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Tuesday's Mini-Report, 12.8.20

Today's edition of quick hits.

Today's edition of quick hits:

* SCOTUS: "The U.S. Supreme Court declined Tuesday to take up an appeal filed by a Republican congressman who asked the court to nullify the certification of Joe Biden as the winner of the presidential election in Pennsylvania."

* Vaccine news: "Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine candidate offers some protection after the first dose, with nearly full protection after the second dose, according to documents released Tuesday by the Food and Drug Administration."

* Flynn case: "The federal judge overseeing the case against Michael Flynn formally dismissed the charges Tuesday but ended up having the last word — calling President Donald Trump's pardon of his former national security adviser 'extraordinarily broad' and saying it doesn't mean he's innocent."

* Cabinet news: "President-elect Joe Biden is expected to nominate retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin to be defense secretary, according to three people familiar with the decision. If confirmed, Austin, 67, a retired four-star general and former head of U.S. Central Command, or CENTCOM, would be the first African American to lead the Defense Department."

* On a related note, Biden wrote a piece defending the selection of Austin.

* This week's deadline: "Congress will vote this week on a one-week stopgap measure to fund the federal government in order to give negotiators more time to reach agreement on government appropriations and emergency stimulus legislation for the ailing American economy."

* Asia-Pacific: "China is increasingly flouting international sanctions on North Korea and is no longer trying to hide some of its smuggling activity as it seeks to help Pyongyang endure the Trump administration's pressure campaign, U.S. officials say."

* Quite a story out of Florida: "Authorities in Florida on Monday raided the home of Rebekah Jones, a former state official who has said she was ousted this year for refusing to censor the state's coronavirus data."

* I have some questions about the scope of the review: "A government watchdog agency found no wrongdoing in the process that created a now-halted U.S. loan to Eastman Kodak Co. to produce drug ingredients for the Covid-19 response, according to a copy of the assessment reviewed by The Wall Street Journal."

* Michael Pack: "A Trump appointee with a short but controversial record of overseeing Voice of America and other federally funded news agencies has declined to cooperate with President-elect Joe Biden's representatives as they seek access to records and personnel. Michael Pack, who has headed the U.S. Agency for Global Media since June, has defied requests from Biden's transition team to make officials from his agency available to answer questions about the agencies' operations."

* On a related note: "President Donald Trump's pick to lead a federal media agency is attempting one last purge of personnel before Joe Biden is sworn in as the next commander-in-chief."

* FCC: "The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Nathan Simington as a new Republican member of the Federal Communications Commission, a move that threatens to saddle the nation's foremost telecom regulator with political deadlock at the start of the Biden administration."

* Fort Hood: "More than a dozen Army officials have been fired or suspended as part of a sweeping investigation into the climate and culture at Fort Hood, a major military base in Texas that has been rocked by complaints of sexual harassment, bullying and violence, Army officials announced on Tuesday."

See you tomorrow.