National & International News

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People around the world watched in shock on Wednesday as thousands of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building, descending on the halls of Congress and postponing the vote that would make Joe Biden's election official.

Music teacher Martin Urbach was up most of Wednesday night working with colleagues on lesson plans to help his students make sense of the day's events. "I only got like two hours of sleep."

The FBI and Washington, D.C., Metro police are asking the public for help identifying some of the people involved in assaults, break-ins and vandalism at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. The FBI is asking anyone with information to submit it here, along with any photos or video.

Updated on Jan. 7 at 1:55 p.m. ET

After the violent takeover of the U.S. Capitol, calls have continued to grow from Democrats and Republicans in Congress, as well as former U.S. officials, for Vice President Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution and assume the powers of the presidency.

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Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser is calling Wednesday's insurrection at the U.S.

Updated at 8:10 p.m. ET

President-elect Joe Biden is tapping Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, a Biden ally with deep ties to unions, as his labor secretary.

The Democrat campaigned for the White House saying he'd be the "most pro-union president you've ever seen."

Updated at 3:54 p.m. ET

President-elect Joe Biden delivered a blistering rebuke of President Trump on Thursday, a day after a pro-Trump mob breached the U.S. Capitol.

Biden called Wednesday "one of the darkest days" in U.S. history but said: "I wish we could say we couldn't see it coming. But that isn't true. We could see it coming."

Facebook said Thursday it is banning President Trump until the end of his presidency and possibly longer. It is the most forceful action a social network has taken against Trump, who has spent months using social media to amplify disinformation and cast doubt on his loss in the presidential election.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote that removing or labeling Trump's posts is not enough in the current environment in which Trump has used Facebook to encourage mob violence on the U.S. Capitol.

Wednesday will go down as one of the darkest days in American history.

It was all egged on by a sitting president, who has been unable to accept losing his bid for reelection and who persuaded millions of his followers to buy into baseless, debunked and disproved conspiracy theories.

The result: A mob violently storming and occupying the U.S. Capitol for hours, while staffers and lawmakers were evacuated or hid in fear. The vice president was also rushed from the floor of the Senate and taken to a secure location after criticisms were tweeted from his boss.

The United States Capitol Police have identified the woman who was shot and killed by one of their officers during the pro-Trump rioting on Wednesday as Ashli E. Babbitt, an Air Force veteran from the San Diego area.

She was among the rioters who stormed the Capitol building.

Babbitt, 35, was one of four people who died during Wednesday's chaotic events, according to Washington's Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). MPD Police Chief Robert Contee said the three others who died experienced unspecified "medical emergencies."

Updated at 5:00 p.m. ET

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer have called for President Trump to be removed from office via the 25th Amendment.

"I join the Senate Democratic leader in calling on the vice president to remove this president by immediately invoking the 25th Amendment," Pelosi said at a news conference Thursday. "If the vice president and Cabinet do not act, the Congress may be prepared to move forward with impeachment."

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Yesterday, before extremist, pro-Trump rioters, many without masks, stormed the Capitol building, I recorded an interview about the mistakes, missed opportunities and behind-the-scenes struggles that allowed the coronavirus to spread out of control across the U.S. The virus doesn't care about politics or the future of our democracy. The COVID numbers are spiking. And a new, more deadly strain has shown up in the U.S. Yesterday, we broke another single-day record for COVID deaths in the U.S., 3,963.

In a day filled with shocking images, one of the most startling was a mob of President Trump's supporters surging into the U.S. Capitol with relative ease.

When a pro-Trump mob attacked the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, surprisingly few police stood in the way. Protests had been expected for days, but police appeared unprepared for an actual insurrection and not even prepared to keep all the doors locked. Video showed police calmly talking with attackers after they moved into the building.

Updated Friday at 12:05 a.m. ET

U.S. Capitol Police announced late Thursday that an officer hurt during this week's violent assault on the chambers of Congress by protesters loyal to President Trump has died from his injuries.

"At approximately 9:30 p.m. this evening (January 7, 2021), United States Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick passed away due to injuries sustained while on-duty," a statement from the U.S. Capitol Police said.

Health experts warned that the coronavirus pandemic would get worse before it got better. And that is happening. December was the deadliest month of the pandemic in the United States. The vaccines have made people optimistic, but the process has been slow.

Dr. Anthony Fauci — head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, who will be President-elect Joe Biden's chief medical adviser — said Thursday that the initial rollout of COVID-19 vaccines has been slow because it came during the holiday period.

Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga declared a state of emergency for the greater Tokyo region, as alarm at rapidly increasing coronavirus case numbers overtook concerns about economic losses. The emergency will take effect Friday, and last until Feb. 7.

As with an earlier state of emergency last April, which was expanded nationwide, the latest restrictions entail no punishments for violators. Residents will simply be asked to avoid nonessential outings, especially at night.

Since the beginning of this pandemic, experts and educators have feared that open schools would spread the coronavirus further, which is why so many classrooms remain closed. But a new, nationwide study suggests reopening schools may be safer than previously thought, at least in communities where the virus is not already spreading out of control.

Updated at 4 a.m. ET

Congress certified President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris' victory early on Thursday, the end of a long day and night marked by chaos and violence in Washington, D.C. Extremists emboldened by President Trump had sought to thwart the peaceful transfer of power that has been a hallmark of modern American history by staging a violent insurrection inside the U.S. Capitol.

On Wednesday, Michelle Laughlin realized something: Joe Biden would be the next president.

She had traveled from Nevada for the "Stop the Steal" rally hoping that a second term for President Trump was still possible. She sang patriotic songs as Trump supporters forcibly invaded the Capitol building. But as night fell, and the occupiers were pushed out and Congress resumed its operations, Laughlin saw with clarity where things are headed.

"I think they're going to certify Biden," she said, "and I think that's a terrible, terrible thing."

Updated at 61:28 a.m. ET Thursday

Heading into Wednesday's Electoral College counting process, 14 Republican senators had said they planned to object to at least one state's results.

But that number dwindled after a mob overtook the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday afternoon, stoked by President Trump and his continued falsehoods about the election's legitimacy.

A newly elected member of the West Virginia House of Delegates has been seen in a video as part of the group of pro-Trump rioters who forced their way into the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reconvened the U.S. House late Wednesday evening, hours after both the House and Senate were forced to go into recess and then into hiding as pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol building.

"We always knew that this responsibility would take us into the night and we will stay as long as it takes. Our purpose will be accomplished," Pelosi told the House.

Hours after hordes of pro-Trump extremists barged across what proved to be feeble and poorly guarded barricades, and at least one person was fatally shot, the general atmosphere on the streets outside the Capitol appears to be relatively quiet even as Congress is on its way to finishing what it started early Wednesday afternoon.

Police chief Robert Contee said three other fatalities — on adult female and two males — resulted from apparent "separate medical emergencies."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., reconvened the Senate hours after throngs of pro-Trump extremists breached the U.S. Capitol, forcing evacuations and pausing the joint session scheduled under the Constitution to certify the 2020 election results.

"The United States Senate will not be intimidated," McConnell said on the Senate floor, after senators were escorted by a heavy police presence back into the chamber. "We will not be not kept out of this chamber by thugs, mobs, or threats."

Former President Barack Obama said that the violence that gripped the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday was the unsurprising result of two months of instigation by President Trump and his enablers.

"History will rightly remember today's violence at the Capitol, incited by a sitting president who has continued to baselessly lie about the outcome of a lawful election, as a moment of great dishonor and shame for our nation," Obama said in a statement Wednesday evening. "But we'd be kidding ourselves if we treated it as a total surprise."

As pro-Trump rioters began storming the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, Sen. Tammy Duckworth was heading to the Senate floor.

"I was actually in the tunnels under the complex when the breach occurred and Capitol Police told me to barricade myself in a secure location, which I did," the Illinois Democrat told NPR's All Things Considered.

Twitter on Wednesday put President Trump on notice: If he does not stop breaking the platform's rules, he will be permanently banned.

The stern warning followed another step never before taken by Twitter: It locked Trump out of his account for 12 hours after the removal of three tweets that the company said were a "severe violation" of Twitter's rules.

Updated at 6:47 a.m. ET

Pro-Trump extremists stormed Capitol Hill on Wednesday, halting the Electoral College certification and sending the U.S. Capitol into lockdown.

Several state capitols saw pro-Trump protests today, too, though none of them were nearly as violent as the mob at the U.S. Capitol.

Some legislatures closed public access to their capitols as a precaution. That was the case in Georgia, when armed protesters gathered outside the capitol there. Georgia's secretary of state was pressured by President Trump to overturn presidential election results.

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