Navalny called on his supporters to protest after being arrested last weekend when he returned to Moscow for the first time since being poisoned in August with a military-grade nerve agent. Navalny had been treated in Germany. Supporters of Navalny took already to the streets in Russia's Far East and Siberia earlier on Saturday to demand his release on a day of nationwide protests that authorities have declared illegal and vowed to break up. In Moscow, police erected barricades around Pushkinskaya Square as workers were engaged in re-tiling it, an apparent attempt to thwart a demonstration scheduled to start at 1100 GMT.
Navalny called on his supporters to protest after being arrested last weekend when he returned to Moscow for the first time since being poisoned in August with a military-grade nerve agent. Navalny had been treated in Germany. Video footage from Vladivostok showed riot police chasing a group of protesters down the street, while demonstrators in Khabarovsk, braving temperatures of around -14 Celsius (7 degrees Fahrenheit), chanted "Shame!" and "Bandits!" Police in the Siberian city of Yakutsk, one of the coldest cities in the world and where the temperature was -52 Celsius on Saturday, grabbed a protester by his arms and legs and dragged him into a van, video footage from the scene showed. The OVD-Info monitoring group said that 238 people, including 56 in Novosibirsk, had been detained so far at the rallies.
The UK government has launched a new COVID-19 advertising campaign featuring hospital staff and patients and asking: “Can you look them in the eyes and tell them you’re helping by staying at home?”The advert debuted on television on Friday January 22 and will roll out over social media.“With a shift in tone to previous adverts, the new campaign features raw footage and testimonials from patients who have COVID-19, as well as the NHS staff who are working around the clock to look after them at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital,” the government said in a press release.The UK government stated that someone is being admitted to hospital every 30 seconds with COVID-19, and a quarter of those are under the age of 55. Credit: @10DowningStreet via Storyful
Life has finally returned to normal for animal lover Du Fan, on the anniversary of the lockdown in Wuhan, China. Du is the head of the Wuhan Small Animals Protection Association, and spends his days rescuing, caring and finding homes for stray cats and dogs. But just one year ago, Du was scrambling to different compounds across the city on a desperate mission. As the onset of the global health crisis forced Wuhan into one of the world's strictest lockdowns, Du was suddenly flooded with requests to save pets whose owners were no longer able to care for them. Many were stranded in other cities, while some fell ill themselves. Du was initially hesitant to help, fearful for his team's safety. But with the pet owners' consent, Du masked up, and broke into their homes, leading his team door-to-door to some 5,000 households, feeding and rescuing over 10,000 pets. Just two weeks later, the project was suspended as an even stricter lockdown was put in place. But Du says the pets survived the remaining two months thanks to the large amount of supplies like food and water left behind by his team. Du says the rescue efforts not only saved the animals, but also brought immense relief to the lives of Wuhan residents during a scary and stressful time. "A pet is far more than a friend," he says. "It's part of the family."
Three people, including a child, were rescued by a HM Coastguard helicopter after getting caught in flooding in North Wales.In a statement on January 22, the Coastguard said the incident happened near Wrexham and the search and rescue helicopter had been called as part of a wider emergency response to floods across the area.Chief Pilot Dave Kenyon said: “This was a challenging winching scenario in terms of where the people were. They were on a ledge by the roof, with debris falling and being washed away all around them. We’re delighted that all three were got out safe and well, and handed into the care of the other emergency services.” Credit: Maritime and Coastguard Agency via Storyful
A Swiss court sentenced Israeli businessman and diamond trader Beny Steinmetz to five years in jail on Friday on charges of corruption and forgery. It's a landmark verdict in one of the mining world's most high profile legal cases, dating back to 2006 -- and shines a spotlight on international corruption in the struggle for control over Africa's natural resources. The ruling is a major blow for Steinmetz, one of Israel's wealthiest men, convicted of bribing public officials in order to gain control of iron ore deposits in Guinea--the richest untapped deposits of iron ore in the world. Steinmetz said he would appeal the verdict, which also included a hefty fine of over 50 million dollars, calling it a quote "big injustice." Steinmetz and two others were accused of paying bribes to acquire mining rights for the iron ore buried beneath Guinea's remote Simandou mountains, and forging documents to cover it all up through a web of shell companies and bank accounts. Prosecutors say they paid or arranged payment of some $10 million in bribes to Mamadie Toure, believed to be one of the wives of former Guinean president Lansana Conte. All three defendants denied the charges. Steinmetz claimed he was not behind the day-to-day running of the company, Beny Steinmetz Group Resources, describing himself as the owner and company ambassador, but not the boss. But presiding judge Alexandra Banna rejected that defense, calling Steinmetz the quote "effective head of the group." Steinmetz's co-defendants were found guilty of corruption as well, and also face jail time and significant fines. A lawyer for one of the defendants has said his client plans to appeal, while the other could not be reached for comment. Several representatives of NGOs say the verdict could have wider repercussions for the mining industry, with one attorney saying it demonstrates "increased accountability."
Heavy rain and windy conditions were seen across parts of England and Wales on Friday, January 22, as Storm Christoph continued to impact parts of the UK, the Met Office reported.This video shows flooding in Isycoed in northern Wales after the storm bloated the River Dee. North East Wales Search and Rescue said the video shows a team rowing their boat to the rescue of a woman in the area.The Environment Agency said that there was still a risk of flooding in some areas following the storm, and warned people to remain alert to the dangers. Credit: Ian Thomas Pomford via Storyful
A snow squall hit southern Ontario in Canada on January 22.Footage taken by Twitter user @sharimc72 shows white-out conditions on a road in Stayner, Ontario.The ECCC had issued a snow squall warning for the area on January 22, with long-lived combinations of heavy and blowing snow. Credit: @sharimc72 via Storyful
Police officers pulled a woman from icy waters in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, on January 15, with bodycam footage capturing the dramatic rescue.According to a press release sent to Storyful by the Prairie du Chien Police Department, the 72-year-old woman had fallen through the ice while attempting to save her dog, struggling in the water until a passerby called 911.Body cam footage shared by the police department shows the officers using rescue tools to pull the woman and her dog to safety. Credit: Prairie du Chien Police Department via Storyful
Heavy lake effect snow fell across central New York state on January 22.Footage taken by Twitter user @patrickmillwx shows snowfall and deep snow drifts. “It’s easy to forget how dangerous lake effect snow can be with how pretty it is!” wrote @patrickmillwx.The National Weather Service reported the snow would move south from Oneida County into the northern Finger Lakes region on January 22, with least 4 to 8 inches anticipated in the Syracuse area. Credit: @patrickmillwx via Storyful
'Lucrecia' and 'Ita' were born earlier this month and are reportedly in good health. The African wild donkey is easily distinguished from other donkey species because of its zebra-like markings on its legs. But its unique coat has also been one of the reasons for its threatened status, with the African wild donkey popular with hunters. The loss of its natural habitat has also contributed to the species' demise. Less than 200 African wild donkeys are estimated to exist in the wild.
Drivers in Morgan County, Alabama queued for coronavirus vaccine shots, footage posted by the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office on January 21 shows.On Friday, the state’s department of public health announced 3,550 new cases, bringing Alabama’s total to over 436,000 confirmed cases. At least 6,486 people are assessed to have died in the state after contracting the virus.On January 21, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey announced current orders, including mask requirements in public settings would be extended at least until March 5.Alabama residents aged 75 and over are currently eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine. Credit: Morgan County Sheriff’s Office via Storyful
BIDEN: "American families cannot wait another day..." U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday signed executive orders to fight the economic fallout of the pandemic. BIDEN: "The first step of our American Rescue Plan is a plan to tackle the pandemic and get direct financial relief to Americans who need it the most." The orders would speed the delivery of pandemic stimulus checks to needy families and increase food aid for children who normally rely on school meals. Biden is using the two executive orders to try to ease people’s burdens while Congress negotiates the fate of his proposed $1.9 trillion stimulus package. At a press briefing Friday, White House national economic council director Brian Deese told reporters that the American people can’t afford to wait. “If we don’t act now, we will be in a much worse place and we will find ourselves needing to do more to dig out of a much deeper hole... And you hear from economists across the board... when you’re at a moment that is as precarious as the one we find ourselves in, the risk of doing too little, the risk of undershooting far outweighs the risk of doing too much.” About 16 million people are now receiving some type of unemployment benefit and an estimated 29 million do not have enough to eat. Women, minorities, and low-income service workers have been disproportionately hurt, with Black and Hispanic workers facing higher jobless rates than white workers. BIDEN: "Yesterday we learned that 900,000 more Americans filed for unemployment. 900,000." Deese said Biden's actions were not a substitute for legislative relief and that he is speaking with lawmakers Sunday to push for more relief. Republican lawmakers have questioned the price tags on pandemic aid and Biden's separate $2 trillion investment proposal for infrastructure, green energy projects, education, and research. Biden's second order will restore collective bargaining power and worker protections by revoking three related orders issued by Trump during his term, which ended on Wednesday. It also promotes a $15-an-hour minimum wage. The federal minimum wage has been at $7.25 an hour since 2009. BIDEN: "No one in America should work 40 hours a week making below the poverty line."
A duo of tech snags sank the Dow and the S&P 500 Friday, but the Nasdaq hit a record closing high. The Dow fell 179 points. The S&P 500 shed 11. But the Nasdaq eeked out a 12-point rally, capping the strongest week for the index in more than two months. But that gain for the Nasdaq masked big drops for two struggling tech names. IBM was a big loser after it missed sales estimates and posted the fourth consecutive drop in quarterly sales. That stock slumped 10 percent. Intel was the other drag. The chip giant's incoming CEO seemed to back away from the company's previous to start outsourcing the production of some of its chips. The uncertainty overshadowed better-than-expected quarterly results. Intel tumbled 9 percent. For some on Wall Street, the heavy selling seen in those two tech names added to belief that this market is due for a pullback. Peter Cardillo, chief market economist, at Spartan Capital Securities is in that camp. "It's just a matter of time before we see a pullback of maybe eight percent. This market is really stretched out. And, you know, so far the news has been good. In fact, the macro news has been improving. The earnings got off to a good season. And, of course, we'll be seeing and hearing more about earnings next week. There are over 700 companies reporting." Some key names to report results in the coming week include tech bellwethers: Apple, Facebook and Microsoft. Economic releases on Friday were mostly upbeat. U.S. factory activity surged in January to its highest level in nearly 14 years, according to a private survey. And home re-sales ended last year with a bang. Full-year sales grew 22 percent from the year before, fueled by record-low mortgage rates and an exodus from urban centers.
The White House on Friday said President Joe Biden has directed his administration to conduct a full assessment of the risk of domestic terrorism in the wake of the attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump. White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki: "The January 6th assault on the Capitol and the tragic deaths and destruction that occurred underscored what we have long known: the rise of domestic violent extremism is a serious and growing national security threat. The Biden administration will confront this threat with the necessary resources and resolve. We’re committed to developing policies and strategies based on facts, on objectives and rigorous analysis and our respect for constitutionally protected free speech and political activities.” The assessment will be carried out by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in coordination with the FBI and Department of Homeland Security. Psaki said that, in addition to the threat assessment, the White House would build out capability within its National Security Council to counter domestic violent extremism, including a policy review on how the federal government can share information about the threat better. The news comes after the U.S. Senate on Wednesday confirmed Avril Haines as the Director of National Intelligence, the nation's top intelligence job.
A cold front brought snow squalls to north-central Vermont on Friday, January 22, the National Weather Service (NWS) in Burlington reported.Footage shared by Glenn Ericksen show snowy scenes in Brookfield and Randolph on Friday.The NWS warned drivers of potentially dangerous travel conditions. Credit: Glenn Ericksen via Storyful
Tinker Bell needed a little more than pixie dust to get down from her parade float at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, as maintenance staff extended a ladder to help her down.Footage taken by Manisha O’Donnell Williams in the Magic Kingdom section of the park shows the Peter Pan character receiving assistance with her climb down from her parade float. Williams said she took the video on January 18.Storyful contacted Disney World for comment but had not heard back by the time of publication. Credit: Manisha O’Donnell Williams via Storyful
A shortage of oxygen tanks in Mexico City combined with skyrocketing prices for the life-saving gas are compounding the coronavirus crisis in the city. In the metro area, home to some 22 million people, more than 20 medical oxygen distributors consulted by Reuters this week had no tanks in stock. Lines stretch for hours at the few stores with available inventory. RELATIVE OF COVID-19 PATIENT, ITZEL GONZALEZ: "(I have been here) about eight hours. I have been standing here since 10 a.m. waiting for my tank to be refilled. The oxygen is running low.” RELATIVE OF COVID-19 PATIENT, SELENE SUAREZ: "For my sister - the test says she has coronavirus. She tested positive three days ago and she is getting worse. We have been here since four o'clock in the morning." If buyers do get lucky, the price to refill a 24-hour tank is around $160 - more than 20 times the country's minimum daily wage of about $7 - and a four-fold rise since the end of last year as demand outstrips supply. Mexico City is the epicenter of a second wave of contagion in the country, with nearly 90% of the capital's COVID-19 hospital beds full, according to government data. Deaths are expected to reach 150,000 in the coming days, behind only the U.S., Brazil and India. Several distributors said that refillable tanks containing 72 hours of oxygen should arrive by the end of the month, but they will cost $990 each to buy. But Ricardo Sheffield, the head of national consumer protection agency PROFECO, said last week that oxygen tanks were available and that prices should be stable. "The first thing we must say is that there is a sufficient supply of oxygen. There is not and cannot be a shortage of oxygen. Two companies maintain the same prices from Tijuana to Merida, so we can say with all certainty that there is not and will not be a shortage of oxygen." In parts of the country, however, the sheer desperation to find oxygen tanks has taken reckless turns. An armed man in the northwest border state of Sonora stormed a public hospital earlier this week, leaving with seven portable tanks. No one was hurt, and local security officials later noted that most of the tanks stolen by the man were empty.
"Look, our recovery plan also calls for an increase in the minimum wage at 15 - at least 15 dollars an hour. No one in America should work 40 hours a week making below the poverty line," Biden said. Biden said his $2 trillion economic relief plan to address the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic has support from business, labor, Wall Street and Main Street.
"I can't say that I baked them all myself," she said, adding, "I wanted to give everybody a cookie as a small thank you for your service and your families' service." More than 25,000 National Guard troops were deployed to assist in protecting the U.S. Capitol for potential security concerns ahead of Wednesday's inauguration of Biden. The unprecedented precautions ensured the new U.S. president and Vice President Kamala Harris took office free of incident in a ceremony outside the U.S. Capitol, two weeks to the day after a mob attacked the building in a failed attempt to keep Congress from certifying their victory.
The Biden administration on Friday is on its way to notching another first for the country... As Janet Yellen - President Joe Biden's pick to become the next Treasury secretary of the United States - is on her way to becoming the first woman to hold that position. The U.S. Senate Finance Committee unanimously approved her nomination, a clear indication that she will easily win full Senate approval. Republicans on the committee voted for her despite their concerns about her support of the president's ambitious $1.9 trillion economic stimulus plan. At her confirmation hearing earlier this week, Yellen told lawmakers they needed to "act big" or risk a longer recession and severe scarring of the labor market. "Neither the president-elect nor I proposed this release relief package without an appreciation for the country's debt burden. But right now, with interest rates at historic lows, the smartest thing we can do is act big. In the long run, I believe the benefits will far outweigh the costs, especially if we care about helping people who've been struggling for a very long time." She will also be responsible for pushing through Biden's aggressive plans for infrastructure spending and tax hikes, but Republicans who voted for her said they were encouraged by Yellen's commitment to "work with us." Yellen previously served as chairman of the Federal Reserve and the head of the White House council of economic advisors under President Bill Clinton. Her expected confirmation follows the history-making swearing in of Vice President Kamala Harris, as the first woman, first Black and first Asian American to the second highest office in the country, as part of the most diverse administration in history. A full confirmation vote for Yellen is expected to happen swiftly.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin arrived at the Pentagon for his first day of work on Friday, January 22, shortly after the Senate approved his nomination by President Joe Biden, making Austin the first black person to ever hold the office.Austin was greeted by General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The pair, both wearing masks, exchanged an “elbow bump.”Austin told members of the press he “looked forward to working” with them. “See you around campus,” he said, as he stepped up toward a doorway. Credit: US Dept of Defense via Storyful
Sightings of newborn North Atlantic right whales off the Georgia and Florida coasts in January were welcomed by wildlife officials and conservationists as an encouraging sign for the critically endangered species.Footage from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division shows one calf – the 13th of the season – accompanied by its 14-year-old mother near Wassaw Island on January 19, the division said.A 14th calf was spotted off Florida’s Amelia Island on Wednesday, the division later wrote in a Facebook update.The non-profit Defenders of Wildlife said the births represented the best calving season in years for the imperilled whales. Credit: Georgia DNR – Wildlife Resources Division via Storyful
An energetic Canadian harbor seal squirmed in the snow at the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, Iowa, on January 15 after a blizzard hit the region.Footage shared by the Blank Park Zoo shows Ross the seal burrowing his body into a pile of snow. “Anyone else enjoying their snow day as much as harbor seal Ross?” the zoo wrote in a Facebook caption.Ross was found on the coast of British Columbia and rescued when he was five days old. The seal was nursed back to health at a Vancouver aquarium before finding a permanent home in Iowa, according to the Blank Park Zoo. Credit: Blank Park Zoo via Storyful