Emerging info on Capitol riot paints darker picture. Pelosi gives Pence 24 hours to invoke 25th Amendment. Aid groups: US terrorism designation for Houthis devastating for Yemen. That and more below…
Emerging info on the Capitol riot paints a darker picture
Many of those who entered the Capitol were merely Trump supporters expressing their displeasure over the results of November’s vote. However, it is now coming to light that many had real and coordinated intent to harm. Two men, now in custody, were carrying ziptie handcuffs, indicating that they intended to take lawmakers hostage.
Calls were heard to “Hang Mike Pence”, presumably because the Vice President defied Trump by certifying the vote. Rioters even erected makeshift gallows. Some were captured on video pinning a bloodied officer in a doorway. Officer Brian Sicknick was mortally wounded with a blunt weapon. A third officer was body-slammed over a railing. Many of the rioters, some of whom were convicted criminals, were also heavily armed. Some had even stashed weapons and explosives around the area in advance.
Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., briefly took over House proceedings after Speaker Nancy Pelosi was taken to safety. McGovern recalled, “I saw this crowd of people banging on that glass screaming. Looking at their faces, it occurred to me, these aren’t protesters. These are people who want to do harm.” He continued, “What I saw in front of me was basically home-grown fascism, out of control”.
Pelosi herself commented Sunday that “the evidence is that it was a well-planned, organized group with leadership and guidance and direction. And the direction was to go get people”.
Fears for the inauguration
After their plans for the Capitol assault were largely thwarted, some of Trump’s most militant supporters have declared they are not ready to stand down. On Parler, a social media platform favored by right-wing extremists, one user wrote, “Many of Us will return on January 19, 2021, carrying Our weapons, in support of Our nation’s resolve, towhich [sic] the world will never forget!!!”. He continued, “We will come in numbers that no standing army or police agency can match”.
Another alarming fact is that many of the rioters identified at the Capitol were military veterans with extensive combat records. This includes Ashli Babbit, who was fatally shot by Capitol police while attempting to breach a secured corridor. Babbit was a 14-year veteran of the US Air Force. Another Air Force veteran, Larry Rendall Brock Jr. is one one of the men who was seen carrying zip tie handcuffs during the riot.
Members of House Armed Services Committee have called on Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy to investigate troops deploying to the inauguration for domestic terrorist sympathies.
Many Capital rioters arrested; Dems moving ahead with impeachment
So far, more than 120 people have been arrested for their part in last week’s riot at the Capitol. Most of the arrests up to now are of people whose images went viral on social media, including the “QAnon Shaman” pictured above. The FBI is still searching for the rest. Others have reportedly lost their jobs for taking part in the riot.
Sadly, a second Capitol policeman who responded to the riots has died. Officer Howard Liebengood apparently took his own life. It is impossible to say whether this was a result of trauma suffered during the event or its aftermath, but it certainly couldn’t have helped matters.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has given Vice President Mike Pence a 24-hour deadline to initiate 25th Amendment proceedings to remove President Trump. Otherwise, she will move ahead with impeachment proceedings. Reports indicate Trump may turn to the Incredible Melting Mayor Rudy Giuliani to defend him if impeachment moves forward.
Aid groups say US terrorism designations for Houthis devastating for Yemen
Yesterday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the US would designate the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen as a terrorist organization. Today, the Norwegian Refugee Council, one of the most active humanitarian agencies in Yemen, said the designation, “will hamstring the ability of aid agencies to respond” to the growing humanitarian needs of millions of Yemenis. The agency also said it would be a “devastating blow” to Yemen’s already faltering economy. The statement said that the country relies on imports to fulfill 80% of its needs.
After 6 years of war with Saudi Arabia (backed by the US), Yemen has become a historic humanitarian disaster. Most of the country’s 30 million people now depend on foreign aid for their survival. More than 112,000 people, mostly civilians, have perished in the conflict so far.
Pompeo acknowledged that the US terror designation would further complicate the work of humanitarian organizations. He pledged that the US would take measures to minimize the impact on aid work in the country. This includes issuing special licenses to allow US aid to continue to flow into the country.
‘Don’t look disheveled’: anger over Seoul city’s advice to pregnant women
Advice to pregnant women from the government’s pregnancy and childbirth information center in Seoul, South Korea, has unleashed a furor on social media. The advice included pregnancy health and beauty tips such as “buy a hairband so that you don’t look disheveled after having the baby”. The center also advised women to hang their pre-pregnancy clothes in a visible place, and that if they felt tempted to overeat, they should “look at the clothes”. More health advice came in the form of a warning not to put off housework, as this would help pregnant women maintain a healthy weight.
For those nearing their due date, the center advised that mothers-to-be should prepare three to four meals that their husbands, “who are unaccustomed to cooking,” can simply heat up while their wives are in hospital.
The center also advised women to make sure to leave their husbands and children enough clean clothes so they don’t have to do laundry while Mom is away.
Any mention of expectant mothers making “sammiches” was notably absent from the center’s advice.
Social media was quick to respond, with one user saying “It’s hard to even breathe towards the end of a pregnancy, and they’re expecting us to prepare underwear and food for our husbands?!”
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