Hurricane Delta has taken its toll, leaving four dead and hundreds of thousands without power along the Gulf of Mexico.
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Drugmaker Johnson & Johnson has paused the advanced clinical trial of its coronavirus vaccine because of an unexplained illness in a volunteer. It's the second Phase 3 coronavirus vaccine trial to be paused in the US, but experts say it's not entirely concerning or unexpected for adverse effects, even serious ones, to appear in large studies. Meanwhile, several countries like Russia and Germany are seeing record daily numbers of Covid-19 cases, or numbers approaching the early peaks of the pandemic. There's another second wave to worry about, too: A new report claims there will be another surge of Covid-related mental health devastation as well. Increased isolation and tension, coupled with poor access to taxed mental health treatment systems, could lead to more tragedies like overdoses and suicides.
2. Supreme Court
The first day of confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett featured plenty of fiery moments, but a lot of them revolved around the upcoming election instead of Barrett herself. For instance, all eyes were on VP nominee Kamala Harris, a former prosecutor, when she delivered an opening statement criticizing President Trump and Republicans for attacking the Affordable Care Act. Both sides have all but agreed Barrett's confirmation by the Republican-led Senate is a done deal, so Democrats instead used some of their questioning time to make a pitch to save the Affordable Care Act. Republicans, meanwhile, criticized Democrats for bringing up Barrett's Catholic faith and her association with the Christian group People of Praise, saying it amounted to, as Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley said, "religious bigotry." Progressives are worried that with another religion-led conservative on the bench, abortion rights cases could be dismantled.
3. Election 2020
Early in-person voting has started, and it's already a mess. A technical glitch at an Atlanta voting supersite and hours-long lines around the state plagued voters in Georgia. Election watchers have long worried that technical problems, along with pandemic protocols and reduced polling staff, will create untenable situations for discouraged voters. California is dealing with another problem: The state's Republican Party has been asked to remove unofficial ballot drop boxes placed in at least three counties. Such actions are illegal, since only county election officials have the authority to oversee ballot drop boxes. In New York, the NYPD has told all uniformed members to prepare to be deployed for protests before and after the election -- possibly into 2021, if a winner is not promptly and securely decided.
4. Big Tech
Facebook says it will now ban forms of Holocaust denial under its hate speech policy. That's a reversal for CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who previously said that while such content was offensive, it shouldn't be removed. Facebook has been criticized for an uneven approach to moderating and monitoring hate speech on its platform. Last week, the company said it will ban all pages, groups, and Instagram accounts representing the conspiracy theory QAnon. That was a big move as well, one that fellow social media giant YouTube is seemingly reluctant to follow. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said during a CNN interview that the platform has taken steps to reducing the ways QAnon content is recommended to viewers, but stopped short of saying they would take broader action.
Tensions are rising between Greece and Turkey over offshore rights in the eastern Mediterranean. A Turkish ship recently departed to conduct work near the Greek island of Kastellorizo, which is close to Turkey's southern coast. Greece's foreign ministry described the development as a "major escalation" and a "direct threat to peace in the region." Relations between the two countries have been frayed for years due to a variety of disputes including jurisdiction in the Mediterranean and influence over the ethnically split island country of Cyprus. Greece wants its fellow EU members to impose sanctions on Turkey. At a summit earlier this month, the EU said it would go ahead with punishments if Turkey continued operations in the region.
Vanderbilt-Missouri is the first SEC game postponed due to Covid-19
Companies are getting creative with work-from-home perks
Tracksuits and virtual wine-and-cheese tastings? Sounds like a decent night in.
Kentucky Fried Chicken is replacing its "Finger Lickin' Good" sauce
The new sauce has a much less evocative name.
Jennifer Aniston has a new puppy named Lord Chesterfield
Tourist returns stolen artifacts to Pompeii after suffering "curse" for 15 years
Her troubles were actually pretty serious so, c'mon, you can lay off now, Pompeiian curse.
That's about how much large banks make on overdraft and related fees every year, according to the FDIC.
"It is baffling that we willingly and knowingly continue to sow the seeds of our own destruction."
The United Nations' Disaster Risk Reduction chief Mami Mizutori and Debarati Guha-Sapir of Belgium's Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters, in a joint foreword to a new UN report that says the planet will become "an uninhabitable hell for millions of people" unless leaders take climate action.
The American pika is a type of mammal that closely resembles a rabbit. Their calls, on the other hand, closely resemble squeaky toys. (Click here to view.)