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5 things to know for December 31: Coronavirus, transition, stimulus, Brexit, Yemen

Several explosions hit Yemen's Aden airport as the newly formed power-sharing government arrived from Saudi Arabia, killing at least 22 people and injured scores more, the spokesman for the new government, Rajeh Badi, told CNN.

Posted: Dec 31, 2020 3:41 PM
Updated: Dec 31, 2020 3:41 PM

New year, new pay: Starting January 1 (tomorrow!), 20 states will raise their minimum wage.

Here's what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

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1. Coronavirus 

A year ago today, the first cases of a mystery virus that would come to be known as Covid-19 were reported in Wuhan, China. Since then, 1.8 million people across the world have lost their lives in the ensuing pandemic. The US set another Covid-19 daily death record yesterday, and by some estimates, another 80,000 people could die in the next three weeks as the consequences of holiday travel and gathering set in. Other countries like Germany are also reporting record deaths, and Japan is considering a state of emergency to counter rising case numbers. In the US, vaccine rollout is lagging behind some other countries, leading to frustration and confusion in places like Florida, where unclear policies have led to a scramble for limited doses.

2. White House transition 

GOP Sen. Josh Hawley says he will formally object to the results of the 2020 presidential election when Congress meets early next week to count the Electoral College votes. He is the first senator to announce plans to object to the results, along with Republican Rep. Mo Brooks. Their combined efforts will force the House and Senate to formally debate the matter, providing a platform for President Trump's baseless conspiracy theories claiming the election was stolen from him. To be clear, the debate and the vote afterward won't change the outcome of the election. But it will delay the results and create an ugly scene for Republicans who'd have to decide how long to tacitly entertain Trump's false election fraud allegations.

3. Stimulus 

After rejecting a measure that would increase coronavirus stimulus payments from $600 to $2,000, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell attacked the House-passed bill and said it has "no realistic path to quickly pass the Senate." As part of the political maneuvering, Sen. Bernie Sanders vowed to delay a vote to override Trump's veto of the military funding bill known as the National Defense Authorization Act until the issue of bigger stimulus payments is addressed. It's looking more and more likely that this session of Congress will end without any movement on increased payments at all. Meanwhile, $600 stimulus checks are already on their way to some Americans. Oh, and the Census Bureau is going to miss today's deadline to produce its final population count for 2020. The agency said it will deliver the final results soon.

4. Brexit 

Speaking of deadlines, British lawmakers eked out a vote to back the United Kingdom's post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union right before the very final deadline of the Brexit transition period. The deal preserves Britain's tariff- and quota-free access to EU consumers and allows the UK to narrowly avoid the economic disaster that would have come if it had tumbled out of the transition period without a deal. The UK may enjoy a short economic boost from the newfound security, but leaving the EU will still prove to be damaging, economists say. While the new deal covers trade in goods, it doesn't as thoroughly cover other industries critical to the UK's economy, like finance.

5. Yemen

At least 22 people were killed when a series of explosions hit Yemen's Aden airport. The attack happened as members of a new power-sharing government arrived from Saudi Arabia. It is unclear if the explosions were caused by missiles, but Saudi Arabia has blamed the attack on Iran-backed Houthi rebels. A spokesman for the Saudi-backed coalition in Yemen said the coalition intercepted and downed an explosives-laden Houthi drone that was targeting the presidential palace in the city of Aden. Yemen has been plagued by a years-long civil war, and the newly arrived government members are part of a new Cabinet formed to end a power struggle between a Yemeni separatist group and its current Saudi-backed government.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

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Don't have (real-life) parties!!!

Mindfulness expert Jon Kabat-Zinn leads Anderson Cooper in meditation

Let Anderson lead you peacefully into the new year.

2020 was the year of scary bugs, and 2021 will be even worse

Say it with me again, for the last time: NO MORE SCARY BUGS 2020!

TODAY'S NUMBER

$10 million

That's how much Ticketmaster will have to pay in fines after the company admitted to illegally accessing its competitor's computers.

TODAY'S QUOTE

"We know a life has been cut short tonight and that trust between communities of color and law enforcement is fragile. Rebuilding that trust will depend on complete transparency."

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, addressing a fatal police shooting Wednesday night. The city's police chief says body camera footage will be released today. The shooting scene is about a mile from where George Floyd died at the hands of Minneapolis police in late May. His death, which was captured on video, sparked national demonstrations calling for racial justice and police accountability.

TODAY'S WEATHER

Check your local forecast here>>>

AND FINALLY

Should auld acquaintance be forgot 

You know the song. But do you really know what it means? Have a safe and happy New Year's holiday, everyone! (Click here to view.)

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 912370

Reported Deaths: 9506
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1780492023
Ramsey736781043
Dakota67355574
Anoka63852570
Washington40349356
Stearns33475276
St. Louis29443403
Scott25842181
Wright25830216
Olmsted22258128
Sherburne18919126
Carver1661066
Clay12033104
Blue Earth1144868
Rice11410138
Crow Wing11170122
Chisago992378
Kandiyohi9800106
Otter Tail9758127
Benton9018125
Beltrami816094
Goodhue805597
Douglas7849100
Itasca769597
Mower731249
McLeod710983
Winona708657
Isanti697883
Steele682731
Morrison671579
Becker627174
Polk599484
Freeborn559646
Carlton543474
Mille Lacs529474
Lyon527261
Nobles524754
Nicollet521160
Pine512642
Cass500553
Todd490743
Brown469757
Le Sueur457733
Meeker431457
Martin385843
Wabasha373610
Waseca372332
Dodge359811
Hubbard354749
Roseau315531
Fillmore304315
Wadena301740
Redwood281245
Houston270717
Renville268051
Faribault257032
Pennington251030
Sibley251017
Kanabec248136
Cottonwood229232
Aitkin221550
Chippewa219442
Pope206710
Watonwan197420
Yellow Medicine187723
Rock177428
Koochiching176023
Swift172622
Stevens167011
Jackson160816
Clearwater157520
Marshall153122
Murray151811
Pipestone149529
Lake132224
Lac qui Parle122125
Wilkin120616
Mahnomen105914
Norman10489
Grant101110
Big Stone9465
Lincoln8745
Kittson73023
Red Lake71310
Unassigned629124
Traverse6056
Lake of the Woods5255
Cook3070

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 523052

Reported Deaths: 7289
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk80319799
Linn32142424
Scott26637292
Black Hawk21974378
Woodbury20490258
Johnson19778105
Dubuque18515241
Pottawattamie15890213
Dallas15320113
Story1380258
Warren8450104
Cerro Gordo7964123
Clinton7725114
Webster7326122
Des Moines7098105
Marshall669093
Unassigned66470
Muscatine6645117
Wapello6441144
Jasper619591
Sioux610177
Lee5908105
Marion557897
Buena Vista502149
Plymouth488388
Henry418655
Benton404859
Jones404862
Bremer395372
Washington391463
Boone389739
Carroll367755
Mahaska365365
Crawford353747
Dickinson314655
Jackson307747
Buchanan305741
Clay295536
Delaware294654
Kossuth289077
Fayette286353
Hardin284353
Tama279777
Page272533
Wright266149
Cedar265527
Hamilton259857
Winneshiek258143
Floyd255449
Clayton244459
Poweshiek237243
Madison234525
Harrison234379
Cass233466
Butler232744
Iowa229634
Jefferson223043
Mills220930
Winnebago215938
Hancock214639
Cherokee211347
Lyon206142
Appanoose205357
Allamakee203955
Calhoun196919
Shelby196442
Union191141
Humboldt185130
Grundy183637
Franklin183029
Mitchell182043
Chickasaw178922
Emmet178246
Louisa176953
Sac171026
Guthrie168137
Montgomery161745
Clarke160829
Keokuk150839
Palo Alto150532
Howard146824
Monroe142739
Ida130141
Greene127517
Davis124625
Lucas124426
Monona122939
Worth12139
Pocahontas120724
Adair114337
Osceola104818
Decatur101913
Taylor98514
Fremont95913
Van Buren93222
Wayne84525
Ringgold76729
Audubon74917
Adams5748
Rochester
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