Trump supporters are pinning their hopes for a second term not to the Supreme Court, but to a higher power.'We seriously, sincerely cry out to you' »
California certified its presidential election Friday and appointed 55 electors pledged to vote for Democrat Joe Biden, officially handing him the Electoral College majority needed to win the White House. Secretary of State Alex Padilla's formal approval of Biden's win in the state brought his tally of pledged electors so far to 279, according to a tally by The Associated Press. Although it's been apparent for weeks that Biden won the presidential election, his accrual of more than 270 electors is the first step toward the White House, said Edward B. Foley, a law professor at Ohio State University.
Russia protested on Friday after Latvia charged several journalists from the Rossiya Segodnya news agency with violating European Union sanctions. The journalists were charged because of their association with Dmitry Kiselyov, who heads Rossiya Segodnya, said Sputnik Latvia, a subsidiary of Rossiya Segodnya. The Kremlin media mogul was sanctioned by the EU for his role in Russia's seizure of the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.
Michel Barnier is accustomed to being universally praised on his regular tours of the EU's capitals to preach the gospel against Brexit. On Tuesday, he was in the unfamiliar position of coming under friendly fire for the first time in three years as the EU's chief negotiator. It was an uncomfortable moment for Mr Barnier, who was headquartered at the Hotel Conrad in Westminster and is enmeshed in intensive Brexit negotiations with his UK counterpart David Frost.
China has executed the next stage of its Chang'e-5 Moon mission, blasting into orbit samples gathered on the lunar surface. Right on cue, at 15:10 GMT, an ascent vehicle lit its engine to head up to a service module that will shepherd home the rock and dust materials. It's more than 40 years since lunar samples were last brought back to Earth.
And President Donald Trump has complicated the contest by claiming baselessly that the November election in Georgia was beset by fraud. Also at stake: whether Georgia, long a Republican stronghold, may be on the road to swing-state status, particularly after Biden became the first Democratic presidential candidate since Bill Clinton in 1992 to carry the state. Partisans on both sides are spending big to find out.
Violence in Afghanistan is "unacceptably high" as delayed peace negotiations get underway, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday, adding that Washington has asked the warring parties to "stand back and indeed stand down." Pompeo's comments, made in a virtual address to the IISS Manama Dialogue, an annual security conference, came two days after Kabul-backed and Taliban negotiators reached a deal in Doha to proceed with talks on a political settlement to decades of strife. Pompeo noted that he met with the negotiating teams during a Nov. 21 visit to Doha and he said he told both sides that the strife must be reduced.
Former Hong Kong politician Ted Hui has announced he has chosen to go into exile as Beijing intensifies its crackdown on high-profile figures of the former British colony's pro-democracy movement. Mr Hui, 38, initially fled to Denmark this week where he was joined by his family, but he said he would make his way to the UK to continue his pro-democratic activities. He joins Nathan Law, a prominent Hong Kong human rights activist now based in London, and a growing diaspora of dissidents who are continuing to advocate for more international pressure on China to allow greater rights and freedoms in the Asian financial hub.
A California psychologist convicted of tax evasion was at the center of a mysterious, recently disclosed Justice Department investigation into whether White House officials were illegally lobbied to obtain a presidential pardon. The effort to obtain the pardon for the psychologist, Hugh Baras, involved a prominent Washington attorney and a major donor to President Donald Trump, according to lawyers involved in the case. But lawyers for both men say neither is under investigation.
Canada could see the end of a nasty diplomatic dispute with China if the United States reaches a deal to release a Huawei executive from house arrest in Vancouver, but the affair shows that without the heft of its southern neighbor, Canada has no bargaining power with Beijing. Shortly after Meng was picked up on a U.S. arrest warrant in December 2018, China detained two Canadian men - Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor - who now face spying charges.Having failed to secure their immediate release, Canadian Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne has talked for months about a formal "reset" of relations with China.
The last jobs report to be released this year has arrived, and it's a major disappointment. The Labor Department on Friday said the U.S. economy added 245,000 jobs in November, which was down from the 440,000 jobs economists were expecting, CNBC reports. It was also "by far the lowest monthly total since the economy started its halting recovery," NBC News reports.
The Army Corps of Engineers reversed course on an Obama-era proposal to charge for water drawn from reservoirs the Corps manages, North Dakota's attorney general said Friday. Attorneys general from a dozen Western and Plains states sent a letter last year to the Trump administration asking that the proposal be withdrawn. Republican North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem headed the effort, which was backed by attorneys general from Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
Israeli police on Friday arrested a man for trying to set fire to an east Jerusalem church by the Garden of Gethsemane, the site revered by Christians as the place where Jesus prayed before he was crucified. The 49-year-old Israeli suspect poured flammable liquid inside the Church of All Nations, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. The man then set it alight, a separate police statement said, before the church guard detained him.
Bangladesh has started moving Rohingya families from a port near its border with Myanmar, to a remote island in the Bay of Bengal. Some 1,600 refugees were relocated on Friday on naval vessels - despite complaints by human rights groups that they were being coerced. Bhasan Char is a flood-prone island that emerged from the sea just 20 years ago.
China is conducting "human testing" to create "biologically enhanced soldiers," the head of US intelligence has claimed as he warned that Beijing poses the biggest threat to America's national security. In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence, warned that the US must be prepared for an "open-ended" confrontation with China which he likened to the Cold War. Mr Ratcliffe, who oversees America's intelligence agencies, said he believed China's intention was to "dominate" the planet in every sense: economically, militarily and technologically.
After six months spent pushing for a more-than $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is fine with something smaller. It's smaller than the $1.5 trillion deal the House's bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus drew up in September, and yet this time around, President-elect Joe Biden's win and forthcoming coronavirus vaccines have Pelosi ready to accept it. Pelosi went on to explain that she had held out for a bigger bill with longer-lasting provisions before she knew who would be the next president — essentially, she thought she wouldn't get a second chance at a stimulus package if President Trump was re-elected.
Vice-president elect Kamala Harris is already making history — becoming the first woman of colour to be elected to the role. "Mr Emhoff is working with the Biden-Harris transition team to develop the portfolio he will focus on to support the work of the administration," a spokesperson for the transition team said, confirming that he was leaving his law firm. Mr Emhoff heaped public praise on his wife as the Biden/Harris campaign celebrated election victory on 7 November, after an agonising days-long wait for key swing states to be declared.
The Tennessee Supreme Court on Thursday indefinitely postponed the execution of death row inmate Byron Black. In a brief order issued on Thursday, the court wrote that Black's execution is stayed pending a further order by the court “because of the multiple issues caused by the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. Black was convicted by a Nashville court of murdering his girlfriend Angela Clay and her daughters Latoya, 9, and Lakesha, 6, at their home in 1988.
Mexicans should cancel celebrations and even avoid exchanging Christmas presents to beat the coronavirus, the president said on Friday, pitching a frugal festive season to one of the world's largest capital cities as infections scaled new heights. "Let's leave Christmas presents for another time," President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said, urging people to scale down or forego traditional family gatherings over Christmas and New Year. Lopez Obrador said people should stay at home unless they had something "truly important to do" as he announced hospitals would increase patient capacity, equipment and staff.
Disavowed Trump lawyer Sidney Powell is back with another confusing allegation of voter fraud that makes even less sense than usual. Powell has spent the past few weeks claiming, with no proof, that fraud in the 2020 election stole votes from President Trump and gave Biden the win. In a filing as part of her voter fraud lawsuit in Georgia, Powell writes that "machine-controlled algorithms deliberately run by Dominion Voting Systems ... took more than 2.5 percent of the votes from Mr. Biden and flipped them to Mr. Trump, for a more than 5 percent fraudulent vote increase for Mr. Biden."
"We've come here to show our faces, to tell the truth, to walk the streets with you so you can tell us your problems, and we can solve them," hollered candidate Nicolás Maduro Guerra, addressing a crowd of about 500 on the Caribbean coast of La Guaira. For Nicolasito is the president's son and under Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela's once oil-rich economy has crumbled. Every day, millions of people in Venezuela struggle to access enough food, annual inflation is above 5,000% and about five million people have fled the country in search of jobs and more stability.
"No, I don't think it should be mandatory. I wouldn't demand that it be mandatory, but I will do everything in my power, just like I don't think masks have to be made mandatory nationwide... I will do everything in my power as the President of the United States to encourage people to do the right thing," Biden said.
A week after being fined by regulators for delaying safety recalls, Hyundai is recalling about 130,000 vehicles in the U.S. because the engines could fail. The recall will address a manufacturing issue that could cause the connecting rod bearings to wear out and the engines to fail, Hyundai said. Documents posted Friday on NHTSA's website say that owners could hear abnormal knocking sounds from the engine and see warning lights before any failure or fire.
China has used strict measures to succeed in controlling COVID-19 It's true that China appears to have succeeded in its efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 within its borders, per statistics from the World Health Organization. Though it has a population of 1.4 billion, China has reported fewer than 100,000 coronavirus cases and fewer than 5,000 deaths. In contrast, the United States — which has a population of 330 million — has had over 13.5 million cases and 271,000 deaths.
Scots who are not at a high risk of dying from Covid-19 have been urged to be patient in waiting to be vaccinated, after they were warned they may not be offered inoculations until the second half of 2021. In an attempt to clear up confusion around when all 4.4 million adult Scots will receive a vaccination, John Swinney, the Deputy First Minister, confirmed on Friday that a spring target date applied only to priority groups, such as the elderly and frontline healthcare workers. Jeane Freeman, the health secretary, had told parliament last month that the entire vaccination programme could be finished by the spring while Nicola Sturgeon said on Thursday that she “very much hoped” all eligible people would have received it within the timeframe.
President-elect Joe Biden said Friday's "grim" jobs report shows the economic recovery is stalling, and urged the U.S. Congress to pass a coronavirus relief bill immediately and follow up with "hundreds of billions of dollars" in more aid in January. A government report on Friday showed the labor market slowing in November as the COVID-19 pandemic eclipsed its levels of the spring. Biden, the Democratic former vice president who defeated Republican President Donald Trump in the November election, offered backing for an emerging bipartisan package of around $908 billion in COVID-19 spending that has drawn tentative support from members of both parties in Congress.
“This metastasizing debt crisis has had tremendous social costs. An entire generation has been set back.”
“It is not the government’s job to step in and rescue those who took on more debt than their future incomes would support.”
“Many student-borrowers need relief, but well-off borrowers who are thriving — thanks to their college degrees — do not.”
“It will stimulate the lagging economy. And though not everyone will directly benefit, the country as a whole will improve.”
“Canceling student debt would cost billions of dollars each year and would exacerbate, not lessen, economic inequalities.”