Support and defend. Those words in service members’ oaths pertain to the U.S. Constitution, the Pentagon’s top brass reminded members in a letter yesterday. The message from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to some 1.3 military members and 811,000 National Guard troops condemned the Jan. 6 Capitol attack and said that President-elect Joe Biden will become the 46th commander in chief Jan. 20. One current soldier and several retired service members are being investigated in the assault. The Army is also determining which among up to 15,000 armed National Guard troops deployed to the inauguration “require additional background screening.”
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2. Impeachment Gains GOP Support
Even Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is “pleased.” That’s reportedly the word from the Capitol, where House Democrats plan to vote to impeach President Donald Trump today for inciting violence against the nation. Vice President Mike Pence has refused to remove Trump using the 25th Amendment, urged by a House resolution that passed 223-205 yesterday. Trump said it was continuing “the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics” and while he doesn’t want further violence, the attempted ouster was angering Americans and “causing tremendous danger.” Still, prominent Republicans like Rep. Liz Cheney say they’ll vote to impeach, and party leaders aren’t advising against it.
Not even Luxembourg would have him. European officials have reportedly shunned U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, prompting the ardent Trump ally to cancel a diplomatic trip yesterday. With America’s allies “embarrassed” by the Capitol violence, no one at the European Union, NATO or even Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, would host America’s top diplomat. While Pompeo condemned the mob violence, he didn’t blame Trump, while Asselborn called the U.S. leader a “criminal” and “political pyromaniac.” Pompeo is also planting a virtual minefield of recent policy moves for the new administration, like allowing official contacts with Taiwan and designating Cuba as terror-supporting.
They’re saying auf Wiedersehen. Deutsche Bank, one of the few big banks that will still lend money to President Trump in his capacity as a businessman has decided to stop doing business with him. That, along with the decision by New York-based Signature Bank to close two personal Trump accounts holding some $5.3 million, could cripple the leader who becomes a private citizen next Wednesday. He won’t be able to refinance $340 million in personal debt with the German bank, which could seize golf resorts and hotels if the loans go into default.
After a final appeal was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court, Lisa Montgomery this morning became the first female federal prisoner to be executed in nearly 70 years. A report on Ireland’s “mother and baby homes” finds that one in seven children born to unwed mothers confined to the 20th century homes did not survive childhood. And in the first abortion case since its 6-3 conservative majority was established, the Supreme Court has revived a restriction on the use of medication to terminate a pregnancy.
Meet the world’s top banker. Former CEO of Goldman Sachs Lloyd Blankfein joins the show. The investment top dog shares the tips for success that took him from public housing to leading one of the world’s largest companies, as well as hot takes on Bitcoin, capitalism, Trump and AOC, you might not expect. Subscribe now and don’t miss this one-of-a-kind episode.
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There were “very fine people on both sides.” That Trumpian take on a deadly Virginia rally where white supremacists waved the Confederate flag may long define the president. But another Civil War throwback may prevent his return to power. The 1868 14th Amendment, known for its oft-cited equal protection and citizenship clauses, also has Section 3, which prohibits insurrectionists, who remained plentiful back then, from holding government posts. While it can’t be used to remove a sitting president, experts say it could bar future bids for public office — and some in Congress say they’ll aim it at colleagues whose passions fueled last week’s presidential putsch.
It was developing no such tech. But Huawei’s protestations of innocence now ring hollow, BBC reports, after a U.S. tech firm shared the patent for artificial intelligence that identifies people in public surveillance images. Filed in China in 2018, the communication giant’s patent includes the ability to distinguish the country’s dominant Han ethnicity from Uighurs, a predominantly Muslim group that has been notoriously detained in camps where forced sterilization and slave labor, which China denies, have been reported. Huawei’s response? Such identification was “never part” of the project and it’s saying that the disturbing language would be removed from the patent.
“I think it actually works.” That researcher’s endorsement may be enough to carry the rare cannabis extract cannabigerol (CBG) until it gains any sort of regulatory approval. But there’s a growing body of study showing its curative properties and the demand is there, OZY reports. A tiny bottle can fetch as much as $200 to treat a variety of conditions, from inflammation to sleep disorders to cancer. And similar to its more widely available cousin, CBD, it's not intoxicating. The trick is to extract the stuff while plants are young, before they stop producing CBG, thus enriching an enterprising group of growers.
4. GOP Megadonor, Casino Mogul Sheldon Adelson Dies
“The world has lost a great man.” That tribute from President Trump may not be coming at the best time, but the billionaire casino magnate, who died Monday night at age 87 following complications of lymphoma, donated $78 million that helped elect America’s embattled leader. In addition to being on many conservative leaders’ donor lists, Adelson was also recognized as a philanthropist and entrepreneur who bet big and won big. In addition to the iconic casinos of his Las Vegas Sands company, he owned entertainment enterprises in Macau and Singapore, as well as media outlets in Israel and Nevada.
He was wearing a Team USA jacket. The tall, bearded man seen among rioters massing against U.S. Capitol Police last Wednesday has reportedly been identified as five-time Olympic medalist Klete Keller. Keller, who earned two 800-meter relay gold medals in 2004 and 2008, was picked out by at least a dozen competitors from images of the riot, according to the SwimSwam website. Journalists’ attempts to reach Keller, now a Colorado real estate agent, were unsuccessful. Authorities have arrested some 70 people in the assault, one a Georgia man who fatally shot himself this weekend.
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