Today is Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020. Let's get caught up.
These non-virus headlines are in the news this morning: President Trump fires the agency head who vouched for 2020 vote security; Michigan's GOP blocked certification of the vote in Detroit, then backtracked; and Biden's DIY transition moving forward without Trump's assistance.
Read on for these stories, other top headlines, celebrity birthdays and more.
Trump fires agency head who vouched for 2020 vote security
President Donald Trump fired the nation’s top election security official, a widely respected member of his administration who had dared to refute the president’s unsubstantiated claims of electoral fraud and vouch for the integrity of the vote.
While abrupt, the dismissal Tuesday of Christopher Krebs, the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, was not a surprise. Since his loss, Trump has been ridding his administration of officials seen as insufficiently loyal and has been denouncing the conduct of an election that led to an embarrassing defeat to Democrat Joe Biden.
Also Tuesday night, In an abrupt about-face, Michigan's largest county on Tuesday night unanimously certified election results showing Democrat Joe Biden defeating President Donald Trump, hours after Republicans first blocked formal approval of voters' intentions. Read more:
Biden's DIY transition proceeds without Trump assistance
President Donald Trump's refusal to cooperate with his successor is forcing President-elect Joe Biden to seek unusual workarounds to prepare for the exploding public health threat and evolving national security challenges he will inherit in just nine weeks.
Blocked from the official intelligence briefing traditionally afforded to incoming presidents, Biden gathered virtually on Tuesday with a collection of intelligence, defense and diplomatic experts. None of the experts is currently affiliated with the U.S. government, raising questions about whether Biden is being provided the most up-to-date information about dangers facing the nation. Read more:
Sorry, Grinch. Virus won't stop NORAD from tracking Santa
Children of the world can rest easy. The global pandemic won't stop them from tracking Santa Claus' progress as he delivers gifts around the globe on Christmas Eve.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command has announced that NORAD will track Santa on Dec. 24, just as it has done for 65 years. But there will be some changes: Not every child will be able to get through to a volunteer at NORAD’s call center to check on Santa’s whereabouts, as they have in years before. Read more:
In other news today ...
- Hurricane Iota battered Nicaragua's Caribbean coast and flooded some stretches of neighboring Honduras that were still under water from Hurricane Eta two weeks earlier, leaving authorities struggling to assess damage after communications were knocked out in some areas.
- Rep. Kevin McCarthy easily won reelection as House Republican leader, a stunning turnaround as the entire GOP leadership team was rewarded by their colleagues for reducing the Democrats’ House advantage in the November election.
- The U.S. Justice Department is dropping its drug trafficking and money laundering case against former Mexican Defense Secretary Salvador Cienfuegos, Attorney General William Barr said Tuesday.
- Actor Michael B. Jordan has been crowned as 2020's Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine. Jordan, known for his critically-acclaimed performances in “Fruitvale Station,” “Creed” and “Black Panther,” was revealed as this year’s winner Tuesday night on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
- After multiple delays, the NBA draft finally arrives Wednesday. Like everyone else in 2020, this year's class of players has tried to make the best of their difficult circumstances.
- Canelo Alvarez will return to the ring in a super middleweight title fight against Callum Smith on Dec. 19 in the United States, the boxers announced Wednesday.
Click on the links below for full versions of these stories and scroll further for trending stories, a look at today in history and celebrity birthdays.
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On this date
The comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes,” created by Bill Watterson, was first published, and more events that happened on this day in history.
Here's a look back at sports happenings on this date in history, Nov. 18.
Happy birthday to ...
Damon Wayans Jr.
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