5 things to know for February 11: Impeachment, Capitol riot, Covid-19, India, Myanmar

New video shows how close rioters got to Congress members

Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

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1. Impeachment 

The second day of former President Trump’s impeachment trial brought more upsetting footage and accounts of January’s Capitol riot. Democratic impeachment managers are arguing that Trump was not a bystander in the events but actively encouraged his supporters to commit violence. One particularly harrowing piece of security footage showed just how close the mob came to then-Vice President Mike Pence. Even some Republican senators said the presentation did a good job at connecting the dots between Trump’s words and his supporters’ actions. Still, most GOP senators have made it pretty clear they’re going to vote to acquit anyway (remember, it would take two-thirds of the Senate vote to convict). Meanwhile, Trump is under criminal investigation in Fulton County, Georgia, over the phone call in which he urged Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to reverse his presidential election loss.

2. Capitol riot

Federal authorities are still searching for suspects in the death of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick during the Capitol riots, and new video evidence is bringing them closer to possible charges. Investigators have struggled for weeks to build a federal murder case in Sicknick’s death as they tried to pinpoint the moment he suffered his fatal injuries. It turns out, initial reports of him being struck with a fire extinguisher aren’t true, and they’re now looking at other factors, like rioters’ use of bear spray, that may have led to his death. Members of the US Capitol Police plan to hold a vote of no confidence today, following claims by some officers that intelligence and operational failures left them vulnerable to the attack. The vote underscores concern within the department that current leadership is incapable of managing future incidents.

3. Coronavirus 

Despite case numbers still raging and death tolls exceeding the country’s worst nightmares, Americans’ perception of their coronavirus risk is at its lowest since October, a new study finds. In related news, more states are easing their Covid-19 restrictions despite expert warnings that the US is not in the clear. Some of these relaxed restrictions also shield businesses from legal liability in case of Covid-19 transmission. That’s not the story in the UK, where the British government is considering whether to ban summer vacations until vaccinations are completed. And if you’re wondering, yes, it appears double masking really does work better. New data from the CDC shows wearing two masks can block 92.5% of potentially infectious particles.

4. India 

Those massive farm protests are still going strong in India. Since November, tens of thousands of farmers have been living in tents at sprawling camps outside the capital New Delhi to protest farming laws passed in September that they say will devastate their livelihoods. The Indian government has been criticized for its handling of the protests, and opposition leaders say police have been too violent in quelling the crowds. Authorities have also imposed several internet shutdowns, purportedly in the interest of public safety. So far, government leaders have failed to reach any compromise with leaders of more than 30 farmers’ unions despite months of negotiations and a pledge to suspend the new laws for several months. 

5. Myanmar

The US will sanction Myanmar’s military leaders after last week’s coup that has thrown the country into uncertainty and inspired unease among world leaders. President Biden said he will identify the targets of the sanctions this week and announced the US will also freeze assets benefiting the country’s government. He also called on the military junta to release detained protesters and civilian leaders, including Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and stop their crackdowns on demonstrators. The US State Department last week formally determined that the military takeover constituted a coup d’état, a designation that requires the United States to cut its foreign assistance to the country’s government.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

‘You’re upside down, Tom’: Congressman appears upended on video during hearing

If you still haven’t figured out video calls almost a year into the pandemic, take heart. You’re not alone. 

The best way to say ‘I Love You’ this Valentine’s Day? Stay far away

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees for 2021 are here

Frankly, most of these artists seem like shoo-ins.

Fascinating pillars of light dazzle in the northern US sky 

Aliens? Sadly, no. Just a cool illusion brought on by even cooler weather. 

Popeyes is hoping to cash in on its chicken sandwich success with a new fish version 

Hot take: Fish sandwiches are underrated. Now, who wants some flounder? 

PROFILES IN PERSEVERANCE

February is Black History Month, and every day we’re highlighting Black pioneers in American history. Learn more here.

Paul Robeson, musician, 1898-1976

Robeson was a Renaissance man, excelling at athletics and law, but he found his true calling on the stage. He was perhaps best known for his performances of Shakespeare’s “Othello,” which he reprised several times. He also performed songs in at least 25 languages and became one of the most famous concert singers of his time. Robeson was controversial because he used his celebrity to advance human rights causes. He was eventually ostracized for his pushes for social justice, and his songs disappeared from the radio for years. “The artist must elect to fight for freedom or slavery,” Robeson once said. “I have made my choice. I had no alternative.”

TODAY’S NUMBER

$6.8 billion

That’s how much Uber lost in 2020. Believe it or not, that’s good news, as it represents a significant drop from the $8.5 billion it lost in 2019

TODAY’S QUOTE

“If he had been able to get a hold of somebody … he would be alive today.”

Dan Kearns, whose teenage son Alex took his own life last June after seeing a negative $730,000 account balance in his Robinhood app and mistakenly thinking he owed the massive sum. The Kearns family is suing the free trading app, saying Alex tried to get in touch with the company multiple times. 

TODAY’S WEATHER

AND FINALLY

Warp and weft 

There’s something so soothing about watching fine silk threads become a beautiful bolt of velvet. (Click here to view.) 

Source: CNN – US News

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