US braces for election turmoil as voters head to the polls

Associated Press of Pakistan 12:58 AM | 4 Nov, 2020
US braces for election turmoil as voters head to the polls

NEW YORK - Americans went to the polls on Tuesday to choose between President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden following one of the most divisive presidential campaigns amid a surging coronavirus pandemic and threats of civil unrest.

Nearly 100 million people had already cast their ballots before the day even dawned — taking advantage of states’ efforts to make voting safer during the pandemic. Among the early voters were the two rivals for the top job — Trump and Biden — who both decided to forgo the traditional Election Day photo op at polling stations.

National polls give a firm lead to Biden, a former vice president, but it is a closer race in the states that could decide the outcome.

In the US election, voters decide state-level contests rather than an overall single national one.

To be elected president, a candidate must win at least 270 votes in what is called the electoral college. Each US state gets a certain number of votes partly based on its population and there are a total of 538 up for grabs.

This system explains why it is possible for a candidate to win the most votes nationally — as Hillary Clinton did in 2016 – but still, lose the election.

Control of the Senate is also at stake in these elections, with the Democrats seeking to gain control of both houses of Congress and the White House for the first time since early in Barack Obama’s first term.

In the case of a close contest, the victor is unlikely to be announced on election night given that the crucial industrial states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin are not expected to complete their ballot counts in time.

And the final result could then be delayed by days if not weeks as Democrats fight expected legal efforts by Republicans to prevent some mail-in votes from being counted.

According to reports from across the country, most Muslim-Americans, including Pakistanis, are leaning towards Biden, but Trump to has some support among them.

There are more than 3.45 million Muslims living in the US, which has a population of over 328 million, with 240 million eligible to vote.

Both rivals spent the final hours of the race rallying in key battleground states.

In a sign of heightened tensions ahead of an election that has been cast by both sides as one of the most consequential in history, department stores from Target to Tiffany have boarded up their windows to prepare for possible violence. Many other businesses and some federal buildings in Washington, DC, were also covered in hoarding, while temporary fencing was erected around the White House.

The fears of turmoil come after Trump made claims about voter fraud that have energized his base and led to accusations from Democrats that he is relying on dirty tricks to win the election. It also follows months of anti-racism protests and a foiled plan to abduct the Democratic governor of Michigan.

The coronavirus pandemic has at times overshadowed the election campaign, with the epidemic in the US worsening over the final weeks of the race. The country has recorded more cases and more deaths than anywhere else in the world, and fear of infection has contributed to an unprecedented surge in early and postal voting.

Top US virus expert Anthony Fauci has sharply criticized the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic, drawing a rebuke from the White House on Sunday.

As Americans cast their ballots, there are fears that pockets of post-election violence could break out.

President Donald Trump has called for an army of poll watchers to ensure the election is fair. Right-wing extremist groups have signaled they plan to heed the call. Left-wing groups have vowed to confront people they believe are engaged in voter suppression.

Extremist groups are planning actions in key states, including Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, according to the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, which has been tracking extremists on social media. Those states, along with Georgia and Oregon, face the highest risk of election-related activity by armed vigilante groups, according to a report by MilitiaWatch and the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project.

But how that will play out is unclear. “Much of the chatter among the unlawful militias is now in a little bit (of) dissent about whether it is wise to deploy to polling places,” said Mary McCord, legal director at the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown University, in a videoconference Monday.

Associated Press of Pakistan
Associated Press of Pakistan

Associated Press of Pakistan Corporation (APPC) - Pakistan's Premier News Agency


Today's currency exchange rates in Pakistan - Dollar, Euro, Pound, Riyal rates on March 23, 2023

KARACHI - Following are the foreign currency exchange rates for US Dollar, Saudi Riyal, UK Pound Sterling, U.A.E. Dirham, European Euro, and other foreign currencies in Pakistan open market on March 23, 2023 (Thursday).

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar ‎USD 283.1 286.15
Euro EUR 302.5 305.5
UK Pound Sterling GBP 343.5 347
U.A.E Dirham AED 77.2 78
Saudi Riyal SAR 75.4 76.2
Australian Dollar AUD 187 189.4
Bahrain Dinar BHD 749.55 757.55
Canadian Dollar CAD 205 207.2
China Yuan CNY 40.91 41.31
Danish Krone DKK 40.77 41.17
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.92 36.27
Indian Rupee INR 3.41 3.52
Japanese Yen JPY 2.06 2.11
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 919.22 928.22
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 62.85 63.45
New Zealand Dollar NZD 176.66 178.66
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.33 26.63
Omani Riyal OMR 731.97 739.97
Qatari Riyal ‎QAR 77.43 78.13
Singapore Dollar SGD 208 210
Swedish Korona SEK 26.5 26.8
Swiss Franc CHF 305.12 307.62
Thai Bhat THB 8.19 8.34

Today's gold rates in Pakistan – 23 March 2023

KARACHI – The price of a single tola of 24-karat gold in Pakistan is Rs 203,800 on Thursday. The price of 10 grams of 24k gold was recorded at Rs174,730.   

Likewise, 10 grams of 22k gold were being traded for Rs163,624 while a single tola of 22-karat gold was being sold at Rs 190,880.

Note: The gold rate in Pakistan is fluctuating according to the international market so the price is never been fixed. The below rates are provided by local gold markets and Sarafa Markets of different cities.

City Gold Silver
Lahore PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Karachi PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Islamabad PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Peshawar PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Quetta PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Sialkot PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Attock PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Gujranwala PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Jehlum PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Multan PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Bahawalpur PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Gujrat PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Nawabshah PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Chakwal PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Hyderabad PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Nowshehra PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Sargodha PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Faisalabad PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350
Mirpur PKR 203,800 PKR 2,350


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