The first US president to be charged twice
The House of Representatives set out on Wednesday for the historic second time to indict President Trump. A vote was scheduled in the coming hours to accuse him of “inciting insurrection” after his supporters stormed the Capitol last week. Follow our live updates.
A small but growing number of Republicans said they supported the effort. Not a single Republican voted for impeachment in 2019. Wyoming representative Liz Cheney, a Republican, said there has “never been greater betrayal by a President of the United States.”
What’s next: No president has ever been charged twice or in his final days in office, and none have ever been convicted. Here you can see the next steps in the process.
After the attack on the Capitol: Law enforcement officials warned of threats of violence ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20. The National Guard troops are sent to Washington. Airbnb took a drastic step, canceling all Washington area reservations and blocking new ones in response to requests not to attend.
China locks 22 million people
The country is experiencing the worst coronavirus flare-up since last summer and is testing the government’s success in fighting the infections.
Authorities have taken action, ordered tests for each resident, suspended transportation, and canceled weddings and other events. They have ordered more than 22 million people to stay in their homes, twice as many as last January in Wuhan, the world’s first coronavirus lockdown.
The flares are still small compared to the devastation in other countries – an average of 109 new cases per day over the past week – but they threaten to undermine the country’s success in fighting the virus and revitalizing the economy.
Details: The lockdown included Shijiazhuang, Xingtai, Langfang and Beijing counties. During the pandemic, officials were particularly concerned about Beijing, home to the central leadership of the Communist Party.
Connected: In another possible setback for China, scientists in Brazil have downgraded the effectiveness of its CoronaVac vaccine to just over 50 percent – well below the 78 percent announced last week. The ramifications could be important to China’s drive to make its vaccine available to developing countries.
Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.
In other developments:
How North Korea will deal with President Biden
Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader, doubled down his plan to strengthen his country’s nuclear program recently at a party conference where many hoped he would instead focus on the economy, which has been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic and sanctions.
The country will likely wait to see if the Biden government suggests dialogue, some analysts say. If North Korea doesn’t get what it wants, it will continue its aggressive tactics: “The Biden team should be prepared for provocations and escalation in the first half of the year,” said one expert.
Mr. Kim has a deep distrust of Washington and Seoul. In reshuffling the party leadership during Congress, he downgraded officials who led diplomatic efforts and emphasized relations with China.
Connected: Iran has reached another milestone in its nuclear program by starting work on a key material, according to the Wall Street Journal.
If you have 5 minutes, it’s worth it
The city that war refugees built in South Korea
Six decades ago, after the Korean War, refugees like Han Gi-taek came up to a town on the border with North Korea to start a new life. Stray land mines and brutal cold made it difficult to cultivate the land in Haean City. The government promised the settlers that if they could do so for 10 years they could keep the land.
Now, after a raid on sensitive legal issues, South Korea is keeping its promise to 160 families. Our correspondent looked at their struggle for the homeland of the city.
The following also happens
Italian mob trial: The public prosecutor opened the largest mob trial in decades. 325 defendants from the Ndrangheta Crime Consortium were charged with murder, corruption, drug trafficking and other crimes in the southern region of Calabria.
Aleksei Navalny: The Russian opposition leader said he plans to return to Russia this weekend after recovering from a nerve agent attack in Germany, widely attributed to the Russian state. He threatens to be locked up on arrival.
What we read: This wired article about finding the identity of a hiker who died in Florida where his emaciated body was discovered in a tent. Natasha Frost from the briefing team calls it “fascinating and super sad”.
Now a break from the news
Cook: Invigorating and cozy, this Thai-inspired chicken meatball soup is made in a saucepan and ready in 30 minutes.
Read: Nadia Owusu’s “Aftershocks” is an attempt to understand what it means to be rooted and rootless. Our reviewer describes it as “a beautiful and troubling memory of Owusu’s own peripatetic childhood, along with the confusion and breakdown that followed.”
To do: Try this 11 minute body weight workout. One study shows that it significantly improves aerobic endurance.
We have more ideas on what to read, cook, see, and do while being safe at home. You can find everything in our At Home collection here.
And now for the background story about …
Supporting the Arts During the Pandemic
A variety of countries are taking steps to help artists and cultural institutions stay afloat during the pandemic, some more generously than others. Here’s a look at the highlights and failures of efforts by eight countries.
In May, the government announced that it would spend around $ 268 million on art assistance over four years – a sizeable amount for a country of five million people. The government’s plan for cultural recreation specifically focused on musicians. With a fund of 3.5 million US dollars, bands were able to tour nationwide. Thanks to the country’s influence on coronavirus cases, bands have been able to perform without social distancing measures since June.
The government has given art workers, including freelancers, small payments on top of existing unemployment benefits. A plan for actors and musicians that began last summer called for a one-time payment of about $ 449. And in November, the country launched a similar initiative offering up to $ 1,000 for people who make crafts and work behind the scenes at theaters and movie sets.
South Korea never saw a full lockdown in the spring as other measures were put in place to quickly control the spread of the virus. As a result, cultural life quickly returned to a semblance of normalcy (a production of The Phantom of the Opera in Seoul was closed for just three weeks). However, the South Korean government still supported the cultural institutions with around 280 million US dollars.
That’s it for this briefing. Until next time.
Carole Landry helped write this briefing. Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh took the break from the news. You can reach the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• We listen to “The Daily”. Our latest episode explores whether current crackdown on social media in the US is making violence less likely or just harder to track.
• Here is our mini crossword puzzle and a clue: travel by car (five letters). You can find all of our puzzles here.
• David Rubin, Times Chief Marketing Officer, spoke to the Our Future podcast about his vision that The Times was “the Netflix of Truth”.