By Megha Rajagopalan and Michael Martina BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese authorities have placed a disabled rights lawyer under house arrest and prevented a group of foreign diplomats from visiting her, she said on Monday, ratcheting up pressure weeks after the U.S. State Department gave her a bravery award. Ni Yulan, known for defending people evicted from their homes to make way for development, had been held under house arrest for 12 days, she told Reuters. Authorities prevented Ni from traveling late last month to receive the State Department's International Women of Courage Award, which the department says is given to female advocates of human rights, justice and gender equality. Beijing police could not be reached for comment. China's Foreign Ministry has said exit-entry authorities acted in accordance with Chinese law in the case. Five foreign diplomats, including those from the European Union, Germany, Canada, France and Switzerland, had sought to see Ni at her home and deliver food over the weekend, but were prevented from entering, she said. Diplomats with knowledge of the situation confirmed the group was turned away. "Plainclothes officers did not allow them to come into my home," Ni said by text message. A diplomat with knowledge of the situation confirmed that the group was denied access by plainclothes police. The French and German embassies confirmed their diplomats were part of the group. The Canadian and Swiss embassies could not immediately be reached for comment. The European Union delegation in Beijing declined to comment. The U.S. embassy on April 13 tweeted a photo of Ni with U.S. ambassador Max Baucus and Judith Heumann, special adviser for international disability rights at the State Department in commemoration of the award. "We call upon Chinese authorities to end their restrictions on Ms Ni's activities and allow her to continue her important work protecting the rights of her fellow citizens," U.S. embassy spokesman Benjamin Weber told Reuters. Ni, who was left wheelchair-bound by a police beating in 2002 after filming the forced demolition of a client's home, added that she is likely to be evicted from her home, but plainclothes police would not allow her to leave to search for a new apartment. China's leadership has detained or imprisoned dozens of rights lawyers in a widespread crackdown on dissent since President Xi Jinping took power. Ni has been jailed repeatedly, first in 2002 and then again in 2008 after she defended the rights of residents evicted from their homes to make way for Beijing's 2008 Summer Olympics. (Additional reporting by Jason Subler; Editing by Nick Macfie)
- Yahoo News
“100 million shots in 100 days” won’t be enough to end the pandemic. Can Jeff Zients do better?
- Associated Press
The return to Russia from Germany by opposition leader Alexei Navalny was marked by chaos and popular outrage, and it ended, almost predictably, with his arrest. The Jan. 17 flight from Berlin, where Navalny spent nearly five months recovering from a nerve agent poisoning, carried him and his wife, along with a group of journalists documenting the journey. Navalny had prepared his own surprise for his return: A video expose alleging that a lavish “palace” was built for President Vladimir Putin on the Black Sea through an elaborate corruption scheme.
- The Telegraph
A Republican congresswoman is facing calls to resign over reports that she helped to spread falsehoods about the Parkland school shooting. Marjorie Taylor Greene reportedly agreed with a conspiracy theory about the 2018 shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in which 17 people were killed. Facebook screenshots showed a discussion about why a police officer had not rushed into the building, and someone claimed that the mass shooting was a "false flag planned shooting." Greene replied: “Exactly!" The social media giant later removed the posts after they were reported to them. Cameron Kasky, a former Parkland pupil who co-founded the group Never Again MSD, said: "She should resign. She can apologise. I don’t think anybody will accept it.” The congresswoman was elected in Georgia in November, backed Donald Trump's claims of election fraud, and has previously expressed support for the QAnon conspiracy theory. Fred Guttenberg, who's 14-year-old daughter Jaime died in the Parkland shooting, said: "Your feelings on gun laws are irrelevant to your claim that Parkland never happened. You are a fraud who must resign. Be prepared to meet me directly in person to explain your conspiracy theory, and soon." The comments by the politician were first reported by Media Matters for America. In a statement Ms Greene accused Media Matters for America of being "communists' and "fake news". Meanwhile, US Capitol Police were investigating an incident in which a Republican congressman was found carrying a concealed gun while trying to enter the floor of the House of Representatives. Andy Harris, a staunch gun-rights advocate, set off a metal detector going through security on his way to the House floor . Metal detectors were installed outside the chamber to beef up security in the aftermath of the Capitol riots on Jan 6.
- Yahoo News
Counterintelligence official Michael Orlando joins a growing chorus of voices on both sides of the political aisle who point to China as a major national security threat, particularly in terms of technology and cybersecurity.
- NBC News
A woman has been arrested and charged with murder after the dismembered remains of her missing roommate, Talina Galloway, were found in a freezer in the woods of Polk County, Arkansas last week. Talina, 53, was reported missing by her roommate, Kore Bommeli on April 17, 2020. Talina’s remains were found in the freezer on January 14, 2021. Bommeli, who has been a person of interest throughout the investigation, was located in Wisconsin and faces charges of murder and desecration of a corpse. Th
- Yahoo News Video
The master tenant of a cluttered, dilapidated San Francisco Bay Area warehouse where 36 people perished in a late night fire in 2016 is scheduled to plead guilty Friday to the deaths, avoiding a second trial after the first ended in a hung jury.
America may not have won World War II and landed on the moon later if not for the contributions of a brilliant Chinese scientist named Qian Xuesen. Fearing communist presence after the war, the U.S., however, deported Qian to China, clueless that he would eventually spearhead programs that would target American troops and eventually propel China into space. Born to well-educated parents in 1911, it was evident from an early age that Qian had superior intellect.
- Associated Press
Libya’s coast guard intercepted on Friday more than 80 Europe-bound migrants in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of the North African country, the U.N. migration agency said. The migrants were returned to Libyan soil, said the International Organization for Migration. “So far this year, some 300 people, including women and children, were returned to the country and ended up in detention,” said the IOM.
Beau Biden, who served in the Guard, is buried at St. Joseph on the Brandywine Church cemetery in Greenville, Delaware.
- The Independent
‘There was a protocol breach when the front doors were not held open’
- Architectural Digest
800 feet up in the sky, the Dreamy 6,000 square foot space offers panoramic views from the East River to the HudsonOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
A federal judge in Ohio ordered on Friday that Oath Keepers member Donovan Crowl be detained pending trial, after prosecutors charged him with conspiring with other members to storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. "The charges against the defendant are very serious," said Sharon Ovington, a Magistrate Judge in the Southern District of Ohio. Several other people suspected of attacking police at the Capitol also appeared in federal courts around the country.
- The Telegraph
Families who lost relatives during Wuhan's initial outbreak of coronavirus are being blocked in their legal efforts to hold the Chinese authorities responsible for the deaths, one year after lockdown first went in place at ground zero of the pandemic. Five families accuse the municipal and provincial governments for covering up the outbreak, neglecting to notify the public, and failing to act swiftly, causing infections to explode. More than two million people globally have died from coronavirus. The Telegraph has interviewed four of the five trying to bring unprecedented lawsuits, most of whom are seeking 2 million yuan (£226,000) each in reparations. They told this newspaper of a campaign of harassment and denial of justice. Chinese courts have rejected all lawsuits they have tried to file, though they continue to persist by attempting to sue at higher courts, defying government threats that have scared dozens of others into giving up. Pursuing their cases poses immense risks as they’re challenging China’s official narrative, which claims authorities acted swiftly and with transparency to contain Covid-19, glossing over missteps and the silencing of whistleblowers.
- Associated Press
Iran's capital and major cities plunged into darkness in recent weeks as rolling outages left millions without electricity for hours. With toxic smog blanketing Tehran skies and the country buckling under the pandemic and other mounting crises, social media has been rife with speculation. Within days, as frustration spread among residents, the government launched a wide-ranging crackdown on Bitcoin processing centers, which require immense amounts of electricity to power their specialized computers and to keep them cool — a burden on Iran's power grid.
With the dawn of the Biden administration comes Cholleti Vinay Reddy, the country’s first Indian American presidential speechwriter. Reddy’s roots originate from Pothireddypeta, a rural village in the Indian state of Telangana, whose residents have been celebrating his latest milestone: Biden’s inaugural address. Born and raised in Dayton, Ohio, Reddy is believed to have acquired his political acumen from his grandfather, Tirupathi, who served as the village sarpanch (head) for 30 years.
- The Week
Majority of House GOP reportedly supports removing Liz Cheney from leadership after impeachment vote
House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney is facing an internal resistance after splitting from her party on former President Donald Trump's impeachment.Cheney, the No. 3 Republican in the House, was one of only a handful of Republicans who voted to impeach Trump over his role in inciting the Capitol riot. More than a majority of GOP House members have since indicated they'd support ousting Cheney from her leadership spot, while at least two other Republicans have lined up to replace her, Politico reports.At least 107 House members — more than half the caucus — privately support removing Cheney from power, multiple GOP sources involved in the effort told Politico. Meanwhile New York Reps. Elise Stefanik and Lee Zeldin, who defended Trump during both of his impeachments, are reportedly looking to replace her.House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) have said they don't intend to remove Cheney. But McCarthy also echoed Republicans' reported anger that Cheney voiced her support of impeachment the day before the House vote, giving Democrats time to use her views in their own arguments. "Questions need to be answered," such as the "style in which things were delivered," McCarthy told reporters Thursday.Many other Republicans, including some who voted against impeachment, meanwhile don't want Cheney removed just for "vot[ing] her conscience," as Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) put it. Others argue removing Cheney would fly in the face of the party's unification message in the post-Trump era — something Cheney herself is trying to counter by making "making calls to all corners of the conference to hear lawmakers out," Politico reports.More stories from theweek.com McConnell is already moving to strangle the Biden presidency 7 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's White House exit Nearly 200 National Guard members have reportedly gotten COVID-19 since the Capitol riot
The European Union and Turkey pressed each other on Thursday to take concrete steps to improve relations long strained by disagreements over energy, migration and Ankara's human rights record. Turkey, which remains an official candidate for EU membership despite the tensions, is facing the threat of EU economic sanctions over a hydrocarbons dispute with Greece in the eastern Mediterranean, but the mood music between Brussels and Ankara has improved since the new year.
- Associated Press
A Colombian businessman was carrying a letter from Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accrediting him to Iran's supreme leader when he was arrested on a U.S. warrant last year, according to a new court filing in a politically charged corruption case ratcheting up tensions with the South American nation. Attorneys for Alex Saab made the filing in Miami federal court Thursday just hours after prosecutors in the African nation of Cape Verde said they granted the 49-year-old Colombian house arrest as he fights extradition to the U.S. to face money laundering charges. U.S. officials believe Saab holds numerous secrets about how Maduro, his family and top aides allegedly siphoned off millions of dollars in government contracts amid widespread hunger in the oil-rich nation.
- The Independent
Sean Hannity denounces Biden’s first week as ‘disastrous’ before the president completed a full day of work
‘The Biden administration is off to a very rocky start,’ Fox News host says
- The Telegraph
Donald Trump's impeachment trial will be delayed for two weeks after Senate leaders on Friday agreed a deal that will give President Biden time to begin his legislative agenda. House Democrats had on Friday vowed to send an article of impeachment charging Mr Trump with "incitement of insurrection" to the Senate next week, setting on course the second Senate trial for Mr Trump, the only US president to be impeached twice, and the first to face trial after leaving office. But Senate leaders agreed on Friday evening to delay the trial to give Mr Biden time to install his new cabinet and prepare key legislation. Democrats in the House, led by Nancy Pelosi, still intend to deliver the charge on Monday but Chuck Schumer, the Senate Majority Leader, said the proceedings would pause until the week of February 8. The extra time will also allow the prosecution and defence teams time to exchange written legal arguments. Mr Schumer said: “During that period, the Senate will continue to do other business for the American people, such as cabinet nominations and the Covid relief bill, which would provide relief for millions of Americans who are suffering during this pandemic.” Earlier, Democrats had effectively rejected a request from Republicans to delay the start of proceedings to give Mr Trump time to prepare his defence. Mr Schumer had declined to give a timetable for the proceedings but the chamber's rules dictate that the trial must begin very soon after the article of impeachment arrives. "There will be a trial," Mr Schumer said. "It will be a full trial, it will be a fair trial".