10 things you need to know today: January 9, 2021
Democrats move toward impeachment, Twitter permanently suspends Trump's account, and more
Democrats move toward impeachment
Following his role in Wednesday's deadly Capitol riot, House Democrats plan to introduce an article of impeachment against President Trump on Monday, two Democratic aides told The Wall Street Journal. Per the Journal, more than 150 House Democrats have signed on to the article already. Assistant House Speaker Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) told CNN the House may initiate an impeachment vote "as early as mid-next week." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) hasn't specifically backed the article, but she said Friday the lower chamber would move toward impeachment if Trump doesn't leave office immediately. Republican Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said he would consider articles of impeachment if the House moved forward, and The New York Times' Maggie Haberman reports more Senate Republicans "favor impeachment than people would expect."
Twitter permanently suspends Trump's account
Twitter permanently suspended President Trump's account on Friday evening, citing "the risk of further incitement of violence." Trump's account was first suspended on Wednesday following his supporters' riot at the Capitol building, with a temporary, 12-hour ban over his "severe" violations of the company's civil integrity policy. The company warned at the time that if Trump violated the company's civic integrity or violent threats policies again, it would "result in permanent suspension." Twitter explained that Trump's latest tweets hailing his supporters' "GIANT VOICE long into the future" and insistence "they will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!" violated policy by providing "further indication that President Trump does not plan to facilitate an 'orderly transition' and instead that he plans to continue to support, empower, and shield those who believe he won the election." Trump's account has already been wiped from the site.
Indonesian passenger plane loses contact after takeoff
A passenger plane carrying 56 passengers and six crew members lost contact shortly after taking off from Indonesia's capital Jakarta on Saturday. The Sriwijaya Air flight went missing over the Java Sea while en route to Pontianak, the capital of the Indonesian province of West Kalimantan. The plane "lost more than 10,000 feet of altitude in less than one minute, about four minutes after departure," tracking service Flightradar24 said on its Twitter feed. Indonesia's transport ministry said search and rescue efforts are underway. The plane is a 26-year-old Boeing 737-500, which should not be confused with the 737 MAX model that was involved in two fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia in 2018 and 2019, respectively, before being grounded worldwide.
Trump confirms he won't attend Biden's inauguration
In a tweet on Friday, President Trump confirmed he won't be in attendance when President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in, writing, "To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th." Trump had been expected to skip Biden's inauguration after refusing to concede the election and falsely claiming he won. He will be the "first incumbent president since Andrew Johnson not to attend his successor's inauguration," The Associated Press reports. Trump on Thursday finally acknowledged a "new administration" will begin later this month and said his "focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly, and seamless transition of power." Vice President Mike Pence is reportedly expected to attend Biden's inauguration. Biden said Trumps' absence will be "a good thing."
Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski calls for Trump to resign
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said on Friday that Trump should step down following his role in Wednesday's Capitol siege. "I want him to resign. I want him out," she said. "He needs to get out. He needs to do the good thing, but I don't think he's capable of doing a good thing." Murkowski blamed Trump for inciting his supporters to riot and break into the Capitol building, which led to five deaths. She argued Trump ordered them to fight. "How are they supposed to take that? It's an order from the president," she said. The Alaska senator joins top Democratic leadership in calling for Trump's exit, along with fellow Republican Sen. Ben Sasse (Neb.) who said he would consider impeachment.
Biden plans to release most COVID-19 vaccine doses
President-elect Joe Biden plans to release nearly every available dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines when he takes office later this month rather than holding back millions of second doses, his transition team said Friday. The decision is meant to "ensure the Americans who need it most get it as soon as possible." A transition official told CNN that Biden's team believes vaccine manufacturers will be able to produce second doses at a pace that will still allow for their distribution in a timely fashion, and the administration is prepared to invoke the Defense Production Act to ramp up the process. The Trump administration has insisted it's necessary to retain second doses, with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Friday expressing concern that Biden's plan could backfire if there are any manufacturing mishaps.
New charges brought in pro-Trump riot
New charges have been brought against individuals involved in Wednesday's deadly pro-Trump riot at the Capitol building. Richard Barnett, the man photographed with his foot up on a desk in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) office, was arrested Friday on charges of "entering and remaining on restricted grounds, violent entry and theft of public property," NBC News reports. Barnett had openly bragged about his role in the riot to The New York Times. Meanwhile, Derrick Evans, a West Virginia state representative, was reportedly charged after he recorded a video of himself storming the Capitol. A lawyer for Evans told a CBS affiliate he would ignore calls to resign and that he "committed no criminal act that day." The Department of Justice said 13 people were charged in federal court over the riot, while another 40 people were charged in Superior Court.
U.S. economy lost 140,000 jobs in December, the 1st loss since April
The Labor Department on Friday said the U.S. economy lost 140,000 jobs in December, the first monthly loss since April. The unemployment rate remained at 6.7 percent, also the first time since April it hasn't declined. The report was out of line with expectations, as economists predicted a gain of about 50,000 jobs. "Job losses in leisure and hospitality and in private education were partially offset by gains in professional and business services, retail trade, and construction," the Bureau of Labor Statistics said. The loss came amid a surge in COVID-19 cases around the U.S., which has prompted new restrictions while two coronavirus vaccines roll out at a slower-than-expected pace. Last month's jobs report for November was also a disappointment, as 245,000 jobs were added when economists were expecting a gain of 440,000 jobs.
Kim calls for enhancement of North Korea's nuclear arsenal
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called the United States his biggest enemy and vowed to advance Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal, the state's Korean Central News Agency said Saturday. The comments came during the ruling Workers Party 8th congress in the North Korean capital. Kim's plan to boost the arsenal reportedly includes building solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missiles that can be launched from land and sea and hit targets up to 9,320 miles, which would put the U.S. mainland within reach. He also encouraged the development of miniaturized nuclear weapons, tactical nukes, military surveillance satellites, and hypersonic aircraft, NPR reports. Kim said North Korea would not launch a pre-emptive strike. Experts suspect Kim's remarks were aimed at the incoming Biden administration, as North Korea has a history of trying to rattle Washington when a new leader steps into the White House.
Tommy Lasorda, longtime Dodgers manager, dies at 93
Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda, who spent 20 seasons as the skipper of the Los Angeles Dodgers, has died, the team announced Friday. He was 93. The Dodgers said he suffered heart failure Thursday at his home in Fullerton, California. Between 1976 and 1996, Lasorda guided the Dodgers to two World Series titles, four National League pennants, and eight division crowns. Additionally, he led the United States baseball team to a gold medal at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. All told, the gregarious baseball lifer spent 71 years with the Dodgers — dating back to when the club still played in Brooklyn — as a player, scout, coach, manager, and front office executive. "I bleed Dodger blue," he would often say. Vin Scully, the Dodgers beloved former broadcaster, said he will always remember Lasorda's "determination" and "boundless enthusiasm."