NPR News

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.

A newly elected member of the West Virginia House of Delegates has been seen in a video as part of the group of pro-Trump rioters who forced their way into the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

Updated at 4 a.m. ET

Congress certified President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris' victory early on Thursday, the end of a long day and night marked by chaos and violence in Washington, D.C. Extremists emboldened by President Trump had sought to thwart the peaceful transfer of power that has been a hallmark of modern American history by staging a violent insurrection inside the U.S. Capitol.

Since the beginning of this pandemic, experts and educators have feared that open schools would spread the coronavirus further, which is why so many classrooms remain closed. But a new, nationwide study suggests reopening schools may be safer than previously thought, at least in communities where the virus is not already spreading out of control.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Wrapping Up News Of The Day

Jan 6, 2021

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

All right, taking stock of the day now; a day that started with lawmakers on Capitol Hill and ended in the same space. In between, pro-Trump insurrectionists, many of them armed, broke down fences.

(SOUNDBITE OF RIOT AMBIENCE)

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

More than 50 people were arrested in Hong Kong in morning raids yesterday. It is the biggest roundup of pro-democracy activists and politicians since a new national security law was introduced last summer. NPR China correspondent John Ruwitch looks at what's behind this latest move.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

From France to Germany to The Netherlands, Europeans are venting frustration over the pace of their COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

The European Union began administering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Dec. 27 — two weeks after the United States and almost a month after the United Kingdom, which recently left the EU.

The Netherlands only just started Wednesday. A former senior health official there, Roel Coutinho, called the Dutch strategy "shameful" and warned it was "going to cost lives," according to the BBC.

Talking to friends this past week, I've described Anna North's new novel, Outlawed, as The Handmaid's Tale meets Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. That's a glib tagline, but there's some justification for it.

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Updated at 1:40 p.m. ET

The European Union is preparing to distribute the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to all its member countries, after the European Commission granted conditional authorization of the vaccine.

The EU acted hours after the European Medicines Agency endorsed the vaccine, in a move that will add another 160 million doses to its large-scale vaccination effort. Europeans have been receiving shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine since it was approved last month. And officials note that more vaccines are in the pipeline.

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

Democrat Jon Ossoff has defeated Republican David Perdue in the Georgia runoff, The Associated Press said Wednesday, giving Democrats control of the U.S. Senate.

"It is with humility that I thank the people of Georgia for electing me to serve you in the United States Senate," Ossoff said earlier Wednesday.

Perdue, whose Senate term expired earlier this week, has not conceded the race.

Updated 3:08 p.m. ET

Thousands of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, prompting the House and Senate to abruptly take a recess as the U.S. Capitol Police locked down the building. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered a citywide curfew from 6 p.m. on Wednesday until 6 a.m. on Thursday.

President Trump had a very public and direct message for his vice president on Wednesday morning ahead of the joint session of Congress at which Mike Pence is set to formally announce that President-elect Joe Biden won the Nov. 3 election.

Instead of Pence's plan to "follow the law and uphold the Constitution," Trump told him on Twitter that it was "a time for extreme courage" and urged him to overturn the results, something which Pence does not have the powers to do.

Congressional Democrats are planning a counterstrategy in anticipation of Republican efforts to object to the electoral vote counts in as many as six states.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will preside over any House debate and possible objections, and she has tapped four House Democrats to take the lead in responding to any Republican objections.

A significant share of Republicans plan to object to the Electoral College vote results, slowing down the inevitable that Joe Biden will be the next president.

Updated at 6:38 p.m. ET

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi informed House lawmakers that Congress will reconvene Wednesday night to continue its constitutional duty to count and certify the electoral votes after pro-Trump protestors breached the Capitol and forced Capitol Police to evacuate both the House and Senate.

Updated 5:08 p.m. ET

Kyle Rittenhouse, a young gunman facing criminal charges in the killing of two men and the serious injury of a third this summer in Kenosha, Wis., entered not guilty pleas to all charges during an arraignment Tuesday.

The leader of the right-wing group Proud Boys was released from police custody on Tuesday and ordered by a judge to leave Washington, D.C. — and stay away.

Henry "Enrique" Tarrio, 36, was arrested Monday shortly after his arrival in the District, where Trump supporters are gathering to rally during Congress' official certification of the Electoral College ballots on Wednesday.

Tarrio was charged with destruction of property and possession of high-capacity firearm magazines.

He was the last surviving member of the first climbing team to scale El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. And he spent his life fighting for conservation, protecting the Sierra Nevada in California.

But on New Year's Day, famed climber George Whitmore passed away at 89 due to COVID-19 complications, his wife Nancy told NPR.

Whitmore was one of the three-man team of climbers who were the first to reach the top of El Capitan in 1958 — carving a path known as "The Nose."

Actor Tanya Roberts died Monday evening in Los Angeles following a collapse on Christmas Eve.

Roberts was best known for her roles as one of TV's Charlie's Angels in the 1970s, as a so-called "Bond Girl" in the James Bond film A View To Kill (1985) and as the mother of one of the teens on That '70s Show, beginning in 1998. She had largely fallen out of the public eye in recent years. She was reported dead on Sunday, reported alive on Monday, then reported dead again as of Monday evening.

With the nation's eyes toward Washington, D.C., ahead of Wednesday's planned confirmation of Joe Biden's presidential election, Republicans in the Pennsylvania state Senate refused a confirmation of their own. The state Senate's first session of the new year devolved into shouting Tuesday as the Republicans who hold a majority in the chamber refused to swear in a Democratic member who won reelection in November.

Updated at 2:05 a.m. ET

Democrat Raphael Warnock has edged out Georgia Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler in a closely watched runoff election.

"Tonight, we proved that with hope, hard work and the people by our side, anything is possible," he told supporters in a virtual speech.

The Associated Press has also called the race for Warnock, who appeared to have beaten his opponent by just a few tens of thousands of votes.

President Trump has signed an executive order banning business with several leading Chinese technology companies, claiming apps run by the companies have the ability to spy on Americans, including federal employees.

Trump's order seeks to prohibit transactions with eight companies including Alipay, owned by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma; the payment platform on the popular app WeChat; and a Chinese messaging service called QQ owned by the Chinese tech giant Tencent.

Other software apps included in the order are CamScanner, QQ Wallet, SHAREit, VMate and WPS Office.

Updated 4:42 a.m.

In a predawn raid, Hong Kong police arrested more than 50 opposition lawmakers and activists for participating in an independent primary, the most sweeping use yet of a national security law Beijing imposed in the region last year.

Hong Kong's beleaguered opposition is still trying to ascertain who has been arrested. The region's police force declined to release a list of those detained Wednesday.

Mistakes were made.

That's according to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who in an address to a ruling party meeting made a frank admission — that the country's policies in the past five years had ended in abject failure.

"Almost all sectors fell a long way short of the set objectives," Kim told thousands of delegates to the Workers' Party's 8th Congress who were seated in a huge auditorium in Pyongyang.

Updated at 2:45 p.m. ET

For a vice president who has navigated service to a mercurial president with praise and public acts of loyalty, Vice President Pence faced the ultimate challenge on Wednesday as he presided over a joint session of Congress that will make official Joe Biden's election — and President Trump's loss.

Pages