Meet today's Feeders Supply Pet of the Day... Sir Floof of Hareville!
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- The Week
Russia announced on Friday it was pulling out of the Open Skies treaty, saying that the pact, which allows unarmed surveillance flights over member countries, had been seriously compromised by the withdrawal of the United States. The move, announced by Russia's foreign ministry, comes days before U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's Jan. 20 inauguration amid fears of a burgeoning arms race. Moscow's last major nuclear arms pact with Washington is set to expire next month.
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“I thought, ‘This could be the end,’” the D.C. police officer said.
- Associated Press
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday decreed parliamentary and presidential elections for later this year in what would be the first vote of its kind since 2006, when the Islamic militant group Hamas won a landslide victory. Elections would pose a major risk for Abbas' Fatah party and also for Hamas, which welcomed the decree. Fatah and Hamas have been publicly calling for elections for more than a decade but have never been able to mend their rift or agree on a process for holding them, and despite Friday's decree, it remained far from clear whether the voting would actually be held.
Britain is tightening border controls to block new variants of COVID-19, suspending all "travel corridor" arrangements that had meant arrivals from some countries did not require quarantine. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is grappling to control a third wave of the virus and prevent the health service from collapse while also racing to vaccinate millions each week. "What we don't want to see is all that hard work undone by the arrival of a new variant that is vaccine-busting," he told a news conference, explaining the end of travel corridors at least until Feb. 15.
The communications director for Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, a firebrand Republican freshman who boasts about carrying a gun to work, has quit after less than two weeks on the job.Why it matters: Ben Goldey’s resignation cited last week's insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, which followed efforts by Boebert and lawmakers to block certification of Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. The Hill veteran’s departure highlights the deep divide among Republicans over President Trump’s conduct.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.What we’re hearing: Goldey said in a statement to Axios: "Following the events of January 6th, I’ve decided to part ways with the office. I wish her and the people of Colorado’s Third District the best."Between the lines: Boebert is a strident Trump supporter firmly on the right flank of the House GOP caucus. She was clear about her views during her campaign, but they have suddenly become politically toxic following last week's attack. * Boebert’s quickly become a lightning rod by railing against “fraudulent” votes for Biden in a floor speech ahead of the attack, and by making a show — including in an ad filmed on the Hill — of her desire to carry a handgun in the Capitol. * Goldey, by contrast, has a more establishment pedigree. He was the press secretary at the Department of Interior until this year, and previously worked for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.Be smart: Goldey’s resignation underscores larger Republican divisions, particularly in the House, where ten GOP members - including conference chair Rep. Liz Cheney - voted to impeach Trump on Wednesday. * The same divisions are evident on the other side of the Capitol. Sen. Ted Cruz's communications director, Lauren Blair Bianchi, also resigned on Monday, reportedly over Cruz's role in the effort to deny certification for Biden. * Trump has fueled the split since the election, demanding the president-elect’s win be overturned, helping incite the violence at the Capitol last week and remaining defiant about his behavior even as he faced his second impeachment by the House yesterday.Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.
- The Guardian
Critics condemn ‘callous betrayal’ after Trump officials set in motion transfer of Oak Flat to Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton Protesters in Oak Flat in June 2015. Oak Flat is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its spiritual and cultural significance. Photograph: Ross D Franklin/AP As one of its last acts, the Trump administration has set in motion the transfer of sacred Native American lands to a pair of Anglo-Australian mining conglomerates. The 2,422-acre Arizona parcel called Oak Flat is of enormous significance to the Western Apache and is now on track for destruction by what is slated to be one of the largest copper mining operations in the United States. Steps for the controversial land transfer from the US government, which owns the land, to the miners were completed on Friday morning, when a final environmental assessment was published. The government must soon transfer title to the land. Native Americans in the area have compared it to historical attacks on their tribes. “What was once gunpowder and disease is now replaced with bureaucratic negligence,” said Wendsler Nosie, founder of activist organization Apache Stronghold and a member of the Apache band descended from Geronimo. “Native people are treated as something invisible or gone. We are not. We don’t want to be pushed around any more.” The move comes after the administration sped up the environmental approval process for the transfer by a full year. During a meeting with environmental groups, regional Forest Service officials attributed the accelerated timeline to “pressure from the highest levels” of the US Department of Agriculture, though the government says it is only because the work was finished more quickly than expected. The recipient of the land is a firm called Resolution Copper, which was set up by the miners Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton. “The Forest Service is clearly jumping through flaming hoops to get this done for Rio Tinto before Trump leaves office,” said Randy Serraglio, conservation advocate with the Center for Biological Diversity. He called it “a callous betrayal of Native people who value the land as sacred.” Last May, Rio Tinto blasted a sacred Aboriginal site in western Australia’s Juukan Gorge. The widespread public outcry and investor revolt over the destruction led the Rio Tinto chairman, Simon Thompson, to promise that the company would “never again” destroy sites of “exceptional archaeological and cultural significance” during mining operations. The Resolution Copper east plant near Superior in Arizona. Photograph: Nancy Wiechec/Reuters Called Chi’chil Bildagoteel in Apache, Oak Flat is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its spiritual and cultural significance to at least a dozen south-west Native American tribes. It contains hundreds of indigenous archaeological sites dating back 1,500 years and is a place where Apache tribes have performed ceremonies for centuries. Yet thousands of feet beneath Oak Flat is a copper deposit estimated to be one of the largest in the world and worth more than $1bn. If the mine goes forward as planned, it will consume 11 square miles, including Apache burial grounds, sacred sites, petroglyphs and medicinal plants. Unbeknown to tribes and environmental groups who had long opposed mining Oak Flat, the land transfer was passed by Congress and signed by Barack Obama in December 2014 as a last-minute rider to a Department of Defense spending bill. The legislation calls for giving Oak Flat to Resolution Copper in exchange for 5,736 acres of its privately held land across Arizona that are desirable for recreation or conservation. While conducting its environmental review, the Forest Service acknowledged that the mine will destroy sites sacred to Native Americans but claimed the loss was an unavoidable consequence of the land exchange mandate. The San Carlos Apache Tribe filed a lawsuit in US district court in Phoenix on Thursday alleging, among other things, that by moving forward with the land exchange the Forest Service is violating the National Historic Preservation Act, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and an 1852 treaty between the United States and Western Apache tribes. On Friday, in a separate lawsuit, a judge denied Apache Stronghold’s request to delay publication of the environmental assessment. But as a result of litigation and public pressure the Forest Service agreed to delay the land transfer for 55 days.Apache Stronghold also filed a lien on Oak Flat claiming that the land was owned by the Apache according to the 1852 treaty – under which Oak Flat was deemed a part of the Apache homeland – and the Forest Service did not have legal title to the property. The Arizona representative Raúl Grijalva and Vermont senator Bernie Sanders also plan to introduce the Save Oak Flat Act in Congress to repeal the land exchange. Tribes and environmental groups are hopeful Oak Flat can still be preserved. “There are plenty of things an incoming Biden administration can do to stop this,” said Serraglio of the Center for Biological Diversity. Even if Oak Flat ends up in the hands of Resolution Copper through title transfer “there is no guarantee they will be able to get any of the other federal permits to actually do the mine”. This story was amended on 16 January 2021 to clarify the status of the lawsuits concerning Oak Flat.
- NBC News
Higgs was the thirteenth federal convict put to death under Trump and the third this week to receive a lethal injection.
- Associated Press