PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION… Suspense surrounds the outcome of the 2020 presidential election as ballot counting extended into this morning in key battle ground states. Biden held a slight lead in delegates late into last night in the race for 270 needed to win the presidency. Trump recorded key wins in Florida, Ohio and Texas. Biden’s wins included West Coast states along with New York and Virginia. Ballots were still being counted in Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. There was a major development earlier this morning when Trump called a press conference at 2:30 a.m. Eastern to falsely declare himself the winner and declare that he wanted voting to stop.
SENATE RACES… Republicans were holding a narrow lead in the fight to keep control of the U.S. Senate. Mitch McConnell retained his Kentucky seat, Lindsey Graham was re-elected in South Carolina, Susan Collins held onto her seat from Maine and Joni Ernst withstood a challenge in Iowa. The GOP picked up a seat in Alabama, where former college football coach Tommy Tuberville defeated Democratic incumbent Doug Jones. Likewise, Democrats flipped a seat in Colorado, where former governor, John Hickenlooper, defeated incumbent Republican Cory Gardner.
CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 9,379,590 and the nation’s death toll stands at 232,553, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Daily infections have been rising in all but three states and the surge was most pronounced in the Midwest and Southwest. Missouri, Oklahoma, Iowa, Indiana, Nebraska, North Dakota and New Mexico all reported record high hospitalizations this week. Nebraska’s largest hospitals started limiting elective surgeries and looked to bring in nurses from other states to cope with the surge. Hospital officials in Iowa and Missouri warned bed capacity could soon be overwhelmed.
POSTAL SERVICE FAILS TO SWEEP FACILITIES… The U.S. Postal Service defied a federal judge’s order yesterday to sweep mail processing facilities for delayed election ballots and immediately dispatch any for delivery in about a dozen states. USPS data showed as of Sunday about 300,000 ballots that were received for mail processing did not have scans confirming their delivery to election authorities. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan ordered the sweep in response to lawsuits by voter- and civil-rights groups. The order applied to processing centers in central Pennsylvania, northern New England, greater South Carolina, south Florida, Colorado, Wisconsin and parts of Illinois, Arizona, Alabama and Wyoming, as well as the cities of Atlanta, Houston, Philadelphia and Detroit.
FBI INVESTIGATES ROBOCALLS… The FBI is investigation anonymous robocalls that targeted voters across the U.S. over the weeks heading into yesterday’s election. Investigators say the calls appeared to be an effort to scare voters into sitting out the election, urging them “stay safe and stay home.” The brief calls used a computerized female voice but made no mention of the election directly.
WALL STREET JUMPS…. Excitement over yesterday’s presidential election lifted all three major U.S. indexes rose for the second consecutive day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 554.98 points, or 2.06 percent, while the S&P 500 gained 1.78 percent and the Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.85 percent. Analysts credited the rises to investors’ confidence that the nation would avoid a delayed or contested result to the election.
JEREMY IRONS TO STAR IN NETFLIX FILM… British actor Jeremy Irons has signed on star in Netflix adaptation of “Munich,” a new film based on the Robert Harris novel. The story is set in 1938 as Europe stands on the brink of war. Irons will play former British prime minister Neville Chamberlain, with George McKay as British civil servant Hugh Legat and Martin Wuttke as Adolf Hitler. The film is being shot in Germany and the United Kingdom. It is slated for release in 2021.
WOLFGANG VAN HALEN ANGRY OVER MAGAZINE ARTICLE… Wolfgang Van Halen, the son and bandmate of the late Eddie Van Halen, expressed his anger on social media yesterday for his father’s cover story in Us Weekly. The 29-year-old bassist accused the magazine of turning his dad’s death into “entertainment.” He claimed, “The only thing printed in this piece of toilet paper that’s true is that we all loved my father.”
7 RAVENS ON COVID LIST… The Baltimore Ravens placed seven defensive players on the reserve/COVID-19 list yesterday as a result of contact tracing following cornerback Marlon Humphrey’s positive test on Monday. Linebackers Matt Judon, Tyus Bowser, Patrick Queen, L.J. Fort and Malik Harrison were added to the list, as were defensive backs Terrell Bonds and DeShon Elliott.
DEADLINE DEALS… Teams made last-minute deals of action ahead of last night’s NFL trade deadline…
The Los Angeles Chargers sent Pro Bowl defensive back/kick returner Desmond King to the Tennessee Titans in exchange for a sixth-round pick…
The Miami Dolphins acquired running back DeAndre Washington from the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for draft pick compensation. The Dolphins also traded wide receiver Isaiah Ford to the New England Patriots in an exchange for a 2022 seventh-round pick…
The Pittsburgh Steelers acquired linebacker Avery Williamson and a 2020 seventh-round pick from the New York Jets in exchange for a 2020 fifth-round pick…
The San Francisco 49ers traded former Pro Bowler Kwon Alexander in exchange for a conditional fifth-round pick and linebacker Kiko Alonso.