5 things you need to know now
5 things you need to know now
  • Trump reportedly called Kemp to ask him to help overturn Georgia election result

  • Trump heads to Georgia to campaign for Loeffler, Perdue

  • Judge orders full DACA restoration

  • U.K.'s Johnson, EU's von der Leyen agree to renew Brexit negotiations

  • Russia rolls out COVID-19 vaccine in Moscow

President Trump on Saturday called Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) and requested that he call a special session of the state legislature to get lawmakers to override the presidential election results and appoint electors to vote for him instead of the winner, President-elect Joe Biden, and demanded a signature audit for absentee ballots, a person familiar with the conversation told The Washington Post. Kemp declined, the person said. A spokesman for the governor confirmed Kemp and Trump spoke, and Kemp mentioned he spoke with Trump on Saturday morning in a tweet. The phone call is the latest attempt by the president to overturn the election results, which he falsely claims he lost because of widespread voter fraud, despite being unable to produce any evidence that it occurred in Georgia or any other swing state.

Source: The Washington Post, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp

President Trump headed to Georgia on Saturday to stump for Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.), both of whom are gearing up for runoff elections against Democratic challengers on Jan. 5 that will determine which party controls the upper chamber during the early stages of the Biden administration. Per Reuters, Trump's unfounded allegations of voter fraud in Georgia after the presidential election has some Republicans in the state worried that he will ultimately discourage people from going to the polls in January during his rally. If he focuses on Loeffler and Perdue, however, they think he could provide a significant boost. Vice President Mike Pence hosted a rally for Loeffler and Perdue in Savannah, Georgia, on Friday, where he encouraged voters to head to the polls regardless of their "doubts about the last election" and promised the process would be secure.

Source: Reuters, USA Today

Judge Nicholas Garaufis on Friday directed the Trump administration to fully restore the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals program, which was designed during the Obama administration to protect younger undocumented immigrants from deportation. The order requires the Department of Homeland Security to post a public notice by Monday that it will accept new DACA applicants for the first time since 2017. Under Garaufis' ruling, the government must also extend benefits — including permits to work — back to two years after they had been limited to one year, find a way to contact all immigrants eligible for the program, and produce a status report by Jan. 4. Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf issued a memorandum over the summer restricting DACA to people who were already enrolled, but Garaufis ruled in November that was invalid because Wolf had been unlawfully appointed to his position.

Source: The New York Times, Bloomberg

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen agreed to instruct their negotiators to renew Brexit talks in Brussels on Sunday after speaking over the phone Saturday, signaling that hope for a deal remains. The U.K. has already left the bloc, but the transition period — during which governing rules have remained unchanged — ends Dec. 31, and both sides are hoping to strike some sort of agreement and avoid a chaotic breakup. But major sticking points remain over fisheries, fair competition guarantees, and ways to solve future disputes. The two leaders acknowledged the differences are serious, but agreed a "further effort should be undertaken" to resolve them since no pact would be feasible without them. Johnson and Von der Leyen said they will speak again Monday night.

Source: Reuters, The Guardian

Russia launched its nationwide coronavirus immunization effort Saturday in Moscow, where thousands of workers in the city's health and education systems have signed up to receive the Sputnik V vaccine at 70 vaccinations facilities throughout the capital. Producers are only expected to make 2 million doses of the vaccine by the end of the year, so the Moscow rollout is considered a primary step. The two-shot vaccine has been the subject of international scrutiny since it was registered in Russia while still undergoing mass testing, but developers say it causes no serious side effects and is more than 90 percent effective, a rate similar to Moderna's and Pfizer's vaccine candidates. The Russian government says that more than 100,000 people have already received the vaccine, including top officials and military personnel.

Source: The Associated Press, BBC