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World: 5 things to know for January 21: 2020 Election, Ukraine, Covid-19, SCOTUS, Belarus

Fears of Russian invasion of Ukraine rises despite US push for diplomacy

  Fears of Russian invasion of Ukraine rises despite US push for diplomacy U.S. officials are raising alarm that Russian threats of war against Ukraine are spiking dangerously despite the conclusion of a week of diplomatic meetings aimed at avoiding the outbreak of open conflict. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan warned Thursday that Russia is preparing a "false flag" operation to use as a pretext to launch an offensive against Kyiv on top of its buildup of more than 100,000 troops on Ukraine's eastern border.National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan warned Thursday that Russia is preparing a "false flag" operation to use as a pretext to launch an offensive against Kyiv on top of its buildup of more than 100,000 troops on Ukraine's eastern border.

Millions of store and restaurant workers in America who catch Covid-19 are increasingly showing up to work while infected with the virus. Many of these employees don't have paid sick leave and need to keep up with their bills, while others fear they'll face repercussions if they call out sick.

US President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani speaks to supporters from The Ellipse near the White House on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. - Thousands of Trump supporters, fueled by his spurious claims of voter fraud, are flooding the nation's capital protesting the expected certification of Joe Biden's White House victory by the US Congress. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images) © Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images US President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani speaks to supporters from The Ellipse near the White House on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. - Thousands of Trump supporters, fueled by his spurious claims of voter fraud, are flooding the nation's capital protesting the expected certification of Joe Biden's White House victory by the US Congress. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

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Ukraine: in Kiev, Blinken calls for choosing a "Pacific way"

 Ukraine: in Kiev, Blinken calls for choosing a Your Browser does not support this video pass that does not end. On Wednesday, the US Secretary of State called the Russian President Vladimir Putin to choose the "peaceful path" to get out of the crisis around the Ukraine , while noting that Moscow could reinforce "very quickly" his troops that already threaten his neighbor.

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1. 2020 Election

Trump campaign officials, led by Rudy Giuliani, oversaw efforts in December 2020 to put forward illegitimate electors from seven states that Trump lost, according to three sources with direct knowledge of the scheme. The sources said members of former President Donald Trump's campaign team were far more involved than previously known in the plan, a core tenet of the broader plot to overturn President Joe Biden's victory. Giuliani and his allies coordinated the process on a state-by-state level, the sources told CNN. One said there were multiple planning calls between campaign officials and GOP state operatives, and that Giuliani participated in at least one call. The source also said the Trump campaign lined up supporters to fill elector slots, secured meeting rooms in statehouses for the fake electors to meet, and circulated drafts of fake certificates that were ultimately sent to the National Archives.

Senators wrestle with Russia sanctions as Ukraine crisis deepens

  Senators wrestle with Russia sanctions as Ukraine crisis deepens “We should impose those sanctions sooner rather than later, not wait for the invasion to start," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal.With the Biden administration warning that Moscow could launch an offensive against Kyiv at any moment, senators from both parties are hustling to back up their promises of bipartisanship with a legislative response aimed at crippling Russia’s economy if President Vladimir Putin triggers a war in eastern Europe. But despite some positive momentum, Republicans and Democrats have yet to agree on a consensus sanctions plan.

2. Ukraine

Tensions surrounding the situation in Ukraine appear to be escalating following President Biden's comments earlier this week that a "minor incursion" by Russia into Ukraine would prompt a lesser response than a full-scale invasion. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pushed back, saying there are "no minor incursions and small nations." Multiple rounds of diplomatic talks between the US, its NATO allies and Russia failed to yield any results, but Russia now says it would welcome another conversation with Biden. Meanwhile, with approximately 100,000 troops amassed along the Ukrainian border, the head of the International Energy Agency is warning that if Russia invades Ukraine, it will have major implications on the oil industry -- driving up oil and gas prices.

3. Coronavirus

The US will require essential travelers entering the country via land ports of entry and ferry terminals to be fully vaccinated for Covid-19 and provide proof of vaccination starting Saturday. The move, announced yesterday by the Department of Homeland Security, is an attempt to combat the rising number of Omicron cases and help relieve the stress on overwhelmed hospitals and health care workers. In Georgia, at least one Atlanta-area hospital is running at 110% capacity and ambulances are being turned away because it is so packed. To date, the US has recorded nearly 69 million total Covid-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, and nearly 18 million of those cases have been reported over the past month.

Analysis: Neither Joe Biden nor Vladimir Putin can afford to lose their Ukraine standoff

  Analysis: Neither Joe Biden nor Vladimir Putin can afford to lose their Ukraine standoff Escalating psychological warfare between the United States and Russia over Ukraine is fast approaching a point at which a peaceful exit from a crisis with real-world ramifications for Americans could be impossible. © Getty Images President Joe Biden, backed by the full symbolic power of the Western alliance, is locked in a showdown with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is using Ukraine as a hostage to try to force the US to renegotiate the settled outcome of the Cold War. Neither man is blinking. To do so may be unfeasible, given the huge political stakes both have wagered.

4. SCOTUS

Abortion providers were dealt another setback yesterday after the US Supreme Court rejected the latest attempt to block the six-week abortion ban in Texas. The controversial law, which brings a halt to most abortions in the country's second-largest state, has been in effect for five months. Last month, the Supreme Court allowed the controversial law to remain in effect but it cleared a limited path forward for the providers to sue a handful of licensing officials in Texas in order to block them from enforcing the law. The court's ruling was a devastating blow to supporters of abortion rights who had hoped the justices would block the law outright. Instead, the case was returned to the conservative 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals.

5. Belarus

Four officials from Belarus have been charged by US federal prosecutors for diverting a RyanAir airplane mid-flight last year to arrest a journalist critical of the government. The four officials, including the director of the state's air navigation agency, called in a fake bomb threat to Minsk air traffic control and then covered up the move by directing air traffic controllers to falsify incident reports about the airplane's diversion. The diversion led to the arrest of leading Belarusian opposition activist Roman Protasevich, sparking a global uproar calling for his release. The incident took place as did you had been fending off opposition protests since claiming victory after a hotly disputed election widely condemned by the international community.

Where Ukraine's sunflowers once sprouted, fears now grow

  Where Ukraine's sunflowers once sprouted, fears now grow WASHINGTON (AP) — On a warm spring day in Ukraine 26 years ago, three men smiled for cameras as they planted symbolic sunflower seedlings in freshly tilled earth where Soviet nuclear missiles had once stood ready. That placid scene was, briefly, a launchpad for hope that the demise of the Soviet Union would bury the threat of great power war and mark the start of lasting peace in an undivided Europe. Today Ukraine is ground zero for worry that Russia will ignite a conflict that could engulf the region.On that early-June day in 1996, the American secretary of defense, William J.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Adele tearfully postpones Las Vegas residency due to Covid among crew

Hello, it's me... your biggest fan, Adele. We love you no matter what!

Twitter is rolling out verified NFT profile pictures

First, it was the blue check. Now, we all want hexagon profile pictures.

You have to win a lottery to camp at this Yosemite site

Only the lucky ones can sleep outside here!

Rare snow and hailstorms cover Saudi Arabian desert

The sweltering Saudi desert is now blanketed in snow? Okay Mother Nature, you're just showing off now.

Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show set to be a '90s lovefest

A lineup of hip-hop legends will be assembling to potentially give you the best halftime show ever.

QUIZ TIME

What type of produce is yielding its smallest crop in more than 75 years?

A. oranges

B. apples

C. corn

D. potatoes

Take CNN's weekly news quiz to see if you're correct!

IN MEMORIAM

Meat Loaf, the larger-than-life singer whose 1977 record "Bat Out of Hell" is one of the best-selling albums of all time, has died at age 74, according to a statement on his verified Facebook page. Meat Loaf's two biggest albums -- "Bat Out of Hell" and the 1993 follow-up "Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell" -- produced numerous hit singles, including "Paradise by the Dashboard Light," "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad" and "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)."

Transcript: Secretary of State Antony Blinken on "Face the Nation," January 23, 2022

  Transcript: Secretary of State Antony Blinken on The following is a transcript of an interview with Secretary of State Antony Blinken that aired Sunday, January 23, 2022, on "Face the Nation."MARGARET BRENNAN: Good morning and welcome to FACE THE NATION. We begin with the tense standoff along the Ukraine border. More than one hundred thousand Russian troops are now poised to potentially invade from the north, east and south of Ukraine. Russian fighter jets and missiles arrived in neighboring Belarus, where war games are set to begin. Meanwhile, NATO naval exercises are taking place south of Crimea in the Mediterranean, and 90 tons of military aid just arrived in Kiev from the United States.

TODAY'S NUMBER

20 million

That's how many people are under winter weather alerts due to forecasts for a treacherous mix of snow and ice. The double-whammy threat prompted the governors of North and South Carolina and Virginia to issue states of emergency. Overall, the alerts cover a wide swathe that includes southern Texas, southern Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, western Florida, Virginia and the Carolinas.

TODAY'S QUOTE

"We are frustrated by the FAA's inability to do what nearly 40 countries have done, which is to safely deploy 5G technology without disrupting aviation services, and we urge it do so in a timely manner."

AT&T spokesperson Megan Ketterer, following the announcement that AT&T and Verizon have agreed to delay the rollout of 5G technology near some major airports. The postponement is a win for the airlines, who said thousands of flights would be delayed, diverted or canceled due to the possibility that the new technology could interfere with aircraft radar altimeters. CNN is owned by AT&T.

TODAY'S WEATHER

Check your local forecast here>>>

AND FINALLY

Patience is a virtue

Happy Friday! You've patiently waited for the weekend and it's finally here! Here's a time-lapse of an incredibly patient man completing a huge jigsaw puzzle. (Click here to view)

Joe Manchin says he would be open to voting for a Biden SCOTUS pick who is more liberal than he is .
"It's not too hard to get more liberal than me," Manchin said, adding that he would vote for a SCOTUS pick with differing "philosophical beliefs."Manchin made these comments during a Thursday interview with West Virginia MetroNews' "Talkline" host Hoppy Kercheval.

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