Good morning, NBC News readers.
The U.S. faces two consequential political moments as the coronavirus pandemic rages on and forces the U.K. to take on drastic new lockdown measures.
Here is what we're watching this Tuesday morning.
Georgians urged to ignore disinformation and vote in crucial runoffs
Georgians head to the polls today to cast their ballots in two races that will determine control of the U.S. Senate.
President Donald Trump headlined a rally Monday evening to drum up support for the two incumbent Republicans, but quickly shifted to attacking members of his own party and spreading more misinformation about voter fraud in the 2020 elections.
President-elect Joe Biden also appeared in the state on Monday and made a final pitch for the Democrats running in the crucial runoffs.
"Georgia, the whole nation is looking to you," Biden said, urging voters to give him a Democratic Senate to work with in Washington. "One state can chart the course not just for the next four years, but for the next generation."
The rallies came as a top Georgia election official, Gabriel Sterling, made an impassioned plea to voters to ignore Trump's disinformation about voter fraud in the state.
In a stinging rebuff of the president, Sterling went point-by-point through the conspiracy theories Trump raised in his hourlong phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which Trump could be heard pleading with the official to overturn the election results.
So far, more than 3 million people have already voted in the runoffs, shattering turnout records for an off-cycle race.
Meantime, Democrats have asked the FBI to investigate Trump after the leaked phone call with Raffensperger.
But while Trump's call might have violated federal and state election laws, it will be hard to prove that in court, legal experts say.
Georgia voters head to polls in crucial Senate runoff electionsJan. 5, 202102:33
Fireworks instead of ho-hum bureaucracy? What to expect when Congress meets to confirm Electoral College results
The Electoral College vote count in Congress on Wednesday is expected to be a much longer — and more contentious — affair than normal.
Some Republican lawmakers plan to use the procedural vote count to object to Biden's wins in numerous swing states in a Hail Mary-type bid to keep Trump in the White House.
The objections are expected to fail, but they could turn the typically short ceremony into an hours- or even days-long event. Check out a primer on what to expect from NBC News' Dareh Gregorian.
Washington, D.C.'s mayor has called up the National Guard in anticipation of pro-Trump demonstrations planned to coincide with Congress meeting to certify the election results.
A Proud Boys leader was arrested when he entered the city Monday. He is accused of destroying a Black Lives Matter sign at a historic Black church in D.C. during a pro-Trump rally last month.
Trump pressures Pence to try to overturn outcome of electionJan. 5, 202104:19
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- "We need to do more": Britain heads into third national lockdown in battle against mutant virus strain.
- Follow our live blog for all the latest Covid-19 developments.
- A Wisconsin pharmacist accused of trying to destroy hundreds of doses of the Covid vaccine is a "conspiracy theorist, authorities say.
THINK about it
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Quote of the day
"Again, all of this is easily provably false and yet the president persists and by doing so undermines Georgians' faith in the election system."
— Gabriel Sterling, a Georgia election official, said Monday, urging residents to vote in the state's Senate runoff elections.
One fun thing
"Hold my beer!"
That's how professional surfer Mikey Wright captioned an Instagram thread showing how he raced to help a woman who was caught in rough waves in Hawaii.
With help from his sister shouting directions from shore, the pair got the woman to safety. Phew.
Video captures pro surfer rescuing woman caught in rough wavesJan. 4, 202101:04
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