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- NBC News
Election experts have uniformly declared that the 2020 election was conducted fairly.
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 Telegraph
- National Review
The National Guard Bureau is taking extra precautions on Inauguration Day. As security is being vetted for the ceremony, two members of the Army National Guard were discovered to have ties with far-right extremist groups. The FBI is screening about 25,000 National Guard service members that are being sent to Washington, D.C. for the Inauguration.
- 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.
- The Week
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell has received a letter from Dominion Voting Systems, warning him that litigation is "imminent" due to his false claims that the company's machines were rigged to change the outcome of the election.Lindell, an enthusiastic supporter of President Trump, has been spreading baseless claims of widespread voter fraud for months. In the letter, Dominion's lawyers told Lindell, "You have positioned yourself as a prominent leader of the ongoing misinformation campaign. Litigation regarding these issues is imminent."Lindell told The New York Times he would "welcome" Dominion to "sue me because I have all the evidence against them. They sent this letter a couple of weeks ago. They're lying, they're nervous because I have all the evidence on them." Lindell did not say why, if he has such evidence, he has kept it to himself this entire time, holding onto it as judge after judge rejected lawsuits filed in an attempt to overturn the election in Trump's favor.More stories from theweek.com Trump's White House staff and alumni are reportedly using the same excuse to skip his big sendoff The most alarming thing about the Trump presidency 5 more scathing cartoons about Trump's 2nd impeachment
- The Independent
"I think we’re all OK with it,' says incoming first daughter in first ever TV interview
- Architectural Digest
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.
- The Conversation
Militia members associated with the Three Percenters movement conducting a military drill in Flovilla, Ga., in 2016, days after Trump's election. After his 2020 defeat, Three Percenters were involved in the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency/Getty ImageThousands of police and soldiers – people professionally trained in the use of violence and familiar with military protocols – are part of an extremist effort to undermine the U.S. government and subvert the democratic process. According to an investigative report published in the Atlantic in November into a leaked database kept by the Oath Keepers – one of several far-right and white supremacist militias that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 – 10% of Oath Keepers are current police officers or military members. Another significant portion of the group’s membership is retired military and law enforcement personnel. The hate group – founded by a former Army paratrooper after Barack Obama’s 2008 election – claimed “an improbable 30,000 members who were said to be mostly current and former military, law enforcement and emergency first responders” in 2016, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The Three Percenters, another militia present at the Capitol on Jan. 6, also draws a substantial portion of its members from law enforcement, both military and civilian. Larry Brock, a pro-Trump rioter arrested with zip-tie handcuffs, allegedly for taking hostages, is a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who posted content from the Three Percenters online. The militia movement is a militarized stream of the American far-right. Its members promote an ideology that undermines the authority and legitimacy of the federal government and stockpile weapons. When militia members have a professional background with the military or police, it enhances the ability of these groups to execute sophisticated and successful operations. It also helps them convey a patriotic image that obscures the security threat they present. A member of the Oath Keepers at a rally to overturn the 2020 election results at the U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 5, 2021. Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images Longstanding ties The day before the Biden inauguration, two National Guardsmen deployed to Washington, D.C. were removed from that duty after an investigation found ties to right-wing militias. Far-right elements have always had some presence in U.S. security forces. Throughout the 20th century, many local police departments were heavily populated with Ku Klux Klan members. The connections between terror groups and law enforcement enabled discrimination and violence against African Americans, Jews and other minorities. In 1923, all the Black residents of Blandford, Indiana were forced out of town to an unknown location following accusations that an African American man assaulted a young girl. The unlawful “deportation” was conducted and organized by the local sheriff, a Klansman, with the assistance of local Klan chapters. Wade Michael Page, the U.S. Army veteran who killed six Sikh worshipers in 2014. FBI via Getty Images Many U.S. military bases have also had cells of neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups throughout the 20th century. In 1995, three paratroopers from Fort Bragg, in North Carolina, were arrested and charged in the killing of a Black couple in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Two were sentenced to life in prison for the murders. The Army initiated an investigation at the base, which was known for being a hub of the National Alliance, then the country’s most influential American neo-Nazi group. The Army identified and discharged 19 paratroopers for participating in hate activities. One went on to kill six worshipers in a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin in August 2012. He died in a police shootout. Growing convergence Concerns about the penetration of far-right elements into the military and law enforcement have become acute in the last decade with the emergence of militias like the Oath Keepers, which was founded on the principle of recruiting police and military. Oath Keepers pledge to disobey orders on the job which they deem contradict the Constitution. The militias’ success secretly infiltrating police departments contributed to the emergence of new far-right associations that openly recruit law enforcement, like the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers of America. Founded in 2011 by former Arizona sheriff Richard Mack, the group promotes the notion – contrary to the Constitution – that the federal government authorities should be subordinated to local law enforcement. It has more than 500 sheriffs nationwide. Just over half are currently in office. The Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers of America has pushed its members not to enforce gun control laws and pandemic-related mask regulations that they believe infringe on civil liberties. Skilled insurrectionists When members of far-right groups are also professionals sworn to protect the nation or their communities, it makes those groups seem more legitimate. Authorities may be less likely to treat them as domestic security threats, a categorization that would limit their access to firearms and sensitive locations. Yet military and police members actually make American militias more effective, according to my research on the violent practices of the American far-right. A Texas Militia member at the pro-Trump rally in Washington, D.C., Jan. 6, 2021. Selcuk Acar/NurPhoto via Getty Images A data set I manage with my team at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and used for my recent book on right-wing terror shows that militia attacks are more lethal than those of other far-right groups. The perpetrators are experienced with weapons and ammunition, and have at least some military training. Attacks by other far-right groups are, in large measure, initiated by people with limited operational experience, who act spontaneously. Militias are also more likely to attack secured, high-value targets like government facilities. Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, is a prime example. He was a Gulf War veteran associated with the Michigan Militia whose bomb killed 168 people at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in 1995. The penetration of far-right militants into the ranks of police and the military seems to be driving an increase in direct attacks on police and military targets. Between 1990 and 2000, 13% of U.S. of militia attacks and plots were aimed at military or police installations or personnel, our data set shows. The proportion jumped to 40% by 2017. And with their training in surveillance, intelligence collection and public safety, the dangerous activities of militias are generally harder for federal agencies to monitor and counter. When militias recruit professionals, they are better at waging their radical crusade. [Get our most insightful politics and election stories. Sign up for The Conversation’s Politics Weekly.]This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Arie Perliger, University of Massachusetts Lowell. Read more:Plot to kidnap Michigan’s governor grew from the militia movement’s toxic mix of constitutional falsehoods and half-truthsMilitias evaluate beliefs, action as president threatens soldiers in the streets Arie Perliger receives funding from the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Defense.
- The Telegraph
- The Independent
- Yahoo News Video
- Associated Press
So what does a 50-50 Senate get President-elect Joe Biden? Washington has barely had time to process the implications of Democratic control after two Georgia runoff elections that are delivering the Senate to Democrats. The unexpected new balance of power giving Democrats only the barest control of Congress has big consequences for the president-elect — easy confirmation of his Cabinet most importantly — but the road ahead for his ambitious legislative agenda remains complicated and murky.
- The Telegraph
Israeli Covid czar says first Pfizer jab not as effective as hoped and blames spike in cases on British strain
Israel’s coronavirus czar has warned that the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine offers less protection than expected, as he blamed the country’s surge in Covid cases partly on the new British variant. Nachman Ash said many Israelis had caught Covid in between their first and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine, suggesting that the first jab is “less effective than we thought,” according to Army Radio. His remarks underline the importance of receiving a second vaccine dose, which according to recent studies is more than 90 per cent effective in protecting against coronavirus. Israel has already given the first of two jabs to nearly 30 per cent of the population and on Tuesday announced it would extend eligibility to those aged 40 and over. But Mr Ash is said to have warned at a cabinet meeting that a new strain of Covid originating in Britain was hampering efforts to tackle the pandemic, as it was responsible for nearly 40 per cent of new cases. It comes after two studies by Israeli healthcare providers found that the first dose of the vaccine reduced the risk of infection by between 30 and 60 per cent. And according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, a survey by the health ministry found that around six per cent of 189,000 citizens who had received the first jab tested positive for Covid within two weeks. It also stated that 69 people from the sample had tested positive for coronavirus after receiving their second dose of the vaccine. Another study of a hundred people in Israel found that 98 per cent were protected from the disease once the second dose was administered. That research, carried out by the Sheba Medical Center, also said that a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine significantly refused the risk of spreading the virus to others. In Britain, there is a gap of up to 12 weeks between receiving the first and second dose, whereas the WHO recommends the second dose of Pfizer is administered within 21-28 days. Israeli health experts have stressed that it is too early to draw any concrete conclusions from the data.
- The Independent
‘If you turn me in, you’re a traitor and you know what happens to traitors...traitors get shot,' he told his children
- The Week
Anthony Scaramucci was right: The White House appears to be having trouble rounding up a sizable crowd for President Trump's official send-off from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Wednesday."In what looks like a desperate attempt to build a crowd for the crowd-obsessed president, an email has been making the rounds to current and former White House officials inviting them, and as many as five plus-ones, to Trump's elaborate exit ceremony," Politico reported Tuesday morning. "The go-to excuse for skipping out has been the 6 a.m. call time at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. But truly, many just don't want to be photographed sending off their former boss."Trump's current staffers have a good reason to avoid their outgoing boss. "Former White House officials and campaign staffers who would typically land plum jobs in corporate America after serving their time are now out in the cold," Politico says. One former White House official who got out early put it this way: "No one wants to touch them, they're just toxic." Another former Trump aide, pointing to the fallout from the Jan. 6 insurrection, was more blunt, telling Politico: "They're f---ed."Trump will be the first president since Andrew Johnson, another member of the tiny impeached president club, to skip the inauguration of his successor. "Johnson snubbed Ulysses S. Grant in 1869," The Washington Post notes. More stories from theweek.com The most alarming thing about the Trump presidency 5 more scathing cartoons about Trump's 2nd impeachment Trump tried to act like a mob boss. Instead he's just a thug.