5 things you should know for November 5th: Capitol riot, climate, Covid-19, elections, Venezuela


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1. Uprising in the Capitol

The House of Representatives committee investigating the January 6th Uprising in the Capitol is trying to act quickly as members become increasingly concerned that their work could be suspended if the 2022 midterm elections result in a Republican-led house. The panel was in court yesterday to battle former President Trump’s efforts to withhold documents about what happened at the White House on the day of the riot. Today the committee is due to hear from Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official who spread unsubstantiated electoral conspiracy theories and consulted with Trump prior to the uprising. Rep. Bennie Thompson, chairman of the select committee, says about 20 more subpoenas will be released shortly.

2. Climate

Global warming could be kept at 1.8 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels if all the pledges and promises made at the COP26 summit in Glasgow are kept, reports the International Energy Agency. Scientists have said warming needs to be kept at 1.5 degrees or below to avoid the most catastrophic climatic effects, but 1.8 degrees is still big news as the earth is currently heading for a 2.7 degree rise . The British government announced that 23 other countries have committed to phase out coal-fired power generation. But some of the largest greenhouse gas emitters – namely China, India and the US – have not signed up. All in all, international vows fall short of what experts say to achieve net-zero coal emissions by 2050.

3. Coronavirus

Europe could expect 500,000 more Covid-19 deaths this winter, warns the World Health Organization. The agency sounded the alarm over rising cases and slowing vaccination rates, with a WHO regional director saying the pace of transmission in the region was “serious”. Much of Europe is struggling with infection peaks, with Germany yesterday reporting the highest number of new cases every day since the beginning of the pandemic. The US is now running vaccinations for children ages 5-11, and federal employees can take paid time off to get their children vaccinated. The Biden government also announced that vaccination and testing mandates for private companies with 100 or more employees, certain healthcare workers, and federal contractors will come into effect on Jan. 4. And two studies published yesterday show a great benefit of Covid-19 vaccines and conclude that vaccinated people don’t get as sick even if they get a breakthrough infection. And Pfizer said today its experimental pill to fight Covid-19 reduced the risk of hospitalization and death for high-risk patients by about 89%.

4th choice

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s election victory this week wasn’t the only major GOP win in the state. The Republicans will win at least 50 seats in the House of Delegates and guarantee that the Democrats will no longer have full control there. Dems could still tie the number of seats, resulting in a power-sharing agreement. The Virginia Republicans also secured the posts of lieutenant governor and attorney general. The Democrats still control the Virginia Senate, where members won’t be elected until 2023, but they could struggle to block any GOP-sponsored overhauls. The electoral defeat of the formerly democratically controlled state this week is seen as a kind of guideline for the midterm elections in 2022.

5. Venezuela

The International Criminal Court will officially investigate allegations of crimes against humanity in Venezuela. The government of the embattled President Nicolas Maduro has been on the ICC’s radar since 2018. At the time, several South American nations and Canada moved the court to investigate the country for alleged crimes, including extrajudicial murders and torture. Venezuelans have experienced years of political and social unrest, and the United Nations recently accused the Venezuelan security forces of using excessive force and arbitrarily arresting thousands of people in protests against Maduro’s government. Maduro has agreed in writing to cooperate with the probe. Opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who was backed by dozen countries as the legitimate president of Venezuela, welcomed the decision.


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If you’d got the two celebrities off this headline and asked me to guess them, I wouldn’t have got it right in a million years.


Ahmaud Arbery’s murder trial begins today

The trial of the three white men charged with the murder of the black jogger Ahmaud Arbery is due to begin this morning. Already disputed over racial issues, the case became even more divisive when defense lawyers were accused of disproportionately attacking qualified potential black jurors.


$ 650 million

That is the value of a new US arms sale to Saudi Arabia, the State Department told Congress. The sale, which includes 280 advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles, comes as US-Saudi Arabia relations remain strained.


“I would like to praise the courage of the numerous players, executives and staff members in using their truth to fight the toxic environments of racial insensitivity, sexual harassment and microaggression.”

Former Phoenix Suns head coach Earl Watsonwho accused Phoenix Suns and Mercury executive director Robert Sarver for years of racist and sexist language in an ESPN article. Sarver called the report imprecise and misleading.


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Someone in the comments on this video said surfing is “like skiing, but the mountain is chasing you”. Something to think about as you watch this brave surfer hit one of the biggest waves ever surfed. (Just as brave: the person on the jet ski above her ?!) (Click here to watch.)

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