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' »
A recount in Wisconsin's largest county demanded by Republican President Donald Trump's election campaign ended Friday with Democratic President-elect Joe Biden gaining votes. After the recount in Milwaukee County, Biden had a net gain of 132 votes, out of nearly 460,000 cast. Overall, Biden gained 257 votes to Trump's 125.
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.”
The Vatican's Santa Marta hotel was built to sequester cardinals during papal elections. It's now sequestering soon-to-be cardinals in town for this weekend's ceremony to get their red hats: A handful are in protective coronavirus quarantine, confined to their rooms on Vatican orders and getting meals delivered to their doors. The 10-day quarantines, with COVID-19 tests administered at the start and finish, are just one example of how Saturday's ceremony to elevate new cardinals is like nothing the Holy See has ever seen.
An Iranian scientist long suspected by the West of masterminding a secret nuclear bomb programme was killed in an ambush near Tehran on Friday that could provoke confrontation between Iran and its foes in the last weeks of Donald Trump's presidency. The death of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who Iranian media said died in hospital after armed assassins gunned him down in his car, will also complicate any effort by U.S. President-elect Joe Biden to revive the detente of Barack Obama's presidency. Iran pointed the finger at Israel, while implying the killing had the blessing of the departing Trump.
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.”
The Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi forces in Yemen carried out a series of air raids on barracks used by the Iran-aligned group in and around the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Friday, according to local residents. The reported air strikes came after a Houthi missile attack on Saudi oil facilities in the Red Sea city of Jeddah on Monday, and damage inflicted to a tanker by an explosion at a Saudi Red Sea terminal on Wednesday. The coalition said on Friday it had pinpointed and destroyed two mines in the south of the Red Sea, Saudi state TV reported, accusing the Houthis of laying the explosives.
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.
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.
Standing near a mountaintop, overlooking two empty villages of mud and straw homes below, Communist Party secretary Cai Hongmin beamed: “We plucked out the people's roots of poverty all at once.” Many homes here in Lianghekou, a cluster of villages and vegetable patches perched amid the dry mountains of China's Gansu province, would be demolished, others restored as part of a tourist attraction and mountaintop resort. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Xi has ordered that every Chinese citizen earning no more than about $600 a year be lifted out of extreme poverty before 2021.
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.
The U.S. government's road safety agency is investigating complaints that suspensions can fail on nearly 115,000 Tesla electric vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has 43 complaints that linkages near the ball joints can fail, allowing contact between the tire and wheel liner. In addition, NHTSA says it has eight complaints that may involve suspension failures that haven't been confirmed by photos or service records.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Thomas Cueni, the director-general of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations, said Friday that as many as 10 COVID-19 vaccines could be available by the middle of next year, as long as they are granted approval by regulatory agencies. Cueni noted that the vaccine developers that have already released info from late-stage trials — Pfizer and BioNTech, Moderna, and the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca — have all showed promising results. Moderna and Pfizer both reported higher than 90 percent efficacy rates, while the Oxford-AstraZeneca trial has sparked some confusion after the accidental discovery that a lower dosing regimen proved more effective than the full one.
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.
In stark contrast to the empty malls and big box retailer stores across the United States, GameStop drew massive lines on Black Friday. The crowds weren't there for a big game launch, but for the possibility of snagging the new PlayStation 5 console. That's because the PS5 is the hottest product this holiday – so popular that thousands of people were willing to line up amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with infection rates increasing rapidly across the US.
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.
Attorney Sidney Powell, now distanced from the president's legal team after sharing bizarre claims about election fraud, filed lawsuits on Wednesday in Michigan and Georgia. The Georgia filing comes several days after the state certified its election results following a hand recount of all 5 million ballots cast. Another recount requested by the Trump campaign is now underway in Georgia and will be concluded by 2 December.
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.
Sweden's Prince Carl Philip and his wife, Princess Sofia, have both tested positive for COVID-19 after showing symptoms of coronavirus infection. The pair attended a funeral with the reigning King of Sweden and other members of the royal family on Friday, and they showed negative test results then. The king, queen, crown princess and her husband have all been tested for the virus since the two infections were discovered.
“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.”