Three GOP senators meet with Trump's lawyers on eve of impeachment defense presentation
A trio of Republican senators allied with former President Donald Trump met with his defense team Thursday evening, in the middle of an impeachment trial in which they will vote on whether to convict Trump and potentially bar him from holding public office again.
Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah were spotted going into a room in the US Capitol that Trump's lawyers were using to prepare for their arguments.
Trump lawyer David Schoen said that the senators were "very friendly guys" who just wanted to make sure they were "familiar with procedure" on the eve of their rebuttal to the House impeachment managers' presentation.
When asked if it's appropriate to meet with senators during the trial, Schoen said, "Oh yeah, I think that's the practice of impeachment."
‘Overwhelm the problem’: Inside Biden’s war on COVID-19
The meetings begin each day not long after dawn. Dozens of aides report in, coffee in hand, joining by Zoom from agency headquarters, their homes or even adjacent offices.
The sessions start with the latest sobering statistics meant to focus the work and offer a reminder of what’s at stake: new coronavirus cases, people in hospitals, deaths. But they also include the latest signs of progress: COVID-19 tests administered, vaccine doses shipped, shots injected.
Where the last administration addressed the pandemic with the vernacular of a natural disaster — using the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s mantra of a “federally supported, state managed and locally executed” response — President Joe Biden’s team is borrowing from the Pentagon and the doctrine of overwhelming force.
“We’re at war with this virus,” COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients said in an interview with The Associated Press between Sunday morning meetings on the response. “We’re taking every resource and tool the federal government has to battle on every front.”
The Latest: Fauci: Virus shot categories to open up by April
Dr. Anthony Fauci predicts by April it will be “open season” for vaccinations in the U.S., as supply boosts allow most people to get shots to protect against COVID-19.
Speaking to NBC’s “Today Show,” Fauci, who serves as science adviser to President joe Biden, says the rate of vaccinations will greatly accelerate in the coming months. He credits forthcoming deliveries of the two approved vaccines, the potential approval of a third and moves taken by the Biden administration to increase the nation’s capacity to deliver doses.
He says, “by the time we get to April,” it will be “open season, namely virtually everybody and anybody in any category could start to get vaccinated.”
He cautioned it will take “several more months” to logistically deliver injections to adult Americans but predicted herd immunity could be achieved by late summer.
COVID-defying nun toasts 117th birthday with wine and prayer
Question: How does one cram enough candles onto a birthday cake for one of the world’s oldest survivors of COVID-19? Answer: With 117 candles, you can’t.
A French nun who is believed to be the world’s second-oldest person was celebrating her 117th birthday in style on Thursday. There were plans for Champagne and red wine, a feast with her favorite dessert, a Mass in her honor, and other treats to toast Sister André’s exceptional longevity through two world wars and a recent coronavirus infection.
“It’s a big day,” David Tavella, the communications manager for the nun’s care home in the southern French city of Toulon, told The Associated Press. “She is in great shape. I went to see her this morning. She is really happy. She wanted me to tell her the schedule for the day again.”
Autoworkers face dimmer future in a new era of electric cars
When General Motors boldly announced its goal last month to make only battery-powered vehicles by 2035, it didn’t just mark a break with more than a century of making internal combustion engines. It also clouded the future for 50,000 GM workers whose skills — and jobs — could become obsolete far sooner than they knew.
The message was clear: As a greener U.S. economy edges closer into view, GM wants a factory workforce that eventually will build only zero-emissions vehicles.
It won’t happen overnight. But the likelihood is growing that legions of autoworkers who trained and worked for decades to build machines that run on petroleum will need to do rather different work in the next decade — or they might not have jobs.
Dozens of former Republican officials in talks to form anti-Trump third party
Dozens of former Republican officials, who view the party as unwilling to stand up to former President Donald Trump and his attempts to undermine U.S. democracy, are in talks to form a center-right breakaway party, four people involved in the discussions told Reuters.
The early stage discussions include former elected Republicans, former officials in the Republican administrations of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Trump, ex-Republican ambassadors and Republican strategists, the people involved say.
More than 120 of them held a Zoom call last Friday to discuss the breakaway group, which would run on a platform of “principled conservatism,” including adherence to the Constitution and the rule of law - ideas those involved say have been trashed by Trump.
"Face control": Russian police go digital against protesters
Georgy Malets didn’t make it to an anti-Kremlin rally last month. He was detained on his way there by police using facial recognition technology in the Moscow metro.
The 30-year-old Russian photo blogger said the police told him he had been identified by a “Face-ID” camera system and must accompany them to a police station for checks.
“I could see they had some kind of photographs, but they weren’t from cameras - it was definitely a photograph from my profile on social networks,” Malets told Reuters.
He said he was questioned for four hours as a witness in a criminal case the police said had been opened into earlier rallies, so missed the Jan. 31 protest.
India, China agree to pull back troops from disputed Himalayan lake
India and China on Thursday began to pull back troops and battle tanks from a bitterly contested lake area high in the western Himalayas on Thursday in a breakthrough after a months-long standoff on the disputed border.
Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told parliament the two sides had reached an agreement to withdraw from Pangong Tso, a glacial lake at 14,000 ft (4,270 metres), after several rounds of talks between military commanders and diplomats from the nuclear-armed neighbours.
“Our sustained talks with China have led to agreement on disengagement on the north and south banks of the Pangong lake,” he said.
5 fatalities confirmed in pileup crash on I-35W in Fort Worth; 75-100 vehicles involved, officials say
Around 75 to 100 vehicles were involved in a massive pileup crash Thursday morning on Interstate 35W in Fort Worth, including several 18-wheelers, officials said. At least five people have been confirmed dead. The total number of injuries remains unknown, Fort Worth police said.
The crash happened around 6 a.m. as drivers were dealing with pockets of inclement weather across North Texas, including freezing rain.
A number of people remained trapped hours after the crash happened and patients were still emerging from vehicles at the crash scene as of 8:30 a.m., officials said, with an estimated 30 people needing medical transport. Several of people were in critical condition.
Information and estimates were rapidly changing as crews worked their way through the scene, and the number of patients is "growing by the minute," officials said around 8:30 a.m.
Robert Kennedy Jr. banned from Instagram over false COVID vaccine claims
Robert Kennedy Jr., a prominent vaccine skeptic, has been banned from Instagram after posting false coronavirus vaccine claims.
"We removed this account for repeatedly sharing debunked claims about the coronavirus or vaccines," a spokesperson for Facebook, which owns Instagram, said in a statement to CBS News Thursday.
While he was removed from Instagram, his Facebook page – where he has more than 300,000 followers – is littered with posts critical of COVID-19 vaccines. His Twitter account, with over 200,000 followers, has similar posts. As of Thursday, both accounts remain up.
Judge in Kyle Rittenhouse case denies motions for new arrest warrant, increased bond
Kyle Rittenhouse, the 18-year-old accused of fatally shooting two men and wounding a third during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last August will remain out on bail, a judge in Wisconsin ruled Thursday.
Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce E. Schroeder denied the motions during a virtual hearing on bail conditions.
Schroeder said that Rittenhouse was in violation of not updating his address but it was not a reason to increase bail. He ordered the defense team to give the court the new address. If prosecutors want to pursue information on Rittenhouse's whereabouts they will have to go through the sheriff's office, he said.
Buzz Feed News
Charges Were Dropped Against The Buffalo Police Officers Who Violently Shoved A 75-Year-Old Protester
Felony charges were dropped Thursday against two police officers in Buffalo, New York, who violently shoved a 75-year-old protester, causing him to fall, hit his head on the sidewalk, and bleed from his ear, officials said.
Graphic video of the incident captured by local NPR station WBFO showed the moment officers shoved the peace activist during a Black Lives Matter protest in June, and quickly went viral. The footage shows the man, Martin Gugino, walking up to police officers as they begin to yell "Move!" and "Push him back!" while enforcing a city curfew.
Two of the officers seen in the video, Aaron Torgalski and Robert McCabe, had faced second-degree assault charges, but a grand jury that reviewed the cases voted to dismiss them, Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said at a news conference Thursday.
The Charlotte Observer
‘I’m going to come kill the president’: NC man charged with threatening Biden
A Gaston County man with a long history of violence is charged with threatening to kill President Joe Biden.
According to newly unsealed documents in the case, David Kyle Reeves, 27, of Gastonia, made a series of angry and erratic phone calls to the White House switchboard between Jan. 28 and Feb. 1 in which he threatened to kill the president and other federal officials. He repeated the threats in phone conversations with the Secret Service in which he dared agents to try and stop him, documents show.
“I’m going to come kill the president, I’m going to kill the Secret Service because I own this whole planet,” Reeves said in a phone call to a Secret Service special agent, according to an affidavit.
Good News Network
Man Saves Elk After it Was Buried By an Avalanche With Only a Nostril And One Eye Peeking Out of the Snow
Controlled avalanches are generally set off in order to prevent larger ones from happening, but that doesn’t mean they’re not without danger.
Jesse Dahlberg was watching as railroad crews using explosives set off a series of small avalanches near the town of Field in southeastern British Columbia when he noticed a lone elk directly in the path of the next manmade snow tsunami.
Although he hoped the elk might be able to outrun the oncoming peril, the animal was engulfed in a wave of white as the avalanche coursed around it on its way down the mountainside.
“I didn’t know how big the avalanche was going to be so I was hoping for the best… When I saw it, I thought there’s no way that elk is going to survive,” Dahlberg told CBC News. “That wall of snow caught up to that elk so fast and just blasted it.”
Good News Network
Look Out for the Venus And Jupiter Conjunction Beginning Thursday Morning
There’s a lot happening in the sky on February 11. Not only will it be especially dark thanks to the new moon, but on Thursday morning, a little before sunrise, look up and you’ll see Venus closely approach Jupiter.
You should just be able to see this planetary conjunction happen with the naked eye, but binoculars or a basic telescope are always handy when looking up at celestial events.
How to spot this rare conjunction? According to Farmer’s Almanac, about 30 minutes before sunrise look low on the southeast horizon. At that point, the planets should have risen just highly enough above the horizon to be seen. The sun won’t yet have begun to brighten the sky, and you should be able to see Jupiter and Saturn shining very closely together—just 0.4 degrees apart.