Tribune News Service
International Budget for Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Updated at 0000 UTC (8 p.m. Monday U.S. EDT).
Additional news stories, including full U.S. coverage, appear on the MCT-NEWS-BJT and MCT-NEWSFEATURES-BJT.
^Democrats seek to make Amy Coney Barrett confirmation hearing about health care<
SCOTUS-BARRETT-1ST-LEDE:LA — The Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing of Judge Amy Coney Barrett began Monday with a sharp emphasis by Democrats on what her appointment could mean for the future of the Affordable Care Act.
Democrats focused almost exclusively on the health care law in the first hours of the dayslong confirmation hearing, hoping to make clear that Barrett is a threat to the ACA, also known as Obamacare. A similar health care strategy boosted Democratic Senate candidates in the 2018 midterm election. Next month, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on a case challenging the constitutionality of the law, one in which Barrett could be the deciding vote, if confirmed.
1600 by Jennifer Haberkorn in Washington. MOVED
Also moving as:
SCOTUS-BARRETT-1ST-LEDE:CON — 1250 by Michael Macagnone and Katherine Tully-McManus in Washington. MOVED
^Trump doctor says president 'has tested negative' for COVID-19 on consecutive days, won't reveal when<
TRUMP-CORONAVIRUS:NY — President Donald Trump tested negative for COVID-19 at some point in the "recent" past, his personal doctor said Monday, though he didn't specify what that meant.
Dr. Sean Conley, the White House doctor who has continued to offer misleading or incomplete information about Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis, offered the latest confusing update in a memo released shortly before the president was set to hold an evening campaign rally in Florida.
300 by Chris Sommerfeldt. (Moved as a Washington story.) MOVED
^US trails other developed nations in curbing coronavirus deaths<
^CORONAVIRUS-US-DEATHS:BLO—<The proportion of Americans dying from coronavirus infections is the highest in the developed world, according to a study of global mortality rates that shows the U.S. pandemic response left citizens exposed to the lethal disease.
Early in the outbreak, the U.S. mortality rate from COVID-19 was lower than in many other hard-hit countries, including the U.K., Spain and the Netherlands, according to the report Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. But as spring turned to summer, the U.S. largely failed to embrace public health and policy measures that have helped other countries reduce death rates.
If U.S. deaths after May 10 had occurred at the same pace as in Spain, the U.S. mortality rate would be 47% lower, with 93,247 fewer people dying, the report found.
800 by Michelle Fay Cortez. MOVED
^COVID-19 struck Nevada man twice, and second time was far worse<
^CORONAVIRUS-REINFECTION:BLO—<The first study to investigate the case of a person in the U.S. who contracted COVID-19 twice found reinfection can occur swiftly and the second bout of illness can be more severe.
The research, published in the Lancet medical journal, examined the case of a 25-year-old man living in Nevada who became infected with two different genetic variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in less than two months. He tested negative twice in between, meaning he's unlikely to have suffered a single prolonged infection.
450 by Suzi Ring. MOVED
^Barrett hearings become platform for COVID-19 risk debate<
SCOTUS-BARRETT-CORONAVIRUS:CON — The Senate Judiciary Committee hosted not just Amy Coney Barrett on Monday, but a debate about Capitol Hill's strategy for testing and containing COVID-19.
It all came into focus as the panel's hearings on Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court got under way, particularly with the sight of one panel member, Utah Republican Mike Lee, attending Monday's session in person less than two weeks after testing positive for the disease.
1200 by Mary Ellen McIntire in Washington. MOVED
^Californians hospitalized with COVID-19 at lowest level in 6 months<
CORONAVIRUS-CALIF:LA — While the spread of the coronavirus accelerates in much of the nation, California is enjoying a moment of relief, as COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths have dropped to the lowest levels in months.
The average number of deaths logged daily in the state is 57, the lowest since May, according to a rolling seven-day average calculated by the Los Angeles Times.
550 by Soumya Karlamangla in Los Angeles. MOVED
^Here's where stimulus talks stand after Trump administration's $1.8 trillion proposal<
CORONAVIRUS-RELIEF:RA — Lawmakers' on-again, off-again stimulus talks were revived over the weekend after President Donald Trump's administration put forth a $1.8 trillion offer — but a deal on another coronavirus relief package remains in limbo.
The president last week called off negotiations and shifted the focus to confirming his Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, a move heavily criticized by Democrats in Congress.
750 by Bailey Aldridge. (Moved as a Washington story.) MOVED
^Pelosi stays firm on coronavirus relief as a few Democrats urge compromise<
CORONAVIRUS-RELIEF-DEMOCRATS:CON — Speaker Nancy Pelosi is trying to keep her caucus together as she holds out for a better coronavirus relief package than the Trump administration's latest $1.8 trillion proposal, but some Democrats are growing impatient as the window to enact a law before the Nov. 3 election closes.
"We're in a place that we should be able to cut a deal," Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., told CQ Roll Call in an interview.
1250 by Lindsey McPherson in Washington. MOVED
^Illinois' 7-day average of new coronavirus cases sets new high<
CORONAVIRUS-ILL:TB — The seven-day average of newly confirmed coronavirus cases in Illinois set a new high on Monday, topping a number recorded as the virus was surging in late April and early May.
The seven-day average for new known cases reached 2,643 on Monday, up nearly 35% from a week earlier. The previous high was 2,565, set on May 4 and tied on May 7.
500 by Dan Petrella and Jamie Munks in Chicago. MOVED
^Florida reports 1,533 new COVID-19 cases, after weekend of cleaning data<
CORONAVIRUS-FLA:FL — Florida's Department of Health on Monday reported 1,533 new cases of COVID-19 and 48 additional deaths after a weekend of cleaning the data.
Monday's number represents a drop-off in deaths and new cases. Florida had been averaging about 2,400 cases and 90 deaths per day on the state reports.
900 by Cindy Krischer Goodman in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. MOVED
^Pursuing COVID-19 herd immunity is unethical, WHO chief says <
CORONAVIRUS-WHO:DPA — The idea of letting COVID-19 spread through populations until enough people have developed immunity is a recipe for "unnecessary infections, suffering and death," United Nations health chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday in Geneva.
250 in Geneva. MOVED
^Biden campaigns in Trump territory on day president returns to trail<
CAMPAIGN:LA — Joe Biden, campaigning Monday in Republican territory in Ohio, denounced President Donald Trump's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic — including his infection. Meanwhile, Trump prepared to bust out of isolation at the White House and resume campaigning as the two launched a three-week sprint to the Nov. 3 election.
"His reckless personal conduct since his diagnosis has been unconscionable," Biden said at a drive-in rally at an autoworkers' union hall in Toledo.
650 by Janet Hook and Noah Bierman in Washington. MOVED
^Thousands cheer on Trump at Florida airport campaign rally<
CAMPAIGN-TRUMP:OS — Thousands of people cheered and chanted "We love you!" Monday night as President Donald Trump held his first campaign rally outside Washington since his coronavirus diagnosis 11 days ago.
"It's great to be back in my home state of Florida," Trump said.
"We've all endured a lot together, and we are doing better by far than in 2016," Trump said. "We are going to have an even greater victory than we did four years ago."
1100 (with trims) by Steven Lemongello, Katie Rice and Caroline Glenn in Sanford, Fla. MOVED
^Unwilling to leave Ohio to Trump, Biden says president 'doesn't know what he's doing'<
CAMPAIGN-BIDEN:OH — Joe Biden says President Donald Trump's response to getting COVID-19 underscores "he doesn't know what he's doing."
"The longer Donald Trump is president, the more reckless he seems to get," the former vice president told a honking drive-in rally outside a United Auto Workers hall on Monday afternoon.
"Trump panicked. His reckless personal conduct since his diagnosis has been unconscionable."
950 by Darrel Rowland in Toledo, Ohio. MOVED
^Attorney General Barr broke elections law, ethics groups say in call to impeach<
BARR-IMPEACHMENT:BLO — Two groups promoting ethics in government called for the impeachment of U.S. Attorney General William Barr, accusing him of violating laws and undermining public confidence in the Justice Department.
Barr has used the department to further President Donald Trump's reelection campaign, a bipartisan group of lawyers from the Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law at the University of Pennsylvania and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington wrote in a report released Monday, three weeks ahead of U.S. elections.
750 by Greg Farrell in Washington. MOVED
^Roberta McCain, mother of the late Sen. John McCain, dies at age 108<
MCCAIN-OBIT:CON — Roberta McCain, mother of the late Sen. John McCain of Arizona, has died at the age of 108, according to her daughter-in-law, Cindy McCain.
She was a fixture on Capitol Hill and a large presence on the trail during her son's 2008 bid for president.
300 by Clyde McGrady in Washington. MOVED
^Trump is making the 2020 election a recipe for chaos. How Philly is preparing<
CAMPAIGN-PHILLY-SCENARIOS:PH — When Philadelphia officials gathered for an Election Day planning session in the city's Emergency Operations Center last month, they gamed out a range of concerning scenarios.
One stood out the most.
What if in-person votes suggest President Donald Trump is winning Pennsylvania after the polls close, but the slow counting of mail ballots in Philadelphia flips the tally in favor of Democratic nominee Joe Biden in the days after? And what happens if Trump then wrongly claims the election is being stolen from him and calls on supporters to storm elections offices?
1800 (with trims) by Chris Brennan in Philadelphia. MOVED
^Heavy turnout and glitches mark start of early voting in Georgia<
GA-VOTING:AT — Eager Georgia voters swarmed to polling places Monday morning, waiting in lines created by high turnout and technical problems at the start of three weeks of early voting before Election Day.
Voters filled parking lots and prepared for delays as they locked in their choices in advance of Nov. 3. Even before polling places opened, voters wrapped around buildings.
950 by Mark Niesse, Kristal Dixon, Ben Brasch and Tyler Estep in Atlanta. MOVED
^Fearing their votes won't count, Arizonans rush to cast ballots early<
ARIZ-VOTING:LA — Emilio Alvarado typically takes his time with his ballot, mulling the candidates and propositions, eventually mailing it in close to Election Day. Not this year, says the contractor and veteran who traditionally has voted for Republicans across the ballot.
He cast his ballot in person weeks early, at a voting site in a Phoenix strip mall.
"I want my vote to count," the 47-year-old said after casting a ballot for Democrat Joe Biden. "This election is something different. I'm worried about everything."
Alvarado isn't alone. Turnout in the 2020 presidential contest is on course to smash records.
1350 by Seema Mehta in Phoenix. MOVED
^Michigan law enforcement on alert in response to 'plan to target and kill police'<
MICH-GOV-PLOT-POLICE:DE — Michigan law enforcement is on high alert after the FBI revealed an alleged plot by extremist groups to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also involved a "plan to target and kill police."
"We're cautious. We're absolutely more careful," said First Lt. Mike Shaw of the Michigan State Police. "This is one of the tactics these anti-government, domestic terrorism groups use. Law enforcement is the face of the government. if you're mad at the government, you're mad at the police."
1600 (with trims) by Phoebe Wall Howard in Detroit. MOVED
^Whitmer kidnap plot suspects face steep fight for bond<
MICH-GOV-PLOT-BOND:DTN — Former prosecutors and defense lawyers say there is almost no chance five men accused of plotting to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and overthrow the government will be released on bond during court hearings Tuesday.
The circumstances of an alleged plot to kidnap Whitmer, kill police officers and hatch a widespread bombing campaign in hopes of sparking a civil war likely will convince a federal magistrate judge to keep the five men in jail pending trial, legal experts said.
850 by Robert Snell in Detroit. MOVED
^In reversal, Facebook bans Holocaust denial content <
^FACEBOOK-HOLOCAUST:NY—<Facebook updated its hate speech policy Monday to prohibit any content that denies or distorts the Holocaust, a move that had long been called for by Jewish organizations and survivors of the Nazi genocide.
In addition to the new ban, anyone searching for Holocaust posts on the platform will now be directed to "authoritative sources to get accurate information," said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who admitted that his "own thinking has involved" as he sees data showing an increase in anti-Semitic violence around the world.
450 by Nelson Oliveira. MOVED
^Lawyer for grand juror in Breonna Taylor case blasts Kentucky AG's 'misleading' statements, says his client should be allowed to speak<
KY-POLICE-DEATH:NY — A lawyer for the anonymous grand juror in the Breonna Taylor case says his client shouldn't be muzzled at the request of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, especially now.
Attorney Kevin Glogower filed new court paperwork Sunday arguing it's too late to bar his client from speaking because Cameron already allowed the release of 15 hours of grand jury recordings and gave his characterization of the proceedings in press interviews.
600 by Nancy Dillon. MOVED
^California election officials say GOP's unofficial ballot drop boxes are prohibited<
CALIF-BALLOT-BOXES:LA — California elections officials on Monday demanded Republican campaign officials stop using private ballot collection containers marked as "official" drop-boxes, saying that the do-it-yourself boxes are illegal under state law.
A spokesman for the California Republican Party rejected the allegation, insisting the practice is allowed under a 2016 state law that allows a voter to designate any person to collect a completed ballot and return it to election officials, a polling place or vote center, or a secure vote-by-mail drop box.
800 by John Myers and Stephanie Lai in Sacramento, Calif. MOVED
^Florida officials warn results might not be ready on election night<
FLA-ELECTION-RESULTS:OS — Two election officials are warning Floridians, the news media and the rest of America that they might not get final results for the presidential contest on election night this year.
"We want to ensure that everything that we produce, everything that we publish is 100% accurate," said Marion County Supervisor of Elections Wesley Wilcox, president-elect of the Florida Supervisors of Elections Association. "We do not have the opportunity to be wrong."
650 by Gray Rohrer in Tallahassee, Fla. MOVED
^20 years after deadly bombing, honoring the USS Cole's legacy<
USSCOLE-LEGACY:NN — Senior Chief Will Merchen was a damage controlman on the Cole on Oct. 12, 2000, in Aden, Yemen, his first deployment. He and his shipmates kept the destroyer afloat after a suicide bomb killed 17 people and nearly tore the ship in two.
He was back again for Monday's commemoration, joining with old shipmates and the close-knit Gold Star families who gather every year to remember — and to see that the legacy of that day remains alive.
500 by Dave Ress in Newport News, Va. MOVED
^ICE deports yet another Miami man accused of rape before he could stand trial<
ICE-RAPETRIAL-DEPORTATION:MI — Immigration agents have deported another accused rapist before he could stand trial in Miami state court.
The Miami Herald has confirmed that a man named Alcedis Ortiz, 42, who is accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl, was deported to Colombia, even though he was still awaiting trial on two felony charges, one punishable by life in prison.
950 by David Ovalle in Miami. MOVED
^'Nothing left': How back-to-back hurricanes gutted a US town<
^WEA-DELTA-CAMERON:BLO—<On the day after Hurricane Delta cut its ruinous path across southern Louisiana, Dick Frerks pointed to a lone 20-foot pylon rising from the bayou and summed up what he'd lost.
"Our house used to be on top of that," said Frerks, who makes his living hauling shrimp and crab from the Gulf of Mexico and lives outside the town of Cameron.
Now Cameron and other nearby hamlets have been virtually wiped off the marshy coast by back-to-back hurricanes that leveled homes and swallowed up vast swaths of land. Six weeks ago, it was Hurricane Laura, which demolished the area's power system, knocked out water service, and flattened buildings. By the time Delta came ashore Friday, there was little left to destroy.
What's happened to Cameron is a taste of what may be coming for other towns along the Gulf Coast as climate change takes hold.
900 by Shannon Sims and Eric Roston. MOVED
^Haitian migrant groups detained at sea off Florida coast, Turks and Caicos Islands<
HAITIAN-MIGRANTS:MI — A 25-foot pleasure craft carrying 23 undocumented Haitian migrants and two suspected Bahamian smugglers was intercepted Friday off the coast of Palm Beach.
The illegal craft was intercepted by the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Richard Etheridge and Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations after it was spotted approximately 10 miles east of Palm Beach.
400 by Jacqueline Charles in Miami. MOVED
^Miami-Dade is one storm away from a housing catastrophe. Nearly 1 million people are at risk<
WEA-HURRICANES-MIAMI-HOUSING:MI — As the tail end of one of the most active hurricane seasons in history nears, Miami-Dade County appears once again poised to emerge unscathed. The region dodged hurricanes and tropical storms that posed a potential threat to South Florida. But what will happen when that luck runs out?
Housing advocates have long feared that the city is one storm away from disaster; nearly a third of all housing structures in Miami-Dade County built before 1990 are at risk of wind damage, mold contamination and even complete devastation from a hurricane.
According to U.S. Census Bureau figures, nearly 1 million people could be left homeless in a worst-case scenario — the majority of them among the poorest of the county's residents.
3400 by Rene Rodriguez and Yadira Lopez in Miami. MOVED
^Margaret Nolan, actress in James Bond film 'Goldfinger' and Beatles movie 'A Hard Days Night,' dead at 76<
^NOLAN-OBIT:NY—<Longtime actress and artist Margaret Nolan, who had a memorable role in the classic 1964 James Bond movie "Goldfinger," has died.
She was 76.
Her death was announced Sunday night by director Edgar Wright, who recently worked with Nolan on the film "Last Night In Soho."
300 by Peter Sblendorio. MOVED
^As Election Day nears, Taylor Swift and A-list artists finally rally behind Biden<
^MUS-CAMPAIGN-BIDEN:LA—<Unlike a lot of her peers in the music industry, Diane Warren was a Joe Biden supporter from day one of the 2020 primaries.
"He was always my guy," said the songwriting legend, who first connected with the former vice president after he introduced the song she wrote with Lady Gaga, "Til It Happens to You," at the 2016 Academy Awards, where was nominated for original song in the campus-rape documentary "The Hunting Ground."
"There was something about Joe that was so empathetic, and the total opposite of the other thing that's in the White House right now," she said. "He looked in my eyes when I met him and said 'You don't know what that song means to me,' and he had tears in his eyes. I did too."
It's no surprise that Warren, like the majority of the music business (save for erratic spoiler-candidate Kanye West and MAGA stalwarts Ted Nugent and Kid Rock) was going to support Biden in 2020. But compared with this time in 2016, when superstars like Beyonc , Jay Z, Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen threw mega-concerts for Hillary Clinton, activism in the music world was lower-key. COVID-19 wiped out any hopes of playing inspiring live events; the daily assault of the Trump news cycle made it harder to break through with a different message.
1900 by August Brown. MOVED
^How the NBA survived nearly 100 days inside the Orlando, Fla., bubble<
^BKN-NBA-BUBBLE:LA—<It never felt real to LeBron James until the team bus rolled up to the Gran Destino hotel. Before then, it all seemed so lofty, so unlikely — a plan built on a house of cards that could fall apart with the slightest of breezes.
The plan seemed extreme. The protocols that NBA players agreed to would greatly restrict their movements, force them to wear masks and, for months, separate them from family. The details were impressive — the proper recipe to sanitize basketballs, the bags attached to the referee's whistles to keep spit from dripping out, single-use decks of playing cards.
But all of it could fall apart if one player got sick and infected someone else, who then infected someone else.
750 by Dan Woike in Orlando, Fla. MOVED
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