Stati Uniti d'America

Lawmakers Respond After Guard Soldiers Seen in Parking Garage

NY Times - 1 ora 21 min fa
Photographs of Guard soldiers resting on the concrete floor of a parking garage prompted swift condemnation and apologies from members of Congress.

Pfizer Will Ship Fewer Vaccine Vials to Account for ‘Extra’ Doses

NY Times - 1 ora 31 min fa
After the surprise discovery of an extra dose in every vial, Pfizer executives successfully lobbied the F.D.A. to change the vaccine’s formal authorization language. The company charges by the dose.

NBCSN to Shut Down, With Sports Moving to USA and Peacock

NY Times - 1 ora 37 min fa
NBCSN was the No. 2 sports channel on cable last year, but coverage of the N.H.L., the English Premier League and NASCAR is now moving to Peacock and the USA Network.

No. 24 UCLA looks to maintain Pac-12 perfection

Daily News - Ven, 22/01/2021 - 23:58

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If the Pac-12 men’s basketball conference was a live auction, each week the proverbial auctioneer might sound like this when calling for each bid of UCLA’s flawless record.

“How ’bout a sweep on the road at Utah and Colorado, do I hear 3-0?” Yes, sold to two victories by a combined five points!

The following week…”A particularly rare item, a sweep in Arizona to go 5-0?” Boom! Two more victories by a combined 11 points, including an overtime thriller!

After two home wins against Washington State (91-61) and Washington (81-76) and a nail-biting victory over Cal (61-57) on the road Thursday night, the auctioneer is keeping it simple for the next item: “Do I hear 9-0?”

Buyers might not be jumping out of their seats for Saturday’s game at Stanford, but the bidding war will be interesting after UCLA’s 8-0 conference record has come by way of six wins by six points or fewer.

Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. on FOX.

“That’s the character that I want to see from our team,” UCLA coach Mick Cronin said when asked about close victories in Thursday night’s postgame press conference. “The only nickname I’m interested in … if you remember – ‘winners.’ W-I-N. That’s how you spell fun.”

The No. 24-ranked Bruins (12-2) are unbeaten this many games into conference play for the first time since the 1982-83 season.

Stanford (8-5, 4-3 Pac-12) is a talented team that boasts the conference’s leading scorer, Oscar da Silva (19.3 points per game), and a likely NBA lottery pick in freshman star Ziaire Williams from Los Angeles.

The Cardinal was supposed to host USC on Thursday night, but the game was postponed due to COVID-19 concerns. Reports on Friday morning said the test that postponed the game was a false positive. Either way, it means the Bruins will have to take on a more-rested Stanford now.

That’s not even Cronin’s concern.

“I’m just hoping we play the game,” Cronin said. “Same time, same place – that’s our plan. Knock on wood. (Wednesday night) there was 19 postponed (NCAA) games. It’s a crazy year, so, obviously the way things are going for us, the last thing we want is a game to be postponed.”

UCLA and Stanford are experiencing opposite trends currently, one being statistically, according to Ken Pomeroy’s numbers. The Cardinal are ranked 87th in offense efficiency and 12th in defensive efficiency. UCLA is almost a mirror opposite, ranking 9th offensively and 90th defensively.

The second contrast is current form of play. UCLA is riding a seven-game winning streak, while Stanford seeks to halt a two-game losing skid after losing to Utah (79-65) and Colorado (77-64) last week.

Related Articles

One last difference worth mentioning is the style in which the teams win. Again, UCLA’s past six conference wins are by six points or fewer. Stanford’s four conference wins are by an average margin of 11 points, including a 10-point win over Oregon State, a 16-point win over Washington and a 15-point win over Washington State.

“It’s very rare that we go into another team’s home and blow them out,” UCLA junior wing Jules Bernard said. “Just the feeling of beating a team on the road, even if its a grind-it-out game, it gives us reassurance in what we’re doing. We’re looking forward to do it again.”

No. 24 UCLA (12-2, 8-0) at Stanford (8-5, 4-3)

When: 2 p.m. Saturday

Where: Kaiser Permanente Arena, Santa Cruz

TV/radio: FOX/AM 570

Impeachment, Wuhan, Hank Aaron: Your Friday Evening Briefing

NY Times - Ven, 22/01/2021 - 23:57
Here’s what you need to know at the end of the day.

Outcry follows photos of Guard sleeping in garages in DC

Daily News - Ven, 22/01/2021 - 23:53

[vemba-video id=”tv/2021/01/22/the-lead-pete-muntean-2.cnn”]

By Nomaan Merchant, Lolita Baldor and Aamer Madhani | Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Images of National Guard soldiers camped in a cold parking garage after being sent to protect Washington sparked new calls Friday for investigations of the U.S. Capitol Police, now facing allegations that the agency evicted troops sent to help after its failure to stop rioting mobs two weeks ago.

President Joe Biden expressed his “dismay” Friday morning to Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, chief of the National Guard, about how the troops had been treated, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. Members of both parties were irate about reports that Guardsmen were forced to take rest breaks outside the Capitol building. About 25,000 Guard members from across the country deployed to help secure President Joe Biden’s inauguration, which went off with only a handful of minor arrests.

Psaki said the president thanked Hokanson and the Guard for their help the last few weeks and offered his assistance if Hokanson needed anything. First lady Jill Biden visited Guard troops outside the Capitol on Friday, bringing them cookies and thanking them for protecting her family. She noted that the Bidens’ late son, Beau, served in the Delaware Army National Guard.

A jittery Washington had requested aid following the riot where police were badly outnumbered, locking down the nation’s capital with soldiers, police and barricades. Lawmakers and Biden took pains to thank security forces for their effort. All 25,000 Guard members were vetted by the FBI over concerns of an insider attack, and a dozen were removed from their posts including two who made extremist statements about the inauguration.

Both the Guard and Capitol Police issued a joint statement Friday afternoon saying they have now coordinated to establish “appropriate spaces” within Congressional buildings for on-duty breaks. The statement noted that off-duty troops have hotel rooms or “other comfortable accommodations.”

The National Guard said it originally moved troops out of the Capitol Rotunda and other spaces to garages at the behest of the Capitol Police. The Guardsmen were allowed back inside late Thursday after reports were widely shared of the conditions in the garages, with few bathrooms and little covering from the cold.

Capitol Police Interim Chief Yogananda Pittman issued a statement Friday saying her agency “did not instruct the National Guard to vacate the Capitol Building facilities.”

But two Capitol Police officers who spoke on condition of anonymity contradicted her statement, saying they were told department higher-ups had ordered the Guardsmen out. It was unclear why. The two officers spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized by the department to speak.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., said that “multiple members of military leadership” had told him a uniformed Capitol Police officer told them to leave the Capitol Visitor Center.

“The troops didn’t move on their own,” said Inhofe, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee. He added: “This isn’t a blame game, but I want to know what happened so we can make sure it can’t happen again.”

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, who leads a subcommittee that oversees the Capitol Police budget, said Pittman and other commanders would eventually need to testify about their decision-making.

“If the Capitol Police in any way, shape, or form pushed the Guard out into a cold garage, then there’s going to be hell to pay,” Ryan said . “We’re already trying to re-establish trust with the Capitol Police and we’ve got to figure out exactly what happened.”

The National Guard Bureau said Thursday that of the nearly 26,000 Guard troops deployed to D.C. for the inaugural, just 10,600 remain on duty. The bureau said the Guard is helping states with coordination and the logistics so that troops can get home.

Thousands of Guard troops from all across the country poured into D.C. by the planeload and busload late last week, in response to escalating security threats and fears of more rioting. Military aircraft crowded the runways at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, carrying Guard members into the region in the wake of the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Guard forces were scattered around the city, helping to secure the Capitol, monuments, Metro entrances and the perimeter of central D.C., which was largely locked down for several days leading up to Wednesday’s inaugural ceremony.

Some local law enforcement agencies have asked for continued assistance from the Guard, so roughly 7,000 troops are expected to stay in the region through the end of the month.

The insurrection highlighted multiple failures by the Capitol Police to prepare for what became a violent mob overrunning parts of the building. Officers who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity said there was little planning before the riot or guidance from department leaders once the riot began.

The riot left five people dead, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who was hit in the head by a fire extinguisher. Another officer died in an apparent suicide after the attack.

Outcry follows photos of Guard sleeping in garages in DC

Daily News - Ven, 22/01/2021 - 23:53

[vemba-video id=”tv/2021/01/22/the-lead-pete-muntean-2.cnn”]

By Nomaan Merchant, Lolita Baldor and Aamer Madhani | Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Images of National Guard soldiers camped in a cold parking garage after being sent to protect Washington sparked new calls Friday for investigations of the U.S. Capitol Police, now facing allegations that the agency evicted troops sent to help after its failure to stop rioting mobs two weeks ago.

President Joe Biden expressed his “dismay” Friday morning to Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, chief of the National Guard, about how the troops had been treated, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. Members of both parties were irate about reports that Guardsmen were forced to take rest breaks outside the Capitol building. About 25,000 Guard members from across the country deployed to help secure President Joe Biden’s inauguration, which went off with only a handful of minor arrests.

Psaki said the president thanked Hokanson and the Guard for their help the last few weeks and offered his assistance if Hokanson needed anything. First lady Jill Biden visited Guard troops outside the Capitol on Friday, bringing them cookies and thanking them for protecting her family. She noted that the Bidens’ late son, Beau, served in the Delaware Army National Guard.

A jittery Washington had requested aid following the riot where police were badly outnumbered, locking down the nation’s capital with soldiers, police and barricades. Lawmakers and Biden took pains to thank security forces for their effort. All 25,000 Guard members were vetted by the FBI over concerns of an insider attack, and a dozen were removed from their posts including two who made extremist statements about the inauguration.

Both the Guard and Capitol Police issued a joint statement Friday afternoon saying they have now coordinated to establish “appropriate spaces” within Congressional buildings for on-duty breaks. The statement noted that off-duty troops have hotel rooms or “other comfortable accommodations.”

The National Guard said it originally moved troops out of the Capitol Rotunda and other spaces to garages at the behest of the Capitol Police. The Guardsmen were allowed back inside late Thursday after reports were widely shared of the conditions in the garages, with few bathrooms and little covering from the cold.

Capitol Police Interim Chief Yogananda Pittman issued a statement Friday saying her agency “did not instruct the National Guard to vacate the Capitol Building facilities.”

But two Capitol Police officers who spoke on condition of anonymity contradicted her statement, saying they were told department higher-ups had ordered the Guardsmen out. It was unclear why. The two officers spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized by the department to speak.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., said that “multiple members of military leadership” had told him a uniformed Capitol Police officer told them to leave the Capitol Visitor Center.

“The troops didn’t move on their own,” said Inhofe, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee. He added: “This isn’t a blame game, but I want to know what happened so we can make sure it can’t happen again.”

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, who leads a subcommittee that oversees the Capitol Police budget, said Pittman and other commanders would eventually need to testify about their decision-making.

“If the Capitol Police in any way, shape, or form pushed the Guard out into a cold garage, then there’s going to be hell to pay,” Ryan said . “We’re already trying to re-establish trust with the Capitol Police and we’ve got to figure out exactly what happened.”

The National Guard Bureau said Thursday that of the nearly 26,000 Guard troops deployed to D.C. for the inaugural, just 10,600 remain on duty. The bureau said the Guard is helping states with coordination and the logistics so that troops can get home.

Thousands of Guard troops from all across the country poured into D.C. by the planeload and busload late last week, in response to escalating security threats and fears of more rioting. Military aircraft crowded the runways at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, carrying Guard members into the region in the wake of the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Guard forces were scattered around the city, helping to secure the Capitol, monuments, Metro entrances and the perimeter of central D.C., which was largely locked down for several days leading up to Wednesday’s inaugural ceremony.

Some local law enforcement agencies have asked for continued assistance from the Guard, so roughly 7,000 troops are expected to stay in the region through the end of the month.

The insurrection highlighted multiple failures by the Capitol Police to prepare for what became a violent mob overrunning parts of the building. Officers who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity said there was little planning before the riot or guidance from department leaders once the riot began.

The riot left five people dead, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who was hit in the head by a fire extinguisher. Another officer died in an apparent suicide after the attack.

Outcry follows photos of Guard sleeping in garages in DC

Daily News - Ven, 22/01/2021 - 23:53

[vemba-video id=”tv/2021/01/22/the-lead-pete-muntean-2.cnn”]

By Nomaan Merchant, Lolita Baldor and Aamer Madhani | Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Images of National Guard soldiers camped in a cold parking garage after being sent to protect Washington sparked new calls Friday for investigations of the U.S. Capitol Police, now facing allegations that the agency evicted troops sent to help after its failure to stop rioting mobs two weeks ago.

President Joe Biden expressed his “dismay” Friday morning to Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, chief of the National Guard, about how the troops had been treated, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. Members of both parties were irate about reports that Guardsmen were forced to take rest breaks outside the Capitol building. About 25,000 Guard members from across the country deployed to help secure President Joe Biden’s inauguration, which went off with only a handful of minor arrests.

Psaki said the president thanked Hokanson and the Guard for their help the last few weeks and offered his assistance if Hokanson needed anything. First lady Jill Biden visited Guard troops outside the Capitol on Friday, bringing them cookies and thanking them for protecting her family. She noted that the Bidens’ late son, Beau, served in the Delaware Army National Guard.

A jittery Washington had requested aid following the riot where police were badly outnumbered, locking down the nation’s capital with soldiers, police and barricades. Lawmakers and Biden took pains to thank security forces for their effort. All 25,000 Guard members were vetted by the FBI over concerns of an insider attack, and a dozen were removed from their posts including two who made extremist statements about the inauguration.

Both the Guard and Capitol Police issued a joint statement Friday afternoon saying they have now coordinated to establish “appropriate spaces” within Congressional buildings for on-duty breaks. The statement noted that off-duty troops have hotel rooms or “other comfortable accommodations.”

The National Guard said it originally moved troops out of the Capitol Rotunda and other spaces to garages at the behest of the Capitol Police. The Guardsmen were allowed back inside late Thursday after reports were widely shared of the conditions in the garages, with few bathrooms and little covering from the cold.

Capitol Police Interim Chief Yogananda Pittman issued a statement Friday saying her agency “did not instruct the National Guard to vacate the Capitol Building facilities.”

But two Capitol Police officers who spoke on condition of anonymity contradicted her statement, saying they were told department higher-ups had ordered the Guardsmen out. It was unclear why. The two officers spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized by the department to speak.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., said that “multiple members of military leadership” had told him a uniformed Capitol Police officer told them to leave the Capitol Visitor Center.

“The troops didn’t move on their own,” said Inhofe, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee. He added: “This isn’t a blame game, but I want to know what happened so we can make sure it can’t happen again.”

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, who leads a subcommittee that oversees the Capitol Police budget, said Pittman and other commanders would eventually need to testify about their decision-making.

“If the Capitol Police in any way, shape, or form pushed the Guard out into a cold garage, then there’s going to be hell to pay,” Ryan said . “We’re already trying to re-establish trust with the Capitol Police and we’ve got to figure out exactly what happened.”

The National Guard Bureau said Thursday that of the nearly 26,000 Guard troops deployed to D.C. for the inaugural, just 10,600 remain on duty. The bureau said the Guard is helping states with coordination and the logistics so that troops can get home.

Thousands of Guard troops from all across the country poured into D.C. by the planeload and busload late last week, in response to escalating security threats and fears of more rioting. Military aircraft crowded the runways at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, carrying Guard members into the region in the wake of the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Guard forces were scattered around the city, helping to secure the Capitol, monuments, Metro entrances and the perimeter of central D.C., which was largely locked down for several days leading up to Wednesday’s inaugural ceremony.

Some local law enforcement agencies have asked for continued assistance from the Guard, so roughly 7,000 troops are expected to stay in the region through the end of the month.

The insurrection highlighted multiple failures by the Capitol Police to prepare for what became a violent mob overrunning parts of the building. Officers who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity said there was little planning before the riot or guidance from department leaders once the riot began.

The riot left five people dead, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who was hit in the head by a fire extinguisher. Another officer died in an apparent suicide after the attack.

Outcry follows photos of Guard sleeping in garages in DC

Daily News - Ven, 22/01/2021 - 23:53

[vemba-video id=”tv/2021/01/22/the-lead-pete-muntean-2.cnn”]

By Nomaan Merchant, Lolita Baldor and Aamer Madhani | Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Images of National Guard soldiers camped in a cold parking garage after being sent to protect Washington sparked new calls Friday for investigations of the U.S. Capitol Police, now facing allegations that the agency evicted troops sent to help after its failure to stop rioting mobs two weeks ago.

President Joe Biden expressed his “dismay” Friday morning to Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, chief of the National Guard, about how the troops had been treated, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. Members of both parties were irate about reports that Guardsmen were forced to take rest breaks outside the Capitol building. About 25,000 Guard members from across the country deployed to help secure President Joe Biden’s inauguration, which went off with only a handful of minor arrests.

Psaki said the president thanked Hokanson and the Guard for their help the last few weeks and offered his assistance if Hokanson needed anything. First lady Jill Biden visited Guard troops outside the Capitol on Friday, bringing them cookies and thanking them for protecting her family. She noted that the Bidens’ late son, Beau, served in the Delaware Army National Guard.

A jittery Washington had requested aid following the riot where police were badly outnumbered, locking down the nation’s capital with soldiers, police and barricades. Lawmakers and Biden took pains to thank security forces for their effort. All 25,000 Guard members were vetted by the FBI over concerns of an insider attack, and a dozen were removed from their posts including two who made extremist statements about the inauguration.

Both the Guard and Capitol Police issued a joint statement Friday afternoon saying they have now coordinated to establish “appropriate spaces” within Congressional buildings for on-duty breaks. The statement noted that off-duty troops have hotel rooms or “other comfortable accommodations.”

The National Guard said it originally moved troops out of the Capitol Rotunda and other spaces to garages at the behest of the Capitol Police. The Guardsmen were allowed back inside late Thursday after reports were widely shared of the conditions in the garages, with few bathrooms and little covering from the cold.

Capitol Police Interim Chief Yogananda Pittman issued a statement Friday saying her agency “did not instruct the National Guard to vacate the Capitol Building facilities.”

But two Capitol Police officers who spoke on condition of anonymity contradicted her statement, saying they were told department higher-ups had ordered the Guardsmen out. It was unclear why. The two officers spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized by the department to speak.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., said that “multiple members of military leadership” had told him a uniformed Capitol Police officer told them to leave the Capitol Visitor Center.

“The troops didn’t move on their own,” said Inhofe, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee. He added: “This isn’t a blame game, but I want to know what happened so we can make sure it can’t happen again.”

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, who leads a subcommittee that oversees the Capitol Police budget, said Pittman and other commanders would eventually need to testify about their decision-making.

“If the Capitol Police in any way, shape, or form pushed the Guard out into a cold garage, then there’s going to be hell to pay,” Ryan said . “We’re already trying to re-establish trust with the Capitol Police and we’ve got to figure out exactly what happened.”

The National Guard Bureau said Thursday that of the nearly 26,000 Guard troops deployed to D.C. for the inaugural, just 10,600 remain on duty. The bureau said the Guard is helping states with coordination and the logistics so that troops can get home.

Thousands of Guard troops from all across the country poured into D.C. by the planeload and busload late last week, in response to escalating security threats and fears of more rioting. Military aircraft crowded the runways at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, carrying Guard members into the region in the wake of the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Guard forces were scattered around the city, helping to secure the Capitol, monuments, Metro entrances and the perimeter of central D.C., which was largely locked down for several days leading up to Wednesday’s inaugural ceremony.

Some local law enforcement agencies have asked for continued assistance from the Guard, so roughly 7,000 troops are expected to stay in the region through the end of the month.

The insurrection highlighted multiple failures by the Capitol Police to prepare for what became a violent mob overrunning parts of the building. Officers who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity said there was little planning before the riot or guidance from department leaders once the riot began.

The riot left five people dead, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who was hit in the head by a fire extinguisher. Another officer died in an apparent suicide after the attack.

Outcry follows photos of Guard sleeping in garages in DC

Daily News - Ven, 22/01/2021 - 23:53

[vemba-video id=”tv/2021/01/22/the-lead-pete-muntean-2.cnn”]

By Nomaan Merchant, Lolita Baldor and Aamer Madhani | Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Images of National Guard soldiers camped in a cold parking garage after being sent to protect Washington sparked new calls Friday for investigations of the U.S. Capitol Police, now facing allegations that the agency evicted troops sent to help after its failure to stop rioting mobs two weeks ago.

President Joe Biden expressed his “dismay” Friday morning to Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, chief of the National Guard, about how the troops had been treated, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. Members of both parties were irate about reports that Guardsmen were forced to take rest breaks outside the Capitol building. About 25,000 Guard members from across the country deployed to help secure President Joe Biden’s inauguration, which went off with only a handful of minor arrests.

Psaki said the president thanked Hokanson and the Guard for their help the last few weeks and offered his assistance if Hokanson needed anything. First lady Jill Biden visited Guard troops outside the Capitol on Friday, bringing them cookies and thanking them for protecting her family. She noted that the Bidens’ late son, Beau, served in the Delaware Army National Guard.

A jittery Washington had requested aid following the riot where police were badly outnumbered, locking down the nation’s capital with soldiers, police and barricades. Lawmakers and Biden took pains to thank security forces for their effort. All 25,000 Guard members were vetted by the FBI over concerns of an insider attack, and a dozen were removed from their posts including two who made extremist statements about the inauguration.

Both the Guard and Capitol Police issued a joint statement Friday afternoon saying they have now coordinated to establish “appropriate spaces” within Congressional buildings for on-duty breaks. The statement noted that off-duty troops have hotel rooms or “other comfortable accommodations.”

The National Guard said it originally moved troops out of the Capitol Rotunda and other spaces to garages at the behest of the Capitol Police. The Guardsmen were allowed back inside late Thursday after reports were widely shared of the conditions in the garages, with few bathrooms and little covering from the cold.

Capitol Police Interim Chief Yogananda Pittman issued a statement Friday saying her agency “did not instruct the National Guard to vacate the Capitol Building facilities.”

But two Capitol Police officers who spoke on condition of anonymity contradicted her statement, saying they were told department higher-ups had ordered the Guardsmen out. It was unclear why. The two officers spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized by the department to speak.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., said that “multiple members of military leadership” had told him a uniformed Capitol Police officer told them to leave the Capitol Visitor Center.

“The troops didn’t move on their own,” said Inhofe, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee. He added: “This isn’t a blame game, but I want to know what happened so we can make sure it can’t happen again.”

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, who leads a subcommittee that oversees the Capitol Police budget, said Pittman and other commanders would eventually need to testify about their decision-making.

“If the Capitol Police in any way, shape, or form pushed the Guard out into a cold garage, then there’s going to be hell to pay,” Ryan said . “We’re already trying to re-establish trust with the Capitol Police and we’ve got to figure out exactly what happened.”

The National Guard Bureau said Thursday that of the nearly 26,000 Guard troops deployed to D.C. for the inaugural, just 10,600 remain on duty. The bureau said the Guard is helping states with coordination and the logistics so that troops can get home.

Thousands of Guard troops from all across the country poured into D.C. by the planeload and busload late last week, in response to escalating security threats and fears of more rioting. Military aircraft crowded the runways at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, carrying Guard members into the region in the wake of the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Guard forces were scattered around the city, helping to secure the Capitol, monuments, Metro entrances and the perimeter of central D.C., which was largely locked down for several days leading up to Wednesday’s inaugural ceremony.

Some local law enforcement agencies have asked for continued assistance from the Guard, so roughly 7,000 troops are expected to stay in the region through the end of the month.

The insurrection highlighted multiple failures by the Capitol Police to prepare for what became a violent mob overrunning parts of the building. Officers who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity said there was little planning before the riot or guidance from department leaders once the riot began.

The riot left five people dead, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who was hit in the head by a fire extinguisher. Another officer died in an apparent suicide after the attack.

Outcry follows photos of Guard sleeping in garages in DC

Daily News - Ven, 22/01/2021 - 23:53

[vemba-video id=”tv/2021/01/22/the-lead-pete-muntean-2.cnn”]

By Nomaan Merchant, Lolita Baldor and Aamer Madhani | Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Images of National Guard soldiers camped in a cold parking garage after being sent to protect Washington sparked new calls Friday for investigations of the U.S. Capitol Police, now facing allegations that the agency evicted troops sent to help after its failure to stop rioting mobs two weeks ago.

President Joe Biden expressed his “dismay” Friday morning to Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, chief of the National Guard, about how the troops had been treated, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. Members of both parties were irate about reports that Guardsmen were forced to take rest breaks outside the Capitol building. About 25,000 Guard members from across the country deployed to help secure President Joe Biden’s inauguration, which went off with only a handful of minor arrests.

Psaki said the president thanked Hokanson and the Guard for their help the last few weeks and offered his assistance if Hokanson needed anything. First lady Jill Biden visited Guard troops outside the Capitol on Friday, bringing them cookies and thanking them for protecting her family. She noted that the Bidens’ late son, Beau, served in the Delaware Army National Guard.

A jittery Washington had requested aid following the riot where police were badly outnumbered, locking down the nation’s capital with soldiers, police and barricades. Lawmakers and Biden took pains to thank security forces for their effort. All 25,000 Guard members were vetted by the FBI over concerns of an insider attack, and a dozen were removed from their posts including two who made extremist statements about the inauguration.

Both the Guard and Capitol Police issued a joint statement Friday afternoon saying they have now coordinated to establish “appropriate spaces” within Congressional buildings for on-duty breaks. The statement noted that off-duty troops have hotel rooms or “other comfortable accommodations.”

The National Guard said it originally moved troops out of the Capitol Rotunda and other spaces to garages at the behest of the Capitol Police. The Guardsmen were allowed back inside late Thursday after reports were widely shared of the conditions in the garages, with few bathrooms and little covering from the cold.

Capitol Police Interim Chief Yogananda Pittman issued a statement Friday saying her agency “did not instruct the National Guard to vacate the Capitol Building facilities.”

But two Capitol Police officers who spoke on condition of anonymity contradicted her statement, saying they were told department higher-ups had ordered the Guardsmen out. It was unclear why. The two officers spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized by the department to speak.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., said that “multiple members of military leadership” had told him a uniformed Capitol Police officer told them to leave the Capitol Visitor Center.

“The troops didn’t move on their own,” said Inhofe, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee. He added: “This isn’t a blame game, but I want to know what happened so we can make sure it can’t happen again.”

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, who leads a subcommittee that oversees the Capitol Police budget, said Pittman and other commanders would eventually need to testify about their decision-making.

“If the Capitol Police in any way, shape, or form pushed the Guard out into a cold garage, then there’s going to be hell to pay,” Ryan said . “We’re already trying to re-establish trust with the Capitol Police and we’ve got to figure out exactly what happened.”

The National Guard Bureau said Thursday that of the nearly 26,000 Guard troops deployed to D.C. for the inaugural, just 10,600 remain on duty. The bureau said the Guard is helping states with coordination and the logistics so that troops can get home.

Thousands of Guard troops from all across the country poured into D.C. by the planeload and busload late last week, in response to escalating security threats and fears of more rioting. Military aircraft crowded the runways at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, carrying Guard members into the region in the wake of the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Guard forces were scattered around the city, helping to secure the Capitol, monuments, Metro entrances and the perimeter of central D.C., which was largely locked down for several days leading up to Wednesday’s inaugural ceremony.

Some local law enforcement agencies have asked for continued assistance from the Guard, so roughly 7,000 troops are expected to stay in the region through the end of the month.

The insurrection highlighted multiple failures by the Capitol Police to prepare for what became a violent mob overrunning parts of the building. Officers who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity said there was little planning before the riot or guidance from department leaders once the riot began.

The riot left five people dead, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who was hit in the head by a fire extinguisher. Another officer died in an apparent suicide after the attack.

New Virus Variant May Be Somewhat Deadlier, U.K. Warns

NY Times - Ven, 22/01/2021 - 23:49
The evidence on the fatality rate is worrisome but not yet solid, scientists said. It contrasts with news that Britain is vaccinating its people at a promising pace.

El Monte city manager helps daughter cope with rare disorder

Daily News - Ven, 22/01/2021 - 22:59

Isabella Swanson, 13-year-old daughter of El Monte City Manager Alma Martinez, is in many ways a typical teenager. She’s creative, smart and loves animals.

She loves to paint and write and bake. And she’s a serious student, who aspires to attend Stanford University.

“I can’t go to sleep without finishing a project,” Isabella said. “Right when I get it, I finish it right then and there. I don’t like to procrastinate.”

But about two years ago, teachers noticed Isabella falling behind in class, and asked Martinez to have her checked by a doctor.

“All of a sudden she started losing her ability to write,” Martinez said.

The diagnosis: Friedreich’s ataxia, a rare neuromuscular disorder. The condition, usually inherited and diagnosed during adolescence, can be considered debilitating, degenerative — and life-shortening.

Each day, Isabella battles worsening symptoms, including loss of coordination, muscle weakness and fatigue. She rides an adaptive bike when she plays with her younger brother. Some of her fine motor skills, such as writing with a pen or pencil, have become increasingly difficult.

“When she paints, she holds the paint brush with two hands,” Martinez said. “(It’s) pretty incredible that she can create such wonderful pieces of artwork because she has a hard time holding a pencil now.”

“This has been really, really difficult because it’s such a rare, rare situation,” Martinez added. “One in 50,000 people have it. It’s really difficult to live with it and understand it.”

“Patients with FA are usually in a wheelchair by the age of 20 and a portion of them will die in their 30s from the heart involvement,” said Dr. Susan L. Perlman, a clinical professor of neurology at UCLA and director of the Ataxia Center and HD Center of Excellence.

“Symptomatic and rehab treatments can improve quality of life,” Perlman said, “but none of the above treatments will slow progression of symptoms.”

“It’s really difficult to watch your kid deteriorate in front of your eyes when they’re going in the opposite direction,” Martinez said. “They’re supposed to be thriving and running and being teenagers. It’s a decline. That’s the hardest part.”

Mother and daughter refuse to give in to those projections, though. Isabella is part of a trial for a medication called omaveloxolone. Though the drug has hit stumbling blocks during clinical trials at the federal level, Martinez and other advocates have pushed for a deeper review that she hopes will lead to Federal Drug Administration approval.

In the meantime, Isabella is diligent about her physical therapy and strives to keep her grades up. And she is laser-focused on that long-range dream.

“I want to go to Stanford and study medicine,” she said, “because I want to get to help people.”

Thirteen year-old Isabella Swanson at home in La Crescenta is the daughter of El Monte City manager Alma Martinez has a disorder called Friedreich???s Ataxia a neuromuscular disorder and is taking part in a drug trial to treat the disorder in La Crescenta on Friday, January 15, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG) ‘To make their lives better”

Isabella has a message for other people with Friedreich’s ataxia: “People who have the same condition … stay positive and keep trying, keep working hard at things they like to do.”

She lives by those words.

“I think painting, it gives me freedom from school,” Swanson said. “I can do what I want to do on a canvas or a blank sheet of paper. It lets my imagination run wild.

She says she tries to complete at least one painting a week. It is a creative outlet, but it is also a form of physical therapy. It allows her to tap her deteriorating motor skills. “It’s more physical,” she said. “You can do more with painting than you can do with drawing. It helps me.”

She also writes short stories. And she’s learned to cook and bake, particularly cookies and cakes. “I’m still experimenting. I’m not a chef or anything,” she said.

Isabella is eager to return to school; like most students, she is learning remotely amid the pandemic. She wants to continue to play sports if she can. And she hopes, when she gets a little older, to start a babysitting or dog-sitting service.

And, perhaps above all, she wants to help other people with FA. “I want to work.” she said, “to make their lives better.”

She’s devoted to that mission, her mom assured.

“There are a lot of kids that probably haven’t been diagnosed,” Martinez said. “There are a lot of parents that don’t understand what’s wrong with their kids, what’s going on with their kids.”

Where treatment meets hope

UCLA’s Perlman says doctors cannot yet cure FA. But she builds treatment strategies to help patients navigate the disorder’s severe toll on the body.

By listening.

She talks to patients’ parents, she said, and designs an individual response for each. She plots out rehabilitation and symptomatic treatments. Sometimes, she refers them to research centers for participation in clinical trials.

Treatment generally consists of physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy and well as adaptive tools to help with muscular challenges, including leg braces and mobility aids, she said.

Surgery for scoliosis and foot deformities are sometimes necessary, she said, as well as symptomatic medications to wase heart complications, diabetes, leg spasms and pain, urinary difficulties and mood disorders.

“Remember that not everything they might be experiencing is from FA,” Perlman said in an email. “Also remember that there is always something that can be done.”

Some patients and their families have invested hope in omaveloxolone. Isabella participated in is one of several trials to assess the drug.

In November 2020, federal researchers completed an internal review of the drug. The results were not as promising as the drug’s boosters had hoped.

The FDA did not approve use of the drug, proposing more analyses instead.

“Though we are disappointed in the FDA’s feedback on this program,” Warren Huff, CEO of Reatta Pharmaceuticals, developer of the drug. “We will carefully consider the potential paths forward for making omaveloxolone available to patients with FA.”

Martinez, worried that the process might take too long to help her daughter, joined Perlman in urging the FDA to give the drug a deeper look — and quickly.

“We are hoping to be able to get a compassionate approval that the COVID vaccine got,” Martinez said. “If we wait another year or do more clinical trials, they take two to three years, plus the money, it might be too late for some of these kids.”

Perlman said the trial did show a statistically significant improvement in participants’ neurological function. She’s hopeful that other strategies will advance, too.

“Other treatments in the pipeline could have an even greater effect on disease progression,” Perlman said. “Advances in technology for development of treatments for genetic disorders have finally caught up with our growing knowledge of these progressive, disabling, and life-threatening diseases.”

Martinez says she’ll stay focused on securing treatments that will help Isabella. And she’ll continue to spread the word about FA.

“I want to make sure people understand this and what it does to us,” Martinez said.

And she’ll stay devoted to her daughter. “She’s pretty amazing.”

Hank Aaron Was More Than His Stats, but His Stats Were Outrageous

NY Times - Ven, 22/01/2021 - 22:55
Known for home runs and longevity, Aaron is the career leader in R.B.I. and total bases. He is also third on the career hits list.

The End of Trump Can Be the Beginning of America

NY Times - Ven, 22/01/2021 - 22:55
“I broke down sobbing. It’s been a long five and a half years.”

A President Can Govern in Poetry

NY Times - Ven, 22/01/2021 - 22:49
To succeed, Biden will need hope and history to rhyme.

Biden orders review of domestic violence threat

Daily News - Ven, 22/01/2021 - 22:32

By Eric Tucker | Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden has directed law enforcement and intelligence officials in his administration to study the threat of domestic violent extremism in the United States, an undertaking being launched weeks after a mob of insurgents loyal to Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol.

The disclosure Friday by White House press secretary Jen Psaki is a stark acknowledgment of the national security threat that officials see as posed by American extremists motivated to violence by radical ideology. The involvement of the director of national intelligence, an office created after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to prevent international terrorism, suggests that American authorities are examining how to pivot to a more concerted focus on violence from extremists at home.

The threat assessment, coordinated by the national intelligence office, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, will be used as a foundation to develop policy, the White House said. In addition, the National Security Council will do its own policy review to see how information about the problem can be better shared across the government. And the administration will work on a more coordinated approach, with a focus on addressing social media and radicalization, she said.

“The Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol and the tragic deaths and destruction that occurred underscored what we all know: The rise of domestic violent extremism is a serious and growing national security threat,” Psaki said, adding that the administration will confront the problem with resources, policies and “respect for constitutionally protected free speech and political activities.”

The riot at the Capitol, which led last week to Trump’s second impeachment, raised questions about whether a federal government national security apparatus that for years has moved aggressively to combat threats from foreign terror groups and their followers in America is adequately equipped to address the threat of domestic extremism. It’s an issue that has flared periodically over the years, with different attacks — including a massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue — renewing debate over whether a law specific to domestic terrorism is needed.

It is unclear when the threat assessment will conclude or whether it will precipitate law enforcement and intelligence getting new tools or authorities to address a problem that officials say has proved challenging to combat, partly because of First Amendment protections.

FBI Director Chris Wray said last fall that, over the past year, the most lethal violence has come from anti-government activists, such as anarchists and militia types.

Law enforcement agencies are under scrutiny for their preparations for Jan. 6, when a violent mob of Trump supporters overran the police and stormed into the Capitol. More than 150 people are facing charges so far, including a man who was photographed wearing a “Camp Auschwitz” shirt, as well as QAnon conspiracy theorists and members of militia groups.

The Toll of Fried Foods on Heart Health

NY Times - Ven, 22/01/2021 - 22:28
Eating fried foods increased the risk of heart disease, stroke, heart failure and premature death.

Why does California keep key COVID-19 data from public?

Daily News - Ven, 22/01/2021 - 22:20

By DON THOMPSON | Associated Press

SACRAMENTO — California Gov. Gavin Newsom has from the start said his coronavirus policy decisions would be driven by data shared with the public to provide maximum transparency.

But with the state starting to emerge from its worst surge, his administration won’t disclose key information that will help determine when his latest stay-at-home order is lifted.

State health officials said they rely on a very complex set of measurements that would confuse and potentially mislead the public if they were made public.

Dr. Lee Riley, chairman of the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health infectious disease division, disagreed.

“There is more uncertainty created by NOT releasing the data that only the state has access to,” he said in an email. Its release would allow outside experts to assess its value for projecting trends and the resulting decisions on lifting restrictions, he wrote in an email.

Newsom, a Democrat, imposed the nation’s first statewide shutdown in March. His administration developed reopening plans that included benchmarks for virus data such as per capita infection rates that counties needed to meet to relax restrictions.

It released data models state officials use to project whether infections, hospitalizations and deaths are likely to rise or fall.

As cases surged after Thanksgiving, Newsom tore up his playbook. Rather than a county-by-county approach, he created five regions and established a single measurement — ICU capacity — as the determination for whether a region was placed under a stay-at-home order.

In short order, four regions — about 98% of the state’s population — were under the restrictions after their capacity fell below the 15% threshold. A map updated daily tracks each region’s capacity.

At the start of last week, no regions appeared likely to have the stay-at-home order lifted soon because their capacity was well below 15%. But within a day, the state announced it was lifting the order for the 13-county Greater Sacramento area.

Suddenly, outdoor dining and worship services were OK again, hair and nail salons and other businesses could reopen, and retailers were allowed more shoppers inside.

Local officials and businesses were caught off guard. State officials did not describe their reasoning other than to say it was based on a projection for ICU capacity.

State health officials relied on a complex formula to project that while the Sacramento region’s intensive care capacity was below 10%, it would climb above 15% within four weeks. On Friday, it was 9%, roughly the same as when the order was lifted.

“What happened to the 15%? What was that all about?” asked Dr. George Rutherford, an epidemiologist and infectious-diseases control expert at University of California, San Francisco. “I was surprised. I assume they know something I don’t know.”

State officials projected future capacity using a combination of models. “At the moment the projections are not being shared publicly,” Department of Public Health spokeswoman Ali Bay said in an email to The Associated Press.

California Health and Human Services Agency spokeswoman Kate Folmar said officials are committed to transparency, providing twice-weekly updates on whether regions can relax restrictions. But she said projected ICU capacity is based on multiple variables, including available beds and staffing that change regularly.

“These fluid, on-the-ground conditions cannot be boiled down to a single data point — and to do so would mislead and create greater uncertainty for Californians,” she said in a statement.

First Amendment Coalition Executive Director David Snyder urged the state to change course.

“The state is wielding extraordinary power these days — power to close businesses, to directly impact people’s livelihoods and even lives — and so it owes it to Californians to disclose how and why it makes those decisions,” said Snyder, whose California public interest organization fights for greater government openness.

“Secrecy,” he said, “is exactly the wrong approach here and will only breed further mistrust, confusion and contempt for the crucial role of government in bringing us out of this crisis.”

Restaurants, among other businesses, would benefit by being able to watch trends toward reopening so they could start ordering supplies and rehiring workers, California Restaurant Association president and CEO Jot Condie said.

Last week’s sudden easing of restrictions “was a good surprise, but we just didn’t see it coming,” Condie said. “We just don’t know what happens behind the curtain.”

San Bernardino County spokesman David Wert said officials there aren’t aware of the models the state is using. “If they do exist, the county would find them helpful,” he said.

Riley said he would base reopening decisions on current coronavirus cases rather than ICU projections, partially because most people who are hospitalized never require intensive care.

California became the nation’s epicenter for the virus in December, but it has fared better in the new year. The 23,024 new cases reported Friday are less than half the mid-December peak of nearly 54,000.

California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly this week cited slowing hospital and skilled nursing home admissions and lower positivity and transmission rates as “rays of hope” for overburdened hospitals.

Yet the data model that he has repeatedly pointed to as key to planning still shows hospitalizations bumping up over the next month, though projections flatten more each day.

The model is based on historical infection data that follows a pattern where about 12% of those with the virus get hospitalized and 12% of them end up in the ICU. The model’s projections do not account for changes in conditions, such as more vaccinations or a lifted stay-at-home order.

It is one of 16 forecasting models listed on a “technical notes” page of the state’s website, with links for more information to help the public understand projections that can sometimes show contradictory trends. Another 12 models assess transmission rates.

Computer models must take into account so many factors that they may be valuable only on a much smaller scale, experts said, perhaps to allow local officials to spot outbreaks or target vaccination campaigns.

The computer model Ghaly has been citing seems to be accurate “only afterwards, like Monday morning football,” Riley said, “so I don’t take the modeling that seriously.”

For example, Riley expects holiday-related cases to continue plaguing hard-hit Southern California for at least a couple more weeks and keep ICU space extremely tight.

Yet the state’s public model shows a roughly 30% decline in Southern California ICU patients over the next month even as hospitalizations flatten and deaths climb. The model shows a smaller but still significant decline in the equally hard-hit San Joaquin Valley.

“My reading of the tea leaves,” Rutherford said, “is that we’re at the very cusp of entering a period of falling case numbers.”

___

Associated Press writers Kathleen Ronayne and Amy Taxin contributed. Taxin reported from Orange County.

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Is Anthony Davis in a ‘funk’ or is his role with the Lakers evolving?

Daily News - Ven, 22/01/2021 - 22:17

In Year Two of his Lakers tenure, Anthony Davis has spared little candor when it comes to self-assessment.

It was Davis who triggered a reaction from his teammates earlier this month, when he called the defense poor (he used an expletive) in a loss to San Antonio. Davis is among the Lakers who continues to acknowledge the low man help defense, of which he is a critical part, has not been good enough.

And after 18 points, 9 rebounds and two blocks in a win over Milwaukee, which he could have easily tucked in his pocket and felt accomplished, Davis told the world what he was really thinking about his performance.

“Right now, to be hard on myself, man, I think I suck right now,” he said. “I’m not making shots, I’m not making free throws.”

The 27-year-old four-time All-NBA first-teamer has been described by teammates as a perfectionist, and in that light, it was hard for Davis to love what he saw on his stat sheet. He was just 8 for 18 from the floor, and the career 80% free-throw shooter was just 2 for 5.

He might have been humbled by virtue of LeBron James’ superstar effort against the Bucks: While the Lakers outscored Milwaukee by 15 points when James was on the floor, they were dead even during Davis’ nearly 38 minutes.

This has fed into Davis’ perception that he is in a “funk” lately. From his first-team All-NBA season last year, his scoring (26.1 ppg to 21.1 ppg), rebounding (9.3 rpg to 9.0 rpg) and shot-blocking (2.4 bpg to 1.9 bpg) are all down – even accounting for his drop in minutes per game. He is a more efficient scorer, shooting at a higher percentage from the field, but he’s also gotten to the line less (8.5 FTA to 4.9) and is shooting just 72.5% at the stripe.

Some of it is a product of Davis’ teammates: The Lakers were heavily reliant on James and Davis last year for offense, but with six players now averaging double figures, there’s not quite as much on Davis’ shoulders. But that doesn’t always change how Davis sees himself.

“What he says, he’s going to apply it to himself as well,” James said earlier this month of Davis, “he holds himself accountable.”

While Davis is quick to point out his own flaws, he’s less readily cognizant of his growth. Of interest to the Lakers is his uptick in assists: He’s averaging 3.9 assists per 36 minutes after 3.4 last season, which is just shy of his career best. It’s reasonable to think that number could improve through the year as Davis gets a feel for his new teammates.

James seemed to sense opportunity for Davis in the fourth quarter, feeding him the ball to get post-ups in the paint. Davis didn’t score well out of these looks, going just 2 for 8 in the second half from the field. But he hit three critical assists in the final three minutes, all of which went for 3-pointers.

Davis’ passing might have also been a hot topic Monday if it weren’t for the Lakers’ collapse against the Warriors: He had six assists in the first quarter, which was a career-best mark in any quarter for the 6-foot-10 forward.

The “funk” that Davis has been so eager to shake might be more a shift in his role: While he’s still one of the Lakers’ best scorers, with more competent shooters around him, his passing will be more important this season. He’s acknowledged that input from James and assistant coach Jason Kidd has helped him see the floor better, and James said Davis has taken to it well.

“Me just being able to be a voice with him and seeing double teams throughout my whole career either in the low post or out on the perimeter, just getting him to see the second side of the defense,” James said. “He’s continuing to grow every single game, every single film session we kind of break those things down – what he sees on the floor.”

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While Davis could punch up his free-throw shooting, statistical evidence points that he has among the most impactful positive influence on the offense this season: The offense improves by 10.8 points per 100 possessions when he’s on the court, a figure that is almost even with James (plus-10.9). Whether Davis feels it or not, he’s made a difference on offense.

Still, he did find something to feel good about out of Thursday’s win: After a reporter noted the Lakers had forced nine turnovers against Giannis Antetokounmpo, Davis perked up – before quickly noting that it had been a total team effort.

“Guys are just being physical and trying to limit his paint touches and make other guys beat us,” he said. “I didn’t know he had nine turnovers, but that was a hell of a job for us against him.”