Things you can do to protect your home from fires
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When Angela Merkel's party meets to elect a new leader on Saturday, the chances are her attention will be elsewhere. As her Christian Democrat party (CDU) struggles with the question of how to replace her, the veteran chancellor is focusing her final months in power on battling the coronavirus pandemic. While the three candidates to succeed her were making the final polishes to their speeches on Friday, Mrs Merkel, who will stand down as chancellor in September, was summoning regional leaders to urgent talks on tightening the German lockdown next week. “Anyone who thinks they can win a general election by breaking with Angela Merkel is out of their mind,” Markus Söder, the Bavarian regional leader, said. “She is one of the great chancellors, and belongs alongside Konrad Adenauer and Helmut Kohl.” Mr Söder is not a disinterested commentator. German party leaders are not automatically candidates for chancellor, and he has hopes of being parachuted in as the CDU’s candidate. But it was still a remarkable tribute from a man who was until recently one of Mrs Merkel’s sternest critics. Yet the CDU may be about to break with her all the same. One of the candidates to succeed her, Friedrich Merz, is an old rival whose entire political career has been consumed by his personal antipathy towards Mrs Merkel — so much so he quit politics altogether when he lost control of the party to her in 2002, and didn’t return until she announced her retirement in 2018.
The Biden-Harris administration plans to release White House visitor logs once the president-elect takes office, transition spokesperson Jen Psaki said Friday.Why it matters: President Trump's White House kept visitor logs to core offices private, a move that was heavily criticized and faced legal challenges for its lack of transparency. Biden's decision is a return to the policy held during the Obama administration, which archived and released its logs, per Politico.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.What she's saying: "For the sake of clarity — The Biden-Harris Administration will return to the policy of releasing White House visitor logs," Psaki tweeted. * Of note: "Also true that visitors will be limited for some time because safety during the pandemic is top priority," she added, referring to the new administration's COVID precautions.Support safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- Associated Press
- The Independent
In his remaining days as Senate leader, Democrats pressure lawmakers to reach swift vote
European governments said the credibility of their COVID-19 vaccination programmes was at risk on Friday after U.S. pharmaceutical firm Pfizer announced a temporary slowdown of deliveries of its vaccines. Shots developed by Pfizer with its German partner BioNTech began being delivered in the European Union at the end of December, but around nine of the 27 EU governments complained of "insufficient" doses at a meeting this week, a participant said. Pfizer initially said deliveries were proceeding on schedule, but then on Friday announced there would be a temporary impact on shipments in late January to early February caused by changes to manufacturing processes to boost output.
- The Week
A bipartisan group of three House members said Thursday that they will nominate Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman for the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor awarded by Congress, for facing off against a mob of rioters in the Capitol during the Jan. 6 siege and potentially saving the Senate."He's a hero!" said Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.), who is introducing the resolution with Reps. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) and Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.). The Senate started evacuating a minute after Goodman lured a crowd of rioters away from a nearby door to the chamber, according to a video by HuffPost's Igor Bobic.Goodman served in Iraq in the Army's 101st Airborne Division, but little else is known about him and he "isn't saying anything at all publicly — not to reporters, not on social media," The Associated Press reports.But Goodman isn't the only officer who showed heroism during the mob siege, and several D.C. Metropolitan Police reinforcements involved in the battle at the West Terrace told their harrowing stories to The Washington Post. One Capitol Police officer was killed by the rioters, and nearly 60 D.C. police officers and an unknown number of Capitol Police were injured.D.C. officer Michael Fanone, 40, was filmed being bludgeoned with metal pipes and flag poles after the West Terrace mob dragged him down the entrance stairs. "We were battling 15,000 people," not 50, he told the Post. "It looked like a medieval battle scene." After the mob hit him with a stun gun, the Post adds, "Fanone suffered a mild heart attack and drifted in and out of consciousness."Officer Daniel Hodges, 32, was captured in another viral video with his head being smashed in a door. Rioters tried to gouge his eyes out before he even got to the West Terrace tunnel, he told the Post. "The zealotry of these people is absolutely unreal," he said, adding that he didn't want to draw his gun "because I knew they had guns — we had been seizing guns all day" — and "we would have lost" in a firefight.Rows of bludgeoned officers from D.C., then surrounding jurisdictions, fended off the rioters in hand-to-hand combat for hours. The West Terrace was "one of the few places where police prevented rioters from breaking through," the Post reports. "Had those rioters succeeded, authorities said, thousands more people could have poured into the Capitol, with possible catastrophic consequences." Read more war stories, and watch the disturbing videos, at The Washington Post.More stories from theweek.com Trump's vaccine delay is getting suspicious 5 more scathing cartoons about Trump's 2nd impeachment The worst-case scenario for America's immediate future
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Military officials will have second 45-pound briefcase ready for Joe Biden
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- Miami Herald
As more rioters from the attack on the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6 get arrested, a clearer picture is emerging of who was there that day. At least a handful of Florida residents have been tracked down, thanks in part to video and images widely circulated on social media.
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A 16-year-old boy has admitted to fatally shooting his newborn daughter and leaving her body inside a fallen tree in the woods in Wisconsin, according to prosecutors.
- Associated Press
With a chainsaw in his car, Ahmed Abdelal tours the Gaza Strip, asking around for people wanting to cut down trees, regrow orchards or make way for construction. One of the few remaining woodcutters in the Palestinian territory, Abdelal, who learned woodcutting from his father, is struggling to scratch out a living in a traditional job that is less and less in demand. Job opportunities are rare in this Palestinian enclave wedged between Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea, and so are green spaces.
- National Review
Senator Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) on Friday called for the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol last week to be “prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” saying those who participated in the unrest that left five dead were “terrorists attacking this country’s constitutionally-mandated transfer of power.” Sasse’s comments come after the Department of Justice said in court documents that the rioters breached the Capitol with the intent to “capture and assassinate elected officials.” In a memo requesting that “QAnon shaman” Jacob Anthony Chansley be kept in detention, Justice Department lawyers in Arizona wrote that “strong evidence, including Chansley’s own words and actions at the Capitol” show that the intent was to harm elected officials. Sasse said it would be “wrong” of “rage-peddlers” to “try to whitewash the attack on the Capitol, saying that a few bad apples got out of control.” “Every American needs to understand what the Department of Justice has just made public: Investigators have strong evidence to suggest that some of the rioters who stormed the United States Capitol planned to kidnap and possibly assassinate the Vice President,” he said. “These men weren’t drunks who got rowdy — they were terrorists attacking this country’s constitutionally-mandated transfer of power,” he added. “They failed, but they came dangerously close to starting a bloody constitutional crisis.” He concluded: “They must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The FBI is investigating widespread calls for violence across the country and every American has an obligation to lower the temperature.” Last week, before the House impeached President Trump for a second time on an “incitement of insurrection” charge, Sasse had vowed to consider any articles of impeachment against Trump that came before the Senate. “The House, if they come together and have a process, I will definitely consider whatever articles they might move,” Sasse said in an interview with CBS. “I believe the president has disregarded his oath of office…what he did was wicked.”
- The Telegraph
A rehearsal for Joe Biden's inauguration scheduled for Sunday has been postponed because of security concerns, according to a report in the US. Mr Biden is due to be sworn in as president on Wednesday, January 20, and the rehearsal has now been pushed back to Monday, Politico reported on Thursday. It reflects the seriousness with which Mr Biden's transition team are taking security threats after supporters of Donald Trump broke into the US Capitol last week in a riot that left five people dead. Security officials have locked down the Capitol grounds and the National Guard is set to post more than 20,000 troops in the area. The FBI on Thursday warned of "an extensive amount of concerning online chatter" about potentially violent threats to the inauguration and the agency has also said it expects armed protests in all 50 states. Earlier this week Mr Biden's team cancelled a train trip planned for Monday from Wilmington, Delaware to Washington due to security concerns.