By Richard Cowan and Jeff Mason WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate shifted slightly closer on Tuesday to resolving a month-long partial government shutdown, but there was no sign of relief anytime soon for 800,000 federal workers who are furloughed or working without pay. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell laid the groundwork for a vote on Thursday on a Democratic proposal to fund the government for three weeks, without attaching the $5.7 billion in U.S.-Mexico border wall funding demanded by President Donald Trump. The president has opposed similar legislation in the House of Representatives. McConnell had said previously he would not consider a funding bill that Trump would refuse to sign. The Senate leader said he would also bring up for a Thursday vote a proposal by Trump to end the shutdown that includes border wall funding and relief for "Dreamers," people brought illegally to the United States as children. The plan was unlikely to pass in the Senate and had even less chance in the Democratic-led House of Representatives. Democrats have said they would not trade a temporary restoration of the immigrants' protections from deportation in return for a permanent border wall they view as ineffective. In 2017, Trump moved to end the Dreamers' protections, triggering a court battle. But the Senate action could set the stage for the type of bipartisan negotiating that will be necessary to end a shutdown that began on Dec. 22. Americans have largely blamed Trump for the shutdown, now the longest in U.S. history. Affected federal workers are struggling to make ends meet. A Trump administration official said on Tuesday the president still intended to deliver his State of the Union speech on Jan. 29, even though House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the top U.S. Democrat, had recommended he delay it because of the shutdown. The request seemed likely to set up another clash between Trump and Pelosi, days after Trump abruptly refused to let her use a U.S. military plane to go on an overseas trip hours before she was to depart. Aides to Pelosi did not respond to requests for comment on whether Trump's invitation to speak would stand. BARGAINING CHIP Trump may have lost the Dreamer issue as his main negotiating point on Tuesday when the U.S. Supreme Court was silent, at least for now, on considering an administration appeal of lower-court rulings allowing continued temporary protections for the immigrant youths. Instead, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program established by then-President Barack Obama in 2012 lives on with or without approval by Congress. As the Senate debates Trump's proposal, House Democrats this week are pushing legislation that would end the partial shutdown of agencies including the departments of Justice, Homeland Security, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor and Interior. While their legislation would contain new border security money, there would be nothing for a wall, ensuring Trump's opposition. Once the government reopens, Democrats said, they would negotiate with Trump on further border security ideas. "We were optimistic that he might ... open up government so we could have this discussion,” Pelosi told reporters in comments carried by CNN. "But then we heard what the particulars were in it and it was a non-starter, unfortunately.” Representative Jim Clyburn, the No. 3 House Democrat, welcomed any effort by the Republican-led Senate to debate and vote on legislation to reopen the government. "This gets us started," Clyburn told MSNBC in an interview. The shutdown's impact was being felt at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the FBI Agents Association saying probes of possible financial crimes, drugs and terrorism were being hindered by a lack of funds. Many federal employees and contractors were turning to unemployment assistance, food banks and other support as the shutdown entered its second month. Others began seeking new jobs. (Reporting by Richard Cowan and Jeff Mason; Additional reporting by Susan Cornwell, Colette Luke and Sarah N. Lynch; Writing by Richard Cowan and Steve Holland; Editing by Bill Trott and Peter Cooney)
- Yahoo News
President-elect Joe Biden's team is reconsidering a domestic terrorism law out of concern that future administrations or law enforcement might abuse it.
- Associated Press
More than 1,000 Honduran migrants pushed their way into Guatemala Friday night without registering, a portion of a larger migrant caravan that had left the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula before dawn, Guatemalan authorities said. Video shared by the Guatemala Immigration Institute showed cheering people streaming in while border agents looked on and tried to keep them from blocking traffic. Honduran migrants began walking toward the Guatemalan border, driven by deepening poverty and the hope of a warmer reception if they can reach the United States border.
The white woman caught on tape getting into a physical altercation with a Black female security guard the evening before the Capitol riots lost her job at UMass Hospital. The termination occurred after her daughter went viral for exposing her identity on social media. On January 5th, Therese Duke and a group of pro-Trump protesters that included other family members were filmed harassing Ashanti Smith, a security guard working at Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington D.C.
- National Review
Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.) warned Friday that one third of Republican voters could leave the party if GOP senators vote in impeachment proceedings to convict President Trump. Paul made the comments in an interview on Fox News’s The Ingraham Angle. The senator’s remarks come amid an increasing divide between congressional Republicans who oppose impeaching the president, and a smaller number who support the measure following the riots at the Capitol on January 6. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) is reportedly hopeful that Republicans can use impeachment to purge Trump from the GOP, although he would need the support of at least 16 additional Republican senators to vote to convict. “Look, I didn’t agree with the [Capitol] fight that happened last week, and I voted against overturning the election, but at the same time, the impeachment is a wrongheaded, partisan notion, [and] if Republicans go along with it, it’ll destroy the party,” Paul said during the interview. “A third of the Republicans will leave the party,” Paul continued. “This isn’t about, anymore, the Electoral College, this is about the future of the party, and whether you’re going to ostracize and excommunicate President Trump from the party. Well, guess what,? Millions of his fans will leave as well.” While a majority of Americans believe Trump should be removed from office immediately, just 17 percent of Republicans support expelling Trump from the presidency, according to an Axios–Ipsos poll released on Thursday. Support for Trump among Republicans has fallen since the Capitol riots, however 60 percent believe the party should continue to follow Trump once he leaves office, an ABC News/Washington Post poll found.
- Architectural Digest
When it came to the lighting in his home, Pardo drew inspiration from the insides of fruits, nuts, and seeds, as well as sea creatures and machine parts.Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- Yahoo News Video
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.
A 1st Armored Division soldier at Fort Bliss, Texas has been charged with sexually assaulting three women over the past year, including a fellow soldier who was found dead a year on New Year's Eve.
AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine could win Swiss regulatory approval as early as this month, the NZZ newspaper reported on Saturday, citing two unnamed sources. It said watchdog Swissmedic plans a meeting at the end of the month to sign off on the jab. "If everything proceeds in an exemplary manner and we get the necessary data soon, the next approval decision can come very quickly," the paper cited a Swissmedic spokesman as saying without giving a date.
- Associated Press
In the week since a mob laid siege to the U.S. Capitol, the House has impeached President Donald Trump. Twitter and other social media sites have banned Trump and thousands of other accounts. Officer Eugene Goodman isn't saying whether he thinks he saved the Senate, as many of the millions who've viewed the video believe.
Bottoms is set to be vice chair in charge of the campaign organization’s civic engagement and voter protection. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has been nominated by President-elect Joe Biden as a vice chair of the Democratic National Committee. In the role, Bottoms would be in charge of civic engagement and voter protection.
- The Week
President Trump is known for going off script, but his premature presidential election victory declaration in the early hours of the morning on Nov. 4 wasn't a completely spur-of-the-moment decision, Axios' Jonathan Swan reports.In the first installment of a reported series on Trump's final two months in office, Swan writes that Trump began "choreographing election night in earnest" during the second week of October following a "toxic" debate with President-elect Joe Biden on Sept. 29 and a bout with COVID-19 that led to his hospitalization. At that point, Trump's internal poll numbers had reportedly taken a tumble, Swan notes.With that in mind, he reportedly called his first White House chief of staff, a stunned Reince Priebus, and "acted out his script, including walking up to a podium and prematurely declaring victory on election night if it looked like he was ahead." Indeed, in the lead up to Election Day, Trump reportedly kept his focus on the so-called "red mirage," the early vote counts that would show many swing states leaning red because mail-in ballots had yet to be counted. Trump, Swan reports, intended to "weaponize it for his vast base of followers," who would go to bed thinking he had secured a second-term, likely planting the seeds of a stolen election. Read more at Axios. > As I've been writing, the plan was to steal the election all along. Fantastic reporting here. https://t.co/k8C73o8vH7> > -- Jonah Goldberg (@JonahDispatch) January 16, 2021More stories from theweek.com 5 more scathing cartoons about Trump's 2nd impeachment GOP officials are reportedly worried controversial pro-Trump House members could run for Senate, governor Here's what Biden reportedly plans to do his 1st day in office
- 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.
- Miami Herald
Three Republican lawmakers from Florida are asking the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to reject President-elect Joe Biden’s nominees unless they agree to take a tough stance on Cuba and Venezuela, according to a letter obtained by McClatchy.
- The Week
GOP officials are reportedly worried controversial pro-Trump House members could run for Senate, governor
Georgia and Arizona were two of the most crucial states in this election cycle, and it looks like they'll remain at the forefront of the coming battle within the Republican Party, The New York Times reports.Things have grown tense in the Sun Belt states, where mainstream Republicans are hoping to fend off President Trump's allies. In Arizona, for instance, the state GOP is trying to censure Republican Gov. Doug Ducey — as well as former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Cindy McCain — in part because he has been "deemed insufficiently beholden to Trump," Politico reports. In Georgia, there's a faction on the right that wants to defeat Gov. Brian Kemp (R), who has faced Trump's wrath for not supporting his election conspiracy theories, in a gubernatorial primary in 2022.Both situations reportedly have the more traditional half of the Republican Party concerned — privately, the Times reports, GOP officials are concerned some high-profile members of the House that are considered staunch Trump loyalists who have "propagated fringe conspiracy theories," like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), as well as Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), could launch campaigns for Senate seats and governorships in their states in 2022. So, even as, per USA Today, Republican senators ponder whether to vote to convict President Trump in his upcoming impeachment trial, and then potentially vote to bar him from future public office, their fight against him is seemingly far from over. Read more at The New York Times, Politico, and USA Today.More stories from theweek.com Trump reportedly began 'choreographing' premature victory speech weeks before election 5 more scathing cartoons about Trump's 2nd impeachment Here's what Biden reportedly plans to do his 1st day in office
Hospital cleaning worker Manish Kumar became the first person in India to be vaccinated against COVID-19 on Saturday, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched one of the world's largest immunisation campaigns to bring the pandemic under control. Kumar received his shot at Delhi's premier All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), one of 3,006 vaccination centres established around the country. "The vaccine will give me strength and motivation to serve my hospital which has been at the forefront of taking care of coronavirus patients," Kumar said.
- Associated Press
Divers found parts of the cockpit voice recorder on Friday as more personnel joined the search for wreckage and victims from an Indonesian plane that crashed last weekend in the Java Sea with 62 people on board. The aerial search for the crashed Sriwijaya Air jet was being expanded as well, said National Search and Rescue Agency mission coordinator Rasman, who uses one name. Divers narrowed the search for the cockpit voice recorder after finding some of its parts.
- NBC News
The suspect, Wesley Allen Beeler, 31, was stopped in a Ford pickup truck with gun-related decals.
- The Telegraph
Donald Trump had a bizarre visit in his final days at the White House from a businessman known as the "My Pillow Guy”. Michael Lindell was photographed just before he went in to see the president in the West Wing. He was carrying a set of notes which included references to "martial law" and advocating appointing someone loyal to Mr Trump to head the CIA. Mr Lindell is chief executive of a company called My Pillow. He is a Republican donor and has been a loyal supporter of the president. He is also a familiar face on US television screens, appearing in adverts for his own product. On Thursday he wrote on Facebook: "We will have our president Donald Trump 4 more years!" His notes when he visited the White House were only partially visible but included the phrase "martial law if necessary upon the first hint of any …” Another part read "Make clear this is China/Iran...." and elsewhere he referenced "Foreign Interference in the election”. Mr Lindell's notes suggested that Gina Haspel, the current CIA Director, be replaced by Kash Patel, who is chief of staff to the defence secretary.
- Miami Herald
Latino leaders from more than 20 local advocacy groups have denounced the spread of misinformation in South Florida Spanish-language media, warning in an open letter that “hateful rhetoric can have deadly consequences.”
- Associated Press
A city in northern China is building a 3,000-unit quarantine facility to deal with an anticipated overflow of patients as COVID-19 cases rise ahead of the annual Lunar New Year travel rush. State media on Friday showed crews leveling earth, pouring concrete and assembling prefabricated rooms in farmland in an outlying part of Shijiazhuang, the provincial capital of Hebei province, which has seen the bulk of the new cases. The spike in northern China comes as a World Health Organization team prepares to collect data on the origin of the pandemic in Wuhan, which lies to the south.