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Trump admits Joe Biden ‘won’, but insists US election was ‘rigged’

WASHINGTON, Nov 15: US President Donald Trump on Sunday acknowledged for the first time that Joe Biden, the president-elect, has “won” the 2020 election, starting a process that could possibly lead to a full-fledged concession.

“He won because the Election was Rigged,” Trump wrote in a tweet, and went on to repeat his allegations of election fraud and irregularities that have found no traction outside his support base, have failed to stand up in courts and have been debunked by top election security officials of his own administration.

“I concede NOTHING!” Trump added, however. “We have a long way to go. This was a RIGGED ELECTION!”

Trump has refused to concede the election, which Biden has won by securing 306 electoral college votes, matching Trump’s 2016 winning haul that he had called a “landslide”.

Biden, the president-elect, has also beaten the Republican incumbent in popular votes by more than 5 million.

Trump has not only refused to concede, he has also blocked Biden and his team from receiving intelligence briefings, cooperation and information from agencies as part of a transition process that has been honored and respected by outgoing Republican and Democratic administrations.

Asked if Trump’s tweet was “step one” of a concession, Biden’s chief of staff Ronald Klain said on NBC’s Meet the Press show, “I accept it as a further confirmation of the reality that Joe Biden won the election.”

On the same programme, Asa Hutchinson, the Republican governor of Arkansas, a state that Trump won, welcomed the president’s tweet. “It was good actually to see President Trump tweet out that (Biden) won. I think that’s the start of an acknowledgment,” he said.

A growing number of Republicans, conservative pundits and media organisations have been calling for Trump to accept defeat, concede gracefully, facilitate a smooth transition of power, and leave office without further tarnishing his legacy with his unfounded allegations.

Spurred by Trump’s allegations of election fraud and irregularities, thousands of his supporters - including white nationalists such as “Proud Boys” - rallied in Washington, DC on Saturday, chanting slogans such as “stop the steal”, inspired by his claims that he had won election and that it was stolen from him.

The US president’s cavalcade drove past cheering supporters on his way to his golf course in the adjoining state of Virginia. He smiled and waved at them, but did not stop or make remarks as he had said he might.

Tensions flared and violence broke out between Trump supporters and counter-protesters. The clashes intensified later in the evening as invectives were exchanged, punches were thrown and water bottles were hurled. At least 20 people were arrested.

After Arizona, Joe Biden wins Georgia to take final vote tally for Democrats to whopping 306

WASHINGTON, Nov 14: US President-elect Joe Biden on Friday won the states of Arizona and Georgia which takes the final electoral tally of the US election projected as 306 Electoral College votes for the Democrat and 232 for Republican Donald Trump, who won North Carolina.

The results were announced by the New York Times, CNN and other networks with two final states being called on Friday, a week and a half after Election Day.

Biden's victory in Georgia has added 16 electoral votes to his tally, bringing him to 306. The situation is an exact flip of the 2016 elections when Donald Trump won 306 electoral votes while the then Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton won 232

As many as five states -- Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin -- where Trump had won in 2016 had this year flipped towards Biden. However, Trump could not flip any states this year.

According to a report by CNN, the former vice president is the first Democratic nominee to triumph in Georgia since Bill Clinton did so in the year 1992.

NYT reports that Biden's margin in Georgia currently stands at just over 14,000 votes, or 0.28 percentage points, with nearly all of the ballots counted and Trump's margin in North Carolina is more than 73,000 votes, or 1.3 percentage points.

Biden, in his third attempt at the White House, defeated Trump in a closely contested election to become the 46th president of the United States.

The former vice president was declared the President-elect after victory in the battleground state of Pennsylvania, which took him past the electoral college threshold of 270 votes.

However, Trump refused to concede defeat, saying that the election was "far from over", and promised legal challenges by his re-election campaign.

More than 130 Secret Service officers are said to be infected with coronavirus or quarantining in wake of Trump’s campaign travel

WASHINGTON, Nov 13: More than 130 Secret Service officers who help protect the White House and the president when he travels have recently been ordered to isolate or quarantine because they tested positive for the coronavirus or had close contact with infected co-workers, according to three people familiar with agency staffing.

The spread of the coronavirus — which has sidelined roughly 10 percent of the agency’s core security team — is believed to be partly linked to a series of campaign rallies that President Trump held in the weeks before the Nov. 3 election, according to the people, who, like others interviewed for this report, spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the situation.

The outbreak comes as coronavirus cases have been rapidly rising across the nation, with more than 152,000 new cases reported Thursday.

The virus is having a dramatic impact on the Secret Service’s presidential security unit at the same time that growing numbers of prominent Trump campaign allies and White House officials have fallen ill in the wake of campaign events, where many attendees did not wear masks.

Among those who are infected are White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and outside political advisers Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie.

In addition, at least eight staffers at the Republican National Committee, including Chief of Staff Richard Walters, have the virus, according to officials at the organization. Some of those infected are in field offices across the country, including Pennsylvania, where some believe they were exposed in large staff gatherings, an official said.

As Trump stews over election, he mostly ignores the public duties of the presidency

White House spokesman Judd Deere said the administration takes “every case seriously.” He referred questions about the Secret Service outbreak to agency officials. A spokeswoman for the Secret Service declined to comment.

Trump went on a travel blitz in the final stretch of the campaign, making five campaign stops on each of the last two days. On Nov. 2, Trump’s campaign schedule required five separate groups of Secret Service officers — each numbering 20 to several dozen — to travel to Fayetteville, N.C.; Scranton, Pa.; Traverse City and Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Kenosha, Wis.; to screen spectators and secure the perimeter around the president’s events. President-elect Joe Biden made two campaign stops that day that also required Secret Service protection, but in smaller numbers.

The agency is also examining whether some portion of the current infections are not travel-related, one government official said, but instead trace back to the site where many Secret Service officers report for duty each day: the White House.

White House staff largely eschew wearing masks, despite public health guidelines that they help contain the spread of the virus, and some Secret Service officers on duty at the complex have also been seen without them.

The Secret Service employs roughly 1,300 officers in its Uniformed Division to guard the White House and the vice president’s residence. The officers are also the backbone of security for presidential trips out of town and other official events. Officers are distinct from agents, most of whom work in plainclothes and provide close security of the president, his family members and other senior officials.

Earlier this week, agency supervisors told other staff about the large number of officers who have contracted the virus and said there has been expanded testing to help limit the spread, according to the people familiar with the situation.

The number of officers who have been pulled off duty creates a major stress on an already overworked team and will force many officers to forgo days off and work longer hours to compensate for absent co-workers. A 2015 blue-ribbon panel identified overworked Secret Service officers as one key factor that contributed to security breaches at the White House.

“Being down more than 100 officers is very problematic,” said one former senior Secret Service supervisor. “That does not bode well for White House security.”

It’s not the first time the Secret Service has been hit hard by the decisions of Trump and Vice President Pence to travel during the pandemic. This summer, dozens of Secret Service agents fell ill or were sidelined and forced to quarantine in the wake of the president’s massive indoor stadium rally in Tulsa in June and the vice president’s subsequent trip to Arizona.

At the time, Secret Service spokesman Catherine Milhoan said in a statement to The Washington Post that the agency “continues to methodically assess the unique requirements necessary to operate in the ongoing pandemic environment.”

But many of Trump’s own choices put his protection team at heightened risk, specifically his choice to travel out of state and hold large public events. Secret Service agents and medical professionals were shocked early last month when Trump — then being treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for the coronavirus — insisted on taking a ride outside the hospital to wave to supporters from inside a government sport-utility vehicle. He wore a cloth mask, but many feared he was unnecessarily endangering the Secret Service agents inside the vehicle.

Deere defended the outing at the time, telling reporters “appropriate precautions were taken in the execution of this movement to protect the president and all those supporting it.” He said precautions included personal protective equipment, without elaborating, and said the trip “was cleared by the medical team as safe to do.”

Fauci says White House had superspreader event as Trump to resume public events

While many people in Trump’s orbit have contracted the virus this year, the most recent outbreak at the White House has been particularly extensive. Many of those who are now sick attended a campaign party last week in the East Room, or were exposed to someone who did.

Meadows was among those in the East Room of the White House when Trump gave remarks around 3 a.m. Wednesday to a crowd of about 150 of his top aides, donors and allies, as well as family members. During that event, Meadows worked the room extensively, without a mask, speaking to dozens.

More than a dozen White House aides have tested positive for the virus in the past week, including a range of low-level assistants and secretaries, officials said. Offices that have been affected include political affairs, legislative affairs and communications.

Meadows’s positive diagnosis was revealed last week, along with the fact that he had urged staffers not to disclose it. The chief of staff is not expected to return to the office until next week, a person close to him said.

People present at Wednesday night’s campaign party in the East Room who were around Meadows, Lewandowski and other now-sick staffers say they have not been contacted by the White House.

Several staffers said they were nervous about going to work because there has been such an outbreak. “I’m trying to work from home,” one senior administration official said Wednesday afternoon. “It’s not really safe to be in there right now.”

Several aides said they were frustrated by a lack of transparency from their superiors, particularly Meadows, and that they did not notify more people of diagnoses.

Taiwan Not Part Of China: Mike Pompeo

WASHINGTON, Nov 12: China will strike back against any moves that undermine its core interests, its foreign ministry said on Friday, after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Taiwan "has not been a part of China".

China calls Taiwan the most sensitive and important issue in its ties with the United States, and has been angered by the Trump administration's stepped up support for the Chinese-claimed yet democratically ruled island, such as arms sales.

Speaking in a US radio interview on Thursday, Pompeo said: "Taiwan has not been a part of China".

"That was recognised with the work that the Reagan administration did to lay out the policies that the United States has adhered to now for three-and-a-half decades," he said.

The United States is bound by law to provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself, and officially only acknowledges the Chinese position that Taiwan is part of it, rather than explicitly recognising China's claims.

Speaking in Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Taiwan was an inalienable part of China and that Pompeo was further damaging Sino-US ties.

"We solemnly tell Pompeo and his ilk, that any behaviour that undermines China's core interests and interferes with China's domestic affairs will be met with a resolute counterattack by China," he said, without elaborating.

China has put sanctions on US companies selling weapons to Taiwan, and flew fighter jets near the island when senior US officials visited Taipei this year.

The defeated Republic of China government fled to Taiwan in 1949 after loosing a civil war to the communists, who founded the People's Republic of China.

Taiwan foreign ministry spokeswoman, Joanne Ou, thanked Pompeo for his support.

"The Republic of China on Taiwan is a sovereign, independent country, and not part of the People's Republic of China. This is a fact and the current situation," she said.

Taiwan officials will travel to Washington next week for economic talks, which have also annoyed Beijing.

Trump bans investments in firms controlled by China military

WASHINGTON, Nov 12: Donald Trump signed an order prohibiting US investments in Chinese firms determined to be owned or controlled by the country’s military, the latest bid by the White House to pressure Beijing over what the president has described as abusive business practices.

China is “increasingly exploiting” US capital for “the development and modernization of its military, intelligence, and other security apparatuses,” posing a threat to the US, according to the executive order, signed on Thursday.

Relations between the US and China have deteriorated following the signing of a trade deal early in the year. Trump also has repeatedly vowed to punish Beijing over the coronavirus pandemic, its treatment of Muslim minorities and the crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong. Chinese officials have threatened to retaliate with their own blacklist of US companies.

Shares of top Chinese firms -- including China Mobile Ltd and China Telecom Corp Ltd. -- tumbled Friday on reports of the impending decision. The executive order will prohibit US investment firms and pension funds from buying and selling shares of 20 Chinese companies designated by the Pentagon as having military ties in June, as well as an additional 11 companies added in late August.

China Mobile, whose controlling shareholder China Mobile Communications Group is on the list, dropped 5.8% in Hong Kong opening, the biggest intraday loss in almost eight months. China Telecom slumped 4.8%.

The prohibition will go into effect on January 11, and allows US investment firms and pension funds to divest their holdings in companies linked to the Chinese military over the next year. If the US determines additional companies have military ties in the future, American investors will be given 60 days from that determination to divest.

US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien said in a statement that many of the companies at issue are traded on exchanges around the world. American investors can unknowingly provide funds through passive investments such as mutual funds and retirement plans, he added.

The order “serves to protect American investors from unintentionally providing capital that goes to enhancing the capabilities of the People’s Liberation Army and People’s Republic of China intelligence services,” O’Brien said.

In a move earlier this year to restrict the flow of money, the administration sent a letter to Michael Kennedy, then chairman of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, telling him to “halt all steps” associated with putting government employees’ savings in a fund that includes stakes in Chinese companies.

Separately, O’Brien on Wednesday said China’s latest clampdown in Hong Kong shows that the one country, two systems arrangement for the territory amounts to a “fig leaf” for dictatorship, and warned of new sanctions.

The warning came after China’s top legislative body on Wednesday passed a resolution allowing for the disqualification of any Hong Kong lawmakers who were not deemed sufficiently loyal. Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s government immediately banished four legislators, prompting the remaining 15 in the 70-seat Legislative Council to resign en masse hours later at a joint press briefing.

While the US has imposed sanctions against Lam and some officials in Beijing, it has so far held off punishing the country’s senior hierarchy. Such a move would infuriate Beijing and accelerate a deterioration in relations between the two nations on a variety of issues.

Joe Biden clinches victory in Arizona, taking his victorious electoral count to 290

WASHINGTON, Nov 13: US President-elect Joe Biden has narrowly won Arizona, capturing the state’s 11 electoral votes and strengthening his Electoral College margin, while President Donald Trump has not yet conceded defeat in the presidential elections, reported New York Times.

The Arizona victory brings Biden to 290 electoral votes, 20 more than required to clinch the White House.

The President-elect’s margin is currently about 11,000 votes, or 0.3 per cent. Biden is the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry the state since former President Bill Clinton in 1996. Four years ago, Trump had won the state by 3.5 percentage points.

According to New York Times, Biden’s win underscored a profound political shift in Arizona, a longtime Republican bastion that has lurched left in recent years, fueled by rapidly evolving demographics and a growing contingent of young Hispanic voters championing liberal policies.

Meanwhile, Republicans have been mounting legal attempts for a recount in key battleground states.

The Trump campaign has filed a lawsuit in Arizona, alleging that poll workers in the state’s largest county, Maricopa, improperly pressured voters to enter their vote in a way that would incorrectly reject votes.

Biden on Saturday became the President-elect of the United States after victory in the battleground state of Pennsylvania, which took him past the electoral college threshold of 270 votes.

He defeated President Donald Trump in a closely contested election to become the 46th president of the United States.

Georgia hand tally of presidential race getting underway

ATLANTA, Nov 12: Election officials in Georgia’s 159 counties are undertaking a hand tally of the presidential race that stems from an audit required by state law.

The law requires that one race be audited by hand to check that the machines counted the ballots accurately, not because of any suspected problems with the results. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger chose to audit the presidential race and said the tight margin — Democrat Joe Biden leads Republican President Donald Trump by 14,000 votes — means a full hand count is necessary.

Even as the counties were required to begin the count by 9 a.m. Friday, Raffensperger was self-quarantining as a precaution after his wife tested positive on Thursday for the coronavirus. The secretary of state’s office has instructed county election officials to complete the audit by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday. The deadline for the state to certify the results is November 20.

The deputy secretary of state, Jordan Fuchs, told The Associated Press that Brad Raffensperger tested negative for the virus, adding that the secretary’s quarantine will not affect the audit.

The audit is a new requirement that was included in a 2019 law that also provided guidelines that the state used to purchase a new election system from Dominion Voting Systems for more than $100 million.

County election staffers will work with the paper ballots in batches, dividing them into piles for each candidate. Then they will count each pile by hand, Fuchs said.

The final numbers in the audit count will almost definitely be slightly different than the numbers previously reported by the counties but the overall outcome should remain the same, said Gabriel Sterling, who oversaw the implementation of the state’s new voting system for the secretary of state’s office. The results will not be released piecemeal as the counties finish counting but instead will be announced once the full tally is complete, he said, adding that the results of the new count from the audit is what will be certified.

There is no mandatory recount law in Georgia, but state law provides that option to a trailing candidate if the margin is less than 0.5% points. Biden’s lead stood at 0.28% points as of Thursday afternoon.

Once the results from the audit are certified, the losing campaign can request that recount, which will be done using scanners that read and tally the votes, Raffensperger said.

President-elect Joe Biden names Ron Klain as White House chief of staff

WILMINGTON, Nov 11: US President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday announced the appointment of Ron Klain, his longtime aide, as White House chief of staff. In this capacity, Klain will oversee the executive office of the President and serve as a senior advisor.

In addition to supporting the president-elect, Klain will work to build a diverse, experienced and talented team to help President-elect Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris meet the urgent challenges facing the country, a media release said.

“Ron has been invaluable to me over the many years that we have worked together, including as we rescued the American economy from one of the worst downturns in our history in 2009 and later overcame a daunting public health emergency in 2014,” said Biden.

“His deep, varied experience and capacity to work with people all across the political spectrum is precisely what I need in a White House chief of staff as we confront this moment of crisis and bring our country together again,” Biden said.

Klain was most recently a senior advisor to the Biden for campaign and has previously served Biden in a number of roles including as his chief of staff when he became vice president. Klain is also known for his role as the White House ebola response coordinator at the height of the public health crisis.

Klain said, “It’s the honor of a lifetime to serve president-elect Biden in this role, and I am humbled by his confidence. I look forward to helping him and the vice president-elect assemble a talented and diverse team to work in the White House, as we tackle their ambitious agenda for change, and seek to heal the divides in our country.”

At the conclusion of his work coordinating the US response, President Obama said that Klain had taken on “a challenge that many called insurmountable, and, in leading the team responsible for tremendous progress, helped remind the world what makes America exceptional.”

Earlier, in addition to his work with then-vice president Biden, Klain served as chief of staff for vice president Al Gore, chief of staff and counsellor to attorney general Janet Reno, and staff director of the senate democratic leadership committee. Klain was also associate counsel to president Clinton and in charge of judicial selection. Through his work on the judiciary committee, and in the executive branch, he has played a role in the selection or confirmation of eight Supreme Court justices.

Serving as an advisor on several presidential campaigns, Klain has worked for Obama and Clinton, and democratic presidential nominees Al Gore, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton. Klain graduated from Harvard Law School, was an editor of the Harvard Law Review, and won the Sears Prize for highest grade average in 1985. He was a summa cum laude graduate of Georgetown University, where he serves an Adjunct Professor.

Over 20 Indian-Americans named in Biden's agency review teams

WILMINGTON, Nov 11: US President-elect Joe Biden has named more than 20 Indian-Americans as members, including three as team leads, to his agency review teams (ARTs) that are responsible for evaluating the operations of the key federal agencies in the current administration to ensure smooth transfer of power.

Biden's transition team said this is one of the most diverse agency review teams in presidential transition history.

Of the hundreds of ART members, more than half are women, and approximately 40 per cent represent communities historically underrepresented in the federal government, including people of colour, people who identify as LGBTQ+, and people with disabilities.

Agency review teams are responsible for understanding the operations of each agency, ensuring a smooth transfer of power, and preparing for President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and their Cabinet to hit the ground running on Day One.

At least three Indian-Americans have been named as team leads to various ARTs.

Arun Majumdar from the prestigious Stanford University is the team lead for the Department of Energy ART. Rahul Gupta is the team lead for Office of National Drug Control Policy. Kiran Ahuja has been named Team Lead for Office of Personnel Management. Puneet Talwar has been named to the Department of State ART. Pav Singh has been named to two ARTs for National Security Council and Office of Science and Technology. Similarly, Arun Venkatraman has been named to two ARTs Department of Commerce and USTR.

Other prominent Indian-Americans named to ARTs are Pravina Raghavan, Atman Trivedi for Department of Commerce and Shital Shah for Department of Education; R Ramesh and Rama Zakaria for the Department of Energy; Subhasri Ramanathan for the Department of Homeland Security; Raj De for Department of Justice; and Seema Nanda and Raj Nayak for Department of Labour.

Reena Aggarwal, and Satyam Khanna have been named to the Federal Reserve, Banking and Securities Regulators ARTs; Bhavya Lal for NASA; Dilpreet Sidhu for National Security Council, Divya Kumaraiah for Office of Management and Budget; Kumar Chandran for Department of Agriculture; and Aneesh Chopra to US Postal Service. Almost all of them are volunteers.

Trump ‘absent’ after poll defeat

WASHINGTON, Nov 12: US President Donald Trump vehemently refused to concede defeat in the recently concluded polls and vowed to take legal recourse for the “stolen” election, a claim for which he has failed to provide any concrete evidence. Trump has promised lawsuits in key states where President-elect Joe Biden secured a narrow victory, reiterating his unproven claims of election fraud through mail-in ballots.

However, US media reports suggest that Trump has shown little interest in carrying out the duties of the president and on Wednesday, he made his first formal public appearance in six days. The outgoing president, along with the first lady Melania Trump, visited Arlington National Cemetery to mark Veterans Day. During his brief appearance, Trump didn’t offer any remark or speech at the cemetery.

Meanwhile, the Republican leader has been active on Twitter, firing off baseless claims of election fraud. Many of his tweets regarding mail-in ballots and alleged fraud has been flagged by the micro-blogging platform, saying the “claim about election fraud is disputed”. He has been frequently hitting his golf course, making few efforts to show the people of the United States that he is still governing the nation ravaged by coronavirus pandemic.

In the last 24 hours, Trump has reiterated his earlier claims that Pennsylvania and Michigan didn’t allow Republican poll watchers, adding that hundreds of thousands of votes should not be allowed to count. “Therefore, I easily win both states,” he tweeted. Trump said that a Philadelphia Commissioner is being used “big time by the Fake News Media” to claim free and fair elections in the state.

“He refuses to look at a mountain of corruption & dishonesty. We win!” the tweet read.

While the US President did meet his close aides and advisors to discuss the legal strategy, he has remained absent from federal government duties. A White House spokesperson has defended Trump’s light public schedule, saying he is “carrying out all of his duties.” Deputy press secretary Judd Deere said in a statement that the president is “fighting hard for a free and fair election.”

Trump not conceding is an embarrassment: Joe Biden

WILMINGTON, Nov 10: US President Donald Trump not conceding defeat in the just-concluded election is an embarrassment, President-elect Joe Biden said Tuesday, asserting that his transition plans have remained unaffected by this and he has started talking to world leaders.

“I just think it’s an embarrassment quite frankly.... It will not help the president’s legacy.... I know from my discussions with foreign leaders thus far that they are hopeful that the United States’ democratic institutions are viewed once again as being strong and enduring,” Biden told reporters in Wilmington, Delaware.

Responding to questions from reporters on Trump not conceding the race, Biden hoped that at the end it’s all going to come to fruition on January 20th.

“Between now and then my hope and expectation is that the American people do know and do understand that there has been a transition. Even among Republicans...who voted for the president, I understand the sense of loss. I get that,” he said.

Biden hoped that those who voted for him and those for Trump would come together. “A significantly smaller number, but a lot voted for him -- I think they understand that we have to come together. I think they’re ready to unite and I believe we can pull the country out of this bitter politics that we’ve seen for the last five, six and seven years,” he said.

The President-elect said that he has already begun the transition. “We are well underway. The ability for the administration in any way by failure to recognize our win does not change the dynamic at all in what we’re able to do,” he said, noting that a day earlier he has announced his Covid-19 advisory board.

“We are moving along in a consistent manner, putting together our administration in the White House and reviewing who we’re going to pick for the cabinet positions...and nothing is going to stop that. I’m confident that the fact that they are not willing to acknowledge we won at this point is not of much consequence in our planning and what we’re able to do between now and January 20th,” he asserted.

Referring to the congratulatory calls that he has had so far with six world leaders, he said that the response has been very fulsome, energetic, and they are all looking forward to being able to, from Great Britain to France to Germany to Canada, et cetera, and Ireland.

“I feel good about the ability to...I said when we announced that the next president is going to inherit a divided country and a world in disarray. The reception and welcome we’ve gotten around the world from our allies and our friends has been real and I have a number of other calls to return and so I feel confident that we’re going to be able to put the American back in a place of respect that it had before,” he said.

Responding to a question, Biden said that access to classified information is useful, but he is not in a position to make any decisions on those issues anyway.

“As I said, one president at a time and he will be president until January 20th. It would be nice to have it, but it’s not critical. We are just going to proceed the way we have. We’re going to do exactly what we’d be doing if he had conceded and said we have won, which we have, and so there’s nothing really changing,” he said.

There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump Administration: Pompeo

WASHINGTON, Nov 10: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday asserted that there will be a smooth transition to a second Trump Administration, indicating that he believes Donald Trump has won the November 3 presidential elections.

“There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration. We are ready. The world is watching what’s taking place here. We’re going to count all the votes...,” Pompeo said.

He was responding to questions from reporters at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department if his department is preparing to engage with the Biden transition team and if not at what point does it delay or hamper a smooth transition or pose a risk to national security.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has been declared the winner of the elections by major media networks, as is the tradition in the United States.

President-elect Biden has quickly moved on to the transition phase.

Pompeo said that the world should have every confidence that the transition necessary to make sure that the State Department is functional today, successful today, and successful with the president who’s in office on January 20th a minute after noon will also be successful.

“I went through a transition on the front and I’ve been on the other side of this. I’m very confident that we will do all the things that are necessary to make sure that the government, the United States government will continue to perform its national security function as we go forward,” he said.

Responding to questions if he believed there is widespread voter fraud, Pompeo said that he has been getting calls from all across the world.

“These people are watching our election. They understand that we have a legal process. They understand that this takes time, right? It took us 37 plus days in an election back in 2000. We conducted a successful transition then. I’m very confident that we workout and we must count every legal vote,” he said.

“We must make sure that any vote that wasn’t lawful ought not be counted. That dilutes your vote if it’s done improperly. We’ve got to get that right. When we get it right, we’ll get it right. We’re in good shape,” he said.

President-elect Joe Biden warns country of ‘dark winter’ ahead with Covid-19 surge

WASHINGTON, Nov 9: President-elect Joe Biden warned on Monday that the U.S. was facing a “dark winter” and many more deaths as the coronavirus continues to spread unabated.

“There’s a need for bold action to fight this pandemic. We’re still facing a very dark winter,” he said in somber remarks after meeting with his newly appointed coronavirus task force.

He called on all Americans to wear masks consistently as the best way to fight infection.

“It doesn’t matter your party. It doesn’t matter who you voted for,” he said. “We can save tens of thousands of lives if everyone would just wear a mask.”

His remarks came as Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, a physician, tested positive for Covid-19.

His transition team is seeking to fulfill a campaign promise to develop a dramatically different approach than President Donald Trump’s to contain the pandemic.The 13-member task force is composed largely of doctors and public health experts, who will work with Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and the transition team to map out the public health and economic policies needed to curtail the virus.

The task force was announced only hours before positive preliminary test results were released of a Covid-19 vaccine being developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE indicating it prevented more than 90% of infections. The study involved tens of thousands of volunteers.

Eight months into the worst pandemic in a century, the preliminary results pave the way for the companies to seek an emergency-use authorization from regulators if further research shows the shot is also safe.

Biden, in a statement issued Monday, congratulated “the brilliant women and men who helped produce this breakthrough,” but warned that “the end of the battle against Covid-19 is still months away.”

Even if “some Americans are vaccinated later this year, it will be many more months before there is widespread vaccination in this country,” Biden said. “Today’s news does not change this urgent reality. Americans will have to rely on masking, distancing, contact tracing, hand washing, and other measures to keep themselves safe well into next year.”

From the onset of the pandemic, Biden said it was critical to listen to scientists and medical experts in charting a path out of the pandemic. He staked much of his presidential campaign on striking a contrast with Trump, who repeatedly downplayed the dangers of the virus even after being hospitalized when he contracted it.

The team will be led by former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler, and Marcella Nunez-Smith, a professor of public health at Yale University. It will include about a dozen people, many of whom were already advising Biden and his staff throughout the campaign. Kessler and Murthy, in particular, were deeply involved in shaping the Biden campaign’s plans for responding to the virus, and they both regularly briefed the president-elect.

The transition and the task force face the difficult task of figuring out how to implement the policies Biden has proposed, including identifying supply chain issues for vaccine distribution and increased testing.

The announcement of the task force is the first step Biden and his team are taking to demonstrate the high value they will place in having experts and doctors guide their response.

“Dealing with the coronavirus pandemic is one of the most important battles our administration will face, and I will be informed by science and by experts,” Biden said in a statement. “The advisory board will help shape my approach to managing the surge in reported infections; ensuring vaccines are safe, effective, and distributed efficiently, equitably, and free; and protecting at-risk populations.”

The task force will also include Atul Gawande, a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Michael Osterlohm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, Celine Gounder, a professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases at New York University and Ezekiel Emanuel, a former Obama administration health adviser.

Other members are Luciana Borio, vice president at In-Q-Tel, Rick Bright, the former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, Julie Morita, the executive vice president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Loyce Pace, president of Global Health Council, Robert Rodriguez, a professor of emergency medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine, and Eric Goosby, an expert on infectious diseases and professor of medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine.

The coronavirus has infected nearly 10 million people in the U.S. and killed more than 237,000 as daily case counts continue to rise and set records. Biden campaigned on shepherding an aggressive federal effort to contain the virus and renewed that promise on Saturday night.

While the task force and the transition team will be laying the groundwork for a muscular federal approach, the president-elect cannot officially implement policy changes until he’s in office.

During the campaign, Biden released a plan to combat the coronavirus that said his response would aim to restore trust in the government, create a cohesive national strategy, make treatments affordable, provide economic relief to those impacted by the virus and work with other countries to stop the virus’ spread.

His plans also call for a national masking mandate, though Biden has acknowledged that would be difficult to enforce outside federal property, as well as expanded access to testing and the development of a vaccine that would be provided for free.

Biden-Harris gear up for transition, To focus on Covid-19, economic recovery, racial equity, climate change

WASHINGTON, Nov 9: While Donald Trump has still not conceded to his opponent Joe Biden in the US presidential race, the coming leader, along with vice president-elect Kamala Harris, is moving forward with the transition plan.

The Biden-Harris team has updated its website to showcase four policy areas the incoming administration will prioritise. The Biden-Harris campaign now has official social media channels as well - with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts using the handle @Transition46.

On Sunday morning, the transition’s Twitter account posted a video narrated by Biden discussing his goals for his presidency.

The key areas that the incoming administration will focus on are: Covid-19, economic recovery, racial equity and climate change. On the challenges that the country faces, the site says, “Our nation is grappling with a pandemic, an economic crisis, powerful calls for racial justice, and the existential threat of climate change. President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris know we can’t simply go back to the way things were before. The team being assembled will meet these challenges on Day One and build us back better.”

The site also includes a page devoted to the transition process, which it says will prioritise “diversity of ideology and background; talent to address society’s most complex challenges; integrity and the highest ethical standards to serve the American people and not special interests; and transparency to garner trust at every stage.”

This all is a marked departure from the current incumbent President Trump’s working style. The outgoing administration has always followed Trump’s tweets as its orders rather than having a well thought out plan for the country. Biden on the other hand, has consistently said in his campaign speeches that “plans and transparency in implementing those” are needed “to help the country tackle Covid-19 as well as the economic crisis post the pandemic”.

Melania Wants Trump To Concede Defeat To Joe Biden: Report

WASHINGTON, Nov 9: US First Lady Melania Trump has joined other members of her husband Donald Trump's inner circle asking him to accept his loss and concede defeat to President-elect Joe Biden, informed a source familiar with the conversations.

The source said that although Melania has not publicly commented on the election, she has privately weighed in with her opinion, reported CNN.

"She has offered it, as she often does," said the source.

Melania had earlier campaigned for her husband's re-election campaign last month. Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and his senior adviser, had earlier approached the President about conceding the election, two sources told CNN.

The move came after Trump, in a statement, said that Biden is "rushing to falsely pose as the winner" and that the race is "far from over".

Trump claimed that networks were helping the Democrat "falsely" pose as the winner and promised to fight the results in court, reported The Hill.

President-elect Joe Biden had defeated Trump in a closely contested election, securing his win by a victory in the state of Pennsylvania which took him past the electoral college threshold of 270 votes.

In this, his third attempt at the White House, Biden, a four-decade Washington figure as a Senator and then a vice president, received more than 74 million votes, 4 million more than Trump, and more than any other presidential candidate.

Jared Kushner has approached defiant Trump about conceding the election: Reports

WASHINGTON, Nov 8: Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, has approached a defiant President about conceding the closely-fought election to his Democratic rival Joe Biden, according to media reports on Sunday.

The move comes following Trump’s assertion in a statement from his campaign -- after major US media outlets projected that President-elect Biden will become the 46th president of the United States -- that Biden is “rushing to falsely pose as the winner” and that the race is “far from over.”

Joe Biden-Kamala Harris deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said that there has been no communication between Biden and Trump, or between any representatives from either campaign, since the race was called on Saturday after the 77-year-old former US vice president crossed the 270 electoral college votes required to win the race for the White House.

Kushner has approached the President about conceding the election, CNN quoted two unidentified sources as saying.

Kushner has told others that he has urged the president to accept the outcome of the race — even if Trump won’t come to terms with how it was reached, the Associated Press also reported on Sunday. Two sources told Fox News that Trump would concede and execute a peaceful transfer of power if his campaign’s legal challenges fall short of changing the projected outcome.

A lack of concession by Trump would not prevent Biden from assuming the presidency on January 20, 2021. “Donald Trump does not get to decide the winner of elections,” Symone Sanders, a Biden campaign senior adviser, told reporters in Wilmington, Delaware, on Saturday. “The people decide, voters in the country decide, as we have long said, and voters have made their choice very clear,” Voice of America quoted Sanders as saying.

But Trump appeared to be defiant, even after all major US media outlets projected Biden as the winner.

“I will not rest until the American People have the honest vote count they deserve and that Democracy demands,” Trump said in the statement, which states that the campaign’s legal battle will begin on Monday.

The Trump campaign has filed suits in several battleground states where Biden led by a razor-thin margin, including Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Georgia. Trump, 74, who was at his golf course in Sterling, Virginia, on Saturday when the race was called, has not denied the outcome of the election, privately at least, CNN, quoted sources as saying.

But Trump was continuing to push his attorneys to pursue legal challenges that would delay formal certification of the results of the 2020 presidential polls.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, who recently tested positive for coronavirus, discussed next steps with the legal team on Saturday, CNN added.

Trump has not spoken publicly since Thursday evening, when he made similar unsubstantiated charges about the voting process, prompting the three major US broadcast networks to cut away from his appearance for instant fact-checking.

Biden, in his victory speech on Saturday night, did not mention Trump, a Republican, by name.

Biden said he was humbled by the trust America had placed in him and reached out to those Americans who did not vote for him. “I understand the disappointment tonight. I’ve lost a couple of times myself. But now, let’s give each other a chance,” he said, adding later in his remarks, “This is the time to heal in America.” Biden claimed that he would be a president that would lead the entire nation, regardless of political party.

“I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide but unify — who doesn’t see red states and blue states, only sees the United States,” Biden said.

The former vice president noted in his remarks that it is time both sides “listen to each other again.” “It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again, and to make progress, we have to stop treating our opponents as our enemies. They are not our enemies. They are Americans,” Biden said.

Joe Biden to be the next US president

WASHINGTON, Nov 7: Joe Biden on Saturday defeated Donald Trump in the presidential election to become the 46th president of the United States, as the incumbent rushed to reject the outcome saying that the “election is far from over” and threatened further legal challenges.

The Associated Press declared Joe Biden the winner of a grueling campaign for the American presidency four days after elections were held in the country. “He will lead a polarized nation through a historic collision of health, economic and social crises,” AP said.

CNN and NBC News were among the television networks that called the race in his favour, minutes after projecting that he had won the key state of Pennsylvania, securing its 20 electoral votes and crossing the 270-mark needed to win the presidency.

Biden tweeted his gratitude at being elected the president. “America, I’m honored that you have chosen me to lead our great country. The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a President for all Americans — whether you voted for me or not. I will keep the faith that you have placed in me,” he tweeted.

Indian-origin Kamala Harris becomes first Black woman elected US vice president

With this victory, Kamala Harris made history as the first woman, the first Black American and the first Asian American vice-president of America. She is also expected to be the candidate for the Democratic nomination in 2024.

Even as Biden had failed to flip key states of Florida, Texas and Iowa, he had won battleground states of Michigan and Wisconsin, tightening his grip on the top post.

The Democrats’ victory comes amid claims of a rigged election by the Donald Trump led Republican Party. Trump, refusing to concede defeat, said that Joe Biden was “rushing to falsely pose as the winner” after television networks declared the Democrat’s victory.

“We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner, and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: they don’t want the truth to be exposed,” Trump said. “The simple fact is this election is far from over,” he added.

“Joe Biden should not wrongfully claim the office of the President. I could make that claim also. Legal proceedings are just now beginning!” Trump had tweeted earlier in the day. “I won this election, by a lot!” he said in another tweet just hours before losing the White House. The tweet has been flagged by Twitter and labelled ‘misleading’.

‘Will be a President for all Americans’: Joe Biden after big win against Trump

WASHINGTON, Nov 7: Democrat Joe Biden on Saturday thanked the people of the United States for his massive victory against Donald Trump in the presidential elections. Minutes after becoming the 46th president, Biden asserted that will be “a President for all Americans.”

“America, I’m honored that you have chosen me to lead our great country. The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a President for all Americans — whether you voted for me or not. I will keep the faith that you have placed in me,” the president-elect said in a tweet.

The newly-elected president also released a statement shortly after his win against the Republican candidate. he expressed gratitude for the trust that the voters across states place in him and vice president elect Kamala Harris.

Biden appreciated the people for turning up to cast their votes in huge numbers despite the prevailing coronavirus pandemic which has claimed 1,246,221 lives in the US.

“In the face of unprecedented obstacles, a record number of Americans voted. Proving once again, that democracy beats deep in the heart of America,” he said. He added that it was time for America to unite and leave behind the “harsh rhetoric” that prevailed through the campaigning period.

“With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation. It’s time for America to unite. And to heal. We are the United States of America. And there’s nothing we can’t do, if we do it together,” the Democrat said in his first statement.

Biden, 78, was projected winner of the 2020 White House race by multiple US media organizations on the fifth day of counting, after he took a lead post winning Pennsylvania, the battleground state whose 20 Electoral College votes carried the Democrat well past the 270-vote threshold from 264, where he had been for the past two days, to 284.

Sonia Gandhi congratulates Joe Biden, Kamala Harris

NEW DELHI, Nov 8: Congress President Sonia Gandhi has extended warmest congratulations on her behalf and on behalf of the Indian National Congress to President-Elect Joe Biden on his election as the 46th President of the United States.

She also offered Senator Kamala Harris her heartfelt congratulations on her election as the next Vice President.

She further said that "under the wise and mature leadership of President-Elect Biden & Vice President-Elect, Ms. Kamala Harris; India looks forward to a close partnership that will be beneficial to peace and development in our region and around the world.”

‘We did it, Joe’: Kamala Harris congratulates Biden on presidential victory

Nov 7: Vice Presidential-elect Kamala Harris on Saturday congratulated President-elect Joe Biden after emerging victorious in the US election. In a cheerful clip shared on Twitter, Harris is seen speaking to Biden over a phone call to congratulate her senior in command for the Democrats victory.

‘We did it. We did it, Joe. You are going to be the next President of the United States,” Harris is heard saying speaking over the phone in the video over a phone conversation with Biden.

Political leaders from around the world were quick to congratulate Joe Biden after US networks declared him the winner of the bitter White House race over President Donald Trump.

As crowds poured onto the streets of Washington and other cities in exuberant celebration, former US president Barack Obama hailed Biden’s win as “decisive” and “historic”

Biden On Verge Of Victory

WASHINGTON, Nov 6: Democrat Joe Biden took the lead in key battleground state Pennsylvania on Friday, where a victory for the former vice president would push him past the threshold of electoral votes needed to win the White House, official data showed.

More ballots are yet to be counted, but shortly before 1400 GMT, Biden had moved ahead of incumbent President Donald Trump by more than 5,500 votes, according to official provisional results from the state government.

Biden currently has at least 253 electoral votes. The magic number is 270. If he wins Pennsylvania -- a state won by Trump in 2016 -- and its 20 electoral votes, he would pass that threshold.

US networks have said so far the race is still too close to call.

Biden is also currently in the lead in key states Arizona, Georgia and Nevada. Fox News and the Associated Press have already called Arizona in Biden's favor, but other US media have said the race is still too close to call.

Trump has amassed 214 electoral votes so far, with his path to victory narrowing. The Republican incumbent has made unsubstantiated claims of massive voter fraud.

Early votes fuel Joe Biden’s surge in leads over Donald Trump amid tense battle

WASHINGTON, Nov 5: Jim Sandoe, a Vietnam war veteran and Pennsylvania Democrat, cast his vote for Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, weeks ago. On Election Day, he checked into a hospital for a surgery.

Daniele Delehanty, a retired flight attendant and a Pennsylvania Republican voted for President Donald Trump on November 3 because voting on Election Day just “seemed right”.

Delehanty’s Election Day vote with millions of others gave Trump a massive early lead when the state began counting, picking up the polling-day ballots first. Trump’s lead over Biden in Pennsylvania stood at 11 percentage points Wednesday noon with about half of the state’s 2.5 million mail-in/absentee ballots counted. It had fallen to 2.5 points around 10 am Thursday as the state, with the Democrat splitting them 80-20 with the president.

Early votes have fueled Biden’s surge in states that had looked in the bag for Trump in the first hours of counting. Georgia, a solidly Republican state that had not voted a Democrat in a presidential election since 1992, was a close fight Thursday morning as the state counted (its 1.3 million) absentee ballots that it had received from the 1.8 million requested. Biden had slashed Trump’s 2.5 percentage point lead at 2 am Wednesday (eastern time) to 0.2 percentage point.

A record number of 101 million Americans cast their ballots early — the total turnout of over 160 million is a record as well — in this election, with 35.9 million in person at early voting centers and 65.2 million by mail.

Arizona is the other battleground state that is still on the table, with counting under way. It has been a historically Republican state and Trump won here in 2016. But Biden took an early lead there as unlike Pennsylvania, Arizona began counting its 2.6 million absentee ballots before the close of polling — they could under state laws start two week before — and early numbers were huge for Biden, so much so that Associated Press and Fox News called it for the former vice-president around 2:50 am on Wednesday. Biden was leading Trump by 9 percentage points at the time, which was down to around 2.8 points Thursday as the president stacked up his polling-day vote numbers.

Fox retracted its projection for Arizona shortly, but AP hasn’t.

The Trump campaign has complained and is calling for the votes to be counted in full, unlike in other states where it has called for a halt in counting, such as Michigan and Pennsylvania.

The president’s campaign has also called for a recount in Wisconsin, which allows it if the margin is less than 1%; Trump is trailing Biden in the state by less. A recount appeal must be filed within three business days of the announcement of the certified result.

The Trump campaign’s multiple lawsuits and recount could drag out the outcome for more days even after the completion of counting, which is likely to last at least until Friday evening, at the expiry of a court-mandated deadline for Pennsylvania to count mail-in ballots postmarked November 3 or before.

Critics see see the lawsuits as just another manifestation of President Trump being “litigious”, going back to his days as a businessman and/or an attempt by his campaign to prevent states where he is down from announcing the result till the resolution of Pennsylvania, the prize state with 20 electoral votes that gave him the 2016 election and the presidency.

Biden’s Nevada Lead Grows in Latest Results

WASHINGTON, Nov 5: New election results from the Nevada Secretary of State showed Biden’s lead over trump has grown to 11,787 votes, or roughly 1 percentage point.

The fresh numbers included tens of thousands of mail-in and provisional ballots counted in Clark and Washoe Counties, home to Las Vegas and Reno respectively. They come after a day of whiplash with both county and state officials initially promising new numbers only to later advise that they would appear on Thursday.

Democratic stronghold Clark County has drawn particular attention; Hillary Clinton won the county by 10.7 percentage points in 2016, and won the state by 2.4 percentage points.

Trump’s campaign announced a lawsuit alleging voter fraud at the Clark County Election Department shortly before latest results were announced. The lawsuit will claim that thousands of people cast ballots in the election who no longer live in the state. It follows other Trump campaign lawsuits in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia.

The state has not released official data on how much of the vote has been counted so far. No matter what, the numbers will not be final until the state’s final canvass on Nov. 16. Mail-in ballots postmarked on Election Day are accepted by clerks until Nov. 10, while rejected ballots can be cured by voters until Nov. 12.

Joe Biden In Knife-Edge Fight With Donald Trump

WASHINGTON, Nov 4: Americans woke up on Wednesday not knowing who the next US president would be as votes were still being counted in six key states that could swing the bitterly contested election to Republican incumbent Donald Trump or Democrat Joe Biden.

Fueling fears of a constitutional crisis, Trump prematurely declared victory overnight and threatened to demand the intervention of the Supreme Court to stop vote-counting but it continued nonetheless.

"We did win this election," the 74-year-old president told cheering supporters in the East Room of the White House before the final vote tallies were complete. "This is a fraud on the American public."

The Biden campaign slammed Trump's victory claim as "outrageous, unprecedented, and incorrect" and a "naked effort to take away the democratic rights of American citizens."

"The counting will not stop. It will continue until every duly cast vote is counted," it said. "If the president makes good on his threat to go to court to try to prevent the proper tabulation of votes, we have legal teams standing by ready to deploy to resist that effort."

The outcome appeared to hinge on the results from six states where a winner has not yet been declared -- Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

As of 9:00 am (1400 GMT), Biden had a slim lead in Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin while Trump was ahead in Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

But state election officials cautioned that with tens of thousands of ballots outstanding in some states -- millions in others -- the races could shift.

The tight White House race and recriminations evoked memories of the 2000 election between Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore.

The Bush vs Gore race, which rested on a handful of votes in Florida, eventually ended up in the Supreme Court, which halted a recount while Bush was ahead.

A deluge of mail-in ballots because of the coronavirus pandemic has slowed down the vote count in some states this year, several of which only began counting mail-in ballots on Tuesday.

Michigan officials, for example, said they hoped to have all of the votes counted by the end of the day while in Pennsylvania officials said it could be several more days.

"If everything keeps up, we'll have the total results in the next couple of days," Al Schmidt, the City Commissioner of Philadelphia, the largest city in Pennsylvania, told CNN.

"But Pennsylvania allows votes to be received and counted up until Friday and three days after the election.

"So we can't count what we don't yet have."

The US Elections Project estimated total turnout at a record 160 million voters including more than 101.1 early voters, 65.2 million of whom voted by mail.

In an election that took cast under the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed more than 230,000 lives in the United States, Trump appeared to have avoided a Democratic wave predicted by some polls.

But it remained unclear Wednesday morning which candidate would capture the 270 votes needed for victory in the Electoral College that determines the winner of the presidential race.

Trump took the podium at the White House after 2:00 am and declared that he would go to the Supreme Court because "we want all voting to stop."

Voting had already ended by the time Trump began speaking and he appeared to be calling for the nation's highest court to stop vote counting.

Trump has railed for months against mail-in ballots, charging without evidence they could be fraudulent.

Biden had earlier warned that vote counting would take a while as he greeted his own backers at a socially distanced rally in his home state of Delaware.

"We believe we're on track to win this election," the 77-year-old former vice president and senator from Delaware said. "Keep the faith, guys, we're going to win this."

Trump for the past four years has often been quick to say he is being treated unfairly but even a few of his fellow Republicans voiced unease at his dramatic intervention.

"Stop. Full stop. The votes will be counted and you will either win or lose. And America will accept that. Patience is a virtue," tweeted Adam Kinzinger, a Republican congressman who won reelection.

"I disagree with what he did tonight," said former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who helped Trump prepare for his first debate against Biden.

"There's just no basis to make that argument tonight," Christie told ABC News. "There just isn't."

'Constitutional crisis'?

Foreign countries also sounded the alarm, with German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer warning Trump could create a "constitutional crisis."

Biden is the first Democrat in 24 years to win Arizona, seizing on the southwestern state's changing demographics and the popularity of astronaut Mark Kelly, who won a Senate seat held by a Republican.

But no other states immediately flipped and Trump won an early prize in Florida, where his hard line against Latin American leftists helped him make inroads among Cuban Americans.

Democratic hopes fizzled of turning around Texas, a Republican bastion indispensable for Trump, and Ohio.

Biden, as expected, comfortably won the biggest prize of all, California, as well as New York and easily kept Minnesota and New Hampshire, two states where Hillary Clinton in 2016 had only eked out victories over Trump.

Attention again turned to three states that elected Trump four years ago -- Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin -- with ballots still waiting to be counted from the Democratic stronghold cities of Detroit, Philadelphia and Milwaukee.

Biden said he was feeling "real good" about Michigan and Wisconsin and voiced confidence about Pennsylvania, where he was born.

Biden said he was also competitive in Georgia -- a state that until recently had not appeared to be in play -- as election workers in its largest city Atlanta halted counting for the night after a pipe burst.

Pundits had been warning for weeks that this year's election results would take time -- and voiced fears Trump would cause chaos or even violence by questioning the process.

While there were no immediate reports of unrest, stores have been boarded up throughout the capital Washington.

Indian-Origin Congressman Wins US House Race For 3rd Term

WASHINGTON, Nov 4: Indian-origin Democratic congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi has been reelected to the US House of Representatives for the third consecutive term.

Krishnamoorthi, 47, who was born in New Delhi, easily defeated Preston Nelson of the Libertarian Party. When last reports came in, he had accounted for nearly 71 per cent of the total votes counted.

Krishnamoorthi, whose parents are from Tamil Nadu, was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2016.

Meanwhile, congressman Ami Bera is seeking his fifth consecutive win from California and Ro Khanna his third term in the House of Representatives from California.

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal is seeking her third consecutive term from Washington state.

Voting in both California and Washington states continues and results are expected to be declared in the early hours.

Dr Hiral Tipirneni is seeking her third consecutive attempt from the sixth Congressional District of Arizona. Sri Kulkarni from the Democratic Party was giving a tough fight to the Republican Party''s Troy Nehls from the 22nd Congressional District of Texas.

Republican Manga Anantatmula was trailing by nearly 15 percentage points against Democratic incumbent Gerry Connolly from the 11th Congressional District of Virginia.

Indian-American Pramila Jayapal Wins Congressional Seat For Third Term

WASHINTON, Nov 4: Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal has been re-elected for the US House of Representatives for the third consecutive term.

Chennai-born Ms Jayapal, 55, from the Democratic Party, defeated Republican Craig Keller by a massive 70 percentage points in the Seventh Congressional District of Washington State.

With nearly 80 per cent of the votes counted, Ms Jayapal who, over the last four years has emerged as one of the top progressive lawmakers in the US Congress, received 344,541 votes as against just 61,940 for Keller.

Ms Jayapal, who has been critical of India's policies on Jammu and Kashmir and the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), was the first Indian-American woman to be elected to the US House of Representatives in 2016.

On Tuesday, Ms Jayapal was the second Indian-American to have been declared elected to the House of Representatives. Raja Krishnamoorthi, also from the Democratic Party, romped home easily from Illinois.

Two other Indian-American Congressmen, Dr Ami Bera and Ro Khanna, were leading in their respective Congressional districts in California, as per early trends. The outgoing US House of Representatives has four Indian-American members.

Emergency Room physician Dr Hiral Tipirneni from the Democratic Party was leading against Republican incumbent David Schweikert from the sixth Congressional District of Arizona, when the last report came in. If elected, she would be the second-ever Indian-American woman to be elected to the House of Representatives.

Sri Preston Kulkarni from the Democratic Party was giving a tough fight to Republican's Troy Nehls from the 22nd Congressional District of Texas. He was trailing by five percentage points when reports last came in.

Republican Manga Anantatmula lost to Democratic incumbent Gerry Connolly in the 11th Congressional District of Virginia.

All Eyes on US President Election

By Deepak Arora

NEW YORK, Nov 3: All eyes of the world are focused on the US election that is seeing keen battle between Republican candidate and current incumbent Donald Trump and his challenger and Democrat leader Joe Biden.

Almost 100 million American voters had already cast votes - nearly doubling the total from 2016. Another 60 million are likely to vote in person on Tuesday for the next President. Some 239 million people are eligible to vote this year.

The November 3 presidential election has been billed as one of the most divisive in recent American history.

Americans were voting in large numbers on Tuesday. The much-awaited election day kicked off in the United States on Tuesday with the first ballots cast in Dixville Notch and Millsfield, towns in the northeastern state of New Hampshire. The midnight vote began today with voters choosing their preferred candidates for US president and New Hampshire governor, as well as federal and state legislative seats.

In the makeshift “Ballot Room” at Dixville Notch’s Balsams Resort, Les Otten, one of the only five local registered voters, cast the first ballot. The 2020 US elections, including presidential and congressional races, came amid a surging Covid-19 pandemic in the country.

US elections, however, are not determined by the national popular vote, but rather in the 538-member Electoral College, with each candidate needing a majority of 270 to win the presidency.

Joe Biden is currently leading Donald Trump in the national polls as the US approaches its 2020 presidential election. If elected, he would be the oldest president in US history at his inauguration, at age 78. Trump, who is currently 74, would also be the oldest president ever if he wins a second term. But leading in polls does not guarantee victory. Hillary Clinton also had a clear lead over Trump in the polls for almost the entire 2016 campaign. She ended up losing in the electoral college.

In all but two of the country’s 50 states, either Trump or Biden will win all the electors from each state by winning the popular vote there, with the most populous states holding the most electors.

Former United States President Bill Clinton along with wife and former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton cast their ballots for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Bill through a tweet said that Biden and Harris will work tirelessly to heal our divisions and build a better future for all of us.

President Donald Trump says he believes his large rally crowds during his fast-paced weeks of campaigning are the “ultimate poll” and translate into a lot of votes for his reelection.

Trump told Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday he will spend Election Day making phone calls to people who have been loyal to him and will go to his campaign headquarters in suburban Virginia to thank the staff.

Trump said he would declare himself the winner of the election “Only when there’s victory.” There has been concern that Trump will declare victory early -- before vote counts are definitive.

Joe Biden has started Election Day with a visit to church — and the grave of his late son, Beau.

Biden and his wife, Jill, made an early morning stop at St. Joseph’s on the Brandywine in Wilmington, Delaware, the church he typically visits on Sunday when home. Biden had granddaughters Finnegan and Natalie in tow Tuesday.




US early voting breaks records amid Facebook’s warnings of post-poll unrest
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