Video: Update on vote count, misinformation
Video: Update on vote count, misinformation
While President Trump continues his increasingly desperate efforts to overturn the November election, Arizona and Wisconsin certified results Monday showing Joe Biden won both states.
A weekend attack on farm workers in northeast Nigeria blamed on jihadists left at least 110 dead, the UN humanitarian coordinator in the country said on Sunday, the deadliest attack on civilians this year. The attack, in a state gripped by a jihadist insurgency for more than 10 years, took place the same day as long-delayed local elections in the state. "I am outraged and horrified by the gruesome attack against civilians carried out by non-state armed groups in villages near Borno State capital Maiduguri," Edward Kallon said in a statement. "At least 110 civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded in this attack," he added. Some locals blamed the attack on Boko Haram fighters, but Bulama Bukarti, an analyst with the Tony Blair Institute, said rival group the IS-affiliated Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) were more active in the area. "ISWAP is the likely culprit," he tweeted. Kallon, in his statement, said: "The incident is the most violent direct attack against innocent civilians this year. "I call for the perpetrators of this heinous and senseless act to be brought to justice," he added. The violence centred on the village of Koshobe near the Borno state capital Maiduguri, with assailants targeting farm workers harvesting rice fields. One pro-government anti-jihadist militia said the assailants tied up the labourers and slit their throats. Kallon said the assailants - "armed men on motorcycles" - also targeted other communities in the area. "Rural communities in Borno State are facing untold hardships," he added, calling for more to be done to protect them and to head off what he said was a looming food crisis there. Borno Governor Babaganan Umara Zulum attended the burial Sunday in the nearby village of Zabarmari of 43 bodies recovered on Saturday, saying the toll could rise after search operations resumed. The victims included dozens of labourers from Sokoto state in northwestern Nigeria, roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) away, who had travelled to the northeast to find work, it said. Six were wounded in the attack and eight remained missing as of Saturday. Kallon, citing "reports that several women may have been kidnapped", called for their immediate release. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the attack on Saturday, saying: "The entire country has been wounded by these senseless killings." Neither the president's statement nor Sunday's from the UN mentioned either Boko Haram or rival group ISWAP by name. But both groups have been active in Borno State, their attacks having forced the postponement of locations in Borno State, which finally took place Saturday.
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.
Five leaders of Thailand’s pro-democracy movement reported to police Monday to acknowledge charges that they defamed the king, the most serious of many offenses of which they stand accused. The five are part of the student-led movement that for several months has been campaigning for Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and his government to step down, the constitution to be amended to make it more democratic and the monarchy be reformed to make it more accountable. The protest movement has nevertheless emphasized reform of the monarchy as a key demand, and made it the theme of several of its protest rallies, which have attracted thousands of people.
Ten monks in Grottaferratta, Italy’s ancient monastery are striving to keep alive a1,600-year-old spiritual tradition.
Multinational corporations including Nike and Coca-Cola are lobbying to water down legislation that would ban products made with forced labor in China's Xinjiang province, the New York Times reported on Sunday.China has attempted to cement state power over millions of Muslim citizens in Xinjiang, mostly Uyghur Muslims along with Kazakhs and other minorities. The ruling Communist Party has placed Uyghurs in so-called reeducation camps that attempt to erase their attachment to Islam, and has also embarked on a campaign of forced sterilization of Uyghur women.Numerous global supply chains are based in Xinjiang, including for cotton and coal, and China has employed forced Uyghur labor for various factories. The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which passed the House 406-3 in September and is currently under consideration in the Senate, would ban imports of good from Xinjiang unless U.S. customs officials could verify that the goods were not produced using forced labor.However, multinational companies are lobbying against the legislation, saying that while they do not support use of forced labor, the bill could have a detrimental impact on their supply chains. Along with Nike and Coca-Cola, tech giant Apple is also pushing to weaken some restrictions, the Washington Post reported last week.Coca-Cola "strictly prohibits any type of forced labor in our supply chain" and employs third-party auditors to enforce the policy, the company said in a statement to the Times. Nike said it "did not lobby against" the legislation but had "constructive discussions" with congressional aides on keeping its supply chain free of forced labor.Pro-business groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have also joined the lobbying efforts.A report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in March of this year concluded that at least 80,000 Uyghurs have been sent away from their homes to labor in factories in other parts of China.
Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon rainforest surged to a 12-year high in 2020, official government data showed on Monday, with destruction soaring since President Jair Bolsonaro took office and weakened environmental enforcement. In 2020, destruction of the world's largest rainforest rose 9.5 per cent from a year earlier to 11,088 square kilometers (2.7 million acres) - seven times the size of London - according to data from Brazil's national space research agency Inpe. That means Brazil will miss its own target, established under a 2009 climate change law, for reducing deforestation to roughly 3,900 square kilometers. The consequences for missing the target are not laid out in the law but could leave the government open to lawsuits. The official annual measure, known as PRODES, is taken by comparing satellite images from the end of July 2020 with those from the beginning of August 2019. These dates are chosen to coincide with the Amazon's dry season, when there is less cloud cover to interfere with the calculations. The Amazon is the world's largest rainforest and its protection is crucial to stopping catastrophic climate change because of the vast amount of carbon dioxide it absorbs. The latest annual destruction is a substantial increase from the 7,536 square kilometers that were deforested in 2018, the year before Mr Bolsonaro took office. While environmentalists blamed the government for the rise, federal officials hailed the figures as a sign of progress in fighting deforestation, as the increase was far lower than the 34 per cent increase recorded in 2019. "While we are not here to celebrate this, it does signify that the efforts we are making are beginning to bear fruit," Vice President Hamilton Mourao told reporters at Inpe headquarters in the Sao Paulo satellite city of Sao Jose dos Campos.
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.
Scott Atlas, President Trump’s special adviser on COVID-19 who pushed back on lockdowns and repeatedly downplayed the severity of the coronavirus pandemic, has submitted his resignation.The neuroradiologist, who lacked expertise in infectious disease, began his 130-day position as a special government employee in August, and his gig was set to expire this week. Atlas has fielded fierce criticism for his efforts to downplay the pandemic and block states from enacting their own measures to combat the worsening outbreak, including enacting mask mandates and social distancing guidelines. Instead, he’s advocated for reopening the country for business, a strategy that quickly made him Trump’s favorite coronavirus adviser. Atlas was one of the leading voices in the White House during the president’s push to reopen schools for the fall semester, advising Trump that the U.S. was rounding a corner and that the worst of the virus had passed. ‘He’s a Destructive Force’: Health Officials Want Scott Atlas BanishedHe repeatedly deemphasized the threats of community spread both behind closed doors and on national television, telling Americans that state mandates on masks and social distancing were not necessary.In recent weeks, top coronavirus task force officials said Atlas began pushing for the administration to adopt a policy of “herd immunity,” which holds that if enough people contract the highly contagious disease and become immune to it, then future spread among the broader population will be reduced. Sweden, which adopted that strategy, has failed to contain the coronavirus and is now in the throes of yet another surge in cases.Atlas denied ever advocating for such a strategy. But he consistently appeared on television pushing ideas that closely aligned with the dangerous “herd immunity” belief. In one August Fox News interview, Atlas said “people getting the infection is not really a problem, and in fact, as we said months ago, when you isolate everyone, including all the healthy people, you’re prolonging the problem because you’re preventing population immunity.”Shortly after news broke about his resignation, Atlas appeared on Fox News, where he pushed for reopening schools as host Tucker Carlson decried Dr. Anthony Fauci as a “power-mad incompetent.” Atlas went on to complain “that America and its universities really need to allow, without attack, without rebuke, without intimidation the free exchange of ideas.”Some federal health officials earlier told The Daily Beast they were desperate for Atlas to leave, as they worried he still held too much influence over the Trump administration’s approach to the pandemic, which has now killed more than 267,000 Americans.“He’s a destructive force,” one senior official told The Daily Beast. “I mean, at this point, I don’t know how else to explain what he’s doing. It’s really disruptive.”Atlas has even taken aim directly at Dr. Fauci, accusing him of being a “political animal” after the nation’s top infectious disease expert delivered promising news of a COVID-19 vaccine.“There’s all kinds of prognostications that were made—all negative, all to undermine what the reality of the timelines were, all to undermine the president,” Atlas said in mid-November. “And I think, you know, once you do that sort of thing and make yourself a political animal, basically, you lose your credibility.”Days later, Fauci declined in a Today show interview to “say anything against Dr. Atlas as a person” but said he totally disagrees “with the stand he takes. I just do, period.” Earlier this month, Atlas committed yet another blunder by suggesting people “rise up” against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s latest coronavirus mandate.“You get what you accept,” he said.Atlas was also forced to apologize for an appearance on RT, the Kremlin-backed TV network, during which the Trump adviser insisted that public health officials are “killing people with their fear-inducing shutdown policies.” The next day, he claimed he didn’t know RT was a registered foreign agent. “I regret doing the interview and apologize for allowing myself to be taken advantage of,” he said.In his resignation letter, dated Dec. 1, Atlas insisted he “always relied on the latest science and evidence, without any political consideration or influence.”“As time went on, like all scientists and health policy scholars, I learned new information and synthesized the latest data from around the world, all in an effort to provide you with the best information to serve the greater public good,” he wrote as the pandemic reached new heights, with over 13,522,247 cases in the United States alone. Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
In some instances, the number of deaths reported internally were more than double the figures released to the public
Thousands have fled the scene of a rumbling Indonesian volcano that burst to life for the first time in several years, belching a massive column of smoke and ash, the disaster agency said. The evacuation of more than 4,400 residents came as Mount Ili Lewotolok erupted Sunday, spouting a thick tower of debris four kilometres (2.5 miles) into the sky, triggering a flight warning and the closure of a local airport. The crater's last major eruption was in 2017. There were no reports of injuries or damage from the eruption in a remote part of the Southeast Asian archipelago. But authorities advised residents to wear masks to protect themselves from volcanic ash spouting from the crater in East Nusa Tenggara - the southernmost province of Indonesia - and to be alert for possible lava flows.
A human rights group in Belarus says over 300 people have been detained during Sunday protests against the country’s authoritarian president, who won his sixth term in office in a vote widely seen as rigged. The protests took place in Minsk, the capital, and other cities and attracted thousands of people. In Minsk, large crowds gathered in different parts of the city despite the snowy weather for what has been dubbed as the Neighbors' March, blocking the roads in some areas.
Europe must stand up for its values in its dealings with China, but given the country's sheer population and economic importance, there will always be a trade-off between the EU's values and its interests, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said. "We must define our own European interests, and this also includes common ground (with China) on foreign policy, on economic policy and digital policy and many more," she said.