The following is a year in review for the top national news that we covered in 2020. Trump impeachment, race relations, elections and pandemic deepen American divide.
President Trump impeached in the House acquitted in the Senate
Arguments in the impeachment trial of President Trump kicked off with Democrats trying to show the American public how far the corrupt scheme to undermine the country went, and urging skeptical Republicans to act on their consciences and vote to remove the president. Just a day after his State of the Union address to the nation, the Senate cast its vote to acquit President Trump of impeachment charges, making this the third such trial in U.S. history with a similar outcome. No president has ever been removed by the senate. The final tally showed the Democrats’ impeachment team was unable to sway enough Republican voters to their side, with 52-48 favoring acquittal on abuse of power and 53-47 on obstruction charges. Convicting the president would have taken a two-thirds “guilty” vote.
Highest number of unemployment claims in U.S. history filed as coronavirus cases, deaths continue to rise
Amidst growing concerns over the disease and extended lockdown orders, more than 6.6 million people in the United States filed for unemployment last week, the highest number of initial claims in history, as unemployment benefits were extended and millions of Americans prepared to claim stimulus checks from the U.S. Treasury.
Minneapolis ablaze: Arab American owner of store where George Floyd was killed says he condemns police’s action
The city of Minneapolis had been plunged into rioting after a video of the killing of George Floyd by a police officer circulated widely. The video showed an officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. Outrage over police brutality culminated into three days of demonstrations that eventually night set the city ablaze. Demonstrations began taking place all over the country as protesters promoted the defunding of police.
Arab American police officer shot and killed, suspect found dead in Ohio
A Toledo Police Officer, Anthony Hussein Dia, was shot and killed shortly after midnight on July 4, the Toledo Police Department said in a press release.
Dia, 26, responded to a call regarding an intoxicated male, 57-year-old Edward Henry, walking around the parking lot of a Home Depot on Alexis Road in Toledo. According to police, once on the scene, Dia approached Henry to check on him. Witnesses told police that they saw Henry turn around and fire a round from a handgun, striking Dia.
AG Nessel, Feds charge 13 people in plot to kidnap Gov. Whitmer, commit domestic terrorism
Attorney General Dana Nessel announced charges against seven Michiganders for plotting to kidnap Governor Whitmer.
The FBI, investigating the case, said that the plot included kidnapping Virginia’s governor Ralph Northam over strict COVID restrictions.
The militia group “Wolverine Watchmen” was accused of being behind the plot with the goal of overthrowing the government.
Peters clinches AAPAC endorsement, wins election
November 2020’s elections weren’t just important on the presidential level. Democrat Gary Peters ran to keep his Senate seat against popular Republican challenger John James. Peters made a crucial stop at The Arab American News offices in Dearborn to appeal to Arab voters, who certainly helped him carry his victory in Wayne County.
Presidential nominee Joe Biden’s wife, Jill, stops in Dearborn
Another appeal to Arab voters was made by now President-elect Joe Biden’s wife, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, who stopped at the long running, popular Arab bakery Shatila in Dearborn. Her visit was followed by Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris. Prominent Arab Democratic mainstays such as MSU Board member incumbent Brian Mosallam helped carry the Democratic momentum and showed his support for the presidential candidate in November, with reciprocation. But most Arab voters remained skeptical of Democrats’ promises of international peace, given the party’s support for wars and interventions in the Middle East, and their unshifting support of the illegal occupation of Palestine by Israel.
Trump’s last ditch efforts
Donald Trump’s last ditch efforts to overturn the results of the election that he lost to Joe Biden culminated in dozens of court cases where his campaign and allies alleged widespread voter fraud in states he lost. No mention was made by Trump or his allies that Republicans won in municipal elections on the same ballots in the same states. The cases fell short in court because of a completely lack of credible evidence and state officials, Democrat and Republican, assured the American public of the safety and security of the November elections against Trump’s baseless claims. Biden’s victory was certified in counties and states nationwide, with Trump refusing to concede, egging his supporters on to protest and dispute the election results.
Amid ongoing COVID-19 tragedies, vaccines arrive
December saw the arrival of vaccines that safely and effectively fight the virus that in 2020 killed almost 350,000 people in the U.S. alone. Limited numbers arrived in the hard-hit Wayne County in mid to late December. Dearborn, which has been a hotbed of COVID-19 cases, saw a mix of reactions to the vaccine. Many in the Arab American community continue to reject the vaccine, and the severity of the virus, alarming many health experts in the community.