Leaders in Phillips County say after the holidays, growing numbers of coronavirus cases were expected, but they’re concerned.
- 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.
- The Telegraph
- The Week
Career officials at the State Department "don't expect huge improvements" under the Biden administration, a U.S. diplomat told Politico. So far, people who stuck it out for four years under the Trump administration feel like they're being snubbed in favor of political appointees as higher-level positions get filled. On the one hand, Politico reports, the fact that not a single career official was named in the first wave of top appointments that require Senate confirmation is seen as "a slight to the hardworking rank-and-file officials," especially after they felt they were not treated well under the previous administration. "The diplomatic corps has been battered and bruised," the diplomat told Politico. "Why not come explain your thinking? I'm prepared for disappointment and under-delivering from this team." But the criticism may not all be personal. Brett Bruen, a consultant who previously served on the Obama National Security Council, suggested that passing over holdovers from the Trump years could hinder policy decisions. "None of the people who were there for the last four years, who understand how the world has changed, will be in the room when the big decisions were being made," he told Politico. A spokesperson for Secretary of State Antony Blinken tried to ease the concerns, telling Politico "career experts will always be at the center of our diplomacy." Read more at Politico. More stories from theweek.comGameStop makes the case for financial regulationMitch McConnell is the GOATWho is the Cinderella in the GameStop fairy tale?
- CBS News Videos
President Biden is expected to announce executive action today to address the problem of racism against Asian Americans. CBS News senior White House and political correspondent Ed O'Keefe joins "CBSN AM" with more on that plus the administration's latest steps to fight the coronavirus pandemic and negotiations on a COVID-19 economic aid package.
The move could save the service millions of dollars and provide wearers with better protection in the field.
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.
- Architectural Digest
Let’s get loudOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- Associated Press
The Virginia Senate on Wednesday approved a measure rebuking one of its most far-right members for a “pattern of unacceptable conduct," including an allegation that she voiced support for those who participated in storming the U.S. Capitol. On a vote of 24-9, three Republicans joined the chamber's Democrats in advancing a resolution censuring Amanda Chase, a senator from suburban Richmond who is seeking the GOP nomination for governor. The vote followed a long debate that featured scathing rebukes from Chase's colleagues on both sides of the political aisle.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic underlined the benefits of being part of the United Kingdom as he prepares to visit Scotland on Thursday to confront growing support for another independence referendum. The bonds holding together the United Kingdom have been severely strained over the last five years by Brexit, the government’s handling of the pandemic, and repeated calls by the Scottish National Party for a new referendum on independence. Ahead of his visit, Johnson said that Scotland as a part of the United Kingdom gained access to a coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and they are being administered by their shared armed forces, who are creating 80 new vaccine centres in Scotland.
President Biden's plan to replace the government’s fleet of 650,000 cars and trucks with electric vehicles assembled in the U.S. by union workers is easier said than done. Why it matters: The populist "Buy American" message sounds good, but the vehicles Biden wants are still several years away and his purchase criteria would require an expensive overhaul of automakers' manufacturing strategies, not to mention a reversal of fortune for labor organizers long stymied by Tesla and other non-union companies.Support safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.Reality check: Right now, not a single model fits the president's criteria: battery-powered, made in America, by union workers. * Tesla produces the vast majority of EVs in the U.S., and all of its models contain at least 55% American-made parts, according to federal data. But Tesla doesn't have a union and CEO Elon Musk has run afoul of federal labor laws. * General Motors' Chevrolet Bolt is the only U.S.-built EV made by union labor. But it's made mostly with parts imported from Korea. Just 24% of the content is considered domestic. * The Nissan Leaf, another popular EV, is made in Tennessee. But the factory is non-union and only 35% of the parts are domestic. "Made in America" itself is confusing, because current rules governing "domestic" content include parts made in both the U.S. and Canada. * Under the American Automobile Labeling Act, passed in 1992, every car requires a label disclosing where the car was assembled, the percentage of equipment from the U.S. and Canada combined, and the country where the engine and transmission were built. * The newly passed US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement adds another layer of rules about the origin of parts.Biden wants to change the whole system of determining whether a federal vehicle is "American." * Today, the government requires federal vehicles to have at least 50 percent of their components made in America, but loopholes allow the most valuable parts like engines or steel to be manufactured elsewhere, Biden told reporters Monday. * He wants a higher threshold and tighter rules that would directly benefit American workers. Be smart: It's all doable, but definitely not within Biden's four-year term in office. * "It just doesn't add up," said Joe Langley, a forecasting analyst for IHS Markit. "The product is still a few years away." * And replacing 650,000 federal vehicles with EVs would require an increase in U.S. investment through the whole supply chain, including electric motors, batteries and vehicles — all of which will take time, Langley said. * Union leaders are glad Biden is focused on the industry's future. "He sees new technology as a way to grow our industry and our economy," a spokesperson for the United Auto Workers told Axios.Some of that investment is already happening. GM, for example, is overhauling several factories to produce electric vehicles in Tennessee and Michigan. Ford will make its upcoming e-Transit van in Missouri. * But GM, Ford and Stellantis (the newly merged FiatChrysler and Peugeot) just recently committed to build more EVs at union factories in Canada. * And Ford is ramping up production of its highly anticipated Mustang Mach-E in Mexico. What to watch: There could be some surprise winners from Biden's plan. * A handful of well-funded EV startups such as Lordstown Motors, Rivian and Workhorse are developing plug-in commercial vehicles like vans and trucks — things that are often needed in government fleets. * "This could put wind in the sails of a lot of new startups," said Langley.Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.
- The Independent
- National Review
San Francisco mayor London Breed has criticized the city school board’s decision to change the names of schools christened after historical figures who “oppressed” people while the board has not formulated a plan for in-person learning. Students in San Francisco public schools have been learning remotely since the coronavirus pandemic forced a nationwide shutdown in March 2020. It is unclear when students will be able to return to class, although students in other cities such as New York have been able to participate in in-person learning. However, the school board was able to pass a resolution on Tuesday night to change the names of schools named after 44 historical figures who “engaged in the subjugation and enslavement of human beings; or who oppressed women, inhibiting societal progress; or whose actions led to genocide.” Those figures include George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.), among others. Washington, the first U.S. president, owned slaves, while Lincoln, who ended slavery, was included because of his policies toward Native Americans. Feinstein was included because of an allegation that she ordered the replacement of a Confederate flag outside City Hall during her tenure as San Francisco mayor in 1984, although it is not clear if the allegation is true and Feinstein eventually removed the flag. “This is an important conversation to have, and one that we should involve our communities, our families, and our students,” Mayor Breed said in a statement on Wednesday. “What I cannot understand is why the School Board is advancing a plan to have all these schools renamed by April, when there isn’t a plan to have our kids back in the classroom by then.” Breed added, “Our families are frustrated about a lack of a plan, and they are especially frustrated with the fact that the discussion of these plans weren’t even on the agenda for last night’s School Board meeting.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that schools reopen with coronavirus mitigation measures; in July 2020, then CDC head Robert Redfield warned of adverse effects of school closures. Public schools in and around Las Vegas are attempting to reopen as much as possible after a string of student suicides that occurred since the school system closed.
- The Week
John Kerry: American workers 'fed a false narrative' that shift to clean energy is 'coming at their expense'
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.comGameStop makes the case for financial regulationMitch McConnell is the GOATWho is the Cinderella in the GameStop fairy tale?
- Associated Press
Public condemnation grew Wednesday over a wealthy Vancouver couple who allegedly flew to a remote Indigenous community in Yukon Territory to get vaccinated for the coronavirus. Marc Miller, Canada's federal Indigenous services minister, said he was “disgusted” by the purported actions of Rodney Baker and his wife, Ekaterina, who have been issued tickets under Yukon's Emergency Measures Act and face fines of up to $1,000 Canadian (US$783) plus fees. Baker resigned on Sunday as Great Canadian Gaming Corp.'s president and chief executive after a media report of his actions.
The Biden administration has put on hold two big arms deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates which were approved in the final weeks of the Trump administration, a State Department official told Axios.Why it matters: The sales of F-35 jets and attack drones to the UAE and a large supply of munitions to Saudi Arabia will be paused pending a review. That signals a major policy shift from the Trump era, and may herald sharp tensions with both Gulf countries.Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.Driving the news: A senior U.S. official said that while both deals are under review the munitions deal with Saudi Arabia is "paused" and the F-35 deal with the UAE is "under examination."What they're saying: Yousef al-Otaiba, the UAE's ambassador to the U.S., tweeted that as in previous transitions, the state anticipated a review of current policies by the new administration. * "We will work closely with the Biden Administration on a comprehensive approach to Middle East peace and stability," al-Otaiba said. * He added that the F-35 package allows the UAE to maintain a strong deterrent to aggression and helps to reassure regional partners. * "It also enables the UAE to take on more of the regional burden for collective security, freeing US assets for other global challenges, a long-time bipartisan U.S. priority," the ambassador said.The big picture: The F-35 deal came in the context of the U.S.-brokered normalization agreement between the UAE and Israel. * Israel had been the only country in the region to possess the F-35, but dropped its objections to the sale after protracted discussions with the Trump administration. * Secretary of State Tony Blinken said in his confirmation hearing that the Biden administration supported Israel's recent normalization deals, but would review some of the commitments the Trump administration had made to achieve them. * Blinken also committed to ending U.S. support for the war in Yemen. The Biden administration is concerned the munitions included in that deal will be used there.Editor's note: This article has been updated with comment from al-Otaiba and a U.S. official's comments that the arms deals are under review. The headline was updated to reflect this.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- 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
The aim control enhancer was once under consideration for the U.S. Special Operations Command's "Iron Man" suit program.
- NBC News
President Joe Biden vowed to ultimately put an end to private prisons, but activists says the move isn't enough to fully address mass incarcerations.