First Thing: Novak Djokovic wins appeal in Australian visa row

Good morning.

© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Marco Bertorello/AFP/Getty Images

World No 1 tennis star Novak Djokovic will be immediately released from immigration detention in Australia, after the federal circuit court quashed a decision to cancel his visa.

Alex Hawke, the Australian immigration minister, has said he is considering whether to use his power to cancel Djokovic’s visa.

The decision now under consideration to would result in Djokovic being excluded from Australia for three years – significantly upping the stakes in a bizarre border row that threatens his quest to win the most grand slam singles titles of all time.

  • Can Australia’s immigration minister really cancel his visa? Immigration law professor Mary Crock told Guardian Australia the Migration Act gave the minister “godlike powers” to cancel visas and if “they really decide to … the power is there”.

  • But what about the judge’s decision? That doesn’t matter as Crock explains: “Everything that has gone before can be disregarded – it is set up precisely for this situation, to come in and cancel a visa anyway.”

Fire in Bronx building leaves 19 people dead, including nine children

© Provided by The Guardian
‘The numbers are horrific’: New York City apartment building fire kills 19. Photograph: Xinhua/Rex/Shutterstock

Nineteen people including nine children were killed in an apartment fire in the Bronx in New York yesterday, one of the worst fire disasters in the city in 30 years.

Thirteen people remained hospitalised in critical condition, authorities said late on Sunday afternoon. In all, more than five dozen were hurt.

Eric Adams, the mayor who is in his first days in the job, said: “The numbers are horrific. This is a horrific, painful moment for the city of New York. The impact of this fire is going to really bring a level of pain and despair in our city.

“This is going to be one of the worst fires that we have witnessed during modern times.”

More than 200 firefighters fought the blaze, at a 120-unit, 19-storey building on East 181st Street known as Twin Parks.

  • What caused the fire? Authorities said the fire was caused by a space heater in a duplex apartment. The fire commissioner, Dan Nigro, said the fire started shortly before 11am in a duplex on the second and third floors and spewed smoke through the building because a door was left open.

Trump not immune from criminal referral for Capitol attack, lawmakers insist

© Provided by The Guardian
Mike Rounds said it was up to the justice department, not Congress, to decide whether evidence existed of criminal wrongdoing by Trump. Photograph: Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters

Donald Trump cannot hide behind immunity from criminal prosecution and faces the possibility of being debarred from running for public office over his role in the Capitol attack, several members of Congress said yesterday.

Days after the anniversary of the 6 January insurrection that left five people dead and scores injured after Trump supporters attempted to scupper the certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election, the threat of possible criminal proceedings looms large over the former president.

Lawmakers from both main parties, including moderate Republicans, said yesterday that Trump would not be spared criminal liability should evidence emerge that he actively coordinated the attack.

  • Republican senator Mike Rounds from South Dakota spoke on the topic. What did he say? He told ABC’s This Week that any immunity from prosecution that Trump enjoyed while in the White House evaporated on 20 January 2021, when he left office, saying the “shield of the presidency does not exist for someone who was a former president”.

Golden Globes: The Power of the Dog and Succession triumph

© Provided by The Guardian
The cast of Succession at last year’s awards ceremony. Photograph: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

The Power of the Dog and Succession were the big winners at an unusual, stripped-back Golden Globes.

Traditionally, the ceremony is a glitzy telecast with A-listers in attendance but after a year of controversies surrounding diversity and amoral practices, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association lost its footing in the industry, with publicity firms, studios and celebrities choosing to distance themselves.

Nevertheless, the awards were still handed out. The acclaimed Netflix drama The Power of the Dog was named best motion picture – drama, while Jane Campion became the third woman to win best director. Kodi Smit-McPhee won best supporting actor for his performance in the film.

On the television side, HBO’s hit drama Succession picked up awards for best drama, best actor for Jeremy Strong and best supporting actress for Sarah Snook.

  • Who attended the ceremony? Sunday night’s event took place at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles, with no stars or audience, and just select members and grantees. Results were announced via social media.

In other news …

© Provided by The Guardian
Bob Saget was partway through a standup tour and had performed a show in Jacksonville on Saturday night. Photograph: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

  • Bob Saget, the actor and comedian most famous for his role in the much-loved 80s sitcom Full House, has died at the age of 65. He had been found unresponsive in his hotel room at the Ritz-Carlton in Orlando, Florida yesterday.

  • Aung San Suu Kyi has been handed a four-year jail sentence by a military court in Myanmar over various offences, including illegal possession of walkie-talkies, the latest judgment in a series of cases that could lead to her spending the rest of her life in detention.

  • The Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has tested positive for Covid-19. In a statement on Sunday evening, the office of the New York progressive said she was “experiencing symptoms and recovering at home”.

  • Lithuania has paid more than $110,000 to Abu Zubaydah, the Guantánamo detainee known as the “forever prisoner”, in compensation for having allowed the CIA to hold him at a secret site outside Vilnius where he was subjected to forms of torture.

Don’t miss this: Bernie Sanders says Democrats are failing

Senator Bernie Sanders has called on Democrats to make “a major course correction” that focuses on fighting for America’s working class and standing up to powerful corporate interests because the Democrats’ legislative agenda is stalled and their party faces tough prospects in this November’s elections. In an exclusive interview, the senator says it’s time to “step up and take on the greed of the ruling class in America”.

Climate check: US emissions roared back last year after pandemic drop

© Provided by The Guardian
‘It’s dismaying that emissions came back even faster than the overall economy,’ said researcher Kate Larsen. Photograph: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Planet-heating emissions roared back in the United States in 2021, dashing hopes that the pandemic would prove a watershed moment in greening American society to address the climate crisis, new figures have shown. The onset of the pandemic in 2020 led to a sharp drop in greenhouse gas emissions, spurring predictions that a newly shaped American economy would emerge to help banish the era of fossil fuels. These forecasts may well have been baseless, however, with the new research showing that US emissions rose by 6.2% last year, compared with 2020.

Last Thing: joy as baby given to US soldier during Afghan withdrawal is reunited with relatives

© Provided by The Guardian
Baby Sohail Ahmadi is carried by his grandmother after they were reunited. Photograph: Ali Khara/Reuters

An infant boy handed in desperation to a US soldier across an airport wall in the chaos of the American evacuation of Afghanistan has been found and reunited with his relatives. The baby, Sohail Ahmadi, was just two months old when he went missing on 19 August as thousands of people rushed to leave Afghanistan as it fell to the Taliban. After a Reuters story published in November with his pictures, the baby was located in Kabul, where a 29-year-old taxi driver named Hamid Safi had found him in the airport and taken him home to raise as his own.

Sign up

First Thing is delivered to thousands of inboxes every weekday. If you’re not already signed up, subscribe now.

Get in touch

If you have any questions or comments about any of our newsletters please email [email protected]

Source: Thanks