Red Rocks remodel starts on stage roof
- Associated Press
China imposed sanctions on nearly 30 former Trump administration officials moments after they left office on Wednesday. In a statement released just minutes after President Joe Biden was inaugurated, Beijing slapped travel bans and business restrictions on Trump’s secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, national security adviser Robert O’Brien and U.N. ambassador, Kelly Craft. Others covered by the sanctions include Trump’s economic adviser Peter Navarro; his top diplomat for Asia, David Stilwell; health and human services secretary, Alex Azar; along with former national security adviser John Bolton and strategist Stephen Bannon.
- The Week
President Trump has spent the last few days asking his friends, aides, and associates if they would like pardons — even those who are not facing any charges, a senior administration official told The Washington Post.In one case, the official said, Trump offered a pardon to a person who declined the chance at clemency, saying they weren't in any legal trouble and hadn't committed any crimes. "Trump's response was, 'Yeah, well, but you never know. They're going to come after us all. Maybe it's not a bad idea. Just let me know,'" the official recounted.Trump has taken a great interest in pardoning people, the Post reports, even calling families to personally let them know he granted a pardon. A person familiar with the matter told the Post that Trump was talked out of pardoning himself, family members, and controversial figures like Rudy Giuliani. An aide said there was also a brief discussion about possibly issuing pardons related to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, but that idea went nowhere.While Trump has held a few ceremonial events in recent weeks, journalists have been kept away from the White House, largely because the president is "just not in a place where they would go well," one official told the Post. Trump is constantly flip-flopping, another administration official said, talking about his future but uncertain of where he will be. "He goes between, 'Well, I'm going to go to Florida and play golf, and life is honestly better,' and then in the next moment, it's like, 'But don't you think there's a chance to stay?'" the official said. Read more at The Washington Post.More stories from theweek.com Bernie Sanders steals the inauguration with his grumpy chic outfit Only a sprinkling of Trump supporters showed up at state capitols to protest Biden's inauguration QAnon believers are realizing their entire conspiracy was a hoax as Biden is sworn in
- NBC News
Patrick Edward McCaughey allegedly told the officer, “Come on man, you are going to get squished, just go home.”
- The Telegraph
South Korean president under fire for saying adoptive parents should be able to 'change' their child
Children’s rights groups in South Korea have condemned comments by President Moon Jae-in suggesting that adoptive parents who do not get along with a child should be able to “change” it for another one. Mr Moon was responding to a question at a press conference on Monday about the government’s efforts to prevent child abuse in light of the death late last year of a 16-month-old girl, allegedly at the hands of her adoptive parents. The case has provoked outrage in South Korea, with the adopted mother of Jung-in charged with murder on January 13. The woman, identified only by her family name, Jang, was originally charged with fatal child abuse and neglect in December. Commenting on the case, Mr Moon said, “Even after adoption, the adoptive parents need to check if the adoption is working out for them. So there should be measures allowing them to cancel the adoption or, if they still want to adopt a child, then they should be able to change the child." The press conference, which was being broadcast live on national television, triggered an immediate response, with critics saying the president was suggesting that children were “goods” that could be returned for a refund. Groups representing adoptees and parents who have given homes to children staged a protest in front of the presidential Blue House the same day, demanding an apology from the president and changes to the system of adoptions in Korea. “Mr Moon’s comments are no different from those of adoption agencies, who treat adoption as a business," Jeon Young-soon, head of an association of parents, told The Korea Herald. Na Kyung-won, a member of the opposition People Power Party, also condemned the president’s comments, saying, “For adopted children, the horrific ordeal is being abandoned again by their adoptive parents. Mr Moon has made a serious error." A petition has also been started on the president’s website, stating, “Adoption is not like shopping for a child. When people have made up their minds to care for a child for his or her whole life, they adopt the child with love that is beyond comparison”. Government officials insist the president’s comments have been misunderstood and taken out of context. South Korea traditionally has low levels of domestic adoption, in part due to the importance of blood relations and the stigma attached to children born out of wedlock. Many Korean children find adoptive parents overseas.
President Trump could be an "accessory" to murder after over the deadly Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told MSNBC Tuesday night.Why it matters: Trump faced intense criticism after a crowd of his supporters breached the Capitol and broke into chambers, including Pelosi’s office. Five people died as a result of the insurrection.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here. * Trump had spread false claims of election fraud online and urged supporters to march to the Capitol in a speech at a "Save America" rally shortly before rioters broke into the building.What she’s saying: "Presidents' words are important. They weigh a ton," Pelosi said. "And they used his words to come here." * Any Congress member proven to have colluded with rioters could be accessories to crimes committed during the events — like Trump, she added. * "And the crime, in some cases, was murder," Pelosi said. "And this president is an accessory to that crime because he instigated that insurrection that caused those deaths and this destruction."The big picture: Trump said a week after the riots that he "unequivocally" condemned the violence. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, once a Trump loyalist, said on Tuesday the mob was "provoked by the president and other powerful people." * The House voted to impeach Trump last week on one charge: incitement of insurrection. It now goes to the Senate for trial. * The White House did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment on Pelosi's remarks.Go deeper: In photos: Protesters storm U.S. CapitolSupport safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- Miami Herald
Newly surfaced Facebook messages from 2018 show U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene agreeing with comments spreading the conspiracy that the Parkland school shooting where 17 students and faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High were killed was a “false flag planned shooting.”
- The Week
Melania Trump was reportedly "emotionally checked out" long before boarding Air Force One to leave D.C. on Wednesday, going as far as to outsource writing her "thank you" notes to the White House residence staff, The New York Times and CNN report.Traditionally, the first family of the United States will write short cards to their household staff, thanking them for taking care of them over the past four to eight years. The cards tend to be intimate and "much of the correspondence includes personal anecdotes and the letters become 'cherished keepsakes' for the residence staff," such as the butlers, cooks, and housekeepers, who do not tend to turn-over between administrations, CNN writes.Melania Trump, however, reportedly did not personally write the cards for the approximately 80 staff members charged with caring for her, her husband, and her teenage son, Barron, while they lived in the White House. Instead, she is said to have instructed a "lower-level East Wing staffer" to write the type-written notes "in her voice," and then signed her name."I think she was a reluctant first lady and she did it for her husband," society publicist R. Couri Hay, who knows Trump from New York, told The New York Times. He added that after she departs Washington, "I think that you will find that she will be even less visible, and less available."More stories from theweek.com Bernie Sanders steals the inauguration with his grumpy chic outfit Clyburn says George W. Bush called him 'the savior' over his Biden endorsement Biden's team reportedly fears the new COVID-19 variant is even worse than they thought
- The Independent
Former first lady seemed delighted to greet members of the Biden family
- The Week
Fox News contributors choke up talking about the importance of Kamala Harris being the first Black woman VP
Liberal Fox News contributor Richard Fowler choked up during an appearance on the network as he marveled at the numerous glass ceilings broken by Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday."One part [of the inauguration] that caused me to get real emotional was, we've been a country for 243 years, and in all those 243 years, we have had women citizens but we have never had a woman hold national office," Fowler said, his voice breaking as he went on. "So to see Kamala Harris put her hand on the Bible today -- also being her and I are of Jamaican descent, and I just think about my grandmother and my mom and so many other women who saw this, and so many young girls who can finally believe that they can be president, too, because of what we did as a country back in November."> Fox News contributor Richard Fowler gets emotional when talking about Kamala Harris being the first woman VP, and how it makes him think about his grandmother and mom, who like Harris are of Jamaican descent pic.twitter.com/Wdlo8Ca3uh> > -- Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 20, 2021Fowler was not the only contributor on Fox News on Wednesday to be audibly moved by the significance of Harris' oath. Political analyst Juan Williams also emotionally explained, "It's visceral, and I'll tell you why. I have granddaughters, I'm the son of a Black mother -- you think about American history, you think about the status of Black women in this country for most of our history. And the idea that a Black woman would assume such power in this moment as a national leader -- truly inspiring." > Fox News' Juan Williams gets choked up talking about Kamala Harris:> > "You think about the status of Black women in this country for most of our history. And the idea that a Black woman would assume such power in this moment as a national leader, truly inspiring." pic.twitter.com/K13K0Q1vVX> > -- Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) January 20, 2021More stories from theweek.com Bernie Sanders steals the inauguration with his grumpy chic outfit Clyburn says George W. Bush called him 'the savior' over his Biden endorsement Biden's team reportedly fears the new COVID-19 variant is even worse than they thought
- The Telegraph
China on Wednesday announced it would sanction more than two dozen US citizens, including Mike Pompeo, the former Secretary of State, in response to "grave interference” over Taiwan. Among the 28 named were Mr Pompeo, as well as John Bolton, Donald Trump’s former National Security Advisor; Peter Navarro, former Director of Trade; and Steve Bannon, former White House chief strategist. Mr Pompeo, in one of his final acts in his White House role, on Monday held a conference with the president of Taiwan, the self-ruling island claimed by Beijing as its own. He also jettisoned longstanding guidelines limiting exchanges with Taiwanese officials. China’s foreign ministry said in a statement that "crazy actions that have gravely interfered in China's internal affairs." "These individuals and their immediate family members are prohibited from entering the mainland of China, Hong Kong and Macau. They and companies and institutions associated with them are also restricted from doing business with China," it added. Relations between the US and China, the world’s two biggest economies, have plunged to their lowest level in decades, with disagreements on issues including Taiwan, Hong Kong, human rights, the coronavirus pandemic, the South China Sea, trade and espionage. Beijing has said that Taiwan is the most important and sensitive issue in its relationship with Washington, and has previously announced sanctions on US companies selling weapons to Taiwan, though it has not been clear how, or if, they were enforced. China last year unveiled sanctions on 11 US citizens, including lawmakers from Mr Trump’s Republican Party, in response to Washington’s sanctions on Hong Kong and Chinese officials accused of curtailing political freedom in the former British colony. A day earlier Mr Pompeo had also accused Beijing of genocide. He said Trump’s administration determined China has committed “genocide and crimes against humanity” in its repression of Uighur Muslims in the far western region of Xinjiang, becoming the first country to publicly make the accusation. The decision will set newly sworn in president Joe Biden on an awkward footing with China and may force the issues to the front of his China agenda.
- Yahoo News Video
Alejandro Mayorkas, President-elect Joe Biden’s pick to head the Department of Homeland Security, said during his Senate confirmation hearing that he would execute Biden’s plan to stop building the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Mayorkas also said that CBP and ICE play “critical roles” in the federal government and that he wouldn’t abolish them.
- 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.
Iran has been accumulating bargaining chips and laying out its strategy for engagement with Joe Biden, who arrives in office promising to return the U.S. to the 2015 nuclear deal if Iran returns to compliance.Why it matters: Recent statements from Iran's leaders indicate that they're willing to strike such a deal. But the sides differ over who will have to make the first move, and when.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.The big picture: Returning to the deal would require Iran to roll back its recent nuclear acceleration and the U.S. to lift sanctions. Biden views that as the baseline from which to negotiate a broader and longer-lasting agreement. * Secretary of State designate Tony Blinken reiterated that in his confirmation hearing on Tuesday, but said the incoming administration was "a long way" from returning to the deal. * Iran's presidential elections in June will loom large over any timeline.What's happening: Anticipating negotiations, the Iranians have taken or threatened several steps designed to build leverage, most notably by producing 20% enriched uranium in a clear breach of the deal's terms. * Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, the speaker of Iran's parliament, said this was done "to produce strength in the area of diplomacy." He added that Europe's immediate engagement on the issue showed the strategy was working. * Next, Iran informed the International Atomic Energy Agency it intended to start producing uranium metal, which can be used to develop nuclear warheads. * Perhaps most ominously, the Iranians are threatening to limit inspectors' access to their nuclear facilities at the beginning of February.Driving the news: In a speech on Jan. 8, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei laid out his position, saying Iran doesn’t trust the U.S. and is in no rush. * But he added that if Biden lives up to America's commitments, Iran will do the same.In the ensuing days, a series of very senior Iranian officials — all members of a committee that oversees the nuclear deal — echoed that message in “interviews” published on Khamenei’s official website, in what seemed to be an orchestrated show of unity. * The officials were: Qalibaf; Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif; Khamenei advisers Ali Larijani and Ali Akbar Velayati; Atomic Energy Organization chief Ali Akbar Salehi; former Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi; and former national security adviser Saeed Jalili.What they're saying: The officials repeatedly referred to a "road map" of steps both sides should take. It begins with the U.S. lifting sanctions. * The officials said they'd treat an announcement from Biden on returning to the deal as meaningless unless it comes with sanctions relief. * “If Mr. Biden signs an executive order, we will sign one too. Whenever he puts it into action, we will put ours into action as well," Zarif said. * Iran wants sanctions lifted in one comprehensive action and not in a gradual step-by-step process. Larijani, a likely leading presidential candidate, said the U.S. won’t fool Iran with “a piece of candy."The highest priorities for Iran are the lifting of sanctions on oil exports and the Iranian banking system, as well as the unfreezing of Iranian assets abroad. * “We should be able to carry out our economic dealings normally and easily — be that imports or exports," Qalibaf said in one of the interviews. After both sides return to compliance, Iran said it is ready for further negotiations on a nuclear deal 2.0. * As part of these negotiations, Iran will demand compensation for damages it has suffered as a result of Trump's withdrawal. * Another condition for future negotiations is the cancellation of the snapback mechanism that allows the U.S. or other parties to the deal to quickly renew UN sanctions on Iran. * According to Zarif, Iran will demand that the U.S. take steps to guarantee that a new administration won't unravel the next deal as Trump did the previous one.What's next: Raz Zimmt, an Iran expert at the Israeli Institute for National Security Studies, says the Iranians won't renegotiate the 2015 deal or return to compliance without sanctions relief. * But, he said, they could agree to an interim deal in which the U.S. lifts most of the sanctions in return for Iran rolling back most of its nuclear advancements since 2019. * “In any case, Khamenei won’t compromise on the principled positions he laid out because doing that would be like admitting that Trump’s maximum pressure policy worked," Zimmt said.Go deeper: Biden's nuclear dilemma.Support safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
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 Independent
‘What happened?’: QAnon followers left upset and angry as conspiracy theory’s ‘storm’ fails to materialise
Followers of QAnon have been left upset and angry in the wake of the apparent collapse of the conspiracy theory. Followers had hoped for mass arrests of their enemies and the final proof that their faith in the unknown person named Q and Donald Trump had not been misplaced. The baseless QAnon theory suggests, without any evidence, that argued that a group of powerful, Satan-worshipping people running a cannibalistic child sexual abuse ring.
- The Week
Antony Blinken, President-elect Joe Biden's choice to lead the State Department, appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday and appears to have passed with flying colors. As it turns out, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) may have been his biggest fan.Graham, who called Blinken an "outstanding choice" and gave him an elbow bump during a break, asked a series of questions, many of which resulted in answers the senator found quite agreeable. For example, Blinkin doesn't "trust" the Taliban to police al Qaeda and the Islamic State in Afghanistan after a U.S. exit. He also considers Iran the world's worst sponsor of terrorism and said he concurs with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's assessment that China is committing genocide against the Uighurs and other religious and ethnic minorities. That last point reportedly left Graham "positively gushing."> Blinken agrees that the Chinese Communist Party engaged in genocide against the Uighur Muslim population, agrees they were not transparent on Coronavirus. Lindsey Graham is positively gushing.> > — David B. Larter (@DavidLarter) January 19, 2021If the friendly exchange was any indication, Blinken won't have much trouble getting confirmed, but the bipartisanship on display did have receive from sharp criticism from supporters of non-interventionist policy.More stories from theweek.com Bernie Sanders steals the inauguration with his grumpy chic outfit China sanctions top Trump officials minutes after Biden is inaugurated QAnon believers are realizing their entire conspiracy was a hoax as Biden is sworn in
- NBC News
The boy was pulled into the water Monday, while the National Weather Service warned that waves could swell to 25 feet.
- 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
- The Telegraph
Eric Trump says he will 'never forget Buckingham Palace' as family seen in tears at farewell ceremony
Eric Trump said he will "never forget Buckingham Palace" as he looked back on his father's four years in office after a tearful farewell ceremony. The president's second eldest son said it had been the honour of his life to have had a "front row seat to the most remarkable and consequential presidencies in American history". He went on to enumerate his father's achievements in office, listing his tax cuts, support for the second Amendment and Middle East peace deals. He singled out his visit to the UK, which included a State banquet hosted by the Queen in 2019. "I will never forget Buckingham Palace and the beaches of Normandy," he said in a tweet. "It's truly a journey I will never forget," he said.
- The Independent
Trump ends term with ‘patriotic education’ report which makes excuses for slavery and calls anti-abortion movement ‘great reform’
White House website says report is “rebuttal of reckless 're-education' attempts that seek to reframe American history around idea that United States is not an exceptional country but an evil one”