Editor’s Note: This listicle is part of a weekly series by The Ball State Daily News summarizing five stories from around the world. All summaries are based on stories published by The Associated Press.
Former President Donald Trump's impeachment charge is delivered to the Senate, President Joe Biden reinstates COVID-19 international travel restrictions, daily deaths and new cases of the coronavirus drop in the United States, Twitter launches a fact-checking project Birdwatch and a Portland driver kills an elderly woman and injures five people make up this week's five national stories.
House Democrats delivered the impeachment case against Donald Trump to the Senate late Monday for the start of his historic trial, but Republican senators were easing off their criticism of the former president and shunning calls to convict him over the deadly siege at the U.S. Capitol. The nine House prosecutors carried the sole impeachment charge of “incitement of insurrection” across the Capitol, making a solemn and ceremonial march to the Senate along the same halls the rioters ransacked just weeks ago. But Republican denunciations of Trump have cooled since the Jan. 6 riot.
President Joe Biden on Jan. 25 reinstated COVID-19 travel restrictions on most non-U.S. travelers from Brazil, Ireland, the United Kingdom and 26 other European countries that allow travel across open borders. He also added South Africa to the list. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said South Africa was added to the restricted list because of concerns about a variant of the virus that has spread beyond that nation. The prohibition Biden is reinstating suspends entry to nearly all foreign nationals who have been in any of the countries on the restricted list at any point during the 14 days before their scheduled travel to the U.S.
Coronavirus deaths and cases per day in the U.S. dropped markedly over the past couple of weeks but are still running at alarmingly high levels, and the effort to snuff out COVID-19 is becoming an ever more urgent race between the vaccine and the mutating virus. The government’s top infectious-disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said the improvement in numbers around the country appears to reflect a “natural peaking and then plateauing” after a holiday surge, rather than the arrival of the vaccine in mid-December. The U.S. is recording fewer deaths per day and new cases than it was two weeks ago.
Twitter, along with other social media companies, has been grappling with how best to combat misinformation on its service. Twitter is enlisting its users to help combat misinformation on its service by flagging and notating misleading and false tweets. The pilot program unveiled Monday, called Birdwatch, allows a preselected group of users — for now, only in the U.S. — who sign up through Twitter. Those who want to sign up must have a U.S.-based phone carrier, verified email and phone number, and no recent Twitter rule violations. Twitter said it wants both experts and non-experts to write Birdwatch notes.
A motorist repeatedly drove into people along streets and sidewalks in Portland, Oregon, on Jan. 25, killing an elderly woman who was dragged beneath the wheels. Police received a call shortly after 1 p.m. that a driver had hit a pedestrian, according to Portland Police Bureau spokesman Derek Carmon. The man then tried to flee on foot but neighbors surrounded him until police arrived and wrestled him into custody. Five other people were hurt and taken to hospitals. Authorities said they believe more people were hurt who did not need ambulance transport.