US Capitol Police in the spotlight at Senate hearing
A Senate panel on Wednesday will hold a hearing on the U.S. Capitol Police in the aftermath of last year’s U.S. Capitol insurrection. U.S. Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger and other witnesses are expected to appear at the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration hearing, which comes on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the attack on Jan. 6, 2021. Manger replaced ex-chief Steven Sund, who resigned on Jan. 7. In addition to the Senate hearing, Attorney General Merrick Garland is expected to give a speech Wednesday about the Justice Department’s efforts to investigate and prosecute those responsible for the attack. The Washington Post was the first to report about Garland’s speech. About 140 officers were injured in the Capitol attack, and four died by suicide in the weeks that followed. More than 700 people have been arrested and charged for their roles in the insurrection.
Trouble in Chicago: COVID conflict leads schools to cancel classes
Teachers in Chicago, the nation’s third-largest school district, voted late Tuesday to switch to remote learning, and city leaders reacted by canceling classes Wednesday for most of the district’s 330,000 students. The Chicago Teachers Union voted to pause in-person learning and work remotely until Jan. 18, or until COVID-19 cases fall below a particular threshold. The union, which has roughly 25,000 members, is also demanding the district require negative tests from students and staff before returning to school.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the vote constituted an “illegal work action,” and Chicago Public Schools CEO Pedro Martinez described it as a “walkout.” Teachers who do not show up will not be paid, Lightfoot said. School buildings will be open Wednesday and will provide essential services, such as meals and COVID-19 testing, Martinez said. But it was not immediately clear how many teachers would show up in person.
Major East Coast highway expected to resume normalcy for rush hour
Interstate 95 in Virginia is expected to resume normalcy for the Wednesday rush hour after ice and snow stranded hundreds of motorists, some for as long as 27 hours. Problems began Monday morning when a truck jackknifed on I-95, the main north-south highway along the East Coast, triggering a swift chain reaction as other vehicles lost control, state police said. On a roughly 50-mile stretch of the interstate near Fredericksburg, drivers were stuck in their cars overnight while ice blanketed the freeway. People took to social media and shared their experiences about running out of fuel, food and water as they sat for hours without moving. The Virginia Department of Transportation tweeted Tuesday evening that the traffic had been cleared and there were no remaining stranded motorists. No injuries or fatalities from the storm or the traffic backup were reported in Virginia, but state officials were facing a slew of questions about how the situation was allowed to escalate.
Is tonight the night? Report say Nets’ Kyrie Irving to make season debut
Brooklyn Nets superstar Kyrie Irving is expected to make his season debut Wednesday against the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis, according to multiple reports. Irving has not played this season after refusing to get vaccinated for COVID-19. A New York City mandate requires anyone over age 5 to be vaccinated in order to enter arenas, making Irving ineligible to compete in home games, though still eligible to play in most road games. The Nets originally decided Irving could not be a part-time player, but last month changed course and welcomed the seven-time All-Star back into the fold. On Monday, Nets coach Steve Nash said the organization is “hopeful” Irving could return Wednesday, “but no determinations have been made yet.”
CES kicks off, with both in-person, virtual events
The massive CES technology show will go on this week, starting Tuesday, in Las Vegas, but like many other recent events, it is being hindered by COVID-19. The Consumer Technology Association, which runs CES, had planned for a hybrid event to run Jan. 5-8, with some events theld in-person and others virtually. That’s a step forward from last year’s CES, which was conducted completely online during the coronavirus shutdown as vaccines were just being deployed. However, in the days leading up to this year’s conference, some big name exhibitors have bowed out and some media outlets have canceled plans to cover CES in person, leading to the show being shortened by one day, closing on Jan. 7. More than 2,200 companies are expected to exhibit in person at CES and those wanting to attend remotely will be able to stream more than 40 conference sessions and events.