CPI staff include Wesley Denton, former chief of staff in Trump's Office of Management and Budget; Ed Corrigan, former executive director of the Senate Steering Committee under DeMint, Mike Lee and Jeff Sessions; and Rachel Bovard, former Rand Paul legislative director and a leading conservative voice on Big Tech battles.Support safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- NBC News
While the Democratic-controlled House could pass the bill again, its chances of clearing the Senate are nil.
- The Week
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. "We've told McConnell no on the organizing resolution, and that's that. So there's no negotiations on that," Schumer said, suggesting he had a secret plan. "There are ways to deal with him." Maddow included an update when she broadcast the interview Monday night. "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. "Sen. Mitch McConnell has caved and Sen. Schumer has won that fight. That was quick. Let's see what else we can do." No sooner has the portion of Rachel Maddow's interview with Senator Majority Leader Chuck Schumer aired than Mitch McConnell has put out a statement that he is folding, ending the stand-off. pic.twitter.com/9qR1jpKXkf — Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) January 26, 2021 McConnell said he would allow the Senate to move forward because two Democrats had reiterated their opposition to ending the filibuster, effectively taking that option off the table. Maddow asked Schumer about that, too, and he didn't answer directly. "The caucus is united with the belief that I have: We must get big, strong, bold things done," Schumer said. The Democratic caucus is also "totally united" that "we will not let Mitch McConnell dictate to us what we will do and not do," and "we have tools that we can use," notably the budget reconciliation process," he added. "We will come together as a caucus and figure it out." "We will not let Mitch McConnell dictate to us what we will do and not do." Here's Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer earlier in his interview with Rachel Maddow, talking about the filibuster specifically, and getting things done. pic.twitter.com/xOAKWfe2Fu — Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) January 26, 2021 Schumer also suggested he is not interested in playing cat-and-mouse with McConnell's Republicans again. Watch below. "We will not repeat that mistake." Senate Majority Leader Schumer cites Obama era lessons in prioritizing legislation over bad faith Republican 'bipartisanship.' pic.twitter.com/gpc1kBP45w — Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) January 26, 2021 More stories from theweek.comSarah Huckabee Sanders' shameless campaign for governorTrump's impeachment lawyer said he thinks 'the facts and the law will speak for themselves'Mitch McConnell is the GOAT
- Yahoo News Video
- The Telegraph
Iceland has issued its first vaccination certificates to ease international travel for those inoculated against Covid-19, authorities told AFP on Tuesday, with EU countries still haggling over using such documents. All the 4,800 Icelanders who have received two doses of coronavirus vaccine are eligible for the digital certificates, said the health ministry, which has set up a website to handle their distribution. "The aim to facilitate the movement of people between countries so that the individuals can show a vaccination certificate during border checks and be exempt from border restrictions," the ministry said. However, the documents have yet to be recognised internationally. Iceland, which is not an EU member but is part of the bloc's Schengen open travel zone, intends to allow most Europeans bearing similar certificates to enter the country. But Brussels is still trying to find a consensus between member states about the certificates. Greece backs the idea to boost its suffering tourism industry.
- NBC News
Steven Brandenburg was fired from the Aurora Medical Center after the hospital said he admitted he "intentionally removed the vaccine from refrigeration."
- The Week
At least six members of the Proud Boys, a group of right-wing nationalist "Western chauvinists," have been arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 violent siege of the U.S. Capitol. Among those charged is Joseph Biggs, a Proud Boy leader who led about 100 men from former President Donald Trump's "Stop the Steal" rally to the Capitol. Prosecutors and federal investigators are now trying to determine how closely the Proud Boys communicated during the siege and whether they planned the incursion in advance, The New York Times reports. Investigators have recently turned their attention to two Proud Boy organizers on the West Coast, Ethan Nordean of Auburn, Washington, and Eddie Block from Madera, California, the Times reports, citing a federal law enforcement official. Nordean, also called Rufio Panman, has not been charged, and Block, who live-streamed the insurrection, told the Times that federal agents seized his electronic equipment on Friday. Investigator are also scrutinizing the role of Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio, who was not at the riot because he had been banned from Washington, D.C., two days earlier. Still, "despite having launched one of the most sprawling inquiries in American history, investigators have yet to unearth clear-cut evidence suggesting there was a widespread conspiracy to assault the Capitol," the Times reports. The Wall Street Journal made a pretty compelling case Tuesday that the Proud Boys were at least key instigators of the assault, based on a thorough review of video and social media posts. The Proud Boys have publicly downplayed their involvement in the Capitol incursion. Tarrio told the Times a week after the siege that it was misguided and anyone who damaged the Capitol or assaulted police should be prosecuted. The handful of Proud Boys arrested after being filmed breaking into the Capitol, like Dominic Pezzola, "obviously, they didn't help our cause," he added. Federal authorities as of Monday had charged about 150 of the more than 800 people who charged into the Capitol, and "it's likely not everyone will be tracked down and charged with a crime," The Associated Press reports. There were few arrests during the incursion, and "federal prosecutors are focusing on the most critical cases and the most egregious examples of wrongdoing." Some Capitol insurrectionists were turned in to the FBI by friends and family members, AP notes, but in dozens of cases, the rioters themselves "downright flaunted their activity on social media." More stories from theweek.comMitch McConnell is the GOATSarah Huckabee Sanders' shameless campaign for governorTrump's impeachment lawyer said he thinks 'the facts and the law will speak for themselves'