Monday Sunrise Briefing: GOP support for impeachment fades

Monday Sunrise Briefing: GOP support for impeachment fades

Why We Wrote This

Good morning! Welcome to your Monday, Jan. 25, 2021, sunrise briefing. 

Here are three news events from this past weekend (while you may have been crab fishing, making Japanese bao, and enjoying an offline life). Also, what to look for in the news this week.

AP Photo/John Minchillo

Violent protesters, loyal to President Donald Trump, storm the Capitol, on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. Mr. Trump may soon face the impeachment charge of inciting an insurrection.

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January 25, 2021

A few more Republicans spoke out this weekend against a Senate impeachment trial to hold President Trump accountable for inciting the siege of the Capitol. While agreeing that Mr. Trump “bears responsibility for some of what happened,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said on “Fox News Sunday” that “if you want to hold people accountable, there’s other ways to do it.” House Democrats plan to send the impeachment charge to the Senate on Monday, with a trial scheduled to begin Feb. 9. But the trial comes as former President Trump’s makes plans to punish Republicans who supported his impeachment and further divide the GOP by floating plans to start another party, the “Patriot Party.” A recent Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 6 in 10 Republicans said the GOP should follow Trump’s leadership rather than chart a path that may bring in more moderate voters. 

Russians rally for Navalny. More than 3,000 people were arrested Saturday in street protests supporting  jailed opposition activist Alexei Navalny. The protests – held in as many as 70 cities – were seen as a test of support for the audacious Russian anti-corruption campaigner with a large following on social media. Mr. Navalny was arrested on Jan. 17 when he returned to Moscow from Germany, where he had spent five months recovering from nerve-agent poisoning that he blames on the Kremlin. But this may be more of a last gasp than the start of an anti-corruption or anti-Putin movement. “Formerly, the regime thought that Navalny running around doing his things was better than Navalny behind bars. No more. They wanted Navalny dead, and now they’ve decided to have him locked up for years,” Masha Lipman at George Washington University told the Monitor’s Fred Weir. A court hearing is set for Feb. 2 on whether Navalny’s suspended sentence for embezzlement will be converted to 3 1/2 years in prison.

3. Safer mines in China? Eleven workers trapped for two weeks inside a Chinese gold mine were brought safely to the surface on Sunday, a rescue touted as a landmark achievement for an industry long-blighted by disasters and high death tolls. Using techniques employed elsewhere, including Chile, rescuers drilled parallel shafts to send down food and nutrients and eventually bring up the survivors. Such protracted and expensive rescue efforts are relatively new in China’s mining industry, which used to average 5,000 deaths per year. There were 573 mining-related deaths reported last year. But Han Dongfang, director the China Labour Bulletin told The South China Morning Post that the decrease in mining accidents was likely due to the closure of small coal mines, which usually had poorer safety records, and the use of imported coal. “Our observation is that the workplace safety monitoring has not changed at all. One of the most important reasons for the drop in coal mining accidents is the reduction in coal production in China.”

AP Photo/Matt Ludtke

Super Bowl bound. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady will play in his 10th Super Bowl after winning the NFC championship against the Green Bay Packers in Green Bay, Wis., Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. The Buccaneers will play the Kansas City Chiefs on Feb. 7.

Look Ahead

Monday, Jan. 25

Patriotic purchases? The Biden administration has designated Monday as “buy American” day. An executive order will direct federal agencies to strengthen requirements to support US businesses and workers.

Climate resilience. The Netherlands hosts a two-day online international conference focusing on finding ways for the world to adapt to the effects of climate change.


Dear Mr. President: 10 letters of advice for Biden

Tuesday, Jan. 26.

New U.S. border security rule.  All US-bound air passengers must have proof of a negative coronavirus test to enter the United States.. This applies to anyone over age 2, including citizens and legal permanent residents. The test must be taken within three days of the flight. The U.S. announced a ban on all travelers from South Africa effective Saturday, Jan. 30.

Better rule of law. President Biden is expected to sign an executive order to establish a policing commission and reinstate tighter rules on the transfer of military-style equipment to local police departments.

Wednesday, Jan. 27

Planet summit. President Biden plans to announce federal actions on climate change and call for a planet summit on April 22. 

Thursday, Jan. 28

Abortion law changes. President Biden plans to rescind the “Mexico City policy” that blocks the U.S. from giving federal funding to international groups that provide or promote abortion services.

Creative storytelling. You don’t have to go to Park City, Utah, this year to binge on films. The week-long Sundance Film Festival, the largest independent film festival in the U.S., opens today online. 

Friday, Jan. 29

Immigration policy shift. The Biden administration plans to sign executive orders on regional migration and border processing, US refugee policy, and the establishment of a family reunification task force. 

Generosity Watch

At 94, Ruth McBride has outlived all of her friends and family. Her social security check isn’t enough to cover rent, utilities, and groceries. 

But recently, a Palm Beach Gardens police officer “adopted” the nonagenarian. Det. Jennifer Brashear has been bringing Ms. McBride groceries. “The truth is she helps me. She’s always in a good mood, no matter what she may be going through. She really inspires me,” Detective Brashear told the Palm Beach Post.

After her story ran in the Post as part of the annual “Season to Share” charity drive, Ms. McBride was “adopted “ by many more generous folks.

One anonymous donor sent a check for $1,000. Hairdressers offered to coif her hair. Veterinarians offered to give Lily, her Yorkshire terrier, checkups. A local grade school class put together a basket of goodies for her and Lily. Gift cards arrived for supermarkets and restaurants. Then, another anonymous woman offered to make sure all of Ms. McBride’s’s monthly bills were paid for the rest of the widow’s life – a promise she offered to also put in her will. 

So many people identified with Ruth, and that’s what was so touching. It was like, ‘There but for the grace of God, I could be Ruth,’” says Teri Moran, executive director of the Connor Moran Cancer Foundation, the agency that nominated Ms. McBride for the charity drive. 

Empathy and generosity are a powerful combination. 

Hidden gem 

Christian Kuntz/Courtesy of Gurdeep Pandher

Gurdeep Pandher, shown here near Whitehorse, Yukon, where he lives, posts videos and photos of himself dancing bhangra, an ancient dance of Punjabi farmers, in an effort to spread joy and positivity across Canada amid the pandemic.

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

From snowy Yukon, a Punjabi dance warms Canadian hearts

Sneak preview

In tonight’s Daily Edition, watch for our story about how Arab ownership of an Jerusalem soccer team could help shift attitudes. 

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

  • Meet the team shaking up climate models
  • How does a 50-50 Senate work? Two leaders who tried it explain.
  • Navalny wants to take on the Kremlin. Are Russians listening?
  • Japanese comic creators grapple with racism
  • Points of progress: Denmark ends hunt for oil deposits
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