ABC - Top Stories


(WASHINGTON) -- This is Day Three of the administration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

Here is how events are unfolding. All times Eastern:

Jan 23, 5:13 am
Biden makes changes to Oval Office, removes controversial portrait hung by Trump

Biden's work in the White House and in the country is just beginning.

ABC reported that while Biden has been in office for only three days, he has already made significant tweaks to the Oval Office.

In a wall next to his desk he hung a portrait of Benjamin Franklin.

He also hung up portraits of former presidents Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson.

Apart from that, he added busts of Latino civil rights activist Cesar Chavez, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt and former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.

The portrait of controversial President Andrew Jackson, which Donald Trump previously hung in the office, is long gone.

This Saturday, the president will hold a private meeting with advisors in his new office, according to the White House.

-ABC's Michelle Stoddart and Adia Robinson

Jan 22, 10:25 pm
Trudeau, Biden 'to work shoulder to shoulder,' Canadian PM says

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shared details of his phone conversation Friday with President Joe Biden.

The two discussed "ending the pandemic, growing the middle class, fighting climate change, and creating good jobs for people on both sides of the border," among other issues, Trudeau tweeted, along with a photo of himself smiling while on the phone.

When it comes to ending the pandemic, growing the middle class, fighting climate change, and creating good jobs for people on both sides of the border, @POTUS @JoeBiden and I know there’s a lot of work to do together - and no time to waste.

— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 23, 2021

The two leaders "agreed to work shoulder to shoulder" to address the issues, Trudeau added, before congratulating Biden -- whom he referred to as "Joe" -- on the inauguration.  

According to a readout of the conversation from Trudeau's office, the prime minister also raised Canada's "disappointment" over Biden's cancelation of the Keystone XL pipeline and urged the removal of softwood lumber duties that Trump imposed.

In its own readout of the conversation, the White House said that Biden "acknowledged" Trudeau's "disappointment" about the Keystone XL pipeline, and that the president "reaffirmed his commitment to maintain an active bilateral dialogue and to further deepen cooperation with Canada."

Trudeau and Biden agreed to meet next month "in order to advance the important work of renewing the deep and enduring friendship between Canada and the United States," the prime minister's office said.

-ABC News' Kirit Radia and Benjamin Siu

Jan 22, 10:27 pm
Trump's former acting DHS secretary calls for Senate to confirm replacement

Former President Donald Trump's acting Department of Homeland Security secretary is urging the Senate to confirm Joe Biden's nominee for the post.

In a letter Friday to the Senate Homeland Security Committee that was obtained by ABC News, Kevin McAleenan argued that due to the ongoing pandemic, immigration issues and U.S. national security interests, the Senate should vote to confirm Alejandro Mayorkas.

"There has been a long-standing, bipartisan commitment to ensure that a duly-elected President receives swift confirmation of the national security positions in his Cabinet. There should be no exception to this commitment today, when multi-faceted challenges and threats face our nation, and effective responses from our Federal Government are essential," wrote McAleenan, who also noted that domestic terrorism is an "increasing concern."

McAleenan also vouched for Mayorkas' credentials in his letter.

"After serving under his leadership during the Obama Administration, I know that Ali Mayorkas has the character, intellect, and integrity to serve as Secretary of Homeland Security," he wrote. "He has the humility to listen to his operational component leaders and has the character to make difficult decisions."

-ABC News' Luke Barr

Jan 22, 4:08 pm
Senate departs for the weekend having confirmed only 2 Biden appointees

The Senate is not expected to take any additional votes on Biden appointees Friday, ABC News has learned.

That means Biden will head into his first weekend as president with only two Senate-confirmed appointees: Avril Haines, who was confirmed as director of national intelligence Wednesday, and Lloyd Austin, who was confirmed as defense secretary Friday.

The Senate left Friday without voting on the nomination of Janet Yellen to serve as treasury secretary. Her nomination unanimously passed out of the Senate Finance committee Friday morning. It's not clear why the Senate did not vote on Yellen.

The Senate will also leave for the weekend without voting on several other nominees who sat for confirmation hearings this week.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer blamed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for the stall.

"He's the one holding things up," Schumer said.

-ABC News' Allison Pecorin

Jan 22, 3:48 pm
Pelosi says impeachment timeline fair to Trump

In a new letter to colleagues, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says former President Trump will have had plenty of time to prepare for his upcoming Senate trial, which could start as soon as next week.
Republicans have called foul over the fact that the impeachment in the House was rushed and now they want to give the former president until mid-February to mount his defense.

But Pelosi is making it clear that the article will be sent to the Senate on Monday and that the process will be fair to the former president.

"The House has been respectful of the Senate’s constitutional power over the trial and always attentive to the fairness of the process. When the Article of Impeachment is transmitted to the Senate, the former President will have had nearly two weeks since we passed the Article. Our Managers are ready for trial before the 100 Senate jurors," she writes in her letter.

Once the article of impeachment is delivered to the Senate Monday, the trial must start by Tuesday at 1 p.m. unless Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell come up with an agreement that could give both sides more time to prepare.

-ABC News' Mariam Khan

Jan 22, 3:25 pm
Biden says ‘we have to act now’ to address the economy

During a remarks on Friday, President Biden highlighted the dire economic situation many Americans are facing as the pandemic rages.

“We cannot, will not, let people go hungry. We cannot let people be evicted because of nothing they did themselves,” Biden said. “I cannot watch people lose their jobs … We have to act. We have to act now.”

“It's not just to meet the moral obligation to treat our fellow Americans with the dignity and respect they deserve, this is an economic imperative,” he added, noting there is a growing consensus among top economists calling for big action to buoy the economy in this moment of crisis.

Biden touted his $1.9 trillion economic rescue plan, saying it has received broad, bipartisan support.

The president cited a Moody’s analysis that estimates the plan will result in the economy creating 7.5 million jobs this year alone.

“We have to do this, we have to move,” the president said.

“We’re going to finish the job of getting a total of $2,000 in direct payments to folks,” Biden added, noting that the $600 payments that passed in late 2020 is “not enough.”

“I look forward to working with members of Congress of both parties to move quickly to get this American rescue plan to the American people,” the president said.

After his remarks, Biden signed two executive orders -- one that will provide expanded food assistance and one that will launch a process to require federal contractors to pay their workers a $15 minimum wage and provide emergency paid leave.

Jan 22, 3:05 pm
Jill Biden makes surprise visit to National Guard troops at Capitol

First Lady Jill Biden made a surprise visit to the Capitol building to deliver some sweets to National Guard troops.

The first lady, carrying a basket, thanked the guard members for their service and said the Bidens were a National Guard family, referencing the late Beau Biden.

Jill Biden also reportedly distributed chocolate chip cookies and posed for a group photo with some of the troops.

Her visit Friday comes after photos of National Guard members sleeping in a parking garage sparked outrage from both sides of the aisle on social media.

Jan 22, 2:40 pm
Psaki confirms Biden has invoked the Defense Production Act

Psaki confirmed at a press briefing Friday that Biden has invoked the Defense Production Act to help combat the COVID-19 crisis.

“There was a question yesterday about whether the Defense Production Act had been invoked,” she said. “It has been invoked, so those processes are now rapidly ongoing.”

While she said she didn’t have specific companies involved, she said “those conversations are happening as we speak.”

Jan 22, 2:19 pm
Psaki says Biden has ordered a comprehensive threat assessment on ‘domestic violent extremism’

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at a press briefing Friday that Biden is taking new action to address domestic violent extremism in the wake of the Capitol raid earlier this month.

“The January 6th assault on the Capitol and tragic deaths and destruction that occurred underscored what we have long known, the rise of domestic violent extremism is a serious and growing national security threat,” Psaki said. “The Biden administration will confront this threat with the necessary resources and resolve.”

Psaki said the administration's initial work here will fall into three areas.

“The first is a tasking from president Biden sent to the ODNI today requesting a comprehensive threat assessment, coordinated with the FBI and DHS, on domestic violent extremism,” Psaki said.

“The second will be the building of an NSC capability to focus on countering domestic violent extremism,” she added, saying as a part of this, the National Safety Council will undertake a broad policy review effort.

“The third will be coordinating relevant parts of the federal government to enhance and accelerate efforts to address DVE,” she added. This process will focus on addressing evolving threats, radicalization, the role of social media and more, according to Psaki.

Jan 22, 1:39 pm
Biden to sign 2 economy-related executive orders Friday

Biden’s National Economic Council Director Brian Deese said at a press briefing Friday that Biden will sign two executive orders later in the day to aid Americans struggling amid the COVID-19-induced economic downturn.

Deese painted a picture of the pandemic-battered economy, saying, “We are 10 million jobs short still of where the economy was when this pandemic started.”

“Last month, the economy lost jobs for the first time since last spring,” he added. “Retail sales fell last month, and just yesterday we saw another 900,000 Americans filed for unemployment insurance.”

Deese also touted Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion economic rescue plan, saying the team hopes “that Congress will move quickly to consider this important proposal without delay.”

As previously reported by ABC News, the two executive orders Biden will sign today deal with food insecurity and raising the minimum wage for federal contract workers, Deese said.

One will aim to address the 29 million Americans struggling with hunger by asking the Department of Agriculture to expand food assistance by 15% for school children missing meals due to school closures, increase emergency SNAP benefits to the lowest income homes in the country and revise the amount provided by the program to better cover the cost of a healthy diet, according to the White House.

The other executive order will put federal agencies on a path to require a $15 minimum wage for contractors.

Deese also said Friday that the administration will then turn its focus to providing equitable relief for small businesses.

Jan 22, 1:35 pm
Austin administratively sworn in as secretary of defense

After being confirmed by the Senate, Lloyd Austin was administratively sworn in as secretary of defense by Tom Muir, acting director of the Washington Headquarters Services, Friday afternoon.

Austin was greeted outside the Pentagon by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley around noon before heading inside to be sworn in and begin his first day as the head of the department. On his way in he made very brief remarks to press:

"Hello everybody. Good to see you guys, and thank you for being here. I look forward to working with you. See you around campus," said Austin, who did not take questions.

Jan 22, 1:17 pm
Some Republicans not prepared to split Senate time during impeachment

Several Republicans say they are not prepared to allow the Senate to conduct other business during the hours the impeachment trial is not going on, something that would require unanimous consent.

If a bifurcated approach cannot be agreed on, other Biden administration priorities -- like confirmation of nominees and COVID-19 relief -- will be on pause during the trial, however long it takes.

Negotiations behind the scenes are still ongoing but the trial will start Tuesday barring an agreement between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

By threatening to put other Democratic priorities on ice for the trial, Republicans are putting some pressure on Schumer to agree to McConnell's proposed delay of the trial start date.

Jan 22, 12:14 pm
Biden, Harris mark anniversary of Roe v. Wade ruling

Biden and Harris said in a statement marking the 48th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade ruling that their administration “is committed to codifying Roe v. Wade and appointing judges that respect foundational precedents like Roe.”

"In the past four years, reproductive health, including the right to choose, has been under relentless and extreme attack. We are deeply committed to making sure everyone has access to care -- including reproductive health care -- regardless of income, race, zip code, health insurance status, or immigration status," their statement said.

Jan 22, 11:42 am
Pelosi confirms impeachment article will be delivered to Senate by House managers on Monday

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., confirmed plans for the House impeachment managers to deliver the impeachment article to the Senate on Monday.

Absent an agreement between Senate Democrats and Republicans on the contours of the trial, the delivery of the article would trigger a start to formal proceedings the following day.

Pelosi, pushing back on GOP claims that the timeline doesn't provide former President Trump with enough time to prepare his defense, said in a statement that he "will have had the same amount of time to prepare for trial as our Managers."

“Exactly one week after the attack on the Capitol to undermine the integrity of our democracy, a bipartisan vote of the House of Representatives passed the article of impeachment, which is our solemn duty to deliver to the Senate,” Pelosi stated.

Jan 22, 11:11 am
Senate confirms Lloyd Austin to serve as secretary of defense

By a vote of 93-2, the Senate confirmed Lloyd Austin as secretary of defense on Friday.

He is the second Senate-confirmed Biden appointee and now becomes the first African American to lead the Department of Defense.

Jan 22, 11:07 am
Senate Finance Committee unanimously advances Yellen's nomination

Janet Yellen, Biden’s pick for treasury secretary, had her nomination unanimously advanced by the Senate Finance Committee on Friday.

Her nomination will now go to the full Senate floor for final confirmation.

Yellen is the former chair of the Federal Reserve and, if confirmed by the Senate, would become the first woman to lead the Treasury.

Jan 22, 10:51 am
Photos of National Guardsmen resting in the parking lot sparks outrage

Lawmakers expressed outrage on Twitter Thursday night after photos of National Guardsmen allegedly being booted out of the congressional grounds and sequestered into a parking garage for their breaks went viral.

The images were first reported by Politico, which stated that thousands of National Guardsmen were forced to vacate congressional grounds and take rest breaks in a parking garage.

Tens of thousands of guardsmen were originally summoned to the nation’s capital to assist with security for Biden’s inauguration after the deadly mob attack earlier this month at the Capitol building.  

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle responded to the reports on Twitter.

“If this is true, it's outrageous,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., wrote. “I will get to the bottom of this.”

The verified Senate Republicans Twitter handle called it “unacceptable” and said the guardsmen “should be welcomed back inside the Capitol ASAP.”

Military veteran Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill, called the news “unreal.”

“I can’t believe that the same brave servicemembers we’ve been asking to protect our Capitol and our Constitution these last two weeks would be unceremoniously ordered to vacate the building,” Duckworth said. “I am demanding answers ASAP. They can use my office.”

On Friday morning, the Capitol Police Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman issued a statement assuring that, “with the exception of specific times on Inauguration Day itself while the swearing-in ceremonies were underway, the United States Capitol police did not instruct the National Guard to vacate the Capitol Building facilities.”

Pittman said that the Capitol Police has worked tirelessly to identify accommodations for the guardsmen and that on Friday, “the Thurgood Marshall Judicial Office Building reached out directly to the National Guard to offer use of its facilities.”

“As of this morning, all Guardsmen and women have been relocated to space within the Capitol Complex,” Pittman added. “The Department is also working with the Guard to reduce the need for sleeping accommodations by establishing shorter shifts and will ensure they have access to the comfortable accommodations they absolutely deserve when the need arises.”

Jan 22, 10:18 am
Article of impeachment will be delivered to Senate on Monday: Schumer

The House will deliver the impeachment article against former President Trump to the Senate on Monday, formally launching trial proceedings next week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on the Senate floor Friday.

Schumer's announcement follows a request from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to delay the trial until February to give Trump and his still-forming legal team time to prepare a defense.

Trump will be the first former president to face an impeachment trial. Some Senate Republicans have argued that the trial would be unconstitutional because the 45th president is no longer in office, a stance that could trigger a Senate debate and vote on the validity of the trial in the coming weeks.

"I have spoken to Speaker Pelosi who informed me that the articles will be delivered to the Senate on Monday," Schumer said.

"The Senate will conduct a trial of the impeachment of Donald Trump. It will be a full trial, it will be a fair trial," he added, without details on the length or format of the proceedings.

Jan 22, 7:57 am
'We're not packing our bags at 100 million shots,' Psaki says

While White House press secretary Jen Psaki acknowledged that Biden's goal of getting 100 million Americans vaccinated against COVID-19 within the first 100 days of his presidency "was bold at the time" it was set and "continues to be," she insisted their efforts won't stop there.

"When we reach that goal, and we're confident we will, we're going to build from there. So we're not packing our bags at 100 million shots in the arms of Americans," Psaki told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos in an interview Friday on Good Morning America.

"We want to make sure that people know that we're going to hold ourselves accountable and we're going to do everything to make sure we're getting as many people vaccinated as possible," she added.

Addressing the criticism from some congressional Republicans on Biden's proposed $1.9 trillion stimulus package, Psaki said the emergency relief plan "is big because the crises are big" but that it's really just an opening offer and the president believes they can get a bipartisan package.

"This is exactly how it should work," she said, "and it feels maybe unfamiliar to many people."

"The president of the United States laid out his agenda, laid out his bold vision. There's going to be a discussion with members of congress of both parties about where we go from here," she continued. "They'll like some pieces, they won't like some pieces, we'll see what the sausage looks like when it comes out of the machine."

"He's an optimist by nature, I can confirm for the American public," she said of Biden. "But also he's a believer, having spent 36 years in the Senate, that when the country is facing a crisis -- and we're facing multiple right now, not just health, the pandemic -- that Democrats and Republicans are going to have to come together to agree on a package to address this crisis."

When asked whether the Biden administration favours a delay on Trump's impeachment trial in the Senate in order to get more cabinet members confirmed, Psaki dodged the question and instead emphasized the urgent need for the confirmation process to move quickly.

"We want it to be expedited," she said. "Again, you know, the president is somebody who's focused on working with both parties to get both his cabinet through, address the crises we're facing, and that's what we're going to work to do everyday. We'll see if we're successful."

Jan 22, 7:25 am
Harris to stay at Blair House while Naval Observatory undergoes repairs

Harris and her husband, second gentleman Doug Emhoff, will stay at Blair House while repairs at the vice president's official residence, the Naval Observatory, are underway, a spokesperson told ABC News.

Blair House, which was built in 1824, is located just steps from the White House and is the oldest of four connected townhouses that comprise the president's guest house.

An aide had previously confirmed that Harris will not immediately move into the Naval Observatory to "allow for repairs to the home that are more easily conducted with the home unoccupied." The repairs are to replace the liners in the chimneys "and other household maintenance," the aide said.

Jan 22, 1:30 am
Biden to outline response to US economic crisis

On his third day in office, President Joe Biden will tackle one of the country's biggest issues: the economic recession brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Biden will deliver remarks on his administration’s response to the economic crisis in the U.S. Friday afternoon, according to the White House.

His announcement will come as so many Americans (at least 900,000) continue to battle with unemployment caused by the pandemic.

Biden will also continue to sign executive orders, the White House said.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(NEW YORK) -- One lucky person is taking home the Mega Millions jackpot cash.

At around 1 a.m. ET Saturday, the list of lottery winners was announced. A person in Michigan won the jackpot, estimated at $1 billion or $739.6 million as a lump-sum, before taxes.

The winning ticket was sold at a Kroger located in Novi, a northern suburb of Detroit -- about a 30-minute drive from the city -- the state lottery website confirmed. The winning numbers were 4-26-42-50-60 with a Mega Ball number of 24.

The winner's identity has not been revealed, but, per state lottery rules, they must come forward to claim their winnings.

The winner will have two options to collect the record prize, the lottery said in a statement: "The first is an escalating annuity that offers an initial payment, then annual payments for 29 years. The player also may select a one-time cash payment of about $739 million. If a player selects the cash option, they will receive about $530 million after tax withholdings."

The Mega Millions jackpot increased to $1 billion for Friday night's drawing.

It is the second-largest jackpot in Mega Millions history and the third-largest in U.S. lottery history, Mega Millions lottery officials said. The $1.537 billion won by a person in South Carolina on Oct. 23, 2018 is still the world's largest lotto prize ever awarded on a single ticket.

This is the 18th Mega Millions jackpot won in Michigan, according to a lottery press release. The last winner in the state shared the prize with a Rhode Island winner on Oct. 13, 2017. Until Friday night's win, the largest lottery prize ever won by a Michigan player was a $337 million Powerball jackpot. Donald Lawson, of Lapeer, won it on Aug. 15, 2012. On April 22, 2005, Port Huron couple Ralph and Mary Stebbins, won $208 million playing Mega Millions -- it was the largest Mega Millions prize ever won in the state.

Michigan is one of the original founding members of Mega Millions.

"About 97 cents of every dollar spent on Lottery tickets is returned to the state in the form of contributions to the state School Aid Fund, prizes to players and commissions to vendors and retailers," the state lottery said in a statement. "In the 2019 fiscal year, the Lottery provided more than $1 billion for Michigan's public schools, its fifth record contribution in a row. Since it began in 1972, the Lottery has contributed more than $23 billion to support public education in Michigan."

The Match 5 winners were two people in Florida, one in Maryland, one in Missouri, one in New Jersey, one in New York and two in Pennsylvania. Each will take home $1 million. Also, two people -- one in North Carolina and one in Virginia -- won the Match 5 Megaplier. Each will take home $2 million.

On Wednesday, a winning Powerball ticket worth $731.1 million was sold in Allegany County, Maryland. The ticket was the fourth-largest in Powerball history and the sixth-largest in U.S. lottery history. Lottery winners in Maryland have the right to remain anonymous.

The previous jackpot, which was worth $120 million, was won by a person in Wisconsin on Sept. 15, 2020.

Powerball's jackpot is resetting to $20 million for Saturday's drawing. The next drawing is on Tuesday, Jan. 26.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Jordan Strauss/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Legendary talk show host Larry King, whose career took him from local to syndicated radio to global TV stardom, has died at age 87.

A statement from King's production company, Ora Media, posted on King's official Twitter announced his death "with profound sadness," saying King "passed away this morning at age 87 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles."  A spokesperson for King's family also confirmed his death to ABC News.

On January 2, King was hospitalized for COVID-19 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, a source close to the King family told ABC News then.

King overcame several health challenges over the years, including a heart attack that led to bypass surgery and ultimately encouraged King to quit smoking. King also survived lung cancer and underwent surgery at Cedars-Sinai in 2017, and was treated for prostate cancer in 1999.

In 2019, King suffered a stroke that left him unable to walk on his left foot, and he was sometimes seen using a wheelchair afterward." I never thought I'd be 86," King told Page Six at the time. “My father died when he was 43, 44. I thought I would die too.”  "I have no complaints. Everything that’s happened to me, I’m grateful for," he added. "Maybe that sounds cliché, but I'm really, really grateful."

The award-winning newsman, whose lengthy career earned him the nickname "The Iron Horse of Broadcasting," was known for his gravelly baritone, signature suspenders and straightforward questions, a style honed over the course of tens of thousands of interviews on the radio and television.

Born Lawrence Harvey Zeiger, the Brooklyn native wanted to be on the radio from a young age. After graduating high school, he got his first radio job in Florida in the 1950s. He got his first break on-air in Miami, where he became known by the moniker Larry King, which he ultimately made his legal name.

In 1978, King began hosting the nationally-syndicated The Larry King Show on the Mutual Broadcasting System, which he hosted for 16 years before stepping down in 1994.  During that time, he also made the move to TV, and hosted the CNN program Larry King Live from 1985 to 2010. Oprah Winfrey notably endorsed Barack Obama on the show during the 2008 presidential campaign.

In recent years, King hosted Larry King Now on Hulu, RT American and Ora TV, the latter a production company King co-founded with Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim in 2012. King was also hosting the show Politicking with Larry King on the channels until his death.

King didn't escape controversy over his decades-long career. Most recently, in 2019, he unknowingly filmed a Chinese propaganda infomercial in a fake interview with a Russian journalist, as reported by ProPublica. "I never should have done it, obviously," King told the publication then.

King was recognized with two Peabody Awards and one Emmy Award, among other honors. He was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 1992.

King has also authored several books, did voice work in TV shows and movies, including Shrek 2 and Bee Movie, and made cameos in TV shows and films, including Ghostbusters.

In 1988, a year after he survived a heart attack, the newsman founded the Larry King Cardiac Foundation to help those with heart disease pay for their medical treatment. 

A lifelong Dodgers fan, from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, King was often seen behind home plate at Dodgers Stadium.

King was married eight times to seven women and had five children. In August, 2020, he revealed that two of his children had died within weeks of each other. Andy, 65, died of a heart attack on July 28, 2020, and Chaia, 51, passed away on August 20 shortly after a lung cancer diagnosis.

King is survived by his sons, Larry, Chance and Cannon, as well as nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

By Meredith Deliso
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty ImagesBy KATIE KINDELANVIA

(LOS ANGELES) -- Prince Harry is doubling down on his calls to reform social media two weeks after an angry mob staged a deadly siege at the U.S. Capitol.

Many who laid siege to the Capitol did so on the erroneous belief that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump, a conspiracy theory that spread quickly on social media, experts say.

"We have seen time and again what happens when the real-world cost of misinformation is disregarded. There is no way to downplay this," Harry said in a new interview with Fast Company. "There was a literal attack on democracy in the United States, organized on social media, which is an issue of violent extremism."

Prince Harry, who now lives in California, said he and his wife, Duchess Meghan, spent much of the past year talking with experts about the spread of misinformation, which he calls a "humanitarian issue."

"The avalanche of misinformation we are all inundated with is bending reality and has created this distorted filter that affects our ability to think clearly or even understand the world around us," he said. "What happens online does not stay online -- it spreads everywhere, like wildfire: into our homes and workplaces, into the streets, into our minds. The question really becomes about what to do when news and information sharing is no longer a decent, truthful exchange, but rather an exchange of weaponry."

Harry described how his work on social media reform has been influenced by the online harassment he and Meghan have faced throughout their relationship. The couple wed in 2018 and stepped down last year from their roles as senior working members of Britain's royal family.

They now live with their nearly 2-year-old son Archie in Montecito, California.

"I was really surprised to witness how my story had been told one way, my wife's story had been told one way, and then our union sparked something that made the telling of that story very different," said Harry. "That false narrative became the mothership for all of the harassment you're referring to. It wouldn't have even begun had our story just been told truthfully."

"But the important thing about what we experienced is that it led to us hearing from so many others around the world. We've thought a lot about those in much more vulnerable positions than us, and how much of a need there is for real empathy and support," he said. "To their own degree, everyone has been deeply affected by the current consequences of the digital space. It could be as individual as seeing a loved one go down the path of radicalization or as collective as seeing the science behind the climate crisis denied."

"We are all vulnerable to it, which is why I don't see it as a tech issue, or a political issue -- it's a humanitarian issue," Harry added.

Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, are no longer on social media, having disbanded their popular Instagram account, Sussex Royal, after they left the royal family.

But Harry denied a recent report saying he and Meghan had left social media for good, saying he has seen how the platforms "can offer a means of connecting and community, which are vital to us as human beings."

"We will revisit social media when it feels right for us -- perhaps when we see more meaningful commitments to change or reform -- but right now we've thrown much of our energy into learning about this space and how we can help," Harry told Fast Company.

The Sussexes have spent the past year working on the issue of social media through their new nonprofit venture, the Archewell Foundation.

There, they have partnered with the Center for Humane Technology, an organization led by a former Google ethicist that is "dedicated to radically reimagining our digital infrastructure," according to the Archewell website.

Harry and Meghan have also established the Archewell Foundation Fund for the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry with the goals of "reimagining technology, championing racial and economic justice in the tech sector, and strengthening democracy through culture-making and public policy work," according to the Archewell website.

Harry told Fast Company he has learned from experts that the solutions for improving social media range from accountability to compassion.

"There has to be accountability to collective wellbeing, not just financial incentive. It's hard for me to understand how the platforms themselves can eagerly take profit but shun responsibility," he said. "There also has to be common, shared accountability."

"We can call for digital reform and debate how that happens and what it looks like, but it's also on each of us to take a more critical eye to our own relationship with technology and media," Harry said, noting that people can start by setting time limits on their social media, fact-checking the information they're seeing and being kinder and more compassionate in their posts and comments.

"Humans crave connection, social bonds, and a sense of belonging. When we don't have those, we end up fractured, and in the digital age that can unfortunately be a catalyst for finding connection in mass extremism movements or radicalization," he said. "We need to take better care of each other, especially in these times of isolation and vulnerability."

With all that there is to be done, Harry said he remains optimistic that the online space can be made healthier, noting, "We have to believe in optimism because that's the world and the humanity I want for my son, and all of us."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Hulton Archive/Getty Images)By KELLY MCCARTHY, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- Baseball icon and Hall of Famer Henry "Hank" Louis Aaron died Friday. He was 86.

The outfielder from Mobile, Alabama, was one of the greatest power hitters in Major League Baseball history.

"Mr. Aaron passed away peacefully in his sleep. The family asks for privacy at this time," Aaron's assistant said in a statement to ABC News.

— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) January 22, 2021


Aaron held the all-time record for home runs, at 755, for 33 seasons after surpassing Babe Ruth's total of 714 in 1974. Barry Bonds beat Aaron's mark in 2007, finishing his career with 762.

Aaron also holds the career records for most runs batted in, 2,297, most total bases, 6,856, and most extra-base hits, 1,477, finishing with an OPS of 155 and having compiled 143.1 wins above replacement, the fifth-highest WAR total ever, according to Baseball Reference. (An average OPS , which is an adjusted measure of on-base plus slugging percentage and used to highlight a hitter's overall value, is 100.)

Aaron's legacy stretched far beyond the diamond, as he helped pave the way for other Black players to succeed in a sport still struggling to overcome a history of racism. Aaron's career began just seven years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier.


"I don't want them to forget Ruth, I just want them to remember me." - Hank Aaron

— Grant McAuley (@grantmcauley) January 22, 2021


As a child, Aaron grew up in the Deep South, which was still segregated, and in the years leading up to his record-breaking home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers he was the target of death threats, receiving thousands of letters with racist messages.

During his iconic moment, after smacking the record-breaking home run, as Aaron rounded second base, two white fans who'd jumped onto the field ran toward him, and, according to ESPN, Aaron's bodyguard, Calvin Wardlaw, watched from the stands with his hand secretly on his revolver, trying to determine if the two men were hostile or friendly. Much to Aaron's relief, they were there to celebrate his historic blast.

"It was supposed to be the greatest triumph of my life, but I was never allowed to enjoy it. I couldn't wait for it to be over," he once said. "The only reason that some people didn't want me to succeed was because I was a Black man."

Earlier this month, Aaron got vaccinated against COVID-19 in Georgia, in hopes that doing so would send a message to other Black Americans that the shots are safe, ESPN reported.

Aaron spent 21 seasons in the National League, with Milwaukee from 1954 to 1965 and then in Atlanta from 1966 to 1974, before finishing his 23-year career in the American League with the Brewers until 1976.

Aaron, who was selected to a record 25 All-Star Games and won three Gold Gloves, won the NL MVP in 1957 when he hit .322 with 44 home runs and 132 RBI. When elected to the Hall of Fame in 1982 he was "nine votes shy of becoming the first unanimous inductee," the Atlanta Braves noted in a team statement. No player was elected unanimously until Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera received 100% of the vote as part of the 2019 class.

After retiring, "The Home Run King" became a senior vice president with the Atlanta Braves in 1976.

Honoring Hank Aaron's Legacy

Reactions to the news on Friday included messages from teams, fans and civil rights organizations.

"Hank Aaron represented an era in this nation of Black individuals who broke barriers. He did not only break barriers on the baseball field, but also in the civil rights movement," Derrick Johnson, national president of the NAACP, said in a statement. "I hope that athletes from all sports will follow in his footsteps to use their platforms for social good and to advance the cause of civil rights. ... Hank Aaron was a close member of our family here at NAACP. We know his legacy will continue to inspire many generations to come. He will be greatly missed."

President Jimmy Carter hailed the baseball star as a "personal hero."

"Rosalynn and I are saddened by the passing of our dear friend, Henry Aaron. One of the greatest baseball players of all time, he has been a personal hero to us," the 39th president said in a statement. "A breaker of records and racial barriers, his remarkable legacy will continue to inspire countless athletes and admirers for generations to come."

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp released a statement on behalf of his entire family: "Hank Aaron was an American icon and one of Georgia's greatest legends. His life and career made history, and his influence was felt not only in the world of sports, but far beyond -- through his important work to advance civil rights and create a more equal, just society. We ask all Georgians to join us in praying for his fans, family, and loved ones as we remember Hammerin' Hank's incredible legacy."

Tributes also poured in on social media.

A legend on and off the ball field... the best to ever do it... RIP Mr Hank Aaron 🙏🏿 #44

— David Ortiz (@davidortiz) January 22, 2021

Hank Aaron, the Hall of Fame slugger whose 755 career home runs long stood as baseball's golden mark, has died.

He was 86.

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 22, 2021

Hank Aaron's legacy transcends his place as one of the greatest in the history of our national pastime. He represents the best of America, with his resiliency, grace, and relentless optimism. An extraordinary life. He is royalty. Always will be. RIP. @MLBNetwork @baseballhall

— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 22, 2021

Rest in peace, Hank Aaron.

— The Players' Tribune (@PlayersTribune) January 22, 2021

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


youngvet/iStockBy EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- The Mega Millions jackpot has increased to $1 billion for Friday night's drawing.

If a lucky lottery player wins, this will mark the second-largest jackpot in Mega Millions history and the third-largest in U.S. lottery history, Mega Millions lottery officials said.

On Wednesday, a winning Powerball ticket worth $731.1 million was sold in Allegany County, Maryland. The ticket was the fourth-largest in Powerball history and the sixth-largest in U.S. lottery history. Lottery winners in Maryland have the right to remain anonymous.

Powerball's jackpot is resetting to $20 million for Saturday's drawing.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Bill Oxford/iStockBy LAURA ROMERO, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout reaches residents of nursing homes across the country, long-term care advocates remain concerned that many of the nation's most vulnerable citizens -- who are living in similar, high-risk congregate settings -- are being left to wait.

Assisted living facilities, which range from small homes to large complexes, are aimed at older people who are largely independent but still in need of medical or personal care. Because of the communal nature of the facilities, assisted living residents face many of the same increased risks for the coronavirus as those in nursing homes.

"The risk of community spread and transmission in an assisted living facility is just as high as it is in a nursing home," said Zach Shamberg, president of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association.

It is difficult to know the extent to which residents and staff in assisted living facilities have been affected by COVID-19 because assisted living facilities are not federally regulated, so many states do not publicly collect data. But the Kaiser Family Foundation reports that more than 100,000 residents and staff at long-term care facilities had died as of November.

Advocates say the facilities house a forgotten population of people vulnerable to the virus. As COVID-19 vaccine distribution plans were crafted and began rolling out, many states did not include assisted living facilities in the same high-priority first phase to receive the vaccine.

In Pennsylvania, for instance, assisted living and personal care residents were not originally in the first group to receive the vaccine, leaving those residents to wait up to several months to get the vaccine. Just last week, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced his administration is expanding vaccination to long-term care facilities, and requested assisted living residents and personal care residents be included in Phase 1A.

"If we don't change the pace that Pennsylvania is on currently, we would expect assisted living and personal care residents to receive the second dose sometime in April or May or even June," Shamberg said. "We are talking about potentially still vaccinating our most vulnerable residents in the summer months."

Mike Dark, an attorney for the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform and a member of the California Vaccine Advisory Committee, told ABC News that assisted living facilities were not prioritized because states believed they only had enough vaccines for nursing homes.

"[Assisted living] facilities are largely falling through the cracks in the distribution program and the results will be catastrophic if this isn't addressed," Dark said.

In New Hampshire, Phase 1A includes both nursing homes and assisted living residents. But officials like Brendan Williams, the president of the New Hampshire Healthcare Association, told ABC News that it has been difficult to get all long-term care residents vaccinated, even in retirement communities where assisted living and nursing home residents are in the same location.

"Even where assisted living and nursing home residents are housed under the same roof, it has taken browbeating CVS to get them to follow the state policy that in such an instance all residents should be vaccinated," Williams said.

"We can't even efficiently vaccinate our most vulnerable, place-bound citizens," added Williams. "We have a very elderly assisted living population here in New Hampshire that has not been spared deadly outbreaks."

In Indiana, a spokesperson for the Indiana Health Care Association told ABC News that independent assisted living facilities are "understandably frustrated" because scheduling for the clinics began just two weeks ago.

The overall timeline for vaccine distribution in long-term care facilities has been pushed back since late last year, when former Secretary Alex Azar told CBS' Face The Nation that all nursing home residents could be vaccinated by Christmas.

"The vaccines are going out. As soon as they receive vaccine, this is according to the governors telling us to ship to them, we can have every nursing home patient vaccinated in the United States by Christmas," Azar said.

Then, on a call with LeadingAge, an elder advocacy group, former Surgeon General Jerome Adams said he believed vaccinations among nursing home residents and workers would be completed by the end of January.

"We're going to make sure we get our nursing home workers and residents vaccinated, and it is truly our hope to have that completed by the end of January," said Adams, adding, "I really think it is an achievable timeline."

Both Walgreens and CVS, the companies responsible for vaccinating the majority of long-term care residents, say they expect to complete the administration of the first doses of COVID-19 vaccines in skilled nursing facilities by Jan. 25, with the second doses to follow.

There is no projected date for when residents and staff at assisted living facilities will be completely vaccinated.

For Mike Wasserman, the past president of the California Association for Long Term Care Medicine and a member of the California's Vaccine Advisory Committee, vaccine rollout in assisted living facilities needs to be a priority for the Biden administration.

"The challenge will be, how do we turn the Titanic around?" Wasserman said.

Many assisted living facilities in California, Wasserman said, don't have an appointment to receive the vaccine until March.

"They are not being prioritized," said Wasserman. "Residents in assisted living facilities need the vaccine just as much as nursing home residents."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Listener Poll
Add a Comment
(Fields are Optional)

Your email address is never published.

Find Us On Facebook