Members of the House and Senate, who were less than one hour into debating the first GOP objection to the Electoral College vote in Arizona, were forced to abruptly recess around 2 p.m. ET and briefly sheltered in place before evacuating the building.
The Pentagon mobilized an additional 1,100 D.C. National Guard troops to support federal law enforcement in the city, bringing the active total to 1,450.
The Capitol building was cleared of pro-Trump supporters and deemed secure by officials around 6 p.m. ET.
Per D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee: More than fifty people were arrested(26 on Capitol grounds), at least fourteen officers were injured, and four people were declared dead after the demonstrations – a woman who was shot dead by Capitol police, as well as two men and one woman who died in “separate medical emergencies.”
The initial skirmishes began shortly after President Trump addressed thousands of his supporters at a rally near the White House (full video).
Minutes afterward, Dan Scavino, White House deputy chief of staff for communications, released a statement from President Trump committing to an orderly transition of power.
President-elect Biden will be sworn in as POTUS on Inauguration Day (January 20).
💬 Relevant Quotes:
“To those who wreaked havoc in our Capitol today, you did not win. Violence never wins. Freedom wins. And this is still the People’s House.”
–Vice President Mike Pence
“The United States Congress have faced down much greater threats than the unhinged crowd we saw today. We’ve never been deterred before, and we’ll not be deterred today.”
–Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
*Editors Note: After considering our readers’ feedback, we decided to eliminate or change “protesters” to “Pro-Trump supporters” or “rioters” when it pertained to individuals committing illegal acts. Thanks to Bonnie for being the first to bring this to our attention.
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🍑 Georgia Senate Results
Democratic candidates Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff were declared the victors of Tuesday’s Senate runoff elections in Georgia by the Associated Press, defeating incumbent GOP Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, respectively.
Election #1: Warnock leads Loeffler by just over 73k votes (1.6%) with 98% of the votes totaled (as of 9 p.m. ET). The AP called the race for Warnock early Wednesday, while Loeffler has not yet conceded.
Election #2: Ossoff leads Perdue by nearly 36k votes (0.8%) with 98% of the votes totaled (as of 9 p.m. ET). The AP called the race for Ossoff Wednesday afternoon, while Perdue has not yet conceded.
With the two victories, Democrats will technically control a majority in the Senate for the next two years despite a 50-50 split, as Vice President-elect Kamala Harris (D) represents the deciding vote in the case of any tie.
Hong Kong police arrested 53 pro-democracy activists Wednesday morning under the controversial national security law passed last June, including American human rights lawyer John Clancy. The activists targeted appear to include all candidates who ran in an unofficial primary last year ahead of an expected election for Hong Kong’s legislature.
More: Up to the end of September 2020, 26 individuals were arrested under the national security law, including prominent pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai.
👮 The Louisville Police Departmentfired two detectives involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor on Wednesday.
🔬 A new CDC study published Wednesday found people receiving COVID-19 vaccines experience anaphylaxis – a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction – at a rate ten times higher than the flu vaccine, though the condition is still thought to be rare and was mainly found in people with a documented history of allergic reactions.
👨⚖️ President-elect Joe Bidenplans to nominate former federal judge Merrick Garland to serve as attorney general, per multiple sources.
⏪⏪⏪ NYSE De-de-delists Chinese Companies
The New York Stock Exchange reversed course on Wednesday, saying it would once again delist three Chinese telecommunications giants after receiving direct guidance from the Treasury Department regarding an executive order signed by President Trump in November. The order bans Americans from investing in companies the government classifies as connected to the Chinese military, and takes effect on January 11.
More: The NYSE originally committed to delisting the companies on December 31, but changed its mind late Monday, saying it would “continue to evaluate the applicability of [the] Executive Order.”
📝 Executive Decision
President Trump signed an executive order late Tuesday implementing a ban on U.S. transactions with eight Chinese-connected apps, including those owned by Ant Group and Tencent, to take effect in 45 days, after he leaves office. A spokesperson for President-elect Biden’s transition team didn’t comment on the order.
More: The order is similar to the actions taken against TikTok and WeChat last year.
🏡 Amazon’s Home Run
Amazon committed more than $2B over the next five years to create and preserve affordable housing in three cities where the company is a major employer – Seattle, WA, Arlington VA, and Nashville, TN. The tech giant has more than 75k employees in Seattle, and plans to have more than 5k employees in Arlington and Nashville within five years (~1k employees currently).
Lenny, a central bearded dragon from Redmond, WA, made his culinary debut in November in owner Valerie Musser’s cookbook Chef Lenny: Cooking for Humans.
“It was my quarantine project,” Valerie told Good News Network, explaining that she had been planning to write a cookbook for nearly a decade when the pandemic hit.
Shortly after the lockdown began, Lenny’s owner bought him a tiny chef’s hat on Etsy.
“He actually loves wearing hats and posing for photos,” said Valerie, “so I started making miniature food for him to show off with.” The completed cookbook contains the mother-of-three’s favorite comfort food recipes.
Hungry for more good news?
Paralympic medalist Blake Leeper was being fitted for a new pair of prosthetic legs at Scott Sabolich Prosthetics in Oklahoma City when he found out that 2-year-old KJ Dyer was receiving his first prosthetic leg down the hall – so he went to cheer on the toddler’s first steps.
After forming a friendship with a displaced man named Mr. Marcus, Ethan Hill – a 10-year-old from Birmingham, AL – founded Ethan’s Heart, an organization that assembles care kits full of essential supplies for people experiencing homelessness in his area.
📣 Calling All Dog Lovers
Town & Trail delivers all natural, human-grade treats — perfect for any dog.
Taking a less is more approach, Town & Trail treats are made from USDA beef and contain only five human-grade ingredients. These naturally shelf-stable treats are rooted in South African tradition and are air-dried, keeping healthy protein and nutrients in — and gross chemicals out.
🛸 The Truth Is Out There… as part of the newly passed $2.3T government funding + COVID-19 relief bill, lawmakers are giving the Pentagon six months to disclose its knowledge on the potential existence of UFOs.
📈 Bit-goin’ Up… an analysis by JPMorgan strategists earlier this week suggested Bitcoin has the potential to reach $146K in the long term as it competes with gold as an asset. (Current price: ~$36K)
🔎📃 In No Uncertain Terms… in a ruling published Tuesday, the Massachusetts Supreme Court said Uber can’t hold users to terms they probably didn’t read. Dig deeper.
📺 Show Business… DR, Denmark’s equivalent of the BBC, launched a children’s TV show about a man with a giant… ahem… appendage that can perform rescue operations, etch murals, hoist a flag, and more. (Viewers, you’ve been warned: Watch it here)
☀️ Bring the Energy
The amount of energy radiated by the Sun in a single second is enough to power Earth’s current energy usage for roughly how long?
A) 4,000 years
B) 300,000 years
C) 20,000 years
D) 1,000,000 years
(keep scrolling for the answer)
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