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Covid-19 cases soar in the US as election campaign and the pandemic collide

The election and the pandemic are colliding in the United States, with the country registering on Friday its highest daily number of cases since the pandemic began.

Johns Hopkins University reported 83,757 new cases.

This comes as President Donald Trump increases the frequency of his rallies in critical states, including Florida where on Friday a large crowd of his supporters assembled at the retirement community, The Villages, out in the open but with many not wearing masks.

His rival Joe Biden, who has been holding campaign events with smaller and more socially distanced audiences, made a speech on his strategy to control the pandemic, if he were elected President.


Trump casts early ballot in Florida in US presidential election

US President Donald Trump cast an early ballot Saturday in the US election as he geared for another gruelling day of campaigning ahead of the November 3 vote.

Trump, who is trailing Democrat Joe Biden in the polls, voted at a library serving as a polling center in West Palm Beach, Florida.

He has a home in that state and switched his residency there last year from his native New York. “I voted for a guy named Trump,” he said with a smile as he emerged.


Spain braces for national emergency to allow Covid-19 curfews

Spain was bracing for a new national state of emergency to allow the imposition of curfews as its regions on Saturday pushed for action to slow surging virus cases.

In the face of growing calls for a legal framework to allow regional chiefs to impose tougher restrictions, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s cabinet was to hold a special meeting on Sunday to decide on the matter.

The calls came just days after Spain registered more than one million virus cases, becoming the sixth country in the world to pass the grim milestone – and the first in the European Union.


Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner threaten lawsuit over Times Square billboards

US President Donald Trump’s daughter and son-in-law, both top White House aides, are threatening to sue a group of anti-Trump Republicans for posting billboard ads in New York City’s Times Square linking them to the country’s almost 225,000 coronavirus deaths.

A lawyer representing Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, made the threat on Friday in a letter to the Lincoln Project, calling the ads “false, malicious and defamatory” and saying they constituted “outrageous and shameful libel.”


Afghan security forces kill senior Al-Qaeda leader Abu Muhsin al-Masri

Afghan security forces have killed Abu Muhsin al-Masri, a senior al Qaeda leader who was on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Most Wanted Terrorists list, Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) said in a tweet late on Saturday.

Al-Masri has been charged in the United States with having provided material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organisation, and conspiracy to kill US nationals.

Al-Masri, believed to be al Qaeda’s second-in-command, was killed during a special operation in Ghazni province in eastern Afghanistan, said the NDS, adding that he was the supreme leader of the organisation in the Indian subcontinent.


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