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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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The Seattle Storm's Sue Bird wears a shirt in support of Loeffler's opponent. Photo: Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

WNBA players wore T-shirts on Tuesday endorsing the Democratic opponent of Sen. Kelly Loeffler, the co-owner of the Atlanta Dream who has criticized the league for dedicating its season to the Black Lives Matter movement.

What's happening: The shirts had "Vote Warnock" printed on them, a reference to Atlanta pastor Raphael Warnock, one of the top Democrats running against Loeffler in a special election in November.

  • The players' union called for Loeffler's ouster last month, but WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert told CNN that the Georgia Republican, who owns 49% of the Dream, would not be forced to sell the team.

What they're saying: The idea to publicly support Warnock came from Seattle Storm legend Sue Bird, who said players quickly realized calling for Loeffler's removal was just playing into her hands, and that supporting her political opponent would be more impactful in the grand scheme of things.

  • "[V]oting is important. ... So, what a great way for us to get the word out about this man, and hopefully put him in the Senate. And, if he's in the Senate, you know who's not." Bird told ESPN.
  • "Honestly, I think that [Loeffler] wants the league to push her out. She wants that to be part of this statement that she's making that, 'Oh, Black Lives Matter is divisive. They pushed me out because they feel differently,'" added Elizabeth Williams, who plays for the Dream.

The other side: "This is just more proof that the out-of-control cancel culture wants to shut out anyone who disagrees with them," Loeffler said in a statement. "It's clear that the league is more concerned with playing politics than basketball."

Go deeper

GOP Sens. Perdue, Loeffler call on Georgia's secretary of state to resign

Photo: Paras Griffin via Getty

Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler (R) on Monday called on Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, to resign over what they said was his failure to deliver "honest and transparent elections."

Why it matters: Raffensperger, who dismissed the senators' demand, and Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R) have said there is no credible evidence of systemic voter fraud in the state. President Trump has made baseless and unfounded claims that Democrats stole this year's election from him through widespread voter fraud and mail-in ballots.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

U.S. releases report finding Saudi prince approved Khashoggi operation

Photo: Bandar Algaloud / Saudi Kingdom Council / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has released an unclassified report assessing that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) approved the operation to "capture or kill" Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

Driving the news: The White House also announced sanctions on entities implicated in the murder, though not on MBS directly. Officials also announced a new "Khashoggi ban" under which individuals accused of harassing journalists or dissidents outside their borders can be barred from entering the U.S.

About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says

Joe Biden speaks during an event commemorating the 50 million COVID-19 vaccine shots. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

Nearly 1 in 5 adults and nearly half of Americans 65 and older have received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, White House senior adviser Andy Slavitt said on Friday.

The big picture: The Biden administration has previously said it has secured enough doses to vaccinate most of the American population by the end of July.

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