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Congress nears deal on $900 billion stimulus package

Plus: shipments of second COVID-19 vaccine begin to roll out; MyPillow CEO Mike Lyndell calls for martial law to be declared in Minnesota; Minneapolis Charter Commission considers changes to city government; and more.

The New York Times’ Emily Cochrane and Jeanna Smialek write: “Senators broke through an impasse late Saturday night over a Republican effort to curtail the powers of the Federal Reserve, clearing away what had been seen as the final hurdle to a deal on a $900 billion stimulus package as lawmakers raced against a Sunday-night deadline to avoid a government shutdown. With time running out for a compromise, Senator Patrick J. Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania, agreed to narrow his effort to rein in the central bank, according to three aides familiar with the discussion.”

CBS News reports: “Initial shipments of the second COVID-19 vaccine authorized in the U.S. left a distribution center Sunday, a desperately needed boost as the nation works to bring the coronavirus pandemic under control. The trucks left the factory in the Memphis area with the vaccine developed by Moderna Inc. and the National Institutes of Health. The much-needed shots are expected to be given starting Monday, just three days after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized their emergency rollout.”

WCCO-TV reports: “MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell tweeted to President Donald Trump Saturday night, calling for martial law to be declared in Minnesota so Trump can obtain the state’s ballots and, evidently, overturn the results of the election. Lindell’s tweet came in the form of a retweet of attorney Lin Wood, who called for martial law to be declared in Georgia, Michigan, Arizona, Nevada, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Pennsylvania.”

The Star Tribune’s Liz Navratil writes: “The independent Minneapolis Charter Commission is examining whether the city should change its system of government after a trying year that tested residents’ faith in their elected leaders. … The commission is considering changes that could dramatically transform the structure of city government, potentially handing the mayor new power while better defining the role of the city’s council members…. Also under consideration is the hiring of a city manager to shield rank-and-file staffers from political debates between the mayor and the council.”

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From the Forum News Service: “A contractor working at a northeastern Minnesota construction yard associated with the Enbridge Line 3 oil pipeline project was killed in an accident Friday morning. … Aitkin County Sheriff Dan Guida confirmed the death and said the victim was from out of state and a union member contracted to work on the pipeline. He did not provide additional details as the sheriff’s department has not completed the investigation and the victim’s family has not been notified.”

KSTP-TV reports: “A group of parents suing Gov. Tim Walz over youth sports says it will continue fighting the case in court after a judge upheld the governor’s ability to put organized sports on hold during the pandemic. Judge John Tunheim of the U.S. District Court of Minnesota denied Let Them Play MN’s case late Friday night, and the group says it will appeal to the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals.”

The AP reports:Collin Larsh kicked a 30-yard field goal in overtime to give Wisconsin a 20-17 victory over Minnesota on Saturday in the battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe in the most-played rivalry in the FBS. … It was the 130th game between the programs, who have faced off each year since 1907. But that streak nearly was broken after their scheduled game on Nov. 28 was canceled due to COVID-19 issues in the Gophers program. The Big Ten Conference later added Saturday’s game.”