At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, President Trump said that he would not rule out sanctions against Iraq, where active-duty U.S. troops are still stationed.
A coronavirus that originated in a market in Wuhan, China, has infected more than 4,600 people across Asia, Europe, Australia, and North America, and has killed 106.1 Following the outbreak, Hong Kong’s chief executive declared a state of emergency and closed schools until mid-February; Disneyland Shanghai announced it would close temporarily; a Walgreens in Chicago’s Chinatown sold out of protective medical masks; and stock prices around the world dropped.2 3 4 5 A new study revealed that 26 percent of all Australians have experienced health problems because of the ongoing fires, and on Australia Day, which commemorates the first contact between European and Aboriginal people, Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the country as “the best place on Earth” and announced that all emergency workers who had battled the fires would be eligible for a medal.6 7 “Do you think Americans care about Ukraine?” shouted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during an interview for the radio program All Things Considered.8 A recording of a 2018 dinner at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, in which Lev Parnas told the president that the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine should be removed and Donald Trump directed those present to “get rid of her” and “take her out,” was made public.9 Opening arguments began in the Senate impeachment trial, and consumables in the chamber were limited to water, milk, and candy from the desk of Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania.10 11 Philadelphia Flyers mascot Gritty was accused of assault, and Mr. Peanut died.12 13
Representative Tulsi Gabbard filed a defamation lawsuit against Hillary Clinton for comments the former secretary of state had made during Gabbard’s bid for president; the official complaint stated that Clinton has “long coveted, but has been unable to attain” the presidency, and cited “fear of real change within a political party Clinton and her allies have long dominated.”14 Puerto Rico’s governor fired the territory’s chief of emergency management after a man who refers to himself as “El León Fiscalizador” (“the lion of accountability”) revealed via Facebook livestream that there was a warehouse full of unused disaster supplies in Ponce.15 Five days later, a 5.0 magnitude earthquake hit southern Puerto Rico and forced the evacuation of several shelters that have been in use since January 7, when a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck the island.16 After a 6.8 magnitude earthquake shook Elazig, Turkey, leaving 29 dead and over 1,200 injured, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned against “rumors” and “negative, contrary propaganda” that Turkey was unprepared for the temblors.17 “Our state does not need anything,” he told reporters. Amid anti-government protests, three rockets hit the American Embassy in Baghdad, though no one has claimed responsibility for the attack.18 19 At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, President Trump said that he would not rule out sanctions against Iraq, where active-duty U.S. troops are still stationed.20 An Indian man suffered a fatal stroke after being attacked by his rooster while on the way to a cockfight.21
In Detroit, a man attempted to cash checks he’d received as compensation in a racial-discrimination lawsuit but was refused by the bank, which instead alerted the police and opened a fraud investigation; in response, the man has filed another racial-discrimination lawsuit.22 Officials at the Washington State Department of Transportation claimed two sightings of bigfoot.23 A cold snap in Miami prompted the National Weather Service to forecast “falling iguanas,” as the reptiles were too chilled to hold on to their branches.24 Iguana meat was subsequently found for sale on Facebook Marketplace in the Miami area under the label “chicken of the trees.”25 In Houston, a 54-year-old grandmother killed her accomplice in a burglary of a Sunny’s Food Mart when she ran him over with the getaway vehicle; a New Hampshire man killed a coyote with his bare hands after it attacked his two-year-old son; and a woman in Pennsylvania was charged with aggravated assault after injuring two people by driving into oncoming traffic as a test of her faith in God.26 27 28 A controversial proposal for a salmon fishery off the Isle of Skye was rejected over numerous concerns for fishermen’s safety, including those raised by the Friends of the Eilean Fhlodaigearraidh Faeries, who warned in an official letter to the Highland Council that sea dwelling fairies who “come up to the surface of the water once each century to bathe in the moonlight” may attempt to “lure [the fishermen] with promises of gold and jewels into the deepest part of the ocean.”29—Claudia Crook