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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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FG establishing oxygen plants in 36 states – NEC

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The National Economic Council (NEC) says the Ministry of Health is establishing oxygen plants across the 36 states of the federation.

Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi made this known to State House correspondents after a virtual NEC meeting on Friday presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Umahi said that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, who chaired the NEC Ad hoc committee interfacing with the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 to ease the lockdown of the economy, presented a report to the council.

“The Federal Ministry of Health is establishing oxygen plants across the 36 states in the country, but currently six states have been provided with oxygen cylinders so far.

“The Federal Government has paid for 40 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines coming in batches and therefore a considerable amount of the vaccines will come into the country between now and January 2022. Nigeria is now classified among the 50 countries in the green zones.”

Umahi said that NEC also received states’ performance report on COVID-19 from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

He said that the council was also updated on the global situation of COVID-19.

He said, “Over 237 million confirmed cases and over 4.8 million deaths due to COVID-19. There are now over 6.3 billion vaccine doses administered.  Nigeria is still in the first wave of vaccination and vaccination tools will improve as the country receives additional vaccines. COVID-19 cases have declined by 7.5 per cent over the last week.”

Umahi said that states were urged to continue to push testing activities in order to detect new cases before the situation worsened.

According to him, an update on travel restrictions on certain countries expected to be announced soon by the Federal Government.

The governor said that the council also received an update on the situation regarding Cholera outbreak.

“Current Cholera situation in the country; suspected number of cases   is 88,704. Number of states is 31 and the FCT. Number of deaths is 3,208.

“Multi-sectoral emergency operation centres activated at level 2 continues to coordinate the national response,” he said.

He listed the challenges to include difficulty in accessing some communities due to insecurity, open defecation and lack of potable drinking water.

Umahi said other challenges were lack of basic health primary healthcare infrastructure, inadequate health facility and cholera commodities for case management.

Umahi said that NEC commended the insightful presentations and congratulated the outgoing Director-General of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, on his new appointment at the WHO and also welcomed the incoming Director-General, Dr Ifedayo Morayo Adetifa.

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Bakare meets with Buhari, opposes clamour for power rotation

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Founder of Citadel Global Community Church, Tunde Bakare, says the region to produce the president of Nigeria should not be an issue.

He stated this in Abuja on Friday during an interaction with reporters at the presidential villa after meeting President Muhammadu Buhari, noting that Nigerians are only bothered about a leader that would ensure the prosperity of the country.

The pastor said the “immaturity” of the citizens is responsible for “making us say power must either be in the North or be in the South, instead of looking for the best.

“Listen to me, if where the President comes from will make the place he has come from to be better, the northern part of Nigeria should be richest and the most progressive and the most developed because out of 61 years, the North has produced either the President or heads of state for 40 to 41 years and yet, see the retrogression in the North.

“If it’s from the South, why should a person like President Obasanjo freeze and seize the account of Lagos State in his own tenure? If it’s from South-South or South-East, why couldn’t President Jonathan use all his powers to develop South-South/South-East?

“If there are agreements between politicians on rotation, a bargain is a bargain. That is between them. But as far as this country is concerned, what we need at this stage is a man who can drive us to the Eldorado.”

The pastor commended the national assembly for empowering the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to determine the mode of transmitting election results.

“Perhaps one of the best things the present national assembly has done, especially the senate, because, with that, Nigerians can vote and then results can be transmitted so easily,” he said.

“Not only that, part of the state of the nation address that I did on October 10, I emphasised how Nigeria youth, especially undergraduates, are disenfranchised in our country.”

 

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FG declares Tuesday Oct 19 Eid-il-Maulud holiday

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The Federal Government has declared Tuesday October 19 a public holiday to mark the Islamic festival of Eid-il-Maulud in “commemoration of the birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).”

Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government, in a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Shuaib Belgore.

Aregbesola congratulated the Muslim faithful both at home and in the diaspora for witnessing this year’s occasion.

He urged all Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of love, patience and perseverance which he said “are the virtues of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), adding that doing so would guarantee peace and security in the country.”

The statement added, “Ogbeni Aregbesola enjoined Nigerians, particularly Muslims, to refrain from violence, lawlessness and other acts of criminality. As the indisputable leader of our race, we must show responsible leadership in Africa.

“While calling for a stop to all divisive tendencies across the country, the minister urges all Nigerians and the youth in particular, to embrace the virtues of hard work and peaceful disposition to fellow humans, irrespective of faith, ideology, social class and ethnicity and cooperate with President Muhammadu Buhari’s led-Administration in its effort to build a progressive and enviable nation that all citizens would be proud of.”

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