While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Jan 8

Biden says Trump incited ‘domestic terrorists’ at US Capitol

President-elect Joe Biden said on Thursday that President Donald Trump fomented Wednesday’s violence at the US Capitol, calling it one of the darkest days in the history of the country and an assault on democracy.

Biden, speaking in Wilmington, Delaware, where he was introducing nominees for his Justice Department, called the Trump supporters who forced their way into the Capitol building “domestic terrorists”.

“Don’t dare call them protesters. They were a riotous mob, insurrectionists, domestic terrorists. It’s that basic,” Democrat Biden said.

“The past four years we have had a president who’s made his contempt for our democracy, the Constitution, the rule of law, clear in everything he has done,” Biden said of Republican Trump.


Storming of Capitol and Senate swing to Democrats shake up US politics

Two political earthquakes have hit the United States – one the storming of the Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters, the other the Republicans’ loss of the party’s majority in the Senate.

Both have shaken up the country. Images of Trump supporters – egged on by their leader – storming the Capitol may have shocked the world, but they came as no surprise to anyone closely following politics in the US.

The country was and remains a tinderbox, with a population that is deeply divided. 


US suffers deadliest day in Covid-19 pandemic

As the events that unfolded in Washington on Wednesday captured the nation’s attention, the raging coronavirus pandemic claimed its highest US death toll yet, killing more than 4,000 people in a single day, according to a Reuters tally.

Covid-19 hospitalisations stood at 132,051, stetting a grim record for the fourth day in a row as of late Wednesday night, a Reuters analysis of public health data showed.

As thousands of mostly unmasked supporters of President Donald Trump laid siege to the US Capitol, daily reported cases of the novel coronavirus again soared past the 250,000 mark, taking the total case tally to 21.2 million.


Tesla’s Elon Musk overtakes Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to become world’s richest person

Elon Musk, the outspoken entrepreneur behind Tesla Inc and SpaceX, is now the richest person on the planet.

A 4.8% rally in the electric carmaker’s share price Thursday boosted Musk past Amazon founder Jeff Bezos on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a ranking of the world’s 500 wealthiest people.

The South Africa-born engineer’s net worth was US$188.5 billion (S$250 billion) at 10.15am in New York, US$1.5 billion more than Bezos, who has held the top spot since October 2017.


Bitcoin soars past US$40,000 for the first time

The price of the cryptocurrency bitcoin soared past US$40,000 (S$53,000) for the first time on Thursday, rising US$10,000 in just five days.

The price of bitcoin was US$40,380 at roughly 1820 GMT, having jumped 10.4 per cent during the trading session.

It later lost some ground and Factset data valued it at US$38,950 dollars, up 6.52 per cent on the day, at 1850 GMT.


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