US Capitol Divided on Anniversary of Jan 6 Attack

Part of a voting session in the US House of Representatives, Thursday (AFP)
Part of a voting session in the US House of Representatives, Thursday (AFP)
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US Capitol Divided on Anniversary of Jan 6 Attack

Part of a voting session in the US House of Representatives, Thursday (AFP)
Part of a voting session in the US House of Representatives, Thursday (AFP)

Americans marked on Friday the second anniversary of the storming of the Capitol amid sharp partisan divisions that loomed over the rooms of the same building that witnessed the January 6, 2021 insurrection.

Instead of visiting the Capitol building, US President Joe Biden chose to stay at the White House.

This year, divisions are rife at the Capitol and Biden is seeking to avoid controversy on a day when he needs to talk about unity instead of the sharp disagreements that overshadowed the events of the storming.

Biden chose to shed light on “those who defended democracy in the face of insurrectionists who sought stopping Congress from approving the results of the 2020 election.”

The White House announced that Biden would award the Presidential Citizens Medal to election workers and local officials, as well as security personnel who helped protect the building on the day of the attack.

At the Capitol, Republicans continue to struggle with divisions that show a large and deep-rooted rift between the party’s traditional and right-wing factions. Hardline Republicans insist on not compromising.

Republicans remain divided on choosing a speaker for the House of Representatives.

These are the same divisions that two years ago led hundreds of skeptics of the US election results to rush into the Capitol, refusing to acknowledge the loss of former President Donald Trump.

Those who questioned the election results back then stand today in the House of Representatives refusing to surrender to the will of the 200 Republicans who support their leader, Kevin McCarthy.

At a point in time, McCarthy rejected both election results and recognizing Biden as president. He also angered moderate Republicans after he decided to visit former President Donald Trump at his residence in Mar-a-Lago a few days after the Capitol stormed.



Fire at Hospital in Iran’s North Kills 9 Patients

The Iranian flag. (AFP)
The Iranian flag. (AFP)
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Fire at Hospital in Iran’s North Kills 9 Patients

The Iranian flag. (AFP)
The Iranian flag. (AFP)

A fire broke out at a hospital in Iran's north, killing nine patients, state media reported Tuesday.

The blaze started at 1:30 local time (2200GMT) at Qaem Hospital in the city of Rasht, some 330 kilometers (about 205 miles) northwest of the capital Tehran, state TV said, leaving six women and three men dead.

Chief of the city fire department, Shahram Momeni, said on state TV that an electric short circuit in the basement — which harbors the intensive care unit — malfunctioned, causing the fire.

Momeni said emergency workers rescued more than 140 people, patients and hospital staff, after being trapped because of the smoke, and that 120 of them were hospitalized in other medical facilities. He added that an investigation has been ordered.

A video posted online appeared to show smoke billowing from the hospital in the middle of the night.

Iranian media occasionally report on fires in hospitals and clinics that are mainly blamed on technical issues.

In 2020, an explosion from a gas leak in a medical clinic in northern Tehran killed 19 people.