THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Rioters have set blazes in the center of the southern Dutch city of Eindhoven and pelted police with rocks at a banned demonstration against coronavirus lockdown measures. Officers responded with tear gas and water cannon and arrested at least 55 people. Police in the capital of Amsterdam also used a water cannon to disperse an outlawed demonstration against the lockdown on a major square ringed by museums. Video showed police spraying people grouped against a wall of the Van Gogh Museum. In Eindhoven, 125 kilometers (78 miles) south of Amsterdam, a central square near the city’s main railway station was littered with rocks, bicycles and shattered glass.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s pick to oversee the Commerce Department has taken a tough line on China in her confirmation hearing. But Gina Raimondo stopped short of singling out which Chinese companies should remain on a list that limits their access to advanced U.S. technology. Raimondo is the first woman elected governor of Rhode Island. She says China’s actions have been anti-competitive and hurtful to American workers and she will use all tools at her disposal to level the playing field for American workers. Raimondo also focused her testimony Tuesday on the need to help those sectors of the economy and the workers hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic.
YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia’s most active volcano has erupted with a river of lava and searing gas clouds flowing down its slopes. A monitoring official says the lava flow is Mount Merapi’s longest since the mountain’s danger level was raised in November. Authorities at that time evacuated nearly 2,000 people living on the mountain but most have since returned. A warning for people to keep at least 3 miles from the crater is still in effect. Merapi is on densely populated Java island near the ancient city of Yogyakarta. It is the most active of dozens of Indonesian volcanoes.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A new variant of the coronavirus has emerged in the United States. The new version poses yet another public health challenge in a country already losing more than 3,000 people to COVID-19 every day. The mutated virus was first identified in South Africa before being found in two cases in South Carolina. State public health officials say it’s almost certain that there are more infections that have not been identified yet. They are also concerned that this version spreads more easily and that vaccines could be less effective against it. The two South Carolina cases do not appear to be connected.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A top national security aide to former President Barack Obama will be tapped as U.S. envoy for Iran. A senior State Department official and several other people familiar with the matter say Secretary of State Antony Blinken will name Rob Malley as the Biden administration’s point person on Iran. The appointment is to be formally announced Friday. Malley currently runs the International Crisis Group. Iran hawks are aghast, believing Malley to be a key architect of the 2015 nuclear deal that former President Donald Trump withdrew from. Deal supporters have praised Malley for his expertise.
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Medical workers across Myanmar have begun a civil disobedience protest against Monday’s coup, wearing red ribbons and declaring they won’t work for the military government. The army takeover that ousted the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi over allegations of fraud in November’s elections could not have come at a worse time for a country battling a steady rise in COVID-19 cases with an inadequate and poorly funded health system. One doctor in Yangon, the nation’s biggest city, says “we want to show the world we are totally against military dictatorship and we want our elected government and leader back.” Photos in social media show medical workers with red ribbons pinned to their clothes.
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Two Polish scholars are facing a libel trial for a scholarly examination of Polish behavior during World War II. The judge’s ruling in the case is expected to determine the fate of independent Holocaust research under Poland’s nationalist government. A verdict is expected in Warsaw’s district court on Feb. 9. It is the first closely watched Holocaust speech case since Poland sought to pass a law in 2018 that would have criminalized falsely blaming Poland for Germany’s Holocaust crimes. Those criminal penalties were dropped after the legislation sparked a major diplomatic row with Israel.
DEMING, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a New Mexico State Police officer making a traffic stop was fatally shot on a highway and that the attacker was chased and later died in a shootout with authorities. The officer who was killed Thursday has been identified as Darian Jarrott. He had been a state police officer since 2015. The attacker was identified by authorities as 39-year-old Omar Felix Cueva. The state police have said Jarrott was assisting U.S. Homeland Security Investigations on Thursday. State Police Chief Robert Thornton says Cueva was on his way to the city of Las Cruces to do a drug deal.