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The Latest – Monday, November 23

:zap: A community space for breaking news :zap:

A daily community thread to collect updates and events pertinent to the daily shock and awe, this is The Latest.

:warning: This thread has ended. The discussion continues: The Latest - Tuesday, November 24

What we’re talking about



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A few more nominees for Cabinet positions and one for Climate - Sec State John Kerry.

WASHINGTON — President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. plans to name several top national security picks on Tuesday, his transition office said, including the first Latino to lead the Department of Homeland Security, the first woman to head the intelligence community and a former secretary of state, John Kerry, to be his international climate czar.

The emerging team reunites a group of former senior officials from the Obama administration, most of whom worked closely together at the State Department and the White House and in several cases have close ties to Mr. Biden dating back years. They are well known to foreign diplomats around the world and share a belief in the core principles of the Democratic foreign policy establishment — international cooperation, strong U.S. alliances and leadership but a wariness of foreign interventions after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

At an event in Wilmington, Del., Mr. Biden will announce plans to nominate Alejandro Mayorkas to be his homeland security secretary, his transition office said, and Avril Haines to be his director of national intelligence. He intends to name Mr. Kerry as a special presidential envoy on climate. The transition office also confirmed reports on Sunday night that Mr. Biden will nominate Antony J. Blinken to be secretary of state and Jake Sullivan as national security adviser.

Mr. Biden will also nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be ambassador to the United Nations and restore the job to cabinet-level status, giving Ms. Thomas-Greenfield, who is African-American, a seat on his National Security Council.

The racial and gender mix of the expected nominees also reflects Mr. Biden’s stated commitment to diversity, which has lagged notoriously in the worlds of foreign policy and national security, where white men are disproportionately represented.

The slate of picks also showed Mr. Biden’s determination to push forward with setting up his administration despite President Trump’s continuing refusal to concede or assist him, even as a small but growing number of Republican lawmakers and supporters of the president are calling for a formal transition to begin.

Mr. Kerry’s job does not require Senate confirmation. A statement released by the transition office said Mr. Kerry “will fight climate change full time as special presidential envoy for climate and will sit on the National Security Council.”

To manage his domestic climate policies, Mr. Biden will also soon name a White House climate director, who will have equal standing with Mr. Kerry, according to transition officials.

If confirmed, Mr. Mayorkas, who served as deputy homeland security secretary from 2013 to 2016, would be the first Latino to run the department charged with putting in place and managing the nation’s immigration policies.

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As Chair of the Intelligence Committee, Rep Schiff (D-CA) urges CSA Emily Murphy to go ahead and release the Biden release funds in this stern letter. What good it does, who knows.

And the Oversight Committee adding pressure sending letter to CSA as well…(See below)

And pressure from the Oversight Committee

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But this might stall the certification

At least four counties home to more than 600,000 voters will not have election results certified when they’re due Monday to the Pennsylvania Department of State, though three of them expect to wrap up within the next couple of days. President Trump won all four counties.

Ultimately, minor delays in a handful of counties fully certifying their results shouldn’t affect the overall certification process statewide — in part because Pennsylvania’s election code doesn’t set a hard deadline for statewide certification by the secretary of state, which is normally a formality, voting law experts say.

Of 43 counties to respond to WITF’s inquiry, 10 with a combined 546,000 voters had already fully certified their results and sent them to the state by Friday.

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