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Thursday's Mini-Report, 12.17.20

Today's edition of quick hits.

Today's edition of quick hits:

* The phrase "grave risk" stands out: "Federal officials issued an urgent warning on Thursday that hackers who were working for a foreign government and penetrated deep into government systems had used a wider variety of techniques in their cyberoffensive — and they warned that the hacking was 'a grave risk to the federal government.'"

* In related news: "The Energy Department and National Nuclear Security Administration, which maintains the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile, have evidence that hackers accessed their networks as part of an extensive espionage operation that has affected at least half a dozen federal agencies, officials directly familiar with the matter said."

* Pandemic: "Just as the United States greets the arrival of promising vaccines — and prepares to celebrate a starkly transformed holiday season — more Covid-19 deaths are being reported each day than at any time during the pandemic."

* Challenging assumptions: "Young adults are dying at historic rates. In research published on Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, we found that among U.S. adults ages 25 to 44, from March through the end of July, there were almost 12,000 more deaths than were expected based on historical norms. In fact, July appears to have been the deadliest month among this age group in modern American history."

* Michigan: "A federal grand jury has charged six men with conspiring to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in what investigators say was a plot by anti-government extremists who were angry over her coronavirus policies."

* Cabinet news, Part I: "President-elect Joe Biden intends to nominate Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., to be his Interior secretary, and Michael Regan to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, sources familiar with the decisions told NBC News."

* Cabinet news, Part II: "President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday offered the leadership of the Environmental Protection Agency to Michael S. Regan, a North Carolina regulator who has made a name pursuing cleanups of industrial toxins and helping low-income and minority communities hit hardest by pollution."

* The latest on the relief bill: "Congressional leaders inched closer to sealing a coronavirus relief deal on Thursday, one day before a deadline to keep the government funded."

* A bill worth watching: "Legislation to give federal judges the power to take down internet and social media posts containing personal information about them hit a stumbling block Wednesday, after a Republican senator insisted the measure be broadened to give similar protection to details about members of Congress."

* This isn't quite over: "House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler intends to reissue a subpoena for former White House Counsel Don McGahn's testimony next year, the House told a federal appeals court Wednesday, confirming that Democrats intend to press ahead with its long legal battle to compel testimony from a star witness in special counsel Robert Mueller's obstruction of justice investigation of President Donald Trump."

* Noted without comment: "After elevating a coterie of close friends and allies to prime spots on boards and commissions in recent weeks, President Trump on Wednesday announced plans to appoint Andrew H. Giuliani, a White House aide and the son of his personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, to serve as a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council."

See you tomorrow.