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Live Reporting

Edited by Jude Sheerin

All times stated are UK

  1. So concludes Inauguration Day 2021

    Fireworks above white house

    Joe Biden has been sworn in as the 46th President of the United States. Vice-President Kamala Harris has made her mark as the first woman, and first black and Asian American, to ever hold the office.

    We're wrapping up our live coverage of this historic day, but you can follow updates to the story on our site here. If you want even more, keep scrolling to check out a roundup of our inauguration explainers and features.

    Here's a look at some of the day's biggest moments:

    • We heard performances from Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and Garth Brooks during the day's ceremony
    • Amanda Gorman, 22, became the youngest poet to perform at a presidential inauguration
    • Biden called for unity while pledging to be a president for all Americans in his address; Harris urged America to "see beyond crisis" (watch their remarks below)
    • After an inaugural parade to the White House, the new president, vice-president and their spouses are settling in
    • Biden signed 15 executive orders after his inauguration, including one to rejoin the Paris climate accord
    • Former President Donald Trump and former First Lady Melania Trump arrived in Florida - Trump is the first president in over a century to skip his successor's inauguration
    • John Legend, Justin Timberlake and Katy Perry were among the many stars who featured in the evening programme, hosted by Tom Hanks
    • The virtual inauguration celebrations showcased voices from across the nation, as well as appearances from former Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton

    Today's writers and editors were Ritu Prasad, Holly Honderich, Max Matza, Sam Cabral, Mike Hills, Chelsea Bailey, Angelica Casas, Josh Cheetham, Sophie Williams, Kelly-Leigh Cooper, Alix Kroeger, Rebecca Seales, Tom Geoghegan, Victoria Bissett, Marianna Brady, Verity Wilde and Tom Spender.

    Video content

    Video caption: President Biden speaks from the Lincoln Memorial

    Video content

    Video caption: Kamala Harris: 'Believe in what we can do together'
  2. Want more?

    Fireworks at Washington Monument

    If you're still hungry for all things inauguration, we've got plenty to peruse.

    What will Joe Biden do first?

    Watch: Who is Kamala Harris?

    Biden's inauguration in pictures

    Inauguration moments you may have missed

    How did President Trump spend his last hours in office?

    Irish cousins celebrate with champagne and cake

    Americans' hopes and fears for next president

    Inauguration fashion: Purple, pearls and mittens

    Who is inauguration poet Amanda Gorman?

    The Bidens view fireworks from White House balcony
    Image caption: The Bidens viewed the fireworks from the White House balcony
  3. Katy Perry delivers rousing finale

    Mark Savage

    Music reporter, BBC News

    Katy Perry

    They saved the best till last... as Katy Perry closed the Celebrating America concert with a spectacular orchestral version of her signature song, Firework.

    Standing at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial, the star was watched from the balcony of the White House by Joe and Jill Biden, as fireworks exploded around the Washington Monument.

    It would, of course, have been improved if crowds had been there to see it as well. And, as today's celebrations come to a close, the socially distanced concert is a reminder of the work that lies ahead for the Biden administration.

  4. Celebrating America concert aimed for uplift

    Mark Savage

    Music reporter, BBC News

    John Legend

    The mood of the Celebrating America concert was almost manically upbeat - determined to provide a sense of hope in a dark period of American history.

    The song choices were all soaked in optimism, whether it was John Legend powering through Nina Simone's Feeling Good, or Demi Lovato strutting to Bill Withers' Lovely Day.

    But perhaps the most on-the-nose message came from country stars Tim McGraw and Tyler Hubbard, of the band Florida Georgia Line.

    "Look around and love somebody, we've been hateful long enough," sang the stars, performing live in Nashville. "Let the good Lord reunite us till this country that we love's undivided."

    Hubbard explained that their duet, Undivided, had been written after his brush with Covid-19 last November.

    "When I was in quarantine... I got to take a good hard look at myself. Inspired by my faith in God to reunite our country, I wrote this song."

  5. 'See beyond crisis' says Harris


    Kamala Harris has just delivered her remarks as the first female, black and Asian American vice-president.

    This moment "demonstrates who we are", says Harris, standing before the Washington Monument.

    "We not only see what has been, we see what can be. We shoot for the moon and then we plant our flag on it. We are bold, curious and ambitious. We are undaunted in our belief that we shall overcome."

    As President Joe Biden said earlier, she says America must "see beyond crisis" now and unite.

    With that, it's time for a performance from John Legend.

  6. Purple and pearls and mittens, oh my

    Ritu Prasad

    BBC News writer

    Bidens and Harris families

    Sometimes what politicians wear can say more than their speeches - and there was a lot to look at on stage this morning.

    DC-based fashion consultant Lauren Rothman says Americans have always taken an interest in what political leaders don for inaugural celebrations.

    This year, with an ongoing pandemic and economic crisis as well as the swearing-in of the first female vice-president, things feel "even more loaded".

    From Vice-President Kamala Harris' symbolism-laden purple suit to Senator Bernie Sanders' meme-worthy mittens to Lady Gaga's Mockingjay-esque dove brooch, we took a look at what the outfits of Inauguration 2021 had to say.

    Read all about it here.

  7. Who was that singing with Justin Timberlake?

    Ant Clemons and Justin Timberlake

    Justin Timberlake performed on the Celebrating America concert from Memphis, duetting with singer/songwriter Ant Clemons, on an uplifting, gospel-influenced song called Better Days.

    While Timberlake is a household name, Clemons is more of a newcomer - who, just a few years ago, was working at the Red Lobster restaurant chain to fund his music career.

    After moving to Los Angeles in early 2018, he started writing a song a day in exchange for a floor to sleep on. One of his demos made its way to Kanye West, who used it as the basis for his song All Mine, a top 20 hit in both the UK and US.

    That led to a solo record deal, and a Grammy nomination for his debut EP, Happy 2 Be Here, which used the plot of Aladdin to illustrate his rags-to-riches story.

    His collaboration with Timberlake was written and released last year, as an antidote to the misery of lockdown.

    "We wanted to be a glimmer of hope," Clemons said. "And show someone this is the perspective you can take and miss the storm."

  8. Yo-Yo Ma pays emotional tribute to American resilience

    Mark Savage

    Music reporter, BBC News

    Yo-Yo Ma

    Cellist Yo-Yo Ma dedicated his performance on the Celebrating America concert to the ordinary people who had made the last year more bearable.

    "We have been tested these last 10 months as individuals, families and communities," he said. "But in the midst of devastation and loss there were moments when the flickering light pointed us towards a brighter future. You brought us comfort, you sustained us, and so that light grew and became a bright beam in the universe."

    "This is for all of you who found new ways for us to smile together," he added, before playing a pared-back but emotional version of Amazing Grace.

    Previously, Bon Jovi's performance was introduced Anthony Gaskin, a parcel delivery driver in Virginia.

    "Tonight I’m honoured to represent the many front-line workers across our nation who keep America going," he said, before handing over to Bon Jovi, who delivered a well-intentioned but inessential cover of The Beatles' Here Comes The Sun.

  9. Bruce Springsteen opens star-studded concert

    Bruce Springsteen

    Standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Bruce Springsteen opened the Celebrating America concert, which features the likes of Bon Jovi, Katy Perry and Foo Fighters welcoming the Bidens to the White House.

    "Good evening America, I’m proud to be here in a cold Washington DC tonight," Springsteen said. "I want to offer this small prayer for our country. This is the Land of Hope and Dreams."

    Based on the gospel standard This Train (Is Bound for Glory), Springsteen's song delivers a message of acceptance and inclusion, that will presumably set the tone for tonight's concert.

    During the election campaign, Biden often played Springsteen songs at his rallies, notably We Take Care Of Our Own.

  10. Biden: 'America built on decency'

    Joe Biden's just spoken as a part of his inauguration Celebrating America TV programme. He delivered his remarks from the Lincoln Memorial, echoing the same themes from his afternoon speech at the Capitol.

    "We’ve learned again that democracy is precious and we’ve learned again that democracy has prevailed," said the new president.

    "It requires us to come together in common love that defines us as Americans."

    Biden continues: "There are moments in our history where more is asked of us as Americans."

    That was the case in the Civil War, during the civil rights era - and now, he says.

    President Biden says the question is whether the nation can meet this moment as its forebearers did. But the American people are why he's "never been so optimistic" about what can be achieved.

    "That's what you'll see tonight, stories of Americans who do extraordinary things, and that's how we'll celebrate America."

    America is built on decency, greatness and goodness, he says.

  11. Who is Biden's first confirmed cabinet nominee?

    Avril Haines

    The Biden administration now has its first confirmed cabinet member.

    The US Senate voted 84-10 to confirm Avril Haines as the new director of national intelligence.

    Haines, 51, becomes the first woman to serve in that role.

    She told lawmakers she saw her role as delivering accurate intelligence, regardless of how inconvenient or uncomfortable it is.

    Haines previously served in national security positions with the Obama administration, but her life before government has attracted even more interest.

    Before going to law school, she studied judo in Japan and became a brown belt, rebuilt - then crashed - an old plane, studied theoretical physics at University of Chicago while repairing car engines at a mechanic shop, then opened a cafe and independent bookstore in Baltimore known for its erotica readings.

    The Biden administration wanted to quickly confirm other Cabinet nominees, but no others will come today as the Senate is no longer in session.

  12. Megyn Kelly on Trump's legacy

    Former Fox anchor Megyn Kelly - who now hosts her own podcast - spoke to the BBC's Katty Kay about Trump's legacy.

    "He did do a lot of good things, policy-wise if you're a Republican, and even if you're a Democrat, he had some policies that you should like," Kelly said when asked if Trump's "temperament" would affect how he's remembered.

    "It's just that he is so personally controversial that it was tough to ever give those things much air time."

    Watch the full clip below.

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    Video caption: Former Fox anchor Megyn Kelly on the Trump legacy
  13. Now online: the Donald Trump Presidential Library

    Donald Trump

    He's only been a private citizen for a few hours, but Donald J Trump is getting a post-presidential perk today: his library.

    Trump's presidential library is now online.

    The site is currently a compilation of archived White House websites and social media accounts.

    Presidential libraries are museums that archive the artifacts and records of a past administration for public access and research purposes.

    They are overseen by the National Archives and Records Administration - a federal agency - with the input and help of a past president (and his team).

    The first presidential library was opened in 1941 for former president Franklin D Roosevelt and every president since then has had one.

    Trump's library will be only the 15th in US history.

    The physical library will likely be built in Florida and news reports suggest he wants to raise up to $2bn for its construction from donors and supporters.

  14. How Trump spent his last day as president

    Donald Trump began today as the 45th US president and ended it as a private citizen in Florida.

    Hours before the Biden inauguration got underway, Trump and First Lady Melania left the White House, received a 21-gun salute at his sendoff ceremony and then boarded one last ride on Air Force One.

    Take a look at how Trump spent his day.

    Video content

    Video caption: How Donald Trump spent his last day as president
  15. Press secretary deflects abortion question

    White House press secretary Jen Psaki

    Psaki was asked by a reporter about the Mexico City policy and the Hyde Amendment - two pieces of legislation related to abortion funding.

    On his presidential campaign, Biden reversed his stance on the Hyde Amendment, which restricts federal funding for abortion, saying he believed all healthcare was a right.

    Before the U-turn, Biden had long voiced support for the law, passed in 1976, right on the heels of the Roe v Wade Supreme Court ruling that legalised abortion across the US.

    By way of an answer, Psaki says that Biden is a "devout Catholic" who attends church regularly.

    "I don’t have anything more for you on that," she said.

  16. Biden 'felt like he was coming home'

    White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki

    Asked about Joe Biden's emotions walking into the Oval Office as president - the zenith of nearly four decades in politics - Psaki said the new president "felt like he was coming home".

    Biden already spent eight years in the White House, as Barack Obama's vice-president.

    "He had an incredible sense of calm and a sense of some joy, of course," Psaki said.

    Now, the press secretary added, Biden is "eager to get to work".

  17. Senate can 'multitask' on impeachment

    Asked whether Joe Biden's calls for unity means the Senate should drop a potentially divisive impeachment trial for his predecessor, Jen Psaki said "just like the American people, the Senate can also multitask".

    The House voted to impeach Trump one week ago, but the Senate has not yet begun its hearings, making this the first time a president will be tried after his term ends.

    "They can do their constitutional duty while continuing to conduct the business of the American people," said Psaki.

    She added that Biden's view was that "the way to bring the country together is to address the problems we're facing".

    "Having talked to him today, his focus is not on politics. It is on getting to work and solving the problems of the American people."

  18. Biden actions 'just smoke and mirrors'

    Gabriel Montalvo

    Gabriel is an ardent 'Latino for Trump' who is active in New York Republican circles. He wishes the Biden/Harris administration well but doesn't believe Democrats really want unity and thinks they'll reverse a lot of good Trump policies.

    How did Joe Biden's inaugural speech on unity sit with you?

    I caught bits and pieces of the inauguration, but I did not watch the speech. I'll give it a watch when I'm not as busy. Hopefully, his message is not like what we saw on 6 January, when he tried to lambast people as white supremacists for showing up at the Capitol, because that will just alienate people.

    This country has come a long way in terms of race relations and, if we really want unity, let's regain the sense of what an American is. An American isn't white, black or Jewish; it is a person within the United States that takes part in our republic.

    What do you think of the executive actions he is taking today?

    I knew Biden would come out swinging while he stills holds the majority in the legislative branch. It's certainly a statement in the same vein as President Trump's first few days of office, but I think it's horrible. As someone of Hispanic descent, the idea of potentially granting 11 million immigrants citizenship is a slap in the face to everyone who came through the legal process.

    Joining the Paris climate agreement again is widely regarded as a farce, even by some ecologists, because nations that are members in the agreement didn't actually hit their targets. The removal of the Keystone Pipeline is not only going to cost people jobs but it could potentially increase our carbon footprint. When it comes to the WHO, they failed us during the Covid pandemic. It's all just smoke and mirrors to undo what President Trump did and stick it in the face of Republicans.

  19. Trump letter was 'generous and gracious'

    Jen Psaki

    Donald Trump followed recent presidential precedent by leaving a letter in the Oval Office for his successor, Joe Biden.

    Asked about the content of the letter, press secretary Jen Psaki says she was with Biden in the Oval Office when he opened the letter, describing it as "both generous and gracious".

    Biden will not release the contents of the private letter "unilaterally", Psaki said, adding that there were no imminent plans for talks between Trump and Biden.

    "I wouldn't take it as an indication of a pending call with the former president," she said.

  20. First foreign call

    Psaki says Biden will be making calls to foreign leaders from Friday, starting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

    She said Biden had no plans at present to speak with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

    "His early calls will be with partners and allies," said Psaki. "He feels it's important to rebuild these relationships and address the challenges and threats we're facing around the world."