5 things to know Thursday

Sunil Kumar

After House impeachment of Trump, Senate awaits article to start trial

The Senate is poised to begin another impeachment trial for President Donald Trump after the House voted Wednesday to charge the outgoing president with inciting the insurrection at the Capitol last week that left five people dead. But senators must first receive the article of impeachment House lawmakers approved – and there’s no telling how long they’ll wait. The Senate must move directly to the trial once it receives the article. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., declined repeatedly to respond to questions about when she would send the article to the Senate. It’s possible the trial could occur during the first days of President-elect Joe Biden’s presidency, which begins with his inauguration Wednesday, though unlikely before then.

Coronavirus: Biden to outline plans for vaccination expansion

On Thursday, President-elect Joe Biden is expected to outline plans for his administration to speed vaccines to more people, following major changes to the U.S. government’s vaccination distribution efforts. Earlier this week, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar asked states to expand vaccinations to people 65 and older, as well as others with comorbidities – two or more medical conditions – provided they have some form of medical documentation. The incoming Biden administration’s transition officials said it didn’t make sense to hold back vaccines at a time when more Americans are dying than at any point in the pandemic.  The U.S. has reported more than 22 million cases and 378,000 deaths related to COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins data. 

Winds halt trains in Wyoming, set records in Montana. Thursday will bring more

Powerful gusts projected to top 70 mph are in store from Colorado, Idaho and Montana to the Dakotas, Wyoming, Nebraska and Utah, prompting wind warnings through Friday, according to the National Weather Service. The same high and low pressure combinations contributing to those winds were responsible for a powerful storm that left a trail of damage in the Pacific Northwest — killing one person and causing a highway to shut down after a landslide. The winds were so extreme that Union Pacific stopped trains between North Platte, Nebraska, and Green River, Wyoming, “until it is safe to resume service,” according to a statement on its website. In Montana, the NWS in Billings reported a gust of 68 mph at the airport, breaking a record set on the same day seven years ago. 

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