President Donald Trump says that while he would prefer a world without nuclear arms, he wants the US to be at the "top of the pack" when it comes to nuclear weaponry. A strategic arms limitation treaty, New START, requires the US and Russia to limit their nuclear weapons to equal levels for a span of 10 years.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversed a decision that barred the department from using private prisons to house federal inmates. Critics have voiced concerns that private prisons do not offer the same level of security and correctional programs found at government-run facilities.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer has asserted that the Obama administration made it difficult for federal agents to enforce immigration laws. According to the Chicago Tribune, agencies deported illegal immigrants at record levels during President Barack Obama's eight years in office.
During an Arkansas town hall meeting, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., fielded a question from 7-year-old "but almost 8" constituent Toby Smith. Smith asked Cotton to make sure the government didn't get rid of his favorite PBS Kids cartoons in order to build a border wall.
Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation has recognized the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement, a nonprofit started in memory of a first-grade boy who was killed during the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting. The foundation featured the organization on its website, adding that "[t]his January it's an honor to shine light on an organization that gives us hope that we can choose love, even during the darkest days."
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he is encouraged that Syrian participants sat in the same room as UN-led talks aimed at ending the six-year conflict resumed today. The current cease-fire was marred today when a car bomb killed more than 50 in the Syrian town of Al-Bab.
Armed conflicts and the effects of climate change in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria are putting more than 20 million people at risk of starvation and $4.4 billion in humanitarian aid is needed by the end of March to avert catastrophe, said United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. "Before it explodes, we are alerting the world to scale up to meet the requirements of this worsening situation we are now witnessing," he said.
The bodies of 13 migrants, including two teenagers, were retrieved from a shipping container from which 56 migrants have been rescued alive in western Libya. Aid officials say the victims had likely been locked in the container for several days while being transported to a coastal town to make the trek across the Mediterranean to Europe.
Syrian women seeking to know the fates of their missing male relatives met with United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura demanding that UN-led peace talks address the whereabouts of missing detainees. "There are thousands and thousands of mothers, wives, daughters who are hoping that at least this aspect will be one of the benefits of any negotiation. ... You can be sure that we will be constantly raising detainees, abducted and missing people," said de Mistura.
The United Nations Environment Programme has announced an initiative to globally eliminate single-use plastic bags and microplastics found in cosmetics to reduce the estimated 8 million tons of plastic waste added to oceans each year. France, Norway, Belgium, Grenada, Panama, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Saint Lucia, Indonesia and Sierra Leone have pledged to join the campaign.
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