More than 1 million Americans have already cast their ballots in the presidential election. It’s a small fraction of the votes that will be cast this year — but it’s a start.
Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.
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The first presidential debate went down last night, and it was, in a word, chaotic. President Trump bulldozed the evening by repeatedly interrupting, talking over and disregarding Joe Biden and Fox News’ Chris Wallace, the debate’s moderator. Trump dodged questions about his pandemic record and openly called the race for a vaccine “a very political thing.” He also refused to denounce White supremacists, even as Wallace gave him ample opportunities to do so. Over the course of the evening, Biden called Trump a “clown,” a “racist” and “the worst president America has ever had.” So, if you were looking for deeper insight into either man’s policies, you were fresh out of luck. And probably exhausted. The next debate will be between Vice President Mike Pence and VP candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, a week from tonight in Salt Lake City. In the meantime, get all the voting info you need to know for your state with CNN’s voting guide.
More than 63 million people in India may have contracted Covid-19, according to a new study. That stunning figure is 10 times higher than the official tally for the country of 1.3 billion as officials acknowledge cases could be severely underreported. In the US, two new studies found coronavirus cases surged among young people just as colleges got back in session. It’s one harbinger of the increased fall and winter outbreaks so many medical experts have warned about. Some European leaders, like Germany’s Angela Merkel, have reinstated restrictions in preparation for a predicted winter surge. On a positive note, the World Health Organization has announced a deal to make about 120 million rapid Covid-19 tests available to low- and middle-income countries across the globe. And early data shows promising results from Regeneron’s antibody cocktail to treat coronavirus patients.
3. Government shutdown
The Senate has voted to advance a stopgap spending bill to avert a looming government shutdown. Neither party wants a shutdown right now, especially so close to the election, and this bill would keep the government running until December 11. Without a measure in place, government funding will expire at midnight tonight. Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer took control of the Senate floor yesterday and is forcing a procedural vote on a bill that would protect people with pre-existing conditions if the Supreme Court sides with the Trump administration and strikes down the Affordable Care Act. This is extremely rare since the majority leader, now Mitch McConnell, usually controls what gets considered on the floor. Any senator can do what Schumer did, but it’s usually avoided because doing so regularly would shut down the Senate.
Disney is laying off 28,000 US employees as the pandemic chews into its parks and resorts business. The cuts account for a large chunk of the division’s 100,000-person US workforce, and most will affect part-time workers. Disney’s profit dropped a whopping 91% in the first three months of 2020 as pandemic precautions all but halted its profitable park and resort operations. It’s a tale as old as time across travel and tourism industries: Airline employees, including pilots, have endured huge furloughs and reduced hours, and some worry without further assistance, the airline industry may not be able to recover. Despite it all, new research shows Americans feel better about the economy, short-term business outlooks, the job market, and their financial prospects now than at any point during the pandemic.
5. Amnesty International
Human rights organization Amnesty International says it has halted its operations in India after the “complete freezing” of its bank accounts by the government there. Staff have been laid off, and campaign and research work in the region paused. Amnesty has been critical of the Indian government in recent years, and the executive director of the group’s India office said the latest actions are retaliation for its calls for greater government transparency. Amnesty said its Indian headquarters was raided by Enforcement Directorate officers in 2018 as part of a finance investigation, but no irregularities were found. The acting secretary general of Amnesty International called this latest financial freeze an “egregious and shameful act by the Indian Government.”
Video: Pelosi: Dems will propose new covid relief plan shortly (CNN)
Nordstrom will no longer sell fur or exotic animal skins
Luxury just got a little more animal-friendly.
The year’s best social media stock is … Pinterest!
Time to create that desperately needed 2021 vision board.
Bad Bunny’s glow-in-the-dark Crocs went on sale — and promptly sold out
Well yeah, they’re GLOW-IN-THE-DARK CROCS.
Americans over 30 have been drinking more during the coronavirus pandemic
That’s according to new research (or just asking anyone over 30 what they’re up to nowadays).
5 parrots at a wildlife park were moved after swearing at visitors
Nature is beautiful.
That’s nearly how much federal income tax Joe Biden and his wife Jill paid in 2019. Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris both released their tax information before yesterday’s debate.
“We recognize the fundamental failings of our health care and political systems in serving vulnerable communities.”
A line from a more inclusive Hippocratic oath, written by students at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The oath acknowledges racism, the coronavirus pandemic and the killing of Breonna Taylor to redefine what it means to be an ethical medical practitioner.
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No debating, just munching
You deserve a break this morning, and if it’s spent watching a herd of capybaras going to town on a giant pumpkin, so be it. (Click here to view.)