The Wider World

More Cabinet posts to be filled

JOE BIDEN is making his nominations for his Cabinet (Flickr/Gage Skidmore).

President-elect Joe Biden is filling up more spots in his proposed Cabinet. On Monday the Associated Press is predicting he would nominate Gen. Lloyd Austin as secretary of defense, which would make him the first Black man to head that department.  On Sunday the New York Times reported that Xavier Becerra, California’s attorney general would serve as the head of Health and Human Services.

While Biden is moving toward the transition of power on Jan. 20 to the White House, President Donald Trump is continuing his long-shot efforts to overturn the results of the election. On Monday, the state of Georgia again certified Biden as the winner of that state, after three counts of the ballots.  Electors from all 50 states and the District of Columbia will officially vote on Dec. 14. It was reported by CNN that the president had contacted Republican leaders in the Pennsylvania state legislature in an effort to get them to authorize a pro-Trump delegation to the Electoral College. Biden won the state by about 81,000 votes, but he is making unsupported allegations of widespread fraud and error.

The News: Coronavirus cases, deaths rise

  • New cases of coronavirus infection in the U.S. – as calculated over 14 days – have risen by 15 percent. That’s 173,467 cases, as reported by The New York Times. New deaths are up 48 percent.
  • After a booming week, Wall Street had the Monday blues, with two of three major stock indexes showing losses. The Dow Jones Average dropped by 148.47 points and the S&P 500 fell by 5.16 points. The exception was the Nasdaq with a gain of 55.71.
  • The federal government may shut down soon if Congress can’t agree on and pass a funding bill by Friday’s deadline. One possibility, according to USA Today, is to pass a one-week extension of government funding to give negotiators more time to reach a compromise.

Weather: Return of the winds

A high wind warning is in place for the Orange County area through Tuesday, according the National Weather Service.  Monday’s high was 72, with an overnight low of 54 forecast. Tuesday should be 79 and sunny with winds of up to 10 miles an hour. Wednesday should be a bit cooler at 72 will similar winds. Overnight lows in the 50s.

Sports: Who’s in the college playoff?

The highly irregular regular college football season is drawing to a close. Just four teams can make the brief tournament for the national major university title. As of right now, Alabama (9-0) is on top, followed by Notre Dame (10-0) in second, Clemson (9-1) in third and Ohio State (5-0) in fourth. So, who’s in position to potentially crack that top four?  Texas A&M (7-1) has played a tough schedule, and Cincinnati (8-0) has a better record than three of the teams ranked above the Bearcats. Stay tuned.

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