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Elena Moore

Elena Moore is an editorial assistant for NPR's Washington Desk working as the researcher for the 2020 campaign. She previously worked at NBC News and is also a proud former Washington Desk intern. Moore is a graduate from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and is originally from Brooklyn, N.Y.

Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley continues to face intense criticism for his decision to challenge the presidential election results, the futile enterprise that helped fuel pro-Trump rioters.

Hawley was the first U.S. senator to publicly vow to challenge the Electoral College tally, leading the effort with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

Updated at 11:45 p.m. ET

Congress reconvened Wednesday night to certify President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory, just hours after the U.S. Capitol was thrust into chaos by supporters of President Trump — an angry mob that breached the complex in an unprecedented violent act at the seat of America's federal government.

The leaders of Saudi Arabia and Qatar signed a new agreement Tuesday, signaling a possible end to longstanding tensions between the two countries since the summer of 2017.

The move may also mark a shift for President-elect Joe Biden's foreign policy agenda as both countries are U.S. allies in the Gulf region and the U.S. has a large military base located in Qatar.

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.

Iran says it intends to start enriching uranium to 20% at its Fordow nuclear facility, exceeding regulations set by the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action known as the Iran nuclear deal, as first reported by Reuters.

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 at 5:00 p.m. ET

Michigan's 16 electoral college votes have successfully been cast for President-elect Joe Biden, overcoming safety concerns from individuals disputing the results of the 2020 election.

Updated on Feb. 8 at 6:15 p.m. 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.

Supporters of President-elect Joe Biden are flocking Saturday to the streets in Washington D.C., to celebrate the news of the Democrat surpassing 270 electoral votes, according to The Associated Press and other news organizations. A large crowd is gathering in Lafayette Square and Black Lives Matter Plaza, areas right next to the White House.

President Barack Obama congratulated President-elect Joe Biden on his win, urging unity and saying that Biden will "do the job with the best interests of every American at heart, whether or not he had their vote."

The Associated Press called the race for Biden on Saturday morning.

"I encourage every American to give [Biden] a chance and lend him your support," Obama said, adding, "the election results at every level show that the country remains deeply and bitterly divided."

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told reporters that the state will conduct a recount given the razor-thin margin between former Vice President Joe Biden and President Trump.

"The focus for our office and for the county elections officials for now remains on making sure that every legal vote is counted and recorded accurately," Raffensperger said.

"As we are closing in on a final count, we can begin to look toward our next steps. With a margin that small, there will be a recount in Georgia," he predicted.

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.

On the first day of the Republican convention in Charlotte, N.C., more than five months after the coronavirus began spreading across the country, President Trump characterized the White House's response as "the exact right thing."

But, following a blueprint he has used for months, he also shifted responsibility for the pandemic response to the states. He accused many governors of having been "ill-prepared" for the pandemic, while praising others for doing a "fine job."

An extraordinarily high number of ballots — more than 550,000 — have been rejected in this year's presidential primaries, according to a new analysis by NPR.

That's far more than the 318,728 ballots rejected in the 2016 general election and has raised alarms about what might happen in November when tens of millions of more voters are expected to cast their ballots by mail, many for the first time.

Updated Aug. 17 at 12:31 p.m. ET

The next phase of the presidential election started Monday with the launch of the Democratic National Convention. While the quadrennial event usually attracts tens of thousands of people to the host city, which this year is Milwaukee, Wis., the coronavirus has erased the possibility of a traditional series of events.

Rep. Ilhan Omar has won her primary, informally securing a hold on Minnesota's historically Democratic-run 5th Congressional District, The Associated Press projects.

After a high-profile first term in Congress, the freshman representative faced several primary challengers, the most prominent being Antone Melton-Meaux, a first-time political candidate who runs a mediation company.

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.

Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff is blasting a now-deleted attack ad from his incumbent Republican rival, Sen. David Perdue, that appears to engage in anti-Semitic tropes.

"For my opponent to stoop to this kind of incredibly divisive, inappropriate, offensive tactic is really disturbing," Ossoff, who is Jewish, said Tuesday at a virtual news conference, "and it's unbecoming of a sitting U.S. senator."

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.

Challenger Jamaal Bowman has defeated longtime U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel in the Democratic primary for New York's 16th Congressional District, The Associated Press projects.

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.

Updated at 6 p.m. ET

The Democratic Party's more establishment wing is victorious in a high-profile Kentucky Senate primary despite a late surge from a rising progressive lawmaker.

Retired Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath has beaten state Rep. Charles Booker in the state's Democratic U.S. Senate contest, The Associated Press projects.

The call came Tuesday, a week after the primary, as absentee ballots were counted.

McGrath will now face Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who easily won the Republican primary.

Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams says the state's Tuesday primary performance was "an unmitigated disaster," pinning the blame on Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

Polling locations all around Georgia experienced delays and long lines Tuesday due to a mix of logistical problems, technical issues with the state's new voting machines and COVID-19-related restrictions resulting in fewer available voting sites.

Updated at 8:40 p.m. ET

Jon Ossoff has won Georgia's Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate, The Associated Press projects.

Votes continued to be counted Wednesday across Georgia following its Tuesday primary, which was plagued with long lines and voting machine issues.

Former Vice President Joe Biden again denied the sexual assault allegation made against him by former Senate staffer Tara Reade in an interview on MSNBC Thursday night, but added that voters who stand by Reade should not support him.

"If they believe Tara Reade, they probably shouldn't vote for me," Biden said when asked what message he would give to female voters who accept Reade's allegation as true, but were planning on supporting him.

"I wouldn't vote for me if I believed Tara Reade," Biden added.

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.

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