10 issues to know right this moment: December 16, 2020


President-elect Joe Biden has decided to nominate the previous mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg to be its secretary of transportation. Buttigieg ran towards Biden within the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries, however ended his marketing campaign and endorsed Biden shortly earlier than Tremendous Tuesday. Axios beforehand reported that Buttigieg’s first alternative for a place in Biden’s administration was Ambassador to the United Nations, however Biden chosen Linda Thomas-Greenfield for this function. If Buttigieg was confirmed by the Senate, he would develop into the primary overtly homosexual cupboard member. Biden can be anticipated appoint former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm, a powerful supporter of zero emission autos, as Power Secretary. [Reuters, The Washington Post]


Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Congratulated Democrat Joe Biden on his presidential victory on Tuesday, marking the primary time the Republican Senate chief had acknowledged that Biden was president-elect. McConnell’s remarks got here six weeks after the election, and the following day voters throughout the nation made Biden’s victory official. “The Electoral School has spoken,” McConnell instructed the Senate. Behind the scenes, McConnell has additionally reportedly referred to as on Senate Republicans to not be part of some Home Republicans who’re believed to oppose the nationwide election outcomes when the electoral votes are formally counted on Jan.6. President Trump nonetheless has not conceded, and claims with out proof that the poll fraud price him the election. [CNN]


A Meals and Drug Administration assessment printed Tuesday concluded that Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine “was very efficient” in stopping signs of COVID-19 after trial individuals acquired a second dose. The approval put Moderna’s vaccine candidate on monitor to be the second to be cleared for emergency use, after Pfizer / BioNTech injections distributed this week. The approval is predicted Friday, a day after a panel of outdoor consultants met to make its advice. Moderna’s vaccine gave the impression to be related to extra critical uncomfortable side effects, together with aches and pains, than Pfizer’s vaccine, however that should not gradual the method down. Moderna stated the vaccine was 94% efficient in trials. It additionally confirmed indicators of effectiveness after the primary of two doses. [Stat News, The New York Times]


The jihadist group Boko Haram stated on Tuesday it had kidnapped greater than 300 college students from a boy-only boarding college in Katsina, northwestern Nigeria, as punishment for his or her “un-Islamic practices.” Native officers stated 333 of the varsity’s 800 college students had been lacking. The mass kidnapping got here six years after Boko Haram kidnapped 276 schoolgirls, traumatizing the nation and sparking the worldwide #BringBackOurGirls marketing campaign. Nigerian surveillance planes and US drones have been dispatched to seek for the kidnapped boys. A 17-year-old, Usama Male, managed to flee. “They stated they’d kill anybody who tried to run away, however I positioned myself close to the underside and waited for an opportunity to run,” he stated. “Tons of of my comrades are nonetheless in captivity someplace within the forest.” [The Wall Street Journal]


The Meals and Drug Administration on Tuesday issued an emergency use authorization for the primary over-the-counter COVID-19 take a look at totally at dwelling. The Ellume COVID-19 dwelling take a look at will possible be offered in pharmacies and won’t require a prescription. FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn stated sufferers can purchase the speedy antigen package, take it dwelling, take their very own nasal swab, and get their outcomes “in as little as 20 minutes.” Ellume says his intention is for the take a look at to price $ 30 or much less and with manufacturing simply beginning the corporate plans to ship the primary shipments within the first week of January. There may be hope that dwelling testing won’t solely increase Individuals’ entry to coronavirus testing, but additionally cut back the burden on labs and testing provides, Hahn stated. [FDA, CNBC]


President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday campaigned in Georgia for Democratic Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock, who problem outgoing Republican senator David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler within the January 5 second spherical which is able to decide management of the Senate. “You all did one thing superb in November,” Biden instructed voters at a drive-through rally. “You voted in file numbers to enhance the life of each Georgian. And also you voted as in case your life relied on it … Now you will have to start out over.” Republicans gained 50 seats within the 100-member Senate. They may retain a slim majority in the event that they win any of Georgia’s races, which might give them higher energy to uphold Biden’s cupboard and restrict his skill to advance his plans on local weather change, immigration and d different priorities. [The New York Times]


An unprecedented flood of e-commerce packages threatens to overwhelm the U.S. Postal Service forward of Christmas, as Individuals transfer extra of their purchases on-line because of the coronavirus pandemic, The Washington Put up reported Tuesday, citing postal staff and trade monitoring corporations. Non-public carriers, together with FedEx and UPS, have halted pickups for some retailers, redirecting an enormous quantity of supply visitors to the postal service, exacerbating delays. “We’re actually stranded in every single place,” stated an Ohio Postal Service transportation supervisor. “UPS and FedEx have shut us down. Nobody can sustain with it proper now, however we do not have the luxurious of turning folks down.” The Postal Service has warned staff this week would be the peak. [The Washington Post]


The East Coast’s largest winter storm in years is predicted to dump as much as two toes of snow over elements of the central Atlantic and northeast on Wednesday and Thursday. Forecasters say the “hit” storm may disrupt journey in some areas. It must also exacerbate delivery delays on the peak of this yr’s all-time excessive on-line procuring and pressure faculties to shut. The Nationwide Climate Service warned that the central Atlantic and the northeast could be struck by “an in depth band of heavy, moist snow,” whereas western North Carolina and southwestern Virginia would obtain freezing rain and ice. “Journey just isn’t really useful,” the NWS stated. Winter storm warnings, watches and advisories have been posted from northeast Georgia to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. [USA Today]


President Trump’s neighbors in Palm Seaside, Florida on Tuesday despatched town and the Secret Service a letter demanding that Trump will not be allowed to live in his private club in Mar-a-Lago after leaving workplace. Trump is predicted to maneuver to Mar-a-Lago following the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on January 20. Trump moved his official residence from New York to Mar-a-Lago throughout his tenure. However his neighbors say within the letter, obtained by The Washington Put up, that Trump misplaced his proper to stay in Mar-a-Lago underneath an early Nineties deal he signed when he turned the residential property right into a membership. A spokesperson for Trump’s household enterprise stated there have been “no paperwork or agreements in place” stopping him from dwelling on the membership. [The Washington Post]


Reigning back-to-back NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo introduced Tuesday that he’s signing time beyond regulation to stick with the Milwaukee Bucks for the following 5 seasons. The five-year “supermax” deal will probably be value round $ 228 million, making it the biggest contract in professional basketball history. Antetokounmpo would have the ability to withdraw from the deal after the fourth yr. There was hypothesis that Antetokounmpo, who was set to develop into a free agent after the upcoming season, could be leaving Milwaukee, however he and the Bucks crushed these rumors. “That is my dwelling, that is my metropolis,” he tweeted. Antetokounmpo has simply accomplished a yr through which he gained the title of MVP and Defensive Participant of the Yr. He’s the third participant to win each awards in the identical season, becoming a member of Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon. [ESPN, The New York Times]

Extra tales from
Report: Of the hundreds of people invited to Mike Pompeo’s indoor party, a few dozen turned up
Joe Biden still doesn’t understand
Trump’s neighbors in Mar-a-Lago don’t want him to move there. They might be able to stop it too.

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