Stalemate in Iowa as results put Sanders and Buttigieg neck and neck

EN4 News’ Owen Garner gives a rundown on the situation in Iowa, following the Democratic caucus.

Questions still remain over the accuracy surrounding the results of the Iowa caucus, with Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders tied with the same number of delegates.

Throughout the week, the results of the Iowa caucuses have been too close to call, amid a chaotic backdrop of conflicted reports and technical issues.

The results of Monday’s contest, which were supposed to be released the same night, were instead released in batches throughout the week, due to what Iowa officials believe was a technical issue within the mobile app used to tally the votes.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Iowa Democratic Party Chairman, Troy Price, apologised for the delay in the reporting of results and assured that measures were in place to make sure they were accurate.

Price said: “We decided, out of an abundance of caution, to protect the integrity of the Iowa caucuses and their results by taking the necessary steps to review and confirm the data.”

With the final batch of results being released late last night, Buttigieg and Sanders lead the pack of candidates with 11 delegates each and a vote share of 26.2% and 26.1% respectively.

Massachusetts Senator, Elizabeth Warren, walked away with 5 delegates and 18% vote share while favourite to win, former Vice President Joe Biden, finished off with no delegates and only a 15.8% share of the vote.

However, Chair of the Democratic National Committee, Tom Perez, yesterday called on the Iowa Democratic Party to carry out a complete recount of the votes “in order to assure public confidence in the results.”

Perez does not have the power to force a recanvas, however the candidates have until later today to request one.

The accuracy of the results were thrown into further doubt, as it has been discovered that the vote tally from a number of Iowa precincts are filled with errors and inconsistencies.

According to a review carried out by NBC News, at least 4.5% of precincts are reporting a larger number of total votes for the final round of voting than there were in the initial round, which due to how the caucus system works, should be impossible.

Caucuses, which are held in just three states for the Democratic primaries, are a series of gatherings across the state in which people essentially vote with their feet.

Candidates will each have their own area of the room and this time around they were required to have at least 15 people present within their section to move on to the next round.

Any candidates that fail to reach the threshold become non-viable and their supporters will be up for grabs for the final count.

The Iowa caucuses are the first stage in a long process to decide the next Democratic presidential nominee, who will face off against incumbent Donald Trump in November.

Sanders and Buttigieg will head into the New Hampshire primaries next week, looking to capitalise on the momentum their campaigns have received this week, while Biden and Warren will hope to start gaining ground among a crowded field of candidates.

A shock election result looks likely in the Republic of Ireland as voters head to the polls

 

 

Republican party Sinn Féin could take power for the first time in over a hundred years after a surge in their support over the last two weeks.

Irish voters told EN4 News that they felt alienated from the current government and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

Ryan Lindsay from Lifford, Co.Donegal, said he was voting for change: “I’ll be voting Sinn Féin because Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have destroyed the country and change needs to happen.”

Another Donegal voter, Amy Quigley, said: “It’s Pearse Doherty and Sinn Féin for me.

“They actually care about the lower classes; Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil only care about their own pay, their own pensions and looking after other rich people.”

Change seems to be the mood of the day in the Republic, with recent polling delivering a shockwave to its political establishment.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

Polling averaged out as Sinn Féin top on 25%, Fianna Fáil in second at 23% and the ruling Fine Gael in third with 20%.

The collapse in support for the current government has been drastic.

As recently as October 2019, 42% of voters were satisfied with how the Government was running the country.

Irish politics has always been dominated by three main parties: Sinn Féin, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

Fine Gael currently holds power in Dáil Éireann (Assembly of Ireland) and are one of only two parties to have done so, along with Fianna Fáil, since 1932.

Sinn Féin’s growth in support isn’t something that could have been predicted.

The Republican Party was weakened after the 2018 abortion referendum, which split the group and gave birth to breakaway party Aontú.

Emma-Jo Mullan, also from Donegal, has turned away from Sinn Féin.

“When they campaigned in favour of abortion in 2018, I decided I could no longer identify with the party.

“This is why I now vote Aontú, although having said this, it will be good to see one party in charge of the whole of Ireland for the first time.”

“It’s another step towards Irish unity.”

Despite Sinn Féin’s polling lead, the Republican Party cannot win a majority in the Dáil. This is because the party only ran 42 candidates, which is little over half what is needed to make a majority in the Dáil.

 

Podcast – US Politics Special: Trump impeachment trial, Iowa Caucas, and more

Iain Leggat, Andrew McDonald, and Chris Lamb join forces for a special EN4 News Podcast Special.

After one of the most eventful weeks in US political history the trio talk through the Iowa Caucus disaster, the Impeachment Trial of Donald J. Trump and The State of the Union Address.

Video: Coronavirus declared as global emergency – EN4 News’ Owen Garner explains

Owen Garner gives us the latest on the Coronavirus, as the disease spreads worldwide, with 98 cases now being confirmed out-with China.

Video: What is the 2020 Davos Conference? EN4 News’ Owen Garner and Beth Murray explain

Owen Garner and Beth Murray discuss the 2020 Davos Conference, the series of meetings which aim to improve the global state of our planet.

Edinburgh woman who became youngest female to ski solo to the South Pole shares her story

 

The youngest female in the world to ski solo to the South Pole returned to her hometown of Edinburgh this week, and has told EN4 News about the decision to attempt the gruelling expedition on her own.

At 29 years old, Mollie Hughes became the youngest ever female to successfully travel from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole with no support or resupply.

Mollie Hughes on her journey across Antarctica to the South Pole (credit: Mollie Hughes)

The original plan was to reach the South Pole by New Year’s Day but the trip was almost derailed due to severe weather. She faced headwinds of more than 55knots, temperatures of -45C and an eight-day whiteout, but still managed to push forward and claim her second world record.

Mollie posted the news on Twitter after having reached the Geographic South Pole on Friday the 10 January, saying: “After 58.5 days of skiing I am standing at the Geographic South Pole as the youngest woman EVER to ski solo from the coast of Antarctica to the Pole.”

Having began the journey on Wednesday 13 November, she travelled 702miles in 58.5 days. Dragging all of her food with her on a sled weighing 105kg, she skied alone for between 10 to 12 hours a day, 650 hours in total.

EN4 News spoke with Mollie about her trip and she told us that she never considered taking support, it was always planned to be a solo trip.

“On Everest and when you’re climbing you really need to have a team around you for safety and for motivation. I’d always had amazing teams, amazing guides on Everest and in the Himalayas but I thought in Antarctica, I really wanted to test myself and to see if I could cope on my own.”

To sustain her energy levels, Mollie consumed around 4,500cal per day, more than twice the daily amount for a woman. Despite this, she lost around 15kg during her expedition.

As well as the obvious physical demands, we asked what her biggest challenges were during her expedition.

“Psychologically, being solo was hard. You’ve got to be so confident in each decision you make. There’s no one to cheer you up, no one to tell you tomorrow is going to be a bit better, no one to give you a hug. Learning to cope with all that was hard, but I got there.”

After recuperating at a camp in the South Pole, she spent a few days resting in southern Chile before receiving a hero’s welcome from her friends, family and sponsors back in her hometown.

Taking the world record from previous holder, Vilborg Gissuradottir from Iceland, who completed the challenge in 2013 when she was 32, Mollie now has two world records to her name.

In 2017 she achieved her first record as the world’s youngest person to have successfully climbed both the North and South sides of Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, at just 26 years old.

“It was probably a good year and a half before I started thinking, ‘what’s next?’” Mollie told us. She said it took her a long time to decide to take on a challenge of this scale after her second victory on Everest.

“I knew a lot of people who had been to Antarctica and the continent just really intrigued me. Travelling from the coast all the way to the pole is probably one of the best ways to see the whole of the continent.”

When she isn’t undertaking record breaking expeditions, the Edinburgh-based mountaineer puts her energy into motivational speaking and of course, climbing.

Mollie fell in love with the mountains at the age of 17 after she joined a school expedition to climb Mount Kenya. For the rest of her time in education, Mollie would save up as much money as she could in the year and then spend it all on an expedition over the summer.

“[The school expedition] opened my eyes to seeing the world. The first few years were more about travelling and climbing at first and as the big trips kind of came into it, it was more about pushing myself a little bit and working out ways to inspire other people as well.”

Mollie has been delivering motivational speeches to schools and corporate events since her first Everest expedition in 2012 and is planning to deliver an array of speaking engagements about her most recent feat now she has returned.

Her first talk will be given exclusively to Cancer Research UK, the charity that she raises funds for, in Glasgow on 30 January.

Credit: Mollie Hughes

Mollie Hughes in the South Pole after completing her expedition (credit: Mollie Hughes)

It’s only been a matter of days since her feet landed on home ground, but Mollie is already planning things she wants to do in the future.

“I plan to do a lot more motivational speaking and share this story with people all around the world, especially young people and young girls. I want to set up a business that takes young girls on adventures, write books, so many things.”

It’s no wonder she has yet to plan another adventure of this scale, but Mollie plans to inspire many as she conquers the world, one record at a time.

Edinburgh brothers break world record by rowing across the Atlantic in 35 days

Three Edinburgh brothers have become the fastest trio to row across the Atlantic Ocean, beating the previous record by six days.

Lachlan, Ewan and Jamie MacLean completed the row from La Gomera to Antigua in 35 days, nine hours and nine minutes, and as well as being the fastest to row the Atlantic, they are also the youngest trio to do so.

The three brothers finished third overall in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, beating several teams who had more members.

Ewan MacLean, the oldest brother, said: “This was, without doubt, the defining experience of my life. It was incredibly difficult, but the way we came together, the way our bodies and minds coped with every single challenge, will stay with me for a long time.”

The brothers celebrate after smashing the previous record by six days. (Photo Credit: BROAR)

The three of them had to overcome seasickness, battery issues, dehydration, and storms in order to complete the journey.

After their cables were damaged by seawater and the sub, resulting in no music, podcasts or audiobooks for the final 20 days of their voyage, the brothers found entertainment in their bagpipe, harmonica and ukulele.

The trio are also trying to reach their fundraising target of £250,000 for Feedback Madagascar and Children First.

Managing Director of Feedback Madagascar, Jamie Spencer OBE, said: “Ewan, Jamie and Lachlan are an amazing team; it seems like there’s nothing they can’t do.”

And Ewan has expressed interest in trying something similar in the future: “Who knows what comes next. We’ll be eyeing up other oceans.”

How has Khamenei responsed to Iran plane crash?

Owen Garner gives us a rundown of Iran’s plane crash after their armed forces admitted to shooting down a flight from Tehran to Kyiv.

US Senate passes Hong Kong human rights bills

The US Senate passed two bills on Wednesday that will support human rights in Hong Kong prompted by the ongoing siege of Polytechnic University.

President Donald Trump has eight days left, excluding Sundays, to sign the bill or use his veto.

The siege at the university has been ongoing since last Sunday where the Chinese authorities surrounded buildings and arrested surrendering protesters.

Over 1,000 protesters have been arrested with just under 100 students left inside Polytechnic .

Some remaining protesters stuck in Polytechnic attempted to use the sewers as an escape route.

Six people were arrested after they emerged from the sewers on Wednesday and dozens are still inside.

Due to the escalated circumstances, Scottish universities including Edinburgh and Aberdeen have called on their students currently studying abroad to return home for their own safety.

The Background

The protests began in April of this year as a response to a planned extradition bill which would mean suspected criminals under investigation by Chinese authorities could be transferred to China.

Within weeks of the protests, the bill was suspended.

However, demonstrations continued as protesters demanded the bill to be completely abolished.

The protesters have also demanded an investigation into police brutality to start as the demonstrations grew violent and want changes to be made in the way mainland China handles Hong Kong.

The issue is that after being under British Rule and passed over to China in 1997, a mini constitution was formed making Hong Kong a semi autonomous state but this document is only valid for 50 years.

It is yet unclear what will happen when it expires in 2047 and if more violence will follow.

Trump’s Impeachment: How Does Impeachment Work?

Listen to Neil McGlashan and Elise Kennedy talking through the impeachment process in America. With Trump’s inquiry just starting and the first vote on how the inquiry should proceed getting underway, they discuss Trump’s ongoing inquiry while looking back at previous Presidents who have faced impeachment.

 

See below how Trump’s impeachment inquiry is playing out in comparison to Bill Clinton’s, Richard Nixon’s and Andrew Johnson’s:

 

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