Welcome to the Overnight News Digest with a crew consisting of founder Magnifico, regular editors side pocket, maggiejean, Chitown Kev, Interceptor7, Magnifico, annetteboardman, Besame and jck. Alumni editors include (but not limited to) Man Oh Man, wader, Neon Vincent, palantir, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse (RIP), ek hornbeck, ScottyUrb, Doctor RJ, BentLiberal, Oke (RIP) and jlms qkw.
OND is a regular community feature on Daily Kos, consisting of news stories from around the world, sometimes coupled with a daily theme, original research or commentary. Editors of OND impart their own presentation styles and content choices, typically publishing each day near 12:00 AM Eastern Time.
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Coronavirus: Berlin breaks up 600-strong party over Covid
Police in Berlin have broken up a 600-strong party as coronavirus restrictions continue to curb German festivities.
Berlin police tweeted that the "fetish party" in the capital "probably ended unsatisfactorily" for the attendees. The venue was too small for the crowd to socially distance, they said.
Like many countries in Europe, Germany is battling a rise in infections.
Frankfurt has become the latest city to cancel its famed Christmas market.
Germany has fared better than the other heavily populated nations in Europe but Sunday was the fourth day in a row that it registered more than 10,000 new cases. The total is now more than 430,000 since the pandemic began.
More than 10,000 people have died with the virus in the country.
Tickets for the open-air Berlin party in the Mitte district had to be bought in advance, with a maximum of 250 people allowed.
But the event was shut when far more party-goers turned up, many of them not wearing masks.
Belarus protests: Nationwide strike to go ahead, says opposition leader
Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has called for nationwide strike action to go ahead on Monday after police fired stun grenades at crowds marching against the president.
Ms Tikhanovskaya issued an ultimatum earlier this month threatening a strike if Alexander Lukashenko did not resign.
Protests have swept the country since Mr Lukashenko claimed victory in an August poll widely viewed as rigged.
Rights group Vesna said that more than 200 people were detained on Sunday.
"Today the regime has once again shown Belarusians that violence is the only thing it is capable of," Ms Tikhanovskaya said in a social media post, adding: "Therefore tomorrow, October 26, a national strike will begin.” Earlier, tens of thousands of demonstrators marched for the 11th successive Sunday of protests.
France recalls ambassador to Turkey after Erdoğan questions Macron's mental state
France said it would recall its envoy to Turkey for consultations following “unacceptable” comments by the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who suggested Emmanuel Macron, his French counterpart needed mental health treatment.
Erdogan’s remarks are the latest sign of a growing backlash in the Islamic world, including calls for a boycott of French goods, sparked by Macron’s claim that Islam is in crisis.
France and its Nato ally are at loggerheads over a range of issues, including maritime rights in the eastern Mediterranean, Libya, Syria and the escalating conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh. Erdoğan is launching libel proceedings against the French magazine Le Point after it suggested he was the exterminator of Syrian Kurds.
Ankara has been particularly incensed by a campaign championed by Macron to protect France’s secular values against radical Islam, a debate given fresh impetus by the murder of a teacher who showed his class a cartoon of the prophet Muhammad.
Gulf Coast Braces As Tropical Storm Zeta Poised To Become A Hurricane
A tropical storm stalled over the Caribbean Sea is poised to drop heavy rain on the U.S. Gulf Coast within the next few days. Forecasters say it is likely to move in a northwestward direction and strengthen into a hurricane by the time it hits the southern U.S. on Wednesday.
Beginning as a depression east of Mexico, the storm quickly strengthened and was named Tropical Storm Zeta. The storm was nearly stationary Sunday, dropping water over the open ocean and causing downpours in nearby Jamaica and Honduras, and bringing maximum sustained winds of 50 mph.
Mexico is already bracing for impact. The government of Mexico has issued a hurricane warning for the Yucatan Peninsula, from Tulum to Rio Lagartos.
As the 27th named storm of the season, Zeta gives 2020 the distinction of having the second-highest number of named storms. Only 2005 was more tempestuous, with 28 named storms.
At Least 24 Dead, Including Children, In Suicide Attack In Afghan Capital
Updated 6:18 AM ET Sunday
Officials in Afghanistan say at least 24 people are dead, including schoolchildren, from a suicide attack outside of an education center in the capital of Kabul.
The country's interior ministry confirmed that more than 57 others were wounded Saturday after the explosion went off in a heavily Shiite neighborhood, The Associated Press reported.
Interior ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said the attacker attempted to enter the center but was stopped by security guards, according to the AP. The attacker then set off the explosives in a nearby alley, the Agence France-Presse reported.
Reuters, citing Arian, identified the target of the attack as the Kawsar-e Danish education center. The center offers training and courses for higher education students, the AFP says.
The western Kabul neighborhood where the bombing occurred has a large Shiite community, a minority group in the country that has been targeted by the Islamic State in the past.
360,000 Customers Lose Power In California Amid Fire-Safety Shutoffs
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is shutting off power for approximately 361,000 customers in Northern California on Sunday to help prevent sparking wildfires amid extreme weather conditions. The utility says the shutoffs are affecting customers across 36 counties as weather forecasts predict wind gusts over 70 mph in some areas combined with dry conditions.
Much of the state is under a Red Flag Warning — signifying extreme fire conditions — with 20 wildfires already burning and 5,000 firefighters deployed, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire.
"On a scale of 1 to 10, this event is a 9," Craig Clements, director of San Jose State University's Fire Weather Lab, told the Bay Area News Group. "Historically our biggest fires are in October. We are in a critical period."
As of this writing (8:00 Pacific) there is no wind. If the weather forecast was wrong, well, that’s fine.
UK 'SBS' special forces storm tanker and detain stowaways in Channel
SOUTHAMPTON, England (Reuters) - British special forces stormed a Greek-operated oil tanker in the English channel on Sunday to wrestle control of the vessel from seven stowaways who had threatened the crew in a suspected hijacking.
Troops from the Special Boat Service, a navy special forces unit whose headquarters in just a few miles away from where the vessel began showing signs of distress, boarded the Nave Andromeda near the Isle of Wight off southern England.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Home Secretary Priti Patel authorised the armed forces to board the ship “to safeguard life and secure a ship that was subject to suspected hijacking”, the defence ministry said.
“Armed forces have gained control of the ship and seven individuals have been detained,” the ministry said. “Initial reports confirm the crew are safe and well.”
Chile votes to replace Pinochet-era constitution: early referendum results
Chileans voted overwhelmingly to replace their military dictatorship-era constitution in a referendum, the electoral service said on Sunday evening, citing partial results.
Out of the 11% of votes counted so far, a total of 77.27% had approved the option of a fresh charter to replace one drafted in 1980 under the right-wing dictator Augusto Pinochet.
Unofficial tallies by local broadcasters suggested the vast majority of voters had also picked a specially-elected body of citizens to draft the new constitution, rather than a mixed body of lawmakers and citizens, news agency Reuters reported.
Center-right President Sebastian Pinera pledged the referendum in a bid to quell mass protests that broke out in 2019 against the country's neoliberal economic policies.
More than 14 million people, both at home and abroad, were eligible to vote in the referendum. It is widely seen as the most important vote in Chile since the return to democracy in 1990.
The poll was set for April this year but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"Citizens and democracy have triumphed," Chile's Pinera said, following the early results. "This plebiscite is not the end, it is the beginning of a path that we must all walk together to agree on a new constitution for Chile," he added.
Ethiopia accuses Trump of inciting 'war' over Nile dam
Ethiopia demanded Saturday that the US "clarify" remarks by President Donald Trump in which he said Egypt may try to "blow up" the controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam currently under construction in the East African country.
Ethiopian Foreign Minister Gedu Andargachew summoned US Ambassador Mike Raynor to demand an explanation, according to a statement from the ministry.
"The incitement of war between Ethiopia and Egypt from a sitting US president neither reflects the long-standing partnership and strategic alliance between Ethiopia and the United States nor is acceptable in international law governing interstate relations," read the statement.
Trump made the comments on Friday during a ceremony marking normalizing relations between Israel and Sudan. The new dam is being built just 15 km (9 miles) east of Ethiopia's border with Sudan.
"It's a very dangerous situation because Egypt is not going to be able to live that way," Trump told reporters in the White House.
‘Epic level of corruption’: Postal Service quietly awards $5 million contract to Louis DeJoy’s former company
The U.S. Postal Service last month quietly awarded a $5 million contract to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s former company XPO Logistics, raising fresh allegations of unethical activity by the Trump megadonor as he continues to come under fire for causing nationwide mail delays that could impact next month’s election.
CBS News reported Friday that the Postal Service “will pay XPO $3.3 million annually to manage its route between the two cities, which are roughly 700 miles apart. “The USPS database shows the contract has one of the highest annual rates out of more than 1,600 contracts the Postal Service initiated with outside firms in its most recent quarter, which is the first full quarter DeJoy has served as head of the agency,” according to CBS.
Voters In Alabama’s Largest County Could Have Their Ballots Thrown Out After A Court Ruled Instructions They Were Sent Are No Longer Valid
WASHINGTON — An unknown number of absentee voters in Alabama’s most populous county are at risk of having their ballots thrown out because elections officials mailed special instructions that became invalid after a recent court ruling.
Elections officials in Jefferson County, Alabama, sent out a waiver with absentee ballots allowing voters with some medical conditions to bypass a state law requiring them to have witnesses sign their ballots due to the coronavirus pandemic. But since a court ruled that those waivers will not be allowed, it’s unclear if county officials have done – or will do – anything to notify the voters who received them. The situation in Jefferson County is a casualty of the frantic pace of litigationaround this year’s presidential election. State and local election officials have had to make difficult decisions about how to provide accurate information to voters about election rules that could change at any moment as long as court cases are pending.
Pelosi says she will seek another term as House speaker
Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) intends to run for another term as House speaker, she said Sunday morning on CNN.
Pelosi’s commitment underscores Democrats’ confidence that they will be able to retain their majority in the House after Election Day. She also called President Trump’s debate-stage prediction that Republicans would retake the House majority “delusional.”
“You keep thinking that, Mr. President,” she said. “You just keep on thinking that. Just another example of the delusional statements he made there.”
Pelosi turned back a challenge in 2018 in her bid to reclaim the speakership and is all but assured of retaining the post. Not only are Democrats heavily favored to keep the majority in the Nov. 3 elections, they have a chance to expand their numbers.
The California Democrat clinched the votes for another term as speaker in 2018 after promising that she would step aside by 2022, a pledge that sought to address a group of insurgent Democrats who tried to block her nomination in an effort to force generational change in Congress.