Some stories we’re reporting on tonight:

  • France ‘did nothing to stop’ Rwanda genocide, report claims
  • Eden Project to start drilling for ‘hot rocks’ to generate geothermal energy
  • Judge orders two Proud Boys leaders held in custody over Capitol attack
  • NASA Mars helicopter Ingenuity pulls off first historic flight on another planet
  • Tesla Model S crash with nobody behind the wheel leaves 2 dead
  • US neo-Nazi group should be banned in UK, home secretary says
  • Cuba leadership: Díaz-Canel named Communist Party chief
  • Evacuations as firefighters battle wildfire in Cape Town
  • US Supreme Court questions permanent residency for some migrants
  • Germany: CDU party board backs Armin Laschet as chancellor candidate
  • Russian officials move Alexei Navalny to prison hospital
  • Florida Adopts Nation’s Toughest Restrictions On Protests
  • Europe’s Top Soccer Teams Announce New ‘Super League’
  • U.S. will boost ‘Do Not Travel’ advisories to 80% of world

Walter ‘Fritz’ Mondale, former vice president under Jimmy Carter, dead at 93

CNN

(CNN)Walter Frederick “Fritz” Mondale, who served as vice president under then-President Jimmy Carter before waging his own unsuccessful White House bid in 1984, has died, according to a family spokesperson. He was 93.

Mondale died at home in downtown Minneapolis surrounded by family, spokesperson Kathy Tunheim said.
“It is with profound sadness that we share news that our beloved dad passed away today in Minneapolis, Minnesota,” Mondale’s family said in a statement. “As proud as we were of him leading the presidential ticket for Democrats in 1984, we know that our father’s public policy legacy is so much more than that.”
    In an email to former staffers obtained by CNN on Monday, Mondale acknowledged in a moving message that his “time has come.”
    This is an open thread where everyone is welcome, especially night owls and early birds, to share and discuss the happenings of the day. Please feel free to share your articles and stories in the comments.

    France ‘did nothing to stop’ Rwanda genocide, report claims

    The Guardian

    France “bears significant responsibility” for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in the Rwandan genocide of 1994 because it remained “unwavering in its support” of its allies even though officials knew the slaughter was being prepared, a report commissioned by Kigali claims.

    The accusation is the latest in the continuing dispute between Paris and the small east-African country over the role played there by France before and during the mass killings.

    France has long been accused of not doing enough to halt the genocide.

    The 600-page report, by the US law firm Levy Firestone Muse, labels France a “collaborator” of the extremist Hutu regime that orchestrated the murders of about 800,000 people, mainly from the Tutsi minority.

    Eden Project to start drilling for ‘hot rocks’ to generate geothermal energy

    The Guardian

    A drilling rig is about to arrive at the Eden Project in Cornwall to bore almost three miles down into the granite crust in search of “hot rocks” that will be used to warm the attraction’s biomes and other buildings.

    The first of the lorries carrying a 450-tonne, 55-metre-high drilling rig will arrive on the outer edge of the site next week, and if all goes well the geothermal scheme will begin operating by Christmas or early next year.

    Judge orders two Proud Boys leaders held in custody over Capitol attack

    The Guardian

    A federal judge has ordered two leaders of the far-right Proud Boys group to be detained in jail pending trial for their involvement in the 6 January attack on the Capitol in Washington DC.

    Both were indicted in one of many Proud Boys conspiracy cases to stem from the investigation into the assault on the building that followed a pro-Donald Trump rally.

    Ethan Nordean of Washington state and Joseph Biggs of Florida, along with two other Proud Boys regional leaders, are charged with conspiring to stop the certification of the 2020 election – and with organizing and leading dozens of Proud Boys to the Capitol.

    NASA Mars helicopter Ingenuity pulls off first historic flight on another planet

    C/NET

    Ingenuity, a NASA helicopter no heavier than a 2-liter bottle of soda, has pulled off the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. The feat took place at 12:31 a.m. PT on Monday morning, but it wasn’t until over three hours later that NASA engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory received the first data from Mars.

    The first flight of Ingenuity is an impressive milestone in space exploration, paving the way for future missions to the red planet to utilize the skies. Learning to fly on Earth was difficult enough, but flying on Mars was a grand engineering challenge. NASA has shown that it was up to the task.

    Tesla Model S crash with nobody behind the wheel leaves 2 dead

    C/NET

    A crash involving a Tesla Model S left two people dead after the car collided with a tree and caught fire, according to local NBC News affiliate KPRC 2 in Spring, Texas. Authorities say an investigation into the crash is ongoing, though the consensus so far is that neither of the two men involved in the crash were driving the Model S at the time of impact.

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    US neo-Nazi group should be banned in UK, home secretary says

    BBC

    An American neo-Nazi group linked to five murders in the US should be banned in the UK as a terrorist organisation, the government has said.

    Home Secretary Priti Patel will ask for permission from MPs to outlaw the group called Atomwaffen Division (AWD).

    Prosecutors have cited AWD as an influence on a number of teenagers in the UK convicted of terror offences.

    Ms Patel said she was taking action “to protect young and vulnerable people from being radicalised”.

    AWD would be the fourth neo-Nazi group to be banned in the UK, joining National Action, Sonnenkrieg Division and Feuerkrieg Division.

    A formal ban, which will come into effect this week if the move is approved in Parliament, will make it a terror offence to be a member of the group or invite support for it.

    The government will list National Socialist Order as a formal alias of AWD, meaning it is assessed to be the same organisation.

    Cuba leadership: Díaz-Canel named Communist Party chief

    BBC

    Cuba’s Communist Party has announced Miguel Díaz-Canel will succeed Raúl Castro as the party’s first secretary.

    Mr Díaz-Canel, who in 2018 succeeded Mr Castro as Cuba’s president, had been widely tipped for the arguably more influential post of party leader.

    The transition means that the island will be governed by someone other than Fidel or Raúl Castro for the first time since the Cuban revolution in 1959.

    Mr Díaz-Canel is seen as loyal to the Castros and their economic model.

    Speaking on Friday, when Mr Díaz-Canel had not been officially named yet as first secretary, Raúl Castro said that he would hand over the leadership to a younger generation “full of passion and anti-imperialist spirit”.

    At 60, Mr Díaz-Canel is almost 30 years younger than his predecessor.

    Evacuations as firefighters battle wildfire in Cape Town

    Al Jazeera

    People were evacuated from Cape Town neighbourhoods on Monday as a huge wildfire sweeping across the slopes of the city’s famed Table Mountain was fanned by high winds and threatened homes.

    City authorities said residents of suburbs on the mountain slopes were now being evacuated as a “precautionary” measure.

    The blaze had been largely contained on Monday, but firefighters were still battling to control it.

    Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato said efforts were currently focused on the mountain above the Vredehoek suburb, with residents being evacuated “as a precautionary measure”.

    US Supreme Court questions permanent residency for some migrants

    Al Jazeera

    US Supreme Court justices on Monday appeared reluctant to let people who have been allowed to stay in the United States on humanitarian grounds apply to become permanent residents if they entered the country illegally.

    The justices heard arguments in an appeal by a married couple from El Salvador who were granted so-called “Temporary Protected Status” of a lower court ruling that barred their applications for permanent residency, also known as a green card, because of their unlawful entry.

    The case could affect thousands of immigrants, many of whom have lived in the US for years. President Joe Biden’s administration opposes the immigrants in the case. The dispute puts Biden, who has sought to reverse many of his Republican predecessor Donald Trump’s hardline immigration policies, at odds with immigration advocacy groups and some of his fellow Democrats.

    Germany: CDU party board backs Armin Laschet as chancellor candidate

    DW News

    Leading officials for the German conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party voted to nominate Armin Laschet as chancellor candidate for this year’s election in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

    A majority of 77.5% of the party board — 31 members — voted in favor of the party leader. His rival for the position, Markus Söder, received just 9 votes.

    The vote is not an official decision on the candidate for the conservative bloc which also includes Söder’s Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU). However, Söder had said he would respect the decision of the CDU party board.

    “It’s about the best answers to the pressing questions of the future. And I am ready to run for office on our behalf,” Laschet said after the board voted.

    Russian officials move Alexei Navalny to prison hospital

    DW News

    The Russian state penitentiary service (FSIN) on Monday said it had decided to move opposition leader Alexei Navalny, currently in his third week of a hunger strike, to a hospital for prisoners.

    The statement said Navalny’s condition was considered “satisfactory” and that he had agreed to some nutritional treatment.

    “The patient has given his consent that vitamins be prescribed to him,” the statement read.

    Navalny was held at a prison colony known for its harsh discipline in the town of Pokrov some 100 kilometers (about 60 miles) from Moscow.

    The FSIN said he was being moved to a hospital for convicts at another penal colony in the city of Vladimir that was specialized in “dynamic observation of such patients.”

    Florida Adopts Nation’s Toughest Restrictions On Protests

    NPR

    This article is part of an NPR series entitled America Reckons With Racial Injustice. The article describes how Florida deals with racial injustice. They punish those fighting it.

    Florida’s governor has signed a law that he called the “strongest anti-rioting, pro-law enforcement measure in the country.” The law was written in response to protests around the country following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. It provides new protections for police and increases the penalties for people who take part in property damage or violence during protests.

    Florida experienced little of the violence seen elsewhere in the country last summer following Floyd’s death. But Gov. Ron DeSantis said tougher laws were needed to make sure Florida doesn’t see the kind of protests that occurred in Minneapolis, Portland, Ore., and other cities. At the bill signing Monday, DeSantis said, “If you riot, if you loot, if you harm others, particularly if you harm a law enforcement officer during one of these violent assemblies, you’re going to jail.”

    Europe’s Top Soccer Teams Announce New ‘Super League’

    NPR

    A battle is brewing between Europe’s top soccer clubs and their governing bodies–one that could cost billions of dollars in television rights payments alone.

    Twelve of Europe’s richest and most powerful soccer teams from Spain, Italy, and England announced Sunday they would abandon the existing Champions League and create a rival Super League.

    The Super League’s 12 Founding Clubs include Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, and Real Madrid. The organization said three more clubs will be invited to join before a potential inaugural season.

    The new competition is being pitched as a necessary change following the global pandemic which, the group said in a statement, “has accelerated the instability of the current economic model of European football.”

    U.S. will boost ‘Do Not Travel’ advisories to 80% of world

    Reuters

    The U.S. State Department said on Monday it will boost its “Do Not Travel” guidance to about 80% of countries worldwide, citing “unprecedented risk to travelers” from the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “This update will result in a significant increase in the number of countries at Level 4: Do Not Travel, to approximately 80% of countries worldwide,” the department said in a statement.

    The State Department already listed 34 out of about 200 countries as “Level 4: Do Not Travel,” including places like Chad, Kosovo, Kenya, Brazil, Argentina, Haiti, Mozambique, Russia and Tanzania. Getting to 80% would imply adding nearly 130 countries.

    Most Americans were already prevented from traveling to much of Europe because of COVID-19 restrictions.

    Czechs say Russian retaliation stronger than expected, seeks EU solidarity

    Reuters

    The Czech Republic said on Monday Russia’s eviction of 20 Czech embassy employees in response to Prague’s expulsion of 18 Russian staff was a stronger than expected reaction and the government would consider further steps.

    Pragueexpelled the Russian diplomats on Saturday, saying it suspected that Russian intelligence had been involved in explosions at an ammunition depot in October and December 2014. read more

    Moscow has denied any of its agents were involved in the blast, which killed two people, branding the Czech stance a provocation. The row is the biggest between Prague and Moscow since the end of Soviet domination of eastern Europe in 1989.

    A couple of articles from behind a pay wall

    Authorities Did Not Try to Use ‘Red Flag’ Law for Indianapolis Gunman

    New York Times

    Citing shortcomings of the state’s “red flag” law, the local prosecutor explained why he did not seek a ruling last year that would have barred Brandon Hole from possessing guns.

    INDIANAPOLIS — The senior county prosecutor in Indianapolis said on Monday that his office never sought to invoke a law that could have prevented Brandon Hole from buying two firearms before he shot and killed eight people last week at a FedEx packaging warehouse.

    In a news conference, Ryan Mears, the prosecutor for Marion County, said his office had decided not to use Indiana’s so-called red flag law last year, even though Mr. Hole’s mother’s warnings about her son’s mental instability had prompted the police to seize a shotgun from him.

    The tight deadlines and constraints on evidence gathering built into the state’s 16-year-old statute gave prosecutors too little time to make a convincing case to a judge, Mr. Mears said, adding that losing in court could have backfired.

    Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who engaged rioters, suffered two strokes and died of natural causes, officials say

    Washington Post

    Capitol Police officer Brian D. Sicknick suffered two strokes and died of natural causes a day after he confronted rioters at the Jan. 6 insurrection, the District’s chief medical examiner has ruled.

    The ruling, released Monday, will make it difficult for prosecutors to pursue homicide charges in the officer’s death. Two men are accused of assaulting Sicknick by spraying a powerful chemical irritant at him during the siege, but prosecutors have not tied that exposure to Sicknick’s death.

    In an interview with The Washington Post, Francisco J. Diaz, the medical examiner, said the autopsy found no evidence the 42-year-old officer suffered an allergic reaction to chemical irritants, which Diaz said would have caused Sicknick’s throat to quickly seize. Diaz also said there was no evidence of internal or external injuries.

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    The crew of the Overnight News Digest consists of founder Magnifico, regular editors side pocket, maggiejean, Chitown Kev, eeff, Magnifico, annetteboardman, Rise above the swamp, Besame and jck. Alumni editors include (but not limited to) Interceptor 7, Man Oh Man, wader, Neon Vincent, palantir, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse (RIP), ek hornbeck (RIP), rfall, ScottyUrb, Doctor RJ, BentLiberal, Oke (RIP) and jlms qkw.

    I had no problem with Reuters tonight, but soon …

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