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Some news from Reuters here, that a Russian warship caught the US Navy guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain operating illegally in Russia’s territorial waters in the Sea of Japan, but chased it off, according to reports from Russia’s defence ministry.
Moscow said that the Admiral Vinogradov, a Russian destroyer, had verbally warned the US ship and threatened to ram it in order to force it to leave the area. The US ship had immediately returned to neutral waters after being warned off, the defence ministry said in a statement.
Such incidents are rare, but underscore poor diplomatic and military relations between Russia and the United States whose ties are languishing at a post-Cold war following four years of the Trump administration.
The Russian ship, from the Pacific Fleet, had been tracking the American destroyer, which Moscow said had violated Russia’s territorial waters by going two kilometres (1.2 miles) beyond the sea border.
Yesterday, Barack Obama said the Trump administration’s foreign relations had inflicted ‘damage’ upon America, and that it would take time for the country’s reputation to be restored. The former president expressed confidence in a new Joe Biden administration, but cautioned change would not happen immediately. As my colleague Julian Borger wrote yesterday, Biden’s proposed appointment of Antony Blinken as secretary of state will make a sharp break with Trump era.
Some sad news overnight that David Dinkins, who broke barriers as New York City’s first African-American mayor, has died at the age of 93.
Dinkins achieved much while at City Hall between 1990 and 1993. He raised taxes to hire thousands of police officers. He spent billions of dollars revitalising neglected housing. His administration got the Walt Disney Corp to invest in the cleanup of then-seedy Times Square.
In recent years, he was given more credit for those accomplishments, credit that Mayor Bill de Blasio said should always have been his due. De Blasio, who worked in Dinkins’ administration, named Manhattan’s Municipal Building after the former mayor in October 2015.
“The example Mayor David Dinkins set for all of us shines brighter than the most powerful lighthouse imaginable,” said the New York attorney general, Letitia James, who herself shattered barriers as the state’s first Black woman elected to statewide office.
“I was honored to have him hold the bible at my inaugurations because I, and others, stand on his shoulders,” she said.
Rudy Giuliani wrote on Twitter on Monday night that Dinks had given a “great deal of his life in service to our great city. That service is respected and honored by all.”
Read more here: David Dinkins, New York City’s first African American mayor, dies aged 93
Welcome to today’s live coverage of US politics. You might have been expecting a slightly more normal and quieter day after the General Services Administration (GSA) recognized Joe Biden as the apparent election winner. However, Donald Trump’s late night Twitter rant about it suggests the president has still not accepted Biden’s overwhelming victory in both the popular vote and the electoral college. Here’s where we are at, and a little of what we might expect today…
- The GSA has allowed for the presidential transition to begin. After a long controversial delay, the agency’s head, Emily Murphy, has sent Joe Biden a letter recognizing him as the election winner – opening up access to funds, office space and classified briefings.
- Biden announced several key appointments and nominations for his national security and foreign policy team. Former secretary of state John Kerry will serve as the president-elect’s special envoy to address climate change, and former deputy secretary of state Antony Blinken will be nominated to lead the state department.
- Alejandro Mayorkas is the pick for homeland security, and would be the first Latino in the role.
- Former Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen will be nominated to lead the treasury department, according to multiple reports. If confirmed, Yellen would become the first woman in US history to serve as treasury secretary.
- Last night outgoing one-term president Donald Trump continued to defy the result, tweeting he ‘will never concede’ to ‘fake ballots’ and ‘the most corrupt election in American political history’. He has consistently failed to provide any evidence to back these false claims, and courts have continually rejected his team’s attempts to stage a coup and overthrow the outcome of the 2020 US election.
- Yesterday there were 169,190 new coronavirus cases in the US, with 889 deaths recorded.
- President-elect Biden and vice-president-elect Kamala Harris will introduce their nominees for national security and foreign policy positions today. That will be livestreamed.
- At 6:30pm ET the president-elect will sit down with Lester Holt of NBC Nightly News for an interview, which will air later tonight.
- Before that, at 2pm, the president and first lady Melania Trump will pardon either “Corn” or “Cob”. They are the two Thanksgiving birds up for the honor today, in the annual turkey marketing ritual that began during the Reagan era.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Biden to formally introduce cabinet picks as transition finally begins – live updates | US news