Thursday, February 11, 2021

Wake-Up Call: Gripping Video Supports Case Against Trump

USAToday 2/11/21

The Democratic House managers prosecuting the case in former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial made video of the January 6th attack on the Capitol -- much of it never seen before -- central to their presentation as they delivered their opening arguments on Wednesday.

The video showed the extent of the violence police were at times battling as well the potential danger members of Congress were in, with scenes shown including: body cam footage of a Capitol Police officer as he and other officers were being attacked outside the building; Vice President Mike Pence being escorted out of the Senate chamber by the Secret Service as rioters were nearby; and Senator Mitt Romney being told by Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman -- who'd already been hailed as a hero after the attack for leading some of the rioters away from the Senate chamber -- to go in the opposite direction because he was heading toward the mob.

There was also video in which a rioter was walking in the Capitol as he taunted, "Where are you Nancy?" looking for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and audio played of frantic communications by police who were being overrun and attacked the violent mob. Video snippets also showed the crowd chanting "Hang Mike Pence!" and shouting against him as Trump tweeted during the attack that Pence, quote, "didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution."

The managers used the gripping video to support the case they presented that Trump, who is facing a single charge of "incitement of insurrection," spent months lying about the election, stoking anger and urging action by his followers with his rallies and tweets to, quote, "stop the steal," laying the groundwork for his supporters to carry out the attack on January 6th. They further said that he did nothing to stop the attack while it was going on, and in fact enjoyed watching as the mob rampaged in support of him. Rep. Stacey Plaskett of the Virgin Islands said, "They did it because Donald Trump sent them on this mission. President Trump put a target on their backs and his mob broke into the Capitol to hunt them down."

The House managers will continue to present their case today, and then Trump's attorneys will put on their defense starting Friday.

➤CDC UPDATES CORONAVIRUS FACE MASK GUIDANCE, ENDORSES ‘DOUBLE MASKING’: The CDC has updated its face mask guidance. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky made the announcement yesterday, noting a recent lab experiment found that placing a cloth mask over a medical procedure mask or using a medical procedure mask with knotted ear loops and tucked in sides decreased exposure to potentially infectious aerosols by about 95 percent. The guidance advises adhering to two important steps: 1) making sure the mask fits snugly against the face, and 2) picking a mask with layers to “keep your respiratory droplets in and others out.” But, at this time, the agency advises against using two disposable masks, as they are “not designed to fit tightly and wearing more than one will not improve fit.” It also does not advise combining a KN95 mask with any other mask.

➤FEDS INVESTIGATING HUGE COUNTERFEIT N95 FACE MASK OPERATION: Federal authorities are investigating a huge counterfeit N95 face mask operation in which fake 3M masks were sold to hospitals, medical facilities and government agencies in at least five states. Minnesota-based 3M is among the world's largest producers of N95 masks, which are considered the gold standard in protecting against the coronavirus. The foreign-made fakes are becoming harder to spot, and their use by health care workers could put them at risk for Covid-19, while they falsely believe they are protected by the mask.

➤GEORGIA D.A. OPENS CRIMINAL PROBE INTO ELECTION INFLUENCE ATTEMPTS, INCLUDING TRUMP'S CALL: A Georgia district attorney said yesterday that she'd opened a criminal investigation of attempts to influence the November election, including a January 2nd phone call by then-President Donald Trump asking Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to find enough votes to overturn Joe Biden's victory in the state. The news from Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, a Democrat elected in November, comes after Raffensperger's office opened an administrative probe earlier this week into a complaint alleging Trump's call to the secretary of state violated Georgia law. Senior Trump adviser Jason Miller blasted the D.A.'s announcement, saying, "This is simply the Democrats’ latest attempt to score political points by continuing their witch hunt against President Trump, and everybody sees through it."

➤U.S. IMPOSING NEW SANCTIONS ON MYANMAR AFTER MILITARY COUP: The administration yesterday ordered new U.S. sanctions on Myanmar in the wake of the military coup there on February 1st during which national leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior politicians were arrested. President Biden said he's issuing an executive order that will prevent Myanmar’s generals from accessing $1 billion in assets in the U.S., and that there will be further action coming, stating, "The military must relinquish power it seized and demonstrate respect for the will of the people of Burma," using an alternate name for Myanmar. Large numbers of protesters against the coup turned out again in Myanmar yesterday, despite an increased use of force against them by security forces.

➤DAILY COFFEE LINKED TO LOWER RISK FOR HEART FAILURE:  If you’re the type of person who drinks a cup of coffee each day, you may be in luck. University of Colorado researchers found that having one or more cups of caffeinated coffee a day might reduce the risk of heart failure. Penny Kris-Etherton, immediate past chairperson of the American Heart Association’s Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Council Leadership Committee commented on the findings, saying, “The bottom line: enjoy coffee in moderation as part of an overall heart-healthy dietary pattern that meets recommendations for fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat/ nonfat dairy products, and that also is low in sodium, saturated fat and added sugars.”

➤DOCTORS: MILLENNIALS ARE IRREPARABLY DAMAGING THEIR LIVERS AS AMERICANS DRINK MORE ALCOHOL: Americans have spent a lot more time at home over the last 11 months, and in that time drinking rates and alcohol sales have both steadily climbed. Doctors are warning this is concerning, with some saying the consequences have already arrived as alcoholic liver disease is increasingly affecting people younger than age 40. Dr. Raymond Chung is a hepatologist at Harvard University, and says the trend “has been alarming for years,” but that the pandemic means “what we’re seeing now is truly dramatic.” Dr. Haripriya Maddur is a hepatologist at Northwestern Medicine, and she says young people are facing unique hardships, like trying to start a family, or find a job in a tough economy, she says, “They have mouths to feed and bills to pay, but no job, so they turn to booze as the last coping mechanism remaining.” One study found that alcohol consumption was up nearly 30 percent more during the pandemic, compared to a few months before.

➤'THE MANDALORIAN' ACTRESS DROPPED OVER POST: Actress Gina Carano, who was a regular on the Star Wars series The Mandalorian, was dropped by Lucasfilm yesterday as well as by her talent agency over an Instagram post the night before in which she compared violence against Jews in Nazi Germany to how conservatives are currently treated in the U.S. Carano had previously drawn fire for social media posts making fun of people for wearing face masks, mocking people who put their gender pronouns next to their name, and suggesting vote fraud change the outcome of the presidential election. Lucasfilm said in a statement, "Her social media posts denigrating people based on their cultural and religious identities are abhorrent and unacceptable." The Hollywood Reporter cited a source as saying Lucasfilm had, quote, "been looking for a reason to fire her for two months, and today was the final straw." The report also said Carano was supposed to have been named in December as the star of a new Disney+ series, but those plans were derailed by her first controversial social media posts in November

🎾DEFENDING AUSTRALIAN OPEN CHAMP KENIN UPSET IN SECOND ROUND: Fourth-seeded Sofia Kenin was upset in the second round yesterday as the 22-year-old American tried to defend her Australian Open title. Kenin fell to 35-year-old veteran player Kaia Kanepi of Estonia in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2. Top-seeded Ash Barty won her second-round match against fellow Australian Daria Gavrilova, and other winners included second-seeded Simona Halep and Number 3 Naomi Osaka. On the men's side, fifth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas took five sets to beat 267th-ranked Thanasi Kokkinakis, and Number 9 Matteo Berrettini and American Mackenzie McDonald also advanced.

🏀MAVERICKS TO RESUME PLAYING ANTHEM AFTER NBA REITERATES POLICY: One day after it was reported that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban had stopped having the national anthem played before Mavericks home games this season, Cuban reversed course Wednesday after the NBA reiterated what it described as "longstanding" policy that the anthem be played before games. The NBA had initially said teams could handle pregame activities however they wanted to amid the unusual circumstances caused by the pandemic, but reversed course as Cuban's decision got national attention. The Mavericks released a statement from Cuban: "We respect and always have respected the passion people have for the anthem and our country. But we also loudly hear the voices of those who feel that the anthem does not represent them. We feel that their voices need to be respected and heard, because they have not been." Many NBA players kneeled during the anthem last season amid the racial justice protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

🏈BUCCANEERS CELEBRATE SUPER BOWL WIN WITH BOAT PARADE: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrated Sunday's Super Bowl victory with a boat parade yesterday on the Hillsborough River near downtown Tampa. At one point during the parade, quarterback Tom Brady tossed the NFL's championship Lombardi Trophy to tight end Cameron Brate in another boat. In addition to watching from shore, dozens of people gathered in their own boats and other watercraft, but they were told to stay at least 50 feet from the players' boats.

🏒GOLDEN KNIGHT'S NOSEK POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS: The NHL said yesterday that Vegas Golden Knights forward Tomas Nosek had tested positive for the coronavirus and was in isolation. Vegas is still scheduled to play the Anaheim Ducks today, pending test results of players and staff on both teams. Meanwhile, Minnesota forward Victor Rask was added to the Covid-19 list, with the Wild now having 13 players on the list, due to either positive tests or contract tracing, and their games are postponed through at least Saturday.

⚾RED SOX SEND BENINTENDI TO ROYALS IN THREE-TEAM TRADE: The Boston Red Sox sent outfielder Andrew Benintendi to the Kansas City Royals in a three-team trade yesterday that also included the New York Mets. Boston traded Benintendi and an unspecified amount of cash to the Royals for outfielder Franchy Cordero and two players to be named later. Boston also received minor league Josh Winckowski and a player to be named later from the Mets, who got outfield prospect Khalil Lee from the Royals.

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