The power company is shutting off power to nearly 800,000 California customers to prevents its electric lines from sparking more deadly wildfires. Yahoo Finance's Melody Hahm joins Akiko Fujita on The Ticker to break it all down.
- Yahoo News
Counterintelligence official Michael Orlando joins a growing chorus of voices on both sides of the political aisle who point to China as a major national security threat, particularly in terms of technology and cybersecurity.
- Associated Press
Libya’s coast guard intercepted on Friday more than 80 Europe-bound migrants in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of the North African country, the U.N. migration agency said. The migrants were returned to Libyan soil, said the International Organization for Migration. “So far this year, some 300 people, including women and children, were returned to the country and ended up in detention,” said the IOM.
- Christian Science Monitor
Alexei Navalny is back in Russia and calling for protests against Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin. But his sway with the Russian public remains modest.
- The Week
Biden has stopped construction on Trump's border wall, but the fate of outstanding contracts is unclear
Among the first 17 executive orders President Biden signed Wednesday evening was one hitting "pause" on construction of former President Donald Trump's border wall. "It shall be the policy of my administration that no more American taxpayer dollars be diverted to construct a border wall," Biden's order said. "I am also directing a careful review of all resources appropriated or redirected to construct a southern border wall."Biden gave the Pentagon and Homeland Security departments up to a week to stop all border construction, and for the most part, the frantic wall-building Trump had unleashed in his last months in office had stopped by Thursday, The Associated Press reports. The Army Corps of Engineers said Thursday it told its contractors to stop installing any additional barriers and do only what's "necessary to safely prepare each site for a suspension of work."Biden gave his administration 60 days to find and review all current contracts and determine which can be canceled, which must be renegotiated, and whether any of the remaining money can be used on other projects. Trump, as of Jan. 15, had spent $6.1 billion of the $10.8 billion in wall construction it had contracted out, a Senate Democratic aide told AP. Overall, the Trump administration had secured $16.45 billion for the wall, including $5.8 billion appropriated by Congress and the rest seized from the Treasury and Defense departments. Biden is targeting that latter pot of money.Trump says he built 450 miles of his wall, though almost all of that was replacement for other barriers. His administration signed contracts for constructing 664 miles, the Senate aide told AP. "Trump said the border wall would be 'virtually impenetrable' and paid for by Mexico, which never happened," AP notes. "While the wall is much more formidable than the barriers it replaced, it isn't uncommon for smugglers to guide people over or through it. Portions can be sawed with power tools sold at home improvement stores."More stories from theweek.com 7 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's White House exit McConnell is already moving to strangle the Biden presidency Biden's next executive order will let people stay on unemployment if they quit an unsafe job
- Architectural Digest
“The materials and colors took center stage,” said David Lucas when it came to the design of the home.Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- NBC News
The teen spent two weeks creating over 40 fake returns in order to obtain over $980,000, police say.
- The Independent
Infowars founder claimed shooting was 'a giant hoax’ and that grieving parents were actors
- Associated Press
Iran's capital and major cities plunged into darkness in recent weeks as rolling outages left millions without electricity for hours. With toxic smog blanketing Tehran skies and the country buckling under the pandemic and other mounting crises, social media has been rife with speculation. Within days, as frustration spread among residents, the government launched a wide-ranging crackdown on Bitcoin processing centers, which require immense amounts of electricity to power their specialized computers and to keep them cool — a burden on Iran's power grid.
- The Telegraph
Joe Biden has warned the final death toll from the coronavirus pandemic in the United States will be "well over 600,000”. It also emerged that between 150 and 200 of the 25,000 National Guard soldiers deployed to Washington following the US Capitol riots on Jan 6 had tested positive for the virus. Mr Biden said on Friday: "A lot of America is hurting. The virus is surging. We're 400,000 dead, expected to reach well over 600,000. "Families are going hungry, people are at risk of being evicted, job losses are mounting again. We need to act.” He ordered an expansion of government food aid to counter the worst hunger crisis the US has seen in modern times. On his third day in the job the new president issued executive orders increasing sustenance assistance, speeding up stimulus payments, and laying the groundwork for a $15 minimum wage for government workers and contractors. Mr Biden said: "The crisis is only deepening. It's not getting better, it's deepening. A lot of folk are waiting hours in their cars to feed their children at a food bank. In the United States of America. This cannot be who we are as a country.”
- NBC News
Biden's acting attorney general signed off on reassigning prosecutor who objected to family separations
The incident would have made Wilkinson aware families were being separated long before the Texas pilot program for zero tolerance was known to the public.
- The Week
Majority of House GOP reportedly supports removing Liz Cheney from leadership after impeachment vote
House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney is facing an internal resistance after splitting from her party on former President Donald Trump's impeachment.Cheney, the No. 3 Republican in the House, was one of only a handful of Republicans who voted to impeach Trump over his role in inciting the Capitol riot. More than a majority of GOP House members have since indicated they'd support ousting Cheney from her leadership spot, while at least two other Republicans have lined up to replace her, Politico reports.At least 107 House members — more than half the caucus — privately support removing Cheney from power, multiple GOP sources involved in the effort told Politico. Meanwhile New York Reps. Elise Stefanik and Lee Zeldin, who defended Trump during both of his impeachments, are reportedly looking to replace her.House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) have said they don't intend to remove Cheney. But McCarthy also echoed Republicans' reported anger that Cheney voiced her support of impeachment the day before the House vote, giving Democrats time to use her views in their own arguments. "Questions need to be answered," such as the "style in which things were delivered," McCarthy told reporters Thursday.Many other Republicans, including some who voted against impeachment, meanwhile don't want Cheney removed just for "vot[ing] her conscience," as Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) put it. Others argue removing Cheney would fly in the face of the party's unification message in the post-Trump era — something Cheney herself is trying to counter by making "making calls to all corners of the conference to hear lawmakers out," Politico reports.More stories from theweek.com 7 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's White House exit McConnell is already moving to strangle the Biden presidency Biden's next executive order will let people stay on unemployment if they quit an unsafe job
- 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.
- The Independent
Several senators also offered space for guardsmen to use during their breaks
- National Review
Britain’s essential fortnightly magazine Private Eye, whose trademark stance of delivering hard news with a witty bipartisan cynicism about politics has no parallel in the U.S., runs a regular feature entitled “O.B.N.” Longtime readers understand this to be the Order of the Brown Nose, an honor given to the most outlandishly, hilariously sycophantic punditry of the moment. If Private Eye were a U.S. publication, its O.B.N. feature would have to be expanded to sprawl across several pages as it considers the media’s bulk delivery of valentines to the incoming administration. Step forward, Eddie Glaude of MSNBC, who on Tuesday night compared Joe Biden to the Lord and said his ascension would comfort the dead: “President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President Harris pulled the grief and regret out of the privacy of our hearts,” he said. “I’m reminded of the Psalmist, you know? ‘He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.’ Maybe the dead will speak to us now. Maybe they can rest now.” Close competition came from CNN’s David Chalian: “I mean, those lights that are, that are, just shooting out from the Lincoln Memorial, uh, along the reflecting pool, it’s like almost extensions of Joe Biden’s arms embracing America.” John Harwood of CNBC didn’t wait for Joe Biden to be sworn in before informing us that his presidency would surely go beautifully, observing the morning of January 20 in a tweet that the transition from Donald Trump to Biden meant a journey from “ignorance” to “knowledge,” from “amorality” (he meant “immorality”) to “decency,” from “corruption to “public service” (the Biden family members who have gotten rich selling their connections high-five each other) and from “lies” to “truth.” Hours later, a Biden official hiding under a cloak of anonymity falsely stated that the Trump administration never developed a national vaccination plan and printed it as the truth shortly before Anthony Fauci clarified that there certainly was a vaccination plan and noted that many millions had been given their shots under it. Assessing Biden’s unremarkable inaugural speech, Lawrence O’Donnell of MSNBC mislabeled it “astonishing,” which is like calling Scranton a megalopolis. “The unity Joe Biden was talking about was both poetic and realistic at the same time,” O’Donnell claimed. “What he did in about 21 minutes was absolutely astonishing under these incredibly challenging circumstances.” Meanwhile, former Democratic campaign operative George Stephanopoulos of ABC News said the address contained “echoes of Lincoln,” and Major Garrett of CBS News said the famously undisciplined speaker sounded “like a priest explaining something from the Bible or something.” Many commentators rediscovered a notion, dormant for the last four years, that the president is ex officio the nation’s father, leaving implied the corollary that America is a family, the directives of whose National Dad we all must follow. Which doesn’t sound like America at all, unless we’re talking about South America. In the Seventies. Byron Pitts, ABC’s national correspondent, said, “I thought from Joe Biden today, certainly he was commander in chief, but he was also papa-in-chief. He gave a speech to comfort the nation.” Surely Biden is more like the nation’s great-grandfather: As of last August, he was older than 96 percent of those alive today, and when he joined the Senate, six of his colleagues had been born in the 1800s. A large majority of American presidents (27) died younger than Biden is now. “It’s a majestic day . . . there’s a cleansing, there’s an air of cleansing about today,” said John King of CNN. That’s a fairly tone-deaf thing to say about a nation in the grip of a pandemic that suffered a greater loss of life to COVID on Inauguration Day (4,448) than it did to terrorists on 9/11, but at least King didn’t go into outright fan fiction as the Daily Beast recently did with (I’m not making this up) a subheadline reading “Pet psychic Beth Lee-Crowther says Joe Biden’s dogs, Major and Champ, told her they are excited to live in the White House. They also say their master will be a ‘great president.’” Why is that last bit in quotation marks? Can we see a transcript? Crowther based her comments on looking at a photo of the dogs from her home in England. So she didn’t even interview them? An intoxicating day for the media, it seems. But the next day the hangover appeared: “Media trust hits new low,” ran a grim report on Axios. For the first time in the history of polling on the question, fewer than half of Americans trust the major media. Most Americans (56 percent) have finally grokked something that is obviously true: that “journalists and reporters are purposely trying to mislead people by saying things they know are false or gross exaggerations,” while nearly three-fifths (58 percent) have noticed the equally obvious reason and agree that “most news organizations are more concerned with supporting an ideology or political position than with informing the public.” The media have taken up the cause of fighting “misinformation” as their sworn duty, but their problem is a lack of standing to call out untruths. As one observer quoted by Axios put it, “We don’t have a misinformation problem. We have a trust problem.”
- NBC News
Attorneys for Rittenhouse did not object to the changes. Rittenhouse is accused of killing two amid protests last year.
- The Week
Seven Senate Democrats filed an ethics complaint against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) on Thursday, asking the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate whether they coordinated with leaders of the pro-Trump "Stop the Steal" rally that took place immediately before the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.In a letter, the Democrats — Sens. Ron Wyden (Ore.), Tina Smith (Minn.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), Tim Kaine (Va.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), and Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) — said the committee "should also offer recommendations for strong disciplinary action, including up to expulsion or censure, if warranted by the facts uncovered."Prior to the rally and attack on the Capitol, Hawley and Cruz said they would object to the vote counts in several states lost by former President Donald Trump. This "amplified claims of election fraud that had resulted in threats of violence against state and local officials around the country," the letter stated, adding that Hawley and Cruz "touted their plan to challenge the electors to drum up campaign contributions."The Democrats said the question that must be answered is whether Cruz and Hawley "failed to 'put loyalty to the highest moral principles and to country above loyalty to persons, party, or government department' or engaged in 'improper conduct reflecting on the Senate' in connection with the violence on Jan. 6."Hawley and Cruz have both defended themselves by saying they believed they were protecting the integrity of the election.More stories from theweek.com 7 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's White House exit McConnell is already moving to strangle the Biden presidency Biden's next executive order will let people stay on unemployment if they quit an unsafe job
- FOX News Videos
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., reacted to Amazon offering President Biden help to distribute the vaccine after President Trump left office.
- Associated Press
A Colombian businessman was carrying a letter from Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accrediting him to Iran's supreme leader when he was arrested on a U.S. warrant last year, according to a new court filing in a politically charged corruption case ratcheting up tensions with the South American nation. Attorneys for Alex Saab made the filing in Miami federal court Thursday just hours after prosecutors in the African nation of Cape Verde said they granted the 49-year-old Colombian house arrest as he fights extradition to the U.S. to face money laundering charges. U.S. officials believe Saab holds numerous secrets about how Maduro, his family and top aides allegedly siphoned off millions of dollars in government contracts amid widespread hunger in the oil-rich nation.
- The Independent
Stainless steel Rolex worth $7,000 causes stir
- Associated Press Videos
President Joe Biden plans executive action providing stopgap relief to millions while Congress considers his $1.9 trillion aid package. "If we don't act now, we'll be in a much worse place," says National Economic Council director Brian Deese. (Jan. 22)