Coronavirus testing numbers are likely to be erratic over the next week or so, experts said Friday, as fewer people get tested during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.'Don't misinterpret the numbers' »
In a Friday tweet filled with lies, President Donald Trump implied he wouldn't leave the White House or let President-elect Joe Biden "enter" unless Biden can prove his election win was not fraudulent. A day earlier, Trump told reporters at the White House that would he would not concede the election but would voluntarily leave if the Electoral College voted in December to make Biden president. Trump also does not have the authority or ability to determine whether Biden can take office.
Alexei Navalny urged the EU to hit Russian oligarchs spending their fortunes in Europe with sanctions rather than targeting the officials responsible for his poisoning. “The European Union should target the money and Russian oligarchs," Mr Navalny told the European Parliament in Brussels, “these sanctions would be very popular inside of Russia.”
A Canadian police officer stationed at the Vancouver airport who rejected a plan to arrest Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou on the plane she arrived on two years ago, on Friday testified that at the time he told other police officers the best course was to allow border agents to interrogate Meng before arresting her. The testimony from Ross Lundie, a sergeant with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Vancouver International Airport detachment, came at the end of two weeks of witness cross-examination in Meng's U.S. extradition case. Meng, 48, was arrested on a U.S. warrant on charges of bank fraud for allegedly misleading HSBC about Huawei Technologies Co Ltd's business dealings in Iran, causing the bank to break U.S. sanctions.
Iran on Friday announced that all government offices will effectively close and operate with only essential staff, further tightening coronavirus measures as the country struggles to contain its most widespread wave of infection yet. Starting this Saturday — the first day of Iran's workweek — state TV said “only those employees who need to be present will be at work” in government offices. The report did not specify how long the closures would last, but asked Iranians to postpone any planned visits to government offices.
In an attempt to undermine media projections of Joe Biden as the new president-elect, a top aide to President Donald Trump has tweeted a doctored front-page headline of The Washington Times. The Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh shared a picture of the conservative publication with its splash headline reading "President Gore,” a reference to former vice-president Al Gore's race against George W Bush in 2000. The Democratic presidential nominee, Mr Gore, like his 2016 counterpart Hillary Clinton, won the popular vote but ultimately lost the election after a five-week legal battle with Mr Bush over who had received Florida's 25 electoral votes.
The state premier of Thuringia on Thursday announced a first mass test for children in the district of Hildburghausen, Germany's coronavirus hotspot, to find out to what extent they contribute to a rapid surge in infections. The east German district saw a record 603 cases per 100,000 people in the past seven days, more than four times Germany's average incidence of 140, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases. "We will now conduct the first mass test for children and young people, who can be tested for free, starting next Tuesday," Bodo Ramelow told broadcaster ARD.
Pro-democracy demonstrators in Thailand, undeterred by arrest warrants and the possibility of violent attacks, held another rally on Friday, poking fun at their critics and warning of the possibility of a military coup. The potential for violence was illustrated after their last rally on Wednesday, when two men were reportedly shot and critically wounded. Although the incident remains murky and its connection to the rally unclear, it was a reminder that the student protesters are vulnerable, especially because of the passions they inspire among some of their opponents.
The world has learned a lot about Yevgeny Prigozhin since American authorities first filed criminal charges against him two years ago for alleged financial ties to the internet troll farm accused of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. Known as “Putin's Chef” due to his vast Kremlin catering contracts, Prigozhin has also been sanctioned by the U.S. for his alleged ties to Russian mercenaries affiliated with the Wagner Group. Now, leaked data from several sanctioned Russian firms linked to Prigozhin's business networks reveals that key Prigozhin associates have helped one of his political consultants infiltrate a high-level United Nations panel. The U.S. Treasury links it directly into President Vladimir Putin's chain of command describing the shadow military as “a designated Russian Ministry of Defense proxy force.”
A Pennsylvania appeals court on Friday rejected the Trump campaign's effort to block a lower court's ruling that the campaign cannot stop the state from certifying its election results. Judge Stephanos Bibas, a Trump appointee who wrote the ruling for the three-judge panel, did not mince words when rejecting the campaign's appeal. "The Campaign's claims have no merit," he added.
French authorities have suspended police officers accused of assaulting and racially abusing a Black man in Paris, after CCTV footage of the incident was released and caused an outcry. The music producer, who has identified himself as Michel, was beaten at the entrance to his studio. French President Emmanuel Macron was quoted by France's BFM TV as being "very shocked" by the CCTV and mobile phone images, which were obtained by the LoopSider news outlet and made headline news on French channels.
Iran said there are "serious indications of Israeli responsibility" in the assassination of an Iranian scientist and it reserves the right to defend itself, the country wrote in a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the U.N. Security Council on Friday. "Warning against any adventuristic measures by the United States and Israel against my country, particularly during the remaining period of the current administration of the United States in office, the Islamic Republic of Iran reserves its rights to take all necessary measures to defend its people and secure its interests," Iran's U.N. envoy, Majid Takht Ravanchi, wrote in the letter, which was seen by Reuters.
Hyundai and Kia must pay $137 million in fines and safety improvements because they moved too slowly to recall over 1 million vehicles with engines that can fail. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced the penalties on Friday. “It's critical that manufacturers appropriately recognize the urgency of their safety recall responsibilities and provide timely and candid information to the agency about all safety issues,” NHTSA Deputy Administrator James Owens said in a statement.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday dismissed as "irrelevant" a U.S. Supreme Court decision blocking coronavirus restrictions imposed on religious gatherings, saying it related to specific areas that were no longer considered at high risk. The court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority, voted 5-4 late on Wednesday in favor of requests by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and two Orthodox Jewish congregations for an injunction to block the restrictions from being enforced. The order marked one of the first consequential actions on the court involving President Donald Trump's new appointee, conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who cast a deciding vote in favor of the religious groups.
A group of Republicans has lost one of two legal challenges brought before the Texas Supreme Court in the hope of invalidating nearly 127,000 drive-thru votes placed in Houston. The plaintiffs - a longtime activist Dr Steven Hotze, along with state Representative Steve Toth, US House candidate Wendell Champion, and judicial candidate Sharon Hemphill - had challenged the validity of the drive-thru voting on the grounds that it violated federal law. In the plea, they had also argued that Democratic Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins exceeded his constitutional authority by permitting drive-thru voting.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed again ruled out dialogue with the leaders of the defiant Tigray region Friday but said he was willing to speak to representatives "operating legally” there during a meeting with three African Union special envoys trying to end the deadly conflict between federal troops and the region's forces. The meeting came as the Ethiopian News Agency reported the military's capture of several key towns around the Tigray capital of Mekele, and as more people fled the city ahead of a promised “final phase” of the offensive. Meanwhile, the number of people managing to cross the border into Sudan has slowed to a trickle, raising concerns they are being blocked from leaving.
Many have also travelled home to celebrate the holiday, despite warnings from health officials. More than three million people are reported to have travelled through US airports from Friday to Sunday in what was the busiest travel weekend since the outbreak began in mid-March. But the number is around half the usual figure for Thanksgiving travel, and many people have opted out of seeing friends and family for the holiday.
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS), Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and President Donald Trump late Friday appealed a federal judge's ruling suspending service changes and requiring aggressive steps to ensure ballot deliveries ahead of the November presidential election, the Justice Department said. The government said it was appealing U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan's preliminary injunction orders issued in late September in a pair of legal challenges. Sullivan directed the USPS to take "extraordinary measures" to ensure that millions of ballots were delivered by mail and held numerous hearings on the status of ballots.
Azerbaijan's parliament called on Thursday for France to be stripped of its mediation role in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to punish the French Senate for adopting a resolution backing the region's independence. The French resolution adopted on Nov. 25 followed a Russia-brokered ceasefire ending weeks of fighting in the mountain enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, part of Azerbaijan mainly populated by ethnic Armenians. The ceasefire has been hailed as a victory in Azerbaijan, which recovered control of large swathes of territory held by Armenians since the early 1990s.
Democrats once dominated Koochiching County in the blue-collar Iron Range of northern Minnesota. “We've got to see if we can get the Democratic Party to moderate and accept the fact that rural Minnesota is not getting more conservative,” said Bakk, who announced last week that he would become an independent after serving 25 years as a Democrat. The party lost House seats in the Midwest, and Democratic challengers in Iowa, Kansas, Montana and North Carolina Senate races, all once viewed as serious threats to Republican incumbents, fell, some of them hard.
The Justice Department is quietly amending its execution protocols, no longer requiring federal death sentences to be carried out by lethal injection and clearing the way to use other methods like firing squads and poison gas. The amended rule, published Friday in the Federal Register, allows the U.S. government to conduct executions by lethal injection or use “any other manner prescribed by the law of the state in which the sentence was imposed.” A number of states allow other methods of execution, including electrocution, inhaling nitrogen gas or death by firing squad.
SpaceX's Starship rocket is scheduled to have its first high-altitude flight test next week. CEO Elon Musk said there was a lot that could go wrong, and gave the rocket a 1-in-3 chance of landing in one piece. Next week, Elon Musk's space-exploration company SpaceX will take a big step forward in its quest to fly people to Mars.
The US State Department has approved the sale of advanced weaponry systems to Taiwan, in a deal worth some $1.8bn that includes sensors, missiles and artillery, the Pentagon said. Among the weapons systems in Wednesday's deal were 11 truck-based rocket launchers made by Lockheed Martin Corp, known as the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), at an estimated cost of $436.1m. The deal also includes 135 precision-guided cruise missiles, as well as mobile light rocket launchers and air reconnaissance pods that can be attached to fighter jets.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday pardoned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, kicking off what is expected to be a string of pardons during the final weeks of the Trump administration. Trump has granted clemency to supporters before, most notably earlier this year when he commuted the criminal sentence of Roger Stone, who was sentenced to prison after being convicted of lying under oath to lawmakers. In 2018, Trump even said he had the "absolute right" to pardon himself - a claim many constitutional law scholars dispute.
Strictly judge Bruno Tonioli will miss being at this year's final in person, as he is unable to fly back to the UK from his US home amid Covid concerns. The Italian choreographer has appeared on the show on a Sunday via video link, and had hoped to return in person for next month's final. Previously, Tonioli has commuted between the shows every week, but for this series of Strictly Come Dancing, he has watched it on television rather than in the studio.
One of Iran's most high-profile Western prisoners was detained because her partner was an Israeli citizen, the Sydney Morning Herald reported on Friday. Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a British-Australian academic from the University of Melbourne, was freed on Thursday in a prisoner swap deal between Australia and Iran which took over six months to negotiate. She had been detained by Iran in 2018 on espionage charges, and sentenced to ten years in prison.
“Donald Trump defeated Donald Trump.”
“The victory was a vindication of a style of American politics that many feared was gone forever.”
“Mr. Biden’s victory — and Mr. Trump’s defeat — is a testament to the resilience of American democracy.”
“Trump’s 2020 reelection bid was doomed by his boorish behavior. Time and again, he refused to act like a president.”
“Biden took the opportunity to unite the Democratic Party.”