Friday, Jan 14, 2022
Good Friday morning. Here’s what is happening:
The Associated Press: The Supreme Court Thursday halted the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for businesses.
The Supreme Court has stopped the Biden administration from enforcing a requirement that employees at large businesses be vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing and wear a mask on the job.
At the same time, the court is allowing the administration to proceed with a vaccine mandate for most health care workers in the U.S.
The court’s orders Thursday during a spike in coronavirus cases was a mixed bag for the administration’s efforts to boost the vaccination rate among Americans.
The court’s conservative majority concluded the administration overstepped its authority by seeking to impose the vaccine-or-test rule on U.S. businesses with at least 100 employees. More than 80 million people would have been affected.
“OSHA has never before imposed such a mandate. Nor has Congress. Indeed, although Congress has enacted significant legislation addressing the COVID–19 pandemic, it has declined to enact any measure similar to what OSHA has promulgated here,” the conservatives wrote in an unsigned opinion.
In dissent, the court’s three liberals argued that it was the court that was overreaching by substituting its judgment for that of health experts. “Acting outside of its competence and without legal basis, the Court displaces the judgments of the Government officials given the responsibility to respond to workplace health emergencies,” Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor wrote in a joint dissent.
President Joe Biden said he was “disappointed that the Supreme Court has chosen to block common-sense life-saving requirements for employees at large businesses that were grounded squarely in both science and the law.”
Biden called on businesses to institute their own vaccination requirements, noting that a third of Fortune 100 companies already have done so.BREAKING: Supreme Court blocks the Biden administration's vaccine-or-test rule for U.S. businesses, but allows a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for most health care workers.apne.wsSupreme Court halts COVID-19 vaccine rule for US businesses | AP NewsWASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has stopped a major push by the Biden administration to boost the nation’s COVID-19 vaccination rate, a requirement that employees at large businesses get a vaccine or test regularly and wear a mask on the job.
The Washington Examiner: The Marines have granted two religious exemptions for the COVID-19 vaccine, making it the first service branch to do so despite more than 13,000 requests across the military.
Reuters: The U.S. will send 1,000 military health workers to six states and plans to make high quality masks free.
The dispatch of 1,000 military health personnel is "part of a major deployment of our nation's armed forces to help hospitals across the country manage this surge of the Omicron virus," Biden said.
"I know we're all frustrated as we enter this new year," Biden said, while reiterating his message that COVID-19 continues to be a "pandemic of the unvaccinated."
Biden also announced that he will direct the U.S. government to procure an additional 500 million COVID-19 tests to help meet surging demand across the country. The order comes on top of another 500 million tests that the White House pledged would be available to Americans in January.
The president also said the administration next week will announce it will make high quality masks available for free. He noted about a third of Americans report they do not wear a mask.
The Associated Press: New York City Mayor Eric Adams is considering allowing the city’s public school system to return to remote learning.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams is considering allowing the nation’s largest school district to return to some form of virtual instruction as the city weathers a wave of coronavirus cases, a reversal from his pledge a week ago to keep children in schools.
Adams said at a news conference Thursday that he still believes the safest place for children to be is in school, “but we do have to be honest that there’s a substantial number of children, for whatever reason, parents are not bringing them to school.”
Attendance levels since students returned from winter break have been lower than usual, with anywhere from one-quarter to one-third of students not showing up to class most days. As of Wednesday, attendance district-wide was 76%, according to city Department of Education numbers. In a district of nearly a million students, that means about 220,000 were either out sick or otherwise missing school.
More than 100 schools reported attendance of less than 60%, and more than 50 reported less than half of all students attending class Wednesday.
Adams, a Democrat who took office on the first of the year, has taken a bullish stance on the pandemic, urging New Yorkers to take precautions and get vaccinated but not to let COVID-19 control their lives. He also repeatedly said the city cannot afford more shutdowns of businesses or schools.
ESPN: Novak Djokovic has had his visa revoked for a second time in Australia, days before the Australian Open.
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said Friday that he used his ministerial discretion to cancel the 34-year-old Serb's visa on public interest grounds -- just three days before play begins at the Australian Open, where Djokovic has won a record nine of his 20 Grand Slam titles.
Djokovic's lawyers submitted their request for an injunction less than three hours after Hawke revoked the visa, and a directions hearing was held Friday to outline the next steps in the player's appeal case. Judge Anthony Kelly confirmed that Djokovic has been called to attend an immigration hearing Saturday.
Deportation from Australia can lead to a three-year ban from the country, although that may be waived, depending on the circumstances.
Hawke said he canceled the visa on "health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so." His statement added that Prime Minister Scott Morrison's government "is firmly committed to protecting Australia's borders, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic."
Morrison welcomed Djokovic's pending deportation. The whole episode has touched a nerve in Australia, particularly in Victoria state, where locals went through hundreds of days of lockdowns during the worst of the pandemic and there is a vaccination rate among adults of more than 90%.
Australia is facing a massive surge in coronavirus cases driven by the highly transmissible omicron variant. On Friday, the nation reported 130,000 new cases, including nearly 35,000 in Victoria state. Although many infected people aren't getting as sick as they did in previous outbreaks, the surge is still putting a severe strain on the health system, with more than 4,400 people hospitalized. It's also causing disruptions to workplaces and supply chains.
Fox News: A lawsuit has been filed against the Department of Health and Human Services seeking Dr. Anthony Fauci’s calendar entries from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Judicial Watch has filed a complaint after a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) went unacknowledged. The group is demanding the calendar entries made by Fauci, who also serves as the chief medical adviser to President Biden.
The original FOIA request demanded "all calendars or calendar entries for Dr. Anthony Fauci, including calendars maintained on Dr. Fauci’s behalf. For calendars or calendar entries created electronically, the records should include the names of invitees, notes, and other attachments for a given entry."
"On Nov. 5, 2021, Plaintiffs submitted a FOIA request to the National Institutes of Health, a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, via the National Institutes of Health electronic submission system, seeking access to [Fauci's calendars,]" attorney Paul Orfanedes wrote in the complaint.
HHS failed to satisfy the request by the given deadline of Dec. 13, 2021, Judicial Watch claims. Both Judicial Watch and fellow watchdog group OpentheBooks.com were named as plaintiffs.
The Hill: Arizona Sen. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema said Thursday doubled down on her support of the Senate filibuster, dealing a major blow to Democrats' election reform effort.
“I will not support separate actions that worsen the underlying disease of division infecting our country,” Sinema said during a Senate floor speech.
She added that she has had “long-standing support” for the legislative filibuster, which requires 60 votes for most legislation to advance in the Senate.
“It is the view I continue to hold. It is the belief I have shared many times in public settings and in private settings,” Sinema said. “Eliminating the 60-vote threshold will simply guarantee that we lose a critical tool that we need to safeguard our democracy.”
Sinema’s speech is the latest sign that Democrats' bid to change the legislative filibuster is poised to fall short, scuttling their hope of passing voting rights legislation in the face of GOP opposition. But the timing offers a particularly hard gut-punch to Democrats and a reality check at the possibility that Biden is able to unite all 50 Democrats behind changing the filibuster..@SenatorSinema on Senate filibuster: "Eliminating the 60-vote threshold on a party line with the thinnest possible majorities to pass these bills that I support will not guarantee that we prevent demagogues winning office." hill.cm/GiXiYAu
The Associated Press: President Biden has all but conceded defeat on voting and election bills: ‘The honest to God answer is I don’t know whether we can get this done.’
The Hill: President Biden met with Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin at The White House Thursday night.
The Wall Street Journal: President Biden plans to nominate Sarah Bloom Raskin, a former Treasury Department official, as the Federal Reserve’s top banking regulator.
If confirmed by the Senate, Ms. Raskin, a former Fed governor, would become the central bank’s vice chairwoman of supervision, the government’s most influential overseer of the American banking system.
Mr. Biden also plans to nominate two economists for other Fed board seats: Lisa Cook, a professor of economics and international relations at Michigan State University; and Philip Jefferson, a professor and administrator at Davidson College in North Carolina.
The three picks would complete Mr. Biden’s remake of the Fed board, following his decision in November to offer a second term to Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and nominate Fed governor Lael Brainard to become Fed vice chairwoman.
If all Mr. Biden’s nominees win Senate approval, Ms. Raskin and Ms. Brainard would succeed top officials chosen by President Donald Trump. Mr. Biden’s appointees would hold five of the seven board seats. Four positions would be held by women.Biden will nominate Sarah Bloom Raskin as the Fed's top banking regulator. She has urged the central bank to play a more proactive role on climate change.on.wsj.comBiden Will Nominate Sarah Bloom Raskin as Top Fed Banking RegulatorFormer No. 2 Treasury official has called for more aggressive climate focus
POLITICO: Lawmakers are raising health concerns as they quietly seek to replace Georgia Rep. David Scott as the chair of the agriculture committee.
House Democrats in December 2020 voted for Scott to lead the panel, but some of his decisions since then have frustrated an array of his colleagues. POLITICO spoke with 28 lawmakers, congressional aides and other government officials for this article. Ten lawmakers who detailed concerns about Scott spoke on condition of anonymity in order to speak candidly about the sensitive situation.
Some House Democrats say Scott has been unable to maintain control of routine committee hearings to keep Republicans from running roughshod over Democrats on key priorities such as climate-related agriculture programs and their now-stalled $1.7 trillion social spending bill.
A bill markup in September veered so far out of order that several House Democrats took the rare step of raising their worries with House leadership offices in an attempt to replace Scott as chair before he opens talks for the next farm bill in the coming weeks, according to seven House members familiar with the situation.
In interviews or via a spokesperson, the top three House Democrats — Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer and Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) — each said the concerns weren’t raised to them and they expressed confidence in Scott, giving no ground to fears about Scott’s capabilities or the talk of replacing him.
Scott in a phone interview this week dismissed questions about his health as the actions of “a bunch of wannabe chairmen” who are taking advantage of his physical health challenges in order to stage a mutiny.
”It's not really his physical health. He struggles getting around,” said another Democrat on the agriculture panel. “But there are real questions about whether he's with it.”
NBC News: President Joe Biden plans to revive police reform by signing several executive actions.
The executive actions would follow Biden’s uphill battle to advance voting rights legislation, and could coincide with a similar effort by some Democratic lawmakers to revive the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which stalled on Capitol Hill after failed attempts to craft a bipartisan measure.
The focus on police reforms is part of what appears to be a last-ditch effort by the Biden administration to take action on some of the president's signature initiatives in the run-up to his State of the Union Address on March 1. In addition to voting rights and policing, the White House and congressional Democrats are considering ways to resurrect Biden's Build Back Better package, either by paring back the legislation or separating it into two bills, according to three sources familiar with the discussions.
The executive actions on policing are still being finalized, according to the people familiar with the plans. They did not know how the actions would differ from steps taken by the Justice Department last year when it imposed new restrictions on chokeholds and “no-knock” warrants.
Two people familiar with the discussions said the White House could roll out the executive actions to mark the beginning of Black History Month in February.
The Washington Post: Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes has been arrested and charged with seditious conspiracy in January 6 Capitol riot.
Stewart Rhodes — founder and leader of the extremist group Oath Keepers, whose members are accused of being key players in the Jan. 6 attack on Congress — has been indicted and arrested in connection with the riot, officials said Thursday.
The 56-year-old, who was at the Capitol that day but has said he did not enter the building, is the most high-profile person charged in the investigation so far. He is charged with seditious conspiracy, along with 10 other Oath Keepers members or associates, officials said.
Most of those individuals were previously arrested, but one, 63-year-old Edward Vallejo of Phoenix, is also facing charges as part of the case against the Oath Keepers for the first time. Officials said Rhodes was arrested this morning in Little Elm, Tex., and Vallejo was taken into custody in Phoenix.
A federal grand jury in the District leveled the new charges focusing on what prosecutors say is a core group of Oath Keepers adherents who allegedly planned for and participated in obstructing Congress on the day lawmakers certified President Biden’s 2020 election victory.
The indictments unsealed Thursday mark the first time anyone has faced charges of seditious conspiracy for the Jan. 6 attacks, though prosecutors have long signaled they were considering using that rarely applied section of federal law.
In interviews with The Washington Post over the past year, Rhodes — a former Army paratrooper and Yale Law graduate who has become one of the most visible figures of the far-right anti-government movement — has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.
He said he was communicating with members of his group on Jan. 6, 2021, in an effort to “keep them out of trouble,” and emphasized that Oath Keepers associates who did go into the Capitol “went totally off mission.”
An attorney for Rhodes, Jonathon A. Moseley, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.With his signature eye patch and fiery speeches, Stewart Rhodes is among the most recognizable leaders of the anti-government movement — and one of its most controversial.wapo.stWho is Stewart Rhodes, the Oath Keepers leader arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 riot?The anti-government militant has a history of urging followers to revolt. Until Thursday, he had avoided personal legal consequences.
New York Times: The RNC will change its rules and require presidential candidates to sign a pledge to not participate in any debates sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates.
Republican committee officials alerted the debate commission to their plans in a letter sent on Thursday, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times. If the change goes forward, it would be one of the most substantial shifts in how presidential and vice-presidential debates have been conducted since the commission began organizing debates more than 30 years ago.
The nonprofit commission, founded by the two parties in 1987 to codify the debates as a permanent part of presidential elections, describes itself as nonpartisan. But Republicans have complained for nearly a decade that its processes favor the Democrats, mirroring increasing rancor from conservatives toward Washington-based institutions.
The move by the R.N.C. was an outgrowth of those long-held complaints and came after months of discussions between the commission and party officials. According to the R.N.C.’s letter, the chairman of the party’s temporary presidential debate committee, David Bossie, began discussions last year with the debate commission’s co-chairman, Frank Fahrenkopf, a former Republican official.
The Republican Party chairwoman, Ronna McDaniel, had demanded that changes be made to the commission and how the debates were held, writing in a letter to the commission in June that the party and its voters had lost faith in the commission.
The change requiring candidates to refuse participation in the commission’s debates is to be voted on at the R.N.C. winter meeting in Salt Lake City in February. If the R.N.C. moves forward with it, it is unclear what that would mean for future debates. But it would change the approach to be similar to what happened before the commission existed, when the two parties or campaigns had to negotiate directly and agree on terms, or no debates would take place.
Mr. Fahrenkopf did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But commission officials have privately complained that R.N.C. leaders have conflated the processes around primary debates with those in the general election, which are the only ones the commission is involved with. They have also complained that the commission historically deals with campaigns and not with party committees.
Business Insider: Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee for president, says the party ‘would be nuts’ to block candidates from debates.
CNBC: The House committee investigating the Capitol riot has subpoenaed Twitter, Reddit and the parent companies of Facebook and Google.
The bipartisan committee had asked for a trove of records last summer from those and other social companies, but said it received “inadequate responses” from some of the largest platforms.
The committee again demanded that Google parent company Alphabet, Twitter, Reddit and Meta — formerly known as Facebook — hand over a slew of records related to domestic terrorism, the spread of misinformation and efforts to influence or overturn the 2020 election.
“Two key questions for the Select Committee are how the spread of misinformation and violent extremism contributed to the violent attack on our democracy, and what steps — if any — social media companies took to prevent their platforms from being breeding grounds for radicalizing people to violence,” Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said in a statement Thursday.
“It’s disappointing that after months of engagement, we still do not have the documents and information necessary to answer those basic questions,” Thompson said. “The Select Committee is working to get answers for the American people and help ensure nothing like January 6th ever happens again. We cannot allow our important work to be delayed any further.”
A Reddit spokesperson confirmed the company received the subpoena and said in a statement they “will continue to work with the committee on their requests.” A Twitter spokesperson declined to comment.
CNN: California Gov. Gavin Newsom has denied parole for RFK assassin Sirhan Sirhan.
Sirhan was recommended for parole in August, after spending 53 years in prison for the 1968 killing. Two of Kennedy's sons, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Douglas Kennedy, supported the release during Sirhan's 16th appearance before the California Parole Board. But other family members felt he should remain imprisoned.
A month later, Robert F. Kennedy's widow, Ethel Kennedy, said in a statement that Sirhan "should not have the opportunity to terrorize again."
"He should not be paroled," she said in the September statement.
Through the review process, Newsom noted his penchant for Kennedy, telling reporters he keeps a framed photo of the former senator at the entrance of his office.
Newsom decided to reverse the parole board's decision after determining that Sirhan "currently poses an unreasonable threat to public safety," a statement from the governor's office said.
"The Governor reached his decision based on several factors, including Mr. Sirhan's refusal to accept responsibility for his crime, lack of insight and accountability required to support his safe release, failure to disclaim violence committed in his name, and failure to mitigate his risk factors," the statement said.
Gov. Gavin Newsom in The Los Angeles Times: Why I will not release Sirhan Sirhan.
BBC News: Prince Andrew will stop using the style His Royal Highness in an official capacity amid claims he sexually assaulted a woman when she was 17.
The duke's roles will be given to other Royal Family members, the source added.
It comes as he faces a civil case in the US over claims he sexually assaulted a woman when she was 17, which he has consistently denied.
On Thursday evening, a source close to Prince Andrew said he would "continue to defend himself" against Virginia Giuffre's allegations.
A judge ruled on Wednesday that the case brought by Ms Giuffre could continue, after he tried to have it dismissed.
Buckingham Palace said in a statement: "With the Queen's approval and agreement, the Duke of York's military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to the Queen.
"The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen."
All Prince Andrew's roles have been returned to the Queen with immediate effect, and will be redistributed to other members of the Royal Family, a Royal Source said.
The Daily Beast: Prince Andrew plans to ‘fight on’ in the Virginia Roberts Giuffre case.
The Associated Press: Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers pardoned 54 people Thursday, bringing his total to nearly 400, the most of any Wisconsin governor.
Most of the latest pardons involved low-level drug offenses. Other offenses included fraud, burglary, theft and drunken driving.
“These pardon recipients have the support of many local officials, neighbors, and community members and have earned a second chance,” Evers said in a statement.
Evers has granted 391 pardons over three years in office, more than the nearly 300 pardons that former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle issued over eight years. Republican Govs. Tommy Thompson and Scott McCallum issued 262 pardons before Doyle took office. Republican Gov. Scott Walker didn’t issue a single pardon during his two terms before Evers defeated him in 2018.
TMZ: Kanye West is a named suspect in an alleged battery early Thursday morning after he allegedly punched a fan.
Law enforcement sources tell us ... Ye got into some sort of argument that allegedly turned physical around 3 AM in DTLA. We're told the incident occurred near the Soho Warehouse. We do not know if Ye was at Soho before the incident, but given the time, it seems likely.
We're told Kanye allegedly pushed and then punched a male fan ... the case is being investigated as misdemeanor battery ... a crime that carries a maximum jail sentence of 6 months.
FOX 11 -- who first broke the story -- says Kanye knocked the fan to the ground.
We've obtained video of an irate Kanye shot sometime between Wednesday night and Thursday morning. You hear Kanye yell, "Did y'all say that or not? Did y'all say that or not?" "Cuz that's what happened right f****** now."Cops are investigating Kanye West for allegedly punching an autograph seeker, and TMZ has obtained this video showing the man laid out on the street as Kanye rages at people who apparently work for him.tmz.comKanye West Enraged in Video After Allegedly Punching Autograph SeekerKanye West is a named suspect on an alleged battery early Thursday morning, TMZ has learned, and LAPD is investigating.
CBS News: The armorer for the film 'Rust' is suing the man who supplied the ammunition and guns, accusing him and his company of providing a combination of dummy and live rounds.
Lawyers representing Hannah Gutierrez Reed filed the lawsuit Wednesday in New Mexico, where the shooting occurred.
The lawsuit claims that Seth Kenney and his company, PDQ Arm & Prop, "distributed boxes of ammunition purporting to contain dummy rounds, but which contained a mix of dummy and live ammunition to the 'Rust' production."
"Hannah and the entire Rust movie crew relied on the Defendants' misrepresentation that they provided only dummy ammunition," the suit asserts. "In so doing, Defendants created a dangerous condition on the movie set, unbeknownst to Hannah Gutierrez Reed, which caused a foreseeable risk of injury to numerous people."
In an interview with "Good Morning America," Kenney emphatically denied the live ammunition came from him.
NPR: More than 1 million fewer students are in college than before the pandemic, the lowest enrollment numbers in 50 years.
"It's very frightening," says Doug Shapiro, who leads the research center at the National Student Clearinghouse, where the new data comes from. "Far from filling the hole of [2020's] enrollment declines, we are still digging it deeper."
Compared with the fall of 2019, the last fall semester before the coronavirus pandemic, undergraduate enrollment has fallen a total of 6.6%. That represents the largest two-year decrease in more than 50 years, Shapiro says.
The nation's community colleges are continuing to feel the bulk of the decline, with a 13% enrollment drop over the course of the pandemic. But the fall 2021 numbers show that bachelor's degree-seeking students at four-year colleges are making up about half of the shrinkage in undergraduate students, a big shift from the fall of 2020, when the vast majority of the declines were among associate degree seekers.
"The phenomenon of students sitting out of college seems to be more widespread. It's not just the community colleges anymore," says Shapiro. "That could be the beginning of a whole generation of students rethinking the value of college itself. I think if that were the case, this is much more serious than just a temporary pandemic-related disruption."
Graduate program enrollment, which saw an increase in the fall of 2020, declined slightly, down by nearly 11,000 in the fall of 2021.
Overall, enrollment in undergraduate and graduate programs has been trending downward since around 2012, but the pandemic turbocharged the declines at the undergrad level.
Axios: 2021 was the sixth hottest year on record.
Global warming became local to a new and devastating extent in 2021, with the year ranking as the sixth-warmest on record, according to new, independent data from NASA, NOAA and Berkeley Earth.
Each year's data adds to the relentless long-term trend, which shows rapid warming due overwhelmingly to human-caused greenhouse gas emissions during the past several decades in particular.
The global shifts in ocean heat, atmospheric moisture, and surface temperatures on shorter timescales are increasingly being felt in the form of unprecedented and deadly extreme weather and climate events.
The three temperature tracking groups matched data released earlier this week by the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service, and show how the presence of a La Niña event in the tropical Pacific Ocean, which features cooler than average sea surface temperatures near the equator, failed to dislodge 2021 from the list of top 10 years.
News Nation: A ‘potentially hazardous’ skyscraper-sized asteroid will make a near pass by earth next week.
It is known by the catchy moniker (7482) 1994 PC1 and is traveling nearly 44,000 miles per hour and at a distance of 1.2 million miles, which sounds far, but by astronomical standards is actually pretty close.
“This one has been classified as, well, a potentially hazardous asteroid,” said Dr. David Reitzel, astronomical lecturer at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. “So this time by, it’s going to miss us, it’s going to miss us by quite a lot, but we’ve got to keep an eye on these because it can come back later.”
Reitzel says that this asteroid has been here before; it was first spotted in 1933.
“Cosmically speaking, 1933 was yesterday,” Reitzel said. “We haven’t known about this a long time. A little nudge here, a little nudge there, it can change paths, and it could come back and hit Earth. So it is very important that we observe these and keep track of them.”FACT: There is no known threat from any asteroid for at least the next 100 years. Our Planetary Defense Coordination Office constantly monitors potential threats from asteroids and other Near-Earth Objects. Follow @AsteroidWatch for updates.Near-Earth #asteroid 1994 PC1 (~1 km wide) is very well known and has been studied for decades by our #PlanetaryDefense experts. Rest assured, 1994 PC1 will safely fly past our planet 1.2 million miles away next Tues., Jan. 18. Track it yourself here: https://t.co/JMAPWiirZh https://t.co/35pgUb1anqNASA Asteroid Watch @AsteroidWatch
This day in history: It was this day in 1978, The Sex Pistols held their final concert in San Francisco, California. From Rolling Stone: The Sex Pistols Come to a Chaotic End.
The Sex Pistols‘ 1978 U.S. tour was a complete fiasco. Bassist Sid Vicious was hopelessly addicted to heroin, and Johnny Rotten was barely speaking with his bandmates. The group had never been to America, but they’d been in the press for the better part of a year and could have easily played relatively large venues in big cities. Instead, Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren booked them at redneck bars across the Deep South and made sure an army of journalists chronicled the 12-day odyssey in great detail. He figured the inevitable chaos would further bolster the legend of the Sex Pistols.
Needless to say, the residents of cities like Baton Rouge and San Antonio didn’t think much of the Sex Pistols, especially when Vicious called one crowd a “bunch of faggots.” The brief tour wrapped up January 14th at San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom. It was the biggest venue of the entire tour, without any close second. The crowd was mainly hippies, curious to see what all the fuss was about.
“In America, what fucked it up was that they treated us like rock stars,” Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones said in Jon Savage’s book England’s Dreaming. “They didn’t know any different. They treat anyone who comes over the same way. At Winterland, I had a cold. Sid wasn’t playing a note, and he wasn’t even plugged in half the time. Me and Paul just wanted to play. I kept cutting out, strings breaking left, right and center.”
The sound was absolutely atrocious, and Johnny Rotten’s voice started to give out. The band closed with a cover of the Stooges’ “No Fun,” and near the end Rotten melts down. “There’s no fun in being alone,” he says. “This is no fun. It is no fun at all.” When the song ends he famously asks the crowd, “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?” He then drops the microphone and walks offstage. It was the last time the Sex Pistols would perform together until their reunion tour in 1996.
This day in 1994, President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed the Kremlin accords. From The Associated Press: In Disarmament Breakthroughs, Clinton, Yeltsin Sign Nuclear Accords.
MOSCOW (AP) - In post-Cold War breakthroughs, Presidents Clinton and Boris Yeltsin signed Kremlin accords today to stop aiming missiles at any nation and to dismantle the nuclear arsenal of Ukraine, third largest in the world.
″We are giving a great boost to the goal of a nuclear disarmament,″ Yeltsin said.
″For the first time in nearly half a century - virtually since the dawn of the nuclear age - the United States and Russia will not operate nuclear forces, day-to-day, in a manner that presumes they are adversaries,″ Clinton and Yeltsin said in their Moscow declaration.
At a state dinner capping the summit, Yeltsin said, ″Together we’ll overcome everything.″
Russia and the United States will take their missiles off target by May 30, sweeping aside one of the most frightening relics of the Cold War.