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In blistering ruling, judge throws out Trump suit in Pa.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A federal judge issued a scathing order Saturday dismissing the Trump campaign’s futile effort to block the certification of votes in Pennsylvania, shooting down claims of widespread irregularities with mail-in ballots. The case was always a long shot to stop President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, but it was President Donald Trump’s best hope to affect the election results through the courts, mostly because of the number of electoral votes, 20, at stake in Pennsylvania. His personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, stepped into a courtroom for the first time in decades to argue the case this past week. U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Brann wrote in his order that Trump had asked the court to disenfranchise almost 7 million voters.

In Lebanon, army courts target anti-government protesters

BEIRUT (AP) — Khaldoun Jaber was taking part in an anti-government protest near the presidential palace outside Beirut last November when several Lebanese intelligence officers in plainclothes approached and forcibly took him away. The demonstration was part of a wave of protests sweeping Lebanon against corruption and misrule by a group of politicians who have monopolized power since the country’s civil war ended three decades ago. Jaber didn’t know it then, but Lebanese security forces targeted him because of his social media posts criticizing President Michel Aoun. What followed were 48 harrowing hours of detention during which security officers interrogated him and subjected him to physical abuse, before letting him go.

Week offers snapshot of how Trump, Biden approach presidency

WASHINGTON (AP) — One spent the week at his home in Delaware carefully trying to build a government and preparing to take on a pandemic. The other largely kept to himself behind closed doors at a mostly empty White House, angrily tweeting and using his office and allies to try to subvert the results of an American election in a dangerous breach of democracy. If the differences between President-elect Joe Biden and President Donald Trump were not already clear, the days since the Nov. 3 election was decided have demonstrated the dramatically divergent ways in which each approaches the job of commander in chief.

Wisconsin officials: Trump observers obstructing recount

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Election officials in Wisconsin’s largest county accused observers for President Donald Trump on Saturday of seeking to obstruct a recount of the presidential results, in some instances by objecting to every ballot tabulators pulled to count. Trump requested the recount in Milwaukee and Dane counties, both heavily liberal, in hopes of undoing Democrat Joe Biden’s victory by about 20,600 votes. With no precedent for a recount reversing such a large margin, Trump’s strategy is widely seen as aimed at an eventual court challenge, part of a push in key states to undo his election loss. A steady stream of Republican complaints in Milwaukee was putting the recount far behind schedule, county clerk George Christenson said.

FDA allows emergency use of antibody drug Trump received

U.S. health officials Saturday agreed to allow emergency use of a second antibody drug to help the immune system fight COVID-19, an experimental medicine that President Donald Trump was given when he was sickened last month. The Food and Drug Administration authorized use of the Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. drug to try to prevent hospitalization and worsening disease from developing in patients with mild-to-moderate symptoms. The drug is given as a one-time treatment through an IV. The FDA allowed its use in adults and children 12 and over who weigh at least 88 pounds (40 kilograms) and who are at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 because of age or certain other medical conditions.

Analysis: With silence, GOP enables Trump’s risky endgame

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans in Congress are engaged in a risky but calculated bet that once President Donald Trump has exhausted his legal challenges to the election, he will come to grips with his loss to President-elect Joe Biden. But the opposite is happening. As one Trump court case after another falls by the wayside, Trump is doubling down on efforts to disrupt the election outcome. Rather than accept the reality of the vote, the president is using the weight of his office to try to squash it. He summoned Michigan state lawmakers to the White House on Friday after personally reaching out to GOP officials ahead of next week’s deadline to certify election results.

Many GOP lawmakers shrug off Statehouse mask-wearing rules

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Many Republican lawmakers in states where coronavirus cases and hospitalizations have surged are not only rejecting statewide mask mandates. They’re also resisting rules requiring them in their own capitols. Efforts to require lawmakers and staff to wear masks have received a cool reception even in statehouses that have seen outbreaks of the virus or where Republican governors have issued statewide mandates. It’s echoing a partisan divide nationwide over a simple step that health experts say is proven to help keep others safe. “We’re supposed to be modeling for our constituents and for our residents in our state,” said Arkansas state Sen.

COVID-19 deaths of Serbian clerics highlight virus worries

As coronavirus cases surge globally, the COVID-19 deaths of two senior Serbian Orthodox Church clerics — one who died weeks after presiding over the funeral of the other — are raising questions about whether some religious institutions are doing enough to slow the spread of the virus. More reports are emerging about people who attended religious services and contract the virus — some after parishioners seemed to ignore the pleas of church and health officials officials to wear masks, practice social distancing and other steps to combat the virus that’s killed nearly 1.4 million people worldwide. In Belgrade, many mourners paying their respects Saturday to Serbian Orthodox Church Patriarch Irinej ignored precautions and some kissed the glass shield covering the patriarch’s body, despite warnings not to do so from Serbia’s epidemiologists.

Judge rules against Trump global media chief after firings

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge has ruled against the head of the agency that runs the Voice of America and other U.S.-funded news outlets who was accused of trying to turn it into a propaganda vehicle to promote President Donald Trump’s agenda. The ruling effectively bars U.S. Agency for Global Media CEO Michael Pack from making personnel decisions and interfering in editorial operations. Pack, a conservative filmmaker, Trump ally and onetime associate of former Trump political adviser Steve Bannon, made no secret of his intent to shake up the agency after taking over in June. He proceeded to purge the leadership at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, Middle East Broadcasting Networks and the Open Technology Fund, which works to provide secure internet access to people around the world.

Carson says he’s ‘out of the woods’ after battling COVID-19

STERLING, Va. (AP) — Housing Secretary Ben Carson is crediting unapproved, experimental treatments with saving his life after he became “desperately ill” following his infection with the coronavirus. There is no medical evidence that the treatments Carson cited worked. A retired neurosurgeon, Carson said Friday that he believes he’s now “out of the woods.” He disclosed that his wife, Candy, also had COVID-19, the disease the coronavirus causes. Carson tested positive earlier this month. Most people recover from the disease, which has killed more than 250,000 Americans and sickened more than 12 million, including President Donald Trump and members of his family.





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