National & International News

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Updated at 9:28 p.m. ET

Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder was charged Wednesday for his role in the Flint water crisis, an environmental disaster that contaminated the majority Black city's drinking water with lead nearly seven years ago.

After several disruptive incidents and confrontations on flights to and from Washington, D.C., last week, federal authorities are now cracking down on unruly airline passengers.

The head of the Federal Aviation Administration signed an order Wednesday to enforce a "zero-tolerance" policy against passengers who engage in threatening or disruptive behavior on commercial airline flights.

Updated at 7:13 p.m. ET

The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to impeach President Trump for "high crimes and misdemeanors" — specifically, for inciting an insurrection against the federal government at the U.S. Capitol.

Just one week before he will leave office, Trump has now become the first U.S. president to be impeached twice.

Wednesday's vote came a week after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in a chaotic scene that left five people dead.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday that residents 65 and older are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. He aims to administer an additional 1 million doses by the end of the week, a California Dept. of Public Health statement said.

In late December, the New York Police Department sent a packet of material to the U.S. Capitol Police and the FBI. It was full of what's known as raw intelligence — bits and pieces of information that turned up by scraping various social media sites. It all indicated that there would likely be violence when lawmakers certified the presidential election on Jan. 6.

President Trump has become the only president in U.S. history to be impeached twice.

The Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives delivered the historic rebuke to Trump on Wednesday afternoon — exactly one week after his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building in a rampage that led to five deaths, including that of a Capitol Police officer.

One of the most enduring images of the assault on the U.S. Capitol was that of a long-haired, bearded man wearing a black sweatshirt with a skull and crossbones graphic and the words "Camp Auschwitz" in large letters.

The FBI, in an affidavit released prior to a court appearance Wednesday, identified him as Robert Packer, 56, of Newport News, Va.

Updated Friday Jan. 15, 7:35 p.m.

A highly contagious version of the coronavirus is rapidly spreading across the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports Friday.

Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy added his name to a shortlist of Republicans in Congress who unequivocally blamed President Trump for the insurrection at the Capitol last week.

But with seven days to go in the Trump presidency, he said he will not be voting for impeachment and said he might instead be in favor of a fact-finding commission and possibly censure, items with even less teeth than impeaching but not removing a president.

Updated 3:15 p.m. ET

Local and federal security officials expect about 20,000 National Guard members to be involved in securing Washington, D.C., for President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration next week.

"I think you can expect to see somewhere upwards of beyond 20,000 members of the National Guard that will be here in the footprint of the District of Columbia," Washington Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee said on Wednesday.

States are taking steps to tighten security at their capitol buildings following a warning by the FBI to prepare for armed protests in the days leading up to the the presidential inauguration on Jan. 20. Many state capitals have already seen protests by people upset by President Trump's loss in the election.

On Wednesday, the president put out a statement responding to reports of more demonstrations.

For the second time in his presidency, the House is moving to impeach Donald Trump, who will become the first president in history to undergo such a rebuke.

Throughout Wednesday's debate, Democrats portrayed Trump as an ongoing threat to the country and democracy, while Republicans largely either defended the president or argued that the impeachment process would only cause further division.

Members of the insurrectionist mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol last week face what the federal prosecutor in charge calls a "mind-blowing" range of potential charges, from destruction of federal property, trespass and mail theft to possession of destructive devices and felony murder.

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Before Amazon took down Parler, the messaging app favored by far-right activists, Amazon says it flagged dozens of instance of violent and hateful posts that Parler "systematically failed" to remove.

The two companies are facing off in court after Amazon's decision to stop hosting Parler took the website offline on Monday. Parler remained unavailable on Wednesday morning. Its app was also blocked by Google and Apple.

Update at 5 p.m. ET: Special coverage of this event has ended. Follow more updates on NPR.org.

The House of Representatives passed an article of impeachment against President Trump on Wednesday, making him the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice.

"We are debating this historic measure at an actual crime scene," Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., said Wednesday morning, discussing House Resolution 24, the measure that would impeach President Trump for the second time. He was speaking in the same chamber that was evacuated one week ago as a mob of pro-Trump extremists breached security and flooded into the halls of Congress.

The violent attack on the U.S. Capitol is "the darkest day" of his career in Congress, Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., said in his opening statement Wednesday as the House prepared to take up a resolution to impeach President Trump.

But pursuing impeachment, Cole said, would only further divide the country. And he noted that the effort comes one week before Trump is set to leave office.

Updated at 11:28 a.m. ET

Airbnb says it is canceling reservations made in the Washington, D.C., metro area during inauguration week, citing various officials' requests that people not travel to the area during this time.

The service will also block new bookings in the area during that period. Airbnb says it will refund guests whose reservations were canceled and reimburse hosts for the money they would have earned from the canceled reservations.

In an hourlong Instagram Live video Tuesday night, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., described her personal experience last week when a violent mob of pro-Trump extremists breached the Capitol and forced lawmakers into hiding.

"I had a pretty traumatizing event happen to me," she described. "And I do not know if I can even disclose the full details of that event, due to security concerns. But I can tell you that I had a very close encounter where I thought I was going to die."

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday that in light of President Trump's role in last week's insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, New York City is cutting its business ties with the president's company.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny announced he plans to return home to Russia on Sunday from Germany, where he has spent months recovering from being poisoned.

In an Instagram post Wednesday, he said he purchased a plane ticket to Russia that morning after feeling "almost healthy enough to come back home."

President-elect Joe Biden has nominated former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power to lead the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Biden also said he was elevating that role — USAID administrator — to be a member of the White House National Security Council.

Updated Friday at 9:26 p.m. ET

The U.S. Census Bureau has halted all work on President Trump's directive to produce a state-by-state count of unauthorized immigrants that would have been used to alter a key set of census numbers, NPR has learned.

Up to a dozen House Republicans are likely to join Democrats on Wednesday in voting to impeach President Trump for inciting the attack on the U.S. Capitol one week ago, predicts Rep. Elissa Slotkin, a Democrat from Michigan.

YouTube, citing "the ongoing potential for violence," has suspended President Trump's account for at least a week.

The social media platform is the latest to take action against Trump following a riot at the U.S. Capitol last week organized by the president's supporters. The attack forced lawmakers into hiding and resulted in the deaths of five people, including an officer of the Capitol Police.

As India embarks this weekend on what may become the biggest national vaccination campaign in the world, some scientists have raised questions about one of the two vaccines the country of 1.4 billion people has authorized for emergency use against COVID-19.

More than 5 million vaccine vials arrived early Wednesday at hundreds of hospitals and clinics across India. Inoculations start Saturday. India aims to vaccinate 300 million people by July.

As fallout continues from the deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol, Ed Stetzer, head of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College in Illinois, has a message for his fellow evangelicals: It's time for a reckoning.

Evangelicals, he says, should look at how their own behaviors and actions may have helped fuel the insurrection. White evangelicals overwhelmingly supported President Trump in the 2020 election.

When young veterinarian James Herriot first opened his eyes and saw the richly green hills around Darrowby in the new adaptation of All Creatures Great And Small, I felt my shoulders drop. When he saw the village tucked — it must be said — adorably into the valley between them, I felt my breathing slow.

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