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UK says on vaccine: we're not there yet, eyes first half of 2021
Mon, 26 Oct 2020 04:32:20 -0400
British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Monday that a vaccine to tackle COVID-19 was "not there yet" but the government was getting ready to roll out it, with a central expectation for the first half of 2021. "On my central expectation, I would expect the bulk of the roll out to be in the first half of next year," he said. Asked if some people could receive a vaccine this year he replied: "I don't rule that out but that is not my central expectation."

UK hospital told to prepare for Oxford COVID vaccine in November: The Sun
Mon, 26 Oct 2020 03:52:13 -0400
Staff at a major London hospital trust have been told to be ready to receive the first batches of the vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca Plc, The Sun newspaper reported on Monday. The Sun said the hospital was told to prepare for the vaccine from the "week commencing the 2 November."

New French COVID cases could be 100,000 per day: government medical advisor
Mon, 26 Oct 2020 03:26:00 -0400
France may be experiencing 100,000 new COVID-19 cases per day -- twice the latest official figure -- Professor Jean-François Delfraissy, who heads the scientific council that advises the government on the pandemic, told RTL radio on Monday. France, the euro zone's second-biggest economy, is currently examining whether to tighten lockdown measures further to curb the resurgence of the COVID-19 virus, having already imposed night-time curfews on major cities including Paris.

Analysis: Tax hikes may help Russian oil majors stomach OPEC output curbs
Mon, 26 Oct 2020 03:04:46 -0400
Higher taxes imposed on Russia's energy sector could make prolonged output curbs by OPEC and allied producers easier to stomach for Moscow's energy majors. The new system of taxes, approved by President Vladimir Putin earlier this month to help Russia weather the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, make it more expensive for energy companies to boost production from mature oil fields and produce more heavy crude.

Oxford COVID-19 vaccine produces immune response among elderly and young, AstraZeneca says
Mon, 26 Oct 2020 02:18:38 -0400
The COVID-19 vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford produces an immune response in both elderly and young people and adverse reactions were lower among the elderly, British drug maker AstraZeneca Plc said on Monday. The Financial Times reported that the vaccine, being developed by Oxford and AstraZeneca, triggers protective antibodies and T-cells in older age groups. Immunogenicity blood tests carried out on a subset of older participants echo data released in July which showed the vaccine generated "robust immune responses" in a group of healthy adults aged between 18 and 55, the newspaper reported.

Storm Zeta bears down on Mexico's Yucatan coast, threatens U.S.
Mon, 26 Oct 2020 02:02:47 -0400

FBI probes fire set in Boston ballot drop box
Mon, 26 Oct 2020 01:48:09 -0400

Latest on the worldwide spread of coronavirus
Mon, 26 Oct 2020 01:36:13 -0400
* The Czech government will almost certainly have to tighten its anti-coronavirus measures again as current curbs have not halted a surge in infections, Prime Minister Andrej Babis said. * Britain's government is looking at how long those exposed to COVID-19 need to quarantine, Northern Ireland minister Brandon Lewis told Sky News, commenting on reports that the self-isolation period could be reduced from 14 days. * Slovakia's pilot testing in coronavirus hotspots attracted tens of thousands people over the weekend, showing an infection rate of 3.87%, government data showed.

What you need to know about the coronavirus right now
Mon, 26 Oct 2020 01:20:16 -0400
China reported the highest number of asymptomatic COVID-19 cases in nearly seven months, following a mass infection of an unknown origin in the northwestern Xinjiang region. Xinjiang health authorities found 137 asymptomatic cases on Sunday during a testing drive for the 4.75 million people in the Kashgar area triggered by an asymptomatic infection in a 17-year-old female garment factory worker reported on Saturday. It was not clear how she was infected, though all of the new cases were linked to the garment factory.

Australia's COVID-19 lockdown also prevented about 400 deaths from other illnesses: research paper
Mon, 26 Oct 2020 00:05:59 -0400
Social distancing and lockdowns in Australia not only slowed the spread of COVID-19, they saved the lives of about 400 people who would have been expected to died in June from respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia, a research paper published on Monday showed. Examining Australia's most recent official fatality data, the Actuaries Institute said there was a shortfall between verified deaths and the number expected during the mid-winter month, which it concluded was due to a decline in respiratory illnesses. Australia in March shut large swathes of its economy, limited the number of people allowed to gather together and shut its international borders to slow the spread of the virus.

South Korea urges people to get flu shots, trust its steps on health
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 23:46:05 -0400
South Korea sought on Monday to dispel concerns over the safety of its seasonal influenza vaccine, urging it on citizens in a bid to avert stress on a health system that is already grappling with the coronavirus. Public anxiety over the safety of flu vaccine has surged after at least 59 people died this month following vaccinations, while last month about 5 million doses had to be disposed of as they were not stored at recommended temperatures. Authorities have said they found no direct link between the deaths and the vaccines against flu, which kills at least 3,000 South Koreans each year.

South Korea pharma Celltrion's COVID test gets U.S. emergency use authorisation
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 22:20:03 -0400
South Korea's Celltrion Inc <068270.KS> said on Monday it has received emergency use authorisation (EUA) from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for its rapid COVID-19 testing kit Sampinute, which boosted shares of the company and its affiliates. Celltrion said Sampinute delivers coronavirus test results within 10 minutes, with a sensitivity of around 94%. The authorisation came three months after requesting approval in late July and the product has already been launched in the United States in August, according to the company statement.

Police video of fatal shooting of motorist in Illinois will be released
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 22:00:33 -0400

A 3-year-old boy in Texas died after accidentally shooting himself in the chest with a family member's gun
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 21:04:45 -0400
The accident occurred during the boy's birthday party, when he picked up a firearm that had fallen out of his family member's pocket.

Felicity Huffman has completed her full sentence for college admissions scandal
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 20:50:34 -0400
Felicity Huffman has finished her sentence which included jail time, community service, and supervised release.

Business groups urge Mexico to drop internet provision from economic package
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 20:25:56 -0400

A 9-year-old and two teens are shot near a park in South Miami-Dade community
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 19:58:36 -0400

Authorities investigating gun pulled at demonstrations
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 19:47:08 -0400

A body was found at a South Miami-Dade park, and police make an arrest
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 18:57:17 -0400
Miami-Dade police found a dead man Sunday afternoon at a South Miami-Dade park, officials said.

Trump asks Supreme Court to block deadline extension for North Carolina ballot
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 16:47:17 -0400
President Donald Trump's campaign again asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Sunday to block North Carolina's plan for counting absentee ballots that arrive after the Nov. 3 Election Day, the latest legal tussle in a wide-ranging fight over mail-in voting. The campaign initially filed the application on Thursday after a U.S. federal appeals court decision last week left in place North Carolina's plan, dealing a setback to Trump's re-election campaign. In a 12-3 decision, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last Tuesday denied a bid to halt the North Carolina State Board of Elections from tallying ballots postmarked by Nov. 3 that arrive before Nov. 12.

Turkish president dares U.S. to impose economic sanctions
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 16:40:40 -0400
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan challenged the United States to impose sanctions against his country while also launching a second personal attack Sunday on French President Emmanuel Macron. Speaking a day after he suggested Macron needed mental health treatment because of his views on Islam and radical Muslims, Erdogan expanded his range to take aim at foreign critics. “Whatever your sanctions are, don’t be late,” Erdogan said, referring to U.S. warnings for Turkey not to get directly involved in the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, where Ankara supports Azerbaijan against ethnic Armenian forces.

U.S. State Dept confirms paused diversity training, says committed to inclusion
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 16:12:06 -0400
The U.S. State Department said on Sunday it has suspended employee training programs related to diversity and inclusion, confirming a Reuters exclusive a day before, but affirmed its commitment to fostering a more diverse workplace. An internal State Department cable obtained by Reuters on Saturday showed the temporary pause came after President Donald Trump's executive order a month ago, directing federal agencies to end programs deemed 'divisive' by the White House. The executive order forbid the teaching by federal agencies of "divisive concepts" including that the United States is "fundamentally racist or sexist."

Average US gas price falls 3 cents to $2.22/gallon
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 15:46:52 -0400

A 58-year-old woman who's a suspect in her elderly mother's stabbing told police 'she deserved it and now she's in a better place'
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 15:40:18 -0400
When Salt Lake City authorities questioned Lori Lee Donlay's motive, she told them "she'll take it to the grave," according to Utah's Deseret News.

Salmond conspiracy claims are 'credible', claims academic
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 15:12:34 -0400
Claims that Alex Salmond was the victim of a political conspiracy have been shown to be credible and a judge-led inquiry should be established to uncover the full truth, a prominent academic has said. Azeem Ibrahim, executive chairman of the Scotland Institute think tank, believes that a Holyrood inquiry into a botched civil service probe into sexual misconduct claims against the former First Minister should be abandoned, with its work hampered by a lack of transparency from witnesses. He said that instead, a judge-led probe should be set up, with the power to compel witnesses and force the release of documents, arguing the reputation of Scottish democracy is at stake. The Holyrood inquiry is due to resume taking evidence this week. It will shift the focus of its probe from the establishment of a policy into sexual harassment complaints, which allowed former ministers to be investigated, to the government’s handling of a judicial review brought by Mr Salmond. The case cost taxpayers more than £500,000, after the government abandoned its defence and a judge said the investigation into Mr Salmond had been “tainted by apparent bias”. He was later exonerated in a criminal case. Mr Ibrahim, also Director at the Center for Global Policy in Washington, D.C, and an adviser to several world leaders, highlighted messages sent by Peter Murrell, SNP chief executive and Nicola Sturgeon’s husband, as problematic.

Man with metal detector finds 222-year-old coin near church
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 14:55:25 -0400

Rapper Offset detained by Beverly Hills police near Trump rally
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 14:43:17 -0400
Migos rapper Offset was detained by Beverly Hills police on Saturday near a Trump rally.

New York reports half a million COVID-19 cases as infections surge nationwide
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 14:23:03 -0400
New York State is reporting 80% more cases in the past four weeks as compared to the previous four weeks, according to a Reuters analysis. California has the most reported cases in the nation at over 900,000, followed by Texas and Florida. New York has reported over 33,000 deaths, the most in the country and the second highest on a per capita basis after New Jersey.

Dunkin' Brands discuss potential sale to Inspire Brands
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 14:14:23 -0400
"There is no certainty that any agreement will be reached," said Karen Raskopf, Chief Communications Officer of Dunkin’ Brands. The deal being discussed would take Dunkin' Brands private at a price of $106.50 a share, said the New York Times which first reported the development. Inspire Brands, the owner of Arby's and Jimmy John's, declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.

Toddler at his party fatally shoots self with gun from relative’s pocket, Texas cops say
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 14:11:01 -0400
The pistol fell out of a family member’s pocket at the 3-year-old’s birthday celebration, police say.

Thousands protest as Belarus leader faces demands deadline
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 14:02:07 -0400
Tens of thousands of protesters in Belarus swarmed the streets of the capital Sunday, pressing for the resignation of the country's authoritarian leader in what human rights activists described as the largest anti-government rally since late August. Rallies also took place in other cities in Belarus, and police detained scores of people across the country. A list of detained protesters released by the Viasna center had over 130 names by Sunday evening.

BLM co-founder Alicia Garza target of white supremacist plot
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 13:28:18 -0400
In a Twitter post on Friday, Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, revealed she was visited by the FBI and told that her name. The FBI visited my house today. The FBI informed Garza that they’d arrested the unnamed Idaho man on weapons charges and believed he was working with white supremacist groups.

Demonstrators in Louisville rallied peacefully at Kentucky attorney general's home on the 150th day of Breonna Taylor protests
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 11:57:30 -0400
Around 100 demonstrators were met with officers in riot gear at Attorney General Daniel Cameron's house, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.

New cease-fire announced in 4-week Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 11:56:21 -0400
Armenia and Azerbaijan have announced a third attempt to establish a cease-fire in their conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh starting from 8 a.m. (0400 GMT) on Monday. The new agreement was announced Sunday night in a joint statement by the governments of the United States, Armenia and Azerbaijan. The statement said the agreement came after a meeting between Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen E. Biegun.

First Black American cardinal is outspoken civil rights advocate
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 11:55:53 -0400
Gregory, who was among 13 new cardinals named by Pope Francis on Sunday, was installed as the first Black archbishop of Washington, D.C. in 2019. Pope Francis on Sunday said Gregory was picked with others from Rwanda, the Philippines and elsewhere to wear the revered red cap.

The 23 most horrifying things tourists have done recently
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 11:16:00 -0400
Whether it's damaging $200,000 worth of art while taking a selfie or slapping an airline gate agent, these stories will mortify you.

Joe Biden Had Close Ties With Police Leaders. Will They Help Him Now?
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 11:13:56 -0400
Bill Johnson knew, before he reached out to Joe Biden's campaign last spring, that things had changed between the former vice president and the nation's police unions. A once-close alliance had frayed amid clashes over police brutality and racism in the justice system. Still, Johnson, the executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations, invited Biden to address the group as it weighed its 2020 endorsement.For weeks, the campaign was politely noncommittal, Johnson said. Finally, he recalled, on the day NAPO was deciding its endorsement, he heard from a campaign aide asking if there was still time to send a message. "Not to be a jerk, but we were literally starting the meeting," Johnson said. "It's kind of a little late."The police federation, which twice endorsed the Barack Obama-Biden ticket and stayed neutral in 2016, backed President Donald Trump in July. Soon after, its president told the Republican convention that Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris were "the most radical anti-police ticket in history."That attack marked a low point in a political relationship that had endured for most of Biden's career.If elected, Biden would bring to the White House a long career's worth of relationships with police chiefs, union leaders and policy experts that is unmatched by any other major figure in the Democratic Party, according to more than a dozen current and former law-enforcement officials who have worked with Biden in various capacities.During a late-summer speech in Pittsburgh, Biden pledged to draw both racial-justice activists and police leaders "to the table" to forge durable solutions."I have worked with police in this country for many years," Biden said. "I know most cops are good, decent people. I know how they risk their lives every time they put that shield on."Yet the 2020 election has also underscored the difficulty Biden may have in achieving that goal. He is presenting himself as both a criminal-justice reformer and a friend to diligent police officers, a critic of racism and rioting alike.But Biden has seen his formal support from prominent law-enforcement groups disintegrate as those organizations closed ranks against reform legislation. They have objected to Biden's rhetoric about "systemic racism" in policing and to his vows to regulate police agencies with federal power, even as reformers on the left press Biden to take up far bolder changes.Some of Biden's colleagues from the Obama administration, including Eric Holder, the former attorney general, have worked to organize law-enforcement backing for Biden outside traditional police groups, and in September the campaign released a long list of endorsements stocked heavily with former sheriffs and prosecutors. Yet Trump has relentlessly exploited gaps between Biden and police leaders, running television ads accusing Biden of siding against the police in a time of unrest and berating him at the first presidential debate about his lack of police endorsements.Biden's response in that debate captured the risky political assumption of his candidacy, and a potential Biden presidency: that through a combination of good faith and long relationships, he might bring about peace between warring factions."What I'm going to do as president of the United States is call together an entire group of people at the White House," Biden promised. "Well, everything from the civil rights groups, to the police officers, to the police chiefs, and we're going to work this out."'So Darn Competent'Daryl Gates was already notorious when he visited Capitol Hill in the fall of 1990. In his 12 years leading the Los Angeles Police Department, he had become one of the country's most polarizing supercops: a high-profile field marshal in the war on drugs who dismissed concerns about racism and police brutality. Addressing the Senate Judiciary Committee on drug control that September, Gates told lawmakers that casual drug users "ought to be taken out and shot."If the draconian phrasing startled the committee's chair, the 47-year-old Sen. Biden of Delaware, he did not say so. Concluding the hearing, Biden lauded Gates and another chief testifying with him, Lee P. Brown of New York City, the country's most prominent Black policeman."Thank God," Biden said, "you are both so darn competent."Within six months, the tone of admiration between Gates and Biden was gone. When several white police officers in Los Angeles brutally beat Rodney. King, a Black man, Biden called on Gates to resign. The chief responded with mockery, invoking the plagiarism scandal that scuttled Biden's first presidential campaign.Of the demand that he quit, Gates said, Biden "probably heard it said somewhere else and is repeating it."It was a preview for Biden of how quickly a relationship forged over battling crime could unravel in a clash over racism in policing.For years, Biden stood out in the Senate as a fierce defender of the police. He has alluded, during the current campaign, to an affinity for law enforcement dating to his Irish Catholic upbringing in Pennsylvania and Delaware. ("There were three things all my friends became," he said in a September town hall, "a cop, a firefighter and a priest.")And he has spoken over the years about being drawn to issues of racial justice and public order after witnessing, in his youth, both the breakthroughs of the Civil Rights Movement and the tragedy of rioting in Wilmington, Delaware, after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. -- events that may have underscored, in a young politician's mind, the fragility of political support for large-scale social change.As a young senator, Biden sought a spot on the Judiciary Committee. Determined not to let Republicans outflank his party in confronting a national crime wave, Biden spent the 1980s advancing law-and-order policies like the creation of a federal anti-narcotics office led by a "drug czar," a title he is often credited with coining.By 1994, Biden had partnered with police groups to devise the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, a sprawling law that poured money into enforcement, banned assault-style weapons, toughened sentences for drug- and gang-related offenses and expanded the federal death penalty, among other measures.The bill was so sweeping in its scope and so stern in its penalties that it came to be a political liability for Biden in this year's Democratic primaries. At the time, it was a popular achievement that thrilled police groups."This translated into a tremendous amount of goodwill for Biden, both nationally and in his home state," said James Pasco, the executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, a group currently supporting Trump.Brown, who went on to serve as the drug czar in the Clinton administration and later became the mayor of Houston, said Biden had always been inquisitive about what the police needed in order "to be more effective in carrying out our responsibilities.""He was just upfront in his support of law enforcement," said Brown, recalling that Biden would ask: "What could the Congress do to be more helpful?"But often left out of those conversations, Biden allies acknowledged, were issues of racial bias and police misconduct. And if Biden formed deep relationships with police leaders over fighting crime, those bonds have deteriorated during the extended reckoning over racism that has stretched from the Ferguson, Missouri, protests of 2014 into the present day.William Bratton, who served twice as New York Police Department commissioner, said Biden had long enjoyed "very strong support among the police," spanning internal divisions in the law-enforcement community.But Bratton also acknowledged that issues of police racism had not factored prominently into their collaboration. "We did not have those discussions," he said.Ambassador to the PoliceIt was during the 2008 presidential transition, as autumn turned to winter after the election, that Biden, as vice president-elect, told a few police officials that he planned to be their point of contact in the new administration."He said that he told the president: I want to keep law-enforcement in my portfolio," recalled J. Thomas Manger, then the police chief in Montgomery County, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C. "At one of our first meetings, he said to me, 'I've always been with the cops. You've always been my guys.'"Obama and Biden entered office confronting multiple urgent crises, with a mandate to rescue the economy and resolve failing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Violent crime was receding as a political issue and the law-and-order ethos of the 1990s was drawing new skepticism, particularly on the left. Special envoy to the cops was not a particularly coveted assignment.Biden embraced it with vigor. During meetings at the Executive Office Building and breakfasts at the Naval Observatory, Biden functioned dually as peacemaker and political whip. Early on, he helped rouse support from police groups for the Recovery Act and the president's first Supreme Court appointee, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, helping the administration sell her nomination to the political middle."He was a terrific ambassador for the Obama presidency, for law enforcement," said Laurie Robinson, a former assistant attorney general whose office distributed grants to police agencies. "That made a tremendous difference in the ability to work not just with the leadership organizations, but with the unions."On sensitive subjects like immigration and gun control, Biden sought advice from his longtime allies in the law-enforcement world, asking for guidance on how best to attract police support for Obama's agenda amid signs that the law-enforcement community was shifting rightward. One ally was Chuck Wexler, the head of the Police Executive Research Forum, a law-enforcement think tank.Wexler recalled a meeting about immigration in Biden's suite at the Executive Office Building: In the moments before it began, Wexler said, a vice-presidential aide pulled him aside and ushered him into a tiny room where Biden was waiting. "Listen, you and I, we've got history," Biden said, according to Wexler. "Tell me: How do these folks feel about immigration? What do I need to know?"Gil Kerlikowske, a former Seattle police chief who worked closely with Biden as the top federal drug-control official, said Biden has spoken frankly about the value of enlisting law-enforcement leaders in the pursuit of progressive goals. The former vice president, he said, saw public safety as a foundational issue for most voters -- one on which they would not excuse failure."The safety and security issue, to the public, is an important one," said Kerlikowske, who described Biden as walking a "very fine line" in the current campaign.In their work together, Kerlikowske said he had not previously heard Biden use language like "systemic racism," though he said the former vice president was sensitive to the issue of bias.Biden performed important ceremonial functions, too: He handed out the Medal of Valor, an award for police heroism, and hosted events at his residence for National Police Week. In 2014, when a gunman targeted and killed two New York Police Department officers, Biden addressed the funeral of one, Rafael Ramos, and visited the family of the other, Wenjian Liu, at their Brooklyn home.Bratton, who also spoke at Ramos' funeral, said Biden approached him there to compliment a turn of phrase in his eulogy: "We don't see each other: the police, the people who are angry at the police," the commissioner had said, promising, "When we see each other, we'll heal.""He was very taken with that expression," Bratton said with evident pride. "He uses it to this day."Biden echoed the sentiment in a different context not long ago, after the killing in May of George Floyd, a Black man, by Minneapolis police."To everyone speaking out and peacefully demanding justice across the nation," he tweeted in June, "I see you, I hear you and I stand with you."'Come On, Guys, You Know Me'In the summer of 2016, Biden sat with Obama in the Roosevelt Room at the White House, an array of police leaders before them. Five police officers had been gunned down in Dallas by a man driven by animus against law enforcement. The president and vice president both pleaded with union leaders to temper their rhetoric about a nationwide "war on cops."The vice president, Johnson recalled, made a personal appeal to the police groups, to the effect of: "You know me, you can trust me, I've always been there for you.""I think it fell flat," Johnson said. "For the representatives around the table of various law-enforcement groups, our perception was, things were very bad out there."As early as 2009, there had been at least faint signs of tension. One was the uncomfortable episode that summer when Biden helped chaperone a so-called beer summit between Obama, Henry Louis Gates Jr., a professor at Harvard University who was arrested at his own home after a passerby reported a suspected robbery, and Sgt. James Crowley of the Cambridge, Massachusetts, police, who had arrested Gates. Obama said the Cambridge police had "acted stupidly," enraging police groups.The challenges to come would dwarf that episode by orders of magnitude.The lethal shooting of Michael Brown, a Black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, by a white officer in 2014 opened a new period of tumult in law enforcement and race relations. The federal government was immediately involved, with the Justice Department launching an investigation using authority granted to it two decades earlier -- by the same 1994 crime law Biden spearheaded and police groups had championed.By the summer of 2016, a mood of crisis had taken hold, as the country confronted the successive killings of two Black men, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, in Louisiana and Minnesota, and of the officers in Dallas.For Biden, it was no longer an option to focus on the mechanics of crime-fighting over matters of race.Biden repeatedly summoned chiefs and union leaders to his residence and his office, and backed an administration task force charged with drafting a reform agenda. Robinson, who co-chaired the panel, said Biden's involvement helped secure cooperation from wary police groups, calling it "a reflection of his real sensibility about tone, and how things are being received, and the role that he can play in those situations."Ronald L. Davis, a member of the task force who previously headed the federal Community Oriented Policing Services program, which gives funding to police departments, said Biden had been emphatic that the panel had to "come up with real solutions," not just generate a report. (The group's work was largely dismantled by the Trump administration.)Without Biden's involvement, it is possible that an insuperable rift would have opened between the administration and crucial law-enforcement groups. Wexler described a session at the Naval Observatory in the aftermath of Ferguson, when police chiefs and union leaders were at loggerheads."The police chiefs were pushing for reform, the unions were digging in and Biden had all of us to his residence," Wexler said. "He mediated, in the sense that he let people talk, and if nothing else he was the convener, because everybody knew him."But if Biden's easy manner and concern for cops helped bring police groups to the table, some law-enforcement leaders felt a mounting sense of grievance as they saw the administration take up a reform agenda. Pasco, of the Fraternal Order of Police, said that for all Biden's heartfelt outreach, he was still "on the anti-police side of these issues."At the same time, Trump was mounting his first campaign for the presidency on a simpler message: one of unyielding support for law enforcement and near-total indifference to police brutality. Accepting his party's nomination in 2016, shortly after the Dallas shooting, Trump said such attacks "threaten our very way of life."In the intervening years, Trump's message has scarcely changed, while Biden's task has grown more complicated. The racial-justice movement challenging traditional policing has only gathered strength, while police groups have embraced increasingly strident and alarmist rhetoric about rioting and violent crime. And Biden's determination to bridge those divides has persisted.Rich Stanek, a former Republican sheriff of Hennepin County, Minnesota, which includes Minneapolis, worked with Biden on gun control during his vice presidency. He questioned how much goodwill Biden would have to draw on with police groups as president. Yet he and other police leaders did not discount the possibility of a shift if Biden wins the election."It's the president," Stanek said. "If he calls and invites law enforcement to his office to talk about an issue, they're going to come."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company

A white woman yelled 'f--- Black Lives Matter' at a Starbucks barista after she told her to wear a mask
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 11:03:17 -0400
An unnamed white woman yelled at barista Alex Beckom when she told her she had to put on a mask in Starbucks. A video of the encounter went viral.

Qatar signs deal to buy Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 10:56:30 -0400
Qatar has signed an agreement with drugmaker Moderna Inc to buy its potential COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is approved and released for global use, state news agency QNA quoted a health official as saying on Sunday. There are no internationally approved vaccines yet, but several are in advanced trials, including from Pfizer Inc , Johnson & Johnson and Moderna. "Negotiating early and securing a number of agreements enhances our chances of getting sufficient quantities of the vaccine early," said Abdullatif al-Khal, chair of a national COVID-19 health group and head of infectious diseases at Hamad Medical Corporation.

Texas boy, 3, dies after accidentally shooting himself in the chest at birthday party
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 10:47:19 -0400
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said its "thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of this tragic accident."

Texas boy, 3, dies after accidentally shooting himself in the chest at birthday party
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 10:18:00 -0400
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said its "thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of this tragic accident."

Pelosi aims to keep top U.S. House job if Democrats keep majority
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 09:59:49 -0400
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday said she will seek to stay on as head of the U.S. House of Representatives if her fellow Democrats keep their majority after the Nov. 3 general election, cementing her hold on the party as it seeks to regain control of the White House and the Senate. Asked if she planned to run for another term as U.S. House speaker if her political party maintains control, she told CNN in an interview: "Yes, I am." Pelosi, 80, again took the mantle of House speaker after her Democrats won the lower chamber of Congress in 2018, two years into Republican President Donald Trump's term.

U.S. COVID-19 aid bill talks continue, Pelosi says
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 09:57:51 -0400
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday said the Trump administration was reviewing the latest plan for more COVID-19 relief over the weekend and that she expected a response on Monday, adding that she was still optimistic a deal could be reached. Pelosi said she would still pursue an agreement after the Nov. 3 election regardless of its outcome, but that she wanted to see a deal for another round of federal financial aid amid the novel coronavirus pandemic as soon as possible. Pelosi and President Donald Trump have been trading accusations for days about who needed to act in order to cement another round of COVID-19 aid before Election Day, with Trump's fellow Senate Republicans off to the sidelines.

U.S. sees highest number of new COVID-19 cases in past two days
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 09:49:20 -0400
The United States reported 79,852 new infections on Saturday, close to the previous day's record of 84,244 new cases. Cases in the Midwest set a new record on Saturday and the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in that region hit an all-time high for the ninth day in a row. Hospitals are strained in several states including North Dakota, which is the hardest hit based on recent new cases per capita, according to a Reuters analysis.

British-Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert detained in Iran moved out of desert prison
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 09:43:51 -0400
Kylie Moore-Gilbert, the British-Australian academic who has been detained in Iran for the past two years, has been moved from the notorious desert prison of Qarchak to an unknown location. Her move was first reported by the Iranian Association of Human Rights Activists, who said that she was moved, along with all of her belongings, on Saturday. A source close to the case confirmed the move, but did not know any further details. There has been no official word from the Iranian government. Dr Moore-Gilbert, a lecturer in Islamic Studies, was arrested for espionage after attending a conference in Qom in 2018. She was charged in a secret trial and given 10 years imprisonment. Both Dr Moore-Gilbert and the Australian government reject the charges, which they say are politically motivated. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards claim that someone she interviewed for a research project flagged her as suspicious so they stopped her from returning to Melbourne. Qarchak prison, in the desert on the eastern outskirts of Tehran, has a reputation for being the most dangerous of the country’s women’s prisons. Dr Moore-Gilbert had been moved from Evin prison in Tehran to Qarchak in August, which activists at the time believed to be a “punishment”. It was not immediately clear where Dr Moore-Gilbert has been taken. Just 11 days prior to her movement she had been transferred to Ward Eight (formerly known as the Mothers’ Ward) of Qarchak, alongside at least 15 other political prisoners. While those campaigning for her release see her move as a sign of hope, not knowing where the mystery location she has been sent to or the reason behind the move, gives little to base it on.

He Was Convicted of War Crimes and Pardoned by Trump. Now He Wants to Reform Military Justice
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 07:55:39 -0400

Analysis: U.S. Supreme Court nominee Barrett often rules for police in excessive force cases
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 06:16:31 -0400
Barrett, Republican President Donald Trump's third nominee to the high court, has written opinions or been a part of three-judge panels that have ruled in favor of defendants in 11 of 12 cases in which law enforcement was accused of using excessive force in violation of the U.S. Constitution. The Republican-controlled Senate is expected to vote to confirm Barrett, a judge on the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, to the lifetime position on Monday, cementing a 6-3 conservative majority.

Barrett's U.S. Supreme Court confirmation edges closer after Sunday vote
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 06:10:49 -0400
The Republican-controlled U.S. Senate on Sunday moved closer toward a final confirmation vote on President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, on Monday, just over a week before Election Day. The Senate voted 51-48, largely along party lines, on Sunday afternoon to limit debate on the nomination, teeing up the final vote that is expected to take place on Monday evening. With Republicans controlling the chamber 53-47 and no indication of an internal revolt against the conservative appeals court judge replacing liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Barrett looks almost certain to take up a lifetime appointment on the bench over universal Democratic opposition.

Four in ten supporters of Biden, Trump would not accept election defeat: Reuters/Ipsos poll
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 06:03:50 -0400
The survey, conducted from Oct. 13-20, shows 43% of Biden supporters would not accept a Trump victory, while 41% of Americans who want to re-elect Trump would not accept a win by Biden. Smaller portions would take action to make their displeasure known: 22% of Biden supporters and 16% of Trump supporters said they would engage in street protests or even violence if their preferred candidate loses.

Observers say Tanzania's presidential vote is already flawed
Sun, 25 Oct 2020 04:02:50 -0400
Tanzania's opposition faces a new obstacle in its quest to unseat President John Magufuli in Wednesday's election: It says the government has made it difficult to accredit thousands of opposition electoral observers who want to ensure the vote is fair. “Without them, fraud can occur easily," Zitto Kabwe with the ACT Wazalendo party, a major player in an opposition coalition, told The Associated Press. The populist Magufuli has been criticized for severely stifling dissent since his 2015 election win, notably barring opposition parties from holding most public gatherings.


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