Syria still holds around eight percent of its chemical weapons material, missing a deadline to remove or destroy it all, the mission overseeing the destruction of its arsenal said Sunday. Despite the slip, the head of the mission, Sigrid Kaag, said…
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January 21, 2021
As prosecutors move forward with their cases against the Capitol rioters, new evidence is emerging regarding the police officers who were attacked by the mob that day, CNN reports.
"Officers were beaten with whatever the rioters had with them, according to court documents, including an American flag and a fire extinguisher," writes CNN's Marshall Cohen.
<p>While dozens of participants in the storming of the Capitol have been slapped with a wide array of charges, the most serious charges are being leveled at those who were involved in attacks against police. According to Cohen, hundreds of pages of newly unsealed court documents tell a horrifying story -- one example being a Texas man who told fellow rioters, "If you have a weapon, you need to get your weapon," as he entered the Capitol. </p><p>Another is <a href="https://www.rawstory.com/capitol-riot-2649942449/" target="_blank">55-year-old Robert Sanford</a>, who threw a fire extinguisher at a group of police officers, striking three the head, including one who was later sent to the hospital for medical evaluation. According to Sanford's lawyer, he got "caught up in the mob mentality."</p><p>Some rioters came to the Capitol armed with bear spray and other weapons.</p><p>Court records show that Mark Leffingwell of Seattle got into a literal fistfight with police. </p><p>"Leffingwell attempted to push past me and other officers," US Capitol Police Officer Daniel Amendola wrote in a sworn affidavit. "When he was deterred from advancing further into the building, Leffingwell punched me repeatedly with a closed fist."</p><p>Read the full report over at <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/21/politics/capitol-rioters-attacking-police/index.html" target="_blank">CNN</a>.</p>
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January 21, 2021
A North Carolina man's father made excuses for his son's involvement in the U.S. Capitol violence aimed at overturning Donald Trump's election loss.
Investigators say Christopher Spence, of Pilot Mountain, posted a Facebook livestream video of himself encouraging others to kick open the doors of the U.S. House chamber and shouting obscenities at police officers trying to contain the violent mob, but his father insists he was merely swept up in the crowd, reported the Hickory Daily Record.
<p>"This has been blown out of proportion," said Winton Spencer. "When you are in a crowd and they start moving forward, you better go with the crowd or get trampled."</p><p>His 40-year-old son was charged by federal prosecutors with obstructing official proceedings, engaging in violent entry of the Capitol and disorderly conduct, along with entering and remaining unlawfully in the government building.</p><p>The elder Spencer admits his son isn't "innocent of everything," but he doesn't think he's been portrayed fairly by the media.</p><p>"He probably did run his mouth, but when do you silence someone from running their mouth?" Spencer said.<br/></p><p>"He is not a terrorist," he added. "He is not a skinhead, not a racist. He wasn't raised to be like that. He was probably in there 15 or 20 minutes [but left] when he saw things starting to go down."</p><p>The father and son share strong support for the former president, and agree with additional family members that the election was stolen from Trump, and the elder Spence believes in the QAnon conspiracy theory that baselessly alleges political and media elites are involved in in a secret pedophilia ring.</p><p>The elder Spencer says his son attended a Christian school growing up but later had trouble with the law after falling into "the wrong crowd," and court records show convictions in 2013 to 2015 for possession of stolen goods and property, breaking and entering, larceny and obtaining property by false pretenses.</p><p>He also has convictions for drug possession and paraphernalia, attempted possession of a firearm by a felon and making harassing phone calls, and court records show Christopher Spencer was charged with assault on a female and communicating threats, but those charges were later dismissed.</p><p>The younger Spencer will make a virtual court appearance Monday, and the terms of his release from jail require him to stay home except for medical treatment or other approved activities, and he cannot have a firearm or travel to Washington.</p>
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'That is what the Republican Party is': Fox & Friends hosts take it personally after Biden denounces racism
January 21, 2021
The hosts of Fox & Friends on Thursday blasted Democrats after President Joe Biden denounced “racism, nativism, fear [and] demonization" during his inauguration speech.
In Wednesday's speech, Biden also pledged to defeat "political extremism, white supremacy [and] domestic terrorism."
<p> The hosts at <em>Fox & Friends</em> seemed to take the attack on racism personally. </p><p> "Dividing America has been the Democratic political strategy," Fox News host Will Cain opined the next morning. "Name the line which divides us, whether it be race or socio-economic or political party. Dividing us has been a political win for the Democratic Party." </p><p> "What I have found is that those that yell 'fascist' are the first to embrace authoritarian crackdowns on dissent," he continued. "Those that yell 'racist' are the first to ensconce themselves in suburbs where they're totally insulated from any exposure to diversity, to pay $50,000 a year in private school tuition for their children never to encounter someone who looks much less -- earns less money than their parents." </p><p> "If you want to live that life, fine," Cain said. "But then don't turn around and preach that you are more virtuous than others that you look down upon and call racist. What I see here is a movement populated in essence by frauds. They are largely what they accuse others of being." </p><p> Co-host Steve Doocy then suggested that Biden's inauguration speech was divisive because it condemned racism. </p><p> Another of the show's hosts, Ainsley Earhardt, agreed. </p><p> "If you're pro-life, it doesn't mean you're racist," she complained. "If you like lower taxes, it doesn't mean you're racist. If you like constitutional judges, it doesn't mean you're racist. If you like less government, it doesn't mean you're racist." </p><p> "You might have supported Trump because of those issues," the co-host added, "because of the policies. You might not like his tweets, you might not like some of his rhetoric, calling names to other people. But you like his policies." </p><p> According to Earhardt, "a lot of people" in the Republican Party voted for Trump just because they are Republicans. </p><p> "They have been Republicans their whole life!" she insisted. "And they liked that option better than the other option, which was Kamala Harris -- progressive movement. So that is what the Republican Party is." </p><p> "All of the Republicans I know wouldn't be storming the Capitol," Earhardt concluded. "They're not racist. They just -- they like Trump policies. That's it." </p><p> Watch the video below from Fox News. </p><iframe allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pnegaCAMS6w" width="560"></iframe>
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