Salvation Army Angel Tree Shopping event Groovy Girls
- The Independent
Mr Johnson said Democrats have to choose between 'being vindictive or staffing administration to keep nation safe’
- The Telegraph
A Republican congresswoman is facing calls to resign over reports that she helped to spread falsehoods about the Parkland school shooting. Marjorie Taylor Greene reportedly agreed with a conspiracy theory about the 2018 shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in which 17 people were killed. Facebook screenshots showed a discussion about why a police officer had not rushed into the building, and someone claimed that the mass shooting was a "false flag planned shooting." Greene replied: “Exactly!" The social media giant later removed the posts after they were reported to them. Cameron Kasky, a former Parkland pupil who co-founded the group Never Again MSD, said: "She should resign. She can apologise. I don’t think anybody will accept it.” The congresswoman was elected in Georgia in November, backed Donald Trump's claims of election fraud, and has previously expressed support for the QAnon conspiracy theory. Fred Guttenberg, who's 14-year-old daughter Jaime died in the Parkland shooting, said: "Your feelings on gun laws are irrelevant to your claim that Parkland never happened. You are a fraud who must resign. Be prepared to meet me directly in person to explain your conspiracy theory, and soon." The comments by the politician were first reported by Media Matters for America. In a statement Ms Greene accused Media Matters for America of being "communists' and "fake news". Meanwhile, US Capitol Police were investigating an incident in which a Republican congressman was found carrying a concealed gun while trying to enter the floor of the House of Representatives. Andy Harris, a staunch gun-rights advocate, set off a metal detector going through security on his way to the House floor . Metal detectors were installed outside the chamber to beef up security in the aftermath of the Capitol riots on Jan 6.
America may not have won World War II and landed on the moon later if not for the contributions of a brilliant Chinese scientist named Qian Xuesen. Fearing communist presence after the war, the U.S., however, deported Qian to China, clueless that he would eventually spearhead programs that would target American troops and eventually propel China into space. Born to well-educated parents in 1911, it was evident from an early age that Qian had superior intellect.
- Associated Press
Someone in Michigan bought the winning ticket for the $1.05 billion Mega Millions jackpot, which is the third-largest lottery prize in U.S. history. The winning numbers for Friday night’s drawing were 4, 26, 42, 50 and 60, with a Mega Ball of 24. The winning ticket was purchased at a Kroger store in the Detroit suburb of Novi, the Michigan Lottery said.
- NBC News
Biden's team appears ready to invest political capital trying to get Congress to approve another round of stimulus payments.
- Reuters Videos
A Swiss court sentenced Israeli businessman and diamond trader Beny Steinmetz to five years in jail on Friday on charges of corruption and forgery. It's a landmark verdict in one of the mining world's most high profile legal cases, dating back to 2006 -- and shines a spotlight on international corruption in the struggle for control over Africa's natural resources. The ruling is a major blow for Steinmetz, one of Israel's wealthiest men, convicted of bribing public officials in order to gain control of iron ore deposits in Guinea--the richest untapped deposits of iron ore in the world. Steinmetz said he would appeal the verdict, which also included a hefty fine of over 50 million dollars, calling it a quote "big injustice." Steinmetz and two others were accused of paying bribes to acquire mining rights for the iron ore buried beneath Guinea's remote Simandou mountains, and forging documents to cover it all up through a web of shell companies and bank accounts. Prosecutors say they paid or arranged payment of some $10 million in bribes to Mamadie Toure, believed to be one of the wives of former Guinean president Lansana Conte. All three defendants denied the charges. Steinmetz claimed he was not behind the day-to-day running of the company, Beny Steinmetz Group Resources, describing himself as the owner and company ambassador, but not the boss. But presiding judge Alexandra Banna rejected that defense, calling Steinmetz the quote "effective head of the group." Steinmetz's co-defendants were found guilty of corruption as well, and also face jail time and significant fines. A lawyer for one of the defendants has said his client plans to appeal, while the other could not be reached for comment. Several representatives of NGOs say the verdict could have wider repercussions for the mining industry, with one attorney saying it demonstrates "increased accountability."
- The Independent
Priest who attended pro-Trump rally ahead of Capitol insurrection is suspended from post and may be defrocked
Reverend Mark Hodges described event as ‘joyful, positive and orderly’
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing the Biden administration in federal district court over its 100-day freeze on deporting unauthorized immigrants, and asking for a temporary restraining order.Between the lines: The freeze went into effect Friday, temporarily halting most immigration enforcement in the U.S. In the lawsuit, Paxton claims the move "violates the U.S. Constitution, federal immigration and administrative law, and a contractual agreement between Texas" and the Department of Homeland Security. Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America. * Leon Fresco, an immigration attorney, told Axios that the lawsuit is likely to fail at fully reinstating deportations because a judge cannot force Immigration and Customs Enforcement to remove any particular person. * The executive branch has broad authority over immigration enforcement, as was seen in both President Obama and President Trump's administrations. What they're saying: In the announcement of the moratorium on Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security said the pause on deportations would "allow DHS to ensure that its resources are dedicated to responding to the most pressing challenges that the United States faces." * In Paxton's request for a temporary restraining order, he claims, "Without emergency relief, Texas faces irreparable harm from having to provide costly educational, social, welfare, healthcare, and other services to illegal aliens who remain in Texas because Defendants have ceased removing them."The White House has not yet responded to Axios' request for comment.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- The Telegraph
- The Week
- National Review
Germany on Friday rejected a claim by Argentina that a request by airline Lufthansa to fly over Argentina en route to the Falkland Islands implied a recognition of them as Argentine territory. Argentina and Britain have long disputed ownership of the Falklands, with Argentina claiming sovereignty over the British-run islands it calls the Malvinas.
- The Independent
The Texas man also allegedly threatened a US Capitol police officer
- NBC News
- 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 'No way' McConnell has had a post-Trump 'epiphany,' political scientist says
- Business Insider
The Bidens were reportedly left waiting outside the White House on Inauguration Day because Trump sent the staff home
The Trumps sent the butlers home "so there would be no-one to help the Bidens when they arrived," a source told The National Journal.
- Architectural Digest
- The Independent
Federal officials do not want to crush court system with hundreds of cases
"Relief" is the top emotion some swing voters who used to support Donald Trump say they felt as they watched President Biden's swearing-in, followed by "hope."Why it matters: For voters on the bubble between parties, this moment is less about excitement for Biden or liberal politics than exhaustion and disgust with Trump and a craving for national healing. Most said Trump should be prohibited from ever holding office again.Support safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.These were the biggest takeaways from our first Engagious/Schlesinger swing-voter focus groups on governance in the Biden era. * The two Jan. 21 sessions included 13 women and men who voted for Trump in 2016 but Biden in 2020, from a mix of the most competitive swing states, * While focus groups are not statistically significant samples like polls, the responses show how some voters in crucial states are thinking and talking about national priorities, expectations for Biden, and Trump's future.By the numbers: Ten of the 13 said their vote was more anti-Trump than it was pro-Biden, and nine said Trump should be barred from holding office again. * Eight support Trump's impeachment, but only one would would criminally charge him with inciting the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. * None believes the election was stolen from Trump.Between the lines: Coronavirus was not the reason most turned against Trump. * Ten had made up their minds before last March; some had buyer's remorse almost immediately after the 2016 election. * Rather than one tipping point, voters mentioned his moral failings, weaponizing social media, acting unpresidential, bullying, firing Cabinet members for sport, antagonizing racial and partisan divisions in society and separating children and parents at the Mexico border. * Some felt duped for thinking he was a savvy businessman who could get things done that career politicians hadn't. * "I was just so over it," said one voter, Matt S. from Georgia."Joe Biden’s main value was to spare them four more years of Donald Trump," said Engagious president Rich Thau, who moderated the focus groups.What's next: Every member of the focus groups said they want the unity Biden called for in his speech. The most important things he can do, they said, are to get the virus under control, make the vaccine accessible and heal national divisions. * Biden said a lot of the "soothing" things "that needed to be said," said Kristi H. from Texas. * "It was so good to see everyone in masks," Lawrence G. from Florida said of the optics at the swearing-in. "It's just good to see people, maybe, taking it seriously."Details: All 13 want the $1,400 stimulus checks Biden is calling on Congress to pass. “I have friends and family who need that money,” said Jennifer C. of Texas. * All want Biden to embrace a moderate rather than liberal path. * Most favor the U.S. return to the Paris climate deal, but they split over a $15-an-hour federal minimum wage and revoking Trump's so-called Muslim travel ban. * Most expressed excitement or optimism around Vice President Kamala Harris. * Some worry Biden is too old, could be pulled too far to the left or could hurt the economy by increasing spending too much or raising taxes. Be smart: These voters aren't writing off the entire Republican Party for enabling Trump. Most said they'll make voting decisions on a case-by-case basis. * "Trump does not represent the entire Republican Party," said Matthew S. from North Carolina. "Overall, the Republican Party, it’s made up of people who are trying. They make mistakes just like the Democrats make mistakes."Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
The World Health Organization said on Friday it had reached an agreement with Pfizer/BioNTech for 40 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine and should be able to start delivering vaccines to poor and lower-middle income countries next month under its COVAX programme. The COVAX scheme, led by the WHO and the GAVI vaccine alliance, signed deals for hundreds of millions of doses to vaccinate people in poor and lower-middle income countries, but vaccinations have yet to start. Pfizer's vaccine is so far the only one that has WHO emergency approval.