While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Nov 11

Joe Biden speaks during a brief news conference at his transition headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, Nov 10, 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS

'Nothing's going to stop' handover of power in the US, says Biden

President-elect Joe Biden said on Tuesday that nothing would stop the transfer of power in the US government, even as President Donald Trump says without evidence the election was marred by fraud and some of his Republican allies back probes.

Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has backed Trump's right to launch a legal challenge to Biden's victory in several battleground states such as Pennsylvania. Some senior Republicans sought to sow doubt about the outcome.

Biden secured the more than 270 votes in the Electoral College he needs to take the presidency by winning Pennsylvania on Saturday after four tense days of counting, which was delayed by a surge in mail-in ballots due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden said in a speech in Delaware that his team was pushing ahead with forming a new administration to take over on Inauguration Day, Jan 20, 2021, no matter what.


US Republicans hint at limited time for Trump to make post-election case

Top Republicans in the US Congress for now are supporting President Donald Trump's attempt to challenge President-elect Joe Biden's victory, but some senior aides said Trump must soon produce significant evidence or exit the stage.

A handful of Republican senators have said they recognise Biden as last week's winner.

Many more have not, but are suggesting limits to their patience in giving Trump the benefit of the doubt.


South Korea confirms H5N8 bird flu in wild birds, issues warning

South Korea's agriculture ministry said on Tuesday it had confirmed the highly pathogenic H5N8 strain of bird flu in samples from wild birds in the central west of the country and issued its bird flu warning.

The virus was discovered in samples collected from wild birds last week in Cheonan-si, Chungcheongnam-do, about 84km central west of capital Seoul, the agriculture ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said it has ramped up prevention measures to contain a wider spread of bird flu and issued a highly pathogenic avian influenza warning as there are increased risks the virus will spread.

The same H5N8 strain, meanwhile, was also found at two farms in Germany, resulting in an order to keep all poultry indoors.


Report into disgraced ex-US cardinal shows failings by popes, top clerics

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Pope John Paul II promoted ex-US Cardinal Theodore McCarrick in 2000 despite rumours of his sexual misconduct, a Vatican report found, one of a series of failings by popes and officials who let him rise through the ranks regardless of repeated allegations against him.

McCarrick, a highly influential figure in the American Church, was expelled from the Roman Catholic priesthood last year after a Vatican investigation found him guilty of sexual crimes against minors and adults and abuse of power.

With testimony from 90 witnesses and dozens of documents, letters and transcripts from Vatican and US Church archives, the 450-page document offers a remarkable reckoning by an institution known for its secrecy, portraying a man long able to convince superiors of his innocence.


Apple launches MacBook Air with first Apple-designed microprocessors

Apple on Tuesday introduced a MacBook Air notebook and other computers with the first microprocessor designed in-house, a move that will tie its Macs and iPhones closer together technologically.

The new chip, called the M1, marks a shift away from Intel technology that has driven the electronic brains of Mac computers for nearly 15 years.

It is a boon for Apple computers, which are overshadowed by the company's iPhone but still rack up tens of billions of dollars in sales per year. Apple hopes developers now will create families of apps that work on both computers and phones.


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