North Dakota officials are hoping to use federal coronavirus funds for fracking grants—a move that has critics up in arms, the Grand Forks Herald reports. A state energy commission voted unanimously Friday to reallocate over $221 million in congressional virus aid to state agencies, including $16 million for fracking....
Here's the latest for Sunday, October 25: Senate votes to advance SCOTUS nominee Barrett; Italy imposes new virus restrictions; Protesters mark one year of anti-government rallies in Iraq; Pope Francis names 13 new cardinals in surprise address.
Many Americans believe that once the media 'calls' a presidential election and one candidate gives a concession speech, the other is officially named the winner. But according to Voice of America, that's far from the truth. In fact, it's a multi-step process that takes place over the course of months, not days. Once all the in-person, mail-in, and provisional ballots are tallied, each state governor draws up a list of electors. Copies of this list are submitted to the US Archivist. The electors then meet in their state capitals on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December, to formally vote for president and vice president. The electors in each of the states complete Certificates of Vote and send them to the US Senate, the National Archives, and state officials. The final step in the process occurs in early January. Congress meets to count the electoral votes and officially certifies the winner. While the process is ordinarily ceremonial, there can be objections.
California Court Rules Uber and Lyft Must Make Drivers Employees. On Thursday, a California appeals court told the ride-sharing companies that their drivers can no longer be classified as independent contractors. Uber and Lyft can appeal to the California Supreme Court within the next 30 days. Both companies have contributed to a nearly $200-million campaign, Prop. 22, in an effort to keep drivers as independent contractors in California. According to NPR, it's the most expensive ballot campaign in the state's history. Today's ruling means that if the voters don't say Yes on Proposition 22, rideshare drivers will be prevented from continuing to work as independent contractors, ... , Uber spokesperson Matt Kallman, via NPR. ... putting hundreds of thousands of Californians out of work and likely shutting down ridesharing throughout much of the state, Uber spokesperson Matt Kallman, via NPR. Uber and Lyft claim the gig economy laws of California do not apply to them since they are "tech platforms" rather than "transportation businesses.". San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera says both companies have been "breaking the law for years.". This is a victory for the people of California and for every driver who has been denied fair wages, paid sick days, and other benefits by these companies, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, via NPR
Patreon has become the latest online platform to give QAnon conspiracy theorists the boot. Please excuse me while I play the world’s smallest violin. “Going forward, creator accounts that advance disinformation promoting the QAnon conspiracy theory will no longer be supported on Patreon,” the company said in a blog post announcing its updated policies this week. Only “a small number” of the platform’s creators actually promoted QAnon with their work, Patreon continued, but it decided to take decisive action after seeing “a number of other online platforms become overrun with pages and groups actively focused around QAnon disinformation.”
A Wednesday video call with Quibi employees, in which they were informed the streaming service would be shutting down just six months after launching , got a little strange at one point. Founder Jeffrey Katzenberg, whom the Wall Street Journal reports was "emotional," gave the employees—who will be laid off...
U.S. Experiences , Second-Highest Single-Day, Increase in New COVID-19 Cases. A Reuters analysis of new COVID-19 cases in the United States has found an alarming acceleration. . With 76,195 new cases reported, October 22 officially clocked the second-highest single-day increase so far. . It was just short of the one-day record high of 77,299 new cases, which occurred at the peak of the pandemic on July 16. . India is the only other place to have reported more cases in a single day — 97,894 cases on September 17. . The U.S. recorded 916 new COVID-19 deaths on October 22, and over 1,200 the previous day. . COVID-19 deaths are up 13 percent from last week, and the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients is at a two-month high. . There are nearly 41,000 hospitalized COVID-19 patients across the U.S. . During Thursday night’s presidential debate, President Donald Trump said the U.S. was “rounding the turn” on COVID-19. . More and more people are getting better … We’re rounding the turn. We’re rounding the corner. It’s going away, Donald Trump, via Global News
President Donald Trump is asserting that even without a virus vaccine, “we’re rounding the turn,” he said at a rally in New Hampshire on Sunday. But data shows new COVID-19 cases are at an all-time high, with 83,718 cases reported Saturday. (Oct. 25)
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows is making headlines Sunday with his comments about the coronavirus, CNN reports. "We are not going to control the pandemic," he said on State of the Union . "We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas....
The man who turned Samsung into a tech powerhouse—and nearly lost it all amid white-collar crime convictions—died Sunday in Seoul, the Washington Post reports. Lee Kun-hee was 78. "Chairman Lee was a true visionary who transformed Samsung into the world-leading innovator and industrial powerhouse from a local business,...
Senate Republicans voted overwhelmingly Sunday to advance Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett toward final confirmation despite Democratic objections, just over a week before the presidential election. The vote was 51-48. (Oct. 25)
When the polls close on Election Day and no more voting is allowed, the election judge at each polling place has poll workers seal all the ballot boxes. The boxes are sent to a central vote-counting facility. This is usually a government office, such as a city hall or county courthouse. There, if paper ballots are still used, election officials manually read each ballot and add up the number of votes in each race. Where punch-card ballots are used, election officials count the ballots by hand, then run them through a mechanical punch card reader, which prints out a tally. For absentee/mail-in ballots, they're first cross-checked against voter registration records, to ensure there's no fraud taking place. On Election Day—but never before—state election officials count the mail-in ballots, and add the tally to the ballots cast in-person. With newer, fully computerized voting systems, the vote totals are transmitted automatically, or via removable digital media, to the central counting facility.
Pacific Gas & Electric started cutting power Sunday to tens of thousands of California residents and planned outages for many more to prevent the chance of sparking wildfires due to extreme fire weather
Trump Says Israel and Sudan , Have Agreed to Normalize Relations. President Trump made the announcement on Friday, less than two weeks before the election. According to CNN, before talks of normalization could move forward, . Sudan Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok requested that the country be removed from the state sponsor of terrorism list, which it has be on since 1993. Trump signed an executive order to implement Sudan's removal from the list. According to CNN, if both the House and Senate pass veto-proof joint resolutions of disapproval within 45 days, . Congress can overturn the decision to remove Sudan from the state sponsor of terrorism list
Former Governor John Hickenlooper will face first-term GOP Sen. Cory Gardner in Colorado 2020 US Senate's race. Hickenlooper has a long track record in Colorado. He is the former two-term mayor of Denver. He is also the former governor, serving from 2011 to 2019. Since 2014, Colorado has become a reliably Democrat at the federal and state levels.
State entomologists have won the opening battle against murder hornets in Washington, successfully removing the first nest discovered in the US. Two days after it was discovered in a cavity of a tree near Blaine, the nest was shut down and the hornets removed, CNN reports. The nest held between...
Washington State Department of Agriculture crews tagged and removed a nest of murder hornets in Blaine, Washington. This is the first nest to be found in the U.S.
FDA Approves Remdesivir to Treat COVID-19. U.S. regulators have approved the use of remdesivir, an antiviral medicine, for COVID-19 treatment. . It is officially the first drug to win full approval for COVID-19 treatment from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The drug, otherwise known as Veklury by Gilead Sciences Inc., reportedly cuts COVID-19 recovery time down from 15 days to 10. . Those results were found in a large study led by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. . However, a study conducted by the World Health Organization found that the drug did not help hospitalized COVID-19 patients. . Nevertheless, the drug has been authorized for emergency use since the spring. . President Donald Trump even received it when he was hospitalized with COVID-19 earlier this month. Gilead is charging $2,340 for a typical treatment course for those covered by government health programs. For those with private insurance, the cost of treatment is $3,120. Out-of-pocket payments depend on a person’s insurance, income and other factors.
About half of U.S. states have seen their highest daily coronavirus infection numbers so far at some point in October, and the country as a whole came very close to back-to-back record daily infection rates on Friday and Saturday
Highlights of this day in history: Cuban missile crisis fuels Cold War clash at UN; China's UN seat changes hands; 'Charge of the Light Brigade' battle takes place; Author Geoffrey Chaucer dies; Golfer Payne Stewart killed in plane crash. (Oct. 25)