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.
Indonesian police said Saturday that suspected militants killed four people and burned seven houses in a village in Central Sulawesi province. National Police spokesperson Awi Setiyono said they believe Friday's assault in Lemban Tongoa village of Sigi District was carried out by the the East Indonesia Mujahideen group. Indonesia, which is the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation, has carried out a sustained crackdown on Islamic militants since bombings on the tourist island of Bali in 2002 killed 202 people, mostly foreigners.
Uzbekistan plans to repatriate another group of its citizens, mostly women and children, from Syria where they are staying at crowded camps with other families of Islamic State fighters, an Uzbek government source told Reuters on Friday. A government delegation from Tashkent has visited the Al-Hol and Roj camps in the Kurdish-controlled part of Syria and met over 100 Uzbeks staying there to discuss their return home, the source said. Most of those people are women and children under three years of age who "live in deplorable conditions and have difficulties with access to drinking water, food and medical care", according to the source.
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 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 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.
In a black face mask and cap, activist Garrett Bess walked up driveway after driveway of million-dollar homes in suburban Atlanta on a recent afternoon, placing a flyer in each door, ringing the bell and stepping away to make a socially distanced pitch to vote for the conservative candidates in Georgia's pivotal U.S. Senate runoff elections. Bess' group, Heritage Action for America, plans to knock on half a million doors before the state's two Jan. 5 contests that will determine whether Democrats or Republicans control the Senate. “Everyone in Georgia knows the candidates,” said Janae Stracke, a colleague of Bess' who also canvassed the subdivision.
Wall Street stocks advanced, with the Nasdaq closing at a record high, on Friday in a holiday-shortened week as retailers kicked off the year-end shopping season amid record COVID-19 hospitalizations. The Nasdaq outperformed as investors favored tech-related, market-leading stocks that have fared well during the pandemic, while economically sensitive cyclical stocks weighed. All three indexes rose for the week, in which the S&P 500 reached a new closing high and the blue-chip Dow ended above 30,000 for the first time ever.
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.
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.
Greece's government said Friday it is putting limits on how much private medical facilities can charge for coronavirus tests. Commerce and Consumer Protection Secretary General Panagiotis Stamboulidis said that the price limits would be 40 euros ($48) for PCR tests and 10 euros ($12) for rapid antigen tests. Private medical clinics and hospitals had been charging about 70-120 euros ($84-$143) for PCR tests and around 40 euros for the rapid tests.
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.
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.
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.
There is going to be a gap of several years in our ability to measure the thickness of ice at the top and bottom of the world, scientists are warning. The researchers have raised their concerns with the European Commission and the European Space Agency. A letter detailing the problem - and possible solutions - was sent to leading EC and Esa officials this week; and although the US space agency (Nasa) has not formally been addressed, it has been made aware of the correspondence.
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.
Donald Trump has raged at Twitter after the platform suspended a personal account belonging to a Pennsylvania state senator who presided over a conspiracy-filled “hearing” among GOP lawmakers to amplify false claims of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. The president – in a series of posts tagging One America News Network, which was suspended from YouTube this week for promoting a false Covid-19 “cure” amid its wall-to-wall far-right content – said state Senator Doug Mastriano was “banned” after the platform and “fake news, working together" sought to “SILENT THE TRUTH. He said: "Can't let that happen.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
“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.”