Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: November 8, 2020

Biden defeats Trump in presidential election, Biden and Harris address the nation, pledging to 'unify' Americans, and more


Biden defeats Trump in presidential election

Multiple networks and news sources, including Fox, CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, The New York Times, and The Associated Press, have projected the Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, to win the presidential election, setting him up to become the 46th commander-in-chief of the United States. The call comes after they determined his lead in Pennsylvania was insurmountable, giving him 273 electoral votes, three more than the necessary 270. A few sources have also called Nevada for the Democratic ticket. Trump is the first incumbent to lose a re-election bid since 1992. Biden could still increase his electoral lead, since he's up in Arizona and Georgia, but, as things stand, those victories would not be necessary. The Trump campaign is working to mount legal challenges and recounts in multiple states, however.


Biden and Harris address the nation, pledging to 'unify' Americans

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris addressed the nation on Saturday night after clinching victory in the race for the White House earlier in the day. Biden and Harris spoke to a crowd of supporters at a drive-in gathering in Wilmington, Delaware. Introducing Biden, Harris said, "America's democracy is not guaranteed. It is only as strong as our willingness to fight for it." She said Americans "delivered a clear message: you chose hope and unity, decency and science, and yes, truth." She reflected on women activists throughout history, saying "I stand on their shoulders" as the first woman vice president. Biden pledged "to be an American who seeks not to divide, but to unify," adding that "this is the time to heal in America."


Harris makes history as vice president-elect

Kamala Harris on Saturday became the first woman, as well as the first Black person, first Indian-American, and first Asian-American, to be elected to the vice presidency. Harris and her running mate, President-elect Joe Biden, defeated their Republican incumbent opponents, President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, after most networks determined they had won Pennsylvania's 20 electoral college votes, pushing them over the 270 necessary to win. After the calls were made, Harris posted a tweet, stating that she and Biden "have a lot of work ahead of us. Let's get started."


Biden 'honored' to win presidency, while Trump claims 'election is far from over'

President-elect Joe Biden celebrated his victory on Saturday in a statement that said he was "honored and humbled" to have won the race over President Trump. "In the face of unprecedented obstacles, a record number of Americans voted," he wrote. "Proving once again, that democracy beats deep in the heart of America. With the campaign over, it's time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation. It's time for America to unite. And to heal." Trump meanwhile claimed the "election is far from over" as his legal challenges in several states attempt to turn over Biden's wins. "I will not rest until the American people have the honest vote count they deserve and that democracy demands," Trump said, accusing Biden of "rushing to falsely pose as the winner," although there are reports his son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner has approached him about conceding.


World leaders react to Biden victory

Several world leaders extended congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Saturday after they were projected to defeat President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison were among those who commended the Democratic nominees on their win, with many of them noting they were looking forward to working with them on the global stage. Russian President Vladimir Putin, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who largely have positive relationships with Trump, have yet to react, while Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador suggested he would wait until Trump's legal challenges are resolved.


Biden reportedly planning executive orders to reverse major Trump policies

President-elect Joe Biden is prepared to issue a series of executive orders after taking office that would reverse some of President Trump's most noteworthy policies, including his controversial "Muslim ban," his crackdown on DREAMers, and his withdrawals from the Paris climate accords and the World Health Organization, people familiar with his plans told The Washington Post. Biden's advisers have spent "months quietly working on how best to implement his agenda, with hundreds of transition officials preparing to get to work inside various federal agencies," the Post writes. "They have assembled a book filled with his campaign commitments to help guide their early decisions." In another display of how stark a contrast Biden plans to draw with Trump, the president-elect plans to announce a robust, 12-member coronavirus task force as soon as Monday.


Myanmar votes in general election

Polls have closed in Myanmar's general election, just the second democratic vote since military rule ended in the country in 2011. Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy is widely expected to win re-election, per Al Jazeera and BBC, although international observers have questioned the credibility of the vote because of the disenfranchisement of the Rohingya, an ethnic minority in Myanmar. United Nations investigators have accused Myanmar's military of "genocidal intent" in a 2017 campaign against the community. Suu Kyi, a Nobel peace prize laureate, denies that, but she continues to face widespread international criticism for her handling of the crisis, despite remaining popular at home. The election also comes as Myanmar experiences a COVID-19 resurgence.


Berkshire Hathaway reports record stock buyback

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway reported an 82 percent jump in its third-quarter profit Saturday, but the conglomerate said the coronavirus pandemic continues to hurt its assorted businesses. Per MarketWatch, Buffett maintains Berkshire's quarterly performance is better seen through its operating earnings and those declined by 32 percent. Berkshire also said it spent a record $9 billion on its own stock, up from $5.1 billion in the second quarter, but even after the repurchase and a handful of investments made during the third quarter, the company still holds $145.7 billion in cash and short-term investments.


Tropical Storm Eta makes landfall in Cuba, headed toward Florida

Tropical Storm Eta has made landfall in Cuba and is expected to head toward South Florida, making its closest approach to the state Sunday night. The storm is reportedly growing closer to hurricane strength and will likely bring flooding rain, strong winds, high surf, and storm surge. Tropical storm warnings are in place for much of Cuba, the northwestern Bahamas, and South Florida. There were reports of wind gusts from 40 to 50 miles per hour across South Florida on Saturday and early Sunday. After making its way to the Sunshine State, Eta is expected to veer west and may meander in the Gulf of Mexico for several days.


Chappelle returns to host SNL's 1st post-election episode

Dave Chappelle returned to host the latest episode of Saturday Night Live, about four years after he hosted the first episode following President Trump's 2016 victory. The comedian's monologue, which lasted around 16 minutes, focused on a variety of issues the United States has been dealing with, including the presidential election, racial injustice, and the coronavirus pandemic. While it was heavy on the jokes, Chappelle also got serious at times, and concluded the set by imploring Americans, despite their political divisions, to "find a way to live your life ... forgive each other" and "find joy in your existence."


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