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When Joe Biden thanked Black voters in his first remarks as president-elect, he credited them with lifting his campaign from its lowest point during the Democratic primaries.

"You've always had my back, and I'll have yours," he promised.

While Biden won Black voters overwhelmingly across the country, they were key to his victories in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Georgia — places where President Trump and his allies have been targeting ballots in cities with large Black populations in an attempt to overturn the president's defeat and retain power.

The Justice Department is proceeding with plans for more federal executions in the closing days of President Trump's administration, including two scheduled shortly before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

Attorney General William Barr announced the moves, connected with what he called "staggeringly brutal murders," in a statement late Friday.

The Justice Department said the directives amounted to a continuation of its policy since last year when it relaunched federal executions after an informal moratorium that had been in place for 17 years.

Updated at 2:20 a.m. ET

David Dinkins, New York City's only African American mayor, died Monday night at 93.

Dinkins led New York in the early 1990s as its mayor, a position he called "the greatest job there is."

Dinkins' office operations manager, Lynda Hamilton, confirmed his death to NPR early Tuesday.

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Updated on Tuesday at 12:25 p.m. ET

Joe Biden's administration can formally begin its transition to power after a previously little-known federal agency on Monday ascertained Biden as the apparent winner of the election more than two weeks after the Democrat became president-elect.

The awaited decision from the General Services Administration provides the incoming Biden team with federal resources and access to agencies.

President-elect Joe Biden selected Avril Haines as his director of national intelligence on Monday. Haines, 51, worked with Biden under President Barack Obama and led the Biden transition's national security and foreign policy team. She served as the White House deputy national security adviser and deputy director of the CIA. She was the first woman to hold both positions.

And now, if confirmed, she will become the first woman to head national intelligence.

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Congressional Democrats, angered by the Trump administration's refusal to begin the formal transition process to President-elect Joe Biden, are demanding a briefing on the matter from the head of the General Services Administration on Tuesday.

After decades advocating for action on climate change as a U.S. senator and then secretary of state, John Kerry has been tapped for a newly created post — special presidential envoy for climate, based on the National Security Council.

Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET

The United States has had 77 Treasury secretaries in the last 231 years. So far, they've all been men.

That's about to change.

President-elect Joe Biden plans to nominate former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to head the Treasury Department, a source close to the transition told NPR on Monday

If confirmed, Yellen would play a leading role in shaping economic policy as the United States continues to dig its way out of the deep hole caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Growing up in segregated Louisiana, Linda Thomas-Greenfield says she learned to face adversity. Now, the career diplomat has been tapped to represent the Biden administration at the United Nations in a moment of renewed racial tensions at home.

Updated at 3:56 p.m. ET

President-elect Joe Biden has named six leaders of his foreign policy and national security teams, showing a continued push for historic firsts in his administration.

He's also set to name former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen as his treasury secretary, NPR's Franco Ordoñez reports. Yellen, 74, was the first-ever female Fed chair and would be the first-ever female head of the U.S. Treasury.

Updated at 8:21 p.m. ET

The Michigan Board of State Canvassers voted Monday to certify the state's election results after weeks of attempts by President Trump, the outgoing Republican nominee, to overturn his opponent's victory. Three members voted in favor of certification, and one abstained.

A version of this story was first posted by NPR member station WITF in Harrisburg, Pa.

At least four counties home to more than 600,000 voters will not have election results certified when they're due Monday to the Pennsylvania Department of State, though three of them expect to wrap up within the next couple of days. President Trump won all four counties.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom and his family are quarantining after learning some members of his family came into contact with a California Highway Patrol officer who has tested positive for the coronavirus.

In a series of tweets Sunday, Newsom, a Democrat, said three of his children had come into contact with the officer, but that he and his wife did not.

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All right. Joe Biden is starting to put together his Cabinet.

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Updated at 6 p.m. ET

Most Republicans in Congress have been reluctant to suggest that President Trump concede the presidential election to Democrat Joe Biden. They argue that it's best to let Trump expend his legal options before they apply too much pressure.

That pressure has been building and it could be about to go bust this week, with key states certifying the vote totals and making their results official.

As President-elect Joe Biden continues to assemble his advisers and Cabinet, one name being floated could add another historic first to his administration.

Politico reported Thursday that dozens of House Democrats sent a letter to Biden's transition team endorsing New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland for interior secretary.

Haaland, 59, is a member of the Pueblo of Laguna. In 2018, she and Rep. Sharice Davids, D-Kan., became the first two Native American women elected to Congress.

Even as President Trump continues to undermine the election results that made Joe Biden the president-elect, states have begun certifying their votes.

Updated at 12:50 p.m. ET

President-elect Joe Biden will nominate Antony Blinken for the coveted secretary of state post.

Blinken, 58, has extensive foreign policy experience, serving as deputy secretary of state and deputy national security adviser under President Barack Obama.

Few high-profile Republican members of Congress have publicly acknowledged Joe Biden's presidential win.

And many Republican politicians have refused to denounce President Trump's legal challenges and false allegations of widespread voter fraud.

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