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Here are the week’s top stories, and a look ahead.
1. The nation is holding its breath as state capitals around the country brace for possible violence in the coming days.
State officials are activating National Guard troops and closing off Capitol grounds in response to F.B.I. warnings that armed protesters and far-right groups are preparing to act in the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday. Above, St. Paul, Minn.
The moves by state officials point to the growing fear over continuing violence in the aftermath of the pro-Trump mob attack on the U.S. Capitol that left five people dead.
Law enforcement officials are vetting hundreds of potential airplane passengers and beefing up airport security. Federal officials say a militarized “green zone” in downtown Washington is necessary to prevent an attack from domestic extremists. Such groups “pose the most likely threat” to the inauguration, according to federal intelligence groups.
A man was arrested in Washington with “unauthorized” inauguration credentials, an unregistered handgun and 500 rounds of ammunition. The man, Wesley A. Beeler, said he had been working a security job and had forgotten that his firearm was in his truck.
Because of security concerns and the pandemic, Inauguration Day will be more subdued than usual. Here’s a guide to the downsized festivities.
The events of Jan. 6, when his supporters stormed the Capitol, appear to have damaged Mr. Trump in his final days in office in more than just poll numbers. Mr. Trump is confronting an unfamiliar fate: He is being held to account as never before for things he has said.
A Senate trial is pending after Mr. Trump was impeached for the second time, this time over charges of insurrection; prosecutors in Georgia appear increasingly likely to open a criminal investigation into his attempts to overturn the results of the state’s 2020 election; and the calls for violence that Mr. Trump’s tweets provoked proved too much for Twitter, which decided to cut off the president.
4. President-elect Joe Biden will begin his first 10 days in office with a blitz of executive orders meant to signify a clean break from the Trump era.
On the first day alone, Mr. Biden plans to rescind the travel ban on several predominantly Muslim countries, rejoin the Paris climate change accord, extend pandemic-related limits on evictions and student loan payments and order agencies to figure out how to reunite children separated from families after crossing the border.
On top of a $1.9 trillion stimulus plan, Mr. Biden also plans to send a sweeping immigration bill to Congress that would provide a pathway to citizenship for 11 million people in the country illegally.
5. With a nation on edge, another crisis looms large: The U.S. is expected to hit 400,000 coronavirus-related deaths in the next few days.
Facing vaccine shortages and rising infections, President-elect Joe Biden announced a Covid-19 vaccination blitz that promises mobile inoculation sites, National Guard troops and a federal push to increase production of the shots. Above, Santa Rosa, Calif.
“We remain in a very dark winter,” Mr. Biden told Americans on Friday. “The honest truth is this: Things will get worse before they get better.”
But his plan is colliding with a sobering reality: Supplies will be scarce for the next several months, making a dire situation even more chaotic. The shortage is already bearing down on New York City, once the center of the epidemic. Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city would run out of doses soon.
7. President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda won a sixth term after a campaign marred by a lethal crackdown on the opposition and accusations of vote rigging.
His rival, Bobi Wine, 38, a rapper-turned-lawmaker, said the election was unfair, a contention backed by independent international observers. On Saturday, Mr. Wine was holed up in his house — which was surrounded on Friday by Mr. Museveni’s security forces. He declared that Mr. Museveni had “fabricated” the election results.
In Germany, Armin Laschet will be the next leader of Angela Merkel’s conservative party in fall elections that will decide who succeeds her as chancellor. But his win is not guaranteed.
8. The actress-turned-director Regina King spoke to us about her new movie, “One Night in Miami.”
The film, now streaming on Amazon, is a fictional account of a real 1964 meeting between Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, Sam Cooke and Malcolm X in which they vigorously debated their roles in and the goals of the civil rights movement. For King, the screenplay was “a love letter to the Black man’s experience,” one that shows “the vulnerability that Black men possess and their humanity.”
Our film critic described King’s riveting directorial debut as “one of the most exciting movies I’ve seen in quite some time.” Read the review.
9. The comfort of rituals.
Frank Miller, a retired civil engineer, needed to play catch. A former baseball player in high school and college, he wandered his house in Dallas practicing the grips for a slider, curve and cutter after reading a book about pitching. So his wife, Alice, put out a call on social media: Does anybody want to play catch with my 74-year-old husband?
The response showed them they’d tapped into something bigger than baseball. Players and strangers of all ages and talents turned out at a neighborhood park, ready to let the turbulence of recent weeks fade into the background and toss the ball around.
“Isn’t baseball beautiful?” Mr. Miller said at the end of the session. “It’s a piece of art, really.”