House begins Capitol attack inquiry

Buongiorno.

The investigation into the 6 January attack on the US Capitol opens on Tuesday, with the special committee established by House speaker Nancy Pelosi convening to hear testimony from law enforcement.

California and New York City announced on Monday that they would mandate that all government employees either get the coronavirus vaccine or face weekly Covid testing.

Nel frattempo, the Department of Veterans Affairs became the first major federal agency to require healthcare workers to receive the shot.

Democratic lawmakers have called on the Biden administration to consider placing NSO Group on an export blacklist, saying that recent revelations of misuse reinforced their conviction that the “hacking-for-hire industry must be brought under control”.

The statement by four members of Congress followed reports by the Pegasus project, a collaboration of 17 media organisations including the Guardian, which investigated NSO, the Israeli company that sells its powerful surveillance software to government clients around the world.

The leak at the heart of the Pegasus project contained tens of thousands of phone numbers of individuals who are believed to have been selected as candidates for possible surveillance by clients of NSO. The numbers included those of heads of state such as the French president, Emmanuel Macron, government ministers, diplomats, attivisti, journalists, human rights defenders and lawyers.

NSO has also said the data has “no relevance” to the company, and has rejected the reporting by the Pegasus project as “full of wrong assumptions and uncorroborated theories”. It denied that the leaked data represented those targeted for surveillance by the Pegasus software. NSO has said the 50,000 number is exaggerated and said it was too large to represent individuals targeted by Pegasus. The company has also said that its government clients are contractually mandated to use Pegasus to target suspected criminals and terrorists and has said it would investigate any allegations of abuse.

Nel 2020, 385 active-duty soldiers died by suicide, a marked increase from the 326 cases reported by the Pentagon in 2018. Since 30 December, at least six soldiers have died by probable suicide in Alaska.

“I’m deeply concerned about the suicide rates, not only here but across the force,” defense secretary, Lloyd Austin, said on a visit to the Eielson air base in Alaska.

An attorney for Britney Spears has requested in court filings that a new conservator be named to oversee the pop singer’s finances following recent impassioned testimony that she wanted her father ousted from the role.

A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences builds on research that found that the number of reported cases “represents only a fraction of the estimated total number of infections”.

Hunters are allowed to use hound dogs to hunt wolves in Wisconsin, the only state to permit it. Activists are now filming hunts to raise alarm.

The recent heatwave that swept through the Pacific northwest melted power lines, cracked roads and brought infrastructure to a halt. Worse heatwaves – “record-shattering heatwaves” – are set to become much more likely in future, secondo research.

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In Afghanistan, female cyclists face both verbal and physical harassment every time they go out – motorists try to hit them with cars, shopkeepers throw vegetables at them and passersby pelt them with stones. Watching Afghan refugee Masomah Ali Zada make her Olympic debut has been a source of inspiration for these women.

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