Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: February 11, 2022

The House Jan. 6 committee finds gaps in Trump phone logs, diplomats discuss Ukraine as Russia starts military drills, and more

1

House Jan. 6 committee finds gaps in Trump phone logs

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack found gaps in White House logs of calls then-President Donald Trump made as he watched television coverage of the riot. Investigators haven't found evidence that records were changed or deleted, but Trump was known to sometimes use his personal cellphone and those of aides to call staffers, congressional allies, and confidants. The lack of comprehensive Jan. 6 White House call logs is making it harder for the committee to piece together what Trump said and did during the attack by a mob of his supporters trying to prevent lawmakers from certifying President Biden's victory over Trump in the 2020 election.

2

Diplomatic efforts accelerate after Russia starts military drills

Diplomatic efforts to defuse the Ukraine crisis ramped up on Thursday with representatives of Ukraine, Russia, Germany, and France meeting in Berlin as Russia started 10 days of military exercises with Belarus. Russia said the purpose of the "Allied Resolve-2022" drills was working out "the tasks of suppressing and repelling external aggression," but the U.S. and its allies have warned that Russia is preparing to launch another invasion of neighboring Ukraine. Russia also is planning to block off large parts of the Black Sea with naval exercises that Ukraine has protested, saying they will disrupt commercial shipping, a charge Russia denies. Russia's drills are believed to involve 30,000 troops in Belarus, the biggest deployment there since the Cold War.

3

Consumer prices jumped more than expected in January

The U.S. consumer price index rose by 7.5 percent in January compared to a year earlier, the fastest pace in 40 years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday. The increase was higher than the 7.2 percent jump economists had expected, and the key inflation gauge showed that prices jumped by 0.6 percent in January alone. "Increases in the indexes for food, electricity, and shelter were the largest contributors to the seasonally adjusted all items increase," the report said. The data was further evidence that high inflation is not going to quickly ease with the recovery from the coronavirus crisis, and it increased expectations that the Federal Reserve will aggressively raise interest rates starting in March to keep the economy from overheating and bring down inflation.

4

Canadian mayor requests court order to remove border bridge blockade

Windsor, Ontario, Mayor Drew Dilkens said at a Thursday news conference that the Canadian city was seeking a court order to remove so-called Freedom Convoy demonstrators who are blocking most traffic at a crucial U.S.-Canada border crossing. For four days, truckers and others protesting coronavirus rules, including vaccine and mask mandates, have been using dozens of vehicles to disrupt traffic across the Ambassador Bridge connecting Windsor and Detroit. About 30 percent of annual U.S.-Canada trade passes through the crossing, and the disruption of traffic has forced auto plants on both sides of the border to pause or reduce production. "The economic harm that this occupation is having on international trade is not sustainable and it must come to an end," Dilkens said.

5

Virginia deputy attorney general resigns after pro-Jan. 6 riot posts surface

A top Virginia deputy attorney general, Monique Miles, resigned Thursday after The Washington Post asked the office of the state's new Republican attorney general about Facebook posts she made praising people who attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Miles, who was overseeing election issues for Attorney General Jason Miyares, also made more than a dozen posts over several months supporting unfounded claims about voter fraud and election interference. A Miyares spokeswoman said the attorney general's office did not know about the Facebook posts until the Post shared screenshots of them. "The attorney general has been very clear — Joe Biden won the election and he has condemned the Jan. 6 attacks," said the spokeswoman, Victoria LaCivita.

6

Reuters: Macron refused Russian COVID test to keep Moscow from getting his DNA

French President Emmanuel Macron refused to take a Russian COVID-19 test on a trip to Moscow this week out of concern Russia would obtain his DNA, Reuters reported Friday, citing two sources in Macron's entourage. Because of his refusal of the Kremlin's request, Macron had to sit distanced from Russian President Vladimir Putin across a 13-foot table as the two leaders discussed the Ukraine crisis. Russia gave Macron the choice of undergoing a PCR test conducted by Russian authorities to be allowed close to Putin, or refusing and following social-distancing rules, Reuters reports. "We knew very well that meant no handshake and that long table," one of the Reuters sources said. "But we could not accept that they get their hands on the president's DNA."

7

Liz Cheney says in WSJ op-ed that truth will come out on Jan. 6 attack

House Jan. 6 committee member Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) on Thursday released an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, assuring those who criticize the panel's Capitol riot investigation that their threats won't prevent the truth from coming out. Cheney started the op-ed, titled "The Jan. 6 Committee Won't Be Intimated," by recounting the oath taken by generations of public servants, including her great-great-grandfather as he re-enlisted in the Union Army in 1863 — the promise to "defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic." Cheney wrote that former President Donald Trump's insistence that former Vice President Mike Pence could have and should have overturned the results of the 2020 election "was not only un-American, it was unconstitutional and illegal."

8

CDC changes guidance on opioid prescriptions

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday proposed new guidelines for opioid prescribers, dropping influential but controversial 2016 dosage recommendations for treating chronic pain, in a win for pain experts. The revised recommendations leave out advice on dosage and duration of treatment used by some states and caregivers to adopt tight restrictions that made it harder for some patients to get pain drugs. The changes are part of an effort by federal health officials to limit harm from long-term opioid use, and make it easier for physicians to develop individualized treatment plans, with smaller doses when possible. "There's not a one size fits all," said Christopher Jones, acting director of the CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

9

Russia's team gold in question over star skater's use of banned substance

Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva tested positive for a banned substance before the Beijing Winter Olympics. The news jeopardized the gold medal the 15-year-old star helped her team win and threatened to disqualify her from the singles event she was favored to win. Valieva tested positive for trimetazidine, a banned medication believed to improve endurance. Other top athletes have served doping bans over the drug's use. The International Testing Agency said Friday it would fight the Russian anti-doping agency's decision to let Valieva skate. The Court of Arbitration for Sport will hold an urgent hearing to decide whether Valieva can compete in the singles event next week.

10

Snowboarder Shaun White fails to medal in his final Olympic event

U.S. snowboarder Shaun White's Olympic career ended Friday in Beijing, finishing fourth in his final event, the men's halfpipe, and narrowly missing out on one last medal. White started his third run in fourth place, and while he went on to land a 1440, he fell on his next trick. Japan's Ayumu Hirano, who completed two triple corks in his runs, took the gold medal, with Australia's Scotty James winning silver and Switzerland's Jan Scherrer winning bronze. White, who won gold medals in Turin, Vancouver, and Pyeongchang, said Beijing would be his fifth and final Olympics. At 35, he is the oldest U.S. halfpipe rider in Winter Games history. "Snowboarding, thank you," White said, choking back tears. "It's been the love of my life."

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