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New Yorkers welcome Joe Biden to the White House with optimism and demands | The State

Finally, and then in the shameful way Donald trump finished his quarter as 45th President of the United States, this January 20 they will change the plate in the White House with the name of the new tenant, after the possession of Joe biden as the president who will govern the destinies of the country until January 2025. And in NY, the arrival of the Democratic government to power has brought winds of hope, positivism and great enthusiasm, among those who predict that things are looking good.

That seems to be the feeling among many inhabitants of the Big Apple, even among some who, declaring little or no confidence in politicians, agree that with Trump out of power, and his entourage of bishops packing suitcases, the horizon looks promising.

Beyond the hope that Biden keep his promise, and under the early days of your Administration, promote immigration reform that brings hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers out of the shadows and helps fully legalize DACA ‘dreamers’, the great wish in the five boroughs is for the city to be reborn. A rebirth, which in many cases, literally comes from the ashes and rubble of businesses, sources of income and the lives of the inhabitants of Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, Staten Island and Manhattan, after the COVID-19 crisis.

Hope among Hispanics

This is how it manifests Lucero Montoya, mother of two young children, who declared herself confident that Biden “He will finally do what other presidents” have promised and have never done.

“We were seen as rats in Trump’s presidency, and now it is Biden’s obligation to give us the place and the treatment we deserve, not with immigration reform, but with the creation of jobs, protection of housing, access to health and quality education for our children ”Said the Mexican mother.

The Salvadoran Norma Alfaro, who also has young children, shared her hope that life not only for her but for vulnerable and forgotten communities can finally have greater dignity and respect.

“Me I hope the new government does its job well, end discrimination and above all that help essential workers that we have been firm in this pandemic and that we have not been valued as we deserve ”, said the Central American.

Edgar alfaro, who worked in a restaurant that closed due to the COVID crisis, and whoever tries to make a living for now “in the search”, was less excited about the new host in Washington, but he demanded to move from words to deeds.

“What happens is that politicians always speak very beautifully when they ask us for the vote, but when they get up there they forget what they promised. While Biden is undoubtedly better than Trump’s plague, I’m not so sure he’ll get us all out of the hole. I hope I shut up, ”said the Colombian, who warned that undoubtedly a change that will be felt has to do with the brake on hate.

“What I do think is going to diminish is going to be that climate of hatred against immigrants, blacks and the poor, because Biden is a man of law and respect. I think that this is going to be reversed, but it is not enough for us to have a dignified and happy life, “said the former waiter.

Will measures that benefit NY advance?

And about the million dollar question that many ask about whether the Biden’s rise to power will advance measures that benefit New York and that have been stagnant for the past 4 years, such as more funds for the MTA and funds for the LIRR connection tunnel project with Grand Central, as well as more financial aid and stimulus checks for the COVID To save small businesses, stop evictions, health for all, job creation and respect for labor rights, the answer is that everything depends on what the new government’s priorities are. But at least judging by the suitcase brought by the new “tenants”, there may be optimism.

This is how the political analyst warns Carlos Vargas placeholder image, who welcomes the fact that on January 20 a Democratic Administration will be set up with control of that same party in the House and Senate in investment matters. The expert warns that unlike the Republicans, Democrats propose a public policy that favors ordinary people to a greater extent, than the Trump Administration and the public policy of the Republicans, although there the collection of taxes will play a decisive role to promote more programs.

“We have seen how Democrats have projected themselves in the political campaign about their support for aid to cities, due to the impact that COVID has had in cities like New York and measures will be taken to mitigate that impact a bit, on the one hand and the crisis generated “, said Vargas.

“The fact that Biden enters implies that there may also be a series of grants and programs that can have repercussions in the City and State of New York, since the congressional Democrats They have insisted on how important it is to give help to the municipalities, since it has been the workers on the front line who have put the fight against the coronavirus ”.

And concretely about plans to help Hispanics, the analyst stated that the eventual benefits will be indirect.

It is expected to be an indirect impact on many issues. On topics like NYCHA, I don’t think he will get the large amount of help he needs from federal government. As for the benefit that Hispanics will have, who have been disproportionately affected by this COVID crisis at an economic and health level, being that labor force indispensable, it will be necessary to see what the new Administration will be willing to do, ”said the political scientist.

There should be and I think there will be help for the economy to rebound in sectors such as hospitality, entertainment, restaurant and tourism, so that there are improvements in the pockets of Latinos. But I think it will not be something direct, it will be indirect, ”insisted Vargas.

They ask for federal funds for education

Hope is also no stranger to activists, and in the field of education, the call is to invest in hiring more teachers and quality of teaching.

“New York City urgently needs federal funding to hire more smaller group teachers and tutors, through an expanded ‘Americorps’ program to give students the individual attention and feedback they need, to compensate for the losses they have suffered during the pandemic, “he said Leonie Haimson, Executive Director of the organization “Class Size Matters“.

“We also need more funding to build more schools to alleviate overcrowding, as last year more than half a million New York City students were crammed into overcrowded buildings, a problem that was highlighted given the need for social distancing. ”Added the activist, highlighting that the Federal Department of Education should give New York State a federal exemption from having to administer annual third through eighth grade tests to students this spring, which “would be very stressful and unfair” given unequal access to learning during the pandemic.

Optimism among New York leaders

And that feeling of optimism He’s not just among ordinary New Yorkers and experts, but also among New York political leaders.

After making public his optimism, that with the Biden Administration New York will have more chances to get ahead, Mayor Bill de Blasio has given its vote of confidence to the new federal mandate, while requesting that Washingotn put your hand in your pocket in disbursements to the Big Apple in different sectors.

“The Biden Administration has a great opportunity with a majority in the House and Senate to make fundamental and transformative change. The first order of business must be a true stimulus package to provide direct local assistance to New York City, as well as the MTA, to drive economic growth and support our schools and help us end COVID once and for all, ”said the De Blasio Administration, confirming that he has already been in talks not only with the incoming government but with the Democratic majority in Congress.

“We have been working with the incoming Biden team and we are confident that Brooklyn Senator Chuck Schumer himself can provide the help we need as the new Senate Majority Leader,” they noted.

And after warning that the past four years of the federal government did a lot of damage and that the COVID-19 crisis revealed the disparities that exist among New Yorkers, where the most vulnerable communities, black and Latino, suffered the most, the president of the State Assembly Carl Heastie expressed his hope for a better future.

“After four long years of a divisive administration in Washington, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. On January 20, basic human decency and courtesy will be restored in the Oval Office. Once again, we will have an administration working for Americans, guided by science and data and a strong moral compass, ”Heastie said. “Under the Biden-Harris Administration, my colleagues and I hope to spend less time fighting attacks on our democracy and the rights of New Yorkers and instead spend more time working to move New York forward and out of this crisis“.

The president of the Assembly took the opportunity to make a call to the new government to shake hands with New York and beyond, a state that seriously felt the attacks of COVID-19, with more than 39,000 deaths.

Because we are New Yorkers, we will get out of this crisis, but we cannot do it alone (…) The need for more help remains urgent. States and localities simply cannot bear the brunt of a global pandemic. It is the responsibility of the federal government to help the states during this global health crisis, ”said the politician.

“I am hopeful that Biden-Harris Administration, together with President Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer, obtain the resources we so desperately need to help the State overcome this terrible pandemic ”, added Heastie, warning that support is urgently needed to keep thousands of New Yorkers in their homes, merchants with their businesses, 80% vaccinated, and to prevent hunger.

We are optimistic that, under this new administration, Americans should finally hope to get the help that is so desperately needed. As President-elect Joe Biden has said, there are no red states or blue states, only the United States, ”the legislator stressed, noting the urgency of promoting employment. “When New Yorkers go back to work, the wheels of our economy will begin to turn again. Small businesses will have buyers. Restaurants will have customers. Public transport will have more passengers. New York will return ”.

City Comptroller Scott Stringer He went along the same lines of hope generated by the arrival of Biden, and assured that although it seems clear from afar, it will be imperative that Washington assume a very active role to lift New York.

“With new leadership in Washington and the launch of vaccines underway, there is finally light at the end of the tunnel. We must fight for a fair recovery and rebuild our economy even stronger than before, ”said the official, who is one of the candidates who hopes to rule the destinies of the Big Apple in 2022.

“The federal government must step up and bring relief to New York, the nation’s economic engine (…) This is long overdue. Our small businesses are suffering and thousands of New Yorkers are out of work as we continue to deal with the economic consequences of COVID-19. ” Stringer declared.

He City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, was even more confident in the support that New York will receive from Biden to move forward.

“I’m sure the incoming Biden administration provide New York with the resources we need and deserve to continue being an economic engine for the entire nation. This should include, among other critical projects, bailing out the cash-strapped MTA, infrastructure projects like the Gateway tunnel, giving us the green light for congestion tolls, financing for NYCHA, and expanding access to healthcare, ”said the head of the legislative body of the Big Apple.

“As well it is vital that the new Administration reform our draconian immigration system, remove the travel ban, and implement a path to citizenship for Dreamers. We are a nation of immigrants and the outgoing administration did not treat them with the respect they deserved, ”warned Johnson.

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Alphabet Workers Union demands YouTube ban Trump

The Alphabet Workers Union (AWU) is calling on YouTube to permanently ban President Trump following a raid on the US Capitol on January 6th. The move shows the newly formed organization, comprised of employees and contractors at Google’s parent company, is dead set on influencing issues that go well beyond workers’ rights.

On Wednesday, YouTube removed a video of Trump addressing the attack, citing its policy against content that alleges widespread voter fraud. But the union called the response “lackluster” and said the company hasn’t gone far enough. “YouTube refuses to hold Donald Trump accountable to the platform’s own rules by choosing only to remove one video instead of removing him from the platform entirely,” they wrote in a statement. The platform “will continue to function as a vector for the growth of the fascist movements if it persists in prioritizing advertisers while exposing the public,” they added.

Workers also called out YouTube’s role in allowing white nationalist movements to grow. “YouTube must no longer be a tool of fascist recruitment and oppression,” they said. “Anything less is to countenance deadly violence: from Gamergate to Charlottesville, from Christchurch to Washington D.C., from Jair Bolsonaro to Donald Trump. Alphabet, in failing to act, has done tremendous damage: to the thousands of victims of hate and to the world.”

Alex Hanna, a research scientist at Google and AWU member, tells The Verge: “It’s incredibly significant that our union has spoken out on YouTube’s complicity in perpetuating white supremacist content, misinformation, and hate speech on the platform … As workers, we’re in a unique position to speak out against this behavior and push Alphabet towards being responsible for the social effects of its technology when it goes against its profit incentives.”

Other platforms have already taken concrete steps to stop Trump from continuing to spread falsehoods and incite violence. On January 7th, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in a blog post that Trump would be banned from both Facebook and Instagram indefinitely, for at least the next two weeks.

Twitter took a slightly weaker stance, locking Trump’s account for 12 hours. The company said it would permanently suspend the president if he continued to violate its policies.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Verge.

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Republican congressman Adam Kinzinger demands Mike Pence remove Donald Trump with 25th Amendment

Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger has called for the Trump cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to declare President Trump unfit for office and put Mike Pence in charge – as former Attorney General Bill Barr blasted the president’s conduct and new officials bolted from the administration staff.

‘It’s with a heavy heart I am calling for the sake of our Democracy that the 25th Amendment be invoked,’ Kinzinger said in a statement he posted on Twitter.’  

Kinzinger said Trump ‘invoked and inflamed passions that only gave fuel to the insurrection we saw.’

His comment followed reporters that members of Trump’s cabinet have been discussing use of the 25th Amendment to the constitution to declare him unfit for office.

His statement came as former Attorney General Bill Barr – who departed his post before Christmas – called out Trump for ‘orchestrating a mob.’

Barr called it a ‘betrayal of his office and supporters.’

He told the Associated Press that ‘orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress is inexcusable.’

The talk of using the 25th Amendment comes amid fears of what damage Trump might we able to due even in the short two weeks left in his tenure as aides flee his White House and he continues to lash out at enemies – with control of the military and massive executive power.

Several House Democrats have begun talk of rushing through an impeachment, after the failed January impeachment trial in the Senate.

The 25th Amendment, which also governs a president who voluntarily relinquishes power on a temporary basis, requires that the vice president and ‘a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide’ inform the Congress that the president is ‘unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.’ 

Republican congressman Adam Kinzinger demanded Mike Pence and the Cabinet remove Donald Trump by invoking the 25th Amendment immediately. He posted a video to Twitter in which he said he is calling for Donald Trump to be removed from office ‘for the sake of our Democracy’ 

Former Attorney General Bill Barr has said 'orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress is inexcusable'

Former Attorney General Bill Barr has said ‘orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress is inexcusable’

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer ¿ who will become majority leader once Joe Biden is sworn in ¿ issued a statement calling for swift action on the 25th Amendment ¿ while also leveling the threat of a second impeachment

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer – who will become majority leader once Joe Biden is sworn in – issued a statement calling for swift action on the 25th Amendment – while also leveling the threat of a second impeachment

'What happened at the U.S. Capitol yesterday was an insurrection against the United States, incited by the president. This president should not hold office one day longer,' Chuck Schumer said

‘What happened at the U.S. Capitol yesterday was an insurrection against the United States, incited by the president. This president should not hold office one day longer,’ Chuck Schumer said

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer – who will become majority leader once Joe Biden is sworn in – issued a statement calling for swift action on the 25th Amendment – while also leveling the threat of a second impeachment.

‘What happened at the U.S. Capitol yesterday was an insurrection against the United States, incited by the president. This president should not hold office one day longer,’ he said.

‘The quickest and most effective way – it can be done today – to remove this president from office would be for the Vice President to immediately invoke the 25th amendment. If the Vice President and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president,’ Schumer said.

In another blow to Trump, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Trump will be blocked from both the Facebook and Instagram platforms at least through Inauguration Day, because the risks are ‘too great.’

Several Trump cabinet members serve on an ‘acting’ basis and have not been confirmed by the Senate, lowering the number from the threshold of 16 department heads who would take part in a 25th Amendment scenario. A post election purge took out the Defense secretary, and Attorney General Bill Barr.

Half the cabinet would have to vote, and Pence would then submit information to the Congress, making him acting president while other processes go forward.

Kinzinger for years has been an outlier in the GOP conference, bashing Trump publicly and in cable TV interviews when he believes Trump runs astray of democratic norms. But his public statement, made from his Capitol office in front of a U.S. flag, illustrates how quickly the possibility of action has jumped from fantasy to reality after Wednesday’s stunning events in the Capitol.

The new talk of the 25th Amendment came as officials in the Trump administration continued to resign and issued statements denouncing Trump’s conduct.

Former White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney quit his diplomatic post in protest of the effort to ‘overtake the government.’

‘I can’t do it,’ said Mulvaney, who called Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, another former House Republican, to convey his views.

Mulvaney, a former House member from South Carolina who left Congress to join Trump’s team, spoke out on CNBC hours after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol after being egged on to march there by President Trump and his unsupported claims of mass election fraud.

‘I called Mike Pompeo last night to let him know I was resigning from that. I can’t do it. I can’t stay,’ he said, relinquishing his post as special U.S. envoy to Northern Ireland in the final weeks of the Trump Administration.

He said he ‘wouldn’t be surprised’ to see ‘more of my friends resign over the next 24 to 48 hours.’ Mulvaney served in the House with Pompeo.

‘Those who choose to stay, and I have talked with some of them, are choosing to stay because they’re worried the President might put someone worse,’ he said – voicing an argument made by many top Trump officials who lingered for months or years despite harboring doubts they later shared about Trump’I can’t stay here. Not after yesterday,’ he said – with a model of Air Force One and a presidential seal in the background behind him during a video interview.

Game over: Mike Pence put the final seal on Joe Biden's election victory in the early hours of Thursday morning, declaring once and for all that Donald Trump had lost the election by a 306-232 margin in the electoral college

Game over: Mike Pence put the final seal on Joe Biden’s election victory in the early hours of Thursday morning, declaring once and for all that Donald Trump had lost the election by a 306-232 margin in the electoral college 

Donald Trump – pictured at the Wednesday rally near the White House where he whipped his supporters into a frenzy by repeating his false claims of election fraud – finally accepted his fate on Thursday morning and promised an ‘orderly transition’ on January 20, when Joe Biden will take office after being confirmed once and for all as the election winner 

Trump's statement was posted by an aide

Scavino posted the statement after Trump's account was locked

Trump’s grudging acknowledgement that Joe Biden will take office on January 20 was posted on Twitter by White House aide Dan Scavino, after the president’s own account was locked for stirring up violence on Wednesday

Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf called the actions by Trump supporters who rampaged through the Capitol ‘sickening’ – and publicly pleaded with President Trump to condemn the violence.

‘What transpired yesterday was tragic and sickening,’ Wolf said in a statement Thursday.

‘While I have consistently condemned political violence on both sides of the aisle, specifically violence directed at law enforcement, we now see some supporters of the President using violence as a means to achieve political ends. This is unacceptable. These violent actions are unconscionable, and I implore the President and all elected officials to strongly condemn the violence that took place yesterday,’ Wolf said.

‘DHS takes the safety and security of all Americans very seriously—it’s at the core of our mission to defend our homeland. Any appearance of inciting violence by an elected official goes against who we are as Americans,’ Wolf continued.

He said he would remain in his post ‘to ensure the Department’s focus remains on the serious threats facing our country and an orderly transition to President-elect Biden’s DHS team.’  

Guns on the floor of the House: Capitol police point their firearms at a vandalized door during the hours-long carnage that erupted on Wednesday after Trump told his supporters to protest the election result

Guns on the floor of the House: Capitol police point their firearms at a vandalized door during the hours-long carnage that erupted on Wednesday after Trump told his supporters to protest the election result 

Mockery: A Trump supporter puts his feet up on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's desk after storming into the Capitol during an unprecedented effort to subvert a democratic election and keep Donald Trump in power

Mockery: A Trump supporter puts his feet up on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk after storming into the Capitol during an unprecedented effort to subvert a democratic election and keep Donald Trump in power 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi's suite of offices were targeted by the rioters who smashed a mirror, cracked the Democrat's nameplate and left a menacing message scrawled on a file: 'WE WILL NOT BACK DOWN'

Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s suite of offices were targeted by the rioters who smashed a mirror, cracked the Democrat’s nameplate and left a menacing message scrawled on a file: ‘WE WILL NOT BACK DOWN’ 

Fire and fury: The flash of a police munition lights up the steps of the Capitol during the invasion by a Trump-incited mob

Fire and fury: The flash of a police munition lights up the steps of the Capitol during the invasion by a Trump-incited mob 

A huge crowd of Trump supporters had turned up at the president's urging to protest the results of a fair democratic election

A huge crowd of Trump supporters had turned up at the president’s urging to protest the results of a fair democratic election

Donald Trump finally accepted his fate just before 4am Thursday after Vice President Mike Pence ended his desperate campaign to overturn the election – still not properly conceding and instead boasting it was the ‘end of the greatest first term in history’ in a tweet from an aide’s cellphone.

The VP brought the gavel down on the Trump coup at 3:41 a.m. Thursday morning and certified President-elect Joe Biden’s win – despite the attempt of scores of Republicans and a violent MAGA mob to overturn it. 

After Pence defied his boss to settle the 2020 election once and for all, Trump finally said there would be an ‘orderly transition’ – a hallmark of American democracy he has repeatedly called into question – but still claimed falsely that the election was stolen despite all 50 states, a series of judges and now the U.S. Congress dismissing challenges to the result. 

Banned from twitter, the message was sent by Dan Scavino, his golf caddy-turned social media guru. 

‘Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20,’ Trump said in a statement that aides posted on Twitter after the president’s account was locked for stirring up violence. 

‘I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted,’ Trump said. ‘While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again.’  Pence made the final announcement after a nearly 15-hour saga that saw rioting supporters of President Trump mob the U.S. Capitol Building in a day of carnage and shame that left four dead, saw pipe bombs, long guns and Molotov cocktails discovered in the Capitol grounds – and left America’s image as the beacon of democracy reeling.   

In scenes which caused fear and anguish around the world, Trump's mob walked right through the corridors of Congress

In scenes which caused fear and anguish around the world, Trump’s mob walked right through the corridors of Congress 

The mob walked right through the halls of Congress, ransacking offices and brazenly taking photos

The mob walked right through the halls of Congress, ransacking offices and brazenly taking photos 

Trump supporters attempt to ram their way through a police barricade as they raged at the president's election defeat

Trump supporters attempt to ram their way through a police barricade as they raged at the president’s election defeat 

Trump supporters marched through the Capitol Rotunda after breaching what appeared to be flimsy security - a stark contrast with the heavy-handed crackdowns that Trump ordered against Black Lives Matter protesters last summer

Trump supporters marched through the Capitol Rotunda after breaching what appeared to be flimsy security – a stark contrast with the heavy-handed crackdowns that Trump ordered against Black Lives Matter protesters last summer 

Morning after: A banner saying 'Treason' lies on the ground next to the dust strewn floor and some fire extinguishers

Morning after: A banner saying ‘Treason’ lies on the ground next to the dust strewn floor and some fire extinguishers 

Trash and Trump signs are seen piled beside the statue of Andrew Jackson - months after the president condemned the desecration of monuments to controversial figures in American history

Trash and Trump signs are seen piled beside the statue of Andrew Jackson – months after the president condemned the desecration of monuments to controversial figures in American history 

A protester sits in the Senate Chamber, amid an invasion that forced Congress to suspend its joint session to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump

A protester sits in the Senate Chamber, amid an invasion that forced Congress to suspend its joint session to ratify President-elect Joe Biden’s 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump

The MAGA mob – which included white supremacists, Holocaust deniers and Q Anon followers – interrupted the certification of results as they smashed through police barricades, stormed into the halls of the Capitol and even sat in the Senate chamber.

They looted offices, vandalized statues and confronted police as they rampaged through the Capitol, carrying Confederate flags, in hours of anarchy which shocked the world and which Biden called an ‘insurrection’. 

As the world watched in disbelief, many were shocked at how easily the invaders had breached the hallways of American democracy – contrasting the lax security with the heavy-handed crackdowns ordered by Trump at the height of the Black Lives Matter protests last summer.  

Even as intruders desecrated the Capitol, Trump was said to be reluctant to deploy the National Guard, with reports saying that he ‘rebuffed and resisted’ the request before Pence and others finally made it happen. 

Lawmakers were rushed off the floor of the House and Senate – and brought back at 8pm under armed guard while outside the mob defied a curfew in D.C. The president who had whipped them into fury tweeted: ‘You are special. You are loved.’

One woman – 14-year Air Force veteran Ashli Babbit – was shot dead inside the building, with three others dead from unspecified ‘medical emergencies’ during the carnage. Washington police chief Robert Contee said 14 officers were injured, one of them pulled into a crowd and assaulted, while 52 people were arrested.  

Papers were strewn over the carpet of a parliamentarian's office

Furniture was flipped over during the violent invasion

Desecration: Papers were strewn over carpets and furniture was flipped over during the violent invasion of the U.S. Capitol

Supporters of Donald Trump stormed the Capitol on Wednesday amid questions over how they breached security so easily

Supporters of Donald Trump stormed the Capitol on Wednesday amid questions over how they breached security so easily

A woman was shot in the chest on Wednesday afternoon after chaotic scenes broke out when dozens of Trump supporters breached security perimeters at the Capitol. She died at a hospital hours later, law enforcement sources said

A woman was shot in the chest on Wednesday afternoon after chaotic scenes broke out when dozens of Trump supporters breached security perimeters at the Capitol. She died at a hospital hours later, law enforcement sources said

A man wearing a Trump hat is wrestled to the ground by security forces after the unprecedented Capitol security breach

A man wearing a Trump hat is wrestled to the ground by security forces after the unprecedented Capitol security breach 

The siege brought an hours-long halt to what is usually the solemn democratic ritual of putting a final seal on the election result. When lawmakers eventually returned to their chambers, the Republicans trying to resist Biden’s victory found that their numbers had dwindled, and all of their objections were voted down. 

The spectacle of a violent gang rampaging through the legislature trying to overturn an election result prompted outrage and anguish from America’s fellow democracies, with Britain’s Boris Johnson condemning the ‘disgraceful scenes’ and Germany’s Angela Merkel saying she was ‘furious and saddened’ by the chaos. 

It was also seized on by America’s authoritarian rivals to mock the state of US democracy, with Iran calling it ‘fragile and vulnerable’ and Russia saying that the election system ‘does not meet modern democratic standards’. 

Former president Barack Obama described the riot as a ‘moment of great dishonor and shame for our nation’, while his predecessor George W. Bush said that ‘this is how election results are disputed in a banana republic’. 

Congress’ overwhelming rejection of attempts to overturn the vote and Pence’s role in it will surely further enrage Trump, who wanted his VP to unilaterally overrule Biden’s win – and he was left further isolated by the resignation of multiple White House aides including former press secretary Stephanie Grisham. 

Deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger, social secretary Rickie Niceta and deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews also quit, with more resignations expected from aides disgusted with Trump’s conduct. 

The president was banished from Twitter for 12 hours Wednesday due to violating the company’s rules meaning he could not vent on his favorite medium. The ban was due to expire at 5am Thursday morning, but there was no immediate word on whether Trump’s access had been restored. 

Riot police prepare to move demonstrators away from the Capitol as authorities struggled to restore order on Wednesday

Riot police prepare to move demonstrators away from the Capitol as authorities struggled to restore order on Wednesday

The Republican bid to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory ended early Thursday morning after the Senate voted 92-7 to dismiss a challenge to Pennsylvania’s Electoral College vote

Protesters broke windows to gain access to the Capitol as lawmakers were whisked to safety on Wednesday afternoon

Protesters broke windows to gain access to the Capitol as lawmakers were whisked to safety on Wednesday afternoon 

The protests escalated into violence as Trump supporters clashed with police on the grounds of the Capitol

The protests escalated into violence as Trump supporters clashed with police on the grounds of the Capitol 

America’s rivals gloat over Capitol chaos 

America’s authoritarian rivals have delighted in the chaos at the Capitol, with Iran reveling in the ‘fragility of Western democracy’ and Venezuela mimicking the kind of criticism it usually receives from Washington.  

In a speech broadcast by state television, Rouhani said: ‘What we saw in the United States yesterday evening and today shows above all how fragile and vulnerable Western democracy is.’ 

In China, state-run tabloid Global Times crowed that ‘bubbles of democracy and freedom have burst’ in America. It also compared the chaos to the Hong Kong protests in 2019, mocking US politicians who had praised the demonstrations there.  

In Russia, foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the ‘archaic’ US system was to blame for the rampage. 

‘The electoral system in the United States is archaic, it does not meed modern democratic standards, creating opportunities for numerous violations, and the American media have become an instrument of political struggle,’ Zakharova said.     

And in Veneuzela, parodying the kind of statements that usually come from Washington, authorities expressed ‘concern’ about the violence while calling for the US follow a path of ‘stability’ and ‘social justice’.  

Although Trump still refuses to accept he lost the election, his early-morning statement was the first time he had fully acknowledged that he will be leaving the White House on January 20. 

The president has spent the last two months refusing to concede and lobbing baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud, even though his own Justice Department, federal courts and state governments have said repeatedly the vote was carried out freely and fairly.  

With just 13 days left of his presidency, Trump is now at war with Mitch McConnell, facing whispers of his own cabinet trying to force him out and Democrats openly discussing impeaching him again – while just a handful of senators led by Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley and the majority of the House GOP remain loyal. 

It was Hawley who forced Congress to sit late into the night. Biden was at 244 of the 270 Electoral College votes needed when a final challenge of Pennsylvania’s count pushed lawmakers back into their respective chambers.

In the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell skipped the two hours of permitted debate and went straight to a vote.

The upper chamber voted 92-7 to overrule the Republicans’ objection – with some Republicans changing sides to vote with the majority after the carnage of the preceding hours. 

‘We don’t expect additional votes tonight,’ McConnell said when things were done. McConnell had been against the GOP effort to challenge the Electoral College vote counts from the beginning.

The House proceeded with debate and then voted 282 to 138 to overrule the challenge of Pennsylvania, with 64 Republicans voting alongside Democrats to make up the majority.

Both houses have to vote in favor of a challenge for it to succeed.

Republicans in the House and Senate had earlier challenged the votes in Arizona – which prompted two hours of debate, interrupted by the MAGA riot – and that objection was overwhelmingly overruled.

House Republicans also tried to challenge the results in Georgia, Michigan and Nevada, but GOP senators would no longer sign on after the day’s dramatic events. 

‘Mr. President prior to the actions and events of today we did but following the events of today it appears that some senators have withdrawn their objection,’ admitted Georgia Rep. Jody Hice when challenging the results in his state. 

A protester is seen hanging from the balcony in the Senate Chamber

A protester is seen hanging from the balcony in the Senate Chamber

Congressional staffers barricade themselves inside their offices as Trump supporters rampage through the Capitol Building

Congressional staffers barricade themselves inside their offices as Trump supporters rampage through the Capitol Building

Damage is seen inside the US Capitol building early on Thursday as a Congressional staffer speaks on the phone beside statues of America's heroes

Damage is seen inside the US Capitol building early on Thursday as a Congressional staffer speaks on the phone beside statues of America’s heroes 

The mob charged into the building, holding banners in support of the president who falsely claims the election was stolen

The mob charged into the building, holding banners in support of the president who falsely claims the election was stolen

A congressional member of staff (rear) holds his hands up as Police SWAT teams sweep the Capitol to clear it of rioters

Police wearing riot gear confronted the mob, but there were questions about how Trump's supporters managed to get inside

Police wearing riot gear confronted the mob, but there were questions about how Trump’s supporters managed to get inside

Heavily-armed federal forces try to bring order in the hallways of American democracy after a violent mob barged in

Heavily-armed federal forces try to bring order in the hallways of American democracy after a violent mob barged in 

Trump's supporters had gathered to demand that the will of the American people be overturned by the House and Senate

Trump’s supporters had gathered to demand that the will of the American people be overturned by the House and Senate

Tear gas blows in the Capitol's Statuary Hall as invaders bearing Trump paraphernalia stormed the building on Wednesday

Tear gas blows in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall as invaders bearing Trump paraphernalia stormed the building on Wednesday 

The Confederate flag was flew in the hallways of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday after a Trump supporter brought it inside

The Confederate flag was flew in the hallways of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday after a Trump supporter brought it inside

People wearing gas masks take shelter in the House gallery as protesters try to break into America's lower chamber

People wearing gas masks take shelter in the House gallery as protesters try to break into America’s lower chamber 

The lawmakers were seen flanked by armed guards as they made their way into the Capitol

The lawmakers were seen flanked by armed guards as they made their way into the Capitol

The mob clashed with riot police after Trump told his supporters to travel to Washington and renewed his false fraud claims

The mob clashed with riot police after Trump told his supporters to travel to Washington and renewed his false fraud claims

Supporters of Donald Trump gather in the Capitol Rotunda, shouting slogans as they try to overturn the election result

Supporters of Donald Trump gather in the Capitol Rotunda, shouting slogans as they try to overturn the election result

Trump taken off social media after praising rioters 

Twitter has suspended Donald Trump’s account for 12 hours and for the first time deleted his tweets after he praised the mob who stormed Congress and said he ‘loved’ them.

YouTube and Facebook also followed suit in removing the posts, with Facebook and Instagram also blocking Trump from their platform for 24 hours.

Snapchat blocked him on Wednesday morning, before he filmed the video. The platform said their locking of his account was indefinite. 

In the deleted video, he poured more fuel on the fire, claiming the election was ‘stolen’ and telling the rioters that he ‘loved’ them.

Twitter said it had removed the tweets for violating their ‘Civic Integrity policy’.

‘As a result of the unprecedented and ongoing violent situation in Washington, D.C., we have required the removal of three @realDonaldTrump Tweets that were posted earlier today for repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy,’ the social media company said.

‘This means that the account of @realDonaldTrump will be locked for 12 hours following the removal of these Tweets. If the Tweets are not removed, the account will remain locked.’

At nearly 4 a.m., Rep. Louie Gohmert tried to get one more challenge through – for the state of Wisconsin – but, again, a senator had withdrawn.

That spelled the end of the MAGA campaign to upend an election and Pence went on to read out the results of the Electoral College: Biden 306, Trump 232.

But he managed to avoid saying ‘Joe Biden is the winner’ or similar words – a minor softening of the blow to Trump by the deputy who had been until this week perhaps his most devoted follower.

‘To those who wreaked havoc in our capitol today, you did not win,’ Pence said after lawmakers returned to their seats. ‘Violence never wins. Freedom wins. And this is still the people’s house.’

The vice president, who chaired the special joint session as provided under the Constitution, called it a ‘dark day in the history of the United States Capitol.’

‘But thanks to the swift efforts of the U.S. Capitol Police, federal, state and local law enforcement, the violence was quelled. The Capitol is secured and the people’s work continues,’ Pence said.

But astonishingly – and to the disgust of Republicans including Mitt Romney and every Democrat – some Republicans continued their doomed bid to overturn the election result.

The most senior was House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who claimed that persisting was proof that Congress was not cowed by violence. And Josh Hawley, the Missouri senator who gave a clenched fist salute to the mob before it stormed the Capitol, also refused to back down even as other senators who had planned to object abandoned the campaign.

‘Americans go to bed tonight their lasting memory should not be a congress overrun by rioters. It must be a resolute Congress, conducting healthy debate,’ McCarthy said.

‘We may not disagree on a lot in America but tonight, we must show the world that we will respectfully, but thoroughly carry out the most basic duties of democracy, we will continue with the task that we have been sent here to do. 

‘We will follow the Constitution and the law and the process for hearing valid concerns about election integrity. We’ll do it with respect.’ 

A Trump supporter walks away with a bloodied nose after clashing with police near the Capitol Building in Washington DC

A Trump supporter walks away with a bloodied nose after clashing with police near the Capitol Building in Washington DC

A Trump supporter wears a painted American flag Guy Fawkes mask amid chaotic scenes at the Capitol

A Trump supporter wears a painted American flag Guy Fawkes mask amid chaotic scenes at the Capitol

A Trump supporter receives medical treatment after apparently being hit in the mouth with a rubber bullet during the riot

A Trump supporter receives medical treatment after apparently being hit in the mouth with a rubber bullet during the riot

Trump supporters swarmed into the Capitol after the president made a fiery speech repeating his claims of a stolen election

Trump supporters swarmed into the Capitol after the president made a fiery speech repeating his claims of a stolen election

A protester is pinned down by police outside the Capitol as demonstrators breached security and rampaged into the building

A protester is pinned down by police outside the Capitol as demonstrators breached security and rampaged into the building

The president's loyalists waved flags proclaiming a lost cause - the 2020 election, which was won by Joe Biden

The president’s loyalists waved flags proclaiming a lost cause – the 2020 election, which was won by Joe Biden 

Sen. Josh Hawley, who was the first senator who pledged to back a House GOP effort to object to certain states' Electoral College vote counts, refused to abandon the effort entirely

Sen. Josh Hawley, who was the first senator who pledged to back a House GOP effort to object to certain states’ Electoral College vote counts, refused to abandon the effort entirely

Sen Ted Cruz looks on as the certification proceedings continue despite objections by him and other Republicans

Sen Ted Cruz looks on as the certification proceedings continue despite objections by him and other Republicans

Sen. Hawley, who was the first senator who pledged to back a House GOP effort to object to certain states’ Electoral College vote counts, refused to abandon the effort entirely. 

The Missouri Republican argued that the Senate floor was the appropriate place to address any election fraud concerns – as opposed to a violent riot.

Pence ordered National Guard to the Capitol after Trump ‘resisted’ 

Mike Pence made the call to activate the National Guard after Trump supporters ran wild in the Capitol Building, it has been revealed.

Acting Pentagon chief Christopher Miller revealed that he spoke to Pence and not Trump, the Commander in Chief, before sending in the Guard to clear out rioters.

Maggie Haberman, the New York Times’s White House correspondent, later revealed that Trump had ‘rebuffed and resisted’ attempts to call in the guard before ‘White House advisers’ intervened to get the move approved. 

Meanwhile White House National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien praised Pence’s courage for certifying the state election results – a typically routine task that was thrust under the spotlight after Trump falsely suggested that Pence had the power to reject the result and declare him the victor.

‘I just spoke with Vice President Pence. He is a genuinely fine and decent man. He exhibited courage today as he did at the Capitol on 9/11 as a Congressman. I am proud to serve with him,’ wrote O’Brien. 

‘Violence is not how you achieve change,’ Hawley said. ‘And that’s why I submit to my colleagues that what we’re doing here tonight is actually very important. Because of those who have concerns about the integrity of our elections … this is the appropriate means, this is the lawful place, where those objections and concerns should be heard.’

He said he hoped the Senate could address concerns ‘peacefully, without violence, without attacks, without bullets.’

Hawley also used the Arizona debate to complain about Pennsylvania, correctly foreseeing that there would be no full debate about that state’s results.   

‘And so Mr. President let me just say now, that briefly, in lieu of speaking about it later, a word about Pennsylvania – this is a state that I have been focused on, objected to,’ Hawley said.

He then went on to complain that the state set-up ‘universal mail-in balloting.’

‘And did it irregardless of what the Pennsylvania Constitution says,’ Hawley said, using the improper word for regardless.

The senator then objected to how the Pennsylvania Supreme Court made its decision, holding up the law that allowed for enhanced mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic.

Directly after Hawley spoke, Sen. Mitt Romney applauded those senators, like Loeffler and Lankford, who had abandoned Hawley and the ‘dirty dozen’s’ effort. 

‘The best way we can show respect to the voters who are upset is by telling them the truth,’ Romney implored.

And the truth, he said, was ‘President-Elect Biden won the election. President Trump lost.’

‘I’ve had that experience myself, it’s no fun,’ Romney said, a reference to losing the 2012 presidential election to Democratic President Barack Obama.

As he concluded, Romney was given a standing ovation by some senators – but not by Hawley, who was sitting directly in front of him. 

McConnell, who earlier chastised members of his own party who planned to file objections to the Electoral College vote count, proclaimed, 'The United States Senate will not be intimidated.'

Pence's condemnation was followed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, with Schumer - a New York Democrat - placing the blame squarely on Trump

McConnell, who earlier chastised members of his own party who planned to file objections to the Electoral College vote count, proclaimed, ‘The United States Senate will not be intimidated.’ Pence’s condemnation was followed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, with Schumer – a New York Democrat – placing the blame squarely on Trump

An armed security agent tries to maintain order in the Capitol during what Joe Biden described as an 'insurrection'

An armed security agent tries to maintain order in the Capitol during what Joe Biden described as an ‘insurrection’ 

Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6

Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6

As 2 am neared, Rep Conor Lamb, a Pennsylvania Democrat who represents the Pittsburgh area, unloaded on the Republicans who objected to the vote from his state.

Lamb first read from the speech he had planned to give pre-riot, including that Allegheny County’s vote-counting operation had ’31 video cameras!’ he said, raising his voice.

‘These objections don’t deserve an ounce of respect. Not an ounce,’ he then said.

‘A woman died out there tonight and you’re making these objections,’ Lamb went on. ‘Let’s be clear about what happened in this chamber today: invaders came in for the first time since the War of 1812.’

Lamb nodded over in the direction of a group of his Republican colleagues.

‘We know that that attack today, it didn’t materialize out of nowhere. It was inspired by lies, the same lies you’re hearing in this room tonight, and the members who are repeating those lies should be ashamed of themselves,’ Lamb said. ‘Their constituents should be ashamed of them.’

Rep. Morgan Griffith shouted to have Lamb’s comments struck from the record.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gaveled his request down, later explaining that he wasn’t quick enough, saying it needed to happen ‘exactly when the words are spoken.’

Nearby, a scuffle among lawmakers nearly broke out involving Rep. Andy Harris, a Maryland Republican, and Rep. Colin Allred, a Texas Democrat, according to Capitol Hill reporters.

Allred is a former professional football player.

As 2 am neared, Rep Conor Lamb (pictured), a Pennsylvania Democrat who represents the Pittsburgh area, unloaded on the Republicans who objected to the vote from his state

As 2 am neared, Rep Conor Lamb (pictured), a Pennsylvania Democrat who represents the Pittsburgh area, unloaded on the Republicans who objected to the vote from his state

Speaker Nancy Pelosi reopened the House of Representatives Wednesday night with a vow to stay as long as it takes to certify the election and Joe Biden’s victory.

‘Congress has returned to the Capitol,’ she said seven hours after the chamber was closed because rioters were trying to breach its doors. ‘We always knew that this responsibility would take us into the night, and will stay as long as it takes. Our purpose will be accomplished. We must and we will show to the country.’

‘We know that we’re in difficult times, but little could we have imagined the assault, that was made on our democracy,’ she said in reference to the pro-Trump insurgents who tried to stop the Joint Session.

She said it was the duty of lawmakers to show the world ‘the peaceful transfer of power from one president to the next.’

Shortly before all House members were evacuated around 2.30pm, Capitol Police approached Pelosi, who was presiding over the chamber from the speaker’s rostrum, telling her she had to leave.

Pelosi didn’t make a fuss and turned over her duties to House Rules Chairman Jim McGovern.

He told reporters on Capitol Hill that she whispered ‘thank you’ and handed him the gavel as she was led away.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., presides over the House Chamber after they reconvened

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., presides over the House Chamber after they reconvened

Some Republican senators backed down from the original plan to object after pro-Trump insurgents rushed the Capitol.

But House Republican Leader McCarthy said it was lawmakers’ duty to conduct ‘healthy debate’ and to hear ‘valid concerns about election integrity.’

WHO’S STILL IN TRUMP’S CAMP? 

Josh Hawley 

Kevin McCarthy 

Ted Cruz 

Matt Gaetz

Louie Gohmert

Paul Gosar

Jim Jordan 

Ronny Jackson

Tommy Tuberville 

Marjorie Taylor Greene

‘When Americans go to bed tonight their lasting memory should not be a Congress overrun by rioters. It must be a resolute Congress, conducting healthy debate. We may not disagree on a lot in America but tonight, we must show the world that we will respectfully, but thoroughly carry out the most basic duties of democracy, we will continue with the task that we have been sent here to do. We will follow the Constitution and the law and the process for hearing valid concerns about election integrity. We’ll do it with respect,’ he said on the House floor after the chamber reopened.

But he also condemned the rioters.

‘We saw the worst of America this afternoon,’ he said.

McCarthy also warned lawmakers to think twice about what they post on social media. Posts by Republicans, including President Trump, falsely stating the election was rigged and fraudulent were believed to have contributed to inciting the mob that ran sacked the Capitol.

‘We also should think for a moment about what do we put on social media,’ he said. ‘Just because you have a personal opinion different than mine, you have a right to say it, but nobody has a right to become a mob. And we all should stand united to condemning them all together.’

Pence’s condemnation was followed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, with Schumer – a New York Democrat – placing the blame squarely on Trump.

‘Today’s events would certainly not have happened without him,’ Schumer said. 

McConnell, who earlier chastised members of his own party who planned to file objections to the Electoral College vote count, proclaimed, ‘The United States Senate will not be intimidated.’

‘Will not be kept out of its chamber by thugs, mobs or threats. We will not bend for lawlessness or intimidation,’ the Kentucky Republican said.

He said senators would discharge their Constitutional duty – to certify the results of the presidential race.

‘And we’re going to do it tonight,’ McConnell said.

The Kentucky Republican proclaimed, ‘Criminal behavior will never dominate the United States Congress.’

Schumer followed, admitting that he didn’t quite have the words to describe what happened Wednesday on Capitol Hill.

‘I have never lived through, or even imagined the experience like the one we have just witnessed in this Capitol,’ he said. ‘This temple to democracy was desecrated, its windows smashed, our offices vandalized.’

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., stops to look at damage in the early morning hours of Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, after protesters stormed the Capitol in Washington, on Wednesday

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., stops to look at damage in the early morning hours of Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, after protesters stormed the Capitol in Washington, on Wednesday

Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J., helps ATF police officers (special highly trained officers) clean up debris and personal belongings strewn across the floor of the Rotunda in the early morning hours of Thursday after protesters stormed the Capitol in Washington, DC, on Wednesday

Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J., helps ATF police officers (special highly trained officers) clean up debris and personal belongings strewn across the floor of the Rotunda in the early morning hours of Thursday after protesters stormed the Capitol in Washington, DC, on Wednesday

Pro-Trump protesters gather in front of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC

Pro-Trump protesters gather in front of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC

Lawmakers cower in fear as protesters try to break down the doors of the House Chamber on Wednesday

Lawmakers cower in fear as protesters try to break down the doors of the House Chamber on Wednesday

He spoke of the woman who was shot during the riots, who has since died of her injuries.

‘We mourn her and feel for her friends and family,’ Schumer said.

‘This will be a stain on our country not so easily washed away,’ he added.

And the soon-to-be majority leader, after Democrats were successful in both Georgia Senate run-off races, pointed a finger at Trump, calling the day’s events the ‘final terrible indelible legacy of the 45th president of the United States.’

‘Undoubtedly our worst,’ Schumer argued.

‘Today’s events did not happen spontaneously, the president who promoted conspiracy theories, who motivated these thugs, a president who exhorted them to come to our United States capitol, egged them on, who hardly ever discourages violence. This president deals a great deal of the blame,’ Schumer said.

He said that those responsible for overtaking the capitol could not be called ‘protesters.’

‘These were rioters and insurrectionist goons and thugs, domestic terrorists,’ Schumer said. ‘They do not represent America

Senate Majority Leader spoke immediately after Pence to declare that the chamber would not be intimidated by ‘thugs.’

McConnell found himself denouncing Trump’s bid to overturn the election for the second time in a day, after earlier delivering a strong speech blasting the effort by members of his own caucus seeking to throw out electors in states that went for Joe Biden.

Wednesday night, after Trump supporters breached hallways that McConnell has walked for decades on ‘unhinged’ invaders – without mentioning that it was President Trump who encouraged his supporters to march to the Capitol.

Nevertheless, he eviscerated the Trump backers who ran wild inside the chamber.

‘The United States Senate will not be intimidated. We will not be kept out of this chamber by thugs, mobs or threats. We will not bow to lawlessness or intimidation,’ vowed McConnell.

‘We are back at our post. We will discharge our duty under the Constitution and for our nation.

And we’re going to do it tonight,’ said McConnell.

The Kentucky Republican proclaimed, 'Criminal behavior will never dominate the United States Congress.' Schumer followed, admitting that he didn't quite have the words to describe what happened Wednesday on Capitol Hill

The Kentucky Republican proclaimed, ‘Criminal behavior will never dominate the United States Congress.’ Schumer followed, admitting that he didn’t quite have the words to describe what happened Wednesday on Capitol Hill

Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the president's top allies in the Senate, threw water on the objectors' efforts recalling how in 1876 three southern states - South Carolina, Louisiana and Florida - sent two slates of electors to Congress, in a bid to end Reconstruction after the Civil War

Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the president’s top allies in the Senate, threw water on the objectors’ efforts recalling how in 1876 three southern states – South Carolina, Louisiana and Florida – sent two slates of electors to Congress, in a bid to end Reconstruction after the Civil War

His words were both strengthened and undercut by his close association with Trump’s tenure: McConnell’s wife Elaine Chao serves as Trump’s Transportation secretary. McConnell spent weeks without denouncing Trump’s unsubstantiated claims the election was rigged. And it was in partnership with Trump that he achieved his life’s goal of stacking the judiciary with conservative jurists.

He spoke with contempt towards the mob who invaded the Capitol, saying the country had ‘faced down much greater threats than the unhinged crowd we saw today.’

Among Republicans bailing on the plan to contest the results was Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, known as an institutionalist before he signed onto the effort by Sen. Ted Cruz

Among Republicans bailing on the plan to contest the results was Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, known as an institutionalist before he signed onto the effort by Sen. Ted Cruz

‘We’ve never been deterred before and we’ll be not deterred today. They tried to disrupt our democracy. They failed,’ he intoned.

He called it a ‘failed insurrection’ and said it ‘only underscores how crucial the task before us is for our republic.’

‘Now we’re going to finish exactly what we started,’ said McConnell. ‘We’ll complete the process in the right way: by the book.’

He said the Senate would follow its precedents and laws and Constitution ‘to the letter.’

‘And we will certify the winner of the 2020 presidential election,’ he said forcefully. ‘Criminal behavior will never dominate the United States Congress. This institution is resilient. Our democratic republic is strong. The American people deserve nothing less,’ he said.  

Among Republicans bailing on the plan to contest the results was Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, known as an institutionalist before he signed onto the effort by Sen. Ted Cruz.

‘Why in god’s name would someone think attacking law enforcement occupying United States Capitol is the best way to show that you’re right? Why would you do that?’ he asked.

‘Rioters and thugs don’t run the capitol we’re the United States of America. We disagree on a lot of things and we have a lot of spirited debate in this room. But we talk it out and we honor each other.

Lankford had been on the Senate floor defending the opposition to votes in states Biden won when officials evacuated the chamber and locked down the Capitol.

‘I was literally interrupted mid-sentence speaking here. Because we’re all aware of what was happening right outside this room,’ he said, praising law enforcement who protected the Capitol.

Georgia Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who lost her race in the early hours Wednesday to Democratic Rev. Raphael Warnock, announced that she would no longer be filing objections to Electoral College votes

Georgia Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who lost her race in the early hours Wednesday to Democratic Rev. Raphael Warnock, announced that she would no longer be filing objections to Electoral College votes

He quickly bowed to the new reality.

‘Obviously the commission that we’ve asked for is not going to happen at this point and I understand that and we’re headed towards tonight towards the certification of Joe Biden to be the president of the United States,’ he said. Cruz and his compatriots wanted a special commission to investigate electoral fraud claims tossed out of courts over a ten-day period.

‘And we will work together in this body to be able to send peaceful example in the days ahead,’ he concluded.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the president’s top allies in the Senate, threw water on the objectors’ efforts recalling how in 1876 three southern states – South Carolina, Louisiana and Florida – sent two slates of electors to Congress, in a bid to end Reconstruction after the Civil War.

‘It led to Jim Crow,’ Graham said. ‘If you’re looking for historical guidance, this is not the one to pick.’

The South Carolina Republican also said that a forming a commission to look into fraud wouldn’t change minds.

‘Having a commission chosen by Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell and John Roberts is not going to get you to where you want to go, it ain’t going to work,’ Graham said. ‘It’s not going to do any good, it’s going to delay and it gives credibility to a dark chapter of our history.’

Graham maintained Trump was a ‘consequential president.’

‘But today … all I can say is count me out, enough is enough, I’ve tried to be helpful.’

Graham praised Pence, telling him: ‘what they’re asking you to do, you won’t do, because you can’t.’

Trump has pressured Pence to choose between Electoral College votes and ‘alternate’ slates of electors, which the vice president doesn’t have the power to do.

Graham also mentioned how he had traveled the world with Biden, when they served together in the Senate.

‘I prayed he would lose,’ Graham said. ‘He’s the legitimate president of the United States.’

Georgia Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who lost her race in the early hours Wednesday to Democratic Rev. Raphael Warnock, announced that she would no longer be filing objections to Electoral College votes.

‘When I arrived in Washington this morning, I fully intended to object to the certification of the electoral votes,’ she said. ‘However, the events that have transpired today have forced me to reconsider and I cannot now, in good conscience, object.’

Sen. Steve Daines, a Montana Republican, also announced that he no longer supported senators filing objections.

The newly minted Sen. Roger Marshall, a Kansas Republican, who had joined Sen. Ted Cruz’s ‘dirty dozen,’ seemed to still back the effort in his debut floor speech.

‘We must restore faith and confidence in one of our republic’s most hallowed and patriotic duties: voting,’ Marshall said.

Marshall said he backed the creation of an electoral commission to give states to constructive suggestions’ going forward, due to the ‘jarring irregularities’ he claimed took place in the 2020 race.

It’s unclear if Marshall would back additional challenges in states going forward, as the Senate’s discussion was only focused on Electoral College votes in Arizona.

Police spray tear gas at a protester who picked up a police barricade in an effort to get closer to the Capitol

Police spray tear gas at a protester who picked up a police barricade in an effort to get closer to the Capitol 

Members of congress run for cover as protesters try to enter the House Chamber

Members of congress run for cover as protesters try to enter the House Chamber

A protester walks through Congress carrying Nancy Pelosi's lectern after storming the Capitol

A protester walks through Congress carrying Nancy Pelosi’s lectern after storming the Capitol

Republican Congressman Thomas Reed announced he is against the GOP objections to the certification, earning a round of applause from Democrats.

Reed walked to the Democratic side of the House to speak about his opposition, citing the day’s violence in the Capitol as the reason.

‘We settle our differences through elections,’ he said, denouncing the ‘mob rule’ that took place earlier in the afternoon.

‘What we see tonight in this body shall be what we do in America. And that is to transfer power in a peaceful way,’ he said as Democrats gave him a standing ovation.

Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz, a top Trump ally on Capitol Hill, pushed a conspiracy theory that some of the mob that raided the Capitol were members of Antifa, who are opposed to fascism and other forms of extreme right-wing ideology. President Trump has tried to label Antifa as a terrorist group but they a political philosophy. There is no evidence they were involved in Wednesday’s insurrection.

Gaetz cited the conservative newspaper The Washington Times when he spoke on the House floor to defend Republican objections to the electoral college votes in some states won by Biden.

‘The Washington Times has just reported, some pretty compelling evidence from a facial recognition company, showing that some of the people who breached the Capitol today, were not Trump supporters, they were masquerading as Trump supporters, and in fact, we’re members of the violet terrorist group Antifa,’ he said as Democrats loudly booed him.

Gaetz, a frequent guest at Trump’s Florida residence Mar-a-Lago, also defended the president, who was criticized by many, including members of the Republican Party, for his lackluster response to the riots.

‘Another important point for the country is that this morning President Trump explicitly called for demonstrations and protests to be peaceful,’ Gaetz said.

Trump, in tweets, did say the protesters should be peaceful but he didn’t call for them to stand down and leave the Capitol.

Democrats booed Gaetz as he spoke, which he acknowledged: ‘You can moan and groan but he was far more explicit about his calls for peace than some of the BLM and left wing writers were this summer, when we saw violence sweep across this nation.’

Gaetz also got in a dig at liberal Democrats, who have called to defund the police.

‘I’m sure glad that at least for one day, I didn’t hear my Democratic colleagues calling to defund the police,’ he said as his Republican colleagues cheered.

Members of Congress are pictured rushing to evacuate the House Chamber as protesters attempted to enter

Members of Congress are pictured rushing to evacuate the House Chamber as protesters attempted to enter

National Guard members line up on the Capitol grounds as protesters continue occupying the area after curfew

National Guard members line up on the Capitol grounds as protesters continue occupying the area after curfew

The mostly maskless crowd flooded the halls of the Capitol with little resistance from Capitol Police

The mostly maskless crowd flooded the halls of the Capitol with little resistance from Capitol Police

The DC National Guard was deployed to the streets to help enforce a 6pm curfew

The DC National Guard was deployed to the streets to help enforce a 6pm curfew 

Trump – after remaining silent for much of the afternoon – posted a video telling his ‘very special’ supporters inside the Capitol that he loves them and understands their pain but urged them ‘to go home’. 

He had initially encouraged his supporters to march to the Capitol after a rally earlier in the afternoon before asking them only to remain peaceful when violence broke out.   

The Capitol was briefly secured before being placed on lockdown again at around 6.45pm due to an ‘internal security threat’ after an officer was reportedly found unconscious. Anyone inside a building at the Capitol complex was instructed to take cover in an office with doors locked.     

But just before 8pm lawmakers who had been whisked to safety when the siege kicked off began arriving back at the Capitol to resume the Joint Session to certify the Electoral College count of the presidential election. 

The lawmakers were seen flanked by armed guards as they made their way into the Capitol. A spokesperson for Vice President Mike Pence, who is residing over the Joint Session, said he was already in the building because he’d never left. 

As the protesters broke down police barricades and stormed into the Capitol, lawmakers cowering inside the House Chamber were told to put on gas masks as tear gas was fired in the Rotunda. Officers at the front door of the chamber had their guns drawn at a protester trying to break down the door.

The Capitol was placed on lockdown again at around 6.45pm due to an 'internal security threat' after an officers was reportedly found unconscious. Anyone inside a building at the Capitol complex was instructed to take cover in an office with doors locked

The Capitol was placed on lockdown again at around 6.45pm due to an ‘internal security threat’ after an officers was reportedly found unconscious. Anyone inside a building at the Capitol complex was instructed to take cover in an office with doors locked

For those fleeing, it was a race against time: Protesters were getting in as quickly as members of Congress could get out. 

One protester occupied the Senate dais and yelled: ‘Trump won that election’. Some protesters even occupied Pelosi’s office, sitting mockingly at a desk. 

The chaotic scenes unfolded soon after Trump addressed thousands of his supporters and urged them to march to the Capitol. The protesters organized via far-right social media sites, including Gab and Parler, telling each other the best routes to avoid police on their way to the Capitol.

After protesters started clashing with law enforcement, Trump tweeted to his supporters to ‘stay peaceful’. 

‘Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!’ the president wrote.

As the violence escalated, Trump tweeted: ‘I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!’ 

He did not initially tell the protesters to leave. 

Biden on Wednesday evening called for the restoration of ‘simple decency’ after the mob delayed Congress from certifying the results of November’s election. 

‘At this hour, our democracy is under unprecedented assault unlike anything we’ve seen in modern times,’ Biden said. He called it ‘an assault on the rule of law like few times we have ever seen it.’ 

‘I call on this mob to pull back and allow democracy to go forward. 

In an address that took less than 10 minutes and was televised against a split screen of the still-occupied Capitol building, Biden attempted to project calm and to say that a deeply divided country can still come together – while also expressing outrage. 

He stopped short of accusing Trump of treason but said the events ‘bordered on sedition’. 

‘At their best, the words of a president can inspire,’ Biden added. ‘At their worst they can incite.’ 

Minutes after Biden’s address, Trump posted his own video telling his mob of supporters that he ‘loves’ them, but to ‘go home’. In the same breath he also continued to peddle his baseless claims that the ‘election was stolen’. 

‘There’s never been a time like this where such a thing happened where they could take it away from all of us – from me, from you, from our country. This was a fraudulent election, but we can’t play into the hands of these people,’ he said.

‘We have to have peace. So, go home. We love you. You’re very special. You’ve seen what happens. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel. But go home and go home in peace.’ 

The video was later removed by Facebook, Twitter and YouTube because it violated their policies.  

The president then posted another tweet reiterating his false claim that the election was stolen and encouraging supporters to ‘remember this day’. The tweet was perceived by some as an attempt to rile up the Capitol crowds.  

‘These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long,’ he tweeted. ‘Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!’

Twitter removed the tweet for violating its rules. 

Mob smashes through police barriers and wall of tear gas to stop Biden’s victory being certified: How Trump protesters turned Congress into a battlefield 

Capitol Police used tear gas as hundreds of people were seen climbing the marble steps outside the building. They banged on the locked doors of the Capitol and smashed the glass in the doors.

Demonstrators fought with police and then forced their way into the building. 

Asked how so many people were able to get in, officials said they were focusing their attention on keeping lawmakers inside safe. 

‘We love you. You are special.’ Trump finally addresses Capitol mob HE unleashed and says ‘Go home now. We have to have peace’ 

Donald Trump told his mob of supporters that he ‘loves’ them, but to ‘go home’ after they rampaged past police barriers to storm the U.S. Capitol.

But despite calling for his supporters to stand down, he continued to peddle the baseless claims that the ‘election was stolen’ in a video posted to Twitter Wednesday afternoon.

‘There’s never been a time like this where such a thing happened where they could take it away from all of us – from me, from you, from our country. This was a fraudulent election, but we can’t play into the hands of these people.

‘We have to have peace. So, go home. We love you. You’re very special. You’ve seen what happens. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel. But go home and go home in peace,’ Trump said.

It came hours after Trump stirred them into a frenzy at his ‘Stop the Steal’ rally, telling them to march on the U.S. Capitol. 

The president still has not conceded the election and earlier Wednesday addressed a crowd at the ellipse spouting conspiracy theories that he still had a path to win – if Vice President Mike Pence did his bidding, as well as if GOP lawmakers revolted.

Pence did no such thing.

 

The chaotic scenes unfolded soon after Trump addressed thousands of protesters and urged his supporters to march to the Capitol. After protesters started clashing with law enforcement following the Capitol breach, Trump tweeted to his supporters to 'stay peaceful'

The chaotic scenes unfolded soon after Trump addressed thousands of protesters and urged his supporters to march to the Capitol. After protesters started clashing with law enforcement following the Capitol breach, Trump tweeted to his supporters to ‘stay peaceful’

One video posted on TikTok appeared to show a group of about four officers standing by as protesters pushed past a barricade near the Capitol building. 

The officers did not appear to try to block the stampede, instead walking with it toward the building.  

One protester jumped up on the dais, where the president of the Senate presides, and yelled: ‘Trump won that election.’

Several dozen protesters roamed the halls of the Capitol, yelling: ‘Where are they?’

Tear gas was being used by Capitol Police as protesters filled both the House and Senate side of the Capitol.

Another protester in the Senate yelled: ‘Where’s Pence, show yourself!’

The chaos caused the Capitol to go on lockdown and disrupted the certification of the electoral college vote that would cement Biden’s victory. 

Mayor Bowser declared a 6pm curfew for the city and said multiple law enforcement agencies would be patrolling the streets. Just before the curfew went into effect she was asked multiple by times by CNN if curfew violators would be arrested, but she refused to give a clear answer. 

Bowser said ‘many’ arrests had already been made but did not have a specific number.  

As footage started coming out of Capitol Hill being breached by angry Trump supporters, Donald Trump Jr  tried to quell the outburst with a tweet – that was critical of Democrats and liberals.

‘This is wrong and not who we are. Be peaceful and use your 1st Amendment rights, but don’t start acting like the other side,’ Trump Jr. wrote. ‘We have a country to save and this doesn’t help anyone.’

Meanwhile, the president continued to direct his rage at Pence, who earlier announced he would not single-handedly overturn the election results from his position of the chair.

‘Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!’ the president tweeted.

The extraordinary breech was a departure from security mishaps of the past. Protesters have routinely disrupted televised hearings while in progress and even events inside the House chamber. But trained Capitol Police are usually able to arrest disruptors and remove them immediately. Often formal charges are never filed.

But in Wednesday’s storming of the building, dozens of people made it by armed police officers and entered the building without going through any security set up to keep out those with weapons or dangerous items.

There were occasions after September 11th when the building was placed on lockdown and people were ordered to leave, but this usually happened when suspicious packages were discovered.

When the building is open, as it was before the pandemic, members of the general public are not allowed to walk unescorted on the second floor where lawmakers enter and exit the legislative chambers.

The protesters were aided by scaffolding constructed for the upcoming inauguration. 

In another tense piece of video from inside, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) tweeted video of protesters repeatedly rushing Capitol Police officers in the crypt, in the ground floor part of the building under the rotunda.

‘I like many people voted for President Trump in the 2020 election and hoped for a different result,’ McCaul wrote. ‘But violence and destruction is not the way to express your grievances. This is disgraceful and has to end.’

Trump supporters stand in the Capitol before storming the House Chamber on Wednesday afternoon

Trump supporters stand in the Capitol before storming the House Chamber on Wednesday afternoon

Leigh Ann Luck dressed up as Statue of Liberty shouts as supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather

Leigh Ann Luck dressed up as Statue of Liberty shouts as supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather 

A wall of Trump supporters are seen outside the Capitol before crowds breached barriers and stormed inside

A wall of Trump supporters are seen outside the Capitol before crowds breached barriers and stormed inside

Several windows inside the Capitol were shattered during Wednesday's chaos at the Capitol

Several windows inside the Capitol were shattered during Wednesday’s chaos at the Capitol 

Police deploy a stream of tear gas a protesters occupying the Capitol grounds on Wednesday

Police deploy a stream of tear gas a protesters occupying the Capitol grounds on Wednesday 

A woman is pushed into an ambulance near the Capitol on Wednesday evening

A woman is pushed into an ambulance near the Capitol on Wednesday evening 

Trump’s mob causes chaos nationwide: MAGA fans take to the streets in California, Oregon, New Mexico and Kansas and surround Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office   

As the US Capitol was stormed, Trump supporters staged smaller rallies outside statehouses in several cities, including Atlanta, Denver, Phoenix and Salt Lake City. 

Protesters swarmed into the Kansas statehouse in Topeka and gathered inside the first floor of the Capitol Rotunda, though the rally remained orderly, television station KSNT reported.

There were no immediate reports of violence, despite the flurry of demonstrations by pro-Trump demonstrators echoing his baseless claims that he was robbed of a re-election victory due to voter fraud.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said on Twitter that he had instructed city agencies to close municipal offices early in Colorado’s state capital ‘out of an abundance of caution’ after about 700 demonstrators gathered at the statehouse downtown.

‘My hope is that this situation will be resolved quickly. Pray for our nation,’ he tweeted.

A major courthouse complex and two other government buildings in Atlanta, the capital of Georgia, were also ordered closed due to protests near the statehouse.

Among those whose daily routines were altered were aides to Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, the Republican election official pressured by Trump in a weekend telephone call to ‘find’ enough additional votes for the president to overturn the November victory of President-elect Joe Biden, due to take office in two weeks.

Raffensperger’s spokesman, Walter Jones, said staff left their offices after lunch out of an abundance of caution because of protests. He said Raffensperger was not in the office at the time.

In Salt Lake City, Dana Jones, director of the state Capitol Preservation Board, said she had asked building staff to work from home on Wednesday afternoon on the advice of the Utah Highway Patrol and public safety commissioner, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

The precaution was taken, the newspaper said, in response to a crowd of about 250 pro-Trump demonstrators who posted signs on the Capitol building that read: ‘Stop the steal!’ and ‘Trump won!’

A Utah state police spokesman said security had been beefed up at the Capitol, though he said protesters there were ‘very peaceful,’ the Tribune reported. It said one of its photographers was pepper-sprayed by individuals upset that he was documenting their protest.

Several hundred Trump supporters also staged a ‘Stop the Steal’ rally at the Arizona state Capitol in Phoenix, cheering and jeering while exhibiting a guillotine. 

MISSOURI: Armed men stand on the steps at the State Capitol after a rally in support of President Donald Trump

MISSOURI: Armed men stand on the steps at the State Capitol after a rally in support of President Donald Trump

ATLANTA: The crowd consisted of around 25 people, some of whom were carrying assault rifles

ATLANTA: The crowd consisted of around 25 people, some of whom were carrying assault rifles

LA: Christian Angelo Hill, 19, a Black Lives Matter supporter, reacts after being sprayed with an unknown substance during a rally held by U.S. President Donald Trump supporters

LA: Christian Angelo Hill, 19, a Black Lives Matter supporter, reacts after being sprayed with an unknown substance during a rally held by U.S. President Donald Trump supporters

OREGON: Protesters hold a rally in support of U.S. President Donald Trump at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem

OREGON: Protesters hold a rally in support of U.S. President Donald Trump at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem

TEXAS: Jack Finger, of San Antonio, protests the election with supporters of President Donald Trump Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Austin

TEXAS: Jack Finger, of San Antonio, protests the election with supporters of President Donald Trump Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Austin

ATLANTA: Georgia Capitol Police escorted Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger (above) and his staff out of the building shortly before 3pm

ATLANTA: Georgia Capitol Police escorted Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger (above) and his staff out of the building shortly before 3pm

‘I won’t betray my oath’: Pence publicly defies Trump’s demand to block Biden’s confirmation 

Trump told thousands of supporters just outside the White House that he wanted Pence to ‘come through’ for us and demanded that he reject electoral votes out of hand over that the president claims is ‘fraud.’

He threatened Pence saying ‘I’m not hearing good stories’ and telling him to have ‘courage’ to strike down swing states’ votes – a move which would defy the constitution.

But minutes before arriving on Capitol Hill to preside over the joint session of Congress to certify the election’s outcome, Pence bluntly told lawmakers that he would refuse to obey Trump’s orders.

Pence sent a letter to the 535 senators and representatives on Capitol Hill ahead of his presiding over the Joint Session that will certify Joe Biden’s victory.

In it, he outlined his belief in his role in the proceedings, which he notes is ‘ceremonial’ and adds that it doesn’t include the authority to ‘determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not.’

Trump has tried to put the blame on Pence for his expected loss on Wednesday but the president also lacks support among the majority of senators in his own party, which dooms his efforts for a congressional overthrow of the results. 

Pence acknowledged Trump’s allegations the election was rigged, of which there has been no proof and no court has upheld, in a likely peace offering to the president.

‘I share the concerns of millions of Americans about the integrity of this election,’ he wrote. 

Images emerged shortly before of hundreds of protesters descending on the steps of the Capitol after rallying near the White House for President Donald Trump

Images emerged shortly before of hundreds of protesters descending on the steps of the Capitol after rallying near the White House for President Donald Trump

A Capitol Police officer urged lawmakers to leave the building after top leaders were escorted out

A Capitol Police officer urged lawmakers to leave the building after top leaders were escorted out

Pence acknowledged Trump's allegations the election was rigged, which there has been no proof and no court has upheld, in a likely peace offering to the president

Pence acknowledged Trump’s allegations the election was rigged, which there has been no proof and no court has upheld, in a likely peace offering to the president

Members of the far-right group Proud Boys make 'OK' hand gestures indicating "white power" during the chaos

Members of the far-right group Proud Boys make ‘OK’ hand gestures indicating ‘white power’ during the chaos

Leigh Ann Luck dressed up as Statue of Liberty shouts as supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump protest

Leigh Ann Luck dressed up as Statue of Liberty shouts as supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump protest 

Tear gas was being used by Capitol Police as protesters filled both the House and Senate side of the Capitol

Tear gas was being used by Capitol Police as protesters filled both the House and Senate side of the Capitol

Capitol Police spray tear gas at Trump supporters as they try to break through a police barrier

Capitol Police spray tear gas at Trump supporters as they try to break through a police barrier 

In a letter Wednesday, Pence said, 'It is my considered judgment that my oath to support and defend the Constitution contains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not'

In a letter Wednesday, Pence said, ‘It is my considered judgment that my oath to support and defend the Constitution contains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not’

But he noted as vice president he does not have the power from the constitution to decide which electoral votes are counted and which are not.

‘As a student of history who loves the constitution and reveres its Framers, I do not believe that the Founds of our country intended to invest the vice president with unilateral authority to decide which electoral votes should be counted during the Joint Session of Congress and no Vice President in American history has ever asserted such authority,’ Pence noted.

He added vice presidents in the past have conducted ‘the proceedings in an orderly manner even where the count resulted in the defeat of their party or their own candidacy’.

‘It is my considered judgement that my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not,’ he said.

He concluded his letter with a prayer to God: ‘When the Joint Session of Congress convenes today, I will do my duty to see to it that we open the certificates of electors of the several states, we hear objections raised by Senators and Representatives, and we count the votes of the Electoral College for President and Vice President in a manner consistent with our Constitution, laws and history. So Help Me God.’  

Pelosi reminded lawmakers that only 11 members from each party were allowed on the House floor at a time due to social distancing. She called out Republicans for having too many lawmakers on the floor

Pelosi reminded lawmakers that only 11 members from each party were allowed on the House floor at a time due to social distancing. She called out Republicans for having too many lawmakers on the floor

'The law says voter registration ends on October 5. Democrats said we don't care what the law says they went to a court got an Obama appointed judge to extend in 18 days,' Republican Congressman Jim Jordan, a top Trump ally on Capitol Hill, complained of Arizona

‘The law says voter registration ends on October 5. Democrats said we don’t care what the law says they went to a court got an Obama appointed judge to extend in 18 days,’ Republican Congressman Jim Jordan, a top Trump ally on Capitol Hill, complained of Arizona

Speaker Nancy Pelosi presided over the debate. She sanitized the gavel before she used it. Pence had used it when he presided over the Joint Session

Speaker Nancy Pelosi presided over the debate. She sanitized the gavel before she used it. Pence had used it when he presided over the Joint Session

REPUBLICANS OBJECT TO ARIZONA’S VOTES 

When the certification process got underway shortly after 1pm Wednesday, lawmakers got through Alabama and Alaska, two states that went for Trump, before the first objection was filed for Arizona.

Rep. Paul Gosar, an Arizona Republican, objected to his state’s Electoral College votes going to Biden and Harris. He confirmed that his objection had been signed on to by a US senator.

Democrats in the chamber audibly groaned while droves of Republicans in the chamber stood up and clapped.

The move forced Pence to order the houses out of Joint Session. The senators in the House chamber started moving back toward their side of the US Capitol. 

On the House side, during their debate on the Arizona objection, Republican lawmakers used their time to complain about the treatment of the president, particularly the impeachment process and special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

They did not offer any proof of voter fraud but complained that voter laws were changed ahead of the November contest, which is not illegal.

‘The law says voter registration ends on October 5. Democrats said we don’t care what the law says they went to a court got an Obama appointed judge to extend in 18 days,’ Republican Congressman Jim Jordan, a top Trump ally on Capitol Hill, complained of Arizona.

Many states had their voter registration deadlines extended because of the coronavirus pandemic – the extension applied to voters of both parties. Other states extended the time period allowing mail-in voting, again because of the pandemic and it applied to all voters.

Democrats argued the election was legally conducted.

‘Under some of the most trying circumstances in our history, our fellow citizens conducted a free and fair election vindicating our founders belief once again that we were capable of self government, and a peaceful transition of power,’ Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff said.

Speaker Pelosi presided over the debate. She sanitized the gavel before she used it. Pence had used it when he presided over the Joint Session.

Pelosi also reminded lawmakers that only 11 members from each party were allowed on the House floor at a time due to social distancing. She called out Republicans for having too many lawmakers on the floor.

MITCH MCCONNELL SLAMS ELECTION ‘CONSPIRACY THEORIES’

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shamed Trump and his own Republican colleagues for mounting challenges to the Electoral College vote count, saying their doing so could lead to a ‘death spiral’ of American democracy – and pointing out there’s no real evidence of widespread voter fraud.

‘We’re debating a step that has never been taken in American history, whether Congress should overrule the voters and overturn a presidential election,’ he said on the Senate floor, after Rep Gosar and a batch of GOP senators, including Sen Ted Cruz, objected to Arizona’s Electoral College vote count.

McConnell ridiculed Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud in a five-minute speech, which will be one of his last as majority leader, and which he said was about the most important vote of his career.

‘The assertions range from specific, local allegations to Constitutional arguments to sweeping conspiracy theories,’ McConnell said.

He reminded senators that he was supportive of Trump using the country’s legal system, which handed the president and his team loss after loss. And pointed out that these cases were heard by some of the ‘all-star judges whom the president himself nominated’ – including on the U.S. Supreme Court.

McConnell said that every election is plagued by some instances of vote irregularity. ‘And of course that’s unacceptable,’ he said.

McConnell ridiculed President Donald Trump's claims of widespread voter fraud in a five-minute speech which will be one of his last as majority leader ¿ and which he said was about the most important vote of his career

McConnell ridiculed President Donald Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud in a five-minute speech which will be one of his last as majority leader – and which he said was about the most important vote of his career

The top Senate Republican also said he supported ‘strong state-led voting reforms,’ adding that he didn’t wan tto see ‘last year’s bizarre pandemic procedures’ – like mail-in ballots that gave Democrats an edge – ‘become the new norm.’

‘But my colleagues nothing before us proves illegality anywhere near the massive scale, the massive scale that would have tipped the entire election,’ McConnell argued. ‘Nor can public doubt alone justify a radical break, when the doubt itself was incited without any evidence.’

He pointed out that the Constitution gives Congress a ‘limited role.’

‘We simply can’t declare ourselves a national board of elections on steroids,’ McConnell said.

Twisting the knife into Trump, McConnell also pointed out that the race between Biden and Trump ‘was not unusually close.’

‘The Electoral College margin was almost identical to what it was in 2016,’ McConnell pointed out.

‘If this election were overturned by mere allegations from the losing side our democracy would enter a death spiral,’ McConnell warned. ‘We’d never see a whole nation accept an election again.’

‘Every four years there would be a scramble for power at any cost,’ he added. 

TRUMP’S STOP THE STEAL RALLY 

This came after Trump excoriated ‘weak’ Republicans and demanded fealty from Pence to a rally crowd near the White House on Wednesday, where he demanded Pence and Congress overturn the election results that lead to his defeat.

In an extraordinary speech, Trump once again called his election ‘rigged’ just minutes before a joint meeting of Congress was to begin counting the certified electoral votes that have him losing to Joe Biden. 

Trump referred to votes that came in after 10pm election night – which consisted of in-person and mail-in ballots and denied him the lead he said he and his pollsters anticipated – as ‘these explosions of bullsh*t.’ 

Members of the crowd immediately chanted ‘Bullshi*t!’ in response. 

‘Our election was over at 10 in the evening,’ Trump said.

Trump mocked his party’s 2012 Republican presidential nominee, now-Sen. Mitt Romney, for conceded his own race back then.

‘We will never concede. It doesn’t happen,’ he said – although losing candidates have conceded for generations. ‘There’s never been anything like this. It’s a pure theft.’ 

Trump’s comments amounted to a declaration of war on elements of his party, after his lawyer Rudy Giuliani demanded ‘trial by combat’ against opponents of his claims of election fraud.

Trump spoke to a crowd of several thousand – but referred to them as consisting of ‘hundreds of thousands’ of supporters fathered on a lawn south of the White House that doesn’t hold that many.

He said his election was ‘stolen by the fake news media. That’s what they’ve done and that’s what they’re doing.’

Trump addressed his thousands of his supporters near the White House Wednesday at his 'Save America' rally and declared war on his own party, calling Republicans who opposed him 'weak'

Trump addressed his thousands of his supporters near the White House Wednesday at his ‘Save America’ rally and declared war on his own party, calling Republicans who opposed him ‘weak’

Hours after a humiliating defeat in one Georgia Senate race and the prospect of losing another, Team Trump showed no sign of conceding

Hours after a humiliating defeat in one Georgia Senate race and the prospect of losing another, Team Trump showed no sign of conceding

A stand was being erected at the base of the US Capitol as a pro-Trump supporter holds a flag, hours before Congress meets to certify the electoral college vote for Biden

A crowd of Trump supporters started gathering outside of the White House for a rally on Wednesday

A crowd of Trump supporters started gathering outside of the White House for a rally on Wednesday

He urged his supporters to march down to the Congress, which was to commence the count at 1 pm.

‘We’re going to walk down to the Capitol and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women,’ he said, speaking from behind a pane of bullet-proof material.

He turned up the heat on Pence, a potential 2024 contender who will preside over the count. His role is set in the Constitution and the Electoral Count Act, and is largely ceremonial.

‘Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us, and if he doesn’t that will be a sad day for our country because you’re sworn to uphold our Constitution,’ he said.

Trump acknowledged that he has tried to pressure Pence into rejecting votes from states he lost, quoting from a conversation he has denied happened.

‘All Vice President Pence has to do is send it back to the states to re-certify and we become president and you are the happiest people,’ he told his fans, who cheered ‘Stop the Steal!’ at times.

‘I said Mike, that doesn’t take courage. What takes courage is to do nothing. That takes courage. And then we’re stuck with a president who lost the election by a lot and we have to live with that,’ he said of Biden.

Categories
Sports UK

Premier League playing style changing as season demands take their toll

This current Premier League campaign is close to approaching its halfway point, and it’s shaping up to be one of the most competitive in years.

This point is captured by the fact that just 10 points separate first-placed Liverpool with Leeds United down in 12th.

As things stand, Jurgen Klopp’s men have 33 points, which is 16 fewer than what they had accumulated after the same number of matches of last season, and 12 less than in the 2018/19 season prior.

This notable drop in points by the champions, added with the fact that no top team has been able to take advantage and leapfrog them in the table does bring to prominence the unpredictable nature of the season so far.

Numerous theories have been formulated trying to explain the enigma behind the erratic nature of this season, with things such as a lack of supporters and the ongoing Covid pandemic all undoubtedly being a factor.

Liverpool have pressed far less so far this season.

However, there does seem to be growing evidence of fatigue throughout most sides in the division, caused by a lack of a proper pre-season and a congested fixture schedule. This is impacting the performance capabilities of a lot of the sides in the division, therefore opening the door for more unpredictable fixtures and results.

This point is captured by looking at the changes in the division’s passes allowed per defensive action (PPDA) average this season when compared to previous campaigns.

The top 60% of the pitch where PPDA measurement is effective
The top 60% of the pitch where PPDA measurement is effective

PPDA is a metric to quantify high press intensity, by calculating the number of passes an opposition is allowed to make in the final 60% of the pitch and dividing it by the number of defensive actions attempted by the team looking to win the ball back. The lower the number, the more aggressive and better a team’s high pressing is.

The Premier League’s PPDA average this season is 14.15. However, last season that average was notably lower at 12.42, whilst in the campaign before that it was 11.89. In fact, the league’s PPDA average is at it’s highest for at least five years, with the data not publicly available for the seasons before then.

The changes in each team’s PPDA average in this season, compared to the last, is illustrated below.

The difference in PPDA averages for each time in comparison to last season
The difference in PPDA averages for each time in comparison to last season

Notably, only Aston Villa, who’ve played just 15 league matches so far, are noticeably pressing more aggressively higher up the pitch, with an increase of 19 per cent on their PPDA average from last season.

Strikingly, it’s most teams juggling the demands of both domestic and Europen fixtures that seem to be feeling the strain most. Klopp’s Liverpool, known for their high pressing capabilities, have dropped off by 6 per cent in comparison to last season, whilst Chelsea and Manchester United have both fallen by 11 per cent.

Additionally, each of Manchester City, Leicester City, Tottenham, Everton and Wolves have seen their PPDA averages drop by 20+ per cent.

The biggest changes in pressing aggression have come from each of the newly promoted sides, however, this is to be expected given that they’ve transitioned from the Championship to the Premier League.

Furthermore, Leeds, who are considered one of the most hard-working sides in the division under Marcelo Bielsa, currently have a PPDA average of just 9.46 which still ranks as the most aggressive in the league.

Overall though, the above highlights what toll the current campaign and all of its challenges are taking on the teams in the league. It also goes some way to explaining why we’re seeing such unusual results and an unrecognisable league table at this stage of the season.

Categories
Headline USA Politics

Joe Biden demands Donald Trump go on TV to order his ‘extremist mob’ out of the Capitol NOW

Joe Biden calls Trump mob storming Congress ‘an insurrection’ and blames Donald Trump for ‘stoking the flames of hate and chaos’ in address to the nation just before president tells supporters ‘we love you, go home now’

  • President-elect Joe Biden told President Donald Trump to order his ‘extremist mob’ out of the U.S. Capitol, labeling the attack an ‘insurrection’
  • ‘I call on President Trump to go on national television to fulfill his oath and defend the Constitution and demand an end to this siege,’ Biden said 
  • The president-elect labeled the rioters ‘exttremists’ and said they were ‘dedicated to lawlessness’ 
  • After he concluded, Trump put out a video again falsely claiming the election was ‘stolen from us’ 
  • He then asked his supporters to ‘go home now’ while also offering, ‘we love you, you’re very special’ 
  • As Congress was meeting in joint session Wednesday to certify the Electoral College results,  Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol 
  • Since then, chaos has ensued, with reports of one woman shot and police officers injured 
  • ‘I am generally shocked and saddened,’ said Biden, who started his own political career as a U.S. senator  

President-elect Joe Biden told President Donald Trump to order his ‘extremist mob’ out of the U.S. Capitol, calling the attack an ‘insurrection’ and blaming the president for ‘stoking the flames of hate and chaos.’

‘I call on President Trump to go on national television to fulfill his oath and defend the Constitution and demand an end to this siege,’ Biden said Wednesday from Wilmington, Delaware. 

The president-elect labeled the group ‘extremists’ and said they were ‘dedicated to lawlessness.’ 

Trump released a video message after Biden had concluded, telling the rioters to ‘go home now’ as he fawned on them, ‘We love you, you’re very special.’ 

‘We had an election that was stolen from us,’ Trump also falsely continued to claim.   

President-elect Joe Biden called on President Donald Trump to go on television to call off his ‘extremist mob’ that stormed Capitol Hill as lawmakers were trying to certify the Electoral College results 

Biden called Trump supporters storming the Capitol an ‘unprecedented assault’ on democracy. 

‘Like anything we’ve seen in modern times,’ Biden uttered.  

‘This is not dissent, this is disorder,’ Biden said. 

Biden remarked that he’s often said that the ‘words of a president matter.’ 

‘You’ve heard me say this before, in a different context.’ 

‘At their worst they can incite,’ Biden said.  

He then called on Trump to make a televised statement – a step the president has refused to take. 

The president has instead watched the violent outbursts from the Oval Office after telling his supporters that Vice President Mike Pence and Reublican lawmakers had the power to overturn the results of the election. 

Those statements aren’t true. 

Biden, who started his political career as a U.S. senator, remarked that he couldn’t believe what he was seeing as rioters smashed windows, occupied Congressional offices and got to both the House and Senate floor. 

‘It’s not a protest, it’s an insurrection,’ the soon-to-be president said. ‘I am generally shocked and saddened,’ Biden added, calling it an especially ‘dark moment.’  

He said once he took office in two weeks, he would work on a ‘restoration of democracy,’ to help the U.S build back from this moment. 

‘So President Trump, step up, Biden said, before leaving the stage and answering no questions.  

Categories
Headline USA Politics

South Korea demands release of Gulf tanker seized by Iran

South Korea has demanded the release of a tanker that was seized by Iran on Monday in the latest Gulf stand-off pitting Tehran against America and its allies.

Seoul said it had dispatched an anti-piracy unit to the sensitive waters near the Strait of Hormuz after the Korean-flagged Hankuk Chemi and its crew of 20 were captured by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

Iran said the ship was seized for ‘repeated infringement of maritime environmental laws’, but it comes amid Iranian demands for South Korea to release $7billion in assets that were frozen because of US sanctions. 

The head of Iran’s central bank said recently that Tehran wanted to use funds tied up in a South Korean bank to buy coronavirus vaccines for its 83million population. 

But an Iranian government spokesman today rejected claims that the seizure amounted to hostage-taking, claiming it was South Korea that was holding $7billion ‘hostage’. 

‘We’ve become used to such allegations… but if there is any hostage-taking, it is Korea’s government that is holding $7 billion which belongs to us hostage on baseless grounds,’ spokesman Ali Rabiei told reporters. 

The US last night called the seizure ‘part of a clear attempt to extort the international community’ and joined South Korea’s demand for the tanker to be released.   

It comes amid high tensions in the Middle East one year on from the US drone strike that killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, leaving the foes on the brink of war.  

Under escort: The South Korean-flagged tanker Hankuk Chemi is escorted by Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps boats in the Gulf on Monday 

View from the bridge: A Revolutionary Guards boat, circled right, is seen in CCTV footage taken from the Hankuk Chemi, as watched from South Korea by owner DM Shipping

View from the bridge: A Revolutionary Guards boat, circled right, is seen in CCTV footage taken from the Hankuk Chemi, as watched from South Korea by owner DM Shipping 

The US has already reversed a decision to bring the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz home from the Gulf, blaming ‘recent threats’ emanating from Iran. 

To add to the tensions, Iran said on Monday it had started the process to enrich uranium to 20 per cent purity, a short technical step away from the weapons-grade level of 90 per cent. 

Iran is hoping that Joe Biden will ease sanctions on Iran after he takes office on January 20, but there are fears that tensions could still boil over before then. 

Vipin Narang, an expert on nuclear strategy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, warned that Donald Trump was sending signals of ‘total chaos’. 

‘If I were Iran right now, I would actually be thinking that it’s possible that Trump is so unhinged and so angry about the election that he may overreact to any slight provocation,’ Narang said. 

Trump had warned that he would hold Iran accountable for the killings of any Americans after the US embassy in Baghdad was hit by rockets a week ago.

But Sunday’s anniversary of the Soleimani drone strike passed without violence, despite angry demonstrations and Tehran’s calls for vengeance. 

The seizure of the South Korean vessel came days before Seoul’s deputy foreign minister was due to visit the Islamic republic. 

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said the ship carrying 7,200 tonnes of chemical products was manned by a crew from South Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam and Myanmar. 

The tanker was seized near the sensitive Strait of Hormuz (as shown on the map), as Iran announced that it was resuming uranium enrichment to 20 per cent

The tanker was seized near the sensitive Strait of Hormuz (as shown on the map), as Iran announced that it was resuming uranium enrichment to 20 per cent 

Iran claimed that the Hankuk Chemi (pictured) was seized for 'repeated infringement of maritime environmental laws'

Iran claimed that the Hankuk Chemi (pictured) was seized for ‘repeated infringement of maritime environmental laws’

The Guards did not specify where the tanker was seized but said it was transferred to Bandar Abbas port in Hormozgan with the ‘case handed to judicial authorities’. 

Pictures released by the Guards appeared to show three speedboats and a patrol boat approaching the tanker.  

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh claimed that the tanker’s seizure was over a ‘purely technical issue and due to polluting the sea’.

‘Just like other countries, Iran is sensitive towards such infractions, especially polluting the maritime environment,’ he said. 

But the tanker’s operator DM Shipping denied that the vessel had polluted waters, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported.   

Shortly before news of the ship’s seizure, Khatibzadeh had complained at a press conference about the ‘slow’ process of unfreezing funds from Iranian oil sales, blocked by Seoul over fears of violating US sanctions.

Trump re-imposed tough sanctions on Iran after abandoning the nuclear deal that Barack Obama had struck with Tehran and other world powers in 2015. 

Last night the foreign ministry in Seoul said it had confirmed the safety of the crew and was now demanding that the vessel be released. 

The country’s defence ministry said it had dispatched its anti-piracy Cheonghae unit to waters near the Strait of Hormuz. 

The latest tensions in the Gulf come after the January 3 anniversary of the US drone strike that killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani (pictured, demonstrators in Baghdad where he died)

The latest tensions in the Gulf come after the January 3 anniversary of the US drone strike that killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani (pictured, demonstrators in Baghdad where he died)

In Washington, a State Department spokesperson called the seizure of the ship ‘part of a clear attempt to extort the international community into relieving the pressure of sanctions’.

‘We join the Republic of Korea’s call for Iran to immediately release the tanker,’ said the spokesperson. 

The incident was the first seizure of a major vessel by the Iranian navy in more than a year.

In July 2019, the Guards seized the British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero in the sensitive Strait of Hormuz for allegedly ramming a fishing boat and released it two months later.

It was widely seen as a tit-for-tat move after Gibraltar detained an Iranian tanker which was suspected of violating EU sanctions against Syria.  

Tehran denied the two cases were related.

The Guards seized at least six other ships in 2019 over alleged fuel smuggling, while other tankers were hit by mysterious explosions that were blamed on Iran.  

The US said it had found fragments of a limpet mine on one vessel attacked in the Gulf of Oman which were ‘strikingly’ similar to those seen in Iranian military parades. 

Last week, sailors discovered a limpet mine stuck on a tanker off the coast of Iraq, near the Iranian border, as it prepared to transfer fuel to another vessel. 

The incidents have raised fears over the safety of oil supplies in the Strait of Hormuz – a chokepoint through which a fifth of world oil output passes. 

Timeline: Flashpoints in Gulf waters amid tensions between US and Iran 

May 5, 2019: The US says it is sending the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier group and a bomber task force to the Middle East amid ‘troubling and escalatory indications and warnings’ coming from Iran. 

Washington also sends an amphibious assault ship, a Patriot missile battery and 1,500 troops.  

May 12, 2019: Two Saudi oil tankers and two other ships are damaged in mysterious ‘sabotage attacks’ off the coast of the UAE, days after Donald Trump announced new sanctions against Iran. 

Two days later, pro-Iran rebels carry out drone attacks that shut down a key Saudi oil pipeline.  

May 29, 2019: Trump’s then-national security adviser John Bolton says the sabotage attacks were caused by naval mines ‘almost certainly from Iran’. 

A UAE investigation later says an unidentified state was likely behind the attacks, stopping short of directly blaming Iran.  

June 13, 2019: Two more tankers, Norwegian and Japanese, come under attack in the Gulf of Oman. 

The US military accuses Iran’s Revolutionary Guards of targeting the ships with limpet mines. Tehran denies this. 

July 4, 2019: The Iranian tanker Grace 1 is seized off Gibraltar for allegedly taking oil to Syria in defiance of EU sanctions. Iran claims that Washington ordered Britain to seize the vessel. 

July 19, 2019: Iran seizes a British-flagged tanker, the Stena Impero, in what is widely seen as retaliation for the Gibraltar incident – although Iran claims it was due to maritime technicalities. Britain later beefs up its naval presence in the region. 

January 4, 2020: Two British warships are ordered to escort UK-flagged ships through the Strait of Hormuz amid high tensions following the US drone strike that killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. 

April 23, 2020: Revolutionary Guards chief Hossein Salami says he has ordered Tehran’s naval forces to destroy any US warships that threaten the ‘security’ of Iranian vessels, after Trump said he had told the US Navy to fire on any Iranian ships that harass it at sea. 

January 4, 2021: Iran seizes a South Korean-flagged tanker in the Gulf, the first such seizure in more than a year. 

It comes amid Iranian pressure on Seoul to release $7billion in Iranian oil funds that are frozen because of US sanctions.   

Categories
Headline USA Politics

Senator Bernie Sanders says he AGREES with Trump’s demands to increase stimulus checks to $2,000

Bernie Sanders has voiced his support for President Trump’s demands to increase COVID-19 stimulus checks to $2,000, as he revealed there are ‘at least five’ Republican Senators that also back the measure.

The Democratic Senator weighed in on the long-awaited relief bill on Tuesday, hours after Trump lashed out at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for blocking Democrats’ efforts to quickly pass the relief check legislation.

Sanders, who unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination in the presidential race earlier this year, admitted he was on Trump’s side when it came to distributing the highly-anticipated checks. 

‘As somebody who disagrees with Trump on everything, I’ve got to say he’s right on the need for this $2,000 check and I hope the Republican leadership listens to him,’ Sanders told CNN’s Jim Acosta.  

Senator Bernie Sanders on Tuesday said he agreed with Trump on ‘the need’ for $2,000 stimulus checks

Sanders told CNN there are 'at least five' Republican Senators that also back the $2,000 stimulus checks

Sanders told CNN there are ‘at least five’ Republican Senators that also back the $2,000 stimulus checks

Sanders earlier threatened to hold the Senate through New Year’s Day if a vote is not held on the measure to send out increased payments. With his objection he put a hold on vote to override the veto of the defense bill. 

The 79-year-old called on McConnell to bring the vote to the Senate floor soon and expressed confidence that the measure could pass as a bipartisan effort. 

‘There are at least five Republicans that have indicated support for a $2,000 check, others are indicating that they will be interested in doing it,’ Sanders added. ‘So I think there is a shot that we can win this thing.’ 

It comes after McConnell filed a bill that couples the $2,000 stimulus checks with the full repeal of section 230 and a probe of election fraud – all items desired by President Donald Trump but, together in one legislative package. 

Trump last week had suggested he would veto the $900billion relief package passed by Congress last Monday unless checks are tripled from $600 to $2,000 – a move widely supported by Democrats and some Republicans. 

However, McConnell’s new combination bill – which includes the higher payments – is being seen as a ‘poison pill’ that is doomed for failure and will subsequently continue to hold off on providing financial relief to Americans. 

Despite supporting Trump’s plans to increase the checks, Sanders made clear he opposed the decision to include the two other provisions added to the bill – both of which were desired by the president – arguing that those issues were not a priority. 

‘We can separate those issues. Do we want to take a look at Section 230? It’s an important issue. Yeah we should, there’s a way to do that. Not now,’ Sanders said. 

‘There are issues there [with voter suppression] we can discuss it. But right now, the issue on everybody’s mind is how do I survive? How do I feed my kids? How do I not get evicted?

‘So what we have got to do is just demand that McConnell bring forth a clean House bill.’ 

Followed by a staffer, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., right, leaves the Capitol for the day, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Followed by a staffer, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., right, leaves the Capitol for the day, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Senator Bernie Sanders threatened to filibuster another vote to override Trump's veto of the widely-supported National Defense Authorization Act in protest of McConnell not taking up a vote on the checks – the move would hold the Senate in session until New Year's Day

Senator Bernie Sanders threatened to filibuster another vote to override Trump’s veto of the widely-supported National Defense Authorization Act in protest of McConnell not taking up a vote on the checks – the move would hold the Senate in session until New Year’s Day

'Unless Republicans have a death wish... they must approve the $2000 payments ASAP,' Trump tweeted, adding: '$600 IS NOT ENOUGH!'

‘Unless Republicans have a death wish… they must approve the $2000 payments ASAP,’ Trump tweeted, adding: ‘$600 IS NOT ENOUGH!’

Sanders said he couldn’t guarantee Democrats will win the vote, but expressed they had a ‘damn good shot’ at winning once its brought to the Senate floor. 

‘What must happen now in the Senate, what I’m fighting for, is to make sure that clean bill – the bill that was passed in the House – comes to the Senate. And frankly between you and me, I think we have the votes to pass it. That’s what the American people want,’ Sanders added. 

Trump earlier slammed Republicans for blocking the effort, claiming they had a ‘death wish’ for opposing the measure. 

‘Unless Republicans have a death wish, and it is also the right thing to do, they must approve the $2000 payments ASAP. $600 IS NOT ENOUGH!’ the president warned on Twitter Tuesday afternoon. 

Trump lashed out at the Senate Republican Leader on Tuesday for blocking Democrats’ efforts to quickly pass the $2,000 relief check legislation, claiming Republicans in Congress have a ‘death wish’ for opposing the measure.

‘Unless Republicans have a death wish, and it is also the right thing to do, they must approve the $2000 payments ASAP. $600 IS NOT ENOUGH!’ the president warned on Twitter Tuesday afternoon.

He also said the GOP has to stop Democrats from ‘stealing’ the election and demanded, as part of his continued objection to the National Defense Authorization Act, that Congress act to toss out legal liability protections for ‘big tech.’

President Donald Trump lashed out at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday for blocking Democrats' request to quickly pass a bill increasing direct checks for Americans from $600 to $2,000

President Donald Trump lashed out at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday for blocking Democrats’ request to quickly pass a bill increasing direct checks for Americans from $600 to $2,000

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer requested unanimous consent Tuesday on the payment increase measure, which was overwhelmingly passed in the House Monday evening

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer requested unanimous consent Tuesday on the payment increase measure, which was overwhelmingly passed in the House Monday evening

‘Also, get rid of Section 230 – Don’t let Big Tech steal our Country, and don’t let the Democrats steal the Presidential Election. Get tough!’ Trump tweeted to Republicans.

McConnell stopped Schumer’s request Tuesday for unanimous consent to quickly pass sending $2,000 stimulus checks to Americans rather than the $600 already included in the recently-signed coronavirus relief bill.

Sanders threatened to hold the Senate through New Year’s Day if a vote is not held on the measure to send out increased payments. With his objection he put a hold on vote to override the veto of the defense bill.  

The showdown over the $2,000 checks has thrown Congress into a chaotic year-end session just days before new lawmakers are set to be sworn into office for the new year. 

It’s preventing action on another priority – overturning Trump’s veto on a sweeping defense bill that has been approved every year for 60 years.

Saying little, McConnell signaled an alternative approach to Trump’s checks that may not divide his party so badly, but may result in no action at all.

The GOP leader filed new legislation late Tuesday linking the president’s demand for bigger checks with two other Trump priorities – repealing protections for tech companies like Facebook or Twitter that the president complained are unfair to conservatives as well the establishment of a bipartisan commission to review the 2020 presidential election he lost to President-elect Joe Biden.

‘The Senate will begin a process,’ the GOP leader said. He said little more, only that he would bring the president’s demand for the $2,000 checks and other remaining issues ‘into focus.’

The president’s last-minute push for bigger checks leaves Republicans deeply split between those who align with Trump’s populist instincts and those who adhere to what had been more traditional conservative views against government spending. 

Congress had settled on smaller $600 payments in a compromise over the big, year-end relief bill Trump reluctantly signed into law.

Liberal senators led by Sanders who support the relief aid are blocking action on the defense bill until a vote can be taken on Trump’s demand for $2,000 for most Americans.

‘The working class of this country today faces more economic desperation than at any time since the Great Depression of the 1930s,’ Sanders said as he also tried to force a vote on the relief checks. ‘Working families need help now.’ But McConnell objected a second time.

The GOP blockade is causing turmoil for some as the virus crisis worsens nationwide and Trump amplifies his unexpected demands. 

Categories
Headline USA New York

Attorney for black Grammy winning musician demands Manhattan DA prosecute ‘SoHo Karen’

The attorney for the African American jazz musician whose son was tackled by the ‘SoHo Karen’ in a hotel lobby because she wrongly thought he stole her cell phone is demanding that Manhattan prosecutors charge her with assault.

Benjamin Crump, the civil rights attorney who has represented among others the family of George Floyd, called on Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr to charge the woman shown in the viral video posted by Keyon Harrold.

‘She falsely accused this young man in front of his father and assaulted and battered him,’ Crump told ABC News on Monday.

‘We are demanding that the Manhattan district attorney, Cy Vance Jr, charge this “Karen” for assaulting and battering both Keyon and his 14-year-old son.’

'SoHo Karen'

Benjamin Crump (left), the civil rights attorney, is demanding that Manhattan prosecutors bring assault and battery charges against the woman (right) filmed lunging and tackling a 14-year-old African American teen whom she falsely accused of stealing her cell phone

The boy is the son of Grammy Award-winning jazz musician Keyon Harrold (above), who filmed the incident on his cell phone and posted it on social media over the weekend

The boy is the son of Grammy Award-winning jazz musician Keyon Harrold (above), who filmed the incident on his cell phone and posted it on social media over the weekend

Earlier on Monday, it was learned that the DA’s office and the New York Police Department were investigating the incident.

A spokesman for the DA told DailyMail.com: ‘Our office is thoroughly investigating this incident’. They declined to elaborate further. 

DailyMail.com has contacted NYPD for additional clarification. 

Hotel guests Keyon Harrold and his 14-year-old son were approached in the lobby of the boutique Arlo Hotel in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan on Saturday afternoon.

Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Harrold filmed the incident and then shared it to Instagram.

The footage shows the father and son being accosted by an unidentified young woman who claimed that Harrold’s teen boy had her cell phone.

A viral video was posted to social media showing a 'Karen' (left) falsely accusing a black teenager of stealing her iPhone

The woman demanded that the manager of the Arlo SoHo hotel (seen right) take the phone from the boy so she could make sure it wasn't hers

In the viral video, ‘Karen’ (left) falsely accuses Harrold’s son of stealing her iPhone. The woman demanded that the manager of the Arlo SoHo hotel (seen right) take the phone from the boy so she could make sure it wasn’t hers

Earlier on Monday, Crump took to Twitter and called for her to be criminally charged

Earlier on Monday, Crump took to Twitter and called for her to be criminally charged

The video shows one of the managers at the hotel asking Harrold’s son to see the phone, angering his father who accused the manager of taking the woman’s side.

When Harrold refused the woman’s demand to show her the phone, she lunged toward his son, prompting Harrold to protect him.

The woman’s phone was later returned to her by an Uber driver, proving that her claims it was stolen by the teen were false.

An outraged Crump told ABC News: ‘If the roles were reversed and Keyon tackled a teenage white child over a false accusation about a cell phone, there is no question he would be arrested.

‘So we can’t have this double standard in America.’

Crump accused the hotel of ‘implicit bias’ and hinted that a lawsuit could be forthcoming.

‘The fact that the hotel manager either condoned the racism at best or was participating in the racial profiling when he asked Keyon’s son for his phone so he can make sure it was his, that it was legitimate,’ the attorney said.

Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Harrold filmed the incident and shared it

Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Harrold filmed the incident and shared it

‘We are asking for a civil rights investigation into Arlo Hotels for their implicit bias that was demonstrated by their hotel management and their security.’

Harrold said that more than 48 hours after the incident, he is ‘still trying to make sense of it all.’

‘I was so thrown off that the hotel representative was basically siding with her to get my son to give her his phone and I just wouldn’t stand for it,’ the Grammy Award-winning musician said.

‘I’m still in shock,’ he said.

‘I’m still trying to believe that it happened.

‘It happened so quickly that it’s just unbelievable that someone would literally have the audacity to assume and wrongfully accuse my son, who’s 14 years old – we’ve never met this person before – that he somehow got access and stole her phone.’

Harrold said his son was so traumatized by the incident that he asked: ‘Why me, dad? Why would somebody choose me and think that I would steal anything from him?’

The video was posted on social media by Keyon Harrold, a professional jazz musician who has played with the likes of Common, Beyonce, Rihanna, Jay-Z, and Snoop Dogg. Harrold alleges that the woman in the video tackled his son while trying to get the phone. He is seen above performing in Texas in 2019

The video was posted on social media by Keyon Harrold, a professional jazz musician who has played with the likes of Common, Beyonce, Rihanna, Jay-Z, and Snoop Dogg. Harrold alleges that the woman in the video tackled his son while trying to get the phone. He is seen above performing in Texas in 2019

At one point in the video, the woman is seen lunging at the boy. Harrold says that she tackled his son and tried to search through his pockets

At one point in the video, the woman is seen lunging at the boy. Harrold says that she tackled his son and tried to search through his pockets

Cassandra Medina denied on her social media page that she is the woman in the video. Medina posted this image of her at the Harold's restaurant in the Arlo SoHo last week

Cassandra Medina denied on her social media page that she is the woman in the video. Medina posted this image of her at the Harold’s restaurant in the Arlo SoHo last week

‘He’s shaken up in a major way and, unfortunately, I’ve tried to protect him, his mom has tried [to protect him],’ Harrold said.

‘We’ve tried to keep him from different scenarios.’

Harrold added: ‘Nobody should be falsely suggested that they stole anything, definitely not you as a 14-year-old black boy.

‘You should exist anywhere you want to exist and be free to do that in this country.’

The boy’s mom Kat told TMZ Monday: ‘He asked my “why did she think that she could accuse me?” And when you have to sit down with your son and say “well son, it might be because you are black and it might be because she felt threatened and you didn’t fit into this nice hotel”. 

‘No one should ever have to deal with that. No one. No parent, but definitely no 14-year-old child.’

An Instagrammer last seen in a photograph on Instagram at the hotel six days ago has since posted a denial that she is the ‘Karen’ after being bombarded with abuse on social media accusing her of being the woman in the video. 

Cassandra Medina, a registered nurse from Staten Island, posted a message on her Instagram Sunday saying: ‘I’ve been tagged all morning in this video and this is not me.It’s not ok to be falsely accused on social media and I wouldn’t want that happening to anyone.’

She then addressed Harrold in her post, saying: ‘I hope you find truely (sic) who this person is because what she did is disgusting and this hotel should be held accountable.’ 

'The lady in this video assaulted my 14-year-old son and me as we came down from our room in the @arlohotels Arlo Soho to get breakfast,' Harrold wrote on his Instagram page

‘The lady in this video assaulted my 14-year-old son and me as we came down from our room in the @arlohotels Arlo Soho to get breakfast,’ Harrold wrote on his Instagram page

At one point in the video, the manager (right) is seen asking Harrold's son to show him the phone

At one point in the video, the manager (right) is seen asking Harrold’s son to show him the phone

Throughout the viral clip, the woman is seen and heard demanding that the manager take the boy's phone

The woman's claims that the boy stole the phone were proven false after an Uber driver later dropped off her actual phone at the hotel

Throughout the viral clip, the woman is seen and heard demanding that the manager take the boy’s phone. The woman’s claims that the boy stole the phone were proven false after an Uber driver later dropped off her actual phone at the hotel

Her account, which has 1,792 followers, shows pictures of her at the Arlo in SoHo and NoMad. 

The one-minute-long clip starts showing the woman and the hotel manager in the lobby with Harrold recording on his cell phone. 

‘This is my phone,’ Harrold’s son, who is not seen in the footage, is heard telling the woman and the manager.

‘You don’t have to explain nothing to her,’ Harrold tells his son.

The woman then points to the phone and tells the manager that the case is the same one that she has.

‘That’s mine,’ she tells the manager. She then tells the manager: ‘Get it back.’

Harrold responds to the woman, saying: ‘Are you kidding me? You feel like there’s only one iPhone made in the world?’

When the woman asks Harrold to see the phone, he replies: ‘No, get a life.’

Harrold then tells the woman that she should use the Find My app, which helps locate missing Apple devices.

The woman then tells Harrold that the Find My app can only be accessed through the phone.

The video then shows the manager approach Harrold’s son asking him to see the phone.

‘No, you can’t,’ Harrold tells the manager.

‘I’m the manager of the hotel,’ the manager tells Harrold, who replies: ‘I don’t care!’

During the exchange, the woman continues to encourage the manager to retrieve what she believes is her iPhone.

Harrold tries to plead his case, saying it wasn’t plausible that his son would have someone else’s phone since he just got to the lobby from the elevator.

‘Didn’t you see me just come downstairs out of the f***ing elevator?’ Harrold tells the manager.

The manager protests, saying: ‘I’m trying to help.’

The woman is seen being helped up onto her feet by a hotel employee after attempting to grab the phone from Harrold's son

The woman is seen being helped up onto her feet by a hotel employee after attempting to grab the phone from Harrold’s son

‘No, but you’re not helping,’ Harrold replies.

‘I am,’ the manager insists.

Harrold tells the manager that he was being ‘disrespectful.’

‘I’m trying to settle the situation,’ the manager says.

Harrold replies: ‘My son has nothing to do with her.’

The woman once again repeats her demand to see the phone, saying: ‘No, he’s not leaving. Show me the proof.’ 

Harrold refuses and begins to walk away from the lobby toward what appear to be the elevators.

‘You better get on,’ Harrold tells the woman.

The woman, who appears to be highly distressed, walks toward Harrold and his son, saying: ‘No, I’m not letting him walk away with my phone.’

While the video is not clear, the woman appears to lunge toward Harrold and his son.

In the next frame, she is seen on the ground as the manager helps her back to her feet.

‘No, please get my phone back,’ the woman begs the manager.

The video clip ends with the woman once again approaching Harrold in an attempt to get the phone. 

Harrold told The New York Times that the woman tackled his son and tried to look into his pockets before being physically separated from him.

Instagrammer Cassandra Medina, a nurse from Staten Island, has denied that she is the woman in the video

Instagrammer Cassandra Medina, a nurse from Staten Island, has denied that she is the woman in the video

Medina is seen above at the Arlo NoMad hotel in Midtown Manhattan. The above image was posted in late August

Medina is seen above at the Arlo NoMad hotel in Midtown Manhattan. The above image was posted in late August

Medina posted a message on her Instagram page which read: 'That person in the video is not me'

Medina posted a message on her Instagram page which read: ‘That person in the video is not me’

‘I’ve been tagged all morning in this video and this is not me,’ she wrote on her Instagram account on Sunday. ‘It’s not ok to be falsely accused on social media and I wouldn’t want that happening to anyone.

‘I’ve been tagged all morning in this video and this is not me,’ she wrote on her Instagram account on Sunday. ‘It’s not ok to be falsely accused on social media and I wouldn’t want that happening to anyone.

‘I hate I have to post this!!!’ Harrold wrote on his Instagram feed.

‘I am furious!!! We see this cr** happening all the time, but it hits different when it hits home!!! 

‘I typically try to keep things positive, but nothing about this video is positive.

‘The lady in this video assaulted my 14-year-old son and me as we came down from our room in the @arlohotels Arlo Soho to get breakfast.

‘This person quote on quote “lost” her iPhone, and apparently, my son magically acquired it, which [is] merely ridiculous.

‘This incident went on for five more minutes, me protecting my son from this lunatic. She scratched me; she Tackled and grabbed him. He is a child!!!

‘Now watch it again. This lady is not even a guest at the hotel. She checked out of the hotel on the 23rd of December; today is the 26th.

‘Now watch as the manager advocates for the lady who is not even a hotel guest, insisting and attempting to use his managerial authority to force my son to show his phone to this random lady.

‘He actually empowered her!!! He didn’t even consider the fact we were actually the guests!

‘Now think about the trauma that my son now has to carry, only coming downstairs to have box day brunch with his dad.

‘Then… her phone was magically returned by an Uber driver a few minutes after this incident. No apology from her after this traumatic situation to my son, not me.

‘No apologies from the establishment.

‘This s*** happens so often. It needs to stop!!! If anyone recognizes this person, please tag or DM.’

Harrold told the Times that the incident left him ‘shellshocked.’

‘I wonder what would happen if it were different, if it were a black woman and there was a white 14-year-old,’ he said.  

The Arlo SoHo hotel in New York City is seen in the above file photo

The Arlo SoHo hotel in New York City is seen in the above file photo

Arlo Hotels released a statement on Sunday which read: ‘We’re deeply disheartened about the recent incident of baseless accusation, prejudice, and assault against an innocent guest of Arlo Hotel'

Arlo Hotels released a statement on Sunday which read: ‘We’re deeply disheartened about the recent incident of baseless accusation, prejudice, and assault against an innocent guest of Arlo Hotel’

Arlo Hotels released a statement on Sunday which read: ‘We’re deeply disheartened about the recent incident of baseless accusation, prejudice, and assault against an innocent guest of Arlo Hotel.

‘In investigating the incident further, we’ve learned that the manager on duty promptly called the police regarding the woman’s conduct and that hotel security intervened to prevent further violence; still, more could have been done to deescalate the dispute.

‘No Arlo guest – or any person – should be subject to this kind of behavior.

‘We want to apologize to Mr. Harrold and his son for this inexcusable experience, and have reached out to them directly to express our sincere regret and to offer help in dealing with this traumatic event.

‘We are committed to making sure this never happens again at any of our hotels.’

DailyMail.com has reached out to the hotel for comment.

Arlo SoHo is one of three boutique hotels operated by Arlo Hotels. The other two locations are in the NoMad section of Manhattan and the Arlo Nautilus on Miami Beach.

On social media, there are growing calls to boycott the hotel to protest the manager’s behavior.  

Harrold posted another message to Instagram on Sunday saying that he went public with the video because the hotel manager allowed the woman to leave while waiting for the police to arrive.

‘Before posting this video yesterday, we prayed about how this would impact us as a family and above all how it would impact our son,’ Harrold wrote. 

He added: ‘We asked for advice from professionals and weighed the decision for several hours.

‘The only reason we decided to go public and post on social media was because the hotel which had a security guard on duty let this young lady leave while waiting for the police to respond after she assaulted my son several times which is not seen on this video because my sons father dropped the phone to protect our son!

‘The police came and filed a report and said we would have to wait 3 days.

‘The hotel just went about their business after basically sweeping it under the rug with an “sorry this happened to you”. 

‘Not until they were faced with scrutiny through social media did they answer a post on Instagram.

Harrold is an award winning trumpeter who has played with bestselling recording artists including Common, Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z, Beyoncé and Rihanna

Harrold is an award winning trumpeter who has played with bestselling recording artists including Common, Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z, Beyoncé and Rihanna

Harrold posted another message to Instagram on Sunday saying that he went public with the video because the hotel manager allowed the woman to leave while waiting for the police to arrive

Harrold posted another message to Instagram on Sunday saying that he went public with the video because the hotel manager allowed the woman to leave while waiting for the police to arrive

‘They answered a post on Instagram instead of going to my son and his fathers room which they were still checked in.

‘We are hurt and saddened but we are not people who want anyone to be falsely accused or want to ruin someone’s life.

‘Let’s be mindful and spread love through this hatefulness. We will share the guilty party when we properly ID them.

‘Until then, please do to others as you would want them to do to you.’

Harrold is an award winning trumpeter who has played with bestselling recording artists including Common, Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z, Beyoncé and Rihanna.

A native of Ferguson, Missouri, Harrold moved to New York City and started to play jazz as a professional musician at the age of 19.

In 2017, he appeared on the soundtrack of a biopic about Miles Davis titled ‘Miles Ahead,’ which won a Grammy Award.

Harrold told the Times that although he has a permanent residence in Long Island City, Queens, he had moved into the Arlo Hotel to find artistic and creative inspiration.

He said he had been staying at the hotel since mid-December.

As a result of the incident, he said he plans to move out of the hotel. 

The incident on Saturday has drawn comparisons to the Memorial Day encounter between the ‘Central Park Karen’ and a black bird-watcher.

Amy Cooper was filmed hysterically dialing 911 on Harvard-grad Christian Cooper, falsely telling an operator an ‘African American man is threatening my life’. 

She was charged by Manhattan prosecutors with one count of falsely reporting an incident in the third degree – a crime that carries a sentence of up to one year in jail.           

Amy Cooper (above) was filmed hysterically dialing 911 on Harvard-grad Christian Cooper, falsely telling an operator an ‘African American man is threatening my life’.

Christian Cooper pictured above

The incident on Saturday has drawn comparisons to the Memorial Day encounter between the ‘Central Park Karen’ and a black bird-watcher. Amy Cooper (left) was filmed hysterically dialing 911 on Harvard-grad Christian Cooper (right), falsely telling an operator an ‘African American man is threatening my life’. 

Categories
UAE

UAE’s Aster ends 2020 with ‘Walk To Win’ Challenge so frontliners can cope with pandemic demands

WhatsApp groups tracked the number of daily steps by Aster employees. Proof of individual walking and running were shared by team leaders. The month-long fitness campaign will culminate on December 31.
Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A Dubai-based health care group is ending 2020 on a strong note with its month-long ‘Walk To Win’ Challenge.

Over 18,890 employees working at 380 establishments under Aster DM Healthcare, operating in seven countries, including the UAE, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan and India, have taken part in the fitness initiative aimed at helping medical frontliners cope with the demands of the pandemic while living a healthy lifestyle.

Alisha Moopen, deputy managing director of Aster DM Healthcare, told Gulf News: “One thing the pandemic has reinforced is the importance of one’s own health. Only by prioritising our own health, can we ensure the health and well-being of our family, colleagues, patients and customers.”

Alisha Moopen

“Over the last few months, the demands of coping up with the pandemic and new normal living has made many people put their health and wellness on the back burner which can lead to long-term effects. To address this, we launched the Aster Well-being Programme which is encouraging our employees to prioritise their own health and fitness. ‘Walk to Win’ Challenge is one such initiative through which we are making losing weight a fun-filled activity that our employees can work towards both individually and as teams,” she added.

Asif
An Aster employee takes a walk at the beach
Image Credit: Supplied

Aside from the physical challenge, the partcipants were also advised to practise healthy eating and improve sleeping habits to reduce the risk for several chronic conditions, including diabetes, heart disease and hypertension.

Fitness challenge mechanics

Staff and employees were divided into teams. Each team had 10 members, including the team leader. Each team also came up with a name such as Medcare-MWCH-Challengers. Participants were discouraged from changing teams during the challenge. 


Team leaders created WhatsApp groups to track the number of daily steps by their members. Team members tracked their steps through step tracking wearables or apps on smart phones such as Health (Apple) and Google Fit (Android devices). Proof of individual walking and running were shared by team leaders. The month-long fitness campaign will culminate on December 31.

Challenge accepted

Dr Mahendra Mallegowda Shivamallappa , general practitioner Emergency Medical Services, Aster Hospital – Qusais, said: “Due to my participation in the Walk to Win Challenge, I feel more relaxed and energetic, even when I’m on straight duty. After work, I take my wife with me to make around 20,000 steps daily.”

Sijith Thomas, staff nurse at Aster Clinic – Discovery Gardens, is also doing 200,000 steps at night, after day duty. He noted simple walking daily can change your life for the better as you feel refreshed and more energetic.

Another nurse at Medcare Hospital – Al Safa said her average is 17,000 steps daily. “I feel more motivated at work and I feel lighter and more active. I feel like I’m already a winner because I was able to motivate myself to exercise regularly and boost my immunity,” added Filipino nurse Nina Ricci Repane.

Surya Mary Sajeev, pharmacist and unit in charge at Aster Pharmacy, said she is now more energetic after shunning a sedentary life.

Dr. Anwar Sadath, specialist orthopaedic surgeon at Medcare Orthopedics & Spine Hospital, said ‘Walk To Win’ Challenge has given opportunity and motivation to employees and staff out their health as priority.

Categories
Sports UK

Angry Lampard demands Chelsea stars take responsibility for Arsenal defeat

A livid Frank Lampard wants his Chelsea stars to take some of the responsibility for their performance in the 3-1 defeat to Arsenal.

The Blues were well below-par as they allowed their low on confidence hosts to dominate for large spells of Saturday’s game at the Emirates Stadium, in which the Gunners went 3-0 up through a penalty from Alexandre Lacazette, Granit Xhaka’s free-kick and a goal from Bukayo Saka.

Chelsea did pull one back through Tammy Abraham and also saw Jorginho’s penalty saved by Bernd Leno, but in truth they were distinctly second best.

“In the second half we showed some urgency but it was too late,” Lampard told BBC Sport.

“The first half we gave ourselves too much to do, we were very poor. You can’t lack energy and desire in the Premier League and we did.

Chelsea were well beaten by the Gunners

“You can prepare as well as you want but if you turn up like that that’s another thing. It’s in the mind.

“If you perform below par things go against you like the Saka goal. That’s life. On another day we could have scored the penalty and come back but it’s not a day for us.

“The teams that win, win, win relentlessly weren’t winning two or three years ago. We are not there yet, that’s clear. I felt it when we are on our long unbeaten run and I feel it now. We got a lot wrong today.”

Lampard went on to demand more of his players.

“It wasn’t good enough,” he added.

Lampard was left angry with his team

“We fought in the second half but in the first half we gave ourselves too much to do. The players who came on added speed energy and intensity.

“I’ll take responsibility on the outside but the players also have to take responsibility.

“The message was clear – Arsenal are a dangerous team. When you go out and play 60 or 70 per cent then you’re not going to win any games

“I am angry because I want us to win games. It was an opportunity to go second. You get what you deserve.”

Where will Chelsea finish this season? Have your say in the comments below

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