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Finally, (some) closure. Joe Biden will be the next US president.

Art by Gabriella Turrisi

The race has been called, and although President Trump says he will dispute the result with lawsuits in several battleground states, America's presidential election is (finally) a done deal.

What happens next? President-Elect Joe Biden will now go through an uncertain lame-duck period before he takes the oath of office. Once he's sworn in on January 20th, Biden will have Vice President Kamala Harris, the former Senator from California, at his side to help wade through a slew of pressing domestic and international challenges. Here are some reflections and observations on an historic day.


History in the making. In 11 weeks, Kamala Harris will become the first female vice president in US history. She will also be the first Black and South Asian person to assume this role, a momentous breakthrough — and an emotional milestone — for people of color in the United States. It is a particularly meaningful occasion for Black women, the backbone of the Democratic base. They were instrumental in ensuring Joe Biden's victory in the Democratic primaries and his clinching of the presidency. It's fair to say they felt the weight of this heated election on their shoulders.

The domestic landscape. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will have their work cut out for them. President Trump has already made clear that he will not be a willing participant in the traditional handover of power, making for an excruciating transition period over the next 11-weeks. Meanwhile, the coronavirus outbreak in the United States is worsening by the day, and millions of Americans are still feeling deep financial pain because of the pandemic-induced recession. Republicans are also likely to retain control of the Senate, which would make it very difficult for Biden to pass ambitious legislation on climate change, immigration and healthcare.

Foreign policy. Biden's victory comes just days after the US — the world's second largest emitter of carbon — officially exited the Paris Climate Accord, the first country in the world to formally withdraw. Biden has said he will rejoin the Paris Climate Accord from the get-go (according to the accord's terms rejoining requires one month's notice), however there are compliance issues Biden will have to address in order to rejoin.

When it comes to China, Biden is not expected to be soft on Beijing. He has said he will focus on getting all US allies in Europe and Asia on the same page to counter China's global aggression. Biden also wants to return to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, another major Obama administration international agreement that President Trump walked away from. However, he said this is contingent on Tehran's willingness to comply with all of the deal's terms.

The American people remain bitterly divided. But it's also clear that many are sick and tired of political drama, toxicity, and chaos. Can Biden and Harris unite a fractious nation — one that voted in record-breaking numbers on both sides?

Bank of America's $25 million jobs initiative provides Black and Hispanic-Latino individuals access to skills and training needed for jobs of the future. Learn more about the initiative, which involves partnerships with 21 community colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Hispanic Serving Institutions.

Two weeks ago, Russia secured a deal to build a naval base in Sudan, its first new military facility in Africa since the end of the Cold War. The accord is a major milestone in Moscow's wider push to regain influence, and income, on a continent where the Kremlin was once a major player.

But with the ideological and military contests of the Cold War long over, what is Moscow doing in Africa today?

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Jon Lieber, who leads Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, offers insights on US politics:

Is Trump out of options now that William Barr said the DOJ found no election interference?

Trump's problem isn't William Barr not finding election interference, it's that he lost the election and he lost it by millions of votes, and he lost it in the most important key states by tens of thousands of votes. Now, this was a very close election. The three closest states, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Arizona, Trump only lost by 44,000 votes so far, and if he'd ended up winning those three, we'd have an Electoral College tie. But the election was not close enough that Trump's strategy of trying to kick this to the courts and then getting it to go all the way to the Congress, with an alternate slate of electors, it just wasn't possible. Had the election been a little closer, he might've had a shot. But as it is, his chances are over. Joe Biden's going to be inaugurated on January 20th.

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Listen: Benjamin Franklin famously called on American business leaders more than two centuries ago to "Do well by doing good." To him, that meant creating companies that were not just about the bottom line, but also that helped foster happier and healthier communities. Now, as 2021 approaches and the world recovers from the greatest crisis of our lifetimes, sustainable investing is a bigger discussion than ever. What does it mean, and how does it not only help the environment and societies but also build your bottom line? That's the topic of the latest episode of Living Beyond Borders.

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Iran's nuclear tug-of-war: Hardliners in Iran's parliament passed a bill Tuesday suspending UN inspections of its nuclear sites and giving the go-ahead to massively increase uranium enrichment unless the US lifts its sanctions by February. Iranian president Hassan Rouhani opposes the measure, saying it would be "harmful" to diplomatic efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal with the incoming Biden administration in the US. But Iran's parliament doesn't actually need Rouhani's approval to pass the law, and regardless, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei will have the final say on policy – as always! If the law is passed, it will immediately raise the stakes for Biden, who takes office on January 20. Both he and Rouhani say they are keen to resume dialogue in hopes of reviving the nuclear deal, which President Trump walked out of in 2018. But just days after the architect of Iran's nuclear program was assassinated (likely by Israel with the US' blessing) the hurdles to even beginning those talks are rising fast.

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Reasons for Hope: COVID and the Coming Year. Watch on Friday. Dec 4 2020 12 noon - 1 pm ET

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