By David Shepardson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Automakers have the technology to meet aggressive mandates to hike fuel efficiency by 2025, but the fleet-wide improvement will not be as great as the Obama administration once forecast because buyers are switching to pickup trucks and SUVs, federal regulators said Monday. The report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the California Air Resources Board will frame a debate with the auto industry that will be decided in 2018 by the next president. Administration officials on Monday said the key finding of their analysis is that automakers can comply with the mandates using known technology, and deliver benefits in terms of fuel savings and greenhouse emissions cuts that outweigh the estimated $894 to $1,245 per vehicle in costs, the 1,200-page document says. Automakers are sounding alarms that low gas prices make the Obama administration's mandates to cut vehicle greenhouse gas emissions untenable in their current form. Trucks, which generate the bulk of the profits earned by Detroit's three, unionized automakers, are the key. When the president's administration first outlined its goal of boosting average fleet fuel economy to 54.5 miles per gallon, regulators forecast that 67 percent of vehicles sold in 2025 would be cars. Since then, gasoline prices have plummeted and truck sales have surged. The agencies on Monday forecast cars will be between 48 percent and 62 percent of the mix. Regulators now estimate the fleet will average 50 to 52.6 mpg in 2025. "Given changes in the market landscape, it will be a daunting challenge to meet the very aggressive requirements of the 2022-2025 federal fuel economy and greenhouse gas rule," said Gloria Bergquist, a spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. The report may give automakers some ammunition to try to win changes to the rules. Because of lower gas prices, the EPA now forecasts owners will need around 5 years for gas savings to match higher vehicle prices, compared with an earlier estimate of about 3.5 years. However, the assessment also finds that battery costs are lower today than they were originally anticipated to be 10 years from now, suggesting hybrid or electric vehicles could be more affordable. Dan Becker, director of the Safe Climate Campaign, on Monday urged regulators to toughen the rules to achieve the original 54.5 miles per gallon fleet-wide target. "We can't accept backsliding or loopholes that undermine their success just to put more gas-guzzlers on the road," he said. Automakers are not required to achieve the target average. Instead, the government's complex scorekeeping system allows them to hit different targets for different sizes of vehicles -- with larger trucks and SUVs allowed to achieve lower targets than small cars. In addition, the NHTSA and EPA don't agree on some key assumptions. For example, the EPA assumes that California's zero emission vehicle mandates will be in place. These require that 15 percent of the fleets automakers sell to have zero emissions in that state by 2025. The NHTSA analysis does not assume that automakers will comply with the California mandate. The NHTSA assumes about 14 percent of vehicles sold in 2025 will need to be full hybrids - those with a significant battery pack - to meet the standards, while EPA thinks 3 percent would be sufficient. Both forecasts expect improvements in gasoline engines will provide most of the increase in mileage, and compliance with 2025 fuel targets can be reached even if only 3 percent of vehicles are electric. Cars and trucks account for 42 percent of total U.S. oil consumption, or about 8 million barrels a day. Regulators also plan to finalize rules to boost the fuel efficiency of medium and heavy duty trucks through 2027 later this year. (Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Phil Berlowitz and Alan Crosby)
- 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.
- 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.
- Associated Press
Vice President Mike Pence will be returning to his southern Indiana hometown Wednesday afternoon following the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. The Republican former Indiana governor and his wife Karen are expected to attend Biden’s inauguration and will then fly into the Columbus Municipal Airport, where they will be greeted by some supporters, the Indiana Republican Party said Tuesday. Pence grew up in Columbus and some family members still live there.
- National Review
Senator Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) warned on Tuesday that the U.S. is not taking China’s actions against Uyghur Muslims seriously enough. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced earlier in the day that the U.S. will classify China’s treatment of Uyghurs as a “genocide.” China operates a network of internment camps where over a million Uyghurs are imprisoned, and the Chinese government has implemented a program of forced sterilizations for Uyghur women. Sasse said that the genocide designation came “late,” and implied that both the Trump administration and incoming Biden team have not done enough to confront China. “This decision is good and right, but it’s late. The United States isn’t taking the Uyghur genocide seriously.” Sasse said in a statement. “A lot of folks in the Trump Administration wanted to talk about China primarily in terms of a trade deficit, and a lot of folks in the Biden Administration want to talk about China as merely a competitor.” Sasse added, “The Chinese Communist Party is a genocidal dictatorship and Chairman Xi [Jinping] is evil. The United States has an obligation to meet this challenge head on and take the side of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang who are raped and tortured.” China also reportedly uses Uyghurs and other Muslims for forced labor, including harvesting cotton in Xinjiang Province. U.S. Customs and Border Patrol banned the importation of cotton from Xinjiang last week. The province is the source of 20 percent of the world’s supply of raw cotton. Earlier on Tuesday, Biden’s nominee for Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines told senators that she supported an “aggressive” stance toward China. “Our approach to China has to evolve and essentially meet the reality of the particularly assertive and aggressive China that we see today,” Haines said. “I do support an aggressive stance, in a sense, to deal with the challenge that we are facing.”
A boy who was killed in an alleged murder-suicide by his father has been identified as 9-year-old Pierce O’Loughlin. Family tragedy: The boy and his father, Stephen O'Loughlin, 49, were both found dead at their home on Scott Street, Marina District in San Francisco on Wednesday afternoon, SF Chronicle reports. The boy’s mother, Lesley Hu, asked authorities to check on her son after learning that he did not show up for school that day.
- 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 Chief Justice John Roberts reportedly wants no part of Trump's impeachment trial 5 more scathing cartoons about Trump's 2nd impeachment Hall of Fame pitcher Don Sutton dies at 75
- NBC News
Court documents recounted the man's telling his children that he would consider them "traitors" if they contacted authorities.
- The Independent
President-elect celebrates his hometown: ‘You were with me my whole career, through the good times and the bad’
- The Telegraph
A woman identified as having taken part in the storming of the US Capitol is accused of stealing a laptop belonging to top Democrat Nancy Pelosi which she hoped to sell to a Russian spy agency, according to the FBI. There is no indication Riley June Williams, a 22-year-old careworker from Pennsylvania, took a laptop from Ms Pelosi's office. The FBI, which is working off a tip, said in the court record the "matter remains under investigation." The complaint, filed late Sunday in US District Court in Washington, sought the arrest of Williams on grounds including "violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds." Relying on several photos and videos of the chaotic January 6 riot, an FBI agent said Williams was seen near the office of Ms Pelosi, US House Speaker. A witness, identified in the court document only as W1 but who claimed to be "the former romantic partner of Riley June Williams," alleged that Williams planned to send the laptop to a friend in Russia to sell it to the SVR foreign intelligence agency. That sale "fell through for unknown reasons, and Williams still has the computer device or destroyed it," the affidavit says.
Turkey has ordered the arrest of 238 people in an operation targeting suspects in the military allegedly linked to a Muslim preacher who Ankara says was behind a 2016 failed coup, state-owned Anadolu news agency reported on Tuesday. The operation, covering 60 provinces, was part of a four-year-old crackdown against the network of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen. Anadolu said 160 people had been detained in the latest police raids, ordered by prosecutors in Izmir.
- FOX News Videos
Trump should ‘force the Democrats to come forward’ with incitement evidence: former Colorado senator
Committee to Defend the President Chairman and former Colorado Senator Ted Harvey discusses impeachment efforts on ‘Fox & Friends First.’
Secretary of State nominee Tony Blinken said at a confirmation hearing on Tuesday that it was “extraordinary how frightened Vladimir Putin seems to be of one man” — Alexey Navalny.Why it matters: Russia’s most prominent opposition figure, Navalny, returned to Russia on Sunday and was swiftly arrested. He spent the previous five months recovering in Germany after being poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. His detention poses an early foreign policy challenge for the Biden administration.Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.What he’s saying: Blinken told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Navalny served as a voice for millions of Russians, “and their voice needs to be heard in Russia.” * “The attempts to silence that voice by silencing Mr. Navalny is something that we strongly condemn,” Blinken added, noting that Navalny's arrest and other points of tension with Russia would be “very high on the agenda for an incoming administration.” * Incoming national security adviser Jake Sullivan previously called for Navalny's immediate release.The latest: Navalny was ordered to remain in pre-trial detention for 30 days. He was officially arrested for violating the conditions of a suspended prison term by missing an appointment in December.Worth noting: Blinken praised Sen. Mitt Romney, who serves on the committee, for being “prescient” on Russia. Romney was mocked for referring to Russia as America’s “number one geopolitical foe” in a 2012 presidential debate with Barack Obama, including by Obama himself.Go deeper: Bill Browder on Russia-U.S. relations after Alexei Navalny's arrestGet smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- National Review
Dozens were arrested Monday night in New York City when Black Lives Matter protesters clashed with police outside City Hall during a Martin Luther King Jr. Day march. Hundreds of demonstrators marched peacefully from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn to City Hall in Manhattan, where they were met with a heavy police presence. The demonstration turned violent around 8:30 p.m. in City Hall Park, and police began making arrests after demonstrators started throwing projectiles, blocking traffic, and vandalizing property. Videos posted on social media show police urging the crowd to disperse before starting to make arrests. At least 29 people were arrested near Chambers and Centre streets and eleven officers were injured, including a captain who was hit in the head with a glass bottle. None of the officers are in serious condition. It is unclear how many protesters were injured during the clashes. In another video, police can be seen shoving several protesters as well as wrestling one person to the ground. Protesters can be heard shouting obscenities at officers. Last week, New York Attorney General Letitia James sued the New York Police Department over the “excessive enforcement” used against protesters calling for racial justice over the summer, including using pepper spray and batons on protesters and “kettling” or trapping demonstrators. James is calling for federal oversight of the NYPD. The federal government is already monitoring the NYPD to ensure that it retires its stop-and-frisk policy, which was found in 2013 to have been used in an unconstitutional manner. Last summer, riots broke out in New York City following the police custody death of George Floyd in May. About 450 businesses across the city were damaged and in many cases looted over May and June, according to the city’s Department of Small Business Services. More than 2,000 people were arrested at those demonstrations over the same period.
- The New York Times
When Joe Biden takes the oath of office Wednesday, he will be the oldest person ever sworn in as president. Biden turned 78 in November. During the campaign, Biden addressed his age head-on in interviews and presented himself as a “transition candidate” who would help nurture new Democratic talent. “It’s a legitimate question to ask about my age,” Biden said on “The View,” adding, “Hopefully, I can demonstrate not only with age has come wisdom and experience that can make things a lot better.” Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times Biden leveraged his age as a strength in the election and campaigned on two key messages, according to one historical expert. “The first one: ‘I am not him,’ meaning Trump,” Jeffrey A. Engel, director of the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, said last week. “The second was, ‘I am an adult and I will bring back normalcy and I will bring back a sense of decency and demonstrate maturity.’” Here is a look at some of the oldest and youngest presidents to take office. Who were the oldest presidents? Until Biden is sworn in Wednesday, President Donald Trump holds the record for the country’s oldest chief executive upon inauguration. He was 70 in January 2017, when he became the 45th president. Before him, President Ronald Reagan was the oldest president. He was 69 in 1981 when he was inaugurated for his first term. In a debate with Walter Mondale during his 1984 reelection campaign, Reagan made light of the issue of age. “I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign,” he said. “I am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent’s youth and inexperience.” Reagan was 77 after his second term, the oldest president to leave office. More than a century before him, William Henry Harrison held the distinction of being the oldest president at the time, when he was inaugurated in 1841 at age 68. Harrison, who had caught a cold that developed into pneumonia, died after 32 days in office. He became the first president to die in office and, to date, has served the shortest tenure in U.S. presidential history. At 96, Jimmy Carter is the oldest living former president. Who were the youngest presidents? Many people may think John F. Kennedy, who was inaugurated in 1961 at age 43, was the youngest president. But that distinction belongs to Theodore Roosevelt, who was 42 in September 1901, when he assumed the presidency after the assassination of William McKinley. “I don’t think most Americans have ever seen a moving picture of Teddy Roosevelt and not, certainly, while he was president,” Engel said, explaining why people may think of Kennedy as the youngest U.S. president. “They don’t have a mental image of a young man in the White House at that age, whereas John F. Kennedy was all about the image and moving images.” Other youthful presidents include Ulysses S. Grant, who was 46 when he took office in 1869; Bill Clinton, who was also 46 at his first inauguration, in 1993; and Barack Obama, who was 47 at his first inauguration in 2009. Three of the five youngest presidents were Democrats; Roosevelt and Grant were Republicans. What are the requirements to be president? As dictated by the U.S. Constitution, the president must be a natural-born citizen of the United States, at least 35 years old and a resident of 14 years. The qualifications for president have not changed since George Washington first took office at 57 in 1789, according to the Library of Congress. He was sworn in on the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York City, then the capital of the United States. The average age of a president at inauguration: 55 A 2011 JAMA article on presidential aging, which did not include Trump, observed that the average age of a U.S. president at inauguration was 55.1 years. A similar ranking found that on average, presidents are sworn in at 55, according to potus.com, a project created by Bob Summers in 1996 as part of a graduate school project at the University of Michigan School of Information. “Most of the people that become president usually need to build a body of work to prove to voters what they stand for and how they will get things done,” Summers said. “That usually precludes much younger presidents,” he added. “And with the shorter life expectancies in the early days of the U.S., there were not as many people who would run as older candidates.” How many father-son pairs have taken office? There have been two father-and-son sets of presidents, and both were similar in age when they each first took office. John Adams was 61 when he became the second president, in 1797. His son John Quincy Adams was sworn in as the sixth president at 57 in 1825. George Bush was 64 at his inauguration in 1989. Twelve years later, he watched his eldest son, George W. Bush, inaugurated at 54. This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
- The Telegraph
Vaccine ‘passports’ would risk spreading coronavirus, the Government warned on Tuesday, despite the European Commission tentatively backing the idea. EU leaders will have their first discussions on the vaccination certificates at a video summit on Thursday. The Department of Health confirmed that vaccine passports were not being considered in Britain because it is not yet known whether the vaccines stop you being a carrier. That could mean British tourists missing out on EU holidays because they will not have the vaccination certificates, which the commission said could be used in the EU “and beyond”. It is unlikely that Britain would accept the certificates from EU citizens hoping to travel to the UK. Brussels said that using the vaccination certificates to allow greater travel and tourism in the EU was “premature” at this stage but left the door open for the plans to be picked up in the future. “We feel that now this is the time for these vaccine certificates to be recognised across the European Union, and even beyond the European Union.” said Margaritis Schinas, a commission vice-president. Mr Schinas said it was “perfectly imaginable that this can open avenues for other use, including facilitating travel”. But EU heads of state and government would have to agree to the idea and enough Europeans would have to be vaccinated first, he said. The commission said member states should set ambitious targets to vaccinate at least 80 percent of health and social care professionals and people over 80 years old by March 2021 and a minimum of 70 percent of the total adult population by summer. The bloc started jabs three weeks ago and has so far approved two vaccines - from BioNTech/Pfizer and from Moderna - with others soon expected to follow. But its pace of vaccination trails behind countries such as the US, Britain, Israel and the United Arab Emirates. In a swipe at Britain, Mr Schinas said the EU had opted for “safety first” instead of granting emergency approval for vaccines as the UK had. “It is not a race between countries but a race against time in Europe,” he said. The commission said the EU would agree the minimum data necessary for the vaccination certificate and ensure it would respect data privacy laws by the end of January. The common approach could be “scaled up globally” by becoming a model for the certification systems of the World Health Organisation. Greek prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, whose country is dependent on tourism, has called for the certificates to allow for vaccinated people to travel freely around Europe. Other countries, including Germany, are more cautious, especially after the arrival of the British variant on the Continent, and are against any plan which discriminates between those who have the jab and don’t. Chancellor Angela Merkel and leaders of Germany's 16 states were expected to extend and tighten a partial lockdown beyond January last night, as fears grow over virus variant strains believed to be more contagious. The former Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has told Times Radio he's feeling "optimistic" about being able to travel in 2021, and has already booked two summer holidays, including a trip to Italy in June.
The company's comments come after California's top epidemiologist on Sunday issued a statement recommending providers pause vaccination from lot no. 41L20A due to possible allergic reactions that are under investigation. The vaccine maker said it was unaware of comparable cases of adverse events from other vaccination centers which may have administered vaccines from the same lot or from other lots of its vaccine.
- 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
- NBC News
Election experts have uniformly declared that the 2020 election was conducted fairly.
- Associated Press
Already facing allegations of stealing more than $600,000 in federal funds from a health care school she directed, a Tennessee state senator has been charged in a new fraud case, the U.S. attorney’s office in Memphis said Tuesday. Democrat Katrina Robinson and two other people have been charged in a complaint with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering, about six months after Robinson was indicted on federal charges that she used grant money earmarked for health care worker training to pay for her wedding and honeymoon, a Jeep Renegade for her daughter, her children’s snow cone business, and other things. In the case disclosed Tuesday, prosecutors said Brooke Boudreaux, an associate of Robinson, convinced someone to pay $14,470 in tuition to the school Robinson runs in Memphis on Boudreaux's behalf.
- National Review
Senator Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) blocked a quick confirmation of Alejandro Mayorkas as Joe Biden’s Department of Homeland Security secretary, citing Mayorkas’s immigration policy stance. Mayorkas is a former Obama administration official considered the architect of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allowed illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children a renewable deportation deferment, without providing a path to citizenship. The confirmation hearings for Mayorkas come as Biden has pledged to undue many of the Trump administration’s restrictions on immigration, although it is unclear how quickly the Biden administration can act on those promises. “Mr. Mayorkas has not adequately explained how he will enforce federal law and secure the southern border given President-elect Biden’s promise to roll back major enforcement and security measures,” Hawley said in a statement. “Given this, I cannot consent to skip the standard vetting process and fast-track this nomination when so many questions remain unanswered.” Biden is reportedly set to propose an immigration-reform bill that would grant roughly eleven million illegal immigrants a path to citizenship over eight years. The bill could also grant citizenship to agricultural workers and illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. However, the proposal is not expected to include Republican-backed border security measures. The looming immigration debates in Congress come as a new migrant caravan continues to travel toward the U.S.-Mexico border. Several thousand people in the caravan clashed with Guatemalan security forces while crossing the border from Honduras on Sunday. “There’s help on the way, but now is not the time to make the journey,” a Biden official said in comments to NBC.