No Bull With Raging Robert.

Robert Massimi.

  • Washington DC.
  • Impeachment Trial — Day Two
  • House impeachment managers began presenting their case yesterday, the first of two days during which they will argue former President Donald Trump incited the mob that stormed the US Capitol building Jan. 6.
  • The prosecution team continued to lean heavily on video and audio evidence recovered from the day. New footage was revealed, drawn largely from police audio and Capitol security cameras. Notable clips include Capitol police declaring a riot (clip), former Vice President Mike Pence rushing out (clip), and Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) running for safety (clip).
  • Find a complete bookmarked video of the trial here, or just watch yesterday’s top points in three minutes.
  • Senate Republicans have not whipped votes — meaning they haven’t leaned on members to vote for acquittal — for the trial. Reports yesterday suggested Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) continues to signal the vote should be a matter of individual conscience. A conviction would require 17 Republican senators to side with all 50 Democrats.
  • In related news, prosecutors in Georgia’s Fulton County (Atlanta metro area) opened a criminal probe into allegations the former president attempted to illegally pressure state officials into overturning the election.
  • Loujain al-Hathloul
  • One of Saudi Arabia’s best-known women’s rights activists, Loujain al-Hathloul, was released yesterday after nearly three years in prison. The 31-year-old activist had been detained since May 2018. Though technically sentenced to almost six years in December, she received credit for time served and had the remaining two years and 10 months of her sentence suspended.
  • While formally accused of undermining state security, al-Hathloul’s supporters say the sentence was retribution for her political advocacy. She was an early leader in the movement to end a prohibition on women driving, posting videos of herself operating vehicles years before the ban was dropped in 2018.
  • Al-Hathloul alleged she had been tortured numerous times while jailed, at one point reportedly rejecting a deal to deny the claims in exchange for release. The allegations of torture were dismissed by a Saudi court Tuesday.
  • Double Masking
  • Improving the tightness of a single face mask or wearing two separate face masks could potentially reduce transmission of the coronavirus by more than 95%, according to new research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The first study to quantify the effect of added protection, the conclusions apply to two scenarios (see study) — a cloth mask worn over a medical procedure mask, or a tightened and tucked-in medical procedure mask.
  • The CDC stopped short of updating its guidance on masks, and the study has a number of caveats — notably that it only involved one brand of each mask. See a fascinating visualization of how masks help block virus-carrying droplets at the microscopic level.
  • Separately, the White House took heat yesterday for scaling back its push to reopen schools, now targeting to have 50% of schools open for at least one day of in-person learning per week within the administration’s first 100 days. Critics argue many school districts already have some form of hybrid learning, rendering the goal largely irrelevant. See a map of where schools have reopened here.
  • The US has reported 471,567 total COVID-19 deaths, with 3,364 deaths reported yesterday, though the rate of new cases has fallen by more than 55% since mid-January. Almost 45 million vaccine doses have been delivered, with more than 10 million people receiving their second dose. See a state-by-state breakdown here.
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  • Sports, Entertainment, & Culture
  • > Larry Flynt, controversial publisher behind Hustler magazine, dies at 78 (More) | Jay-Z, Tina Turner, and Foo Fighters lead 16 nominees for the 2021 class of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (More)
  • > South by Southwest Film Festival announces its full programming lineup to include Tom Petty and Selma Blair documentaries (More) | “Wizard of Oz” remake in the works from New Line Cinema (More)
  • > Dallas Mavericks to resume playing national anthem before games following pushback from NBA officials (More) | Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announces New York’s arenas and public venues to reopen Feb. 23 with strict COVID-19 guidelines (More)
  • Science & Technology
  • > Chinese space probe successfully goes into orbit around Mars, making China the second country this week to have a spacecraft reach the planet; Chinese mission will attempt to land and deploy a rover (More)
  • > First-ever measurement of interactions between proteins and RNA inside a living cell made using new approach; the dynamics are key to a quantitative understanding of gene regulation (More)
  • > Twitter suspends at least 500 accounts linked to Indian farmer protests under government pressure (More) | Facebook to test decreasing the frequency that political posts appear in news feeds (More)
  • Business & Markets
  • Brought to you by The Ascent
  • > Sale of social media platform TikTok’s US operations to Oracle and Walmart put on hold as Biden administration reviews the situation (More)
  • > Cannabis stocks surge as retail investor demand heightens; a number of certain cannabis exchange-traded funds up more than 10% yesterday (More)
  • > Casino giant MGM reports larger-than-expected loss as revenues fall over 50% amid pandemic (More)
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  • Politics & World Affairs
  • > Biden administration to sanction top Myanmar (Burma) military leaders, including freezing assets, and restrict exports to the country over Feb. 1 coup (More)
  • > Iran reportedly begins uranium metal production, a key component in the core of an atomic bomb (More) | How nuclear weapons work (More)
  • > Chicago Teachers Union approves deal to have teachers return to the classroom, avoiding strike; first wave of pre-K and special education students expected to return for in-person learning today (More)
  • The Joy of ‘Schitt’s Creek’
  • Guardian | Hadley Freeman. An interview with Catherine O’Hara on her experience costarring in “Schitt’s Creek,” Netflix’s hit comedy that dominated last year’s Emmys. (Read)
  • The Myth (and Reality) of Super Soldiers
  • BBC | Thom Poole. Once the realm of science fiction, the technological capabilities required to develop super soldiers are near enough that most major militaries are taking it seriously. (Read)
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Donald Trump, Covid Masks, NBA, Hot Mail, Gmail, Washington DC,, Tom Brady, Thomas Edison, Saudi Arabia, China, Miramar.

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