Dec 28, 2017

Alabama certifies that Jones beat Moore

Nicole Craine/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Alabama officials certified Democrat Doug Jones as the winner of this month's special Senate election, despite a last ditch legal effort by Republican rival Roy Moore to delay the certification.

Why it matters: Moore, who lost by over 20,000 votes, has refused to concede the race after the Dec. 12 contest, despite calls from the White House to do so. He filed a court complaint on Wednesday, raising questions about possible voter fraud. But a judge on Thursday rejected Moore's attempt to block Jone's certification, per The AP.

Background: Moore faced multiple accusations of sexual misconduct involving teenage girls. Jones is the first Democratic Senator in a quarter-century in the deep-red state.

Jones' statement after being certified:

Moore's response to Jones' certification:

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Surprise billing may be about to get worse

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The problem of surprise medical billing — which Congress failed to solve last year — is about to get worse, thanks to a feud between an insurance giant and a company that employs thousands of doctors.

The big picture Parents who have babies in intensive care, women with high-risk pregnancies and people who need anesthesia could receive unexpected bills in the mail as a result of the fight between Mednax, the physician-staffing firm, and UnitedHealth Group.

Go deeperArrow56 mins ago - Health

Companies are behaving like it's a recession

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Despite historically low interest rates, U.S. companies are being unusually frugal, holding back on issuing new debt and pumping up their balance sheets with cash.

Why it matters: Historically, when interest rates are low and the economy is strong, companies have levered up to increase capital expenditures and buy assets in order to expand. The opposite is happening now.

Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 75,465 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 9 hours ago - Health