Jumat, 30 Oktober 2020

US election 2020 LIVE updates: Donald Trump, Joe Biden chase midwest votes in Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota - The Sydney Morning Herald

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Tech slide, pandemic surge slam Wall Street, biggest weekly loss since March

By Herbert Lash

NEW YORK: US stock indexes closed lower on Friday to cap Wall Street's biggest weekly sell-off since March, as losses in richly priced tech heavyweights, a record rise in coronavirus cases and jitters over the presidential election snuffed investor sentiment.

The pandemic pushed U.S. hospitals to the brink of capacity as coronavirus cases surpassed 9 million, while the prospect of wider COVID-19 restrictions in Europe raised concerns about the economic recovery.

Wall Street faced its toughest week since March.

Wall Street faced its toughest week since March.Credit:AP

The CBOE volatility index closed just below a 20-week high, a sign of investor jitters ahead of the final weekend before Election Day on Tuesday. The main indexes pared steeper losses toward the closing bell, with the Dow down less than 1 per cent.

"We're two market days away from Election Day and people want to make sure that they're not completely caught off guard," said Pete Santoro, a Boston-based equity portfolio manager at Columbia Threadneedle.

The S&P 500 has fallen about 8.9 per cent since hitting an all-time high in early September in a rally driven by the tech mega caps whose quarterly results this week failed to meet highly optimistic expectations.

Apple Inc tumbled 5.6 per cent after it posted the steepest drop in quarterly iPhone sales in two years due to the late launch of new 5G phones. Inc slid 5.45 per cent after it forecast a jump in costs related to COVID-19, while Facebook Inc fell 6.3 per cent as it warned of a tougher 2021.

"All these names are eventually going to be repriced, they're all ridiculously valued. It's just that I don't know when and I don't know from what stratospheric valuation they inevitably reprice," said David Bahnsen, chief investment officer at The Bahnsen Group in Newport Beach, California.

Communication services got a boost from a jump in shares of Alphabet after the Google parent beat estimates for quarterly sales as businesses resumed advertising.

Google may have benefited as it has been trading at about 36 times earnings, far less than the 119 times earnings valuation of Amazon, Bahnsens said.

"There is a big selloff in those big tech names because they didn't live up to the hype and people are really worried about next week's election," said Kim Forrest, chief investment officer at Bokeh Capital Partners in Pittsburgh.

Republican President Donald Trump has consistently trailed Democratic challenger Joe Biden in national polls for months, but polls have shown a closer race in the most competitive states that could decide the election.

Watch: Former vice-president Joe Biden speaks in Minnesota

Former vice-president Joe Biden is speaking at a campaign event in Minnesota on Saturday morning AEDT.


Trump's election night party plans nixed by COVID safety rules

President Donald Trump said Friday he’s not sure where he'll mark election night after District of Columbia officials signalled that a party planned for his luxury hotel in Washington could be in violation of rules limiting mass gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump told reporters that he may stay at the White House or pick another location to hold his campaign’s party as he expressed frustration with the city's coronavirus protocol.

US President Donald Trump with First Lady Melania Trump.

US President Donald Trump with First Lady Melania Trump.Credit:AP

“I think it’s crazy Washington DC is shut down,” Trump told reporters at the White House before departing for a day of campaigning in the Midwest.

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser's office earlier this week sent a notice to operators of the Trump International Hotel, located in the historic Old Post Office building, reminding them of the city’s coronavirus rules, according to a Bowser administration official.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to comment publicly on the matter.

The city’s current guidelines prohibit gatherings of more than 50 people and dictate that restaurants, hotels and other commercial venues operate at 50 per cent of capacity or less. The Trump Hotel did not respond to the Bowser administration’s notice.

The Trump campaign has pushed out fundraising emails in the president’s name offering donors the chance to enter a drawing “to join Team Trump at the Election Night Party in my favourite hotel,” in Washington, suggesting he would use his hotel as the backdrop for reacting to election results.

“November 3rd will go down in history as the night we won FOUR MORE YEARS. It will be absolutely EPIC, and the only thing that could make it better is having YOU there,” Trump said in one of the fundraising solicitations.

The hotel faced a city inspection in July and was found to be in compliance with the District's coronavirus rules at that time.

Trump held his 2016 election party in his then-hometown of New York. But he booked his victory party at New York’s Hilton in Midtown Manhattan because his own nearby Trump International Hotel and Tower didn’t have a big enough room.

It’s unclear how much of a presence Trump himself will be in any election night festivities this time.

With a significant portion of the electorate opting to mail in their ballots, that could delay tabulation of results.


The Campaign - A US election video

If you haven't had the chance yet, it's worth having a look at this video from Tom Compagnoni on the 2020 US election.

The Campaign, produced exclusively for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, presents a quick-fire montage of sound bites, speeches, tweets, controversies and trivialities that defined the US media coverage of the 2020 US election campaign.

Edited down from over 200 news bulletins and live streams pulled from over 30 TV networks over eight weeks, The Campaign trails the daily TV and social media appearances of the two septuagenarian candidates, President Donald Trump and former vice-president Joe Biden, in their battle to be the man Americans call the leader of the free world.

Trump Biden 2020

Our weekly newsletter delivers expert analysis of the race to the White House from our US correspondent Matthew Knott. Sign up for the Herald's newsletter here, The Age's here, Brisbane Times' here and WAtoday's here.

Puppies, alcohol and bullet-proof vests: an anxious US readies for election storm

By Anne Summers

It’s like the feeling you get before an exam, or a job interview or signing a mortgage, that gut-churning, chest-tightening, breath-shortening experience of anxiety. And it’s the feeling that so many of us are experiencing right now as we worry about what is going to happen next Tuesday, when Americans vote to choose their next president.

People are anxious on so many levels, and about so many possibilities: that Donald Trump might, as in 2016, defy expectations and win this election; that he might lose but refuse to leave office; that his supporters might grab their guns and take to the streets; that we might have Bush v Gore redux, with the election decided by the now ultra-conservative Supreme Court; that the country could be on the verge of utter and complete breakdown.

This anxiety and fear is widespread and openly acknowledged. Political leaders such as congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez urge us to “turn our fear into fuel” and get out there and fight for every last vote. Political savants and operatives directly address it: “I’m stressed” is the heading on a fundraising email from James (“It’s the pandemic, stupid”) Carville this week. “Here’s how I deal with pre-election anxiety”, from a Democratic Party organiser. (I ask you for money, it turns out).

MSNBC’s Joy Reid ran a special program this week on “how to deal with your anxiety”, with experts answering viewer questions about the election. Television’s Dr Phil cashed in with suggestions on how to cope with “election anxiety” and fears about the pandemic.

The New York Review of Books is offering a selection of classic articles from its archive by the likes of James Baldwin, Joan Didion and Renata Adler for anyone to read free of charge until next Tuesday “for a diversion from the anxieties of the election”.

Click here to read the story.

Instagram disabled 'recent' tab for US election hashtags

Instagram took aim at the spread of misinformation on its platform, announcing that it would temporarily eliminate users' ability to view some recent posts ahead of election day.

In two tweets, Instagram said it would remove the "recent" tab from hashtag pages. Previously, users could view the most recent posts tagged with a particular hashtag. Now, only "top" posts under a specific hashtag that have been reviewed by the platform will be viewable.

Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, said the change was made to "reduce the real-time spread of potentially harmful content that could pop up around the election”.

The change took effect Thursday night, and the "recent" tab will return sometime after the election, an Instagram spokeswoman said. The platform said it hopes the change will allow it to proactively stop misinformation from spreading, rather than having to wait until a falsehood has already been widely shared.

Instagram's decision follows crackdowns on viral falsehoods by Facebook and Twitter. Twitter recently added context to trending topics and de-emphasized retweets ahead of the election, while Facebook said it would ban political ads indefinitely.

Both companies have added some labels to misleading posts and highlighted accurate voting information after rising alarm about the possibility of a disputed election outcome and the chaos that could follow.

The New York Times


Several thousand Pennsylvania ballots missing reports CNN

CNN is reporting that several thousand ballots may have gone missing a county north of Pittsburgh in the vital swing state of Pennsylvania.

More than 10,000 calls have been made to Butler Country from voters who reported they did not receive ballots they’d asked for.

The country’s director of elections, Aaron Sheasley admitted that he didn’t know where the ballots were.

"Somewhere between the post office and the Pittsburgh sorting facility something happened," Sheasley told CNN. "We don't know what."

He added, "We haven't given out any numbers because we simply don't know."

Butler County has about 150,000 registered voters. County officials say they’ve mailed out 40,000 ballots, of which 21,300 have been returned.

Pennsylvania is a key battleground state. Butler County voted for President Donald Trump last time.

Biden is 3.6 per cent ahead on the RealClear Politics aggregate of polls, but his lead is narrowing and Trump has visited several times in the last week to get out the vote.

Trump event in Rochester capped at 250 people but crowds line up

By Roy Ward

US President Donald Trump is due to host a rally at the airport in Rochester, Minnesota later this morning which is causing some controversy.

The Trump campaign wanted to host another mass rally in a state they think they can take from the Democrats but local health officials wouldn't allow it so a compromise was reached that 250 people would receive tickets to the event.

But the Trump campaign are now calling the event a 'peaceful protest' against the state governor for stopping their free speech with Trump suggesting there will be a large overflow crowd outside, something that is against health regulations preventing mass gatherings.

Trump is openly courting a fight with state officials.

"25,000 people want to be there," Trump said.

"And they say you can only have 250 people. They thought I’d cancel. But I’m not cancelling and we’ll find out what happens."

With AP

Biden and Trump focus on Midwestern battlegrounds in final push

By Trevor Hunnicutt and Alexandra Alper

US President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden campaigned on Friday across Midwestern battleground states where the coronavirus has roared back, hunting for support as the White House race entered its final weekend.

With four days left until Tuesday's election, Trump held a rally in Michigan ahead of planned stops in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Biden visited Iowa before heading to Wisconsin and Minnesota on his busiest day of campaigning yet.

US President Donald Trump.

US President Donald Trump.Credit:Evan Vucci

"A vote for me is to keep and create auto jobs and all sorts of jobs in Michigan, where they belong," Trump said in Waterford Township outside Detroit, touting his stewardship of the economy and warning workers in the state's auto-making industry that Biden's policies would threaten their jobs.

In Iowa, where polls show him running close to Trump, Biden said the president's failure to contain the pandemic had cost lives and sent the economy into a tailspin.

"One in six businesses is now out of business because he won’t act," Biden said at a drive-in rally at the Iowa state fairgrounds in Des Moines, where a pair of bald eagles circled overhead as he wrapped up.

"We cannot afford four more years of Donald Trump," he said. ​ The coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 229,000 people in the United States and cost millions more their jobs, has dominated the final days of the campaign.

Trump has played down the health crisis for months, telling supporters in recent weeks that the country is "turning the corner" even as cases surge. Biden has warned of a "dark winter" ahead and promised a renewed effort to contain the virus.

Trump trails Biden in national opinion polls, partly because of widespread disapproval of his handling of the pandemic. Opinion polls in the most competitive states that will decide the election have shown a closer contest.

The focus on the upper Midwest underlined the region's importance in the race. Michigan and Wisconsin were two of the three historically Democratic industrial states, along with Pennsylvania, that narrowly voted for the Republican Trump in 2016, delivering him an upset victory.


Click here for the story.

Will Kamala Harris increase turnout among black voters? Some Democrats see encouraging signs

By David Lightman and Joe Kovac Jr.

Macon, Georgia: Last Friday, Democratic vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris hosted a drive-in rally at Morehouse College, a historically black school.

On Saturday, she visited Cleveland, where she gave a rousing shout-out to Democrats Representative for Ohio, Marcia Fudge, a former Congressional Black Caucus chair.

Democratic vice-presidential candidate  Kamala Harris speaks during a campaign event at Morehouse College in Atlanta on Friday.

Democratic vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris speaks during a campaign event at Morehouse College in Atlanta on Friday.Credit:AP

On Sunday, she spoke at the service at the Triumph Church in a Detroit suburb. She also urged people to vote early in a video message just before the Soul of the Nation Gospel Concert.

Harris is pushing hard to get out the black vote, and voters and analysts see evidence that the first woman of colour on a major-party presidential ticket could make a difference in some of the nations' most closely contested swing states.

The California senator, the daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants, campaigns before all sorts of constituencies. But she has been appearing frequently recently before groups of black voters who say they appreciate the history they're witnessing.


Click here to read the story.

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2020-10-30 22:10:00Z

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