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Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced she is resigning, citing the "traumatic and entirely avoidable" violence at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Her resignation will be effective next Monday.

In a letter to colleagues, Chao said, "It has deeply troubled me in a way that I simply cannot set aside."

Chao is the highest-ranking member of President Trump's administration yet to resign following the deadly mob violence at the Capitol, fueled by Trump's own support of the crowd gathering in protest of his election loss.

The United States Capitol Police have identified the woman who was shot and killed by one of their officers during the pro-Trump rioting on Wednesday as Ashli E. Babbitt, an Air Force veteran from the San Diego area.

She was among the rioters who stormed the Capitol building.

Babbitt, 35, was one of four people who died during Wednesday's chaotic events, according to Washington's Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). MPD Police Chief Robert Contee said the three others who died experienced unspecified "medical emergencies."

Updated at 5:00 p.m. ET

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer have called for President Trump to be removed from office via the 25th Amendment.

"I join the Senate Democratic leader in calling on the vice president to remove this president by immediately invoking the 25th Amendment," Pelosi said at a news conference Thursday. "If the vice president and Cabinet do not act, the Congress may be prepared to move forward with impeachment."

Updated at 9 p.m. ET:

A day after an insurrection that overtook the U.S. Capitol, the Capitol's three top security officials resigned from their posts amid building pressure from lawmakers and others over failures that allowed the dramatic breach.

The House and Senate's top protocol officers and the U.S. Capitol Police chief are now all expected to be replaced following a series of resignations in the wake of the security failures.

Heading into Wednesday's joint session of Congress to tally the Electoral College vote results, lawmakers anticipated a long day peppered with objections hinged on baseless allegations of election fraud. More than a dozen Republican senators had said they would object to at least one state's election results.

Music teacher Martin Urbach was up most of Wednesday night working with colleagues on lesson plans to help his students make sense of the day's events. "I only got like two hours of sleep."

Updated at 12:50 a.m. ET on Friday

More than 24 hours after thousands of his supporters stormed the Capitol, President Trump on Thursday night condemned the violence in a video he posted on social media, calling it a "heinous attack."

The video, which comes more than two months after the election that he fought to find a way to reverse, marks the first time Trump acknowledges that he lost — coming as close as he likely will get to a concession.

Before Julie Andrews first sang "A Spoonful of Sugar," its songwriter found inspiration for the iconic Mary Poppins tune in an unlikely place.

The late Robert B. Sherman wrote it with his brother, Richard; many of the duo's songs are featured in classic Walt Disney films. At StoryCorps last month, Robert's son, Jeffrey, said that it was telling his father about getting the polio vaccine as a child that sparked the lyrics for the famous song.

Jeffrey, now 63, said his dad had a way with words.

Nearly two weeks before most states started vaccinating anyone in nursing homes, pharmacist Gretchen Garofoli went to a long-term care facility in Morgantown, W.Va., on Dec. 15 and administered one of the first COVID-19 vaccinations in the state.

"Psychologically, yes, it was a beacon of hope," she says.

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Yesterday, before extremist, pro-Trump rioters, many without masks, stormed the Capitol building, I recorded an interview about the mistakes, missed opportunities and behind-the-scenes struggles that allowed the coronavirus to spread out of control across the U.S. The virus doesn't care about politics or the future of our democracy. The COVID numbers are spiking. And a new, more deadly strain has shown up in the U.S. Yesterday, we broke another single-day record for COVID deaths in the U.S., 3,963.

Health experts warned that the coronavirus pandemic would get worse before it got better. And that is happening. December was the deadliest month of the pandemic in the United States. The vaccines have made people optimistic, but the process has been slow.

Dr. Anthony Fauci — head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, who will be President-elect Joe Biden's chief medical adviser — said Thursday that the initial rollout of COVID-19 vaccines has been slow because it came during the holiday period.

On the first Sunday of 2021, journalists in two competing Washington newsrooms were listening to a leaked recording of President Donald Trump demanding that Georgia officials find him more votes and change the outcome of their election last November.

Updated Friday at 12:05 a.m. ET

U.S. Capitol Police announced late Thursday that an officer hurt during this week's violent assault on the chambers of Congress by protesters loyal to President Trump has died from his injuries.

"At approximately 9:30 p.m. this evening (January 7, 2021), United States Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick passed away due to injuries sustained while on-duty," a statement from the U.S. Capitol Police said.

World leaders are condemning pro-Trump extremists' storming of the U.S. Capitol in a futile bid to stop members of Congress from certifying the Electoral College ballots for President-elect Joe Biden. The spectacle transfixed people around the globe.

Update: Special coverage has ended. Follow updates here.

Rep. Ilhan Omar said she is drafting articles of impeachment against President Trump. She blamed him for his supporters' attempt at an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

"Donald J. Trump should be impeached by the House of Representatives & removed from office by the United States Senate," wrote Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota. "We can't allow him to remain in office, it's a matter of preserving our Republic and we need to fulfill our oath."

Updated at 6:47 a.m. ET

Pro-Trump extremists stormed Capitol Hill on Wednesday, halting the Electoral College certification and sending the U.S. Capitol into lockdown.

Several state capitols saw pro-Trump protests today, too, though none of them were nearly as violent as the mob at the U.S. Capitol.

Some legislatures closed public access to their capitols as a precaution. That was the case in Georgia, when armed protesters gathered outside the capitol there. Georgia's secretary of state was pressured by President Trump to overturn presidential election results.

Twitter on Wednesday put President Trump on notice: If he does not stop breaking the platform's rules, he will be permanently banned.

The stern warning followed another step never before taken by Twitter: It locked Trump out of his account for 12 hours after the removal of three tweets that the company said were a "severe violation" of Twitter's rules.

Hours after hordes of pro-Trump extremists barged across what proved to be feeble and poorly guarded barricades, and at least one person was fatally shot, the general atmosphere on the streets outside the Capitol appears to be relatively quiet even as Congress is on its way to finishing what it started early Wednesday afternoon.

Police chief Robert Contee said three other fatalities — on adult female and two males — resulted from apparent "separate medical emergencies."

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.

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Wrapping Up News Of The Day

Jan 6, 2021

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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)

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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.

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