With one week to go, this remains Joe Biden’s race to lose: OZY’s exclusive forecast model, in partnership with data firm 0ptimus, predicts 319 electoral votes for the former VP, with an 87 percent chance of victory. President Donald Trump’s keeping a frenetic multiple-rallies-per-day pace, while Biden’s schedule is lighter (with just one event near his Delaware home Monday) though he’s beginning to travel to states that were once solidly red: He’ll be in Iowa Friday, the same day Kamala Harris hits Texas. As early voting points to a historically large turnout, we want to hear from you: Tell email@example.com how you got someone to vote who might not have, and we may feature you on OZY.
President Trump returned from Pennsylvania yesterday in time to preside over the ceremonial swearing-in of new Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who was confirmed by the Senate on a party-line vote (except a “no” from endangered Maine Sen. Susan Collins) a mere 38 days after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death. While the confirmation fight hasn’t changed the trajectory of the remarkably steady presidential race, the high court’s 6-3 conservative majority is poised to continue Republicans’ winning streak on election issues: On Monday, the court ruled that Wisconsin cannot accept mail-in ballots that arrive after Election Day. Barrett is joining in time to hear similar cases from North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
U.K. drugmaker AstraZeneca, developing a coronavirus vaccine with Oxford University, said Monday its inoculation has both prompted an immune response in adults and caused fewer adverse effects in older trial volunteers than younger subjects. The hopeful news comes amid unprecedented infection surges in Europe and in the U.S., where White House pandemic expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said that the first vaccines will prevent the virus’s symptoms, but not stop infection. Meanwhile, the Trump administration is reportedly going to announce that Americans covered by Medicare and Medicaid will be vaccinated with no out-of-pocket costs.
They’re also free to express themselves. After French President Emmanuel Macron said his government would strike at “radical Islam” in response to the Oct. 16 beheading of a teacher who showed students cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, leaders of Muslim nations have struck back. Yesterday Pakistan’s foreign office summoned the French ambassador over France’s “Islamophobic acts,” while Turkey’s president joined Qatar and Kuwait, which have removed French products from store shelves, in urging a boycott. Meanwhile, Manchester United soccer star Paul Pogba, a convert to Islam, denied reports that he was quitting over Macron’s policies.
It’s too bad to ignore. Stocks fell across Asia today after Wall Street posted its worst day in over a month, with investors spooked by America’s exploding COVID-19 cases. The Dow index fell 2.3 percent, and Apple gained 1 cent to end Monday as its only listed company not to drop. Cruise lines, hotel chains and airlines led the sell-off, with Royal Caribbean Group skidding nearly 10 percent. Investors were also concerned about the diminishing chances of the Trump administration negotiating a new pandemic stimulus package before the election, potentially further destabilizing an already ailing economy.
A bombing at a religious school in Peshawar, Pakistan, killed at least seven people and wounded 110 others today. The U.S. and India are poised to sign a defensive pact aimed at containing China amid tensions over the Sino-Indian border in the Himalayas. And Australian officials have accused Qatar of “grossly inappropriate” treatment of women aboard a Sydney-bound Qatar Airways flight, strip-searching them to determine if one had given birth to a baby abandoned in the Doha airport.
Coronavirus Update: Protests in several Italian cities against renewed pandemic restrictions erupted in violence yesterday, with demonstrators throwing Molotov cocktails at police.
Think contested elections are new? History repeats itself. To prepare you for the American election Nov. 3, look back at some of the most extraordinary campaign moments ever with this two-hour special from OZY and HISTORY, hosted byCarlos Watson. We'll dive deep into the 10 most surprising and shocking political contests, from Shirley Chisholm to Ross Perot ... all the way to Barack Obama and Donald Trump. Tune in tonight at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT on HISTORY.
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Will they bottle it for sale? In a much-anticipated announcement, NASA confirmed yesterday that the moon has much more frozen water than previously believed, spread across the lunar surface. Nature Astronomy published two papers Monday with definitive evidence that the moon has water, not just in cold shadows but in sunlit areas, after H2O molecules were detected using the space agency’s infrared observatory onboard a modified Boeing 747 jet. That means it’ll be much easier for people to eventually live there, and to use Earth’s satellite as a jumping-off point for Mars missions.
It’s not clear why, according to an Israeli TV channel, it was the country’s spy agency instead of its Foreign Ministry that brought home China’s coronavirus vaccine to see if it works. There’s the innocent explanation: Mossad Director Yossi Cohen, tapped this spring to lead efforts to import masks, ventilators and other pandemic gear, was in a position to do the same for a vaccine. And there’s another possibility: Working with China might upset America, so it had to be kept quiet. Whether or not the mystery’s explained, Israel must solve another one: Is China’s inoculation safe?
It’s a serious spoof. Citing deficiencies in the case, a judge in Georgia dismissed a lawsuit by the estate of the late Judith Dim Evans that accused Sacha Baron Cohen and Amazon of duping the Holocaust survivor into telling her story for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. Those involved in the project, which was dedicated to Evans, say she was let in on the satire and described her as a “powerful rebuke” to Holocaust deniers in the film. Kazakhstan, meanwhile, has reversed its stance on Borat, deciding to adopt the character’s catchphrase, “Very nice!” to promote tourism.
Call them Pyrrhic victories. In Los Angeles County, which hit 300,000 infections and 7,000 COVID-19 deaths Monday, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer warned that rooting for the World Series contenders is spreading contagion. While it’s “really wonderful” that L.A. has “so much talent and spirit,” she said, gathering to watch sports “just doesn’t make sense.” And though celebrating is safer outdoors, Ferrer advised against it, as unrestrained hollering spreads infectious droplets. This may fall on deaf ears, though: The Dodgers can grab their first championship since 1988 if they beat the Tampa Bay Rays tonight.