According to a Gallup poll released Tuesday, President Trump is the most admired man of the year. Trump received 18% of the vote, knocking former President Barack Obama out of the top spot he has held for 12 years.
- Yahoo News
- Yahoo News
- The Telegraph
The leader of the Proud Boys extremist group has been unmasked as a "prolific" former FBI informant. Enrique Tarrio, 36, worked undercover exposing a human trafficking ring, and helped with drug and gambling cases, according to court documents. Tarrio's documented involvement with law enforcement related to the period 2012 -2014. There was no evidence of him cooperating after that. But the revelation raised further questions over why police did not take further steps to secure the US Capitol ahead of the riots on Jan 6. At least half a dozen members of the Proud Boys were arrested over involvement in the riots. Tarrio denied ever being an informer, telling Reuters: "I don’t know any of this. I don’t recall any of this."
- The Week
President Biden on Wednesday turned his attention to climate issues, signing executive orders that seek to halt new oil and gas leases on public lands and waters, conserve 30 percent of federal lands and waters by 2030, and find ways to double wind production by the same year. John Kerry, the first-ever United States Climate Envoy, championed the actions, reiterating his belief that the climate crisis is "existential" and "failure, literally, is not an option." While briefing reporters, Kerry was asked about potential job losses in the fossil fuel industry, and whether he had a message for workers who believe they are witnessing the end of their livelihoods. Kerry explained that those workers "have been fed a false narrative" by the Trump administration about the shift to clean energy, which he said will not come "at their expense." He added that, before the COVID-19 pandemic, the solar and wind energy industries were growing swiftly, while coal plants have been closing over the last few decades. "The same people can do those jobs. But the choice of doing the solar power one now is a better choice," he said, also pointing out the health risks associated with coal mining. John Kerry says oil and gas workers have been fed a "false narrative" that action on climate change will hurt their livelihoods, and that President Biden wants to "make sure that those folks have better choices" for jobs in the energy sector https://t.co/Nj065CIsxp pic.twitter.com/czkjomesi8 — CBS News (@CBSNews) January 27, 2021 Republicans like Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) weren't buying the reassurance, suggesting that Kerry's statement lacked empathy, although he didn't explicitly refute the notion that an industry transition may be feasible for fossil fuel workers. John Kerry's message to the tens of thousands of Americans who lost their jobs thanks to the Biden administration: go make solar panels. Where is the empathy that Joe Biden promised in his inauguration? https://t.co/CvQovUlEoD — Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) January 27, 2021 More stories from theweek.comWith Senate Republicans balking at convicting Trump, Democrats explore alternative censuresGameStop makes the case for financial regulationMitch McConnell is the GOAT
The Biden administration laid out its Israel-Palestine policy at the UN Security Council on Tuesday, highlighting the importance of repairing ties with the Palestinian Authority.Driving the news: According to the new policies, the U.S. will resume aid to the Palestinians and reopen the PLO office in Washington and the consulate in Jerusalem.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here. * The Biden administration will oppose annexation, settlement building and the demolition of Palestinian homes by Israel, and incitement and payments to terrorists by the Palestinians.One of the key players in drafting those policies, Hady Amr, will also have a key role in implementing them as the State Department's deputy assistant secretary for Israel-Palestine. Amr is highly respected by Palestinian officials, who see him as a balanced actor. * Amr’s job at the State Department is his fifth executive branch post. He previously served at the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security. * Under Obama, Amr served as deputy special envoy for economics and Gaza, working with the special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, Martin Indyk. * One of Amr's teammates from that period was Julie Sawyer, the new director for Israel-Palestine on Biden's National Security Council.What to watch: The Biden administration is not planning to appoint a special envoy for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. * The issue will be handled mostly by the State Department, which means Amr could have significant influence. * It remains to be seen who will be picked as assistant secretary for Near East affairs and ambassador to Israel.Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.
- National Review
China ratcheted up its rhetoric towards Taiwan on Thursday, bluntly warning the island that “independence means war” after increased Chinese military activity was recorded near Taiwan over the weekend. “We warn Taiwan independence elements: those who play with fire will be burned. Taiwan independence means war,” warned Chinese Ministry of National Defense spokesperson Wu Qian. China sent a total of 28 Chinese fighter jets and bombers into the Taiwan Strait and the island’s southwestern air defense identification zone over the weekend, just days after President Biden’s inauguration. The U.S. responded swiftly with a warning to China to back down from its intimidation tactics. “We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic and economic pressure against Taiwan and instead engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan’s democratically elected representatives,” the State Department said Saturday. The State Department reaffirmed that the U.S. commitment to Taiwan is “rock-solid” and said Washington is concerned about China’s “pattern” of intimidation towards its neighbors, including Taiwan. Qian called Taiwan an “inalienable part of China’s territory” and said the the ramped up military activity near the island is a “solemn response to external interference and provocations by Taiwan independence forces.” China is taking “necessary actions to address the current security situation in the Taiwan Strait and to safeguard national sovereignty and security,” Qian said. Taiwan’s defense ministry has not commented on China’s warning. The Chinese began flying military planes through the Taiwan Strait on a regular basis in March, 2019, but the presence near Taiwan over the weekend was the largest in several years.
- The Telegraph
Russian authorities target Navalny's associates and wife in series of police raids ahead of protests
- Yahoo News
“By signing this order, President Biden indicates that he’s more interested in the views of the citizens of Paris than in the jobs of the citizens of Pittsburgh,” Cruz said.
- Associated Press
As the 76th anniversary on Wednesday of the liberation of Auschwitz draws closer, Bill Harvey, who survived the concentration camp, said he was shocked by displays of anti-Semitism during the U.S. Capitol riot. Some of the supporters of former President Donald Trump who broke into and ransacked the seat of Congress on Jan. 6 wore clothes bearing anti-Semitic messages, or displayed Nazi symbols. Harvey, interviewed by Zoom from his Los Angeles home on Monday, expressed concern that the lessons that should have been learned from World War Two's Nazi Holocaust are fading.
- The Telegraph
- The Independent
Biden news - live: Republican Party suffers ‘mass exodus’ as Marjorie Taylor Greene scandal consumes Congress
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- The Week
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) flies to Florida to raise money on Thursday, and he's making a stop at Mar-a-Lago to meet with former President Donald Trump around lunchtime, Politico reports. McCarthy reportedly asked for the meeting, his first with Trump since the Jan. 6 Capitol siege by a mob of Trump supporters, and he has been effusive about the tête-à-tête. "Kevin can't shut up about it," one Trump adviser joked to Politico. McCarthy sees the visit as a way to smooth over their absolute "soap opera" of a relationship since the insurrection, and also as a way to inquire about Trump's political plans, Politico reports. "Unlike Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who reportedly doesn't want to speak to the ex-president ever again, McCarthy believes it's in his interest to be on Trump's good side," since Trump is still widely popular with the GOP base McCarthy needs to show up in 2022. But "Trump world is ecstatic about the visit," too, "viewing the huddle as proof of a comeback in the making," Politico adds. Trump will "give Kevin an earful" about the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach him, the Trump adviser said. But McCarthy's pilgrimage is "the first solid bit of evidence that Donald Trump is still in charge of the party." Read more at Politico's Playbook. More stories from theweek.comWith Senate Republicans balking at convicting Trump, Democrats explore alternative censuresGameStop makes the case for financial regulationMitch McConnell is the GOAT
Germany faces a shortage of coronavirus shots well into April, its health minister said on Thursday, and called for a summit with the country's state leaders to discuss vaccinations as the government faced fresh criticism over the pace of the roll-out. "We will still have at least 10 tough weeks with a shortage of vaccine," Jens Spahn said in a Tweet, adding the meeting should focus on how Europe gets its fair share of shots and what can be done to support the process. A spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel said she backed the proposal and planning for the summit was already underway.
- Associated Press
- Architectural Digest
Let’s get loudOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- NBC News
Analysis: Biden had nothing to gain and everything to lose from fighting a quixotic war over the filibuster just days into his presidency.
- FOX News Videos
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey criticizes the Biden administration’s climate orders on ‘America’s Newsroom.’
- The Conversation
Why it takes 2 shots to make mRNA vaccines do their antibody-creating best – and what the data shows on delaying the booster dose
After a second dose of the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine, a swarm of antibodies attacks the virus. Kateryna Kon/Science Photo Library via Getty ImagesWith the U.S. facing vaccination delays because of worker shortages and distribution problems, federal health officials now say it’s OK to push back the second dose of the two-part vaccine by as much as six weeks. As an infectious disease doctor, I’ve been fielding a lot of questions from my patients as well as my friends and family about whether the COVID-19 vaccine will still work if people are late receiving their second dose. Why you need two doses 3-4 weeks apart Two doses, separated by three to four weeks, is the tried-and-true approach to generate an effective immune response through vaccination, not just for COVID but for hepatitis A and B and other diseases as well. The first dose primes the immune system and introduces the body to the germ of interest. This allows the immune system to prepare its defense. The second dose, or booster, provides the opportunity for the immune system to ramp up the quality and quantity of the antibodies used to fight the virus. In the case of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, the second dose increases the protection afforded by the vaccine from 60% to approximately 95%. Why the CDC decided receiving the second dose within 42 days is OK In the clinical trial, the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine was administered as early as day 19 and as late as day 42 to 93% of the subjects. Since protection was approximately 95% for everyone who was vaccinated within this time “window,” there is little reason not to allow some flexibility in the timing of the second dose 2. As more vaccine becomes available, the timing of the second dose should be close to four weeks for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. But the good news is that even while supplies remain limited, the science suggests that there’s nothing bad about getting a second dose as late as 42 days after the first. What the immune system does between the first and second dose The biology through which the mRNA vaccines induce their protection from COVID-19 is fundamentally different from that with other vaccines. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use messenger RNA that encodes the spike glycoprotein. Upon injection of the vaccine, the mRNA enters into immune cells called dendritic cells. The dendritic cells use the instructions written in the mRNA to synthesize the hallmark spike glycoprotein, which characterizes the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. These immune cells then show the spike glycoprotein to B-cells, which then make anti-spike antibodies. Dendritic cells recognize viruses and present information about the spike protein to T-cells. T-cells provide information about the viral spike protein to B-cells, which are transformed to memory B-cells that store information about the virus. When this memory B-cell is activated with an infection or the second dose of the vaccine, this causes some of the B-cells to change into plasma B-cells that secrete protective antibodies that fight the virus. Kateryna Kon/Science Photo Library via Getty Images The mRNA vaccines are uniquely capable of inducing a special kind of immune cell – called a T-follicular helper cell – to help B-cells produce antibodies. The T-cells do this through direct contact with the B-cells and by sending chemical signals that tell the B-cells to produce antibodies. It is this help in antibody production that makes these vaccines so effective. But not all B-cells are the same. There are two kinds that make anti-spike antibodies: long-lived plasma cells and memory B-cells. The long-lived plasma cells, as their name implies, live in the bone marrow for years after vaccination, continuously churning out antibody – in this case anti-spike antibody. These long-lived B-cells do not need to be boosted. The memory B-cells, on the other hand, live in a state akin to hibernation. They do not produce antibodies until stimulated by a booster of the vaccine, or are exposed to infection with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. That is the reason we need that second dose. Together these two types of B-cells provide a constant level of protection. What happens if you don’t get the Pfizer or Moderna second dose on time? With current vaccine shortages, and problems with setting up the infrastructure to vaccinate millions of people, many physicians are concerned that the second dose of vaccine won’t be delivered in the prescribed three-to-four-week window. That booster shot is necessary for the T-cells to stimulate the memory B-cells to produce massive quantities of antibodies. If the booster isn’t given within the appropriate window, lower quantities of antibodies will be produced that may not provide as powerful protection from the virus. [Deep knowledge, daily. Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter.]This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: William Petri, University of Virginia. Read more:How mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna work, why they’re a breakthrough and why they need to be kept so coldCOVID-19 vaccines were developed in record time – but are these game-changers safe? William Petri receives research funding from the NIH, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Regeneron, Inc.
- The Telegraph
Germany faces vaccine shortages that will last into April and hamper its efforts to bring the coronavirus under control, the country’s health minister warned on Thursday. “We have at least ten tough tough weeks ahead of us with the vaccine shortages,” Jens Spahn tweeted in a message to German regional leaders. “We should spend that time working together on the matter. That is what the citizens can expect from us in these difficult times.” The European Union is facing severe shortages after vaccine companies were forced to cut planned deliveries because of production problems — an issue the manufacturers say was caused by the bloc ordering too late to allow them to ramp up production. Germany has been caught up in the shortages after Angela Merkel overruled an attempt by Mr Spahn to order sufficient stocks last summer and insisted the country entrust its vaccine orders to the European Commission. “Making vaccines is very complex, and a lot of work is needed to increase capacity that leads to delays,” Mr Spahn told German radio. “But it has to impact everyone in the same way and not just the EU.” EU leaders have accused AstraZeneca, the company which makes the Oxford vaccine, of prioritising deliveries to the UK. The company says Britain placed its orders much earlier.