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Top Eight

Top eight stories for today including the House of Commons overwhelmingly backed a trade deal the British government reached with the European Union to keep goods flowing across the English Channel after Britain leaves the bloc; Nashville police went on the defensive amid reports they were warned last year about the man who detonated a bomb on a downtown street Christmas morning; The CDC urged Americans to step up social distancing and other measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 as a new strain circulates, and more.

Your Wednesday night briefing from the staff of Courthouse News

Top eight stories for today including the House of Commons overwhelmingly backed a trade deal the British government reached with the European Union to keep goods flowing across the English Channel after Britain leaves the bloc; Nashville police went on the defensive amid reports they were warned last year about the man who detonated a bomb on a downtown street Christmas morning; The CDC urged Americans to step up social distancing and other measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 as a new strain circulates, and more.

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National

1.) Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged Americans on Wednesday to step up social distancing and other measures to curb the spread of Covid-19, a day after confirming a more contagious strain of the virus had reached the United States.

FILE - In this Nov. 24, 2020, file photo, registered nurse Chrissie Burkhiser works in the emergency room at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis, Mo. Scientists say there is reason for concern but not alarm about new strains of the coronavirus, especially the one currently spreading in England. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

2.) Against the warning from top Republicans that such a challenge would go down “like a shot dog,” Senator Josh Hawley on Wednesday mounted the body’s first effort to unwind the Electoral College certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s November win.

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., speaks during a confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett on Oct. 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool, File)

Regional

3.) Nashville police went on the defensive Wednesday amid reports the girlfriend of the man who detonated a bomb Christmas morning on a downtown street had warned them in August 2019 that he was building bombs in an RV at his home.

A vehicle destroyed in a Christmas Day explosion remains on the street Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. Officials have named 63-year-old Anthony Quinn Warner as the man behind the bombing in which he was killed, but the motive has remained elusive. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

4.) Seeking to close a student learning gap exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced $2 billion in financial incentives Wednesday aimed at encouraging schools to safely relaunch in-person instruction as early as February.

FILE - In this photo, Gov. Gavin Newsom holds a face mask as he urges people to wear them to fight the spread of the coronavirus during a news conference in Rancho Cordova, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, Pool, File)

5.) Minnesota’s highest court unanimously upheld the state’s nonconsensual-porn statute Wednesday, bringing holiday cheer to privacy advocates and a year-end letdown to free-speech groups.

The Minnesota Supreme Court Chamber, located inside the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul. (Photo via Jonathunder/Wikipedia Commons)

International

6.) After four and a half years of acrimonious debate over Brexit, the House of Commons on Wednesday overwhelmingly backed a trade deal the British government reached with the European Union to keep goods flowing across the English Channel after Britain leaves the bloc on New Year’s Day.

A pro-EU protestor stands in Parliament Square as the House of Commons debated the EU (Future Relationship) Bill in London Dec. 30, 2020. (Frank Augstein/AP)

7.) The European Union and China on Wednesday reached a major business investment deal that lets European firms into lucrative Chinese markets and calls for China to ban forced labor and ramp up efforts to protect the environment. 

A screen displays live Chinese President Xi Jinping, top left, European Council President Charles Michel, top right, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, bottom right, French President Emmanuel Macron, bottom center, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel during an EU-China Leaders' meeting video conference at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020. The European Union top officials and China president Xi Jinping will conclude Wednesday a business investment deal that will open big opportunities to European companies, with the potential to irk the new American administration. (Johanna Geron, Pool Photo via AP)

8.) Authorizing its second Covid-19 vaccine, Britain became the first country to give the green light to an affordable, easy-to-store vaccine made by Oxford University and AstraZeneca Wednesday.

Heath Secretary Matt Hancock gives a thumbs up as he leaves Millbank in Westminster, central London, after the news that a Covid-19 vaccine from Oxford University and AstraZeneca has been approved for use in the UK, paving the way for a mass rollout. Britain on Wednesday authorized use of a second COVID-19 vaccine, becoming the first country to greenlight an easy-to-handle shot that its developers hope will become the “vaccine for the world.” (Steve Parsons/PA via AP)

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