5 things to know for January 21: 2020 Election, Ukraine, Covid-19, SCOTUS, Belarus
Here is what you need to know for today
(CNN) — Millions of store and restaurant workers in America who catch Covid-19 are increasingly showing up to work while infected with the virus. Many of these employees don’t have paid sick leave and need to keep up with their bills, while others fear they’ll face repercussions if they call out sick.
Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.
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1. 2020 Election
Trump campaign officials, led by Rudy Giuliani, oversaw efforts in December 2020 to put forward illegitimate electors from seven states that Trump lost, according to three sources with direct knowledge of the scheme. The sources said members of former President Donald Trump’s campaign team were far more involved than previously known in the plan, a core tenet of the broader plot to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory. Giuliani and his allies coordinated the process on a state-by-state level, the sources told CNN. One said there were multiple planning calls between campaign officials and GOP state operatives, and that Giuliani participated in at least one call. The source also said the Trump campaign lined up supporters to fill elector slots, secured meeting rooms in statehouses for the fake electors to meet, and circulated drafts of fake certificates that were ultimately sent to the National Archives.
Tensions surrounding the situation in Ukraine appear to be escalating following President Biden’s comments earlier this week that a “minor incursion” by Russia into Ukraine would prompt a lesser response than a full-scale invasion. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pushed back, saying there are “no minor incursions and small nations.” Multiple rounds of diplomatic talks between the US, its NATO allies and Russia failed to yield any results, but Russia now says it would welcome another conversation with Biden. Meanwhile, with approximately 100,000 troops amassed along the Ukrainian border, the head of the International Energy Agency is warning that if Russia invades Ukraine, it will have major implications on the oil industry — driving up oil and gas prices.
The US will require essential travelers entering the country via land ports of entry and ferry terminals to be fully vaccinated for Covid-19 and provide proof of vaccination starting Saturday. The move, announced yesterday by the Department of Homeland Security, is an attempt to combat the rising number of Omicron cases and help relieve the stress on overwhelmed hospitals and health care workers. In Georgia, at least one Atlanta-area hospital is running at 110% capacity and ambulances are being turned away because it is so packed. To date, the US has recorded nearly 69 million total Covid-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, and nearly 18 million of those cases have been reported over the past month.
Abortion providers were dealt another setback yesterday after the US Supreme Court rejected the latest attempt to block the six-week abortion ban in Texas. The controversial law, which brings a halt to most abortions in the country’s second-largest state, has been in effect for five months. Last month, the Supreme Court allowed the controversial law to remain in effect but it cleared a limited path forward for the providers to sue a handful of licensing officials in Texas in order to block them from enforcing the law. The court’s ruling was a devastating blow to supporters of abortion rights who had hoped the justices would block the law outright. Instead, the case was returned to the conservative 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals.
Four officials from Belarus have been charged by US federal prosecutors for diverting a RyanAir airplane mid-flight last year to arrest a journalist critical of the government. The four officials, including the director of the state’s air navigation agency, called in a fake bomb threat to Minsk air traffic control and then covered up the move by directing air traffic controllers to falsify incident reports about the airplane’s diversion. The diversion led to the arrest of leading Belarusian opposition activist Roman Protasevich, sparking a global uproar calling for his release. The incident took place as Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko had been fending off opposition protests since claiming victory after a hotly disputed election widely condemned by the international community.
Adele tearfully postpones Las Vegas residency due to Covid among crew
Hello, it’s me… your biggest fan, Adele. We love you no matter what!
Twitter is rolling out verified NFT profile pictures
First, it was the blue check. Now, we all want hexagon profile pictures.
You have to win a lottery to camp at this Yosemite site
Only the lucky ones can sleep outside here!
Rare snow and hailstorms cover Saudi Arabian desert
The sweltering Saudi desert is now blanketed in snow? Okay Mother Nature, you’re just showing off now.
Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show set to be a ’90s lovefest
A lineup of hip-hop legends will be assembling to potentially give you the best halftime show ever.
What type of produce is yielding its smallest crop in more than 75 years?
Take CNN’s weekly news quiz to see if you’re correct!
Meat Loaf, the larger-than-life singer whose 1977 record “Bat Out of Hell” is one of the best-selling albums of all time, has died at age 74, according to a statement on his verified Facebook page. Meat Loaf’s two biggest albums — “Bat Out of Hell” and the 1993 follow-up “Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell” — produced numerous hit singles, including “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad” and “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That).”
That’s how many people are under winter weather alerts due to forecasts for a treacherous mix of snow and ice. The double-whammy threat prompted the governors of North and South Carolina and Virginia to issue states of emergency. Overall, the alerts cover a wide swathe that includes southern Texas, southern Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, western Florida, Virginia and the Carolinas.
“We are frustrated by the FAA’s inability to do what nearly 40 countries have done, which is to safely deploy 5G technology without disrupting aviation services, and we urge it do so in a timely manner.”
AT&T spokesperson Megan Ketterer, following the announcement that AT&T and Verizon have agreed to delay the rollout of 5G technology near some major airports. The postponement is a win for the airlines, who said thousands of flights would be delayed, diverted or canceled due to the possibility that the new technology could interfere with aircraft radar altimeters. CNN is owned by AT&T.
Patience is a virtue
Happy Friday! You’ve patiently waited for the weekend and it’s finally here! Here’s a time-lapse of an incredibly patient man completing a huge jigsaw puzzle. (Click here to view)
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