Attack on Democracy
It’s been one year since the January 6th attack.
Walk me through it.
For months, then-President Trump had worked to undermine the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. But on January 6, 2021, Congress gathered to certify President Biden’s victory. And around 2:15pm ET, a mob of pro-Trump protesters breached the US Capitol. They scaled walls, shattered windows, broke into federal offices, and stole furniture. Capitol Police tried to uphold order. But lawmakers still feared for their safety. Some were evacuated. Others barricaded themselves inside their offices and hid under desks. Five people died and dozens were injured. It was the first major attack on the Capitol since 1814.
Let’s talk about the aftermath.
It was swift. Days later, House Democrats drafted articles of impeachment against Trump. This time, for “incitement of insurrection.” House Democrats — along with 10 Republicans — voted to give him the boot, making Trump the first US president to be impeached twice. But the Senate voted to acquit. And Trump — who stayed quiet for 187 minutes before calling off the attack — maintains that his language to supporters that day was “totally appropriate.” After the attack, several prominent Trump allies turned on the president. Today, an estimated 70% of Republicans want Trump to run for re-election.
So what happens now?
The US is still reckoning with the events of that day. More than 700 people have been arrested. But to date, about 30 have been sentenced to prison time. It’s part of the FBI’s largest investigation in history. Meanwhile, the House has put together a Select Committee to investigate the attack and the circumstances surrounding it. And has subpoenaed several Trump associates while it looks through thousands of documents. It comes as the US experiences heightened political polarization. And as one-third of the country believes that violence against the government is sometimes justified.
One year ago today, America saw just how vulnerable its democracy really was, as the world looked on in horror. Now, the country is preparing for midterm elections while many haven’t recovered from the last one.
Where things are escalating quickly…
Kazakhstan. A Russian-led military alliance is sending peacekeepers to Kazakhstan as it deals with political unrest. Thousands of Kazakhs have condemned the country’s rising fuel costs after the gov lifted price controls last week. Protesters set several government buildings ablaze and seized the country’s airport. The demonstrations expanded to include calls for political reform. Police have responded by using tear gas, stun grenades, and say dozens of demonstrators have been killed. Authorities have declared a state of emergency, the internet’s shut down, and the government resigned. But the protests — the biggest in at least a decade — haven’t slowed.
Russia-ing in: Kazakhstan’s gov has long been allied with Moscow. And Russian President Vladimir Putin isn’t likely to be thrilled that citizens of a neighboring country are pushing their autocratic government toward collapse. Nyet in his backyard.
More at stake: Kazakhstan's reputation as a stable country and as an oil producer has attracted hundreds of billions of dollars in investments. Now experts fear that the instability in the region could threaten already struggling global oil supplies.
Who’s getting grand slammed…
Novak Djokovic. Yesterday, Australia canceled the Serbian tennis star’s visa after border authorities said he failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet entry requirements. This comes a day after the Australian Open said Djokovic had a medical exemption from its COVID-19 vaccine requirement, allowing him to play later this month. But Australia's government said 'that's news to us' — since the visa he applied for doesn’t allow medical exemptions. It came amid backlash over the Australian Open’s decision, as Melbourne residents have spent more than 260 days in lockdown since the start of the pandemic. Now, conservative PM Scott Morrison is saying “rules are rules.” And that no one — not even the world’s No. 1 men’s tennis champ — is above them. Might be game over for Djokovic.
Who’s feeling the impact from COVID-19…
Kids. Yesterday, the CDC recommended Pfizer boosters for kids as young as 12 years old. Meaning, children could get their third dose as soon as today if they’re five months past their second shot. It comes amid a sharp rise in children’s hospitalizations, with admission rates more than doubling since last week. Meanwhile, little ones are also seeing a wave of school closures, with all Chicago public schools closed since yesterday. Schools in Newark, Atlanta, Milwaukee, and Cleveland have also switched to remote learning, impacting hundreds of thousands of students.
PS: Here's what we know about the Omicron variant (so far).
While the Grammys are facing the music…
The Golden Globes are still putting on a show. For no one. Thanks to…drum roll, please: Omicron.
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