log in
U.S.|Photos From an Inauguration Day Like No OtherCredit...Chang W. Lee/The New York Timesthe 46th PresidentPresident Biden and his inner circle wanted the ceremony to take place outside the Capitol as usual to show Americans and the world that democracy would endure despite attempts to upend it.Credit...Chang W. Lee/The New York TimesJan. 20, 2021Updated 10:49 p.m. ETThe threat of the coronavirus pandemic and fears of a recurrence of the violence that rocked the Capitol two weeks ago combined to give President Biden’s swearing-in on Wednesday a look and feel like no previous inauguration.Instead of throngs of celebrating well-wishers crowding the Capitol and adjacent areas, the grounds were cut off by what had to be the most intense security ever for the event. Streets were barricaded for blocks in all directions, thousands of National Guard troops flooded the Capitol grounds for additional protection, and military vehicles were conspicuous.To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Biden inauguration planners imposed strict testing and social distancing requirements for the ceremony. As a result, the usually crowded inaugural platform was reserved for the main participants themselves. Lawmakers and other dignitaries were relegated to carefully spaced seats in front of the platform.But Mr. Biden and his inner circle believed it was essential for the ceremony to take place as usual outside the West Front of the Capitol — an area overrun by a violent mob two weeks earlier — to show the American public and the world that democracy would endure in the face of even the most strident attempts to upend it.6:52 A.M.ImageCredit...Jason Andrew for The New York TimesImageCredit...Chang W. Lee/The New York TimesImageCredit...Erin Schaff/The New York TimesImageCredit...Kenny Holston for The New York Times8:12 a.m.President Donald J. Trump departs the White HouseImageCredit...Anna Moneymaker for The New York TimesPresident Donald J. Trump and his wife, Melania Trump, left the White House early in the morning. Aides walked out with boxes, and a moving truck was parked on the grounds. Mr. Trump gave a farewell speech at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland before flying to Florida on Air Force One for the last time, saying in remarks before the flight, “Have a good life. We will see you soon.”ImageCredit...Anna Moneymaker for The New York TimesImageCredit...Pete Marovich for The New York TimesImageCredit...Pete Marovich for The New York Times8:51 A.M.The president-elect attends MassImageCredit...Doug Mills/The New York TimesMr. Biden attended a Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington before the inauguration ceremony, along with Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader; Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other congressional leaders. The National Mall was closed to visitors for security reasons.ImageCredit...Jason Andrew for The New York TimesImageCredit...Jason Andrew for The New York TimesImageCredit...Kenny Holston for The New York Times10:29 a.m.The incoming administration arrives at the CapitolImageCredit...Amr Alfiky/The New York TimesMr. Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and their families were greeted by Senat
(read more)
MENDON, N.Y. (AP) — Three National Guard members on a training flight were killed Wednesday when their helicopter crashed in a farmer's field in western New York. The craft, a UH-60 Black Hawk medical evacuation helicopter, crashed around 6:30 p.m. in Mendon, New York, a rural town south of Rochester, officials said. The circumstances were under investigation. The Federal Aviation Administration said it would take part. Photos of the crash scene posted by local news media showed the aircraft wreckage burning on a snow-covered field. The helicopter flew out of the Army Aviation Support Facil
(read more)
Rachel Humphreys talks to the Guardian columnist Hadley Freeman about the television show Sex and the City. Last week, the US streaming service HBO Max announced that the series would be returning, under a new title of And Just Like That ... and will feature the original stars, apart from Kim Cattrall. Hadley tells Rachel why she thinks the original show was such a huge success – offering a potent mix of escapism with serious, well-written plot lines that she feels sing with “emotional truth”. Hadley notes that SATC is often singled out for criticism over its lack of diversity while oth
(read more)
The Biden administration announced that, starting Thursday, it will no longer enroll asylum seekers newly arriving on the southern border in a Trump-era program that has forced tens of thousands to wait in Mexico for a chance to obtain protection in the United States. The Homeland Security Department urged anyone currently enrolled in the program, known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) or colloquially as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, to “remain where they are, pending further official information from U.S. government officials.” The agency also advised that migrants now en route to the US will not be eligible for a path to citizenship under the ambitious immigration reform proposal that Biden sent to Congress earlier in the day — an apparent attempt to dissuade them from rushing to the border. (Only those present in the US on January 1, 2021, would be eligible.) More than 67,000 migrants are currently enrolled, or were previously subject to the program, a number of whom continue to wait in encampments along the US-Mexico border to be called in for their court dates in the US. Before the pandemic, asylum seekers would often have to wait months for a hearing. But in March, the Trump administration suspended all their hearings indefinitely on account of the Covid-19 pandemic. Wednesday’s announcement, which came alongside a flurry of immigration-related executive orders and the bill sent to Congress, is a signal that the Biden administration is rapidly seeking to undo the Trump administration’s restrictionist policies on the border. The Remain in Mexico program was one of many interlocking policies that, together, made obtaining asylum and other humanitarian protections next to impossible. Already, the new Biden administration policy has given hope to people subject to MPP who have been waiting in Mexican border cities, where they remain at risk for extortion, kidnapping, and rape at the hands of cartels and other criminal actors. Some have found housing in shelters, hotels, or rooms for rent. But for others, only colorful tents and tarps stand between them and the elements. They continue to rely on volunteers for basic necessities and medical care. However, although the Biden administration is no longer processing new enrollees in the program, it remains unclear what will happen to people who are already in the program. “We a
(read more)
At the end of Sean Spicer’s debut press briefing at the dawn of the Donald Trump presidency, a journalist remarked to me: “I feel like I’m back at school.” I replied: “I feel like I’m back in Zimbabwe,” alluding to my days as an Africa correspondent reporting on the autocratic Robert Mugabe.Four years on, Jen Psaki delivered the first briefing of Joe Biden’s administration from the same lectern in the same room. Spicer redux it was not.Just compare their remarks about the press. “Some members of the media were engaged in deliberately false reporting,” Spicer scowled in reference to Trump’s inauguration, adding darkly: “We’re going to hold the press accountable.”Psaki, by contrast, began the new era with a smile: “It’s an honour to be here with all of you. When the president asked me to serve in this role, we talked about the importance of bringing truth and transparency back to the briefing room.”Later she added: “I have deep respect for the role of a free and independent press in our democracy.”The 42-year-old’s maiden briefing on Wednesday was radical in its normality and startling in its civility. Polished and professional, she arrived wearing a mask, breaking from Trump tradition, and told a dozen physically distanced reporters: “There will be moments when we disagree, and there will certainly be days where we disagree for extensive parts of the briefing even, perhaps. But we have a common goal, which is sharing accurate information with the American people.”Even chalk and cheese, even matter and antimatter have more in common than this tone and the president who railed against “fake news” and “the enemy of the people”.Spicer, who once claimed that Adolf Hitler never used chemical weapons, was succeeded by Sarah Sanders, who was caught in a lie about the firing of FBI director James Comey. Then there was Stephanie Grisham, who never held a briefing, so that the lectern literally gathered dust, and finally Kayleigh McEnany, who ended each briefing with a made-for-Fox-News takedown of the media.Was it, after all, just a dream? Now comes Psaki, a veteran of Barack Obama’s White House and state department, instantly turning the clock back to the norms – things like facts, science and not yelling insults at reporters – of that era. For a Doctor Who fan it would be like getting your favorite Doctor back after four regenerations really went off the rails.There was some poetic justice in this. In a memorable photo from 9 November 2016, members of White House staff look shellshocked as Obama talks to them in the rose garden about Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton. Psaki is at the centre of the picture, looking ashen-faced. Now the circle has turned.Whereas Spicer merely delivered a tirade on his debut – falsely claiming that Trump had the biggest-ever inauguration crowd – and took no questions, Psaki lingered for half an hour and fielded many. Some of the first came from Peter Alexander of NBC News, whom Trump once branded “a terrible reporter” in this room for daring to ask him about the coronavirus.Speaking of the virus, there was no happy talk of injecting disinfectant, roun
(read more)
Journalists, viewers and critics celebrated a return to normality on Wednesday as the new White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, delivered a briefing free of lies, insults and boasts about crowd size. Highlighting the importance of “bringing truth and transparency back to the briefing room” in President Joe Biden’s administration, Psaki noted that “there will be times where we see things differently in this room … that’s OK. That’s part of our democracy, and rebuilding trust with the American people will be central to our focus in the press office and in the White House every single day.” She was asked questions and answered them. She didn’t attack the press. She pledged daily briefings. All in all, it was a relatively normal process, but it stood in marked contrast to the scenes Americans have grown accustomed to over the past four years from a rotating cast of press secretaries under former President Donald Trump. Some of his press secretaries went weeks or months without holding a briefing. Zeke Miller gets the first question during a Biden-era press briefing. It's about whether Jen Psaki sees her role as "promoting the interests of the president or are you here to provide truth." Psaki replies by saying she respects the media. No insults. No meltdowns. pic.twitter.com/J3ADgL9uuT— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 21, 2021 Several people contrasted Psaki’s debut with that of Sean Spicer, Trump’s first press secretary, who claimed falsely in his first official briefing that Trump had “the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration.” Former senior White House counselor Kellyanne Conway defended him by saying there were “alternative facts.” As some viewers commented Wednesday, if CJ Cregg ― the beloved press secretary character in the “West Wing” TV series ― is trending on Twitter after your first briefing, you must be doing something right. President Biden press secretary Jen Psaki is a real life reincarnation of CJ Cregg of West Wing television series fame. Impressive start. Personable, professional, factual. Been a while since we've seen that in the White House press briefing room.— Don Martin (@DonMartinCTV) January 21, 2021 CJ Cregg vibes. What a pro. https://t.co/zrCsE2GQ4k— Allie Wright (@AllieWright11) January 21, 2021 Such a contrast between Jen Psaki’s debut and Sean Spicer’s crowd size rant four years ago. Spicer’s comments set the tone for four years of falsehoods and worse. Did Psaki’s first appearance set the tone for the next 4-8 years? pic.twitter.com/M8y5uhjjJa— James Hohmann (@jameshohmann) January 21, 2021 Press Secretary Jen Psaki: "I'd love to take your questions."— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 21, 2021 You know you did a good job at your first presser as Press Sec. when CJ Cregg trends immediately following— Joy | ted lasso fyc (@oharasemmys) January 21, 2021 Jen Psaki is blowing me away.— Mary L Trump (@MaryLTrump) January 21, 2021 Watching @jrpsaki at the podium is just reassuring! Alternate facts are no longer welcome at the WH podium!— Karen Finney (@finneyk) January 21, 2021 I can hear CJ Cregg saying this. https://t.co/Jk9
(read more)
New York|3 Die in National Guard Helicopter Crash Near RochesterThe helicopter, which was on a routine training mission, crashed in a field. The cause of the accident is under investigation.Credit...Ryan Koller, via 13WHAMJan. 20, 2021Updated 9:56 p.m. ETA New York Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopter on a routine training mission crashed in a rural area south of Rochester on Wednesday evening, leaving three Guard members dead, the authorities said.It was not immediately clear what caused the aircraft, a UH-60 medical evacuation helicopter, to crash. Sheriff Todd K. Baxter of Monroe County said at a news conference on Wednesday night that people had called 911 and reported seeing a heli
(read more)
Joe Biden’s declaration in his inauguration speech that democracy was the real winner of the presidential election has been used by many newspapers to mark his accession to the Oval Office.Along with several other titles, the Guardian employs a poster front page featuring a picture of the president making his speech on the steps of the Capitol alongside the headline: “Democracy has prevailed”.The normally typographically conservative Financial Times also goes with a huge picture of Biden and the same headline.The Scotsman’s front page is one picture of Biden and it splashes a longer excerpt of the same part of the new president’s speech. “Democracy is precious. Democracy is fragi
(read more)
U.S.|Scorning Biden, protesters in Portland, Ore., and Seattle called for more radical change.Jan. 20, 2021, 7:00 p.m. ETJan. 20, 2021, 7:00 p.m. ETMike Baker and Hallie GoldenCredit...Lindsey Wasson/ReutersIn Portland, Ore., and Seattle, protesters marched through the downtown areas on Wednesday carrying signs opposing the police, immigration authorities and government in general, and some people in each city vandalized buildings symbolizing institutional power.In Portland, about 200 people clad in black marched to the local Democratic headquarters, where some of them smashed windows and tipped over garbage containers, lighting the contents of one on fire.Those who took to the streets on We
(read more)
Books|A Boy Who Bonded With Biden Over Stuttering Will Write a Children’s BookBrayden Harrington, 13, who spoke at the Democratic National Convention, will write a picture book, “Brayden Speaks Up,” HarperCollins announced.Credit...Andrew Harnik/Associated PressJan. 20, 2021Updated 8:56 p.m. ETThey bonded nearly a year ago after Joseph R. Biden Jr. bent down to greet Brayden Harrington, a 13-year-old boy who stutters, at a campaign stop in New Hampshire.“Don’t let it define you,” Mr. Biden said, squeezing Brayden’s shoulder and looking him in the eye. “You are smart as hell.”Months later, Brayden spoke at the Democratic National Convention, a remarkable display of bravery a
(read more)
The first press briefing by Biden administration press secretary Jen Psaki highlighted how much changed overnight in the White House. There were no angry outbursts. No insults. No conspiracy theories pushed from the briefing room lectern. Just civil, if largely unmemorable, exchanges with reporters. That Psaki didn’t break a lot of policy news is understandable, given that she just started at her job hours earlier. What was significant, however, is the approach she took toward reporters. “I have deep respect for the role of a free and independent press in our democracy, and for the role all of you play,” Psaki, who was a State Department spokesperson in the Obama years, said in resp
(read more)
White House press secretary Jen Psaki brushed dust off the podium in the briefing room on Wednesday evening, holding the first press conference of the Biden era just hours after he was inaugurated as the 46th president. “When the president asked me to serve in this role, we talked about the importance of bringing truth and transparency back to the briefing room,” Psaki said of President Joe Biden. “There will be times where we see things differently in this room … that’s OK. That’s part of our democracy, and rebuilding trust with the American people will be central to our focus in the press office and in the White House every single day.” The press briefing, a normal feature o
(read more)
Read: A sermon in America’s civic religionAfter all, despite Trump’s gilded decorative tastes, the last inauguration was a bleak nightmare defined by the word carnage and the groans of 3 Doors Down. By contrast, the 2021 inauguration might persist in the public memory as a whirl of fun fashions: the regal purple of the coat swishing around Kamala Harris; the dusk-hour burgundy of Michelle Obama’s pantsuit; the kitschy zigzags of Bernie Sanders’s mittens; the craftwork sparkles on Ella Emhoff’s shoulders; the glimpse of Dior sneakers behind Amy Klobuchar as she speechified. The event was a musical extravaganza too. Americans know the songs of their patriotic canon plenty well, but they haven’t often heard those songs performed quite like they were performed today. The arts-and-culture establishment—which largely sat out Trump-era ceremonies in protest—was back to flaunt its repressed ridiculousness.Saul Loeb/Pool via REUTERSCertainly, any expectations that Lady Gaga would forgo gonzo excess for this sacred gig vanished as soon as she toddled out to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Gaga wanted to give America a feast: She’d braided her hair in the manner of a black-and-white challah; she wore a pouf dress that recalled a red-velvet cupcake; she sported a dove-shaped brooch as enormous as a Chipotle tortilla. (The dove itself snacked on an olive branch.) She then rendered the national anthem in the style of Richard Wagner’s Valkyries, which is really to say in Gaga’s own “Bad Romance” style: guttural, glamorous, serious, silly. When she got to the lyric “our flag was still there,” she turned around and belted to the American flag itself. One might call that maneuver preposterous in any other year, but was it not true that this particular flag persisted through a recent battle to tear it down? For Gaga to bellow any less ferociously, without such tearful commitment, would have been an abdication of duty.Jennifer Lopez’s performance was, by contrast, a feat of musical restraint—at least for a bit. Singing with a delicate tone, she reworked the cadence of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land”—a collectivist anthem writt
(read more)
Whether or not related to the absence of former President Donald J. Trump, a bipartisan lightness seemed to prevail across the inaugural stage.Credit...Amr Alfiky/The New York TimesJan. 20, 2021, 8:01 p.m. ET“This is a great nation. We are good people,” Mr. Biden said, speaking in simple goals, sounding almost plaintive at times in his 21-minute address. “We can see each other not as adversaries but as neighbors.” He called upon a nation of citizens to renew its vows of dignity, respect and common purpose.“We can join forces, stop the shouting and lower the temperature,” Mr. Biden said.Mr. Biden’s words did not so much ring triumphant as they conjured a sense of respite. The center had held and the system had survived, at least this time. “On this hallowed ground where just a few days ago violence sought to shake the capital’s very foundation,” the new president said, “we come together as one nation under God, indivisible, to carry out the peaceful transfer of power as we have for more than two centuries.”Shorter version: “Phew.”ImageCredit...Erin Schaff/The New York TimesImageCredit...Chang W. Lee/The New York TimesImageCredit...Ruth Fremson/The New York TimesThe ceremony was brisk both in temperature and in pace. No one shied away from the discord of
(read more)
Helicopters that have for decades taken to the skies of New Zealand every year to search for cannabis-growing operations will stay on the ground this year amid a shift in policing priorities.Light aircraft and helicopters have mounted aerial surveillance operations searching for the banned class C drug since the 1970s, but police now say their resources could be better deployed, particularly in the fight against methamphetamine, known locally as P.The cost of the annual surveillance operations is unknown, but is thought to be at least a million dollars a year.A police spokesperson said: “With the increased harm in many communities arising from other drugs, particularly methamphetamine, a one-size-fits-all annual aerial national cannabis operation no longer represents the most appropriate deployment of police resources,” the spokesperson said.“The decision to spread resources throughout the year, and increase surveillance focus on the drugs causing the greatest harm in the community, does not mean that police across the country will not investigate and prosecute people engaged in the commercial cultivation of cannabis.”The annual cannabis flights were increasingly contentious in New Zealand, with critics saying they were expensive and busts resulting from the flights were never made public.The opposition National party criticised the police’s decision to suspend the flights, saying “given the increase in gang activity and violence we’re seeing across the country, operations like cannabis eradication would be useful now more than ever”.Last year, New Zealanders voted on whether to legalise cannabis for recreational use, and returned a no vote by a slim margin.Cannabis is New Zealand’s most commonly used illicit drug, and the latest health survey found that 15% of New Zealand adults – equivalent to 590,000 people – had used cannabis in the past 12 months.Māori account for 16% of the population but are disproportionately affected by New Zealand’s drug laws, facing three times as many arrests and prosecutions for possession of cannabis as non-Māori.Prof Papaarangi Reid, the head of the department of Māori health at the University of Aucklan
(read more)
Sen. Bernie Sanders’s presence at President Joe Biden’s inauguration did more than signal his support of Biden after a hard-fought 2020 presidential campaign. It proved that while Biden may have triumphed as the “relatable Everyman” from coast to coast, Bernie remains the “relatable Everyman” of the internet. Clad in a bulky brown overcoat (immortalized in the “I Am Once Again Asking You” campaign video), Bernie spawned memes that proliferated across social media throughout Inauguration Day. He did so purely by showing up and being himself — looking kinda cranky, dressed-down, tired, and world-weary. Basically, he encapsulated many Americans’ moods after the cascading horrors of 2020 and the first few weeks of 2021. Particularly compelling to meme-makers was one photo of Sanders sitting huddled on his socially distanced chair at Biden’s swearing-in ceremony, looking like he’d claimed his spot and was ready to tailgate for the foreseeable future. (Tanglewood is a famous Massachusetts performing arts venue and festival, a favorite destination of classical music lovers and other arty types.) Sanders’s pandemic-appropriate isolation, his patterned brown mittens, and his vaguely dissatisfied, “old man yells at capitalism” expression — only partially visible above his surgical mask — combined to produce the meme of the day. Bernie sitting in his chair quickly came to stand in for the audience watching along at home. Look, Sanders is a vocal progressive in comfortable clothing who’s fed up with centrist politics — just like so many of the people who tuned in to see Biden take the oath of office and become America’s 46th president. That same relatability had previously been a huge asset during the 2020 Democratic primary, when Sanders’s campaign resonated deeply with large communities of left-wing viewers. Something about the image of Sanders earnestly asking for votes, Notting Hill-style, while clad in unassuming, unpretentious earth tones made the resulting “I am once again asking you” meme a hit with millennials, Gen Z-ers, and Extremely Online people across the political spectrum. Even if you didn’t agree wit
(read more)
Lots of things are better than a colorful president.Jan. 20, 2021, 7:56 p.m. ETCredit...Pete Marovich for The New York TimesI don’t know how Donald Trump was imagining his inauguration morning departure from Washington. Sure, he managed to fly out of town on Air Force One — still president! — but it was a pretty pathetic send-off for a guy who spent his whole political career bragging about the size of his crowds.Close to depressing, actually. Mike Pence and Mitch McConnell weren’t there to wave goodbye — too busy preparing to hang out with Joe Biden on Capitol Hill. A very modest cluster of supporters arrived and cheered when he promised, “We will be back in some form.”Feel free to imagine the new Trump form. None of the ones that come to mind would be very pleasant, althoug
(read more)
As Joe Biden sat down the Oval Office on Wednesday, just hours after being sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, it was clear more had changed in the room than the administration.Biden revealed some new decor as he invited reporters into his new office to watch him sign a stack of executive orders.Donald Trump’s portrait of Andrew Jackson – the censured and fellow populist 19th-century president – was replaced with Benjamin Franklin, meant to signal Biden’s interest in science, according to the Washington Post. Other intentional changes include a portrait of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and paired paintings of Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton – representing two people with vastly differing ideologies who worked together.Biden signs his first executive orders i
(read more)
On his first day in office, President Joe Biden issued an executive order strengthening anti-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ community, marking a quick turnaround from Trump administration policy. Under the new executive guidance, federal agencies are to assume that laws forbidding discrimination apply to sexual orientation and gender identity, not just race, religion, sex and national origin. The measure was part of a slew of orders Biden signed shortly after his swearing-in, as both a substantive and a symbolic rebuke of the Trump era. The order suggests that enforcement agencies under Biden will be open to pursuing discrimination complaints on behalf of LGBTQ people in a way the Trump administration was not. The Human Rights Campaign called it “the most substantive, wide-ranging executive order concerning sexual orientation and gender identity” ever issued by a U.S. president. “Today, millions of Americans can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that their President and their government believe discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is not only intolerable but illegal,” the advocacy group’s president, Alphonso David, said in a statement.
(read more)
Mind|Is Mask-Slipping the New Manspreading?Something about some men just makes it difficult to keep that mask where it should be.Credit...Getty ImagesJan. 20, 2021, 7:44 p.m. ETWhen I saw Bill Clinton’s mask slip below his nose during the inaugural festivities, I figured, well, it could happen to any of us.But then John Roberts’s mask was not entirely covering his nose at different points.ImageCredit...Getty ImagesAnd even Barack Obama’s mask dipped below the tip of his nose at one point.A couple months back, then-President Trump’s economic adviser Larry Kudlow was spotted outside the West Wing with his mask down.ImageCredit...Getty ImagesI realized it’s not a Democratic thing. Or a Republican thing. Or an inaugural thing.It’s a male thing. It’s like manspreading, but with masks. Call it manslipping.Experts continually remind us that to protect ourselves and others against the coronavirus, a mask should cover your face, from the bridge of your nose to under your chin. But too many of us are letting our masks slip.Women wear masks too, and of course they sometimes slip. But I see a lot more man slippage. I see it not only in news coverage, but in grocery stores and on the street.It’s not all men, of course. But then, not all men take up two or three subway seats. Something about some men seems to make it difficult to keep that mask where it should be.Could it be that male noses are just so big that they can’t accommodate masks? Remember the various dubious anatomical explanations for manspreading? That can’t be it, because a lot of doctors are male, and doctors, although they might sit wide on the subway, actually know what viruses do, and they get a ch
(read more)
7.45pm EST 19:45 Treating severely ill Covid-19 patients with the arthritis drug tocilizumab has no clinical benefit, according to the results of a trial stopped early due to an increase in deaths among those receiving it, AFP reports: The trial, published Thursday in the BMJ medical journal, appeared to contradict earlier studies in which tocilizumab seemed to show promise in reducing the length of hospital stays for some patients. The drug, a common treatment for arthritis, blocks a specific part of the body’s immune system that can go into overdrive in serious and critical Covid-19 cases. It had been hoped that the treatment could help to tamp down some of the more extreme inflammatory responses that can lead to death. Researchers in Brazil conducted a randomised control trial among 129 patients with confirmed Covid-19 at nine hospitals. 7.24pm EST 19:24 Joe Biden signs executive orders on pandemic Sam Levine Joe Biden has marked the start of his presidency by signing a flurry of executive orders on a suite of issues, including Covid-19, the environment, immigration and ethics. Some of the executive actions undo significant actions from Donald Trump’s administration, including halting the travel ban from Muslim-majority countries, and ending the declaration of a national emergency used to justify funding construction of a wall on the US-Mexico border. He also signed an order allowing the United States to rejoin the Paris climate agreement
(read more)
U.S.|A.S.L. Interpreter Who Gave Coronavirus Updates Dies of Covid-19 ComplicationsPatty Sakal worked as an interpreter in Hawaii for nearly 40 years before her death on Jan. 15.Credit...via Sakal familyJan. 20, 2021, 7:42 p.m. ETPatty Sakal, an American Sign Language interpreter who translated updates about the coronavirus for deaf Hawaiians, died on Friday of complications related to Covid-19. She was 62.Ms. Sakal, who lived in Honolulu, died at Alvarado Hospital Medical Center in San Diego, where she had gone last month to visit one of her daughters, according to Ms. Sakal’s sister, Lorna
(read more)
Credit...Damon Winter/The New York TimesOpinionThe new president called for comity. Can the country heed it?Credit...Damon Winter/The New York TimesThe Editorial BoardThe editorial board is a group of opinion journalists whose views are informed by expertise, research, debate and certain longstanding values. It is separate from the newsroom.Jan. 20, 2021Joe Biden began his presidency on Wednesday with the same animating philosophy that guided his campaign: The center can hold.That’s a big wager. American society is more brittle now than it has been in years. It is unequal, unhealthy and poli
(read more)
As President Joe Biden was sworn into office Wednesday, a uniformed man was seen paying silent tribute at the grave of Biden’s son Beau.  Delaware News Journal reporter Patricia Talorico captured the poignant image, showing the man kneeling with head bowed by Beau Biden’s grave at St. Joseph on the Brandywine church in Greenville, Delaware. Talorico, who writes primarily about food, said she was on an assignment to see how Delaware was commemorating the incoming administration when she spotted the man. At the same time, she had her car radio set to CNN and noted that Biden was about t
(read more)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Three new senators were sworn into office Wednesday after President Joe Biden's inauguration, securing the majority for Democrats in the Senate and across a unified government to tackle the new president's agenda at a time of unprecedented national challenges. In a first vote, the Senate confirmed Biden's nominee for Director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines. Senators worked into the evening and overcame some Republican opposition to approve his first Cabinet member, in what's traditionally a show of good faith on Inauguration Day to confirm at least some nominees for a new president's administration. Haines, a former CIA deputy director, will become a core member of Biden’s security team, overseeing the 18 agencies that make up the nation’s intelligence com
(read more)
Newly inaugurated President Joe Biden on Wednesday extended moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures during the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring that millions of Americans can stay in their homes during the global health crisis.  Biden’s press secretary Jen Psaki announced that the president will work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to extend the federal eviction moratorium though March 31. Additionally, he will work with the Departments of Veterans Affairs, Agriculture, and Housing and Urban Development to extend the foreclosure moratoriums through March 31.  “The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an almost unprecedented housing affordability crisis,” Psaki said during a White House briefing on Wednesday evening. Biden “took immediate action to confront th
(read more)
Revenues for the Trump Organization fell nearly 38 percent in 2020 as the coronavirus took a steep toll on the hospitality industry. Mar-a-Lago was a bright spot.Credit...Scott McIntyre for The New York TimesJan. 20, 2021, 7:22 p.m. ETOver the past year, former President Donald J. Trump’s family business suffered steep declines in revenue as the pandemic upended the nation’s hospitality industry, according to a financial disclosure report released hours after Mr. Trump departed office on Wednesday.The report detailed a revenue drop of more than 40 percent at Mr. Trump’s Doral golf club outside Miami, and a 63 percent decline at his signature hotel in Washington, just blocks from the White House. All told, the Trump Organization declared revenue of at least $278 million in 2020 and th
(read more)
As he promised, President Joe Biden spent the first day of his term walking back Donald Trump’s legacy and establishing a new order through a flurry of executive actions.  He signed 17 in total, more than half of which reversed a Trump-era policy. Here is the full list: The “100 Days Masking Challenge” In a 180-degree pivot from Trump’s dismissal of the most basic coronavirus safety measures, Biden is asking all Americans to commit to 100 days of mask-wearing. While Biden doesn’t have the power to mandate such a thing at the state or local level, this executive action will require masks and social distancing in all federal buildings and lands and by all federal contractors. Stopping the withdrawal from WHO Biden is halting the U.S. withdrawal from the World Health Organization,
(read more)
The old maxim that ‘no good deed goes unpunished’ appeared to be proved true once more on Wednesday when, a week after allowing itself to be used as a Covid-19 vaccination centre, Newbury racecourse was subjected to strongly worded criticism on social media for a one-day return to its day job. Course officials insisted that the NHS had planned around the track’s long-established fixture list and that the racing which took place here on Wednesday did not cause a delay to the vaccination process but hecklers on Twitter appeared reluctant to accept that point.In an apparent attempt to please everyone, Newbury has now sought permission from the sport’s ruling body to allow vaccinations to continue in one of the grandstands on the site on days when racing is taking place. Its next fixtu
(read more)
President Joe Biden rescinded former President Donald Trump’s travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries, fulfilling his pledge to Muslim and immigrant advocacy groups and allowing families to reunite in the U.S. after years apart.  The executive order was among many signed on Wednesday, his first day in office. Nearly four years ago, Trump issued an executive order limiting entry for people from seven Muslim-majority nations, a follow-up to his campaign promise of “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” After Trump signed his order, thousands of people went to airports across the country to protest the ban, calling it discriminatory. The original ban was challenged repeatedly in federal court, but the Supreme Court ultimately upheld a tweaked ve
(read more)
Vice President Kamala Harris’s husband has to define the job to suit himself — and to alter perceptions of the high-profile political spouse.Credit...Erin Schaff/The New York TimesJan. 20, 2021, 7:08 p.m. ETWASHINGTON — Douglas Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris and the first second gentleman, visited the Library of Congress this month for what he called some “homework” on his new role. He learned of the story from a century ago of Lois Marshall, then the second lady in a Democratic administration, and Grace Coolidge, the incoming second lady in a Republican administration.Mrs. Coolidge was nervous on her way to Washington, unfamiliar with the city and its culture. But Mrs. Marshall was there to greet her at the train station when she arrived, said Meg McAleer, a
(read more)
The president also canceled the Keystone XL pipeline and ordered federal agencies to begin the process of reinstating environmental regulations reversed under the Trump administration.Credit...Doug Mills/The New York TimesJan. 20, 2021Updated 7:06 p.m. ETWASHINGTON — President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Wednesday recommitted the United States to the Paris climate agreement, the international accord designed to avert catastrophic global warming, and ordered federal agencies to start reviewing and reinstating more than 100 environmental regulations that were weakened or rolled back by former President Donald J. Trump.The moves represent a first step in healing one of the deepest rifts between the United States and the rest of the world after Mr. Trump defiantly rejected the Paris pact and seem
(read more)
Shortly before Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, Dave Hayes – a longtime QAnon influencer who goes by the name Praying Medic – posted a photo of dark storm clouds gathering over the US Capitol on the rightwing social media platform Gab. “What a beautiful black sky,” he wrote to his 92,000 followers, appending a thunderclap emoji.The message was clear to those well-versed in QAnon lore: “the Storm” – the day of reckoning when Donald Trump and his faithful allies in the military would declare martial law, round up all their many political enemies, and send them to Guantánamo Bay for execution by hanging – was finally here. 20 January 2021 wouldn’t mark the end of Trump’s presidency, but the beginning of “the Great Awakening”.Instead,
(read more)
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday became the first Jewish Senate majority leader and the highest-ranking Jewish elected official in U.S. history. Addressing the Senate for the first time as majority leader, Schumer appeared briefly overwhelmed and took a moment to collect himself. “I need to catch my breath. So much has happened,” he said. Schumer, who first won election to the House of Representatives in 1980, has served in the Senate since January 1999. He was chosen minority leader by his fellow Democrats in 2016 to replace Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who did not seek reelection. “Today, the threat to our democracy from the presidency itself has ended, but the challenges we face as a nation remain,” Schumer said in a floor speech after Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were swor
(read more)
Credit...Jason Andrew for The New York Times“I feel lighter,” said a woman in Chicago. For many in an exhausted, divided nation, the inauguration was a sea change, not just a transition.Credit...Jason Andrew for The New York TimesJan. 20, 2021, 7:01 p.m. ETEarly Inauguration Day morning, she slipped into her pandemic-era work clothes of gray sweatpants and white shirt and ground the beans. Then, with her mug of coffee, she watched on her kitchen television as the green-and-white helicopter took air, removing from the White House grounds the outgoing 45th president of the United States, Donald J. Trump.In that kitchen, in a brick Colonial house in Watertown, Mass., tears came to the eyes of the woman, Karolyn Kurkjian-Jones. Tears of unabashed joy.“It’s over, it’s over, it’s ove
(read more)
A surge in coronavirus cases and game postponements has led to tighter rules about player interactions, on and off the court. But it’s not always clear where the outbreaks began.Credit...Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports, via ReutersJan. 20, 2021, 6:59 p.m. ETLast Tuesday, the N.B.A. and its players’ union tightened their coronavirus protocols — mandating that players spend at least the next two weeks almost exclusively at home or at their hotels on the road when not playing basketball.Three days later, the Washington Wizards held a news conference saying that six of their players had tested positive for the coronavirus and that the team did not have enough players to practice. That same day, Karl-Anthony Towns, the Minnesota Timberwolves star whose mother died of Covid-19, said that he,
(read more)
THULASENDRAPURAM, India (AP) — Residents of a tiny Indian village surrounded by rice paddies flocked to a Hindu temple, setting off firecrackers and praying and as they watched Kamala Harris, who has strong roots to the village, take her oath of office and become the U.S. vice president on Wednesday. Groups of women in bright saris and men wearing white dhoti pants watched the inauguration live as reporters broadcast the villager’s celebrations to millions of Indians. The villagers chanted “Long live Kamala Harris” while holding portraits of her and blasted off fireworks the moment she took the oath. Earlier, the villages adorned their temple with flowers, offering special prayers for Harris’ success. Her maternal grandfather was born in the village of Thulasendrapuram, about 350 kilometers (215 miles) from the southern coastal city of Chennai. “We are feeling very proud that an Indian is being elected as the vice president of America,” said teacher Anukampa Madhavasimhan. At the prayer ceremony in Thulasendrapuram, the idol of Hindu deity Ayyanar, a form of Lord Shiva, was washed with milk and decked with flowers by a priest. Then the village reverberated with the sound firecrackers as people held up posters of Harris and clapped their hands. Harris made history Wednesday as the first Black, South Asian and female U.S. vice president and what made her special for the village is is her Indian heritage. Harris’ grandfather was born more than 100 years ago. Many decades later, he moved to Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu state. Harris’ late mother was also born in India, before moving to the U.S. to study at the University of California. She marri
(read more)
Here’s what you need to know at the end of Inauguration Day.Jan. 20, 2021Updated 6:44 p.m. ET(Want to get this newsletter in your inbox? Here’s the sign-up.) Good evening. Here’s the latest.ImageCredit...Erin Schaff/The New York TimesNumber 46.Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. became the 46th president of the United States, promising to move the nation forward on a path of unity.“Democracy has prevailed,” President Biden said during a sober, no-surprises inaugural event. At 78, he is the oldest president in the country’s history.ImageCredit...Chang W. Lee/The New York TimesImageCredit...Pool photo by Saul LoebMs. Harris’s ascension makes her the first woman, first Black American and first person of South Asian descent to be vice president. She is now the highest-ranking woman in U.S. history.“Don’t tell me things can’t change,” Mr. Biden said in his speech.The inauguration marked the return of pomp and circumstance to Capitol Hill, just two weeks after a pro-Trump mob attacked the building. The newly installed president and vice president stood before the very entrance where insurrectionists stormed the building.ImageCredit...Chang W. Lee/The New York Times The 59th inaugural festivities were anything but normal. The departing president did not attend; attendance was limited and seats were well spaced; and Washington looked like an armed camp, with some 25,000 National Guard troops joining thousands of police officers, and a wide swath of downtown blocked off amid fears of further violence.ImageCredit...Jason Andrew for The New York TimesThe right-wing protests that law enforcement had prepared for were not in evidence. And while former President Donald Tru
(read more)
Unilever has said it will tackle advertising stereotypes and work with more businesses run by women and other under-represented groups as part of a wider inclusivity drive.The FTSE 100 company, which is behind household names such as Dove soap, Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream and Marmite, said it planned to use the might of its brands, coupled with its advertising spending power as one of the world’s biggest to make a difference.Dave Ingram, its chief procurement officer, said Unilever had set a target of spending €2bn (£1.8bn) a year with companies owned and managed by women, under-represented minority ethnic groups, people with disabilities and the LGBTQI+ community by 2025.That figure compares with €300m today, Ingram said. Theinitiative is backed up by a development fund to help entrepreneurs finding their feet.Unilever will also increase the number of advertisements that feature or are created by people from diverse groups. The move would “help tackle the prevalence of stereotypes that are often perpetuated through advertising, and promote a more inclusive representation of people”, it said.The pandemic has had a dramatic effect on the world of work, with the £115bn company – the second most valuable business on the London Stock Exchange – looking to develop new employment models.Alan Jope, Unilever’s chief executive, recently announced that the company’s office workers would never return to their desks five days a week. While in New Zealand its staff are trialling a four-day week after a number of smaller firms found it helped productivity and employees’ wellbeing.Business Today email sign upThe new employment ideas include flexible contracts with benefits, such as pension plans, and giving staff time off work to study. It hopes the approach will foster openness and adaptability, and also resilience, in its workforce.“We’re finding that younger people want flexibility,” said Ingram. “They don’t want to sit in an office five days a week and want different ways of being involved in teams. One of the fundamental elements of the new employment model is how do we have a less of a traditional organisational approach to work.”Unilever
(read more)
U.S.|Biden’s 17 Executive Orders and Other Directives in DetailThe moves aim to strengthen protections for young immigrants, end construction of President Donald J. Trump’s border wall, end a travel ban and prioritize racial equity.Credit...Doug Mills/The New York TimesJan. 20, 2021, 6:42 p.m. ETWASHINGTON — In 17 executive orders, memorandums and proclamations signed hours after his inauguration, President Biden moved swiftly on Wednesday to dismantle Trump administration policies his aides said have caused the “greatest damage” to the nation.Despite an inaugural address that called for unity and compromise, Mr. Biden’s first actions as president are sharply aimed at sweeping aside former President Donald J. Trump’s pandemic response, reversing his environmental agenda, tearing down his anti-immigration policies, bolstering the teetering economic recovery and restoring federal efforts to promote diversity.Here’s a look at what the measures aim to accomplish.On the PandemicMr. Biden has signed an executive order appointing Jeffrey D. Zients as the official Covid-19 response coordinator who will report to the president, in an effort to “aggressively” gear up the nation’s response to the pandemic. The order also restores the directorate for global health secur
(read more)
The government is to publish its long-promised overhaul of skills and vocational education in England, which will give employers a direct role in designing new qualifications but without any commitments over long-term funding for the further education sector.The white paper will seek to align courses with the needs of employers, and encourage the growth of new higher-level vocational and technical qualifications sitting between school leaving and an undergraduate degree.Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, said: “These reforms are at the heart of our plans to build back better, ensuring all technical education and training is based on what employers want and need, while providing individuals with the training they need to get a well-paid and secure job, no matter where they live, and in the sectors that are critical to our future economic success.”The “skills for jobs” white paper will be published alongside three other papers involving higher education, including a consultation on whether sixth formers should delay applying to university until after exam results are published.The draft legislation to be presented by Williamson aims to flesh out the details for the “lifetime skills guarantee” announced by Boris Johnson in September, including promises to give further education students access to loans similar to those enjoyed by students in higher education.But the white paper is likely to give few details, and delays the introduction of a loan scheme until 2025, while the multi-year funding needed for a revival of post-16 education is also delayed until the comprehensive spending review later this year.Analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies shows that further education and sixth form colleges in England have seen the largest falls in student funding of any education sector since the Conservative party entered government in 2010.The Department for Education’s arguments for an immediate long-term commitment from the Treasury have been largely ignored, which MPs who back the changes blame on Williamson’s precarious position as education secretary following a year of blunders and U-turns.David Hughes, the chief executive of the Associati
(read more)
Cases of coronavirus may no longer be falling across England, according to a major survey that raises concerns over whether lockdown measures can contain the new variant, as the UK reported a record daily number of deaths.Boris Johnson described the 1,820 deaths reported on Wednesday as “appalling”, as he warned: “There will be more to come.”Scientists at Imperial College London analysed swab tests from more than 142,000 people across England between 6 and 15 January which suggested that new infections may have fallen recently but were now stable, and perhaps even growing slightly, with only south-west England showing clear evidence of a decline.Imperial’s React-1 infection survey found 1.58% of people tested had the virus, a rise of 74% compared with the previous survey conducted between 25 November and 3 December.Infections were highest among 18 to 24-year-olds, at 2.51%, with rates more than doubling among the most vulnerable over-65s to 0.94% in the latest survey.The scientists estimate the R value – the average number of people an infected person infects – to be 1.04 for England. The epidemic grows when R is above 1 and shrinks when it falls below 1.But the survey reveals regional variations, with cases potentially having plateaued in London and the east of England, falling in the south-west, where the R is estimated to be 0.37, and rising in Yorkshire and the east Midlands.Levels of the virus were highest in London, with 2.8% of those in the survey testing positive, and lowest in the south-west, with prevalence of 0.53%.Reacting to the new record death toll, the prime minister said the more transmissible variant discovered late last year was now in virtually all parts of the UK.“It looks as though the rates of infection in the country overall may now be peaking or flattening but they’re not flattening very fast and it’s clear that we must keep a grip on this. We must maintain discipline, formation, keep observing the lockdown,” he said.The Imperial scientists warned that pressure on the NHS showed no sign of letting up.“The NHS is very resilient and all sorts of contingency measures are being brought in, but we do need to get the pr
(read more)
Claudia Conway, the 16-year-old daughter of former Trump spokesperson Kellyanne Conway and anti-Trump Republican attorney George Conway, has alleged that her mother has been “physically, mentally, and emotionally abusive” in her latest TikToks. On January 19, Claudia posted a series of videos appearing to show Kellyanne shouting, cursing frequently, belittling, and seemingly hitting her daughter. Claudia said she had been recording their fights for years, and that these examples were only a handful of many throughout her life. Some of what can be heard in the video, ostensibly Kellyan
(read more)
Dr. Biden, who holds a doctorate in educational leadership, will continue to teach writing at Northern Virginia Community College, where she taught full-time during her two terms as second lady.Credit...Amr Alfiky/The New York TimesJan. 20, 2021Updated 6:37 p.m. ETWASHINGTON — After four tumultuous years, Americans may expect the incoming first lady, Jill Biden, to return the East Wing to a more traditional presence. But before she took office, Dr. Biden signaled that she would be bringing her own approach to the job.Her second job, anyway.Dr. Biden, who has a doctorate in educational leader
(read more)
Laboratory studies of mutations circulating in South Africa suggest they may dodge some of the body’s immune responses.Credit...Samantha Reinders for The New York TimesJan. 20, 2021, 6:37 p.m. ETThe steady drumbeat of reports about new variants of the coronavirus — first in Britain, then in South Africa, Brazil and the United States — have brought a new worry: Will vaccines protect against these altered versions of the virus?The answer so far is yes, several experts said in interviews. But two small new studies, posted online Tuesday night, suggest that some variants may pose unexpected challenges to the immune system, even in those who have been vaccinated — a development that most scientists had not anticipated seeing for months, even years.The findings result from laboratory experiments with blood samples from groups of patients, not observations of the virus spreading in the real world. The studies have not yet been peer-reviewed.But experts who reviewed the papers agreed that the findings raised two disturbing possibilities. People who had survived mild infections with the coronavirus may still be vulnerable to infection with a new variant; and more worryingly, the vaccines may be less effective against the variants.Existing vaccines will still prevent serious illness, and people should continue getting them, said Dr. Michel Nussenzweig, an immunologist at Rockefeller University in New York, who led one of the studies: “If your goal is to keep people out of the hospital, then this is going to work just fine.”But the vaccines may not prevent people from becoming mildly or asymptomatically infected with the variants, he said. “They may not even know that they were infected,” Dr. Nussenzweig added. If the infected can still transmit the virus to others who are not immunized, it will continue to claim lives.The vaccines work by stimulating the body to produce antibodies against the coronavirus. Scientists had expected that over time, the virus may gain mutations that allow it to evade these antibodies — so-called escape mutations. Some studies had even predicted which mutations would be most advantageous to the virus.But scientists had hoped that the new vaccines would remain effective for years, on the theory that the coronavirus would be slow to develop new defenses against them. Now some researchers fear the unchecked spread has given t
(read more)
Ole Gunnar Solskjær paid tribute to Paul Pogba after the France midfielder helped restore Manchester United to the top of the Premier League at Fulham.Pogba has morphed from problem to solution for the United manager in recent weeks and his stunning left footed winning goal in the 2-1 victory proved emblematic of an excellent all‑round performance.“Paul’s enjoying his football, he’s mentally very happy, he’s physically in very good shape and we know all about his talent,” Solskjær said. “I scored a couple of decent left-foot goals in my day but not one that good, not one from 25 yards into the top corner. It was a great goal.“We’ve always said Paul Pogba can do everything, he can play wide, in central midfield, create chances and score goals. He’s really come on. The key was getting him match fit. Today he was in midfield and he was so committed and got tackles in as well as his goal.”It lifted United two points clear of Manchester City and Leicester and six ahead of Liverpool at the top of the table, although City and the champions both have a game in hand in this tightest of title races.Similarly fine margins held sway on the Craven Cottage pitch. Before Pogba undid Scott Parker’s side, United had been forced to come from behind in the wake of Ademola Lookman giving Fulham a fifth-minute lead. Despite Edinson Cavani equalising before half-time it was never an entirely straightforward win and even after United’s second goal the home substitute Aleksandar Mitrovic came close to a late equaliser.Manchester United’s Ole Gunnar Solskjær congratulates Paul Pogba after his decisive role in the win at Fulham. Photograph: Javier García/Shutterstoc
(read more)
Part of HuffPost Politics. ©2021 Verizon Media. All rights reserved. Twitter Users Slam Stephen Miller For Attacking Joe Biden On Twitter Stephen Miller spent his first day as a former White House adviser by attacking newly inaugurated President Joe Biden on Twitter. In what appears to be the only tweet currently on his personal account, Miller griped about Biden’s pledge to “be a president for all Americans” while also planning to roll back the Trump administration’s most hard-line immigration policies. Today, @POTUS pledged to be a president for all Americans. It’s unclear how all Americans are served by opening travel from terror hot spots, proposing a giant amnesty, or halting the installation of security barriers along the Southwest border.— Stephen Miller (@StephenM) January 20, 2021 But if Miller expected his tweet to be greeted with excitement, he got a rude awakening. Not only did Twitter users slam him mercilessly, but the number of “likes” his tweet received was only a fraction of the number of comments, a social media tragedy known as “being ratioed.” Though Miller complained about Biden “opening travel from terror hot spots,” Twitter users noted that it was Miller who “helped incite a terror attack on Congress.” They also pointed out that he “wrote the policy to separate infants from their mothers” and implemented the “most extreme anti-immigrant
(read more)
Editor’s note, January 20, 2021: President Joe Biden’s first official act on his first day in office was signing an executive order mandating that masks be worn on all federal properties and by federal employees and contractors. “The first order I’m going to be signing here relates to Covid,” Biden said. “It’s requiring, as I said all along, where I have authority, mandating that masks be worn, social distancing be kept on federal property.” The original story below was published on November 9, 2020. When President-elect Joe Biden accepted the Democratic nomination on August 20, he said part of his Covid-19 plan would be a “national mandate to wear a mask.” Five months later, on January 20, he’ll have his chance to try to implement one. “It’s time to end the politicization of basic, responsible public health steps like mask-wearing and social distancing,” Biden said on Monday. “The single most effective thing we can do to stop the spread of Covid: Wear a mask.” He followed that up with a tweet encouraging the use of masks: I won't be president until January 20th, but my message today to everyone is this: wear a mask.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) November 9, 2020 But it won’t be easy to implement a mask mandate for the whole country, especially when 16 states still don’t have statewide mandates. (The AARP listed 33 states with mask mandates by the end of October. Utah, which issued its mandate on Monday, makes 34. Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico also have mandates.) With limited federal powers at his disposal, Biden will have to convince everyone from state and local governments down to individual Americans that masks are one of the best and easiest ways to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Where the president can — and can’t — order Americans to mask up There are varying schools of thought about whether the president has the authority to issue a national mask mandate, as many other countries have. Some attempts to do so at the state and local level have been met with lawsuits and refusals to comply, as masks have become an increasingly politicized and contentious issue. Biden has said he will issue an executive order requiring masks to be worn on federal property. Beyond that, Biden’s version of a national mask mandate, as spelled out in his new transition website, does not appear to come from him. Instead, he’s going to be “working with governors and mayors” to encourage them to issue their own mandates, as well as remind Americans to wear masks. While the majority of America’s governors have issued statewide mandates, 16 states have not — including Mississippi, which revoked its mask mandate in October (Gov. Tate Reeves is requiring masks in certain counties). Though it’s hard to see a reality where states and localities run by Republicans work hand in hand with a Democratic president these days — even in the face of a virus that infects people regardless of their political leanings — many firmly Republican state governments have issued mask mandates once their constituents began getting sick and dying, most recently Utah on Monday. Others still seem to take pride in their
(read more)
Once a dashing young senator, now a lion in winter, Joe Biden walked up the presidential lectern he could finally call his own after half a century of striving. The message that the 46th US president wanted to send a pained nation was the one that has defined his own life in the face of incalculable personal and political loss: resilience. “We will press forward with speed and urgency, for we have much to do in this winter of peril and possibility,” Biden told the audience at the US Capitol in Washington on Wednesday, as the sun finally broke through clouds that had brought fleeting snow. “Much to repair. Much to restore. Much to heal. Much to build. And much to gain.” That winter of peril includes a raging pandemic that has killed more than 400,000 Americans and a fraying body politic: two weeks after a mob encouraged by Donald Trump sacked the Capitol, this could no longer be described as a peaceful transfer of power. Now it is Biden’s great misfortune to have realised, at 78 years old, a lifetime ambition at a moment of what he called “the cascading crises of our era”. It is also his good fortune to have no alternative but to think big and aim high. The quintessentially moderate, middle-of-the-road candidate might go down as radical and transformational because that is what the moment demands. Just before noon, the oldest US president ever elected was sworn in on a 19th-century Bible: five inches thick with a Celtic cross the cover, it has been in his family since 1893. It was also used by his late son, Beau Biden, when he was sworn in as attorney general of Delaware in 2007. Biden, wearing a navy suit and navy overcoat, both by the designer Ralph Lauren, turned to kiss his wife, Jill, in an ocean blue wool tweed coat, and the sun shone. Against the backdrop of a heavily fortified Washington, this was a strangely calm and serene inauguration in the eye of a national storm. The public had been urged to stay away because of the pandemic and then forced to do so by a ring of steel and 25,000 national guard troops following the insurrection at the US Capitol two weeks earlier. ‘Unity is the path forward’: Joe Biden urges nation to come together in inauguration speech – video Instead of thousands of people crowding elbow to elbow, the Capitol lawn was dotted with a hundreds of physically distanced guests, TV crews and portable toilet cubicles but otherwise yawned empty. Beyond the Ulysses S Grant Memorial, a giant statue of the former general and president on horseback, the mall offered the beautiful sight of thousands of flags representing those who could not be here. It meant the politicians, judges and performers on the main platform were like actors performing in the dead air of a near empty theatre. Star turns – Lady Gaga singing the national anthem into a gold microphone – that would once have evoked raucous cheers were greeted with polite applause. The oddity of it all was compounded by the sight of former presidents and first ladies wearing face masks. Bill and Hillary Clinton took their place first beneath the Capitol dome, topped by the monumental Statue of Freedom, and west front bedecked in red, w
(read more)
Actor and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger received his COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday in Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium, and made sure that the moment was punctuated with two zingers from his own films.  “I have never been happier to wait in a line,” Schwarzenegger wrote on Twitter as he posted a video of himself getting his shot. “Come with me if you want to live!” The famous line is, of course, from “The Terminator” film franchise — originally uttered in the first movie by actor Michael Biehn and repeated by Schwarzenegger in “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” as well as several other entries in the series.  Today was a good day. I have never been happier to wa
(read more)
That could be a reflection of how complicated this moment really is. More than 400,000 Americans are dead from a pandemic that is still raging. The national vaccine rollout is slow, and new strains of the coronavirus are alarming scientists worldwide. COVID-19 didn’t stop Washingtonians from protesting in the streets this summer, but the country has changed since then. It’s changed a lot in just the past two weeks. Washington, D.C., is in lockdown mode, the result of a far-right delusion that led to a violent insurrection in the seat of American democracy.Read: A tragic beginning to a presidency.Chang ​W. Lee / The New York Times / ReduxSeven months ago, I saw demonstrators do the Maca
(read more)
Today’s presidential inauguration was mostly remarkable for how unremarkable it was. 6:13 PM ET Brendan McDermid / Reuters Every weekday evening, our editors guide you through the biggest stories of the day, help you discover new ideas, and surprise you with moments of delight. Subscribe to get this delivered to your inbox.Today’s presidential i
(read more)
At least a dozen people associated with far-right groups and militias in multiple states have been charged for their roles in the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol ― a number likely to grow as authorities continue to make arrests.  On Wednesday, federal authorities arrested Joe Biggs, a prominent member of the far-right Proud Boys gang, who will face at least three charges related to his participation in the riot. On Tuesday, prosecutors charged three rioters associated with the Oath Keepers militia on several counts related to the siege, including criminal conspiracy. Days earlier, an Indiana man surrendered to authorities after footage from the attack showed him wearing an “Oath Kee
(read more)
Fox News anchor Chris Wallace told the conservative network’s viewers Wednesday that President Joe Biden’s inaugural address was the best he’d ever heard. Declaring “democracy has prevailed,” Biden called on Americans to show tolerance and humility to “end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal.” “I thought it was a great speech,” Wallace said, quoting that call for unity. “I’ve been listening to these inaugural addresses since 1961. John F. Kennedy, ‘Ask not.’ I thought this was the best inaugural address I ever heard.” Fox News' Chris Wallace: "Martha, I thought it was a great speech. I have been listenin
(read more)
the nyt parenting newsletterKids are expanding their tech savvy to connect and explore creatively.Credit...Tim PeacockJan. 20, 2021Updated 6:06 p.m. ETMy 8-year-old daughter started writing stories this year in Google Docs. They are thousands of words long, and my favorite one includes both a full brisket recipe and a murder mystery. She experiments with fonts, looks up synonyms and thinks about the plot even when she’s away from the computer.I don’t think she would be doing any of this if not for our virtual pandemic year.While I don’t want to sugarcoat the experience — so many children, especially children without access to computers and high-speed internet, are struggling — I do
(read more)
The fractured Trump administration is now behind us, but the wound is still fresh.Jan. 20, 2021, 6:00 p.m. ETCredit...Pete Marovich for The New York TimesI watched as Donald Trump left the White House on Wednesday, tacky and lacking in grace and dignity — consistent with his life and presidency — and I watched as Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th president of America.I had many feelings as I observed this pageant of customs. The first was the feeling of having — remarkably, improbably — survived a calamity, like stumbling out of a wrecked car and frantically checking my body for injuries, sure that the shock and adrenaline were disguising the damage done.To be sure, Trump has done real and lasting damage to this country. He has tested the rules we thought might constrain a president and found them wanting. He has shown the next presidential hopeful with authoritarian tendencies that authoritarianism can gain a foothold here.Trump taught us, the hard way, that what we took for granted as inviolable was in fact largely tradition, and traditions are not laws. They have no enforcement mechanism. They are not compulsory.There is the feeling of releasing resistance, of allowing the tension in the neck to relax and the shoulders to drop. It is the feeling of exhaling. It is the feeling of returning to some form of normalcy — a normal presidency, a normal news cycle, a normal sleep habit.But embedded in that feeling is the knowledge that normal is a removal of Trump’s outrageous behavior and incompetence, not a return to fairness, equity and equality. Those things didn’t fully, truly exist before the Trump presidency. Normal wasn’t working even then.Biden is coming into office facing multiple extraordinary challenges: a pandemic not yet controlled, a teetering economy, open displays of white supremacist terrorism, yet-to-be-addressed racial inequities and a large portion of the electorate that sees his presidency as illegitimate.Even so, his administration’s feet must be held to the fire in a quest for true, transformational change. We must not assume that a return to normal is a greater achievement than overturning, in the most positive way, what “normal” looks like.There is a feeling of deep patriotism and awe for the country itself. Trump did everything he could to break this country, but in the end America remains. Biden was sworn in at the Capitol that Trump’s insurrectionist supporters had stormed two weeks before. Power was transferred.There is the feeling of pride in symbolism. Kamala Harris was also sworn in as vice president, the first woman in that seat, the first Black and the first South Asian person in that seat. Although Trump, in his smallness and insolence, chose not to attend, Barack Obama was there to see his former vice president assume the presidency. And make no mistake about it, Biden is president only because of his allegiance to Obama.But then there is also the lingering feelings of disappointment, betrayal and loss of faith.How is it possible that enough Americans — mostly white, it should be noted — voted for Trump in the first place, sending him to the White House? And how did he receive th
(read more)
President Joe Biden has revoked a key permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, effectively killing the controversial project and jump-starting what he’s promised will be a seismic shift in U.S. climate policy after four years of inaction under Donald Trump.  The executive order on the oil pipeline, which Biden signed just hours after his inauguration, is part of an anticipated blitz of early executive actions to reverse Trump-era policies. Several are expected to target the previous administration’s industry-friendly rollbacks of environmental regulations. Biden and Vice President Kamala Har
(read more)
Reactions to President Joe Biden’s inauguration are pouring in from around the world from US allies as well as adversaries. From Europe to Asia, foreign leaders are making clear what they think of the new president and the country he leads. Their statements provide a glimpse into how the world perceives the newest arrival in the Oval Office and his plans for America’s reengagement on the world stage. After a strained relationship with former President Donald Trump, Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission (the executive branch of the European Union), tweeted, “The Un
(read more)
As soon as he arrived in the Oval Office Wednesday afternoon, President Joe Biden made his first move to fulfill a promise to prioritize climate change by signing sweeping executive orders covering an array of policies and committing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Among the most immediate steps is rejoining the Paris agreement, the nonbinding international pact signed in 2015 to prevent the most severe consequences of climate change. By reentering the agreement, Biden is recommitting the US to drastically reducing emissions in order to limit average global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius. In 2017, then-President Trump stunned the world when he announced the US would withdraw from the agreement his predecessors in the Obama administration had worked so hard to forge. By rejecting it, Trump also tested other countries’ resolve to fight climate change without the participation of the largest historical emitter. Now, with Biden’s pen stroke, the US will rejoin the agreement after the procedural 30-day wait. While recommitting to the Paris agreement is critical, the other elements of Biden’s first executive orders addressing the climate crisis, as well his next steps still to come, are even more important. On Wednesday, Biden kicked off the process to undo Trump’s prolific environmental rollbacks — totaling nearly 100 during his presidency — and jump-start new climate regulation. The executive orders cover a broad range of policies including methane regulations, energy efficiency standards for appliances, fuel efficiency standards for cars, and blocking the Keystone XL pipeline and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It will take months for agencies to review and rescind Trump’s environmental decisions, but tackling all these regulations at once shows the new administration’s commitment to climate action. “The fact that President Biden is coming out of the gate on day one really implementing the whole-of-government approach […] that will actually deliver ambitious emissions reductions consistent with the Paris agreement is the really exciting thing,” Dan Lashof, US director of the World Resources Institute, told Vox. The new regulations, along with potential new climate legislation led by Democrats in Congress, will be key to fulfilling the Paris agreement. Biden will also have to quickly submit a new 2030 emissions target under it, called a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), which will reveal the level of ambition the new administration will bring to the monumental task of decarbonizing the US economy over the next decade. How bold will the US be once it’s back in the Paris agreement? The US will have to play catch-up once it rejoins the Paris agreement. Countries are supposed to impose stricter targets on themselves every five years, with the goal of limiting emissions to keep temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius compared to preindustrial levels. Several top emitters, including the European Union, submitted new targets on schedule last month, five years after the first round of targets in 2015. Biden says he will reestablish the US as a global climate leade
(read more)
While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shares the incoming president’s climate change agenda, the Canadian leader is also a pipeline proponent.Credit...Terray Sylvester/ReutersJan. 20, 2021Updated 5:58 p.m. ETOTTAWA — One of President Biden’s first acts upon taking office was to cancel the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, the long-debated project to transport crude from Canada’s oil sands to the United States.But Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and elected officials in Alberta, the Canadian province where the pipeline originates, are not giving up so fast.The nearly 1,200-mile Keystone XL was intended to carry crude oil from Canada to Nebraska, where it would connect with an existing network to deliver the crude to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico.In canceling the pipeline, Mr. Biden took some of his first steps toward reversing the legacy of the Trump administration, which revived the project after it was rejected by President Barack Obama in 2015.Mr. Trudeau has long supported the pipeline as part of his effort to balance his priority to fight climate change with supporting Canada’s energy industry in Alberta and in other western provinces.Even before Mr. Biden’s announcement, the premier of Alberta sent out a statement saying he was going to object to it, and vowing legal action.“This is about more than just Keystone XL,” said the premier, Jason Kenney, an often fierce Conservative critic of Mr. Trudeau’s Liberal government. “This is about the Canada-U.S. relationship, this is about tens of thousands of jobs here, this is about billions of dollars of revenue for governments to pay for things like health care.”Canada exports about 80 percent of its oil to the United States, most of it coming from the oil sands, which, along with the energy industry, are critical to Alberta’s economy. Even during the current oil price slump, the sector provides about 140,000 jobs and, before the collapse of oil prices, royalties from the oil and gas industry made up about 20 percent of Alberta’s budget.The oil industry had pushed for development of the pipeline in hopes that a direct route to the Gulf of Mexico, where refineries are equipped to process the heavy, low-grade oil from the oil sands in Canada’s interior, would eliminate shipping bottlenecks and lower prices, said Andrew Leach, an energy and environmental economist at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.But the pipeline project was heavily opposed by environmentalists, American farmers and ranchers, as well as Indigenous groups in the United States who feared it would alter and possibly harm their lands.“President Biden’s decision to reject Keystone XL on his first day signaled a new era,” said Anthony Swift, the director of the Canada Project at the Washington-based Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group long critical of the oil sands. “New fossil fuel development projects are going to be placed under some sort of a climate test that assesses whether these projects are consistent with our international climate goals,” Mr. Swift added.ImageCredit...Kevin Lamarque/ReutersAmerican environmentalists also targeted the pipeline as part of their
(read more)
Real Madrid have sensationally been knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Alcoyano, a third-tier Spanish side, who scored a dramatic winner in extra time after being reduced to 10 men.Zinedine Zidane rested some key names for the last-32 tie but still started with a host of international players, including Marcelo, Federico Valverde, Éder Militão, Vinícius Júnior, Casemiro, Lucas Vázquez and Isco.Militão headed in a Marcelo cross at the back post to give Madrid a first-half lead but the minnows fought back in the second period, with José Solbes equalising to send the match into extra time.Zidane brought on Karim Benzema and Eden Hazard and Madrid looked likely to win the tie when Alcoyano’s Ramón López was given a red card in the second half of extra time. But Juanan Casanova nipped in at the near post to volley a 115th-minute winner and send Zidane’s team out of the competition in embarrassing fashion.ALCOYANO GO 2-1 UP ON REAL MADRID! 😱😱😱The Segunda B side are down to 10-men and just a few extra time minutes away from knocking Zidane's side out of the Copa del Rey! 👀 pic.twitter.com/MXYgrhLi1a— Premier Sports 📺 (@PremierSportsTV) January 20, 2021 Cristiano Ronaldo arguably became football’s all-time leading goalscorer by firing Juventus to Italian Super Cup glory against Napoli. The match is played to contest the winner between the champions of last season’s Serie A and Coppa Italia. Lorenzo Insigne had a chance to ruin Ronaldo’s milestone moment but missed an 80th-minute penalty before Álvaro Morata wrapped up the win for Andrea Pirlo’s side deep into stoppage time.Ronaldo registered the 760th strike of a remarkable career in the 64th minute to help reigning Serie A champions Juve claim the trophy with a 2-0 win. The 35-year-old former Manchester United and Real Madrid forward moved one goal ahead of Czech player Josef Bican, who officially managed 759 strikes between 1931 and 1955. There has been some contention over scoring records in recent weeks. Lionel Messi became the all-time top scorer for a single football club after scoring his 644th Barcelona goal in December, surpassing Pelé’s previous record tally for Santos, but the Brazilian club hit back by claiming Pelé’s total actually stands at 1,091, adjusted to include goals scored in one-off games during the tours of the 1960s. These exhibition matches are not widely accepted to be part of official records, although these Santos matches were often against the best teams of the age. Juventus and Cristiano Ronaldo (top right) celebrate their Italian Super Cup triumph Photograph: Soccrates Images/Getty ImagesBundesliga top scorer Robert Lewandowski struck a first half penalty to help Bayern Munich earn a nervous 1-0 victory at Augsburg on Wednesday and stay four points clear at the top of the table at the season’s halfway mark.Lewandowski put the visitors in front with a 13th minute penalty, his 22nd league goal, the most for any player halfway through a Bundesliga season. He has featured in 16 of Bayern’s 17 league games this season.The striker had several more chances to add to his record-breaking goal haul and also hit the post in a domina
(read more)
News AnalysisIn his Inaugural Address, President Biden spoke of a return to the ordinary discord of democracy, with a reminder that “politics doesn’t have to be a raging fire, destroying everything in its path.”Credit...Chang W. Lee/The New York TimesJan. 20, 2021Updated 5:53 p.m. ETWASHINGTON — In the end, the inauguration triumphed over the insurrection.President Biden’s plea for national unity in his Inaugural Address on Wednesday was rooted in a belief — born of decades working inside the fractious institutions of government — that America can return to an era where “enough of us have come together to carry all of us forward.”It was a call for the restoration of the ord
(read more)
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — As they witnessed President Joe Biden take the oath of office on Wednesday, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn said former Republican President George W. Bush lauded him as a “savior” for helping get Biden elected. The South Carolina Democrat is largely credited with giving Biden the endorsement he needed to shoot to the top of 2020′s large Democratic field and win his party’s nomination. Clyburn, on a call with reporters, said Bush told him, “you know, you’re the savior, because if you had not nominated Joe Biden, we would not be having this transfer of power today.” He said Bush added that Biden was the only Democratic candidate he felt could have defeat
(read more)
On his first day in office, President Joe Biden is beginning the immense task of dismantling former President Donald Trump’s nativist legacy on immigration, issuing an executive order to end Trump’s controversial travel ban on noncitizens from 13 countries. The policy, colloquially known as the “Muslim ban,” first went into effect in January 2017 and became one of Trump’s signature immigration policies. The ban has slowed or altogether halted legal immigration from certain countries that the former administration deemed to be security threats, keeping families apart and even stymieing refugee resettlement. The travel ban was Trump’s first major action on immigration policy,
(read more)
Defeated and twice impeached, the 45th president used his farewell remarks before a sparse crowd to brag about his record and wish luck to the incoming administration.Credit...Pete Marovich for The New York TimesJan. 20, 2021, 5:37 p.m. ETJOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. — President Donald J. Trump left Washington aboard Air Force One for a final time on Wednesday, the iconic plane creeping along the runway so the liftoff was timed to the closing strains of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.”In many ways, Mr. Trump’s last hours as president were a bookend to the kickoff of his presidential campaign in June 2015. As he did then, he tossed aside prepared remarks that aides had helped draft and spoke of
(read more)
BREAKINGThe president also canceled the Keystone XL pipeline and ordered federal agencies to begin the process of reinstating environmental regulations reversed under the Trump administration.Credit...Doug Mills/The New York TimesJan. 20, 2021Updated 6:00 p.m. ETWASHINGTON — President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Wednesday recommitted the United States to the Paris climate agreement, the international accord designed to avert catastrophic global warming, and ordered federal agencies to start reviewing and reinstating more than 100 environmental regulations that were weakened or rolled back by former President Donald J. Trump.The moves represent a first step in healing one of the deepest rifts be
(read more)
President Joe Biden’s international rebuild has begun. Biden, in the first hours of his presidency, rejoined the Paris climate accord and is expected to recommit to the World Health Organization, fulfilling promises he made during the campaign. He is also taking the first steps toward achieving his larger foreign policy agenda of restoring American leadership abroad. But these day one orders are the easy part. Now Biden begins the difficult task of rebuilding trust among allies, and trying to prove America can be a reliable partner. Over the past four years of the Trump administration’s “America First” foreign policy, other countries have taken leadership roles on climate change,
(read more)
Two new art spaces funded by a Spanish regional government showcase the collection of Roberto Polo. But they don’t mention the shadier episodes of his past.Credit...Maria Roosen/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/via Pictoright Amsterdam; Gianfranco Tripodo for The New York TimesJan. 20, 2021Updated 5:42 p.m. ETCUENCA, Spain — He was once described by Vanity Fair as “a Gatsby for the Reagan era,” but, until recently, life has been quieter for the Cuban-American art collector Roberto Polo.Polo, a financier whose roller-coaster career included a major art fraud scandal that landed him in prison, has recently resurfaced in central Spain, where last month he defied the coronavirus pandemic to inaugurate a museum in the medieval hilltop city of Cuenca that is devoted to his collection. His first art space opened in 2019, in Toledo, a city that once hosted the Spanish court of the Holy Roman Empire.For Polo, the two museums, collectively known as the Roberto Polo Collection: Center for Modern and Contemporary Art of Castilla-La Mancha, are a chance to establish a legacy and draw a line under his checkered past.Polo’s museums are both located in the region of Castilla-La Mancha and stem from an agreement between the collector and the region’s government. In return for a 15-year loan of 445 items from his collection of modern and contemporary art, the authorities agreed to exhibit the works, insure them to a value of about $425 million, and provide a personal home for Polo in Toledo.ImageCredit...Steven Decroos/Colección Roberto Polo“Spain has a particular talent to create public museums for private collections,” Polo told reporters during a museum presentation last month.A large portrait of Polo stands at the entrance to the Toledo museum, and the explanatory panels summarize his life and achievements, from his birth in Havana in 1951 through his finance career, in which he helped Citibank set up a fine-arts investment department that the text calls “the first of its kind in the history of the banking industry.”But no reference is made to the shadier episodes in Polo’s past. Once celebrated in the United States as a socialite and cultural pat
(read more)
The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office found that some salmon species are “on the brink of extinction.” Habitat loss, climate change and other factors are to blame, it said.Credit...Ted S. Warren/Associated PressJan. 20, 2021Updated 5:32 p.m. ETA Washington State report put it bluntly: Because of the devastating effects of climate change and deteriorating habitats, several species of salmon in the Pacific Northwest are “on the brink of extinction.”Of the 14 species of salmon and steelhead trout in Washington State that have been deemed endangered and are protected under the Endangered Species Act, 10 are lagging recovery goals and five of those are considered “in crisis,” according to the 2020 State of Salmon in Watersheds report, which was released last week.“Time is running out,” said the report, which is produced every other year by the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. “The climate is changing, rivers are warming, habitat is diminishing, and the natural systems that support salmon in the Pacific Northwest need help now more than ever.”Researchers say recovery efforts — involving state and federal agencies, Native American tribes, local conservation groups and others — have helped slow the decline of some salmon popul
(read more)
Mask up, for the good of your country. As one of his first acts as president, Joe Biden is mandating Americans to wear masks while on federal property as part of an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Biden’s action is more symbolic than it is prescriptive: While he has the ability to enforce that masks be worn in federal buildings and with regard to interstate commerce (think planes, trains and buses), he has no such power at the state or local level to make a more sweeping mandate. Adherence beyond the federal purview, then, will require Americans to comply out of a collective sense of civic duty. Biden has been urging Americans to wear masks since he won the election in November, framing it as an apolitical and necessary act. “We can save tens of thousands of lives if everyone would just wear a mask for the next few months,” he said in a Nov. 9 address. “Not Democrat or Republican lives, American lives.” “Please, I implore you,” he added. “Wear a mask. Do it for yourself, do it for your neighbor. A mask is not a political statement, but it is a good way to start pulling the country together.” Polling suggests a majority of Americans support the effort. A mid-January NPR/PBS NewsHour poll conducted by Marist found 74% of adults in the U.S. are in favor of Biden’s 100-day mask plan. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce also endorsed Biden’s executive order, backing the initiative in an unequivocal statement Wednesday. “While the Chamber will not agree on every policy the administration puts forward, we applaud the commitment to taking action against the unprecedented challenges starting with the pandemic and then restoring the economy,” Chamber President Suzanne P. Clark said. “President Biden’s call for 100 days of mask wearing is a smart and practical approach, and one that we are proud to join,” she added. Biden’s action sets the tone for a more engaged federal role in curtailing a disease that has so far killed 400,000 Americans ― accounting for roughly 20% of global fatalities, a percentage far higher than every other developed country. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has urged universal face m
(read more)
Shortly after taking office on Wednesday, President Joe Biden asked for the resignation of Peter Robb, the controversial general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board. Unions despise Robb and want to see him ousted quickly, even though presidents normally do not fire the NLRB’s general counsel, who acts as a quasi-prosecutor. Robb has more than nine months left in his four-year term at the board. Pushing Robb out now would leave the Republican with no more time to pursue anti-labor policies at the NLRB, which enforces collective bargaining law and referees disputes between unions and employers.  Biden’s request for Robb’s resignation was first reported by Bloomberg Law and confirmed to HuffPost by a White House official. A labor source told HuffPost that the Biden team had planned to ask for the resignation shortly after the inaugural ceremonies, as part of a blitz of actions he would take on his first day in office.  A spokesperson for the board said it had no comment. Biden sent a letter to Robb giving him until 5 p.m. Wednesday to resign or be fired.   As HuffPost previously reported, the 2-million-member Service Employees International Union had recently begun pressing Biden openly to fire Robb, calling him a “uniquely destructive figure” in labor relations. The AFL-CIO, a federation of 55 unions, also supported the idea of ousting Robb, according to a source close to the federation. The move by Biden is significant because of how rare it is. In the past, presidents have not fired NLRB general counsels appointed by a previous administration, even if they disagreed with their policies. But labor groups have argued that Robb’s tenure has been egregiously anti-union. Ousting Robb is a sign that Biden may aggressively pursue policies championed by progressive allies like labor groups. This story is developing and will be updated. Calling all HuffPost superfans! Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost's next chapter
(read more)
news analysisPresident Donald J. Trump’s clemency actions underscored his animosity toward a justice system seeking to punish corruption and betrayals of public trust.Credit...Anna Moneymaker for The New York TimesJan. 20, 2021, 5:31 p.m. ETWASHINGTON — Randy “Duke” Cunningham maintained a “bribe menu” on his congressional office stationery that featured different levels of payments he required from military contractors if they wanted his help to win corresponding levels of federal contracts.As mayor of Detroit, Kwame M. Kilpatrick turned City Hall into what prosecutors called “a private profit machine,” taking bribes, fixing municipal contracts and even using hundreds of thousands of dollars from a city civic fund to spend on friends and family, as well as campaign expense
(read more)
Newly inaugurated President Joe Biden ordered his government to begin the process of reentering the climate pact former President Donald Trump exited.  It’s part of a suite of executive orders on climate change, including ones that will block the Keystone XL pipeline and start assessing Trump’s deregulatory legacy.  Hours after his inauguration Wednesday, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to rejoin the Paris Agreement, ending the United States’ brief but symbolic exit from the global pact to slash planet-heating emissions that virtually every nation has joined. Biden’s executive order kick-starts a relatively simple process. After sending a letter to the United Nations announcing its intentions to reenter the climate accord, the U.S. will again become a formal
(read more)
A Connecticut man who authorities said was filmed violently crushing a police officer with a riot shield during the U.S. Capitol riot has been arrested and charged related to the incident. Patrick Edward McCaughey III was charged Tuesday with assaulting an officer, resisting or impeding certain officer or employees; civil disorder; entering restricted building or grounds; and violent entry or disorderly conduct, the Justice Department announced Wednesday. The 23-year-old was among a mob of supporters of now-former President Donald Trump that were attempting to physically force their way into the Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot, authorities said. D.C. Police Officer Daniel Hodges’ bravery has gone viral with a video of him being crushed against a door during the U.S. Capitol riot. ⁠"If it wasn't my job, I would have done that for free," Hodges said. ⁠https://t.co/bJJb94kD6K pic.twitter.com/cNsaXsTMXR— NBCWashington (@nbcwashington) January 15, 2021 McCaughey, in a YouTube video cited in the criminal affidavit, is seen pressing a clear police riot shield against Metropolitan Police Department Officer Daniel Hodges, who is seen painfully pinned between two doors in a t
(read more)
In the aftermath of the Capitol insurrection on January 6 that left five people dead, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube promised to crack down harder on false claims that the US presidential election was stolen and on dangerous fringe movements like QAnon. But two weeks later — on Inauguration day, no less — it’s easy to find this same kind of misinformation on their platforms. That these theories continue to spread on social media impacts all of us, regardless of whether or not we believe them. As the Capitol insurrection earlier this month showed, online misinformation doesn’t just stay online. It can fuel real-life violence. “[If] you’re not a keyboard warrior, and you don’t argue with people and you’re ultimately even-keeled about it, that doesn’t mean that you get to ignore it,” says Gordon Pennycook, who studies the psychology of believing misinformation at the University of Regina in Canada. “We live in a social world, and people’s beliefs do have consequences.” While some people discount misinformation as largely a fringe phenomenon, even a small number of people intensely buying into such theories can lead to offline violence, he explained. Early data shows that social media companies’ recent moves to boot President Trump, some of his allies, and tens of thousands of QAnon-affiliated accounts off their platforms have contributed to a massive decline in misinformation. But accounts promoting conspiracy theories continue to show up online — as the misinformation surrounding Joe Biden’s inauguration makes clear. Here are some of the false claims and theories that
(read more)
What Biden’s administration plans to do in the first 10 and 100 days in power. Contributors: Vox Staff President Joe Biden took office on January 20, 2021, amid a collision of crises: a pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans and an accompanying economic collapse that has left millions out of work. On the campaign trail, he vowed to take immediate steps to address both, promising a flurry of executive actions and an ambitious legislative agenda in a Congress where Democrats hold the slimmest possible majority in the Senate. Whether Biden will be able to pass an ambitious stimulus package, fix the nation’s flawed Covid-19 vaccine rollout, and get Congress to act on immigration and other priorities, all while unraveling his predecessor’s legacy, remains to be seen. But Biden’s first 100 days in office, and the actions he takes during that time, will not only set the tone for the rest of his presidency — they could determine whether he succeeds or fails at implementing his agenda.
(read more)
How do you host an inaugural parade under the potential threat of violence and a skyrocketing death toll from a highly contagious virus? Virtually. Even ahead of the January 6 storming of the Capitol, now-President Joe Biden’s inaugural committee planned to modify the day’s celebrations due to the danger posed by Covid-19, which has now killed more than 400,000 Americans. Together, the insurrection and the pandemic have made for a different inauguration, with the usual crowds absent. Abandoning the traditional pomp of an in-person parade, Biden elected instead to host a virtual “Parad
(read more)
President Joe Biden has issued an executive order extending a pause on federal student loan payments. The order, which covers the vast majority of all federal student loans, will allow borrowers to defer payments without penalty and reset interest rates to zero. President Joe Biden on Wednesday issued an executive order to extend a pause on federal student loan payments through at least the end of September 2021.  A pause on payments first went into effect as the coronavirus pandemic began in March 2020, and was extended in December to expire on Jan. 31. Borrowers were able to defer pa
(read more)
On a sodden, freezing Wednesday night in west London Manchester United came from behind to claim a fiercely fought 2-1 win against an impressive, resilient Fulham team.The result leaves United top of the Premier League table, and extends to 17 matches their unbeaten away run, equalling the all-time club record. Best of all it arrived thanks to a moment of the highest quality from Paul Pogba, who was a quietly majestic presence in midfield.This always looked a stiffer test for the visitors than the table might suggest. With a mist of dense January rain barreling in over the skeleton of the new
(read more)
Democrats aren’t done with Donald Trump yet. Trump escaped his four years in Washington without disclosing his tax returns, as most modern presidents do, and Democrats failed to pry the returns free with a lawsuit.  But the House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over taxes, plans to renew its efforts to get the now-ex-president’s returns.  Ways and Means will “continue to pursue its case” for Trump’s taxes as part of its effort to oversee the mandatory annual audit of both the president and vice president, committee spokeswoman Erin Hatch told HuffPost in a statement.  Federal law says the Treasury Department, which oversees the IRS, is supposed to hand over any tax return document that tax policy committees on Capitol Hill request. Congress gave itself this p
(read more)
Part of HuffPost Entertainment. ©2021 Verizon Media. All rights reserved. Rihanna Turns A Simple Household Chore Into A Pro-Biden Political Statement Rihanna managed to turn a simple household chore into a tribute to President Joe Biden. On Wednesday, the pop singer celebrated Biden’s presidential inauguration with a photo of herself taking out the trash — and looking very glamorous doing it, we might add. The post was captioned, “I’m just here to help” with the hashtag #wediditJoe. Considering the singer has been very critical of former President Donald Trump, many people enjoyed her latest statement. [email protected] knows how to celebrate #TrashDay https://t.co/cKZNVzcKDT— Natasha Rothwell (@natasharot
(read more)
The England team hotel in Galle was seemingly abuzz after Australia’s defeat in Brisbane this week. But this schadenfreude was also tempered by the knowledge that they themselves have nine Tests this year against the might of India and, more pressingly, one against Sri Lanka starting on Friday.Certainly Joe Root was keen to stress this on Wednesday, smiling as he noted that “the fortress has been broken, the Gabba has been breached” before swiftly returning to his more serious face and issuing the latest reminder that there is “a lot of cricket to be played” in the runup to his side travelling to Australia.Depth, resilience and character were Root’s three big takeaways from watching India’s historic series win. These are traits he and the head coach, Chris Silverwood, are des
(read more)
On his first day in office Wednesday, President Joe Biden is signing several executive actions aimed at dismantling the Trump administration’s nativist legacy on immigration. With the stroke of a pen, Biden will be able to halt some of Trump’s most high-profile and controversial immigration policies: the travel ban, construction of the southern border wall, and his attempt to end protections for young undocumented immigrants through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. There’s a large human impact in rescinding those policies. About 41,000 people have been denied visas as a result of the travel ban. Almost 700,000 currently benefit from DACA. These actions mark the beginning of a transition toward what Biden promises will be a more welcoming era for immigrants in t
(read more)
Alex Padilla is officially California’s first Latino senator, having been sworn in this afternoon alongside Georgia Sens. Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. Padilla, a longtime public servant who most recently served as California’s secretary of state, will take over Vice President Kamala Harris’s seat. Selected by California Gov. Gavin Newsom last year, Padilla will complete the remaining two years in Harris’s term and be up for reelection in 2022. Now that Padilla, Ossoff, and Warnock have been seated, Democrats have a 50-person caucus and the Senate majority, given Harris’s tie-breaking vote. They’re poised to take on an impeachment trial, approve Cabinet nominees, and weigh an ambitious legislative agenda in the coming weeks. In a recent interview with the New York Times’
(read more)
Joe Biden has been sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. Biden declared that ‘democracy has prevailed’ during a ceremony that honoured the ritual transfer of power at the US Capitol, where exactly two weeks ago a swarm of supporters loyal to his predecessor stormed the building in a violent and futile last bid to overturn the result of the election. Kamela Harris also made history as she was sworn in as America’s first female, black and Asian-American vice-president. Other highlights of the day included the US youth poet laureate, Amanda Gorman, who received a standing ovation for her recital her poem, The Hill We Climb Joe Biden sworn in as 46th president of the United States
(read more)
Sens. Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock were sworn in to office Wednesday, giving the Democrats a narrow majority in the Senate and affirming the historical significance of their victories in Georgia. Vice President Kamala Harris presided over the swearing-in as her first act as the president of the Senate — a role she will have to play often as the decisive tie-breaking vote in a Senate split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans. “Do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic?” Harris asked, in a question that has taken on new meaning since the Capitol insurrection. Ossoff and Warnock replied they did, and signed the Senate’s oath book. The men represent a watershed moment for Southern Dem
(read more)
Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock have been sworn into the United States Senate after winning their respective runoff elections in Georgia on Jan. 5, officially handing control of the chamber — and the 117th Congress — to the Democrats. Kamala Harris performed the ceremony hours after her own historic swearing-in as vice president earlier on Wednesday. She also swore in Alex Padilla, who now holds her former California Senate seat as the state’s first Latino senator.  In her new role, Harris will likely be called upon to cast tie-breaking votes in Senate, which is split 50-50 between the Democratic and Republican caucuses.  Ossoff, 33, and Warnock, 51, emerged victorious earlier this month, respectively defeating Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, who had aligned
(read more)
In the days following the violent Trump-inspired insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6, the FBI warned all 50 states that similar “armed protests” were being planned by right-wing extremists around their capitol buildings. But on Inauguration Day, at least, those protests turned out to be complete duds. Not only have there been no incidents of violence at state capitols on Wednesday as of 4 pm ET, but at many of them, the number of MAGA protesters could be counted on one hand. At the New York Capitol in Albany, Spectrum News reporter Morgan Mckay documented the presence of a single pro-Trump demonstrator. “He says he expected a few thousand ppl here and is disappointed,” Mckay tweeted. (Thanks to Elie Mystal of the Nation for his helpful Twitter thread putting the tweets
(read more)
In the final hours of his presidency Wednesday, Donald Trump issued a pardon for Albert Pirro, a real estate development lawyer with ties to the Trump Organization who is the ex-husband of Fox News host Jeanine Pirro. A prominent GOP fundraiser, Albert Pirro served 11 months in prison after being convicted of conspiracy and tax evasion in 2000. Jeanine Pirro was the district attorney of Westchester County at the time. The couple separated in 2007 after more than 30 years of marriage. Albert Pirro, who represented Trump in various real estate deals in the 1990s, received his pardon a day after Trump granted clemency to more than 140 people, including longtime Trump adviser Steve Bannon and rapper Lil Wayne. He told The Daily Beast he was surprised to be granted the pardon. “I’m in sh
(read more)
Read: Among the guardsmenTrump left the White House with his wife, Melania, at about 8:20 a.m., refusing to take questions from the press. He walked to Marine One with an ominous send-off: “I just want to say goodbye, but hopefully it’s not a long-term goodbye. We’ll see each other again.” Later, in a brief departure ceremony at Joint Base Andrews before flying to Florida, he gave a familiar and repetitive summation of what he views as his accomplishments in office. He of course neglected to mention the incident that will come to overshadow everything else that happened over the past four years: a lethal insurrection carried out by his supporters after a rally in which he’d again falsely claimed that the election was stolen. Trump may have no interest in revisiting the riot at th
(read more)
Now that Mr. Trump is finally out of office, President Biden has the chance to lead America forward.Jan. 20, 2021, 4:43 p.m. ETCredit...Jason Andrew for The New York TimesFor a long time, Jan. 20, 2021, seemed like a day that might never come. It sat there far down the calendar, a tantalizing hint of a moment when America might at last be freed from the grip of the meanest, most corrupt and most incompetent presidency in the nation’s history.The countdown was measured first in weeks, then in days, then hours and minutes, as though Americans were anticipating the arrival of a new year. In this case, it was not just the intense desire of more than 81 million Americans to turn the page on an abominable administration, but a legitimate fear of what Donald Trump could do while still in power,
(read more)
From a sartorial perspective, the coats took center stage at the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. There was first lady Jill Biden’s custom blue Markarian coat and dress ensemble, Michelle Obama’s plum Sergio Hudson look and Harris’ purple Christopher John Rogers coat.Another fan favorite was Harris’ stepdaughter, Ella Emhoff, who sported a plaid Miu Miu coat with embellished shoulders and a large embroidered white collar. She wore a Batsheva dress underneath and topped the look with a black mask and a Loeffler Randall headband to hold back her center-parted curls.Twitter users praised the look and even referred to the 21-year-old daughter of second gentleman Doug Emhoff and his ex-wife, Kerstin Emhoff, as the “first daughter of Bushwick.”Ella Emhoff is an artist and textile design student specializing in knitwear at Parsons School of Design in New York City. The college senior told Garage magazine in November that she aspires to have her own knitwear brand someday. In the same interview, she spoke about potentially creating her own Inauguration Day outfit. “I want to, but like I was saying before, my style and my practice are so different, but I think I might have to just make an exception because for such a momentous occasion,” she said. “I think it does require a pretty momentous outfit.”Ella Emhoff is no stranger to eye-catching style choices. She frequently shows off her colorful hand-knit clothing and accessories and other looks on Instagram.When Biden and Harris took the stage in Delaware to celebrate their election victory on Nov. 7, Ella Emhoff wore a pinstripe Frankie Shop suit, which also attracted social
(read more)
Vice President Kamala Harris’ alma mater, Howard University, played an integral part in Inauguration Day on Wednesday.  The school’s Showtime Marching Band, which has participated in presidential inaugurations before, escorted their revered alumna to the White House during the inaugural parade Wednesday:  WATCH: Howard University's Showtime Marching Band escorts Vice President Harris to the White House for her first time as the 49th vice president of the United States. pic.twitter.com/zPfbGBsYFq— MSNBC (@MSNBC) January 20, 2021 Here we go! The Showtime Marching Band is here, "escorting" Vice President @KamalaHarris with a special drum cadence. #BleedBlue #HU2WH 🥁 💙 pic.twitter.com/LvXjSpkfuG— Howard University (@HowardU) January 20, 2021 It was the highlight of the parade for many fans on social media:  — Geneviéve Jones-Wright, Esq., LL.M. (@GJonesWright) January 20, 2021 Pretty amazing to see Howard's marching band (Showtime) with their flag: 'Howard University, Home of Vice President Kamala Harris' pic.twitter.com/IcNWBA2efZ— Dave Jamieson (@jamieson) January 20, 2021 This Howard Univ marching band killed it pic.twitter.com/L2fCMNLMjk— Cathy (@CathyNotToday) January 20, 2021 Howard University marching band and color guard. I can’t imagine what this would be like to witness with an inauguration crowd. 😭 pic.twitter.com/ESXuZeLkBR— Joyce Koh (@JoyceKohTV) January 20, 2021 A historic moment as the Howard University Showtime Marching Band accompanies Vice President Kamala Harris to the White House. She is the first graduate of an HBCU to hold that office. pic.twitter.com/DQD0Pn7u7Y— Dr. Shiva Balaghi (@SBalaghi) January 20,
(read more)
It’s not every day that you get to inaugurate the 46th president of the United States, the first female vice-president of color, or attend the inauguration, period. But for Bernie Sanders, it’s also not often he gets enough time in the middle of the day to run errands and take care of his mail either .The former presidential hopeful has drawn side eyes for turning up to the inauguration day sans formal attire – instead looking like he was stopping by between doing his laundry and going to the post office. Wearing a winter jacket, oversized mittens and holding a manila envelope, the Vermont senator at least gets top marks for one thing: “absolutely crushing Vermont dadcore”.But for those wanting to get the Sanders’ look, it could be difficult to get hold of his mittens – those were a gift from a teacher in Vermont, Jen Ellis, according to local press. The mittens are very on-brand for Sanders, who popularized the Green New Deal in the US, as they are made with wool repurposed from sweaters and fleece made from recycled plastic bottles.(Much to Ellis’ surprise, after she gifted Sanders the mittens, he wore them on the campaign trail for two years straight. At least his fingers won’t be feeling the Bern in today’s sub-zero weather.)Sanders is no stranger to becoming a meme – indeed, a video of him asking supporters for money in 2020 led to numerous jokes made at his expense.Luckily for those who know the meme well, Sanders turned up at the inauguration wearing that same Burton jacket – he’s thrifty like that! – leading to a slew of new memes written in the style in which the Vermont senator usually asks for money.“I am once again asking for a space heater,” said one. (My own take involves imagining Sanders at the post office shortly after speeches today: “I am respectfully asking you to have this sent by Thursday,” he will ask, handing over the manila envelope.)Sanders has often been ribbed for putting the practical over the ceremonial – abstaining from mingling at events, dallying in niceties and, it would appear, even bothering to upgrade from the $1 mask he bought at the bodega last March.But others find his Grandma energy q
(read more)
Style|Who Designed Jill Biden’s Inauguration Outfit?A brief guide to how Alexandra O’Neill’s young label Markarian landed in a rare spotlight.Credit...Amr Alfiky/The New York TimesJan. 20, 2021, 4:13 p.m. ETJust like any first lady stepping into the White House before her, Dr. Jill Biden’s Inauguration Day outfit was bound to draw attention.Guesses were made about which American designer she would choose: Brandon Maxwell or Christian Siriano, whose dresses she had chosen for the Democratic National Convention? Tory Burch? Oscar de la Renta?Few — or none, perhaps — would have predicted that Dr. Biden would walk out into the cold Washington morning on Wednesday in a matching blue coat and dress by Markarian, a small New York City brand whose typical aesthetic signatures include feather trims and full-body sequins. Here’s why:What is Markarian?Founded in 2017 by Alexandra O’Neill, Markarian is best known for V.I.P. party dresses. With statement sleeves and slim silhouettes, the brand has outfitted celebrities like Laura Dern, Kerry Washington, Millie Bobby Brown and Anna Kendrick on red carpets and talk-show couches.But much of Markarian’s business is designing custom pieces for special events and weddings. The line is carried at Bergdorf Goodman and on Moda Operan
(read more)
For four years the world had held its breath, but at last came the moment to exhale. Ever since noon on 20 January 2017, when Donald Trump took the oath that made him president of the United States, the people of the planet had found themselves in a state of heightened alert: what new madness might the most powerful man on earth unleash? Within months, he had seemed to threaten nuclear war with North Korea – in a tweet directed at Kim Jong-un, he boasted that “I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!” – and there were days when it seemed rational to wonder if America, and the rest of us, would even survive four years of a Trump presidency.Eleven minutes before noon local time, it became possible to breathe out once more. Joe Biden recited the magical incantation by which a single US citizen is transformed into the head of government, head of state and symbol of the republic. As he uttered the words “So help me God,” his hand on a thick Bible, a wave of blessed relief rippled through millions of Americans – and all those, anywhere, who had lived through the stress of the Trump era. The TV networks had helpfully shown footage of the military aide who carries the nuclear “football”, the case containing the codes required to launch the mighty US atomic arsenal, and there was comfort in knowing that that aide now answered to Biden, not the man who a few hours earlier had fled to his resort in Florida.Technically, the oath had come early. According to the constitution, the presidency was not fully in Biden’s hands until just after 12, and even those last remaining minutes were capable of inducing anxiety. “Phew,” tweeted one commentator when the moment finally passed.But relief was not the only emotion on display in a ceremony performed before a National Mall packed with flags rather than people in an eerily empty Washington, hollowed out by both the pandemic and security fears prompted by this month’s storming of the Capitol. There was joy, too, most visible in the face of Kamala Harris after she had sworn her own oath. There have been 46 US presidents and 49 vice-presidents, but
(read more)
Here’s just hoping someone is luring her away from the White House with dozens of waffles. On Wednesday, fans of “Parks and Recreation” couldn’t help but wonder how Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) would have responded to Joe Biden’s inauguration. In the NBC comedy, Poehler’s character made it no secret that she had a massive crush on the now-46th president, describing her ideal man as having “the brains of George Clooney in the body of Joe Biden.” The then-vice president even played himself in a 2012 episode in which Knope’s fiancé, Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott), surprises her by setting up a brief meeting with Biden. In the scene, a smitten and tongue-tied Knope stares longingly into Biden’s eyes, suggests to him that she take then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s position, and demands that a Secret Service agent protect him like “precious cargo.” Biden also made a second cameo with now-first lady Jill Biden in the series finale in 2015. Joe Biden is the first actor from Parks and Recreation to become the President of the United States.— out of context parks & rec (@nocontextpawnee) January 20, 2021 Due to this, many had a whole lot of fun imagining how bonkers Knope would be watching Biden be sworn in as president, causing “Leslie Knope” to trend on Twitter on Inauguration Day. My one wish is for Amy Poehler to reprise her role as Leslie Knope to react to today's inauguration. pic.twitter.com/GX58Ls6Od6— Natalia Navarro (@NataliaVNavarro) January 20, 2021 Someone check on Leslie Knope...— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) January 20, 2021 BREAKING : blonde woman, identified as Leslie Knope, faints at joe bidens inauguration pic.twitter.com/8n1IpfSWjB— ally (@smaIIestpark) January 20, 2021 leslie knope showing up to the white house after joe biden moves in pic.twitter.com/mSq3uOd0Gt— sonny (@bluntspoehIer) January 20, 2021 *EXCLUSIVE LEAKED FOOTAGE OF LESLIE KNOPE AFTER WATCHING THE INAUGURATION OF PRESIDENT BIDEN* pic.twitter.com/xInL6LvCUy— vic (@dcnnapavlsen) January 20, 2021 how do you think leslie knope is doing today pic.twitter.com/vqnQsAwJuC— jill (@jillianbergin) January 20, 2021 me watching the inauguration an
(read more)
President Joe Biden speaks during the 59th presidential inauguration. Patrick Semansky/AP The actions reverse Trump policies and launch a more progressive policymaking era. By Jan 20, 2021, 4:00pm EST
(read more)
Taking office at a low point means that the new president might be able to claim progress without superhuman effort.Jan. 20, 2021, 3:58 p.m. ETCredit...Amr Alfiky/The New York TimesAmid all the exhausted relief and Twitter euphoria, it’s worth being honest: The inauguration of Joe Biden to the presidency was a dark scene overall, with strong decline-of-the-republic vibes. A windswept, wintry, barricaded Capitol; a denuded Mall; a military occupation. The establishment in masks, with a few celebrities mixed in; almost everybody looking aged, gray, laid waste by time. The ex-president absent,
(read more)
Media|‘They Have Not Legitimately Won’: Pro-Trump Media Keeps the Disinformation FlowingCredit...Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesJan. 20, 2021Updated 3:57 p.m. ETForgoing any appeals for healing or reflection, right-wing media organizations that spread former President Donald J. Trump’s distortions about the 2020 election continued on Wednesday to push conspiracy theories about large-scale fraud, with some predicting more political conflict in the months ahead.The coverage struck a discordant tone, with pro-Trump media and President Biden in a jarring split screen: There was the new president delivering an inaugural address of unity and hope, while his political opponents used their powerful media platforms to rally a resistance against him based on falsehoods and fabrications.For some outlets like One America News, it was as if Mr. Biden weren’t president at all. The network, a favorite of Mr. Trump’s because of its sycophantic coverage, didn’t show its viewers Mr. Biden’s swearing in or his inaugural address.Rush Limbaugh, broadcasting his weekday radio show a few miles from the Palm Beach retreat where Mr. Trump is spending the first days of his post-presidency, told his millions of listeners on Wednesday that the inauguration of Mr. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris did not make them the rightful winners of the election.“They have not legitimately won yet,” Mr. Limbaugh said, noting that he would be on “thin ice” for making such a claim. He then gave his listeners a false and inflated vote total for Mr. Trump and predicted the Democratic victories would be “fleeting.”“I think they know, with 74 million, maybe 80 million people who didn’t vote for Joe Biden, there is no way they can honestly say to themselves that they represent the power base in the country,” Mr. Limbaugh said.On One America News, viewers saw a lengthy documentary-style segment called “Trump: Legacy of a Patriot” instead of the inauguration. One of the network’s commentators, Pearson Sharp, provided the voice-over and offered only flattering words about the former president while he leveled false claims about voter fraud.Mr. Sharp repeated many of the discredited excuses that have formed the alternate version of events that Mr. Trump and his followers are using to explain his loss. The host claimed, for instance, that Mr. Trump couldn’t have been def
(read more)
Chief Justice Roberts, Vice-President Harris, Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, Leader McConnell, Vice-President Pence, distinguished guests and my fellow Americans. This is America’s day. This is democracy’s day. A day of history and hope. Of renewal and resolve. Through a crucible for the ages, America has been tested anew and America has risen to the challenge. Today, we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate, but of a cause: the cause of democracy. The will of the people has been heard and the will of the people has been heeded. We have learned again that democracy is precious. Democracy is fragile. And at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed. So now, on this hallowed ground where just days ago violence sought to shake this Capitol’s very foundation, we come together as one nation, under God, indivisible, to carry out the peaceful transfer of power as we have for more than two centuries. We look ahead in our uniquely American way – restless, bold, optimistic – and set our sights on the nation we know we can be and we must be. I thank my predecessors of both parties for their presence here. I thank them from the bottom of my heart. You know the resilience of our constitution and the strength of our nation. As does President Carter, who I spoke to last night but who cannot be with us today, but whom we salute for his lifetime of service. I have just taken the sacred oath each of these patriots took – an oath first sworn by George Washington. But the American story depends not on any one of us, not on some of us, but on all of us. On “we the people” who seek a more perfect union. This is a great nation and we are a good people. ‘Unit
(read more)
The new president’s speech on unity — “the best inaugural address I ever heard,” says Chris Wallace of Fox News — follows Donald Trump’s “My Way” moment.Credit...FOXJan. 20, 2021Updated 3:58 p.m. ETFor a moment, cable news found something to agree on.At half past noon on Wednesday, shortly after President Biden wrapped up an inaugural address calling for an era of reconciliation, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer declared that the “world witnessed democracy withstand one of its greatest tests.” Brian Williams of MSNBC said Mr. Biden “gave the kind of inaugural address our presidents used to give.”On Fox News, home to right-wing stars like Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham who relentlessly championed former President Donald J. Trump, anchors and pundits took turns lauding Mr. Biden’s message and the man who delivered it.“I’ve been listening to these inaugural addresses since 1961,” said Chris Wallace, the “Fox News Sunday” anchor. “I thought this was the best inaugural address I ever heard.”It was an unusual — and perhaps fleeting — moment for a cable news landscape that had been rived by the years of Trump. The cultural divide over a polarizing president and the increasingly fractured notion of what is true and what is a lie seemed to play out daily on 24-hour news networks, where Americans flocked in record numbers for outrage or comfort.So it was strange to hear Karl Rove, the Republican strategist, tell Fox News viewers that Mr. Biden delivered
(read more)
The winter wind caused a flutter in a new flag hanging high above city hall in Oakland, California, on Wednesday morning, as the Bay Area celebrated the history being made by one of its own.Oakland native Kamala Harris on Wednesday was sworn in as the US vice-president, becoming the first woman in American history and the first woman of African American and south Asian descent to take up the position.Harris was born in Oakland and lived in neighboring Berkeley, where her parents studied at the University of California, Berkeley, until she was 12 years old. She served as San Francisco district attorney, and California attorney general, before becoming the state’s junior senator.Harris has frequently cited her experiences growing up in the Bay Area as foundational in her political career, including being bussed into wealthier white schools as part of an integration program. On Wednesday, residents of the region proudly watched her ascend to one of the highest offices in the land.An Oakland-Scranton “Unity” flag, designed by Oakland artist Favianna Rodriguez and Ryan Hnat from Joe Biden’s home town of Scranton, Ohio, was hoisted into the heavy gusts the day before the inauguration.The Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf also hung the flag outside her home in the hills as the inauguration celebration continued on the other side of the country. “Congrats my friend Kamala Harris!” Schaaf wrote on Twitter. “Oakland is proud beyond words. First Black Woman & Asian Woman VP. Daughter of Immigrants & Daughter of Oakland. You make us proud to be Americans again.”It's just moving that a Black and Indian woman was born at Oakland Kaiser like I was, grew up in the flats near San Pablo Avenue like I did, in the same heavily Black and Indian district I did, and got bussed up to a school in the hills like I did, is going to the White House— Darrell Owens (@IDoTheThinking) January 20, 2021 Local businesses also commemorated the occasion. Local Food Adventures, a food tour company, boxed and sold foods that celebrate Harris’s heritage, and included a locally made cornbread mix, a garam masala spice blend from Oaktown Spice Shop, and a coupon for waffles from Harris’s friend Derreck Johnson, the owner of Home of Chicken & Waffles.Oakland chef Robert Dorsey, who went to the same elementary school as Harris, planned to serve one of her favorites – seafood gumbo – but he’s now calling it “Democracy gumbo”.Tony Evans and his 15-year-old granddaughter Dy'mond of East Oakland were overcome with emotion while watching Oakland native @KamalaHarris be sworn in as the first Black, South Asian female Vice President. Evans met Harris while working in Georgia as a poll worker @sfchronicle pic.twitter.com/AglLQodAfM— Jessica Christian (@jachristian) January 20, 2021 Performers from more than two dozen local arts organizations prepared a program titled “Oakland Salutes”, celebrating the Oakland native. The prerecorded videos included socially distanced harmonies from the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir, performances from the Oakland Asian Cultural Center and the Oaktown Jazz Workshop, and spoken dedications from local officials.“I am standin
(read more)
China has said it wants to cooperate with Joe Biden’s new US administration, while announcing sanctions against the “lying and cheating” outgoing secretary of state Mike Pompeo and 27 other top officials under Donald Trump.The move was a sign of China’s anger, especially at an accusation Pompeo made on his final full day in office that China had committed genocide against its Uighur Muslims, an assessment that Biden’s choice to succeed Pompeo, Anthony Blinken, said he shared.In a striking repudiation of its relationship with Washington under Trump, the Chinese foreign ministry announced the sanctions in a statement that appeared on its website as Biden was taking the presidential oath.Pompeo and the others had “planned, promoted and executed a series of crazy moves, gravely interfered in China’s internal affairs, undermined China’s interests, offended the Chinese people, and seriously disrupted China-US relations”, it said.The other outgoing and former Trump officials sanctioned included the trade chief, Peter Navarro; national security advisers Robert O’Brien and John Bolton; the health secretary, Alex Azar; UN ambassador Kelly Craft; and former top Trump aide Steve Bannon.The 28 ex-officials and immediate family members would be banned from entering mainland China, Hong Kong or Macao, and companies and institutions associated with them restricted from doing business with China.China has imposed sanctions on US lawmakers in the past year, but targeting so many former and outgoing US officials on inauguration day was an unusual expression of disdain.Pompeo, who unleashed a barrage of measures against China in his final weeks in office, announced that on Tuesday that the Trump administration had determined that China had committed “genocide and crimes against humanity” against Uighur Muslims.Blinken said on Tuesday he agreed with Pompeo’s genocide assessment.“The forcing of men, women and children into concentration camps; trying to, in effect, re-educate them to be adherents to the ideology of the Chinese Communist party, all of that speaks to an effort to commit genocide,” Blinken said.China has repeatedly rejected accusations of abuse in its western Xinjiang region, where a United Nations panel has said at least 1 million Uighurs and other Muslims had been detained in camps.Responding to the Xinjiang allegations, a Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, told a media briefing on Wednesday: “Pompeo has made so many lies in recent years, and this is just another bold-faced lie.“This US politician is notorious for lying and cheating, is making himself a laughing stock and a clown,” she said.Hua said China hoped “the new administration will work together with China in the spirit of mutual respect, properly handle differences and conduct more win-win cooperation in more sectors.“We hope the new US administration can have their own reasonable and cool-minded judgment on Xinjiang issues, among other issues.”
(read more)
On BaseballA pitcher known for durability and consistency, Sutton’s approach was shaped by a childhood of earning everything you received.Credit...Associated PressJan. 20, 2021, 3:38 p.m. ETDon Sutton’s work was done for the night, another Atlanta Braves broadcast complete, one of thousands of games he called over decades in the booth. But Sutton slipped into the visiting clubhouse anyway, not to ask a question but to shake a hand. It was 2018, and a Braves rookie, Mike Soroka, had beaten the Mets at Citi Field for his first victory in the majors. Sutton offered congratulations and wished Soroka many more.I thought of this a year or so later when I spoke with the Yale baseball coach, Joh
(read more)
In Washington, D.C. today, Joe Biden took the oath of office shortly before noon, becoming the 46th president of the United States of America. In front of a small, socially distanced, and well-guarded audience on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol, President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn in. Performances were given by the singers Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Garth Brooks, and the poet Amanda Gorman, and Biden delivered his Inaugural Address to the nation. Gathered below are scenes from a unique moment in American history. Read moreHints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previou
(read more)
In his first foreign policy act, President Joe Biden followed through on his promise to fire the head of the US Agency for Global Media, who abused his eight months in power trying to turn the US government-funded international media agency into a pro-Trump propaganda machine. Michael Pack, an ally of former President Donald Trump and Steve Bannon, resigned on Wednesday soon after Biden finished his inaugural address. In a letter, Pack said Biden’s team asked him to step down from his post as the head of the US Agency for Global Media (USAGM), a government department that oversees media organizations like Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty — and is collectively one o
(read more)
The departing administration’s decision to push through a declaration that China is committing genocide was the latest in a series of actions that risk politicizing the issues.Credit...Pete Marovich for The New York TimesJan. 20, 2021Updated 3:27 p.m. ETThe Trump administration cast its barrage of moves against Beijing, in its waning days, as necessary to stand up to China’s authoritarian leadership.Among its final acts, the administration declared that Beijing was committing genocide against Uighurs and other Muslims in a far western region. It held a video conference between a senior United States envoy and the president of Taiwan, the self-ruled island claimed by Beijing. And it jetti
(read more)
Whoever was in charge of booking the talent for Joe Biden’s inauguration clearly had an easier task than their counterpart in 2017. Donald Trump’s transition team promised the world a performance by Elton John. Instead, performers at various inauguration events included Tony Orlando, of Knock Three Times and Tie a Yellow Ribbon fame; a fading post-grunge band called 3 Doors Down; country singer Toby Keith; and a woman who came second on America’s Got Talent. Elton John, it transpired, hadn’t confirmed and evidently had no intention of playing. Here was a lesson for unscrupulous gig promoters everywhere about announcing an act before they sign up.In fairness, they managed to grub up o
(read more)
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The New Jersey Supreme court has overturned a man’s bank robbery conviction because of a prosecutor’s reference to a classic horror movie. During closing arguments in the case against Damon Williams, the prosecutor showed jurors a photo from the movie “The Shining” depicting a character played by Jack Nicholson telling his terrified wife and son, “Here’s Johnny!” moments after breaking through a door with an axe. The reference was meant to illustrate that actions can speak louder than words, and to support the prosecutor’s contention that Williams should be convicted of a more serious offense even though no threatening words were spoken to the bank tel
(read more)