Monday Sunrise Briefing: Trump, sort of, acknowledges Biden won

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
Supporters of President Donald Trump at a pro-Trump march outside the Supreme Court building, Saturday Nov. 14, 2020, in Washington. 

From Florida to Arizona, thousands of Americans clung to hope, marching in support of President Donald Trump in the “Million MAGA March” on Saturday. In Washington, D.C., Mr. Trump gave a thumbs up to supporters on his way to play golf. Later Saturday evening, pro-Trump and counter-protesters clashed violently in the nation’s capital. On Sunday, Mr. Trump tweeted for the first time that Joe Biden won the Nov. 3, election but also doubled down on unsubstantiated fraud claims and tweeted that “I concede NOTHING!” To date, most of Mr. Trump’s campaign legal challenges in key states have been thrown out and none have included evidence that might reverse the reported outcome. On Sunday night, Mr. Trump’s campaign removed the allegation in a federal lawsuit that hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania were illegally processed without GOP representatives watching. 

As more than 35 states now mandate mask wearing and new state and local restrictions are enacted, President-elect Joe Biden’s scientific advisers are scheduled to meet directly with vaccinemakers this week to discuss distribution plans as the White House transition remains stalled.

2. Asia’s push for freer markets. China and 14 other countries - but not the United States - agreed Sunday to set up the world’s largest trading bloc in a deal many in Asia are hoping will help hasten an economic recovery from the pandemic. The accord shows that nearly four years after President Trump launched his “America First" policy of forging trade deals with individual countries, Asian leaders see prosperity in committing to multi-nation efforts toward freer trade. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, will take already low tariffs on trade between member countries still lower, but it is less comprehensive than an 11-nation trans-Pacific trade deal that Mr. Trump pulled out of in 2017.

Why We Wrote This

Good morning! Welcome to your Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, sunrise briefing.

Here are three news events from this past weekend (while you may have been making cranberry sauce, jumping rope, and enjoying an offline life). Also, what to look for in the news this week.

3. Protesting corruption. Peru’s interim president stepped down Sunday just five days after assuming the office. Huge street protests against Manuel Merino’s leadership - representing a corrupt ruling class - left two dead Saturday and triggered his resignation.  The South American nation is in the throws of its worst constitutional crisis in two decades. Massive youth protests were unleashed a week ago when Congress ousted the nation’s popular leader President Martín Vizcarra. The legislature removed the president for “permanent moral incapacity.” Mr. Vizcarra was accused of taking $630,000 in bribes but he has not been charged and denies the accusations. It wasn’t clear Monday who would lead the nation, and attention now turns to the high court to rule on the constitutionality of the “moral incapacity” decision. 

REUTERS/Mike Segar
Brother love. Dustin Johnson celebrates with his brother and caddie Austin Johnson after winning The Masters tournament Sunday Nov. 15, 2020 at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia.

Look Ahead

Monday, Nov. 16

Mask mandate challenged. The Wisconsin state Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in a lawsuit challenging Gov. Tony Evers' mask mandate. At least 35 states have issued mask mandates

South Africa corruption hearing. Ex-President Jacob Zuma is scheduled to testify before an anti-graft judicial panel about allegations of corruption during his nine years in office.

Terrorist attack thwarted. A trial opens in France for four people charged with an attempted terrorist attack on an Amsterdam-Paris train in 2015 that was thwarted by French, American, and British passengers who subdued the attacker when his rifle jammed. The three Americans later played themselves in a Clint Eastwood movie about the event.

Tuesday, Nov. 17

Free speech on Facebook. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey are scheduled to testify in a Senate hearing about their company's censorship role and publishing misinformation in an election year. 

Security vs. transparency. French lawmakers are scheduled to debate a bill this week that would outlaw filming police and posting images online. The intent is to protect police from personal attacks. Detractors say it reduces transparency and makes it hard to report police wrongdoing. 

Wednesday, Nov. 18

Space rehab job. Two Russian cosmonauts are expected to conduct a space walk outside the International Space Station. They are prepping the station for the arrival of a new Russian research lab to replace the current Pirs module.  

Thursday, Nov. 19 

Best of Latin music. The 21st Annual Latin Grammy Awards are scheduled to be anchored from Miami and shown live on Univision at 8 p.m 

Friday, Nov. 20

Democracy watch. Georgia’s secretary of state will certify the statewide election results and the slate of presidential electors no later than Nov. 20. Fox News called Democrat Joe Biden the winner in the presidential vote (by some 14,000 votes), but a manual recount is underway. 

Generosity Watch

Eric Paul Zamora/The Fresno Bee via AP
Reese Osterburg, 9, waves to Kevin Ashford of San Jose, who surprised her more than 25,000 baseball cards collected and delivered to her at the Fresno County Fire Hurley Station near Prather, California on Oct. 30, 2020,

In September, 9-year-old Reese Osterberg didn’t just lose her home to the Creek Fire in California, she lost her entire 100-piece baseball card collection. She was crushed. But local first responders, and CalFire, put out a call for help: Baseball card donations for Reese, please.

San Jose, California, resident Kevin Ashford responded by giving Reese his entire 25,000 card collection, worth between $35,000 and $50,000, reported CNN.  But the generosity didn’t stop there. 

Then, San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey - Reese's favorite player - surprised her with a Zoom call

And there’s still more.

People from all over the United States donated thousands of baseball cards - and sent the Little Leaguer notes of encouragement. The response far exceeded the need. So, Reese (and her parents) set up a website to pay it forward. She’s sharing her newfound card wealth with friends and plans to help other children. “The cards provided a distraction from the destruction that surrounded Reese and her community. The notes showed her the love, hope, and peace that can be shared through a simple gesture,” the Cards From  Reese website says.

She plans to start by sharing her cards with children at the nearby Children’s Hospital of Central California. And she plans to send cards and encouraging notes to more children. According to her website, she also wants to share her favorite Bible verse too, from Philippians 4:13: "I can do all things through Him who gives me strength."

Hidden gem 

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

A pollution solution where the rubber meets the road

Sneak preview

In tonight’s Daily Edition, watch for our 10 best books of November.

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

  1. It’s not just an election that divides America, it’s where to go for facts
  2. US, China, Taiwan: Why the tense status quo may stick – for now
  3. On college campuses, one surprising relief from pandemic stress: friends
  4. Black, trans, and hopeful. Meet Jevon Martin (video)
  5. Bank shot: A sports writer and a superfan bond over Knicks basketball


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