The race for the White House is only getting intense with Republican President Donald Trump and Democrat challenger Joe Biden fighting a closely contested battle to clinch 270 Electoral College votes. All depends on the five battleground states—North Carolina, Georgia, Nevada, Michigan and Wisconsin—where counting is still on. As per reports, President Trump leads by slender margins in North Carolina and Georgia, while Biden is ahead in Nevada, Michigan and Wisconsin.
Interestingly, President Trump first claimed victory and then cried hoarse that he was earlier “leading, often solidly, in many key states” in the 2020 presidential polls but “they started to magically disappear”.
Biden opened up narrow leads in Wisconsin and Michigan, according to Edison Research, as the two Midwestern battleground states that Trump won in 2016 continued to count mail-in ballots that surged amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Together with Nevada, another state where Biden held a small advantage with votes still left to be tallied, those states would deliver Biden the 270 votes needed in the state-by-state Electoral College to win the White House. But Trump still had a path to victory with those states officially undecided.
Though opinion polls had given Biden sizeable lead over Trump, the vote did not produce that kind of overwhelming verdict in favour of Democrats.
Taking to Twitter, Trump said, “Last night I was leading, often solidly, in many key States, in almost all instances Democrat run and controlled. Then, one by one, they started to magically disappear as surprise ballot dumps were counted. VERY STRANGE, and the ‘pollsters’ got it completely & historically wrong!” This came hours after he had alleged “major fraud” in the 2020 presidential election and said he will be going to the Supreme Court over the same.
Addressing his supporters from the White House, Trump said, “We want voting to stop… We’ll be going to the US Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop. We don’t want them to find any ballots at 4 in the morning and add them to the list… As far as I’m concerned, we’ve already won.”
Earlier in the day, he had claimed victory in the 2020 presidential elections and thanked the American people for their tremendous support and said the results of polls have been ‘phenomenal’. “I thank the American people for their tremendous support. A very sad group of people is trying to disenfranchise that group of people and we will not stand for it… The results tonight have been phenomenal… We were getting ready to win this election. Frankly, we did win this election,” he said.
while addressing a crowd, many of whom were without masks, from the White House.
Biden, on the other hand, said in the early hours that he was confident of winning once the votes were counted, and urged patience. “We feel good about where we are,” Biden said in his home state of Delaware. “We believe we’re on track to win this election.”
Voting concluded as scheduled on Tuesday night, but many states routinely take days to finish counting ballots. Huge numbers of people voted by mail because of the pandemic, making it likely the count will take longer than usual.
The close election underscored the political polarization in the United States. The next President will take on a pandemic that has killed more than 231,000 Americans and left millions more jobless at a time not only of gaping political divisions but of racial tensions and differences between urban and rural Americans.
The trio of “blue wall” states that unexpectedly sent Trump to the White House in 2016—Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin—remained too close to call. Officials in Nevada said they would not update the count until Thursday. Two Southern states, Georgia and North Carolina, were also still in play; Trump held leads in both. A win for Biden in either one would narrow Trump’s chances considerably.
Biden’s victory in Arizona, which had previously voted for a Democratic presidential candidate only once in 72 years, so far remained the only state to flip from the 2016 results.
Trump’s most likely path requires him to win Pennsylvania as well as at least one Midwestern battleground and both Southern states.
With agency inputs
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West Bengal labourer dies in Karnataka in pit collapse
Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], February 25 (ANI): A 21-year-old labourer from West Bengal died after the pit he was digging collapsed on him in the Kengeri area of Bengaluru on Wednesday evening, said Karnataka Police on Thursday.
According to the police’s statement, deceased Chanchal Burman (21) was digging a pit to construct a wall against the Vrushabhavati canal when the pit caved in killing him.
“A person Chanchal Burman (21) belonging from west Bengal has died yesterday evening in Kengeri police station limits. He was working as a labourer with Vastu properties. He was digging a pit to construct a wall against Vrushabhavati canal. He died when the mud collapsed on him,” said the statement. (ANI)
Two jawans killed, one injured in Naxal incidents in Chhattisgarh
Narayanpur (Chhattisgarh) [India], February 25 (ANI): In three separate Naxal related incidents, two jawans lost their lives while one was injured on Wednesday.
According to IG Bastar P Sundarraj, on the morning of February 24 around 10 am, there was an encounter between security forces and Naxals in the forest hill of village Kukur under the police station Sonpur area of Narayanpur district. DRG jawan Kaner Usendi lost his life in the incident.
In another incident, an IED blast took place on February 24 around 11 am in the village Karelaghati under the police station Kukrajhore area of Narayanpur district. CAF constable Bankeshwar Paikra was injured when a joint police party was hit by an IED blast during area domination.
On the same day, a joint party of ITBP and District force left for RSO duty from Sonpur police station of district Narayanpur. Around 18:15 pm, a pipe bomb exploded a kilometre ahead of Sonpur police station in which ITBP jawan L.T. Balachandra lost his life. (ANI)
Lt Governor-headed committee to monitor Covid-19 vaccination in Puducherry
Puducherry [India], February 25 (ANI): A 22-member COVID Intensive Vaccination Committee led by Lieutenant Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan has been constituted in Puducherry to monitor and upscale the inoculation activities in the Union Territory.
In a letter, Lt Governor asked the committee to meet once a week to discuss the progress and to plan future actions.
The committee shall access the gaps in implementation, she ordered. It shall adopt methodologies in upscaling the COVID vaccine and also review the awareness and outreach of the programme.
Puducherry has reported 39,656 COVID cases so far.
The second phase of COVID-19 vaccination in India will begin from March,1 in which people above 60 years of age and those above 45 years of age with comorbidities will be vaccinated, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Wednesday. The minister said that those who would take the vaccine at private centres will have to pay from their own pocket. (ANI)
Earthquake of magnitude 3.3 hits Manipur
Ukhrul (Manipur) [India], February 25 (ANI): An earthquake of magnitude 3.3 on the Richter scale hit Manipur’s Shirui on Thursday, informed the National Centre for Seismology (NCS).
According to the NCS, the quake occurred at 9.19 am today.
“Earthquake of Magnitude: 3.3, Occurred on 25-02-2021, 09:19:01 IST, Lat: 25.21 & Long: 94.37, Depth: 48 Km, Location: 10km NNW of Shirui, Manipur,” tweeted NCB.
Earlier today, an earthquake of magnitude 2.4 on the Richter scale hit Himachal Pradesh’s Chamba at 3.55 am. (ANI)
Navy sailor death case: Police probing suicide angle
Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], February 25 (ANI): Maharashtra Police is probing the suicide angle into the death of the Navy official who succumbed to his burn injuries in Palghar, on February 6, said Dattatray Shinde, Superintendent of Police, Palghar on Wednesday.
“We found that Suraj Kumar Dubey (27) had invested money in the share market and took a loan which he couldn’t repay. To escape from this situation, we suspect he made up his abduction story,” said the SP.
He said that during the investigation, police found CCTV footage of the Dubey buying fuel at a petrol pump.
“We’re probing into the suicide angle. Before his death, he gave a statement against three persons who abducted him from Chennai airport at gunpoint and later burnt him alive in jungles of Vevaji in Palghar, Maharashtra,” Shinde added.
Dubey, a Navy official succumbed to burn injuries on February 6.
Police had earlier said, “Dubey was kidnapped from near the Chennai airport and taken to the jungles of Vevaji in Palghar. The kidnappers had demanded a ransom of Rs 10 lakh to release him, but the demand was not fulfilled by the kin of the Navy official. Enraged at this, the kidnappers set the man on fire and left him to die in the jungle.”
Based on Dubey’s statement before his death, the police had filed a case against three unidentified persons. (ANI)
One held by Central Crime Branch in Bengaluru, 1.2 kg gold seized
Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], February 25 (ANI): Central Crime Branch (CCB) arrested one person for allegedly possessing gold jewellery illegally worth over Rs 60 lakh.
“CCB, Bengaluru arrested a notorious habitual offender and seized 1.280 kilograms of gold jewellery – worth Rs 61 lakh, one pistol and five bullets from his possession,” Sandeep Patil, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) said on Thursday.
A case has been registered and further investigation is underway.
In another case on February 23, the CCB has arrested two Nigerian nationals for alleged drug peddling in the Indiranagar area here.
“CCB has arrested two Nigerian nationals on charges of drug peddling and seized 56 ecstasy pills from them in Indiranagar,” the Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) said on Tuesday. (ANI)
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