JUBA (Reuters) - The United Nations accused South Sudan's government forces and its allies on Tuesday of sexually abusing women and girls and reportedly burning some alive in their homes during recent fighting in the conflict-torn nation. The U.N. Mission in South Sudan, or UNMISS, said the findings came from a report based on interviews with 115 victims from districts in oil-rich Unity State, where the government's SPLA forces launched an offensive against rebels in late April. South Sudan, the world's newest nation and one of its poorest, has been mired in a conflict since December 2013 that pits President Salva Kiir's SPLA against those loyal to rebel leader Riek Machar, a former deputy president. "The survivors of these attacks reported that SPLA and allied militias from Mayom County carried out a campaign against the local population that killed civilians, looted and destroyed villages and displaced over 100,000 people," UNMISS said. The United States wants the U.N. Security Council to meet on the U.N. report "in the coming days," Deputy U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations David Pressman said on Tuesday. In a statement outlining findings from its report, UNMISS said its rights officers had focused on the abduction and sexual abuse of women and girls, "some of whom were reportedly burnt alive in their dwellings." “This recent upsurge (in fighting) has not only been marked by allegations of killing, rape, abduction, looting, arson and displacement, but by a new brutality and intensity,” it said. The report added that the "level of cruelty" reflected more than political differences. The fighting has increasingly turned along ethnic lines, with Kiir's Dinka ethnic group battling Machar's Nuers. UNMISS said it had sought to visit sites of the alleged atrocities to verify allegations but said it was routinely denied access by the SPLA, and also encountered logistical obstacles that it did not specify. Reuters could not reach an SPLA official for comment. UNMISS said it gave its report to the Foreign Ministry before release but officials had not commented. It said the SPLA's spokesman had dismissed such allegations in the past but had also welcomed investigations. There have been periodic flare-ups in the conflict during the past year and a half, usually picking up in drier months when it is easier for troops to move around a nation that is the size of France or Texas yet with almost no tarmac roads. (Additional reporting by Tom Miles in Geneva, Michelle Nichols at the United Nations; Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Chizu Nomiyama)
- Yahoo News
Republicans built up QAnon backer Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, but now are they afraid of what they created?
On the eve of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the combative Georgia Republican known for her association with QAnon, was back on Twitter after a 12-hour suspension, and back to making waves.
- Yahoo News
Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States Wednesday in Washington, D.C., where he called for national unity. "Politics doesn't have to be a raging fire destroying everything in its path," he said.
- Yahoo News 360
Historians will face a daunting task in trying to assess Donald Trump’s presidency. What will he be remembered for?
Tam Dinh Pham of the Houston police department was part of the deadly mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. A veteran Houston police officer is in trouble after attending the U.S. Capitol riots in Washington, D.C., then lying about it. Officer Tam Dinh Pham joined the deadly mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
- Yahoo News Video
President-elect Joe Biden has tapped Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine to be his assistant secretary of health, leaving her poised to become the first openly transgender federal official to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
Alexei Navalny, President Vladimir Putin's most prominent critic who was jailed at the weekend, on Tuesday released a video in which he and his allies alleged that an opulent palace belonged to the Russian leader, a claim the Kremlin denied. The allegations, which first surfaced in 2010 when a businessman wrote about them to then-President Dmitry Medvedev complaining of official graft, come as Navalny's supporters urge people to join nationwide protests on Saturday. Reuters reported in 2014 that the estate in southern Russia had been partly funded by taxpayer money from a $1 billion hospital project.
- The Week
Heroic Capitol Police officer who fended off Senate from mob will escort Kamala Harris at the inauguration
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris had a fitting escort to walk her up the stairs of the Capitol on Wednesday: Eugene Goodman, the lone, Black police officer who bravely lured rioters away from the Senate chamber during the invasion of the Capitol building earlier this month. Goodman is the new acting deputy House Sergeant at Arms, and a candidate for the Congressional Gold Medal, one of the highest honors a civilian can receive. "I've always said, if bullets start ripping through, I'm finding Goodman," a friend of Goodman's told The Washington Post. "He's been in hostile firefights [in Iraq], so he knows how to keep his head."Goodman will also accompany Harris on the presidential platform on Wednesday, where she will be sworn in as vice president of the United States. > NEW: Eugene Goodman, the Capitol Police officer who put himself in harms way while defending the building from a violent mob, has been named the Acting Deputy House Sergeant at Arms.> > Goodman will escort Vice President-elect Kamala Harris up the stairs of the Capitol today. pic.twitter.com/n3FGg0jRtp> > -- CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) January 20, 2021More stories from theweek.com Trump issues last-minute order attempting to free his appointees from ethics commitments 5 more scathing cartoons about Trump's 2nd impeachment Trump's final mention of the pandemic as president includes racist conspiracy theory, downplayed deaths, and no regrets
- Associated Press
The Kremlin on Tuesday brushed aside calls from the West to release opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was arrested upon his return to Russia from Germany following treatment for poisoning with a nerve agent. Moscow called his case “an absolutely internal matter.” Navalny blames his poisoning on President Vladimir Putin's government, which has denied it.
- Yahoo News
CIA Director Gina Haspel is marking the end of a tenure that was often publicly quiet, but often included behind-the-scenes resistance to some of President Trump’s controversial moves.
- Architectural Digest
Mercedes-Benz’s Hyperscreen, General Motors’ Bright Drop, and Jeep’s Electric Wrangler were among the unveils that turned headsOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
A woman accused of breaching the Capitol and planning to sell to Russia a laptop or hard drive she allegedly stole from Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office faces fresh charges, according to a criminal complaint amended Tuesday.Driving the news: Riley June Williams, 22, who was arrested in Pennsylvania's Middle District Monday, is suspected of being the woman featured in a video saying, "dude, put on gloves," before a man's gloved hand reaches for the laptop, per the Department of Justice.Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America. * She was charged on Tuesday with "Aid Abet Others to Embezzle, Steal, Purloin" and "Obstruct, Influence or Impede any Official Proceeding." * This adds to her earlier charges of illegally entering the Capitol as well as violent entry and disorderly conduct. The big picture: Video footage appears to show Williams entering the Capitol with other rioters on Jan. 6. She appears to direct them up a staircase in the building. * Following the siege, a person claiming to be Williams' "former romantic partner" called the FBI tip line to identify Williams and claimed that she told them she planned to send the computer device to a friend in Russia, per a DOJ statement of facts. * It's alleged the friend planned to then sell it to Russia’s foreign intelligence service. The caller said the transfer fell through and alleged that Williams either still has the device or destroyed it. * The allegations concerning Russia remain under investigation.Of note: Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff confirmed the laptop's disappearance on Jan. 8 but said it was "only used for presentations." For the record: Williams had developed a sudden interest in President Trump's politics and "far-right message boards," her mother told ITV News on Jan. 16. * Her mother said her daughter fled after the insurrection. * Williams also deleted her social media accounts and changed her phone number, according to FBI officials.Go deeper: Deadly Capitol riot: The people facing federal chargesEditor's note: This article has been updated with details related to the new charges.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
The United States on Tuesday sanctioned a network of oil trading firms, individuals and vessels that have helped Venezuelan state-run oil company PDVSA sell crude mainly to Asia despite Washington's sanctions on the South American nation. The measure targets a network that the U.S. Treasury Department says helped the administration of President Nicolas Maduro, whose 2018 re-election Washington called a sham, broker the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars in Venezuelan oil.
- NBC News
The boy was pulled into the water Monday, while the National Weather Service warned that waves could swell to 25 feet.
- Associated Press
Republican lawmakers and conservative groups opposed President-elect Joe Biden's forthcoming immigration plan Tuesday as massive amnesty for people in the U.S. illegally, underscoring that the measure faces an uphill fight in a Congress that Democrats control just narrowly. In a further complication, several pro-immigration groups said they would press Biden to go even further and take steps such as immediate moratoriums on deportations, detentions and new arrests. Coupled with the discomfort an immigration push could cause for moderate Democrats, liberals' demands illustrated the pressures facing Biden as four years of President Donald Trump's restrictive and often harsh immigration policies come to an end.
- The Week
The Georgia Secretary of State's office on Tuesday certified the state's pair of Senate runoff votes, which means Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff are set to be sworn into the upper chamber after defeating GOP incumbent Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) earlier this month.> NEWS: Georgia has now certified the results of the Senate runoff election, clearing the way for @ossoff and @ReverendWarnock to be sworn into office. > > Here’s the release from GA Secretary of State: pic.twitter.com/WueOKvEgkW> > — Blayne Alexander (@ReporterBlayne) January 19, 2021Warnock and Ossoff will reportedly join fellow Democrat Alex Padilla, who is taking over Vice President-elect Kamala Harris' California seat, for a swearing-in ceremony Wednesday, not too long after Harris takes her own oath of office.> Georgia has certified its results in the Senate runoff elections, which paves the way for Senators-elect Ossoff & Warnock to be sworn in tomororw. Per @tperry518, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will swear them in after the inauguration.> > — Adam Brewster (@adam_brew) January 19, 2021Once that's done, the Democratic Party will have the slimmest of majorities in the Senate, with Harris serving as the tie-breaking vote on matters that require it.More stories from theweek.com Trump issues last-minute order attempting to free his appointees from ethics commitments 5 more scathing cartoons about Trump's 2nd impeachment Trump's final mention of the pandemic as president includes racist conspiracy theory, downplayed deaths, and no regrets
Armenia has returned all Azeri prisoners who were captured during last year's conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, but the process with Armenian prisoners has been held up, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday. The six-week conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh was brought to a halt in November by a Russian-brokered ceasefire agreement under which Azeri and ethnic Armenian forces were expected to exchange all captives. Armenia has said that many of its prisoners of war remain in Azerbaijan, a problem it has raised with the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk group.
- NBC News
Suspect William McCall Calhoun Jr. faces a host of charges stemming from the Jan. 6 pro-Trump riot at the U.S. Capitol Building.
President-elect Joe Biden is expected to sign 15 executive actions upon taking office Wednesday, immediately reversing key Trump administration policies. Why it matters: The 15 actions — aimed at issues like climate change and immigration — mark more drastic immediate steps compared with the two day-one actions from Biden's four predecessors combined, according to incoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.What they're saying: The actions are the first of many, Psaki said in a news release, as Biden works "to address the four crises that he's laid out" — COVID-19, the economic crisis, racial injustice and climate change. * "In the coming days and weeks we will be announcing additional executive actions that confront these challenges and deliver on the President-elect's promises to the American people," Psaki said, "including revoking the ban on military service by transgender Americans, and reversing the Mexico City policy." Highlights * Moving to rejoin Paris Climate Agreement * Asking the Department of Education to extend student loan relief * An executive order to rescind Keystone XL pipeline permit * Rejoining the World Health Organization * Asking the CDC to "immediately" extend eviction restrictions * Reversing Trump's travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries * Temporarily halting oil and gas leasing in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge * An initiative on advancing racial equity in federal policymakingGo deeper: See the full listSupport safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- The Week
President Trump has spent the last few days asking his friends, aides, and associates if they would like pardons — even those who are not facing any charges, a senior administration official told The Washington Post.In one case, the official said, Trump offered a pardon to a person who declined the chance at clemency, saying they weren't in any legal trouble and hadn't committed any crimes. "Trump's response was, 'Yeah, well, but you never know. They're going to come after us all. Maybe it's not a bad idea. Just let me know,'" the official recounted.Trump has taken a great interest in pardoning people, the Post reports, even calling families to personally let them know he granted a pardon. A person familiar with the matter told the Post that Trump was talked out of pardoning himself, family members, and controversial figures like Rudy Giuliani. An aide said there was also a brief discussion about possibly issuing pardons related to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, but that idea went nowhere.While Trump has held a few ceremonial events in recent weeks, journalists have been kept away from the White House, largely because the president is "just not in a place where they would go well," one official told the Post. Trump is constantly flip-flopping, another administration official said, talking about his future but uncertain of where he will be. "He goes between, 'Well, I'm going to go to Florida and play golf, and life is honestly better,' and then in the next moment, it's like, 'But don't you think there's a chance to stay?'" the official said. Read more at The Washington Post.More stories from theweek.com Trump issues last-minute order attempting to free his appointees from ethics commitments 5 more scathing cartoons about Trump's 2nd impeachment Trump's final mention of the pandemic as president includes racist conspiracy theory, downplayed deaths, and no regrets
Facing a 50-50 partisan split in the U.S. Senate, the chamber's top Democrat and Republican discussed adopting a power-sharing deal similar to one struck two decades ago in similar circumstances, a Democratic spokesman said on Tuesday. Democrat Chuck Schumer, set to become majority leader on Wednesday thanks to incoming Vice President Kamala Harris' tie-breaking vote, told the chamber's top Republican, Mitch McConnell, that he favored adopting a deal along the lines of the 2001 arrangement "without extraneous changes from either side," a Schumer spokesman said.