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Joe Biden elected 46th President of the United States

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US voters have narrowly rebuffed Republican incumbent Donald Trump’s tumultuous leadership and embraced Democrat candidate Joe Biden and his promise of fighting the coronavirus pandemic and fix the economy in a divided nation.

Major US media outlets have called the US presidential election results in the favour of Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris, who will become the first woman, the first Black American and the first American of Asian descent to serve as vice-president of the United States.

Joe Biden, who has spent half a century in public life as a US senator and then Vice-President under Donald Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, will be the oldest person to assume the US president’s office at age 78.

Joe Biden, born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and raised in Delaware, was one of the youngest candidates ever elected to the Senate. Before he took office, his wife and daughter were killed, and his two sons badly injured in a 1972 car crash.

Commuting every night on a train from Washington back to Wilmington, Biden fashioned an everyman political persona to go along with powerful Senate positions, including chairman of the Senate Judiciary and Foreign Relations Committees.

Before 2020, Biden had tried his luck in the presidential race twice before in 1988 and 2008.

Biden’s 1988 presidential campaign was done in by plagiarism allegations, and his next bid in 2008 ended quietly. But later that year, he was tapped to be Barack Obama’s running mate and he became an influential vice president, steering the administration’s outreach to both Capitol Hill and Iraq.

While his reputation was burnished by his time in office and his deep friendship with Obama, Biden stood aside for Clinton and opted not to run in 2016 after his adult son Beau died of brain cancer the year before.

Trump’s tenure pushed Biden to make one more run as he declared that “the very soul of the nation is at stake.”

Biden’s victory was driven by strong support from groups including women, African Americans, white voters with college degrees and city-dwellers. He was more than four million votes ahead of Trump in the nationwide popular vote count.

US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION RESULT:At the time of filing this copy, major US media outlets have called Pennsylvania, which has six electoral votes, in favour of Joe Biden, putting his tally comfortably over 270.

Joe Biden also carried Arizona, Wisconsin and Michigan on his path to the presidency, flipping states that President Donald Trump won in 2016.

Biden’s projected victory came after four days of nail-biting suspense over the outcome of Tuesday’s election, with the counting of votes in a handful of battleground states ongoing thanks to a flood of mail-in ballots.

Reacting to his historic win, Joe Biden tweeted, “America, I’m honoured that you have chosen me to lead our great country.”

Acknowledging that he will soon be presiding over a deeply divided nation, Joe Biden wrote, “The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a President for all Americans – whether you voted for me or not. I will keep the faith that you have placed in me.”

The biggest ever turnout of voters — some 160 million people, according to preliminary estimates — poured out across the United States, ultimately favouring Biden’s promise of calm to Trump’s rollercoaster.

Although a career politician — a widely derided group today — he is seen by many as a sympathetic character, humanized by having endured the loss of his wife, baby daughter and a son.

Yet despite his fervent promises to restore America’s “soul,” Biden will inherit a shaken, angry country.

President-elect Joe Biden has vowed to restore US moral authority in the world but after four years of norms-shattering by Donald Trump, he will have his work cut out for him.

Joe Biden built his campaign on driving inroads into Trump’s working-class base, while selling himself to the rest of the country as the responsible, steady leader needed to confront the Covid-19 crisis.

And in a climate of ferocious political partisanship within the US, where almost every aspect of life is now seen through Democratic or Republican lenses, Biden pledged repeatedly to “be a president for all Americans.”

That gulf in understanding between two Americas will likely continue to rage in Congress, threatening Biden’s ability to govern at a time of economic upheaval and an accelerating coronavirus crisis.

After his narrow victory over Trump, the 77-year-old Joe Biden will be the most experienced new president in decades on foreign policy, but he is also facing questions from the left of his Democratic Party on whether his worldview has kept up with the times.

In a speech on foreign policy after he announced his candidacy, Biden denounced Trump for his flirtation both with autocrats abroad and white supremacists at home.

“As president, I will remind the world who we are. The United States of America does not coddle dictators. The United States of America gives hate no safe harbour,” Biden said in New York.

Writing later in Foreign Affairs, Joe Biden said that for the next president, “picking up the pieces will be an enormous task.”

The new president “will have to salvage our reputation, rebuild confidence in our leadership and mobilize our country and our allies to rapidly meet new challenges. There will be no time to lose,” he wrote.

Joe Biden vowed to hold a summit of democracies within a year and promised immediately to step up international cooperation on the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change.

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Netanyahu Met Saudi Prince on Secret Trip, Israeli Media Say

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Jerusalem: Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held secret talks in Saudi Arabia Sunday with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, media said, in the first reported trip by an Israeli premier to the kingdom.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was in Israel last week, was also at the reported talks, a diplomatic correspondent at Israeli public broadcaster Kan said on Monday.

The broadcaster cited unnamed Israeli officials as saying that Netanyahu and the head of the Mossad spy agency Yossi Cohen “flew yesterday to Saudi Arabia, and met Pompeo and MBS in the city of Neom”, referring to Prince Mohammed’s initials.

Multiple other Israeli media outlets reported similar information on Monday morning.

Netanyahu’s office was not immediately available to comment on the reports.

The meeting comes after Israel agreed historic deals to normalise ties with two Saudi allies in the Gulf, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Those accords were brokered by outgoing US President Donald Trump’s administration.

US and Israeli officials have repeatedly indicated that more Arab states were set to forge ties with Israel.

Publicly, Saudi Arabia has said it would stick to the decades-old Arab League position of not having ties with Israel until the Jewish state’s conflict with the Palestinians is resolved.

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Joe Biden appoints Indian-American Mala Adiga as policy director of incoming First Lady

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Washington: US President-elect Joe Biden has appointed Indian-American Mala Adiga as the policy director of his wife Jill, choosing an experienced education policy hand as the incoming First Lady focuses on education and plans to continue teaching community college classes.

Adiga was a senior adviser to Jill and senior policy adviser for Biden’s 2020 campaign. She previously worked for the Biden Foundation as director for higher education and military families.

Before that, during Obama’s administration, she was deputy assistant secretary of state for academic programmes at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and worked in the State Department’s Office of Global Women’s Issues as chief of staff and senior adviser to the ambassador-at-large.

“Future First Lady Jill Biden’s Policy Director will be Mala Adiga, who served as her senior advisor and a senior policy advisor on the Biden-Harris campaign. Adiga will work for a First Lady who has said she intends to prioritise education and military families,”

Biden on Friday announced another round of White House staff positions to be filled by longtime aides to the Bidens.

Louisa Terrell, who served as Executive Director for the Biden Foundation, will become Director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. She comes to the position with an experience that includes acting as the Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs in the Obama-Biden administration, the report said.

Carlos Elizondo, who was social secretary for Jill Biden during the Obama administration, will be White House Social Secretary. Ambassador Cathy Russell will assume the role of Director of the White House Office of Presidential Personnel, it said.

Adiga served as Director for Human Rights in the National Security Staff’s (NSS) Multilateral and Human Rights Directorate. Prior to joining NSS, she was an attorney at the Department of Justice, where she served as Counsel to the Associate Attorney General.

Before entering government service, Adiga volunteered and then worked for the Obama presidential campaign for nearly two years, according to her biography on the US State Department website.

She earned her JD from the University of Chicago Law School and her MPH from the University of Minnesota. She graduated from Grinnell College in Iowa with a B A in Spanish.

The new announcements come just days after Biden revealed his first round of top White House staff, including the appointment of his campaign manager, Jen O’Malley Dillon, to serve as deputy chief of staff, and campaign co-chair Cedric Richmond as director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.

Late week, he announced that his aide Ron Klain will serve as his chief of staff.

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