WASHINGTON — The Latest on President Donald Trump's impeachment and the fallout from the Jan. 6 attack of the Capitol by pro-Trump loyalists (all times local): 3:30 p.m. An Ohio man who posted videos from the U.S. Capitol riots has been arrested on federal charges of making interstate threats and threatening a witness. In one video, 40-year-old Justin Stoll, of Wilmington, declared: “D.C.’s a war zone!...You ain’t got enough cops, baby! We are at war at the Capitol…. We have taken the Capitol. This is our country.” The federal complaint said that when one YouTube viewer said he or she had saved his video, Stoll warned that if the viewer took action to “ever jeopardize me, from being with my family,” then the person would meet his or her maker, and that he would be the one to “arrange the meeting.” Stoll appeared before a U.S. magistrate in Cincinnati, who released him under restrictions including that he remain in southern Ohio with electronic monitoring, stay off social media, stay away from firearms, obtain mental counselling and not contact potential witnesses or victims. No other details, including his attorney’s name, were available immediately. There was no answer Friday at a phone number listed to his name. The U.S. attorney’s office says interstate communication of a threat can carry a penalty of up to five years in prison, while tampering with a witness through intimidation carries a potential 20-year maximum sentence. ___ HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT IMPEACHMENT AND THE FALLOUT FROM THE JAN. 6 RIOTING AT THE CAPITOL: The pro-Trump mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol last week aimed to “capture and assassinate elected officials,” federal prosecutors said in court documents. The revelation suggests that investigators believe there was a much more organized effort afoot, despite claims from rioters that it was a spontaneous outburst of anger over the election and President Donald Trump’s loss. Trump had been repeating baseless claims of election fraud for weeks. Read more: — Feds: Capitol mob aimed to ‘assassinate’ elected officials — Federal watchdogs open probe of response to Capitol riot — Capitol rioters included highly trained ex-military and cops ___ HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON: 3:10 p.m. The U.S. attorney’s office says an anti-Trump Florida man has been charged with trying to organize an armed response to pro-Trump protesters expected at the state capitol on Sunday. An affidavit from an FBI agent says Daniel Baker, of Tallahassee, was using social media to recruit people in a plot to encircle protesters and trap them in the Capitol. The court document describes threats of violence and a prediction of civil war. Baker is described as anti-Trump, anti-government, anti-white supremacist and anti-police. He is charged with transmission in interstate commerce of a communication containing a threat to kidnap or to injure. He was in custody Friday, and it wasn’t immediately clear if he has an attorney. U.S. Attorney Lawrence Keefe said: “Extremists intent on violence from either end of the political and social spectrums must be stopped, and they will be stopped.” Baker was kicked out of the Army in 2007 after going AWOL before being deployed to Iraq. The affidavit said Baker was then homeless and largely unemployed for the following nine years. “REMEMBER THAT THE COPS WONT PROTECT US BECAUSE THE COPS AND KLAN GO HAND IN HAND!” Baker wrote on a Facebook event page he created, according to the affidavit. “If you are afraid to die fighting the enemy, then stay in bed and live. Call all of your friends and Rise Up!” ___ 1:35 p.m. Vice-President Mike Pence has called Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris to offer his congratulations and assistance with her transition into office. That’s according to two people who weren’t authorized to publicly discuss the private conversation and spoke on condition of anonymity. Pence’s call comes less than a week before President-elect Joe Biden and Harris are set to take office. Inauguration Day is this coming Wednesday. The call is the first contact between elected officials from the outgoing and incoming administrations. President Donald Trump hasn’t reached out to Biden and has repeatedly questioned the legitimacy of Biden’s win. Trump won’t attend the inauguration. Pence will be there. — By AP writers Jill Colvin and Alexandra Jaffe ___ 12:25 p.m. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says there may be a need to prosecute members of Congress if any are found to have assisted the pro-Trump rioters in last week’s attack on the Capitol. The California Democrat says that assault highlighted the need for the U.S. to beware of domestic threats. She says, “We’ve really lost our innocence in this.” Pelosi tells reporters that members of Congress need to be able to trust each other. Her words underscore some Democrats’ suggestions that some GOP lawmakers helped feed President Donald Trump’s supporters’ belief in Trump’s false charges that his presidential election loss was due to vote fraud. They also highlight the extraordinary distrust and anger that’s grown in Congress since the attack, which led to this week’s House impeachment of Trump. ___ 12:10 p.m. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré is being tapped to lead a security review of the U.S. Capitol in the wake of last week’s deadly insurrection. Pelosi said during a news conference Friday that the whole Capitol complex must be subjected “to scrutiny in light of what happened” and the fact that President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration will be held there next week. Honoré is perhaps best known for overseeing humanitarian aid efforts in Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina. Pelosi says Honoré will conduct an immediate review of security and inter-agency interaction and Capitol “command and control.” ___ 11:55 a.m. The National Park Service has closed Washington’s National Mall to the general public as part of greatly intensified security ahead of Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration. The closure started Friday morning. It will remain in force at least through Thursday, the day after Biden’s inauguration, the National Park Service said in a statement. The Secret Service asked for the closing. Thousands of National Guard troops are deployed in the nation’s capital as part of extraordinary security, after supporters of President Donald Trump overran the Capitol building Jan. 6 as lawmakers were certifying results in Biden’s election victory over Trump. The park service will still allow inauguration activities and permitted free-speech events on the National Mall despite the closure, it said. The park service said it would allow only small demonstrations for permit holders and would escort any protesters and hold them in designated areas, along with other safety measures. National Park Service and Interior Department spokespeople did not immediately respond when asked if any protest permits had been granted or applied for. ___ 10:25 a.m. Defence Department officials are scrambling to call governors and asking whether they have any more National Guard troops they can send to Washington to help protect the Capitol and the city. A defence official familiar with the discussions says law enforcement leaders and other authorities have now determined that they’ll need about 25,000 National Guard troops. And they say that number could still grow. As of Friday morning, officials had commitments from states for close to 22,000 members of the Guard. That’s according to the official, who wasn’t authorized to publicly discuss internal deliberations and spoke on condition of anonymity. In recent days, defence and military leaders have said they understand that states are also facing their own looming protests and the first priority of the governors is to protect their own capitals. The number of Guard officials are seeking to help protect the District of Columbia in the run-up to Wednesday’s inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden has increased almost daily. Defence and law enforcement authorities have been revising the numbers as they go through rehearsals and other drills to determine how many and where they need the Guard reinforcements to help lock down Washington. — AP writer Lolita C. Baldor ___ 10 a.m. The Justice Department’s internal watchdog says it will investigate how the department and its agencies prepared for and responded to last week’s riots at the U.S. Capitol. The investigation by the inspector general’s office will examine whether information was appropriately shared by the Justice Department to other law enforcement agencies about the potential for violence. The inspector general said it “also will assess whether there are any weaknesses in DOJ protocols, policies, or procedures” that hampered preparation and response to the events. The review is one of multiple ones launched by inspectors general, including at the departments of Homeland Security and Defence and at the Interior Department, which oversees the Park Police. The initiation of the review signals concern among the watchdogs that the preparations for, and response to, the breach of the Capitol by loyalists of President Donald Trump was lacking. The Associated Press
Fifty-strong Northern Research Group calls for emergency increase to stay – ahead of Commons vote
Nigeria's FirstBank and a unit of energy giant Shell said on Friday members of a community in southern Nigeria had no right to seize assets from a bank branch this week in a dispute over compensation for an oil spill more than five decades ago. Members of the Ejama-Ebubu community and law enforcement officers entered a FirstBank branch in Port Harcourt on Tuesday to seize assets following a court award relating to the spill that took place in the 1967-70 civil war. The community was awarded damages worth 17 billion naira ($44.7 million), with accruing interest, in a federal court ruling in 2010.
The US has the highest overall death toll at more than 389,000
MANCHESTER, England — Heading to the second-placed defending champions in first place on Sunday, Manchester United is on a high. Doubly so. It's not just Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men leading the English Premier League by three points going into Sunday's trip to Liverpool. Casey Stoney's side goes to Chelsea on top of the Women's Super League by the same margin. It's a transformative moment for one of the world's most valuable sports entities. When United last won the Premier League in 2013, the women's team didn't exist. Even amid all of the challenges to revive the glory years under Alex Ferguson, the owning Glazer family finally invested to launch a women's team in 2018 and it's making rapid progress. After gaining instant promotion to the top division, Stoney's women are mounting a title challenge in only their third season. “It is great for Ole to be in a position he’s in, it’s great for us to be in a position we're in," Stoney said on Friday. “It’s more important about performing week in, week out so that we can sustain something, so we’re in a good position come May.” The team trophies are yet to be won this season, but the personal trophies are already being collected. Player of the month awards in both the men's and women's leagues were handed to Red Devils on Friday. It was the fourth time Bruno Fernandes has won the accolade since signing for United a year ago, with three goals and four assists in December alone from the Portugal midfielder. “I know people talk mostly about the goal involvements, which is very important stuff, but he is a linkup in a lot of other situations as well,” Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp said ahead of Fernandes taking on the champions. “He seems to be a leader as well. So, a good signing unfortunately — for United.” Winger Leah Galton went one better than Fernandes in December by scoring four league goals to propel United to the summit. Galton has credited the arrival of American World Cup winners Tobin Heath — November’s best player in the WSL — and Christen Press transforming the mindset of the team and giving them the confidence to attack and take more scoring chances. Galton had turned her back on playing for a time after making just one appearance for Bayern Munich in February 2018 but she was asked to join the launch of Stoney's team at United later that year. “I went in as one person and came out a different person,” Galton recalled this week. ”Casey said she thought she knew my potential and she wanted to invest in that, and that made me really excited to work with her because no coach had said to me before that they were excited to see what I could grow into. She’s stuck to her word." Stoney was also honoured on Friday with a second successive manager of the month award after three straight wins in December extended United's unbeaten run to 14 league games. “My players probably don’t see enough of soft sides,” Stoney said on a video call between sips of the Bovril beef drink. “They’ll tell you that I’m quite tough.” The former England international's first managerial experience came at Sunday's opponent, Chelsea, while also playing for the London club in 2009 — before the launch of the WSL and fully professional women's football in England. Now Stoney is trying to outwit the WSL's most successful coach, Emma Hayes, who led Chelsea to a third title last season. The teams drew 1-1 to open this campaign in September. “We managed to get a point when we were very thin on the ground," Stoney said. “We’ve now got more players to pick from.” Stoney regularly swaps ideas with Solskjaer, picking each other's brains on creating a winning culture and mindset around their teams. “We have a culture of high standards," Stoney said. “We have a culture of respect. We have a culture of togetherness.” When Stoney was tasked with assembling the team in 2018, Jose Mourinho was still in his final months leading the men in a period of turmoil. Solskjaer stepped into the job on a temporary assignment that became permanent but the former title-winning player has seen his abilities constantly doubted. Even after a 6-1 humiliation to Tottenham in October and a premature Champions League exit last month, United's decision to stick with a manager whose composed demeanour has replaced the bluster under Mourinho might finally be paying off. An 11-game unbeaten run has propelled United into first place for the first time this late in a season — after 17 of 38 games — since Ferguson produced United's record-extending 20th English title in 2013. After Klopp ended Liverpool's 30-year title drought last season, the 19-time champions are within touching distance again. “Our position at the moment is a product of all the hard work," Solskjaer said. “We probably deserve to be where we are at at the moment but I don’t think many would have thought another word for it than an upset if you go six weeks back (and asked) if we beat Liverpool at Anfield." No team has won in the league at Anfield since 2017 but United is also trying to extend Liverpool's winless streak to four games for the first time since that year. “It’s a test and reality check of where we’re really at because we’ve won many, many tight games, scored a few goals in injury time, showed that mentality," Solskjaer said. “We’ve not really set the world alight too many times." What would set the world alight is United in May being the first team since Chelsea in 2015 to pick up the Premier League and Women's Super League trophies in the same year. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Rob Harris, The Associated Press
Deutsche Bank announced today its appointment as depositary bank for the NYSE-listed American Depositary Receipt program of Kuke Music Holding Limited.
New York, New York--(Newsfile Corp. - January 15, 2021) - Rosen Law Firm, a global investor rights law firm, reminds purchasers of the securities of K12 Inc. (NYSE: LRN) between April 27, 2020 and September 18, 2020, inclusive (the "Class Period"), of the important January 19, 2021 lead plaintiff deadline in the securities class action. The lawsuit seeks to recover damages for K12 investors under the federal securities laws.To join the K12 class ...
New York, New York--(Newsfile Corp. - January 15, 2021) - Rosen Law Firm, a global investor rights law firm, reminds purchasers of the securities of GoodRx Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: GDRX) between September 23, 2020 and November 16, 2020, inclusive (the "Class Period"), of the important February 16, 2021 lead plaintiff deadline in the case. The lawsuit seeks to recover damages for GoodRx investors under the federal securities laws.To join the GoodRx class action, go ...
XPeng Inc. ("XPeng" or the "Company", NYSE: XPEV), a leading Chinese smart electric vehicle ("Smart EV") company, unveiled the beta version of its NGP (Navigation Guided Pilot) highway autonomous driving solution this week in a series of media road tests in Guangzhou. The Company plans to launch the widely anticipated NGP function, a key part of its XPILOT 3.0 autonomous driving package, to customers in China in the next few weeks.
WASHINGTON — Vice-President Mike Pence has called his soon-to-be successor Kamala Harris to offer his congratulations, according to two people familiar with the conversation. It's the first known contact between the elected members of the outgoing and incoming administrations. President Donald Trump has not reached out to President-elect Joe Biden and has repeatedly questioned the legitimacy of Biden’s win. But Pence has become an unexpected defender of Biden's. The vice-president resisted pressure from Trump to object to the Democrat's election win while presiding over Congress' certification of the Electoral Vote count last week. Pence will also attend Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration, which Trump is refusing to attend. One of the people familiar with the Thursday afternoon conversation described it as a “good call,” with Pence congratulating his successor and offering assistance. They spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the private conversation. The call came less than a week before Biden and Harris take office, and just over a week after the storming of the Capitol by Trump's supporters. While Trump has remained largely behind closed doors fuming since his loss, Pence has been stepping up and fulfilling many of the ceremonial duties of the presidency, including greeting greeting members of the National Guard now protecting the Capitol building Thursday evening. The call to his successor is a continuation of the traditional show of comity between outgoing and incoming leaders that Trump, in contrast, has flouted. In 2008, then-Vice-President Dick Cheney called Biden to wish him congratulations the night of his win, and invited Biden and his wife Jill to tour the vice-presidential residence on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Observatory shortly before the 2009 inauguration. It's unclear whether Pence will do the same for Harris. Much of Washington is under heightened security after last week's violent insurrection at the Capitol, with law enforcement officials warning of more potential for violence in advance of Biden's inauguration. While Biden said he welcomed Trump's decision to avoid his inauguration, he also said he'd be “honoured” to have Pence attend, and that it was important to maintain “historical precedent” with respect to a peaceful transfer of power as much as possible. Jill Colvin And Alexandra Jaffe, The Associated Press
PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. — The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations says it is concerned about reports of poor and unprofessional treatment of two elderly First Nation patients at a Saskatchewan hospital. The organization says in a news release that it has received a number of calls about the Victoria Hospital in Prince Albert. Vice Chief David Pratt says he was disturbed and alarmed to receive a complaint about an 88-year-old man who was receiving medical treatment in isolation. He says the man, who doesn't speak any English, wasn't given any support. Pratt says another elderly woman's family has complained about rude and unprofessional treatment by nurses. He says elderly patients need the help of translators and patient support services to help them understand what is happening to them and what type of care they are receiving. "These are our elders and they deserve the utmost respect and fair treatment by all doctors and staff," Chief Bobby Cameron said in the release Friday. "We are calling on the province to step in and help these families and do something about all of the complaints that come in regarding First Nations patients at this hospital." No one from the Saskatchewan Health Authority could immediately be reached for comment. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021. The Canadian Press
Justice Department has opened nearly 300 investigations following violent insurrection
GENEVA — The World Health Organization's emergencies chief said Friday that the impact of new variants of COVID-19 in places like Britain, South Africa and Brazil remains to be seen, citing human behaviour for some recent rises in infection counts. “It’s just too easy to lay the blame on the variant and say, ‘It’s the virus that did it,’” Dr. Michael Ryan told reporters. “Well unfortunately, it’s also what we didn’t do that did it.” That was an allusion to holiday merrymaking and other social contacts plus loosening adherence -- in pockets -- to calls from public health officials for people to respect measures like physical distancing, regular hand hygiene and mask-wearing. Also Friday, the WHO's Emergencies Committee issued new recommendations that countries should not require proof of vaccination by incoming travellers amid the pandemic, saying decisions on international travel should be co-ordinated, limited in time, and based on both the risks and the science. “If you look at the recommendation made by the committee around vaccination for travellers, it says ‘at the present time,’” Ryan said. He pointed out that such recommendations noted that vaccines are still not widespread and that it remains unclear whether they prevent transmission between people. The recommendations came after the committee's first meeting in nearly three months. To little surprise, the panel agreed that the outbreak remains a global health emergency, nearly a year after it declared it as one. The advice comes as countries grapple with how to combat the new variants that have fanned concerns about an accelerated spread of the virus — and have prompted new lockdown measures in hard-hit places like Europe. The British government has banned travel from South America and Portugal -- a key gateway of flights from Brazil -- to try to keep the variant in Brazil from reaching Britain and derailing its vaccination program. The committee said it would encourage states “to implement co-ordinated, time-limited and evidence-based approaches for health measures in relation to international travel.” It also called on vaccine manufacturers to make data about the products more available to the WHO, saying delays can affect its ability to provide emergency-use listings that could allow for “equitable vaccine access.” ___ Follow AP coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at: https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak The Associated Press
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The U.S. Forest Service released an environmental review Friday that paves the way for the creation of one of the largest copper mines in the United States, against the wishes of a group of Apaches who have been trying for years to stop the project. The Forest Service now has 60 days to turn over a tract of land in the Tonto National Forest east of Phoenix to Resolution Copper Mining, a joint venture of the international mining companies Rio Tinto and BHP. Environmentalists contend the Forest Service was pressured to push the review over the finish line before President Donald Trump leaves office, complicating their efforts to reverse the land swap. The Forest Service said that's not true, while the mining company contends the publication already was delayed by months. The mountainous land near Superior, Arizona, is known as Oak Flat or Chi'chil Bildagoteel. It's where Apaches have harvested medicinal plants, held coming-of-age ceremonies and gathered acorns for generations. An area where dozens of warriors leapt to their deaths from a ridge adjacent to the proposed copper mine, rather than surrender to U.S. forces during westward expansion, is protected as a special management area. A judge late Thursday denied a request from Apache Stronghold, a group led by former San Carlos Apache Chairman Wendsler Nosie Sr., to halt the publication until a larger question over who legally owns the land is settled. U.S. District Court Judge Steven Logan in Phoenix said he recognized “the anxiety that having one’s sacred land taken from them and used for purposes that run counter to their spiritual beliefs, might cause.” But Logan said the Forest Service and other defendants also have a right to respond to the allegations, and he saw no proof they had been served. He set a Jan. 27 hearing. Randy Serraglio with the Center for Biological Diversity called the judge’s decision “a callous betrayal of Native people who value that land as sacred.” Nosie's group alleged violations of religious freedom and constitutional rights in the federal lawsuit filed this week. It also contends the Forest Service legally can't transfer the land because it belongs to Apaches under an 1852 treaty. Nosie said he's hopeful the court or politicians will take action to preserve the area as it is. “I think with a new Congress, new administration, they will be able to take a new look at it based on the Constitution, our religion and based on the consequences of having this mine that's looking to devastate and destroy this area forever,” Nosie told The Associated Press. The land swap was approved in December 2014, as part of a must-pass defence bill. The late Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain, a major recipient of Rio Tinto campaign contributions, backed it. Before that, stand-alone bills never gained Congress' approval. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Friday said the mine will ensure a reliable supply of up to 1 billion pounds of copper annually. “Arizona has a long history of responsible mining, showing that we can have a robust mining sector while protecting our environment and cultural history,” he said in a statement. Resolution Copper is set to receive 3.75 square miles (9.71 square kilometres) of Forest Service land in exchange for eight parcels the company owns elsewhere in Arizona. U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, both Democrats, tried unsuccessfully to reverse the land swap. Grijalva said this week that it remains one of his top priorities. “I'm hoping to put the brakes on it and reexamine every step,” he told The Associated Press. “I think part of the oversight I want to do is what was this cozy relationship between the international mining company, their subsidiary Resolution and the Trump administration.” Resolution Copper said it has spent about $2 billion so far to gain access to the mine and conduct studies. More time and money will go into securing permits and constructing the mine, which wouldn't begin operating for at least 15 years. The company said it has committed to spending $100 million for cultural heritage and recreation projects, among other things, to help ease the effects of mining. It has tweaked its plans after receiving input from other tribes, some of whom have members who were hired to help inform archaeological surveys. Resolution Copper project director Andrew Lye said the company is committed to engaging with tribes and will seek consent from them before it makes any decisions on developing the project. The Oak Flat Campground would remain open to the public until it's no longer safe for people to go there. Eventually, the mine would swallow it. The project proposal calls for the use of block caving, a method Resolution Copper maintains is safe and environmentally sound, to extract the remaining ore from depths as much as 7,000 feet below ground. Through this method, ore is selectively mined in a controlled way as the ground underneath it collapses under its own weight. Resolution Copper has said the mine could have a $61 billion economic impact over the project’s 60 years and create 1,500 jobs — points that supporters repeatedly have stressed. “Not only will Resolution Copper be a major employer, but it will lead to construction activities and new commercial development, such as housing, hotels and retail,” Glenn Hamer, the president and chief executive of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry said in a statement. Environmentalists and Native Americans are concerned about the toxic waste that would be dumped on nearby wildlands, the potential for groundwater contamination and the destruction of sacred sites. Rio Tinto was criticized last year for blasting through 46,000-year-old aboriginal rock shelters in Australia’s Juukan Gorge. The company’s CEO and two other top executives were fired. ___ Associated Press writer Anita Snow in Phoenix contributed to this story. Fonseca is a member of The Associated Press’ race and ethnicity team. Follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/FonsecaAP Felicia Fonseca, The Associated Press
Warren Buffett’s favourite market indicator suggests a stock market crash might be right around the corner. The post Warren Buffett: Watch Out for a Stock Market Crash! appeared first on The Motley Fool Canada.
The Texas Rangers agreed to one-year deals with right fielder Joey Gallo and expected starting shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa on Friday, avoiding arbitration with their two Gold Glove winners. Gallo got a $6.2 million deal, after last season earning $1,629,630 prorated of the $4.4 million salary he agreed to to avoid arbitration last year. Kiner-Falefa won a Gold Glove at third base last season, but the Rangers have already said he will go to spring training with the opportunity to be their starting shortstop.
WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi offered no clues Friday on her plans to send President Donald Trump’s impeachment to the Senate for trial, but made it clear that Democrats intend to move swiftly on Joe Biden’s legislative priorities, including funding for coronavirus vaccines and relief aid. Pelosi said Biden's proposed $1.9 trillion coronavirus plan to speed up vaccines and economic aid is a “matter of complete urgency," suggesting it could take precedence over Trump's historic second impeachment trial. “You’ll be the first to know when we announce that we’re going over there,” she told reporters at the Capitol when asked about the trial. The uncertainty reflects the fact that Democrats do not want the Senate proceedings to dominate the opening days of the Biden administration even amid deep anger over the violent Jan. 6 siege by Trump supporters at the Capitol that led to the House's second vote to impeach the president. Many Democrats have pushed for an immediate trial, and the proceedings could begin by Inauguration Day if Pelosi sends the article to the Senate by early next week. But others have urged a slower pace as the Senate considers Biden’s Cabinet nominees and the newly Democratic-led Congress considers priorities like the coronavirus plan. Pelosi told reporters on Friday that her nine impeachment managers, who act as the prosecutors for the House, are working on taking the case to trial. Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer will replace McConnell and lead a 50-50 Senate as soon as Georgia’s two Democratic senators-elect are sworn in and Biden is inaugurated, making Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris the president of the Senate and the tiebreaker. Biden has said the Senate should be able this time to split its work, starting the trial and working on legislation and confirmations. Trump is the only president to be twice impeached, and the first to be prosecuted as he leaves the White House, an ever-more-extraordinary end to the defeated president’s tenure. He was first impeached by the House in 2019 over his dealings with Ukraine, but the Senate voted in 2020 to acquit. When his second trial does begin, House impeachment managers say they will be making the case that Trump’s incendiary rhetoric hours before the bloody attack on the Capitol was not isolated, but rather part of an escalating campaign to overturn the November election. It culminated, they will argue, in the Republican president's rally cry to “fight like hell” as Congress was tallying the Electoral College votes to confirm he'd lost to Democrat Joe Biden. Whenever it starts, the impeachment trial will force a further reckoning for the Republican Party and the senators who largely stood by Trump throughout his presidency and allowed him to spread false attacks against the 2020 election. Last week's assault angered lawmakers, stunned the nation and flashed unsettling imagery around the globe, the most serious breach of the Capitol since the War of 1812, and the worst by home-grown intruders. House impeachment managers, all lawyers and some of Pelosi's closest allies, have argued that while it is important to turn a new page with the Biden presidency, it is also crucial to reckon with the Jan. 6 violence in the Capitol. “The only path to any reunification of this broken and divided country is by shining a light on the truth,” said Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pa., who will serve as an impeachment manager. “That’s what the trial in the Senate will be about," she told The Associated Press on Thursday. Trump was impeached Wednesday by the House on the single charge, incitement of insurrection, in lightning-quick proceedings just a week after after the siege. Ten Republicans joined all Democrats in the 232-197 vote to impeach. McConnell is open to considering impeachment, having told associates he is done with Trump, but he has not signalled how he would vote. McConnell continues to hold great sway in his party, even though convening the trial next week could be among his last acts as majority leader as Democrats prepare to take control of the Senate. No president has ever been convicted in the Senate, and it would take a two-thirds vote against Trump, an extremely high hurdle. But conviction of Trump is not out of the realm of possibility, especially as corporations and wealthy political donors distance themselves from his brand of politics and the Republicans who stood by his attempt to overturn the election. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said Thursday, “Such unlawful actions cannot go without consequence.” She said in a statement that the House responded “appropriately” with impeachment and she will consider the trial arguments. At least four Republican senators have publicly expressed concerns about Trump’s actions, but others have signalled their preference to move on. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., issued a statement saying he opposes impeachment against a president who has left office. Trump ally Lindsey Graham of South Carolina is building support for launching a commission to investigate the siege as an alternative to conviction. The riot delayed the tally of Electoral College votes that was the last step in finalizing Biden’s victory as lawmakers fled for shelter and police, guns drawn, barricaded the doors to the House chamber. A Capitol Police officer died from injuries suffered in the attack, and police shot and killed a woman. Three other people died in what authorities said were medical emergencies. ___ Associated Press writers Kevin Freking, Andrew Taylor, Alan Fram, Zeke Miller and Jonathan Lemire contributed to this report. Lisa Mascaro And Mary Clare Jalonick, The Associated Press
Bay Bulls council adopted two new plans of very different purpose during its January 11 public meeting. The first was for an Asset Management policy that isn’t actually quite ready to roll out yet. “We’ve been working on the Asset Management Policy now since last summer and we’re just about nearing completion, but as part of the formal process, the Town must adopt a policy,” said Town CAO Jennifer Aspell immediately prior to council taking a unanimous vote to adopt the policy. “So, we should have the actual program itself finished in the next couple of months.” The Town also voted to adopt a Harassment Prevention Plan as an official policy. Deputy Mayor Wendy O’ Driscoll explained the Newfoundland and Labrador Occupational Health and Safety Act mandates that every workplace have such a plan and provide harassment prevention training. Part of the motion was for all members of council and staff to complete the training. Councillor Joan Luby asked if it would be mandatory. O’ Driscoll said that it would, and that the Town was looking at how the training would be rolled out. She added that, as per the policy, a report would be made available to the alleged harasser within 90 days. Luby asked if this period could be shortened to 30 days. CAO Aspell said that it would depend upon the nature of the complaint, and that 90 days was a pretty standard time period. Next, Luby asked who would review the alleged harassment complaint, and Aspell said a third party would do it. Finally, Luby noted that, as per the policy, the record of complaint would be kept on file for 10 years following the investigation. She asked if this could be shorted to four years — the length of a council term. Aspell said that 10 years was a standard practice. She also noted that even though someone may only be on council for four years, a staff member may be on staff for much longer. Luby said she felt 10 years is a bit long. Luby asked if any other councillors had questions, but there were no takers, though councillor Eric Maloney said questions may arise during the actual training sessions. Aspell said that a policy, once adopted, can be revised if necessary. Mark Squibb, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Shoreline News
GAZA, Palestinian Territory — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday decreed parliamentary and presidential elections for later this year in what would be the first vote of its kind since 2006, when the Islamic militant group Hamas won a landslide victory. Elections would pose a major risk for Abbas' Fatah party and also for Hamas, which welcomed the decree. Both have faced protests in recent years over their inability to reconcile with one another, advance Palestinian aspirations for statehood or meet the basic needs of those in the territories they govern. Fatah and Hamas have been publicly calling for elections for more than a decade but have never been able to mend their rift or agree on a process for holding them, and despite Friday's decree, it remained far from clear whether the voting would actually be held. Elections could also complicate President-elect Joe Biden's plans to restore aid to the Palestinians and to revive the peace process with Israel. The 2006 election victory by Hamas, which is considered a terrorist group by Israel and Western countries, led to heavy international pressure being placed on the Palestinian Authority. Clashes between Fatah and Hamas raged for more than a year, culminating in Hamas' 2007 takeover of the Gaza Strip, which it still controls despite a crippling Israeli-Egyptian blockade and three wars with Israel. Abbas' Palestinian Authority is confined to the occupied West Bank, where it administers major population centres according to agreements with Israel. Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem in the 1967 war, territories the Palestinians want for their future state. The decree sets a timeline in which legislative elections would be held on May 22, followed by presidential elections on July 31 — the first since Abbas was elected to a four-year term in 2005. Elections for the National Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which represents the Palestinian cause internationally, would be held Aug. 31. Abbas handed the decree to Hanna Nasir, the head of the Central Election Commission. Hamas welcomed the decree and expressed its “strong eagerness to make this obligation successful.” “We have worked in the past months to surmount all hurdles to reach this day, and we have shown a lot of flexibility,” it said in a statement. It also called for dialogue ahead of the vote. Fatah and Hamas have tried to reconcile on a number of occasions over the years, but every attempt has devolved into bickering and mutual recriminations, leaving the Palestinians divided politically and geographically, and further dashing their hopes for independence. Mkhaimar Abusada, a political science professor at Gaza’s Al-Azhar University, said the decree “points to a certain seriousness by Abbas on the issue of elections, regardless of the problems they could face and the disagreements that are not yet settled.” A poll carried out in December by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found that if parliamentary elections were held, Fatah would win 38% of the vote and Hamas would win 34%. Abbas would lose in a presidential election against Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, 43% to 50%, according to the survey. The pollsters interviewed 1,270 Palestinians face to face across the West Bank and Gaza, and reported a margin of error of 3%. Hamas has spent years building up its own government in Gaza, including by hiring new civil servants to to replace those loyal to Abbas. It has also refused to give up its vast arsenal of rockets and other arms, and considers Israel a sworn enemy. Abbas is opposed to violence and favours negotiations leading to a two-state solution with Israel, a position with wide international support. It would be virtually impossible for Hamas to assume responsibility over the Palestinian enclaves in the West Bank, where Israel maintains overall security control. The Palestinian Authority co-ordinates with Israel on security, economic and other matters. Abbas, 85, has led the Palestinian Authority and the PLO since the death of Yasser Arafat in 2004 and has no clear successor. ___ Associated Press writer Joseph Krauss in Jerusalem contributed to this report. Fares Akram, The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Mike Pompeo isn't quietly fading away. In his final days as secretary of state, he's issuing orders that have caused international consternation and tweeting up a storm on his official and personal accounts to cement his legacy as a prime promoter of President Donald Trump’s “America First” doctrine. With a potential eye on a 2024 presidential run, Pompeo has doubled down on his support for Trump, even as other Cabinet members have resigned or stayed out of sight in the aftermath of the Capitol violence. While the House debated Trump's role in encouraging the riot, Pompeo sent a tweet promoting Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize. Over the past week, Pompeo has celebrated controversial policies that are likely to be overturned by his successor, stepped up criticism of what he believes to be unfair news coverage, and he has complained about alleged censorship of conservatives on social media. And in a sign of his post-Trump ambitions, he urged followers of his official State Department Twitter account to start following his personal one. While it’s not unusual for outgoing Cabinet members to publicize their successes, Pompeo has taken it a step further by trashing his predecessors in the national security community, some of whom will play prominent roles in President-elect Joe Biden's administration. “Remember this Middle East ‘expert?’ He said it couldn’t happen. We did it,” Pompeo said in a taunting tweet featuring a video clip of John Kerry saying Arab countries would not recognize Israel without an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. Kerry, a former secretary of state, will serve as climate envoy in the Biden administration. Already the most political of recent secretaries of state, Pompeo has bristled at even the mildest criticism and accused his critics of being misguided, unintelligent or incompetent. He has ignored the advice of his own advisers by forging ahead with pet projects, some of which seem designed to complicate Biden’s presidency. Since last Saturday, he has: —Rescinded long-standing restrictions on U.S. contacts with Taiwan, a move that's main result is to anger China. —Declared Yemen's Houthi rebels a terrorist organization, a step that the United Nations and relief agencies say could worsen what is already a humanitarian catastrophe. —Re-designated Cuba a “state sponsor of terrorism," an action that will impede or at least delay any attempt by Biden to improve ties with Havana. —Accused Iran of deep and longstanding ties with al-Qaida, a pronouncement that many in the intelligence community find overblown given a history of animosity between the two. The actions are in line with a tough “America First” policy that he has long espoused with gusto. He has attacked China, Iran, various U.N. organizations, multilateral institutions like the International Criminal Court, and bilateral treaties such as arms control accords with Russia, two of which the Trump administration has withdrawn from during his time as America’s top diplomat. On Iran, Pompeo has been particularly harsh, re-imposing all sanctions that had been eased by the Obama administration after the 2015 nuclear deal and adding more penalties. He also advocated for the killing of a top Iranian general in Iraq at the beginning of last year and has been at the forefront of an effort to encourage Sunni Arab states to unite against predominantly Shiite Iran. “The foreign policy blob constantly looks for a moderate inside the Iranian regime who will ‘normalize relations’, Pompeo said this week. “The reality is you have a better chance finding a unicorn.” Pompeo has made a sport out of trashing China, Cuba and international organizations, as well as Obama administration officials he believes were hopelessly naive in negotiating with them. “As the UN’s largest contributor, I put U.S. taxpayers and America’s interests first,” Pompeo tweeted on Monday. It was accompanied by a photo of former President Barack Obama, Kerry, Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice and Obama’s U.N Ambassador Samantha Power at the United Nations. Along with Kerry, Rice and Power have also been named to prominent positions in Biden’s administration. Yet for all the efforts to celebrate Trump administration foreign policy, Pompeo and the State Department have had minimal roles in some of the biggest areas, with the White House taking charge. That was most notable in what Trump supporters see as one of his top accomplishments, improving Israel's ties with its Arab neighbours. Led by Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, the administration relentlessly promoted Israeli-Arab peace efforts, culminating in agreements for the normalization of relations between the Jewish state and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco. Pompeo and the State Department were largely absent from that diplomacy, with the exception of Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, who reports mainly to the White House. Pompeo's State Department was effectively shut out of Kushner's much-talked-about Israeli-Palestinian peace "vision" — and the secretary of state was not present for the rollout of the economic part of the plan in Bahrain in 2019. Pompeo and other Cabinet members were present for the unveiling of the political piece of the proposal last January, yet his role in creating the plan, which was immediately rejected by the Palestinians, is murky. On Thursday, Pompeo lauded Trump's March 2019 decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which it captured from Syria in 1967. He tweeted a video of himself and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking at Netanyahu's residence in Jerusalem that night with the caption: “I’ll never forget this moment.” Yet he and his delegation had been out of the loop on the timing of the Golan Heights decision, which Trump made after consulting with Kushner just minutes before Pompeo was to meet with Netanyahu. Similarly, the State Department took a backseat in Kushner's negotiations to get Morocco to normalize ties with Israel, which involved U.S. recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over the former Spanish territory of Western Sahara. Pompeo did void a decades-old U.S. legal opinion regarding the legality of Jewish settlements on land claimed by the Palestinians. On his last visit to Israel in November, Pompeo became the first secretary of state to visit a settlement and on Thursday proudly promoted a West Bank wine named after him. “L’Chaim to Pompeo wine!” Pompeo said on Twitter. Matthew Lee, The Associated Press