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The week in polls: Trump gains in 9 of 12 swing states, but Biden still leads in 10 of them
News ImageWith just eight days to go to Election Day, both national polls and swing state surveys make it clear the race between Trump and Biden is tightening.
Mon, 26 Oct 2020 09:52:16 -0400
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is heavily favored to win her reelection race. Her challenger has still raised $10 million because Republicans are desperate to beat her.
News Image"I guarantee you 75% of his contributors don't know anything about him," a Republican strategist told The New York Times.
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 12:22:32 -0400
Spain declares state of emergency over coronavirus as Italy closes cinemas, theatres and gyms
News ImagePedro Snchez, the prime minister of Spain, declared a state of emergency and imposed a nationwide curfew on Sunday, as Italy closed down event halls and Bulgarias leader tested positive for coronavirus. Under Spains state of emergency, which was due to come into force on Sunday, citizens must remain inside their homes between 11pm and 6am unless they have a valid reason, such as work or other essential activities. Regional governments have been allowed to adjust the timing of the start and end of the curfew by one hour, while the Canary Islands have been exempted from the curfew altogether. After Spain recorded 110,000 new cases last week, passing a milestone of one million cases, Mr Snchez said the situation was extreme, and urged citizens to stay at home wherever possible. The state of emergency also allows regional governments to apply a rule-of-six limit on social gatherings and seal their borders against non-essential entry or exit, as well as place districts or cities under perimeter lockdowns. Mr Snchez said he wants parliament to approve the state of emergency for six months, until 9 May. Experts estimate that is the time we need to overcome the most destructive phase of the pandemic. The cost in terms of lives must be as low as possible, he said. It came as Italy announced it would close cinemas, theatres, gyms and swimming pools, while restaurants and bars were told to shut at 6pm, in a fresh round of tough restrictions. The new rules, which come into force on Monday, were imposed after 20,000 cases of coronavirus were recorded on Saturday. Giuseppe Conte, the Italian prime minister, has stopped short of a full nationwide lockdown as the countrys economy was severely damaged by a ten-week lockdown imposed earlier in the pandemic. "Our aim is to protect health and the economy," Mr Conte said.
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 12:16:35 -0400
China Communist Party plenum kicks off in Beijing
News ImageThe three-day meeting comes amid speculation that President Xi intends to be "president-for-life".
Mon, 26 Oct 2020 03:43:00 -0400
The Barrett Vote: Theres Not a Good Reason for Mike Pence to Preside Over It
News ImageFive aides to Vice President Mike Pence, including chief of staff Marc Short, have tested positive for COVID-19. Pence and Short reportedly were in close contact as recently as Friday, but Pence has decided to continue campaigning across the country and preside over the Supreme Court confirmation vote of Amy Coney Barrett in the U.S. Senate on Monday night rather than self-quarantine as the CDC recommends.As vice president, Im president of the Senate, Pence said at a rally in Florida on Saturday. And Im going to be in the chair because I wouldnt miss that vote for the world.Presiding over the vote obviously would make the vice president feel good, and the photo of the moment could come in handy in 2024, but Pences presence is not necessary. There are 52 senators who intend to vote for Barrett and 48 senators who intend to vote against Barrett. It would take the absences of four Republican senators who support Barrett to make a tie-breaking vote by Pence necessary.So why would the vice president be in the Senate on Monday night, three days after he was in close contact with a person infected with the coronavirus?Pence has been testing negative on a daily basis over the weekend, but its not clear how effective tests are at detecting infections before the onset of symptoms. Why take the risk sitting in a windowless room with a bunch of senators who are in their 70s and 80s? As the presiding officer of the Senate, Pence would be sitting fairly far away from senators, but floor staff would be in closer proximity.Any senator who wants to do so may cast a vote from a doorway to the Senate chamber, as a few did on Sunday during the vote to cut off debate on the Barrett nomination. But even if its not very risky, Pences presence creates a controversy that tarnishes Senate Republicans a week before the election. Earlier this month, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell criticized the White Houses cavalier approach to the virus.Its true that Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer has insincerely tried to use pandemic concerns to block a vote on Barrett. Last week, Schumer said it was too dangerous for the small number of Judiciary Committee members to conduct a socially distanced hearing. This past week, Schumer forced the Senate into a closed session that required the doors to the Senate chamber to be literally locked with the senators stuck inside a stunt to show the Democratic base that he was fighting. When he speaks on the Senate floor, Schumer takes his mask off, as most other Republican and Democratic senators do. But Schumers insincerity is not a reason for Pence to do something that has no potential upside and presents at least some risk to others.President Trumps former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb was asked on Sunday during an appearance on CBSs Face the Nation whether Pence was putting others at risk by campaigning. He could be closely monitored, so the short answer is yes, but you can closely monitor the vice president, Gottlieb said. I would understand why they wouldnt want to quarantine the vice president, but they need to be very explicit about what theyre doing, and the risks that theyre taking. He should be wearing a high-quality mask an N95 mask at all times. He should be distancing wherever possible. They should be serially testing him.Outdoor campaign events may be ill advised because there are still staffers who have to travel with Pence, but its even harder to justify a totally unnecessary appearance at the Senate on Monday.
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 20:54:42 -0400
Mexico seizes industrial-scale meth, fentanyl lab in capital
News ImageFive aides to Vice President Mike Pence, including chief of staff Marc Short, have tested positive for COVID-19. Pence and Short reportedly were in close contact as recently as Friday, but Pence has decided to continue campaigning across the country and preside over the Supreme Court confirmation vote of Amy Coney Barrett in the U.S. Senate on Monday night rather than self-quarantine as the CDC recommends.As vice president, Im president of the Senate, Pence said at a rally in Florida on Saturday. And Im going to be in the chair because I wouldnt miss that vote for the world.Presiding over the vote obviously would make the vice president feel good, and the photo of the moment could come in handy in 2024, but Pences presence is not necessary. There are 52 senators who intend to vote for Barrett and 48 senators who intend to vote against Barrett. It would take the absences of four Republican senators who support Barrett to make a tie-breaking vote by Pence necessary.So why would the vice president be in the Senate on Monday night, three days after he was in close contact with a person infected with the coronavirus?Pence has been testing negative on a daily basis over the weekend, but its not clear how effective tests are at detecting infections before the onset of symptoms. Why take the risk sitting in a windowless room with a bunch of senators who are in their 70s and 80s? As the presiding officer of the Senate, Pence would be sitting fairly far away from senators, but floor staff would be in closer proximity.Any senator who wants to do so may cast a vote from a doorway to the Senate chamber, as a few did on Sunday during the vote to cut off debate on the Barrett nomination. But even if its not very risky, Pences presence creates a controversy that tarnishes Senate Republicans a week before the election. Earlier this month, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell criticized the White Houses cavalier approach to the virus.Its true that Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer has insincerely tried to use pandemic concerns to block a vote on Barrett. Last week, Schumer said it was too dangerous for the small number of Judiciary Committee members to conduct a socially distanced hearing. This past week, Schumer forced the Senate into a closed session that required the doors to the Senate chamber to be literally locked with the senators stuck inside a stunt to show the Democratic base that he was fighting. When he speaks on the Senate floor, Schumer takes his mask off, as most other Republican and Democratic senators do. But Schumers insincerity is not a reason for Pence to do something that has no potential upside and presents at least some risk to others.President Trumps former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb was asked on Sunday during an appearance on CBSs Face the Nation whether Pence was putting others at risk by campaigning. He could be closely monitored, so the short answer is yes, but you can closely monitor the vice president, Gottlieb said. I would understand why they wouldnt want to quarantine the vice president, but they need to be very explicit about what theyre doing, and the risks that theyre taking. He should be wearing a high-quality mask an N95 mask at all times. He should be distancing wherever possible. They should be serially testing him.Outdoor campaign events may be ill advised because there are still staffers who have to travel with Pence, but its even harder to justify a totally unnecessary appearance at the Senate on Monday.
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 18:24:13 -0400
Critics slam 'shameless hypocrisy' of Saudi G20 meeting as women activists sit in jail
News ImageA virtual business event hosted by Riyadh promises to place a "special emphasis" on "creating a more equitable future for women."
Mon, 26 Oct 2020 06:15:25 -0400
Opposition leader flees Venezuela, heads towards Spain and the United States
News ImageVenezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lpez escaped from the South American country and was traveling on Saturday to Spain, where he will spend time with his family before eventually heading towards the United States to continue the efforts to outs the Nicolas Maduro regime, sources close to the former political prisoner told el Nuevo Herald.
Sat, 24 Oct 2020 17:46:38 -0400
France recalls envoy after Erdogan jibe at Macron
News ImageFrance on Saturday said it was recalling its envoy to Turkey for consultations after comments by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggesting French counterpart Emmanuel Macron needed a mental health check-up that Paris condemned as unacceptable.
Sat, 24 Oct 2020 13:51:42 -0400
Putin rejects Donald Trump's criticism of Biden family business
News ImageRussian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday that he saw nothing criminal in Hunter Biden's past business ties with Ukraine or Russia, marking out his disagreement with one of Donald Trump's attack lines in the U.S. presidential election. Putin was responding to comments made by Trump during televised debates with Democratic challenger Joe Biden ahead of the Nov. 3 election.
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 14:19:21 -0400
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