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Democrat Raphael Warnock won one of Georgia’s two Senate runoffs Wednesday, becoming the first Black senator in his state’s history and putting the U.S. Senate majority within the party’s reach.

A pastor who spent the past 15 years leading the Atlanta church where Martin Luther King Jr. preached, Warnock defeated Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler. It was a stinging rebuke of outgoing President Donald Trump, who made one of his final trips in office to Georgia to rally his loyal base behind Loeffler and the Republican running for the other seat, David Perdue.

The focus now shifts to the second race between Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff. The candidates were locked in a tight race and it was too early to call a winner. Under Georgia law, a trailing candidate may request a recount when the margin of an election is less than or equal to 0.5 percentage points.

Read more:

David Shribman: One thing is clear in Georgia – just like the rest of the country, it is deeply divided

Andrew Coyne: The GOP’s descent into madness puts American democracy at risk

Top Georgia election official says White House pushed him to take call from Trump

Republicans, fearing Trump’s wrath, splinter over bid to overturn U.S. election

Voters wanting to cast their ballots go to and from the Julian Smith Casino in Augusta, Ga., Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021.Michael Holahan/The Associated Press

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Trudeau says he shares frustration in pace of COVID-19 vaccinations

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged Canadians’ frustration at the slow rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine and at the pace of distribution in the largest immunization campaign in the country’s history.

Trudeau pledged to work closely with the provinces to deliver vaccines to vulnerable populations and front-line workers. He said that vaccine distribution will be discussed with the premiers during a first ministers’ meeting on Thursday.

Canada is facing increased criticism about the slower speed of the country’s vaccine rollout plan compared with peer countries while case numbers grow rapidly. Government figures compiled by the COVID-19 Canada Open Data Working Group show no province has administered more than 50 per cent of the doses it has received so far.

Read more from our foreign correspondents:

Under fire for slowest COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Europe, France vows to speed up campaign

Britain steps up vaccination program in bid to curb latest coronavirus surge

Air Canada hires influencers to promote vacation travel amid pandemic

Air Canada has hired social media influencers to promote non-essential travel through Air Canada Vacations despite federal guidelines urging people to stay home and rising COVID-19 cases.

Canadians who take non-essential trips do so at their own risk, and will be required to show a negative COVID-19 test before returning effective Jan. 7, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said yesterday.

The domestic airline industry has criticized the new testing rule. The International Air Transport Association called it “callous and impractical,” and said requirements should be loosened for those who test negative.

China drops ‘political guillotine’ on Hong Kong with arrest of 53 pro-democracy politicians, scholars

Hong Kong maintains the trappings of democracy. It has legislators and councillors, scheduled elections, political parties and legal assurances that its people will be granted universal suffrage to choose their leader.

But the arrest of dozens of legislators, pro-democracy politicians and scholars on Wednesday – a “political guillotine” that marked the single biggest enforcement action since the imposition of a National Security Law last year – brought into stark new light the enormity of Beijing’s changes to the political rights of those who live in the city, including hundreds of thousands with Canadian passports.

Read more:

Nearly half of Canadians visited friends or family over the holidays, new poll suggests

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ALSO ON OUR RADAR

U.S. shuts out Canada to win world junior gold: The Americans beat the Canadians 2-0, dashing the dreams of the mostly 18- and 19-year-olds who had imagined they would join the likes of greats like Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Jarome Iginla, Eric Lindros, Connor McDavid and Carey Price in accomplishing the feat.

Health care professionals worry about reopening schools after holidays: As students in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec get ready to return to classrooms after the holiday break, doctors are raising concerns about the high level of community transmission for COVID-19 and the discovery of a more contagious variant of the virus.

Single parents left behind in Canada’s labour recovery: The challenges of juggling child care and employment in the pandemic are leaving thousands of single parents behind in Canada’s labour recovery. As of November, about 41,000 fewer single parents of children under 6 were employed, a drop of 25 per cent from a year earlier, according to Statistics Canada data.

Major housing markets cap a hectic year with growth in December: House sales and prices in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal jumped in December, capping a hectic year that saw sales rebound from a temporary pandemic-induced slump.

Canadian online reading app provider Wattpad now in talks to be bought out: Wattpad Corp., a Toronto company that once touted itself as the “next Disney” and built one of Canada’s largest global internet brands, is in talks with multiple parties to potentially sell the enterprise for upward of US$500-million.


MORNING MARKETS

Futures tracking the technology-heavy Nasdaq 100 index sank on Wednesday as investors priced in the prospect of a Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate that could lead to tighter regulations on technology mega-caps. A so-called “blue wave” would give more scope for President-elect Joe Biden to act on his reform plans including new COVID-19 stimulus, but it could also mean higher corporate taxes and more regulations on the technology behemoths that led Wall Street’s recovery from a coronavirus-driven crash last year. Shares of Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc. and Google-parent Alphabet Inc fell between 1.9% and 2.4% in early premarket trading. Tesla Inc was the only major technology stock trading higher.


WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Konrad Yakabuski: “Many urban planners worry the Caisse has shown heavy-handedness in imposing its vision for Montreal’s transit future in order to guarantee returns for its depositors, without regard for the efforts of regional public transit authorities to work in concert.”


TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON

CartoonBrian Gable/The Globe and Mail


LIVING BETTER

Travel news: It’s time to lace up your skates, Canada

From Hotel de Glace in Valcartier, Que., to Toby Creek Nordic Ski Club in B.C.’s Columbia Valley, ice skating trails are open and available upon reservation across Canada this winter. Here are eight places to get outside and lace up your skates.


MOMENT IN TIME: JAN. 6, 1937

Brother Andre, founder of Montreal's St. Joseph's Oratory.Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount-Royal via Reuters

Brother André dies

Alfred Bessette, a man with so little education he could barely read, found his calling with the Roman Catholic church. He joined as a lay brother of the Congregation of Holy Cross and became Brother André, taking his final vows in 1874 when he was 28. Over the decades, stories grew about his healing ability. From around the world, pilgrims would visit him in a small chapel on Montreal’s Mount Royal, and they would pray together for intercession from Saint Joseph. Thousands tossed their canes and crutches, reporting they had been healed – a miracle. André never called himself a healer. “I do not cure. Saint Joseph cures.” His devotion to the saint spurred the building of the magnificent St. Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal. The basilica was under construction when he died on this day in 1937. Over the next week, a million people filed past his open coffin. André's body lies in a black marble tomb below the Oratory’s main chapel, but his heart is preserved at the Oratory in a theft-proof reliquary where it can be viewed. André was venerated in 1978, beatified in 1982 and, in recognition of miracles attributed to him, canonized in 2010, becoming Saint André of Montreal. Philip King

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