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UPDATE: Biden pulls ahead in key battleground states as vote counting continues

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UPDATE: Biden pulls ahead in key battleground states as vote counting continues | The Thaiger
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Former vice president Joe Biden currently sits at 264 electoral votes, in the race for the magic ‘270’ vote finish line. He’s also ahead in the count, by slim margins, in the battleground states Pennsylvania, Georgia and Nevada. If any one of those states gets called in his favour, he will pass the 270 electoral votes to become president (if he maintains his lead in Arizona). Whilst some sort of last minute mathematical miracle could still award these states to President Donald Trump, election pundits are saying, on the contrary, the latest vote counts are adding more to Joe Biden’s tally.

Tonight, on US primetime TV, VP candidate Kamala Harris will speak before Mr. Biden in an open address. Although uncustomary for the a vice presidential candidate to speak at this time, Harris is shaping up to be the first woman and first Black vice president in US history. There has been little comment out of the Trump campaign on Friday with no appearance from the President on the cards this evening, US time.

Yesterday Joe Biden called for his supporters to remain calm saying that his campaign has “no doubt that when the count is finished Sen. Harris and I will be declared the winners.”

Meanwhile, incumbent President Trump made it clear in a series of tweets on Friday, US time, that he intends to take the count to the courts as his best option to winning reelection. Hi campaign team has filed a number of suits in battleground states demanding the vote count be stopped and declaring him the winner in the states. All of these suits have been treated as vexatious litigation up to date and been thrown out by the local courts up to date.

UPDATE: Biden pulls ahead in key battleground states as vote counting continues | News by The Thaiger

GRAPHIC: Associated Press

Rachael Cobb, a lawyer from Suffolk University, says the Trump campaign is just “throwing a lot of stuff at the wall.”

But a Trump tweet remained defiant… “I had such a big lead in all of these states late into election night, only to see the leads miraculously disappear as the days went by. Perhaps these leads will return as our legal proceedings move forward!”

President Trump jumped out to an early lead in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia and other key states on Election Day because officials counted in-person, day-of votes first, as is the usual procedure in counting booths. Those votes favoured Donald Trump. Counters then turned to the record number of mail-in ballots, the higher proportion ever due to fears of the current coronavirus pandemic sweeping the US. Those votes mostly favoured Joe Biden, and saw the former VP draw closer, level, and then pull ahead of the President in key states.

The opposite has been true in Arizona where late counting has favoured the Trump team, although they are still behind in that state.

Joe Biden added another 8,000 votes to his lead over President Donald Trump in Nevada. State election officials yesterday (Thai time) started releasing some 51,000 late-arriving mail-in ballots. Biden won an average of 66% of the first batch of around 30,000 votes, extending his lead over Trump to 22,000.

As it stands, if Biden wins Nevada and Arizona, OR just Pennsylvania, his will pass the 270 electoral votes necessary. At the moment he is leading in all 3 battleground states. He also appears to have Georgia in his grasp now, although it is likely that there will be a re-count of votes called due to the close nature, less than 0.5% of all votes, in that state.

Votes cast are likely to hit a 120 year high by the time the dust settles. As the final ballots are counted, the voter turnout could eventually reach more than 66%, the eligible voters, higher than the previous records of 1980 and 2008. In the US, voting is not compulsory.

This posted at 11am, Thai time…

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Scuzz

    November 7, 2020 at 9:06 pm

    It’s really fun to watch the towering edifice of BS that tRump has built over the last 4 years get slowly squashed by the hydraulic press of sensible people.

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United Kingdom approves new Covid-19 vaccine, first jabs start next week

Caitlin Ashworth

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United Kingdom approves new Covid-19 vaccine, first jabs start next week | The Thaiger

The United Kingdom approved the new Covid-19 vaccine by Pfizer-BioNTech for emergency use and will start injections next week. The UK became the first country in the world to license the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which Pfizer says marks a historic moment in the fight against the coronavirus.

The UK purchased 40 million doses of the vaccine and 800,000 doses will be available next week, according to Health Secretary Matt Hancock. He says the most vulnerable people will get the first jabs. 50 hospitals are ready to receive the vaccine, he says.

“From early next week we will start the programme of vaccinating people against Covid-19 here in this country… It’s very good news.”

The new Covid-19 vaccine was authorised for emergency use by the private Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla says the company applauds the agency for conducting a careful, yet timely, assessment of the vaccine.

“As we anticipate further authorizations and approvals, we are focused on moving with the same level of urgency to safely supply a high-quality vaccine around the world.”

The vaccine has been shown to have a 95% efficacy in its final trials. A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson says the approval of the vaccine follows months of rigorous clinical trials and experts have concluded that the vaccine meets strict safety, quality and effectiveness standards.

SOURCES: Reuters | Guardian

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Chinese probe collects rock samples from surface of the Moon

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Chinese probe collects rock samples from surface of the Moon | The Thaiger

The Chinese, like the rest of us, are mostly prohibited from travelling at the moment, but it hasn’t stopped them travelling to the Moon. A Chinese space probe has landed on the surface of the Moon to bring back the first lunar samples in nearly 5 decades. Since the US dropped its Apollo missions to the Moon in 1972, the Earth’s only natural satellite has been a bit lonely.

The Chinese space program has poured billions into its space program, with hopes of having a crewed space station by 2022 and of eventually sending humans to the Moon to establish an ongoing lunar base. No Chinese have been participating in the International Space Station.

The Chang’e-5 spacecraft adds to a string of successes for Beijing’s increasingly ambitious space program. Chang’e is the name for the mythical Chinese moon goddess. The probe touched down on the near side of the Moon yesterday. It will spend a total of 48 hours on the surface of the moon before re-uniting with it’s mother-ship which will then bring the lunar probe back to Earth.

The unmanned Chang’e-5 probe will collect lunar rocks and soil to help scientists learn about the Moon’s origins, formation and volcanic activity, the first such collections since the 1970s when an unmanned Russian lunar probe conducted a similar mission. The probe is the latest venture by a Chinese space program that sent its first astronaut into orbit in 2003, has a spacecraft en route to Mars and aims eventually to land a human on the moon.

If Chang’e-5 returns to Earth successfully, China will be only the third country to have retrieved samples from the Moon, following the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1960s and 1970s.

The probe was launched from China’s southern tropical island of Hainan last week and entered lunar orbit aver the weekend after a 112 hour journey. The probe will collect 2 kilograms of material in a previously unexplored area known as “Ocean of Storms”, a vast lava plain of grey rocks and dust.

The probe will collect samples from the surface and drill a 2 metre deep hole to gather soil and rock samples from beneath the lunar surface as well.

Thomas Zurbuchen, a NASA official from the mission directorate, says the mission was no easy task.

“When the samples collected on the Moon are returned to Earth, we hope everyone will benefit from being able to study this precious cargo that could advance the international science community. Congratulations to China on the successful landing of Chang’e 5.”

The Chang’e 5 flight is China’s third successful lunar landing. Its predecessor, Chang’e 4, was the first probe to land on the Moon’s lesser-explored far side which is perpetually facing away from the Earth.

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No evidence of voter fraud that would change election outcome – US Attorney General

Caitlin Ashworth

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No evidence of voter fraud that would change election outcome – US Attorney General | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Wikimedia

After repeated claims on voter fraud from United States President Donald Trump, and refusal to concede his loss to president-elect Joe Biden, the US Justice Department says they have found no evidence of widespread voter fraud “that would change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election”, according to US Attorney General William Barr.

President Trump has repeatedly posted on Twitter with comments such as “fake election results”, “impossible result” and “rigged election.” His posts are often flagged on Twitter with a warning saying “This claim about election fraud is disputed”, linking to a page with information from various news outlets.

US attorneys and FBI agents have been working to follow up on complaints and information on voter fraud, but nothing they uncovered impact the outcome of the election, Barr told the Associated Press.

“To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome on the election.”

Before the election, Barr, who is considered to be one of Trump’s most loyal allies, said mail-in votes could be vulnerable to fraud this year since many Americans would rather vote from home rather than going to the polls due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With some states flipping from red to blue once all the mail-in ballots were counted, the Trump campaign has been alleging a widespread conspiracy by Democrats to count illegal ballots and rig the election. The Trump campaign has been calling out problems with signatures, secrecy envelopes and postal marks. But local courts have repeatedly thrown out the lawsuits saying the claims have not been backed up with any evidence.

AG Barr says government agencies have also looked into claims that machines were programmed to skew election results and says that, so far, there is no evidence to back the claim.

In response to Barr’s statements, Trump’s attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis wrote a statement saying the opinion doesn’t seem to be backed by their investigation into the matters.

“With all due respect to the Attorney General, there hasn’t been any semblance of a Department of Justice investigation … with the greatest respect to the Attorney General, his opinion appears to be without any knowledge or investigation of the substantial irregularities and evidence of systemic fraud.”

SOURCE: Aljazeera

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