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Today’s In Crisis headlines

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(NEW YORK) — Here are today’s In Crisis headlines:

Capitol Police officer dead following Wednesday siege; arrests announced
A U.S. Capitol Police officer has died following injuries suffered in the violent siege on the building Wednesday. The officer, identified as Brian D. Sicknick, died at 9:30 p.m. Thursday evening.  His death is the fifth connected to the riots.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has ordered all flags at the Capitol to be flown at half-staff because of Officer Sicknick’s death.  Capitol Police have identified the woman killed Wednesday inside the Capitol as Ashli [Ashley] Babbitt, a U.S. Air Force veteran and Trump supporter who traveled to D.C. to participate in the protests.  Babbitt was shot in the chest by a Capitol Police officer during a standoff inside the Capitol between law enforcement and pro-Trump rioters.  Three other rioters, one woman and two men, suffered what were described as “medical emergencies” at the protests and subsequently died.

At least 80 arrests connected to the Capitol siege have been confirmed by the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department as of Friday morning, most over curfew violations.  Asked to explain why the arrest numbers were low, D.C. MPD Chief Robert J. Contee said chaos that erupted before police arrived was to blame. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and other officials, Republican and Democrat both, have called the suspects domestic terrorists.  Federal investigators continue to study surveillance video, photographs and online posts in order to identify participants in Wednesday’s riots, almost all of whom were allowed to leave the Capitol without arrest or detainment.  Law enforcement has distributed dozens of images of suspects wanted for arrest.

Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund on Thursday said he would resign his position, effective January 16.  Sund has been heavily criticized for the department’s response to the violent protest, during which Capitol Police essentially allowed the rioters to depart unhindered.  Critics include the Capitol Police union.  “We have several protesters dead, multiple officers injured and the symbol of our Democracy, the U.S. Capitol, desecrated. This never should have happened,” says Capitol Police Union Chairman Gus Papathanasiou in a statement. “This lack of planning led to the greatest breach of the U.S. Capitol since the War of 1812. This is a failure of leadership at the very top.”  The House and Senate sergeants at arms have also resigned.  Sund does not mention the Capitol riot in his three-sentence resignation letter.

Also Thursday, the FBI shared a photo of the person responsible for placing suspected explosive devices outside the Republican National Committee and Democratic National Committee headquarters Wednesday, prior to the U.S. Capitol protests. On Thursday night, the FBI tweeted a photo of the suspect and posted a reward of up to $50,000 “for information leading to the location, arrest, and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the placement of suspected pipe bombs in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021.” At around 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, law enforcement agencies received reports of two suspected pipe bombs with wires outside the RNC and DNC headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Trump officials resign over Capitol siege; lawmakers talk 25th Amendment, impeachment
At least 10 Trump administration officials have resigned in the wake of Wednesday’s U.S. Capitol siege by pro-Trump rioters in Washington, including five White House officials.  The highest-ranking officials to resign include Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who is also the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.  In a statement, Chao blames President Trump for Wednesday’s violence.  Education Secretary Betsey Devos also announced her resignation, as did Stephanie Grisham, Melania Trump’s spokesperson and chief of staff.  With President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration just eleven days away, most if not all of the Trump Administration’s appointees would likely have been asked to submit their resignations to the incoming administration as a matter of course, regardless of circumstances.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday they had called Vice President Mike Pence to urge him to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove President Trump from office for his role in the attack on the Capitol building by the president’s supporters.  However, Pence refused to take the call.  Removing Trump from office via the 25th Amendment would require Pence and members of Trump’s Cabinet to agree he is unable to carry out his duties as president.  Democrats say if the Cabinet won’t act then Congress will by impeaching the President for a second time in an expedited push that could be voted on in the House as early as next week. 

December jobs report worse than expected as 140,000 lost
At least 140,000 jobs were lost in December, according to numbers released Friday morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The number is worse than what pundits expected, though the unemployment rate overall remains unchanged at 6.7 percent, reflecting about 10.7 million unemployed Americans.  The ongoing pandemic remains to blame, with the leisure and hospitality sector losing 498,000 jobs, a huge decline that was offset by gains in professional and business services, retail trade, and construction.

COVID-19 numbers
Here’s the latest data on COVID-19 coronavirus infections and deaths.

Latest reported numbers globally per Johns Hopkins University
Global diagnosed cases: 88,162,703
Global deaths: 1,900,807.  The United States has the most deaths of any single country, with 365,346.
Number of countries/regions: at least 191
Total patients recovered globally: 49,190,797

Latest reported numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
There are at least 21,585,531 reported cases in 50 states + the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.  This is more than in any other country.
U.S. deaths: at least 365,346.  New York State has the greatest number of reported deaths in the U.S., with 39,118.
U.S. total people tested: 259,614,820

The greatest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is in California, with 2,576,355 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 39.51 million.  This ranks first in the world.  England is second in the world, with 2,497,824 cases.  Maharashtra, India, which has 1,958,282 cases, ranks third, while Texas is fourth, with 1,910,091 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 29 million.

Record 4,033 COVID-19 deaths reported Thursday; could exceed 375K this weekend
A record 4,033 deaths from COVID-19 were reported in the U.S. Thursday, according to the Covid Tracking Project.  Those numbers mean on Thursday, a person died of COVID-19 in the U.S. roughly every 20 minutes.  Thursday’s tally also pushed the seven-day daily fatalities average to a new record of 2,758.  California, which continues to report the greatest number of coronavirus infections in the nation, is reporting 380 deaths per day on average, according to the Covid Tracking Project.  There are at least 21,585,531 reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. as of Friday morning, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, and 365,346 deaths.  Based on current trends, the U.S. could exceed 375,000 COVID-19 deaths before the weekend is over.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently forecasting a total of 405,000 to 438,000 reported COVID-19 fatalities by the week ending January 30.

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