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Canada

Death toll set to double soon, Ontario declares state of emergency

After juggling for several days with the idea of ​​imposing a curfew like in Quebec, Ontario finally limited itself, Tuesday, to asking its citizens to stay at home at all times, except for a few outings. essential.

• Read also: 1,934 new cases and 47 more deaths in Quebec

• Read also: All developments in the COVID-19 pandemic

As of 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, Ontarians will no longer be able to leave their homes, except to go to the grocery store or pharmacy, to go to a medical appointment or to go for a walk. Essential workers will also, of course, be able to continue to come to work.

In doing so, the people of Ontario find themselves with a form of permanent curfew, but less restrictive than the one in place from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. in Quebec. In both cases, the measure will be in effect for four weeks, in the hope of reducing social contact and, ultimately, transmission of the virus.

In order to increase its chances, Ontario has also decided to keep its schools closed in the regions most affected by the pandemic, namely Toronto and its suburbs (the regions of York and Peel), Hamilton and Windsor-Essex until February 10. Until then, all students will be taking their course remotely. Day care centers and preschools are spared from this measure.

These instructions were accompanied by the triggering of the state of emergency for a second time in the province since the start of the pandemic. The first, which entered into force on March 17, remained in place until July 24.

“Several dark days are coming, but we’ll be fine. […] The people of Ontario have been through worse. I know it won’t be any different this time around, ”Premier Doug Ford commented grimly at a press conference.

“More than ever, we need – I need – you to do your part. Stay home, save lives and help save the health care system, which is on the verge of collapse and on the verge of being overwhelmed, ”continued Mr. Ford.

The Prime Minister strongly insisted on the importance of doing his part to limit the spread of COVID-19, despite fatigue from the virus and health measures. “New data shows one-third of Ontarians do not obey public health rules. Many travel and gather, ”he lamented, once again urging his fellow citizens to limit their social contact as much as possible.

Hours earlier, Ontario had announced that these models predict that up to 1,000 people could end up in intensive care in early February, compared to 400 currently, if nothing changes. The province also expects the daily death toll to double by mid-January.

Some key measures announced on Tuesday:

– Obligation to stay at home from Thursday, except for essential outings (grocery, medical, work, exercise);

– Schools remain closed until February 10 in the Toronto, Peel, York, Hamilton and Windsor-Essex regions;

– Any employee who can work from home must do telework;

– Fines may be given to those who contravene the order to stay at home without a good reason.

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Headline USA Politics

Trump declares a state of emergency in Washington, D.C. for inauguration of Biden | The State

The FBI on alert for violence similar to that which occurred in the Capitol on January 6.

Photo:
Samuel Corum / Getty Images

President Donald trump approved an emergency declaration for Washington D.C. and ordered federal assistance to monitor the city for possible violent demonstrations.

The president answered the call of the mayor Muriel bowser, who on Monday requested the declaration in order to expand surveillance, after FBI alert of armed demonstrations in 50 states, including the capital of the country.

“Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize and provide, at its discretion, the equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency,” the statement says. “Emergency protective measures, limited to direct federal assistance, will be provided with 100 percent federal funds.”

The FBI warned that the days before the inauguration of the president-elect Joe biden Armed protests are planned, especially on January 17.

“The FBI received information about an identified armed group that intended to travel to Washington, D.C. on January 16 “he said in a report.

The agency indicates that the threat is intensified by the Congressional Democrats plan to impeach President Donald Trump, who will be accused of “inciting insurrection” for the violent invasion of the Capitol on January 6.

In addition to that this Tuesday a petition will be voted for the vice president Mike pence apply Amendment 25 that would force the removal of the president immediately.

“They have warned that if Congress tries to remove POTUS through Amendment 25 there will be a great uprising”adds the FBI.

Also the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ordered the Secret Service to advance its surveillance plan for the inauguration of Biden.

“In light of the events of the past week and the evolving security landscape ahead of the inauguration and on the recommendation of the Director of the Secret Service, James Murray, I have instructed the Secret Service to begin the Special National Security Event on Wednesday, January 13 instead of January 19, “said the acting secretary. Chad wolf in a statement, hours before report your resignation.

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Headlines UK London

Mayor Sadiq Khan declares a major incident in London

London is facing the biggest threat of the pandemic so far as the NHS buckles under the strain of coronavirus cases, experts warned today as a major incident was declared in the capital.

The city is one of the main hotspots of the latest wave of the virus which saw deaths reach a record high today, with its spread now ‘out of control’ in the metropolitan area.

Mayor Sadiq Khan warned that more than 1 per cent of the city’s nine million residents tested positive for Covid last week, with one in 30 residents currently estimated to be infected. 

In the worst-hit boroughs, it is feared the rate is as high as one in 20 and startling figures also show that hospital admissions rose by a quarter in the first week of January. 

More than 7,000 NHS beds across the capital are currently occupied by Covid patients – 35 per cent higher than the busiest day of the pandemic in the spring. 

Police blasted a ‘small selfish minority’ ignoring the rules and promised to come down hard on transgressors who are refusing to stop partying despite the highly transmissible pathogen being rife. 

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist said: ‘I know Londoners will be shocked that officers are still dealing with a small selfish minority who think the rules don’t apply to them by holding house parties, large warehouse raves or other gatherings. These are creating breeding grounds for the much more transmissible variant.’

The Government said a further 1,325 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of today – the highest number of UK deaths reported on a single day since the outbreak began. It brings the UK total to 79,833. 

Professor Kevin Fenton, Public Health England’s regional director for London, said: ‘This is the biggest threat our city has faced in this pandemic to date.’ 

However, there was a tiny sliver of hope on the horizon. According to results of the UK’s largest testing scheme, coronavirus cases are already dropping in London. It suggests that some of the worst of the second wave may have already passed because of the strict Tier Four restrictions that were enforced before Christmas.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics, which tracks the size of the outbreak through random swabs of thousands of people, suggest the capital’s crisis started to reverse on December 29 – a week before the nation’s third national lockdown came into force.

But because of the nature of the illness, however, there is a lag between the number of cases rising and falling and a corresponding change in hospital admissions and deaths.  

Mr Khan said that over the last three days alone the NHS has announced 477 deaths in London hospitals following a positive test for Covid-19.  

In a letter to Boris Johnson he has demanded churches and other places of worship be closed and for face masks to be worn routinely outside of the home, including in supermarket queues and other places outside that may be crowded.  

He also wants more financial support for Londoners who need to self-isolate and are unable to work, and for daily vaccination data.

In a statement today Mr Khan said: ‘The situation in London is now critical with the spread of the virus out of control.’ 

Major incidents were declared in London after the Grenfell Tower disaster, the London Bridge and Westminster terror attacks, and the Croydon tram crash in November 2016.

On another day of coronavirus chaos: 

  • As many as 100,000 Britons abroad have five days to get home or face being banned without a negative Covid test;
  • Britain’s coronavirus R rate could now be anywhere between 1.0 and 1.4 and as many as 150,000 people could be getting infected with the virus every day, the Government’s top scientific advisers revealed; 
  • Drivers are turned away from England’s beauty spots while police question parents with pushchairs amid questions as to whether they are taking enforcement of England’s third lockdown too far;
  • Welsh lockdown is extended for three more weeks with schools and colleges shut until February;
  • Horror as ‘NHS’ fraudster injects 92-year-old woman with fake coronavirus and charges her £160; 
  • Care home workers with Covid are told to stay in work due to mounting staff shortages;
  • Pfizer’s vaccine does work against the South African and UK strains of coronavirus, study finds;
  • National Express suspends all coach services due to new lockdown and plummeting passenger numbers;
  • Stanley Johnson boasts he is due to he is about to receive his second dose of the Covid vaccine – when many are still waiting for their first
  • And a poll reveals more people are planning to take the Covid vaccine, up to 85 per cent from 78 per cent last month.

Cases per day in London

Cases per day in London

People being hospitalised in London

People being hospitalised in London 

Coronavirus deaths in London

Coronavirus deaths in London

In a letter to Boris Johnson he has demanded churches and other places of worship be closed and for face masks to be worn routinely outside of the home, including in supermarket queues and other places outside that may be crowded

He said that over the last three days alone the NHS has announced 477 deaths in London hospitals following a positive test for Covid-19 (Piccadilly Circus pictured today)

He said that over the last three days alone the NHS has announced 477 deaths in London hospitals following a positive test for Covid-19 (Piccadilly Circus pictured today)

The Office for National Statistics found in its mass testing programme that almost two thirds (61%) of the positive tests it found in England appeared to be linked to the new variant of the virus. The figure was higher for some regions - particularly in London and the South - but lower in others

The Office for National Statistics found in its mass testing programme that almost two thirds (61%) of the positive tests it found in England appeared to be linked to the new variant of the virus. The figure was higher for some regions – particularly in London and the South – but lower in others

Covids cases falling in London, stats show 

Coronavirus cases are already dropping in London, according to results of the UK’s largest testing scheme.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics, which tracks the size of the outbreak through random swabs of thousands of people, suggest the capital’s crisis started to reverse on December 29 – a week before the nation’s third national lockdown came into force.

The number of people testing positive stood at 3.33 per cent on January 2, which is most recent day data is available for. This had fallen for the fifth day in a row, down from 3.63 per cent on December 28.

Separate figures collated by the Department of Health also show cases in London have started to plateau.

Around 13,086 people living across the city were testing positive in the capital every day on December 31, in the most reliable day data is available for, down from 13,261 the day before.

For comparison, the figure stood at 2,350 at the start of December.

Despite cases appearing to have slowed, hospitals across London have yet to see any easing of Covid pressure because of the three-week lag it can take between getting diagnosed and becoming ill.

NHS statistics show there are currently more than 7,000 infected patients in beds in hospitals across the capital, with 908 hooked up to ventilators. During the darkest days of the spring, 5,200 beds were occupied by Covid patients.

London is also currently recording 100 coronavirus deaths a day, a figure which has steadily risen since mid-December. But it is still only half of the daily counts seen during the first wave, when up to 200 patients were succumbing to the illness each day.

 

Mr Khan added: ‘The number of cases in London has increased rapidly with more than a third more patients being treated in our hospitals now compared to the peak of the pandemic last April.

‘Our heroic doctors, nurses and NHS staff are doing an amazing job, but with cases rising so rapidly, our hospitals are at risk of being overwhelmed. The stark reality is that we will run out of beds for patients in the next couple of weeks unless the spread of the virus slows down drastically.

‘We are declaring a major incident because the threat this virus poses to our city is at crisis point. If we do not take immediate action now, our NHS could be overwhelmed and more people will die.

‘Londoners continue to make huge sacrifices and I am today imploring them to please stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary for you to leave. Stay at home to protect yourself, your family, friends and other Londoners and to protect our NHS.’

A major incident has already been declared in neighbouring Surrey and Sussex.

Scientists revealed today that the reproduction number, or R value, of coronavirus transmission across the UK is between 1 and 1.4. When R was last updated on December 23 2020, it was between 1.1 and 1.3. 

An R number between 1 and 1.4 means that, on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 10 and 14 other people.

Sage has said the estimates published on Friday represent the transmission of Covid-19 over the past few weeks rather than the present situation. This is due to the time delay between someone being infected, having symptoms, and needing healthcare.

It came as a new mass test revealed the highly infectious new variant of coronavirus that emerged in Kent now accounts for 61 per cent of all new Covid cases in England and 70,000 people are getting infected every day.

The team behind the ZOE Covid Symptom Study app, carried out with King’s College London, say the number of people reporting symptoms each day is up 27 per cent in a week from 55,226 to 69,958.

And separate research by the Office for National Statistics found that, of the estimated 1.1million people currently infected with the coronavirus, almost two thirds have the fast-spreading variant of the virus.

The variant has become dominant in some regions, found in 81 per cent of cases in London, but is still linked to fewer than half of infections in the North of England, the Midlands and Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Georgia Gould, chairwoman of London Councils, said: ‘Cases are rising at a dangerous rate in London, putting extreme pressure on the NHS.

‘One in 30 Londoners now has Covid. This is why public services across London are urging all Londoners to please stay at home except for absolutely essential shopping and exercise.

‘We know how tough this is for Londoners. Councils are here to support anyone struggling to access food or medicine.

‘Today, the thoughts of London leaders are with the thousands of Londoners in hospital battling Covid and the amazing carers fighting to save lives. We owe it to them to do all we can to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.

‘This is a dark and difficult time for our city but there is light at end of the tunnel with the vaccine rollout. We are asking Londoners to come together one last time to stop the spread – lives really do depend on it.’ 

The highly contagious Kent variant of Covid has become dominant in some regions, found in 81 per cent of cases in London

The highly contagious Kent variant of Covid has become dominant in some regions, found in 81 per cent of cases in London

Georgia Gould, chairwoman of London Councils, said: 'One in 30 Londoners now has Covid. This is why public services across London are urging all Londoners to please stay at home except for absolutely essential shopping and exercise'

Georgia Gould, chairwoman of London Councils, said: ‘One in 30 Londoners now has Covid. This is why public services across London are urging all Londoners to please stay at home except for absolutely essential shopping and exercise’

What is a ‘major incident’?

A major incident is defined as being ‘beyond the scope of business-as-usual operations, and is likely to involve serious harm, damage, disruption or risk to human life or welfare, essential services, the environment or national security’. 

In addition, ‘the severity of the consequences associated with a major incident are likely to constrain or complicate the ability of responders to resource and manage the incident.’ 

They were previously declared in London after the Grenfell Tower disaster, the London Bridge and Westminster terror attacks, and the Croydon tram crash in November 2016.

According to a document produced for London authorities, a major incident involves ‘special arrangements’ being introduced by one or more emergency services.

They ‘typically’ include one or more of the following:

  • Large numbers of people
  • Large numbers of medical casualties
  • The involvement of large proportions of the available police, fire and ambulance services
  • The mobilisation of support services – like shelter for people made homeless
  • A large number of public and media inquiries  

Are police taking Covid crackdown too far? 

Police today faced questions about whether they were taking the Covid crackdown too far as officers swooped on friends drinking tea on a walk to a beauty spot, forced their way into a family home ‘for having too many people inside’ and taped off benches to stop people from sitting down.

Friends Jessica Allen and Eliza Moore drove five miles to take a stroll at Foremark Reservoir in Derbyshire when they were surrounded by officers, read their rights and fined £200 each. The pair were also told their cups of Starbucks peppermint tea were not allowed because they were ‘classed as a picnic’.

Guidance for the current lockdown says people can travel for exercise ‘as long as it is in their local area’, but does not specify how far people can travel. Derbyshire Police insisted the distance was ‘at the discretion’ of individual officers and the trip was ‘not in the spirit of the rules’.

Ms Allen, from her home in Ashby-de-la-Zouch in Leicestershire, said: ‘I genuinely thought someone had been murdered… my car was surrounded… one of them started reading my rights and I was looking at my friend thinking ”This must be a joke”.’

Meanwhile, in Aberdeen, two policeman knocked on a family’s front door after complaints from a neighbour and stormed inside as a woman shouted ‘this is my house, get out of my house’ and children screamed in the background.

Two women, aged 18 and 48, and a 43-year-old man were charged in connection with assaulting police officers and threatening and abusive behaviour.

The footage immediately sparked controversy, with critics accusing the police of ‘oppressive’ behaviour for storming into a private house – while others argued they were just trying to enforce the Covid rules.

At Euston, officers were seen stopping passengers this morning to ask where they were going. Barrister Alex Wright tweeted: ‘Good to see lockdown being taken seriously, but a sad sight that I’d have dreamed of seeing in London.’

Snowdonia National Park has now closed all its car parks to visitors to ‘protect our communities and the NHS’, as officials slammed the public for ‘disregarding’ the law.

Priti Patel yesterday said it is ‘right’ for officers to confront Britons sat on park benches and argued that police should stop people and demand to know why they are outside their homes. It came as police said they would fine people the first time if they are caught not wearing face coverings or being outside without a suitable reason.

 

 

Britain approves Moderna’s Covid vaccine but won’t get any doses until MARCH at the earliest

Britain today approved Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine – but won’t be able to get any of the 17million doses it has bought until March at the earliest. 

Moderna’s Covid jab is the third to be given the green light by regulators in the UK, joining the vaccines made by Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford University/AstraZeneca. 

Health Secretary Matt Hancock admitted that No10 won’t get any doses until the spring but said: ‘This is further great news and another weapon in our arsenal to tame this awful disease.’ And Business Secretary Alok Sharma described it as ‘another huge step towards ending lockdown’. 

The EU – which approved the same vaccine two days ago – will get supplies of the jab from next week after health chiefs struck a deal with the US-firm to buy 180million doses last summer. 

With Britain now scrambling to vaccinate 13million vulnerable Britons in the hope of ending the constant cycle of lockdowns by mid-February, an extra jab could have been a blessing. 

Boris Johnson last night revealed he was bringing in the Army to help speed up the UK’s sluggish scheme, as the Prime Minister pledged to deliver 200,000 doses a day by next Friday. He also pledged to offer every care home resident a jab by the end of January and announced a new national online booking system that officials hope will drastically speed up the process.

So far the inoculation drive – the biggest in British history – has been plagued by supply and staffing shortages, logistical problems and bureaucratic barriers strangling its scale-up, meaning only 1.5million have received at least one dose. 

It comes after Moderna’s chief executive last night say it was likely that the firm’s vaccine offers protection for a ‘couple of years’. But Stéphane Bancel said more research is needed to determine how long its shot wards off the coronavirus. 

 

Pensioners pictured queuing outside a vaccination centre in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, today in a sign Boris Johnson may already be making good on his promise to ramp up the country's roll out

Pensioners pictured queuing outside a vaccination centre in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, today in a sign Boris Johnson may already be making good on his promise to ramp up the country’s roll out

Pictured: Scientists working on the Moderna vaccine in a laboratory

Pictured: Scientists working on the Moderna vaccine in a laboratory

HOW DOES MODERNA’S VACCINE WORK? 

Moderna’s vaccine works in the same way as Pfizer and BioNTech’s, and are types called mRNA vaccines.  

They use genetic material called RNA from the coronavirus to trick the body into making the ‘spike’ proteins that the virus uses to latch onto cells inside the body.

These cells then look like the real virus to the immune system, so it attacks them as it would if someone was infected with Covid. It uses antibodies and T cells to attack these modified cells.

In the process it also creates its own memory of exactly how to destroy anything with the spikes on – i.e. the real coronavirus – in case it encounters them in the future. 

Moderna found in trials that its vaccine, which is given in two doses, was ‘generally safe and well tolerated’.

It said the majority of side effects were mild or moderate. The most common ‘severe’ effects were pain at the site, muscles or joints; fatigue and headache. These, the company said, were ‘generally short-lived’. 

Moderna said its vaccine can be stored in a normal fridge for up to a month before it is given out, meaning it will be cheaper to store and distribute.

Although it must be shipped at -20°C (-4°F), this is not too cold for normal freezers to handle.

Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine, however, needed to be kept at -70°C (-94°F) at all times until it was about to be used, meaning expensive specialist equipment is needed to transport and store it.

As Britain prepared to ramp up vaccinations:

  • As many as 100,000 Britons abroad have five days to get home or face being banned without a negative Covid test;
  • Drivers are turned away from England’s beauty spots while police question parents with pushchairs amid questions as to whether they are taking enforcement of England’s third lockdown too far;
  • Welsh lockdown is extended for three more weeks with schools and colleges shut until February;
  • Horror as ‘NHS’ fraudster injects 92-year-old woman with fake coronavirus and charges her £160; 
  • Care home workers with Covid are told to stay in work due to mounting staff shortages;
  • Pfizer’s vaccine does work against the South African and UK strains of coronavirus, study finds;
  • National Express suspends all coach services due to new lockdown and plummeting passenger numbers;
  • Stanley Johnson boasts he is due to he is about to receive his second dose of the Covid vaccine – when many are still waiting for their first
  • And a poll reveals more people are planning to take the Covid vaccine, up to 85 per cent from 78 per cent last month.

Moderna’s vaccine was the second one to announce the results of its last-stage clinical trials when it did so in November, after Pfizer and BioNTech. They showed the vaccine appeared to prevent 94.5 per cent of Covid cases.

Mr Hancock at the time hailed the vaccine as a ‘candle of hope’ but the UK hadn’t pre-ordered it.

No10 had placed pre-orders for seven other candidates, including jabs made by Pfizer and BioNTech, Oxford University and AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, Valneva, Imperial College London and Novavax. 

Moderna’s and Pfizer’s use the same technology, which had never been tried before, so scientists said it would have been a big gamble for the UK to order both. 

A scramble ensued on the day Moderna’s results were published, with British officials managing to hash out a deal for five million doses before Mr Hancock announced it on a TV press conference at 5pm that afternoon. This was later extended to 7million but the figure now stands at around 17million. 

Pensioners pictured queuing to receive their Covid-19 vaccine outside a centre in Hemel Hempstead,  Hertfordshire, today

Arthur Clark, 99, an RAF veteran, says he is yet to receive his Covid vaccination despite the programme starting a month ago

Arthur Clark, 99, an RAF veteran, says he is yet to receive his Covid vaccination despite the programme starting a month ago

Arthur Clark, from Beckenham in south east London, with his family

Mr Clark pictured in his RAF uniform

Speaking to MailOnline from his home in Beckenham, south east London, the great grandfather of four said he had been trying to get an appointment since Christmas. Pictured, left, is Arthur with his family and, right, as an RAF serviceman

Grants Shapps say Covid jabs may not beat South African strain, hours after study suggests it will

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps warned today the current wave of vaccines might not protect against the South African strain of coronavirus.

Mr Shapps said introducing a mandatory test and release system for travellers coming into the UK had become ‘much more urgent’ because of the threat the variant poses to Britain’s mass vaccination programme.

But there was confusion about the timing of his comments, which came just hours after a study by Pfizer/BioNTech suggested their vaccine could be just as effective against a mutation in the super-transmissible strain.

Amid international fears about the South African strain, thought to be at least 60 per cent more infectious than regular Covid, the UK has made it compulsory for travellers to test negative when they arrive in the country. 

The Pfizer study – which hasn’t been peer-reviewed yet – tested how well the vaccine worked on the key N501Y mutation, an alteration on the virus’s spike protein which is thought to be responsible for making it far more infectious than regular Covid.

And because current vaccines work by training the immune system to recognise the virus’s spike protein and attack it, there were fears this change could render jabs useless, or less effective.  

The catch, however, was that the UK wouldn’t get any of the doses delivered until March 2021 because the US had an exclusive contract for the first 20million doses because the government had given so much funding to the company.   

Hailing the approval today, Mr Hancock added: ‘We have already vaccinated nearly 1.5million people across the UK and Moderna’s vaccine will allow us to accelerate our vaccination programme even further once doses become available from the spring.

‘While we immunise those most at risk from Covid, I urge everyone to continue following the rules to keep cases low to protect our loved ones.’

MHRA guidance says the vaccine’s two doses should be dished out within 28 days of each other, unlike the controversial advice for the other two jabs, which says they can be taken up to 12 weeks apart.

MHRA chief executive Dr June Raine said: ‘Today’s approval brings more encouraging news to the public and the healthcare sector. 

‘Having a third Covid vaccine approved for supply following a robust and thorough assessment of all the available data is an important goal to have achieved and I am proud that the agency has helped to make this a reality.

‘The progress we are now making for vaccines on the regulatory front, whilst not cutting any corners, is helping in our global fight against this disease and ultimately helping to save lives. I want to echo that our goal is always to put the protection of the public first.

‘Once in use, all Covid vaccines are continually monitored by the MHRA. This ensures that the benefits in protecting people against Covid continue to far outweigh any potential side-effects.

‘Meantime, even if you have had a vaccine it is vital that everyone follows the national lockdown restrictions and remembers ‘stay alert, protect the NHS and save lives’ at all times.’

Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed, chair of the Expert Working Group of the Independent Commission on Human Medicines said: ‘We are delighted to be able to give a positive recommendation for the Moderna vaccine which will help in the roll-out of the Covid vaccination programme.

‘As with all the Covid vaccine data we have seen to date, we have ensured a robust and thorough safety assessment has been carried out with the independent experts that sit on this group.’

It comes after it was claimed yesterday that a one-shot Covid jab that has the potential to significantly boost Britain’s sluggish vaccination scheme may be approved in the UK by next month.

Scientists and Government sources believe the vaccine, made by the Belgian arm of pharmaceutical giant Johnson and Johnson, could be given emergency authorisation within weeks.

The jab uses similar technology to the Oxford University vaccine, making it just as easy to transport and store, but requires just a single injection to protect against Covid. 

However, it won’t be clear how effective the vaccine is until its trial results are made public and submitted to the UK’s medical regulator, which is expected to happen by early February.

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Pence declares Biden’s victory is certified and seals Trump’s fate

Donald Trump finally accepted his fate today after Vice President Mike Pence ended his desperate campaign to overturn the election at 3:41 a.m. Thursday morning and certified President-elect Joe Biden’s win – despite the attempt of scores of Republicans and a violent MAGA mob to object to it. 

After Pence announced the final electoral college tally, Trump said there would be an ‘orderly transition’ – a hallmark of American democracy he had repeatedly called into question – but still claimed the election was ‘stolen’ despite 50 states, a series of judges and now the US Congress dismissing challenges to the result.   

‘Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20,’ Trump said. 

‘I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again.’  

Pence made the final announcement after a nearly 15-hour saga that saw rioting supporters of President Donald Trump mob the U.S. Capitol Building in a day of carnage and shame that left four dead, saw pipe bombs, long guns and Molotov cocktails discovered in the Capitol grounds – and left America’s image as the beacon of democracy reeling.

The MAGA mob – which included white supremacists, Holocaust deniers and Q Anon followers – interrupted the certification of results as they smashed through police barricades, stormed into the halls of the Capitol and even sat in the Senate chamber.

They looted offices, vandalized statues and confronted police as they rampaged through the Capitol, carrying Confederate flags, in hours of anarchy which shocked the world. Lawmakers were rushed off the floor of the House and Senate – and brought back at 8pm under armed guard while outside the mob defied a curfew in D.C. The president who had whipped them into fury tweeted: ‘You are special. You are loved.’

Congress’ overwhelming rejection of attempts to overturn the vote and Pence’s role in it will surely further enrage Trump, who wanted his VP to unilaterally overrule Biden’s win. But the president was banished from Twitter for 12 hours Wednesday due to violating the company’s rules meaning he could not vent on his favorite medium. 

With just 13 days left of his presidency, Trump is now at war with Mitch McConnell, facing whispers of his own cabinet trying to force him out and Democrats openly discussing impeaching him again – while just a handful of senators led by Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley and the majority of the House GOP remain loyal.

It was Hawley who forced Congress to sit late into the night. Biden was at 244 of the 270 Electoral College votes needed when a final challenge of Pennsylvania’s count, signed onto by Josh Hawley, pushed lawmakers back into their respective chambers.

In the Senate, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell skipped the two hours of permitted debate and went straight to a vote.

The upper chamber voted 92-7 to overrule the Republicans’ objection.

‘We don’t expect additional votes tonight,’ he said when things were done. McConnell had been against the GOP effort to challenge the Electoral College vote counts from the beginning.

The House proceeded with debate and then voted 282 to 138 to overrule the challenge of Pennsylvania, with 64 Republicans voting alongside Democrats to make up the majority.

Both houses have to vote in favor of a challenge for it to succeed.

Republicans in the House and Senate had also challenged the votes in Arizona – which prompted two hours of debate, interrupted by the MAGA riot – and that objection was overwhelmingly overruled.

House Republicans also tried to challenge the results in Georgia, Michigan and Nevada, but GOP senators would no longer sign on.

‘Mr. President prior to the actions and events of today we did but following the events of today it appears that some senators have withdrawn their objection,’ admitted Georgia Rep. Jody Hice when challenging the results in his state.

At nearly 4 a.m., Rep. Louie Gohmert tried to get one more challenge through – for the state of Wisconsin – but, again, a senator had withdrawn.

That spelled the end of the MAGA campaign to upend an election and Pence went on to read out the results of the Electoral College: Biden 306, Trump 232.

But he managed to avoid saying ‘Joe Biden is the winner’ or similar words – a minor softening of the blow to Trump by the deputy who had been until this week perhaps his most devoted follower.

Game over: Mike Pence put the final seal on Joe Biden’s election victory in the early hours of Thursday morning, declaring once and for all that Donald Trump had lost the election by a 306-232 margin in the electoral college 

The Republican bid to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory ended early Thursday morning after the Senate voted 92-7 to dismiss a challenge to Pennsylvania’s Electoral College vote

Vice President Mike Pence reopened the Senate condemning Wednesday's violent siege of Capitol Hill 'in the strongest possible terms' - but did not lay the blame on President Donald Trump for inciting the MAGA mob

Vice President Mike Pence reopened the Senate condemning Wednesday’s violent siege of Capitol Hill ‘in the strongest possible terms’ – but did not lay the blame on President Donald Trump for inciting the MAGA mob

An explosion caused by a police munition is seen while Trump supporters gather in front of the Capitol on Wednesday

An explosion caused by a police munition is seen while Trump supporters gather in front of the Capitol on Wednesday

Protesters broke windows to gain access to the Capitol as lawmakers were whisked to safety on Wednesday afternoon

Protesters broke windows to gain access to the Capitol as lawmakers were whisked to safety on Wednesday afternoon 

The protests escalated into violence as Trump supporters clashed with police on the grounds of the Capitol

The protests escalated into violence as Trump supporters clashed with police on the grounds of the Capitol 

‘To those who wreaked havoc in our capitol today, you did not win,’ Pence said after lawmakers returned to their seats. ‘Violence never wins. Freedom wins. And this is still the people’s house.’

The vice president, who chaired the special joint session as provided under the Constitution, called it a ‘dark day in the history of the United States Capitol.’

‘But thanks to the swift efforts of the U.S. Capitol Police, federal, state and local law enforcement, the violence was quelled. The Capitol is secured and the people’s work continues,’ Pence said.

But astonishingly – and to the disgust of Republicans including Mitt Romney and every Democrat – some Republicans continued their doomed bid to overturn the election result.

The most senior was House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who claimed that persisting was proof that Congress was not cowed by violence. And Josh Hawley, the Missouri senator who gave a clenched fist salute to the mob before it stormed the Capitol, also refused to back down even as other senators who had planned to object abandoned the campaign.

‘Americans go to bed tonight their lasting memory should not be a congress overrun by rioters. It must be a resolute Congress, conducting healthy debate,’ McCarthy said.

‘We may not disagree on a lot in America but tonight, we must show the world that we will respectfully, but thoroughly carry out the most basic duties of democracy, we will continue with the task that we have been sent here to do. We will follow the Constitution and the law and the process for hearing valid concerns about election integrity. We’ll do it with respect.’  

Sen. Josh Hawley, who was the first senator who pledged to back a House GOP effort to object to certain states' Electoral College vote counts, refused to abandon the effort entirely

Sen. Josh Hawley, who was the first senator who pledged to back a House GOP effort to object to certain states’ Electoral College vote counts, refused to abandon the effort entirely

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy claimed that persisting was proof that Congress was not cowed by violence

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy claimed that persisting was proof that Congress was not cowed by violence

Sen Ted Cruz looks on as the certification proceedings continue despite objections by him and other Republicans

Sen Ted Cruz looks on as the certification proceedings continue despite objections by him and other Republicans

Sen. Hawley, who was the first senator who pledged to back a House GOP effort to object to certain states’ Electoral College vote counts, refused to abandon the effort entirely. 

The Missouri Republican argued that the Senate floor was the appropriate place to address any election fraud concerns – as opposed to a violent riot.

‘Violence is not how you achieve change,’ Hawley said. ‘And that’s why I submit to my colleagues that what we’re doing here tonight is actually very important. Because of those who have concerns about the integrity of our elections … this is the appropriate means, this is the lawful place, where those objections and concerns should be heard.’

Directly after Hawley spoke, Sen. Mitt Romney applauded those senators, like Loeffler and Lankford, who had abandoned Hawley and the 'dirty dozen's' effort

Directly after Hawley spoke, Sen. Mitt Romney applauded those senators, like Loeffler and Lankford, who had abandoned Hawley and the ‘dirty dozen’s’ effort

He said he hoped the Senate could address concerns ‘peacefully, without violence, without attacks, without bullets.’

Hawley then indicated that he might not file objections after the debate over Arizona was complete, bringing up the issues he had with Pennsylvania during his brief floor speech.

‘And so Mr. President let me just say now, that briefly, in lieu of speaking about it later, a word about Pennsylvania – this is a state that I have been focused on, objected to,’ Hawley said.

He then went on to complain that the state set-up ‘universal mail-in balloting.’

‘And did it irregardless of what the Pennsylvania Constitution says,’ Hawley said, using the improper word for regardless.

The senator then objected to how the Pennsylvania Supreme Court made its decision, holding up the law that allowed for enhanced mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic.

Directly after Hawley spoke, Sen. Mitt Romney applauded those senators, like Loeffler and Lankford, who had abandoned Hawley and the ‘dirty dozen’s’ effort. 

‘The best way we can show respect to the voters who are upset is by telling them the truth,’ Romney implored.

And the truth, he said, was ‘President-Elect Biden won the election. President Trump lost.’

‘I’ve had that experience myself, it’s no fun,’ Romney said, a reference to losing the 2012 presidential election to Democratic President Barack Obama.

As he concluded, Romney was given a standing ovation by some senators – but not by Hawley, who was sitting directly in front of him. 

McConnell, who earlier chastised members of his own party who planned to file objections to the Electoral College vote count, proclaimed, 'The United States Senate will not be intimidated.'

Pence's condemnation was followed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, with Schumer - a New York Democrat - placing the blame squarely on Trump

McConnell, who earlier chastised members of his own party who planned to file objections to the Electoral College vote count, proclaimed, ‘The United States Senate will not be intimidated.’ Pence’s condemnation was followed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, with Schumer – a New York Democrat – placing the blame squarely on Trump

Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6

Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6

As 2 am neared, Rep Conor Lamb, a Pennsylvania Democrat who represents the Pittsburgh area, unloaded on the Republicans who objected to the vote from his state.

Lamb first read from the speech he had planned to give pre-riot, including that Allegheny County’s vote-counting operation had ’31 video cameras!’ he said, raising his voice.

‘These objections don’t deserve an ounce of respect. Not an ounce,’ he then said.

‘A woman died out there tonight and you’re making these objections,’ Lamb went on. ‘Let’s be clear about what happened in this chamber today: invaders came in for the first time since the War of 1812.’

Lamb nodded over in the direction of a group of his Republican colleagues.

‘We know that that attack today, it didn’t materialize out of nowhere. It was inspired by lies, the same lies you’re hearing in this room tonight, and the members who are repeating those lies should be ashamed of themselves,’ Lamb said. ‘Their constituents should be ashamed of them.’

Rep. Morgan Griffith shouted to have Lamb’s comments struck from the record.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gaveled his request down, later explaining that he wasn’t quick enough, saying it needed to happen ‘exactly when the words are spoken.’

Nearby, a scuffle among lawmakers nearly broke out involving Rep. Andy Harris, a Maryland Republican, and Rep. Colin Allred, a Texas Democrat, according to Capitol Hill reporters.

Allred is a former professional football player.

As 2 am neared, Rep Conor Lamb (pictured), a Pennsylvania Democrat who represents the Pittsburgh area, unloaded on the Republicans who objected to the vote from his state

As 2 am neared, Rep Conor Lamb (pictured), a Pennsylvania Democrat who represents the Pittsburgh area, unloaded on the Republicans who objected to the vote from his state

Speaker Nancy Pelosi reopened the House of Representatives Wednesday night with a vow to stay as long as it takes to certify the election and Joe Biden’s victory.

‘Congress has returned to the Capitol,’ she said seven hours after the chamber was closed because rioters were trying to breach its doors. ‘We always knew that this responsibility would take us into the night, and will stay as long as it takes. Our purpose will be accomplished. We must and we will show to the country.’

‘We know that we’re in difficult times, but little could we have imagined the assault, that was made on our democracy,’ she said in reference to the pro-Trump insurgents who tried to stop the Joint Session.

She said it was the duty of lawmakers to show the world ‘the peaceful transfer of power from one president to the next.’

Shortly before all House members were evacuated around 2.30pm, Capitol Police approached Pelosi, who was presiding over the chamber from the speaker’s rostrum, telling her she had to leave.

Pelosi didn’t make a fuss and turned over her duties to House Rules Chairman Jim McGovern.

He told reporters on Capitol Hill that she whispered ‘thank you’ and handed him the gavel as she was led away.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., presides over the House Chamber after they reconvened

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., presides over the House Chamber after they reconvened

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy will stand by President Trump and continue his party’s objections to the certification of states won by Joe Biden in the electoral college.

Some Republican senators backed down from the original plan to object after pro-Trump insurgents rushed the Capitol.

But McCarthy said it was lawmakers’ duty to conduct ‘healthy debate’ and to hear ‘valid concerns about election integrity.’

WHO’S STILL IN TRUMP’S CAMP? 

Sen. Josh Hawley –  Hawley was the first senator who pledged to back a House GOP effort to object to certain states’ Electoral College vote counts and refused to abandon the effort entirely. 

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy – McCarthy is the most senior member who stood by President Trump and will continue his party’s objections to the certification of states won by Joe Biden in the electoral college.

Sen. Ted Cruz – The Senate on voted down Ted Cruz’s objection to Arizona in the Electoral College certification process.

‘When Americans go to bed tonight their lasting memory should not be a Congress overrun by rioters. It must be a resolute Congress, conducting healthy debate. We may not disagree on a lot in America but tonight, we must show the world that we will respectfully, but thoroughly carry out the most basic duties of democracy, we will continue with the task that we have been sent here to do. We will follow the Constitution and the law and the process for hearing valid concerns about election integrity. We’ll do it with respect,’ he said on the House floor after the chamber reopened.

But he also condemned the rioters.

‘We saw the worst of America this afternoon,’ he said.

McCarthy also warned lawmakers to think twice about what they post on social media. Posts by Republicans, including President Trump, falsely stating the election was rigged and fraudulent were believed to have contributed to inciting the mob that ran sacked the Capitol.

‘We also should think for a moment about what do we put on social media,’ he said. ‘Just because you have a personal opinion different than mine, you have a right to say it, but nobody has a right to become a mob. And we all should stand united to condemning them all together.’

Pence’s condemnation was followed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, with Schumer – a New York Democrat – placing the blame squarely on Trump.

‘Today’s events would certainly not have happened without him,’ Schumer said. 

McConnell, who earlier chastised members of his own party who planned to file objections to the Electoral College vote count, proclaimed, ‘The United States Senate will not be intimidated.’

‘Will not be kept out of its chamber by thugs, mobs or threats. We will not bend for lawlessness or intimidation,’ the Kentucky Republican said.

He said senators would discharge their Constitutional duty – to certify the results of the presidential race.

‘And we’re going to do it tonight,’ McConnell said.

The Kentucky Republican proclaimed, ‘Criminal behavior will never dominate the United States Congress.’

Schumer followed, admitting that he didn’t quite have the words to describe what happened Wednesday on Capitol Hill.

‘I have never lived through, or even imagined the experience like the one we have just witnessed in this Capitol,’ he said. ‘This temple to democracy was desecrated, its windows smashed, our offices vandalized.’

A protester sits in the Senate Chamber. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump

A protester sits in the Senate Chamber. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden’s 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump

Pro-Trump protesters gather in front of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC

Pro-Trump protesters gather in front of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC

Lawmakers cower in fear as protesters try to break down the doors of the House Chamber on Wednesday

Lawmakers cower in fear as protesters try to break down the doors of the House Chamber on Wednesday

He spoke of the woman who was shot during the riots, who has since died of her injuries.

‘We mourn her and feel for her friends and family,’ Schumer said.

‘This will be a stain on our country not so easily washed away,’ he added.

And the soon-to-be majority leader, after Democrats were successful in both Georgia Senate run-off races, pointed a finger at Trump, calling the day’s events the ‘final terrible indelible legacy of the 45th president of the United States.’

‘Undoubtedly our worst,’ Schumer argued.

‘Today’s events did not happen spontaneously, the president who promoted conspiracy theories, who motivated these thugs, a president who exhorted them to come to our United States capitol, egged them on, who hardly ever discourages violence. This president deals a great deal of the blame,’ Schumer said.

He said that those responsible for overtaking the capitol could not be called ‘protesters.’

‘These were rioters and insurrectionist goons and thugs, domestic terrorists,’ Schumer said. ‘They do not represent America

Senate Majority Leader spoke immediately after Pence to declare that the chamber would not be intimidated by ‘thugs.’

McConnell found himself denouncing Trump’s bid to overturn the election for the second time in a day, after earlier delivering a strong speech blasting the effort by members of his own caucus seeking to throw out electors in states that went for Joe Biden.

Wednesday night, after Trump supporters breached hallways that McConnell has walked for decades on ‘unhinged’ invaders – without mentioning that it was President Trump who encouraged his supporters to march to the Capitol.

Nevertheless, he eviscerated the Trump backers who ran wild inside the chamber.

‘The United States Senate will not be intimidated. We will not be kept out of this chamber by thugs, mobs or threats. We will not bow to lawlessness or intimidation,’ vowed McConnell.

‘We are back at our post. We will discharge our duty under the Constitution and for our nation.

And we’re going to do it tonight,’ said McConnell.

The Kentucky Republican proclaimed, 'Criminal behavior will never dominate the United States Congress.' Schumer followed, admitting that he didn't quite have the words to describe what happened Wednesday on Capitol Hill

The Kentucky Republican proclaimed, ‘Criminal behavior will never dominate the United States Congress.’ Schumer followed, admitting that he didn’t quite have the words to describe what happened Wednesday on Capitol Hill

Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the president's top allies in the Senate, threw water on the objectors' efforts recalling how in 1876 three southern states - South Carolina, Louisiana and Florida - sent two slates of electors to Congress, in a bid to end Reconstruction after the Civil War

Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the president’s top allies in the Senate, threw water on the objectors’ efforts recalling how in 1876 three southern states – South Carolina, Louisiana and Florida – sent two slates of electors to Congress, in a bid to end Reconstruction after the Civil War

His words were both strengthened and undercut by his close association with Trump’s tenure: McConnell’s wife Elaine Chao serves as Trump’s Transportation secretary. McConnell spent weeks without denouncing Trump’s unsubstantiated claims the election was rigged. And it was in partnership with Trump that he achieved his life’s goal of stacking the judiciary with conservative jurists.

He spoke with contempt towards the mob who invaded the Capitol, saying the country had ‘faced down much greater threats than the unhinged crowd we saw today.’

Among Republicans bailing on the plan to contest the results was Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, known as an institutionalist before he signed onto the effort by Sen. Ted Cruz

Among Republicans bailing on the plan to contest the results was Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, known as an institutionalist before he signed onto the effort by Sen. Ted Cruz

‘We’ve never been deterred before and we’ll be not deterred today. They tried to disrupt our democracy. They failed,’ he intoned.

He called it a ‘failed insurrection’ and said it ‘only underscores how crucial the task before us is for our republic.’

‘Now we’re going to finish exactly what we started,’ said McConnell. ‘We’ll complete the process in the right way: by the book.’

He said the Senate would follow its precedents and laws and Constitution ‘to the letter.’

‘And we will certify the winner of the 2020 presidential election,’ he said forcefully. ‘Criminal behavior will never dominate the United States Congress. This institution is resilient. Our democratic republic is strong. The American people deserve nothing less,’ he said.  

Among Republicans bailing on the plan to contest the results was Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, known as an institutionalist before he signed onto the effort by Sen. Ted Cruz.

‘Why in god’s name would someone think attacking law enforcement occupying United States Capitol is the best way to show that you’re right? Why would you do that?’ he asked.

‘Rioters and thugs don’t run the capitol we’re the United States of America. We disagree on a lot of things and we have a lot of spirited debate in this room. But we talk it out and we honor each other.

Lankford had been on the Senate floor defending the opposition to votes in states Biden won when officials evacuated the chamber and locked down the Capitol.

‘I was literally interrupted mid-sentence speaking here. Because we’re all aware of what was happening right outside this room,’ he said, praising law enforcement who protected the Capitol.

Georgia Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who lost her race in the early hours Wednesday to Democratic Rev. Raphael Warnock, announced that she would no longer be filing objections to Electoral College votes

Georgia Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who lost her race in the early hours Wednesday to Democratic Rev. Raphael Warnock, announced that she would no longer be filing objections to Electoral College votes

He quickly bowed to the new reality.

‘Obviously the commission that we’ve asked for is not going to happen at this point and I understand that and we’re headed towards tonight towards the certification of Joe Biden to be the president of the United States,’ he said. Cruz and his compatriots wanted a special commission to investigate electoral fraud claims tossed out of courts over a ten-day period.

‘And we will work together in this body to be able to send peaceful example in the days ahead,’ he concluded.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the president’s top allies in the Senate, threw water on the objectors’ efforts recalling how in 1876 three southern states – South Carolina, Louisiana and Florida – sent two slates of electors to Congress, in a bid to end Reconstruction after the Civil War.

‘It led to Jim Crow,’ Graham said. ‘If you’re looking for historical guidance, this is not the one to pick.’

The South Carolina Republican also said that a forming a commission to look into fraud wouldn’t change minds.

‘Having a commission chosen by Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell and John Roberts is not going to get you to where you want to go, it ain’t going to work,’ Graham said. ‘It’s not going to do any good, it’s going to delay and it gives credibility to a dark chapter of our history.’

Graham maintained Trump was a ‘consequential president.’

‘But today … all I can say is count me out, enough is enough, I’ve tried to be helpful.’

Graham praised Pence, telling him: ‘what they’re asking you to do, you won’t do, because you can’t.’

Trump has pressured Pence to choose between Electoral College votes and ‘alternate’ slates of electors, which the vice president doesn’t have the power to do.

Graham also mentioned how he had traveled the world with Biden, when they served together in the Senate.

‘I prayed he would lose,’ Graham said. ‘He’s the legitimate president of the United States.’

Georgia Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who lost her race in the early hours Wednesday to Democratic Rev. Raphael Warnock, announced that she would no longer be filing objections to Electoral College votes.

‘When I arrived in Washington this morning, I fully intended to object to the certification of the electoral votes,’ she said. ‘However, the events that have transpired today have forced me to reconsider and I cannot now, in good conscience, object.’

Sen. Steve Daines, a Montana Republican, also announced that he no longer supported senators filing objections.

The newly minted Sen. Roger Marshall, a Kansas Republican, who had joined Sen. Ted Cruz’s ‘dirty dozen,’ seemed to still back the effort in his debut floor speech.

‘We must restore faith and confidence in one of our republic’s most hallowed and patriotic duties: voting,’ Marshall said.

Marshall said he backed the creation of an electoral commission to give states to constructive suggestions’ going forward, due to the ‘jarring irregularities’ he claimed took place in the 2020 race.

It’s unclear if Marshall would back additional challenges in states going forward, as the Senate’s discussion was only focused on Electoral College votes in Arizona.

A woman was shot in the chest on Wednesday afternoon after chaotic scenes broke out when dozens of Trump supporters breached security perimeters at the Capitol. She died at a hospital hours later, law enforcement sources said

A woman was shot in the chest on Wednesday afternoon after chaotic scenes broke out when dozens of Trump supporters breached security perimeters at the Capitol. She died at a hospital hours later, law enforcement sources said

Police spray tear gas at a protester who picked up a police barricade in an effort to get closer to the Capitol

Police spray tear gas at a protester who picked up a police barricade in an effort to get closer to the Capitol 

Members of congress run for cover as protesters try to enter the House Chamber

Members of congress run for cover as protesters try to enter the House Chamber

A protester walks through Congress carrying Nancy Pelosi's lectern after storming the Capitol

A protester walks through Congress carrying Nancy Pelosi’s lectern after storming the Capitol

Republican Congressman Thomas Reed announced he is against the GOP objections to the certification, earning a round of applause from Democrats.

Reed walked to the Democratic side of the House to speak about his opposition, citing the day’s violence in the Capitol as the reason.

‘We settle our differences through elections,’ he said, denouncing the ‘mob rule’ that took place earlier in the afternoon.

‘What we see tonight in this body shall be what we do in America. And that is to transfer power in a peaceful way,’ he said as Democrats gave him a standing ovation.

Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz, a top Trump ally on Capitol Hill, pushed a conspiracy theory that some of the mob that raided the Capitol were members of Antifa, who are opposed to fascism and other forms of extreme right-wing ideology. President Trump has tried to label Antifa as a terrorist group but they a political philosophy. There is no evidence they were involved in Wednesday’s insurrection.

Gaetz cited the conservative newspaper The Washington Times when he spoke on the House floor to defend Republican objections to the electoral college votes in some states won by Biden.

‘The Washington Times has just reported, some pretty compelling evidence from a facial recognition company, showing that some of the people who breached the Capitol today, were not Trump supporters, they were masquerading as Trump supporters, and in fact, we’re members of the violet terrorist group Antifa,’ he said as Democrats loudly booed him.

Gaetz, a frequent guest at Trump’s Florida residence Mar-a-Lago, also defended the president, who was criticized by many, including members of the Republican Party, for his lackluster response to the riots.

‘Another important point for the country is that this morning President Trump explicitly called for demonstrations and protests to be peaceful,’ Gaetz said.

Trump, in tweets, did say the protesters should be peaceful but he didn’t call for them to stand down and leave the Capitol.

Democrats booed Gaetz as he spoke, which he acknowledged: ‘You can moan and groan but he was far more explicit about his calls for peace than some of the BLM and left wing writers were this summer, when we saw violence sweep across this nation.’

Gaetz also got in a dig at liberal Democrats, who have called to defund the police.

‘I’m sure glad that at least for one day, I didn’t hear my Democratic colleagues calling to defund the police,’ he said as his Republican colleagues cheered.

Members of Congress are pictured rushing to evacuate the House Chamber as protesters attempted to enter

Members of Congress are pictured rushing to evacuate the House Chamber as protesters attempted to enter

National Guard members line up on the Capitol grounds as protesters continue occupying the area after curfew

National Guard members line up on the Capitol grounds as protesters continue occupying the area after curfew

The mostly maskless crowd flooded the halls of the Capitol with little resistance from Capitol Police

The mostly maskless crowd flooded the halls of the Capitol with little resistance from Capitol Police

The DC National Guard was deployed to the streets to help enforce a 6pm curfew

The DC National Guard was deployed to the streets to help enforce a 6pm curfew 

Trump – after remaining silent for much of the afternoon – posted a video telling his ‘very special’ supporters inside the Capitol that he loves them and understands their pain but urged them ‘to go home’. 

He had initially encouraged his supporters to march to the Capitol after a rally earlier in the afternoon before asking them only to remain peaceful when violence broke out.   

The Capitol was briefly secured before being placed on lockdown again at around 6.45pm due to an ‘internal security threat’ after an officer was reportedly found unconscious. Anyone inside a building at the Capitol complex was instructed to take cover in an office with doors locked.     

But just before 8pm lawmakers who had been whisked to safety when the siege kicked off began arriving back at the Capitol to resume the Joint Session to certify the Electoral College count of the presidential election. 

The lawmakers were seen flanked by armed guards as they made their way into the Capitol. A spokesperson for Vice President Mike Pence, who is residing over the Joint Session, said he was already in the building because he’d never left. 

As the protesters broke down police barricades and stormed into the Capitol, lawmakers cowering inside the House Chamber were told to put on gas masks as tear gas was fired in the Rotunda. Officers at the front door of the chamber had their guns drawn at a protester trying to break down the door.

The Capitol was placed on lockdown again at around 6.45pm due to an 'internal security threat' after an officers was reportedly found unconscious. Anyone inside a building at the Capitol complex was instructed to take cover in an office with doors locked

The Capitol was placed on lockdown again at around 6.45pm due to an ‘internal security threat’ after an officers was reportedly found unconscious. Anyone inside a building at the Capitol complex was instructed to take cover in an office with doors locked

For those fleeing, it was a race against time: Protesters were getting in as quickly as members of Congress could get out. 

One protester occupied the Senate dais and yelled: ‘Trump won that election’. Some protesters even occupied Pelosi’s office, sitting mockingly at a desk. 

The chaotic scenes unfolded soon after Trump addressed thousands of his supporters and urged them to march to the Capitol. The protesters organized via far-right social media sites, including Gab and Parler, telling each other the best routes to avoid police on their way to the Capitol.

After protesters started clashing with law enforcement, Trump tweeted to his supporters to ‘stay peaceful’. 

‘Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!’ the president wrote.

As the violence escalated, Trump tweeted: ‘I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!’ 

He did not initially tell the protesters to leave. 

Biden on Wednesday evening called for the restoration of ‘simple decency’ after the mob delayed Congress from certifying the results of November’s election. 

‘At this hour, our democracy is under unprecedented assault unlike anything we’ve seen in modern times,’ Biden said. He called it ‘an assault on the rule of law like few times we have ever seen it.’ 

‘I call on this mob to pull back and allow democracy to go forward. 

In an address that took less than 10 minutes and was televised against a split screen of the still-occupied Capitol building, Biden attempted to project calm and to say that a deeply divided country can still come together – while also expressing outrage. 

He stopped short of accusing Trump of treason but said the events ‘bordered on sedition’. 

‘At their best, the words of a president can inspire,’ Biden added. ‘At their worst they can incite.’ 

Minutes after Biden’s address, Trump posted his own video telling his mob of supporters that he ‘loves’ them, but to ‘go home’. In the same breath he also continued to peddle his baseless claims that the ‘election was stolen’. 

‘There’s never been a time like this where such a thing happened where they could take it away from all of us – from me, from you, from our country. This was a fraudulent election, but we can’t play into the hands of these people,’ he said.

‘We have to have peace. So, go home. We love you. You’re very special. You’ve seen what happens. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel. But go home and go home in peace.’ 

The video was later removed by Facebook, Twitter and YouTube because it violated their policies.  

The president then posted another tweet reiterating his false claim that the election was stolen and encouraging supporters to ‘remember this day’. The tweet was perceived by some as an attempt to rile up the Capitol crowds.  

‘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,’ he tweeted. ‘Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!’

Twitter removed the tweet for violating its rules. 

Mob smashes through police barriers and wall of tear gas to stop Biden’s victory being certified: How Trump protesters turned Congress into a battlefield 

Capitol Police used tear gas as hundreds of people were seen climbing the marble steps outside the building. They banged on the locked doors of the Capitol and smashed the glass in the doors.

Demonstrators fought with police and then forced their way into the building. 

Asked how so many people were able to get in, officials said they were focusing their attention on keeping lawmakers inside safe. 

‘We love you. You are special.’ Trump finally addresses Capitol mob HE unleashed and says ‘Go home now. We have to have peace’ 

Donald Trump told his mob of supporters that he ‘loves’ them, but to ‘go home’ after they rampaged past police barriers to storm the U.S. Capitol.

But despite calling for his supporters to stand down, he continued to peddle the baseless claims that the ‘election was stolen’ in a video posted to Twitter Wednesday afternoon.

‘There’s never been a time like this where such a thing happened where they could take it away from all of us – from me, from you, from our country. This was a fraudulent election, but we can’t play into the hands of these people.

‘We have to have peace. So, go home. We love you. You’re very special. You’ve seen what happens. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel. But go home and go home in peace,’ Trump said.

It came hours after Trump stirred them into a frenzy at his ‘Stop the Steal’ rally, telling them to march on the U.S. Capitol. 

The president still has not conceded the election and earlier Wednesday addressed a crowd at the ellipse spouting conspiracy theories that he still had a path to win – if Vice President Mike Pence did his bidding, as well as if GOP lawmakers revolted.

Pence did no such thing.

 

The chaotic scenes unfolded soon after Trump addressed thousands of protesters and urged his supporters to march to the Capitol. After protesters started clashing with law enforcement following the Capitol breach, Trump tweeted to his supporters to 'stay peaceful'

The chaotic scenes unfolded soon after Trump addressed thousands of protesters and urged his supporters to march to the Capitol. After protesters started clashing with law enforcement following the Capitol breach, Trump tweeted to his supporters to ‘stay peaceful’

One video posted on TikTok appeared to show a group of about four officers standing by as protesters pushed past a barricade near the Capitol building. 

The officers did not appear to try to block the stampede, instead walking with it toward the building.  

One protester jumped up on the dais, where the president of the Senate presides, and yelled: ‘Trump won that election.’

Several dozen protesters roamed the halls of the Capitol, yelling: ‘Where are they?’

Tear gas was being used by Capitol Police as protesters filled both the House and Senate side of the Capitol.

Another protester in the Senate yelled: ‘Where’s Pence, show yourself!’

The chaos caused the Capitol to go on lockdown and disrupted the certification of the electoral college vote that would cement Biden’s victory. 

Mayor Bowser declared a 6pm curfew for the city and said multiple law enforcement agencies would be patrolling the streets. Just before the curfew went into effect she was asked multiple by times by CNN if curfew violators would be arrested, but she refused to give a clear answer. 

Bowser said ‘many’ arrests had already been made but did not have a specific number.  

As footage started coming out of Capitol Hill being breached by angry Trump supporters, Donald Trump Jr  tried to quell the outburst with a tweet – that was critical of Democrats and liberals.

‘This is wrong and not who we are. Be peaceful and use your 1st Amendment rights, but don’t start acting like the other side,’ Trump Jr. wrote. ‘We have a country to save and this doesn’t help anyone.’

Meanwhile, the president continued to direct his rage at Pence, who earlier announced he would not single-handedly overturn the election results from his position of the chair.

‘Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!’ the president tweeted.

The extraordinary breech was a departure from security mishaps of the past. Protesters have routinely disrupted televised hearings while in progress and even events inside the House chamber. But trained Capitol Police are usually able to arrest disruptors and remove them immediately. Often formal charges are never filed.

But in Wednesday’s storming of the building, dozens of people made it by armed police officers and entered the building without going through any security set up to keep out those with weapons or dangerous items.

There were occasions after September 11th when the building was placed on lockdown and people were ordered to leave, but this usually happened when suspicious packages were discovered.

When the building is open, as it was before the pandemic, members of the general public are not allowed to walk unescorted on the second floor where lawmakers enter and exit the legislative chambers.

The protesters were aided by scaffolding constructed for the upcoming inauguration. 

In another tense piece of video from inside, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) tweeted video of protesters repeatedly rushing Capitol Police officers in the crypt, in the ground floor part of the building under the rotunda.

‘I like many people voted for President Trump in the 2020 election and hoped for a different result,’ McCaul wrote. ‘But violence and destruction is not the way to express your grievances. This is disgraceful and has to end.’

Trump supporters stand in the Capitol before storming the House Chamber on Wednesday afternoon

Trump supporters stand in the Capitol before storming the House Chamber on Wednesday afternoon

Leigh Ann Luck dressed up as Statue of Liberty shouts as supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather

Leigh Ann Luck dressed up as Statue of Liberty shouts as supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather 

A wall of Trump supporters are seen outside the Capitol before crowds breached barriers and stormed inside

A wall of Trump supporters are seen outside the Capitol before crowds breached barriers and stormed inside

Several windows inside the Capitol were shattered during Wednesday's chaos at the Capitol

Several windows inside the Capitol were shattered during Wednesday’s chaos at the Capitol 

Police deploy a stream of tear gas a protesters occupying the Capitol grounds on Wednesday

Police deploy a stream of tear gas a protesters occupying the Capitol grounds on Wednesday 

A woman is pushed into an ambulance near the Capitol on Wednesday evening

A woman is pushed into an ambulance near the Capitol on Wednesday evening 

Trump’s mob causes chaos nationwide: MAGA fans take to the streets in California, Oregon, New Mexico and Kansas and surround Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office   

As the US Capitol was stormed, Trump supporters staged smaller rallies outside statehouses in several cities, including Atlanta, Denver, Phoenix and Salt Lake City. 

Protesters swarmed into the Kansas statehouse in Topeka and gathered inside the first floor of the Capitol Rotunda, though the rally remained orderly, television station KSNT reported.

There were no immediate reports of violence, despite the flurry of demonstrations by pro-Trump demonstrators echoing his baseless claims that he was robbed of a re-election victory due to voter fraud.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said on Twitter that he had instructed city agencies to close municipal offices early in Colorado’s state capital ‘out of an abundance of caution’ after about 700 demonstrators gathered at the statehouse downtown.

‘My hope is that this situation will be resolved quickly. Pray for our nation,’ he tweeted.

A major courthouse complex and two other government buildings in Atlanta, the capital of Georgia, were also ordered closed due to protests near the statehouse.

Among those whose daily routines were altered were aides to Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, the Republican election official pressured by Trump in a weekend telephone call to ‘find’ enough additional votes for the president to overturn the November victory of President-elect Joe Biden, due to take office in two weeks.

Raffensperger’s spokesman, Walter Jones, said staff left their offices after lunch out of an abundance of caution because of protests. He said Raffensperger was not in the office at the time.

In Salt Lake City, Dana Jones, director of the state Capitol Preservation Board, said she had asked building staff to work from home on Wednesday afternoon on the advice of the Utah Highway Patrol and public safety commissioner, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

The precaution was taken, the newspaper said, in response to a crowd of about 250 pro-Trump demonstrators who posted signs on the Capitol building that read: ‘Stop the steal!’ and ‘Trump won!’

A Utah state police spokesman said security had been beefed up at the Capitol, though he said protesters there were ‘very peaceful,’ the Tribune reported. It said one of its photographers was pepper-sprayed by individuals upset that he was documenting their protest.

Several hundred Trump supporters also staged a ‘Stop the Steal’ rally at the Arizona state Capitol in Phoenix, cheering and jeering while exhibiting a guillotine. 

MISSOURI: Armed men stand on the steps at the State Capitol after a rally in support of President Donald Trump

MISSOURI: Armed men stand on the steps at the State Capitol after a rally in support of President Donald Trump

ATLANTA: The crowd consisted of around 25 people, some of whom were carrying assault rifles

ATLANTA: The crowd consisted of around 25 people, some of whom were carrying assault rifles

LA: Christian Angelo Hill, 19, a Black Lives Matter supporter, reacts after being sprayed with an unknown substance during a rally held by U.S. President Donald Trump supporters

LA: Christian Angelo Hill, 19, a Black Lives Matter supporter, reacts after being sprayed with an unknown substance during a rally held by U.S. President Donald Trump supporters

OREGON: Protesters hold a rally in support of U.S. President Donald Trump at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem

OREGON: Protesters hold a rally in support of U.S. President Donald Trump at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem

TEXAS: Jack Finger, of San Antonio, protests the election with supporters of President Donald Trump Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Austin

TEXAS: Jack Finger, of San Antonio, protests the election with supporters of President Donald Trump Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Austin

ATLANTA: Georgia Capitol Police escorted Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger (above) and his staff out of the building shortly before 3pm

ATLANTA: Georgia Capitol Police escorted Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger (above) and his staff out of the building shortly before 3pm

‘I won’t betray my oath’: Pence publicly defies Trump’s demand to block Biden’s confirmation 

Trump told thousands of supporters just outside the White House that he wanted Pence to ‘come through’ for us and demanded that he reject electoral votes out of hand over that the president claims is ‘fraud.’

He threatened Pence saying ‘I’m not hearing good stories’ and telling him to have ‘courage’ to strike down swing states’ votes – a move which would defy the constitution.

But minutes before arriving on Capitol Hill to preside over the joint session of Congress to certify the election’s outcome, Pence bluntly told lawmakers that he would refuse to obey Trump’s orders.

Pence sent a letter to the 535 senators and representatives on Capitol Hill ahead of his presiding over the Joint Session that will certify Joe Biden’s victory.

In it, he outlined his belief in his role in the proceedings, which he notes is ‘ceremonial’ and adds that it doesn’t include the authority to ‘determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not.’

Trump has tried to put the blame on Pence for his expected loss on Wednesday but the president also lacks support among the majority of senators in his own party, which dooms his efforts for a congressional overthrow of the results. 

Pence acknowledged Trump’s allegations the election was rigged, of which there has been no proof and no court has upheld, in a likely peace offering to the president.

‘I share the concerns of millions of Americans about the integrity of this election,’ he wrote. 

Images emerged shortly before of hundreds of protesters descending on the steps of the Capitol after rallying near the White House for President Donald Trump

Images emerged shortly before of hundreds of protesters descending on the steps of the Capitol after rallying near the White House for President Donald Trump

A Capitol Police officer urged lawmakers to leave the building after top leaders were escorted out

A Capitol Police officer urged lawmakers to leave the building after top leaders were escorted out

Pence acknowledged Trump's allegations the election was rigged, which there has been no proof and no court has upheld, in a likely peace offering to the president

Pence acknowledged Trump’s allegations the election was rigged, which there has been no proof and no court has upheld, in a likely peace offering to the president

Members of the far-right group Proud Boys make 'OK' hand gestures indicating "white power" during the chaos

Members of the far-right group Proud Boys make ‘OK’ hand gestures indicating ‘white power’ during the chaos

Leigh Ann Luck dressed up as Statue of Liberty shouts as supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump protest

Leigh Ann Luck dressed up as Statue of Liberty shouts as supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump protest 

Tear gas was being used by Capitol Police as protesters filled both the House and Senate side of the Capitol

Tear gas was being used by Capitol Police as protesters filled both the House and Senate side of the Capitol

Capitol Police spray tear gas at Trump supporters as they try to break through a police barrier

Capitol Police spray tear gas at Trump supporters as they try to break through a police barrier 

In a letter Wednesday, Pence said, 'It is my considered judgment that my oath to support and defend the Constitution contains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not'

In a letter Wednesday, Pence said, ‘It is my considered judgment that my oath to support and defend the Constitution contains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not’

But he noted as vice president he does not have the power from the constitution to decide which electoral votes are counted and which are not.

‘As a student of history who loves the constitution and reveres its Framers, I do not believe that the Founds of our country intended to invest the vice president with unilateral authority to decide which electoral votes should be counted during the Joint Session of Congress and no Vice President in American history has ever asserted such authority,’ Pence noted.

He added vice presidents in the past have conducted ‘the proceedings in an orderly manner even where the count resulted in the defeat of their party or their own candidacy’.

‘It is my considered judgement that my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not,’ he said.

He concluded his letter with a prayer to God: ‘When the Joint Session of Congress convenes today, I will do my duty to see to it that we open the certificates of electors of the several states, we hear objections raised by Senators and Representatives, and we count the votes of the Electoral College for President and Vice President in a manner consistent with our Constitution, laws and history. So Help Me God.’  

Pelosi reminded lawmakers that only 11 members from each party were allowed on the House floor at a time due to social distancing. She called out Republicans for having too many lawmakers on the floor

Pelosi reminded lawmakers that only 11 members from each party were allowed on the House floor at a time due to social distancing. She called out Republicans for having too many lawmakers on the floor

'The law says voter registration ends on October 5. Democrats said we don't care what the law says they went to a court got an Obama appointed judge to extend in 18 days,' Republican Congressman Jim Jordan, a top Trump ally on Capitol Hill, complained of Arizona

‘The law says voter registration ends on October 5. Democrats said we don’t care what the law says they went to a court got an Obama appointed judge to extend in 18 days,’ Republican Congressman Jim Jordan, a top Trump ally on Capitol Hill, complained of Arizona

Speaker Nancy Pelosi presided over the debate. She sanitized the gavel before she used it. Pence had used it when he presided over the Joint Session

Speaker Nancy Pelosi presided over the debate. She sanitized the gavel before she used it. Pence had used it when he presided over the Joint Session

REPUBLICANS OBJECT TO ARIZONA’S VOTES 

When the certification process got underway shortly after 1pm Wednesday, lawmakers got through Alabama and Alaska, two states that went for Trump, before the first objection was filed for Arizona.

Rep. Paul Gosar, an Arizona Republican, objected to his state’s Electoral College votes going to Biden and Harris. He confirmed that his objection had been signed on to by a US senator.

Democrats in the chamber audibly groaned while droves of Republicans in the chamber stood up and clapped.

The move forced Pence to order the houses out of Joint Session. The senators in the House chamber started moving back toward their side of the US Capitol. 

On the House side, during their debate on the Arizona objection, Republican lawmakers used their time to complain about the treatment of the president, particularly the impeachment process and special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

They did not offer any proof of voter fraud but complained that voter laws were changed ahead of the November contest, which is not illegal.

‘The law says voter registration ends on October 5. Democrats said we don’t care what the law says they went to a court got an Obama appointed judge to extend in 18 days,’ Republican Congressman Jim Jordan, a top Trump ally on Capitol Hill, complained of Arizona.

Many states had their voter registration deadlines extended because of the coronavirus pandemic – the extension applied to voters of both parties. Other states extended the time period allowing mail-in voting, again because of the pandemic and it applied to all voters.

Democrats argued the election was legally conducted.

‘Under some of the most trying circumstances in our history, our fellow citizens conducted a free and fair election vindicating our founders belief once again that we were capable of self government, and a peaceful transition of power,’ Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff said.

Speaker Pelosi presided over the debate. She sanitized the gavel before she used it. Pence had used it when he presided over the Joint Session.

Pelosi also reminded lawmakers that only 11 members from each party were allowed on the House floor at a time due to social distancing. She called out Republicans for having too many lawmakers on the floor.

MITCH MCCONNELL SLAMS ELECTION ‘CONSPIRACY THEORIES’

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shamed Trump and his own Republican colleagues for mounting challenges to the Electoral College vote count, saying their doing so could lead to a ‘death spiral’ of American democracy – and pointing out there’s no real evidence of widespread voter fraud.

‘We’re debating a step that has never been taken in American history, whether Congress should overrule the voters and overturn a presidential election,’ he said on the Senate floor, after Rep Gosar and a batch of GOP senators, including Sen Ted Cruz, objected to Arizona’s Electoral College vote count.

McConnell ridiculed Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud in a five-minute speech, which will be one of his last as majority leader, and which he said was about the most important vote of his career.

‘The assertions range from specific, local allegations to Constitutional arguments to sweeping conspiracy theories,’ McConnell said.

He reminded senators that he was supportive of Trump using the country’s legal system, which handed the president and his team loss after loss. And pointed out that these cases were heard by some of the ‘all-star judges whom the president himself nominated’ – including on the U.S. Supreme Court.

McConnell said that every election is plagued by some instances of vote irregularity. ‘And of course that’s unacceptable,’ he said.

McConnell ridiculed President Donald Trump's claims of widespread voter fraud in a five-minute speech which will be one of his last as majority leader – and which he said was about the most important vote of his career

McConnell ridiculed President Donald Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud in a five-minute speech which will be one of his last as majority leader – and which he said was about the most important vote of his career

The top Senate Republican also said he supported ‘strong state-led voting reforms,’ adding that he didn’t wan tto see ‘last year’s bizarre pandemic procedures’ – like mail-in ballots that gave Democrats an edge – ‘become the new norm.’

‘But my colleagues nothing before us proves illegality anywhere near the massive scale, the massive scale that would have tipped the entire election,’ McConnell argued. ‘Nor can public doubt alone justify a radical break, when the doubt itself was incited without any evidence.’

He pointed out that the Constitution gives Congress a ‘limited role.’

‘We simply can’t declare ourselves a national board of elections on steroids,’ McConnell said.

Twisting the knife into Trump, McConnell also pointed out that the race between Biden and Trump ‘was not unusually close.’

‘The Electoral College margin was almost identical to what it was in 2016,’ McConnell pointed out.

‘If this election were overturned by mere allegations from the losing side our democracy would enter a death spiral,’ McConnell warned. ‘We’d never see a whole nation accept an election again.’

‘Every four years there would be a scramble for power at any cost,’ he added. 

TRUMP’S STOP THE STEAL RALLY 

This came after Trump excoriated ‘weak’ Republicans and demanded fealty from Pence to a rally crowd near the White House on Wednesday, where he demanded Pence and Congress overturn the election results that lead to his defeat.

In an extraordinary speech, Trump once again called his election ‘rigged’ just minutes before a joint meeting of Congress was to begin counting the certified electoral votes that have him losing to Joe Biden. 

Trump referred to votes that came in after 10pm election night – which consisted of in-person and mail-in ballots and denied him the lead he said he and his pollsters anticipated – as ‘these explosions of bullsh*t.’ 

Members of the crowd immediately chanted ‘Bullshi*t!’ in response. 

‘Our election was over at 10 in the evening,’ Trump said.

Trump mocked his party’s 2012 Republican presidential nominee, now-Sen. Mitt Romney, for conceded his own race back then.

‘We will never concede. It doesn’t happen,’ he said – although losing candidates have conceded for generations. ‘There’s never been anything like this. It’s a pure theft.’ 

Trump’s comments amounted to a declaration of war on elements of his party, after his lawyer Rudy Giuliani demanded ‘trial by combat’ against opponents of his claims of election fraud.

Trump spoke to a crowd of several thousand – but referred to them as consisting of ‘hundreds of thousands’ of supporters fathered on a lawn south of the White House that doesn’t hold that many.

He said his election was ‘stolen by the fake news media. That’s what they’ve done and that’s what they’re doing.’

Trump addressed his thousands of his supporters near the White House Wednesday at his 'Save America' rally and declared war on his own party, calling Republicans who opposed him 'weak'

Trump addressed his thousands of his supporters near the White House Wednesday at his ‘Save America’ rally and declared war on his own party, calling Republicans who opposed him ‘weak’

Hours after a humiliating defeat in one Georgia Senate race and the prospect of losing another, Team Trump showed no sign of conceding

Hours after a humiliating defeat in one Georgia Senate race and the prospect of losing another, Team Trump showed no sign of conceding

A stand was being erected at the base of the US Capitol as a pro-Trump supporter holds a flag, hours before Congress meets to certify the electoral college vote for Biden

A crowd of Trump supporters started gathering outside of the White House for a rally on Wednesday

A crowd of Trump supporters started gathering outside of the White House for a rally on Wednesday

He urged his supporters to march down to the Congress, which was to commence the count at 1 pm.

‘We’re going to walk down to the Capitol and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women,’ he said, speaking from behind a pane of bullet-proof material.

He turned up the heat on Pence, a potential 2024 contender who will preside over the count. His role is set in the Constitution and the Electoral Count Act, and is largely ceremonial.

‘Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us, and if he doesn’t that will be a sad day for our country because you’re sworn to uphold our Constitution,’ he said.

Trump acknowledged that he has tried to pressure Pence into rejecting votes from states he lost, quoting from a conversation he has denied happened.

‘All Vice President Pence has to do is send it back to the states to re-certify and we become president and you are the happiest people,’ he told his fans, who cheered ‘Stop the Steal!’ at times.

‘I said Mike, that doesn’t take courage. What takes courage is to do nothing. That takes courage. And then we’re stuck with a president who lost the election by a lot and we have to live with that,’ he said of Biden.

Categories
Technology US

Facebook declares “emergency situation” and removes Trump video

As rioters stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday, Facebook removed a video from President Donald Trump responding to the violence. The decision came around an hour after the video was posted on the platform.

“This is an emergency situation and we are taking appropriate emergency measures, including removing President Trump’s video,” Guy Rosen, Facebook vice president of integrity, said in a tweet Wednesday. “We removed it because on balance we believe it contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence.”

In Trump’s video, he responded to the mob violence descending on the US Capitol as lawmakers were set to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election. In the minute-long clip, Trump called on rioters to peacefully “go home” hours after the initial invasion began. He also made false claims that the most recent US election results were fraudulent.

“We had an election that was stolen from us,” Trump stated falsely in the video. “It was a landslide election and everyone knows it, especially the other side. But you have to go home now.”

Less than an hour later, Facebook also removed a text post from Trump which sought to justify the attack, telling supporters to “remember this day forever!”

Facebook placed a handful of labels on Trump’s video before finally deciding to remove it altogether. These previous labels focused on debunking Trump’s claims that the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent. YouTube also removed the video, saying in a tweet, “Like other companies, we’re allowing these videos because discussion of election results & the process of counting votes is allowed on YT. These videos are not being surfaced or recommended in any prominent way.”

Twitter labeled Trump’s video, citing “a risk of violence,” but did not remove it as of publication.

Updated 6:21PM ET: Added Facebook’s decision to remove Trump’s text post in addition to the video.

Categories
Chicago Headline USA

Kenosha sheriff declares state of emergency ahead

Wisconsin has mobilized the National Guard and the Kenosha County Sheriff has declared a state of emergency ahead of a decision over the charges for an officer who shot Jacob Blake, as protesters took to the streets. 

The Kenosha City Council held a meeting on Monday and agreed to grant Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian emergency powers as officials prepare for expected unrest following the decision of whether to charge the cops involved in the shooting in August.  

Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey shot Jacob Blake seven times on August 23 as Blake was about to get into an SUV during a domestic dispute.

Activists show support for Jacob Blake Jr. during a vigil near the Kenosha County Courthouse on January 4, in Kenosha, Wisconsin

Jacob Blake Jr., 29, was shot seven times in the back by a Kenosha police officer on August 23 last year and and was left paralyzed from his injuries. A decision on whether to charge the officer is expected to announced shortly

Jacob Blake Jr., 29, was shot seven times in the back by a Kenosha police officer on August 23 last year and and was left paralyzed from his injuries. A decision on whether to charge the officer is expected to announced shortly 

Jacob Blake was discharged from hospital in October 2020 where he had been recovering for more than a month after being shot seven times in the back by police during a domestic disturbance call

Jacob Blake was discharged from hospital in October 2020 where he had been recovering for more than a month after being shot seven times in the back by police during a domestic disturbance call

The police union has maintained Blake resisted arrest and was armed with a knife, although state investigators have said only that a knife was found on the floor of the vehicle. 

Blake’s three children were in the back seat of the SUV when he was shot.

Blake was admitted to a Milwaukee hospital where he spent over a month recovering before being transferred to a spinal rehabilitation center in Chicago in October 2020. 

After the incident, his family initially stated Blake was paralyzed from the waist down, however it was unclear if the condition was permanent. Civil rights attorney Ben Crump later said it would ‘take a miracle’ for Blake to walk again. 

The shooting sparked protests that went on for several nights. Some of them turned violent, with some protesters burning businesses and members of self-styled militias answering a call on social media to travel to the city. 

Prosecutors have charged Kyle Rittenhouse of Antioch, Illinois, with shooting three people, killing two of them, with an assault-style weapon during one of the demonstrations. Rittenhouse, who is white, was 17 at the time of the shootings. Conservatives have rallied to Rittenhouse’s legal defense.

Jacob Blake Sr., the father of Jacob Blake Jr., attends a vigil near the Kenosha County Courthouse on January 4

Jacob Blake Sr., the father of Jacob Blake Jr., attends a vigil near the Kenosha County Courthouse on January 4

Activists show support for Jacob Blake Jr. during a vigil near the Kenosha County Courthouse on January 4, in Kenosha, Wisconsin

Activists show support for Jacob Blake Jr. during a vigil near the Kenosha County Courthouse on January 4, in Kenosha, Wisconsin

Jacob Blake Sr., father of Jacob Blake, holds a candle at a rally Monday, January 4, in Kenosha, Wisconsin

Jacob Blake Sr., father of Jacob Blake, holds a candle at a rally Monday, January 4, in Kenosha, Wisconsin 

Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley is expected any day to announce whether Sheskey will face criminal charges. 

Fearing a repeat of the August protests, city officials adopted an emergency resolution Monday night and are planning to take other steps, including setting up a limited area for protests, imposing a curfew and closing roads. 

Concrete barricades and oversized metal fencing surrounded the Kenosha County Courthouse Monday night.

Meanwhile, Gov. Tony Evers activated 500 National Guard troops to help Kenosha authorities when the decision is announced.

‘Our members of the National Guard will be on hand to support local first responders, ensure Kenoshans are able to assemble safely, and to protect critical infrastructure as necessary,’ Evers said in a statement.

Jacob Blake Sr., father of Jacob Blake, speaks at the rally on Monday evening. Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley is expected any day to announce whether Sheskey will face criminal charges

Jacob Blake Sr., father of Jacob Blake, speaks at the rally on Monday evening. Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley is expected any day to announce whether Sheskey will face criminal charges

Justin Blake, uncle of Jacob Blake, leads a march Monday, January 4, 2021, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey opened fire on Jacob Blake in August after responding to a domestic dispute, leaving him paralyzed

Justin Blake, uncle of Jacob Blake, leads a march Monday, January 4, 2021, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey opened fire on Jacob Blake in August after responding to a domestic dispute, leaving him paralyzed

A man waits for the start of a rally for Jacob Blake, Monday, January 4, in Kenosha, Wisconsin

A man waits for the start of a rally for Jacob Blake, Monday, January 4, in Kenosha, Wisconsin

Blake’s father led a march through the city Monday evening, calling on people to ‘make noise’ and be ‘heard around the world.’

‘(Sheskey) tried to kill my son and could have killed my grandchildren,’ Jacob Blake Sr. said during a news conference before the march. ‘He shot him seven times in his back unjustifiably.’

The family said it’s taken too long for a charging decision, and the precautions suggest that Sheskey won’t be charged.

‘What is the National Guard for?’ Jacob Blake Sr. said. ‘They going to deliver mail? Deliver ice cream? What do you think they’re here for?’

Tanya McLean, executive director of the community organization Leaders of Kenosha and a friend of the Blake family, said as Monday evening’s march was kicking off that violence isn’t acceptable.

‘No matter what the decision is, we are seeking nonviolence,’ she said. ‘We want everybody to come out, make as much noise as you want, but we don’t want any destruction of property or businesses. We are for nonviolence. Anything else is not acceptable for this community.’

Categories
Headlines UK

Brexit: Nigel Farage declares victory as Boris Johnson seals UK deal

‘The war is over!’ Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage declares victory as Boris Johnson seals historic trade deal with the EU

  • Nigel Farage announced history had been made as Johnson sealed a Brexit deal
  • The leader of the Brexit Party said today was the day ‘people beat the politicians’
  • He said Johnson was also set to be known as  ‘the man that finished the job’

Nigel Farage has declared victory following the Brexit deal agreed by Boris Johnson today after four years of wrangling.

The leader of the Brexit Party announced that history had been made, with today set to be remembered as the day ‘the people beat the politicians’, and Boris to be known as ‘the man that finished the job’.

Taking to Twitter to both criticise and congratulate Johnson’s efforts, the Brexiteer wrote: ‘However unhappy I might be about some of the detail, in 100 years time, kids in school will read that the people beat the politicians.’ 

He posted a video of himself speaking to Talk Radio, in which he proclaimed ‘the war is over’.

The leader of the Brexit Party, Nigel Farage (pictured), announced that history had been made, with today set to be remembered as the day ‘the people beat the politicians’

Speaking to the show Farage said: ‘He [Boris Johnson] and Michael Gove were the two senior Conservative politicians, that when the referendum came, albeit late in the day but that’s not the point, they had the guts to back Brexit. And thank goodness they did. So, yes, Boris will be seen as the man that finished the job.’

He went on to suggest that despite some compromise by Johnson over control of fisheries, the leader had created a ‘new treaty that’s a bit closer to a partnership agreement’.

Farage added: ‘Perhaps not perfectly. But yes, he’s done what he said he’d do on the big picture. I suspect on some of the detail, such as we’ll be back in charge of our fisheries, history may judge some of those aspects a little more harshly but on the big stuff.

Boris Johnson (pictured speaking to Ursula von der Leyen by video link today) said the UK could now take advantages of the benefits of Brexit

Boris Johnson (pictured speaking to Ursula von der Leyen by video link today) said the UK could now take advantages of the benefits of Brexit

‘The war is over. It has gone on for decades in this country from the Maastricht rebellion onwards, it’s never ever gone away. The fight over whether we should be part of the European structures or not.

‘And now we’re out, arguably with a new treaty that’s a bit closer to a partnership agreement. It’s not perfect, but goodness me. It’s still progress.’

Boris Johnson made history by sealing future trade terms to avert a chaotic split when the transition period ends on January 1, after Lord Frost and Michel Barnier thrashed out a 2,000-page text.

Downing Street said the agreement was ‘fantastic news’ – with Mr Johnson now set to hold a press conference. 

Ursula von der Leyen told her own briefing in Brussels (right) that the terms were ‘fair and balanced’

Downing Street released images of Mr Johnson and Ms von der Leyen giving their final approval for the trade agreement

Downing Street released images of Mr Johnson and Ms von der Leyen giving their final approval for the trade agreement

A senior No10 source said: ‘Everything that the British public was promised during the 2016 referendum and in the general election last year is delivered by this deal.

‘We have taken back control of our money, borders, laws, trade and our fishing waters.

‘The deal is fantastic news for families and businesses in every part of the UK. We have signed the first free trade agreement based on zero tariffs and zero quotas that has ever been achieved with the EU.’

Ursula von der Leyen told her own briefing in Brussels that the terms were ‘balanced’. ‘We have finally found an agreement. It was a long and winding road but we’ve got a good deal to show for it,’ she said.

She said the EU had protected its single market, and achieved ‘five-and-a-half years of predictability for our fishing communities and strong tools to incentivise’ for access to continue afterwards. 

Ms von der Leyen said her overriding feeling was relief. ‘Parting is such sweet sorrow,’ she added.

What were the sticking points in Brexit talks? 

FISHING

The UK insisted throughout that it would take back control of its coastal waters from the end of the transition period.

But the EU was demanding its fleets maintain previous levels of access – with Emmanuel Macron under particular pressure from the French fishing industry.   

Initially the UK said it wanted to reclaim 80 per cent of the EU quotas from January 1.

However, Brussels suggested that only 18 per cent should be restored.

The two sides are thought to have found a ‘landing zone’ that includes a figure between those and a transition period.

If reports are right that the UK is reclaiming just 25 per cent of the EU’s fishing quota, phased in over five and a half years, that would look to be closer to the EU position.

However, Downing Street will insist that means the UK can be catching two thirds of fish in our waters by the year 2026.

LEVEL PLAYING FIELD 

The EU insisted the UK should commit to ‘level playing field’ provisions, guaranteeing that it will not undercut businesses with lower environmental standards and regulation.

State aid has emerged as a particular issue, especially as coronavirus makes swathes of the economy unviable. 

But the UK said it must regain sovereign powers to decide on rules, even though it has no plans to lower standards or warp competition by subsidising the private sector. 

It appeared this area was close to resolution, before France reportedly laid down a series of extra conditions including huge punishments for breaking the rules.

Although the UK is happy with ‘non-regression’ – meaning current standards are accepted as a baseline – it took issue with swingeing unilateral penalties and complained the proposals were ‘asymmetrical’ as the EU would be freer to prop up industries. 

GOVERNANCE

The enforcement of any deal, and who decides whether rules are broken, has been one of the flashpoints from the start.

Breaking free of the European Court of Justice was among the biggest demands of Brexiteers from the referendum. 

But the EU was pushing to keep control of the governance, as well as insisting on tough fines and punitive tariffs for breaches.

The situation was inflamed by the row over the UK’s Internal Market Bill, which gave ministers the power to override the previous Brexit divorce terms to prevent blockages between Britain and Northern Ireland.

The resolution of that spat is thought to have been critical in hammering out a wider trade deal. 

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Scott Disick declares his love for Kourtney Kardashian with this tender message | The State

Scott Disick and Kourtney Kardashian.

Photo:
Chris Weeks. / Getty Images

This Monday at the home of Kourtney kardashian they were celebrating twice: their sons Mason and Reign were turning 11 and 6 respectively. The oldest of her three children and the youngest of the house have received, as expected, the congratulations of rigor from their famous aunts and the rest of the family through social networks, but the one that has attracted the most attention of all of them has been the one that his father has published on Instagram.

On the great day of her offspring, Scott disick He has decided to focus all his attention on the mother of the children, to whom he has dedicated a few touching words that have once again stoked rumors about a possible reconciliation despite the fact that their romantic relationship officially ended in 2015.

Thank you, Kourtney Kardashian, for being the best baby factory in town. I couldn’t have dreamed of a better person to have these wonderful children. I love you and our family more than anything in this world“, The businessman has written next to an image in which his ex and he appear posing with the birthday boys.

In theory, Scott started a new romance a few weeks ago with a 19-year-old model named Amelia Hamlin, the daughter of reality star “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” Lisa Rinna and actor Harry Hamlin. However, in his own environment they do not rule out the possibility that he and Kourtney will give each other another chance in the future due to how much his personal situation has changed since he overcame his problems with alcohol.

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Sports UK

Exeter turn on style for fans and Sam Simmonds declares: “That was for YOU”

Sam Simmonds picked up where he left off in Europe to keep a promise he made to Exeter fans starved of live rugby.

Eight weeks after Chiefs won the Champions Cup and Simmonds was named player of the tournament, the turnstiles of Sandy Park reopened.

Supporters who last saw Exeter play when they were neither kings of Europe nor Premiership champions came hoping the magic had not worn off.

They were rewarded with emphatic confirmation it had not as Chiefs launched their title defence with a six-try masterclass.

Simmonds opened the scoring, was named man of the match and dedicated the win to the fans.

Olly Woodburn caps a fine individual display with one of Exeter’s six tries

“We wanted to put on a performance for our fans who had hurt from not seeing us in the best year we’ve ever had,” he said.

“We didn’t want to be the team that just performed for one year and were happy with that.”

Ironically, the start was as uncomfortable as boss Rob Baxter feared it would be when warning of the potential for distraction having fans back.

Here’s what you missed: Chiefs fans were unable to attend their club’s Champions Cup final triumph

Joe Simmonds put the opening kick-off straight out and Chiefs were turned over at the first scrum.

But Exeter quickly twigged that they needed to bring the fuel to start the fire rather than expect the crowd to light it for them.

Once they did, once Jannes Kirsten and Dave Ewers teamed up to dump an onrushing Warrior on his backside, it was business as usual.

Sam Simmonds has not played for England since 2018

The throaty roar which greeted the turnover was followed by a pin-point kick to the corner by Henry Slade, a line-out drive and try for Sam Simmonds.

Now the place crackled with energy. Tom O’Flaherty cut a peach of a line, Glasgow infringed at the breakdown, Chiefs worked it into the red zone and Jonny Gray dotted down.

Before Glasgow had recovered from one of their old boys scoring against them it happened a second time, Slade and Olly Woodburn unpicking Warriors’ defence, Stuart Hogg doing the rest.

Stuart Hogg dives to score against his former club

There is a swagger about Exeter these days and they really need no help from the opposition.

But Glasgow tossed them a bone all the same, Grant Stewart overthrowing a lineout for Jack Yeandle to bag the bonus point.

Chiefs’ command of the game was summed up by their fifth try. Sam Simmonds not only won a turnover but got up and made 20 metres.

Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter with last season’s Premiership and Champions Cup trophies

The ball came back to Ollie Devoto who dropped it onto his boot for Woodburn to score without breaking stride.

The winger was not done, exploding into the 13 channel to send Jonny Hill over for the final score and give Joe Simmonds his sixth conversion.

It will be tougher in Toulouse next week where Sam Simmonds concedes Exeter will arrive wearing a target.

“But starting the campaign like this sets down a good marker,” he said. “We’re happy with that.”

EXETER – Tries: S Simmonds, Gray, Hogg, Yeandle, Woodburn, Hill. Cons: J Simmonds 6.

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Marcus Rashford declares himself a Manchester United player for life

Marcus Rashford has declared himself a Manchester United player for life and ruled out ever playing for another club.

Ahead of the Manchester derby at Old Trafford against local rivals City, Rashford underlined his lifelong devotion to the red half of the city.

Real Madrid and Barcelona are among the clubs who could swoop for Rashford in the coming years, but the Manchester-born forward says his heart belongs to United.

Rashford, 23, who became a national hero for his tireless campaigning to end child poverty, said: “For me, I never look beyond Manchester United.

“As a kid, I’ve never looked beyond Manchester United.

Marcus Rashford wants to stay at Manchester United for the rest of his career

“In my mind, it wouldn’t sit right for me to be pulling on another shirt.

“I just want to do the best I can for the club whilst I’m here, so hopefully I’m here for the long-term.”

Rashford was speaking after winning the Sport for Social Change award at Sports Journalists’ Association British Sports Awards, for his campaigning work to ensure all vulnerable children receive free school meals.

England striker Rashford, awarded an MBE for his work away from football, said his passion to improve the lives of children and their families was the reason for his relentless campaigning.

“You know when you’re a kid and you really believe in something, and there’s nothing that can really knock you off that track if you believe something’s true, whatever it may be?” said Rashford.

“I believe the structure has needed to change for a long time, and I believe that in the future, kids deserve a better chance and families deserve a better chance to become successful.

“It’s been a difficult period for everyone with the lockdowns and the virus going around.”