Monday 20 November 2017

Beyonce and Jay Z the latest stars to rally young voters to support Hillary

Beyonce and Jay Z
Beyonce and Jay Z

David Lawler in Washington

IN the final days of the US presidential election campaign, Hillary Clinton is hoping a string of star-studded events will help secure the youth vote, including a planned appearance with rapper Jay Z last night in Cleveland.

Beyonce Knowles, the singer, was reportedly to make a surprise cameo at what the Clinton team labelled a "get out the vote performance".

Mrs Clinton will have taken the stage with some of America's biggest celebrities by the campaign's end, including pop stars Jennifer Lopez last week in Miami and Katy Perry tonight in Philadelphia.

Stevie Wonder, Jon Bon Jovi and Cher will also all hold events on Mrs Clinton's behalf tonight.

Her other high-profile backers include George Clooney, Eva Longoria and Pharell Williams.

Perhaps the biggest star at her disposal, though, is President Barack Obama. He has been crisscrossing the key swing states, speaking at university campuses, including yesterday at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina.

"We can't take this for granted," Mr Obama said, the urgency palpable in his voice. "We can't get complacent. All the progress that we've made these last eight years goes out the window if we don't win this election."

A lack of enthusiasm among young people was a primary factor in Mrs Clinton's struggles during the primary elections.

Bernie Sanders, whose support among millennials dwarfed Mrs Clinton's, held three rallies on her behalf, two of them at universities in Iowa.

Vice-president Joe Biden also spent the day rallying students in the college town of Madison, Wisconsin.

Meanwhile, the White House and other US government departments believe Russian hackers will launch a huge wave of cyber attacks on and after election day, leading to an unprecedented rearguard operation.

Russia has been informed that any attempt to manipulate voting or undermine the result will be viewed as a serious breach, intelligence officers told NBC News.

There were further fears that after Tuesday's vote Moscow may attempt to spread doubts about the legitimacy of the electoral process.

Donald Trump has consistently claimed that the election is "rigged".

'The Washington Post' cited officials as saying there were fears cyber attacks could attempt to expose or fabricate vote-rigging after the winner is declared.

The counter-cyber attacks operation is apparently being coordinated by the White House and the Department of Homeland Security and includes the CIA, the National Security Agency and other elements of the Defence Department.

An unnamed White House official said: "[The Russians] want to sow as much confusion as possible and undermine our process in ways they have done elsewhere in the past. So this is to make sure that we have all the tools at our disposal and that we're prepared to respond to whatever it is that they do."

It is feared hackers could attempt to shut down power grids or internet servers, or spread false news reports about either candidate. (© Daily Telegraph London)

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