Suspended animation: Count drags on as Biden nears victory

WASHINGTON (AP) - Four days after the election, the U.S.
presidential race hovered in suspended animation Saturday as the long, exacting work of counting votes brought Democrat Joe Biden ever closer to a victory over President Donald Trump.

The verdict delay can be attributed to high turnout, a massive number of mail-in ballots and slim margins between the two candidates.

But Biden held leads in Pennsylvania, Nevada and Georgia, putting him in an ever-stronger position to capture the 270 Electoral College votes needed to take the White House.

There was intense focus on Pennsylvania, where Biden led Trump by more than 27,000 votes, and Nevada, where the Democrat led by about 22,000.

The prolonged wait added to the anxiety of a nation facing historic challenges, including the surging pandemic and deep political polarization.

Biden addressed the nation Friday night near his home in Wilmington, Delaware, and acknowledged the sluggish pace of the count "can be numbing." But he added: "Never forget the tallies aren´t just numbers: they represent votes and voters."

He expressed confidence that victory ultimately would be his, saying, "The numbers tell us a clear and convincing story: We´re going to win this race."

___

Trump's wild claims test limits of Republican loyalty

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump's wild and unsupported claims of voter fraud have emerged as a high-stakes Republican loyalty test that illustrates the tug of war likely to define the future of the GOP whether he wins or loses the presidency.

There is a pervasive sense among current and former GOP officials that the president's behavior is irresponsible if not dangerous, but a divide has emerged between those influential Republicans willing to call him out publicly and those who aren't.

Driving their calculus is an open acknowledgement that Trump's better-than-expected showing on Election Day ensures that he will remain the Republican Party's most powerful voice for years to come even if he loses.

That stark reality did little to silence the likes of Maryland Gov.

Larry Hogan, 우리카지노계열 a second-term Republican who has not ruled out a 2024 White House bid. He described the president's claims as "dangerous" and "embarrassing."

"If there are legitimate challenges, we have a process, that´s the way it works," Hogan told The Associated P
br />"But to just make accusations of the election being stolen and widespread fraud without providing any evidence, I thought was really bad for our democratic process and it was something I had never seen in my lifetime."

___

Be prepared: Biden transition team at work amid limbo

WILMINGTON,

br />(AP) - Joe Biden's transition team isn't waiting for a verdict in the presidential race before getting to work.

As officials continue to count ballots in several undecided states, longtime Biden aide Ted Kaufman is leading efforts to ensure the former vice president can begin building out a government in anticipation of a victory.

"While we´re waiting for the final results, I want people to know we are not waiting to get the work done," Biden said in a speech late Friday night, appearing with his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, at the convention center not far from his home in Wilmington, Delaware.

Biden noted that he and Harris had met virtually Thursday with public health and economic experts as they begin working to combat the coronavirus pandemic, saying it is becoming "significantly more worrisome all across the country."

Kaufman is a former senator from Delaware who was appointed to fill the seat vacated when Biden was elected vice presi

br />He also worked on Barack Obama´s transition team in 2008, and helped write legislation formalizing the presidential transition process.

___

EXPLAINER: Slow U.S. election count mostly for good reasons

WASHINGTON (AP) - The slow pace of this year´s

br />election count is fueling a lot of criticism, but it's mostly a reflection of laudable things: greater voter enthusiasm and 우리카지노쿠폰 steps that states took to protect their residents from COVID-19.

THE ENTHUSIASM FACTOR

Even though the count is not yet complete, President Donald Trump has easily surpassed the number of votes he got four years ago: more than 70 million so far, versus about 63 million in his victorious 2016 run. Meanwhile, Democrat Joe Biden has gained some 73.9 million votes, versus the 65.9 that Hillary Clinton got.

All in all, some 15 million more voters participated in this year´s presidential election than in the one four

r />
Congratulations, Americans.

THE PANDEMIC FACTOR

___

EXPLAINER: States still in play and what makes them that way

WASHINGTON (AP) - A handful of states remained in play Friday in the tightly contested U.S. presidential race. The outcome of contests in Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Nevada will determine whether Democrat Joe Biden or President Donald Trump wins.

The solidly Republican state of Alaska has also not been called because it is only 50% counted and will not release absentee numbers

r />
10. It is not expected to impact the outcome.

The Associated Press reviews the states that will determine the presidency:

___

GEORGIA: 우리계열 Outstanding ballots left to be counted and a razor-thin margin

___

Nations long targeted by US chide Trump´s claims of fraud

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) - Demands to stop the

br />
Baseless accusations of fraud. Claims that the opposition is trying to "steal" the election.

Across the world, many were scratching their heads Friday - especially in countries that have long been advised by Washington on how to run elections -- wondering if those assertions could truly be coming from the president of the United States, the nation considered one of the world´s most emblematic democracies.

"Who´s the banana republic now?" Colombian daily newspaper Publimetro chided on the front page with a photo of a ma

br />
flag print mask.

The irony of seeing U.S. Donald Trump cut off by major media networks Thursday as he launched unsubstantiated claims lambasting the U.S. electoral system was not lost on many. The U.S. has long been a vocal critic of strongman tactics around
orld.
Now, some of those same targets are turning around the finger.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro laughed as the vote dragged on past Tuesday, briefly breaking into the hymn of his nation´s annual beauty contest on state TV, singing, "On a night like to night, any of them could win."

___

Trump, GOP test out rallying cry: Count the 'legal' votes

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump and some of his Republican supporters are testing out a rallying cry for his uphill fight to reverse the lead that Joe Biden holds in key battleground states: count all "legal" votes.

The language is freighted with a clear implication, namely that Democrats want illegal votes counted, a claim for which there is no evidence.

But it underscores Trump's strategic imperatives as Biden closes in on securing the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the presidency, tactics that are rooted more in political messaging than legal precedent.

"It´s not the use of the word `legal´ vote, it's the constant insinuation that there are so many illegal or fraudulent votes out there," said Rick Hasen, a professor of law and political science at the University of California Irvine and author of the Electio

br />
"There's no evidence produced by the campaign to support there has been a lot of fraud."

Even Trump's own administration has pushed back at the claims of widespread voter fraud and illegal voting - though it didn't mention Trump was the one making the a

br />
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, federal agency that oversees U.S. election security, also noted local election offices have detection measures that "make it highly difficult to commit fraud through counterfeit ballots."

___

Guatemala searches for bodies as strengthening Eta eyes Cuba

PURULHA, Guatemala (AP) - Searchers in Guatemala dug through mud and debris looking for an estimated 100 people believed buried by a massive, rain-fueled landslide, as the remnants of Hurricane Eta strengthened early Saturday as the storm churned toward Cuba.

Eta was forecast to become a tropical storm again on Saturday as it moved over the Caribbean Sea a

br />
National Hurricane Center issued tropical storm watches for the northwestern Bahamas, southern Florida and the Florida Keys. The center of Eta was expected to approach the Cayman Islands Saturday, be near Cuba Saturday night and Sunday, and approach the Florida Keys or south Florida late Sunday.

Back in Central America, which Eta reached as a Category 4 hurricane Tuesday before weakening into a tropical depression, authorities from Panama to Mexico were still surveying the damages from flooding and landslides following days of torren

br />
The confirmed death toll was in the dozens and expected to rise.

On Friday, search teams in Guatemalan pulled the first bodies from a landslide in San Cristobal Verapaz, but the work was slow and help was trickling in. Teams first had to overcome multiple landslides and deep mud just to reach the site where officials have estimated some 150 homes were devastated.

In neighboring Honduras, 68-year-old María Elena Mejía Guadron died when the brown waters of the Chamelecon river poured into San Pedro Sula´s Planeta neighborhood before dawn Thursday.

___

Trump chief of staff Meadows diagnosed with COVID-19

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows has been diagnosed with the coronavirus as the nation sets daily records for confirmed cases for the pandemic.

Two senior administration officials confirmed Friday that Meadows had tested positive for the virus, which has killed more than 236,000 Americans so far

br />
They offered no details on when the chief of staff came down with the virus or his current condition. His diagnosis was first reported by Bloomberg News.

One administration official said several other staffers had tested positive as well.

Meadows traveled with Trump in the run-up to Election Day and last appeared in public early Wednesday morning without a mask as Trump falsely declared victory in the

br />
He had been one of the close aides around Trump when the president came down with the virus more than a month ago, but was tested daily and maintained his regular work schedule.

It marked the latest case of the virus in the West Wing, coming not even two weeks after Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff, and other aides tests positive for

br />
Trump, first lady Melania Trump, and at least two dozen others tested positive for the virus in early October, after Trump held large gatherings of people not wearing face-masks, including the ceremony announcing the nomination of now-Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

___


ooks?
Hairdressers? Europeans split on lockdown essentials

HALLE, Belgium (AP) - In times when a pandemic unleashes death and poverty, the concept of what is essential to keep society functioning in a lockdown is gripping Europe.

Beyond the obvious - food stores and pharmacies - some answers in the patchwork of nations and cultures that make up Europe can approach t

br />
What is allowed on one side of a border can be banned just a brief stroll down the road, on the other.

German Chancellor 우리카지노총판 Angela Merkel said that while it might seem fairest to just shut everything down, "it's perhaps not the most practical" solution.

"If people are only satisfied when everything possible is shut down, then that´s a view which naturally doesn´t make economic sense," Merkel said.

That's why Germany is keeping car dealerships open this time, after their closure in the first, spring lockdown hurt the country's huge automobile ind

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