October 28, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) - East County Magazine's World Watch helps you be an informed citizen on important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflect all voices and views, we include links to a variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:
- 'There's no way to sugarcoat it': COVID-19 cases are surging; one American dies every 107 seconds (USA Today)
- Senate confirms Trump's Supreme Court nominee a week ahead of Election Day (CNN)
- Biden outperforming Trump in all key swing states, polls say (CBS News)
- A Regulatory Rush by Federal Agencies to Secure Trump’s Legacy (New York Times)
- 5 winners and 3 losers from the dueling Trump-Biden town halls (Vox)
- Hunter Biden’s alleged laptop: an explainer (Washington Post)
- Feds examining whether alleged Hunter Biden emails are linked to a foreign intel operation (NBC)
- Famed Navy SEAL pushes back after Trump amplifies baseless bin Laden conspiracy theory (Politico
- Agencies to Have Wide Latitude In Deciding Which Jobs to Strip of Civil Service Protections (Gov.Exec)
- Russia gives whistleblower Edward Snowden permanent residency rights (Reuters)
- 9 People Detained Over Beheading Of Teacher In Paris Suburb (NPR)
- Pope calls for civil unions for same-sex couples, in major departure from Vatican doctrine (NBC)
- With Vacation Rentals Empty, European Cities See a Chance to Reclaim Housing (New York Times)
- EU Sanctions Russian Officials Over Navalny Poisoning, Citing Chemical Weapons Use (NPR)
- Thailand Declares State Of Emergency Amid Anti-Government Protests (NPR)
- Germany issues travel warnings as COVID surges in Europe (Reuters)
- Taliban endorses Trump reelection campaign (Newsweek)
For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.
The U.S. set a record this week for new coronavirus cases over a seven-day period with more than 500,000 infections. An American is testing positive every 1.2 seconds…While the White House’s science policy office ranked “ending the Covid-19 pandemic” among President Donald Trump's top achievements, the world isn't buying in. Stock markets around the globe fell sharply Wednesday amid investor fears that global lockdowns are once again on the horizon.
Senate Republicans voted to confirm President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett on Monday, a major victory for the President and his party just days before November 3, that could push the high court in a more conservative direction for generations to come… Democrats have warned that Barrett's confirmation will put health care protections and the Affordable Care Act in jeopardy. They have argued that the confirmation process has been rushed and accused Republicans of hypocrisy in moving ahead with the nomination after blocking consideration of former President Obama's Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland in 2016.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is outperforming President Trump in the polls in every key swing state, including North Carolina, forcing the president to make his ninth trip there. Ed O'Keefe reports.
A Regulatory Rush by Federal Agencies to Secure Trump’s Legacy (New York Times)
With the president’s re-election in doubt, cabinet departments are scrambling to finish dozens of new rules affecting millions of Americans.
…In a townhall…Trump faced hard questions from voters and NBC host Savannah Guthrie on issues ranging from wearing masks to electoral fraud to Trump’s refusal to disavow extremist groups, eliciting a series of responses that ranged from blatantly false (claiming masks don’t really work) to the dangerously absurd (suggesting some parts of the QAnon conspiracy theory might actually be true)… After a question about making health care affordable and accessible, Guthrie followed up by asking Trump about his administration’s plans to replace Obamacare — and the glaring contradiction between its claim to protect coverage for people with preexisting conditions and its argument, in court, that all of Obamacare (including said coverage) is unconstitutional.
Hunter Biden’s alleged laptop: an explainer (Washington Post)
The New York Post on Wednesday published an article based on emails purportedly obtained from a laptop that Hunter Biden, the son of former vice president Joe Biden, had supposedly left behind for repair in a Delaware shop in April 2019. Here’s a brief explainer to help readers evaluate its significance. We will continue to update this article as more information becomes available.
One email, which has not been confirmed to be authentic, suggested a meeting between Joe Biden and a rep from a Ukraine firm that once paid his son Hunter.
The response from the former Navy SEAL came after the president on Tuesday retweeted a QAnon-linked account that promoted a baseless conspiracy theory.
The Office of Personnel Management on Friday appeared to give agencies wide latitude in determining which career federal employees should be converted to at-will political appointees under a controversial executive order signed by President Trump this week…Outcry against the measure has been swift and nearly unanimous. Good government groups, federal employee unions and lawmakers accused the president of trying to sidestep more than a century of federal employment law and bring the spoils system back to agencies.
Russia has granted U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden permanent residency rights, his lawyer said on Thursday, a step towards Russian citizenship if he wants it.
Officials in France say they've detained nine people in connection to the brutal beheading of a teacher who had allegedly shown caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad during a civic lessons. Police say the teacher was near his school in the Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine on Friday when an 18-year-old Chechen refugee attacked him and cut his throat. Authorities say the attacker was later shot dead by police after he didn't respond to commands to disarm and acted threateningly.
“Homosexuals have a right to be part of the family,” the pontiff said in “Francesco,” a documentary about his life.
Platforms like Arbnb have been criticized for raising living costs in popular cities. Now, officials are trying to move properties aimed at tourists to long-term leases.
The European Union is hitting six high-placed Russian officials with sanctions over the suspected assassination attempt of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, citing the use of forbidden chemical weapons. Lab tests found Navalny was poisoned by a variant of Novichok, a rare Soviet-era nerve agent.
Thailand's government has declared a "state of extreme emergency" in the capital, Bangkok, after an extraordinary day of anti-government protests that saw demonstrators blocking and heckling a royal motorcade in defiance of strict laws forbidding any criticism of the monarchy.
Germany warned on Thursday against travel to neighbouring countries, Belgium's foreign minister went into intensive care and Spain said COVID-19 was "out of control" in many areas, as governments across Europe took action to fight the pandemic.
Taliban endorses Trump reelection campaign (Newsweek)
The Taliban offered its endorsement for President Donald Trump's re-election campaign Saturday, with the Islamic fundamentalist group expressing its hope his administration pulls all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan.