The show will go on — but some actors should check their lines. After watching a 13-minute montage of videos of former President Donald Trump’s supporters storming the Capitol after he urged them to “fight like hell,” the Senate voted 56-44 that the impeachment trial is constitutional and should continue. While lawmakers remain divided on convicting Trump, they were bipartisan in panning his defense team. From rambling arguments to dubious historical precedents, the underwhelming performance from lead lawyer Bruce Castor reportedly had even Trump fuming. The prosecution begins today, with the trial likely lasting at least a week.
They’re rolling up their sleeves. After record highs in January, U.S. COVID-19 cases have dropped by about 25 percent — and that’s not the only good news: CVS and Walgreens have announced they’ll soon begin distributing vaccines. America’s two largest pharmacy chains should be up for the job, considering they inoculate millions against the flu each year. The move was made possible by President Joe Biden’s administration authorizing a federal retail rollout plan last week. While eligibility still varies by state, experts say this will give America’s so far disappointing vaccine distribution a much-needed shot in the arm.
Police officers are defecting in Myanmar, joining students and medics who have walked off the job in protest against the new military regime. But some authorities have gotten more violent in cracking down on dissent, with a young woman critically wounded by police gunfire Tuesday. The shifting loyalties have reportedly inspired more civil servants, from teachers to firefighters, to don red ribbons and take to the streets by the tens of thousands. Some question, though, whether it’s in the movement’s best interests to have critical workers trade the front lines of a raging pandemic for political ones. Sources: The Straits Times, CBS News, The Guardian
4. Stock Exchanges Sue SEC to Block Trading Data
They’re trying to regulate the regulator. The New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Inc. sued the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday, hoping to keep it from publicly releasing supply and demand data that the exchanges currently sell at a premium. The SEC measure is one more blow in the war between the Wall Street establishment and Main Street investors gathering on platforms like Robinhood. But the exchanges will have to tread carefully, lest they create unlikely bedfellows out of Redditors and SEC regulators who were enemies just two weeks ago.
Experts are saying they warned the Indian government in 2014 about exactly the kind of event that killed 31 people and left 165 missing Sunday when a Himalayan glacier collapsed, unleashing a deadly torrent. A Texas lawyer has accidentally taken the internet by storm after getting stuck with a kitten filter over his face during a court hearing. And a self-described KKK leader has been sentenced to three years and eight months in prison for driving into Black Lives Matter protesters in Richmond, Virginia, last summer.
For Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, 2020 was quite the year. She was rumored to be under close consideration for the vice presidency and was touted for her COVID-19 response, while also facing scary anti-lockdown protests at her own Statehouse and a plot to abduct her. What could 2021 hold? Whitmer breaks it all down on today's show.
No one could have foreseen a crisis like the pandemic. But businesses — particularly Black-owned firms that are traditionally undercapitalized — can prepare for the next one now. The road to financial health includes revisiting your spending priorities, saving money for emergency funds and mapping out expenses in a budget, says Tosh Ernest, head of Wealth at JPMorgan Chase’s Advancing Black Pathways Program.
Deep sea phone home. A crew member aboard a sophisticated Japanese attack submarine had to use a smartphone to report a collision to the country's defense forces this week. The Soryu collided with a merchant vessel as it surfaced off the country’s west coast Monday, slightly injuring several sailors and knocking out the ship’s antennas — meaning it had to rely on more civilian communication. As consumer tech has advanced, even the U.S. military has found it indispensable, with spy plane pilots wearing smartwatches in case their multimillion-dollar navigation equipment is jammed by the enemy.
It’s as American as apple pie — and slavery. Aunt Jemima, a fixture on maple syrup and pancake mix for 130 years, will be replaced in June with new branding: Pearl Milling Company, named for the Missouri mill that created the self-rising mix in 1888. It was later branded Aunt Jemima after a racist stereotype in a minstrel song, but during last summer’s civil rights protests, Quaker Oats, which owns the brand, promised change. While the new name may not resonate, Quaker Oats and parent company PepsiCo have the marketing muscle to make it stick to the slickest griddle.
This week, Senate Democrats face almost certain failure in trying to convict former President Trump. But their challenge was apparent from the very first U.S. impeachment trial in 1868, OZY recounts. President Andrew Johnson was an unelected post-Civil War Southern Democrat impeached for firing his war secretary. He was up against a two-thirds Republican Senate majority — yet he managed to sway enough members to be acquitted. “If any impeachment should have succeeded, that one should have,” said Michael Les Benedict, author of a book about Johnson’s case, suggesting that the bar to convict may simply be too high.
4. Court Orders Holocaust Researchers to Apologize
There’s much to regret. But in a Polish court yesterday, it wasn’t the perpetrators of the Holocaust, but researchers describing it who should atone. The court ruled Barbara Engelking and Jan Grabowski, who edited a book detailing some Poles’ complicity in Nazi atrocities, must apologize to the niece of a man described in the book as giving up Jews to the Nazis. Poland’s nationalist leaders have tried outlawing the publication of such Polish-Nazi links. Engelking argued that her punishment would chill Holocaust research, and the court partially agreed, refusing the plaintiff’s demand for $27,000 in restitution.
He knew better. The pilot whose helicopter crashed on Jan. 26, 2020, killing the NBA legend, his daughter and six others, may have felt pressure to do things his training should have warned against. Investigators at a National Transportation Safety Board hearing yesterday primarily blamed pilot Ara Zobayan for the crash, saying he violated flight rules by steering into thick clouds. The experts believe Zobayan became spatially disoriented, and rather than switching to autopilot or turning back, he continued despite the low visibility. The probe is expected to prompt new guidelines to avoid such fatal mistakes.