Uncertainty after U.S. election and murder hornets in B.C.: In The News for Nov. 4

In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what’s on the radar of our editors for the morning of Nov. 4 ?

The morning after the American presidential election ?

It’s morning in America, but not the calm one once showcased in a famous U.S. presidential ad.

Americans are waking up to uncertainty about their political leadership as the outcome of the bitterly contested 2020 presidential election remains unclear.

The final results were likely in the hands of a few key states as the counting of millions of mail-in or early ballots complicated what is normally a relatively swift process of election night vote tallies.

In a speech just before 1 a.m. ET, Democratic challenger Joe Biden told supporters he was feeling good about where his campaign

was: “on track to win this election.”

President Donald Trump, the Republican incumbent, moved quickly on Twitter to knock Biden down, saying his campaign was up “big.”

As polls closed Tuesday, Trump was handed unsurprising wins in solidly Republican districts, with Biden scooping up comfortably Democratic states as well.

Trump also picked up the battleground states of Texas, Florida, Iowa and Ohio, while Biden carried New Hampshire and Minnesota.

But as of 2 a.m., several states remained too close to call, including Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

The election took place against the backdrop of a historic crises: the COVID-19 pandemic that killed more than 232,000 Americans and decimated the economy.

Both men had sought to paint the other as unfit to govern through those challenges and their aftermath.

On social media, Trump suggested his rivals were “trying to steal the election.” Twitter hid the post, warning its content could be misleading.

In a speech not long after that, Trump essentially declared himself the winner and vowed to take his fight to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Canada and the U.S. election 

Canadian business leaders and political analysts say the morning after election day in the United States brings more political and economic uncertainty for Canada.

American voters, and their northern neighbours, must wait to learn whether they will be getting four more years of an inscrutable Donald Trump or beginning a new chapter with Joe Biden.

The U.S. presidential election remained unresolved Tuesday night, offering no certainty over who would occupy the foreign office most important to Canadian interests.

The cliffhanger had Canadian political observers saying it was too early to know what Canada would be facing for the next four years.

It also meant Trudeau government, as expected, withheld all comment because there was nothing definitive to comment on.

Bessma Momani, an international affairs specialist at the University of Waterloo, says Trump, who many feared would want to declare a premature victory, might expect Canada to say something.

“A big challenge for Canada now is that Trump may want to declare victory before all votes are counted and expect allies to send in their congratulations,” said Momani.

“For those who don’t, like Canada who will want to wait this out, Trump will take this very personally (and) be punitive on trade matters.”

In the wee hours of this morning, Biden preached patience and said everyone must wait for the ballots to be counted. Not long after that, Trump essentially declared himself the winner and said he would take his fight to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Perrin Beatty, the president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, said uncertainty is not good.

“From a business perspective, people want to know what to expect for the next four years,” he said.

“But we’re simply going to have to wait.”

What we are watching in the rest of the world ?

In one of the towns in Normandy where U.S. army paratroopers fought and died on D-Day in the Second World War, a French store owner already has readied the “Trump 2020” flag that he plans to unfurl in celebration if the U.S. president wins a second term.

But in Sweden, a scientist alarmed by the increasing signs of global warming she witnessed on her latest Arctic research trip is hoping Trump is voted out, not simply because she believes Democrat Joe Biden will do better against climate change, but also because she wants to fall back in love with a country she now finds repellent.

Two voices, from among the multitudes of people across the globe for whom the U.S. election is not a faraway event in a faraway land but an impossible-to-ignore contest with stakes for the entire world.

Because Trump has had such an outsize effect on global affairs, tracing his own “America First” course and upending traditional alliances, friendships and norms _ the possibility of change in the White House has left the rest of the world even more captivated than usual by an election in which it has no say.

“America votes and gives the world a president,” tweeted the editor in chief of the Ashraq Al-Awsat newspaper, which is Saudi-owned and published from London.

By often refusing to be a team player on global initiatives, including pulling the U.S. out of international efforts to slow climate change and withdrawing from the World Health Organization in the midst of the virus pandemic, Trump dismayed many around the world who long for U.S. engagement and leadership.

That includes Gunhild Rosqvist, a Stockholm University professor just back from her latest trip studying climate warming’s impact on Arctic communities. She’ll be keeping a close eye on her smartphone as election results come in, hoping that Biden wins and re-engages with pressing global problems.

“If America drops out even more from the global agreements, it’s going to be bad,” Rosqvist said.

In the suburbs of Paris, the founder of a Black literature book club said that if Trump is re-elected, her first thought will be that it’s a signal French nationalist far-right leader Marine Le Pen also could win in France’s 2022 presidential election.

Laurie Pezeron said Trump’s unabashed nationalism and flirting with far-right groups has emboldened extremists beyond U.S. shores who now “express themselves far more freely and aren’t ashamed of their supremacist views.”

On this day in 2008 

Barack Obama

Democrat candidate Barack Obama, 47, becomes the first African-American president in U.S. history. He defeated Republican John McCain, 72, in a landslide, winning more than 335 of the 538 Electoral College votes. A massive turnout delivered about 136.6 million votes, the second-highest number in the modern era cast for a U.S. presidential election.

 

 

In other news 

Vancouver’s council is being asked to consider taking the first small steps toward hosting another Olympic Games.

Council will consider a motion Wednesday to write letters to the Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee and four local First Nations seeking input on a possible bid for the 2030 Winter Games.

Coun. Melissa De Genova said she put the motion forward early this year but the meeting was derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

She was “a little surprised” to see it back on the agenda but still thinks it’s worth considering, she said.

“I was in no hurry to bring it back myself after the pandemic, we certainly have priorities as we move into our budget,” she said.

“That being said, I’m starting to see the benefits this may have, you know, as we look toward COVID-19 economic recovery for the city.”

The motion is not a vote on whether to make a bid, she emphasized, only to explore the option.

 

ICYMI 

The British Columbia Agriculture Ministry says one so-called murder hornet was discovered near Abbotsford on Monday.

The ministry is warning beekeepers and residents to report sightings of the invasive hornets, a few of which can kill an entire honeybee hive within hours.

The hornets can reach up to five centimetres in length with a wingspan of four to seven centimetres and are normally found in China, Japan, Thailand and other Asian countries.

The province says in a release that single hornets were found in White Rock and Langley in 2019 and again in Langley earlier this year, though a nest has never been found in B.C.’s Lower Mainland.

A nest was found and destroyed in Nanaimo last year and last week entomologists destroyed a nest of giant hornets near Blaine, Wash., not far from the border with B.C.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 4, 2020

 

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