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Daily Archives: January 5, 2021

As the coronavirus rages in California, L.A. medics are told to ration oxygen. – The New York Times

  1. As the coronavirus rages in California, L.A. medics are told to ration oxygen.  The New York Times
  2. ‘Human disaster’ unfolding in LA will get worse, experts say  CNN
  3. Los Angeles County ambulance crews told to ration oxygen amid surge in COVID-19 cases: report  Fox News
  4. Coronavirus Today: The post-Christmas surge is here  Los Angeles Times
  5. L.A. County orders 10-day quarantine for travelers  KTLA 5
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News

Illinois Teenager Who Shot and Killed 2, Wounded 1 Pleads Not Guilty

The 18-year-old Illinois teenager who shot and killed two people and injured a third at a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last August pleaded not guilty Tuesday to all charges, including intentional homicide.

Kyle Rittenhouse, who is charged with first-degree reckless homicide and five other criminal counts related to the shootings, appeared via video call in court to enter his plea.

On August 25, Rittenhouse traveled across state lines from his home in Antioch, Illinois, to Kenosha, where he later opened fire on protesters, killing Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber. The gunshots also wounded Gaige Groskreutz.

The victims were part of a massive crowd of protesters who were seeking justice for Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man who was left paralyzed after a white police officer shot him in the back seven times two days earlier.

Prosecutors say Rittenhouse made the trip in response to a social-media call to protect businesses during the demonstration, which was characterized by violence resulting in losses authorities estimated at about $50 million.

Rittenhouse, who is white and was 17 at the time of the incident, said through his lawyers that he shot at his victims in self-defense.

A pretrial conference for Rittenhouse was set for March 10, with a March 29 trial date, though his attorney Mark Richards indicated he would seek to delay that to allow more time to prepare.

In a related development, authorities announced that no charges will be brought against the white officer, Rusten Sheskey, who shot Blake. City authorities are moving to protect businesses in fear of a repeat of the August demonstrations.

Some 500 National Guard troops are set to be on hand to help Kenosha authorities, according to Gov. Tony Evers.

On Monday night, Blake’s father, who organized a march, questioned the need for the National Guard.

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

The Blake family has advised its sympathizers against a violent response to the city’s decision. During the march, Blake Sr. urged people to “make noise” and be “heard around the world.”

 

 

Outcomes Uncertain in Key US Senate Runoff Elections in Georgia

Two pivotal U.S. Senate runoff elections in the Southern state of Georgia were too close to call Tuesday night.

The outcomes of the closely watched contests will determine political control in the Senate during the first two years of President-elect Joe Biden’s term in the White House. But with roughly 80% of the vote counted in the two contests, no one was claiming victory or conceding defeat.

Republican Sen. David Perdue, seeking a second six-year term in office, led Democrat Jon Ossoff, a television documentary producer. In the other election, another Republican, Sen. Kelly Loeffler, one of the wealthiest lawmakers in Congress, was ahead of her Democratic challenger, the Rev. Raphael Warnock, a Baptist minister.

The vote counts were fluctuating throughout the evening, with the Democrats faring well when the votes were counted in the state’s major cities and the Republicans making substantial gains in smaller communities and rural areas.

At the moment, Republicans control the 100-seat Senate with a 50-48 advantage, needing to win one of the two Georgia contests to maintain their advantage and act as a bulwark against Biden’s legislative proposals after he is inaugurated January 20.  

WATCH: VOA Reports from Georgia

Victories for Ossoff and Warnock would give Democrats a 50-50 split with Republicans and a chance for Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, who will be able to preside over Senate proceedings when she chooses, to cast tie-breaking votes in the Democrats’ favor.

Democrats already narrowly control the House of Representatives, and with Biden set to assume power in two weeks, the party would control the White House and both chambers of Congress if Ossoff and Warnock win.

With Democratic control, Biden would likely offer more sweeping proposals to bolster health care in the U.S., tighten environmental controls that were eased during the four-year tenure of President Donald Trump and try to make it easier for immigrants to gain U.S. citizenship.

Conversely, Republican control of the Senate would make Biden’s political life more difficult and likely force protracted negotiations between his administration and Republican lawmakers on contentious issues.

The controlling party in the chamber also sets the legislative calendar, determining which issues are voted on while also holding a majority on each of the Senate’s issue-specific committees where potential laws are first considered.

The Perdue-Ossoff and Loeffler-Warnock contests were made necessary because none of the four candidates won a majority in the first round of voting in November.

Voter turnout was robust on Tuesday, with long lines of voters snaking into polling places, and came after nearly 3.1 million people voted before the official Election Day. Five million votes were cast in Georgia in the November balloting that included Biden’s race against Trump.

The overall vote count in U.S. runoff elections usually lags behind general elections, but about 100,000 people who did not vote in November in Georgia cast ballots in the Senate runoffs even before the official Election Day.  

Georgia Vote Tuesday Seen as Crucial for Biden Presidency

The early ballots were not tabulated until Tuesday night, and the official winners, depending on how close the vote counts are, may not be known until later in the week.  

Election officials said the early voting before Tuesday was particularly heavy in precincts that Biden won in November en route to winning the state’s 16 electoral votes by just under 12,000 votes. Biden was the first Democratic presidential candidate to win in Georgia since 1992.  

Trump has repeatedly claimed without evidence that he was defrauded out of winning the state, pleading in an extraordinary phone call last weekend with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to find him 11,780 more votes – enough to upend the Biden win by a single vote. But Raffensperger, a Republican, rebuffed Trump, saying Trump was “just plain wrong” in contending he was cheated out of a victory in the state.

Loeffler said she would support Trump’s challenge to Biden’s victory in Georgia when a joint session of Congress meets Wednesday to certify Biden’s 306-232 victory in the Electoral College, which determines the outcome of U.S. presidential elections rather than the national popular vote.

Election Day exit polls conducted by Edison Research showed that about seven in 10 Georgia voters were confident that the votes in Tuesday’s runoff elections would be counted accurately. Democrats were far more confident than Republicans.

The polling showed that more than nine in 10 Democrats said they were at least somewhat confident of an accurate vote count, Edison reported, compared with about half of Republicans and seven in 10 independents.

Even with the possible edge Democrats might have piled up in the early voting in Georgia, Republicans said they expected to do much better with in-person voting on Tuesday.  

A voter casts a ballot during Georgia’s Senate runoff elections, in Atlanta, Jan. 5, 2021.

That was the scenario that played out in November in Georgia and across the country when substantially more Democrats voted early, while more Republicans voted in person on the actual election day. Because the advance votes take longer to count, Trump appeared to be ahead in Georgia on election night before Biden pulled ahead and won the state. An initial vote count and two recounts confirmed Biden’s narrow edge in the state.

Both Biden and Trump held rallies Monday in Georgia in a final attempt to persuade voters.

“The power is literally in your hands,” Biden said. “Unlike any time in my career, one state, one state, can chart the course, not just for the next four years, but for the next generation.”

He said Georgians had voted in record numbers in the presidential election in November. “Now, we need you to vote again in record numbers,” he said.

Trump campaigned Monday in a heavily Republican enclave in Dalton in the northern part of the state, telling supporters the election could be their “last chance to save the America that we love.”

“The far left wants to destroy our country, demolish our history and erase everything that we hold dear,” Trump said. “This could be the most important vote you will ever cast for the rest of your life.” 

Monday rallies

Both Biden and Trump held rallies Monday in Georgia in a final attempt to persuade voters. 

“The power is literally in your hands,” Biden said. “Unlike any time in my career, one state, one state, can chart the course, not just for the next four years, but for the next generation.” 

He said Georgians had voted in record numbers in the presidential election in November. “Now, we need you to vote again in record numbers,” he said. 

Trump campaigned Monday in a heavily Republican enclave in Dalton in the northern part of the state, telling supporters the election could be their “last chance to save the America that we love.” 

“The far left wants to destroy our country, demolish our history and erase everything that we hold dear,” Trump said. “This could be the most important vote you will ever cast for the rest of your life.” 
 

Vote-Counting Starts in US Senate Runoff Elections in Georgia

Polls closed and vote-counting started Tuesday night in two pivotal U.S. Senate runoff elections in the southern state of Georgia that will determine political control in the Senate during the first two years of President-elect Joe Biden’s term in the White House. 

Republican Senator David Perdue faced a challenge from Democrat Jon Ossoff, a television documentary producer, while Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler, one of the wealthiest lawmakers in Congress, was opposed by the Rev. Raphael Warnock, a Baptist minister. Pre-election polls showed tight contests, with the Democrats holding slight leads. 

At the moment, Republicans control the 100-seat Senate with a 50-48 advantage, needing to win one of the two Georgia contests to maintain their advantage and act as a bulwark against Biden’s legislative proposals after he is inaugurated January 20. 

Victories for Ossoff and Warnock would give Democrats a 50-50 split with Republicans and a chance for Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, who will be able to preside over Senate proceedings when she chooses, to cast tie-breaking votes in the Democrats’ favor. 

WATCH: VOA Reports from Georgia

With Democratic control, Biden would likely offer more sweeping proposals to bolster health care in the U.S., tighten environmental controls that were eased during the four-year tenure of President Donald Trump and try to make it easier for immigrants to gain U.S. citizenship. 

Conversely, Republican control of the Senate would make Biden’s political life more difficult and likely force protracted negotiations between his administration and Republican lawmakers on contentious issues. 

The controlling party in the chamber also sets the legislative calendar determining which issues are voted on, and would hold a majority on each of the Senate’s issue-specific committees where potential laws are first considered. 

The Perdue-Ossoff and Loeffler-Warnock contests were made necessary because none of the four candidates won a majority in the first round of voting in November. 

Voter turnout was robust on Tuesday, with long lines of voters snaking into polling places, and came after nearly 3.1 million people voted before the official Election Day. Five million votes were cast in Georgia in the November balloting that included Biden’s race against Trump. 

The overall vote count in U.S. runoff elections usually lags behind general elections, but about 100,000 people who did not vote in November in Georgia cast ballots in the Senate runoffs even before the official Election Day. 

Georgia Vote Tuesday Seen as Crucial for Biden Presidency

When will votes be counted?

None of the early ballots are being tabulated until Tuesday night, and the official winners, depending on how close the vote counts are, may not be known until later in the week. 

Election officials said the early voting before Tuesday was particularly heavy in precincts that Biden won in November en route to winning the state’s 16 electoral votes by just under 12,000 votes. Biden was the first Democratic presidential candidate to win in Georgia since 1992. 

Fraud allegations 

Trump has repeatedly claimed without evidence that he was defrauded out of winning the state, pleading in an extraordinary phone call last weekend with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to find him 11,780 more votes – enough to upend the Biden win by a single vote. But Raffensperger, a Republican, rebuffed Trump, saying Trump was “just plain wrong” in contending he was cheated out of a victory in the state.  

Loeffler said she would support Trump’s challenge to Biden’s victory in Georgia when a joint session of Congress meets Wednesday to certify Biden’s 306-232 victory in the Electoral College, which determines the outcome of U.S. presidential elections rather than the national popular vote. 

Election Day exit polls conducted by Edison Research showed that about seven in 10 Georgia voters were confident that the votes in Tuesday’s runoff elections would be counted accurately. Democrats were far more confident than Republicans. 

The polling showed that more than nine in 10 Democrats said they were at least somewhat confident of an accurate vote count, Edison reported, compared with about half of Republicans and seven in 10 independents. 

Even with the possible edge Democrats might have piled up in the early voting in Georgia, Republicans said they expected to do much better with in-person voting on Tuesday. 

That was the scenario that played out in November in Georgia and across the country when substantially more Democrats voted early, while more Republicans voted in person on the actual Election Day. Because the advance votes take longer to count, Trump appeared to be ahead in Georgia on election night before Biden pulled ahead and won the state. An initial vote count and two recounts confirmed Biden’s narrow edge in the state. 

Monday rallies

Both Biden and Trump held rallies Monday in Georgia in a final attempt to persuade voters. 

“The power is literally in your hands,” Biden said. “Unlike any time in my career, one state, one state, can chart the course, not just for the next four years, but for the next generation.” 

He said Georgians had voted in record numbers in the presidential election in November. “Now, we need you to vote again in record numbers,” he said. 

Trump campaigned Monday in a heavily Republican enclave in Dalton in the northern part of the state, telling supporters the election could be their “last chance to save the America that we love.” 

“The far left wants to destroy our country, demolish our history and erase everything that we hold dear,” Trump said. “This could be the most important vote you will ever cast for the rest of your life.” 
 

Why Kim Kardashian Hasn’t Officially Filed for Divorce From Kanye West – E! NEWS

  1. Why Kim Kardashian Hasn’t Officially Filed for Divorce From Kanye West  E! NEWS
  2. Kim Kardashian, Kanye West divorce ‘imminent’: report  Fox News
  3. Why Kim Kardashian Sold KKW Beauty To Kylie Jenner Parent Company  HollywoodLife
  4. Kim Kardashian, Kanye West in Marriage Counseling but Divorce On the Table  TMZ
  5. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West Are Reportedly Getting a Divorce  Complex
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News