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QB Jared Goff to start for LA Rams vs. Green Bay in playoff game

Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay announced Thursday that quarterback Jared Goff will get the start in Saturday’s NFC playoff game against the Green Bay Packers. Goff was questionable with a thumb injury for the Rams’ wild-card game last week but was pressed into service when starter John Wolford suffered a neck stinger and was unable to continue. McVay ruled Wolford out for Saturday’s game and said veteran Blake Bortles will serve as the team’s backup quarterback. 

Goff threw for 3,942 yards and 20 touchdowns this season for the Rams, but suffered a fractured thumb in his throwing hand in Week 16 and missed the team’s final regular-season game after undergoing surgery. 

Sean McVay rules out John Wolford, Jared Goff to start at QB for Rams

Via www.si.com
 

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Olympic gold medal swimmer Klete Keller charged with taking part in U.S. Capitol riot

Five-time Olympic swimming medalist Klete Keller was charged Wednesday with participating in a deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol after video emerged that appeared to show him among those storming the building last week.

Citing screenshots from the video, an FBI complaint asked that a warrant be issued charging Keller with knowingly entering a restricted building without lawful authority and attempting to impede an official government function. The 38-year-old Keller competed in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics. He captured two golds and a silver as a member of the 4×200-meter freestyle relay, as well as a pair of individual bronzes in the 400 free.

Thousands of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol during a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6 while lawmakers met to formalize the victory of President-elect Joe Biden.

Olympic gold-medal swimmer Klete Keller charged in connection with U.S. Capitol riot

Via rssfeeds.usatoday.com

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New York City ending contracts with Trump Organization in wake of Capitol attack

Citing the attack on the U.S. Capitol last week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday the city will cut ties with the Trump Organization and will ending its contracts to operate several public venues. The Trump Organization had agreements with the city to operate the Central Park Carousel, Wollman and Lasker skating rinks and Ferry Point Golf Course. De Blasio blamed Trump for provoking the U.S. Capitol attack by radical Trump supporters on Jan. 6, and said the violence made it impossible for the city to continue its relationship with the organization.

De Blasio said the city has started the process to end those ties, per their contracts. The Carousel’s termination will be effective 25 days after the city’s termination notice is delivered, and the agreement for the Wollman and Lasker rinks ends after 30 days.

The Trump Organization responded by threatening legal action if the city proceeds, with a spokesman for the company stating: “Yet another example of Mayor de Blasio’s blatant disregard for the facts. The city of New York has no legal right to end our contracts and if they elect to proceed, they will owe The Trump Organization over $30 million dollars. This is nothing more than political discrimination, an attempt to infringe on the First Amendment and we plan to fight vigorously.”

New York will end contracts with Trump over Capitol riot

Via www.msn.com
 

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House votes to impeach President Trump for 2nd time

The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump on charges he incited an “insurrection” at the U.S. Capitol a week ago. The chamber voted 232-197 in favor of impeachment, making Trump the first U.S. president in history to be impeached twice.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said as she signed the article of impeachment, “Today, in a bipartisan way the House demonstrated that no one is above the law, not even the president of the United States. That Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to our country and that once again we honor our oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help us God. And now, I sadly and with a heart broken over what this means to our country, of a president who would incite insurrection, will sign the engrossment of the article of impeachment.”

Trump released a video statement from the Oval Office hours after the impeachment, but declined to address the vote. He condemned the violence at the Capitol last week and decried what he described as the “unprecedented assault on free speech” after his suspensions on Twitter and other social media platforms.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell declined to convene an emergency session to open an impeachment trial in the upper chamber, saying in a statement following the impeachment that there was “no chance that a fair or serious” impeachment trial could conclude before President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated next week.

Trump makes history as 1st president to be impeached a 2nd time

Via www.msn.com
 

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Multiple U.S. House Republicans declare support for impeachment of President Trump

On Tuesday as at least three Republicans said they would vote to impeach him after his supporters stormed the Capitol last week.

Liz Cheney, the No. 3 Republican in the House of Representatives, said: Trump “summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack” on the Capitol last Wednesday, adding, “There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution,” as the Democratic-led chamber moved forward on a path to remove Trump from office. Cheney, the daughter of former Republican Vice President Dick Cheney, said in a statement, adding: “I will vote to impeach the president.”  Two other Republican House members, John Katko and Adam Kinzinger, said they would also vote for the second impeachment of the president, who leaves office in just eight days.

Their announcements came as Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday refrained from urging their members to vote against impeaching Trump, saying it was a matter of individual conscience. The House plans to vote as soon as Wednesday on an article of impeachment charging Trump with inciting insurrection unless he resigns or Vice President Mike Pence moves to oust him under a provision in the U.S. Constitution.

Making his first public appearance since last Wednesday’s riot, Trump showed no remorse for remarks he made to supporters at a rally before they stormed the seat of Congress: “What I said was totally appropriate,” Trump told reporters as he left for a trip to the U.S.-Mexico border wall near Alamo, Texas. “I want no violence.”

Rep. Liz Cheney, No. 3 House Republican, backs impeaching Trump, says he ‘summoned this mob’

Via www.nbcnews.com

 

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U.S. expands COVID-19 vaccine to include seniors 65 and up

On Tuesday, officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services expanded COVID-19 vaccine availability during the initial phase of distribution to include people age 65 years and older. The changes also give priority to those with underlying health conditions that place them at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 infection.  For instance, people with conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and respiratory illnesses such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, are believed to be at increased risk for severe COVID-19.

HHS secretary Alex Azar said during a press briefing Tuesday, “With the case counts we’re facing now, there’s no time to waste. It’s time to move on to the next phase, [and] this next phase reflects the urgency of the situation we face.” Previously, “phase 1A” of the vaccination recommendations issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in December called for healthcare workers and adults age 75 years and older, particularly those residing in nursing homes, to be given priority.

HHS will also be releasing the nation’s “entire supply” of vaccine for use as first or second doses. As part of Operation Warp Speed, U.S. health officials are monitoring vaccine production at the manufacturer level and are confident that sufficient doses will be available.

Feds Order States to Expand Vaccine Targets as Covid-19 Deaths Surge

Via www.nytimes.com
 

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NHL announces 27 players tested positive for COVID-19 at training camps

The NHL says 27 players returned positive COVID-19 tests during training camps as the league prepares to open its season.

In a release Tuesday, the NHL said that it conducted approximately 12,000 tests administered to more than 1,200 players over the period from Dec. 30 to Monday. The league said the positive tests are from nine teams, including 17 positive results from the Dallas Stars, who have had their opening game postponed. Most of the Stars players who tested positive are asymptomatic, and all are recovering without complication.

The 2020-21 regular season starts Wednesday with five games.

NHL says 27 players tested positive for COVID-19 during training camps

Via www.espn.com
 

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Tokyo Olympics Committee Chief Says putting off games is “impossible” despite public opinion to cancel games again

The chief of Tokyo’s Olympic organizing committee said Tuesday it would be “absolutely impossible” to postpone the Summer Games again due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, who serves as president on the committee, said putting off the Games again would be impossible because many of the organizing officials were already on loan from other organizations in the local government.

Mori’s comments come less than one week after Japan recorded its highest number of new cases in a day — more than 7,800 on Friday. The capital city of Tokyo is currently under a state of emergency through Feb. 8. Globally, coronavirus cases are among an all-time high, with more than 609,000 new cases reported and nearly 10,000 deaths reported Monday.

A Kyodo News survey released Sunday showed that about 80% of people in Japan support postponing or canceling the Summer Games, which were postponed from 2020. The events are scheduled to begin July 23 and will include about 15,000 athletes and tens of thousands more coaches, judges and other workers.

Tokyo Olympics: Over 80% of people surveyed in Japan reportedly believe games should be canceled, won’t happen

Via www.msn.com
 

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State capitols step up security amid new safety concerns after DC siege

State capitols across the nation are stepping up security, and deploying National Guard units, SWAT teams and extra police officers as several legislatures convened amid heightened safety concerns following last week’s violence at the U.S. Capitol.

After insurrectionists backing President Donald Trump overran the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, some governors and lawmakers began ramping up security because of online threats suggesting that more mobs could target state capitols.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee activated hundreds of National Guard troops to help state police keep order at the state Capitol and defend security fencing. At the Georgia Capitol, a state patrol SWAT team walked the perimeter wearing fatigues and carrying rifles while lawmakers gathered inside for the start of a two-year term.  In Idaho, doors to the House and Senate chambers were locked Monday morning, and two Idaho state troopers were stationed at each entrance. 

Legislatures convened in more than half a dozen states. Because of concerns about the coronavirus, many state capitols had already adopted procedures to curb the potential for large crowds, including arranging for lawmakers to meet remotely. Those steps greatly reduced the number of people who are actually working in capitol buildings.

Security in D.C., state Capitols tightened amid inauguration threats

Via www.upi.com
 

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State Department re-designates Cuba to ‘state sponsor of terrorism’ list

The U.S. State Department announced Monday that it was re-designating Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism, reversing a 2015 Obama-era campaign to improve relations in between the two countries. Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez called the move “political opportunism” in a tweet.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the move, blaming Cuba “for repeatedly providing support for acts of international terrorism in granting safe harbor to terrorists.” Pompeo said the Cuban government engaged in “malign interference in Venezuela and the rest of the Western Hemisphere.” The State Department also says that the move also penalizes U.S. companies for making business deals in Cuba and also restricts U.S. foreign assistance, bans defense exports and sales, and imposes controls on some exports. Currently, the only countries on the state department’s terrorism blacklist are Iran, Syria and North Korea. Sudan was removed in 2020 as part of the Trump administration’s peace agreements brokered in the Middle East.

Trump hits Cuba with new terrorism sanctions in waning days

Via abcnews.go.com
 

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