People across the Northeast are digging out from a snowstorm that dumped as much as three feet of snow across New York and Pennsylvania. The harsh conditions left one dead after a highway pileup in Pennsylvania and state officials in Massachusetts are asking residents to stay home so they can clear the roads.
- CBS News
- Associated Press
- Yahoo News
Biden’s homeland security nominee pledges to tackle domestic extremism and prevent another attack on the Capitol
Less than two weeks after a violent mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, Alejandro Mayorkas, President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for Homeland Security Secretary, assured senators that, if confirmed, he will “tackle the threat of domestic extremism” and prevent future attacks.
- The Week
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attempted to execute a “Hail Mary” decision to legalize dozens of illegal settler outposts deep in the West Bank one day before Biden’s inauguration. He failed.Why it matters: The mass legalization of outposts would have been a highly provocative step, broadening Israeli control over land in the West Bank and further reducing the chances of a future peace deal with the Palestinians.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.Background: Trump dramatically changed U.S. policy on Israeli settlements in the West Bank, offering them new legitimacy and giving Israel a free hand with regards to settlement activity. * The Biden administration is expected to return to the traditional U.S. policy of treating settlements as illegitimate and objecting to further construction.Driving the news: In recent weeks, Netanyahu tried to put several settlement plans in motion before Biden assumes office, knowing it will be more difficult or even impossible later. * Earlier this week, Netanyahu pressed Minister of Defense Benny Gantz to agree to pass a Cabinet-level decision to legalize five outposts and lay the groundwork to legalize 40 more. * The outposts in question are deep in the West Bank. Some are located in isolated areas in an attempt to prevent Palestinian territorial contiguity. * The settler lobby put pressure on Netanyahu in recent weeks to legalize the outposts and also lobbied his Cabinet ministers.Netanyahu resisted the pressure for a time, but he reversed course as part of his efforts to ensure the support of the settler lobby ahead of the March elections. * Israel's Ministry of Justice opposed the move because Netanyahu's caretaker government is not allowed to make dramatic decisions ahead of the elections. * The Foreign Ministry was also opposed, arguing the step would be seen as a provocative and defiant move 24 hours before Biden’s inauguration and create tensions with the new U.S. administration. * Until an hour before the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Netanyahu was still pressing Gantz to agree. Gantz refused and prevented what he called an "irresponsible" move.Worth noting: Last week, the Israeli government approved plans for 800 new housing units in West Bank settlements — half of them in isolated settlements deep in the West Bank. * On Tuesday evening, Israel's land authority began marketing land for the building of 2,600 new housing units in settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.What to watch: In the coming days, the Biden administration will have to publicly articulate its new policy on Israeli settlements. That could renew tensions with the Israeli government.Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.
- NBC News
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.
- Yahoo News Video
- The Week
President Biden has taken office, former President Donald Trump is in Florida, and the U.S. still hasn't seen a mass arrests of Democrats or a nationwide blackout.All of these facts were shocking for some followers of the far-right conspiracy theory QAnon, as they thought and hoped that Trump would somehow seize permanent power on Wednesday, NBC News reports. But as Biden was sworn in without a hitch, QAnon message boards lit up with followers who realized a violent overthrow of the government wasn't about to happen, that Trump had no secret plans to somehow stay in office, and that they'd been wrong for months, if not years.> "Q was a LARP the entire f---ing time." > "There is no plan.' > "It's over and nothing makes sense... absolutely nothing..." pic.twitter.com/I2k8C7708m> > — Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) January 20, 2021> Current mood in Q circles> > "I just want to throw up" > "I'm so sick of the disinformation and false hope" > "What a waste of my life" > "I feel sick" > "Burning my flag" > "Game over" > "Where is the military" > "I'm just so confused" > "I'm just sick" pic.twitter.com/hUR2N6y1sg> > — Shayan Sardarizadeh (@Shayan86) January 20, 2021Even Ron Watkins, the administrator of the extremist message board 8kun who may have even originated QAnon, posted a last-ditch call for unity that didn't acknowledge the harmful conspiracy theories he'd allowed to spread for years.> Ron Watkins, the former 8kun admin who helped keep QAnon afloat for years (and who some suspected of being Q himself), is throwing in the towel. pic.twitter.com/HJdBrOexO2> > — Kevin Roose (@kevinroose) January 20, 2021Still, just as the many flaws in QAnon's past predictions failed to dissuade supporters, some believers are continuing to make excuses for Wednesday's events and suggesting some sort of overthrow is still possible.More stories from theweek.com A lone man knelt at Beau Biden's grave as President Biden gave his inauguration speech Bernie Sanders steals the inauguration with his grumpy chic outfit Cheap, 'generic' drug reduces COVID-19 death risk by 75 percent, trials suggest
- Associated Press
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson narrowly avoided a defeat in Parliament on Tuesday after lawmakers voted against a controversial proposal seeking to bar trade deals with any country deemed by the U.K. High Court to be committing genocide. The amendment to the government’s post-Brexit trade bill was largely designed to force international action in addressing China’s alleged human rights abuses against the Uighur minority in the far western Xinjiang region.
- Architectural Digest
- NBC News
Palestinians expect to receive a first batch of COVID-19 vaccine by the weekend, officials said on Tuesday - at a time when more than a quarter of their Israeli neighbours have already been inoculated. The Palestinian Authority (PA) has ordered Russia's Sputnik V vaccine and hopes to administer it to 50,000 residents by March, after last week granting the drug emergency approval. The PA governs in the Israeli-occupied West Bank in coordination with Israel, whose vaccination campaign has been the world's fastest.
- The Independent
Former first lady seemed delighted to greet members of the Biden family
- The Week
Fox News contributors choke up talking about the importance of Kamala Harris being the first Black woman VP
Liberal Fox News contributor Richard Fowler choked up during an appearance on the network as he marveled at the numerous glass ceilings broken by Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday."One part [of the inauguration] that caused me to get real emotional was, we've been a country for 243 years, and in all those 243 years, we have had women citizens but we have never had a woman hold national office," Fowler said, his voice breaking as he went on. "So to see Kamala Harris put her hand on the Bible today -- also being her and I are of Jamaican descent, and I just think about my grandmother and my mom and so many other women who saw this, and so many young girls who can finally believe that they can be president, too, because of what we did as a country back in November."> Fox News contributor Richard Fowler gets emotional when talking about Kamala Harris being the first woman VP, and how it makes him think about his grandmother and mom, who like Harris are of Jamaican descent pic.twitter.com/Wdlo8Ca3uh> > -- Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 20, 2021Fowler was not the only contributor on Fox News on Wednesday to be audibly moved by the significance of Harris' oath. Political analyst Juan Williams also emotionally explained, "It's visceral, and I'll tell you why. I have granddaughters, I'm the son of a Black mother -- you think about American history, you think about the status of Black women in this country for most of our history. And the idea that a Black woman would assume such power in this moment as a national leader -- truly inspiring." > Fox News' Juan Williams gets choked up talking about Kamala Harris:> > "You think about the status of Black women in this country for most of our history. And the idea that a Black woman would assume such power in this moment as a national leader, truly inspiring." pic.twitter.com/K13K0Q1vVX> > -- Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) January 20, 2021More stories from theweek.com A lone man knelt at Beau Biden's grave as President Biden gave his inauguration speech Bernie Sanders steals the inauguration with his grumpy chic outfit Cheap, 'generic' drug reduces COVID-19 death risk by 75 percent, trials suggest
- Associated Press
Libyan officials from rival administrations began talks Tuesday in an Egyptian Red Sea resort on constitutional arrangements laying the legal groundwork for presidential and parliamentary elections later this year, the United Nations said. U.N. acting envoy for Libya, Stephanie Williams, said failure to reach an agreement will have “negative repercussions on the other tracks, including the security and economic situation" in the conflict-stricken country.
- The Telegraph
In his last day in office as US president, Donald Trump granted pardons to 73 people and commuted the sentences of another 70. Below are some of the details given by the White House of who was chosen, and why. Todd Boulanger – Full pardon In 2008, Mr Boulanger pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud. He has taken full responsibility for his conduct. Mr Boulanger is a veteran of the United States Army Reserves and was honorably discharged. He has also received an award from the City of the District of Columbia for heroism for stopping and apprehending an individual who assaulted an elderly woman with a deadly weapon on Capitol Hill. Abel Holtz – Full pardon Mr Holtz is 86. In 1995, he pled guilty to one count of impeding a grand jury investigation and was sentenced to 45 days in prison. Rick Renzi – Full pardon In 2013, Mr Renzi - a father of 12 - was convicted of extortion, bribery, insurance fraud, money laundering, and racketeering. He was sentenced to two years in Federal prison, two years of supervised release, and paid a $25,000 fine. Before his conviction, he served three terms in the House of Representatives. His constituents considered him a strong advocate for better housing, quality education, and improved healthcare—especially for the underprivileged and Native Americans. Kenneth Kurson – Full pardon Prosecutors have charged Mr Kurson with cyberstalking related to his divorce from his ex-wife in 2015. In a letter to the prosecutors, Mr. Kurson’s ex-wife wrote on his behalf that she never wanted this investigation or arrest and, “repeatedly asked for the FBI to drop it… I hired a lawyer to protect me from being forced into yet another round of questioning. My disgust with this arrest and the subsequent articles is bottomless…” Casey Urlacher – Full pardon Mr Urlacher, the Mayor of Mettawa, Illinois, has been charged with conspiracy to engage in illegal gambling. Throughout his life, he has been committed to public service and has consistently given back to his community. Carl Andrews Boggs – Full pardon In 2013, Mr Boggs pled guilty to two counts of conspiracy. Since his release, he has rebuilt his company, has employed hundreds of people, and has dedicated countless hours and financial resources to his community. Jaime A Davidson – Sentence commuted In 1993, Mr Davidson was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in relation to the murder of an undercover officer. Notably, witnesses who testified against him later recanted their testimony in sworn affidavits and further attested that Mr Davidson had no involvement. The admitted shooter has already been released from prison.
- The Independent
Two controversial figures forced to stand down as federal government set for reboot