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5 things you need to know this morning: Jan. 11, 2021

Start your day off right with five things you need to know this morning.

Five things you need to know

1. Big Tech flexes muscles to kill alternative social media platform

The American technology giants have combined to extinguish alternative social media platform Parler. Its website went offline after Amazon pulled the plug on its cloud computing. Amazon said it had taken the action because Parler – seen as an alternative to Twitter – featured dozens of posts encouraging violence. Google and Apple earlier removed Parler from their app stores.

2. Trump golf course stripped of 2022 PGA Championship

The PGA of America has voted to terminate an agreement to host the US PGA Championship 2022 at the Trump National in Bedminster. The group said using the course, which is owned by President Donald Trump, for the competition would be "detrimental." The Trump Organization said it was "incredibly disappointed" by the move.

3. Angela Merkel says social media purging of President Trump 'problematic'

Chancellor Angela Merkel has spoken out after the banning of US President Donald Trump from most of the big social media sites. The German leader said lawmakers should set the rules on free speech – not private companies. “The chancellor sees the complete closing down of the account of an elected president as problematic,” Steffen Seibert, her chief spokesman, said at a news conference in Berlin.

4. Democrats threaten to impeach Trump this week

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has threatened to impeach President Trump again if Vice President Mike Pence and the Trump cabinet do not remove the commander-in-chief themselves. Pelosi described Trump as a threat to the nation after accusing him of inciting his supporters to break into the US Capitol while lawmakers were confirming the election President-elect Joe Biden.

5. Snowball fights in Madrid as Spaniards enjoy unusually cold weather

Parts of Spain are enjoying a rare patch of freezing cold weather after Storm Filomena hit Europe on the weekend. Madrid saw temperatures of -8C, causing a mixture of chaos and joy. Many areas of the country have been warned to expect temperatures as low as -12C until Thursday.

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