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‘A Big And Special Moment’: The World Celebrates Joe Biden’s Win

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President-elect Joe Biden’s projected victory on Saturday drew cheers ― and sighs of relief ― from an international community exhausted by four years of President Donald Trump’s bullying, incoherent, transactional and largely ineffective approach to foreign policy. 

As fireworks went off and people cheered in the streets in London, the city’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, called the win “well-deserved” on Twitter. “It’s time to get back to building bridges, not walls,” Khan wrote.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon praised future Vice President Kamala Harris’ historic ascendance: “The first woman in the White House ― and the first woman of colour too. This is a big and special moment.”

Elisa Ferreira, the top European Union official from Portugal, declared that she was listening to Nina Simone’s classic “Feeling Good.”

And more diplomatically, high-ranking foreign leaders welcomed the prospect of a very different kind of U.S. partner.

“Congratulations, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted. “Our two countries are close friends, partners, and allies. We share a relationship that’s unique on the world stage. I’m really looking forward to working together and building on that with you both.”

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he looked forward to collaborating with Biden and Harris ― a signal that even he, a Trump ally, is ready to move on.

And Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a deeply controversial figure who has echoed Trump’s nativist and exclusionary rhetoric, congratulated Harris, noting her Indian heritage.

America’s image abroad plummeted under Trump. A Pew Research Center survey released in September showed that the percentage of people in several countries who viewed the U.S. favorably had reached its lowest point in Pew’s nearly 20 years of asking foreigners their opinion of the U.S. In Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Canada and Australia ― all longtime allies ― only a minority of people saw the U.S. positively. Trump’s catastrophic approach to the coronavirus pandemic, which continued to kill hundreds of Americans daily as most other nations slashed their infection and fatality rates, further hurt the perception of the U.S.

For many international observers, the top concern was ultimately not whether Biden would defeat Trump, but whether democracy in America remained alive and well after a long election season during which Trump attacked the integrity of the voting process and repeatedly suggested he did not want all ballots to be counted. Trump’s dishonest, premature claim of victory on Wednesday morning won almost no support abroad, as international officials instead expressed faith in U.S. institutions and their respect for the voters’ choice.

Of course, Biden’s projected victory doesn’t mean Trump will stand down. His campaign has filed suit in multiple swing states and is arguing that various vote counts are illegitimate. 

Still, the numbers in Biden’s favor allowed most onlookers in other nations to largely relax.

While decision-makers in international capitals know they won’t agree with Biden on everything, many are simply relieved to know that soon they need no longer live in fear of a sudden flip-flop by Trump on a crucial issue like U.S. troop deployments or of Trump’s personal animus toward his counterparts guiding U.S. strategy, as it did in his handling of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Trudeau

The president-elect’s expertise on foreign policy, drawn from his time as vice president and as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is also appealing to such officials, who believe he will be better equipped to understand complicated issues that Trump often minimized or misrepresented and less likely than the incumbent to fall for conspiracy theories or lies from adversaries. And they welcome Biden’s promises to strengthen U.S. relationships with historic allies and ensure American policies better reflect the country’s stated commitment to human rights and democratic principles.

Some political figures and citizens in nations that benefited under Trump signaled their disappointment before Biden’s victory.

Ayoob Kara, a former minister in the hard-right government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, criticized American Jews, the clear majority of whom voted for Biden as they have for Democrats for years, despite Republican attempts to smear the other party as anti-Semitic.

“I was expectings [sic] they will support President Trump who is the best American president for the State of Israel has had,” Kara tweeted on Thursday. “The ‘betrayal’ of longtime American Jews.” 

In the United Arab Emirates, an autocratic state that has grown close to the White House and recently secured a long-sought major arms deal, prominent Twitter user Hassan Sajwani retweeted a commentator alleging that the U.S. election had been rigged and another Twitter user attacking the platform for its warnings about Trump’s dishonest tweets. 

And in Hungary, the far-right Volner Party announced that it would organize a protest in front of the U.S. Embassy in Budapest to challenge “possible electoral fraud in the U.S. presidential election” and demonstrate “solidarity with Donald Trump.” 

Those reactions were the exception to the general rule, however. 

In Biden’s ancestral hometown of Ballina, Ireland, people gathered with posters and champagne.

And in Paris, Mayor Anne Hidalgo tweeted “Welcome back America!” on Saturday, noting that the win comes around the five-year anniversary of the sweeping international climate agreement signed in her city that Trump officially pulled the U.S. out of just days ago. Biden has promised to rejoin the deal immediately ― and to do even more to confront the climate crisis. 

Liza Hearon contributed reporting from London.





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Steve Martin, Martin Short Trade Insults In Lively ‘Tonight Show’ Interview

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Comedy icons Steve Martin and Martin Short didn’t ease up on the jabs as they took turns making fun of each other ― and Jimmy Fallon ― during a late night interview on Thursday.

After an introduction from Fallon, Short went directly after the host, calling him “James Kanye Fallon,” a comedian with the easiest late night show “to fall asleep to.”

Gesturing to the audience, Short added, “Really, tell everyone what you were telling about why it’s finally the right time to suspend the Constitution,” in reference to Donald Trump’s comments this week.

Short, who joined Martin in a roast of Fallon’s appearance, later mocked his own look and said his striped socks looked like “Margaret Hamilton wore [them] in ‘The Wizard of Oz.’”

Martin later jokingly weighed in on the holidays and explained that his favorite part of decorating the tree is putting “a little, tiny star on top.”

“And thank you for being up there, I know that could get uncomfortable,” said Martin as he patted Short on the shoulder.

Watch more of the comedic pair’s hilarious interview on “The Tonight Show” below.





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Stephen Colbert Reveals The 1 Lesson Peru Can Teach America About Trump

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Stephen Colbert put the spotlight on another country and how it dealt with a president who tried to attack Congress during his monologue on Thursday.

Colbert highlighted the ousting of Peru President Pedro Castillo after he was arrested following an attempt to take control of the government by dissolving Congress this week.

Prosecutors said in a statement this week that “no authority can put itself above the Constitution” and that the country’s constitution “enshrines the separation of powers and establishes that Peru is a democratic and sovereign Republic.”

Colbert didn’t waste time on Thursday as he appeared to draw a line between Peru’s presidential controversy and former President Donald Trump’s actions during the Jan. 6 riot.

“So, you can take immediate action against a president who attacks Congress? I thought you had to dither about it for two years until he has dinner with Nazis and then still not do anything,” quipped Colbert before a hefty applause from his crowd.

Colbert later discussed Castillo’s hope to stop an investigation into his administration after he declared he would “rule by decree.”

“Of course because it was a Peruvian coup, he immediately got the support of the MyAlpaca guy,” he said.

You can watch the rest of Colbert’s monologue below.





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Trevor Noah Says Bye To ‘Daily Show’ In Teary-Eyed Tribute To Fans, Black Women

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Trevor Noah, departing host of “The Daily Show,” said goodbye to his beloved late night program after seven years on Thursday night.

Noah, who took the helm as a replacement for previous host Jon Stewart, addressed fans – and haters – in an emotional farewell episode that also included his correspondents giving him props one last time.

The final episode aired despite Comedy Central not naming a new host, or hosts, who will lead the program beginning on Jan. 17.

The South African comedian told his audience that he’s grateful for every single one of his supporters and reflected on the show’s struggles to fill seats, a contrast to recent crowds at tapings, he said.

His farewell address, however, specifically focused on his praise and support for Black women. Noah reflected on the love that his mother, grandmother, aunt and others have shown him over the years.

“If you truly want to learn about America, you talk to Black women,” he said.

“Because unlike everybody else, Black women can’t afford to fuck around and find out. Black people understand how hard it is, when things go bad, especially in America but any place that Black people exist…”

Noah continued: “When things go bad, Black people know that it gets worse for them. But Black women in particular, they know what shit is, genuinely.”

He suggested that talking to Black women could guide people looking for the best or the most equitable way to do something in their lives.

You can watch part of Noah’s goodbye message below.





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Prince Harry On Why He Feels Guilty About Meghan Markle’s Relationship With Her Dad

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“It’s incredibly sad what happened; she had a father before this and now she doesn’t have a father,” the Duke of Sussex said. “And I shouldered that because if Meg wasn’t with me, then her dad would still be her dad.”

Harry and Meghan discussed her rocky relationship with her father — and the drama leading up to her wedding day with Harry in 2018 — in the episode.

Thomas Markle, who said he had a heart attack days before the wedding, did not actually attend the ceremony. He has since given several interviews about Harry and Meghan to the press.

During the episode, Meghan also said that she and Harry had called her father before their wedding to ask him if he was staging photos for the press and that he had denied it.

Meghan said that she told Harry after they got off the phone with her father that she didn’t believe him.

“And I’m finding out that you’re not coming to our wedding, through a tabloid!” she said later in the episode after sharing that she had repeatedly called her father, to no avail.





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Netflix, Royals Clash Over ‘Harry & Meghan’ Contact Disclaimer

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Neither Kensington Palace nor Buckingham Palace were contacted by Netflix as the streaming giant claims in a disclaimer that begins the new series “Harry & Meghan,” a palace source told HuffPost.

The first episode of the docuseries, which premiered on Thursday, opens with a black-and-white statement that reads: “Members of the Royal Family declined to comment on the content in this series.”

A royal source told HuffPost that Netflix made no attempt to contact members of the royal household, Kensington Palace or Buckingham Palace.

London-based CNN correspondent Max Foster reported Kensington Palace did receive an email from what purported to be a third-party production company, “but they couldn’t verify it so didn’t respond.”

A Netflix source insisted to HuffPost that both King Charles and Prince William’s offices were contacted and were given time to respond ahead of the docuseries release.

Kensington Palace had no comment, and Buckingham Palace did not return a request for comment.

HuffPost has reached out to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Archewell organization.

More revelations from Netflix’s “Harry & Meghan:”





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Meghan Markle Says Engagement Interview With Harry Was ‘An Orchestrated Reality Show’

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Meghan Markle shed insight into her and Prince Harry’s 2017 engagement interview, revealing in the third episode of the couple’s new Netflix series released Thursday that the BBC piece was an “orchestrated reality show.”

“It was, you know, rehearsed,” the Duchess of Sussex said of the couple’s first joint interview with the BBC’s Mishal Husain, as footage played and also showed the couple posing for cameras during their engagement announcement.

“We did the thing out with the press, and then we went right inside, took the coat off, sat down and did the interview,” Meghan explained. “So it’s all in that same moment.”

“You mean just like prepping you that they’re gonna ask this, this, this, or how does that work?” a voice asks the couple in the episode.

Prince Harry stands with his fiancée Meghan Markle as she shows off her engagement ring whilst they pose for a photograph in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace on Nov. 27, 2017.

DANIEL LEAL via Getty Images

“Yeah, but also, ‘Then, they’ll be a moment where they’ll wanna see the ring, so show the ring,’” Meghan continued, as Netflix cut to footage of Harry speaking about the main diamond from the ring being sourced from Botswana, and that the diamonds on the sides of the main stone were from his mother’s jewelry collection.

“My point is we weren’t allowed to tell our story, because they didn’t want our [story],” Meghan says, as Harry interjects and says, “We’ve never been allowed to tell our story” and the couple laugh.

“That’s true,” Meghan said with a smile, as Harry added, “That’s the consistency.”

“That is consistent. Yeah. Until now,” Meghan pointedly adds.

In the first episode of the series, the two spoke about meeting each other over Instagram.

Harry said that he first spotted a video of a friend with Meghan ― who was partially obscured by a dog-ear filter in the clip ― and thought “Who is that?”

When the friend told Meghan that the prince was interested in meeting, she revealed that she scrolled through Prince Harry’s social media feed.

“I went through, and it was just like beautiful photography and all these environmental shots, and this time he was spending in Africa,” she said.

Meghan later added that the prince had a list of qualities he was looking for in a partner, but the prince refused to elaborate further.

“Let’s not go there,” he said firmly. “Not sharing the list.”

More revelations from Netflix’s “Harry & Meghan:”





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Stephen Colbert Dusts Off Old Jokes In Epic Takedown Of Herschel Walker

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Colbert dusted off an envelope full of jokes and pointed out that the enveloped was “sealed with wax” before firing off joke after joke about the race which Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) won on Tuesday.

“Warnock has won Georgia, it’s fitting he’s a reverend because when I hear that all I can say is ‘thank God,’” Colbert quipped.

“This is a tough break for Walker though it will take him a couple of days to understand what has happened.”

He continued: “With this loss, Walker is supposed to return to his previous job, lying about having previous jobs, but on the bright side, it gives him more time to spend with his family and more time to figure out who that is.”

You can listen to more of Colbert’s jokes about the Senate race below.





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