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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says he won't take any working COVID-19 vaccine himself and calls the use of masks to limit the spread of the disease “the last taboo to fall. Bolsonaro's comments, broadcast on his social media channels Thursday night, alarmed health experts who said they could undermine efforts to achieve vaccination levels essential to halting the pandemic and might scare off vaccine makers negotiating with local authorities. Bolsonaro also said, however, that any shot that is certified by Brazil's health agency will be available for free to the public.
President Donald Trump on Thursday called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger an "enemy of the people." The Trump campaign has targeted Raffensperger — a Republican who is the state's top election official — after Georgia voted for a Democratic presidential candidate for the first time in nearly 30 years. The outgoing president continues to claim, without evidence, that widespread voter fraud in key states like Georgia helped Joe Biden win the election.
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.
U.S. health authorities will hold an emergency meeting next week to recommend that a coronavirus vaccine awaiting approval be given first to healthcare professionals and people in long-term care facilities. The meeting, announced on Friday by a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) committee on immunizations, suggests that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may be close to authorizing distribution of the long-awaited medication, at least to those considered most vulnerable. United Airlines has begun moving shipments of the vaccine, developed by Pfizer Inc, on charter flights to ensure it can be quickly distributed once it is approved, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Dominion Voting Systems, a provider of election infrastructure, responded on Thursday to the pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell's accusations that it took part in vote rigging. In a point-by-point rejoinder, Dominion said Powell was "alleging a bizarre election fraud conspiracy" that would be impossible to carry out. Powell was until recently part of President Donald Trump's legal team.
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.
While businesses are starting to recognize it's time to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to representing Black talent, Black beauty vloggers still find they face more scrutiny from internet viewers and trying to get people to take their credibility seriously. Nai Roberts-Smith is a beauty YouTuber and licensed aesthetician, who despite formal beauty training still finds her credibility questioned. Black women are beat up online a lot, we take a lot of criticism and harsh comments,” Roberts-Smith said.
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.
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.
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.
Key barriers for these studies are getting funding and getting the vaccine developers Pfizer or Moderna on board. Dr. Larry Corey, a virologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center who's leading the proposal, told Business Insider that these studies could start in January and produce results by May. The findings would inform our understanding of the benefits of the vaccines and help determine how long the public needs to keep wearing masks and socially distancing.
“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.”