Georgia

U.S. employers cut 140,000 jobs in December as the runaway coronavirus pandemic continued to weigh on the U.S. labor market.

It was the first monthly job loss in eight months. The unemployment rate held steady at 6.7%.

With thousands of Americans dying from COVID-19 each day, businesses that depend on in-person contact have struggled.

Updated at 61:28 a.m. ET Thursday

Heading into Wednesday's Electoral College counting process, 14 Republican senators had said they planned to object to at least one state's results.

But that number dwindled after a mob overtook the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday afternoon, stoked by President Trump and his continued falsehoods about the election's legitimacy.

President Trump on Monday went on yet another disinformation campaign about the presidential election during a stump speech for Republican Senate candidates Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. The final push before the state's Tuesday runoff election exemplified the pattern of conspiracies that are closing out his presidency.

Speaking in Dalton, Ga., in the northwest part of the state, Trump vowed to continue his fight to overturn the presidential election, which he lost overwhelmingly in both the popular and electoral vote to President-elect Joe Biden.

Updated 2 p.m. ET Tuesday

The top U.S. prosecutor in Atlanta resigned from his post Monday, giving no clear reason for his departure.

President-elect Joe Biden did a final campaign push in Georgia on Monday afternoon in support of Democratic Senate candidates the Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff as the state prepares for a tight runoff race that will determine control of the U.S. Senate.

Describing the election as one with seismic implications for the rest of the nation, Biden urged Georgians to turn out on Tuesday and vote for the two Democrats.

Updated at 11:40 a.m. ET Tuesday

The political world has trained its focus on Georgia's two U.S. Senate races, which will settle the kind of Senate that President-elect Joe Biden will be dealing with.

The races, taking place Tuesday — the day before Biden is slated to be certified by Congress as the winner of the 2020 presidential election — are expected to be close. Consider that Biden won the rapidly changing but previously traditionally Republican state by fewer than 12,000 votes.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl's district sweeps from the beaches of Santa Monica to the San Fernando Valley. Among the two million people she represents are Latino communities hit especially hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

"Many essential workers, many market and pharmacy and food service and restaurant and hotel workers and a lot of health care workers," she said. "So a lot of people just had to go to work."

Jeanne Bradley, a Republican voter from Hephzibah, Ga., is confused by the mixed messages she's hearing about the election and about her state's GOP leaders.

"We need to know more. You're getting bits and pieces from all of the news media, and you don't know what to believe anymore," she said. "And it's not just the news media. It's people in general."

It's also President Trump.

He narrowly lost the state to President-elect Joe Biden, but he's rejected that outcome and continues a pressure campaign on Georgia's Republican leaders to overturn the result.

There was still an hour to go before Vice President Pence took the stage to stump for Georgia's two incumbent U.S. senators, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. Both Republicans are fighting to hold onto their seats against Democratic challengers, with a runoff election set for Jan. 5.

But Pence was clearly the celebrity draw at this Nov. 20 campaign event in Canton, an Atlanta suburb. People were so eager to see him that parking spots were scarce and a long line of cars snaked through the parking lot of a community college. Some drivers jumped the curb and parked in the grass.

Election experts scoffed this week when Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced he would be filing a lawsuit in the Supreme Court against four key states in an attempt to block presidential electors from finalizing Joe Biden's election victory.

But now President Trump and 17 states he carried are joining that effort.

Officials in the states targeted in the suit — Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — derided it as nothing more than an unfounded publicity stunt.

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