Monday Sunrise Briefing: How the world greets a Biden-Harris win

Why We Wrote This

Good morning! Welcome to your Monday, Nov. 9, 2020, sunrise briefing. 

Here are three news events from this past weekend (while you may have been exploring Machu Picchu, juggling, and enjoying an offline life). Also, what to look for in the news this week.

AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade
Indian art teacher Sagar Kambli paints pictures of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in Mumbai, India, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020.

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Catch-up on the weekend news: World leaders, mostly, congratulate Biden-Harris victory Saturday. President Trump digs in. Alex Trebek's graceful legacy. 

Global congratulations mostly greeted a victory speech Saturday by U.S. President-elect Joe Biden. Notably, vocal President Trump supporters, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, India’s P.M. Narendra Modi, and Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu were among American allies reaching out to Mr. Biden. Most world leaders signaled a desire to rebuild ties, work together on the pandemic, and renew multilateral cooperation. But some leaders supportive of Mr. Trump were still silent on Mr. Biden’s win as of Sunday, including those of Brazil, Mexico, and Turkey. 

Villagers in the hometown of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris's maternal grandfather in India, celebrated with firecrackers, placards, and prayers Sunday. “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last,” Sen. Harris said in her Saturday evening speech to U.S. voters. And Mr. Biden’s speech was about healing, unifying the country. “We have to stop treating our opponents as enemies. They are not our enemies. They are Americans,” he said.

Mr. Trump has not conceded the election as his campaign staff claim voter fraud, so far without proof. Trump aides admit they have concerns about undermining the integrity of the democratic process. The legal challenges aren't about reversing the results, they told the Associated Press, but aimed at keeping Mr. Trump’s loyal base of supporters with Republicans, even in defeat. 

2. Progress on racist symbols. In a year when protests for racial justice have roiled U.S. society, five states voted this past week to cleanse the public sphere of words, phrases, and symbols that to many were reminders of a history of systematic oppression. In Alabama, Rhode Island, Utah, Nebraska, and Mississippi, the voter-driven shift “shows a willingness on the part of Americans to provide for a more inclusive community. These changes, by themselves, are not enough — but they are encouraging signs of progress in the right direction,” political science professor Brendan Skip Mark told the Associated Press.

3. A graceful icon of trivia masters. Game show king Alex Trebek was an avuncular, dapper host with a school teacher’s efficiency, who left a multi-generational legacy for nerds and trivia aficionados everywhere. He won five Emmys as  the “Jeopardy!” master of ceremonies for more than 35 years. “Alex wasn’t just the best ever at what he did. He was also a lovely and deeply decent man, and I’m grateful for every minute I got to spend with him,” tweeted “Jeopardy!” champion Ken Jennings Sunday. “Thinking today about his family and his Jeopardy! family — which, in a way, included millions of us.” 

Yohei Osada/AFLO SPORT/Reuters
Two teams made up of artistic gymnasts from the U.S., China, Japan, and Russia participated in the 2020 Friendship and Solidarity Competition in Tokyo, Japan, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020. Here, Angelina Melnikova of Russia.

Look Ahead

Monday, Nov. 9

President-elect advisors. Joe Biden says he’ll announce today a team of scientists and experts to create a new pandemic response plan for when he takes office in January.

Editor's note: A previous version gave incorrect information about a scheduled Jacob Blake trial. Charges have been dropped.

Tuesday, Nov. 10

High Court and health care. The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in the third major Republican legal challenge to the 10-year-old Affordable Care Act.

Democratic process continues. The certification of ballot counts begins the week after the Nov. 3, 2020 U.S. election in some states, and continues for 2-4 weeks. 

Wednesday, Nov. 11

Honoring sacrifice and service. Veterans Day 2020, a U.S. federal holiday, marks the 75th anniversary of the end of  WWII, the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War, and the 30th anniversary of both the end of the Panama Invasion and the beginning of Desert Shield. Many restaurants offer discounts and/or free meals. 

Best of Country. Reba McEntire and Darius Rucker are scheduled to host the 2020 Country Music Association Awards at 8 p.m. E.T. on ABC-TV. 

Friday, Nov. 13

Portrait of a teen activist. “I Am Greta,” a documentary on Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teen leading a global school strikes for action on climate change, is due out today on Hulu. 

Saturday, Nov. 14

SpaceX again. A four-person crew is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, today, riding a Falcon 9 rocket to rendezvous with the International Space Station. This is expected to mark the start of regular flights of astronauts from U.S. soil to the station. 

Generosity Watch

If you’ve ever prayed the “Lord’s Prayer,” you’ve uttered the words “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.”

Some Christian churches are putting that prayer of forgiveness into practice, literally. 

Last month, a group of United Church of Christ congregations in New England worked to fundraise, purchase, and forgive the medical debts of 7,175 families  in New England and New York. The churches raised more than $200,000 to pay off $26.2 million in medical debts.

How does that work? In recent years, churches have been working with RIP Medical Debt, a non-profit that buys delinquent debts from collection agencies for pennies on the dollar. The non-profit seeks to identify and relieve the debt of the neediest families.

"Sometimes it seems there is very little grace in the world," said the Rev. Matt Fitzgerald, senior pastor of St. Paul's UUC in Chicago last year. "What joy to open a letter saying, 'Your debt has been forgiven,' instead of a letter saying, 'We're coming after you. Pay up.' … It's like Jesus feeding thousands of people from a few loaves of bread and two fish. We just watched $38,000 become more than $5 million."

Hidden gem 

Courtesy of Janet Nelson
Janet Breslin (back row, left) and Janet Nelson (next to her) pose with sisters from their sorority who put on a skit from “South Pacific” during pledge week at the University of Southern California in the 1960s.

Start your week with a recent story that inspired Monitor readers:

Can friendship be bipartisan? Ask the Janets.

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In tonight’s Daily Edition, watch for our story about the young inventors finding solutions to tire pollution.

Finally, check out the Monitor’s selected stories from Friday's subscription-only Daily Edition:

  1. Where we go from here
  2. Could a President Biden lead a divided America?
  3. As lone wolf attacks go up, can Europe keep Islamophobia down?
  4. In Nigerian protests, a generation poised to seize the moment
  5. Racial equity and the pandemic: How a football player is tackling both
  6. Afghan refugees create a taste of home in Malaysia

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