Monday Sunrise Briefing: A US push for accountability

Monday Sunrise Briefing: A US push for accountability

Why We Wrote This

Good morning! Welcome to your Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, sunrise briefing. 

Here are two news events from this past weekend (while you may have been baking guava pie, ice skating, and enjoying an offline life). Also, what to look for in the news this week.

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

Supporters of President Donald Trump climb on an inauguration platform on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington.


January 11, 2021

This weekend was marked by efforts to seek accountability – at all levels – for the violent assault on the Capitol that left five people dead, including a police officer. Several Trump supporters were arrested. By Saturday, prosecutors had filed 57 cases in federal and D.C. courts for offenses ranging from assaulting police officers to stealing federal property and threatening lawmakers.

On the political front, Democrats and a few Republicans made plans to hold President Trump accountable for inciting the attack. On Sunday, Pennsylvania GOP Sen. Pat Toomey joined Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski in calling for Trump to resign.  “There must be a recognition that this desecration was instigated by the President,” wrote House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a letter to Democratic colleagues Saturday. The House is expected to hold an impeachment vote as soon as Wednesday. But the Senate is unlikely to hold an impeachment trial anytime soon. 

Another idea floated was to have a separate congressional vote to prevent Trump from ever holding office again.  And U.S. diplomats drafted two cables condemning President Trump’s incitement of the assault as undermining democracy abroad, and called for possibly invoking the 25th Amendment. But Democrats recognize that complicating any accountability effort is the risk that it undermines bipartisan unity and President-elect Joe Biden’s effectiveness, especially during his first 100 days in offic. Mr. Biden has not endorsed Mr. Trump’s impeachment.

2. In search of a platform. With the revocation of his Twitter account (with 89 million followers), President Donald Trump is looking for another social media platform to amplify his message and to bypass traditional media channels. But this weekend, Parler – an option favored by Trump supporters – took a hit. Google and Apple removed Parler from their app stores and as of Sunday evening,  Amazon says it will no longer host Parler on its web servers. Apple cited the use of the platform to “plan and facilitate yet further illegal and dangerous activities.” Some conservatives say the bans violate the U.S. First Amendment right to free speech. “Silencing people, not to mention the President of the US, is what happens in China not our country,” tweeted former U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley.

REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Japanese men and women pray as they take an ice-cold bath during an annual ceremony to purify their souls and to bring an end to the pandemic at the Teppozu Inari shrine in Tokyo, Japan, Jan. 10, 2021.


Look Ahead

Monday, Jan. 11

Is this America? A breach in peaceful transition of power.

Impeachment, again. Some House Democrats are reportedly trying to pass a measure on Monday imploring Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment. Other Democrats say they plan to introduce an impeachment resolution Monday for a vote this week against President Donald Trump in response to the storming of the Capitol last week. 

Gridiron championship. The Ohio State Buckeyes take on Alabama’s Crimson Tide (featuring recently crowned Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith) in the national college football championship Monday night at 8 p.m. on ESPN.

Tuesday, Jan. 12.

Crime and punishment. For the first time in six decades, the U.S. government has scheduled the execution of a woman, who was convicted of murder. She’s the only female inmate on federal death row. 

Immigration politics. President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit the U.S.-Mexico border in Alamo, Texas today “to mark the completion of 400 miles of border wall,”  according to the White House.

Thursday, Jan. 14

Democracy watch.  President Yoweri Museveni has been in power in Uganda for 35 years. But he faces several challengers, including  Bobi Wine, a singer and lawmaker, in the presidential elections. 

Climate change. NOAA and NASA are scheduled to release data for 2020 showing it was either the hottest year on record or very close.

Pandemic response. President-elect Joe Biden is scheduled to deliver a “major policy speech” today on his COVID-19 emergency action plan. 

Saturday, Jan 16

Leadership choices. The Christian Democratic Union, Germany’s biggest political party, is expected to elect a new leader. German Chancellor Angela Merkel plans to step down in the fall.  

Generosity Watch

Michele Haddon/Bucks County Courier Times via AP

Megan Cohen, founder of The Grace Project, during her group’s weekly food and clothing distribution in the Kensington neighborhood in Philadelphia on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020.

Megan Cohen was living the life of a drug addict. She’d been in and out of treatment programs – at least 70 times. She was homeless and often felt hopeless. 

But she counts three instances when strangers – who she calls “angels” – offered a ride, a bed, and a drink of cold water at critical moments. “It was actually complete strangers that showed me kindness when I was out there and it, like, planted a seed of hope,” Ms. Cohen told WPVI-TV in Philadelphia. “I wish that the kindness my family showed me would have done that but it didn’t. It didn’t because I expected it.”

Ms. Cohen is sober now and has set up the Grace Project, a non-profit organization that goes into the Kensington neighborhood in Philadelphia to pay the kindness forward. Every Thursday night, she is joined by friends and family and they distribute food, jackets, and toiletries. 

But mostly, she says, she’s delivering a message of hope. “If I could get out, anyone could get out,” Ms. Cohen, told the Associated Press.

Hidden gem 

Start your week with a recent story that inspired Monitor readers:

This teen tutor turns computer science into kids’ stuff

Sneak preview

In tonight’s Daily Edition, watch for our story about how Betsy Devos, the now former U.S. Secretary of Education, changed the national conversation about public education. 

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Finally, check out the Monitor’s selected stories from Friday’s subscription-only Daily Edition:

  • After Capitol attack, GOP grapples with its future
  • As US democracy stumbles, the world watches and wonders
  • Why Canadians are fuming at footloose politicians
  • How will Warner Bros. streaming impact moviegoing? Three questions.
  • For Indian teen who launched village library, it’s about more than books
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