Sources close to President-elect Joe Biden have said that the incoming president is reportedly mulling cancelling the permit for the $9bn Keystone XL pipeline project as one of his first acts as president, perhaps as soon as his first day in office. Biden had previously vowed to scrap the oil pipeline’s presidential permit if he became President of the United States.
Telegram founder Pavel Durov said Monday his chat service took down hundreds of public calls for violence last week, in accordance with terms of service. ’Telegram welcomes peaceful debate and protest, but our Terms of Service explicitly prohibit distributing public calls to violence,’ Durov wrote in a blogpost. Durov said that Telegram had seen a spike in violent threats during the past month.
According to a Gallup Poll released Monday, President Trump’s approval rating has dropped to 34%. A low point of his presidency, this also happens to be among the weakest approval rating of any of his predecessors since the survey began in the 1940s. President Obama left office with a 59% approval rating. The poll of 1,023 adults was conducted from Jan 4 to 15.
The Sahara desert has been a sharp chill blast that plummeted temperatures below freezing point and covering parts of it in snow. Snow also blanketed parts of Saudi Arabia, which saw the mercury hit 28-degrees Fahrenheit (–2.22-degrees celsius). Although snow blanketing the sand dunes of the Sahara is not unheard of, the chill blast is considered to be unusual at this time of the year.
At least four people were injured Monday in a string of shootings that prompted an order to shelter in place for a Pennsylvania community. The shootings took place not far from each other in at least four different areas of Monroe County. Police believe the shootings were connected. Police have requested multiple search warrants and have witnesses.
The social media platform Parler returned online with a new message from its CEO John Matze, ’Hello world, is this thing on?’. Amazon Web Services suspended Parler from its servers last Sunday, in the wake of the deadly Capitol riot. Parler’s app remains offline, after Apple suspended it from its App Store, shortly after Google banned it from Google Play.
Rudy Giuliani has declined to be part of President Trump’s defense team in the Senate trial for his second impeachment. ’Because I gave an earlier speech, I am a witness and therefore unable to participate in court or in the Senate chamber,’ Giuliani said. Giuliani was one of several speakers who appeared at the Trump rally before the Capitol riot. ’Let’s have trial by combat,’ he told the crowd.
The Seoul High Court sentenced Samsung’s top leader, Lee Jae-yong, to two and a half years in prison on Monday for bribing South Korea’s former president, Park Geun-hye, to win government support for a 2015 merger between two Samsung affiliates. Experts say the sentence could create a leadership vacuum and hamper Samsung’s decision-making on future large-scale investments.
US President-elect Joe Biden’s spokesperson has said that the country will maintain travel bans on the UK, much of the EU and Brazil. This comes despite an order from President Trump to lift them. A White House order Monday decreed that the entry ban would end on 26 Jan. Biden’s spokesperson said in a tweet that now was not the time to be easing travel measures.
An arrest warrant has been obtained by the Federal Investigation Bureau for Riley June Williams, a woman alleged to have stolen a laptop from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the Capitol riot. It has been alleged that the woman intends to sell the device to the Russian SVR, which is the country’s spy force and is an equivalent of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple has claimed that reforms are required to be done on how Parler, the social network popular among conservatives, moderates posts, in order for it to return on the App Store. Following the attack on the US Capitol on the 6th of January, all downloads of the Parler app were suspended by Apple. Postings on the platform were said to be capable of inciting violence.
Reacting to a call by a migrant caravan moving from Honduras, calling on the Biden administration to honor their ’commitments’ to the migrants, a Biden official issued a warning saying ’Now is not the time’ to come to US. An unnamed transition official said that migrants ’need to understand they’re not going to be able to come into the United States immediately,’ adding ’there’s help on the way.’
A third straight monthly gain of industrial production was witnessed in the United States with a rise of 1.6% being witnessed in the month of December. Even with this continuous rise, industrial production still remains below levels reached before the pandemic. The month of November had seen a 0.5% increase while October showed an increase of 1%.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte won a key vote in parliament’s lower house after several lawmakers from ex-PM Matteo Renzi’s party, Italia Viva, didn’t take part in the voting. However, to hold on to power, Conte must win the confidence vote of the Senate. Conte lost his coalition majority with the defection of ministers from Renzi party over Conte’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis, etc.
Jenna Ryan, a Texas Realtor who flew on a private jet to take part in the US Capitol riot, told NBC News that she had ’no guilt in my heart’ over her actions in DC on January 6. Ryan, 50, said went there on the invitation from a ’very cute guy’ on Facebook. When asked whether she felt like a martyr, Ryan said, ’I do. I have the right to feel this way. So, whether or not you agree with me ...’
According to media reports, President Trump is preparing to issue around 100 pardons and commutations on his final full day in office Tuesday. The White House held a meeting on Sunday to finalize the list of pardons. The actions are expected to include white-collar criminals and political allies, along with some reform-minded pardons.
The Producer prices have risen less than expected in the month of December, even though consumer prices continued to rise as expected. A rise of just 0.3% was seen in producer prices as compared to the 0.4% which were expected. This led to the producer prices being up similar to as seen in November, 0.8% YoY. Pricing power is continuously being limited due to the pandemic response.
The US Geological Survey said a big earthquake in northwestern Argentina near the Chile border. It said the quake measured 6.4 on the Richter scale and its epicenter was in San Juan province. The quake was followed by several other strong aftershocks. Chile’s capital, Santiago, also felt strong tremors. No news of casualties as of now. Currently, damage assessment is being done by authorities.
A man was found living in a secure section of Chicago’s international airport for three months. Californian Aditya Singh, 36, allegedly told police he was too afraid of COVID-19 to return home to Los Angeles. Singh has been arrested and charged with criminal trespass to a restricted area of an airport, a felony, and theft, a misdemeanor. Singh is unemployed and lives with roommates in Orange.
Suppliers to Huawei such as Intel were notified by the Trump administration that certain licenses to sell to Huawei are being revoked. People familiar with the matter further told Reuters that the Trump administration also plans to reject dozens of other applications looking to supply to Huawei. These are some of the efforts made by the US against China in the Trump administration’s final days.
Earlier this week, Google revealed that it was ’conducting experiments’ to evaluate the merit of its services to news outlets in Australia. Media reports suggested that Australian news websites were not showing up in searches following the experiment. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg called out to Google, accusing it of ’blocking’ users when it should be paying for the content.
Part of Emperor Caligula’s pleasure gardens, known as Horti Lamiani, which was hidden from public for around 2,000 years, has been unearthed in Rome from underneath a rubble of a condemned building. Italy plans to open the subterranean gallery, called Nymphaeum Museum of Piazza Vittorio, this spring. Caligula ruled Rome between 37 and 41 CE and was notorious for his cruelty and lavish lifestyle.
Data scientist Rebekah Jones, who was instrumental in helping create Florida’s COVID-19 dashboard, has turned herself in to police, in response to an arrest warrant issued by the state. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said that Jones has been charged with one count of ’offenses against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks and electronic devices.’
GitHub has admitted that a Jewish employee was fired in error. This comes after the company hired an independent law firm to investigate the termination, and found that ’significant mistakes were made.’ The Head of HR, Carrie Olesen, is resigning subsequent to the investigation. The Jewish employee reportedly sent a message warning colleagues to ’stay safe homies, Nazis are about,’ on Jan. 6.