Friday - 01/08/21
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Welcome to Bullet Points by News Bling where we give you a well-rounded dose of bias-free news in the fewest words possible so you can start your day smart. 🧐


Top officials discuss forcing Trump out of office

  • At least two of Trump’s top allies and officials including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed with staff the prospect of invoking the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office, sources said Thursday
  •  One former official said they will likely not invoke the amendment, primarily because the legal process could take more than a week, it was unclear whether “acting” secretaries could vote to remove Trump, and they feared they could ignite more tension among his supporters
  • By Thursday night, calls grew louder for Trump to be removed via the 25th Amendment, with Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Charles Schumer making demands and even some Republicans, such as Representative Adam Kinzinger, joining the chorus


World reacts with dismay at US Capitol riot

  • Nations from around the world, both friendly and hostile to the United States, reacted to the riot in the Capitol with nearly unanimous dismay Thursday. They included China, Britain, Israel, Venezuela, France, and others
  • “We all saw the unsettling pictures of the storming of the US Congress yesterday evening, and these images made me angry and also sad,” German Prime Minister Angela Merkel said
  • “What we saw in the United States last night showed the failure and frailty of Western democracy in the world,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said


Elon Musk becomes richest man in world

  • Tesla co-founder Elon Musk surpassed Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to become the world’s richest man Thursday, claiming a net worth of over $188.5 billion at just 49 years of age, Bloomberg estimated
  • Musk’s wealth increased as Tesla’s stock shot up 7.4% Thursday. He had a 20% stake in the company and about $42 billion of unrealized paper gains on vested stock options
  • Forbes disputes Bloomberg's estimate, however, putting Musk $7.8 billion behind Bezos


Facebook, Instagram extend Trump’s suspension until inauguration

  • Facebook and Instagram said on Thursday they will block Trump from posting at least until Biden’s inauguration and possibly indefinitely, extending their initial suspensions following Wednesday’s riot at the Capitol
  • Mark Zuckerberg said the risk of Trump undermining the peaceful transition of power during the next two weeks is too great, while Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a leading Republican on tech issues, argued the move was a dangerous act of censorship
  • Twitter also suspended Trump’s account following the riot at the Capitol, but on Thursday night he posted for the first time since Wednesday, finally acknowledging that a new administration would replace his and urging people to remain calm

US 🦅

Pence confirms Biden victory

  • At 3:32 A.M. on Thursday, nearly 15 hours after the joint session of Congress to count the electoral votes began, Pence confirmed Biden as the next president of the United States
  • Despite the prior chaos in the Capitol, nearly every member of Pennsylvania’s Republican delegation objected to Biden’s victory
  • Many Republicans backed down from their initial commitments to object to the count, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying that rejecting results without evidence would threaten to send democracy into a “death spiral”


COVID-19 vaccine expected to have limited effectiveness 

  • Moderna’s chief executive said on Thursday that its mRNA vaccine will likely provide immunity for up to two years, though further data is needed to make a definitive analysis
  • “The nightmare scenario that was described in the media in the spring with a vaccine only working a month or two is, I think, out of the window,” he said
  • He added that Moderna was about to prove that its vaccine would also be effective against the especially infectious variants of coronavirus found in Britain and South Africa


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