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Green Party’s Stein drops Pennsylvania presidential recount bid

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Green Party candidate Jill Stein abruptly dropped her bid to seek a recount of the presidential election vote in Pennsylvania after a judge ordered her campaign to post a $1 million bond, a spokesman said on Saturday.

“Petitioners are regular citizens of ordinary means. They cannot afford to post the $1,000,000 bond required by the court,” an attorney for the Stein campaign wrote in court papers, according to an email from spokesman Sam Scarrow.

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“How odd is it that we must jump through bureaucratic hoops and raise millions of dollars so we can trust our election results?” Stein said on Twitter.

The campaign of Republican President-elect Donald Trump had requested a $10 million bond, court papers showed.

Stein, who garnered only about 1 percent of the vote, has also sought recounts in Michigan and Wisconsin, saying that she wants to ensure the integrity of the U.S. voting system.

Trump, who beat Democrat Hillary Clinton in the Nov. 8 election, has called the recount effort a “scam.”

Clinton’s campaign has said it would take part in the recounts.

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Even if all of the recounts were to take place, they are extremely unlikely to change the overall outcome of the election.

The presidential race is decided by the Electoral College, or a tally of wins from the state-by-state contests, rather than by the popular national vote.

Trump surpassed the 270 electoral votes needed to win, with 306 electoral votes, and the recount would have to flip the result to Clinton in all three states to change the overall result.

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In the popular vote, Clinton had a margin of more than 2.5 million votes over Trump, the Cook Political Report said.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Bill Rigby and Tom Brown)

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COVID-19

What is China doing to stop Beijing’s new coronavirus outbreak?

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Over 1,000 flights have been cancelled, schools shut and residents urged not to leave Beijing, as Chinese authorities race to contain a fresh outbreak linked to the capital's largest wholesale food market.

The number of confirmed cases in the capital has shot up to 137 within the last week after two months of no cases, and four other provinces have revealed cases linked to the Beijing cluster.

How did the outbreak begin, and what measures are Beijing taking to contain it?

- What is the origin of the cluster? -

Beijing had turned into a virtual fortress at the height of the pandemic, with people arriving from other regions or countries required to undergo quarantines.

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2020 Election

Democrats and Never-Trumpers gaming out ‘doomsday scenarios’ if president refuses to leave office: report

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According to a report in the New York Times, Democratic strategists and Never-Trumper conservatives fear Donald Trump will refuse to leave office should he lose in November and are making plans and figuring out their legal options should such an unprecedented state of affairs come to pass.

The report, by the Times' Reid Epstein, begins with one such possible scenario.

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COVID-19

‘Retaliation plain and simple’: Vaccine agency top Doc fired by Trump administration files whistleblower complaint

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Dr. Rick Bright has retained an attorney and will be filing a whistleblower complaint after the Trump administration fired him from his position as head of the federal agency charged with developing a COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Bright was moved to a different agency with a narrower focus after he raised concerns over President Donald Trump's obsession with promoting hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug recent studies found doubles the death rate in coronavirus patients.

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