First Thing: Trump aides could be prosecuted over Capitol attack
The House select committee investigating the deadly assault on the US Capitol on 6 January is prepared to urge federal prosecution of former aides to Donald Trump who refuse to comply with subpoenas, a key panel member said.
The former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino, strategist Steve Bannon and Pentagon aide Kash Patel are defying subpoenas for documents and testimony, under instruction from the former president.
Amid fears that the panel will not seek to enforce its will, Adam Schiff, a member of the panel as well as chairman of the House intelligence committee, told CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday: ‘We are prepared to go forward and urge the justice department to criminally prosecute anyone who does not do their lawful duty.”
Meanwhile, the second-ranking House Republican, Steve Scalise of Louisiana, repeatedly refused to say on Sunday that the 2020 election was not stolen.
Liz Cheney of Wyoming has also said it will enforce subpoenas. She is one of only two Republicans on the committee.
The riot, around which five people including a police officer died, followed a rally near the White House at which Trump exhorted followers to “fight like hell” to overturn his election defeat.
In an interview with the Guardian, Schiff discusses life before politics as well as his leading roles in impeachment and other dramas on Capitol Hill.
Donald Trump’s own treasury secretary blocked Ivanka World Bank role – report
Only direct intervention from his own treasury secretary stopped Donald Trump nominating his daughter, Ivanka Trump, to lead the World Bank, according to a report.
Citing two anonymous sources, the Intercept said the appointment “came incredibly close to happening” in January 2019, but for Steven Mnuchin’s decision to step in. Mnuchin, a Goldman Sachs banker and film producer, stayed in the post for all Trump’s four years in office, a rare feat among Trump’s cabinet picks and advisers.
The head of the World Bank is always chosen by the US. In January 2019, Jim Yong Kim resigned. Rumours abounded that Ivanka Trump, an executive in the Trump Organization before her father entered politics, would be chosen.
Three months later, Trump told the Atlantic: “I even thought of Ivanka for the World Bank … she would’ve been great at that because she’s very good with numbers.”
Ivanka Trump told reporters her father offered her the job but she turned it down, as she was “happy with the work” as a senior White House adviser.
“A growing number of countries” are not happy that the US always picks the World Bank head and to hear how close the president’s daughter came to being picked could add “fuel to the fire”, an expert said.
Lego to remove gender bias from its toys after findings of child survey
Lego has announced it will work to remove gender stereotypes from its toys after a global survey the company commissioned found attitudes to play and future careers remained unequal and restrictive.
Researchers found that while girls were becoming more confident and keen to engage in a wide range of activities, the same was not true of boys.
Seventy-one per cent of boys surveyed feared they would be made fun of if they played with what they described as “girls’ toys” – a fear shared by their parents. “Parents are more worried that their sons will be teased than their daughters for playing with toys associated with the other gender,” said Madeline Di Nonno, the chief executive of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, who conducted the research.
The study found that parents still encouraged sons to do sports or Stem activities, while daughters were offered dance and dressing up (girls were five times more likely to be encouraged in these activities than boys) or baking (three times more likely to be encouraged).
The Danish toymaker commissioned the report for the UN International Day of the Girl on Monday. It surveyed almost 7,000 parents and children aged six to 14 from China, the Czech Republic, Japan, Poland, Russia, UK and the US.
In other news …
The US has agreed to provide humanitarian aid to a desperately poor Afghanistan on the brink of an economic disaster, but refused to give political recognition to the country’s new rulers, the Taliban said on Sunday.
A man died after he tried to hit people on a sidewalk with his truck, crashed against a building then was pulled out and beaten by the group in southern California, authorities said.
The Facebook executive Nick Clegg took a damage-limitation tour of US political talkshows on Sunday, but remained evasive over questions about the Capitol attack.
Stat of the day: more than half of the 20 largest fires in California history burned in just the last four years
Firefighters can still recall a time when battling a so-called megafire – a blaze that torches more than 100,000 acres – was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. These days, it is far more common for fires to stretch across enormous spans of land. More than half of the 20 largest fires in California history burned in just the last four years. Eight of the Top 20 fires in Oregon occurred in that timeframe too. Last year, Arizona had the most acres burned in its history. California’s August Complex fire, which consumed more than 1m acres alone, became the first-ever gigafire in 2020.
Don’t miss this: Succession’s Alan Ruck on Ferris Bueller, booze and bouncing back
By the time he was cast in Succession, Alan Ruck, now 65, was well accustomed to playing the sad and the sorry. As Captain John Harriman in Star Trek Generations, he had to deal with the loss of Captain Kirk; as Rabbit in Twister, he was the dorky member of the tornado-chasing team, prissily fussing over the maps. But after a decades-long slump, the actor’s career came roaring back with the role of Connor Roy. He talks about his 80s success, his “attitude problems” and his excitement about Succession’s new series.
Or this: how to blow the whistle on Facebook – from someone who already did
This April, Sophie Zhang told the world about her employer’s failure to combat deception and abuse. This month, another Facebook whistleblower, Frances Haugen, has come forward. After providing the Wall Street Journal and US government with thousands of internal documents showing Facebook’s internal research into its own harms, Haugen testified to Congress. During her testimony, Haugen encouraged “more tech employees to come forward through legitimate channels … to make sure that the public has the information they need”. Here’s Zhang’s advice for any would-be whistleblowers.
Climate check: capsule of 1765 air reveals ancient histories hidden under Antarctic ice
An ampoule of Antarctic air from the year 1765 forms the centrepiece of a new exhibition that reveals the hidden histories contained in polar ice to visitors attending the Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow. The artist Wayne Binitie has spent the past five years undertaking an extraordinary collaboration with scientists from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), who drill, analyse and preserve cylinders of ice from deep in the ice sheet that record past climate change.
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