Biden Makes Gains in Georgia, Pennsylvania as Nation Anxiously Awaits Winner

first_imgJoseph R. Biden Jr. gained ground in Pennsylvania, Nevada and Georgia on Thursday as the slow-moving vote count in those contested battleground states moved him closer to capturing an electoral majority and defeating President Trump.As an anxious country waited to learn the winner, the two candidates emerged toward day’s end to make remarks that were dramatically different in tone and content.- Advertisement – For all of his complaints, Mr. Trump has only himself and his own party to blame for the delayed vote count in a number of states.State and local Republican officials refused to let localities tally mail-in votes before Tuesday in some states. And because of Mr. Trump’s monthslong attacks on mail ballots, more Democrats than Republicans voted in that fashion, which has allowed Mr. Biden to pick up the bulk of the votes arriving in the mail. As part of the effort to sow doubt on the state’s election, Mr. Trump’s Nevada state director sent a letter to supporters on Thursday asking them “to go on camera/on the record with the issues they faced voting this election” to “expose issues we are seeing at polling locations/clerks offices.” He urged calm and emphasized that “each ballot must be counted.”- Advertisement – In a brief appearance before reporters in Wilmington, Del., Mr. Biden said he remained confident that he would ultimately prevail but did not lay claim to the White House.“Democracy’s sometimes messy,” said Mr. Biden, who remained ahead in Arizona on Thursday night but lost some ground there. “It sometimes requires a little patience as well. But that patience has been rewarded now for more than 240 years with a system of governance that’s been the envy of the world.” Mr. Biden’s advantage in Arizona, a state The Associated Press has already called for the former vice president, narrowed as thousands of votes were tabulated. But in Georgia and Pennsylvania, Mr. Trump saw his early advantage dwindle as mail-in ballots were counted.Until Mr. Trump’s remarks on Thursday night, he had not appeared in public since he used a middle-of-the-night appearance Wednesday to insist he had already won. But he has posted angry Twitter messages, and he continued to do so Thursday.“All of the recent Biden claimed States will be legally challenged by us for Voter Fraud and State Election Fraud,” he said in one message, without elaborating on what precisely that would involve. “STOP THE COUNT!” he exclaimed in another tweet.Rebuking the president, Twitter labeled some of the messages “disputed” and said they “might be misleading about an election or other civic process.”In any event, stopping the count now would only ensure that Mr. Biden wins the presidency, because he is leading in Arizona and Nevada — states that together would give him 270 electoral votes.The presidential contest was not the only tight race drawing attention. A key Georgia Senate race that could decide the majority in the chamber grew even closer as Senator David Perdue, a Republican, saw his vote share slip under 50 percent in his race against Jon Ossoff, a Democrat. If neither wins a majority, the race would head to a January runoff, setting up the prospect of a hotly contested battle for two Senate seats in Georgia. A runoff is already planned in the special election for the state’s other seat. Updated Nov. 5, 2020, 11:01 p.m. ET Hours later, in a stunning appearance in the White House briefing room, Mr. Trump lied about the vote-counting underway in several states, conjuring up a conspiracy of “legal” and “illegal” ballots being tabulated and claiming without evidence that states were trying to deny him re-election.“They’re trying to steal an election, they’re trying to rig an election,” the president said from the White House briefing room. He also baselessly suggested nefarious behavior in Philadelphia and Detroit, cities that he called “two of the most corrupt political places.”Mr. Trump’s remarks, mostly read off notes, were at times more valedictory than defiant. Far from insisting that he would stay in power, he used much of his appearance to complain about pre-election polls, demonize the news media and try to put the best face on Tuesday’s results, trumpeting his party’s congressional gains. He did not take questions from reporters.- Advertisement – With the world watching to see if one of the most unusual presidencies in the country’s history was coming to an end, America’s patchwork of electoral laws created a confusing and angst-inducing day for both parties, to say nothing of millions of Americans eager for the campaign’s conclusion.center_img For its part, publicly and privately, the Biden campaign spent much of Thursday trying to tamp down expectations about the certainty of results in individual states, even as his supporters were on edge when the margins turned out to be far closer than many had expected.In a briefing with reporters, Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, Mr. Biden’s campaign manager, acknowledged that his leads in Arizona and Nevada might tighten or otherwise fluctuate. It was a departure from her position the day earlier when she referred to a “historic victory in a place like Arizona,” though she still expressed optimism about victories in both states.“We do expect, similar to Nevada, that some of the margin will continue to close today,” she said of Arizona, a state she has focused on for months. “The story of Arizona is one where Joe Biden is going to win, but it’s going to take us time and patience as we go through the counting.”“The story of today,” she said at another point, “is going to be a very positive story for the vice president, but also one where folks are going to need to stay patient and stay calm.”Reporting was contributed by Catie Edmondson in Washington, Nick Corasaniti in Philadelphia, Richard Fausset in Atlanta, and Jennifer Medina and Simon Romero in Phoenix. He suffered two legal setbacks on Thursday when judges in Georgia and Michigan ruled against his campaign. But Mr. Trump notched a minor victory in Pennsylvania when a state appellate court acceded to its request to force Philadelphia election officials to grant its election observers better access to areas where workers are counting ballots. In his speech, Mr. Trump expressed no concern about the protracted vote count in Arizona, a state where he has been cutting into Mr. Biden’s lead as more ballots are tabulated.Republican leaders offered no immediate response to Mr. Trump’s remarks, but a small group of maverick lawmakers in the party denounced his comments, seeking to reassure voters that there was no reason to believe the integrity of the election had been undermined.Representative Adam Kinzinger, Republican of Illinois and a frequent critic of Mr. Trump, offered the sharpest rebuke, saying “this is getting insane” and demanding that the president stop “spreading debunked misinformation.”Larry Hogan, the Republican governor of Maryland, wrote, “There is no defense for the President’s comments tonight undermining our Democratic process.”Yet there were also Republican lawmakers who rushed to Mr. Trump’s defense, siding with him in falsely asserting that the vote counting was illegal and Democrats were trying to cheat. “Radical Dems tried to do away with law and order and are now trying to do away with law and order at the ballot box,” wrote Representative Roger Williams of Texas. Georgia’s Republican Party has said it plans to bring up to a dozen lawsuits in the state.In Arizona, Mr. Biden’s lead was down to about 46,000 votes, significantly less than it was on election night. There are several hundred thousand ballots left to count, with many coming from Phoenix’s Maricopa County, which was expected to release an update on Thursday evening.Adrian Fontes, the Democrat who oversees elections in Maricopa County, home to Phoenix, said that officials would continue to release updates daily at 9 p.m. Eastern, including over the weekend.“We’re plugging along and making it happen,” Mr. Fontes said. The vote count in Maricopa has grown tense, however, since several armed protesters showed up at the county office Wednesday night. On Thursday afternoon, about 200 supporters of Mr. Trump also gathered in front of the headquarters of the Arizona Republican Party after a protest earlier in the day involving about 50 Trump supporters dissipated in front of City Hall in Phoenix.Some in the crowd held signs reading “Don’t Steal Elections,” “Shame on Fox News” and “Recall Fontes.” (Fox News called Arizona for Mr. Biden on Tuesday night, inflaming Trump supporters.)Mr. Biden led by just over 11,000 votes in Nevada, but local officials in Las Vegas announced Thursday that 51,000 ballots from Clark County there were being tallied and would be announced Friday. Mr. Biden was winning the county by about eight percentage points. If he wins the bulk of the new votes, it would make it almost impossible for Mr. Trump to take the state, because about 70 percent of Nevada’s voters live in Clark County. On Thursday, an array of Mr. Trump’s political surrogates fanned out to some of the contested states to rally his supporters. And the president’s lawyers filed lawsuits in several states questioning the integrity of the vote count in hopes of slowing down the process. With the counting proceeding slowly in the West, much of the focus on Thursday fell on Pennsylvania, where a victory would deliver Mr. Biden the presidency no matter the results in the other states. The top election official in the state said on Thursday evening that counties were “still counting” and did not offer any timetable for when the tally would be complete.Mr. Trump’s lead in the state, about 26,000 votes as of 10:50 p.m. Eastern, was shrinking as mail-in ballots were counted in the heavily Democratic cities and suburbs.The two parties held dueling news conferences in Philadelphia early in the day, with Mr. Trump’s supporters insisting his lead would hold statewide and the city’s Democrats, led by former Representative Robert A. Brady, unveiling an analysis of the remaining vote count that concluded Mr. Biden would win Pennsylvania convincingly.In Georgia, the counting of ballots in numerous counties continued to erode Mr. Trump’s advantage in the traditionally Republican state: By Thursday night, he was leading by about 1,800 votes out of nearly five million cast.Tens of thousands of ballots remained to be counted in the state late in the day, including many in Chatham County, a Democratic-leaning county along the Georgia coast that is home to Savannah, and many thousands more from Atlanta-area counties that also lean Democratic. – Advertisement –last_img read more

Ganguly equates COVID-19 to Test match being played on dangerous pitch

first_imgTHE Coronavirus pandemic has left the human lives stunned. Almost 2.5 lakh people have already died due to the virus while more than 3 million are affected with it as well. The situation is similar in India with the country under lockdown since March 24 and almost 40,000 positive COVID-19 patients.Looking at the current situation, the former India cricketer and the current BCCI President Sourav Ganguly is extremely disappointed. He has equated this situation with the Test match being played on an extremely dangerous pitch where the batsmen have very less margin of error.“This situation is a Test match on a very dangerous wicket. The ball is seaming and spinning as well – the batsman has very little margin of error. So, the batsman has to score runs and keep his wicket safe with this little margin of error, and win this Test match,” he said while speaking at ‘100 Hours 100 Stars’, an initiative started by Fever Network.Sourav Ganguly also expressed his concern over the way the pandemic is making people struggle all over the world even as there is no immediate vaccine for it. He is also scared with the number of people have lost their lives due to the disease and wants all this to end as soon as possible.“I am really upset seeing the current situation, because so many people are suffering outside. We are still struggling to understand how to stop this pandemic. This atmosphere all over the world has really bothered me. We don’t know how, when and where it came from – we all were unprepared for this. People are being affected by this so much. There have been so many deaths. This situation upsets me, and I also feel scared.“People come to my house to deliver groceries, food, so I feel a little scared as well. So it’s a mixed feeling. I just want this to end as quickly as possible,” Ganguly further said. The 47-year-old also revealed that cricket has taught him to be aware in tough situations which is helping him in staying positive at the moment.“Cricket has taught me a lot. I faced real life, high-pressure situations. You have to make runs and there is just one ball left. If you make one wrong move, one wrong footwork, you will not get another chance. These kind of situations make you alert and aware about real life situations,” Sourav Ganguly added.(CricTracker)last_img read more

Half a century later, Syracuse Nationals remembered as tough, elite team that provided city with a pulse

first_imgLife is timing.Those are the wise words of Dolph Schayes.Make one decision, and it could lead down one path. Make another, and the course of history changes.Schayes almost joined the New York Knicks in 1948. Had he taken that path, who knows what would have become of the Syracuse Nationals. But he chose to play for Syracuse, where he would become a future Hall of Famer and the face of the upstart Nats.“The people would come out,” Schayes said, “and the fact that ‘Little Syracuse is playing Boston, Syracuse is playing New York?’ The fans would go nuts when we beat them. And we won most of the time.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe 2012-13 season, which started this week, marks the 50th anniversary of the Nationals’ final season in Syracuse. The Nats held court in Syracuse from 1946 through the 1962-63 season before moving to Philadelphia to become the 76ers.The Nats had quite the run in Syracuse. But times were different then, on the court and in the city.South Salina Street downtown resembled Fifth Avenue in New York City in the 1950s. If a member of the Syracuse Nationals walked down that street, everybody knew him.“You were like a rock star,” Schayes said. “So you were a big shot.”***His name was “the strangler.” Who was he? One fan, maybe two?He would go to Nationals games and attack opposing players. He attacked a referee one time. And then there was the time the referee Sid Borgia attacked a fan who was mouthing off, punching them courtside at the War Memorial.“Syracuse was a rough, rough spot for opposing players and coaches,” said David Ramsey, who authored the book “Nats,” a history of basketball in Syracuse.It was a tough team, period.In a 1954 playoff game against the Boston Celtics in the Boston Garden, there was a full-fledged riot on the court. Paul Seymour, the Nats captain at the time, became involved, and a Boston police officer grabbed him out of the pile by the nose. His nose was never fully straight again.Part of that scrappy mentality came from their longtime coach Al Cervi.Cervi was called “the digger,” because his teams were built on hustle and drive.“Of course that’s very trite, that’s strictly a sports term,” Schayes said. “But it was true. If we came into the third, fourth quarter behind 10, we knew we could win the game by just digging, outhustling the other team.“In a way we caught the feeling of Syracuse. At that time it was a blue-collar town. And we were like the brand of Syracuse.”***Syracuse developed into a perennial power and won its lone NBA Championship in 1954-55.It was also the first year of the shot clock. The Nationals boasted the likes of Schayes, Seymour, Earl Lloyd and Johnny Kerr. The team won the Eastern Division and beat the Celtics and Pistons on its way to the title.The Pistons resided in Fort Wayne, Ind., at the time. The championship series featured places that were essentially towns — one in the center of New York state, and one in the Northeast corner of Indiana.“Of course the publicity was nothing,” Schayes said. “Syracuse and Fort Wayne were the two smallest markets in the league. So if you went to The New York Times or The Philadelphia Inquirer or Chicago, you might get a paragraph on the sports page. And there was no television.“Today they make hundreds of thousands (of dollars), plus they make bling and get rings; they go to Disney World.”But Schayes has his ring, even though the tradition of rings being awarded to NBA champions began a few years after the Nats won their title.Schayes visited Kerr, the Nationals’ center on that team, out in Chicago one time and noticed a ring he was wearing. It was an NBA Championship ring of 1955.Schayes asked Kerr how he got the ring. Kerr said he went through the NBA and had it made by a company in Connecticut. So Schayes went out and bought himself one through the same place for around $8,000.***Schayes is the glue that held Syracuse together. He was the star of the show. And he has the memories to share.“He has stories I haven’t heard yet,” his son, David Schayes, said. “He’s got the best stories.”There’s one specific one Dolph remembers, though.And even though he says he is forgetful, it’s hard to believe him since the stories he tells about that very forgetfulness are from 50 years ago.On the court, Schayes had an intense focus and on game day, he was locked in.“So I went to the game one night in Syracuse,” Schayes said. “And just before the game was ready, we were going out to the court, there was a knock on the door — it was a policeman.”Schayes was so focused on the game he forgot to take his wife with him. But that intensity was a driving factor in his Hall of Fame career and the Nats’ success.***Eventually, Syracuse couldn’t keep up. Teams were moving west. Salaries were increasing. A small-market city like Syracuse didn’t have the power or money of a major market.The team played in the Onondaga War Memorial, which only held about 6,000 people.In the early 1960s, the NBA wanted to move two teams to the West Coast — to San Francisco and Los Angeles. Bob Short, the owner of the then-Minneapolis Lakers, wanted to go to the West and went to Danny Biasone, the owner of the Nats, asking him to move his franchise, too.He told Biasone he’d give him the pick of San Francisco or LA, but Biasone was loyal to the fans and turned it down. Short ended up moving the Lakers to LA and sold them for $5 million one year later.The Nationals’ last season in Syracuse ended in the first round of the playoffs. Interest seemed to be waning. In Syracuse, Schayes explained, there were not enough people to replace those fans that had stopped following the team.The combination of fewer fans, increases in salaries and the NBA’s shift toward bigger cities contributed to the Nationals’ sale to Irv Kosloff for $500,000.The team moved to Philadelphia and became the 76ers. And the Syracuse Nationals became a distant memory.“It faded away, the element of Syracuse,” said Harvey Pollack, director of statistical information for the 76ers.Pollack would know. He is the only person still working for the NBA since its inception in 1946.“Fans of the Sixers today, some don’t even remember, aren’t old enough to know that there was a Syracuse franchise,” he said. “Because we’re talking about 50 years ago.”***Back to that ring. The one that didn’t exist at the time, the one Schayes had to seek out on his own.“Wherever I go, whenever I wear it, I go on trips,” Schayes said. “People are astounded — ‘You played in the NBA? You won a championship?’ — it’s like your entrance to heaven. And people see that and they’re really impressed.”It’s a tangible memory of the good times in Syracuse. It seems so far away now, but the city of Syracuse and the Nationals had quite the pulse back in the day.And Schayes embodied it.“Dolph Schayes, we always say that if he played today, with the three-point field goal, he would lead the league in scoring,” Pollack said. “I remember he was hurt one year. He had a fractured arm. And he played. He was what you call a dedicated player. He’s the most dominant player in Syracuse history.”Multiple generations have grown since the final season of Syracuse Nationals basketball half a century ago. The NBA has expanded into a giant in the sports world. A team like Syracuse would never exist today.But that, to Schayes, was what makes Syracuse and the Nationals stand out from other franchises in basketball history.“The fans that we had were very loyal,” Schayes said. “And they really loved the team because it made them feel big-league. We were David versus Goliath.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Related Stories Anthony and Knicks to play 76ers in exhibition game at Carrier DomeAnthony entertains Carrier Dome crowd in Knicks’ loss to 76ers in exhibition gameLocal legend: Schayes reflects on Hall of Fame career as face of Syracuse NationalsShot clock originated in Nationals to remedy basketball’s slow pacecenter_img Published on October 31, 2012 at 2:56 am Contact Rachel: rnmarcus@syr.edulast_img read more