AP wants an independent investigation of Israel's bombing of its Gaza office
The Associated Press said Sunday it wants an independent investigation of Israel's decision to raze its longtime office building in Gaza City. Israel said it leveled the 12-story al-Jalaa tower, which also housed Al-Jazeera and other media organizations, on Saturday because it was being used by Hamas for military intelligence and weapons development. AP executive editor Sally Buzbee pointed out Sunday that Israel has not provided any evidence Hamas was using the building. Nor was AP aware, it its 15 years in the office, it was sharing a building with Hamas, she said. "We heard Israelis say they have evidence; we don't know what that evidence is," Buzbee told CNN. "We think it's appropriate at this point for there to be an independent look at what happened yesterday — an independent investigation." Reporters Without Borders (RSF), a Paris-based media watchdog organization, asked the International Criminal Court to investigate Israel's bombing of the media tower and its evident "intentional targeting of media organizations and intentional destruction of their equipment" as a possible war crime. Israel said it will provide evidence that Hamas was using the building to the U.S. through intelligence channels. "We're in the middle of fighting," Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said Sunday. "That's in process and I'm sure in due time that information will be presented." AP reporter Fares Akram described fleeing the al-Jalaa tower after being told he had 10 minutes to vacate the office, probably forever: What did I need? I grabbed my laptop and a few other pieces of electronics. What else? I looked at the workspace that had been mine for years, brimming with mementos from friends, family, and colleagues. I chose just a handful: a decorative plate bearing a picture of my family. A coffee mug given me by my daughter, now living safely in Canada with her sister and my wife since 2017. A certificate marking five years of employment at AP. I started to leave. Then I looked back at this place that had been my second home for years. I realized this was the last time I might ever see it. It was just after 2 p.m. I looked around. I was the last person there. I put on my helmet. And I ran. [Fares Akram, The Associated Press] You can read the rest of Akram's account at The Associated Press, and watch a video of the hurried evacuation below. More stories from theweek.com7 scathingly funny cartoons about Liz Cheney's ousterThe U.S. still has stricter mask policies for kids than EuropeFormer child star Ricky Schroder apologizes to Costco worker 'if I hurt your feelings' after mask confrontationnews.yahoo.com
EXPLAINER: Why do the media call races in US elections?
The Associated Press and the major TV networks have long played a major role in announcing the victor in elections based on their own data. There is no national elections commission to tell the world who wins on election day, unlike in many other countries. A FRAGMENTED PROCESSThe expectation of same-day election results is a modern one, as is the notion of one single Election Day. So the vacuum remained between individual states’ results and the country’s collective decision. Major U.S. television networks follow roughly the same process, using either AP's vote count or another vote count to call races.
After waiting game, media moves swiftly to call Biden winner
Because votes are counted state by state, verdicts by the media outlets' decision desks serve as the unofficial finish line for the presidential race. The closeness of the race in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, Nevada and North Carolina proved another challenge. “We just have to be certain before we call a winner in the presidential election,” said Sally Buzbee, executive editor and senior vice president of the AP. Heading into Saturday, CNN, CBS, NBC and ABC — which coordinate their vote counts and exit polls — had Biden at 253 electoral votes. All know that calling a presidential election wrong is a career-wrecker.
Biden expected to speak Friday night in primetime as vote counts continue
There was intense focus on Pennsylvania, where Biden led Trump by more than 27,000 votes, and Nevada, where the Democrat led by about 22,000. Trump stayed in the White House and out of sight, as more results trickled in and expanded Biden’s lead in must-win Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania, officials were not allowed to begin processing mail-in ballots until Election Day under state law. In Nevada, there were a number of provisional ballots cast by voters who registered on Election Day, and officials had to verify their eligibility. The AP has declared Biden the winner in Arizona and said Thursday that it was monitoring the vote count as it proceeded.
2020 Latest: Biden says 'no one' will take US democracy away
The nation is waiting to learn whether Biden or Trump will collect the 270 electoral votes needed to capture the presidency. As the hearing unfolded Thursday evening, President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden were locked in a tight battle for the 20 electoral votes in Pennsylvania. Trump last appeared in public early Wednesday, when he falsely declared victory over Democrat Joe Biden in the presidential race. The presidential race has not yet been called because neither Trump nor Biden has yet collected the requisite 270 Electoral College votes. Still, Trump’s campaign has held out hope that continued counting in Arizona could overcome a Biden lead in the state.
EXPLAINER: A closer look at Arizona
Election officials arrive for work at the Maricopa County Recorder's Office, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Phoenix. The Associated Press has called the race in Arizona for Democrat Joe Biden. “The Associated Press continues to watch and analyze vote count results from Arizona as they come in,” said Sally Buzbee, AP’s executive editor. Many of the gains have been driven by the shifting politics of Maricopa County, which is home to Phoenix and its suburbs. Maricopa County accounts for 60% of the state’s vote.
Show your work: AP plans to explain vote calling to public
The AP plans to write stories explaining how its experts make decisions or why, in tight contests, they are holding back. “The general public has a more intense desire to understand it at a nitty-gritty level,” Buzbee said. The closer a race is, the more AP's decision desk relies on actual votes rather than VoteCast. The AP's sprawling election night operation also compiles the vote from across the United States, as it has since 1848. The AP's vote calls were 99.8% accurate in 2016, flawless in calling presidential and congressional elections in each state.
Peaceful protesters get lost in action-packed coverage
Muslim protesters pray before joining a demonstration in the death of George Lloyd , Sunday, May 31, 2020, in Miami. What's easy to get lost are peaceful protesters concerned about police treatment of minorities the raw wound reopened by George Floyd's death. When darkness falls and prime-time television begins, earnest activism is replaced by tense scenes of conflict unique in their breadth. Networks have done strong work covering demonstrations and speaking to peaceful protesters during the day, but what comes later is hard to compete with, said Robert Thompson, director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University. That gets lost in a newscast that goes from city to city, and scenes of looting or violence, Rather said.