World breaking news today (December 15): Electoral College makes it official: Biden won, Trump lost
|The Electoral College formally chose Joe Biden on Monday as the nation’s next president (Photo: KSAT)|
Electoral College makes it official: Biden won, Trump lost
The Electoral College formally chose Joe Biden on Monday as the nation’s next president, giving him a solid electoral majority of 306 votes and confirming his victory in last month’s election.
The state-by-state voting took on added importance this year because of President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede he had lost, AP reported.
The results will be sent to Washington and tallied in a Jan. 6 joint session of Congress over which Vice President Mike Pence will preside.
For all Trump’s unsupported claims of fraud, there was little suspense and no change as all the electoral votes allocated to Biden and the president in last month’s popular vote went officially to each man.
Biden handily beat Trump, who had 232 electoral votes, a 74-vote margin that Biden noted Trump had called a landslide when he won by that much in 2016. On Election Day, the Democrat topped the incumbent Republican by more than 7 million in the popular vote nationwide.
California’s 55 electoral votes put Biden over the top. Vermont, with 3 votes, was the first state to report. Hawaii, with 4 votes, was the last.
“Once again in America, the rule of law, our Constitution, and the will of the people have prevailed. Our democracy — pushed, tested, threatened — proved to be resilient, true, and strong,” Biden said in an evening speech in which he stressed the size of his win and the record 81 million people who voted for him.
He renewed his campaign promise to be a president for all Americans, whether they voted for him or not, and said the country has hard work ahead on the virus and economy.
Michigan Rep. Paul Mitchell quits Republican Party over Trump's election fraud claims
Retiring Rep. Paul Mitchell of Michigan announced Monday he's leaving the Republican Party and becoming an Independent over his disgust with President Trump's efforts to overturn the presidential election.
"…it became clear to me that I could no longer be associated with the Republican Party [and] that leadership does not stand up and say the process, the election is over,” Mitchell said during an exclusive interview with CNN Monday.
Mitchell said he voted for Trump in the 2020 election and is a conservative - voting with Republicans 95% of the time - but that Republicans "must stand up for democracy first, for our Constitution first, and not political considerations, not simply for raw political power."
|Retiring Rep. Paul Mitchell of Michigan (Photo: KTLA)|
"This election simply confirms for me it's about power first and that, frankly, is disgusting and demoralizing," Mitchell said.
"Losing is brutal, it's personal and it hurts. But if you're not willing to accept that, you should not be in political leadership," Mitchell said.
Mitchell said he's been critical on some of the administration's positions in recent weeks and months because it is his duty to stand up and do the right thing based on his principles.
"It's why I'm ending my tenure in Congress by speaking out, in this case, that our leadership owes us better than what we are seeing right now and until I see that, I'm going to be an independent because it's simply unacceptable," he said.
With his decision, he becomes the second Republican member of Michigan's current congressional delegation to abandon the party, according to ABC News.
Pentagon Chief Receives Covid-19 Vaccine, Says, "Did Not Hurt At All"
Pentagon chief Christopher Miller was one of the first Americans to receive the Covid-19 vaccine Monday, on camera to encourage the rest of the country to follow suit, as reported by NDTV.
The acting defense secretary received the jab at Walter Reed military hospital near Washington, according to a video published by the Pentagon.
"That's all?! Oh come on! That did not hurt at all!" Miller joked while receiving the vaccine, a symbol of hope for the country worst-hit by the pandemic.
|Pentagon chief Christopher Miller receiving the jab (Photo: Rappler)|
The US crossed the grim threshold of 300,000 virus deaths earlier Monday.
The Pentagon announced last week that the secretary and top military officers would get vaccinated voluntarily and publicly to help spread the message about the treatment's effectiveness and safety.
The US vaccine campaign, the largest in its history, is prioritizing frontline healthcare workers and nursing homes.
Nearly three million doses are to be distributed by Wednesday, with the goal of vaccinating some 20 million Americans by the end of December and 100 million by the end of March.
Oil tanker hit by 'external source' in Saudi Arabia
Shipping company Hafnia has said an "external source" caused an explosion and fire on one of its tankers, the BW Rhine, while it was discharging at Jiddah port in Saudi Arabia. It reported hull damage but no injuries.
The owner of the BW Rhine oil tanker said on Monday that all 22 sailors on board escaped without injury after an explosion and fire while the ship was discharging in port.
"BW Rhine has been hit from an external source whilst discharging at Jiddah ... causing an explosion and subsequent fire on board," the Singapore-based shipping company Hafnia said in a statement.
Hafnia warned that it was possible that some oil had leaked from the site of the blast.
|It is warned that some oil had leaked from the site of the blast (Photo: AP News)|
The announcement suggested another case of an oil tanker coming under attack in the port at Jiddah after a mine attack last month that damaged a tanker, which Saudi authorities blamed on Yemen's Houthi rebels, Reuters reported.
The United Kingdom Marine Trade Operations, an organization under Britain's royal navy, urged ships in the area to exercise caution and said investigations were ongoing.
The U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, which patrols the Mideast, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press.
Gold price prediction – prices slip and consolidate as the Dollar eases
Gold prices moved lower on Monday and continue to consolidate. The dollar moved down, led by gains in the Euro, which appear to be breaking out again. US yields moved sideways and remain steady as investors await a decision on stimulus. Riskier assets initially moved higher but whipsawed, sending the yellow metal lower. According to the latest commitment of trader’s report, hedge funds have been added to a long position in futures and options and reduced short position in futures and options.
|(Photo: Australian Mining)|
Gold prices traded lower and continue to trade in a sideways consolidation pattern. Prices made a higher high and a higher low but were unable to push through resistance. Prices pushed through support which is now resistance near the 10-day moving average at 1,840. Support is seen near an upward sloping trend line that comes in near 1,781.
Short-term momentum has turned negative as the fast stochastic generated a crossover sell signal. The current reading on the fast stochastic is 66, down from 73. Medium-term momentum is positive but is decelerating as the MACD (moving average convergence divergence) histogram prints in the black with a decelerating trajectory, which points to consolidation, FX Empire reported.
|World breaking news today (December 14): Donald Trump will be offered COVID-19 vaccine soon |
World breaking news today (December 14): Donald Trump will be offered COVID-19 vaccine soo. Meanwhile, Biden wants U.S. back in Iran nuclear deal, leaders to ...
|World breaking news today (December 13): Israel and Bhutan establish diplomatic relations |
World breaking news today (December 13): Israel and Bhutan establish diplomatic relations. Meanwhile, Trump's supporters rallying in Washington, US starts getting COVID-19 vaccine, protest in ...
|World breaking news today (December 11): Joe Biden and Kamala Harris named Time's Person of the Year |
World breaking news today (December 11): Joe Biden and Kamala Harris named Time's Person of the Year. Meanwhile, Dutch expel two Russian diplomats for suspected ...