News18 Afternoon Digest: Biden Waiting for Georgia on the Verge of US Election Win and Other Top Stories

File photos of Democratic candidate and former vice-president Joe Biden and President Donald Trump. (AP)

File photos of Democratic candidate and former vice-president Joe Biden and President Donald Trump. (AP)

These are the stories we are covering this afternoon: On the verge of magic 270 mark to become US president, Joe Biden waits for Georgia to turn blue; Twitter suspends Trump's former strategist Steve Bannon over call to “behead” Anthony Fauci and FBI director; Trump campaign loses legal fights in Georgia and Michigan; WhatsApp starts payments service in India; Haryana assembly okays 75% job quota in private sector for locals; Travancore Devaswom Board decides to appoint ST Priest in historic first; actor Vijay distances himself from father’s political party.

On the Verge of Magic 270 Mark, Joe Biden Waits for Georgia to Turn Blue

The outcome of the US presidential election remains in the balance as a handful of battleground states complete their vote counts. Democrat Joe Biden has racked up at least 264 of the 270 electoral votes that he needs. Donald Trump has amassed 214 electoral votes so far, and is still in contention in several states. Expected to report final vote counts are Georgia (16 electoral votes), North Carolina (15), and Nevada (6). Biden could reach the magic number to gain the White House with a win in any of the three, if he keeps Arizona. Trump needs to capture all three to stay competitive. LIVE UPDATES

Twitter Suspends Trump's Former Strategist Steve Bannon after Calls to Behead Fauci, FBI Chief

Far-right media executive and Donald Trump's former chief strategist Steve Bannon has been permanently suspended from Twitter following his call to "beheading" US government's chief pandemic expert Dr Anthony Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray. Bannon made the comments in a YouTube video on his controversial channel "Steve Bannon's War Room". "I’d actually like to go back to the old times of Tudor England, I’d put the heads on pikes, right, I’d put them at the two corners of the White House as a warning to federal bureaucrats". READ MORE

Trump Campaign Loses Legal Fights in Make-or-Break Georgia and Michigan, Vows Nevada Lawsuit Next

President Donald Trump's campaign lost court rulings in the closely contested states of Georgia and Michigan even as it vowed to bring a new lawsuit challenging what it called voting irregularities in Nevada. In the Georgia case, the campaign alleged that 53 late-arriving ballots were mixed with on-time ballots. In Michigan, it had sought to stop votes from being counted and obtain greater access to the tabulation process. READ MORE

Facebook's WhatsApp Starts Payments Service in India

Facebook Inc's WhatsApp started its payments service in India on Friday, the messaging app said in a blog post, after it received approval from the country's leading payments processor to roll out the much-delayed system. WhatsApp, which counts India as its biggest market with more than 400 million users, had been running a peer-to-peer payments service with limited users for over two years, awaiting regulatory approvals. WhatsApp said it had partnered with five Indian banks, including State Bank of India and Jio Payments Bank, for the service. READ MORE

In a Historic First, Travancore Devaswom Board Decides to Appoint ST Priest

In a first, the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) has decided to appoint a person from the Scheduled Tribe (ST) community as a temple priest. After the LDF government came to power, 133 priests from backward communities and 19 from Scheduled Castes (SC) have been appointed as priests. This time, 18 persons from Scheduled Caste and one person from Scheduled Tribe communities will be recommended for the appointment as part-time priests in Travancore Devaswom Board. READ MORE

Corporate Hub Gurgaon May be Haryana's Top Choice as Govt Okays 75% Job Quota in Pvt Sector for Locals

The Haryana Assembly has passed a bill to give 75 per cent reservation in the private sector to job seekers from the state, fulfilling an election promise made by ruling alliance partner Jannayak Janta Party. The Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Bill, 2020 provides the quota for local people in private sector jobs that offer a salary of less than Rs 50,000 a month. It applies to private companies, societies, trusts and partnership firms, among others, located in the state. The state governor has to give assent to the bill before it becomes law. READ MORE

Tamil Actor Vijay Says He is Not Connected With Father's Political Party

Tamil movie actor Vijay on Thursday distanced himself from the political party floated by his father and movie director SA Chandrasekhar. In a statement, Vijay said, "Today, I came to know through the media that my father, S. A. Chandrasekhar, has started a political party. I would like to express sincere condolences to my fans and the public that I have no direct or indirect connection with the party they started." READ MORE

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