Supporters of President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden still waiting patiently for results from states that are still counting votes.
Supporters of President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden still waiting patiently for results from states that are still counting votes.
Georgia officials responded to a barrage of attacks by President Trump by saying they would continue to “follow the law” on counting votes and certifying the election results, which show a narrow win by President-elect Joe Biden.
An air strike killed a commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards at the Iraq-Syria border sometime between Saturday and Sunday, Iraqi security and local militia officials said on Monday. The vehicle was carrying weapons across the Iraqi border and was hit after it had entered Syrian territory, two Iraqi security officials separately said. The incident came just days after Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated in Tehran in a killing that Iran has blamed on Israel.
In some instances, the number of deaths reported internally were more than double the figures released to the public
‘You haven’t shown a single problem with the way the game was scored.”“Yeah, but the game was played at night, and the rulebook only permits day games.”If you can follow that argument, then you can grasp the Republican challenge to the 2020 election in Pennsylvania that was rejected by the commonwealth’s supreme court on Saturday night. That ruling, which is factually related to but separate from President Trump’s federal lawsuit that the Third Circuit threw out last Friday, is likely to end the election-litigation efforts in Pennsylvania, though it is still possible that the cases could be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.Meantime in Georgia, attorneys Lin Wood and Sidney Powell are pressing on with a lawsuit filed, not on behalf of the president directly, but on behalf of Trump supporters, including members of the Republican-nominated Electoral College slate that would have cast the state’s votes if Trump had won. On Sunday, they won a minor victory -- on procedural grounds, not on the merits -- in their bid to convince a Georgia federal judge to decertify the GOP-controlled state government’s conclusion that President-elect Biden won a slim victory there.PennsylvaniaThe state lawsuit in Pittsburgh was brought by U.S. Representative Mike Kelly of northwestern Pennsylvania and other Republicans. They argued that the commonwealth’s constitution does not permit mass mail-in voting -- as distinguished from individualized absentee voting. They therefore challenged the state legislature’s 2019 Act 77, which permitted “no-excuse” mail-in voting. Act 77 marked a departure from prior Pennsylvania law, under which voters could only request absentee ballots based on legally approved reasons for not being able to vote in person. In 2020, the legislature further liberalized this accommodation due to COVID-19 concerns.The Republican plaintiffs had a legitimate point. Prior to Act 77, state law simply codified Pennsylvania’s constitution, which authorizes absentee voting based on a generous list of excuses, but does not expressly authorize no-excuse mail-in voting. The plaintiffs thus found a sympathetic ear in commonwealth judge Patricia McCullough of Pittsburgh. Last week, she ordered a temporary stay in the certification process -- although the stay’s efficacy was debatable, since her order came after the state had certified the results (albeit before some ministerial tasks, such as the issuance of certificates to the Biden slate of electors, who will cast the commonwealth’s electoral votes).State election officials, who are Democrats, immediately appealed to the state supreme court, where their eventual victory was certain. That tribunal is a Democrat-dominated elected body and, as we’ve previously recounted, it has both flouted the plain terms of state law and extended mail-in voting beyond even the state’s constitutionally questionable authorization of it. There was zero chance that it would side with Republicans.Here, however, the court was on solid footing because the plaintiffs did not file lawsuits against the new mail-in voting when it was enacted. They waited for over a year, until after 2.6 million Pennsylvanians had availed themselves of the opportunity to vote by mail during a pandemic. Republicans were suddenly objecting now, not because the election was unfair, but because their presidential candidate lost. Indeed, some of the plaintiffs had run for office under the Act 77 mail-in procedures without objecting to them.Consequently, the court ruled that the doctrine of laches applied -- i.e., claims must be timely raised or they are forfeited. Moreover, to repeat a refrain we’ve been stressing for a while, there was a gross mismatch between the harm alleged and the remedy sought: The Republicans were asking that the mail-in ballots be thrown out or, in the alternative, that the election be voided and the (Republican-majority) state legislature be directed to choose the state’s electors (i.e., the Trump slate). This would disenfranchise either the 2.6 million Pennsylvanians who mailed in ballots or all of the commonwealth’s 6.8 million voters.In a concurring opinion, Judge David Wecht further contended that the court could not authorize the state legislature to choose electors. Although the Constitution empowers the state legislature to choose the manner of selecting electors, Judge Wecht observed (as I have also pointed out) that the commonwealth’s legislature did so long ago by enacting provisions that award Pennsylvania’s Electoral College votes to the winner of the popular election.The court’s ruling on the issue of laches was unanimous. Two judges dissented in part, reasoning that the Republican plaintiffs’ construction of the state constitution appears sound, and that Act 77’s attempt to put a 180-day time-limit on challenges to its lawfulness should be unenforceable against challenges based on the state constitution (an issue the majority opinion sidestepped). The dissenters argued that the plaintiffs should be permitted to proceed with their objections to mass mail-in voting for the purpose of future elections, but not the 2020 election.GeorgiaIn Georgia, attorneys Lin Wood and Sidney Powell are pursuing their theory that the election was stolen from President Trump by cyber-fraud -- specifically, manipulation of the tabulation program, to which they claim Dominion voting machines are vulnerable, in order to switch Trump votes to Biden votes.Sunday turned out to be a frenetic day because Wood learned, apparently from state election officials, that the memories on voting machines were about to be reset (or “wiped,” as Wood put it). This was to occur on Monday (today) -- recall that Georgia will be holding a statewide run-off election for both U.S. Senate seats in just five weeks (i.e., on January 5). Wood objected because the reset would make it practically impossible for him and Powell to conduct a forensic examination into the Dominion software’s operation in the November election, which they contend is necessary to their case.U.S. district judge Timothy Batten initially issued a temporary injunction, directing state election officials to preserve the machines in their present condition while he deliberated over whether to permit a forensic examination. Judge Batten withdrew the injunction a few hours later when the state officials named in the Wood/Powell lawsuits explained that the counties, not the state, had control over the machines.Finally, on Sunday evening at 7:45 p.m., Batten convened an emergency conference, via Zoom, at which the lawyers countered that they were prepared to amend their complaints in order to add the officials in Cobb, Gwinnett, and Cherokee county as defendants. The state also contended that the forensic examination contemplated by the plaintiffs threatened state election security and could compromise its contractor’s proprietary and trade secrets, and thus should not be permitted absent a more compelling showing of wrongdoing than has been made to this point. Wood and Powell replied that these concerns could be assuaged by allowing the state’s own experts to participate in the examination, conducting it on videotape, and directing that the results be provided only to the court, for consideration of any appropriate protective orders against disclosure.At the conclusion of the hearing, Judge Batten issued a temporary restraining order: For the next ten days, unless the court directs otherwise, Georgia is barred from permitting the erasure or alteration of data from the Dominion machines. In the meantime, the state is to provide the plaintiffs with a copy of its contract with Dominion, and must file by close of business Wednesday (December 2) a brief and any supporting affidavits in opposition to the forensic examinations.Another hearing in the case is set for Friday (December 4). To be clear, Judge Batten has not ruled on the merits of the case or even indicated that he will permit the forensic examination of the Dominion data. The injunction freezes matters for a few days so the court can consider the parties’ positions and make a more informed decision.
Arizona certified its presidential election results in favor of President-elect Joe Biden on Monday as Rudy Giuliani urged Republican state legislators at a hearing in Phoenix to override the certification.Arizona’s Secretary of State Katie Hobbs commended her state for conducting “easily the smoothest” and “most secure election in recent history” even amid the coronavirus pandemic.“Despite the unprecedented challenges, Arizonans showed up for our democracy,” Hobbs, a Democrat, said.“This election was conducted with transparency, accuracy and fairness in accordance with Arizona’s laws and elections procedures, despite numerous unfounded claims to the contrary,” she added.The certification gives Biden 11 Electoral College votes. According to projections by the Associated Press, Biden will receive 306 electoral votes to President Trump’s 232 votes.Republican Governor Doug Ducey praised the state’s election as well, saying “the system is strong, that’s why I have bragged on it so much.”“This is America, and no voter should be disenfranchised,” Ducey said. “The votes have been tabulated, all 15 counties have certified their results.”Also on Monday, Giuliani and other members of Trump’s legal team attended a scheduled hearing with the Arizona State Legislature on the integrity of the 2020 election.Trump’s team continued to push a number of unproven claims of election fraud at the hearing and called on Republican state legislators to appoint pro-Trump electors in defiance of the popular vote.“What is the right count, or how can we get as close to the right count as possible? If we can, then have the courage to select that person to get the electors, because that person won the honest vote,” Giuliani said.“In history, I swear to God, you will be heroes,” he said. “If you can’t make a determination, then don’t certify.”Wisconsin is expected to certify its election results for Biden on Monday as well.
French activists fear that a proposed new security law will deprive them of a potent weapon against abuse — cellphone videos of police activity — threatening their efforts to document possible cases of police brutality, especially in impoverished immigrant neighborhoods. French President Emmanuel Macron’s government is pushing a new security bill that makes it illegal to publish images of police officers with intent to cause them harm, amid other measures. Critics fear the new law could hurt press freedoms and make it more difficult for all citizens to report on police brutality.
In Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine trial, all but 11 of the 196 participants who contracted the virus were in the placebo group, good for a 94 percent efficacy rate. But perhaps even more crucially, none of the people who received the vaccine developed a severe infection, the company said. There were 30 severe cases in the trial -- including one death -- but they all occurred in the placebo group.Experts have previously highlighted the importance of separating out worst the cases. Back in September, Drs. Peter Doshi and Eric Topol, in an op-ed for The New York Times, expressed concern that companies developing vaccines, including Moderna and Pfizer, which are on track to receive emergency approval from the Food and Drug Administration in the coming weeks, wouldn't specify the severity of the infections in their trial. But Moderna did just that Monday (Pfizer has also provided data on the matter), and the news is encouraging. > Back in September, we wrote about the need to show severe COVID19 cases were prevented by a vaccinehttps://t.co/f5jvcdTCx2 > Today we know that. Of @moderna_tx final efficacy all 30 severe cases were in the placebo group. pic.twitter.com/Pl1910I5nT> > -- Eric Topol (@EricTopol) November 30, 2020More stories from theweek.com Americans are choosing death over deprivation Chuck Grassley returns to Senate after COVID-19 infection, calls for 'long overdue relief legislation' How camp explains Trump
Republicans have indicated that Joe Biden's prospective nomination of Neera Tanden to the Office of Management and Budget would not pass the Senate with a GOP majority.Tanden, a former Hillary Clinton aide and current president of left-wing think tank Center for American Progress, has a history of comments criticizing various Republican senators, whose approval she would need to head OMB."Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell [R., Ky.] has broken the Senate, he has broken the Supreme Court, and in conjunction with President Donald Trump, he has broken our democracy," Tanden wrote in a statement during the confirmation process for Justice Amy Coney Barrett. Tanden also criticized Senator Susan Collins (R., Maine) during the confirmation hearings for Justice Brett Kavanaugh.> Neera Tanden, who has an endless stream of disparaging comments about the Republican Senators’ whose votes she’ll need, stands zero chance of being confirmed. https://t.co/f6Ewi6OMQR> > -- Drew Brandewie (@DBrandewie) November 30, 2020"Neera Tanden, who has an endless stream of disparaging comments about the Republican Senators’ whose votes she’ll need, stands zero chance of being confirmed," Drew Brandewie, spokesman for Senator John Cornyn, wrote on Twitter on Monday."There’s the sacrifice to the confirmation gods…" commented Josh Holmes, former chief of staff to McConnell.Tanden is the first prospective cabinet nominee to generate considerable resistance among Republicans. Moderate senators Collins, Mitt Romney (R., Utah), and Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska) have indicated that they will support Biden's cabinet picks as long as they are "mainstream." The nominees so far include Clinton aide Jake Sullivan for national security adviser, and Antony Blinken for secretary of state.Among Democrats, Tanden has drawn criticism for her apparent hostility to the progressive wing of the party. Tanden was an informal adviser to the Clinton campaign in 2016, which held off progressive challenger Bernie Sanders in the primary only to be defeated by Donald Trump in the general election.
A car bombing in the Afghanistan's central province of Ghazni killed at least 30 Afghan security force members on Sunday, officials said, and casualties could increase given the intensity and location of the blast. Baz Mohammad Hemat, director of the provincial hospital in Ghazni, said 30 bodies and 24 injured people had been transported there. "All of the victims are security personnel," he said.