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US President, Joe Biden Gives An Inaugural Address After Being Sworn In As The 46th President |RN

Joe Robinette Biden Jnr being sworn in as the President of the United States


Chief Justice Roberts, Vice-President Harris, Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, Leader McConnell, Vice-President Pence. My distinguished guests, my fellow Americans.

This is America’s day. This is democracy’s day. A day of history and hope, of renewal and resolve. Through a crucible for the ages, America has been tested a new and America has risen to the challenge. Today we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate but of a cause, a cause of democracy. The people – the will of the people – has been heard, and the will of the people has been heeded.

We’ve learned again that democracy is precious, democracy is fragile and, at this hour my friends, democracy has prevailed. So now on this hallowed ground where just a few days ago violence sought to shake the Capitol’s very foundations, we come together as one nation under God – indivisible – to carry out the peaceful transfer of power as we have for more than two centuries.

As we look ahead in our uniquely American way, restless, bold, optimistic, and set our sights on a nation we know we can be and must be, I thank my predecessors of both parties. I thank them from the bottom of my heart. And I know the resilience of our Constitution and the strength, the strength of our nation, as does President Carter, who I spoke with last night who cannot be with us today, but who we salute for his lifetime of service.

I’ve just taken a sacred oath each of those patriots have taken. The oath first sworn by George Washington. But the American story depends not on any one of us, not on some of us, but on all of us. On we the people who seek a more perfect union. This is a great nation, we are good people. And over the centuries through storm and strife in peace and in war we’ve come so far. But we still have far to go.

We’ll press forward with speed and urgency for we have much to do in this winter of peril and significant possibility. Much to do, much to heal, much to restore, much to build and much to gain. Few people in our nation’s history have been more challenged or found a time more challenging or difficult than the time we’re in now. A once in a century virus that silently stalks the country has taken as many lives in one year as in all of World War Two.

Millions of jobs have been lost. Hundreds of thousands of businesses closed. A cry for racial justice, some 400 years in the making, moves us. The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer. A cry for survival comes from the planet itself, a cry that can’t be any more desperate or any more clear now. The rise of political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism, that we must confront and we will defeat.

To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America, requires so much more than words. It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy – unity. Unity. In another January on New Year’s Day in 1863 Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. When he put pen to paper the president said, and I quote, ‘if my name ever goes down in history, it’ll be for this act, and my whole soul is in it’.

My whole soul is in it today, on this January day. My whole soul is in this. Bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation. And I ask every American to join me in this cause. Uniting to fight the foes we face – anger, resentment and hatred. Extremism, lawlessness, violence, disease, joblessness, and hopelessness.

With unity we can do great things, important things. We can right wrongs, we can put people to work in good jobs, we can teach our children in safe schools. We can overcome the deadly virus, we can rebuild work, we can rebuild the middle class and make work secure, we can secure racial justice and we can make America once again the leading force for good in the world.

I know speaking of unity can sound to some like a foolish fantasy these days. I know the forces that divide us are deep and they are real. But I also know they are not new. Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal, that we are all created equal, and the harsh ugly reality that racism, nativism and fear have torn us apart. The battle is perennial and victory is never secure.

Through civil war, the Great Depression, World War, 9/11, through struggle, sacrifice, and setback, our better angels have always prevailed. In each of our moments enough of us have come together to carry all of us forward and we can do that now. History, faith and reason show the way. The way of unity.

We can see each other not as adversaries but as neighbours. We can treat each other with dignity and respect. We can join forces, stop the shouting and lower the temperature. For without unity there is no peace, only bitterness and fury, no progress, only exhausting outrage. No nation, only a state of chaos. This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge. And unity is the path forward. And we must meet this moment as the United States of America.

If we do that, I guarantee we will not failed. We have never, ever, ever, ever failed in America when we’ve acted together. And so today at this time in this place, let’s start afresh, all of us. Let’s begin to listen to one another again, hear one another, see one another. Show respect to one another. Politics doesn’t have to be a raging fire destroying everything in its path. Every disagreement doesn’t have to be a cause for total war and we must reject the culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured.

My fellow Americans, we have to be different than this. We have to be better than this and I believe America is so much better than this. Just look around. Here we stand in the shadow of the Capitol dome. As mentioned earlier, completed in the shadow of the Civil War. When the union itself was literally hanging in the balance. We endure, we prevail. Here we stand, looking out on the great Mall, where Dr King spoke of his dream.

Here we stand, where 108 years ago at another inaugural, thousands of protesters tried to block brave women marching for the right to vote. And today we mark the swearing in of the first woman elected to national office, Vice President Kamala Harris. Don’t tell me things can change. Here we stand where heroes who gave the last full measure of devotion rest in eternal peace.

And here we stand just days after a riotous mob thought they could use violence to silence the will of the people, to stop the work of our democracy, to drive us from this sacred ground. It did not happen, it will never happen, not today, not tomorrow, not ever. Not ever. To all those who supported our campaign, I’m humbled by the faith you placed in us. To all those who did not support us, let me say this. Hear us out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart.

If you still disagree, so be it. That’s democracy. That’s America. The right to dissent peacefully. And the guardrail of our democracy is perhaps our nation’s greatest strength. If you hear me clearly, disagreement must not lead to disunion. And I pledge this to you. I will be a President for all Americans, all Americans. And I promise you I will fight for those who did not support me as for those who did.

Many centuries ago, St Augustine – the saint of my church – wrote that a people was a multitude defined by the common objects of their love. Defined by the common objects of their love. What are the common objects we as Americans love, that define us as Americans? I think we know. Opportunity, security, liberty, dignity, respect, honour, and yes, the truth.

Recent weeks and months have taught us a painful lesson. There is truth and there are lies. Lies told for power and for profit. And each of us has a duty and a responsibility as citizens as Americans and especially as leaders. Leaders who are pledged to honour our Constitution to protect our nation. To defend the truth and defeat the lies.

Look, I understand that many of my fellow Americans view the future with fear and trepidation. I understand they worry about their jobs. I understand like their dad they lay in bed at night staring at the ceiling thinking: ‘Can I keep my healthcare? Can I pay my mortgage?’ Thinking about their families, about what comes next. I promise you, I get it. But the answer’s not to turn inward. To retreat into competing factions. Distrusting those who don’t look like you, or worship the way you do, who don’t get their news from the same source as you do.

We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal. We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts, if we show a little tolerance and humility, and if we’re willing to stand in the other person’s shoes, as my mom would say. Just for a moment, stand in their shoes.

Because here’s the thing about life. There’s no accounting for what fate will deal you. Some days you need a hand. There are other days when we’re called to lend a hand. That’s how it has to be, that’s what we do for one another. And if we are that way our country will be stronger, more prosperous, more ready for the future. And we can still disagree.

My fellow Americans, in the work ahead of us we’re going to need each other. We need all our strength to persevere through this dark winter. We’re entering what may be the darkest and deadliest period of the virus. We must set aside politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation, one nation. And I promise this, as the Bible says, ‘Weeping may endure for a night, joy cometh in the morning’. We will get through this together. Together.

Look folks, all my colleagues I serve with in the House and the Senate up here, we all understand the world is watching. Watching all of us today. So here’s my message to those beyond our borders. America has been tested and we’ve come out stronger for it. We will repair our alliances, and engage with the world once again. Not to meet yesterday’s challenges but today’s and tomorrow’s challenges. And we’ll lead not merely by the example of our power but the power of our example.

Fellow Americans, moms, dads, sons, daughters, friends, neighbours and co-workers. We will honour them by becoming the people and the nation we can and should be. So I ask you let’s say a silent prayer for those who lost their lives, those left behind and for our country. Amen.

Folks, it’s a time of testing. We face an attack on our democracy, and on truth, a raging virus, a stinging inequity, systemic racism, a climate in crisis, America’s role in the world. Any one of these would be enough to challenge us in profound ways. But the fact is we face them all at once, presenting this nation with one of the greatest responsibilities we’ve had. Now we’re going to be tested. Are we going to step up?

It’s time for boldness for there is so much to do. And this is certain, I promise you. We will be judged, you and I, by how we resolve these cascading crises of our era. We will rise to the occasion. Will we master this rare and difficult hour? Will we meet our obligations and pass along a new and better world to our children? I believe we must and I’m sure you do as well. I believe we will, and when we do, we’ll write the next great chapter in the history of the United States of America. The American story.

A story that might sound like a song that means a lot to me, it’s called American Anthem. And there’s one verse that stands out at least for me and it goes like this: ‘The work and prayers of century have brought us to this day, which shall be our legacy, what will our children say? Let me know in my heart when my days are through, America, America, I gave my best to you.’

Let us add our own work and prayers to the unfolding story of our great nation. If we do this, then when our days are through, our children and our children’s children will say of us: ‘They gave their best, they did their duty, they healed a broken land.’

My fellow Americans I close the day where I began, with a sacred oath. Before God and all of you, I give you my word. I will always level with you. I will defend the Constitution, I’ll defend our democracy. I’ll defend America and I will give all – all of you – keep everything I do in your service. Thinking not of power but of possibilities. Not of personal interest but of public good.

And together we will write an American story of hope, not fear. Of unity not division, of light not darkness. A story of decency and dignity, love and healing, greatness and goodness. May this be the story that guides us. The story that inspires us. And the story that tells ages yet to come that we answered the call of history, we met the moment. Democracy and hope, truth and justice, did not die on our watch but thrive.

That America secured liberty at home and stood once again as a beacon to the world. That is what we owe our forbearers, one another, and generations to follow.

So with purpose and resolve, we turn to those tasks of our time. Sustained by faith, driven by conviction and devoted to one another and the country we love with all our hearts. May God bless America and God protect our troops.

Thank you, America.

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Bill Gates Is Now The Biggest Farmland Owner In USA |The Republican News

World fourth richest person, Bill Gates

By Ariel Shapiro

Bill Gates, the fourth richest person in the world and a self-described nerd who is known for his early programming skills rather than his love of the outdoors, has been quietly snatching up 242,000 acres of farmland across the U.S. — enough to make him the top private farmland owner in America.

After years of reports that he was purchasing agricultural land in places like Florida and Washington, The Land Report revealed that Gates, who has a net worth of nearly $121 billion according to Forbes, has built up a massive farmland portfolio spanning 18 states. His largest holdings are in Louisiana (69,071 acres), Arkansas (47,927 acres) and Nebraska (20,588 acres). Additionally, he has a stake in 25,750 acres of transitional land on the west side of Phoenix, Arizona, which is being developed as a new suburb.

According to The Land Report’s research, the land is held directly and through third-party entities by Cascade Investments, Gates’ personal investment vehicle. Cascade’s other investments include food-safety company Ecolab, used-car retailer Vroom and Canadian National Railway.

While it may be surprising that a tech billionaire would also be the biggest farmland owner in the country, this is not Gates’ only foray into agriculture. In 2008, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced $306 million in grants to promote high-yield, sustainable agriculture among smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The foundation has further invested in the development and proliferation of “super crops” resistant to climate change and higher-yield dairy cows. Last year, the organization announced Gates Ag One, a nonprofit to advance those efforts.

It is not entirely clear how Gates’  farmland is being used, or whether any of the land is being set aside for conservation. (Cascade did not return Forbes’ request for comment.) However, there is some indication that the land could be used in a way that aligns with the foundation’s values. Cottonwood Ag Management, a subsidiary of Cascade, is a member of Leading Harvest, a nonprofit that promotes sustainable agriculture standards that prioritize protections of crops, soil and water resources.

Gates is not the only billionaire on The Land Report’s list of top private farmland owners. Wonderful Company cofounders Stewart and Lynda Resnick (net worth: $7.1 billion) ranked number three with 190,000 acres. Their farmland produces the goods for their brands including POM Wonderful, Wonderful Pistachios and Wonderful Halos mandarins.

While Gates may be the country’s biggest farmland owner, he by no means is the largest individual landowner. In its list of 100 top American landowners, The Land Report gives the top spot to Liberty Media Chair John Malone, who owns 2.2 million acres of ranches and forests. CNN founder Ted Turner ranked number three with 2 million acres of ranch land across eight states. Even Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is investing in land on a large scale, landing the 25th spot with his ownership of 420,000 acres, mainly in west Texas. (Forbes)

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Crimes Against Humanity: British Lawmakers Seek UN Security Council Resolution Against Nigeria |RN

UN Security Council in session

Two ranking members of the House of Lords, the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, want a UN Security Council Resolution against Nigeria for alleged “mounting crimes against humanity”. In a letter dated 21 December 2020 and addressed to British Foreign Secretary, Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP, Lord Alton of Liverpool (David Patrick Paul Alton) and Baroness Cox (Caroline Annex Cox) expressed surprise that Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) has yet to show serious interest in the widely reported persecution of Christians in Nigeria and the seeming indifference of the incumbent administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in tackling the problem.

The letter, a copy of which was sighted by News Express, cited several credible reports on the issue, among them “the publication of a new report by Nigerian human rights group Intersociety (14 December), which raises serious concerns about the scale of human rights abuses in Nigeria and the need for an urgent response.”

“Attacks led by Islamist militia continue in northern states and the Middle Belt, with almost-daily  reports  of  killings,  mayhem,  rape  and  sexual  abuse,  abductions  and enslavement, mass forced displacement and land-grabs. According to Intersociety, an estimated 34,400 Christians have been killed in Nigeria since 2009 – including 17,000 by Boko Haram (and its splinter groups) and 15,500 by Fulani militia,” the letter said. It went on to highlight the following: 

Targeted attacks against Christians 

In  July  2018,  the  Nigerian  House  of  Representatives  declared  killings  in predominantly-Christian villages in Plateau State to be a ‘genocide’ and called on the Government of Nigeria to establish  orphanages in areas affected by violence. Nigeria’s Minister of  Information and  Culture, Alhaji  Lai Mohammed,  has since acknowledged that Boko Haram and the Islamic State in West Africa “have started targeting Christians and Christian villages for a specific reason, which is to trigger a religious war and throw the nation into chaos… they seem to now have a deliberate policy of attacking Christians.” 

According  to  the  Bishop of  Truro’s review,  whose recommendations  HMG  have agreed to implement in full: “Some of the most egregious persecution of Christians has  taken  place  in  Sub-Saharan  Africa…  the  most  widespread  and violent  threat came  from  societal  groups,  including  many  with  a  militant  Islamist  agenda… Reports  consistently  showed  that  in Nigeria,  month  after  month,  on  average hundreds of Christians were being killed for reasons connected with their faith… Those worst affected included Christian women and girls abducted, and forced to convert, enter forced marriages, sexual abuse and torture.” 

The same concerns were raised in  two  other  recent  reports:  ‘Nigeria:  Unfolding Genocide?’  by  the  APPG  for  International  Freedom  of  Religion  or  Belief;  and ‘Nigeria’s  Silent  Slaughter:  Genocide  in  Nigeria  and  the  Implications  for  the International  Community’,  by  the  International  Committee  on  Nigeria  and  the International Organisation on Peace-building & Social Justice.  

Nigerian Government response  

There are now widespread concerns that some attacks take place with a degree of official complicity and that the Nigerian Government only occasionally investigate or prosecute those responsible for such crimes.  

The ICC’s decade-long preliminary investigation (which concluded on 11 December 2020) found that Nigerian security forces have committed crimes against humanity and  war  crimes,  including:  murder,  rape,  torture,  and  cruel  treatment;  enforced disappearance;  forcible  transfer  of  population;  outrages  upon  personal  dignity; intentionally  directing  attacks  against  the  civilian  population  as  such  and  against individual  civilians  not  taking  direct  part  in  hostilities;  unlawful  imprisonment; conscripting and enlisting children under the age of fifteen years into armed forces and  using  them  to  participate  actively  in  hostilities;  persecution  on  gender  and political grounds; and other inhumane acts.  The ICC confirmed that domestic courts have not responded to atrocities adequately or at all and that the Nigerian Government has failed in its obligations to hold those responsible to account. However, the Office of the Prosecutor faces serious resource constraints to investigating and prosecuting new situations and cases. We therefore urge HMG, as a State Party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, to ensure any investigation is adequately resourced. 

Intersociety  reports  that  1,400  Christians  have  been  killed  by  the  Nigerian  army, police and air force. The Nigerian army’s former Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Theophilus Danjuma, says the armed forces are “not neutral; they collude” in the “ethnic cleansing in…  riverine states”  by  Fulani  herders. He insists that villagers must defend themselves because “depending on the armed forces” will result in them dying “one by one. The ethnic cleansing must stop”.  

US Government response  

We commend the decision by the US State Department to designate Nigeria as a Country of Particular Concern because of FoRB violations and its recognition of escalating “religious-tinged violence”.  

During a special briefing on 8 December, US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious  Freedom  Sam  Brownback  said:  “The  world  has  great  concern  about

what’s  taking  place  in  Nigeria  at  this  time,  and  a  number  of  terrorist  groups  are organizing  and  pushing  into  the  country. We’re  seeing  a  lot  of  religious-tinged violence  taking  place  in  that  country  and  indeed  in  West  Africa.   It’s  an  area  of growing  concern  about  what’s  happening,  in  particular  the  tension  that’s  taking place there between religious groups.  And it’s often the religious affiliation is used to try to recruit and inspire violent acts.” 

The lack of comparable response by the UK is both stark and alarming. If HMG continue to ignore or downplay the strong religious factor fuelling the conflict, as identified  by  the  US  State  Department,  resources  will  be  wasted  on  the  implementation of solutions based on a premise that has little-to-no impact on the violence. 

UK Government response 

Over £2 billion of UK bilateral aid was given to Nigeria between 2011 and 2018, an equivalent of £800,000 every day. However, we share growing concerns over how the funds are spent; and how it could be better spent – especially in relation to the protection of those most at risk of attack and the need to bring perpetrators to justice. The UK is also one of the largest donors to the World Food Programme’s emergency operation  in  north-east  Nigeria,  but  it  does  not  currently  provide  humanitarian assistance  in  the  middle  belt  states,  despite  this  being  one  of  the  worst-affected regions.  For  the  UK  merely  to  “emphasise  the  importance  of  mediation  and  inter-faith dialogue” trivialises the scale of persecution of Christians. It is too simplistic for the UK  Government  to  label  atrocities  committed  by  Fulani  militia  as  driven  by desertification, climate change or competition for resources. Protracted attempts to address these (albeit important) longer-term factors will not stop the current rate of killings.  

Tabling their demand, Lord Alton of Liverpool and Baroness Cox wrote toward the end of the letter: “We  therefore  urge  you  to  consider  urgently  how  you  can  shine  a  light  on  these mounting crimes against humanity, undoubtedly predicated by a hatred of people who refuse to renounce their religious beliefs. We would also ask you to use your seat at  the  UN  Security  Council  to prioritise  these  concerns,  to  seek  a  resolution which significantly enhances the security given to communities at risk of attack, and for signatories of the 1948 Genocide Convention – including the UK – to fulfil their obligations to prevent and protect. We would be happy to provide draft wording for such a resolution as we have been looking into the different options available.”   (News Express)

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Elon Musk Loses First Spot As Richest In The World After His Fortune Drops Nearly $14 Billion In One Day |RN

Elon Musk attends SATELLITE 2020 conference
Musk, who became the world’s richest person on[+]
YASIN OZTURK/ANADOLU AGENCY VIA GETTY IMAGES

By Sergei Klebnikov

After a brief stint as the wealthiest person on the planet, Tesla billionaire Elon Musk is again the second-richest person in the world after his fortune fell by nearly $14 billion in one day.

Shares of his electric-vehicle maker, Tesla, fell by nearly 8% on Monday, pushing Musk’s net worth down by $13.5 billion, to $176.2 billion. After briefly overtaking Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos as the world’s richest person last Friday, Musk has again fallen to second spot, according to Forbes’ estimates.

He is now about $6 billion behind Bezos, who has a net worth of $182.1 billion. Shares of Amazon fell by more than 2% on Monday, lowering Bezos’ net worth by $3.6 billion.

Over the course of 2020, Musk received several tranches of options worth billions of dollars each as Tesla hit various market capitalization and EBITDA milestones. The board of directors of Tesla certifies the award of each tranche, and then issues a statement in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Musk appears to be eligible for another tranche of 8.44 million options—worth around $6.25 billion as of Monday’s closing price—but Forbes hasn’t yet attributed these options to Musk because the board hasn’t publicly certified them. (Bloomberg appears to count Musk’s latest tranche of options in its net worth calculations for Musk.)

Fueled by the skyrocketing Tesla share price, Musk’s fortune has increased by  around $150 billion since March 2020, when he was worth $24.6 billion. Tesla’s stock rose more than 720% in 2020, and has already gained another 12% in the first week of 2021. Tesla joined the S&P 500 Index in late December 2020, a move that drove the stock higher as well. The world’s most valuable automaker, Tesla produced half a million cars in 2020—a fraction of the production at global giants like GM and Toyota.

Despite Musk’s drop on Monday, he is still some $20 billion richer than the third richest person in the world, French luxury tycoon Bernard Arnault (worth $154.6 billion today).

(Forbes)

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Twitter And Facebook Lost $51 Billion Of Combined Market Value Since Booting Trump From Their Platforms|RN

Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for WIRED25; Francois Mori/AP

By Ben Winck


Facebook and Twitter have collectively seen $51.2 billion erased from their market caps over the last two trading sessions as investors balk at their banning of President Trump.


Facebook saw $47.6 billion erased from its public valuation, while Twitter’s market cap dropped by $3.5 billion.


Both companies announced last week they would permanently ban the president, saying keeping him on their platforms posed too large a risk of additional violence.
The bans come as Trump faces blowback from the government and corporations for his role in inciting last week’s violent riots at the Capitol.


Facebook and Twitter, the two largest social media platforms to permanently ban President Donald Trump for his role in last week’s Capitol riots, saw $51.2 billion in combined market value erased over the last two trading sessions.


Companies across sectors have responded to the president’s rhetoric in recent days by pausing political donations, making statements decrying his inflammatory remarks, and pulling products with links to right-wing movements. Facebook and Twitter possibly took the biggest retaliatory steps when they indefinitely banned Trump from their platforms on Thursday and Friday, respectively.


Both companies cited the risk of additional violence for their bans, but investors largely balked at the action. Facebook tumbled 4% on Monday and another 2.2% on Tuesday as shareholders dumped the stock, likely fearing the ban could drive users off the platform. By the time markets closed on Tuesday, Facebook’s market cap sat $47.6 billion below its Friday level.

Twitter plunged 6.4% to start the week and dipped another 2.4% as the sell-off continued into Tuesday’s close. The declines saw Twitter’s market cap drop by $3.5 billion.


To be sure, Twitter rose as much as 2.9% on Wednesday while Facebook wavered at its previous closing level. And analysts haven’t lowered the stocks’ median price targets following the bans, signaling the slides were likely knee-jerk reactions that will reverse over time.


Other tech giants responding to last week’s insurrection have fared better through the week. Apple and Google have both climbed slightly since announcing after Friday’s close they would remove right-wing social network Parler from their app stores. Amazon shares are up 1.6% since announcing on Sunday that it kicked Parler off of its web hosting service.


Still, the actions could come back to bite tech companies in the final week of Trump’s presidency. CNN reported on Monday that Trump might retaliate against tech giants for their bans. It’s not yet clear what the president’s actions would look like and if they will materialize before President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated.

Facebook traded at $251.70 per share as of 10:25 a.m. ET Wednesday, down roughly 8% year-to-date.

Twitter traded at $47.94 per share, down 12% year-to-date.

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Trump Declares State Of Emergency In Washington Ahead Of Biden’s Inauguration |The Republican News

By Olaotan Falade

United States (U.S.) President Donald Trump has declared a state of emergency in Washington D.C..

The declaration came on the heels of a revelation by the police of three plots to attack the Capitol Building ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration, including the “largest armed protest in American history”.

It also came as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) alerted its agents to possible uprisings at capitols in 50 states ahead of Inauguration Day, particularly if Trump is removed from office before Biden enters the White House.

Trump’s declaration allows the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate with local authorities as Democrats had been furiously demanding.

On Monday night, the new chiefs of Capitol Police told House Democrats they were looking into three separate plans, including one described as “the largest armed protest ever to take place on American soil”.

The protesters plan to involve armed rioters encircling the Capitol and blocking Democrats from entering – killing them if necessary – so that Republicans can take command of government.

They also plan another protest in honor of Ashli Babbitt, the USAF veteran who was shot by a police officer as she tried to clamber into the Speaker’s Lobby during the Trump mob’s siege.

“It was pretty overwhelming,” one Democrat told Huffington Post of the police briefing.

The FBI’s internal memo warned of a group which was calling for the ‘storming’ of state, local and Federal Government buildings, as well as court houses if Trump is removed from office.

The bulletin came to light just as Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced an article of impeachment accusing Trump of incitement to insurrection, five days after the mob of the president’s supporters stormed the Capitol, leaving five people dead in a futile bid to overturn the general election.

More than 6,000 members of the National Guard were deployed to Washington, DC, over the weekend, with dozens of them standing guard over the Capitol during Monday’s proceedings.

Capitol Police told Congress that it was preparing for up to tens of thousands of Trump supporters arriving in the days ahead, including possible violence to take control of the White House and the Supreme Court.

Working alongside their colleagues in the National Guard, the police are said to have told Democrats that they had agreed on rules of engagement in the eventuality of an armed demonstration.

They do not plan to shoot anyone unless fired at first, but they added that there were exceptions to the rule.

The police urged caution on lawmakers about leaking any specifics to the press because Big Tech had so successfully ‘cut off main communications’ that many could now only learn of plans through traditional media.

One member remarked that the Silicon Valley gagging order on Trump’s supporters “might ultimately save lives”.

But as the Capitol Police expressed confidence it was making sufficient plans to combat any violent uprisings, some lawmakers questioned whether this was the case given the lax security last week.

One Democrat told the police chiefs that there was clear evidence that some in the police department could be ‘in league with the insurrectionists who love to carry their guns.’

“You can’t just let them bypass security and walk right up to Biden and Harris at inauguration,” this lawmaker told HuffPost.

A further area of Democrat speculation surrounded whether the Trump administration was preventing federal law enforcement from lending its expertise to the police.

The member told the HuffPost: “I don’t think anyone has confidence that the folks at the Pentagon, that may or may not even be needed for some of this, or the Department of Homeland Security, where we don’t even know who’s in charge, are going to be cooperative.”

The National Park Service said it would close the Washington Monument and other area facilities beginning today and lasting through January 24.

The Pentagon is also reportedly considering sending as many as 13,000 guardsmen to secure the area on Inauguration Day. Prior to last week’s breach, officials had planned to deploy roughly 7,000 guardsmen.

The hardened-up security plans came after the Department of Defence said it was aware of “further possible threats posed by would-be terrorists in the days up to and including Inauguration Day”, Congressman Jason Crow (D – Colorado) said in a statement Sunday after speaking with Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy about security preparations.

The Department of Homeland Security is working with the Defense Department, local DC authorities and inauguration officials to sharpen the law enforcement response in the coming days, including by erecting non-scalable fencing and security checkpoints around Capitol Hill.

“Now that it happened people will take it much more seriously,” a senior DHS official told CNN in reference to last week’s violence. “Now, the planners, they are all going to take it much more seriously.”

Federal and local authorities have faced fierce criticism for their perceived failure to crack down on Wednesday’s insurrection despite evidence that they knew it was coming.

Hundreds of people might face federal charges in the wake of last week’s Capitol breach, DC’s acting US attorney said in an interview with NPR over the weekend, saying a massive, 24-hour-a-day hunt was on to identify suspects and bring charges against them.

In the meantime, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser said she is ‘extremely concerned’ about security on Inauguration Day in a letter to acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf over the weekend. She wrote that the event ‘will require a very different approach to previous inaugurations given the chaos, injury and death experienced at the US Capitol during the insurrection’.

Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are set to be sworn in on the west front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20.

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Twitter Indefinitely Suspends President Donald Trump To Avoid Inciting Further Violence |The Republican News

President Donald Trump arrives to speak at the “Operation Warp Speed Vaccine Summit” on the White House complex, on Dec. 8, 2020.Evan Vucci / AP

“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” Twitter’s official “Safety” account tweeted.

By Ben Collins and Brandy Zadrozny

Twitter permanently suspended President Donald Trump’s account on Friday, citing “the risk of further incitement of violence.”

The president’s account was initially banned for 12 hours on Jan. 6 due to “severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy,” after he used the platform to tweet condemnation against Vice President Mike Pence as his supporters stormed the Capitol.

“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” the company said in a tweet.

The company banned the president’s account after years of public pressure and several attempts to limit the reach of his account in recent days. Hundreds of Twitter employees signed a letter urging Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to ban the president for using the platform to incite violence in the wake of the Capitol siege.

“In the context of horrific events this week, we made it clear on Wednesday that additional violations of the Twitter Rules would potentially result in this very course of action,” Twitter said in a blog post. “Our public interest framework exists to enable the public to hear from elected officials and world leaders directly. It is built on a principle that the people have a right to hold power to account in the open.”

“However, we made it clear going back years that these accounts are not above our rules and cannot use Twitter to incite violence,” the post continued. “We will continue to be transparent around our policies and their enforcement.”

This was the second time in a week Twitter had taken action against the president’s account. Twitter removed three tweets that promoted conspiracy theories about the election and locked Trump’s account on Wednesday, citing “a risk of violence,” after a violent riot at the Capitol. Trump’s official @POTUS account is still active.

In the post, the company cited Trump’s two most recent tweets as an explanation for the removal.

In one, Trump wrote: “The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”

In the next, he tweeted, “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”

Taken together, the company determined, they were “likely to inspire others to replicate the violent acts that took place on January 6, 2021, and that there are multiple indicators that they are being received and understood as encouragement to do so.”

The suspension drew immediate praise from Democratic politicians.

“Thank you @twitter for taking this action,” tweeted Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V. “We must come together as a country to heal and find a common path forward.”

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

(Ben Collins covers disinformation, extremism and the internet for NBC News.
Brandy Zadrozny is an investigative reporter for NBC News.)

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West Virginia Lawmaker Who Filmed Self Storming Capitol To Face Charges |The Republican News

West Virginia House of Delegates member Derrick Evans, left, will face charges for storming the U.S. Capitol.;
PERRY BENNETT/WEST VIRGINIA LEGISLATURE/AP

■ Federal prosecutors will charge right-wing legislator Derrick Evans and others with entering a restricted area and entering the Capitol.

By Ryan J. Reilly

WASHINGTON ― A right-wing West Virginia lawmaker who stormed the U.S. Capitol during an insurrectionist attack in support of President Donald Trump’s losing reelection campaign will face charges, a federal official said Friday.

Derrick Evans, a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates who livestreamed himself invading the U.S. Capitol but claims he “committed no criminal act,” will face charges, an official with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia said. The case was expected to appear on a court docket on Friday.

West Virginia House of Delegates member Derrick Evans, left, will face charges for storming the U.S. Capitol.
The charge was an indication that federal officials would use social media posts and other evidence to go after the insurrectionists even though they were allowed to leave the Capitol Building without being arrested and processed.

Also charged was Richard Barnett, who posed for photos inside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office and gave an interview identifying himself. Another defendant who had 11 Molotov cocktails in a truck with Alabama license plates will also face charges, officials said.

Ken Kohl, the No. 2 official in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, said the investigation was the highest priority for the Justice Department. “We literally have hundreds of prosecutors and agents working from three command centers on what is really a 24-7 operation,” he said. “It is active, it is fluid, it is evolving.”

Steven D’Antuono, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington field office, said the bureau was “far from done” and that the rioting and destruction “would not be tolerated” by the FBI.

“I want to stress this: Just because you’ve left the D.C. region, you can still expect a knock on the door if we find out that you were part of the criminal activity at the Capitol,” D’Antuono said.

Richard Barnett sits in Nancy Pelosi’s office on Wednesday.
SAUL LOEB VIA GETTY IMAGES
Richard Barnett sits in Nancy Pelosi’s office on Wednesday.

Federal officials said they appreciated the tips they’d received from the public, and that hundreds of federal law enforcement officials were working around the clock to identify and charge as many of the insurrectionists as possible. (Huffington Post)

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Six Republican Lawmakers Among Rioters As Police Make Public Photos Of Wanted |The Republican News

By Gustaf Kilander

DC police release photos of alleged members of Trump mob (DC Police)

At least six Republican state legislators took part in events surrounding the storming of the US Capitol. West Virginia Delegate Derrick Evans posted a video of himself entering the building but later deleted it, The New York Times reported.

Tennessee state lawmaker Terri Lynn Weaver told the Tennessean that she was “in the thick of it” during the rally before the storming of the Capitol. She said there was “Just a whole heck of a lot of patriots here”. She later tweeted a picture of the mob at the base of the Capitol, saying: “Epic and historic day gathering with fellow Patriots from all over the nation DC.”

Virginia state Senator Amanda Chase denied that any violence had taken place, despite the overwhelming evidence, and later accused the police of murder after the shooting of a California woman inside the Capitol. “A veteran who was brutally murdered by Capitol Police today,” Chase wrote on Facebook according to the Henrico Citizen.

“These were not rioters and looters; these were Patriots who love their country and do not want to see our great republic turn into a socialist country. I was there with the people; I know. Don’t believe the fake media narrative,” she wrote.

Missouri State Representative Justin Hill skipped his swearing-in ceremony to be in DC. He marched to the Capitol but didn’t enter, the St Louis Post-Dispatch reported him as saying.

Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano made sure that a busload of people could be in DC. He said in a video that he didn’t participate in the clashes with police, The Hill reported.

Michigan State Representative Matt Maddock was also at the scene, according to The Hill.

This comes as the FBI and DC Police released images of people wanted on federal charges for violently storming the US Capitol. They are trying to track down 36 people after 68 were already arrested after violent clashes with police as the Trump-supporting mob broke into the Capitol, forcing members of Congress to evacuate and seek shelter in undisclosed locations. Four rioters died and 56 officers were injured in the ensuing chaos. One officer remains in hospital after being beaten and tased by the mob.

Charges include inciting a riot and weapons violations. Rioters scaled the Capitol building, defaced statues, committed countless acts of vandalism and fought with police.

The suspects include Holocaust deniers, White supremacists, and conspiracy theorists.

Several of them have already been identified online, such as 32-year-old Jake Angeli, sometimes called the “QAnon Shaman” according to the Arizona Republic. Shirtless and wearing horns and a fur, the Trump-supporting QAnon conspiracy theorist was seen in numerous images from the Capitol on Wednesday.

An unnamed man was fired from his job at a Maryland marketing firm after wearing his company badge while storming the Capitol.

Trump news – live: President ‘asking to pardon himself’ as he flees to Camp David amid 25th amendment talk

But many have yet to be identified. Former Deputy Director of the FBI Danny Coulson told Fox News that: “It didn’t just happen,” asserting that inciters of the riot were to blame. “There were people there that came to do it and generated it and caused this horrible mayhem,” he said.

Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said in a statement: “The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that those responsible for this attack on our Government and the rule of law face the full consequences of their actions under the law.”

“Some participants in yesterday’s violence will be charged today, and we will continue to methodically assess evidence, charge crimes and make arrests in the coming days and weeks to ensure that those responsible are held accountable under the law.”

DC Police released 26 pages of images showing people wanted for “Unlawful entry”.

“We still have a significant amount of work ahead of us to identify and hold each and every one of the violent mob accountable for their violent actions,” Metropolitan Police Department chief Robert Contee said. (Yahoo news)

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Court Orders President Donald Trump’s Arrest |The Republican News

A Baghdad court has issued a warrant for the arrest of the President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, as part of its investigation into the killing of a top Iraqi paramilitary commander, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

Al-Muhandis, who was the Deputy Head of Iraq’s largely pro-Iran Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary network, was killed in the same US drone strike that took out Iranian general Qasem Soleimani at Baghdad airport on January 3 last year.

Trump, who ordered the strike, subsequently boasted that it had taken out “two (men) for the price of one”.

The UN special rapporteur for an extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, has called the twin killings as “arbitrary” and “illegal”.

Iran already issued a warrant for the arrest of Trump in June and asked Interpol to relay it as a so-called red notice to other police forces around the world.

The court for east Baghdad has now issued the warrant for Trump’s arrest under Article 406 of the penal code, which provides for the death penalty in all cases of premeditated murder, the judiciary said.

The court said the preliminary inquiry had been completed but “investigations are continuing to unmask the other culprits in this crime, be they Iraqis or foreigners.”

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