Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: November 9, 2021

Obama criticizes Trump's "hostility toward climate science," Jan. 6 panel subpoenas 6 Trump allies, and more

1

Obama slams Trump over hostility toward climate science

Former President Barack Obama returned to the world stage on Monday at the United Nations' COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, saying that there had been some progress in the fight against global warming despite four years of "active hostility toward climate science" from the Trump administration and other Republicans. Obama also accused China and Russia of showing a "dangerous lack of urgency" toward cutting their greenhouse gas emissions. Obama said "we are nowhere near where we need to be" in the fight to avoid the most catastrophic damage from climate change by keeping temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels. "There are times where I am doubtful that humanity can get its act together before it's too late," Obama said, but "we can't afford hopelessness."

2

House Jan. 6 committee subpoenas 6 Trump allies

The House select committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by a mob of former President Donald Trump's supporters issued subpoenas Monday to six of Trump's former top advisers. Two of the targeted officials participated actively in the Willard hotel "command center" where Trump loyalists oversaw efforts to reverse Trump's 2020 election loss to President Biden: scholar John Eastman, who developed a legal strategy in early January to delay or block Biden's presidency, and former New York police commissioner Bernard Kerik, who spearheaded a search for evidence of voting fraud in key states. The list also includes Trump reelection campaign manager Bill Stepien, senior campaign adviser Jason Miller, campaign national executive assistant Angela McCallum, and former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn.

3

DOJ charges Ukrainian national over ransomware attack

The Justice Department announced Monday that federal prosecutors had charged a Ukrainian national, Yaroslav Vasinskyi, with deploying the REvil ransomware against an American company in July. Vasinskyi was arrested in Poland last month. The Justice Department also said it had seized $6 million in ransom payments. Vasinskyi, 22, allegedly spearheaded the attack over the Fourth of July weekend against Florida-based software firm Kaseya, infecting up to 1,500 businesses around the world, according to an indictment unsealed Monday. Another alleged REvil operative, Russian national Yevgeniy Polyanin, faces several charges alongside Vasinskyi, including conspiracy to commit fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

4

Report: Pfizer, BioNTech to seek booster authorization for all adults

Pfizer and BioNTech are expected to request authorization for giving their coronavirus vaccine booster shot to anyone 18 or older, The Washington Post reported Monday, citing three officials familiar with the matter. The individuals said the application could come as soon as this week, and the Food and Drug Administration was likely to support it. Approval would help the Biden administration meet the goal announced in August to make boosters available to all adults as concerns mount over waning protection from initial vaccinations. Pfizer spokesperson Kit Longley declined to confirm the report. The summertime surge fueled by the highly contagious Delta variant has subsided, but there are still more than 70,000 new U.S. cases and more than 1,000 deaths daily.

5

Vaccinated foreign tourists arrive in U.S. as travel ban lifted

Vaccinated international travelers arrived in the United States on Monday aboard sold-out airliners as the Biden administration lifted restrictions that had prevented them from entering the country on non-essential trips for nearly 20 months. For many people, it marked the first opportunity to visit family members in the U.S. since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. "I'm leaving the first day they will allow me to leave … I've got butterflies," Maria Giribet Caldentey told CNN as she prepared to board a plane at Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport to visit her twin grandchildren in California. Under the new policy, non-U.S. citizens can travel to the U.S. for non-essential travel provided they can show proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test with three days of departure.

6

Man wounded by Rittenhouse testifies in murder trial

A protester and volunteer medic wounded by Kyle Rittenhouse in a Kenosha, Wisconsin, racial-justice protest testified Monday that he unintentionally pointed his own gun at Rittenhouse when the teen shot him in the arm. Gaige Grosskreutz said in Rittenhouse's murder trial that he drew his pistol after Rittenhouse fatally shot two other protesters in the summer of 2020. "I thought the defendant was an active shooter," Grosskreutz, 27, said, and that "I was going to die." Grosskreutzc conceded to Rittenhouse's lawyers that Rittenhouse didn't fire until he drew his gun. Rittenhouse, now 18, says he went to Kenosha from his home in Illinois to protect private property during the demonstrations that erupted after the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, by a white Kenosha police officer.

7

Trump says he'll 'probably' announce 2024 plans after midterms

Former President Donald Trump told Fox News in an interview broadcast Monday that he would "probably" announce whether he would run for the White House in 2024 after the 2022 midterm elections. "I am certainly thinking about it and we'll see," Trump said. He added that the fact that he is entertaining the possibility of running again "doesn't mean I will." He has repeatedly suggested he might try a comeback since leaving office in January, and demonstrated his enduring hold on the Republican base by endorsing some Republican candidates and holding campaign-style rallies. Some political analysts have said that Trump would make it harder for Democrats to make him an issue in the midterms if he is still on the sidelines.

8

Poland faces off with migrants massing across border in Belarus

Migrants seeking to enter Poland are gathering across the border in Belarus. Poland has dispatched riot police to the area and put up coils of razor wire. Polish police posted video early Tuesday showing migrants who camped overnight just over Poland's eastern border as tensions escalated as a wave of thousands of people, mostly from Iraq and Syria, have sought to enter Poland with Belarus' encouragement. Migrants also have tried to push into Lithuania and Latvia, which also have borders with Belarus, in an effort to get to Germany and other countries in Western Europe. The European Union says Belarus' president, Alexander Lukashenko, is trying to destabilize Europe in retaliation against Western sanctions.

9

Poll: Most Americans think Biden hasn't focused on key problems

Fifty-eight percent of respondents in a new CNN Poll conducted by SSRS said that President Biden hadn't paid enough attention to America's most important problems. More than a third of respondents said the economy was the nation's most urgent problem. Among those people, 72 percent said Biden hadn't been attentive enough to the most important matters. Among the 20 percent who said the coronavirus pandemic was the No. 1 problem, the numbers were essentially reversed, with 79 percent saying Biden was setting priorities right. More broadly, 48 percent of adults said they approved of Biden's job performance, while 52 percent disapproved. The poll was conducted before Congress passed the bipartisan infrastructure bill.

10

Alec Baldwin calls for hiring police to monitor gun safety on film sets

Actor Alec Baldwin argued on Twitter and Instagram that film and TV productions should hire police officers to "monitor weapons safety" on sets. The comments came after a prop gun Baldwin was using on the set of the movie Rust in New Mexico somehow was loaded with a live bullet and went off when he was rehearsing a scene, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza. "Every film/TV set that uses guns, fake or otherwise, should have a police officer on set," Baldwin wrote. Others in the film industry also have called for banning real guns on sets in the wake of the tragedy. Dwayne Johnson announced last week his production company's movies and shows would only make use of rubber guns going forward.

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