National & International News

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In the 2020 election, more than 1 million African Americans cast ballots in Georgia. Since November, organizations such as the New Georgia Project and Black Voters Matter have worked to bring out even more voters for the state's U.S. Senate runoff elections on Tuesday.

Over the four years of Donald Trump's presidency, people in charge of elections in both major parties have warned that his continued peddling of falsehoods about elections could one day lead to violence.

Now, as a mob took over the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, those predictions have come true.

"Every elected leader who helped spread lies about American elections paved the way to today," said Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold.

From France to Germany to The Netherlands, Europeans are venting frustration over the pace of their COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

The European Union began administering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Dec. 27 — two weeks after the United States and almost a month after the United Kingdom, which recently left the EU.

The Netherlands only just started Wednesday. A former senior health official there, Roel Coutinho, called the Dutch strategy "shameful" and warned it was "going to cost lives," according to the BBC.

Updated at 8 p.m. ET

Former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton condemned the violence in the nation's capital on Wednesday — and the president who fueled it.

Bush, the only living former Republican president, said he was "appalled" by the actions of some political leaders since the election and called the "mayhem" at the U.S. Capitol "a sickening and heartbreaking sight."

Rep. Ilhan Omar said she is drafting articles of impeachment against President Trump. She blamed him for his supporters' attempt at an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

"Donald J. Trump should be impeached by the House of Representatives & removed from office by the United States Senate," wrote Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota. "We can't allow him to remain in office, it's a matter of preserving our Republic and we need to fulfill our oath."

World leaders are condemning pro-Trump extremists' storming of the U.S. Capitol in a futile bid to stop members of Congress from certifying the Electoral College ballots for President-elect Joe Biden. The spectacle transfixed people around the globe.

Updated at 7:20 p.m. ET

After a mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, President Trump downplayed the violence of the day and repeated his fraudulent claim that the election was stolen, but he also urged them to "go home."

In a Wednesday evening tweet, Trump wrote: "These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long."

Updated at 7:54 pm ET

One of the Trump administration's biggest environmental rollbacks suffered a stunning setback Wednesday, as a decades-long push to drill for oil in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge ended with a lease sale that attracted just three bidders — one of which was the state of Alaska itself.

Alaska's state-owned economic development corporation was the only bidder on nine of the parcels offered for lease in the northernmost swath of the refuge, known as the coastal plain. Two small companies also each picked up a single parcel.

As pro-Trump extremists clash with police and breach the U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser has ordered a citywide curfew starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

"During the hours of the curfew, no person, other than persons designated by the Mayor, shall walk, bike, run, loiter, stand, or motor by car or other mode of transport upon any street, alley, park, or other public place within the District," her statement reads.

The curfew will last until 6 a.m. on Thursday.

It does not apply to essential workers, including media with outlet-issued credentials.

Updated at 11:45 p.m. ET

Congress reconvened Wednesday night to certify President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory, just hours after the U.S. Capitol was thrust into chaos by supporters of President Trump — an angry mob that breached the complex in an unprecedented violent act at the seat of America's federal government.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., delivered blistering remarks Wednesday afternoon against President Trump and his Republican colleagues who are objecting to the Electoral College results, saying of Congress: "We cannot simply declare ourselves a national board of elections on steroids."

"We'll either hasten down a poisonous path where only the winners of an election actually accept the results or show we can still muster the patriotic courage that our forebears showed, not only in victory, but in defeat," he said.

Updated at 2:22 p.m. ET

President Trump, in an extraordinary speech as Congress prepared to certify Democrat Joe Biden's victory on Election Day, called on Vice President Pence to reject Biden's win and send the results back to the states, something Pence who is presiding over the joint session, has no constitutional authority to do.

Pence then issued a statement, saying he had no authority to do what Trump was asking him to do.

The dramatic developments in Washington played out on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.

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Germany has taken a step toward requiring what has not happened voluntarily: putting women on the management boards of the country's largest companies.

On Wednesday, Germany's cabinet approved a draft law that would require stock exchange-listed companies with executive boards of more than three members to have at least one woman and one man on those boards.

Updated at 2 p.m. ET

Republicans seeking to overturn President-elect Joe Biden's win in the November election have moved to challenge the results from Arizona, as Congress begins the usually pro forma process of counting each state's electors.

The Arizona challenge is being led by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who is seen as a likely presidential candidate in the 2024 election, and Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz.

An art dealer hid a treasure chest filled with gold and gems somewhere in the Rocky Mountains for the world to find. A map and poem were the only clues.

For a decade, thousands searched. Five people reportedly died looking for it. And the treasure was finally found in June by Jack Stuef, a 32-year-old medical student.

Many doses of the monoclonal antibody drugs that treat mild to moderate COVID-19 are sitting unused around the country. There are logistical problems with providing these drugs and skepticism over whether they work. But two major health systems have had good success in deploying these medications, and they're reporting hopeful results.

Sen. Mitt Romney was called a "joke" and a "traitor" by supporters of President Trump in videos that went viral Tuesday.

But on Wednesday, the Utah Republican directed stronger words at Trump and others in the GOP who falsely suggest the presidential election results were illegitimate.

Updated at 3:15 a.m. ET

A pair of Louisville, Ky., police officers connected to the raid on Breonna Taylor's apartment last year were formally terminated from the force, a spokesperson for the Louisville Metro Police Department confirmed Wednesday.

On Wednesday afternoon, Congress will meet to count the Electoral College votes that have come in from across the United States.

But what is normally a simple bureaucratic step on the road to inaugurating a new president may drag on for many hours this year and feature more drama than usual, as many Republicans have signaled a willingness to go along with President Trump's false claims about election fraud.

The New York Stock Exchange says it will proceed with delisting three Chinese telecom companies — a move that was originally prompted by an executive order from President Trump. It's the exchange's third statement about its plan in the past week.

The push to delist the companies stems from an executive order Trump signed in November. China has threatened to retaliate for the move. The three companies are large, led by China Mobile Ltd.'s market capitalization of around $115 billion.

An Afghan woman stands over her granddaughter in a Kabul hospital ward for malnourished children. Parvana, just 18 months old, keeps vomiting, but she's too weak to move on her cot. So the vomit dribbles down her neck and pools into the hem of her worn velvet tracksuit.

Bestselling author Eric Jerome Dickey, whose novels depicted romance, erotica and suspense from the Black perspective, including Milk in My Coffee, Sleeping with Strangers and Friends and Lovers, has died. He was 59.

He died in Los Angeles on Jan. 3 after a long illness, his longtime publicist confirmed Tuesday.

His publisher, Dutton, an imprint of Penguin Random House, referred to the popular writer as "an iconic author and friend" on social media.

Updated 3:08 p.m. ET

Thousands of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, prompting the House and Senate to abruptly take a recess as the U.S. Capitol Police locked down the building. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered a citywide curfew from 6 p.m. on Wednesday until 6 a.m. on Thursday.

Updated at 1:40 p.m. ET

The European Union is preparing to distribute the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to all its member countries, after the European Commission granted conditional authorization of the vaccine.

The EU acted hours after the European Medicines Agency endorsed the vaccine, in a move that will add another 160 million doses to its large-scale vaccination effort. Europeans have been receiving shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine since it was approved last month. And officials note that more vaccines are in the pipeline.

A significant share of Republicans plan to object to the Electoral College vote results, slowing down the inevitable that Joe Biden will be the next president.

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

Democrat Jon Ossoff has defeated Republican David Perdue in the Georgia runoff, The Associated Press said Wednesday, giving Democrats control of the U.S. Senate.

"It is with humility that I thank the people of Georgia for electing me to serve you in the United States Senate," Ossoff said earlier Wednesday.

Perdue, whose Senate term expired earlier this week, has not conceded the race.

Democrat Raphael Warnock made history in one of Georgia's two Senate runoffs on Tuesday when he became the first Black person to be elected to the Senate from the state and the first Black Democratic senator from the South.

"Georgia certainly made me proud last night," Warnock told NPR's Noel King Wednesday morning. "They decided to send a kid who grew up in public housing to the United States Senate to represent the concerns of ordinary people."

Updated at 8:20 a.m. ET

Julian Assange will remain in a British prison after a U.K. court denied his request to go free on bail Wednesday, citing the U.S. government's ongoing attempts to extradite the WikiLeaks founder to face espionage charges.

Updated at 6:38 p.m. ET

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi informed House lawmakers that Congress will reconvene Wednesday night to continue its constitutional duty to count and certify the electoral votes after pro-Trump protestors breached the Capitol and forced Capitol Police to evacuate both the House and Senate.

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