The future is looking a little greener: 2020 marked the first year Europeans got more of their electricity from renewable sources than fossil fuels.
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The US has now recorded more than 25 million coronavirus cases, and experts say it’s time to double down on safety measures and speed up vaccine administration to keep the already unfathomable numbers from spiraling further out of control. Still, healthy young Americans may not have access to a vaccine until mid- to late summer. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said a big problem is there’s not enough information about how much vaccine is available. The CDC is also reviewing data that suggests the UK coronavirus variant could, in fact, be more deadly than the original strain. Meanwhile, Dr. Deborah Birx and Dr. Anthony Fauci are speaking out about their time working with the Trump administration on coronavirus efforts. Birx says former President Trump was presented with and used data about the virus that she had never seen. Fauci said Trump surrounded himself with people who said things that “didn’t make any scientific sense.”
2. White House
President Biden is gearing up for a week of executive actions addressing commerce, climate concerns, health care, immigration and other top-line issues. Among them, Biden is expected to repeal Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in the military as early as today. Also today, he’s due to reinstate Covid-19 travel restrictions on non-US citizens who have been in Brazil, Ireland, the UK and much of Europe. Transportation officials are already considering ways to enforce Biden’s recent mask mandate for interstate travel. Elsewhere in the new administration, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is ordering a review of the Pentagon’s sexual assault and harassment prevention programs. Biden’s administration is also facing pressure to investigate more into the recent SolarWinds hack, allegedly perpetrated by Russian entities.
3. Capitol riot
The Justice Department has unveiled new criminal charges against alleged Capitol rioters, including a Federal Aviation Administration employee. Another rioter was charged with threatening to assassinate Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports that in the days leading up to the Capitol riot, Trump pushed the Justice Department to directly ask the Supreme Court to invalidate Biden’s election win. The New Year’s weekend effort reportedly failed after Trump’s DOJ appointees refused to file the case. Trump’s Senate impeachment trial will start the week of February 8, a move intended to give his legal team more time to prepare.
The UK is adjusting to its new Brexit reality, and the fishing industry is being hit especially hard, with fresh catches reportedly being left to rot as exporters cannot get them to the European Union. Some logistics firms worry that importing and exporting may not even be viable for some businesses unless a different deal is struck with the EU. Shipping has become a problem, too, and businesses have reported piles of returned packages. The UK’s economy has contracted in the first quarter, leading to real concerns about a double-dip recession amid ongoing pandemic challenges.
Protesters gathered last night in Tacoma, Washington, one day after a Tacoma police officer drove into a crowd. The officer was among units responding Saturday to an incident involving about 100 people. The crowd reportedly surrounded his vehicle and hit it. A statement from Tacoma police said the officer feared for his life and tried to back up but could not. Graphic video of the incident shows the car approaching the crowd, backing up once it’s surrounded, then accelerating. The back tires of the vehicle can be seen rolling over someone lying in the street. The incident comes as police departments across the country face scrutiny over how they use deadly force.
The Kansas City Chiefs face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV
This Super Bowl is going to be so … red.
SpaceX launches 143 satellites on 1 rocket in record-setting mission
The mission set the record for the most satellites on a rocket — no open seats on that flight!
Bernie Sanders turns inauguration meme into sweatshirt for charity
He’s embraced his new role as a cozy fashion inspiration.
Godiva is closing or selling all of its stores in the United States
A woman who won a $60 million lottery said she got the winning numbers from her husband’s dream
Some husbands dream about accidentally showing up to work in their underwear, and others dream of $60 million premonitions.
Tributes are still pouring in for Hank Aaron, baseball legend and Hall of Famer, who passed away Friday at the age of 86 …
… and CNN icon and former TV host Larry King, who passed away Saturday at the age of 87.
That’s how many Capitol Police officers tested positive for Covid-19 following the Capitol riot. It’s unclear how many of them were on duty during the attack. But health official warned that the crowds, largely unmasked, could have been a breeding ground for the virus.
“What happened this morning was not an act of simple gun violence. … What happened this morning was a mass murder.”
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, after five people and an unborn child were killed in an early morning shooting Sunday. Police say the incident is the city’s “largest mass casualty shooting in more than a decade.”
A charming delivery
This delivery man got a little surprise of his own while dropping off a package. (Click here to view.)