Joe Biden

Tight security and star power for Biden-Harris inauguration

From the guest list to Covid-19 changes, to new security concerns, here's everything you need to know about the big day.

The inauguration is the formal ceremony that marks the start of a new presidency, and it takes place in Washington DC.

The only required feature is that the president-elect recite the presidential oath of office: "I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Trump confirms he will not attend Biden's inauguration

The last time it happened was in 1869, when outgoing president Andrew Johnson refused to travel to the ceremony in the same carriage as President-elect Ulysses Grant.

Trump announced his decision on Twitter.

Media outlets previously reported that Trump was planning to be at his golf course in Scotland, but Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she would not allow him to enter the country.

It is now expected that Trump will leave the White House on 19 January and fly to his Florida base, Mar-a-Lago.

US President-elect Joe Biden gets vaccine live on TV

Mr Biden joins a growing number of political leaders getting the jab, including Vice-President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

On Sunday, the roll-out began for a second vaccine, by Moderna, which was approved last week.

More than 500,000 Americans are said to have now been vaccinated.

"I'm doing this to demonstrate that people should be prepared when it's available to take the vaccine," Mr Biden said from Newark, Delaware, where he got the jab live on TV. "There's nothing to worry about."

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris named Time's Person of the Year

"The Biden-Harris ticket represents something historic," Time tweeted.

The Democratic pair beat three other finalists: frontline healthcare workers and Dr Anthony Fauci, the racial justice movement, and President Donald Trump, who lost the White House race.

Time has been choosing the year's most influential person since 1927.

Trump accepts transition to Biden must begin

The president said the federal agency overseeing the handover must "do what needs to be done", even as he vowed to keep contesting his election defeat.

The General Services Administration (GSA) said it was acknowledging Mr Biden as the "apparent winner".

It came as Mr Biden's victory in the state of Michigan was officially certified, a major blow to Mr Trump.

The Biden team welcomed the start of the transition process as the Democratic president-elect gears up to be sworn in on 20 January.

Ardern speaks with US President-elect Joe Biden

Speaking at the weekly post-Cabinet media conference this afternoon, Ardern says she had a "positive and warm" phone call with Biden.

The conversation focused on working co-cooperatively on issues of mutual interest, she says, and Biden spoke positively on NZ's response to the pandemic.

Ardern extended an invitation to Biden to come to New Zealand, saying it seemed only natural considering Australia had already done so for the anniversary of ANZUS next year.

Biden says Trump denial 'sending horrible message'

Mr Biden said he was confident Mr Trump knew he was not going to win and had shown "incredible irresponsibility".

Mr Trump has launched lawsuits alleging unsubstantiated election fraud.

He has now also invited state lawmakers to the White House, hinting at a possible change in tactics.

Michigan's Republican lawmakers have been asked to meet him there on Friday.

All but one of Mr Trump's challenges has failed to make any real headway.

Joe Biden picks Ron Klain as White House chief of staff

Mr Klain has served as a top aide to Mr Biden since the 1980s in the Senate and later when he was vice-president.

The ultimate Washington insider, Mr Klain was also a senior White House aide to Barack Obama and chief of staff to Vice-President Al Gore.

He was played by actor Kevin Spacey in the movie Recount, about the presidential election of 2000.

The White House chief of staff - who manages the president's daily schedule and is often described as his gatekeeper - is a political appointee that does not require confirmation by the Senate.

Pacific leaders tip hat to Biden

The Cook Islands Prime Minister, Mark Brown, said as he watched the polls unfold, he admired Biden's patience and calming comments encouraging the votes of the people to be counted.

Brown said once the election result was in Biden's favour, he watched with admiration the unifying addresses given, decribing them as inspirational to the American people and many admirers internationally.

US Elections: Biden overtakes Trump in several key states

Biden is currently leading in both Michigan and Wisconsin, which, if conclusive could get him 26 electoral votes closer to the 270 required to win the election. Most current projections show Biden with 238 electoral votes to Trump’s 213 as of 5:40 PM Belgian time.

Democrats are expecting a clear path to victory by this afternoon, according to Biden’s campaign manager Jen O’Malley, who said that Biden would have a higher total number of votes than any other presidential candidate in history.