Amerika

Corruption in the White House

Investigating in potential bribery scheme to obtain pardon

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating a potentially criminal scheme involving paying a bribe to people either in or affiliated with the White House in exchange for an unknown person receiving a presidential pardon, according to court documents that were unsealed Tuesday.

New York Times

Rudy Giuliani is said to have discussed a pardon with Trump

Rudolph W. Giuliani, President Trump’s lawyer who has led the most extensive efforts to damage his client’s political rivals and undermine the election results, discussed with him as recently as last week the possibility of receiving a pre-emptive pardon before Mr. Trump leaves office, according to two people told of the discussion.

COVID-19: USA

Now, that dark winter looks to have arrived

The United States’ leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, warned in a Sunday Meet the Press interview that another surge of Covid-19 cases “super-imposed on that surge that we’re already in” might be coming, in large part due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Wisconsin

Recount confirms Biden's victory over Trump

President-elect Joe Biden's victory over President Donald Trump in Wisconsin was reaffirmed on Sunday after a recount was completed in one of the state's largest counties. The recount in Dane County, which was requested by the Trump campaign, showed Biden won by 181,340 votes as the President-elect's lead narrowed by 45 votes.

2.5 Million Dollar

Fredric Eshelman: Trump supporter wants money back

A Donald Trump supporter who donated $2.5m to help expose and prosecute claims of fraud in the presidential election wants his money back after what he says are “disappointing results”. Fredric Eshelman, a businessman from North Carolina, said he gave the money to True the Vote, a pro-Trump “election ethics” group in Texas that promised to file lawsuits.

Donald Trump Defeat

Federal court rejects Trump lawsuit in Pennsylvania

Donald Trump’s legal team suffered yet another defeat in court Friday as a federal appeals court in Philadelphia roundly rejected the campaign’s latest effort to challenge the state’s election results. Trump’s lawyers vowed to appeal to the supreme court despite the Philadelphia judges’ assessment that the “campaign’s claims have no merit”.

Sauvage Fragrance

Dior sticks by Johnny Depp in defiance of 'wife beater' ruling

Evidence suggests defiant Johnny Depp fans have been buying Dior’s Sauvage fragrance in support of the actor, who continues to be the face of the cologne despite a high court judge finding that he violently abused his ex-wife during their relationship.

Jen Psaki

Biden names White House press secretary

President-elect Joe Biden said Jen Psaki, a former White House communications director, will be his press secretary, one of seven women named to top communications roles Sunday.

Election 2020

Joe Biden is projected to win the 2020 presidential election

Joe Biden is projected to win the 2020 presidential election, defeating Donald Trump in a nail-biter of a race sure to remain contentious given the country’s bitter partisan divide and the president’s reckless and unfounded claims voter fraud. Major news networks projected that Biden, a former Delaware senator and vice president during Barack Obama’s administration, would win Pennsylvania, pushing him over the 270 electoral-vote threshold. Counting continues in several states, where Biden is leading or expected to win.

Analysis

The 10 moments when Donald Trump lost the 2020 election

It wasn’t pretty. To use a sports analogy: it was winning ugly. Especially when the projected loser racked up some 70 million votes. But Donald Trump’s botched plays and self-inflicted sacks throughout the year—along with Joe Biden’s steady hand and his and Kamala Harris’s appeal to an array of constituencies—contributed, cumulatively, to the Democrat’s winning margin in the key battleground states. No amount of working the refs (or Hail Marys to come) will change the final score.

Opinion: Bill Press

And the loser is ... Rudy Giuliani

All cheer! The longest and most grueling presidential campaign in history is finally over. Those who haven’t already voted go to the polls today. But while it may be days before we know who the actual winner is, Donald Trump or Joe Biden, we already know who the big loser is: Rudy Giuliani!

340 Million Dollars

Deutsche Bank seeking to offload three Trump loans

Deutsche Bank is aiming to end any financial ties to President Trump after the United States elections due to negative attention the bank has received as a result of the relationship, Reuters reported Tuesday.

The day of the decision

Polls show Joe Biden with edge over Donald Trump in key states

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is leading in most national and state-level polls one day before Election Day, leaving his supporters cautiously optimistic as they near the finish line. Polling shows Biden with leads in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — three states that contributed to President Trump’s unexpected victory in 2016. The former vice president is also making inroads in other battlegrounds like Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Ohio and Georgia. The FiveThirtyEight forecasting model gives Biden a 90-percent chance of winning the election.

New Jersey

Charges over pro-Trump convoy

New Jersey officials might press charges related to Sunday’s caravan of President Donald Trump supporters who blocked traffic along the Garden State Parkway, State Police Superintendent Patrick Callahan said Monday. “I want to be clear, that situation on the Parkway yesterday was irresponsible and dangerous,” Callahan said during Gov. Phil Murphy’s regular coronavirus briefing, adding that he’s working with Department of Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti about obtaining video of the incident.

"Fire Fauci"

Trump hints that he’ll fire Dr. Anthony Fauci after Election Day

President Donald Trump signaled early Monday morning that he may fire Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, after Election Day.

Texas

Judge rejects GOP attempt to toss 127K drive-thru ballots in Texas

A federal judge on Monday ruled against Republican plaintiffs who sought to throw out 127,000 ballots cast by drive-thru voting in a Democratic-leaning Texas county.

President Trump does not know the rules

Biden team moves to shut down Trump’s election-night claims

Joe Biden’s campaign moved swiftly to push back on President Donald Trump’s anticipated attempt to say he has won before all the votes are counted on Tuesday night. Top Biden officials also reissued assurances that Democrats have marshaled the legal muscle to quash last-minute Republican maneuvering and challenges in the courts. In a virtual briefing with reporters, Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon stressed that Trump’s remarks have no bearing on the actual election results. "Under no scenario will Donald Trump be declared a victor on election night,” O’Malley Dillon said.

The jealous president

Trump rips Lady Gaga, Jon Bon Jovi over support for Biden

President Donald Trump is knocking Joe Biden's celebrity support, saying he's bringing in bigger crowds without his Democratic opponent's star-studded surrogates. Speaking about the former vice president during a Monday campaign rally in Scranton, Pa., Trump went on a riff about Biden's high-profile Hollywood endorsements. "Now he's got Lady Gaga," Trump said, as the crowd booed at the mention of the "Rain on Me" singer, who was poised to campaign with Biden in Pittsburgh on Monday. "I could tell you plenty of stories about Lady Gaga," Trump said. "I know a lot of stories about her."

Support

Eminem lends hand to Biden with 'Lose Yourself' campaign ad

Eminem signaled support for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden this week by allowing Biden's campaign to use his hit single "Lose Yourself" in a new advertisement.

Eve of election

More than 95 million Americans have already voted

More than 95 million Americans have cast ballots as of Monday, the day before Election Day, according to an estimate by the U.S. Elections Project at the University of Florida, Reuters reported. The number of ballots cast early in this year's election represents nearly 70 percent of all those cast in the 2016 general election, Reuters reported. The early voting numbers reflect a marked increase in mail-in and absentee ballots due to the coronavirus pandemic in which officials are trying to limit large crowds from forming at polling places.

Johnny Depp's lifestyle

Cocaine binges and $30,000 wine bills

Private islands in the Bahamas, multiple penthouses, gargantuan monthly wine bills, blackout-inducing cocaine binges, drug rehab, trashed location homes and a fortune allegedly syphoned off by business managers – Johnny’s Depp’s Hollywood existence was laid bare during his libel battle with the Sun and ex-wife Amber Heard.

‘wife-beater’

Hollywood assumptions overturned by Johnny Depp's court defeat

The curtain has fallen on the London act of the courtroom drama starring Johnny Depp and Amber Heard – with a final twist that has surprised many in the industry.

Shortnews

New York City

Spike in coronavirus infection rate

New York City is seeing a “very worrisome” sustained increase in Covid-19 infections across the five boroughs, Mayor Bill de Blasio and public health officials said Thursday. The city’s positive test rate hit 1.92 percent based on a seven-day average, the highest number in weeks and the first time the metric has seen a "meaningful jump" since the city began tracking it in September, de Blasio said. The one-day rate was even higher, at 2.7 percent.

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New York City

Spike in coronavirus infection rate

New York City is seeing a “very worrisome” sustained increase in Covid-19 infections across the five boroughs, Mayor Bill de Blasio and public health officials said Thursday. The city’s positive test rate hit 1.92 percent based on a seven-day average, the highest number in weeks and the first time the metric has seen a "meaningful jump" since the city began tracking it in September, de Blasio said. The one-day rate was even higher, at 2.7 percent.

The city reported 532 new coronavirus cases — a number that has been hovering around the city’s 550 threshold for keeping the pandemic under control, which it breached earlier this week. While previous spikes were driven by outbreaks confined to certain neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens, officials now say new cases are increasing across the city.

“We do see a slow and steady rise throughout many, many parts of the city,” said public health adviser Jay Varma.

The city plans to shut down its school system, which has reopened in fits and starts, if the positive test rate on a seven day average hits 3 percent. The mayor has called for shutting down indoor dining if it hits 2 percent, though the final decision would rest with Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

No Russian citizenship

Snowden given permanent residency in Russia

Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor charged with espionage in 2013, was granted permanent residency in Russia, according to multiple reports. Snowden has lived in Russia since 2013 to avoid prosecution in the United States. He was charged after releasing classified documents on American surveillance programs.

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No Russian citizenship

Snowden given permanent residency in Russia

Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor charged with espionage in 2013, was granted permanent residency in Russia, according to multiple reports. Snowden has lived in Russia since 2013 to avoid prosecution in the United States. He was charged after releasing classified documents on American surveillance programs.

“Today, Snowden was handed a residency permit for an unlimited period of time,” Snowden’s attorney Anatoly Kucherena told Russia’s state Tass news agency, The Associated Press reported.

Kucherena also told the Interfax news agency that his application was submitted in April, but approval was delayed due to the lockdowns amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to the AP.

The attorney also said Snowden is not currently applying for Russian citizenship.

The whistleblower has previously said he is willing to return to the U.S. if he is guaranteed a fair trial.

Snowden last month agreed to pay over $5 million in profits from his book and speaking fees to the U.S. government. A federal judge ruled in favor of the Justice Department in a lawsuit filed against Snowden arguing that his autobiography violated a nondisclosure agreement.

As of last month, Snowden had earned over $4.2 million from the book sales.

President Trump earlier this year said he was considering a pardon for Snowden, telling reporters at a news conference that “There are many, many people — it seems to be a split decision that many people think that he should be somehow treated differently, and other people think he did very bad things.”

COVID 19: Idaho

School teachers go on strike

Hundreds of school teachers in an Idaho district have gone on strike over an uptick in local COVID-19 outbreaks. Over 700 educators in the West Ada School District called out sick Monday, leading to more than 400 teachers calling out sick on Tuesday after the district said it would proceed with some in-person and virtual learning, a local ABC affiliate KSAW-LD reported.

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COVID 19: Idaho

School teachers go on strike

Hundreds of school teachers in an Idaho district have gone on strike over an uptick in local COVID-19 outbreaks. Over 700 educators in the West Ada School District called out sick Monday, leading to more than 400 teachers calling out sick on Tuesday after the district said it would proceed with some in-person and virtual learning, a local ABC affiliate KSAW-LD reported.

Teachers joined the strike after the district moved to proceed with learning sessions despite warnings by Central District Health (CDH) that Ada County was considered a coronavirus "red" zone, indicating a significant threat of possible virus transmissions.

"When is enough, enough? If red is not the line, where is the line?" said West Ada teacher Zach Borman.

Borman represents one of the roughly 700 teachers who called out sick on Monday.

"I would basically argue I am sick; this has been the most stressful and terrifying thing of my life," said Borman, adding that he is grading papers while voicing caution about the current COVID-19 threat in the school district.

The West Ada teachers union said it disagreed with the school board's plan to continue some in-person classes amid the district's rising safety risks, Idaho Press reported.

The decision to strike was met with backlash by users on social media, voicing dissatisfaction and critiquing the teachers who called out sick Monday.

"The lack of empathy, you can see it too just scrolling out on Facebook, to see some of those comments directed at them is heartbreaking," said Chelsey McGee, a a parent in the school district.

Borman has voiced his concerns during board meetings and via rounds of email, saying the hybrid learning the school has performed this semester is too risky given the current health guidance.

Some critics questioned the impact it would have on the students attempting to learn while navigating the pandemic's complex logistics.

"I don't think there's a single teacher in this district that's still in this district that doesn't care greatly about the education of their students," said Borman, adding, "I'm insulted by anyone that is assuming I'm doing this because I don't care about kids' education."

CDH reported a trend of rising infections throughout Ada County in early September.

On Oct. 11, the county recorded 548 cases and 23 new cases on Oct. 18, though some data could still be missing from more recent updates.

Since the outset of the pandemic, 157 fatalities due to COVID-19 have been recorded in the county.

COVID-19

Trump calls 200,000 deaths in U.S. ‘a shame’

The coronavirus death toll in the United States surpassed 200,000 on Tuesday, marking another milestone of loss at a time when many have become numb to the rising fatality count. The tally represents the upper boundary of a fatality range that President Trump in March said would signal that his administration had “done a very good job” of protecting Americans from the coronavirus. As he left the White House for Pennsylvania on Tuesday evening, Trump responded to a reporter’s question about the 200,000 deaths, saying, “It’s a shame.”

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COVID-19

Trump calls 200,000 deaths in U.S. ‘a shame’

Florida Voting

Bloomberg pays fines for 32,000 felons

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg has reportedly raised more than $16 million in an effort to help convicted felons in Florida register to vote. The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition estimated Bloomberg's fundraising push has already paid off monetary obligations for 32,000 felons, Axios reported. "The right to vote is fundamental to our democracy and no American should be denied that right," a Bloomberg spokesperson told the news outlet.

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Florida Voting

Bloomberg pays fines for 32,000 felons

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg has reportedly raised more than $16 million in an effort to help convicted felons in Florida register to vote. The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition estimated Bloomberg's fundraising push has already paid off monetary obligations for 32,000 felons, Axios reported. "The right to vote is fundamental to our democracy and no American should be denied that right," a Bloomberg spokesperson told the news outlet.

"Working together with the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, we are determined to end disenfranchisement and the discrimination that has always driven it."

Florida passed a law in 2018 reinstating voting rights for felons that dictated they could register only if they pay all fines, fees and restitution — sometimes totaling more than $1,000 — owed to the government.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Florida, last week ruled to uphold the law.

Last week, several television networks also pledged to donate money to the cause.

Bloomberg, who ran in the Democratic primary for president, has endorsed the party's nominee, Joe Biden, and has donated at least $100 million to the former vice president's campaign to defeat President Trump.