ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

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January 30, 2021  (San Diego’s East County) - East County Magazine's World Watch helps you be an informed citizen on important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflect all voices and views, we include links to a variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:

U.S.

WORLD

For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.

U.S.

Rioter planned attack with militia, wanted to trap lawmakers and 'turn on gas': Prosecutors (Yahoo)

The Justice Department has filed its first conspiracy charges from the Capitol riot against a Virginia man who they allege was an apparent leader of a group of militia members who were part of the mob that stormed the building. Thomas Edward Caldwell is identified in an FBI affidavit as a member of the Oath Keepers… While inside the Capitol, Caldwell allegedly received Facebook messages telling him to "seal" in lawmakers in the tunnels under the Capitol and to "turn on gas."

Biden directs Treasury, IRS to find 8M who haven't claimed stimulus (Politico)

Much of the focus is on people not required to file tax returns.

CDC orders sweeping U.S. transportation mask mandate as COVID-19 rages (Reuters)



The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a sweeping order late Friday requiring the use of face masks on nearly all forms of public transportation Monday as the country continues to report thousands of daily COVID-19 deaths.

Biden faces tough choices on trade after Trump (The Hill)

President Biden is facing tough choices on trade policy after four years of rising tensions, steep tariffs and isolationism from former President Trump.

Federal Judge Blocks Biden’s 100-Day Deportation Freeze (US News)

The ruling delivers an early blow to President Joe Biden on one of his first major immigration actions.

Biden DOJ nixes last-minute Trump administration memo on LGBTQ rights (Politico)

The Justice Department has taken its first major step under President Joe Biden to reverse the Trump administration’s resistance to expansion of rights accorded to LGBTQ Americans.

Senate confirms Biden's intel chief, giving him first Cabinet official (The Hill)

Senators confirmed Avril Haines to be President Biden's director of national intelligence on Wednesday, giving him his first Senate-confirmed Cabinet pick.  Senators voted 84-10 to confirm Haines, who appears to be the only Cabinet official Biden will get confirmed on the first day of his administration. 

Biden is firing some top Trump holdovers, but in some cases, his hands may be tied (Washington Post)

President Biden is trying to shake a Trump hangover in the federal government by acting to remove some holdovers and install his own appointees, but a quiet push to salt federal agencies with Trump loyalists is complicating the new president’s effort to turn the page… in the former president’s final months and weeks, dozens of other political appointees had their status similarly converted to permanent civil service roles that will allow them to stay in government for years to come.

New York state court employee charged after allegedly threatening to kill several Democratic Congress members (CNN)

A New York state court employee was charged with threatening to murder a US official after he made online posts threatening to kill several high-level Democratic members of Congress, according to a complaint from the US Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of New York.

Schumer agrees to two-week delay of Trump’s impeachment trial  (Politico)

The ex-president's second trial is set to begin the week of Feb. 8.

Trump asked Justice Department to go to Supreme Court to overturn election: Journal (Reuters)



Former President Donald Trump considered replacing the acting attorney general with an official willing to pursue unsubstantiated claims of election fraud, and he pushed the Justice Department to ask the Supreme Court to invalidate President Joe Biden’s victory, the Wall...

Watchdog to probe if Justice Dept. officials improperly tried to alter 2020 election (Reuters)



The U.S. Justice Department's internal watchdog on Monday said his office was launching an investigation on whether current or former department officials made an "improper attempt" to seek to alter the results of the 2020 presidential election.

SAT Discontinues Subject Tests And Optional Essay (NPR)

The College Board announced on Tuesday that it will discontinue the optional essay component of the SAT and that it will no longer offer subject tests in U.S. history, languages and math, among other topics. The organization, which administers the college entrance exam in addition to several other tests, including Advanced Placement exams, will instead focus efforts on a new digital version of the SAT.

WORLD

Social Media Fueled Russian Protests Despite Government Attempts To Censor  (NPR)

Protests exploded across Russia over the weekend, fueled largely by videos posted to social media, despite attempts by the Russian government to censor content across various platforms. The protesters braved extreme cold, police brutality and mass arrests, calling for the release of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was detained last week shortly after returning to the country.

Africa’s long wait for the COVID-19 vaccine(BBC)

Africa will have to wait "weeks if not months" before receiving Covid-19 vaccines approved by the World Health Organization, according to various officials working towards getting doses for the continent.

Biden had his first call with Putin. He said everything Trump wouldn’t. (VOX)

“Finally we have a president who will confront Putin on the real issues at hand,” an expert told Vox.

UK offers Hong Kong residents route to citizenship, angering China (Reuters)



Hong Kong residents can apply from Sunday for a new visa giving them the chance to become British citizens following China's crackdown in the former colony, but Beijing said it will no longer recognise the special British passport already in use.

One in eight in England have had COVID: official data (Barrons)

An estimated 12 percent of people in England had been infected with coronavirus by December last year, up from nine percent in November, according to official antibody data released Tuesday.

Dubai blamed for virus cases abroad; questions swirl at home (AP)

After opening itself to New Year’s revelers, Dubai is now being blamed by several countries for spreading the coronavirus abroad, even as questions swirl about the city-state’s ability to handle reported record spikes in virus cases.