US Election live: Biden edges closer to White House win as Trump mounts legal challenge
Both men still had paths to winning the White House by hitting the magic majority threshold of 270 of the electoral votes.
The knife-edge US presidential race tilted toward Democrat Joe Biden early Thursday, with wins in Michigan and Wisconsin bringing him close to a majority, but President Donald Trump claimed he was being cheated and went to court to try and stop vote counting.
Tallying of votes continued through a second night in the remaining battleground states where huge turnout and a mountain of mail-in ballots sent by voters trying to avoid exposure to the coronavirus made the job all the harder.
Both men still had paths to winning the White House by hitting the magic majority threshold of 270 of the electoral votes awarded to whichever candidate wins the popular vote in a given state.
Should US President Donald Trump legally challenge the outcome of the US election or accept defeat gracefully?@WhiteHouse @IvankaTrump @realDonaldTrump @JoeBiden @GOP @TheDemocrats @VP @KamalaHarris#Election2020 #Elections2020 #ElectionDay #ElectionNight #USElections2020— Khaleej Times (@khaleejtimes) November 5, 2020
But momentum moved to Biden, who made a televised speech from his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware to say that “when the count is finished, we believe we will be the winners.”
By flipping the northern battlegrounds of Michigan and Wisconsin, and also winning formerly pro-Trump Arizona, Biden reached 264 electoral votes against 214 so far for Trump.
To reach 270 he was hoping next to add the six electoral votes from Nevada, where he had a small and shrinking lead, or, even better, the larger prizes of hard-fought Georgia or Pennsylvania.
Will US President Donald Trump be back in the White House for a second term?@WhiteHouse @IvankaTrump @realDonaldTrump @JoeBiden @GOP @TheDemocrats @VP @KamalaHarris #Election2020 #Elections2020 #ElectionDay #ElectionNight #USElections2020— Khaleej Times (@khaleejtimes) November 3, 2020
The Latest on the presidential campaign (all times in UAE local):
Harris’s ancestral village in India gets festive
Villagers in the Indian ancestral home of Kamala Harris painted slogans on roads wishing her victory on Thursday, as Joe Biden, her Democrat running mate in the US presidential election, moved closer to the White House. Thulasendrapuram, located about 320 km (200 miles) south of Chennai, is where Harris’s maternal grandfather was born more than a century ago.
#USElectionResults: #KamalaHarris’s ancestral village in India gets festive as #Biden leads counthttps://t.co/36WV8dRlmL#USElection2020 #USElections #USElectionResults #TrumpvsBiden #BidenHarris2020 pic.twitter.com/a81xIlGXeJ— Khaleej Times (@khaleejtimes) November 5, 2020
The lush, green village in the south of the country has also been decked out in posters of Harris, with prayers offered at the local Hindu temple.
Harris’s grandfather P.V. Gopalan and his family moved to Chennai nearly 90 years ago. He retired there as a high-ranking government official.
Oregon police face off with far-left protesters
Oregon police and National Guard troops in camouflage trucks pursued far-left protesters around the US city of Portland as a riot was declared late Wednesday, making at least 10 arrests.
The northwestern city that has seen continuous protests since summer had been placed on high alert by Governor Kate Brown, who extended an election-night emergency order amid fears of violent clashes over the contested US polls.
#USElection2020: #Oregon police face off with far-left protesters#USElectionResults live updates: https://t.co/iiDBGgzVWV#USElection2020 #USElections #USElectionResults #TrumpvsBiden #BidenHarris2020 pic.twitter.com/3TdZD9BqE2— Khaleej Times (@khaleejtimes) November 5, 2020
A heavy law enforcement presence flooded the streets after a handful of demonstrators broke off from hundreds-strong anti-Trump protests to shatter storefront windows, and a man believed to have thrown a Molotov cocktail was arrested.
Portland has seen months of clashes between police and demonstrators, angered at the repeated killings of Black Americans by law enforcement officers across the country.
The protesters involved in Wednesday’s clashes had earlier attended a 300-strong peaceful rally in a downtown park hosted by a coalition of anti-capitalist groups featuring lectures, music and slogans including “The Vote is Over. The Fight Goes On.”
Several of the demonstrators were openly carrying firearms, including rifles, and one anti-racism and anti-imperialism banner showed an image of an assault rifle, with the slogan “We Don’t Want Biden. We Want Revenge.”
Trump supporters protest outside Arizona vote centre
A crowd of Donald Trump supporters, some armed with rifles and handguns, gathered outside an election centre in Arizona night after unsubstantiated rumours that votes for the Republican president were deliberately not being counted.
On Election night Fox News and the Associated Press called Arizona for Biden, even though only just over 70 per cent of the vote had been counted, a move that infuriated Trump and his aides.
Some of the roughly 200 protesters, who were faced by a line of armed county sheriffs, chanted “Shame on Fox!”. Some said they came out after a tweet from Mike Cernovich, a right-wing activist.
Rumors spread on Facebook Tuesday night that some Maricopa votes were not being counted because voters used Sharpie pens to mark their ballots. Local election officials insisted that was not true. With the count still under way in several key states, Trump has accused the Democrats of trying to steal the election without evidence and filed lawsuits in several states related to vote-counting.
A similar scene played out on Wednesday afternoon in downtown Detroit, where city election officials blocked about 30 people, mostly Republicans, from entering a vote-counting hall amid unfounded claims that the vote count was fraudulent.
Trump backers converge on vote centers in Michigan, Arizona
Dozens of angry supporters of President Donald Trump converged on vote-counting centers in Detroit and Phoenix as returns went against the president Wednesday in the two key states, while thousands of anti-Trump protesters demanding a complete count of the ballots in the still-undecided election took to the streets in cities across the U.S. The protests came as the president repeatedly insisted without evidence that there were major problems with the voting and the ballot counting, and as...
Dozens of angry supporters of President Donald Trump converged on vote-counting centers in Detroit and Phoenix as the returns went against him Wednesday in the two key states, while thousands of anti-Trump protesters demanding a complete tally of the ballots in the still-undecided election took to the streets in cities across the US
The protests came as the president insisted without evidence that there were major problems with the voting and the ballot counting, especially with mail-in votes, and as Republicans filed suit in various states over the election.
US election uncertainty turns focus on Fed
With America’s knife-edge election yet to be called, and the Covid-19 pandemic surging across the nation, analysts will be watching the Federal Reserve on Thursday for signs of whether it may step in again to help the US economy survive the coronavirus downturn.
No victor has emerged yet following Tuesday’s vote that pitted President Donald Trump against his challenger Joe Biden, which analysts hoped would also break the months-long deadlock in Washington over passing more stimulus to help the US economy recover from the pandemic.
The Fed’s rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is unlikely to offer much in the way of specifics in its statement at the end of its two-day policy meeting on Thursday, 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 at his press conference following the meeting 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 lending rate.
The central bank chief has been increasingly vocal in his calls for Washington to spend more to help support the recovery after most provisions of a massive stimulus measure passed in March expired.
Biden vows to rejoin Paris climate deal on first day in office
Joe Biden vowed Wednesday that the US would rejoin the Paris climate accord on his first day in the White House, hours after the withdrawal ordered by Donald Trump took effect.
“Today, the Trump Administration officially left the Paris Climate Agreement. And in exactly 77 days, a Biden Administration will rejoin it,” Biden tweeted as returns from Tuesday’s election showed him in a strong position to defeat Trump.
Trump campaign files lawsuit over Georgia county ballot sorting
US President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign on Wednesday said it had filed a lawsuit in Georgia to require that Chatham County separate and secure late-arriving ballots to ensure they are not counted.
The lawsuit, brought against the Chatham County Board of Elections, asked a judge to order the county to secure and account for ballots received after 7 pm on Election Day, according to a court document released by the campaign.
The campaign said it filed the suit after receiving information that late-arriving ballots in the county, which includes Savannah, were improperly mingled with valid ballots.
“President Trump and his team are fighting for the good of the nation to uphold the rule of law, and Georgia’s law is very clear: to legally count, mail ballots must be received by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day,” deputy campaign manager Justin Clark said in a statement.
Trump’s campaign has mounted a multi-pronged legal attack in several battleground states in the wake of the tight Nov. 3 presidential election.
California voters expand data privacy law
California voters have backed an initiative expanding a data privacy law criticized by rights watchdogs as having worrying “loopholes” for firms such as Google and Facebook.
The initiative, which got 56 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s election, builds on a state law by letting people limit how businesses use data such as their location, race and religion.
It also lets regulators levy fines of up to $7,500 per violation of children’s privacy rights and creates a state agency to enforce the law.
The California Consumer Privacy Act become law at the start of this year, the toughest of its kind in the US.
Mich. Democrat Peters wins Senate reelection
Democrat Gary Peters has held onto his Senate seat in Michigan. He has defeated Republican challenger John James, a Black business executive and former combat veteran.
The 61-year-old Peters continued 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 Donald Trump.
Michigan secretary of state calls Trump lawsuit ‘frivolous’
Michigan’s secretary of state said that a lawsuit by US President Donald Trump seeking to halt counting of votes there was “frivolous.”
“I do believe its frivolous,” Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said of Trump’s lawsuit at an afternoon news conference, adding that all valid ballots cast in the state had been tabulated ahead of schedule.
Benson said the vote counting had been “efficient, transparent, secure and methodical” and that “anyone who tells you otherwise is unhappy about the result.”
She said the state would push back hard against any efforts to dispute the result or spread disinformation.
Post-election vote tallying raises fresh security concerns
Election Day came and went without any overt signs of foreign interference affecting the vote, but that doesn’t mean the risk has faded.
A prolonged vote-tallying period in swing states raises the prospect of multiple security concerns, including foreign or domestic disinformation campaigns that could sow doubt in the process as well as actual digital manipulation of vote tabulation. Even so, there have been no indications of any foreign activity that could alter the vote count or stop votes from being tallied.
Peaceful protests in New York as tensions rise in Detroit
Thousands of Joe Biden supporters marched Wednesday evening in New York to demand every vote in the tight presidential election be counted, as some Donald Trump supporters protested in Detroit demanding a halt to ballot counting in the key state of Michigan.
New York demonstrators were peaceful and spanned generations, with marchers heading from Fifth Avenue towards Washington Square Park in the heart of Manhattan’s Greenwich Village.
VIDEO: A large crowd of protesters marches through the streets of Minneapolis, Minnesota, while the country still awaits the result of the 2020 election pic.twitter.com/fT3Q8emIzx— AFP news agency (@AFP) November 5, 2020
In New York’s Democratic stronghold demonstrators were hopeful but wary of calling it for their candidate Biden just yet.
The Detroit protest outside a ballot processing center were far more tense, according to an AFP photographer and clips on social media.
Cries of “stop the count!” rang out in the city in Michigan — where US media declared Biden the victor — as Trump’s campaign announced a lawsuit to try and suspend the vote count, claiming its team was denied proper access to observe vote counting.
Social media clips showed protestors with fists raised prevented from entering the center by police. With Michigan’s 16 electoral votes, Biden now has a total of 264 — six shy of the magic number of 270 needed to win the US presidency, according to US network projections.
Georgia’s Fulton County says to conclude vote count Wednesday night
Fulton County of key battleground state Georgia will finish its vote-counting work by the end of Wednesday night, county elections director Richard Barron said.
Barron made the remarks during a televised briefing.
Trump backers demand Michigan vote center ‘Stop the count!’
Dozens of supporters of President Donald Trump chanting “Stop the count!” descended on a vote-tallying center in Detroit on Wednesday, as Americans on both sides of the political divide vented their anger and frustration over the undecided presidential contest at scattered protests around the country.
The Detroit protests started shortly before The Associated Press declared that former Vice President Joe Biden had won Michigan.
Video shot by local media showed angry people gathered outside the TCF Center and inside the lobby, with police officers lined up to keep them from entering the counting area. They chanted “Stop the count!” and “Stop the vote!”
Earlier, the Republican campaign filed suit in a bid to stop the count, demanding Michigan’s Democratic secretary of state allow in more inspectors. Trump has repeatedly insisted without evidence that there are major problems with the voting and the counting.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, insisted both parties and the public had been given access to the tallying “using a robust system of checks and balances to ensure that all ballots are counted fairly and accurately.”
On Tuesday night, scattered protests broke after voting ended, stretching from Washington, DC, to Seattle, but there was no widespread unrest or significant violence.
In Portland, Oregon, Richard March came to an anti-Trump protest despite a heart condition that makes him vulnerable to Covid-19.
The prolonged task of counting this year’s deluge of mail-in votes raised fears that the lack of clarity in the presidential race could spark conflict.
Other anti-Trump demonstration were set for Wednesday evening, with protesters gathering in Houston, Minneapolis and other cities.
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