WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 5
Thirty-eight-year-old Pete Buttigieg, the previously little-known former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, held a surprise narrow lead in the Democratic party’s Iowa caucuses after technical difficulties slowed the count’s release.
With about 62 per cent of precincts reported, Buttigieg, who is gay, led with 26.9 per cent of the delegates, just ahead of Senator Bernie Sanders with 25.1 per cent of delegates.
Senator Elizabeth Warren was third, with 18.3 per cent, followed by a disappointed former vice president Joe Biden in fourth, with 15.6 per cent.
More results were expected to be posted later on, as the Iowa Democratic Party continued to sort out a major technical malfunction that caused a major delay in the reporting of results.
Troy Price, the chair of the state party, said the delay was due to a “coding error” on the app used to report caucus results, which was discovered after irregularities began to appear during the tabulation on Monday night.
He sought to assure the public that the results were accurate, saying the underlying raw vote was secure.
Speaking to reporters on an plane bound for New Hampshire on Tuesday morning, Sanders said he was disappointed by the foul-up.
Sanders criticised Buttigieg, who claimed victory on Monday night before any results were released.
“I don’t know how anybody declares victory without an official statement of election results, so we’re not declaring victory,” Sanders said.
Buttigieg did a series of TV interviews Tuesday morning in which he defended the decision, saying the campaign had far outpaced expectations, picking up support from all corners of the state.
“We are thrilled and absolutely consider that a victory,” he said on CBS This Morning. “Looking at all of the data that we’ve got, it was an extraordinary night.”
Warren told supporters on Tuesday in Keene, New Hampshire, that the primary got off to a “bumpy start,” but that she was feeling good about the results.
“It’s a tight three-way race at the top,” she said. “We know the three of us will be dividing up most of the delegates coming out of Iowa.”
Biden, meanwhile, sounded a bit downcast during a rally in the same state.
“As my mother would say, ‘Hope springs eternal,'” he said. “We’re not giving up, right? Not giving up.”
Constant rain later this week has raised fears of flash flooding in northern NSW and southern parts of south east Queensland.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said a surface trough and high-pressure system would combine to draw tropical conditions down Australia’s east coast.
Central and western parts of NSW are expected to get between 15 to 50 millimetres of rain from today to early next week.
However, coastal areas — particularly in the state’s north — could see upwards of 100mm by Monday.
“We are expecting a low pressure trough to deepen in the north-eastern part of the state,” said BOM forecaster Bimal KC.
He said this would see “moderate to heavy precipitation” from tomorrow over the Central Coast, which would then make its way south over Sydney.
He said Sydney and the South Coast could also see over 50mm from now until Monday, but would not see significant falls until Saturday.
The BOM said there was also a risk for flash flooding, particularly on the North Coast.
“Flash flooding will become quite a risk, particularly if we get these storms over the same areas day after day,” BOM forecaster Dean Narramore said yesterday.
“As we get into the weekend and early next week, we could even possibly see riverine flooding for some parts of NSW as well, and even possibly in the southern parts of Queensland.”
The BOM said the rain would also fall over firegrounds and help extinguish some of the bushfires across the state.
However, the RFS has previously said vegetation and trees in fire-affected areas were prone to significant run-off, which could lead to flooding.
The rain is not expected to be enough to break NSW’s drought, which continues to affect every part of the state.
Police in the small southern African kingdom of Lesotho have charged the wife of the country’s 80-year-old Prime Minister with the murder of his previous spouse who was shot dead just days before he was sworn into office.
Police last month issued a warrant of arrest for Thomas Thabane’s wife, Maesaiah, after she failed to turn up for questioning in connection with the shooting of Thabane’s estranged wife Lipolelo on June 14, 2017, world news agencies reported.
Maesaiah Thabane allegedly fled the country on January 10 to escape arrest and returned to the small southern African kingdom on Tuesday afternoon (local time), handing herself to police in the capital, Maseru.
Police said she had been hiding in neighbouring South Africa, which encircles the mountain kingdom.
The couple were involved in divorce proceedings at the time of Lipolelo Thabane’s death.
He and Maesaiah married two months after the murder.
The Prime Minister last month announced he planned to step down as his ruling party called him no longer fit to lead.
He did not specify when he would resign, but only said it would occur “when all is in order”.
The mountainous kingdom, three-quarters of which lies more than 1,800 metres above sea level, is one of the world’s poorest countries and has one of Africa’s highest levels of HIV/AIDS prevalence.
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