With less than two weeks left in Donald Trump’s presidency, many lawmakers are calling for him to be removed early after he incited supporters to a deadly riot in the Capitol building. While Trump released a video yesterday promising a “seamless transition,” democratic leaders say they are prepared to impeach him for a second time if cabinet members do not remove him from office via the 25th Amendment. Meanwhile, some reports say the president is considering pardoning himself, an extraordinary action no president has ever tried. It’s unclear if courts would accept it as legal, but either way, Trump also faces suits in state courts that wouldn’t be allayed by the federal pardon.
2. US Capitol Police Face Scrutiny Over Riot as Officer Dies
The chief of the Capitol Police force indicated that he would step down a day after the massive Trump-incited riot in the Capitol that attempted to stop Congress confirming Joe Biden’s November victory. An officer died from injuries sustained during the attempted coup, bringing the death toll to five. The force reportedly rejected offers of federal help both before and during the riot, while many have noted the relatively hands-off treatment of the largely white mob in contrast to harsh tactics against largely peaceful anti-racism protests over the summer. Meanwhile, the FBI is offering rewards for information about those who planted pipe bombs at both Republican and Democratic National Committee headquarters Wednesday.
3. Study Indicates Vaccine Works on New Virus Strain
Though it hasn’t yet been peer-reviewed, preliminary research on whether an extant Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine works on the virulent strain of the virus spreading from Britain and South Africa indicates that it does. The U.S. saw a record number of pandemic deaths yesterday for the third day in a row, with 4,000 lives lost in a single 24-hour period. Meanwhile, South Korea has rolled out an inflatable isolation ward that it says could aid health care workers with limited resources to care for patients.
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The airline giant has arranged to settle a Justice Department probe into its 737 Max safety issues. After the jet caused two deadly crashes in 2018 and 2019, it was grounded around the world, costing the company about $20 billion. An estimated $2.3 billion of its settlement will go to the families of the 346 people who perished in the crashes as well as other airline customers. The Federal Aviation Administration is still conducting a civil investigation, which could lead to more fines — but by avoiding Justice Department prosecution, Boeing will still be eligible for federal contracts.
Simon & Schuster has canceled a forthcoming book by Sen. Josh Hawley after he advocated overturning the election, which Hawley decried as an affront to the First Amendment. Elon Musk has surpassed Jeff Bezos to become the world’s richest person. And Iran’s leader has banned the import of COVID-19 vaccines from the U.S. or Britain.
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And Today on The Carlos Watson Show: In talking to today’s most influential figures, there’s one name we can’t skip: Dr. Anthony Fauci. The famed immunologist joins Carlos today to discuss why the COVID-19 vaccine should be trusted in spite of its rapid development. He shares stories about his background in AIDS research, the secret to good communication and his favorite basketball player. Is a run for office in his future? Subscribe now to be the first to know when the episode is live.
As the largest bank in the U.S., JPMorgan Chase & Co. is stepping up to foster economic opportunity and inclusion for historically marginalized communities. “Systemic racism is a tragic part of America’s history,” writes Brian Lamb, global head of diversity and inclusion at JPMorgan Chase. “It’s our responsibility to do something about it, given the role of banks in the financial health of the communities we serve.” Learn more about JPMorgan Chase's $30 billion commitment to providing economic opportunities in underserved communities.
"We believe the risks of allowing the president to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great," Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post yesterday placing an indefinite Facebook and Instagram ban on President Trump that will last through at least the final two weeks of his term in office. Trump was initially banned for 24 hours after he encouraged his supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol building in an attempt to overturn his loss in a democratic election.
Is that why we’ve all been feeling nauseated? Last year saw the 28 fastest days on record, with the Earth’s rotation milliseconds faster than usual. Variations are normal — they can be caused by natural phenomena like weather and ocean currents — which generally consist of adding a “leap second” to make up for slightly slower rotations. Now though, some are considering the possibility of subtracting a leap second for the first time, with days in 2021 expected to be an average of 0.05 milliseconds shorter. No official decision has been made though, and some experts even advocate waiting until the timing has changed enough that humanity can add a whole leap hour.
Since he took office, President Trump has railed against dealing with Iran, even escalating military relations a year ago with the assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. It didn’t lead to war then — but OZY’s Charu Sudan Kasturi argues that it still could, with Trump out of options for staying in power and leaving Joe Biden with a belligerent quagmire to deal with during his first days in office. Adding to the danger: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is a lame duck too and might similarly feel he has little to lose.
4. Danish Kids’ Show About Super Penis Raises Eyebrows
Are critics just being crotchety? A new Danish kids’ show aimed at children under 8 years old, John Dillermand, follows an animated man with an enormous prehensile penis that sometimes saves children from danger and sometimes steals their ice cream cones. Criticism has abounded within Denmark, with some decrying it as immoral and concerned that the show supports locker-room culture and sexist stereotypes. Still, the kids’ TV network airing the show says it stands by the program and that it could have easily been “about a woman with no control over her vagina.”
5. UFC’s Irwin Rivera Charged With Attempted Murder
Police in Boynton Beach, Florida, have arrested the champion bantamweight after finding his two sisters with multiple stab wounds. Rivera reportedly told police he had “killed [his] sisters” while they were sleeping according to the instructions of a “higher power.” Both women, alive, have been hospitalized, while Rivera is being held without bail. UFC says that due to the “extremely troubling” allegations, it won’t be offering the 31-year-old fighter another bout right now.