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US President Donald Trump has been impeached for a historic second time on a single charge: “incitement of insurrection” after an angry mob of Trump loyalists violently stormed the US Capitol on Jan. 6. As National Guard troops filled the Capitol on Wednesday to secure the building, the House voted 232-197 to impeach the president. Ten Republican lawmakers defected by joining Democrats in a “yes” vote — the most members of a president’s party ever to vote for impeachment in US history.
Hours later, Trump posted a video calling for peace and unity via the official White House Twitter account, days after Twitter banned his own account “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” The Senate is now expected to hold an impeachment trial, but not until after inauguration. Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell rejected bringing senators back for an emergency session before Jan. 20. Impeaching an ex-president is uncharted territory in US politics.
Security threats still loom and the FBI has warned of future planned attacks in the days leading up to the inauguration. Many white supremacist and paramilitary groups present at the deadly Capitol siege were banned from major social media platforms to prevent violence, but have reportedly migrated to alternative encrypted sites like Telegram, hitting 500 million users over the last week. Anticipating more chaos next week, Washington, DC, has preemptively locked down the city, with police sealing off key areas near the inauguration site. The National Mall will be closed. Airbnb has also canceled and refunded all Washington bookings.
What the world is following
After months of tense diplomatic negotiations, 15 delegates from the World Health Organization have arrived in Wuhan, China, where the coronavirus was first detected, to investigate its origins. The virus that has killed an estimated 1.9 million people worldwide was possibly spread from bat to human in China’s wet markets, but Beijing claims the virus came from abroad. Amid concerns that China has been secretive about the coronavirus for over a year, the delegation will “exchange views” with scientists but may not be allowed to gather any evidence. After gaining control of the virus, China now faces its worst outbreaks since last summer, forcing two major cities of over 17 million people into lockdown again.
Afghan intelligence said they have foiled an ISIS plot to assassinate US diplomat Ross Wilson, in Kabul, the capital, according to CNN. Four suspected ISIS members have been arrested by Kabul’s intelligence agency, the NDS, in a special military operation in Kama district, Nangarhar province, including ISIS strongman Abdul Wahid. ISIS has claimed multiple attacks in Kabul in recent months, including education centers where scores of students died. Peace talks with the Taliban got off to a slow start this month in Qatar, as the Trump administration announced its plans to accelerate a major troop withdrawal this month.
From The World
Millions of Ugandas vote on Thursday in their presidential election. Ugandan authorities cut off internet access in the country in the tense run-up to the vote that has been marked by violence and the arrest of opposition figures.
The incumbent, Yoweri Museveni, is a longtime US partner but he's ruled the country for more than 30 years. Nearly 70% of Ugandans are under the age of 25 — for them, Museveni has been their only president. Now though, Museveni faces a challenger. He's a musician named Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu — better known as pop singer Bobi Wine. Host Marco Werman talks with The World's Africa correspondent, Halima Gikandi in Kampala, Uganda's capital city (🎧).
David Hofmann, a sociology professor at the University of New Brunswick, has studied the rise of white extremism in Canada. He spoke to The World’s host Marco Werman about how Canada's right-wing extremist groups are inspired by the US. Hofmann said if the Proud Boys were designated a terrorist group, it would have symbolic value.
"But as an expert in this field, I am of the opinion that it doesn't have any real strategic value. What it means is, essentially, that they can be tried and be found criminally liable under the Canadian Criminal Code for group membership."
Scientists have found something unexpected in giraffes: dwarfism. Michael Brown, a conservation science fellow, said he did a double take in Uganda after noticing the short stature of a giraffe there. Normally, giraffes average 16 feet in height, but Brown's giraffe was around 9 feet. It was considered an anomaly until another giraffe in Namibia was found with the same condition.
after everything I really needed this article about short giraffes https://t.co/7MpXupfF6O— Eli Chen (@StoriesByEli) January 8, 2021
In case you missed it
Donald Trump was impeached for a second time Wednesday as the House of Representatives debated whether to remove the US president. And, Canadian authorities are considering designating the Proud Boys, a right-wing extremist group founded by a Canadian, as a terrorist organization in the wake of the crisis at the US Capitol. Also, the European Union's Food Safety Authority said on Wednesday that mealworms are safe for human consumption.