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Media captionUS President Donald Trump declines to condemn his supporters for their role in recent deadly street clashes

US President Donald Trump has defended supporters of his for their alleged roles in recent deadly street clashes.

He suggested a teen accused of killing two in Wisconsin last week and Trump fans involved in clashes in Oregon on Saturday were acting in self-defence.

Mr Trump pointed out his Democratic White House challenger, Joe Biden, has not specifically disavowed far-left activists accused of civil disorder.

Mr Biden is leading in opinion polls ahead of November’s election.

What did Trump say?

At Monday’s White House news conference, Mr Trump blamed Mr Biden and his allies for violence in cities run by Democratic mayors and governors.

A CNN reporter asked the Republican president whether he would condemn supporters of his who fired paint pellets during a confrontation with counter-protesters at the weekend in Portland, Oregon.

In the ensuing street clashes, a member of a right-wing group, Patriot Prayer, was killed by a suspect who has reportedly described himself as a member of antifa, a loosely-affiliated network of mainly far-left activists.

On Monday, police named the man who was shot dead as Aaron Danielson. No arrest has been made.

“Well, I understand they had large numbers of people that were supporters, but that was a peaceful protest,” Mr Trump replied to the CNN reporter, in an apparent veiled dig at US media outlets whom he has previously accused of ignoring violence at Black Lives Matter demonstrations.

“Paint as a defensive mechanism, paint is not bullets.

“Your supporters, and they are your supporters indeed, shot a young gentleman who – and killed him, not with paint, but with a bullet. And I think it’s disgraceful.”

Another reporter asked Mr Trump whether he would condemn a shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, allegedly by a teenager once pictured at one of the president’s rallies.

Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, is accused of shooting three people, two fatally, last week amid demonstrations in the city over the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

“We’re looking at all of that,” Mr Trump said, “that was an interesting situation, you saw the same tape as I saw, and he was trying to get away from them, I guess, it looks like. And he fell, and then they very violently attacked him.

“And it was something that we’re looking at right now, and it’s under investigation.

“I guess he was in very big trouble, he probably would have been killed.”

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Media captionJoe Biden: “Fires are burning and we have a president who fans the flames”

Lines drawn on law and order

Aleem Maqbool, BBC News, Kenosha

Throughout the summer, President Trump has referred to those taking to the streets across America as looters, rioters, anarchists and thugs. That is even though most of the demonstrations calling for an end to racial injustice, and to police brutality, have been peaceful.

But just as Democrats accuse the president of exploiting and even stoking the unrest for political gain, so Donald Trump’s supporters accuse Democrats of the same thing.

“Our mayor is a Democrat, the governor is a Democrat, and the fact that they refused help early on just shows me that they were playing politics,” one Trump supporter in Kenosha told me this evening.

In fact, the Wisconsin governor called in the National Guard the day after Jacob Blake was shot by a police officer in the city.

But with the aggressive messaging on law and order coming from the White House, the battle lines have been drawn on this issue – one we will be hearing much more of over the next nine weeks.


What did Biden say?

Earlier on Monday, Mr Biden forcefully condemned the violence at recent protests while blaming President Trump for making the country unsafe.

It was the Democratic nominee’s most determined effort yet to counter Republican criticism that he is weak on law and order.

“Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters?” said Mr Biden, speaking in Pittsburgh, in the critical US election state of Pennsylvania. “Really?”

The former US vice-president accused Mr Trump of having fomented violence in the US for years.

1598928402 257 Trump defends supporters accused in deadly clashes

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Media captionJoe Biden: Will it be third time lucky in 2020?

“You know,” said Mr Biden, “he may believe mouthing the words law and order makes him strong, but his failure to call on his own supporters to stop acting as an armed militia in this country shows how weak he is.”

“Does anyone believe there will be less violence in America if Donald Trump is re-elected?” he asked.

The Democratic nominee took no questions from the media.

Mr Biden’s remarks represented a pivot from his main line of attack so far – that the White House has mishandled its response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 180,000 people in the US.

What has Biden previously said?

Mr Biden has previously spoken out against violent protests a number of times between May and July, according to a Washington Post fact-check.

Democrats hardly touched on the issue during their convention from 17-20 August, focusing instead on racial justice and African-American victims of police brutality. Rioting and looting was a central theme of the Republican convention a week later.

Since the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin on 23 August reignited civil strife, Mr Biden and his campaign have renewed their criticism of violence at demonstrations.

According to the Associated Press news agency, Mr Biden has been prodded by anxious Democrats – including within his campaign – to be more vocal in denouncing protest-related violence.

Research by Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on 11 August found support for the racial justice protests has fallen 13 percentage points, and for Black Lives Matter by 10 points, from June to August.

Wisconsin – which was pivotal in Mr Trump’s against-all-odds election victory four years ago – is a must-win state for Democrats in November.

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Egypt adds restaurant at ancient pyramid site

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Egypt has unveiled new visitor facilities on the plateau outside Cairo where the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Great Sphinx are situated, the country’s most visited heritage site and the sole remaining wonder of the ancient world.

Developers late on Tuesday night opened a new restaurant, “9 Pyramids Lounge”, which covers an area of 1,341 square meters and overlooks the Giza pyramids. There will also be a fleet of new environmentally-friendly buses to guide tourists around the plateau.

“One of the problems always faced is that people say there are no special services for tourists, that there is no cafeteria, no restaurant, nothing that can be offered to visitors,” said Mostafa Waziri, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

The new facilities are all easily taken part and reassembled so as to protect the antiquities and Waziri said the open-air restaurant offered “a panorama view that cannot be matched anywhere in the world.”

Tourism accounts for up to 15% of Egypt’s national output. However, officials have said previously the sector is losing around $1 billion each month after largely shutting down for several months from March due to the spread of coronavirus.

The changes at the plateau are part of wider efforts to develop key tourist sites in the country. Next year the Grand Egyptian Museum, which is set to be the world’s largest archaeological museum, is due to open just beyond the Giza Pyramids.

Egyptian business tycoon Naguib Sawiris, the plateau’s main developer, said the 301 million Egyptian pound ($19.23 million)project is part of a greater plan to develop the UNESCO world heritage site and streamline tourists’ experience.

“We will organise the salespeople,” said Sawiris. “We will not deprive them of their income but we will put them into suitable, nice places.”

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Pelosi suggests coronavirus relief deal could slip past November elections

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Talks between the speaker and White House over a coronavirus relief package have remained at an impasse for months, though Pelosi said Tuesday that she and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are “on a path” to a deal. But a larger relief agreement has met resistance in the GOP-controlled Senate, where some Republicans have blanched at a multi-trillion dollar price tag.

The California Democrat said she has been buoyed by recent progress made between House Democrats and the White House, but several issues remain outstanding with less than two weeks until Election Day.

“We’re in a better place than we have been,” she said. “None of it is insurmountable if you want to make a decision.”

The speaker said that “it’s up to” President Donald Trump — who has said he wants a relief package with a higher price tag than the $2.2 trillion proposal Democrats are pushing — to cajole members of his party and get the eventual agreement over the finish line.

“I wouldn’t even be having these discussions if we didn’t think the president had some sway as to whether the Senate would take this legislation up,” she said. Senate Democrats on Wednesday also blocked a narrow, $500 billion GOP-pushed Covid-19 relief package from moving forward in the upper chamber, essentially dismissing it as a political stunt.

Pelosi’s comments echoed those she made earlier in the day on Sirius XM, in which she said “the president needs this legislation.”

“We obviously want to have a deal by November 3rd,” she said. “That really is going to be up to whether the president can convince Mitch McConnell to do so.”

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US election 2020: A really simple guide

Click or tap on an underlined word for a short definition or explanation

The US president has a huge influence on people’s lives both at home and abroad, so when the next election is held on 3 November, the outcome will matter to everyone.

The US political system is dominated by just two parties, so the president always belongs to one of them.

The Republicans are the conservative political party in the US and their candidate in this year’s election is President Donald Trump, who is hoping to secure another four years in power.

The Democrats are the liberal political party in the US and their candidate is Joe Biden, an experienced politician best-known for serving as Barack Obama’s vice president for eight years.

Both men are in their 70s – Mr Trump would be 74 years old at the start of his second term, while at 78, Mr Biden would be the oldest first-term president in history.

How is the winner decided?

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Both candidates compete to win electoral college votes.

Each state gets a certain number of electoral college votes partly based on its population and there are a total of 538 up for grabs, so the winner is the candidate that wins 270 or more.

This means voters decide state-level contests rather than the national one, which is why it’s possible for a candidate to win the most votes nationally – like Hillary Clinton did in 2016 – but still be defeated by the electoral college.

Graphic: A map of the US showing how many electoral college votes are allocated to each state

All but two states have a winner-takes-all rule, so whichever candidate wins the highest number of votes is awarded all of the state’s electoral college votes.

Most states lean heavily towards one party or the other, so the focus is usually on a dozen or so states where either of them could win. These are known as the battleground states.

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Who can vote and how do they do it?

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If you’re a US citizen and you’re 18 or over, you should be eligible to vote in the presidential election, which takes place every four years.

However, lots of states have passed laws requiring voters to show identification documents to prove who they are before they can vote.

These laws are often put into place by Republicans who say they’re needed to guard against voter fraud. But Democrats accuse them of using this as a form of voter suppression as it is often poorer, minority voters who are unable to provide ID like a driving licence.

How people vote is a contentious issue this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Some politicians are calling for wider use of postal ballots, but President Trump has said – with very little evidence – that this could result in more voter fraud.

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Is the election just about who is president?

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No. All of the attention will be on Trump v Biden, but voters will also be choosing new members of Congress when they fill in their ballots.

Democrats already have control of the House so they will be looking to keep hold of that while also gaining control of the Senate.

If they had a majority in both chambers they would be able to block or delay President Trump’s plans if he were to be re-elected.

All 435 seats in the House are up for election this year, while 33 Senate seats are also up for grabs.

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When will we find out the result?

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It can take several days for every vote to be counted, but it’s usually pretty clear who the winner is by the early hours of the following morning.

In 2016, Donald Trump took to the stage in New York at about 3am to give his victory speech in front of a crowd of jubilant supporters.

But don’t set your alarm clocks just yet. Officials are already warning that we may have to wait longer – possibly days, even weeks – for the result this year because of the expected surge in postal ballots.

The last time the result wasn’t clear within a few hours was in 2000, when the winner wasn’t confirmed until a Supreme Court ruling was made a month later.

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When does the winner take office?

Section image showing the White House

If Joe Biden wins the election, he wouldn’t immediately replace President Trump as there is a set transition period to give the new leader time to appoint cabinet ministers and make plans.

The new president is officially sworn into office on 20 January in a ceremony known as the inauguration, which is held on the steps of the Capitol building in Washington DC.

After the ceremony, the new president makes their way to the White House to begin their four-year term in office.

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