■ ChinaKerry wins duck vote
John Kerry won the duck vote by a landslide. A Chinese restaurant owner who put duck dishes named for the major US presidential candidates on his menu said yesterday that 60 percent of diners ordered "Kerry Duck" over "Bush Duck." The mock election at the Chuxuanlu Restaurant in Foshan, a city near Hong Kong, began on Oct. 23 and ended yesterday. "Most of our guests support [Senator John] Kerry, because [President George W.] Bush is a tough guy and ... wants control over the world," the owner, who would give only his surname, Nie, said by phone from Foshan.
■ United States
Execution on election eve
In the midst of the US election on Tuesday, Texas, the leading death penalty state, took time out to execute a man for a 1990 murder. Lorenzo Morris, 52, received a lethal injection in Houston shortly after 6pm in the state's 19th execution this year. He was the 332nd person put to death in Texas since the state resumed capital punishment in 1982. Morris was condemned for killing Jesse Fields, 70, after breaking into his Houston home and demanding money. A prison spokeswoman said Morris did not vote in the presidential election because Texas law forbids jailed felons from casting a ballot.
Downer favors Bush for win
Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said yesterday that US President George W. Bush appeared on track for a second term and said Australia's government could build on its already strong relationship with the Bush administration. "It does look as though President Bush is more likely than not to be re-elected and obviously from our point of view the Bush administration is a known quantity," Downer told Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio. "But frankly if Senator [John] Kerry somehow miraculous-ly comes through here, or any case had been elected, we would have worked pretty well with them as well," Downer added.
■ United States
TV treads warily
Mindful of the spectacular failure of their blown calls four years ago, television networks proceeded with caution as election results came in on Tuesday. There were concerns, however, that the early exit polls they commissioned had indicated John Kerry would do better than he appeared to be faring as actual vote counts came in. Five TV news organizat-ions and The Associated Press formed the National Election Pool to conduct exit polls of voters, while the AP was supplying actual vote counts from across the nation. The networks blamed bad information from an old system for twice prematurely declaring a winner in Florida in 2000.
Jindal coasts into Congress
Republican Bobby Jindal coasted to an easy and expected victory, taking over the vacant US House seat for suburban New Orleans and becoming the only Indian-American in the US Congress. Jindal, 33, raised US$2 million more than his closest opponent in Tuesday's election. The five men running against the son of immigrants from India never jeopardized his huge lead, and most didn't bother to raise any cash to oppose him.