Trump Administration Urges States To Open COVID-19 Vaccination To Everyone Over 65

Tue, 01/12/2021 - 11:40am
Updated 2:20 p.m. ET The Trump administration is making several big changes to its COVID-19 vaccine distribution strategy, officials announced Tuesday, in a bid to jump-start the rollout and get more Americans vaccinated quickly. The first change is to call on states to expand immediately the pool of people eligible to receive vaccines to those 65 and older, and those with underlying health conditions that make them more susceptible to COVID-19. "We're telling states today that they should open vaccinations to all of their most vulnerable people. That is the most effective way to save lives now," Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said at a press briefing Tuesday. The call is accompanied by a change in how vaccine doses are allocated to states. Currently, doses are given to states based on their total adult populations. Starting in two weeks, vaccines will be distributed to states based on the number of over 65-year-olds who live there — and by the pace of vaccine

Irondequoit Supervisor Dave Seeley will not run for reelection

Tue, 01/12/2021 - 11:11am
One of Rochester’s largest suburbs will have a new leader next year. Irondequoit Supervisor Dave Seeley will not seek another term in office. The Democrat made the announcement Tuesday. Seeley was appointed to the role in 2016, replacing Monroe County Executive Adam Bello, who was then appointed Monroe County clerk. Seeley won a full term later that year. “This has been the best job I have ever held, and likely ever will, for that matter,” Seeley said in a statement. “It has been a humbling and exciting experience, one that I have never taken for granted.” Seeley also said he was proud of the town's Medley Centre redevelopment project , which includes a community center and apartments at the former mall. The $40 million project broke ground last year. Seeley said he's also proud of the town’s efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic “I feel that Irondequoit Town Hall has demonstrated what government can accomplish when it has the mindset that failure is unacceptable,” Seeley said in the

Government Appeals Stay Of Execution For Only Female On Federal Death Row

Tue, 01/12/2021 - 11:02am
Updated: 3:16 p.m. ET Editor's note: This story includes information that may be upsetting to some readers. Lisa Montgomery was scheduled to die by lethal injection at the Federal Correction Complex in Terre Haute Indiana Tuesday night. In preparation, authorities transferred her on Monday from the federal women's prison in Texas where she has been held for more than a decade. The family of the woman she murdered traveled to Indiana as well to witness Montgomery's death. For now that federal execution, and two others the Trump administration had scheduled for this week, are on hold. Late Monday night, a federal judge in Indiana blocked the execution to allow a hearing on whether Montgomery, 52, is too mentally ill to be executed. The Justice Department filed an appeal of that ruling with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. In a separate ruling, the U.S court of Appeals for the District of Columbia also voted to stay the execution in order to hold hearings on whether the

Coming up on Connections: Tuesday, January 12

Tue, 01/12/2021 - 10:37am
First hour: Discussing UCLM's police reform proposals Second hour: Understanding impeachment and the 25th Amendment

Voice of America White House Reporter Reassigned After Questioning Pompeo

Tue, 01/12/2021 - 10:13am
Voice of America White House reporter Patsy Widakuswara was reassigned Monday evening just hours after pressing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on whether he regretted saying there would be a second Trump administration after President-elect Joe Biden's victory was apparent. Pompeo had appeared at the U.S. government-owned international broadcaster's headquarters in Washington on Monday to make an address. He did not address last week's assault on Congress by a mob filled with President Trump's avowed supporters in his remarks, nor was he asked about it in a congenial question-and-answer session by VOA's new director, Robert R. Reilly . To date, Pompeo, a steadfast Trump ally, has not substantively addressed the attack on the U.S. Capitol at all. As Pompeo walked out of the VOA building, giving a thumbs up to a man with whom he exchanged remarks in the crowded foyer, Widakuswara lobbed several questions . She asked what he was doing to repair the reputation of the U.S. around the world.

3rd Member Of Congress Tests Positive For Coronavirus, Blames Capitol Attack Lockdown

Tue, 01/12/2021 - 9:07am
Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET At least three Democratic members of Congress have tested positive for the coronavirus this week, blaming their results on their Republican colleagues' refusal to wear face masks during the hours-long lockdown last Wednesday as pro-Trump extremists attacked the U.S. Capitol. "Only hours after Trump incited a deadly assault on our Capitol, many Republicans still refused to take the bare minimum COVID-19 precaution and simply wear a damn mask in a crowded room during a pandemic — creating a superspreader event ON TOP of a domestic terrorist attack," Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., said on Twitter . On Tuesday, Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., announced he has tested positive for the coronavirus after sheltering in place with other lawmakers who refused to wear masks. "I am at least the third Member from that room paying the price," Schneider said, noting positive coronavirus tests from Jayapal and Rep. Bonnie Coleman, D-N.J. Schneider shared a video of the scene ,

Sheldon Adelson, Conservative Donor And Casino Titan, Dies At 87

Tue, 01/12/2021 - 9:01am
Updated at 12:27 p.m. ET Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, one of the most prolific donors in conservative politics, died Monday night at the age of 87 due to complications from treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, according to a statement from Las Vegas Sands, the company he founded. Adelson made his fortune — a net worth of around $35 billion according to an estimate by Forbes — in the casino hotel industry. He spent much of it backing conservative politicians in the U.S. and Israel, shaping the political debate of both countries. He was in the first wave of superwealthy Americans to take advantage of the Supreme Court's controversial Citizens United ruling, which opened the doors to eight- and nine-figure political donations so long as the money goes to independent superPACs and not candidates or party committees. Fireworks explodes at a replica of the Eiffel Tower of Parisian Macao during an opening ceremony in Macau, China, on Sept. 13, 2016. The French-themed Parisian Macao is

Roots Of U.S. Capitol Insurrectionists Run Through American West

Tue, 01/12/2021 - 8:58am
As the violent mob broke into the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday, and livestreams showed pro-Trump insurrectionists defacing property and posing in the House Speaker's chair, here in the West, feelings of shock quickly faded to familiarity. "There are years of warning signs," said Eric Ward of the Western States Center, which tracks extremism in Oregon and the West. It was five years ago this month when anti-government militants led an armed siege of a federal wildlife refuge in rural eastern Oregon. Far-right extremists led by Ammon Bundy occupied government buildings, vandalized and defaced property and at one point bulldozed a road across land considered sacred to local Native Americans. "We will go out of this state and out of this country as free men," proclaimed Bundy to reporters in January of 2016, referring to an attempt to seize control more broadly of US public lands. Bundy did eventually leave Oregon free, a jury acquitted him late in 2016 . Late last month, he posted a video

House To Vote On 2 Measures Designed To Remove Trump From Office

Tue, 01/12/2021 - 7:49am
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Should People Be Compensated For Getting A COVID-19 Vaccine?

Tue, 01/12/2021 - 7:49am
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What 1919 Teaches Us About Pent-Up Demand

Tue, 01/12/2021 - 6:31am
Editor's note: This is an excerpt of Planet Money 's newsletter. You can sign up here . Babe Ruth, a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, in 1918. That year, World War I and the Spanish flu pandemic slashed MLB game attendance by over half from what it was in the previous season. Library of Congress 1918 should have been a great year for baseball. A young left-handed pitcher named Babe Ruth began the year by pitching an opening-day victory for the Boston Red Sox. Shortly after, Ruth lobbied the team's manager to let him play other positions so he could spend more time at the plate. The strategy paid off, and Ruth began his run as a home-run-hitting superstar, helping lead the Red Sox to the World Series. But a world war and a deadly pandemic slashed demand to see ballgames in 1918. Just days before Ruth led the Red Sox to the World Series, soldiers returning from Europe brought a new strain of the Spanish flu to Boston, says Georgia Tech historian Johnny Smith, co-author of War Fever:

News Brief: Trump's Last 8 Days, 25th Amendment, Seditious Conspiracy

Tue, 01/12/2021 - 6:24am
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Malaysia's Coronavirus Lockdown Is Not A Coup, Prime Minister Says

Tue, 01/12/2021 - 6:04am
Malaysia's king approved a coronavirus emergency declaration, delaying the country's general election and giving an extended reprieve to Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah's declaration suspended the national parliament and state legislatures for an unspecified period of time. No elections can be held during the emergency either, which could last until Aug. 1. But the move should not be considered a "military coup," Muhyiddin said during a televised speech, adding that his civilian government will remain in charge during the emergency, according to news reports . Even so, the declaration comes as the country's largest political party, the United Malays National Organization, threatened to withdraw support from Muhyiddin and to force an early general election. "Let me assure you, the civilian government will continue to function. The emergency proclaimed by the king is not a military coup and curfew will not be enforced," Muhyiddin said. Malaysia,

Indonesian Navy Divers Recover 'Black Box' From Wreckage Of Jetliner

Tue, 01/12/2021 - 6:01am
Updated at 6:50 a.m. ET Indonesian navy divers recovered a flight data recorder from the ocean floor at the site of a Sriwijaya Air jet that crashed into the Java Sea over the weekend, putting investigators one step closer to discovering what went wrong. The discovery of the plane's "black box" on Tuesday leaves the aircraft's cockpit voice recorder still to be found, according to The Associated Press. The Boeing 737-500 nosedived into the Java Sea shortly after taking off from Jakarta, the nation's capital, on Saturday. Sriwijaya Air Flight 182 issued emergency signals before crashing in heavy rain with 62 people on board, according to officials investigating the crash. A navy ship picked up intense signals being emitted from the two recorders buried in seabed mud and under pieces of the wreckage, according to the AP. At least 160 divers were deployed in the search for the boxes, navy Chief Adm. Yudo Margono said. Indonesian navy divers have so far recovered aircraft parts including

Public Radio Stations Rebuke 'N.Y. Times' Over Actions In Correcting 'Caliphate'

Tue, 01/12/2021 - 5:42am
Updated 9:48 AM ET An influential group of more than 20 public radio stations in major cities across the country are condemning the actions of The New York Times and its star host of the hit podcast The Daily , Michael Barbaro, in addressing the collapse of the newspaper's award-winning audio series, Caliphate. An internal review by The Times found it had failed to heed red flags indicating that the man it relied upon for an extended narrative about the allure of terrorism could not be trusted to tell the truth. Canadian authorities charged the man with a terrorism hoax for his claim that he had become an executioner for ISIS. The Canadian federal charges forced The Times to confront long simmering doubts about the series. Its fresh reporting by a new team of reporters led to the conclusion that the central figure in their narrative for Caliphate was probably a fabricator. The Times later issued a retraction for most of the podcast series. Yet the objections from the public radio

Probe Examines Whether Organized Groups Spurred Violence At U.S. Capitol

Tue, 01/12/2021 - 5:06am
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Dominion Voting Systems Sues Ex-Trump Lawyer Over False Claims

Tue, 01/12/2021 - 5:06am
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Trump Takes A Last Look At His Border Wall As Congress Considers Impeachment

Tue, 01/12/2021 - 5:00am
President Trump is heading to Texas on Tuesday in a last-ditch effort to show off one of his signature election promises — the border wall — as Democratic lawmakers appear ready to move forward with impeaching him for a second time. He has just a week left in office, but angry lawmakers are calling on him to resign after a violent mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol last Wednesday as a joint session of Congress met inside to certify the results of the election. During the visit to Alamo — a small town in the Rio Grande Valley — Trump plans to note that 400 miles of border wall went up during his time in office, a White House spokesman said. This will be the first public appearance for Trump — beyond video statements — since Wednesday morning, when he urged his supporters to head to the Capitol as Congress formalized President-elect Joe Biden's victory. Political analysts say it's an obvious attempt to try to rehabilitate his image when his legacy is at stake. "Every president

House Resolution Calls On Pence To Assume Powers Of Presidency

Tue, 01/12/2021 - 5:00am
The House of Representatives is expected to debate and vote Tuesday on a measure calling on Vice President Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to declare President Trump incapable of executing his duties. If the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet agree, Pence could assume the powers of the presidency . The resolution calls on Pence to take these steps, referencing Trump's attempts to intervene in the vote counting of the Nov. 3 election — including his call to Georgia Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger — as well as his language to supporters at a rally in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6 ahead of the siege at the Capitol building. "While violent insurrectionists occupied parts of the Capitol, President Trump ignored or rejected repeated real-time entreaties from Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to appeal to his followers to exit the Capitol," states the measure, submitted by Maryland Democrat Jamie Raskin . In a letter to the Democratic

House To Vote On 25th Amendment Resolution Against Trump

Tue, 01/12/2021 - 5:00am
The House of Representatives is expected to vote Tuesday on a resolution calling for Vice President Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment against President Trump, days after violent insurrectionists , fueled by Trump's rhetoric, overtook the U.S. Capitol. The measure, which is likely to pass the Democratic-controlled House, urges Pence to "immediately" use his powers to convene the Cabinet and declare Trump unfit for office and assume the powers and responsibilities of acting president of the United States. Trump "widely advertised and broadly encouraged" the protests that led to last week's violence, the resolution argues, and then ignored calls to swiftly condemn his supporters' actions. It also cites his repeated efforts to delegitimize the presidential election results with false claims of widespread voter fraud. The vote comes as Democrats in the House have also filed an impeachment resolution charging Trump with fomenting the insurrection. If Pence does not respond within 24 hours