1. An executive order issued Monday by President Joe Biden will direct the State Department to make passports renewable online. “Americans will be able to renew their passports securely online, saving time from having to wait and the effort and cost required to print, go to a post office, and use a paper check. This new online process will be done with safety and security,” a White House release stated. Currently, the standard processing time for in-person and mail-facilitated passport renewals is between eight and 11 weeks, while expedited renewals take between five and seven weeks. The White House did not say when digital renewal will go live.
2. Ghislaine Maxwell will not take the stand to testify in her defense during her sex trafficking conspiracy trial, CNN reported. Maxwell, whose relationship with the late Jeffrey Epstein has received varying reports, made the announcement Friday, Dec. 17 in court. She faces six federal charges including sex trafficking of minors.
3. Famous people with a Dec. 19 birthday include French chanteuse Edith Piaf (1915-1963), magician and illusionist Criss Angel (1967-), actress Alyssa Milano (1972-) and actor Jake Gyllenhaal (1980-).