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Biden elected 46th US president, secures over 270 electoral votes

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After days of tension-soaked ballot counting, Joseph R. Biden Jr. has been elected president of the United States.

Biden was elected Saturday on his third try, after an extraordinary race, defeating President Trump after campaigning on a promise to restore civility and stability to American politics and to expand the government’s role in guiding the country through the surging coronavirus pandemic.

Biden, 77, who will become the 46th president and the oldest man ever sworn into the office, secured the needed 270 votes from the Electoral College after Pennsylvania was called for him, though the race was far closer than many Democrats, Republicans and pollsters had expected.

The result also provided a history-making moment for President-elect Biden’s running mate, Senator Kamala Harris of California, who became the first woman, and first woman of color, on a winning presidential ticket.

With his third run for the White House — after unsuccessful bids in 1988 and 2008, and after spending eight years as President Barack Obama’s vice president — Biden finally attained a goal that he has dreamed of for decades, capping a career in national politics that began with a victory in a 1972 Senate race in Delaware.

Biden’s triumph concluded an extraordinary election that was expected to set modern records for turnout, despite being held amid a pandemic that has upended life across the United States.

More than 100 million Americans voted before Election Day as states sought to make voting safer, putting the nation on track for the largest turnout in a century once the final vote is tallied.

Biden also won the popular vote by nearly three percentage points,  and, with more than 74 million votes, broke the vote record set by Mr Barrack Obama in 2012.

Trump received more than 70 million votes — far more than the 63 million he received in 2016 when he beat Hillary Clinton while losing the popular vote.

Voters overcame their fears of the coronavirus, long lines at the polls and the vexing challenges of a transformed election system to render a verdict on Trump’s chaotic and norm-breaking presidency.

Trump was the first incumbent president to lose a bid for re-election since George H.W. Bush lost to Bill Clinton in 1992.

Still, the race was not the landslide many Democrats had hoped for: Biden lost a number of important battleground states where he had invested time and resources, most notably Florida, amid signs of challenges with a number of Latino constituencies.

The Trump campaign and Republican lawyers have already begun a wide-ranging legal assault to challenge Democratic votes and victories in key swing states, part of a long-telegraphed effort to call the validity of the election into question.

Trump, who baselessly declared victory early Wednesday, before votes were tallied in multiple states, had regularly questioned the legitimacy of the election as polls showed him trailing, and it was not immediately clear how he would respond to the news of Mr. Biden’s victory.

Much of Biden’s agenda in office may rest on his ability to work with Congress. Democrats have maintained their hold on the House but had a much narrower path to reclaiming control of the Senate

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NPHCDA: Lagos, FCT, Kano top list as over 1.7m vaccinated against COVID-19

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The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) says 1,794,552 persons across the country have received COVID vaccine since the nationwide rollout on March 5.

Vaccination has taken place in the 36 states of the federation and the federal capital territory (FCT).

According to an update published by NPHCDA, Saturday evening, Lagos, the epicenter of the pandemic in the country, tops the list with 279,372 persons vaccinated, followed by federal capital territory (FCT) with 118,895 and Kano with 92,583.

The agency said two states have vaccinated more than 50 percent of their eligible population required for the first dose.

The states are Kwara with 104 percent and Lagos with 101 percent.

The development means that the country managed to administer an average of 25,275 doses daily.

Nigeria had received close to 4.5 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine — 3.94 million delivered via the United Nations-led COVAX facility, while others are donations from India and private organisations.

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Buhari departs Abuja for African Finance Summit in France

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday departed Abuja for France ahead of the African Finance Summit.

The summit will review the African economy, following shocks from the COVID-19 pandemic and getting relief, especially from the increasing debt burden on countries.

During the four-day trip, Buhari will also meet with Emmanuel Macron, president of France.

Buhari and Macron are expected to discuss the growing security threats in the Sahel and Lake Chad region, climate change, economic ties, political relations, partnership to improve Nigeria’s health sector and contain the spread of COVID-19.

In a statement on Saturday, the presidency had said the summit will also be “focused on reviewing African economy, following shocks from coronavirus pandemic and getting relief, especially from increased debt burden on countries”.

“Before returning to Nigeria, President Buhari will receive some key players in the oil and gas sector, engineering and telecommunications, European Council and European Union Representative for Foreign and Security Policy and Commission, and members of the Nigerian community,” the statement said.

Major stakeholders in the global financial institutions and some heads of government are expected to attend the summit.

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Three officers killed as gunmen attack police station in Delta

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Gunmen have razed the Nsukwa divisional police station in Aniocha south LGA of Delta state.

The attackers were said to have invaded the police station at about 2am on Sunday.

Although the actual number of casualties is yet to be ascertained, three police officers were reportedly killed.

The assailant were also said to have burned down vehicles in the premises and carted away police ammunition.

Bright Edafe, police public relations officer in the state, did not respond to calls and messages sent to him by TheCable.

Lately, there has been a series of attacks on security and government facilities, in various states including Abia, Imo, Ebonyi, Akwa Ibom and other parts of the south-east and south-south.

Last week, two police stations were razed in Abia within 72hours.

On Tuesday, hoodlums burnt the office of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NLDEA) in Amaekpu in Ohafia LGA.

Two days earlier, gunmen also razed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Ohafia.

At least four police stations were attacked last weekend in various parts of southern Nigeria.

There is no confirmed cause of the attacks yet, but the killings in the south-east tripled after the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) launched a security arm — the group denies any wrongdoing.

The federal government recently approved new security measures to be deployed to restore peace in the south-east and south-south

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