Thursday morning news – January 7, 2021

Rioters storm Capitol as lawmakers certify presidential election » Chaos at the Capitol on Wednesday. 

AUDIO: Stay down. Get down!

Member of Congress, reporters, and others had to shelter in place at the Capitol as rioters stormed the building. 

AUDIO: Get down under your chairs if necessary, so we have folks entering the rotunda and coming down this way. So we’ll update you as soon as we can, but just be prepared. Stay calm.

Outside, pro-Trump demonstrators who believe Democrats stole the election from the president protested as Congress convened to certify electoral votes. 

Most protesters were peaceful, but some were not. 

Republican Congressman Jeff Merkley was inside the Capitol when rioters breached the building. 

MERKLEY: I never thought I’d see the day when we’re barricading doors and we have violent clashes in the United States Capitol, ultimately resulting in not only the vice president being rushed away by Secret Service and people barricading the House chamber and windows being broken but someone being shot. 

An unidentified woman was fatally shot during the uprising. 

Rioters interrupted the work of Congress, but lawmakers reconvened last night with Vice President Mike Pence presiding. 

PENCE: To those who wreaked havoc in our capital today, you did not win. Violence never wins. Freedom wins. And this is still the people’s house. 

Pence infuriated President Trump Wednesday by declaring that he does not have the power to simply throw out electoral votes and had a Constitutional duty to preside over the certification.  

As expected, a handful of GOP lawmakers, while condemning the violence, still objected to certifying President-Elect Joe Biden’s victory. 

Lawmakers were still debating on the House floor at 3 a.m. this morning. But the objections were only expected to delay certification of the Electoral College vote, not prevent it.  

Certification in Congress is the final step in officially cementing Biden as the incoming 46th president of the United States.

Democrats set to claim majority in Senate after Ga. runoffs » Democrats will soon claim the majority in the U.S. Senate. 

Jon Ossoff appears to have unseated Georgia GOP Sen. David Perdue. Multiple news outlets called the race for Ossoff on Wednesday. 

OSSOFF: It is with humility that I thank the people of Georgia for electing me to serve you in the United States Senate. 

Fellow Democrat Raphael Warnock also won his race, defeating Sen. Kelly Loeffler in the state’s double Senate runoff. 

Both races were close. Together, Ossoff and Warnock defeated the Republican incumbents by about 1 percent. Roughly 4.5 million Georgians voted—shattering the turnout record for a runoff.  

President Trump reacted to the results, calling the Senate vote another—quote—“Rigged election.”

But Republican official Gabriel Sterling with the secretary of state’s office said he’s seen “no evidence of irregularities.” And he said he believes the president undermining confidence in the election and attacking other Republicans hurt both GOP candidates. 

STERLING: You spark a civil war within a GOP that needed to be united to get through a tough fight like this. 

With the dual victories in Georgia, Democrats will have a 50/50 split with Republicans in the upper chamber. But incoming Vice President Kamala Harris will break any tie, giving her party control of the chamber.

Biden reportedly taps judge Merrick Garland for attorney general » President-elect Joe Biden has chosen his nominee for attorney general. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin reports. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Biden has reportedly picked federal judge Merrick Garland to lead the Justice Department. 

Most Americans remember Garland as President Obama’s nominee to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court in 2016. 

Senate Republicans scuttled his nomination, holding the seat open until after President Trump’s inauguration the following year. 

Garland has served on the bench with the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., for the last 14 years. He also held senior positions at the Justice Department decades ago, including supervising the prosecution of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. 

Biden is expected to announce Garland’s nomination today, along with other senior leaders of the department.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin. 

Trump admin. announces early launch of pharmacy vaccine partnership » The Trump administration announced a move on Wednesday aimed at speeding up distribution of coronavirus vaccines. 

With many states struggling to roll out the vaccines to patients, HHS Secretary Alex Azar told reporters…

AZAR: We have announced an early launch of the federally arranged pharmacy partnership, which will eventually cover more than 40,000 pharmacy locations across the country. 

The federal government is partnering with 19 pharmacy chains to make it easier for Americans to access the shots. 

Meantime, for the government’s Operation Warp Speed program, Dr. Moncef Slaoui, said he’s optimistic that another new vaccine could soon help boost supplies.

SLAOUI: We are very eager to see the data once available, as this is a one-shot vaccine that clearly comes with very significant advantages. 

Slaoui said drugmarker Johnson & Johnson is on track to file for emergency use authorization of its vaccine by the end of this month. 

Two more detectives involved Breonna Taylor raid fired » The Louisville police department has fired two more officers involved in a deadly raid last year. WORLD’s Sarah Schweinsberg has that story. 

SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: Officers raided the apartment of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor last March. It quickly turned deadly and sparked months of protests. 

Taylor’s boyfriend fired on officers, later stating he didn’t know the intruders were police. 

Detective Myles Cosgrove returned fire, discharging 16 rounds, including the one that killed Taylor. 

This week, the department fired Cosgrove, as well as Detective Joshua Jaynes, who sought the search warrant that led to the deadly raid.

The department said Cosgrove violated the department’s use-of-force policies and failed to turn on his body camera.

Louisville Police fired another officer involved in the incident back in September. 

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg.

(AP Photo/Branden Camp) Democratic U.S. Senate challenger Jon Ossoff speaks to the media at Dunbar Neighborhood Center during Georgia’s Senate runoff elections, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021, in Atlanta, Ga.

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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