By J.R. Wu TAINAN, Taiwan (Reuters) - Rescuers pulled more survivors from a collapsed apartment tower in Taiwan on Sunday and kept searching for about 120 people still believed trapped in the rubble a day after a strong earthquake shook the island. Those found alive include a 20-year-old identified by Taiwan media as Huang Kuang-wei and another man in his 20s surnamed Kuo, who was able to walk out of the wreckage, supported by rescuers. Both were sent to hospital. Firefighters, police, soldiers and volunteers combed through the ruins, some using their hands, watched anxiously by dozens of the victims' family members who wore thick jackets, woollen hats and scarves to combat the winter chill. Medical staff with empty gurneys waited nearby. "She's not answering my phone calls ... I am trying to hold my emotions and stay strong. I'll do that until I find her," said a woman surnamed Chang, 42, waiting to hear from her 24-year-old daughter who lived on the fifth floor of the complex. Another lady, who gave her family name as Li, said she thought a friend she met at a Buddhism class two years ago lived in the collapsed building. She has her cellphone number but has not called it, Li said. "I'm afraid to. I'm afraid I'll cry," she told Reuters. At least 26 people are known to have died in the quake, which struck at about 4 a.m. on Saturday, at the beginning of a Lunar New Year holiday, with most found in the collapsed Wei-guan Golden Dragon Building in the southern city of Tainan. Around 120 people are still beneath the rubble of the commercial-residential block, with most them trapped deep in the wreckage, the government said. Bodies continue to be found, including those of two sisters, aged 18 and 23, Taiwanese media reported. The building's lower floors pancaked on top of each other in the 6.4 magnitude quake and then the whole structure toppled, raising immediate questions about the quality of materials and workmanship used in its construction in the 1990s. President Ma Ying-jeou is scheduled to visit the disaster zone on Monday, the first day of the Lunar New Year. Tsai Ing-wen, elected president in elections last month, will also visit Tainan the same day. QUESTIONS Tainan Mayor William Lai told reporters about 120 people are believed still missing in the debris, with efforts focusing on some 30 people who are closest to the rescuers and lighter equipment like drills being used. The extent of damage to the Golden Dragon Building has raised questions. Liu Shih-chung, Tainan city government deputy secretary general, said television footage of its ruins suggested the possibility of structural problems related to poor-quality reinforced steel and cement. However, city officials have said it is too early to say for certain if poor construction was a factor in the collapse. Authorities said the building had 96 apartments and 256 registered residents, though more people were inside when it collapsed. Rescuers wearing red and yellow overalls have pulled more than 240 survivors from the ruins and inserted huge supports under slabs of leaning concrete as they searched for additional survivors. Buildings in nine other locations in the city of 2 million people had collapsed and five were left tilting at alarming angles. (Additional reporting by Yimou Lee, Carol Lee and Pichi Chuang; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel, Himani Sarkar and Andrew Heavens)
- Yahoo News
Republicans built up QAnon backer Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, but now are they afraid of what they created?
On the eve of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the combative Georgia Republican known for her association with QAnon, was back on Twitter after a 12-hour suspension, and back to making waves.
Tam Dinh Pham of the Houston police department was part of the deadly mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. A veteran Houston police officer is in trouble after attending the U.S. Capitol riots in Washington, D.C., then lying about it. Officer Tam Dinh Pham joined the deadly mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
- The Week
Constitutionally-speaking, Chief Justice John Roberts is meant to preside over President Trump's impeachment trial, but he apparently wants out, Politico reports.Multiple Republican and Democratic sources have reportedly told Politico that Roberts is seeking a way to avoid the job because of how things played out when he oversaw Trump's first impeachment trial last year. Roberts, Politico notes, has worked hard to keep the Supreme Court apolitical during his tenure, so he was reportedly displeased that he "became a top target of the left" during the proceedings. "He wants no further part of this," one source told Politico, although there's been no official word from Roberts' camp about what he'll ultimately do.Trump's trial is a bit of a constitutional oddity. On the one hand, it's a presidential impeachment, but on the other hand, the trial will take place after he leaves office, which is why there's a chance Roberts may have some wiggle room. Historically, either the vice president or the longest-serving member of the Senate have taken up the mantle for lower-level impeachments, per Politico. That means Vice President-elect Kamala Harris or Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) could be the choice. Read more at Politico.More stories from theweek.com 5 more scathing cartoons about Trump's 2nd impeachment Biden honors coronavirus victims during somber ceremony Trump's White House staff and alumni are reportedly using the same excuse to skip his big sendoff
- Associated Press
Pakistan’s prime minister reacted angrily Monday to media reports of a text exchange between an Indian TV anchor and a former media industry executive that suggests a 2019 Indian airstrike inside Pakistan was designed to boost Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s chances for reelection. Imran Khan took to Twitter to respond to Indian media reports of an exchange on the WhatsApp messaging service between popular Indian TV anchor Arnab Goswami and Partho Dasgupta, the former head of a TV rating company.
An independent panel said on Monday that Chinese officials could have applied public health measures more forcefully in January to curb the initial COVID-19 outbreak, and criticised the World Health Organization (WHO) for not declaring an international emergency until Jan. 30. The experts reviewing the global handling of the pandemic, led by former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark and former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, called for reforms to the Geneva-based United Nations agency.Their interim report was published hours after the WHO's top emergency expert, Mike Ryan, said that global deaths from COVID-19 were expected to top 100,000 per week "very soon". "What is clear to the Panel is that public health measures could have been applied more forcefully by local and national health authorities in China in January," the report said, referring to the initial outbreak of the new disease in the central city of Wuhan, in Hubei province.
- The Independent
‘It’s unfortunate’: Ashley Biden confirms first lady snubbed her mother on traditional White House handover
"I think we’re all OK with it,' says incoming first daughter in first ever TV interview
- Architectural Digest
Mercedes-Benz’s Hyperscreen, General Motors’ Bright Drop, and Jeep’s Electric Wrangler were among the unveils that turned headsOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
A boy who was killed in an alleged murder-suicide by his father has been identified as 9-year-old Pierce O’Loughlin. Family tragedy: The boy and his father, Stephen O'Loughlin, 49, were both found dead at their home on Scott Street, Marina District in San Francisco on Wednesday afternoon, SF Chronicle reports. The boy’s mother, Lesley Hu, asked authorities to check on her son after learning that he did not show up for school that day.
- Associated Press
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson narrowly avoided a defeat in Parliament on Tuesday after lawmakers voted against a controversial proposal seeking to bar trade deals with any country deemed by the U.K. High Court to be committing genocide. The amendment to the government’s post-Brexit trade bill was largely designed to force international action in addressing China’s alleged human rights abuses against the Uighur minority in the far western Xinjiang region.
- NBC News
Suspect William McCall Calhoun Jr. faces a host of charges stemming from the Jan. 6 pro-Trump riot at the U.S. Capitol Building.
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is set to take office on Wednesday with only a few of his top chosen deputies in place. The Democrat's Cabinet appointees are awaiting approval by the Senate, who are set to hold their first confirmation hearings on Tuesday. Biden's pick for Treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, will meet with the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday at 10 a.m. EST (1500 GMT).
Inauguration Day is a time of great expectancy and transformation. There are reports of at least 12 National Guard members being removed from the inauguration patrol duties. There are 25,000 troops in D.C. to protect attendees at the inauguration after the deadly and unprecedented Jan. 6 Capitol Hill insurrection.
- The Week
Anthony Scaramucci was right: The White House appears to be having trouble rounding up a sizable crowd for President Trump's official send-off from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Wednesday."In what looks like a desperate attempt to build a crowd for the crowd-obsessed president, an email has been making the rounds to current and former White House officials inviting them, and as many as five plus-ones, to Trump's elaborate exit ceremony," Politico reported Tuesday morning. "The go-to excuse for skipping out has been the 6 a.m. call time at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. But truly, many just don't want to be photographed sending off their former boss."Trump's current staffers have a good reason to avoid their outgoing boss. "Former White House officials and campaign staffers who would typically land plum jobs in corporate America after serving their time are now out in the cold," Politico says. One former White House official who got out early put it this way: "No one wants to touch them, they're just toxic." Another former Trump aide, pointing to the fallout from the Jan. 6 insurrection, was more blunt, telling Politico: "They're f---ed."Trump will be the first president since Andrew Johnson, another member of the tiny impeached president club, to skip the inauguration of his successor. "Johnson snubbed Ulysses S. Grant in 1869," The Washington Post notes. More stories from theweek.com 5 more scathing cartoons about Trump's 2nd impeachment Biden honors coronavirus victims during somber ceremony Chief Justice John Roberts reportedly wants no part of Trump's impeachment trial
- Associated Press
A California sheriff’s deputy was killed and another deputy was wounded in a shootout with a suspect who gunned down a K-9 dog before he was fatally shot, authorities said. The gunbattle erupted in Sacramento near a racetrack at the Cal Expo event venue after a vehicle pursuit late Monday, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones said. The deputy who died was identified as Adam Gibson, a six-year veteran of the department, Jones said.
- National Review
Senator Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) blocked a quick confirmation of Alejandro Mayorkas as Joe Biden’s Department of Homeland Security secretary, citing Mayorkas’s immigration policy stance. Mayorkas is a former Obama administration official considered the architect of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allowed illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children a renewable deportation deferment, without providing a path to citizenship. The confirmation hearings for Mayorkas come as Biden has pledged to undue many of the Trump administration’s restrictions on immigration, although it is unclear how quickly the Biden administration can act on those promises. “Mr. Mayorkas has not adequately explained how he will enforce federal law and secure the southern border given President-elect Biden’s promise to roll back major enforcement and security measures,” Hawley said in a statement. “Given this, I cannot consent to skip the standard vetting process and fast-track this nomination when so many questions remain unanswered.” Biden is reportedly set to propose an immigration-reform bill that would grant roughly eleven million illegal immigrants a path to citizenship over eight years. The bill could also grant citizenship to agricultural workers and illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. However, the proposal is not expected to include Republican-backed border security measures. The looming immigration debates in Congress come as a new migrant caravan continues to travel toward the U.S.-Mexico border. Several thousand people in the caravan clashed with Guatemalan security forces while crossing the border from Honduras on Sunday. “There’s help on the way, but now is not the time to make the journey,” a Biden official said in comments to NBC.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that Germany may need to consider border crossing curbs if other European countries do not act to halt the spread of the coronavirus, particularly its new, more transmissible variants. Her comments came after she and leaders of Germany's 16 states agreed to extend for another two weeks a lockdown for most shops and schools until Feb. 14. Germany shares borders with nine countries, and there are growing concerns about infection rates in some of them, including Czech Republic, where commuter traffic is heavy.
- Yahoo News Video
President-elect Joe Biden has tapped Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine to be his assistant secretary of health, leaving her poised to become the first openly transgender federal official to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
- Associated Press
Already facing allegations of stealing more than $600,000 in federal funds from a health care school she directed, a Tennessee state senator has been charged in a new fraud case, the U.S. attorney’s office in Memphis said Tuesday. Democrat Katrina Robinson and two other people have been charged in a complaint with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering, about six months after Robinson was indicted on federal charges that she used grant money earmarked for health care worker training to pay for her wedding and honeymoon, a Jeep Renegade for her daughter, her children’s snow cone business, and other things. In the case disclosed Tuesday, prosecutors said Brooke Boudreaux, an associate of Robinson, convinced someone to pay $14,470 in tuition to the school Robinson runs in Memphis on Boudreaux's behalf.
- The Telegraph
The final days of a presidential term normally see an outgoing president issue a series of pardons to those who have had criminal convictions. Rumours are swirling about who Donald Trump may pardon, but what is a presidential pardon and how might Trump exercise this power? What is a pardon? A presidential pardon is a legal act under the constitution that allows presidents to unilaterally set aside a punishment for a federal crime. This can involve commuting a sentence, removing a fine or providing clemency. A president can issue a pardon for any federal crime except impeachment.
- The Independent
President-elect’s nominee will now need votes of 60 senators to move forward