2020 is in the books, and in less than two weeks, so will the college football season. For former Tallahassee standouts Tarian Lee and Kamari Morales, their seasons end Saturday at the Orange Bowl when Texas A&M and North Carolina play each other.
- Associated Press
- 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’
A Turkish appeals court on Friday overturned the acquittal of nine people, including philanthropist Osman Kavala, in a case related to nationwide protests in 2013, according to court documents seen by Reuters. The case had ended with the surprise acquittal of nine defendants last February due to insufficient evidence. The trial was followed closely by Turkey's Western allies and rights groups, who said it was symbolic of what they saw as a crackdown on dissent under President Tayyip Erdogan.
- Architectural Digest
President Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson discussed issues including trade, NATO and the coronavirus pandemic in their first phone call since the U.S. leader's inauguration. Why it matters: A new trade agreement with the U.S. is a priority for Johnson, whose country completed its economic split with the European Union at the end of last year, AP noted. Support safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.What they're saying: Biden "conveyed his intention to strengthen the special relationship between our countries and revitalize transatlantic ties, underscoring the critical role of NATO to our collective defense and shared values," a White House readout of the call said. * "President Biden also noted the importance of cooperation, including through multilateral organizations, on shared challenges such as combatting climate change, containing COVID-19, and ensuring global health security," the readout added. A statement from Downing Street said that Biden and Johnson also "discussed the benefits of a potential free trade deal between our two countries, and the Prime Minister reiterated his intention to resolve existing trade issues as soon as possible." * "The Prime Minister warmly welcomed the President’s decision to re-join the Paris Agreement on climate change, as well as the World Health Organization and the COVAX programme to ensure equitable access for vaccines," the statement added. The big picture: Biden's conversation with Johnson came a day after the U.S. president spoke to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexico's Andrés Manuel López Obrador in separate phone calls. Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.
- Associated Press
The words of Donald Trump supporters who are accused of participating in the deadly U.S. Capitol riot may end up being used against him in his Senate impeachment trial as he faces the charge of inciting a violent insurrection. At least five supporters facing federal charges have suggested they were taking orders from the then-president when they marched on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 to challenge the certification of Joe Biden's election win. Jacob Chansley, the Arizona man photographed on the dais in the Senate who was shirtless and wore face paint and a furry hat with horns, has similarly pointed a finger at Trump.
Greece's foreign minister said he hoped Turkey would have a positive approach towards a meeting next week aimed at reviving long-stalled efforts to open negotiations over disputed territorial claims. The neighbouring countries held 60 rounds of talks between 2002 and 2016, but plans last year for discussions to be resumed foundered over a survey vessel sent by Ankara into disputed waters and disagreements over the topics to be covered. He said the exploratory talks, which were halted in March 2016, were not negotiations but aimed to discover whether there was enough convergence for possible future negotiations on just one specific issue.
- The Independent
Former police officer who climbed over fences to get into Capitol during riot claims he was there to see art
Regular phone camera roll shows no images from January 6 but ‘deleted’ folder filled with images and videos of officer inside Capitol building during riot
- LA Times
Russian police arrested hundreds of protesters who took to the streets to demand the release of Alexei Navalny, the country's top opposition figure.
- The Independent
Sean Hannity denounces Biden’s first week as ‘disastrous’ before the president completed a full day of work
‘The Biden administration is off to a very rocky start,’ Fox News host says
- Associated Press
A Colombian businessman was carrying a letter from Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accrediting him to Iran's supreme leader when he was arrested on a U.S. warrant last year, according to a new court filing in a politically charged corruption case ratcheting up tensions with the South American nation. Attorneys for Alex Saab made the filing in Miami federal court Thursday just hours after prosecutors in the African nation of Cape Verde said they granted the 49-year-old Colombian house arrest as he fights extradition to the U.S. to face money laundering charges. U.S. officials believe Saab holds numerous secrets about how Maduro, his family and top aides allegedly siphoned off millions of dollars in government contracts amid widespread hunger in the oil-rich nation.
A slim majority of Americans say former President Donald Trump should be convicted by the Senate of inciting an insurrection and barred from holding public office, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, which showed a sharp partisan divide over the issue. The national public opinion poll, conducted on Wednesday and Thursday, found that 51% of Americans think Trump should be found guilty for inciting the deadly storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Another 37% said Trump should not be convicted and the remaining 12% said they were unsure.
- Associated Press
Libya’s coast guard intercepted on Friday more than 80 Europe-bound migrants in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of the North African country, the U.N. migration agency said. The migrants were returned to Libyan soil, said the International Organization for Migration. “So far this year, some 300 people, including women and children, were returned to the country and ended up in detention,” said the IOM.
- FOX News Videos
President of Adornetto’s Family of Restaurants, Adrian Adornetto, joins ‘Fox and Friends Weekend.’
- The Daily Beast
Jonathan Ernst via ReutersROME—If you look closely at President Joe Biden’s credenza in his first Oval Office photo op, there is a carefully placed shot of the then-vice president shaking hands with Pope Francis after he was inaugurated as pope in 2013. Biden flew to Rome for the papal ceremony—and has regularly quoted the pontiff on the campaign trail, especially on race and economic disparities.And yet the placement of the photo immediately drew ire among conservative Catholics, many of whom posted on social media that it was “opportunistic” to display a photo with the pope and still support abortion and LGBTQ rights. Many among the most conservative anti-Francis Catholic commentators have gone so far as to say Biden is complicit in the further destruction of the Catholic Church, but the Vatican is not likely to comment on matters seen as political. Those who have long-criticized this pope for opening up a dialogue on both abortion forgiveness and LGBTQ rights are the loudest opponents to the new U.S. president.The Plot to Bring Down Pope FrancisAs the second Catholic ever to be elected president (after John F. Kennedy in 1960), Biden now has the dubious task of balancing his faith and his politics, which are worlds apart. And he won’t have an easy time convincing any of the U.S. church’s hard-core conservatives that he should be recognized as a member of the Roman Catholic Church. St. Louis, Mississippi, priest Michael O’Connor was quick to remind the conservative faithful that Biden “masquerades as a Catholic” and, as he has said in the past, “Joe Biden is an embarrassment to Catholicism.”On Inauguration Day, Archbishop Jose Gomez, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued a damning statement about the new president, which angered the more liberal factions of the U.S. church and reportedly ruffled feathers in Rome. “Our new president has pledged to pursue certain policies that would advance moral evils and threaten human life and dignity,” he wrote. “Most seriously in the areas of abortion, contraception, marriage, and gender. Of deep concern is the liberty of the church and the freedom of believers to live according to their consciences.”The statement was immediately rebuked by Francis-loving Catholics, including the influential Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, who tweeted, “Today, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued an ill-considered statement on the day of President Biden’s inauguration,” he wrote. “Aside from the fact that there is seemingly no precedent for doing so, the statement, critical of President Biden, came as a surprise to many bishops, who received it just hours before it was released.” In other words, Gomez was not speaking for all the U.S. bishops.Today, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued an ill-considered statement on the day of President Biden’s inauguration.— Cardinal Cupich (@CardinalBCupich) January 20, 2021 Massimo Faggioli, professor of historical theology at Villanova University and the author of the new book Joe Biden and Catholicism in the United States, told The Daily Beast that on some issues, Biden will have to navigate “a very difficult path between a religious constituency of moderates and a radical-progressive Democratic Party especially on ethical issues: abortion but also LGBT, religious liberty.”A case in point happened in November 2019 on the campaign trail, when Father Robert Morey, the priest at Saint Anthony Catholic Church in Florence, South Carolina, denied Holy Communion to Biden over his stance on abortion. “Sadly, this past Sunday, I had to refuse Holy Communion to former Vice President Joe Biden,” Morey told the local media. “Holy Communion signifies we are one with God, each other, and the church. Our actions should reflect that. Any public figure who advocates for abortion places himself or herself outside of church teaching.”Faggioli says Biden’s faith is more about witness than proclamation or proposition. “For Catholics anxious to see immediate results: This takes time to have an impact both on the church and in the public square. In some sense it’s similar to what is happening with Pope Francis’ pontificate,” he says, referring to the struggles this pope has had with hard-core conservatives in the right-wing of the church.Biden does have a fan in Pope Francis, whose own struggles with conservative Catholics are well-documented. Francis was one of the first world leaders to send Biden congratulations both after his election and after his inauguration, which irked many conservatives who quietly campaigned to keep Trump in office. “At a time when the grave crises facing our human family call for far-sighted and united responses, I pray that your decisions will be guided by a concern for building a society marked by authentic justice and freedom, together with unfailing respect for the rights and dignity of every person, especially the poor, the vulnerable, and those who have no voice,” the pope wrote in his message to Biden on Wednesday.The same pope once questioned Trump’s Christianity when asked about his desire to build a wall on the U.S. southern border. “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not of building bridges, is not Christian,” Francis said about Trump in 2017.Did Pope Francis Just Sink Trump?But having Francis on his side will not guarantee Biden the support of Catholic Americans. On the contrary, Biden has been the subject of a campaign among conservatives who preferred Trump and who aren’t ready to accept Biden’s compromise Catholicism.“But there is something new,” Faggioli says. “Biden’s Catholicism represents a new synthesis between the integralist or neo-medieval Catholic model of imposition of values from the top on society—something we can call the Opus Dei model—and the 20th-century assimilationist, often hidden Catholicism—like at the time of JFK and John Kerry.”In other words, Biden’s brand of Catholicism is more opaque—and closer to Francis. “This is part of the appeal because you may not agree with Joe Biden on all issues,” Faggioli says. “But I sense that many American believers can see something in his faith that is true, that is authentic in him.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- The Independent
Infowars founder claimed shooting was 'a giant hoax’ and that grieving parents were actors
Iran may cooperate with the United States on oil and security in the Gulf, but not on Israel, the Iranian foreign minister said in remarks published on Saturday. Ties between Tehran and Washington worsened under the administration of former President Donald Trump, who in 2018 withdrew from Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and reimposed sanctions that have crippled its economy.
- Associated Press
Canada said its officials have met online with former diplomat Michael Kovrig, who has been held in China for more than two years in a case related to an executive of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei. Canada’s Foreign Ministry said officials led by Ambassador Dominic Barton were given “on-site virtual consular access” to Kovrig on Thursday. Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor have been confined since Dec. 10, 2018, just days after Canada detained Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, who is also the daughter of the founder of the Chinese telecommunications equipment giant.
- The Week
President Biden has issued another two executive orders aimed at the coronavirus pandemic's economic fallout.Millions of Americans have claimed unemployment insurance as they lost their jobs amid the pandemic, not to mention thousands of noncitizen workers who haven't been eligible for the benefits. Congress has so far passed two relief bills aimed at helping those who have lost their jobs, though many families are still struggling. Biden is pushing Congress to pass another $1.9 trillion stimulus program, but took initial and immediate relief steps Friday with another round of executive orders.The first order would increase how much families are given through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program each week. About 12 million families rely on the program, and this order would boost food stamp benefits for a family of four by 15 percent, National Economic Council Director Brian Deese tells The New York Times. And while Biden has called for another round of $1,400 stimulus checks, this order would direct the IRS to ensure Americans are getting their $600 payments as well. Notably, the order will also let people claim unemployment benefits even if they quit their job because they feel unsafe working it during the pandemic, among other economic benefits aimed at low-income Americans.The second order meanwhile lays the groundwork for ensuring federal workers and contractors are paid at least $15 per hour and can access paid leave, CNN reports. It also undoes some of former President Donald Trump's orders that let a president hire and fire employees for political reasons and limited federal workers' bargaining rights.Biden has spent the first two days of his presidency issuing executive orders to combat Trump's policies on immigration, climate, the pandemic, and more.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
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte lashed out at suppliers of COVID-19 vaccines on Saturday, saying delays in deliveries amounted to a serious breach of contractual obligations. Italy will have to rethink its whole vaccination programme if supply problems persist, a senior health official warned on Saturday, after Rome was forced to cut its daily rollout of COVID-19 shots by more than two thirds. Pfizer Inc last week said it was temporarily slowing supplies to Europe to make manufacturing changes that would boost output.