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High African-American voter turnout helped elect Doug Jones to the Senate. Photo: Justin Sullivan / Getty

The enthusiastic turnout among African-American voters in Alabama's Senate election is prompting a new look at the impact of voter ID laws, per the New York Times. Opponents say the laws disenfranchise minority voters, but after Doug Jones' victory, researchers are trying to figure out whether the impact is overstated or whether African-American voters in Alabama were so motivated that the laws didn't matter.

The bottom line: The Alabama outcome isn't going to end the debate over voter ID laws, but it may help put the laws in perspective. "There are real, live instances where positions are taken to keep eligible people from showing up at the polls or to make it needlessly harder to vote," Justin Levitt, a former voting rights official in the Obama administration Justice Department, told the Times. "But it's not nationwide, and it's not all the time."

Go deeper

23 mins ago - Health

Moderna says vaccine appears to protect against new COVID-19 variants

Photo: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images

Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine is effective against new variants of the virus that first appeared in the U.K. and in South Africa, the company announced on Monday.

Yes, but: The vaccine was as effective against the strain from U.K., but saw a six-fold reduction in antibodies against the South Africa variant. Even still, the neutralizing antibodies generated by the vaccine "remain above levels that are expected to be protective," according to the company.

Dave Lawler, author of World
Updated 29 mins ago - World

Xi Jinping warns against "new cold war" in Davos speech

Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Wang Zhao - Pool/Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping warned that a "new cold war" could turn hot, and must be avoided, in a speech on Monday at World Economic Forum’s virtual “Davos Agenda” conference.

Why it matters: Xi didn't refer directly to U.S.-China tensions, but the subtext was clear. These were his first remarks to an international audience since the inauguration of President Biden, whose administration has already concurred with Donald Trump's determination that China is committing "genocide" against Uyghur Muslims, and issued a warning about China's aggression toward Taiwan.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Dominion files $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani

Photo: Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems filed a defamation lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani on Monday seeking $1.3 billion in damages for his "demonstrably false” allegations about the company's voting machines.

Why it matters: Giuliani led former President Trump's efforts to overturn the results of the election and spread the baseless conspiracy theory that Dominion's voting machines flipped votes from Trump to Joe Biden.