Monday morning news – January 25, 2021

Senate Trump impeachment to start week of Feb. 8 » The Senate impeachment trial of now-former President Donald Trump will begin in two weeks. 

SCHUMER: Once the briefs are drafted, presentation by the parties will commence the week of February the 8th. 

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer with that announcement over the weekend. He argued that the trial will help move the country forward. 

SCHUMER: Only way to bring healing is to have real accountability, which this trial affords. 

But a growing number of Republicans oppose the trial, including Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

RUBIO: I think this trial is stupid. We already have a flaming fire in this country and it’s like taking a bunch of gasoline and pouring it on top of the fire. And I look back in time, for example, Richard Nixon, who had clearly committed crimes and wrongdoings, and in hindsight I think we would all agree that President Ford’s pardon was important for the country to be able to move forward. 

Rubio said the first chance he gets to vote to end this trial, he’ll do it. 

Some also argue that impeachment proceedings will make it hard for the Senate to get things done. But Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar countered…

KLOBUCHAR: We could run it in the afternoons, confirm the nominees in the morning, and pass legislation at night. 

Treasury sec. nominee Yellen could be confirmed today » And speaking of confirming nominees, the Senate is expected to approve more of President Biden’s picks for top jobs this week. 

Lawmakers could confirm Janet Yellen as Treasury secretary today. 

The Finance Committee voted on Friday to advance her nomination. 

AUDIO: Final tally is 26 ayes, zero nays. Okay, the nomination will be reported unanimously from the committee. 

Many Republicans say they strongly disagree with Yellen on taxes, spending, and other issues, but they feel it’s important to let Biden assemble his economic team quickly.

And the White House is asking senators to move fast, saying it’s critical to have Yellen on the job as it looks to win approval for a nearly $2 trillion relief package. 

New CDC director, coronavirus » Another of Biden’s nominees is Dr. Vivek Murthy. He’s the president’s pick for surgeon general. 

Murthy told ABC’s This Week that new strains of the coronavirus are no cause for panic, but they are concerning. 

MURTHY: They are really a shot across the bow. The virus is basically telling us that it’s going to continue to change, and we’ve got to be ready for it. 

And NBC News reports that the president plans to sign new travel restrictions today. The rules would ban most non-U.S. citizens from entering the country if they’ve recently been to South Africa, where one of new strains is spreading. 

The report states Biden is also expected to reinstate limits that impact those traveling from the UK and other parts of Europe, as well as Brazil. 

Thousands of Russian protests call for release of Navalny » AUDIO: [PROTESTS]

Thousands of protesters flooded the streets of Moscow and other cities across Russia on Saturday, demanding the release of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

In Moscow, an estimated 15,000 demonstrators gathered in and around Pushkin Square in the city center.  

Some clashed with police, who arrested more than 3,000 people in the nationwide protests.

Navalny is President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent critic. Authorities arrested him at a Moscow airport as he returned from Germany. He spent months there recovering after being poisoned with a Soviet-era nerve agent. A Russian judge last week ordered that he remain behind bars for 30 days. 

Gas prices on the rise » It will cost you a little more to fill up your tank than it did two weeks ago. 

Fuel analyst Trilby Lundberg says a gallon of regular unleaded costs a dime more than it did on Jan. 10th. 

She said U.S. refiners had been absorbing the rising costs of crude oil, but have now passed that on to consumers. But for now, she said prices appear to be stable. 

LUNDBERG: Now, if crude oil prices resume rising, then we will see more than a trailing few more pennies at the pump. It would be greater. But right now, it appears that any further price hikes would be small compared to what we have seen. 

The lowest average price in her survey: Houston, Texas at $2.07 per gallon. 

On the other end, San Francisco, at $3.46 a gallon.

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) On the first full day of the Democratic majority in the Senate, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., left, is joined by Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., center, and Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., during a press event at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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