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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

US Presidential Elections 2020 Highlights: Twitter to label or remove misleading claims on vote results

US Presidential Election 2020 Highlights: Last week, Facebook had said that it will restrict new political ads in the week before the election and remove posts that convey misinformation about COVID-19 and voting.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 11, 2020 6:26:45 pm
Kamala Harris, Donald Trump, US elections 2020, Harris on Trump, world news, Indian express"We will not give up, and we will not give in," the Democratic vice presidential nominee said. (Reuters/File)

US Presidential Elections 2020 Highlights: Twitter on Thursday said that starting next week, it will label or remove misleading claims that try to undermine public confidence in elections. The policy will apply to tweets that attempt to undermine people’s faith in the electoral process itself, such as false claims about election rigging or ballot tampering, or about the outcome of the vote, Twitter said. The policy goes into effect September 17, a few weeks before the November 3 US presidential election.

Last week, Facebook had said that it will restrict new political ads in the week before the election and remove posts that convey misinformation about COVID-19 and voting. It will also attach links to official results to posts by candidates and campaigns that prematurely declare victory.

Meanwhile, soon after Joe Biden tapped Kamala Harris as his running mate, some conservatives began trying to portray her as anti-Catholic – a line of attack that President Donald Trump’s campaign continues to amplify as Democrats court Roman Catholic voters. The charge stems in part from questions Harris posed in 2018 to a federal judicial nominee about his membership in the Knights of Columbus, a lay Catholic fraternal organisation. Harris asked the nominee if he agreed with the anti-abortion views of the group’s leader, views that broadly align with the church’s stance. It inflamed Republicans at the time, with one senator authoring a resolution to affirm the constitutional ban on religious tests for federal officials and state that membership in the Catholic group is not “disqualifying.”

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US presidential elections 2020: Amidst Covid-19 scare, Americans will elect its next president on November 3.

16:14 (IST)11 Sep 2020
Russian hackers targeting U.S. campaigns, says Microsoft

The same Russian military intelligence outfit that hacked the Democrats in 2016 has renewed vigorous US election-related targeting, trying to breach computers at more than 200 organisations including political campaigns and their consultants, Microsoft said Thursday. The intrusion attempts reflect a stepped up effort to infiltrate the U.S. political establishment, the company said. 'What we've seen is consistent with previous attack patterns that not only target candidates and campaign staffers but also those who they consult on key issues,' Tom Burt, a Microsoft vice president, said in a blog post. (AP)

14:45 (IST)11 Sep 2020
Biden supporters release remix of Bollywood song to woo Indian-Americans

Democratic Party members have released a musical video remix of popular "Chale Chalo" song from the superhit Bollywood movie, 'Lagaan', to woo Indian-American voters ahead of the US presidential election. In the November 3 election, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his Indian-American running mate Kamala Harris will challenge incumbent Republican President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

"Chale Chalo, Chale Chalo, Biden ko Vote do, Biden ki Jeet Ho, Unki Haar Haan," says the lyrics of the song sung by Silicon Valley-based Bollywood Singer Titli Banerjee and released by entrepreneur couple Ajay and Vinita Bhutoria. "It is a warfighting song, drawing from the energy of Indian celebrations, inspiring our community to awaken and vote for Biden-Harris in November," Bhutoria said after the video was released on various social media platforms on Thursday. (PTI)

14:04 (IST)11 Sep 2020
Climate change largely missing from campaign as fires rage

Historic fires are raging across the western United States ahead of what scientists say is the typical peak of wildfire season. Hurricane Laura devastated parts of the Gulf Coast last month, while swaths of Iowa are recovering from a derecho that brought hurricane force winds to the Midwest. The streak of disasters has left millions of Americans reeling. But it's barely had an impact on the campaign for the White House, in part because of the vulnerabilities it highlights for President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden.

The president is already facing multiple challenges, including the pandemic, joblessness and social unrest, and can ill afford another one. When he talks about California, where fires have killed at least a dozen people and threatened thousands of homes, it's mostly to blast the state's Democratic leaders. And for Biden, the spreading fires are a reminder to the party's progressive base that he doesn't embrace some of the most liberal elements of the Green New Deal, the grand plan for tackling climate change. 

10:44 (IST)11 Sep 2020
Twitter to label or remove misleading claims on vote results

Twitter said Thursday that starting next week it will label or remove misleading claims that try to undermine public confidence in elections. The policy will apply to tweets that attempt to undermine people's faith in the electoral process itself, such as false claims about election rigging or ballot tampering, or about the outcome of the vote, Twitter said. The policy goes into effect September 17, a few weeks before the November 3 US presidential election.

Facebook said last week it will restrict new political ads in the week before the election and remove posts that convey misinformation about COVID-19 and voting. It will also attach links to official results to posts by candidates and campaigns that prematurely declare victory.

10:38 (IST)11 Sep 2020
Microsoft: State-backed hackers boost election-related ops

The same Russian military intelligence outfit that hacked the Democrats in 2016 has attempted similar intrusions into the computer systems of more than 200 organisations including political parties and consultants, Microsoft said Thursday. Those efforts appear to be part of a broader increase in targeting of US political campaigns and related groups, the company said.

"What we've seen is consistent with previous attack patterns that not only target candidates and campaign staffers but also those who they consult on key issues," Tom Burt, a Microsoft vice president, said in a blog post. Most of the infiltration attempts by Russian, Chinese and Iranian agents were halted by Microsoft security software and the targets notified, he said.

10:33 (IST)11 Sep 2020
Trump revels in packed Michigan crowd amid book fallout

Reeling from another crisis of his own making, President Donald Trump tried to refocus attention on his Democratic rival at a rally in battleground Michigan Thursday as he pushed to move past revelations that he purposefully played down the danger of the coronavirus last winter. But the virus controversy followed him as he faced new pushback from local officials worried about the growing size of his rallies and his campaign's repeated flouting of public health guidelines intended to halt the COVID-19 spread. That includes Michigan's Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who raised alarms about Thursday's event, warning it would make recovery harder.

Trump, however, reveled in the crowd of several thousand, packed shoulder-to-shoulder in a cavernous airport hangar, mostly without masks with Air Force One on display as his backdrop. "This is not the crowd of a person who comes in second place," Trump declared to cheers as he railed against Whitmer for current state restrictions. "Tell your governor to open up your state!" he demanded, saying Michigan would be better if it "had a governor who knew what the hell she was doing." (AP)

08:38 (IST)11 Sep 2020
Charges, sanctions revive spectre of Russian interference in US election

he Trump administration on Thursday charged a Russian national in a sweeping plot to sow distrust in the American political process and imposed sanctions against a Russia-linked Ukrainian lawmaker accused of interfering in the US presidential election. Those actions, combined with a Microsoft announcement on hacking attempts targeting US political campaigns, parties and consultants, underscore the extent to which the same cyber intrusions and foreign influence operations that defined the 2016 White House race remain a persistent concern today.

They also reflect a dichotomy in the administration, with officials taking aim at Russian interference in the political process even as President Donald Trump expresses doubt about Russian meddling.

In the case of the sanctions, officials denounced audio recordings that had been released by the Ukrainian parliamentarian and promoted by Trump on Twitter. The criminal charges accuse Artem Mikhaylovich Lifshits of serving as a translation manager in a Russian effort that since at least 2014 has tried to disrupt the political system in the United States and other countries and spread distrust about candidates.

08:37 (IST)11 Sep 2020
In a year of restrictions, virus changes commemoration of 9/11 too

In a year when the coronavirus pandemic has reshaped countless American rituals, even the commemoration of 9/11 could not escape unchanged. The 19th anniversary of the terror attacks will be marked by dueling ceremonies at the Sept. 11 memorial plaza and a corner near the World Trade Center, reflecting a divide over the memorial's decision to suspend a cherished tradition of relatives reading victims' names in person. Vice President Mike Pence is expected at both those remembrances in New York, and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden at the observance on the memorial plaza.

President Donald Trump and Biden both plan to go to the Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania at different times. Trump is speaking at a morning ceremony, with Biden paying respects in the afternoon.

In New York, the double beams of light that evoke the fallen twin towers were nearly canceled in the name of virus safety, until an uproar restored the tribute. The Fire Department has cited the virus in urging members to skip observances of the 2001 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people, among them almost 350 firefighters.

02:03 (IST)11 Sep 2020
US sanctions Ukraine lawmaker who disclosed Biden recordings

The Trump administration on Thursday imposed sanctions on a Russian-linked Ukrainian lawmaker for interfering in the US presidential election by releasing edited audio recordings designed to denigrate Democrat Joe Biden.

Those recordings have been promoted by President Donald Trump. The action by the Treasury Department is the second time in as many months that the administration has called out Andrii Derkach by name. US intelligence officials said in a statement last month that Derkach's disclosure of the recordings, which capture conversations between Biden and Ukraine's then-president, were part of a broader Russian effort to disparage Biden before the November 3 election.

02:03 (IST)11 Sep 2020
Microsoft: State-backed hackers boost election-related ops

The same Russian military intelligence outfit that hacked the Democrats in 2016 has attempted similar intrusions into the computer systems of more than 200 organisations including political parties and consultants, Microsoft said Thursday.

Those efforts appear to be part of a broader increase in targeting of US political campaigns and related groups, the company said. "What we've seen is consistent with previous attack patterns that not only target candidates and campaign staffers but also those who they consult on key issues," Tom Burt, a Microsoft vice president, said in a blog post.

Most of the infiltration attempts by Russian, Chinese and Iranian agents were halted by Microsoft security software and the targets notified, he said. The company would not comment on who may have been successfully hacked or the impact. Microsoft did not assess which foreign adversary poses the greater threat to the integrity of the November presidential election. (AP)

16:38 (IST)10 Sep 2020
"Donald Trump knew that Covid-19 was dangerous, and he purposely downplayed it": Joe Biden

Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Joe Biden slams Trump for his adminisiration's mishandling of the Covid-19 response

16:28 (IST)10 Sep 2020
"As we mourn the 190,000 Americans who have died, we must also act, vote him out": Kamala Harris on Trump
16:16 (IST)10 Sep 2020
President Trump's Nobel Peace Prize nomination hard-earned and well-deserved: WH

The nomination of Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize for brokering the landmark Israel-UAE deal is a "hard-earned and well-deserved honour," the White House has said, underlining that the US President has made peace a cornerstone of his foreign policy efforts.

Far-right Norwegian lawmaker Christian Tybring-Gjedde on Wednesday nominated Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in mediating the deal between Israel and the UAE which is seen as a historic step towards peace in the Middle East.

Israel and the UAE announced on August 13 that they were establishing full diplomatic relations. The first commercial direct flight between Israel and the UAE landed in Abu Dhabi on August 31 after both countries announced normalisation of relations.

The deal would be signed on September 15 at the White House. The UAE is only the third Arab country to establish diplomatic ties with the Jewish state. Israel's neighbours, Egypt and Jordan, being the other two Arab states to recognise Israel.

14:09 (IST)10 Sep 2020
Justice Dept. push into Trump case could prompt dismissal

Attorney General William Barr on Wednesday defended the Justice Department's move to intervene in a defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump, even as experts were skeptical of the federal government's effort to protect the president in a seemingly private dispute. The Justice Department's action is "a normal application of the law. The law is clear. It is done frequently," Barr said at an unrelated news conference in Chicago.

He added, "The little tempest that is going on is largely because of the bizarre political environment in which we live.? But experts said it's far from clear that the conduct at issue -- whether Trump defamed E. Jean Carroll, a writer who accused him of raping her at a New York luxury department store in the 1990s -- has anything to do with the scope of his White House duties. The department's move is likely to have an ancillary benefit for Trump in delaying the case, but administration lawyers have a tough task at hand trying to argue that the president was acting in his official capacity when he denied Carroll's allegations last year, experts say.

11:58 (IST)10 Sep 2020
Trump releases list of 20 new possible Supreme Court picks

Hoping to replicate a strategy long seen as key to his appeal among conservative voters, President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced he is adding 20 names to a list of Supreme Court candidates he's pledged to choose from if he has future vacancies to fill. The list includes a trio of conservative Republican senators: Ted Cruz of Texas, Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Josh Hawley of Missouri -- all buzzed-about potential 2024 Republican presidential candidates -- as well as Christopher Landau, the current ambassador to Mexico, and Noel Francisco, who argued 17 cases as the Trump administration's top Supreme Court lawyer. ?Every one of these individuals will ensure equal justice, equal treatment and equal rights for citizens of every race, color, religion and creed," Trump said as he made his announcement at the White House.

10:28 (IST)10 Sep 2020
Russian state hackers suspected in targeting Biden campaign firm: Report

Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) recently alerted one of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s main election campaign advisory firms that it had been targeted by suspected Russian state-backed hackers, according to three people briefed on the matter. Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) recently alerted one of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s main election campaign advisory firms that it had been targeted by suspected Russian state-backed hackers, according to three people briefed on the matter.(Reuters)

08:10 (IST)10 Sep 2020
Trump pick for Latam bank poised for win after regional opposition fades

U.S. President Donald Trump's pick to run Latin America's main financing institution appears poised to win the top job in this weekend's election amid faltering regional opposition to having a U.S. citizen run the bank for first time in 61 years.Mauricio Claver-Carone, Trump's senior Latin America adviser known for his hardline stance on Venezuela and Cuba, has majority support to head the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). But a group of countries, including Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Costa Rica, had appeared close to having the 25% vote needed to block the election.Some countries that had opposed Claver-Carone's candidacy now privately concede they do not have the backing they had sought.

07:53 (IST)10 Sep 2020
Donald Trump admits downplaying threat of coronavirus

President Donald Trump acknowledged to journalist Bob Woodward that he had knowingly played down the coronavirus earlier this year even though he was aware it was “deadly” and vastly more serious than the seasonal flu.

“This is deadly stuff,” Trump told Woodward on Feb. 7 in one of a series of interviews he conducted with the president for his upcoming book, “Rage.”

The Washington Post and CNN were given advance copies of the book and published details Wednesday.

01:14 (IST)10 Sep 2020
Georgia investigating 'potential double voting' in primary

Georgia's top elections official said Tuesday that his office has identified about 1,000 cases of "potential double voting" in the June primary election a felony he's determined to see prosecuted.

These voters submitted absentee ballots but also voted in person, a problem that happened across 100 Georgia counties, and election officials didn't catch them in time to keep the second votes from being tallied, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said. "No one gets to vote twice. Everyone gets one vote," Raffensperger said.

It wasn't immediately clear whether the outcome of any races may have been affected. The revelation follows a suggestion last week by President Donald Trump that people who vote early by mail should show up at their local polling places on Election Day and vote again if their ballots haven't been counted. (AP)

00:30 (IST)10 Sep 2020
Book: Trump said of virus, 'I wanted to always play it down'

President Donald Trump seemed to understand the severity of the coronavirus threat even as he was telling the nation that the virus was no worse than the seasonal flu and insisting that the US government had it totally under control, according to a new book by journalist Bob Woodward.

"You just breathe the air and that's how it's passed," Trump said in a February 7 call with Woodward. "And so that's a very tricky one. That's a very delicate one. It's also more deadly than even your strenuous flu." "This is deadly stuff," the president repeated for emphasis. Trump told Woodward on March 19 that he deliberately minimised the danger. "I wanted to always play it down," the president said. (AP)

Donald trump, Joe Biden, US elections 2020, US presidential elections, Trump-Biden news, world news Trump-Biden

US Presidential Elections 2020 Live Updates:

Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the United States is all set to vote in the upcoming presidential elections due in November. The elections are seen as a direct contest between sitting US President and Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, who was vice-president during the Barack Obama presidency.

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