Thursday morning news – January 28, 2021

Biden announces executive orders on climate change » President Biden is taking aim at oil, gas, and coal in a new set of executive orders. 

BIDEN: In my view, we’ve already waited too long to deal with this climate crisis. We can’t wait any longer. 

The orders target federal subsidies for oil and other fossil fuels and they halt new oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters. They also aim to conserve 30 percent of the country’s lands and ocean waters over the next decade and move to an all-electric federal vehicle fleet.

Biden has set a goal of eliminating pollution from fossil fuel in the power sector by 2035 and from the U.S. economy overall by 2050.

But he insisted that he does not intend to try and ban oil fracking. 

Former Secretary of State John Kerry now serves as the Biden administration’s Special Envoy for Climate. He told reporters Wednesday…

KERRY: The stakes on climate change just simply couldn’t be any higher than they are right now. It is existential. 

Kerry said simply rejoining the Paris climate accord is not enough and bold action is needed.  

Republicans immediately criticized the plan as a job killer. Biden countered by saying his plans will create new jobs in a green economy.

U.S. bomber flies over Middle East in apparent warning to Iran » The U.S. military sent an apparent warning to Iran in the form of a B-52 flyover in the Middle East. WORLD’s Anna Johansen Brown reports. 

ANNA JOHANSEN BROWN, REPORTER: The Pentagon said the B-52 bomber recently flew nonstop to the Middle East from Louisiana’s Barksdale Air Force Base. 

U.S. Central Command later posted pictures of the bomber flying alongside Saudi Air Force F-15 fighter jets. 

The U.S. military didn’t mention Iran by name, but it said the flyover was meant to—quote—“deter potential aggression.”  

The flights had become common in the final months of President Trump’s administration. But this is the first such show of force under President Biden. 

The president has expressed a desire to return to the 2015 nuclear agreement if Iran honors the terms of the deal. 

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Anna Johansen Brown. 

Russian police raid Navalny Office, residences » Russian police on Wednesday raided the Moscow apartment of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, along with another residence where his wife is living. They also searched the offices of his anti-corruption organization.

Leonid Volkov is head of Navalny’s organization. He said police carried out the raid over alleged epidemiological or sanitary violations.

The searches come amid rising tensions over Navalny. Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets demanding his release. 

Authorities arrested him at a Moscow airport earlier this month as he returned from Germany. He spent months there recovering after being poisoned with a Soviet-era nerve agent.

Declassified U.S. intel bolsters Wuhan lab coronavirus theory » Recently declassified U.S. intelligence appears to support the theory that the coronavirus may have come from a laboratory in Wuhan, China. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has more. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The outgoing Trump administration declassified the intel earlier this month. It centers on the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a high-security lab with links to the Chinese military. 

The intelligence revealed that several employees at the laboratory got sick in fall of 2019 and showed symptoms consistent with COVID-19. 

U.S. intelligence officers also found that the Chinese military has conducted research on biological warfare at that very same laboratory. 

And an intel report stated that “Accidental infections in labs have caused several previous virus outbreaks in China and elsewhere, including a 2004 SARS outbreak in Beijing.”

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin. 

Actress Cloris Leachman dies » Actress Cloris Leachman has died. Her award-winning acting career spanned more than 70 years. 

In 1971, Leachman won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the The Last Picture Show.

And she won a collection of Emmy awards for TV hits including the Mary Tyler Moore Show and Malcolm in the Middle

In a 2011 interview, Leachman explained why she always loved her work. 

LEACHMAN: I think acting is partly being a detective, so it’s fun to sort it out and figure it out, see who all the people are and see what to do; great fun. I’m very, very privileged. 

Cloris Leachman died in her sleep at her home in California. She was 94 years old.

(Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File) In this Nov. 11, 2016 file photo, Cloris Leachman attends the premiere of “The Comedian” during the 2016 AFI Fest in Los Angeles.

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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