By Joe Brock PRETORIA (Reuters) - In one of the wealthiest suburbs of South Africa's capital Pretoria stands a three-storey mansion where Paralympic gold medallist Oscar Pistorius will be taken on his release from prison this week. Pistorius, 29, is expected to wear an electronic tracking tag when he is released on Friday after serving 10 months of a five-year sentence for killing his model and law graduate girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day 2013. The release of Pistorius, whose lower legs were amputated when he was a baby, is in line with South African sentencing guidelines that say non-dangerous prisoners should spend only one-sixth of a custodial sentence behind bars. Pistorius is due to serve the rest of his term in "custodial supervision", a form of house arrest. He will be mostly confined to the home of his uncle, Arnold, a high-walled manor in the leafy suburb of Waterkloof that features more than a dozen bedrooms, a private gym, outdoor swimming pool and landscaped gardens. The athlete, nicknamed 'Blade Runner' because of the carbon-fibre prosthetics he used during his stellar career on the track, will likely be allowed to leave the house to work, carry out community service or to attend important family events. In a country with one of the world's highest rates of violent crime and where many still live in poverty, there is limited sympathy for Pistorius. "It's more like mansion arrest," said Christopher, 31, a security guard who works on Arnold's road but lives in a basic two room flat in a rundown suburb of Johannesburg. Steenkamp's parents did not respond to requests for comment. They said at the time of Pistorius' sentencing that spending 10 months in prison "for taking a life is simply not enough" and it would send out the wrong message to society. Experts who deal with former prisoners say the public is often unaware of how tough life can be. APPEAL FOR MURDER "Many people don't understand the very serious impact prison can have on your life and the challenges afterwards, no matter where you live," said Jacques Sibomana, spokesman for NICRO, an organisation helping to re-integrate offenders. "The social stigma Oscar will face could be very psychologically traumatic. The punishment lives with you." Pistorius' time in Waterkloof could be short-lived if state prosecutors succeed in overturning the verdict. Details of their case were due to be submitted to the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein on Monday. Pistorius has admitted killing Steenkamp, 29, by firing four shots into the locked door of a toilet cubicle in what he said was the mistaken belief that an intruder was hiding behind it. Judge Thokozile Masipa said during sentencing that the state had failed to convince her of Pistorius' intent to kill when he fired. Prosecutors want the verdict of culpable homicide, equivalent to manslaughter, raised to murder because they argue Pistorius must have known when he fired that the person behind the door could be killed. Many legal experts agree. "Given he fired four shots through a door when he knew someone was inside, I think there is a good chance the appeal will be successful," William Booth, a lawyer who has followed the trial closely, told Reuters. If convicted of murder, Pistorius will likely be given a custodial sentence of at least 15 years. The appeal hearing is due to start in November. Pistorius was once considered one of the ultimate symbols of triumph over adversity, fighting authorities to become the first amputee to compete against able-bodied athletes at the Olympics. Though he could return to training, Pistorius is unlikely to ever compete at the highest level again given his age and lack of intensive training since Steenkamp's death, experts say.
- Yahoo News
Black National Guardsman describes being deployed to protect Biden’s inauguration: 'I just felt this huge sense of pride'
As most of the 25,000 National Guardsmen who were called upon to protect Washington, D.C., during the presidential inauguration began heading home this week, one Black service member agreed to speak to Yahoo News about the experience of protecting the nation’s capital in the wake of a pro-Trump riot on Capitol Hill.
- Yahoo News
Former President Donald Trump’s “big lie” about a stolen election may have been discredited over and over in the courts, and disgraced by the attack on the U.S. Capitol, but the corrosive effect of his dishonesty will linger on, complicating efforts to strengthen American elections.
- The Telegraph
A doctor with terminal cancer killed a female pediatrician and then himself after taking hostages at a children's clinic in Austin, Texas. Dr Bharat Narumanchi held hostages in a five-hour siege before killing Dr Katherine Lindley Dodson. Narumanchi had applied for a volunteer position at the clinic a week ago and was declined. He later came back carrying a pistol, a shotgun and two duffel bags. Police spokesman Jeff Greenwalt said Narumanchi had recently been given "weeks to live" after a cancer diagnosis. He said: "The case as far as who did this is closed. We know who did it. And we know that there's no longer a threat to the public. But we really, really want to answer the question of why." Dr Lindley Dodson, 43, was beloved by patients and their families. Karen Vladeck, whose two children were among her patients, told the Austin American-Statesman: "You saw her at your worst when your kid was sick, and she just always had a smile on her face. "She made you feel like you were the only parent there, even though there was a line of kids waiting." During the siege a SWAT team used a megaphone to communicate with the armed doctor. A hostage negotiator shouted: "Your life is very important to me. And I know life is very important to you. "You don't deserve to go through this. For all you have done for others. That is why I want to help you work through this. You have saved a lot of lives." Police first sent in a robot and then officers went into the medical office where they found two bodies. They did not comment on how the two doctors died. A police spokesman said: "The SWAT situation has ended. Two subjects have been located and were pronounced deceased."
- The Week
President Biden announced Tuesday that his administration intends to order an additional 100 million doses of both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines. The extra 200 million doses, which Biden said should arrive by the summer, would boost the country's supply by about 50 percent to 600 million shots total, meaning that there would be enough shots available to inoculate 300 million people in the coming months without the Food and Drug Administration granting approval for any other vaccine candidates. Pres. Biden says his admin has ordered 200 million more COVID-19 vaccine doses that will be available by summer, increasing the total number ordered from 400 million to 600 million pic.twitter.com/VFZ3qTmUK9 — NowThis (@nowthisnews) January 26, 2021 It's another sign that the government is raising expectations for the vaccine rollout. On Monday, Biden upped the daily vaccination goal from 1 million to 1.5 million throughout his first 100 days in office and suggested that any American who wants a shot could be able to get one by the spring. FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver applauded the administration for getting more ambitious, though he noted it could be difficult — impossible, even, unless the shots are approved for children — to find 300 million willing Americans to get vaccinated by the end of summer. In practice it's going to be hard to find 300m Americans willing to get vaccinated by Sept. 22. (It's literally impossible until vaccines are approved for children.) And we'll probably eventually mix in some one-dose vaccines. Still, ramping up to 2-2.5m/day is a laudable goal. — Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) January 26, 2021 More stories from theweek.comMitch McConnell is the GOATWho is the Cinderella in the GameStop fairy tale?GameStop makes the case for financial regulation
A man in Portland, Oregon has been charged with bias crimes after allegedly kicking and racially attacking an Asian American woman last week. The incident, which left the victim with “some trouble walking,” occurred on a TriMet bus in the area of Southeast 52nd Avenue and Foster Road at 5:45 p.m. on Jan. 22. Eschright also allegedly used racial slurs during the encounter, mentioning the coronavirus in regards to the victim’s race and skin color.
Explainer: Why Trump's post-presidency perks, like a pension and office, are safe for the rest of his life
The impeachment proceeding against Donald Trump on a charge of inciting the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol has fueled speculation online that he could lose some of the benefits extended to former presidents. But according to legal experts, under the laws currently in effect, Trump will retain perks including a pension, office space and security detail even in the unlikely event that he is convicted by the Senate in its impeachment trial. Trump can thank a relatively obscure law, the Former Presidents Act.
- The Independent
Jill Biden spent her first week as First Lady reshaping the role. Melania Trump spent hers isolated in a tower
New first lady signals she will be an active and constant presence in the White House - drawing stark contrasts to her predecessor
- Associated Press
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday criticized Iran's hard-liner dominated judiciary over last week's prosecution of the countrys telecommunications minister. Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi was released on bail after he was summoned for prosecution. Judiciary officials cited his refusal to block Instagram and impose limitations on the bandwidth of other foreign social media and messaging systems.
The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed President Joe Biden's nominee, veteran diplomat Antony Blinken, to serve as secretary of state. The 100-member Senate backed Blinken 78-22, meaning he could be sworn in as the nation's top diplomat later in the day. Blinken is a longtime Biden confidant who has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate before, most recently to serve as No. 2 at the State Department during former Democratic President Barack Obama's administration, when Biden was vice president.
- The Independent
Grandmother ‘overjoyed’ to be outside after receiving Covid-19 vaccine killed in Portland vehicle attack
Police have not released a motive in the attack
- Associated Press
One day after the deadly insurrection in Washington, a Pennsylvania school district announced it was suspending a teacher who, the district asserted, “was involved in the electoral college protest that took place at the United States Capitol Building.” Three weeks later, Jason Moorehead is fighting to restore his reputation and resume teaching after he says the Allentown School District falsely accused him of being at the Capitol during the siege. The district says Moorehead’s social media posts about the events of Jan. 6, and not just his presence in Washington that day, are a focus of its probe.
- Architectural Digest
Let’s get loudOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
"Our veterans, families and caregivers will benefit from the return of Joining Forces, and our nation will as well."
Russia and the United States have struck a deal to extend the New START nuclear arms control treaty, the Kremlin said on Tuesday, a move that preserves the last major pact of its kind between the world's two biggest nuclear powers. The White House did not immediately confirm the Kremlin's announcement but said President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin had discussed the issue by telephone and agreed that their teams work urgently to complete the extension by Feb. 5, when the treaty expires. Signed in 2010, the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) is a cornerstone of global arms control.
- NBC News
"I don’t understand why we have to risk our lives when we’re so close to a vaccine," a Chicago teacher said.
- FOX News Videos
Biden administration has system in place where reporters will not ask president tough questions: Media critic
Steve Krakauer, editor at Fourth Watch, says 'it shouldn't be contingent' on one reporter to ask Biden tough questions.
- Associated Press
Authorities in Singapore said Wednesday that they had detained without trial a 16-year-old student who made detailed plans and preparations to launch “terrorist attacks” on two mosques with a machete. The Internal Security Department said the Singaporean teen was inspired by an Australian gunman who killed 51 worshippers at two mosques in New Zealand in 2019. The teen was detained in December, and was the youngest terror suspect to be held under the country's Internal Security Act, it added.
Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are forging ahead with a draft proposal to censure former President Trump, and are considering introducing the resolution on the Senate floor next week. Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction, Axios Alayna Treene writes. "I think it’s important for the Senate's leadership to understand that there are alternatives," Kaine told CNN on Wednesday.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here. * "If we can’t get to 67 votes for impeachment, there may be another way to hold President Trump accountable."Details: The censure resolution will declare that the attack on the Jan. 6 Capitol was an insurrection against the Constitution — an effort to stop Congress from "undertaking its constitutional duty to count electoral votes," according to Kaine. * It finds that Trump "gave aid and comfort" to the insurrectionists by "repeatedly lying about the election, slandering election officials, pressuring others to come to Washington for a wild event and encouraging them to come up to Congress." * The language is pulled from Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. * Kaine said if Trump is found to have violated the amendment, he could be barred from holding office again. However it remains unclear whether that is enforceable. * "This is an alternative that would impose, in my view, a similar consequence but it does not require a trial and it does not require a two-thirds vote," the Vermont senator added.The big picture: Collins told reporters on Wednesday, "It seems to me there is benefit in looking at an alternative that might be able to garner bipartisan support." * The two senators have spoken with roughly 40 colleagues about a censure vote, Kaine said.Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.
Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny is being used by the West to try to destabilise Russia, a prominent hardliner and ally of President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday, saying he must be held to account for repeatedly breaking the law. Navalny was remanded in custody for 30 days last week after returning from Germany where he had been recovering from a nerve agent poisoning. Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Security Council, called for Navalny to face the full force of the law in comments that offered a glimpse into the mood inside Russia's security establishment after tens of thousands of Navalny's supporters protested against his jailing on Saturday.
From the ObamaPad to Joe Biden's Apple Watch and Peloton, being president can be a tech challenge.