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2020 U.S. ELECTION: What you need to know right now

Nov 9 (Reuters) - President-elect Joe Biden will convene a coronavirus task force on Monday to examine the No. 1 problem confronting him when he takes office in January, while President Donald Trump pursues several long-shot gambits to hold on to his job.

-Biden’s campaign on Sunday urged the Trump political appointee who heads the U.S. General Services Administration to approve an official transition of power despite President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede. -Hundreds of supporters of President Donald Trump rallied in downtown Phoenix on Saturday to contest Joe Biden’s election as U.S. president, charging the media with conspiring to steal the election and calling the results a “coup”.

-FACTBOX-Trump sues in Arizona, court battles continue as Biden wins U.S. election.

-FACTBOX-How and when will Trump leave office? The United States has a long history of peaceful transfers of power that is likely to continue despite President Donald Trump’s attacks on the legitimacy of the election result, national security experts said.

-With Democrat Joe Biden capturing the presidency on Saturday, Trump’s legal woes are likely to deepen because in January he will lose the protections the U.S. legal system affords to a sitting president, former prosecutors said.

-Stacey Abrams, 46, a lawyer, entrepreneur, romance novelist and Georgia politician, became a national Democratic figurehead after losing a hard-fought governor’s race in 2018 by just 55,000 votes. Now she is being lauded by Democrats, academics, voters and activists around the country for boosting Biden to victory.

-President-elect Joe Biden’s hopes of enacting major Democratic priorities like expanding healthcare access, fighting climate change and providing more coronavirus aid are going to hang on a pair of U.S. Senate races in Georgia in January. -Former U.S. President George W. Bush, a Republican, said on Sunday he has spoken to President-elect Joe Biden, a Democrat, to congratulate him on his victory. GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE -Chinese state media struck an optimistic tone on Monday in editorials reacting to Democrat Joe Biden’s win of the U.S. presidential elections, saying relations could be restored to a state of greater predictability and could start with trade.

-Taiwan’s top China policymaker on Monday sought to reassure nervous lawmakers that Democrat Joe Biden will continue U.S. support for the Chinese-claimed island, which has benefited from strong backing by the outgoing administration of Donald Trump. -The Kremlin said on Monday it would wait for the official results of the U.S. presidential election before commenting on its outcome, and that it had noted incumbent Donald Trump’s announcement of legal challenges related to the vote.

-China, which has held off on congratulating U.S. presidential election winner Joe Biden even as leaders of other countries have done so, said on Monday it would follow custom in responding to the result.

-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on Sunday, hailing a strong alliance that could be burdened by differences over policy on Iran and the Palestinians. -Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday congratulated U.S. President-elect Joe Biden in a statement that indicated he will drop his three-year political boycott of the White House.

-Iran’s president said on Sunday the next U.S. administration should use the opportunity to compensate for President Donald Trump’s mistakes, Iranian state TV reported after Joe Biden captured the U.S. presidency. -Saudi Arabia finally congratulated Joe Biden on Sunday over his election victory, more than 24 hours after he defeated Donald Trump, who had close personal ties with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

-FACTBOX-World leaders react to Joe Biden’s election win. INVESTOR VIEW -GLOBAL MARKETS-World stocks hit a record high on Monday and the dollar stayed weak as expectations of better global trade ties and more monetary stimulus under U.S. President-elect Joe Biden supported risk appetite.

-Key members of OPEC are wary that strains in the OPEC+ alliance could re-emerge with Joe Biden as U.S. President, sources said, and would miss President Donald Trump, who went from criticizing the group to helping bring about a record oil output cut.

-China’s technology industry, one of President Trump’s main targets in Washington’s tussles with Beijing, hopes Joe Biden can create a more constructive relationship - but few think the rivalry will de-escalate, executives and analysts say.

BY THE NUMBERS FACTBOX-10 numbers that help explain an historic U.S. election that was conducted in the middle of both a worldwide pandemic and global economic recession.

AFTER THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL Expected events and Reuters coverage on Nov 9: -Monitoring supporters of Trump who are protesting to contest the election result

-Monitoring progress of legal challenges by the Trump re-election campaign alleging election fraud

-Trump said to be planning rallies to build support for his fight over the election outcome

-South Korea’s foreign minister visits Washington DC; expected to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and members of Biden’s team

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Reporting by Gayle Issa; Editing by Catherine Evans