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Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock has defeated Republican challenger Herschel Walker in a runoff election in Georgia. The victory by the state’s first Black senator ensures Democrats an outright majority in the chamber for the rest of President Joe Biden’s current term. That means the party won’t have to negotiate a power-sharing deal with Republicans and Vice President Kamala Harris won’t be called on as frequently to break tie votes. Warnock told jubilant supporters Tuesday night: “After a hard-fought campaign -- or should I say campaigns -- it is my honor to utter the four most powerful words ever spoken in a democracy: The people have spoken."

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With many types of wildlife struggling to survive and their living space shrinking, some are finding their way to big cities. The United Nations says up to 1 million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction. Development in suburban and even rural areas is gobbling up habitat. The situation is stirring calls for “rewilding” places where wildlife thrived until driven out. Experts say cities offer many opportunities to support rewilding, such as restoring wetlands and planting flowers. In Detroit, scientists place wildlife cameras in woodsy sections of parks. They've recorded images of coyotes, foxes, raccoons and other animals that emerge mostly at night to roam and forage.

The leader of a small polygamous group near the Arizona-Utah border had taken at least 20 wives and punished followers who didn't treat him as a prophet. The details of Samuel Bateman's life were revealed in an FBI affidavit released last Friday. It was filed in a case that charges three of his female followers with kidnapping children from state custody in Arizona and impeding a foreseeable prosecution. Two of the women are scheduled to appear in federal court in Flagstaff on Wednesday. Bateman is facing state and federal charges of child abuse and tampering with evidence.

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In a sharp reversal, China has announced a series of measures rolling back some of its most draconian anti-COVID-19 restrictions. The National Health Commission in a 10-point announcement on Wednesday stipulated that COVID-19 tests and a clean bill of health displayed on a smartphone app would no longer be required, apart from vulnerable areas such as nurseries, elderly care facilities and schools. It also limited the scale of lockdown to individual apartment floors and buildings, rather than entire districts and neighborhoods. The announcement follows recent street protests in several cities over the strict “zero-COVID" policy now entering its fourth year, which has been blamed for upending ordinary life, travel and employment while dealing a harsh blow to the national economy.

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Israel’s ties to the Jewish American community are about to be put to the test, with Israel’s emerging far-right government on a collision course with Jews in the United States. Major Jewish American organizations that have traditionally been a bedrock of support for Israel have expressed alarm over the presumptive government’s far-right character. The vast majority of American Jews have liberal political views and lean toward the Democratic Party. Misgivings over the expected government led by conservative Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu could have a ripple effect in Washington and further widen what has become a partisan divide over support for Israel.

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A handful of centenarian survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor are expected to gather at the scene in Hawaii to commemorate those who perished 81 years ago in the Japanese bombing. That’s fewer than in recent years, when a dozen or more came from across the country to pay their respects at the annual remembrance ceremony. Part of the decline reflects the dwindling number of survivors as they age. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs doesn’t have statistics for how many Pearl Harbor survivors are still living. But its data show the number of World War II veterans is rapidly declining.

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The Supreme Court is taking up a case with the potential to reshape elections for Congress and the presidency. The justices are hearing arguments Wednesday over the power of state courts to strike down congressional districts drawn by the legislature because they violate state constitutions. Republicans from North Carolina who are bringing the case to the high court argue that a provision of the U.S. Constitution known as the elections clause gives state lawmakers virtually total control over the “times, places and manner” of congressional elections, including redistricting, and cuts state courts out. The Republicans are advancing a concept called the independent legislature theory, never before adopted by the Supreme Court but cited approvingly by four conservative justices.

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Chinese leader Xi Jinping is attending a pair of regional summits in Saudi Arabia amid efforts to kick-start economic growth weighed down by strict anti-COVID-19 measures. The Foreign Ministry said Wednesday Xi will attend the inaugural China-Arab States Summit and a meeting with leaders of the six nations that make up the Gulf Cooperation Council in the Saudi capital of Riyadh. His state visit to Saudi Arabia will end on Saturday. China is the world’s second largest economy, a leading consumer of oil and source of foreign investment. China imports half of its oil, and half of those imports come from Saudi Arabia. Chinese economic growth rebounded to 3.9% over a year earlier in the three months ending in September.

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The Miami Dolphins quarterback at the center of the NFL's overhaul of its concussion protocols and the Ukrainian city that's home to Europe's largest nuclear plant are among this year's list of most mispronounced words. The Captioning Group, which captions and subtitles real-time events on TV, compiled the list released Wednesday. It highlights the names and terms that were most challenging for newsreaders and people on television to pronounce. In addition to Tua Tagovailoa and Zaporizhzhia, some of the other names and words on this year's list are Grammy-winning singer Adele, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and the Scottish capital, Edinburgh.

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The Food and Drug Administration is slowing its use of a pathway that expedites the approval of promising drugs. The downturn comes as the agency's accelerated approval program comes under new scrutiny from Congress, government watchdogs and key agency leaders. Increasingly, the FDA is asking drugmakers to remove unproven uses from older drugs that haven't delivered on early results. And drugmakers seeking accelerated approval for new medicines are facing tougher hurdles at the agency. Legislation pending in Congress would codify those standards. Many experts support the measures as a way to claw back unproven drug uses after a recent boom in accelerated approvals.

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Shares are lower in Asia after benchmarks fell again on Wall Street on fears the Federal Reserve will need to keep the brakes on the economy to get inflation under control, risking a sharp recession. Oil prices were mixed. China reported its imports and exports fell in November as global demand weakened and anti-virus controls weighed on the second-largest economy. The S&P 500 fell 1.4% Tuesday, its fourth straight loss. The tech-heavy Nasdaq gave back even more, 2%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1%. The yield on the 10-year Treasury, which helps set mortgage rate, fell to 3.52%.

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Over two dozen people are on hunger strike over conditions at a maximum-security prison in rural eastern Nevada. Prison officials and an advocacy organization said Tuesday the protest is over inadequate food portions and shortages in the prison commissary, among other grievances. The prisoners’ rights group Return Strong says the protest at Ely State Prison began Thursday. The Nevada Department of Corrections said in a statement that the number of people on hunger strike fluctuates each day. As of Monday, it said there were 27 people participating. The advocacy group put the number closer to 40.

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The head of the federal Environmental Protection Agency has visited a West Virginia county where some residents recently got access to clean water after years of having to boil it before drinking. EPA Administrator Michael Regan spoke with community members in McDowell County about drinking water and wastewater inequity. Regan's Journey to Justice tour focuses on historically disadvantaged communities. Residents in the small, majority-Black community of Keystone had to boil their water for a decade until finally getting hooked up to a new water system about a year ago. A coal company had built the original system, but no on took over when it left and the lines deteriorated.

There weren't enough uncounted votes in Republican-leaning areas for Republican challenger Herschel Walker to make up his runoff election night gap with incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock. That’s what led The Associated Press to call the race for Warnock late Tuesday. Voting in the runoff began just weeks after the Nov. 8 general election. Georgia law requires a runoff four weeks after the general election if no candidate gets more than 50% of the initial vote in the general election. Twin runoff elections in Georgia in early 2021 determined the balance of power in the U.S. Senate, with Warnock and fellow Democrat Jon Ossoff taking both seats. This time around Democrats secured control of the chamber last month.

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The Biden administration has signed off on two new significant arms sales to Taiwan in approvals that are sure to rankle China. The State Department said late Tuesday that it had approved sales worth more than $425 million of spare aircraft parts to Taiwan to support its fleet of F-16 fighters, C-130 transport planes and other U.S.-supplied weapons systems. The package includes $330 million in standard replacement parts and $98 million in non-standard equipment. The sales were announced just weeks after President Joe Biden met his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for talks in Indonesia in which China's increasingly aggressive behavior toward Taiwan was a major issue.