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.
The U.S. sees decreasing COVID-19 cases, the Biden administration deports hundreds of immigrants, Rochester officers are suspended after pepper-spraying a 9-year-old, Donald Trump names lawyers to his impeachment team and President Joe Biden meets with Republicans about a coronavirus aid package make up this week's five national stories.
The deadliest month yet of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. drew to a close with certain signs of progress: COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are plummeting, while vaccinations are picking up speed. The question is whether the nation can stay ahead of the fast-spreading mutations of the virus. The U.S. death toll has climbed past 440,000, with over 95,000 lives lost in January alone. Deaths are running at about 3,150 per day on average, down slightly by about 200 from their peak in mid-January. Cases are trending downward in all 50 states.
President Joe Biden’s administration has deported hundreds of immigrants in its early days despite his campaign pledge to stop removing most people in the U.S. illegally at the beginning of his term. A federal judge last week ordered the Biden administration not to enforce a 100-day moratorium on deportations, but the ruling did not require the government to schedule them. In recent days, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has deported immigrants to at least three countries: 15 people to Jamaica on Thursday and 269 people to Guatemala and Honduras on Friday. More deportation flights were scheduled Feb. 1.
The city of Rochester has suspended police officers seen in body-camera videos spraying a chemical “irritant” in the face of a distraught and handcuffed 9-year-old girl, officials announced Monday. The city did not specify how many officers were suspended. The suspensions will last at least until an internal police investigation is completed. The action was announced as community outrage swelled following the release of footage Sunday showing officers restraining and scolding the girl, who was screaming for her father. Police said officers were responding to a report of “family trouble” Jan. 29.
Former President Donald Trump announced a new impeachment legal defense team just one day after it was revealed that he had parted ways with an earlier set of attorneys with just over a week to go before his Senate trial. The two representing Trump will be defense lawyer David Schoen, a frequent television legal commentator, and Bruce Castor, a former district attorney in Pennsylvania who has faced criticism for his decision to not charge actor Bill Cosby in a sex crimes case. Both attorneys issued statements through Trump’s office on Sunday saying that they were honored to take the job.
President Joe Biden told Republican senators during a two-hour meeting he’s unwilling to settle on an insufficient coronavirus aid package after they pitched their slimmed down $618 billion proposal that’s a fraction of the $1.9 trillion he is seeking. No compromise was reached in the lengthy session Monday night, Biden’s first with lawmakers at the White House, and Democrats in Congress pushed ahead with groundwork for approving his COVID-19 relief plan with or without Republican votes. The president made it clear he won’t delay aid in hopes of winning GOP support.