We’ll enjoy the day off on Monday, but Martin Luther King, Jr., actually was born on this date in 1929. In 1967, the Packers beat the Chiefs in the first Super Bowl, and while it’s hard to believe that six years have gone by, the “Miracle on the Hudson” — US Airways Flight 1549’s incredible emergency landing at the steady hands of Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger — occurred on this date in 2009.
Manhunt –> Police are searching for a fourth suspect believed to have been involved in last week’s terror attacks in Paris. Molly Hennessy-Fiske has the details at the LAT. AND: Al Qaeda’s Yemen affiliate AQAP claims that it planned the attacks and financed the gunmen to the tune of $20,000, but ABC News reports that US intelligence officials say, “signals intercept records so far have not uncovered any communications between the brothers [who carried out the attacks] and known AQAP figures in recent months.”
Terrorism and free speech –> At The Intercept, Glenn Greenwald writes that the arrest of a French comedian for a Facebook post allegedly “defending terrorism” reveals “the sham of the West’s free speech celebration.” Since the attacks, dozens have been charged with speech crimes like “defending terrorism.” AND: Joshua Holland writes at TAP that terrorists don’t have the capacity to threaten our civil liberties but governments do — when we attribute power to extremists they don’t have. ALSO: After a Fox News “terrorism expert” claimed that Birmingham, England, had become an “Islamic caliphate” where Christians are unwelcome, AJA‘s Omar Waraich went to the city to investigate the claim. Spoiler alert: It’s not true.
Thanks but no thanks –> Katie Glueck reports for Politico that a “Republican backlash against Mitt Romney that had been simmering for days boiled over on Wednesday as conservatives across the GOP spectrum panned the prospect of another presidential bid by the former Massachusetts governor and two-time loser on the national stage.”
Big government, big banks –> At The Week, Jeff Spross wonders why the tea parties, whose members supposedly hate Wall Street and were infuriated by the financial bailouts, are so silent about Republican efforts to give banks another huge bailout by rolling back the Dodd-Frank financial reforms.
“You can judge a society by how well it treats its prisoners” –> MoJo’s Dana Liebelson has a heart-wrenching report about what happens to juveniles, whose brains are not fully developed, when we throw them into solitary confinement.
Those other attacks –> On January 3, Boko Haram massacred “hundreds, perhaps thousands” of people in five villages in northeastern Nigeria. Amnesty International has now released satellite images of the area taken before and after the slaughter. They show that as many as 3,100 structures were burned to the ground during the rampage. Sam Jones and Monica Mark report for The Guardian.
Small win for science –> After an intense backlash from educators and scientists, West Virginia’s state school board withdrew a set of standards that included pseudo-scientific claims disputing the scientific consensus on climate change. Ryan Quinn has that story at The Charleston Gazette. AND: Travis Gettys reports for Raw Story that a Florida school district has abandoned a plan to allow Christian groups to distribute bibles to students after the Satanic Temple insisted that it be allowed to hand out copies of its Satanic Children’s Big Book of Activities. Yes, the Dark Lord has a coloring book.
“We are fighting an enemy, and the enemy is Ebola” –> At Foreign Policy, Brian Castner profiles the “Eisenhower of Ebola” — Maj. Gen. Gary Volesky, who has led a force of 2,500 US troops as they battled the outbreak in Liberia. Now that the epidemic is under control in that country, and US forces are slowly being withdrawn, it’s unclear whether a smaller mission will move on to Sierra Leone and Guinea.
Backlash fears –> “Republicans are worried their party’s recent moves to roll back immigration measures could come back to bite them in 2016,” writes Cameron Joseph at The Hill.
Shake-up –> On the heels of a number of scandals and security breaches, four senior Secret Service officials are being forced out and two others are retiring. Carol D. Leonnig has the details at WaPo.
Not going well –> Tim Mak and Nancy Youssef report for The Daily Beast that the Islamic State continues to gain ground in Syria despite continuing airstrikes. AND: Nour Malas and Ghassan Adnan report for the WSJ that the US-led coalition against the Islamic State “is coming under growing criticism in Iraq, complicating the mission as Washington ramps up its forces in the country.” Many Iraqis believe that the campaign is “too small and too slow,” according to the report.
Bad neighbor –> Donald Trump is suing a Florida county for $100 million for “intentionally” allowing aircraft to fly over his property. Trump says the flights are in retaliation for past legal squabbles with the community. According to the New York Daily News, his lawyers call it a “horrible injustice.” No word if Trump has plans to fire the county.
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