Because civil unrest and the pandemic have disproportionately impacted communities of color, civil rights leaders say the president-elect must promptly tackle both.'Changing the tone' »
As the inevitability of President Trump's loss became apparent even to his acolyte Kellyanne Conway in recent days, his supporters increasingly pinned their hopes for a second term on a last-ditch appeal, not to the Supreme Court, but to the one power that can outvote it: God. It has long been an article of faith among right-wing evangelicals that Republicans were the party of God, while Democrats were on, well, the other side, succinctly identified by Franklin Graham as “almost a demonic power.” The inescapable conclusion of televangelist Pat Robertson followed: “Without question” — and also without polling — “Trump is going to win the election.” “So God said to me, in November, there is going to be an overwhelming number of white liberals who talk like they hate the president publicly, but in the secrecy of the ballot box, God says, I'm gonna work a miracle,” predicted Francis Myles, senior pastor of the Lovefest Church in Tempe, Ariz. “I'm gonna cause the eunuchs to throw off the spirit of Jezebel and they are going to vote massively for the president.”
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.
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.
A game of "cat-and-mouse" between the European Union and Turkey needs to come to an end, European Council President Charles Michel said on Friday, in reference to a dispute over natural gas resources in the eastern Mediterranean. "The game of cat and mouse must end," Michel told a news conference, as Turkey again withdrew an exploration vessel from disputed waters ahead of an EU summit on Dec. 10 that is set to discuss possible sanctions on Turkey. "In October, we defined a positive agenda, we reached out our hand," said Michel, who chairs EU summits.
One of the Trump campaign's key witnesses at a hearing about alleged voter fraud before the Michigan legislature just got off probation for an unspecified digital crime, the Daily Mail reports. Mellissa Carone, a former contractor for Dominion Voting Systems, went before the Michigan House Oversight Committee on Wednesday and claimed in bizarre, oftentimes belligerent testimony that instantly went viral, that she witnessed a host of election misconduct at a Detroit counting center.
Labour will be putting "two fingers up to voters" if it refuses to back a Brexit trade deal, Sir Keir Starmer has been warned, as a prominent Remainer MP said they would vote for it. Amid splits at the top of the party on whether to withhold support for an agreement, shadow business minister Lucy Powell suggested Labour would struggle to win back voters in “Red Wall” seats if it attempted to abstain. Arguing that a “skinny deal” could be “built on” in future, Ms Powell added that it was better than no deal - which she said would be a “catastrophe” - and was therefore “quite hard for us to oppose”.
Much of California is on the brink of sweeping new restrictions on businesses and activities, a desperate attempt to slow the frighteningly rapid escalation of coronavirus cases that threatens to overwhelm hospitals. Five San Francisco Bay Area counties imposed a new stay-at-home order for their residents that will take effect Sunday. Southern California and a large swath of the central portion of the state could join this weekend.
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.
The president on Friday blamed the “Democrat stronghold” US Postal Service for his election loss, even though he appointed a GOP mega-donor to lead it and spent months undermining the agency ahead of the election. Whistleblowers reveal that the USPS is responsible for tampering with hundreds of thousands of ballots,” Mr Trump tweeted on Friday morning, referencing a report to that effect from the far-right One America News Network. This long time Democrat stronghold got rid of massive numbers, especially in swing states, during and before delivery of the ballots.
While speaking to the press in the Oval Office on Thursday, President Trump hedged on saying if he had confidence in Attorney General William Barr. Ask me that in a number of weeks from now," Trump said. "They should be looking at all this voter fraud.
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.
Japan's Hayabusa2 spacecraft successfully released a small capsule on Saturday and sent it toward Earth to deliver samples from a distant asteroid that could provide clues to the origin of the solar system and life on our planet, the country's space agency said. The capsule successfully detached from 220,000 kilometers (136,700 miles) away in a challenging operation that required precision control, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said. The capsule — just 40 centimeters (15 inches) in diameter — is now descending and is expected to land Sunday in a remote, sparsely populated area of Woomera, Australia.
Canada has doubled the number of doses of Moderna Inc's COVID-19 vaccine it has on firm order, Procurement Minister Anita Anand said on Friday, while the country's top doctor warned that daily new cases could top 10,000 by January. "Canada is exercising options for an additional 20 million doses of the Moderna vaccine candidate. This will bring Canada's total allotment of this vaccine to 40 million doses to be delivered in 2021," Anand said at a health briefing.
Kellyanne Conway's husband George Conway urged “deranged” Donald Trump to stop soothing his ego as Covid deaths hit a record high. Mr Conway, a lawyer and co-founder of the Lincoln Project, took to Twitter to attack the outgoing president for spreading “destructive lies” about his election loss to Joe Biden. Mr Trump has refused to concede the election to Mr Biden and continues to make false claims of ballot fraud without providing any credible evidence.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Romanians vote in a parliamentary election on Sunday with rural voters' anger over coronavirus restrictions set to complicate efforts by its centrist prime minister to restore judicial independence and the country's reputation among investors. Limits put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus have angered many farmers, a key constituency in the largely-agricultural eastern European state, swelling support for the leftist PSD party that now controls parliament. In power for a year despite his opponents' parliamentary strength, Prime Minister Ludovic Orban has pledged to overturn years of efforts by leftist-led cabinets to take control of courts amid allegations of corruption and misuse of funds.
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.
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.
President Trump's Pentagon purge isn't over yet. Since losing the 2020 election, Trump has systematically ousted top Defense Department officials and replaced them with people more favorable to him. That removal operation even extended to the typically nonpartisan Pentagon Defense Business Board on Friday, where the White House fired nine members and installed Trump allies in their place.
The governing board in Newtown, Connecticut — where the country's deadliest grade school shooting took place — has blocked proposed bans on carrying firearms around town from further consideration. The decision came after the board heard from gun control activists who said they were intimidated at protests by armed Second Amendment supporters. The debate showed how the gun control discussion remains active in Newtown long after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, which killed 20 first-graders and six educators.
Bahrain will not allow the import of Israeli goods produced in settlements in occupied Palestinian territory, state news agency BNA reported, disavowing comments made by the Gulf state's trade minister earlier this week. Bahrain's Industry, Commerce and Tourism Minister Zayed bin Rashid al-Zayani had voiced openness to settlement imports, adding that Manama would make no distinction between products produced in Israel or in the occupied West Bank and Golan Heights. "The minister's statement was misinterpreted and that the ministry is committed to the Bahraini government's unwavering stance regarding adherence to the resolutions of the United Nations," BNA said late on Friday, quoting an official source from the ministry of industry, commerce and tourism.
The decision comes as a result of new measures implemented by the Italian government for the period that contains Christmas and New Year's Eve. "The new measures include extensive restrictions on people's mobility across the entire country, which would severely impact the ability of future guests — Italian residents as well as international travelers — to reach any of the ships' embarkation ports in Italy," the cruise line continued. As a result of the decree, MSC Gradiosa will pause its current program of 7-night itineraries from Genoa on Dec. 20 and will resume Western Mediterranean cruises on Jan. 10 also departing from Genoa.
“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.”