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- NBC News
"The situation at the border isn't going to be transformed overnight," a senior Biden transition official told NBC News in an exclusive interview.
- Associated Press
A New Mexico county official and founder of the group Cowboys for Trump who had vowed to return to Washington after last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol to place a flag on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk has been arrested Sunday by the FBI. Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin was arrested on charges of illegally entering the U.S. Capitol. According to court documents, Griffin told investigators that he was “caught up” in the crowd, which pushed its way through the barricades and entered the restricted area of the U.S. Capitol, but he said he did not enter the building and instead remained on the U.S. Capitol steps.
Kevin McCarthy warned members to not call out colleagues by name, citing potential political violence
Members of the House Republican Conference ignored leader Kevin McCarthy last week when he warned them against criticizing colleagues by name based on intelligence that doing so could trigger more political violence. Why it matters: McCarthy made clear that name-dropping opponents, instead of spelling out complaints in more general terms, can put a literal target on a politician, especially with tensions so high following the events of Jan. 6.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.That's what happened to Rep. Liz Cheney, the GOP conference chairperson, after she said she would support impeaching President Trump. * She and several other members had to increase their security and take extra precautions because of death threats and other alarming warnings after their colleagues singled them out in their complaints.What McCarthy said: The House minority leader issued his warning during a conference call last Monday. He said his concern was driven by the FBI briefings he receives. * "It doesn’t matter which side of the position you were: I respect it, I respect why you did what you did. But what we are saying on television, when we say a member’s name. ... This is not the moment in time to do it." * "You can incite something else. The country is very divided and we know this. Let’s not put any member, I don’t care who they are Republican, Democrat or any person not even in Congress. Watch our words closely. I get these reports on a weekly basis. I’ve seen something I haven’t seen before.”Several minutes later, McCarthy repeated the message: “Emotions are high. What you say matters. Let’s not put other people in danger. Let’s watch what words we’re using and definitely not be using other members' names in any media.”Days later, some GOP members ignored him and openly criticized their colleagues * Rep. Adam Kinzinger tweeted that the name of his Republican colleague, Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene, "will be one forgotten by next January." * Rep. Lauren Boebart (R-Colo.) mocked Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the House's new mask fines.One of the most blatant attacks, leading to a media firestorm, was when several members of the House Freedom Caucus went after Cheney for voting to impeach Trump. * On the day of the vote, the members circulated a petition to remove her from her leadership role. * Cheney is now fielding a series of threats against her, many from fiery Trump supporters angered by her vote, a source with direct knowledge of the threat said. * “We don’t comment on security matters,” Cheney’s communications director, Jeremy Adler, told Axios.What we’re hearing: McCarthy's team told Axios he isn't looking for repercussions. Spokesman Matt Sparks said the leader wants to lower the temperature and is encouraging members to be mindful of the current environment.Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.
- The Week
Luke Mogelson, a veteran war correspondent and contributing writer for The New Yorker, captured what appears to be the "clearest" footage yet of the deadly riot at the United States Capitol earlier this month.Mogelson attended (in a journalistic capacity) President Trump's rally on Jan. 6, which preceded the pro-Trump mob's march to and breach of the Capitol. He followed the rioters into the building and filmed a group that entered the empty Senate chamber. They began taking photos of documents in the room as part of a self-declared "information operation." One man said he was attempting to find something that he could "use against these scumbags," while another said he thought Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) "would want us to do this."> This video from @NewYorker is incredible. > > A man rifles through confidential Senate documents and says, “I think @tedcruz would want us to do this.” pic.twitter.com/GowauKXpaq> > — Sawyer Hackett (@SawyerHackett) January 17, 2021In a later scene, Mogelson witnessed Jake Angeli, otherwise known as Q Shaman, sitting in Vice President Mike Pence's chair, as a lone Capitol Police officer tried unsuccessfully to get him to move. He also gathered footage from outside the Capitol, including a large crowd aggressively forcing its way into the building, as well as a man telling people around him to "start making a list, put all those names down" and "start hunting them down one by one."The New Yorker notes that although the footage was "not originally intended for publication, it documents a historic event and serves as a visceral complement to Mogelson's probing, illuminating" written feature. Read the full report here and watch the complete footage here.More stories from theweek.com 5 more scathing cartoons about Trump's 2nd impeachment Trump's vaccine delay is getting suspicious The pandemic windfall
The U.S. Army has identified a 1st Armored Division staff sergeant from Fort Bliss, Texas found dead at his home Thursday.
- NBC News
She displayed "a round metallic object later identified as a Military Police Challenge Coin" and said she was part of law enforcement, police said.
After a probe found "significant errors of judgment and procedure" in the termination of the employee, GitHub's head of human resources resigned, GitHub Chief Operating Officer Erica Brescia said on Sunday. "In light of these findings, we immediately reversed the decision to separate with the employee and are in communication with his representative," Brescia said in a blog https://bit.ly/2KnkVhI, adding that the company apologized to that employee.
Capitalizing on the Georgia runoffs, achieving a 50-50 Senate and launching an impeachment trial are weighty to-dos for getting Joe Biden's administration up and running on Day One. What to watch: A blend of ceremonies, hearings and legal timelines will come into play on Tuesday and Wednesday so Chuck Schumer can actually claim the Senate majority and propel the new president's agenda.Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.To-dos: 1\. Swear in new senators: Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock can't become the 49th and 50th Senate Democrats until the Georgia secretary of state certifies their runoffs. * An official Brad Raffensperger's office told Axios that's likely to happen on Wednesday — Inauguration Day. But it could drag until a statutory deadline on Friday. 2\. Replace the vice president: California Secretary of State Alex Padilla must be sworn in to replace incoming Vice President Kamala Harris, who plans to resign her Senate seat on Monday. * Padilla could do so as early as Tuesday — the day senators return from recess — but he told reporters last week it would likely happen Wednesday.3\. Assume majority mantle: Schumer still won't get to claim his new title until Harris is sworn in as vice president, empowering her to cast tie-breaking votes as Senate president. That happens just before noon Wednesday.4\. Divvy up power: Schumer and soon-to-be Minority Leader Mitch McConnell must settle on a power-sharing agreement, such as which party controls committees. There's precedent from the 50-50 Senate in 2000.5\. Hold confirmation hearings: So far, Senate committees have scheduled hearings for only five of Biden's Cabinet nominees — on the lower end, historically. * All five hearings — for State, Defense, Homeland Security, National Intelligence and Treasury — are now scheduled for Tuesday. They point to the importance of maintaining national security and economic confidence.6\. Plan impeachment: Schumer and McConnell also have to sort out when and how they'll hold President Trump's second impeachment trial. * The trial threatens to consume valuable time during Biden's first 100 days. The president-elect has suggested splitting legislative workdays to focus daily on impeachment and confirmation hearings.7\. Finish everything else: Biden recently unveiled a $1.9 trillion coronavirus package, and there's expected proposals for immigration legislation, infrastructure construction, etc.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- Associated Press
The spokesman for Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert has quit less than two weeks after she was sworn into office, saying he was prompted to by the insurrection at the nation's Capitol. Ben Goldey confirmed his departure to The Colorado Sun after it was first reported on Saturday by Axios. The Sun reported that Goldey did not respond to additional questions, but he told Axios he was leaving in the wake of a deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
- The Independent
The latest updates from the White House and beyond on 17 January 2021
China promised on Saturday to donate 500,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses to the Philippines as the two countries signed infrastructure deals aimed at boosting post-pandemic recovery efforts, officials said. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte imposed one of the world's longest and strictest lockdowns to contain the virus in March last year - bringing one of Asia's fastest-growing economies to a standstill. "As a friend of the Philippines and your closest neighbour, we will firmly stand with the people of the Philippines until the defeat of this virus," senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi said during a meeting with the Philippines' foreign minister.
- The Telegraph
A Chinese lawyer who represented a Hong Kong pro-democracy activist was stripped of his licence amid efforts by Beijing to crush opposition to its tighter control over the territory. Lu Siwei, who represented one of 12 Hong Kong activists who tried to flee to Taiwan, had his licence revoked by the Sichuan Provincial Justice Department in a formal notice given on Friday. Ten of the 12 activists caught at sea in August were sentenced by a Shenzhen court in December to prison terms ranging from seven months to three years for illegally crossing the border and organising illegal border crossings. They are part of an exodus of Hong Kong residents following Beijing's imposition of a tough new security law they say is destroying the territory's Western-style civil liberties. Since the law was introduced in response to anti-government protests that began in 2019, dozens of pro-democracy activists have been arrested or detained. The law has been denounced by European nations, the US and others. Beijing says the legislation allows Hong Kong to "enjoy more social stability, economic development and greater freedom". Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying called the 12 activists "elements attempting to separate Hong Kong from China", not democratic activists. Beijing, which requires lawyers to swear an oath of loyalty to the ruling Communist Party, has tightened control over the profession. Other lawyers have been stripped of their licences for representing defendants in politically sensitive cases. Some have been imprisoned. In a notice last week, the Chengdu office of the Sichuan Justice Department said Lu had violated laws on professional legal conduct. It accused him of making comments online that had a "negative impact on society". Also last week, Ren Quanniu, another lawyer for one of the 12 activists, was notified by the Zhengzhou office of the Henan Justice Department that he could lose his license. He was told that comments he made in court had caused a "negative impact on society". His hearing is still pending, but is seen as a formality. On Wednesday, Ren and a small group of supporters showed up at the hearing for Lu's license in Chengdu to back him. They were forcibly separated by police and Lu was taken inside alone, Ren said. Both Lu and Ren were hired by families of the activists, but were blocked from seeing their clients throughout the legal process. "They wouldn't even let me in the front door, much less the door to the administrative area where you deal with the paperwork," Ren said of his attempted first visit to a police station in Shenzhen, where the Hong Kong activists were taken by authorities. On his second visit, he was told that his client had already agreed to a court-appointed lawyer. Throughout the case, families of the activists protested that they should be able to use lawyers they selected instead of the court-appointed lawyers. Lu has been summoned often by the local bureau of the Justice Department in Chengdu for meetings in which the bureau officials told him to leave the case. Neither Lu or Ren backed down. "Why should I quit when there's no legal reason for me to quit? How can I explain myself to the family?" Ren said. A person at the local Justice Department office in Chengdu initially told the AP to call back. Later calls went unanswered. Phone calls to the Justice Department's office in Zhengzhou went unanswered. The two lawyers both have a history of taking on sensitive cases, and of navigating the fraught and murky waters of defending people who are deemed to be political targets by authorities. Ren has handled cases related to the Falun Gong, a spiritual movement which China has labeled a cult and is the subject of persecution after its followers protested in Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1999. Most recently, he represented citizen journalist Zhang Zhan, who was sentenced to four years in prison for attempting to report on the situation in the city of Wuhan during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic early last year. Lu, an insurance lawyer by trade, has handled cases in a crackdown on human rights lawyers and activists led by President Xi Jinping which began in 2015. Lu defended prominent human rights lawyer Yu Wensheng, who had criticized Xi. Still, neither was prepared for how sensitive the case of the 12 activists would be. "They can't punish anyone else. Can they punish the European media? Can they punish Pompeo? They can only take it out on us because we are lawyers in the mainland," Lu said.
- Associated Press
New satellite images of a refugee camp in Ethiopia’s embattled Tigray region show more than 400 structures have been badly damaged in what a research group believes is the latest “intentional attack” by fighters. The report by the U.K.-based DX Open Network nonprofit, shared with The Associated Press, says “it is likely that the fire events of 16 January are yet another episode in a series of military incursions on the camp as reported by (the United Nations refugee agency).” The Shimelba camp is one of four that hosted 96,000 refugees from nearby Eritrea when fighting erupted in early November between Ethiopian forces and those of the defiant Tigray region.
- The Independent
Kayleigh McEnany leaves White House after final two-minute press briefing following deadly Capitol riot
Trump’s press secretary refused to take questions following the deadly insurrection at the US Capitol earlier this month
- The Week
Israel has vaccinated at least 25 percent of its population against the coronavirus so far, which leads the world and makes it "the country to watch for herd effects from" the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, says infectious disease expert David Fishman. Recently, the case rate in Israel appears to have declined sharply, and while there could be a few reasons for that, it's possible the vaccination effort is beginning to play a role.> Israel's reproduction number appears to have declined rather sharply in recent days, with around 25% of the country vaccinated, and some additional percentage having at least partial immunity via prior infection. pic.twitter.com/sVyCYYd9dj> > — David Fisman (@DFisman) January 17, 2021One study from Clalit that was published last week reports that 14 days after receiving the first Pfizer-BioNTech shot, infection rates among 200,000 Israelis older than 60 fell 33 percent among those vaccinated compared to 200,000 from the same demographic who hadn't received a jab.At first glance, Fishman writes, that might seem disappointing since clinical trials suggested the vaccine was more than 90 percent effective. But he actually believes the 33 percent figure is "auspicious." Because vaccinated and non-vaccinated people are mingling, there could be "herd effects of immunization." In other words, when inoculated people interact with people who haven't had their shot, the latter individual may still be protected because the other person is. On a larger scale, that would drive down the number of infections among non-vaccinated people, thus shrinking the gap between the two groups' infection rates.> Estimated vaccine efficacy is a function of relative risk of infection in the vaccinated...when there is indirect protection via herd effects, we expect efficacy estimates to decrease because the risk among unvaccinated individuals declines.> > — David Fisman (@DFisman) January 17, 2021More data needs to come in, and Fishman thinks "we'll know more" this week, but he's cautiously optimistic about how things are going.More stories from theweek.com 5 more scathing cartoons about Trump's 2nd impeachment New Yorker reporter's footage provides 'clearest view yet' of Capitol rioters inside Senate chamber Trump's vaccine delay is getting suspicious
Guatemalan security forces on Sunday used sticks and tear gas to beat back a large migrant caravan bound for the United States, just days before the advent of a new U.S. administration, which urged travelers to abandon the journey. Between 7,000 and 8,000 migrants, including families with young children, have entered Guatemala since Friday, authorities say, fleeing poverty and violence in a region hammered by the coronavirus pandemic and back-to-back hurricanes in November. "Guatemala's message is loud and clear: These types of illegal mass movements (of people) will not be accepted, that's why we are working together with the neighboring nations to address this as a regional issue," the Guatemalan president's office said in emailed comments.
- Reuters Videos
This is the moment police detained Alexei Navalny, the prominent Kremlin critic who flew home to Russia for the first time on Sunday after being poisoned in Siberia last summer. Video showed the 44-year-old talking with officers at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, then kissing his wife Yulia before he was led away. The couple was returning from a five-month stay in Germany, where Navalny, one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most outspoken domestic critics, had been recovering after he'd been poisoned with what German tests showed was the deadly Novichok nerve agent. Navalny says Putin was behind his poisoning, a charge the Kremlin denies. As he boarded the plane in Berlin, he thanked Germany and said he wasn't afraid of being arrested. He announced his decision to return from Germany on Wednesday. A day later, Moscow’s prison service said it would do everything to arrest him once he returned, accusing him of flouting the terms of a suspended prison sentence for embezzlement, a 2014 case he says was trumped up. Navalny's plane from Berlin was diverted to a different Moscow airport at the last minute for a technical reason in an apparent effort by authorities to keep journalists and supporters from greeting him. A statement on Sunday from the Moscow Prison Service said Navalny would remain in custody until a court hearing later this month. His arrest drew immediate condemnation abroad. U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's incoming national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Twitter: "Mr. Navalny should be immediately released, and the perpetrators of the outrageous attack on his life must be held accountable."
- Associated Press
From “emaciated” refugees to crops burned on the brink of harvest, starvation threatens the survivors of more than two months of fighting in Ethiopia’s Tigray region. The first humanitarian workers to arrive after pleading with the Ethiopian government for access describe weakened children dying from diarrhea after drinking from rivers. A local official told a Jan. 1 crisis meeting of government and aid workers that hungry people had asked for “a single biscuit.”
- The Independent
Biden’s plan to get 100m Americans vaccinated in first 100 days is ‘doable,’ Dr Fauci says
- National Review
Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) on Sunday advised the president not to grant presidential pardons to the rioters who stormed the Capitol this month, warning that doing so would “destroy” Trump. “Mr. President, your policies will stand the test of time. You’re the most important figure in the Republican party. You can shape the direction of the party. Keep your movement alive,” Graham said on Fox News. “There are a lot of people urging the president to pardon folks who participated in defiling the Capitol, the rioters,” Graham continued. “I don’t care if you went there and spread flowers on the floor, you breached the security of the Capitol, you interrupted a joint session of Congress, you tried to intimidate us all, you should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and to seek a pardon of these people would be wrong. I think it would destroy President Trump and I hope we don’t go down that road.” On Wednesday, a large group of Trump supporters overpowered Capitol Police and forced their way into the halls of Congress. Pence and the assembled lawmakers evacuated the Senate floor, where a joint session of Congress was being held to certify the presidential election results. The violence followed a rally outside the White House earlier in the day where President Trump addressed the “Save America March” and repeated his claims that November’s election was rife with voter fraud that threatened to deprive him of his rightful second term. The violence on January 6 resulted in five dead, including a Capitol Police officer. Since then, dozens of criminal cases have been brought in connection with the riot. Graham defended Trump’s rhetoric at the rally, which received bipartisan condemnation and sparked a second impeachment against the president by House Democrats. “President Trump never said, ‘Go into the capitol and try to interrupt a joint session of Congress.’ That was the choice they made and they need to live with that choice,” Graham said. Graham added that there were “irregularities in mail-in voting,” but said “the election is over,” noting that the electoral votes have been certified.” “It is now time to move on,” the South Carolina Republican said. Graham also had a message for incoming president Joe Biden, calling on him to stand up against the second impeachment of Trump, which the Senate is expected to take up after he leaves office.