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Traffic through Suez Canal starts up again as stranded ship finally freed

Ship traffic through the Suez Canal has slowly resumed after salvage teams managed to move the 200,000-tonne container ship that had blocked all passage through the crucial waterway for nearly a week.

Helped by the peak of high tide, a flotilla of tugboats managed to wrench the bow of the skyscraper-sized Ever Given from the sandy bank of the canal, where it has been lodged since last Tuesday.

“We pulled it off!” said Peter Berdowski, CEO of Boskalis, the salvage firm hired to extract the Ever Given, in a statement. “I am excited to announce that our team of experts, working in close collaboration with the Suez Canal Authority, successfully refloated the Ever Given, thereby making free passage through the Suez Canal possible again.”

Flanked by tugboats, the ship made its way cautiously to the Great Bitter Lake, a wide stretch of water halfway between the north and south end of the canal, where it was undergoing a technical examination to see if it was damaged and whether or not it is safe to proceed to its original destination of Rotterdam.

Billions of dollars worth of goods delayed

About $ 9 billion US ($ 11.3 billion Cdn) worth of goods normally pass through the canal every day, and the backlog of ships numbered nearly 400 when Ever Given was finally moved on Monday.

Dozens more had already left the canal’s entrance and are making their way along the lengthy alternate route around the Cape of Good Hope at Africa’s southern tip — a detour that costs ships hundreds of thousands of dollars in fuel and other costs.

With canal transits stopped, Egypt already has lost over $ 95 million in revenue, according to the data firm Refinitiv. If the ship is freed in the next few days, clearing the backlog of ships waiting to pass through the canal would take over 10 days, Refinitiv said.

Even before the ship was fully freed, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi portrayed the development as a victory in his first comments on the stranded vessel.

“Egyptians have succeeded in ending the crisis,” he wrote on Facebook.

In the village of Amer, which overlooks the canal, residents cheered as the vessel moved along. Many scrambled to get a closer look while others mockingly waved goodbye to the departing ship from their fields of clover


The situation on the Suez Canal strained supply chains and forced some ships to take a longer route around the Cape of Good Hope at Africa’s southern tip. (Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters)

“Mission accomplished,” one villager Abdalla Ramadan said. “The whole world is relieved.”

The price of international benchmark Brent crude dropped some two per cent to just over $ 63 US on the news.

WATCH: Hundreds of ships are lined up behind the Ever Given, trying to get through:

Ships sit idle waiting to pass through one of the world’s busiest trade routes, which has been blocked by the Ever Given since Tuesday. 0:39

The unprecedented shutdown has threatened to disrupt oil and gas shipments to Europe from the Middle East and raised fears of extended delays, goods shortages and rising costs for consumers.

It has also prompted new questions about the shipping industry, an on-demand supplier for a world now under pressure from the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’ve gone to this fragile, just-in-time shipping that we saw absolutely break down in the beginning of COVID,” said Capt. John Konrad, the founder and CEO of the shipping news website gcaptain.com. “We used to have big, fat warehouses in all the countries where the factories pulled supplies — Now these floating ships are the warehouse.”


The high tide on Monday helped rescue teams get the ship, bearing 20,000 truck-sized shipping containers, moving again. (Maxar Technologies/The Associated Press)

Although the exact cause of the grounding are still unknown, the Ever Given lost power in the middle of a sandstorm last Monday, while it was about six kilometres north of the entrance to the canal. It rammed into the eastern bank of the canal, while the stern of the ship drifted west and also got stuck in the sand.

Dredgers, tugs and other equipment had very little luck in moving the colossal ship bearing 20,000 truck-sized shipping containers, until high tide on Monday proved to be the boost that rescue teams needed.

As a window for a breakthrough narrows with high tide receding this week, fears have grown that authorities would be forced to lighten the vessel by removing the ship’s 20,000 containers — a complex operation requiring specialized equipment not found in Egypt that could take days or weeks.

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GTX 1050 Ti Rides Again: 2016 Budget GPU Returns With Zero Improvements, Elevated Price

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At least some manufacturers have followed through on putting old GPUs back on the market again. Japanese vendor Kuroutoshikou has restarted sales of the GTX 1050 Ti, with a 4GB card retailing for 22,800 yen, or roughly $ 200. The card in question, the GF-GTX1050Ti-E4GB / SF / P2, originally sold for $ 140 when the GTX 1050 Ti launched in late 2016.

There are absolutely no new features, capabilities, or functions to report regarding the new card, which is reportedly manufactured by Palit. The GTX 1050 Ti offers gamers a chance to return to the halcyon days of 2016, when we were also (coincidentally) discussing an ongoing GPU shortage.

At the time, however, we were only chewing on AMD and Nvidia for launching cards they couldn’t ship for ordinary reasons, like low yields. Lower-end cards that were launching at the time, such as the RX 460 and GTX 1050 / 1050 Ti, were easier to find than their higher-end counterparts.

Last year, AMD and Nvidia offered tentative hope that the GPU market might stabilize as Q1 2021 drew to a close. Q1 2021 is officially drawing to a close, so take a moment to enjoy some of the better GPU deals you can currently purchase at Newegg. To those of you who don’t feel like clicking, a screenshot of current GTX 1050 Ti prices should tell the story well enough:

At $ 200, the Palit-built GTX 1050 Ti cards above would actually be a great value if they came to the US, where the cheapest card is currently $ 262. Under ordinary circumstances, we might expect high 1050 Ti prices at this point in time simply because the card is no longer manufactured, but that’s not what’s driving up prices. Even GPUs like the GeForce GT 1030, introduced at $ 80, are now selling for $ 140+.

Right now, your best bet for an economical graphics solution is to rely on CPU-based graphics. This is easier on Intel CPUs than AMD, because Intel offers an integrated GPU on all non-F CPUs, while AMD only offers a handful of APUs, and none equipped with either the Zen 2 or Zen 3 CPU architectures. There are no parts in-market currently selling at anything resemblant of a reasonable price and estimates for when market prices might approach a reasonable range from the end of Q2 to Q1 2022. We’re still hoping for the earlier part of that range, but no bets.

Now Read:

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Bianca Andreescu fell just as quickly as she rose — can she rise again?

Even in 2019, amid her remarkable rise, Bianca Andreescu’s availability was a constant question.

That was the year she won the prestigious Indian Wells tournament, the Rogers Cup on home soil and became the first Canadian to ever win a singles major title at the U.S. Open.

In between, she played just five matches. After the U.S. Open, a left knee injury knocked her out of the season-ending WTA Finals in November.

It was over 500 days before Andreescu would play again. She was upset in the second round of the Australian Open last month and lost in the fourth round of a follow-up tournament.

The Toronto native then announced she would miss the next three tournaments for health reasons. Here we go again?

“Physically it showed that she had all those matches under her belt and quite a few were close and long three-setters. … But it’s not a situation where her injuries resurfaced or new injury surfaced,” said Andreescu’s coach Sylvain Bruneau.

Andreescu’s elongated absence was not solely based on injury. Bruneau said in March the plan was for her to return for the Miami Open — until WTA play was suspended due to concerns over COVID-19.

Even with her return on the horizon, Andreescu was stuck in a Melbourne hotel room for two weeks after Bruneau contracted the virus. Other players were allowed out of quarantine for training ahead of the Grand Slam.

“The most important thing for me was that she was able to play those two matches at the Australian Open and then four more [in] the tournament right after and get the confirmation that the old injuries were behind us,” Bruneau said.

WATCH | Breaking down Andreescu’s Aussie Open performance:

Anastasia Bucsis and Vivek Jacob react to Bianca Andreescu’s abrupt exit of the Australian Open, discuss what they saw from her performance, and how they think she’ll perform in Tokyo. 3:03

Bruneau says those matches met his expectations for Andreescu. Her movement “was not perfect,” but there was reason for hope. There were times she arrived at the ball on time and balanced, and other times Bruneau noticed she was reaching.

“She couldn’t have been full confidence because she obviously felt she was not at the top of her game, but just playing those matches after the Australian Open, winning those close matches, knowing you’re not at the top of your game, but your fighting skills and dealing with them are still there,” Bruneau said.

“[That] should be a step in the right direction and in some ways a confidence booster for what’s next.”

NBC tennis analyst Mary Carillo agreed with Bruneau’s assessment of Andreescu’s Australian run, saying she thought the Canadian looked “fit and eager.”

Patience is key

Neither Bruneau nor Carillo expect Andreescu to immediately regain her dominance, instead stressing that it takes time after such a long layoff.

“She is clearly somebody who can win multiple majors, but the length of time she spent suffering from one injury after another reminded me of Juan Martin Del Potro,” Carillo said.

Del Potro won the U.S. Open in 2009 at 20 years old but injured his wrist the following year. That setback periodically flared up throughout the Argentinian’s career, and he never won another Grand Slam, despite a couple lengthy runs.

ESPN tennis analyst Brad Gilbert made the same comparison.

“I think she’s exciting and I think she’s got a fun game to watch. And fingers crossed that that’s all I say. It was the same for [Del Potro]. It was like, ‘God, such a great game to watch.’ But you don’t want to be stopped by being injured,” Gilbert said.

WATCH | Andreescu stunned in 2nd round of return:

Mississauga’s Bianca Andreescu made a second-round exit at the Australian Open on Wednesday, dropping a 6-3, 6-2 decision to Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-Wei. 4:48

Knee injuries can be debilitating for tennis players, but Andreescu’s game doesn’t solely rely on speed — it’s her varied approach that makes her tough to handle.

At her best, there are no weaknesses.

“When she is playing, I tend to only watch her half of the court,” Carillo said.

“Almost every other woman is fairly predictable in how they’re going to play strategically. With Andreescu, you don’t know what the hell is going on in her brain. And all of a sudden there’s this gorgeous lob or this sweet little dropshot or she’ll break open the point with a heavy forehand.”

Gilbert was more cautionary about how a knee injury would specifically disrupt Andreescu’s game.

“In ’19 at the Open, the way she was flying around the court, I thought she was the best mover — even better than [current world No. 3 Simona Halep]. … That’s something crucial to her game because she’s not six feet tall,” he said.

‘Great ambition, ridiculous talent’

With the right dose of practice, load management and tournaments, none of Bruneau, Carillo and Gilbert would be surprised to see Andreescu right back where she finished in 2019.

“I am not sure that it’s totally possible to try to get her to peak for the Olympics or for wherever, as we just need to go through a process and look for her game and everything to fall back into place,” Bruneau said.

Andreescu is just 20. The Del Potro path is the darkest timeline, but it is far from certain.

“The best ability is availability. And if you don’t have availability, you can’t post results,” Gilbert said.

“I know there’s great ambition and ridiculous talent. I think what we need here is some patience,” Carillo added.

Given the time off, Andreescu’s middling results in Australia were a signal that her previous dominance won’t just come back on its own. It takes real matches and consistent practice to get there.

In one moment, she was one of eight women invited to the WTA Finals. In the next — 16 months later — Andreescu was upset by an unseeded player in the second round of the Australian Open.

“When you feel that great with your game, with your confidence, with everything about your tennis and you’re forced to take 16 months off, that’s not where you want that to happen usually. When you’re getting [to] the top of the mountain, you want to keep going,” Bruneau said.

Now, Andreescu faces another climb.

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Goalkeeper Evan Bush on the move again, dealt to Crew by Whitecaps

After a brief stint with the Vancouver Whitecaps, veteran goalkeeper Evan Bush is on the move once again.

The ‘Caps sent the 34-year-old from Concord Township, Ohio, to the Columbus Crew in exchange for $ 125,000 US in general allocation money during Major League Soccer’s half-day trade window on Sunday.

As part of the deal, Vancouver will retain an undisclosed portion of Bush’s salary.

Bush was traded to the Whitecaps by the Montreal Impact at the end of September after Vancouver goalies Maxime Crepeau and Thomas Hasal suffered season-ending injuries.

“Evan is a talented goalkeeper whose significant experience in MLS will be a great addition to our team,” Columbus president and general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in a statement. “We look forward to integrating him into the team and seeing him push our goalkeeping corps as we prepare for the 2021 season.”

He posted a 4-4-0 record with his new club, including one shutout, but the ‘Caps missed the playoffs for the third season in a row.

Whitecaps sporting director Axel Schuster said in a statement that when Vancouver brought Bush in, he expressed a desire to move closer to his family at the end of the year.

The move to the Crew, which won the MLS Cup on Saturday, reunites the ‘keeper with coach Caleb Porter, who was his coach at the University of Akron.

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Trump tells crowded White House holiday gathering he might run again in 2024

U.S. President Donald Trump teased running again for president in 2024 as he hosted a holiday reception at the White House on Tuesday evening.

“It’s been an amazing four years,” Trump told the crowd, which included many Republican National Committee members. “We’re trying to do another four years. Otherwise, I’ll see you in four years.”

The video of Trump’s appearance was streamed live on Facebook by one attendee, former Oklahoma Republican Party Chair Pam Pollard. It showed dozens of people crammed into the Cross Hall of the White House state floor, standing closely together. Many seen in the video were not wearing masks.

The Trumps began hosting holiday receptions this week, intent on celebrating a final season before Trump leaves office on Jan. 20.

According to social media postings reviewed by The Associated Press, the events have featured large crowds of often maskless attendees gathered indoors — violating the very public health guidance the U.S. government has pressed the nation to follow this holiday season as cases of COVID-19 skyrocket across the country.


The Cross Hall leading to the East Room of the White House. The Trumps began hosting holiday receptions this week, often with large crowds of people not wearing masks. (Patrick Semansky/The Associated Press)

In the video, Trump is heard continuing to air baseless allegations of election fraud to explain his defeat by president-elect Joe Biden despite his attorney general, William Barr, telling the AP earlier Tuesday that the U.S. Justice Department had not uncovered evidence of widespread voter fraud and had seen nothing that would change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

“It’s certainly an unusual year. We won an election. But they don’t like that,” Trump told the group, adding: “I call it a rigged election, and I always will.”

Superspreader event

The White House has been the site of at least one suspected COVID-19 superspreader event, and dozens of the president’s aides, campaign staffers and allies have tested positive in numerous outbreaks. Trump himself was hospitalized for the virus in October, and his wife and two of his sons have tested positive. Numerous others have had to quarantine.

Stephanie Grisham, Melania Trump’s spokesperson and chief of staff, had said last month that the White House would be moving forward with events, “while providing the safest environment possible.” She said that would include smaller guest lists, that “masks will be required and available, social distancing encouraged while on the White House grounds, and hand sanitizer stations throughout the State Floor.”

“Attending the parties will be a very personal choice,” she said.

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After death of father, long break, Mikaela Shiffrin grateful just to be racing again

Set for a return to ski racing after 300 days away, Mikaela Shiffrin is looking for the answer to a question she has been asking herself since March.

How will it feel to compete again?

“Hopefully it is a positive experience. And I don’t mean, `hopefully I win,’ but hopefully it is a positive experience to be a ski racer, still, and hopefully that will be the driving force,” Shiffrin said Thursday, two days before the longest break in her decade-long World Cup career is expected to end at a slalom in Levi, Finland.

“It didn’t really feel it was that long of a break,” she said. “This spring, summer, fall, this period since I last raced has been the busiest, most stressful time of my life. … I feel like racing is actually going to be like going on a vacation. Right now, I am just so grateful to be here.”

The two-time Olympic gold medallist and three-time overall World Cup champion is approaching her first race since Jan. 26, when she picked up her 66th career win at a super-G in Bulgaria.

Her father, Jeff Shiffrin, suddenly died a week later following an accident at the family’s home in Colorado.

A heartbroken Shiffrin took a five-week break before attempting a comeback at mid-March races in Sweden, having lost her lead in the overall rankings to Federica Brignone and in the slalom standings to Petra Vlhova. However, the event in Sweden was cancelled, as was the remainder of the season amid the coronavirus pandemic.

WATCH | Shiffrin made history with 41st World Cup slalom win:

American Mikaela Shiffrin won her 41st World Cup slalom in Levi, Finland, surpassing Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark. 1:47

“In February, after several weeks at home, I felt like skiing would be therapeutic,” Shiffrin said. “If possible, I wanted to try to race before the end of the season. But we got to Sweden and we tried, and I was like ready to step into the starting gate. Even if it was cancelled, that was a really big step.”

While the pandemic limited training opportunities, much of her time over the summer went to taking courses on finance, taxes and bookkeeping in order to keep the family business running, a task previously handled by her father.

In October, a second attempt at a comeback also failed, as Shiffrin tweaked her back a week before the season-opening giant slalom in Austria.

“I haven’t got a whole lot of training in,” she said. “I have only been able to train slalom with the back injury. We narrowed the focus down and did one hour at a time.”

Balancing expectations

Having been the dominant force on the women’s World Cup over the last few years, expectations will naturally be high when Shiffrin returns to the start gate. The American herself doesn’t really know what to expect, though.

“I try to keep expectations really low,” she said. “But my standards for the level of skiing that I want to bring are high. I want to ski well, which includes skiing fast.”

While she has racked up 43 career wins in slalom, more than any male or female skier in the history of the sport, records have never been her focus.

“No matter what, if I ski well, if I put in a good effort but it doesn’t go as I hoped, it is hard to be disappointed with that after everything,” Shiffrin said about her approach to Saturday’s race.

Shiffrin held a big lead in both the slalom and overall World Cup standings last season before her break, but she insisted that losing out on those titles didn’t make her angry.

So, Saturday’s return “is not about settling scores.”

“I am incredibly angry, but not about the way last season ended. I am angry that my dad died, I am angry how lonely I feel most days,” she said. “But on the flip side, I am incredibly grateful that I have my mom here with me so often. I have never been a person to be motivated by anger. … If I learned something over the last 300 days, it is that you really have to take what life serves you. It might not taste good, but you have to eat it anyway.”

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As Biden gains ground, Trump again accuses Democrats, without evidence, of trying to ‘steal’ election

The latest:

  • Electoral college vote stands at 253 for Biden, 214 for Trump.
  • Election observer says no evidence for Trump’s fraud claims.
  • Michigan, Georgia judges dismiss Trump campaign lawsuits.
  • Get all the U.S. election results as they come in.
  • How the electoral college determines who wins the U.S. presidency.
  • What do you want to know about the U.S. election? Email us at Ask@cbc.ca.

Despite the fact votes are still being counted and there has been no winner declared in the election yet by any media organization, U.S. President Donald Trump renewed his unfounded claim Thursday evening that Democrats are trying to “steal” the election from him. He did not back up his allegation with any evidence.

“If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us,” Trump said, suggesting votes were being counted that were cast after election day. 

State and federal officials have not reported any instances of widespread voter fraud.

Trump spoke from the White House briefing room, unleashing harsh criticism of pre-election polling that showed him trailing Democrat Joe Biden and claiming the ballot-counting process is unfair and corrupt.

“This is a case when they are trying to steal an election, they are trying to rig an election, and we can’t let that happen,” Trump said of the Democrats, whom he accused of corruption while providing no evidence.

He also vowed to fight the election in court, perhaps right up to the Supreme Court. 

WATCH | Trump makes unfounded allegations about  “illegal” votes:

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump told reporters Thursday only ‘legal’ votes should be counted in the U.S. election and suggested some votes were cast after Nov. 3 despite no evidence of that. 0:55

The ballot-counting process across the country has been running smoothly, according to state election officials, and the count is ongoing in several battleground states.

“If America needed a wake-up call about how dangerous Donald Trump is, they got it tonight,” Anthony Scaramucci told CBC News. Scaramucci worked in the White House as Trump’s communications director for 11 days and has been openly critical of Trump since he left the White House. 

Biden tweeted in response, saying, “No one is going to take our democracy away from us.” 


Earlier in the day, a Michigan judge dismissed a Trump campaign lawsuit in a dispute over whether Republican challengers had access to the handling of absentee ballots. The lawsuit claimed Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, was allowing absentee ballots to be counted without teams of bipartisan observers as well as challengers. 

Judge Cynthia Stephens said that the lawsuit was filed late Wednesday afternoon, just hours before the last ballots were counted. She also said the defendant was the wrong person to sue because she doesn’t control the logistics of local ballot counting, even if she is the state’s chief election officer.

Much of the dispute centred on the TCF Center in Detroit where pro-Trump protesters gathered while absentee ballots were being counted.

A judge in Georgia also dismissed a lawsuit over the vote in that state late Wednesday. It was unclear if any of the Trump campaign’s legal manoeuvring over ballot counting would succeed in shifting the race in his favour. Late Thursday afternoon, the campaign said it had launched yet another lawsuit, this time against the Philadelphia board of electors, seeking an injunction to bar ballot counting unless Republican observers are present. 


Meanwhile, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden pushed closer to the 270 electoral college votes needed to carry the White House, securing victories in the “blue wall” battlegrounds of Wisconsin and Michigan and narrowing U.S. President Donald Trump’s path.

Biden’s victories in the Great Lakes states left him with 253 electoral votes, while Trump has 214.

Biden also holds narrow leads in Nevada and Arizona, while Trump was watching his slim advantage fade in must-win states Pennsylvania and Georgia as mail-in and absentee votes were being counted. The Associated Press and Fox News have called Arizona for Biden, but CBC News still considers it too close to call and is waiting to make the determination.

Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said on Thursday afternoon that she was unaware of any allegations of voter fraud in her state as the final votes were being counted. 

WATCH | Pennsylvania’s secretary of state says it’s not yet clear who the winner is:

Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar told reporters Thursday that several hundred thousand ballots remain to be counted in the state where results are highly anticipated amid a tight national electoral race. 0:54

Biden called for calm Thursday afternoon as the final votes are counted.

“Democracy is sometimes messy,” he said from Wilmington, Del. “It sometimes requires a bit of patience, too.”

And he reiterated that he feels good about where things stand and is confident he will be the winner when the count is complete. 

With millions of ballots yet to be tabulated, Biden already had received more than 71 million votes, the most in U.S. history.

WATCH | Biden says he feels good about where things stand: 

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden calls on Americans to be patient and calm as the final ballots are counted in crucial swing states. 1:14

As of Thursday afternoon, Arizona state officials said about 450,000 ballots remain to be counted, while an election official in Georgia said more than 47,000 votes are still to be counted.

“The effort here is to make sure that everybody’s legal vote is counted properly and that the actual results are reflective of the voters’ intent,” said Gabriel Sterling, a voting system manager in Atlanta. “These close elections require us to be diligent and make sure we do everything right.”


Trump clung to a narrow lead in North Carolina as well, another must-win for him. Trump had to win the states where he was still ahead and either Arizona or Nevada to triumph and avoid becoming the first incumbent U.S. president to lose a re-election bid since fellow Republican George H.W. Bush in 1992.

WATCH | Why one Native American woman says she supported Biden:

Allie Young is a member of the Navajo Nation who says she voted for Joe Biden because of his concern about climate change and his desire to strengthen the U.S. government’s relationship with her nation. 7:13

Nevada official responds to Trump campaign allegations

In Las Vegas, Trump allies alleged, without evidence, that there had been voting irregularities in populous Clark County, which includes the city. Former Nevada attorney general Adam Laxalt, a Republican, said a lawsuit would be filed in federal court to ask the judge to “stop the counting of improper votes.”

On Thursday, Clark County, Nev., election official Joe Gloria told reporters, “We are unaware of any improper ballots that are being processed.”

He said the counting is slow because there are far more mail-in ballots this year than in previous elections, and that the U.S. Postal Service will continue to deliver all ballots postmarked on or before Nov. 3 through Nov. 10.

WATCH | Clark County official explains why counting is slower than usual:

Clark County, Nev., election official Joe Gloria explains why counting ballots in his county, which contains Las Vegas, is taking so long. 1:06  

Bob Bauer, a senior adviser to Biden’s campaign, called the various Trump lawsuits “meritless” and designed to undermine the integrity of the electoral process.

In Georgia, a judge dismissed a different lawsuit by that state’s Republican Party and Trump’s campaign that asked him to ensure a coastal county was following state laws on processing absentee ballots.

Chatham County Superior Court Judge James Bass did not provide an explanation for his decision at the close of a roughly one-hour hearing. The county includes the heavily Democratic city of Savannah.

WATCH | Result of U.S. presidential election remains unknown:

The CBC’s Ellen Mauro has the latest from Washington on the race for the White House two days after the vote. 4:42

An appeals court in Pennsylvania on Thursday ordered that Trump campaign officials be allowed to more closely observe ballot processing in Philadelphia. Statewide recounts in Wisconsin, meanwhile, have historically changed the vote tally by only a few hundred votes; Biden led by more than 20,000 ballots out of nearly 3.3 million counted.

Election observer says no evidence for Trump’s claims

The head of an international delegation monitoring the U.S. election said his team has no evidence to support Trump’s claims about alleged fraud involving mail-in absentee ballots.

Michael Georg Link, a German lawmaker who heads an observer mission of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), told German public broadcaster rbb Thursday that “on the election day itself, we couldn’t see any violations” at the U.S. polling places they visited.

WATCH | No obvious legal grounds to stop vote count, law professor says:

University of Memphis law professor Steve Mulroy says vote recounts are common in the U.S. but stopping a count in any state would be a significant legal hurdle for President Donald Trump. 6:35

Link said he was “very surprised” by Trump’s claims about postal ballot fraud because the United States has a long history of this method of voting going back to the 19th century. The Vienna-based OSCE, of which the U.S. is a member, conducts observer missions at major elections in all of its member countries.

“We looked into this. We found no violations of the rules whatsoever,” Link told rbb. He said neither U.S. election observers nor media found any evidence of fraud either, though the OSCE team on Wednesday repeated long-standing concerns about disenfranchisement of some voters and the distorting effects of campaign finance laws.

Trump used his Twitter feed to falsely claim victory in several key states and amplify unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about Democratic gains as absentee and early votes were tabulated.

He weighed in again on Twitter on Thursday, writing: “Stop the count!” Twitter later flagged a different Trump tweet as disputed and possibly misleading; Trump tweeted that “any vote that came in after election day will not be counted.”


Several states allow mailed-in votes to be accepted after election day as long as they were postmarked by Tuesday. That includes Pennsylvania, where ballots postmarked by Nov. 3 can be accepted if they arrive up to three days later. 

WATCH | Trump will not concede, U.S. politics professor maintains:

Scott Lucas, American politics professor at the University of Birmingham, believes no matter what happens next in the U.S. presidential election, President Donald Trump will not concede and that will bring considerable risk to the country.   1:21


What do you want to know about the U.S. election? Email us at Ask@cbc.ca.

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CBC | World News

COVID-19 again? Reinfection cases raise concerns over immunity

The case of a man in the United States infected twice with the virus that causes COVID-19 shows there is much yet to learn about immune responses and also raises questions over vaccination, scientists said on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old from Reno, Nev., tested positive in April after showing mild symptoms, then got sick again in late May with a more serious bout, according to a case report in the Lancet Infectious Diseases medical journal.

The report was published just hours after U.S. President Donald Trump, who was hospitalized with COVID-19 earlier this month, said he felt “so powerful” and believes he now has immunity.

Scientists said that while known incidences of reinfection appear rare — and the Nevada man has now recovered — cases like his were worrying. Other isolated cases of reinfection have been reported around the world, including in Asia and Europe.

In the Netherlands, the National Institute for Public Health confirmed on Tuesday that an 89-year-old Dutch woman, also sick with a rare form of bone marrow cancer, had recently died after contracting COVID-19 for a second time.

Dutch media said this was the first known case worldwide of a death after SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus reinfection.

Vaccine implications

“It is becoming increasingly clear that reinfections are possible, but we can’t yet know how common this will be,” said Simon Clarke, a microbiology expert at Britain’s Reading University.

“If people can be reinfected easily, it could also have implications for vaccination programs as well as our understanding of when and how the pandemic will end.”

The Nevada patient’s doctors, who first reported the case in a non-peer-reviewed paper in August, said sophisticated testing showed that the virus strains associated with each bout of infection were genetically different.

WATCH | Reinfections raise questions about COVID-19 vaccine efforts:

Three confirmed cases of COVID-19 reinfection raise concerns about how common it might be and how effective a vaccine will be as the virus appears to mutate. 1:57

“These findings reinforce the point that we still do not know enough about the immune response to this infection,” said Paul Hunter, a professor in medicine at Britain’s University of East Anglia.

Brendan Wren, a professor of vaccinology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said the Nevada case was the fifth confirmed example of reinfection worldwide.

“The demonstration that it is possible to be reinfected by SARS-CoV-2 may suggest that a COVID-19 vaccine may not be totally protective,” he said. “However, given the [more than] 40 million cases worldwide, these small examples of reinfection are tiny and should not deter efforts to develop vaccines.”

World Health Organization spokesman Tarik Jasarevic concurred that the U.S. case underlined what was unknown about immunity.

“This also really is an argument against what some have been advocating, and that’s building naturally what is called herd immunity. Because we don’t know,” Jasarevic told a briefing. 

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Trump to appeal to Supreme Court again after losing ruling on financial records

A federal appeals court on Wednesday rejected Donald Trump’s effort to block Manhattan’s district attorney from obtaining eight years of his tax returns for a criminal probe into the U.S. president and his businesses.

In a 3-0 decision, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan rejected Trump’s accusations that a grand jury subpoena from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance was overly broad or issued in bad faith to harass him.

“The president has a ‘difficult’ burden and an ‘unenviable’ task: to make plausible allegations that could persuade the court that the subpoena that has been served on him could not possibly serve any investigative purpose that the grand jury could legitimately be pursuing,” it wrote. “His complaint fails to do so.”

The decision will lead a renewed clash between Trump and Vance at the U.S. Supreme Court.

That top court in July rejected 7-2 the Republican president’s argument he was immune from criminal probes while in the White House.

But it said he could raise other objections to the subpoena to his longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA, for his corporate and personal tax returns from 2011 to 2018.

Jay Sekulow, a lawyer for Trump, said the president will appeal to the Supreme Court. Both sides agreed Vance would not enforce the subpoena during an appeal, according to court papers.


The appeals court said the request from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance was significant but not overly broad from a legal perspective. (Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)

A spokesperson for Vance did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The unsigned decision upheld an Aug. 20 ruling by U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in Manhattan.

It followed a Sept. 28 report in the New York Times that Trump had paid $ 750 US in federal income taxes in both 2016 and 2017 and no income taxes in 10 of the prior 15 years, reflecting “chronic” losses he used to avoid paying taxes.

Trump has rejected findings from the Times report, tweeting that he had paid many millions of dollars in taxes but was entitled to depreciation and tax credits.

He has long resisted making his tax returns public, unlike his six immediate predecessors occupying the White House.

Hush money matter not yet resolved

Vance’s probe began more than two years ago and had focused on hush money payments that the president’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen paid before the 2016 election to two women, Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, who said they had sexual encounters with the married Trump. The president has denied the affairs.

The district attorney has suggested in recent court filings that his probe is now broader and could focus on bank, tax and insurance fraud, as well as falsification of business records.

Trump argued that the probe was still focused on the Cohen payments, making the subpoena an improper “fishing expedition” targeting his business interests around the world, and said Vance improperly copied a similar congressional subpoena.


Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, has testified and spoken to investigators about hush money payments made to two women alleging affairs with Trump. (J. Scott Applewhite/The Associated Press)

But the appeals court called it “implausible” speculation to suggest the probe was limited to the Cohen payments.

The court said grand juries “necessarily paint with a broad brush,” especially in complex financial investigations, and do not know at the outset what their needs are.

It also found “no logic” to suggest the documents Vance wanted were irrelevant to legitimate law enforcement purposes, just because a congressional committee wanted the same documents for its own investigation.

The court also found no specific allegations that partisanship motivated Vance, a Democrat, to seek Trump’s tax returns.

All three judges on the appeals court panel were appointed by Democratic presidents. Five of the eight current Supreme Court justices were appointed by Republican presidents.

Even if Vance gets Trump’s tax returns, grand jury secrecy rules make it unlikely he will reveal their contents unless criminal charges were brought. If that happened, it would likely occur after the Nov. 3 election.

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