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Some of Hollywood's biggest blockbusters are at risk of being delayed if the vaccine rollout doesn't pick up

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 10:08am
This image released by Disney/Marvel Studios' shows Scarlett Johansson in a scene from "Black Widow." The Walt Disney Co. on Friday overhauled its release schedule, moving the dates of half a dozen Marvel movies. “Black Widow,” which had been set to kick off the summer movie season, will now open Nov. 6. (Marvel Studios/Disney via AP)
  • Many Hollywood movie premieres could be delayed as the vaccine rollout fails to hit key targets set by the Trump administration.

  • James Bond's "No Time to Die" and Marvel's "Black Widow" are among films that are likely to be further delayed if vaccine distribution doesn't speed up.
  • Sony has already chosen to delay Jared Leto's movie, "Morbius" from a March release to October.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

If the vaccine rollout does not pick up speed, Hollywood will likely be forced to delay some of its biggest slated blockbusters for 2021 - again.

President Donald Trump's administration forecast that, between December and January, 70 million vaccinations would be administered. As of Tuesday, only around 9 million had been administered.

While January does not have any scheduled blockbuster films, studios have plans to start bringing more movies to the box office, starting in March.

Read more: What's coming next for COVID-19 vaccines? Here's the latest on 11 leading programs.

Big budget movies like Sony's "Cinderella," starring Camila Cabello, "The King's Man," a World War I-era prequel to the Kingsman series, and the adaptation "Chaos Walking," featuring Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley, are likely to see delays or morph into a video-on-demand debut due to their February and March release dates.

Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley in "Chaos Walking."

Sony's thriller "Morbius," focusing on Spider-Man's notorious foe and featuring Jared Leto, has already been delayed from March 19 to October 8.

Even films scheduled for later release dates in the spring are likely to see further delays or conform to a release on a streaming service like HBO Max or Disney+.

James Bond's "No Time to Die" and a "Quiet Place II" could be facing their second or third rescheduling, as these films were set to debut in the spring of 2020, during the nation's first lockdown.

For many of these films, a release to a limited audience at the few theaters that are operating under social-distancing restrictions or a release on video-on-demand is not feasible due to the scale of their budgets.

Marvel's "Black Widow," starring Scarlett Johansson, which is set to release in May, could miss out on hundreds of millions of dollars. As movie theaters continue to suffer under low attendance and state lockdowns, with the world's largest theater chain, AMC, near bankruptcy, the film would be likely to suffer from low ticket sales if released before the pandemic ends.  A release through video-on-demand or through a streaming service is also unlikely to hit revenue targets, as Disney learned in September when "Mulan" appeared likely to miss target sales after it was released on Disney Plus for $29.99.

While an official budget has not been released for "Black Widow," Marvel movies typically feature a $150 to $200 million production budget. Franchise movies like "Avengers: Endgame" spend over $200 million in marketing alone, according to Deadline.

"Wonder Woman 1984" and "Mulan" had similar big budgets, before they were released on HBO Max and Disney Plus, respectively. However, "Black Widow" is unlikely to follow in Mulan's footsteps, after Disney executives shut down rumors of a Disney Plus release at a streaming event in December.

Read more: Hollywood is raging over Warner Bros.' HBO Max plan. But one producer whose movie was impacted gave us the counter argument.

Disney and Sony are not the only companies facing delays. Several television shows in Los Angeles have paused filming after coronavirus infections in LA County surged. TV producers earlier this month decided to push production of shows like "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and "Grey's Anatomy" later into January.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield said the vaccine will likely not be widely available until the middle of 2021, with widespread immunity to the coronavirus not anticipated in the US until the end of the year.

As one of the biggest industries impacted by the pandemic-related shutdowns, movie theaters officially opening across the country will be a major sign the nation is recovering from the pandemic. In the meantime, movie studios will be closely watching vaccine-distribution efforts in the US - and hoping to see an uptick as soon as possible.

Read the original article on Business Insider

I'm a butler for wealthy NYC families who earns a six-figure salary and has lots of time to see my kids. From checking for dust with a flashlight to taking wine cellar inventory, this is what my job is like.

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 9:21am
Stanley (not his real name) has been a professional butler and house manager for 12 years.
  • Stanley (not his real name) is a house manager and butler for wealthy families in New York City.
  • His job involves everything from organizing bills and tracking charitable donations to taking wine cellar inventory and making sure everything inch of his employer's home is spotless and dust-free.
  • Over the years, he's had both good and bad employers, including one who would constantly fire and rehire him and another who would yell across the house and snap his fingers to get Stanley's attention.
  • Despite the long hours and repetitive tasks, Stanley says he enjoys his work and has learned to set healthy boundaries with his employers.
  • Here's what his job is like, as told to freelance writer Rose Maura Lorre.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Like many people who work in hospitality or the private services industry, I started out as an actor. And like many actors, I made a choice to stop acting because it was driving me nuts.

My wife was reading Tina Fey's "Bossypants" at the time and in the book, Tina Fey talks about "fake it 'til you make it." That's what I did: I acted the part of a house manager until I figured out how to be one. It just takes a little bit of observational skills and people skills and a good memory.

After I left acting, I first went into events and catering and worked my way up. While managing a big charity event in 2009, I met a project manager who introduced me to an ultra-high net worth (UHNW) family. The husband was in finance, the wife was an ex-bartender, and they had twin 4-year-olds, a dog, a pot belly pig, and a 20,000-square-foot townhouse. They hired me as a house manager and personal assistant, my first job in the industry. Those clients were a wild ride, real tabloid-gossip stuff. 

When the wife had an issue with how I handled something, she would just fire me. 

Then as I was walking to the subway or during my cab ride home, she would call me, apologize, and say she'd see me tomorrow. That happened four times in less than six months. 

The last time she fired me, I made sure everything was in order, put her folder with her schedule for the following day on her desk as usual, quietly grabbed my coat, and left. Like she'd done in the past, I quickly got the apology call. When she said, "See you on Monday," I said, "Why don't we let this one stick?" That Monday, I still got a few calls and texts from her, but I didn't pick up.

I've worked for six different families over 10 years. 

Two of them, including that first family I worked for, were roller coaster rides - and short contracts because of that. Two were trial periods, after which I passed on their employment offers, and two have been better, long-term experiences.

The other "roller coaster" employer I worked for was similarly demanding, with an extremely busy and packed schedule. He was also a yeller; he would always holler my name. When he'd snap his fingers or yell, it was like somebody had shot a gun off in the house, and everyone would jump to attention. 

Once, I walked into his coat closet after he'd pulled all of his coats off the racks. He'd made separate piles of coats, and I assumed he  wanted me to do a seasonal switch-out for him. I dashed into the room with a smile on my face and said, "How can I help, Mr. So-and-So?" He looked at me and said, "What the f--k are you smiling at?" 

But besides those particular clients, many of my employers have been great to work with. I've also kept in touch with former fellow staff members, and some of them have interviewed me for other jobs.

Read more: I'm a mom influencer who earns up to $12,000 a month through paid sponsorships. Here's how I grew my income and following while caring for my son.

I currently work for an older couple, and it's the best version of this job I've ever had.

Checking for moisture and leaks in the basement.

I joined their household in January 2020. I work Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Before the pandemic, my hours were longer if my employers were entertaining guests. I wear business casual, and add a sport coat or blazer over my outfit for guests. 

Since March, my employers have been in the Hamptons while I continue to care for their Manhattan townhouse and ship over any packages they receive there. When they're out of town, I usually just wear jeans and a sweater or collared shirt.

Currently, the staff at my employers' Manhattan townhouse consists of me, three housekeepers, and a driver. I contract outside vendors for IT, audio, gardening, and a wide array of specific maintenance for furnishings and antiques in the house. We also have a maintenance contract with a company who takes care of the house, but I troubleshoot little things like loose door handles, dead lightbulbs, and updating iPads and printer firmware.

My position has been called everything from house manager to property manager to butler. 

When I described myself as a property manager, I'd hear, "Oh, you cut lawns?" If instead I say "butler," people tend to romanticize what I do, like it's "Downton Abbey" or "Remains of the Day." I did once work in a household where I was their formal butler, and received guests in a black dinner jacket or a tuxedo. But I've also cleaned toilets, which is not romantic at all. 

For the most part in this industry, people refer to their employers as "principals." Meaning, that person is your principal focus. There may be other people you cater to as well, like guests who stay at the house, but the principal is your main focus. 

One family I worked for had a house staff of 38 people. In my job as personal butler, I worked most closely with the head of house, the principal client, assisting with wardrobe, packing, communications, setting up and serving meals, and running in-house events. 

In my current job as a house manager, it's my responsibility to manage my employers' expectations about what goes on in their home. 

My job is to think proactively about what they'll need and to avoid leaving anything open to complaints. If they're talking to me - other than, for example, to tell me what they want for dinner - then I'm not doing my job. If their iPad isn't connecting to the WiFi or the TV isn't working in the gym, I haven't done my job.

Checking that the TV in the house gym is in working order.

I do a lot of walk-throughs to make sure everything is in working condition. I turn TVs on and off at least once and sometimes twice a day. I also check all the lights, music, technology, and appliances. I sit down on the couch and look around, and think: Does everything look the way it's supposed to look? Does it feel the way it's supposed to feel? Is this TV working the way it's supposed to work? Are there fingerprints on the table? Has the housekeeping staff dusted and moved the remote too far from the couch? 

I'm not getting into my boss' bed or trying out the sheets, but I do try to put myself in my employers' experience. It's the same thing I did in catering; I put myself in the guests' shoes. 

The gentleman I currently work for loves wine and keeps a modest stash at the house (about 300 bottles) with more in a wine storage warehouse, so I track arrivals and consumption and inventory what goes between their Manhattan and Hamptons homes. 

Taking inventory in the wine cellar.

I use spreadsheets to pay bills, file invoices and documents, and track everything from orders and shipments to various house inventories to gifts given and received, which can get quite complicated during the holidays with gifts and charitable donations.

I go over the house with a fine-toothed comb on an almost daily basis.   

I check all areas for wear and tear, potential repairs, and moisture and leaks to catch any issues before they grow serious. 

For cleanliness checks, I do walk-throughs in the dark with a flashlight to pick up on hidden moisture and dust. I also have an LED light that also picks up on dust you can't see with the naked eye, like fingerprints or dog hair on the landing.

Conducting a house walk through with a flashlight to check for dust.

I take pictures of what I find to send to the housekeeper. I've also given them LED flashlights, so I can write "hello" in the dust I find and text them, "Go look for my 'hello' on the table." The housekeepers I work with are great. If I show them a picture of something, they know exactly where it is to clean it.

Taking a photo to send to the housekeepers of smudges on the mirror in the backyard.

The woman I work for also has an entirely separate townhouse around the corner that serves as her office. I go there to pick up things for her, check on the building, and sometimes assist with art hanging or putting together furniture. I also pick up flowers for the house, run to stationery stores and to the bank for house petty cash, and trek to FedEx and UPS on the regular to ship and pick up packages.

This all may sound intense, but it's not my employers; I'm the over-the-top one. I've relaxed over the years in my own home, especially after having two children of my own. Still, I would follow my kids around with a Dustbuster if I could - that's just how I am.

I typically make six figures annually with a bonus and benefits.

Since my first position in 2009, my salary hasn't increased that much over the years, but the hours have decreased. I started at 60 to 70 hours per week on average, I'm doing more like 45 to 50 now, which is a huge positive difference to my quality of life. 

When I first started at $100,000 in 2009, my hourly rate was sometimes $9, especially during the holidays. Back then, I only saw my wife at night. Now, I spend more time with my kids than ever before.

I learned early on that in this line of work, you have to be good at setting boundaries.

My current employers are very friendly and very considerate of the staff, but still, I maintain a professional boundary. I don't want to be too involved in my employers' lives. There are some situations where I have to say, "I'm sorry, I can't get that involved." 

Certain things I'm very willing to do and other things I'm not. For example, I've never stayed the night at an employer's house. I was asked to do it once, a couple of households ago. Their live-in housekeeper was going away on vacation and I think just for security and peace of mind, my employers wanted me there in her place. I said, "I don't think my wife would really appreciate that."

Read more: I'm 23 and launched a luxury picnic service in the middle of the pandemic - and while working full-time. Here's how we make up to $12,000 a month throwing personalized events.

At my job, sometimes the most satisfying day can also be the most aggravating. 

This job presents daily challenges, such as one time when a bird swooped into my employer's glass atrium as we were setting it up for a business lunch, and it took us five attempts with ladders to catch down and release it. Those experiences are all in a day's work.

The way I think about my job is, it's like any other job, only I'm standing in my boss' private living room while I'm doing it. Or I'm literally standing in their kitchen watching them eat. Most of these people are used to having someone stand there, though, so it's not weird for them, and by now, it's also not weird for me. 

Managing wealthy homes is a great job, but it isn't for everyone.

My advice for anyone thinking about getting into this line of work is to hop on LinkedIn and see if you can talk to house managers. Ask questions about the schedule they keep, pros and cons about the job, and find out if this lifestyle is for you.

There hotel and butler schools for training and certification programs, and estatejobs.com is also a good place to start. Still, be careful of programs that only feed into a pool for a domestic agency that charges steep commissions for job placement fees; some can be 40% of your annual salary. 

For this line of work, you need the ability to manage expectations and communicate well and sometimes delicately with your employers, staff, and anyone else working inside the house. It's a great career, just know that once you're hired, you're somewhat tethered to your employer like no other industry, since you become part of their private life. Know the stakes, and be empowered to create the boundaries that you need. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

A Texas real-estate agent who flew on a private jet to join the Capitol riot has asked Trump for a pardon, saying she was only following his orders

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 9:01am
Jenna Ryan speaking with local news after returning to Texas from the Capitol riot.
  • A Texas real-estate agent named Jenna Ryan is among more than 100 Trump supporters who have been arrested in connection to the Capitol riot.
  • Speaking with a local outlet after being detained by the FBI, Ryan said she was facing prison time and hoped President Donald Trump issued her a pardon. 
  • "I feel like I was basically following my president. I was following what we were called to do. He asked us to fly there. He asked us to be there. So I was doing what he asked us to do," Ryan told CBS 11.
  • Multiple people who stormed the Capitol have said they did so on Trump's instructions. Legal experts say this could leave Trump liable.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A Texas real-estate agent who flew in a private jet to take part in what became a riot at the US Capitol says she's facing prison time and hopes President Donald Trump grants her a pardon.

On January 5, Jenna Ryan posted photos on social media showing her and friends taking a private jet to Washington, DC, to take part in the Trump march a day later. She then proceeded to post multiple pictures and videos as the rally turned into a riot.

The FBI subsequently arrested her on charges of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

Read more: 'It was degrading': Black Capitol custodial staff talk about what it felt like to clean up the mess left by violent pro-Trump white supremacists

Ryan spoke with CBS 11 after returning to Texas on Friday, saying she didn't take part in any violence and was just acting on the orders of the president.

—dotJenna - Jenna Ryan Realty (@dotjenna) January 5, 2021

"I just want people to know I'm a normal person," Ryan said. "That I listen to my president who told me to go to the Capitol. That I was displaying my patriotism while I was there and I was just protesting and I wasn't trying to do anything violent and I didn't realize there was actually violence."

The FBI included this now-deleted Twitter post of Ryan in front of a smashed window at the Capitol as part of the criminal complaint against her.

The FBI's criminal complaint against Ryan, however, says she was recorded egging on rioters in several videos and social-media posts.

"Of particular note is an image Ryan posted of herself to her Twitter account, which depicts Ryan in front of a broken window at the US Capitol building, with the caption 'Window at The capital [sic]. And if the news doesn't stop lying about us we're going to come after their studios next,'" the criminal complaint said.

Ryan later deleted that Twitter post.

The complaint said the FBI also viewed a Facebook Live video recorded by Ryan, which was later deleted, in which she could be seen trying to walk into the Capitol and saying: "We are going to f---ing go in here. Life or death, it doesn't matter. Here we go."

At another point in the video, the complaint said, she's heard joining in on a chant of "Fight for freedom! Fight for freedom!"

The FBI said it also captured Ryan on surveillance video entering the Capitol.

'I think we all deserve a pardon'

Facing time behind bars, Ryan said she felt she deserved a presidential pardon.

"I think we all deserve a pardon. I'm facing a prison sentence. I think I do not deserve that, and from what I understand every person is going to be arrested that was there," she told CBS 11.

"So I think everyone deserves a pardon, so I would ask the president of the United States to give me a pardon."

—dotJenna - Jenna Ryan Realty (@dotjenna) January 7, 2021—dotJenna - Jenna Ryan Realty (@dotjenna) January 7, 2021

"I don't feel a sense of shame or guilty from my heart," Ryan added. "I feel like I was basically following my president. I was following what we were called to do. He asked us to fly there. He asked us to be there. So I was doing what he asked us to do."

"I do feel a little wronged in this situation because I'm a real-estate agent, and this has taken my company. This has taken my business."

"I am being slandered all over the internet, all over the world, and all over the news, and I'm just like a normal person," she added.

A woman who appears to be Ryan is circled in surveillance footage from the Capitol breach.

The House impeached Trump for a historic second time last week for his role inciting the violence at the Capitol.

His January 6 rally near the White House was announced ahead of time and attended by people from around the country. At the rally, he urged people to head to the Capitol to protest Congress' certification of President-elect Joe Biden's victory. The protest quickly turned into an angry mob.

It now falls to the Senate to decide whether to convict him, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is telling GOP senators that their decision will be a "vote of conscience."

Read more: Trump is becoming an 'untouchable client.' Here's how law firms are turning on the president, from calling for his removal to dumping his business.

Ryan is one of a handful of people who have told law-enforcement agencies they were merely following the president's orders when storming the Capitol, even as Trump's Republican allies seek to blame other people for it.

Legal experts have said these statements by the president's supporters open him up to the possibility of criminal charges.

CNN and The Washington Post reported this week that Trump planned to issue as many as 100 pardons and commutations on his final day in office. While the list of names has not been released, Trump allies believe the pardons will go to people the president thinks might help him in the future.

Read the full criminal complaint against Ryan below:Read the original article on Business Insider

Health officials slam Walgreens and CVS for 'fiasco' vaccine rollout to nursing homes

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 9:00am
Vera Leip, 88, receives a Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine at the John Knox Village Continuing Care Retirement Community on December 16, 2020 in Pompano Beach, Florida.
  • CVS and Walgreens have come under fire from health officials over the slow rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine to nursing homes, CNN reported.
  • As part of the federal government's program to vaccinate elderly people in care, the two companies say they are on track to get the first of the two-part dose done by January 25.
  • But health officials in many states have said the progress is poor, hampered by bureaucracy.
  • West Virginia, which opted out of the program, has made much faster progress by relying on its network of smaller pharmacies with good ties to the community, The Conversation reported.
  • Walgreens did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. CVS told Insider that vaccinations are going according to plan. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

CVS and Walgreens have come under fire from local officials for the slow rollout of their vaccinations program to nursing homes. 

As of January 14, around a quarter of the 4.7 million doses allocated to the companies had been administered CNN reported.

TJ Crawford, a spokesperson for CVS, told Insider that the process is going entirely to plan. Both companies told CNN they are on track to have the first round of the two-phase vaccine completed by January 25.

But health officials in some states have said that the process has been frustratingly slow.

Read more: How the pharma giant Pfizer teamed up with a little-known biotech to develop the first authorized coronavirus vaccine in record time

The director of one LA County chain of nursing homes, Dr. Karl Steinberg, told CNN: "It's been so much worse than anybody expected. That light at the end of the tunnel is dim."

Mississippi's State Health Officer Dr Thomas Dobbs described the partnership between the pharmacy giants and the federal government as a "fiasco."

President Donald Trump's administration left the coordination of the vaccination's overall rollout to states, as Insider's Hilary Brueck reported

CVS and Walgreens became the sole contractors for vast chunks of the rollout under a deal announced by the Health and Human Services (HHS) department in October 2020. 

The companies' name recognition and corporate heft is considered a boost to public trust in getting the vaccinations processed, as Business Insider's Áine Cain, Irene Jiang, and Shelby Livingston reported

Without an overarching federal program for distribution, most states opted into the CVS-Walgreens partnership to get the vaccine into nursing homes. 

A January 6 company statement from CVS 6 said that the company is on track with its target, with incoming president Karen Lynch saying on January 15 that it had administered one million shots in nursing homes. In total, 1.7 million shots have been administered by CVS and Walgreens combined, The New York Times reported on January 16.

A spokesperson for CVS, Joe Goode, told CNN: "Everything has gone as planned, save for a few instances where we've been challenged or had difficulties making contact with long-term care facilities to schedule clinics."

But it has been beset with problems, such as cumbersome bureaucracy and poorly-staffed centers, CNN reported. 

Speaking from Seattle, where Walgreens and CVS are administering the bulk of vaccines to care homes, NPR's Will Stone said that nursing homes are "absolutely desperate to give out shots," but they are "basically at the mercy of when CVS or Walgreens schedules them."

Crawford, the CVS spokesperson, told Insider: "It's critical to note that activation dates are selected by the states," adding that the majority of states chose to activate the partnership in January. 

Authorities that didn't take up the partnership are moving much faster. West Virginia - a state that opted out of the program - is leading the country in the vaccine rollout to care homes, as the Associated Press reported

Care home vaccinations there started two weeks earlier than in most states, NPR reported.

Prof. Tinglong Dai, an operations specialist at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, writing for The Conversation, said that the near-monopoly that CVS and Walgreens have gives them little reason to work faster.

Crawford told Insider that that characterization is "an insult to the thousands of CVS health care professionals who've been administering shots to one of our most vulnerable populations for the last month, in many cases going room-to-room." 

They also already have strong ties to the local community and its nursing homes, he wrote - an important factor in a process that requires explanation and consent with vulnerable people and their families. 

In West Virginia, each care home is served by more than one pharmacy for the process, prompting more of a rush to reach out and organize the doses, he wrote. 

Krista Capehart, director of regulation for the state's Board of Pharmacy, is leading the West Virginia distribution plan.

She told NPR: "When [the vaccine] got here, we already had pharmacies matched with long-term care facilities, so we were already ready to have vaccinators and pharmacists ready to go into those facilities and start providing first doses."

Crawford argued that CVS also has strong local links.

On January 15, President-elect Joe Biden announced increased federal support for the process - which both Walgreens and CVS have welcomed. 

Lynch, the CVS executive, said in a statement that the federal assistance will enable the company to administer more than 1 million shots per day - vastly more than they have managed so far.

Walgreens did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Jamie Lynn Spears called Tesla's quiet engines a 'secret cat-killer' and said Elon Musk 'owes' her some new pets, before walking back her comments in since-deleted posts

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 8:32am
Tesla's CEO Elon Musk and actress Jamie Lynn Spears.
  • Actor Jamie Lynn Spears called Tesla a "cat-killer" on Friday, before walking back her comments.
  • Her cats didn't hear Tesla cars approaching because of their quiet engines, the actor said.
  • "Elon Musk, let's figure this out," she added. "You owe me a couple cats."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Actress Jamie Lynn Spears on Friday appeared to blame Tesla for the death of her cats.

Tesla's quiet electric vehicles meant her cats didn't hear cars approaching, the actor claimed.

"We have now lost - I don't want to tell you how many cats - because they don't hear the Tesla crank and unfortunate things happen and it's really devastating and tragic for everyone involved," she said in a since-deleted Instagram video posted Friday.

"Somebody's gotta let Elon Musk know that Tesla is a secret cat-killer," Spears said in the video.

"Elon Musk, let's figure this out," Spears said. "You owe me a couple cats."

Read more: Tesla's new 'tabless' battery design eliminates the power pack's 'weakest link,' a top researcher says - and could cut production costs by 50%

After a confused reaction to her post, with some fans questioning whether Spears was actually responsible for the deaths, she clarified that she had not run over any cats, per OK! Magazine.

"Tesla is not to be blamed and was never intended to be," she added in an Instagram update, which she also later deleted.

In her original post, Spears proposed that, "since the Tesla is so quiet," the cars could make a noise to alert cats of their presence, though she also noted that the deaths could be down to user error.

However, cars making a noise is already a legal requirement, CNN noted, referring to a US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration policy from September, which requires electric and hybrid vehicles to make sounds of at least 43 decibels when traveling at less than 18.6mph.

This is so pedestrians, including those who are visually impaired, know when the vehicles are approaching.

Tesla did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Tesla, which fell just short of its goal of 500,000 vehicle sales in 2020, is expected to continue recording booming sales in 2021.

The company could hit 1 million vehicle deliveries by 2022, and 5 million by the end of the decade, according to Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives.

Over the past month, it has begun producing Model Y vehicles in China and registered a company in India, the two most populous countries in the world.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Martin Luther King III on how Senator-elect Raphael Warnock comes from the 'King tradition'

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 8:30am
Sen.-elect Raphael Warnock, pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, has led a life defined by his faith.
  • Georgia Senator-elect Reverend Raphael Warnock will be the state's first Black senator.
  • Warnock is also the senior pastor at Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church, preaching at a pulpit once helmed by Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Insider spoke to Martin Luther King III about Warnock's historic victory, and his connection to the "King tradition" at the church.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Georgia's new Senator-elect Reverend Raphael Warnock has already made history.

He'll be Georgia's first Black senator. He's part of a newly purple Georgia (a shift happening thanks in no small part to work by leaders like Stacey Abrams). And, 15 years ago, he was named the youngest ever senior pastor at Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church. 

Martin Luther King III - the son of Martin Luther King Jr. - has a strong familial connection to Warnock's church. Martin Luther King Jr. preached there, as did Martin Luther King Sr., King III's grandfather.

In an interview with Insider after Warnock's historic election, King III highlighted the work that Warnock had already been doing at Ebenezer Baptist prior to making political history.

Warnock has been arrested twice protesting healthcare cuts, once at the Georgia state Capitol and once at the US Capitol. He's also been an advocate for criminal justice reform.

"He was working on a number of issues in the church as pastor. Now he is in a position to vote in the United States Senate, to actually have a tremendous, phenomenal impact," King III said. "He had an impact on the outside from an external standpoint as a pastor, but now he will be helping to dictate and determine what policy is, which is quite amazing."

King III said it's "not often" a pastor joins the house or senate, and Warnock comes out of the "King tradition." 

Warnock's victory is part of a turning tide in Georgia - and for the nation

When reached for comment by Insider, Warnock's campaign highlighted his election night remarks, when Warnock said that he was "a son of my late father who was a pastor, a veteran and a small businessman and my mother who, as a teenager growing up in Waycross, Georgia, used to pick somebody's else's cotton.

But the other day, because this is America, the 82-year-old hands that used to pick somebody else's cotton went to the polls and picked her youngest son to be a United States senator."

On January 10, Warnock delivered his first sermon after his historic victory - and the violent insurrection on the US Capitol by a pro-Trump mob. It had over 20,000 viewers on Ebenezer Baptist's website and around 8,800 views on Facebook. He touched on the violence of the siege, in which he said "the ugly side of our story, our great and grand American story" had once again emerged.

But he also touched on the historicity of Georgia electing him and Jon Ossoff, Georgia's first Jewish senator and the son of an immigrant.

"You must know that this is a glimpse of God's vision of a more inclusive humanity that embraces all of God's children," Warnock said. "I'm just grateful to be a part of this."

Georgia Democratic Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock greet each other onstage during the "Vote GA Blue" concert for Georgia Democratic Senate candidates Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff at New Birth Church on December 28, 2020, at New Birth Church in Stonecrest, Georgia.

Warnock and Ossoff's respective victories meant Georgia itself made history, flipping the senate, giving Democrats hugely consequential control of both legislative chambers as Democratic President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take office.

King III said Georgia is a state in transition, and the immense grassroots organizing effort there has created a model for other states.

"My view is this can be duplicated in a number of cities around the South, certainly in the state of North Carolina," King III said. "I think it can ultimately be duplicated in Mississippi. I think that parts of it can be duplicated in Alabama and South Carolina, just to name a few."

With more people moving into the Atlanta metro area - who King III said are more "progressive" and "open-minded" - he believes that Georgia will ultimately become a solid blue state. As FiveThirtyEight reported, some Democrats hope that Georgia will follow a similar trajectory to Virginia, which flipped blue in 2008 and has voted largely Democratic since.

Warnock's work as a pastor, and the history he'll bring with him to the Senate, could also help continue Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy.

"I think some would say it's an extension of what my father - I won't say would have done - but maybe would've wanted to see," King III said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Former Trump campaign spokesman claims the only reason the president isn't denouncing the Capitol riot more is because Twitter and Facebook banned him

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 8:27am
J. Hogan Gidley appearing on Fox News on Sunday.
  • A former spokesman for President Donald Trump has claimed that the president cannot denounce the Capitol rioters because he no longer has a platform to.
  • In the wake of the January 6 storming of the US Capitol, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube barred Trump for inciting violence.
  • J. Hogan Gidley told Fox News on Sunday it was "disingenuous" of the media not to take this into account while criticizing the president's silence.
  • People responded to Gidley's remarks by saying Trump still has access to the White House press briefing room, and can talk to journalists any time he wants.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A former spokesman for President Donald Trump's reelection campaign has said that the reason Trump isn't denouncing the Capitol riot is that he no longer has a platform to do so.

Appearing on Fox News on Sunday, J. Hogan Gidley attacked the media for criticizing Trump's silence while failing to take into account that he is barred from Twitter and Facebook.

Snapchat said it will indefinitely bar him from the platform from January 20, and YouTube suspended the president for seven days.

"On one hand, he should be censored by Big Tech and not be allowed to talk - he also shouldn't say anything because it's divisive," Gidley said.

"And then when he doesn't say anything, and can't say anything because the platforms have removed him, they say: 'Where is the president why aren't we hearing from him?'"

"The whole thing's disingenuous."

On January 6, Trump told supporters gathered near the US Capitol to "fight like hell" moments before thousands of them stormed the complex.

Five people died as a result of the violence, and the House of Representatives impeached Trump on January 13 over his incitement of the riot. Trump now faces an impeachment trial in the Senate.

Read more: Mitch McConnell is telling GOP senators their decision on a Trump impeachment trial conviction is a 'vote of conscience'

It took Trump 24 hours to publicly and properly condemn the rioters and, aside from a statement and video posted to Twitter on January 13, the president has kept mostly quiet amid Justice Department and FBI investigations into the attack.

According to multiple reports, the president has told to expect civil damages over the Capitol riot, even if he doesn't face criminal charges.

Gidley's claim that Trump has no platform on which to criticize the Capitol rioters was mocked on social media.

The president still has access to the White House press briefing room, and can talk to journalists. And Kayleigh McEnany, Trump's press secretary, still has access to her Twitter account.

"Trump spokesman GOES ON TELEVISION to say Trump has no way of communicating with the public because he doesn't have a Twitter account anymore," one Twitter user wrote.

—That's HEDLEY! (@HedleyLamarr23) January 17, 2021

"I remember when Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address via tweet," another user joked.

—El Castigador (@VMICoastie) January 17, 2021

The irony was not lost on political journalists either.

"Did Trump forget there's a press briefing room or an Oval office from whence he could speak on this at any time?" former Baltimore Sun reporter Victoria Brownworth tweeted.

—Victoria Brownworth #HonorMLKFightRacism (@VABVOX) January 17, 2021

Hugo Lowell, a freelance national politics reporter, tweeted: "Former Trump campaign spokesman Hogan Gidley seriously just said on Fox News that Trump can't denounce the Capitol attack because he doesn't have a 'platform.' Trump can hold a press conference at any time."

—Hugo Lowell (@hugolowell) January 17, 2021

NBC and MSNBC legal analyst Katie Phang added: "Trump can borrow my phone and use my Twitter account so he can denounce the Capitol riot forthwith."

Gidley, who also served as White House deputy press secretary from 2019 to 2020, has previously appeared on Fox News to defend the president.

In a January 11 appearance, Gidley was asked whether Trump felt emasculated by the social media crackdown.

He replied by saying: "The most masculine person I think to ever hold the White House is the president of the United States."

Read the original article on Business Insider

SpaceX delayed the first Starlink satellite launch of 2021 because of bad weather. It will now blast 60 internet satellites into orbit on Tuesday instead.

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 8:04am
SpaceX founder and chief engineer Elon Musk.
  • SpaceX's first Starlink mission of 2021 has been postponed due to bad weather, delaying the launch of 60 internet satellites.
  • The launch, first scheduled for Monday morning, will now take place on Tuesday at 8:23 a.m. EST.
  • This will be the 17th Starlink mission. SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk, wants to envelop Earth with up to 42,000 internet satellites.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

SpaceX's first Starlink launch of 2021 has been delayed due to bad weather.

The Falcon 9 rocket, holding 60 Starlink satellites ready to beam internet down to Earth, was scheduled for blast-off on Monday at 8:45 a.m. EST from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, but "unfavorable weather conditions in the recovery area" prevented the launch.

It has been rescheduled for Tuesday at 8:23 a.m. EST, SpaceX tweeted.

This will be the 17th time that SpaceX has sent Starlink satellites into space. Its goal for Starlink is to provide global broadband coverage from up to 42,000 satellites

So far, Elon Musk's aerospace company has more than 1,000 internet satellites in orbit, according to Space.com. The company has already begun testing its space-based internet service through its "Better Than Nothing Beta," which is underway in the US, southern Canada, and parts of Europe. Some users are reporting speeds of more than 200 megabits per second.

Regulators in the UK have given the green light to Starlink, and some users have already received their beta kits.

Once the Falcon 9 has left the Earth's atmosphere, the rocket's first stage will peel off and land on the "Just Read the Instructions" recovery droneship, positioned in the Atlantic Ocean.

Read more: Here's how many millions of users Starlink may need to break even if it loses $2,000 for every satellite dish it sells, according to experts

The Falcon 9 rockets are known for their reusability - this will be the eighth flight for this particular Falcon 9 rocket booster.

The rocket booster's most recent launch was December 13, when it took SiriusXM's new radio satellite into orbit. The six other missions include the RADARSAT Constellation Mission in June 2019, the Crew Dragon's first mission in March 2019, and four Starlink missions.

You can watch the launch of the Falcon 9 rocket via SpaceX

Read the original article on Business Insider

Warren Buffett advised NFL linesman Ndamukong Suh to be ready to buy when bargains appear

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 7:52am
  • Warren Buffett advised NFL linesman Ndamukong Suh to be ready to buy when bargains appear.
  • "He's been super cash-heavy," Suh told CNBC about his mentor. "It's being prepared to make moves."
  • Suh has turned to Buffett for career advice and investing guidance for more than a decade.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Warren Buffett underscored the importance of being ready to pounce when he spoke to NFL linesman Ndamukong Suh a few weeks ago. 

The billionaire investor and Berkshire Hathaway CEO wasn't talking about sacking quarterbacks or timing tackles on the football field, however. He was advising Suh to look out for bargains in the business world, and keep some money on hand to snap them up.

"As you can see, he's been super cash-heavy," Suh said about Buffett in a recent CNBC interview. "It's being prepared to make moves and see where there's opportunities in the market."

Read more: NFL superstar Ndamukong Suh talks his impressive business acumen, his friendship with Warren Buffett, advice for rookies, and what happens to 8-figure contracts

Indeed, Berkshire boasted about $139 billion in cash, Treasury bills, and other short-term investments at the last count. Buffett remains eager to spend a big chunk of those funds on an "elephant-sized acquisition," but had to settle for announcing more than $35 billion of investments in the third quarter of 2020.

Buffett's guidance has turned Suh's focus to the beaten-down hospitality sector, he told CNBC. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers player expects the ongoing rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, pent-up demand from lockdowns, and the boom in delivery and takeaway services to underpin a strong recovery for restaurants.

Unlike Buffett, who generally takes passive stakes in businesses, Suh probably won't be content to sit on the sidelines.

"I would say I'm a hands-on investor," he told CNBC. "I like to get my hands dirty. I like to add value, which is why I like to be an adviser to companies if I'm not a board member or a venture partner."

Read More: Bank of America says the warning signs that stocks are hurtling into bubble territory are growing - and pinpoints 6 that could signal a bear market is beginning

Buffett has coached Suh for years

Suh first met Buffett as a senior at the University of Nebraska more than a decade ago. The Berkshire chief became his mentor, and Suh seeks his advice a few times a year as he prepares to focus on investing once he retires from football.

"All you have to do is pick up the phone and he's always there to answer," Suh told Bloomberg in 2019. "I've learned a handful of things from him and continue to do so."

For example, Suh signed with the Los Angeles Rams in 2018 in part because of Buffett. California's hefty taxes were offset by the "intrinsic value" of its cities, the investor told him.

Indeed, Suh was able to connect with basketball icon-turned-businessman Magic Johnson and sports-team investor Peter Guber while living in the state.

Read More: GOLDMAN SACHS: Buy these 25 stocks best-positioned to juice profits in 2021 as stimulus and vaccine progress spur economic growth

Suh isn't just looking for ways to get rich quick when he speaks to Buffett.

"I want to understand him as a person, not a stock tip or the next thing he's getting involved in," Suh told The Wall Street Journal in 2014. "I want to understand what made him successful."

Meanwhile, Buffett appreciates Suh's business acumen and the comedic value of their dramatically different statures.

"I'm just glad he's not running against me for a board spot," Buffett told The Journal. "Everyone tries to hustle sports stars. I think he knows I'm not trying to take him; I'm not trying to get involved in his finances."

Buffett armwrestled the six-foot-four, 305-pound linesman on live television in 2015, and jokingly sent an injury waiver to Suh beforehand.

"I, Ndamukong Suh, hereby release Warren Buffett from any claims for physical injury that I may suffer in the armwrestling contest…" the form read.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Capitol rioters say Trump told them to do it, which some legal experts say could open him to criminal charges

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 7:36am
  • Multiple people who stormed the Capitol have claimed they did so on the instructions of President Donald Trump, the Washington Post reported.
  • Trump instructed his supporters to come to Washington to attend a "Stop The Steal" rally as he sought to overturn the election, promising his supporters that the protest would be "wild."
  • Leonard M. Niehoff, a First Amendment expert, said that the response to Trump's direct call for supporters to visit the Capitol and "fight" meant the president could be liable.
  • Other legal experts believe the president would be protected from prosecution under legal precedent.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Some of the people who stormed the Capitol earlier this month have said did so on the instructions of President Donald Trump, which some legal experts say could open him to criminal charges of incitement, the Washington Post reported.

Multiple people who the FBI arrested in the wake of the failed insurrection on January 6 have told the agency that they did so on the instructions of the president, according to the Post, which cited both court documents and video footage from the failed insurrection.

Trump had instructed his supporters to come to Washington that day to attend a "Stop The Steal" rally as he sought to overturn the election, promising his supporters that the protest would be "wild."

One man reportedly told the FBI that he and his cousin had marched towards the Capitol because "President Trump said to do so" while one man who threw a fire extinguisher at police officers told agents he had been "instructed" to go to the Capitol by the president.

Others who have been arrested for their role in the riot have sought presidential pardons from criminal charges on the grounds that they felt invited to the Capitol by the president.

The so-called "QAnon Shaman," whose distinctive costume made him the face of the Capitol protests, requested through his lawyer last week that Trump issue him with a pardon, saying that he and other rioters were "peaceful individuals who accepted the president's invitation with honorable intentions." He has been denied bail.

Jenna Ryan, a Texas realtor who was arrested after taking part in the Capitol siege, also asked President Trump for a pardon because she claimed to have been following the president's instructions.

"I just want people to know I'm a normal person," she told CBS11. "That I listen to my president who told me to go to the Capitol."

Another video clip cited by the Post shows a man among a crowd of angry protesters outside the Capitol shouting at police officers: "We were invited here! We were invited by the president of the United States!"

Their insistence that they were following President Trump's orders could increase his chances of being charged for incitement, say some legal experts, according to the Post.

Federal prosecutors have confirmed they are investigating Trump's role in inciting the riots after he addressed the crowd before the riot and urged them to "fight like hell" and the crowd chanted "Fight for Trump!"

He also told them during the speech outside the White House that, after the rally, "we are going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, I love Pennsylvania Avenue, and we are going to the Capitol."

Leonard M. Niehoff, a First Amendment expert, told the Post that Trump's direct call for supporters to visit the Capitol and for them to "fight" meant that he could be potentially liable for inciting violence.

"The clear instruction was you are going to the Capitol to stop the steal. You are going there to show strength. You are going there to take the country back and not to let this happen," Niehoff said, according to the Post.

"Is it conceivable that you would listen to that speech and say to yourself, 'All the president wants us to do is go to the Capitol and then go home?' I just don't think so."

However, another legal expert told the Post that he believed Trump's speech would be protected by legal precedent.

Constitutional law professor at UCLA School of Law Eugene Volokh told the Post that the bar for prosecution for incitement was set too high to affect Trump.

"One reason why we have a high bar for incitement is because it applies to everyone," he said.

"It doesn't just apply to the president. It applies to organizers, labor activists, private citizens. It's important to keep that bar high." 

The development comes after the House of Representatives last week impeached the president and charged him with inciting an insurrection. Trump has insisted that "people" think his speech was "totally appropriate."

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National Guard troops are being taught how to figure out if their colleagues are planning an attack on Biden's inauguration

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 7:31am
Virginia National Guard soldiers are issued their M4 rifles and live ammunition on the east front of the US Capitol on January 17, 2021.
  • National Guard members are being trained to screen their colleagues to identify threats from within the ranks to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.
  • Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told the Associated Press that members are being trained to identify any threats within the Guard.
  • He added that authorities had not yet identified any threats, or seen evidence of any, within the ranks.
  • The National Guard is increasing the vetting of its own members to find and remove any potential threats ahead of the inauguration on Wednesday.
  • Around 25,000 National Guard members are coming to Washington, DC, for Biden's inauguration, as security is heightened after President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the US Capitol on January 6.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

National Guard troops are getting training on how to screen their colleagues in a bid to identify any insider threats to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.

As Insider's Julie Gerstein reported, the National Guard has increased its vetting of its troops in order to weed out potential threats ahead of Biden's inauguration on Wednesday.

Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy also told the Associated Press that members are being trained to identify if any other members pose such a threat.

He said that he and other leaders had not yet identified or seen evidence of any threats within the ranks.

National Guard spokesperson Major Matt Murphy, USAF, told Insider that the National Guard is also conducting additional training for members, so "that if they see or hear something that is not appropriate, they should report it to their chain of command."

Experts told the AP that the process would likely involve the FBI running peoples' names through databases and watch lists.

The heightened screening comes as some 25,000 National Guard members arrive in Washington, DC, for Biden's inauguration. The number of around two and a half times more than what the city typically expects for a presidential inauguration, the AP reported.

A humvee is parked within the fencing that surrounds the Capitol.

The heightened security comes after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol on January 6 as Congress was voting to confirm Biden's election victory, resulting in at least five deaths.

Some law-enforcement members were arrested after the riot, including Jacob Fracker, a corporal in the Virginia National Guard.

Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, the chief of the National Guard Bureau, told the AP: "If there's any indication that any of our soldiers or airmen are expressing things that are extremist views, it's either handed over to law enforcement or dealt with the chain of command immediately."

Thousands of National Guard members have been in the city since the January 6 insurrection, with many sleeping on the floor of the Capitol to protect lawmakers.

Read more: Biden's inauguration is raising tens of millions of dollars but won't say how it's spending the money

National Guard citizen-soldiers guard downtown Washington, DC, on January 17, 2021.

Unprecedented security measures have been put in place in Washington after the riot.

The Capitol has been surrounded by non-scaleable fences and barbed wire, and streets in the city have been shut.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Isolated and facing an impeachment trial, Trump is dedicating his last days to spoiling Biden's inauguration

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 7:30am
President Donald Trump on the South Lawn at the White House on January 12.
  • President Donald Trump seems determined to be the center of attention in his final few days in office.
  • Since the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, Trump has lost many allies and faces an unprecedented second impeachment trial.
  • But until noon on Wednesday, Trump retains the vast powers of his office — and seems intent on using them.
  • The logistics of his final hours in office, which have emerged in leaks, seem tailor-made to compete for attention with President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.
  • Trump is also said to be planning a last-minute spree of pardons, which he can issue unilaterally and would spawn another chaotic news cycle.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Back in 2009, President George W. Bush invited President-elect Barack Obama to meet all three of their living predecessors for lunch at the White House.

The former presidents - Jimmy Carter, George HW Bush, and Bill Clinton - put their political differences aside for a unique photo op to highlight their mutual goodwill and commitment to US democracy.

—Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) January 15, 2021

Twelve years on, it is a different story. President Donald Trump has refused to acknowledge President-elect Joe Biden's win, stirring conspiracy theories about a vast plot to deprive him of a second term.

He is facing a second impeachment trial after encouraging rally attendees who went on to trash the US Capitol on January 6. Formerly steadfast political allies, such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and business leaders are abandoning him.

And, according to reports, Trump's final days in office are tailor-made to keep the spotlight on him at the expense of Biden, who is scheduled to take office at noon Wednesday.

Read more: Biden's inauguration is raising tens of millions of dollars but won't say how it's spending the money

Outlets including CNN and The Washington Post on Sunday reported that Trump was planning to issue about 100 more presidential pardons and commutations before leaving office. Observers have long speculated whether Trump will issue preemptive pardons for himself or his adult children.

Trump has said he will not attend Biden's inauguration, which is set to be held under unprecedented security following the Capitol riot.

Instead he plans to fly to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, where he is expected to land just ahead of Biden's inauguration ceremony, a photo op likely to drag attention away from Biden in real time.

Trump was previously thought to be planning an even more audacious Inauguration Day spectacle, having touted the idea of spending January 20 announcing his 2024 candidacy to a rally of supporters.

That plan appears to have faded from view, however, given his political struggles - if he is convicted in the coming Senate impeachment trial, Congress could move to bar him from all public office, disqualifying him from running again.

Out of office, Trump will have a far smaller megaphone, with his Twitter account still out of his hands and bans on other platforms.

The dynamic has put an ever starker time limit on Trump's ability to dominate the news cycle, but he seems determined to use the powers left to him while he can.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Fauci says a new COVID-19 vaccine could be ready for US approval within weeks

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 7:11am
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
  • Another COVID-19 vaccine could be ready in the US within weeks, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday.
  • The vaccines made by the drugmakers AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson are in clinical trials.
  • President-elect Joe Biden's goal of 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely a doable thing," Fauci told NBC News' "Meet the Press."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The US could have two more COVID-19 vaccines within weeks, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told NBC News' "Meet the Press" on Sunday.

Fauci predicted that the drugmakers AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson would submit their clinical-trial data to the Food and Drug Administration as soon as this week and within the next few weeks "at most," assuming the Data and Safety Monitoring Board, an independent board of experts, gives the go-ahead.

Although Fauci was asked about both vaccines, it's possible he was just referring to Johnson & Johnson's, which appears to be closer to submitting data than AstraZeneca. Data for AstraZeneca's shot is not expected to be ready until at least March because its trial is still recruiting participants.

Moncef Slaoui, the outgoing chief advisor to President Donald Trump's vaccine initiative known as Operation Warp Speed, said in December that the vaccine developers could seek FDA emergency-use authorization by February, with a rollout in April. Johnson & Johnson has said it is on track for March rollout.

Read more: What's coming next for COVID-19 vaccines? Here's the latest on 11 leading programs.

The FDA has already given the green light to two COVID-19 vaccines: one from Pfizer and BioNTech, and one from Moderna. More than 12 million shots have been given to Americans so far, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The AstraZeneca shot is a two-dose shot, like Pfizer's and Moderna's, and has already been approved in the UK, where on January 4 an 82-year-old named Brian Pinker was the first in the world to receive the vaccine outside a trial.

It was on average 70% effective at preventing people from falling ill with COVID-19 in trials, according to the vaccine maker, which created confusion when announcing that a mistake caused some trial participants to receive a different dosing regimen from the rest.

Johnson & Johnson's shot requires only one dose. Early data indicated it could help protect against COVID-19, but it's not clear how it compares with other vaccines because large clinical trials are still ongoing.

Fauci, who is set to become incoming President Joe Biden's chief science advisor, said the new administration would use "whatever mechanisms we can" to reach Biden's goal of 100 million vaccine doses in his first 100 days in office.

Speaking with the "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd, Fauci said that goal was "absolutely a doable thing."

Fauci recommended that Americans double down on public-health measures while they wait for a vaccine, especially because new coronavirus variants, such as the one first identified in the UK but now found in 55 countries including the US, are probably more contagious.

"Be very compulsive, as the president-elect says, at least for the first 100 days and maybe more, everybody wear a mask, keep the distance, avoid congregate settings," he said.

More than 2.03 million deaths from the virus have been reported worldwide, per Johns Hopkins University, including more than 397,000 in the US.

Fauci urged people to get immunized to protect them from the disease.

"If there was ever a clarion call for people to put aside vaccine hesitancy, if we can get the overwhelming majority of the population vaccinated, we'd be in very good shape," he said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

'Dr. Doom' economist Nouriel Roubini warns Biden's presidency will suffer civil unrest and cyberattacks by Russia and China during his term

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 7:08am
  • Economist Nouriel Roubini expects Joe Biden's presidency to face civil unrest and cyberattacks.
  • Russia and China will launch cyberattacks against the US and spread false information, he said.
  • He's worried Donald Trump could execute military action in Iran, making things difficult for Biden.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Joe Biden's presidency can expect to go through civil unrest and cyberattacks, "Dr. Doom" economist Nouriel Roubini told German magazine Der Spiegel on Friday.

Biden's term will face more armed uprisings, especially from white nationalists, mainly to provoke the left-wing, the economist said in an interview with Tim Bartz.

According to Roubini, who is famous for his pessimism, Russia and China will launch cyberattacks against the US and circulate false information. 

"That will shape the next four years," he said, according to a transcript translated from German. 

But in the short-term, the American economist is more worried that President Trump could strike an attack on Iran's key nuclear site in Natanz - the only uranium enrichment plant in the country that's allowed to operate under the nuclear deal.

Read More: Bank of America says the warning signs that stocks are hurtling into bubble territory are growing - and pinpoints 6 that could signal a bear market is beginning

Trump's administration has engaged in aggressive foreign policy against Iran throughout his term and imposed a number of sanctions on a number of Iranian targets.

Biden, who will succeed Trump on Wednesday, has declared to return to the 2015 nuclear pact as long as Iran resumes strict compliance with it, according to Reuters.  

Trump could execute military action against Iran's key nuclear site to present himself as powerful to his supporters and make life more difficult for Biden, according to Roubini.

The economist also called for tighter regulation on Big Tech platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, because of their power. Since antitrust rules are devised for traditional monopolies, separate rules should govern social-media companies that have distinct structures, he said.

Read More: GOLDMAN SACHS: Buy these 25 stocks best-positioned to juice profits in 2021 as stimulus and vaccine progress spur economic growth

Read the original article on Business Insider

A potential Trump memoir is being opposed by hundreds of editors, writers, and agents - who have signed an open letter against it

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 7:05am
Donald Trump signs copies of his book, "Crippled America: How to Make Our Country Great Again", at Trump Tower on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, in New York.

Hundreds of authors, editors, and agents signed an open letter asking the world's publishers to skip a post-presidency memoir from Donald Trump. 

The letter, "No Book Deals for Traitors," was created by novelist Barry Lyga, as The Los Angeles Times and Publisher's Weekly reported. Lyga's letter opposed any book from members of Trump's administration. 

In part, it read: "As members of the writing and publishing community of the United States, we affirm that participation in the administration of Donald Trump must be considered a uniquely mitigating criterion for publishing houses when considering book deals."

Among the growing list of co-signers were staffers from each of the five biggest publishing houses, Penguin Random House, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, and Macmillan.  

Lyga told Insider on Sunday he'd been "noodling" with a version of the letter for a while, but the Capitol riots on January 6 "really crystallized" the idea. Afterwards, he began emailing people he knew in publishing, asking them to sign on.

The letter read: "And no one who incited, suborned, instigated, or otherwise supported the January 6, 2021 coup attempt should have their philosophies remunerated and disseminated through our beloved publishing houses."

When Lyga started tweeting about it last week, co-signers began flooding in. 

"That's all it took - it grew organically. A lot of people feel passionately about this," Lyga said. 

Read more: How Silicon Valley banished Donald Trump in 48 hours

On Friday, The Los Angeles Times and Publisher's Weekly wrote about the letter, which had about 250 signatures at the time.

Since then, the number of co-signers doubled, Lyga said. He said he planned to update the list every few days, as more names flowed in.

Waterstones on Gower Street in London on Wednesday.

Trump hasn't said publicly whether he plans to write a memoir, but doing so has become a usual milestone for ex-presidents. Barack Obama's "A Promised Land" sold about 887,000 copies in its first 24 hours. An instant best seller, boxes of the 768-page book filled the aisle and stockrooms of indie bookstores around the world. 

The prospect of a Trump memoir has been filling the publishing world with dread, as Insider reported in December.

Insider also reported in November that the first Lady, Melania Trump, was also reportedly trying to secure a book deal

—Barry Lyga (@barrylyga) January 16, 2021

 

Lyga said he had heard from critics, who accused him of censorship.

"There is no promise or guarantee of a book deal in the Constitution, and the people we are talking about still have the option of going on TV or radio, of writing op-eds, of self-publishing, of posting their own blogs, of shouting in the town square," he said on Sunday. 

He said he doesn't know if publishers will listen. But he took it as a good sign that Simon & Schuster canceled "The Tyranny of Big Tech," a book by Senator Josh Hawley, who opposed certifying the November election results.

"We believe publishers want to do the right thing, but as in almost any industry, memories can be short and profit can be persuasive. We are serving as a reminder of what the market will and will not accept from publishers," Lyga said.  

 

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Former Trump campaign staffers helped organize the rally that led to the deadly Capitol riot, records show, despite the campaign's repeated claims it wasn't involved

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 6:52am
President Donald Trump speaking at a rally before the Capitol riot.
  • Some former staffers on President Donald Trump's reelection campaign helped secure the permit for the January 6 rally that preceded the deadly Capitol riot, according to public records.
  • The Trump campaign has repeatedly denied being directly involved in the organization of the rally. 
  • According to the Associated Press, among those listed as organizers on official paperwork for the rally are former campaign staffers Megan Powers, Caroline Wren, Maggie Mulvaney, Justin Caporale, and Tim Unes. 
  • Some of those former staffers scrambled to hide their connections to the rally after it took place, the AP added.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump's reelection campaign has repeatedly said it wasn't involved in organizing the January 6 rally that led to the deadly storming of the Capitol. 

But a review of the official paperwork by the Associated Press, The Washington Post, and ABC News, shows that former Trump campaign staffers helped secure the permit for the "Save America" rally and were listed as official event organizers.

At this event Trump had addressed his supporters, telling them to "fight like hell."

The "Women for Trump" group, which is not officially connected to the campaign, technically hosted the event.

But paperwork reviewed by the AP shows that several former Trump campaign staffers helped the group get the permit to hold the rally at the Ellipse, a park near the White House. 

Several of these former campaign and White House staffers were also listed on this paperwork as being on-site staff during the event, including: 

  • Megan Powers, who according to the AP was listed as one of two operations managers for the rally. Her LinkedIn profile says she worked as the Trump campaign's director of operations as recently as this month. 
  • Caroline Wren, who was listed as a VIP advisor on the rally's permit paperwork, according to the AP. Federal Election Commission records show she was paid $20,000 by Trump's reelection campaign between mid-March and mid-November. The AP also found that Wren deleted several tweets about the rally after the riot. 
  • Maggie Mulvaney was listed as a VIP lead for the rally, according to the AP. Mulvaney, the niece of former White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney - who quit his role as a US envoy to Northern Ireland, citing the Capitol riot - worked as the director of finance operations for the Trump campaign, according to her LinkedIn profile. 
  • Justin Caporale, a former top aide to first lady Melania Trump, was listed as the event's project manager, the AP reports. FEC filings show he was on the Trump campaign payroll for most of 2020. 
  • Tim Unes, Caporale's business partner at Event Strategies, was listed as the rally's stage manager, according to the AP. According to an Insider review of FEC filings, Unes has regularly been paid by the Trump campaign, his most recent payment being for more than $6,000 in November. 
  • Hannah Salem, who spent three years as a senior White House press aide, according to her LinkedIn profile, was the rally's "operations manager for logistics and communications," according to the AP. 

None of the above responded to the AP's request for comment, and many blocked an AP reporter who reached out to them on Twitter. Insider contacted the listed former Trump associates for comment on Monday morning, but did not immediately receive a response.

Members of the US National Guard stand watch at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on January 17, 2021, during a nationwide protest called by anti-government and far-right groups supporting US President Donald Trump and his claim of electoral fraud in the November 3 presidential election.

In a statement to the AP and ABC News, the Trump campaign said it "did not organize, operate or finance the event" and that no campaign staff members were involved in the organization or operation of the rally.

It said that if any former employees or independent contractors helped organize the event," they did not do so at the direction of the Trump campaign."

The Washington Post also reported that several established Republican groups were involved in the rallies that led to the riot, and have since tried to distance themselves from the violence. The groups include the Republican Attorneys General Association, and the activist groups Turning Point Action and Tea Party Patriots. 

Trump was impeached for a historic second time last week for his role in inciting the rally to march to the Capitol, where the pro-Trump supporters turned violent, stormed the building, and sent lawmakers rushing to safety. A total of five people died as a result of the riot.

Read more: Mitch McConnell is telling GOP senators their decision on a Trump impeachment trial conviction is a 'vote of conscience'

With President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration two days away, the Secret Service is leading a multi-agency effort to secure Washington, DC, from more violence.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Watch a Virgin Orbit rocket successfully launch from beneath the wing of a Boeing 747, marking the latest entrant to the commercial space race

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 6:40am
Cosmic Girl departed from California's Mojave Air and Space Port, carrying a LauncherOne rocket under its wing.
  • Virgin Orbit on Sunday launched its first rocket to successfully reach Earth's orbit.
  • The rocket launched from a modified Boeing 747 and carried 10 small satellites for NASA.
  • "A new gateway to space has just sprung open!" Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart said.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Richard Branson's Virgin Orbit launched its first rocket to successfully reach Earth orbit on Sunday, eight months after its previous attempt failed.

The next step is using the rocket for commercial services, the company said.

Rather than launching the rocket from a traditional launch pad, Virgin Orbit used an "air launch" from under the wing of a modified Boeing 747 jumbo jet.

The rocket brought 10 small satellites sponsored by NASA into orbit.

The rocket had "for Eve" printed on the side as a tribute to Eve Branson, Richard Branson's mother, who died this month.

—Virgin Orbit (@Virgin_Orbit) January 18, 2021

The converted jumbo jet, named Cosmic Girl, launched the LauncherOne rocket while flying over the Pacific Ocean, just under an hour after it departed from California's Mojave Air and Space Port.

The 70-foot, two-stage rocket then ignited its engine and reached low-Earth orbit at just before noon Pacific Time.

"Everyone on the team who is not in mission control right now is going absolutely bonkers," Virgin Orbit tweeted. "Even the folks on comms are trying really hard not to sound too excited."

Both Gen. Jay Raymond, the chief of space operations at the US Space Force, and Elon Musk, the CEO of the rival aerospace company SpaceX, tweeted their congratulations.

Read more: The space industry will grow by over $1 trillion in the next decade, Bank of America says. Here are the 14 stocks best positioned to benefit from the boom.

Cosmic Girl had already flown more than 8,000 flights, carrying about 2.5 million passengers, since it was first procured by Virgin Atlantic in 2001. The jet and its crew landed back at Mojave later that afternoon.

The 10 satellites, or CubeSats, launched into orbit were part of NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative, and nearly all were designed, built, and tested by American universities.

"A new gateway to space has just sprung open!" Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart said in a press release.

"Even in the face of a global pandemic, we've maintained a laser focus on fully demonstrating every element of this revolutionary launch system."

"Virgin Orbit has achieved something many thought impossible," Branson added, calling it "the culmination of many years of hard work."

Following the successful test launch, the company will officially transition into commercial service for its next mission, it said. Customers that have already booked launches with Virgin Orbit include the US Space Force, the UK Royal Air Force, and Swarm Technologies.

The company's first test launch in May successfully dropped a rocket from a jumbo jet and ignited it, but its launch failed after an onboard computer lost connection.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Parler attracted senior members of the UK government before it shut down, according to reports

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 6:35am
This illustration picture shows social media application logo from Parler displayed on a smartphone with its website in the background.
  • More than a dozen politicians from the UK's ruling Conservative party joined Parler before the social network went offline, according to The Observer
  • They included Michael Gove, chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, and foreign minister James Cleverly, the newspaper reported Sunday.
  • In June, Conservative lawmaker Steve Baker said he hoped Parler would lead to "competition and innovation" for social media companies, according to The Critic
  • The findings indicate that conservatives' sense that mainstream tech platforms are suppressing their speech is not limited to the US.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

More than a dozen politicians from the UK's right-wing ruling Conservative party had joined Parler before the social network went offline, according to The Observer

Around 14 Tory lawmakers had profiles on the app, including senior figures such as Michael Gove, Chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, and foreign minister James Cleverly, the newspaper reported Sunday.

Other MPs on the app included Ben Bradley, who has frequently run into trouble for his Twitter posts, and Brexiter Steve Baker, the newspaper reported.

The findings imply that concerns about mainstream tech platforms taking action against misinformation are not limited to US conservatives.

Amazon removed Parler, which bills itself as a "free speech" alternative to Twitter, from its web servers last week, knocking the service offline. Both Apple and Google also removed the app from their stores. 

Some members of the mob that stormed the US Capitol on January 6 had reportedly organized on Parler and Twitter. Some Parler users called for "bloodshed" during the siege.

The app hadn't done enough to moderate such content, according to both Google and Apple.

"In light of this ongoing and urgent public safety threat, we are suspending the app's listings from the Play Store until it addresses these issues," a Google spokesperson told Insider at the time. 

Parler filed a lawsuit against Amazon on competition grounds, and said in a Friday court filing that its CEO John Matze fled his home after receiving death threats.

Read more: Inside the rapid and mysterious rise of Parler, the 'free speech' Twitter alternative, which created a platform for conservatives by burning the Silicon Valley script

In the US, conservative politicians and commentators also found an audience on the network. 

"Apple and Google have now removed the Parler App. Welcome to political censorship! Spread the word so your fellow Americans know about this," wrote Rep. Devin Nunes, in a Parler post seen by more than 3 million users, before the network went offline. 

Parler CEO John Matze and President Donald Trump, who allegedly considered making an account on the controversial social-media platform.

President Donald Trump also considered creating an account, according to a court filing.  

As early as June 2020, The Critic magazine identified a number of UK conservative commentators and politicians on Parler, including Gove and Baker.

At the time, Baker explained to the magazine why he'd joined.

He said there "seemed to be a demand" for MPs on the network, and that the site had stronger moderation than he'd expected. 

Baker told The Critic: "My hope is that competition and innovation from Parler may inspire Facebook and Twitter to implement features to exclude hateful words from our timelines and post comments."

When it was live, Parler called itself "the world's town square."

New users landed on a homepage that read: "Speak freely and express yourself openly, without fear of being "deplatformed" for your views. Engage with real people, not bots. Parler is people and privacy-focused, and gives you the tools you need to curate your Parler experience." 

Read the original article on Business Insider

US futures and European stocks slip as concerns over economic recovery surface, while robust China GDP lifts Asian markets

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 6:34am
  • US and European stocks dipped on Monday, while Asian stocks got a boost from solid China GDP.
  • The week ahead will be busy for markets as Joe Biden's inauguration takes place Wednesday.
  • The US dollar rebounded as Janet Yellen is set to affirm her support for a stronger dollar.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

US futures and European stocks edged lower on Monday, as investor concerns over harsher coronavirus restrictions and lockdowns set off a sluggish start to the week.

"It won't be so lively in markets today," Deutsche Bank economists said, as US equity and bond markets are closed on January 18 on account of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

But after the likely lull on Monday, the week ahead is expected to be a busy one, with President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Wednesday an "obvious focal point," they said.

US futures fell about 0.2%. President Trump's decision to restrict licenses to Huawei suppliers also seemed to be weighing on sentiment.

Market participants are counting on more stimulus measures being just around the corner, and are eager for Joe Biden to present more details about his ambitious economic agenda, said Milan Cutkovic, market analyst at Axi.

Elsewhere in Europe, the UK's FTSE 100 fell 0.2%, the Euro Stoxx 50 fell 0.3%, and Germany's DAX was about flat.

"We see further upside for equities, particularly those with exposure to a cyclical recovery," said Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management. UBS recommends global small-caps at this time and has added a preference for financials in the Eurozone, given their low valuations and solid earnings prospects, he said.

Read More: Bank of America says the warning signs that stocks are hurtling into bubble territory are growing - and pinpoints 6 that could signal a bear market is beginning

China posted a solid 6.5% expansion in fourth-quarter GDP, becoming the only major economy to grow in 2020. Its economy grew 2.3% for the full year, according to official data released by China's National Bureau of Statistics.

Asian stocks got a strong boost from the China data. The Shanghai Composite rose 0.8%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 1%, but Japan's Nikkei fell 0.9%.

The dollar index stood firmer at 90.87 on Monday after the Wall Street Journal reported Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen will affirm her support for a stronger US currency.

Oil prices were flat. With many oil traders focused on Iranian production, which will rely on the potential lifting of US sanctions under Biden, there was a reluctance to buy oil futures that was compounded by the Martin Luther King holiday liquidity drain, said Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at Axi.

Read More: GOLDMAN SACHS: Buy these 25 stocks best-positioned to juice profits in 2021 as stimulus and vaccine progress spur economic growth

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Trump reportedly plans to issue 100 pardons and commutations on his final day in office

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 6:15am
President Donald Trump.
  • President Donald Trump plans to pardon or commute the sentences of 100 people on his last day in the White House, CNN reported.
  • The list was drawn up during a Sunday meeting between Trump, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, and other aides, and will most likely be made public Monday or Tuesday, The Washington Post reported.
  • Some allies believe Trump expects to benefit from many of those pardons and commutations after the presidency, CNN reported.
  • The list of pardons and commutations could include Dr. Salomon Melgen, an eye doctor convicted of healthcare fraud, and the rapper Lil Wayne.
  • The list is not expected to include Trump, CNN said, though the president is said to have considered pardoning himself and his family.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump plans to pardon or commute as many as 100 people on his final full day in office, CNN reported.

A list of names was drawn up by Trump on Sunday during a meeting with Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, and numerous other aides, The Washington Post reported.

The decisions are expected to be announced Monday or Tuesday, The Post reported.

While the identities of the 100 are not known, some of the president's allies are said to believe that many of the pardons or commutations will go to people Trump expects to benefit from in the future.

"Everything is a transaction," a source told CNN. "He likes pardons because it is unilateral. And he likes doing favors for people he thinks will owe him."

Trump is expected to depart the White House on Wednesday morning - the day of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration - and permanently relocate to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

After that, Trump is said to be considering reviving his TV career, building a $2 billion presidential library, launching a TV or social-media network, or running for president again in 2024.

Vice President Mike Pence with Trump in the Oval Office in September.

But as his presidency winds down, Trump has been inundated with requests for pardons, including from the "Tiger King" star Joe Exotic and the "Q-Anon Shaman" Jacob Anthony Chansley.

And some of Trump's allies appear to be benefitting even if they aren't seeking pardons themselves.

On Sunday, The New York Times reported that several people close to the president had collected tens of thousands of dollars each in exchange for helping people seek pardons from Trump. A former CIA officer told The Times that an associate of Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal lawyer, told him that Giuliani could help arrange a pardon for $2 million. Giuliani denied involvement in clemency requests.

Read more: Biden's inauguration is raising tens of millions of dollars but won't say how it's spending the money

Though the identities of the 100 people are still unknown, CNN reported that Dr. Salomon Melgen, an eye doctor from Florida who is in prison after being found guilty of healthcare fraud, was expected to be one of those granted clemency.

Bloomberg reported last week that the rappers Lil Wayne - who faces prison time - and Kodak Black - who is in prison - were also being considered for pardons.

Trump is also said to have considered issuing preemptive pardons for allies and, possibly, himself. Preemptive pardons would cover actions that have already taken place but have not yet resulted in criminal charges.

Bloomberg said such pardons were being considered for the White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows; senior advisor Stephen Miller; director of personnel, John McEntee; and social-media director, Dan Scavino. The Times reported in early December that Giuliani was under consideration for such a pardon.

For weeks, it has been rumored that Trump was considering preemptive pardons for himself and his immediate family, but a source told Reuters the president was not planning to as of Sunday.

Roger Stone, pardoned by Trump last month, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in July.

According to CNN and Reuters, aides have for weeks tried to dissuade Trump from issuing a preemptive pardon for himself, saying it may not even work while making him look guilty of crimes for which he might be accused.

Trump has issued a slew of pardons and commutations since losing the 2020 presidential election.

On December 22, Trump pardoned 20 people, including two Trump campaign associates who were ensnared in the FBI's Russia investigation, two Border Patrol agents accused of shooting an unarmed immigrant, and four former Blackwater guards who were convicted of killing Iraqi civilians.

The next day he pardoned the longtime GOP strategist Roger Stone; his former campaign manager Paul Manafort; Jared Kushner's father, Charles; and a former K-9 police officer who set her police dog on an unarmed homeless man in 1995.

Last week, the House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump for his role inciting a group of his supporters who stormed the US Capitol in an attack that caused five deaths.

Trump now faces a trial in the Senate, whose members could vote to bar him from holding federal office again.

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