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THE BIG NEWS
World Tour: Mandela Memorabilia Auction Nixed
- Israeli Soldiers Dressed as Civilian Women and Medics Assassinate Three People in West Bank Hospital Meanwhile, a spokesman for U.N. Secretary General António Guterres says "the outlook for UNRWA and the millions of people it serves, not only in Gaza but also in East Jerusalem, in the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, is very bleak." via the Associated Press and the Washington Post.
- Iran Claims It Had 'Nothing To Do with the Attack on the U.S. Base' in Jordan, While Biden Says He Blames Iran for 'Supplying the Weapons' The thousands of U.S. troops stationed across the Middle East "are described by U.S. officials as part of an operation to keep the Islamic State from regaining a foothold in the region. But with the jihadist group largely degraded, American soldiers now find themselves targeted by other adversaries, who say the attacks will continue as long as Washington maintains its support for Israel's war in Gaza." via the Washington Post, NBC News, and Al Jazeera.
- Zelenskyy Is Preparing to Fire Ukraine's Top General Meanwhile, CIA Director Bill Burns argues in a new essay that Russia's invasion "is quietly corroding [Aspiring Tsar Vladimir Putin's] power at home." via the Financial Times and the New York Times.
- Lower House of French Parliament Overwhelmingly Approves Constitutional Amendment Protecting Abortion Rights "The government argued in its introduction to the bill that the right to abortion is threatened in the United States, writing that "'in many countries, even in Europe, there are currents of opinion that seek to hinder at any cost the freedom of women.'" via the New York Times and Le Monde.
- Report: AMLO Campaign Aide Took $2 Million from Mexican Cocaine Cartel in Exchange for a Promise to Leave Them Alone After obtaining evidence of corruption in the Mexican President's first campaign from an insider, "DEA agents proposed a sting in which they would offer $5 million in supposed drug money to operatives working on [Andrés Manuel] López Obrador's second presidential campaign. Instead, Justice Department officials closed the investigation, in part over concerns that even a successful prosecution would be viewed by Mexicans as egregious American meddling in their politics." via ProPublica.
- Pakistan Court Sentences Former Prime Minister Imran Khan to 10 Years in Prison for Mishandling Confidential Diplomatic Cable "Khan has repeatedly denied the charge, saying the document contained evidence that his removal as prime minister was a plot hatched by his political opponents and the powerful military, with help from the US administration." via Al Jazeera.
- Chinese Triad Bosses Named as Beneficiaries of Slave Labor in Scam Factories on Myanmar Border More than 100,000 people are estimated to work in captivity running online scams in Myanmar for criminal gangs; survivors who've escaped describe "widespread surveillance, torture and even weekly murders." via Deutsche Welle.
- New York Auction House Suspends Sale of Nelson Mandela's Personal Effects Following Objections from South Africa's Cultural Heritage Agency The historic items that would have been sold to the highest bidders included "Mandela's iconic Ray-Ban sunglasses and 'Madiba' shirts," letters he wrote from prison, a blanket given to him by Barack and Michelle Obama and a champagne cooler from Bill Clinton. via the Guardian.
MORE STORIES TO WATCH
DOJ Digs in to Cori Bush's Campaign Spending
The Justice Department is investigating "Squad" Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri over what the St. Louis Post-Dispatch calls allegations of "converting campaign funds to personal use and fraudulently reporting a false purpose for campaign disbursements." Of the $710,000 Bush has spent on personal security since taking office three years ago, more than $104,000 has gone to her husband, Cortney Merritts III. Bush responds that the allegations originated from "right-wing organizations," calling them "frivolous," "baseless," and "simply not true," and claiming that her husband has been paid "at or below a fair market rate," making it legal. HuffPost reports:
"Bush's heavy spending on security services has drawn down her campaign account. She only had roughly $20,000 in cash on hand at the end of September, even as she prepares for a primary challenge from local prosecutor Wesley Bell in her heavily Democratic district."
The threats Bush faces are genuine, but this was all preventable.
World's Richest Man Overpaid, Judge Rules
White supremacist billionaire Elon Musk only got so rich by wrongfully manipulating corporate governance structures, a Delaware judge ruled yesterday, voiding his "unfathomable" $55.8 billion pay package as chief executive of Tesla. Chancellor Kathaleen St. Jude McCormick's 200-page decision ends a five-year case brought by Tesla shareholders who argued Musk's compensation – 250 times larger than the (already inflated) median CEO pay package, per the ruling, and the largest in corporate history – was a waste of corporate assets that amounted to unjust enrichment. McCormick wrote that Musk used his personal friendships with Tesla board members to get his pay package rubber-stamped. "The fact that they lost this in Delaware court, it's a jaw dropper," one securities analyst tells the Associated Press. The ruling entitles Tesla shareholders to "rescission," meaning Musk might have to return some money. Meanwhile, experts tell the AP they are concerned about the safety and ethics of Musk's new computer brain implants, especially since his company, Neuralink, has been the only source of information about them.
- Biden's Xenophobic Pandering Fails as House GOP Moves Ahead with Mayorkas Impeachment Meanwhile in Eagle Pass, Texas – scene of Gov. Greg Abbott's consitutional showdown with President Joe Biden – a kayak guide says Republicans are "destroying the river and everything I believe in" by stringing razor wire along the Rio Grande, part of an anti-immigrant stunt one real estate agent laughs off as "the most expensive political campaign paid for by the taxpayers." via the Associated Press and the Washington Post.
- New York City Council Overrides Mayor-Cop Eric Adams' Veto on Police Accountability Bill The NYPD's case that it doesn't have a racial profiling problem was not helped by the fact that officers pulled over newly elected Council Member Yusef Salaam, a member of the Exonerated Five, without explanation. via the New York Times and Politico.
- 3 Million Americans at Risk from 'Bomb Trains' Carrying Toxic, Combustible Chemicals Meanwhile in Los Angeles County, concern is growing about a smoldering underground landfill fire where "steaming hot liquid bursts into the air like a geyser" and "rivers of odorous waste" pollute the air and local aquifers. via Toxic-Free Future, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times.
- 12 Senators Tell Biden Administration to Finally Decriminalize Marijuana "The case for removing marijuana from Schedule I [of the Controlled Substances Act] is overwhelming," reads the letter from Sens. Elizabeth Warren, John Fetterman, Chuck Schumer, Cory Booker, Jeffrey Merkley, Ron Wyden, Peter Welch, Kirsten Gillibrand, Alex Padilla, Chris Van Hollen, John Hickenlooper and Bernie Sanders. via HuffPost.
That's approximately how much campaign donor money Donald Trump spent on legal bills last year from the sundry criminal and civil cases against him, according to the New York Times. An exact figure will be revealed today in new Federal Election Commission filings – but, the Times warns, "even those totals can be imprecise depending on how certain expense items are categorized by those doing the paperwork."
ON THE SHOW TODAY
1/31: It's Hump Day! And Emma is BACK! Sam and Emma speak with Rena Wong, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) local 663, to discuss the recent strike efforts by grocery workers in Minnesota. Then, they speak with Abby Vesoulis, national politics reporter at Mother Jones, to discuss her recent piece entitled "A Nixon-Era Food Program for Babies and Pregnant People Is Running Out of Cash'.
DON'T MISS MR CLIPS
Longtime Tim Draper fans won't want to miss this one!
It even made the New York Times.
"I would absolutely not fly a Max airplane. I've worked in the factory where they were built, and I saw the pressure employees were under to rush the planes out the door. ... This is a culture where money is everything. They measure success by how many airplanes are delivered, instead of how many quality airplanes are delivered."
-- Former Boeing senior manager turned aviation safety activist Ed Pierson, speaking to the Los Angeles Times about assurances from the company, airlines, and regulators that Boeing Max 9 aircraft are safe after a midair door panel blowout on Jan. 5 prompted a Federal Aviation Administration review.
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