A galaxy without stars.
1. Boris B. Nadezhdin is the only candidate running on an antiwar platform with a chance of getting on the ballot to oppose President Vladimir V. Putin in Russia’s presidential election in March. Russians who are against the war have rushed to sign his official petition inside and outside the country, hoping to supply enough signatures by a Jan. 31 deadline for him to succeed in joining the race. They have braved subzero temperatures in the Siberian city of Yakutsk. They have snaked down the block in Yekaterinburg. They have jumped in place to stay warm in St. Petersburg and flocked to outposts in Berlin, Istanbul and Tbilisi, Georgia. They know that election officials might bar Mr. Nadezhdin from the ballot, and if he is allowed to run, they know he will never win. They don’t care. “Boris Nadezhdin is our collective ‘No,’” said Lyosha Popov, a 25-year-old who has been collecting signatures for Mr. Nadezhdin in Yakutsk, south of the Arctic Circle. “This is simply our protest, our form of protest, so we can somehow show we are against all this.” (Source: nytimes.com)
2. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has released more than 2.3 million migrants into the United States at the southern border under the Biden administration, allowing in the vast majority of migrant families and some adult groups, according to a new report. The figures, published by the Department of Homeland Security for the first time, illustrate the extent to which CBP officials have been overwhelmed by the volume of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. The mass releases have typically been a measure of last resort when agents don’t have the holding capacity or personnel to process migrants using standard procedures. (Source: washingtonpost.com)
3. President Biden yesterday he would use new emergency authorities to “shut down the border when it becomes overwhelmed” if Congress passes a bipartisan immigration plan that the Senate has been negotiating. The comments signified a remarkable shift in tone for a Democratic president and underscored the urgency of the issue for his reelection campaign as immigration remains one of his most vexing political and policy challenges. In a lengthy statement Friday, Biden praised the bipartisan border deal senators have been negotiating, calling it “the toughest and fairest set of reforms to secure the border we’ve ever had in our country.” “It would give me, as President, a new emergency authority to shut down the border when it becomes overwhelmed,” he said. “And if given that authority, I would use it the day I sign the bill into law.” (Source: washingtonpost.com)
4. Venezuela’s highest court ruled on Friday that a top opposition leader cannot run for president, dealing a crippling blow to prospects for credible elections that the government had agreed to hold this year in exchange for the lifting of crippling U.S. economic sanctions. The court’s decision bars the opposition figure, María Corina Machado, from taking part in an election for 15 years, upholding the Venezuelan government’s decision to exclude Ms. Machado over what it claimed were financial irregularities that occurred when she was a national legislator. (Source: nytimes.com)