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Author: ABC News

Klobuchar noted that the inauguration ceremony “is a culmination of 244 years of a democracy.”

Kamala Harris is set to become the first female vice president and woman of color in the White House.

Biden kept with tradition by choosing a symbolic Bible to be sworn in on.

January 20, 2021, 3:58 PM
• 3 min read

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When President-elect Joe Biden takes the oath of office Wednesday, he’ll do so using a Bible with 127 years of family history behind it.
Biden, who is Catholic, has used the leather-bound, 5-inch thick book, which has been in his family since 1893, each time he’s been sworn into elected office during the course of his career.

Inscribed inside are the dates of each of his swearing-in ceremonies. Biden’s late son Beau also used the family Bible when he was sworn in as Delaware’s attorney general.
“Every important date is in there,” Biden told television host Stephen Colbert in December.

Vice President Joe Biden places his hand on the Biden Family Bible as he takes the oath of office from Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor during the official swearing-in ceremony at the Naval Observatory, Jan. 20, 2013, in Washington, DC.

Being sworn in on a Bible is not required by the Constitution, but modern-day presidents have adhered to tradition and chosen symbolic Bibles for their inauguration days.

The tradition itself dates back to President George Washington, who was sworn in using a Masonic Bible in 1789.

Joe Biden is sworn-in as Vice President, alongside his wife Jill who holds the family Bible during the 57th Presidential Inauguration ceremonial swearing-in at the US Capitol, Jan. 21, 2013, in Washington, D.C.

Vice-President elect Kamala Harris will be sworn in using multiple Bibles, each of which has personal significance.
One is the family Bible of civil rights icon Rosa Parks, a large heavy clothbound book, published in 1900. Other Bibles chosen by Harris include one that belonged to Thurgood Marshall, the first Black Supreme Court Justice, who Harris has said inspired her career path, and a Bible that belonged to a close family friend, Mrs. Regina Shelton.
“When I raise my right hand and take the oath of office tomorrow, I carry with me two heroes who’d speak up for the voiceless and help those in need: Justice Thurgood Marshall and Mrs. Shelton,” Harris wrote on Twitter Tuesday.
ABC News’ Chad Murray, Averi Harper and Beatrice Peterson contributed to this report.

A former Arizona politician must report to prison by midday Thursday to begin serving the first of what will be three sentences stemming from an illegal adoption scheme

Two city councils in North Carolina have unanimously passed ordinances protecting against discrimination for wearing hairstyles such as braids, dreadlocks or afros

ByThe Associated Press

January 20, 2021, 3:25 PM
• 2 min read

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DURHAM, N.C. — Two city councils in North Carolina have unanimously passed ordinances protecting against discrimination for wearing hairstyles such as braids, dreadlocks or afros.
The Durham City Council on Tuesday voted to ban employers from discriminating based on hairstyles, WRAL-TV reported. It’s an issue that Black people, especially women, say they’ve faced in their careers.

“It is absolutely a form of racial discrimination,” said Durham County District Attorney Satana Deberry, who helped push for the legal protections. Early in her career, Deberry said, a court clerk pulled her aside and suggested she reconsider her short afro.
“There’s probably a very, very small percentage of Black women who can tell you that they haven’t felt some form of discrimination based on how they’ve chosen to wear their hair,” Deberry said. “Your grooming is talked about when you go out on interviews.”
The ordinance also protects residents from discrimination based on gender identity, sexuality and military status, The News & Observer reported. It comes as North Carolina municipalities are acting to expand LGBT rights since the expiration of a moratorium on nondiscrimination ordinances agreed to years ago as a compromise to do away with the state’s “bathroom bill.”
Greensboro’s City Council passed a measure similar to that of Durham’s on Tuesday. Orange County, just northwest of Durham, also passed an anti-discrimination measure, but its ordinance did not address hairstyles.
People who work in hair care see the problem: Salon owner Kito Jones said one client who worked as a neurosurgeon used hair relaxers because she felt pressured to conform. The woman’s hair then started falling out, Jones said.
“She was the only woman of color,” Jones said. “It did cause her to continue to wear her hair with chemicals in a straightened pattern so there was an acceptance, so to speak, amongst her colleagues.”

While several other states, including Virginia, California, New York and New Jersey, have passed similar legislation, Durham is among one of the first cities in North Carolina to ban hair-based discrimination.
The city council is also scheduled to vote Thursday on a resolution in support of Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, or CROWN Act, a federal bill that bans discrimination based on hair. The legislation passed the U.S. House in September, and city officials are joining a push to have the U.S. Senate take up a vote.

President Donald Trump has pardoned a former Google engineer who plead guilty to stealing trade secrets before joining Uber’s effort to build robotic vehicles for its ride-hailing service

By The Associated Press

January 20, 2021, 1:35 PM
• 2 min read

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NEW YORK — President Donald Trump pardoned a former Google engineer who was sentenced to prison last year for stealing trade secrets from the tech giant related to robotic vehicles.
Anthony Levandowski left Google in early 2016 where he worked in the autonomous vehicle division to start his own company called Otto. That company was acquired by Uber for $680 million as the ride-hailing venture pursued its own autonomous vehicle division.

Before leaving, Levandowski downloaded a trove of Google’s self-driving car technology, leading eventually to 33 counts of intellectual property theft against him. He plead guilty to one count and was sentenced to 18 months in prison last summer.
Levandowski was among the more than 140 people included in a flurry of clemency action in the final hours of Trump’s White House term, which included former chief strategist Steve Bannon, ex-members of Congress and other allies of Trump and his family.
In a White House statement, the administration said the pardon was supported by one-time Trump supporter and tech billionaire Peter Thiel, former Disney executive Michael Ovitz, and Palmer Luckey, founder of the virtual reality company Oculus VR.
Levandowski thanked the president in an early morning tweet Wednesday, saying he was grateful for the opportunity to move forward.
Uber sold its autonomous vehicles development arm four months after Levandowski was sentenced.

A lawyer for the publisher of the Daily Mail newspaper says the Duchess of Sussex had no reasonable expectation of privacy for a letter she sent to her estranged father after her marriage to Prince Harry

By JILL LAWLESS Associated Press

January 20, 2021, 1:37 PM
• 3 min read

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LONDON — A lawyer for the publisher of the Daily Mail newspaper said Wednesday that the Duchess of Sussex had no reasonable expectation of privacy for a letter she sent to her estranged father after her marriage to Prince Harry.
Arguing against the duchess’ privacy-infringement claim, attorney Antony White said “it’s to be inferred that the letter was written and sent by the claimant with a view to it being disclosed to third parties and read by the public.”

He said ex-employees of Meghan and Harry would be able to shed light on the creation of the letter when the case comes to trial.
The former Meghan Markle, 39, is suing publisher Associated Newspapers for invasion of privacy and copyright infringement over five February 2019 articles in the Mail on Sunday and on the MailOnline website, which published portions of a handwritten letter to her father, Thomas Markle, after her 2018 wedding to Harry, a grandson of Queen Elizabeth II.
Associated Newspapers is contesting the claim, and a full trial is due to be held in the autumn at the High Court. In hearings this week the duchess is seeking a summary judgment that would find in her favor and dismiss the newspaper’s defense case without a trial.
Meghan’s lawyer, Justin Rushbrooke, argued Tuesday that that the publisher had “no real prospect” of winning because “it’s a very straightforward case about the unlawful publication of a private letter.”
But the defense argues Meghan wrote the letter as part of a media strategy to rebut a negative view conveyed by her father, and with help from the communications team in the royal couple’s Kensington Palace office.
“Why was the Kensington Palace communications team involved at all in the wording of the letter if it was a wholly private letter?” White said.

He said a full trial would be able to hear important evidence from former palace employees about how the contested letter was written.
Lawyers representing four former Kensington Palace staffers, including ex-communications secretary Jason Knauf, said in a letter submitted to the court that “one or more of our clients” would be able to provide insight on “whether or not the claimant anticipated that the letter might come into the public domain,” and whether or not Meghan “directly or indirectly provided private information” to the authors of a book about her and Harry, called “Finding Freedom.”
Meghan, an American actress and star of TV legal drama “Suits,” married Harry at Windsor Castle in May 2018. Their son, Archie, was born the following year.
A year ago, Meghan and Harry announced they were quitting royal duties and moving to North America, citing what they said were the unbearable intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media. They recently bought a house in Santa Barbara, California.
Judge Mark Warby is expected to rule on the application for summary judgment at a later date.
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Follow all AP developments on Prince Harry and Meghan at https://apnews.com/hub/prince-harry and https://apnews.com/hub/meghan-markle

Officials say a Florida deputy has been arrested for threatening to kill federal officials following the riot at the U.S. Capitol earlier this month

ByThe Associated Press

January 20, 2021, 2:31 PM
• 2 min read

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BARTOW, Fla. — A Florida deputy was arrested Tuesday for threatening to kill federal officials following the riot at the U.S. Capitol earlier this month, officials said.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd announced during a news conference that Deputy Peter Heneen, 29, was charged with making written threats to kill, conduct a mass shooting or an act of terrorism. The deputy, who was hired more than six years ago, has been suspended pending termination, Judd said.

“I am angry beyond words,” Judd said. “Having him arrested was important. Having him arrested before Inauguration Day was even more important.”
Joe Biden was set to be sworn in as president Wednesday in front of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington. Congress had met there Jan. 6 to certify the results of the presidential election. But an angry mob coming from a President Donald Trump rally near the White House broke into the Capitol, forcing members of Congress to flee. Five people died during the riot, including one Capitol Police officer.
Heneen had been communicating with another deputy on Facebook private messenger, angry about a rioter who had been fatally shot while trying to break through a door, the sheriff’s office said.
According to screenshots of the conversation, Heneen talked about shooting “the feds” and making “the streets of DC run red with the blood of these tyrants,” officials said.
The other deputy, who officials did not name, reported Heneen to his supervisors Jan. 8. Judd said they are still investigating, but Heneen does not appear to be part of any organized group or militia.
Online jail records did not list an attorney for Heneen.

FILE – In this Oct. 20, 2019, file photograph, the company logo shines off the grille of an unsold 2019 F-250 pickup truck at a Ford dealership in Littleton, Colo. Ford Motor Co. posted a stronger-than-expected third-quarter net profit, the company announced Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020, as demand for cars and trucks recovered from coronavirus shutdowns and the company sold more high-margin trucks. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)