Inauguration live updates: Facing crush of crises, Biden will take helm as president at noon

It’s Inauguration Day. Here’s what to know.

A closer look at the hours ahead as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris prepare to take their oaths as president and vice president. Keep scrolling for a viewer’s guide to today’s festivities.

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Facing crush of crises, Biden will take helm as president

WASHINGTON (AP) — Joe Biden swears the oath of office at noon Wednesday to become the 46th president of the United States, taking the helm of a deeply divided nation and inheriting a confluence of crises arguably greater than any faced by his predecessors.

The very ceremony in which presidential power is transferred, a hallowed American democratic tradition, will serve as a jarring reminder of the challenges Biden faces: The inauguration unfolds at a U.S. Capitol battered by an insurrectionist siege just two weeks ago, encircled by security forces evocative of those in a war zone, and devoid of crowds because of the threat of the coronavirus pandemic.

Flouting tradition, Donald Trump planned to depart Washington on Wednesday morning ahead of the inauguration rather than accompany his successor to the Capitol. Trump, awaiting his second impeachment trial, stoked grievance among his supporters with the lie that Biden’s win was illegitimate. Read more:

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Vice President Harris: A new chapter opens in US politics

For more than two centuries, the top ranks of American power have been dominated by men — almost all of them white. That ends on Wednesday.

Kamala Harris will become the first female vice president — and the first Black woman and person of South Asian descent to hold the role.

Her rise is historic in any context, another moment when a stubborn boundary will fall away, expanding the idea of what’s possible in American politics. But it’s particularly meaningful because Harris will be taking office at a moment of deep consequence, with Americans grappling over the role of institutional racism and confronting a pandemic that has disproportionately devastated Black and brown communities. Read more:

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Trump’s exit: President leaves office with legacy of chaos

Donald Trump will walk out of the White House and board Marine One for the last time as president Wednesday morning, leaving behind a legacy of chaos and tumult and a nation bitterly divided.

Four years after standing on stage at his own inauguration and painting a dire picture of “American carnage,” Trump departs the office twice impeached, with millions more out of work and 400,000 dead from the coronavirus. Republicans under his watch lost the presidency and both chambers of Congress. He will be forever remembered for the final major act of his presidency: inciting an insurrection at the Capitol that left five dead, including a Capitol Police officer, and horrified the nation. Read more:

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A viewer’s guide to today’s festivities

Everything you should know about Wednesday’s inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris … the schedule, the scene, the events.

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Biden’s to-do list

From undoing Trump policies to proposing new immigration legislation, Biden will go big starting on Day One. A look at 18 orders and actions planned for his first days as president.