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Trump, Biden locked In Tight Contest For The US Presidency

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No hiccups were recorded at any polling station in the United States on Tuesday despite substantial pre-election anxiety.  An unprecedented number of Americans went to the polls to elect a new president in a process many say went smoothly.

Law enforcement officials and voter advocates had reported few voter intimidation incidents but no major breakdown of law and order.

The result of the bitterly-fought election campaign between president Donald Trump and challenger former vice-president Joe Biden is still up in the air, too tight to declare at this point.

By early Wednesday morning, neither candidate had secured the two hundred seventy Electoral College votes needed to win.  The results may now not come for days.

Trump won in Florida, a major battleground state Biden had thought he would flip for the democrats. Some battleground states, including Florida, were already called, leaving the three northern industrial states—Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania as the potential states that would determine who wins the white house.

Although Trump had promised not to declare premature victory, he did just that, claiming victories in several key states where vote counting were still in progress.  He also said he would take the election to the Supreme Court.  His challenger, Joe Biden, had called for patience for all the votes to be counted before winners are declared.

Biden leading in the electoral college vote count at two hundred thirty-eight against Trump’s two hundred thirteen.  Two hundred seventy electoral votes are required to win the White House.

World News

Smaller Thanksgiving Gatherings Disrupt US Turkey Market

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Today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States—a day when millions of families get together, share turkey meals and revel. And it is a day of the famous Macy’s parade. But it’s a smaller occasion this year as COVID-19 has put a damper on large celebrations.

The turkey industry in the country is seeing both a shortage of smaller turkeys and a surplus of the bigger ones as more Americans plan to hold smaller gatherings for Thanksgiving as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As Americans heed the advice of health authorities to hold smaller gatherings, they have had to downsize their turkeys from the usual thirty-pound birds.

A recent survey conducted by the American turkey and poultry company, butterball, found that three out of four of its respondents are opting for simpler, smaller dinners this year, which is in line with recommendations from the centers for disease control and prevention.

But that creates a problem for America’s turkey industry where at least forty million turkeys are usually consumed every Thanksgiving. The national turkey federation says most of the frozen turkeys one would find in the supermarkets now had gone into the field before the pandemic hit.  Now, there is a huge backlog, especially of the big size birds that people are not buying because of reduction in crowd sizes.

Nonetheless, Americans say they will make the best of this thanksgiving day and pray that next year would be coronavirus-free. Then, life can return to normal.

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Health News

General: COVID-19 Vaccines Will Be Ready For Delivery 24 Hours After FDA Authorization

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Four-Star general Gustave Perna who is leading the U.S. government’s operation warp speed, the crash program to develop, produce, and distribute enough COVID-19 vaccine doses to inoculate 300 million Americans, says he is confident vaccines will be “on the streets 24 hours after being authorized by the food and drug administration.

The operation is stockpiling anticipated vaccines made by six different drug makers.

While the first two vaccines to be distributed will likely be from Pfizer and Moderna, the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Affairs, Alex Azar, described the news from Astra zeneca’s clinical trials as “very promising” and noted that the company’s vaccine is already being produced in the country so it too can be ready for distribution once authorized by the FDA.

Azar confirmed the drugmaker is already producing mass quantities of the vaccine in the U.S.

Last week, Pfizer applied for authorization from the FDA and a hearing date was set for mid-December.

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World News

Formal Transition Of U.S. Power To Biden Begins After Lengthy Delay

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US president-elect Joe Biden has been informally introducing his cabinet choices as formal transition begins.

Many of the choices, already announced, are Biden’s colleagues from his years in the Obama administration.

Former secretary of state, John Kerry, will be climate envoy, while foreign policy veteran Antony Blinken is nominated for secretary of state.

Avril Haines has been nominated for the post of director of national intelligence.  If confirmed, she will be the first female to hold that position.  Alejandro Mayorkas is named as homeland security boss.  If confirmed, she would be the first Latino in that job.

President-elect Biden has highlighted the need to rebuild alliances, as well as tackling coronavirus and climate change.

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