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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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Watch: Former vice-president Joe Biden speaks in Milwaukee

Former vice-president Joe Biden will speak in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Saturday at around 10.30am AEDT.

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US says Iranian hackers behind threatening emails accessed voter data

WASHINGTON: US officials said on Saturday AEDT that the Iranian hackers behind a wave of threatening emails sent to thousands of Americans earlier this month successfully accessed voter data.

The statement, issued jointly by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), partially confirms the authenticity of a video distributed as part of a disinformation campaign that briefly drew attention when it became public last week.

US authorities have confirmed Iranian hackers accessed voter information in an unnamed US state.

US authorities have confirmed Iranian hackers accessed voter information in an unnamed US state.Credit:AP

The campaign - which consisted of thousands of threatening emails sent to random U.S. voters in the name of a pro-Trump far right group - featured a video in which a hacker purported to demonstrate how they could cause havoc by breaking into a voter registration records.

Experts who examined the footage said it amounted to little more than an attempt to scare voters about the integrity of the November 3 contest, but the question of whether the hackers actually did break in anywhere had gone unanswered until now.

CISA and the FBI confirmed Friday that "the actor successfully obtained voter registration data in at least one state."

The state was not identified, although purported personal details of Alaska voters were briefly flashed on the video. The FBI, CISA, and the Alaska Division of Elections did not immediately return messages seeking comment. CISA and the FBI said the Iranian hackers also scanned a number of other states' election sites for vulnerabilities.

Cyberscoop, which first reported on CISA and the FBI's findings, said 10 states were scanned altogether.

US officials have been on high alert over the threat of potential cyber interference in the upcoming election, which pits Republican President Donald Trump against Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

Earlier on Friday, Reuters reported that Russian hackers had this year targeted the California and Indiana branches of the Democratic Party.

Reuters

Macy's boards up windows to prepare for potential election unrest

By Megan Levy

The Macy's flagship department store in Herald Square in New York City has started boarding up its windows in preparation for potential unrest ahead of Tuesday's presidential election.

The Macy's windows would usually be a drawcard at this time of year for thousands of people who crowd the 34th Street store to see its popular Christmas displays.

Instead, on Friday afternoon, workers began nailing plywood to the front of the store, and more businesses were expected to follow suit.

Macy's issued a statement confirming that "out of an abundance of caution", the company was "implementing additional security measures at several of our stores", including in New York City and Chicago.

In June, at the height of the unrest following the death of George Floyd, the Macy's store in Herald Square was significantly damaged in widespread looting across the city.

The store's windows, and those of hundreds more business in Manhattan, were boarded up at the time.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea acknowledged in interviews earlier this week that some businesses may choose to preemptively board up their windows, but said the department hoped that was a precaution "that is not needed".

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Watch: US President Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Rochester, Minnesota

US President Donald Trump appeared in Rochester, Minnesota on Saturday AEDT despite having his crowd capped at 250 people.

Brooklyn, NY residents waiting two hours to vote

By Roy Ward

New York state is still battling to handle the level of interest in early voting as shown by this line in Brooklyn Park City Hall today where it is reportedly taking two hours to vote.

New York is allowing early voting for the first time and it's been regularly reported that officials are struggling to keep those wait times from blowing out.

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.

Amazon.com 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 on Saturday.

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

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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.

AP

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.

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2020-10-30 23:33:00Z
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