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 hornbook (RIP), 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.
Please feel free to share your articles and stories in the comments.
I swapped with maggiejean for tonight’s OND.
Covid: States clamp down as US cases pass 11 million mark
Michigan, Washington and California are the latest US states to bring in strict measures to try to curb the spread of Covid-19, as cases top 11 million.
High schools and colleges are to halt on-site teaching while restaurants are prohibited from offering indoor dining in Michigan from Wednesday.
Indoor restaurant dining is also banned in Washington State, and gyms, cinemas, theatres and museums will close.
And much of California will return to its most severe restriction level.
On average, more than 1,000 people a day are dying with the virus, and the overall death toll is close to 250,000. Hospital admissions have also reached record levels.
The Trump administration struck an optimistic note on Friday, saying it hoped to distribute 20 million doses of an approved vaccine in December, and for each month after that - although vaccines have yet to get official approval.
California’s governor pulls ‘emergency brake’ on reopening amid Covid surge
California will dramatically roll back its reopening efforts, the state’s governor, Gavin Newsom, announced on Monday, saying he was pulling the “emergency brake” amid a troubling surge in cases.
The changes, which take effect Tuesday, will see more than 94% of California’s population and most businesses across the state return to the most restrictive tier of rules aimed at slowing the spread of the virus. The state is also strengthening its guidance on masks; Newsom announced face coverings would now be required outside people’s homes with limited exceptions.
The move comes as daily case rates have doubled in California over the last 10 days. The first week of November saw the fastest rate of increase in cases in the state since the start of the pandemic – 51.3% – Newsom said. The state reported 9,890 cases in the last 24 hours, with a seven-day average of 8,198.
Hurricane Iota: Category five storm hits Nicaragua
Hurricane Iota is lashing the coast of Nicaragua less than two weeks after another devastating storm hit.
It had strengthened at sea to a category five storm before hitting the coast, with maximum sustained winds of up to 160mph (260km/h).
The NHC warned of "catastrophic winds, [a] life-threatening storm surge, and torrential rainfall".
Iota is the strongest Atlantic hurricane of the year and only the second November hurricane to reach category five - the last was in 1932.
"What's drawing closer is a bomb," President Juan Orlando Hernández of neighbouring Honduras said at an earlier press conference.
Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua have evacuated residents living in low-lying areas and near rivers in the Atlantic coastal region which Iota is expected to hit.
The effect of the rains could be particularly devastating in areas already drenched by Hurricane Eta two weeks ago.
Peru's congress elects Francisco Sagasti as new interim president
Peru’s congress has elected a new interim president after nearly 24 hours without a head of state as the country reels from an intense week of pro-democracy protests marked by accusations of police brutality.
Francisco Sagasti, an industrial engineer and member of the only political party that voted against the ousting of popular former president Martín Vizcarra a week ago, will be Peru’s caretaker president presiding over elections in April 2021.
The move is expected to ease tension on the streets after the impeachment of Vizcarra last Monday unleashed nationwide protests and what analysts have called Peru’s worst political crisis in more than a decade.
The former interim president, Manuel Merino, stepped down on Sunday after mounting calls for his resignation culminated in nationwide fury over the killing of two protesters on Saturday in a heavy-handed police clampdown on demonstrations.
Trump's Border Wall Builders Carry On Even Though Projects May Never Be Completed
Work crews are dynamiting mountains and bulldozing access roads in the badlands of southeastern Arizona, while government lawyers have acquired a beloved birding preserve along the Rio Grande in South Texas — all to make way for a border wall that may never get built.
The completion of President's Trump's signature wall on the U.S.-Mexico border is very much in doubt. Before winning the presidential election, Joe Biden flatly told NPR: "There will not be another foot of wall constructed in my administration."
But that hasn't stopped Trump's wall builders, who are hurrying to get as many miles completed as they can before the next president can cancel their contracts. That's happening from the Rio Grande Valley of Texas to Arizona's stunning Coronado National Memorial and Guadalupe Canyon, a wildlife corridor for Mexican gray wolves and endangered jaguars. At $41 million a mile, the Arizona sections are the most expensive projects of the entire border wall.
Trump Administration Rushes To Sell Oil Rights In Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Starting Tuesday, oil and gas companies can pick which parts of Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge they're interested in drilling. It's the latest push by the Trump administration to auction off development rights in the pristine landscape before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.
The official "call for nominations" launches a 30-day comment period. It will also allow the Bureau of Land Management to move forward with a lease sale, which it must announce 30 days in advance. The exact timing is not clear, but it raises the possibility that a lease sale might happen just days before Biden's inauguration.
"It's been quite a lot of work to get to this point," says Kevin Pendergast, Deputy State Director for Resources with the BLM in Alaska. In a separate statement, the agency said the lease sale will be a historic move "advancing this administration's policy of energy independence."
NPR (Another wacko)
Controversial Fed Nominee Set To Prevail In Senate Confirmation Vote This Week
After languishing for more than a year, Judy Shelton's controversial nomination to the Federal Reserve's board of governors appears poised for Senate confirmation in what is likely to be a narrow vote.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell moved to hold a vote sometime this week after Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, signaled her support for the nominee.
Shelton has attracted great scrutiny over views that place her well outside the economic mainstream.
Shelton, who was an adviser to President Trump's 2016 campaign, is expected to be confirmed on a slim majority, prevailing over the opposition of Senate Democrats and three Republican critics.
So far, the vote appears equally split between Democrats and Republicans, which would require Vice President Pence to cast the tiebreaking vote. "Her ideas are so wacky and outdated, giving her authority over the dollar would be like putting a medieval barber in charge of the CDC," Wyden said in a statement, referring to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Wisconsin recount could cost Trump campaign about $7.9m
The Wisconsin Elections Commission said on Monday that a statewide vote recount would cost an estimated $7.9m, money that President Donald Trump’s campaign would have to pay in advance should it request one..
President-elect Joe Biden won the crucial battleground state in the November 3 election by a margin of 0.7 percentage point, or about 20,000 votes, with 99 percent of ballots counted, according to Edison Research.
Trump has yet to concede in the race and is filing legal challenges to the outcome.
“The legal team continues to examine the issues with irregularities in Wisconsin and are leaving all legal options open, including a recount and an audit,” Trump 2020 legal adviser Jenna Ellis said when asked if the campaign would move ahead with a petition for a recount.
Under state law, because the margin of Biden’s win was less than 1 percent but greater than 0.25 percent, Trump as the second-place finisher has the right to request a recount, but must first pay to cover the expenses of the operation.
Christian Science Monitor
India prepares for Diwali festival, ignoring COVID concerns
Crowds filling shopping areas ahead of the Diwali festival of lights on Saturday are raising hopes of India’s distressed business
community after months of lockdown losses but also spawning fears of a massive coronavirus upsurge.
People who’ve restricted their purchases to essentials for months appear to be in a celebratory mood and traders are lapping it up, said Praveen Khandelwal, general secretary of the Confederation of All India Traders.
“The past three days have seen a tremendous increase in customer footfall in shopping markets for festival purchases,” he said.
But among the millions of shoppers, a large number of people are seen ignoring mask wearing and social distancing norms in major Indian cities and towns. India has confirmed more than 8.7 million cases of coronavirus infection, the second-most in the world, and more than 128,600 fatalities.
In neighboring Nepal, another predominant Hindu nation, people appear to have responded better to a government appeal to celebrate the festival indoors and only with immediate family and avoid large gatherings or public celebrations.
Cash-strapped North Korea seeks new sources of income
With a daily mix of news and events from North Korea, the Choson Sinbo newspaper is popular with an estimated 150,000 North Koreans who live in Japan, but still swear allegiance to Pyongyang.
Many of these people are members of Chosen Soren, an association of North Koreans living in Japan who make regular financial contributions through the organization to the Workers' Party in Pyongyang.
In October, the newspaper introduced a subscription service, charging up to €15 ($17) per month for access.
Choe Kwan-ik, the managing editor of the Tokyo-based publication told DW that the website introduced a paywall because it is losing money.
North Korea analysts in Japan say the regime in Pyongyang is pressuring all its sources of funds to provide more money to keep the country afloat amid a global economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus and made even more acute by international sanctions.
Toshimitsu Shigemura, a professor at Tokyo's Waseda University and the author of a number of books on the ruling Kim dynasty, told DW that Pyongyang is "leaning on" North Koreans overseas to send the regime more money.
New York Times
Leonids Meteor Shower 2020: Watch It Peak in Night Skies
All year long as Earth revolves around the sun, it passes through streams of cosmic debris. The resulting meteor showers can light up night skies from dusk to dawn, and if you’re lucky you might be able to catch a glimpse.
The next shower you might be able to see is known as the Leonids. Active from Nov. 6 to Nov. 30, it is expected to be at its peak from Monday night into Tuesday morning, or Nov. 16 to 17.
The Leonids are one of the most dazzling meteor showers and every few decades it produces a meteor storm where more than 1,000 meteors can be seen an hour. Cross your fingers for some good luck — the last time the Leonids were that strong was in 2002. Its parent comet is called Comet-Temple/Tuttle and it orbits the sun every 33 years.
The best you can probably expect this year is about 15 streaks per hour. But according to the International Meteor Organization, viewing conditions could be favorable as the moon is far from being full.
Washington Post (Breaking)
SpaceX docking live updates: Resilience capsule docks with the International Space Station
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft docked with the International Space Station Monday night in what appeared to be a smooth mission as the spacecraft maneuvered itself autonomously in a delicate parking job some 250 miles above the surface of the Earth.
“Excellent job. Right down the center,” Mike Hopkins, the NASA astronaut commanding the mission, said shortly after docking, which occurred at 11:01 p.m. over Idaho.
Flight controllers at SpaceX headquarters and NASA mission control in Houston spent the day communicating with the astronauts on board SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, preparing them for the docking, which appeared to proceed flawlessly.