Chicago Tribune: Lightfoot drops opposition to Pritzker’s order for tighter restrictions in Chicago; Lake and McHenry counties added to list of regions where indoor bar and dining banned by Dan Petrella, Gregory Pratt, John Byrne, and Jamie Munks
A day after indicating she would try to talk Gov. J.B. Pritzker out of tightening coronavirus-related restrictions in Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Wednesday she had met with the governor and won’t try to block his order to ban indoor bar and dining service in the city.
“We had a very frank and productive conversation with the governor and his team and my team as well. We explored a lot of issues and we came out of that discussion really committed to making sure that we work hard together," Lightfoot said.
"Obviously we’ve got to work and make sure that we communicate effectively to the businesses across Chicago that are going to be affected.”
Earlier Wednesday, Pritzker had defended his decision to tighten restrictions in Chicago and most other regions of the state as COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths rise once again.
“It’s happening everywhere, and it’s happening across the state of Illinois. Chicago hasn’t been immune from that,” Pritzker said Wednesday at an unrelated news conference in Chicago.
NOLA.com: Hurricane Zeta slams New Orleans area, downing trees, darkening homes; here's what to know by Chad Calder
Hurricane Zeta ripped through the New Orleans area Wednesday evening with 100-plus mph winds, knocking out power to tens of thousands of storm- and pandemic-weary residents who took cover from yet another tropical tempest.
Zeta made landfall at about 4 p.m. near the Lafourche-Terrebonne parish line as a Category 2 storm after strengthening rapidly throughout the day. From there it made its way across metro New Orleans, taking down trees and wrecking roofs from Grand Isle to Slidell.
It was a record fifth named storm to make landfall in Louisiana during a single season and the seventh time New Orleans was in the forecast cone, although in every other case southeast Louisiana had been been spared even a glancing blow.
Seattle Times: A new push for supervised drug use spaces emerges in Seattle budget talks by Sydney Brownstone
After a stalled push to set up a site where residents can safely use drugs in Seattle, advocates and some City Council members want to move forward with a new approach in 2021 budget talks.
This time, there would be no new, brick-and-mortar supervised consumption “site,” also known as a safe-injection site or Community Health Engagement Location, where drug users could smoke or inject with sterile tools, medical supervision and overdose-reversing medication on hand. Instead, drug users could access the same supervision and amenities at existing social service and health care locations where they already seek other services.
The new proposal still faces many of the same potential legal and public sentiment obstacles that have plagued the project for the last three years. However, it could overcome a financial one.
Raleigh News and Observer: US Supreme Court keeps Nov. 12 deadline for NC to accept mailed-in absentee ballots by Brian Murphy, Colin Campbell, and Danielle Battaglia
North Carolina voters will have a few extra days for their ballots to reach election officials and still be counted after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to intervene Wednesday night.
The new deadline for mail-in ballots to be received is Nov. 12, though ballots must still be postmarked on or before Nov. 3, Election Day.
he previous deadline for ballots to be received by local boards was Nov. 6, as set by state lawmakers.
The Supreme Court declined to overturn lower court rulings in a 5-3 decision. New Justice Amy Coney Barrett did not participate in the consideration or decision.
Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch dissented. They would have granted the relief sought by state Republicans and the Trump campaign to move the deadline back to Nov. 3.
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Minnesota teachers at 'breaking point' over pandemic stress by Anthony Lonetree
Erika Jagiella wakes up at night fretting about lesson plans to create and deliver to kids in-person and in a socially-distanced way. Then, she remembers: There’s online coursework to craft, too.
The crush of daily workload demands has been so great that Jagiella, a special education teacher for the White Bear Lake Area Schools, only recently finished rewriting the individual education plans required for her students.
“My brain just can’t slow down,” she said. “I’m constantly thinking about my students, my work and the work ahead of me.”
Teachers across Minnesota are frazzled trying to navigate pandemic-related combinations of in-person and online instruction — so much so that nearly one-third responding to a recent statewide survey said they were thinking of quitting. Many work extra hours on nights and weekends as they juggle students in multiple formats, forcing union leaders to press for relief from school and district administrators.
Buzzfeed: The "Anonymous” Figure Who Claimed To Be Resisting The Trump Administration Actually Defended Its Controversial Immigration Policies by Salvador Hernandez, Hamed Aleaziz, Ryan Mac, and Adolfo Flores
Before he penned an anonymous, explosive New York Times column claiming to be part of a group of "like-minded colleagues" intent on bringing down the Trump administration from the inside, Miles Taylor was a top official at the Department of Homeland Security while it imposed some of the most restrictive US immigration policies in decades.
Taylor, former chief of staff for then–DHS secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, revealed himself to be the infamous "Anonymous" writer on Wednesday and has said he left the administration because “saying ‘no’ was no longer enough.” Yet according to internal emails and former colleagues, Taylor worked on some of the most critical immigration policies of the Trump administration and either remained silent on, or actively worked to push through, the agenda.
Family separation and the administration’s push to force asylum-seekers to stay in Mexico as they await the fate of their immigration cases were among the policies enacted while Taylor was a top DHS official — policies he later criticized on cable news shows.
“On multiple occasions, I sat within inches of Miles Taylor during meetings solely focused on 'zero tolerance' policy, and he was neither silent nor vocally opposed to the weighty decisions before us,” one current Trump administration official told BuzzFeed News on the condition of anonymity.
Mother Jones: The Pandemic Forced Joe Biden to Think Bigger. Meet the Economists Who Got Him There. By Kara Voght
Joe Biden’s euphoric campaign staff had overtaken Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center. It was March 10, and Biden’s three primary victories that night, with two more on the way, all but confirmed he would be the Democratic nominee. The celebration for the momentous feat was supposed to be at a large rally in Ohio, not in a foyer in a museum down the street from his campaign headquarters, but as the coronavirus gained a toehold in a few US cities, a large gathering was deemed too dangerous. The shift in venue, for the moment, did nothing to dampen staffers’ spirits as they rushed to embrace one another and danced awkwardly to a Whitney Houston remix that blared through the speakers after their boss finished his victory speech.
Back at Biden HQ, the quartet of television screens hung along an office wall began to broadcast grim news about the staggering rate of infections and possible death toll. The next day, the World Health Organization would declare COVID-19 a pandemic, and smaller gatherings, too, would soon be scrapped. The outbreak would not only curtail future campaign events, but also plunge the nation into a public health crisis, the likes of which the country hadn’t experienced in a century.
Washington Post: Millions of mail ballots have not been returned as window closes for Postal Service delivery by Derek Hawkins and Jacob Bogage
Amid a record surge in early voting, millions of mail ballots remained unreturned Wednesday, prompting a flurry of warnings from election officials that ballots sent via the U.S. Postal Service at this point may not arrive in time to be counted.
With Election Day less than a week away, more than 42 million out of the 92 million mail ballots requested by voters nationally had not yet been returned as of Wednesday afternoon, according to data from the U.S. Elections Project, a nonpartisan site tracking early voting.
In the 20 states where party affiliation data was available, more than 11 million of the outstanding ballots had been requested by Democrats, nearly 8 million by Republicans and about 10 million by unaffiliated voters, according to the Elections Project.
Tuesday marked the last day that postal and election administration experts said ballots could be mailed to ensure delivery in time for Election Day, based on national first-class mail service.
CNN: What we know about the Philadelphia Police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr. by Eric Levenson
(CNN)Two Philadelphia police officers shot and killed a 27-year-old Black man holding a knife on Monday afternoon as his mother watched nearby. Protests in the city have raged in the nights since.
Here's what we know so far about the shooting and its aftermath.
How the shooting unfolded
Police said the incident started with a 911 call about a man with a knife, CNN affiliate KYW
reported. Officers who responded saw a man brandishing a knife and waving it erratically, Philadelphia Police Sgt. Eric Gripp told KYW.
JaHiem Simpson, who took video of the police shooting, told CNN there was some commotion and arguing before police were called.
Simpson said Wallace came out the house with a knife and everybody told him to put the weapon down. He said he saw officers pull their guns as soon as they saw the knife.
DW: Coronavirus: Germany to impose one-month partial lockdown by Alistair Walsh and Eliot Douglas
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Germany's state premiers announced on Wednesday a new partial lockdown to begin on Monday, November 2.
The so-called nationwide "lockdown light" is a less intense version of the measures that brought German society and economic activity to a standstill in the spring.
Shortly after Merkel's announcement, French President Emmanuel Macron announced a new lockdown across France.
New restrictions for the next month
- Restaurants and bars will close, except for take-away
- Large events will be canceled again
- Unnecessary travel is strongly discouraged
- Overnight stays in hotels for tourist purposes is banned
- All those who can work from home should do so and employers should ease a transition into working from home
- Meetings in public will be restricted to just two households of up to 10 people total.
- Entertainment facilities such as theaters and cinemas will be closed
- Public recreation centers such as swimming pools, gyms and saunas will be closed
- No crowds at sports events
BBC News: US tries to block Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who would be first African WTO head
The appointment of Nigeria's ex-finance minister to lead the World Trade Organization (WTO) has been thrown into doubt after the US opposed the move.
On Wednesday, a WTO nominations committee recommended the group's 164 members appoint Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
She would be the first woman and first African to lead the WTO.
But the US, critical of the WTO's handling of global trade, wants another woman, South Korea's Yoo Myung-hee, saying she could reform the body.
Ms Okonjo-Iweala said she was "immensely humbled" to be nominated.
But the four-month selection process to find the next WTO director-general hit a road block when Washington said it would continue to back South Korea's trade minister.
In a statement critical of the WTO, the Office of the US Trade Representative, which advises President Donald Trump on trade policy, said the organisation "must be led by someone with real, hands-on experience in the field".
AlJazeera: Azerbaijan says 21 dead in Armenia attack near Nagorno-Karabakh
Azerbaijan has accused Armenia of killing 21 people and wounding dozens in a missile strike near the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Armenia on Wednesday immediately denied carrying out the attack, the second in two days that Azerbaijan says killed civilians in the Barda district close to the front line.
Yerevan also accused Azerbaijani forces of deadly new strikes on civilian areas of Nagorno-Karabakh, as both sides claim the other is targeting civilians after weeks of fierce clashes.
Meanwhile, Ria Novosti news agency reported that Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan confirmed the deployment of Russian border guards along the Armenian border with Nagorno-Karabakh.
“There is nothing special about this,” Pashinyan said. “Russian border guards have been on the Armenia’s border with Turkey and Iran … Now, due to the latest developments, the Russian border guards are also on the southeastern and southwestern border of Armenia.”
Guardian: Legendary Paris bookshop Shakespeare and Company begs for help in pandemic by Alison Flood
One of the world’s most iconic bookshops, Shakespeare and Company, has appealed to its customers for help as it is struggling, with sales that are down almost 80% since March.
The celebrated Parisian bookstore told readers on Wednesday that it was facing “hard times” as the Covid-19 pandemic keeps customers away. France is expected to impose a new four-week national lockdown as coronavirus cases continue to surge; large swathes of the country, including Paris, are already under a night-time curfew.
“Like many independent businesses, we are struggling, trying to see a way forward during this time when we’ve been operating at a loss,” said the shop in an email to customers, adding that it would be “especially grateful for new website orders from those of you with the means and interest to do so”.
First opened by Sylvia Beach in 1919, the Parisian institution was frequented by writers including F Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, TS Eliot and James Joyce in the early 20th century. George Whitman opened today’s version of the shop in 1951, with James Baldwin, Lawrence Durrell, Allen Ginsberg and Anaïs Nin among its later visitors. Whitman envisaged the shop as a “socialist utopia masquerading as a bookstore”: writers are invited to sleep for free among the shelves in exchange for a few hours helping out, and more than 30,000 of the guests, named “tumbleweeds” by Whitman, have stayed since the store opened.
Don’t forget that Meteor Blades is hosting a Wednesday night owls thread tonight.
Everyone have a good evening!