Elena Moore

A calico cat named Patches had belonged to Josie Gower, one of the 23 people killed in the mudslides that hit Santa Barbara, Calif., in January 2018. Patches was thought to have died too.

"We had kinda lost hope," Briana Haigh, Gower's daughter, told NPR. Her mom's several cats had slept in her garage, which was destroyed during the disaster.

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.

Updated at 8:44 p.m. ET

The head of a far-right extremist group, the Proud Boys, was arrested in Washington, D.C., on Monday evening less than a day before thousands of pro-Trump and far-right demonstrators are expected in the city.

Enrique Tarrio, 36, was taken into police custody and charged with destruction of property, according to a statement from the Metropolitan Police Department.

Several people who were at a local New York City Republican club's Christmas party have tested positive for the coronavirus after a video surfaced showing attendees celebrating indoors without masks, Queens Daily Eagle reports.

Three cases have been identified by the Eagle. These include James Trent, who has since been hospitalized.

Two police officers who were part of the raid that ended with the shooting and death of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman, are reportedly being terminated by the Louisville Metro Police Department. The move comes nine months after Taylor was killed in her apartment when police attempted to carry out a search.

Attorneys for detectives Myles Cosgrove and Joshua Jaynes have confirmed to member station WFPL that both have been given pre-termination letters by Chief Yvette Gentry.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET Wednesday

Colorado health officials say they may have found a second case of a coronavirus variant that was first identified in the United Kingdom. Officials are currently conducting more genetic testing to determine if the variant is present.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced one confirmed case on Tuesday, marking the first time the variant has been officially documented in the United States.

Updated March 29, 2021 at 5:03 PM ET

In the early weeks of President Biden's administration, his aides are beginning to put policy into action, while the U.S. Senate is taking up his nominees.

The top figures in an administration are made up of a combination of Cabinet and high-ranking nominees who require Senate confirmation, and key advisers tapped by the president, who don't require congressional approval.

President-elect Joe Biden has won Georgia, according to a race call from The Associated Press, making it the final state to be decided in the presidential election.

The AP's call came more than two weeks after Election Day, but shortly after the state released results of a hand-conducted audit.

Updated at 2:42 p.m. ET

President-elect Joe Biden will take office in January with a lot of promises to keep. He has pledged to enact new policies swiftly that veer the U.S. off President Trump's current path.

President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden have very different views on how to tackle America's pressing issues.

That much is clear. But what specifically are they proposing?

NPR Politics has sifted through Trump's and Biden's plans, as released by their campaigns, and narrowed in on a few key issues to show what they're promising and how each man's priorities differ from his opponent's.

Read all of the plans here.

President Trump and close to a dozen key members of his circle, including senior White House and campaign staff and Republican senators, have announced positive coronavirus test results in the days before and after Trump tested positive.

Kansas Rep. Roger Marshall has defeated former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach in the Republican Senate primary, according to The Associated Press, calming Republicans' worst fears about putting a seat in a deep red state in play this fall with the Senate majority contested.

The University of Notre Dame will no longer host the first presidential debate on September 29, citing "constraints" brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

"The necessary health precautions would have greatly diminished the educational value of hosting the debate on our campus," University President Reverend John I. Jenkins announced Monday.

Updated at 4:45 a.m. ET on Wednesday

Jeff Sessions has lost a bid to regain his old Alabama U.S. Senate after falling from grace as President Trump's attorney general.

Sessions had been hoping for redemption after enduring months of relentless ridicule from Trump that eventually led to his resignation as the country's top lawyer.

Mail-in voting, which tens of millions of Americans are expected to use this November, is fraught with potential problems. Hundreds of thousands of ballots go uncounted each year because people make mistakes, such as forgetting to sign the form or sending it in too late.

Former Vice President Joe Biden took direct aim at President Trump on Tuesday, saying that Trump, who once called himself a "wartime president" taking on the coronavirus pandemic, seems to have now "surrendered."

"Remember when he exhorted the nation to sacrifice together in the face of this ... 'invisible enemy'? What happened? Now it's almost July, and it seems like our wartime president has surrendered," Biden said in prepared remarks.

A progressive shift underway in Colorado Democratic politics is spotlighted Tuesday in the primary for a U.S. Senate race that will likely help decide control of the chamber.

The contest between former Gov. John Hickenlooper and former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff is the marquee race on Tuesday, but other themes are at play elsewhere, as voters also head to the polls in Utah and Oklahoma:

  • Former Gov. Jon Huntsman is looking to make a comeback in Utah.

Progressives are mounting efforts to best establishment Democrats in Kentucky and New York Tuesday.

Black Lives Matter protests around the country have added energy to the left, and Black progressives are surging in contests in both states.

In Kentucky, the race between the two leading Democrats vying for the right to likely take on Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is coming down to the wire. All the momentum is on the side of state Rep. Charles Booker over Amy McGrath, a retired Marine fighter pilot with a lot of money and the party's backing.

President Trump wants an arena full of tens of thousands of excited Republicans in Charlotte this summer for the party's national convention. But the coronavirus is causing a lot of uncertainty, and North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper hasn't been able to make assurances that such a gathering will be possible in August.

Former Vice President Joe Biden formally began the process of selecting a running mate on Thursday morning, releasing the names of former and current Democratic officials who will lead his search for a vice presidential candidate, who Biden has said will be a woman.

Former Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, Delaware Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Cynthia C. Hogan, a top aide to Biden in the Senate and White House, will lead the search over the coming months.

Testing is the key that will unlock normalization for millions of Americans.

It's the doorway between the disaster response mode of the pandemic and confidence about returning to work, school and life. And it's also still apparently weeks or more away from scaling to a level that will make a big difference for most people in most places.

Precisely how far away isn't clear, although President Trump and a pageant of guests attempted on Monday to sell the idea that victory is just around the corner.

A month ago, President Trump went on Fox and downplayed the potential lethality of the novel coronavirus and compared it to the seasonal flu.

Worldwide total confirmed cases: 2,063,161

Total deaths: 136,938

U.S. total confirmed cases: 638,111

Confirmed U.S. deaths: 30,844

SOURCE: Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, as of 11:35 p.m. ET Wednesday

President Trump is promising to deliver on Thursday guidelines to "reopen" America. He said some states would open even before May 1. That's two weeks away.

Former Vice President Joe Biden says he finds it "hard to envision" an in-person Democratic National Convention taking place in July as planned.

"The fact is, it may have to be different," the leading Democratic presidential candidate said in an interview with MSNBC on Tuesday night.

The Democratic National Convention is scheduled to take place from July 13-16 in Milwaukee. The Republican National Convention is planned for Aug. 24-27 in Charlotte, N.C., and neither party has announced alternative plans.

Updated at 9:40 p.m.

Just ahead of the single most important day of the Democratic primary, former Vice President Joe Biden picked up the endorsements of two former rivals.

Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., who ended his own White House bid Sunday night, appeared with Biden at a barbecue restaurant in Dallas Monday evening.

Three days before the Nevada caucuses, six Democratic candidates will face off in a debate Wednesday night in Las Vegas.

The televised debate comes on the heels of a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll that shows Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders leading nationally, with 31% support among Democratic-leaning voters.

Trailing Sanders in second in the survey is billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, with 19% backing.

After a flawed Iowa caucus process, the Senate acquittal of President Trump and a dramatic State of the Union address — all in the past five days — Friday night brings the eighth Democratic presidential debate.

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET

Julián Castro, the only Latino candidate in the Democratic field, has ended his presidential campaign.

Castro released a video on Twitter on Thursday, saying that his campaign had "stood up for the most vulnerable people" and had "given a voice to those who are often forgotten."

He adds in the video: "I'm not done fighting. I'll keep working toward a nation where everyone counts."

Castro served as secretary of housing and urban development in the Obama administration and, before that, was mayor of San Antonio, Texas.

The top seven Democratic presidential candidates will appear on stage in Los Angeles Thursday night in the sixth debate of the year.

The debate comes just one day after President Trump became the third president of the United States to be impeached by the House of Representatives.

Here's what you need to know:

House impeachment investigators have released the transcript of the deposition of Mark Sandy, a career staffer for the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Sandy was deposed by lawmakers on Nov. 16 and was the lone person from the OMB to testify. Top-ranking political appointees to the OMB — including Russell Vought, its acting director — refused to comply with the investigation's requests, citing advice from the White House counsel's office.

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