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Avril Haines. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Republicans are heeding calls to protect national security, agreeing to hold a confirmation hearing Friday for Joe Biden's nominee for director of national intelligence.

Why it matters: The president-elect's transition team has argued swift confirmation hearings — especially for its national security nominees — are crucial following last week's attack on the Capitol, threats of violence surrounding next week's inauguration and global political tensions.

The details: The hearing will take place at noon via WebEx. It will occur virtually, since senators are in recess until Jan. 19. The hearing will be held by the Senate Intelligence Committee, whose top Democrat is Mark Warner of Virginia.

The backdrop: The nominee for ODNI, Avril Haines, served as CIA deputy director from 2013 to 2015, and deputy national security adviser from 2015 to 2017.

  • She has a long history of working on critical cybersecurity and digital challenges facing the intelligence community.

Editor's note: Updates to add that hearing will be held by Senate Intelligence Committee.

Go deeper

Senate confirms Antony Blinken as secretary of state

Antony Blinken. Photo: Alex Edelman/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The Senate voted 78-22 on Tuesday to confirm Antony Blinken as secretary of state.

Why it matters: Blinken, a longtime adviser to President Biden, will lead the administration's diplomatic efforts to re-engage with the world after four years of former President Trump's "America first" policy.

In photos: Twin Cities on edge after Daunte Wright shooting

Police officers form a line as they face off with demonstrators protesting the death of Daunte Wright outside the Brooklyn Center police station on April 12 in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

There were tense scenes in the Twin Cities suburb of Brooklyn Center Monday night, after demonstrators defied a 7 p.m. curfew to protest for a second night the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright.

The big picture: The curfew was announced following a night of protests and unrest over the killing of Wright, 20, during a traffic stop Sunday. Following peaceful protests and a daytime vigil, police again deployed tear gas during clashes with protesters Monday night, according to reporters on the scene.

Japan to release Fukushima water into sea

People near storage tanks for radioactive water at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, in 2020. Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

Japan's government on Tuesday announced plans to release more than 1 million metric tons of contaminated water from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean following a treatment process.

Why it matters: While the Biden administration has said Japan appears to have met globally accepted nuclear safety standards, officials in South Korea, China and Taiwan, local residents, those in the fishing industry and green groups oppose the plans, due to begin in about two years, per the Guardian.

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