What else happened in the US on Election Day?

What else happened on Election Day? Here are five US stories you might have missed
3 min read
04 November, 2020
While the eyes of the world were fixed on the US presidential elections, other big changes took place in the country.
Presidential candidate Kanye West has admitted defeat [Getty]
As current President Donald Trump and challenger Joe Biden ended a gruelling election campaign, there were other big domestic developments during the run-up to voting.

For those who stayed up watching Tuesday night's election results, we found you five key stories from the US that might have passed you by:

1) The US pulls out of Paris Climate Accord

On Wednesday, the US became the first country to formally leave the Paris Agreement, a pact agreed by global powers in a bid to avert a climate change catastrophe.

President Donald Trump had threatened to withdraw the US from the agreement, which has been signed by 189 other countries and aims to keep average worldwide temperature increases "well below" 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

Any rise above this level could had a disastrous impact on humankind, and as the world's second biggest emitter of heat-trapping gases (after China), the US withdrawal is a big blow for efforts to tackle climate change.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has said he could sign the US back up to the Paris accord if he is elected president.

2) US judge blocks Trump bid to deny green cards to some immigrants

A federal judge in Chicago rejected an immigration rule that would deny green cards to immigrants who use food stamps or other public benefits.

District Judge Gary Feinerman rejected the rule that had taken effect recently after the US Supreme Court reversed a hold on the policy following lawsuits. 

Campaigners have dubbed the rule a "wealth test" which could force immigrants to choose between their health and pursuing permanent resident status.

3) Oregon becomes first US state to decriminalise hard drugs

Oregon became the first US state to decriminalise the possession of small amounts of hard drugs, including heroin and cocaine, after campaigning by reform groups.

The ruling means that anyone caught with hard drugs deemed to be for personal possession will now pay a $100 fine and attend an addiction recovery programme, rather than go to jail.

Four states - Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota - also voted to legalise cannabis, joining 11 others to end criminalisation of the soft drug.

4) Judge sets jail for teenager accused of shooting dead two anti-racism protesters 

Kyle Rittenhouse, a teenager accused of shooting dead two people at an anti-racism protest, has been granted $2 million bail.

The 17-year-old has been charged with six criminal counts, after he was accused of shooting dead two protesters and injuring a third during protests linked to the Black Lives Matter.

Rittenhouse was photographed around the time of the shootings carrying what appears to be an assault rifle and walking calmly towards police line.

His case has been taken up by a number of right-wing Americans, including President Trump, who argue that he was protecting himself from protesters.

Family of the victims have spoken out against the bail ruling.

5) Kanye 2024

Kanye West's bid to become president failed miserably on Tuesday evening, when the singer won just 57,000 votes in 12 states.

The unlikely presidential candidate had tweeted an image of himself after casting his vote, with the message:

"Today I am voting for the first time in my life for the President of the United States, and it's for someone I truly trust...me."

When the dismal results came in hours later, West conceded defeat.

The 2020 election might not be the end of West's dalliance with politics, with the rapper opening up the possibility of another challenge to take the world's most prestigious job.

"WELP KANYE 2024" he tweeted.

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