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January 14, 2016

It has been 78 years since a hurricane formed in the Atlantic Ocean during the month of January — a drought that came to an end on Thursday with the "unheard of" formation of Hurricane Alex. The storm has peak winds of 85 miles per hour, just short of the strength of the 1938 January hurricane, The Washington Post reports.

"Remarkably, Alex has undergone the transformation into a hurricane. A distinct eye is present, embedded within a fairly symmetric mass of deep convection," the National Hurricane Center marveled during its 10 a.m. discussion on Thursday.

Alex is located 490 miles south of the Azores, an autonomous region of Portugal, and tracking in that direction. The Weather Channel's Jonathan Erdman points out that only 10 hurricanes have ever tracked within 200 miles of the Azores, and all of them occurred in August or September. The government of the Azores has issued hurricane warnings as a precaution. Jeva Lange

6:47 p.m. ET

Despite a beautiful sunrise over Washington, D.C., on election day, the skies turned cloudy with scattered light rain on Inauguration Day. Maybe that's why President Trump's inaugural crowd was notably smaller than former President Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration — when he was also, to be fair, the first African American to be sworn in as president — and also Obama's crowd after he was re-elected in 2013. Also, maybe the weather is why CNN decided to show video of Obama's 2013 crowd and Trump's 2017 swearing-in side-by-side, without comment:

Other possibilities: Obama had more high-wattage star power at both inaugurations, and home-team advantage — only 4.1 percent of Washington, D.C., voted for Trump in the election (versus 91 percent for Hillary Clinton), versus Obama's 91 percent in 2012 and 92 percent in 2008. Clinton also won neighboring Maryland and Virginia. Trump, of course, won the Electoral College, which is why he is president. Peter Weber

5:38 p.m. ET
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis was confirmed as President Donald Trump's secretary of defense late Friday afternoon. The Hill reported the Senate "easily" confirmed Mattis, who is the first of Trump's Cabinet members to be confirmed.

Mattis will be the first recently retired service member to lead the Pentagon since "President [Harry S.] Truman nominated Army Gen. George C. Marshall for the job in 1950," The Washington Post reported. To be confirmed, Mattis had to obtain a waiver from Congress to bypass a law prohibiting members of the military from assuming the position for at least seven years after they leave the service. Trump's first order of business after being sworn into office Friday morning was to sign a waiver allowing Mattis to serve as defense secretary.

Mattis will be in charge of the Defense Department's $580 billion budget and its 1.9 million active-duty service members and reservists. Becca Stanek

5:30 p.m. ET

President Donald Trump and the rest of the first family arrived at the White House for the first time Friday evening, hours after Trump was sworn into office at the U.S. Capitol. Scenes from the new first family's arrival to their new residence, below. Kimberly Alters

5:19 p.m. ET
Scott Olson/Getty Images

On the final half day of Barack Obama's presidency, the S&P 500 stock market index closed up slightly at 2,271.31. Counting from this day in 2009, when that same index closed at 805.22, that marks a total gain of over 282 percent. The NASDAQ is up even more: 386 percent. Though that's without accounting for inflation, it's still the largest gain of any president since Dwight Eisenhower in the 1950s, as Reuters demonstrates.

Great news for stockholders, though it's worth noting that median wages have not shown nearly the same upward trajectory. Again leaving aside inflation, they only increased by about 14 percent from 2009-2015 (the most recent data that is available). Ryan Cooper

4:53 p.m. ET
Michael Heiman/Getty Images

The Bible passage read on the morning of President Donald Trump's inauguration reportedly referenced his plans to build a border wall. Though the traditional inauguration prayer at St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., was closed to the public, a transcript obtained by Time revealed Pastor Robert Jeffress chose to read an Old Testament passage from the Book of Nehemiah that "focuses on the rebuilding of walls around Jerusalem," CBS News reported.

"When I think of you, President-elect Trump, I am reminded of another great leader God chose thousands of years ago in Israel," Jeffress, a Trump supporter, reportedly said. "The nation had been in bondage for decades, the infrastructure of the country was in shambles, and God raised up a powerful leader to restore the nation. And the man God chose was neither a politician nor a priest. Instead, God chose a builder whose name was Nehemiah."

Jeffress, whose stances on Islam and homosexuality have made him controversial, reportedly went on to say that the "first step of rebuilding the nation was the building of a great wall," and that Nehemiah's wall was specifically commissioned by God "to protect its citizens from enemy attack." "You see, God is NOT against building walls!" Jeffress said, according to CBS News.

Per Jeffress, Nehemiah's wall was completed in just 52 days. If Trump sticks to that timeline, we'll have a big wall on the U.S.-Mexico border by mid-March. Becca Stanek

4:45 p.m. ET

Hillary Clinton attended the inauguration ceremony of President Donald Trump on Friday, making her way to the U.S. Capitol to "honor our democracy and its enduring values." In doing so, she watched as Trump took the presidential oath of office, the culmination of their election rivalry after Trump defeated her in the election last November.

By returning to Washington, D.C., Clinton was also back face-to-face with some of her adversaries in Congress — like Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who has been a ferocious critic of Clinton's as chair of the House Oversight Committee. But when Clinton walked up the stairs past Chaffetz at the Capitol, the congressman shook her hand:

So pleased she is not the President. I thanked her for her service and wished her luck. The investigation continues.

A photo posted by Jason Chaffetz (@jasoninthehouse) on

But a warm embrace of bipartisanship, this was not: Check Chaffetz's caption, where he reaffirms he is "so pleased" Clinton is not the president. As MSNBC's Chris Hayes notes, Chaffetz was once none-too-pleased at the prospect of a President Trump, either. But hey, it's Washington — minds change all the time. Kimberly Alters

4:25 p.m. ET

President Donald Trump received messages of congratulations and concern from across the globe after he was sworn into office Friday, delivering an inaugural address that heavily emphasized an "America first" stance.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto each expressed a desire to strengthen their countries' respective ties with the U.S, while Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement he looks forward to working with Trump "to restore prosperity to the middle class." Pope Francis encouraged Trump to be guided by America's "rich spiritual and ethical values." Others weighed in on Twitter:

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the de facto leader of the European Union, visited an art museum instead of listening to Trump's inaugural address, and German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel showed concern over Trump's "nationalistic tones." "I think we have to prepare for a rough ride," Gabriel said. Becca Stanek

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