Each Wednesday, we recap the most important headlines from our global community to keep you up to speed on world news.
The U.S. Senate runoff election is groundbreaking for many reasons. Following the celebration of the blue wave from the U.S. presidential election, the first democrat win in the state since 1992, achieved with efforts largely made by Stacey Abrams; the state now also has its first black senator, Raphael Warnock. With Jon Ossoff also in the lead, these wins will not only determine if the Biden Administration will be able to pass legislation but also a new wave of progress for Georgia and possibly the south.
The Democrats are ahead in the Senate runoffs in Georgia. Most news organizations have not yet called the race between Jon Ossoff and Senator David Perdue, but Ossoff leads by about 16,000 votes and the outstanding votes come from Democratic-leaning areas.
Raphael Warnock, a reverend at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, is part of a cohort of younger, more diverse members of Congress elected in the 2020 cycle.
Warnock’s win is a historic one; he’s the first Black senator to be elected in Georgia and the 11th Black candidate ever elected to the Senate. He will be one of just three Black senators in the current Congress, along with Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Tim Scott (R-SC).
Warnock’s win signifies a potential sea change in Georgia politics. It comes a few months after Joe Biden became the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Georgia since 1992.
Both Democrats and Republicans have faced criticisms for party leadership that doesn’t more accurately reflect the makeup of the country.
The other Senate runoff race between Republican Sen. David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff has not yet been called.
Trailing much of the night, Ossoff surged ahead of Perdue by more than 8,500 votes after batches of votes from Democrat-heavy DeKalb County were released. Most uncounted votes remain in Democratic strongholds in the metro Atlanta area.
The leader of the Proud Boys hate group, Enrique Tarrio, was arrested ahead of far-right protests in D.C., on property destruction charges for burning a Black Lives Matter banner off a historically Black church during similar protests last month.
Many churches have requested extra protection, and the Metropolitan AME Church is suing the Proud Boys.
The Pentagon has approved a request by Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser to call out the National Guard ahead of planned anti-democracy protests by Trump supporters.
Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police said six arrests were made, including some involving multiple charges. Those charges included a handful that were weapons-related, including carrying firearms without a license, possession of unregistered ammunition and possession of an unregistered firearm. Protesters were also charged with assaulting a police officer and simple assault.
Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley announced that the Kenosha police officers involved in the Aug. 23, 2020, shooting of Jacob Blake will not face criminal charges.
Blake, who is Black, was struck by seven bullets at close range Aug. 23 as he walked away from Kenosha police Officer Rusten Sheskey, who had answered a domestic disturbance call.
Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley told reporters that Sheskey and other officers would have had a strong case for self-defense.
A British judge ruled that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should not be extradited to the United States to face criminal charges including breaking a spying law, saying his mental health problems meant he would be at risk of suicide. Days after the ruling, the judge also denied bail for the WikiLeaks founder.
Assange will remain in London’s Belmarsh prison, where he has already served a 50-week sentence for violating bail conditions back in 2012 when he entered Ecuador’s London embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden.
The United States said it would continue to seek the extradition of Australian-born Assange and U.S. prosecutors are set to appeal the decision to London’s High Court.
The US government charges relate to the release by WikiLeaks of hundreds of thousands of confidential US military records and diplomatic cables nearly 10 years ago.
Assange’s legal team argued that the U.S. effort to extradite him was launched under pressure from Trump’s administration, and that his extradition would pose a severe threat to press freedom.
Globally, the number of coronavirus infections crosses 76 million, with nearly 1.7 million deaths recorded. More than 43 million have recovered.
Several countries have suspended flights from Britain, the Netherlands, Denmark and South Africa over the new strain of coronavirus.
European Union experts believe existing vaccines against coronavirus are effective against the new fast-spreading strain.
China says that it remains in close contact with the World Health Organization (WHO) about finalizing arrangements for a visit to Wuhan by an international panel of experts who will investigate the origin of Covid-19.
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