They were armed and ready. But the much-feared demonstrations resisting President Donald Trump’s election loss were a “non-event,” said one Pennsylvania official. National Guard troops were deployed and statehouses shut down in more than a dozen states, but only a smattering of protesters showed up, while Washington, D.C., remained quiet. Investigations continue into the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, with FBI agents probing reports that a woman took a laptop from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, planning to sell it to Russia. The bureau is also vetting National Guard troops ahead of Wednesday’s inauguration, fearing insider attacks.
Transition is coming. On Wednesday, President-elect Joe Biden will take office, planning to hit the ground running with executive orders reversing “the gravest damages of the Trump administration,” according to chief of staff Ron Klain. His actions will focus on climate change and immigration, along with boosting efforts to vaccinate Americans and right the economy. Meanwhile, President Trump is reportedly planning to issue some 100 pardons and commutations tomorrow. One former CIA officer, convicted of leaking secrets, said he was told that Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, could secure a pardon for $2 million. Giuliani denied the claim.
You be the judge: Is America’s two-party system working? Take OZY’s short survey and find out the results on a live Inauguration Day special edition of The Carlos Watson Show.
3. Navalny Locked Up Upon Return to Moscow
Poking the bear is his thing. Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, who barely survived an August poisoning blamed on the Kremlin, returned to Moscow from Germany yesterday, only to be detained by police. Throngs of supporters and journalists waited for the opposition leader’s return at one Moscow airport, which authorities shut down, forcing his flight to land at another. Navalny still managed to make a statement to reporters before his arrest, saying it was the “best day in the last five months.” U.S. President-elect Biden’s national security adviser, along with the European Union, have demanded Navalny’s release.
Is it winning the pandemic? As most of the world (aside from investors) struggles with a global economy sickened by COVID-19, China’s gross domestic product rose 6.5 percent in last year’s fourth quarter. That helped the country’s economy grow by 2.3 percent in 2020 — the only major economy to report growth — after crushing pandemic downturns. Beijing’s aggressive lockdowns and its subsequent economic reopening are credited with the recovery. But while some are suggesting that China may need to worry about an overheated economy, recent COVID-19 outbreaks have consumers worried, limiting growth in spending.
A Wall Street Journal review indicates that the far-right Proud Boys — inspired by President Trump’s instructions to “stand back and stand by” — helped lead the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol. Using tear gas and clubs, Guatemalan security forces yesterday blocked some 7,000 migrants headed for the United States. And in divisional playoffs, the Cleveland Browns came within a touchdown of knocking out the reigning NFL champion Kansas City Chiefs, who won 22-17 Sunday, while legendary quarterback Tom Brady led his Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 30-20 upset win over the New Orleans Saints.
Music superstar Jason Derulo shares the anatomy of his viral success and how the COVID lockdown and the rise of TikTok — plus walking away from his former record label — helped reignite his career in 2020. As he embarks on new ventures into TV, film and entrepreneurship, will he follow in the footsteps of his heroes Michael Jackson and Will Smith to earn true legend status? Subscribe now — and make sure you don’t miss his best love advice.
The wait is over!Cariuma’s IBI sneakersare back in stock just in time for the new year. We loveCariuma's guilt-free, sustainable and sleek-looking footwear for the entire family. So whether you want to dress it down or dress it up, you’ll always be comfy and carefree in these100 percent vegan kicks. Oh, and just to show you how much we care, use the code OZY to receive$15 off your next purchase. For a limited time only, so don’t miss out!
They’re still alive. Chinese media reported today that 12 miners who’d been missing for a week were able to send a note through a small hole drilled by rescuers in eastern Shandong province. Trapped during construction of the Hushan gold mine when a Jan. 10 explosion blocked the exit, the miners are believed to be about 2,000 feet from the entrance. Now 300 workers are drilling a shaft to reach the surviving miners, and find 10 others who are still missing. The note encouraged rescue workers, saying, “We have hope. Thank you.”
One of the major concerns about COVID-19 vaccines is that they might only shield recipients for a couple months. But Moderna’s CEO predicts its shot could provide protection for “a couple of years.” While it’s impossible to be sure yet, since no one’s been inoculated for that long, the company reported that three months after vaccination, trial subjects showed a minimal decline in antibodies. That’s cold comfort for billions of people around the world still waiting for the shots: In the U.S., only half of the 2020 goal of 20 million people have been immunized.
There will never be another like Martin Luther King Jr. But in time for today’s national holiday honoring him, OZY’s Sunday Magazine lifts a lamp to find those continuing the struggles he championed: Dr. Ala Stanford and her COVID-19 testing regime, helping the poor in Philadelphia. Missouri’s young Jalen Thompson, peacefully battling for civil rights. Alphonso Mayfield, organizing workers in Florida. And we look at those whose causes were a faint glimmer in King’s day, but now burn brightly in the hills of North Carolina, where queer pastor Jasmine Beach-Ferrara is breaking the South’s political barriers.
The legendary producer died Saturday in a California prison, reportedly after contracting COVID-19. Spector’s “Wall of Sound” technique influenced a pantheon of stars, from the Beach Boys to the Beatles, and generated hits like “Be My Baby” and “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling,” the most aired song of the 20th century. But Spector was also unstable: He menaced musicians with a pistol, kept his wife Ronnie locked in his mansion for years and was convicted of murdering actress Lana Clarkson in 2009. Guitarist Stevie Van Zandt called him “the ultimate example of the Art always being better than the Artist.”
Ten Sherpas on Saturday became the only climbers to ever reach the top of the world’s second-highest peak in winter, and they stepped onto the summit simultaneously. A difficult ascent under ideal conditions, the team endured gale-force winds and temperatures of minus 58 degrees Fahrenheit while scaling the 28,251-foot mountain in northern Pakistan’s Karakoram range. It’s a major achievement for Nepal, whose Sherpas traditionally enable Western climbers’ glory. K2 was the last of the world’s 14 highest peaks to be summited in winter — something six previous expeditions failed to do.
If you’re like us, you’ve gotten used to working from the comfort of home wrapped in cozy blankets and might dread the idea of putting on “real clothes.” With Outerknown’s Blanket Shirt, your problem is solved: It is rugged, sustainable and the coziest shirt ever. Don’t let its stylishness fool you: The Blanket Shirt can also stand up to the elements and function as an extra layer on chilly nights. And now it's available for both men and women!
Thanks to our friends at Outerknown, OZY readers get an exclusive 20 percent off with the code OKOZY.