MIAMI (Reuters) - U.S. national security adviser John Bolton announced a series of new sanctions against Cuba and Venezuela on Wednesday as the Trump administration sought to boost pressure on Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro and the countries that support him. Bolton, in a speech to an association of veterans of the failed 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, said the United States was adding five names linked to Cuba's military and intelligence services to its sanctions blacklist, including the military-owned airline Aerogaviota. Bolton said Washington planned new limits on remittances to Cuba and changes to end the use of transactions that allow Havana to circumvent sanctions and obtain access to hard currency. He also announced new sanctions on Venezuela's central bank to prohibit its access to U.S. dollars. "Under this administration, we don’t throw dictators lifelines. We take them away," Bolton said. Bolton's announcement of the new sanctions came just hours after the Trump administration said it was lifting a long-standing ban against U.S. citizens filing lawsuits against foreign companies that use properties seized by Cuba’s Communist government since Fidel Castro’s 1959 revolution. The major policy shift, announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, could draw hundreds of thousands of legal claims worth tens of billion of dollars. It is intended to intensify pressure on Havana at a time Washington is demanding an end to Cuban support for Venezuela's Maduro. (Reporting by Matt Spetalnick; Writing by David Alexander; editing by Lisa Shumaker and Bill Berkrot)
- The Independent
Local newspapers turn on Lauren Boebert as 68 state politicians demand investigation into Capitol riot role
Lauren Boebert is under fire for sharing details about the location of the House speaker during the Capitol riots
Bee Nguyen, Georgia's first Vietnamese American state representative, donned an áo dài to her swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday. Regarded as the most popular national costume of Vietnam, the áo dài for women is a long dress with a contoured top that flows over loose-fitting trousers that reach the sole of the feet. Nguyen, 39, decided to wear the garment in response to the Capitol siege on Jan. 6, in which rioters carried the South Vietnamese flag.
- The Week
FBI says over 100 people arrested for Capitol siege, including 'liberal activist,' Confederate flag bearer
FBI Director Christopher Wray, in his first public comments since the Jan. 6 violent siege of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Trump, said Thursday that law enforcement has arrested more than 100 people in connection with the assault and is aware of "an extensive amount of concerning online chatter" ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's Jan. 20 inauguration.Most of those arrested so far have been far-right militants, off-duty police, retired military personnel, GOP officials, QAnon adherents, and white supremacists. For example, the man photographed carrying a Confederate battle flag through the Capitol, Kevin Seefried, and his son, Hunter Seefried, surrendered to the FBI in Delaware on Thursday, the Justice Department said.Embed from Getty ImagesAuthorities also arrested "liberal activist" John Sullivan on Thursday, making him, Politico says, "the first person to be charged who appears to have been active in liberal causes." Sullivan, who filmed the siege, claims he was just following the rioters as a "journalist," but the FBI said his own video showed him to be a booster of the lawlessness and even an active participant.Trump supporters, including Rudy Giuliani, and conservative media outlets pointed to Sullivan's arrest to bolster their counterfactual claim that "antifa" or Black Lives Matter were actually behind the assault on the Capitol. But "even before his arrest, left wing activists had described concerns in that community, going back some time, that Sullivan was a provocateur working with others, including his brother James, who has ties to the Proud Boys and runs a pro-Trump organization," Marcy Wheeler notes at EmptyWheel.> pic.twitter.com/oRri9hyHGv> > — New York City Antifa (@NYCAntifa) January 7, 2021"Sullivan's presence in the Capitol, and his previous record of anti-Trump activism, has been the focus of frenzied attention in the right-wing media," Robert Mackey reports at The Intercept, while "left-wing organizers have been keen to stress that they ejected Sullivan from their ranks months ago." Since adopting the nom de guerre "Activist John" last summer, Mackey notes, Sullivan has been blacklisted by "left-wing organizers associated with Black Lives Matter and antifascism in Utah, California, and the Pacific Northwest" who say he's "either a right-wing infiltrator or a dangerously naive amateur."More stories from theweek.com Trump's vaccine delay is getting suspicious The worst-case scenario for America's immediate future 5 scathing cartoons about Trump's second impeachment
- Associated Press
Pakistani authorities sacked a local police chief and 11 other policemen for failing to protect a Hindu temple that was set on fire and demolished last month by a mob led by hundreds of supporters of a radical Islamist party, police said Friday. The 12 policemen were fired over “acts of cowardice" and “negligence" for not trying to stop the mob when it attacked the temple, with some having fled the scene. Another 48 policemen were given various punishments following a probe into the attack, the police statement said.
- The Telegraph
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.
- NBC News
Jennifer Ryan faces charges of disorderly conduct and knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful entry.
- 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
- 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 Week
A reserve of second-dose COVID-19 vaccines set to be repurposed as first doses is already empty, state and federal officials briefed on distribution plans tell The Washington Post.Both the coronavirus vaccines currently authorized in the U.S. require two doses to be fully effective. So when distribution of first doses began, the Trump administration held back matching second doses to make sure recipients would be fully protected against COVID-19. Amid a massive demand for more doses, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced earlier this week that the department would begin doling out those reserved doses to more people, saying increased production speed would make up for the soon-to-be-depleted reserve.But as officials soon learned, the federal government had stopped stockpiling second dose vaccines weeks ago, they tell the Post. Both first and second doses were instead taken right off the manufacturing line. That meant Azar's announcement reportedly released a stockpile that didn't exist. The U.S. had already reached its maximum distribution capacity, and new doses distributors were expecting next week weren't coming, the Post reports.HHS spokesperson Michael Pratt confirmed in an email to the Post that the last of the reserve had been taken out for shipment this weekend. He didn't acknowledge Azar's comments, but said Operation Warp Speed had "always intended to transition from holding second doses in reserve as manufacturing stabilizes and we gained confidence in the ability for a consistent flow of vaccines." he also said states had only ordered 75 percent of the vaccines available to them. Read more at The Washington Post.More stories from theweek.com Trump's vaccine delay is getting suspicious The worst-case scenario for America's immediate future 5 scathing cartoons about Trump's second impeachment
- Associated Press
Hong Kong police on Thursday said they arrested 11 people on suspicion of assisting offenders who are believed to be the 12 Hong Kong activists detained at sea by mainland Chinese authorities while attempting to flee the city last year. District councilor and lawyer Daniel Wong Kwok-tung posted on his Facebook page early Thursday that national security officers had arrived at his home. Wong, a member of the Democratic Party, is known for providing legal assistance to hundreds of activists arrested during antigovernment protests in 2019.
- 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.
The United States stands by Taiwan and always will, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft said following a call with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, who told her the island would continue to seek access to U.N. meetings. Craft had planned to visit Taipei this week, in the teeth of strong objections from China which views the island as its own territory.
- The Conversation
Images taken by the media of the Capitol storming could help law enforcement identify participants. Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post via Getty ImagesThe images from the Jan. 6 siege on the United States Capitol will likely be seared into the memories of many Americans. Photographs and video published in print, online and on television showed protesters breaking windows to enter the building, sitting at a desk in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office and confronting an outnumbered Capitol police force. However, it may be the unpublished images that will be of most interest to law enforcement agencies as they track down and arrest as many of the rioters as possible for breaking a range of laws. The agencies may request or demand that news organizations turn over their unpublished material, which would force the media outlets to make uncomfortable choices. Journalists argue that if they are forced to reveal confidential sources or turn over any news information they have gathered but not yet published, it will erode the trust of sources and the public, who will doubt the independence that journalists often claim. Journalists serve the public, not the government. But is the public better served by bringing criminals to justice than protecting a journalistic principle? Conflicting interests Many of the people who participated in the attack on the Capitol building have been identified and arrested, some with help from photos published by the media and selfies and videos taken by the protesters. As the search for more suspects continues, if authorities seek unpublished images from the news media and media outlets willingly cooperate, it could put journalists in greater danger when covering future protests. Protesters may see them as potential informants and physically attack them to avoid being identified later. If the outlets resist and force authorities to issue subpoenas for the images, it is unlikely to improve the media’s standing with a distrustful public because it may appear the news organizations are obstructing justice. Equipment of media crews damaged during clashes after Trump supporters breached U.S. Capitol security. Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images Dangers of covering protests Covering unrest is always dangerous for journalists, but the situation at the Capitol was especially so. The protesters were supporters of President Donald Trump, who has often referred to the media as the “enemy of the people.” Someone carved the words “Murder the Media” into a door in the building, and news outlets lost thousands of dollars of equipment when it was stolen and smashed by protesters. During protests after George Floyd was killed while being taken into police custody last summer, several reporters were injured and possibly targeted by protesters and police officers. In Seattle, police subpoenaed the Seattle Times and several television stations in June 2020 to obtain unpublished images from protests there to identify people suspected of criminal activity. The news organizations challenged the subpoenas in court under Washington state’s shield law, which protects journalists from being forced to name confidential sources or turn over unpublished information to state authorities. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press filed a brief supporting the news organizations’ position, in which it argued that enforcing the subpoena would jeopardize journalists’ safety as well as their editorial independence. A judge ruled against them. Police later dropped the subpoenas because media appeals of the judge’s decision were likely to take too long to resolve. Journalists often fight subpoenas for their materials. kolderal/Moment/Getty Images Legal protections for journalists Because the Capitol siege happened on federal government property, the incident is being investigated by federal authorities, meaning any court challenges to subpoenas would likely end up in federal court. This complicates matters. Forty states have shield laws, but there is no federal shield law. In 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that journalists do not have a First Amendment right to refuse to reveal sources’ identities in response to a valid grand jury subpoena. The Branzburg v. Hayes decision was so divided, however, that many lower federal courts have limited its reach to grand jury situations. This means that journalists have a better chance of winning if they are subpoenaed to provide evidence in civil lawsuits or at criminal trials. The Jan. 6 incident does not involve confidential sources. Some federal courts have ruled that nonconfidential material gathered by journalists, including unpublished images, is also protected from disclosure, but the protection is usually less comprehensive than for confidential material. Given the seriousness of the Capitol incident, which led to five deaths, it would be difficult for journalists to successfully argue that their interests are more important than those of law enforcement. I have been studying the law regarding journalists and their sources for nearly 24 years. To my knowledge, U.S. journalists have rarely made the argument that they could face physical danger if they are forced to turn over information they have gathered. The closest parallel is a Washington Post reporter who successfully fought a subpoena from a war crimes tribunal 20 years ago because of fears of retribution in foreign conflict zones. One possible solution would be for news outlets to publish all images that have not already been published on their websites. That way, both the public and law enforcement agents would have access without a bruising legal battle over making the images available only to the police. A bonus would be that the public would have even more information about what happened.This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Anthony Fargo, Indiana University. Read more:The insurrection at the Capitol challenged how US media frames unrest and shapes public opinionHow should you read unnamed sources and leaks? Anthony Fargo does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
The National Rifle Association said Friday it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will seek to reincorporate in Texas, calling New York, where it is currently registered, a "toxic political environment." The big picture: The move comes just months after New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit to dissolve the NRA, alleging the group committed fraud by diverting roughly $64 million in charitable donations over three years to support reckless spending by its executives.Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America. * The NRA then sued James in federal court, accusing her of violating its right to free speech. * Karl Racine, attorney general for Washington, D.C., filed a separate lawsuit in August against the gun lobby and its foundation "for misusing charitable funds to support wasteful spending by the NRA and its executives."What they're saying: "Today, the NRA announced a restructuring plan that positions us for the long-term and ensures our continued success as the nation’s leading advocate for constitutional freedom – free from the toxic political environment of New York," the NRA's Wayne LaPierre said in letter to members and supporters Friday. * "The plan can be summed up quite simply: We are DUMPING New York, and we are pursuing plans to reincorporate the NRA in Texas," LaPierre added. * "Under the plan, the NRA will continue what we’ve always done – confronting anti-gun, anti-self-defense and anti-hunting activities and promoting constitutional advocacy that helps law-abiding Americans." * "Our work will continue as it always has. No major changes are expected to the NRA’s operations or workforce. " LaPierre also claimed Friday that the NRA is "as financially strong as we have been in years," despite the organization laying off or furloughing dozens of employees, canceling its national convention and cutting salaries last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, per AP. * A spokesperson for the NRA said in May that like "every other business and nonprofit, we are forced to make tough choices in this new economic environment," per AP. * In its bankruptcy petition filed in Texas, the NRA listed assets and liabilities of as much as $500 million each, Bloomberg reported. Go deeper: The NRA's dwindling political influenceEditor's note: This story has been updated with additional details. Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- Associated Press
A 16-year-old boy has admitted fatally shooting his newborn daughter and leaving her body inside a fallen tree in the woods in southern Wisconsin, according to prosecutors. Logan Kruckenburg-Anderson, of Albany, is charged as an adult with first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse. According to a criminal complaint, the teen took the infant shortly after she was born Jan. 5 to a wooded area in Albany, about 80 miles (129 kilometers) southwest of Milwaukee, placed her inside a fallen tree and shot her twice in the head.
- Yahoo News Video
A white military veteran shot and wounded a 15-year-old girl when he fired his gun into a car carrying four Black teens during a tense confrontation at a Trump rally near the Iowa Capitol last month.
Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said it would be "very problematic" for Ankara to turn back on its purchase of Russian S-400 defence systems but expressed hope that a dispute with the United States on the issue could be resolved through dialogue. Akar also reiterated that Turkey was in talks with Russia on obtaining a second consignment of the S400 defence systems. Washington slapped sanctions on NATO ally Turkey's Defence Industry Directorate (SSB), its chief Ismail Demir and three other employees last month following its acquisition of the S-400s.
- The Independent
‘He’s not going to find a lot of sympathetic Republicans,’ White House source tells CNN
- 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.
- Yahoo News Video
A racing pigeon has survived an extraordinary 13,000-kilometer (8,000-mile) Pacific Ocean crossing from the United States to find a new home in Australia. Now authorities consider the bird a quarantine risk and plan to kill it.