The two Florida deputies who committed suicide within days of each other, leaving their 1-month-old son an orphan, had both been honored for saving people’s lives, according to reports.
St. Lucie County Deputy Clayton Osteen died Jan. 2 and Deputy Victoria Pacheco took her life “in the wake of Deputy Osteen’s death,” Sheriff Ken Mascara said in a statement this week.
Osteen, 24, who served in the US Marines, was awarded Deputy of the Year in 2020, a year after joining the department, WPTV reported, citing his personnel records.
He also saved someone’s life after performing CPR on a person who overdosed on drugs, according to the news outlet.
Pacheco, 23, who joined the force in 2020, received an award last year for her involvement in also saving someone who overdosed on drugs, the station added.
“Clayton and Victoria were joy-filled, first-time parents excited about their growing family, enamored with their baby Jayce, and so in love with each other,” a statement says on a GoFundMe page for the child.
“Tragically, for reasons completely unknown and totally out of character, Clayton took his own life December 31st, 2021. Reeling from the shock of loss, Victoria took her own life two days later,” it continues.
“Baby Jayce now needs the support of community and country to help provide for him going forward,” it adds.
In his statement, Mascara said his office responded to a call just before midnight on New Year’s Eve and found that Osteen, who was off duty, had tried to kill himself.
His family removed him from life support Sunday, Mascara said. On Tuesday, the office learned of Pacheco’s suicide, although the sheriff didn’t specify when she died.
“While it is impossible for us to fully comprehend the private circumstances leading up to this devastating loss, we pray that this tragedy becomes a catalyst for change, a catalyst to help ease the stigma surrounding well-being and normalize the conversation about the challenges so many of us face on a regular basis,” Mascara said.
On Wednesday, grief counselors spent several hours at the agency, according to WPTV.
“It’s devastating. It really is. When one of us hurts, we all hurt,” retired police officer Dana Bennett told the outlet.
The former cop is among the many friends, relatives and law enforcement officers who wonder if the stresses of the job played a part in the couple’s decisions to take their lives.
“People don’t understand what we take home with us,” said Bennett, who retired from his New Jersey agency in the 1990s and now volunteers for COPLINE.
“We’re not counselors. We’re active listeners,” Bennett told WPTV. “We could spend 15 minutes, five minutes, we could spend two hours on the phone with some people.”
He said that on average, about one of every eight calls he gets is from someone who might be considering harming themselves.
“We’ve seen the increase in suicides in the police officers … we’ve had a big uptick,” Bennett told the station.
On Wednesday, the office of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said his administration has taken steps to support first responders.
First lady Casey DeSantis and the state Department of Children and Families announced that nearly $5 million from the Federal Crisis Counseling Program would be distributed to provide crisis counseling through helplines, DeSantis’ press secretary Christina Pushaw said.
Casey DeSantis also recently announced that $12 million will go toward expanding mental health services for first responders, WPTV said.
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He spoke with ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl.
January 6, 2022, 5:30 PM
• 6 min read
While most Republicans were absent on Capitol Hill for the Jan. 6 anniversary Thursday, one of the party’s most prominent elder statesmen was there.
ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl spoke to former Vice President Dick Cheney just off the House floor.
Asked why he came to the Capitol this day, Cheney said, “It’s an important historical event,” referring to the anniversary of the insurrection. “You can’t overestimate how important it is.”
He added, “I’m deeply disappointed we don’t have better leadership in the Republican Party to restore the Constitution.”
He noted that his daughter, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., is an exception. She is the vice chair of the House select committee investigating the attack on the Capitol, and has come under heavy fire from fellow Republicans.
Cheney then went to the House floor with his daughter — he has lifetime floor privileges as a congressman who held the seat she now occupies — to observe a moment of silence.
One by one, Democratic members, including some liberals who castigated him and his politics when he was vice president — approached him to shake his hand and pay their respects.
Besides the Cheneys and her staffers, there were no other Republicans in sight.
As Cheney departed the House chamber, walking alongside his daughter, he told ABC News, “Very proud of Liz,” when asked for some parting thoughts.
“It’s great coming back,” he told a swarm of reporters. “Liz is doing a hell of a job. I’m here to support her.”
When asked for his reaction to Republican leadership’s handling of this day, Cheney — not one to mince words — said, “Well, it’s not a leadership that resembles any of the folks that I knew when I was here for 10 years — dramatically.”
Rep Liz Cheney said it was “very concerning,” adding, “I think a party that is in thrall to a cult personality is a party that is dangerous to the country, and I think we clearly have got to get to a place we are we are focused on substance and on issues.”
The former vice president then took the long walk across the Capitol toward the Senate chamber, stopping momentarily to take in a white stone bust of himself outside the office of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who is far from the Capitol, and instead, at a funeral for a late GOP senator in Atlanta.
ABC News’ Trish Turner, Benjamin Siegel and Mariam Khan contributed to this report.
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“It was terrible,” Philadelphia Deputy Fire Commissioner Craig Murphy said of the scene. “This is probably one of the worst fires I ever been to.”
Firefighters faced heavy smoke, heat and limited visibility on all floors when they entered the building, a news release from the city said.
Rescuers pulled a child from the building, who did not survive, and two other people were taken to hospitals, officials said. Eight people were able to escape by themselves, Murphy said.
“This is without a doubt one of the most tragic days in our city’s history — loss of so many people in such a tragic way,” Mayor Jim Kenney said Wednesday morning. “Losing so many kids is just devastating. … Keep these babies in your prayers.”
Here’s what we know about the tragedy and the investigation:
Qaadira Purifoy said her family suffered an unimaginable loss. Two of her sisters and four of her nieces and nephews died in the fire, she told CNN affiliate KYW-TV.
“Losing sisters, I never thought this would happen,” Purifoy said. “Sisters, nieces and nephews.”
Debra Jackson’s sister was able to escape the home’s first floor with three of her children, she told KYW-TV.
“Two of her sons got burned, she probably is just smoke inhalation. But thank God that they’re alive,” Jackson said. “My heart goes out to the family that lost all their family.”
Philadelphia’s school district said Wednesday it was working with City Council President Darrell Clarke to set up a fund to help the affected families.
Some of the children who died were students in city schools, the district said, without saying how many. The district said it also has made counseling and support services available for grieving students.
Neighbors and others — some sobbing — gathered outside the burned row house as firefighters and police worked the scene Wednesday morning, CNN affiliate WPVI reported.
Bill Richards, who said he’s lived on the block for 24 years, told WPVI that before he knew of the fire, he heard a woman yell, “Oh, my God! Oh, my God!” He then heard fire trucks and went outside.
“It’s very upsetting,” Richards told WPVI. “I just can’t wrap myself around it.”
Richards described the area as “a very family-oriented neighborhood.”
“We’ll help each other get through the grief,” he said.
The fire took place at a home that records show is owned by the Philadelphia Housing Authority, a municipal agency that leases homes to people with low income.
It was a row home that had been legally subdivided into two apartments since the 1950s and has had no violations, according to a spokesperson for the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections.
The building, according to records, was estimated to have been built in 1920.
Twenty-six people lived in the three-story building — eight on the first floor, and 18 on the second and third floors, fire officials said.
The housing authority was not aware 26 people were living there, said Dinesh Indala, the agency’s senior executive vice president of operations. The agency is checking how many were allowed to live there, he said.
“You don’t know the circumstances of each and every family, and maybe there were relatives and family that needed to be sheltered,” Kenney, the mayor, told WPVI. “Obviously, the tragedy happened, and we all mourn for it. But we can’t make judgment on the number of people living in the house because sometimes people just need to be indoors.”
The city “owes it to the victims, the survivors, and to all Philadelphians to conduct a thorough investigation into this travesty, so that we can make sure it never happens again,” District Attorney Larry Krasner said.
Firefighters responded to flames around 6:40 a.m. Wednesday and found “heavy fire” in a kitchen area at the front of the second floor. officials said. There was “nothing slowing that fire from moving,” Murphy, the fire commissioner noted.
Murphy initially told reporters that four smoke detectors were in the building, “and none of them operated.”
Murphy later indicated that Philadelphia Housing Authority records show that at least six battery-operated smoke detectors had been installed there from 2019 to 2020.
However, Indala, the housing authority official, said the agency had different information about the detectors.
One of the apartments, the “A unit,” had seven smoke detectors and three carbon monoxide detectors at its last inspection, Indala said. He did not specify the year of the inspection, and CNN has requested clarification.
The other apartment, the “B unit,” had six functional smoke detectors and three functional carbon monoxide detectors as of its last inspection in May 2021, Indala said.
Two batteries and two smoke detectors were replaced then, Indala said. Smoke detectors also were replaced in the B unit in an inspection in September 2019, according to Indala.
When asked why smoke detectors would not have worked if they were inspected in May 2021, Indala replied, “I don’t know if they were replaced or tampered with. … We are working with the fire department at this time to do further inspections.”
It wasn’t immediately clear which floors the A and B units covered.
Faulty smoke detectors are treated as emergencies and are replaced in 24 hours if requested, Indala said, and the authority does inspections annually.
“Every time we come in for an inspection, as is evident from the last one, we had to replace two batteries, replace the smoke detectors. And these are 10-year smoke detectors, so that’s something we run into quite often on our properties,” Indala said.
CNN’s Caroll Alvarado, Laura Dolan, Mark Morales and Kristina Sgueglia contributed to this report.
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Russian paratroopers have arrived in Kazakhstan to help its government end mass protests that are gripping the former Soviet country.
The Russian troops are deploying to Kazakhstan as part of a joint force from a Russian-led military alliance of several former Soviet countries, after Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jopart Tokayev appealed late Wednesday it for help in supressing the protests. The unrest was triggered by a hike in fuel prices, but has escalated into an unprecedented uprising against Kazakhstan’s authoritarian regime, with thousands of people storming government building across the country, including the largest city, Almaty.
The Russian-led alliance, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), has said the force is part of a “peacekeeping” mission to help Kazakhstan’s government restore order. The Russian paratroopers landed Wednesday morning close to Almaty and would begin completing tasks immediately, the alliance told Russian news agencies. Contingents from Belarus, Armenia, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan will also deploy, according to the alliance.
The Russian troops arrived as Kazakhstan’s security forces moved to try to regain control in Almaty, the former capital where protesters yesterday stormed and set fire to key government buildings and overran the airport. Local police said overnight they had killed dozens of protesters in the city, accusing them of attacking government and police buildings.
Video published by the Russian news agency TASS showed Kazakhstan government soldiers advancing in a line and firing at protesters in Almaty. That shooting took place at the main square in front of Almaty’s mayor’s office, according to the agency, that was the center of the protests on Wednesday and was gutted by fire after a crowd stormed it. Kazakhstan’s interior ministry said Thursday that police had now arrested 2,000 people during raids in Almaty and that officers were now moving “to clear” two main streets.
Almaty’s police department said 8 police and security personnel were killed and 353 injured during Wednesday’s protests.
President Tokayev has vowed to use force to put an end to the protests, after concessions earlier Wednesday, including dismissing his government and reversing the fuel price rise, failed to quell them. Tokayev claimed the protests were being led by foreign terrorists groups, using the claim to justify his call for the Russian-led alliance to send troops.
It was not clear how many Russian troops were being sent, though the force appeared to be relatively small. Tajikistan has said it will send 200 soldiers, Belarus 500 and Armenia around 70.
It was unclear whether the Russian troops would take part directly in operations against the protesters, which could see them fire on Kazakh civilians, an inflammatory scenario Moscow likely wants to avoid. The CSTO alliance said the “peacekeeping” force’s main tasks would be “to secure important state and military facilities” and to assist Kazakhstan’s law enforcement agencies “stabilise the situation.”
An internet blackout made it difficult to access the state of the protests on Thursday, although connection was restored later in the day. In Almaty, the center of the protests, the streets were largely empty and eerily quiet on Thursday, according to an ABC reporter in the city. The reporter said overnight they had heard distant gunshots but that on Thursday there was little sign of protesters in most of the city, as security forces moved to try to clear the central square.
Authorities announced all banks were temporarily closed Thursday due to ongoing “counter-terrorism operations” and because of problems with the internet. In the capital, Nur-Sultan, local residents reported lines for bread and other foods.
Videos posted by local independent media showed crowds of protesters in some cities, including the western oil hub Zhanozen, where the protests over the fuel prices began five days ago.
The protests started there after the price of liquified natural gas used in vehicles almost doubled overnight. But by Tuesday the protests had spread across Kazakhstan and were challenging the regime created by Nursultan Nazarbayev, the former Communist party boss who has dominated the country since it gained independence during the Soviet Union’s fall.
Nazarbayev, who is 81, in 2019 handed power to Tokayev as his handpicked successor, but he retained substantial power behind the scenes by moving to become chair of the national security council and he was granted the honorary title of “leader of the nation.” Under Tokayev, Nazarbayev’s cult of personality has continued, with the capital city, Nur-Sultan, named after him.
Protesters pulled down a statue of Nazarbayev on Wednesday in Taldyrkurgan, the Almaty regional capital. And demonstrators in many places chanted a Kazakh slogan meaning “Go away, old man!”
Tokayev on Wednesday announced he was taking over from Nazarabayev as head of chairman of the security council, in what appeared as a concession to the protests meant to signal a final end to Nazarbayev’s rule. Tokayev himself was named president in an election criticised by international observers as flawed.
Nazarbayev’s regime has been a close ally of Russia’s president Vladimir Putin, which considers Kazakhstan a crucial part of Moscow’s sphere of influence. The intervention to help Kazakhstan’s government was the second time in a year and a half, that the Kremlin has had to come to the aid of a former Soviet authoritarian leader in a key neighbor, after mass protests in 2020 threatened to topple Belarus’ Alexander Lukashenko.
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When firefighters arrived, they found heavy smoke, heat and limited visibility on all floors.
The Philadelphia Fire Marshal’s Office is leading the investigation into the cause of the fire along with help from the Philadelphia Police Department and the federal NRT, part of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The deployment of the NRT came at the request of the Philadelphia Fire Marshal’s Office given the magnitude and the scope of the fire, the bureau said in a statement.
“We’re grateful for the assistance as we continue to investigate the heartbreaking fire on 23rd Street,” the Philadelphia Fire Department said in a tweet.
Firefighters were able to rescue one child from the fire, but the child didn’t survive.
“This is a very tragic event in which the community sustained such a great loss of life,” said Matthew Varisco, special agent in charge of ATF’s Philadelphia Field Division. “ATF will continue to work with our local, state, and federal partners to assist in any way possible.”
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The two-hour conversation — “Live from the Capitol: January 6th, One Year Later” — will include remarks from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, and nine other House members: Democratic Reps. Lisa Blunt Rochester of Delaware, Jason Crow of Colorado, Veronica Escobar of Texas, Ruben Gallego of Arizona, Dan Kildee of Michigan and Susan Wild of Pennsylvania.
Several members of the House select committee investigating the attack on the US Capitol will also mark the anniversary, with committee Chair Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, and Vice Chair Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, attending, as well as Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland.
In addition to the lawmakers, some officers who fought to protect the Capitol against the pro-Donald Trump mob will also be at the event, including US Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn and Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, as well as DC Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges.
What time is the event?
The event is set to air live on January 6 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET. The event will replay from midnight to 2 a.m. ET.
How can I watch it?
The event will air on CNN and CNN en Español. It will also be simulcast on CNN International. It will stream live for subscribers via CNNgo (CNN.com/go and via CNNgo apps for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, Samsung Smart TV and Android TV) and on the CNN mobile apps for iOS and Android. The event will be available on demand on January 7 via cable/satellite systems, CNNgo platforms and CNN mobile apps.
Who is moderating?
The event will be hosted by CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Jake Tapper.
Where is it taking place?
It will be held in the Capitol’s National Statuary Hall, one of the areas that rioters accessed during the riot after they temporarily overcame law enforcement officers and stormed the iconic building.
CNN’s Devan Cole contributed to this report.
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VP Cheney: GOP leadership doesn’t ‘resemble any of the folks I knew’
After the House’s moment of silence, Vice President Dick Cheney told reporters it was great to be back in the Capitol, but Republican leadership doesn’t resemble “any of the folks I knew when I was here for 10 years.” It’s changed “dramatically,” he said.
When asked if he was disappointed by how the GOP caucus has treated his daughter, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., — like booting her from her leadership position in the caucus in 2021 for standing up to Trump — the former vice president said: “My daughter can take care of herself.”
When how they felt being the only Republicans to show up for the moment of silence, Rep. Cheney said: “It is a reflection of where our party is. Very concerned.”
House Speaker Pelosi commends Capitol Police, warns of danger of insurrection
A solemn atmosphere on the House floor hung over the 40 House Democrats and two Republicans, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, as House Chaplain Margaret Grun Kibben delivered a prayer for the health, safety and stability of the nation.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., acknowledged the somber occasion by announcing that while no legislative business would take place in the House until next week, legislators would fill a different duty that day.
“Today one year ago, the Capitol and those who work in it were targeted by a violent insurrection that sought to undermine democracy,” Pelosi said. “As we acknowledged the horror of that day, we honor the heroism of so many,” she continued, citing Capitol police, professional staffers and first responders.
“In the face of extreme danger, they all risked their safety for our democracy,” Pelosi said. She also acknowledged the officers killed that day, and other officers who had died by suicide in the months after the insurrection.
Quoting Presidents Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, Pelosi cautioned that US democracy remained under assault from within, as in past eras.
“Today we accept responsibility as daunting and demanding as any that previous generations of leaders have faced,” Pelosi said, referencing GOP state voting laws and ongoing efforts to undermine trust in the electoral process.
— Matt Brown
Low-key Senate session
The Senate is holding a low-key session on the Jan. 6 anniversary – at least half of it is.
As the Republican side of the chamber sat empty, a steady stream of Democrats went to the floor to mark the occasion and warn Americans that democracy remains under threat.
Urging the passage of new voting rights legislation, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called on Americans “to rise to the occasion and assure that the mob, the violence, the lies do not win the day.”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., recalled how she and staffers had to leave ahead of the surging rioters. She recalled how a staffer shouted to “take the boxes” full of electoral ballots.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said some lawmakers – i.e., Republicans – have developed “amnesia” about Jan. 6, and led “a concerted effort to downplay or grossly mischaracterize” the brutal effort to overturn a legitimate election.
Some Senate Republicans made statements on the occasion, and some accused the Democrats of “politicizing” the Jan. 6 attack.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called Jan. 6 “a dark day” for all Americans, and said the Capitol “was stormed by criminals who brutalized police officers and used force to try to stop Congress from doing its job.”
McConnell also said: “It has been stunning to see some Washington Democrats try to exploit this anniversary to advance partisan policy goals.”
McConnell led a delegation of Republicans to attend the funeral of former member Johnny Isakson of Georgia. Also, the Senate chamber is usually mostly empty; members typically arrive to give their remarks and then leave.
‘Best speech I’ve heard him give’: Senators react to Biden speech
Senators from both sides of the political aisle had strong feelings about President Joe Biden’s passionate speech, in which he lambasted former president Donald Trump for what he described as inaction on Jan. 6 and spreading falsehoods about the 2020 election.
“We’ve known each other for 50 years,” Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., told USA TODAY. “It’s probably the best speech I’ve heard him give, but more importantly, it was the most important speech for the country this time. The President of the United States had to speak out like that, and I thank him for it.”
When asked if Biden should have made this speech sooner, Leahy said the president “picked the exact right time.”
Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., told USA TODAY she thought it was “excellent” and “exactly what needed to be said.”
However, some Senate Republicans disagreed with that analysis.
Former President Barack Obama warned Thursday that “democracy is at greater risk today” than it was a year ago as states across the country battle over voting rights legislation.
“Our system of government has never been automatic. If we want our children to grow up in a true democracy – not just one with elections, but one where every voice matters and every vote counts – we need to nurture and protect it,” he wrote in a statement posted to social media. “Today, that responsibility falls to all of us. And on this anniversary, nothing is more important.”
– Amy Nakamura
Trump response to Biden speech
Former President Donald Trump responded to President Joe Biden’s scathing remarks about his role in the Jan. 6 mob attack on the Capitol by accusing Biden and the Democrats of trying to stoke fears and divide the country.
In a pair of statements issued shortly after Biden’s speech, Trump accused his successor of using the insurrectionist attack by a mob of pro-Trump supporters to deflect from “the incompetent job he’s doing.”
“This political theater is all just a distraction for the fact Biden has completely and totally failed,” Trump said.
In his remarks, Biden laid the blame for the attack one year ago squarely at the feet of Trump.
Trump fired back that Biden “used my name” to try to “further divide America.”
Biden never actually used Trump’s name. He referred to the “former president” 16 times during his remarks, but never actually mentioned Trump by name.
Afterward, Biden told reporters he never called Trump out by name because “I did not want to turn it into a contemporary political battle between me and the president.”
Outside the fences surrounding the Capitol stands a man with a cowboy hat and an American flag sewn on his jacket.
Larry Warren traveled from Grand Rapids, Michigan, to “commemorate the anniversary of the Jan. 6 movement” and “support the prisoners that are still being held.” Warren was also here last year but was stopped by Capitol police before he could get into the Capitol.
Warren grew up as a Democrat but became an independent once he lost his job at a Michigan steel mill that closed in the 1990s. Warren supports Trump’s policies to “buy American, hire American” and switched his affiliation to the Republican Party when Trump became president. He hopes for more transparency about the charges levied against the prisoners who were arrested last year on Jan. 6.
– Michelle Shen
Outside the Capitol: ‘I still see division’
On the snowy grounds outside the Capitol’s eastern front, a small group of press and a few members of the public are gathered in front of the barricades blocking off the building. Elizabeth Nicholas, a Capitol Hill resident and former Senate staffer, said she felt “mixed emotions” as she paused to reflect on last Jan. 6 while walking her dogs, Stella and Archie.
Nicholas was in North Carolina visiting family that day and remembers trying to get in touch with friends who worked inside the building as she learned about the breach. She didn’t know if they were safe for several hours.
“It was very triggering because we all went through September 11 being part of the Senate family,” she said, adding that she hopes the country can come together the way it did after 9/11. “It was very, very hard.”
“I would like to see more unity,” Nicholas said. “I still see division.”
– N’dea Yancey-Bragg
Biden: Trump, insurrectionists ‘held dagger at the throat of America’
President Joe Biden placed the blame for the mob attack on the Capitol one year ago squarely at the feet of Donald Trump, saying the former president and his supporters who stormed the seat of democracy “held a dagger at the throat of America.”
“You can’t love your country only when you win,” he said. “You can’t obey the law only when it’s convenient. You can’t be patriotic when you embrace and enable lies.”
Biden delivered his remarks from Statuary Hall, a stately, semicircular chamber that houses a collection of statutes of prominent Americans donated by all 50 states. The room was one of several in the Capitol broken into last year by the mob of insurrectionists looking to stop Congress from certifying the results of the presidential election.
“They didn’t come here out of patriotism or principle,” Biden said. “They came here in rage.”
While Biden had harsh words for the pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol, he also called out the former president in blunt language, calling him “a defeated former president” who sowed doubts about the electoral process even before the first ballot was cast and later instigated the mob attack on the Capitol.
On Jan. 6, “for the first time in our history, a president had not just lost an election: He tried to prevent the peaceful transfer of power,” he said.
Trump and his supporters are trying to rewrite history, Biden added.
“They want you to see Election Day as the day of insurrection and the riot that took place here on Jan. 6 as a true expression of the will of people,” he said. “Can you think of a more twisted way to look at this country?”
Despite the attack, the attempt to thwart democracy failed, Biden said.
“This is not a land of kings or dictators or autocrats,” he said. “We’re a nation of laws, of order, not chaos – of peace, not violence. Here in America, the people rule through the ballot.”
– Michael Collins
Harris: Capitol riot an attack on rule of law, broader threat to democracy persists
Shortly after 9 a.m., President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris walked onto a platform in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall, where the silence was heavy, aside from the sounds of their footsteps and the clicking of cameras. The room was mostly empty besides a handful of reporters, staffers, and TV cameras.
As Harris began speaking, Biden retrieved a tissue from his pocket, and wiped his eyes.
Harris described the Capitol insurrection as an ominous warning about the future of the country should its root causes go unaddressed.
“On January 6th, we all saw what our nation would look like if the forces who seek to dismantle our democracy are successful: The lawlessness, the violence, the chaos,” Harris said.
“The American spirit is being tested,” she cautioned. The answer to whether we will meet that test resides where it has always resided in our country – with you. The people. The work ahead will not be easy.”
The vice president described the rioters actions as an attack “on the rule of law” and further argued that conspiracy theories about the illegitimacy of the 2020 election threatened the democratic nature of the country. She called on Congress to pass voting rights legislation to combat restrictive voting laws passed in GOP states.
“We cannot sit on the sidelines. We must unite in defense of our democracy,” Harris said.
– Matthew Brown
Karl Rove: GOP has a duty to condemn rioters
On the eve of the Capitol insurrection anniversary, one of American conservatism’s most influential architects urged Republicans to condemn the Capitol insurrection for the good of the country.
“On the anniversary of Jan. 6, I’m addressing squarely those Republicans who for a year have excused the actions of the rioters who stormed the Capitol, disrupted Congress as it received the Electoral College’s results, and violently attempted to overturn the election,” wrote Karl Rove, a former senior adviser in the George W. Bush administration and political commentator, in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal.
Rove condemned efforts at “soft pedaling” the events of Jan. 6, arguing that any downplaying of the violence or mob’s motivations was a danger to the country.
“If Democrats had done what some Trump supporters did on that violent Jan. 6, Republicans would have criticized them mercilessly and been right to do so,” Rove wrote.
Carter: Political distrust threatens to ‘collapse’ US democracy
Former President Jimmy Carter held out hope that the Capitol riot would “shock the nation into addressing the toxic polarization that threatens our democracy.” That hasn’t happened.
Writing Thursday in The New York Times, the nation’s 39th president said too many people continue to promote the lie of a stolen election in 2020. They “have taken over one political party and stoked distrust in our electoral systems,” Carter wrote on the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Carter wrote that politicians “have leveraged the distrust they have created to enact laws that empower partisan legislatures to intervene in election processes.”
While not specifically citing ex-President Donald Trump or the Republican Party by name, Carter called out politicians in Texas, Florida and his home state of Georgia.
He added: “They seek to win by any means, and many Americans are being persuaded to think and act likewise, threatening to collapse the foundations of our security and democracy with breathtaking speed.”
– David Jackson
Jan. 6 events around Washington
To begin a day of events commemorating Jan. 6, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala will deliver remarks at 9 a.m. at the Capitol.
On Capitol Hill, a series of memorials organized by Democrats will mark the Capitol attack with prayer, testimony from lawmakers and conversations with historians.
The events kick off at noon. A prayer vigil and moment of silence will be observed on the House floor, followed by a panel moderated by the sitting Librarian of Congress to “establish and preserve the narrative of January 6th.”
At least two GOP lawmakers, Reps. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., will counter-program the main events with their own speeches.
In the afternoon, at 2:30 p.m. Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., will preside over testimonies from lawmakers about their experiences during the insurrection.
Elsewhere around Washington, civic groups will push to remember the insurrection in their own manner.
The Catalyst Movement, a social advocacy organization, will hold a vigil from 2-6 p.m. on the National Mall.
At 4:45 p.m., a coalition of more than 130 organizations will hold a candlelight vigil near the Capitol. Shortly after and nearby, at 5:30 p.m., lawmakers will hold a prayer vigil on the steps of the Capitol.
Biden to pin ‘singular responsibility’ on Trump for Jan. 6 attack in Capitol speech
President Joe Biden will pin “singular responsibility” for the Jan. 6 Capitol attack on former President Donald Trump during remarks on Thursday marking a year since the insurrection.
The White House said Biden will use his speech to “forcibly push back on the lie spread by the former president” about the 2020 election.
Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will both speak Thursday morning at the Capitol, kicking off a full day of events to commemorate the attack. Excerpts released ahead of it point to a speech focused on a turning point in U.S. democracy.
“And so at this moment we must decide what kind of nation we are going to be. Are we going to be a nation that accepts political violence as a norm? Are we going to be a nation where we allow partisan election officials to overturn the legally expressed will of the people? Are we going to be a nation that lives not by the light of the truth but in the shadow of lies?
“We cannot allow ourselves to be that kind of nation.
“The way forward is to recognize the truth and to live by it.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden will “speak to the truth of what happened” on Jan. 6 and talk about the work the U.S. must do to “secure and strengthen our democracy.”
“I would expect that President Biden will lay out the significance of what happened at the Capitol and the singular responsibility President Trump has for the chaos and carnage that we saw,” Psaki said, “and he will forcibly push back on the lie spread by the former president and attempts to mislead the American people and his own supporters as well as distract from his role in what happened.”
Psaki said Biden will also touch on voting rights legislation, which Democratic leaders are hoping to pass by Jan. 17, Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
ABOVE: Police release teargas against rioters surrounding the Capitol on Jan. 6. Those who made it past police lines scaled the walls. Some were photographed breaking building windows around 2:30 p.m.
ABOVE: Rioters who breached the House chamber faced a standoff with armed law enforcement. Shots were reportedly fired in the chamber at 2:44 p.m. Lawmakers were supplied with escape hoods, respiratory hoods and a mask to protect against fires and chemical accidents before evacuating the room, according to witnesses.
Rioters are confronted outside the Senate chamber after breaching the Capitol. Trump supporter Jacob Chansley arrived wearing horns and carrying a U.S. flag. Chansley was arrested days later and sentenced in November to 41 months in federal prison for obstructing a civil proceeding.
Police munitions used to fend off rioters light up the west side of the Capitol. The mob of Trump supporters fought their way into the building, overcoming barriers erected by law enforcement and breaking windows to get in.
https://transformingcouples.com/wp-content/uploads/wp-header-logo.png00http://transformingcouples.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/logo.png2022-01-06 18:01:212022-01-06 18:01:21Live updates: Biden accuses Trump of holding dagger at the throat of democracy in Jan. 6 speech
The commissioner of Chicago’s Department of Public Health made clear Wednesday she was not happy with the Chicago Teachers Union’s continued refusal to return to in-person learning this week over COVID-19 concerns, arguing schools should be “first to open, last to close.”
During an appearance on CNN’s “Don Lemon Tonight,” commissioner Allison Arwady expressed her worry that the decision for schools to stay closed would continue despite them not being a source of major transmission of the coronavirus.
“I’m disappointed that this is where we are. I know we are in the middle of a big COVID surge. It’s important that we do the things that we know work, but what we’ve seen over and over again is that with the appropriate protocols in place, schools are not major sources of transmission of COVID,” Arwady told host Don Lemon.
Chicago public health commissioner Allison Arwady appears on CNN’s “Don Lemon Tonight” alongside host Don Lemon – January 5, 2022 (Screenshot/CNN)
“They don’t drive outbreaks, and we’ve seen Chicago public schools, just like our non-public schools in Chicago, do a good job of implementing those [protocols]. So we know people are worried, we just want to get back,” she added.
Arwady explained that her public health team found data showing hospitalizations for COVID and the flu were comparable amongst children in a typical year, and that those who were actually being hospitalized across the city were adults who had not been vaccinated or boosted.
She also noted they compared data on public school children who were attending school remotely to data on private school children who were attending school in-person and found that the children, as well as staff, going in-person with coronavirus protocols in place were actually at lower risk of contracting the virus.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – SEPTEMBER 13: Chicago Public School teachers, parents and students protest in the neighborhood of Mayor Lori Lightfoot on September 13, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. The group called on the mayor and school district to, among other things, offer a remote-learning option for students too young to be vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
“We know how to do this at this point, and we just saw such negative consequences, almost 100,000 kids disconnected from learning with the extended remote period, and I’m just worried that not being able to be back in person could just keep going on here. And we’ve got to at, some level, learn to live with COVID with the appropriate safety mitigations in place,” Arwady said.
She expressed that it was right for schools to take extra precautions, and those precautions were visible within the schools, such as improved ventilation systems.
“If I thought that having school was going to lead to unnecessary spread, major outbreaks, major problems, of course I wouldn’t be in support of it. But it’s just not what the data suggests. And, again, if I knew omicron was going to peak tomorrow, this would be easy,” Arwady said. “But if this is a pattern, and we keep on going with it where we just don’t see children and fully vaccinated adults often getting sick with COVID, not seriously ill, at some level we have to do the things that are essential.”
A sign taped to the front door of Pulaski International School of Chicago reads, School Closed after Chicago Public Schools, the nation’s third-largest school district, said it would cancel classes since the teachers’ union voted in favor of a return to remote learning, in Chicago, Jan. 5, 2022. REUTERS/Jim Vondruska (REUTERS/Jim Vondruska)
“For me, school is first to open, last to close. And in a city where bars are open, why would schools be closed? I hope we don’t get to a point where we have to do those other things, but that’s the difficult conversation,” she added.
Chicago Public Schools announced late Wednesday they would be closed for a second straight day amid a fight with the Chicago Teachers Union, which voted Tuesday to return to remote learning due a rapid rise in coronavirus cases across the country.
The union was blasted by critics following their refusal to return to school as “selfish” and “malevolent.” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, D., has threatened to withhold pay from holdouts.
Fox News’ Cortney O’Brien and Adam Sabes contributed to this report.
https://transformingcouples.com/wp-content/uploads/wp-header-logo.png00http://transformingcouples.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/logo.png2022-01-06 18:00:322022-01-06 18:00:32Chicago public health commissioner blasts school closures brought on by teachers union: Im disappointed
Only 20% of the public says it’s very confident in the country’s elections.
January 6, 2022, 11:01 AM
• 5 min read
America’s faith in the integrity of the election system remains shaken by the events of Jan. 6, with only 20% of the public saying it’s very confident about the system, a new ABC/Ipsos poll finds. This is a significant drop from 37% in an ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted in the days after the insurrection last year.
The lack of strong confidence in the country’s ability to conduct an honest election crosses partisan lines. Among Democrats, whose party leaders have been struggling to legislatively protect what they believe to be deteriorating voting rights across the country, 30% say they are very confident in the U.S. election systems overall. Regarding independents, only 1 in 5 consider themselves “very confident” in the nation’s elections.
Even fewer Republicans (13%) are very confident, with a considerable majority (59%) having little faith in the system, responding that they either are “not so confident” or “not confident at all,” a snapshot of growing skepticism a year after the harrowing attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The ABC/Ipsos poll, which was conducted by Ipsos in partnership with ABC News using Ipsos’ KnowledgePanel, also found that when asked to mention one word to describe what happened on Jan. 6, an overwhelming majority of Americans (68%) responded with a critical description. In fact, only one of the top 10 one-word responses suggest sympathy toward the events. That term, “setup,” was the eighth-most frequent response. Overall, the top five words used to describe Jan. 6 were insurrection, treason, riot, chaos and disgust.
And while earlier data reported by ABC/Ipsos found that large shares of Republicans felt that Joe Biden’s election was not legitimate alongside feelings that those present at the Capitol on Jan. 6 may have been attempting to protect democracy, rather than threaten it, GOP respondents also communicated very few warm feelings about the riots themselves when asked what word comes to mind to describe what happened that day.
The most frequently used one-word responses among Republicans were critical, with “chaos,” “disgust,” “disgrace” and “crazy” as top terms. Democrats’ language was far more dire, with the lion’s share choosing the term “insurrection,” “treason” and “terrorism.”
Among the very few sympathetic terms regarding the Jan. 6 attacks were “fake,” “protest” and “setup.” Less than 2% of respondents mentioned these.
The ABC News/Ipsos poll was conducted after a discordant year packed with both news and noise, with some part of that being former President Donald Trump’s continuous false claim that the November general election was stolen from him. Other close allies in his party, like Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, have parroted this falsehood at a national level.
While the attempt to siege the Capitol on Jan. 6. was foiled, the attack — and the subsequent attempt to recast the narrative in the intervening months — did not come without consequences, according to political scientist William Howell.
“Widespread distrust in our electoral system overlays deep divisions over our democracy. Republicans lack confidence, in no small part, because of lies propagated by their leaders. And Democrats lack confidence because of ongoing efforts of Republicans to politicize the administration of elections. This is a bad equilibrium,” Howell, professor of political science at the University of Chicago, said in a statement to ABC News.
This ABC News/Ipsos poll was conducted using Ipsos Public Affairs’ KnowledgePanel® Dec. 27 to 29, 2021, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 982 adults with oversamples of Black and Hispanic respondents. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points, including the design effect. Partisan divisions are 29-25-36%, Democrats-Republicans-independents. See the poll’s topline results and details on the methodology here.
ABC News’ Dan Merkle and Ken Goldstein contributed to this report.
https://transformingcouples.com/wp-content/uploads/wp-header-logo.png00http://transformingcouples.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/logo.png2022-01-06 16:03:032022-01-06 16:03:03Americans faith in election integrity drops: POLL
Lawyer Todd Spodek filed notice in Maxwell’s Manhattan federal case late Wednesday confirming he would now “appear in this case as counsel for JURY NUMBER 50.”
That juror is Scotty David, who gave a series of interviews in which he admitted to swaying deliberations by recounting his own trauma from childhood sexual abuse.
David, who spoke using his first and middle names, said he couldn’t remember whether he revealed his tragic past during jury selection, as was required, throwing Maxwell’s conviction into turmoil.
A second juror told the New York Times Wednesday that they too had been sexually abused as a child — and that their story also appeared to help shape the jury’s discussions.
News of the revelations quickly led to Maxwell’s attorneys filing for a mistrial in the bombshell case that saw the fallen socialite convicted of procuring girls for her late pedophile ex Jeffrey Epstein.
Judge Alison Nathan on Wednesday accepted the bid, announcing a timeline “for the Defense to move for a new trial in light of the issues raised.”
Her ruling also noted how prosecutors had called for counsel to be assigned for an inquiry into the juror who “has given several interviews to press outlets regarding his jury service in this case.”
In her order, Nathan gave the juror’s attorney until Jan. 26 to brief the court on his behalf, with all the submissions and responses due in by Feb. 9 ready for a decision.
All the prospective jurors had been given questionnaires asking, among other things, if they or anyone in their families had experienced sexual abuse.
However, David, a 35-year-old Manhattan resident, told Reuters that he “flew through” the questionnaire and had no memory of mentioning his history of being abused.
“No they don’t ask your sexual abuse history. They didn’t ask it in the questionnaire,” he had told DailyMail.com, according to new segments of the interview published after the bid for a mistrial.
When the outlet pointed out that the question had been one of those asked, he reportedly said he “definitely remembered” filling out the questionnaire and “would have definitely marked, ‘Yes.’
“But I honestly don’t remember the question,” he insisted.