Coal is dead. It’s time for Labor’s denialists to accept it.


As Labor lays itself bare over coal, the industry itself is dying before our eyes and the biggest companies want out before they’re left with the bill.

Labor Member for Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon (Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)

This week should have been a target-rich environment for Labor.

There was the government’s reluctance to say anything about Trump’s attempted coup.

There was Four Corners‘ exposure of Alan Tudge and Christian Porter, and David Crowe’s revelation of Rachelle Miller’s complaints about Tudge and Michaelia Cash.

Keep reading about the death of coal.

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Trump under growing pressure to accept election defeat – US politics live | US news


Miranda Bryant reports:

The US has recorded more than 1m new coronavirus cases in just the past 10 days as the national total soared past 10m cases amid a widespread surge – while Texas on Wednesday became the first to record a million cases as a state.

The soaring figures came as experts warned that even though successful vaccines are coming into view the White House appears to be doing little to contain a pandemic increasingly out of control.

“In the last couple of months you have seen the federal government basically throw in the towel,” Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health told NBC on Wednesday morning.

He added: “There’s been no new guidance, very little effort coming from the federal government and I think that is definitely contributing to a nationwide surge.”

Daily cases for the country have steadily climbed throughout November to record a total of 1,129,463 cases in the last 10 days alone, figures from Johns Hopkins University show.

Meanwhile, Texas, America’s second-most populous state, has recorded 1,010,364 cases since the start of the pandemic in March and 19,337 deaths.

No other state has alone reached the 1m figure. And New York, which was the worst Covid-19 hotspot in the world during the initial cascade of US cases in the spring, then used restrictions to squash infections, is now seeing rates creeping up again.

Jha said “people are getting tired” of taking precautions, even as warnings abound about family gatherings in the fast-approaching holiday season becoming spreader events.

He added that with what appears to be the good news that the world is on the cusp of approving successful vaccines, all Americans could expect to be inoculated relatively soon.

“We are about three to six months away from widespread availability of a vaccine, people need to hold on … we’re so close to actually turning the corner on the virus,” he said.

But he warned that in the meantime Americans need to restrict their Thanksgiving plans at the end of November. “This is a bit heartbreaking, because it just can’t be a normal Thanksgiving,” he said.

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Republicans have urged Donald Trump to ‘concede gracefully’, but he refuses to accept defeat



After the declaration on Saturday that Democrat Joe Biden had won the race for the White House, Republican President Donald Trump and his allies made one thing clear: he does not plan to concede anytime soon.

The president, who has spent months trying to undermine the election results with unproven allegations of fraud, pledged on Saturday to go forward with a legal strategy that he hopes will overturn state results that gave Mr Biden the win in Tuesday’s vote. Trump aides and Republican allies, while somewhat conflicted on how to proceed, largely supported his strategy or remained silent.

“The simple fact is this election is far from over. Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor,” Mr Trump said in a statement released by his campaign around midday.

The president’s allies and advisers privately admitted that the former New York businessman’s chances of overturning the election results and staying in the White House were slim. While preparing for an eventual concession, they called for time to let the legal challenges run their course.

“He should allow the recounts to go forward, file whatever claims there are, and then if nothing changes he should concede,” said one Trump advisor.

The Trump campaign and Republicans have brought numerous lawsuits over alleged election irregularities. Judges tossed cases in Georgia, Michigan and Nevada.

In Pennsylvania, judges sided with Republicans and ordered some provisional ballots set aside and granted Republican observers greater access to vote counting. Legal experts said the legal challenges were too narrow in scope to have an impact on the outcome of the election.

Meanwhile, Republicans are trying to raise at least $60 million to fund legal challenges, sources told Reuters.

“He should make sure every vote is counted and demand transparency. That puts him on solid rhetorical grounds,” said another former White House official.

Mr Trump was at his golf property in Virginia when the race was called for Mr Biden. Clusters of Biden supporters lined two blocks of his motorcade’s route back on Saturday afternoon.

Mr Trump re-entered the White House wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat, looking glum with a cell phone in his hand. Biden supporters gathered and celebrated loudly near the White House.

‘Concede gracefully’

Republicans are worried that Mr Trump could tarnish his legacy if he does not eventually make a graceful exit, eroding his future political power. “It will be impossible for him to run again in 2024 if he’s seen as a sore loser,” a congressional Republican source said.

Fox News host Laura Ingraham, a staunch Trump defender, on Friday urged the president, if and when the time came, to accept an unfavourable outcome with “grace and composure,” and the Wall Street Journal’s conservative editorial board wrote that Mr Trump “needs evidence to prove voter fraud.”

“If Mr Biden has 270 Electoral College votes at the end of the counting and litigation, President Trump will have a decision to make. We hope in that event he would concede gracefully,” it said.

Mr Biden crossed that crucial threshold on Saturday by winning the battleground state of Pennsylvania.

One Trump adviser said White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows would likely be the aide who would raise with Trump the idea of conceding. Mr Meadows came down with the coronavirus this week and is under quarantine.

Another former adviser said Vice President Mike Pence or senior adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner would have the job of telling the president when it was time to concede.

Indeed, CNN reported late on Saturday that Mr Kushner had approached Mr Trump about conceding.

A White House spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“President Trump is entitled to take the time he wants to absorb this. It was close and it’s not productive to demand an immediate concession,” said Ari Fleischer, who was a White House press secretary in the George W Bush administration.

“The best thing to keep this country together is to give the president a reasonable period of time to accept the results.”





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Care home provider under ‘pressure’ to accept hospital patients with Covid – Channel 4 News


When the full extent of deaths from coronavirus in care homes was revealed at the height of the pandemic, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock claimed there had been a “protective ring” placed around them.

Tonight, amid worrying signs that coronavirus cases are spreading to care homes, this programme can reveal that hospitals are again getting ready to rapidly discharge people with the virus into them.

One leading specialist has told us it could become “commonplace” in England this winter, despite the huge death toll the country has already experienced.

And we have seen a leaked contract from Greater Manchester’s Trafford Council – asking care homes to accept patients from hospitals who are Covid positive – as our correspondent Ciaran Jenkins now reports.



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RNC 2020 Day 4: Trump to accept nomination from White House, Ivanka Trump to introduce him


ABC News Corona Virus Political Impact

The RNC wraps up Thursday under the theme, “America, Land of Greatness.”

The Republican National Convention concludes Thursday and the fall campaign season officially kicks off when President Donald Trump formally accepts the GOP nomination for a second term as president in a speech he will deliver from the White House West Lawn.

A fireworks display is expected to light up the sky above the Washington Monument at the conclusion of his remarks.

Senior adviser Ivanka Trump will introduce her father on the final night of what’s become a norms-busting political convention, which has showcased the pageantry of the presidency in unprecedented ways and transformed the White House into a backdrop for Trump’s campaign — despite some of the proceedings appearing to violate ethics laws.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton and the president’s personal attorney and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani are also expected to speak Thursday.

In addition, convention watchers will hear from the parents of humanitarian aid worker Kayla Mueller, who was killed by the Islamic State while a hostage, and Alice Johnson, a woman who was serving a life sentence in federal prison until Trump commuted her sentence — an effort in part pushed by Kim Kardashian West.

ABC News Live will kick off primetime coverage each day at 7 p.m. ET on the network’s streaming news channel and primetime coverage will air from 10-11 p.m. ET each night of the convention on the ABC Television Network. Check back here around 7 p.m. for live updates.

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence will face Democratic nominees Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the general election on Nov. 3, though some Americans are expecting to receive their ballots as early as next week.

Thursday’s scheduled speakers include:

  • President Donald Trump
  • Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
  • Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton
  • House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy
  • New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew
  • Ivanka Trump, Trump’s daughter and senior adviser
  • Ja’Ron Smith, deputy assistant to the president
  • Ann Dorn, widow of slain retired police Capt. David Dorn
  • Debbie Flood, president of a Wisconsin manufacturing and steel company
  • Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor and Trump’s personal attorney
  • Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse
  • Alice Johnson, criminal justice reform advocate and former federal inmate
  • Carl and Marsha Mueller, parents of American hostage Kayla Mueller, who was killed by ISIS
  • Wade Mayfield
  • Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship
  • ABC News’ Kendall Karson and Alisa Wiersema contributed to this report.



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    Radical Break From Tradition: Trump to Accept Nomination at the White House


    WASHINGTON — A stage has been constructed on the South Lawn of the White House for President Trump’s nationally televised speech this week accepting the nomination for a second term. Melania Trump will speak from the Rose Garden. And even Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will beam in to endorse the president from a rooftop in Jerusalem.

    Their appearances at the Republican National Convention will be a radical break from tradition even for an administration that has repeatedly shattered norms. Never in recent times has a president used the majesty of the White House to stage a nominating convention, nor has a sitting secretary of state participated in such a partisan event, much less from overseas where he is ostensibly on a diplomatic mission.

    The convention speeches — the president is to speak on Thursday, and the first lady and Mr. Pompeo will appear on Tuesday — are only the latest examples of how Mr. Trump has further blurred the lines between the government and his campaign as he presses the advantages of incumbency to pull off a come-from-behind victory in November. While other presidents running for a second term have mixed governing and electioneering, they generally adhered to certain boundaries between their public duties and political interests, proprieties that Mr. Trump has disregarded from the start.

    The president’s critics argue that he is also using the power of his office in more substantial ways to secure a second term, like undercutting the ability of the Postal Service to process mail-in votes, sending federal agents to counter street unrest in “Democrat-run cities,” encouraging the Justice Department to prosecute his enemies and pressuring health officials to authorize treatments and vaccines for the coronavirus before the election.

    “This is indicative of something much more dangerous to our democracy,” said Richard W. Painter, who served as White House ethics counsel to President George W. Bush before becoming a sharp critic of Mr. Trump. Government agencies “have been turned into arms of his political campaign.”

    Mr. Pompeo’s involvement in the convention drew immediate criticism from Democrats, Republicans and career Foreign Service officers, who saw it as a breach of the nation’s top diplomat’s role representing America as a whole to the outside world — rather than promoting one party’s candidate in an election at home.

    It also seemed to contradict State Department guidance saying that officials may not “speak for or against a partisan candidate” at a convention and “may not even attend a political party convention.” A cable sent in Mr. Pompeo’s name just last month repeated the warning. Even presidential appointees “may not engage in any partisan political activity in concert with a partisan campaign, political party, or partisan political group, even on personal time and outside of the federal workplace,” the cable said.

    “It appears he’s either violating the rules or the administration decided the rules wouldn’t apply when they weren’t convenient,” said Nick Schwellenbach, the senior investigator at the Project On Government Oversight, a government watchdog group. “Pompeo is sacrificing the department’s diplomatic tradition on the altar of a partisan campaign.”

    Daniel Fried, who spent 40 years as a career diplomat working for officials like Condoleezza Rice when she was national security adviser and later secretary of state, said he could recall no precedent for Mr. Pompeo’s appearance.

    “The secretary of state should put partisanship aside when she or he takes office,” Mr. Fried said. “Condi Rice, as N.S.A. and secretary, never said or, as far as I could tell, did anything partisan. Nor did she tolerate it in others.”

    The State Department said in a statement that Mr. Pompeo would be speaking “in his personal capacity” and that no department staff or resources would be used to facilitate the speech. But it did not address the wisdom or ethics of the secretary’s participation in the convention.

    In Mr. Trump’s White House, there often seems to be little distinction between government and political events. His campaign music soundtrack — the Rolling Stones, Village People, Elton John, Lee Greenwood — is even played before his entrance at official appearances, like this summer’s launch of the SpaceX rocket.

    After that event, in fact, the Trump campaign posted a video of the president at the launch featuring images of the astronauts and their families, and took it offline only after the wife of one of the astronauts complained. The campaign likewise fashioned an online ad within hours of Mr. Trump’s march to St. John’s Episcopal Church near the White House after the police used pepper spray against peaceful protesters to clear Lafayette Square.

    Official White House websites, financed by the taxpayers, are regularly used for Trump campaign-style videos. The president’s team posted an overtly political “Obamagate” video on the official White House Facebook page attacking former President Barack Obama. A video on the White House YouTube channel showing the president signing orders meant to lower drug prices includes a heroic musical score reminiscent of campaign ads.

    Mr. Trump has also used the power of his office to promote private sector interests that he perceives as supportive of him and to harm companies that he views as politically hostile. He posed for pictures with Goya Foods products in the Oval Office after the company’s chief executive came under criticism for praising the president. And last week, he called on supporters to boycott Goodyear for telling employees to refrain from wearing political slogans at work, including Make America Great Again hats.

    Mr. Trump’s decision to stage his acceptance speech at the White House was born in part out of necessity. After he was forced to cancel the convention in Jacksonville, Fla., because of the coronavirus pandemic, he was left with fewer options and decided on the White House, taking advantage of the grandeur of the setting.

    It would not be the first time he has used the venue for clearly political events. An hourlong Rose Garden appearance in July that was billed as a news conference was essentially an extended attack on his Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

    Still, even some Republicans found it disquieting. “What’s so hard about going to a hotel?” said former Representative Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, the onetime head of the House Ethics Committee and a Republican supporting Mr. Biden. “Just another norm out the window.”

    When Republicans who otherwise support the president raised concerns, like Senator John Thune of South Dakota, an irritated Mr. Trump shot them down. “John Thune did? The Republican John Thune?” he said when a reporter told him that the senator suggested a convention staged at the White House may violate ethics laws. Mr. Trump argued that it would in fact be simpler and less costly because the building is already secured.

    Other presidents have used the White House for political activity. Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan both announced their re-election bids from the Executive Mansion, and Bill Clinton hosted coffees there for prominent donors, and he let some stay overnight in the Lincoln Bedroom. Mr. Obama filmed campaign ads in the West Wing.

    But in staging parts of his convention from the White House, Mr. Trump is taking it even further. Tim Murtaugh, the president’s campaign spokesman, brushed aside questions about the use of the Executive Mansion, saying Mr. Trump’s opponents were just looking for something to criticize.

    “Democrats and the media don’t want the president holding rallies, they don’t want him holding news conferences, they don’t want him speaking at Mount Rushmore, and they don’t want him speaking at the White House,” Mr. Murtaugh said. “They want to keep him from speaking entirely because their own candidate, Joe Biden, is locked away in his basement by his handlers because he can’t be trusted when he opens his mouth.”

    Judd Deere, a White House spokesman, said the White House would be careful to abide by the Hatch Act, which generally bars government employees from participating in partisan activities, although it does not apply to the president himself.

    “R.N.C. convention events will be planned and executed, at whatever the venue, by the Trump campaign and R.N.C.,” he said of the Republican National Committee. “Any government employees who may participate will do so in compliance with the Hatch Act.”

    The White House has ignored past findings of Hatch Act violations by the Office of Special Counsel, a small independent agency charged with enforcing the law. The office found last year that Kellyanne Conway, the president’s counselor, was a “repeat offender” and should be fired, a recommendation that Mr. Trump disregarded. Ms. Conway dismissed such complaints as “blah, blah, blah” and as an attempt “to silence me.” (Ms. Conway said Sunday night she would step down at the end of the month for unrelated family reasons.)

    Mr. Pompeo’s decision to speak at the convention reflects his own political ambitions as a former congressman thought to have an eye on the White House himself. And doing it from Jerusalem, with the historic Old City in the backdrop, will remind voters of Mr. Trump’s support for Israel, including decisions to move the United States Embassy to Jerusalem and to recognize Israel’s authority over the Golan Heights.

    But it flies in the face of longstanding department guidelines. Just last February, Stephen E. Biegun, the deputy secretary of state, noted that “the Department has more far-reaching restrictions” than the Hatch Act to remain nonpartisan. “As a Senate confirmed Department official,” he wrote in an email to department employees, “I will be sitting on the sidelines of the political process this year and will not be attending any political events, to include the national conventions.”

    Mr. Painter said he believed Mr. Pompeo’s speech would violate the Hatch Act and vowed to file a complaint. “He is on a diplomatic mission and cannot legally use that to endorse the president’s political campaign,” he said.

    John B. Bellinger III, who served as the top State Department lawyer under Ms. Rice, said legal or not, he would have warned the secretary against it. “I can’t think of a recent precedent, and I absolutely would have discouraged it, even if it may be permissible under the Hatch Act,” he said. “Secretaries of state have historically stayed out of partisan politics.”

    Jonathan Martin, Pranshu Verma and Lara Jakes contributed reporting.



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    DNC Day 4: Joe Biden to accept Democratic presidential nomination


    Sen. Tammy Duckworth says Donald Trump is a “coward in chief” who has proved himself unfit to lead the U.S. armed forces.

    The Illinois Democrat and military veteran lost her legs during a helicopter crash while serving in Iraq. She said at Thursday’s Democratic National Convention that Joe Biden understands the sacrifices military families make.

    Duckworth says, “Joe knows the fear military families live because he’s felt that.“

    Biden’s late son Beau served as a major in the Army National Guard.

    Duckworth says Trump, on the other hand, is uninterested, doesn’t read his daily briefing and has been manipulated by dictators who are enemies of the U.S.

    She says, “Donald Trump doesn’t deserve to call himself commander in chief for another four minutes, let alone four more years.”

    ___

    HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THURSDAY’S DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION:

    — What to watch: Joe Biden’s big moment at the DNC

    — Biden seeking party, national unity in convention climax

    — For Biden, a long path to a potentially crucial presidency

    — ‘Best that we can do’: DNC viewers adjust to virtual format

    ___

    Follow AP’s election coverage at https://apnews.com/Election2020

    ___

    HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

    Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin is sharing her struggles with a childhood illness to tout the importance of health coverage for preexisting conditions.

    Baldwin said at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday that she was hospitalized for three months as a 9-year-old. Her grandparents were her caregivers, and their insurance did not cover her. Baldwin says she then struggled to get health insurance as an adult.

    She asks: “Do we want to be a country where medical bills bury people in debt?”

    Baldwin is touting her support under the Obama-Biden administration for the Affordable Care Act. It allows young people to stay on their parents’ insurance until they are 26.

    Baldwin spoke from Milwaukee, the city where the convention was set to be held before the coronavirus pandemic forced most of the events to be held virtually.

    ___

    The final night of the Democratic convention was designed to be Joe Biden’s moment to soar.

    But actor and comedian Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the master of ceremonies on Thursday, gave him a run for his money, uncorking a brutal roast of President Donald Trump.

    “American carnage,” she said, referring to the dominant theme of Trump’s inaugural speech. “I assumed that was something he was against, not a campaign promise.”

    Invoking Biden’s Catholic faith, she mocked a recent Trump photo op outside a church during protests against police brutality.

    “Just remember: Joe Biden goes to church so regularly, that he doesn’t even need tear gas and a bunch of federalized troops to help him get there,” she said.

    Later, following a segment on voting, she quipped: “If we all vote, there is nothing Facebook, Fox News or Vladimir Putin can do to stop us.”

    ___

    Cory Booker has evoked the memory of his late grandfather to argue that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris can bolster unions and empower the middle class.

    “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris know the dignity of all working Americans,” the New Jersey senator said Thursday on the final night of the virtual Democratic National Convention. “They know the urgency and the demand of our dream.”

    Booker says the Trump administration’s policies have left “working people under attack” and the middle class shrinking. Booker says, “He has failed us.”

    Booker added of his grandfather, “If he was alive, Joe and Kamala, he would be so proud of you.”

    “And he’d tell us, take another by the hand, and another, and let’s get to work,” Booker said. “This dream ain’t free, you gotta work for it.”

    ___

    Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has invoked the legacy of civil rights icon John Lewis as she encourages people to vote.

    “Congressman Lewis would not be silenced, and neither can we,” Bottoms said. “We cannot wait for some other time, some other place, some other heroes.”

    Lewis represented the Atlanta area in Congress for decades. He was among a group of freedom riders who were beaten by Alabama State Police on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma in 1965.

    Before he died of cancer in July, he published an essay encouraging people to exercise their right to vote.

    Bottoms said Lewis was a “God-fearing man who did what he could to fulfil the as-of-yet-unfulfilled promise of America.”

    And she urged others to live up to his call.

    “We must register and we must vote,” Bottoms said.

    ___

    Democrats are opening the fourth and final night of their convention with a not-so-subtle dig at Republicans mispronouncing Democratic vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris’ first name.

    “I cannot wait to see her debate our current vice-president, Mika Pints. Or is it Paints?” said actor Julia Louis-Dreyfus, referring to Vice-President Mike Pence. After Democrat Andrew Yang suggested it was “Ponce,” Louis-Dreyfus responded, “Oh, some kind of weird foreign name.”

    Harris is the child of immigrants, and her first name reflects her Indian heritage. Her name is pronounced “comma-la,” like the punctuation mark.

    But President Donald Trump and other members of his party have been saying it wrong, even after they have been corrected.

    The bit came after brief remarks by Yang, who ran in the Democratic primary.

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    ___

    California Gov. Gavin Newsom says wildfires raging in his state should give pause to anyone who denies climate change.

    Newsom spoke at the virtual Democratic National Convention on Thursday from a forest near California’s Central Coast after visiting a nearby Red Cross evacuation centre.

    More than two dozen major wildfires were blazing across California, blanketing cities and towns in smoke and putting tens of thousands of people under evacuation orders.

    Newsom recorded the video after choosing to scrap the prerecorded video he originally recorded.

    “I confess this is not where I expected to be speaking here tonight,” he said in a video recorded on a cellphone.

    He added, “If you are in denial about climate change, come to California.”

    Newsom criticized President Donald Trump for working to roll back vehicle emission standards meant to curb climate change and for threatening to withhold funding from California.

    ___

    Joe Biden is set to make his case for his White House candidacy on the fourth and final night of the all-virtual Democratic National Convention.

    Biden will speak Thursday night from Wilmington, Delaware, as he accepts the Democratic nomination in his third bid for the presidency.

    He will be joined by some of his former rivals for the Democratic nomination, as well as some of the women he considered as running mates.

    New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg will speak early Thursday night, followed later in the evening by Andrew Yang, whose outsider presidential campaign was marked by a buzzy online following and a platform to give Americans a universal basic income.

    Several women who were considered potential running mates for Biden are also slated to appear: Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth. Other speakers include California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Delaware Sen. Chris Coons and members of the Biden family.

    ___

    President Donald Trump says “Joe Biden is no friend of Pennsylvania” as he criticizes the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee near his childhood hometown of Scranton.

    Trump isn’t laying low during the Democratic National Convention. He’s mocking Biden and blaming him for supporting trade policies that he says resulted in manufacturing job losses.

    Trump is attempting to frighten voters about the future of their retirement investments as well if Biden is elected, and he bragged that markets are up despite the coronavirus.

    He’s also evoking images of violence in some of the nation’s biggest cities during his own presidency, saying it will only spread if Biden is elected. He says that if voters “want a vision of your life under a Joe Biden presidency, imagine the smouldering ruins of Minneapolis” and “the violent anarchy of Portland” coming to every city.

    “There’s only one thing standing between your family and the radical left-wing mob,” he says. “And that’s your vote this November.”

    ___

    Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign manager, Robby Mook, says former President Barack Obama issued an important warning to Democrats at their national convention that they can’t be complacent in 2020.

    Mook said Thursday in an appearance on CBS that Clinton lost because of turnout. He says what Obama “was trying to do” in his speech Wednesday on the third day of the convention was “send out that call — that beacon — to everybody to say, ‘We can’t sit back.’”

    Mook says he worries that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s lead in the polls could change and he thinks “it was very important to put people on notice” that “we all gotta do our part.”

    Mook was joined on CBS by Reince Priebus, President Donald Trump’s former White House chief of staff. Priebus accuses Democrats of repeating their 2016 playbook by painting Trump as too divisive.

    Priebus says the American people rejected that message and voted for Trump. He also says that, generally, few persuadable voters watch the conventions, so “What matters is how does the news play the next day.”

    Thursday is the fourth and final night of Democrats’ virtual convention. Biden is set to make his first address as the party’s official nominee.

    ___

    Sen. Cory Booker says that “there may be dirty tricks” from President Donald Trump in the Nov. 3 general election vote and that the nation’s voters should be stalwart in their determination to cast ballots.

    On ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Thursday, the Democratic New Jersey senator said that as a Black man he “hopes that Americans press on and are not deterred” by distractions involving the voting process, such as the recent dispute over U.S. Postal Service funding and access to voting by mail.

    The Republican president has warned repeatedly without evidence about potential fraud in mail-in voting even though voter fraud is exceedingly rare.

    Booker speaks on the fourth and final night of Democrats’ virtual convention Thursday, ahead of former Vice-President Joe Biden’s first address as the party’s official nominee.

    Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas says he doesn’t think he heard “many or even any reasons to vote for Joe Biden” at the convention on Wednesday night, when former President Barack Obama, Biden running mate Kamala Harris and 2016 Trump opponent Hillary Clinton spoke.

    Cotton says Democrats “have to explain why America would be better off with Joe Biden as our president.”





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    AFL players will accept compressed fixture if contract freeze is lifted, AFLPA boss Paul Marsh says


    Players from the AFL’s 10 Victorian clubs feel a “responsibility” to do whatever it takes to complete the 2020 season, AFLPA boss Paul Marsh says, but they want the freeze on contract discussions lifted.

    The league is preparing to set up camp in Queensland for the remainder of the home-and-away season after a serious coronavirus outbreak in Victoria forced it into action.

    It is also planning to heavily compress the latter round of the season, cramming as many as 33 games into less than three weeks, with the possibility of playing games every day.

    While this plan was yet to be confirmed, Marsh said the players would likely only sign off on the idea if the league-wide and AFL-mandated contract freeze was lifted.

    “The AFL would like to play the last 11 home-and-away games in a period of eight weeks, and we are certainly open to that,” he said.

    “But at the moment, one of our concerns is the AFL has put a freeze on players contracting into next year and beyond. We need that to be removed.

    “We will see a greater risk of injury if players are compressing over the next few weeks, and we don’t want to put the players in a situation where this impacts their futures going forward.”

    AFL fixtures boss Travis Auld said the idea was to move to the altered schedule over the next few weeks before reverting to a more traditional format before finals.

    “What we’ve talked a lot about is needing to get some weeks back in this next block, and then trying to clean up the back end of the season so everyone is well prepared for what is hopefully a normalised finals series,” Auld said.

    “Now, how that works and how that exactly plays out, I’m not sure, but that certainly has been the preference of everyone.”

    Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.

    Gillon McLachlan says all Victorian teams will be based in Queensland.

    Marsh said a majority of players were prepared to make the move to Queensland, but expected some would opt against a hub stay.

    “We are working through it with the players, and they will embrace it,” Marsh said.

    “It doesn’t mean every single player is going to be able to work through these issues this year, and that is ahead of us, but the players as a group feel a deep sense of responsibility to get this season finished, and we will continue to push forward.

    “There are still some details we are working with with the AFL at the moment, but clearly at the moment, Victoria is not a feasible destination.

    “So if we want to continue the season, we need to be out of Victoria.”

    Richmond's Trent Cotchin carries a baby as another children walks with him at the AFL's hub on the Gold Coast in Queensland.
    Players from Victorian clubs will be having a lengthy stay in Queensland.(AAP: Darren England)

    Players’ families would likely have the option to move into their own Queensland hub, but Marsh said the personal situations of some players could make the move untenable.

    “There are different circumstances for different families,” he said.

    “Many of the players’ families work, which makes it difficult for them to leave Melbourne or Sydney or wherever it might be,” he said.

    “But a lot of families will go up, no doubt, and that’s been an important part of this. There are individual circumstances that are more difficult than others.

    “There are players whose partners are expecting children in coming weeks. They will clearly need to get out of Queensland or wherever they might be, and prioritise their families.”



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