The Latest: Australians watch US vote count from afar




MEXICO CITY (AP) — The Latest on world reaction to the U.S. election (all times EST):

8:20 p.m.

New Jersey-born Heather Bennett, 40, and sons Stirling, 11 months, and Macquarie, 30 months, were among dozens of Americans and Australians who gathered at P.J. O'Reilly's Irish Pub in Canberra to watch the count on TV.

Married to an Australian and living in Canberra, Australia's capital, Bennett said watching the U.S. election from afar gave her a different view of American politics.

"It's interesting because you get a different perspective. I think that's pretty cool," she said. "Usually in the U.S. you feel like you're in your own little bubble. You don't get to see the reactions of other people around the world in the U.S."

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5:15 p.m.

More than 100 people have gathered at the U.S. Ambassador to Senegal's residence in Dakar to discuss the American presidential election.

University students and professionals posed next to life-size cutouts of the two main candidates and mingled, holding glasses of ginger, bissap and baobab juice in the residence's gardens.

In a mock vote cast throughout the evening, the overwhelming majority voted for Hillary Clinton over Republican candidate Donald Trump.

Matel Bocoum, a 37-year-old journalist for Senegal's Le Soleil Business, said she'd vote for Clinton.

"Never did we think a black man would become the head of the United States, and now, we have the same hopes for a woman. And if a woman becomes the head of the United States, it's a beautiful lesson for women all over," she said.

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5:05 p.m.

A senior Australian government minister says he thinks Hillary Clinton will win the election easily, which would be the best outcome for Australia.

Minister for Defense Industry Christopher Pyne said the Democratic candidate was better on free trade and U.S. engagement in the Asian-Pacific region than Donald Trump.

"I think Hillary will win and win easily and I think that would be the best outcome for Australia because she does support free trade, she does support the United States being deeply engaged in our Asian region which is critical to us," Pyne told Ten Network television late Tuesday.

Australian government leaders generally avoid commenting on U.S. politics, saying they are prepared to work with whoever occupies the White House

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4:25 p.m.

Some Mexicans are already preparing to celebrate a possible loss by Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential election.

A Facebook invite is asking people to gather at Mexico City's iconic Angel of Independence statue Tuesday night for a celebration if the Republican candidate loses. At least 5,000 people have already RSVPed that they would come.

Trump is unpopular in Mexico for suggesting that many Mexican immigrants are criminals or rapists, and for promising to build a border wall between the countries.

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3 p.m.

Few countries have more riding on the U.S. election than Cuba. Republican candidate Donald Trump has promised to reverse Barack Obama's normalization of relations with the communist-run island. Clinton has pledged to continue the process. Normalization with the U.S. is almost universally popular in Cuba, where people said they were rooting for Clinton and a future of better relations.

"We have to respect whatever decision Trump would take but we don't want him to be president," Havana resident Lina Osorio said. "We need relations between the two countries."

Fellow Havana resident Rangel Galindo said simply: "I want it to be her, not him."

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1:30 p.m.

Argentine Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra says a win by Republican Donald Trump in the U.S. election would stall recent moves to improve relations between the countries.

Malcorra told Argentine television channel Todo Noticias that the conservative government of President Maurico Macri had opened a new phase of cooperation and trade with Washington after years of strained relations under former President Cristina Fernandez.

But she said Monday night that there might be a "big stop" in this process if Trump wins, and "depending on the results, there might be big changes" in U.S.-Argentine relations.

The Argentine foreign minister said the "more closed, isolationist and xenophobic" model represented by the Republican candidate would have a major impact on the world and relations with Latin America.

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12:40 p.m.

Germany's foreign minister says the bitter U.S. election campaign will leave a "difficult legacy" for the next president because it has deepened the country's divisions.

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier says both Germans and many Americans "are glad that this special election campaign is coming to an end."

He says the campaign "has left a more or less divided country" and it will be difficult for the incoming president to bridge the differences.

Steinmeier has been sharply critical of Republican contender Donald Trump. He brushed aside suggestions that relations between Europe and the U.S. would also become more complicated under Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton — saying that he knows Clinton and doesn't fear that.

He spoke in Berlin on Tuesday.

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12:30 p.m.

Kenyans in President Barack Obama's ancestral hometown have held their own version of the U.S. presidential election, leaning heavily toward Obama's own favorite in the race: Hillary Clinton.

Tuesday's mock poll was held in Nyangoma-Kogelo, the birthplace of Obama's father. Kenyan comedian Laurence Oyange was an organizer. He says it's a way Kenyans can connect to America.

Oyange said the poll was boycotted by Malik Obama, the president's half-brother who has said he supports Trump.

There were 105 voters and 78 percent of them favored Clinton. Eleven percent went for Donald Trump. Other ballots were spoiled or disqualified.

Oyange says the community also held mock U.S. elections during Obama's elections.

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12:15 p.m.

Italian Premier Matteo Renzi is offering an Election Day swansong honor to Barack Obama, saying the first black American president "wrote an indelible page of history" that should inspire generations to come.

Renzi pointed to U.S. job creation, investment in energy and health care as some of Obama's domestic victories. Renzi cited the Cuba detente and the Iran nuclear deal as international achievements for the Obama administration.

Renzi writes in his weekly e-newsletter that "Obama was a point of reference for those who still believe in the American dream, for those who believe in the Democratic Party, for those who believe in politics."

Renzi is the leader of Italy's Democratic Party and has said he hopes Hillary Clinton wins.

Renzi writes that Obama will continue "to be a source of inspiration and encounter for the new generation."

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12:05 p.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says a victory for Hillary Clinton in the U.S. presidential election would be a step toward gender balance among world leaders.

Merkel says she's awaiting the election result "with suspense," while declining to comment directly on Clinton or rival Donald Trump.

But asked Tuesday about the possibility of a woman winning the White House, she said: "Then we'd come a little bit closer to a balance of women and men in leading positions."

Germany's first female leader was speaking alongside Erna Solberg, Norway's second female prime minister. Solberg said it "may be inspiring for many young women to see politics not just as something that belongs to men."

But she added: "There isn't some kind of global girlfriends network that wants to rule the world."

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12:00 p.m.

Poland's foreign minister says Eastern Europe is closely watching the U.S. elections but will reserve judgment on who would be a better president.

Witold Waszczykowski declined to say whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump would better serve the region's security and political interests.

He says a future U.S. president would be judged after selecting "prominent figures to run foreign policy and the military sector."

Nine senior diplomats and foreign ministers of NATO's eastern flank members met in Bucharest Tuesday to discuss Russia, regional security and the U.S. election.

Waszczykowski says he doesn't think the words and ideas expressed during the campaign are necessarily "a guide for a future president."
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