January 26, 2021

AP Top News at 4:02 p.m. EST

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Voting is underway in the House on impeaching President Donald Trump over the violent siege at the U.S. Capitol last week by a mob of his supporters. Lawmakers are voting Wednesday on impeaching Trump on a single charge, incitement of insurrection. If it passes, Trump would be the first president to be impeached twice. The impeachment proceedings came one week after a violent, pro-Trump mob breached the Capitol, sending lawmakers into hiding and revealing the fragility of the nation’s history of peaceful transfers of power. Five people died. The riot has forced a reckoning among some Republicans, who have stood by Trump throughout his presidency and largely allowed him to spread false attacks against the integrity of the 2020 election.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump was on the verge of being impeached for a second time just a week after he encouraged loyalists to “fight like hell” against election results and then a mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. Voting on an article of impeachment for “incitement of insurrection” was underway Wednesday afternoon. During debate before the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked Republicans and Democrats to “search their souls.” Trump would be the first American president to be impeached twice. Trump “must go,” Pelosi said. “He is a clear and present danger to the nation we all love.” Actual removal seems unlikely before the Jan.

State leaders around the U.S. are increasingly pushing for schools to reopen this winter — pressuring them, even — as teachers begin to gain access to the vaccine against the raging pandemic. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine offered to give vaccinations to teachers at the start of February, provided their school systems agree to resume at least some in-person instruction by March 1. And Arizona’s governor warned schools that he expects students back in the classroom despite objections from top education officials and the highest COVID-19 diagnosis rate in the nation over the past week. “We will not be funding empty seats or allowing schools to remain in a perpetual state of closure,” Republican Gov.

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — As rioters laid siege to the U.S. Capitol, the seat of American democracy became a melting pot of extremist groups: militia members, white supremacists, paramilitary organizations, anti-maskers and fanatical supporters of President Donald Trump, standing shoulder to shoulder in rage. Experts say it was the culmination of years of increasing radicalization and partisanship, combined with a growing fascination with paramilitary groups and a global pandemic. And they warn that the armed insurrection that left five people dead and shook the country could be just the beginning. “We look at it like a conveyor belt of radicalization,” said Devin Burghart, executive director of the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House impeachment debate on Wednesday heard a distorted account of President Donald Trump’s remarks to his supporters a week ago when he exhorted them to “fight like hell” before they swarmed the Capitol. REP. GUY RESCHENTHALER, R-Pa.: “At his rally, President Trump urged attendees to, quote, unquote, peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard. There was no mention of violence, let alone calls to action.” THE FACTS: Trump’s speech was a call to action — a call to fight and save the country. “Our country has had enough,” he told those who went on to stage the violent siege of the Capitol.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California is immediately allowing residents 65 and older to get scarce coronavirus vaccines, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday. The move puts seniors in line before emergency workers, teachers, childcare providers and food and agriculture workers even as counties complain they already don’t have enough doses to go around. “There is no higher priority than efficiently and equitably distributing these vaccines as quickly as possible to those who face the gravest consequences,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement. “To those not yet eligible for vaccines, your turn is coming. We are doing everything we can to bring more vaccine into the state.” While health care workers and those in nursing homes and other congregate living facilities can still be vaccinated, state officials are expanding the program to those 65 and up because they are at the greatest risk of being hospitalized and dying.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government announced Wednesday that it will halt imports of cotton and tomatoes from the Uighur region of China in its most sweeping action yet to pressure the Communist Party over its campaign against ethnic minorities. Officials said Customs and Border Protection will use its authority to block products suspected of being produced with forced labor to keep out cotton, tomatoes and related products from the Xinjiang region of northwest China. Xinjiang is a major global supplier of cotton, so the order could have significant effects on international commerce. The Trump administration has already blocked imports from individual companies linked to forced labor in the region, and the U.S.

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Flint mother Ariana Hawk struggled to find words. Bittersweet came to mind, as did frustrated. “I literally could have cried,” said Hawk, sitting in her car after learning former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and others in his administration were expected to be charged in a water crisis blamed with causing learning disabilities in scores of children and other medical problems among adults in the majority Black city about 60 miles (95 kilometers) northwest of Detroit. Her son, Sincere Smith, was 2 years old when Hawk noticed something wasn’t right with the family’s tap water. Sometimes the water they drank and used for cooking and bathing was discolored.

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle-based Amazon.com, Inc. has asked a federal judge to deny a request to reinstate the cloud-service account for conservative social media network Parler, claiming Parler shrugged off police violence content on its site before and after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Amazon’s lawyers made the claim on Tuesday, a day after Parler on Monday filed a lawsuit against Amazon claiming a breach of contract and antitrust violation after its account was suspended and effectively removed from the internet, The Seattle Times reported. The lawsuit claims Amazon colluded with Twitter to “kill Parler’s business — at the very time it is set to skyrocket,” the complaint said.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois House on Wednesday elected its first Black speaker to replace the longest-serving legislative leader in modern U.S. history, picking Democratic Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch for the job and pushing aside Michael Madigan due to an ongoing bribery investigation. Madigan had served as speaker for 36 of the past 38 years, but a vote Sunday by members of the Democratic caucus signaled he lacked enough support to keep the gavel. He suspended his speaker campaign the next day. Welch, an eight-year House veteran from the Chicago suburb of Hillside, garnered 70 votes from the 118-member House.

The Latest: House begins voting on 2nd Trump impeachment

Trump on verge of 2nd impeachment; voting underway

Calls to reopen classrooms grow as teachers get vaccinated

Mix of extremists who stormed Capitol isn’t retreating

AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s call to action distorted in debate

California opens scarce vaccines to those 65 and older

US to block cotton from China region targeted in crackdown

Flint families welcome water crisis charges, seek healing

Amazon seeks to keep right-wing app Parler offline

Illinois replaces longest-serving legislative leader in US

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Author: Associated Press

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