New Ohio covid variant, global and local roundup, Estonia PM quits, Navalny will return to Russia, Flint water crisis charges, Mafia trial, Brussels riots and top sandwiches. Our breakfast briefing.
Historic second impeachment
10 Republicans joined Democrats in the House of Representatives to vote in favour of impeaching outgoing president Donald Trump on a charge of “incitement of insurrection” at last week’s attack on the Capitol. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said during the debate that Trump represents “a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love.” The impeachment now moves to the Senate for trial, but Republican majority leader Mitch McConnell, who The New York Times reported was pleased Democrats launched the impeachment, said there would not be time to conclude that business before Trump leaves office on 20 January. Reuters, The Washington Post and Fox News have details and explainers.
Trump finally condemns violence
One week after the Capitol was attacked by terrorists, outgoing president Donald Trump on Wednesday issued a video in which he said, “violence and vandalism have absolutely no place in our country”. The video was released just after the House voted to impeach. CNBC and Reuters report, while Politico has an interesting piece on why “the nation’s most press-hungry president has gone dark.”
USA: Ohio State University researchers say they’ve discovered two new variants of coronavirus that probably originated in the United States, and one of which quickly became the dominant strain in the state capital Columbus. USA: The CEO of Moderna told a JPMorgan Healthcare Conference panel discussion on Wednesday that covid-19 will become endemic. CNBC cites Stephane Bancel saying; “we are going to live with this virus, we think, forever.” Portugal: new lockdown measures will come into force from Friday as prime minister António Costa urged people to stay indoors, The Portugal News reports. Spain: The 38,869 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday marked the highest one-day increase since the pandemic began, Reuters says. Africa: The African Union has purchased some 270 million doses of coronavirus vaccines for the continent from Pfizer and AstraZeneca, AP reports.
Luxembourg reported another 190 new coronavirus infections from Tuesday’s tests, with a total of 2,895 infections considered active. Four people died after testing positive for Sars-CoV-2, bringing the death toll to 542 since the pandemic began. Delano has daily updates.
Estonia PM quits over scandal
Estonian prime minister Jüri Ratas has resigned after the launch of an investigation into an alleged corruption scandal involving his Centre Party. The party faces possible charges of bribery related to property development in Tallinn. President Kersti Kaljulaid has to name a new prime minister, who will have to be approved by parliament, within 14 days. Deutsche Welle and Estonian World have more.
Riots in Brussels over police custody death
A demonstration calling for an investigation into the death in police custody of a man in Brussels ended in a riot near the Brussels-North police station on Wednesday. Even King Philippe’s car was hit by projectiles as it drove through the area as protestors damaged local streets. The BBC and Brussels Times report.
Navalny set to return to Russia
Alexei Navalny, who was the victim of a poison attack last year that left him in a coma, has said he will return to Russia despite the risk of being jailed. The opposition leader plans to fly back from Germany, where he had been treated in hospital, on Sunday. The Guardian and NPR have details.
Snyder charged over Flint water crisis
Former governor of Michigan Rick Snyder and former members of his administration face charges of wilful neglect of duty over the Flint water crisis that left the majority of the city’s drinking water contaminated in 2014. NPR and the BBC have more.
Mafia trial starts
One of the largest mafia trials in Italy commenced on Wednesday, with more than 320 suspected members and associates of the ‘ndrangheta crime syndicate facing an array of charges. ABC and The Local Italy have details.
When you’re up for travelling again, and after 20 January the United States will undoubtedly be back on many destination wish lists , Food and Wine magazine has a tempting, but heart-attack inducing, guide to the best sandwiches in all 50 US states.