An Amazon tribe thought to be lost has reappeared — and some of its members have contracted influenza.
Brazil's government department FUNAI, which oversees the affairs of indigenous peoples, recently announced that at least seven members of a long-isolated Amazon tribe are infected with the flu after contact with the outside world. Researchers fear those with influenza will spread the disease to other tribe members who aren't immunized and haven't built up any natural immunity due to their isolation. FUNAI announced that a government-sponsored medical team treated the infected tribe members, but their return home is alarming for the others.
"We can only hope that [the FUNAI team members] were able to give out treatment before the sickness was spread to the rest of the tribe in the forest," Chris Fagan, executive director at the Upper Amazon Conservancy in Jackson, Wyoming, told Science magazine. "Only time will tell if they reacted quickly enough to divert a catastrophic epidemic."
Last month, some of the tribe's members left the forest of the Upper Envira River in Brazil, presumably to escape from illegal loggers and cocaine traffickers in a Peruvian park, Science reports. Their emergence marked the first time in recent history that an uncontacted tribe left its home to visit a settled population, The Independent reports. According to FUNAI's announcement, the group claimed to have been attacked by outsiders, and the Xinane River village "lies along a major route used by cocaine smugglers."
The Rainforest Rescue Coalition speculates that the tribe may be part of a group of Chitonahua people. Researchers estimate there could be as many as 4,000 uncontacted people in the region, making the spread of influenza extremely worrisome. Survival International is currently urging the Peruvian and Brazilian governments to protect the uncontacted tribes. Meghan DeMaria
Donald Trump played a lot of different songs during his presidential campaign — from the Rolling Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want" to the Puccini aria "Nessun Dorma" — but rival Hilary Clinton was known mostly for one song, Rachel Platten's "Fight Song." So of course, at Donald Trump's first inaugural ball, the Freedom Ball, the group The Piano Guys played "Fight Song," as part of a medley with the hymn "Amazing Grace." The ball's other performances were mostly vocal jazz standards and show tunes, starting with the Kurt Weill-Bertolt Brecht song "Mack the Knife," about a serial killer.
Poaching Clinton's trademark campaign anthem could be seen as a fig leaf, or something closer to the presumed message of "You Can't Always Get What You Want." To be fair, the "Fight Song"-"Amazing Grace" mash-up is one of the novelty group's hits. You can watch their video of it below. Peter Weber
Washington, D.C., interim Police Chief Peter Newsham said Friday evening that police had arrested 217 people for rioting during a day of Inauguration Day protests throughout the city, demonstrating against President Trump. A "very small percentage" of the thousands of protesters were violent, he said, though that faction caused "significant damage" along a number of blocks. Protesters blocked several security checkpoints, and a group of "black bloc" anticapitalist, antifascist activists threw rocks and bricks at police, smashed windows, set a handful of trash cans and a limousine ablaze. Police responded with chemical spray and flash-bang or stun grenades.
"It's a little jarring when you're in a peaceful march with drumming and chanting and the next thing you know flash bangs are going off around you," Daniel Hultquist, a protester from Rhode Island, told The Washington Post. "People that throw rocks and bricks are undermining the cause." As people got out of work, anti-Trump protesters also gathered in cities around the country, including Nashville, San Francisco, Austin, Atlanta, Portland, and Seattle. You can see the burning limo in the Inauguration Day roundup from The Associated Press' Julie Pace below. Peter Weber
After confirming Defense Secretary James Mattis on Friday evening, 98-1, the Senate approved the nomination of former retired Marine Gen. John F. Kelly as secretary of homeland security, 88-11. Kelly, who retired last year as head of the U.S. Southern Command, will take over a department with more than 240,000 employees who oversee everything from border security to protecting the president and America's electrical grid. Among Kelly's most controversial items on his roster of duties will be carrying out Trump's orders on immigration and building a Mexico-U.S. border wall.
Trump said at a luncheon after his inauguration that Mattis and Kelly were straight from "central casting," pointing specifically to his new defense secretary. "If I'm doing a movie, I'd pick you, Gen. Mattis," he said. Trump reportedly took looks into serious consideration when assembling his Cabinet. Peter Weber
Despite a beautiful sunrise over Washington, D.C., on election day, the skies turned cloudy with scattered light rain on Inauguration Day. Maybe that's why President Trump's inaugural crowd was notably smaller than former President Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration — when he was also, to be fair, the first African American to be sworn in as president — and also Obama's crowd after he was re-elected in 2013. Also, maybe the weather is why CNN decided to show video of Obama's 2013 crowd and Trump's 2017 swearing-in side-by-side, without comment:
Other possibilities: Obama had more high-wattage star power at both inaugurations, and home-team advantage — only 4.1 percent of Washington, D.C., voted for Trump in the election (versus 91 percent for Hillary Clinton), versus Obama's 91 percent in 2012 and 92 percent in 2008. Clinton also won neighboring Maryland and Virginia. Trump, of course, won the Electoral College, which is why he is president. Peter Weber
Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis was confirmed as President Donald Trump's secretary of defense late Friday afternoon. The Hill reported the Senate "easily" confirmed Mattis, who is the first of Trump's Cabinet members to be confirmed.
Mattis will be the first recently retired service member to lead the Pentagon since "President [Harry S.] Truman nominated Army Gen. George C. Marshall for the job in 1950," The Washington Post reported. To be confirmed, Mattis had to obtain a waiver from Congress to bypass a law prohibiting members of the military from assuming the position for at least seven years after they leave the service. Trump's first order of business after being sworn into office Friday morning was to sign a waiver allowing Mattis to serve as defense secretary.
Mattis will be in charge of the Defense Department's $580 billion budget and its 1.9 million active-duty service members and reservists. Becca Stanek
President Donald Trump and the rest of the first family arrived at the White House for the first time Friday evening, hours after Trump was sworn into office at the U.S. Capitol. Scenes from the new first family's arrival to their new residence, below. Kimberly Alters
Trump Motorcade in front of WH pic.twitter.com/vF9AQE3TCu
— Katy Tur (@KatyTurNBC) January 20, 2017
— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 20, 2017
— ABC News (@ABC) January 20, 2017
— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 20, 2017
On the final half day of Barack Obama's presidency, the S&P 500 stock market index closed up slightly at 2,271.31. Counting from this day in 2009, when that same index closed at 805.22, that marks a total gain of over 282 percent. The NASDAQ is up even more: 386 percent. Though that's without accounting for inflation, it's still the largest gain of any president since Dwight Eisenhower in the 1950s, as Reuters demonstrates.
Great news for stockholders, though it's worth noting that median wages have not shown nearly the same upward trajectory. Again leaving aside inflation, they only increased by about 14 percent from 2009-2015 (the most recent data that is available). Ryan Cooper