WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Republican-led U.S. Senate handed President Donald Trump a major pre-election political victory on Monday by confirming his Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett as he delivered a dramatic conservative overhaul of the nation’s top judicial body.
The Senate voted largely along party lines to confirm Barrett to a lifetime post, overcoming unified Democratic opposition to the Republican president’s third Supreme Court appointment and creating a 6-3 conservative majority.
Barrett’s addition cements one of the most right-leaning Supreme Court rosters in generations. The shifting of the Supreme Court and the broader federal judiciary to the right has been a signature achievement of Trump’s presidency, aided by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s Prince Harry said it took him years to realise that unconscious racial bias existed and his eyes had been opened by spending time in his wife Meghan’s shoes.
The prince spoke during a conversation about racism with Patrick Hutchinson, the Black activist who was photographed by Reuters carrying a white man to safety during a scuffle between anti-racism protesters and far-right opponents in London in June.
Harry told Hutchinson he saw him as a “guardian angel” protecting everyone at the demonstration. Both men said there was still work to be done to defeat discrimination of all kinds.
“Unconscious bias, from my understanding, having the upbringing and the education that I had, I had no idea what it was. I had no idea it existed,” Harry said during the online conversation, recorded last week for a feature by the magazine GQ.
Stocks on Monday posted their worst day since early September amid a surge in coronavirus cases in the United States and Europe and declining optimism about another U.S. pandemic relief bill.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day down 650 points, or 2.3%, posting its biggest decline since Sept. 3. The other major indexes were also down, though not as much.
The declines happened amid reports that coronavirus cases have spiked in the United States, with more than 80,000 new infections reported on Friday and Saturday, while France and Italy registered a record number of new cases.
"Coronavirus worries are back," said Lindsey Bell, chief investment strategist at Ally Invest. In addition to new cases reaching records, she said, "the timing of a vaccine continues to be crucial, but elusive, adding to concerns about economic prospects."
Zeta has officially strengthened into a hurricane, and is predicted to make landfall late Monday on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula before setting its sights on the U.S.
Louisiana is directly in the path of Hurricane Zeta, which is expected to make landfall there on Wednesday night. If it does so, it would be the fifth named storm to make landfall in the state during a single year — the highest number since the state started keeping records in 1851, state climatologist Barry Keim told The Times-Picayune. (A few other storms have crossed into Louisiana after making landfall in other states.)
Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency in advance of the hurricane. The storm is currently expected to bring 2-4 inches of rain across southeast Louisiana, but the greatest threat will come from high winds, Edwards said Monday.
Boomers (aged 56-74) and the elder Silent Generation (75 and older) have always had the edge in elections, as voter turnout tends to increase with age.
But early numbers show youth turnout far outpacing that of past presidential contests.
Take Florida, a key battleground state - as of 21 October, 257,720 voters aged 18-29 had already cast their ballot, which is a more than fivefold increase from 2016.
This matters and the number of people who have already voted is already greater than the margin of victory in 2016.
Thousands of people have blocked roads across Poland on the fifth consecutive day of protests against a court's near-total ban on abortion.
In the capital Warsaw, protesters blocked the main intersections, stopping cars and trams for about an hour.
Some carried placards with slogans like "I wish I could abort my government".
The protests are considered unusual in a country where the Roman Catholic Church has great influence.
They follow a ruling by Poland's Constitutional Court that abortions, even in cases of foetal defects, are illegal.
It means abortion is now only valid in cases of rape or incest, or to protect the mother's life.
From coronavirus concerns to changing demographics of new voters, a record number of people have voted in a state known for voter suppression tactics
“Donald Trump needs to be goin’ bye-bye,” Ann Wolfe said as she approached one of Austin’s Holiday Inn hotels, now doubling as a polling place.
Although the man in the White House claims he’s pro-life like her, she said, “under his watch, over 200,000 people are dead”. So while Wolfe was open to candidates from both parties down ballot, she planned to throw her support behind Democratic nominee Joe Biden, who she thought was at least “a normal human being”.
“It seems like it’s the most important vote that we’ll ever have to have in this lifetime,” she said.
Scientists have gathered some of the most compelling evidence yet for the existence of water on the moon – and it may be relatively accessible. The discovery has implications for future missions to the moon and deeper space exploration.
With no significant atmosphere insulating it from the sun’s rays, it had been assumed that the moon’s surface was dry – until the 1990s, when orbiting spacecraft found indications of ice in large and inaccessible craters near the moon’s poles.
Then in 2009, imaging spectrometers onboard India’s Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft recorded signatures consistent with water in light reflecting off the moon’s surface. Even so, technical limitations meant it was impossible to know if this really was H2O (water) or hydroxyl molecules (consisting of one oxygen atom and one hydrogen atom) in minerals.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who launched the World Health Summit from Berlin, has called for international cooperation in stemming the coronavirus pandemic and railed against "vaccine nationalism." The summit, which lasts until Tuesday, is being held online due to the rising infection rate in Germany.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also spoke at the opening ceremony on Sunday evening. Ahead of the event, a few thousand coronavirus conspiracy theorists gathered in Berlin to protest the summit.
WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan told DW that despite the COVID-19 crisis, countries cannot neglect deadly diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
"When you're faced with a shock like this pandemic, very few health systems have been able to cope," she said. "Most health care workers have been diverted and must provide essential health services."
Swaminathan stressed the necessity for governments "to continue to focus on these other diseases," calling them "killers that haven't gone away."
Felicien Kabuga, suspected of having helped to finance the 1994 Rwandan genocide, has been moved from France to The Hague to stand trial on charges of genocide, a UN tribunal said Monday.
"His initial appearance will be held in due course before a judge of the trial chamber assigned to his case," the United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals said in a statement.
The tribunal is handling outstanding war crimes cases for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.
Read more: Rwanda's most-wanted genocide suspect Felicien Kabuga loses extradition appeal
Kabuga, once one of Rwanda's richest men, will face seven criminal charges, including committing genocide and crimes against humanity. He was first indicted by the former UN tribunals for war crimes in Rwanda in November 1997.
The 87-year-old evaded arrest for more than two decades, living on the outskirts of Paris under a false name. He was finally arrested in the French capital this past May.
Hospitals in many regions of the country — the Upper Midwest, the Mountain West, the Southwest and the heart of Appalachia — are seeing record levels of patients suffering from covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
More than 42,000 people were hospitalized nationally with the virus Monday, a figure that is steadily climbing toward the midsummer peak caused by massive outbreaks in the Sun Belt. In the places hit the hardest, this is nudging hospitals toward the nightmare scenario of rationing care.
The country is not there yet, but the recent rise in confirmed coronavirus infections — which set a single-day record Saturday of more than 83,000 — is an ominous leading indicator of an imminent surge of patients into hospitals. The pattern of this pandemic has been clear: Infections go up, hospitalization rates follow in a few weeks, and then deaths spike.
New York Times
WASHINGTON — President Trump has repeatedly bragged about what he has done for Black America, pointing to his administration’s funding for Black colleges and universities, the creation of so-called opportunity zones and criminal justice reform.
But on Monday, Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, played into a racist stereotype by seeming to question whether Black Americans “want to be successful” despite what he said Mr. Trump had done for them.
“One thing we’ve seen in a lot of the Black community, which is mostly Democrat, is that President Trump’s policies are the policies that can help people break out of the problems that they’re complaining about,” Mr. Kushner said in an interview with “Fox & Friends,” the president’s favorite morning cable show. “But he can’t want them to be successful more than they want to be successful.”
In the interview, Mr. Kushner said that after the killing in May of George Floyd, a Black man, in police custody — an event that set off global protests about systemic racism, and which Mr. Kushner referred to as the “George Floyd situation” — a lot of people were more concerned with what he called “virtue signaling” than in coming up with “solutions.”
The gloves have come off again between the presidents of Turkey and France.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on Turks to boycott French products amid an escalating dispute over Paris’s support for the right to caricature Prophet Muhammad.
The comments on Monday came just days after Erdogan suggested his French counterpart, President Emmanuel Macron, undergo a mental health check-up after he announced a plan “to reform Islam” in order to make it more compatible with France’s republican values.
Describing Islam as a religion “in crisis” worldwide, Macron earlier in October announced measures to combat “radicalisation” among France’s estimated six-million-strong Muslim population.
Tensions in France further escalated in the aftermath of the killing of Samuel Paty, a middle school teacher who showed his pupils drawings of Prophet Muhammad during a discussion on freedom of speech.