Dr. Fauci unleashed, feeling ‘liberated’; Biden to order virus stopgap help; Parler’s woes continue

Today is Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. Let’s get caught up.

These headlines are in the news this morning: Dr. Anthony Fauci called it “liberating” on Thursday to be backed by a science-friendly administration; President Biden will sign executive orders today to provide COVID-19 stopgap assistance to Americans; and a judge has sided with Amazon over Parler for now.

Read on for these stories, other top headlines, celebrity birthdays and more.


Top stories

Fauci unleashed: Doc takes ‘liberating’ turn at center stage

WASHINGTON (AP) — Dr. Anthony Fauci is back.

In truth, the nation’s leading infectious-diseases expert never really went away. But after enduring nearly a year of darts and undermining comments from former President Donald Trump, Fauci now speaks with the authority of the White House again.

He called it “liberating” Thursday to be backed by a science-friendly administration that has embraced his recommendations to battle COVID-19. Read more:

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Biden ordering stopgap help as talks start on big aid plan

BALTIMORE (AP) — President Joe Biden plans to take executive action Friday to provide a stopgap measure of financial relief to millions of Americans while Congress begins to consider his much larger $1.9 trillion package to help those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The two executive orders that Biden is to sign would increase food aid, protect job seekers on unemployment and clear a path for federal workers and contractors to get a $15 hourly minimum wage.

“The American people cannot afford to wait,” said Brian Deese, director of the White House National Economic Council. “So many are hanging by a thread. They need help, and we’re committed to doing everything we can to provide that help as quickly as possible.” Read more:

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Judge says Amazon won’t have to restore Parler web service

Amazon won’t be forced to immediately restore web service to Parler after a federal judge ruled Thursday against a plea to reinstate the fast-growing social media app, which is favored by followers of former President Donald Trump.

U.S. District Judge Barbara Rothstein in Seattle said she wasn’t dismissing Parler’s “substantive underlying claims” against Amazon, but said it had fallen short in demonstrating the need for an injunction forcing it back online.

Amazon kicked Parler off its web-hosting service on Jan. 11. In court filings, it said the suspension was a “last resort” to block Parler from harboring violent plans to disrupt the presidential transition. Read more:

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Weekend weather

A stationary front brings rain to the Deep South while much needed drought relief is possible for the Western US in the coming week. CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam has the weekend forecast.

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In other news today …

  • The Kremlin on Friday welcomed U.S. President Joe Biden’s proposal to extend the last remaining nuclear arms control treaty between the two countries, which is set to expire in less than two weeks.
  • The Islamic State claimed responsibility for a rare suicide attack that rocked central Baghdad, killing 32 people and wounding dozens.
  • Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell is proposing to push back the start of Donald Trump’s impeachment trial to February to give the former president time to prepare and review his case.
  • The master tenant of a cluttered, dilapidated San Francisco Bay Area warehouse where 36 people perished in a late-night fire in 2016 is scheduled to plead guilty Friday to the deaths, avoiding a second trial after the first ended in a hung jury.
  • Alice Hoagland, a beloved figure of the gay rugby movement that her own son, Mark Bingham, helped set in motion shortly before he perished in the 2001 terrorist attacks as one of the heroes of Flight 93, has died. She was 71.
  • Conor McGregor has been sued in Ireland by a woman who accused the mixed martial arts star of assaulting her.

Click on the links below for full versions of these stories and scroll further for a look at today in history and celebrity birthdays.

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