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Vice President of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa, left, stands behind Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe after his swearing in ceremony in 2014. Photo: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi / AP

"Zimbabwe's former vice-president, whose sacking led to the shock resignation of long-time leader Robert Mugabe, will be sworn in as the new president on Friday," BBC reports. Emmerson Mnangagwa, who fled to South Africa two weeks ago, will fly home today

What's happening: The end of Mugabe's 37-year rule sparked wild celebrations across the country late into the night.

The resignation:

  • "The announcement that the 93-year-old was stepping down came in the form of a letter read out in parliament, ... abruptly halting impeachment proceedings against him."
  • "Mugabe said he was resigning to allow a smooth and peaceful transfer of power, and that his decision was voluntary." Ha!

N.Y. Times Quote of the Day ... David Mushakwe, a car electrician in Harare: "I just want to say to His Excellency: 'Go and rest now, our father. We still love you. But we're happy today. We're hoping now for a better future.'"

Go deeper

10 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.