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Biden feels ‘very good’ about election outcome, has ‘no doubt’ of victory

As Biden closes in on White House win with Pennsylvania gap shrinking to 65,000, US president demands that the vote count be stopped

  • US President Donald Trump speaks in the briefing room at the White House on November 5, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP)
    US President Donald Trump speaks in the briefing room at the White House on November 5, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP)
  • Democratic presidential candidate former US Vice President Joe Biden speaks to supporters, November 4, 2020, in Wilmington, Delaware. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
    Democratic presidential candidate former US Vice President Joe Biden speaks to supporters, November 4, 2020, in Wilmington, Delaware. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
  • Protesters hold letters that spell Count Every Vote as they cross an overpass while marching in Portland, Oregon, November 4, 2020, following the US election. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
    Protesters hold letters that spell Count Every Vote as they cross an overpass while marching in Portland, Oregon, November 4, 2020, following the US election. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
  • People rally for US President Donald Trump outside City Hall, November 5, 2020, in Phoenix, Arizona. (AP /Matt York)
    People rally for US President Donald Trump outside City Hall, November 5, 2020, in Phoenix, Arizona. (AP /Matt York)
  • Municipal workers extract Luzerne County ballots from their envelopes, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. The fate of the United States presidency hung in the balance Wednesday morning, as President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden battled for three familiar battleground states, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, that could prove crucial in determining who wins the White House. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
    Municipal workers extract Luzerne County ballots from their envelopes, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. The fate of the United States presidency hung in the balance Wednesday morning, as President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden battled for three familiar battleground states, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, that could prove crucial in determining who wins the White House. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
  • Milwaukee Election Commission Executive Director Claire Woodall-Vogg delivers flash drives with absentee voter tallies from a central count location to Milwaukee County election officials on early Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Stephen Groves)
    Milwaukee Election Commission Executive Director Claire Woodall-Vogg delivers flash drives with absentee voter tallies from a central count location to Milwaukee County election officials on early Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Stephen Groves)
  • Chester County, Pa. workers transport mail-in and absentee ballots to be processed at West Chester University, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in West Chester. The fate of the United States presidency hung in the balance Wednesday morning, as President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden battled for three familiar battleground states, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, that could prove crucial in determining who wins the White House. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
    Chester County, Pa. workers transport mail-in and absentee ballots to be processed at West Chester University, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in West Chester. The fate of the United States presidency hung in the balance Wednesday morning, as President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden battled for three familiar battleground states, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, that could prove crucial in determining who wins the White House. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
  • Election challengers yell as they look through the windows of the central counting board as police were helping to keep additional challengers from entering due to overcrowding, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
    Election challengers yell as they look through the windows of the central counting board as police were helping to keep additional challengers from entering due to overcrowding, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
  • The Capitol is seen in Washington on the morning after Election Day, November 4, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    The Capitol is seen in Washington on the morning after Election Day, November 4, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
  • Oregon State Police arrest a protester in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, following Tuesday's election. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
    Oregon State Police arrest a protester in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, following Tuesday's election. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The Times of Israel liveblogged the results of the US election and the news from Israel as they happened Thursday. Our new live blog is here.

Biden: ‘We believe we will be the winners’

Joe Biden in a live address says his campaign is confident of victory and calls for post-election unity in a deeply divided nation. He stops short of claiming to have won the elections, but confidently predicts that “we will be the winners.”

Speaking from his home city of Wilmington, Delaware, with running mate Kamala Harrris at his side, Biden says, “Yesterday once again proved that democracy is the heartbeat of this nation, just as it has been the heartbeat of this nation for two centuries.”

“Even in the face of the pandemic more Americans voted in this election than any other in history,” he says. “If we had any doubts we shouldn’t have any longer of a government by and for the people.”

“Here, the people rule. Power can’t be taken or asserted. It flows from the people and it is their will that will determine who will be the president of the United States.”

“After a long tonight of counting it’s clear that we’re winning enough states to win 270 electoral votes to win the presidency. I’m not here to declare that we won but I am here to report that when the count is finished we believe we will be the winners.”

He says the campaign flipped Wisconsin and Michigan and expects to win both.

“I feel very good about Pennsylvania. Virtually all of the remaining ballots to be counted were cast by mail and we’ve been winning 78 percent of the votes by mail in Pennsylvania.”

“We’ve won the majority of the American people and every indication is that the majority will grow,” he says, adding that his campaign won more total votes than any in history.

“We are campaigning as Democrats but I will govern as an American president. The presidency itself is not a partisan institution. It is the one office in this nation that represents everyone,” Biden says.”I will work as hard for those who didn’t vote for me as I will for those who did.”

“Every vote must be counted. No one is going to take our democracy away from us. Not now, not ever. America’s come too far, fought too many battles, endured too much to ever let that happen. We the people will not be silenced, we the people will not be bullied, we the people will not surrender. My friends, I’m confident we will emerge victorious.”

“There will be no blue states or red states when we win, just the United States of America.”

Biden set to win Michigan, CNN projects

Joe Biden is set to win the swing state of Michigan, according to a CNN projection.

The state carries 16 electoral votes. The win would secure the challenger 253 electoral votes, nearing the 270 needed to win the presidency.

Trump won Michigan in 2016.

The projection comes as reports show protesters attempting to stop a ballot count in Detroit.

Fox, MSNBC, NY Times also project Biden win in Michigan

Fox News, MSNBC and The New York Times follow CNN’s lead and project a Biden victory in the swing state of Michigan.

Biden is around 67,000 votes ahead in the state, or 1 percent, after extremely high turnout for him among Black Americans in Detroit, The Times reports.

The win gives Biden 253 electoral votes, putting him near the 270 needed to win the presidency.

Biden is favored to win Arizona, with 11 electoral votes, and Nevada, with 6. Georgia and Pennsylvania also hang in the balance, with Trump’s lead in Pennsylvania narrrowing as mail-in ballots are counted.

Trump won Michigan in 2016.

Trump falsely claims wins in several more states

Trump falsely claims wins in Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina.

He writes on Twitter that his campaign claimed the wins “for electoral vote purposes.”

“Each one of which has a BIG Trump lead,” he says of the three states, which are still too close to call.

Trump also appears to falsely claim a win in Michigan.

“We hereby claim the State of Michigan if, in fact there was a large number of secretly dumped ballots as has been widely reported!” he writes.

Protesters have mobbed a counting center in Detroit, attempting to stop the counting of absentee ballots there.

Both of Trump’s posts are flagged by Twitter as misinformation. The social media company has put warning labels over many of the president’s tweets issued since voting started yesterday.

Trump’s campaign and spokesperson previously claimed victory in Pennsylvania, even as the campaign sued to stop the ongoing vote count in the state. The remaining ballots are expected to heavily favor Biden.

Trump falsely claimed a win in the total vote last night.

US voters sharply separated by gender, race and education level, survey says

Americans sorted themselves into two distinct camps for the presidential election, exposing the clear and entrenched partisan divisions that separate voters by gender, class and race, an Associated Press survey says.

Some 76% of US voters say they knew all along who they would support — and they constituted the bulk of the supporters for both Trump and Biden, according to AP VoteCast, an expansive survey of the voters nationwide.

The candidates’ supporters fall into familiar coalitions, with only a few groups showing significant numbers of swing voters. The divisions reflect a persistent polarization that appears to be driven in part by voters’ strong feelings about the provocative president. About two-thirds of all voters say their decision was about Trump — either for or against.

Biden amassed a sizable and diverse coalition of young, women, college-educated, urban and Black voters, groups that powered his party’s 2018 midterm victories. Some 38% of his support comes from voters of color.

Rita Brown, a supporter of Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, watches election results at a watch party in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Nov. 3, 2020. (AP/David Goldman)

Trump, meanwhile, marshaled his overwhelmingly white and rural supporters to turn out voters in the places that anchored his victory four years ago. He held on to 62% of white voters without a college degree, despite Biden’s hopes of peeling off large numbers of them. And in some competitive states, like Nevada and Florida, Trump ate away at Biden’s support among Latinos.

AP VoteCast is a nationwide survey of more than 133,000 voters and nonvoters conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago.

Nevada to release more results Thursday as Biden takes slim lead

The top elections official in Nevada’s most populous county says more results will be released Thursday morning that include mail-in ballots received on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria says at a news conference that he does not yet know how many ballots had been received but are still uncounted in the Las Vegas area.

Early results show Biden with a slim lead over Trump in Nevada, but it was too early to declare a winner in the race with a large number of ballots yet to be counted.

– AP

Biden wins more total votes than any campaign in US history

Joe Biden’s presidential campaign secures more total votes than any other in US history.

Over 70 million Americans vote for the Democrat, surpassing a record 69.5 million votes won by Barack Obama in 2008.

The population of the country has increased from 304 million to 330 million in the past 12 years, however, and Obama won a slightly larger percentage of the electorate, at least so far, The New York Times reports.

Republican leaders reportedly losing patience with Trump

A White House source tells CNN that Republican leaders are becoming frustrated with President Trump over his false claims of voter fraud.

The president is “bleeding GOP support,” the source says.

Some leading Republicans, including Mitch McConnell, Chris Christie and Marco Rubio have publicly pushed back against Trump’s baseless claims of victory and voter fraud.

McConnell said Wednesday that “claiming you’ve won the election is different from finishing the counting.”

Twitter bars fake news agency accounts that made false election claims

Twitter says it permanently barred several accounts that falsely claimed to represent the Associated Press news agency.

The accounts used AP logos and user names that appeared to be from the agency, and posted false claims about the US election, including that Biden had won the electoral college vote.

At least four accounts are permanently suspended, Reuters reports.

Twitter says the accounts violated its policies banning impersonation.

The social media company is flagging misleading and baseless statements about the vote, including repeatedly placing warning labels on tweets from President Trump and his campaign.

Scattered protests held in US cities, but no major unrest

Scattered protests take place from Washington, DC, to Washington state as votes are counted, but there are no signs of widespread unrest or violence linked to the US election.

The outcome of the hard-fought contest for the presidency remains undecided, stirring worries that prolonged uncertainty could yet spark conflict.

But demonstrations overnight and today in cities including Seattle, Philadelphia, Washington and New York remain largely peaceful.

In Washington, more than 1,000 people protesting Trump converged on Black Lives Matter Plaza on Tuesday night, just a block from the White House, while hundreds more marched through downtown, sometimes blocking traffic and setting off fireworks.

Protestors shouted “Whose streets? Our streets!” and “If we don’t get no justice, they don’t get no peace!”

Demonstrators react at Black Lives Matter Plaza as they watch election returns one day after Election Day, Nov. 4, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Groups of teenagers danced in the street as onlookers cheered. Large banners, including one reading “Trump lies all the time,” were unfurled.

At one point, the marchers stabbed the tires of a parked police van to flatten them.

In Philadelphia, about 200 protesters representing labor unions, groups working to combat climate change and other causes, rally near Independence Hall, saying they had come to protect democracy. The protest comes shortly before Trump campaign officials say they will file suit to stop the counting of votes in Pennsylvania over what they contend is a lack of transparency.

Hundreds of people marched in anti-Trump demonstrations in Portland, Oregon, and Seattle on Tuesday night, with several arrested.

In Seattle, police said they arrested several people, including someone who put nails in a road and another who drove over a barricade and into a police bike lane. No one was injured.

Hundreds of businesses in cities across the US boarded up their doors and windows ahead of the election, fearing the vote could lead to the sort of violence that broke out after Floyd’s death.

— AP

Trump reportedly screamed at Fox owner Murdoch after it gave Arizona to Biden

President Trump berated Rupert Murdoch, the owner of Fox news, after the company projected a Joe Biden win in Arizona last night, Vanity Fair reports.

Trump called Murdoch, screamed at him and demanded he retract the prediction, the report says.

Murdoch refused and the report remained. Fox was the first major news outlet to give Arizona to Biden. Several major news outlets still say the state is too close to call, although Biden is leading.

The decision on Arizona also stoked tension between Fox’s opinion staff, who heavily favor Trump, and its news section, the report says.

Pelosi acknowledges ‘challenging election’ for House Democrats

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi acknowledges a “challenging election” for Democrats in the House in a letter to her colleagues.

Pelosi predicts a Biden victory, saying, “The American people have made their choice clear at the ballot box, and are sending Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to the White House.”

Biden looks likely to win, but has not secured a victory yet, as votes are still being counted in a number of battleground states.

Democrats in the House did not fare as well as they had hoped.

“Though it was a challenging election, all of our candidates — both Frontline and Red to Blue — made us proud,” Pelosi writes.

Democrats already controlled the House, and will almost certainly retain control, but look likely to lose several seats to Republicans.

Republicans will likely retain control of the Senate, which Democrats had hoped to flip.

Trump campaign sues in 3rd state, Georgia

President Trump’s campaign and the Georgia Republican Party file a lawsuit against the state’s Chatham County Board of Elections asking a judge to order the county to secure and account for ballots received after 7 p.m. on Election Day.

State party Chairman David Shafer says in a statement that they plan to sue in a dozen counties.

The lawsuit alleges that a Republican observer watched a poll worker take unprocessed absentee ballots from a back room and mix them into processed absentee ballots waiting to be tabulated.

In Georgia, ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day in order to count. Chatham County contains Savannah and leans Democratic.

Georgia is among a handful of states that The Associated Press has not called. In the race to the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency, Democrat Joe Biden currently has 264 while Trump has 214.

The Trump campaign already sued to stop vote counts in Pennsylvania and Michigan as those states appeared to favor challenger Joe Biden.

Election challengers yell as they look through the windows of the central counting board as police were helping to keep additional challengers from entering due to overcrowding, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Clear winner emerges in US elections: legalized drugs

With Democrats disappointed in the House and Senate, and Republicans fretting over Joe Biden’s widening lead in the still-undecided presidential vote, the clear winner of Tuesday’s US elections is legalized drugs.

Voters approve recreational cannabis in Arizona, New Jersey and Montana, and South Dakota becomes the first state to legalize medical and recreational pot use at the same time. Fifteen states now allow recreational pot smoking.

Mississippi passes a law to allow medical marijuana use for a range of conditions.

Oregon becomes the first state to remove imprisonment as a punishment for possession of small amounts of hard drugs, including cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. Possession of the drugs will be a misdemeanor and incur a $100 fine.

Oregon votes to legalize psilocybin mushrooms, and Washington, DC, decriminalizes possession of shrooms.

Workers harvest a fresh crop of marijuana at the Loving Kindness Farms in Los Angeles, May 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

US sets new COVID records with over 100,000 infections in a single day

The US sets a single-day coronavirus infection record with 103,087 new confirmed cases, The Atlantic reports.

It is the first time any country surpasses 100,000 new cases in a single day.

Seventeen states report record high hospitalization numbers and 52,000 Americans are hospitalized with the virus.

Public health experts fear potentially dire consequences.

Salt Lake County Health Department public health nurses look on during coronavirus testing in Salt Lake City, Utah, Nov. 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Daily new confirmed coronavirus cases in the US have surged 45% over the past two weeks, to a record seven-day average of 86,352, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Deaths are also on the rise, up 15% to an average of 846 deaths every day.

The pestilence has killed over 232,000 Americans, and total confirmed US cases have surpassed 9 million. Those are the highest totals in the world, and new infections are increasing in nearly every state.

A survey by the Associated Press found the virus was the leading issue on US voters’ minds, followed by the economy, then racism.

-with AP

In show of confidence, Biden team launches transition website

The Biden team launches a transition website to prepare for its entrance into the White House, but stops short of declaring victory, as the challenger looks likely to prevail in the presidential race.

Reusing a slogan from the campaign season, the website is located at buildbackbetter.com.

The site currently features only a photo of Biden, a headline reading “Biden-Harris transition,” and a statement:

“The American people will determine who will serve as the next President of the United States. Votes are still being counted in several states around the country. The crises facing the country are severe — from a pandemic to an economic recession, climate change to racial injustice — and the transition team will continue preparing at full speed so that the Biden-Harris Administration can hit the ground running on Day One.”

There is also a Spanish-language version of the site. It’s not clear exactly when it became active.

Trump’s lead in Georgia narrows to less than 1 percent

Trump’s lead in Georgia falls to fewer than 40,000 votes with 122,000 uncounted ballots remaining, says Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

The difference amounts to less than 1 percentage point of the state’s total vote.

Most of the remaining votes are from the Atlanta and Savannah areas, which are majority-Democratic.

Some counties will finish counting tonight, but others will continue until tomorrow, CNN reports.

The state carries 16 electoral college votes. If Biden wins, he will stand at 269 total electoral college votes, one short of the 270 needed to win the election.

Trump currently has 214 total electoral college votes.

Over 60,000 Americans vote for Kanye West for president

Watching the throne: Rapper Kanye West wins at least 60,671 votes for president in the 12 states where he managed to get on the ballot following his late registration into the race.

His best showings were in Tennessee, where he got 10,216 votes, or 0.3 percent of the total.

In Minnesota, he won 7,789 votes. His next best states in total vote count were Colorado, Oklahoma, Utah, Louisiana and Mississippi.

On Tuesday he said his vote for himself was the first vote he ever cast.

He apparently accepted defeat and vowed to run again in 2024.

Democrat Peters holds onto Senate seat in Michigan

Democrat Gary Peters holds onto his Senate seat in Michigan. He defeats Republican challenger John James, a Black business executive and former combat veteran.

The 61-year-old Peters continues Democrats’ dominance of Senate elections in the presidential battleground state. Republicans, who have won just one Senate seat in Michigan since the 1970s, spent heavily to try to unseat Peters in one of their few pickup opportunities.

Peters is a low-key former congressman, state lawmaker, lottery commissioner and investment adviser who served in the Navy Reserve. He ran by emphasizing his bipartisan work and by criticizing James’ support for President Trump.

-AP

Post-election clashes break out between police, protesters in New York City

Clashes break out in New York City between protesters and police officers over the presidential election, local media reports.

Hundreds of officers massed around a smaller number of protesters, arresting dozens.

Demonstrators set some small fires and berate police for supporting President Trump.

Some police beat protesters with fists and batons, and shoved them with bicycles.

The protests and clashes take place in midtown and downtown Manhattan.

An NYPD spokesperson tells The Gothamist new site that up to 30 people are arrested.

Stores across the city covered their windows with plywood on Tuesday and Wednesday, expecting unrest following the election.

Small protests take place in other US cities, including Philadelphia and Washington, DC, with protesters demanding Trump’s removal and calling for a count of all votes.

Interfaith prayer held in New York for post-election solidarity

Buddhists, Christians, Jews, Muslims and people of other faiths pray and sing together in post-election solidarity Wednesday afternoon in New York City, even as the outcome of the hotly contested and polarizing vote was still in doubt.

Gathering outside a church in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, they stamp their feet on the pavement, sing gospel hymns, look skyward in prayer and chant words of hope to the beat of a drum.

“We are here together as we figure out how to make a just and loving democracy — no matter the outcome of this election,” says the Rev. Jacqui Lewis, pastor of Middle Collegiate Church in the East Village.

“We’ve been here before,” Lewis says outside the Judson Memorial Church near Washington Square Park.

Shira Kline, a director of worship for Lab/Shul, a Jewish community-based organization, leads a group in song during an interfaith gathering outside of the Judson Memorial Church near Washington Square Park in New York, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020. Muslims, Jews, Christians and Buddhists came together to show solidarity among faith communities as the country awaits the final result of the U.S. presidential election. (AP Photo/Emily Leshner)

“We know how to wait for change; we know how to wait with hope.”

It’s a budding interfaith coalition ritual first held four years ago after Donald Trump was elected president. This year it came against a backdrop of not only the election but also protests over racial injustice and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that has new cases spiking all across the country.

AP

Trump said feeling ‘down,’ fears race slipping away

US media is reporting that US President Donald Trump was feeling “down” as his path to a victory narrowed with Democrat Joe Biden winning several key states.

Both CNN and ABC quote White House sources as saying that Trump was “feeling down” and starting to “feel the race slipping away.”

However, the reports say Trump is putting his hopes in Arizona, where Biden has had a steady lead, but late ballots show Trump close the gap.

The Associated Press and Fox News have called for Arizona for Biden, but other organizations consider it still in play with Tmany votes still to come in.

Oregon police face off with anti-Trump protesters

Hundreds of state police and left-wing protesters are locked in a tense standoff in downtown Portland after rampaging anti-Trump groups smash shop windows a day after the election, prompting the state governor to activate the National Guard.

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s office declares a riot and make at least nine arrests, citing “widespread violence” in the city’s downtown area and repeatedly warning it could deploy munitions and tear gas.

Armed police advanced on demonstrators in unison but there were no clashes, according to an AFP reporter at the scene.

The protesters had earlier attended a peaceful rally in a downtown park hosted by a coalition of far-left, anti-capitalist groups featuring lectures and music.

Oregon State Police arrest a protester in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, following Tuesday’s election. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Protesters who had gathered by Portland’s river vow to “protect the results” of Tuesday’s close-run election and hold banners proclaiming “Count Every Vote” and “The Vote is Over. The Fight Goes On.”

“We want Trump out of office, that’s the main focus,” one protest leader tells the crowd, to loud cheers.

AFP

Trump backers converge on vote centers in Michigan, Arizona

Dozens of angry supporters of US President Donald Trump converge on vote-counting centers in Detroit and Phoenix after the returns went against him Wednesday in the two key states.

“Stop the count!” the Trump supporters chant in Detroit as they fill much of the parking lot at the Maricopa County election center, where sheriff’s deputies are guarding both the outside of the building and the counting inside.

People wanting to be election challengers yell as they look through the windows of the central counting board as police were helping to keep additional challengers from entering due to overcrowding, November 4, 2020, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

In Phoenix, wearing Trump gear, members of the crowd chant, “Fox News sucks,” in anger over the network declaring Joe Biden the winner in Arizona.

Rep. Paul Gosar, an Arizona Republican and staunch Trump supporter, joins the crowd, declaring: “We’re not going to let this election be stolen. Period.”

— AP

Anti-Trump protesters demand to ‘count every vote’

Thousands of anti-Trump protesters demanding a complete tally of the ballots in the still-undecided election take to the streets in cities across the US.

In Portland, Oregon, which has been a scene of regular protests for months, Gov. Kate Brown calls out the National Guard as demonstrators engage in what authorities say is widespread violence downtown, including smashing windows.

“It’s important to trust the process, and the system that has ensured free and fair elections in this country through the decades, even in times of great crisis,” Brown says in a statement. “We are all in this together.”

Protesters hold letters that spell Count Every Vote as they cross an overpass while marching in Portland, Oregon, November 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

In New York, hundreds of people parade past boarded-up luxury stores on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, and in Chicago, demonstrators march through downtown and along a street across the river from Trump Tower.

Similar protests are taking place in at least a half-dozen cities, including Los Angeles, Houston, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis and San Diego.

— With AP

Republicans losing patience with ‘ambulance chasing’ Trump — WH source

CNN quotes a source close to the White House as saying it’s becoming apparent that Republican officials are beginning to lose patience with some of Trump’s behavior as he falsely claims fraud is robbing him of the presidency.

Trump is “bleeding GOP support,” the network quotes the source as saying, adding that they described the president’s complaints as an “ambulance chasing routine.”

Likud officials worry Trump loss could damage Netanyahu

Likud party officials are fretting over the impact of a Biden win, given that Netanyahu has developed a particularly close relationship with Trump.

Speaking to Zman Yisrael, the Times of Israel’s sister site in Hebrew, they warn that a Trump loss could impact Netanyahu badly.

“Now they will tell Netanyahu: Your friend is gone, against all odds, so you will go too,” a senior Likud officials is quoted as saying, referring to opponents to the premier.

“Now they will talk about how Netanyahu severed ties with the Democrats, what price we will all pay and how he — who knows America better than anyone — gambled on the wrong horse.”

A Likud MK tells Zman Yisrael that Israel needs to prepare for a new reality on the international stage.

“We took a hit. Nicky Haley will not be there for us anymore,” they say of the former US ambassador to the UN who took particularly pro-Israel positions.

The MK, however, says that they believe Biden will not be swayed by anti-Israel sentiment.

“The Democratic Party has extreme and radical fringes, which even a left-wing government in Israel cannot get along with,” they say, before adding, “Biden has a strong support base, and he is not the man to be affected by them.”

Just short of 100,000, US sets new coronavirus case record

The United States records its worst ever daily coronavirus caseload — 99,660, according to Johns Hopkins University.

There were 1,112 deaths yesterday, according to the same tally.

More than 9.4 million people have been infected and 233,000 have died in the US since the disease was first detected in China late last year.

Infection rates have surged to record highs across the country since last month, especially in the north and the Midwest.

India’s virus cases jump on New Delhi’s 3rd wave

India’s coronavirus outbreak rose by more than 50,000 cases in the past 24-hours amid a surging third wave of infections in the capital, the countries health ministry reports.

The ministry also reports another 704 fatalities in the past 24 hours across the country, raising India’s overall death toll to 124,315.

The ministry has attributed the surge in New Delhi to the festival season and warned that the situation can worsen due to people crowding markets for festival shopping.

The surge comes as New Delhi appears to be heading for a cold wave, along with the fast-worsening air quality. Health experts are concerned low temperatures and high pollution will worsen the virus outbreak.

With 8.3 million confirmed cases of coronavirus, India is the second worst-hit country behind the United States.

— AP

Delays in Georgia vote count update

All eyes are still on the state of Georgia as officials are set to provide an update on the vote count tally in the presidential election between US President Donald Trump and former vice president Joe Biden.

With 95% of votes reported, Trump has 49.6% of the vote with 2,429,783 votes and Biden is trailing at 49.1% with 2,406,774 votes.

Election officials said there would be an update around half an hour ago.

Sea of Galilee water level rises after night of heavy rain

The water level of the Sea of Galilee, Israel’s main freshwater reservoir, has risen by two centimeters after a night of heavy rain in parts of the north of the country, according to the National Water Authority.

A lack of rain over many years had seen the lake’s level drop sharply but last winter it rose steadily over a heavy rainy season.

The promenade in the northern Israeli city of Tiberias, by the Sea of Galilee, on January 30, 2020. (David Cohen/Flash90)

According to officials who measure the water level every day, it’s currently at  209.975 meters (685.65 feet) below sea level.

The level is now 1.175 meters below the “upper red line,” above which the lake would be in danger of overflowing.

Vote count tightens in key battleground of Arizona

Election officials in the swing state of Arizona, one of the few remaining states not to have declared a winner, say that the race between Joe Biden and Donald Trump is tightening, with the president closing down his rival’s lead.

After an update of some 62,000 ballots with 86% of the votes counted, Biden leads by just 50.5% with 1,469,341 votes to Trump’s 48.1% with 1,400,951 votes.

The latest update closes Biden’s lead by some 10,000 votes.

754 new Israel virus cases tallied Wednesday – lowest figure in 3 days

The number of new coronavirus cases diagnosed in Israel dipped to its lowest in three days on Wednesday, while positive test rates continued their slight downward trend since the beginning of the week, the Health Ministry says.

There were 754 new virus cases diagnosed in 24 hours, according to ministry figures released this morning. That followed 841 cases on Tuesday, and 784 on Monday.

Of the 9,406 active virus patients, 353 are in serious condition, with 154 on ventilators. There are 89 in moderate condition and the rest have mild or no symptoms.

The death toll was unchanged at 2,597.

The positive test rate was two percent out of the 38,601 test results returned, its lowest value in at least five days.

France condemns Erdogan’s ‘declarations of violence’

France condemns what it calls “declarations of violence” by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and raises the possibility of new sanctions against Ankara.

Erdogan has been feuding bitterly with French President Emmanuel Macron on a number of geopolitical flashpoints and, more recently, France’s fight against radical Islam.

“There are now declarations of violence, even hatred, which are regularly posted by president Erdogan which are unacceptable,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian tells Europe 1 radio.

French President Emmanuel Macron (R) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Elysee Palace in Paris, January 5, 2018. (Ludovic Marin/Pool/AFP)

— AFP

EU calls for halt to Israeli demolition of Palestinian buildings

The EU calls on Israel to cease demolishing Palestinian homes in the West Bank and lift a threat to demolish Palestinian schools, calling them “an impediment towards the two-state solution.”

The statement, issued by the spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, comes two days after Israeli bulldozers razed a Bedouin village near Tubas in the Jordan Valley, leaving its nearly 80 inhabitants homeless.

The IDF said the homes were built illegally in an area used for military training.

The daughter of Khalil Dweikat, a man accused of an attack that killed an Israeli rabbi earlier this year, inspects the remains of their home in the West Bank village of Rujeib, near Nablus on November 2, 2020, after it was demolished by Israeli soldiers. (Photo by JAAFAR ASHTIYEH / AFP)

The EU statement says that half the Palestinians made homeless in the demolition were children.

“This large-scale demolition confirms once again the regrettable trend of confiscations and demolitions since the beginning of the year,” it says, adding that Israel has also threatened to raze 52 Palestinian schools, including one in Ras Al-Teen in the West Bank that was co-funded by the EU and EU member states.

“The EU reiterates its call on Israel to halt all such demolitions, including of EU-funded structures, in particular in light of the humanitarian impact of the current coronavirus pandemic,” it says.

— with AFP

France says need for ‘new transatlantic relationship’ between EU, US after election

The United States and the European Union need to develop a “new transatlantic relationship” after the US election, irrespective of who wins, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian says.

“We will have to build a new transatlantic relationship, which will be a new partnership,” saysLe Drian, adding that France would work “with the person elected and the new US government, whatever happens.”

— AFP

World markets rally as investors shrug off election limbo

US futures and world shares surge as investors await the outcome of the US presidential election.

European markets also open higher after a day of gains in Asia, while the fate of the US presidency remains undecided.

Analysts say a Congress likely once again split between a Democratic House and a Republican Senate is expected to keep US tax and other policies relatively stable amid legislative stalemates. And share prices tend to rise regardless of who is in the White House.

Taking reassurance where they can, “markets have been happy to presume that this Democratic White . . . House and Republican Senate is the ‘Goldilocks’ outcome. In other words, a ‘Goldilocks Gridlock,'” Mizuho Bank says in a commentary.

— with AP

UN condemns Israeli demolition of Palestinian village

The United Nations condemns the demolition of Khirbet Humsa, a Palestinian village in the Jordan Valley, as a violation of Israel’s obligations under international humanitarian law.

“I remind all parties that the extensive destruction of property and the forcible transfer of protected people in an occupied territory are grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention,” senior UN official Yvonne Helle says.

“While assuring that the humanitarian community stands ready to support all those who have been displaced or otherwise affected, I strongly reiterate our call to Israel to immediately halt unlawful demolitions,” Helle says.

Netanyahu: Opening shops next week ‘may increase infection rate’

During a visit to an elementary school in Jerusalem to observe classes after they returned this week from lockdown, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that next week’s planned opening of shops may lead to an increase of coronavirus cases across the country.

“I understand the distress of the shop owners and we decided to help them. However, we know there may be an increase in infection rates,” he says.

“Leaving the first lockdown, we learned that this time we need to go slower, and if necessary, then we will also stop [the lifting of restrictions]. We are examining it according to the infection rates.”

The number of new cases diagnosed in Israel dipped to its lowest in three days on Wednesday, while positive test rates continued their slight downward trend since the beginning of the week, the Health Ministry said earlier.

Trump’s lead in Georgia narrows to less than half a percent

Trump’s lead in Georgia falls further to fewer than 19,000 votes.

He now holds 49.6% of the total ballot with 2,431,724 votes compared to Biden’s 49.2% with 2,413,184 votes.

The difference amounts to 0.4% of the state’s total vote.

Most of the remaining votes are from the Atlanta and Savannah areas, which are majority-Democratic.

The state has 16 electoral college votes. If Biden wins, he will have 269 total electoral college votes, one short of the 270 needed to win the election.

Trump currently has 214 electoral college votes.

Hadassah hospital orders 1.5 million as-yet-unproven Russian virus vaccines

Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center has preordered 1.5 million coronavirus vaccines from Russia, where the treatment is still in phase 3 trials but has already been administered to tens of thousands of people, Army Radio reports.

CEO Zeev Rotstein says that the medical center will apply to the Health Ministry this week for permission to eventually use the vaccine in Israel, if the trials in Russia prove it is safe and can prevent infection.

“There is a pretty good probability that the vaccine is safe and a reasonable probability… that it is also effective,” he says, but not the full picture will only be clear when all the data is available at the end of the Russian trial, which is nearing completion.

“The safety results we saw were very good,” he adds.

If all goes well, the vaccine, named Sputnik V, could be available in Israel within two-three months, according to the report.

Jordan border crossing to reopen Tuesday

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri instructs authorities to reopen the Jordan River-Sheikh Hussein border crossing from Israel to Jordan from Tuesday.

The crossing near Beit She’an  — one of three linking the countries — has been closed since March, according to the Kan public broadcaster.

The Jordan River Crossing, an international border crossing between Irbid, Jordan and Beit, She’an, Israel, August 05, 2013. (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)

Greece to re-enter lockdown Saturday for three weeks

Greece will re-enter a lockdown from Saturday for three weeks to battle a second wave of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announces.

“It was a difficult decision” but “measures must be taken for three weeks to overcome this second wave,” he tells a videoconference.

Under the measures, Greeks can only leave their homes if they make an official request via SMS or cellphone and then receive authorization.

Only “essential shops” including supermarkets and pharmacies can stay open when the lockdown starts at 6 a.m. (0400 GMT) on Saturday, Mitsotakis says.

Tourists sit at Aeropagus hill overlooking foggy Athens on November 3, 2020 as cafes bars and restaurants close due to a partial lockdown to stem the spread of the Covid-19. (LOUISA GOULIAMAKI / AFP)

Unlike the previous six-week lockdown that began in late March, he says kindergartens and primary schools will remain open.

Secondary school pupils will be taught remotely, something university students are already doing under recent measures.

The new lockdown comes at the daily tally of coronavirus cases continues to grow.

A total of 2,646 new infections and 18 deaths were recorded on Wednesday, up sharply from last week.

The virus has killed 673 people in Greece among almost 47,000 infected.

But it is the number of people in intensive care that worries authorities most of all. The number of people hospitalized on ventilators has more than doubled in a month, from 82 on October 4 to 169 on Wednesday.

“Why take this decision now?” asks the prime minister. “In the last five days we have seen a dangerous increase in the number of dead” and the number of people in intensive care in the hospital.

AFP

WHO probing new COVID mutation, mink-to-human transmission in Denmark

The World Health Organization says it’s investigating a coronavirus mutation in Denmark, as well as the transmission of the virus there to humans from minks.

Denmark, the world’s biggest producer of mink fur, said Wednesday it would cull all of the country’s minks after a mutated version of the new coronavirus was detected at mink farms and had spread to people. The mutation “could pose a risk that future (coronavirus) vaccines won’t work the way they should,” Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told a press conference.

“It is necessary to cull all the minks.”

Denmark’s police chief Thorkild Fogde said they would start the culling as “soon as possible,” but conceded that with 15 million to 17 million minks spread over 1,080 farms it was “a very large undertaking.” The novel coronavirus has been detected at 207 Danish mink farms, including some cases with a mutated version that has been confirmed to spread back to humans.

Health authorities have also concluded that the mutated virus “is not inhibited by antibodies to the same degree as the normal virus.”

“Studies have shown that the mutations may affect the current candidates for a Covid-19 vaccine,” Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said on Wednesday.

“It is a threat to the development of coronavirus vaccines. That is why it is important that we make a national effort,” he added.

with AFP

Global virus death toll rises to 1,226,154

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 1,226,154 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT.

At least 48,110,360 cases of coronavirus have been registered. Of these, at least 31,701,200 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections.

Many countries are testing only symptomatic or the most serious cases. On Wednesday, 8,832 new deaths and 551,429 new cases were recorded worldwide.

Based on latest reports, the countries with the most new deaths were the United States with 1,112 new deaths, followed by India with 704 and Mexico with 635.

The United States remains the worst-affected country with 233,734 deaths from 9,488,276 cases. At least 3,743,527 people have been declared recovered.

Medical workers look on at the intensive care unit for patients infected by Covid-19 of the university-affiliated hospital (CHU) Cavale Blanche in Brest, western France, on November 4, 2020. (Loic VENANCE / AFP)

After the US, the hardest-hit countries are Brazil with 161,106 deaths from 5,590,025 cases, India with 124,315 deaths from 8,364,086 cases, Mexico with 93,228 deaths from 943,630 cases, and the United Kingdom with 47,742 deaths from 1,099,059 cases.

The country with the highest number of deaths compared to its population is Belgium with 106 fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Peru with 105, Spain 82, Brazil 76.

China — excluding Hong Kong and Macau — has to date declared 86,115 cases, including 4,634 deaths and 81,081 recoveries.

Latin America and the Caribbean overall has 406,887 deaths from 11,428,321 cases, Europe 293,703 deaths from 11,609,870 infections, and the United States and Canada 244,070 deaths from 9,736,494 cases.

Asia has reported 173,948 deaths from 10,812,182 cases, the Middle East 62,597 deaths from 2,660,517 cases, Africa 44,008 deaths from 1,833,097 cases, and Oceania 941 deaths from 29,884 cases.

As a result of corrections by national authorities or late publication of data, the figures updated over the past 24 hours may not correspond exactly to the previous day’s tallies.

AFP

France to step up border security after Nice attack — Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron says that he will step up border security in the wake of several terror attacks, including a knife rampage in a Nice church blamed on a Tunisian migrant.

During a visit to the border between France and Spain, Macron announces that the number of border guards would be doubled from 2,400 to 4,800 “because of the worsening of the threat” from terrorism.

AFP

French police block the access to the Notre-Dame de l’Assomption Basilica in Nice on October 29, 2020 after a knife-wielding man killed three people at the church.
(Valery Hache/AFP)

Health Ministry seeks to extend Majdal Shams lockdown, close off another town

The Health Ministry will recommend extending a closure in the northern Druze town of Majdal Shams, and introduce a full lockdown in Masa’de in the northern Golan Heights, according to Hebrew media reports.

The recommendation will be brought to a special ministerial panel, which will decide whether to impose the measures amid a spike in coronavirus infections in those areas.

Illustrative: A woman stands next to a makeshift checkpoint in the Druze village of Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights on April 9, 2020. (Jalaa Marey/AFP)

Netanyahu meets Malawi FM, hails plans to open Jerusalem embassy

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Malawi’s Foreign Minister Eisenhower Mkaka in Jerusalem.

The prime minister thanks him for the country’s plans to open an embassy in Jerusalem by the end of the summer, which would make it the third country overall and first African country to do so. Malawi does not currently have a mission in Israel.

“This is a great day because of your decision to move your embassy to Jerusalem, which is our eternal capital from the time of King David,” says Netanyahu. “So we welcome you as a friend. We welcome Malawi as a friend. We’ve always had excellent relations and they’re going to be even better.”

Netanyahu tells Mkaka that he looks “forward to strengthening the ties between Israel and Malawi in agriculture, health, cybersecurity, every area that I think lends itself to cooperation.”

Malawi Foreign Minister Eisenhower Mkaka (L) and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet in Jerusalem on November 5, 2020 (Haim Zach/GPO)

 

‘Senior public official’ interrogated over suspected extortion

A senior public official, who has not been named, is being interrogated by police on suspicion of extortion, according to Hebrew media reports.

The state prosecution has authorized the questioning, reports say.

The Haaretz newspaper identifies him as a Knesset member.

Likud’s Miki Zohar is the MK questioned by police on suspicion of extortion

Likud lawmaker Miki Zohar, the coalition whip, confirms he is the unnamed public official who was questioned by police on suspicion of extortion.

“This is a sad day for our democracy,” he writes in a Facebook post.

Zohar says he was questioned over comments he made in a radio interview, accusing the prosecution of attempting to “silence” his right-wing views.

Likud MK Miki Zohar during a meeting at the Knesset, January 13, 2020. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Zohar had threatened to air dirt about attorney general

Likud MK Miki Zohar doesn’t specify why police hauled him in this afternoon for questioning, saying only it was on suspicion of extortion and was related to comments he made in a radio interview.

But that’s likely a reference to his threats against the attorney general.

In mid-October, Zohar called for Avichai Mandelblit’s resignation, warning that if he doesn’t resign, more damaging recordings could soon be published after a TV report had aired taped phone conversations in which Mandelblit is heard complaining bitterly about Shai Nitzan, the state attorney at the time, for failing to close a criminal case against him.

The threat that additional recordings would be published if the attorney general doesn’t step down and withdraw charges against the prime minister was condemned by Netanyahu and by Mandelblit himself.

Likud ministers seethe over police questioning of Zohar

Likud ministers condemn the police interrogation of their party member Miki Zohar on suspicion of extortion.

Ze’ev Elkin says it “crossed all the boundaries of parliamentary immunity and freedom of speech of Knesset members.”

“Whoever approved this investigation seriously hurt our democracy,” he says.

Public Security Minister Amir Ohana, who oversees police, calls it “shameful” and says it reflects poorly on the Israel Police.

Count in Georgia down to last tens of thousands of ballots — CNN

CNN reports that Georgia has some 50,000 more ballots to count.

An update will be given at 10:30 a.m. ET (5:30 p.m. Israel time), it says.

The network later updates that there are 61,367 votes left to count.

International election observer accuses Trump of ‘gross abuse of office’

The head of an international observer mission to the US elections accuses Donald Trump on Thursday of a “gross abuse of office” after the president alleged he was being cheated and demanded that vote counting be halted.

“The most disturbing thing was that with presidential fanfare of the White House, that is, with all the insignia of power, the American commander-in-chief called for an end to the count because of his purported victory,” Michael Link told the German daily Stuttgarter Zeitung.

“That was a gross abuse of office,” he says, adding that Trump’s “claims of manipulation are baseless.”

Link, who works for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, warns that Trump’s repeated false allegations of fraud could have far-reaching consequences.

“The major concern is that the US will not be able put back into the bottle the genie that Trump has let out.

“Even if he were to admit defeat and hand over office properly, his supporters, incited by rhetoric, may see violence as a legitimate tool because they no longer feel democratically represented,” says Link.

AFP

Trump tweets ‘STOP THE COUNT’ as Biden says all votes must be tallied

Trump and Biden are up and tweeting about the tense ongoing election count, with the US president urging that the counting be stopped while the former VP says every last ballot must be tallied.

WHO laments ‘explosion’ of virus cases in Europe

The World Health Organization in Europe says it is seeing an “explosion” of virus cases in the European region and warns mortality rates were also rising.

“We do see an explosion…. in the sense it only takes a couple of days to have over the European region an increase of one million cases,” WHO’s regional director for Europe Hans Kluge tells AFP, adding that “we see little by little the mortality increasing as well.”

AFP

Belgium arrests two teens over alleged IS plot

Two teenage boys, aged 16 and 17, have been arrested in Belgium and are accused of pledging allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) group and plotting to attack police officers with knives, prosecutors say.

The two were arrested late Saturday in the eastern town of Eupen, near the border with Germany, and are being held in a detention facility for minors. Belgium state broadcaster RTBF said they had recorded videos of themselves swearing loyalty to IS.

The IS group has claimed responsibility for the shooting attack by an Austrian-Macedonian man in Vienna on Monday which left four people dead. Belgium has already been targeted by the IS terror group, including in March 2016 when suicide attackers killed 32 people and wounded 340 others in blasts at Brussels airport and in a metro station in the capital.

In May 2018, a radicalized man murdered two police officers and a student in an attack claimed by the IS group.

AFP

Stocks rally, dollar slides as US vote outcome still unclear

Stock markets rally and the dollar slides against the euro and pound as US election uncertainty reigns ahead of a key Federal Reserve update.

The Fed is unlikely to offer much in the way of specifics Thursday at the end of its two-day policy meeting, besides repeating its commitment to keep the benchmark borrowing rate at zero for the foreseeable future.

But Fed Chair Jerome Powell could take the opportunity to signal a willingness to find new tools to help the economy, after the bank earlier this year pumped trillions of dollars of liquidity into the financial system and cut the US lending rate.

AFP

Georgia, Nevada expected to announce final count today; Pennsylvania likely Friday

The US presidential election could be settled today as a handful of battleground states complete their vote counts.

Democrat Joe Biden has racked up 264 of the 270 electoral votes that he needs — if Arizona is included, which Donald Trump’s team says could still swing in his direction. Without Arizona, he has 253.

Republican President Trump only has 214 electoral votes.

Expected to report Thursday are Georgia (16 electoral votes), North Carolina (15), and Nevada (6). However, mail ballots sent on or before election day in North Carolina can be counted until November 12.

Biden could reach the magic number to gain the White House with a win in any of those three, while Trump needs to capture all three to stay competitive.

Nevada, where Biden is favored, could put him precisely at the number needed to win. Early Thursday he was leading Trump by less than 8,000 votes of the 1.17 million cast so far, with 14 percent of the vote left to tally.

A Clark County election worker scans mail-in ballots at the Clark County Election Department on November 4, 2020 in North Las Vegas, Nevada. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP)

In North Carolina, Trump had a comfortable 77,000-vote lead after 95 percent of the ballots, about 5.38 million, had been tabulated.

In Georgia Thursday morning, Biden lagged Trump by 18,590 votes with about 99 percent (4.85 million) counted. But he could pull in the lion’s share of the final votes, making that race neck-and-neck.

Georgia, which has not voted for a Democrat for president since Bill Clinton in 1992, was expected to finish its count by noon Thursday (7 p.m. Israel time).

Two other states are also outstanding: Pennsylvania, with a prize of 20 electoral votes, and Alaska, with three. Neither is expected to finalize its count before Friday, though Pennsylvania was expected to announce more results on Thursday. Trump was expected to win Alaska.

One wild card that could upset these calculations: Arizona. Based on projections, some US media declared Biden the winner of the southwest state’s 11 electoral votes early Wednesday.

But other media remain cautious as a significant portion of the vote had not yet been counted. Late Wednesday Trump remained some 68,000 votes behind Biden with 88 percent of the vote, some 2.87 million ballots, counted.

Much of the delay has resulted from a flood of mailed-in ballots due to the coronavirus — and those votes have tended to favor Democrats.

If Biden’s lead in Arizona holds, and he wins Nevada or Georgia, he can claim victory.

Alex Kaufman, general council for the Fulton County Republican Party, walks amongst voting machine transporters during the adjudication review panel at the Fulton County Election Preparation Center on November 4, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia.(Jessica McGowan/Getty Images/AFP)

Should Trump hold North Carolina and Georgia but lose Arizona, he must take Nevada as well as Biden’s home state of Pennsylvania to win.

Simply winning Pennsylvania — where Trump leads but faces a possible onslaught of pro-Biden mailed ballots — will not be enough for the president.

Much to Trump’s chagrin, Pennsylvania has decided to allow mailed ballots sent by Election Day but received up to three days afterward to be counted due to coronavirus complications. Authorities expect to complete the count by Friday.

Another factor that could keep the battle alive: the Trump campaign has sued to disqualify late-arriving mailed ballots in Pennsylvania, has demanded a recount in Wisconsin, and could file lawsuits or recount demands in other states including Nevada and Georgia.

AFP

Ministers extend Majdal Shams lockdown; also close off Mas’ade

Ministers approve extending the lockdown on the northern town of Majdal Shams until November 10, according to Hebrew media reports.

They also approve a closure on the Golan Heights town of Mas’ade for the same time period.

Both locales are Druze communities that have seen recent spikes in coronavirus infections.

High Court says no reason to investigate leaks to media from Case 4000

The High Court of Justice rejects a petition calling for a criminal investigation into leaks from a corruption case into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Bezeq telecommunications company’s controlling stakeholder.

The court says it has no reason to intervene after the attorney general decided an investigation into the media reports about the so-called Case 4000 was not necessary.

The petition was filed by Shaul Elovitch, the head of Bezeq and the Walla news site and a suspect in the corruption case, and his wife, Iris. Netanyahu faces bribery, fraud and breach of trust charges in the case.

Bezeq controlling shareholder Shaul Elovitch leaves the Jerusalem District Court after a hearing, July 19, 2020 (Screen grab/Kan)

Arizona says 375,000 ballots still to be counted

Arizona state officials say there are 375,000 ballots still to be counted in the Western battleground.

The AP says it is monitoring that vote count as it comes in. The AP has called the presidential race in Arizona for Democrat Joe Biden.

AP executive editor Sally Buzbee says: “The Associated Press continues to watch and analyze vote count results from Arizona. We will follow the facts in all cases.”

Biden holds a 2.35 percentage point lead over Trump in Arizona, an advantage of about 68,000 votes.

The vast majority of the ballots yet to be counted are from Maricopa County, the most populous area of the state.

AP

Trump ‘still convinced Biden is stealing the vote from him’ — CNN

CNN, citing sources close to the US president, say Donald Trump is insisting he’ll win the election.

Trump “is still convinced that Joe Biden is stealing the vote from him,” it reports.

“Reality has not set in for Trump that he could lose,” the network says, citing the unnamed sources.

Biden, meanwhile, predicts he’ll win Pennsylvania by a “sizable margin,” his adviser says.

Biden is set to speak soon, his campaign says.

Austria plans intelligence agency reforms after terror attack

Austria’s leader calls for more legal options to fight extremism and for an overhaul of the country’s domestic intelligence agency in the wake of this week’s deadly attack by an Islamic State sympathizer who authorities knew had tried to buy ammunition in neighboring Slovakia.

The gunman, identified as 20-year-old Kujtim Fejzulai, had a previous conviction for trying to join IS in Syria and had been given early release in December.

Slovakian authorities tipped off Austria on July 23 that two people using a car with Austrian license plates had attempted to purchase assault rifle ammunition at a shop in Bratislava. Austrian public security director Franz Ruf acknowledged Thursday that they had identified one of them as “probably” Fejzulai by Oct. 16 — more than two weeks before the attack — and said an independent investigation would look into whether mistakes were made.

“This commission will look into the process and evaluate it objectively,” Ruf tells reporters in Vienna.

A dual national of Austria and North Macedonia, Austrian authorities said they were unable to revoke Fejzulai’s Austrian citizenship after his conviction and that he had duped the justice system’s deradicalization program after his release into thinking he had reformed.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz tells a special session of parliament that Austria currently doesn’t have all of the legal means necessary to monitor and sanction extremists, and that the government couldn’t allow a repeat of the situation that led to the attack Monday night. The gunman fatally shot four people and wounded 20 others with an automatic rifle before being killed by police himself.

Kurz didn’t detail his plans for changes, the APA news agency reports.

AP

Paris hospitals at 92% capacity as virus cases surge

In Paris, 84 people with the coronavirus died Wednesday in region hospitals, which are at 92% capacity.

There are 1,050 COVID-19 patients in intensive care and another 600 patients in ICU with other ailments, Aurelien Rousseau, head of the Paris region health service, tells public broadcaster France-Info.

France is in a monthlong partial lockdown to lessen rising coronavirus hospitalizations and deaths. Restaurants and non-essential stores are closed, but schools remain open.

The infection rate per 100,000 people remains extremely high at around 480.

With more than 27,000 people hospitalized across France, COVID-19 patients occupy more than 80% of the nation’s ICU beds, according to the public health agency. That’s the highest level since April.

Overall, France has 1.5 million confirmed cases and 38,674 deaths, the seventh-highest toll worldwide.

AP

Trump pledges legal challenges in all states called for Biden

US President Donald Trump, in a tweet, vows he’ll contest the election results in all states called for rival Joe Biden in court.

Georgia race narrows, with Trump leading by 14,800 votes

The race in Georgia is narrowing, with Donald Trump now leading by just 14,800 ballots.

That leaves Trump with 49.5% of the vote, compared to 49.2% for Biden, according to CNN.

The final votes from Georgia are expected to be processed in the coming hours.

 

Vote count paused in one Pennsylvania county untill Friday amid legal challenge

The vote count has been paused in one Pennsylvania county amid a legal challenge questioning the validity of 29,000 ballots, CNN reports.

Allegheny County won’t continue to tally until tomorrow, since most of the 35,000 ballots remaining are under dispute, it says.

CNN reports that Trump’s lead in Pennsylvania is shrinking, with the US president currently holding 50.3% of the vote, compared to Biden’s 48.4%.

Georgia judge dismisses Trump campaign lawsuit

A judge in Georgia has dismissed a lawsuit by the state Republican Party and US President Donald Trump’s campaign that asked him to ensure a coastal county was following state laws on processing absentee ballots.

Chatham County Superior Court Judge James Bass does not provide an explanation for his decision Thursday at the close of a roughly one-hour hearing. The county includes the heavily Democratic city of Savannah.

The suit had raised concerns about 53 absentee ballots that poll observers said were not part of an original batch of ballots. County elections officials testified that all 53 ballots had been received on time.

AP

Members of an adjudication review panel look over scanned absentee ballots at the Fulton County Election Preparation Center on November 4, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Jessica McGowan/Getty Images/AFP)

Biden widens lead over Trump in Nevada

Joe Biden widens his lead over Donald Trump in Nevada. He’s ahead by 11,458 votes.

The former VP has 49.5%, compared to 48.5% for Trump.

The state holds six electoral votes.

CNN says an estimated 200,000 votes must still be counted.

Senate control hangs in balance with a few races undecided

Control of the Senate hangs in the balance, a cliffhanger after Republicans trounce Democratic challengers in crucial states but fail to lock down the seats needed to retain their tenuous majority.

At least one race in Georgia is headed to a January runoff. Contests in three other states remain undecided, leaving the chamber now deadlocked 48-48. An outcome may not be known until the new year.

With the presidential race between US President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden also undecided, the Senate is in limbo because the vice president of the eventual winner’s party would serve as a tie-breaker in a split chamber.

“We’re waiting — whether I’m going to be the majority leader or not,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Wednesday.

That was still the case Thursday.

The counting continues in Georgia, where GOP Sen. David Perdue was trying to hold off Democrat Jon Ossoff in a multi-candidate race that could also go to a runoff if neither candidate clears the 50% threshold to win.

There already is a Jan. 5 runoff in the state’s other Senate race. GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler will face Democrat Raphael Warnock, a Black pastor at the church where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. preached, after they emerged as top vote-getters, but failed to clear the majority threshold.

In North Carolina, GOP Sen. Thom Tillis hoped to prevail over Democrat Cal Cunningham, whose sexting affair with a public relations specialist has clouded the race.

AP

UN calls special General Assembly session on pandemic; Israel abstains

The UN General Assembly moves to hold a special session focused on international coordination in response to the coronavirus pandemic on December 3-4 in New York.

Discussed since June, the meeting is intended to bring together heads of state and government according to a resolution adopted by 150 of the 193 General Assembly members.

No country voted against the measure, while the US, Israel and Armenia abstained.

Leaders will be able to submit five-minute pre-recorded statements to be broadcast in the General Assembly Hall.

The clips will be played after short introductions from representatives physically present in the room, according to the resolution — a format similar to that of the annual General Assembly meeting in September.

In-person appearances by world leaders are unlikely, given New York state’s required 14-day quarantine period for international visitors.

In this photo provided by the United Nations, the pre-recorded message of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana, is played during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Sept. 23, 2020, at UN headquarters in New York. (Eskinder Debebe/United Nations via AP)

The United States has already indicated it is opposed to an expanded role for the World Health Organization in fighting the pandemic, a stance facing major Russia pushback.

Germany, meanwhile, criticized the resolution as too vague, while Britain called for representation from non-governmental organizations and other civil society groups.

AFP

Facing possible loss, Trump aides said discussing possible 2024 run

Aides to the US president have begun to discuss another prospective presidential run for Donald Trump in 2024, should the incumbent lose the election, CNN reports.

The US network says the idea has been raised in conversation with Trump.

Just 50,401 more ballots left to count in Georgia — official

Georgia’s secretary of state says there are 50,401 ballots left to count in the battleground state, where Trump maintains a slim lead over Biden.

Denmark announces measures to guard against mink-linked coronavirus mutation

Denmark’s prime minister announcess special restrictions for more than 280,000 people in the north-east of the country after a mutated version of the new coronavirus linked to mink farms was found in humans.

“From tonight, citizens in seven areas of north Jutland are strongly encouraged to stay in their area to prevent the spread of infection,” Mette Frederiksen tells a news conference, adding that people were urged not to travel there, while bars and restaurants would also shut.

AFP

Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen addresses a press conference in the Prime Minister’s Office in Copenhagen, Denmark, on November 5, 2020. (Philip Davali / Ritzau Scanpix / AFP)

Health Ministry: 754 virus cases recorded Wednesday; 1.9% of tests are positive

The Health Ministry says 754 coronavirus cases were recorded on Wednesday, with another 349 since midnight.

It says 331 people are in serious condition, 156 of them on ventilators. The number of patients in moderate condition has dropped to 96.

The share of tests returning positive remains low, at 1.9% for Wednesday. The ministry says 39,783 tests were conducted on Wednesday.

The number of active patients stands at 9,111.

The death toll rises by 42 since this morning, hitting 2,639.

St. Louis election official dies with COVID; worked at polls despite diagnosis

A suburban St. Louis election official who worked at a polling place on Election Day despite a positive test for the coronavirus has now died, raising concerns for the nearly 2,000 people who voted there.

St. Charles County, Missouri, spokeswoman Mary Enger says in a news release Thursday that the person, whose cause of death is not yet known, was an election judge supervisor Tuesday at the Blanchette Park Memorial Hall polling site in St. Charles, about 25 miles northwest of St. Louis. Enger says the county’s health department and election authority recently learned that the poll worker tested positive October 30 for the coronavirus and was advised to quarantine for 14 days.

“The election judge nevertheless failed to follow the advice” and worked throughout the day on Tuesday, Enger says. “Authorities have informed the County that this individual has died, although a cause of death has not been given at this time.”

No details about the worker, including his or her age or gender, were released.

Contact tracing has started and county health officials have contacted the other nine election workers at the site, who were advised to be tested for the virus, Enger says. The infected poll worker’s duties did not “typically” include handling iPads, or having close contact with the 1,858 voters such as taking voter identification, Enger says.

County officials urge anyone who was at the precinct on Election Day to watch closely for symptoms and call a hotline number if they have questions.

St. Charles County Director of Elections Kurt Bahr says election workers were required to wear masks or face shields, and Plexiglas barriers separated workers from voters.

AP

US diplomat: Prospect of new Israeli elections falls if Biden wins

US diplomat Dennis Ross predicts that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won’t rush to call new elections if Joe Biden is elected US president.

“If Biden is elected, I think the prospect of the fall of this current Israeli government and a new election goes down significantly,” says Ross, who was previously posted to the Middle East, at an event organized by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

“If Trump remains, then I think the odds of Prime Minister Netanyahu being able to break the government and go to elections goes up. Netanyahu, in a context where he doesn’t have Trump, with whom he was seen as having been able to cultivate a relationship to Israel’s benefit, that’s a political loss for him. He’s had a good personal relationship with Biden, but that won’t change the political coloration and I think the prospect for an Israeli election goes down if Biden becomes president,” adds Ross.

Netanyahu is widely believed to be seeking new elections to avoid the handover of power to Benny Gantz next year under their premiership rotation agreement.

with Jacob Magid

Former Middle East ambassador and Obama adviser Dennis Ross at an event at the Jewish People Policy Institute in Jerusalem earlier this year (photo credit: Uri Lenz/Flash90)
Veteran US diplomat Dennis Ross (Uri Lenz/Flash90)

Michigan judge dismisses Trump campaign lawsuit

A Michigan judge has dismissed a lawsuit by US President Donald Trump’s campaign in a dispute over whether Republican challengers had access to the handling of absentee ballots.

Judge Cynthia Stephens notes that the lawsuit was filed late Wednesday afternoon, just hours before the last ballots were counted. She also says the defendant, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, is the wrong person to sue because she doesn’t control the logistics of local ballot counting, even if she is the state’s chief election officer.

The Associated Press called the Michigan presidential election for Democrat Joe Biden on Wednesday evening. Trump won the state in 2016.

The lawsuit claimed Benson, a Democrat, was allowing absentee ballots to be counted without teams of bipartisan observers as well as challengers. She was accused of undermining the “constitutional right of all Michigan voters … to participate in fair and lawful elections.”

Benson, through state attorneys, denied the allegations. Much of the dispute centered on the TCF Center in Detroit, where pro-Trump protesters gathered while absentee ballots were being counted.

AP

Bulk of 550,000 outstanding Pennsylvania ballots expected to be counted today

Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar tells CNN the state has 550,000 more ballots to count.

She expects most will be tallied today.

“I think there’s about 550,000 some-odd — plus or minus — ballots that are still in the process of being counted today. Some of those may have already been counted but are not yet uploaded. But yeah, they’re coming in,” she says, adding, “I think we definitely could” know the final result by today.

“I have been saying that we’ll have the overwhelming majority counted by tomorrow but it is looking like [we’ll have] the overwhelming majority counted by today,” she adds.

Trump is ahead in the battleground state by some 114,000 votes.

The calling of Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral votes could well determine the next president.

Nevada official says it could take until Saturday or Sunday to finish vote count

As the nation awaits results from Nevada, Clark County Registrar Joe Gloria says it could take until Saturday or Sunday before the state’s largest county finishes tallying mail-in ballots that have been returned.

Gloria says at a press conference: “Our goal here in Clark County is not to count fast. We want to make sure that we’re being accurate.”

Gloria says Clark County has at least 63,262 ballots left to count, including 34,743 returned in drop boxes on Election Day and 4,208 returned via the US Postal Service. But as mail-in ballots postmarked by Election Day continue to trickle in, Gloria said he had no way of knowing the total number of outstanding ballots.

He says, “That’s a number that I can’t give you. I can’t predict to you what’s going to come through the US mail.”

Gloria says the fact that Nevada’s six electoral votes could push Democrat Joe Biden beyond the 270 electoral vote threshold needed to win the presidency reaffirmed the need to not rush the count.

He says the last day to count ballots is Nov. 12.

AP

Italy records new daily high of 34,505 virus cases

Italy records a new daily high of 34,505 confirmed coronavirus cases.

The health ministry also reports 428 deaths, the highest since May. Italy announced on Wednesday four “red zone” regional lockdowns for two weeks to curb the coronavirus resurgence.

The aim is to lessen pressure on hospitals and provide more effective contact tracing.

Italy, the former European epicenter for the coronavirus, has watched infections soar beyond 20,000 cases and 300 deaths a day for several weeks.

Dr. Giovanni Rezza, of Italy’s Superior Institute of Health, calls it “not a good sign.”

Italy has more than 790,000 confirmed cases and more than 39,000 deaths, the sixth-highest worldwide.

AP

Government said weighing nightly curfews to curb virus

The government is weighing imposing restrictions starting Sunday to curb coronavirus infections, as street stores are set to reopen and officials predict the outbreak will worsen, Channel 12 reports.

The network says among the suggestions are imposing a nightly curfew to stop mass events, either nationwide or in moderate- and high-infection areas.

Other options are various restrictions for high-infection areas or guidelines for specific sectors.

The report stresses that these proposals have not yet been seriously discussed.

Hundreds march against Netanyahu in Tel Aviv; police seize model submarine

Hundreds of protesters gather for an anti-Netanyahu protest, this time marching from Ramat Gan to Tel Aviv.

Scuffles break out with police forces as some of the demonstrators tried to go near the home of Public Security Minister Amir Ohana, a Netanyahu ally.

The protesters call chants against corruption and carry models of submarines, a reference to a graft scandal that has ensnared confidants of Netanyahu, but not the premier himself.

Nobody is arrested, but the protesters slam police for confiscating one of the inflatable model submarines.

Georgia says 47,277 ballots outstanding, with Trump leading by 12,835

Election officials in Georgia say the state has 47,277 ballots yet to be counted.

With over 98% of the votes already counted, US President Donald Trump is ahead of Democrat Joe Biden by 12,835 ballots.

However, it could take up to a week to count them all, according to the officials.

If Biden wins Georgia and its 16 electors, Trump can mathematically only tie the elector race at 269, and that’s assuming he can still win Arizona, which has been called for Biden by several major US media outlets.

Netanyahu tells High Court AG can’t bar him from making legal appointments

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu again tells the High Court of Justice that Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has no authority to bar the premier from making law enforcement appointments due to conflict of interest stemming from the criminal charges against him, Channel 12 reports.

“The attorney general has no authority to set out a conflict of interest arrangement,” Netanyahu reportedly writes in a document handed to the court. “Parts of the arrangement are unacceptable to me.”

After months of bickering over the issue, Mandelblit recently published his final legal opinion on the matter, saying that as far as he’s concerned, it doesn’t require Netanyahu’s approval.

4 men suspected of committing gang rape in Jerusalem

Jerusalem police are investigating a suspected gang rape committed by four men aged 30-50, Hebrew-language media reports.

The victim, a 45-year-old woman, was allegedly given alcohol and drugs before she was raped. The men are also accused of acting as pimps, pressuring the woman to have sex with others.

US Postal Service told to sweep processing centers, expedite mail-in votes

A federal judge in Washington, DC, has ordered the US Postal Service to perform twice-daily sweeps of processing centers in states with extended ballot receipt deadlines to check for mail-in votes and to expedite them for delivery.

The order will remain in place until the end of states’ windows for accepting ballots.

According to court records, a similar order by the same judge earlier this week found just 13 ballots in a search of 27 processing hubs in several battleground areas.

Election officials in key battleground states are continuing presidential vote counting. Democrat Joe Biden is urging patience, while US President Donald Trump is pursuing his legal options.

Several key states are too early to call — Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina and Nevada.

— AP

Kosovo ex-president Thaci held in The Hague — war crimes court

Former Kosovo president Hashim Thaci is being held in detention in The Hague, just hours after he resigned to face an indictment at a war crimes court, the tribunal says.

Ex-guerilla leader Thaci and two other suspects “were transferred to the detention facilities of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers” in the Dutch city, the court says in a statement.

— AFP

Trump’s lead in Pennsylvania drops below 100,000

The race is tightening in Pennsylvania, where fewer than 100,000 votes now separate US President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden.

With some 92% of the ballots counted, Trump has 3,240,314 votes, or 50.1%, while Biden has 3,142,414, or 48.6%.

The mail-in ballots currently being counted are heavily favoring Biden.

If the former vice president wins the state’s 20 electors, he wins the White House race.

US Defense Secretary Esper said to have prepared resignation letter

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper has prepared an undated resignation letter, expecting to be pushed out after the election, NBC News reports citing three current defense officials.

Esper has long been reported to be at odds with President Trump on various issues, including using active-duty US soldiers to quell nationwide protests earlier this year.

However, NBC adds: “It’s not uncommon for Cabinet secretaries to prepare undated letters of resignation during a presidential transition, giving the commander in chief the chance to replace them for a second term. The president decides whether to accept the resignation letters, and the process usually occurs after the election results are clear.”

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper testifies to the Senate Armed Services Committee about the budget, March 4, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Biden feels ‘very good’ about election outcome, has ‘no doubt’ of victory

Democrat Joe Biden says he feels “very good” about the outcome of the US presidential election and tells his supporters to “stay calm” as votes continue to be counted.

“We continue to feel very good about where things stand. We have no doubt that when the count is finished, Senator (Kamala) Harris and I will be declared the winners,” Biden says.

Biden delivers brief remarks at a theater in downtown Wilmington, Delaware. He says, “It is the will of the voters — no one, not anyone else — who chooses the president of the United States of America.”

Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks at the Queen venue in Wilmington, Delaware, on November 5, 2020. He said he had ‘no doubt’ he will win the election. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP)

US President Donald Trump’s campaign has pursued legal efforts to halt the vote-counting in some states and is seeking a recount in Wisconsin.

Biden says that “the process is working” and “we’ll know very soon” the outcome of the election. Biden and his top campaign officials have expressed confidence about the vote but have been careful to emphasize the need for every ballot to be counted.

Biden’s running mate, California Senator Kamala Harris, stands next to him as he speaks.

— AP

Trump’s lead shrinks further in Pennsylvania and Georgia

Democrat Joe Biden is continuing to cut into US President Donald Trump’s lead in the key states of Pennsylvania and Georgia.

In Pennsylvania, which Trump must win to keep his White House hopes alive, his lead is down to some 90,500 votes, with that number shrinking further every time new numbers come in. Some 93% of the state’s votes are in.

In Georgia, Trump’s lead has gone down from about 13,000 to 9,500, with 98% of the ballots tallied.

Georgia Senate race tightens, benefiting Jewish candidate Ossoff

The US Senate race in Georgia is only getting tighter, with Democratic frontrunner David Perdue slipping to 49.9% of the vote to Jon Ossoff’s 47.7%, with 98% of the ballots counted.

That’s significant because the state holds a runoff between the two vote leaders if neither of them garners at least 50% of the ballots.

This means that Ossoff, who is Jewish, now has a better chance of securing a runoff.

Trump campaign asks to join Arizona lawsuit

The Trump campaign and Republican National Committee have asked an Arizona judge to let them join a lawsuit that alleges vote tabulation equipment in metro Phoenix was unable to record a voter’s ballot because she completed it with a county-issued Sharpie pen.

They argue that anecdotal accounts of potential tabulation errors resulting from Sharpies demand further review and that they should be allowed to participate in the lawsuit because it will likely affect their interests in the tabulation of votes.

The lawsuit seeks a court order for all Maricopa County voters whose ballots were rejected as a result of using a Sharpie to be given a chance to fix their ballots. It also asks for such voters to be able to be present while election officials count their ballots.

The Arizona Democratic Party earlier asked to join the lawsuit, arguing that Democratic voters could be disenfranchised if the woman who filed the lawsuit was able to challenge a voter’s intent in making ballot choices without knowing the applicable standards.

A judge is holding a hearing today in Phoenix in the lawsuit by Phoenix-area voter Laurie Aguilera, who also alleged ink from the marker bled through the backside of her ballot and that poll workers refused her request for a new ballot.

— AP

Trump set to make remarks from White House in 30 minutes

US President Donald Trump is set to make his first public appearance since the early morning hours after Election Day.

The White House says Trump will deliver remarks at 6:30 p.m. EST (1:30 a.m. Israel time) from the press briefing room. It is unclear if he will take questions.

Trump last appeared in public early Wednesday, when he falsely declared victory over Democrat Joe Biden in the presidential race. Trump has also publicly called for vote counting to stop by citing baseless allegations of fraud and misconduct.

The presidential race has not yet been called because neither Trump nor Biden has yet collected the requisite 270 Electoral College votes.

Biden’s victories in Michigan and Wisconsin have put him in a commanding position to win the presidency, but Trump has shown no sign of giving up.

— AP

‘Math is not on our side’: Trump adviser quoted saying he needs an ‘act of God’

An unnamed adviser to US President Donald Trump is quoted by CNN as acknowledging that if Democrat Joe Biden overtakes him in Pennsylvania, he will be president.

Biden is currently winning enough of the incoming vote tallies in that state to put him on course for a win that would propel him above the 270 electors necessary to make it to the White House.

“Math is not on our side. We need an act of God to alter the course,” a Trump adviser is quoted as saying.

Trump campaign’s Nevada legal effort is over

A legal effort in Nevada by US President Donald Trump’s campaign and state Republicans to try to stop the count of mail ballots in Las Vegas is over.

A document submitted in an appeal pending before the state Supreme Court says the campaign, state GOP, Democrats and attorneys for the state have reached a settlement requiring Clark County election officials to supply “additional observation access” at a ballot processing facility in Las Vegas.

The state high court declined on Election Day to stop the count based on an appeal of a state judge’s decision not to stop processing mail ballots in Las Vegas and surrounding Clark County — a Democratic stronghold in an otherwise red GOP state.

In an order released Monday, Judge James Wilson Jr. in Carson City said he found neither the state nor Clark County had done anything to give one vote preference over another.

Nevada Democrats accuse Republicans of trying to suppress voting in the state’s most diverse area.

Trump campaign representatives say they intend to file another complaint in US District Court in Las Vegas to try to stop the counting of what state campaign co-chair Adam Laxalt calls “improper votes.” That lawsuit is not immediately filed.

— AP

Trump again falsely claims he won, alleges effort to ‘steal the election from us’

US President Donald Trump insists he is being cheated out of election victory.

“If you count the legal votes, I easily win,” he claims. “If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us.”

Speaking from the White House, Trump again falsely claims he has won the race, claiming that mail-in votes “came in late” and baselessly alleging “election interference by big money and big tech.”

He claims that rather than a blue wave, there has been a “red wave.”

US President Donald Trump speaks at the White House on November 5, 2020, falsely alleging that he won the election and it is being stolen from him. (White House screen shot)

The Democrats’ major donors “were Wall Street bankers and special interests,” he says.

Trump is speaking as his rival, Democratic challenger Joe Biden, is closing in on the 27 Electoral College votes he needs to win the presidency.

Contrary to Trump’s allegations, there is no evidence of fraud in the elections.

Trump alleges vote ‘suppression,’ falsely says he won Pennsylvania

US President Donald Trump alleges, without evidence, that polls published before Election Day showing a comfortable win for Joe Biden were aimed at suppressing the vote.

Speaking from the White House, he falsely says all the key states had in fact been won by Republicans, before the count “miraculously” stopped and mail-in votes started coming in, largely favoring Biden.

“They’re finding ballots all of a sudden.”

He claims mail-in votes are “corrupt.”

“I won Pennsylvania by a lot,” he says of the partial count in the state in which his lead is quickly evaporating. “We were up by nearly 700,000 votes,” he says, referring to the election day totals before mail-in votes were counted.

Trump says election officials are part of ‘corrupt Democrat machine’

President Trump asserts that in Wisconsin, Georgia, and elsewhere, he won the states “by a lot,” but that his victory is now being “whittled down.”

“We’ll not allow the corruption to steal the election,” he says. Results are being manufactured.

He repeats his claim that Democrats are “trying to steal an election, they’re trying to rig an election.”

“Democrats never believed they could win the election honestly,” he says, falsely claiming that millions of ballots for Biden have been “sent out.”

He says, without evidence, that election officials are part of a “corrupt Democrat machine” and are accepting votes without requiring “any identification whatsoever.”

He claims election officials in states such as Pennsylvania are “trying obviously to commit fraud” and keeping observers from overseeing the tabulation process.

Trump says people who are being banned from observing the vote count “are very unhappy and become somewhat violent.”

Trump alleges US election is going to be decided by judges

Still providing no evidence for his claims, Trump challenges Joe Biden and Democrats to “say they only want to count legal votes, no mystery votes, that they don’t want any votes cast after election day.”

“We think we will win this election very easily… because we have much proof,” he claims, adding that “there is going to be much litigation” and “judges are going to have to rule” on the election results. “We can’t have an election stolen like this.”

Biden has urged patience as the vote-count proceeds and said that all votes must be counted.

Trump’s lead down to 65,000 votes in Pennsylvania, goes below 3,500 in Georgia

US President Donald Trump’s lead in Pennsylvania has narrowed to fewer than 65,000 votes, as Democrat Joe Biden seems on the course to clinch a victory that will guarantee him the presidency.

Additionally, the gap in Georgia is now a mere 3,500 votes in favor of Trump, with Biden closing in on him in that state as well.

Meanwhile, Biden’s own lead in Arizona is being slowly eroded, and is now down to some 61,000 votes.

Judge nixes Trump bid to stop Philadelphia vote count, urges agreement

A federal judge has denied a bid by US President Donald Trump’s campaign to stop the vote count in Philadelphia over observer access, urging the two sides to instead forge an agreement.

US District Judge Paul S. Diamond suggests each party be allowed 60 observers inside a hall at a downtown convention center where the final ballots are being tallied. As the hearing unfolds, Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are locked in a tight battle for the 20 electoral votes in Pennsylvania.

Diamond, an appointee of former president George W. Bush, chastens the lawyers as both sides bicker about who is following the rules and reminds them they are officers of the court.

“Really, can’t we be responsible adults here and reach an agreement?” the exasperated judge asks. “The whole thing could (soon) be moot.”

Republicans went to court to complain that election officials in the Democratic-led city were ignoring a state court order they’d won earlier in the day to give them a closer view of ballot processing.

— AP

Ex-presidential candidate Santorum: No Republican official can back Trump speech

Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, watching Trump’s speech in the CNN studio, says “No Republican elected official is going to stand behind that statement. None of them will.”

“Much of that statement was incendiary,” says Santorum, “and not something that the president of the United States should say.”

GOP primary hopeful Rick Santorum (photo credit: CC-BY-SA Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons)
Former GOP candidate Rick Santorum (photo credit: CC-BY-SA Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons)

“The votes in Pennsylvania need to be counted. People voted. You need to count their votes.

“If there are instances where we find some kind of fraud, you investigate them,” he goes on. If the claims are true, “prove it,” Santorum says. “But counting absentee ballots and counting mail-in ballots is not fraud.”

Biden reacts: ‘No one is going to take our democracy away from us’

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