Colin Dwyer

Updated at 12:50 p.m. ET

Now that the Food and Drug Administration has authorized a COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, federal officials are mobilizing behind a vast effort to distribute the vaccine as soon as possible. Army Gen. Gustave Perna, chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed, said Saturday that distribution of Pfizer and BioNTech's vaccine has begun.

For weeks, President Trump's push to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election has soldiered on despite an ever-lengthening string of legal defeats. But that effort, already sputtering, now appears all but exhausted after the Supreme Court on Friday rejected Texas' challenge to President-elect Joe Biden's victory.

Jimmy Lai, the prominent Hong Kong media mogul and democracy activist, has been charged with endangering national security by colluding with a foreign country. The charge handed down Friday makes Lai, publisher of the China-skeptic Apple Daily tabloid, the most prominent individual yet charged under a controversial law that Beijing imposed on Hong Kong earlier this year.

It has been more than eight decades since Spain's fascist dictator, Gen. Francisco Franco, took possession of the Pazo de Meirás during the civil war that brought him to power.

Since then, the palace in the northwest region of Galicia has served as an opulent summer retreat — first for the dictator himself, then for his family after Franco's death roughly 45 years ago.

Not anymore.

Canadian health officials have authorized use of the country's first COVID-19 vaccine. Health Canada announced the move Wednesday, saying a "thorough, independent review of the evidence" determined that the vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech meets the "stringent safety, efficacy and quality requirements for use in Canada."

If popular culture has taught us anything about the holidays, it's that this is a season of reunions: a time when people conquer great distances and lengthy separations just to be together again. Usually, though, such stories involve cross-country trips — not the orbits of the two largest planets in our solar system.

This year is different.

Former Sen. Paul Sarbanes, who spent three decades representing Maryland in the Senate, has died in Baltimore at the age of 87.

His son, Rep. John Sarbanes, did not disclose a cause of death in his brief statement announcing the news, noting only that his father "passed away peacefully" on Sunday evening.

The world's highest peak just grew a couple of feet overnight — on paper, at least.

On Tuesday, after years of fraught discussion and surveying work, China and Nepal announced a revision to the elevation of Mount Everest: Officials say the summit now stands precisely at 8,848.86 meters, or 29,031.69 feet above sea level.

That makes the official measurement more than 2 feet taller than the consensus had it on Monday.

The Trump administration is planning to draw down U.S. troops in Somalia by early 2021. In a statement released Friday, the Pentagon explained that "the majority" of the roughly 700 soldiers currently stationed in the country will be reassigned to positions in neighboring countries in East Africa.

Updated at 5:05 p.m. ET

A Japanese space capsule ferrying sample material from an asteroid — the bounty from a six-year mission spanning billions of miles — made its triumphant return to Earth this weekend.

The small capsule that had detached from the Hayabusa2 space probe landed in the vicinity of the town of Woomera, in the Australian Outback, early Sunday Japan time. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, which spearheaded the mission, said a helicopter found the capsule in the planned landing area.

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