Outside the Outbreak: New Utah governor sworn in, GOP split over Trump’s Electoral College challenge

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GOP torn over Trump’s Electoral College challenge of Biden

In this Oct. 12, 2020, file photo Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., speaks during a confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. Hawley, says he will raise objections next week when the Congress meets to affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the election, forcing House and Senate votes that are likely to delay — but in no way alter — the final certification of Biden’s win.(AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool, File)

President Donald Trump’s extraordinary challenge of his election defeat by President-elect Joe Biden is becoming a defining moment for the Republican Party before the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6 to confirm the Electoral College results.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is urging Republicans not to try to overturn the election, but not everyone is heeding him. Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri vows to join House Republicans in objecting to the state tallies. On the other side of the party’s split, GOP Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska warns such challenges are a “dangerous ploy” threatening the nation’s civic norms.

Caught in the middle is Vice President Mike Pence, who faces growing pressure and a lawsuit from Trump’s allies over his ceremonial role in presiding over the session Wednesday.

Spurs’ Becky Hammon first woman to direct NBA team

San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon calls a play during a timeout in the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers, after coach Gregg Popovich was ejected, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Becky Hammon became the first woman to direct a team in NBA history, taking over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Lakers following Gregg Popovich’s ejection in the first half.

Popovich was ejected by official Tony Brown with 3:56 remaining in the second quarter. Popovich screamed at Brown and entered the court following a non-call on DeMar DeRozan’s attempted layup and a subsequent attempted rebound by Drew Eubanks. Popovich was applauded as he exited the court by several of the team’s family members that were in attendance at the AT&T Center.

Hammon took over the team’s huddles during timeouts and walked the sideline following Popovich’s ejection. Hammon was the first full-time female assistant coach in league history.

New Utah governor calls for unity at inauguration ceremony

Utah Governor Spencer Cox takes his inaugural oath during an event at Tuacahn Center for the Arts in Ivins, Utah with his wife Abby at his side on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. (Scott G Winterton/The Deseret News via AP)

 Republican Spencer Cox called for unity amid “hateful rhetoric” in national political discourse after being sworn in Monday as Utah’s first new governor in more than a decade.

Cox denounced misinformation and division that he said have further taken hold throughout the pandemic. As he stood in front of red rock in southwestern Utah, Cox referred to a group of anti-mask protestors who lined a road to the ceremony calling for an end to the state’s coronavirus restrictions.

“We are more divided than at any time in our lifetimes as the news is filled with civil unrest and protests, including one right outside this venue here today,” Cox said. “We are facing a crisis of empathy, a scourge of contempt. Very little feels ‘united’ about the United States today.”

Former BYU basketball coach Dave Rose stable after stroke

Emma Wiles
Former BYU Men’s Basketball coach Dave Rose smiles through many tears during his retirement press conference on March 26, 2019. Rose was hospitalized Dec. 31, 2020 after a stroke. (Emma Wiles)

Former BYU basketball coach Dave Rose has been hospitalized after a stroke.

The school said the 63-year-old Rose was stricken Dec. 31 and has been stabilized.

“The Rose family expressed appreciation for the love and support they have received,” the school said in a statement Saturday.

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