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A Little Bird Told Me This

This is the news tip thread. If you have a tip please post it here.

Previous thread

https://8kun.top/newsplus/res/254962.html

Leave your news tips here. Thank you for your help.

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‘Cannibals’ Lured Victim to Cabin in the Woods for Genital Surgery, Sheriff Says

By: Josh K. Elliott

https://muckrack.com/josh-elliott-2

Two men have been charged in Oklahoma for allegedly illegally castrating a victim they had lured into the woods after the 28-year-old answered an online ad for discounted gender-affirming surgery.

The suspects were taken into custody after they showed up at a hospital in McAlester, Okla., to see the maimed victim, whom they had dropped off the day before.

The victim, whose identity has not been released, had suffered injuries to their genitals but was in stable condition on Wednesday, police said.

LeFlore County Sheriff Rodney Derryberry struggled to describe the nature of the gruesome case while talking to reporters on Tuesday.

>>“I can’t say it’s cult activity,” he said in response to a question. “It is something that we have never in my career run across in this part of the country. It is borderline some type of activity.”

Bob Lee Allen, 53, and Thomas Evans Gates, 42, were charged on Wednesday in connection with the incident, court records show.

The married suspects face charges of conspiracy to commit unlicensed surgery, performing unlicensed surgery, maiming, unlawful use of a communication facility, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, failure to bury a dead human member and three drug-related charges.

The victim looked up discounted castration and gender-affirming medical care online, then travelled to Oklahoma from Virginia via Dallas earlier this month, according to a police affidavit obtained by The Oklahoman newspaper. The 28-year-old drove to the suspects’ cabin in the woods of southeast Oklahoma, where the pair performed the surgery.

The victim was awake but the pubic area was anesthetized during the two-hour procedure, according to the affidavit. Allen allegedly performed the surgery on a covered dining room table with assistance from Gates, the victim said.

Afterward, Allen allegedly told the victim he would “consume the parts and laughed that he was a cannibal,” according to the court documents. The two men also allegedly tried to get the victim “to participate in cannibalism.”

Allen allegedly showed the victim photos of a freezer filled with human parts, and described other operations he’d performed over 15 years.

The victim claims that Allen spoke of leaving a “crazy” patient to “die overnight” on one occasion, according to the affidavit.

The suspects rushed the victim to the hospital after the 28-year-old started to hemorrhage, with instructions to claim responsibility for having “done it,” according to the affidavit.

Authorities say they searched the cabin and found “what appeared to be testicles” in a freezer in the bedroom. The suspects were arrested at the hospital while police searched their home on a warrant.

The suspects did not have a medical licence, officials say.

Derryberry added that there have been “lots of rumours” about the case, “but at this time there’s no danger to the public.”

He said the suspects were running a membership website, and investigators are now combing through their digital files. It’s unclear if they accepted payment for the alleged operation.

No other victims had been identified as of Thursday. Bail for each suspect was set at $295,000.

They are slated to appear in court on Friday.

https://globalnews.ca/news/7412779/cannibals-cabin-in-woods-genital-surgery/

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500 Missing Migrant Children Narrative Reaches Presidential Debate Stage Despite the Facts

By Penny Starr

https://www.breitbart.com/author/penny-starr/

The surprise topic in the presidential debate on Thursday was the out-of-nowhere claim that President Donald Trump’s immigration policies have disappeared 500 migrant children.

Moderator Kristen Welker asked Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden about the narrative that surfaced just days ahead of the presidential election. The White House correspondent for NBC said:

Mr. President, your administration separated children from their parents at the border, at least 4000 kids. You’ve since reversed your zero tolerance policy, but the United States can’t locate the parents of more than 500 children. So how will these families ever be reunited?

Trump replied:

Children are brought here by coyotes and lots of bad people, cartels, and they’re brought here and it’s easy to use them to get into our country. We now have a stronger border as we’ve ever had. We’re over 400 miles of brand new wall, you see the numbers, and we let people in, but they have to come in legally.

“Do you have a plan to reunite the kids?” Welker asked.

“We’re trying very hard,” Trump said. “But a lot of these kids come up without the parents, they come over through cartels and the coyotes and through gangs.”

“Vice President Biden, let me bring you into this conversation.” Welker said. Biden said:

These 500 plus kids came with parents.They separated them at the border to make it a disincentive to come to begin with. Big real tough, really strong. And guess what? They cannot — it’s not coyotes that bring them over, their parents were with them. They got separated from their parents. And it makes us a laughingstock and violates every judge of who we are as a nation.

That immigration was inserted into the debate at the last minute is probably because of a misleading narrative that started when a federal judge in California ordered open borders legal groups to track down families who had been separated from the children because of Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy.

https://www.breitbart.com/2020-election/2020/10/23/500-missing-migrant-children-narrative-reaches-presidential-debate-stage-despite-the-facts/

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Watch The Rudy Giuliani Scene In ‘Borat’ And Decide For Yourself — Was The Media Being Fair?

By Shelby Talcott

https://dailycaller.com/author/Shelby+Talcott/

A still image from the new “Borat” movie emerged Wednesday and showed Rudy Giuliani laying on a bed with his hand down his pants as an actress pretending to be a reporter and Borat’s daughter stood next to him.

The scene between President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and Maria Bakalova, a 24-year-old actress, sparked a fury among members of the media, quickly going viral. The Guardian dubbed it a “compromising scene,” New York Times opinion columnist Maureen Dowd tweeted that it is “beyond cringe” and Vanity Fair TV critic Sonia Saraiya wrote that the film “should end Rudy Giuliani’s career!”

“What is BORAT if not a coordinated misinformation campaign?” she tweeted. “Add a pretty woman and you’ve got, lit er all y, rudy with his hands in his pants.”

The film, including Giuliani’s scene, was released Friday on Amazon. Was the media being fair while describing the scene between Giuliani and the actress? You can decide for yourself:

https://twitter.com/RexChapman/status/1319497602900152320

Following the Wednesday reports suggesting the scene was indecent and inappropriate, Giuliani tweeted his version of events and called it “a complete fabrication.” The former mayor of New York City suggested the photo showing him with his hand down his pants was taken out of context.

“The Borat video is a complete fabrication. I was tucking in my shirt after taking off the recording equipment,” Giuliani tweeted. “At no time before during, or after the interview was I ever inappropriate. If Sacha Baron Cohen implies otherwise he is a stone-cold liar.”

https://dailycaller.com/2020/10/23/watch-rudy-giuliani-scene-borat-decide-yourself-media-fair/

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'I'm Doing a Great Job': AOC Proud That Trump Considers Her 'Public Enemy No. 1'

By Mica Soellner

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/author/mica-soellner

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she takes pride in how President Trump has cast her as a villain.

In an interview with Jane Fonda, the New York Democrat said Trump's disdain for her is a positive thing, given the two's nearly polar opposite approaches to governing.

"I consider it a little badge of honor," Ocasio-Cortez said. "If the worst and most authoritarian borderline or probably actually fascistic president in modern history considers me public enemy No. 1, I think that's a good thing. I'm doing a great job."

Ocasio-Cortez is a favorite target among conservative pundits, Republicans, and Trump over what they view as her radical liberal ideas. Trump took aim at her ambitious proposals to combat climate change in the final debate on Thursday, arguing that the freshman congresswoman doesn't know anything about the climate.

“If you look at his plan, his environmental plan, you know who developed it?” Trump said. “AOC plus three. They know nothing about the climate," he added, referring to the "Squad" of liberal freshman congresswoman that are rounded out by Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley.

The New York Democrat was elected in 2018 after a nationally recognized upset over 10-term incumbent Democrat Joe Crawley in the primary.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/im-doing-a-great-job-aoc-proud-that-trump-considers-her-public-enemy-no-1

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Judge Blocks Government Request to Remove Chinese App WeChat From App Stores

By Haley Victory Smith

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/author/haley-victory-smith

A federal judge in San Francisco blocked an effort from the Justice Department to remove the Chinese app WeChat from American app stores.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler denied on Friday a DOJ request that she reverse her September decision to block a Commerce Department order that would have required the removals.

The Justice Department attempted to present new evidence that the app presents a national security threat. Beeler determined the new information was not enough to change her mind.

The DOJ appealed the decision to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, but a decision on the matter is unlikely to come before December.

"The record does not support the conclusion that the government has ‘narrowly tailored’ the prohibited transactions to protect its national-security interests," Beeler wrote. She added that the evidence "supports the conclusion that the restrictions 'burden substantially more speech than is necessary to further the government’s legitimate interests.'"

WeChat is a Chinese social media app that allows users to communicate in a variety of different ways. It has 19 million daily active users in the United States and is primarily popular among those with ties to China.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/judge-blocks-government-request-to-remove-chinese-app-wechat-from-app-stores

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Muslim Group Says Cuomo Is Targeting And Unjustly Blaming Jewish Communities For Coronavirus Spread

By Marlo Safi

https://dailycaller.com/author/marlo/

Multiple Muslim groups rebuked Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in an amicus curiae brief supporting Jewish parents suing Cuomo over restrictions targeting religious schools in Orthodox Jewish communities.

The Muslim Public Affairs Council, Religious Freedom Institute’s Islam and Religious Freedom Action Team, and Asma Uddin wrote a brief that supported a complaint that was filed Oct. 16, and that alleges Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio discriminated against Jews by prohibiting in-person instruction at Jewish schools throughout the city.

The brief described historical accounts of “scapegoating” religious minorities in times of “sickness, war, and fear.” The Muslim groups cite the discrimination of numerous religions throughout history, including Muslims after 9/11 and Jews during the Black Death, as examples, and added that Cuomo’s actions resemble past instances of scapegoating.

“Latest in a long and troubling line of such incidents are the statements and policies of Governor Cuomo blaming Orthodox Jewish communities for the spread of COVID-19 and specifically targeting them for closures and restrictions, all despite a dearth of evidence,” the brief says.

In early October, Cuomo was allowed by a federal judge to enact new restrictions on gatherings at synagogues and at other houses of worship, after arguments that Cuomo was targeting religious minorities with the order. He said that it was “the last thing I want to do” and that the move was “right on the line of government intrusion on religion,” according to the New York Times.

Multiple Jewish congregations are suing the governor and state over his alleged “streak of anti-Semitic discrimination.”

https://dailycaller.com/2020/10/23/muslim-group-amicus-curiae-brief-targeting-jewish-community-new-york-andrew-cuomo/

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BLM Activists Assault Woman, Damage Cars in California Protest

By Bob Price

https://www.breitbart.com/author/bob-price/

An anti-police protester attacked a woman in her car while another man scratched her car with a key, according to a video posted on Twitter. In a second video, another vehicle is keyed as the driver attempts to pull away from the protesters in San Bernardino, California.

Protesters blocked traffic in San Bernardino and vandalized cars caught up in the roadway blockage. A video tweeted by journalist Drew Hernandez shows one of the protesters punching a woman in the face. A second man reaches out and keys the side of her car.

In a second video, Hernandes shows a man keying another car as the driver attempts to flee the protest area.

The sound of the key scratching the side of the car can be heard as the driver pulls away.

Protesters came out after news broke of a San Bernardino police officer shooting an armed black man. Police officials reacted quickly and released video of the shooting that clearly shows the man fighting with the police officer and then pulling a gun from his wasteband.

The officer shoots in self-defense as the man begins to turn with the gun visible in his hand toward the officer.

https://www.breitbart.com/law-and-order/2020/10/23/watch-blm-activists-assault-woman-damage-cars-in-california-protest/

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Europe Becomes Second Region to Cross 250,000 Deaths as Second COVID Wave Hits

By Anurag Maan

https://www.reuters.com/journalists/anurag-maan

Europe became the second region after Latin America to surpass 250,000 deaths on Saturday, according to a Reuters tally, with record numbers of daily COVID-19 infections reported in the past two weeks.

Europe reported 200,000 daily infections for the first time on Thursday, as many Southern European countries this week reported their highest number of cases in a single day.

Europe accounts for nearly 19% of global deaths and about 22% of global cases, according to a Reuters tally.

The United Kingdom, Italy, France, Russia, Belgium and Spain account for nearly two-thirds of about 250,000 deaths registered until now from a total of about 8 million cases across Europe.

The United Kingdom leads Europe’s death toll with about 45,000 deaths, followed by Italy, Spain, France and Russia. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday Britain cannot rely on a vaccine and will need to use other measures to slow the pandemic.

Based on last seven-days daily reported average deaths, Russia is reporting 250 deaths per day, Europe’s highest toll, followed by the United Kingdom and France with about 143 deaths each.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-europe-casualties/europe-becomes-second-region-to-cross-250000-deaths-as-second-covid-wave-hits-idUSKBN2790FO

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Joe Biden: 8-Year-Olds Should Be Allowed to Decide They’re Transgender

By Joel B. Pollak

https://www.breitbart.com/author/joel-b-pollak/

Former Vice President Joe Biden said during a town hall hosted by ABC News on Thursday night that eight-year-olds should be allowed to decide that they are transgender.

Mieke Hacke, a voter from Pennsylvania, asked Biden the following “question”:

Haeck: I’m the proud mom of two girls, eight and ten. My youngest daughter is transgender. The Trump administration has attacked the rights of transgender people, banning them from military service, weakening nondiscrimination protections, and even removing the word “transgender” from some government websites. How will you, as president, reverse this dangerous and discriminatory agenda and ensure that the lives and rights of LGBTQ people are protected under U.S. law?

Biden: I will flat-out just change the law. Eliminate those executive orders, number one. You may recall, I’m the guy who said — I was raised by a man who, I remember, I was being dropped off, my dad was a high school-educated, well-read man who was a really decent guy, and I was being dropped off to get an application in the center of our city, Wilmington, Delaware, the corporate capital of the world at the time, and these two men are getting out to get an application to be a lifeguard in the African-American community, because there was a big swimming pool complex. And these two men, well-dressed, leaned up and hugged one another and kissed one another. I’m getting out of the car at the light, and I turned to my dad, andmy dad looked at me, he said, Joey, it’s simple. They love each other. The idea that an 8-year-old child, a 10-year-old child, decides, you know, I want to be transgender, that’s what I think I’d like to be, it’d make my life a lot easier — there should be zero discrimination. And what’s happening is, too many transgender women of color are being murdered. They’re being murdered. I mean, I think it’s up to now 17, don’t hold me to that number. But — it’s higher now?

Haeck: Yes.

Biden: And that’s just this year. And so, I promise you, there is no reason to suggest that there should be any right denied your daughter or daughters, whichever, one or two —

Haeck: One.

Biden: — oneyour daughter, that your other daughter has a right to be and do. None. Zero. And by the way, my son, Beau, passed away, was the attorney general of the State of Delaware. he was the guy that got the first transgender law passed in the state of Delaware and because of a young man who became a woman, who worked for him in the attorney general’s office. And I’m proud of that.

Beau Biden, who was the attorney general of Delaware, supported the state’s non-discrimination law, though he did not technically pass it himself.

https://www.breitbart.com/2020-election/2020/10/15/joe-biden-8-year-olds-should-be-allowed-to-decide-theyre-transgender/

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Minneapolis Residents Sue City For Failing To Adequately Staff Police Amid Crime Surge

By Marlo Safi

https://dailycaller.com/author/marlo/

Several Minneapolis residents went to court Monday, where they sued the city for failing to adequately staff police amid a rise in violent crime, WCCO reported Tuesday.

“Every single night on any block in this neighborhood you can hear gunshots!” plaintiff Cathy Spann said, according to WCCO. “Every single freaking night!”

Spann, who lives in the Jordan neighborhood of Minneapolis, was among the residents asking the city for more police protection. The judge heard their pleas for help in court Monday. City attorneys claimed that the lawsuit had no standing because the plaintiffs had not been hit by gunfire themselves.

“We walked outside and I pulled this bullet out of my house. Out of my home, out of my siding,” Resident Jon Lundberg, another plaintiff, said, according to WCCO.

Former city council member Don Samuels and his wife Sondra are among the plaintiffs, and were offended by the city attorney’s claim.

“To get standing we need to take a bullet, right? We’ve seen our neighbors take bullets. We know the 20 year old, we know the six month old who’s in the car when her mom gets shot up,” Sondra Samuels said, according to WCCO.

The plaintiffs blame the Minneapolis City Council’s efforts to defund the police for the rise in violence, and the attorney representing the plaintiffs, James Dickey, says the city would not say how many officers are on the street. A city charter says a minimum of 753 officers are needed to protect residents, according to WCCO.

https://dailycaller.com/2020/10/20/minneapolis-residents-sue-city-defund-police-crime-surge/

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University of Utah Agrees 21-Year-Old Student’s Murder Was 'Preventable,' Will Pay Parents $13.5m

By: Bradford Betz

https://muckrack.com/bradford-betz

The University of Utah on Thursday agreed to pay out $13.5 million to the parents of Lauren McCluskey, the 21-year-old track athlete who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend on campus two years ago.

The settlement was announced by McCluskey’s parents and University of Utah President Ruth Watkins at a joint news conference in Salt Lake City. It comes on the second anniversary of her death.

McCluskey, 21 of Pullman, Washington, had contacted university police more than 20 times to report harassment by the man she had dated before she was found fatally shot in a car near on-campus student housing in October 2018.

An independent review commissioned by the university found multiple missed warning signs before McCluskey was killed by 37-year-old Melvin Shawn Rowland after she dumped him because she discovered he had been lying about his name, age and status as a sex offender. Rowland took his own life after the attack as police tracked him down.

Watkins acknowledged that the university didn't handle the woman's case properly.

>>“We failed Lauren and her family,” Watkins said. “If these employees had more complete training and protocols to guide their responses, the university believes they would have been better equipped to protect Lauren.”

In the written settlement, the university agreed “the murder of Lauren McCluskey was a brutal, senseless, and preventable tragedy.”

The acknowledgment marked a shift from what Watkins said in December 2018 when she said that she hadn't found anything in an initial review of the case to indicate McCluskey’s death could have been prevented.

Jill and Matt McCluskey bristled at those comments and sued the university in 2019, seeking $56 million while claiming the college was negligent in failing to protect their daughter.

The case brought new national attention to campus safety and dating-violence issues at universities, prompting several changes at the University of Utah.

>>The university will pay the McCluskeys $10.5 million and give another $3 million to a foundation founded in their daughter's name that is designed to improve campus safety and help collegiate track athletes and animal shelters. An indoor track facility will also be built and named after Lauren McCluskey as part of the settlement.

The McCluskey's said all the money will go to the Lauren McCluskey foundation.

>>“This settlement is important for many reasons,” Jill McCluskey said. “It addresses how Lauren died, but it also honors how she lived."

https://www.foxnews.com/us/university-utah-students-murder-preventable-pay-parents-13-million

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Piers Morgan Blasts Media Silence Over Hunter Biden Scandal: Imagine if It Was Don Jr.'s Laptop

By: Charles Creitz

https://muckrack.com/charles-creitz

Piers Morgan slammed the mainstream media for continuing to ignore the Hunter Biden email scandal, telling "Tucker Carlson Tonight" that true journalists do not allow their personal biases to affect what or how they report.

Morgan, co-host of "Good Morning Britain" with Susanna Reid, said journalists have an obligation to cover news fairly and to investigate potentially important claims to determine their veracity no matter their personal viewpoint.

>>"[I]t doesn't matter what side you're on here. Journalism, freedom of speech, dictates the First Amendment dictates that when a story like this drops, and it's not being denied by the people it's accusing for six days now, clearly there is something there that they want to hide," he said.

>>"The job of a newspaper, of a television network, of anybody, frankly, in the media, who believes in freedom of speech and believes in journalism is to go and investigate the allegations the New York Post has made."

Morgan added that technology companies like Twitter and Facebook are outside their lane when they show an "instinctive reaction" to suppress elements of stories for one reason or another, and said that both tech giants and mainstream media would indeed be intentionally drawing attention to the scandal if 50-year-old Hunter Biden were 41-year-old Donald Trump Jr.

>>"Imagine if we switched the names around. Imagine if the story was about Donald Trump Jr. and Donald Trump. What would be happening? Do you think that the tech giants would be suppressing the story would the mainstream media be ignoring the story and say that it's all just an unfair smear on the Trumps?"

Morgan remarked that he considers himself a "liberal" but often wonders what has happened within the left-wing political movement.

>>"What is going on when liberals want to attack and suppress freedom of speech?" he asked, calling the situation a "conspiracy" to make Hunter's story go away.

>>"If Joe Biden was to win does he think the story goes away? Of course it doesn't," he continued, calling on the elder Biden to speak openly about the scandal – adding that he sees similar incidents occur in his home United Kingdom.

https://www.foxnews.com/media/piers-morgan-blasts-media-silence-over-hunter-biden-scandal-imagine-if-it-was-don-jrs-laptop

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Obama Urges Voters Not to Skip U.S. Election While Campaigning for Biden

By: Alexandra Jaffe

https://muckrack.com/alexandra-jaffe-ap

Former U.S. President Barack Obama made his first in-person campaign pitch Wednesday for his former vice-president, Joe Biden, urging voters in Philadelphia — especially Black men — not to sit out the election and risk reelecting President Donald Trump.

>>“The pandemic would have been tough for any president,” Obama said at an afternoon roundtable with 14 Black men. But he asked the group to consider “the degree of incompetence and misinformation, the number of people who might not have died had we just done the basics.”

Obama presented Biden and his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, as ready to confront the coronavirus pandemic. Obama was slated to address a drive-in rally later Wednesday.

>>“I am so confident in Joe Biden and Kamala Harris surrounding themselves with people who are serious, who know what they’re doing, who are representative of all people — not just some people — and us being able to then dig ourselves out of this hole,” Obama said.

The significance of the roundtable was difficult to miss: The nation’s first Black president urged Black men especially not to give into apathy. The host city, Philadelphia, is among the Democratic bastions in battleground states where Black turnout four years ago fell off from Obama’s 2012 reelection in large enough numbers to flip key states to Trump’s column and deliver him the presidency.

Obama, 59, said he understood young voters’ skepticism and disinterest, recalling his own attitude decades ago. “I’ll confess, when I was 20 years old, I wasn’t all that woke,” he said, adding that young Black men are “not involved because they’re young and they’re distracted.”

But he said not voting gives away power.

>>“The answer for young people when I talk to them is not that voting makes everything perfect,” Obama said. “It’s that it makes things better” because politicians respond to and reflect the citizens who cast votes.

>>“One of the biggest tricks that’s perpetrated on the American people is this idea that the government is separate from you,” Obama said. “The government’s us. Of, by and for the people. It wasn’t always for all of us, but the way it’s designed, it works based on who’s at the table.”

Four years ago, Obama delivered Hillary Clinton’s closing argument in the same city — at a rally for thousands the night before Election Day on Independence Mall. Now, with the coronavirus pandemic upending campaigning, far fewer voters will see the former president in person.

The format reflects the challenge Democrats face in boosting enthusiasm and getting out the vote in a year when they’ve eschewed big rallies in favour of small, socially distanced events, drawing a contrast with Trump and Republicans on the coronavirus.

Despite the smaller scale, Democrats say that as one of the men who knows Biden best, both as his former partner in the White House and personally, Obama remains one of the party’s greatest assets in the final stretch of the campaign.

>>“Especially in Philadelphia, he is the ultimate draw and still a great standard-bearer for Democrats,” said former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.

Obama’s visit to Philadelphia underscores the significance of Pennsylvania, the swing state that Biden himself has visited the most this campaign season. Trump has prioritized the state, as well, recognizing how narrow his path to victory would be without it.

Obama has already been helpful to the Biden campaign, adapting to the shift to virtual events by focusing much of his work on getting younger Americans to vote. He’s appeared on Twitch, the video game streaming platform, pushed a voter registration message on Snapchat and recorded a video for the Shade Room, a Black-owned Instagram page and media company with 21 million followers.

Obama has appeared on two podcasts run by some of his former aides and has lent his name to texts and emails encouraging supporters to register to vote and donate money to the campaign. Obama has also been a big money draw for the campaign — he appeared at two virtual fundraisers with Harris this month and a handful prior to that. A grassroots virtual fundraiser Obama headlined with Biden in June brought in $7.6 million.

Obama has also been active for down-ballot Democrats, raising money for House Democrats and appearing in ads for some of the party’s top candidates, like Sara Gideon, running for the Senate in Maine, and for vulnerable incumbents, like Michigan Sen. Gary Peters. And he filmed a series of digital videos for the Democratic National Committee emphasizing the need for voters to make plans for casting their ballot.

>>“He’s doing enough for our campaign,” Biden told reporters before boarding a flight in New Castle, Delaware, last week. “He’ll be out on the trail, and he’s doing well.”

https://globalnews.ca/news/7412046/obama-biden-us-election-voting/

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Kimberley Strassel: The Biden 'Family Legacy'

By: Kimberley A. Strassel

https://muckrack.com/kimberly-strassel

Joe Biden has a problem, and his name is Hunter. Because the former vice president hasn’t had to answer any questions on this topic, that problem could soon become America’s.

That’s the reality now that a former business partner of Hunter Biden’s has come forward to provide the ugly details of the “family brand.” Tony Bobulinski, a Navy veteran and institutional investor, has provided the Journal emails and text messages associated with his time as CEO of Sinohawk Holdings, a venture between the Bidens and CEFC China Energy, a Shanghai-based conglomerate. That correspondence corroborates and expands on emails recently published by the New York Post, which says they come from a Hunter laptop.

In a statement, Mr. Bobulinski said he went public because he wants to clear his name, which was contained in those published emails, and because accusations that the information is fake or “Russian disinformation” are “offensive.” He attests that all the correspondence he provided is genuine, including documents that suggest Hunter was cashing in on the Biden name and that Joe Biden was involved. Mr. Bobulinski says he was also alarmed by a September report from Sen. Ron Johnson that “connected some dots” on the CEFC deal, causing him now to believe the Bidens sold out their U.S. partners.

Mr. Bobulinski’s text messages show he was recruited for the project by James Gilliar, a Hunter associate. Mr. Gilliar explains in a December 2015 text that there will be a deal between the Chinese and “one of the most prominent families from the U.S.” A month later he introduces Rob Walker, also “a partner of Biden.” In March 2016, Mr. Gilliar tells Mr. Bobulinski the Chinese entity is CEFC, which is shaping up to be “the Goldmans of China.” Mr. Gilliar promises that same month to “develop” the terms of a deal “with hunter.” Note that in 2015-16, Joe Biden was still vice president.

https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/biden-family-legacy-kimberley-strassel

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Scene From Upcoming ‘Borat’ Film Shows Rudy Giuliani With His Hands Down His Pants - Disputed

By Andrew Trunsky

https://dailycaller.com/author/Andrew+Trunsky/

Rudy Giuliani says allegations he was inappropriate in front of a woman in Sacha Baron Cohen’s upcoming film are false.

The encounter between President Donald Trump’s personal attorney and an actor posing as a broadcast journalist took place following an interview for a fake conservative news program between them. The two entered the hotel room, which was bugged with multiple hidden cameras, at her suggestion, The Guardian reported.

Giuliani is seen lying on the bed, adjusting his shirt and reaching toward his pants before being interrupted by Cohen, disguised as Borat, who runs in and says: “She’s 15. She’s too old for you.”

Giuliani denied Wednesday evening that any indiscretion occurred.

“The Borat video is a complete fabrication. I was tucking in my shirt after taking off the recording equipment,” he tweeted. “At no time before during, or after the interview was I ever inappropriate. If Sacha Baron Cohen implies otherwise he is a stone-cold liar.”

Mother Jones’s Ben Dreyfuss tweeted that Giuliani’s reach into his pants was not sexual, but that the lawyer meant to tuck his shirt in after it had been loosened.

“I have now seen the scene with Rudy Giuliani,” Dreyfuss tweeted. “He does not have his hands down his pants in a sexual way. He is tucking his shirt back in after she unticks it removing his mic.”

https://dailycaller.com/2020/10/21/rudy-giuliani-allegedly-filmed-touching-genitals-borat-sequel/

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Matthew McConaughey Rips Cancel Culture, Says ‘You Can’t Erase Someone’s Entire Existence’

By David Hookstead

https://dailycaller.com/author/david.hookstead/

Matthew McConaughey isn’t a fan of cancel culture at all.

McConaughey has been making the media rounds to promote his new book “Greenlights,” and his appearance on “The Joe Rogan Experience” is worth listening to if you want a refreshing take on cancel culture.

“We’re making people persona non grata because of something they do that is right now deemed wrong or it’s the hot point in a hot topic right now. You can’t erase someone’s entire existence. Where the heck does some forgiveness go,” McConaughey said while discussing religion and canceling people with Joe Rogan.

https://dailycaller.com/2020/10/22/matthew-mcconaughey-joe-rogan-religion-cancel-culture/

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Student Suspended for Wearing Pro-Trump Clothing Sues Pennsylvania School District

By Katherine Rodriguez

https://www.breitbart.com/author/katherine-rodriguez/

A Pennsylvania high school student who claims she was suspended for wearing clothing supportive of President Donald Trump is suing her school district in federal court.

The 15-year-old student, Morgan Earnest, who attends Mifflin County High School in Lewistown, claimed an October 1 policy administrators established barring political speech on masks and other articles of clothing violated her rights to free speech and due process of law under the Constitution, Penn Live reported.

Earnest wore a “Trump 2020 Keep America Great” t-shirt, and a “Women for Trump” mask on October 12 when administrators told her to flip the shirt and the mask inside-out or face repercussions, according to a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

When Earnest refused, administrators suspended her from school and sent her home, according to the lawsuit.

“The district’s representatives further communicated that she would be sent home if she ever wore a mask or T-shirt expressing a political viewpoint again,” the lawsuit states.

The district’s policy also banned clothing depicting Confederate flags, Black Lives Matter logos, and swastikas.

Earnest claimed she wore the pro-Trump clothing to school without incident on two separate occasions this year.

Penn Live reported that Earnest is seeking an unspecified amount in damages, a judge ruling to revoke her suspension, and a statute that prohibits school administrators from enforcing the policy.

Mifflin County School District Superintendent Jim Estep disagreed with Earnest’s claims mentioned in the lawsuit.

https://www.breitbart.com/education/2020/10/22/student-suspended-wearing-pro-trump-clothing-sues-pennsylvania-school-district/

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Russian Hackers Are Targeting State and Local Networks, US Officials Warn

By Mica Soellner

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/author/mica-soellner

Russian hackers have recently targeted dozens of state and local governments and have stolen data from at least two servers, according to U.S. officials.

A joint bulletin from the FBI and the Homeland Security Department was posted on Thursday and comes less than two weeks away from Election Day and months after an initial warning was released by intelligence officials regarding disinformation campaigns and election security risks coming from Russia, China, and Iran.

The warning didn't mention any of the specific victims who were targeted, but officials said they don't have any knowledge of election or government operations being affected.

"However, the actor may be seeking access to obtain future disruption options, to influence U.S. policies and actions, or to delegitimize (state and local) government entities," the advisory added.

Chris Krebs, director of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, said that the alert was issued to scan country networks for any holes or vulnerabilities in their system, adding that there was access in a couple limited cases to election-related networks.

During a press conference on Wednesday, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe announced that Iran and Russia had obtained some voter registration information and that Tehran is using that data to send spoofed emails designed to harm President Trump in the election.

Ratcliffe, along with FBI Director Chris Wray, added that no votes were compromised in their findings and U.S. voters should not be concerned about the security of their system.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/russian-hackers-are-targeting-state-and-local-networks-us-officials-warn

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In More-Civil Debate, Biden Still on Defense

By Emily Larsen

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/author/emily-larsen

Joe Biden was able to get a word in edgewise in his second and final debate against President Trump. But even with the help of changed debate rules that muted each candidate's microphone during the debate, the former vice president often found himself on defense.

Thursday's debate had far fewer interruptions from Trump — a dynamic that dominated the first debate. And in what was an apparent attempt to get ahead of expected attacks from Trump on the topic of emails found on the laptop purportedly belonging to his son Hunter Biden and given to media outlets by Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Joe Biden raised the topic himself.

"His buddy, Rudy Giuliani, he's being used as a Russian pawn. He's being fed information that is Russian, that is not true," Joe Biden said. (One of the people on some of the emails, Tony Bobulinski, has confirmed the authenticity of some of the communications and provided additional communications about Hunter Biden's business dealings.)

Trump hit back with his own jabs on the topic of Hunter Biden, but the exchange may not have been enough to move any voter opinions.

"From my perspective, a lot of that was a back-and-forth about both of them being corrupt," John Koch, director of debate at Vanderbilt University, told the Washington Examiner. "To me that kind of played out as a wash."

Pointed questions from debate moderator Kristen Welker of NBC also kept Joe Biden on his toes. She noted that deportations surged under Obama. "So why should voters trust you with an immigration overhaul?" she asked.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/in-more-civil-debate-biden-still-on-defense

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Commentators From Across The Spectrum Praise Kristen Welker As Debate Moderator

By Shelby Talcott

https://dailycaller.com/author/Shelby+Talcott/

Commentators from both sides of the spectrum praised debate moderator Kristen Welker of NBC News for Thursday’s final presidential debate, especially following moderator Chris Wallace’s performance.

Welker kept a tight leash during Thursday’s debate and many appeared to appreciate it following the debate with Wallace – which he noted went “off the tracks.” Thursday’s debate also had each candidates’ microphone muted for the first two-minute response.

“Welker overall doing an excellent job thus far,” commentator Ben Shapiro tweeted.

NBC News Capitol Hill correspondent Kasie Hunt wrote that Welker “has worked harder than everybody else every day of her life” and said the “honest hard work” has paid off.

“I’m beaming watching Kristen Welker,” PBS White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor tweeted. “Such an amazing moment for her and for all who know of her hard work and dedication to journalism. Go girl!”

“Update: Kristen Welker is killing it ya’ll,” she later added.

Reporter Yashar Ali tweeted that Welker “had an impossible task tonight and she did a fantastic job. He added that she was “the best debate moderator in the last two cycles.” Earlier in the evening, Ali tweeted that she “is crisp and fresh as a moderator,” adding that “she’s doing a great job.”

https://dailycaller.com/2020/10/22/commentators-praise-kristen-welker-debate-moderator/

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Taiwanese Official Lays Out China’s Plan to ‘Terminate Taiwan as It Is’

By John Hayward

https://www.breitbart.com/author/john-hayward/

Gen. Vincent Wen-fan Chen, deputy director of Taiwan’s National Security Bureau, warned in the current issue of the Indo-Pacific Defense Forum magazine that Communist China is moving forward on a long-established plan to solve its Taiwanese “problem” by “terminating Taiwan as it is.”

Chen said Taiwan is standing on the front lines against Chinese influence operations across the Pacific region.

Building on remarks he made in an October 2019 speech, Chen said Taiwan occupies a “unique” position similar to Ukraine and the Baltic states hovering on the edge of Russia’s sphere of influence, but Taiwan is geographically alone in facing “the most powerful party-state in history” in a struggle between “liberal democracy and totalitarian dictatorship.”

“From the perspective of cognitive warfighting, defined as the capacity to weaponize knowledge, Taiwan has a unique vulnerability because Mandarin Chinese is the common language for both China and Taiwan,” he noted.

“With the unrestrained resources in centralized policy at its discretion, Beijing could easily monopolize or overwhelm the Chinese-speaking audience to achieve the PRC’s goal of subliminal cognition manipulation,” he said, noting that Chinese journalists are literally required to pass tests to prove they understand and can regurgitate Communist ideology.

In addition to this information warfare and the worldwide “digital Leninism” engineered by dictator Xi Jinping, Chen said the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is determined to “appropriate modern global means of production” to achieve its political goals and spread its ideology. He named China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a massive international infrastructure program also known as One Belt, One Road, as a primary means of using economic power to spread the CCP’s influence.

“Through its investment in think tanks, social organizations, and elite of other countries using Confucius Institutes, the CCP broadened its foreign influence to cultivate a pro-China public opinion in the world,” Chen wrote. The U.S. Department of Education just released a troubling report about the extent of China’s influence over American higher education through financial “gifts” and the Confucius Institutes program.

https://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2020/10/22/taiwanese-official-china-plan-terminate-taiwan/

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China Says U.S. Bullying Countries to Pick Sides, Attempt Will Not Succeed

The United States is bullying countries to pick sides over their ties to China, but such efforts will not succeed, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a news briefing on Friday.

The United States is urging Sri Lanka to make “difficult but necessary choices” to secure its economic independence instead of choosing opaque practices, a senior State Department official said on Thursday, in an apparent reference at China deepening its influence over the South Asian country.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-srilanka-china-pompeo/china-says-u-s-bullying-countries-to-pick-sides-attempt-will-not-succeed-idUSKBN2780Z0

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Trump Can Still Win the U.S. Election, Despite Lagging in the Polls: Experts

By: Katie Dangerfield

https://muckrack.com/katie-dangerfield

U.S. President Donald Trump continues to lag behind Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in the polls, even in key battleground states, but experts warn that does not mean there is a clear winner.

Political analyst websites, FiveThirtyEight and Decision Desk HQ both project Biden as the winner of the 2020 U.S. election.

But turn back the clock four years ago, and Democratic leader Hillary Clinton was also predicted to win the election.

Two weeks from the 2016 election, Clinton had a 6.1 per cent lead over Trump, according to national polls from the time.

But 2016 showed that national leads can be irrelevant, as the number of votes you win is less important than where you win them. Winning the battleground states is a far more likely way to secure an overall victory, according to Clifford Young, president of Ipsos Public Affairs.

>>“It’s trending Biden in the polls, but the lead in some states is about the same as Clinton had in 2016, so there’s a lot of uncertainty,” he said.

Although Clinton gained nearly 2.9 million more votes than Trump in 2016, he was able to claim victory in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, which was enough to grab the presidency.

The latest national polls from Global Strategy Group, (conducted Oct. 15-19), show that Trump’s approval ratings are in the negative on everything from the economy to the handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Forty-seven per cent of respondents disapproved of his handling of the economy, 57 per cent disapproved of his handling of the pandemic and 54 per cent disapproved of how he handled the protests stemming from George Floyd’s death.

An Ipsos Reid survey out of the U.S. (Oct. 13-19), asked respondents, “if the 2020 presidential election were held today, who would you vote for?”

Thirty-eight per cent said Trump and 46.2 per cent said Biden. The age demographic that gave Trump the most support was aged 65 and over (41. 3 per cent). Respondents aged 18-24 were more likely to favour Biden (54.8 per cent).

And the latest poll (conducted Oct. 15-18) from The New York Times and Siena College shows Biden holding a nine-point lead over Trump.

Biden’s campaign manager, Jen O’Malley Dillon, recently warned supporters that despite the Democrat’s strong poll numbers, winning is still not set in stone.

>>“There is still a long way to go in this campaign,” O’Malley Dillon said on Twitter on Oct. 14. “We think this race is far closer than folks on this website (Twitter) think. Like a lot closer.”

Predicting the outcome of a presidential election can be difficult as you don’t know who will actually show up to cast a ballot, who will change their mind last minute and who “lied” to pollsters.

For example, in examining what went wrong with the 2016 polls, Pew Research Center looked at a variety of reasons, including that some respondents may not be honest when answering polls, the nonpartisan think tank stated.

>>“Some have also suggested that many of those who were polled simply were not honest about whom they intended to vote for,” Pew Research Center stated. “The idea of so-called ‘shy Trumpers’ suggests that support for Trump was socially undesirable, and that his supporters were unwilling to admit their support to pollsters.”

However, Pew Research said this theory “might account for a small amount of the error in 2016 polls, but it was not among the main reasons.”

Simon Palamar, a research fellow at Centre for International Governance Innovation, told Global News in 2016 that because many polls are still conducted over the phone, they can be skewed by voters who don’t want to talk with pollsters.

>>“Let’s say you believe the polls are rigged and you like Trump — you might consciously and deliberately decide not to respond to pollsters,” Palamar said. “That will systematically omit a certain type of person from the poll.”

The final debate between Trump and Biden is scheduled to take place Thursday evening and under new rules: the candidates’ microphones will be muted for a portion of it.

The two will share the stage three weeks after the first debate, which was dominated by Trump’s constant interrupting, a tactic that appeared to have hurt him, according to polls.

>>“Debates don’t always have a huge impact on the election,” Young said, adding that after Trump’s first performance, he “needs to win this debate, and Biden does not.”

Thursday’s final debate gives Trump an ability to pick up some momentum and “activate his base,” Young said.

>>“There aren’t any more persuadable (voters). Getting people to vote will be Trump’s focus,” he said.

Most U.S. states safely lean Republican or Democratic before the election even begins. But every federal election a few “swing states” are up for grabs, which usually determine who wins the Electoral College.

There are six big swing states in the 2020 election. Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Florida, and North Carolina are the states that are viewed as most likely to determine the outcome.

The biggest chance Trump has at winning the election is by securing the battleground states specifically in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida, Young said.

>>“These four states are essential,” he explained. “Florida is big and is increasingly getting larger as the state’s population is growing. Historically, the state usually decides who the president is. If Florida goes Biden, then it’s over for Trump.”

Trump won Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida in the 2016 election, but by a very thin margin.

>>“Ultimately he will need these swing states to be able to take the election,” Young said.

The latest polling (conducted Oct. 13-19) from Reuters/Ipsos shows that Trump appeared to cut into Biden’s lead in Pennsylvania, one of the election’s most important battlegrounds. However, Biden has secured a solid lead in Wisconsin, another key swing state.

Here is a look at the latest polling from Ipsos and how it compared to 2016.

Pennsylvania

• Voting for Biden: 49 per cent

• Voting for Trump: 45 per cent

Clinton was up seven percentage points in 2016. Trump won with a 0.7 percentage point.

Wisconsin

• Voting for Biden: 51 per cent

• Voting for Trump: 43 per cent

Clinton was up six percentage points in 2016. Trump won with a 0.7 percentage point.

Florida

• Voting for Biden: 49 per cent

• Voting for Trump: 47 per cent

Clinton was up 3.5 percentage points in 2016. Trump won with a 1.2 percentage point.

Michigan

• Voting for Biden: 51 per cent

• Voting for Trump: 43 per cent

Clinton was up 11.4 percentage points in 2016. Trump won with a 0.3 percentage point.

Despite Biden’s lead, Nick Gourevitch, a partner at Global Strategy Group who has been polling on the presidential race, told the Washington Post that a Trump win is still “within the realm of possibility.”

>>“I don’t know anyone in my Democratic pollster world who is sitting 100 per cent comfortably or anything like that,” Gourevitch said.

But Young warns that the political landscape has changed dramatically in four years, so people should be “careful” when trying to compare the two elections.

>>“2016 was in 2016 — a lot has happened since then. But if anything, what happened four years ago should give us all a pause … at the end of the day it’s about activating your base and getting people to vote,” he said.

https://globalnews.ca/news/7409975/poll-experts-trump-win-possible/

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2nd Grand Juror in Breonna Taylor Case Criticizes Kentucky Attorney General’s Conduct

By: Dylan Lovan

https://muckrack.com/dylanlovan

A second person who served on the Breonna Taylor grand jury is criticizing Kentucky’s attorney general for the way the proceedings were conducted.

The anonymous statement released Thursday reiterated another grand juror’s earlier publicized complaint that the panel was only able to consider endangerment charges against one officer for shooting into Taylor’s neighbour’s apartment.

The first grand juror, who has also remained anonymous, won a court fight this week to address the public about the secret proceedings.

In Thursday’s statement, released by Louisville attorney Kevin Glogower, the second grand juror said they agree “wholeheartedly with the statement released by anonymous grand juror #1.”

The first grand juror said they wanted to consider other charges against the officers, but were told “there would be none because the prosecutors didn’t feel they could make them stick.”

The jurors’ statements contradict Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s assertion that the grand jury “agreed” the officers who shot Taylor were justified in returning fire after they were shot at by Taylor’s boyfriend. The first grand juror said the panel “didn’t agree that certain actions were justified.”

Cameron announced on Sept. 23 that none of the three officers who fired shots at Taylor’s apartment were charged by the grand jury in her death. The 12-member panel charged one officer with wanton endangerment for shooting into a nearby apartment.

Taylor, a Black emergency medical technician, was shot multiple times on March 13 by officers serving a narcotics warrant. Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, said he fired his gun when officers entered because he thought an intruder was breaking in. No drugs or cash were found at Taylor’s home.

https://globalnews.ca/news/7414711/breonna-taylor-2nd-grand-juror/

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UN Chief Appeals for Cease-Fires, Warns Pandemic Wins Wars

By: Edith M. Lederer

https://muckrack.com/edith-m-lederer

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations chief is appealing for cease-fires in the world’s major conflicts, from Yemen and Libya to Afghanistan and Nagorno-Karabakh, warning that if fighting continues “the only winner is the pandemic.”

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in an interview with The Associated Press that he was renewing his March 23 call for an immediate halt to all conflicts to tackle the coronavirus crisis and to spotlight the most serious global hotspots ahead of Saturday’s 75th anniversary of the entry into force of the U.N. Charter, which officially established the United Nations and is celebrated as U.N. Day.

>>“We need a massive support of the international community,” he said. “We need a massive support of all those who have an influence on the parties to the conflict to stop all those more dramatic situations of conflict until the end of the year.”

Guterres said his initial appeal won support from 180 U.N. member states, more than 800 civil society organizations, “and 20 armed groups that at least adopted some temporary truces.”

>>“But we still have a number of situations where the spoilers or the mistrust that existed has not allowed the cease-fire to materialize,” he said.

The secretary-general pointed to the newest conflict, between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, which lies within Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces since a 1994 war.

>>“In the last two weeks, COVID cases have doubled in Armenia and increased 80 percent in Azerbaijan,” he said in Wednesday’s AP interview. “Armenia is not winning. Azerbaijan is not winning. But COVID is winning. We need to stop.”

Guterres said the same holds true for the conflicts in Libya, Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, Africa’s Sahel region and elsewhere.

>>“I’m here to appeal to all of them to understand that there’s no way to win any war,” he said. “The only way is to join efforts for cease-fires, political talks and to defeat COVID. If not, the only winner is the pandemic.”

Guterres noted that initiatives by Russia and France have failed to halt fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh which began about four weeks ago.

>>“Let’s make sure” that after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s separate meetings with the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Washington on Friday “there is a cease-fire,” he said.

The secretary-general said there are also “some good signals,” pointing to cease-fires holding in Syria, Ukraine, Sudan and South Sudan, “so there are reasons to be optimistic.”

>>“In Libya, there is not a declared cease-fire but there is a standstill — the fighting has stopped,” he said. “And in Yemen, we are making a huge diplomatic effort to bring the parties together to come to a joint declaration with a cease-fire,” confidence-building measures in economic and social areas, and a re-start of political talks.

On the other hand, Guterres said, Afghanistan has seen an intensification of combat, but “at least peace talks have started.”

In Africa, while the Central African Republic is also “doing well,” he said “the most dramatic cases are the ones where terrorist organizations … do not respect any kind of appeal for cease-fire” and are taking advantage of the pandemic to intensify their actions.

Guterres said he’s very worried, for example, with what’s happening in the Sahel, the Lake Chad area, eastern Congo and Mozambique “where terrorist groups are intensifying their actions.”

Appealing for massive global support to achieve cease-fires, the secretary-general said the often-divided U.N. Security Council has come together on Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan and Armenia-Azerbaijan.

With the most important powers united, Guterres said, “what we need now is to make sure that the smaller spoilers do not undermine peace.”

The U.N. chief said that with global power relations less clear, “a number of small and medium-size actors started to get much more active in creating conflicts or in supporting parties to the conflict.”

Guterres said his hope is that the unity of the five veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council — the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France — on key conflicts “will help us put pressure on those that are still not yet convinced that there is no way that anyone can win a war.”

And he stressed again: “The only way is to stop the war, start the political process and not let the COVID become the only winner.”

https://www.rochesterfirst.com/news/international/un-chief-appeals-for-cease-fires-warns-pandemic-wins-wars/

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Judge Orders Release of Ghislaine Maxwell Transcripts in Jeffrey Epstein Sex Abuse Case

By: Larry Neumeister

https://muckrack.com/lneumeister

Transcripts of interviews lawyers conducted with the ex-girlfriend of the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein must be released by Thursday morning, a judge said Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska’s order allows the public release of transcripts of two days of depositions in 2016 of British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell and related documents, along with the deposition transcript of an anonymous accuser.

The judge briefly permitted the immediate release of the transcripts but reversed herself after an attorney for Maxwell made a late plea to delay the release. The lawyer cited objections to some redactions and said Maxwell had not had decided whether to further appeal an appellate ruling. Preska gave lawyers on each side until 9 a.m. Thursday to confer and release the transcripts.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan had ruled Monday that Preska properly decided that the public had a right to access documents from legal proceedings and that transcripts should be unsealed because arguments by Maxwell’s lawyers were meritless.

The depositions were taken as part of a lawsuit brought against Maxwell by Virginia Roberts Giuffre. Giuffre had accused Maxwell of aiding Epstein in the abuse of Giuffre before she was an adult. The lawsuit was eventually settled.

Lawyers for Maxwell, 58, had argued that the documents reflecting seven hours of interviews over two days should remain sealed, in part to protect her right to a fair trial in July on charges that she helped Epstein traffic and sexually abuse teenage girls in the 1990s.

They noted that portions of the transcripts relate to perjury charges in the indictment she faces. She has pleaded not guilty.

Maxwell has been incarcerated since her arrest in early July. If convicted, she could face up to 35 years in prison.

Meanwhile, prosecutors filed papers late Tuesday to insist that 40 pages of materials and 40 pictures related to women abused by Epstein after the period addressed in the indictment should not be released to defense lawyers until eight weeks before trial.

>>“The premature revelation of this information would give the defendant the opportunity to interfere with the Government’s investigation before it is complete. Such information could allow her to contact and intimidate witnesses, destroy evidence relevant to the investigation, or alert other targets of the investigation,” prosecutors wrote.

Maxwell’s lawyers have argued that the materials could be important to her defense and should be turned over sooner.

But prosecutors said showing the Maxwell was not part of the abuse of some women could not be used to argue she did not join the abuse of minors from 1994 to 1997.

>>“The Government has not charged Maxwell with being Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘madam’ and ‘principal facilitator of his abuse,’” they wrote.

Maxwell’s arrest came a year after Epstein, 66, was arrested and charged with sex trafficking. He killed himself in August 2019 at a federal jail in Manhattan where he was awaiting trial without bail.

In 2008 in Florida, Epstein pleaded guilty to state charges of soliciting and procuring a person under age 18 for prostitution. He spent 13 months in jail, paid settlements to victims and remained a registered sex offender.

https://globalnews.ca/news/7407867/ghislaine-maxwell-testimony-jeffrey-epstein-lawsuit-public/

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Ohioans Cast Record 1.1m Ballots, Doubling 2016 Early Vote Tally

By: Thomas Barrabi

https://muckrack.com/tom-barrabi

A record number of Ohio residents have already cast their ballots with just under two weeks left in the 2020 presidential race, state officials said on Tuesday.

More than 1.1 million people have cast ballots since early voting began on Oct. 6. The early vote count more than doubled compared to the same time during the 2016 election cycle.

"Inspiring. There’s no other word for it,” Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said in a statement. “With two weeks until election day, our record-breaking turnout is sending a message – it’s easy to vote in Ohio.”

State elections officials anticipated a surge in early voter turnout as residents take steps to avoid complications while casting their ballots during the coronavirus pandemic. More than 440,000 Ohioans have cast their early ballots in-person, up from 165,515 at this point in 2016.

Absentee ballot applications are also maintaining a record pace. As of Tuesday, more than 2.7 million state residents had submitted applications. Of that total, 675,231 ballots have already been submitted.

Ohio holds 18 electoral votes and is expected to be a key swing state in the 2020 presidential election. Recent polls show Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden with a slight edge over President Trump, who won Ohio in 2016.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/ohio-early-voting-record-ballots-cast-2020-presidential-election

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Washington DC PD Refuses To Say How They Are Preparing For Potential Protests Around Election Day

By Kaylee Greenlee

https://dailycaller.com/author/kayleegreenlee@gmail.com/

The Metropolitan Police Department refused to discuss how it is preparing for potential violence and protests leading up to election day, and D.C. Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser has not responded to requests for comment.

Protests and riots have occurred in major cities across the nation, including Washington, D.C., since George Floyd died while in the custody of former Minneapolis police officers in May.

MPD reportedly spent $130,000 on “less-lethal” munitions and “training kits” on June 1, WUSA reported. MPD Chief Peter Newsham said the purchase was made to prepare for post-election protests and possible riots, though the MPD would not confirm plans to confront post-election demonstrations to the Daily Caller News Foundation Tuesday.

Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) spokeswoman Alaina Gertz told the DCNF that “MPD members will provide special attention (increased patrols) to the areas around polling places to ensure that order is maintained.”

Gertz declined to elaborate on plans for the evening of Nov. 3, but said the department collaborates with local and federal law enforcement partners to maintain order.

“The Department’s general order in reference to Police Arrangements for Election Day Voting Process is available” online, Gertz said.

https://dailycaller.com/2020/10/21/dc-metropolitan-police-department-election-day-protest/

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Xi Will Use Major Korean War Speech to Prepare China for New US Conflict

By Tom Rogan

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/author/tom-rogan

At 10 p.m. EDT on Thursday, 10 a.m. on Friday in Beijing, Xi Jinping will deliver one of the most important addresses of his now eight-year rule. It's an address the American people might want to pay attention to. After all, Xi's speech will be designed to prepare the Chinese people for possible war with the United States.

Evincing as much, Chinese state media is promising saturated coverage of Xi's marking of the 70th anniversary of the "mission to resist U.S. aggression and aid Korea." Translation: the 70th anniversary of China's entering the Korean War. Promising wall-to-wall coverage of Xi's "important speech," the People's Daily newspaper notes that "China Central Radio and Television Station and Xinhuanet will broadcast live broadcasts of the conference. Central key news websites such as People's Daily Online, CCTV, and China Net will be synchronized with new media platforms such as the People's Daily client, Xinhua News Agency client, and CCTV News…" The speech appears to be required viewing for members of the People's Liberation Army forces, so this can be considered a "we interrupt your broadcast…" level national event.

Speaking from the Great Hall of the People, Xi will praise the PLA for its role in fighting America. Considering China's desire to persuade Europe that Beijing seeks only multilateral cooperation, I suspect Xi will play down the fact that China's Korean War endeavor saw it pitted against the United Nations. Still, as noticed by one China observer, the event seems set to unveil the colors of the U.S. Army's Regimental Combat Team-31. That American unit was annihilated after being surrounded at the legendary winter 1950 Battle of Chosin Reservoir. Outgunned, freezing, and surrounded by 10 times as many PLA forces, the battle saw extraordinary acts of heroism on the part of the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps (one story from the battle offers the perfect history movie for 2021).

The flag's appearance alongside Xi bears noting.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/xi-will-use-major-korean-war-speech-to-prepare-china-for-new-us-conflict

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Putin: Russia-China Military Alliance Can’t Be Ruled Out

By: Vladimir Isachenkov

https://muckrack.com/vladimir-isachenkov

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday there is no need for a Russia-China military alliance now, but noted it could be forged in the future.

Putin’s statement signaled deepening ties between Moscow and Beijing amid growing tensions in their relations with the United States. The Russian leader also made a strong call for extending the last remaining arms control pact between Moscow and Washington.

Asked during a video conference with international foreign policy experts Thursday whether a military union between Moscow and Beijing was possible, Putin replied that “we don’t need it, but, theoretically, it’s quite possible to imagine it.”

Russia and China have hailed their “strategic partnership,” but so far rejected any talk about the possibility of their forming a military alliance.

Putin pointed to the war games that the armed forces of China and Russia held as a signal of the countries’ burgeoning military cooperation.

Putin also noted that Russia has shared sensitive military technologies that helped significantly boost China’s military potential, but didn’t mention any specifics, saying the information was sensitive.

>>“Without any doubt, our cooperation with China is bolstering the defense capability of China’s army,” he said, adding that the future could see even closer military ties between the two countries.

>>“The time will show how it will develop,” the Russian president said, adding that “we won’t exclude it.”

Russia has sought to develop stronger ties with China as its relations with the West sank to post-Cold War lows over Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea, accusations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and other rifts.

Putin on Thursday emphasized the importance of extending the New START treaty that expires in February, Russia’s last arms control pact with the United States.

Earlier this week, the United States and Russia signaled their readiness to accept compromises to salvage the New START treaty just two weeks ahead of the U.S. presidential election in which President Donald Trump faces a strong challenge from former Vice President Joe Biden, whose campaign has accused Trump of being soft on Russia.

New START was signed in 2010 by then-U.S. President Barack Obama and then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. The pact limits each country to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers, and envisages sweeping on-site inspections to verify compliance.

Russia had offered to extend the pact without any conditions, while the Trump administration initially insisted that it could only be renewed if China agreed to join. China has refused to consider the idea. The U.S. recently modified its stance and proposed a one-year extension of the treaty, but said it must be coupled with the imposition of a broader cap on nuclear warheads.

The Kremlin initially resisted Washington’s demand, but its position shifted this week with the Russian Foreign Ministry stating that Moscow can accept a freeze on warheads if the U.S. agrees to put forward no additional demands.

Putin didn’t address the issue of the freeze on warheads, but he emphasized the importance of salvaging New START.

>>“The question is whether to keep the existing treaty as it is, begin a detailed discussion and try to reach a compromise in a year or lose that treaty altogether, leaving ourselves, Russia and the United States, along with the rest of the world, without any agreement restricting an arms race,” he said. “I believe the second option is much worse.”

At the same time, he added that Russia “wasn’t clinging to the treaty” and will ensure its security without it. He pointed at Russia’s perceived edge in hypersonic weapons and indicated a readiness to include them in a future pact.

>>“If our partners decide that they don’t need it, well, so be it, we can’t stop them,” he said. “Russia’s security will not be hurt, particularly because we have the most advanced weapons systems.”

Despite indications earlier this week that Russia and the U.S. were inching closer to a deal on New START, the top Russian negotiator said that “dramatic” differences still remain and strongly warned Washington against making new demands.

Sergei Ryabkov cautioned the U.S. against pressing its demand for more intrusive control verification measures like those that existed in the 1990s and aren’t envisaged by the New START. The diplomat argued that new control mechanisms could be discussed as part of a future deal, saying firmly that Russia will not accept the demand that amounts to “legitimate espionage.”

>>“If it doesn’t suit the U.S. for some reason, then there will be no deal,” Ryabkov was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying.

https://www.rochesterfirst.com/news/international/putin-russia-china-military-alliance-cant-be-ruled-out/

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FDA Approves First Coronavirus Drug, May Help Recovery

By: Marilynn Marchione

https://muckrack.com/marilyn-marchione

U.S. regulators on Thursday approved the first drug to treat COVID-19: remdesivir, an antiviral medicine given through an IV for patients needing hospitalization.

The drug, which California-based Gilead Sciences Inc. is calling Veklury, cut the time to recovery by five days — from 15 days to 10 on average — in a large study led by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

It had been authorized for use on an emergency basis since spring, and now becomes the first drug to win full Food and Drug Administration approval for treating COVID-19. President Donald Trump received it when he was sickened earlier this month.

Veklury is approved for people at least 12 years old and weighing at least 88 pounds (40 kilograms) who need hospitalization for their coronavirus infection. For patients younger than 12, the FDA will still allow the drug’s use in certain cases under its previous emergency authorization.

The drug works by inhibiting a substance the virus uses to make copies of itself. Certain tests are required before starting patients on it. And the label warns against using it with the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, because that can curb its effectiveness.

>>“We now have enough knowledge and a growing set of tools to help fight COVID-19,” Gilead’s chief medical officer, Dr. Merdad Parsey, said in a statement.

The drug is either approved or has temporary authorization in about 50 countries, he noted.

Its price has been controversial, given that no studies have found it improves survival. Last week, a large study led by the World Health Organization found the drug did not help hospitalized COVID-19 patients, but that study did not include a placebo group and was less rigorous than previous ones that found a benefit.

Gilead charges $2,340 for a typical treatment course for people covered by government health programs in the United States and other developed countries, and $3,120 for patients with private insurance. The amount that patients pay out of pocket depends on insurance, income and other factors.

Only one treatment — steroids such as dexamethasone — has been shown so far to cut the risk of dying of COVID-19. The FDA also has given emergency authorization to using the blood of survivors and two companies are currently seeking similar authorization for experimental antibody drugs.

https://globalnews.ca/news/7414259/coronavirus-drug-fda-remdesivir/

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China Threatens Retaliation Over New U.S. Arms Sales to Taiwan

By Gabriel Crossley

https://www.reuters.com/journalists/gabriel-crossley

China threatened on Thursday to retaliate against the latest U.S. arms sale to Chinese-claimed Taiwan, as the island welcomed the weapons package but said it was not looking to get into an arms race with Beijing.

The Trump administration has ramped up support for Taiwan through arms sales and visits by senior U.S officials, adding to tensions between Beijing and Washington, already heightened by disagreements over the South China Sea, Hong Kong, human rights and trade.

Beijing has applied increasing pressure on democratically-ruled Taiwan to accept China’s sovereignty, including by flying fighter jets across the sensitive mid-line of the Taiwan Strait, which normally serves as an unofficial buffer.

Responding the U.S. approval of a potential $1.8 billion arms sale to Taiwan, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said during a daily news briefing that such sales should stop.

The sales “seriously interfere with China’s internal affairs, seriously damage China’s sovereignty and security interests, send a seriously wrong signal to Taiwan independence forces, and severely damage China-U.S. relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” he said.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-taiwan-arms/china-threatens-retaliation-over-new-u-s-arms-sales-to-taiwan-idUSKBN2770C6

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George Floyd Trial: 1 Charge Dismissed Against Ex Cop Derek Chauvin

By: Amy Forliti

https://muckrack.com/amy-forliti

A Minnesota judge has dismissed a third-degree murder charge filed against the former Minneapolis police officer who pressed his knee against George Floyd’s neck, saying there was not enough probable cause for that count to proceed to trial. The more serious second-degree murder charge against Derek Chauvin remains.

Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill’s ruling, dated Wednesday and made public Thursday, found probable cause for Chauvin to be tried on one count of unintentional second-degree murder and one count of second-degree manslaughter. Cahill also found probable cause to move forward with the aiding and abetting counts against three other former officers, Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao.

>>“In this court’s view, with one exception, the State has met its burden of showing probable cause that warrants proceeding to trial against each of these Defendants on each of the criminal charges the State has filed against them,” Cahill wrote. He said a jury will decide whether they are guilty.

Floyd, a Black man in handcuffs, died May 25 after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck as he said he couldn’t breathe. Floyd’s death sparked protests in Minneapolis and beyond, and led to a nationwide reckoning on race. All four officers were fired. They are scheduled to stand trial in March.

After Cahill’s ruling, Gov. Tim Walz activated the Minnesota National Guard in anticipation of protests. Protesters demonstrated in the streets after Chauvin was released on bail earlier this month, resulting in dozens of arrests.

On the second-degree murder charge, prosecutors presented probable cause to show Chauvin’s actions were a “substantial causal factor” in Floyd’s death, and that he was committing or attempting to commit another felony at the time, in this case, assault, Cahill wrote.

He said prosecutors do not need to show Chauvin’s actions were the sole cause of Floyd’s death. He also said Chauvin’s decision to continue kneeling on Floyd’s neck after he went silent and motionless “is strong evidence of Chauvin’s intent to inflict bodily harm.”

But to prove a third-degree murder charge, prosecutors must show that Chauvin’s intentional conduct was “eminently dangerous to others” and not specifically directed at Floyd, Cahill said.

>>“This is not an appropriate case for a third-degree murder charge,” he said.

While former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor was convicted of third-degree murder in the 2017 killing of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, Cahill said the cases are “factually distinguishable.” Noor fired a gun outside his squad car window, potentially endangering a nearby bicyclist, residents, possible bystanders, his partner, or others.

In this case, Cahill said, “nothing about the manner in which Chauvin pressed his knee down on Floyd’s neck … was eminently dangerous to anyone other than Floyd,” who was the target of Chauvin’s actions.

Attorney Ben Crump said in a statement that Floyd’s family is grateful most of the counts were preserved, including the more serious second-degree murder count, “for which we expect a conviction, based on the clear and evident use of excessive force that we all saw on video.”

Many legal observers initially believed the third-degree murder count wasn’t a good fit, and activists and family members had called for more serious charges.

Nicole Kettwick, a criminal defense attorney not associated with this case, said the dismissal of that count is not surprising because the facts currently known don’t fit the elements of the charge.

When the third-degree murder charge was filed, the Minnesota chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union asked the state to take over the case from Hennepin County, saying more serious charges were warranted. Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office is now the lead prosecutor on the case.

>>“The ACLU of Minnesota expected today’s ruling and believes it’s an appropriate step in this legal process,” ACLU of Minnesota executive director John Gordon said in a statement. “Today was a good day for achieving justice for George Floyd.”

Cahill also found probable cause for the aiding and abetting charges to proceed against Lane, Kueng and Thao, saying they could be found criminally liable if prosecutors can prove they intentionally aided or conspired with Chauvin, and that they knew Chauvin was committing a crime at the time. He said prosecutors also must show that their presence or actions allowed the crime to continue.

Lane and Kueng heard Floyd say he couldn’t breathe, knew Chauvin was kneeling on Floyd’s neck, and heard the cries of the crowd, yet they continued to restrain Floyd by his legs and back, Cahill said. The fact that Lane asked if Floyd should be rolled to a recovery position shows Lane knew “the consequences of keeping Floyd pinned face-down to the ground” but elected to “stay the course,” Cahill said.

Lane never tried to extract himself from the situation or assertively tell Chauvin to stop, he said. Even if restraining Floyd was initially justified, that doesn’t grant the officers “carte blanche” to continue to restrain him without considering the changing circumstances, the judge said.

Lane and Kueng’s rookie status is irrelevant, he said: “There is no free pass under state law for rookies who choose to disregard their training at the suggestion of a senior officer.”

Cahill said Thao never physically restrained Floyd, but could see and hear what was happening, and his actions to keep the crowd away allowed the restraint of Floyd to continue.

https://globalnews.ca/news/7414557/george-floyd-trial-charge-dropped/

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Russian Hackers Targeting Dozens of State, Local Networks: U.S.

By : Eric Tucker

https://muckrack.com/eric-tucker-36

U.S. officials said Thursday that Russian hackers have targeted the networks of dozens of state and local governments in the United States in recent days, stealing data from at least two servers. The warning, less than two weeks before the election, amplified fears of the potential for tampering with the vote and undermining confidence in the results.

The alert describes an onslaught of recent activity from Russian state-sponsored hacking groups in recent days against state and local networks, some of which were successfully compromised. The advisory from the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity agency functions as a reminder of Russia’s potent capabilities and ongoing interference in the election even after U.S. officials publicly called out Iran at a news conference on Wednesday night.

The advisory does not mention any of the specific victims who were targeted, but officials say they have no information that any election or government operations have been affected or that the integrity of elections data has been compromised.

>>“However, the actor may be seeking access to obtain future disruption options, to influence U.S. policies and actions, or to delegitimize (state and local) government entities,” the advisory said.

U.S. officials have repeatedly said it would be extremely difficult for hackers to alter vote tallies in a meaningful way, but they have warned about other methods of interference that could include cyberattacks on networks to impede the voting process or the production of spoofed websites or other faked content aimed at causing voters to mistrust the results.

A broad concern, particularly at the local government level, has been that hackers could infiltrate a county network and then work their way over to election-related systems unless certain defenses, such as firewalls, are in place. This is especially true for smaller counties that don’t have as much money and IT support as their bigger counterparts to fund security upgrades.

U.S. officials warned at a hastily called news conference Wednesday night that Russia and Iran had obtained voting registration information, though such data is sometimes publicly accessible. But most of the focus of that event was on Iran, which officials linked to a series of menacing but fake emails aimed at intimidating voters in multiple battleground states.

Despite that activity, Russia is widely regarded in the cybersecurity community as the bigger threat to the election. The U.S. has said that Russia, which interfered in the 2016 election by hacking Democratic email accounts, is interfering again this year in part through a concerted effort to denigrate U.S. President Donald Trump’s Democratic opponent, Joe Biden.

U.S. officials attribute the activity to a state-sponsored hacking group variously known as DragonFly and Energetic Bear in the cybersecurity community. The group appears to have been in operation since at least 2011 and is known to have engaged in cyberespionage on energy companies and power grid operators in the U.S. and Europe, as well as on defense and aviation companies.

Chris Krebs, director of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, said Thursday that the alert was issued in regards to scanning of county networks for vulnerabilities, not specifically targeting the elections. “There was access in a couple limited cases to an election related network,” he said.

https://globalnews.ca/news/7414359/russia-hacking-us-election/

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US and Allies Prioritize Indonesia as Potential Counterweight to China

By Joel Gehrke

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/author/joel-gehrke

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to Indonesia next week as U.S. and allied leaders seek to band with other democratic powers to curb China’s capacity to dominate the Indo-Pacific region.

“It’s in their best interest to ensure that their sovereignty is protected against the continued efforts to encroach upon their basic rights — their maritime rights, their sovereign rights, their ability to conduct business in the way that they want to inside of their country that the Chinese Communist Party continues to threaten,” Pompeo told reporters Wednesday.

The trip reflects how competition with China has changed perceptions of the archipelago, long-viewed as a “strategic backwater” despite Indonesia’s status as the fourth-most populous country in the world, as one analyst put it. U.S. overtures to Jakarta are hampered by the Indonesian aversion to aligning with any major power, but Washington’s efforts are being reinforced by Japan.

“Japan is opposed to any actions that escalate tensions in the South China Sea,” Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday during a trip to Indonesia. “Let me stress anew the importance of all the countries concerning the South China Sea issues not resorting to force or coercion but working toward peaceful resolutions of the disputes based on international law.”

That’s a rebuke of China, which has asserted sovereignty over vast swaths of the South China Sea and attempted to buttress those claims by deploying military assets to artificial islands in the busy waterways. Those claims entail trampling on the sovereignty claims of several other countries in the congested neighborhood, but Indonesia has the greatest potential capacity to resist China’s pressure — although Jakarta has hesitated to join any collective efforts to rebuff Beijing.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/defense-national-security/us-and-allies-prioritize-indonesia-as-potential-counterweight-to-china

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Biden Talks Tough on China, Pledges Deeper Ties with Taiwan

By Keoni Everington

https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/search?keyword=Keoni%20Everington

With the U.S. presidential election less than two weeks away, Joe Biden is sending the message that he will be tough on China and seek to deepen ties with Taiwan.

In a letter sent to the Chinese language World Journal, Biden wrote that as a Pacific power, the U.S. under his administration will join with friends and allies to "advance our shared prosperity, security, and values in the Asia-Pacific region." Biden then focused on Taiwan, by saying that U.S. policy in the region will include "deepening our ties with Taiwan," which he described as "a leading democracy, major economy, technology – and a shining example of how an open society can effectively contain COVID-19."

As for his approach to China, Biden stated that he will focus on "boosting American competitiveness, revitalizing our strengths at home, and renewing our alliances and leadership abroad." However, Biden said that the U.S. will still seek to collaborate with China "when it's in our interest," and he cited public health and climate change as examples.

An organization called "Taiwanese Americans for Biden," which is an affinity group for the Biden campaign, shared with Taiwan News a strong message about Biden's approach to China. The statement alleged that although "Trump talks tough on China," after nearly four years in the White House, "he has accomplished nothing."

The statement claimed that "When it mattered most, Trump praised China's leaders and sold out American workers." However, what Trump managed to gain in exchange was a "weak trade deal that China's government is failing to live up to."

https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/4035589

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Hong Kong Slams ‘Harbouring of Criminals’ After Report of Germany Granting Activist Asylum

By Rhoda Kwan

https://hongkongfp.com/author/rhodakwan/

Hong Kong slammed the “harbouring of criminals” by foreign governments on Wednesday after reports emerged that Germany had granted asylum to a student activist facing a riot charge.

The 22-year-old female student skipped bail and fled to Germany last November after being arrested during citywide pro-democracy protests, according to Haven Assistance, a group that offers immigration and asylum advice to Hongkongers.

Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung and Secretary for Security John Lee met with the city’s German Consul General Dieter Lamlé to express their stern opposition, a government spokesperson said in a statement.

“The [Hong Kong] government strongly objects to the harbouring of criminals under different pretexts by other jurisdictions,” the city’s no. 2 official was quoted as saying. “This would only send a plainly wrong message to criminals that they need not face any criminal liability. “

Cheung said “every individual should be responsible for his or her illegal actions,” adding that those accused of breaching Hong Kong’s laws would be subject to “open and fair trials” conducted in an “independent, fair and just manner,” citing the Basic Law and the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance.

In the meeting, the chief secretary said that the government would be “dismayed” at any failure to not “duly” take into account legal provisions when determining the “truth and veracity of any claims for refugee status.”

Cheung also told Lamlé that Germany should “stop interfering with Hong Kong affairs, which are internal matters within the People’s Republic of China.”

Haven Assistance said on Monday that an unidentified student from the Chinese University of Hong Kong had been granted refugee status for three years. Other Hong Kong activists who have been granted asylum in Germany included Ray Wong and Alan Li.

Earlier this month, Canada also granted asylum to a Hong Kong couple who had been active participants in last year’s pro-democracy protests. The movement was triggered by a government’s attempt to draw up an extradition agreement with mainland China.

https://hongkongfp.com/2020/10/22/hong-kong-slams-harbouring-of-criminals-after-report-of-germany-granting-activist-asylum/

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U.S. Officials Say Iran, Russia Actively Interfering in 2020 Election

By: Sean Boynton

https://muckrack.com/sean-boynton

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and intelligence community officials say Iran and Russia have “taken specific actions to influence public opinion” in the upcoming presidential election.

John Ratcliffe, the U.S. Director of National Security, said Wednesday that Iran is behind a series of emails to voters containing both intimidating threats to vote for particular candidates, as well as false information about voting.

The emails were sent after Iran obtained “some voter information” from U.S. databases, he said.

Ratcliffe also said Russia has obtained some voter information as well, but has not yet conducted any actions similar to Iran’s.

>>“You can be confident your votes are secure,” he told a news conference.

The news comes a day before U.S. President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden are scheduled to take part in the final presidential debate.

https://globalnews.ca/news/7412112/fbi-election-security-announcement/

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Snowstorm in Minnesota Shatters Record, Causes Hundreds of Crashes and Spinouts

By: Janice Dean, Travis Fedschun, Brandon Noriega

https://muckrack.com/janice-dean

https://muckrack.com/travfed

https://muckrack.com/danton-noriega

An early-season snowstorm dumped a record-breaking amount of snow across Minnesota on Tuesday, knocking out power to thousands and leading to hundreds of accidents.

The National Weather Service (NWS) forecast office for the Twin Cities said that 7.9 inches of snow fell at Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport, which broke a previous daily record of three inches set back on Oct. 20, 1916.

>>"We had record-breaking snow, snow totals here across the Northern Rockies, the Northern Plains, the Upper Midwest, Minnesota receiving over 8 inches of snow and another batch of snow is on the way," Fox News senior meteorologist Janice Dean said on "Fox & Friends."

The storm was also the second-largest October snowstorm on record.

Across the Twin Cities, there was a swath of 4 to 6 inches of snowfall, which made roadways slick.

The Minnesota State Patrol said that troopers responded to a number of crashes, spinouts, and vehicles off the road in central Minnesota, especially along Interstate 94.

e Patrol said that troopers responded to 493 crashes statewide from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Some 48 of those crashes involved injuries, including one serious injury. No fatalities were reported.

In addition to the crashes, troopers also responded to 614 vehicle spinouts and 22 semi-trucks that jackknifed on area roadways.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz took to Twitter to urge motorists to drive safe and "take care of yourselves and neighbors."

>>"Minnesotans are ready for winter," he said. "When it snows we usually just build snowmen."

The early season snowstorm caused closures across the area. In Minneapolis, the city's absentee ballot drop off locations closed early at 3 p.m. so election workers and voters could get home safe, FOX9 reported.

The storm also caused power outages throughout the region.

Xcel Energy told FOX9 about 8,000 customers in the Twin Cities metro area were without power late Tuesday. At the peak, about 33,500 customers were impacted by the outage.

Record-breaking snowfall will continue over the Rockies into the Northern Plains and through the Upper Midwest from Wednesday into Thursday.

Some areas could receive over 8 inches of new snow where winter storm watches have been posted.

Expect difficult travel with poor visibility in these regions as gusty winds over 35 mph and a widespread area of 6 to 12 inches of new snow will fall.

>>"This snow could actually go into the foot or more range," Dean said Wednesday.

The cold air setting the stage for all this snow will plunge as far south as Texas on Friday.

Showers and thunderstorms will bring heavy rain at times over the Great Lakes and Mid-Mississippi Valley.

Widespread showers and thunderstorms are also moving into South Florida with heavy rain and the risk of flash flooding.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/minnesota-snowstorm-snow-record-minneapolis-weather-state-patrol-highway-crashes-spinouts

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Special Ops Commander Who Oversaw Bin Laden Raid Endorses Biden

By: Vandana Rambaran

https://muckrack.com/vandana-rambaran

The Special Operations commander who oversaw the mission to assassinate Osama Bin Laden says he is a conservative but voted for Joe Biden because America needs "a president with decency and a sense of respect."

Retired four-star Admiral William McRaven touted his support for the Democratic presidential nominee in an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal and criticized President Trump's "incompetence in handling the pandemic and the wildfires," as well as his response to social justice issues. McRaven never mentions the president by name in the piece.

>>“Truth be told, I am a pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, small-government, strong-defense and a national-anthem-standing conservative,” he wrote. "But, I also believe that black lives matter, that the Dreamers deserve a path to citizenship, that diversity and inclusion are essential to our national success, that education is the great equalizer, that climate change is real and that the First Amendment is the cornerstone of our democracy. Most important, I believe that America must lead in the world with courage, conviction and a sense of honor and humility."

McRaven opined that America has lost its credibility and command on the world stage because of Trump's antics and said Biden would be a more fit leader.

>>"We need a leader of integrity whose decency and sense of respect reflects the values we expect from our president. We need a president for all Americans, not just half of America," he wrote.

McRaven joins the nearly 500 U.S. generals, admirals and intelligence officials including 22 retired 4-star officers who also announced they were backing Biden in September.

McRaven has previously faced criticism from the president, who has dismissed him as a Clinton supporter.

Just last week, Trump attempted to peddle a baseless conspiracy theory put forth by QAnon on Twitter, after he retweeted a post from a since-suspended account that suggested bin Laden the terrorist responsible for the attacks on New York's Twin Towers in September 2001 is actually still alive.

The post also claimed that former President Barack Obama and then vice president Biden killed SEAL Team 6 as part of an elaborate coverup.

Robert O'Neill, a former Navy SEAL on McRaven's team at the time of bin Laden's death and who is purported to be the one who fired the fatal shot in 2011, lambasted Trump for the false theory shortly after and defended the SEAL Team involved in the operation.

Trump doubled down on the tweet after facing backlash, passing it off during an NBC Town Hall event as "an opinion of somebody."

During an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper, McRaven said Trump's theory was "crazy" and "off in left field."

>>"I didn't even think it was worth addressing because it was so crazy. It was a little bit like denying the moon landing," he said.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/special-ops-commander-who-oversaw-bin-laden-raid-endorses-biden

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Taliban Attacks Increase as US Troops Move Toward Total Withdrawal From Afghanistan

By: Hollie McKay

https://muckrack.com/holliesmckay#!

A crowd gathered recently around an old Afghan villager as he wailed in inconsolable anguish, holding him up as his body buckled. Word quickly spread that the man had just lost his entire family to a Taliban attack in his home province of Helmand.

That assault was Oct. 13, but was just one of dozens inside the beleaguered region in recent weeks – a microcosm of a country ravaged by war, still dominated by an ever-emboldened Taliban, and unsure if it can stand on as its own as the United States steps away.

National Defense Secretary Robert O'Brien affirmed this week that the Pentagon was working to carry out President Trump's vow to further diminish U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan, slashing numbers to just 2,500 by early next year. However, Trump has pushed the envelope even further in recent days – advocating that all troops be brought home by Christmas.

U.S. troop numbers fell from 12,000 to 8,600 in July. But as Trump makes good on a pledge to bring an end to the "forever war" some 7,000 miles away – months after Washington officials inked a deal with Taliban representatives in Doha centered on the U.S. leaving in exchange for the insurgency not to harbor terrorist outfits such as Al Qaeda – Afghans on the ground are caught in the crossfire of increasing Taliban assaults, the rising death toll and steep uncertainty over what comes next.

>>"The overall security situation in Afghanistan is regrettably not good," Afghan Ambassador to the United States Roya Rahmani told Fox News. "There are a high number of attacks on a daily basis – people getting killed every day by the dozens. There is a serious fighting still happening, and it's the Afghans who are dying.

Locals say that in areas under Taliban control – almost half of the landlocked nation – checkpoints have sprouted up, parents have stopped sending their young off to school for fear that they won't return and women are becoming increasingly restricted.

>>"The Taliban keeps saying that they will allow women to have rights as long as it is in accordance with Islam, and that is concerning," Rahmani said. "We are already doing everything in accordance with Islam; we are an Islamic country. They go further and say 'true Islam.' Who gives them that authority, to impose their own interpretation to justify the oppression of women?"

Many of the dying and wounded are deemed the "Second Generation" fighters in the War on Terror, with most not even born when Al Qaeda slammed planes into U.S. buildings on Sept. 11, 2001.

In response, the U.S. has conducted "several targeted strikes" to defend Afghan troops.

>>"The Taliban need to immediately stop their offensive actions in Helmand Province and reduce their violence around the country," Gen. Scott Miller, the leading U.S. commander in Afghanistan, said in a statement this month. "It is not consistent with the US-Taliban agreement and undermines the ongoing Afghan Peace Talks."

Under the terms of the deal, the Taliban vowed to stop attacking U.S. forces but stand of accused of increasing their bloodshed toward Afghan soldiers. The Kabul government was no party to the agreement as the Taliban refused to talk to the "illegitimate" leadership.

Last month, some inroads were made in Qatar as Taliban and Afghan government delegates started the process of bringing the warring factions for the next stride to cease the conflict, but little progress is yet to be seen.

>>"The talks have not even started. Our teams are still working on the codes of conduct and rules of the game. There are stumbling blocks in the rigidity the Taliban is showing," Rahami said, stressing that there are at least 20 other terrorist outfits operating in Afghanistan – including the ISIS-affiliate.

To a number of foreign policy analysts and lawmakers inside, leaving the burning country to plunge deeper into medieval customs and violence is a glaring mistake.

>>"Afghanistan is probably at its most fragile point since the U.S. toppled the Taliban regime," said Kamran Bokhari, director of analytical development at the Center for Global Policy. "The Afghan jihadist movement not only has the upper hand in the battlespace, it is also emboldened by the deal with the United States.

>>"If the U.S. leaves too soon, then it risks creating a strategic vacuum in the country that would lead to a collapse of the talks and fighting between the two sides," Bokhari added.

>>"We don't want to go back to the 90s when the Taliban ruled," said Afghan Member of Parliament Mariam Solaimankhail, who represents the nomadic Kuchis.

Solaimankhail spoke from her home in Kabul, where her own uncle was recently gunned down by Taliban operatives.

>>"We have come so far in building schools and a justice system – the world helped us build that," she added. "War crimes are still happening here; for the Americans to leave is unthinkable to us. What we really need to look at it is where the funding for the Taliban is coming from – and stop that."

Ahmad Muslem Hayat – a former Afghan diplomat in London and security expert – bemoaned that a "full withdrawal of the U.S. and NATO would be the biggest mistake of the 21st century."

>>"It would be the biggest victory and accomplishment for all terrorism and terrorist organizations around the world," he said. "The U.S. would leave behind a chaotic situation."

However, others agree with Trump, that it is time for the U.S. to stop expending blood and treasure in Afghanistan.

>>"Any terrorist presence in Afghanistan can be effectively mitigated by our ability to strike any direct threat to the U.S., no matter where in the world," said Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis (ret.), senior fellow and military fellow at Defense Priorities. "The U.S. stops wasting up to $40 billion a year on a war disconnected from American national security interests. We stop suffering dead and wounded troops in an unnecessary war."

Dan Caldwell, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and senior advisor for Concerned Veterans for America, agreed.

>>"The United States accomplished what it needed to long ago in Afghanistan, and leaving troops in the country will only mean a continued loss of American life in pursuit of objectives that do not serve our national interest," he said. "President Trump deserves credit for dictating a full and rapid withdrawal from the country so that our military can focus on other pressing national security priorities."

A full withdrawal from Afghanistan has Americans' overwhelming support, Caldwell, noted, citing polling conducted by YouGov, which shows that 76 percent of Americans support a complete withdrawal from Afghanistan and polling run by Concerned Veterans for America shows that 73 percent of veterans support a full retreat.

>>"The only real interest we have in Afghanistan is in ensuring that the country does not become a staging ground for terrorist attacks against the United States, which can be accomplished by working with local actors and utilizing long-range strike capabilities as opposed to leaving troops in the country indefinitely," he said.

But the toll of the war from the U.S. side will no doubt be felt for decades to come, paid for with lives and hard-earned tax dollars. The official first mission name of the invasion, "Operation Enduring Freedom," occurred between Oct. 7, 2001, and Dec. 31, 2014. U.S. deaths were 2,313, and more than 20,600 were wounded in action.

The Pentagon has also spent more than $822 billion on the effort between 2001 and 2019.

If there is one silver lining to crack through the controversial Doha deal, it is that no U.S. service member has died at the hands of the Taliban since.

Since 2016, Trump – running on an "America First" platform, has made it clear he intends to end all unnecessary conflicts abroad. Democratic candidate Joe Biden, according to his campaign website, also seeks to "end the forever wars in Afghanistan," "bring the vast majority of our troops home," and underscores that "staying entrenched in unwinnable conflicts only drains our capacity to lead on other issues that require our attention."

>>"It just might be the issue where he and President Trump have the most agreement," added Jonathan Bydlak, interim director of the Governance Program at the R Street Institute. "The most likely outcome, in my opinion, is that he would largely follow through on President Trump's plan to draw down from the country."

https://www.foxnews.com/world/increased-taliban-attacks-retracting-us-troops-america-afghanistan

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Charlamagne Tha God Credits Trump for 'Actually Talking to Young Black Male Voters'

By: Joseph a. Wulfsohn

https://muckrack.com/joseph-wulfsohn

>>"Breakfast Club" co-host Charlamagne Tha God acknowledged President Trump's efforts to reach out to "young Black male voters," a group the radio personality said "never gets courted."

During a CNN appearance Tuesday night, Charlamagne was asked about "prominent Black men" who have either endorsed Trump or expressed willingness to work with him, likely alluding to 50 Cent's social media posts indicating that he's voting for the president and Ice Cube's partnership with the Trump campaign on its "Platinum Plan" to benefit Black Americans.

>>"I don't like that narrative," Charlamagne told anchor Don Lemon. "You know, because if Trump wins, they're about to turn this into a 'Black men are the reason why Trump is in office.'"

>>"When it comes to those Black people you see who maybe [are] showing support for Trump, I just think because Trump is actually talking to young Black male voters," the radio talk show host added. "He's directing ads towards them. They are a group that, you know, never gets courted. I mean, Black people don't get courted either as a whole, but that old Democratic regime speaks to old Black men and they think that everyone else in the Black community, the Black family is supposed to fall in line … they think the rest of us all speak the same language."

He added, "So Trump is targeting young Black males. And promo ad and marketing, it works."

During the interview, Charlamagne told Lemon that he wasn't "necessarily voting for Joe Biden" but was instead "voting for Kamala Harris.”

>>"I believe she’s a political change agent, exactly the leader this country needs to lead us in the future. If she’s not, I’ll just be wrong,” he explained. “I’m just so tired of old White male leadership in politics.”

In May, Biden famously raised eyebrows during an interview with Charlamagne tha God on "The Breakfast Club" when he attempted to defend his record with the Black community.

>>“I tell you if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t Black,” Biden told Charlamagne.

https://www.foxnews.com/media/charlamagne-tha-god-trump-young-black-male-voters

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Trump Says He’ll Release ’60 Minutes’ Footage Early After Walking Out of Interview

By: Sean Boynton

https://muckrack.com/sean-boynton

U.S. President Donald Trump is threatening to release footage from an upcoming interview on CBS’ 60 Minutes before it airs on Sunday, telling his supporters to “watch what we do to” the long-running news program.

Trump’s comments came after he walked out of his interview with 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl at the White House Tuesday, which CBS News confirmed was cut short.

In a statement to Global News, CBS News did not say what may have led to or caused the president to end the interview.

The Associated Press reported the interview “ended acrimoniously,” according to one person familiar with the exchange who was not authorized to discuss it publicly.

CNN, citing multiple sources, said Trump sat with Stahl for about 45 minutes before abruptly ending the conversation, telling CBS producers that they had enough material. The New York Times reported Trump “grew irritated” with Stahl’s questions.

According to the reports, Trump did not returned for a planned segment where Stahl was to interview the president alongside Vice President Mike Pence.

Trump took to Twitter and posted a brief video of Stahl inside the White House without a mask, saying the video was taken after their interview.

CBS News confirmed that Stahl, who, like Trump, has recovered from her own bout of COVID-19, had been wearing a mask as she entered the White House and leading up to the interview. The video was taken immediately after her interview with Trump ended, it said.

CNN reported Stahl had not had time to gather her belongings, including her mask, when the video was taken.

Trump then said he was “considering” posting footage of the interview prior to its airing on Sunday.

>>“This will be done so that everybody can get a glimpse of what a FAKE and BIASED interview is all about,” he said, going on to call the upcoming program “Electoral Intrusion.”

CBS News said the White House had agreed they were taping the interview for archival purposes only. It did not say whether the White House would be liable if the footage was released early.

The 60 Minutes episode to air on Sunday will also include interviews with Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, conducted by CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell.

At a rally in Erie, Pa., Tuesday night, Trump appeared to confirm he will indeed be releasing the interview footage.

>>“You have to watch what we do to 60 Minutes,” he told the crowd. “You’ll get such a kick of it. You’re going to get a kick out of it. Lesley Stahl is not going to be happy.”

Stahl interviewed Trump for 60 Minutes in 2018 and 2016. The latter interview was Trump’s first national appearance since winning the presidential election.

Stahl told the audience at a Deadline Club Awards event in 2018 that before that 2016 interview while meeting privately in Trump Tower, she asked Trump why he constantly attacks the press.

>>“He said, ‘You know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all and demean you all so when you write negative stories about me, no one will believe you.’ He said that,” Stahl said. “Put that in your head for a minute.”

https://globalnews.ca/news/7409696/trump-60-minutes-walkout/

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Egypt Finds More Mummy Priest Coffins ‘Sealed Since Ancient Times’

By: Josh K. Elliott

https://muckrack.com/josh-elliott-2

Archeologists recently dug up dozens of ancient mummy priests without bringing a curse down on their heads — so they’ve gone back and done it again.

Egyptian authorities say they have unearthed dozens more mummies at an ancient necropolis in Saqqara, adding to the 59 sarcophagi they previously announced in early October.

Each sarcophagus houses a person’s mummified remains inside a wood case covered in ornate designs.

The initial discovery sparked plenty of jokes about ancient curses and Brendan Fraser, who starred in the Mummy films.

>>The new coffins were intricately decorated and buried with gilded wooden statues in three newly-discovered burial shafts at the site, the Egyptian government said in a statement.

Authorities did not say exactly how many more coffins they’ve found since the initial announcement, but the number is said to be more than 80.

>>“We will announce the details of this discovery very soon,” said Khalid el-Anany, Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities.

Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly paid a visit to the historic site in Saqqara on Monday, where he was given a personal tour of the recently-excavated mummy mother lode. El-Anany and Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, joined the PM for the tour and photo op.

>>Waziri and el-Anany were also on hand earlier this month when archeologists cracked open one of the coffins in front of a live audience.

Saqqara, which lies about 32 kilometres south of Cairo, has become a hot spot for archeological discoveries in 2020.

The necropolis once served as a major burial ground for priests and statesmen who lived in Memphis, the seat of the ancient pharaohs’ power, some 2,500 years ago. The ruined city also includes the famous Giza Pyramids, as well as several smaller pyramids.

The bodies are thought to have been mummified during Egypt’s 26th dynasty, which stretched from 664 to 525 BCE.

It’s unclear exactly how many bodies remain buried at Saqqara, but their coffins are expected to fuel Egypt’s tourism ambitions in the near future.

>>Authorities have already announced plans to house the first batch of coffins at the Grand Egyptian Museum, a mega-museum that is currently under construction in Giza. It’s slated to become the largest museum dedicated to a single civilization in the world, and the Saqqara sarcophagi will help fill out its exhibits.

>>The Egyptian government has dedicated itself to building up its trove of mummy artifacts in recent years, after decades of watching foreigners snag its best items for display at far-flung museums.

El-Anany had promised more discoveries after announcing the first batch of coffins in early October.

>>“This is the beginning of a big discovery,” he said at the time.

>>“Today is not the end.”

https://globalnews.ca/news/7407881/mummy-egypt-tomb-open-sarcophagus/

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Report: Facebook Employees ‘Ashamed’ by Censorship of NY Post’s Biden Bombshell

By Lucas Nolan

https://www.breitbart.com/author/lucas-nolan/

A recent report from the New York Post alleges that employees at tech giant Facebook are “ashamed” of the social media giant’s censorship of the Post’s bombshell reports on Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden, his son Hunter, and their alleged dealings with Burisma. According to the Post, one employee wrote, “I was shocked that Facebook did this. We kinda called [brought] this on ourselves. So much for ‘we are not the arbiters of truth.’ “

The New York Post reports that following the mass censorship of the Post’s latest report on Joe Biden and his alleged involvement in his son Hunter Biden’s business dealings with the Ukrainian energy firm Burisma, a Facebook insider told the Post that many at the company are “ashamed” at Facebook’s blatant censorship.

The Post reports that a Facebook insider told the publication: “Facebook is almost an arm of the Democratic Party — an arm of the far-left wing of the Democratic Party.” In an email requesting to meet with the Post reporter, the former employee stated that Facebook was “intentionally trying to swing people further to the left.”

The Facebook insider provided the Post with records from conversations between Facebook employees on the anonymous social network Blind where workers at major Silicon Valley firms discuss their workplaces.

One user wrote on Blind: “[Facebook] employees want Trump to lose. If that means rigging [the platform] against him, they don’t care.” The post received 29 “likes” from other employees.

Another user stated: “I was shocked that Facebook did this. We kinda called [brought] this on ourselves. So much for ‘we are not the arbiters of truth.’ ” The post received 15 “likes.”

“Imagine if we censored some leaked Trump stuff. It would be the #1 upvoted question tomorrow for Mark [Zuckerberg company-wide]’s Q&A,” wrote another user. Another simply commented: “Yeah this one is unconscionable. I’m ashamed.”

One employee wrote a detailed outline of their issues with the censorship stating: “Why do people hate Facebook everywhere? Here’s one reason. Freaking one-sided decision. The comms Twitter account [Andy Stone’s] was definitely left-leaning, and it’s a talking point, as well. No proper response to comms feedback. Don’t want to be the what-if person. But we didn’t have problems circulating leaked Trump tax or any other s–t surrounding Trump or COVID.”

https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2020/10/20/report-facebook-employees-ashamed-by-censorship-of-ny-posts-biden-bombshell/

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How Trump’s Team ‘Burned’ Through $1 Billion During U.S. Election Campaign

By: Brian Slodysko And Zeke Miller

https://muckrack.com/brian-slodysko

https://muckrack.com/ZekeJMiller

U.S. President Donald Trump‘s sprawling political operation has raised well over $1 billion since he took the White House in 2017 — and set a lot of it on fire.

Trump bought a $10 million Super Bowl ad when he didn’t yet have a challenger. He tapped his political organization to cover exorbitant legal fees related to his impeachment. Aides made flashy displays of their newfound wealth — including a fleet of luxury vehicles purchased by Brad Parscale, his former campaign manager.

Meanwhile, a web of limited liability companies hid more than $356 million in spending from disclosure, records show.

Now, just two weeks out from the election, some campaign aides privately acknowledge they are facing difficult spending decisions at a time when Democratic nominee Joe Biden has flooded the airwaves with advertising. That has put Trump in the position of needing to do more of his signature rallies as a substitute during the coronavirus pandemic while relying on an unproven theory that he can turn out supporters who are infrequent voters at historic levels.

>>“They spent their money on unnecessary overhead, lifestyles-of-the-rich-and-famous activity by the campaign staff and vanity ads,” said Mike Murphy, a veteran Republican consultant who advised John McCain and Jeb Bush and is an outspoken Trump critic. “You could literally have 10 monkeys with flamethrowers go after the money, and they wouldn’t have burned through it as stupidly.”

For Trump, it’s a familiar, if not welcome, position. In 2016, he was vastly outraised by Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton but still pulled off a come-from-behind win. This time around, though, he was betting on a massive cash advantage to negatively define Biden and to defend his own record.

Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien insisted money was no issue. “We have more than sufficient air cover, almost three times as much as 2016,” he told reporters Monday.

Biden, Stepien added, was “putting it all on TV,” as he eschewed most door-knocking because of the pandemic, while Trump has roughly 2,000 field staffers across the country knocking on doors and making calls for his campaign.

>>“Where we have states that are sort of tipping, could go either way,” Trump told campaign staffers Monday, “I have an ability to go to those states and rally. Biden has no ability. I go to a rally, we have 25,000 people. He goes to a rally, and he has four people.”

Advertising spending figures, however, offer a bleak picture.

While a half-dozen pro-Trump outside groups are coming to the president’s aid, Biden and his Democratic allies are on pace to dump $142 million into ads in the closing days of the campaign, outspending Republicans by more than 2-to-1, according to data from the ad tracking firm CMAG/Kantar.

On Monday, the firm Medium Buying reported Trump was cancelling ad buys in Wisconsin; Minnesota, which Trump had hoped to flip; and Ohio, which went for Trump in 2016 but now appears to be a tight contest.

It’s a reversal from May, when Biden’s campaign was strapped for cash and Parscale ominously compared the Trump campaign to a “Death Star” that was about to “start pressing FIRE for the first time.”

>>The ad campaign they unrolled over the next three months cost over $176 million but did little to dent Biden’s lead in public opinion polling.

Trump is now in a position that’s virtually unthinkable for an incumbent president, said Travis Ridout, co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project, which tracks advertising spending.

“Advertising obviously isn’t everything. But we do think ads matter for a couple percentage points in a presidential race. And it’s just not a good sign for the Trump campaign,” Ridout said.

A review of expenditures by Trump’s campaign, as well as the Republican National Committee, lays bare some of the profligate spending.

Since 2017, more than $39 million has been paid to firms controlled by Parscale, who was ousted as campaign manager over the summer. An additional $319.4 million was paid to American Made Media Consultants, a Delaware limited liability company, whose owners are not publicly disclosed.

Campaigns typically reveal in mandatory disclosures who their primary vendors are. But by routing money to Parscale’s firms, as well as American Made Media Consultants, Trump satisfied the basic disclosure requirements without detailing the ultimate recipients.

Other questionable expenditures by Trump and the RNC that are included in campaign finance disclosures:

• Nearly $100,000 spent on copies of Donald Trump Jr.’s book “Triggered,” which helped propel it to the top of the New York Times bestsellers list.

• Over $7.4 million spent at Trump-branded properties since 2017.

• At least $35.9 million spent on Trump merchandise.

• $39 million in legal and “compliance” fees. In addition to tapping the RNC and his campaign to pay legal costs during his impeachment proceedings, Trump has also relied on his political operation to cover legal costs for some aides.

• At least $15.1 million spent on the Republican National Convention. The event was supposed to be in Charlotte, North Carolina, but Trump relocated it to Jacksonville, Florida, after a dispute with North Carolina’s Democratic governor over coronavirus safety measures. The Florida event was ultimately cancelled, with a mostly online convention taking its place. Disclosures show the RNC still spent $1 million at the Ritz Carlton Amelia Island, near Jacksonville.

• $912,000 spent on ads that ran on the personal Facebook pages of Parscale and Trump spokesperson Katrina Pierson.

• A $250,000 ad run during Game 7 of the 2019 World Series, which came after Trump was booed by spectators when he attended Game 5.

• At least $218,000 for Trump surrogates to travel aboard private jets provided by campaign donors.

• $1.6 million on TV ads in the Washington, D.C., media market, an overwhelmingly Democratic area where Trump has little chance of winning but where he is a regular TV watcher.

There are signs Trump’s grassroots fundraising operation has slowed, too. Once a driving force, the campaign is now spending about 77 cents for every dollar it raises, typically through online ads asking supporters to chip in a few dollars.

>>Between July and September, it cost the campaign $181 million to raise $235 million through such small contributions. That’s a considerable break from earlier in the year, when it raked in hundreds of millions while spending far less.

Some of Trump’s wealthy supporters are also exploring their options.

Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, recently donated $75 million to Preserve America, a new pro-Trump super political action committee that is not controlled by Trump World political operatives.

One of the reasons the group was founded in August is because there is deep distrust among some GOP donors that the existing pro-Trump organizations would spend the money wisely, according to a Republican strategist with direct knowledge of the matter. The strategist spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive discussions with donors.

Dan Eberhart, who has given over $190,000 to Trump’s election efforts, said many Republican donors are now focused on keeping control of the Senate in GOP hands _ not Trump’s chances of winning.

>>“The Senate majority is the most important objective right now,” he said. “It’s the bulwark against so much bad policy that the Democrats want to do.”

https://globalnews.ca/news/7409773/trump-campaign-1-billion-dollars/

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39 Chinese Are Thailand’s 1st Foreign Tourists in 7 Months

By: Jerry Harmer

https://muckrack.com/jerry-harmer

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand’s tourist industry took a modest step toward reviving its coronavirus-battered fortunes Tuesday by welcoming 39 visitors who flew in from Shanghai, the first such arrivals since regular travelers were banned almost seven months ago.

The visitors who arrived at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport are pioneers in a “Special Tourist Visa” program devised by Thai authorities to restore step by step a sector of the economy that welcomed almost 40 million foreign visitors last year and by some estimates accounts for more than 10% of the country’s GDP.

China was a natural choice for restarting tourism. Thailand was one of the top overseas destinations for Chinese tourists in 2019, when they accounted for by far the largest number of visitors to Thailand by nationality. Just as crucial is that China has largely contained the virus domestically, in sharp contrast to other countries.

Thailand has had only a handful of domestic cases since June, and China’s few local outbreaks have dissipated quickly after authorities took steps such as testing entire cities and quarantining communities with potential exposure.

Thailand’s newest visitors cannot freely traipse around the country, however.

Under the program approved by the Thai Cabinet in September, foreign tourists who commit to a stay of at least 30 days are issued 90-day visas that can be renewed twice. After arriving, they must stay in government-approved quarantine at a hotel or hospital for 14 days and prove they have long-term accommodations. They must have special insurance policies, undergo pre-departure testing for the virus and download an official coronavirus-tracking application for use during their stay.

An operations manager at Suvarnabhumi Airport said it is ready for tourists with a testing system that gives the result within 90 minutes. He said arrivals have to go through three thermal scans as they make their way through the airport.

>>“We can assure everyone that all our measures are systematic and meet international standards,” the manager, Kittipong Kittikachorn, told The Associated Press.

Members of the media were not allowed to meet with the arriving tourists.

At least two other flights from China are expected later this month, and Thailand’s tourism ministry expects about 400 foreign visitors in early November. Future flights may land in destinations other than Bangkok, such as the southern resort island of Phuket.

https://www.rochesterfirst.com/news/international/39-chinese-are-thailands-1st-foreign-tourists-in-7-months/

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US, Russia Appear Set to Extend Last Remaining Nuclear Pact

By: MATTHEW LEE and VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV

https://muckrack.com/matthew-lee

https://muckrack.com/vladimir-isachenkov

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States and Russia inched closer Tuesday to a deal to extend their last remaining arms control pact, after U.S. threats to allow the deal to expire early next year.

The two sides signaled they are ready to accept compromises to salvage the New START treaty just two weeks ahead of the U.S. presidential election in which President Donald Trump faces a strong challenge from former Vice President Joe Biden, whose campaign has accused Trump of being soft on Russia.

After the White House last week rejected a proposal from the Kremlin to keep the accord alive, calling it a “non-starter,” Moscow said Tuesday it could agree to a U.S.-proposed freeze on each side’s nuclear warheads and to extend the treaty by one year. In response, the U.S. said it was ready for a quick deal.

In a statement, Russia’s Foreign Ministry outlined the shift in Moscow’s position after last week’s apparent breakdown in the talks on New START, which expires in February. It said Russia is prepared for a deal if the U.S. agrees to put forward no additional demands.

The U.S. State Department then welcomed the Russian offer.

>>“We appreciate the Russian Federation’s willingness to make progress on the issue of nuclear arms control,” department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said. “The United States is prepared to meet immediately to finalize a verifiable agreement. We expect Russia to empower its diplomats to do the same.”

There was no immediate indication of when the two sides might meet to conclude an agreement or what form it might take.

New START was signed in 2010 by then-U.S. President Barack Obama and then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. The pact limits each country to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers, and envisages sweeping on-site inspections to verify compliance.

After both Moscow and Washington withdrew from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty last year, New START was the only remaining nuclear arms control deal between the two countries.

Russia had offered to extend it without any conditions, while the Trump administration had initially insisted that it could only be renewed if China agreed to join. China has refused to consider the idea.

The U.S. recently modified its stance and proposed a one-year extension of the treaty, but said it must be coupled with the imposition of a broader cap on nuclear warheads. The cap would cover warheads attached to battlefield weapons, which are not limited by New START treaty because it only restricts strategic nuclear arsenals.

Last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov argued that Russia couldn’t agree to the U.S. proposal to limit tactical nuclear weapons alongside nuclear warheads that arm strategic missiles and bombers until Washington agreed to withdraw its nuclear warheads from Europe.

Lavrov also noted that Moscow wouldn’t accept the U.S. demand to have intrusive verification measures like those that existed in the 1990s when inspectors were positioned at missile factories. Moscow appears still to resist the deeper inspections, which aren’t envisaged by the New START.

Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association in Washington, said “a one-year politically binding warhead freeze could be a useful confidence-building measure if combined with a one-year New START extension, with the option of an additional extension adding up to a total of five years.”

>>“It would be a step in the right direction that would avert, for now, an all-out arms race,” Kimball said, adding that it would give Washington and Moscow more time for further talks on a new deal to cut their nuclear arsenals.

In the closing days of his reelection bid, Trump has looked for ways to boost his foreign policy record, and although he says he favors nuclear arms control, he has called New START flawed and unfavorable to the U.S. Last year, he withdrew the U.S. from the INF treaty with Russia, and he waited until this year to begin engaging with the Russians on the future of New START.

Hans Kristensen, a nuclear weapons expert at the Federation of American Scientists, tweeted that Russian President Vladimir Putin was offering a deal that would fall far short of the Trump administration’s original demands, including its insistence that China become part of a new treaty.

>>“For Trump, accepting Russian position would constitute astounding walk-back: No “fix” of New START, no improved verification, no inclusion of “outside” weapons, no China,” Kristensen said.

Biden, who was vice president when New START was negotiated during the Obama administration and ratified by the Senate, has said he wouldn’t hesitate to agree to Putin’s original proposal for a five-year extension of New START. That would be followed by negotiation of a follow-on deal.

Sen. Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, welcomed the decision to extend New START but said it was only a “temporary Band-Aid which fails to resolve the critical arms control issues facing our nation today.” In his statement, Menendez said the impact of the freeze on nuclear warheads will be unclear unless the Trump administration has the ability to verify Russia’s compliance.

https://www.rochesterfirst.com/news/international/russia-ready-to-accept-us-proposal-to-extend-nuclear-pact/

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Melania Trump Cancels Campaign Trip Due to ‘Lingering Cough’ From Coronavirus

By: Darlene Superville

https://muckrack.com/dsupervilleap

Melania Trump’s return to the campaign trail will have to wait.

The first lady has decided against accompanying U.S. President Donald Trump to a campaign rally Tuesday in Erie, Pennsylvania, because of a lingering cough after her bout with COVID-19, said Stephanie Grisham, her chief of staff.

It was to be Mrs. Trump’s first public appearance since recovering from the coronavirus, as well as her first time out on the campaign trail in more than a year.

The first lady’s announcement served as yet another reminder for the president that, as much as he wishes the virus would “just disappear” — as he has said — it remains a powerful presence in everyday life, including his.

Trump said Monday that people are tired of hearing about COVID-19. More than 58,000 Americans a day are testing positive for the virus, and more than 700 a day are dying from the disease.

Mrs. Trump continues to feel better every day “but with a lingering cough, and out of an abundance of caution, she will not be travelling today,” Grisham said.

The first lady last appeared in public for the Sept. 29 debate in Cleveland between Trump and Democrat Joe Biden. She and the president tested positive two days later.

The first lady announced in a blog post last week that she had recovered from a bout with COVID-19 that included headaches, body aches and fatigue, and had tested negative. She also revealed that the couple’s 14-year-old son, Barron, also had contracted the virus, but never had symptoms. He has since tested negative.

President Trump spent three nights at a military hospital outside Washington receiving treatment for his case of the disease. He was released Oct. 5 and returned to active campaigning last week.

Tuesday’s rally in Pennsylvania was to be the first campaign trail appearance for Mrs. Trump since she spoke briefly at a June 2019 event in Orlando, Florida, where the president launched his reelection bid.

She addressed a mostly virtual Republican National Convention in August from the White House Rose Garden.

The first lady had planned to headline Trump campaign fundraisers back in March, but those appearances were cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

She is expected to accompany the president to Nashville, Tennessee, on Thursday for his second and final debate against Biden before the Nov. 3 election.

https://globalnews.ca/news/7409605/melania-trump-coronavirus-campaign/

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Danish Submarine Killer Captured After Escaping Prison Using Fake Explosive Belt

By Zachary Halaschak

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/author/zachary-halaschak

Peter Madsen, the man known for killing and dismembering a Swedish journalist while aboard his homemade submarine, briefly escaped a prison where he is serving a life sentence.

Madsen, 49, escaped from Herstedvester Prison, located near Copenhagen, Denmark, on Tuesday morning. He was able to escape by using a fake explosive belt and a fake gun, according to the New York Times. His freedom was short-lived, and Madsen found himself surrounded by police officers a half-mile away from the prison just five minutes after the getaway.

Mogens Lauridsen, the chief superintendent of the Western Copenhagen police, said a “gunlike object” was used in the commission of his escape and that he tossed it as he ran from authorities.

“We don’t think it was a gun, but it looked like one,” Lauridsen explained, noting that because of the mock explosive belt, it took authorities several hours to bring him back to the prison given safety precautions. Officials don’t think that Madsen had any assistance from beyond the prison but remain in the investigative stage.

Madsen is reviled in Sweden and Denmark for the 2017 killing of 30-year-old journalist Kim Wall. Just a month before his attempted jailbreak, the Danish inventor admitted to her murder after maintaining his innocence even after his conviction. As he was detained on Tuesday, bystanders hurled insults at him.

“Drown yourself!” and “You should be dismembered!” people reportedly shouted at him.

Madsen had taken up Wall on her request to interview him aboard his submarine, the UC3 Nautilus, back in August 2017. She never returned from the interview, and after dismembered body parts began to be discovered, he was charged with her murder.

He initially maintained that her death was accidental, although, in a new documentary series Secret Recordings with Peter Madsen, he reportedly confessed his guilt to another journalist.

“There is only one who is guilty, and that is me,” Madsen said in the documentary after responding “yes” to a question about if he was the one who killed Wall.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/danish-submarine-killer-captured-after-escaping-prison-using-fake-explosive-belt

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Melania Trump Cancels Campaign Trip Due to ‘Lingering Cough’

First lady Melania Trump canceled plans to attend a campaign rally for President Donald Trump on Tuesday due to a “lingering cough” from her bout of COVID-19, her chief of staff said.

Stephanie Grisham said the first lady is still recovering from her illness, nearly three weeks after her diagnosis.

“Mrs. Trump continues to feel better every day following her recovery from COVID-19, but with a lingering cough, and out of an abundance of caution, she will not be traveling today,” Grisham said.

The event in Erie, Pa., Tuesday night would have been the first lady’s first campaign event since the president’s White House speech as part of the Republican National Convention in August.

Melania Trump said last week she tested negative for the novel coronavirus after experiencing a “roller coaster” of symptoms, including body aches, cough, headache and fatigue. She said she chose a “more natural route” for her treatment, focusing on taking vitamins and eating healthy foods.

She also said the couple’s son, Barron Trump, tested positive for the virus, but has since tested negative.

https://www.breitbart.com/news/melania-trump-cancels-campaign-trip-due-to-lingering-cough/

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Education Department Warns About 'National Security Risks' Posed by Chinese Funding on Campus

By Jerry Dunleavy

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/author/jerry-dunleavy

The Department of Education released a new report on Tuesday with details on its wide-ranging investigation into foreign funding on campus, including specific warnings that U.S. university partnerships with foreign adversaries, most notably China, could pose a risk to national security.

“American higher education is a critical human and technological strategic resource. The intellectual dynamism created by our nation’s historic commitment to academic freedom, free inquiry, and free speech on campus has substantially contributed to America’s economic and national security,” the 34-page report from the Education Department’s office of general counsel noted. “Accordingly, for decades, foreign state and non-state actors have devoted significant resources to influence or control teaching and research, to the theft of intellectual property or even espionage, and to the use of American campuses as centers for propaganda operations and other projections of soft power.”

The agency argued that “under Secretary Betsy DeVos’ leadership, the Department has, for the first time, taken concrete steps” to enforce Section 117 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 on foreign funding.

The Education Department specifically warned that U.S. institutions of higher education “regularly work with foreign entities known or suspected to present national security risks” in a somewhat-redacted section focused mainly on the Chinese Communist Party’s influence on U.S. campuses. Investigators lamented that “institutions have directly entered into agreements with foreign governments, even repressive governments that are often hostile to American national security interests, such as China.” The names of specific schools were largely redacted within the report.

The agency warned that “chief among these security concerns” is U.S. universities partnering with the “heavily state-influenced” Chinese technology giant Huawei, one of the largest telecommunications providers in the world, that “became a household name not only because of its products’ international presence but because of these products’ potential enablement of foreign espionage.” The report noted that Huawei’s corporate structure includes a CCP committee that exerts influence from the Chinese government, and it also laid out at least $75 billion in support from China’s government, all meant to advance “Huawei’s global prowess” and to make its presence “a potential tool of the Chinese government and grave national security concern in the U.S. and abroad.”

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/education-department-warns-about-national-security-risks-posed-by-chinese-funding-on-campus

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US, Russia ‘On The Verge’ Of Renewing Nuclear Warhead Treaty

By Anders Hagstrom

https://dailycaller.com/author/anders.h/

The United States and Russia are “on the verge” of agreeing to extend existing nuclear treaties and freeze the number of warheads on both sides, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported Tuesday.

The potential deal comes after Russian diplomats offered the extension of the existing New START nuclear treaty first signed in 2010 under former President Barack Obama. The deal is scheduled to expire February 2021, unless Russia and the Trump administration come to an extension agreement. The U.S. State Department said Tuesday that such an agreement is likely, according to the Washington Post.

“We appreciate the Russian Federation’s willingness to make progress on the issue of nuclear arms control,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement to reporters, per the Post. “The United States is prepared to meet immediately to finalize a verifiable agreement. We expect Russia to empower its diplomats to do the same.”

The offer from Russian negotiators comes after President Donald Trump’s administration rejected the previous offer on Friday, which featured only an extension of the New START deal. U.S. negotiators said a freeze on existing nuclear warhead numbers was a non-negotiable feature of any potential deal, and it now appears Russia is willing to accept those terms.

In addition to the New START extension, the Russian Foreign Ministry said it is ready “to assume a political obligation on freezing a number of the nuclear warheads possessed by the parties for this period,” according to the Post.

https://dailycaller.com/2020/10/20/us-russia-nuclear-warhead-treaty-trump-putin/

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No Tsunami Threat to B.C. After 7.5-Magnitude Earthquake in Alaska

By: Hannah Jackson

https://muckrack.com/hannah-jackson

Officials say there is no tsunami threat to British Columbia after a 7.5-magnitude earthquake was detected off the coast of Alaska.

In a statement just before 7 p.m. ET, Emergency Management B.C. said there is “no threat” to the province.

The the United States Geological Survey said the earthquake occurred just before 5 p.m. ET on Monday, approximately 94 kilometres southeast of Sand Point.

The magnitude of the earthquake was upgraded from 7.4 to 7.5 just after 5:30 p.m. ET.

The Alaska Earthquake Center said the quake was widely felt in communities along the southern coast, including Sand Point, Chignik, Unalaska and the Kenai Peninsula.

The center said a magnitude 5.2 aftershock was reported 11 minutes later, centered roughly in the same area.

Another 5.9 magnitude aftershock was registered shortly after 6:20 p.m. ET around 136 kilometers southeast of Sand Point.

A tsunami warning has been issued for South Alaska and the Alaska Peninsula.

>>“If you are located in this coastal area, move inland to higher ground,” the warning reads.

Global News chief meteorologist Anthony Farnell said a small tsunami appeared to have been generated after the earthquake.

>>“Information is still coming in, but some of the nearby buoys are reporting some tsunami activity,” he said.

https://globalnews.ca/news/7406630/alaska-earthquake-tusnami-warning/

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Michael Moore Says White Supremacists Must Adjust to Being the Minority in Coming Years

By Mica Soellner

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/author/mica-soellner

Filmmaker and liberal activist Michael Moore issued a warning to white supremacists, saying they better get used to the country growing in its racial and ethnic diversity.

"Your white supremacy thing, you will have to change," Moore told MSNBC host Alex Witt on Sunday. "The country has changed. White people will be the minority in the 2040s, so get used to it. Why not get used to it now? It's going to be good."

Moore touched on his past, adding that he grew up with the kind of extremists who concocted the plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer earlier this week. Michigan is a critical swing state in the 2020 election, which was narrowly won by Trump in 2016, who broke years of Democratic dominance.

"I’ve known these guys for a long time," Moore said. "When I saw them back in April at the state capitol, I don’t know those guys specifically, but I know those kind of guys. I went to high school with some of them. Their bark sometimes is bigger than their bite. And what they want to do — what the leader of the Michigan militia at that time after Oklahoma City [bombing], what they said was they want to be heard."

Law enforcement arrested seven people associated with Michigan extremist group the Wolverine Watchmen, who were allegedly trying to kidnap the governor. In total, 13 people were arrested in the plot, sparking a national concern over domestic extremism.

Moore suggested that he wished people would go and engage in nonviolent activism instead of trying to harm people, encouraging people to not be afraid to go vote or get involved despite the threat posed by some extremists.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/michael-moore-says-white-supremacists-must-adjust-to-being-the-minority-in-coming-years

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Argentina Becomes 5th Country to Surpass 1 Million Coronavirus Cases

By: Nicolas Deluca, Almudena Calatrava and Christine Armario

https://muckrack.com/almudena-calatrava

https://muckrack.com/cearmario

At the edge of Argentina in a city known as “The End of the World,” many thought they might be spared from the worst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sitting far from the South American nation’s bustling capital, health workers in Ushuaia were initially able to contain a small outbreak among foreigners hoping to catch boats to the Antarctic at the start of the crisis.

But as Argentina passed 1 million virus cases Monday, it is now smaller cities like Ushuaia that are seeing some of the most notable upticks. Doctors have had to quadruple the number of beds for COVID-19 patients over the last month. At least 60% of those tested recently are coming back positive for the virus.

>> “We were the example of the country,” said Dr. Carlos Guglielmi, director of the Ushuaia Regional Hospital. “Evidently someone arrived with the coronavirus.”

Across Latin America, three other nations are expected to reach the 1 million case milestone in the coming weeks — Colombia, Mexico and Peru. The grim mark comes as Latin America continues to register some of the world’s highest daily case counts. And though some nations have seen important declines, overall there has been little relief, with cases dropping in one municipality only to escalate in another.

The trajectory is showing that the pandemic is likely to leave no corner of Latin America unscathed.

>>“The second wave is arriving without ever having finished the first,” said Dr. Luis Jorge Hernandez, a public health professor at the University of the Andes in Colombia.

Argentina has seen cases spiral despite instituting one of the world’s longest lockdowns. Colombia’s major cities have seen a dip, but smaller areas like the department of Caldas in the coffee region are only now reaching a peak. Peru’s overall numbers have dropped, but officials recently reported 12 regions are spiking back up. Mexico, likewise, has seen a rise in a quarter of all states over the last week.

The result is that rather than a second virus wave like that being seen in Europe, epidemiologists anticipate a more sustained, plateau-like trend.

>>“Our countries are still getting out of the first wave,” said Dr. Marcos Espinal, director of the Pan American Health Organization’s Department of Communicable Diseases. “A great part of the population remains exposed and community transmission continues.”

The virus’ cruel path through Latin America is a consequence of weak public health systems, social factors like poverty and poor government decisions early on that resulted in flawed or limited testing and little contact tracing. Today the region is home to half the 10 countries with the highest total cases around the globe.

Argentina initially registered low virus case numbers but now has one of the highest rates of new daily infections per capita, according to Our World in Data, a non-profit online scientific publication based at the University of Oxford. It is on par with several European countries that are experiencing a resurgence of the virus.

Dr. Adolfo Rubinstein, a former Argentine health minister, said the nation depended too heavily on lockdowns as its primary means of controlling the virus, failing to purchase enough tests in the initial months of the pandemic.

Where the virus is appearing is also shifting. Initially, up to 90% of the confirmed cases were in metropolitan Buenos Aires. Today, 65% of Argentina’s cases are in its provinces and even faraway places like Ushuaia, authorities said.

>>“Now it is everywhere in the country,” Rubinstein said.

Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, director of the Americas branch of the World Health Organization, warned recently that the coronavirus is appearing in places that were previously not affected, with high numbers popping up in regions like the English-speaking Caribbean.

>>“In many countries, the pandemic has also moved to less populated areas,” she said.

That can be seen not just in Argentina but in Colombia as well. The city of Manizales in a region known for its coffee farms now registers 440.98 cases per 100,000 residents, far higher than the nationwide average of 284.09 per 100,000, according to the Ministry of Health. Officials say the slower rise in cases allowed them to expand ICU capacity.

>>“Here we didn’t have a peak like in Europe,” Hernandez said. “We had a plateau.”

Throughout the region, testing remains a hurdle. In Peru, officials have relied heavily on antibody tests to identify cases — even though the tests are not designed to make a diagnosis because they can only detect proteins that develop a week or more after infection. Argentina’s testing is still far below that of neighbouring countries; on Sunday, just 13,890 were tested, compared to 31,988 the same day in Colombia.

The high percentage coming back positive in Argentina suggests the country is still likely missing vast numbers of infections.

Brazil reached 1 million cases in June and now is up to 5.2 million for the pandemic.

>>“These are huge undercounts of what is really going on in terms of numbers,” said Felicia Knaul, director of the Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas at the University of Miami. “We need more consistent mask use — but we have to couple that with testing and tracing — or else the numbers are going to rise tremendously.”

In Ushuaia, officials believe truckers carrying in produce from the Buenos AIres region may be responsible for the rise in cases since mid-September. The city famous as a departure point for cruises to the Antarctic had been a model for the nation. Closed off air travel and a halt on tourism left it virus free for months.

But that false sense of comfort may have led people to relax on basic pandemic norms like hand washing and social distancing. The Tierra del Fuego province, which has a population of about 150,000, now has over 8,000 confirmed cases.

In Ushuaia, anxious residents line up in their cars for drive-thru testing. A sports centre that had been empty is now set up to take care of patients. One month ago, the regional hospital was treating just seven COVID-19 patients; now it has 28, occupying all of its bed set aside for adults with the illness.

>>“The failure in Argentina was the low amount of testing,” Guglielmi said.

Jose Bongiovanni, a lawyer in Ushuaia, said a worry that seemed distant now feels close.

>>“Living at the end of the world was never easy,” he said. “It’s a lot less easy in a moment like this.”

https://globalnews.ca/news/7407215/argentina-1-million-coronavirus-cases/

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Day 5: New York Post Defies Twitter’s Demand to Delete Biden Stories, Remains Suspended

By Lucas Nolan

https://www.breitbart.com/author/lucas-nolan/

Five days after the New York Post published a bombshell story about Hunter Biden, Joe Biden, and the family’s alleged ties to Burisma, the Post remains blacklisted from Twitter for sharing the story. The newspaper has refused to delete its tweets linking to the stories, and Twitter has refused to relent on the Post‘s suspension, despite CEO Jack Dorsey admitting that blocking links on the platform is wrong.

Recently the New York Post published a bombshell story that indicated that Joe Biden may have met with an adviser to the board of Burisma while he was Vice President, arranged by his son Hunter, who was working as a lobbyist for the company at the time. Biden has previously claimed that he was never involved in his son’s business stating: “I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.”

But, leaked private emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop obtained by the Post allegedly show that Hunter introduced his father to a Bursima executive less than a year before Biden, acting as Vice President, pressured the Ukrainian government into firing a prosecutor who was investigating the company. Shortly after the story broke, many found themselves having trouble sharing it across social media. This censorship comes just weeks after executives from both Facebook and Twitter joined the Biden transition team.

Shortly after sharing the story on social media, the New York Post found its Twitter account locked. Twitter marked links to the Post’s story as “unsafe”, since then links to a follow-up story by the Post have also been marked as unsafe when accessed by Twitter users.

Five days since the Post found its account locked, the publication is still unable to access its account. New York Post deputy political editor Emma-Jo Morris stated in a post on Twitter.

https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2020/10/19/day-5-new-york-post-defies-twitters-demand-to-delete-biden-stories-remains-suspended/#

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David Bossie: Kenosha Visit Shows Trump Defends Us Against Rioting Anarchists Trying to Destroy US

By: David N. Bossie

https://muckrack.com/david-bossie

President Trump traveled to Kenosha, Wis., Tuesday to demonstrate his profound and sincere support for the heartland community as it rebuilds from the senseless rioting, looting and violence it has experienced over the past week.

During his visit, the president announced that he would be providing $1 million in emergency support to Kenosha law enforcement, $13 million to law enforcement agencies statewide in Wisconsin, and nearly $4 million to small businesses.

This assistance is exactly the type of decisive action needed at this moment. President Trump is once again rising to the occasion.

Throughout the summer, we have seen violent rioters wreak havoc in our cities — burning down neighborhoods, taking innocent lives, and destroying countless businesses.

These radical anarchists have used the tragic deaths of George Floyd and other Black Americans as an excuse to destroy the lives of innocent bystanders, simply for no other reason than they want to burn down American society. Unfortunately, we are now seeing a resurgence of this chaos in Kenosha.

Based on the evidence we’ve seen so far, the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha by a police officer is disturbing to watch and raises questions. Blake, a Black man, was shot in the back seven times and is now paralyzed below the waist.

However, Blake’s shooting — which is now under investigation by authorities — is no excuse for leftist radicals to riot, set buildings on fire and commit other crimes in Kenosha. The violence must end.

The shameful actions by these extreme radicals are inexcusable. As we have seen with other riots across the country, these radicals are taking advantage of tragedy in order to upend the American way of life.

The only goal of these anarchists is to destroy the United States of America. But what’s even more inexplicable is the fact that it took former Vice President Joe Biden several days before he condemned the Kenosha riots. And he only issued his condemnation of rioting when polling made it clear his refusal to do so was costing him votes.

It’s shameful that the Democratic presidential nominee waited to get the public’s reaction before speaking up against this senseless criminal conduct. This shows he doesn’t hold any convictions. He cares more about the radical left’s perception of him than about the health and safety of the American people.

This should come as no surprise, considering Joe Biden has refused to back our nation’s brave law enforcement officers who are under constant attack during these unprecedented times. Don’t forget that he mostly avoided speaking about the riots as they ravaged the nation over the summer.

If Joe Biden refuses to back the brave men and women in blue, why would he ever feel the need to rush to condemn the riots in Kenosha or anywhere else?

Meanwhile, President Trump is taking swift and decisive action to protect American cities and law-abiding Americans. He sent federal authorities to jurisdictions under attack from these radical anarchists and offered federal assistance to state and local leaders dealing with destructive riots. The president most recently offered the Wisconsin governor assistance.

When rioters decide to terrorize the streets, President Trump springs into action. He’s a proven leader. He didn’t wait until polling showed him it was the popular thing to do.

The American people have an important decision to make in the November election. President Trump stands up for the men and women of law enforcement and is committed to upholding the rule of law in our communities, to keep all Americans safe. The alternative is Joe Biden, who follows whatever his handlers tell him is advantageous for him at any given moment.

Whether we’re talking about Kenosha or the entire nation, President Trump is the only candidate on the ballot with all of our best interests in mind. Biden’s only interest is what his handlers consider beneficial for him — and him alone.

https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/trump-kenosha-david-bossie

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Cancer-Stricken Rush Limbaugh Says He Can No Longer Deny He's 'Under a Death Sentence'

By: Brian Flood

https://muckrack.com/briansflood/articles

Cancer-stricken talk radio legend Rush Limbaugh provided listeners a somber update on his condition Monday after recent scans showed “some progression of cancer,” which he said is “not dramatic” but still a step in the wrong direction.

Limbaugh announced in February that he was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer and had missed several shows this month to undergo treatment.

>>“From the moment you get the diagnosis, there’s a part of you every day, OK, that’s it, life’s over, you just don’t know when,” Limbaugh said. “So, during the period of time after the diagnosis, you do what you can to prolong life, do what you can to prolong a happy life. You measure a happy life against whatever medication it takes.”

Limbaugh, who recently hosted President Trump for a two-hour interview, continued the devastating update on his diagnosis.

>>“It’s tough to realize that the days where I do not think I’m under a death sentence are over,” Limbaugh continued. “Now, we all are, is the point. We all know that we’re going to die at some point, but when you have a terminal disease diagnosis that has a time frame to it, then that puts a different psychological and even physical awareness to it.”

The conservative radio icon then explained that he received bad news earlier this month during treatment.

>>“The scans did show some progression of cancer. Now, prior to that, the scans had shown that we had rendered the cancer dormant. That’s my phrase for it. We had stopped the growth. It had been reduced, and it had become manageable,” he said. “But there’s always the reality and the knowledge that that can change and it can come back because it is cancer. It eventually outsmarts pretty much everything you throw at it.”

Limbaugh said that his treatment program has been adjusted with chemotherapy drugs “in hopes of keeping additional progression at bay for as long as possible,” but he’s happy to be on the air while he can still do it.

>>“I feel very blessed to be here speaking with you today. Some days are harder than others. I do get fatigued now. I do get very, very tired now. I’m not gonna mislead you about that. But I am extremely grateful to be able to come here to the studio and to maintain as much normalcy as possible – and it’s still true,” he said. “You know, I wake up every day and thank God that I did. I go to bed every night praying I’m gonna wake up.”

Limbaugh said he understand many listeners are going through their own struggles and offered advice.

>>“Someone told me — I think this is good advice, may be helpful — the only thing that any of us are certain of is right now, today. That’s why I thank God every morning when I wake up,” he said. I thank God that I did. I try to make it the best day I can no matter what. I don’t look too far ahead. I certainly don’t look too far back.”

Limbaugh told listeners he never thought he would make it to Oct. 1 when he was first diagnosed earlier this year.

>>“It is of immense value, strength, confidence, and that’s why I’m able to remain fully committed to the idea that what is supposed to happen will happen when it’s meant to. There’s some comfort in knowing that some things are not in our hands,” he said. “There’s a lot of fear associated with that, too, but there is some comfort. It’s helpful … God, is it helpful. It’s helpful to be able to trust and to believe in a higher plan.”

Limbaugh received the Presidential Medal of Freedom during Trump’s State of the Union address only a few days after first informing listeners of his diagnosis.

>>“The Rush Limbaugh Show” first aired in 1988 and has earned a variety of awards and honors. Limbaugh is a five-time winner of the National Association of Broadcasters' Marconi Award for “Excellence in Syndicated and Network Broadcasting,” a No. 1 New York Times best-selling author and a member of the Radio Hall of Fame and National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

https://www.foxnews.com/media/cancer-stricken-rush-limbaugh-says-he-can-no-longer-deny-hes-under-a-death-sentence

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U.S. Senate to Hold Rare Weekend Session to Secure Barrett’s Spot on Supreme Court

By: Lisa Mascaro

https://muckrack.com/LisaMascaroinDC

Wasting no time, the U.S. Senate is on track to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court by next Monday, charging toward a rare weekend session as Republicans push past procedural steps to install President Donald Trump’s pick before Election Day.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he will begin the process as soon as the Senate Judiciary Committee wraps up its work Thursday. With a 53-47 Republican majority, and just two GOP senators opposed, Trump’s nominee is on a glide path to confirmation that will seal a conservative hold on the court for years to come.

McConnell said Monday that Barrett demonstrated over several days of public hearings the “sheer intellectual horsepower that the American people deserve to have on the Supreme Court.”

Without the votes to stop Barrett’s ascent, Democrats have few options left. They are searching for two more GOP senators to break ranks and halt confirmation, but that seems unlikely. Never before as a court nominee been voted on so close to a presidential election.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer decried what he called the “farcical” process to “jam” through Trump’s choice, even as the coronavirus outbreak sidelined GOP senators.

>>“The Republican majority is running the most hypocritical, most partisan and least legitimate process in the history of Supreme Court confirmations,” he said during speech as the Senate opened.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to meet Thursday to vote on recommending Barrett’s nomination to the full Senate.

By Friday, procedural votes are expected, continuing over the weekend as Republicans push through the steps for a final vote to confirm Barrett as soon as Monday.

The 48-year-old appellate court judge from Indiana delivered few specific answers during several days of public testimony as senators probed her previously outspoken views against abortion, the Affordable Care Act and other issues before the court. She declined to say whether she would recuse herself from cases involving the election between Trump and Democrat Joe Biden.

Trump has said he wants the judge seated in time to hear any potential disputes from the Nov. 3 election. He also has said he’s looking for a judge who would rule against the Obama-era health care law, which is headed to the court in a case justices are expected to hear Nov. 10.

If confirmed, Barrett would be Trump’s third justice on the court. She would fill the vacancy from the late Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the liberal icon, locking in a 6-3 conservative majority on the high court.

https://globalnews.ca/news/7407285/us-senate-session-barret-scotus/

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Mike Huckabee: Biden Is a Weak Appeaser in Dealing With China — Trump Stands up to China With Streng

By: Mike Huckabee

https://muckrack.com/mike-huckabee

The liberal media want you to believe that former Vice President Joe Biden would challenge Beijing if he is elected as president — but no amount of media spin can transform a serial China appeaser into a bold American leader.

According to a New York Times article published last week, Biden has taken a “journey” with respect to his position on China, adjusting his view of the communist regime over the course of his lengthy political career in Washington.

>>“As a United States senator, he spoke of transforming China through trade,” the Times article states. “As a presidential candidate two decades later, he denounces it as a ‘dictatorship.’” The article attempts to convince the reader that Biden has matured on foreign policy, and that he now has what it takes to stand up to Beijing after decades of rolling over for our rival.

Biden’s so-called “journey,” however, is more of a lengthy jog on a political treadmill — lots of motion, but going nowhere.

As the American people have learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, Biden couldn’t even bring himself to condemn the Chinese regime for its mishandling of the coronavirus outbreak. And Biden has even echoed Beijing’s propaganda criticizing President Trump’s emergency travel restrictions, which have helped save countless American lives, as being “xenophobic.”

>>“This is no time for Donald Trump’s record of hysteria and xenophobia — hysterical xenophobia — and fearmongering to lead the way instead of science,” Biden said Jan. 31.

Moreover, the Democratic presidential nominee has vowed to reverse President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the corrupt World Health Organization, ignoring the fact that the institution has played a key role in facilitating China’s coronavirus cover-up campaign.

In fact, the WHO publicly disseminated a Chinese study about the pathology of COVID-19 that falsely claimed the virus can’t be transmitted between humans. Why would America trade President Trump’s courage for Joe Biden’s capitulation to the communist dictatorship?

“Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China,” the health organization tweeted Jan. 14.

To make matters worse, Biden recently pledged to “reevaluate” President Trump’s strategic counter-tariffs on Chinese goods if he gets elected this November. The Trump policy is designed to correct Beijing’s years of dishonest trade practices that have stolen millions of jobs from American workers.

Biden doesn’t even comprehend the geopolitical threat China poses to the U.S. Just a year ago, the former vice president passionately insisted that the world’s second-largest economy is not “going to eat our lunch,” airily dismissing widely held concerns about the rise of the communist nation.

“They’re not bad folks, folks,” Biden said at the time. “They’re not competition for us."

Of course, The New York Times went out of its way to point out that Biden has labeled China a “dictatorship,” as though this obvious statement of fact proves that the Democratic presidential nominee has no illusions about the regime’s brutality. But pointing out China’s tyrannical tendencies and recognizing the foreign policy threat it poses are two very different things.

There are around 200 sovereign states in the world. Many of them are dictatorships that pose no challenge to the United States.

China, on the other hand, is determined to undermine America’s hegemony and fundamentally change the world order — and it’s well-positioned to achieve those aims if American leaders don’t assert our country’s interests.

Donald Trump has done just that since taking office, securing a historic Phase One trade deal with China that went a long way toward restoring parity to our trade relationship. We need to keep the pressure on until we finish the job. After years of being played as chumps by China under past administrations, President Trump has put America — and American workers — first.

The liberal media are desperately trying to redefine Biden as a leader who can challenge China — but erasing history is no easy feat. Beijing Biden does not have what it takes to stand up to our biggest geopolitical adversary, and his own actions during this election season show it.

President Trump has put a stop to the long-time swamp policy pushed by politicians like Joe Biden, who have left cookies and warm milk out for the Chinese as if they were Santa Claus when they were actually acting like burglars in the homes of America’s middle class.

https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/biden-trump-china-mike-huckabee

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Canada-China Spat Heats up Over Ambassador’s Alleged Threat

By: ROB GILLIES

https://muckrack.com/rob-gillies

TORONTO (AP) — The diplomatic spat between Canada and China grew more heated on Monday as Beijing denounced press criticism of its ambassador to Ottawa, only to have Canada’s deputy prime minister and opposition leader echo the criticism.

The exchange comes at a moment when ties between the countries are at their lowest point in years, largely due to China’ outrage over Canada’s detention of a top executive of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei and the subsequent arrest of two Canadians.

The new friction arose when China’s ambassador to Canada, Cong Peiwu, branded pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong as violent criminals and said if Canada grants them asylum it would amount to interference in China’s internal affairs.

>>“If the Canadian side really cares about the stability and the prosperity in Hong Kong, and really cares about the good health and safety of those 300,000 Canadian passport-holders in Hong Kong, and the large number of Canadian companies operating in Hong Kong SAR, you should support those efforts to fight violent crimes,” Cong said in a video news conference from the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa.

Asked if his remarks amounted to a threat, Cong replied, “That is your interpretation.”

Canada’s deputy prime minister, Chrystia Freeland said in Parliament on Monday that the ambassador’s comments “are not in any way in keeping with the spirit of appropriate diplomatic countries between two countries.”

Freeland said Canada will speak out for human rights in China and said Canada will support its citizens living in Hong Kong. “Let me also reassure the 300,000 Canadians in Hong Kong that a Canadian is a Canadian and we will stand with them.” Freeland said.

Her statements came hours after Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters that his government had complained to Canada over press criticism of Cong’s remarks. He said Canadian leaders “did not verify, but also condoned the anti-China comments spreading across the nation and made groundless accusations against China.”

He didn’t specify the media criticism, but the Toronto Sun on Saturday published an editorial calling on Cong to apologize, adding. “If he won’t apologize and retract his threats, boot him back to Beijing.”

Meanwhile, Erin O’Toole, the leader of Canada’s main opposition Conservative party, said Monday that Cong had threatened Canadians in Hong Kong and called on the envoy to either apologize or leave.

Cherie Wong, the executive director of Alliance Canada Hong Kong, a group that advocates for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, called Cong’s comment a “direct threat” to all Canadians.

>>“It should not be lost on Canadians living in Hong Kong or China, they could be next. Ambassador Cong suggested so himself,” Wong said.

Protests against the Hong Kong and mainland Chinese governments swelled last year, and Beijing clamped down on expressions of anti-government sentiment in the city with a new national security law that took effect June 30.

The law outlaws subversive, secessionist and terrorist activity, as well as collusion with foreign powers to interfere in the city’s internal affairs. The U.S., Britain and Canada accuse China of infringing on the city’s freedoms.

Cong also rejected Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s assertion that China is engaging in coercive diplomacy by imprisoning two Canadian men in retaliation for the arrest of a Chinese Huawei executive on an American extradition warrant. The executive, Meng Wanzhou, is living under house arrest in Vancouver while her case wends through a British Columbia court.

In December 2018, China imprisoned two Canadian men, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, and charged them with undermining China’s national security. Convicted Canadian drug smuggler Robert Schellenberg was also sentenced to death in a sudden retrial shortly after Meng’s arrest.

https://www.rochesterfirst.com/news/international/canada-china-spat-heats-up-over-ambassadors-alleged-threat/

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Greece Finalizes Plan to Build Wall on Border With Turkey

By: Costas Kantouris and Derek Gatopoulos

https://muckrack.com/costas-kantouris

https://muckrack.com/derek-gatopoulos

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — Greece’s government says it has finalized plans to build a wall along its northeast border with Turkey, over concerns that migrants may try to stage mass crossings into the European Union country.

>>Government spokesman Stelios Petsas said Monday that 26 kilometers (16 miles) of wall would be added to an existing 10-kilometer (six-mile) section of fence in a 63-million-euro ($74 million) project due to be completed by the end of April.

A standoff occurred at the border earlier this year after Turkey said it would no longer prevent migrants trying to reach the EU, and tens of thousands tried to cross into Greece.

The two countries are also at odds over energy rights in the eastern Mediterranean in a dispute that has triggered a dangerous military buildup in the region and fears of conflict.

Four Greek construction companies have been selected to build the new wall and upgrade the existing section of fencing, running along or close to the Evros River, which forms much of the border between the two countries.

The five-meter (15-foot) wall will be made using galvanized square steel tubes and concrete foundations, according to Greece’s public order ministry. Police officials on Monday told The Associated Press that a surveillance camera network was also planned to cover the entire 192-kilometer (120-mile) Greek-Turkish border, while police have already started trials with high-powered mobile sirens, aimed at deterring migrants as they attempt to cross.

>>“The cameras will be a vital resource for us,” Ilias Akidis, head of the police officers’ association in the Greek border region, told the AP.

>>“We have been asking for them for five years and we think they will be very effective.”

The number of migrants and refugees traveling from Turkey to Greece fell sharply this year during the pandemic and after the border standoff prompted tougher border policing. Turkey has accused Greece of illegally pushing back migrants reaching its islands in the eastern Aegean Sea, a charge that Athens denies.

Turkey hosts the largest number of refugees worldwide, at nearly 4 million people, mostly from Syria, according to the U.N. Refugee Agency.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis visited the border region on Saturday after a test installation of a section of the new wall.

https://www.rochesterfirst.com/news/international/greece-finalizes-plan-to-build-wall-on-border-with-turkey/

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As Lockdown Eases, Israelis Again Gather Against Netanyahu

By: ARIEL SCHALIT

https://muckrack.com/ariel-schalit

JERUSALEM (AP) — Thousands of Israelis demonstrated outside the official residence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday night, resuming the weekly protest against the Israeli leader after emergency restrictions imposed as part of a coronavirus lockdown were lifted.

The protests were curtailed last month after Israel imposed new lockdown measures in response to a new virus outbreak. The emergency regulations blocked Israelis from traveling to Jerusalem to protest and allowed people only to attend smaller demonstrations within one kilometer (half a mile) of their home.

The protesters gathered in central Jerusalem and marched to Netanyahu’s official residence, holding banners calling on him to go and shouting “Revolution!” Many blew horns and pounded on drums, while others hoisted Israeli flags. Scores of smaller demonstrations were held across the country, and organizers claimed some 260,000 people participated nationwide.

The protesters say Netanyahu must resign, calling him unfit to lead the country while he is on trial for corruption charges. They also say he has mishandled the virus crisis, which has sent unemployment soaring.

Netanyahu is on trial for fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes for his role in a series of scandals. He has denied the charges and said he is the victim of a conspiracy by overzealous police and prosecutors and a liberal media.

Israeli media reported several incidents of violence by far-right counter-demonstrators. In the northern city of Haifa, police said they arrested three people suspected of using pepper spray on demonstrators.

Earlier this year, Israel managed to contain the virus outbreak by sealing its borders and imposing a strict lockdown. But a quick reopening of the economy led to a rise in cases, forcing a second lockdown.

Health officials say the new restrictions have brought the infection rate down, and Israel is set to begin easing the lockdown on Sunday by reopening daycare centers and some businesses. A full reopening is expected to take several months.

>>Unemployment, including people on open-ended furloughs, has soared to nearly 25%, according to government figures. Many of the protesters include business owners, entrepreneurs and workers who lost their jobs.

https://www.rochesterfirst.com/news/international/as-lockdown-eases-israelis-again-gather-against-netanyahu/

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DNC Chair Perez Says Dems 'Take Nothing for Granted' Despite Biden's Lead in Polls

By: Peter Aitken

https://muckrack.com/peter-aitken

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez has urged caution against taking presidential nominee Joe Biden’s polling lead “for granted.”

In an interview with CBS’s Margaret Brennan on “Face The Nation,” Perez responded to recent polls in battleground states that show Biden with various leads: the newest CBS News-YouGov polls show Biden with an edge over President Donald Trump.

>>“Do you think the Democratic Party has done enough in the midst of this pandemic to drive up either easy balloting or ability to go to the poll?” Brennan asked.

>>“Well, I always caution people, never to go on the ‘poll-er-coaster,’” Perez responded. “We take nothing for granted.”

Perez emphasized “enthusiasm” as a key indicator during his interview, citing early vote totals in Wisconsin where more than 25% of people have voted, and in Florida where Perez claimed 2.4 million people had voted.

>>“And what’s really interesting is the Democrats are overwhelmingly turning in their ballots and 350,000 of the Democrats that have turned in their ballots haven’t voted in the last two elections,” Perez added. “So it’s not just people who are voting for convenience.”

The DNC’s stance aligns with Biden’s internal campaign messaging, according to The Hill. A memo obtained from Biden’s campaign manager, Jen O’Malley Dillon, urged against complacency, claiming that “every indication we have shows that this thing is going to come down to the wire.”

>>“While we see robust leads at the national level, in the states we’re counting on to carry us to victory like Arizona and North Carolina we’re only up by three points.” Dillon said in the memo. “We also know that even the best polling can be wrong, and that variables like turnout mean that in a number of critical states we are functionally tied — and that we need to campaign like we’re trailing.”

National polls show Biden with double-digit leads in NBC New/WSJ polls, NPR/PBS/Marist polls and Reuters polls. Rasmussen and IBD/TIPP polls show a closer race with Biden ahead around +5-7 points. Biden has found increasing support among groups including seniors, men and White, non-college voters – groups that more strongly supported Trump in 2016.

The possible switch in support may be due to the perception of how Trump has handled the coronavirus. According to polls, support for Biden is most strongly correlated to concerns over the coronavirus and healthcare, while support for Trump most strongly correlated to the economy or the Supreme Court.

At a state level, Biden has a 5-point lead in Wisconsin and a 3-point lead in Arizona, according to the polls. The average spread among battleground states – which includes Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Arizona – shows Biden with an average lead of +4.3 points.

The most recent Real Clear Politics polling averages show a fairly consistent though increasingly worrying picture for both candidates. That difference has been roughly the same for the past few weeks, but the past few days has shown a small decrease in that lead: Biden held a +4.9 point lead on October 12.

Among those states, Florida has the slightest difference with only +1.4 points for Biden, with his greatest lead of +3.8 on October 9. Cutting that number in half may be due to Trump’s recent campaigning in the state, but that has left him with larger battles to fight in the rust belt states.

In Michigan, Biden holds an average +7.2 point lead, and in Wisconsin he holds an average +6.1 point lead.

All of these numbers include a margin of error, which averages around 4 points.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/dems-take-nothing-granted-despite-bidens-lead-polls

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Born to Run Away: Bruce Springsteen Promises to Flee to Australia if Donald Trump Wins

By Simon Kent

https://www.breitbart.com/author/simon-kent/

Bruce Springsteen will pack up and flee to Australia should Donald Trump win re-election in November, he warned Thursday during a virtual interview with Down Under media outlets.

The singer-songwriter also added he thought Trump would be no match for former Vice President Joe Biden, predicting he would lose.

“I love Australia,” Springsteen gushed to the Australian press. “Every time, we have nothing but good times down there. It’s always a treat to come. Love the people, love the geography, great place for motorcycle trips, it’s close to our hearts.”

He then made his prediction about the 2020 vote outcome.

“If Trump is re-elected – which he will not be; I’m predicting right now he’s gonna lose – if by some happenstance he should be, I’ll see you on the next plane.”

Springsteen has never shied away from entering the political domain while offering free character assessments of Donald Trump.

As Breitbart News reported, on Tuesday he joined fiction author Don Winslow to push the Atlantic‘s discredited report Trump called American servicemen “losers” and “suckers.”

The tired allegation is repeated in their new anti-Trump ad focusing on flipping Pennsylvania for Joe Biden.

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/10/16/born-to-run-away-bruce-springsteen-promises-to-flee-to-australia-if-donald-trump-wins/

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U.S. Borders with Canada, Mexico to Stay Closed to Non-Essential Travel Until Nov. 21

By David Shepardson

https://www.reuters.com/journalists/david-shepardson

The United States’ land borders between Canada and Mexico will remain closed to all non-essential travel until Nov. 21, the U.S. Homeland Security Department said Monday.

The extension comes as the United States remains one of the worst-affected countries in the world and is reporting the second-highest number of new cases daily.

“To continue to limit the spread of COVID, the U.S., Mexico, and Canada will extend the restrictions on non-essential travel through Nov. 21. We are working closely with Mexico and Canada to identify safe criteria to ease the restrictions in the future and support our border communities,” said U.S. Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf on Twitter.

Mexico’s foreign ministry also confirmed that the measures will remain in place and unchanged until Nov. 21.

Canada’s Public Safety Minister Bill Blair earlier disclosed the latest one-month extension on Twitter, confirming a policy put in place in March to control the spread of COVID-19.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-canada-border/u-s-borders-with-canada-mexico-to-stay-closed-to-non-essential-travel-until-nov-21-idUSKBN2741VM

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Nolte: Cancel Culture Targets Chris Pratt for Not Joining ‘Avengers’ Biden Fundraiser

By John Nolte

https://www.breitbart.com/author/john-nolte/

America’s blacklisters ganged up on Chris Pratt over the weekend because he declined to join an Avengers fundraiser for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

Actually, there are two things Pratt was attacked for: Not attending the Biden fundraiser and being a Christian.

Those two sins so angered the Twitter blacklisters, so infuriated the cancel culture, that for a time Pratt’s name trended on Twitter.

In their fevered minds, Pratt not openly supporting Joe Biden and being a Christian can only add up to two things: Pratt is a Trump supporter and Pratt hates homosexuals.

So it all blew help.

It also blew up with the help of a producer named Amy Berg, who tweeted out a poll asking which “Chris” “had to go.” The choice was between Pratt, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, and Chris Pine.

That this was an attack of Pratt became pretty clear when she later replaced Pratt with another actor and said, “this one is harder.”

The responses to Berg’s tweet polls are teeming with hatred for Pratt due to nothing more than his personal faith and for choosing not to participate in the Avengers fundraiser. Stuff like this:

One unverified Twitter account tweeted late Sunday night, “Dammit, I am literally just finding out that Chris Pratt is a trump supporter and I am so messed up behind that.”

That tweet has so far received 48,000 likes, and as I write this, Twitter informs me “11.1K people are Tweeting about this.”

Except…

Pratt said he voted for Barack Obama in 2012 and has not expressed support for either of the 2020 presidential candidates.

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/10/19/cancel-culture-targets-chris-pratt-for-not-joining-avengers-biden-fundraiser/

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‘Everything He Says Is Pissing Me Off’: Whoopi Goldberg Says She’s In A Depression Because Of Trump

By Virginia Kruta

https://dailycaller.com/author/vkruta/

Whoopi Goldberg said Monday that she was “in a depression” because of President Donald Trump.

Goldberg responded to a clip from one of the president’s weekend rallies when he claimed that the United States would be in a depression if not for his leadership throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

“If you vote for Biden, he will surrender your jobs to China,” Trump said. “He will surrender your future to the virus. He’s going to lock down. He’s going to want us to lock down. He’ll listen to the scientists. If I listened totally to the scientists, we would right now have a country that would be in a massive depression instead of — we’re like a rocket ship.”

“What is he talking about?” Goldberg asked as the clip finished. “I’m in a depression now because of him. Every time I see him, he depresses me. Everything he says is pissing me off and depressing me. I don’t know what rocket he’s on, but I’m getting off the rocket he’s on. That’s ridiculous, but we’re about two weeks away from this election.”

https://dailycaller.com/2020/10/19/whoopi-goldberg-in-a-depression-because-of-trump/

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Taiwan and Chinese Officials Come to Physical Blows in Fiji

A physical clash between Taiwan and Chinese officials at a diplomatic reception in Fiji left the rival powers trading allegations of assault on Monday.

Taipei accused two Chinese officials of gatecrashing an event at the luxurious Grand Pacific Hotel in the Fijian capital Suva on October 8 and assaulting an employee.

Taiwan’s foreign ministry said its trade office — the equivalent of an embassy — was hosting a party for 100 distinguished guests to celebrate Taiwan’s National Day.

They claim the two Chinese officials began taking pictures of guests and when asked to leave assaulted an official, putting him in hospital.

“We strongly condemn the actions by the Chinese embassy in Fiji staff for seriously violating the rule of law and civilised code of conduct,” Taiwan foreign ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou said.

The Chinese embassy in Fiji confirmed its officials were in “public area outside the function venue” on unspecified “official duties” on the day of the incident.

But the Chinese embassy claimed the Taiwanese mission’s staff “acted provocatively” and caused “injuries and damage to one Chinese diplomat”.

https://hongkongfp.com/2020/10/19/taiwan-accuses-chinese-diplomats-of-assaulting-official-in-fiji/

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Ohio Attorney General and Prosecutors Want Tougher Standards for No-Knock Warrants

By J.D. Davidson

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and at least three Ohio county prosecutors want to preserve law enforcement’s ability to obtain “no-knock” warrants in the wake of a nationwide examination of the policy following the death of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky.

Taylor was a 26-year-old Black woman who was shot and killed in her Louisville apartment in March by police officers trying to execute a no-knock warrant. The officers returned fire after Taylor’s boyfriend shot at what he claimed were intruders knocking down the door.

Yost, along with Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley, Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien and Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters, sent a letter to Gov. Mike DeWine, Senate President Larry Obhof and House Speaker Bob Cupp explaining no-knock warrants are typically only granted in extraordinary circumstances in Ohio.

Yost and the prosecutors, who represent Ohio’s three largest counties, suggested changing Ohio law to require more justification for the warrant.

Among the changes, the group suggested requiring the potential for a substantial risk of physical harm to officers and barring no-knock warrants for misdemeanor drug possession or possession of drug paraphernalia allegations.

They also want the law to require officers to wear readily identifiable markings, to identify themselves as soon as possible upon entry and to wear body cameras.

“While these types of warrants are only used in the rarest of circumstances, it is important they are done so in a responsible manner that takes the safety of all parties involved into consideration,” O’Malley said.

Taylor’s case took on national prominence following the death of George Floyd during an arrest in Minneapolis in late May, sparking nationwide protests against police violence against minorities.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/ohio-attorney-general-and-prosecutors-want-tougher-standards-for-no-knock-warrants

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Presidential Debate Commission Ditches Foreign Policy Focus Following Hunter Biden Laptop Leaks

By Raheem Kassam

On Friday the Debate Commission announced their topics for Friday, which are bizarrely similar to the first debate topics. The second debate will feature: Fighting COVID-19; American Families; Race in America; Climate Change; National Security; and Leadership.

The first debate topics were: Covid-19; The Economy; Race and Violence in our Cities; The Integrity of the Election; The Supreme Court; and Trump and Biden’s Records.

https://thenationalpulse.com/news/presidential-debate-commission-ditches-foreign-policy-focus-following-hunter-biden-laptop-leaks/

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'Expression of Brutality': Chilean Churches Burned Amid Anti-Government Protests

By Nicholas Rowan

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/author/nicholas-rowan

Protesters in Chile burned two churches Sunday night, after anti-government protests in the capital city of Santiago became violent.

Videos showed masked protesters setting La Asuncion church on fire, as well as San Francisco Borja church, a 19th-century church that the city police department uses for official ceremonies. Protesters cheered as the flaming spire of La Asuncion crashed to the ground.

The Chilean government condemned the burnings as an "expression of brutality."

"Today, we must lament the violent acts, but we will confront them," said Interior Minister Victor Perez in a speech as the rioting continued.

The protests, which lasted all day, began peacefully but became increasingly violent as night fell. They were held in commemoration of protests last year against the Chilean Constitution, which was implemented in 1980 under the authoritarian regime of Augusto Pinochet.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/expression-of-brutality-chilean-churches-burned-amid-anti-government-protests

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Dr. Fauci Says He Is ‘Absolutely Not’ Surprised Trump Got COVID-19

By Shelby Talcott

https://dailycaller.com/author/Shelby+Talcott/

White House Coronavirus Task Force member Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday that he is “absolutely not” surprised President Donald Trump got COVID-19.

Fauci spoke on CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” where he was asked by the network’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook about Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis. LaPook specifically asked whether Fauci was “surprised that President Trump got sick.”

“Absolutely not,” Fauci replied. “I was worried that he was going to get sick when I saw him in a completely precarious situation of crowded, no separation between people, and almost nobody wearing a mask.”

Fauci was speaking about a White House Rose Garden event held shortly before the president announced he tested positive for COVID-19. The event was held for Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

“When I saw that on TV, I said, ‘Oh my goodness. Nothing good can come out of that, that’s got to be a problem,'” Fauci added. “And then sure enough, it turned out to be a super-spreader event.”

https://dailycaller.com/2020/10/19/dr-anthony-fauci-not-surprised-donald-trump-coronavirus/

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Germany Grants Asylum to Hong Kong Student Arrested for ‘Rioting,’ Activist Group Says

By Rachel Wong

https://hongkongfp.com/author/rachelwong/

Germany has granted asylum to a university student who was arrested for “rioting” in connection with last year’s pro-democracy protests, an activist group has said.

The German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees granted a three-year refugee status to a 22-year-old unidentified Chinese University of Hong Kong student last Wednesday, according to a Facebook post by activist group Haven Assistance. They said it followed an 11-month wait.

She told Haven Assistance that she was grateful to the German government for granting her asylum, adding that the authorities provided food, clothing, shelter, transportation and basic medical services during her stay: “However, if the German government could consider simplifying the asylum application process for Hong Kong protesters, such as allowing them to choose freely their place of residence while waiting for the decision… it would be of great convenience and support to them,” she said.

The group quoted the woman as saying she was arrested on suspicion of rioting last year and fled Hong Kong in November.

Before she attained refugee status, the woman also claimed she was sexually assaulted by a refugee camp staffer in Germany and was hospitalised due to emotional issues.

https://hongkongfp.com/2020/10/19/germany-grants-asylum-to-hong-kong-student-arrested-for-rioting-activist-group-says/

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French Police Conduct Raids in Crackdown After Teacher Beheading

French police on Monday raided Islamic associations and foreigners suspected of extremist religious beliefs, police sources said, three days after a suspected Islamist beheaded a school teacher.

History teacher Samuel Paty, 47, was murdered on Friday in broad daylight outside his school in a middle-class Paris suburb by an 18-year-old of Chechen origin. Police shot the attacker dead.

The teenage assassin sought to avenge his victim’s use of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad in a class on freedom of expression to 13-year-olds. Muslims believe that any depiction of the Prophet is blasphemous.

Public figures called the killing an attack on the Republic and on French values.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said there were some 80 investigations being conducted into online hate and that he was looking into whether to disband about 50 associations within the Muslim community.

“Police operations have taken place and more will follow, concerning tens of individuals,” the minister told Europe 1.

A police source on Sunday said France was preparing to deport 213 foreigners who were on a government watchlist and suspected of holding extreme religious beliefs, among whom about 150 are serving jail sentences.

The deportations were already being worked on before Friday’s attack, a security source said.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-security/french-police-conduct-raids-in-crackdown-after-teacher-beheading-idUSKBN2740LL

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U.S. Organizers Rally to Encourage Women to Vote for Biden

By: Anita Snow

https://muckrack.com/anitasnow/articles

Thousands of mostly young women in masks rallied Saturday in the nation’s capital and other U.S. cities, exhorting voters to oppose U.S. President Donald Trump and his fellow Republican candidates in the Nov. 3 elections.

The latest of rallies that began with a massive women’s march the day after Trump’s January 2017 inauguration was playing out during the coronavirus pandemic, and demonstrators were asked to wear face coverings and practice social distancing.

Rachel O’Leary Carmona, executive director of the Women’s March, opened the event by asking people to keep their distance from one another, saying that the only superspreader event would be the recent one at the White House.

>>“His presidency began with women marching and now it’s going to end with woman voting. Period,” she said.

>>“Vote for your daughter’s future,” read one message in the sea of signs carried by demonstrators, who marched through downtown Washington to the Supreme Court. “Fight like a girl,” said another.

Dozens of other rallies were planned from New York to San Francisco to signal opposition to Trump and his policies, especially the push to fill the seat of late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before Election Day.

One march was held at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, outside the dormitory where Bader Ginsburg lived as an undergraduate student.

In New York, a demonstrator wearing a Donald Trump mask stood next to a statue of George Washington at Federal Hall during the the women’s march outside the New York Stock Exchange.

>>“We Dissent,” said a cardboard sign carried by a young woman wearing a red mask with small portraits of the liberal Supreme Court justice whose Sept. 18 death sparked the rush by Republicans to replace her with a conservative.

In Washington, Sonja Spoo, director of reproductive rights campaigns at Ultraviolet, said she has to chuckle when she hears reporters ask Trump whether he will accept a peaceful transfer of power if he loses his reelection bid.

>>“When we vote him out, come Nov. 3, there is no choice,” said Spoo. “Donald Trump will not get to choose whether he stays in power.”

>>“That is not his power, that is our power. … We are the hell and high water,” she said.

https://globalnews.ca/news/7403658/us-women-voters-biden/

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Brown University Researcher: Trump Signs, US Flags 'Scare' and 'Traumatize' Black People

By Andrew Mark Miller

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/author/andrew-mark-miller

A researcher at Brown University went viral on social media after suggesting that black AirBnB guests could be traumatized by pro-Trump signs.

"Disappointed @airBnB doesn't understand the trauma of TRUMP signs on a @airbnb rental causes black person," Carycruz Bueno, a postdoctoral research associate at Brown University’s Annenberg Institute, tweeted, according to Campus Reform.

Bueno explained that she and her husband rented a property in Maine and were “immediately scared” for her family’s safety when she saw “Trump signs and other white nationalist symbols” in the yard.

After leaving the property, Bueno says that she contacted AirBnB and was told nothing could be done about the signs, which she deemed a “prime example how white companies make a BLM statement but when black person tells them they didn’t feel safe they do nothing.”

Bueno demanded a refund, tweeting that “@AirBnbHelp at minimum should give me a full refund/voucher for all the trauma this experience has caused.”

Bueno also argued that the flag of the United States is a “symbol that invokes fear in black people.”

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/brown-university-researcher-trump-signs-us-flags-scare-and-traumatize-black-people

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Ratcliffe Tells Bartiromo — Adam Schiff is lying…

via Fox Business / Twitter

It's almost like Adam Schiff, the Dems & the media are all repeating false propaganda about "Russian disinfo" w/ ZERO EVIDENCE, to hide Joe Biden's corruption from the American people.

“Hunter Biden’s laptop is NOT part of some Russian disinformation campaign.” – @DNI_Ratcliffe pic.twitter.com/BTuDo5uQC9

https://www.citizenfreepress.com/breaking/ratcliffe-tells-bartiromo-adam-schiff-is-lying/

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Jacksonville Seeking $150k Reimbursement From GOP Convention Committee

By: Nick Givas

https://muckrack.com/nick-givas

The city of Jacksonville is seeking over $150,000 in financial reimbursement for the costs associated with the canceled Republican National Convention, which was called off due to coronavirus concerns.

City officials had been pushing for the 2020 Jacksonville Host Committee to cover the $153,602 that was spent and even submitted an invoice, according to The Florida Times-Union.

Mayor Lenny Curry, himself a Republican, had previously said local taxpayers would not have to foot the bill for the cancellation.

Curry's chief of staff, Jordan Elsbury, said Friday that the host committee has promised it would make a payment to the city.

City Council President Tommy Hazouri, a Democrat, claimed he had also been informed of the promised monetary relief and said the committee is moving forward, despite no legal obligation to do so, The Times-Union reported.

>>"The important thing is for taxpayers to get their money back," he said.

Costs the city incurred reportedly included $69,974 in overtime for the Sheriff's Office, along with other overtime expenses for the Fire and Rescue Department which came to $9,862.

The Ethics Office had $2,604 in costs and there was also $1,384 which was spent for a radio shop employee in the Finance and Administration department.

In addition, the city paid nearly $70,000 to Wheeler Emergency Management Consultant for assistance in seeking a federal grant for security operations.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/jacksonville-seeking-150k-reimbursement-from-gop-convention-committee

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Florida Cold Case Murder Victim ID'd by Belt Buckle After 35 Years

By: Robert Gearty

https://muckrack.com/robert-gearty

A belt buckle has helped Florida cold case investigators identify the victim in an unsolved 35-year-old “John Doe” homicide.

A person looking for their missing uncle was checking cold cases on the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office website two years ago and read about the discovery of a murder victim’s remains in January 1985.

>>“The thing that stuck out to the person the most was the victim's belt buckle, with the hand-engraved initials ‘W.T.’,” sheriff officials said Thursday. “The person felt this could have been their missing uncle, whose last known location was in Escambia County near the same time John Doe’s body was discovered.”

Investigators then compared the tipster’s DNA to John Doe’s DNA, which produced a match.

>>“The results of the test revealed John Doe was actually William Ernest Thompson,” the officials said.

Thompson was 49 when his body was found in Pensacola without identification. Investigators believe that he been killed months, or even years, earlier.

He had last been in touch with his family in September 1983 when he spoke to his mother by phone.

His disappearance never led to a missing person report being filed.

The identification has led investigators to reopen the case and find the killer.

>>“This is another example of the never-ending quest for justice," Chief Deputy Sheriff Chip Simmons said. "While we haven’t yet solved the homicide. It is a step forward and can give the family some closure until the case is solved.”

https://www.foxnews.com/us/belt-buckle-helps-identify-florida-cold-case-murder-victim-after-35-years

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Twitter Removes Post From Trump Coronavirus Advisor Scott Atlas Claiming Masks Don’t Work

By: Hannah Jackson

https://muckrack.com/hannah-jackson

Twitter has removed a tweet from U.S. President Donald Trump’s novel coronavirus advisor, Scott Atlas, suggesting wearing masks does not help stem the spread of the virus.

In a tweet Saturday morning, Atlas shared an article suggesting face coverings do not help limit the spread of COVID-19.

>>“Masks Work? NO,” he wrote.

One physician, Dr. Michael Mina, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, was among those who called on the social media platform to remove the post.

>>“This is dangerous misinformation from a primary advisor to the president on the COVID response. This needs to be taken down immediately,” he wrote, “It is simply false.”

In an email to Global News, a spokesperson for Twitter said the tweet was taken down for “violating our Covid Misinformation Policy.”

It was removed Sunday morning, the platform confirmed.

Atlas, a neuroradiologist with no background in infectious diseases, has faced scrutiny for downplaying the importance of face masks and his reported views on “herd immunity,” an approach that holds that once enough individuals have been infected and become immune, others are less likely to be infected.

Atlas was a late addition to the White House’s coronavirus task force, joining the team in August.

In a subsequent tweet later Saturday morning, Atlas said “the right policy is @realDonaldTrump’s guideline: use masks for their intended purpose — when close to others, especially hi risk,” he wrote. “Otherwise social distance. No widespread mandates. #CommonSense.”

However, in June, the World Health Organization recommended everyone wear a fabric or non-medical mask in public areas where there is a risk of transmission.

>>“Masks are a key measure to suppress transmission and save lives. Masks reduce potential exposure risk from an infected person whether they have symptoms or not,” the organization’s website reads.

>>“People wearing masks are protected from getting infected. Masks also prevent onward transmission when worn by a person who is infected.”

While Trump has said wearing a mask is appropriate in some settings, he has not issued a countrywide mask mandate.

What’s more, the Republican president has also repeatedly mocked his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, for wearing masks in public.

>>“I don’t wear a mask like him, every time you see him he’s got a mask on. He could be 200 feet away, and he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen,” Trump said during the first presidential debate earlier this month.

Trump himself contracted COVID-19 earlier this month, and spent three days seeking treatment for the respiratory illness at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland.

However, with less than three weeks until the election, the president has sought to downplay the threat of the virus.

>>“The light at the end of the tunnel is near. We are rounding the turn,” Trump told supporters Friday at an event in Fort Myers, Florida. “Don’t listen to the cynics and angry partisans and pessimists.”

Meanwhile, the United States remained the epicentre of the virus on Sunday, with more than 8.1 million confirmed cases.

The virus has also claimed 219,311 lives in the U.S., according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.

Since it was first detected in Wuhan, China late last year, it has killed 1,110,955 around the world.

https://globalnews.ca/news/7404232/twitter-scott-atlas-masks/

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Police Rip Biden's Repeated Advice to Shoot Suspects 'in the Leg'

By: Marisa Schultz

https://muckrack.com/marisa_schultz

Law enforcement groups blasted Vice President Joe Biden for again suggesting training police to shoot suspects "in the leg" is a viable way to avoid fatalities, decrying the proposal as dangerous and ignorant.

During an ABC News town hall Thursday, Biden gave the shooting advice while talking about broader police reforms, which have been on the public conscience since the killing of George Floyd sparked nationwide racial unrest.

>>"There's a lot of things we've learned and it takes time, but we can do this," Biden said. "You can ban chokeholds … you have to teach people how to de-escalate circumstances. … Instead of anybody coming at you and the first thing you do is shoot to kill, you shoot them in the leg."

Police officers and law enforcement groups pounced on the suggestion that officers would train to shoot someone in the leg rather than "center mass," the largest part of the body that has long been the firearms training target.

John Evans, president of the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association, told Fox News that Biden's suggestion is "absolutely ridiculous" and "incredibly ignorant."

>>"The guy's clueless," Evans said. "And I know he's just trying to appease his left-wing base but it's a really foolish statement."

Joe Gamaldi, vice president of the national Fraternal Order of Police, dismissed Biden's suggestion as "completely ridiculous, "unrealistic" and a "pandering talking point."

>>"Shootings are dynamic situations and we shoot to stop the threat," Gamaldi told Fox News. "It's incredibly difficult to hit a moving target."

The Fraternal Order of Police has endorsed President Trump.

Police are trained to aim at center mass because it's the largest target, whereas aiming at a leg would be much more difficult because it's smaller and a moving target.

>>"By aiming at legs we are much more likely to miss and we already only hit roughly 50% of the time," Gamaldi said.

Gamaldi recalled a shooting he was involved in about 14 years ago. "Between being terrified I was going to die, someone shooting at me, and then I need to aim at their legs – it’s not realistic."

The law enforcement officials interviewed by Fox News also say it's a fallacy that shooting someone in the leg could be less lethal, especially if a bullet hits the large femoral artery in the thigh.

But officers fear the consequences if they miss the leg completely and the bullet goes astray. Or if their leg shot doesn't slow down the suspect, he has a chance to harm the officer or a citizen.

>>"If an individual is coming at you with a knife and you shoot for the leg and you miss, he's on you," said Evans, a Trump supporter.

Thursday's town hall wasn't the first time Biden made the leg suggestion. In June, Biden said that if facing a threat from a person with "a knife or something" police should be trained to “shoot ‘em in the leg instead of the heart."

>>“Instead of standing there and teaching a cop when there’s an unarmed person coming at ‘em with a knife or something, shoot ‘em in the leg instead of in the heart,” Biden said at a June 1 address to Black community leaders in Wilmington, Del.

>>“There are a lot of things that can change,” Biden said, regarding police training.

Police officers called out Biden at the time for the unrealistic suggestion, so they are unsure why he is still campaigning on it just days before the election.

"I don't know why he repeated it after I'm sure it was pointed out to him that it's a ridiculous procedure to pursue," Evans said.

Dana Schrad, executive director of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, said Biden isn't the first person to peddle the leg myth.

>>"That myth has been around for a long time. And a lot of Democrats and Republicans have fallen for it," Schrad said. "To be honest with you, Joe Biden has actually been fairly supportive of law enforcement and he's done a lot over the years in different areas supportive of law enforcement. So it's unfortunate that he would not know that that's not a [viable] training tactic in law enforcement."

The Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police does not endorse candidates in the presidential race.

Officers are rarely in a situation where they have to use their firearms and as a result, they aren't sharpshooters, Schrad said. It would be very hard to get an accurate shot on a smaller moving part and the risk for missing is too great.

Officers have other options for less lethal forms of force, such as tasers, rubber bullets, pepper spray and tear gas. When they have to use their firearm it's in a rare, dire circumstance to protect their life or the life of another, she said.

>>"Police officers use firearms as a last resort," Schrad said.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/police-rip-bidens-advice-to-shoot-suspects-in-the-leg

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UN Hopes Meeting Will Raise $1 Billion for Key Sahel Nations

By: EDITH M. LEDERER

https://muckrack.com/edith-m-lederer

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. humanitarian chief is hoping a major ministerial meeting Tuesday will not only raise $1 billion for the three countries at the epicenter of a humanitarian crisis in Africa’s Sahel region but also spur leaders to address the underlying causes, including increasing conflict and insecurity, weak governance and a lack of development.

Undersecretary-General Mark Lowcock said in an interview with The Associated Press that the troubling situation in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger is a symptom “of failure to deal with all of those causes of problems” as well as rapid population growth and climate change.

As a result, he said, “we have a record number of people, more than 13 million, needing humanitarian assistance across the border areas of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, and most of them are children.”

The virtual ministerial meeting Tuesday — hosted by Denmark, Germany, the European Union and the United Nations — is aimed at spotlighting one of the world’s fastest growing humanitarian crises, so as to increase aid funding and put a stronger focus on solutions, Lowcock said.

>>“This is timely because things are deteriorating at an alarming rate,” he said. “Otherwise problems will compound and there’ll be a lot of loss of life.”

According to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, which Lowcock heads, the $1.4 billion humanitarian appeal for the three countries is only 39% funded for 2020.

An estimated 7.4 million people are facing crisis levels of food insecurity during the current lean season, three time more than a year ago, the agency said.

>>“That’s people who don’t know how they will put food on the table for their family that day or the next day, and who have got acute malnutrition problems in the family,” Lowcock said in Thursday’s interview.

Compared to the average of the last five years, acute food insecurity has increased by a staggering 514% in Burkina Faso, 130% in Mali and 144% in Niger, his agency said.

>>“What I hope is through this conference, for these three countries, we’ll get up to about a billion dollars for 2020,” Lowcock said. “That will certainly enable us to keep the situation under control and contain the worst difficulties. The question then is, are we going to sustain that into 2021-2022?”

He said the problems of the central Sahel will take time to address and one aim of Tuesday’s meeting is to “get recognition that the wider world needs to engage for the long term in this region” and that leaders must be focused “on meeting the needs of the people and dealing with the underlying problems.”

Lowcock said governments in the Sahel need to assert control over their territory, noting that “large areas are now under control of extremist groups.” But he stressed that this must be done in a way that doesn’t compound the problem, saying there are “too many cases of military intervention being excessively violent, or not protecting people in this region at the moment.”

Lowcock said the Sahel is the only region in the world where all the U.N. indicators of human development are getting worse.

He called for more girls to go to school and stay there, a reduction in infant and maternal mortality, and improvements in clean water availability.

Lowcock said there must also be a recognition that traditional livelihoods in the Sahel — subsistence agriculture and nomadic livestock grazing — “will not support the number of people there will be in the region in the decades ahead, not least because of climate change.” As an example, he pointed to the evaporation of major environmental assets like Lake Chad, which is now a “shriveled puddle.”

More than 100 countries have moved from largely subsistence-based rural agriculture economies over the past few hundred years to economies developed in relation to cities, so there are models for Sahel countries to use in dealing with these problems, “but at the moment, they’re not being taken up in an effective way,” he said.

Lowcock said he fears that in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger as well as three other Sahel countries — Cameroon, Chad and northeast Nigeria — there is a risk of “a tipping point” where “it starts to get dramatically more difficult to deal with the underlying causes.”

>>“It’s a bit like a snowball rolling down the hill,” he said, pointing to a twentyfold increase in the number of displaced people between 2018 and 2020 from 70,000 to 1.5 million in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger while his year has seen the worst floods ever recorded in the region and the highest number of people in need of humanitarian assistance.

He also noted there has been a record level of attacks on aid workers this year and extremist groups have expanded their areas of operation. There must be a recognition that extremist groups have an agenda that “is inimical to the interests or livelihoods of ordinary people in the places they control,” he said.

>>“These are not problems that can be solved in the short term, but until you face up to them, recognize what you’re dealing with, and start talking about what the solutions can be, obviously you’re not making any progress,” Lowcock said. “So you don’t get to choose where you have to start the journey, but you do have to take the first steps.”

https://www.rochesterfirst.com/news/international/un-hopes-meeting-will-raise-1-billion-for-key-sahel-nations/

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Trump gives offering while attending Church services in Las Vegas

By: Andrew O'Reilly

https://muckrack.com/andreworeilly84

President Trump made a sizeable offering to the collection bucket while attending church services on Sunday in Las Vegas.

Trump, who was in Nevada on a campaign trip to the crucial battleground state, was attending a service at the International Church of Las Vegas before a campaign event in Carson City later in the day.

>>As the collection was being taken up, Trump reached into his back pocket a pulled out a number of $20 bills, which he later deposited into a bucket that was being passed around.

Trump’s trip to the Silver state comes as political strategists say Nevada is still in play for the GOP, despite going to the Democrats in every election since 2004 and the party flipping a U.S. Senate seat and bolstering their dominance of the congressional delegation in the 2018 midterms.

Trump, who narrowly lost here in 2016, scheduled a rally Sunday night in Carson City, his second campaign visit to the state in as many months as the first big wave of voting kicks off.

Nevada’s Democrat-controlled state government is automatically mailing ballots to all active registered voters because of the coronavirus pandemic, but in-person voting that started Saturday is typically when most people vote. It's expected to remain a popular choice this year, with long lines forming at several sites Saturday.

The pandemic has pummeled the tourism-dependent economy. The unemployment rate is the highest in the nation.

For the vaunted Democratic political machine, it's shifted in-person campaigning and knocking of voters' doors to a virtual effort for much of this year. Republicans only moved to a virtual format for a few months and have been working hard, with a staff twice as big as their 2016 effort. They're making inroads with a diverse electorate and trying to redirect economic frustrations away from the president and onto the state’s Democratic governor, Steve Sisolak.

Though Trump lost Nevada in 2016, he performed better than Mitt Romney in 2012 or John McCain in 2008. The state also has has a higher percentage of noncollege educated whites, who have made up the base of his electoral support, than in many other pivotal states, including Florida, Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Recent polls suggest that Biden is ahead in Nevada, though some show narrower margins than others. But the state has a strong independent streak and is notoriously difficult to poll. The hospitality industry, including the gambling-resort hub of Las Vegas, has a significant slice of night and shift workers and a highly transient population moving in, out and around the state.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-gives-offering-while-attending-church-services-in-las-vegas

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David Limbaugh: Amy Coney Barrett is not a conservative judicial activist, she's an originalist

By: David Limbaug

https://muckrack.com/david-limbaugh

I won't pretend to be surprised by this, but Senate Democrats, knowing they don't have the power to stop Judge Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation to the Supreme Court, have turned the confirmation hearings into a campaign platform to smear President Donald Trump.

The Democrats' approach to the hearings illustrates how disingenuous their professed commitment to preserve the integrity of "our democracy" is. Indeed, nothing better illustrates their failure to distinguish between a democracy and a constitutional republic than their misguided judicial philosophy.

The framers of our Constitution designed our system as a constitutional republic, not a democracy. As students of history and ancient democracies, they incorporated safeguards against pure democracy, which they knew could lead to mob rule. They aimed to maximize political liberty, and that required protecting the minority from the tyranny of the majority.

They divided and limited governmental power, as unrestrained governments tend toward tyranny.

We all know the drill.

They divided power between the federal and state governments (federalism) and distributed federal power among three separate branches of government (separation of powers).

They imposed an intricate scheme of checks and balances, pitting each branch against the other two to prevent any branch from becoming too powerful at the expense of the others and of individual liberties.

They included the Bill of Rights, which contained further express limitations on government, and they created a bicameral legislature to retard the governmental process and insulate it against impassioned mobs. George Washington described the upper chamber as the "senatorial saucer" that would cool legislation passed in the more democratic House.

The judicial branch is a nonpolitical branch that should interpret, rather than make, laws. Courts must not act as super-legislatures because their members are not democratically chosen, because they are more insulated from accountability to the people and because the judicial branch serves the important function of interpreting laws.

When appellate courts make laws instead of interpreting them, they thwart the will of the people who elected the political branches. They violate the separation of powers and undermine the very system that was carefully crafted to preserve our liberties.

We've seen examples of this throughout history, but especially since the '60s, where the Supreme Court, by fiat, employs elaborate legal fictions to strike down perfectly constitutional laws passed by the other two branches, or to uphold unconstitutional laws.

Democrats argue that Republicans are just as guilty as Democrats in seeking to install judges who will enact their policy agenda.

Many Democratic senators alleged that Republicans support ACB because they want her to advance their policy agenda. According to them, the GOP needs Barrett on the court to eliminate ObamaCare, abortion rights and same-sex marriage – and to rule in Trump's favor if a legal challenge to the results of the upcoming presidential election arises.

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., said that ACB would open up a new chapter of conservative judicial activism, but that is simply false.

Republicans don't want judges to advance conservative policies but to interpret the Constitution according to its originally understood meaning. This could result in overturning liberal legislation and court-enacted laws if they are unconstitutional, but not otherwise.

Liberal activists, on the other hand, do substitute their policy preferences for those of Congress and twist the Constitution to do it.

Examples of liberal activism abound, but you'd be hard-pressed to find one of conservative activism. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., cited the example of school choice: Originalist judges wouldn't mandate that all states have school choice, but leftist judges would prevent them from having it.

If Roe v. Wade were overturned, conservative judges wouldn't force states to outlaw abortions but would leave the question to their democratic determination.

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., said that replacing Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with ACB would tilt the court further to the right. No, it would tilt the court further toward the Constitution, where it ought to be – and there's a big difference.

It is not surprising that Democrats regard Barrett as a threat, given their reliance on unelected judges to usurp the lawmaking authority of the politically elected branches. But that is not how Republicans look at the judiciary, and if Democrats respected the separation of powers and truly wanted to protect the integrity of our republic, they would have nothing to fear from such stellar judicial nominees as ACB.

Democratic senators are campaigning from their senatorial perch instead of performing their duty of advice and consent. They are trying to scare voters into believing that ACB and other GOP-appointed judges will take away the people's coverage for preexisting health conditions.

Just like they continue to falsely accuse Trump of not having denounced white supremacy, they are misleading the people on health care, knowing that even if the court strikes down the Affordable Care Act entirely, Republicans have guaranteed that any replacement bill would include coverage for preexisting conditions.

Using all relevant criteria judicial philosophy, qualifications, temperament and personal character Judge Amy Coney Barrett is one of the most qualified Supreme Court nominees in our history. Adding her to the court will not threaten our liberties but rather greatly protect them.

https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/amy-coney-barrett-activist-originalist-david-limbaugh

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Baby Born After Pregnant Mom Shot and Killed in Chicago Lives Only 4 Days, Police Say

By: Bradford Betz

https://muckrack.com/bradford-betz

A baby boy who delivered after his mother was fatally shot last week in Chicago died after only four days of being alive, Chicago police said on Saturday.

The boy was delivered Tuesday in critical condition after his mother, 35-year-old Stacey Jones, was shot twice in the back while standing outside her home on the city's South Side. She was eight months pregnant and pronounced dead at a hospital.

Jones' other two children were sleeping inside the home and were unharmed, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Jones moved to Chicago from Tennessee two years ago and had accepted a position as a Cook County probation officer, her father, Tommy Baker, said.

>>"You took something from my family, from me. You took my heart, my firstborn, the sweetest little thing," Baker told the newspaper. "It's a loss that I'll never get over."

No charges have been announced. A person of interest was questioned last week and released without charges.

The mother's death comes as Chicago has witnessed its most violent year in the past half-decade. Statistics released earlier this month from the Chicago Police Department show the city recorded 565 murder cases for all 2016. That number declined until 2020, which has so far seen nearly 600 murder cases.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/baby-born-pregnant-mom-shot-chicago-lives-4-days-police

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R. Kelly Attorney: ‘No One Raised a Finger’ to Stop Beating in Prison

By Tyler Van Dyke

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/author/tyler-van-dyke

No one intervened when R. Kelly was beaten in a Chicago prison in late August, the musician's attorneys said.

"No one raised a finger" to stop the attack, they said in a Friday court filing. The attacker, who identified himself as Jeremiah Farmer, "roamed a great distance within the [Metropolitan Correctional Center] before carrying out that act, without any opposition. It is undisputed that, as a result, Mr. Kelly has suffered significant physical and psychological injuries."

Kelly was arrested in 2019 on 13 counts of federal child pornography, racketeering, and obstruction. The singer also faces a separate five-count indictment from the Eastern District of New York that charged him with racketeering, and he previously faced 10 charges of criminal sexual abuse.

After the attack, Farmer said that he had "physically beaten Mr. Kelly in [an] attempt to shed media spotlight" on his own case.

A report from the Bureau of Prisons said that a Metropolitan Correctional Center employee ordered the attacker to stop before using pepper spray to stop the incident, CNN reported.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/r-kelly-attorney-no-one-raised-a-finger-to-stop-beating-in-prison

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Report: Hunter Biden Business Partner Confirms Authenticity Of Email About Deal With Chinese Company

By Chuck Ross

https://dailycaller.com/author/Chuck+Ross/

One of the recipients on an email chain with Hunter Biden that was published earlier this week has authenticated the document, Fox News reported.

The email in question, which is dated March 13, 2017, purportedly shows a business partner of Biden’s discussing “remuneration packages” for participants in a deal involving CEFC China Energy, a Chinese energy company that was owned at the time by Ye Jianming.

The New York Post published portions of the email on Thursday as part of a series of stories based on documents purportedly from Biden’s laptop.

Some Democrats have questioned the authenticity of emails published by the Post. But according to Fox News, a person copied on the March 13, 2017, email confirmed that the published document is authentic.

Fox News did not identify which of the people on the email thread confirmed its authenticity. The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to everyone on the thread but did not receive any responses.

Hunter Biden is identified as “Chair / Vice Chair depending on agreement with CEFC” in the email. It also says that “Hunter has some office expectations he will elaborate.”

The author of the email also included a proposed breakdown of payments, including “20” for “H” and the notation: “10 held by H for the big guy?”

According to Fox News, sources said that “the big guy” is a reference to Joe Biden.

https://dailycaller.com/2020/10/17/hunter-biden-email-reportedly-authentic/

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New Details Emerge On Teacher Decapitated For Showing Picture Of Muhammed

By Marlo Safi

https://dailycaller.com/author/marlo/

Authorities have identified an 18-year-old Moscow-born Chechen refugee as the suspect in a beheading of a schoolteacher in France that the country’s president has called an “Islamist attack,” numerous sources reported.

Abdoullakh Aboutezidovitch is suspected to have decapitated Samuel Paty, 47, a history and geography teacher at a secondary school in the Conflans-Sainte-Honorine area, according to NBC News. The suspect used a large kitchen knife. France’s anti-terror prosecutor’s office has taken over the investigation of the Friday attack.

French police shot the attacker dead, and nine people, including the suspect’s parents, grandfather and brother, have been taken in for questioning. Four people, including a minor, have been arrested, the Guardian reported. Anti-terror prosecutors said they were treating the killing as an “assassination in connection with a terrorist organisation.”

Paty, who teaches civics, was reportedly targeted after showing students the caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, published by the Charlie Hebdo satire magazine in 2015, during a lesson on freedom of speech. Some Muslim parents complained to the school about the teacher’s decision to use one or more cartoons as part of a discussion on the Charlie Hebdo attacks, French newspaper Le Monde reported, according to CNN.

“One of our compatriots was assassinated today because he taught. He taught his students about freedom of expression, freedom to believe or not believe. It was a cowardly attack. He was the victim of a terrorist Islamist attack,” French President Emmanuel Macron said during a visit where the murdered teacher worked, the Guardian reported.

https://dailycaller.com/2020/10/17/details-chechen-refugee-france-suspect-decapitate-teacher-islam-muhammad/

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China Warns It May Detain People from US in Retaliation for Prosecution of Military Affiliated Schol

By Haley Victory Smith

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/author/haley-victory-smith

Chinese officials are allegedly warning that the country might detain people from the United States.

Leaders from the nation reportedly threatened this action in response to the prosecution of multiple Chinese military-affiliated scholars in the U.S., the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The apparent warnings have come repeatedly and through multiple different channels.

Over the summer, the Justice Department began charging Chinese scientists for failing to disclose to customs authorities their active-duty status with the People's Liberation Army. At least some were reportedly still coordinating their activities with Chinese diplomats.

While a spokesman for the State Department declined to address the supposed threats directly, he did tell the Wall Street Journal that "we warn U.S. citizens that business disputes, court orders to pay a settlement, or government investigations into both criminal and civil issues may result in an exit ban which will prohibit your departure from China until the issue is resolved."

In September, the department issued a travel advisory for China, recommending people to avoid going there for multiple reasons, including the fact that the country was known to detain citizens of other nations "to gain bargaining leverage over foreign governments."

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/china-warns-it-may-detain-people-from-us-in-retaliation-for-prosecution-of-military-affiliated-scholars-report

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‘A Sham’: National Abortion Rights Action League Wants Feinstein Out After Barrett Hearings

By Mary Margaret Olohan

https://dailycaller.com/author/Mary+Margaret+Olohan/

The National Abortion Rights Action League called for “new leadership” for the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee following the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.

“This nomination is illegitimate and this process is a sham,” NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue said in a Friday afternoon statement. “Tens of millions of Americans have already voted and majorities have said unequivocally that they want to choose the next President who should fill this seat.”

Hogue said that both Barrett and “this power grab” threaten “every freedom and right we hold dear and tears the very fabric of our democracy.”

“Americans–whose lives hang in the balance–deserve leadership that underscores how unprecedented, shameful and wrong this process is,” the NARAL president said. “The Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Dianne Feinstein, failed to make this clear and in fact offered an appearance of credibility to the proceedings that is wildly out of step with the American people. As such, we believe the committee needs new leadership.”

NARAL has previously given Feinstein a 100% rating for her “congressional record on choice” for many years.

The California Democrat faced criticism during Barrett’s 2017 hearings by suggesting that Barrett’s faith might make her unfit to serve as a federal judge.

https://dailycaller.com/2020/10/16/amy-coney-barrett-naral-abortion-feinstein-removal/

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Chinese Lawmakers Pass Amendments to Criminalize Insulting National Flag

By: Zen Soo

https://muckrack.com/zen-soo

The Standing Committee of China’s congress on Saturday passed amendments to a law that will criminalize the intentional insulting of the national flag and emblem, after anti-government protesters in Hong Kong last year desecrated the Chinese flag.

According to the newly amended National Flag and National Emblem Law, which will take effect on Jan. 1, those who intentionally burn, mutilate, paint, deface or trample the flag and emblem in public will be investigated for criminal responsibility.

The law also states that that national flag must not be discarded, displayed upside down or used in any manner that impairs the dignity of the flag.

The revised law will also apply to offices in Hong Kong and Macao that are set up by the central government.

The amendments to the law were proposed after anti-government protesters in Hong Kong last year trampled on the Chinese flag, prompting an outcry in China. At least three protesters in Hong Kong were sentenced for desecrating the Chinese flag last year.

https://globalnews.ca/news/7403212/china-amendments-national-flag/

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12-Year-Old Nathan Finds Rare Dinosaur Fossil ‘of Great Significance’ in Southern Alberta

By: Fakiha Baig

https://muckrack.com/fakiha-baig

Aspiring paleontologist Nathan Hrushkin speaks with pride about his “killer resume.”

The Grade 7 student from Calgary discovered a rare dinosaur skeleton earlier this year at Horseshoe Canyon in the Badlands region of southeastern Alberta, on the Nature Conservancy of Canada conservation lands.

It’s a significant find that one expert says fills a gap in the knowledge of dinosaur evolution.

>>“I really wanted to be a paleontologist before (and) now that I’ve found something already, at only 12 years old… I’d have a pretty killer resume,” Nathan said with a laugh during a phone interview.

He said he was on a hike with his father and a few friends on a sunny, hot day in late June, when he saw a bone protruding from the ground.

After emailing photos of the discovery to the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology in Drumheller, Alta., Nathan and his dad learned that the bone belonged to a young hadrosaur, also known as a duck-billed dinosaur because its pointed snout is similar to a duck’s.

Hadrosaurs could grow up to 13 metres long and roamed Alberta while triceratopses and tyrannosaurs ruled the Earth, said Francois Therrien, curator of dinosaur paleoecology at the Royal Tyrrell Museum, who responded to Nathan’s’ email.

Therrien said the three- to four-year-old hadrosaur lived about 69 million years ago. It’s a time period experts don’t know much about “in terms of dinosaurs living here in Canada and even in the western interior of North America,” said Therrien.

>>“We have very little information about what’s going on.

Therrien said the find can help archeologists learn more about, not just the evolution of dinosaurs, but also how they responded to their changing climate and environment.

>>“I’m really excited because that time interval in the Earth’s history is a time of important environmental and climatic changes. There’s periods of rapid cooling, rapid warming, dropping rainfall, more humid conditions,” Therrien said.

>>“My interest is figuring out what’s happening to the animals during that time, especially dinosaurs.

On Thursday, Nathan and his dad were to join Therrien and his team in extracting the final pieces of the approximately three-metre-long hadrosaur, including its partial skull. The pieces are to be placed in protective jackets made of burlap and plaster and sent to the museum’s lab for cleaning and research.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada said that since Nathan’s find, paleontologists have uncovered between 30 and 50 bones in the canyon’s wall.

The group stressed this spot is on a conservation area and is asking people to respect the site, stick to the trails and not collect things along the way.

>>“The Nature Conservancy of Canada site is home to many at risk plant and animal species,” said Andrew Holland, the conservancy’s spokesperson.

Therrien said the youngster’s response to the discovery is a textbook example of what the public should do when they come across fossils, bones and other skeletons in the area — contact the museum.

As for Nathan, he said working with Therrien has helped him discover a lot about himself, too.

His love for dinosaurs had made it difficult for him to choose a favorite.

Now, he says, it’s a juvenile hadrosaur.

https://globalnews.ca/news/7399017/badlands-alberta-dinosaur-fossil-teen-nathan/

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Louisiana Man Charged With Shooting and Killing Toddler During Violent Rampage

By: Robert Gearty

https://muckrack.com/robert-gearty

Louisiana police have accused a man of killing a 2-year-old boy—the son of a police officer—when they say he sprayed a house with gunfire during a violent rampage.

Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul called Azariah Thomas a “beautiful soul” who didn’t deserve to die. The boy's father Vince Hutchinson serves as a police officer with the New Roads Police Department outside of Baton Rouge.

>>“When we’re out there trying to find comforting words, it’s hard,” Paul told reporters, WAFB-TV reported.

Kendrick Myles, 41, was charged with killing the boy after his arrest Friday morning after an hours-long standoff with police, according to the station.

Police would only say that Myles had a beef with the people who lived in the house where Azariah was shot, the Baton Rouge Advocate reported.

Police said the house was one of the stops Myles made during a rampage that began Thursday night and reportedly included kidnapping a 9-year-old nephew, shooting a male relative in the hand and shooting it out with another relative who showed up to rescue the nephew.

In 2004, Myles went to jail for trying to kill 11 people in a dispute with a girlfriend, WAFB reported. He was also being sought for torching an ex's house in July.

>>“We've dealt with him before," Paul said, according to WBRZ-TV. "The same individuals. That is what I hear from my officers. We arrest them and have to deal with them again… Shooting and murders, what's right about that?"

The chief said he was considering asking the feds take over the cases of "these repeat offenders," presumably because sentences in federal court are tougher.

>>"We are tired of seeing the same individuals. This is what I hear from our officers," Paul said.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/louisiana-man-charged-with-shooting-and-killing-toddler-during-violent-rampage

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Iran Announces Its Virus Death Toll Passes 30,000

By: AMIR VAHDAT

https://muckrack.com/amir-vahdat

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran announced Saturday that its death toll from the coronavirus has passed the milestone of 30,000, in what has been the Mideast region’s worst outbreak.

Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari announced that the total death toll from the outbreak had reached at least 30,123.

She said that 4,721 virus patients are in critical condition.

Iran has been struggling with the coronavirus since announcing its first cases in February, with more than 526,000 confirmed cases to date.

In recent weeks, Iran has seen daily death tolls spike to their highest-ever levels, sparking increasing concern even as government officials continue to resist a total lockdown for fear of cratering the economy, which has been hard-hit by U.S. sanctions.

On Wednesday, Iranian officials announced a travel ban to and from five major cities, including the capital of Tehran and the holy city of Mashhad, that they said aimed to contain the virus’ spread.

The coronavirus has also spread to some of the highest levels of Iran’s government, which includes many older men. Among those recently infected is the head of the country’s atomic energy organization, while Iran’s vice president in charge of budget and planning tested positive on Sunday.

After downplaying the outbreak in its first weeks, Iranian officials have more recently begun to admit the scope of the epidemic within the country.

Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi, who had tested positive for the virus in March after playing down its threat and refuting reports of mass deaths, told state TV on Wednesday that the country’s true death toll is about double the reported figures.

According to officials, there are also large numbers of patients in hospitals being treated as COVID-19 cases but who have not been tested, whose tests came out as false negatives or whose symptoms are not the same as those listed by the World Health Organization and who are therefore not counted in the official case numbers.

Like in many other countries, the spiraling outbreak in Iran reflects the government’s contradictory virus response. This week, as the daily recorded death toll hit the record for three times, authorities announced tighter restrictions for the hard-hit capital of Tehran.

Recently reopened universities and schools, as well as libraries, mosques, cinemas, museums and beauty salons, shut down. In the past week, the government mandated that all Tehran residents wear face masks outdoors and in public places, warning violators would be fined. Officials promised those who tested positive would be closely tracked.

Movement restrictions this spring somewhat checked the spread of the disease. Then the government swiftly reopened the country, desperate to boost its stricken economy. Since June, the case count has steadily increased — and spiked to new heights in recent weeks.

Long before the virus hit, Iran’s economy was ailing, pummeled by U.S. sanctions after the Trump administration’s unilateral withdrawal in 2018 from Tehran’s nuclear accord with world powers. As the death toll soared this week, the nation’s currency plunged to its lowest level ever, following the U.S. administration’s decision last week to blacklist Iranian banks that had so far escaped the bulk of re-imposed American sanctions.

As Iran approaches winter, the seasonal influenza could be an added and serious issue for the country, as it has had purchasing the flu vaccine amid new American sanctions on Iranian banks.

Iran’s Red Crescent Society said in a tweet on Tuesday that they were in charge of importing two million flu vaccine doses into the country, but that new U.S. sanctions prevented the import.

Meanwhile on Saturday, the United Arab Emirates has announced its highest single-day total of new cases of the coronavirus amid a spike in the Gulf nation that is home to Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

The country’s Health Ministry said tests found 1,538 new cases of the virus, pushing the overall number of cases to 114,387.

The ministry said another four people died from the virus, pushing the overall death toll to 459. Overall recoveries are at 106,354.

Recorded infections have soared again in recent weeks, as authorities have relaxed restrictions and resumed schools for in-person instruction. Dubai has reopened its airport for international travelers and embarked on an active campaign promoting itself as a tourism destination amid the pandemic.

The UAE is engaged in an aggressive testing campaign, with over 11 million tests conducted in a country home to over 9 million people.

https://www.rochesterfirst.com/news/international/iran-announces-its-virus-death-toll-passes-30000-killed/

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U.S. Election: Trump Makes Late Appeal to Upper Midwest States in Bid to Regain Lead

By: Brian Slodysko And Jill Colvin

https://muckrack.com/brian-slodysko

https://muckrack.com/colvinj

President Donald Trump is making a late reelection pitch to voters Saturday in Michigan and Wisconsin, states in the Upper Midwest that were instrumental to his 2016 victory but may now be slipping from his grasp.

He’s facing headwinds not only in national polling, which shows Democrat Joe Biden leading, but also in battleground surveys.

The Trump campaign has largely retreated from the TV advertising in the Midwest, shifting much of its money to Sun Belt states such as Florida, North Carolina, Arizona and Georgia, as well as Pennsylvania.

Trump scheduled events in Muskegon, Michigan, and Janesville, Wisconsin, and stops Sunday in Nevada and Monday in Arizona as the Nov. 3 election nears.

The president continues to be dogged by his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Wisconsin broke the record for new positive coronavirus cases on Friday _ the third time that’s happened in a week. The state also hit record highs for daily deaths and hospitalizations this past week.

Biden had no public events planned for Saturday. But in a memo to supporters, campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon warned about becoming complacent.

>>“The reality is that this race is far closer than some of the punditry we’re seeing on Twitter and on TV would suggest,” she wrote in the memo, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press.

>>“If we learned anything from 2016, it’s that we cannot underestimate Donald Trump or his ability to claw his way back into contention in the final days of a campaign, through whatever smears or underhanded tactics he has at his disposal.”

Trump is keeping up an aggressive campaign schedule despite his own recent bout of coronavirus, which hospitalized him for several days.

The difficulty of securing a second term was apparent Friday when Trump campaigned in Georgia. No Republican presidential contender has lost the state since 1992, but polling shows Trump and Biden in a tight contest. Trump also has had to court voters in Iowa, which he carried by almost 10 percentage points four years ago.

The latest campaign fundraising figures from the Trump team suggest he’s likely the first incumbent president in the modern era to face a money disadvantage. After building a massive cash edge, his campaign spent lavishly, while Biden kept expenses low and benefited from an outpouring of donations that saw him raise nearly $1 billion over the past three months.

That gives Biden a massive cash advantage with just over two weeks to go before the election.

In the hours before his rallies on Saturday, Trump focused on settling a score with a member of his own party, Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska.

Referring to him as “Little Ben Sasse,” Trump tweeted that the senator was a “liability to the Republican Party, and an embarrassment to the Great State of Nebraska.”

The series of tweets came after Sasse told constituents during a telephone townhall on Wednesday that Trump has “flirted with white supremacists,” mocks Christian evangelicals in private and “kisses dictators’ butts.”

Sasse, who is up for reelection this year in the strongly Republican state, went on to criticize the president’s handling of the coronavirus and said Trump’s family has treated the presidency “like a business opportunity.”

Trump twitter broadside blasted Sasse as “the least effective of our 53 Republican Senators, and a person who truly doesn’t have what it takes to be great.”

Sasse’s spokesman, James Wegmann, tweeted in response that Sasse is focusing on helping Republicans retain their Senate majority — it’s now 53-47 — and “he’s not going to waste a single minute on tweets.”

https://globalnews.ca/news/7403628/trump-us-election-midwest/

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Minnesota Court Denies Voter Group's Motion to Block $2.3m Election Grant

By: Audrey Conklin

https://muckrack.com/audrey-conklin

A Minnesota district judge has denied a motion from a conservative voter rights group to block a $2.3 million COVID-19 grant from the Center for Tech and Civic Life aimed at funding Minneapolis election efforts.

The city applied for and was approved to receive the COVID-19 Response Grant that will fund election efforts during a pandemic, including absentee ballot assembly and processing equipment, voting sites and ballot drop-off locations, in-person polling places, drop boxes, voter outreach and personal protective equipment (PPE).

>>"The City’s actions in applying for and accepting the grant and using the grant money to improve all manners of voting in Minneapolis in the 2020 election affect all Minneapolis voters equally. All individual Plaintiffs are Minneapolis voters. Plaintiffs fail to explain how they will be uniquely affected by Minneapolis’s actions," the decision from Judge Michael J. Davis reads.

The Minnesota Voters Alliance sought to block the grant, citing the Center for Tech and Civic Life's status as a progressive organization, saying it "targets urban cities for its private federal election grants to turn out the progressive vote in the urban cities." Three of the Center's founders worked for the progressive New Organizing Institute.

The MVA did not immediately respond to an inquiry from Fox News.

>>Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, donated $250 million to CTCL on Sept. 1.

>>"Any local election office responsible for….election activities is eligible to apply to CTCL’s COVID-19 Response Grant program; CTCL approves every eligible election department for a grant; and….each election department will receive a minimum award of $5,000," the decision reads

More than 1,100 jurisdictions across the U.S., with most serving fewer than 25,000 registered voters, have applied for CTCL grants so far, according to the decision.

>>Of the total $2.3 million CTCL awarded to Minneapolis, $1,816,203 was awarded to expenses related to the general election, and $266,109 was awarded to expenses related to the city's August primary; $48,900 was awarded for voting sites and drop-off options for the general and primary elections; $3,295 went toward in-person voting places; $82,525 funded ballot drop-offs; $50,000 went toward "outreach and education"; and $30,310 funded PPE.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/minnesota-voters-alliance-court-election-grant-decision

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7 Chicago Officers Suspended in Scandal Involving Disgraced Former Top Cop Eddie Johnson

By: Robert Gearty

https://muckrack.com/robert-gearty

Seven Chicago police officers have been disciplined for their actions the night the city’s top cop was found passed out behind the wheel of his department-issued SUV.

The cops were punished with suspensions, according to the Chicago inspector general who found that then-superintendent Eddie Johnson downed the equivalent of 10 rum drinks that night.

The officers punished for their response to the incident include a district commander, Don Jerome, and a lieutenant, public radio station WBEZ reported Friday.

Jerome was suspended for 28 days for failing to report misconduct, and the lieutenant was suspended for 21 days, according to the station.

The police department suspended the lieutenant after rejecting a recommendation from IG Joseph Ferguson that the officer be fired for lying about the incident, the station reported.

>>“Multiple sworn CPD personnel failed to effectively carry out their duties in compliance with policy in the handling and aftermath” of the incident, the report says.

While stopping short of finding the officers engaged in a cover-up, Ferguson concluded that the officers’ “actions created the impression of giving the superintendent preferential treatment.”

The report's release came a year to the day of the incident which ultimately led to Johnson’s firing by Mayor Lori Lightfoot for lying about it.

It also comes a day after Johnson’s former driver Cynthia Donald, who was drinking with him that night, filed a sexual assault and harassment lawsuit against Johnson. Johnson has denied her allegations.

The IG report, which doesn’t name Donald, said a seven-day suspension was handed down to a cop who “consumed several large servings of rum while at a restaurant with the CPD superintendent” and “later drove home” in a city vehicle, WBEZ reported.

Donald’s attorney, Robert McLaughlin, emailed the Chicago Tribune to dispute the inspector general’s findings that she was intoxicated that night when she drove home, The Associated Press reported.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/7-chicago-officers-suspended-scandal-disgraced-former-top-cop-eddie-johnson

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French Police Make Arrests After Teacher Beheaded in Paris Suburb

By Thierry Chiarello

https://www.reuters.com/journalists/thierry-chiarello

French police were questioning nine people in custody on Saturday after a suspected Islamist sympathiser beheaded a school teacher in broad daylight on the street in a Paris suburb, police sources said.

Police shot the attacker dead minutes after he murdered 47-year-old history teacher Samuel Paty on Friday. The killing shocked the country and carried echoes of an attack five years ago on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Investigators were seeking to establish whether the attacker had acted alone or had accomplices. French media reported that he was an 18-year-old of Chechen origin.

Paty had earlier this month shown his pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a civics class on freedom of expression, angering a number of Muslim parents. Muslims believe that any depiction of the Prophet is blasphemous.

Prime Minister Jean Castex said the attack bore the hallmarks of Islamist terrorism.

“I want to share with you my total indignation. Secularism, the backbone of the French Republic, was targetted in this vile act,” Castex said.

Four relatives of the attacker, including a minor, were detained in the immediate aftermath of the attack in the middle-class suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, according to police sources.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-security/french-police-make-arrests-after-teacher-beheaded-in-paris-suburb-idUSKBN2720BE

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Sarah Silverman and Other Celebrities Strip Clothes for PSA on Naked Ballots

By Haley Victory Smith

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/author/haley-victory-smith

Celebrities went nude in a public service announcement bringing attention to naked ballots on Wednesday.

The video included Chris Rock, Amy Schumer, Sarah Silverman, and Mark Ruffalo, who all appeared to be topless.

"I know what you're thinking," said Ruffalo. "You're thinking, 'Ruffalo, uh, put your clothes on.'"

The celebrities warned viewers to follow the instructions on ballots. They cautioned people, in particular, to make sure that if the ballot came with an extra privacy envelope, to use it so that they didn't have a "naked" ballot.

In Pennsylvania, the state's Supreme Court recently ruled that ballots that do not use the required secrecy envelope, an extra envelope with no identifying information on it that is put into the larger return envelope, will not be counted.

Delaware Senate candidate Lauren Witzke tweeted, "Sarah Silverman, Chelsea Handler and Amy Schumer getting naked trying to inspire votes for the Democrats might be the best advertisement for the Republican Party in history. The D in DNC stands for Degeneracy."

"Alright who’s the Hollywood PR rep who thought this was a good idea?" tweeted video journalist Lindsay Wigo.

The PSA was organized by RepresentUS, a nonprofit group focused on corruption and voter issues.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/sarah-silverman-and-other-celebrities-strip-clothes-for-psa-on-naked-ballots

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Joe Biden Rebukes Reporter in First Public Response to New York Post's Hunter Biden Report

By Mike Brest

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/author/mike-brest

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden did not seem to appreciate being asked about the recent allegations regarding his son Hunter's work overseas and if his vice presidency played a role in it.

A CBS News reporter asked the former vice president for a response to the New York Post's piecemeal stories about Hunter Biden's business dealings on Friday night, to which Joe Biden answered, “I know you’d ask it. I have no response. It’s another smear campaign.”

The former vice president then took a shot at the reporter, adding, “Right up your alley, those are the questions you always ask.”

Earlier this week, the New York Post reported that the younger Biden set up a meeting between a senior official at the Ukrainian energy firm Burisma, where he worked, and Joe Biden, during his vice presidency. The report, if accurate, would appear to contradict previous statements from the former vice president.

The Biden campaign has denied any official meeting took place, saying, "We have reviewed Joe Biden’s official schedules from the time and no meeting, as alleged by the New York Post, ever took place.”

The laptop, which was supposedly left at a computer repair store in Delaware and handed over to the FBI, included an email that discussed a previously undisclosed possible introduction between Joe Biden and Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to the board of Burisma. The store owner also made a copy of the hard drive and passed it along to a lawyer for Rudy Giuliani. The former New York City mayor has contradicted one aspect of the story behind the hard drive with a detail in the New York Post's story.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/joe-biden-rebukes-reporter-in-first-public-response-to-new-york-posts-hunter-biden-report

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Mother of ISIS Defector Demands French Govt Send Cash to Them in Syria

By Chris Tomlinson

https://www.breitbart.com/author/chris-tomlinson/

The mother of an Islamic State extremist being held in northern Syria has demanded the French government send money to the defector or allow her family to send aid.

The jihadist, a woman in her thirties, is currently being held in the al-Hol prison camp in northern Syria along with her three children. The mother of the woman has taken the French state to court, claiming that the government must financially help her daughter.

“While the state is currently choosing not to organise the repatriation of its nationals, it is responsible for providing material and financial assistance to the latter or at the very least to allow their families to do so,” the lawyers for the mother of the ISIS member argued.

According to a report from La Provence, the lawyers went on to state that there was also a severe risk that the human rights of the woman’s children, aged two to eight, could also be violated, and that it justified “urgent action by the French state.”

https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2020/10/17/mother-of-isis-defector-demands-french-govt-send-cash-to-them-in-syria/

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Beheading On Street In France Being Investigated As Act Of Terrorism

By Shelby Talcott

https://dailycaller.com/author/Shelby+Talcott/

An individual reportedly beheaded another man near Paris in what is being investigated as an act of terrorism, according to reports.

The alleged beheading occurred in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, a suburb outside of Paris, according to Agence France-Presse. The killer fled to a nearby town and was shot after refusing to surrender to police, Daily Mail reported, citing an anonymous source.

“He was waving a gun by this time and further threatened officers,” the source said according to Daily Mail. “This is when he was shot dead by police … Around ten shots were heard.”

The reports say that the individual responsible for the beheading was “thought to be wearing an explosive vest” before being shot by police. The person allegedly shouted “Allahu Akbar,” meaning “God is greater.”

Agence France-Presse cited “source close to the investigation” in its report and added that the incident is being investigated as an act of terrorism. The police are reportedly looking for any association with organized terrorist groups.

https://dailycaller.com/2020/10/16/beheading-street-paris-investigated-act-terrorism/

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Report: FBI Probing Whether Foreign Operatives Aided Release Of Hunter Biden Emails

By Chuck Ross

https://dailycaller.com/author/Chuck+Ross/

The FBI is investigating whether the release of Hunter Biden’s emails are part of a foreign intelligence operation, according to news reports.

The Associated Press and NBC News cited sources who said the bureau is investigating whether foreign intelligence operatives had a hand in releasing the emails, which Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani provided to The New York Post last week.

Giuliani’s handling of the emails has prompted allegations that Russia or another foreign government may have been involved in obtaining or releasing the documents. Giuliani’s critics have noted that he has met several times with Arkady Derkach, a Ukrainian lawmaker who the U.S. sanctioned in August because of his ties to Russia.

Derkach released audio files earlier this year from 2016 of then-Vice President Joe Biden speaking with former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

Giuliani has denied any foreign involvement in procuring the emails. The Biden campaign and Hunter Biden’s lawyer have also not disputed claims made by a Delaware computer store owner who says he provided the emails to Giuliani.

The shop owner, who has been identified as John Paul Mac Isaac, told The Post that a person he believes to be Hunter Biden dropped off a laptop for repair in April 2019.

Isaac said he has a disability that made it impossible for him to positively identify the person who dropped off the laptop.

https://dailycaller.com/2020/10/16/fbi-hunter-biden-emails/

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Big Tech’s Election Interference Has Gone Too Far

By Neil Patel

https://dailycaller.com/author/npatel/

The New York Post’s breaking news of emails purporting to show Hunter Biden scheming to make money off the family name has created a social media firestorm. Twitter began blocking users from sharing it almost instantly. Facebook didn’t block the story outright, but they did announce almost immediately that they were “reducing its distribution on our platform.” Even for the most sober observer, it sure seems like the social media platforms are interfering with the free flow of information relevant to our election. This is all the more so when you consider that stories critical of President Donald Trump, such as the anonymous leaks of his taxes, were not similarly blocked or throttled.

There are a few caveats needed to look at this objectively.

First, the Post story was interesting but not earth-shattering. We have known for quite a while that Hunter Biden’s dealings in Ukraine were — to say the least — shady. Only the most bitter Biden partisan would pretend that Hunter Biden got all that money for any other reason than that his father was vice president. The new emails indicate that Joe Biden actually met with Hunter’s high-dollar Ukrainian client, Burisma. If true, that’s a big advance to the story and means Joe Biden has been less than truthful to date. None of this proves Biden did anything corrupt on behalf of his son, but it doesn’t look great.

Second, the sourcing of the Post story is odd and worthy of potential challenge. The data in question was reportedly on a laptop that was left behind at a computer repair shop and never picked up. Apparently, the shop owner had a right to examine the contents after it was abandoned for 90 days. He says he called the FBI and also made a copy, which he somehow got to Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani and former Trump insider Steve Bannon. Campaigns play games late in elections. It’s fair to question all this, given the characters involved and the facts alleged.

What’s not fair is for purportedly neutral tech platforms to arbitrarily decide people should not see this information. That’s what Twitter and Facebook did. Twitter justified the decision in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation: “In line with our Hacked Materials Policy, as well as our approach to blocking URLs, we are taking action to block any links to or images of the material in question on Twitter.” Facebook issued a statement immediately upon publication calling for the Post piece to be fact-checked and indicating that its distribution would be reduced with no justification provided.

https://dailycaller.com/2020/10/15/patel-big-techs-election-interference-has-gone-too-far/

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Pilot reports another ‘jetpack rocket man’ in sky near L.A. airport

By: Josh K. Elliott

https://muckrack.com/josh-elliott-2

A rocket man is burning up air traffic controllers once again at Los Angeles International Airport, after another flight crew reported a close encounter with an unidentified flying individual in a jetpack.

The encounter happened around 1:45 p.m. local time on Wednesday, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says. It’s the second time a man in a jetpack has been reported near the airport in six weeks.

>>“A China Airlines crew reported seeing what appeared to be someone in a jetpack at an approximate altitude of 6,000 feet, about seven miles northwest of Los Angeles International Airport,” the FAA said in a statement to CNN.

Air traffic radio recordings captured the China Airlines crew reporting the incident.

>>“We just saw a flying object, like a flight suit jetpack, went by us,” the pilot tells the LAX tower in the recording obtained by Fox 11.

The flight controller responds by trying to clarify whether it was a man with a jetpack or simply a drone.

>>“A jetpack,” the pilot says. “Too shiny. Too fast.”

The tower then dispatched a nearby security officer to check for the jetpack, but nothing was found.

>>“Attention all craft: Use caution,” the air traffic controller said. “A jetpack rocket man has been reported.”

The latest sighting only adds to a still-unsolved incident from late August, when two separate flight crews reported seeing a man fly past them at an altitude of 3,000 feet.

>>“We just passed a guy in a jetpack,” an American Airlines pilot told air traffic control at the time.

A SkyWest Airlines pilot also reported seeing the mysterious figure a few moments later.

>>“We just saw the guy passing by us in the jetpack,” the pilot told the tower.

>>“Only in L.A.,” added a third pilot.

The August sightings were reported east of the airport, while the latest one was reported to the northwest.

Federal authorities have banned the use of drones near airports, as the technology has become cheap enough for amateur pranksters and explorers to venture into flight paths.

Jetpack technology remains finnicky and expensive, though some designs have been proven to carry people thousands of feet up into the air.

The FAA and police are investigating both incidents.

Iron Man, Boba Fett and the Rocketeer could not be reached for comment.

https://globalnews.ca/news/7398636/jetpack-lax-airport-pilot/

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‘Health and Safety’ of Canadians in Hong Kong Jeopardised by Ottawa’s Acceptance of HK Refugees

By Rhoda Kwan

https://hongkongfp.com/author/rhodakwan/

The Chinese ambassador to Ottawa has warned the Canadian government against accepting future refugees from Hong Kong, calling those from the city seeking asylum abroad “violent criminals.”

The ambassador also suggested that the granting of further asylum to fugitives could endanger the “good health and safety” of Canadian passport holders and Canadian businesses currently in Hong Kong.

The statements were made during a video press conference on Thursday commemorating the 50th anniversary of Ottawa-Beijing relations.

“We strongly urge the Canadian side not to grant so-called political asylum to those violent criminals in Hong Kong, because it is interference in China’s domestic affairs, and certainly it will embolden those violent criminals,” Cong Peiwu said.

The envoy also refuted President Justin Trudeau’s comments earlier this week after he said Beijing was attempting to strong-arm other countries: “There is no coercive diplomacy on the Chinese side,” Cong said, adding that the Hong Kong and Xinjiang “issues” were ones of China’s “internal affairs,” not human rights.

https://hongkongfp.com/2020/10/16/health-and-safety-of-canadians-in-hong-kong-jeopardised-by-ottawas-acceptance-of-hong-kong-refugees-says-chinese-envoy/

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Leaked Hunter Biden Hard Drive Allegedly Contained Several Explicit Images, 12min ‘Raunchy’ Video

By Brianna Lyman

https://dailycaller.com/author/brianna@dailycaller.com/

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden allegedly made a “raunchy” video and was seen in numerous “sexually explicit images,” per a new report released Wednesday from the New York Post.

A laptop computer which allegedly belonged to Biden was turned into a Delaware computer shop back in April 2019, according to the report. The computer and hard drive were seized by the FBI in December, per the Post.

However, the shop owner allegedly made a copy of the findings and turned it over to former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s lawyer, Robert Costello. Steve Bannon, former adviser to President Donald Trump, told The Post about the hard drive in late September, and Giuliani allegedly gave The Post a copy of the items Sunday.

It’s unclear why the unidentified shop owner made a copy of the items and turned it over to Giuliani’s lawyer. It’s also unclear why Bannon was involved in the transaction.

Among items allegedly extracted from the hard drive included a “raunchy, 12-minute video that appears to show Hunter… smoking crack while engaged in a sex act with an unidentified woman, as well as numerous other sexually explicit images.”

However, it’s unclear from the report who the woman allegedly seen in the video is and what relation – if any – she has with Biden. It is also unclear where and when the video and pictures were taken.

https://dailycaller.com/2020/10/14/hunter-biden-joe-biden-crack-cocaine-sexual-photos-videos-new-york-post/

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‘You’re So Handsome’: NBC News Townhall Questioner Compliments Trump On His Smile

By Anders Hagstrom

https://dailycaller.com/author/anders.h/

President Donald Trump received compliments on his smile from a questioner at NBC News’ townhall on Thursday night who told him he was “so handsome.”

“First of all I just want to say that you have a great smile,” the questioner, Paulette, said. “You’re so handsome when you smile.”

Paulette, the daughter of immigrants from Europe, went on to ask Trump about his immigration policies. The question came toward the end of Trump’s townhall, which was scheduled at the same time as an ABC News townhall with former Vice President Joe Biden.

Trump clarified a number of his positions during the event, including aspects of his conversations with Judge Amy Coney Barrett ahead of her nomination. Trump says he never spoke with her about the possibility of overturning Roe v. Wade or her thoughts on election law.

Both Trump and Biden are expected to heavily litigate the result of the November 3rd election, with Trump saying he expects the Supreme Court to give the final say, as it did in 2000 between President George W. Bush and Al Gore.

https://dailycaller.com/2020/10/15/trump-paulette-nbc-news-handsome-smile/

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Joe Biden Was Not Asked Any Questions About Hunter Biden's Emails During ABC Town Hall

By Andrew Mark Miller

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/author/andrew-mark-miller

Former Vice President Joe Biden was not asked one question in a Thursday night town hall about a highly publicized news story involving his son Hunter’s business dealings in Ukraine.

Biden appeared on ABC for a town hall event Thursday and was not asked by moderator George Stephanopolous or a questioner from the audience about a blockbuster report showing emails from Hunter Biden coordinating a meeting between his father and a Ukrainian oil company where Hunter was a board member. The emails cast doubt on Joe Biden's prior claims that he has never discussed Hunter's overseas business dealings with his son.

Some on social media quickly began to point out, following the conclusion of the town hall, that no questions had been asked about the subject.

“FACT: President Trump would have fielded 20 minutes of questions from Savannah Guthrie if Don Jr. had been accused of the things Hunter Biden has multiple reports accusing him of,” the conservative grassroots organization For America tweeted. “Joe Biden took none.”

“There was not a single mention of the New York Post’s hard-hitting story on Hunter Biden’s emails during Joe Biden’s town hall,” Breitbart News reporter Kyle Morris tweeted. “What the hell is going on over at ABC News? Have they thrown out what little journalistic integrity they had left?”

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/joe-biden-was-not-asked-any-questions-about-hunter-bidens-emails-during-abc-town-hall

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Shelby Steele Argues 'Racial Victimization' Pushed by Democrats Has Stripped Black People of Power

By Emma Colton

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/author/emma-colton

Hoover Institution senior fellow Shelby Steele said that “racial victimization” pushed by Democrats has allowed them to expand their authority while stripping black people of their power.

“Black Americans, in the last 60 years since the '60s, we have made our racial victimization our primary source of power. If we are victims of racism, then that gives us a moral leverage in society to ask for all sorts of things, to introduce political correctness here, to have diversity programs there, to have affirmative action, public housing extended, well on and on. We can ask for all sorts of things based on the fact that we’re victims of racism,” Steele told Breitbart News Tonight.

“This is a dark thing because if you define yourself as a victim, you define yourself as impotent. Every time you go out to protest, you’re putting your fate in the hands of the people who you claim discriminate against you. You’re letting them run your life. You’re letting them say what is true and what is not true, and you continue to be in the same position that we were when we were formally oppressed in slavery and segregation," he continued.

Steele also addressed the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in 2014, saying that institutions across the country changed “to accommodate this idea that blacks are victims.”

“So [with] an event like Michael Brown, the simple actual truth of what happened is irrelevant. It had the look of racism, and therefore, it is something that we seized upon, same with George Floyd and Trayvon Martin and Freddie Gray and any number of other instances like that. We seize on them for the power they render up. … It’s enough power to have changed American universities, and now we see it having an impact in corporate America, where the institution itself changes to accommodate this idea that blacks are victims,” Steele said.

“These kinds of incidents where a young black is killed … where you have a white trigger finger shooting and killing a black, it duplicates that history of oppression,” he added. “So our leaders very often use it as proof that we blacks are still victimized and oppressed, and therefore, we are entitled. And so we play this game because we think we’ll get something out of it, that white America [and] the government will respond, and they very often do respond with all kinds of social programs. … The real truth is up against all of that corruption.”

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/shelby-steele-argues-racial-victimization-pushed-by-democrats-has-stripped-black-people-of-their-power

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Space Force and NASA Sort Out Who’s Defending the Planet From Threats from the Heavens and on Earth

By Jamie McIntyre

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/author/jamie-mcintyre

A massive asteroid is on course to slam into Earth and cause a natural disaster of epic proportions.

Who are you going to call?

The Space Force? Or NASA?

It turns out that the planetary defense mission falls to NASA, which would deploy a spacecraft to attempt to knock the threatening space rock off course or, as a last resort, blow it up with a nuclear weapon.

On the other hand, if China or Russia were threatening to knock out one of America’s vital communications or navigation satellites, the U.S. Space Force would be the on-call responder.

If you watch the Netflix comedy spoof Space Force, you might think the nation’s newest branch of the armed forces will soon be sporting lunar gray crater-patterned camouflage and engaging in mock infantry battles on the moon.

“When do we expect to have boots on the moon? No idea. Certainly not in my career,” Space Force's Lt. Gen. David Thompson, who spoke at a Defense One event this month, said.

America’s newest and smallest service, the motto of which is “Semper supra” ("always above"), has a much more down-to-earth mission. Its 16,000 members operate largely from terra firma with the job of protecting America’s orbiting assets while coming up with new ways to outmaneuver and defeat adversaries who threaten them.

Putting satellites in space? That’s a Space Force mission.

“We operate capabilities like GPS satellites, like communications satellites, weather satellites, missile warning satellites to detect any missiles that might threaten the United States,” Gen. John Raymond, chief of space operations, said.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/defense-national-security/space-force-and-nasa-sort-out-whos-defending-the-planet-from-threats-from-the-heavens-and-on-earth

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Twitter Tilting Elections by Censoring Info While Partnering with Left-Financed Voting Groups

By Joshua Klein

https://www.breitbart.com/author/joshua-klein/

Twitter recently blocked links to a New York Post bombshell story about Biden family business dealings in Ukraine, labeling links to the Post’s story “unsafe” and claiming it lacked “authoritative information.”

Twitter on Wednesday took the unprecedented step of censoring links to a story allegedly exposing the Democratic nominee’s meeting with an adviser to the board of Burisma while he served as vice president. The meeting was arranged by his son, Hunter, then working as a lobbyist for the company.

While preventing users from accessing the Post’s story and thus suppressing the potentially damaging information, the social media giant conveniently neglected to disclose its own significant conflict of interest involving its partnership with two leftist-financed groups deeply involved in voter participation efforts, including drives pushing mail-in balloting.

The revelation, which made the front page of the paper, also detailed an investigation by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee into emails allegedly exchanged between Hunter Biden and executives at Burisma, which were provided by a whistleblower.

In addition to censoring existing links to the “unsafe” Post article, Twitter also prevented posting new ones.

Referring to the act as a “Big Tech information coup” and a “digital civil war,” Sohrab Ahmari, the paper’s op-eds editor, blasted the decision.

“I, an editor at the New York Post, one of the nation’s largest papers by circulation, can’t post one of our own stories that details corruption by a major-party presidential candidate, Joe Biden,” he wrote.

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/10/15/twitter-tilting-elections-censoring-info-partnering-left-financed-voting-groups/

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Beijing Slams Pompeo for Criticising China’s Renewed Seat on UN Human Rights Council

By Rhoda Kwan

https://hongkongfp.com/author/rhodakwan/

Beijing said that comments made by Mike Pompeo were “very absurd” after the US Secretary of State criticised China’s re-election to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) earlier this week.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Pompeo accused the UNHRC of “embracing” authoritarian regimes: “Today the UN General Assembly once again elected countries with abhorrent human rights records, including China, Russia, and Cuba,” a statement read.

In a press briefing on Wednesday, spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Zhao Lijian said that China was elected by UN member states: “The United States withdrew from the Human Rights Council and is now standing on the opposite side of the international community. It is in no position to dictate the Human Rights Council election.”

“We advise the United States to stop spreading political virus and make some earnest efforts to promote and protect human rights in its own country… It should stop politicising human rights issues and stop using human rights as a pretext to interfere in others’ internal affairs.” Zhao added.

Later the same day, the US Secretary again criticised Beijing’s human rights record and alleged disregard for international law, tweeting: “The Chinese Communist Party has routinely dismantled the autonomy that Beijing promised to the Hong Kong people & the world in a UN-registered treaty.”

The secretary also referred to a sanctions report issued by the State Department on Thursday which named 10 individuals whose “actions have undermined freedoms of assembly, speech, press, or rule of law.”

The election of China, Russia, and Cuba to the UN Human Rights Council validates the U.S. decision to withdraw from the Council in 2018 and use other venues to protect and promote universal human rights.  At #UNGA this year, we did just that.

— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) October 13, 2020

https://hongkongfp.com/2020/10/15/beijing-slams-us-sec-mike-pompeo-for-criticising-chinas-renewed-seat-on-un-human-rights-council-ngos-dismayed/

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China Slams US Appointment of Envoy to Oversee Human Rights Issues in Tibet

Beijing lashed out Thursday at Washington’s appointment of an envoy to oversee human rights issues in Tibet, saying the US wanted to destroy the region’s stability.

“The US side should stop using the Tibet issue to interfere in China’s internal affairs and destroy Tibet’s development and stability,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a routine briefing.

The US State Department on Wednesday named top human rights official Robert Destro as Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues.

Bilateral ties between the US and China have sharply deteriorated over Washington’s frequent criticisms of Beijing’s human rights record on issues including Xinjiang and Tibet, where ethnic minorities allege harsh government repression.

Zhao insisted that ethnic minorities in Tibet enjoy “full freedom of religious belief”, and accused the US of “political manipulation”.

The remote, mountainous region bordering India, Nepal and Bhutan is one of the poorest in China, but awash with security, and access heavily restricted for foreigners including journalists.

https://hongkongfp.com/2020/10/16/china-slams-us-appointment-of-envoy-to-oversee-human-rights-issues-in-tibet/

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Herschel Walker Claps Back at Celebrities Claiming African Americans Are 'Oppressed'

By: Bradford Betz

https://muckrack.com/bradford-betz

Former NFL running back Herschel Walker on Monday blasted celebrities who claim African Americans are “oppressed,” pointing to his own story as a “poor Black kid from South Georgia” who went on to represent his country in the 1992 Olympics.

Walker, 58, made the comments on a Twitter post in which he wrote that people are “BLESSED” to be living in the United States.

Walker, two-time Pro Bowl selection in the NFL, said it was an honor for him to represent the U.S. while competing in the Olympics in 1992.

>>“I started thinking, this poor Black kid from South Georgia got a chance to represent the United States of America as I’ve been hearing from a lot of people saying, ‘we’re oppressed,’” Walker said. “Well I’m here to tell you, you’re not.”

>>“So, all the entertainers all the athletes out there that are telling these people, we African Americans are oppressed, well, we’re not. We can do whatever we want to do,” Walker said.

The former NFL champ noted that at the Olympics, he saw so many countries “that had the envy for the United States of America.”

He then encouraged viewers, when they go to the voting booth next month, “remember the American way: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, so many freedoms that we have.”

>>“So, vote for Donald Trump. Vote for a Republican. Because I’m telling you, let’s note throw our country away. Let’s vote for those freedoms we have in the United States of America,” Walker concluded.

https://www.foxnews.com/sports/herschel-walker-celebrities-african-americans-oppressed

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Texas Sees Huge Turnout on First Day of Early Voting With Over 1m Ballots Cast

By: Megan Henney

https://muckrack.com/megan-henney

Texas saw a huge turnout on the first day of early voting Tuesday, with some of the state's biggest counties reporting a record number of ballots cast.

The Lone Star State has already topped 1.1 million votes with more weeks of voting still to come – a record, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Early voting in Texas started on Tuesday, Oct. 13 and runs through Oct. 30. Election Day is Nov. 3.

Harris County, a heavily Democratic county that is the state's most populous, by far had the biggest turnout, with close to 170,000 ballots cast either in-person or via mail-in voting as of Wednesday morning. By comparison, the county had cast 130,000 ballots on the first day of early voting in 2016.

Who early voting benefits in the state remains unclear, but the Texas Democratic Party cheered the news as evidence the state could be in play this fall.

>>“Across our state, Texas Democrats are fired up, voting, and ready to win,” said Gilberto Hinojosa, the party’s chair. “The first day of early voting was great but we still know that there is a lot of work to do and plenty of votes to be cast.”

Less than a month before Election Day, an unprecedented number of Americans have already cast their ballots, indicating a possible record turnout for the race between incumbent President Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden.

More than 16 million Americans have voted in the election so far, according to data released Friday by the United States Elections Project, which compiles early-voting data. By way of comparison, as of Oct. 16, 2016, some 1.4 million Americans had already cast their ballot.

More than 50 million people have requested mail-in ballots this year, the data shows. In 2016, some 57.2 million Americans voted early in person, by mail or via absentee ballot. State election officials in several key swing states have warned it could take days to count all of the votes. All but about a half-dozen states allow some form of early in-person voting.

Trump has repeatedly claimed that mail-in voting would allow for widespread fraud, but experts have said such fraud is rare.

According to an aggregate of polls from Real Clear Politics, Trump is leading Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden by 4.4 percentage points in Texas.

Texas has not voted to elect a Democratic president since 1976, when Jimmy Carter beat incumbent President Gerald Ford by more than 3 percentage points in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal.

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report categorizes Texas as “lean Republican” in terms of the presidential election.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/texas-early-voting-record-on-first-day

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Biden Pressed on 'You Ain't Black' Comment During Town Hall

By: Brooke Singman

https://muckrack.com/brooke-singman

An undecided African American voter took a veiled swipe at Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden Thursday night, asking the former vice president to give him an answer “besides ‘you ain’t Black’” for why young Black voters should support him in the 2020 election.

Cedric Humphrey asked the former vice president during a town hall hosted by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos Thursday night to address young Black voters.

>>“Besides ‘you ain’t Black,’ what do you have to say to young Black voters who see voting for you as further participation in a system that continually fails to protect them?” Humphrey said.

Humphrey was referring back to Biden’s comments earlier this year during an interview with radio star Charlamagne tha God.

>>“I tell you if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t Black,” Biden said during that interview.

Biden, Thursday night, responded to Humphrey by quoting the late Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., saying, “It's a sacred opportunity, the right to vote.”

>>“You can make a difference. If young Black women and men vote, you can determine the outcome of this election,” Biden said. “It's not a joke—you can do that.”

The former vice president, in an attempt to tout his record and highlight how he has “demonstrated I care about my whole career,” went on to discuss a “fair and more decent” criminal justice system, and education but then discussed Black Americans and their “position to gain wealth” and “generate wealth.”

Biden spoke about “early education” and Title I schools, which he said he has increased funding for.

Biden then went on to deliver a somewhat rambling answer, saying “every 3 and 4 and 5-year-old goes to school, not daycare, school at all the great universities including to the one you go to or went to…when you let them go to school they make up rapidly whatever fail—whatever shortcomings they had in education prior to that.”

Biden added: “They have not heard as many words spoken, etcetera, etcetera,” and said that “58% will increase to go through all 12 years of school successfully,” and shifted to speaking about social workers.

Biden then went on to discuss the difficulty Black Americans have in getting money for down payments, saying it is “awful hard to get the money depending on the background—the economic background,” while saying he would “guarantee $15,000 for a down payment.”

Biden then shifted to discuss the Black entrepreneurs, saying that “all the studies now show that young Black entrepreneurs are just as successful as white entrepreneurs,” but questioned “where do you go to get the start up money?”

Biden said he and former President Obama invested in the Small Business Administration around the country.

But then Biden attempted to paint a picture of himself and Humphrey—if they were “the same age” and went to build “the same house,” his in “a white neighborhood and yours in a Black neighborhood.”

“Same home—your home would start out being valued less than my home—29% less,” Biden said. “Your insurance would be higher. We’ve got to end this. This is red-lining. We can change so much.”

Biden talked about the importance of “accumulating wealth.”

>>“You’re behind the 8-ball,” Biden said. “The vast majority of people of color are behind an 8-ball.”

Stephanopoulos went on to cut Biden off, and asked Humphrey: “Did you hear what you need to hear?”

Humphrey replied: “Um, I think so.”

Biden, in August, was asked about his now-infamous "you ain't Black" remark, which he admitted he should not have said.

>>“I shouldn’t have said that,” Biden told ABC News’ Robin Roberts.

>>“I was trying to make the point, [Trump] is a man that spent his entire career denigrating African Americans, the truth is, there is a fundamental difference between Donald Trump and me on the issue of race across the board,” Biden said. "I’m not gonna try to divide people.”

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/black-voter-asks-biden-to-give-answer-on-why-he-should-support-him-besides-you-aint-black

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Roman Polanski Honors Poles Who Saved Him From the Holocaust

By: Monika Scislowska

https://muckrack.com/monika-scislowska

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Oscar-winning filmmaker Roman Polanski returned to Poland, the country of his youth, and paid tribute on Thursday to a Polish couple who took him in and protected him when he was a child, saving him from the Holocaust during World War II.

Stefania and Jan Buchala were posthumously declared as “Righteous Among the Nations,” an honor bestowed by Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial, in a ceremony attended by their grandson.

The 87-year-old Polanski, who now lives in France, traveled to Poland for the occasion. That’s one of the very few countries Polanski can travel to safely given that he remains a fugitive from U.S. law after pleading guilty to unlawful sex with a minor in 1977 and fleeing the United States the following year.

Polanski recalled Stefania Buchala as an “extremely noble and religious person” who had the courage to risk not only her own life in sheltering him, but also the lives of her children. In occupied Poland, Nazi Germans punished anyone helping Jews with instant execution of the person involved and their entire family.

The couple’s grandson, Stanislaw Buchala, received the medal and the diploma on behalf of his late grandparents from Israel’s deputy ambassador, Tal Ben-Ari Yaalon, at a Jewish memorial center in Gliwice, in southern Poland. City authorities also attended the ceremony.

Polanski and Buchala posed for photos together, but any emotional gestures were made impossible by the anti-COVID-19 social distancing and masks.

Polanski was nine years old in 1942 when his parents made him escape from the Krakow Ghetto and hide with a Polish family that they knew and had paid to shelter him. Both of his parents were soon after deported to death camps.

The Krakow Ghetto was one of many where Nazi Germans isolated Jews from the outside world as they occupied Poland during World War II.

Polanski was eventually given lasting shelter by the Buchalas, from 1943-45, in the small southern village of Wysoka.

In his request for the Yad Vashem honor, Polanski wrote that Stefania “did not hesitate, but was driven by the love for another human being” when she decided to hide him.

>>“During all that time, despite poverty and scant food, she made sure that I was safe and fed,” he added.

The Buchalas died in 1953.

They are among some 7,000 Poles now recognized by Yad Vashem for saving Jews from certain death at the hands of Nazi German forces. More people from Poland have been recognized for such heroism than from any other country.

Polanski’s mother died in Auschwitz, but his father survived the Mauthausen camp and the two were reunited after the war.

Among Polanski’s awarded projects is a story of Holocaust survival, the 2003 Oscar-winning film the “The Pianist.”

Two years ago Polanski was expelled from the organization that bestows the Academy Awards for raping a minor. His request to have his membership reinstated was rejected this year.

https://www.rochesterfirst.com/news/international/roman-polanski-honors-poles-who-saved-him-from-the-holocaust/

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Trump Acknowledges He May Owe $400 Million to Unknown Sources During Town Hall

By: Eric Stober

https://muckrack.com/eric-stober

U.S. President Donald Trump acknowledged that he may owe $400 million to unknown sources during a town hall television event on Thursday.

The amount was originally revealed after a New York Times investigation that also claims Trump paid around $750 in taxes in the 2016 and 2017 tax years and no taxes for 10 of the last 15 years.

>>“When you look at the amount of money, $400 million is a peanut, it is extremely underlevered (sic),” Trump told NBC host Savannah Guthrie. “It is levered with normal banks, not a big deal.”

While Trump said “levered,” he most likely meant leveraged, which means money was borrowed to invest in an expected profitable venture.

Trump said that he doesn’t owe the money to Russia or any “sinister people.”

When asked directly whether he has over $400 million in debt, as the Times claims, Trump responded, “It is a tiny percentage of my net worth.”

>>“That sounds like yes (you are confirming,)” Guthrie replied.

There is concern that Trump’s debt could be a national security risk to the U.S. as it could be used to influence the president’s decision-making.

>>“Why would banks assume the risk on these loans?” Richard Painter, who served as chief ethics attorney in Republican George W. Bush’s White House Painter, said when the news first broke.

>>“Or did someone else quietly assume risk of that loan for the bank to make it happen?”

Trump previously has said he has “very little debt” and has highlighted the amount of debt compared to his alleged net worth.

>>When asked whether he paid $750 in tax for the 2016 and 2017 tax years on Thursday, Trump said it is a “statutory number” and he thinks it is a “filing number” and claimed the New York Times’ numbers were wrong.

https://globalnews.ca/news/7400647/donald-trump-debt-town-hall/

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Judge Allows Public Viewing of Previous George Floyd Arrest Video

By: Louis Casiano

https://muckrack.com/louis-casiano

A Minnesota judge on Thursday denied a request from prosecutors to block public viewing of police body camera footage from a previous George Floyd arrest, ruling that the video would not be prejudicial.

The decision by Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill came after an attorney for one of the four former Minneapolis police officers charged in connection with Floyd's death motioned to include the 2019 arrest as evidence. It was part of a request to dismiss charges against his client, the Star Tribune reported.

>>"It is one small piece of evidence that shows us what everybody already knows. George Floyd was arrested on another occasion," Cahill said in a hearing on Thursday.

His decision also denies a prosecution motion to seal the filings in the case for 48 hours so the opposing side has a chance to ask for that information to be sealed.

The video can be accessed as soon as it is processed by the court and Cahill will take it under consideration to dismiss charges against former officer Thomas Lane, KARE-TV reported. Lane's attorney, Earl Gray, argued prosecutors were seeking to introduce the histories of the former officers Lane, Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao at trial, a similar inclusion to the Floyd arrest.

Gray did not immediately return a Fox News request for comment.

Prosecutors wanted public access to the arrest video restricted through the trial and any appeals process over fears it could taint potential jurors, the news station reported.

According to Gray, the video captures three officers trying to get Floyd to respond to commands to show his hands and to spit out something in his mouth. In the footage, Floyd calls out for this mother, he said, arguing that Floyd acted in a fashion similar to his May 25 arrest when he died while in police custody.

>>“I do find that this was good faith on Mr. Gray’s part because I left the door open,” Cahill said.

He added that he denied admitting evidence of an armed robbery in Texas involving Floyd and that had Gray's motion included specifics of that case, it would have been in bad faith, according to the newspaper.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/judge-george-floyd-arrest-video

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Portland, Oakland Sue U.S. Federal Government Over Use of Agents at Protests

By: Gillian Flaccus

https://muckrack.com/gflaccus

The cities of Oakland and Portland, Oregon have sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department, alleging that the agencies are overstepping constitutional limits in their use of federal law enforcement officers to tamp down on protests.

The lawsuit, filed late Wednesday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, cites the deployment of U.S. agents this summer to quell protests in Portland and alleges the U.S. Marshals Service unlawfully deputized dozens of local Portland police officers as federal agents despite objections from city officials. The federal deputations have meant protesters arrested by local police could face federal charges, which generally carry stiffer penalties.

The use of federal agents in these ways is a major shift in policy and threatens the independence of local law enforcement, according to the lawsuit. The complaint cites the anti-commandeering doctrine of the Tenth Amendment, which says that the federal government cannot require states or state officials to adopt or enforce federal law.

The Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday. In the past, acting DHS secretary Chad Wolf has been a vocal defender of the administration’s response to the civil unrest in Portland.

The Trump administration says the work of the federal agents is limited to federal property but “the activities in cities such as Portland instead reveal a distinct and meaningful policy shift to use federal enforcement to unilaterally step in and replace local law enforcement departments that do not subscribe to the President’s view of domestic ‘law and order.’”

The allegations of constitutional overreach focus on the federal government’s actions in Portland but Oakland joined the lawsuit because of concerns that the Trump administration might send U.S. agents to Oakland or deputize police officers there as well, court papers show.

Protests over racial injustice and police brutality have roiled both U.S. West cities since the death of George Floyd and drawn attacks from U.S. President Donald Trump, who threatened to send federal resources to restore law and order.

In Portland, the Trump administration sent dozens of U.S. agents to the city in July to guard a federal courthouse that had become a target of protesters, but those agents clashed with protesters blocks from the courthouse on several occasions. The state of Oregon sued over allegations that federal agents swept up protesters in unmarked cars without identifying themselves.

U.S. Attorney for Oregon Billy J. Williams said in late September that more than 80 people had been charged with federal crimes related to the protests.

Last month, Portland agreed to have about five dozen of its police officers deputized as federal agents by the Marshals Service in advance of a rally planned in the city by the right-wing group Proud Boys. The city anticipated potential clashes between left- and right-wing protesters. Troopers from the Oregon State Police and a local sheriff’s department were also deputized.

City leaders have since said that they believed the police officers would only be federally deputized for that weekend and sought to cancel the agreement after the rally was over. But the U.S. Attorney for Oregon and the Marshals Service have refused to cancel the deputization, which officially expires on Dec. 31.

The lawsuit also alleges that the U.S. government has illegally erected a fence around the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse, which is federal property, against the city’s wishes. The fence blocks a major bike thoroughfare that is city property, according to Portland officials.

https://globalnews.ca/news/7399959/portland-oakland-sue-federal-government/

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Rioters Topple Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt Statues in Portland; Museum Windows Smashed

By Joel B. Pollak

https://www.breitbart.com/author/joel-b-pollak/

Rioters toppled statues of Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt in Portland, Oregon, on Sunday night — the latest attacks on monuments in several months of left-wing unrest.

According to OregonLive.com, the statues in the South Park Block were toppled during an “Indigenous Day of Rage.” The nearby Oregon Historical Society Museum was also reportedly attacked.

Video of the toppled statues showed they had been vandalized with the words “STOLEN LAND” spray-painted on their bases. The Roosevelt statue was also vandalized with “MURDERER.”

Portland Police had warned those attempting to topple statues.

OregonLive.com reported:

As the crowd gathered, a group threw chains on ropes on the statue, a bronze sculpture officially titled “Theodore Roosevelt, Rough Rider,” as others took a blowtorch to its base and threw red paint on the statue. They began to pull until the statue rocked from side to side before falling down at 8:51 p.m.

The group then turned to the nearby Abraham Lincoln statue, pulling it to the ground at 8:59 p.m. Spray-painted on the base of the statue was “Dakota 38,” a reference to 38 Dakota men executed after the Dakota-U.S. War of 1862, the largest mass execution in a single day in American history.

Afterward, people in the crowd began smashing windows at the Oregon Historical Society, unfurling a banner that read, “Stop honoring racist colonizer murderers.” A mural on the attached Sovereign Hotel building depicting the Lewis & Clark expedition was splattered with red paint.

The crowd then moved through downtown, breaking windows and destroying a sign at the Portland State University Campus Public Safety office and other buildings.

Police did not apparently intervene in time to save the statues or protect the museum.

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/10/11/rioters-topple-abraham-lincoln-teddy-roosevelt-statues-in-portland-museum-windows-smashed/

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Critics Slam Trump for Dancing to 'YMCA' During Rally: 'Dancing While People Are Dying'

By Emma Colton

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/author/emma-colton

Critics of President Trump attacked him for dancing Monday during his first rally since contracting COVID-19 earlier this month.

Former basketball player Rex Chapman tweeted, “215,000 dead Americans and he’s out there doing this," accompanied by a video of the president dancing to the “YMCA.”

Others echoed Chapman in showing their disapproval with his dancing.

The iconic song’s writer, Victor Willis of the Village People, said in September that Trump and his campaign are welcomed to continue using "YMCA" during rallies.

“’YMCA’ is everybody’s anthem and go-to song for fun. As for the president’s use, I have not granted permission for use at his rallies because permission is not required,” Willis told Bloomberg News through a spokesman.

“If I were a Trump hater, maybe I’d sue him simply out of spite,” Willis said. “I am not, and I’m not going to have my lawyers sue the president. But he should at least do the ‘YMCA’ dance while he’s at it.”

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/critics-slam-trump-after-he-dances-to-the-ymca-during-first-rally-since-coronavirus-diagnosis-dancing-while-people-are-dying

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Here Are the Key Takeaways of Amy Coney Barrett’s Final Day of Confirmation Hearings

By: MATTHEW DALY

https://muckrack.com/MatthewDalyWDC

Health care again played a starring role in Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee as Democrats sought to highlight an issue they want voters to consider on Election Day.

During Wednesday’s hearing, Barrett maintained her view that it would be inappropriate to comment on the national health care law or other cases that may come before her as a justice. She also declined to say whether a president can pardon himself.

Republicans appeared undeterred and likely successful in their effort to have Barrett confirmed before the election, just three weeks away.

Takeaways from Day 3 of the hearing:

Democrats noted that Trump has made clear he wishes to undo the Affordable Care Act, saying Trump and Senate Republicans are rushing to confirm Barrett so she can be seated in time to hear a case next month challenging that ‘Obamacare’ law.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said there’s an “orange cloud” hanging over Barrett’s nomination — a political jab at Trump’s tan and a reference to the president’s oft-stated wish to overturn the law.

Barrett told senators she is not “hostile” to the law and promised to consider all arguments.

Republicans played down the threat to the health law posed by the court case. “This hearing has been more about Obamacare than it has you,″ the committee chairman, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told Barrett. He added: “Obamacare is on the ballot″ next month.

Republicans object to the health law because “it was written and passed on a partisan line,″ Graham said. ”Most big changes in society have more buy-in (from the public and the two political parties) than that. You’re talking about one-fifth of the American economy.″

Still, Graham and other Republicans stressed that even if parts of the law were struck down, important aspects such as coverage for preexisting conditions could still be preserved, under a concept known as severability. “The doctrine of severability presumes — and its goal is — to preserve (key parts of) the statute if that is possible,″ Graham said.

Barrett agreed, saying, “The presumption is always in favor of severability.″

Republicans have introduced bills to protect Americans with preexisting conditions and bring down drug prices, said Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. “And if we act, (voters) don’t have to worry about you doing away with preexisting conditions in some future case down the road,″ he told Barrett.

No one is above the law

On another issue where Trump’s views and tweets are well-known, Barrett declined to say whether a president can pardon himself. But she said she agrees no one is above the law.

Under questioning from Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Barrett said the question of a self-pardon has never come before the court. “That question may or may not arise, but it is one that calls for a legal analysis of what the scope of the pardon power is,″ Barrett said. She said offering an opinion now ”would be opining on an open question … it’s not one in which I can offer a view.″

Multiple investigations are looking into Trump’s taxes, his businesses and his associates, and he has said he has “an absolute right” to pardon himself.

While declining to address whether Trump would be able to pardon himself, Barrett said she agreed with Leahy’s assertion that “no one is above the law.”

No preview of judicial views

For the second straight day, Barrett repeatedly declined to give her personal views, or to preview how she might rule, on issues that could become before the court. Like other Supreme Court nominees, Barrett said she was prohibited from expressing those opinions by the “canons of judicial conduct.”

In addition to a possible presidential self-pardon and whether to overturn the health law, Barrett said she could not give an opinion on whether she would withdraw from any election-related litigation involving Trump. He said when he nominated her that he wanted the full nine justices in place before any possible election decisions.

Barrett also said she can’t express a view on climate change because it is a “very contentious matter of public policy.” Under questioning from Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., the party’s vice presidential nominee, Barrett called climate change “politically controversial,” adding that discussion of the issue is “inconsistent with the judicial role as I have explained.″

Scientists say climate change is caused by people burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas and is worsening sharply. Parched lands in the American West are getting drier and suffering deadly wildfires, while the much wetter East keeps getting drenched in hurricanes and other mega-rainfall events. Climate change is magnifying both extremes.

Breakthrough for Conservative women

Graham opened Wednesday’s hearing by proclaiming Barrett’s expected confirmation a historic victory for conservative women. Like “conservatives of color,” conservative women, he said, are often “marginalized” in public life.

“This hearing, to me, is an opportunity to not punch through a glass ceiling but a reinforced concrete barrier around conservative women,” Graham told Barrett. “You are going to shatter that barrier.’’

Graham said he has “never been more proud of a nominee” than he is of Barrett, a federal appeals court judge from Indiana. “This is the first time in American history that we’ve nominated a woman who is unashamedly pro-life and embraces her faith without apology, and she is going to the court. This is history being made, folks.”

Barrett has declined to say how she would rule on a challenge to the Roe v. Wade decision that established abortion rights, but she has made clear she opposes abortion rights and signed a 2006 letter objecting to “abortion on demand.”

Shifting the Supreme Court balance

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., asked Barrett whether she would acknowledge that her confirmation would mean a shift to the right on the Supreme Court that would have “profound” implications.

Coons referred to an interview that Barrett gave where she spoke of a balance shift if Merrick Garland, a federal appeals court judge nominated in 2016 by President Barack Obama, were elevated to the high court. Obama picked Garland after Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, but Republicans in the Senate refused give Garland a hearing, citing the presidential election that was months away that year.

Barrett told Coons she was referring in the interview to Garland’s judicial approach, not his more liberal views. Unlike the conservative Scalia, Garland was not an originalist, which refers to a way of interpreting the Constitution that focuses on the text and Founding Fathers’ intentions in resolving legal disputes.

“It would be away from one balance and toward another in terms of how judges think about the text,″ said Barrett, who like Scalia is an originalist.

Coons noted that Barrett, who claims Scalia as her mentor, would replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was not an originalist and was the court’s liberal leader. Barrett’s confirmation would shift the court’s previous 5-4 conservative majority to 6-3.

Americans need to better understand the originalist philosophy, Coons said, “because I think it means our entire modern understanding of certain constitutional commitments around liberty, privacy and equality under the law could, in fact, be rolled back to 19th or even 18th century understandings in a way unrecognizable to most Americans.″

Sounds of silence

The hearing paused twice Wednesday because of audio problems in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. The sound in the hearing room cut out a little before 2 p.m. and was off for 40 minutes. It cut out again after the hearing resumed, this time for about 15 minutes.

The problem happened the first time just after Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., asked Barrett whether she had gotten some rest after a long day of questioning Tuesday. “I did have a glass of wine. I’ll tell you, I needed that at the end of the day,” she said.

On that point, “You have a right to remain silent,″ Blumenthal told Barrett.

https://globalnews.ca/news/7397914/amy-coney-barret-hearings-day-three/

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Breonna Taylor's Boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, Speaks Out About Fatal Shooting

By:Stephanie Pagones

https://muckrack.com/stephanie-pagones

Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend will speak publicly for the first time about the night his girlfriend was fatally wounded as police executed a warrant at her home, revealing he’s “a million percent sure” officers did not identify themselves before entering.

Kenneth Walker told CBS’ Gayle King hee grabbed his legally owned gun because he “didn’t have a clue” who was at the apartment the morning of March 13, according to a preview of his upcoming interview.

>>“If it was the police at the door and they just said, ‘We’re the police,’ me or Breonna didn’t have a reason at all not to open the door to see what they wanted,” Walker said, in a segment slated to air Wednesday morning.

The question of whether police identified themselves before entering the Louisville, Ky., home in March has been disputed, with law enforcement officials saying they did announce themselves before ramming the door and entering.

However, some witnesses, and Walker, said they didn't hear police identify themselves.

>>“I never thought it was the police – because why would the police be coming here?” he told King in the teaser.

Taylor, 26, a Black woman and emergency room worker, was shot six times inside her apartment when police showed up to execute the warrant approved as part of a narcotics investigation. No drugs reportedly were found at her home.

For months, the raid was characterized in reports and by officials as the execution of a "no-knock warrant," meaning law enforcement officers could enter without knocking or announcing themselves. But Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron later clarified that officers did knock, according to at least one neighbor.

In previously released grand jury audio, Walker said he heard knocking, but that police did not respond when he and Taylor repeatedly asked who was there. According to the recordings, he told police he grabbed his gun, and they both walked toward the door.

>>"She’s yelling at the top of her lungs, and I am too at this point. No answer. No response. No nothing,” Walker said, according to the grand jury recordings.

While Walker told police he did not hear officers identify themselves, he also said he doubted he could have, considering the couple was at the opposite end of a long hallway, according to the audio.

Police said they used a battering ram to enter, hitting the door three times before getting inside.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/breonna-taylors-boyfriend-kenneth-walker-speaks-out

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White House Staff Infected With Coronavirus Begin Returning to Work, Spurning Masks

By: Jeff Mason and Alexandra Alper

https://muckrack.com/jeffmason1

https://muckrack.com/alexandra-alper

Two weeks after the coronavirus spread through the White House, staffers have begun trickling back to the West Wing, saying they only had mild symptoms and again spurning the use of masks despite criticism that they have been careless about the outbreak.

With U.S. President Donald Trump declaring himself immune after his own bout with COVID-19 required hospitalization, his aides at the White House, his re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee are steadily recovering from a sickness that sidelined many of them just weeks before the Nov. 3 election.

Trump returned to the campaign trail on Monday and has trips scheduled all week in an effort to make up for time lost while he received treatment as Democratic rival Joe Biden campaigned.

One White House official said most people affected by the outbreak had mild symptoms, and that the White House had been “very lucky.”

Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany has not returned to the White House since her diagnosis but hoped to by the end of the week, the official said.

Hope Hicks, a senior adviser to Trump whose own diagnosis was the first to be made public in the wave that hit his inner circle at the beginning of the month, is still not back at the White House. She said she is feeling better.

Karoline Leavitt, an assistant press secretary, is back after having mild symptoms. Other press aides such as Harrison Fields, Jalen Drummond and Chad Gilmartin are not.

Trump has faced widespread criticism for playing down the pandemic in its early stages and for dismissing the seriousness of the illness.

He has largely spurned wearing a mask himself and criticized others, including Biden, for doing so, while presiding over a White House where staffers, secret services and others routinely rejected mask use throughout the worst of the pandemic.

Ahead of Trump’s trip to Iowa on Wednesday, staff members at the White House walked around the West Wing without wearing masks, eschewing the precautions that were put in place in the immediate aftermath of Trump’s diagnosis as the virus spread.

White House spokesman Judd Deere said the White House follows guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on masks.

>>“We have incorporated current CDC guidance and best practices for limiting COVID-19 exposure to the greatest extent possible, including staying home if you are positive or have symptoms, social distancing, good hygiene, and face coverings,” he said, adding that positive cases are taken “very seriously,” while the White House Medical Unit leads a “robust” contact tracing program with CDC personnel and guidance.

>>“But the essential work of the White House and the federal government must continue, which sometimes does require essential personnel to be physically in the office, and when that occurs every precaution is being taken to protect the health of the President, themselves, and the entire complex,” he added.

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who spent a week in hospital for treatment, appeared to be among the hardest hit by the virus within Trump’s circle. He said in a Twitter post on Saturday that he was released from hospital.

The White House declined to comment on reports that White House head of security Crede Bailey is seriously ill with COVID-19 and was taken to the hospital in late September.

The White House did not provide updates on specific officials’ health status.

Bill Stepien, Trump’s campaign manager “has fully recovered and returned to the office,” campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said.

Ronna McDaniel, the chair of the Republican National Committee, said she was feeling “much better” after she came down with the virus and planned to travel again on Thursday.

More than 216,000 people who have died from COVID-19 in the United States alone.

Trump’s diagnosis put the pandemic back at the center of the 2020 campaign and gave Biden an additional opportunity to hammer the president, while wishing him a speedy recovery, for failing to establish a national strategy for conquering the fast-spreading disease.

Trump has held rallies with thousands of people who do not engage in social-distancing or wear face coverings consistently.

A White House Rose Garden event to announce the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court is suspected to be the root cause of a number of the infections of Trump’s inner circle.

University of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, who tested positive after attending the event, ended his period of quarantine on Monday and is symptom-free, the university said in a statement earlier this week.

Even as many in Trump’s inner circle appeared on the mend, new reports of illness are still plaguing the White House as it seeks to turn the page. The wife of Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia, Trish, who reportedly also attended the Rose Garden event, was confirmed positive on Tuesday.On Wednesday, first lady Melania Trump, who has experienced mild symptoms of COVID-19, announced that her son Barron had been infected but later tested negative.

>>“Luckily he is a strong teenager and exhibited no symptoms,” she said in a statement. “He is fine,” Trump later told reporters outside the White House.

https://globalnews.ca/news/7397854/coronavirus-white-house-staff-return/

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Turkey Says Greece Failed to Fulfill Promises, Vows Response

By: Suzan Fraser

https://muckrack.com/suzanfraser

ANKAR, Turkey (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday accused Greece and Cyprus of failing to fulfill “promises” made during negotiations within the European Union and NATO and said his country would continue to give them “the response they deserve.”

Erdogan’s comments came days after Ankara redeployed its search vessel, Oruc Reis, for a new energy exploration mission in disputed waters in the eastern Mediterranean, reigniting tensions with Greece and Cyprus over sea boundaries and exploration rights. Turkish media reports said two navy frigates are shadowing the search vessel.

Those tensions had flared up over the summer, prompting a military buildup, bellicose rhetoric and fears of a confrontation between the two NATO members and historic regional rivals.

>>“Our Oruc Reis has returned to its duty in the Mediterranean,” Erdogan told legislators of his ruling party in a speech in parliament. “We will continue to give the response they deserve on the field, to Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration who have not kept their promises during talks within the EU and NATO platforms.”

He didn’t spell out what the promises were but Turkish officials have been accusing Greek officials of engaging in a series of “provocations” despite efforts to revive the so-called exploratory talks between the neighbors that were aimed at resolving disputes and were last held in 2016.

Greece’s government said, meanwhile, that it wouldn’t take part in planned exploratory talks with Turkey as long as the survey mission was in progress.

>>“It is impossible to hold talks about a (maritime region) when a survey in that region is underway,” government spokesman Stelios Petsas told private Skai television.

Heiko Maas, the foreign minister of Germany, which has been mediating between Athens and Ankara in a bid to east the tensions, criticized Turkey on Tuesday for taking “unilateral steps” in the eastern Mediterranean which he said were undercutting efforts to deescalate tensions. The U.S. State Department issued a statement deploring Turkey’s move.

Ankara says the Oruc Reis was redeployed following provocative acts by Athens, including a decision to hold military drills in the Aegean Sea on Turkey’s main national holiday.

During his speech, Erdogan also rebuffed international criticism over Turkey’s move to open the beachfront of Cyprus’ fenced-off suburb of Varosha in divided Cyprus’ breakaway Turkish Cypriot north.

>>“The fenced-off Varosha region belongs to the Turks of northern Cyprus. This should be known as such,” he said.

Varosha remained off-limits and in Turkish military control after its Greek Cypriot residents fled before advancing troops in 1974 when Turkey invaded and sliced the island along ethnic lines after a coup by supporters of union with Greece.

Separately, Erdogan declared that he would on Saturday announce details of the discovery a new natural gas reserve off the Black Sea coast. In August, Turkey announced the discovery of 320 billion cubic meters of gas, which the country said would help ease the country’s dependence on imports.

https://www.rochesterfirst.com/news/international/turkey-says-greece-failed-to-fulfill-promises-vows-response/

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Top Russian Diplomat Skeptical About Nuclear Pact Extension

By: Vladimir Isachenkov

https://muckrack.com/vladimir-isachenkov

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s top diplomat voiced doubt Wednesday that Moscow and Washington could negotiate an extension of their last arms control pact still standing, even as the United States offered a more optimistic view.

Speaking in an interview with several Russian news outlets, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia can’t accept the conditions put forward by the United States for the extension of the New START treaty.

>>“I personally don’t see the prospect,” Lavrov snapped when asked if the extension is possible before the pact expires in February. “We will never say that we will shut the door and cut all contacts. But we explain that it’s impossible to talk on the basis of an ultimatum they put forward that fully ignores the principles which were acknowledged as the basis for all our agreements for decades.”

Lavrov’s pessimistic view contrasted with the statements from U.S. diplomats, who said that Moscow and Washington were close to a deal.

>>“We would welcome the opportunity to complete an agreement based on understandings that were achieved over the last couple weeks about what the range of possibilities look like for an extension of New START and an outcome that benefits the entire world, increased stability of the most dangerous weapons in the world,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday.

Pompeo said that “I am hopeful that the Russians will find a way to agree to an outcome that, frankly, I think is in their best interest and in our best interest,” voicing hope that China will eventually join the talks too.

A person familiar with the talks told The Associated Press Friday that U.S. and Russian negotiators have agreed in principle to continue freezing their nuclear warhead stockpiles in a bid to salvage the New START. The person, who was not authorized to discuss the negotiations publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, said it’s not yet clear if the agreement for a freeze will succeed or translate into an extension of the pact.

If it works, the person said an agreement could be announced before the Nov. 3 presidential election with an eye toward extending the accord and eventually bringing China into it, a longtime demand by President Donald Trump’s administration.

The New START treaty was signed in 2010 by U.S. President Barack Obama and then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. The pact limits each country to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers, and envisages sweeping on-site inspections to verify compliance.

After both Moscow and Washington withdrew from the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty last year, the New START is the only remaining nuclear arms control deal between the two countries.

>>Russia has offered its extension without any conditions, while the Trump administration has pushed for a new arms control agreement that would also include China. Moscow has described that idea as unfeasible, pointing at Beijing’s refusal to negotiate any deal that would reduce its much smaller nuclear arsenal.

Lavrov specified Wednesday that Russia can’t accept the U.S. proposal to limit battlefield nuclear weapons alongside nuclear warheads that arm strategic missiles and bombers until the U.S. agrees to withdraw its tactical nuclear weapons from Europe.

He also noted that Moscow wouldn’t agree to the U.S. demand to have intrusive verification measures like those that existed in the 1990s when inspectors were positioned at missile factories.

https://www.rochesterfirst.com/news/international/top-russian-diplomat-skeptical-about-nuclear-pact-extension/

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Trump, Biden to Appear on Separate Televised Town Halls Thursday Night

By:David Bauder

https://muckrack.com/dbauder

NBC News agreed to put President Donald Trump before voters in a town hall event on Thursday after the president submitted to an independent coronavirus test with the results reviewed by Dr. Anthony Fauci.

The announcement Wednesday sets up duelling town halls with Democratic opponent Joe Biden on a night the two candidates were supposed to meet for their second debate. Biden is appearing on a similar town hall event in Philadelphia, televised by ABC.

It also subjected NBC News to a sharp backlash on social media, where a call to boycott the network was a trending topic on Twitter.

NBC said Trump would be at least 3.66 metres from moderator Savannah Guthrie and the audience.

Trump, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 2 and spent three days at the Walter Reed military hospital, took a coronavirus test Tuesday administered by the National Institutes of Health, NBC said.

Both NIH clinical director Dr. Clifford Lane and Fauci reviewed Trump’s medical records and said they had a high degree of confidence that the president is “not shedding infectious virus.”

Trump’s ability to reach a national television audience on Thursday was in part dependent on Fauci, who had expressed anger at the Trump campaign in recent days for using one of his statements in a campaign ad. The coronavirus task force member said a quote used in the campaign ad was taken out of context.

A formal matchup between the Republican president and Biden that was scheduled for Thursday in Miami by the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debate was cancelled. In light of the president’s infection, the commission shifted the format to a virtual meeting, and Trump declined to participate.

Both town halls will begin at 8 p.m. Eastern, but Biden will have the last word. The ABC event, moderated by George Stephanopoulos, will last 90 minutes with an additional half hour of analysis. Trump’s town hall on NBC is scheduled for an hour.

Critics of NBC questioned why the network scheduled Trump for the same time, making viewers have to choose if they were interested in seeing both candidates react live in a similar format.

Veteran journalist Jeff Greenfield called it “indefensible” in a Twitter post.

“They rewarded Trump by giving him this time,” Greenfield said in an interview.

He questioned whether NBC acceded to a demand by the president, but the network said in a statement that “the Trump campaign did not dictate or request the time slot nor express any preference.”

NBC considered it important that Trump be given the same format, day of the week and length of time that Biden had last week — although he will have a different moderator. Lester Holt hosted the Biden event.

In addition to preventing viewers from getting a side-by-side comparison of the two men, the duelling events will likely be seen by far fewer people.

The first debate between the two men last month was watched by an estimated 73.1 million people, the Nielsen company said.

An estimated 6.7 million people saw Biden at an NBC News-sponsored town hall last week. Like the Trump event on Thursday will be, it was simulcast on MSNBC, CNBC and streamed online.

Trump’s town hall with Stephanopoulos on Sept. 15 was seen by 3.8 million people, Nielsen said.

Thursday’s Trump town hall on NBC will be held outdoors at the Perez Art Museum in Miami. Audience members will be socially distanced, required to wear a mask and submit to a temperature check before entering the venue, NBC said.

https://globalnews.ca/news/7397040/nbc-trump-town-hall-biden/

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Trump, Republicans Slam Twitter, Facebook 'Blackout' of Hunter Biden Article

By: Marisa Schultz

https://muckrack.com/marisa_schultz

President Trump and Republicans blasted Facebook and Twitter for suppressing the social media circulation of a New York Post story on Hunter Biden's emails, with Trump calling for a federal clamp down on the tech giants.

>>"So terrible that Facebook and Twitter took down the story of “Smoking Gun” emails related to Sleepy Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, in the [New York Post]," Trump tweeted. "It is only the beginning for them. There is nothing worse than a corrupt politician. REPEAL SECTION 230!!!"

Trump was referencing Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 that states "no provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider."

The section has been pivotal in the rise of today's social media giants by allowing not only Internet service providers –¬ but also Google, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and others –¬ to be shielded from liability from content posted on their platforms by third parties, in most cases. But some critics on the right feel that tech giants should no longer benefit from protections of Section 230 if they censor conservative viewpoints, including controversial postings by Trump.

On Wednesday night, Twitter sent a series of tweets clarifying why the New York Post articles were in violation.

The hacked materials are in violation of the company's 2018 policy against the distribution of such materials on its platform, however conversations about those materials are not:

>>"Commentary on or discussion about hacked materials, such as articles that cover them but do not include or link to the materials themselves, aren’t a violation of this policy," Twitter said. "Our policy only covers links to or images of hacked material themselves."

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey also shared the update and said the company had not done a good enough job of communicating why it took the actions it did.

Also Wednesday, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., sent off a letter to Facebook and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, immediately penned a letter to Twitter – each calling for the tech companies to explain censorship of the New York Post article on emails that purport to link former vice president Joe Biden to Hunter's business interests in Ukraine.

>>"If these emails are authentic, they would demonstrate definitively that now-candidate Biden lied when he said in 2016 that he had 'never spoken to [his] son about his overseas business dealings," Cruz wrote in a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

>>"Twitter has apparently decided to preemptively censor this report," Cruz continued. "Twitter is not only prohibiting users from sharing this story on their own accounts, it is prohibiting the New York Post itself from posting its own content."

Hawley also requested a formal investigation from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) into possible campaign finance violations, charging that Twitter and Facebook have essentially contributed to the Biden campaign by suppressing a negative story from being circulated.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., accused Facebook and Twitter of meddling in the presidential election.

>>"Big Tech is trying to steal the election," Gaetz tweeted.

The New York Post released emails that allegedly reveal that Hunter introduced his father, the Democratic presidential nominee, to a top executive at Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings at Hunter's request. The article said that the elder Biden met with Vadym Pozharskyi in April 2015 in Washington, D.C.

Twitter responded by locking the New York Post's Twitter account as of 2:20 pm. saying the paper's messages obtained from Hunter Biden’s laptop broke the social network’s rules against the “distribution of hacked material,” Twitter wrote to the Post. Twitter also blocked users from sharing the link to the New York Post article.

Meanwhile, Facebook said it was "reducing" the article distribution on its platform.

>>"While I will intentionally not link to the New York Post, I want be clear that this story is eligible to be fact checked by Facebook's third-party fact checking partners," Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone tweeted Wednesday. "In the meantime, we are reducing its distribution on our platform."

GOP lawmakers have accused Big Tech of hypocrisy.

>>"Four years ago BuzzFeed posted the Steele Dossier, filled with lies and misinformation, and twitter and Facebook happily spread their fake news," Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said of the anti-President Trump document. "Now these platforms are blocking transmission of a New York Post story critical of a Democrat. The hypocrisy is not sustainable."

The Biden campaign said the former vice president engaged in "no wrongdoing."

>>"Investigations by the press, during impeachment, and even by two Republican-led Senate committees whose work was decried as 'not legitimate' and political by a GOP colleague have all reached the same conclusion: that Joe Biden carried out official U.S. policy toward Ukraine and engaged in no wrongdoing," Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said. "Trump Administration officials have attested to these facts under oath."

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/republican-twitter-facebook-blackout-hunter-biden

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California Secretary of State Says Return Ballots Now Exceeds Same Point in 2016 Campaign

By: Bradford Betz

https://muckrack.com/bradford-betz

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla on Wednesday said that the number of vote-by-mail ballots that have been returned has already well-exceeded the number of ballots returned at this same point in the 2016 presidential election.

>>“As of this morning, over 1.5 million vote-by-mail ballots have already been returned by California voters,” Padilla wrote in a statement. “This is a massive increase compared to approximately 150,000 ballots returned at this same point in the 2016 General Election.”

A spokesman for Padilla’s office said both figures were based on 21 days before the General Election.

The high number of mail-in-ballots in California reflects nationwide trends as more Americans than ever before have turned to this option in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Due to the coronavirus and concerns about health safety at polling places, California for the first time mailed ballots for the Nov. 3 election to all active registered voters — more than 21 million people. The ballots come with pre-paid envelopes for voters to mail back, free of charge.

Padilla said election officials knew the coronavirus pandemic would post “significant challenges” and that have prepared accordingly.

>>“More Californians voting early will mean a safer Election Day for everyone — voters, poll workers, and elections officials alike,” Padilla said. “By voting early, you help preserve in-person voting for those who need it—including our neighbors with disabilities, those who need language assistance, or those who need language assistance, or those who need access to Same Day Voter Registration.”

Controversy surfaced the weekend after state election officials received reports of the unofficial ballot collection boxes in Fresno, Los Angeles, and Orange counties.

California's chief elections official on Monday ordered Republicans to remove unofficial ballot drop boxes from churches, gun shops and other locations. State Attorney General Xavier Becerra warned those behind the "vote tampering" could face prosecution.

Republicans refused, saying they are merely taking advantage of California's liberal ballot collection law that allows anyone to collect ballots from voters and deliver them to county election offices.

>>"As of right now, we're going to continue our ballot harvesting program," California Republican Party spokesman Hector Barajas said.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/california-secretary-state-return-ballots-exceeds-same-point-2016-campaign

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Police Union Slams NYC Leaders for 'Amateur-Hour Meddling' That Drove Chief Out

By : Michael Ruiz

https://muckrack.com/michael-ruiz-1

The president of New York City’s largest police union blasted City Hall for “amateur-hour meddling” with day-to-day procedures after the NYPD’s chief of patrol resigned over tensions with Mayor Bill de Blasio.

>>“This is what happens when elected officials play political games with police department operations,” NYC Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said in a statement Wednesday. “Our top talent in all ranks is being driven out the door and public safety is suffering.”

Chief of Patrol Fausto Pichardo announced his resignation Tuesday over frustrations over “needling micromanagement” from de Blasio, the New York Post reported. The mayor reportedly chewed him out for missing a late phone call last week. And separately the mayor’s office allegedly spammed him with text messages about a minor issue that would normally be handled by someone lower on the chain of command.

>>“We wish Chief Pichardo a long, happy and successful retirement,” Lynch said. “Wherever he goes next, they will be getting one of our finest.”

He also said that City Hall meddling had “left the NYPD broken, almost beyond repair.”

The city recently voted to slash police funding by about $1 billion – even with violent crime increasing after years of going down – in disruptive year that included the coronavirus pandemic, a controversial new bail-reform law and widespread protests against police brutality.

Shootings have spiked by 127 percent in the city so far this year, according to police. Twelve people were shot on this past Sunday alone. Murders rose 76 percent this year over last.

Plus a city council candidate was arrested over the weekend after allegedly egging on a mob of protesters who assaulted a Jewish Insider reporter in Brooklyn last week.

And rank-and-file officers have been leaving the job in large numbers, too – with a 49 percent rise in officers filing for retirement since late May – when protests broke out around the country over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.

Floyd, a Black man, died after an officer was seen on video kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/nyc-pba-city-hall-amateur-hour-meddling

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Amy Coney Barrett Holds Up Empty Notepad During Confirmation Hearing

By Scott Morefield

https://dailycaller.com/author/smorefield/

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett held up an empty notepad in response to a question from Republican Texas Sen. John Cornyn during Tuesday morning’s Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings.

When it was his turn to speak during Tuesday’s proceedings, Cornyn noticed a difference between what Barrett had in front of her while fielding questions from the senators and what was in front of others in the room.

“You know most of us have multiple notebooks and notes and books and things like that in front of us,” Cornyn said. “Can you hold up what you’ve been referring to in answering our questions?”

Barrett smiled and held up an empty notepad.

“Is there anything on it?” he asked.

“Uh, that letterhead that says United States Senate,” Barrett responded.

“That’s impressive,” Cornyn remarked before suggesting that the “objections” to Barrett’s nomination aren’t based on her qualifications, experience or training, but rather that people think she will “violate” her oath of office.

“I find that terribly insulting,” he said.

Monday’s proceedings featured speeches from senators on the committee as well as an introductory speech from Barrett.

https://dailycaller.com/2020/10/13/amy-coney-barrett-holds-up-empty-notepad/

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World’s Worst Human Rights Abuser China Wins Seat on U.N. Human Rights Council

By Frances Martel

https://www.breitbart.com/author/frances-martel/

The Communist Party of China won a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council Tuesday, a development widely decried as a global outrage given Beijing’s ongoing ethnic cleansing campaigns; widespread torture, disappearing, and killing of dissidents; and attempts to expand its repression beyond its borders.

China is currently believed to be the home of the world’s largest concentration camps, housing between 1 and 3 million people in western Xinjiang province. Most of those imprisoned are ethnic Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims. Survivors say they experienced indoctrination, torture, slavery, and other abuses. China claims the concentration camps are “vocational training centers.”

Outside of Xinjiang, reports indicate China has begun building similar camps for ethnic Tibetans, housing 500,000 people and counting. Beijing also regularly disappears political dissidents and those participating in “dangerous” activities like Christian prayer and Falun Gong. Multiple global investigations have concluded that the Communist Party removes organs from the bodies of some live political prisoners and sells them on the black market.

Internationally, the Communist Party has intensified its efforts to censor foreign citizens. Perhaps the most high-profile case of this occurred with America’s National Basketball Association (NBA), which estimated it lost “hundreds of millions” of dollars after a team official expressed support for pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

Most experts predicted that China would win its campaign to be on the Council. The U.N. divides the council by regions; China was competing in the Asia-Pacific region against four other candidates for four open seats. Elected alongside China for a two-year term in the region were Pakistan, Nepal, and Uzbekistan; Saudi Arabia failed in its bid to get on the Council.

In addition to those rogue states, the United Nations elected Russia and Cuba in other regions. Eritrea and Venezuela, two other leftist rogue states, will continue their ongoing terms in the agency.

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/10/14/worlds-worst-human-rights-abuser-china-wins-seat-on-u-n-human-rights-council/

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Trump Isn’t Ruling Out Replacing Bill Barr In A Second Term

By Christian Datoc

https://dailycaller.com/author/christian.datoc/

President Donald Trump didn’t rule out replacing Attorney General Bill Barr if he gets a second term during a Wednesday interview with Newsmax.

“I have no comment. Can’t comment on that. It’s too early,” Trump told Newsmax host Greg Kelly. “I’m not happy with all of the evidence I have, I can tell you that. I’m not happy.”

The president has criticized Barr and U.S. attorney John Durham in recent days after reports surfaced that Durham’s probe into the investigation will not be completed prior to the 2020 general election in November, a development he called a “disgrace” while guest hosting The Rush Limbaugh show Friday.

“This is the problem with Republicans,” he continued. “They don’t play the hard game.”

Trump expressed additional frustration with Barr during the Newsmax interview while reacting to reports that the Justice Department has closed its investigation into unmasking of Trump-linked associates and will likely not charge any of the Obama administration officials involved, including former Vice President Joe Biden.

https://dailycaller.com/2020/10/14/donald-trump-not-ruling-out-replace-bill-barr-second-term/

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Trash Bags of Undelivered Mail Found Outside Postal Worker’s Home

By Katherine Rodriguez

https://www.breitbart.com/author/katherine-rodriguez/

Trash bags full of undelivered mail were found at the curb outside a postal worker’s home in Pennsylvania.

Special agents with the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of the Inspector General responded to reports about undelivered mail on Sunday and found trash bags full of undelivered mail placed near the curb for garbage pickup outside the postal worker’s home in Baldwin, Pennsylvania, which is near Pittsburgh, CNN reported.

The agency said in a statement the employee works at the Mount Oliver post office and is currently on a nonduty status without pay.

“USPS OIG Special Agents recovered several different classes of mail, including business mail, flats, and small amount of first class mail,” Special Agent Scott Balfour told CNN in a statement. “We expect to perform a piece count of the mail today, and make arrangements to have to mail delivered to customers as soon as feasible.”

Balfour said following an investigation, the case would be presented to federal prosecutors at the U.S. attorney’s office.

This is not the only incident of mail dumping in recent weeks. A mail carrier in New Jersey was arrested last week for allegedly discarding 99 election ballots and other pieces of mail.

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/10/14/trash-bags-of-undelivered-mail-found-outside-postal-workers-home/

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WTO Says EU Can Put Tariffs on $4 Billion of US Goods

By: JAMEY KEATEN

https://muckrack.com/jameykeaten

GENEVA (AP) — International arbitrators said Tuesday that the European Union can impose tariffs and other penalties on up to $4 billion worth of U.S. goods and services over illegal American support for plane maker Boeing. The move further sours transatlantic ties at a time when the coronavirus has doused trade and savaged economies.

The ruling by the World Trade Organization arbitrators, which could inflame Trump administration criticism of the Geneva-based body, amounts to one of the largest penalties handed down by the WTO.

It comes a year after another ruling authorized the United States to slap penalties on EU goods worth up to $7.5 billion – including Gouda cheese, single-malt whiskey and French wine – over the bloc’s support for Boeing rival Airbus.

Now the EU can have its own turn at trade punishment, and has already been considering which American products it could target. A preliminary list that the bloc has released suggests it could go after a wide range of products including frozen fish and shellfish, dried fruit, tobacco, rum and vodka, handbags, motorcycle parts and tractors.

In the past in trade disputes, the EU has sought to roughly match products affected by previous American sanctions — such as by hitting U.S. distillers if French wines were targeted. The bloc could aim for areas where Boeing planes or parts are made.

The latest WTO decision is final, cannot be appealed, and puts the final word on a standoff dating back to 2006. It is just one part of a string of long-running disputes between the two plane-making giants at the WTO. And it sets the stage for what could become intense negotiation between the EU and U.S. to end what could become tit-for-tat transatlantic sanctions.

The arbitrators were tasked with setting a dollar value in sanctions such as tariffs that the EU could impose after the WTO’s appellate body found last year that Boeing had received at least $5 billion in subsidies that were prohibited under international trade rules.

The United States had argued that the illegal support merited no more than $412 million in penalties, while the European bloc had countered that they deserved nearly $8.6 billion. The award in essence was nearly 10 times more than what the U.S. had claimed, and under half that the EU wanted.

The EU had argued that tax breaks for Boeing from Washington state, which was once headquartered in Seattle and has major manufacturing operations in the state, unfairly harmed Airbus jets in the large single-aisle civil aircraft market — namely the A320neo and A320ceo aircraft. The U.S. argues that those tax breaks ended this year, eliminating any basis for the award.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told The Associated Press that the decision “doesn’t really authorize any action on their part’’ because Washington state has already repealed the tax breaks that the WTO deemed illegal. “Our view is that we’re in compliance,’’ Lighthizer said. He also said that negotiations with the EU on a resolution to the dispute are ongoing.

The WTO arbitrators said that the lifting of the tax breaks was not enough to prevent the award in favor of the EU.

European Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said Tuesday’s ruling move will allow the EU to slap tariffs on American goods entering Europe, but “I would much prefer not to do so – additional duties are not in the economic interest of either side, particularly as we strive to recover from the COVID-19 recession.”

>>“It is my hope that the U.S. will now drop the tariffs imposed on EU exports last year,” he added. “This would generate positive momentum both economically and politically, and help us to find common ground in other key areas.”

Bernd Lange, chairman of the European Parliament’s trade committee, said the EU should enact the tariffs now, though he urged both sides to enter talks. He cautioned that “the EU should not be naive” in case of a lack of “constructive engagement from the American side even after the presidential elections.”

Boeing, in a statement, wrote: “We are disappointed that Airbus and the EU continue to seek to impose tariffs on U.S. companies and their workers based on a tax provision that has been fully and verifiably repealed.” It also argued that WTO rules are only used to force compliance – and the plane maker insisted the U.S. is now in compliance — so any EU tariffs “would not be permissible.”

>>“Rather than escalating this matter with threats to U.S. businesses and their European customers, Airbus and the EU should be focusing their energies on good-faith efforts to resolve this long-running dispute,“ Boeing said.

https://www.rochesterfirst.com/news/international/trade-body-says-eu-can-sanction-4b-worth-of-us-goods/

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White House Advances Drone and Missile Sales to Taiwan

By Mike Stone

https://www.reuters.com/journalists/mike-stone

The White House is moving forward with more sales of sophisticated military equipment to Taiwan, telling Congress on Tuesday that it will seek to sell MQ-9 drones and a coastal defensive missile system, five sources familiar with the situation said.

These possible sales follow three other notifications first reported by Reuters on Monday that drew China’s ire in the run-up to the Nov. 3 U.S. election.

China considers Taiwan a wayward province that it has vowed to reunite with the mainland, by force if necessary.

Reuters broke the news in September that as many as seven major weapons systems were making their way through the U.S. export process as the Trump administration ramps up pressure on China.

The pre-notification to Congress for the MQ-9 drone case is the first after President Donald Trump’s administration moved ahead with its plan to sell more drones to more countries by reinterpreting an international arms control agreement called the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).

Tuesday’s other congressional pre-notification was for land-based Harpoon anti-ship missiles, made by Boeing Co, to serve as a coastal defense against cruise missiles.

The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations and House of Representatives Foreign Affairs committees have the right to review, and block, weapons sales under an informal review process before the State Department sends its formal notification to the legislative branch.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-taiwan-arms-exclusive/exclusive-white-house-advances-drone-and-missile-sales-to-taiwan-sources-idUSKBN26Y2JM

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Colorado Reports Spikes in Coronavirus Cases Not Seen Since April

By: Caitlin McFall

https://muckrack.com/caitlin-mcfall

Colorado saw 967 new cases of coronavirus Monday, the highest number of new cases reported in a day since mid-April, according to the state’s Department of Public Health and Environment.

>>“We need to get this under control now,” Gov. Jared Polis said in a press conference Tuesday. “If this continues, our hospital capacity will be in jeopardy.”

Health experts reported new records set for three and seven day averages this week – meaning the rise in cases was not a fluke.

The percentage of positive tests reached 5.4 percent, breaching the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendation of maintaining five percent or less, in order to prevent large increases in transmission rates.

Though the WHO originally advised that states or counties maintain a five percent positivity rate or less, for two weeks straight before relaxing coronavirus regulations, Polis said Tuesday that he would not be reinforcing restrictions at this time, but said people need to be responsible.

>>“Frankly, its just time to change, it’s time for all of us to change,” Polis said. “Just ask yourself ‘what can I do to prevent the spread of coronavirus?’ It’s very simple.”

Polis told Coloradans they need to remember to wear a mask and practice social distancing measures, but said he would not be enforcing any additional statewide mandates at this time – adding that municipalities have the ability to tighten restrictions if they want to.

>>“If we are successful in controlling this in the next few weeks, it’ll set us up, not only our small business and restaurants for success, it’ll set up the state for further success in being able to go into a holiday season in a safe way, which is very important,” Polis said.

But the governor also addressed his concerns over hospital capacity's, and thier ability to keep up with a new surge in cases as nearly 80 percent of “acute-care beds” are currently occupied, along with 78 percent of “intensive care beds,” reported the Denver Post.

Polis warned that there were 290 hospitalizations as of Tuesday, the highest figure seen since May.

>>“This is a major risk for our health and our economy if it continues this way,” Polis said Tuesday.

States across the U.S. have reported increases in the number of coronavirus cases, and the country as a whole has reported new daily highs not seen since August.

The New York Times reported Tuesday that 16 states have seen new records in the last week – meaning coronavirus cases in those states are now higher then they were at the height of the pandemic in the U.S.

Across the U.S., more than 7.8 million have been infected by COVID-19 and at least 215,861 have died.

States experiencing colder temperatures are the ones seeing spikes in cases, including the Dakotas, Montana and Wisconsin.

Health experts believe the rest of the country should also expect to see increases in cases, as the second wave hits in the fall or early winter.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/colorado-coronavirus-cases-spike-april

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Trump’s New Claims on Coronavirus Immunity Are ‘Extremely Dangerous,’ Experts Say

By: Sean Boynton

https://muckrack.com/sean-boynton

After recovering from a virus that has killed more than 215,000 Americans, U.S. President Donald Trump is now pushing a new message: that he’s become immune to the novel coronavirus, and so is everyone else who’s contracted it.

But health experts say that kind of message is dangerous — not only because there’s not enough scientific data to support it, but because it’s another example of the president downplaying the severity of the pandemic.

Trump began touting his immunity over the weekend, after his physician Dr. Sean Conley said the president met the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for safely discontinuing isolation and that by “currently recognized standards,” he was no longer considered a transmission risk.

On Monday, Trump told a campaign rally crowd in Sanford, Fla., that his alleged immunity made him feel “powerful.”

>>“I’ll walk into that audience,” he said. “I’ll walk in there, I’ll kiss everyone in that audience. I’ll kiss the guys and the beautiful women … everybody. I’ll just give ya a big fat kiss.”

The next day, after repeating his line from Monday, he went even further, asking those attending his rally in Johnstown, Pa., if anyone had contracted COVID-19, receiving cheers from some pockets of the crowd.

>>“You’re the people I want to say hi to, because you are right now immune,” he said Tuesday night.

Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease expert at the University of Toronto, says while Trump is not necessarily wrong about COVID-19 patients becoming immune after recovery, it’s not yet clear how widespread it is or how long it lasts.

>>“We also know there’s some credible evidence that people can get reinfected,” he said.

>>“What’s most important is that people still need to adhere to fundamental public health principles even after they recover and are deemed not to be contagious. They still need to wear a mask. They still need to physically distance. That doesn’t change.”

In the hours between Trump’s two rally comments, a case report published Monday in the Lancet Infectious Diseases medical journal detailed the case of a 25-year-old Nevada man who tested positive in April after showing mild symptoms, then got sick again in late May with a more serious bout. The man recovered from both infections.

In the Netherlands, the National Institute for Public Health confirmed on Tuesday that an 89-year-old Dutch woman, also sick with a rare form of bone marrow cancer, had recently died after contracting COVID-19 for a second time.

Other isolated cases of reinfection have been reported around the world, including in Asia and Europe.

While there’s evidence that reinfection is unlikely for at least three months even for those with a mild case of COVID-19, very few diseases leave people completely immune for life. Antibodies are only one part of the body’s defences, and they naturally wane over time.

>>“What (Trump is) saying to people is extremely dangerous, because there may be a lot of people in the crowd putting up their hands (saying) yes, I had COVID,” said Colin Furness, a University of Toronto epidemiologist.

>>“Either they didn’t and they think they did, or they did and they only had a minor bout, in which case, oh yes, they could get reinfected. So his newfound confidence in immunity may actually cause them to get infected again.”

Furness said the data that exists on cases of reinfection suggests minor cases are particularly susceptible to catching another bout of the virus. Human T cells, he explained, can easily become comfortable with fighting off a minor bout so that the body doesn’t produce the antibodies necessary to stave off a second infection.

>>“What he’s saying is possibly completely inaccurate,” Furness said. “And even if it isn’t in this case, it’s pretty dangerous given again, that people who have moderate, mild cases are not likely to be immune at all.”

Michael Curry, who specializes in infectious diseases at the University of British Columbia, said that in Trump’s case, the president’s experimental antibody treatment may actually be creating a false sense of immunity.

>>“These artificial antibodies may have cleared the virus, but that means his body may not have developed the ability to produce its own antibodies,” he said. “So when these artificial antibodies leave his system, he may not be protected.”

In addition to taking the Regeneron antibody treatment, Trump was also administered the steroid dexamethasone, which is normally reserved for patients with severe COVID.

Other health experts have said severe cases should isolate for 20 days after testing positive rather than 10, which is how long Trump spent off the campaign trail.

Yet Trump returned to public events as soon as his doctors cleared him on Saturday, and is planning several rallies in key Republican strongholds and swing states through the final two weeks of the campaign.

Furness said the strategy, and Trump’s latest claims about the virus, are more signs that the president is putting his image over the health of himself and others.

>>“He’s probably getting a huge high out of claiming immunity,” he said. “Even if he’d never heard the word immunity from anyone else, I think he’d be quite happy to make that up on his own because it projects strength.”

https://globalnews.ca/news/7395669/trump-coronavirus-immunity-message/

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Amy Coney Barrett's Calm Demeanor During Hearings Is Her ‘Superpower,’ Harmeet Dhillon Says

By: Angelica Stabile

https://www.foxnews.com/person/s/angelica-stabile

Judge Amy Coney Barrett made it through day two of her Supreme Court confirmation hearings and Trump 2020 advisory board member Harmeet Dhillon told Fox Business Network's “The Evening Edit” that her ability to stay cool, calm and collected is almost supernatural.

Democratic senators have repeatedly attempted to catch Barrett off guard about her stance on the Affordable Care Act, but Dhillon told host Elizabeth MacDonald she doesn’t think they even “landed a finger on her.”

>>“In fact, it's almost like she has a superpower by calmly sitting there and politely responding to these questions,” she said. “I think she made each and every one of them look silly or worse.”

Dhillon argued that the hearings so far have been a “failure” and said the Democrats should call it quits.

>>“The Democrats would've been better off actually not having a hearing at all … and voting because I don't think they convinced anybody with this charade,” she said.

Democratic lawmakers were quick to criticize Barrett for allegedly “evading” questions, when the Ginsburg rule, named after Barrett's would-be predecessor, prevents nominees from discussing their personal views on matters that may surface before the court.

>>“The judge did exactly what other judges have done in the same seat and what they should do,” Dhillon said. “No judge could honestly answer how they would vote on a case that they don't know the facts of, and neither would it be appropriate.”

>>“I hope in the future if Democrats are ever in the same position where they're nominating justices, those justices take the same position as Amy Coney Barrett and really everybody has done over the last 30 years,” she concluded.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/amy-coney-barrett-confirmation-hearings-harmeet-dhillon

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Joe Biden Hits Donald Trump for ‘Shutting Down’ Country over Coronavirus

By Kyle Olson

https://www.breitbart.com/author/kyle-olson/

Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden slammed President Donald Trump on Saturday for shutting down the economy, a move he himself said he would make if “scientists” recommended it.

Speaking to a reporter in Erie, Pennsylvania, Biden was asked if he would support a “nation-wide shutdown,” and he replied, “No, look, he’s the guy that shut it down,” referring to Trump.

“Let’s get this straight, he shut it down,” Biden said with disdain.

That is a reversal from August, when Biden told ABC News he would shut down the economy.

World News Tonight anchor David Muir predicted coronavirus and the flu would “combine” in January.

“Would you be prepared to shut this country down again?” Muir asked.

Biden implied he would.

“So if the scientists say, ‘Shut it down’ ….” Muir continued.

https://www.breitbart.com/economy/2020/10/11/joe-biden-hits-trump-shutting-down-country-coronavirus/

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Thai Protest Rally Plans Complicated by King’s Itinerary

By: TASSANEE VEJPONGSA

https://muckrack.com/tassanee-vejpongsa

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) — Thai activists hope to keep up the momentum in their campaign for democratic change with a third major rally in Bangkok on Wednesday, though there are concerns about possible confrontation with police or rival government supporters.

Plans for the rally at Bangkok’s Democracy Monument have been complicated by King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s duties, which include him being driven around the protest venue to attend a royal ceremony.

The protest leaders said they will make way for the king, and police said they are confident they can control the crowds. Still, there is possibility that protesters, widely seen as unsympathetic to the king, could at a minimum show public disrespect for the crown.

The king made a similar drive on Tuesday after police cleared tents set up near the monument and arrested 21 people on minor charges.

>>“The Democracy Monument arrests raise serious concerns that the government will impose even harsher repression of people’s fundamental freedoms in Thailand,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Thailand’s international friends should call on the government to stop arresting peaceful protesters, listen to their views, and allow them to freely and safely express their visions for the future.”

Protesters on Wednesday also planned to march to Government House — the office of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha — and surround it for at least a night.

The crowds at the last two rallies, held on weekends, were significant in number, with the Sept. 19 event estimated to be have attracted at least 20,000 people. But turnout could be weaker this time, because it falls on a weekday amid daily rain. A call for a general strike was abandoned.

The protesters have drawn attention, and scorn in some quarters, because of their demands for reforms in Thailand’s constitutional monarchy, which they claim does not properly operate in a democratic framework.

That demand has caused a huge controversy, because the royal institution has long been considered sacrosanct and a pillar of Thai identity. It is also protected by a lese majeste law that mandates three to 15 years in prison for defaming the monarchy.

Conservative royalist Thais are suspicious of the protesters, accusing them of seeking to end the monarchy, an allegation they deny.

However, the activists identify closely with the 1932 revolution that ended the absolute monarchy. Their movement has in a few months gone through several names, but they recently dubbed themselves the Khana Ratsadon, or People’s Party, after the group of civil servants and military officers behind the historic change.

Several royalist groups announced plans to stage counter-demonstrations near the rally, but their previous efforts have gained little popular support.

>>“I am not concerned about violence,” protest leader Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak told reporters. “Police should take care of safety for us and the other groups. We protest in a peaceful way.”

The other historical link claimed by Wednesday’s protesters is the date of the rally, which is the anniversary of the 1973 popular uprising that led to the toppling of a military dictatorship.

The protest movement was launched in March by university students but quickly put on hold as Thailand was gripped by surges in coronavirus cases. It came back in July, when the threat from the virus eased, and since then has again been spearheaded by students and publicized on social media.

The movement’s original core demands were new elections, changes in the constitution to make it more democratic, and an end to intimidation of activists.

The protesters charge that Prime Minister Prayuth, who as army commander led a 2014 coup toppling an elected government, was returned to power unfairly in last year’s general election because the laws had been changed to favor a pro-military party. Protesters say a constitution promulgated under military rule is undemocratic.

Prayuth’s government also faces broader criticism that it is ineffective and without direction as the economy, hit hard by the pandemic, sputters and the country remains closed to foreign tourists, the main source of income.

https://www.rochesterfirst.com/news/international/thai-protest-rally-plans-complicated-by-kings-itinerary/

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Federal Lawsuit Filed Against Virginia Elections Dept. After Online Voter Registration Shutdown

By: Michael Ruiz

https://muckrack.com/michael-ruiz-1

Three Virginia voting groups filed a lawsuit to extend the voter registration deadline to Thursday night following a utility work mishap that knocked out the state’s voter registration website for hours on the final day for filing before the general election.

>>“The outage of Virginia’s Citizen Portal online voter registration system on the final day of voter registration on October 13, 2020, necessitates a brief but vitally important extension of the Virginia voter registration deadline,” the complaint argues. “Unless the voter registration deadline is extended to October 15, 2020, Plaintiffs’ members and others will be deprived of their fundamental right to vote in the November 3, 2020, election.”

The ACLU of Virginia also weighed in on the matter, calling on the attorney general of Virginia to seek a court order, allowing an "extension of time to register if the Department believes it cannot take remedial action on its own."

>>"It's critical that AG @MarkHerringVA step up and ask the court to extend the voter registration deadline," the organization wrote on Twitter. "The state is responsible for the technical failure, it's only fair that the state works to remedy it."

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said Tuesday he does not have the power to extend the voter-registration deadline. He later said that his administration was in close contact with Attorney General Herring and remains hopeful for an extension.

Herring said he shares "Virginians' deep concerns about the registration system outrage."

>>"I've always taken action to ensure you can safely cast your ballot in-person or by mail and to ensure your vote will count, and we are approaching this situation in exactly the same way. Stay tuned," he tweeted.

Chesterfield County utility crews accidentally cut a fiber optic line while working on a roadside project Tuesday morning, according to the Virginia Information Technologies Agency. It interrupted data and network access for multiple commonwealth agencies – including the Department of Elections and registrars’ offices around the state, authorities said.

The site remained down until around 3:30 p.m., when the link to register became active again. The incident comes amid a statewide surge in mail-in and early voting during the coronavirus pandemic.

A Virginia Department of Elections spokeswoman said the fiber optic cable was cut near a data center in Chester off Route 10.

While online registration was down, visitors were given the option to print out an application, which would have to be submitted in person before the deadline. Portsmouth-based WAVY-TV reported that citizens trying to register or vote early in person would receive provisional ballots.

It’s not the first time that computer glitches have disrupted Virginia’s online voter registration system at the last minute.

>>“Déjà vu,” Republican Party of Virginia spokesman John March told Fox News Tuesday. “The Department's system failed on the last day to register in 2016. Just one more election administration failure in a year when Democrats keep changing the rules as we get closer to Election Day.”

In that election, a judge granted a small extension to the registration period after the system crashed under a rush of late applications that left an unknown number of voters unable to register.

Kristen Clarke, the executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which sued on behalf of voters after the disruption four years ago, called the latest interruption “astonishing.”

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/virginia-online-voter-registration-disrupted-deadline

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Vegas Cops Blame Crime Spike on Cheap Hotel Rates Attracting Tourists: Reports

By: Michael Ruiz

https://muckrack.com/michael-ruiz-1

LAS VEGAS – A Las Vegas police crackdown in response to a crime wave blamed in part on discounted hotel stays amid the coronavirus pandemic has seen measurable results – but violence continues to plague the city, according to police crime statistics.

Since the famous Las Vegas Strip reopened in June, there has been a surge in assaults in the area.

The crackdown has reduced the recent crime spike by around 30 percent, according to local reports, but assaults are still up by more than 35 percent year-to-date compared to 2019.

The Las Vegas Metro Police Department’s Convention Center Area Command, which includes the Strip, reported 353 aggravated assaults though the week ending Oct. 10, 2020, up from 258 in 2019, a 36.82 percent increase. Assaults involving firearms climbed by more than 80 percent this year to 89 – as opposed to 49 in 2019.

The Las Vegas-based KLAS said it found weeknight bookings on the strip available for as little as $73, Downtown hotels were even cheaper: as low as $50. Friday night rooms on the strip could run as low as $77.

The Clark County sheriff said the cheap accommodations are in part responsible for the spike in crime as visitors flock to the city, where COVID-19 restrictions have tamped down on the usual nightlife, according to multiple reports – even as overall tourism has plummeted amid the coronavirus pandemic.

>>“We are seeing an increase in crime or the presence of crime on Las Vegas Boulevard, in particular through the Strip — and I think part of that might be lowering the room rates,” he said in late August, according to the KLAS report.

More than 80 people were arrested this past weekend alone, Fox 5 Vegas reported.

Property crimes, on the other hand, decreased significantly, down to 582 from 905 at this point last year. But motor vehicle thefts stood out in opposition to that trend, climbing to 25 from 14, a rise of almost 80 percent.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/las-vegas-cops-crime-spike-cheap-hotel-rates

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Nevada Man Is First In North America To Contract Coronavirus Twice, Second Time Was ‘More Severe,’

By Thomas Catenacci

https://dailycaller.com/author/thomasgcatenacci@gmail.com/

A Nevada man contracted coronavirus on two separate occasions with the second infection reportedly “more severe” than the first, according to a study published Monday.

The 25-year-old man is the first patient in North America to have tested positive twice, according to the Lancet study conducted under an emergency order from Nevada’s chief medical officer. The man’s two positive tests were separated by multiple negative tests and scientific analyses showed the virus was “genetically distinct” each time he tested positive.

“Previous exposure to SARS-CoV-2 does not necessarily translate to guaranteed total immunity,” the study said. “The implications of reinfections could be relevant for vaccine development and application.”

The man tested positive in April, tested negative twice in May and tested positive twice in June, according to the study. The study declined to make any conclusion on the man’s degree or period of immunity.

The study also did not conclude why the man’s symptoms worsened. Rather, it said that the worse symptoms might have been a result of a higher dose of the virus or a different strain of the virus.

“A very high dose of virus might have led to the second instance of infection and induced more severe disease,” the study said.

https://dailycaller.com/2020/10/13/nevada-man-contracts-coronavirus-twice-second-time-more-severe/

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Hong Kong Activists Shine Lasers From Mountaintop for Fugitives Detained in Mainland China

By Jennifer Creery

https://hongkongfp.com/author/jennifercreery/

Hong Kong activists pointed lasers from the top of popular protest spot Lion Rock on Monday evening, to shine a light on the 12 fugitives detained in mainland China for an alleged illegal border crossing.

China’s coastguard intercepted a speedboat headed for Kaohsiung in Taiwan in late August. Most of those on board were facing criminal charges in Hong Kong related to last year’s pro-democracy protests. One of them, activist Andy Li, had been arrested under the Beijing-enacted national security law more than a week beforehand.

“Lady Liberty Group” claimed responsibility for the Lion Rock stunt, writing on Facebook that its members hoped everyone in every country would pay attention and not forget about the fugitives – dubbed the “Hong Kong 12.”

“The Hong Kong government is so incompetent that it disregards the inadequacy of China’s judicial system, and only blindly follows China’s desires, without providing any proper assistance to the family members of the arrested persons,” the statement read.

https://hongkongfp.com/2020/10/13/hong-kong-activists-shine-lasers-from-mountaintop-for-fugitives-detained-in-mainland-china/