Liz Cheney, the leading Republican, indicated that Donald Trump may be criminally prosecuted for his role in provoking last month’s siege of the US Capitol. “The third most senior Republican in the House of Representatives spoke on Fox News yesterday, referring to the “huge criminal probe” underway in the US, saying it would look at “everyone concerned” and that “people would want to know what the president was doing.
Her remarks come as the Senate is planning to launch the landmark second impeachment trial of Trump, with arguments scheduled to begin on Tuesday. The former president is accused of inciting the uprising of the Capitol, which left five people dead, robbed and smashed the house, and cowering behind furniture by Senators.
With Republicans expected to acquit Trump regardless of the merits of the event, the result looks likely. But even though it does not result in his prosecution, with Democratic impeachment administrators set to offer fresh video evidence and eyewitness testimonies, the tribunal will bring to light previously unseen aspects of the assault. David Smith looks at the variations between the first and second trials of Trump, and what to expect this week as the action unfolds.
After a leading member of Trump’s legal team demanded that hearings be suspended during the Sabbath to perform his duties as an observer Jew, the trial could take longer than anticipated. David Schoen wrote to senior leaders of both the Democratic and Republican parties to recommend that the trial be delayed from 5.24 p.m. on Friday to Sunday, apologizing for any disruption, but explaining that “the procedures and prohibitions are compulsory for me… so I have no choice.”
- ‘This fever will break, but it’s been slow’: Republican Jeff Flake, a staunch critic of Trump, said he thought that support for the president would have dwindled by now. But in this interview, he explains why he is still confident that Republicans will migrate from Trump.
- George P Shultz, Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state, has died aged 100. Shultz focused on improving relations with the Soviet Union and working towards peace in the Middle East, and was the longest serving secretary of state since the second world war.
Protests are growing against the coup in Myanmar
Demonstrations are gathering pace against Myanmar’s military coup, which last week saw newly elected de facto chief Aung San Suu Kyi imprisoned and military leaders take power. The third day of street protests took place on Monday, with the largest number of demonstrators yet.
Monks marched with staff bearing Buddhist flags and banners in the color of Aung San Suu Kyi’s party in the nation’s largest city of Yangon, with some reports placing the number of demonstrators in the hundreds of thousands. Although the protests were mostly peaceful, the police used water cannon on protesters in the capital, Naypyidaw, but it seemed to stop after an appeal from the demonstrators. At the weekend, a day-long internet ban was lifted.
- Social media app Clubhouse is gaining traction in China, with users flocking to the app to have uncensored discussions about politics and human rights issues, including actions in Hong Kong and Taiwan and the persecution of Uighurs. There are concerns that the popularity of the app could lead to a crackdown from authorities.
Buccaneers beat the Chiefs at the Super Bowl this weekend
The underdog Tampa Bay Bucaneers took home a victory against Kansas City Chiefs at the Super Bowl this weekend, with star Tom Brady “bolstering his claim as the greatest quarterback ever”, writes Bryan Armen Graham in his roundup of the game. Brady, now 43, “continues to recalibrate our expectations of what can be achieved on a football field,” winning seven Super Bowls; four is the highest ever attained by any other quarterback. Oliver Connolly writes of his “never-ending brilliance that is nagging.”
In other news …
- Rescuers are searching for 202 people after a glacier collapsed in India, releasing a wave of water, rock and dust into a mountain valley. So far, 19 people are confirmed to have died.
- After reports that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is slightly less successful against the South African strain of coronavirus, researchers are pushing for a review of coronavirus vaccination systems. Both Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, used in the US, have said that the variant affects the potency of their vaccines, but this is focused entirely on laboratory tests.
- Punjabi farmers in California are rallying behind their counterparts’ protests in India, where demonstrations against the implementation of new agricultural rules, affecting hundreds of thousands of farmers, have been underway since the end of November. Outside of India, Yuba City in California is home to one of the largest groups of Punjab farmers, and the connection is evident in the largest support rally for farmers outside India.
View from the right: Biden preaches unity, but must practise it too
With the gaps between Democratic and Republican parties widening, Biden must do more to reach across the divide if he is serious about his message of unity, writes Jonah Goldberg in the New York Post. Goldberg argues that seeking Republican support on his policies would bridge the political divide and strengthen the legislation itself, and that pushing through his coronavirus relief package on a party-line vote will have a cost which is “more than economic”.
Don’t miss this: all the president’s orders
In his first weeks as president, Biden signed a variety of executive orders, from the climate to labor to the pandemic. Our reporters are discussing what they are, and what they’re going to say to the US.
Last thing: can poo save an Australian coral reef?
Coral reefs are vital to the sustainability of the world, but are suffering from the influence of the climate crisis. The importance of sea cucumber poo to their existence is now being studied by scientists in Queensland. The team reports that on the Heron Island coral reef in Queensland, 3 million sea cucumbers excrete more than the mass of five Eiffel Towers per year. The poo aerates the aquatic sediment’s upper surface, providing a stable environment for other species and releasing vital nutrients.
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