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9:45 AM ET, January 26, 2022

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 Top Items: 
Vladimir Isachenkov / Associated Press:
Russia threatens retaliation if Ukraine demands not met  —  MOSCOW (AP) — Russia warned Wednesday it would quickly take “retaliatory measures” if the U.S. and its allies reject its security demands and continue their “aggressive” policies, ratcheting up pressure on the West amid concerns that Moscow is planning to invade Ukraine.
RELATED:
BBC:
Ukraine: US could sanction Putin personally if Russia invades, Biden says  —  US President Joe Biden says he would consider personal sanctions on Vladimir Putin if Russia invades Ukraine.  —  Mr Biden said there would be “enormous consequences” for the world if Russia made a move on the nation, which sits on its south-western border.
David Ignatius / Washington Post:
The fight ahead in Ukraine: Body bags and cyberwar  —  Russians sometimes speak of the bodies of dead soldiers arriving home from the battlefront as “Cargo 200,” a European defense expert told me last week in Kyiv.  The term originated during Russia's war in Afghanistan, when corpses were shipped home to Moscow in zinc-lined coffins.
Jada Yuan / Washington Post:
Melania Trump auctions off her hat, and has become the latest victim of the cryptocurrency crash  —  The former first lady's chapeau is still far below her asking price.  —  (This article has been updated to reflect that the auction, which was offline for part of Tuesday, is back online.)
RELATED:
Eric Lipton / New York Times:
Melania Trump's Auction of Hat Hit by Plunge in Cryptocurrency
Discussion: Raw Story
Holly Otterbein / Politico:
Dr. Oz stumbles out of the gate in Senate race  —  PHILADELPHIA — Mehmet Oz's introduction to GOP grassroots politics is a code-red crisis.  In his first three unofficial tests as a candidate in Pennsylvania's Republican Senate primary, the celebrity physician known as Dr. Oz has been handily rejected by party activists.
Jonathan Weisman / New York Times:
Cawthorn Challenge Raises the Question: Who Is an ‘Insurrectionist’?  —  The challenge to Representative Madison Cawthorn's re-election bid could set a precedent to challenge other Republicans who encouraged the Jan. 6 attack.  —  WASHINGTON — A group of lawyers is working to disqualify …
Glenn Youngkin / Washington Post:
Virginia's parents can decide what's best for their children  —  Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, is governor of Virginia.  —  In November's election, Virginians came together to declare that too many local leaders were failing a generation of schoolchildren.
Discussion: ABC News and Blue Virginia
RELATED:
New York Times:
A Political Scientist Warns the Democratic Party Is Off Course  —  Ruy Teixeira was co-author of one of the most influential political books of the 21st century.  Now, he says, Democrats are getting its lessons all wrong.  —  A funny thing happened on the way to the emerging Democratic majority.
Washington Post:
Matea Gold named National Editor, Philip Rucker named Deputy National Editor  —  Announcement from Executive Editor Sally Buzbee, Senior Managing Editor Cameron Barr, Managing Editor Steven Ginsberg, Managing Editor Tracy Grant, Managing Editor Krissah Thompson, and Chief Product Officer and Managing Editor Kat Downs Mulder:
Eric Levitz / New York Magazine:
Partisanship Made the Omicron Crisis Worse  —  On Monday, at least 2,181 Americans died from COVID-19.  Over the past week, average daily COVID deaths in the United States have risen to 2,369 — the highest death rate the country has seen in nearly a year.  Given the lag time between spiking cases …
Kristen Jordan Shamus / Detroit Free Press:
For 1st time in Michigan history, more people died than were born in 2020  —  For the first time in Michigan's recorded history, deaths outpaced births in 2020 — a situation worsened by the wave of deaths from COVID-19, said Kurt Metzger, a demographer who founded Data Driven Detroit and studies Michigan population trends.
Axios:
Scoop: White House plans expedited resettlement for Afghan refugees  —  President Biden's advisers are crafting a plan to accelerate bringing potentially thousands of Afghans to the U.S. from Qatar, according to a source with direct knowledge of the administration's internal deliberations on the subject.
Discussion: Axios
RELATED:
The White House:
Statement by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on the Visit of Amir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar
Discussion: Bloomberg and The Hill
Matt Friedman / Politico:
New Jersey political consultant Sean Caddle pleads guilty in murder-for-hire plot  —  The 44-year-old resident of Hamburg, Sussex County, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit murder for hire in the stabbing death of the unnamed victim.  —  The New Jersey state house is pictured.
Discussion: NBC10 Philadelphia
The Dworkin Report:
Author reveals how Peter Thiel helped Trump cut a deal with Facebook to evade fact checking  —  Scott talks with author and journalist Max Chafkin, who is a features editor and a tech reporter at Bloomberg Businessweek.  Max is the author of “The Contrarian: Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley's Pursuit of Power …
Nick Judin / Mississippi Free Press:
Ridgeland Mayor Demands LGBTQ+ Book Purge, Threatens Library Funding  —  Ridgeland Mayor Gene McGee is withholding $110,000 of funding from the Madison County Library System allegedly on the basis of his personal religious beliefs, with library officials stating that he has demanded …
Discussion: Insider and Raw Story
Bloomberg:
Mark Zuckerberg's Stablecoin Ambitions Unravel With Diem Sale Talks  —  The controversial cryptocurrency project that Mark Zuckerberg once defended in front of Congress is unraveling after regulatory pressure.  —  The Diem Association, a cryptocurrency initiative once known as Libra backed …
CNN:
Exclusive: Federal prosecutors looking at 2020 fake elector certifications, deputy attorney general tells CNN  —  Trump ends interview after being pressed about false 2020 election claims  —  (CNN)Federal prosecutors are reviewing fake Electoral College certifications that declared former …
Michael Schaub / Kirkus Reviews:
Missouri School District Bans Toni Morrison Book  —  A school board in Missouri has banned four books, including Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, from libraries in the district's high schools, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.  —  The Wentzville School Board voted 4-3 to remove …
New York Times:
As Islamic State Resurges, U.S. Is Drawn Back Into the Fray  —  “ISIS is not over”: Attacks in Syria and Iraq make clear that the militants have lost neither their will to fight nor their ability to do so.  —  BAGHDAD, Iraq — An audacious attack on a prison housing thousands of former ISIS fighters in Syria.
Discussion: Washington Post
Oliver Milman / The Guardian:
'He's a villain': Joe Manchin attracts global anger over climate crisis  —  The West Virginia senator's name is reviled on the streets of Bangladesh and other countries facing climate disaster as he blocks Biden's effort to curb planet-heating gases  —  Within the brutal machinations of US politics …
Discussion: Alternet.org
Stephanie Kirchgaessner / The Guardian:
Top Human Rights Watch investigator allegedly hacked with Pegasus spyware  —  Allegation marks latest example of how NSO clients have used powerful surveillance tool to target campaigners and journalists  —  The mobile phones of a senior Human Rights Watch staff member are alleged …
Discussion: Washington Post and Al Jazeera
Yvonne Wingett Sanchez / Arizona Republic:
Sen. Mark Kelly ‘does not support the censure’ of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema  —  Sen. Mark Kelly broke his silence over the censure of his Democratic colleague Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, with a campaign spokesperson saying he disagreed with it and she should not be singled out over her opposition to changing the Senate's filibuster rules.
Zach Hirsch / NCPR Daily News:
Special report: How Stefanik won power and support for spreading Trump's ‘Big Lie’  —  The false claim that the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent or stolen lives on.  —  Former president Donald Trump continues to spread what's become known as the “Big Lie” — because it's a baseless myth — to this day.
Discussion: Grid News
Paul Burton / CBS Boston:
Man Can't Get Heart Transplant Because He's Not Vaccinated Against COVID  —  BOSTON (CBS) - David Ferguson is speaking out passionately on behalf of his son DJ.  He says the 31-year-old is fighting for his life at Brigham and Women's Hospital and in desperate need of a heart transplant.
BBC:
Fishermen plan to disrupt Russian military exercise off Irish coast  —  A group of fishermen is planning to peacefully disrupt Russia's plans to hold a military exercise off the coast of Ireland in February.  —  The chief executive of the Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation …
Discussion: Politico, TheJournal.ie, RTÉ and Irish News
Anna Giaritelli / Washington Examiner:
Biden enters second year with migration plans for Central America unfulfilled  —  President Joe Biden's vow to overhaul the asylum process remains unfulfilled as he enters his second year — as does his promise to deal with the factors in Central America that have prompted millions in recent years to flee for the United States.
Discussion: The Federalist and Vox
Sergio Olmos / The Guardian:
‘The most dangerous man in Congress’: how Paul Gosar became a darling of the far right  —  Once fringe, now dominant in the party, rightwing Republicans are strategizing for minoritarian rule  —  he Arizona Republican congressman Paul Gosar had a simple message for the crowd when he recently addressed …
Discussion: FiveThirtyEight
Niels Lesniewski / Roll Call:
Thirteen percent of congressional staffers make less than a living wage, report shows  —  About 1 in 8 congressional staffers are not making a living wage, according to a new analysis of payroll data.  —  The problem is particularly acute for staff assistants, who are often the most junior staffers in congressional offices.
Discussion: NBC News and Talking Points Memo
Politico:
'She was Zoom'd out:' Veep mulls escape from D.C. bubble  —  Sitting among some of the most influential Black women in America last month, Vice President Kamala Harris confessed to a stifling sensation that had fallen over her while in office.  She was struggling to escape the D.C. bubble …
Discussion: HotAir
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
SALT change likely to be cut from bill, say Senate Democrats  —  Senate Democrats say a proposal to raise the cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions, a top priority of Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), is likely to be cut from the revised Build Back Better Act.
Courtland Milloy / Washington Post:
Voting rights legislation was defeated.  But activists are not.  —  Many people were depressed and upset over the outcome, but they're seeking a way forward  —  “Where do we go from here?”  I've been hearing that question quite a bit since federal voting rights legislation was defeated last week.
Henry J. Gomez / NBC News:
Bernie Sanders ally Nina Turner seeks rematch with Rep. Shontel Brown in Ohio  —  CLEVELAND — Nina Turner, the progressive activist with close ties to Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is mounting another campaign for Congress in Ohio.  —  The former state senator from the Cleveland area told NBC News …
Discussion: The Hill and Plain Dealer
 
 
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 More Items: 
Washington Post:
Crypto collapse erases more than $1 trillion in wealth, forcing a reckoning for everyday investors
Discussion: Althouse
Marianne LeVine / Politico:
How Senate Dems reaped the benefits from 2 little-known GOP maneuvers
Discussion: CNBC and Raw Story
Michael Daly / The Daily Beast:
DeSantis' Demented Doc Is About to Get the Grilling He Deserves
Discussion: Raw Story and Alternet.org
Walter Russell Mead / Wall Street Journal:
History Forces Biden's Hand
Paul Steinhauser / Fox News:
Trump-backed Herschel Walker reports hauling in nearly $10M since launching GOP Senate bid in Georgia
Roger Sollenberger / The Daily Beast:
This Fan Sent Trump His Idea. The ‘Dirty Bastard’ Stole It.
Discussion: Raw Story
 Earlier Items: 
Kyle Cheney / Politico:
Federal judge rejects challenge to ‘weighty and urgent’ Jan. 6 committee
Discussion: Bloomberg
Felicia Sonmez / Washington Post:
Speaker Pelosi announces she is running for reelection
Michael Powell / New York Times:
How It Feels to Be an Asian Student in an Elite Public School
Discussion: Instapundit