The year 2020 may now be behind us, but we aren't done with the 2020 election just yet. You'll want to keep an eye on two really important political events this week:
Two runoff elections in Georgia Tuesday will determine control of the Senate
President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory will be certified by Congress on Wednesday
Will these events be dramatic? I can’t imagine 2021 starting any other way. But don't worry, we've got you covered: Sign up and we'll text you with the latest political news to know the moment it goes down.
It's Ashley, excited to kick off the year with your daily dose of news to know. Let's do this.
But first, resolved to get active in 2021? Here are 15 songs to help you get moving and motivated.
Trump’s call to Georgia's Raffensperger spurs demand for investigation
House Democrats on Monday passed around the draft of a censure resolution against President Donald Trump after leaked audio from a phone call showed him pressuring Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to "find" enough votes to reverse his election loss to Biden. The resolution “censures and condemns” Trump over the explosive audio, a symbolic gesture to rebuke the president’s conduct that’s ultimately the equivalent to a slap on the wrist. With two weeks left in Trump’s presidency, there is not enough time to launch a new impeachment inquiry, but legal experts and Democratic lawmakers assert that Trump’s action was tantamount to criminal conduct that should open him to fresh legal scrutiny.
Fact check: Trump’s made-up claims of fake Georgia votes in controversial phone call
This count of Electoral College votes is one to watch
Vice President Mike Pence on Monday vocalized his support for some Republicans’ efforts to keep Trump in the White House by overturning the Electoral College results during a special joint session of Congress that will cement Biden's election win. But Pence stopped short of saying he would do anything other than allow objections to the certified results to be heard. On Wednesday, Pence – in his constitutional role as president of the Senate – will preside over Congress’ acceptance of the Electoral College results, which have been certified by states. A faction of House Republicans, led by Mo Brooks, R-Ala., intends to object to electoral votes from some states. To succeed, the objections must be supported by a majority of both the House and the Senate, which will not happen.
Nation's capital braces for violence as extremist groups converge to protest Trump's election loss
Call to challenge the Electoral College count has split Senate Republicans.
What everyone’s talking about
Valerie Bertinelli got emotional addressing Eddie Van Halen's death: "It's been very rough."
Planning a trip in 2021? Southwest just launched a fare sale with tickets starting at $29 one way.
Kenosha, Wisconsin, police, sheriff are facing $20 million in damage claims related to Kyle Rittenhouse shootings.
Nearly 600 manatees died in Florida waters in 2020 as the state works to protect the threatened mammal.
British judge rejects US extradition request for WikiLeaks founder founder Assange
A British judge ruled Monday that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should not be extradited to the United States on espionage charges because he is a suicide risk. That ruling touches on press freedoms and the international reach of the U.S. justice system. Remember Assange? He was indicted by the Department of Justice on 18 counts of espionage and computer misuse connected to WikiLeaks' publishing of secret U.S. military documents provided to him by ex-U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in 2019. Assange denied the charges and claimed the documents exposed war crimes and abuses by the U.S. military in Iraq. U.S. prosecutors said they would appeal the ruling.
WikiLeaks' Assange: Journalist or criminal hacker?
Inflatable Christmas tree costume linked to 44 COVID-19 infections and one death
An air-powered, inflatable Christmas tree costume worn by a staffer at a California hospital could be linked to an outbreak that infected more than 40 people, killing one, hospital officials say. Kaiser Permanente San Jose Medical Center said that the staffer wore the costume, which included a fan that could have helped spread infected droplets through the air, in the emergency department on Christmas. An employee working in the department that day died from COVID-19 complications, NBC Bay Area reported. California, which early in the pandemic successfully fended off the worst of the surge, has seen infections race out of control in recent weeks.
December smashed records for COVID-19 deaths: COVID-19 was disastrous in December when one American died from the coronavirus about every 35 seconds. The United States reported 6,360,221 new cases — beating November's record by 1.9 million.
Americans dreaming of 20 million vaccinations in December woke up to less than 5 million by month's end. But Dr. Anthony Fauci says he sees "some glimmer of hope" – with 1.5 million shots were administered in a recent 72-hour period.
Another pandemic record: TSA screened 1.3 million travelers Sunday as holiday travelers headed home.
A group of Google workers has formed a union, creating a rare foothold for the labor movement in the tech industry.
"Celebrity Wheel of Fortune" debuts this week and Leslie Jones means business. Watch our exclusive clip.
Airline passengers entering Canada will need a negative coronavirus test.
Tanya Roberts, Bond girl in 'A View To a Kill,' dies at 65
Tanya Roberts, who starred alongside Roger Moore in the 1985 Bond film "A View To A Kill," as well as classic TV series "Charlie's Angels" and "That '70s Show," has died. She was 65. Her publicist told USA TODAY that Roberts died Sunday at Los Angeles' Cedar-Sinai Hospital after being hospitalized following a collapse. He did not disclose the cause of death but said Roberts did not die from a COVID-19 related illness.
A break from the news
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👨🚀 On a planet where you cannot breathe, is living on Mars the best idea?
💰 When setting your financial goals for 2021, consider these lessons from the pandemic.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump, Georgia runoffs, Electoral College, Julian Assange: Monday's news