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US Elections 2020 HIGHLIGHTS: Intelligence agencies say Iran, Russia have tried to meddle in polls

The announcement, two weeks before the Nov. 3 election showed the level of alarm among top US officials that foreign actors were seeking to undermine Americans' confidence in the integrity of the vote.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: October 22, 2020 10:42:53 pm
Donald trump, Joe Biden, trump calls biden worst candidate, US presidential elections 2020, US polls, world newsPresident Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden during the first presidential debate at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo: AP)

US Presidential Elections 2020 HIGHLIGHTS: Senior US intelligence officials have accused both Russia and Iran of trying to interfere with the 2020 presidential election, drawing swift denials from Moscow and Tehran, news agency Reuters reported.

The announcement, two weeks before the Nov. 3 election showed the level of alarm among top US officials that foreign actors were seeking to undermine Americans’ confidence in the integrity of the vote and spread misinformation in an attempt to sway its outcome.

Meanwhile, in his first campaign appearance for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, former president Barack Obama criticised President Donald Trump for his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, and targeted him for his business dealings in China. Obama urged Americans to vote for Biden and Kamala Harris, saying they would “bring character and leadership back to government”. Obama is scheduled to hold several rallies for the Democratic candidates in the run up to the November 3 election.

Trump and Biden will faceoff in their second and final debate at 6.30 am Friday (IST) in Tennessee. During the 90-minute meeting, each candidates will be muted while the other delivers responses to each of the six debate topics.

At least 35 million people have already cast their ballots, according to University of Florida’s US Election Project, more than a fourth of the total 2016 vote.

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Barack Obama slams Trump over handling of Covid-19 pandemic; Kamala Harris highlights health, economic crises in America; Trump-Biden debate scheduled on Friday; at least 35 million people have already cast their votes for the November 3 presidential election.

20:44 (IST)22 Oct 2020
US intelligence agencies say Iran, Russia have tried to meddle in 2020 election

Senior US intelligence officials have accused both Russia and Iran of trying to interfere with the 2020 presidential election, drawing swift denials from Moscow and Tehran, news agency Reuters reported.

The announcement two weeks before the Nov. 3 election showed the level of alarm among top U.S. officials that foreign actors were seeking to undermine Americans' confidence in the integrity of the vote and spread misinformation in an attempt to sway its outcome.

Donald trump, Joe Biden, trump calls biden worst candidate, US presidential elections 2020, US polls, world news

17:25 (IST)22 Oct 2020
US presidential election: The top 5 issues

On November 3, Americans are set to elect a new president. Whether they'll vote for Donald Trump or Joe Biden depends on how they see the response to the coronavirus pandemic, abortion and other key issues. Read more here.

16:51 (IST)22 Oct 2020
Senate GOP to push Amy Barrett forward over Democratic boycott of vote

Despite a Democratic boycott, Republicans are powering ahead to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court by Election Day with the Senate Judiciary Committee set to recommend President Donald Trump's nominee to the full Senate.

Never before has the Senate confirmed a Supreme Court pick so close to a presidential election. Thursday's Judiciary Committee vote is expected to launch a rare weekend Senate session to push Barrett's nomination forward, as millions of Americans are casting early ballots. (AP)

16:45 (IST)22 Oct 2020
US polls: Supreme Court puts curbside voting on hold in Alabama

The Supreme Court on Wednesday put on hold a lower court order that would have permitted curbside voting in Alabama in November.

The justices' vote was 5-3, with the court's three liberals dissenting. As is typical when the Supreme Court acts on an emergency basis, the justices in the majority did not explain their decision. It was not clear how many counties might have offered curbside voting, allowing people to vote from their car by handing their ballot to a poll worker, the Associated Press reported.

The decision stemmed from a lawsuit the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program filed on behalf of voters with health issues who were concerned about the risk of COVID-19 at the polls. 

US Supreme Court to decide legality of census citizenship query | World  News,The Indian Express

16:40 (IST)22 Oct 2020
Road to 270: Trump’s best path to victory hinges on Florida, Pennsylvania

President Donald Trump still has a path to the 270 Electoral College votes he needs to win reelection. But it requires everything to break in his direction a second time.

Persuadable voters in battleground states will need to overwhelmingly swing in his favour. He’ll have to win back crucial voting blocs. And his turnout operation will need to dramatically outperform Democrat Joe Biden’s in an extraordinarily turbulent year.

“In 2016, his chances of winning the election were those of drawing an inside straight in poker. … The question this year is whether he can draw an inside straight two hands in a row,” said Whit Ayres a veteran Republican pollster. “It is theoretically possible but practically difficult.” Click here to read more.

Donald Trump, trump campaigns, Trump Florida, Pennsylvania, US elections, US voters, world news

16:35 (IST)22 Oct 2020
US officials link Iran to emails meant to intimidate voters

US officials have accused Iran of being behind a flurry of emails sent to Democratic voters in multiple battleground states that appeared to be aimed at intimidating them into voting for President Donald Trump, the Associated Press reported.

The officials did not lay out specific evidence for how they came to pinpoint Iran, but the activities attributed to Tehran would mark a significant escalation for a country some cybersecurity experts regard as a second-rate player in online espionage. The Wednesday announcement was made at a hastily called news conference 13 days before the election.

14:55 (IST)22 Oct 2020
US Election Wrap, Oct 22: Here's what has happened so far

*Donald Trump and Joe Biden will meet for one final presidential debate on Thursday before the November 3 elections. Recent polls have shown Trump trailing behind Biden, especially in key states, though by a narrow margin.

*Former US President Barack Obama was out on the campaign trail in Pennsylvania endorsing Joe Biden, around the same time as Trump who was also out campaigning elsewhere. Click here to know more.



12:49 (IST)22 Oct 2020
Trump recalls: Last time 'Barack Hussein Obama' campaigned for Hillary, I won

President Donald Trump has responded to Barack Obama's maiden campaign address, saying, "It's good. There was nobody that campaigned harder for crooked Hillary Clinton than Obama, right?"

Speaking in North Carolina, he added, "He was all over the place. He (Obama) said he (Trump) will not be our president. But before that, he said he (Trump) will not run. He didn't know me. Then I ran. Then he said he will not get the nomination. Then I got the nomination.

"Then he said he (Trump) will not be our president. Then I won. I think the only one more unhappy than crooked Hillary that night was Barack Hussein Obama. The only one. Barack Hussein Obama," Trump added.

12:09 (IST)22 Oct 2020
Russia, Iran have tried interfering in polls, says Director of National Intelligence

The Director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe, has said Russia and Iran have both tried to interfere with the 2020 presidential election. "We have confirmed that some voter registration information has been obtained by Iran, and separately, by Russia," Ratcliffe was quoted as saying Reuters, adding that government officials "have already seen Iran sending spoofed emails designed to intimidate voters, incite social unrest and damage President Trump."

10:44 (IST)22 Oct 2020
Kamala Harris: 'US deserves a president who respects dignity of the people'

At a virtual fund raiser, Kamala Harris says the country deserves to “have a president and leadership that understands the dignity of who we are and respects the dignity of who we are as a people, and guides our country, in a way that we can regain our standing and get closer to those ideals we hold.” Harris, who turned 56 this week, reiterated the health and economic crises in America. Read more here

08:49 (IST)22 Oct 2020
In maiden campaign appearance, Barack Obama slams Trump for Covid-19 pandemic

Barack Obama has launched a tirade against Presidnet Donald Trump and appealed to American citizens to vote him out and elect Joe Biden. Targeting Trump for his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, Obama said: "They have a plan for the economy and the coronavirus pandemic... Biden-Harris team will bring character and leadership back to government." He added, "Donald Trump isn’t going to protect us. He can barely take the basic steps to protect himself. If he’d actually been working the whole time, it never would have gotten this bad." This was Obama's maiden campaign appearance ahead of the November 3 election. Read more here

22:10 (IST)21 Oct 2020
Many thorny global situations hinge on US election outcome

Four years after Donald Trump's election reframed how many nations interacted with the United States, the way that the world's foremost superpower moves forward after its presidential election stands to impact many geopolitical pressure points - whether the victor turns out to be Trump or his Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden.

From Iran to Cuba, from China to Israel, American involvement and influence on the international stage has evolved sharply since Trump took office in 2017. He swept away agreements with some nations, alienated longstanding allies and pulled out of multilateral obligations that he said didn't serve the interests of the United States.

Though the international community has sometimes criticized Trump's ''America First'' tenure, underscored by the president's approach to the coronavirus pandemic, there were already places, issues and conflicts where the United States' involvement wasn't always appreciated - under his predecessor, Barack Obama and other recent American leaders.

Before the pandemic struck, in the beginning of 2020, the most serious global concern was whether Washington and Tehran were on the cusp of a ruinous war that would inflame the Middle East.

While that has ebbed, many around the world are watching closely to see what happens next - and who will be living in the White House three months from today. (AP)

22:07 (IST)21 Oct 2020
Trump tends to his electoral map, Biden eyes Obama boost

President Donald Trump is hopping from one must-win stop on the electoral map to the next in the leadup to a final presidential debate that may be his last, best chance to alter the trajectory of the 2020 campaign.

As Democrat Joe Biden holes up for debate prep in advance of Thursday's faceoff in Nashville, Tennessee, he's hoping for a boost from former President Barack Obama, who will be holding his first in-person campaign event for Biden on Wednesday in Philadelphia.

Obama, who has become increasingly critical of Trump over the three and a half years since he left office, will address a drive-in rally, where supporters will listen to him over the radio inside their cars.

It comes a day after Trump, trailing in polls in many battleground states, stopped in Pennsylvania on Tuesday. Trump was bound for North Carolina on Wednesday as he delivers what his campaign sees as his closing message.

"This is an election between a Trump super recovery and a Biden depression," the president said in Erie, Pennsylvania. "You will have a depression the likes of which you have never seen."

He added: "If you want depression, doom and despair, vote for Sleepy Joe. And boredom." (AP)

20:08 (IST)21 Oct 2020
AP-NORC/USAFacts poll: Many in US distrust campaign info

In a presidential election year that has thrown the country's divisions into stark relief, Americans can agree on this: Misinformation about government and politics is a major problem.

A new survey by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Opinion Research and USAFacts finds that while voters say it's pretty easy to find accurate information about voting, they have a harder time knowing whether there's any factual basis for the information they're getting from and about the candidates.

"The misinformation, it's just blossomed to the point where it's unmanageable," said nurse Liana Price, 34, of Tampa Bay, Florida, who supports Democrat Joe Biden in the contest against President Donald Trump and worries misinformation about the election could sway voters. "You try to explain and provide facts and actual research, but people don't believe it."

Among the poll's findings: More than 8 in 10 rated the spread of misinformation about government a "major problem." The deluge in political misinformation and conspiracy theories has fueled distrust in institutions and threatens to undermine confidence in elections, democracy and the nation itself, according to Cindy Otis, a former CIA officer, author and disinformation expert. (AP)

20:07 (IST)21 Oct 2020
'So much work to do': How Biden is planning for transition

If Joe Biden defeats President Donald Trump next month, he'll quickly face a new challenge: standing up a new administration to lead a divided nation through a series of historic crises.

After making Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic a centerpiece of his campaign, Biden will have to show that his team can better handle the public health calamity. He will also have to contend with what Democrats say is the damage the Trump administration has done to the bureaucratic machinery in Washington, as well as low morale throughout the civil service. And he'll face pressure from liberals to deliver early wins with personnel and Cabinet picks to ensure their buy-in for his big policy fights to come.

With the election less than two weeks away, Biden and his aides are most focused on maintaining his advantage in polls against Trump.

But some Democrats are beginning to prepare for the challenges that may swiftly unfold once the campaign is over. �This will be one of the most important, most difficult and yes most costly transitions in modern American history," Chris Korge, the Democratic National Committee's finance chair, warned donors in a recent letter obtained by The Associated Press.

14:37 (IST)21 Oct 2020
CDC says US has seen 300,000 more deaths than usual

A new government report shows that since the coronavirus pandemic began, the US has seen 300,000 more deaths than it usually would.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has been tracking how many deaths have been reported and comparing them with counts seen in other years. Usually, between the beginning of February and the end of September, about 1.9 million deaths are reported.

This year, it’s closer to 2.2 million — a 14.5 per cent increase.

14:37 (IST)21 Oct 2020
CDC says US has seen 300,000 more deaths than usual

A new government report shows that since the coronavirus pandemic began, the US has seen 300,000 more deaths than it usually would.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has been tracking how many deaths have been reported and comparing them with counts seen in other years. Usually, between the beginning of February and the end of September, about 1.9 million deaths are reported.

This year, it’s closer to 2.2 million — a 14.5 per cent increase.

13:40 (IST)21 Oct 2020
How Donald Trump plowed through $1 billion, losing cash advantage

President Donald Trump’s sprawling political operation has raised well over $1 billion since he took the White House in 2017, and set a lot of it on fire.

Trump bought a $10 million Super Bowl ad when he didn’t yet have a challenger. He tapped his political organization to cover exorbitant legal fees related to his impeachment. Aides made flashy displays of their newfound wealth, including a fleet of luxury vehicles purchased by Brad Parscale, his former campaign manager.

Meanwhile, a web of limited liability companies hid more than $356 million in spending from disclosure, records show.

12:47 (IST)21 Oct 2020
Trump says he could be 'king' of all fundraisers, slams Biden for being 'servant' of lobbyists

Responding to his Democratic rival's unprecedented fundraising in September, US President Donald Trump has claimed Joe Biden is a "servant" of lobbyists and "Washington vultures" who got rich by bleeding America dry, and asserted that he could be the "king" of all fundraisers, but does not want to do it.

At an election rally in Erie on Tuesday, Trump alleged, "He (Biden) is a servant of the globalist, lobbyist, wealthy donors and Washington vultures who got rich bleeding America dry. You know I said the other day... I never thought of it because they're raising a lot of money, (USD) 300 million. I could be the king of all fundraisers. I would be the greatest that ever lived the president of the United States."

Biden holds a massive cash advantage over Trump in the last leg of the campaign, with over USD 177 million in the bank, compared with USD 63.1 million for the president. (PTI)

12:14 (IST)21 Oct 2020
Battleground states in focus; Trump’s tax records reveal his Chinese bank account

With less than two weeks to go before the election day, the Associated Press reports that US President Donald Trump has been traveling from one location to another, targeting important states that will help him win the upcoming elections. Trump has been behind Joe Biden in several battleground states. In contrast to Trump’s targeting of voters in campaign rallies, Biden has instead been preparing for the next debate on Thursday.

One of those states include Pennsylvania. “If we win Pennsylvania, we win the whole thing,” AP reported Trump saying. After days of debates on the format of the debates following Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis and more White House staffers testing positive, the Commission on Presidential Debates has established new procedures to reduce the interruptions that had occurred between Biden and Trump in the first debate. This time, while one candidate speaks, the other’s microphone will be muted.

Donald trump, Joe Biden, US elections 2020, US presidential elections, Trump-Biden news, world news Joe Biden’s campaign entered October with a war chest that was almost three times larger than President Donald Trump’s, solidifying the Democratic nominee’s advantage in the final weeks of the campaign. (File photo)

Joe Biden’s campaign entered October with a war chest that was almost three times larger than President Donald Trump’s, solidifying the Democratic nominee’s advantage in the final weeks of the campaign.

The campaigns’ latest filings with the Federal Election Commission show that Biden had $177.3 million in the bank at the end of last month. By contrast, Trump burned through almost half his cash in September, ending the month with $63.1 million, even though he cut expenses by pulling back on planned advertising buys starting in late August.

After enjoying a financial edge for much of the race, Trump is being forced to play catch-up in fundraising at the same time he remains consistently behind Biden in national surveys. The president is now down 8.6 percentage points down in the RealClearPolitics polling average and behind, but by narrower margins, in key battleground states just two weeks before Election Day, Nov. 3.

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