NEWS BRIEFS

Garden City Telegram

Proud Boys’ ‘favorite hotel’ will close for 2 days during pro-Trump rally next week

A hotel that has become a favorite spot for members of the white nationalist Proud Boys is shutting its doors for two days during planned pro-Trump protests next week in Washington, D.C.

The Harrington Hotel and its Harry’s Bar, which are a few blocks from the White House, will both be closed to all but long-term residents from next Monday to Jan. 6 to avoid attracting trouble.

“We cannot control what happens outside of the hotel, (but) we are taking additional steps to protect the safety of our visitors, guests and employees,” the hotel said in a statement, without mentioning the far right-wing group.

Trump has called for “wild” protests on Jan. 6 as Congress meets to rubber-stamp the results of President-elect Joe Biden’s win in the November presidential election.

The Harrington and its watering hole have become a preferred haunt for Proud Boys supporters during previous #MAGA rallies in the nation’s capitol.

Nonwhite hotel staff and guests have said they feel uncomfortable with the presence of the white nationalists who have been blamed for inciting violence at pro-Trump events.

The Jan. 6 vote in Congress would normally be a nonevent. But Trump has been pushing unfounded claims that the election was massively rigged.

The outgoing president is hoping a show of force from his supporters will force Republican lawmakers to object to the Electoral College and keep alive his hopes of overturning the results. - New York Daily News

Warnock's closing message: Loeffler is 'afraid that you'll realize that we can do better'

ATLANTA - Democratic Senate candidate Raphael Warnock delivered what his campaign billed as a closing message Tuesday in an ad that accuses Republican U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler of "trying to make you afraid of me because she's afraid of you."

The minute-long spot joins a glut of TV ads bombarding the airwaves ahead of the Jan. 5 runoffs for control of the U.S. Senate, twin contests that also feature a matchup between U.S. Republican Sen. David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff.

More than $500 million has been spent or reserved on the airwaves so far, including a steady barrage of attacks aimed at Warnock's past sermons and stances. Warnock, who opened the runoff cycle with an ad poking fun at the onslaught, returned to the theme in the statewide spot.

"Kelly Loeffler spends tens of millions of dollars to scare you. She's attacked my church, attacked my faith. She's even attacked my family. She's trying to make you afraid of me because she's afraid of you," Warnock said, walking down an empty street as he speaks directly to the camera.

"Afraid that you understand how she's used her position in the Senate to enrich herself and others like her. Afraid that you'll realize that we can do better."

Loeffler's campaign and her allies have rejected accusations that she leveraged her position and have relentlessly accused Warnock, the pastor of Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church and a first-time candidate, of being too liberal for Georgia. - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

After deadly Columbia gas leak, Congress mandates detectors in public housing

COLUMBIA, S.C. - A provision included in the $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill signed by President Donald Trump this week will require carbon monoxide detectors in all federally subsidized housing.

The new rules come nearly two years after two residents in Columbia's Allen Benedict Court housing project died from a gas leak there. The city's code enforcement later found 869 code violations at the property, including missing carbon monoxide detectors.

An investigation from NBC News revealed that at least 13 public housing residents nationwide have died from carbon monoxide poisoning since 2013.

The bill provides $300 million in funding over three years to help place carbon monoxide detectors in all public housing units, as well as private housing units whose owners receive federal subsidies. -  The State (Columbia, S.C.)

Hong Kong activist handed prison sentence for insulting Chinese flag

HONG KONG - Hong Kong student activist Tony Chung Hon-lam was sentenced to four months in prison on Tuesday for insulting the Chinese flag and taking part in an unauthorized protest last year.

The 19-year-old former convenor of the pro-independence group Studentlocalism was already awaiting trial under the national security law, imposed on Hong Kong in June.

Chung was arrested by national security agents in October during an unsuccessful bid to claim asylum at the city's U.S. consulate general and later charged with undermining national unification and conspiring to publish seditious materials.

Denied bail because he was considered a flight risk, he was remanded into custody until his court hearing for the national security offense on Jan. 7.

On December 11, Chung was convicted of desecrating the Chinese flag during an unlawful demonstration in May 2019, when he tore down the flag outside government headquarters and flung it into the air.

The offense carried a maximum possible sentence of four years. - dpa