NYPD holds news conference after 1 person killed, 4 hospitalized in suspected chemical spill at Queens apartment.
President Joe Biden will need to renew the relationship with the continent, writes Waihiga Mwaura.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
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.
- LA Times
Changes at 1600: Days don't begin and end with tweets. The press secretary hasn't lied or insulted media. Policy papers are back. The president stays on message.
- 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.
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.
- Associated Press
New first lady Jill Biden took an unannounced detour to the U.S. Capitol on Friday to deliver baskets of chocolate chip cookies to National Guard members, thanking them “for keeping me and my family safe” during President Joe Biden's inauguration. “I just want to say thank you from President Biden and the whole, the entire Biden family,” she told a group of Guard members at the Capitol. “The White House baked you some chocolate chip cookies," she said, before joking that she couldn't say she had baked them herself.
- Reuters Videos
Thousands of people were detained across Russia on Saturday, as protests swept the nation to demand the release of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. Tens of thousands defied an official ban on Saturday's demonstrations, and the extreme cold, as police tried to break up the rallies with force. Amateur video in St. Petersburg showed the moment one woman was kicked to the ground. Navalny called on supporters to protest after he was arrested last weekend. That's shortly after returning to the country for the first time, since being poisoned with a nerve agent in August. In central Moscow, Reuters reporters estimated up to 40, 000 people had gathered in one of the biggest unauthorized rallies in years, though officials there downplayed the number. Protesters there chanted 'Putin is a thief', as well as 'Freedom to Navalny'. As a result, one monitor group says more than 3,000 were detained across about 100 towns and cities. Some of Navalny's political allies were detained in the days leading to the protests. Others, on the day itself. Navalny and his supporters hope the mass demonstrations will pressure the authorities to let him go. The ex-lawyer accused Vladimir Putin of ordering his killing, which the Russian president denies, and now faces years in jail. The West has called for Navalny's release, while denouncing the use of violence over the protests. There was no immediate comment from the Kremlin, who has called the rallies illegal.
A prominent U.S. Senate Republican warned on Saturday that former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial could lead to the prosecution of former Democratic presidents if Republicans retake the chamber in two years. Trump this month became the first U.S. president to be impeached twice after the Democratic-controlled House, with the support of 10 Republicans, voted to charge him with incitement of insurrection for a fiery Jan. 6 speech to his followers before they launched a deadly assault on the Capitol.
- 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
Democrats plan to move quickly on one of the first bills of the new Congress, citing the need for federal election standards and other reforms to shore up the foundations of American democracy after a tumultuous post-election period and deadly riot at the Capitol. Absentee voting allowed for all or just voters with an excuse? Democrats, asserting constitutional authority to set the time, place and manner of federal elections, want national rules they say would make voting more uniform, accessible and fair across the nation.
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
Thousands of Hong Kongers were ordered to stay in their homes on Saturday for the city's first coronavirus lockdown as authorities battle an outbreak in one of its poorest and most densely packed districts. The order bans anyone inside multiple housing blocks within the neighbourhood of Jordan from leaving their apartment unless they can show a negative test. Officials said they planned to test everyone inside the designated zone within 48 hours "in order to achieve the goal of zero cases in the district". The South China Morning Post said the measures covered about 150 housing blocks and up to 9,000 people with hundreds of police on standby to enforce the lockdown. Hong Kong was one of the first places to be struck by the coronavirus after it burst out of central China.
- Business Insider
Barely any time has passed since President Biden's inauguration, and Republicans have already returned to their bag of shenanigans.
- Associated Press
Six months after his death, the late civil rights leader and longtime Georgia congressman John Lewis will retain a palpable influence in Congress: The state’s two new Democratic U.S. senators — both personal friends and admirers — promise to carry on his legacy. Sen. Raphael Warnock was Lewis’ pastor and stood at his bedside before Lewis died.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday that Pfizer had reassured him it would meet Canada's vaccine order in full by end-March as, with a second COVID wave spreading across the country, he hinted at a clampdown on citizens leaving home. Pfizer, which is retooling a European manufacturing plant, told Canada on Tuesday it would receive no vaccine next week, promising more pain for provinces already complaining about a shortage of supplies. Pfizer also said it would cut supplies to the European Union.
- Los Angeles Times Opinion
Trump's decision to pardon a man convicted in the USC bribery scandal shows that money can buy one's way out of any punishment.
- 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