Trump reportedly told Kelly Loeffler he’d ‘do a number on her’ if she didn’t back Electoral College challenge
President Trump was prepared to “do a number” on outgoing Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) last week on stage during the president’s final pre-runoff rally in Georgia, a source familiar with the events told The Washington Free Beacon’s Eliana Johnson, per Politico.The implication is that Trump told Loeffler what he said about her on stage was contingent upon whether she backed the Electoral Colleges championed by Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Josh (R-Mo.), among others.> Scoop in @playbookplus, guest-written today by @elianayjohnson:> > Trump “told Kelly Loeffler before he landed in Georgia for a final rally on Monday that if she didn’t back the Electoral College challenges, he would ‘do a number on her,’ from the stage.”https://t.co/qdxrdmRB1N> > — Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) January 10, 2021Loeffler did plan to object, though it’s unclear if the decision was directly related to Trump’s alleged threat. Ultimately, the point was moot, since Loeffler lost to her Democratic challenger Raphael Warnock, and wound up voting to certify the President-elect Joe Biden’s vote, afterwards. But the report still carries some significance for analysts, who think it’s a microcosm of the larger issues that led to Loeffler’s defeat.> In the end, it’s a symptom of the broader dynamic of Loeffler’s loss, one that was evident from the beginning of the year. She tried to transform herself into something she was not, alienating moderates while never being genuine enough to win over a skeptical Trump base.> > — Jacob Rubashkin (@JacobRubashkin) January 10, 2021Johnson’s scoop also further suggests that Trump was willing to let the Republican Party lose control of the Senate for personal gain.More stories from theweek.com Sympathy for Ashli Babbitt 7 scathing cartoons about Trump’s Capitol riot There will be no Trump heir
Israelis protest Netanyahu amid 3rd virus lockdown
Thousands of Israelis on Saturday renewed weekly demonstrations against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling for the long-serving leader to resign over corruption charges against him and his alleged mishandling of the coronavirus crisis. Protesters held signs reading “Go,” and “Bibi, let my people go,” referring to Netanyahu by his nickname. The protest in a Jerusalem square near Netanyahu’s official residence comes as Israel is the midst of its third national lockdown, which was recently tightened to shutter schools, and as the country presses forward with a world-leading vaccination drive.
Sen. Joe Manchin says he’d ‘absolutely’ oppose Biden’s stimulus checks, then swiftly walks it back after stocks tank
President-elect Joe Biden announced some economic priorities on Friday, but Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) promptly poked some holes in his plans.Biden began laying out his framework for the next round of COVID-19 relief, reports The Washington Post, and said his plans include a multi-trillion-dollar package that would provide “more direct relief flowing to families, small businesses,” in part via $2,000 stimulus checks.But Manchin, who Axios notes will become an increasingly important player as a moderate in the Democrats’ razor-thin Senate majority, seemed taken aback by Biden’s promise. “I don’t know where in the hell $2,000 came from. I swear to God I don’t,” he said. “That’s another $400 billion dollars.” Since Republicans are united in opposing larger checks, resistance from a single Democrat could throw a wrench in Biden’s plans.He told the Post he would “absolutely not” support larger stimulus checks for Americans, but a spokesperson later seemed to walk back his resistance, insisting Manchin “isn’t drawing a red line against” $2,000 checks, but simply “believes vaccine distribution should be a higher priority,” as NBC News’ Sahil Kapur put it. Perhaps realizing how consequential his hardline opposition to the plan may be, Manchin later tweeted to note he was open to discussion. “If the next round of stimulus checks goes out they should be targeted to those who need it,” he wrote. Conspicuously, between Manchin’s initial comments and his clarification, markets seemed to notice the potential roadblock.> Stocks dropped from all-time highs after a report that West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin will oppose further direct aid payments, denting hopes for another sweeping spending bill https://t.co/qzugAEnxpL pic.twitter.com/34WGqpsXJ3> > — Bloomberg (@business) January 8, 2021Aside from Manchin’s role in the announcement, Biden’s remarks on his economic plans were noteworthy in that he prioritized extending unemployment insurance, as well as sending billions of dollars in aid to state and local governments, which could help speed up COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Read more at The Washington Post.More stories from theweek.com Sympathy for Ashli Babbitt 7 scathing cartoons about Trump’s Capitol riot There will be no Trump heir
Scarce doses and empty vaccination centres: Germany’s vaccine rollout headache
Proud of their national reputation for efficiency, Germans are growing increasingly frustrated by the slow rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine its scientists helped develop. Scarce vaccine supply, cumbersome paperwork, a lack of healthcare staff and an aged and immobile population are hampering efforts to get early doses of a vaccine made by U.S.-based Pfizer and German partner BioNTech into the arms of the people. Germany has set up hundreds of vaccination centres in sports halls and concert arenas and has the infrastructure to administer up to 300,000 shots a day, Health Minister Jens Spahn said.
India apprehends Chinese soldier for transgressing border
The Indian army said Saturday that it had apprehended a Chinese soldier in the remote Ladakh region, where the two countries are locked in a monthslong military standoff along their disputed mountain border. An army statement said the Chinese soldier was taken into custody on Friday for transgressing into the Indian side in area South of Pangong Tso lake. China said it informed the Indian side as soon as one of its soldiers went missing “due to darkness and complicated terrain.”
Dog rescue charity wins first-ever private prosecution for dog breeding, after woman adopted two dogs and illegally sold their puppies
An unlicensed dog breeder was forced to give up two rescued pets after she became the first to have a private prosecution brought against her by an animal charity. Nicola Palmer, 39, of Kesgrave, Suffolk, was taken to court by Phoenix Rehoming after she breached her adoption contract by failing to neuter her male and female dog brought to the UK from Romania. Palmer had no licence to breed the dogs but allowed them to have a litter of nine puppies, five of which were sold for £300 each. The remaining dogs were given to family members. Animal welfare chiefs said the case reflected how “growing numbers” of people were looking to cash in on rising demand for puppies exacerbated during the coronavirus pandemic. Phoenix Rehoming, which spotted that Palmer’s female dog Esme was pregnant at the age of 10 months, sought help from the charity Animal Protection Services which organised the private prosecution. Ms Palmer was accused of three counts of theft relating to the two adult dogs and the litter, and breeding dogs without a licence. She gave back the adult dogs when she was served with the summons at her home three days before Christmas and was allegedly told the police would be called if she did not comply. The theft charges were dropped at Suffolk magistrates court in Ipswich last Wednesday, in return for her pleading guilty to not having a breeding licence. Ms Palmer who is on benefits was given a conditional discharge, and ordered to pay £230 towards the estimated £11,000 costs of the prosecution, and a £21 victim surcharge. A spokesperson for Animal Protection Services which investigates and prosecutes animal cruelty said: “We believe this is the first ever private prosecution relating to an unlicensed dog breeder. “We have found that there are a growing number of people cashing in on the huge demand for puppies caused by the coronavirus pandemic and people spending more time at home. “While this case related to a woman who had broken the condition of adopting dogs, there are also organised crime groups who are getting involved in breeding. Many groups are switching from drugs to puppies because there is so little enforcement. “The law about licensing breeders is supposed to be enforced by local authorities, but they have only brought a handful of cases. “We are in the process of bringing a further seven private prosecutions of people involved in unlicensed breeding.” Anyone making more than £1,000 a year from dog breeding has to have a local authority licence, although the requirement is not enforced for the breeding of family pets. The law introduced in 1999 to crack down on puppy farms was strengthened in 2018 when a licence became compulsory for anyone breeding three or more litters a year, even if not for profit, instead of the previous limit of five. Ms Palmer who lives in Kesgrave, Suffolk, made a donation of £530 to the charity for the pups. She said: “It wasn’t made clear to me when I took on the dogs that the charity still owned them even though I had paid for them. I had all their paperwork and passports showing they had been imported from Romania so in my mind, they were entirely mine.”
Australia, US, UK, Canada criticize Hong Kong mass arrests
The foreign ministers of Australia, the United States, Great Britain and Canada issued a joint statement Sunday expressing “serious concern” about the arrest of 55 democracy activists and supporters in Hong Kong last week. The arrests were by far the largest such action taken under a national security law that China imposed on the semi-autonomous territory a little more than six months ago. “It is clear that the National Security Law is being used to eliminate dissent and opposing political views,” the four foreign ministers said.
Capitol protests organized by Alabama AG’s nonprofit group
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall plays a key role in the group that helped organize the protest rally that took place in D.C. prior to the deadly revolt at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Marshall is at the helm of the Republican Attorneys General Association’s dark-money nonprofit, Rule of Law Defense Fund (RLDF), which is listed as a participating organization for the March to Save America on the march’s website. Although the website has been taken down, archived versions confirm RLDF as a participating group, according to Alabama Political Reporter.
EXPLAINER: Why is Indonesia prone to plane crashes?
Saturday’s plane crash in Indonesia, in which a Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-500 carrying 62 people plunged into the Java Sea shortly after takeoff, has once again cast the limelight on the safety of the country’s aviation industry. Indonesia’s aviation record is one of the worst in Asia, with more civilian airliner passenger accidents since 1945 than any other country in the region. While experts say there have been many improvements in recent years, the latest crash has experts questioning the true progress of Indonesia’s aviation oversight and regulation.
Senate impeachment trial could begin one hour after Trump leaves office, says top Republican Congressman
Donald Trump could face a trial in the Senate starting an hour after he leaves office. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, sent a memo to colleagues setting out the timings for a trial if Mr Trump is impeached. The Democrat-led House of Representatives may move to impeach the president for “incitement to insurrection” as soon as early next week, after Mr Trump encouraged crowds to march on the Capitol, which was later stormed and desecrated, leaving five people dead. Mr McConnell, the most powerful Republican in Congress, said the Senate is scheduled to begin attending to business after its January recess on Jan 19. According to its rules the Senate “must proceed to their consideration” at 1pm the day after that. That would mean an hour after Joe Biden is inaugurated.
Pakistani Shiites end protests, hold funeral for 11 miners
Hundreds of Pakistani Shiites gathered Saturday to bury 11 coal miners from the minority Hazara community who were killed by the Islamic State group, ending a week of protests that sought to highlight the community’s plight. Protesters staged a sit-in after the militant group captured and shot the miners last Sunday in Machh, an area some 50 kilometers (30 miles) east of Quetta, the capital of Pakistan’s troubled Baluchistan province. Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived Saturday afternoon in Quetta and was expected to meet with a delegation of mourners and Shiite leaders, according to his office.
FAA chief vows tough line after some Trump supporters disrupt flights
The head of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Saturday vowed to take “strong enforcement action” against unruly passengers following reports of supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump disrupting flights returning from Washington. The FAA said it shared the concerns raised by airlines and Association of Flight Attendants. “I expect all passengers to follow crew member instructions, which are in place for their safety and the safety of flight,” FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said in a statement.
Backlash after Seoul advises pregnant women to look after their husbands during labour
The Seoul city government has come under fire for offering sexist tips for women on a website promoting childbirth, which included suggestions that they should prepare underwear for their husbands before going to hospital to give birth. The guidelines, published on the “Seoul City Pregnancy and Childbirth Information Centre” website, aimed at providing tips on preparing for pregnancy, education on childbirth, and general information for both new or expectant mothers. When the website launched in 2019, the city government said it would help “induce social interest” in overcoming South Korea’s low birth rate, which is currently the world’s lowest. The population declined for the first time in the country’s history in 2020. The controversial content only came to light after going viral on social media earlier this month. The inappropriate parts have now been deleted. The guidelines told women who were getting ready to go to hospital to “throw away the old food in the fridge and prepare 3-4 side dishes” and “prepare instant food such as instant curry so that your husband who isn’t good at cooking can conveniently prepare them”. The tips also advised to prepare several days’ worth of underwear, socks, and shirts for the husband and children, and to check the remaining amount of daily necessities at home such as toilet paper and soap to make sure they are not inconvenienced by the mother’s absence while in hospital. On physical appearance, the website said pregnant women must not put off washing the dishes and cleaning the house so that they do not gain weight. It also told women to hang up smaller clothes worn prior to marriage to motivate them to exercise after giving birth. On social media, critics pointed that such anachronistic fixed gender roles were the very reasons women were putting off marriage and pregnancy, in what remains a largely patriarchal society. A petition on the presidential Blue House website demanding those responsible for the website to apologise and be punished gained over 20,000 after one day. South Korean media report the guidelines were “supervised” by the Korean Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Lawyers: Woman on US death row not competent for execution
Lawyers for the only woman on federal death row are asking a judge to halt her execution and arguing she isn’t competent and can’t be put to death. Lisa Montgomery’s lawyers filed a petition Friday in federal court in Indiana seeking to halt the execution, which is scheduled for Tuesday at the federal prison complex in Terre Haute, Indiana. Biden opposes the death penalty, and his spokesman has said he’ll work to end its use.