NEWS BRIEFS

Garden City Telegram

Congress mourns officer who died from injuries defending Capitol

WASHINGTON - Mourning has begun in Congress for Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick, who died Thursday from injuries sustained while defending the Capitol from a violent mob.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi ordered the flags at the Capitol lowered to half-staff in Sicknick’s honor, and dozens of lawmakers released statements condemning violence and thanking officers for their service. Late Thursday night, many law enforcement officers were seen parking vehicles in a line to hold a moment of silence — the blue and red lights silently flashed in front of the golden glow of the illuminated Capitol Dome.

Sicknick, 42, was on duty Wednesday when pro-Trump rioters entered the building, vandalizing property and leaving lawmakers terrified. He was injured while “physically engaging with protesters,” a Capitol Police statement said. The military veteran returned to his division office and collapsed. He was taken to a local hospital, where he later died.

“The entire USCP Department expresses its deepest sympathies to Officer Sicknick’s family and friends on their loss, and mourns the loss of a friend and colleague,” the statement said.

The New Jersey native, who lived in Springfield, Virginia, had most recently served as a member of the Capitol Police’s First Responders Unit. - CQ-Roll Call

14 passengers might be banned after no-mask, rowdy flight from DC to Seattle, Alaska Airlines says

SEATTLE - At least 14 people could be placed on Alaska Airlines' banned passengers list after they were rowdy, argumentative and refused to wear masks on a flight from Dulles International Airport to Seattle, the airline said.

Airline spokesperson Ray Lane said those facing the possible ban were on Flight 1085 from the D.C.-area airport to Sea-Tac International Airport on Thursday night.

"Last night, a number of passengers onboard Alaska Airlines Flight 1085 from Washington Dulles to Seattle were non-mask compliant, rowdy, argumentative and harassed our crew members," Lane wrote in an email Friday morning.

"Their behavior was unacceptable. We apologize to our other guests who were made uncomfortable on the flight."

The 14 passengers face being placed on Alaska's ban list, Lane said.

To date, Alaska Airlines has banned 288 people for violating its mask policy, not including the 14 potential additions, he said. - The Seattle Times

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski calls on Trump to resign, questions her future as a Republican

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said Friday that Donald Trump should resign the presidency immediately and that if the Republican Party cannot separate itself from Trump, she isn’t certain she has a future with the party.

“I want him to resign. I want him out. He has caused enough damage,” Murkowski said during a 17-minute interview from her small Capitol office, steps away from the Senate chambers that were invaded by pro-Trump rioters Wednesday.

“I think he should leave. He said he’s not going to show up. He’s not going to appear at the inauguration. He hasn’t been focused on what is going on with COVID. ... He needs to get out. He needs to do the good thing, but I don’t think he’s capable of doing a good thing,” she said.

Murkowski said that while “there may have been many, many, many, many good Americans who came to Washington, D.C., because they felt strongly in support of this president,” the president incited them to storm the Capitol after a speech near the Washington Monument.

Asked whether she intends to remain a Republican, Murkowski said that depends on the party itself. - Anchorage Daily News

President Bolsonaro mistrusts COVID-19 vaccines, and Brazil is falling behind

Across the globe, presidents and prime ministers are scrambling to score precious vials of COVID-19 vaccine to protect citizens and gain political favor. Not Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro.

The president, who from the start has belittled the pandemic, refuses to be vaccinated, pooh-poohs any need to negotiate with drug companies and says the country will wait for prices to fall before buying syringes or needles. On Thursday, he said Brazilians don’t even want vaccines - information he obtained by polling people in the street and at the beach.

“It’s nonsensical, these are experimental vaccines with no scientific evidence. You can’t impose this on people,” Bolsonaro said. “We have to be responsible, we can’t go with the crowd saying we need to rush.”

His dismissal is rapidly leaving Brazil behind in the global race to immunize against a virus that has killed almost 1.9 million people, 200,000 of them in Brazil. While neighboring Argentina, Chile and Mexico have begun deploying shots, Brazil doesn’t even have a clear time-line to do so. Companies have been slow to submit requests to the local regulator, who has 10 days to clear the shots before they can be distributed. Talks with Pfizer Inc. have dragged on for two months. - Bloomberg News