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US election: Trump edging to victory but Biden marginally leading in electoral college votes

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Donald Trump is now the favourite to win the US election as results roll in across America on the most unpredictable election night in American history, the Telegraph reports.

In what could be a bigger shock than Trump’s sensational victory in 2016, the president is edging to victory after winning the key swing states of Florida and Ohio. But important states like Arizona, North Carolina and Georgia are still to be called – and counters in the vital swing state of Pennsylvania have gone home for the night, meaning the full result may not be known for hours.

In a recent address, Donald Trump claims ‘I have frankly won’.

Joe Biden has also addressed supporters, telling them “it ain’t over until every vote is counted”, while Mr Trump accused the Democrats of “trying to steal the election” in a tweet almost immediately labelled as “misleading” by Twitter.

Fox calls Nebraska’s 2nd district for Biden

This could be significant. Fox News is calling Nebraska’s 2nd district for Joe Biden, which means the Democrat could win the race to the White House without having to win Pennsylvania.

It’s only one electoral college vote, but as US statistician Nate Silver says, it is vitally important.

If you just go by what ABC News has called (we’re on the conservative side tonight)… Biden’s win probability would go from 69% to 85% based on NE-2 being called! That one electoral vote makes a huge amount of difference.

Polls close in 2020 election

The last state to close its polls is Alaska, drawing to a close the monumental democratic endeavour that is gathering the votes of almost an entire continental landmass.

The state, a Republican stronghold, shuts its polling stations at 9pm local time, five hours after the sun has gone down and where, in the state capital of Juneau, temperatures are about to dip below freezing.

Donald Trump’s projected Texas win takes the scores to Biden 223, Trump 212.

Trump wins Texas

Democrats had hoped for an unlikely win in Texas – but no dice. Donald Trump has won the Lone Star State, winning a sumptious 38 electoral college votes.

Secondly, here are the key battlegrounds – the swing states – that will decide the US election, and what we know so far.

As things stand, Donald Trump is ahead in seven of these:

Arizona – 73 per cent reported, Biden lead (8.5 per cent)

Florida – 98 per cent reported, Trump lead (3.5 per cent)

Georgia – 67 per cent reported, Trump lead (9.8 per cent)

Michigan – 43 per cent reported, Trump lead (11.5 per cent)

Minnesota – 54 per cent reported, Biden lead (14.8 per cent)

North Carolina – 92 per cent reported, Trump lead (1 per cent)

Pennsylvania – 46 per cent reported, Trump lead (13.2 per cent)

Texas – 74 per cent reported, Trump lead (4.5 per cent)

Wisconsin – 59 per cent reported, Trump lead (4.1 per cent)

Who has won what?

Donald Trump has won: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Joe Biden has won: California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

Democrats confident of vital Arizona win

Joe Biden’s announcement that he believed he had won Arizona raised cheers in the Democratic Party’s Maricopa County base camp, reports Laurence Dodds.

Biden’s claim came on top of a surprising call in his favour by the right-leaning Fox News, which is said to have provoked the ire of Trump’s campaign.

That prediction had rattled some guests at the Arizona Republican Party’s election night event, where state chairwoman Kelli Ward told supporters that she was “confident we are winning this state”.

Even so, the votes are still being counted and Trump may yet see new strength from on-the-day votes, especially in Arizona’s rural outback.

Nobody here will stop worrying until AP calls the race. Then again, in 2018, it did mistakenly call Arizona’s other Senate seat for the GOP.

It looks set to be a disappointing night for Arizona’s Republicans, according to AP.

Joe Biden is already celebrating his strong performance in Arizona.

The Grand Canyon state is traditionally Republican but for Democrats the early results are looking good – which doesn’t mean much. Early votes, counted ahead of time, were always going to skew blue.

Fox News has projected Biden will win Arizona, giving him a potential path to victory with the “blue wall” states.

Trump supporters in Arizona are beginning to fear the worst.

Trump has defied the pollsters and had a brilliant night, says Telegraph columnist Tim Stanley:

Trump: ‘They’re trying to steal the election’

Moments after Biden’s brief speech, Donald Trump has  tweeted, saying the Democrats are “trying to steal the election”.

“We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Poles are closed!” Mr Trump said.

But Twitter almost immediately censored the tweet, labelling it as “misleading”.

Biden addressed hundreds of supporters in cars from a specially built stage in Wilmington. Amid honking horns he said: “Your patience is commendable. We knew this was going to go long.

“We feel good about where we are. We believe we’re on track to win this election.

“We knew because of the early vote, and mail-in vote, it would take a while. We’re going to have to be patient.

“It ain’t over until every vote is counted but we’re feeling good about where we are.

“We’re confident about Arizona. That’s a turnaround. We’re feeling real good about Wisconsin and Michigan.

“It’s going to take time to count the votes but were going to win Pennsylvania!”

He added, “We could know the results as early as tomorrow morning, but it could take a little longer.

“It’s not my place or Donald Trump’s place to declare who’s won this election. That’s the decision of the American people. I’m optimistic about the outcome. Keep the faith guys, we’re going to win this.”

Where does it stand?

After a couple of big wins for Trump, here is the list of states each candidate has won:

Donald Trump has won: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Joe Biden has won: California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

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Updated: Chadian President Idriss Deby dies, son takes over

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Chadian President Idris Derby has died at the age of 68.

He was said to have died while visiting troops on the frontline of a fight against northern rebels, the army said on Tuesday, the day after Deby was declared the winner of a presidential election.

Reuters reported that Deby’s son, Mahamat Kaka, was named interim president by a transitional council of military officers, spokesman Azem Bermendao Agouna, said in a broadcast on state television.

The late Chadian leader came to power in a rebellion in 1990 and was one of Africa’s longest-ruling leaders.

According to the report, Deby and his army have been seen as a reliable Western ally in a turbulent region afflicted by jihadists. His campaign said on Monday he was joining troops on the frontline after rebels based across the northern frontier in Libya advanced hundreds of km (miles) south toward the capital N’Djamena. L1N2MC20E

The exact cause of death was not yet clear but a European diplomatic source said he had been killed.

“A call to dialogue and peace is launched to all Chadians in the country and abroad in order to continue to build Chad together,” Bermendao said, surrounded by several officers.

“The National Council of Transition reassures the Chadian people that all measures have been taken to guarantee peace, security and the republican order,” he said.

Deby, whose opponents accused him of repressive rule, pushed through a new constitution in 2018 that would have allowed him to stay in power until 2033 – even as it re-instated term limits.

He took the title of “Marshal” last year and said before last week’s election: “I know in advance that I will win, as I have done for the last 30 years.”

He was dealing with mounting public discontent over his management of Chad’s oil wealth and crackdowns on opponents.

But in the election results announced on Monday, Deby was credited with 79 per cent of the vote, handing him a sixth term in office. Several leading opposition figures boycotted the poll.

Western countries have seen Deby as an ally in the fight against Islamist extremist groups, including Boko Haram in the Lake Chad Basin and groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State in the Sahel.

His death is a blow to France, which had based its Sahel counter-terrorism operations in the Chadian capital, N’Djamena.

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Senate probes CCT Chairman, Umar, over alleged assault

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The Senate on Tuesday commenced investigation into alleged assault by the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Danladi Umar on a guard, Clement Sagwak, at Banex Plaza, Wuse 2, Abuja.

The incident occurred on March 29, 2021.

Sagwak had also forwarded his petition to the National Human Rights Commission to probe the incident.

Senator Istifanus Gyang (Plateau North) submitted a petition on the incident to the Senate on behalf of his constituent, Sagwak.

Sagwak, had in his petition dated April 9 2021 and signed by his lawyer, Samuel Ihensekhien, accused the CCT chairman of abuse of power, assault, torture, and ‘xenophobia’.

A five-minute video that went viral captured Umar and the guard having an altercation at the plaza.

Sagwak, 22, and an employee of Jul Reliable Guards Services Limited, told the Senate he was attacked by Umar last month.

He said he was assaulted by Umar and a policeman attached to him after he informed him (Umar) that his car was not properly parked.

 

He said the CCT boss slapped him several times and forced him to kneel down in the presence of everybody while undergoing his lawful activities.

He asked the Senate to investigate the incident and ensure justice.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, referred the petition to the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to report back to plenary in four weeks.

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Governors agree to implement autonomy for assemblies, judiciary in May

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State governors under the Nigeria Governors’ Forum have agreed to implement autonomy for legislature and judiciary, with effect from May.

This coincides with the Senate through its Chairman for the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele saying autonomy for judiciary is non-negotiable.

Chairman of the NGF, Dr Kayode Fayemi, who is also Ekiti State governor, said the decision to implement the autonomy next month was reached in a meeting attended by federal lawmakers, representatives of the judiciary and legislative workers, and the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari.

The Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) is on strike to protest the government’s failure to implement autonomy for the judiciary.

President Muhammadu Buhari had signed an order to that effect in May 2020, but the gazetting of the order was suspended after the President met with governors — triggering reports that the governors were frustrating the move.

Fayemi said the governors never objected to full autonomy for the state assemblies and judiciary, adding that “the issue is about implementation.”

“There has been no objection from governors on judicial and legislative autonomies. As a matter of fact, it would not have passed if governors were not in support in the first instance, in the state assemblies,” he said.

“But we don’t just want to agree to something on paper without working out the modalities for implementation. Thankfully, the meeting we have just emerged from, with the chief of staff to the president chairing, has worked out the modalities to the satisfaction of all parties.

“As soon as the final document that is being cleaned up emerges, that is preparatory to implementation. We’re not going to put a timeframe in the air, but it will be implemented as soon as possible, definitely no later than the end of May 2021.”

He urged the striking judiciary and legislative workers should return to work.

Fayemi said, “I think we are basically at a position where, whether you speak to the conference of speakers’ chairperson or you speak to me or you speak to the representative of the judiciary or you speak to the solicitor-general of the federation, you will hear that we’re speaking with one voice on the implementation.

”And no later than May, you will start seeing the implementation of the agreement that we’ve reached.”

Also speaking to journalists on the issue on Monday, Bamidele said it was laughable to be grappling with judicial autonomy at this stage of the nation’s development.

He said, “We cannot continue to call on the judiciary to give peace a chance when we know the conditions under which they work cannot guarantee a passionate and enhanced delivery of justice. We are talking about judicial reforms; we are talking about the need for justice sector reforms.

“This is central and crucial to the independence of the judiciary in this country. We must not be left behind by the rest of the civilized world. Nobody stands to lose anything by granting independence to judiciary at the state level since it has been done at the national level.

“The fact that workers and staff of federal judiciary are joining the protest is only in solidarity with their colleagues at the state levels. It is a union matter and we do not have a control over it. We are hereby calling on the State Governors to do the needful because the independence of the judiciary is non- negotiable.

“No democracy can survive without being founded on the rule of law and independent judiciary.”

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