Elena Moore | KGOU
KGOU

Elena Moore

Elena Moore is an editorial assistant for NPR's Washington Desk working as the researcher for the 2020 campaign. She previously worked at NBC News and is also a proud former Washington Desk intern. Moore is a graduate from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and is originally from Brooklyn, N.Y.

A calico cat named Patches had belonged to Josie Gower, one of the 23 people killed in the mudslides that hit Santa Barbara, Calif., in January 2018. Patches was thought to have died too.

"We had kinda lost hope," Briana Haigh, Gower's daughter, told NPR. Her mom's several cats had slept in her garage, which was destroyed during the disaster.

Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley continues to face intense criticism for his decision to challenge the presidential election results, the futile enterprise that helped fuel pro-Trump rioters.

Hawley was the first U.S. senator to publicly vow to challenge the Electoral College tally, leading the effort with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

Updated at 9:05 p.m. ET

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he requested and has received Senate Sergeant at Arms Michael Stenger's immediate resignation.

The position, as the highest-ranked law enforcement officer in the Senate, will be filled by Jennifer Hemingway, the current Deputy Sergeant at Arms.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reconvened the U.S. House late Wednesday evening, hours after both the House and Senate were forced to go into recess and then into hiding as pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol building.

"We always knew that this responsibility would take us into the night and we will stay as long as it takes. Our purpose will be accomplished," Pelosi told the House.

As pro-Trump rioters began storming the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, Sen. Tammy Duckworth was heading to the Senate floor.

"I was actually in the tunnels under the complex when the breach occurred and Capitol Police told me to barricade myself in a secure location, which I did," the Illinois Democrat told NPR's All Things Considered.

Updated at 11:45 p.m. ET

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

The leaders of Saudi Arabia and Qatar signed a new agreement Tuesday, signaling a possible end to longstanding tensions between the two countries since the summer of 2017.

The move may also mark a shift for President-elect Joe Biden's foreign policy agenda as both countries are U.S. allies in the Gulf region and the U.S. has a large military base located in Qatar.

Updated at 8:44 p.m. ET

The head of a far-right extremist group, the Proud Boys, was arrested in Washington, D.C., on Monday evening less than a day before thousands of pro-Trump and far-right demonstrators are expected in the city.

Enrique Tarrio, 36, was taken into police custody and charged with destruction of property, according to a statement from the Metropolitan Police Department.

Iran says it intends to start enriching uranium to 20% at its Fordow nuclear facility, exceeding regulations set by the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action known as the Iran nuclear deal, as first reported by Reuters.

Updated at 8:47 p.m. ET

Much like the rest of 2020, New Year's celebrations look very different this year.

While large masses of people usually congregate in major cities around the world on New Year's Eve, many places are attempting to curb crowd sizes as the coronavirus continues to dominate public health concerns.

The clock has already struck midnight in a majority of the Eastern Hemisphere. Here's a look at how people are celebrating during the pandemic:

Sydney

Tokyo

Several people who were at a local New York City Republican club's Christmas party have tested positive for the coronavirus after a video surfaced showing attendees celebrating indoors without masks, Queens Daily Eagle reports.

Three cases have been identified by the Eagle. These include James Trent, who has since been hospitalized.

Updated at 4:40 p.m. ET

Argentina's Senate voted early Wednesday to legalize elective abortion, marking a historic shift in the heavily Catholic country that is the homeland of Pope Francis.

Following a debate that went well past midnight, the Senate passed the bill 38-29 with one abstention just over two weeks after the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Argentina's Congress, narrowly approved the measure.

Two police officers who were part of the raid that ended with the shooting and death of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman, are reportedly being terminated by the Louisville Metro Police Department. The move comes nine months after Taylor was killed in her apartment when police attempted to carry out a search.

Attorneys for detectives Myles Cosgrove and Joshua Jaynes have confirmed to member station WFPL that both have been given pre-termination letters by Chief Yvette Gentry.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET Wednesday

Colorado health officials say they may have found a second case of a coronavirus variant that was first identified in the United Kingdom. Officials are currently conducting more genetic testing to determine if the variant is present.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced one confirmed case on Tuesday, marking the first time the variant has been officially documented in the United States.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET Wednesday

Colorado health officials say they may have found a second case of a coronavirus variant that was first identified in the United Kingdom. Officials are currently conducting more genetic testing to determine if the variant is present.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced one confirmed case on Tuesday, marking the first time the variant has been officially documented in the United States.

Updated at 5:00 p.m. ET

Michigan's 16 electoral college votes have successfully been cast for President-elect Joe Biden, overcoming safety concerns from individuals disputing the results of the 2020 election.

In the days of counting that followed election night, there was plenty of stress in the Biden and Harris families. And the whole world could follow along.

The eldest granddaughter of President-elect Joe Biden, Naomi Biden, joked to her 188,000 Twitter followers that she couldn't stop watching cable news and that she'd "kill to be one of those people who 'can't eat when they're stressed' right about now."

President elect-Biden has named Louisa Terrell as White House director of legislative affairs, marking another step for Biden as he continues to assemble his policy operation.

Terrell is currently part of Biden's transition team. She previously worked in the Obama administration, assisting then-President Barack Obama with legislative affairs as well.

Terrell also has a background in the U.S. Senate, working for then-Sen. Biden and Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.

President-elect Joe Biden has won Georgia, according to a race call from The Associated Press, making it the final state to be decided in the presidential election.

The AP's call came more than two weeks after Election Day, but shortly after the state released results of a hand-conducted audit.

Updated on Jan. 21 at 5 p.m. ET

Hours after he was sworn in Wednesday, the U.S. Senate began confirming President Biden's nominees for key positions in his administration.

That's a slower pace than for recent administrations. Former President Donald Trump had two Cabinet members confirmed by Inauguration Day in 2017, while former President Barack Obama had six by the time he took the oath of office.

Biden has announced acting officials to temporarily lead federal agencies.

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