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President Donald Trump badgered and pleaded with Georgia’s election chief to overturn Joe Biden’s win in the state, suggesting in a telephone call that the official “find” enough votes to hand Trump the victory.

The conversation Saturday was the latest step in an unprecedented effort by a sitting president to pressure a state official to reverse the outcome of a free and fair election that he lost. The renewed intervention and the persistent and unfounded claims of fraud by the first president to lose reelection in almost 30 years come nearly two weeks before Trump leaves office and two days before twin runoffs in Georgia that will determine control of the Senate.


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Congress on Friday overrode President Donald Trump’s veto of a defense policy bill, a first by lawmakers since he took office nearly four years ago, ensuring that the measure becomes law despite Trump’s rejection.

In an extraordinary New Year’s Day session, the Republican-controlled Senate easily turned aside the veto, dismissing Trump’s objections to the $740 billion bill and handing him a stinging rebuke just weeks before he leaves the White House.

Trump lashed out on Twitter, saying the Senate missed an opportunity to eliminate protections for social media platforms that he said give “unlimited power to Big Tech companies. Pathetic!!!″


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The Christmas Day bombing in downtown Nashville led to phone and data service outages and disruptions over hundreds of miles in the southern U.S., raising new concerns about the vulnerability of U.S. communications.

The blast seriously damaged a key AT&T network facility, an important hub that provides local wireless, internet and video service and connects to regional networks. Backup generators went down, which took service out hours after the blast. A fire broke out and forced an evacuation. The building flooded, with more than three feet of water later pumped out of the basement; AT&T said there was still water on the second floor as of Monday.


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The Census Bureau will miss a year-end deadline for handing in numbers used for divvying up congressional seats, a delay that could undermine President Donald Trump’s efforts to exclude people in the country illegally from the count if the figures aren’t submitted before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

The Census Bureau plans to deliver a population count of each state in early 2021, as close to the missed deadline as possible, the statistical agency said in a statement late Wednesday.


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The pandemic aid and spending package signed by U.S. President Donald Trump last Sunday includes more than $800 million to fund rare earths and strategic minerals research, spending that mining companies say will help counteract China’s dominance over the sector.

The $2.3 trillion, 5,593-page bill essentially codifies Trump’s executive orders on rare earths, a group of 17 minerals used to make magnets for electric vehicles, other green technologies and weapons.


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U.S. trade officials said on Wednesday they were increasing tariffs on certain European Union products, including aircraft-related parts and wines from France and Germany, amid an ongoing civil aircraft dispute between Washington and Brussels.

In a statement, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said it was adding tariffs on aircraft manufacturing parts and certain non-sparkling wines as well as cognacs and other brandies from France and Germany.


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The unprecedented cyber attack on U.S. government agencies reported this month may have started earlier than last spring as previously believed, a U.S. senator involved in cybersecurity said on Wednesday.

U.S. investigators originally thought that the attack on government agencies and private industry targets began in March or April, including breaches of Treasury, State, Commerce and Energy Departments. State-backed Russian hackers were identified as the suspects. Russia has denied involvement.


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U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday ruled out a vote on a bill to raise coronavirus relief checks to $2,000 from $600, likely killing the effort pushed by President Donald Trump.

$2,000 checks have no 'path' in Senate: McConnell

McConnell said on the Senate floor that a bill passed by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, which sought to meet Trump’s demands for bigger checks, “has no realistic path to quickly pass the Senate.”


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Argentina’s Senate passed a law legalizing elective abortion in Pope Francis’ homeland early Wednesday after a marathon 12-hour session, a victory for the women’s movement that has been fighting for the right for decades.

The vote means that abortion will be legalized up to the 14th week of pregnancy, and also will be legal after that time in cases of rape or danger to the mother’s life. It will have repercussions across a continent where the procedure is largely illegal.

The measure, which passed 38-29 with one abstention, was already approved by Argentina’s Chamber of Deputies and has the support of President Alberto Fernández, meaning the Senate vote was its final hurdle.


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The first known U.S. case of a highly infectious coronavirus variant discovered in Britain was detected in Colorado on Tuesday as President-elect Joe Biden warned it could take years for most Americans to be vaccinated against COVID-19 at current distribution rates.

Biden’s prediction of a grim winter appeared aimed at lowering public expectations that the pandemic would be over soon after he takes office on Jan. 20, while putting Congress on notice that wants to significantly increase spending to expedite vaccine distribution, expand COVID testing and help reopen shuttered schools.