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Senin, 02 November 2020

US election LIVE updates: Donald Trump, Joe Biden hit the last day of the campaign trail in swing states - The Sydney Morning Herald

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WATCH LIVE: Biden stays in Pennsylvania, Trump lands in Michigan

Joe Biden will be staying in Pennsylvania for the rest of Monday, US time. He has just started to address members of the African American community in Pittsburgh at a drive-in rally.

Meanwhile, Trump has arrived in Michigan, where he will be stepping up to speak at a "Make America Great Again Victory Rally" at Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City.

Latest updates

Asian-American GOP group backs Biden

The body representing Asian-American members of the Republican Party have formally endorsed Democrat candidate Joe Biden for President.

In a statement on their website, the group said the US does not need "a smart-pants president who knows everything including the best medicine curing COVID-19", The Hill reports.

"It is OK that you voted for Trump in 2016, most conservatives did; we wanted an outsider to rattle the system. But he is destroying the whole building," the statement reads. "It is also fine you disagree with many Biden's policies. It is about whether America is still THE America. The future of our families, our communities, our great nation, and the world is at stake!"

A number of anti-Trump Republican groups and individuals of note have endorsed Biden, notably The Lincoln Project movement, Trump's former communications director Anthony Scaramucci and four former Republican cabinet secretaries, according to Forbes.

Dump trucks barricade Trump Tower as NYC businesses board up

By Megan Levy

"Welcome to Times Square," a giant neon sign blinked above the New York City landmark on Monday afternoon, US time, as workers boarded up shop window after shop window on the eve of a presidential election that has divided a nation.

The sound of hammers and power saws rang out as workers fastened plywood to the front of the Disney store and the Hard Rock Cafe, along with dozens of other fashion and retail outlets in this part of Midtown Manhattan that is already reeling from months of pandemic-related shutdowns.

Shops in New York City are boarding up their windows on the eve of the 2020 presidential election.

Shops in New York City are boarding up their windows on the eve of the 2020 presidential election.Credit:Megan Levy

Many retailers were caught off guard during nationwide social unrest during the summer, and suffered millions in damages when looters went on a rampage in New York. Given the bitterness of this election campaign, they're not taking any chances.

At the nearby Rockefeller Centre, every single window on the ground floor of the sprawling complex was being boarded up on Monday afternoon. Not even the Lego store and the FAO Schwarz toy store were spared.

The windows across the road at Saks Fifth Avenue would usually draw shoppers to its Christmas display at this time of year, but instead they stood hidden behind a wall of wood.

A short walk up Fifth Avenue, and a line of dump trucks and buses had been arranged to form a barricade outside Trump Tower. Metal barricades have also been installed on footpaths on three blocks surrounding President Donald Trump's former home.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio stressed on Monday that there were no "specific reports or specific threats at this point".

"Everyone, of course, is concerned about the election results and what plays out after. But I want to emphasise, at this moment, we don't see a specific challenge," he said.

Still, the scope of the precautionary measures seemed to startle some New Yorkers.

"This is just sad. This is an election in America, and we're doing this?" one man who stopped to watch the work said.

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Trump claims vaccine will be ready 'in just a few weeks'

President Donald Trump has continued his rambling style at his rally in Michigan, claiming the US will have a distributed coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year.

The former coronavirus patient joked about being able to easily fight off the virus because he was so young and fit, before making the timeline comment he has previously had to retract.

"We will mass distribute the vaccine in just a few weeks, and it will very quickly eradicate this virus," Trump told the crowd.

You might remember the President making similar comments at the final presidential debate last month. However, after he was pressed on the issue then, Trump admitted it would actually be more likely a vaccine became available next year.

Obama criticises Trump's 'COVID spreader tour'

Former US president Barack Obama has ended his day of campaigning for his former vice president, Joe Biden – and the woman who could follow him to be the second black person on a winner presidential ticket, Kamala Harris – by addressing supporters at a drive-in rally in Miami, Florida.

He drew attention to the fact that he and the Democrats found themselves speaking to people in cars, while President Donald Trump embarks on what Obama termed a "COVID spreader tour".

Attendees wait at their cars ahead of an appearance by former president Barack Obama in Miami.

Attendees wait at their cars ahead of an appearance by former president Barack Obama in Miami.Credit:AP

"He's a super spreader, he just goes around because nothing is more important to him than crowds to make him feel good, rather than keeping the American people safe," Obama said, drawing attention to Trump's comments foreshadowing he would like to fire infectious diseases expert Dr Anthony Fauci if re-elected.

"Just in case you were worried he was taking things too seriously, now we find out his intention is to eliminate from his administration one of the world's leading experts in infectious disease."

As Trump's comments were booed by the crowd, Obama told them: "Don't boo, vote."

Trump's rambles lead to criticism of taking the knee

President Donald Trump has stood up in Michigan for another rambling rally speech in front of a crowd with seemingly fewer masks than in Pennsylvania.

The President managed to swing a comment about Canadian oil production into a comment on the act of taking a knee when the US national anthem plays.

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence arrive for a campaign rally at Cherry Capital Airport in Michigan.

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence arrive for a campaign rally at Cherry Capital Airport in Michigan.Credit:AP

"O Canada," Trump mused. "They stand for their national anthem, and we should too."

The President criticised the NBA's decision to allow players to take a knee during the US national anthem earlier this year, remarking he "thought we taught [the NFL] a lesson" when players in the football league began the practice.

Trump's supporters have erupted into three chants during the ongoing rally: "USA!", "Thank you, Trump!" and "Drain the swamp!"

It is all in stark contrast to Biden's recently concluded appearance, in which he appealed to the black vote by voicing his support for the Black Lives Matter movement and the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on black communities.

While Obama stumps for Biden, Bush will not make 2020 vote public

While former President Barack Obama is out campaigning for Joe Biden across two states on Monday (US time), former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, will not make public how they voted in this year's presidential race, four years after the couple revealed on election day that they had selected "none of the above" in the 2016 White House contest.

Bush spokesman Freddy Ford – who has stressed repeatedly over the 2020 campaign cycle that the former Republican president is "retired from presidential politics" – on Monday confirmed that the Dallas residents are keeping their ballot box decisions to themselves this year.

Former First Lady Laura Bush with former President George W. Bush at Donald Trump's inauguration.

Former First Lady Laura Bush with former President George W. Bush at Donald Trump's inauguration. Credit:AP

That it's even a question is remarkable, underscoring yet again how Trump has transformed the Republican Party from the party it was under Bush.

Political pundits and others have debated for months whether the Bushes would cast a vote this election for President Donald Trump, a Republican; former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democrat; or, as the they did four years ago, neither major-party candidate.

The former first couple voted early and in-person on October 15, according to Dallas County election records reported to the Texas Secretary of State, making them part of the record-setting early voting turnout that played out this year in North Texas and beyond.

Dallas Morning News

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'The first step to beating the virus is defeating Donald Trump': Biden

Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden has received deafening horns in support of his healthcare policy at a rally directed towards the African American community in Pittsburgh on Monday night, US time.

Biden focused on the "race-based disparities" evident in the US's coronavirus statistics: One in 1000 black Americans have died of coronavirus, a mortality rate three times higher than the general population, and the black community have been disproportionately represented in case numbers and in unemployment figures.

"He knew it was worse than the flu – he lied to the American people," Biden said of President Donald Trump's coronavirus response, noting – if the modelled additional 200,000 Americans die from COVID-19, the death rate for black Americans will increase to 1 in 500.

Addressing Trump's comments that he "might" fire infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci if re-elected, Biden said: "I've got a better idea: let's fire Trump and I'll hire Dr Fauci.

"The first step to beating the virus is defeating Donald Trump."

Voter intimidation complaints grow on eve of election day

Election advocacy groups are preparing for the possibility of voter intimidation at the polls Tuesday, although weeks of early voting remained mostly peaceful despite the country's unsettled mood in a year with simmering partisan and sometimes violent conflicts on the streets.

There has been an uptick in complaints about voter intimidation to the hotline run by the nonpartisan Election Protection program at the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Kristen Clarke, the group's president and chief executive officer, said on Monday, US time.

A man votes at Fort Lauderdale, in the battleground state of Florida, on Monday.

A man votes at Fort Lauderdale, in the battleground state of Florida, on Monday.Credit:AP

Police used pepper spray to break up a march of largely Black voters to the Alamance County polls in North Carolina on Saturday, and a number of people who intended to vote but "were unable to do so because they were literally detained at the local jail," Clarke said during a National Task Force on Election Crises briefing.

And Clarke said the group is working to address complaints from Lane County, Oregon, that armed individuals wearing militia attire were approaching people Sunday at a ballot drop box site - the kind of activity they are on high alert about for Election Day.

"When one voter attempted to drive to drop off their ballot, one of the individuals that was a part of this militia group asked the voter to roll down their window [and] asked where they were going," Clarke said. "The voter was very concerned for their safety and rather than proceeding to the drop box, drove off very scared and reported the incident."

The country has been bracing for unrest at the polls and in the streets, with businesses boarding up windows in Washington DC, Denver and other places that saw protests and riots.

Rachel Kleinfeld of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace pointed out that even if there are horrible incidents, it is in the context of 13,000 separate elections going on around the country, each with many polling places.

"Despite a huge spike of protests, despite months of attempts to scare people, and despite weeks of early voting, we have had a remarkably peaceful election season up until now," Kleinfeld said.

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Trump campaign loses lawsuit in Nevada

After Republicans experienced another legal loss in Texas, President Donald Trump's campaign has lost an effort to halt the counting of ballots in Nevada's most populous county after a state court judge ruled last week that there was no evidence of any wrongdoing by election officials.

The campaign and the Nevada Republican Party sued last week, alleging Clark County – home to Las Vegas – refused to allow full observation of the ballot-counting process as required under state law. But Judge James E. Wilson ruled October 29, in a decision reported on Monday, US time, that the campaign hadn't provided enough evidence to back its claim.

"The president's deliberate attempts to undermine Nevada's elections have failed yet again," Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford, a Democrat, said in a statement. "He has made every attempt to control the outcome of this election without any regard for the health and safety of residents or Nevada's state laws designed to protect the sanctity of the ballot."

The Nevada suit alleged some observers are being kept as far as 25 feet away from the counting process, where they can't see election workers' computer screens or observe phone calls to voters who need to fix issues with their ballots. It also said that an offer by Republicans to pay for a camera to record the process as an alternative to in-person observation was refused.

The judge said there's no constitutional right to photograph or videotape the ballot-counting process.

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2020-11-02 23:50:00Z
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