WASHINGTON (AP) — FBI Director Chris Wray is set to testify for the first time since the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, with lawmakers likely to press him on whether the bureau adequately communicated with other law enforcement agencies about the potential for violence that day.
Questions about the FBI's preparations for the riot, and investigations into it, are expected to dominate Wray's appearance Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. He's also likely to be pressed on how the FBI is confronting the national security threat from white nationalists and domestic violent extremists and whether the bureau has adequate resources to address the problem.
The violence at the Capitol made clear that a law enforcement agency that revolutionized itself after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to deal with international terrorism is now scrambling to address homegrown violence from white Americans.
President Joe Biden's administration has tasked his national intelligence director to work with the FBI and Department of Homeland Security to assess the threat.
Wray has kept a notably low profile since a violent mob of insurrectionists stormed the Capitol two months ago. Though he has briefed lawmakers privately and shared information with local law enforcement hearings, Tuesday's oversight hearing will mark Wray's first public appearance before Congress since before November's presidential election.
The FBI is facing questions over how it handled intelligence in the days ahead of the riot and whether warnings it had of potential violence reached the correct officials.
Chinese vaccines sweep much of the world, despite concerns
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — The plane laden with vaccines had just rolled to a stop at Santiago's airport in late January, and Chile's president, Sebastián Piñera, was beaming. "Today," he said, "is a day of joy, emotion and hope."
The source of that hope: China – a country that Chile and dozens of other nations are depending on to help rescue them from the COVID-19 pandemic.
China's vaccine diplomacy campaign has been a surprising success: It has pledged roughly half a billion doses of its vaccines to more than 45 countries, according to a country-by-country tally by The Associated Press. With just four of China's many vaccine makers claiming they are able to produce at least 2.6 billion doses this year, a large part of the world's population will end up inoculated not with the fancy Western vaccines boasting headline-grabbing efficacy rates, but with China's humble, traditionally made shots.
Amid a dearth of public data on China's vaccines, hesitations over their efficacy and safety are still pervasive in the countries depending on them, along with concerns about what China might want in return for deliveries. Nonetheless, inoculations with Chinese vaccines already have begun in more than 25 countries, and the Chinese shots have been delivered to another 11, according to the AP tally, based on independent reporting in those countries along with government and company announcements.
It's a potential face-saving coup for China, which has been determined to transform itself from an object of mistrust over its initial mishandling of the COVID-19 outbreak to a savior. Like India and Russia, China is trying to build goodwill, and has pledged roughly 10 times more vaccines abroad than it has distributed at home.
COVID-19 pandemic fuels attacks on health workers globally
Two Nigerian nurses were attacked by the family of a deceased COVID-19 patient. One nurse had her hair ripped out and suffered a fracture. The second was beaten into a coma.
Following the assaults, nurses at Federal Medical Centre in the Southwestern city of Owo stopped treating patients, demanding the hospital improve security. Almost two weeks passed before they returned to work with armed guards posted around the clock.
"We don't give life. It is God that gives life. We only care or we manage," said Francis Ajibola, a local leader with the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives.
The attack in Nigeria early last month was just one of many on health workers globally during the COVID-19 pandemic. A new report by the Geneva-based Insecurity Insight and the University of California, Berkeley's Human Rights Center identified more than 1,100 threats or acts of violence against health care workers and facilities last year.
Researchers found that about 400 of those attacks were related to COVID-19, many motivated by fear or frustration, underscoring the dangers surrounding health care workers at a time when they are needed most. Insecurity Insight defines a health care attack as any physical violence against or intimidation of health care workers or settings, and uses online news agencies, humanitarian groups and social media posts to track incidents around the world.
Critics: Cuomo apology 'tone-deaf,' ignores power imbalance
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — When she first arrived in Albany to work as a legislative aide in 2013, New York Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou had lawmakers grab her buttocks, suggest she and her boss were "a hot duo" who should have sex, and peer into her office to check her out for a "hot or not" list.
Niou, then a chief of staff in her late 20s, never reported it. She feared it would unfairly drag down her boss. But the experiences stayed with her.
She bristled Monday at the response from Gov. Andrew Cuomo to allegations he sexually harassed two young women in state government, remarks some on social media called a "faux-pology" that blames victims for misinterpreting his "good-natured" jokes.
"When is it a joke to say 'Do you have sex with older men?'" said Niou, now 38, who became a lawmaker herself in 2017, and now represents lower Manhattan. "I felt like it was very much gaslighting instead of an apology, and I think a lot of women read it that way."
Cuomo, a fellow Democrat, has not been seen in public since new details of the sexual harassment complaints became public last week.
Nigerian governor says 279 kidnapped schoolgirls are freed
GUSAU, Nigeria (AP) — Hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls abducted last week from a boarding school in the northwestern Zamfara state have been released, the state's governor said Tuesday.
Zamfara state governor Bello Matawalle announced that 279 girls have been freed. The government last week said 317 had been kidnapped.
Gunmen abducted the girls from the Government Girls Junior Secondary School in Jangebe town on Friday, in the latest in a series of mass kidnappings of students in the West African nation.
An Associated Press reporter saw hundreds of girls dressed in light blue hijabs and barefoot sitting at the state Government House office in Gusau.
After the meeting, the girls were escorted outside by officials and lined up to be taken away in vans. They appeared calm and ranged in ages from 10 and up.
Myanmar protesters return to streets as crackdown continues
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Demonstrators in Myanmar took to the streets again on Tuesday to protest last month's seizure of power by the military, as foreign ministers from Southeast Asian countries met to discuss the political crisis. Police in Yangon, Myanmar's biggest city, used tear gas and rubber bullets against the protesters.
The special meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, held by video conference because of the coronavirus pandemic, comes in the wake of worsening violence in Myanmar. Results of the meeting of the 10-member regional grouping were expected to be announced Tuesday evening.
Myanmar's new military rulers escalated their use of deadly force and mass arrests over the weekend to try to quash protests against the Feb. 1 coup that ousted the elected government led by Aung San Suu Kyi.
The U.N. said it believed at least 18 people in several cities were killed on Sunday when security forces opened fire to disperse demonstrating crowds. Funerals were being held Tuesday for several of the victims.
The authorities also detained more than 1,000 people over the weekend, according to the independent Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.
Victims of anti-Asian attacks reflect a year into pandemic
Nearly a year after they were almost stabbed to death inside a Midland, Texas, Sam's Club, Bawi Cung and his two sons all have visible scars.
It's the unseen ones though that are harder to get over. Cung can't walk through any store without constantly looking in all directions. His 6-year-old son, who now can't move one eyebrow, is afraid to sleep alone.
On a Saturday evening in March, when COVID-19 panic shopping gripped the nation, Cung was in search of rice at a cheaper price. The family was in the Sam's Club meat section when Cung suddenly felt a punch to the back of his head. A man he didn't know then slashed his face with a knife. The assailant left but soon returned to stab the boys. He wounded the 3-year-old in the back and slashed the 6-year-old from his right eye to a couple of inches past his right ear.
The grisly encounter brought home the dangerous climate Asian Americans have faced since the coronavirus entered the U.S., with racially motivated harassment and assaults occurring from coast to coast.
Now, just over a year and thousands of incidents later, some of the early victims find moving forward has been difficult or, at best, bittersweet. A recent wave of attacks on elderly Asian Americans — including the death of an 84-year-old San Francisco man — has fueled worries that hostilities have only worsened.
Analysis: Biden retreats from vow to make pariah of Saudis
As a presidential candidate, Joe Biden promised to make a pariah out of Saudi Arabia over the 2018 killing of dissident Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi. But when it came time to actually punish Saudi Arabia's crown prince, America's strategic interests prevailed.
The Biden administration made clear Friday it would forgo sanctions or any other major penalty against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Khashoggi killing, even after a U.S. intelligence report concluded the prince ordered the it.
The decision highlights how the real-time decisions of diplomacy often collide with the righteousness of the moral high ground. And nowhere is this conundrum more stark than in the United States' complicated relationship with Saudi Arabia — the world's oil giant, a U.S. arms customer and a counterbalance to Iran in the Middle East.
"It is undeniable that Saudi Arabia is a hugely influential country in the Arab world," State Department spokesman Ned Price said Monday when asked about Biden's retreat from his promise to isolate the Saudis over the killing.
Ultimately, Biden administration officials said, U.S. interests in maintaining relations with Saudi Arabia forbid making a pariah of a young prince who may go on to rule the kingdom for decades. That stands in stark contrast to Biden's campaign promise to make the kingdom "pay the price" for human rights abuses and "make them in fact the pariah that they are."
EXPLAINER: Japan to try US men accused of helping Ghosn flee
TOKYO (AP) — Two Americans suspected of helping former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn skip bail and escape to Lebanon in December 2019 have been extradited to Japan.
Michael Taylor and his son Peter had been held in a suburban Boston jail since May. They were handed over to Japanese custody on Monday and arrived in Tokyo on Tuesday.
Ghosn, who led Nissan Motor Co. for more than two decades, was arrested in 2018, and charged with under-reporting his future compensation and breach of trust in diverting Nissan money for personal gain. He says he is innocent.
WHAT ARE THE FATHER AND SON ACCUSED OF DOING?
Michael Taylor, with the help of another man, George-Antoine Zayek, hid Ghosn in a large black box supposedly containing audio equipment, according to the authorities. The box passed through airport security in Osaka, central Japan, and was loaded onto a private jet that flew Ghosn to Turkey. Peter Taylor is accused of meeting with Ghosn and helping his father carry out the escape. Authorities say the Taylors were paid at least $1.3 million.
Nashville music club owners recall night the music died
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — When frantic messages started trickling in that a tornado had hit a beloved music venue in Nashville, Mike Grimes told himself it couldn't possibly be that bad.
Could Basement East really be destroyed? Just hours before, the club Grimes co-owns had hosted a benefit concert for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
Affectionately known as "The Beast," the club was only 5 years old, but already had established a reputation as one of Nashville's trendiest music spots, across the river from the city's tourist-laden honky-tonks on lower Broadway.
The venue, with a capacity limit of 475, quickly became known as a premier site for hosting big-name acts in an intimate setting. Margo Price, Cage the Elephant, John Prine, Maggie Rogers, Maren Morris, Sturgill Simpson and many others played there.
Maybe, Grimes thought desperately as he drove over to the club, the people texting him about the destruction were exaggerating.