News and Headlines: 1/18/2022, Keeping you informed.

US News, Politics, World News, Videos, Commentary/Opinion, Keeping you informed.

In The NEWS:

‘Much Brighter Than Before:’ COVID-19 Cases Plunge Across US

(Scott Heins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Heins/Getty Images)

Thirty-four states have recorded a decrease in cases in recent days, not including states that reported a single-day drop, according to an Epoch Times analysis.

That includes some of the states that saw huge Omicron-fueled increases, including New York, California, and Florida.

Other states that have seen fewer cases recently include Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, and Pennsylvania.

States in every region of the country have reported fewer cases, and a smaller number have also seen a lower number of people being admitted to hospitals with or for COVID-19.

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger says he wants to ‘expand God’s kingdom’ in next chapter of life

Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

While disappointed by his team’s finish to the season, the Steelers quarterback said he is “excited” to begin a new “chapter” of life — one that is focused on expanding “God’s kingdom.”

Later, when asked about his plans now that his football days are over, Roethlisberger didn’t hesitate to give an answer.

“I’m going to do everything I can to be the best husband and father I can be and try and expand God’s kingdom,” he said.

When a reporter followed up by asking if he is “excited” for the next phase of his life, Roethlisberger chuckled and responded, “I’m nervous.”

According to Sports Spectrum, Roethlisberger has been more open about his Christian faith in recent years.

FACT CHECK: DO PEOPLE NOW HAVE TO PAY TAXES ON ALL THIRD-PARTY PAYMENT APP TRANSACTIONS TOTALING OVER $600?

Verdict: Misleading

The American Rescue Plan requires all business transactions made on third-party payment apps totaling over $600 to be reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) starting in 2022. The bill does not impose any new taxes and most personal transactions would be exempt from the reporting requirement.

The new reporting requirement also only applies to business transactions totaling $600 or more, not “any transactions totaling up to over $600,” as the post claims.

Personal gifts, charitable contributions or reimbursements to personal acquaintances do not need to be reported according to the Senate Joint Committee on Taxation.

Rip-Off Of The Week 2022: Dr. Fauci’s $350K Retirement Package

Dr. Fauci’s $350k/year retirement package is the largest in U.S. federal government history.

Union Pacific Considers Rerouting Trains Around Los Angeles Amid Railcar Theft Spike

A Union Pacific train in Los Angeles in Jan. 2022 / Getty Images
A Union Pacific train in Los Angeles in Jan. 2022 / Getty Images

In the past year, Los Angeles County has seen a 160 percent jump in criminal rail theft, with October 2021 showing a 356 percent increase from the year before.

Offenders have stolen from, assaulted, and even committed armed robbery of Union Pacific employees, amounting to “$5 million in claims, losses, and damages,” according to the company.

The railroad is faulting L.A. County district attorney George Gascón’s (D.) “well-intended social justice goals,” such as no-cash bail, for the railway theft spike.

Father of slain UCLA student speaks out after tragic attack

Father of slain UCLA student, Todd Kupfer, joined ‘Fox & Friends’ to discuss the tragic death of his daughter, Brianna Kupfer.

Bodycam Video Shows San Diego Police Shooting of Armed Robbery Suspect

The video includes portions of surveillance footage captured about 7:30 a.m. Monday from inside Mullens Market and Liquor in the 3000 block of Imperial Avenue.

In it, 21-year-old Isaac Andrade approaches a store clerk at the market’s counter and shows them a large knife he’s holding in his left hand as part of a robbery attempt. Patrol officers investigating the holdup spotted the suspect walking in an alley just south of the scene of the crime, Brown said.

As they approached, Andrade alleged reached into his jacket and produced a knife in one hand and what appeared to be a firearm in the other.

VIDEO: Canadian Truckers Against COVID Tyranny BLOCK HIGHWAY to and From United States – With “Mandate Freedom” Signs

According to government figures U.S. goods and services trade with Canada totaled an estimated $718.4 billion in 2019. Exports were $360.4 billion; imports were $358.0 billion.

Canada was the largest goods export market in 2019. Canada was the United States’ 3rd largest supplier of goods imports in 2019. U.S. goods imports from Canada totaled $319.4 billion. 70% of that trade is moved by truck.

The Conservative Treehouse reported – Canadian vaccine mandate for cross-border truck drivers began Saturday, January 15. The U.S. vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers begins January 22nd.

That’s why the truckers are protesting.

Full news conference: River Oaks doctor suspended from Houston Methodist over views on COVID-19 …

A Houston Methodist doctor who was thrust into the spotlight in November after her privileges were suspended because of her views on vaccines and early treatment for COVID-19 has plans to file a lawsuit against the hospital system.

Supreme Court Rejects Attempt to Block Mask Mandate on Airplanes

 (Photo by STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

The application to stay the mask mandate was denied by the court after a referral by Justice Neil Gorsuch, a Trump nominee.

Michael Seklecki and his son, an autistic 4-year-old, have been seeking to get courts to block the mask mandate, which was imposed in January 2021 by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) head David Pekoske under the direction of President Joe Biden.

Seklecki of Florida, along with Lucas Wall of Washington, said they and the boy are medically unable to wear masks.

The Supreme Court in an order list (pdf) released Tuesday did not grant any requests for review but did ask for the view of Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar regarding claims that a hospice in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania paid doctors to refer patients to the facility.

The court also rejected writs of certiorari in dozens of cases, including a case against American Airlines, a suit against Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough, and a case against Google.

Exclusive: UN Funds Migrant Wave Flooding to the U.S.

“It is definitely organized,” Bensman told Breitbart News on Monday during a reporting trip to Tapachula in southern Mexico, where migrants arrive after crossing Central America:

They’re giving money out at way-stations up and down the [migrant] trail … There’s a process [in Tapachula]: You get your Mexican [visa] papers, then you go to the UN building next door, get an appointment, and they interview you and look at your situation… 

It’s not big money, and not all of them get it, but enough get it to sustain them so they don’t have to go home, and so they can go on to the next way station.

Bensman tweeted a video of the migrants waiting for payments:

Politics:

Dems Target Manchin in Over 700 Facebook, Instagram Ads

 (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
 (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

“It is extremely uncommon to name a party colleague in a negative ad outside of a primary— but then again Joe Manchin isn’t a typical Democrat,” Nate Lerner, founder of digital political consultancy Build The Wave, told Newsweek.

“I think we will see more of it moving forward as progressives split further from right-leaning Democrats like Manchin and Sinema.”

So far, eight Democrats vying for the Senate have targeted Manchin in their ads on the social media platforms.

In addition, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.; Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.; Pramila Jayapal D-Wash.; and Veronica Escobar, D-Texas; have run anti-Manchin ads recently.

California Rep. Jerry McNerney, Second Dem Of The Day, Announces Retirement

McNerney is the 41st member of the House to retire, and the 28th Democrat. He is the fifth Democratic member of California’s House delegation to decline to run for reelection, joining fellow Democrats Karen Bass, Jackie Speier, Alan Lowenthal and Lucille Roybal-Allard

McNerney’s seat, California’s Ninth, is expected to remain in Democratic hands. He won reelection by 15 points in 2020, and the California legislature created a Democrat +8 seat through redistricting

Senior Biden official likely violated federal ethics law, watchdogs charge

A top Interior Department lawyer likely violated a federal ethics law by taking part in matters involving her former employer and clients, two watchdog groups charge in a fresh complaint filed with the department’s inspector general.

The complaint filed Tuesday alleges that Interior Department Secretary Deb Haaland‘s senior counselor, Elizabeth Klein, failed to disclose to ethics officials in full the scope of her work as deputy director of the State Energy & Environmental Impact Center, a position she held for almost the entirety of the Trump administration.

The center, funded by billionaire Michael Bloombergplaced lawyers in the offices of Democratic state attorneys general that helped file over 130 regulatory and legal challenges against Trump-era federal environmental policies.

Florida’s Roadmap to Living with Covid

Politicians usually back down when media suggest they threaten “children lives.”

But Florida’s Gov Ron DeSantis didn’t back down.

The result? Here’s what happened:

Gov. Glenn Youngkin signs executive order on masks | REPORT

VA Governor Glenn Youngkin signed an executive order that allows parents and children to decide whether to mask up in schools. Logan Ratick shares details.

World News:

Boris Johnson denies knowledge of rule breaking at Downing Street party

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson claims no one informed him that his attendance at a Downing Street party was against the rules.

He has issued an emotional apology to the Queen for holding an event in the garden – the night before she was pictured sitting alone at her husband’s funeral.

Israel hopes to widen Abraham Accords; Iran, Syria commit to China’s Belt&Road TV7 Israel News 18.01

1) Israel calls on “reasonable minded countries” in the region to join in the fight against “extreme Islam” amid increased aggression by Iranian-backed terror groups.

2) U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Vice Admiral Brad Cooper refers to the Abraham Accords as a “significant” foundation to enable regional cooperation to confront the Islamic Republic of Iran.

3) China and Iran announce the launch of a comprehensive cooperation plan in multiple areas of interest.

Nigeria shoot-to-kill order issued over jail breaks

Rauf Aregbesola made the comments in an address to prison staff in the southern city of Ibadan, saying anyone who attempts to breach security “must not live to tell the tale”.

Over the past year armed groups have attacked various prisons, enabling more 5,000 inmates to escape.

A number of prison guards and detainees have also been killed.

Rights activists have expressed concern that the new policy may be abused by the security forces.

Sarah Atcho: Olympic Athlete Develops Pericarditis After Receiving Pfizer COVID-19 Booster Shot

Swiss sprinter and Olympic athlete Sarah Atcho has been diagnosed with pericarditis shortly after receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 booster shot.

Atcho is the second Swiss Olympic athlete this month to have been diagnosed with a heart condition after COVID-19 vaccination. On January 6th, Swiss marathon record holder and Olympic athlete Fabienne Schlumpf announced that she had been diagnosed with myocarditis after her booster shot.

The sprinter made the news public on Monday, writing in a post on Facebook:

Pics/Video: US ballistic missile sub makes rare public appearance on deployment

The U.S. Navy ballistic-missile submarine USS Nevada (SSBN 733) arrives at Naval Base Guam, Jan. 15. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Darek Leary)
The U.S. Navy ballistic-missile submarine USS Nevada (SSBN 733) arrives at Naval Base Guam, Jan. 15. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Darek Leary)

USS Nevada (SSBN 733), a U.S. Navy Ohio-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine, made a rare publicly announced appearance at a port in Guam over the weekend.

“This port visit to Guam reflects the United States’ commitment to the Indo-Pacific region, and complements the many exercises, operations, training, and military cooperation activities conducted by Strategic Forces to ensure they are available and ready to operate around the globe at any time,” the Navy said of the visit.

Rear Adm. Jeffrey Jablon, the Submarine Force Commander for the U.S. Pacific Fleet, appeared alongside the submarine in a video shared by the Navy on Monday.

The last time a US Navy boomer visited Guam was in 2016, when the USS Pennsylvania stopped there.

Taiwan showcases new warships in display of deterrence to China

A Taiwanese Tuo Chiang-class corvette is seen during an annual New Year's Navy drill in Keelung, Taiwan, Jan. 7, 2022.
A Taiwanese Tuo Chiang-class corvette is seen during an annual New Year’s Navy drill in Keelung, Taiwan, Jan. 7, 2022.

Over the weekend, the Taiwanese Ministry of Defense held a naval exercise off the coast of Keelung in northeastern Taiwan, part of three days of multi-disciplinary drills at different locations to demonstrate the military’s combat readiness, the ministry’s news service said.

“We want the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) [of China] to think twice before it acts,” Col. Sun Li-fang from the Taiwanese Army Command’s Political Warfare Bureau told media at one of the drills.

The Defense Ministry said two Taiwanese-designed corvettes, including the newly commissioned Ta Chiang, took part in the naval exercise on Friday. They were seen conducting tracking and firing simulations in rough seas conditions.

NATO reveals plan to respond to space attacks

Satellites (Thegreenj/WikiCommons)
Satellites (Thegreenj/WikiCommons)

NATO’s overarching space policy outlines how the alliance will increasingly use space and share space-related information among member nations. The policy also states the alliance will extend the principles of its collective defense agreement to the space domain.

NATO’s space policy comes amid concerns about new weapons that can either disrupt or destroy satellites. In November, U.S. Space Force Gen. David Thompson said China and Russia are targeting U.S. satellites with electronic interference attacks “every single day.” 

Both China and Russia have also demonstrated kinetic weapons, like anti-satellite (ASAT) missiles, that can destroy satellites in space.

“A number of nations are developing counter-space and anti-satellite systems,” the NATO policy states.

Congress distributes ‘made in China’ masks; UK’s spy service warns lawmakers over Chinese agent

A Chinese spy and a British premier minister were seen together at whispering distance. Photos are now driving backlash over just how much the Chinese Communist Party’s influence is cozying up to the West.

The infamous phrase “Made in China” has been found on medical masks distributed by Congress in Washington. This find is sparking concerns among U.S. lawmakers—specifically on risks linked to supply chains.

China says its economy saw the best growth in a decade last year. But is the figure reliable? And what’s in store for the coming months?

The Beijing Olympics boycott grows. Two more countries announce they’ll skip the event, citing various reasons.

The abuse methods used on Uyghur Muslims were perfected through the persecution of a Chinese spiritual practice, says an award-winning movie director. His new film aims to expose the realities of China’s human rights violations.

Tonga says volcanic eruption and tsunami an ‘unprecedented disaster’

A New Zealand air force image shows homes in Tonga covered in volcanic ash after the huge eruption on Saturday. Photograph: New Zealand Defence Force/AFP/Getty Images
A New Zealand air force image shows homes in Tonga covered in volcanic ash after the huge eruption on Saturday. Photograph: New Zealand Defence Force/AFP/Getty Images

Hampered by a communications breakdown caused by the severing of a major undersea cable, authorities had not released an official update since the blast on Saturday, when the Pacific island nation was shaken by what may have been the largest volcanic event in three decades.

Since then, information on the scale of the devastation had mostly come from reconnaissance aircraft.

On Tuesday, the office of Tonga’s prime minister released a statement saying it had confirmed the deaths of three people, although the toll could rise. The government has still not managed to make contact with several inhabited islands.

A “volcanic mushroom plume” had reached the stratosphere and extended to cover the entirety of Tonga’s roughly 170 islands, where more than 100,000 people live.

Commentary/Opinion:

Can Your Bank Cancel Conservatives? | Ep. 95

Mike Lindell is being “unbanked” because he is a “reputation risk.” Could you be next?

Plus, sadly, Liz was right about one of her major 2022 predictions—the Left is already coming for America’s children and it’s only week three of the new year.

In an even more shocking story, Canada passes a new measure that could effectively outlaw Christianity. You have to hear the details to believe it.

On a positive note, Glenn Youngkin turns the tide in Virginia on day one, and there’s more to come.

Explaining Washington’s rumored FORCED QUARANTINE law

Despite what the mainstream media may say, Glenn DID fact-check a claim he recently made about a rumored Washington law that could force citizens to quarantine or isolate.

In this clip, Glenn clarifies his original statement, explaining that the law in question has been on Washington books since 2003 and therefore is NOT a result of the COVID pandemic.

But Glenn also explains the more concerning context he — and those in the mainstream media — missed too: the fact that this law didn’t seem too farfetched for Washington citizens should be VERY concerning to us all.

Ep. 1686 I’m Daring YouTube To Do This – The Dan Bongino Show

They finally did it. YouTube has gone full Soviet! In this episode, I address the attack on free speech, and I dare YouTube to do something.

I also address a stunning video clip, by this prominent Democrat. who says the quiet part out loud.

Miseducation of America with Pete Hegseth: RCP Takeaway Jan 18

RealClearPolitics co-founder and president Tom Bevan speaks with Pete Hegseth, host of FOX & Friends Weekend about his new series on Fox Nation, “The Miseducation of America”.

A drive through a small, dying community in Illinois. Will it even exist one day?

Some states lost a lot of people in the last decade, and it’s a trend that is showing no signs of letting up. Places like West Virginia, New York and California are losing a lot of residents to outbound migration.

But there’s no state losing more people right now than Illinois. This isn’t the future of Illinois. It’s happening right now.

But the taxes are what’s really driving people away. Illinois has the highest tax burden in the nation, where 15% of people’s incomes are being eaten away by state taxes alone.

The property taxes here are the highest in the nation at 2.16%, which is double the national average. For a lot of people in a town like this, it could be 3 to 400 a month in property taxes alone. The average Illinois resident pays close to $5,000 a year in property taxes. Plus, gas taxes are the highest in the nation, too.