Daily News Roundup

November 27, 2020

Image: The Herald

FRIDAY NOV 27

US President Donald Trump says he will leave the White House if, as expected, the electoral college confirms Joe Biden has won the 2020 election.

It is the nearest Mr Trump has come to a concession.

Mr Trump has so far refused to concede the election and continues to claim without evidence that the election was marred by widespread fraud, and that he and not Mr Biden won it.

 

What exactly did he say?

This is the first time the President has taken questions from reporters since the November 3 election was called.

When asked by reporters if he would exit the White House peacefully on inauguration day on January 20, 2021, Mr Trump replied: “Certainly I will. And you know that.”

“But I think that there will be a lot of things happening between now and the 20th of January. A lot of things,” he said.

“Massive fraud has been found. We’re like a third world country.”

The President made his remarks from the White House, after speaking to US troops during the traditional Thanks giving Day address to US service members.

 

What if Trump goes back on his word?

As Mr Biden’s campaign said earlier this month, “the United States Government is perfectly capable of escorting trespassers out of the White House”.

And after Mr Biden and vice-president-elect Kamala Harris are sworn in on January 20, all of Mr Trump’s authority ends.

So if he’s still occupying the White House, the new president — the new commander-in-chief — can order federal agents like the Secret Service to remove him.

Without the immunity granted to him as president, Mr Trump could then be criminally charged for trespassing on government property.

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Skywatchers are in for a rare treat as Jupiter and Saturn come so close to each other they will almost look like a single shining planet in the sky.

Saturn has been trailing Jupiter across the night sky over the past few months.

The two planets will draw closer and closer in the next three weeks, until they appear together above the western horizon around an hour after sunset on December 21.

This event, known as a grand conjunction, happens about once every 20 years.

But the closeness of the two planets makes this a very rare conjunction.

With only about a 10th of a degree separating the two planets — that’s a fifth of the width of the Moon — this is the closest they will have appeared in the sky to each other in nearly 400 years. The last time it occurred was in 1623.

They will be so close together that you will be able to see them in one eyepiece of a telescope, says Andrew Jacob, curator at Sydney Observatory.

“You would be lucky to see this once in a lifetime,” he says.

The two planets won’t appear this close to each other again until 2080.

While the planets look close to each other from Earth, in reality they are separated by vast distances as they orbit the Sun.

From Earth we see the planets move from east to west across the sky along the same narrow band as the Moon and the Sun.

While it takes Saturn nearly 30 years to complete one orbit, Jupiter takes nearly 12 years, so we see Jupiter lap Saturn every 20 years.

Just how far apart they appear each time depends on how the tilt of the two planets’ orbits line up.

But you don’t have to wait till December 21 to enjoy the two planets.

From now onwards, Jupiter and Saturn will get noticeably closer night by night above the western horizon in the evening twilight.

“This is a good chance to see the motions [of the sky] in action,” Dr Jacob says.

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South Australia has recorded no new cases of coronavirus, as authorities announce the state remains on track to ease restrictions including along the Victorian border.

The number of cases linked to the Parafield cluster remains at 31, while one woman is in hospital in a stable condition.

From Tuesday the border restriction with Victoria will be lifted, allowing free travel from that state into South Australia.

Premier Steven Marshall has also announced an easing of restrictions for two weeks in the lead up to Christmas.

The changes include increasing density in outdoor venues — from one person per four square metres to one person per two square metres — and increasing caps on funerals and private functions at licensed venues to 150.

A cap of 10 people at home gatherings will remain.

More than 12,000 people were tested yesterday and about 5,000 people identified as close contacts are still in quarantine.

The number of active cases in South Australia has dropped from 36 to 23, as people are cleared of the virus.

The Premier has also written to the Prime Minister asking to extend the pause on international flight arrivals by another week to December 1.

ENDS