News and Headlines. 1/18/2021

News and Headlines: In The News, Politics, World News, Commentary/Opinion.

In The News:

Inauguration Day 2021: Washington’s security preps in high gear

Members of the National Guard organize weapons outside of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021.(Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Image 15 of 53: Members of the National Guard organize weapons outside of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021.(Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Democratic legislator reportedly texts 19-year-old a graphic photo of his genitals. He says he thought he was texting his wife.

The news came to light the same day that he was sworn in as president of a New York chapter of the NAACP.

The Democratic legislator has since insisted that he believed he was sending the photo to his wife.

The 19-year-old, LaKaya Sinclair, wrote a letter to the Monroe County board of legislators, calling for Flagler-Mitchell’s resignation over the controversy.

Trump Adds to List of ‘American Heroes’ to Be Honored in National Garden

Muhammad Ali punches a bag in his Deer Lake, Pa., training camp where he was preparing for his rematch with Joe Frazier, on Jan.10, 1974.
Muhammad Ali punches a bag in his Deer Lake, Pa., training camp where he was preparing for his rematch with Joe Frazier, on Jan.10, 1974. (Rusty Kennedy/AP Photo)

In a Jan. 18 executive order building on his proposal last year, Trump said a task force dedicated to plan for the construction of the garden finished its first phase and is prepared to move forward.

The amended order includes dozens of new people Trump has named as heroes.

They include astronaut Neil Armstrong, singer-songwriter Woody Guthrie, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Jeopardy host Alex Trebek.

Americans are included if they made “substantive contributions to America’s public life or otherwise had a substantive effect on America’s history,” the updated description says.

Texas ‘Leading the Way’ in COVID-19 Vaccines Administered in US: Abbott

Abbott hailed Texas’s efforts to distribute and administer the vaccine amid a nationwide rollout that has been slower than expected.

“Texas is leading the way for our nation once again,” Abbott said in a statement on Jan. 14.

“This is the biggest vaccination effort we have ever undertaken, and it would not be possible without the dedication and tireless efforts of our healthcare workers. We still have a long road ahead of us, but Texans continue to prove that we are up to this challenge.”

Pelosi praises National Guard presence in DC after denouncing it during BLM riots last year

Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Pelosi reportedly helped distribute meals for some of the service members stationed in Washington to guard against any potential riots surrounding the Inauguration.

During the photo op, Pelosi even presented the service members with “challenge coins” embossed with her signature.

However, the speaker hasn’t always been so keen on a military presence in Washington.

In June, as riots broke out across the country and in the nation’s capital following the death of George Floyd, Pelosi criticized Trump’s use of National Guard troops to protect both federal property and people in the D.C. community against violence.

Woman who allegedly stole Pelosi’s laptop wanted to sell it to Russia, ex tells FBI

A note left in Nancy Pelosi’s office during the Capitol riot on 6 January.
A note left in Nancy Pelosi’s office during the Capitol riot on 6 January. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

The FBI said in an arrest warrant on Sunday, however, that Riley June Williams has not been charged with theft but only with illegally entering the Capitol and with disorderly conduct.

FBI officials said a caller claiming to be an ex of Williams said friends of hers showed him a video of her taking a laptop computer or hard drive from Pelosi’s office.

The caller alleged that she intended to send the device to a friend in Russia who planned to sell it to that country’s foreign intelligence service, but that plan fell through and she either has the device or has destroyed it.

Baltimore ‘Safe Streets’ director Dante Barksdale fatally shot in the head while visiting housing project

According to a Monday report from the New York Post, Barksdale was visiting a local public housing project when an as-yet unidentified gunman opened fire and struck him in the head.

Barksdale, who worked as the director for the city’s Safe Streets campaign for more than a decade, was rushed to nearby Johns Hopkins Hospital early Sunday morning, where officials pronounced him dead.

The Baltimore Sun also reported that Barksdale a few weeks earlier had delivered winter coats to families at the very same housing project where he lost his life.

A Farewell Message from First Lady Melania Trump.

Melania Trump Unveils Her Historic Preservation of White House Gems

SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

In particular, Mrs. Trump completed the first full renovation of the Queen’s Bathroom in the residence since the 1950s, updated and restored the President’s Elevator, restored the floors of the East Room as well as the marble floors of the State Entrance and Hallway, and fully renovated the White House’s bowling alley.

Mrs. Trump also took on the daunting task of restoring and conserving the eye-catching wallpaper in the Family Dining Room, designed by the French firm Jean Zuber and Co. Likewise, in keeping with the traditional classical architectural themes of the White House, Mrs. Trump renovated the Rose Garden and fully renovated the Tennis Pavillion.

In one of her most historic achievements, Mrs. Trump added a sculpture to the Rose Garden that was crafted by Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi — marking the first piece of art by an Asian American in the White House collection.

Report: Google and Facebook Made a ‘Secret Deal’ to Dominate Online Advertising

Alex Wong/Getty Images
Alex Wong/Getty Images

In an article titled “Behind a Secret Deal Between Google and Facebook,” the New York Times outlines a secret deal between Facebook and Google related to the online advertising market that the two companies largely dominate.

Facebook revealed in 2017 that it was testing a new way of selling ads online that could threaten Google’s control of the online advertising market, but just two years later Facebook announced that it would be joining an alliance of companies backing a similar effort by Google, seemingly abandoning its own plans that would have allowed the company to better compete with Google.

Facebook never clarified why it seemed to abandon its own project, but an antitrust lawsuit filed by ten state attorneys general last month implies that Google had extended to Facebook a sweetheart deal to be a partner.

Evolving Science | Full Measure

As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, there’s more controversy than clarity when it comes to issues like lockdowns, vaccines, immunity and origin.

What do we really know, and what’s still a mystery?

Today, we cut through rumor and misreporting in a special interview at the key military research lab for fighting infectious diseases in Ft. Detrick, Maryland.

Armed protesters gather in Richmond, support 2nd Amendment rights on ‘Lobby Day’

Boogaloo Bois stand on the sidewalk on 9th Street in support of lobby day on Monday, Jan. 18, 2021, in Richmond, Va. The day is a chance for citizens to use a day off work to meet with their legislators.
Boogaloo Bois stand on the sidewalk on 9th Street in support of lobby day on Monday, Jan. 18, 2021, in Richmond, Va. The day is a chance for citizens to use a day off work to meet with their legislators. (AP Photo/John C. Clark) (AP)

At the protest itself, one of the demonstrators said the group did not identify as far-right, but was “center” and Libertarian.

He blamed the media for mislabeling the group, claiming they did so simply because the group consisted of White members.

When asked what would happen if the group did end up engaging with the police, the demonstrator said, “You’re looking at the group we choose to let you see.”

The counterprotesters wore facemasks with “Black Lives Matter” emblazoned on them, and a few members even carried their own firearms.

Philadelphia suspect freed on dramatically reduced bail 2 weeks before Temple U grad slayed walking dog

Milan Loncar, left, photographed with his rescue dog, Roo. Davis L. Josephus, right, is accused of fatally shooting Loncar while he was out walking his dog in Brewerytown Wednesday.
Milan Loncar, left, photographed with his rescue dog, Roo. Davis L. Josephus, right, is accused of fatally shooting Loncar while he was out walking his dog in Brewerytown Wednesday.

District Attorney Larry Krasner said in a statement Sunday night that his office had argued in two separate cases last year that 20-year-old Davis L. Josephus be held in jail, “yet bail was lowered by judges over our objections.” Josephus is facing several charges, including murder, conspiracy, robbery and illegal firearm offenses after allegedly shooting Milan Loncar in Brewerytown Wednesday.

Police said surveillance video showed two men approach Loncar on the street before 7 p.m. — one pointing a gun at him – before both reached for his pants pockets. Loncar was shot once in the chest. He was still clutching the leash of his rescue dog when officers arrived.

Philadelphia Police Department Inspector Derrick Wood said in a tweet Sunday that Josephus was out on the street with two open felony cases because his bail was reduced from $200,000 to $12,000.

Missouri becomes first state in US to no longer perform abortions

A total of 45 abortion facilities closed or halted abortions nationwide in 2020, including in Missouri, which is now the only state without an active abortion facility, according to a survey conducted by Operation Rescue, a pro-life activist organization.

In its year-end report, “The Status of American Abortion Facilities in 2020,” it notes, the only remaining abortion provider, Reproductive Health Services Planned Parenthood in St. Louis, “was the last abortion facility in Missouri.

It remains open, but Operation Rescue has confirmed that no abortion appointments have been available there for months, and none are available anytime in the foreseeable future.”

Instead, the facility is referring all abortion appointments to Fairview Heights Planned Parenthood facility across the Mississippi River in Illinois.

Twitter Senior Executive Vijaya Gadde Details Plans for Political Censorship on a Global Scale

[SAN FRANCISCO – Jan. 18, 2021] Project Veritas released a new video today exposing a senior executive at Twitter, Vijaya Gadde, detailing plans to replicate censorship measures around the world.

Former Facebook exec calls to limit conservatives on social media

The Federalist Publisher Ben Domenech discusses conservative censorship by Big Tech.

Parler back online, will welcome users back ‘soon’

Fox News’ Jackie Deangelis reports on the conservative social media site Parler coming back online after being suspended from the Apple app store.

Massachusetts mom punched at Capitol rally loses hospital job

Therese Duke of Charlton on January 13, 2021 in Auburn, MA. Duke lost her job at UMass Memorial Hospital after being caught on video in a street skirmish in D.C. Tuesday night.
Auburn MA. -Therese Duke of Charlton on January 13, 2021 in Auburn, MA. Duke lost her job at UMass Memorial Hospital after being caught on video in a street skirmish in D.C. Tuesday night. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

The punched Massachusetts nurse who went viral after her teenage daughter publicly shamed her for being at a violent pro-President Trump rally has now lost her job of 15 years — and fears she’ll never get another.

Therese Duke told the Boston Herald she was innocently “looking for a place to eat” in Washington, DC, with “like-minded” Trump supporters when they were accosted by counter-protesters near the White House.

The melee on Jan. 5 — the night before rioters stormed the Capitol — saw her getting punched in the face, with her sister getting arrested for retaliating on the alleged attacker.


Trump 2024? Let’s Talk About It.

Do you think Trump will run in again 2024?

Let’s talk about it. Here’s the Simple Truth.

Keystone pipeline: Biden ‘to cancel it on his first day’


A briefing note seen by Canadian and US media says Mr Biden will sign an executive order revoking the permit for Keystone XL on Inauguration Day – 20 January.

He will also return the US to the Paris climate agreement – a global pact on cutting carbon emissions – reversing another decision by Mr Trump, who took the US out of the accord on 4 November last year.

Mr Biden has pledged to make the fight against climate change a top priority of his administration.

Alberta’s leader, Premier Jason Kenney, said he was “deeply concerned” by the reports of Mr Biden’s plans and said if the pipeline was cancelled, his government would look at legal action.

Biden Picks Warren Allies to Head Financial Sector Oversight Agencies, SEC, and CFPB

President-elect Joe Biden delivers remarks at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Delaware, on Jan. 6, 2021.
WILMINGTON, DELAWARE – JANUARY 06: U.S. President-elect Joe Biden delivers remarks about the storming of the U.S. Capitol (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Biden’s incoming economic team has signaled that it will formulate economic policy around issues such as climate change, gender equality, and race, rather than solely around traditional indicators of performance, such as gross domestic product.

One of Biden’s proposals, which would fall under the remit of the SEC, would be to require publicly traded companies to disclose data on the racial and gender composition of their corporate boards “to better aid shareholders and advocates in their call for a diverse and inclusive management structure.”

In June 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the structure of the CFPB was unconstitutional as it “violates the separation of powers,” but stopped short of dismantling the agency. “The agency may therefore continue to operate, but its director, in light of our decision, must be removable by the president at will,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in an opinion.

Biden on Jan. 18 also announced that he will be appointing Obama-era Wall Street regulator Gary Gensler to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Biden Institute Won’t Disclose Donors

Legal experts and watchdog groups said the lack of transparency could create an ethical dilemma for Biden, particularly if he keeps his name on the institute and it continues to fundraise while he’s in the White House.

“They should at the very least disclose their donors, and I think the Biden family should at the very least take their name off if they’re going to continue to raise money,” former George W. Bush administration chief ethics lawyer Richard Painter told Politico.

The Biden Institute, which had many of Biden’s incoming administration staffers on its payroll, is part of a network of foundations and policy centers that he established after his vice presidency.

Census Bureau director stepping down after outcry over immigrant count

U.S. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham, pictured at a Feb. 12 House Oversight hearing, is stepping down Wednesday.
U.S. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham, pictured at a Feb. 12 House Oversight hearing, is stepping down Wednesday. | Alex Brandon/AP Photo

“Effective January 20, 2021, I will be retiring from my position as director of the U.S. Census Bureau,” Dillingham said in a letter sent to Census Bureau staff, which was published by the bureau. “I have a smile on my face and gratitude in my heart for all you have done for our Nation.”

Pressure has been mounting on Dillingham and the bureau, following the Commerce Department Office of Inspector General’s sending a memo last week alleging that he was pressuring bureau employees to rush a technical data report on the number of unauthorized immigrants in the country. After the OIG memo was made public, Dillingham said in a letter that he ordered those involved to “stand down” on that technical report.

Several key Democratic lawmakers told POLITICO last week that Dillingham should resign, or be removed from his post by President-elect Joe Biden, following the OIG report. Talking Points Memo first reported Dillingham’s resignation on Monday.

Planned Parenthood CEO: Biden Sweeping Abortion Agenda Must Undo ‘Harm’ of Trump Pro-Life Policies

Twitter/Alexis McGill Johnson
Twitter/Alexis McGill Johnson

“We have a ton of work to do to undo the harm over the last four years, but knowing we have champions there who understand what needs to happen in the first 100 days is tremendously exciting,” Alexis McGill Johnson told NBC News in an interview published Monday, one in which Biden is referred to as a “devout Catholic.”

Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have vowed an immediate and aggressive pro-abortion agenda beginning Wednesday, the day of the inauguration.

Harris is among the chief “champions” of abortion rights, a politician who has held close ties with America’s largest abortion provider throughout her career.

It was Harris who, as California attorney general, directed her office to lead the raid on Center for Medical Progress (CMP) project lead David Daleiden after CMP released undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s fetal tissue sales practices.

Nancy Pelosi Won’t Say When She Will Send Impeachment Article to the Senate


Both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), both of whom will soon switch leadership roles, have yet to release details of the plans to move forward with an impeachment trial in the Senate following the Democrat-led House voting to impeach President Trump for the second time.

While McConnell released a timeline indicating that the proceedings would not truly begin until after Inauguration Day, Democrat lawmakers have been vocal in their calls to not only remove Trump from office, but prevent him from running ever again.

“Even if the Senate process were to begin this week and move promptly, no final verdict would be reached until after President Trump had left office,” McConnell said in a statement last week.

Capitol: This Week | Full Measure

With just days left in President Trump’s term, it’s been another turbulent and historic week.

A rushed, second impeachment with no witnesses or debate, thousands of military troops reporting to the streets of the U.S. Capitol, and Washington DC’s mayor urging everyone to stay home for Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.

Scott Thuman is covering all of that.

Steve Hilton makes the case for ‘positive populism’

‘The Next Revolution’ host calls for a ‘strong, united Republican party.’

World News:

Claim That Kickbacks from Arms Deals Funded French Presidential Election Campaign Goes to Court

Getty Images
Getty Images

Balladur, 91, joins a long list of senior French politicians pursued for alleged financial wrongdoing, including former president Nicolas Sarkozy and his predecessor, Jacques Chirac.

The conservative ex-premier will be tried by the Court of Justice of the Republic in Paris, a tribunal dedicated to hearing cases of ministerial misconduct.

Also in the dock will be his former defence minister Francois Leotard, 78, though his presence at the trial’s opening is uncertain because of illness.

NBC: Iran Jails U.S. Dual National Businessman for Spying, Jeopardizing Biden Plan

Iran has recently embarked on a campaign to gain as much leverage before the incoming administration makes a bid to reenter the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal, which includes major of the breaches of the agreement as well as hostage-taking. Under the Trump administration’s policy of maximum pressure, Iran had actually freed American hostages.

NBC news said Emad Shargi was arrested near the northern border with Iraq while trying to leave the country on December 6, 2020.

He was first arrested in April 2018 and jailed for about seven months. A year ago, in December 2019, an Iranian court had cleared Shargi, the report said, but the regime held onto his Iranian and U.S. passports.

Gazans fire rockets at Israel; PA elections decreed; Israel-US ties to endure- TV7 Israel News 18.01

1) Palestinian Islamists launch two rockets from the Gaza Strip toward Israel’s southern communities– drawing Israeli retaliatory bombardments against Hamas installations.

2) Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issues a decree to hold parliamentary and Presidential elections for the Palestinian Authority, the first in fifteen years.

3) Israel commends the United States for its role in bringing peace to the region – while in tandem – confronting the Islamic Republic’s malign activities in general and its pursuit of nuclear weapons in particular.


SHOCKING POLL: Majority think ‘other Americans’ are greatest risk to U.S.

A new, shocking CBS News poll shows that the majority of Americans believe they’re facing a new enemy: OTHER Americans.

So, rather than economic factors, viruses, natural disasters, or foreign actors, we believe that WE’RE the greatest risk to the U.S. But it gets even worse:

96 percent of Biden voters have an unfavorable view of Trump voters, and 95 percent of Trump voters feel the same about the left.

Is it even POSSIBLE to unite our nation with statistics like that?

Glenn and Stu discuss the poll numbers and what they mean for our future…

The New Rules of War | Full Measure

As America has struggled through a string of seemingly unrelated crises, there are some who say they’re not just random events.

Lisa Fletcher talks about that with former soldier and national security strategist Sean McFate, author of “The New Rules of War:

How America Can Win—Against Russia, China, and Other Threats.”

The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast – Season 4 Episode 2: Gregg Hurwitz: Build a Better Democrat

The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast – Season 4 Episode 2: Gregg Hurwitz: Build a Better Democrat

This episode was recorded on 12/20/2020 before the most recent events on Capitol Hill. Gregg Hurwitz is an American novelist, scriptwriter, and producer.

In the last few years leading up to the presidential election, Gregg has been working with an independent team of Hollywood writers, producers, and directors to design and promote a moderate political message for the democrats with wide public appeal.

There Is No Apolitical Classroom

Do you know what’s going on in your kid’s school?

The three R’s – reading, writing, and arithmetic – have taken a back seat to a fourth R.

Max Eden, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, explains what that fourth R is, and why it’s so destructive.